The question is not quite as existential as it first appears. I do not regularly question my life, my family, or any of that. I like my life- it keeps surprising me because it's so full of love and bounty. This quandary comes from something much more mundane: about a month ago, I started to wonder why on earth I had a blog.
Not that many people read this blog. I am definitely not an expert on running. When I started, I had a very clear goal (run a marathon- then, get a marathon PR!). There was momentum. When I got pregnant, I had a whole new reason to write; even though I am far from an expert, I was another voice on the internet saying that it's okay to run while pregnant. It's possible (although unlikely) that I convinced some runner-turned-new-mom-to-be that there was no reason to quit running unless there was a medical problem or it just wasn't fun. A pregnant runner evangelist, that's me.
Then Alfie arrived. Life got hectic. I started running again, but without a goal- this was on purpose, because I didn't want to get back into full-on training too soon. Now she's six months old, I'm running and teaching and chasing a three-year-old and poof! I ran a half-marathon two weeks ago and still haven't posted a report.
So why am I here?
While running the other day, because that's when all good ideas happen, I decided I am here, writing this blog, for myself. It's simple and selfish- I want to remember. Sometimes there's more to document- marathon training, PRs, pregnancy, a new baby- and sometimes life is relatively simple. I forget to note those simple times, but they compose the bulk of this life I love.
I am here because raising kids while working and being a spouse and a good friend is so important and yet so hard to commemorate without intention. Add running and racing into the mix, and some days- okay weeks, months- feel like a mad frenzy towards the future.
I am here to document how these years feel. When I started this blog, I named it The Marathon Year because 2010 was the year of my first marathon. I changed the name the next year because, well, Year implies one. Singular. Now the title means something completely different: These are the marathon years, the messy and wonderful years of adulthood and family and, for me, running. They are not a sprint, they require planning and care. Most importantly, the struggles are as much emotional as anything else. The physical day-to-day is shaped by your mindset, in the same way that a race is shaped by your intentions, worries, and mental preparation.
This is why I'm here.
(I will post a better-late-than-never race report later this week.)