Monday, January 5, 2015

The Holidays

Well. I think an update is long overdue, don't you?
This has been season. It's been wonderful, amazing, challenging, awful and depressing all at the same time.
December 8th marked the second anniversary of my miscarriage. Now, when the holidays roll around, I can't look forward to them with the same excitement I used to have. Sure, I have my amazing babies to celebrate with me now, but there's still a lot of what if's running around in my head at the same time. Starting in October, I realize that "This time, two years ago, I was pregnant." In November, it's "This time, two years ago, I was worried about my baby, but still pregnant and convinced that everything would be fine. It might be a difficult pregnancy, but everything has to be fine."  On my birthday, it's "This time, two years ago, I took the day off from work because I'd been having really bad morning sickness." Then, in early December, it's "This time, two years ago, I was bleeding, but I didn't know why. And I was scared." And finally, on December 8th, it's the worst day of my life again.
I've started dreading this time of year, because every day has little reminders like that. December 8th itself was easier this year, but the holiday concerts with my choir were hell. Christmas with my family was great. And terrible. It's impossible not to make comparisons with two years ago, when I couldn't face going to Christmas Eve services, and instead spent the whole time curled up in a ball on the couch. This year, I was able to share the holiday with two adorable toddlers. They were fascinated by the carols: Thing 2 thought the songs were all for her, and danced through most of the Christmas Eve service. They loved all the Christmas trees: Thing 1 wasn't happy unless he was able to touch the twinkly lights and ornaments. They gave lots of hugs, read lots of books and played with lots of toys.

Christmas Eve family photo

I'm starting to realize that October-December may not be a good time for me to run races. It seems like I've developed race anxiety--I don't know yet whether it's only because this time of year has so many negative things wrapped up with it, or whether it's racing in general. (I really hope it's the former.) I had a lot of trouble with the races Hubby and I ran at Thanksgiving, so much so that we didn't even try to make it to the race on the 29th. I still feel bad about not racing, but the logical (sane) part of me knows I wasn't healthy enough to run a half marathon then. I was so frustrated with the situation, that on November 30th (the day after my non-race), I ran 13.1 miles by myself. Because I can. And I did it faster than I've ever run a half marathon before. So there.

This year, I'm going to try to re-train my brain when it comes to running. I know I enjoy running. I miss it when I can't run, and there's something so satisfying about a good run. With Hubby's help, I'm going to run some 5k's early this year, and try to focus on having fun again. Somewhere along the line, my brain must have decided that races are stressful and scary, and that leads to race-day panic. Even though I have fun once the race starts, the time leading up to the start has become terrible. Without intending to, or knowing why, I get anxious to the point of throwing up and passing out. Hubby and I are going to work together to try to change that. I'd love to run a half marathon this year, but I don't know that it will happen. Realistically, this may be a slow process, but it's one I'd like to tackle. (In case you were wondering: I talked to my doctor about the problem, and she suggested therapy. I'm sure that's a viable option, but I'd like to try to get there on my own first.)

Since the New Year is a time for making resolutions, Hubby and I have both resolved to run 500 miles this year. I almost made it this year, but bad weather at the start and surgery at the end of the year made me come up a short. Once I get the all-clear from the doctor (hopefully tomorrow), I'm planning to get back on the road! I've got new shoes and some near gear to break in, and I can't wait to hit the ground running! (I'm so clever, aren't I?)

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