It’s the night before the 4th of July and I need a break already. We haven’t even started the holiday weekend festivities and my mind is screaming for a run…and I swam and ran already this morning! I remember the days when I ran just for FUN. I was competing in races and training for marathons but mostly when I left the house, it was for pure enjoyment. I now race and run for alone time. Some people meditate, others drink heavily, but I run (or bike or swim or drink heavily) until I’m exhausted or have a clear head – whichever comes first. It’s still fun but there’s a necessity involved. It’s called preserving my sanity.
The older my kids get, the more racing I want to do. Hmmm, let’s see, all I have to do is run a mere 3 miles with a few friends and then I get to go out for drinks afterward? And this is all done without any whiny, crying or needing anything from me? Ok, so a few of my friends were whining but it was nothing a few beers didn’t take care of. Ah, if only the same tactic worked on my boys!
My husband is not what one would call “runner friendly.” He thinks running is pretty ridiculous and getting up early on weekends to race is absolutely insane. People often ask me if he comes to my races or brings the boys to watch me and I used to wish that he would…until he did. Immediately after crossing the finish line of a local TRI (that’s a ¼ mile swim, 13 mile bike and 3 mile run!) I was greeted with “Can you hold me mommy?” “Can we go home now, mommy?” “Can I have a drink?” “Miles is hitting me” “Can we go nowwwwwwww?” …and that was just my husband. Kidding! But I went from elated (and exhausted) TRI finisher to mommy faster than any of my transition times! WTF?
I now ask that he and the boys only come to one race a year….and they leave before I finish. I love seeing my kids at the 10 mile mark of a local half-marathon. I actually see them twice if they get the right spot in the park. My husband smiling, boys with arms outstretched and yelling “go mommy go!” gives me just enough power to finish the race strong!…and alone, so I can get a beer and chat with my running friends before ultimately returning home to be mom again.
One of the many, many, many lessons I’ve learned from being a twin mom is that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and probably (hopefully!), will ever do. Parenting makes running 50 marathons in 50 days Dean Karnazes style look like a dream vacation. And yes, I know what you’re thinking – there are so many rewards to parenting. I agree, but I’m still very happy I have an entire triathlon’s worth of “rest” coming up!
Are you racing over the holiday weekend? Are you vacationing with your kids? Which would you rather do?