The past year has been a lesson in balance. Sometimes when I reflect, I think back to when my life really started feeling stressful. I usually get back to about 17 years ago when my twins were born. I was 21 and finding out I was having twins was quite a surprise. I have essentially battled balance my entire adult life. Sometimes I feel like I’m winning the battle and sometimes I don’t. This past year has been especially challenging. Not all of the challenges have been negative. For example, we just moved into a house that meets all of our family’s needs and wants but moving is still moving. I love having my streak to keep me active but I sometimes struggle with feeling disappointed that I’m not running more. I don’t think I would honestly be running any more than I am currently without my streak though, which is important to remember. Since returning from Florida, I have run at least a mile every day but the farthest I’ve run at one time is 2.5 miles. However, I have been doing more yoga, more hiking, and I’ve been riding my bike with my youngest every morning to take him to school. I also signed up for an adult hip hop class while my daughter takes her dance class. I’m feeling more balanced lately than I have in awhile. I eventually hope to build up my mileage again but for now, I’m enjoying more balance in my physical activity.
It’s a busy time of year for our family with proms, wrapping up school work, preparing for finals- and we have the closing of our house to add to the chaos. I’m glad it’s selling but it’s a lot at one time. On top of that, my job is going through a huge upgrade of our chemical storage system and we are relocating our entire stock room this week. I’m really looking forward to June. I got to visit my old running buddy, Mr. B, and his wife yesterday. She has entered hospice care and their family is rallying around her to ease her discomfort and support her in every way imaginable. It’s hideous and beautiful all at the same time. It was so good to see Mr. B and take a long walk together with my two youngest kids. I hope to see Mr. B and Mrs. C again soon and sneak in a run with my old running buddy. I had to look at my garmin’s running logs to even know what I’ve run this past week. I was a little surprised to see only one run over 1 mile but it is what it is. The good news is- I’m still streaking!
This past week has been busier than I would prefer. My twins are trying to graduate from high school a year early so they have challenging course loads and it’s getting to the time of year where the pressure is really on them. Typically, they don’t like to have me help them with homework. They have finally agreed to accept help to achieve their goal of graduating. I have to dust off my algebra 2 knowledge but I’m happy to be able to help. In other news, my cold is mostly gone. I have some minor congestion remaining, which becomes gross when I run, but can be cleared out with a little effort. I finally got back to my new 2 mile loop yesterday. I ran past the local elementary school for some pull-ups, dips, and a flip and then up and around one of the neighborhood lakes. It was a beautiful day. It felt great to get back to my favorite workout. I ran that loop on Monday morning as well after dropping off my youngest at school but I physically felt much better running it yesterday. I ran single miles the rest of the week. Tuesday, I ran around the neighborhood after work while my youngest rode his bike. Wednesday, I ran after dropping him off at school in the morning. On Thursday, I ran after work around the neighborhood. And on Friday, I ran after work but I ran to the trail from my work building and I love having the chance to do that. I would have liked to run farther but I didn’t have time. Another day. The best part about this week was certainly the weather. The temps have been perfect for running and the sun has been shining. Flowers have been blooming, the grass is getting greener, and trees have started getting their leaves. It really is a great time of year to be a runner.
Spring seems to have finally arrived here in central Illinois. It has been quite lovely the past several days. I, however, have an epic cold. I feel really angsty sitting on my butt when I would rather be outdoors. I’m completely miserable though so I have forced myself to rest. In the past week, I have had a few runs over one mile but not really much over a mile. I ran 2 miles before work on Wednesday but my husband has been out of town so my time has been limited. The arrival of my cold on Friday has also sent me back to running easy miles. My youngest has been riding his bike with me while I run since it has been so nice out. He has been enjoying out time out in the neighborhood together, which is an added bonus. I’m really looking forward to feeling better so I can enjoy the weather and get out into my garden!
My husband went to Phoenix for work this week and my older boys went with him since it’s their spring break. The pace has slowed considerably in our household and I’m grateful for the break. However, we had a blizzard on Saturday, which made me seriously regret staying behind! There was a lul in the snow around noon so I left for the gym. My youngest took a friend with him so we stayed longer while they played basketball. I had no idea the storm was escalating while we were in the gym! By the time we left, the snow was coming down at an alarming rate, the wind was raging, and visibility was less than a quarter mile. It was easily one of the most stressful drives of my life. It didn’t help to have someone else’s child in the vehicle. I certainly didn’t want to crash with my son’s friend with us. By the time I got home, I was shaking and completely drained. I’m glad I got to run but I certainly should have gone earlier in the day. I did get to run 1.5 miles though, which felt good at the time. On Sunday, I went back to the gym with my youngest so he could play basketball while I ran around the indoor track. We went later in the day to ensure the plows had time to clear our path. I only ran a mile on Sunday. Yesterday, I got to run outside! My youngest is also on spring break so we signed him up for a day camp at the local children’s museum while I worked. The day camp started an hour before I had to be at work so I took the opportunity to run 2 miles on our local trail. It was beautiful after the snow. Regardless of the beauty of snow, I’m ready for it to disappear for the next 8 months at least.
I got a pair of rollerblades over the weekend. Someone healing from a fall that occurred while running probably shouldn’t strap a set of wheels to their feet but here we are. I did buy the set of pads that my daughter claims make me look “lame”. She has been learning to rollerblade for the past few weeks so I decided to join her. I did enjoy rollerblading as a teenager but apparently that was too long ago for my brain to believe that they aren’t trying to kill me. The pads help. I honestly thought it might be a good way to get more physical exercise without jarring my knee joint as much. I didn’t expect there to be such a large relearning curve. So far the only extra physical exercise I’ve gotten has been an increase in heart rate due to anxiety. I am reading The Places That Scare You by Pema Chödrön. It turns out that every place scares me when I’m wearing rollerblades. I’m hoping the book can help get me through the fear. I have been consistently running my daily mile to keep my streak alive. It still feels like a chore but I can tell my knee is getting better. My pace has gotten back to my pre-injury state but I’m just running significantly fewer miles. I know I’ll get back to where I was but I’m just not super patient. Maybe Pema’s book can help me with that too.
I was dragging all day yesterday. I wasn’t even a little excited about running after dinner. I took my youngest to the gym with me and he shot baskets while I suffered through 9 laps on the indoor track. I was so glad when I was done. My son wanted me to play badminton with him but I literally had nothing left. We went home and read in bed instead. Today, however, the sun was shining and the temperature was more like spring than winter. I really wasn’t feeling motivated to go far but I really wanted to enjoy the weather. My husband and I decided to take our youngest out to the local lake to hike on the trails. They played around on some dirt jumps while I ran a quick mile that turned into 2. I was really enjoying the run way more than I had expected. Luckily, my husband and son entertained themselves by throwing rocks at the ice while I ran that extra mile. I actually had to drag them away when I was done running. It wasn’t warm enough to stay warm after sweating but it was still pretty great. Everyone enjoyed the winter reprieve.