Anyway, this all got me to thinking about why I chose to run the Baltimore Marathon last year. I know I had been thinking about it over the last several years, and over a bottle(s) of wine with James at some point in 2012, I finally said this thought out loud... but how did this all happen?
You see, somewhere in my late 20's/early 30's, I was so busy: getting married and having my babies, buying a house, working.... I sort of lost a piece of myself. I didn't really notice it had happened, what with the busy-ness and all. But right before I became pregnant with Julia, I finally noticed the weight I had put on, and how I really didn't look like myself anymore. I finally let myself really feel this sort of inner anger and discontentment that had been rumbling around, when I should have been totally fulfilled with my work and my family. I took a long hard look, and had a moment of total honesty with myself. I had lost a part of me that was only for me. I needed to get healthier and find that part of me that answers only to me, that takes pride and happiness in something just for me. It is sort of hard to explain, but I basically needed to regain my sense of inner peace.
I started running again after I had Julia in August 2011. At first I use to just "power walk" with her in the stroller when she was a few weeks old.
|Julia, 2 mo. old, ready for one of our walks|
Like most people who run or tri, I also happen to have some real life heroes, cheerleaders and "coaches."
My older sister, Marianne, is a really good triathlete and runner. I have always admired her, watching her, "as a grown up," continue to race and exercise. She's done several marathons, many triathlons, and is a yoga devotee. She has always been my cheerleader in everything I do, and is one of my heroes as well.
|Mare & me, Dewey Beach Tri 9/13/14|
And then there's Tricia. Tricia the Ironman. Tricia the marathon runner. Tricia the encourager of insanity.
|after my first ever 20 mile run, Sept. 2013.|
Add to that, in October, 2012, I had signed up to run the Marine Corp 10K with my dear friend Shethir. We've been friends for 25 years. Shethir lives in Northern Virginia and had also gotten into running, after she had her second child. Because we live too far apart to run together or do many races together, we specifically chose this one in DC, sort of a middle ground. We even got matching tanktops from our alma mater Elizabeth Seton HS. I think we both run for a lot of the same reasons (i.e. our sanity) so it was such a meaningful race for me, to run it with her.
|Shethir & me at the Iwo Jima monument|
I am a fairly type-A person; I love schedules and routines; I am a planner by nature. All of these traits were well-suited for marathon training. I had my running schedule mapped out for the summer of 2013, and, one by one, ticked off each session. I hated it during the hot humid summer months, but loved that when September came around, I was able to run 20 miles. The slow build of miles over several weeks really works. I used a beginner program from Hal Higdon (available online and FREE!), who is a force in the marathon world. Working in the runs around my job and my family's schedules was very manageable. There were some challenges with that, but basically I was able to fit everything in, with little inconveniencing to James and the kids.
On October 12, 2013, I ran the Baltimore Marathon. It was so amazing. I was just super happy and excited. As promised, Shethir and her son Gabe, came to cheer me on, sporting a giant poster cut-out of my head, so I could find them.
|Cal Ripken's 8, prior to the start|
|mile 7, St. Paul Street|
|Gabe, Shethir & my giant Irish head|
|Team Pinkie Swear!|
|Shethir, around mile 10|
We celebrated over brunch a few weeks later, wearing our medals the entire time!
|spoils of war|
2013. What an inspiring year... no wonder I decided to do my Ironman around this time... I was surrounded by positivity through racing! Strong, amazing, supportive women... mommies who work like me... ordinary people doing extraordinary things!
So needless to say, I have found my inner peace, that part of me that had sort of been missing. I think all mothers go through this at some point. And running or triathlon may not be the answer for all of us, but it has been for me. It was such an amazing journey last year, so I knew I would do it again this year. My inner-athlete has awoken, and I can't wait to see how far we go!