Falalalala it’s December!

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For all practical purposes 2017 is gone and with it all my hopes and dreams of running the world. Drat! Not much I can do now but settle for having run a few States, since there’s always next year, which is only weeks away now anyhow. And so we’re left with Christmas looming, and me running to, and, oddly enough, from it.

To be clear, I adore Christmas. My only enduring complaint over the years has been the cold that it ushers in. As with all things though, I’m learning to deal and who knows, maybe this year I’ll even break new ground and like it. Plans are in motion for a snow run as I attempt to embrace this new, bold, count-your-blessings me. So here we are – December – and while it’s pretty late in the game, it wouldn’t be me if I weren’t trying to scrape a goal or two out of the few days left. In all likelihood, I’ll probably be left hanging with a few things that I wasn’t able to accomplish but no matter because I’m alive, healthy, and ready to grab 2018 by its proverbial horns – and mind you, that wasn’t even a goal. I’m slowly coming to that place where sometimes you just have to be thankful and accepting of what you can do.

Meanwhile, just for this month, in true dash-to-the-finish style, I’ve committed myself to a 5/6-day gym week and 4/5 days of various training runs for the next two weeks, though I can’t promise that even half of them will be done outside. It’s just too dark, and oftentimes too chilly, by the time I’m laced up and ready to go. With all of that going on, I still have a race or two left, depending on how I do this weekend, before wrapping up a year of running.

You can see why I remain torn in wanting to welcome those jingle bells but feeling a tad anxious about the expected surge of cold weather and the running that must accompany it. There’s also the impending, but standing year-end, 2017 goal tally that follows Christmas as the frost follows Winter. Gotta say I’m not lining up and ready to go on any of those right now. In all honesty, I’d have prefer to have spent a little more time in October, but again, in keeping with the new me, I’ll focus on the blessing of having made it to this point in what has been a tumultuous year all around. My reasonable response then is to embrace all that I have and do and run with it. And, cold or not, I intend to do just that. Bring it December!

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What’s Running In December

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Why, Hello December! The month of sugar and spice and everything nice – we’re hoping anyway and praying as far as running is concerned. I figure we’re in good stead this being the month we celebrate Jesus’ birth and all, plus the weather has been pretty decent so far. Hope is alive and the runner in me celebrates this with a happy run and a slight adjustment to end of year goals.

Truly, I’m not making this up on the fly nor do I believe I’m alone in my mid-goal pivot. I have always believed that it is the person who is able to grasp opportunities as they are presented that is more often than not successful in his/her endeavors. Of course it’s always a bit risky to veer off a predetermined path but you’ll never discover your strengths or true potential if you never challenge yourself to discover the badass within. And the truth is, we all have that person in us. It may take different things to incite us to action, but that’s only because we’re all uniquely different and does not speak to any timidity or lack of initiative in us. I firmly believe that runners are by far an enterprising lot. Consider the  tenacity it takes to train for a race and the sometimes brutal conditions we must endure only to fall short on race day. Our response, usually, is to right away sign up for the next race with as little fanfare as possible – tenacity is only outdone by the determination to minimize the achievement. So I’m in awesome company I know.

To this end, I had no problem on deciding  to push up my decision to qualify for the TCS NYC Marathon 2017 this month. With not a lot of options left in terms of races to choose from, limited time left to qualify and with the weather at its uncertain best, it will take a lot of faith and some crazy running to pull this off. I think I’m up for the challenge though. Since I’ve opted to go the half-marathon entry route, it’s crunch time with training and racing happening all in the next couple weeks.

The rest of the month will find me keeping my Wednesday group runs, doing speed work twice a week in Central Park, weather permitting, and getting a long run in on the weekend. I usually add some cross-training somewhere in there to mix things up a bit. So far, so good; while I’m optimistic we’ll close off the year in good spirits, so much depends on the weather. Hopefully, my optimism is contagious and that will only bring good running.🙏

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