Friday, September 15, 2017

not special...just determined

I posted some pics from my half iron this past weekend and was overall very happy with my results...5:48:39.  It was not a PR by any stretch but I trained, made sacrifices and showed up for race day.  For many that is in fact harder than the actual race...the day in day out of staying on the plan, holding course, and accepting the changes you have to make over the course of a training session.  I received comments such as I am amazing, what an inspiration, so impressive, and lots of WOWS.

#1 fan pre race
As we drove home from the race trying to catch our oldest's football game we had lots of time to talk.  I couldn't fall asleep as my mind was still racing.  Six hours of hard pushing and no nap in sight.  So we talked, talked and talked some more.  I was sharing the comments with Ben as we drove.  I wasn't as emotional at this race as I was at my first half iron.  I was proud I finished and proud I made it through the swim without an anxiety attack, or wiping out on the bike while trying to refill my water, or that for as many times that I walked on the run I managed to stick with a girl and finish strong together for my last two miles.

I guess I don't view what I did this past Sunday as awesome or impressive.  I don't know what that thing was inside of me a few years ago that made me switch and want to give running and the sport of triathlon a try.  I had watched my brother compete in a triathlon many many moons ago when I was probably in high school.  I played field hockey, softball and sat the bench on the basketball team.  I was an athlete at a young age and then I guess I forgot that.  Races give me the opportunity to focus for the months leading up to it and truly change myself and tackle the challenge ahead.  I am no more awesome or impressive or inspirational than anyone else that decides to try something hard...and that something does not need to be a physical thing.

Yes I have four kids, I have a part time job, I have a house that I am horrible at keeping clean, and a husband that is right beside me every step of the way.  I have a supportive community around me pushing and encouraging all along the way.  I have made many friends through this sport that have met me in less than ideal training conditions for a run, bike or swim.  Every one of those people are equally awesome and impressive.  Every one of them make the choice each day to push themselves, and stay the course.  We have days that are easy, days that are near impossible, but at the end of the day each task is still completed.

The whole idea of endurance sports is still scary to me.  I know that there is A LOT that goes into the training for these races.  The awesome and impressive thing is not the completion of the races but the courage and determination to sign up, to train, and to commit yourself day in and day out for each day leading up to the event.  Endurance sports are not something that you can just show up on race day and hope for the best.  They require all the effort in the weeks leading up to race day to ensure both your mind and body that you can in fact complete this task.


Heading out for the run...all 13.1 miles
These races still impress me but the emotional part for me is the choice that everyone gets to make.  The fellow athletes there no matter the pace, the gear, the support they receive from those around them are committed to themselves.  As a mom it is hard to make that choice, to put yourself on the list, to be okay that things fall to the wayside so that you can be a priority.  To accept that it is okay that you don't have it all together and perfect!  My kids were not there to cheer me on this weekend but seeing the support of other athletes and the smiles on their faces when reunited with their kids, hearing those small voices cheer you in on a long hard hot run...is just amazing.  This training period I met a new friend and her three kiddos were there at the finish and they all wore tshirts that said "strong like mom."  She is training for a full ironman and did the half this past weekend...she is a rockstar!  The idea of a full iron is still so scary to me but I am pretty sure I will be checking that box shortly.

What is my point with all this...you don't need a trainer, a nutritionist, a tricked out bike or the fancy new fastest shoes on the market.  Don't make a change for anyone but yourself but know that you have what it takes to change, you have the strength within you to be determined and focused and tackle any goal you put ahead of yourself.  We are all just people trying to get by with a smile on our faces and fuel to light a passion within ourselves to make a difference.  The first person you need to make a difference for is yourself.

embrace the suck...choose you...make a difference...do hard things


Monday, August 28, 2017

everything is temporary

I didn't always stay home with my kids.  I worked at a few software companies in the area doing training, marketing and traveled a bit with trade shows.  It seems like so many worlds ago that I would rush through that morning routine to get my little ones up, fed and out the door to daycare while Ben and I rushed off to work.  We would often commute together as we were just a few blocks from each other and that was our together time.  As soon as we got home it was quick dinner, bath and bed for the little ones and we were quickly behind.

Routine ten years later is pretty much the same but instead Ben and I don't have the quality time commuting while listening to Raffi in bumper to bumper traffic.  We don't get a report listing out the daily activities that happened to the kids over the course of the day and I am less concerned on how many times they went potty.  I loved those days and I loved my job, the people I worked with, and bizarrely I loved that time with us together each morning and afternoon. Now we get to the school buses, I get to preschool as close to on time as I can, get my workouts in, volunteer as I can, and help with homework and then begin the sports run around with hopefully dinner on the table at some point.

I have been with Ben for 21 going on 22 years.  We were young to be married and young to start a family.  We knew that we were going to be six pack from the beginning and we knew we could tackle lots of challenges thrown our way from the very start.  Yes we bicker, argue, disagree and get genuinely frustrated with one another.  We however are pretty quick to move past that disagreement and instead join forces again to tackle the new day ahead.

Post 50 miler hug of thanks
Two weekends ago when I had a 50 mile ride in the training plan he came with me.  There was this moment when we were out west on the trail and doing an add on loop and the sun was rising and ahead was this huge ball of orange in the sky.  We passed cows and both mooed at them as we would when the kids are with us.  Pretty sure Ben even baaed like a sheep too.  It was a beautiful morning temperature wise and the scenery was at its best.  I for one moment thought to myself...this is what we do...this is us.

It is so strange how life just goes on without you even knowing it.  Things you thought you would never do can become so crucial to your daily existence.  Knowing that I was going to be a mother and a wife was always a sure thing.  Knowing I was going to be an athlete on a team with my husband literally through this journey was one thing I definitely did not know.  Our love of endurance sports is not all we are but it surely is one thing that allows us to connect to each other.  It is something that we both take a huge amount of pride in and can easily get worked up at each other's races when there supporting at a drop of a hat.  It is the moments that my six year old daughter hops off her chair after dinner and flexes her biceps to show her grandma how strong she is, I know our teamwork is creating more than a family.

Our oldest had his first tackle football game this weekend.  He played almost the entire game and I sat there without Ben next to me as he was away for a race weekend.  I wasn't nervous about our son playing and getting hurt.  I was so happy for him.  So happy that he finally is doing the thing he has wanted to try forever and he was loving every minute of it.  It was hard, tiring and bruises were had but he never stopped.  He did his best on that field with kids bigger than him and he held his own, and the line he was on...he played center!  His eyes looked up at me and I am not sure I have been more overcome with emotion at a sports game, well maybe in Kona with Ben last fall, but not at our kids games.  The desire, passion, and effort he showed for that entire game blew me away.  I was so bummed that Ben was not there to see him in this moment but from what I can tell, this is going to be a long season.

still smiling eyes
Ben got home late from his triple crazy as can be Spartan in West Virginia with our friend.  I didn't even get to debrief with him as I was asleep when he finally made it home.  He was exhausted and sore from the three races he completed in just a day and a half.  He showered and shaved and headed off to work this morning with little conversation as the routine was in full swing.  His ability to not ever stop is something that keeps me going.  Yes, I take naps, sometimes lots...but I keep going for this team I am on.  I keep pushing myself for me and for them.  I keep Team Graham moving forward, we keep this team moving forward.  I don't want to stop for myself and I don't want to stop for them.  Yes things are hard at times, they are messy, they are complicated but that moment is only temporary...much like our commute with Raffi being blasted and our oldest wearing his superhero underwear on his head.

When I look at my races and my times over the past few years...I wonder if I will ever be as fast as I once was, if I can manage a PR this time around.  Then I remember...it is all temporary, my speed, my slowness, my on point nutrition, my cookie filled binge...it is all temporary.  So I just keep going forward...forward progress is not temporary...it is the constant...the guarantee.  I keep chugging forward because going backwards is pointless...I have already been there...I want to see what I will get to enjoy in the future.  My six pack has so many highs and lows ahead of them...so many needs and wants...so many goals to strive for.  My job as their mom is to show them that I am right with them each step of the way...that Ben and I are a team in every sense of the word, and we will always be their number one supporter through every temporary desire.

So what is my point of these ramblings....you get to decide if you want to move forward or just stay stationary.  Even though everything is temporary...you are still the one that gets to choose.  You are the one that leads by example.  You will be so surprised who is listening, watching and learning from you.  Even if it is temporary...if you keep doing it...it becomes a part of you and is the constant.  Let the other things around you fall to be the temporary fixes...keep you as strong, as determined, and be the example.

embrace the suck...choose you...do the hard things.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

The more things change the more they stay the same

summer crumb bun
This past weekend I went back to the jersey shore, not the one that they made ridiculous on MTV...but the jersey shore that I grew up on every summer for as long as I can remember.  So many things have changed along that coastline.  Buildings are no long there, homes were destroyed and rebuilt on stilts and bigger than ever, favorite places that house so many warm and fuzzy memories just are gone.  Three brothers pizza, colonial bakery, yummy soft bagels, taylor ham, a big jersey sized sub and of course so many members in my extended family still remain.

When you grow up in a family of my size the family lines tend to blend.  Cousins are like siblings and aunts and uncles are there with a smile and hug just like they were when you were six.  So many people that have known me my whole life are a part of that beach and although we only see each other once a year it is like things have never changed.  These soft blurred lines make me so happy and sad at the same time.

I wish I lived closer, I wish I saw these people more often, I wish I could just walk into their homes at any time and talk about the most randomness of things.  Families don't always have to like each other or agree but they do always have to love.  My kiddos felt nothing but love this weekend.  It was a welcome committee from the moment we arrived and continued up until we left yesterday afternoon.  We celebrated a cousin's engagement...the whole cycle gets to begin again as our family welcomes in another member and they begin their journey together.  

cousins
So although our time was short along that blue sea line and sandy shore we still managed to make memories and feel the love.  I still feel like I am sixteen when I walk the stone filled streets of our little shore town.  I see faces age, including mine, but my heart remains the same.  The surf still flips me over and gets sand all in my suit.  But now my aunts and uncles take my kiddos into the surf and teach them how to handle the waves.  I get to watch my kids make connections with a five block walk to their uncles house where ice cream was promised and a night of just talking and playing hide and seek in a new place.  They remember that a certain aunt always has Twizzlers while another has tootsie pops.  They innocently ask anyone and everyone to play Uno with them.  They are constantly out to make connections, share their love and make memories.   

Every time I head back to the shore I get emotional.  Time continues to pass and my kids get
more cousins
bigger and my husband and I still think we are just dating and spending a long weekend together just like we did way back when.  Our pictures of just the two of us in a b&w photo booth now are crammed with six faces together.  We didn't make it out to a quiet dinner for two but instead we had longer days on the beach surrounded by those we don't get to spend too much time with.  I took all those summers for granted and can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate and am beyond grateful for our visit even if it is a short one.  Family is family...can't change it but you gotta love it.  I loved every minute of this week with them and can't wait for another summer to come by in a blink of an eye.


I now know that these are the days to remember and they are limited. I know that I need to love the ones I am with and not be afraid to ask for help, encouragement or a place to lay my head.  I know that this is family.  Our last night at the beach we stayed up and enjoyed our final happy hour.   As we packed up there was this crazy cloud over head but still allowing the sun to shine down on us.  I think that is the perfect analogy to family.  They make sure your sun still shines out despite all the crazy clouds that sneak into our lives.  And this cloud just happened to be in the shape of a heart...coincidence...I think not.

Heart Cloud
Embrace the suck...choose you...enjoy the ones you are with.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Make your list and move on...

Things I don't like about myself
-I am messy
-I am a grazer
-I have a sweet tooth
-I often have dark circles under my eyes
-I seldom say no to things
-I don't have immediate family near by
-I can rarely say no to dessert
-I am a big time procrastinator
-I am stubborn
-I yell at my kids
-I go a day without giving my hubby a kiss
-I am not artistic

Things I like about myself
-I am a mulitasker
-I am a good mom
-I am a supportive wife
-I will always try my best
-I love a good challenge
-I speak my mind
-I am not afraid 
-I have faith
-I lead by example
-I will walk the path alone
-I would do anything for my family
-I think outside the box
-I believe in myself

So great...I made a list of the good and the bad.  What is the point of this??  I need to remind myself that faults are good.  Faults allow you to see the good.  Faults show you where you put attention.  Faults show you that you are human and and that there is always room for growth.  I just had another discussion with my four year old.  For as sweet and lovable as he is...he is still four and is learning to test his boundaries with me and everyone he encounters.  I see him duplicate motions and words and tones that he sees from those around him.  I had to tell him that I am done with the yelling and we will work through this together.  I used small words, talked slow, and in a quiet voice.  I stopped what I was doing and took the time to have him understand my frustration as well as his.  Wouldn't that be nice if all adults would do the same.  If we would just take the time to truly interact and explain our feelings.  Apologies can be said but the feelings are still true.  His current fault brought out some of my current strengths.  Together we are balanced out and we need to realize that we can do this with everyone we are with.

Social media brings so much judging and comparing and putting down.  When I see a friend kick butt on her run or sign up for some big momma race that I would never have the guts to do...I am not jealous of her, well maybe for a hot second, but I am in awe of her.  I am in awe that despite her doubts and dislikes, she is pushing though to release the strength and likes.  There is nothing I should do but lift her up, encourage her, and help her along the journey.  I know that we all have struggles and we all have skeletons in our closets, but together we work through them.  I have had so many great run therapy sessions with friends and even some ladies I may have run with for the first time have been great connections.  The different perspectives from other people I have met brings such a great spin to this journey.  Makes my likes and dislikes blend into one.

oversharer & overcarer
I am not afraid to talk to anyone or share a story or a remember when.  In chick fil a yesterday a lady that I sold some sports bras too came up to me and said that they are working great and she loves them!  I love how some people choose to keep a connection...as silly as it seems over a sports bra...she could have just walked past me and chose to go on with her day.  Social media not only makes people feel less about themselves...but it is removing the human touch.  If you have ever met me...you know that I will probably never lose the human touch. I will be the one that keeps talking when everyone else has stopped listening.  I want to know what you are up to...I am genuinely curious, intrigued, and inspired.  I want to know what your good and bad are...I am an oversharer and an overcarer.  

So make your list and get it out of your head.  Find the people that lift you up, that compliment your faults, that you can help.  Know you are far from perfect and some of the things that you like about yourself may be viewed as faults by others.  But, as I have drilled into my head so many times...other people's thoughts do not matter.  This journey is about you, what you want for yourself and believing in you!  Confidence is an amazing thing...stand tall...be proud...tackle the challenge...do the hard things...accept your faults...embrace your strengths.

Choose you...embrace the suck...be more human.






Thursday, June 22, 2017

A whirlwind

What a crazy few weeks it has been since the summer season has truly started.  I have divided my day into pieces to get the things done that I have wanted to do and have not made the time to sit down and empty out my head.  I am barely treading water on some days and others we are moving in perfect harmony and look like a bunch of synchronized swimmers!  Just yet another reminder that everyone struggles, everyone has bad days, everyone is a little bit crazy and doing their best to get by.

The thing that gets me through those days, other than starting the day off with a great workout, is the company I keep.  Community is such an important part of life and having people that are amazing sounding boards for all the many spaces of life make this journey that much more rewarding.  Having the resource to talk about so many different topics that trigger your frustration or excitement makes tackling that obstacle so much easier.  These are people that genuinely want to help, are here to help, and all you need to do is ask.  Something that is so hard, asking for help but so rewarding to both sides when it happens!


my crazy crew
As wonderful as my external support crew is I can't say enough about my own little family circle.  Things are not always easy and burdens of all levels hit everyone at some point.  Life throws big huge curve balls at you and some days they can just knock you on your butt.  Trying to keep it all together not only for yourself but for that circle is really challenging at times.  What I find has worked best for us is to just stay the course.  We were off course for about six months and we kept the focus, the family and the fun.  We remained as whole as one could be.  We stayed positive and encouraged one another every day that today was going to be a great day and things are looking up.  Trying to convince yourself of this is probably the hardest...keeping it cool for outsiders may be a bit easier.

I am lucky in a way that I had my hubby by my side, literally,  during my training for my April marathon.  His ongoing support of me was one for the record books.  He made mid day runs possible, he joined me for many of them, we talked shop daily, and he keep the positive vibes flowing.  He never doubted me and never let me doubt me either.  He is one amazing cheerleader and husband.  Being dedicated to something or someone when you may have your own set of doubts is not easy.  We both learned a lesson this year.  We learned how to persevere, to push forward, to keep going when you want to stop.  Sure we do this with our workouts but regular life does not always afford the same level of challenge.  This year we were given a new test.

He was home with me and the kids for six months.  Our community supported us in every way possible.  Sometimes things just have a way of working out and the hard work you put forth is finally rewarded.  Now that we are back in our old routine we miss him, especially the little guy that would have picnic lunches mid week while the big kids were at school.  The special things that happened while he was home drew us all closer together, at times maybe it was too much, but now that we are on the other side of this, I am bizarrely grateful.

There are so many days that just don't make sense, things that happen and we just don't understand why.  So many times I would love to just scream my head off and find myself alone for any amount of time to just have silence.  But after going through this year, and being on the other side, I am thankful for the crazy, for the daily tests, for the ongoing challenges.  What we do every day molds us into who we choose to be.  I choose to be positive, loving, happy, determined, driven but  also sad, lonely, and tired.  What I have learned is that I have amazing support to help me get out of those low places and lift me up...and lift up my family as well.  We all have off days but we all have a community around you...just don't forget to reach out to them.  People are wanting to help...it makes them feel good...and it will make you feel good too!

So week two of summer is coming to a close.  I am tying my best to keep some semblance of order in the house but six bodies and 100 pool towels every day is  A LOT!  We are just going to keep on keeping on and roll with the whirlwind.  I thank each of you for being a part of my community on some level and please know that I love to help and always have an open ear!! 
Enjoy this time...it won't last forever!

Embrace the suck...choose you...keep on keeping on ;) 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Across the border and pushing out of your comfort zone

Just like I have for the past two years, I trained all winter long for a grueling spring marathon and then get to reward myself with a Ragnar Relay with 11 amazing women that I am lucky enough to call my friends.  This time a passport was required as we headed north to Canada to run the 200ish miles from Cobourg to Niagara Falls.  I have only been to Canada one other time in high school for a band trip, we will leave that there, and I was looking forward to seeing many different places along our journey. 
Start of the Relay...Leg 1 of 36
For those of you that do not know what a Ragnar Relay is...it can involve either 12 or 6 runners and covers about 200 miles on the road and is a point to point relay.  It takes about 36 hours to complete and there are multiple teams doing this at the same time.  The route in which we have to run is marked with signs from the race but generally speaking the individuals running may just look like your every day runner in the area unless you know that this relay is taking place.  The teams with six runners is referred to as an Ultra team and they would then run double the miles that the team of 12 would run.  I have done that once and not jumping in that van again too soon.

Coming in at Leg 1
This whole idea of creating a Ragnar team starting one summer afternoon sitting poolside with some ladies in the neighborhood. I am not even sure who brought it up first but it was discussed and a few of us thought it sounded like a good idea and thought we may know a few friends that would be silly enough to fall for it as well.  Our first one was done in DC, then Cape Cod, then Nashville Tennessee and then our latest, Niagara Falls Canada.  If you have followed me for some time you know that I like to run, I like to run long, and I like to try and run as fast as my body will let me at that given time.  Ragnar Relays for me are not about the speed or grueling push that I put myself through on a regular road race.  This is about the moms/friends that were sitting pool side and thought this might be a good idea to get away, to connect with women that we may not normally be with on a given day,  This relay was about trying something out of the norm and comfort zone.  Who knew it would be something we would fall in love with.
Leg 1 done

Don't get me wrong, the logistics behind it all is crazy and our captain has been amazing for the past three years getting us all in a line.  The guilt we feel leaving our families and little people is something we just have to let go of so we can go and make the weekend about us and our hopes and goals.  We pack in ziploc baggies and triple check the packing list that nothing is forgotten, especially the body glide.  We fill our tummies with sweet potatoes, coconut cookies, pretzel thins, and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  We look forward to showers and a soft pillow to lay our head on even if it is only for a few hours.  We are always excited for the first leg where the energy is amazing...the night run is sometimes a bit scary and lonely but this year it was perfect...I saw the skyline of Toronto along the lake the whole time...and the dreaded third leg is something that just has to happen in order to find that finish line
despite being so very tired.  I had just over nine miles and about 980 feet of elevation gain..it was a dozy but so beautiful!
Running in at the finish

My one girlfriend who was here for her second Ragnar kept commenting on how one of the great things about these relays is that it is filled with so many walks of life.  There is no pre-determined shape or body or mindset for these things.  These relays are about people that want to think outside the box, see a different part of the world, be a part of something bigger than a lonely run on a Sunday morning.  When I was on my first leg of the relay I was not feeling it as I passed a nuclear power plant, I was bumming out that I was not seeing the lake and all the beauty around it.  I looked down at my wrist and saw the slap bracelet that I had to bring to the next runner on my team.  There was no other way that she would begin with out me showing up.  These relays are about teamwork, about showing up, about being present in the presence of others.  In a time when we are all so connected via the social interwebs, this allowed us to disconnect and just be with each other.  I then rounded a corner on the path and came out on a beautiful view of Lake Ontario...the beauty was there...I just had to have patience.

Running is hard and not always rewarded with a fast time, or a feeling of euphoria as we cross the finish line.  There is nothing easy about pushing your body again and again on the same route to see if you can make that hill in your neighborhood not suck on that given day.  I have learned through my years of running that I always feel better after a run, I always enjoy the sweat and strength that is clearly present, and I always want to see what I can do better the next time.  My first race that I trained for was Army Ten Miler...I just registered this morning for my sixth one.  This race is so much more than a ten mile run...this is about a girl that listened to a friend and tried something different.  My first runs were done with a stopwatch on my wrist, whatever "running apparel" I had and sneakers that were probably too small for me and past their prime.  My training runs started with 1-2 mile runs...I did not start out running marathons.  Every runner starts somewhere and it is only one foot in front of the other...no skill required there.

Realize that you can do hard things.  Realize that you will be rewarded for completing these tasks, and the rewards may be intangible.  Realize that you only have to focus on one day at a time.  Realize that we are all in this together and it is hard for everyone but somehow when you have a group around you it makes it a little bit easier.  If anyone asks you to do a race with them or a relay....say yes.  That person will be your accountability partner, your cheerleader, your motivator and your inspiration.  You will also find that you will be that for them as well.  The community that will develop from that one simple step will be amazing.  You will do things that you never thought were possible and you will find yourself wanting to do more, testing your own limits.

Team You Ran Me All Night Long
Embrace the Suck...choose you...hard is possible...enjoy this journey...one foot in front of the other...you got this.




Friday, May 12, 2017

Dying a little on the inside...loving a whole lot more.

So I am a runner, a fitness enthusiast and a mother.  Some times those three things play nicely together and other times I find physical conflict and internal conflict having them all happen at the same time.  I have coached a runner program for our kid's local elementary school for a few years now and my children have participated each year.  This year we moved to a new school and I am not sure if that made things more of a challenge for my daughter but it has not been easy.

follow in my footsteps
The running club is about nine weeks long and we meet two times a week.  I try my best to make this club fun, make sure there is a buddy or two for my girl to rack her laps up with, and occasionally may make up silly songs and cheers along the way.  Most of these kids start out with less than an interest in running.  Their parents know the benefits of running beyond physical and want to encourage their kids to start this passion at a young age.  I so much want my kids to have this spark lit as soon as possible.  By the end of the season they no longer are comparing how many bands they have to a friend...but how many bands they have to their own last run.  It makes my heart happy!

Two weeks into this season...my daughter was not feeling it.  Every day after practice should we be crying and upset.  She was saying how she is missing time with her friends to do something she really didn't want to do to begin with.  I explained that I would be there every week coaching and she would have to be there with me either way.  I explained about her friends being there to run along side of her on the days she didn't have the energy or desire.  I would go in at night to give her a kiss goodnight and she would be so very upset.  She finally broke down and told me that she really doesn't want to do running club, but she know how much I love running so she does not want to let me down.

UGH!  Punch to the gut a million times in a row.  I was at a loss.  I felt like I failed!  It was a cross road and I didn't want her to take the place of a kid that truly wanted to be there.  I wanted to encourage and motivate and did not want to push and turn a deaf ear to her reasons.  She does not have to love running. She does not even have to like it.  She has been to many races to cheer and support, she sees the training that her parents put forth to propel themselves forward in our crazy adventures.  She knows all the smiles and love I have for my running community.  She doesn't want to do it.  It was a tough mommy moment for sure.

I brought her into my room that night a few weeks back and told her to give it one more week and if she really didn't want to do it, she could stop.  In a selfish attempt to keep her going, I told her that she did not have to do the 5k race at the end of the season if she didn't want to.  I asked her to try her best at each practice and if she just kept doing that, I would be very proud.  The mommy runner part of me broke a little bit.  The coach that tries to inspire these little feet felt like I let her down.  We were both kinda sad and a bit let down by each other.  We agreed to this plan and with race day two weeks away she is still not signed up...it kills me but I am okay with that.

some days she is my running buddy
Being a mom is hard and lessons are learned and taught each day.  Molly and I both each taught each other something this season of running club.  We both had to bend a bit to make it work, we had to meet in the middle. I could have pushed her and had her truly hate it, or I could have let her fully give up and I would be so very sad.  So we compromised.  She has her days at club where she sticks with her speedy buddy and racks up the laps and she has days where she is more social and will run four in a row every once in a while.  But the part that I see when I call out one minute remaining and they have to cross the finish line in time to get an extra lap band...I see her push, I see her want to make it, I see her legs stretch and her face turn red by the end.  I see her want to do that for herself...not me.  I know it is in there, I know that runner athlete will come out soon,,.I know all that potential is locked up in there...I know it will emerge in good time...just like it did for me.  As Tom Petty says...waiting is the hardest part...but as a mom we do a lot of waiting and my gosh I love her so much...I'd wait forever.

Embrace the suck..choose you...happy mother's day...love those monkeys.