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Running for Rice

February 27, 2010

Where it all started ~ the rest of the story:

I have run (on & off) for years. 

I started in my last year of college and used it as ‘something to do’ in our first few years of marriage.  After having BigFoot, running became a bonding time and a way to lose baby-weight.  It was a way to hang out with friends and neighbors without losing valuable family time. 

After the birth of LittleFoot running became the biggest escape of my life.  A way to keep my sanity and get some personal time.  A time to connect with God and beg him to restore calm back into my life.  

Five years ago I decided to run the OKC Memorial marathon in honor of a friend who lost her mother in the OKC bombing.  Many people said “I’m so proud of you!”.  I didn’t get it.  How could they be proud of me?  I wasn’t proud of me.  It’s not that it wasn’t a big thing – it’s that I am someone who makes a decision then does what I’ve decided.  Not much more thought than that.  

The next year I asked a friend if I could run the Virginia Beach 1/2 marathon in honor of her father for TeamInTraining – she and her husband joined.  It was through that experience that my love of running and belief in the human spirit jumped.  For example; we had a garage sale to raise money- 3 people stopped, walked up, handed us $20, said “Bless you.” and walked away.  Simple.  People=love.  Two months before the race I injured my hip/knee/heel (they’re all connected you know).  Two weeks before the race I was pain-free, healed and able to run again.  My only goal was to cross the finish line.  It was the best race of my life (and slowest).  To stop and hug mommies who had lost a child – or high-five a bald teenager with a simple sign saying “THANK YOU TNT!” – or listen to the guy who ran next to me for two miles telling me about all the TNT races he had run.  My heart was full.

My injury had disappointed me though and I took a couple years off.  No races. None. Nothing local. No vacation runs. Nothing.  During that time I lost my desire.  I lost my edge.  Lost my comfort.  Lost my sanity! 🙂

Last spring FatherRunner suggested we run a 1/2 to celebrate our 15th anniversary & my 40th birthday – in Chicago!  There happened to be a 1/2 marathon two days after our anniversary (cubs were @ home, U2 concert in soldier field) it was perfect.  We invited FRF (FastRunnerFriend) and her hubby to go too.  We went. We ran. We rocked.  I cut 20 minutes off my previous 1/2.  Still, I wasn’t ‘back’.  On the flight home FRF and I noticed an ad for the inaugural Women’s Half Marathon.  We jokingly said we would do it and then promptly made plans once we got home.

In the two and half months between those two 1/2 marathons I learned about RiceBowls.  I heard about Charity:Water. I saw friends go to Africa to serve others.  I finally realized this is not about me.  

It’s unlikely I will ever win a race.  It’s unlikely I will qualify for Boston.  However, running is a part of who I am.  Giving is more a part of who I want be.  There are millions of people in need all around the world.

It was in those two and a half months that my running completely changed.  It became easier than it has EVER been.  It has gotten faster (and faster).  It has returned me back to myself.  YAY!   I started this blog and started my journey toward helping others.  I ran the Women’s Half and cut another 10 minutes.

Now… I totally dig the increase in energy, the changes in my body, the encouragement from FatherRunner, the improvement in parenting, the ability to focus better with families I serve, and especially dig the clarity of mind. 

The point?  It really isn’t about me.  When running is about me – I fail to appreciate it.  When parenting is about me – I fail my children.  When work is about me – I fail the families.  When giving is about me – I fail to serve. 

I love running faster.  I love giving back.   I will run for Rice through the month of March and hope to raise awareness of the need.  With any luck I’ll also break 2 hrs in Dallas or OKC and see if I have the guts to go faster.


Run on Friends!

* 2 gold stars if you read all that!  give yourself a pat on the back. 🙂

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 28, 2010 10:05 am

    What a great post!!! You inspire me daily… :)!

  2. February 28, 2010 4:58 pm

    Wow! One should never read a blog so full of heartfelt emotion after she’s been sugar-deprived for 10 days :). I’m truly touched. I always say my running is for me, it’s my me time to make me a better me…but if you look at it from your take, it’s so much more. Thanks for allowing me to see this side of you, into your heart!!

    • Mother Runner permalink
      February 28, 2010 9:19 pm

      Thanks Jilly.
      That gives me warm tears.

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