18 days ago I ran my first official marathon. It was hard. It felt like it would never end. I finished it but I didn't fully enjoy the triumph because I knew I would have to do it two more times in the next month or so. Marathon training has been one of the most exhausting and stressful things I have ever done. I am still not totally sure that it was worth signing up for three of them so close together.
This week has been brutal too. In nearly every area of my life there has been a break down and it has been stressful and emotionally exhausting. I can't think of one thing that was reliably comforting this week. Lots of drama and hurt and stress. I feel drained and empty and like I have nothing left to give. Absolutely nothing. If it were up to me I would lock myself in my room and hide under the covers for the next three days just to recuperate from this week. That's how bad it was.
Instead I will be flying to Seattle tomorrow to run my second marathon. It will be a three day weekend full of traveling and expos and lots and lots of running. This will be such a different experience than the San Diego marathon. This time I will be alone. No one will be traveling with me. No one will be meeting me at mile 5 with a sign or running with me at mile 11. No one will be there at mile 25 when I fall apart and feel like I can't take another step. There will be no fanfare at the end after I hobble my way through the finish and reach the other side with a medal around my neck. There will be no one but me and my own two feet.
I'm glad it will be in Seattle because I absolutely love that city. I am looking forward to the weather and the change of scenery and if I'm really honest... part of me is really looking forward to the solitude. My introverted self is screaming to have some time to rest (sad that at this point I consider running a marathon rest). I really don't feel like I have anything to offer anyone at the moment and if I were home I think I'd just fall apart from the fatigue of it all. At least this way I can do nothing but focus on running and surviving the 26.2 miles of pavement I have waiting for me.
My schedule is pretty full and I still haven't figured out the logistics of how I will get around the city once I arrive... I guess we'll just see how it goes when I get there. I do hope to get a chance to go back to Pike's Place and take some photos and walk through the market again at the very least.
It is going to be a tough weekend but for the first time this week the toughness is for me. It has nothing to do with anyone else and their demands or shortcomings or misunderstandings. Nothing to do with work or relationships or friendships or family. It simply has everything to do with reaching down deep and finding the strength to conquer a marathon... for no one but me. I am not doing this for anyone else but myself. Running has always been the one thing that no one could take from me. It gave me joy and strength and hope and peace and a sense of so much pride in who I was.... in who I am. If I let this disastrous week stop me from remembering that and fighting for that... than I will have let everyone else dictate my ability to prove that I am worth the fight. The only way I know how to fix that is to run and to run far. If I am successful it will either destroy me or it will be just the medicine I need to feel revived again.
I guess we will find out when I cross that finish line...