My college, Loyola University New Orleans, is hosting an invitational tomorrow. I signed up to run the 5k race as part of an alumni team.
Eek, what was I thinking? I am not nearly in the shape I was in college, have not done any speed work in months, and am pretty tired most of the time from taking care of my toddler.
But, I could not resist. So, I’ll be waking up at the crack o’dawn to meet some of my former teammates for an 8 am race in NOLA!
We have all been messaging each other via face book and all this talk of the meet and reunion has me feeling a little nostalgic for my college days.
After college, I kind of gave up on running for a few years. Sure, I stayed in shape but not in competitive running shape. I was tired of running and competing all the time and wanted to feel like a normal person. You know. not one that is up at the crack of dawn every day (including weekends) for early morning practices, long runs, speed workouts, or races. I enjoyed this break for a while. But after I got my graduate degree, got married, started a very demanding job at a consulting firm, something just snapped and I knew I needed to start running again.
My job was stressful, I traveled a lot. I was feeling out of shape and tired. So, I started running with a local running group.
I changed jobs, had more balance, reduced some stress, ran a couple of half marathons and my first full.
We moved back home to Louisiana, I had my first child, life got hectic as I adjusted to the craziness and lack thereof of any sort of schedule that is always involved with being a stay at home mom raising a child. And I find now that running means so much more to me than it did in my college days. Not so much as a means to achieve a personal record. Heck, I’m not sure I will ever beat my college/high school pr’s because I certainly don’t have the time to train like I used to. But, running is so much more in that it provides me an outlet, a means to burn off some stress, a feeling of confidence that I have done something each day that is healthy for ME.
You see, as a mom, there are days when I am home with my daughter when I feel so busy tending to her and her needs that if all I ever do is go for a run, take care of her, perhaps get groceries, cook a meal, then at least I know that I have had some time to accomplish something for myself. Sure, there are plenty of things I do for other people too (my employers, my husband, my family, my friends) but running is just for ME! And yes, I feel perfectly fine about being selfish and wanting my run!
So, I’m looking forward to visiting with old friends, seeing if I can hang with the college kids, and enjoy one last cross country race! I was cleaning out some files on my old computer and I found these old pictures. Yes, we were quite a rag tag team of mishaps. But we had fun!