Friday, April 13, 2012

Running Along the Edges


When you handle a book, what about it do you enjoy touching the most? I love feeling the edges of the pages—their thickness or delicacy, pliancy or brittleness. I often find myself fingering the pages while I’m reading, measuring my physical progress through the book, feeling how close I am to the end of it.

There’s a whole lot of magic around the edges of things—the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the week leading up to a school Valentine’s Day party, sunset on the Fourth of July, the night before your birthday. The days when earth, air, and light are bursting with the transition from winter to spring, spring to summer, summer to fall, fall to winter.

There’s a deliciousness to expectation—to not knowing how it will all play out.

I should be asleep right now, but here I am on the brink of running my first half marathon and I am wide awake.

My first response to the suggestion that I sign up for this race was, “Yeah, right. Me?” But that’s exactly why, immediately after that response, I wanted to do it so badly.

Because maybe I actually can. Because I am not quite sure what the edges of who I am really look like, but I’m learning to go there—undiscovered territory can be wild and beautiful. I need to know I can visit some of those places and survive. Because it’s on the edges that you stretch and learn and grow.

If I had not hurt myself, and then gotten sick, and watched my training schedule completely fall apart, I might feel a little more confident. As it is, I’ve managed to hurt myself a second time. All I know at this point is that I have no idea what to expect, but I’m going forward.

But did I sign up to be this far out on the edge?

Funny how that works.


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7 comments:

  1. I can't wait to hear how it goes. And i love this post about it.

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    1. Thank you! Honestly, it was tough. That new injury (strained quad) got really painful. I had to walk a lot towards the end. It was not the run I'd hoped for, but I finished, and I'm proud of that.

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    2. I'm proud of you, friend. You DID it! Good job!

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  2. I admire your perseverance. I am really bad at not setting too difficult of goals for fear of failing (my son comes by his issues honestly!) Hope you're not too sore this evening! :)

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    1. It's so hard to find a balance, isn't it? I have backed out of many things because of a fear of failing. But I also have this tendecy to set up high goals for myself--sometimes unrealistically high. In those cases the fear of failing can keep me going for a good long time (although it can get kind of scary, too.) I'm definitely still learning how to walk the line between pushing myself and beating myself up.

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  3. Congratulations Karen! I know your mom, Nancy, from the bank that I work @. She is a client of ours. She told me about your recent success with the half-marathon. Way to persevere.

    I am athsmatic as well. I have battled with athsma on and off but I love to run as well. I actually had the amazing opportunity to run the Two Oceans Half-Marathon while studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa. It was gorgeous!

    However, since college I have put on 85 lbs. Since January I have lost 35! But running is still very difficust with my extra weight and the athsma. Have any tips for a fellow dreamer/runner/athsmatic? A training schedule, food that you eat, or any referrals to professionals that may be helpful.

    Your mom should be contacting you with my email address.

    Thank You! Keep running, dreaming and persevering!

    ~Andy~ (*I am planning on starting a blog of my own. Never done it before. My name/title will be (~Dream~Vision~3.21.21~) if available.

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    1. Andy--wonderful to hear from you! And congratulations on the work you've started--that takes a lot of perseverance. I had always considered myself only mildly asthmatic, but last fall my doctor put me on a maintenance medication and the difference in what I could do was noticeable. I don't know what your experience has been, but I don't always notice when I'm having trouble breathing--partly because I think I've learned to just block out a certain level of discomfort. As it turns out, I didn't really know what full lung capacity felt like. It's been pretty exciting to discover that more is possible. I highly recommend finding a good allergy/asthma specialist to help you get that under control if it's not already.

      Keep up the good work--and the dreaming!

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