Monday, October 17, 2016

13 Miles to the Old Me

I ran a half-marathon yesterday in Detroit. It was raining, and it was exhausting, and I was sick and unprepared, and had to stop and catch my breath and decide if I was going to keep going around mile nine. But it was also the best thing I've done in years.

It's no secret I've been feeling a bit lost with my kids getting older and busier, and me working and worrying and, ahhhhh. Not to mention all the hormonal hell I've been experiencing from my stupid perimenopause. The past couple years have been full of so much good stuff for my family and I am still a half-full kind of person, BUT I've been lost and frustrated and anxious and not sure who I am or where I fit into everyone's/anyone's lives, even my own.

I started running a decade ago. After my third baby, JT, was born I decided to get healthier and running seemed like a good idea. I ran in the dark because I was embarrassed by my weight and my form. Eventually I worked my way up to running in the daylight, to running a 5K and then a 10K and a couple half-marathons and the ultimate, a marathon in 2010. I was a runner.

Running alone was my therapy, my escape, my joy. After the marathon I was convinced that I was a runner for life. But then life got busier and messier. I gained weight. I went back to work. Did I mention busier? Because holy shit did life get busier (older kids and activities and all their sports and choir concerts and ahhh!!!!). I stopped running regularly and promptly started losing my identity at the same time.

I still craved alone time and would go for short runs here and there. I always felt better when I went for a run. It is the only cure I've found for my anxiety and scattered brain. I just never found or made the time for regular runs. Until last summer, when I decided to train for a race, a half marathon.

I fit my runs into our hectic life and to be honest wasn't as prepared for the race this Sunday because it was really, really hard to find the time for longer runs.

Over the last six months, running gave me a feeling of control. I decided how many miles to run and where to run. If I ran the entire distance great, if not nobody cared. Running didn't impact my job, my kids, my bills, my marriage, my dogs. It was all mine.

Yesterday, running over 13 miles in the pouring rain through Detroit made me feel like myself again. A slower, sweatier, achier me, but still a bit like the old me. After the race I felt so proud and happy. "I am happier than I've been in six months," I told Tim. "Oh my god, I'm nicer when I'm happier, aren't I?" He nodded emphatically.

I was so happy that Tim and the kids were at the finish line to cheer me on and congratulate me. It felt good for them to see this side of me, not just the tired, overprotective mom who tells them to get off their phone all day.

I feel a little bit like me again and it feels good.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, my friend! You're amazing!! I am so, so proud of you for doing what makes you feel good. :)