Some days are good. Some days suck.
But first, with the good. I'm well on my way to recovery physically. I played it very smart and slowly built up my mileage without adding any speed, typically running three times per week. Once I was comfortable with 6 miles, I started adding interval training but still not running all out. I think it's been a very good plan. This past weekend I ran nearly 11 miles, albeit a very easy pace with a speed up only in the last two or three miles, and I was happy to find that there was absolutely no soreness from it. Even with yard work for a few hours later in the day, my legs held up just fine. The strength training I've been fairly consistent at during recovery has helped tremendously in my recovery, and it's making me feel better overall.
I'm far from at my peak. I do miss the days of not having any trouble running 9 minute pace on long runs. I miss running 8:45 pace for a half marathon race. I miss the long LONG runs of marathon training. But I'll get there soon, with a continued build up of distance and speed and strength. I registered for The Louisiana Marathon in January and I'm looking at it as my ultimate comeback race. It's actually the only race I have on my calendar besides this coming weekend's Texas Independence Relay. It remains to be seen if I add anything else. In all honesty, having no pressure on myself has been a pretty great thing.
As for the relay this coming weekend....I went back and forth for weeks on whether or not I was really going to participate. It takes a lot physically and mentally to do a team 200 mile relay and with all the other stresses in my life, in addition to injury rehab, I just wasn't sure it would be good for me. But I stuck it out and I'm doing it. It will be my team's 7th year in a row of participating. I am sad I had to commit to such a slow pace, the slowest I will have run in all 7 years. But I'm doing it.
With running aside, however, life is still a bit of a crapshoot.
My daughter has been in therapy for 6 weeks now. Overall, is has been helping her (thank God) but there are still so many unknowns and a few curveballs have been thrown at her dad and me. When it's a bad day, it's a really really bad day. Thankfully the bad days are far fewer, but I still get completely knocked down emotionally on the bad days. As a matter of fact, right now I'm completely exhausted and am finding it very difficult to find my Monday Motivation. Hence, a blog post!
My son is doing okay. He's a full-on teenager now, complete with the emotions and growing pains involved in that. He's slowly finding his motivation with school despite his struggles with ADHD. He has his hiccups and I hear from teachers occasionally. He has moments of speaking before he thinks and I have to remind him of compassion and sensitivity and how important it is to display that as often as possible. I worry about how he's feeling on the inside, although he tells me he's okay. But I still worry that he's keeping something inside, or that he's hurting and won't discuss it. I suppose the best thing I can do is to make sure he always knows I'm his biggest fan and I am there for him.
I'm trying to let go of the debilitating feeling that this is not how my life was supposed to turn out. I had a pretty good childhood, and although I always knew I was different than a lot of kids and struggled to fit in sometimes, I was motivated to succeed and I held tightly to those things I could control. Emotionally I was sometimes quite a wreck, but I've come to terms with a lot of that now that I understand it more. But I never had the difficulties my own children have. I knew how to focus, I didn't get in trouble at school, and did not have frequent, raging fits at home. My kids are not so lucky. Raising them is far more difficult than I ever could have imagined it would be. Yes, I'm fully aware that parenting is the hardest thing a person will ever do in their lives. But the struggle with my kids goes well beyond that. I envisioned lots of travel, lots of family time, a successful school career, and lots of smiles. It's hard to let that fantasy go and to find the alternatives that suit my kids' struggles better. I'm still hoping we get more travel in (my kids do not fly), and I'm hoping that the steps we are making now will still translate to success in school (my oldest goes to high school next year and he knows what the stakes are).
Oh, and everything is STILL BREAKING at my house. This past week it was the second A/C unit and the repair bill was a doozy. When the cost of everything that has broken or gone wrong (pet illnesses were bad, too) adds up to more than what I paid for my last new car, you know it's been a bad 12 months. There's only so much even a decent and secure salary can cover without it really starting to hurt. My stomach is constantly in knots wondering what else is going to go wrong and how much it will cost.
(Side note: my backyard does look pretty wonderful, however, and yes my husband and I are continuing to do ALL the new landscaping ourselves. I have a feeling it's going to be my oasis for many years to come, and thank God for that because I need an oasis!)
It will probably be good for me to let all of this go for a few days while I embark on the relay this weekend. Physically it will tire me out, but emotionally it will be good to only have to focus on myself.
Meanwhile, one day at a time....I keep on truckin'....