Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Being Present

It's December, and the holiday season is officially upon us. I love Christmas, and I've decided this year I'll really focus on being present in the season and being grateful. By "focus on being present" I also mean travel to Austin, Texas and the Outer Banks, throw three relatively large holiday gatherings at my house (including my son's first birthday party) and live the rest of my life in a somewhat normal fashion. This has been a hard year. While I may not be slowing down by my (or any) standards, I am attempting to be present during one of my favorite times of year and be kind to my body.

Being kind to my body includes a small break from running. Last week I ran my final race of the year, the Lansing Turkeyman Trot, on Thanksgiving morning. It was relatively warm, but it was raining off and on. That always makes dressing appropriately a challenge, and I failed miserably (I was way too warm). I sidled up to the start with several thousand other runners and pushed off fast. I told myself I had no illusions about this being a fast race. I love a turkey trot, but they're always really crowded. I was not going to PR. I was just taking it easy.

At the two mile marker I realized I was on PR pace, and of course I couldn't just let that go. I pushed the last mile, and unfortunately was ten seconds slower than my PR at 24:00. I finished hard, and I was as tired after as I have been after a half marathon. My body is still pissed at me, and it's time to give it a little break. Being mindful starts with being kind to myself.

That brings me here we are in the final month of the year with so many bittersweet things to celebrate and no racing. My son and I are heading to Austin, Texas this week to visit my best friend (and his godmother) and cheer her on through her first half marathon in San Antonio. It's weird for me to be a race spectator instead of running. I'm like an addict watching someone else getting high. But it's important to be supportive and my body needs a break. I keep telling myself that when I feel envious that I'm not running. 

Part of my cheering section (including my BFF on the right) before I ran the 2013 Marine Corps Marathon

I'm so excited for my son's first birthday. He's such a little love, and I am thrilled to have our family and a few friends here for the occasion. I'm heading with my family to the Outer Banks for Christmas, a trip we did four years ago as well. It's hard imagining the holidays without my dad, and I haven't really been letting myself think about it. I know it'll hit me hard when I least expect it, and I'm glad I'll be with my family for a week.

I want to focus on this little face. The best.

This holiday season I have so much for which I need to be grateful. I'm trying to remember and appreciate each moment knowing I'll never get them back. 'Tis the season - enjoy it! 


  1. Hey 10 seconds short is still something to be excited about! Congrats on a Almost PR! Your lil guy is adorable. Safe travels!