The weeks leading to the CIM in December were frenetic - filled beyond capacity with work, training, parenting, and living. Coming off of the high of that marathon, I entered a re-grouping period. My focus turned inward toward family and quiet. Prompted by the formation of a writing group born from Wilder, my writing practice shifted to pen, paper, and daily writing prompts in a space where I am free to play with words and ideas away from the pressure of “perfect” applied to an art that actually is enriched by human imperfections and free flowing honesty. Running similarly has been unconstrained, and my previously dictated workouts became guided instead by whatever it was that my body and mind needed on any given day. What I would have viewed in the past as a step back actually has been a period of rejuvenation, base-building, and readying myself for something more.
“More” came this week in the form of my acceptance into the 2018 NYC Marathon.
I signed up for my first NYC Marathon lottery on January 15, 2015 on my brother’s 40th birthday and the first anniversary of our father’s passing. I had turned to running the year before both to process deep grief and to reverse the effects my own age and inattention to health were wrecking on my body. A few weeks after I signed up, the unbelievable news hit my email: I was in. I was overcome by feelings of pure panic and joy. And the undeniable spark of new life.
Through the 2015 NYC Marathon I entered a new phase. Relatively new to running, training for the NYC Marathon unleashed a period of daring. Start a blog? Why not. Submit my writing to other publications? What the hell, sure. Find myself in the company of badass runner-writer women for a weekend of soul searching growth and learning to be comfortable with the uncomfortable? Yes! Trading late Saturday night dates to make way for months of Sunday morning long runs with my husband training for more marathons? After almost 25 years of marriage, we have never been closer and finally started to solve the “what are we going to do when we’re empty nesters” conundrum. With that first NYC entry, my life pivoted toward a whole new, unexplored path, full of experiences and friendships I never would have known but for that race, and my life is undeniably richer as a result.
I can’t script what is going to happen next. But unlike the first marathon when I was truly beginning at the beginning and entering the vast unknown, this time I have a base and a profound yearning to explore all that is possible – whatever form that may take. After quietly building, and building, and building, this spark, again, came exactly at the right time.
Am I ready for this next chapter? For my second crack at the NYC Marathon? For the fearless runs and sucky runs? For the discipline? For the challenge? For falling down and finding a way to get up? For the journey. For the growth. For the camaraderie. For the inspiration.
In the words of Shalane: Fuck yes!!