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Establishing a Writing Habit

After a decade long break from writing, I picked it up again when I started this blog in late April.  Rusty and out of practice, it felt both good and terrifying all at once.  Inspired to write by the circumstances of my life, I felt compelled to create this blog.  Writing provides me with a creative outlet and a platform to help others.  Many people start writing, painting or another creative outlet because they’re inspired by their life’s circumstances, but they don’t continue pursuing their art as their inspiration wanes.

The thing with inspiration is that it is not constant.  It is fickle and ever changing.  If we rely only on inspiration to drive our craft, than we are likely lose interest as our inspiration wanes.  Rather than relying on inspiration, rely on habit.  Make your craft a part of your daily routine.  This will make it a way of life and not reliant upon the fickle nature of inspiration.

The draw in participating the daily prompt for me was exactly that.  It has been to establish writing as an important part of my daily routine.  This will help me polish my writing skills and ensure my blog doesn’t become just a flash in the pan.

Our race

As tryout week winds down and my hockey mom nerves unravel, I can feel the tension leaving my shoulders and my stomach.  Friday night we had our last tryouts for the fall season.  Regardless of the outcome of tryouts, the ultimate decision is equally stressful.  I skipped the Monkey to get home earlier with the Mayor, so I could attempt to get to bed early in preparation for the Firefighter Eric Patrie 5k on Saturday morning.

I’m not a morning person, so when I have a race or early hockey game, I usually set several different alarms to ensure I’m out of the house in time to get to the event.  I prefer to get to the race about an hour early, so I can warm up, eat a little something, hit the bathroom and get acclimated for the race.   Saturday morning was not that morning.

I had set my Fitbit alarm, which usually works all of the time.  It doesn’t, however, work when you forget to put it back on after you shower.  I also set the alarm on my phone, but apparently it was for pm and not am.  Instead I awoke to my hubby saying aren’t you supposed to be somewhere by now?  It was 6:05 am and the answer of course was yes!

I ran out of bed, woke up Jake and gave him a ten minute warning.   We rushed to get ready and head towards Delray, so we wouldn’t miss the start.  I grabbed almonds in a rush and popped few on the way along with a GU gel.  We made it in time to park and head to the starting line before the scheduled start, but it felt rushed and our muscles (much like the weather by Florida standards) were cold.

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I had hoped to log a PR, but I was tired, cold and under the weather.  Honestly, I didn’t feel like running at all and was really craving the comfort of my bed and down comforter.  Nevertheless, Jake and I along with our KU running crew, including Evie the sweetest dog,  made our way to the starting line.  It was a gun to chip race, so Jake and I stayed near the front of the start corral to avoid the inevitable starting line traffic jam.

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As I ran the first mile, which felt like five, I fought through the desire to quit, the desire to walk, the desire to go back to bed and tried to maintain a decent pace.  It was a tough mile and slower than I wanted, but not horrible over all.  I grabbed some water continuing on to mile two.  Maybe it was me, maybe it was the weather or maybe it was the route, but mile two seemed to last forever.  I tried to maintain my pace as best I could and saw only a little degradation in pace between mile one and two.

Mile three beat me up.  The unusually cool and dry air dried out my throat and tightened up my lungs.  I had to stop to use my inhaler and was feeling the pain.  At this point, I had a choice to continue to walk and get comfortable or to run the remainder and try to hit my goal.  I chose to run. It hurt, it wasn’t pretty and in the end I missed a PR by tenths of seconds, but I did it.  I fought through the fatigue and pain to do my best.

Initially I was disappointed by my time (28.33) , but I think I was being too harsh on myself.  Two and half years ago, I ran my first 5k at a time of 34 minutes.  I started training in earnest last fall and whittled my time down to a PR of 28:32.  It’s not earth shattering fast, but it represents a lot of hard work and a lot of forward progress.  I didn’t feel 100% physically Saturday morning, but I didn’t let it stop me from giving 100% in the race and that was Saturday morning’s victory.

Meanwhile, Jake finished 6 minutes ahead of me, but was also disappointed by his time.  It was slower than his PR of 21 minutes, but he still  placed in the top 3 of his age group.  This was a very fast and competitive race, so I was happy to see how well he fared against the competition.  Even with the trophy, he was still disappointed with his result.

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Even though my time wasn’t where I wanted to be, I love the feeling of finishing a race.  I love the excitement of the start and the excitement of the finish.  I love seeing a first time 5k runner come through the finish line.  There is no better feeling finishing something you didn’t think you were capable of finishing and theirs is nothing better than seeing that sense of pride on a runner’s face as they finish their first 5k.  Joe – your KU crew was proud to see you cross the finish line and do great your first time out.  Can’t wait to see what you do in your second 5k!

Neither of Jake nor I, hit a time we were thrilled with Saturday, but we had a great time with good friends supporting a great cause.  For Jake and I, its back to training and working towards better results and greater distances.

If you’d like to know more about this event, here’s the website.

I won the weekend!

I don’t mean to brag, but I totally won the weekend.    Truly, I freaking killed the weekend.  What does winning the weekend even mean?  Let me explain….  At work we talk a lot about what winning looks like.  In order to win, we need to hit certain metrics or certain objectives.  For me to win the weekend, as a hockey mom, it is not dissimilar.  I need to hit certain objectives.   These objectives include incredibly sexy tasks like laundry, cooking meals, vacuuming, grocery shopping, cleaning the house (still in a post hockey season disarray) and logging my miles.  I can count the number of times I have hit all of these objectives on a weekend during hockey season on one hand.   To be fair, it probably happened just once before.  My fellow hockey moms and dads, I know you feel my pain and can appreciate how amazing it is that I could win my weekend during the spring hockey season.

 

Again, this post isn’t about bragging, but relishing in the small joyous victories life sometimes brings.  Friday night was a complete miracle.  I came home to a deceased hamster.  Chuka, Zach’s (aka the Mayor) newly acquired hamster went to the great beyond after a mere 5 days at the homestead.  He was devastated at the loss, so naturally we put the dead hamster in a bag and took it back to Pet Smart for an exchange.  While the Mayor and dad exchanged the hamster, I ran my four miles and it was awful, but I did it.  Before we took the boys to hockey, the Mayor’s new hamster (Oompah Lupa) was in its cage and playing about.   Both boys made it to their hockey practice without being a minute late.  Victory!  By the time the Mayor and dad got home from peewee practice, I had already grilled the chicken (without blowing up the grill), cooked the pasta and made a Caesar salad.  Remarkably, the chicken did not taste like lighter fluid and there were no fires.  Dinner and the Mayor’s sleepover were a complete success.

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Saturday could have been better had my Wild beaten St. Louis, but they choked and broke my family’s collective heart by being eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  To be fair, the officiating didn’t help their cause at all.  Nonetheless, I was extremely productive completing the grocery shopping, vacuuming the floor, and completing almost all of the laundry! I even logged my four miles with my Athena.  Best of all, the Mayor’s team won both of their peewee spring games.  Post run as a consequence of some foot pain, we headed to Dick’s Sporting Goods so I could replace my worn sneakers.   New sneakers and a couple workout tanks I didn’t need later, we headed over to PetSmart to buy Goalielocks some new fish.  If he has his druthers, he’ll have a fish breeding facility in his room in no time.

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Sunday was the perfect day to stay home and do nothing as it rained almost all day.  These days rarely happen in South Florida and I took full advantage to finish the laundry and get most of the house organized.   Even had the opportunity to take the boys to Petco to get our saltwater aquarium water’s tested.   Fortunately for my wallet the tank isn’t done cycling.   For now our tank, will keep cycling with the hermit crabs and Bubbles the conch.  Post Petco the sun finally came out, so Jake and I went for a quick 3.5 mile run.  The run was miserable as the pre-run diet of brownies and coffee was less than optimal, but we did it.  We stuck to our goal and made it happen.   Note to self (and cautionary tale to the audience) stop eating brownies and going for a run immediately thereafter.  It makes you want to vomit and slows you down.  Sometimes it all about life’s lessons and small victories.

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To be perfectly honest, I finished all the loads of laundry and maybe by this Friday we’ll get all of the clothes put away.  Small victories will turn into big victories that’s what I keep telling myself.   Either that or we’ll hire a housekeeper during hockey season.   In the meantime, I’ll relish small victories and winning my weekend.