“For me, the challenge of middle age was not to stand still.”  Jon Katz

Recently, I have been bombarded with running decisions.  I’m still a newbie in this game.  It’s really only been a year that I have become a more “serious” runner who has actively decided to invest more time in my running, mix up the type of runs that I do(tempo, hills, sprints, long runs), and also delve into this whole community of running groups, blogs, and websites.

Along with this new love affair, which is still in its teen crush exciting phase, has come the desire to participate in every running event out there.  The more I get involved with the running community, both in person and online, the more I am presented with opportunities.  I want to take advantage of all of them.  While following runner’s blogs inspires and teaches me, it also feeds into my social media runner’s envy of not wanting to miss out on any run.  That is really hard to do if I am still trying to remain a good enough mother, a good enough wife…and continue to do my day job the best that I can.

A few Saturdays ago, for my weekly long run with the L. A. Leggers group, my pace group was in charge of manning the mid-long-run water and fuel station.  I volunteered to help out rather than go for a run.  I know that these groups function because of volunteers, and I wanted to do my part.  I walked into Target to buy some snacks for the fuel station, and immediately to my left upon entering the doors was the candy corn station.

There are two types of people, those who love candy corn and those who hate it.  If you are not in the love category, we may need to reevaluate our relationship.  When I was a kid, there was candy corn and there was autumn mix.  On this day at Target, there was candy corn in many a flavors, some of which were:  sea-salt chocolate, peanut butter, assorted fruit, caramel machiatto, and pumpkin spice.  There was also the autumn mix, and pumpkin mellow creams… and right next to that, were some pumpkin spice M&M’s.  I stood there frozen with indecision.  I knew that taking all of the flavors home would result in eating them all in one sitting.

My kids’ post-halloween candy consumption is supervised by me.  They have 2 small pieces a night.  As an adult, I need to supervise myself.  I can not have every flavor, and I certainly can’t have every flavor at once.  I bought the sea-salt chocolate, the peanut butter, and the autumn mix.  I passed on the M&M’s all together.  Maybe next time I shouldn’t volunteer to buy “fuel” for the running group.

As for running, here are some of the opportunities I have been faced with just in the last month.  I was asked if I want to do a 15K with an organization called Students Run LA, and blog about it.  Students Run LA is a group that empowers LA middle and high schools students by training them to run the LA marathon.  I love that! I used to want to do a fellowship in adolescent medicine.  Actually liking teens is another of “my things.”  When I was in college, I spent extended time volunteering at the inpatient Eating Disorders unit of the main psychiatric hospital in Pittsburgh.  I was also a math tutor for the teens in the suicidal unit…(I strongly considered a career in adolescent psychiatry for a while.)  But that 15K is in conflict with another event that I have committed to, and my inner type A never goes back on a commitment.

A person in my running group had an open spot for their Ragnar Relay in October.  Doing a Ragnar is on my bucket-list.  What if the opportunity doesn’t arise again.  But that would require a weekend out of town, and I was already taking another 3 days weekend away to myself a couple of weeks after.

One of the head organizers for LA’s team from Every Mother Counts (EMC) told me she is trying to get together a group for the Santa Run 10K on December 5th.  I love EMC–it is a charity I strongly believe in.  I love the idea of doing a Santa Run…I love all things holiday.  I am already scheduled to do a Spartan Sprint on Sunday Dec 6th, and I am supposed to do an 18 mile training run on Saturday December 5th with the Leggers… that will be my first 18 mile run ever.  If I don’t do it with the group, I’ll have to make it up on my own; and from my post on Pain last week, we all know that is not a good idea.  And every single one of you who just did the NYC marathon, I can’t even begin to tell you my level of jealousy….I’ve already walked, shopped, and alternately drank coffee and wine my way through that city multiple times…now I want to run it (preferably in a turquoise tutu.)

I can’t do everything in one year.  And why do I feel the need to?  Perhaps it’s because I waited so long to take care of me, that I am now like the girl who went to an all-girls school and has gotten thrown into a co-ed university.  Or maybe, it’s because having unexpectedly lost someone very close to me, I know that we shouldn’t take a single day of this life for granted.  I know that our bucket list shouldn’t be for some unknown future date but for now …. certainly unexpected loss is responsible for my attitude of not being afraid to tell people just what they mean to me…. I leave nothing unsaid…. Or maybe it really is as simple as still being in my teen crush phase with running…..

If I’m going to continue my involvement with the running community, I need to re-examine my goals.  This year’s goals have all already been achieved or are already set in motion….. next year, there will be new ones….I can’t buy every flavor of candy corn….I can’t have every one every night….And if I spend my time lamenting about the runs I am missing out on, then I am not going to be fully enjoying and present for the ones I am able to do…I am going to negate some of my desire to live every day to the fullest.  It’s time for me to be the responsible adult in charge of the giddy teen girl inside of me who wants to run off into forever land.  This week I walked into Target, and immediately to my left that shelf of assorted candy corn had been replaced by various Christmas confections…. I didn’t pause for more than a second….I just continued in my own forward motion.


Amazingly after several weeks, I still have some Autumn mix left. I’ve been doing a good job monitoring myself.


Thank you to my friend of about 30 years Christine who took this mid-run picture of me.

About Paria

Runner, mother, pediatrician, blogger

24 comments on “Candy

  1. I hate to tell you this, but I loathe candy corn. Can we still be friends?

    I feel you on wanting to run all the things. My issue is how much longer my legs will let me do this! I had the opportunity to run Ragnar a few years ago. But I didn’t. My husband, who never says no to me, asked me not to do it. He has indulged all my running craziness, and I felt like I had to give him this one request. I’m ok with it. I’m not a night person anyways…altho it seems like so much fun!

  2. This post is deep and sweet. Need to reread this one….. Getting the balance between discipline and restriction and freedom and abandon is a tough thing to do. You capture that struggle and your overcoming it and pushing forward elegantly. It’s so easy to get stuck In one state or the other. It seems like the real joy of life lies in both.

    • Thanks Laila….I am constantly working on balance, letting go of guilt when I do things for myself, and trying my best to not have envy when I see others doing what I want to do…. I am scared that if I don’t do something now, who knows what life will bring and I may not get a chance in the future, but I need to not let that fear take over.

  3. I’ve been running for about 15 years and I still want to do ALL the running things!…and I love candy corn by the way 🙂 I have yet to try it as running fuel but it fuels my post-runs very nicely.
    I understand all of the feelings you expressed, and I’m so sorry for your loss, but I think just having the passion you do and the dedication to see projects though will have you powering though bucket list after bucket list. You seem to live life as a never ending bucket list and there is so much joy in that!

    • “You seem to live life as a never ending bucket list and there is so much joy in that”….I love that sentence Allie…thank you…it may just pop up in a future blog post:)

    • I love twizlers, so we will remain friends. And yes, Students Run LA is like GOTR for teen boys and girls… I will hopefully get involved with one of those in the future when I have a little more time.

  4. I am totally with you. I struggle with this every single day. Esp after I turned 40 and major milestones I thought I would have started by now…having kids, living in city I love, exercising, seeing my friends, saving money so I can stop renting forever….all feel out of reach.

    • It is time to let go of all the things you thought you wanted to do by 40 and think about what are the few things that you absolutely know you want to do in the next 10 years…focus on those and let go of the rest…easier said than done but we all know how short life is…

  5. Work gets harder and harder and life with it… More rewarding and not boring but no space nor time for anything else meaningful. Big sacrifice. Well at least my Puerto Rican patient’s son stopped and waved me down with gratitude to say thank you for figuring out his father had an acute stroke.

    Damn it, why didn’t I learn Spanish? I would much rather be a doctor in Puerto Rico.

  6. As you can see from our recent time together, I don’t have a sweet tooth like you do, but that means we won’t fight over the same candy. Can I still be in your friendship circle? Pretty please with sugar on top!

    Since you’re a homeowner, I know you’ll get this reference. You should treat the bucket list as your home improvement to-do list. We all know the list never ends. As soon as you check off a few things, you think of 1-2 more to add. It’s all good. It’s for improvement. It’s for value. It’s to invest in what is your sanctuary. It is your home. You prioritize on what you to work on first, next, etc. The bucket list for you is like the home improvement list for your home.

    Keep checking things off! Keep adding to it. “Happiness is having something to look forward to.” I can’t remember where I heard that, but it’s true.

    • Seriously, this the best analogy I have ever read! “It’s to invest in what is your sanctuary.” LOVE THAT!!! I’m going to keep you as a friend despite your lack of appreciation for candy corn just because of your insightful comments (and your photography skills)

  7. I can definitely relate to the feeling and desire to want to do everything and the fear that opportunities might not come around again. I totally get that and feel similarly, like I don’t have many running years left and I need to squeeze all these things in. But I think that it’s also about enjoying this teen crush phase and every experience you have during it or else we start to do things just to cross them off a list. I love the candy analogy and candy corn! Hmmm, now I want to go out and get some!

  8. I can soooo relate to everything you write! I have been running for about two and a half years, but I still lapse into I-want-to-do-it-all! Good luck with the choices make and your runs! Keep enjoying your runs!

    • Thanks so much Taru…I am happy to know that you are still enjoying what I write, and I sometimes feel like maybe I am saying the same thing over and over week after week…. so it is great to know that you are continuing to enjoy following my journey…good luck on the Ultra..I think you said it is in November.

      • You have excellent memory too! Thanks for your timely good wishes. The 50K run is this Sunday. I am totally unprepared due to lack of time for training, but am stupidly stubborn to go ahead and do as much as I can 🙂 My coach also thinks it will be touch-and-go. Need all the good wishes I can get! Keep writing and motivating!

  9. I can absolutely relate as well, from the standpoint of wanting to finish this list of things I want to do for myself before we start a family (when I know I’ll be really crunched for time)! It’s getting so hard to turn down races, especially now since my strength coach is also a runner and she encourages us to run all the things! I’ve decided to run the events I really feel passionate about, and then hopefully get our running group to volunteer at the other events I won’t actually be racing at. I’ve also thought about committing late next year into more projects like the Students run LA, rather than my own personal goals.

    P.S. — you should definitely do a Ragnar! Did you see the instagram post I tagged you in sometime this weekend? You could get a double medal for that and your marathon!

    P.P.S — is there a group for people who love candy corn, until they eat a few pieces, then remember they hate it? Because that’s me LOL

    • I did see the post you tagged me on….If I can find people interested in a Ragnar I will do it. You are lucky in that you have found running before having children…having running in your tools on how to deal with life will make you an even better mother when you become one… I didn’t find it until later.

Leave your thoughts/comments