June 27, 2015

Being at Peace With a Slower Me

For years and years I chased a clock, always trying to get faster. Sometimes I succeeded; sometimes I failed. I had many great moments, adventures, and life lessons surrounding that chase. I have always been blessed with a competitive spirit and a healthy body. Through my ups and downs in life- divorce, father's accident, remarriage, becoming a mother, including ups and downs in my career, the one constant was the chase of the clock. I never let up. Sometimes the times on the clock were parallel to whatever sad/happy I had going on, and other times I just got lucky or unlucky. I will never regret that chase.

But for now, that chase is on hold. Just on hold, not forgotten, and I will return. And here is why.

I was fortunate to bounce back fairly quickly from pregnancy/birth, even thought I didn't run the final 6 weeks. The fire to become fast again was lit. I worked SO HARD training for Boston. Aside from the physical aspects of birthing a baby, the motherhood/career thing is no easy task to balance. I was excited to run Boston. I set 3 goals, and I was able to meet my B goal. My Boston finish was different from any marathon I'd ever run. I was completely indifferent to the time on the clock. Honest to goodness, I did not care. And I had trained for this race! Trained hard! I should've been emotionally invested. So when my coach started talking to me about my next goals, I was just cringing inside at his words. I absolutely positively did NOT want to train. Let's clarify. I LOVE, ADORE, CHERISH my running. However, I was sick of the training. Sick of the schedules, sick of the speed work, sick trying to be something that I didn't even know if I wanted to be. I felt like I had spent the past 6 months being stretched in 500 different directions. And I thought back to a conversation I had with one of my besties that will remain nameless.

One spouse felt like they were getting the "leftovers" of the other spouse. The other spouse was busy, busy, busy running, working, taking care of basic life stuff. And it got me thinking- my daughter and husband were getting "leftover" me. And that broke my heart. Getting up at 4 am to run, then working all day teaching, followed by a few hours at the track coaching, I came home absolutely beat. I was not giving them my best. I could barely survive that way.

Squishy and I 
And my daughter- she is so awesome. Cute, perfect, cuddly, personable, lively little bundle of joy that was getting a leftover mother. So, I pulled the plug. There would be no more training to be fast, no more goal races, just me- running whatever, whenever I felt like, focusing on being the best MOM I can be.

And it has been wonderful! And slowly the fire is coming back. I'm learning to balance life. Squishy and I run nearly every day together with her in the stroller. I do mostly easy runs, but the past two weeks I have done 3 speed workouts on my own free will. LOL.

Will I ever run a 3:00 marathon again? Maybe not. Will I ever be who I used to be? Probably not, and I don't want to. I'll take being a mother over being fast any day. I know tons of mothers that came back faster post-children. YAY for them! That's truly remarkable, and I admire that. I'm just not there yet, and I'm okay with that (finally). Someday soon I'll train seriously again. I'm already eyeing fall marathons, as I still love my mileage! LOL. For now I am focusing on being a #1 Mom and coach. Running is still there, like an old friend, but not really a priority right now.


Squishy loves swinging and running with momma! 

7 comments:

  1. Your daughter is absolutely adorable!!

    Cannot wait to see what's in the future for you.

    Run Happy!

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  2. Reasonable thoughts. And with a kiddo that cute, I'd want to spend extra time with her, too! Her smile is so genuinely happy - it lights up her eyes.

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  3. I hear you... For me it's not about the race, I have the hard training and with 30years of it under the belt I hope my body lets me push out another 30!! But my ex girlfriend, a 2h45 marathoner has now after 2 kids started running again at the age of 42 and then my wife ran most of her best times at age 46! So a couple of years of easy running will do you a world of good.

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  4. I hear you... For me it's not about the race, I have the hard training and with 30years of it under the belt I hope my body lets me push out another 30!! But my ex girlfriend, a 2h45 marathoner has now after 2 kids started running again at the age of 42 and then my wife ran most of her best times at age 46! So a couple of years of easy running will do you a world of good.

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  5. You do what makes you happy. Running fast right now is clearly not as happy making for you as being a mama, and that is okay! I know how much you wanted to be a mama, and it's always lovely for me to see you being happy about it (even though that is totally not my own goal and never has been).

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  6. Wow, this is a really good post!

    You know, 'running' and 'training' are two totally different things in my book; same general activity, just a different mindset and there's a place for both!

    Running fast is fun, but it really is just an 'accessory' in our lives isn't a key to long-term happiness.

    Go Bell Family! XOXO

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  7. What a wonderfully honest and heart-felt post. It really sounds like you had an ah-ha moment and you are more at peace with your life now. Change is difficult, but you know what your priorities are and that's where you are focusing.

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