Monday, March 05, 2007

On the Run... Again

Authors note: This is from a journal entry a couple months ago. Also, big congrats to all the members of the MAGIS Marathon Team for completing the LA Marathon March 4th, 2007!


I felt like a little kid the night before Christmas. I kept turning over in bed to look in the dark at the various items on my desk. I would take a quick peak, size up the gifts I was leaving for myself to wake up to the next morning, and roll back over smiling.

Every runner can understand me when I say it had been too long. It had been a good couple of months without a run, and my body was crying out to me, infuriated and deflated at the betrayal. It was like I had forgotten what it was to wake up in the morning and just run... To lace up the shoes, anxiously cut short pre-run stretching and then take off with the music pumping through the ears and go wherever the legs will take me and until they won’t take me anymore. As a sport I was never good at it, but as a hobby, a passion, it has become the way I deal with the world that sometimes crushes too pressingly on my willingness to push back. Running is my response, my way to handle life outside of my running sneakers.

And so the disappointment was almost too much to handle as I rose two hours too late, a restless night of little sleep getting the best of me. Walking to the living room I passed the running gear I set aside the night, resigned to leave it cast aside one more night.

It’s the time you pass in between miles 19 and 24 that intrigue me the most in the marathon. You have passed the limit a body can adequately train for and yet you are still too far away from the finish to find the adrenaline needed to push you through. And so the battle of your physical needs clash with the mental aspirations that got you to the start line so many hours before. You get through it not with adrenaline or with the imminent taste of success, but something entirely indescribably different. As I lay there on the couch that day content to let another day pass by with my nose in the book, it was that feeling that crept into my veins.

I did hit the streets of Santiago that day and discovered every nook and cranny I had passed so often in speeding busses. I ran over highways, under bridges through poor neighborhoods and rich, it was through these city streets and tree lined parks that I allowed my feet to conduct a minitour of Santiago.

It was nothing phenomenal. No personal records were made, no “you can’t believe it” incredible stories about 17 miles without proper training or hydration. Only a 10 mile jog that was nothing but a gesture to a neglected runner’s soul. It wasn’t until the ritual of taking off the shoes and socks, drinking a big glass of water, hitting the shower, and returning to the couch to do what I was hours before content to only do that I realized just how much I truly missed it, the rush of it all, and God willing, it will take a while longer to forget how much it means. If nothing else, it will take at least until April 1st, when I participate in my first international marathon!

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