More Wise Words from Dad, Mid-Plan Jitters, and Awesome People

A black cat NEARLY crossed my path during this morning's hour-long easy run. I saw it all but dart out from behind a parked car; then, just as quickly, it reconsidered.  What's the point? she's just going to find a way to turn it into good luck somehow.

A few weeks ago, I realized that I may not be going to New York at all this year because of the combination of my medical expenses, my cats' medical expenses, and travelling to see my parents.  That possibility is still very real, but - as my dad once said - there WILL be other marathons.  And, who knows what could happen from here?  I've made a habit of turning bad "luck" into good; I could figure out a way to make it work. 

I read an article recently that supported this: the gist was, when we overcome adversity (death, severe illness, divorce, bankruptcy, cancer, family trauma, etc.) we build a sense of self-efficacy.  We know that the other things life will throw at us is just what my dad would call small potatoes.  We stop saying "woe is me" and starting say "whoa, I am a badass."

So I made the commitment to keep training, and I made the commitment to keep fundraising for the ACS, whether I make my goal of making it to NYC or not.

I'm proud to say two things:
  1. I'm only $370 from the minimum commitment I agreed to raise, and 65% to my personal goal. Last time I fundraised for the ACS, I had no idea how hard it would be to ask friends and family for money.  I was very naive and felt like those closest to me would (naturally!) think it was as great a cause as I did.  I realized quickly that everyone's idea of a good cause is different, and that's totally fine. Everyone has a cause they're passionate about (mine is simple - cancer blows).  This time, I've also spent a lot of time and effort cooking up cool events (wine nights, ladies-only parties, online bake sales!) and communicating interesting information to my fellow athletes and supporters. It's been both fun and productive.
  2. #suckitcancer
  3. I'm 8 weeks into my training program. I had a few really rough weeks where I was in testing for my cysts/lymph nodes, transporting cats all over town, pet-sitting and finishing the Spring semester of school, and I didn't feel great (ask anyone without a thyroid or with thyroid disease what it's like to have their medication dose changed!)  I am way farther ahead mileage-wise than I was at this time last year, and with no stress fracture.  I have had a little runner's knee but I have solved most of my shin/calf issues: MY SHOELACES.  I've been doing this for almost 7 years and had NO CLUE they could make your shin and calf muscles sore!  I even discovered a gel I can take without pooping myself.  (Thanks again, K-Dub.) 
P.S. - an hour-long run in Florida weather = major chafe.  The area where my bra goes is all blistered up.  Yuck!

And these two points bring me to 2 others. (Ok, 3.)
  1. I have REALLY awesome people in my life.
  2. No, really.  REALLY awesome people. 
  3. Bastards
  4. Dad's always right.
On 1 and 2: I have had many friends and acquaintances; some were my best confidants. People I could tell - and DID tell - just about every thought I had.  Oddly, it's made me appreciate the beauty of keeping some of those thoughts to yourself.  The people in my life right now are so positive, SO supportive, and provide so much perspective, that they prove we are the sum of many of our actions and not just one thought.  That keeps me feeling positive about life and about gaining perspective before speaking or acting. Keep positive, happy - and GROUNDED - people around you and watch the world change! No, it's not going to put extra money in your bank account, or stop every bad thought that comes - but it WILL improve your outlook on just about everything.

And on the 3rd. It's not secret that my parents are two of my best friends (the title of my blog comes from Dad, after all).   I'm not sure if it's because they've been going through a lot or I've been going through a lot, but we've become closer than ever and I find more and more wisdom in their advice.  Recently I had the opportunity to advance in a professional setting, and I was offered an interesting choice because of it. And then I got the mid-plan jitters; I noticed (like I do every year) that everyone else I know is out there running 16-20 miles on their long runs and my long runs are just 10-12 right now.  And that's when The Coach says to me, not you PR at every marathon, but something to the effect of, it's just mental at this point

Which sounds an awful lot like something my dad would say. In fact, just the other day he told me (regarding my professional choice), just step back and do something else for a while, and when you return to it, the decision will come to you.

It's just mental at this point.

Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right. - Henry Ford

My dad didn't say it - but, if he'd been around back then, I can bet you he would have.

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