Top three things I learned after running 13.1 miles non-stop:
1. Philippians 4:13 is true.
2. Some men think “seductively” stripping off a trash-bag-jacket is sexy.
3. Silver Fox still lives with his mom. Cute.
Training for the La Jolla Half Marathon taught me a lot. I found out 4 days before the run that I have IT Band Syndrome, which is basically just extreme tightness of the tissue that runs from your hip to your knee. Mine was so tight it was “popping” over my hip bones. Yeah, not super fun. The doctor told me the run wouldn’t make it any worse but I would have to stop running for about 3 months if I wanted it to get better. I was discouraged but did some intense stretching and laced up my shoes on Sunday morning, ready to go. I donned a trash bag (with a hole cut out for each extremity) to entrap my body heat. Looking my best, I strutted to the starting gate with my running companions and in a joking manner, “stripped” off my trash bag and whirled it around my head. I don’t typically associate trash bag with sexy, but apparently some men do. My girlfriends starting cracking up and I turned around the find a few agape male mouths and then suddenly, this gun sounded and we were off like a bunch of startled cattle.
I wrote “Phil 4:13” on my left forearm as a reminder that God is my provider of strength. And He was. I had minimal pain and managed to run the whole thing without stopping (four giant hills included). Mind you, I had only trained up to 7 miles. Was that dumb? Probably. During the run there were people standing on the sidewalk cheering us all on. I hit mile 2, glanced at the corner, and there he was, Silver Fox, perched outside his mother’s house in Del Mar. The last guy who broke my heart. We made eye contact, I looked away and picked up my pace to catch up with the 3 other girls I was running with. Why couldn’t I think of something witty to say? Why did his presence still make me feel like shit? This was one of those relationships that had no closure. There’s still some hurt there that I couldn’t get rid of so I decided to run it off. I let those feelings fuel me toward the finish line.
At mile 10 I ran into a friend I haven’t seen in years. I’m feeling good, my legs all nice and numb, as I run up to him and give him a hug.
“Megan! My goodness, you’ve turned into a woman!”
Sweat was pouring from every pore. My cheeks red, fingers swollen. And I realized every limb had a mind of its own when I started feeling like the “wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man.” I smiled and thanked him in disbelief for the compliment I so desperately needed, right before popping another caffeinated jelly bean into my belly and dashing off. (These things are like crack!)
We all finished the run strong and together. After crossing the finish line I accepted my medal proudly (yes, everyone got one, but I think my 2hr 30min finish time was worthy of Gold) as my post-run muscles began to seize gloriously. I accepted the physical pain as I realized I had just ran off 13.1 miles of haphazard heartache. I’m not trying to feed you all some sad sob story, but it felt good to finally close the chapter on that relationship. I am stronger than I think I am (say that 5 times fast) and I’m definitely capable of running away from unhealthy, unstable men… no matter the distance.
Well, actually, I’ll probably have to stop around mile 15…