Run. Dream. Achieve.

Run. The word and my lungs expand and my legs motion to move.

Run. I tiptoe down the hall. Move to the right to avoid the squeak.

Silently, I open the back door as the light from my phone shows me shoes.

As I sit and tie my laces, the beat of the crossover and double knot stays the same. Stays exact.

I'm out the door in the dark. No human voice. Just early birds and chirps. Pitter pat. The quiet sound of feet and ground.

Feet and ground. Feet and ground. Pattern. Motion. Cheeks feel air. Lungs feel air. Eyes see quiet and darkness and nothing. My mind, a sponge, soaks in the new day and thinks and plans and prays and figures. Down the hill, around the corner, up the hill, up the big hill, down the hill, around the bend, back and down and around. Nothing changes with my feet. They do what they do. I don't have to explain or encourage or think about it. My lungs know what air to take and to let go.

Legs extend. Lungs expand. I'm one motion of movement.

For three months the runs increase. 10, 12, 16, 18, 18, 16, 12, 10. I join dearest friend Amy in between and here and there and for the length and hard parts. I talk with my sister. She is doing the same. Emmie, my niece is figuring it out too. We plan apart and wait to meet.

Sunday morning in the rain we stand and wait for it. GO! Watches set, we release our legs to the day and hope and pray for them to remember the plan. From head to toe I'm ready. Just run. The pace is there and I smile and take the ride.

Run. I love to run. From deep in my soul I love it. I smile and laugh and soak in the motion and the movement and the feet and ground. The people. The time alone and doing the thing that my heart and mind and soul and body agree on most.

It harder late in the miles. Mile 22. Mile 23. They are very specific. The first miles blend together. The final ones are defined by what I'm doing to stay in the game. Change the gait. Change the kick. Move the legs into different positions. Think about something new. I talk and think about childbirth because it's the only thing that compares. I'm not blistering. I'm not hot. My muscles are ready for a break but my mind is still in the game. Mind over muscle and step next step.

Mile 25. I want to slow down. I want to curl up on the side of the road and take a nap. I want french fries and hot chocolate. I want to be dry. My mind isn't winning over muscle. I can finish, but I'm not strong. The lady in front of me turns and looks at me. She says, "We've got this. You've got this. Come on. Stay strong. Take another step. Come with me. The finish line is right here."

She was cheering for me in as much pain and trying just as hard to finish. Finally, we see the finish line. There is the line. I didn't want it to come before it did. I didn't want it to be further away. It was the 8th time I aimed for a line 26.2 miles away and there it was waiting for me. A crowd stood in the pouring rain cheering and hollering and whistling and singing. My heart exploded with joy.

I was born to run. I've always been running. I've always been running with my sister. And on this day, I got to run with my sister and my niece and my brother in law. We've run together here and there and this was a big day for us. I remember the day my niece was born and here we were cheering her to the finish line of a marathon. She was brilliant and strong and powerful. She put it together her freshman year of college. My sister had hip surgery 15 months earlier. They told her she wouldn't be able to run much more. She put it together too. My brother in law wanted to shave time off of his marathon. He ran a PR. We all ran with passion and strength. We all qualified for Boston.  On a cold rainy day on the coast of North Carolina we all did what we love and hoped for a dream and achieved.





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Comments

  1. I love that you got to run with your family - how fun!

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