GOOD NEWS: There will be an encore presentation on Thursday, Feb 21 -- GET YOUR TICKETS NOW! I'll see you there!
In the meantime:
I have an on-again/off-again relationship with the fact that I ran a marathon. My iPod died before me -- at Mile 15. On again. I only beat Katie Holmes' time by eight minutes. Off again. There are rumors that she may not have even completed the whole thing. On again. She's kinda strange and her husband is insufferable. Way on again...oh wait. I digress.
I will admit, I felt like I was going to get a little something extra out of the film because I have a finisher's medal. (Not gonna lie -- I teared up a little.) I also thought the event might cement my feelings of ownership over 26.2. If only it were as simple as that.
As I settled in for the opening moments of this film, I thought Hey, I did that! On again. One of the first talking heads validates the "slow-timers" -- that it doesn't matter how fast or how slow your time; the distance has been covered. On again.
Then they showed the amateurs and first-timers training. Off again. Ooh. I didn't do that. My longest training run was 10 miles, over two months before my race. Yes, I will say that part of the reason I don't "own" my first 26.2 is because I don't feel like I earned it. I didn't make months of sacrifice -- I simply forged on for a few hours. That feels disingenuous, somehow. Off again.
Then we got into the meat of the movie: Greek history, growth of marathon-distance races around the world, etc. But the one thing I was most impressed by was how they gave the women their props. From Kathrine Switzer's infamous entry in Boston (go girl!), to Joan Benoit's winning of the first women's Olympic marathon in 1984, I felt a special sense of -- not ownership, but something else, camaraderie, maybe? -- to see my sisters (whoa, I never use that word) kicking ass. And I will admit that I'm not sure if being a woman made me read the film this way, but I LOVED the fact that the end of the women's race was more compelling than the men's race. (Just sayin'.) On. Again.
And then: sweeping aerial shots of Chicago, footage of the race itself, glimpses of the finish line -- I've got to do Chicago. I want to see that city from the middle of the street, not the sidewalk. And you know what? Why NOT try to qualify for Boston? Then I started running the numbers and calendars trying to figure out a timeline. This year = Ironman, so...Chicago...2009? Boston '11 or '12? Is that even possible?
I think this is the moment that I made peace with my 26.2 skin: yes, I've covered the distance -- ran every step. But all I did that day was show up and keep going. So no, it's not so much about the race behind me. I'm looking to the horizon. I'm looking at the road between here and there. I've got some dues to pay. My journey to the finish line needs to be longer than 26.2 miles. But more importantly, it's one thing to earn the finish line -- it's something else to earn a starting line.