My baby, Lou, is 4 today. I kept squeezing her last night and telling her, “I have to keep squeezing you because this is my last night with a three year-old and I don’t want to forget what it feels like!” And then we played the game I always play with my kids before they have a birthday. I pretend to be really mad at them for not listening to me when I have told them not to ever get any older. She giggles and I tell her she’s in BIG trouble.
When the 2011 Boston Marathon was approaching, Brian and I were going back and forth on whether or not we wanted a fourth child. We were happy with three, and weren’t sure if we should shake up a good thing. We decided that after the Boston and Big Sur marathons, it would be now or never.
Our family, in spring of 2011, shortly after Boston:
We went to Boston, I ran the marathon and later that day, while still high on the Boston Marathon endorphins, told him, “I don’t think I’m up for another baby. I love our family how it is, I want to keep running.” He completely understood, and like I said, we loved our little family, so it’s not like he was set one one way or the other.
I would find out later that week, that my decision came too late. God had other plans in mind. Yet, when I discovered this, I wasn’t disappointed, I was so excited! And better yet, I knew that this baby was meant to be.
As I lined up for the Big Sur marathon just a couple weeks later, the last thing I did was put my hand on my belly and think, it’ll be bumpy for about four hours so you hang on tight in there, little one!
She proved tough that day, and she is still is one tough, stubborn little nugget!!! I adore everything she does. She is my little built-in best friend. She makes me laugh all day long. She is adored by so many. She is the ultimate encore. I don’t even want to think about what life would be like without her.
Four years later, I am STILL trying to PR.
But little Lou is worth a million PR’s and then some.
I’m hoping to PR this year. It is still a goal of mine. But if there’s anything that 2015 has taught me, it’s that PR’s are not why I run. There are other ways to grow as a runner besides setting a new record.
In 2014, with a 3:45 time at the Phoenix Marathon in the spring and then my 3:39 at St. George in the fall, I thought for sure that a PR (3:37 or better) in 2015 was in the bag.
I also thought, once upon a time in a Boston hotel room, that I would never be a mother to four. God had a greater plan.
The greater plan turned out to be way better than mine because the greater plan gave me Lou.
My plan for 2016 is a PR, but if the greater plan happens to be different, that’s quite alright with me.