Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Eleven Miles

I set out on my eleven mile journey today, after I cast my vote, in the misty air as the sun set over Lake Erie.

No one, no sounds, but me and the leaves and the mist as the occasional car drove by.

I thought about lots of things--I always do when I run. I thought about how some runners run to get away from things, and some run to get somewhere.

I think I used to be a runner to get away from things, but tonight I finally realized that I have become one of the runners that is running towards something new.

If there is one thing that Ironman did to me, it made me realize that.

For some reason, since that day, I haven't had many doubts, despite many aspects of my life in transition right now. I haven't had as much of the fear in my head that I used to have often: that I wasn't good enough, fast enough, strong enough. I think that's why that night when I ran through the finisher's chute in the dark, misty rain, I didn't cry. I laughed.

I screamed.

It wasn't anything like I thought it would be in the daydreams I had on the countless hours on my trainer, in the pool, and on the trails.

I crossed that line and I remembered what it was like to run without fear, play without doubt, be the little girl that beat all the boys in the pool, the little girl who screamed as she did backflips off the high bar on the playground. Who, when she heard "Red rover, red rover, let Sara come over," squealed and sprinted full speed ahead at the line of arms waiting to stop her and dove right at them, breaking through every time.

I thought about how that day has changed me, and how it has changed me in ways I never really thought it would and in ways that I am sure I don't even fully understand yet. And I listened to the sound of my breathing and saw the shadow of the leaves glistening on the sidewalk, and ran the strongest, fastest 11 miles I've ran in 3 years.

I'm running towards her.

The finish line was only the beginning.


rice said...




Fe-lady said...

Wish I could have been with you on that run...but you wouldn't have had your fastest/strongest one!
You are right about not knowing the effect completing an IM has on your life...I am still wondering if I would be the "same" had I not completed one.
Having and finishing athletic goals has sure helped me in all aspects of my life and has been a great way to deal with life's stresses. I would probably be into drugs or alcohol to "help handle things" had I not taken up running/triathlon.
Keep it up lady, you are doing well!

Jodi said...

Watching you go through your IM adventure was one of my main motivators for signing up for CdA. And I just keep getting more and more excited as I see you move on to new things! I agree with Rice:

You Rock!!!


E-Speed said...

you are unstoppable lady!

jbmmommy said...

Nice post and insight. You're doing great, thanks for taking us along.

RunBubbaRun said...

You sure you are not racing a marathon or IM anytime soon. We all run for many reasons, sometimes just to find ourselves again and a little peace of mind.

Robb said...

I always find some of the best writing anywhere on the web right here! Sara, you have the gift - thanks for sharing it.

Lance Notstrong said...

Why can't we play Red Rover now, as adults? That was a fun game :-)

Papa Louie said...

It sounds like from your experience of the Ironman race you are brought into a deeper knowing of humility in life.

Lana said...

That is awesome, Sara...gosh it makes me crave an IronMan someday...you are going to be so strong, so fast, so awesome.

Mallie said...

I've been neglecting my own blog and yours, Sarah. But, not anymore! I'm glad to be back so I can keep up with you and all your shenanigans.

Hak said...


(Sorry I couldn't send this to you in an e-mail, but there ya go.)

Your blog was nominated as one of the top 10 Triathlon Blogs for 2006. Sponsored by The Outdoor Journey, raceAthlete, and nuun, this competition is the "people's choice" awards for the best triathlon-related blogging this year.

More details on the competition, and the prizes, can be found here: http://theoutdoorjourney.com/journey/?p=201

Again, congratulations!


triteacher said...

Awesome post! Made me feel good just reading it. :)