a month of more being thankful: september

I'm pretty sure I've been doing monthly recap/goals posts for as long as this blog has been running.  I'm not sure there's ever been a time where I can recall a single goal I set at the start of the month.  Checking in...

September Goals
Start setting the alarm again instead of assuming you will wake up when the poet does.  A very unfortunate check...sleep has not gone well this month.
Get a haircut.  A real one, from the nice ladies in the very high heels. Check!
Make pupcakes for the birthday of Molly and Sofie. I'm a failure as a puppy mama.  But we have a lot of celebrating to do.
Don't get swallowed up by training.  Balance is good.  Beer is good.  Instead I got swallowed up by stress.
Keep working on that nutrition cabinet until it is gone.  Emptied as of yesterday!  Time to refill.
Actually investigate master's swim instead of just talking about doing it.  Nope.  I need to do this!
Do the buy-a-WTF-vegetable-and-figure-out-how-to-cook it thing again.  Nope, although we did buy and eat quite a bit of produce this month.

So, I was successful on about 60% of what I intended to do this month, which is pretty much what my life as a whole feels like right now.

I started off the month on a high note with a big fat PR at Cedar Point and with that, accomplished every single thing I didn't realize I had set out to do this season.  But if I had written down in January what I would have liked to do this year, it would have included a great day at IMCdA (yup, STILL talking about it), placing a few times in my killer age group and a 70.3 PR that included breaking six hours.  It might have included a half marathon PR, but it also might not have, and I'm far more satisfied with the focus on triathlon this year than I would have been on running.  And now that I feel fat and happy with my season, my only goal for the next couple of races is to have a real good time, because like the man says, stick a fork in me, I'm done.

Post-CP, I pissed off a muscle in my back so not a lot of quality swimming has gone on this month.  I think I need a few things to knock me out of my little slump of a plateau, and none of them are going to happen in the month of October.  Cycling was up-and-down, with a couple of good solid rides but also a pretty serious bonk and one long one that I skipped entirely in favor of de-stressing and trying to figure out how to get my life back.  I can't complain about running at all this month, other than to poke a bit more fun at my super collapsed end-of-the-5K form one more time.  I've had a couple of great long runs and other than giving myself shin splints by running in old shoes about 200 miles longer than recommended, I feel pretty solid.  

Life outside of triathlon training has been the roller-coaster going down, unfortunately.  I'm not adjusting as well as I would like to some changes in my life, and I feel like some more changes are in store before we really settle down for the winter.  I'm not sure what the next few weeks and months are going to bring us, but as we head into October, I am determined to remember the words to the song that has been playing in my brain for a while now: what do I stand for?

October, just like every year, is my favorite month.  It's the time when the leaves turn and the hoodies come out and the air conditioning goes off until next summer.  It's my favorite month to run in, and once I buy some knee warmers I'll be a lot happier on the bike.  It's going to bring end-of-season races for both the poet and I, as he tackles the marathon for the third time and I head out for one last shot at 70.3 miles before stapling my bike to the trainer for the really cold months.  

We'll also celebrate Graham's third year on earth along with my birthday and the poet's, and even thinking about this makes me so emotional that I almost can't talk about it.  I bumped into a stranger last week, and as we stood chatting playing the why-do-I-reconize-your-face game, he realized that he was friends with a friend that shared our struggles with Graham.  And as he stood there telling me that he was "sorry" for only sending $10 towards my family, I started to cry.  (SO AWKWARD).  Because I haven't forgotten, I will probably bring it up every once in a while for the rest of my life, we, the poet and I, will never forget.  And I'm happy to share with you that we were able to scratch together enough money this month to finally pay off the remainder of Graham's debt, and to start doing what I promised - paying it forward.
Obviously I'm spoiling the surprise to say that next month we'll do it in honor of Liz, who was the other half of the braintrust that saved us, and every month after that we'll do it in honor of one of you.  Because this did more than save Graham's life.  Going through everything I've been through this summer has changed my life in some fundamental ways.  I've learned so many lessons about myself and about the world, and while I would still rather Graham never decided that underwear was a tasty five-surgeries-required snack, it's the value I've been able to pull from this whole experience.  I know that maybe you'd prefer I just stick to complaining about running all the time, but that's not what this tiny little corner of my internet is about.  When I started this blog years ago, it was with the tagline, "running, friends and being thankful."  I had no idea how true those words would be.
Miles run: 65.72
Miles run in old shoes: 60
New pumpkins added to my awesome patch: 4
Rides that were a total disaster: 1
Rides with a good friend that kicked ass: 2
Rides where I was thrilled to be riding my bike: all BUT 1
Cupcakes eaten: not nearly as many as October will bring
Times I have looked at the 5K finishing shot and groaned: dozens
Times I have been interested in running another 5K anytime soon: 0

October Goals
Big changes.  DON'T BE SCARED.
Do not overeat at the first stop on the cupcake tour.  PACING!!
At least one PR (spoiler, attempting a new distance).
Keep doing the "let's mash our workouts together and sort of capture the general spirit of the training session" rides with your girlfriends.  So much more important than nailing intervals.
Do not die in trapeze class (hope Sonja isn't reading this one).
The new vegetable thing.  Or at least don't go two days without eating something green again because you are too lazy/stressed/exhausted to go to the grocery store.

How was your September?  Any huge PRs?  What are your goals for October (other than to buy me the perfect birthday present, OF COURSE)?


  1. I can't believe Graham will only be 3!! Happy (early) Birthday to all 3 of you.
    My goals for this month: take my pups to the dog park.. Nova has never been but she gets her stitches from her spay out today. Pace my mom for a 15k race. Run a 10k trail race and then take the pups to the vineyard after. Spectate MCM.

  2. Graham is only three?? But he was full grown when I met him, and that was ... oh. Have we really only known each other 2+ years? It feels like much longer!

  3. Happy birthdays all around! Use fear of change as a motivator for tackling it head on. It's scary, but terrific once it's over.

  4. Things to add to your October goal list that you'll be able to easily cross of:
    - dance with two redheads
    - jump on hotel room beds
    - go for a run in Michigan


  5. Sounds like you had a really good month! I'm curious to see how my september went. I know I got one PR (new distance) and only missed a new 5k pr by 5 seconds on saturday. so close!

  6. Maybe you need to remember our email exchange about 5Ks to change this to a 1:

    Times I have been interested in running another 5K anytime soon: 0

    HA HA HA!

  7. Hey - 60% is better than 0% - especially when you said you were stressed. Part of being healthy is knowing when to soultrain instead of train-train. Whoo! Whoo! Although I do like Train.

    I ended up PRing my 10k by just over a minute this past Saturday - which I should be happy with. Should. Behappy. Andletitgo. Except that I really should have done better than I did. There I said it! *whew* I hate it when I'm holding in the beating myself up over not beating myself up when I should be beating myself up. So hard. So like a giant burp after a water stop.

  8. FALL. Finally! Enjoy your month of racing and PRing and partying. :) And try to extend the cupcake tour past November 10 so I can hit the last few stops.

  9. Hell yeah September with the PR's!!! :) I can't wait to see your face NEXT WEEK!!!!

  10. And BOOM goes the PR!

    I hear you on the stress. My eye just started twitching again.

    Happy early Birthday to everyone!!!

    Amy and Liz rock!

    Trapeze class?

  11. Pacing cupcakes! That sounds very hard.

  12. October is the best birth month. Both my boys are October babies.

    If you ever want to go for a nice slow run, you know where to find me...

  13. Happy Birthday and Celebration to your family! I'm happy for you all - I love the sentimental soft side of Katie - you made me weepy :)

    I always mean to say this with your monthly goal posts - it impresses me that you set these goals each month. It inspires me to think about doing that as well. Maybe it would help me get a handle on all the loose dangling ends in my life...

  14. Happy Celebrations!

    I can never remember any of my monthly goals either and fly by the seat of my pants most of the time. Achieving 1% of them is better then none. 60% is passing...at least in my school it was...thank god because that is how I finished undergrad...getting a 60 in human anatomy. UM anyways.

  15. I want to try this pick out a mysterious veggie and cook it thing! I second Maria's comments about your goal posts. Very cool! I'm afraid to start doing this myself though since it will most likely stress me out trying to achieve them all!

  16. October is Birthday month in our family too! Lots of celebrating to do.


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