Monday, February 25, 2013

Be awesome instead

So, Mother Nature is making training pretty tough this winter and with several inches of snow on the ground and no sidewalks or paths clear to run on , the forecast for last weekend called for 8-12 MORE inches.  As if that wasn't bad enough, work was extra stressful last week.  Office politics combined with incompetence of others and frustration with workload equaled a coworker taking their stress and frustration out on the next person to talk to them - ME.  I'm a big girl and I have been insulted before, but this came from someone I thought was a friend so it was particularly hurtful and upsetting.  I went on with my work and decided to be the more mature person and resisted the urge to respond.  Instead I dealt with it the only way I know how, I went for a run afterwork.

I ran 6 miles along the Charles.  It was ridiculously windy and I told myself the wind in my face was responsible for the tears that formed in my eyes, not the sting of the painful words thrown at me earlier.  It didn't matter at the end of my run, I felt better.  My mind was cleared.  The heavy feeling on my heart was lifted.  The wounds of the day will take time to heal, but I am confident, strong, and successful and I have overcome obstacles far greater than meaningless immature words used in anger.

Friday, the awkward aftermath of the exchange the day before hung in the air, but it didn't stop me from being very productive and continuing to kill it and get stuff done.  After work, I decided to treat myself to a little retail therapy.  The zipper on my favorite jeans broke in the morning, they are the jeans I bought when I first lost 100lbs., so they are kind of old and I am overdue for a new pair.  I headed to the mall straight from work.  First stop was Lululemon, dropped about $100 on a new running top and some crops (both on sale).  Then I went to Express to find new jeans.  They don't make the same pair I had, so I tried on every style they make in various cuts, colors, sizes.  Finally, found 3 pairs that fit like a glove and got a great deal - two pairs were buy one get one 50% off, that other pair was on clearance for $20!  All the trying stuff on made me hungry so I had to stop at Trader Joes on the way home to get snacks. 

Saturday morning I got up to do my long run, the snow was suppose to start later in the day/evening so I wanted to get my miles in before it got gross out.  I was on my own and in no rush really so I just took my time getting ready, sipping my tea and eating a little breakfast.  I stepped out the door to Eminem's 'Til I Collapse' pumping me up and motivating me for a good solid run.  Started out nice and easy, 12 miles on the plan, no need to sprint out.  I started thinking and reflecting on my training and race performances recently and just wishing that I could get back to my 4:30 marathon pace.  First three miles were a warm up and included my favorite big mile long hill, so I averaged around a 10:30 pace.  Then I settled into a comfortable rhythm and ignored my garmin and just ran.

It was cold out, but the sun was bright and warmed me.  I took my first gel around 4.5 miles and felt really good.  Legs were working hard, heart and lungs pumping in perfect harmony.  Took my second gel around 8.5 miles and hit the home stretch of the run.  Focused and completely calmed by the beat of my heart and my feet hitting the pavement, I looked up and just ahead of me there was a family of 4 deer slowly crossing the road right in front of me.  There was something so peaceful and beautiful about it that it brought tears to my eyes.  Moments like that remind me why I love long runs on back roads.  I see the most amazing things that no one else gets to see and other people might take for granted if they did see it.  Time stops, it's just me and the road and the sound of my breathe and the beat of my heart and the simple beauty of another creature out enjoying the crisp morning air.

I did the math in my head and realized my 12 mile run was going to be closer to 13 miles, on a bad day this would have been devastating, but on this day it was totally fine. I powered on and picked up my pace, determined to finish strong.  13.25 miles done, average pace 10:15 - just below a 4:30 marathon pace (10:18).  Hopefully, I can keep it up and run a great race in Big Sur. 

I celebrated the strong run with friends at a wine tasting in New Hampshire.  It was hosted by a friend and former colleague and many of the attendees were former colleagues that I hadn't seen in years.  It was really great to catch up with everyone and enjoy some delicious wines and cheeses too.  I had a great time talking and hanging out with everyone.  Many laughs and long stories later, it was 9:00pm!  Considering the wine tasting started at 3:00pm, I was impressed I was even still awake.  I drove home and the snow was starting to come down, but not nearly as heavy as predicted.

Sunday I spent the day relaxing on the couch and doing laundry.  We got a dusting of snow, but it mostly turned to rain and slush, not enough accumulate, just enough to make a mess.  I went to the grocery store and ran some errands, but pretty much spent the majority of the day in my PJs watching movies.  Finshed out the weekend completely relaxed and refreshed, ready to take on another week at work.

OH, I have been so busy I almost totally forgot all the other things I have worked on accomplishing outside of work and running.  I'm trying to chip away at my 'to-do' list this year and check off as many things as possible.  So, I bought a slack line so that when the snow melts I can try 'funambulism' - aka tight rope walking.  I registered for Boston Trapeze School class in a few weeks.  And I purchased a glass blowing class deal.  I'm also working on trying to get a ride along with the Andover Fire Dept. in exchange for winning the bet at the Stair Climb a few weeks back.  That's on my list too.  I'll have to remember to take pictures of all these adventures so I can post them.

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