Peace. It is a word that means a great deal to me. There are lots things in my home with that word. I have many pieces of peace sign jewelry. I have shoes with peace signs on them. I sign my emails and blog posts with “Peace.”
I always thought I loved the word Peace because I am a hippy at heart. I love all things 60’s and 70’s, especially the music and fashion. I truly think Stevie Nicks is my spirit animal. While all that is true, it is not really why I love that word and all that it embodies. I realize now that peace has been my end goal….it is what I have been looking for in my life.
During my marriage, my life was chaos. I mean, having multiple kids all going different directions and a wasband that was rarely home, chaos was a given. Or so I thought. The times the family was all together, things were no better…..they were often worse. I failed to realize at the time that I was constantly walking on eggshells, as were my kids.
Do not get me wrong, there were many fun, good times but, what I realized after my divorce, was the true cost of those fun and good times. Family activities were enjoyable but there was always a great deal of drama involved. Family dinners had a great deal of laughs, until things went too far with someone always leaving the table crying. Homework and school activities were all my responsibility (I mean I was a teacher, right?). I made excuses so regularly, it became the norm. I was always going places on my own with the kids…so much so that people joked about my invisible partner.
I felt like a ballerina because I spent so much time tip toeing around all the moods. I was constantly on alert, and constantly trying to shield my kids from the next mood swing. It was exhausting. Living in a state of hyper vigilance takes a toll on the mind and body and I was falling apart. All the while I leaned on that word….Peace.
I just wanted peace. So, I started running. I ran for miles and miles looking for peace. Running was my time to quiet the voices in my head and physically exhaust my body to the same level as my brain. Recently, I was lamenting about not training for the marathon this year and a friend pointed out that I no longer needed to train for or run the marathon. I had used marathon training as an escape, trying to find a place of peace in my life. I had finally crossed the finish line with my divorce and the race was over.
I have now retired the toe shoes and tossed the eggshells. I walk, and run, with new purpose. I stand on my own two feet that are firmly planted on the ground. I breathe deep, inhaling the present and exhaling the past. I look forward and move forward from a place of peace. My life, my head and my heart are finally at peace.

Marathon Training Begins

So…this will be my second marathon. I trained for and ran Chicago last year alone. It was a trip. I knew others that were training and running and sought support from all kinds of sources but the bottom line was….I was on my own. I trained and finished and thought I did well…for my first attempt at a marathon.

My goal this year is not only to finish again but to do better than last time. This time I have enlisted the help of CARA (the Chicago Area Runners Association) Training team. We meet once during the week for midweek short runs and once on the weekend for the weekly long runs. We are following the same program I followed last year…the Hal Higdon plan.

Training began last week and last Saturday I had my first group run. What a riot! I have never run with others before….always just me, the dog and the iPod or me and the music. I headed straight towards the turtles in the back and what a time we had! I am not used to that much adult interaction and discussion. It was wonderful! At times I longed for the peace and quiet that comes with running alone but there is time for that during my weekly runs. I need to learn to run at a consistent pace.

Today was a 3 miler and had to be done on the DREADMILL! It was raining and stormy and while I do not mind the water…I do mind the lightening! I have made the treadmill my friend as we get together occasionally for runs. I have made peace with the machine as I need it as much as my running shoes! I would rather take to the DM than miss a run.

For crosstraining today I cleaned the ‘junk room’ and I think I must have gone up and down the stairs 50 times if I did it once! Time to relax and watch Jillian Michaels for some inspiration….