Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dancing with the Devil at the Ft. Worth Marathon

There is one song that truly defines my marathon today.  I must have listened to it at least 15 times (likely more).  I lost count after a while.  I listened to it when I was feeling down and in tears, and I listened to it when I was feeling happy and good.  It had totally different meanings depending on the mood I was in.  It was a melancholy song when I was tearful, and an uplifting "go get 'em" song when I was riding a high. 
I was seriously bi-polar during this marathon.  Moreso than most of my long runs (and that's really saying something).

Sometimes a song speaks to you in a certain situation.  Today this song was it.

Florence + The Machine:  Shake it Out
Regrets collect like old friends
Here to relive your darkest moments
I can see no way, I can see no way
And all of the ghouls come out to play

And every demon wants his pound of flesh
But I like to keep some things to myself
I like to keep my issues strong
It's always darkest before the dawn

And I've been a fool and I've been blind
I can never leave the past behind
I can see no way, I can see no way
I'm always dragging that horse around

Our love is pastured such a mournful sound
Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground
So I like to keep my issues strong
But it's always darkest before the dawn
 And I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I'm gonna cut it out and then restart
'caust I like to keep my issues strong
It's always darkest before the dawn
And it's hard to dance with the devil on your back
And given half the chance would I take any of it back
It's a fine romance but it's left me so undone
It's always darkest before the dawn
And I'm damned if I do and I'm damned if I don't
So here's to drinks in the dark at the end of my road
And I'm ready to suffer and I'm ready to hope
It's a shot in the dark and right at my throat

'Cause looking for heaven found the devil in meLooking for heaven found the devil in meWell what the hell, I'm gonna let it happen to me


The ghouls coming out to play, every demon wanting his pound of flesh, and the dragging the horse around for me are all the DNF's I've had in the last year. Redman (my Ironman last September DNF'ing at mile 18 of the marathon), my DNF at Midnight Madness in Tulsa in late June, and DNF'ing at Palo Duro last month).I carry those around with me, and even if they don't always bother me on the surface, they are still there. Lurking and waiting to pounce on me when self-doubt comes creeping in.

I was introduced to Florence + The Machine by another blogger, Jill. Of all the songs on the Ceremonials album, I like this one the best (although there are about 6 others that tie for 2nd best). It just speaks to me. Especially when I'm suffering.

So even though my body revolted against me around mile 14, I knew I had no choice but to finish.  There were about 8 miles where you wouldn't have wanted to speak to me because you probably would have witnessed a really juvenile mental breakdown.  I listened to this song and cried.  I listened to it and smiled.  I walked when it hurt to run.  And then I ran when it hurt to walk.

Sure I wanted to give up many times, but I had no choice but to make it back to the start.  I had to bury that damn horse in the ground.  Is that the greatest line ever or what?  "Tonight I'm gonna bury that horse in the ground."  Just the idea makes me giggle.  Digging a horse-sized hole?  That would be really hard during a marathon.

In the end, I danced (mostly WITH the devil on my back), and marathon #7 is in the books. It wasn't pretty, but not everything in life is.
Obviously most of my races aren't pretty, but then again, I've never liked being the pretty one.

Here is the video if you care to listen to this amazing song:

I'm blurry because I'm trying to shake that damn devil off my back

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