September 2, 2013

letting go

There are things about my personality and nature that I really wish I could change.  I'm a little OCD and have little ability to be spontaneous.  I function best on a strict schedule.  I like things organized and in order, BUT if I can't figure out how to organize whatever it is 'just right', I can't do anything with it (eventually I'll show you my 'office', it is absurdly embarrassing).  But truly the traits that make my life difficult are the fact that I am a pessimist, I always assume the worst in situations, and I have a strong desire to have every inch of my future pre-planned.

Slowly but surely I'm learning to let go.  Trying to live a little more in the moment.  Elsie has taught me a whole lot about that even before she was ever conceived.  With Ryann I was VERY regemented, not that our schedule wasn't baby led at all, but I definitely influenced greatly how our days went.  I read books and forums and websites and tried to comprise the best schedule of sleeping and feeding and activities for her that seemed to nestle into our lives (which is also funny, considering the fact that she has never truly slept on a schedule I would prefer!).  But with Elsie, I really have little choice but to go with the flow and make the best out of each day that I can.  We're at the point where I am starting to try and dictate her schedule a little more, but with all of Ryann's activities and just life in general, I can't cater to her.  We can't follow the same schedule daily.  It is hard for me, but at the end of most days I'm always surprised how everything managed to work out.

So what does all of this have to do with health and fitness?  Well, I've had it in my head that I was going to run a marathon in the spring.  And potentially, it could still happen.  But the fact is that marathon training is incredibly time consuming and would take a lot of planning to manage to fit in all the runs around everyone else's schedules.  Realistically, even though I would love to experience that accomplishment, the ordeal would cause me a lot more anxiety than I need in my life presently.  Of course then my head instantly starts spinning with 'Well if I don't run a marathon in the spring, when will I do it?  I would have to train in the heat for a fall marathon.  What if we decide to have another baby?  I will never have time to run a marathon!'  But I have to shut that voice off.  Let go and trust that it will happen someday.

Some people might think 'sheesh, why is running that important?'  Well, for me, it is the place where I can find personal success and accomplishment right now.  I love being a mom.  It is hard.  It is rewarding.  But there are no promotions.  No raises.  No awards in mothering.  I am 100% confident that my place is in the home and not in the workforce, but as I watch friends and family excel in their chosen fields, setting goals and then reaching them, it is hard not to occasionally feel inferior, like I'm doing 'nothing'.  Now running isn't exactly equal to a career, but it is something that I can always try to be better at.  To keep progressing.  To keep achieving.

So I'll keep on keeping on.  And try to survive long runs one week at a time.  Saturday's run was a doozy.  I toyed with only doing six, maybe seven miles, since last week I didn't do a long run.  But the stubborn (and lazy) part of me didn't want to re-do my whole training plan right now, so I decided eight was what I was sticking with.  When I set out in the dark at 6am it was already 78 degrees.  My ideal temp is about 54, so GROSS.  I only carried eight ounces of water with me, and that was quickly gone.  I wound up walking the majority of the seventh mile, and toyed with giving up because I was fairly close to my house.  But I had actually gotten seven straight hours of sleep and I was already out so what was the point in giving up?  I pushed through and managed 8.3 miles with an average pace of 10:27 per mile.  Slow for me, but still respectable.  I'll take it I guess.

Mental note though, pick up a head lamp of some sort and reflective gear before next week's long run.  It was DARK at 6am!


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Anonymous said...

I hear you on so many levels in this post! I love structure too. My (almost) 9 month old? Not so much, despite my implementation of BabyWise... Ugh! Also, it's hard to feel "accomplished" when your peers are curing cancer (or so it seems like) and you are wiping butts and pureeing pees. Kudos to you for running in the dark! That scares the heck out of me. I'm finding marathon training to be legit time consuming. It's nice to have a few hours to myself sometimes, but I miss family time, too. Take your time! There's nothing wrong with maintaining some distance stamina and then revisiting the idea later. At least that way you won't have as far to go to reach the 26.2 milestone!

Haidy said...

I'm a strong believer in self reflection and, though I'm not a pessimist myself, I loved hearing your thoughts on how that impacts your life and that you're taking the time to learn from your experiences. I'm also not a mother but I think you are exceptional for putting in the love and effort that you do into your role as a parent. I don't question that it is a very real 'job'.

I just wanted to comment to let you know that even though there can be negatives to having that strict OCD style personality, because of it you are also able to achieve greater things due to the self determination that you have. I think that is a wonderful trait to have! Sometimes I wish I had your determination. Continue revelling in the achievements that keep you sane. Running a marathon is no small feat - you'll get there when the time is right :)