Monday, December 19, 2016

73rd Marathon - Houston Running Festival

Saturday, I ran a marathon. It was my 22 marathon this year and my 73 marathon this lifetime. I am  57 years old, 58 in January.  I say all that because of the time of year. Another year of marathoning wrapped up. In fact, I far out did myself as far as number of marathons done in a year goes. 11 is the second highest count.

Spirit unleashed, that is my yearning for 2017. Not that I'll run more marathons or train more but that I'll let my soul be free. Free of my character defects and unleashed in joy and athletic power; that my ethos dream for 2017.

In this marathon, I went out wanting to give my fastest. At the same time, as the day got warm, up to 80F with a strong wind, my speed slowed.

As I think of this marathon, I think of the drops of sweat dripping from the brim of my ball cap. For about 2 of the 5 hours, there was a steady drip drip drip. I remember passing Kim several times. Kim cannot run any more. She walks; and due to nerve damage has to sit down every 6 miles. Yet she would walk 50 miles. I admire Kim. I admire anyone who keeps going despite difficulties.Various other people I passed or was passed. We chat a bit. People say, didn't I see you at such and such a race? Or, how far are you going today? Or will you be at the Texas marathon? Or, go girl, you're looking good!

On this day, there was a girls soccer tournament on the ball fields inside the park. Six or so games going at any one time. On one lap, I saw a guy from work who was cheering one of his kids. I didn't say anything. On the next lap he was still there. This time, I yelled hello and got his attention. He waved.

This marathon was 13 laps of 2 miles each plus a loop around a parking lot at the start of the race. As usual, as I approach 20 miles, my feet and legs are tired and hurt a bit. Thankfully no blisters or any other injury. I am grateful for the last lap. As I run it, some guy who is faster than me passes. When I say it is my last lap, he says "I hate you." This because he is doing a longer distance but wants to stop now.

I get my awesome medal and am shortly driving home. I use google maps, even though I know the way, because I don't know which highway has traffic. Houston is like that. Even on Sunday, some highways will be full.

On January 1, 2017, the journey continues. I plan to be Spirit Unleashed. This race report is about the race, but also how I feel about life at the moment. I'm thinking that I'm tired of fighting at work; fighting for what is right and good, or for advancement. I wish I could pull my dog out of the race.

I love how I feel when working out. I love the afterglow of marathons. The marathon journey does not have to end any time soon. I go in races where there are many people much older than me finishing the 26 miles. I can be there for a long time.

One of the things I like about this medal is the big words Houston. I have to admit to myself that I like it here. And ask myself, "Why would you ever leave?"

Today, the Monday after this race, I ran 15 miles in laps around a park. I thought about my current situation. I need to learn to take my dog out of the work race. I need to learn to let go. After my run, I purchased a new hydration belt online and then I entered a marathon in February in Galveston.

I still need to figure out my future. I want to learn to write an essay. I use the word essay in its technical sense. In the writing word, the philosophical world, an essay is a specific thing. I have a dream of writing 100 essays about 100 marathons; and so hope to use my brain creatively and engage independent thinking.

I love the belt buckle:

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