Thursday, August 23, 2012

FINDING MY WAY BACK

Tuck: "Mama, watching you run on the treadmill makes me tired."

Whenever I tell people I'm a runner I get one of two reactions.

1. "Me too. We should go for a run sometime."
2. "YOU ARE CRAZY!"

Over the years my running has changed dramatically. I went from a "competitive, die-hard, 10 miles a day" kind of runner into a "fitting two miles into my work, home and kids' schedule" kind of runner". I even began (gulp) walking some of my workouts. My transition into this "casual" runner was not an easy one. I had to train my thought process that I was not a failure if it took me the same time to do 3 miles that it used to take me to do 6.2. 

I needed to set new goals. Re-focus. Be REALISTIC! So, after a few years (yes, years), I found my way. My runs weren't about PR's, pacing, and high mileage. My runs became about sanity, relaxation, and decompression. That is when I really started to LOVE it. I looked forward to MY TIME daily. 

The following was featured as a guest post on the blog Mom Running on Empty. She's a mom finding her way back to running, too. It was great to connect with her. Be sure to drop by her place and say hello! I'm also submitting it to Trifecta this week as my entry for the third definition of HEART: personality, disposition <a cold heart>. Enjoy!

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FINDING MY WAY BACK

The day has been a long one full of “I needs” and “I wants”. My weary self is debating what to do when I hear that door open and the kids scream, “It’s Daddy!”. I woke up looking forward to the escape, but as the day has worn on, more excuses are creeping into my brain. There are other ways to use the forty-five minutes of me time. I could fold laundry, get a post written, or go pee with the door closed for heavens sake. But I know what my body needs, what it craves, no matter how tired I am. My runner heart takes over. I take the first step by changing my clothes. I’m like Clark Kent in a phone booth when I put on my running attire.


The excitement of the kids builds as 5:00PM nears. The big guy will be home soon and they can sense it. There’s a buzz in the house that’s contagious. All the excuses that have floated around in my head during the day are forcefully pushed aside. As soon as that door opens, I’m heading out. I notice that I begin to peek out our big picture window just as often as the kids. 

The crunch of the gravel driveway under his tires alert us that he is home. High pitched squeals pierce my ears and then I realize I am the loudest one. We all begin jumping up and down and chanting his name as I grab my shoes by the stairs. The kids greet him with a flying leap from the top step as he catches them with delight. I wait with my motor revving as I shove my feet into my shoes. I’m itching to go as my husband leans over, kisses me, smiles and whispers,

“Have a great run.”


These words propel me down the stairs like I’ve been shot out of a cannon. I’m off to find my time, freedom, my nirvana...myself.

19 comments:

  1. Beautifully written. I can picture this scene perfectly. Get out there and enjoy your me time. :)

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  2. Ah, that made me miss running. There was definitely a time in my life when running was exactly that kind of escape -- the moment when you don't need to worry about laundry or work or anything else. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I miss those days, too. I escape into my music nowadays. ;)

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  3. I am not a runner, so I think you are amazing. I've only experienced that 'runner's high' during a brief period in my life, even if only on my elliptical machine :) Nice response from your runner heart!

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    1. Thanks, Sandra. The runners high is hard for me to achieve lately getting back into shape, but hopefully it will show up now and then. :)

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  4. I totally get that. When I first started running I got really caught up into it. I dismissed all the other things I was doing (no weight lifting, reduced my swimming, which I love) and when I was training for events I became even more obsessed with it. An injury taught me that I needed a balance. I had to stop running for a few months and it was actually the best thing that happened to me. Now that I am getting back to it, I am much more satisfied with just running for fun. I can run 3-4 miles and be happy and not think "I should have run 8."

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    1. Yes, Lisa! Exactly. You really have to do a lot of mental training as a runner !

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  5. I am a happy recreational runner. I love the freedom, listening to my music or just thinking. I appreciate this post because I understand your need to squeal in delight anticipating this run, this time to yourself. Hope you had a good one today!

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    1. Thanks, Gina! You and I sound like we're on the same page. :)

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  6. This makes me wish I was a runner!

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  7. That you made this post work three ways for you makes me so jealous ... and think you're a genius. I "run" but it's probably best we don't live in the same city. Let alone within a thousand miles of each other. I have the distinct feeling you would kick ... my .... (calling over shoulder to hungry family in kitchen) ... COMING!

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    1. Haha! Nope. I'd just enjoy running with you. And right now, my mileage and pace is that of a speed walker. ;)

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  8. I keep trying to run. I would burn calories so much faster. But. I don't get the zen going. So I can still only do fits and starts and max out at a mile total with many fits and fits and FITS and fewer and fewer starts in between.

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  9. I get it, too. The waiting for the escape. Making the body work and giving the mind a break (for me, at least). Sweat that feels like redemption, I get it. Great job with the prompt. I hope it's okay to say this, but you've written the husband perfectly. Without saying a darn thing about him, I'm finding him sexy as hell. The whisper and the selflessness and the kids' anticipation say more about him than any descriptors could've. Great job "showing" and not "telling."

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    1. Thanks for saying that. My husband will take that as a huge compliment, as do I. Glad I captured him so true to form. :)

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  10. This was a perfect description of anticipation. I love how you jump and down with the kids. :) Nicely done!

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