I just raced Chicago marathon…two days ago. My brain is still in a fog and I’m tired from travel and walking around the city and people overload. I’m a mixture of emotions from happiness to disappointment to excitement to one million and a half questions and “what ifs” floating around in my head.
But, I’ve learned somethings in the past few years…
It involves celebrating and enjoying.
I’m barely starting to sort out the race in my head. Crossing the line on my feet is an accomplishment in itself. I think anyone who has ran a marathon can agree with that! You’re just happy to be done, to finish, to let your emotions and nerves finally calm down. After months of training, focused dedication, lots of sleep, and hammering out little details like nutrition and race day prep, crossing the line is a relief. I feel like I can breathe. Race day is a celebration.
So, I’ve learned: Celebrate.
Within the hours after the race, I received many encouraging texts, tweets, messages, FB shout outs..and also:
What did you think of the race?
What would you do differently?
What did you do well?
Do you think you’ll make an Olympic Team someday?
What is your greatest life ambition? (Just kidding…that’s a little far)
But, that’s kind of what it feels like. For being a planner and future-minded, when I finish a race like the marathon, here is a bit of what’s going on in my mind:
The energy it will take to walk to get a latte from Peet’s Coffee (and if I’ll have to walk any stairs).
How I’m going to stand and shower (my legs hurt).
Do I have gatorade all over me?
My hair is a rat’s nest: do I have enough conditioner to detangle it? How long will that take? I don’t want to stand long.
I just raced 26.2 miles…oh. my. goodness.
Coffee. Food. Need. Food.
I just want to sleep.
Call my mom. Call Seth. Oh my goodness…my phone is blowing up. Stressful. Make it stop!
Ok, I could go on, but you get the point.
I know other professionals are reading this and laughing; you know what I’m talking about.
So, right now, I’m enjoying and celebrating. This was my 2nd marathon and my first marathon major and I’m 24. I’ve got years ahead of me and a lot of learning to do. I know there are many things I can improve on and also things I did really well. There are things I feel really good about and things that I wish I did differently. But, I’m not quite there yet.
Life is about moments. Moments like crossing the line and seeing my team of people smiling, or pushing through the hard miles when I hear loved ones yell my name, or hugging my competitors who are also good friends because we did it. We finished. Or, the delicious dinner I ate post-race with my dear friends in downtown Chicago and the mound of sweet potato fries that I totally devoured and enjoyed. Or, walking around on tired legs and appreciating the beauty of the city. Those moments, I don’t want to miss out on. I don’t want to miss out on them in the midst of thinking about what’s next or what I can do better or if I’m happy with the race. I’ll get there, but I’m not there yet. I want my life to be full of God’s joy and celebration and slowing down to enjoy.