A Race-Free 2014 is Fine by Me, One Year Blog-Aversary, and Other Thoughts

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OK, this is NOT a screenshot of yesterday’s ‘Decline’, because I didn’t grab the screen. So instead I went back to the last time I faced this choice with unfortunately the exact same thing swimming in my head – that I had to click decline.

The Can 50 Ultra is on October 11th, which is a huge competition day for my kids and their marching band … one that I refuse to miss. I had it in my head (and on my calendar) as the 12th for some reason. Oh well.

Will 2014 Be ‘Race Free’?

It is interesting – even as I am doing an average of close to 70 miles per week this summer and have done a half dozen runs longer than 20 miles, meaning my training for the ultra was well in hand … I really don’t have any issues letting it go. For the first race that would have been over our vacation I was sad – I had really gotten my hopes up and mentally psyched.

But something has changed this year – early in the year it was simply not convenient or possible to do any of the races I had thought about. Then I decided not to sign up for Wineglass Marathon because of how it falls with respect to Danny & Lisa’s birthdays (right on top of them, again) – and based on how the weekend looks, it was the right thing! Then with our busy summer the half marathon and 5k I wanted to do fell by the wayside,

And while this happened, my weekly running stayed great, my nutrition is excellent (but eating so much is HARD for me!), and overall my fitness and motivation is staying very high. I don’t NEED races right now – they add stress rather than joy. My priority is always ‘family first’, and while running is very important to me … racing is just ‘nice’.

I have one possible race left, and it is after marching band and birthday season … so it is possible. It is a half marathon, and the average temperature the last two years I have run is 25F. Welcome to winter! haha

Hey – You Guys Never Told Me Bloody Nipples Were ‘Hot’!!!

This Friday I posted this on Instagram:

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Yeah, I had a ‘band aid fail’ – I forgot to grab mine in my bathroom and ended up grabbing a couple of cheapies from the pantry … and one of them held. If you peek below you’ll see I did 10.25 miles on Friday … and I KNEW what I would see about halfway through. Ugh. That happens, no biggie (other than the shower ‘first contact’ fun).

BUT – the funny thing?

When I posted to Instagram, within the first half hour while we were eating breakfast I got a couple of ‘Likes’, so I tapped on ‘notifications’ and saw names I didn’t know …

Turns out both were young women who had ‘recently single’ in their descriptions, who started following me as well.

So … why didn’t all of you younger ladies tell me that bloody nipples made you irresistible to young single women? I have so many questions for you – to the recently engaged … did your engagement hinge on bloody nipples? If you are single, did a lack of bloody nipples factor into it? It all just made me realize how out of touch Lisa and I are with this whole thing – we just thought they looked awful and were sore.

Can’t believe you guys have been holding out this critical information on me … 🙂

One Year on this Blog

Yesterday (Sept 13th) something happened – the blog turned one year old. I had a ‘welcome’ post, and then a post the same day titled “Everything Clicked … Until it Didn’t, But That Was OK.

That first post was about feeling great after a run … then having real life come colliding in! That happens so often to many of us, and there is nothing we can do – except appreciate the way that our runs help us cope and deal with life, giving us strength and energy to push forward and the mental balance to work through them.

It would be more than two weeks until my next post, and then I slowly got into a routine from there. During the first month I got THREE comments – two from Megan and one from Sarah. Thanks for that critical early support!

Weekly Running Summary

This was a weird week – the weather ranged from cold and foggy to warm and humid and everywhere in between. It has that whole ‘transition to fall’ feel, but nothing in the 40s yet.

So how did I do? Let’s take a look:

Sunday: 7.5 miles on ‘Easy Run’ Day – after my 23.5 miles on Saturday, a casual run was in order!
Monday: 10.5 miles
Tuesday: 9.25
Wednesday: 10.5 miles
Thursday: 9.75 miles
Friday: 10.25 miles after work
Saturday 14.5 miles with hill repeats

Wow … I really didn’t think this was a huge week, but I did 72.25 miles this week . It will be interesting to see how things go while I am on my business trip this week.

‘Programming’ Notes

Oh – I didn’t mention that yet? OK, so this week I am attending a statistics conference – I know, I know, contain your excitement! I am really looking forward to it in several ways – it is just outside of Raleigh NC (in Cary, home of SAS) and the forecast looks pretty great, I have a colleague giving one of the talks, and two old friends neither of whom I have seen in more than 20 years attending and giving papers! Going to be amazing.

At the same time, I think it is clear that my relationship to the blog (and blog world) has changed this summer. I have narrowed my reading, and my writing has started to ‘take the weekends off’ and not always flow according to schedule. At this point I can only see this continuing, so here are two things I am doing:

– I have cut way back on my subscriptions, and my commenting even more. I realized that I had not commented on a few posts that I REALLY wanted to comment on … I was getting bogged down on other things. I will still read all of my faves with email subscriptions to my ‘must reads’, others mostly through Feedly or WordPress. As Judith noted, that makes it work well … unless blogs block it. Sadly, if you block reading without hitting the site, unless you are in my email blog list I will be gone. Sorry. 😦 I want to do it all … there just isn’t the time.

– I have no plans to blog this week at all.

– Starting next week I am going to try a 2 posts per week routine, and see how that goes. I had planned that when I came back from several days away, but suddenly blasted out a bunch of posts. That really isn’t working for me. I think a Sunday & Wednesday schedule might work … we will see.

Tell me something great from YOUR week?

From the Archives – Dinner Party with other people

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As we are away again, I am once again dipping back into the archives – this time to our 13th wedding anniversary! For those counting, that makes this from 2005! At the time the boys were 7 and 9 years old.

I have really appreciated the responses on my ‘from the archives’ posts as well as the one about smoking … so I am going to pluck another one from the depths of the archives of an older blog written for myself. When you read this we will be on the road at the crack of dawn coming home from another round of college tours!

Just a note – I have been loving the amazing posts and comments from everyone these last couple of days. One thing I really loved was the reaction to my supplement post – it was meant to be provocative and many of you chimed in somewhat disagreeing but also being very respectful. It was awesome! I can’t wait to fully catch up on everything!

My wife and I got the rare opportunity to go out to dinner together without worrying about the babysitter. Last week* was our 13th Anniversary, and on our anniversary day we went with the kids out to Deerfield (MA) to a place called ‘George’s Rocks’ which had a nice litte Dinosaur exhibit and a man-made ‘mine’ for kids to get a bunch of polished rocks. It was fun for an hour or so. We also went to the Yankee Candle Factory store, which is always fun – they make it such a pleasure just to explore that the shopping part is secondary. Then we went to a nice little Italian place (Monty’s Garden in Leominster) for dinner – one of those places that was good as a family, but not so much of a ‘me & the wife’ things.

Last week we also had one of Lisa’s good friends from college and Christopher’s godmother up from Wed – Sun. She offered to stay with the kids while we went out Saturday. Whew! Normally we have to deal with the babysitter (she is very good, but only 13 so we are careful about time) or my parents (…).

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We went to a very highly regarded place called the Herb Lyceum, which was a herb garden that has evolved into a fine dining place. No liquor license, bring your own wine. They have a single fixed menu for the month. All that was fine, but seating was ‘communal’ – meaning that there were two tables for 10 and one for 15, making their 35 person capacity. We tend to like more intimate dinners, but thought we’d try. Our thoughts were ‘not bad, never again’ – see, we had no real together time. Intimate side-talk during a dinner party is rude. Also, you don’t know anyone, and there were two very nice couples we sat with and had some nice discussion. Then there was a ‘younger’ couple, early 30’s. They never relaxed and weren’t much fun to talk to because of it. Finally there was a very pretentious couple, who would throw out names and places, but when anyone would want to discuss them, would seem bored and detached. Not much fun. But at least we got to dress up, have *awesome* food and wine, and a little time away.

So what did we learn? While we both enjoy the company of others, what we relish most is intimate time alone to celebrate our life together. In an age of 50% divorce rates – some of which have hit awfully close to home recently – I revel in the love and friendship I share with my wonderful wife. So even though we didn’t have the greatest time at this ‘dinner party’ style night out, we did it together, and shared in that experience and learned something about ourselves as individuals and as a couple.

It was funny reading this for the first time in 9 years. Back then we were JUST getting a reliable babysitter, but still wouldn’t do anything major or outside of our town – we were happy just to get some rare alone time! In fact, we had gotten into the habit of doing most holiday dinners as a family – including Valentine’s day … so this was a real rarity.

Now that the kids are older and we are getting much more time together … we still revel in our time alone together and I don’t think our thoughts and feelings would be any difference.

Another thought – I thought I knew what I meant by divorces ‘hit awfully close to home recently’ … but then I realized that neither of my siblings (both of who are divorced now) were even separated at the time.

Have you eaten in a fine dining place with communal seating? If so what did you think? If you have kids – or other reasons why time with your significant other is rare, what does your date night situation look like?