Then, just when I was about to beat myself up about not dong 12 or that I had to walk, I got the mail and saw this: Dean's List letter for the second semester in a row
I worked my butt off last semester and got a 4.0 in both classes and thus far, I have a 3.9 average overall. It was the reminder I needed. I worked hard. I gave up doing fun things sometimes, including some runs to get those grades. And you know what? It was worth it.
As I thought about it, I realized that the balance lies more in the importance of the things in your life, not in how well you do in all of them. Is running still important to me? You betcha. Do I still love it? Absolutely. It's become my calm in chaos. My time to clear my head where I don't have to think about chemical equations or body tissues (what I've been studying for the last little bit today) or games that will enrich 3 year old minds. Nope, it's just me, my shoes, and an open road. How fast I go is truly irrelevant in the grand scheme of it. How many miles I log doesn't really matter either. As long as I'm getting out there because I want to and not for any other reason.
A year ago, I was gearing up to run my first marathon. It remains one of the best, proudest days of my life. I pushed myself, I challenged myself, I did something I thought was impossible.
pure bliss at the very end of 26.2 miles.
This year, I'll go run 13.1 miles and I'll still feel accomplished, regardless of time. It will be my 8th on one of my favorite courses. And I get to cheer on my brother for his very first marathon and RunnerSis^2 for her very first half. I can live vicariously through them. Even though it's a solo sport, I think we can all agree that there is a community feeling and a joy we can take in other runner's accomplishments.
Maybe balance is more about doing some things more for the joy of it and pushing yourself through other things. Right now, school is the challenge for me, the time to test myself and get outside my comfort zone. Running? It can be my happy place. PRs will always be there, waiting patiently. I want to keep racing right now because I love, but not because I need to prove how fast I am. I know I'll never be super fast, so why not just run how I feel and see what happens? No pressure 2013. Last weekend we did a race with my dad. It was small and low key. It was awesome. I was the 4th overall female and Ryan was the 14th overall male. We didn't run our fastest times, but we had fun. Proof we were having a blast: