Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sorry, I've got to run

I used to be a runner.

When I was in my twenties, my mother inspired me to run. Although she had never been fit, she trained hard and then ran the New York City Marathon at age 51. She and I went on to run countless road races together from 5ks to marathons. We talked while we trained together. We had a blast when we travelled to races together. And it turns out she was a great racer! Uncovering a hidden talent, she consistently won her age category in all the races she entered. It was truly inspirational.

And then she died.

That was it for me. I hung up my running shoes – for good, I thought. The idea of training by myself was too painful. It wasn’t joyful anymore. I wasn’t interested. And then life happened: work, pregnancy, nursing, repeat. For several years it didn’t even feel like my body belonged to me. It was on loan.

One year ago Danielle and I travelled to a trade show in Las Vegas. We had been eyeing that show for years, but last year was the first time that it was feasible for us and our families. I think it was also the first time that I starting feeling like my body belonged to me again. Having forgotten my cross-trainers at home (Freudian?), I popped into a mall and picked up my first pair of running shoes in a decade. While Danielle was working at the trade show, I went back to the hotel gym and climbed on the treadmill. Listening to tunes on Danielle’s borrowed iPod, I rocked out on my run and it was great. In a hotel, in Las Vegas, by myself. (For a busy mom entrepreneur, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.)

I’ve kept up the running ever since. This spring I ran my first, post-babies 10k. This summer I ran a 10-miler. And this past weekend I accomplished my goal for the season: I completed a half-marathon. It wasn’t the fastest time I’ve ever run – there is room for improvement. And I had to choke back the tears at the start line when I looked over and found that my mom wasn’t there. But I did it, and running still feels great.

I miss my mom more than I can say. It’s been eight years, but sometimes I still can’t believe that she’s actually not here. I lose my breath when I think about the fact that she never met my children. But I also think that it might be time for me to run again.


  1. Good for you! Time to reclaim some body and time for yourself. Sad about your mama, but I bet she runs with you every time.


  2. I enjoyed reading this post and felt your emotions when you said you lose your breath when you think about your mom never meeting your children.

    I'm thrilled for your new running adventures.