Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I own 26.2 & a new perspective!!

11-10-2010 - Has it really been a month since I crossed that finish line in Portland on 10-10-10???  I decided to wait a month to post. 2 reasons - my first attempt right after the marathon was a great play by play of the Portland Marathon that took me an hour and a half to write........and I lost it on my computer.  It was gone and I was irritated - all my details, emotion, thank you's - probably too much info anyway.  But it made even more evident that there was a message that God had been putting on my heart.  Don't forget about what REALLY matters!  I was upset that I wasn't able to share my details of the race, my feelings of victory - my friends and family were waiting for an kiddos were sitting there wanting mommy's attention.  I needed a break - I needed to take in the last four intense months of training, take in my race and mostly, most importantly - take in my family.
As much as I love to share my thoughts in writing and get so inspired by reading other peoples blogs, I needed to figure out a better balance.  It all hit me when we were at the beach for my taper week, taking in some much needed family time with my husband's travel schedule, my running schedule and the beginning of school, soccer ect..  While I was there - I realized how easy it was for me NOT to be there.  I had a marathon in two weeks - one that I had trained hard for and had so much emotion into finishing this time - not ending up in the medic tent.  I had hydration to figure out, the right fuel, the right socks, what was I going to wear (yes, I think about that), what head band would stay put, pace group or no pace group, would Julie's injury be better and I had running blogs to catch up on - they might have answers, inspiration.......they have the same passion as me.  I had good reason to be distracted & not totally present - RIGHT!!??
THE GREAT BALANCING ACT.  We were so blessed to have AMAZING weather while were there - which is rare in October at the Oregon Coast (except for my long run day of course!!).  I found my mind filled that week with mostly thoughts of the upcoming race. When I was on a hike with my two beautiful children and my sweet husband and I kept thinking about how the timing was going to work out so I could get back and RUN.  I looked down at my sweet little girl holding my hand, stopping to pick every leaf and telling all about each one and I looked ahead as my warrior son was conquering the trail with my husband telling us to "hurry up",  and I felt in my heart God saying - "THIS is what is in front of you - take it in!!!"  Now as much as I LOVE running, love having something of my own and have found so many positive outcomes from running - I can see how dangerously close I am coming to it being too much of my own thing.  Another moment of clarity for me at the coast was while I was enjoying a beautiful run on the beach (oh- one of my very favorite things!!!) - and I naturally found myself thinking of my mom, as the beach was her very favorite place to be. Many of you know that running has been a great therapy after losing my mom 2 years ago and it has been such a positive  release!! But as I was running that day and as I thought of her and was starting to feel sad, my first instinct was - "Run through it Ashley, run harder - push through."  This is what I do A LOT when I start to feel emotion over losing my mom - I just push through it .....push it aside. I am not suppose to push my sweet, beautiful mom's memory aside - sad or happy.  So - I stopped in the middle of my run - right there on the beach and looked at the beautiful ocean where my mom's ashes are and I CRIED.  I remembered her, I honored her, I SLOWED DOWN and spent a moment with her ........a much needed moment with my grief.  I am not saying that I feel like I should always do that  (or I would probably be a mess), but I need there to be more of a time and a place for those moments - embrace them...... and that WAS certainly the time and the place.  It felt good.  It felt better than knowing I put a check mark on my training log that day - that I actually faced a greater challenge that day.

My sweet family during our hike. My run can wait!!

So, I am still in LOVE with running and will continue to be passionate about it.  And yes, I still love catching up on my friends blogs and the others out there that inspire me, but I needed a reminder that when those things become more interesting than or a distraction from the people that are right in front of me ........I need to re-balance.  I am certainly not preaching - this is totally my own conviction.  Many of you out there are able to balance better than I am.  I just know that it is healthy for us all to think about that when it is all said and done (as much as running can send some great messages to our kiddos, husbands, friends, family)  -  I don't believe many of us will be wishing we had logged more miles over taking in unforgettable moments with loved ones.
It's a challenge being a mom, being a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter.........and a RUNNER.  But I am up for the challenge.

Oh yeah....I need to do a re-cap on Portland.  Seriously, God is so great with timing and re-affirming the lessons He is teaching daughter JUST woke up and walked down stairs. So, more on that later - I need my morning snuggles.