Since my daughter was born 2 1/2 years ago, I believe I've run 18 half marathons (3 in '08, 8 in '09, and 7 in '10 so far). I love the half marathon distance - it's easier to recover from than a marathon, easier to go run on a whim with a strong running base on your legs, and it's hard enough to be a serious challenge! Half marathons are 13.1 miles of hard work that is long enough to be draining - mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I love my little girl, Marissa, and have been blessed to be able to stay at home with her since she was born. The days are long, don't get me wrong, but rewarding. Through this, my running "hobby" (okay okay, call it an obsession) has kept me a sane stay-at-home mom. And it's all this that means that I never miss my toddler too much when I'm away because I get to spend a lot of time through the week with her.
But in a half marathon with good spectator support, I've noticed a pattern in the miles 7+. Just where you are starting to tire. I see small children on the sides of the course, cheering, waiting eagerly to see their mommy or daddy go running by, and my heart aches terribly for my daughter. I miss her in those moments far more than when I'm out of town for a few days. A pull of the heartstrings like that around mile 10 and I just want to be beamed up and transported home to hug and cuddle my Marissa, even on a great race day. And sometimes you would catch me tearing up a little in those moments too. Half marathons are a draining distance to race, and those emotions just come pouring out.
I thought it might be a nice thing to share with all of you today, as you embark on your next run. You never know where that next run will take you physically, mentally, or emotionally! Happy Running!