I don’t usually run 5K’s because well honestly it’s a waste of money for such a short race. I just can’t bring myself to spend money on them. I ran one yesterday however. It was the Butterfly 5K in a neighboring town to support the Julia Cekala Foundation. Julia lost her battle about 10 years ago and her parents, friends and family have championed for her to help others fighting the same issue. My company volunteered for the event and I decided to run it because it was an entry that we got for sponsoring and working the event. No one else wanted it and it was my way to do something that mattered because Julia no longer can. I woke up and it was 78 degrees at 6 am. UUGGHHH that’s not a good sign. At race start it hovered around 90 with humidity at some rediculous number that pretty much took the fresh out of fresh air. It was like there was a blanket covering the trees preventing easy breathing standing still let alone moving at a trot. It was so hot that there was a girl puking not even a mile in, two that needed an ambulance and 500 or so runners that did plenty of walking including high school teams that are in much better shape than I am. It was horrible out. I felt sorry for my work family who had to stand still in the blazing sun baking like a tater tot. I was at least running and had a self instituted breeze which didn’t seem to make it any better. It was so hot my legs were swelling and it felt like I was moving them through mud because they were tired and heavy. Everyone was having issues especially when we ran over the newly laid black tar that radiated more heat like we didn’t have enough to deal with already. Yes thank you I was feeling a bit chilly just there …. NOT! I trudged on without pausing through 2.74 of 3 miles before I had to stop. It was an uphill section just before the finish and I just had to catch my breath for a moment or two. I pushed myself to start running again to the finish and was so happy to cross and stop and get some much needed water and sit down in the shade. Everyone was sitting down trying to recover, drinking water and eating supplied bananas and apples which tasted pretty darn good. It was so bad out that I forgot to collect my cute little butterfly medal at the finish. I had to go back like a little kid who felt they got gypped cookies in my school lunch or something. I didn’t sit around long since I went alone to the race. No one to hang with where I was so I didn’t wait around. I am pretty sure I didn’t win any of the awards since I”m not fast enough but I don’t run for the prizes, I run just to do it. The smaller races don’t have the fan fare and expos and yummy food that some of the big ones do and since it was so hot the call from my truck’s AC was more enticing than hanging around in the heat. So I went home feeling happy to have finished, happy that I didn’t slow down but the one time and happy to have run for a nice cause. I now need to find a race for Butterfly Children that doesn’t require a passport or a 4+ hour plane ride. Now those kids are tough! I did give up my scheduled 6 mile run for a 3 but 3 felt like 10 so it’s ok. I am running The Falmouth Road Race on Sunday with a friend and we are going to make it fun and memorable because 12,000 runners doesn’t really allow for fast and that’s ok with me! It’s all about the experience!
That right there is the face of my son. He hates to work out but loves to be on the team. He struggles with putting in the work every day to ready himself for things like Football and Wrestling and Track. It isn’t that he can’t or even that he won’t. It’s more like he puts it off until it’s too late in the day and then decides that tomorrow is another day. He knows how important it is for sure and his intentions are good but in terms of determination for the physicality of preparation let’s say he needs prodding and more support than my other son who looks like he’s chiseled out of marble. That being said, football is right around the corner. Hot practices, awesomely long drills, never enough water for my liking all waiting for my son like a firing squad waiting for the condemned to show up. My son is a BIG boy…a big boned solid 220lb 6’3″ beautiful specimen who just doesn’t like heat or physical exertion. So I worry about him puking and overheating and hurting himself for lack of preparation. Therein lies my effort to make running and workouts sound fun. Very “Mom” of me but I can’t help it! So I took him on my morning run today to get the wheels in motion for getting his wind. I did forget his stupid ankle is still healing from what we thought was a bad twist / sprain that is taking forever to heal. He complained about it when we got back and then I felt bad. He made the entire 3 miles with just a few stops for water and to catch his breath but he made it. I talked to him the whole way to take his mind off the run, encouraged him when I thought he was tiring and jabbered on about stuff that he probably didn’t care about but listened to anyway to get him to the finish. When he bounced back, a giant water, banana and yogurt later, he seemed pleased with himself. That’s the feeling that drives me but it stuck with me the moment I finished that first mile on June 27, 2011 and it does every day. James isn’t so sticky so it seems. He needs some Ductape to stick that feeling to him so he wants to do it again and again and again. When he gets there, watch out! He’ll be scary AF when he takes the field, the mat or the starting point with his disc / jav. I want to be part of the reason he gets there because I want him to truly enjoy what he’s participating in. He likes it but because he struggles with the practice part and the working out part it’s less enjoyable due to the struggle. And lets face it, lugging around 220 lbs makes everything harder, longer and heavier, however, with practice those things get better and easier. I am motivated to help him get there. Today my run, despite the fact that I am actually in training for The Falmouth Road Race, was not about me. It was about another in need so the stops and the slower pace were irrelevant to me. It was all about James and I was happy to make it so. I have learned that I love helping and motivating others a lot. If I were younger I might be a marathon coach says the girl who hasn’t run more than 13.1. LOL! I could totally see me doing it because talking people up during a run to make sure they don’t quit inspires me…drives me…..gives me strength.
Think I’m exaggerating? Here’s what James and I were doing a year ago:
That’s right! Prepping for football and notice the same exhausted face he has on and the oh-so-happy face of exuberance I’m wearing! I do love running and even more when my buddy James can come with me! Love that kid and I hope we can always pound some pavement together because he makes me feel like I make a difference to him even when I’m a little annoying like the gnat in the summer sunrise on the African plains…ok maybe not that annoying!
I hate the scale! How is it possible that I rune roughly 5/7 days a week, don’t eat a lot of junk and drink a ton of water and it still isn’t my friend! I do not want to go all radical again but it’s clear I have to do something more to get it to befriend me. I am tired of watching this stupid gadget tell me horrible truths that I wish I could call lies …but they are not. I know I am 47 and at an age where it is harder to get it off and I know that if I want something I have definitely learned that I have what it takes to get it done. I will say that doing it while angry is much easier because you don’t do the right things and you don’t do things for the right reasons because you are on autopilot. I have to find a way to do it while I’m happy and that is a challenge. My goal is 20 lbs not 100 or 75 so it’s totally doable. My goal this weekend is to outline the plan and probably get back to the gym for additional efforts to get there. Just gotta do it and I will. Till then, the scale will remain my nemesis and drive me to keep focused…sorry scale, I don’t think I’ll ever love you.
I’ve learned that everyone needs something to hang on to that keeps them from losing their mind. Perhaps you might say DUH! but truly this is a lesson that I have not only learned the hard way but only learned to accept over the last 1,777 days. This something can be anything really as long as it has long, deep tethers to your soul. This is the something that keeps your nose above water, your feet on the ground, your eyes opened and your will to keep going. This something tucks your smile away when you drop it so when you are actually looking for it, you have it. The something that reminds you to take a breath in when you forget that you need to and the something that reminds you that you are human and no one is perfect. The something that brings you back to center when you wobble…and believe me I wobble!
To have that “something” in your life is a gift. I believe everyone has it even if they haven’t discovered it yet. It’s the something that makes you better and makes you keep trying to improve and it’s the thing that must be accepted as needed. I come from many years of not admitting that I need things. I never come first, I will make due with what I have so others have what they need. I would NEVER, before these 1,777 days, admit that I needed anything nor would I ask for help or say the C word- can’t. Can’t is weakness and weakness is a flaw that I choose not to “have” despite the fact that I do have weaknesses and in fact I do need things. I would just never admit it… but there is one thing (ok, three) that I DO need and they are the something that everyone needs to propel them through life.
My somethings are my kids. They make me get up in the morning. I can’t wait to talk to them about everything that happens every day and I miss them terribly when they are not around. My kids are my batteries, they make me go. They are the reasons that I found the courage to run when things in my world plummeted to hell. They make me want to be a better person and they make me want to try harder in everything I do. They lift me up so high and make me so proud of who they are and how amazing and wonderful they have turned out to be, each in their own special and unique way. They are the very breath that I take in and the life in my body. I love them so.
With every step I take on the road, even when I can’t go every day, I try my best to be my best because I would expect it of them and I know they expect me to live up to my own expectations of them. They make me see things in a half full way. I don’t shy away from rain running because it’s just an inconvenience not a problem. I run when it’s cold because fresh air is good for the soul and layers fix chilly runs. I run in the dark because I feel fast and invincible. I run often because my legs work and I can. I run through it when I feel like my legs are lead or I’m struggling for breath because there are those who cannot run. I run in the heat because I sweat more and work harder. I run I run I run because my children are right there with me cheering me on telling me to press on because I can do it. I run because my “somethings” are with me. They dragged me along in my head and heart and soul….not letting me give in when I wanted to quit this funny ride called life. They are ever present and all encompassing to me and with every beat of my heart I fill with joy knowing I am the luckiest person in the world to know such wonderfully inspiring people.
In life we all need a something. People, things or even thoughts that propel us. I have been propelled through jobs, experiences and even half marathons which I remember telling a co-worker that I would never ever do. I have done these things because my somethings were nudging me along. I can do anything with my somethings. With my somethings I am amazingly strong willed and successful. My somethings make me happy. My somethings keep me grounded and they always keep me striving to be my best. Find your something and life will never get you down!