I must say, I'm not leaving 2011 and entering into 2012 in the best of spirits. I think I can attribute it to sheer exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed. Our family finally wrapped up the Christmas celebrations on the 29th. This year John and I hosted 34 people (20 of them being 13 and under) and all went well despite John coming down with some lingering virus this week. I feel bad. He was not feeling the love from me at all and I could go on and on about how it figured he'd get sick and I'd have to do ALL the work for the party and host my sister's family of 5 from Houston. He says the day he enters Hospice care, he's as good as dead with the way I treat him when he's sick. Give me a little credit though... he DOES pick the world's shittiest time to get sick and the thermometer in his mouth every hour makes me nuts! It's like "Ok, you have a temperature. Who cares if it is 99 or 100? Why do you keep checking it?" But despite feeling lousy all week, the man went to work, plowed through the party and stayed up to clean up afterward so I didn't wake up to a disaster zone. Ok, I just realized what a total bitch I am after I wrote that last sentence. Sorry, John. I promise not to get irritated with you when you are in Hospice. Can you just please make it when you are in your late 90s? Chances are we ain't hosing NOTHIN' at that point!
The day of the party, my house consisted of 7 children and 3 adults in the house while I prepared. The cleaning had mostly been done throughout the week so it wasn't too bad having everyone around. This year I had to let go a little. When I prepare for a party like this, I like my house empty of mess-making children and to be by myself. It wasn't going to happen this year. I had to decide not to go ape-shit about the little toys scattered about throughout the day. I had to decide this early or it would have been a very bad day. The kids were good, my sister and brother in law were helpful and all went well... as I knew it would. And the best part is that I don't have to do it again for 4 more years!
So what's the deal with the mood? Well I think it's because I feel like shit physically. Not only am I tired, but I've eaten nothing but crap and feel like crap. My roots are obnoxious, eyebrows bushy, face broken out and toenails in need of some serious attention. Most people take care of these things before they are going to a holiday get together. I honestly haven't had time to do any of it. My running is going well, though I'm not getting in the miles I long for and I haven't had a good solo run in a long time. Much as I do love running with others, I crave solo runs. It always amazes me how different runners are. Some runners won't run without company. Others only like to run alone. As I've said before, I'm a bit of both. I loved training for the ultra. Most days it was just me and whatever pace hit me that day. No pre-scheduled pace for the day, no worrying about distance or route or anything else. Simply lacing up and running and running and running. I miss it a lot. What mattered in ultra training was time on feet. What matters in marathon training with a time goal is pace, distance, hills or no hills and a lot of other things. I'm finding this less and less appealing as time goes on.
So as I look back on 2011, I'd say the biggest thing I've learned is that sometimes we are led down a different path to discover that what we thought we loved and cared about so much isn't what we love and care about at all. Yes I am racing the Flying Pig and yes, I'll do my best to nail that qualifying time that has eluded me thus far. Maybe this is a bad attitude to have when starting a new goal. But I don't think it is. I'm certain I can do it and I want to do it, otherwise I wouldn't. The difference is that now it won't be the big deal it once was if the BQ doesn't happen. It amazes me how much even my blog entries have changed over a year's time on this subject. Someone could read this and say "but you said 10 months ago that you'd NEVER stop trying and it's what you really, REALLY wanted", and to that I'd say that you are correct... I DID say that. And at that time, I felt that way.
And at the time I ran some of Burning River with Jack, I said I'd NEVER do a 100 miler either...
Here's to an awesome 2012!