I was at work at 6 this morning and I’m home now; it is time to shift gears. A seasoned marathon runner and nurse practitioner sent word through her mom, one of the coolest women I know, that training in warm weather and competing in cold would actually be a little bit of lagniappe. I got incredible advice over these past few days about what to wear and I feel like I got to make good, informed choices. I’m going a bit unconventional and I hope I don’t regret it but there you have it. I’m wearing a gor-tex top and a pair of capri yoga-type pants. I will have to wait for about an hour around the start line for the race to begin and since that will be early, early morning, I am going to wear an extra layer: a pair of sweatpants and an old t-shirt I am actually quite fond of (pictured above). These are the throw-aways–what you use to stay warm until you get started and get warmed up. Then you peel ‘em off. The sweatpants were a gift from my good friend Barb Rand. They have served me well but they are quite big on me now and will slip on and off easily. People walk along the course and gather up all these clothes, wash them and give them to folks who can use them. I figure Barb would approve of one more hand-me-on. The dorky ensemble includes a cap that can fit in my pocket if I get too warm.
I have my bib number (3200) and I got my virtual goody bag today. As far as I can tell, mainly, that consists of coupons I would not use but if someone out there knows something really good buried in that virtual bag, tell me! I’ve even done my flight check in and it looks like Baltimore, where I will make my connection to B’ham–I know, crazy huh–should not be a weather problem. I’m as good to go as I will be.
Yesterday, as I put ashes on people’s foreheads, thought about Jan Richardson’s exquisite Blessing of Ashes poem and remembered my mama’s dancing and being kissed by the light of that beautiful mountain sun in Boquete almost 2 years ago, I realized that I am walking for her. And for my daughter. María got to come to church with me last night, the first time in over a year. She was so beautiful and as we walked out of the church after the service, she put her arm around my waist and declared, ”that was a fabulous sermon, Mom”. She is what endurance is all about. I wish I could get to see both their faces as I cross the finish line. It is OK that I won’t. I carry them in my heart.