Friday, September 13, 2013

"there will be days..."

the song that goes "mama said there'll be days like this, there'll be days like this my mama said" fits pretty perfectly here... (dont deny youre singing it now hehe)... but the quote i was going for was "there will be days when i dont think i can run a marathon, there will be a lifetime knowing that i have". the title of this blog post was the very same title i used back in october of 2009 on my very first marathon recap. i remember that day very well. i will never forget the feeling coming down that final half mile stretch knowing i was about to cross the finish line after 26.2 miles for the very first time. it was one of the hardest things i had ever done and i felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and joy.
awesome finish line photo courtesy of the bff

i thought my marathon experience would most likely be one and done... but starting on that very day a fire was lit inside me and i just kept running. i learned to love that distance, and have gone on to complete 7 more in the next few years, including becoming a marathon maniac (and henry even became a maniac before he was born!)



not all marathons have been great (cough cough around the lake ) and most of them have been cold and rainy or sweltering hot (why do we do this again?!). after working very hard last summer i achieved my (arbitrary) sub 4 goal, and followed it up two weeks later with a trip to the med tent post race. the marathon is a beast... you never know what the weather will be like and despite awesome training things might just not go your way. but you have to respect the distance. and i do.

that being said, my training for mount desert island marathon (oct 20th) started 4 weeks after giving birth. i had thought about taking 6 weeks off but my emotional status at that point in time warranted some sort of exercise needed just to keep me sane. ty came home from work one day and found me crying on the couch... "just go for a run" he said. and i did. one mile at first, fairly slow, but i felt like myself again. coming back was difficult and frustrating but i didnt give up. my first "long run" (7 miles!) was almost unbearable (thank you kristal for sticking next to me despite all my walking and complaining). but it all got better, and easier, and i felt good! (love those endorphins!)

i flawlessly made it through week 10 of a beginner training program, not missing one run (pretty easy when youre not working!) then i went back to work and the 4am runs returned. and the oppressive maine summer heat/humidity returned. and i started skipping some runs and cutting others short. and then days came that i looked like this:

you might think i had just come home from a run that didnt go well... no. that pic was taken before i even left the house. i know there are gonna be off days in training. 18 weeks is a long time. but throw in the fact that i work full time and have a newborn. sure, there could be more on my plate. i know people who work two jobs, have 18 kids, make pinterest projects, participate on the school board committee, train for ironmans... i kid, i kid... but i know i shouldnt be complaining. im just tired. and its taken its toll on me, on my life, on my family, and on my running.

the emotional struggle ive put myself through over the past few weeks has almost been unbearable. being a first time mom is both easier and harder than i thought, but i love every second of it. i think we might have the worlds easiest baby but that doesnt mean there havent been our own personal struggles. ive certainly put my family first over myself, and although theres nothing wrong with that, i know i need to take care of me too. part of that is marathon training... although i know running has been good for my emotional health (and certainly my physical health), i want to feel like i want to go for run, as opposed to i have to go for a run. if i want to stay and hang out with ty and henry, i dont want to feel bad for missing a run. my recent 15 miler went well but i had no desire to go any further. my 16 and 18 miler never happened. and i dreaded thinking about 20 miles. 

long story short, im no longer training for the marathon, and i feel really good about that decision. i feel like i can breathe again. a few weeks ago the directors of mount desert island announced the new half marathon option... it gave me an out. i had to check with kristal first (as it was my idea to convince her to sign up in the first place. way to go, what a good friend i am!) but shes had her own struggles too and i think she was secretly excited i asked her if she wanted to switch. sure we could slog through the miles and feel miserable, but like i said before- i respect the distance enough not to just do it just because. my love for the distance (and training??) will come back again. for now, im focusing on me and my family.


  1. Nothing wrong with choosing kid(s) and family over running. In fact, there's something wrong with NOT choosing kid(s) and family over running. Running is just a hobby. I'm right there with you in the same boat ... as recently as this morning I chose family over marathon training because that's just the way it had to be. I know the frustration you feel, but you made the right choice.

  2. good choice for your health, family and sanity. You look so dang cute in that pic with henry in the ripped jeans. I swear you look 12 years old. :)

  3. Dude this was just the kick in the pants that I needed to switch from the full to the half so I don't die of marathon overdose this fall.
    What is wrong with us. Look at these mature life choices!!!
    It makes me feel a little funny....
    Oh well, now we can run together and it will be the best day ever!

  4. Okay - SOOOOOO - this is awesome! I'm proud of you for making a choice that is right for you and not killing yourself. You are a marathon queen anyway. There will be other marathons....and MDI will have another one, next year!!! I've even reduced my 1/2 to a relay!!! Jill, Stacy and I will run and support Carrie through her marathon. She's stubborn.

    Family is much more important!!! You rock! xoxoxo

  5. smart decision. henry will only be your baby once. the marathon will always be there. enjoy this extra bit of time with him. rest when you can. enjoy being.

    best wishes in all you do D!

  6. I can relate putting the family before myself. I was committed to exercising before Abby and now I'm finding it hard to find the motivation to leave them at home and take care of myself. I know it'll make me feel better, but exhaustion, guilt and to be honest, a little fear that I wont reach my goals all keep me from doing it. It has become one of those things that "I will start next week". Good for you for making a decision that is best for you and you family. With how fast these little ones grow up I think you'll be glad you made the decision you did. The road will be there when the time is right. :)

  7. I have been reading your blog forever (found it through another blog) but never commented! I feel the same way (minus the family thing). I'm training for the NYC Marathon so I know I'll do it as this may be my only chance, but I don't have the passion for training that I have before. I know I'll make it to the start (and hopefully the finish), but I may be even more excited for the fact that trainings over then I am that I completed the marathon (my first) and that makes me really sad.

    But in other news, you look fantastic!

  8. Sounds like the perfect decision. Good for you for making it.

  9. I have been struggling with a lot of the same things. It's not that I dread the workouts, it's that there is so much else I should be doing, like being a mom. But I love to run and it helps me with all aspects of life. The husband reminds me that the baby is with him while I run and not with a sitter so he's getting the mommy and daddy time he needs and that helps me feel better. Your desire will come back and then you will feel good about your decisions. Thinking about you!

  10. Have you looked at your kid lately?? I'd choose him over an 18 miler any day of the week and twice on Sunday!!

    I think as first time moms we underestimate how easy it will be to get back into running, I know I did (the 4:30 run is also my friend!!) there's nothing wrong with setting goals and then stopping to re-evaluate and re-prioritize when something just isn't working.

    Good for go kiss that baby!

  11. Congrats to you for making the decision that is best for you. Marathons are no joke and you know that! Running is a hobby and something that is meant to be fun. When it is no longer fun is when it is time to re-evaluate things. The great thing about marathons is that they will always be waiting for you whenever you are ready to run one again. Love the photos of little Henry! I cannot get enough of that little nugget. :)

  12. Proud of you momma! You have to do what's best for you and maybe the half is what's best for you right now. I applaud you for even getting the courage and the energy to get up that early (4am!!!!? Holy smokes) especially before going to work and i'm sure getting up throughout the night to care for Henry! That's more than most momma's can say, so you are already one step ahead of the game! I know you will do wonderful at your race, no matter how many miles you run!

  13. I'm so glad that we have met and become friends. Thanks for all your inspiration. I can't wait to run another half with you my friend :)
    Now let me babysit! My ovaries ache when I see pictures of babies!