Monday, April 2, 2012

Passions

Before I get into the "meat" of this post, I need to say that I have had an awesome couple of days of running. On Saturday I had a 10 mile tempo run. I did a three mile warm up, then five tempo miles without any rest intervals, and then a two mile cool down. The tempo miles were  at 6:49, 6:49, 6:47, 6:28 and 6:24. It was a really FUN run and it felt great to run faster. I easily could have run a few more tempo miles or picked up the pace on these, so that was a good feeling and it was a confidence boosting run.

Then this morning I had my last long run of this training cycle. I did 17 miles and finished with a 7:42 average pace for the run. It was 22 degrees and windier than I would have liked, but I was really happy to maintain the pace I wanted despite the wind and running a hilly route. It was another run that the pace came easily and I felt really good and strong the whole way - another confidence boosting run.

Let taper begin! Two weeks until Boston. :)

Now for the "meat" of the post.

I have had two commenters recently ask, "How do you see running affecting your passion about adoption, international development, orphans, etc. I initially came to your blog because that is what you wrote a lot about. It seems like as you get more passionate about running, that stuff isn't as important?"

The short answer is that running hasn't affected my passion about adoption, international development, orphans, etc. at all.  This is my running blog. I started this blog to have a place to journal and write about my running, and to connect with other runners. I share small parts of other aspects of my life and other passions, but if you are looking for me writing about adoption and orphan issues, you won't find much of that here.  (Every once and a while I do. If you haven't read my post "Limits", I ask you to. I originally posted it here and then it was reposted on the Rainbowkids adoption magazine).

Several years ago I did have a very active family blog. I shared a great deal about my family, and also used the blog as a way to advocate for adoption (especially HIV+ and special needs adoptions) and used it as a way to educate others. At the time, there was literally almost no information at all available online (or anywhere else) about adopting HIV+ children and there was a huge need. Now there are countless websites, blogs, and other sources of information. I decided that I wanted more privacy for my family and have made that blog private, and now mostly use it to share more personal things with family and friends (although I have not been writing on it much lately).

At that time I felt that writing was the best way I could advocate and "do good" in the areas of adoption, etc. Now with my work I am doing different things that I think/hope are doing just as much good.

My other passions have not changed because of my running. I still work in international adoption. I still spend hours a day advocating, educating, fundraising, and being submerged in adoption, international development, orphan issues, etc. It can all be very emotionally draining, but it is what I do because I am very passionate about it and because I very much want to do good things with my life and make the world a better place in whatever small ways that I can.  Running hasn't changed any of that.

Running is my release of the emotional stress of my job, of raising 12 kids, and of everything else life brings. Running is what I do to care for myself. Running, and chasing after (literally!) my running goals and dreams is the part of my life that I have carved out for me. And because of that I have more of myself to give to my husband, my children, my job, and my other passions.

For a long time all I did was give, give, give. I gave to Josh. I gave to the kids. I gave to my job. I gave much time and energy to advocating. I got burnt out emotionally. I was unhealthy physically. There was no balance. I still give, give, give (and do so happily), but I found a balance.

I don't regret what I give to others, and I don't regret my running, which is what I give to myself.

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." - Winston Churchill

Running is definitely one of my passions now, as is being healthy and fit, and trying to inspire and help others to achieve that for themselves since I know how amazing it feels to do that. I enjoy writing about it and want to have a written account of my journey. I answer many messages a week from people asking for advice, help, and guidance with running, eating, etc.  and do so happily. I try to encourage and inspire others through our local running group. I also have found ways to combine my passions, and have run to raise money for orphans, adoption, and children living in impoverished conditions.

This is my running blog. Most of what I write about here will be about my running. Running is very important to me and is a big part of my life, but my life has much more to it than running.

I have many passions, many loves, and many blessings in a very full, rewarding, and happy life.

19 comments:

Nikki said...

Interesting, thanks for sharing!

Becky at Prairie Runner said...

Great article! I admire all you do and that you do it with grace"

robinbb said...

It makes me sad that you have to defend yourself, yes your passion is running but I can see your love for everything in your family and writing. I guess putting ourselves on the web opens us up to criticism.

Nice job on the runs. Can't wait to see you again less than 2 weeks! You'll have to let me know what your schedule looks like when you are here.

Christy MyDirtRoadAnthem said...

Love it, so true you do need to have a passion in life that is all for you where instead of giving all the time you are allowed to take some too. Keep it up and great job with the runs!

nora said...

Erin, I had been reading yoru family blog for quite a few years and hten lost track of it. I ran into your profile on Runner's World yesterday! You look amazing, happy, and so engaged in so many things. Your kiddos must be so proud of their momma. Go you!

MCM Mama said...

I am always impressed at how well you balance things in your life. I think all of us have passions we don't talk a lot about on our blogs. Doesn't mean they aren't there. Just means that's not what we blog about.

Great job on the run!

Ugly said...

It looks like you are ready for Boston, and for other races as well....

Training times look good....

Challenges add alittle spice to running that many joggers that don't race actually miss....

Good luck....

LBTEPA said...

people are so rude. It's your blog and you write ehat you want to write. You don't have to justify yourself

coach dion said...

I read your blog, because I want to hear about your running... I love telling people about you when they try and tell me they don't have time to train!!!

Now I understand about what those guys asked you, I follow a couple of blogs and there are times they talk to much about food!!! and not enough about running. Yes I love food, but I don't follow food blogs, so I just don't read those posts. I don't worry that the writers aren't running any more... Maybe I should!!!

So Run Mom Run

Michelle said...

Never like when we have to "defend" what we write.
Our local newspaper contacted me about writing a monthly article as I prepared for Boston. Never in my wildest dreams did I think anyone could turn it negatively, but someone did. Bizarre to me.
Carry on, my friend! You are a picture of balance and strength!
ps--got my bracelet yesterday and absolutely LOVE it!

Jessica (Pace of Me) said...

Hi Erin,
I really think this is so beautifully written and from the heart (as all of your writing is) and I truly enjoy reading about how passionate you are about your running. Your passion and your love for your family is ALWAYS evident in each of your posts, whether they are focused on that or not. I am so impressed with your dedication to your training and how you are able to balance it all with the busy life that you have. You DO inspire me - as a runner and as a mother. Keep it up! And wow what an awesome tempo run and an amazing 17 miler! Can't wait to see what you do in Boston. Oh aaaand my RW came yesterday and I turned right to your article - I smiled the entire time i read it. so proud and happy for you!!

runnerwannabe said...

Your blog is wonderful. It is upsetting when your passion for your family is questioned. You handled it very well! You have a big heart. My husband hates it when I write about family issues, so generally I keep it fitness related.

Mark Matthews said...

As a blogger myself, I struggled with what to focus on in my blog, especially initially. Do I talk about my writing, addiction history, family adoption issues, or running?

Adoption issues come up daily in our family, but to always blog on this would seem too personal and maybe intrusive on my daughters privacy. For example: questions from her such as "Did you kidnap me? Why can't I be from Mommy's tummy?" or our bio-daughter questioning why she has different skin than her sister. This is loaded stuff. Compartmentalizing is near impossible, and what I have found and realized is that, running sort of sucks all of these issues up into its massive whirlpool of energy, so that's where I went. I am thinking your passion for everything is reflected in your running, a physical manifestation of all your insides turned outwards.

Okay, this comment looks like word barf on the floor, so I'll stop now.

Jen@runfortheboys said...

This is a GREAT comment! I think you are on to something with running being a physical manifestation of all our passions. It is NOT in conflict, but rather perfect harmony, with all that we are.

natasha said...

Great article,thanx for shearing it.I really saw your passion in it.

shannon said...

Wow, it seems you are one busy woman...12 children...I thought I was a busy mom with 4 children. I too am a runner but it certainly didn't come naturally I really had to work at it...I have been running now for 8 short months and am in training for my first half-marathon in September 2012. I just started a new running blog all about my journey with cancer and becoming a runner...please stop by sometime, I'd appreciate that as I'm trying to promote it. Blessings.

Nikki said...

I just wanted to add that I was the one who asked this question. to address everyone making comments about Erin having to defend herself, etc. that's not at all what the comment's purpose was. Not all of the comment was posted (where I told Erin what an inspiration she is and explained the question further). As I am passionate about international development, but currently grow other passions in my life, I was interested to hear from someone who was doing the same, and how she balances it. Not all questions are criticisms!! :)

Christina said...

Well said! One of the main reasons I started running is because I give to my family so much of me and that while I love that role and the mom/wife I am, I do need something for me. I think only "runners" get this? :-) Just because you find passion in running (or whatever one finds passion in) does not mean you don't find other parts of your life just as important. Everything has a place and a role. Good luck in Boston!

i Run said...

Love your blog and inspirations! Keep on keepin' on Erin!