Friday, October 23, 2015

A Date with Deena

To be perfectly honest I had a completely different post ready for today.  I was going to recap my trail running adventures of this past weekend with Altra.  However, as the week passed and I read more and more things on social media, this post was weighing heavier and heavier on my heart. This morning in the shower, why is it I do my best thinking in the shower, I knew I was going to change things up.

This weekend was filled with moments which Dani coined, "Stars like us" from those US Weekly pages...
Our lunch with Deena Kastor was no different.  She eats bananas before a run just like us.  She drinks while she's training and celebrates with all the salty things after a race just like us.  She has moments of doubt during her races just like us.  She looks over her shoulder at her competetor and says, "Oh shit" just like....ok well I've never won a race so probably that is where it ends!
We had a great conversation with Deena about her races and running adventures.  She spoke candidly about not really knowing her records (Her husband is the number guy) and about eating a banana before races because that's "what runners are supposed to do"!  I had a question burning though in my mind and heart that I asked Deena.  "How have you change as a runner now that you are a mom?"

I knew from reading articles and from watching Deena with her daughter over the weekend that this little girl was her world!  I also knew that Deena has done amazing things since becoming a mom so I wanted to know how things changed for her if they did at all.  She shared about her daughter being a hard baby and how she would walk and rock her for long periods of time to get her to sleep (A trick I know all too well since I logged many a miles on my treadmill with our babies in the Bjorn).  She shared about how she takes days off when her daughter is sick and like everyone worries about her training but knows her place is with her daughter.
But honestly and truly the part of our lunch with Deena that stuck out to me and still holds a place in my heart was when she shared a story about not doing well in a race not long after Piper was born.
She sat down and started to cry because in her heart she had failed....She felt she had failed as a mom and failed as a runner.  I don't think there was a mom in the room that didn't know exactly the feeling she was talking about.  Here is this woman who holds the record for the only American woman to run a sub 2:20 marathon and not many days earlier had broken the master's record for the marathon felt like a failure....just like me.
There are a lot of balls I keep in the air constantly on a daily basis...wife, mom, teacher, sister, daughter, friend, professor, runner but I will admit that there are days when I drop a few....and there are days even weeks when I feel like I've dropped them all.  Lately I have felt like the moment I get a few going, they all tumble to the ground.  Hearing Deena Kastor say this...saying she has felt this way...seeing her cry about loving more than one thing so much and then feeling like you've failed them both...made me feel normal.  For the first time I didn't feel like I had to give the illusion like I had this all wrapped up in a nice neat bow all the time.

Whether you are a mom that works out of the house...or has her own business...or is a say-at-home are not alone.  We ALL feel like a failure from time to time.  We ALL have moments when we slip away to the bathroom and cry.  We ALL have those moments and you are NOT alone! Those words from Deena Kastor were exactly what I needed to hear and while I'm still processing them, I know that it will be alright!  I may not be headed for Olympic medal greatness but I'm a mother runner just like Deena and things will be ok!


  1. I think Deena took all of our breath away with that moment. Rarely have I been as riveted by as speaker. She seemed to put into words what we've all felt, and how we can rise above!

  2. I think that moment made us all get teary eyed. It was so amazing to not feel alone...

  3. I got teary-eyed and I don't even have kids! But I think it spoke to all of us and how hard it is to keep all the balls in the air at the same time.

  4. Oh I just adore this. And Deena. And I dont even run! :)

  5. Yep. I think this was the high point of the weekend for most of us. Deena is human and a mom and a runner...just like us! So well put roomie :-)

  6. That was definitely a high point....Deena is a fabulous mom, runner... a huge inspiration for all of us!!!!