Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. I’ve been so busy lately that I asked him to order his own gift and he had to order a slice of cake from a restaurant’s dessert menu. He was kind about my limitations. After dinner, I sat with my son as he struggled through the residual emotions of a difficult day. He was quiet and withdrawn, which aren’t a good combination for him right now. His identical twin brother sat nearby trying, unsuccessfully, to do homework. My husband was putting our youngest to bed. My struggling son committed himself to his safety while I ran a mile so that we could go for a drive when I got back. I’m so proud of him. He continues to make hard decisions to help himself get better. He didn’t want to do anything last night but he got himself up and out the door on a cold, dark night for a drive. I can only hope that my commitment to get up and out the door on a cold, dark night to keep my streak alive can serve as an example of perseverance for him. I ran the half mile to the elementary school playground, did a few pull-ups, a few dips, and a flip over the lowest bar before running that half mile back home. My son and I then went on a drive after that despite my exhaustion and day packed to the brim and it was magical. We looked at Christmas lights and talked about many things as we drove. We got home late and went to bed even later but I went to sleep knowing that my son was in a better place emotionally. I will take less sleep for that peace of mind any day. Tonight, my daughter came to town and said she wanted to run with me at the gym. We left around dinner time and one of my twins came with us. He shot baskets as my daughter and I ran laps around the indoor track. I thought she might want to run together but she just wanted us both to run on the track so she could use me as motivation to run faster. I love that girl. She sent me a bitmoji of us as two peas in a pod yesterday and it meant so much to me that she sees how alike we are as well. I also love that I can serve as inspiration for my daughter to run faster even as I approach 40. After we each logged 2 miles (my daughter would probably want me to point out that she finished a long time before I did), we played a game of pig and around the world with her brother. My daughter isn’t as naturally athletic as her brothers but I love how she enjoys athletic recreation regardless. My son won the game of pig, despite my best efforts of bounce shots and backward shots but I won the game of around the world. We had a blast. My husband stayed home to put our youngest to bed again. He has been so supportive of my older son and his struggles. He has also been incredibly supportive as my older kids have needed more of my time and attention as we all go through the transition of moving and facing my son’s mental health struggles. It has been a gift. I am now sitting here awake at 3am awaiting the return of my other son. He traveled to St. Louis for a concert tonight and I look forward to him getting home safely. I remember a parent telling me when my older kids were young that the sleepless nights return when you have teenagers and it is proving to be true. I’m thankful for my running, which allows me time to process my busy life. I was reflecting on my run tonight how my daily running has become an accepted part of our family’s routine. On New Year’s Eve, I will celebrate 3 full years of my running streak. I realized that I started this streak when my youngest was 4 years old. Next year, I will have been streaming for over half of his life. At this point, he probably doesn’t even remember a day where I didn’t run. That brings me joy. I love that I have this one thing that I selfishly pursue for myself and that it has such positive ramifications throughout my small circle of influence. I often read everything I can get my hands on about depression and one of the lists I read recently discussed the importance of a streak. The list talked about finding something you can commit to doing daily that you can pursue while checking off the number of consecutive days that you have remained committed to the task. I completely agree that there are positive mental benefits to this pursuit. I love my streak and how much it adds to my life.
I really don’t know if this title is about the busyness of my life or my running streak. Both, I guess. Yesterday, I had to leave work early to take my son to a doctor appointment. I had a few minutes to run a mile before picking up my youngest from his martial arts class. I was planning on picking my daughter up some dinner before driving 1.5 hours to go to her band concert. However, the martial arts class ran over and I ended up a total ball of stress trying to leave town on time. I ended up attending the concert in my running clothes. Not my favorite but at least I was able to get her dinner there on time. Today I was completely exhausted from an excessively busy Monday and Tuesday. I still got out to run in the dark after work. The winds were the kind of gusty that blow your legs off of their trajectory when you pick them up. Luckily, it wasn’t too cold yet though. I wouldn’t say it was pleasant but it certainly could have been worse. I ran 2 miles around the neighborhood with my headlamp. I stopped by the elementary school for a few pull-ups, dips, and a flip and then jogged around the lake. It was peaceful other than the aggressive wind. I’m hoping the next couple of days are less busy.
Today was super busy. However, the weekend was the least busy weekend I’ve had since August. I didn’t travel back to work on the house and I actually got to spend time with my boys and time cleaning our new place. It was pretty great. I ran at sunset yesterday but I really didn’t enjoy it. The day had been decently warm but I waited too long to run and had too few layers. I ran three miles but was literally counting the seconds until it was over. Today was crazy busy but I ran between dropping off my youngest at school and going to a therapy appointment. It was one of those days where I felt like I was rushing everywhere but never getting anywhere on time. I don’t like those day. My mile jog was certainly a highlight though.
I was really hoping to hit the gym today for my run. I hadn’t had a chance to go before dinner so I checked their hours on the way home and realized they closed in 20 minutes. I knew there was no chance that I could make it home in time to get my shorts and make it to the gym for a mile. I was super bummed. A late day run in the dark, 20 degree weather was not on my list of things I wanted to do today. My son actually had a really rough night last night. He had a fight with his girlfriend and he was pretty distraught. I was up with him until 2am and I was exhausted all day. This was just icing on an already crappy cake. I bundled up anyway and headed out into the darkness. I stopped by the neighborhood elementary school to do some pull-ups, dips, and a flip, then ran 2 miles. It really wasn’t too bad. My anxiety was a little higher than usual but really the run was better than I had expected. I was def ready for it to be over when I got home but I’m proud of myself for making it out even though I would have rather stayed home. While I was on my run, I was trying to remember yesterday’s run because I knew I hadn’t blogged about that run yet. I couldn’t remember it at all. I even started worrying for a minute that maybe I had forgotten to run. I convinced myself to relax by reminding myself that my Garmin would give me the details of yesterday’s run so I could check that when I got home. My Garmin reminded me that I ran at 6:17 yesterday morning and I ran a mile around the neighborhood to the north. It was also kind enough to mention that it had been 14 degrees with 11mph winds from the southeast. I might have actually mentally blocked out that run.
I checked the weather before I left on my run this morning but the weather didn’t mention the wind. It was brutal. I have a fantastic Patagonia sweater with a built in balaclava but I didn’t wear it today. I was so disappointed in myself. My face was numb within the first half mile. I felt much better on the way back since I wasn’t running into the wind anymore. I ran 3 miles before sunrise. It was quite peaceful. Next time I will make sure to cover my face though.
Yesterday, I ran a mile in the morning before anyone else in the house woke up. I had planned on going to the gym but I woke up too late. I decided to grab my headlamp and brave the chilly air. It was quite windy after the front passed through overnight. On one stretch of sidewalk between 2 houses, I was delighted by the thought that I had my own wind tunnel. That struck me as odd but I decided to ride the wave of joy instead of talking myself out of it. I really enjoyed the run. I did pull-ups, dips, and a flip behind the local elementary school too. Today I was able to run after dropping off my youngest at school. I still didn’t have as much time as I would have wanted but I was able to run 2 miles around the neighborhood just to our west. My hands got a little chilly but by the end of the run, I had worked up quite a sweat. I really do enjoy running in cold weather once I get over the initial shock of the cold air.
If I could perfectly plan each of my days, I would be running farther and eating healthier. However, life isn’t perfect. I wanted to run 3 miles today but I really only had time for 1 mile. It was a decent mile though. Maybe little windier than I would have liked but the temperature was great. I ran around the little retention pond just to the north of our house. I’m glad I got to run outside. Tomorrow, I will likely be stuck in the gym either before getting my youngest ready for school or after work. Our temperatures are expected to plummet tonight so I need to get my winter running gear ready so I’m not stuck on the hamster wheel indefinitely.