While training for the half marathon, I’ve noticed the similarities of training with the journey through grief. Last Monday I had a “good” running day. The weather was mild for December, I ran with three of my dear friends. And because one of them really pushed me, I had a good (for me) pace. I felt good after four miles.
And then there was Saturday’s run. A cold, rainy nine miles. I was miserable. Despite still having good company, I could not muster a positive outlook. I was soaked, weighed down by the constant rain. My knees hurt, my back hurt. My pace was disappointing. For the first time since my official training began, I questioned my ability to complete 13.1 miles without getting kicked off the course.
That’s how the last four months have been. Some days seem just a little easier than others. Just a tiny bit brighter. I always carry the sadness, the heartache. But every now and then I feel stronger to bear the weight of it. There are days I can look at the pink streaks in the sky as the sun sets and smile thinking of her. There are days I feel strong enough to pick out an adorable anchor outfit for my friend’s baby girl. But just as quickly as the sun peeks through, the storm clouds roll overhead. Life is darker. I’m weighed down, negative. I doubt my strength. The moments come with no warning. I have to avoid the baby isle like the plague. I break down and cry in the shower. I question how I can possibly live the rest of my life without my daughter.
The constant is Zoey and my desire to live a full and beautiful life for her. I know there will be days I feel defeated. And I know there will be days where I feel her spirit and I’m able to see the joy in life again. I know that I have to remind myself that happiness, love and experiencing life mean that I am remembering and honoring her. Finding joy does not mean I’m forgetting.
Seven weeks until race day. And despite my terrible run on Saturday, I will make it through. Zoey will push me. I can’t wait to run through the castle for her. And I hope she’s proud of her mom for showing up on the rainy, cold, dreary days and pushing through.