Monday, October 31, 2016

Inside Out

I slept in yesterday, Sunday. When I “sleep in” it’s usually 6:30, maybe 7:00 a.m. But yesterday, it was 8:38 am and even then, I didn’t get out of bed. Saturday night, before climbing into bed, I let the curtains fall closed. The sun still usually comes thru quite strong, but yesterday, it was a bit overcast. I had my coffee in bed and I didn’t take the dogs out. 

Somedays, it’s nice to just not do or be anything. It’s nice to watch tv, listen to the flags slap against the wind, not hurry to start the day.

I checked my timelines on all the social media sites. It was the 41st Marine Corps Marathon yesterday and I knew several people running. It was funny to see all of my own posts from previous MCMs pop up and give me a gentle reminder of all the things I wasn’t doing, all while I drank my coffee in bed. 

Everyone in my house had something to do or somewhere to be, but I chose no… No, all because I just didn’t want to. After it was quiet again in the house, I climbed back into bed to watch a few of my DVRs from the past month. And as I was laying there quiet and content, I just felt a wave of grief. I had tried to call my dad, my sister and the house phone, but no one answered. This would’ve usually been the time when I called my mom- she always answered. 

Those are the moments I miss her the most. Instead of pulling the covers back over me, snuggling safely into my favorite spot, I got up and made up my mind, even if just for a moment, for a day. 

Grief is a "funny" feeling. I've been such a lazy bum, internally and externally since losing my mom. I hate the way grief makes me feel. I try to cancel out the would've, should've, could've of it but most days it wins. It’s easy to just keep thinking of all the excuses that keep me from doing what I love. But yesterday, I ran downstairs, got my Purple/No Excuses Flower, changed into my running shoes, dusted off my treadmill & got on. 

Three miles later, three miles later…

One of my Fellow Flowers said something very wise and it resonated loudly with me. She said the grief process requires “respect.” The grief process requires respect… 
My Fellow Flower also told me she was proud of me and glad I found a way to channel my grief for the day… yesterday… and again today… three miles later. I felt relieved, good, the way I wanted to feel. I felt healed for those moments. I think that’s what running does for me. Each time I run, I don't necessarily look like a runner, feel like a runner, feel like a marathoner, but I’m amazed at the amount of healing on the inside that takes place and radiates outwardly. 

Running, channeling my grief, leaving behind frustrations, every day life, annoyances, moments of disappointment and every single other thing I might be feeling; running however far, fast or slow, heals it all from the inside out and leads me to a path of community, friendship and hope.

Be safe and happy running y’all.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

When it's right, it's good

I went to my Wednesday night running group this week. There are always so many things to do to keep us from going, but when we make the time to go, it's pretty good. My husband and I don't always run together, sometimes we walk. Last week that's what we did. This week, I had already made up my mind to not hold him back, in case I wanted to walk. Instead, I left for my run before everyone else got there. I just wanted to see how I'd feel and this way I'd get in a few extra steps.

I decided to walk and while I was walking, I just felt "it" was right to run. When it's right, it's good. It feels good, the air feels good, the ground feels good, the shoes, the body, "it" all feels good when it's right. It's been a really long time since its all felt so right, or good. I circled back to the start and met up with running group and chatted for a few, listened to a few minutes of the world series game that was playing in the background, tried to convince myself it was alright to not go back out. Because I'd run already, after all (not far), but we all went back out. It definitely felt right.

Darren and I are rebels so we didn't stick to the mapped route. Instead we were headed to the track at the nearby college. He's faster than I, so I told him I'd catch up. It didn't take me long but he was already circling back out because there was a soccer match on the field. Again, it felt right to just keep going, so we did. And when we completely ran out of sidewalk, we turned around to head back to our start.

When we wait until things are "right," we can lose out on so much, or realizing we can make our own "right." I love running by myself but it was right to hear my husband's feet hit the ground along with mine. The air was crisp, which means fall's here. The sidewalks covered in colorful leaves crunched under our feet, another giveaway fall's in full force. Leaving summer behind is a lot easier for me this year. It feels right.

None of the distances run really matter when it's right, because it just feels good. Last night's run was the longest, most consistent run I've had in a long while. The beer after was right and really good too.

Stay safe and happy running y'all.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Two Years Ago

Two years ago today seems a lifetime ago. It seems cliche to say such but it really is a truth of mine. On my Facebook timeline for two years ago today, I was reminded of the following:

“So here's something kind of cool & very much a different perspective. An elite runner is staying at my hotel. Needless to say, he's VERY fast. He asked how my marathon went & I gave him the run down. He said, "I run fast because I could NEVER do what you do. I couldn't go out there for several hours & give it my all. All I have to give is about two hours & a few minutes." I told him I really didn't mind. I thought it was kind of neat to see someone else's view.”

This was in regards to the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon and it was when things in my life were a lot more “normal.” But normality is probably also cliche.

It’s no secret that when you loose your “mojo” it is so far gone sometimes, it can seem also an entire lifetime ago. Two years ago, twenty pounds less, less defeated, less lonely and more motivated… There are days when I think to head out for a run and feel as though I am a brand new runner. In so many ways, I probably now am. I think it’s funny to know I’ve done a few marathons, countless long runs, countless miles, yet, today unlike two years ago, I feel like a brand new runner. 

I don’t know the sentiment is necessarily a negative. It does make it really hard most days to find the motivation to regain some of those strength in miles I had two years ago. I’ve never been big on boasting about my running times, the miles though are another story. I’m in awe of my own damn self some days when I think about all the miles in my running log. Some days though, I wonder how the hell I ever did it at all. And today, I wonder how the hell I get motivated to do it again.

When I revisited the “elite” runner’s perspective, I felt a small chip of the wall holding me back, fall away. 

Back when I trained for my first marathon, my friend Becky gave me a bracelet with a charm dangling from the bangle and it said, “It’s Not a Sprint, It’s a Marathon.” I love this bracelet so much, not only because it’s super cute, but because someone else had a faith in me I didn’t necessarily see to have for myself. The saying applies to so much more than just running. Some days seem like a marathon, some months, some seasons do too. July 9, the marathon of making it thru the days without my mom started. Some days I can’t wait to go back to bed. Some hours I hurry thru to get one step closer to the day’s end. 

The elite runner saw something from an entirely different perspective than mine. We ran the same miles, we saw the same things, we hit the same streets, but what he said was more powerful to me than I knew to see for myself. 

Last week, I went back to my Wednesday running group. I didn’t run, I walked and visited and it felt nice to be surrounded with different people. It felt good afterwards to talk about so many different things, to drink beer, watch baseball and just talk to each other about everything and nothing. I have my stuff all ready for tonight’s running group too and maybe I’ll even run a couple of those miles. 

Two years ago seems so long ago, so recent and so much wiser than today. I have a different outlook for tomorrow right in this moment than I did yesterday. I can feel the chips falling off the wall and look forward to breaking it down piece by piece, no matter how small the pieces may be.

Be safe and happy, peaceful running, y’all!