I Will Never Run a Marathon

Yesterday, was a "rest" day. Usually I walk between 5 and 8 miles on the rest days. I didn't get to it until nearly sunset. It had been a hard day--the day of the funeral of a friend who leaves behind a wife and two young children. I admit, I ran a little during the "walk" just shake the stress out.

Yesterday, was a "rest" day. Usually I walk between 5 and 8 miles on the rest days. I didn't get to it until nearly sunset. It had been a hard day--the day of the funeral of a friend who leaves behind a wife and two young children. I admit, I ran a little during the "walk" just shake the stress out.

I've read a stack of running books lately, listened to a ridiculous number of running podcasts. That's what I do. I gain a new interest and then I read voraciously about that interest. Over the years, I've acquired and borrowed books on all sorts of things: pregnancy, childbirth, babies, homeschooling, cancer, nutrition, theology, gardening, and more. My bookshelves are bursting. And now I have running books. 

They're interesting. Several of them are memoir-type books, or memoirs with lots of practical advice thrown in. It's interesting to read memoirs that aren't faith-based; an education in a whole new population of people. (I would love to read a Christian running book, though, because the ones I've read don't really feel "familiar.") What's more interesting is understanding the psyche behind people committed to running, running well, and running long distances. When I read those books, I'm sure I could run a marathon. 

Then I step away from the book.

I'm 48. My feet hurt. My knees hurt. I'm homeschooling 6 kids and frequently visiting 3 more. I bore all 9 of those children {ahem}. I'm nurturing several elite athletes. I'm someone's Nona. After all my reading, I think I know how to run a marathon. I even think I'd like to run a marathon. However, it is highly unlikely that I am well-suited-- physically or otherwise-- to run a marathon. and I'm pretty much OK with that. I have my own personal running goals, ones that suit my body, my temperament, and most importantly, my family. 

I am a terrible Tweeter. Wait! This is going somewhere. I promise it's all related.

The other day, I got on Twitter for the first time in about ten days. I just always forget about Twitter. I tried to be social and appropriate and respond to 35 notifications. In doing so, I found myself on someone else's Twitter feed, scrolling through all her tweets to find the one I wanted to answer. My goodness! She'd tweeted a lot that week. And most of her tweets were tweets about places she was writing and projects she was posting. The productivity was astounding. 

And I felt guilty. I know how to do all those things, write all those things. I've listened to more blogging/social media/ how-to-write books and podcasts than I ever listened to running ones. I think I can even objectively say I have a gift for writing. But writing isn't just lacing up one's shoes and running 3 miles in the morning any more. It's committing to a marathon a month and the strict schedule of tempo runs, hill repeats, and weekly long runs. I know how to be a prolific, successful writer. And I know that I am no more suited to that at this time in my life than I am to running a marathon. 

It has taken a summer of long walks and the sound of footfall over and over again to be okay with that. I admire the marathoners--both the writing ones and the running ones.  I've lived my whole life believing that if I just try hard enough, I can do anything. Mostly, that's come true. But now, at midlife, I recognize that I might be able to do anything, but it's not wise for me to do some things. Just as I do not have the body of a marathoner, I am not created to be a mega-blogger who devotes herself to the hard work of publishing prolifically. I can't do that and do this--this life at home--well. I can't train for a marathon and take care of my family, either. Besides, I'm not sure a marathon would be a particularly healthy thing for me to do. It works for other people--younger people, people who don't have my health history, people who are in a different time and place in their lives. But not me. Thank God for the marathon writers! What they have added to our collective wisdom is a blessing. I am not one of them and I don't aspire to be. 

I'm just shooting to be a 5 miles in the morning every day kind of gal. 

So, I made this button. I like it. It took me a few minutes while sitting in a parking lot. It doesn't click to any where. I don't know how to do that and don't have the time to Google it. I expect that somewhere along the way, Mary Beth might connect it for me. (Or not. She's really busy these days and she has decided she wants to squeeze some running into her schedule and do a Turkey Trot 5K with me. Go her!) I haven't done all the other linking and tweeting I'm supposed to for the 31 Days things either. I'm going to try to do that today, but I've got another birthday to celebrate tomorrow and I really need to put my brain to that. Oh, and we have a well-established tradition of birthday posts and I'm already three behind ... 

So here you go, my "quick morning run" button, which isn't even button-sized. But it will be. Maybe.