Sat, May 16 | Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs

Meg's Half Marathon

Who says a half marathon is easier than a full marathon?
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Meg's Half Marathon

Time & Location

May 16, 2020, 8:20 AM
Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA

About the Event

Who says a half marathon is easier than a full marathon?

I remember finishing my first marathon thinking if someone told me to run farther or faster, I totally could have.  Everything felt great and I crossed the finish line with a big smile on my face. That night we planned our next marathon. I was in favor of Hawaii, but I think we settled on NYC.  Never, in any of my craziest nightmares would I have imagined that 2 months later, I would be hospitalized with a brain tumor.  I even remember exclaiming to my doctor the first time I met him, “Yes, I exercise! I just ran a  f***ing marathon!”.  It was with total disbelief and a sense of betrayal, that I acknowledged that this same body, that felt so strong and healthy just 2 months before had been hiding this thing.  

Of course it is hard to feel like I can trust my body the way I did before diagnosis.  But I was not wrong. My body was and still is strong and healthy.  These days, when i ask it to run, it still can and it even feels okay.  (I’ve come a long way since my first run after brain surgery when my husband told me lovingly that it looked like I had pooed in my pants!)  

I forget this.  I forget I can ask my body to run and do things it used to do regularly but hasn't done for a while now.  A half Marathon is still hard for me to imagine running when somedays I need to lie down after walking up a flight of stairs.   But lucky for me, I can remember crossing the finish line with a smile on my face. And I will do it again.  On May 16th, I will run the Martha’s Vineyard half marathon and on that day I’ll give myself permission to walk if I need to.  

I do think about how it will feel different this time around when I cross the finish line, knowing what I know now and remembering how blissfully unaware I was then. This part is scarier to me than the possibility of having to walk or not finishing the race  because it means opening myself up to feeling so vulnerable.  But I’ve learned something, Living, Loving, and Dreaming BIG makes us vulnerable no matter what we are facing or trying to achieve.  I will always choose Dreaming Big and the vulnerability it brings with it because vulnerability can’t harm me, only lead me down a path to more resilience.

May 18th Update: So on May 16th, I was supposed to run the Martha’s Vineyard Marathon. But all things considered, it didn’t work out. I spent the day gardening and playing in the sun and mud with my kids. It was lovely and now we have beautiful vegetables growing out the back door but I felt a bit of a loss that I was not on Martha’s Vineyard with Kaye and Phil and my Sister making my way to the half marathon finish line.

Tonight I went for a jog and I felt that familiar feeling that I so used to enjoy when I just want to go a little bit farther in the cool evening air. So i called Kaye and my sister when I got home and told them that the time has come to run 13.1 miles.

I also said, I really need to write a post and update my goal for Our Common Thread…. AND THEN I felt very pleased with myself because this community that we have started to build was serving me so well in its purpose.

You see, It felt important to me to tell you all that I am going for it! I was inspired by Phil Moore who ran 13.1 on his own this past weekend in Ohio instead of on Martha’s Vineyard. And I was inspired by Brie and her father and their together goal of running and motivating each other.

At the urging of my husband, I will wait until my counts are normal again, - Hopefully within the next 3 to 4 weeks and then, I am going to run my 13.1 miles! For now back to baby steps, This Friday I am going to go for 4 miles (FYI Kaye, how about 8AM at my house?!?!) and from there I will work my way up. I'm not starting from scratch, I did a bit of jogging/rowing whenever I had the strength over the last year so this feels reasonable to me.

June 23rd Update: My blood counts are back where they need to be, which is really nice especially as more and more public places are opening up . My liver is also starting to calm down, I got my first hair cut in 2 years!!!! So, all these things are really good but the thing is, Running is feeling really hard and honestly 13 miles feels out of reach. It is a slog and it feels really hard on the flat, up a hill, in the sun, for any length. Today I was pretty focused on "the hard" as I panted my way around town but then I changed my self talk just like Luke and Eva's preschool teacher taught them.

So I countered "this hurts" .... with "SO WHAT?" "it didn't used to be this hard.... with"SO WHAT? "This is taking me soooooo very long" with "SO WHAT?" and that got me home...quite a while later!!! but again, So What! Anyway, the point is, I'm still working on running more than a few miles at a time and I am going to keep working on it but i'm finding it hard. I know In part it is hard because it feels so different than it used to feel when I felt light and believed I made running look easy! but "so what?" My body is not the same as it was back then or really ever before. Not even as it was yesterday.

Its a bump in the road, I've climbed over bigger ones. So I guess I'll keep crawling over this one bit by bit.

July 1 Update:  I did it. I ran the 13.1 I said I was going to run. I did it on my own (except for the last 5 miles that my sister and nephew biked along side me. I got rained on a lot and it felt great! I didn't set out to jog a half marathon but honestly I needed a bit of a boost. And when at 9.9 miles I felt a surge of energy that I was that far in, I didn't want to stop. It was my slowest half marathon and undoubtedly the one I am most proud of! I went after this goal because it was important to me and at points over the last year it was what kept me doing things that made me feel healthy and strong at a time in my life when I REALLY Really needed to feel that.

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