If you have small children (I'm talking preschool age and under) you understand how hard it is to work out. Even doing something like a 30 Day Shred DVD becomes this huge involved process: First! We must move all the toys away from the area in front of the television! And "NO! Those are MAMA'S SPECIAL WEIGHTS! PUT THAT DOWN!" And then get the DVD going. And find your shoes! And then work out with a small person jumping around next to you and then ON you and then don't even get me started on getting showered afterwards. It's just a comical mess, as is most of life with little people around. It's like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos or trying to clean the house while the children are awake. POINTLESS.
And so many of you have probably wondered how on earth I've been able to stick with my training. Well, let me introduce you to my friend and training partner Lindsay:
This lady has been kicking my butt behind the scenes for nearly three months. I first met Lindsay through Team World Vision training (she ran the 13.1 and then the LA Marathon). She went to Africa and climbed Kili with John and the team this summer. Last spring she became my kids' most favorite babysitter and it suddenly dawned on me that she might want to come running with me sometimen (DUH). It was the off season for our training groups (the 13.1 is in January and the LA Marathon isn't until March) and I was realizing how alone I was on these runs. I missed knowing that there would be committed people showing up at the park every Saturday to run.
And so I asked her ... and she said YES! WITH ENTHUSIAM! We started running together on Saturday mornings, the long run days. And then we added a second morning. And we've been running together 1-2 times a week ever since. Even when Linds hurt her heel she stuck with me, and she's ridden next to me on a bicycle for several of my long runs, including the 20-miler I did 2 Saturdays ago. She yells at me when I need to be yelled at. She encourages me when I need to be encouraged. She challenges me and keeps me accountable. She carries my Gatorade and Gu for me. She buys me coffee. She texts me and fusses at me to get up on time. She is a Team World Vision Certified Rockstar and team captain. She has become a dear friend and has been a huge blessing to every member of my family. I could not have trained at this level without her.
And so this is my advice to you if you want to run a marathon: You are going to need a team of people behind you, or at least one really awesome friend. Find your Lindsay. Get a training partner who is available and on board. You are going to need a lot of support at home too, and a spouse (like mine!) who kicks you out of bed in the morning and guilt trips you when you hit the snooze for the third time in a row. A spouse who will feed and dress the children while you're out slogging through a ten-miler on a Wednesday (mine also brushes his daughter's hair. He's awesome like that). Lindsay's sister Lauren has also come through many times to watch our kids (for free!) if I need to go on a Saturday long run with Lindsay and John has to work a race expo (I KNOW, their parents need to write a book on raising awesome kids).
It really does take a village to get something like this done. I have just felt supported, rooted for, and blessed in every step I've taken toward the Chicago Marathon. I know I'm supposed to do this. I cannot wait to try.