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A Turkey Trot, Stress of the World, and a Moment of Peace

It's three-subject blog-post time. Which means I've fallen behind. First things first:

Turkey Trot
Last, last week, on Thanksgiving morning, Tim and I went to Clearwater to run the Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot 10k race. I understand my northern family and friends will likely scoff at what I'm about to say, and they may feel free to do so, but it was freezing! It was about 31 degrees (with wind chill) during the race. That is cold for Florida, especially when it's been in the 70s and 80s in the weeks surrounding that one. It's difficult for me to know what to wear for a cold-weather race, because I know I'll get warm quickly, and I hate being hot during a race. So I wore shorts (which I swear are under my sweatshirt in the picture below), a tank top, arm sleeves, and a headband to cover my ears. While it may seem silly to wear a tank top and full arm sleeves (why not just wear a whole shirt?), I don't like to get sweaty under my arms, and this is a good solution. But what I really wished I'd worn is a pair of gloves. After I shed the hoodie and moved to the starting area, my hands began to freeze--painfully so. Any my toes were already numb, despite the fact that I had a thick pair of toe socks on. I could't wait for the race to start, just so I could get moving. Once it did, I had a hard time warming up my body fast enough to feel it, and I just felt like I was thawing out during the first three miles. After that I was doing a little better, but it was not a remarkable race for me. My pace, once again, was very close to my Steamtown marathon pace of 8:59. I think I finished at about 55 minutes flat. This race doesn't officially record times, unless you are in the top 250 runners (which I was not). But I was still glad to have done it and to have seen lots of friends on the holiday, before spending time with family.

Don't let the sunniness in the photo fool you.

Immediately after the race, Tim, who ran a great race, started sneezing unceasingly. And then so did I. We'd gotten a good combination of cold air and allergens up our noses from the race, and we continued to sneeze throughout the day. We managed to do okay, thankfully, when we went to Tim's aunt's house for Thanksgiving #1. We had a nice time visiting with his family and eating lots of delicious food (of which we got leftovers!). Then we went home and lay in bed feeling pretty miserable. We'd run out of tissues, so we just kept this roll of toilet paper between us as we took turns sneezing and blowing our noses. That's pretty much how the rest of the night played out.

Fortunately we'd bought the soft kind of recycled TP.

The next day, we had our Thanksgiving #2 with my family. I'm glad we had some time to recover physically from whatever had gotten into us, because I was really looking forward to spending time with all four of my nieces and some out-of-town family. Tim even partook in a tea party with one of my nieces, which I think made her pretty happy. 

Stress of the World 
I realize this sounds dramatic, but that's what I felt I was dealing with last week at work. Between my two jobs, I was at various times feeling overworked, undermined, and under-appreciated. I know most of us go through times like this with our occupations (and if you don't, no need to comment), and for me, it all seemed to come down on me at once. I began to second-guess myself--my knowledge and my value--and compare myself to other women my age who seemed to be more successful. I know better than to get into that negative thought cycle, but sometimes it just happens before I notice. I was so tired from the work week that when Tim woke me up the next morning for our long run, and even after I got halfway dressed for it, I decided I wanted to go back to sleep. It seemed like the best thing in the world to me at that moment. "Just for another hour." And of course, then we just slept through the next alarm and our run. I felt kind of guilty about that (I'm such an enabler), but I knew we'd make it up the next morning. The rest of Saturday was spent going from place to place, event to appointment, until finally I landed at dinner with a good friend whom I'd been needing to catch up with. She understood exactly my work stress, and we both vented over wine and dinner. It was redemptive.

The next morning, Tim and I did in fact get up for our long run, but we didn't even try to do it any earlier than 6:00 a.m. I thought the extra day of rest would make for an easier run, but I'll admit that it was rough. I haven't run 14 miles since my marathon, and I forgot how it feels to run more than 12 or 13. Yes, that one or two miles makes a difference. The rest of marathon training, I foresee, will be a struggle.

A Moment of Peace
On Sunday, I was for a brief moment in time free from any side work or obligations. Tim and I went shopping for a Christmas tree, something I haven't done on my own since, well, I've been on my own. We were on our way to Lowe's when we spotted trees at a local farmer's market stand and decided to check them out. I was drawn to this short, fat one on the end that looked just perfect for me. I mean us. We asked about the price but thought we might be able to do better at Lowes, so we went on to do some comparison shopping. All the trees at Lowes were big--bigger than what I'd had in mind, and none of them really stood out to me. So we went back to the farmer's market to hopefully pick up the little but rotund tree, and to my delight she was still there. We named her Bertha. Once we got her home and in place, we put the lights on:

Our Bertha.

It was a happy moment. Then we had to take a break to fulfill some obligations--grocery shopping for me and studying for Tim. But later that evening, after dinner, we poured ourselves some So Delicious Dairy Free [Eggless] Nog (and let me tell you, it was sooo delicious!) and played Christmas music while we finished decorating the tree.

That little stocking is not in fact floating in mid-air.

Even though I've come back to a an over-full work week again, I'm trying to take it all in stride and remember the important things. Like Bertha.


B.o.B. said…
I started coughing like a maniac after the Turkey Trot! That lasted a good two days. Blech. I definitely did not dress warm enough.

I love Bertha! Hope you are feeling better and rested.

I am swimming in Clearwater on Sat AM so text me if you need anything. I'll be swimming from 8:30-9:30 so I won't get it during that time. (No pockets in my wetsuit.)

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