Before I go on claiming this amazing thought for myself….I was finishing up my mileage for the day enjoying a ROO podcast listening to Julia and her friend Nicole Antoinette talking about the very topic of “grit & grace”. It was such a novel idea! When Nicole and Julia get together their podcasts are always thought-provoking and leave me wishing I could have them on speed dial for whenever I’m needing real, genuine “adult” conversation, (what?! talking to toddlers and 5 year olds all day isn’t intellectually stimulating 😉 )
The dichotomy of these two very things pretty much sums up everything it is to be a mother runner, (or simply a mother or a kid-less runner).
Being a mother runner has required a whole lot of grit and a lot of attempted grace.
What do I mean by this?
Running isn’t an easy feat! Wether you’re starting out for the first time or you’ve been going at it since birth….there will be many days that test you, challenge you to your very core. Like Nicole said in the podcast, “it’s always easier to never start…sit on the couch and think about the possibility of starting” (Nicole, if you’re out there…I’m sorry if I butchered your words! you are so much more eloquent than me).
For me the grit involves putting aside all of my own insecurities about what I should look like, act like, if I’ve got what it takes, worrying about compromising my family or my own health in order to make running a part of my life.
Grit involves the behind the scenes stuff that others aren’t privy too…I get accused a lot of “looking super healthy”….don’t get me wrong…I have made leaps and bounds from where I’ve been health-wise…But, the nit and grit of training for a marathon, nursing a toddler, and being inundated by a million other things…I am no super human and my body has been very clear about that!
Pushing your body past its comfort zone usually means somethings got to give…for me….that’s meant battling occasional bouts of vertigo, (which I believe is hormone/blood-sugar/iron related, the “trifecta” I lovingly call it), hormone irregularities, and a general feeling of being tired and overwhelmed at times.
I will share more about the hormone thing later…as I feel this topic is so important to female runners. However, I will share that since I have gotten my cycle back I have had the most inconsistent periods of all time. I pride myself on being regular and in-tune. I chart my cycle according to moon phases…that’s how regular I am used to being. This go around…I have had my period all month long! Talk about feeling drained! Realizing that running more than the average mama as well as nursing a 2 year old probably has something to do with it…I feel like my hands are tied at the moment as I try to find balance in a unbalanced situation. More talk to come, (sorry if this is way too much information!)
Grace is knowing when to be kind to yourself and acknowledge your limits.
This training cycle has really tested my ability to be gracious with myself. I am usually a “no guts no glory” kind of gal. I push past the pain and take on more than I need to…kind of like my mom when I was growing up, (sorry mom! you are amazing…but, you and I can be pretty hard on ourselves!)
Grace is learning that every day is not going to rock your socks off; sometimes you’ll fail, fail miserably, and that’s okay. Having grace is realizing that the perfection lies in the imperfection, learning to roll with the punches, and above all laughing your ass off when things go side ways, (this is so important in my world!)
I probably could write a novel on the idea of “grit and grace”…it’s safe to say that Julia has yet again gotten me to challenge my usual way of thinking…in turn making me a better version of myself, please check out Running on Om if you haven’t already!
Quick day recap:
14 miles, done! 10 including speed work and 4 with the beast, aka my stroller! it’s muddy and I like it!
Getting better every day building train tracks with T-man! Notice the sitting spot left open in the middle, awesome mama moment 😉
Fried left-over noodles w/ spinach! I only wish this photo was a scratch and sniff!
So much prettier and yummier with left over marinara and turkey meatballs….I love cooking and I love eating even more!