Fortunately, I have many forces pushing me in the right direction. I have my family who supports me by allowing me the time I need to get my training runs in. Most weeks I am able to fit my shorter runs in before Eoin gets up, but when that is not the case, my daughter will snuggle with him in bed to ensure he is still getting the attention he needs. For my longer runs, Sean is often riding his bike up and down our route to be sure I am safe, and his motivational comments along the way are also important, especially as I reach the 10-mile marks.
Another huge force I have had behind me lately is the group of friends who have been running my training miles with me. Emily has been our ring leader--leading us through streams, up and down uneven hilly terrain, and through the brush that surrounds our area. Kay has been our driving force constantly looking for new challenges and up for just about anything--pilates, weight lifting, biking, running...anything. Gaby, who runs nothing but killer hills everyday, has mastered the art of understatement. As we were training on the hills near her home, she was continuously describing the landscape as rolling hills--I know rolling and these were plummeting hills...there and back plummeting hills. Without Gabby's killer 8-10 mile hill runs, I don't think we would be as prepared for the Temecula Half Marathon this Saturday. As you can see, the roll of the tides has drifted some amazing support in my direction.
Occasionally the tide pulls us in directions that do not support our journeys. We will get injuries, stress will cause us to eat unhealthy foods in unhealthy amounts, we will get busy and have difficulty fitting in our exercise--this is part of life and we need to learn to deal with it. When you are injured, find a new way to move your body. You might be surprised to find how much you enjoy this new exercise. When stress causes you to lose control, remember that this is not the end of the world. I have had days and even weeks like that, but I always remind myself that each meal is an opportunity to start fresh. And on those days that I have so many obligations that it seems impossible to fit in my running, I make sure and schedule it in as if it is an important appointment. I have been know to leave my house before 5 AM or even go at night, which I detest more than you can possibly imagine.
One of the things that struck me this morning about the ocean is that no matter what, the tides continue to roll in and out. The ocean never quits. Good or bad, high or low, you can always come out to the beach and watch the waves do their thing. We need to stubbornly power on like the waves, because the reward is priceless--a long healthy life spent surrounded by those that loved and supported you along the way.