Monday, April 21, 2014

A Marathon & A Munchkin

I have lots of excuses: returned to work full time, kiddos are getting older, part-time job, too much laundry, weather is too cold, The Oldest was home from school, The Munchkin was sick, gym was too far.

At the end of the day though, that's all they really were and are. Excuses. There is always time, it's just a matter of priorities. Do I want to sleep another hour or do I want to get up and haul my happy behind to the gym before the sun rises to run nowhere on a treadmill? What do I want. Do I want?

I sit at my desk listening to the 2014 Boston Marathon and once again I'm transported home - to Patriots Day and watching the Battle of Lexington & Concord, to knowing the Red Sox were playing and beautiful spring days that were filled with warmth and sun. But some of the best memories were of watching The Marathon. Seeing the elites cruise on by powered by legs that, as a little girl, seemed to move faster than most cars were able to drive. But what followed was the most special - the sea of bobbing heads as runners continued their journey toward 26.2 and a finish line. The high 5s. The costumes. The smiles.

There was no possible way I could have appreciated what it has to mean to be able to train for a marathon in the hopes that you qualify for another. But years later, after having completed a handful of 13.1s I get it. It's so much more than a race though - it's a journey and I'm not even sure that a finish line is the final destination. 

 So why write now? Why after almost a year? Because I happened to glance down at the screen of my iPod mini and I saw a little girl, probably the same age as The Munchkin, hanging on to one of the fencing units that separates runners and spectators. One of the announcers said, "I have a feeling someday she'll be running this race for herself."  I'm not sure Eleanor is ever going to see me run Boston, but I sure as heck hope that some day I can stand on the other side of that fencing, raise my hand and wave my arm to try and get her attention, and see her smile just as she takes flight on her own Boston journey.

The Munchkin and I have run sporadically over the last few months after taking most of the winter off. I had been having a hard time finding my motivation back and her 4 year old-I'm-going-to-assert-my-free-will self sometimes was less than thrilled about going with me. On Friday I picked her up from daycare and told her we'd go home and before I had a chance to finish my sentence she said, "And are we going to go running?"

So that's what we did. On a beautiful Friday afternoon, we went for a run. Toward the end of the run, as I always do, I let her out of the jogger and off she went. For 1.25 miles. As we were running she turned to me and said, "Mommy, what's the happiest part of running?"

"It's when I'm running with you, Eleanor," I told her. 

She looked at me and smiled. "I love running with you too!" she said and then took off one more time while squealing, "I'M FASTER THAN YOU!"

Game on, baby girl. Game on.

And time to find my way back to that 26.2 by way of motoring along with my Munchkin.