Ran the Maryville Marathon today: 3:57:53. This is a personal best, a Boston Qualifying time, second place women overall, and first place Master’s Women.
It was a foggy day, 60F with a north wind. The race starts at 6:30. It is a small race, maybe 100 counting those doing the half. I wear a sweatshirt up until the start; then lay it to the side but I keep my gloves on. The gloves go into the fanny pack after about 20 minutes.
The Maryville Marathon is a two lapper. During the first lap, I kept my mind on the day’s lesson: I want the peace of God. I just ran this thought over and over through my mind. I kept looking at my watch every mile. The first 3 miles has 3 hills, but the rest of the course has mild, long grades. At three miles, I was at 28 minutes, but at 4 miles I was dead on 36 minutes (9 minutes per mile). Wow, that is fast! I decided to pee after 42 minutes. I was the first one in that box, so it was totally clean. I lost a minute there but I think ultimately it was a good decision. I took Gu every 30 minutes and 3 S-caps (electrolytes).
I kept looking at my watch and marveling at how I was keeping pace. I knew I could run 16 miles that way, but 26? When would I crash? I returned to my lesson and kept it in my mind.
I had 8 oz of Succeed stashed at the starting line for use at the halfway. I got to mile 15 at 2:15. I got to mile 16 at 2:24 and change. That left me 110 minutes to finish 10.2 miles and qualify for Boston. I had cruised the down hills at the first part of the second lap. I began to wonder if the mile markers were not off or something: how could I be going that fast? At mile 17, I decided I was having the race of my life. I needed to throw my heart over the bar. I committed to keeping the pace no matter what, even though I knew I must be trashing my legs.
During the second lap, my mind was filled with another couple of thoughts from the day’s lesson (meaningless to non-ACIM students): “I am not a body. I am free. I am still as God created me.” I kept my mind going over and over these thoughts. It occurred to me that if I kept my thinking from sabotaging the race, my body would do the running of its own accord. So I kept my mind on the thoughts and otherwise concentrated on pumping my arms forward, not side to side. I kept looking at my watch. Despite a long uphill grade for miles 21 and 22, I was not losing time, but keeping the pace.
At mile 23, I had left myself 38 minutes to BQ or 33 minutes to get under 4 hours. Wow, I could go under four hours. I kept my thinking on the straight and narrow. I kept my arms pumping. I was hot and my legs were tired, but somehow the whole thing was still hanging together. I chased another woman those last 3 miles and got to her shoulder at mile 26. She noticed me and put on a sprint but I had nothing to match her. She got first place (but she was a 40 year old baby and I am a 50 year old Master).
How did this happen? The thinking of course; but also, the high 5 from the two year old. Maybe the S-caps. Maybe the Succeed Amino. Maybe it was the orange vibes from Running Maniacs; or else c-moss was really pissy today but that worked to my advantage. Maybe the old hat. I had put 3 hats in my bag, but as I walked out the door, I grabbed my oldest shabbiest hat; and that is the one I wore.
Anyway: I can’t believe it. I qualified for BOSTON!
I might actually try to go. I might be one of those once-in-a-lifetime hassle filled trips which you must not miss.