A lot of things are changing this time of year, and generally in my life these days. Of course, the most visible and noticeable to runners right now is the season change: The shift from long hot days where runs in humidity feel like you are travelling through a thick fog, to the fall which cools and provides wonderful running temperatures, but gives hints of foreboding winter weather yet to come.
Many people are changing their training routines as they finish their fall goal races, transitioning from peak weeks to maintenance over the winter, or starting a new training program for the winter and beyond. As mentioned before, my half marathon training is starting on Tuesday, and it has really snuck up on me. I am unquestionably nervous, but am not 100% sure why. I have ran half marathons before (race reports here and sort of here ), but really didn't enjoy the process of racing either of them. I know this time will be different (and think it is actually funny I predicted my next half would be the Disney Princess two years ago!) as I am running for fun, I am running with friends at my pace, and I am in a better mental state. I have also started running 10's and 1's, which has changed my style of running, and group running with the Running Room, which has given me a wider support net of fellow runners with similar goals.
Change has also happened with respect to my mental focus with running. I was all negative, all the time for such a long period of time. While you do have to sometimes "embrace the suck" as my friend says, you can't do it all the time, or else running becomes painful, rather than fun. Somewhere in the past year, I have embraced the idea of running my own races, doing the best that I can on the day, and not stressing if every race isn't a PB. I have PB'ed while feeling happy, something I had never done before. I have enjoyed teaching others how to improve their times, and actually, have considered taking on the challenge of being a teacher for a learn to run clinic, because it is so fun to help people bring the joy of running into their lives.
Finally, there has been change in my general life and those around me. I am now 4 years married, working full time, own a house, and am so far away from where I was when I started running. My friends are now actively trying to get pregnant, and it is an interesting thing to get used to, the idea that we are all grown ups now. This change is the hardest personally to adjust to, generally since a) I am firmly on the fence about having my own children, and I like to say my feet are on the No side of that fence. This is probably because b) I have been a parent to my stepdaughter for the past 9 years, and have helped raise her from 4 years old to being a teenager. Even though I am of the age where a lot of people do decide to have children, I feel like I am 40, and wondering why I would want to make babies when we have already went through the childhood stages once. It is like I feel we are moving towards the empty nest and being the old married couple, and having a baby seems like a regression at this point. Hardest thing of all is, try to find someone, ANYONE, who thinks like that, who is in my shoes. It is pretty hard. My friends all have kids, have adopted kids because they couldn't have kids, want kids, or are too young to be thinking about kids yet.
Generally, I say embrace the change. If you don't, you usually end up stagnant in your life, and missing some pretty awesome opportunities. I am trying to embrace the change in running, even if it scares me a little. I am NOT looking forward to running in -40 degree weather in February, but I guess the pleasure of taking a week's vacation in Florida in the winter comes at a cost. Changes in life are a bit harder to embrace, but I am trying to be open to opportunities, and adult enough to recognize that I am in control of my life's path, and that whatever I chose, it will be ok in the long run. If I decide to have children or not, life will go on.
What changes are you facing in your life?
What ones are you embracing, and what ones are challenging you?
Editor's Note: Maybe the world is trying to show me I have someone who understands. Within seconds of posting this, my friend shared this link on Facebook: http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/open-letter-women-chose-not-kids-162100827.html