Done with Week 3

I’m glad my sister made encouraged me to take up running when she did. This time of year is a particularly rough period (especially today) as we lost Mom four years ago today. I miss her more than words can express, and it’s only accentuated when The Boy asks questions about death and about his Lola, made even tougher when he tells me that he’ll miss me when I die. I overheard him yesterday telling Cute Husband that I’ll still watch over him after I die because I’ll be a ghost, and when Cute Husband told him that Mommy has no plans to die any time soon, The Boy replied, “But, Daddy, everyone has to die.”

Such is my morbid life.

Anyway, running has helped me keep my mind off of the fact that it’s been four years, but it has also afforded me that period of quiet contemplation that I need. And it was great to have that this morning in particular. Big Sis E has told me that she occasionally talks to our mom during her runs; it helps her push through some of the tougher challenges. I use the time to think about whatever is weighing on my mind at the moment (The Boy’s troubles with his classmate, for example), so these quiet periods are quite valuable.

Yesterday was supposed to be an off day, but I felt really good and decided to go for a run at lunch with some friends. My friend Sean is a former Marine and a good resource when it comes to things like fitness training, and since he said he’d be kind enough to run with me, I took him up on the offer.

I’m glad I did, particularly after I finished today’s training. You see, when I was running with him yesterday, he pointed out my breathing, or, more specifically, the fact that it had no rhythm.

Huh?

Well, halfway through yesterday’s run, he suggested I focus on my breathing and find a comfortable rhythm. It could be inhale and take two steps, then exhale and take two more.

“And don’t run so fast!” he admonished me. “Yeah, it’s a race, but there’s no way you’re gonna win it when you’re just starting out!”

Okay, good point.

I ended up running for five minutes straight yesterday afternoon – during my off day, no less – and survived. I hated every second of it, but I felt better after I showered and had time to contemplate what I had actually accomplished.

I wasn’t exactly eager to get up out of bed this morning. I was dreaming that my mom was trying to push me out the door to go running so I’d be back before my older niece’s bus arrived to take her to school. (And for some reason, I really thought Miss J’s bus picks her up at 5:30AM. It doesn’t, by the way.)

I dragged myself out of bed at about 4:15 and remembered to eat, hydrate, and thoroughly stretch before I hit the pavement. I began my five-minute warm-up walk and started running when the little voice on my phone announced, “Start running now.”

And about 30 seconds into that run, I heard my mother’s voice:

“Not so fast, Munti. Just breathe.”

You know, as I just now typed those words, I realized that it really applies to every aspect of my life, not just running.

Anyway, I slowed down. And I breathed. And I nailed the 90-second runs and the 3-minute runs, and I even went ahead and ran a full 5 minutes more, just because I could. Yes, I can hear Big Sis E telling me to be careful and not overdo it (and she’s 100% right!), and that’s why tomorrow will absolutely be an off day (so I can rest up for the start of Week 4 on Friday).

I may not have heard her talking to me in prior runs because of all the other noise in my head, but I’m so glad I heard her, especially today of all days.

God, I really miss you, Mom!

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