Thursday, September 18, 2014

Running and Ramblings

I got on here to write a recap of our trip to the Outer Banks but I decided to finally put into words a post that has been in my head for a long time now.  

I love running. I haven't always been able to say that. While away at the beach Clarke's cousin who came all the way from Oregon asked me when I started running. I told him about how I ran track in middle and high school. Although it was just something I did to stay fit in-between gymnastics, cheering and swim team.  I did field events (high jump in middle school and pole vault in high school) to get out of running. I was a sprinter because that required less running. I did absolutely nothing in college and after. It wasn't until the fall of 2010 that I decided I needed to do something to get active again. Running was cheap and friends kept telling me it would get easier if I stuck with it, so I did. Training for my first 10k led to training for my first marathon in 2011 and my relationship with running had truly changed. I loved it, and although I wasn't the fastest runner by far, I felt a sense of confidence in myself and what my body could do. 

Fast forward to November 9, 2012. The day my precious baby girl was born. Most people who read this blog know that story, but you can read about it herehere and here. In short it was the first time that I felt like my body had failed me. I don't think I really realized that right away. But as I've had almost two years to process that day it becomes more clear to me that I felt like my body had failed me. I never thought I would end up with a c-section. But the way my body is shaped, or for whatever the reason I couldn't deliver my baby vaginally. I am incredibly thankful for modern medicine, my doctor and the nurses who made it possible for me to be a mom to an energetic, active and adorable toddler. But it was really the first time that my body had set out to do something and just couldn't.

When I ran the Richmond half marathon last fall I remember getting so emotional. I remember running through the Pope Arch and heading through the last few miles of the course (same last few miles as the full marathon course). The memories of running that marathon flooded my mind, I was reminded of what my body had done so successfully. As I came down the hill with the James River in front of me I knew I had a new personal record. I felt so strong and I knew I had cut off a significant amount of minutes from my last half time (I ended up taking 15 minutes off.) Looking back it was redemption. Running had given me redemption in myself, and in what my body could do. It was like I was back, and it was almost exactly a year after my body had seemed to fail me on something so important. 

So here I am still thinking about that day. That day in November 2011 when I crossed the finish line after 26.2 miles. That day in November 2012 when I became a mom. That day in November 2013 when everything seemed to come full circle.

I think about this November. I am signed up to run the half again and I am so excited. I am hoping for another pr, but I have come to realize it's not the most important thing. There is something about running Richmond that I truly love. Maybe it's because I don't live there anymore that coming back for it seems extra special now. Maybe it's because my baby girl will be 2 then. Whatever the reason I am thankful for running. Running has helped me become a better mom, it has helped me feel like myself again, and it has given me confidence in myself again. 

No comments: