Sunday, October 24, 2010

A training update, and checking in with... me.

Hello blog friends.

It has been a while.

I have been struggling to stay afloat lately, barely scraping by with blog posts and trying to stay at least with it enough to go to work, attempt laundry, and keep life together.

As some of you may know, the DBF's grandmother passed away last weekend. This weekend was the wake and the funeral. Yesterday, following the service and then the trip to the cemetery where Eileen will be cremated, the DBF and I fell asleep for over 3 hours. And we woke up, the sun had set, and to say we were "new people" wouldn't be the correct phrase, but it felt like we had finally let go of the difficulties of the past few weeks and months.

My maternal grandparents passed away long before I was born, and both my paternal grandparents passed in their sleep with little complications. Watching someone become more and more aware of the reality that their end is far closer than the beginning is trying. It forces us to see our own humanity and frailty, to question if we have done enough for them, for others, if we too were to pass away, what can we claim as ours, what have we accomplished in this brief trip around the sun.

In addition, or perhaps because of all this, I've also been searching my heart for some answers about "Who Am I?" I started this blog to figure out things that I thought I wasn't, or couldn't do. And in it, I have at times found myself more confused than where I started. I've described it lately like I am Mr. Potato Head. I feel like a bunch of pieces of something that obviously are a person... it just doesn't seem quite right. I don't feel like less than myself, I just don't feel like "myself". And the question became who or what IS myself? How is that defined?

When will I catch up and realize that somewhere along the lines I have BECOME a runner and an athlete? I am running a marathon in 14 days. Two weeks. I will be running through the 5 boroughs of Manhattan with over 35,000 runners, and an additional 12,000 volunteers and then spectators. Which reminds me of a Bible quote that I have always loved, Hebrews 12:1

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weights that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. (New Living Translation)

When does truth become Truth? When does a belief, or a hope, or a dream and desire become something that IS. To know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the sky is blue, the sun will rise, that everything is already fine. That I am strong, and beloved, and worthy.

At the funeral yesterday, the Priest spoke about how Eileen lived a life confident in God's love. And I was struck by the obvious. That though I have felt like I have changed, for better, for worse, for lateral movement, for who knows what, that I have felt changed--there has always been a constant. That I have always believed, and I still believe, that God is in all of us. God, Love, Buddah, Atman, whatever you want to call It, that God is still in me, as God was before, and always will be.

Makes you feel a little less like Mr. Potato Head.

I have been sick this past week. Physically exhausted from lack of sleep, and a harsh cold or allergies, and emotionally stripped. So today, bouyed from a good nights sleep, as well as a three hour nap yesterday, I head back out onto the pavement. I'd like to run a little over 2 hours. I should be tapering, in preparation for the Marathon. Having skipped an entire week of training, 3 weeks out, makes me just the slightest bit nervous. Are you still a runner if you fail to run for a week? For two weeks? For a month? When does athleticism fail? Am I still not an athlete because I chose sleep and rest over training? But I read this quote and thought perhaps this is the lesson for me:

Sport is not about being wrapped up in cotton wool. Sport is about adapting to the unexpected and being able to modify plans at the last minute. Sport, like all life, is about taking risks. --Sir Roger Bannister

I'm all over the place with this blog. But here's the summary:

I am back. With God who never left. And we are running a marathon in two weeks.

Who's got $1259 they want to donate to a great charity? :)

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