#1 – Dispense with the Unessential

I really, really, REALLY want to start my “resolution” posts with #2 (Rest, Recharge, yada, yada, yada), because it is particularly appropriate today.  But, since I am a left-brained, everything-in-its-place, type of gal…Let’s begin at the very beginning, shall we??

I.am.not.efficient.

I would like to be, mind you.  I’m an accountant by training, so I despise (in theory) redundancy and wasted effort.  But personally, I spin my wheels.  A LOT.  Again, it comes back to laziness.  Sometimes, its just easier (in the short term) not to think, but just do.  SO I clean rooms that will be messy again in an hour.  I drive to the store to purchase XYZ instead of calling to make sure its in stock.  I pick up an extra thermometer, bottle of shampoo, hairbrush, etc. instead of taking 5 minutes to locate what I know I already have.

But what really gets me…what is my true achilles heel…is my tendency to overcommit.  Try it – ask me anything.  Want me to watch your kids?  No problem.  Host a party last minute?  Be glad to.  Need a spare kidney?  I’m free a week from Thursday – want to squeeze in the surgery then?

I suffer for this, a bit.  But my girls and Jimmy really take the brunt.  I’m so focused on completing all the things I “HAVE TO” do, that I lose sight of their little needs.  Sure, we play and snuggle, I feed and bathe them.  But too often, I’m brushing them aside for something that’s not really that important.

Not this year.  This year, I’m taking a page from my friends’ playbook.  I say “no” when I need to.  I ask for time to think before giving an answer.  Somedays the dishes & laundry won’t get done.

Today I had to make the most painful dispensation.  Two races, which I have looked forward to for months, must be scratched.  I am NOT ok with this. The first was to be my longest trail run to date (35K).  The second was to be my first ultra-marathon.  I could cry right now thinking of it.

But the numbers just don’t add up.  Since December 4, each run has become more painful.  My pace has slowed by almost 1 min/mile. My heartrate has increased.  I knew I was injured.  The doctor just confirmed it today.  No impact activities until the pain subsides.  No estimate on when that might be.

It is essential for me to be a good mother & wife.  It is essential for me to be a runner.  The rest can be put aside.

Please say a prayer for my sanity, will you??

Resolved.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions.  If you want to get something done, start now.  But, since it is the beginning of January, I spent some time yesterday thinking about what lies ahead in the New Year.  ‘Case I’m slacking off a bit, and feeling L…A…Z…Y!

You’d have a hard time telling.  From afar, I’m (literally) running in all directions.  I’m on the exec board of our pre-school Parents’ Association.  Kindergarten room mother.  I volunteer in the community.  At home, my life is an endless repeat of bathing, dressing, cleaning, cooking, comforting, playing, cooking, disciplining, reading, cleaning, cooking, bathing, reading, bedtime.

And I run.  When I’m not on the injured reserve list (as I am now), I adore juggling speedwork, tempo runs, and the weekly long run.  I try to fit in enough swimming and cyling to pull off a triathlon or two each season.  I’m currently obsessed with trail and ultra running.

But I need to remind myself that spinning wheels do not equal forward progress.  That a facade of busyness can mask a core of laziness. And with that in mind, here follow my personal 2012 resolutions.

  1. Dispense with the unessential
  2. Recover, recharge, and rest
  3. Be joyful
  4. Be strong
  5. Embrace the mud
  6. Wander
  7. Get outside
  8. Go long
  9. Stretch it out
  10. Document the journey

I’ll touch on each of these in posts over the next few days.  It goes without saying that they all wrap around running & motherhood.  And the occasional glass of wine – because honestly – it pairs so well with life, don’t ya think?

2012 Goals…(I blame the taper)

I’m one week into my three-week Marathon Taper.  The mid-week 10 milers and 20 mile long runs are a distant memory, and my enforced rest has left me chomping at the bit.  Maybe it’s the fact that I just finished re-reading Chris McDougall’s excellent ‘Born to Run‘ (one of my top-five books.  Ever.)  Or perhaps it was Matt Long’s ‘The Long Run‘ (also a great read…wow!).  But I have some pretty fun goals for 2012.  Since I can’t yet share them with my family (for fear of strike) or my friends (for fear of that they’ll commit me), I thought I’d post them here.

November 2011

  • Run 3:30 in the Suntrust Richmond Marathon.  This race kicked my tail nine years ago, when I attempted to run it (too fast) a month after the Chicago Marathon (sore legs).  I paid dearly for my hubris…dropped out at mile 13, and spent nine hours in agony on the floor of my bathroom (I’ll spare the details, just google hyponatremia).  If all goes as planned this year (and with marathoning, you know that’s a big IF), I should be able to pull off a 3:40 (~8:24 pace).  I’ve actually paced my long runs at 8 minutes/mile, which would put me just under a 3:30 finish if I can avoid The Wall.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out on Nov. 12.
December 2011
  • Volunteer at a race for the first time!  I love, love, love those folks who help out at races.  I can’t wait to watch the action from the other side.
February 2012
  • First Ultra.  50K.  With a friend.  Awesome.
March 2012
  • Shamrock.  Have a good friend and running buddy who will hopefully make her marathon debut here.  Fully intend to be there to support her.
September 2012
  • Rumor has it that a Half Ironman is coming to Richmond, VA.  If I can work up the nerve to log the hours on my road bike I’m in.  Don’t get me wrong — I actually LOVE cycling, and border on an obsessed fan at times.  But since I had children I’ve lost my nerve, and get really edgy having to share the road with cars and buses.  Need to find a cycling group and squash these negative thoughts…
November 2012
  • Richmond again, but that’s just a warm up to…(drum roll please)….
  • The JFK 50 miler.
There…its in writing.  Don’t know how I’ll pull off back-to-back marathons, but I get teary every time I think of this race.  I no longer live in Washington County, MD, but its where I was born and raised.  Those trails – I’ve hiked them.  The canal – I’ve biked it.  The roads….well let’s just say there was a time when I’d fly over the hills with the invincibility of a 16 year old.  To bring it all together in one run is the ultimate dream.  Others can have their Leadville or Badwater.  JFK is it for me.
Not sure how of if any of this will go over with the four people that matter most.  But if it works out, what a fun ride it will be!