I made my way to the start corral and made my way to the rear of the group. As I made my way into the back 1/4 of the field, the mass began to move nearer the start line. Off we went. My game plan was to run just below my edge, at my endurance pace, which is normally around an 11:00-12:00 per mile pace. The first 3 miles were all around 10:00 per mile, but I felt great. Man, there were people running around me that were gasping and breathing hard, as if the finish line were within sight. I'm not sure if they did the whole race like that or what. Or, did they even finish?
The first 7 miles were pretty uneventful, in many ways. I just ran my race, ran within myself, yet took in all that was around me as I really wanted to take in the wholeness of the experience. Around mile 8, I saw Rob Johansen. He was nearing the mile 12 marker and had just left the hilly section of the course. He looked great, relaxed and in rhythm, so I knew he was doing well. By my watch, I guessed he was going to finish in just over 90 minutes. Turns out, he came in under 95 minutes! Awesome.
Through most of the run I was around a a 10:00 - 10:30 per mile pace. And while I felt great, as though I could pick it up, I thought I should conserve as I had not ran beyond 10 miles in my training. My intention was to finish around 2:30 - 2:40. The rookie thing would have been to run hard early and then bonk with 3 miles to go. So, I ran just below my edge into the unknown (anything beyond 10 miles was unknown for me).
I stopped to take a picture with my phone, which I then texted to Jody and Dad. I thought they would get a kick out of it. Turns out, they did. Ha!
Once I reached mile 12, the excitement finally kicked in, as I knew the finish was near. I reflected on the training leading up to the event. I reflected on the Project and all the Graduates. I reflected on why I was even running. I reflected on everything and nothing.
While I do not yet know the full extent of what's up with this whole running thing, I do know that I've gained some insight -- aside from the obvious aspects such as discipline, commitment, and balance; for me, endurance running is about personal discovery, self knowledge, and inner exploration. It's also a method to help move through self-sabotage, letting go of false self-held beliefs and other personal challenges. And it's about cultivating an ever deepening experience, understanding, and relationship with God. It's that simple. It's that complex. Oh, I also learned that it IS possible to blog every day for 84 consecutive days!
I'm very interested and excited to continue exploring the endurance aspect of "me" and discovering where "me" begins and "me" ends, and I know that this endeavor is one vehicle to help learn where that "edge" may lie.
All smiles after the run.
Today I feel great, only a minor amount of tenderness in a couple leg muscles. I feel content and I feel pleased to have accomplished my vision of doing a half marathon using only the Project Principles and Project Diet. This part of the Project test has come to a close.
So, what's next? The Tecumseh Trail Marathon on December 6th. For this event, I have no intention or "goal" other than to finish and I intend on doing it using only the Project Principles and Diet.
Depending on how Tecumseh goes, I'll let you know what's really up my sleeve...!
Thanks for reading, thanks for visiting my blog, and thanks for putting up with me focusing on "me" over the last 84 days, at least a little more than usual.
After today, it's back to the Project and all of you. Hard to believe that I kept up on the blog for 84 days. It's gonna seem weird not to post every day, though I do have plenty of blog material on standby, so I'm sure I'll still post several times each week.