Monday, October 19, 2009

Leaving it all behind - the Denver Half Marathon

It started with a little friendly bantering. I expected that. I was proudly wearing my Jayhawk shirt, as I always do, but I was surrounded by people foolishly wearing University of Colorado gold.
I was at Saturday night's football game, and when you venture into enemy territory, you have to expect some ribbing. Only the guy, with his kid, kept up the ribbing when CU scored, and then it became on every play, even a three-yard run. SEE THE SPEED? he proclaimed? Or a Jayhawk dropped a ball. I THOUGHT YOU GUYS COULDN'T CATCH. When CU scored again and took at 27-3 lead, he popped me in the chest. SEE? My eyes flashed a bit at that chest smack. Kate told me later she prayed I would keep my cool. I may not have a few years ago.
But I was running the Denver Half Marathon the next day.
I left him at the first mile.
I used to be a Type A. A is for Anal and uptight and wound. I would get into shouting matches with opposing players on softball squads and once came close to a brawl. I would worry about the future, even if the future looked bright enough for shades (enter harmonica here). I would sweat the small stuff. Profusely.
Mountain climbing was pretty much the only thing that would help, and that, unfortunately, was seasonal. 
I've mellowed, and events like the Denver Half Marathon are reasons why.
Around mile 3, as the sun starts to shine over downtown and bathe Coors Field in orange light, I leave worries about the economy. Around mile 5, I no longer shake my head about being duped, like everyone else in the media and law enforcement, by the bubble boy hoax (the family, being from Fort Collins, ensnared an unusual amount of our time and ink space at the Greeley Tribune).
Andie, Allie and Jayden, I love you, but I leave you behind around mile 9. Running was probably the only thing that kept me sane when you all were infants. At 4, 2 and 2, you continue to test me in special, strange ways - fits over wanting the blue cup, for instance - and its better to leave you all on a race course rather than yell them out in your face.
Around mile 10, it's me at the large, looming hill, and I no longer care about anything but the top.
Around mile 13, with just a .1 to go, I repeat, in my head, to finish strong. There is nothing left to leave but the shadows.
You've seen the shadows. They're symbolic. The shadows in front of me represent my goals for the future. The shadows beside me are my running partners and life partners, the ones who encourage me to push my limits. And as I race to the finish, the shadows behind me are the many worries and frustrations in my life, as they struggle, in vain, to keep up.

Edit for stats:
1:45. I finished 450/4480 runners in the half marathon. 8:04 pace. 


Memphis MOJO said...

Is that a PB for you? Sounds great for a mountain course, nice job.

Drizztdj said...

Excellent job sir, on both parts.

smokkee said...

well done peaker.

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Nice! Solid time there.