Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Finding Focus

I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about the title of this post.  I did, however, spend a lot of time organizing my thoughts for the content.  Can't judge a post by it's title.  Does that work?  Eh, not convinced.  Who knows...this sentence might be removed before I'm ready to publish.
Today is the last day of 2013.  I closed out last night with some drinks, eats and lots of laughs with my early am lady runners.  The power of peer pressure pushed us out the door at 5:15 am and we managed to put another five miles in the bank.  I don't believe any of us really planned to be out in 20 degree weather considering yesterday's temps were higher.  Without a firm agenda for the day, I brewed a cup of coffee (from my high maintenance Keurig - apparently there's a g-spot that requires additional love in her old age.  a story for another day), stretched, showered and crawled back into bed.  I woke up at 9 am.  9 am.  9 am.  Holy crap!  Opening my eyes to see '9 am' on my phone was magical.  Thankfully, the time wasn't met with a morning rush.  No school.  No work.  No problem.  I actually started to get a little anxious knowing that I wanted to get this post out before the 1st.  I think I can handle it.
This past year, I think, was my toughest to date.  So much good coupled with different life challenges.
On the tail end of 2012, I continued to struggle with my abdominal pain and tried so many different diets to help ease my pain.  I spent a few seconds as a vegan.  My ability to creatively navigate the animal protein world and my love for a good burger prohibited me from maintaining a vegan status.  The ridicule from my family/friends and the lack of decrease in pain were also contributing factors in abandoning this lifestyle.  I am absolutely sensitive to animal cruelty, but I just couldn't continue  Two months later, after lots of research, I shifted to a 98% Paleo way of eating and I haven't looked back.
Everything happens for a reason.  Right?  That's what 'they' say.  Sometimes I'll buy into that.  After a lot of consideration, I decided, with the support of my hubbs, that I'd finish my 200 hour Yoga Teacher training by enrolling in a program at a local studio.  This experience so far has been helpful in my spiritual and physical transformation.  I'll close this training on May 4, 2014.
Oh, Lance.  That's really all I have to say.  My post about his Doprah interview clearly illustrated his selfish behavior at the expense for a fantastic organization.  His jack-assedry (read: not a word) started to push me towards abandoning future support of LIVESTRONG, but I've since changed my tune.  I feel sad for him and his kids.
As of this publishing, my most popular post captured the raw emotions after losing a pet.  Tissues required.  Love you, Pez.
Shortly after losing our dog, my husband buried his father.  I didn't write about this personal event, but it hasn't been forgotten.
Runners really rallied around each other and the sport following the Boston Marathon bombings.  This sense of community continued at local races, including the St. Luke's Half Marathon.
About a week after the half, we took the fam and my sister-in-law to Disney where we met up with one of my bestest friends and her husband.  Disney, for those who know, is filled with magic for kids and adults, alike.
Two months later we vacationed in OBX.  I can't believe how big the girls are getting.  They are really starting to develop a 'sisterly' relationship - this also includes fighting over clothes, the pink cup and who goes first.  We celebrated the July 4th holiday all week with sun, sand and lots of crabs.
Busy, busy, busy - not a lot of downtime.  I came back to work as the jetstream brought a violent shit storm which led up to the infamous Quadzilla 15K trail race.  I volunteered last year and knew that 2013 would be my year to run.  I couldn't be more pleased with my experience.  Looking forward to 2014!  I hope more of you will join me.  (ahem, you know who you are)
The challenges kept coming as we approached my birthday and Ava's first day of Kindergarten.  I survived.  We survived.  Ava loves school; we're proud of her development and thrilled with the school.
I continued to break personal records as if they were going out of style.  PR's included the 5K, 10K and half marathon.  I do have a goal to break my new 5K time next March.  Let's see what happens there.
The year closed out with two, as always, busy holidays packed with friends, family, food, booze and an overwhelming sense of giving.  My group running experience blossomed with regular runs with some fantastic women WHO LIKE TO RUN BEFORE THE SUN COMES UP.  I can only see these relationships strengthening in 2014.  I also think that some of them are signing up for their first marathon.
Speaking of marathon, I registered for the NYC Marathon via guaranteed entry.  It only took four years, but I don't care, I'm in now!  I have already started scheming on my training plans for breaking four hours.  I WILL BREAK FOUR HOURS.  I WILL BREAK FOUR HOURS.
Just before Christmas, my girlfriend lost one of her dear friends to cancer.  All I ask of you, my three readers, is to send strength and comfort to the family.  That episode in life showed me the raw emotion of people - emotion both good and bad.
I rounded out the year with a 13.1 mile run in celebration of a friend's birthday.  If you're a regular reader you might see a recurring theme when it comes to running in the Parkway.  I actually dislike that trail.  I'm not sure if it's the rolling hills (I normally love hills) or the trail surface (I normally love trail).  Perhaps it's the necessity to navigate piles of horse shit, fishermen or those weird green balls (read: nature).  Nevertheless, I hate that the Parkway is strategically positioned in the middle of the St. Luke's Half Marathon.  I usually feel like a million bucks before turning into the trail, but those miles do a number on my soul.  The curse may have been broken with the celebration run.  I enjoyed every moment of the Parkway.  I'm not going to analyze what changed, as I've run that route with so many great people.  And that's my story.
To wrap up this already too long, disjointed post, a few notes worth mentioning:
  1. I did see a movie in the theater.  Sure, I've seen Jurassic Park years ago, but not in 3D!  
  2. As planned for 2013, I succeeed in listening to a lot more Foo Fighters.  Word on the street is that they'll release a new album in 2014. I wait for that with anticipation.  
  3. I read at least one book NOT about running - Nano by Robin Cook.
  4. I wasn't able to complete my tee shirt quilt.  I'm just a little overwhelmed with the whole proess.  I honestly tried to squeak this project in last weekend, but that didn't work.  I thought about getting it done today; that was just a silly thought.  Maybe next year.  :P
  5. If my calculations were correct, I published 27 posts in 2012.  This post will be #28 for 2013.  Yay.  Progress.
Happy New Year, friends.  Thank you again for being with me on this blogging journey.  You are my silent audience - laughing, crying and screaming with me.  Cheers for a happy and healthy 2014!
Love.