Happy St. Paddy’s Day, friends.
H is out of town for the second week in a row. The good news is that I felt zero stress last week and very little stress this week. He normally goes out of town during the week, for work, but in March he gets together with his college friends for March madness, so he’s out of town for the weekend. I was a bit worried about how to entertain the kids all day long on a weekend day. Last week, his trip didn’t affect me in any way in terms of anxiety. This week, I was feeling some stress from my new job, which in combination with his departure, was making me a bit anxious, but I never felt that panic attack sensation, or anything close to it. Which is good, obviously.
This morning, I found out my sister is likely getting married on Harbour Island, the Bahamas. I feel like I’ve mostly kicked the H is traveling so I’m going to freak out thing, but plane travel still makes me nervous. The two things that triggered horrible, death-wish inducing panic attacks were H’s trips and plane travel. I’ve had plenty of time to more or less get over the former, but I just haven’t had much need to travel by plane. And going to foreign countries always stresses me out a bit. Anyway, I was pretty upset because obviously I want to be at her wedding, but my preliminary servey of travel options indicated it would be AT LEAST a 14 hours journey with a red eye included.
Then, I headed out for a run. Within half a mile, I was already feeling infinitely better and capable of handling what life throws at me. It was incredible. I haven’t been running all week as I wanted to give myself a break after the half marathon, but I didn’t feel like biking today (cold) and just felt like I needed to get out and do something. It was like the best drug ever. I was running along thinking of how we’d get to the Bahamas and just feeling fine and I realized how much better I felt and was kind of blown away. And so I kept running. 4.5 miles at 9:30 or so pace, which in my neighborhood is a moderately hard run (due to hills). I’m pretty sure it’s more effective than Xanax, for me, anyway.
I have never thrown my hands up at the end of a race before, but the woman who finished in front of me did, and I impulsively did the same. (It seems the woman behind me also felt inspired by the two of us.) This picture definitely reflects the way I was feeling – exhausted but victorious. You can see the spare tire around my waist through my shirt, but that doesn’t actually bother me. When I’m looking back on this day years in the future, I’d like to remember that I accomplished this time without being perfectly svelte. I was so happy to finish in 1:43, and now I just want to run faster.
We may travel to NY in April. Depending on schedule, I may compete in a duathlon that month as well as a 5K. (The 5K also has a 12K option, so we’ll see.) Then, in May, comes my next major goal race, the Snohomish Women’s Run. It has a 10K and half marathon, and I’m planning to run the 10K. My goal is sub-45. I’ve never raced a 10K before, but I’m pretty sure it’s a tough race. The 5K is brutally painful, but it’s over quick. The half is long and agonizing, but the intensity isn’t the same. It’s only the last couple miles that really kill you. The 10K seems like the worst of all worlds, but it’s good to have goals, right? I’ll start running easy next week, and I’ll start training in earnest the following week.