So, it’s been a while and I know there are some much bigger things I owe you updates on right now. That’s coming, I promise, but I’ve pushed it back to next week. Putting my Guatemala recap(s) together is proving to be an intensive task with all the writing, editing and photo uploading to be done, so I’m saving it for this weekend when I have a little more time. I’ve been taking this week to just relax and let myself readjust to “real life”. That may sound silly, needing an entire week to readjust from a trip that was only 10 days, but anyone who has ever had an immersive week-long vacation knows the struggle is real. This week I’ve just tried to take life one day at a time and free myself from any additional things I feel “obligated” to do, namely, blogging. But getting in a month-in-review post sounded much easier, plus, I otherwise wouldn’t have time to post this for another couple weeks and it seems a little silly to post a February in Review post halfway through March.
I’m not sure what even to write about because most of February was defined by one week. I honestly can barely remember anything else that happened in the weeks preceding my Guatemala trip: it’s all kind of a blur of running and feeling the tentacles of cabin fever and travel-planning stress squeeze me ever so tighter each day until I finally got on a plane to Guatemala before they crushed the life out of me.
So, since I don’t really have much else to talk about and Guate will get its own in-depth coverage, I’m going to do something different for this monthly recap and focus instead on what’s ahead:
Under different circumstances, I think March would be one of my least favorite months: Spring is not quite here yet and the weather is dreary and gray and kind of gross, and it’s long, and there isn’t a lot going on.
But March is one of my favorite months of the year because it’s my birthday month! Next Saturday, March 12, I turn 29 years old. 29! I can’t believe I’m only a few hundred days away from being 30. I still remember turning 20. Kind of. I’m not much of a partier and the bar scene is not my thing, plus we live in a different state than our families and our circle of friends is not huge by any means, so I tend to keep birthdays pretty low-key. I definitely want to go out to eat at a the charming little Italian restaurant in our neighborhood that is almost impossible to get into if you don’t have reservations, and maybe also see a movie or go out for some beers or something, but nothing fancy. Birthday cake is a must. All the birthday cake.
I’ll also be running my 10th half marathon in March! Wow, 10 half marathons! I’m not one to keep count of my races (except marathons) so I didn’t realize until recently that I’m about to hit double digits.
I’m excited and also a little nervous. I haven’t raced a half marathon in 4 months and many training weeks, so on the one hand, I’m pretty pumped to be back on a starting line in a couple weeks because I’ve really missed racing.
But on the other hand, I also am not really sure what to expect of myself. I know what pace range I *should* be able to run in, but it’s not as easy to know if my training has actually gotten me there yet or if it will come through for me on race day. I’ve been working really hard and making big gains in my running fitness, but I’ve also taken a little time off and now have to get back into a routine, so it’s hard to know where I stand right now. But that’s life, no? You just go out there and race the best you can and whatever outcome is meant to be will happen.
Another thing that has me a little nervous is that because this is a pretty hilly race, it will be my first real prediction of how well I can handle the Pittsburgh Marathon hills. So if it doesn’t go well, then…uh…I have a lot more to be nervous about.
As usual with races, a lot will just depend on whatever March 20 throws at me. If it’s a great day then I may try to push myself and race it; if not, I’ll still run to the best of my abilities but I’ll focus more on getting acquainted with racing on hills. But in the end, I’m trying to be positive and I can say that I’m a lot more excited than nervous. I really have missed racing, and while I can’t say for sure whether or not I’ll be pleased with the outcome, I really think I’m going to have fun out there. I say that not only because I’m excited to race but because lately, my focus has been shifting and I’m really starting to appreciate the training and running for its own sake instead of as a means to an end.
I felt like a new chapter opened up for me once I went to Guatemala, and there are some changes on the horizon this month. Nothing huge or significant, but this blog is where the bulk of those changes will take place. I’ve done a lot of thinking lately about my priorities and outlook on life, and I think it’s time for a little bit of a shift in focus. There’s a big world out there, full of possibilities and new things to explore that I either hadn’t noticed or pretended I didn’t, and I want to focus more on those things. I’m not making any big (or really any) life changes, but I do have a desire to get out of my own head more, take better care of myself and my surroundings, pay more attention to the day I’m in, and rekindle my curiosity about the people and the world around me.
I’ll still pop in with posts about running and updates on how my training is going, but expect this blog to become a bit more “renaissance” in its approach and cover other topics that interest me and are slightly more generalized in nature. I’ll be sad if that means losing some of my running following, but this is a change I feel needs to be made and I’d really like to see where it goes.
Here’s to March!