Yes! I am Running,

This time two weeks ago I was enjoy the post run high after running (ish… there was some walking) my third half marathon… and it was emotional. I cried at the start line and I cried a lot at the finish and I have realised that this event had been holding so much emotion within it that I wasn’t expecting.

I am sure I am not the only one that feels like this year is really busy, busier than years gone by, and I don’t know if the world is just spinning faster, or if it’s just what happens when you try to balance work and mum life… but it has been a full year. The last couple of months, in particular, have pushed me past busy into stressed and tired and overwhelmed. I have been working more, Isaac is busier in himself… being 2 is hard and busy… there is so much playing to be done between naps. Dave have also been busy with School and our weekends have been packed with things, albeit fun things, but things all the same. There hasn’t been a lot of downtime. We have also rearranged out living spaces at home to move the TV out of the way and be more deliberate about not watching it, but I am not sure if this has helped with the downtime or made it less relaxing. Anyway… the point of all of this has been that I have been feeling overwhelmed, really overwhelmed and probably since the beginning of term 3 in July, I feel like I have been racing out of control from one event to the next, living by my calendar and just hoping for the best in between. It’s not a super fun way to live… in fact in kinda takes the joy out of all of the events because the next one is already bubbling away in the back of your brain.  

While my life was slowly spinning out of control, I had also been attempting to train for this half marathon… and while I probably took it more seriously than I have previously, making sure that at the very least I did all the long runs and something else, I forgot how hard it was to include training when life was simpler (I know it didn’t feel simple at the time, but I know with hindsight it was). Adding a dependent child in, really stops you from just going for a 2-hour run spontaneously… you have to plan this stuff… especially because Dave needs to do the same run as well. There was a lot to do and not a heap of time… but it’s done and I made it and the relief is very very real.  

I have been talking about doing this half marathon for almost 2 years, using it as a delay tactic to avoid talking about having more kids… because you can’t run a half marathon and be pregnant… (although according to one lady’s race bib I saw while running… ‘Baby on Track’ that’s not entirely true… apparently you can). Anyway, I realised as I stood at the start line that this was the last event in my mind… this was where I had been heading… I also started to panic, overwhelmed by the fact that I was about to run 21.1km and I wasn’t sure how well I would make it… I knew I would most likely make it, but I didn’t know how well, or what that would look like. I was also overwhelmed by the crowd, so many people all ready to achieve this together, people of all shapes and sizes, for all different reasons, running together. I think that part of me was also overwhelmed because I didn’t have a plan for what was to come next… That after this, I was done with events and things, even if it was only for a little bit.  

As I started to run I remembered a song I had listened to on previous fun runs and dug it out of my music collection and pushed play on ‘Home’ by CityAlight… these are the lyrics:  

Yes! I am running
Won’t be long ’til I am home
Yes! I am running
Jesus bring me safely home 

Jesus lead me day by day
Fix my eyes upon Your face
Guide my feet, Lord, as I run
Hold me Saviour in Your love 

Jesus keep me free from sin
Help me fight the war within
Shield me now from fear and doubt
Break these chains that weigh me down
Oh we sing together now 

Yes! I am running
Won’t be long ’til I am home
Yes! I am running
Jesus bring me safely home 

Jesus You have run the race
Perfect love and perfect faith
We are weary, You are strong
In Your grace we carry on
Oh we sing together now 

Yes! I am running
Won’t be long ’til I am home
Yes! I am running
Jesus bring me safely home  

It became my prayer for the first 3km… a very literal prayer from eternal words… that Jesus would guide my physical feet as I ran the Melbourne Half Marathon.  

I realised as I ran how much of the last three years I had hidden in this event, delay, disappointment, fear, and expectation. That somehow if I could get through those 21kms, I could forgive my body for not carrying and birthing Isaac or Josh the way I thought it should have. That if I could just get through those 21km I could prove to myself that I am strong, that I am capable, that I can still do hard things. That if I could just get through those 21km, then maybe I could finally let myself hope and trust myself enough to see a brighter future.  

As I crossed the line, I felt like a weight and been lifted off my shoulders, I fully relaxed for the first time in a long time and it wasn’t just a physical relax because my muscles couldn’t do anymore, but an emotional and mental relaxation. I felt lighter and hopeful but also just so so relieved. Relieved that I had made it, relieved that it wasn’t awful, and relieved that my body hadn’t let me down again… that I was stronger than I believed.  

21.1km is a long way… and it takes a long time, even longer when you run at my pace… but it also gives you a lot of time to reflect and think if you want it and finishing it is empowering.    

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