March 16

Racing headlong into possibility

A pot of coffee with a side of insight…

Saturday morning I was trying to catch up on my email.  I was enjoying my coffee and actually taking time to read all the great things to which I am subscribed.  One such thing was a blog post from Joann Penn,, “Creativity And Entrepreneurship: Lessons Learned By My 40th Birthday.”  I related to what Ms. Penn said, and it gave me an idea for my next post, “What running a marathon taught me about my latest endeavor.”  In the meantime while I am still getting my thoughts in order for that post, I decided to post something I wrote a while back that seemed to segue nicely from one to the other.

My own mid-life “reimagining”

At the age of 40, I decided that it was finally time to run Grandma’s Marathon.  This was on my bucket list since my early 20s, when I worked in Canal Park as a waitress at the Timber Lodge Steakhouse,  and I waited on the runners who were carb-loading for the next day’s race.  These people fascinated me, and I thought they threw a pretty good after-race party too.  I didn’t run track or cross-country in high school.  In fact, I spent many years thinking that being chased by the police was the only reason to run (which I never was btw).

Holy crap!  I am doing this!
Holy crap! I am doing this!

When I turned 40, I felt different.  I felt like it was finally time to really concentrate on doing the things I felt I was meant to do.  Grandma’s Marathon was on that list.  I had run two 5ks up until this point, but I was not really training.  First,I started running and following some training guidelines I found online.  I made the decision to sign up for the race on January 20, 2014, which I only realized after doing so, was the same day that, 3 years earlier, we took my mom off of the ventilator that was keeping her alive.

Somehow my running journey has become a way to do something to honor my parents who both have passed.  Neither of them were runners or athletes in any way.  In fact, they were both arthritic, and when I run I celebrate my ability to move and thank them for my existence.  Florence and the Machine says “Run for you mother.  Run for your father…” and I do.

Hauling ass towards the finish line
Hauling ass towards the finish line

On June 21, 2014, I completed Grandma’s Marathon with my husband, two daughters, two nieces and sister-in-law all cheering me on in front of the Club Saratoga, which I found so fitting in ways I will never completely explain to everyone.  I cried at the finish line.  I was so completely overwrought with the joy that I had worked on something I had dreamed of for 20 years and finally made it a reality.

The whole experience was a poignant one, but one thing that really stood out was a woman holding a tag board sign at about the 25-mile mark.  It read, “You WILL do this again!”  I laughed when I saw it and shook my head to say “No I won’t!”, and I think I am remembering correctly that she gave me a nod as if to say “Yes you will.”

 Train, race, repeat…

Did it again!
Did it again!

As it turns out, she was right. Running races has become the best drug to me.  I am addicted.  I ran the Des Moines marathon in October.  I shaved around 20 minutes off of my time, and I cannot wait to do it again!  I don’t know when or where my next race will be, but at 40, I realized  that it’s time to live like I mean it, and that’s what I intend to do.



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Posted March 16, 2015 by R.C. Brophy in category "Just Checking In

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