I was afraid of this 20-miler for some reason. Perhaps fear isn't the right word but I seriously had jitters and was doubting myself. Doubt plagued me in October and fortunately, come November I knew my mind was playing tricks on me and that I had the power within. Still, I longed to run those 20 miles with someone and it irked me that I wanted that since I felt it was a crutch I was clinging to. But when dear hubby said he wanted to run with me on the weekend with this run I was happy inside. But then things changed. He couldn't. He had to work. Plan B was to run it Saturday as a split between the gym treadmill and my home incline treadmill. I doubted I could do it all at an incline. But then things changed. Darling daughter got sick. That incline treadmill was my only hope.
After heading home early with darling daughter on Friday I thought the timing was ideal to get the run over with. She was sick. We picked up a couple of Redbox and I envisioned her cuddled on the couch watching flicks while I ran
Even though I opted to sleep in I did plan for success Saturday night. Darling daughter and I had discussed our plan. She knew where to find me when she woke up. We had crafts and playdough down from the high shelves for her to play with. We had movies selected and placed by the TV for easing reloading. I had my Gatorade chilling, my gels by the treadmill, and my clothes all laid out. The coffee was programmed to brew. I was good to go.
As I put on my socks and shoes I reiterated with darling daughter how important this run was for me and that it was my final chance. To cement it I told her I had to do all 20 miles if I were to succeed at the marathon. After her initial "woah, 20 miles!" she looked at me and asked, "so you need to do this run so you can get a medal mommy?". I replied "yes, I do and don't let me get off this treadmill until I am done."
Running with a preschooler.
As much as darling daughter is used to me running on the treadmill at home most runs are less than 60 minutes with the bulk around 30 minutes. Today was going to be different. I tried to set us up for success by getting toys down and knew the room would get messier and messier. Our standard mode of operation is she lets me run, I help clean up afterwards...although it seems I do all the cleaning. Seems like a fair trade-off. But I was worried. Would she be able to endure my 4 hours of running? More importantly, would I be able to endure a constant stream of "are you done yet" and not go crazy and give up? Within 30 minutes of running I had a brilliant idea! Wash clothes!
Distraction is the key to success in so many situations. And being able to see progress makes it so much easier. Hence, wash clothes! While running I asked darling daughter to go get 8 wash clothes out of the cupboard for a fun game. She eagerly agreed and came running back. I told her she could put them on the chair and then asked her to take one and put in on the floor. I then let her in on the fun....for each 30 minutes Mommy runs, you will get another wash cloth and put it on the tower. Then you will be able to see my progress and know when I am getting closer to done. She loved it and was actively involved in it until the very end. And only once (or twice) was I asked if it was almost time for the next wash cloth! And it gave me a 30-minute mark to focus on. Win-Win!
Yep, at about 13 miles darling daughter gazed over at me from her playdough fun at the table and asked if I was tired. My response, "yes, but Mommy only has 7 more miles to go." And to me, this is one of the best elements of my run yesterday. Not her asking me if I was tired per se but having her there with me. She was a great support system but didn't like being referred to as my support team. She was my daughter. She refilled my bottle with water twice. She changed out my sweaty wash clothes with dry ones twice. She brought me a Hershey peppermint candy when I felt I was about to crash. She was amazing! Although at the end when my eyes welled up with tears out of pure happiness of success she told me she couldn't hug or congratulate me until I stopped crying. So I stopped.
And when I was done I told myself it was good for my legs to move around, bend up and down, etc. while I cleaned up her playtime fun. And in all reality, she did a pretty good job at not getting too crazy messy! I am blessed!
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my daughter. I know I say that often but really, I am!
Daily Affirmation: I am setting a good example for others.