12 Miles and The Joy of Being

Holy bananas, it is September!  Where has time gone?  I never imagined when I started this whole thing how much harder for me it was going to be to train for a marathon- and then to write about that training- this time around.  I have had so many intentions to come into here all throughout August.  Oh August, you are so busy with things.  The highlights:

1. The Hamptons Trip– I’d have talked about how much fun we had, how great it was spending time with Ash and Greg, my family, and relaxing.  Also how the beautiful run there (although an out-and-back) is one of my favorites.

2. Our 4 year Anniversary– This one would have focused on my doting love for my husband, how wonderful he is, and how truly lucky I am to have him.


3. Braxton’s 3rd Birthday– Probably would have been some nostalgic, bittersweet letter to him about how fast time flies and how proud of him I am and how I can’t believe how much I love him.  And also how three-year olds are crazy pants.  I still want to thank everyone who made his day so special<3


So that was August.  As for this marathon thing- I had actually been struggling this month with whether or not I even can do it.  How about I run the half, I thought.  Or just defer until next year.  Definitely forget Boston, it’s for babies anyways.

In my dream, I can efficiently be this mom who can raise two kids, run a marathon, qualify for Boston, keep the house spotless, sleep, make (healthy) dinner, work, write, cuddle my husband, go to church, relax, see everyone, spend endless hours giggling (never ever yelling) with my kids, teach them (and myself) Beethoven’s 9th on the piano, and smell good.  But all of that does not come easy for me, some aren’t possible, and I have to find shortcuts and sacrifices or ask for help to make the rest happen.  It’s harder than my pride wants to admit.

I could sit here and write all the excuses reasons I am doubting myself- two kids, time, my legs hurt, my Grandma, work, time, food, dogs, movies, shoes, spatulas, time, and so forth until I talk myself in a circle.  The truth is, it’s me.  It’s my motivation to train for this race.  I have been running the miles, but I feel kind of…meh.  Weekdays, I’m fine.  But on the weekends when I should get up early and get my run in, I find myself just wanting to wake up with my family and have breakfast with them and ruffle their hair (well, Brax and Bri’s- Charlotte is a cue ball).  By the time my run time rolls around, I want to run always, but I don’t feel like running that far- or being away from them for that long.  I have kept up with it, but with a mindset of I HAVE TO DO THIS,” it becomes a chore and loses the fun.  Training for a marathon becomes more of a forced thing than a choice and it discourages me big time.

My friend showed me a quote the other day.  It is definitely impossible for a Type A lady like me to always do this, but it resonated with me, because I don’t do it enough.  Behold:

joy of just being... Love Eckhart Tolle!! I have read most of his books....

I have been trying to practice this more in my own life, and bring it to my runs.  To just be in each one instead of worrying about the final destination.  That mindset led me to some fantastic runs this week that have restored my faith in my ability to run this marathon.

In the first, I took off my watch and just ran however far and fast I wanted. I decided to look for the signs of our impending Autumn along the way.  It was so freeing and I saw so much more than just those annoying numbers on my wrist.  Running was fun again!

Then I ran with my kids yesterday.  I was feeling like a pot boiling over Sunday morning stuck inside due to rain. Bri was working, Brax was ramming his monster trucks into everything, Lottie was fighting her nap, and the dog was chasing squirrels from window to window.  Even though I was planning on a cross day, I loaded them all up the minute I saw that rain stop and we ran.  The canal was empty, Char slept so peacefully, Brax and I talked, and the dog expended his endless energy.  And me?  I finished a completely different, happy, calm person.  Running was fun again!

And today’s 12 miles was…amazing!!  Despite it being hot and muggy, I ran in the moment.  I didn’t worry when my time dipped slower than I wanted, or whether or not the toys would be cleaned up and the dishes done by the time I got home.  I just ran and it was awesome.  Running is fun again!!

Later today, we went for a hike in Mendon and I consciously let go of everything and put my entire self into that moment.  We got lost.  And it was hilarious.  Braxton walked almost the entire thing because he is a rock star hiker boy. Charlotte sang to us.  Bri and Mac navigated the way and my sister helped with Braxton’s tired legs.  We laughed so much.  It was the best end to summer day I could have asked for.


Now, I certainly am not naive enough to think that I won’t come across these doubts again in this training, and in my life.  It doesn’t all come super easy to me, and I know I will sometimes become overwhelmed with all things life.  But now I hope I have a firmer grasp on exactly what I’m doing this for.  Yes, two kids is a lot different, but instead of seeing that as my excuse…I need to remember they are my reason. 

My reason to just be.

It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see  -Henry David Thoreau

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