Ruinous Runs and Other Things I’ll Do Again 6

Detour Coin, Medal, Beer, Smile

Detour Coin, Medal, Beer, Smile

I have nothing. Or perhaps I have a field of tumbleweeds sweeping across my thoughts.

Marathon Four has left me in a weird and untenable state, a state of which I was I previously and happily unaware. I have been rendered proudly disappointed.

Marathon Four picked me up, turned me upside down and shook me loose. Those hills, and that wind, and my stupid arthritic knee—after the first half, I am not too proud to point out—emptied the lint and lies and wooden nickels I had secreted away in the wilding crevasses of my mind. A murder of crows feasted on the stinking mess.

Worthless wooden nickels that repeated to me my own worthlessness, my own inability to climb and and descend, to soar on wings, to persevere.

But still I ran. I cursed the hills. I drank the beer. I spoke to the man on whose shirt was printed that verse from Isaiah that called to me. I saw Lauren, Kenna, Elizabeth, and Alicia. I saw Whitney and Ben and Anna. I saw Chris and Curtis and Terri. I saw Amber and Sarah and Courtney. And though we ran that finish line in our ways, in our own times, they were with me. They took the place of the feasting crows and the linty lies.

And when I crested the hill to the Center of the Universe detour, a rude and wacky climb, I was more than my aching knee. I was more than just some old slow fat average runner. I hit one of my goals. I ran three tenths of a mile longer than a marathon. I did that.

For the first time, my family met me at the finish line. When I saw them, I nearly crumbled. Instead, I did a little bake the cake dance and dashed to the Finish Line. Not a PR. Not even close. I was mildly incoherent, and happily angry.

Angry I did not PR, happy that I finished that sucker on my terms, and with the detour. I’ll keep shaking loose the crumbs, because they have no place in my head, even hidden the secret corners. And I’ll keep running.

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6 thoughts on “Ruinous Runs and Other Things I’ll Do Again

  • Valerie

    Love this soooooooooo much. I’ve had some back issues the past few days and have so missed the consistency of running. In a way, I’m glad my back did what it did. It showed me how important this new lifestyle is to me. I’m excited to keep going for as long as the crazy and odds-defying body will let me! Thanks for sharing this. It gives us newbies hope for the future. 🙂 <3

  • Amber

    Route 66 was a beast this year. I am so proud of you and even more proud to call you a friend and awesome running partner. Here’s to the next goal!

  • Marie at the Lazy W

    Congratulations!! And wow, what a tactile and emotional description, thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been wondering for a while how it was for you. So impressed, so happy and motivated, so glad to know you and follow your running (life) adventure. xoxo

  • Paula Lee

    What a great description of this race that we choose to love! I think you missed mentioning someone you saw….can’t wait to train with you again!