June 17, 2013 § 1 Comment
I have been smiling since approximately 8:30 am Saturday morning. I’m going to tell you why.
But first I should apologize for not writing for approximately two months. Ever since I started serving at Steenbock’s and my new internship started, I’ve been extremely busy and/or tired and/or training and haven’t been writing. And it’s not just here. I haven’t touched my manuscript or screenplay in like a month. Bad, bad Ann Marie. But I’m trying not to dwell on the negative, because I accomplished a major goal this weekend. I ran my first quarter marathon at the Rock’n’Sole race at Summerfest in Milwaukee.
I’ve spent the past four months freaking out about this race for a variety of reasons – what if I couldn’t finish it? What if I finished dead last? What if my ankle crapped out? What if I fell off the Hoan bridge to my death? (I wish I was kidding. I’m terrified of heights.) If all that self-doubt wasn’t enough, I also freaked out about what would happen after I finished it. Would people think it was lame that I cared that much about only 6.55 miles? Would they judge me because I’ve never done 13.1?
When I got in that corral next to my mother, I was shaking. I was positive I was going to vomit all over her shoes. I’d barely been able to run 5 miles the week before, and that was as far as I had gone. I didn’t know if my feet could take it. And it was raining – I had NEVER run in the rain before. The fact that I had made an inspirational playlist and was wearing my ‘Courage’ Fellow Flower in my hair suddenly seemed very juvenile. I didn’t think it would be enough. I was going to crap out before mile 3. But then someone shot a gun and we started running.
I had my first panic attack at about .75 miles. I could see the Mile 1 sign in the distance and I felt like I was going to die already. Why was this so hard? I can comfortably run 3 miles a day, no problem. What was happening to my body? Why did my legs hurt so bad? Oh, you know, because I’d been running up hill the whole time and was too much of a moron to notice. No, seriously. I didn’t realize it until 1.5 when we started running DOWNhill. I think the people around me thought I was crazy when I burst out laughing at what appeared to be nothing. No one mind me, Oblivious Annie over here. Then I proceeded to glide until 2.75 miles, all downhill from here, right? Until we ran off the freeway, went up a block, and then had to run back up an ‘On’ entrance. I think I ran slower than I could have walked climbing that stupid thing.
At mile 4ish, my ankle started crapping out like I had feared it would. Except I realized that nothing bad was going to happen to me if I ran slower. It’s not like I’m getting graded, or I’ll get cut off if I don’t make it in a certain time. I just had to finish. So I ran painfully slow for about a mile until the pain went away. When I finally just had .5 miles left, ‘Danza Kuduro’ came on shuffle and I started to haul ass. And when I saw my mom cheering close to the finish line, I sprinted across that thing. I’m pretty sure some guy took a picture of me, which I have no interest in seeing – but I’m picturing that I look Phoebe running in that episode of Friends, with my teeth clenched like I haven’t pooped in approximately a month.
(Post-finish line, pre-beer and breakfast. Grateful this photo does not reveal how red my face actually is.)
So what did I learn? That I was being a baby. Because not only can ANYBODY do it, there is truly nothing more satisfying than crossing that finish line. It doesn’t matter that I’m not skinny, or that I’m not that fast, or that I wasn’t going to win.I may or may not have cried. I think my mom did too a little bit. The tears weren’t only from happiness, but the fact that I couldn’t stop laughing that my 71 year old grandfather and I finished at about the same time. Not that it matters. I accomplished it, it is mine, and no one can take it away from me. I see a 13.1 in my future, but for now I just gotta get faster, or that man is going to outlive me.
PS – Seriously, check out “Fellow Flowers.” The mantras are amazing, the community is so inspiring, and the clothes are really, really fucking cute. Bloom, baby, bloom.