Monday, October 5, 2009

The Running Curve and the Portland Marathon

I will always remember this marathon as a day of self-discovery and a test of my ability to adapt to
circumstances that sometimes get away from me.

Through a random chain of events, I arrived at the marathon about 15 minutes after the start time.
I located the information booth and the race director curtly told me that I could not
offically start. He wouldn't allow me to cross the mat. In other words my race would not be official and I would not have a chip time.

As I have prepared for events in the past, this is a scenario that I never thought
would come up. But there I was, crushed, and wondering what to do.

I called Shane instinctively. He was with the girls and he said to me, "remember it's running that you love and just go for it.
Run the course anyway."

So, map in hand, I just started running. In that moment, I realized how much Shane has always been there
for me. It's easy to be a friend to someone when they are happy and things are going well.
But in times of uncertainty, when I doubt myself, he always lifts me up.

Determined that I was going to finish, I ran with all my heart.
I managed to catch up to some of the other runners. I ditched the run-walk strategy that I
had used in training and pushed through to mile 18. At the top of St. John's Bridge I had to stop
to take in the scenery. Somewhere I have never been. A moment in time, unique and mine. A place that
only running could take me. And Shane is right...I love running for all of these moments taken together.

My running curve-I know now, I can do more than I think I can. Maybe in some way I have held myself back.
What I mean by that is, I think of myself as a slow runner. I tell myself I'm not competitive.
I tend to think that speeds is for the elites.
Not that I think I'll be on the level of Deena Kastor or any Kenyan, but I can expect more from myself as a runner.


  1. Cindy,
    Way to go! You turned a dilemma into a challenge and accomplished it. I often lose focus of the joy in running and get caught up in the competition. Thanks for reminding me why I do this.

  2. Thanks! They ended up posting my time @ 4:36:25. My Garmin read 4:33:18, but displayed 28 miles. What a wacky day.

  3. Awesome! Way to go forth. I love running. Keep up the great work!