Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happiness Is a Choice

One year ago I lost my best friend. I honestly never thought I would be have to experience such loss this young. Tragedy is all around us but we never think it will affect us. It's always somebody else's problem. When my dad passed away so unexpectedly I didn't know how to act around anybody. I felt like a charity case. In this past year the most important thing I have learned is that happiness is always a choice. Of course I'm sad. Not a day goes by that I don't think about my dad and how much I miss him. I have got up and walked out in the middle of class because something reminded me of him and I didn't want to cry in front of everyone. Losing a parent is really freaking hard no matter how old you are, and some days are harder than others.

I was lucky in that I was able to go back to school and have a constant distraction. I had to find a way to get around my sadness so I didn't fail my classes. I took time to be upset but then I had to get back to work because college is a lot of work. December to March of last year were by far the hardest four months of my life but they taught me something. The combination of losing my dad and then my boyfriend breaking up with me in March taught me that life is too short not to be happy. I had spent so much time being angry, being sad, trying to save my relationship that I forgot what being happy felt like. This might stir some people up but the past year has been one of the happiest of my entire life because I chose to make being happy a priority.

One year later, I feel peace. I know I will never "get over" this loss but I also know I have a whole life still ahead of me and quite frankly I don't want to miss any of it. I feel beyond grateful to have been so close with my dad and spent the first twenty-one years of my life with him by my side. There is nothing I can do to change the past so instead I am focusing on cherishing the time we did have together. I am working to ensure that I am surrounded by only the best of people who will stick by me no matter what. I am busting my ass in school to chase my dreams. I took the plunge and signed up for my first ironman. I don't want to look back on my life and have regrets.

So I am choosing happiness because I can.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


You guys, it's November. How did that happen? I swear it was August just yesterday. The weather has quickly changed from warm sunny days to brisk days with decreasing sunlight. We have been pretty lucky here in the Mid-Atlantic with relatively mild temps, making it somewhat easy to get outside for some miles. This past weekend was the first time that it really felt like fall, and honestly I'm pretty torn about it. In a non-training sense I love everything about fall from the leaves changing to the food to all the stereotypically cheesy activities.

For running, I think fall is pretty perfect. What I don't like is it being too cold to bike outside. Over the past year and a half I have fallen in love with cycling and hate to be stuck inside on the trainer. So fall has its ups and downs if you ask me. I do plan on investing in some cold-weather riding gear, but still, I would rather it be 75 degrees any time I'm on two wheels.

Sunday morning I woke up just in time to watch the NYC Marathon and it did not disappoint. Watching the race really reminded me how much I love racing and training and this crazy world of endurance racing. My next big race isn't until July so sometimes I find it hard to find the motivation to keep training. Watching my favorite race reminded me that regardless of your goals, you have to train because you love it. I went from wishing I could sleep in to excited to go run through the leaves.

I'm a big believer in listening to your body and your mind and not relying too heavily on data or training plans. Don't get me wrong, they certainly have their place in training. I think it's important to do those workouts you really don't want to do because they make you mentally strong. When training becomes no longer fun is when I start drifting from training plans. So for me, fall is about doing the things I love without regard to how it will affect my races.

With the cooler temps I have been transiting to more workouts indoors, like yoga and strength training. While I do truly love running outside during fall and even winter, sometimes I would just rather stay inside. I love having my off-season match up with the cooler temps so I don't have to stress about getting in any certain workouts.

How are you staying in-shape this fall?