3:30 a.m. Sunday morning. I hear my 18 month old crying in the other room and do my best to sit up, open my eyes, and step lightly out of bed without hurting myself. When I make it to her bedside, I quickly realize this is not the typical wake up call and there began my day with a sick child. I’ve literally been by her side all day, watching her fight and sleep while trying to keep her comfortable. It occurred to me how efficient our bodies really are at defending themselves against illness and how hard hers was working to recover. I had time to reflect on a lot of things today while I looked after my baby girl and I decided it was time to share some kind of update with those of you who care to read.
It’s been a while since I’ve written here and honestly I’d been considering closing up shop on this blog because of how much has happened in my life that I haven’t felt comfortable sharing. I don’t think I could ever capture in words the insanity that has been the last few months of our lives. I stopped running for a while. I ate – a lot. It became impossible to follow my own advice of approaching my health “systematically” because just about every other “system” in our lives was completely thrown or turned off. Post-deployment reintegration and living in PCS orders limbo for a month and a half left the woman who ran a household alone for nearly 3 years feeling threatened and helpless. Struggling to communicate well with my husband and our family (who in fairness couldn’t understand what the unknowing was doing to us behind closed doors) was frustrating to say the least. The stress built, the weight crept back on, and suddenly I was 12 pounds heavier on the scale and extremely depressed.
Though we eventually got orders that will keep us here in Hawaii for another 2 years and I’ve lost more than half of that extra weight gained, I feel like I’ve been through the kind of anguish reserved for those awaiting judgement in purgatory. I can only hope that the next few times we have to go through this in my husband’s career it will be easier, but this first go round left scars. I knew my only hope for a healthy recovery from this period of our lives would be running, so that’s what I did.
First, Stroller Warriors® Pearl Harbor invited me to coach Couch to 5K again and I am absolutely LOVING it. Next, I decided not to let my entry in the Hapalua Half Marathon go to waste even though I hadn’t trained for it and ended up finishing 20 minutes faster than my first half last year, coming in at 2:12:52. A few days ago, I crushed my 5K PR running in the first Alzheimer’s Association’s Run for Hope 5K in Honolulu as the 2nd female to cross the finish line that morning with an average 8:27 pace . Finally, I decided to start a new training plan for a sub 2:00 half marathon in preparation for the Spartan Trifecta that my husband and I will run on August 16 and 17.
As I watch my daughter sleep and reflect on all of this, I can only say it’s been IMPOSSIBLE. It was impossible for us to come out of the battle for better orders with a win. It was impossible for us to emerge from an engineer tour with a stronger marriage. But in BOTH cases, we came out victorious. It was impossible to run a half marathon without training after gaining some extra weight, but I did it and I did it faster than I did the year before. It was impossible to break a 28:12 5K PR by running a 7:32 mile and actually placing in a public race, but I did it. It is impossible to survive a weekend of obstacle races at 8 mile, 3 mile and 13 mile distances. But I WILL.
WE DO THE IMPOSSIBLE ALL THE TIME by (not so simply) choosing to move and take action. Running and helping other people moves ME.
What “impossible” things will you do?
NOTE: I want to make a Spartan Race POSSIBLE for you! Help spread the word about my blog and be entered to win a code that will get you a FREE entry to any Spartan Race (sprint, super or beast) in 2014 in the continental US OR a Spartan Sprint in Hawaii in 2014 (must be 18 or older to win). ENTER NOW THROUGH MAY 31, 2014. One winner will be drawn on June 1, 2014! Mahalo for your help and good luck!