These running shoes represent my sanity. 20 days after having a baby, I laced them up and went for a run. And a piece of my sanity returned, step by step.
I started running in 1996. I stepped on the scale one morning and was repulsed by the number that stared back at me. I had been married to my farmer for one year and had put myself last on the to-do list. I was in school full-time, working full-time and trying to be a wife, all at 21 years old.
I put on a pair of shoes and ran in a straight line from my house until I was exhausted and turned around and walked home. Each day was a challenge to run a bit further. As the years passed, I challenged myself to run races, starting with 5K's and working my way up to marathons.
My first marathon was in Walt Disney World in 1999. Since that time I have run 4 more marathons, a dozen half-marathons and countless small local races. The medals are all saved and provide a perspective of the miles covered. I've even run a half marathon in Napa, California, where the finish line featured a wine festival. After that race, I firmly believe all races should end with wine! It's good to have a goal to run for!
So today, when I have been feeling a bit exhausted from seemingly endless feeding sessions of a 3 week old, homework for the 6 year old, the meanderings of the 4 year old, laundry, meals, and trying to keep up with my "real" job while supposedly on maternity leave, I decided I need to run. With each step of a fairly slow 3 mile run, I felt a bit of myself returning. Running is my passion. And while I have the pace of a turtle instead of the hare, it is a time of reflection. I can't wait to lace up the shoes again tomorrow.