Rabbit, Run

The first (to be annual) Dennis P. Sampson Community 5k was this past Saturday, June 22nd.  When the flyer made its way to me several weeks ago, I immediately signed up.  In fact, my bib was #16 – I was well within the first batch of registrants.  This 5k was challenging for a variety of reasons, and most trying (for me) was the social aspect of the event.  Perhaps I have alluded to my discomfort in social situations and my overall and constant state of shyness, but I do not remember having detailed the extent to which I experience my introvertedness.

In my newfound resolution to celebrate the modest wins in life and not focus on my perceived losses / failures, I am not ashamed to share that my finish time was 34:34, according to my Fitbit.  Unfortunately, my phone dropped from 100% battery life to 17% in a matter of mere minutes.  Therefore, I did not dare utilize Strava, though I delight in the map the app produces based on my activity.  By the time the opening ceremony was over, I was clinging to hope and praying that I would have just enough battery to allow me music for the run!  Though my overall time was not at its usual, my first mile was 9:36, and therein lies my win!  I have never reached a sub-10:00 mile!  I can partially attribute this feat to chaos, but I bestow some of the credit upon myself.

With any first event, there are likely going to be kinks.  I noticed a few said crimps because they were applicable to the run specifically: a). confusion regarding the location of the starting line, b). the lack of a countdown, and c). no indication that the cue to begin was a siren.  Now, for many, a siren sounding off is likely an obvious segway between sedentariness and  activity.  However, my office is stationed in a police department – sirens are background noise.  I learned years ago to stage in the middle of the pack – not with the rabbits, nor with the turtles.  This weekend, I was with the rabbits due to a, b, and c.  Hence why I wrote, “I have never reached a sub-10:00 mile!  I can partially attribute this feat to chaos [ . . . ].”

*Saturday was the 10th annual Poland Spring Heritage Day, the run component was brandy new this year.*

My unfamiliarity with a new course is detrimental to my overall finish time; any time that I run a new race, my time tends to be slower than my norm.  This course was one of the most unique I have ever run.  I traveled to the Poland Spring Resort expecting a road race, but the terrain was very varied.  Knowing the terrain is essential in a successful run (success being up to interpretation).  Next year, I know just what I am contending with: pavement, mud, loose gravel, packed gravel, grass, woods / trails, and even a few stairs.  I anticipate my time will be less, on this course, this time next year.

Success, by my definition and the expectations I have for myself, are simple: 1). just do it and 2). finish.  In talking with Mum, she commented on how proud she is of me, if for no reason other than simply being present at various events.  Just three or four years ago, I would not stray from her side while shopping in a store, nor would I have ever conceived running publicly by myself.  In fact, when I first began perusing the multitude of 5Ks one may join, I would not register for one if a friend or acquaintance was not also going to be in attendance, even if I really wanted to give it a go.  On Friday night, Mum noticed that I was tense because I was going to be going it alone on Saturday, but I went and I did it and I finished.  Granted, because I was uncomfortable socially, I scampered off and headed home almost immediately after I crossed the finish line, despite how many activities there were to enjoy.

My social discomfort was not so much due to the number of people present that I did not know, but the number of people there that I did know.  As novice as I am in appropriate small talk, I am even poorer at “catching up” small talk.  Observation: strangers respect the RBF and tend to leave me to my stretching and mental preparation; people who previously knew me are seemingly oblivious to my social cues.  I am fortunate in that though I do contend with social anxiety, I am able to confront it.  I will never be mistaken for an extrovert, but I am making strides at being less of a wallflower.  In fact, when I reflect on myself now, it is difficult to remember just how timorous I once was.

I am not quite where I would like to be (goal weight, running ability, social agility, etc.), and I have been so focused on the end goal(s), that I have forgotten to take stock in how far I have come.  The journey seems far longer when we do not look at the route and evaluate how far we have already traveled along it.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

You Trim Hair Like a Badass, but Your Personality Doesn’t Make the Cut

IMO, it is important to find oneself a good hairdresser or barber.  I am poor at finding time for myself, in regards to pampering.  Set me up in a room with craft supplies and a list of people to please, and I will devote every last nanosecond of free time I have . . . to / for others.  For myself?  Eh, not so much.  I recently committed to getting my nails manicured consistently, and though I have stuck to this regimen and have begun to enjoy nicely painted nails, I am constantly fighting the urge to flee from this routine.  It has been a month and a half, which means I have gone three times.  I always find an excuse not to follow through for myself: time, money, scheduling, etc.  It’s only a matter of time.

I have naturally curly hair.  It has been surprisingly difficult to find someone who can cut curly hair well.  After a run on terrible hair experiences, and I do mean abhorrent, I finally found a woman who can cut my tangled mass of coiled tresses like a badass.  In my imaginative fantasyland, I ideally sport long and flowing mermaid length hair, resting luxuriously atop my shoulders and cascading beautifully down my back.  The harsh reality is, this look just does not work for me.  As lovingly stated by my Mum, “It’s not your hair that’s the problem.  It’s your face.”  That, my virtual friends, was one of those phrases that just “did not come out right,” but I knew full well what she meant.  Long hair does not suit me, mainly due to the shape of my face, which I don’t even know how to describe.  I find that long hair, even shoulder length, makes me look tired, borderline haggard.  So, I have accepted a chin length, asymmetrical cut as my trademark hairstyle.  If I do say so myself, it is pretty adorable, and I just look . . . like Amy.  With that being said, as much as I am thrilled to have an undeviating hairstyle and a favorable haircut, it may be time for me to break up with my salon artist.

Over the course of two or three years, I have fought against my unwillingness to spend my money and time on myself, and I have gotten a trim and touch up approximately every eight weeks.  However, I find myself growing ever more uncomfortable with my hairdresser.  I do not doubt that she is a delight amongst her family and friends, but I find that I tend to leave her shop feeling worse about myself instead of better.  I also suspect that perhaps she is slightly vindictive.

About the latter . . . 

Here’s a recap of my September – November 2016:

  • Faint
  • Fall into the shower
  • Hit my head
  • OUCH
  • Concussion
  • Months of recovery
  • To this day, problems with memory

I am one of the quite fortunate and lucky ones who has faced a head injury head on (see what I did there, huh, huh, huh?) and returned to normal (OKay, so MY version of normalcy) relatively expediently and to about 98% – 99%.  However, over a year later, I still have some difficulty with my memory and the occasional bout of brain fog.  When my injury was raw and I was not permitted to drive, work, or even run, I missed a haircut appointment.  I completely forgot about it.  (Mind you, I never received a courtesy reminder call – more on this later.).  So, the following are reasons I assume she is vindictive:

  1. She rescheduled me for a bright and early Saturday morning, which was the very next day.  When I arrived for my new appointment, she told me that she was booked, that my appointment was for another day.  I had gotten up at 0600 to be there on time, merely to be turned away, and since that was indeed my appointment, I had to yet again reschedule.
  2. For another appointment, I was penciled in for a color, and she sent me on my way after the cut.  Mind you, most people would have spoken up, but that’s already not in my nature . . . and I’m typically willing to get out of there ASAP.
  3. My trim has seemingly, and without warning, skyrocketed in cost from approximately $20.00 to $35.00.
  4. Let us not forget the time that her sister, employed as the shop manager and personal assistant to the beautician, called me to indicate I had missed “ANOTHER!!” appointment, when it was the beautician herself who had requested to reschedule due to a scheduling conflict.  I could hear her spouting off in the background, and it wasn’t what I would consider professional or kind, even though this blunder was definitely her error.

Here’s the “more on this later” from above. . . So, it is unreasonable to call me the day before to remind me of an appointment, but it is perfectly acceptable to call and harass me at what is perceived to be my faux pas?

Needless to say, after months (over a year’s worth of months, in fact) of what can be described only as passive aggressive behavior, I was already prepared to make last night’s appointment my final visit.

About the former . . . 

Why / how does my hairdresser make me feel uncomfortable?

  1. Being aware of the fact that I am a runner and have lost weight due to my running, she has referred to me as a “bigger girl,” and has even gone on to say that being a bigger girl is OKay because I have a heart of gold.  Before I lost weight, yeah, I could afford to lose a few pounds, but she didn’t even know me then.  Why would she even feel the need to discuss my size with me or with anyone else for that matter?
  2. She shares stories that are far too personal.  We are not friends.  I do not need to, nor do I want to, know the inner workings, or lack thereof, of previous marriages, current relationships, and perhaps, future rendezvous.
  3. Last night, she told another woman, a perfect stranger to me, that my Mum and Dad “spoil [me] BAD.”  What is this tidbit based on?  Am I an only child?  Yes.  Am I spoiled?  In some regards, absolutely.  However, that is not her business nor is it the business of strangers.  FYI, I just so happen to work my ass off, and I have worked for and fairly earned everything I have accomplished, own, etc.
  4. She regularly finds a way to ding my self esteem. It could be a simple inquiry: “Have you gained weight?”  (Even if I had, have, or do . . . why ask?).  The ding can also come in the form of a statement, “You have grey hairs.”  (Perhaps they are a result of the mere stress of looking ahead to my hair appointments . . . ).

My beautician cuts hair like a badass, but her personality suckity sucks. 

Last night, I politely declined to book a future appointment.  The woman who colored my hair before my NYC trip was delightful, and I would like to sample her cutting skills.  If she too is a badass with unruly curls, I may have found myself a new go-to.

Backstory: I sought another colorist because the woman I’ve been blogging about made it fairly obvious that she did not want to lay lavender highlights in my hair.  However, she had the gaul to portray herself as hurt and offended when my hair was indisputably recently colored but another.  In hindsight, perhaps it was my recent stint with another’s chroma that triggered the comment about the importance of highlighting my hair due to the greys I have sprouting.  Now I don’t know whether this example more appropriately belongs in the vindictive section or should remain in the why I’m uncomfortable segment.  But I digress . . .

So, what is the point of this wordy diatribe triggered by follicle folly?  I wish I could say / write that the point is to assert that I am unaffected by others’ perception(s), but it’s not.  The point is to express that yes, I am indeed insulted, and yes, her words have stung me on multiple occasions, but it remains well within my power to control just how much damage she can cause my self-esteem and psyche.  I have shared my displeasure as a means of letting it go.  Afterall, who exactly is she to me?  She is nobody.  She’s merely a woman who provides a service.  I am not obligated to continue to see her, she is not connected to me via bloodline or hanging from the same branch on a family tree, she is merely a blip on the roadmap of my life.  It was several years ago that I began to eliminate blips that had the potential to become potholes along the road to my own happiness.

In summary, I am done shelling out $40.00+ for snide remarks, rude commentary, and unprofessionalism.  So, I have a few grey hairs.  I can guarantee, despite the belief that I am spoiled rotten, that I have earned every one of those greys fair and square.

P.S.  If you benefit in no way from this smörgåsbord of verbiage, I hope there is at least one takeaway: be kind – to others and to yourself.

 

Comparison Is The Thief Of Joy

Whether I know you in person or not, I am proud of you, even if only for trying.  I concentrate on being supportive, motivating, and encouraging to others, as well as genuinely happy for others’ accomplishments.  I was once so very guilty of comparing myself with others, and I strive today to not do so.  This is not to suggest that I never engage in this comparative behavior, because I do, and that is clear in many of my other written ramblings, but it is something that I continually work to correct in myself.  Comparison is a damaging habit, not only to your own well-being, but it can also potentially leave a ding in the contentment of the other individual (the victim of your analogy).  Until recently, just yesterday in fact, I was unaware that I was the object of comparison; when this tidbit came to light, it irked me, and here is why . . .

(Were you on the edge of your seat with wonder, distressed that I was not going to provide further explanation?)

Yesterday, a woman with whom I work, I will call her C, had just returned from a walk outside at about the same time that I was making my way back to my office from my Monday gym session.  (Word on the street is, you should never skip a Monday.  Challenge accepted; I ran 7 miles.  BOOM!).  C happily reported that she was already at her 10,000 steps for the day, and Leola stated that she (C) and Miss Amy are putting her (Leola) to shame (I’m “Miss Amy,” btw).  C proceeded to state that I likely get 20,000 steps a day, and Leola reiterated that we are working on two different journeys and reminded her that I am training for a half marathon.  C then indicated that it is easy for me because I am 20 years younger than she is, and that is what annoyed me.

Why undermine my drive, my hard work, and my commitment?  On days that I get 20,000 steps, it’s because I push myself and then I push myself harder and then I push myself just a little bit more.  Do not diminish another’s progress in order to build yourself up.  If you are unhappy with 10,000 steps, then push yourself to take more steps.  If you feel unfulfilled with your work in the day, then do more work.  I may be 20 years younger than C, but there was once a day when running 7 miles seemed like merely a pipe dream.  Several years ago, I was still 20 years younger than C, and running even .25 miles nonstop was an immense accomplishment.  Although I was left feeling unfulfilled with that .25 after a while, I did not compare myself with someone who could run longer, nor did I encapsulate their abilities: he’s younger than I am, she has more time than I do, he has a more natural athletic ability, and so on and so forth.  The excuses for not performing as well as somebody else are endless, but it should not matter how you perform compared with another.  There is a lot of truth to the quip, “Compete with yourself, not with others.”

So, since 2015-ish, I have been counting calories, going to the gym, running, running, running, and running some more, drinking more water, working on my food related choices and behaviors, pushing myself . . . In other words, I work damn hard, so. damn. hard.  So, I do not take kindly to my weight loss or my step count being credited to my age.  I can only assume that C is not happy with where she is at, but that did not give her an appropriate cause to minimize me, more specifically, where I am at in my own journey.  For the record, there is an 80-ish year old man (that is 50+ years older than I am) who absolutely smokes me every year at the Safe Voices 5K.  So, you see, C, MY age has little to do with YOUR performance.

I am well aware that soul searching is burdensome and that it is painful to be truthful, particularly when we feel that we are falling short and have to admit to ourselves that yeah, this one is on me.  I sat on this encounter all of yesterday afternoon and evening before writing it up this morning; I thought it of the utmost importance to analyze why this bothered me so.  Why am I so sensitive to this remark?  Am I justified in my feels?  What I’ve concluded is that . . . I am justified to feel any sort of way that I want to about it.  My feelings are my own, and they are valid whether someone else “gets” them or not.  However, I usually do make sure that my perspectives aren’t fueled by hanger, and in this case, they most definitely were not.  I was (am) sensitive to her remark for exactly the reasons that I outlined: I work hard, and I did not appreciate my hard work being surmised that it is easy because I am 33.

So, I urge one and all to just . . . STOP.  Stop comparing yourself with others for any reason . . . whether it’s a number on the scale, a distance you’ve run, the size of your residence, the make and model of your car, your marital status, your parental status, the brand of your clothes, your level of education . . . just STOP.  Instead, engage in self-reflection, and keep it just that: SELF-reflection.  When I began to self-reflect as a means to counteract my nature to compare, compare, compare, I learned several key points, and here they are . . .

(Were you on the edge of your seat thinking that I was not going to share them with you?)

  • Comparison is the thief of joy.
  • I am exactly where I am meant to be, and I have two options while I am here:
    • a) be happy where I am while I work on bettering my situation and / or myself
    • b) be miserable.  *The latter will assist me in the accomplishment of . . . being miserable.
  • Sometimes, someone else just wants it more.
  • A lot of work remains ahead of me.
    • Although I fully understand that when I compare myself with others, I am allowing my joy to be thieved, I have yet to learn how to keep others from pirating my joy.

 

*Note(s):

  • I referred to C as such because her first name begins with a C; this letter selection was not to imply derogatory name calling.
  • Most days, I do not achieve 20,000 steps.  So, C’s comparison is based solely on her own assumption.
  • Larceny is a Part 1 crime.

But Am I For Really Real?

A fleeting thought as I sit at my desk . . .

If I update my blog while I’m working, am I technically being paid to blog?  If so, does this make me a “real” blogger?

I have the tendency to downplay every. single. thing. I do or am involved in, whether it’s professionally, athletically, or even pertaining to my hobbies.  I delineate a “real” blogger as an individual who is either paid to write or has a large following.  I consider and describe myself as an amateur blogger, which is accurate because:

noun

  1. a person who engages in a pursuit [ . . . ] on an unpaid basis.

adjective

  1. engaging or engaged in without payment; nonprofessional.

 

However, does being a dilettante in a given element make the dabbler or their participation any less “real” in comparison with those who have garnered more experience?

When I am recognized for working at the police department, I am often asked if I’m an officer, and my response is typically, “I’m just a crime analyst.”  When I have spoken fondly of a colleague who is a fellow long distance runner, I have, on more than one occasion, stated, “But Sandy’s a real runner.”

I have a habit of devaluing myself; it is a behavior that I regularly exhibit, but I have recently begun to notice just how prominent this trait is.  During an afternoon stroll with Leola, a co-worker who I have befriended over the years, I discussed with her exactly what I have drafted above.  “That’s a character flaw.  You don’t have many, but that’s one of them.  You can quote me in your blog.”

So, today marks the day that I attempt to alter the impression of myself I have left on . . . ME.  I’m a real blogger.  I’m a real runner.  I’m not just anything.  I’m real because I’m present, I’m trying, I’m doing.

download

 

Soul searching is onerous.

Incentive Inception

::sigh::

I’ve recently begun to backslide, and as a result, I have come to the conclusion that I need to evaluate my prior successes.  What was I doing right previously, and how have I strayed?  By honing in one why and how I was successful two years ago, I will likely begin to see many more successes emerge in the present and the future.

One past behavior that I was so proud of myself for overcoming was my scale / number obsession.  Well, the compulsion to weigh myself once, twice, and sometimes, three times daily has returned.  I’ve been battling this numbers fixation for a month or more now, and it has got to stop.  Logically and rationally, I know that this behavior is completely and utterly counterproductive.  I am also aware that by being so focused on a number, especially if it’s one that I am not accepting of, I’m inhibiting myself in various other ways.

Two years ago, when I lost the bulk of my overall weight loss and saw the most significant changes in my body, I was consistently working out with my childhood bestie.  Since she loathes cardio, we spent our time doing a plethora of body weight exercises.  When she ceased coming over due to a change in job, marital status, and residential area, I altogether discontinued that workout / routine.  I know that my gains in muscle were making an impact on my weight loss.  I am also aware that it’s tremendously important to be well-rounded, and I’ve lost that aspect of my gymming persona.

Now that I’ve pinpointed what’s different between then and now, what is my plan?  Incentives!  I’ve been attempting to reel myself in, in regards to incessantly stepping on the scale, for over a month now, but when I am held to only my own accountability, it’s fail after fail after fail.  So, to start, if I stay off of my scale for two weeks from today (until July 11th), I will be the recipient of an incentive.  I think incentivizing myself will assist me with re-focusing on and re-engaging in favorable behaviors I have abandoned.

. . . TODAY IS A NEW DAY, and I’ve got this!


. . . TODAY IS ALSO A NEW DAY, and I’ve still got this!

I just wanted to provide a brief follow up regarding yesterday’s post because this morning, I realized just how ingrained our habits are, whether they be good ones or bad.

This morning (06/28) in my bathroom, before my shower, I automatically went to the scale.  My route to the scale, from my bed, was quite obviously programmed in my body and mind’s GPS, and I was locked in on autopilot.  Luckily, I was able to break free from the trance, and I did not step on!

Last night, even though it was after 1900hrs, and I had already run 5 miles, I started a 30 day booty challenge.  It’s on my Day Zero Project / goal list to complete a 30 day challenge, and I think this is just what I needed to introduce body weight exercises back into my routine.

I must admit that I am pleased with myself for seriously implementing a plan to improve upon where I’ve determined that I’m currently lacking.  So many times before, I’ve had little to no follow through on my intentions.  Now, consistency is the key!

 

 

 

Ocular Ode

There are days that I yearn to write; I crave the process, yet I’m seemingly uninspired.  I took a moment to Google search journal prompts, and I stumbled upon 52 Weeks of Self-Discovery Prompts  for Your Bullet Journal.  Granted, this isn’t my bullet journal (yet another task I’ve been meaning to start / try), but perhaps relying on a prompt will satisfy my desire to write.  Self-discovery is not a bad path to meander along sporadically.

What is your favorite physical characteristic (face or body)?  Describe a time you felt proud of that feature.

As mentioned in a previous post entitled I LOVE ME: Mission #1, my eyes are my favorite physical characteristic, at least facially.  Body wise, I think my answer could be my legs.  But I digress . . .

At the ripe ol’ age of 12ish, maybe 13 . . . You know, those middle school years and that age when one learns and experiences that other children are mean . . . I was taunted incessantly for having such large eyes.  I do believe (and by “I do believe,” I mean, I totally know and remember) being called “Bug Eyes.”  Even at that age, I was well aware that my eyes were a focal point of my appearance, but I do not remember in what capacity other than being deemed the eyes of bug.

They’re my eyes; they’re blue and they’re allegedly big, but they’re all I’ve ever known so I do not see them as being particularly large.  <~~~ This was my perception and thought process then, and I maintain it to this day, to some degree.  Hindsight is oftentimes 20 /20, as they say, and yeah, they’re of considerable size, but I’m not twinning with a tarsier!  Tarsiers are adorable, btw.

tarsier

*Image obtained from: animals-zone.com

In 1999, my Gramps passed.  He and I were close, and I will forever mourn his death when there are milestones in my life that he is not present for; I think he’d be proud of me.  And no, I am not going off on an entirely unrelated tangent – I always loop it around, just wait for it.  When my Gramps died, I was crushed, and I handled my grief as many angsty pre-teens and teenagers do – I became aloof and introspective.  I don’t remember crying because ultimately, I wanted to be strong for my Mum.  However, it was at my Gramps’s funeral that the damn dam broke, and I let many a tear fall.  The trigger?  In looking at Grampy’s picture, I realized and said to my cousin sitting beside me, “I have his eyes.”  It was at that singular moment that I knew that my eyes are special, and I chose to not only embrace my eyes but to love them, even when others teased and taunted.  After all, there was not, is not, and nor has there ever been anything amiss regarding my peepers.

Not only do I love my eyes, I think that they are pretty, and I feel OKay in admitting so.  I think that self-love has been too closely associated with vanity, and as a result of such, I find myself afraid to admit that I find an aspect of myself as beautiful.  I doubt I am alone in this idea.  Self-love defined:

“regard for one’s own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).”

So, a moment that I felt particularly proud of my eyes . . .

In 2014, my eyes were tattooed on a man’s leg.  I have never met this man, and he lives approximately 3,087 miles from Maine, in London, England.  So, how did my eyes end up on a complete stranger’s limb?  Via my old and now abandoned Instagram account, I followed a London tattoo artist.  In the past, I had commissioned a drawing, done by this artist, as a gift to a (now former) friend and colleague.  Many months later, I was advised that he had a customer who had requested a tattoo of eyes, and he used one of my photos to fulfill said customer’s request.

tatt

There is absolutely no doubt that those are my eyes in this tattoo.  Though I don’t often reminisce about the stranger permanently marked with my oculars, when I do think about it, I feel remarkably flattered and momentarily brim with confidence.

LETR 2.0

Despite how many runs I go for or how many races and events I add to that notch on my belt, I may always battle anxiety, jitters, and self-doubt the day prior to an event.  The day before an event is when the Anti-Amy makes an appearance, and AA is currently in mode: full-bore with ill-intentions to wreak absolute havoc in my self-confidence.

Tomorrow is the 2018 Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), and I am as ready as I possibly can be, yet I am still riddled with self-doubt about my potential performance.  June 2017 was my first LETR, and I did not do as well as I would have liked to, and though I was not alone in that, I have carried the disappointment with me for a year now.

I have a list of reasons I did not do well, and though they have been sufficient for the last year, now that it’s the day before another LETR, I’m wondering if these are solid reasons, or have I been making excuses?

  • Last year’s LETR was on a freakishly hot day, with equally as freakish humidity; I do not cope well with heat and humidity on any level, let alone of aberrant proportions.
  • I did not carry water with me, and there are no water pit stops along the way, but the evidence van (which I have dubbed “the struggle bus”) that escorts runners is loaded with water; I chose not to drink it, however, because it’s kept very cold, and cold water, while immersed in heavy activity, gives me intolerable stomach pains.
  • I did not have my iPod with me.  Though this is seemingly so very minor in the grand scheme of things, the BPMs included in my workout playlist help me with finding a comfortable pace.  Finally, and almost certainly, listening to music must be significantly better than listening to all of my thoughts of, “I can’t do this,” “quit,” or “this sucks.”
  • I succumbed to Anti-Amy, and therefore, my self-doubt and negative thinking overshadowed and eventually overtook the version of myself that is typically dripping with positivity and affirmations.

So, in order to counteract last year’s follies, I have used the afore outlined reasons (or excuses) to devise a plan for a successful LETR 2.0, my second attempt at the Torch Run.  I have a bottle of perfectly room temperature water, in my office, just waiting to quench my thirst.  I have upgraded to AirPods, and I have groomed and perfected my running playlist.  I will not be without water or music.  The weather is entirely out of my control, but I’ve been checking up on it, and as of right now, it’s looking to be about 65 degrees Fahrenheit with a side of cloudy.

Finally, and probably what needs the most work: how to stuff Anti-Amy back down into the recesses of my brain.  AA made a brief appearance this past weekend, as I was at the midway point (1.5 miles in) during the Safe Voices 5K, a fundraiser event for victims of domestic violence.  However, amidst all of my self-deprecating thoughts, I still found a small opening for Amy to glimmer through.  AA was hard on me because I had not run for 9 consecutive days prior to the 5K, and I left the gate already discouraged, thinking I would not improve on my 5K time from my first race of the year (Dash for Dogs, April 29th).  Luckily, Amy stood her ground when faced with Anti-Amy and finished the 5K with a time improved by 1 minute and 15 seconds.  It was again a freakishly hot and humid day, for June in Maine, but I survived the heat though I was quite uncomfortable, to say the least.  So, I CAN do it.

Granted, the distance of our leg of the Torch Run is about six miles, double that of a 5K, but I’m going to keep it simple and focus on putting one foot in front of the other.  If I have to climb into the struggle bus again this year, then so be it.  My goal for this year is simply to do better than I did last year.  Perhaps there truly are a plethora of reasons as to why I didn’t perform well last year, or maybe there is only one: I just didn’t have the will.  If the latter is the truth, I have plenty of will this year.  Underlying it all, the Law Enforcement Torch Run is for a good cause, and you can read about the LETR Maine here.

Wish me luck!