Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Gift of Running

A little over 20 years ago, I began running when life became too overwhelming for me. In a career that threatens to absorb me, raising two boys, and fighting with my type A+ personality, running always brought things around full circle for me. I found that an hour on the road 4-5 days/week was enough to keep me centered and calm. I've always run alone. I like the time by myself--sometimes to lose myself in my music, sometimes to listen to the rhythm of my shoes on the ground and the pattern of my breath. Most days, that hour on the road was the only time I was alone.

As my boys grew older, I began running longer distances and training for halfs and even a full marathon. While I loved the training, I found that going to the actual races was a little, well, lonely. Not that I minded, really. 

Over the past year, I began reading some running blogs. Personal favorites included Shut Up and Run and Another Mother Runner. I attended a home party-alone-to meet the BAMRs (Badass Mother Runners) and found a huge group of kindred spirits. I felt empowered. Every week, the BAMRs post a story about a blogger and link to her blog. This is how I met the kind-hearted Karen, from Trading in my Heels. Something about her blog struck a chord with me, and I began posting comments. Eventually we made plans to meet at the Fox Valley Marathon, where I was running the half. I found her before the race and she introduced me to some of her friends. Hanging out with them before the race made my race jitters disappear and I ran one of the strongest races I have ever run.

We continued to keep in touch, and Karen connected me to some other bloggers and runners with facebook pages. I didn't know that having a facebook page was "a thing", but it really is huge! In November, I made an impulsive decision to run the Schaumburg Half Marathon. At mile 3, I caught up to Karen and Michelle, another blogger. We ran together for 3 miles, laughing the whole way. We met up again at the finish line, and I found out that I ran one of the best halfs I had in years. 

Since then, I have met a few more mother runners through Karen and Michelle, and we keep in touch virtually. We are planning on a few races this spring.

So I've decided to start writing about my experiences. I have a different perspective, as a "seasoned" runner. My goals are to keep running strong for the rest of my life. And these women keep me inspired with their enthusiasm and love for all that is running. 

How lucky am I? Running has brought me so much more than health. Peace of mind, focus, goals, friendship--running truly is a gift.
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  1. Wendy, Let me start by saying, I am crying as I write this (I have PMS!). You came into my life when I was struggling with a lot of difficult decisions. Just by commenting on my blog each day, you made me feel I wasn't alone. Meeting you at FVM was one of my favorite moments of 2013 and I LOVE that we have built a friendship since. When I am around you, I feel like I have known you forever and I loved watching how excited you were at the finish at Schaumburg. Thank you for always being there (virtually) and I look forward to all of our races and time we get to spend this year.

    1. Now I'm crying! I'm looking forward to many runs together, many memories...I am so happy to have met will be so fun to have friends to connect with at races this year!!!! And I'll be cheering you on (virtually) when you break 4 hours at Cleveland!