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mother. marathoner. blogger. reader.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Race Report: Callaway Gardens Marathon

Six weeks ago I did something uber crazy.

I signed up for another marathon after just completing a marathon. I've done this before. Right after the crap fest that was New York, I found myself signing up for the Richmond Marathon.

This time, however, the races weren't a year apart. They were WEEKS apart. Weeks. As in not a lot of days between marathon #6 and #7.

A first for me.

I went from feeling completely prepared to having day-time nightmares about not making the cutoff and being forced to quit the race.

The day before the race, I was so nervous that I was practically unbearable to be around. After one particular icy moment, my husband looked at me and said, "Lauren, I know you're nervous but you need to get a grip." I couldn't even get mad at him - he was right.

This was a super small race. I'm terrible at estimating but I'm pretty sure there were about a 100 people there, both half and full marathoners. The course itself takes place entirely within the Callaway Gardens property. It's an out and back loop course which normally would be boring but when you're running through the woods all the trees look the same anyway.

Pros: There is little to no crowd support but I'm not a big fan of spectator selfies or high fiving little kids so that didn't bother me that much. There were adequate water stops and porta potties and due to the size of the race all of the runners were super friendly and encouraging.

Cons: I would have loved some post race chocolate milk and the medals were kind of lame but hey you get what you pay for.

Overall, this was the perfect race for what I needed it to be. I needed a January race in Georgia that wasn't too far to travel to and not too expensive.

Oh and guess what?

I placed second in my age group!

I didn't think that would happen until I was 85 and there wasn't anyone else left alive in my age group.

Small races rock.

Previous Post: running saved me

Monday, January 26, 2015

running saved me

On Thursday, I learned that a girl I had worked with for about 5 years, committed suicide by jumping off a local bridge.

When I googled the news article and saw her picture, my heart sank. I have nothing but wonderful memories of a co-worker that showed me kindness and was always willing to go above and beyond her job to help me with a problem. She could always make me smile.

I can't imagine how bad things must have been for her to feel that her only relief would come from death. How scared she must have been standing up there, all alone, facing something so overwhelming and exhausting.

Depression is real. Mental health issues are real.

After the birth of my first son, I suffered from postpartum depression. For 6 weeks, I did nothing but cry. Multiple times a day. While showering, while walking to CVS to buy twizzlers, while on the phone - nothing but tears. I was overwhelmed. I was exhausted. Having to have a c-section threw me for a loop and breast feeding was a complete bust. I kept looking at this little person that I was suddenly responsible for and wondering what the heck I had gotten myself into.

I thought the pain, the fear, and the exhaustion would never end. I would sit on the toilet and beg God to help me. To make me feel better, to make me a better wife, a better Mom. I felt like a complete failure.

Then one morning, I started running again. It was ugly. I cried. I felt guilty for even leaving the house without this little person they ripped from my body six weeks before. But by the end of the run, I remembered a little bit of what it meant to be Lauren. Not Lauren the new Mommy who couldn't stop crying or even Lauren the emotional psycho. I was Lauren the runner who ran her first marathon before the baby bug bit. I was Lauren the wife of a newly minted P.h.d and finally, Lauren the new Mommy of an amazingly adorable perfectly perfect baby boy.

Running saved me.

It was what God used to bring me through the momentary darkness and reconnect me to this wonderful life.

On Saturday, I ran my 7th marathon. It was a small, low-key race where I spent a good amount of miles by myself running through the woods. Before my races, I ask family & friends to pick a mile and a prayer request and dedicate that mile to that person. All of my miles were claimed before I found out about Laura, so I decided to dedicate the race to her, to the memory of a life that touched mine and countless others.

Please join in me in praying for all of those who struggle with depression and mental illness and for their family members and loved ones.

If you run, please consider dedicating a mile to these people who are struggling mightily.

This one's for you Lau. xxx

Previous Post: another year

Friday, January 2, 2015

another year....

2014 was an incredible year.

In March, we welcomed Baby G into our family. I could have never imagined what a blessing he would be. He brings nothing but joy, happiness, and smiles to everyone he meets.

About 7 weeks later, I started running again. Staying active throughout my pregnancy was the smartest thing I could have ever done and made getting back out there SO much easier.

In April, I ran 15 miles. In May, 81. October was highest month with a whopping 129.3 miles.

I'm pretty impressed with myself.

My total mileage for 2014 is around 850 miles. Not too shabby for a lady who just had a baby.

I ran in 4 races this year, including my 6th marathon, where I was blessed to cross the finish line with my running partner.

This year, more then any other, running has served as a touchstone of sorts. A reminder of who I am despite the diapers, sleepless nights, spelling tests, and laundry. I have running goals; goals that I'm working towards even while parenting three of the most fabulous, yet equally exhausting, children.  

So basically 2014 was awesome and 2015 is shaping up to be pretty great. I've already signed up for two more marathons with my eye on a third in the Fall. At this rate, I'm going to need a new medal rack. Oh, and maybe a part-time job to pay for race entries.

I'm not going to promise that I'm going to be diligent about blogging regularly but I am going to try. I am thankful for those who encourage me to write about and record this crazy journey I've embarked on and for those who take the time to read about it. I am praying for a happy and healthy New Year for us all.

Bring it on 2015!