Oh I've put together posts like this before. Weight loss, self-esteem. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
It struck me tonight - 8 1/2 weeks into the summer holidays - why I run. And more importantly, why I do big nasty marathons that take it ALL out of me and leave me spent. Because of the fact that when you're out there, training or racing, you're dealing with physical breakdowns and mental breakdowns and, in my case, facing down each and every big fat demon in my head (you're useless, you're incapable, you're incompetent, you're fat, you'll fail) and knocking them on the head one after the other (I am NOT! I am NOT! I am NOT! I am NOT! I am NOT!) and there is no space in your head for the small stuff that I sweat on a daily basis.
For the daily discussions with my kids, for example. Let me recap for you some of the things I have actually, seriously, said today:
- "No, we cannot take the gerbils on holiday with us. And that does NOT make me a bad person."
- "If a gerbil told me he didn't like me that would not hurt my feelings."
- "I don't like rodents like you don't like bananas. It's not logical, it's just how it is."
- "Calling you in for supper and supper not physically being on the table as you slide into your seat (with dirty hands) does not make me a liar."
- "Just because you did not intend to break it does not mean you did not break it."
- "I don't care that everyone else gets to go to bed later than you. It's bedtime."
- "Everyone else does not actually have it better than you. Believe me."
I know. I am such a MOM! I am my own pain in the ass.
Then there's all the other stuff. Phonecalls to my accountant who hasn't filed my tax return. Or returned my calls. Phonecalls to my dishwasher repair people because my dishwasher has been broken for weeks. (That, in itself, calls for running a marathon). An ancient soft water tank in our roof bursting on bank holiday Monday and leaking big gushing quantities of rusty water into my linen cupboard.
But when I'm out there training or running a race I am stripped of all that. I forget it all. I am no longer a mother, a wife, a daughter. I am me, just me. I am not wearing make-up. It doesn't matter if I haven't shaved my legs. Most frequently my outfits look terrible and there's no getting away from the fact that I have short stumpy legs and will never be a supermodel. But it doesn't matter - at all. When I am running I am happy to be me.
And when I come back from my runs, I am still happy to be me. And I see that it's not all so bad, and that my children are wonderful - even when they're not - and that they are the sun and the moon to me. That my husband is the love of my life and I am lucky for each day he is in it. And that I lead a life of great privilege and good fortune, materially and spiritually, and that I am so lucky with my friends and family.
And on that warm and fuzzy note - training update. Well - T-1 update. Training starts next week. Kids are back in school and it'll be 12 weeks till I start training for Boston. Old bike given to new owner? Check. New bike bought? Check. In fact, check it out. It's LOVELY!
And this is me after my first ride on it - just before that cloud behind me burst into rain. Is it me or is my helmet ENORMOUS?
Stupid idiot footcut healed? Check. First runs in since stupid idiot foot injury? (oh and speaking of nasty outfits my son says I look like Sportacus in my purple outfit I was wearing below. Nice.)
Check and check. Oh and for those of you who worried I wasn't sweating? It's hard to capture on an iPhone but I was! Forgive the stupid pose but I was trying to highlight the "glow".
Jamoosh's Hard Core club week 2? Ah. Slight fail - only did 2 out of 3 possible sessions. Will do better this week J!
Beginning to feel much better and like it might be possible for me to feasibly start training next week. Watch this space...