So, tomorrow I run my half-marathon. Even though this is something I've been preparing for, I still feel like the race snuck up on me. We just got home from a trip and we're about to leave for another, and the race is neatly wedged right in between the two, giving me one more thing to add to my to-do list before we head out of town. Clean, laundry, pack, run half-marathon, load van. Ha!
I've been trying to think of a way to sum up what this race means to me. I know I will want to look back and read my thoughts leading up to it. The truth is, this race is just very poignant. Can something be "very" poignant? Anyway. You know what I mean. After Lydia was born, running gave me something to do outside of the house. It gave me time to think and clear my head. Even though I'm still not a runner, I understand the benefit of running for this reason. And it was also a sweet time that Lydia and I had together. She would wake up around 6:15 and after I nursed her, I'd put her in the jogger and away we would go. I pushed her in the jogger all the way up to eight miles. She really was my running buddy--adding mileage was so much better with her along with me. We would celebrate together with lots of laughs and kisses.
My motivation for wanting to run the half-marathon in the first place is actually kind of funny--Lydia was just a few weeks old when I registered (and I wasn't running at all yet). I'm pretty sure my rationale was this: The prospect of juggling three kids three and under seemed all but impossible, and so did running a half-marathon. I figured, What the heck! Let's see if I can do both.
(We'll go ahead and blame postpartum hormones for that one.)
And everything just kind of fell into place. Lydia's early wake up times on Saturdays got me out of bed to run. The weather was glorious for several weekends in a row, allowing me to add miles. The cross-training I had started several months earlier with Alyson gave me the strength to press on. I had people around me training for the same race, which gave me encouragement. And bit by bit, the puzzle started coming together.
This all happened in the midst of one of the busiest seasons of my life. Learning to manage three little ones is a daily test of patience and diligence. I have grown more and been humbled more each day, really.
When I'm out on a country road, running in silence, I realize the privilege it is to have legs that can run. Lungs that can breathe. A heart that is pumping. Life. My mind wanders to the loss of Aunt Pam and I've run with tears streaming down my face from thoughts of her. I'm running this race in her memory and I'm wearing red.
It's the culmination of so many things, these thirteen miles. I get to run them with my brother and I'm thankful for that.
So, here we go. My only goal is to cross the finish line, preferably on my own two feet and not on a stretcher.
Have a lovely day, friends.