Today’s run plan: 13.1 miles even though I wasn’t officially running the Richmond half-marathon.
Compared to last week, I got a full night of sleep (bed at 10:30, nursed at 12:15, nursed at 2:30, nursed at 5:45, up at 6:15). Yes folks, that is considered a good night of sleep in my house. Maybe I could beat my half-marathon PR on my run.
I drove down the oceanfront to follow last weeks plan: 7ish mile loop, meet up with Heidi, and run 6 more.
As I started my run, my legs felt heavy. Really? My hips were stiff. My body wouldn’t open up and run. So I opted for a comfortable run. Whatever my garmin said, I just wanted to run easy. As each mile passed, I kept waiting and hoping my body would warm up. I kept hoping my legs would lose some of the extra weight they were holding on to, but it never happened.
The more I settled into my run, the more I felt my body releasing the emotional weight it seems to be holding on to a lot these days. The past few weeks (or maybe it’s been months) have been hard. I feel like I’m carrying around a tiny piece of sadness with me each day. Around mile 2, I tried to find a place for my sadness. What is sitting on me so heavily.
I still struggle with being a working mom. My heart constantly aches to be at home. As I explored these feelings of sadness, I kept finding myself smiling. Every time I thought about why I wanted to be home, I thought of Chet and all his crazy behaviors. I thought of him laughing and dancing. I thought of him wrestling with his brother and his dog. I thought of his hand claps and his waving. Even though I long to be a stay at home mom, I am so lucky to be experiencing this new chapter of life.
I am still struggling to really connect to the emotions I’m feeling about all the cancer that is surrounding our family lately. My father-in-law’s battle has been such a roller coast lately. Hospital visits. Trial drugs. Pain management. And then there is my amazingly strong wonderful aunt (better described as a sister). She is fighting breast cancer that has spread. And continues to spread. As new tumors continue to surface in her brain, she is choosing to have full brain radiation. The doctors have given her six months to live, and she still made this hard choice for herself and I can only imagine her family.
And just this week, my cousin is having to say goodbye to her father. Unexpected. A heart attack while out hunting.
It’s all a bit too much. All of my emotions feeling a bit fragment and a bit displaced. And so at mile two when I found myself feeling a bit sad and heavy, I allowed myself to sink into a comfortable spot. I allowed myself to settle into cruise control. The emotions came like waves: Inspiration drawn from the people I love fighting real life struggles and sadness for things I can’t control. Somewhere between mile two and mile six, the emotions settle somewhere inside of me. The rawness left only to return on another day as I continue to process it all. At mile six, I began to smile. My running partner was waiting for me at mile seven.
As soon as I saw Heidi, I felt a new surge of energy. The next six miles were filled with conversation and comfort. I’d forgotten how much I’ve loved having a training partner over the past few months. For a girl who loves solitude and self-reliance, and for a girl who has always struggled to trust support systems, it feels amazing to recognize that I’ve grown to depend on them in my life.
Week two of marathon training is now checked off my training plan. Ever single run ran according to plan. Easy 3. Speed Work (5x400s). Tempo Run. 13.1 miles.
13.1 miles exploring emotions and realizing that in spite of the sadness, I truly love this journey. I love that I have running as a moment in my week to process. I love that I have friends to rely on. I love that I have family who makes it all worth it. I love that I’m at a place in my life that I finally know how to trust and how to experience sadness without (completely) shutting down. Running might be the best gift I’ve ever given myself.
And I love that my comfortable (up until mile 11) run was ran in 2:16:50 – 2:05 shy of a PR. Hello Marathon Training!
Huge CONGRATS to all my friends who ran Richmond today!!!!