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I Run, Therefore I Am….A Runner!

13 Sep

I finished my final long run of my training for the Half Marathon yesterday.  Somehow in the past few months of training, I have transitioned my thoughts.  I don’t think you can run 13 miles and not call yourself a runner.  I used to hem and haw when someone would ask me “Are you a runner?”.  I would say “Well, I run, but I am not really a runner…”  Well, folks…you heard it here first.  I AM A RUNNER.

I find myself dreading the long run the day before it.  I have this double-digit run hanging over me.  But then I am out there–and I am enjoying myself!  I can’t believe it either…but I enjoy running for 2 hours!  I never, EVER thought those words would come out of my mouth.  It is nice because it is the ONLY two hours in the week that are mine, all mine.   At least 2 of my other 3 weekly runs include The Boy, which I also really enjoy but I don’t get to just turn off and have MY time.  I find that I love to be out on the quiet roads first thing in the morning.  I like running down the middle of the road with no one else in sight. 

I am truly amazed at where my feet can take me, both physically and mentally.  My feet take me places.  My feet take me up and down hills, my feet take me to other towns (it is always exciting to cross town lines with your feet!!), my feet take me a higher stream of consciousness.  My feet allow me to turn my brain off to everything else that consumes it for every other minute of the day.  My feet allow me to think through my problems.  My feet have transformed me.

I never  ever thought I would run anything longer than a 5K.  Even when I first “officially” announced my half marathon goal, I didn’t really believe myself.  And now here I am thinking that I might not enjoy running 5K’s anymore  because they are too short.  For once in my life, running isn’t about keeping in shape or getting in shape.  Running IS about doing things I didn’t know I was capable of doing.  Running IS about being a role model.  Running IS about being the healthiest woman I can be.  Running IS about keeping me sane.  Running IS about being the best Mommy I can be.  If it were not for my Little Man, I never would have set this goal.  I still would have been struggling though 5K’s telling people “…I’m just someone who runs…”.  I knew the birth of my first child would change me, but I never would have predicted it would have made me a runner!

The next obstacle I face is getting through the winter.  I will be the first to admit I have always been a fair-weather runner–which is easy to do in the summer.  New England winters are not for the recreational runner.  Will I make it through the winter?  Will I tough it out outside?  Will I plod through the cold on the treadmill?  It remains to be seen.  But the little person inside of me still says “You are not a real until you keep running through the winter”.

How ’bout you?  Do you run through the winter?  Tell me about it…  Also, any playlist suggestions for the Half?  Yes, I love to run, but I am not that crazy that I can listen to my footfalls for two hours.  Some people would say that doesn’t make me a true runner, but those people can suck it–Eminem makes me FAST!  🙂

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Thoughts While Running

2 Jun

My” friends”  (whom I have never even met) at RLAM tell me today in National Running Day.  I celebrated by running 3 miles with Little Man.  My fitness level is getting so that running is actually starting to become somewhat enjoyable again.  Given that, I do not have to focus so much on just getting through the torture and I can let my mind wander to whatever it would like.  Here is where it went today (yes, more bullets!!  What can I say–I like them!) 

  • Since I have been running with Little Man I have had two strangers actually cheer for me.  A few weeks ago it was a cyclist (a man!) who said “Great Job!!” or something along those lines.  Today it was a woman who said “WOW, Good for you!!”.  I just want to let you all know–if you see a mama pushing her kid you should cheer for her.  You may feel like a total goofball, but I can promise you–you will make her day!
  • Before I had my son, I probably had 3 times where I legitimately thought I might get hit by a car when running.  I haven’t had any since I have been running with Carson, but I think about it every time.  For every person who gives us a wide berth, slows down, or stops to wait for another car coming in the other direction there is someone who doesn’t.  I mean, it is one thing when I am by myself…but when I am pushing a stroller with a kid in it?  I cannnot believe how close, fast and/or clueless people can be!  I would actually feel more comfortable running on the “wrong” side of the road so that the traffic is behind me–at least that way they would hit me first!  So–I think this is a given if you are a runner–please give all runners room to run, but if it is a mama or daddy out there with their kid, give them a little extra space please!!
  • I have to thank someone or something that I can put one foot in front of the other and run.  And then I have to thank that same someone/thing that my son is a healthy, happy little boy.  I’m beyond blessed.

Carson also had some thoughts on running he would like to share.  

"Mom, I don't really think you need this string in your running shorts, so I'm just gonna pull it out, OK?"

"I don't know about running, but this is sure fun!"

"I like running because that is how I get all my favorite toys. Like the box my mom's shoes came in and this string. This is great!"

"My mom wanted me to tell everyone that she was watching me the whole time. So don't worry, I am not going to choke or strangle myself."

"Oh yeah, even without this string on her shorts my Mommy is the best runner I know. I love her so much!!"

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One Foot In Front Of The Other

21 Mar

I’ve started running again folks!!  1.7 miles closer to that half marathon!  I bought the book “Run Like A Mother” (RLAM), and it has helped motivate me to get out there and move!  Enough with making excuses: I don’t have new sneakers (bought them!); I don’t have a bra that reins in my giant funbags, feedbags, breasts (found one!!); I don’t have a jog stroller (well, still working on that one–but I went when Little Man was napping!!).  So, plum out of excuses, and all amped up to run like a mother, I did just that.

I have realized a few things about me starting to run again:  First, I am not going to be able to run far.  Second, I am not going to be able to run fast.  Third, if I am pushing a stroller, I will have to run even shorter and slower.  And guess what?  I am OK with it.  The important thing is I am running! 

In the few chapters I have read, the RLAM girls talk about how running lets them dissociate from “mom” and “wife” and any other hat they wear, and just be with their own thoughts.  Well, as I ran I still thought about Little Man.  With every footfall, I thought that this is one more step to make me better for him.  Even though I ran short, and even though I ran slow, I can honestly say I haven’t felt as motivated to get out there and do it as I did today.  I actually felt  like I could keep going, but thinking I would like to be able to walk tomorrow, I didn’t (wise decision, as my legs are already feeling a little jello-y).

In today’s society of gluttony and sloth, I think it is super important for a child have active role models.  I think it is important for Carson to see me out there.  When he can understand, he will know Mommy is active and hopefully he will want to be like me.  I do not need any more motivation than that. 

It is going to be hard to get into a regular schedule, at least until I get the jog stroller (and then people really will know I am running like a mother!!).  Until then, I will get out and do what I can, when I can.  All of a sudden, running isn’t as much of a chore as it used to be–it is a concrete way that I can be a better mom. 

How ’bout you?  What do you do for yourself that helps you be a better mom?

p.s. Hopefully I’ll give you a full review of RLAM once I finish!!

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