2 a: purification or purgation of the emotions (as pity and fear) primarily through art
b: a purification or purgation that brings about spiritual renewal or release from tension
3: elimination of a complex by bringing it to consciousness and affording it expression
(from Merriam-Webster online)
While not "artful" in a way many would think is, I had a catch up and debrief session with my kindred spirit last week, and it was cathartic for me. We both ran on April 15. We both were less than a mile from the finish, she a bit closer to the painted line than I. We had not seen each other since before the marathon. Our meeting over margaritas and nachos was much needed, for both of us. (Side note: Best quote of the night: ME: "Wow. The bartender has a heavy hand." D: "I want to go hug him.")
We relived our experiences from that day (one month ago today, strange to think) - laughed, cried, cursed (a lot), worked through the emotions of the day and the residual feelings that keep flowing in waves, discussed the bonds that were forged, and tried to solve all the world's problems.
The night before, I went into Boston for the first time since the marathon. I was going to the Sox game with another friend, and thinking traffic wouldn't be too bad (ha!) I opted to go in via Storrow Drive, and onto Comm Ave. As I creeped through traffic exiting Storrow, it hit me. I looked to my left - Charlesgate. The underpass. This is where I stopped, where I was told I wouldn't be able to finish my journey, where the feeling of being lost started. I had been feeling pretty good - physically, mentally.... but now I was sad. I can't describe it, really, and I guess sad is the best word I can come up with. Sad, empty, lost....
It turned chilly that night at America's Most Beloved Ballpark. I wore my Boston Marathon jacket. It got some second looks from people. Speaking of, does anyone else notice that? It is starting to become less frequent/obvious, but at first, when I wore my jacket out places, people would look at me a little differently. Not mean or anything, but almost with a look of sympathy...empathy....pity? Maybe I was reading into it too much. Too observant. Maybe? It was those sympathetic/pity looks that almost made me take the jacket off. Why? I didn't want to feel guilty. I was unharmed. My family was unharmed. But the confident, selfish part of me wanted to say, "Look what I did! I ran! Really far! Yeah, you should feel bad that I didn't finish!" I deserve to proudly wear that jacket. And I do. I purchased a "Right on Hereford, Left on Boylston" shirt at the expo. That is one marathon-related clothing item I still can't put on... because I didn't take that right, and that left...
So, I keep adventuring. I keep running. This weekend I am running the Reach the Beach Relay from Wachusett Mtn. to Westport, MA, with my sister-in-law and a bunch of awesome ladies. I am 100% looking forward to no sleep, 200 miles (22.5 of which I will run) over a day+, irregular eating/sleeping schedules, and the general craziness that comes with 12 girls in 2 vans. True story. See ya in Westport!