Reframing

During a conversation with some of my Coeur teammates, we were talking about back of the pack racing and I went back to look at some race results to figure out if I had ever actually been the last finisher in a race. (The fact that I didn’t know shows you just how much I care about my placement.)  But in doing so, I also went back to read my recap of my worst race this year, the General Smallwood International. This race was technically the slowest paced, though in my mind, it was the worst because of the weather.  It was cold and rainy and just miserable.

But I also remember being pretty miserable about being so far behind in the pack.  The run was a looped course and on the second loop, I didn’t see anyone. Just me, running through the woods all alone.  At least by then the rain had mostly stopped and it was just insanely wet.  I remember wanting to quit, but being much too stubborn to quit.  After all, it wasn’t like I was hurt or sick.  I just wasn’t having fun.  That’s not a reason to quit.

When I went back to look at my race report though, I was blunt about how disappointed I was in myself for how I had performed in the race.  Before I read that, I just felt proud that I gutted it out and still finished.  And I’m still proud that I finished.  I haven’t forgotten the misery, but with time, I’ve been able to reframe that bad race.  The conditions were terrible.  I stuck it out anyway and I finished.  My splits weren’t that bad given the weather.

So while it’s definitely still my worst race, I see it differently than I did in the days following the race.  And I guess the lesson is that time does heal and reframing your situation can always help.  Maybe you had a bad race.  But did you stick it out and refuse to give up?  That’s what counts.  (Of course, if you’re injured, please stop – doing the smart thing and knowing when you’re risking worse injury takes a lot of guts and it’s worth it in the end.)

2016 Holiday Newsletter

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Today’s Holidailies prompt is to write a version of the holiday letters people send out in their Christmas cards.  I always love this prompt!

(As an aside, I had big plans this year to send out a funny holiday photo card.  Maybe something with the cats, and then something from my 70.3.  Guess who didn’t find the time to do that?  Yeah, that would be me.)

So, 2016!  Big year!  You might have seen the news, but some huge things happened in the United States.  However, we’re not going to talk about that, because everyone has had more than enough politics for the year.

2016 was a pretty big year for me.  I set out to race a 70.3 and I finished!  For those of you who aren’t insane triathletes, a 70.3 is a triathlon consisting of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike ride, and a 13.1 mile run for a total of 70.3 miles.  Yes, it’s insane.  Yes, it was awesome.  I’m not sure when my next will be because training took up a lot of time, but I’m definitely glad I did it and I will be doing another one in the coming years, I’m sure.

As part of my training, I did a couple of metric century bike rides.  That’s 100 km.  100 miles is a little out of my reach right now, but 100 km (62ish miles) is a pretty awesome challenge.

So yes, I’ve become an athlete.  Those of you who knew me in high school still can’t figure out what happened to me.  I still can’t figure out what happened to me.

2016 was also awesome because my niece was born.  So take that, terrible things in 2016.  Babies being born outweighs all the bad stuff that happened.  (Though I still can’t figure out when my brother became a responsible adult.)

The cats are still cats.  Pippin and Cadu turned 12 this year.  They are turning into grumpy old men, but they’re still very sweet.  Pippin is not a fan of the cold weather, but he seems to be enjoying laying in front of the heating vents or burying himself underneath the electric blanket on the bed.  Cadu is impervious to the cold and sleeps in his spot on the couch and will not be moved, no matter what.  Do not take his spot.  Or else.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good year.  Here’s hoping 2017 is even more incredible.

 

Holidailies: Snow or Rain?

For many years, I’ve participated in Holidailies in December.  The idea is to post daily through the month, using optional prompts if you so choose.  Clearly, this year I’m a bit off schedule, as it’s December 8 and I’m just mentioning it now.  I blame vacation.  But it’s definitely a project I enjoy and you should check out the portal to view some of the other writers who are posting.  There’s a lot of great stuff out there, and perhaps you’ll discover some writers you otherwise wouldn’t have found.

My random prompt for today is:

Talk about snow.  Did you grow up with it?  Do you prefer snow or rain?

Okay, who prefers rain to snow?  That person is crazy.

My first winter in the DC area was miserable.  It felt like it was always 35 degrees and raining, and there is no more miserable weather.  I don’t care how cold it gets, you can always bundle up, and once you’re inside, you can take off all those layers and be nice and toasty warm.  When it’s cold and rainy, the dampness just gets through everything.  Your feet end up all wet and as a short person, the bottoms of my pants always end up wet as well.

I much prefer the snow.  Of course, no one knows how to drive in the snow in this city, so that’s fun.  And I mean snow flurries.  Three flakes fall from the sky and cars start crashing into things.  So I just stay home.

There’s something magical about the snow.  Even when it is feets and feets of snow, like we got last year.

Someone is not a fan of the snow.

It just makes everything look so pretty.  Yes, it involves shoveling, but even that isn’t terrible.  I love the silence after a snow.  It’s like all the sound gets absorbed and the world is quiet.

So count me in for a snow lover.  All the way snow.  I can’t wait for the first snow of the year.

(As long as it doesn’t hit just as I’m trying to fly home for the holidays.)

Race Report – 2016 Space Coast Half Marathon

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I love this race.  LOVE this race.

For the fourth year in a row, I ran the Space Coast Half Marathon the Sunday after Thanksgiving.  It’s become part of my holiday tradition.  Stuff face on Thursday, fly to Florida on Friday, visit Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, race on Sunday.  (Then gallivant around Disney.)

This race is so well organized and so much fun to run.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that a good number of the people running have raced before so they know what’s going on.

The race starts and ends at a park.  The race provides transportation, but we’ve found it easier to just drive in and park.  This year, Liz drove us in and dropped us off which was a huge perk.  As per usual, met up with friends and waited for the race start.

Pro tip – there are indoor bathrooms.  Avoid these.  Just go use the portapotties.  The indoor bathroom line is ridiculous and by the time you get through the line, they will be just as gross as the portapotties, if not worse.

One thing I love about this race is that it’s an out and back.  That means that if you know anyone else running, you’re all but guaranteed to see them out on the course.  It also means that you get to run by some fabulous spectators twice.

The residents in this part of Cocoa have to deal with their road being pretty much shut down thanks to the race, and many of them handle it quite well.  There are a lot of people out in their yards, watching and cheering.  And some of them get really into it, cooking breakfast and providing all sorts of drinks for the runners.  I’ve never seen so many different alcoholic options on a course before.  Very impressive, Cocoa residents.

As for my race, it went surprisingly well.  I wasn’t sure how it would go since the race is often terribly humid, but this year was a bit cooler than normal, which made me happy.  I wanted to run a sub-3 if I could.  My training hasn’t been stellar, as it’s technically my off season, so this race was just to see what happened.  And I ended up with a course PR – 2:55:14.  Not by much – only a minute or so.  But it felt awesome and I had a great time, so I’ll take it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving, Americans!  (And happy almost-Friday to everyone else.)

2016 has been an… interesting year.  But I’m sure we can all find things to be thankful for this year.

I’m thankful for my family.  The more I talk to people, the more I realize just how lucky I am to have family who I actually like spending time with and who seem to like spending time with me.  And this year, I got a new family member with the birth of my niece.  That makes 2016 one of the best years ever.

I’m thankful for my friends.  I have some of the most awesome friends.  This year, I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to spend with my friends, but that’s definitely changing in 2017, and I’m looking forward to the trips and events we already have planned.

I’m thankful for my health and my ability to run and bike and swim and complete ridiculous athletic adventures.  I’m not sure what drove me to start these challenges – anyone who knew me in my teens and early 20’s is probably completely confused as to how I turned into this person.  But I’m glad I did and I’m glad I can continue.

I’m thankful for my job.  It might not be perfect all the time and who knows what the new administration will bring, but it’s a pretty great job with a solid paycheck that allows me to have my house, my pets, and pay for these ridiculous adventures.

Oh, I’m thankful for my cats too, except this morning, when I could have slept in but someone decided he needed breakfast at 6am.  Furry little jerks.