It's 5:00 on a Wednesday morning. This is the time I'm usually getting back from my morning run with Eddie. But not today. I'm tapering! And from what I hear about the Pittsfield Peaks course, I really do need to rest.
(Eddie. See his tail? He's a skittish dog. Every since we got him last fall.)
But it's so hard. I'm absolutely wired to run. It's built into my muscles and my bones.
Shut up. No running!
Actually this particular morning, it's not that hard. In fact, it's a no-brainer. I didn't sleep much last night and I'm tired. My daughter Nell woke me up last night around 11 because she couldn't sleep. And then I didn't get back to sleep myself for hours.
Nell is 8, which is a fabulous age. I sat on her bed and rubbed her back for 20 minutes until she finally blinked out. It was so pleasant to sit quietly in a dark room physically connected to my daughter. Every night of her first year we did this. She would wake and I would quietly nurse her back to sleep. I loved those times.
Or at least I love the memory of them. I must admit that I am mostly glad the kids aren't babies anymore. There was a six year stretch back there (2001 - 2007) in which I rarely slept through any night. Nursing babies, bad dreams, post-partum stuff: all of this strikes in the wee hours. I am starting to take a good night's sleep for granted. I am grateful for my time last night with Nell.
(Nell on her 8th birthday)
I am starting to take pieces of my life back. When the kids were little, they hated for me to leave. I felt like I was always rushing back home. All of my runs felt frantic. They were all short and guilt-laden, because I knew somebody back home was crying.
Ah, no longer. We are all developing our own interests. Our own lives.
I am off to VT for Pittsfield Peaks and I don't feel too badly about leaving the kids. Brian is coming with me to run the 10-mile race, so Nell, Simon and Ben will stay overnight with Grandma and Grandpa. We are lucky they live so close. We'll leave Friday, late afternoon, and come back Saturday night.
Sunday will be an interesting parenting day!
Even still, leaving them is not easy. The logistics alone are daunting. Pack for three kids, ages 4, 6 and 8, get them to Grandma's house (half an hour away) and soothe worried brows (Nell is at the age when she is starting to worry. I remember when I was 8 myself, crying at the front door as my parents prepared for a weekend away, certain something terrible was going to happen to them).
Then get home, pack a drop bag, a running outfit, bottles, packs, etc, etc. I need a Personal Organizer. This is really not my thing.
I cannot wait to start running! Once I get going up in Pittsfield, all of this will have melted away.