She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer just after Christmas, & it has been a hard road for her, & for us, so far. It's hard to watch her go through this, & I so wish that it wasn't happening. I've been helping her as much as I can, & with the help of family she's doing really well right now. She has everything that she needs & is in a good spot for the time being. I don't mean to drop a bomb like that & just move on, but it's hard to talk about, or type, & so that's all I'm going to say about that. I love you, mom :)
I haven't been myself lately. I have been running & riding my bike, but neither has brought me much joy. I use these activities to have a good cry most of the time lately instead of focusing on training. I'm perfectly fine with that. I'm glad I hesitantly typed the word "tentative" under my racing schedule, because I'm not sure I'll be following it at all. That is completely not like me in the least. When I say I'm doing something, it's as good as done. It's just not the case right now. We've had a lot of family coming & going also, so I've had a lot more socializing & meals than I've had training lately. I've gained 6 pounds, & this former fat girl is terrified of going back "there". I've managed to refocus & get some discipline back into my diet, so even if I can't work out I feel like I have my diet back under control. It's been a big juggling act.
I also didn't run my first 10K ever that was supposedly this morning. Teresa reminded me of Big Shark's open water swim that just started in New Town & I decided that sounded like a better time :) Plus, I've been ignoring the swim for the last couple of months. It's a lot of work for me, & I'm just barely getting by with basically junk miles on the run & bike these days, so swimming just hasn't been appealing. I'm really glad I got out there & got in the water this morning! It was drizzling, & a cold 52 degrees, but the water temp seemed warm at around 70 degrees. We struggled to get those wetsuits on, so that served as a nice warm up :) The swim course was 1000 meters, & originally our plan was to swim 2 loops & then get on our bikes for 15-20 miles. It was just sooooooo cold! We settled for one loop of the swim, bagged the bikes & headed to go get a coffee. Looking VERY attractive, I might add ;)
Much better :) Instead of the bike I went out for a short 3 mile run later that afternoon in the rain.
Teresa was going to be running the Girls on the Run 5K the next morning, & her friend wasn't going to run it after all, so she had an extra bib. It didn't take much to talk me in to that. I really enjoy the 5K distance, & since my mom has been feeling OK & had her cousin in town, they took my kids for the weekend. I decided to take advantage of that & go run.
It was sprinkling, again, & in the low 50's. I love this weather for running! Absolutely perfect. I put myself in corral 1, even though it said "competitive runners finishing in 21 minutes or faster". I knew I didn't have a shot at that, but corral 2 was the general public & that meant 3,000 + little girls & their parents/teachers. I thought I would at least look cool for a few minutes while we were getting warmed up, then I would be quickly left in the dust ;)
I decided that since I have had no joy in running these days, that I would get back to the old me & see how that felt. For one thing, my hair stylist had started to get on me about running with my hair down. She was right, it was damaging my hair. I think for shorter races it will be OK, as long as I don't train like that all the time. I know it's weird, but I just really love my hair down & the pony tail holder gives me a headache. So... I did things like the old me:
1) hair down!
2) booty shorts (they don't look good on me, so I stopped wearing them, but they are so darn comfortable!)
3) no Garmin or watch (I didn't have one for a long time until my dad got it for me after the first marathon)
These were all great decisions & I wound up having an awesome race. Just me. Free :) I did a great job not flying out front from the start with those much faster people, & just focused on how the effort felt. I wound up running it in 21:58, just 6 seconds away from the PR, & taking first in my age group. Not too shabby. It wound up being a great weekend! None of it was on the training schedule, but it was just what I needed.
Tonight I wound up riding my bike for 40 miles in the hills of Wildwood, to make up for the lack of bike riding this past weekend, & had a great ride out there all by myself.
Endurance sport is how I keep my sanity, fitness, & overall cheerful disposition (be quiet, Bryan). I'm glad to have it even if my training, & attitude, haven't been perfect. I think what I need is a goal to shoot for so I can start to feel like myself again, but it's hard when I need to be here for my mom & I'm not sure what the future will hold. So I've decided that what's important is that I spend time with my mom, & just do my best to keep it all balanced (work, family, training, etc). That's the only thing you can do when life gives you lemons. Make the best of it, don't get down on yourself for not being perfect, & just try to find happiness no matter what situation you may find yourself in. I'll be sure to post the recipe for the perfect lemonade once I get it all figured out ;)