I ran in my first 10K race today. It's really not a race for me (yet?), since my goal is still just to finish. And today, to keep up with Sonia!
Fortunately it was a flat course, and though I was winded around the 5th mile, it wasn't too bad, and I was able to keep up with Sonia. It was a lot of fun yakking with Sonia and her friend Aidymar.
Do feel free to skip this section, it's just reflection more for me than anyone else.
(In fact, from talking with these two terrific ladies, I came home and had a torrent of insight about the genesis of my new running habit. Sonia works at NASA, right where I worked one of my favorite jobs for 2 years. It's a great setup, they've developed and supported her career, and she has a lot of flexibility and job security. I've thought on and off over the years about going back to NASA and maybe pursuing the civil service. Aidymar's position in her career is much like mine was 6 years ago: having reached a satisfying level, considering a change, and ready to start a family. She said she asks herself about if she could quit work -- emotionally, it's such a huge part of who we are. I remember that, before my identity, self-definition, and desire to work was completely turned upside-down by a baby.
And so, it hit me soon after the race: this recent running habit is a catharsis for my life as a mom. With running, I'm on the steep part of a learning curve, where I most like to be. I have new challenges, new goals, new accomplishments when those new goals are met. I meet a whole new interesting set of people. I see places in a whole new light. I learn about a whole new world. I feel strong and in control and excited about the next step. This is exactly what I did when I threw myself into motorcycling and my career. (Dance is different; that's just always part of me, like writing, for better or worse.) I love feeling focused, challenged, productive, stretching myself.
Mom life doesn't lend itself well to that sort of satisfaction. Of course, momming has its own rewards, and the personal growth one achieves from child-raising is nothing short of heroic. But that development is externally driven. It happens to you, whether you like it or not. Running, motorcycling, graduate school -- these were all self-directed challenges, over which I had control in far I'd go, how much energy and heart I'd put into it. I need that kind of stimulation in my life, and gravitate toward it without even realizing it. This is really what's behind this new interest in running.)
Dave walked the 5K course with the boys and Katrina and the double stroller. Gabriel walked most of it, trading off with Julian for a spot in the stroller toward the end.
Of course, Gabriel was very excited to have his own number.
Katrina had a fabulous time, and was exuberant for the rest of the day!
Believe it or not, the 10K race wasn't the most thrilling thing that happened today. Few things could trump that, but another milestone did: Gabriel rode his bicycle without training wheels! He was SO excited to show me. He needs to practice in a larger area, but he gets the idea. Dave is convinced it was the razor scooter that taught him the balance.
Hive Report: DAY 5! Katrina is still breaking out in hives, all over her body, all day, though it's worse at night. At any given moment, she'll have a new red splotch or raised-up white mark. I sure wish this would stop!
Katrina had a grand time today playing with a package from Title Nine. She's starting early -- I too love getting packages from Title Nine!
Indeed, I was a poster child today for expensive outdoor and recreation catalogs, as every stitch of clothing I had on was from Athleta, Title Nine, Patagonia and REI. You know those novices who spend a ton of money loading up on expensive high-tech gear that their far more experienced and skilled counterparts forgo? Well, I'm one of them! I feel like I earned it today.