Running on Empty

Last March I completed my first half-marathon. It was simple, thankfully—a fresh mid-morning race alongside the Columbia River with ample wildlife and enough other runners to keep it interesting. The next day I pinpointed a few other upcoming races to keep me motivated to stay fit, but to my great disappointment, I haven’t run since that half-marathon. Not once.

Sunrise on the Columbia River by  Michelle B

Sunrise on the Columbia River by Michelle B

It’s not because I don’t enjoy running. Distance running has always been an enjoyable challenge for me, and even more so now that I can listen to podcasts and audiobooks along the way. Learning AND getting time alone? My INTJ brain type thrives on this in the middle of motherhood!

Heading towards the finish, from  my husband's Instagram account

Heading towards the finish, from my husband's Instagram account

But track & field season launched into full swing these last few months, and my husband had never been busier. His coaching schedule meant that he just couldn’t be home for most days and evenings, and I was unwilling to run on Sundays, our day of rest.

So, being an idealist, I've been searching for a French-speaking babysitter to allow me a few hours respite from parenting. But the leads I pursued fell through, one by one, and meanwhile I've just kept homeschooling and parenting and trying to keep us all sane until my husband could be home with some regularity again. Each day into night into day required such stamina that I felt like a mombie, as my friend puts it—overtired and slow, stumbling towards life. It wasn't how I wanted to run the race of life.

Photo by  Benjamin Chan

Photo by Benjamin Chan

But here we are in June, and my husband's coaching and teaching work has wrapped up, leaving us at the beginning of a summer of family time. I’m so grateful. Already he is more present and more relaxed, cooking dinner (yes, we’re blessed!) and playing Batawaf and chess and reading with our children. I’m hoping to go on some long runs again starting today, and more importantly, to regain a sense of joy.


Have you had some weary stretches of days or weeks or months? What brings you refreshment during those times?


“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” John 16:33, the Bible

(Vous aurez des tribulations dans le monde; mais prenez courage, j’ai vaincu le monde.” Jean 16v33, la Bible.)