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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Flying being kinder to me

I find myself needing to be kinder to myself. I ran my 8th marathon a few days ago. It was probably my worst time. I got it done and that should be enough. My medal looks just like everyone else's. I have a finisher's jacket. It shouldn't matter that somewhere on the trip I lost a silver hoop earring that my mother gave me for Christmas. The earrings that I wear every single day. I lost one, I did not take it off and throw it somewhere. Stuff happens.

What should matter is that I was in New Orleans. It should matter that after salivating from afar I finally got to eat real beignets, twice. I ate them twice. What should also matter is that I took a cruise on the mighty Mississippi River (which somehow I forgot or did not know is the largest river in the country and that the water from 31 states and 2 Canadian provinces drain into it along with their mud). What should also matter is that I was amongst friends. And what should definitely matter is that I had my first bourbon tasting at the Bourbon House on Bourbon Street and than I now have a favorite Bourbon (Jefferson Ocean). I walked through the French quarter, saw the ninth ward, bought some voodoo dolls (which I later discovered were made in China), got my mom her shot glass, postcard, and magnet (which she will probably not see until Christmas since the post office and I have a thing).

Most importantly what should matter is that I did not give up. I wanted to. I almost switched over to the half marathon. And when things felt really bad, I wished I had. Let me tell you the encouragement from strangers can do wonders. No one along the race (participators or spectators) told me to stop. Not even they saw the pain etched in my face and the tears flowing down my cheeks. Yes, I cried. This was hard. And all along the route I tried to figure out what was going wrong. As if it mattered. Yes, I know that I should critically evaluate things in an effort to not repeat them. But we all get to have a bad race or two. And I am taking good care of my knee now, self diagnosis is over.

But it really wasn't a bad race. I limped at the end and damn near crawled. But guess what? I got it done. It wasn't pretty, it wasn't a PR, but it was a marathon. My 8th marathon. My friends where there, random strangers were there, and I need to be incredibly proud of myself. It is easy to be proud when things are wonderful. It takes a bit more to recognize and realize that accomplishment does not have to be so exquisite. I need to remember this next month when I run marathon #9.

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