As we come upon one of my favorite US holidays (Thanksgiving) I thought it was only fitting to take a Monday to be grateful. Happy Monday!!!
I don’t usually do Half Marathon recaps in fact I’m not real good with many race recaps except those big crazy Marathons, which by the way I just signed up for Marathon #6 – Vermont City at the end of May, I am really starting to think I’m crazy but that is for another post.
Anyway, today was the Wolf Hollow Half Marathon. What I thought was going to be a normal somewhat flat rail trail run (I run a paved rail trail all the time and it is mostly flat and paved) turned in to a jaunt through the woods where most of it was on soft surface/gravel/dirt/leaves/pine needles and it was mostly flat but had some killer hills at the times when we never really want them, which during a half marathon I believe is all the time. This is not to say that it was not fun. I really did enjoy it. I went out with the intent to have fun. In fact Dave asked me what I thought I would run and I said I wanted to keep it under 9 min miles and that is what I did. Just 600 of my closest running friends doing a long run and getting a medal and t-shirt at the end. My idea of how to spend a Sunday morning. 🙂
Near mile 9.5 I met Ian who told me that he had been following me for most of the race. Usually we would call this person a STALKER but in the running world, somehow we are flattered that someone would pace off of us. Made me feel good. Since I was just having fun and quite frankly I needed someone to help me through the toughest part of the course which was two huge hills we began to chat. Always fun is the conversation where we continue to tell each other that they can go ahead if they want to because I don’t want to slow you down and then we both realize that really we have been running the same race the whole time so why not finish together.
It was great to get through the tough hills pushing each other (sometimes physically because around mile 11 and 12 when you are going up hills running in a straight line is optional). Also nice is to have someone pushing you when you think you are giving it your all and the other person says, “I think you can do more” and out of the blue you find that extra gear. It was a great race. As we crossed the finish line we exchanged hugs, told each other congrats, oh and I introduced him to Dave so there would be no crazy questions about why I am hugging this random stranger.
This is why I love running. I love going out for a race, enjoying the run, facing new challenges and meeting people along the way. My new friend Ian and I talked about races, running, family, work, and why we run. For him it’s a stress relief from being an Assistant principal at a local middle school. Gotta keep up with those crazy middle schoolers under control. For me we all know it is therapy. I know when I don’t exercise I am a bear and really I am shocked about how much time I spend at the gym and out on my runs but I know if I don’t do it, everything else suffers.
Since today was a essentially a trail run and trail running is a lot different then road running, I know that there will be muscles that hurt tomorrow, probably because I can already feel them. Here is hoping I can move.
If you are in New Hampshire in November, I would really encourage you to run this race. It’s a double loop so you get to see the trail the first time and then the second time around you get to dread the hills but find a friend and you can make it through the second loop! 🙂
Ever find a friend during a race? Dave says I always do! What can I say, I’m very social. 🙂
Enjoy some more pics from today:
Here is the part where I tell you that I have been thinking and planning and finally getting down to business to put my goals into action for the New Year. Then there is the next part where I say, sorry, not sure what I have been doing but that is not it! So I started the New Year unplanned which quite frankly is a little unsettling. I’m not even sure how I got to this point. I think it happened because the holidays came so fast this year or because I like where I am so I have no real goals to change anything which is good but for me not to have plans for the New Year seems a little crazy. So if you will bear with me, let’s do this together….
- Continue my plan to run a race each month because it worked so well to keep me motivated last year. (First Run happened yesterday so first race of the year done!)
- OKC Memorial Marathon in April – Do better than last year and with luck, skill and crazy things all falling into place, qualify for Boston or at least make it one step closer.
- At least 2 half marathons and maybe a 2nd marathon (it was kind of fun to run two this year and I’m a glutton for punishment)– Already signed up for one half in February to get my free jacket earned after the trilogy of last year.
- Long runs with my marathon friend and continue runs with my running club.
- Shoot for at least 1200 miles run. I was so close this year with 1197 miles.
- Continue to enjoy running.
- Further training in mindfulness, PTSD/Trauma, and personality disorders (always intrigued at how others brains work and personality disorders are fascinating.)
- Build better and stronger groups to benefit my clients.
- Look into teaching again at the Master’s level
- Find those abs buried under there! Also make my cross training more effective and fun instead of just fiddling around the gym on cross training days.
- Continue to cherish time with my family and keep the cherish jar going
- Continue to treat myself to a massage a month to help me relax and as part of my training (at least that is what I’m telling Dave. Hee, Hee)
- Practice more mindfulness living, my daily gratitude practice and acceptance of life on life’s terms
Now for the word of the year….
Okay what are you waiting for….
I thought we were doing this together….
This is the part where you tell me what it should be.
Looks like you got nothin’!
What if we go with mindfulness. Since I already want to practice it more and learn more about how to do with others, this is the word. What do you think? I’m glad you agree. So here goes to more living in the moment and be consciously aware of what is going on around me and enjoying it and just be. Maybe you should give a try or we could just do this together.
What are your goals? Any words of the year for you?
My running goals that I set last year were:
- Complete my first trilogy of half-marathons hosted by BA Events Completed! Get my free jacket at my next half marathon in February! Yeah!!!! Achieved!!
- Run my second marathon and make it a much better marathon than my first in regards to preparation. – Well that one did not go as planned due to a 2 hour rain delay but I did run a 3rd marathon and set a new PR and met a new friend. Achieved!!
- Continue with my at least one race a month so I have a goal for each month to keep me motivated to run. – Ran a total of 14 races this year. Achieved!!!
- Actively participate in my new running club (all signed up but haven’t done a run with them) – Ran with my new club through the spring and summer and stopped while training for my fall marathon. I will get back involved starting the spring this year. Achieved!!!
- Enjoy running! – Doing good with this one so I would say Achieved!!!
- New goal but think it is worth talking about since it was unplanned: Completed a total of 1197.59 miles this year, went through 4 pairs of running shoes and stayed uninjured and mostly interested in running. (PS – I was trying to figure out how I could finish the last few miles to hit 1200 but Wednesday is a rest day so just gonna have to settle and make it a new goal for 2015)
There were some things that happened throughout the year that did not involve running, believe it or not. I bought my first house and good news is that I already live here so didn’t have to move. I’d say that is a win. Also I got a new job in February and I love it even after almost my first full year. Never gets old!
One of the biggest things that happened was getting my Mental Health Counselor’s License. This is such a process that doesn’t even happen until at least 2 years after grad school and I am so happy to be done with it. Oh and with it came a great raise which made me love my job even more (wink, wink)!
I also had a word of the year. Last year’s was acceptance. I think I put it into good practice. When I struggled to finished the marathon in OKC, I accepted that it was going to take all I had to get to the end and practiced acceptance at how horrible it felt at the end. In my work I accepted the fact that I could not control my day and had to learn to relax and let things happen (which is hard for a control freak by the way). I also think that the word acceptance helped me to learn to take better care of myself. I added a massage a month to my training plan and had to accept that it would be expensive but find it vital in keeping me relaxed and motivated (it might have to be more than once a month now that I started training for my next marathon but let’s not tell Dave.)
Stay tuned for goals for 2015 and really have to pick out a new word for the year, any suggestions?! I’m really looking forward to 2015 how about you?
Tomorrow is the biggest day of year that those of us in the United States hopefully spend some moments talking about what we are grateful for. I say hopefully because sometimes I think we forget about what the holiday of thanksgiving is about. Saying “thank you”, appreciating what you have been given and the little things in life.
This week I spent some time each day in my therapy groups, requiring each one of my group members to talk about what they are thankful for. I challenged them to think deeper. Look at the small things because sometimes it is the small things that are really the big things.
I love having this opportunity to challenge my clients and see how they respond, mainly because they inspire me. I heard things from grateful for my sobriety, to having the trust back with family, to being happy about health and how well they feel today, as well as happy to be alive.
I also chatted with my clients to discuss how they felt after doing this activity. My clients commented about how this made them feel and the general feeling was very good. I asked them “why do you not do this more often, think about things that make your life great.” That could not be answered but it became a challenge. Why not do it every day?! I talked to them about how I make a list every day of at least 3 things that I am grateful for and I don’t use the same things each week. This is quite a challenge and really makes me think beyond the obvious.
This is my challenge for everyone. Why wait for one day a year to be grateful? Why not practice it each day? I promise you, life will change for you, your outlook on things will change, and you will be more grateful for everyday life.
Today is Hug a Runner Day! I don’t know about you but the first thing I want after I finish a race or run is a nice hug. I have had quite a few over the years. Here is an example:
Now it is your job to go HUG A RUNNER! I don’t care if they are sweaty! Share the warmth! 🙂