I said, “It’s going to be a late night.”
What I meant was “I’m not going to get home until really late, I’m not going to be in any condition to drive to the race.”
I checked off running in the Athena group and also included my age. My bib said I was an Athena, but my registration locked me into my age group.
At one point I also said, “This is your race, you can do it.”
I forgot to include, “I’m scared for you too, but you can do it. I’m so proud of you.”
It’s easy to forget the details. You expect someone who flinches if you look at them a certain way to read your mind. Someone you’ve known for almost 20 years, should know what you really mean.
But they don’t, and they never will.
That’s why I went to one of my family’s happy spots, Ohiopyle, Pa., like a woman ready to watch the world burn.
I slept for three and a half hours before getting up to walk the dogs and make sure we got out on time. We never make it out on time, but we were close enough.
But another thought was looming large in my head. I had been asked about my goals and hope for the future. In my head, my answer was survival. But I blurted out something about spending time with my kids and being happy — a standard parenting response.
Since I decided to not run the upcoming Marshall Marathon, I had no goals — running or otherwise. And it irked me. No it made me angry. I had spent the past two months doing a ton of stuff but none of it was aimed at getting me closer to an goal. I was treading water.
“Mommy, don’t go slow,” my oldest son said as we waited for the start.
So after I told my daughter to run her race, and the gun sounded, I ran mine and did what my son told me. My goal was to get my mojo back. I ran at a pace that was comfortable, but only just so.
After calming down, I became worried about my daughter. I didn’t want to see her quit or get hurt.
I was about half a mile from the turn around when I saw her skull and crossbones with hearts shirt. She was there, but in her own world, concentrating on her race. I yelled to her about the upcoming water stop, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t hear me.
As I neared the finish line, I saw the time 27:54. If I went fast enough, I’d average sub 9-minute miles. So I sprinted toward the end. I was a few seconds off my mark, but I felt accomplished. I did my best.
I circled back to catch up with my daughter. My oldest son ran with her the last 100 yards.
According to her dad, the first words out of her mouth were, “I thought I was going to beat Mom.”
I laughed. She’ll beat me soon enough.
This entire week has been one in which I’ve struggled more personally than anything else.
I went from ready to crawl into bed and hide for a week to ready to shoot first and apologize later.
I’ve expected things to happy and as usual, they didn’t. I set unrealistic expectations of myself and those around me, setting everyone up for a day of unhappiness.
Then I set my goals.
As a parent, I find that it’s more helpful if I set personal goals for myself. I need to have something to focus on that doesn’t involve work, kids, husband, etc. It’s all about me. It’s mine to win or to lose.
When that goal is set, it allows you to focus on other things and how they relate to that goal. For example, I want to reduce clutter in my house. So I’ve been more proactive in getting rid of junk mail as soon as we get it. I’ve also been throwing broken toys, art, etc., that can’t be repaired away.
Slowly but surely, I’m reclaiming the house. To be honest, not having to deal with the mess as much is pretty cool. I can relax a bit more when I get home, not just go into cleaning mode until it’s time to go to sleep.
It also helps me relax more. As long as I know I’m working toward something, I don’t have that weight of just trying to survive around my neck. I know I’ll do more than that, I’ll thrive. I have to.
My immediate goal is to break 9 minute mile average in the upcoming Turkey Trot and begin preparing for Pittsburgh. I’m doing a marathon.
Personally, my goal is to talk more. Make sure everyone’s on the same page. And it they aren’t, not to get angry about it. Things happen, adapt and move on.