Running towards

March 11, 2013

Shocking…. I cried again today. I know, this is ridiculous. What can I say. I am so overcome with feeling so lucky that I get to do this…. that it just happens. I know what it’s like to have the top spot on the podium and I know what it’s like to literally fall off of it. I know what it is like to have this all taken away. Trust me….. you appreciate it more on this side.

Those moments when you spend Sunday morning looking at bike fits with your husband discussing your own upcoming bike refit…. and how we can open that hip angle just a little bit more. That moment when you finish the long run and your legs ache… because you are at 19 hours of training this week. While your legs ache you are handling the volume without any issue. Mentally and physically.

That moment during that long run when you realize that you are overdressed in shorts and a technical top. The sun is shining and the sky is an incredible shade of blue. With clouds so fluffy they look like they are painted in there or like you could reach up and touch them, and at the same time you feel like you could just kiss the sky.

That moment when you feel like the cloak you have been wearing for the past 365 days has fallen to your feet. And you rise again stronger, wiser, hungrier and more humble. You know this is fleeting and you know that is s gift.

That second when you think Ironman and your heart flutters just like that time you saw Jimmy in the hall in 5th grade…. and he smiled at you.

You see I have a very deep love for the Ironman. We’ve had our differences. We’ve broken up and reconciled more times than …. well anyone. We’ve stood back to back yet I have always peered out of the corner of my eye. There is just something about this race. I have said it before and I will say it again … when I am in I am in.

For me Ironman is the destination. I am not going there to get to kona. Been there, seen that. Mont Tremblant…. it’s got me by the heart-strings. I have never done this race. I look at the pictures and I look at the mountains and I look at the city and I think “I can not wait to race here”.

When the cannon goes off and the 2.4 mile swim begins I fall into that rhythm that will last the 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run. The rhythm of breathing, of pacing, of wheels turning and feet touching the ground. The sound of gears shifting, the voices of the volunteers at the aid stations….. it’s all one big dance that ends with the words I love to hear “Mary Eggers you are an Ironman!”

I’ve heard it 6…7… maybe 8 times … and each time it’s like the first. It’s the finale to the show and the show doesn’t really begin when the cannon sounds. It begins 366 days before then. When you decide it’s time to go back. I have had different reasons for all of my Ironman races. this one…. these reasons are my deepest and most important ones ever.

Ironman represents something to me. It has to or I have a hard time committing to it. Call me a spiritualist, a dreamer, call me crazy. Crazy feels good today anyway. I need to have a why… a reason…. because it makes my how become so strong that it wakes me up at 3:30am and says let’s get moving Eggers. And I do.

There are times during this type and volume of training that I cry. Good tears. Grateful tears. Happy tears. I have back what I lost and I hold it tight and I hold it close and I don’t take one single ounce of it for granted. That is why I cry. I cry because during this type of training it opens me up and I can touch the center of my own soul. It clears the clouds and everything becomes to darn crisp and clear.

It got cloudy. It got real cloudy.

I walked down the street after hitting stop on my watch. From the top of the hill I can see the entire Rochester city skyline. I looked out over this great big world I live in and I said out loud “THANK YOU”… because that is how I feel.

For some reason and somehow this is my way. Of repaying. Of living. Of fighting. Of reclaiming. I don’t know why. I don’t even really know how…. I just know this is who I am and what I do. It’s wierd to some and so normal to others. But this is who I am. I need the hurt to get through to the good.

I crave the pain and the healing that the Ironman affords me. I love the way it breaks my heart and patches it back up. I love the way it hurts to get to the end and you can’t avoid it if you want to touch that finish line. I will cross that finish line covered in my own sweat, snot, sport drink, salt and even my own urine. That’s the price I am asking to pay to get to where I am going.

On that day I will cry. You’d better believe I will cry. For so much. For so much good. For so much happiness. for so much gratitude that I carry so poorly and I drop so often it’s like scattered pieces all around me. I will cry because to get to the end you have to go through a magnificent amount of hard. You have to be willing. You have to be strong. And you have to be ready for anything.

You know what is funny? When people ask me what Ironman entails. I tell them. Many of them ask me… what are you running from? What they really don’t know is this…… I am not running from anything at all. I am running towards.


One comment

  1. You are full of the many things that I need to be filling my brain with right now. Thank you.

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