So I finally get to the start line of the Surf City 1/2 Marathon and I'm racing under an assumed name. I waited too long to register for the race and had to get a bib from someone who wasn't able to run.
Not that I WAS able to run the whole 13.1, but you all know me. I'm not the smartest when it comes to whether or not to race injured.
I knew I wasn't going to "race" the race. I hadn't trained. I couldn't run the whole thing. I was just out there for a supported run, to push myself and see what distance I could pull out, and to think.
I've got a lot of things going on in my life. Having a baby, being a single parent, going back to school, trying to train, etc, etc. I know, I know, all of us have lots going on in our lives. Mine may be busier than some, but not as busy as others. (I'm lucky to be in the place I am now in regards to THAT particular situation.)
I didn't have the bean this weekend. It also happened to be a close friend's birthday and there were plans on both Friday AND Saturday. Crazy I know, but I wasn't racing (although Ali the Runner was. We had a great time and she PR'd!!!) so I decided to take part in all the festivities (Ali didn't. She was the smart one).
Anyway, back to my life. This is where I digress but then get back to the run report, because there wasn't a race. I want to go back to school to be a Prosthetist. To do this I need one more class, Anatomy & Physiology. I went to 2 schools in my area to petition for said class and finally got in! This was after I resigned myself to the idea that the universe was trying to tell me something. I let go of my strangle hold on the idea that I HAD to get into this class THIS semester. If I didn't my WHOLE plan was never going to happen. I would miss my milestones and not even be able to attempt being a Prosthetist.
I decided to embrace the fact that I was probably not going to get into this class. What did that mean? Yes it meant I'd be putting off my chance to get into the Prosthetics program, but more importantly, it meant I could stay at home and see the bean grow up for 6 more months. I chose to focus on the fact that I had this wonderful opportunity. To spend time with my child.
Then I got into the class. So I get to spend time with the bean AND move my plan forward. It was, for lack of a better term, a sign.
The thing about signs is once you experience one, actually experience it not just notice it on the side of the road and keep cruising on by, is that you are open to accepting other signs.
Back to my race. I decided on a run/walk strategy. First I ran 1 mile and walked 1 minute. When I wasn't able to recover sufficiently from that, I ran 1 mile and walked 2 minutes. When that stopped working, I ran 1/2 mile, walked 1 minute, then I ran 1/2 mile, walked 2 minutes, finally I ran 1/2 mile, walked 3 minutes. This all worked up to mile 9. After that I walked it in, well, until I got into the finishers chute. You HAVE to run when that many people are watching!
This was the best part of the race, I made a plan, stuck to it, and didn't beat myself up over the fact that I couldn't run the whole race or that I wasn't doing as well as I wanted.
As I was just running the course, not racing it, I was able to actually take it everything that was happening. The overcast weather, the racers, the music. The music was key. My shuffle spoke to me and I listened. The play list it generated gave clarity to a situation I'd been struggling with for a while. It gave me the clarity to realize I had a decision to make, the courage to make it and the resolve I needed to follow through on it.
It did almost take the whole 13.1 miles (and 3 hours, 11 minutes) to realize the universe was sending me another sign. But I got it. Thank you.