I live a small life. A small, Introverted Homebody life, and I make no apologies for it. It’s boring, it’s borderline anti-social (ahem, we introverts prefer “selectively social”, thank you very much), but it suits me. Although I am the first to admit that there’s a fine line between livin’ la intorverted loca and full-on cabin fever sometimes. Anyway, even for someone who revels in living a small life, this month was flat-out minuscule.
We watched the Superbowl at home. Our plans to go to a party, taco dip in hand, with some of my running group buddies fell through due to the snow storm we got that afternoon. So we were stuck at home watching Pats vs. Seahawks all alone, and I ate that taco dip by myself (Kevin doesn’t like it. Weirdo). Kevin and I went to our favorite restaurant and then to see The Imitation Game for Valentine’s Day. It was a really nice night and it reminded me how much I do enjoy going to see movies, even though I’m not much of a movie person. The cinema-loving seed in me is ready to bloom this year, I can feel it. I’m sure our new Milwaukee Film membership will help bring it to life!
We hung out with friends a few times, including a happy hour event with some of Milwaukee’s AmeriCorps Alums. I finished one book this month – Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Great read! I am now 4 books behind in my quest to read 36 books in 2015. Yikes. But, I remain unfazed. I know it sounds crazy, but I am confident that I will catch up and still achieve this goal. I refuse to let go of it. I WILL read 36 books this year!
Of course, the highlight of the month was that I started marathon training! 2 weeks later and I’ve already logged 59 miles. Training has been going well, as you can tell by my recaps, and although it’s been bitterly cold and outdoor runs have meant dodging slush and snow piles, I’m really enjoying being back out there, training regularly again, building my mileage AND my anticipation for Grandma’s. The structure and routine of marathon training has really helped me regain my love and motivation for running during the time of year when it is hardest to love.
But this post is going to be a little different than the same old scrapbook of my month, because February didn’t go like that. I’m just going to be honest and talk about what this month was really like: not great. Other than FINALLY starting marathon training, I can’t pinpoint a single remarkable, significant thing about February. Life just sort of ambled along, lazily, between freezing cold days and bouts of snow and a particularly nasty case of PMS. I retreated to patches of warmth wherever I could find them – the blankets on the bed that I can’t get out of until the last minute on cold dark mornings; the back seat of the always-late bus where I could relax for 20 minutes before being thrown into the day; the sweaty bustle of the gym; my first steps into work and the accompanying sips of coffee. Somehow, my least favorite month of the year, a 28-day slow march through the dredges of winter, finally managed to pass by in a haze of Roseanne and Law and Order reruns, work stress, numerous changes into and out of snow boots, single-digit temperatures and the 1-mile beeps on my Garmin.
While I saw a resurgence of energy in my running, my mental energy went the opposite way. I’ve never been so unproductive and out-of-it at work as I have this month. I mean, I’m prone to a few distractions here and there like everyone else, but it was bad this month. Some days I just could not focus to save my life. This sewage of mental deadness spilled over into the rest of my life and pretty soon it too stunk of lack of productivity: I skipped a handful of days in my habit of the month, the 5-minute tidy up, because I just couldn’t muster up the wherewithal some nights to do even that; I sent great blog post ideas to the writing graveyard because I just didn’t feel like writing after a long day; and while one week we would rock the whole eating healthy home cooked meals shebang, the next week hardly a thing would pass these lips that didn’t come out of a Jimmy Johns bag or a pizza box.
Last year, I went on the El Salvador Global Village Trip in the last week of February and not only the trip itself, but also the anticipation of it in the few weeks leading up to it, made winter so much more bearable. Come March, the score was a pleasing Hanna – 1; S.A.D. – 0. But this year, with no El Salvador trip to protect me, the old beast came back to even the score in its favorite way: a surprise ambush when I think I’m going to get out of winter unscathed.
You win this time, S.A.D.
With all that said, I’m cautiously optimistic about March. I’m not deluded enough to believe that everything will be magical and I’ll make some total transformation from this month’s slump. Life in general gets much busier in Spring so I’m the first to admit that my favorite season comes with its own challenges and stresses. But February’s over now so that alone means March is off to a good start.
We don’t have a ton of plans this month – just a few things here and there and I am looking forward to them. I’m finally going to see my book club again after 4 months.
No races in March, but marathon training will continue along, building more with every week. By the end of the month my long run will be up to 18 miles and my weekly mileage will break into the 40s.
And no matter how March ends up by the 31st, there’s one thing I always know will be good: my birthday is this month! 9 days from today, actually. I’m taking my second mini stay-cation of the year that weekend, and this time it’s a FOUR day weekend so that I can include my birthday, which falls on a Thursday this year. No big plans on the birthday – kicking off my staycation with birthday yoga the night before, probably going out to dinner somewhere, and of course I’ll be doing my favorite workout that day as a present to myself – SPEED WORK! Mile repeats, happy birthday to me! And this is not even sarcasm so:
I would do 28 repeats to commemorate turning 28, but, I would like to live to see 29 so I’ll just stick with 4 😉
Here’s hoping that the luck of the Irish is with me and I have a better March than I did February. Or that I at least read 3 books this month so I can emerge at the end of March somewhat less behind on my goal!