Monday, April 25, 2011

Stupid Michael Scott

If you're not a fan of The Office, go here first.  OK, now... 

Seeing this episode last week and hearing that song made me think about the song from the original production of Rent. We saw it come through Dallas eons ago, but I have always remembered that song. When I pulled it up on YouTube, I was struck again by the lyrics and how appropriate they are to this week and this little race I have coming up. 
Five hundred twenty-five thousand 
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?
A year ago, when I ran the Oklahoma City Marathon the first time, I did it pretty much on my own. I drove up all by myself, and while I was lucky to run into Mark, Felix & Jeff on the street outside the expo, I didn't really know anyone else that was running.  I had met Suann briefly at the Cowtown tweet-up and we tried to meet at the start, but were unable to connect because there were so many people. I missed the pre-race tweet-up Saturday night because I had a horrific headache and was so tired that I couldn't make it to dinner. When I crossed the line, I called my husband and then wandered around the memorial by myself for a bit before I walked back to the bus stop to get back to the hotel and clean up for the drive home.  

This year?  This year, I'll be driving up with Kris & Megan. We've got a room at the Marriott downtown, and Mel and her hubby will be joining us Saturday. Marci, Bojana and Shannon will be driving up Saturday and staying in the same hotel. Fiona will be there, girls in tow, and running it out with us. We will be meeting about 50 other folks Saturday night at what is guaranteed to be the most epic pre-marathon tweet-up ever, hosted by the great Glenn (can't wait to meet you for real!!). I was surrounded by my "bubble of love" at Cowtown, and for this race, just a year after I did it completely solo, I am sharing my bubble with most amazing set of women, of athletes, that I have ever known. What a difference a year makes. 
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
So when I heard the lyrics to Seasons of Love again last week, I was touched by them in a different way than the first time I heard it.  How many daylights have I shared with these women? How many dawn mornings when it was cold, hot, muggy, windy, miserable, or awesome did we share as we ran around the lake, or in the neighborhoods, or along the trails in Grapevine or in Dallas or Allen (ALLEN!!)?  How many miles did we cover as we shared a hella lot of laughter and, yes, sometimes, strife? How many teary phone calls and text messages have I traded with these girls in the past year?  How many FaceBook exchanges and random tweet strings in our timelines that set me off cackling and smiling for the rest of the day have I shared with these women?  More than I can count and yet just a drop. So much more to come in the years to come, I'm sure.  
In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?
How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love
I have said before, and I will say again, that one of the most rewarding things about my running is not the miles that I cover, or the medals that I collect (although, hey, hardware is SWEET!!), but the friendships that I've discovered and nurtured and grown. And we in the months and weeks and days leading up to this race, this adventure in which we all are striving for sub-five finish time, we have determined that we each have our own race to run, and we have no idea what race morning will hold for us.  Someone's stomach might be uncooperative, or the heat or humidity or wind might be a killer, or a knee (that would be MY knee - please knee, please behave!!) or an IT band, or a lung might decide that, no, this isn't the day for a sub-five. We don't know what race day will bring. We won't know until we get there, until we toe the line in six days.  But we do know that we will be together at the beginning. And we will be together at the end, waiting for each other at the finish, with laughter and hugs and maybe tears (happy tears - NO MORE CRYING IN RACES, DAMMIT!).  And while we may not be together physically during the race, we know we will be together in our hearts and in our minds every step of the way.  I know Mel will hear my voice saying "Just a 10k, just a 5k left...", and I will hear "NO PICKLES" from Marci when it starts to get hard, and we'll all laugh at Mile 19 when we know what Marci is singing, and the pancake song will cross all of our minds at Mile 13, because you *always* have to sing the pancake song at Mile 13. And we may not run side by side for the whole way, but we will be together, because of the last year, a year that we can measure in miles and laughs and tears and love. 
You know that love is a gift from up above 
Share love, give love, spread love 
Measure, measure your life in love.
I don't know what my finish time will be in Oklahoma City this weekend. I know what I want it to be, and I know what my body is capable of if all the pieces come together.  But I know that no matter the time on the clock, the experience will be an amazing one, because of the women that are sharing it with me, and that I can measure not just my running life, but my whole life, in love. 

Let's do this, girls!! 

Watch out, OKC! White Rock Girls are on the way!


Anonymous said...

Good think I don't have make-up on. What an amazing post!! I love you Mama C!!! I hadn't seen the RENT moment on the Office. It was fantastic.

Michelle K said...

You KNOW I'm going to love a music-referenced blog and you KNOW I'm going to love a Rent reference (especially that song). The best thing about running is the friends that I have made--including you! Have a great run in OKC, I can't wait to hear all about it!

I'll think of you on Sunday as I toe the line at my own half marathon....also hoping to meet a major time goal for the 1st time.

Bryan S said...

Love this post! Hope all of you ladies enjoy the city I call home. This is a special race and I'm glad you all can share in it together and have some fond memories of your weekend here.

I've ordered up some nice weather - long range forecast looks quite nice! I also hope to get to see you guys at some point this weekend. I have Team-in-Training duties all weekend but hopefully we can make it work!

Hope to see you this weekend!