I've been in a pretty glum mood the past few days -- which I mostly blame on the weather. It's not like it's bitterly cold here, but I moved from Minnesota, with its six-month-long winters, to San Antonio, with its palm trees and cactus, precisely to avoid cold weather. So this string of cloudy skies, rain, and 40 degree temps is really starting to annoy me -- especially when I need to spend several hours outside running in it. The fact that it'll be back to the upper 70s by the weekend does little to make me feel better.
My training schedule called for 15 miles tonight, but running in the cold was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. Somehow -- after much procrastination (Maybe I'll just check Facebook one more time! Hmm. I better pack some almonds) -- I finally dragged my lazy butt out the door for my run.
About two miles in, I found myself smiling, singing along to my music, and actually enjoying the run. And then, in the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday, I started thinking about all I have to be thankful for. (It's amazing, those exercise-induced endorphins, isn't it?)
One year ago, when I moved here, I knew absolutely no one in the entire state. So today I'm thankful for all the wonderful friends I've met: Steph, who makes me a better person by forcing me to run up hills instead of walking; Ernest, who has helped me explore the state, especially its breweries; Michelle, who thoughtfully packs her delicious chicken salad to keep us all going during our long runs; Elizabeth, who patiently teaches me Spanish words and phrases; Emmett, who regales me with tales from the army and the oil fields; Fumi, who flies down steep, rocky hills like a gazelle; my wonderful co-workers; all the Rockhoppers and R.U.N.ners and Alamo Running Buddies -- the list goes on and on and makes me feel very blessed!
|Visiting SoCo cupcake truck with Steph|
|Horsing around with Asma|
Instead of forgetting about me since my move, my friends from Minnesota and from Notre Dame continue to include me and think of me (though perhaps not as much as I think of them -- I truly love and miss them all). :)
|Tailgating with ND friends|
If you had asked me one year ago if I'd ever run an ultramarathon, I would have said probably not. And if you had asked me about a 100-mile race, I would have said there's not a chance. That's the funny thing about our paths in life -- so often I have no idea what's around the bend. I feel so blessed to have "discovered" trail running and ultras in the past year. I've never been great at athletics, but here I seem to have found something that I really enjoy and that embraces my "slow and steady" pace. :)
|We always look so much happier before the race. :)|
|Fun times pre-race|
|Photo taken during CR 100 by my amazing pacer Travis|
In the past year, my parents have visited San Antonio twice, and I have traveled back to Minnesota to spend time with them twice. And, thanks to Google Hangout and Skype, I have gotten to "see" them and my brother on a weekly basis. I'm thankful for every minute we get to spend together.
|My brother and me in MN|
|At our favorite ice house in SA|
The list of things I'm thankful for could continue forever, but I'll stop here for now. It's fun to think about the mystery of the coming year . . . as this past year has shown, life is full of surprises. And thank goodness for that, because what actually happens in life is way better than anything I can imagine or plan myself.