lessons learned from an almost 3 year old
We (Claire, Luca, and myself) were all sitting on the couch this afternoon after the kids’ naps, staring at a wall, when Matt came in and suggested we do something. Anything. Particularly outside. I wanted to clean, organize, bake or be lazy. Clearly, I wasn’t going to win this fight.
I haven’t been running this pregnancy much. After I had Luca and started running again, I went too fast and this caused myself to have a bad effect on my knees. It was horrible. But lately, I have been taking it too easy.
So we strapped the kids in the car, got out the jogging stroller and headed for the 31st street bridge.
I found this really cool app for my phone that would use GPS to tell us how far we’ve gone. After running a mile, Claire wanted OUT. She wanted to run, too.
“No, Mama. You run like this! This is how you win the race!” She had her arms pumping and her head up. “You look up. You’ve gotta see the finish line! And hop! Hopping is fun!” So here I was, in front of PNC park, pumping my arms, hopping, skipping, and jumping…and having the time of my life. I don’t think in all the years I have run, I have ever had so much energy and pep in my step. I was jumping higher than I have ever jumped and my quads were burning like mad. But I could keep going.
“Mama, you don’t have to go super fast to win. Just go, go, go!”
After a while of screwing around, Claire got back into her seat and Matt took off sprinting down the path. I took my time, head up, looking for my finish line. Matt and the kids were at least 200 feet in front of me, but I kept going. I didn’t need to come in first, I just had to finish.
When I got to the end, the kids and Matt were clapping for me.
I’m running the Great Race in September. I had originally signed us up for the 10K, but I know that physically, I can’t do that being pregnant. So I’ve downgraded us to the 5K. I don’t have to come in first, I don’t even have to beat my best time. I just have to go there, do it, and finish.
I had no pain, no dizziness, no worries.
Running, for me, is a love/hate relationship. I have always loved to hate it, because it’s not until I’m a few miles in that I finally feel in a rhythm. But I’m not a long distance runner by any means, so I get in a rhythm about a mile before I’m ready to quit. My last mile is always my fastest. Thus the reason I love to hate it. Personally, I think it’s a mental battle, too. And that’s another reason I love to hate it. I’m the worst at saying, “Just keep going.” Because then I answer myself, “Why?”
Claire, however, taught me that I keep going because I can. Because it’s more fun. And running is fun. Especially when you can be free.