Posts Tagged With: reach your dreams

10 Things to do While Waiting to See if I Get Into Boston

This week is the longest week EVER and it feels like Friday (and beyond) will NEVER EVER EVER get here.  YES, it’s anoooother post about Boston and I swear it will be one of the last (for a while).  I registered for Boston on Monday and people can register until Friday.  We still won’t find out until they verify everyone’s race, which will be sometime next week.  Hopefully.  There’s many more registrants than spaces available so it makes the entire thing really difficult.  More waiting. Sheesh, so what’s a person to do while waiting for news? I just want to know. Now. I read Mark Remy’s article in Runner’s World titled “6 Ways to Pass the Time While Waiting for Boston Confirmation” and I decided to steal his idea.  Here’s my list of “10 Things to Do While Waiting to See if I Get Into Boston”. Thanks Mark!  At least it gave me something else to do!

1) Math – I have dusted off my calculator and freshened up my math skills this week.  I’ve twisted all the Boston numbers around so many times, it’s kind of crazy/bordering OCD. There’s 5,000 spaces available. Based on equal spacing in finish times with the people who have registered (I was using a lower number at first which made me happy but it’s now at 7,900 which makes me unhappy) I have a faster time than 34% of the finishers who, theoretically speaking, finished less than five minutes of their qualification time. Blah blah blah blah, at this particular time, I would miss making the cutoff registration by 214 runners. Of 22,000 runners. Now that’s a punch in the gut!!! Then, I had to figure out that I would miss it by less than 1%. So it’s kind of a big reminder next time to be sure to kick that last few miles in the ass and just haul it til you cross the finish line. Or throw up.

2) Learn to Knit.  Read a good book. It’s fascinating how blankets and clothes are made by some yarn/spun stuff but I really have no interest. I wanted to, but I just don’t. So reading a good book is a great way to pass the time.

3) De-clutter a room.  I moved 1,200 miles in July/August. I’m tired. But I have one “catch-all” room that is desperately needing a de-clutter.  It’s called a bonus room because once you clean the entire regular house, you get to clean another room – A BONUS!!! Yeah! So it took me a few days, but I cleaned out my room. See?

before-after

Ok, this is totally not my room and I found this picture on the Internets, but that’s how I feel.

4) Practice spelling and vocabulary. My son’s school in Texas stopped spelling tests just into his 3rd grade year and never had vocabulary. And from what his papers show, it’s quit quite obvious. Since we moved to NC, he now has spelling and vocabulary (thank you, NC!!!) so might as well brush up on that stuff yourself, so when you’re kid asks you what “exquisite” means, you know the real answer without distracting him while checking Google.  Mmmhmmm, I’ve never done that.

5) DVR and watch the new fall TV shows. I watched the new Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Andy Samberg. It’s hilarious. Dr. Phil’s new episodes. Am I the only one who feels really good about themselves and their parenting skills after watching his show?  Duck Dynasty.  Makes me want to drink tea.  Food network.  How do they make such good meals in 20 minutes using Spam, vegetables I’ve never heard of, and a can of icing?  House Hunters.  Ahhhh, to be able to just pick up and move to the islands.  Many more shows are starting next week, so if I feel the need to distract myself further, there will be plenty to see.  Sleepy Hollow. It’s fantastically evil but I have a little crush on Ichabod Crane. I like the other characters too.  Well, not the headless guy trying to kill everyone in order to find his head and start the end of the world. And that leads me to….

6) Watch Hollywood.  They shoot a lot of movies and TV shows here in little ole’ Wilmington.  Sleepy Hollow is shooting downtown today, so guess what I am going to do? Try and see Ichabod Crane, played by Tom Mison.  I watched the show and realized that I need to only watch it during daylight hours and when I know I won’t be home alone at night.  For me, the creep factor is pretty high up there, but it’s really good and I’m still going to watch it.  Especially if I can see them filming it.

crane

Tom Mison plays Ichabod Crane

7)  Be depressed and plan pity party.  I tried depression on for size and it really doesn’t fit. I know I’ll be upset if I don’t make it in, especially since I found out (using my wonderfully toned math skills) that the timed entries were only increased by 400, not the thousands that the BAA had announced.  THOSE spaces were for the people who were not able to cross the finish line last year due to the bombing (kudos to the BAA on that one) and for charity runners (totally missed the boat on this one BAA, totally missed it). It’s not fair, but really, there’s just things in life that aren’t fair, so get over it and move on.  I’ve sort of moved on in my head already since once I realized that my chances of getting in are basically impossible, I have already done a lot of grieving this week.  And if I had a pity party, we would have chips. Lots of chips AND dip. And beer.

8) Cook.  And eat.  I am almost two months into my training and the longest run I’ve been on is 9 miles and the most mileage I’ve done in one week is just about 30.  That isn’t very much YET, but when you add the cross training I’ve done with swimming and biking, plus the strength training, I’m burnin’ up some serious calories. I. Love. This.  On Monday, I was so hungry all I wanted to do was eat. I knew I had to be careful so I didn’t get that “oh sh*t, I just ate an entire chicken and now I feel like one of those big huge Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons” feeling, but I ate as much or more than a huge man would eat. My husband runs and my kids are in football, so this family goes through some serious food. What better to do than to cook something good and then get the pleasure of eating it? A lot of it, too. I love the way my body changes to be stronger, leaner, and faster all while I’m shoveling down hundreds of calories. Snacking? It’s a must.  And I get bored with the same old things, so finding healthy and hearty recipes is always something to do while distracting oneself. Chicken Ole anyone?

9)  Write or call someone.  Write a letter to your grandma. Write your long-lost friend where the only communication you’ve had is “Liking”  their pictures on Facebook. Talk to people.  Call someone. It doesn’t always take much for me to be able to hit the RESET button on my day and one nice person in Harris Teeter startled me into realizing that I probably looked like the Wicked Witch of the West when I was standing there getting my fresh fruit and veggies scanned with a frowny wistful look on my face.  Oh poor me, I can’t get into a race that I spent three years training for and attempting.  Well, that’s a first world problem if I’ve ever heard of one, so get the hell over it. (You know as much as I do that I won’t totally get over it, but just get over it at that moment.)  Then I felt guilty for being all grinchy and always resort to gratefulness, because I really am lucky to be standing there buying fresh fruits and veggies. Then I smiled and decided to get the hell over it (at that moment).  The moral of this thing-to-do is to reach out to someone because maybe that contact can be what they need to hit their RESET button.  Hmmmm, I wonder if I could install a RESET button on my grumpy cat. He’s always going around biting people and whining about how he doesn’t want the food in the dish, he wants CANNED food and that the water in the bowl is stale, he wants it as soon as it comes out of the faucet and will stand there looking at me until I turn the faucet on and then he takes two licks and is done. Hmph.

This cat does not want to have a RESET button.

This cat does not want to have a RESET button.

I got him a really nice RESET button and installed it but he immediately de-installed it. We went round and round until he ate the RESET button, which I had to remove from his mouth because everyone should know that you just don’t eat RESET buttons. The good thing is that there were about 300 seconds that I didn’t even think of “that” marathon. Success.

10)  This is kind of obvious, but necessary: Go out and run!  I’m not one of those people who hates to run but does it for the exercise or to be a triathlete. I really truly love to run and it’s a part of who I am. It also allows me to drink more beer without gaining weight, but that’s not the point.  I think I’ve only had about five times EVER when I went out for a run and then regretted it. One time, it was because my leg was really hurting so I shouldn’t have done it. Another time I got over heated and yacked. I kind of laugh about that one because it was when I was living in Iowa and I wouldn’t run if the temps were over 70 because it was “too hot”.  How ironic that a year later, I would live in southern Texas and it wouldn’t get BELOW 70 for five months in a row.   Then two years after that, I would move to the jungle where the humidity is always 1,000,000% (and some days it feels like more).  I digress.  I know I can improve on my marathon time, so besides continuing my training, I’m reading about nutrition and how I can fuel better for those longer training runs and races.  It’s time to put my game face on and get this thing done.  Again.

So anyway, it’s never fun to be stuck in what seems like the time stopping abyss of ???????  but there could be worse things to deal with. Just look at it all with a sense of humor, distract yourself, and the time will come when all the questions are answered. Is it freaking Friday yet?

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, training for marathon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Art of Distraction

As much as I don’t want to admit it, I am TOTALLY FREAKING out about the Boston Marathon registration that starts on Monday. I will try not to check the site daily to see if the race has filled up until I can register on September 16th. I qualified by less than five minutes, so my registration day is after all the other qualification pools (people who run five or more minutes faster than their specific gender/age group qualification time) get their chance. People, I’m freaking out on the inside. Some are saying that it will be full for sure before I get a chance to register, and some are saying that I should be able to get in since the number of registrants was increased an equivalent of around 3,000 runners. I don’t allow myself to believe it will happen and get all excited, and I do this by convincing myself that it will be full and there’s no chance of me getting in. I worry about my wireless internet not working that morning. I worry that it will be full one registration before I get to it. I worry about working so hard to fulfill a crazy dream, but because of some terrorists, not being able to see that dream come to full fruition. I worry about qualifying again. So in between the small moments that I allow myself to worry, dream, imagine, I block it all out. I think about other things. So I’m not really talking about Boston registration right now. Oh, everyone will know one way or the other if I get in. The people in about a one mile radius will probably HEAR me if I do, which I won’t, so I’ll stop talking about it. Why not just believe in it? Well, the way I operate is that I tell myself that it won’t happen, so if it actually did, then the thrill is so much more rewarding. If you look at it the other way around and I tell myself that I WILL get in and get all excited then am not able to get in, then the disappointment will chew at me for months, probably years. It’s the easiest way I deal with things like this. It’s probably not the best way, but it’s how I do it.

How do I keep my mind occupied since the registration issue lurks right under the surface? Ahhh, the art of distraction. So I’m obsessing about swimming, about biking, about my achy leg that I’m still not talking about, of course about my own marathon training, about new eating strategies, about getting moved into my house, about new episodes of House Hunters and American Ninja Warrior and Property Brothers. I’m even sort of obsessing about this blog too.

Today, the day of all days, the distraction was swimming.  I was meeting my sister at Wrightsville to have a nice leisurely swim.

swim2

Same place we went last week.

My sister started swimming when she injured her calf muscle during a training run. Since I now live right by her, we’ve spent a lot of time together talking about our training and such. She’s a very good swimmer and will be swimming the first leg of the Beach 2 Battleship 1/2 Iron Distance Triathlon at the end of October, a friend doing the bike part, and I’ll be doing the running part. Because I’ve wanted to learn how to swim for so long and let water-in-my-ear canal thing bother me so much, I never bit the bullet and swam. Until today. My sis has been a very good teacher, has let me do my own thing while providing advice, and I wouldn’t have been able to swim there had it not been for her.  So thanks, Sis!  I went out last week and paddled around a little, and I realized that I liked it. It was open water and I got the gist of the salt, the safe swim course, and the slight current. I also stopped at one tip of the head and didn’t let myself get into it. That’s ok, I got out there, so I was good with just a tiny bit of progress.

swim

I’m quite the goober.

I was a little nervous today about what I was going to attempt. I didn’t know how it was going to feel, and I was anxious.  I also knew that if I didn’t do what I came to do, I would be really disappointed in myself as well as a missed opportunity.  So, I started swimming freestyle, took a breath and then kept swimming. Water made that horrid sound as it went far into my ear as I turned my head. Then it went away. I kept going, and the sound that I hate, the feeling that I hate, went away. I stopped, started again, heard that sound and felt that feeling, and kept going. Small victory?  Actually, for me, it was a huge victory. I can swim now. I can go beyond keeping myself alive in the water and playing with my kids. I can swim. I can go all the way across a pool without stopping or practically dying from holding my breath the whole way. I. Can. Swim. Had I just kept at it the last several times I tried, I would have learned that the thing that I hate only lasts a moment.  Hmmmm, I wondered. Why in the world did I let a few uncomfortable seconds prevent me from participating in a sport that provides a lot of exercise, relief for my tired joints, and well, just fun?  I passed through the gateway for triathlons today. Yeah for me!  Yup, I definitely gagged several times and several hours later, can still taste salt. I certainly did not look like a real swimmer and most real swimmers would be mortified if they saw me and my “form”. But Rome wasn’t built in a day.   With things like this, forward motion, progress, is really all that matters. It does to me, anyway.  That’s probably why I say that I can swim. I did not say that I could swim well. And I don’t care.

As I was doing this new swimming thing, I realize that it’s imperative that you must have a good pair of goggles, and I did not. I was upset about the goggle situation before I even left the house because my stupid cat, Goldie, ate the headband of my new pair that I used last week. This is nothing new in our house, but I was pretty pissed about it. I grabbed another pair and set off to the waterway. I had no idea the lens was totally scratched up, so once I started swimming (I like saying that so I will probably say it a few more times), I couldn’t see. My sister had some anti-fog stuff and that worked to help the fogging as it should, but I just couldn’t see well.

IMG_0737

This is basically all I could see.

Lesson number two for the day, have good goggles because SEEING in the open water is pretty important.  Oh, so what’s lesson one? Just TRY it! Try something completely before you say that you can’t do it. Sheesh, the years I wasted not fully trying and hiding behind that water in the ear canal thing? Soooo silly. I learned a lesson today and it will probably seep into other areas of my life. I don’t like heights so am I going to hang the Christmas lights on the roof two stories up? Hell no, but I won’t refuse to go zip lining because it’s too scary. How do I KNOW that it’s too scary? I don’t and in fact, I may LIKE it! Opening your mind to new and different things can be pretty scary and nerve wracking.  But it can also reward you with experiences that you never would have dreamed before. I’m the perfect case in point. Would I ever think I could or would swim in open water? No. But I did.  I wonder what will distract me next week? I can only imagine. Or can I?

(By the way, I can swim!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!)

Categories: Boston Marathon, marathon, training for marathon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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