Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How's Your Running, Doc?

I get asked a lot about my running.  I've been very quiet on the subject over the past year because I didn't really know what to say.  I'm not sure I completely understood what was happening until this past Sunday. 

I was supposed to run with some friends at the Dunes on Sunday morning.  There was a chance of snow or cold rain.  Last year, I would have been excited to run in the snow and would not have cared if there was a little rain.  This past Sunday, however, I woke up to a little girl asking if she could snuggle with me.  It was 5:50 am.  She crawled into bed.  I checked the weather on my phone and complained that I didn't want to run in wet snow.  I curled up next to Lyla and my husband and knew there was no chance I was going to run. 

We stayed in bed, talking until Lyla realized she didn't have a princess dress on.  She ran in her room, put on her dress and started blaring Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off" from her radio.  I looked at my husband and we smiled and then started cracking up laughing. 

There is a constant challenge in life called balance.  Every decision, every action, every reaction has an outcome.  That outcome, regardless of what it is, will shift the balance.  For every potato chip I eat (and lets face it, I don't eat just one), there is an outcome of hydrogenated oil and fat in my body which increases my sluggishness and decreases my ability of buttoning my favorite jeans.  For every mile I run (and let's face it, that has been minimal over the past year), there is an outcome of increased endorphins (aka: happiness) and decreased time with my daughter. 

After I trained for Tecumseh and ran the hardest race I have ever encountered, I felt amazing.  I felt like I could conquer anything and immediately wanted to start training for Tecumseh 2014.  But, life has other plans and my balance has been tested and manipulated into a woven mess over the past 12 months. 

I have struggled, sometimes on a daily basis, with my decreased training.  At first, it was due to an injury after running Indy Mini back in May 2014.  I let myself take some time off to allow my muscle to heal and then it became increasingly harder to "get back out there". 

I found other ways of working out and I enjoyed them.  However, I missed running at the dunes.  I missed my running friends.  I missed the sound of the lake at the end of trail 10 or on the ridge of trail 9.  I missed the sand, the roots, the sweat, the air, the aches, the feeling of complete exhaustion.  At the same time, I gained snuggle time with a blue eyed, curly blonde.  I heard infinite giggles and watched my baby turn into a creative, smart, and hilarious little girl.  I saw my daughter's face light up every time I told her it was "Mommy-Lyla Day".  I was given the strongest hugs little four year old arms could give me.  My heart grew and stopped at the same time on multiple occasions.

Watching your child grow is the most beautiful and heart breaking event in any parent's life.  There is pride in watching an individual emerge from those chubby cheeks and clumsy hands into a little person that understands feelings and all of a sudden can write their name.  There is also great sadness when you realize there will come a day when that little girl will be a woman and will drive away to find her own adventure and place in this world. 

I don't regret the time I spent training for Tecumseh.  I also don't regret not running much over the past year.  I'll continue to run 1-2 times per week early in the morning before the sun and my daughter rises, but the Dunes will have to wait.  We will meet on occasion, but there is no urgency.  Running will always be there...Lyla at age 4 will only be for a short time.

For now, my balance in life is tipped heavily to the needs of my blue eyed, princess loving, Taylor Swift singing, little girl.  In the end, I'll never regret that decision, no matter what the outcome.