Friday, November 30, 2012

November in Review: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

Here is November in a Nutshell....because it certainly didn't revolve around a turkey this year

The Good

The weekend after what should have been my first marathon, one of my best friends married her college sweetheart, and I got the privilege of being a bridesmaid for the third time this year, along with two other really close friends from within our group. I got to hang out in the bridal suite the night before, and I even managed to get on the treadmill the morning of before all of the craziness of getting ready closed in on me. It was a wonderful occasion, and this is now the second person of my close group of college friends to get married. 

As most of you know, my younger sister, Belle, has been studying abroad in Salamanca and travelling pretty much everywhere else in Europe. My parents and I went to visit her over Thanksgiving week, and we had an amazing time in Madrid, Salamanca, & Barcelona. I learned so much about the Spanish language, or more accurately, the surprising amount I actually retained, as well as about some of the architecture and history of the Spanish (and Catalan) peoples. 

I had three favorite parts - the Barcelona bike tour, going to the Madrid/Bilbao soccer game on the first night, and getting to meet the host mom (although the entire trip was pretty much fantastic). Living the Spanish lifestyle for a short while was a nice vacation from my own life, and it left me relaxed, and ready to get back into the swing of things, or so I thought. All of my pics (thanks to my amazing photographer dad) are on Facebook, but here are a few nice ones of me. 

 The Bad

Two Words: My Running. Or, more accurately, my complete lack of it, and in retrospect, it was all psychological. Since I didn't run a marathon, I shouldn't have had any problem getting back to my 30-40 per mile week schedule. The week after the marathon should have taken place, I had intended on getting back into my normal routine, but for some reason, it just got much harder to get out the door. Every time I got out there and ran, it felt great, and I never regretted it, but the part of my mind that made excuses was simply stronger. 

I thought that this week would be better since I was all relaxed from vacation, and so far, I have run 10 miles, but it still has been hard to motivate myself to get out there, especially since I originally planned on taking it easy the rest of the year. In retrospect, and after much thinking and discussion, I realized that the marathon cancellation affected me worse than I thought it would. While I was initially optomistic about getting back onto the saddle, there is a part of me deep down that asks this question:

"What's the point in working so hard, when the race can be taken away from you so easily?" 

While the hurricane was a fluke, there are a million other things that could happen along the line, and I'm worried that if I start really looking forward to my marathon, something bad is inevitable. It's not the healthiest way of thinking, but I guess I'm not as over the NYCM cancellation as much as I thought I was. 

All of this lead to my lowest month of running since I first started keeping track in November 2010: 49.36 miles. Although I was out of the country for ten days of this, I know that this is far lower than what I should have been capable of, especially since I didn't have to physically recover from a marathon. I can't help but feel ashamed of myself, and think that I probably lost some fitness this month, fitness that I worked really hard to earn during marathon training. However, I know that it's useless to beat myself up, even though I probably will at least for a day or two, so I'm going to try and make the best of a bad month, and to use it to motivate me to have a strong final month of 2012, and to build-up towards my next training cycle. I look forward to a fresh new start on December 1st. 

The Ugly

People have always reported losing toe nails through running. Two years after I started running, I finally lost some of a toe nail - however, it was because of dancing at the wedding. 

Thanks for reading everyone! Now it's time for me to find my mojo and start building up that mileage again. What inspires you to get back into running, and how do you convince yourself to get out the door on a daily basis?

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