Marathons and Motherhood.August 22, 2011 at 11:32 am | Posted in And I ran (I ran so far away) | 14 Comments
Even though we were on vacation last week, I was determined to keep to my training schedule and do the distance I had planned.
Early in the week, I was keeping up with my hydration and nutrition, (even though I indulged in salty snacks and Mike’s Hard Lemonades) and I was able to run my distances without issue. I had a really good, fast 7 mile run and a nice relaxed 5 mile run.
And then on Friday I was to run 18 miles. And I wasn’t as good as I should have been on Thursday – my rest day – about staying on top of hydration. I drank a couple of Mike’s in the early evening. And we had tacos instead of pasta.
I made it 11 on a really hilly route before I cried uncle.
It was pretty awful, actually. I was angry with myself for not taking better care of my body so that I COULD accomplish the distance I wanted.
And then I got angry at myself. Because if I was a BETTER runner, I wouldn’t HAVE to nurture my body.
I could just, you know, go.
It was a long drawn out hatefest going on.
So on Sunday morning, I decided to attempt another long run. 10 miles this time, which would put me up to 33 for the week, which is where I would have liked to be.
Problem is, the 18 attempt had been so awful, and I had been beating myself up for it for two days, that mentally I wasn’t sure I could manage it.
Because if there’s one thing my Inner Critic is good at, it’s creating doubt.
But I filled up my water bottles on my fuel belt with gatorade, and put a packet of Gu in there.
And I went out anyway. And in the first 3 awful miles, when my muscles screamed and all I could think was This is so fucking STUPID! What am I DOING, thinking I can run a MARATHON? I just kept trying to truck along.
I stopped to walk at one point, and I saw out of the corner of my eye another runner approaching. So I started jogging along, because, you know, I have to keep my street cred. Or something.
And when he passed me, at a MUCH faster clip, he said this to me.
Ah, another early morning marathoner out for a run. Have a good one!
He called me a MARATHONER.
When I first had O, I felt like I was faking the mom thing. I relied on my SIL, my mom and my friends to help me figure out my baby.
I STILL remember feeling like a Big Fake on my first Mother’s Day.
It’s still hard for me to remember those days. Because I was SUPPOSED to be happy that he was here. It was what I had dreamed about for so many years.
But there I was, completely overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and scared shitless because I was responsible for this being and I had NO CLUE what I needed to do.
It wasn’t until those first shots at his 2 month appointment where I wanted to punch the nurse who made him cry that I really felt like his mother.
That’s where I am, apparently, with this marathon training thing.
When that runner called me a marathoner, I was sort of shocked.
Me? A marathoner? No way. Marathoners go out for double digit runs every weekend. They get up early and get it done. It’s just what they DO; it’s no big deal.
(And of course my Inner Critic says: I bet you they don’t even have to focus on hydration the night before.)
I get up on the weekends and do long runs, all in the double digits. I get up early and just get it done. And then I go and live my life. Because I have a three year old son, so I can’t just go home and stay off my feet and rest and take naps. I have a life to live, too.
For the rest of the run, that man’s label stuck with me.
It seems like O hates me right now. In all things, he prefers his father. He contradicts me on everything. If I say it’s time for school, he argues “it’s NOT time for school!”
And yells it over and over and over and over and over until I either agree with him or push the issue and fight him on it.
And then we spiral down into a pissing contest, and I’m left hating myself.
Really, Serenity? You need to WIN AN ARGUMENT WITH A THREE YEAR OLD? Over whether or not the sky is BLUE?
I have no idea how to handle him. On the one time I did pickup, he pitched a fit so badly that not only did his teacher remark that she had never seen him like that, but then she commented to J the next day that it didn’t seem like I knew how to handle it.
(Yeah, that was awesome.)
I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing with him some days.
I’ve heard having a three year old can do that to you.
Apparently, I need to be perfect at something, really know EVERYTHING about it, in order to accept that I am something.
Marathons and Motherhood are just two examples, really.
The fact is, most people are just faking their way through life; taking things as they come, trying something out, reacting when it works or doesn’t work.
There are very few EXPERTS at life.
I ran my 10 miles going by how I FELT. I decided to not force myself to slow down if I felt good. I walked a couple of hills where my legs were cramped up.
But I finished strong, sprinting my way up a hill I usually walk, too.
And as I walked the rest of the way to my house, basking in the endorphins of a good run, my mantra kept repeating in my head.
I am a marathoner.
And I got home, and O freaked the fuck out about something I said or did.
And I took him to the grocery store with me anyway, to give J a break from the three year old insanity. And when I was done, I gave him a quarter so he could ride the mechanical horse outside the store.
And then he broke out in a song from his favorite Backyardigans episode, and I sang along. We giggled when we both yelled “yahoo!!!”
I am his mother.
And at the end of the day, I’m kind of just faking my way through life.
But so is everyone else.