Monday, December 29, 2014

You're Still Writing?!?

I sat down to write this post two days ago.  Of course, I didn't focus full time on pull in this together, but it did take a decent amount of time.  Ava asked me about a half hour ago, 'You're still writing?!'.  I thank her for the reworked title.

If memory serves me well, this will be my third 'end of year' post.  Minus the time commitment, I do enjoy reflecting on the past twelve months: I relive some moments, reread a few posts and think about what goals to set in the upcoming year.

I rounded the 2013 corner into 2014 with the continuation of my 200 hour yoga teacher training.  Finally, there was an end in sight: April 2014.  I knew, leading up to my final class, that I'd be missing the St. Luke's Half Marathon, but I made peace with that fact, as I made a commitment to finish my training.  Never one to take on too much, I studied for my ACE health coach certification in my spare time and successfully passed my exam in the middle of an amazing 'me time' week in May.
I have been teaching yoga for about ten years at a number of locations, both gym and studio settings. After having my Allison in 2011, I took an extended hiatus from teaching a number of weekly classes.  At the end of 2013, I picked up a 'regular' class, teaching in a studio every four weeks.  The structure of my teacher training and the more frequent teaching gig reinforced my focus on my personal practice.  I developed a new confidence in my teachings with the hopes of sharing my passion with those around me.  I always believed in the complementary benefits yoga offers the running lifestyle and I wanted to show other runners how the two blended well, like coffee and cream.  I developed enough content to hold a 'yoga for the runner' workshop.  I plan to offer the same workshop again in 2015.
I pounced on opportunities to sub classes for a medically based fitness facility which paid me back ten fold in exposure.  As luck would have it, I was approached to develop content for an amputee support group.  This charge put me well out my comfort zone, but I welcomed the change to do something different.  Months later, I was asked if I had availability to teach a yoga class for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.  Are you freakin' kidding me?  Uh, yes please.  I've since taught three classes (which are mandatory per Coach) to the team's full roster nearly 20 years my junior.  We're crammed in a small studio for roughly an hour, but the time is well spent — at least from my perspective.  If only they knew I was a die hard NY Rangers fan.

RUNNING - Breakin' Records
I have a difficult time reigning in my adrenaline when I toe the starting line.  Well, I don't every really 'toe the line', but in some cases, I come very close.  I'm more of a middle-of-the-pack starter.  I try to focus on the mantra of 'I'm just going to run', leading up to a race, but something changes in the hours/minutes before the start.  My mantra shifts to 'Do work'.  That's what happened this year when I broke almost every Personal Record set years before and found myself actually placing in my age group (AG).  

  • St. Pat's 5K is the opening race of MY season.  Already registered for the 2015 race, I'm hoping to PR.  
  • The Emmaus 4 Miler kicked my ass this year.  That's a small price to pay for placing 3rd in my AG.
  • Last year I vowed to run a race in OBX while on our vacation.  I feared that it would have been canceled in light of a Category 2 Hurricane.  I guess that I underestimated these hardcore race organizers.  I placed 1st in my AG.  
  • For the 3rd year in a row, I tackled the Runner's World Hat Trick - three races (5K, 10K & 1/2), over two days.  I PR'd the 10K, but the highlight of that event was watching my kids cross the finish line in their races.  
  • I kicked some serious ass in the NYC Marathon.  I'm still gushing.  I kicked so much ass that it warranted two posts (#1 & #2).  Yea, I kicked ass.
  • I ran my first cross country (XC) race as part member of my road runner's team.  There's nothing like a XC race to make you feel like the slowest runner in the entire universe.  
MEMORIES - Old and New
As I look back at my posts, I wrote a lot of reflective pieces on my childhood (Jersey Shore vacations and hanging at my grandmother's house) and more recent memories (listening to Jazz while drinking Earl Grey tea in my dorm room and being with my dog).  
I looked forward to creating new memories such as hiking with my Ava and continuing the OBX tradition.  

This time last year, I celebrated the 40th birthday of a fellow crazy.  We gathered early on a Saturday morning to log 13.1 miles in the Parkway.  As I mention in the post, we ran for health and friendship.  I'm happy to report, that this friendship continued through 2014 and is going strong.  We celebrated each other and our families; we banded together in support through challenging times.  We picked up another crazy along the way, who crossed over following a short pledging program (ahem, she was maced by another crazy, accidentally, of course).  They've changed the way I approach my running and they've given me the support when I needed a confidence boost.  Some may say that they're responsible for the decay of my tough exterior.  I could seriously write a book.
Wow, that was a wonderful segue.  
One crazy, in particular, has encouraged me, from the sidelines, to put my stories in print.  This book, is currently under construction.  I hope to have a full manuscript ready for submission by the end of 2015.  

Where there are Robertsssss' there will be weather, oftentimes, extreme weather.  
I'd like to believe that we should be held responsible for the following 2014 weather events:

To wrap up this already too long, disjointed post, a few notes worth mentioning, some that I carry from year to year:
  1. I owe everything to my family.  They support Muffin's Madness - both good and bad.  
  2. I did see a few movies in the theater.  Oh, and I didn't fall asleep!
  3. I continued my second year of rocking out more intensely Foo Fighters.  Their latest album was released late enough in the year that I need more time with it.  
  4. I read quite a few books having nothing to do with running.  I'll pick a handful to read in 2015.
  5. I wasn't able to complete my tee shirt quilt, again.  I'm just a little overwhelmed with the whole process.  
    • I crafted other things…including my secret Santa gift, which has yet to be revealed.
    • I’m probably going to outsource the quilt.  eff it.
  6. In 2013, I published 28 posts.  I blew that out of the water this year with 57 (includes this post).  Crap.  Not sure if I can keep this momentum through 2015.  We shall see.  Will a draft manuscript make up for the lack of posts?  You be the judge. 
  7. I will continue to train hard and break 2014 PR's.  Biggest race goal for 2015 - qualify for Boston in the Lehigh Valley Health Network Marathon for Via in September.  Whelp, now that's out there.  
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 2015!