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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

running and parenting

There is so much swirling through my head these days.  Most of which seems to be focused on parenting and running.  Two seemingly unrelated topics, yet in my life they are not unrelated at all.  Running and parenting go hand-in-hand for me.  I truly believe running makes me a better mother.  There are nights that I wonder if I would be an alcoholic if it were not for my marathon training.  I'm sort of joking about that statement, but not really.  My point is that between the hours of about 4:30-7:30 PM I am living inside a loony bin and it is hard for me to stay positive and clear-headed during those crazy hours.

The baby is tired and hungry - he can't express what he is feeling so he whines, cries and shrieks at times.  He can't decide if he is content or not, I have to entertain him and keep him busy so that I can get things done.  Baby toys just don't always cut it for this little guy.  I can entertain him with the tupperware cabinet and a wooden spoon for a few minutes while I try to get everyone's dinner made.  Then I might hold him on one hip while getting craft supplies out for Will so he can keep busy, too.  Will is almost 5 and when dinner time rolls around he becomes a 2 year old.  Hanging onto my leg while I cook, wanting to sit in my lap while he eats.  Abby is 6.  She is a smart, creative and busy child and is old enough now to wait for things - she does her best to be patient, but she is not quiet.  My house is a zoo, an insane asylum!!, during the "witching hour."  Sometimes I think I would love a glass of wine to help calm me down, help me get through these hours easier and with a more relaxed outlook.  But the truth is, I know it would take more than one glass of wine.  And it would fix nothing, and actually in the end make me feel worse.  I decide against it because I have to be up at 5:30AM the next morning to get my run in before Robert goes to work and I don't want to be hungover or have a fitful sleep. 

Yesterday morning I took my two boys out for a run.  I've been trying to take them a couple mornings a week after we drop Abby off at school.  The trail is a few steps from her school so we go right from there, which is nice.  Baby Gus falls asleep for his morning nap and Will and I enjoy one another's company.  Everybody wins.  The baby gets his nap, I get my exercise, Will and I have time together chatting and exploring nature on the trail.  These runs are quickly becoming some of my favorite runs of all.
Will found a grasshopper, "Hoppy"
I thought I would run 5 easy-paced miles yesterday, but once I got going it turned into a 7 mile run.  There were some very hilly patches along the trail and I was running into the wind on the way home, but every mile felt good.  I was enjoying myself so much.  It was a run of double stroller PRs for me: the longest I had ever gone and the fastest mile I have ever run while pushing two of my kids.  As I ran I thought a lot about my good friend Dorothy, also a mom of three and an amazing and incredibly inspiring runner (more than that though, she is a wonderful friend and I am truly blessed to have her in my life).  Dorothy has talked a lot on her blog about how "we don't HAVE to run, we GET to run."   She has tested her limits and accomplished things with her running and her life that she only dreamed possible.  She is inspiring me to do the same with my running and my life {thank you, Dorothy}.

Yesterday at the end of my longest ever double stroller run, I wanted to see how fast I could run a mile while pushing my two boys.  When I finished the run and saw the time on my watch read 7:49, I was so happy.  So proud.

Mile 1    9:29
Mile 2    9:02
Mile 3    8:32
Mile 4    8:56
Mile 5    9:34
Mile 6    8:52
Mile 7    7:49

Being a mom of three is hard.  Running is hard.  But the joy, the beauty, the blessings and the BLISS that come from being a mom and being a runner are worth every ounce of pain, every tear, every bit of work that they require.  To say that I am grateful to be a mother is an understatement.  To say I'm thankful to feel so passionate about something as good for me as running is, and that it is an activity I can make the time to do almost every day, is also an understatement.

I am so thankful to be a mother.  I am so thankful to be a mother who GETS to run.

6 comments:

Wow! Great run here...jogger stroller runs are not easy!! impressive! And yes, I'm so thankful to GET to run!! Such a joy!

You're preaching to the choir, sister! Except I *DO* have that glass of wine. Hee hee.

Great run, Jessica! Good job on your stroller PR mile.

Great job! Great post, Thank you!!! :)

I recently had one of those days where I didn't think I had 5 miles in me - then ended up going 8 because it felt so good. I love those days. It's usually the days I am not wearing my watch, not concentrating on time - just focusing on moving.

I can't even imagine how difficult it must be to fit in running with three small children. Both you and Dorothy amaze me. I agree that you have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others and running allows you to take care of YOU. Keep up the awesome training.

Great run! I find that running can be a metaphor for just about anything in my life---and mothering is definitely one of them.

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