Sunday, November 4, 2012

rolling with the punches

Last week I lost my mind momentarily and somehow registered for this race

It's been 8 years since my last Turkey Trot, which was this same race. I guess that I figured

"hell...since I'm here and I'm not really planning on racing much for the next year why not?".

When I registered my initial thought was that this would be a great race to try to place in. There are 7,000+ runners with a pretty deep field where I wouldn't be racing in a no mans land. Before I pulled the trigger on this race I was thinking that a top 3 female finish would be a definite possibility, than I did my research where the results historically show the top 3 women all sub 18.

Yea, that would be nice...
but 99% sure that isn't going to happen on 11/22.

In all reality I haven't really done much speed work since late August. All the workouts I have done have been kind of a meeeehhh quality where a sub 18 finish would be nothing short of a miracle in 18 days. Realistically I think I just need to go out there and just run what I can right now and let go of any time expectation appreciating the fact that I'm fit enough to toe the line of a 5k and run a semi-decent time while having fun.

Hopefully I'll be able to get in 5-6 workouts before the race, but with the way things are going lately I would say that most likely that won't happen because life seems to constantly have other plans for me.

It would be the understatement of the year to say that a lot has changed in the past 2 months since leaving the city for me. I left kicking and screaming for a reason, because I knew my life was about to do a complete 180 that I wasn't really sure I was quite ready for.

There would be no more afternoons relaxing along the lakefront.
No more Saturday night we are young adventures.
No more frolicking about through the Chicago streets immune to responsibility and structure.
No more blissful ignorance to the fact that I'm quickly approaching 30 and my biological alarm clock is ticking.

Adjusting to spending my Saturdays doing housework and scrubbing toilets where by 7:30 pm the neighborhood is a ghost town and there is literally not a single place to go in the evening that isn't flooded with punky teenagers has been odd. 

I miss the creamy rich lattes from independent kitchy coffee shops, I miss the laid back atmosphere 20-something hipsters create, and I have been desperately dreaming about being the lakefront.

But I've been rolling with the punches anyhow where the new adjustments my life has seen are slowly beginning to grow on me where I'm learning to let go of how things were and instead love how great things can be.

I've decided to give up personal training. 
In all honesty I never really liked being a PT anyhow. Being a personal trainer is less about creating training plans for individuals that leave them feeling challenged and encourage them to push themselves and more about constantly trying to hop over excuse hurdles than I care to deal with. There were days that I felt like a babysitter and would get overly frustrated when I would care more about a persons well being than they would, which was the red flag for me to start thinking about moving on. So I did.

My professional focus has shifted to becoming a better running coach and running guru.
Instead of trying to know a little bit about a lot of fitness areas, it has made more sense to me to focus solely on one area of fitness that I like, which is obviously running. Taking a part time job at a local running store seemed like the next logical progression for my career, and I'm glad that I made an impulse impromptu decision where I jumped on an unexpected and exciting opportunity. There is no better way to spend a day than surrounded by an interesting mix of runners that make you feel like you are completely normal in all your oddness.

Focused training is starting to seem less and less important.
Setting challenging goals and pouring myself into them has been a way of life for me the past few years. There were times when training trumped other things that it shouldn't have where my goals somehow became more important than they should have been. Gaining a bit of perspective about where my priorities lie these days, which is warmly humbling. Taking a step back from trying to be the best runner and instead trying to be the best well rounded person I can be right now has become much more important to me.

Yes, I've found myself on multiple occasions daily where I seem to be unintentionally planning for life's next step. This is very unlike me as I've shifted over to more of a go-with-flow kinda gal in recent years. Thinking about filling my house with children and the things that bring us warmth as a couple has taken over most of my thoughts that were once filled with splits and mileage. It's weird. Really weird.

It's been strange for me trying to figure out how this blog fits into my life these days. Some days it just feels silly to pour my heart out on here when I have a list a mile long of things that are still awaiting my attention. Not sure where the progression of this blog is to be heading yet, but it's been quietly on my mind when things have been silent here on Chicago Runner Girl. 

But if I've learned anything over the past few months, it's that sometimes you've just got to roll with the punches and see where life takes you.


  1. As for the focus of your blog, it would be awesome to read about your journey as a running coach. Or, at the very least, incorporating running with raising a family.

    Good luck with whatever life holds. Hopefully you find some fun places or people in the suburbs to hang out with. It might take much more digging than when you lived in the city, and be a slight change of pace, but I'm sure it's out there. If I was in your neck of the woods, I would volunteer to go exploring with you :)

  2. Britt, love to see the morphing going on. Doesn't matter what you write about, I enjoy all of it. Simple as that :)

  3. Ah, yes. I remember these similar changes when we moved to the burbs and left our city apartment. Lots of nesting and shifting and page turning...I have a feeling that this next chapter in your life is going to be amazing. Some big changes for you! Excited to see what all comes your way!

  4. Good for you!! Seriously. Rolling with the punches is not as easy as everyone makes it out to be, and life is meant to be a little bit out of control. If it wasn't it would be boring and we would all end up stuck in some crazy routine. It sounds like you're finally getting ahold of the things that are truly important to your happiness and figuring out when to be selfish and when to let go. I'm excited to see where you go as a coach and in life in general!

  5. Love your writing style and reading about your training and thoughts. I absolutely loved having you as my coach this year- you have a gift to inspire and genuinely want to see your clients succeed which makes a huge difference! I'm sure this next chapter of your life will be wonderful :)

  6. I left the city 5 years ago when V was 3 months old. I still miss the city, even when I was working there. Working downtown and commuting is completely different than living there.

    I am exciting to hear that you are thinking about the next steps in your family.

  7. Excited to hear what your future holds :)

  8. I can relate to your comment on personal training. I did personal training part-time, on top of my full time job, with big dreams of going full time. It truly is a very emotionally draining occupation. I was the type of trainer who was very passionate about my clients and invested a lot of time and energy into my clients. But as you said, when it gets to the point that you feel like you care about their health more than they do, it's just mentally and emotionally exhausting. I applaud all PTs who stick with it and pursue it as a career.

  9. Sometimes life takes you in unexpected directions. Sounds like a new chapter of your life is starting - I look forward to hearing all about it :)

  10. i always tell people i could never hack it as a PT because i HATE ur explanation there is spot on and i'm happy to hear u're honing ur niche down to the sport that REALLY matters. ;) love it, girl...who the heck knows wat may hold in ur next chapters, but knowing u it will be exciting. eeeven if that's exciting nesting. ;)

  11. It must be a hard change moving from the city to the burbs. Are you crazy far away from the city now? I sort of like living in the burbs, but we only live 25 minutes from Boston, and often drive into the city on the weekends with the kids (even if it's just for lunch and to walk around). Almost every weekend we take at least one day to have some sort of adventure (with the kids): going into Boston, visiting an art museum, going to a fair, apple picking, whatever seems interesting. I've also made a rule about weekend chores. It's a pain in rear, but house cleaning and food shopping get done during the week, leaving the weekend as a more relaxing time to have fun.

    It's fun (and stressful) shifting gears from not having kids to having kids. I actually found a new passion for running after the kids were born. I'm almost as fast as I was in college now and I have two kids (a 5 year old and a 2 year old)! I think having the blog is a nice way of sharing your thoughts and seeing that lots of other people have similar feelings.

    Good luck on turkey day! I'm running a 10K that day. :)

    1. we are about 40/45 miles from the city, which tends to be quite a hike with traffic. Sometimes it can take almost 2 hours to get down there depending on the time of day, so I haven't spent much time there since we moved. my husband actually works in the loop so he is down there 5 days a week but i work out here in the burbs, sometimes on the weekends too, so i don't get the opportunity to get down there much which is sad.

      i've heard from a lot of women that they actually have gotten faster since having children. wonder why that is?

  12. LOVE this post Britt!
    for the past 2-years I've been trying to check myself in check with a strict training-plan in order to get myself to the startling of a marathon as my "best" self...but I haven't. And I've always blamed life for getting in the way. Now that I'm older and wiser ;) I'm so thankful that I have my career & life getting the way way of running. It's made me such a more rounded person, and I can look back and be proud of the races I've done or not done (Chicago) because they all took place while I was trying to climb the stairs to my "life-goals"
    I know you're going to have a great 2013! It sounds like your on the cusp of true happiness and it may or may not involve running PR's, because you are so much more than a runner!
    I can't wait to cheer for you in all you do next year!!

    1. *Keep myself in check* ...damn auto-correct!
      I hope you're having a wonderful Friday!
      and I know you're going to do well in your upcoming 5k! don't think, just enjoy :)