I’m still in the process of figuring out how to fit it all in.
I think back to the times in my life when the word BORED was a big part of my vocabulary. I did things or went places because I was bored or because I didn’t want to get bored. I do at times still feel that the task at hand is boring, but there is no lack of things I need to do or want to do.
When I was a mother of one child, I found it hard. Figuring out a balance took time. I’m not sure I mastered it before another baby soon arrived. Two children was infinitely harder than one, but at the time one seemed hard. I knew this would soon happen when the third arrived. Two kids – that’s a breeze I thought. Three kids, three kids are hard. If I had four would three seem easy? It’s all relative to what you can handle and what you learn to handle.
Running is similar to the adjustment to multiple children. 5 miles is hard. It seems impossible when you first strive to reach that distance. Soon you are able to run 5 all the time, not easily but you do it. You strive for farther or faster. When you hit 10 miles you think back on that 5 and wonder why you thought it was hard at the time. 10 miles is hard – really hard. The distance or speed keeps growing. 10 miles seemed hard at one point in my life. [though I will insert that 10 miles on this exact day seems hard to me – I’ve only gotten back up to 5 miles]. 26.2 once seemed an impossible distance, much like 10 miles or a third child. But you figure out, you adjust as you learn to handle more and more.
Thanksgiving morning the kids got us up at 5am. Lucky me. I wanted to run. I was motivated to run. My husband was sick. Too sick to hold or care for our new baby, who doesn’t much like being put down.[as I type he is snuggled on me in my Moby Wrap] I did not run outside.
I’ll admit it – I felt sorry for myself. I texted three girls who I knew were racing. I wished selfishly I was with them. I wished for a brief moment that my body was back to it’s old self – that I was running as fast as I could at the local turkey trot.
A friend suggested I just run the 5K for fun. I came in 2nd last year. My heart wouldn’t even begin to let me consider racing. I didn’t want to feel bad about myself and I knew a race might do just that. I took charge and got dressed to run on the treadmill. I knew that I had little time and that Colton would wake up at any moment, but a mile is better than nothing. My goal was to run sub 10 for 1 mile and then to get showered and dressed and move on – to quit feeling sorry for myself.
Friday I was able to run 3 miles outside alone. My mom watched the children while I attempted to run at least 1 sub 10 mile. I ran 1 sub 10 and the other 2 were sub 11. I was happy to feel the air on my face. Happy to feel my body move.
Sunday my husband was feeling good enough to watch Colton so my mom and I headed out for a run together. She remarked that she wanted to run with me one last time while she was still faster than me. The comment was a compliment. She believes I will get all my fitness back and more. I gave myself an out before we even began, by saying I don’t think I’ll be able to run much more than 3 miles.
Who was I kidding? I knew she would run at a slower than normal pace but that the pace would be faster than normal for me. Our first mile was just over a 9 minute pace, the last 4 were all in the 8’s. Every time I looked down at my Garmin I was amazed. I can’t even remember the last time I was able to run in the 8’s.
I miss running with my mom.
Over the years it’s gotten harder and harder to run together. I am reminded of all the runs we went on when we were both single girls just trying to figure life out. Training for marathons just to pass the time away. I miss finishing a marathon and seeing her at the finish waiting for me. Not waiting because she was cheering, waiting because at 20 years older than me she finished ahead of me.
Tuesday night I needed to run. I needed to run for my sanity. I feel better, happier, healthier when I move. I’m a nicer mom and have more patience. The moment I stepped outside it started to rain. The wind was stronger than usual and I wondered in my head if passing cars thought I was a dedicated runner or a crazy person. I knew I didn’t have much time to run so I decided I would run my last mile as fast as I could. I wanted to see a 7 at the beginning of the number on my Garmin. I had no idea if it was possible. Even if it was a 7:59 – I knew it would make me feel better.
3 miles later I felt renewed, refreshed and filled with hope that no matter how hard it will be to figure out how to run with three children – I will do it. I will get my fitness back. I will.
Mile 1 – 9:16
Mile 2 – 8:38
Mile 3 – 7:21