#10: Doucument the Journey

At long last, almost three months after starting, I’ve come to my final 2012 resolution. Clearly, I could be doing a better job documenting the journey!

I started this blog for my daughters.  I hope to have some record of the thoughts and philosophies that bounce around in my head.  I want them to understand the connection between me as an individual (i.e. runner) and me as a mother.  And I want them to see how vitally interconnected these two personas are.

I could not be the runner I am today without first being a mother.  Motherhood has given me strength, grit, and endurance that I utterly lacked.  Since becoming a mom, I’ve stopped expecting much in the way of physical comfort (try saying ‘no’ to three little munchkins that all want to sit on the same lap at the same time!).  I’ve stopped expecting solid, long periods of sleep.  I do not rest.  I clean the same messes and wipe away the same tears – hour after hour, day after day.  I am a doctor, a nurse, a teacher, a counselor, a guardian, a disciplinarian, a spoiler, a chef, a recycler, a housemaid, a laundress, and the biggest cheerleader these girls will ever have.

But I could not be a good mom without my running.  It’s in those runs that I find my rest.  In the miles and the footfalls, I find my peace.  It is in the hills and across the streams that I find my soul.  I return to the chaos ready, and thrilled, to tackle the day

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I am really, really bad about taking pictures.  Even worse about organizing them.  The girls’ baby books gather dust, incomplete.  But when I open the images saved on the computer and scroll through the last six years, I see how far we’ve come.  This little, srawny infant:

is now in kindergarten.

This heartbreakingly young couple:

have 15 years under their belts, have built a home, a business, and family of five.

It’s in this reflection that I can see what we have done.

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I must admit I am a bit down today.  Last weekend’s race, which I scrapped in deference to my aching achilles, still chafes a bit.  I wanted to be there, on the trails, having fun.  Instead I sat on the sidelines.  Promised Land, a gorgeous 50K, is coming up next month.  I know I can’t run it.  Aside from my aches and pains, there are several family obligations that take precedence.  But it still rankles me to think about missing the fun.

But there is a blessing in these missed opportunities. The chance to rebuild, to make myself stronger.  I’ll take a deep breath, and know that there will be other races, other adventures.

And if I keep my resolution to document the journey, through words and pictures, maybe I can look back at the trail this time next year and see how far we have come.

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#4 – Be Strong

OK,  this is a good resolution to remember tomorrow.  I’ll make it my mantra.

Be Strong, Mommy…Be Strong, Mommy….Be Strong!

I’m running the Willis River Trail Run (35K).  22 miles of trail, which for effort and duration will match up to a marathon.  Problem is, I am a) seriously undertrained and b) injured.  I could fake my way through the training part.  I still have a solid base from November’s marathon and I did manage an 18 mile training run three weeks ago.  But my aching glutes, hammies, and piriformis have kept me off the road since then.  I have no idea how they will react to 4 hours of running tomorrow.

i.am.scared

Be Strong, Mommy…Be Strong, Mommy….Be Strong!

 But let’s think on the positive side.  12 hours from now, I’ll be running this:

Second of all, I get to run it with 150 other crazies like me who are willing to wake up at the crack of dawn and run in the freezing cold.  Souls like that are my kind of folks!

Finally, and most importantly, it’s something new!  I’ve never run this distance on the trail, and it get’s me closer to my 2012 goals (50K Ultra in Feb., 50 Miler in Nov.).  I’ll run alongside two friends, and meet up with Jimmy and the girls afterwards to enjoy the long weekend.

Assuming I stay on course and don’t wander off into oblivion….

Be Strong, Mommy, and Carry On!