Monday, October 17, 2011

A 12 Mile Disaster

Confidence Shot.  Depressed.  Shivering. 

it all. 
just felt.
so impossible.

In a comfy reclining chair, I replayed the late afternoon events in my mind. I was suppose to spend the evening at an art gallery, but weakness and fatigue plagued my body. Thus, a blanket, hot tea, and the Rolling Stones doc, Gimme Shelter, were my only company.

I started my 12 mile run feeling as if someone attached twenty pound sand bags to my feet.  The culprits: four hours of sleep and one too many glasses of wine the previous evening. The sun was shining though. And while others waited impatiently in traffic, my legs roamed free on the open road with very little stop and go. I felt, despite lassitude, this to be my victory.

Explosive waves crashed on the shore as I hit the Lakefront trail. Trees, butterflies, and graceful runners passed my sight line. Moving my legs continued to grow tiresome. I glanced at my watch. Time was the hare. I was the tortoise. But I believed this to be my consequence. And I believed with the beauty of the southern skyline view of the city, I would persevere. Even if it was slow and painful.

Bold and formal, Buckingham Fountain stood on my left as the once welcoming blue skies faded to a distant memory. Black clouds overshadowed the blue quickly. Frigid gusts of wind nearly knocked me to the pavement. And rain drops began to plummet from the sky, five miles from my final destination.

Legs still moving, the torrential downpour forced old make-up into my eyes. They burned with a vengeance. Squinting ahead, I looked for shelter to find relief. Clinging to puny trunks, I found others huddled under trees. As hail nailed me in the back, I joined them without hesitation.

As the rain raged, a friendly couple allowed me to share their umbrella. I trembled. As the rain raged, dampness and cold were making a home in my body. I trembled. As the rain raged, I yearned to shout obscenities and curse the world. But instead, I trembled.

When the rain slowed to a trickle, I jutted north. I knew of shelter less than a half mile down the trail with a bathroom and hand dryer in-toe. My body ached and eternity seemed to stretch over the next ten minutes.

Battling tourists down the Pier, I found the bathroom. I maneuvered the stream of hot hair up into my shirt, trying to force out the dampness and cold. But they would not budge. They clung to me. Intense. Unwavering.

Trying to ward off the feeling of failure, a part of me wanted to continue. Instead, with no cash in my pockets, I jumped into a cab. He kicked me out. "No Money, no ride," he announced. He was not taken with me, my stories, my I-Pod collateral, or the promise of money.

A second cabbie showed reluctance, but gave into compassion, pity, or his conscience.  And once reunited with my wallet, I rewarded him handsomely.

Hours passed.  The comfy reclining chair cradled my cold restless body. Deflated. Depleted. Alone. The larger goal of 26.2 miles loomed over my head.

it all.
just felt.
so impossible.

Since this event (which occurred a couple weeks ago), I successfully completed a second attempt at a 12 mile run. I also completed a 14 mile run on Friday in good spirits. 14 miles is the furthest I've ever run in my life! Holy Cow!

Each of these runs I approached with a healthy fear of non-completion and failure. But with some coaching, a good nights rest, and an increase in my spaghetti consumption, I met the challenge of each of these runs with surprising ease.

Thank you to all those who have shown support as I continue moving toward the big Marathon day. It means more than you know!

Light & Love,

P.S.- Clueless about my journey toward my first marathon? Get more info. by clicking here.


  1. wow beautifully written abby! woulda never guessed you had a disaster day, you've been running like a beast lately. the difference is i veg out at home when im not feeling well and you still go for it haha -jun

  2. Hey Jun! Thanks for the compliment. And thanks for accompanying on some of my workouts last week. Makes it way more fun! =)


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