Picture this: I'm sitting in a chair, with my feet propped on a window ledge. I've got my laptop in my lap (duh...) and when I look out the window to my right I see a beautiful ocean, a massive bridge, a marina with tons of expensive boats, a harbor with a Dole banana ferry in it, sailboats out in the water...tons of them, and the endless skyline that is the ocean. To my left, I see trolley cars, trains, interstates, sky scrapers, construction cranes, cars traveling about and an endless skyline that is the city. But, if I look very hard from my 19th story window I see lots of little runners. Lots of them. Running around the marina, running around the harbor, running through parking lots, running up streets, running through intersections, just running. So, what does all of this mean??
It means that I've made it to San Diego! :)
I've been here since Tuesday afternoon, as I have a conference through Friday for work. And before you ask, yes I did plan to run the San Diego marathon because I knew I had a conference here this week. It was all planned...right down to the fact that my employer is footing the bill for the airline ticket!!! But guys, this place is beautiful and awesome and wonderful. I've been in the Gas Lamp district once before, but just for one evening and then back to LA. What I have experienced during the day is nothing short of fabulous. Why would anyone ever want to go inside here??? Why would anyone ever leave??? And why do I have to get back on a plane on Monday and fly back home???
I've dreaded making this post. I've thought about it for several weeks. I've thought about what I'm going to write about, what I'm not going to write about, and made notes of things I didn't want to forget. I've dreaded this. Because posting this post means that I'm done with training. I'm ready. The hay is in the barn. The marathon is just days away now. I'm totally scared, and at the same time totally excited. Every time I pass the area where they are beginning to set up the "Rock n Roll Marathon Health Expo" area in the conference center, I get a big lump in my throat. I feel like I'm going to cry. But then I turn around and see 4,000 of my colleagues at the other end of the conference center and realize that I can't let them see me cry.
So many people have asked me if I'm ready for this. I don't quite know how to answer so I usually just shake my head and say I've prepared and I'm ready for the challenge. And secretly, I know I am. I have worked. And worked hard. Harder than I have on anything in my life. I've cried, broken down, laughed, cried some more, sweated way more than I ever thought my body was capable of, and I've ran. I've ran because I had to. I've ran because I needed to. I've ran because I didn't want to let anyone down. I've ran because ultimately I knew I would let myself down. I've ran just because I wanted to. And now, here I am. Waiting to run.
I have this feeling inside of me that I just can't describe. It's not fear, or elation, or anxiety. It's this calm feeling that I have. Where I know everything is going to be alright. Everything is going to be fine. And I just feel peaceful. Finally peaceful.
This road that I've been down has been bumpy at times. The whole cast incident almost did me in. There were several points over the last 8 months that I thought it just wasn't going to happen. And what kept me going all of this time? It was my blog, and my RBF friends who cheered me along and told me how they had been in the same place once before, how proud they were of me, and how excited they were...you were...to hear of my progress. I have this whole new set of friends that I don't know what they look like but that I value their friendship so much more than I ever thought was possible. I thank you to all of my blogging friends. Your pat on the shoulder has been pushing me along this way.
[insert the part where I start crying]
And finally I have to give a big shout out to T. Although you guys have been motivating me along the way, I would never be here if it wasn't for him. I wish I could remember the day that I told him I wanted to run a marathon. I wish I could remember what he said. I'm sure it was to just do it. That I could run it and finish if I wanted to. Something like that. I don't know that he has ever doubted that I would get here. He has been my constant running partner. Never backing out on me. Never saying that we couldn't do it. Never letting me say that I couldn't do it. He has been...well, just perfect. The words are just not here to express how grateful I am that he has come into my life. I wish I could explain it all to you so you would know exactly how happy I am. The best I way I know how is to say that it's kindof like the fairy tales that mom's tell little girls...you know, the one about the knight on his white horse...that's what has happened to me. That knight has found me and swept me off my feet by making me want to be a better person, physically and emotionally. He has inspired me to do things that I only dreamed of before...skydiving, white water rafting, getting a tattoo, and now...running this marathon. This world would be such a great place if it was full of people like T. We would all be running (no pun intended) around with smiles on our faces and crying for happiness sake. Life has been good to me, but now it's great.
I'm ready for this. I know I am. I did 3 easy miles along the boardwalk last night and I could feel it in every part of my body...it was that feeling of being prepared, of accomplishing something...it was a feeling of being proud of myself. I don't want to doubt my abilities ever again. I don't want to ever smoke again. I don't want to forget these feelings. And I don't ever want to live my life without running.
I am a runner and I am ready.