I got to spend the weekend in a beautiful spot in Colorado. Nope, not the sidewalk of the local “Flight Days” parade, but secluded, pristine Lake City, CO, home to the annual San Juan Solstice 50 Mile Endurance Run. The hubby was running the race, which is about my favorite of the whole season. This event is homegrown, for a charitable cause, a lot of fun (to spectate, I can’t speak for the running part, although I’m told it’s good if you like that sort of thing), and we get to stay at a cute little cabin in an RV resort in town–if we remember to make our reservations 9 months in advance. Of course, our stay last year was quite memorable to us, and apparently it was to others too. Upon arriving, Lloyd, the owner, stopped chatting and remarked, “Hey, aren’t you the people who forgot their kid’s diapers last year?”
Me: “Yes! That was us! How do you remember that?”
Lloyd: “I know when someone comes knocking on my door at 9:30 PM at night that it can’t be good news.”
Me: “Oh. Did we do that? Sorry.”
I apparently ordered my husband to hunt around the campground and disturb other campers to see if they had diapers last year. A lovely mom named Tanya remembered the incident too. Oops.
What a difference a year makes.
Most people raise their eyebrows in surprise when I tell them my husband runs ultramarathons. I usually make some joke about his insanity or something like that, but the truth is, I can kind of see his point of view (well, without the running an ultramarathon part, anyway). I like the runs because they are very casual, natural, generally family-oriented affairs. There were gaggles of children playing around at the RV campground and the town park, which was the finish line. There is a sense of community where total strangers are at ease looking after your kids for 5 minutes while you go to the bathroom. Spouses of runners keep tabs on other runners and report back in case someone missed their person at an aid station. Not to mention, most of these races take place in beautiful surroundings. I took the kids fishing, we saw a moose, and we went for a hike along the lakes.
Can you think of a better way to spend a weekend? Neither can I. Fortunately, I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, pound a trail for 50 miles through lovely but smoky surroundings, up and down, and up and down, and up again. My husband remarked that at 30 miles in this race, you feel like you should be done.
What a difference a year makes.
Last year, I was still filled with bitterness and resentment about the amount of time ultrarunning demanded from the hubby’s life. I realize now that running makes him a better person when he comes home, and our time is about quality, not quantity. I am able to see that because I feel the same way about exercise and competition as he does. It’s something that makes me a better person to be around- happier, calmer, and more capable of tackling problems head on instead of stressing out and feeling overwhelmed. A year ago, I just didn’t know it.
I know that many people say they are too busy to work out, or to tackle a difficult or worthwhile goal (which may or may not be competition-related), but fulfilling ourselves makes us better people for our kids and our significant others. I am inspired by those that rise at ridiculous hours or my husband, who runs late into the night after the kids go to bed. You can make it happen, and for those that make it happen, I want to know: How do you find time to accomplish your goals or fit in that extra hour for working out?