Monday, April 11, 2011
Feet on the Ground, Head in the Sky
I did it! Yesterday I successfully ran the Artichoke Half-Marathon in Pescadero, California. There was a time (perhaps when P.E. was forced upon me in high-school) when I never, ever, ever could imagine myself running just for the sake of running. Yet, when someone asked me what I was running the half-marathon for, I easily said: I'm running it for myself.
Working towards a goal and finally reaching that goal provides so much satisfaction (and relief!). My mind and body are still in shock over the whole thing, but it was one of the most beautiful days I've ever known.
Pescadero is a small little town, just south of Half Moon Bay. My sweet parents came up for the event and supported my every move, cheering my on as I ran along the course. Those moments when they appeared (mile 6, mile 8, etc), brought a smile to my face and filled me with adrenaline - the perfect combo to reach that pivotal state of euphoria that keeps your legs moving when your mind says NO.
Along the 13.4 mile route, I got to enjoy wildflower fields, country roads and sunshine - although the sun got way too intense at times. You know the Joni Mitchell song when she says "Clouds got in my way?" For me, it was the opposite. Each time a cloud covered the sun, I was cooled instantly by the shade. I've looked at clouds from Both Sides Now and clouds did not get in my way!
I struggled the most during the last 4 miles. It wasn't easy getting to that finish line! But I did make it. To take my mind off of the running, I spent those last miles bird-watching and spotting each and every California poppy. I saw bluebirds, redbirds and yellow-birds, poppies in full bloom and some poppies just ready to open up to the world.
Here's my finish! (photo taken by Sarah...
...who came to cheer me on, which meant so much to me.)
Everyone who crosses the finish line, gets an artichoke. Isn't that amazing?! We are all winners!