Yesterday morning, I ran around our condo trying to remember what one wears for a December 5k in New England. I haven’t run much at all since starting physical therapy in September, and haven’t run in the cold since last November. Totally off my game. I couldn’t find a hat nor gloves, but did locate pants and shoes– and those seem like the critical elements. Fortunately, Grace was better prepared and better trained (she’s been sitting for, like, months).
We got to my brother and sister-in-law’s house five minutes before we needed to head to the starting line, and we reached the starting line two minutes before the race started. Just typing that sentence made me anxious. Yesterday, though, there was nothing to be anxious about. My expectations for any sort of quality athletic performance were nil. I hoped to run as much as I could (and pain-free, at that) but ultimately,
girls just wanna have fun I just wanted to enjoy my first 5k with Grace and our family.
My parents took that photo of me about half-way through the race and as you can see, I’m all smiles. I took a short walking break after Mile 1 and again at each hill, but was able to run most of the course. Being able to skip the water stop because I had a bottle in my handy stroller console thing sort of offset the challenge of actually, you know, pushing the stroller. Sort of. Being able to see Grace and how much she was enjoying herself made up for the rest.
Grace waved and blew kisses to all the girls in purple sweatshirts and tutus, running their first 5k with Girls on the Run. I loved listening to the girls chat with their coaches and be cheered on by volunteers on the course. I encourage you to learn more about the great work GOTR is doing in Greater Boston (and likely, in your community, too) and how you can get involved.
By the time the finish line was in sight, Grace was sound asleep (strollin’ ain’t easy), but I was still smiling from ear to ear. As I ran from the finish line back to meet my family I couldn’t help but think, I’m baaaaaaaaack.
This has been an incredible and wonderful year, but it hasn’t been an easy year. From sheer exhaustion and an overflowing of emotion, to broken toes and back pain, to managing work life and home life… there have been stretches during this first year of motherhood where I’ve felt like I’m doing the best I can, but simultaneously waiting for the next mini-crisis to crop up. It’s easy to get a little lost in all of that.
And so something like finishing a race– something that used to seem so easy and insignificant– feels like a huge win. One that I really needed. One that I really appreciate.
We haven’t seen the end of sleepless nights or foggy brains. There will likely be more broken toes (if there is a toy on the floor, I will trip over it — I think there is a reason my parents did not name me Grace), lost keys, forgotten appointments and wonky back pain. There is no such thing as work/life balance (sorry, but there’s just not), but it’s still worth trying. And I may never be as thin or fast or fit as I used to be. And that’s okay.
It took me nearly 40 minutes to reach the finish line, but I felt like I had won the whole thing (for the record, I am fairly certain Grace did come in first in her age group). Having our beautiful girl with me made this victory all the more worth celebrating.
We’re in this together, baby. You’re stuck with me.
Also On Tap for Today:
- 5 tips for running with a stroller via Active
- Making my list (but, um… there’s no time left for checking it twice)
- Getting my act together with two more giveaways this week (promise)
What little victory are you celebrating?