late night caller


I spent a blissful evening alone, preparing for the early morning race that I had looked forward to for months.  I laid out my clothes, set the coffee machine, planned breakfast and went to bed.  At ten.  Which as many of you know, is unheard of for me.

My slumber was interrupted by a ringing phone around 11:30 p.m.  I stood up on my bed and did some sort of sleep dance while trying to find where the ringing was actually coming from.  And, instead of being the late-night caller I had hoped for (Trevor), it was, as I’d feared, news about my girls.  Normally, the news would be OK.  Last night though, it sucked.  I realized immediately that my morning race plans were coming to a screeching halt.  I pulled on my big girl panties (aka: the things you are supposed to say because you are a mom), and reassured Lisa that I would be there in a minute if she couldn’t get them back to bed.  I heard her tell me that Evie had vomited.  I heard her laughing about the sheets in the washer.  I heard her explaining that Fia wasn’t going back to sleep.

I put my race dreams to sleep and prepared to get my kids.  I waited in bed for the next phone call.  I knew it would come. I spent an hour talking to myself about being a good mom and tried to work through the bitter feeling that was growing in the pit of my stomach.  I realized at midnight that I had been lying to myself.

I hadn’t followed a real training plan for this race.  I ran what felt good, made up my long runs (mostly I mirrored the runs that my comrades training for the marathon did and racked up the same mileage with the exception of the twenty miler), threw in some speed work here and there.  I didn’t even have an official entry until about a week ago.  I had been telling others and myself that I was running to run; the same attitude I have every time I approach a starting line.

Blah, blah bullshit.

When I realized I was putting my PR dreams away, I had to acknowledge the truth.  I was hoping to PR.  I was dying to email Trevor and tell him that I had finished in 1:50:00.   I wanted my mileage to count for something.  I wanted the time I’d spent running alone to prove that I was capable of pushing myself, of testing my own limits.

And in the middle of last night, the limits that were being tested became painfully clear.  Amidst this lonely parenting gig, the one thing that I had put on the calendar for myself, the one thing that I been doing for my sanity was suddenly gone.  And, since there is only one of me and I am not an expert in the field of cloning, I got in the car, scooped up my girls with big hugs, tucked them in next to me and listened to them breathe while they fell asleep in my arms.  I held them next to me and focused on the one thing that made this all ok.


Trevor would love to have the girls curled up here.  He certainly wishes that he could walk out the door and pick them up in the middle of the night.  He would have saved me if he could have.  But, he isn’t here and he can’t.  I can and I have to. So, I snuggled and listened and did what Trevor would have done.  I smiled when I wanted to cry and lovingly cursed him in the middle of the night.  Not for not being here, but for being the type of person that I always wish I could be.  I drifted back to sleep knowing that there were more races to come.  I’ll kick ass the next time.  When Trevor’s back in town to save me.  Lesson learned.

I woke up at 6:30.  The starting gun was going off somewhere on Wrightsville Beach. I turned on the coffee pot and stared out the window. I put some happy thoughts out there for the runners that were setting out on their momentous trek.

Fia is still sleeping.  Evie is awake.  Abigail isn’t home yet.  I think I will gather up my chicks and head down to the finish line.  My friends are all out there and I want to share in their glorious success this morning.

And then, I will figure out a run.

I’ve got thirteen miles to get in today.

That’s what Trevor would do.


2 Responses to “late night caller”

  1. 1 Lynne Sanderson

    Yep, there will be more races, and I adore how you handled your disappointment. Your priorities are in place and show how much you all care about each other. It’s good to hear about this kind of true devotion and deep love. You guys make me proud 🙂

  2. 2 Trevor

    Hey Kiddo I owe you big. Keep your chin up and sign up for a new race. I am sorry it didn’t work out today, but that PR is still waiting for you. Keep running. I will race them to the toilet and hold their hair next time! Loving you. T

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