(I feel strange putting a large photo of myself at the beginning of my post but hey, it's about me and running, right? forgive the wierd "am I done yet?" look on my face)
Nearly two years ago I began a Couch to 5k running program. At the suggestion of a friend I downloaded a Christian podcast to help me along. I fell in love with the tracks from the very first run and due to both my love for it and my lack of technological intelligence (*er, I didn't know how to change or add new music on to my mp3 player, I still don't) that one podcast remained my running music 3-5 times a week for the last 20 months. Since it was meant for 5k trainers it only ran 25 minutes, so on long runs I'd repeat it once or twice. It was my heartbeat while running. The words were a meditation to my heart and soul and were as beneficial as the pounding of my feet on the pavement or trail. Near the middle and end of my long runs "Run" by After the Chase would play. It not only gave me enough oomph to finish my run strong it gave me the strength and focus I needed for the day.
Running was more than exercise for me: it was time spent preparing my temple, connecting with the one I loved, and a time to clear my head of all worldly things and fill them with only that that truly mattered. Running has a way of giving you a different perception of the world and the situations you are in. In so many ways running made me a better mother, a better wife and a better follower.
On Halloween I ran a chilly 5k with some old friends. During the few weeks prior my right foot was giving me some problems. I ran through it because I #1 am stupid when it comes to any thing physical in the sense that I tend to push myself too hard. and #2 wanted more than anything to share a run with some friends that I don't often get to see let alone run with. Approaching the second mile it hit. hard. Wincing I slowed my pace to a jog and then paced down to a walk. I wallowed in self pity as I watched my friends and others pass me. As I walked I was hoping to catch a glimpse of my family to cheer me on, but I got better than that. They got lost and parked in the 'wrong place' which just happened to be the right place for me. Willow came running out, "I'm your cheerleader mama!!!!!". I smiled and began running again.
As a mother you are the one who meets the needs. But on certain occasions you switch roles. She fills me up in so many ways and I needed her right then. I turned around and shouted "wanna be my running partner?!" She squealed as she ran to me. Holding hand we ran the last mile and a half together. It was the best finish I could have ever asked for.
I couldn't walk for the two days after and now nearly five weeks later I am still not able to run thanks to a stress fracture. I miss it. I think about it every day. I wallow a bit when I hear about friend's races and training schedules.
Everyone knows that I hold dear the saying "everything happens for a reason". As much as I don't want to hear that right now I'm trying to pay attention to the Still Small Voice. I know He has a plan. So in these shortened cold days I'm going to try to see the reason by focusing on healing, spiritually, emotionally and physically. And on the reason for this season and on the ones that make me want to run in the first place. I'll prop my feet up and read the munchkins some Christmas stories until I can do this again.