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Races: 7 (1 half marathon, 1 10K, 5 5Ks) Total miles: 458.7 Number of PRs: 3 (1 half marathon, 2 5k) Time seems to pass slowly and quickly at the same time! I think about all the writing I want to do, and in the blink of an eye, a month has passed and I've written no words - not on here, not in my journals, no where. But, as the husband and I have an unusually quiet evening, I figure it's a good opportunity to truly reflect on 2019. I'm not going to lie, sometimes it's easy to forget that 2019 overall was a pretty damn good year, and even the last part of the year came with a 5K PR. When I think about what I have discovered about myself - personally, professionally, and athletically - all I can conclude is that 2019 taught me that I am more. I am more than I thought I was capable of. I am more than a busy worker bee in the background. I am the future of public health. I am more than a middle of the pack runner. I am a competitor and my greatest competition is myself. I am more than a 10-minute miler. I can go faster, if I am brave enough to. I am more than a runner. I am a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a mother. January, February and part of March was as it always is in Kansas City. Cold, dark, and my least favorite environment to run in. In the depths of that awfulness, I found a radiating light - or rather a reason to enjoy treadmill runs - in the Peloton app. Taking Peloton's so-called 'Tread' classes with delightful instructors such as Becs Gentry, Olivia Amato, Matt Wilpers, and Jess Sims made miles tick by with a mental ease I hadn't felt in a long time. I got faster because they challenged me to be faster, and I rose to it. When spring arrived in Kansas City, I took their guided outdoor runs with me many times, because it's so much easier to do a tempo workout when you've got a friend encouraging you. April and May were complete chaos - getting married always brings a joyful and stressful disruption of life. I cried tears of stress, tears of joy, and tears of "it's okay, I just need to cry right now". I received a national honor for work, and managed a 7-minute PR in the half marathon on a tough, hilly course. Then I went and laid by a resort pool for a week. June, July, and August were just as fun. I took to running early in the morning and adjusting my work schedule so "early" was 6:30 and I didn't have to go to bed before the sun went down. I raced - yes, raced! - three 5Ks in three weeks, managing a PR at one of them. I logged miles purely for the joy of it. I joined a local running group for their Tuesday night speed sessions, and found new depths of speed and strength I didn't know I had. I ran by feel, forgot about the clock, and found I was faster than I thought I was. I started training for a marathon, not having a goal other than to finish and have fun. Okay, maybe I did have a goal in mind, but wasn't going to commit to it until I was more sure of my training. September came with some adjustments. I found I was tired, run down, and just a bit 'off' at the beginning of the month, which was all explained when I had four positive pregnancy tests. I made adjustments to the training plan, tweaked my diet, and continued training. Then the nightmare of October came, c-r-a-w-l-e-d by and left me devastated, hollow, and unsure of how to move forward. I felt stuck most of November, but signed up for a Thanksgiving Day 5K in the hopes that I would find something if I got out there and ran. I never wrote an RR for that race, but somewhere in the second mile I realized two things: first, mile 2 of a 5K is the loneliest mile and second, I need to do more core work if I really want to race well. I felt like I had nothing for December, but I signed up for a 5K last minute anyway because the race swag was a hoodie that said "Running with my Snowmies" with little runner snowmen on it. It's pretty rad, too. Just the right amount of weight and softness. In this 5K, I reaffirmed how lonely mile 2 is and how I really do need to do more core work. It was cold and dark at that race, so I started my watch and never looked at it again. I just ran hard. When it started to hurt, I tried to run harder. I crossed the finish line with no expectations, so was pleasantly surprised when I finished with another PR and a top 10 finish in my age group. I finished out the month with miles for Sara's brother Mark whenever it was nice, and tried to be thankful for everything in my life. It was a crazy year, and I learned so much. I made strides in my running, and began to find the types of training that allows me to thrive. I had life-changing moments and one that fundamentally changed who I am forever. I'm not sure what 2020 will bring. I've got some running plans, I've got some life plans, and I've got some career plans. But my goals for the year are focused on my whole-person health - mental, physical, and spiritual. There are no numbers tied to those goals, but I hope that the pursuit of them will allow me to become my best self. And if I can knock out three PRs again, well, that will be just fine, too.
Total miles: 27.39Races: 1Minutes meditated: 25Coming of a shitty October, I honestly felt a little lost in November. I was (and still am) struggling with the loss of our pregnancy. Running just didn't feel like a priority, and so I didn't run much. I wish I could say I did a lot better with yoga and meditation, but I honestly wasn't great about that either. In retrospect, I was slowly creeping into depression, just going through the motions. There were bright spots, like watching my sister perform in Dracula with her community theater group and seeing the beautiful Mississippi in her new hometown or being able to run in my favorite park again, which was finally open after it was completely flooded in early AND late spring. ^^ Back on my favorite running path ^^ the hubs and I with the might Mississippi in the background I got some miles in, registered for my first Turkey Trot in Kansas City, and used that as motivation to keep a more structured running schedule. And yes, my first! Ever since I started running, I spent Thanksgiving in either Minnesota or Iowa. I'm working on an RR for that race, so stay tuned.On the important notes, once I realized that my mental health was not in a good place, I called my Employee Assistance Program, got referred to a therapist and moved forward with getting some professional help. I made it a point to open my Headspace App when I parked my car at work and spent 10-15 minutes meditating before I even got out of my car. It has made a big difference in just helping me feel more grounded. Grief and trauma are crazy forces in life, and it's so important that we take time to just breathe. I'm just really glad I have a wonderful support system, from my family & friends to my co-workers. It's funny when you start to talk about pregnancy loss, how many other people come forward with stories and give you love and support. On the flip side, I also feel like I've seen every single pregnant woman in the greater Kansas City metro. Then there was the time I was congratulating a cousin's wife on her pregnancy, and she thanked me and then said they were due the same month I was supposed to be due. She didn't know about anything that was going on with us, but it was still a sucker punch.Onto December. I've got lofty ideas about doing a half marathon in March, but since I generally don't run a lot with shorter days and cold weather, who knows if I'll get myself trained up for it. I'm tossing around a few ideas. My favorite one involves buying a spin bike AND a treadmill, but I know the husband won't go for that. Yet.What life-changing moment have you had that brings all kinds of stories, love, and support out of the woodwork?
Checking in from Derby City. Today was my first run in 4 weeks. I was training for the Kentucky History Half, but I got sick and couldn't run for four weeks without having some kind of relapse, be it epic coughing or a return of fever. So, I didn't. I needed the run. I needed to pound the pavement. My father is very sick. Part of it can be cured. The other part...well, we're not sure what it is. He had an MRI yesterday and will speak with an oncologist next Wednesday. Hopefully, whatever it is is treatable. I'm not ready to lose him, and that is my greatest fear. So I've been in tears most of the last few days and doing the bare minimum at work. But today's run was good. my pace was 12:40ish but it felt comfortable and that's where I am right now. My RBFF was with me and did a good job distracting me from my worries. It's also my birthday, so I'm glad I got to run today. I feel more like myself and less... like a drifter, just making my way through the day in a fog. I told her I wanted to run a marathon next year, but I want to take a long, slow training cycle so my body can be ready without dropping off the immune cliff four weeks before the race. I'm looking at Indy Monumental or Marshall. I hope to be around more often as I get back into running. My oldest will be four on Saturday and my youngest will be one next Wednesday (yes, the day my dad talks to the oncologist and it also happens to be his birthday). Hopefully my youngest starts sleeping through the night in the next few months so I can put my running plans in motion.