If I have ever been put to the test as a mother, wife, teacher, dog owner and runner, last week was it. Of course, not everything went according to plan; life is like that. But I am almost finished painting Skipper’s bedroom, the boys are settled into school and the toilets are even clean. Looking back, I really did have an awesome week.
I’m quite certain that it was my keeping up with my running that has given me such a positive outlook. First, at Saturday’s race, The Waterfront Trail 8K, I proved to myself that I can delicately balance family and running, and that is better than any finish time or category placing.
I went into the race without any real goals. My leg was still bruised from Monday’s race and sore from Wednesday’s ten miler. I skipped running on Thursday and Friday (hence, being 5 miles shy of my weekly target) in hope that the swelling would go down. It did, but it still didn’t feel like it was in race shape. But my friend, Delilah, has been training hard all summer and hoping to PB on the 5K course so I wanted to watch her. As I was already planning to drive for twenty minutes to watch her, it only made sense for me to get a race out of it too.
I even gave Skipper and Little Ironman the option of running the kids’ 1K event; after all, they’ve come out all summer with me and haven’t had a chance to run themselves. To my surprise, they both declined! Quite honestly, I was relieved as they would have had to run an hour and a half before me; waiting until the end of my run would have been hard on my little guys. This tempted me to leave them at home with Daddy, who was going to be mending our fence, but when the boys sent themselves to bed on Friday night so that they could get up with me the next morning, it was hard to say “no”.
We got to Burlington in plenty of time to watch Delilah head out with the 5K’ers and we walked towards the hill leading towards the finish. That was when I was so glad that I had the boys with me. There, at the top of the hill, was a police car parked to block traffic. Now, if you were to walk into our living room, you would know in an instant that my boys are passionate about police; police toys are everywhere. Skipper is even doing a presentation on Halton’s police next week. So, I pulled out my camera and did what any mom would do; I took some pictures of the car.
An officer started to walk towards us and called out, “Are you taking pictures of my car?” Oops!
“Well, actually, he [pointing to Skipper] is doing a project on Halton’s police so we’re taking pictures for that,” I answered in the sweetest, but matter-of-fact, voice that I could find.
“Would you like to sit in the car?”
Skipper’s face lit up but Little Ironman, as outspoken as he might be, was too shy to do anything but giggle. I’ll leave you guessing what happened next; I wouldn’t want to get anyone in trouble.
After the officer walked away, I left the boys to start warming up. After all, I figured that there could be no safer place for the two of them to be than next to a police car. So I ran north to the stop sign and back; I ran west to the traffic light and back; I ran west again and looped back to find the policeman next to my boys again.
“Hey, are you two in trouble with the law?”
They looked at me and giggled again. At that point, the 5K runners were starting to come in and they knew the drill. “When you see Doctor T., cheer loudly for her.”
And, they did. She was running up the hill – fifth gal. “Pick it up, babe! You’ve got 200 metres left!” And, she did – finishing in 21:41, her new PB. She took home a medal for a first age group finish. Yeay, Delilah!
A few minutes later, I headed out to the start for my 8K and, this time, I kept looking behind me, making sure that there was plenty of space between me and the person behind me. Really, what are the chances of getting pushed at the start line twice in one week? I didn’t want to think about it.
While I was out running, Delilah and the boys made bets on my finish time; Skipper guessed 36 minutes and Delilah bet 34:57. The winner got a medical kit (smart gambler, my son) or lip balm. Thank goodness, my son lost! I finished in 34:58, 3rd place overall and 1st Master.
Yesterday, when I got back from my 16 mile run, I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment. I got through my weekly mileage which included two races and my longest run in months. Surrounding those miles, I started working again, got the kids back to school, and cared for a sick dog in the middle of the night.
And where was Daddy during all of this, you might be wondering? He was on holiday – home, but doing staycation type of things (like fixing the fence) and working on his own schedule. Honestly, this did not bother me one bit because reality hits tomorrow when he goes back to work, on nights, and I will be completely on my own. My fallback guy won’t be there to help me out – to take over while I get my runs in – so I had to prove to myself that I could do this on my own. And I did! The next 8 weeks of my training are definitely doable; it’s going to great!
This week’s goal: 43 miles and to find more time to catch up on the training of my online running buddies.