Erin is finding balance over 26.2 miles.
Time & Location
About the Event
I am Erin Jennings - Megan's sister. I am also mom to two kind, curious, adventurous (and sometimes confounding) boys - Simon (16) and Noah (12). Our little home is rounded out and happily filled up by extended family as well as Sadie the dog and Ally the cat and the various other creatures - human and otherwise - that find their way through our door sometimes. It's generally a pretty nice place to be. Life has had it's challenges (and of course still does) and the boys and I are so fortunate to be part of a very strong network of family and friends. It is a good place to land again and again.
I am an inclusive preschool and special education teacher. It is exciting and challenging and exhausting. I love my job - I really do but, if you think it's an easy job, PM me please, we need to talk.
I do have a personal goal - actually I have about 1000 of them but, the one I'm focusing on here is running that marathon I've been talking about for 10 years. I've done lot's of half-s but, I've never made it past 16 miles. Life get's crazy, I hurt myself - there is always a good reason to say a half is enough. Also, Megan says I have to do the whole thing so, there's that.
It's not that I'm so determined to do a marathon for the sake of running a marathon. But, choosing to do a marathon is really not easy for me. There is not one bit of one strand in my DNA that says run far. Pull a plow across a field? Sure. Carry heavy things or small children over small mountains? Yup. But run far at a reasonable pace? No. My people did not do that. It's a big enough undertaking to force some other good changes in my life.
I am surrounded by goals. The goals that come with being a parent, the goals of my students - their own goals, the goals that I create for them, and the goals that the state (with varying levels of wisdom) assigns to them. Sometimes when I think of all of the goals that I care about and feel responsibility for, I can't breath. It's really easy to decide not to take care of myself - especially since I love everything else that I am choosing to focus on. I am also really good at reminding myself that I have no business getting down because my water is good to drink, my children don't have to worry about land mines when they play outside etc... But still, I finally reached that point where I was getting a bit emptied out.
Running takes me outside and, because I run like a tortoise running through peanut butter, I get to be outside for a long time :) Sometimes I do my best thinking while running and sometimes I don't think at all. Both good. The combination of running hormones and nature is my best therapy. I am taking baby steps, as Megan advises, to get to this goal and now, I am learning to do that in the rest of my life too. I am really good at seeing the whole picture but sometimes the (little - patience requiring) details annoy me. So first step - go to PT to finally address the knee injury that I brought on myself the last time I decided to run far. My main prowess as an athlete (and maybe life?) is stubborn-ness which is fine except that I have managed to injure myself more than once. I need to bring a little disciple to stubborn commitment.
PT - check. It seems to be helping.
The next step is register for the Martha's Vinyard Half Marathon in May. I wasn't going to do it unless I could do the whole thing this year but - baby steps and balance. Also, I predict that Megan will beat me whether or not she is still on Chemo so, let's just get that out there in the open right now. I guess I should also actually begin to train for it too.
Next step - 26.2. If I don't do that, then I'll be more than happy to say I'm done after the half and I'd kind of like to break that cycle. I'm thinking 26.2 by the end of August. Either an official event or not - I don't really feel that that is so important. Anybody out there interested in creating a Williamstown Marathon? Greta Noyes - we could make it end at Bright Ideas!! Or at least someone could bring a cooler :)
So... baby steps and balance. Thank you to Megan for making me slow down and pay attention to way more than running. I'll see you at the finish line.