Clearly, unlike one of the stories surrounding Pheidippides and the first marathon, I did not die upon completion of the 26.2 mile uh hike. I say hike because I walk the marathon - or you could say I slow run it, regardless, I didn't expire. And you also might notice that I'm not wearing a silk scarf or even a bandana; I'll have to work on that for next year.
I learn a lot about myself over the period of 26.2 miles and 6 hours. And, I've learned a lot over the 18 week training period - one thing is that I'm bored with training at Week 14 :-)
For me, the focused fast walking is a meditation of sorts - my mind at any given moment could get me committed or ordained.
I learn that I don't do so well in crowds; good to know when there are 45,000 of us. I learn that even after all that training, for the first few miles I have no sense of my stride because with the people running by me, I feel like I'm in slow motion. I learn to be less selfish, as I realize everyone around me is also trying to achieve a goal, and let a woman draft off me for 20 miles because she's injured. And finally, I'm not going to win, and there's a freedom in that.
My life right now seems to contain a lot of [self-imposed] expectations - winning at things like image-making, scarf sales, work, friendships - and then sort of bashing myself when I don't win. Knowing I'm not going to win the marathon doesn't stop me from training my hardest and walking my fastest, does it? So, why don't I cut myself some slack all 'round.
Hmmmm, might be something upon which to meditate when I start training again next week.