Thursday, July 28, 2016

Running On Memories

I have always believed that no matter how long a person is in your life, whether a short time or a life long friend, that each and every person is meant to be there. Each person we meet fits like a puzzle piece into our lives. Take that piece away then there is an empty space. Friendships grow, change, evolve and sometimes lose their way. I have been fortunate to have many amazing women in my life. Some have passed through while others have remained for years. Some friends I have gone years without actually seeing yet that doesn't change the feelings I hold for them. There are new friendships I have formed that have evolved and become strong and vital to me. I am thankful for each and every single one as every person is as unique as the friendship they bring.

Last week I was scrolling through Facebook feed as usual. There it was on her page: "RIP, you will be missed." I instantly felt numb, sick, and sadness washed over me. I jumped to her page and started reading a couple of comments which confirmed my inner fear. She had passed away. I found out on the day she was buried. This burned me even more as I would have been there to send her off in peace. To tell her one last time that I missed her. To let her know that I loved her and no amount of time that separated us would change that.

We grew apart somewhere around 2011. There was no falling out or ugly argument. Both our lives started moving in other directions. We would send one another the concessional "I miss you" either by text or via one another Facebook page yet never get together again. The news of her passing hit me and had me searching for answers. I am not sure what exactly I was looking for. Maybe peace; for her and for me. What I found instead were several conversations on her FB page that she and I exchanged, runs that brought me to tears, and dreams where she lingered. She was gone. That final message on her Facebook wall we exchanged on July 12th, 2012 would be our last. Four years and one day to the day she passed she passed away.

This isn't my grief though. My heart aches as her friend and the friendship we had formed long ago. What pains me the most is that she was not just a woman, not just a friend, but she was a mother. Left behind are children who won't have their mom to call anymore. A daughter who won't be able to have her mother braid her hair, paint her nails, kiss her tears away or go wedding dress shopping with. Left behind are son's who will no longer share the excitement of their day, her arms wrap around them, and hear her voice tell stories of her childhood. It's their sadness that penetrates within me

All those little things we take for granted every day, they matter. That is what I kept going back to on my runs each morning. The simple things are really the things that matter most to our children: brushing their hair, washing their hands, and putting them to bed. Singing songs, reading books and belly laughs. Cleaning dirty finger prints off the doors and windows. Wiping boogers and butts and holding them close while they are sick. Getting them ready for their first day of school or sending them off to camp. Many are small tasks we sometimes grumble over. Small yes, but so very important to a child. Each and every interaction we have with our children helps to shape them and they remember the littlest things. Things which we may not realize are so big to them. 

Tears greeted my face a few times as my feet hit the pavement last week. I felt a heaviness in me that was all too familiar and unwelcome. I have never been good at handling my own emotions when it comes to death. I have lost people close to me over the years and one thing I have learned is that grief takes form in many ways and the pain of losing a loved one never truly goes away. All the while my runs were filled with prayer, asking God and her to watch over those children and leave them with only happy memories. There were also prayers of selfishness asking God never to take me from mine. The very thought of it brings me to tears and terrifies me. I want to be able to share and become better at savoring each and every moment. Even all those little ones. The silent ones. They all matter, each and every one

Her death reminded me not only of the beautiful person I remember, the one who loved babies and dogs, it also reminded me just how we never know what each day brings. We are not promised tomorrow. There is no guarantee you and I will speak in the morning or even next week. So maybe we all need to be better about telling those we love how much we love them. Send a card, pick up the phone, or make that time to see them. Most importantly, if you have kids, hug them tight. Tell them you love them every chance you get. If they ask to snuggle, then stop what you are doing and snuggle. Those hugs your kids give you, hold on tight when they do. Those dirty little fingers on your glass door that you want to Windex away, maybe just leave them there a little longer. Someday these moments will all seem so far away. Let's not wish we would have made the time for all the amazing small moments. I hope I can be better about creating more and living in them. This life is a gift, always live it with a grateful heart. Most importantly: Always say I love you! 

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some people stay for awhile, and move our souls to dance. They awaken us to a new understanding, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same." ~ Flavia Weedn

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Greeting A New Home, A New Day And Worcester Half Marathon

It feels so awesome to be sitting here at my computer with a few minutes to start writing. I can't say I will get through writing this post in one sitting yet I am OK with that. This has been the longest that I have gone without writing and blogging. In part it was my choice though I will admit I missed it something fierce. I enjoy writing and this blog has been such a great outlet for me. Not to mention the connections I have made and other blogs I love to read. All of that was pushed aside as we got ready to move into our new house. Between work and trying to sort through boxes I feel like I haven't had any down time. No worries, I have managed to get in my running. Priorities my friends! 
Run, Rest, Repeat!!!

Here I am actually sitting at my desk writing this. I finally have an office which I can work from and write. I work part time and most of that is from home. For the past couple of years my desk has been the kitchen table. Though sitting down as a family for dinner is something very important to me I will admit there were nights my trusty laptop accompanied the meal as it was pushed aside due to not wanting to unplug and relocate when I would need it later. Now I have my own little cozy spot where I don't have to worry about the kids screaming or me having to apologize to clients for the ruckus in the background. There is still plenty of noise and ruckus, it just is a muffled now.

Finally, a place to work!

The other exciting thing is that the other side of my office is now where mama can exercise. Plenty of space and no need to move the sandbag, hand weights or yoga mat to and from another room. My hubby even scored me a used treadmill. As for the "dreadmill" I am not sure if my relationship with her will ever flourish. For the five years I have been running I run outside. Yes, even with living in Vermont all my runs are outside throughout the year. I have run through sun, rain, sleet, hail and snow. I have jumped snowbanks and fallen flat on my ass after slipping on ice. I hate the cold. Not sure why I even live in Vermont (oh yeah, family, that's it!) Despite that I actually enjoy running outside even when it is cold out. It has become a normal to me and running outside will never be replaced by a treadmill for me. I decided to give her a try the other day, just 3.1 miles. It was awful! Thank God it was a bonus run for me because there was nothing enjoyable about it! My time and speed was slow, I sweat like a pig and I couldn't wait to get the hell off it. I suppose she will come in handy when the hubby goes away or I want to get in an extra workout. As for her name, I am still working on that. Yes, she deserves a name! Even my Camelbak has a name! 

Sharon & I Pre-Race

The last post I wrote here on this blog was my preparation for the Worcester Running Festival Half Marathon on June 19th. This was Half Marathon #9 for me as well as my first out of state race. More importantly my dear friend Sharon ran her second race in the 5K portion of it. It was so fun spending the weekend with friends and sharing a memory like this.

This is Joshua, He will never know it but he kept me going!

As for the race itself, it was not what I expected. It was pretty poorly organized starting off with the Port O Potty's not being delivered on time. This left runners with two bathrooms in the town building to share. The race was suppose to start at 7am and was then pushed back to be sure everyone got their potty break in. The course itself was challenging in the beginning with some promised hills during the first five miles. Honestly I thought they were going to be worse than they really were. I did love running the streets of Worcester since I use to live in Massachusetts. The streets were familiar and comforting. I was able to reminisce in my head of years ago, even those crazy Becker College days where WPI Frat boys threw some damn good parties. There were a couple parts of the coarse which were not marked very well and even one part where you were actually running down the middle of two way traffic. Not exactly safe for runners. Crowd support was minimal which surprised me. I did pace with a nice guy the last half of the race which kept me moving at a decent pace. I finished in 1:39:22. I was 55 overall out of 556 runners and the 10th woman to finish the Half Marathon Portion. 

The best part of any race: seeing these faces when I am done.

June's mileage was 130 miles which was lower than I had wanted. Even the past couple weeks my longer runs have not been as long as I have planned. Time seems to be an issue these days and I am hoping to find a better balance now that I am getting settled. Lots of running in the early morning to beat the heat. Some mornings are a struggle to get out of bed yet I never regret it once I am out the door. I really enjoy starting my day with my feet hitting the pavement as the sun rises.

Sunrise run
This month there are no big goals. I am tossing around the idea of another Half at the end of the month yet that is to be determined. It's a busy work month for me and I will admit it has been nice to just enjoy my runs the past few weeks without feeling the pressure of another race. Sometimes we need to be reminded why we run in the first place. It's nice to reflect and just be one with myself. I have needed those runs in the chaos of life these days. Stepping into a new home has been a blessing. It has also been one of the most stressful things that I have done. I am ready for life to level out so I can enjoy the walls that surround me. It's time for new memories and laughter to fill these walls. It's also time to figure out new running routes even though I am not that far from the old place. Some mornings I get thrown off. #Runnerproblems! It adds to the adjustment period for sure!

Ahhh, I feel better! I actually wrote this post in one sitting. Granted the kids did interrupt once but hey, that's not bad! I hope to be posting more and visiting my favorite blogs more too! Until then, Happy Running! xo

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