Dizzy Daze recap (but so much more)…

27 03 2011

I’ve run a lot of races since I began running back in February. My first “running” race was 10 months ago and since then I’ve crossed more than a dozen finish lines. This time there was no fancy inflatable start line. There was no fancy timing chip attached to my shoes. There weren’t hundreds/thousands of people stretching and sprinting to warm up…

There was a chalk line.

8 of us.

And a clipboard.

Some people had already started running before I even pulled into the parking lot at 5:30a. I guess when you’re going to get up and run 100k (62.1 miles) you want to start as early as possible. I see my friend Kristin pull up and we hang out for a bit before it’s time to take off. No fancy count down. Just a guy with a timer. It’s probably one of the most relaxed group of people I’ve ever been around before a race. They know each other (my guess is that when you’re an ultra runner, your group is pretty small so there is plenty of opportunity to get to know each other on a more personal level – lucky!)

Because I’m running the half marathon (4 times around Green Lake) I pull out in front fairly quickly because my pace is faster than those awesome runners going around Green Lake 19 times! It’s dark. I can’t take in the beauty to my left that is Green Lake for another 30 – 40 minutes so it’s just me and my iPod.

My last official half marathon was the Seattle Marathon back in November. It had 17,000 runners. I was constantly surrounded by people. There was a lot of action happening at all times. People on the sidelines to look at, signs to read. I even had my own sign:

This time there was no sign on my back. There weren’t thousands of people lining the streets. The first time around the lake there was no one there to give me any encouragement. Just the same guy with the clipboard as I yelled out my number so he could hand write my time. I wanted to finish in 2 hours. The course was flat and I just focused on running strong and running consistent.

I thought I was there to run…

I was there to heal as well.

On my third time around the lake I was making good time but getting tired. I normally do a 9 min run / 1 min walk routine but lately I’ve been trying to run a little longer before walking for a minute. This time I walked at mile 4, mile 7, mile 9, and mile 11. It was during that minute walk on the 7 mile mark that I began to doubt whether I would make it in the 2 hour time I’d set out as a goal. I won’t lie to you: I’m still thinking about what transpired Saturday and that little voice was ready as soon as I began to doubt myself.

“you won’t do it”

“you’re running too slow”

It was about this time something horrific happened: My headphones on my iPod petered out. Yep, my music stopped at I still had 6 miles to run. I began to get really mad. I’m trying to run and figure out what the hell happened with my music. My mind is telling me I won’t make it anywhere near the time I wanted and my mile times are getting a little slower…

Then something magical happened.

Through all this chaos, another voice interrupted my thought process. Many of you know I’ve returned to my relationship with GOD and I don’t blog about it much because a) it’s personal b) not everyone wants to read about it c) I’m still figuring out what all this means. Was the interruption from GOD? I believe yes. I’ve become very comfortable with the idea that I am being given messages and it’s important to be open to receiving those messages with an open heart. As I’m trying to get my iPod to work and trying to remember to keep my feet moving and not trip I hear this:

“you don’t need music”

“look up and see what’s in front of you”

“talk with me”

I look up and right in front of me is the most amazing pink sky as the sun is coming up. I take out my headphones and a beautiful cacophony of singing birds pierce my ears. I’d been so focused on what was right in front of me and looking for a reason to be upset with myself that I’d forgotten that there was so much around me to take in. I breath in deeply and take in the cold air and clear my mind to listen to whatever messages are coming into my heart.

I begin to think about starting the race in the dark and now running as the sun is coming up. It is the epitome of what my life was and is like. I lived in darkness for so long I’d forgotten that there was anything else to life. I’d stopped caring about myself. I stopped loving myself. I stopped living and that was seeping out to every aspect of my life. Over the past fifteen months I’ve slowly allowed the sun to rise on my heart, on my spirit, my soul and my body. I can’t help but start to cry as I’m running because at that exact moment, in that split second my heart exploded with love. Love for me. Love for the person who sent the words that I took in as hurtful even if that wasn’t the intention. Love for all of you that read this blog and send me daily love in return. Love for my husband who has stood by me every day for the last 9+ years. Love for anyone and everything that has been a part of my journey…

A part of my rising sun.

The tears stop flowing. I begin to have a conversation with GOD. Thankful for all that is in front me at the moment. Thankful for all that is behind me. Thankful for all that is coming to me because I am no longer afraid to move. I come to accept that whether or not I finish in 2 hours is not the point to this race anymore.

Everything that has just transpired was the reason for the race.

I clear my heart and mind and just run.


And of course I end this post without another magical moment of life changing proportions. I ended my race and returned to my car to find my phone had been blown up by all the tweets and messages sent to me while I was out growing my heart and earning another 13.1 finish. There was one particular comment I’d gotten from Jules over at Big Girl Bombshell and I can’t make this up: It was the first thing I read when I got back to my car…

If people say something about you… Judge you as if they know you. DON’T GET AFFECTED! JUST THINK: dogs don’t bark if they know the person…AND THAT goes both ways… Being part of this community..we have our friends..we have our support networks..AND we can be left on the outside ALOT! But all in all, especially in a journey for our “chip” we take WHAT we need and we LEAVE the rest….

AND as for YOU Tara…… my #fgm thought…. Perhaps the tweet came to you as a gift….often when we put a MAJOR change or struggle out there to deal with this once and for all… GOD responds in a manner that we might not understand! AND you went with it… I would BET that you have the most profound race ever today…. xoxo

Yes, yes I did.









22 responses

27 03 2011
KCLAnderson (Karen)

Tears of joy for you!

27 03 2011

:: sniff sniffle :: gonna make me use all my tissues before church today. ❤

27 03 2011

As always, I am inspired by you and proud to know you!

27 03 2011

Wow. Just wow.

27 03 2011


Tara, WOW!

Thank you for being you and sharing so much of yourself with me. I feel like you are speaking directly to me…telling me it’s ok to feel how I feel, telling me I am not alone, telling me you have been there and telling me you are here for me. You make me feel.

I hope that makes as much sense to you as it does in my head!

much love and big hugs!

27 03 2011
Jules - Big Girl Bombshell

The tears are rolling down my face…YOU have no idea what it was like to READ your description, knowing what I had written…what I had FELT..when I wrote it… Believe in THE MAGIC!

THIS #fgm LOVES you! (and so do MANY others!)

27 03 2011

This post made me so happy! You are a beacon of light, Tara. Never under-estimate the power of your gift.

27 03 2011

This is a beautiful post Tara. Regardless if we share the same beliefs, the experience you had after your headphones decided to quit, is the reason I don’t run or cycle with music… Awesome race. 🙂

27 03 2011

What an amazing journey you had at this race! Sometimes God has to give us a good NCIS slap to the back of the head (AKA: Ipod dying) to get our attention…to say, “HEY! Look at this….look at what I gave you today…this is just for YOU. Right now…it’s just you and I. ”

You may talk about God ANYTIME with me… especially because this is your journey and He is right in the middle of it. It affects you and you affect me. SO share away!

Honestly, even if you posted about God and others have different faiths, or none, they can REPLACE the word God with whatever they like– the message is the same– Kharma, Buddah, the Gods, the Goddess, Mother Earth, the Alien Mothership, Me. Any of those words still work when you talk about the learning that is happening inside you…the world around you…the glory it has.

If you let Him, he will be there to kiss you good morning, to soothe you when your heart hurts, to save you from yourself, to pick you up and carry you when you fall….to shine through you to bless others….He is there, it His promise to you. Just be open…and you are… He just wants us to, “….Be Still And Know That I am God…” [Psalm 46:10]

I love you Tara Martin.

27 03 2011

I’m not much of a crier, and I don’t go to church but your posts make me understand why lots of people do. Thank you.

27 03 2011

amazingly beautiful… i was with you, it seemed.

27 03 2011

What a an amazing post. Thank you so much for sharing it, and giving me a reason to stop and look at what is front of me.

27 03 2011

WHOA!! That is one incredible race recap. The experience you had is just AWWWWWW!!! Congrats on the finish. I’ll think of this post next time I’m feeling like it’s all over!

27 03 2011

I am in tears as I read this, and it is tears of joy for you. You have come so very far and I am so happy to know you!

The race sounds amazing and I am so proud of you for getting up and doing it each and every day. Simply amazing recap you really let us in thank you.

27 03 2011
Betsy Rogers

Awesome run Tara! What an incredible journey you’ve been through. You WILL get that sub 2-hour for sure. Hope to see you getting Dizzy next year!

27 03 2011
Matt Hagen

Thanks so much for coming to run with us!

Your finish time probably would have been two hours exactly if my instructions were clearer or if we were a bit more precise about marking the course, but it gave me the opportunity to run with you at the end and hear your story in person. That absolutely made my day.

Congratulations on all your accomplishments, and thanks for being such an inspiration to others. Come run with us anytime – I’ll bring my clipboard. 🙂

28 03 2011

Holy awesomeness Matt!!! Thanks for reading this! It was probably the best damn race I’ve done so far. You guys are the nicest people ever!

27 03 2011
Foodie McBody

GIANT LUMP IN THROAT. Plus, best race recap ever. oxoxo

28 03 2011
Nicole D

I find it very uplifting that such moments do happen……thank you for sharing yours 🙂

28 03 2011

AWESOME…there is nothing else to say 🙂

29 03 2011
It’s All about the Shoes | Big Girl Bombshell

[…] This weekend, I was out supporting two dear friends, in my own #fgm (fairy god mother) kinda way.  Tara and Lori are runners and they both have become a BIG, no make that HUGE, part of my daily […]

30 03 2011

I cried during this. I respect you for putting yourself out there .

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