To Run.

This isn’t the post I planned to write today, but I don’t feel like I can move forward without stopping to talk for a minute about Boston.  I couldn’t write anything yesterday.  I spent the afternoon in disbelief, either glued to my Twitter feed and news stations, or fiercely hugging my family and reminding myself of everything I have to be grateful for.

These national events always shake us for a while, and it’s hard to know how and when to pick up the pieces and carry on.  I’ve spent today feeling reflective, more patient, and not the least bit bothered by the rainy weather and the kid who didn’t nap.  I am so incredibly lucky.

Today, Cullen and I are wearing our blue and yellow running shirts – in honor and memory of the victims of yesterday’s bombing.

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And while this incident has nothing to do with me, I can’t help but feel reflective on my own running journey, as well as inspired to formally jump back into a community that has been such a big part of my past. 

So I thought I’d take a minute to talk about where things might go from here.  As soon as I heard about what happened in Boston, I wanted to lace up my shoes, head out the door, and bang my frustrations out on the pavement.  Somewhere behind this pregnant belly and worn out running shoes, there is still a very motivated and passionate runner.  And if yesterday taught me anything, it’s that there will always be a reason to want to wait – until the weather gets warmer, until the stroller gets easier, until the timing is more convenient.  But time is a gift, and it’s not to be taken for granted.

Casey and I feel strongly that we want our kids to grow up feeling motivated and inspired by their parents dedication and commitment to running.  I want them to spend Saturday mornings cheering on the sidelines, and I hope it pushes them to set their own goals to work toward – whatever those might be.  I hope it is something that makes them smile.

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Several years and another body ago, I ran a 3:50 marathon.  I always laughed when people commented that I had been so close to qualifying for Boston – just ten minutes off the qualifying time.  Anyone who runs knows that ten minutes might as well be an hour, and really isn’t close at all.  But I still hold out delusions that some day I might get to the starting line of Boston.  Not any time soon, but some day.

In the meantime, I’m going to stop taking my time and abilities for granted, and I’m going to start putting my feet on the pavement more often.  Up until now, I’ve been casually jogging here and there through this pregnancy, but nothing consistent.  I ran five miles on the beach on vacation, and I’ve done a handful of runs around the neighborhood (just 2 and 3 miles) since I’ve been home. 

My biggest motivator to get back into running, is to be part of the local running community that I love so much.  I love the feeling of camaraderie at the starting line, the nervous chatter throughout the first mile, the synchronized beeping of watches as the mile markers tick past.  I know that I’m not in a place right now to do anything lofty or competitive, but that doesn’t mean I can’t participate. 

And so rather than sit by on the sidelines, I’m going to take advantage of this summer racing season for as long as I can.  I’m signing up for a 5k coming up in two weeks, and I have my eye on another as early as this weekend.  I won’t be scared away from the starting line.  Life is too short and time is too precious, and I appreciate the reminder to soak it all up while I can.

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Like so many others, I will head out this evening and run my local streets, but my heart will be in Boston.  If I know anything about runners, I’d guess that next year’s race will have more eager participants than ever, and this will only make their city and their legacy even stronger. 

For another running-centered parenting post, check out the latest on Babble: 10 Lessons My Child Can Learn From the Running Community