Marathons & Motherhood

I continue to be amazed at the parallels between running and motherhood.  Both are exhausting.  Both can be tedious.  But both bring unparalleled joy and rewards.

Saturday’s marathon was the first I have run since having children.  And while it’s been more difficult to find time in my schedule to run, overall the training was much, much easier.

Why?  We’re supposed to slow down as we get older, right?  The kids bring extra weight gain, sleepless nights, shifting priorities.  Running is a self-indulgence that many shrug off.  I’ve gotten more than a few wrinkled noses as I jog off past the school buses.  I hear so many of my fellow moms say “I’d like to run, but I just don’t have the time…”

I do run for myself, but I take my girls with me every step.  Before kids, if I was tired or if I hurt, I stopped.  I did not want to over-exert or injure myself.  I babied my feet, my legs.  Easy does it.

Well, Easy does NOT do it when your a mom.  You’re tired, but you are out of bed to comfort a nightmare.  You’re sick, but still rocking a colicky baby.  You’re cranky, but mediating sibling fights and temper tantrums.  You push through your own emotions and deal with whatever the day brings. Day after day after day.  That’s why my tag line is “Motherhood:  the ultimate long run”.  It never truly ends.  There’s no taper, no finish line.

But boy, is there a great medal that hangs around your neck!  Nothing beats the bear hug of my 2 year old Ladybug.  Or the snuggles of my 4 year old Mouse.  Or the cheers from my kindergartener.  The pain and fatigue vanish, and I’m left feeling totally WHOLE.

So Saturday, when the pain came, I let it flow over me.  When the fatigue set in, I kept my pace steady.  I knew it would pass.  And it did.  I knew my girls would be there at the end.  And their smiles and high-fives kept me going.

Just like labor, I swore Saturday I wouldn’t put myself through that pain.  Now its Monday, I’m still sore, but I’m looking forward to Shamrock in March.  Let’s do this again!!

How quickly we forget…

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