A therapeutic run

Have you seen some of the 10 Running Questions posts going around? I had planned to answer those this morning (thanks, Robin, for the tag!), but all weekend I was thinking about my friend Terzah’s answer to question number two: three words that describe my running.  She listed:




I experience one or all of these every time I run.  Even on my worst runs, getting out the door is always freeing. 

Nearly every run is also rejuvenating.  No matter how I feel at the start, my energy is revived, and I come home “sweaty and happy” as daddy and L like to say.

And it never fails that when I most need it, my run becomes therapeutic.

Such was the case with my 12 miler this weekend.  I was excited to finally be back to longer weekend runs, and the weather was cool enough for an old favorite trail that had been too sunny for the summer months.  I generally prefer to run in silence, as there is enough “noise” in my day and I value quiet time to think, pray, meditate, zone out… whatever is needed.

This weekend, I opted for music.  I chose a new RPM track I’m memorizing for spin, and set out.

The cool weather, upbeat music and change of scenery combined for a nearly perfect run.  I cruised along, feeling strong and lucky to be out, soaking it all up.  I was having a blast, feeling upbeat and energized.

And then something happened.

The last song came on, “93 Million Miles” by Jason Mraz.  The soothing, mellow song and appropriate lyrics struck me as I was approaching our house…

“To share this view of the night, a glorious night, over the horizon is another bright sky
Oh, my my how beautiful, oh my…father,
He told me, “Son sometimes it may seem dark, but the absence of the light is a necessary part.
Just know, you’re never alone, you can always come back home” [emphasis mine]

…and suddenly, as I began cooling down and stretching, I was overwhelmed with emotions and let the tears flow. “Home” can be interpreted various ways.  For me, it holds a faith component.  For others, it may be finding security in family, friends, within yourself.

The absense of light is a necessary part… I’m learning this over and over in life, there are stages where we cannot see what is to come, cannot possibly know why things are as they are, and this is okay.  It is a necessary part.  We are not in control.

My life is full.  I feel blessed.  I am content with what I’ve been given and what I have.  But there are times when I struggle with the future… with letting go of my plans… with the questions when things go wrong- in my life, my larger community or devastating news around the world.

And this ability to find my emotions, release them, and feel refreshed again is what keeps me coming back to running.  It was my mini-therapy session on Saturday.  And I’m ready to face the uncertainties of the future again.

93 million miles from the Sun, people get ready get ready,
’cause here it comes it’s a light, a beautiful light, over the horizon into our eyes…




About that “I” word…

Do you remember the 2012 goals post I wrote back in December? In the final paragraphs, I casually added that I hoped this would be either a year of another marathon or a baby. I feel like it’s time to elaborate on that.

First of all, I’m not pregnant. I’ve hinted before that we had some trouble getting pregnant, and a few weeks ago, I was moved by Sarah’s post and Jen’s post regarding National Infertility week.  The theme of the week? Don’t ignore infertility.

That struck me hard, because it captured exactly how I felt when we were trying to get pregnant with L- it drove me crazy that no one was talking about it, and I made it a point to share with my family and friends because I needed their support.  In the process, I came across many similar stories and was greatly encouraged by other moms who had also struggled, and had built their family in one way or another.

Those two posts helped me to realize that I have been ignoring it this time around.  No, I’m not “infertile” in the absolute sense that I cannot have children.  We feel incredibly blessed to have our spunky 2 year old! But I have experienced infertility in the sense of its emotional toll: fear, uncertainty, depression, impatience, frustration… the list goes on. And now it’s been about a year that we’ve been ready for another child.

While the second time around has been made a tiny bit easier by the distraction of caring for L, as time goes on, I’m finding some of those same emotions resurfacing.

The good news is, we can’t NOT have kids.  I trust that we will get pregnant again.  My diagnosis has always been vague (polycystic-like ovaries but not necessarily PCOS) and what helped us get pregnant was also unclear, although months of acupuncture and herbs finally seemed to do the trick.

This time around, my cycles have been textbook material and we’ve heard it can be easier the second time around, so we haven’t been nearly as proactive with seeking treatment.  But I finally decided it’s time to try something, and started acupuncture two weeks ago with herbs and tea brewed from these intriguing herbs:

In terms of running, my activity level did not interfere with our first pregnancy (I even ran a 10 mile race when pregnant before I knew it) and I’ve been encouraged to continue what I’m doing, but I also believe this is not the time to train for a marathon.  Hopefully next year.  🙂

So, this is where I’m at right now, and why my races are last minute month-to-month, and why I can’t plan very far into the future.  As a person of faith, I have confidence that God will guide us, and whether it’s natural childbirth or through adoption, we feel called to love and raise another child. I do feel hopeful that acupuncture will help, although I know it can take many months, so I’m settling in for the ride and doing my best to embrace the unknown.