That Little Voice In My Head

After work today I stopped to get in a quick run before grabbing my boys from daycare. The weather was beautiful for a fall Michigan day, and I had been looking forward to the run. 

Then, I pulled into a parking spot at the path, and suddenly I didn’t want to get out of my car. I just wanted to sit there. Actually, the thought crossed my mind that maybe I should just drive up the road to their school…if I left now I could make it in time before they got on the bus…

But alas, I stuck with my plan and went for a run. 

It looks pretty great, right?? Don’t be fooled. It was awful. Every mile dragged on and on. My breathing was heavy and my legs were tight. And I just wanted to be done. But, as always, once I finished I was so glad that I went. The weight of the day felt lifted from me and I was ready to transition from teacher to mom.

This inner battle happens all the time. 

Should I get up early to workout, or just go back to sleep for one more hour? Should I squeeze in that run after work, or just go get my kids? Should I hop on the treadmill when they go to bed, or fold laundry and clean the house? 

Sometimes I give in and skip the workout. But, every time that I don’t, I am gaining power over that voice in my head. Each time I push past those temptations is a little victory for me. And I sure do love a good victory!

Sparkle.Pounce.Win The Battle.


Headphones and Running Races: Sorry…Not Sorry

Last Sunday Stephanie and I volunteered at the Detroit Free Press Marathon as guides for hand cyclists (also known as a “wheelers”). There were approximately 50 wheelers that raced in the full marathon. The majority of them raced with the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans , an organization that provides disabled veterans with the high-tech wheelchairs needed to complete a marathon. 

These specialized chairs are positioned very low to the ground, making it difficult for wheelers to see turns ahead of them or pot holes and other debris. In addition, their low position makes it hard for runners to see the wheelers. For these reasons, each wheeler is assigned a guide on a bike. (Insert Kendra and Stephanie.) The guides’ role is to ride next to the wheeler to point out what lies ahead, and to make runners aware of their presence. Also, on downhills, the guides ride ahead of the wheelers, blow our whistles, and warn the runners to move to the right because a wheeler is about to come flying by them. Because, although they are pretty slow on the uphills, those fancy chairs can get upwards of 40 mph on their way down, which can be a dangerous situation for everyone. 

Going down the other side of the Ambassador Bridge (pictured above) heading into Canada, and going down into the tunnel on the way back into the USA are two of the scariest descents, but every single hill can be a challenge when you are surrounded by runners. Especially, when you are surrounded by runners that are wearing headphones and blasting music into their ears, completely oblivious to their surroundings.

This was the case on Sunday, far too many times. It was not only frustrating for me, as I blew my whistle as hard as I could to try and get their attention, but also frustrating to my wheeler, who continually had to slow way down to avoid crashing into runners.

In one extreme case, I was quite a ways ahead of my hand cyclist, heading down a hill, blowing my whistle and yelling at runners to “Move right, wheeler on your left!” when I came up behind a young man with headphones in, who didn’t hear me. I continued to blow my whistle with all of my might, so hard that there was spit flying out of my mouth. He still didn’t hear me. Runners near him were also yelling at him. My wheeler was heading towards him and had no room to go around. So, I did what I had to do, and I pushed that runner out of the way. 

Yup. I rode my bike right up next to him, pushed him over to his right, and kept riding past. The thought that went through my mind: Oh! Did I push you? Sorry…NOT SORRY! Take out your stinkin’ headphones!

Really, they just aren’t safe if they keep you from being aware of your surroundings. 

Throughout the course of the 26.2 miles, I actually ended up pushing two runners out of the way, and having a quick chat with an additional runner who almost got herself run over after she ran right in front of my wheeler. And the number of times that I was frustrated by runners who didn’t hear me because of their headphones was approximately 874. Or something like that.

Don’t get me wrong. I know, you love your music. It keeps you pumped up. It motivates you. I get it. But if it puts you or those around you in danger, it’s really not worth it.

So, as you look into your next race, check and see if there are hand cyclists racing. If there are, do me, and them, and yourself, a favor and leave the headphones at home. Or, at the very least, only put one side in so that you can still hear what’s going on around you.

Because everyone deserves a safe race. 

Sparkle.Pounce.Run A Safe Race.


What People Think

Lately I’ve been torn between really not wanting to care what others think about me, and really wanting others to only think things about me that are true. 

That is really tricky. 

Social media allows us to paint a picture of ourselves that only focuses on what we want to focus on. I, personally, like to focus on all of the super fun, exciting, adventurous details of my life. Although I wish that’s what every second of every day looked like, it’s not a complete picture. 

Just last week I was told by a close friend that my Facebook makes it look like I never get tired and I have an unlimited amount of energy. Ummmmm….false. I apologize for misleading all of you. In reality, I very quickly turn into a tantrum throwing two year old when I don’t get enough sleep. It’s honestly a little bit pathetic. But, I know this about myself so I make sure to get a good night sleep as often as possible! That way I can go, go, go from 5:30am – 9:30pm. After that…no promises on seeing super sparkly Kendra.

Another comment that keeps coming up is that I am “super mom.” I really, truly would love to claim this title, but it’s just not true. There are days when I pick my boys up from school and I find myself so frustrated with them before we even complete the 10 minute drive home, that when we finally get home, I kick them out of the house because I just can’t handle being around them at that moment. Ya. That happens. I don’t think “super mom” would do that! Nope. I’m just like most other moms. The effort is definitely there. I try to be the best I can be for them, but sometimes, I get tired, and I just need a break.

Then there’s the idea floating around out there that all of this running is easy for me. Unfortunately, that’s not true either. I get it though. I do tend to make it look like I’m having a blast on all of my runs.

But…sometimes I’m just faking it for a picture. (Fake it ’til you make it, right?!) Really, coming back from 3 months off with a stress fracture has been really hard. I’ve been pushing myself more and more. And it hurts. It also really hurt to find out that the Boston Marathon filled up before I got in 🙁  So…ya…this whole running thing isn’t easy for me! But I still love it. 

In the end it really doesn’t matter what everyone thinks about me. I get that. And I don’t dwell on it. But, I also don’t like to “fool” anyone into thinking that this life I’ve been given is all play and no work. There are definitely bad days. I just don’t like to focus on them too much. I’d rather put my energy into all of the good stuff, because there’s so much of that! 

And anyways, I could seriously never please everyone anyways! A couple of months ago I embarrassingly put a kind of whiny post up on Facebook. The next day a friend said, “Hey! No more complaining from you! We need positive Kendra!” And that was shortly followed by, “My wife said she’s going to unfriend you on Facebook because all of your running posts make her feel bad about herself.” So….

I’m just going to keep doing what I do, and letting the good stuff shine! 

Sparkle.Pounce.Then Sparkle Some More.