Balancing the craziness of this time of year while kicking off a new marathon training cycle is not easy. Last week was the first official week of my training and I struggled to get my miles in. I felt overwhelmed with commitments – volunteering, working, parenting, training … it was all piling up. To top it off I wasn’t getting very much sleep. AT. ALL. It seems all three of my kids forgot how to sleep through the night, for several days in a row. And by the end of the week I was completely wiped out.
I wanted to run 6 easy paced miles on Friday but decided to take the day off from running. I was just too tired to run. For a moment I cringed at the thought of skipping a planned run, but in my heart of hearts I knew it was the right decision. I had a busy weekend ahead and wanted to feel ready for it.
Saturday morning I had a scheduled long run of 12 miles. It was cold and sunny out – a beautiful morning for a run. Jodi and I decided to run together (for the first time in a long time) and it was just what the two of us needed. We hit the trail by about 7:30AM. It was so wonderful to be running with my sister like this again. Our training group is meeting at 8:30AM every Saturday, but yesterday we had to get started a little earlier because we had a workshop we were going to that started at noon and if we wanted to get the run in and have time to go home and shower and eat lunch etc before going out again – we had to hit the trail earlier. When I asked Jodi if she wanted to run with me, at first she was concerned because she didn’t want to slow me down (her words). We both know how important it is to listen to our own bodies, especially when training for a race like this. But we LOVE running together and we were both in need of some sister time. So, we decided we would try to hang around a 9:00 mile – a little faster than she normally runs her long runs at and a little slower than I normally do. It was perfect.
|shadows on the trail
We ran three miles east, then turned around and ran three miles west, back to our starting point…
Mile 1 – 8:59
Mile 2 – 8:43
Mile 3 – 8:46
Mile 4 – 8:57
Mile 5 – 9:03
Mile 6 – 9:00
When we arrived back at the start (halfway through our run) we each ate a gel and were psyched to catch a few of our favorite running buddies who were getting ready to start their runs. It was especially awesome to see our good friend Paul and our sister Megan! The four of us ran together for a mile or so and then we paired off to finish out our runs. I loved sharing these miles with four of my favorite people ever!
|Jodi is STRENGTH
Mile 7 – 9:15
Mile 8 – 9:00
Mile 9 – 8:51
Mile 10 – 8:41
Around the 10th mile, our conversation slowed and we were running in silence. I so love when this happens on a sister run. So much is understood, yet unspoken. We listened to the rhythm of our footsteps, the sound of our breathing and entered into a zone. This is why I love running. I love being in this moment.
I felt myself letting go of my stresses, my worries and my fears. All that anxiety and muck that was building up inside of me all week – I shed all of it and left it out there on the trail. I moved forward. My sister actually said out loud “you go Jess, go do what you need to do.” She knows me so well.
Mile 11 – 8:34
Mile 12 – 8:31
Does it get better than this? Two sisters on a trail, supporting and encouraging one another, believing in one another. Listening to ourselves and listening to one another. Finishing strong. Finishing HAPPY.
|sisters on a mission
After our run we zipped back home. I had to give my husband a break from taking care of three kids all morning because in a little over an hour I would be heading out again for another 4 hours.
I married a really really really really really wonderful man.
From 12-4:00PM yesterday Jodi and I attended a Chi Running workshop. It was awesome! I’ve heard all of this before (and you probably have, too) – all the talk about proper form and landing on your midfoot and engaging your core, etc – I’ve read it and applied it and learned it. But this workshop was really helpful! I think it deserves a post all it’s own so I won’t go into it too much here, but suffice it to say that it was worth my while and I’m excited by all that I learned.
Yesterday was a GOOD day.
Today was equally as good! Today was the second run club! We met at the sudio at 8:30AM and I was seriously amazed that we had 16 people show up today!!! I was (and actually as I write this, still am) giddy with excitement over it.
Today we had Jodi teach the mat class while I assisted. It rocked.
|pilates before running = excellent
Then we split up into our three groups again – walkers, run/walkers and runners. Everyone had someone to keep them company. The energy was amazing. We went to the trail and moved for 20 minutes east and then turned around for 20 minutes back. At the end of the run everyone was all smiles and sweat!! We did a little post-run stretching…
And then everyone was very sweet to agree to take a group photo for me!
|i love run club!!
It was such a great group of people. Thanks to everyone who came – I hope you will come back again! I’m really looking forward to all the wonderful times we have ahead of us.
I can’t believe I almost forgot to mention this! — when I picked up Jodi this morning to head to run club, she hopped in the car and we realized we were both wearing the same shirt with black pants. Totally unplanned, but so like us to do something like this. Before we headed home a new friend, who I feel like I have known forever, Jerrell (read her blog HERE
, she is awesome!) snapped a photo of us in our matchy matchness:
|yepp, that happens sometimes
I’m feeling thankful for so much right now. For my amazing husband and children. For my incredible sister who I know I am so blessed to have right down the street from me. For the sport of running and the wonderful community of people who make it all the more enjoyable.
Life is a journey and running is a huge part of that for me. Sometimes we go our own pace, our own direction, but we are never ever, EVER, alone.
Here’s to the week ahead!