Whole Hearted.

“I have come to believe that coming true is not the only purpose of a dream. Its most important purpose is to get us in touch with where dreams come from, where passion comes from, where happiness comes from.” — Lisa Bu

Over coffee last week, my running coach and I redefined my relationship with running. We chose a new lense for my view of my training plan. I want to run. I need to run. I love to run. But every time I have put on my running shoes lately, I wonder if my run will be a success. I cross my fingers and hope that it turns out to be a good run. Every time I put on my running shoes lately, I feel a little broken.

For the past two years, I have used running to repair the broken things in my life. After having Chet, I used running as a way to reclaim my identity. After I went back to a job I didn’t love, I used running as a way to fix a long work day. After my father-in-law and my aunt passed away, I used running to heal my broken heart. When marriage hits a rough spot, I use running to heal my frustration. When the boys become too much, I use running to fix my sanity. Running has always fixed my broken spots.

As my life heals itself, running has become the broken piece. It’s time to heal my relationship with running.

The only way to heal what is broken is to highlight and enhance all the aspects that I love.

rooted2

Last Thursday, my first run back after my stitches were removed, I joined two friends near and dear to my heart for an evening boardwalk run. We ran our favorite route – over the Rudee Inlet bridge straight into the crowd of tourists on the boardwalk. When our feet hit the boardwalk, it felt like the start of summer. We haven’t done this in two years! Three miles into the run, we made a happy hour pit stop for orange crushes and lots of girl talk. The run back to the car was filled with laughter and happiness.

On Sunday, I headed out for my long run. I headed to my favorite running route. I left my garmin at home. I just ran. I ran the Cape Henry Trail into our State Park to some of my favorite back trails. It’s been a while since my running shoes had real trails underneath them. I ran up and down sand dunes. I ran alongside water. I skipped over tree roots. I don’t know how far I ran or how fast, but when my feet finally hit pavement again I felt like I was flying.

As I ran down the trails, trails that have held so many of my tears and so much of my laughter, I felt myself picking up all the pieces I had left scattered over the years. I ran these trails, the day the world said goodbye to my aunt. In the middle of a winter storm advisor, I found my refuge in the tree-lined path. On these trails, I spent an entire summer running with my friend Heidi as we both tried to figure out how to be new moms again. Every time I ran with a broken heart down these trails, I left some of myself behind. Every time I ran filled with hope, I left some of myself behind.

Sunday’s run was a declaration. Sunday’s run put an end to broken running. Sunday’s run reclaimed my favorite place.

rooted1

There was no stop button to hit when I got back to my car so the run continued. My heart was filled to the brim, and it followed me home.

Last week’s run and all my runs going forward need to be a reflection of my life right now. I’m bring my heart, my whole heart, back to my running. Life is constantly changing. There will be more phases of heart ache, but right now, my whole heart needs a chance to shine. My whole heart needs a chance to run.

rooted

 

 

Breathing Room, June Edition

Let’s keep it real. June has been a tough month for me emotionally. I’ve felt a little fragile this month. I’ve lost sight of my objective for the year. I think I forgot to breath. The whirlwind of the changes that came have settled nicely into place, and I just forgot to breath. I’ve been a little too guarded, a little too aware of myself, and a little too detached emotionally from the things that I love. Life knocked me out of balance for the month.

This is why setting intentions is good. This is why revisiting these intentions is good. This is why it is important to state out loud exactly what you want. It brings you back. When life sends me spinning or sends me into hiding, my intentions, my words, bring me back.

June has brought with it the end of the school year for Cole and the start of the school journey for Chet. It has been a reminder of how much I value my relationship with Christian. He spent nearly two weeks on the couch thanks to back problems. It has hand delivered some wonderful new friendships, and magnified the friendships I already have in place. I got to watch two of my favorite people say “I do”. I got to run miles with friends who just understand me. I’ve got to see Cole grow into a pretty cool preteen while at the same time Chet has blossomed into quite a kid.

In reality June has been really awesome, I’ve just been emotionally afraid. I’ve been afraid of the vulnerability that comes from allowing myself to be seen. I’ve been afraid of failing on so many levels.

“Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” ~Pema Chadron

My running coach Ryan sent me my training plan last week with a note attached to it. Don’t be afraid to fail. Perhaps that is what this month has shown me most. I have a fear of failing at relationships, at love, at friendships, at mothering, at running, and finding success in my life. I fear failing, but the only thing that is holding me back from my own success story is that of fear. It is always me that gets in my own way.

“Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark. If we truly knew all answers in advance, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert

It’s time to face July face-first and with full-speed. I do not need to fear failing.

breathing room june

Goodbye Survival Mode

Running a marathon and settling back into life after a marathon has allowed me to really focus on where I want to go with my life. Yes. It is just running, but if you run, you probably already understand that is so much more than covering miles with running shoes on your feet.

A high school friend, James, commented on my marathon recap the other day.

congrats! having friends and family out on the course is priceless. finishing a race (or anything for that matter) and not being content with your performance/results isn’t always a bad thing. That’s when you learn the most…. about everything.

Reading his comment brought my perspective back to where it needed to be. Was I disappointed in the quality of my run? Yes. Was I disappointed in my marathon? No. There is a huge difference for me. The fact that I finally ran a marathon is starting to sink in as each day passes. I’m jumping for joy over my accomplishment. I’m also truly grateful for the lessons I’m learning from my less than stellar performance. My run, that race, those 26.2 miles showed me what direction I want to take with so many aspects of my life. I do not want to live my life (or another race) on cruise control.

Cheering on Cole at his mile race this weekend

Cheering on Cole at his mile race this weekend

In one week, I will be celebrating my 33rd birthday. Surprise! Until about a week ago, I thought I was turning 34! I get a whole year back.

My marathon came at the perfect time. It gave me a foundation and a direction for my 33rd year. I’ve strayed away from setting goals since giving birth to Chet. I was in survival mode the first year of his life. I was trying to survive on very few hours of sleep for over a year. I was training for a marathon. I was struggling with my dual role of working mama. I was trying to survive the loss of my aunt and father-in-law. I ran my marathon in survival mode too. It was a true reflection of where I was at during this phase of my life.

I survived this past year. I survived my marathon. On to the next chapter. To prevent getting stuck here in cruise control (because honestly just surviving can be very comforting at times), I’ve revamped my goals for myself. I’m refocusing on progress and growth. I’m taking the spring to fine tune my running and fine tune my living. Every aspect of my life needs some TLC right now before I dive into training for my next marathon. The new goals I’ve set for myself will shed the extra layers I’ve been carrying around with me.

Read my new goals here.

My survival marathon was a gift. I don’t want to waste it. Cheers to a wonderful running experience. Cheers to turning 33 instead of 34. Cheers to the road ahead of me.

Now spring weather needs to show up. It’s snowing outside as I write this post.