Monday, October 23, 2006
Last year, about the time I came out to KK, I started running. I wanted to get into shape, and it was also a welcome distraction from the emotional upheaval that I was going through.
Somewhere along the way, I decided to run a marathon. I thought I'd train to do a race in 2007, but KK encouraged me to do it this year. So I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, which ran yesterday. Chicago was a meaningful choice. I lived there for two years with KK after we got married, and my family is nearby in Wisconsin.
Yesterday with the temperature reading a nippy 38 at race time and with drizzle in the air, I ran. Ran like I've never run before. I hoped to finish in four hours, but a tweaked knee at mile 15 slowed me down. I crossed the finish line at 4:45:21. I cried through much of the last five miles of the race and was in a full weep as I hit the finish. I was filled with a sense of accomplishment, but also felt that I had finally reached a point of closure on a difficult period in my life. My marathon was very closely tied up in the coming out process for me. I spent many solitary hours in training, listening to my iPod, and thinking about my life. The old Chris would have never run a marathon. The new Chris did, and enjoyed every moment of it, even the painful ones.
I had my own personal cheering section: KK, E, L, my mom, her boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend. My boyfriend, J, wanted to be there and was in both spirit and in the music on my iPod that took me across the finish line. And today I can hardly walk and have some nasty blisters to show for my effort. Hard work can be painful.