Today I ran a 10 Mile race with my friends. It was awesome having friends with me. We didn’t run together much but just having them there was amazing and invigorating and so freaking happy! We are all different in so many ways but runners are wonderful people with an amazing comraderie even to strangers. Today I had something happen to me that I’ve always feared. I missed the turn markers. This race was less than stellar in terms of most everything and the weather did a torrential downpour on us half way through. It would have been ok but my watch and phone are cracked so water is NO BUENO! So I was running respectable splits and would have hit my target finish time of sub 1:40:00 but I missed one of the turn markers. All of a sudden in the pouring rain while trying to keep my watch dry and jump big puddles and not get hit by a car I found myself all alone. I thought maybe I would see another runner around the corner but no…. I looked back and there was one of the girls I had met who came with one of my friends so I thought I was on the right track. I kept running until a woman in a truck stopped me to tell me that the runner behind me asked her to tell me i missed a turn. MISSED A TURN! uugghhhh! I thanked her and started back and it was my new friend that I met earlier at the start of the race. She stopped her race to get me back to mine. Only runners would do this.
This mishap is something that I have always dreaded. What would I do? Well now I know so it’s not so scary anymore. I have my new friend to thank for that. She’s a runner and we smile and say hello, cheer eachother on, pick eachother up, pat eachother on the back when things go wrong and we look out for eachother no matter what. I don’t know how long I would have kept running in that direction but it was far less because she stopped and helped me. It’s one of my favorite things about running. We support each other. So my overall time for 10 miles was more than I wanted but less than it could have been on the flip side. I’ll take that! I spent time with familiar smiling faces that mean the world to me and I met new friends and I’ll take that too! These ladies, this sport mean the world to me. I am so happy I started running! I love you all!
Last night I did workout #2 in my basement and my son joined me. He joined me more out of guilt for not wanting to and to avoid saying no again. He isn’t the working out type. Unlike my oldest son, he doesn’t want to work out. He does do sports in school but doesn’t want to do the work to become as good as he can be at them. Despite all our encouragement, nagging and pleading with him to stay healthy and put some effort into it, he avoids working out like the plague. He works out sometimes with his brother and preferably if his father is also working out since his brother is kind of hard on his lack of form, effort and enthusiasm. Sometimes occasionally he will go for a run between 1-3 miles on his own but usually it’s because Football season will be starting or because he is trying to get his wind for Wrestling and sometimes it’s just to keep us off his back I think. He will come with me when I run but usually takes the easy road out and rides his bike next to me. Sometimes he runs with me but not usually and definitely not when it’s hot out because he isn’t good in the heat.
So last night he came down with me and decided to ride the bike first. I did the second half of my Tabata workout which was everything but Abs since I did those in the morning. He did the bike that for about 15 or so minutes and then did two or three TRX exercises Tabata style and then he was done. It was a “Meh” workout at best in my opinion. I thought about that for a moment and I decided that it was better for him to have come down and done something than for him to have done nothing at all. I remember being his age and the thought of working out. I didn’t do that faithfully or nearly at all until I was in my 40’s and depressed and gaining weight. I needed a reason that motivated me all by myself and I assume he will get there some day I hope. It doesn’t matter how many times I ask, beg, nag or guilt or plead with him to work out because it won’t happen until he WANTS it to happen. It’s like anything we do in this life. You have to want to do it to make it happen and not find excuses not to do it. He won’t until he wants to, period so until that time I believe it is my job to keep asking and inviting him to join me. I know how hard it is trying to do something on your own without support so I will be his support system and just be there when / if he needs me to help him. That’s all I can do.
I will continue to be the best me that I can and trying to be an example and a beacon of inspiration for my kids and anyone who wants to try who might just need support. Those are the people who don’t know how to start or keep going. The ones who have to talk themselves out of quitting every day who just need some encouragement. THAT is who I feel compelled to reach out to. That’s what I feel my job is at the moment so I will do it to the best of my ability. Everyone starts somewhere and has someone from whom they draw inspiration and courage to try new things. I run for those people because I was one of those people! Those people who struggle every single day are best described by someone I admire every day and someone who makes me look forward to reading every blog and listening podcast that she puts out there for “those people” to read @KellyKKRoberts. Kelly Roberts is the Queen and Captain of the Sportsbra Squad.
I was a 3 miler until I met my friend Barbara who put it in my head that I could run 13.1 miles. That seems like so long ago but I remember the conversation clearly and I remember thinking “can I?” Turns out it sat in my ‘craw’ for a long time until I signed up for my first half marathon with encouragement from Barbara and my husband. Look at me now! Without someone to push me and allow me to go at my own pace I might not be where I am today. I want to be able to do that same thing for anyone who might need it including my son, daughter and niece.
Today I did it! I pulled the trigger and signed up for two races that I have been eyeballing. That makes 4 total that I’m signed up for and one left to register for when they open up registration. It’s an inaugural race in VT which sounded nice and although the new ones don’t always have their acts together, they can be run by people who do know what they are doing. It should be fun to find out. I’m more excited because I’m running with my friends and because the VT race which is a 10 miler will be a weekend getaway for the girls!! I don’t really go away much because most of my “getaways” over the years barring a few real vacations and getaways have been simply labelled vacations but were really weekend stays for the kids tournaments. We did what we could while we were away to make it as fun as we could for kids so they have fun memories even though they aren’t Disney every year or the Bahamas or somewhere on a boat. So I’m so excited! Another reason I’m pretty pleased about this new Jam Packed running endeavor is that it’s the most races I’ve run in a year since I started running. I’ve run as many as 3 half marathons that were spaced out but this schedule is as follows:
June 10 mile race, July half marathon, August Falmouth Road Race 7 miles, October Half Marathon ending the year with the new November 7 mile Inaugural race. All in all I will have run 6 races including the half I did in April and 7 if I get ambitious and run one in December too! I feel really strong and super capable so why not strike while the iron is hot and I feel like I can take on the world! So this will keep me busy and focused to keep my miles up and keep up the weights, cycle, resistance bands and Jump Deck to have races that are as good as they can be. I’ve already set my goal for Falmouth this year and I know I can do it and after all….the fact it’s just miles and time sacrificed so I can have fun and the bottom line is:
Today as I was on my regular run I decided to run slower than my body probably would have taken off without direction. I ran slower because one of my running friends asked me if I ever run slow. Well the answer to that is yes but lately it’s no. So being funny or at least trying to I purposely ran close to a 10 minute mile for the 3 that I put up today. I told her it was for her and it amused her which was my intent. I have to say that I love my running friends because they keep me realistic, super motivated and brave. Without them I would run too fast all the time, would not vary my workouts and would be way too hard on myself. My friends encourage me and cheer for me when I do something successful and they never poo-poo even the small success’. My friends always have a story of something I have not yet and may not experience that teaches me what to look for and how to handle those things. My friends have prepared me for bad runs because they have been there. My running friends are the people who are now my friends who I love talking to, running with and have a lot in common. They are my confidants, my voices of reason and my cheerleaders. My friends sign up for races because I get all excited about running them and they don’t mind when I send them stupid meme’s in the middle of the day just because I thought they were funny. They are my voice of reason and they pretty much just accept me for who I am, quirks and all! I thought about them as I ran today and was just thankful to have them to share my running life in part. They are funny, crazy, tolerant, understanding, encouraging, brave, bold, daring and so many other words that inspire me every day. Some I have known longer than others but each of them is just as important to me and all for very different reasons under the same umbrella.
So here’s a cheer to my running friends who are my extended family and deserve a thank you for keeping me going every day. I love each of you for all that you are to me and for listening to my incessant ramblings that always are about fitness and having fun. You are good sports and I’m happy to call you my friends!
Do you have people that share in your passion?
There’s something about being told that someone is proud of how hard you have been working and how good you look that just motivates you. It makes you feel that you have achieved success and is incredibly convincing in getting you to fire up the energy & will to keep going that may have been at a standstill or waning or just not big enough for the moments that we need them. As we age we fight demons that drag us down. Wrinkles, sagging skin, age spots, bags under our eyes, sickness, grey hair and other things. They play a mean mental game with us blocking our ability to believe that we are great “for where we are in life”. Sometimes we can’t get past what we see to the perspective that we need. When the wall is too high we can’t see what is behind it and sometimes we can’t even climb it. Sometimes it takes someone else to help us find our smile and our will to do the best we can and be the best that we can. It might be a spouse telling you that they are proud of you for working so hard and looking better. It might be a friend who tells you that you are attractive and don’t look your age. It might be someone who just tells you that you are still sexy. Maybe it’s your kids that don’t let you put yourself down or finding that outfit that makes you feel spectacular. Whatever it is, IT makes you happy and makes you want to keep doing whatever you have been doing to continue on your journey to wherever you are going.
You can’t always go it alone and take it from someone who tried most of her life to never need anything, or anyone it’s ok to need / let someone to pick you up once in a while.
Today I feel like I’ve made some good improvements.
I started keeping track of what I’m eating with a specific goal in mind (having a real goal is big). I’ve been pretty diligent about sticking to the amount of food I’m allotted based on my goals. The scale is heading in the right direction and my clothes are minutely more comfortable but what really told me things were working right were the hills I climbed in my 4 mile run today. They weren’t “easy” but they were easi-er. I’ve been running more on a daily basis probably because I can but also because I feel like it and I haven’t felt like it in a while. Now if I could just get my butt to do some strength training that would be good. I feel really motivated, in fact I have already signed up for a half marathon in April and am looking to run a 5K (I never did 5K’s until this year) at the college my son will be attending. I’m doing that one and the half more so I have an excuse to see him.
I’ve started laying out my plan for next years races. I’ve missed running races and running with my friend Barbara and hitting the racing scene again reminds me how much I love it. I’m making improvements and as my house gets emptier as my kids get older and start their lives I need to have something for me so I don’t smother my husband. Everyone needs to have their own life and their own friends because it’s just that important. If you don’t, do it. Take it from someone who didn’t for a long time. You’ll need it.
Thanks to my friend AnnMarie for sharing this. My thoughts exactly! ❤