Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Sunday Service at MY Church

I am unbelievably passionate about running. I don't know why, and trust me, I question it A LOT! But I am. You can show me a commercial about running and I cry. When I see a friend of mine on the course running their first or 15th race, I get the chills...and I cry. Don't even get me started on the emotions that I feel when I see my girls cheering me on from the sidelines...I am crying now just thinking of it. Yes, I am a mom, so naturally I am an emotional nightmare. I cry a lot, I am a big sap, and everything seems so monumental and special that I am in happy tears constantly. But is that really all it is? Mommy hormones that cause me to be so emotionally ridiculous?

I am just not convinced that's all it is. To be honest, I have never been this passionate about anything in my life. Ever. OK, so I am in love with my husband and kids, and obsessed with being an amazing mother and wife, but this is different, so let's not pull the family card here, OK! On another note, running is automatically linked in with fitness, and I am so passionate about Stroller Strides and Body Back...so this is on the same level. But running is something that I do just for me.

Early Easter Sunday morning, I hopped(let's be honest, dragged myself) out of bed, laced up my shoes, and headed out for my 20 mile run. For those of you that don't run, because I love running so much does not mean that I am always super excited to get out the door and go. I have the same feelings about early morning workouts as the rest of the world...sometimes it sucks! And by sometimes, I mean most of the time. But, I also know that it only sucks for the first few minutes. I can suck it up for that long.

I was lucky, because somehow the night before I was able to convince my friend Lisa to ride her bike along side me for my run. Lisa is a sweet and concerned friend so I am sure she was more worried about me getting murdered and/or raped along the street that early in the morning which is why she volunteered to get up before dawn and ride the slowest bike ride of her life! I was excited because I looked super important with her riding beside me as my personal security guard, and I was running much faster than normal to keep it at a comfortable pace for her. Honestly, I think she only had to pedal every other minute! I didn't feel bad though, Lisa is the kind of girl that can be at peace with the wind blowing in her hair, and having the moments to herself while riding down the beach. It was very calming to watch her enjoy the ride and take it all in. It was cute that she was freezing in pants and a hoodie while I was sweating bullets in a running skirt and shirt!

Now, usually on a long run I have some type of epiphany. Some huge breakthrough, some big light bulb that goes off in my head that serves as a life lesson. Much like I assume church to be. I am not exactly religious, meaning I am not religious at all. So this is as close as I get to experiencing a 'higher power'. I kept explaining to Lisa that eventually I would be on my runners high and she would laugh at me, or I would hit my wall and she shouldn't freak out. But none of that ever happened. Nothing happened. I ran. And I ran at a great pace. Oh wait...I did have an uncomfortable amout of chafing...but that doesn't exactly count.

The only thing that happened during my run, was that I ran. I'm not sure if it was the comfort of having Lisa on her bike that gave me the extra push I needed. She was floating along, unlike having someone running beside you that can commiserate with how you feel. Maybe I sucked it up and forgot because she was there so carefree. Or maybe, not every run is monumental. Maybe there are runs you make it through without the weight of the world on your shoulders. Without some big lesson to learn, or issue to overcome. Maybe just being at peace in the moment, putting one foot in front of the other, is monumental enough.

So on my Easter Sunday morning, before the Easter Bunny came, before the eggs were baked, and before most people were up, I ran. And sometimes, life is just that simple. So I guess my big lesson comes at the end. That not everything has to be something amazingly profound, that sometimes the amazing things in life are found in the simple things. Enjoying my run along side a great friend, and finding peace in the calm of a morning shared before the craziness of the rest of our day ensued.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Full Circle

As moms who run, I think we are constantly battling not feeling selfish. Especially when you are training for a race, the time it takes to log the miles you need, the hours you need to be out of the house, the dinners you need your husband to prep so you can get in a few miles before dark. We can easily justify running as our therapy, knowing it makes us a better mother, wife, and friend; that we are setting a positive example for our children showing them fitness is important; that we work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle and keep a resemblance of our figure from before we had kids. Still, you can't help but think about the time you are spending on something you enjoy and feel a teeny tiny bit selfish.

I had a much different feeling after my run today.

I grew up with a running Mother. She ran marathons, 5K's 10K's, half marathons, ultra races, the grand canyon, the list goes on and on. She even trained competitively at one point when I was very young. She belonged to a running club that she met on a regular basis too. I have always told everyone that my favorite memory as a child was running out to meet my mom as she finished a long run, and how her legs felt, cold and damp, and the sweet smell of her sweat. I don't remember time missed with her because she was training. I remember how fun it was to watch her run by in a marathon; I remember how fun all of her running friends were(most are still in her and my life), and that sometimes we got to meet them all for pizza after their week night run. I remember how exciting it was to pack my lunch and put it in the basket on my bike as we rode all the way down to the beach with my mom for her long run. I remember being old enough to finally run with her, and how great it felt to make her try to keep up with me in high school. And I remember the first half marathon I ran, with her by my side every step of the way(even if she was wearing a giant GOT BEER mug on her head).

As I ran up the driveway this afternoon, to my 4 year old daughter waiting for me with her arms held out, I smiled. At first, because it was an awesome run- faster than I have gone in a while, and then because it was so sweet to see her excited. I told her to hop on her bike to do my cool down lap with me. We headed down the street, her curly blonde hair flowing behind her, and she looked back and smiled at me. I instantly started to cry. Not only because I knew it was a magical mommy moment, but because I knew how she felt looking at me, and then even more because I knew how my mom felt.

We finished the cool down lap, she got off her bike and gave me a big hug and said, "Mommy, you feel really wet."