We were able to get away this weekend, just Mark and I. As I prepared the house, schedules for the kids, menus for their meals, and myself for an impromptu get away, I found myself frustrated with the loss of training and mileage that I was going to be experiencing. Then I found myself frustrated with myself for being frustrated about these things. My head knows that training only comes because I am given this gift by first God and then my family. Yet when trying to plot out some sort of training plan for an upcoming race, I am trying to develop and maintain a level of consistency that will put me within the threshold of being ready for the goal event.
I have been making great gains with consistency on my weekday training, yet with two getaways in the last month, my weekend running has been less than what I would like it to be. Amidst my inner pouting fest I recalled this particular scene from the movie Evan Almighty. It is my favorite scene. It is the one that speaks directly to my relationship with God.
In the scene, Evan is pleading with God, played by Morgan Freeman. Evan says, "but I had all these plans!" God gazes at Evan with a pregnant pause and then just laughs and says...."you had plans?" Yeah, that's me. Daring to explain to God my plans...
I wonder how often He laughs at me?
I settled into the thought of revising the "plan" and allow my body a bit of recovery for the week and then come back next week ready to hit the weekends with rigor over the next 8 weeks. This appeared to be quite reasonable and it seems my body agreed as every workout was a struggle to get through. From lack of energy to waning motivation to outright hamstring revolt when my legs began to cramp before hitting 2 miles. Both legs...with a vengeance. I'm sure it was just a little reinforcement to remind me of the new plan.
We arrived at the lake house Friday evening and I think both of us were a bit unsure what to do with ourselves. It wasn't till we talked about it on the way home from our trip away that we realized we had not been away together, just he and I, in over ten years. That's a long time. And with six children that we have been raising the last twenty years, we had just lost track of time.
Don't get me wrong. We have loved raising our children and spending time with our family. We have enjoyed family vacations with our immediate family as well as with our extended family, but we have not had time or made time to get away together, just Mark and I. So, when we arrived at the lake house, alone, nothing to do, no one to care for, chase after, cook for, clean up after, drive somewhere, console, encourage, etc, etc, etc, we really did not know how to behave.
We headed out for some dinner and supplies and then settled down for the night catching a great movie from the Red Box, The King's Speech. We had not seen it yet, (seriously, who has time to watch movies these days??) and we really enjoyed it. For some reason we also rented Rango. I guess we had to feel like we had one for the kids too...
Saturday had us up and out early to take care of the nice nail that decided to impale our tire. Thankfully, it was easily repaired and we continued with our plans to explore the Big Thicket.
What an amazing place! We took in a beautiful 3 mile hike in the heat of the day, and thanks to the canopy of the forest, we had quite a bit of shade cover. It was so nice to spend time doing nothing together. Matthew Kelly refers to it as carefree timelessness. It is important to have this with your kids, and I am convinced now, it is just as important if not more important to have this with the one you love.
The rest of the day we spent sipping coffee and reading books. This may not seem like a big deal to most people, but to us, this is something we have never done during daylight hours together. To sit and to read together. This was a new threshold for us. We were both in two different worlds, yet sitting right next to each other, enjoying the solitude and yet, not feeling alone.
Mark read Laura Ingram's new book, Of Thee I Zing. Pretty funny read. I dove into a book sent to me as a gift earlier this year from a good friend. Marshall Ulrich's Running on Empty was an excellent read that I pulled several things from. Somehow it was perfectly timed to this time in my life.
Ulrich makes it obviously clear that despite all of his accomplishments, and there are so many amazing ones that it makes my head spin, his one regret is that it came at the expense of his relationships with those he loves/loved.
His run across America was truly inspirational, moving, and enlightening. I was captivated the entire book reading about his journey. And my heart ached for him when the struggles of life hit him head on.
What I took away most from reading his journey was this. No matter what, no matter how much I love to run, to be out in the woods, to be away from "the world", I can not let that come before the people in my life who mean the most to me. My family will always come before my need to run.
I also came away from his book with a renewed commitment to running. Yes, I just said that my family will always come first. This, in turn, places the challenge of properly scheduling my training and races with my vocation as wife and mother.
I have managed to do a fairly decent job of this thus far, so I believe that most of the changes that will be made will be internal. Having a better mind set and remaining flexible with my training especially if it has to go "off plan" for some reason.
I have written about this topic before. Yet, here I am again sorting through it all. Obviously, I haven't perfected it. Doubt I ever will. I will try to embrace it all as part of the bigger journey in my life. The journey that will hopefully lead me to the person He is calling me to be.