My husband says the only time I ever leave my children overnight is if I have a race somewhere. Looking back, he’s right. We have never left our kids unless it involved racing. I think if I were to leave just for fun, I would feel too guilty – running a race? Nope, no guilt… Maybe a little, but not much. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’ve worked so hard to get to that moment. I put in the miles, the speed work, the long runs, the commitment. The race is the day to see all that work pay off.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a local race, but for whatever reason they seem more like a training run. When you pack a suitcase, drive or fly to your destination, and check yourself into a hotel, it adds some mystery, a little magic, and for a moment you feel like, “wow, this is really special.” You become a “child free” couple, and for a little while in time you forget about your life back home. There are no dishes to wash, laundry to fold, or snotty noses to wipe. There are no “MOOOOOOOM I’m hungry”, “MOOOOOOM I’m bored” or “MOOOOOM I forgot what I was going to say, but feel an uncontrollable urge to interrupt every adult conversation you have”.
There are so cute. So, so cute, I know. I think so, too, but Mom and Dad need a break to maintain their sanity occasionally. A little tiny break from their little tiny people, and when they ask “why are you going away”? I can say “Mommy is running in race, and when you get older you can too,” instead of saying “Mommy needs to get away from you for a weekend or I might become an alcoholic.”
You see, running and destination races are essential. When I return from the occasional race, I feel refreshed, happy, and ready to parent them in the way that I should. Running fills my Mommy tank with gas. If I don’t take small breaks, I run out of fuel and there is nothing good about that for anyone. It doesn’t have to be running, but for me it is. I love to get in the car play the music that I want, not hear anyone fighting in the background, eat my food without having to share, and read a book free of “MOOOOMMY can I have, take, eat, suck the life out of you?”
For those of you reading right now who say that I sound selfish, I invite you to see a day in my life, how much energy I devote to my children. How serious I take my role as a parent. How I love each one of children with all of my heart. Taking time away from them teaches them that they can be OK without Mom, that they really can play a game without her, and that she comes home. In my opinion that fosters positive self esteem.
Destination races are the way to go. I’m not saying don’t sign up for a local event, but be sure to check out something that allows you to sneak away for a weekend, just you, your running shoes, your spouse, or some running buddies. I assure you, you will not regret it. My next destination? Hood To Coast Relay with Nuun Hydration next week, and Women’s Running Series 5K in Scottsdale AZ on November 3, 2013.
This was part of a paid campaign with FitFluential LLC and Women’s Running Series, all opinions are my own.
If you register for the Women’s Running Series in Scottsdale use code FITAZLISA for $10.00 off.
Purchasing Nuun Hydration? I have a discount code for that too: hydrateHTC for 15% off!