Untethered

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Normally the first week after a marathon, I walk around the house like Frankenstein, and I have to descend the stairs backwards. The honor of carrying laundry baskets to the basement falls to the strongest of the Wellman offspring, or whomever happens to be in sight, which is why I don’t wear shoes in the house (it makes it easier to sneak up on them).

Historically, it takes a solid month before I can pick up the adjective ‘runner’ and apply it to myself.

Maybe I was still riding the ‘high’ of my fabulous 26.2 mile jaunt around the Fränkisches Seenland, but the day after the marathon, I found myself up bright and early and out the door to escort the kids to the kletterwald.

The last time I had chaperoned a trip to the high ropes course, I had a broken finger, so all I could do was sit below and snap pictures one-handed while balancing a cup of coffee on my knees. The kids had a blast, but frankly, it was less than fun for me (though the coffee was surprisingly good).

So this year, Frankenstein though I be, I was determined to join the fun at the high ropes. I was surprised to find I could scurry over rock walls, maneuver across spidery nets, zipline from tree to tree, and go up AND down ladders without too much trouble.

The fun was only increased by the fact that my buddy (another AWESOME homeschooling mom:) was harnessed up too.

But to be totally honest, I was in pain the next day, with my legs more zombie-like than before.

However, it only took two days before I felt good again, which considering my history, is nothing short of a miracle.

I have been running since the marathon, but I feel untethered not having a race in site. My calendar is frighteningly blank, and it scares me.

I fear that I’m going to fall off the training wagon and end up undoing the months of hard work. This sounds extremely shallow, but I fear gaining weight again–and I still have some to lose: not because of body image, but for the sake of my knees and feet, I want to lose at least 15 more pounds.

Well, okay, that’s not entirely true–I would like to have a flat stomach and for once in my life have thighs that don’t need their own zip codes. I simply feel better in my own skin when there is less of it flopping over my waistband.

Not having a plan scares the jeepers out of me because I know how utterly lazy and easily distracted I am. I’m like the kid who will happily do anything you ask, as long as it’s written out on a chart, and with the possibility of getting a gold star. But if there’s no chart and no promise of a sticker, the kid will sit there staring at the wall while twirling her pigtails, lost in her own daydreams.

So where is the gold star when there’s no race? I write philosophically about the joy of running, how it relieves stress, centers me and makes me a better wife and mother, but when I don’t have a race in mind, those dreamy notions easily get shoved aside until everyone in the house is begging, “Please, Mama–go for a run!”

Did I tell you? I tend to get cranky when I haven’t been running.

So, you find me a little lost today; and I think the only remedy is to make some new goals and to start filling up my calendar.

Does anyone else feel this way after meeting a big goal?

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