Sunday, October 20, 2013

Running Even Cures a Broken Heart

I drove to NY this weekend to bury my father.  He actually passed away some time ago, and it's a long story, but we just had our small family service for him this weekend.  He was buried with his mother and grandparents in Westmoreland, NY (which is basically ridiculously far from everywhere).

He was not the best father.  His demons had a strong hold on him for most of his life.  The periods that we were close (and I was his only child) were never very long, and weren't very often.  You would think that might make it easier to say good-bye to him, but it didn't.

Saturday morning before we packed ourselves into 2 cars to drive there, my cousin Amy and my cousin-in-law Cindy and I went for a run.  It was the best possible thing I could have done to clear my head, and work out some of the anxiety, and focus on really being present for the day.

We were running on small country roads around the lake, so there wasn't a lot of shoulder.  This was my view.  These fabulous women pulling me along as I ran behind them.  

 It was a very pretty morning.  There are some gorgeous old buildings in Cooperstown.

We are in various places in our running.  Amy is officially signed up for a full iron-man.  Cindy is beginning to train for a marathon in the spring (she just finished her Phd, she's been busy), and I'm building my milage back up from my broken foot.    But we ran together.  And talked along the way.  It was exactly what I needed.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I am the Reticent Runner

I am 43 years old, and have been running since December of 2011. Running has changed my life in amazing ways. These are the stories of my running journey. I hope you can identify. I would love to hear from you.

My Ironwoman cousin Amy (left) and me (right) pre-race.
Last Saturday was the ING Hartford Marathon (and half marathon, and 5k). I signed up for the half marathon in July, one short week before I took an epic fall in the parking garage stairwell at work and fractured my foot. You might think that means I didn’t get to run last Saturday. But you would be mistaken. I didn’t run the half, like I planned, but I ran the 5k, and beat my personal best time by 15 seconds.

Race day in Hartford in front of the Capitol

So goes my life as a runner. Wild ups and downs. Within the first month of running (well, I was walk- running using the Couch to 5k app on my phone) I ended up with runners knee and started the first of what would be multiple rounds of physical therapy.

What’s most important to me about last Saturday isn’t that my time was good, but that I ran at all, 12 short weeks after having broken my foot. What’s important, is that I did what the doctor told me to do, I didn’t give up, and I clawed my way back to running in the shortest possible recovery time. With no pain. Amen. This from a person who truly believed they “couldn’t” run.

Post race smiles! with medals!

I’m a mother, a wife, I have a (big) full time job, and I have other hobbies besides running. But honestly, running is what keeps me sane. It’s the time when all the noise of my daily life (my 1st world problems) disappears, and I begin to see the possibility of all the things I could accomplish. If I can persist through the nagging voice in my head that says “STOP RUNNING NOW”, I can, in my mind, literally do ANYTHING.

I have learned to take time for myself. I have learned that my family’s growth and health depend on my growth and health. I can’t give much when I’m feeling weak and broken.

This is my journey. I am so glad to share it with you.

My time for the 5k last Saturday was 30:50, around a 9:57/mile, a huge breakthrough (to average under the 10 minute mile). My next official race is a 6.66 miler called “The Devil Made Me Do It” on October 27. The pictures for that one should be great.