I drive 52 miles round trip almost every day.
On busy days, I drive about 60- home to work. Work to the base. The base to home.
And so it goes.
On Tuesdays, I can usually squeeze in a run while Pea is at Girl Scouts. But not today. Today, my training schedule called for 3 miles and I got in 1- and a pretty slow mile at that (winds are kickin’ up pretty high here in Tampa Bay). And I wanted to be bummed, but…
I promised myself that running would never come before my kids.
Clearly, I love to run. The equation goes:
Me +?? =?
? Me + ???? = Happy Life for everyone
So, ??= ?????
BUT. As much as I need running, my kids need me.
It’s not their fault that I suffer from depression and anxiety.
It’s not their fault that running is the thing that keeps me afloat.
It’s not their fault that getting up at 4 am to run makes mommy wanna stab stuffed animals in the eye so she doesn’t do it.
It’s just not.
They didn’t ask to be born. But they do ask for me to love them and to be present.
So as obsessed as I am with running and entering races, I had to make a conscious decision this year (since Pea is starting basketball) to not miss things because of running.
??≱ Pea’s ? games
Photo by E.C. Campbell Photography
This is the part where I tell my anxious brain that if I don’t run that race I’ll be okay. I don’t need the race. I just really, really want the race. There’s a difference.
Today was Pea’s first day of basketball practice. It happens to line up back-to-back with Girl Scouts. I could find her another troop that meets on another day, but she likes her people and she’s comfortable there. I asked her if she wanted to do Scouts and basketball and she said yes. So she will.
It takes a lot of self-talk to shut my anxiety up.
So what if I only got to do one mile today? Maybe I need to do some shifting and planning to make it work so that I can do my Tuesday miles. Maybe I’ll split it up- get up and do 1 or 2 and do the rest after work? Maybe I need to be dressed in my running gear and ready to go after work so that once I drop her off at Scouts I can just hit the running trail.
What is going to happen if I don’t do my 3 miles on any given day? Are the running gods gonna come and get me?
This is what anxiety does. It makes me freak out over little things.
There are things that I can do to get in my scheduled distances and if I don’t hit that distance? I’ll live.
My long runs are what are important. Sundays are when I make it happen.
Basketball games will be on Saturdays, so as I’ve planned out my 2016 race season I’m trying not to schedule any races on Saturdays OR schedule ones that start early enough that I know I can still make it for the start of her game.
She is the most important piece in this puzzle at this moment. She loves basketball. That’s all she ever talks about. And just like she is my biggest cheerleader, out there cheering me on me on when I race, I need to make sure that as she’s playing her games I am out there in the stands every single time unless something keeps me away.
As long as I can be there for her, I want to be there.
So, I’m not saying that running needs to take a backseat. No way.
I’m saying that adulting, parenting, and running must work well together and it is up to me to make that happen.