02 March 2015

Year of the Sheep (Goat? Ram?)

Happy Chinese New Year! While, officially, Chinese New Year was last week, I read that it's a celebration that goes on for awhile. And since I'm just a plain, old American, my celebration of Chinese New Year is weak at best. However, when I started hearing that it was the Year of the Sheep, something rang a bell. I went on Google to confirm my suspicions - yes, I was born under the Sheep. So I've spent the last week or so thinking about how I can use this as an opportunity to start fresh.

I'm not just talking about your typical "new year's resolutions" gone bad six weeks into the new (calendar) year. I'm talking about a full recreation of what I want with life. If you don't know, a few years ago I lost my job doing what I really loved doing - faith and environment. It's the main reason I didn't want this blog to just focus on my running. That's part of who I am, sure, but it's not all I am. I wasn't sure at the time which direction I wanted to go with my life, but having worked for the local running store in a previous "tough time" I knew I would thoroughly enjoy coming back. And I've had great opportunities for growth over the last year while I've been back in Atlanta and working for them again. But there is a void... there is something missing.

I've been keeping an ear to the ground, listening to what's on the horizon and applying for various jobs, trying to find the right fit. But nothing stuck. I've been frustrated about it, I've been questioning what's this all for, trying to understand the direction I'm meant to go in. But still, I have felt lost over the last 18 months.

(Maybe I shouldn't be sharing all of this... but they know I'm looking because they know the finances of this position, for a person like me, aren't cutting it. But I'm going to keep sharing, because that's what I do.)

I've found THE job. It's exactly the arena I want to be in, in the place I've wanted to be for YEARS. And it gets me to a goal I stated to a friend 15 months ago when I came home. I'm not going to share any more details than that at this point, but I am working with close friends and people I value for support to put together a rocking application package so that I get this job. If you believe in such a thing, I would greatly appreciate prayers that this is where I'm meant to be and that things work out.

But there are also things besides figuring out my work life that I want to start focusing on. For one, I have a goal race coming up in April - Cherry Blossom 10 miler. Yes, 10 miler. For me, this is my FAVORITE distance, because you can really test yourself to push the limits of what you're capable of. My goal for this race is to finish in under 90 minutes. I have a "back-up" race two weeks later, one I've been wanting to do for a long time, the GW Pkwy Classic, another 10 miler where I can shoot for my goal if I don't make it at Cherry Blossom. I am working through a training plan right now - shout out to Gipis for actually offering a 10 mile training plan - with lots of tough speed work aiming to get me a finish time of 1:23 and change. And that's based on my own performance. The only hitch so far is that I got sick last week after DONNA. I HATE being sick, really anytime, but I really hate being sick when it messes with my training. Sure, the weather has been crappy, but I still want to run. So, hopefully whatever this is goes away soon so I can get back to it. I feel like I have a good base to build on, but if I don't get back to it soon...

I also am in the lottery for NYC, and hoping to get picked so I can check off my major for the year. I'm down to that as really my only option as I have made a MAJOR commitment this year -


I am super excited but also REALLY nervous. I am comfortable with the bike and run distances of a half Ironman, but I am really uneasy about the swim. I am a sucky swimmer because for some reason I'm afraid of drowning. I have no idea where it comes from, but the last time I did a tri, I did the breast stroke for my swim because I feel like I can get a better breath that way. I've got a friend who is helping me put together a plan and give me advice on the swim... we'll see if I am able to really commit to freestyle for the race. I wanted to do Augusta because it's a straight, downstream swim, but the cost was a little out of my budget, especially for a first.

The reason this "locks" me in to NYC as my only option for a major this year (besides not getting picked for the Berlin lottery) is that it's the day before Chicago. In Georgia. So, fingers crossed they draw my name next week!

I've got a few other races in mind for the year, but those are my two main goals in the race arena for 2015. The other thing I'm focusing on is another go at Climate Ride! I'm pumped they brought back the northern California ride, so as long as I hit my fundraising goal of $2400 in time, I'll be heading out west in May to ride from the redwood forest, down Pacific Coast Highway, into San Francisco! It’s around 300 miles (depending on if I take the short option of 65 miles or the long option of 100 miles on day 3) over 5 days. It’s guaranteed to be EPIC!

Another thing I really focusing on this “new” year is getting back to a healthier weight. Between taking time off running, living a crazy life in the retail world, and just being plain lazy, my weight has crept up. So the other night I committed to Weight Watchers (again) with the goal of really getting down to my “goal” weight. I’m aiming for 135, which honestly means losing 25 lbs based on where my weight was the other night when I signed up. I haven’t been this heavy in awhile and it is mentally weighing me down. I want to be healthier – so while my goal number is 135, I’ve never paid attention to when I weighed that before, but if I get down to 140 or even 145 and feel healthy, I’ll call it quits. I will say when I went to the doctor last week, he told me when I was there in June, I was 143. I’d like to get down around that number again for sure. And it will make Climate Ride and the Ironman a little easier to not have to carry around so much weight. But more than weight, it’s about eating healthy, which has gone out the window over the last few months, so that’s mainly my focus, less on the scale. I know once I get my eating in check, the scale will reflect that. Which means no more Cheez-It binges – I managed to say no to the SALE at Publix last night – no more eating out multiple times during the week, and no more candy. And I don’t mean no as in never again, I just mean no as in this can no longer be the norm like it’s been for awhile. 

So, that’s my plan for this “new” year. It’s going to be the year of ME! I remember my cousin Allison talking about the time she declared the year of “Me” and amazing things came her way. I’ve had those thoughts almost every year since she told me this, but this time, I can feel it. I’m going to make things happen, because I’m done sitting on my rump waiting for things to come to me. I’m going out there and seizing MY moments!

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