Running Through December

Since I started running, I have used it to work through problems, arguments and emotions I don’t know how else to deal with. I can start a run angry, and by the third mile I have forgotten why I was so angry in the first place. Once upon a time I was in therapy, now my therapy is a pair of running shoes and an open road or trail. I run my way through the month of December.
December is a difficult month for me…there are too many sad anniversaries, and I am not a huge fan of holidays that place a certain pressure upon me to perform the dance of jolliness whether it be smiling my way through a holiday party or making sure my daughter isn’t disappointed in the gifts she did (or didn’t) get.
Starting the month of December with my marathon changed the tone December began with. Normally I am sad, but with 26.2 miles looming in front of me, I didn’t have time to feel sad. But, more precisely, I ran through that sadness – when I am running, tears don’t come as easily. Yes. I think of the people I miss; I think about the difficulties of life, but when I am moving forward the sadness, disappointment and discomfort just don’t feel as pressing as they do when I am not running.
I started a tradition several years ago (I think it was because I received a Garmin and really wanted to try it out) I go for a run, all by myself, every Christmas morning. We wake up and do the gift thing, have some coffee with Bailey’s in it, and then I head out for a run. I love these Christmas morning runs…I can see the Christmas trees through the windows and smell breakfast cooking in the houses I pass; I can also take a moment with the memories of the people I miss and love – each breath a memory of a Christmas spent together. I love the Christmas traditions that we have created as a family. However, I also love that my family honors my tradition of running through December.

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