Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Journey

Daylight savings is a bitch. This whole business of "spring forward" and "fall back" really screws up your life when you have small children who rise with the sun. And so it was that at 6:30 this morning (yes, I know, it could have been worse) I awakened to the sound of dueling high pitched voices calling out "Mommy!" (Jack, who is perfectly capable of getting himself out of bed) and "MAAAAMMMMEEEEE!" (Sawyer, who is still incarcerated in the crib). Just once I'd like them to wake up hollering for Dad. Just once.

Coffee. Breakfast for the kids. Running clothes.

Oh yes, today was the big day. Not the half marathon, that's November 20th, and I'll be providing you with all of the details in case you are bored out of your skull enough to come stand in the rain (just a guess) and watch people run for two plus hours. Today was the big day, though, because today was the final long training run. The twelve miler. My dad and I hitched a ride to Springfield and as we climbed from the cozy, NPR filled car and looked around at our dismal surroundings and the threatening clouds over our heads, we both had one of those "What the hell are we doing here?" sort of moments. The Subaru vanished and we had no choice but to run. All the way to north Eugene. And then back around to my car, which we had parked at EWEB. And so we did. And it was totally awesome.

But what about the race? Isn't that supposed to be the big day?

I realized that this half marathon isn't about the race at all. It's so much more important than that. It's been my reason for hauling myself out of bed, rain or shine, every weekend and lacing up my running shoes and heading out the door. It's been my motivation for doing those mid week shorter runs, even on the days when work has exhausted me and the thought of pushing the stroller, heavy with two kids, seems impossible. It's been my quiet, alone time to reflect, plan lessons, and to sort things out when I run by myself. It's been time with my dad, time that we've never had before, and that we might not have again for awhile, when we run together on the weekend. You really get to know a person when you run twelve miles together. I feel closer to my dad now than I ever have.

The journey has been more meaningful than the destination. I will be sad when the race has been run. I will miss the journey.

And yeah, I know, we could just sign right up for another half marathon, right? But really I can't. It's too much time. My kids need me. Brent needs me. I need to spend my Sunday mornings at home with pancakes and the newspaper and my family again for awhile.

Also, there are other journeys in my life that need my attention. The sometimes daunting and overwhelming undertaking of raising two kids to be decent human beings, for one. This world seems so effed up sometimes: people hate each other because of their differences, the gap between the haves and have nots widens, schools are closing... Sometimes it all seems so corrupt. I am constantly obsessing over how my actions of today, and the actions of those around them, will influence my children tomorrow. Will they go to good schools? Will they be happy? Healthy? Interesting? Empathetic? Funny? Athletic? Tolerant? Well-read? Most importantly, will they be themselves? I know I will miss this journey, too, once the destination has been reached, but damn, this is one hell of a ride.

Kind of makes that half marathon look easy now, doesn't it?


  1. I feel the exactly the same way about the runs. This has been a more important project than I had imagined. Sort of a grown up version of "tricks of throwing."
    Love, Doug

  2. I love your blog posts. I feel like a secret stalker who has inside information into your life, and I don't really even know you! Just wanted you to know that your posts are read and appreciated. I'm so glad you're a language arts teacher! I think you should write a book! :)