Last March I was invited by a family friend, to participate in a half-marathon on the Maine coast near my hometown. Never one to turn down a challenge or opportunity, I talked my Dad into doing it with me, as he did the Beach to Beacon 10k with me last year. I was really pleased to find company who understood my challenges, although, I do seem to overlook the fact that we can be so fundamentally different in terms of approaching the same challenge. I genuinely prefer not to consider the plethora of happenstances, which could go wrong. Life is a journey, which just seems too precious to waste any time considering the negative possibilities. Don't get me. Wrong, awareness of your limitations is key, however, dwelling on them is a mistake of indescribable magnitude, in my opinion anyways. My dad just feels a need to make sure I'm never in danger, thus making me feel like I'm always in the wrong, and as if I'm simply not capable of making my own determination of safe and comfortable. I can, and will push myself until I collapse. Because I do this, I know my limits. Very well. I've made, what is probably a mistake, in always training alone. I know how slow I am, and asking friends to walk with me, while I snap at them, if they try to direct me, just seems out of the question. Although, this said, the race director of the Maine Marathon, offered us slots in the Maine half marathon, in October. Of course, I jumped at the chance to run in a high profile Maine race. And, I was so relieved to learn that the roads would be closed during!
Blueberry Cove is actually a 4H camp for kids, though, it being near the end of summer, camp is over for the season. The event began Saturday evening with a delicious local Maine home style dinner in the mess hall, featuring, Clam chowdah, potato salad, and blueberry pie! Hands down, we have the best blueberries anywhere, in the state of Maine. They grow on the ground here, never realized they grew on bushes also, until I moved away, that is.
I wanted to this race largely because I'd (foolishly) assumed it would be fairly flat, being on the coast. Wrong! This was a very beautiful, however, very hilly course. For someone who does the majority of their training on a track,I was thoroughly spent after the 10th or 11th mile. However, as we neared mile 8 some extremely unusual noises began filling air behind us. My honest description of what I heard would be farm animals that had messed with opiates somehow. My first thought was that I must be delirious, although my dad heard them as well. We paled another hill and the sounds disappeared. I forgot about the noises, and tried to clear my head, and find a decent mindset to finish the race. I spent the majority of those 6 hours arguing, defending myself, and explains deficits which aren't all that obvious to my Dad as our 6 hour war over where, exactly I should be on the road progressed. My father has genuinely been with me every step of the way, and I am so thankful for all of the support he provides, but, if anyone can provoke the absolute ugliest reflection of anger and defensiveness from me, he can. He seems to be someone who understands the responsibilities, of being in authority, as that is what his role as captain of various ships in different cavities has called on him for. As a little kid, I was afraid of him, because I rarely saw him, and when I did, it was a different environment than I was used to. Therefore, scary. Now, it's my belief, that a disability (in general) forces you to learn to be on fairs all the time, because I live in an environment where CLOSE-friends are few, and far between, I feel like I've developed a defensive edge, which isn't always the easiest to drop. Nor, is a particularly attractive asset in new situations. Just have to keep pushing forward, and remember to recognize the amazing help that I have, and have had. I am just so pleased to have these opportunities to continue to push myself, and show others what's possible.
The pictures show my dad, myself, Brianna, Chelsea, and Abe. My Dad was my support person, and did the whole race with me. Val, Abe, Bri, and Chelsea popped in at different times to boost morale, so amazing! It was so much fun to a race with such a hometown feel! The other photo is Blueberry Cove at sunset. A heartfelt thank you to the many incredible who helped make this race possible for myself, as well as the other runners!