This is 36…

A long time ago, when I was fresh out of high school, one of my good friends and I were chatting about growing up and becoming adults. He told me that his dad told him that even though he was “old”, he didn’t feel any different from when he was our age. His body was older, but he still felt young. 

At the time, I didn’t really understand that. I just thought that as you get “old” you willingly gain all of the characteristics of older people…responsible, boring…adult.

But now, I get it. 

And I feel exactly the same way. 

On the inside, I am still just a young soul, full of dreams. I have about 30 lifetimes full of adventures on my “to-do” list, and I absolutely love laughing, having fun, and blowing off responsibilities for as long as humanly possible. 

But, on the outside, I’m definitely forced to deal with all of the responsibilities that go along with being an adult…

This list includes, but is not limited to: grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, paying bills, helping with homework, carting the kids around to various sporting events, making sure church happens regularly, buying presents for kids’ birthday parties, signing and returning notes to school, packing lunches, cooking, cleaning, laundry (because those deserve to be mentioned more than once…), and so much more.

Those are the parts of being 36 that make looking like an adult seem pretty lame.

But, I am bound and determined to not let those responsibilities define me. Nope. For me, 36 looks like this:

 

Bike rides with friends! I went on this bike ride with girlfriends on Saturday morning. It was so much fun. I flew down the hills and yelled, “This is 36!” (I’m not kidding…I really did yell that…) 

Road trips with girlfriends, full of laughs, sunshine, and ridiculousness. I will never be too old for that.

 

Running with girlfriends. And every once in a while, traveling somewhere beautiful and adventurous to do it!

 
Taking time for me. Because even though I love time with friends and family, I also need time to reflect and work on being the best version of me that I can possibly be.
 
 
This. 
 
Staying healthy and fit and loving almost every second of it!
 
 
And finally…these guys. My whole world. 36 will continue to be filled with love and adventures with the guys that keep me going. I will continue to work hard to show them that you get out of life exactly what you put into it. So, even though I have to work hard on the boring stuff that goes along with being an adult, I still get to do so many amazing things that make this life pretty stinkin’ awesome.
 
Sparkle.Pounce.Live Life Fully.
 
-Kendra
 

And…My Heart Is Kinda Broke

Saturday was THE day. 

It was a chance to prove to myself that all of my hard work over the last 5 months had been worth it. It was the day when my dream of a Boston Qualifier WITH MY SISTER was supposed to become a reality. 

But, those things didn’t happen. Instead, I had the worst race I’ve ever had.

The week leading up to the race was full of so much excitement. There was a tremendous amount of support from friends, family, and coworkers. I felt so much love, it was unbelievable. From the number of people who sent text messages, cards, emails, Facebook messages, to all of the people who decided to pack their bags and make the long trip up North to cheer me on…I honestly can’t remember the last time I felt that much support. It was truly heartwarming, and my eyes are getting a little leaky thinking about it all over again.

But, with all of that support came the realization that this was a BIG deal. And with that realization, my anxiety over the race continued to grow. I felt nauseous for a few days before the race, and just couldn’t shake the pre-race jitters (for four days…). To say the least, I did not handle the pressure of the race well at all.

On race morning, I lined up at the start line just like any other race. 

Rondi, Tanna (big sister who surprised us on race morning!), and Kendra before the race.


I was as ready as I would ever be. The training was done (for 5 months with only missing ONE training run!), and now all that was left to do was reap the reward.

Rondi and I started out as planned. The first miles were rough, but I kept hoping that my body would warm up and things would feel better. But, just keeping our pace was very difficult for me. My whole body felt completely exhausted. By mile 3 when I walked through the aid station, I felt wobbly and my legs were shaky. The realization that it wasn’t my day was already creeping in.

By mile 5 I told Rondi that she needed to leave me. I was managing an 8:05 pace, but that wasn’t fast enough for Rondi to meet her BQ (she’s younger than me, so I have a 5 minute cushion on her), so I urged her to leave me, letting her know that 8:05 was the fastest I was going to be able to maintain. She refused and kept trying to fill me with positive thoughts and mantras. I’m pretty sure she thought that it was my mind that wanted to quit so early on, when really it was my body. But, I kept trying to hold on to what she was saying…fake it on the outside until your body believes you…Boston…one foot in front of the other…no regrets…

 


It would work for a very short time, and then I would go back to the place where my body was telling my mind it wanted to be done. By mile 8, I knew I had to convince Rondi to go on without me. So, I just stopped running and told her she had to go. I promised her I would try to keep going, but that she had to go on without me or she was going to miss her BQ. And, she went.

For the rest of the race, I was left to process the fact that it wasn’t my day. There was no “I was so close.” I wasn’t close at all. I just couldn’t understand why I felt like that. I’ve never felt so awful in a race so early on. Ever. By mile 8 of that race, I felt like I did at mile 20 of my BQ race last year. I very badly wanted to quit. The thought of having to go 18 more miles and come no where near reaching my goal was so defeating. But I knew I couldn’t just quit the race. I had to finish. So that’s what I did. And frankly, it sucked.

Looking back on it, I realized that the stress of the race ate away at my body. My nutrition was off, and I just didn’t have the energy to make it happen. I really don’t have any regrets about the race. I don’t feel like I “quit.” Last year, when I had a mental break down at mile 20 and walked for a few minutes…THAT I regret. Because that was all mental. It was entirely different this year. 

Part of what carried me through the second half of the race on Saturday was that I had myself convinced I would try again for my BQ at the Charlevoix Marathon at the end of June. More than anything, I did not want all of my training to go to waste. I held on tight to that hope as I made my way to the finish line. 

But, after talking to some running coaches and getting professional opinions, I have decided it’s not in my best interest to do that. My body will not be ready to go through that again, and my performance would most likely be worse. (And, for goodness sake, I can’t have that!) So, I will have to wait a while to have another chance. 

One of the things that upsets me the most about all of this is that the happiness and joy my sister should be feeling because of her BQ has kind of been pushed aside. And that’s really not fair. She got what she set out to get and I am SO happy for her! If she decides not to go to Boston without me, I will be pretty disappointed. Her accomplishment deserves the reward. (Although she says we will get to Boston together…even if it’s not until we’re 70! But I just don’t think I have that kind of patience.)

Even though it didn’t go how I wanted, I feel extremely blessed to have gone through all of the months of training and emotions of that day with my sister.

And I look forward to so many more adventures with her, and my older sister Tanna. We’ve got a lot of work to do over the next 50 years or so! We will keep working towards “26.2 and a Brew” in all 50 states, and we won’t cross Massachusetts off our list until it’s to run THE BOSTON MARATHON. It will happen eventually 🙂
 
 
 
Thank you so much to all of you that supported me on this journey. I kind of have a feeling that my temporary failure may have helped some people to see that crappy stuff happens to all of us. We just have to pick up the pieces left behind and keep moving forward.
 
 
Sparkle.Pounce. Dream Big. Work Hard.
 
-Kendra