Why Do I Do This to Myself?

I heard insanity once defined as “doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results.” Well, here I go again. I’m about to run the L.A. marathon for the third time. Here’s me somewhere around mile 20 last year:

Yep, I know. Looks like a blast, right? It was a torrential downpour from the time the gun went off all the way to the finish line. I tripped and fell in a pothole at mile 8. Had to stop to take a phone call from my mom at mile 16 because Gus had a high fever that wouldn’t come down (not a big deal, except he was still having febrile seizures at the time). Have you ever stopped running in the freezing rain? Well, I will tell you what happens when you start again. Unbelievable cramps. My legs looked like I was Hulk Hogan. I wish I was kidding. And guess what the forecast is for tomorrow? Rain. Rain. Rain.

Why am I doing this? Furthermore, why do I even run in the first place?

I was never a runner before I had Gus. He was six or seven months old when I decided I had to DO something. I’ve never kept it a secret that I struggled with post partum depression coupled with lots of other life stressors going on at the time (more on that later). I’d spent my whole life setting and meeting goals. They’d always given my life a sense of purpose and direction. All of a sudden I was living a goal less life. Sure, I wanted to be a good mother, but you don’t know if you’ve been a good mother until your child is an adult. The ultimate goal of parenthood is to help your child develop into a healthy, successful, and well-adjusted adult. I needed something a bit more immediate.

So, I started running, although I’m not really sure you can call what I did back in those days running. At the time, we lived a few blocks from a high school with a running track. The first time I went running I did one lap. 400 meters. And I felt accomplished. I kept doing it. I worked my way from one lap to two laps to three laps and finally my first mile. I couldn’t remember the last time I had run a mile and it felt amazing.

Yancy started running with me. I didn’t know how long I was going to keep running so we held off on getting a running stroller for awhile. In the early days, we ran with his regular stroller around a dirt track. I laugh so hard thinking about it now. We looked absolutely ridiculous hoofing it around the track pushing Gus in his Evenflo stroller. Gus loved it. He’d sit forward wide eyed and in his mind, we were racing. He squealed and shrieked. We bought a running stroller.

We logged over 600 miles training for that first marathon. They say when you finish your first marathon one of two things happen. One, you take a deep sigh of relief, stretch your aching muscles, and say, “whew…crossed that one after my list. I’m NEVER doing that again.” Or, you take a deep sigh of relief, stretch your aching muscles, and say, “whew…when can I do that again?”

For me, I’ll be doing it yet again tomorrow.

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