Where Have I Been?

My apologies over the lack of blog posts.  Life kind of blew up for me this past fall, in the way that life sometimes does, and this blog was one of the unfortunate casualties.

After a great summer of running, vacationing, and relaxing, I was prepared to return to the life of an assistant teacher in early September.  A week before school was set to start, I received a call from my principal.  It turns out that the lead kindergarten teacher was resigning due to personal reasons, and they asked me to fill the position.  Now, this was a great opportunity, but as someone who is not very good with change, especially at the last minute, it completely knocked me off my feet.  I happily accepted, but I was then faced with not only a return to lead teaching, but the prospect of teaching a grade that I have never taught before.  Combine this with plans to run 2 marathons and 2 ultras in the next 8 weeks, and you can see how quickly my fall schedule was filling up.

Apparently, a busy work and fitness life was not enough.  Barely two weeks after the school year started, my mother called to inform me that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.  My father died 7 years ago, so the news that my only remaining parent had cancer completely rocked my world.  On top of it, my mom lives 1000 miles away in Florida, which left me with a completely helpless feeling.  I spent much of September learning more than I ever wanted to know about triple-negative breast cancer, researching the best hospitals, doctors, and treatments, and racking my brain for ways that I could support her from afar.

Of course, my running was a blessing through all of this.  Whenever I was overwhelmed at work, or angry at the hand life had dealt my mom, I took it out on a run.  I set a new distance PR at Labor Pains, slogged through an extremely rough marathon at Wineglass, and then knocked off a fantastic 40 miles at Sloppy Cuckoo just a week later.  At the end of October, I got away for two days in DC with my husband when I ran Marine Corps.  Washington D.C. is my favorite city to visit, and Marine Corps was a magical experience.  The rain was a nuisance, and the security measures at the start caused all kinds of problems, but the race itself was magical, probably more so because I realized partway through that I was basically finished with road races.  Marine Corps was as special as it could get, and yet I had no desire to ever run it again.  I finished out the 2015 racing season with a resolution to stick to the trails for the new year.

Fast forward a few months to 2016.  Work is still a challenge, but in a good way, and I feel like I’m starting to find some balance again.  My mom is halfway through her chemo and is kicking butt.  It’s still really hard to be apart from her when she’s going through this, but we’re all figuring it out.  We spent most of winter break down in Florida with her, which was really special, and we’ll be driving back down there again in March.  In between, I try to call her almost every day just to check in and make sure that she knows how much we are all pulling for her.  She is facing this battle with the determination and grace that she’s displayed her entire life, and I couldn’t be more proud of her.

As for running, that remains an incredibly wonderful constant in my life.  I’m looking forward to taking on new challenges this year, and to continuing to cherish the time I spend out on the trails.

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