there were a lot of good days this year.
but, after thinking about it for december reflections, i think the day i ran the marathon will go down as the best day of the year.
i've written some of this before, but the marathon represented a lot of things for me. i signed up for it last fall when i was sad and heartbroken and lonely and needed something, anything, to get me through. it was a decision made late one night without much thought. since my relationship with running started under similar circumstances, it made sense to me.
i've signed up to run marathons before and never committed to them. i would just run the half marathon portion or defer until the next year. this almost felt the same. but i was raising money. people would give because i made a promise to run 26.2mi. so maybe, just maybe, this time would be different...
it seems i am willing to let myself down all the time. but letting down other people...that is scary.
running the marathon was a way to get back into shape, to prove to myself that i could run 26.2mi, to support a good cause, and to waste time.
by the time marathon day came, things had changed quite a bit. after a spring season of runs and beating previous PRs, my fall was filled with disappointing run after disappointing run. my training in the winter and spring had felt great. my training in the summer was hard and not nearly as disciplined. (um running in heat is dumb and i can't). by the time marathon day came, i didn't have hours of free time anymore. i was busy and the training runs had been more annoying time-wise than i expected. by the time marathon day came, i wasn't sad and lonely and heartbroken anymore on the contrary i was content and in love.
i started that marathon in a very different place than i had started (because, in some ways, the race starts when you decide to run it). finishing that marathon had different meaning now.
running the race, friends i had made in the last year came to cheer me on. running the race, my boyfriend seemed to pop up in the places i needed someone most. running the race, i realized how much new york city had seeped into my being this past year. running the race, i realized that i had assumed, when i signed up, that the race would be this arduous...memorial...for what i thought would have been a year of getting over stuff, a year of sad, hard work. instead, running the race that day, was this dare-i-say fun and arduous adventure with reminders along the way of how this year (despite all the craptastic stuff that happened in the world in 2016...also keep in mind that the election was two days after this) feels like it will go down in my history as a pretty good, very important and memorable year.
when i finished the race, just moments after seeing my mom and boyfriend cheering me on, telling me to go go go a few 100 feet before the finish line, i didn't feel the weight i expected to feel. i felt light. i felt happy and touched by friends and family. and i felt proud of myself. i had done it. not in the time i wanted. not in the way i had pictured. but i had done it.
this was the best day because i did this crazy thing and people i love cheered me on and i wasn't sad or unhappy that day--until i had to walk after the race...then i was sad and unhappy. this was the best day because that night i was on the couch with my boyfriend on one side of me and my pup on the other and i was drinking wine while they slept and i shook my head because i was the one who ran but these fools were the exhausted ones. this was the best day because i actually did a thing i set out to do. i had been so worried i realized about not being able to finish due to physical stuff or mental stuff. i had been so worried that i would get in my own way, that i would let myself down, that i just couldn't do this thing.
and that didn't happen.
the day i ran the race i felt love from and for friends, from family, from the city...and...myself. i could ask for nothing better in a day.