Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Promise in Starting Fresh

I am back in DC after a nice 3 week stint in NY.  Although, not for long - I am heading to Chappaqua to visit some family over the long weekend.  But I'm getting ahead of myself!
This week is off to a good start for a few reasons.
School starts again at my university, which means I am officially a PhD candidate (was a PhD student until now)!  And I love the beginning of school - there is always such promise and potential in the beginning of the semester, and I love it.  It was a weird feeling though - since I am done with coursework of my own, I did not go into a classroom as a student this week for the first time since I was 5.  I am going in as a TA - 4th semester doing this, and for one of my professors who is great -- a class on Medieval Britain.  And we got off to a good start.
Yesterday also started my first cycle of training for my spring racing season!  I am going to be doing a bunch of 5ks and 10ks this semester, along with the RNR DC Half Marathon on St. Patrick's Day.  So, the training will be similar to what I did this fall, but we're looking to alternate running 4 days a week and 3 days cross training, with 5 days a week running and 2 days cross training, so slowly easing back into more running.  We haven't set my race schedule yet, but it'll be probably another month before my first race of 2012. My training is off to a good start.  On Monday, the first thing I did was a 2000 yard swim in 43:45 - pretty good for almost a month away from swimming.  I then went straight to the weight room for about 45 minutes - I am starting to up the weights that I use - hopefully this will make a difference!
And today I had a good run: the task was 20 minutes easy, 20 minutes moderate, 20 minutes harder, 20 minutes easy for a 10 mile run.  I haven't done any real speed work in about 6 weeks, so this was a good get-back-into-it workout.  The weather was perfect today (50 degrees and sunny - it snowed yesterday though!) and little wind.  Sometimes at the 20 minute mark, I have a hard time picking up the tempo, but I did a good job - averaged 7:26 pace for 5.4 miles in 40 minutes.  For the first go at speed for 2012, I am pleased.  Week 1 is off to a good start!
And today - 1/10 marks one year of going gluten free.  Now, there really should be an asterisk next to it - I have not been exactly perfect with my diet, and I also have learned through the past year about foods that are right for me and the foods and kinds of eating I need to watch out for.  I found my post from last year on this day.  I was optimistic and nervous at the same time.  A year has now gone by, with some progress, but also a lot of room for improvement.  I hope I can check back in a year and see more improvement.
But at the end of the day, I do like the idea of starting anew.  There is hope in the sense of another chance or getting another go at something.  We don't necessarily get a clean slate, but we certainly gain the opportunity to write (or re-write!) our own story.

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