Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Empty Silence After a Holiday Week and Recent News: Trail 50k Decision and #RunwithmeKids!

"I was especially glad for my run today. And even more, for the time I had to sit here alone at a favorite spot along the river trail by my house --a moment to be still with my thoughts, listen to the sounds around me, and feel the cold air. Recharge. After a full week of family visiting, the house was eerily quiet last night when everyone was gone. It felt big and empty. Rooms, that just hours before were saturated in laughter, conversation, cooking, and the happy hum of family sharing their lives, were suddenly hollow. As much as my introverted side craved this silence and solitude, I was left feeling my house: a bit empty but yet a heart and head so full of thoughts and feelings...those that had collected and been put on hold during the busy buzz of a holiday week. I'm beyond thankful for the week of connecting with family and being surrounded by love and safe relationships. I'm also thankful for this quiet time to reconnect with myself."

What a busy week of family time!  Busy, special and fun!  We had family guests for most the week and every day was a buzz of conversation, playing, cooking, laughing, and catching up. On Thanksgiving day/night we had sixteen family members staying here. For the first time since we moved in, all the rooms in this house were being used! And I still felt like I could find my personal space if I wanted!  A good feeling.  My mom, brother and family, husband's family, nieces, nephews, cousins...

Family.  Love.  Gratitude.

Yesterday, after everyone left and it was just us, our house felt so empty and quiet.  Almost sad.  I was ready for some quiet time for sure --the introverted side of me was begging for solitude --but I wasn't prepared for how STILL and SILENT it would feel after hosting that many people.

At the end of my run today, I stopped at a favorite spot on the trail by my house (pictured above).  I sat for a moment with my thoughts--intentional about taking in the sounds around me and feeling the cool air on my face.  My craving for connection but yet overwhelming need to be alone.  As I was still in this spot and while running, I listened to the things that were most pressing on my heart and head and allowed myself to feel the emptiness and lull that can come after socially intense weeks like this.  Sadness mixed with the comfort of alone time. It's times like this that I am MOST grateful for the gift of running!!

In addition to family and holiday happenings, I've made some big running and racing decisions as well as taken the first steps with a friend to launch a new site for a project we are working on!  

  • I've decided I will run my first 50k at the end of May!  This one:  Trail Factor 50k on May 25th in Forest Park.  As many of you know, Forest Park is in Portland, Oregon and boasts some of the most beautiful PNW trails!  I haven't made up my mind for how I will TRAIN for this race yet but I do have ideas and friends to help me work on it.  I'll still run the Boston Marathon in April but now I will have a good month to recover in case I run it faster than a training run!  
  • As part of my training and a way to get the family involved in running, I have few races on the schedule for Mother's Day weekend in May!  Wanted to share with you in case you're looking for some spring events and an excuse to travel if you're not local!  I'm sure some of you have heard of Smith Rock here near Bend?  Well Go Beyond Racing is putting on races on Saturday, May 9th and May 10th!  On May 9th is the Smith Rock Ascent (trail) 50k, 15m, and 4m.  On May 10th is the Smith Rock half marathon and 10k (road, flat, fast, scenic).  Not only do these all sound like great races and an opportunity for the whole family to race on this weekend, but Moms run the 4 mile for FREE if they race with their kids.  Oh, and you get to make a weekend of it in Bend, Oregon and the surrounding Central Oregon area.  Might be some races you'd like to pencil in!  I plan to run the 4 mile with my girls (this will be fun to work towards) and then use the half marathon on Mother's Day as a training run.  I think I have some friends coming to run the 50k too!   
  • More to come but Tia  (from Arkansas Runner Mom) and I have been working on some research and other ideas related to family fitness and running with kids.  We have made some exciting progress over the last few months and we will soon launch a new site/blog: Run With Me Kids.  It will be a site that offers community, guidance, information and inspiration about making running (and fitness) fun for kids while fostering family fitness and relationships and helping kids build healthy habits for living.  Our site will include stories from the community (YOU) about family running experiences as well as posts about running, fitness, parenting, healthy living, and more.  I will post more on this later but for now, you can follow and read more about us on RunwithmeKids Instagram, RunwithmeKids Facebook, and RunwithmeKids Twitter.  Website design is one of the next things on our list to learn!  Let me know if you have someone you'd highly recommend.  Otherwise, we will find our way through techie land on our own!

1.  Did you host family for Thanksgiving or travel? 
2.  Did you run a Thanksgiving Day Race??  If so, did you run with your family/kids?  If you'd like to share your race day/run with kids story, please send to runwithmekids [at] gmail [dot] com or tag them #runwithmekids
3.  Have you run in Forest Park in Portland, OR?  
4.  Moms, don't forget to check out the 4 mile trail race at Smith Rock during Mother's Day weekend (see blog sidebar at the top right).  Moms run free with their kids!  Really excited for this!



  1. Congratulations to you and Tia on your new enterprise. I think it's a great topic to delve into. And what better ladies to do it!!

    1. Thanks Char. Thank you for your support. It's still a work in progress...a baby seed. We hope to keep putting one foot in front of the other as we let it unfold. I agree on the topic being great...such a huge group of parents who run and are active with their families or WANT and want a community to share this with...and guidance, inspiration, encouragement!

  2. Love the idea behind your new endeavor!!!
    I would love to share my story from Hunter's half in June if you want it.

    1. Kim, I would LOVE if we could share Hunter's story when we are ready! Thank YOU!

  3. Amanda, following the new Facebook page and can't wait for the website! As for your week full of family, I can totally recognize your feelings... I love being home with my family but after a week or so I am both ready to get back to my routine and my own home, but I still have a little breakdown every time I have to say goodbye.... it's so confusing! Torn between independence and my own life and all that is comfortable and familiar at home. It's always nice to know that family will re-connect soon!

    1. Hi you! Thank you for your support Marci and for being a sounding board during our runs. I'm hopeful that together, we will also be able to kick something off for families here in Bend! Oh, you describe these feelings so well. Yes!

  4. Aw, my two favorite running moms teaming up! Can't wait to see what you guys put together!

  5. I love what you and Tia are doing! It's been fun to see you pop up on all the social media sites and I look forward to the site being launched, too. Yay for a 50k decision- how exciting!!

  6. Wow, I can’t believe you had 16 people staying with you over Thanksgiving! Full house, for sure. I can imagine that once everyone was gone, it probably felt like going from 60mph to 0mph in a blink of an eye.

    That is so awesome that you are going to be training for your first 50k. You definitely live in the perfect place for trail running and training. It will be fun to follow your progress and training. I have never considered anything further than a marathon, but maybe someday. Trail running/racing is so different and may be a good change from I am used to.

    Congratulations on your new adventure with the family blog. I don’t have kids, but someday when I do, I hope to influence them in these positive ways.