Today was a thinking kind of day.
For the first 3 miles, I reflected on my week. I was really excited to get outside and run this morning. The temperature was above freezing and there was no wind. My legs felt light and my run felt effortless, so I didn't even really pay much attention to pace or anything. I thought a lot about my son and where we're headed next. He went back to school this week, and things went well. Together with the school, we've got a pretty good plan in place to help him be successful. We were all feeling pretty good about that. I'm still feeling a little unsettled about the future, because there's no predicting what's to come.
Kind of like what happened next on my run.
My plan was to head over to the retention pond, where I do so much of my training. I like running there because it is a flat 2 mile loop and there's a bathroom, which is even open in the winter. I haven't run there much this winter because the path gets really icy in spots and the park district doesn't do the best job keeping it clear. I figured with the warmer temperatures, the ice would be gone.
I figured wrong.
|The snow may be retreating but that's pure ice on the path behind me.|
I headed off the path into the neighborhood that surrounds the park and began to run on the road again, resuming my normal pace. My mood remained pretty negative, though, and as I moved along, I thought about all the things people said to me about my son this week. People try to be helpful but instead say insensitive things that hurt. Some have questioned the way my husband and I have chosen to manage his issues. I have a pretty thin skin. I started having thoughts of self doubt about my parenting abilities.
Because the path was so icy, I couldn't
|This guy's really got the moves!|
The most extraordinary thing happened next, though. Yesterday, I put some new music on my playlist. Sometimes when I pick out songs, I don't always know if a particular song is going to work for a run. I kept seeing a new song, Push-it, by iSHi, on several Spotify workout playlists. Well, this song came on and yes, I made a good choice. This song lit a fire in my blackened heart. All of a sudden, yes, I "pushed it" as I felt a spring in my step. My pace picked back up. And I felt my mood lift. Isn't it amazing how a song can do this?
I salvaged what could have been a really bad run. I could have quit when I wanted to. And had that black mood carry me through the rest of the day. Even though it wasn't my best run, I knew I couldn't help it, with the conditions I had to work with. And in spite of that really bad mile split, where I had to walk, my last mile split was 8:36. I finished with an average pace per mile of 9:01. Seeing that put a smile on my face. I hope I can bring that tenacity, that push to my race next week.
And I hope that confidence extends itself to my parenting. I need to shut out those voices of self doubt and not let comments of others bother me. I like to follow my gut, as you know, and my gut is ok with what we're doing right now. The plan is always subject to change.
Everyone is a parenting expert.
Do any of us really know what we're doing?
I had some thoughts on the run, comparing my run, my problems with my son, the cycle of early spring. Spring is really a metaphor for life. It's a time of new beginnings, right? Spring is the time of saying goodbye to the bitterness and ugliness of a long winter. But the change in the environment doesn't happen overnight. Little by little, we see some signs of change. The birds start to sing, loudly. I'm hearing that! I smelled skunk on my run, definitely a sign of spring, but not a welcome one. Crocuses and daffodils sprout up through the brown grass. Once the snow melts, the grass starts to turn green. Buds appear on the trees and then begin to open. For me, having all that color is so pleasing after the bland palate of winter.
And the same goes for life. We move forward, but slowly. Letting go of the past, of old habits, is never easy. I see signs of hope, of positive change.
I'm not a patient person. But I'm trying.
Day by day.
Linking up with Tara at RunningNReading for her Weekend Update! Make sure you check out the other blogs!