*** You can also view this post on the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon Blog – Java & Sole is the March Blog of the Month! ***
I often describe myself as a recovering Type A personality – I love to write out a to-do list just to be able to cross off my daily accomplishments. I’ll outline and edit and rewrite a vacation packing list over and over to make sure I don’t forget anything (you know, so I can cross that off my to-do list). And in the “before children” era, most things generally followed my well-thought-out plan.
Once the “with children” stage of life began, I realized that I had to lose (some of ) the lists or I was going to lose my sanity! But still, old habits die hard. I still remember that sunny afternoon around a kitchen table at my family’s Easter gathering, telling my aunts and cousins my plans to run a half marathon the following May. Without saying a word, they all raised their eyebrows as they shifted their gaze towards my two toddler girls on the floor playing with my newborn son.
Okay, so I wasn’t a runner (yet) and I’d never enjoyed running in the past but really, how hard could it be? I just had to do it once, because at sometime during my most recent pregnancy I thought running a 13.1 mile race sounded like fun, then I could cross half marathon off my to-do list and move onto my next unlikely challenge.
A couple months later, I started running. It was a *big deal* when I was able to go the 1st mile without stopping…then 2 miles without stopping. I still had no idea how I was going to finish 13.1 miles – running, walking or crawling – but I fell in love with the peace and solitude that came from short runs after bedtime.
By the time race day rolled around for the 2011 Mini Marathon, I was hooked. Not so much on the running, but on the way it made me feel during and after my run. It wasn’t long after that race that I realized running had became much more to me than an item to check off my to-do list. What I didn’t realize is how many other people were taking notice.
The very next year, I coaxed my brother into running his first half marathon with me…okay, much faster than me ;) In 2013 two of my uncles starting running, mostly 5K’s and local races in southern Indiana, both gradually working their way up to higher mileage. This past May, I was thrilled and honored to be my mom’s biggest cheerleader as she completed her first half marathon in Cincinnati, where she lives.
And on the morning of November 1, I was fortunate enough to head to the start line of the 2014 Monumental Half Marathon with my brother and sister-in-law plus 2 of my aunts, 2 of my uncles and 4 of my cousins – the first half marathon for nearly all of them! There is truly no better feeling than crossing the finish line to find so many familiar faces – except, maybe, the sudden and surprising realization that you played a small part in inspiring these people to take those first steps towards reaching their goals. Goals they may not have ever even considered if you hadn’t been so obnoxious with the crazy runner girl talk all the time!
Since that 2011 Mini, I have run 11 more half marathons and several shorter distance races (5K, 10K, quarter marathons), including the 2011 Monumental 5K and the 2013 and 2014 Monumental Half Marathons. I am already committed to 5 more half marathons along with some shorter distance races and relays this year, including the 2015 IMM Half Marathon!
What are your favorite family activities?
Signed up for any of the 2015 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon weekend races – which one?
Who inspires you?