Today is the first day of summer – the first day of my summer. School is out, summer school is over and now I get to play. The only problem is somebody forgot to tell the weatherman.
This is the day I look forward to the most, the one when I can get up, stay in my jams until I feel like getting dressed, and hang out with the boys with no time committments to be anywhere at any time. This is the day that I almost have complete freedom to do what I feel like do (as much as can be expected with two young children). Today is the first day all year that I can go out and run whenever I want to and for as long as I want. And, even though that means tagging along with one on the bike while the other sits in the jogger, that is freedom.
But, it’s raining and raining and raining. Even the dog is refusing to go outside. The rain started last night, just after supper and it seems endless – except, of course, when the 3 year old finally decides it is naptime. There will be no trips to the park with the boys, no walk to the library and, sadly, no run; today will be an indoor day.
This isn’t exactly what I had planned for my first day of summer vacation. But, as a mom and a runner, I have learned to be flexible. Isn’t that what life is all about? Isn’t this what the human race is all about – doing what we can, when we can and striving to come out on top? Today, then, while as annoying as it is, is really just another test of my own inner strength. While I really, really want to run, I must simply accept that it is very likely not going to happen – at least not on my terms.
Today, then, is a day for rest or a day for cross-training. Or, maybe it’s a day for the babysitter:)
I wake up every morning and look out the window, searching for the noisy birds that chirped me awake, checking the roads and sidewalks for rain, glance around the neighbourhood to see how busy the streets are – my own way of judging whether or not I can get a few more minutes of sleep.
At night, I lie in bed and still find myself looking out the window. I watch the clouds blow past the moon as my youngest slowly sets himself to sleep. I wonder when the neighbours will finally go inside for the night. I periodically search for a sign of Dave riding down the street on his motorcycle.
Like any other day, this morning began with my window. And I’m certain that it will end with it too. And, an important part of the day is also out the window – my plans to run.
I put a lot of effort into today’s run: the boys had their swimming lesson; we visited the fish store – as promised; I picked up pizza for a late lunch – as promised; they had their bath and I got set to run, only to find the baby jogger hanging from the rafters in the garage. Suddenly, my plans went out the window. Frustrated? Very.
Like the birds, that opportunity to run will come back tomorrow. I just have to look at the window at the right moment to find it.
The long run. Def”n: a long-term goal: the result of today’s actions; or, simply, a longer run than usual.
What is most important about the long run, though, is the relativity. Anyone in the middle of marathon training would probably laugh at me for, today, 8 miles is my long run. It will be tough as I haven’t run that far in almost a year. I’m bound to have my 3 year old in the baby jogger and that combined weight of 60 pounds is another challenge. And, it’s hot – 25 degrees. So, this is going to be a tough run for me today. In 3 months time, this same run, but with a higher base mileage, cooler weather and, perhaps no child, will likely be easy.
It’s the long run that makes us tougher as runners and as individuals. They require planning, they take effort and they demand committment. It’s those same traits that are necessary as employees, life partners, parents…. A runner or not, each of us, somehow and someway, faces a long run in our lives.
Being a mom is such a juggle. I always thought that it was hard for working moms but, after having the summer off, I realize that it is hard for all moms.
This weekend, for instance, the only thing that I wanted to do was a long run. I’m in the middle of training for a half-marathon so a long run is something that I need to do weekly. Well, it poured all day on Saturday, which really didn’t matter as I was planning to run on Sunday. It simply meant that any possibility of doing my run earlier in the weekend to get it out of the way was out.
So, Sunday morning, I was up and eager to go first thing in the morning. The problem was so were my 2 and 7 year old boys. Daddy was tired. Daddy slept. Daddy kept sleeping until 1:00. By then, I was starving (and running on an empty stomach never is a good idea). For the sake of family harmony, I postponed my run until the next morning.
As a mom, I am constantly revolving my own life around my sons’ agendas. That’s what we do; we put our children first. But it can’t always be about them; sometimes it needs to be about me. When it is, I do a better job of being a mom. hmmmmm.