Learning to love my flexible running plan

Up until a year ago, running was the most important part of my day.  If I were able to complete the run that my self-imposed training plan had scheduled for me, then the day was great – I was happy, cheerful, and relaxed.  If I happened to wake up late, hit snooze too many times, or just not have the time or energy to head out the door for a run, then anyone who spent time around me, knew to steer clear!  I would be irritable, impatient, and often times, a complete (insert expletive) to everyone, including (and especially) my family.

Fast forward to today.  The NYC Marathon is only 6 weeks away – my longest runs to date are a 20, 18, and a few 16 milers (none with impressive or satisfying times).  I haven’t gone on a long run in 3 weeks.  My weekly mileage is about 20% less then what I wanted it to be.  Yet, despite all of that, I couldn’t be happier.  I was blessed with a happy and healthy baby boy 8 1/2 months ago and quickly learned that following my training plan (or even getting out the door to run) is no longer what makes my day.  Most mornings I am able to head out the door for my run before my husband, Paul, leaves for work – however, teething, bad nights of sleep, and Paul’s work trips are the curveballs that prevent me from religiously following the training plan.  The amount of satisfaction I get from a great run – while still incredibly satisfying! – pales in comparison to having my son smile at me!!

So while I am already getting butterflies that the marathon is rapidly approaching and I’m most certainly not as prepared as I would have liked to be, for the first time in my life I am okay with not arriving to the starting line at my best because I know what awaits me at the finish line – my son!

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