The Connection Runners + training

An (almost) Year-End Reflection

First off, I need to apologize to all of my eight readers because I haven't updated a darn thing since October. October! Needless to say, this blog has been at the bottom of my to-do list for a while as I've just been consumed with curing cancer, reinventing the wheel, solving the problem of the achievement gap in public education... meh, just lazy. Plus, I haven't had much to write about on here as all of my mental ability has been eaten up with school and work. However, as the year starts to wind down and my two-week Christmas break lurks around the corner, I thought that now was as good a time as any to get back on the road again and update this bad boy.

Since I haven't had a race since the Turkey Trot 10k on Turkey Day almost a month ago, I really haven't been doing much in the way of getting my fitness on. Although the Trot was a success (ran it in around 58 minutes dressed as a pilgrim), I didn't feel like updating at that point and just rolled on in the gluttonous, slobby, lazy way I usually do around this time of year.

These 6-8 weeks are for eating, drinking, throwing parties, attending parties, sleeping in, shopping, and general misuse of free time. Still, despite my attempts at letting my feet and my cardiovascular fitness levels remain more or less dormant, an idea has been nagging in my mind lately, an idea that puts not just this year into perspective, but life and running as well.

I've always paraded myself as an "average Joe" runner, and I've really enjoyed feeling just enough pressure to perform well, but not elitist-ly great, in any given race. And, in the end, no matter where I end up in my age division, gender group, or overall, I like to see just where I lie in what can sometimes be a very long list of names and times. I like to see how I match up against those who are exactly like me and those who are not. For some strange reason, those numbers give some wicked sense of security; I don't have to wonder where I fall in the sea of people competing alongside me, the number says it all.

This year I feel like I've run the gamut: I've trudged through hardships and tribulations at work, yet skipped through the summer without a care in the world. I've sat serenely as relationships continued on, yet stood up to fight when I felt I was wronged by someone or something. This year as been one full of paradoxes and anomalies, but the one thing that stood out as a constant were those placements in races. Even if I didn't know where I stood on any other road in life, I knew where I stood as runner in that particular race, at that particular time.

But for other scenarios, it's not so easy. It's a tough question to answer: How do I know that I what I'm doing is good? How do I know if I'm a good wife, daughter, student, sister, teacher, friend? There's no race official spouting off numbers and placements as we go through life managing relationships, mending conflicts, planning goals, or meeting expectations.

At times I wish I could log onto an "Active.Com for Life" website where an intelligent algorithm would figure and spit out for my perusal a number letting me know just how well I've done with various life tasks. Perhaps, as a teacher, I'd place 473 out of 900 overall teachers in my district. Or maybe, as a wife, I'd find myself sitting at 32 out of the 90 that might live in my neighborhood. As a friend, I might land on 12 out of the 292 people my best friend Lisa has on FB. Who knows?

And do we want to know? Sometimes, I think I do. Sometimes, it'd be nice to get a tidy little summative assessment on my progress as a human. I could reflect on the numbers, make changes, perhaps write up a new training plan, and hit the bricks set on improving my placement for the next year.

But, then again, maybe it's just wickedly crazy to feel the need to constantly be evaluated with an objective score. I'm not sure.

What I do know is this: this year has been one for the books, yes, and while I don't know, and won't ever know, exactly where I fall in the life races of this year, I have had some Personal Records to celebrate. Among them:

Celebrated six years together with this dude

Reuniting with these lovelies in Traverse

Ran our third consecutive CRIM with these awesome folks

Watched two best friends finally tie the knot with these kids

Tramped it up in GR, my home away from home

Finally did another race with Mom, and a first w/ the sis

Welcomed this little munchkin nephew

Wore out the newest pair in this lineup - time for new ones!

Today's Point Two: I hope this season finds you all happy and healthy and always in search of your own Point Twos to contend with and persevere through. Happy Christmas!

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An (almost) Year-End Reflection + training