Sunday, October 6, 2013


Right now, I should be writing an entry telling you about how I did at the Wilson Bridge Half Marathon this morning.

Instead, I'm sitting on my couch watching the Cards/Pirates game (earning serious brownie points) after a marathon session of purging clothes and shoes from every closet, dresser, and plastic bin in this house.

Yes, for the second year in a row, I was unable to participate in the Wilson Bridge Half due to reasons beyond my control. Last year, it was the incident-that-shall-not-be-named. This year, it was because of the collection of fools that occupy the US Capitol and spent their time squabbling like children instead of running this country.

Because most of the WBH is run on National Park land including Mt. Vernon and the George Washington Parkway, the race had to be postponed. Big kudos to the race organizers, who were transparent and provided clear updates about the situation almost every day. They made the call on Thursday, giving runners plenty of time to cancel travel plans and even try to fill the weekend with an alternative half. We were all given the option of either running the race on the rescheduled date of November 10 or deferring to 2014.

I chose to defer to 2014, as November 10 is just 6 days before the big dance.

Am I disappointed that I didn't get to race this morning? Yes and no. I am bummed about it because I was looking forward to doing this race with Shannon. I'm also pretty sure that I could have absolutely crushed my half PR. Given my horrible experience at the Divas Half, I wanted to redeem myself.

However, I was also kind of relieved. This has been an insanely busy couple of weeks with no "free" weekends, and we have a packed October as it is. Not having to get in my car and drive up to DC was just fine with me. It also helped because Husband is a federal employee and is currently, for all intense purposes, out of work thanks to the shutdown. Out of work means no paycheck. No paycheck means that the $100 or so that I saved in hotel, gas, and food is good for us right now.

Postponement of the race also meant that I got to run with Navy on Saturday. My team members have become such a big part of my life that when I don't get to see them on a weekend, I get sad.

My journey into the sport of running has taught me many things and changed me immensely. I think that one of the most profound differences in the Before and After Running Kathryn is that I have learned that sometimes, you just have to give up control. Kathryn of yore was a control freak to the nth degree. Why do you think I am such a Planny McPlanerston? I used to get completely bent out of shape when an event - any event - didn't go exactly as I had constructed it in my head.

The thing about running is that no matter what you do and how well you've planned something, there are any number of things that are out of your control that can impact your run or race: weather, traffic, unexpected bad stomach, charlie horses, stomach issues, falls, broken bones... the list goes on and on.

Over this summer, I've learned that the only way to mentally survive marathon training is to let go of the things that you can't control. If I had spent every day obsessing over Saturday morning's weather forecast, I would have gone insane. I could have completely freaked out when Marcey and I were stuck in traffic trying to get to the Divas race. When I fell at the first training team run, I could have sat down on the sidewalk and cried about it. Instead, I just got up and kept going.

This has helped me learn how to dial down Kathryn the Control Freak in every day life. Back in February, when the sequestration was happening, I posted a very dark entry about how there is nothing worse than knowing that you have no control over your life. I was really, truly freaking out about the sequester and its impact on our lives.

As October 1 approached and the shut down became inevitable, the old me would have been losing it. But the new Kathryn has been rather ambivalent to the situation. Yes, we have planned what we will do to make up for the lost pay and adjusted our household budget accordingly. But I am not allowing myself to get overly upset or anxious (yet). There is nothing I can do to change what is going on in Washington, and it is just silly for me to grind my teeth and lose sleep over it.

So yes, I'm sad that I didn't get to run the WBH. But it's ok. Life will go on.

... but I think I still will freak out if it rains on marathon day.


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