Sunday, August 31, 2014

7,000 Years Later, She Emerges Anew

So much has changed since my last posting! First things first, I am no longer engaged, and not married either. A multitude of small repetitive issues made me realize I was not ready to get married. As hard as it was to send un-invites after I called the wedding off to family and close friends at the end of March, beginning of April, I believe it was the best choice for me.

I'm still on good terms with the now ex-fiancĂ©. And I've entered a new relationship with a past boyfriend. He's in the Navy and 7 timezones away, but due to come back to the United States around the end of February. The plan is that I'll fly out for Christmas and New Years to see him. I'm working on the passport application, hopefully to be completed next week.
Secondly, I was accepted to both SUNY Albany's MSW program and Boston University's Online MSW program. I chose Boston University's program and am due to start... TUESDAY! I will truly be the Sprinting Social Worker once that begins ;)  I have mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness and stress beyond your wildest imagination. So much has been happing lately, and all at the same time!
Which brings me to my next update. I have bought a house, all on my own... well, not yet, technically. It's been a long process that involved one short sale that needed a hefty amount of work, and a withdraw from said short sale after months of waiting with no word while finding a house I liked better that was NOT a short sale and did NOT need any work whatsoever. The sellers are taking a while to close on their new house, so I'm sitting here waiting as patiently as I can to close on mine! The original anticipated close date was July 30th. Obviously that did not happen with the seller's not having closed on their house. The new prospective closing date is sometime during the week of September 8th. We shall see if this actually happens or not. I am beyond excited to move in. I wish it would have been done July 30th so I'd have been settled for the beginning of school, but I'll just have to make due with how it is.
And I think lastly, the big news that probably applies the most, is that I ran a half marathon today!
But first, I did the Boilermaker back on July 13th and finished just over 1 hour and 30 minutes. Race conditions were good; they were worried about canceling for thunderstorms that have been plaguing New York all summer. However, the overcast made the July heat bearable and the lighter wind from the threatening thunder storm proved quite refreshing. Race officials strongly encouraged anyone who wouldn't finish with 2 hours, I believe, to consider not running. However I finished and my good friend Heather finished. She'd been training with me all summer to run her first Boilermaker. And I had talked her into her first few 5Ks, so I cannot even say how proud of her I am. Shortly after we both finished and grabbed some post-race popsicles, we decided to head out and the sprinkles started to fall, so it was really perfect timing.
The half I did this morning was the 18.12 Challenge from one north country town to another. I had to get up at 4am to be ready to leave at 5 with my super supportive mother. We drove there in complete darkness, and when we arrived I secured all my race gear. My mom dropped me off at the starting line and departed to wait at the finish as dawn was starting to break. After a quick (haha) wait for the porta-potties and some light stretching we were lined up and ready to go before I knew it. This race too was weather dependent with 80% chance of thunderstorms looming in the forecast. However, there was no lightening and the race started as scheduled at 7am. I was awake (half), dressed, and my nails were done to the best of my ability with so much going on right now.
We were off! I was hoping for a 10 minute mile pace, since my longest run a few weeks ago was around 10:15 for 12.9 miles. I thought that was a reasonable amount of time to shoot for. I set off trying to keep it reigned in while others passed me and excitement made me want to pass others. When I settled into a pace that felt good and sustainable, I glanced down and saw that I was going around a 9:40 pace. I figured... what the hell, let's go for it. The overcast sky was a little intimidating and if lightening struck the race would be stopped dead anyway. I figured as long as I felt okay I'd continue, and if I felt woozy or not right in any way, I'd slow it down or stop if necessary. So on I went.

By the time I got to mile three I was so excited to glance down and see that I was still at a 9:40ish pace. I had already ditched my light jacket that I'd donned pre-start due to the crazy winds, but a new problem was arising. Yup, GI issues. It wasn't really that bad, and I had gone a bit before the race started so I figured I'd keep pushing forward. The first two porta-potty stops I passed both had lines, and I was way too excited about my pace to ruin my race time by waiting in line for the bathroom. Thankfully the third porta-potty stop had no line and one bathroom open. As soon as I saw the blue makeshift bathrooms I bolted, passing about 8 surprised race participants on the way. I don't think it added more than a minute or two to my time, but it definitely made for a more comfortable rest of the run.

When I settled back into the race, I passed the 10 mile marker and my Garmin let off the ever coveted lap beep. I realized I only had a 5K remaining of the race. I was thrilled. My legs felt good, no knee pain besides a little tightness. I decided to push the pace for the last 5K. Every time I looked at my watch from there to the finish I was hovering just below a 9 minute mile. I was ecstatic! As I approached the finish line over the last couple miles, the streets became more populated with spectators. It was truly inspiring and I picked up the pace even more. I loved passing people (even though I got passed my fair share, too). I did my best to sprint across the finish line and came in around 2 hours and 4 minutes. I haven't checked the race website to see if the official results are up yet or not. I am super happy about this run though. And I learned the magic of fueling about a month ago, and realized I had been bonking at the end of nearly every long run up until then. It is crazy how a few gummies throughout the run can make you feel like a new person at the end!!
All in all, an absolutely fantastic race!

A lot of life changes going on for me right now, but I believe they are all for the better. I'm trying to figure out who I really am and what I truly want out of life. I know for sure though that running has become a necessity to keep me sane!

Safe and happy running!

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