I ran a Half Marathon.
Well, if I’m being completely precise and honest I’ve run two so far in the 2012 year. The first (run in January) was a ‘virtual’ Half Marathon. The brainchild of genius company Nike. Runners from around the world were able to chart their own 13.1 mile course and sync their run through an App to the Nike+ website. Completion of the 13.1 distance on the designated day resulted in a cool bracelet from Hurley and well, bragging rights.
But Sunday, March 18 was a bit different. This 13.1 held an official start time, an Expo Day and a couple thousand other crazy people who think it’s fun to pay someone to run. The Modesto Half Marathon will forever be remembered as my ‘inaugural’ Half Marathon.
Yes, I actually just stated ‘inaugural’ and I understand this would indicate there are more in my future. I am happy to report that as long as my legs allow me and I can keep my evil thoughts at bay I will continue with the paid craziness I have come to love and run Half Marathons (on occasion).
Past columns have touched on my journey and how I have come to embrace this newfound passion. My life in my running shoes is ever evolving. Life as a working mom, most definitely helps with presenting obstacles. Many of which would make it very simple to cut myself some slack and just not do it.
It’s funny how I always manage to find some time for this ‘hobby’ and while yes, I will admit that the conditions and times are not always exactly as I would hope… I push through.
I once read a quote which stated: I never regret a run, when I am finished. I always regret when I chose not to run.
Truthfully, writing this is a bit of an out of body experience. That 13.1 mile trek in Modesto is what it took for me to finally realize I am a runner. I love it. It keeps me healthy, clears my head and has opened the door to a whole new world of friends.
It’s pretty cool to now be the person people e-mail or text to see if I am interested in ‘going for a run.’ What I love even more is not only being able to say yes, but not being afraid of the mileage they may propose we take in.
But running is not for everyone and I am not the ‘official’ spokesperson for Runners World Magazine. I am, however, a mother of two children whose life has been altered by putting myself back on the list.
The list… you know that piece of paper or calendar in your phone which lists all the things we must do for our family, friends, pets, neighbors and anyone else that can suck a little time out of you. Yes, that is the list I speak of and I now have a permanent place on it.
By doing so, I am now role modeling some pretty cool stuff for my two children.
Both of my children are active in extracurricular activities. Some they like more than others and we hold a policy of ‘finishing out a season’ (even if the activity is not their thing). Now, with mommy running the two of them are witnessing me ‘walk the talk.’
Commitment is not always easy, but once you choose it is critical to go in with both feet and not look back. Of course to them 13 miles is no different than 2 miles and honestly that works for me.
I do not run for anything other than the way it makes me feel, everything else that follows is just a bonus.
A big bonus found its way to me via my 4-year-old daughter the day before my race. The two of them (son and daughter) and myself had set out for an ‘adventure hike’ before the rain found its way through town. As we walked my daughter started running. I followed, keeping pace with her and teasing as if I would pass her at some point. Her brother was busy taking in the sights of nature, so at each given point she and I would stop and wait for him to catch up.
As we headed home I said to her, “Do you like running, sis, because you seem to run more than walk when we are out on our hikes.” With her head cocked in a matter of fact way my daughter said, “Yes, mommy I love running. It makes me feel like a grown-up… like you. Someday I’m going to race. We’ll be a team.”
And that’s what it’s truly all about.
For years I have listened to ‘experts,’ people without children or families preach about the importance of putting yourself on the list. Listening to them, I would think easier said than done. Today that still holds true. It is in fact easier said than done, but… once you find what works for you, once you find something you are passionate about, something you miss when you don’t do it, well… you find time. Your passion requires your mind to work differently and as it does everyone benefits.
So now, whether it’s sewing a quilt, playing tennis with some friends or heading to the park for a pick-up game of basketball put yourself on the list. You owe it not just to yourself, but your family and yes… it can be done.
Teresa Hammond is a staff reporter for The Oakdale Leader, The Riverbank News and The Escalon Times. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 847-3021.