Friday, January 24, 2014

Officially half crazy, so now what?

It's been 2 weeks since my Disney race.  I've rather reluctantly re-integrated into the 'normal' routine.  Hey, that's pretty alliterative!

I took a week off of running to recover.  It took that long for my huge toe blister to reabsorb!  I no longer wear my medal or carry it with me to show others.  The high of the accomplishment has subsided. I've printed my finisher certificate and ordered my official race photos.  I will get a shadow box and preserve the memory so there is that little project looming.  I ran almost 5 miles on Monday.  It's been too freaking cold since then to run.  I do plan a 6 mile run tomorrow, the one day it will *maybe* hit a balmy 32 degrees.

So now what do I do?  I worked my ass off to get to this point and actually be able to run 13.1 miles.  Much to my surprise, I miss running having run only once in the past 2 weeks.  It's become not only an essential party of staying fit and healthy, but it's therapy.  Fresh air, quiet time, meditative, running provides an outlet that helps me ultimately be happier and healthier.  Of course when I'm doing it, I don't always think so.

I think I've spent more time than I would have running this week planning races for the upcoming year.  If I register for races, I have a goal and a reason to get my ass out there and run.  So what's a girl to do?  Why plan her next Disney race, of course!  Dammit, I was warned about this.  RunDisney is addictive!  A very fun, very expensive addiction for those of us who don't live near a Disney park or hold an annual pass.  Thus, I'm looking to 2015.  Having done the WDW half, my sights are now set on the Tinkerbell 'trifecta' as I call it.  I desperately want to run the Tinkerbell 10K and half and the Neverland 5K at Disneyland next year.  It's over Mother's Day weekend next year.  Maybe this will be the mother's day I get to do what I want to!  :-)

Of course if I'm going to California to run, it's likely to be a once and done thing.  Which of course means I have to go for the coast to coast medal!  Therein lies the challenge for me.  I don't want to do the WDW half again.  I'd like to experience one of the other Disney races.  The Princess happens before Tink, in February, as does registration. I'm not crazy about running it, though I'd do the glass slipper challenge.  I'd prefer Wine and Dine, which is in November.  I worry that will be harder to get into because it's so popular.  All of these races sell out crazy fast, with DVC members and annual pass holders getting to register early.  Like so fast I'd have to take the day off of work to sit at my computer and wait for the registration to open for each and pray to my angels I get in as some of these have sold out in a matter of hours.  Especially if there are any special 'challenge' races like the glass slipper. Of course these races and the travel to/from them and associated expenses are, well, expensive.  Financing this fantasy is also a mystery at this point in time, but I do believe that will work itself out. Life is too short to not enjoy it while I can.  Perhaps the Fairy Godmother will help me find a way to get some assistance in that department.  The registration dates are in my calendar.  :-)

In order to keep this dream alive, and for the greater benefit of my health and happiness, I need to keep running.  2015 is, well, an entire year away!  Thus, I've plotted my running calendar for the year, roughly. There are races I know I want to do.  Most I've done before and they are really fun or scenic or both. Some I've not done before, but really want to try this year like a local half and the BAA 10K.

Unfortunately, life gets in the way of training.  Soccer for my boys puts a glitch in training and being able to participate in races.  In fact, my biggest challenge to maintaining a half marathon distance is trying to keep up the training.  The time demands are tremendous with my very busy life.  Soccer season is ramping up already and will be crazy through June with the boys essentially having a practice or game every single evening and every weekend day. I work. A lot.  I ballroom dance with my husband.  I have a book to finish writing. I have a business to grow.  Sadly, I can't do it all.  As much as I'd like to keep training at a half marathon distance, I don't think I can maintain it realistically and do everything else on my plate.  There must be compromise.

There is not much between now and March, but that's OK.  I do think my body and my mind need a bit of a break and a ramping down from running and more dancing and writing.  I plain to maintain at least a 10K training distance between now and then.  I have a 5K March 9th that is tons of fun and I'm looking forward to.

April has potentials, including a beach side, somewhat hilly, half, but I don't think I can realistically train for it or run it due to my schedule.  April vacation also gets in the way.  I will keep training though.

May brings a fun 5K I run every year and captain a team in honor of my nephew.  It also brings fantastic running weather and more daylight in which to return to my early am runs.  Yay!

June brings so many opportunities.  A half at the shore which I am seriously considering the 1st of the month. A 5K obstacle run called FoamFest I'm running with the family and friends and the BAA 10K which is the day after that one! Then it will be time for vacation!

July is too hot for racing!  It does bring registration for the Princess 10K, half marathon, and glass slipper challenge for Feb 2015 though!

August brings a fantastic mid-week, evening 10K I will run and the Spartan Sprint which I will photograph for my crazy husband and friends who enjoy this kind of thing.  It also brings registration for the Tinkerbell half and other races in Disneyland!!!

The fall is my favorite time!  So many races, not enough time.  There will be the Diva Dash with a bunch of friends and it's tons of fun.  I'm also contemplating another half toward the end of the month.  There are a few other local 5Ks' that if they fit into my schedule, I'll run.

October brings the Tufts 10K for women (yay!) and a local monster dash 5K.

November brings at Thanksgiving day run called the Gobble Wobble.

December is surprisingly busy!  There is a local Jingle 5K early in the month, a half  'merrython' I'm really interested in by the beach and my favorite 5K ever, the Somerville Jingle Bell Run.

So look at that.  I filled up the year already.

People ask me why I do this.  Why do I run, or more to the point, why do I spend the money and time planning for and going to races when I could just run for free on the local roads?  While it's true, without the goal and the fun and excitement of participating in races, I'd have less to motivate me to get out there.  I don't run fast nor do I want to.  I'm not competitive in that way.  I just want to do it while and because I can.

I'm a physical therapist.  I work with people every day who can't even walk. Some hit with devastating diseases who are younger than me.  They all regret not doing things while they could and always advise never take anything for granted.  Life is too short to not follow your dreams.  I am blessed with good health, two working legs and a cardiovascular system that lets me run.  It certainly gives me physiological and physical limits, but I listen to them and God willing, will be able to do it again tomorrow.

Carpe Diem!

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