Thursday, November 28

A different kind of thankfulness

I know I'm not the only one who is finding it difficult to feel thankful this year. I know. But I feel like getting this out in the open might help me to find my own grit to be thankful.

I've been unemployed/underemployed for nine months now. February seems like a long time ago because 2014 is just around the bend. Fighting to get a job is feeling more hopeless all the time and the four part-time jobs I have aren't enough to pay my bills... I'm broke.

But I'm not broken.

I may not have money for all my bills, but I have enough for some of them. So I pay them.

I may not have money for Christmas gifts, but I can still pay my internet bill and phone bill so I can email and call my friends and family to let them know I'm missing them or sending them holiday joy.

I may not have the kinds of food I'd like to have around this time of year, but I do have some food. (I never thought I'd revert to bagged salad and ramen noodles like college, but I also never knew I would be this hard up for money.)

I may be struggling to believe in myself because I can't find a professional job to pay me a salary I can actually live on, but I still have the most marvelous man as my boyfriend who tells me that I'm worth it, helps me find hope, and lets me cry to him when I'm hurting.

I may not be able to make any future plans, based on time or money, but I know that I am fortunate each morning when I put both feet on the floor and take a big breath to lift myself from bed. I have learned to plan on just waking up and being alive.

I may feel hopeless (nearly all the time, these days), but I have a few really good friends who, despite whatever distance between us, have the power to lift me up.

I may not have health insurance, but I have found a way to get my prescriptions at a reasonable cost so I may remain well and, especially important, free of asthma attacks and healthy enough to run and keep running.

I may cry too easily right now. I do. But I have the cutest, sweetest dog who has a truly intelligent sense of empathy who has finally learned to cuddle to make mommy feel better.

I may not have friends close by all the time, but I work hard to be able to afford the luxury of keeping my dog, who is there for me day and night.

I may not see what is in front of me in my path for life, but I am working hard to trust in God and to remember that I can't always see his plan but that there is a plan... and I try to remember that I am an instrument of God when I can help other people.

I'm thankful that I am not broken. I'm not sure how much longer I can sustain myself in this state (this sad, sad state), but I am thankful that I find strength in everything I listed here. I find strength to push on and do what I can, whatever it is, to keep going minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving, dear readers.

Wednesday, November 20

Taking a Break from Racing: Marshall University Half Marathon

Gosh. So it's been awhile since I wrote. My sincerest apologies… I'm juggling life not unlike anyone
else, only currently life's juggling involves less time online.

So I ran my third half marathon on 11/10! It was wonderful. I finished with a time between my other two times, so I'm pleased that I have an average to work on for next year.

Yes, I'm done racing for the year. This means I'm abandoning my goal of running a race every month. I did it for as long as I could manage, and I am pleased with that, but cold weather running has me chickening out a bit since the aforementioned juggling act leaves me such little time as it is. I'm planning to use this time away from racing as time to build more strength, particularly in my core and legs, to bolster my running in the spring time. I also think this is a good time for me to take a break because I was convinced I had a stress fracture in my right foot the day after this race… I got it x-rayed and it's fine, but the pain is enough for me. I'm prepared to take it easier on my feet for a few weeks.

The Marshall Marathon and Half Marathon were lovely. We had beautiful weather and a nice flat course. I'm delighted to announce that my Oiselle teammate Aubrey came in 2nd overall for the marathon (!) and 1st for women (!!!). What a fast bird she is! I was glad that I got to meet her again. We hugged and celebrated her victory with upbeat chatter as we both cooled down from running. I'm so proud to be on the same team as this quick lady!

This is me at mile nine. I'm still smiling!
I waited to blog about the Marshall Marathon (I ran the half--let's be clear on that) because I had a problem. The day I got my number I was told that I did not pay for the jacket and shirt… but I had. I was a little irritated that I didn't get them on the day of the race. However, afterwards the race director was kind enough to check the records to see that yes, in fact, I had paid for these items. While I am still a tiny bit irked that I got size medium (when I requested small… when I originally paid for the items…), I'm glad to have the items anyway. The jacket is really nice and it's my first race jacket. :) I'm glad that they were willing to mail them to me.

As I mentioned, the race was really nice. The water stops were well-spaced, the crowd that gathered was just enough to boost my energy, and the course varied between concrete, pavement, and even a little dirt trail. I definitely plan to run this race again. I like that it's small (with a few hundred participants, not thousand…).

Tuesday, November 5

Part-Time… everything

I'm a part-time worker at several jobs right now... I'm still underemployed. I haven't found a full-time position… So I have taken on a few retail options for the time being. Money is tighter than ever before. I'm more afraid than ever. But I'm also more determined than ever before.

I skipped my race on Sunday. I feel bad about that because I paid the entry fee… so it feels like wasted money. I also feel bad because I hadn't dedicated any time to run last week. Starting new jobs is stressful though. I also needed rest because I was certain I was going to catch a cold. Thank goodness I didn't. A little extra sleep and some vitamin C went a long way for my health.

So in addition to being a part-time worker in so many jobs, I appear to also be living part-time. Nothing in my life seems fully committed right now--running included. I'm a part-time runner...

I've felt sluggish these past few times at the gym. I'm running my last race for 2013 on Sunday--the Marshall University Half Marathon. Yes, you're right. I was supposed to be running the full marathon--my first one. But I switched races a week ago because I'm not convinced that I am ready to run the full marathon. I don't feel like I've trained well enough. My first marathon will be a different one. Just not right now.

I'm juggling quite a few things and don't feel "all there" in a variety of circumstances, but I'm pushing onward. What I'm doing is just how I have to live my life right now. It's not forever. (I have to keep telling myself that.)