“You have made a grave mistake, Odinson”
“I make grave mistakes all the time. Everything seems to work out”
In theory, registering for a marathon when I have a number of injuries, when I haven’t been training enough, when I don’t have weather-appropriate clothing or footwear for rain or light trail, that could be definitely considered a number of grave mistakes.
And yet, I started the race today. Despite the injuries. Despite the limited training. Despite the trail and lack of proper footwear. Despite the rain and lack of proper water-resistant or water-proof attire. And guess what!?! I finished the race. Everything worked out. AND I got an opportunity to finally use that quote from Thor: Ragnarok.
Today was amazing for a lot of reasons. The race was great, and it was stunning. The route was along a trail and on either side was just overwhelming green forest. Sometimes there were bridges and waterfalls, creeks, deer, people walking dogs, people riding horses (I got to pet the dogs and the horses). It went from Lake Shawnigan to Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island. On the route, I was totally torn between thinking it looked like a fairy tale land made up by Jim Henson, or one made up by Tolkien. I totally felt like I could be a character in one of their stories at those moments. Especially when it started raining. It was a beautiful, steady, heavy rainy. No wind, not coming in sideways, just a vertical downpour. I was muddy and drenched and was just anticipating turning a corner and seeing the Goblin King or Elrond.
The people in the photo with me are also amazing. One is my friend who I met at a running clinic a few months ago. It was her first time completing a marathon and I am so unbelievably proud of how amazing she is. Such a small percentage of people ever complete a marathon and she absolutely rocked it. The fellow in the picture is another blogger who I started chatting with via our blogs about running (I’ve attached a link to his blog below). It was the first time meeting in real life, which was super great. He is also fantastic, and it was wonderful to finally meet him, and get to run with him.
When I say “run”, I actually don’t mean a whole lot of running on my part. In all honesty, I ran for the first 10k comfortably, but after that, was concerned about my injuries and I didn’t want to antagonize them. So I alternated between walking, jogging and running for the rest of the race. It was mostly walking. I ran part of and walked most of the marathon. I really loved the time that I was running, but I also knew that if I tried to keep running longer or faster, then I would be more likely to make the injuries I already have worse (or to get new ones). I was alone after the first 10k, because that was when my friends were able to keep running but I decided to pull back a bit. I spent most of the marathon walking without a single other person in sight.
The result is that I feel awesome. I am a bit sore (it’s still 42.2k no matter how it’s traversed), but my knees are fine. My arches are fine. My hips and back and hamstrings are fine. I have enough energy to be writing a blog post. I didn’t hit “The Wall” while I was on the trail, I didn’t get so dehydrated that I started hallucinating. Everything seems to have worked out.
The reason I started the race was because I knew that with all the reasons not to run that if I did not start, I would not have the opportunity to finish. If I started and realized that I was too injured to continue and had to stop, then I could stop. I’d hitch a ride back to the starting line and have some coffee. If I started the race, I would have the opportunity to complete it or to go as far as I could safely manage. Alternatively, if I chose to not even start the race, if I decided to stay in my jammies and watch Lord of the Rings, if I decided to sleep in and read all day, then I wouldn’t have even had the chance to finish the race.
If I chose not to start, I wouldn’t have had the experience of walking through Middle Earth, alone, in the rain. It was rejuvenating, it was cold, and it was peaceful. I had the hours to think about nothing or to consider some topics that I have been dwelling on. I could make up stories in my head about coming across elves and dwarves and goblins. I listened to my body and I did what I needed, and what I needed was to be outside in the forest in the rain.
Don’t forget to check out this blog link for an awesome read!