Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blerch Kittens

At the Beat the Blerch 1/2 Marathon start, Nov. 14, 2015

One of my favorite comics is The Oatmeal (see for example "the terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances"), and my brother and I made a commitment to run his Beat the Blerch race in Sacramento. Although I had signed up initially for the marathon, after Twin Cities and my ongoing fasciitis/tendonitis, I switched to the half marathon. This was a wise move for my body, and it allowed us all to run together for the first five miles and enjoy each others' company and catch up. This social aspect is part of why I enjoy running. It's as important to me as the individual goals and meditative components that are also so beneficial for my mental health (I have a sticker on my bedroom mirror that reads: "Everyday is a good day when you run." True!)

We love California, and the weather there was perfect. I enjoyed the half, although it was difficult to work through the pain. But once I did (around mile 8), I found a good pace, knowing I'd finish, and finish strong. It certainly wasn't a PR--those middle miles were too cautious and painful--but I was fine with my performance, given the shape I'm in these days. As I wrote in the prior post, I've been stressed and anxious, and that always takes its toll on quality running. Time with family and old friends--including my Aunt, my sweet 18-month-old nephew, and a good friend from college-- also helped lesson anxiety sourced in work and all the things around the house that when at home, seem so important, and when away, seem so unimportant. 

Of course, after our return, we commenced a busy work week. But adding to the balance and richness of work was the service I enjoy: this included my appointment to the Cedar Bend Humane Society Board of Directors, and even better, the adoption of ALL FIVE of the kittens from the litter being fostered by our neighbor. Below are photos of one of the five, now happily relaxing and buddying up in his new furr-ever home!
Scruffy, now Cooper, Nov. 20, 2015

Cooper and Miles, Nov. 17, 2015
It snowed Friday--the day the last of the litter were adopted-- and now it seems the holidays and the stress they induce are upon us. I will try to not be stressed this year; to enjoy family, friends, and outdoor time. I read that depression is living in the past and anxiety is worrying about the future. I will remember this! And rather than worry, I will mindfully enjoy the present. I ran 3 times this past week, with very little pain. One of those days was in the snow, loving the quiet, the smell of the cool air, the effort of running on slippery and uneven surfaces. I am also mindfully enjoying my current obsession with all warm things--not only kittens, but especially hot sauce (I am in love with Sriracha! The Oatmeal is too: "Dear Rooster Sauce"), and smart wool socks!

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