Here I stand with hundreds of others at the start line for the first half marathon I am running for 2015. We all had the same insane idea of waking up at crack of dawn to go run 13.1 miles. I always question my sanity for signing up for a race, but the moment I cross that finish line, I breathe a sigh of relief, get high on the adrenaline of doing it and go back and sign up for the next.
When the next one is looming again, I start to question myself again and on and on it goes. I suppose it is true, I do have a love hate relationship with running. I would love to hate it, but its more like that I hate it that I love it. (well I did discombobulate you with that sentence ?)
The race starts and I hit play on my music and on my GPS and I go. I try to blank my mind of every mundane thing and just focus on the running. When I cross the flag that waves in the wind for the 1st mile, I let out a sigh and think, 1 down and 12 to go. But I keep going and going not thinking about running anymore.
I feel a twinge of pain in my ankle at mile 6. I hurt my ankle a few days ago during one of my training runs. I could feel the pain coming back, but considering I am no quitter, I keep going, trying not to think about the pain.
However, to stop from thinking about the excruciating pain in my ankle, I try to think about different things. As if on cue we run into Fort Story (which is a military base that houses 2 lighthouses) which somehow takes me back in time.
It has been a while since I have thought of him or what happened. My mind has been occupied with my trip and people I met during that time and the next trip(s) I want to take. But here is a good time as any to think of someone and something else at this moment.
Even if I did not want to think about him, there was no way I was going to run past these lighthouses and not think about the last time I was here. It may seem like I am punishing myself by thinking of someone who hurt me, but at this moment, in order to stop thinking from physical pain of my ankle I rather think of emotional pain and have my mind think of something else.
The last time I was here, that was when I had this strange inclination that I was getting stabbed in my heart and back and I had no control over it. Tears well up in my eyes and at this moment I am not sure if it is the excruciating pain in my ankle or just the pain I felt in my heart for the last time I was here.
As much as I want to stop in front of the lighthouse and reminisce about that moment, I keep going, I don’t want to stop. Stopping is not an option and neither is quitting.
I finally see that finish line looming ahead of me and I cross the flag that says mile 13 waving in the wind on the boardwalk and I hear my name over the loudspeaker as I cross that finish line.
The timing for my run might have not been my best, but the fact is that I crossed the finish line despite my injured ankle is what makes me happy.