Some things are the same, some are quite different.
This year has been a rough one. Looking back over it, I can see that I have not had my heart in my training as much, and especially not in my running. And yes, I've had a few extra "symptom" issues that led me to back off the extreme (most of which I have not blogged about). I have blogged about the stress. This has been a "hang on by my fingernails" year. Still managed to do a few key goal races, including the double half.
Last year, as I recall, there were several differences, and several similarities to doing a HM in November.
For one difference, last year's focus was on meeting SLENDERELLA61 for her first HM. It was a Spark Trip extraordinaire. This year, it's fulfilling a commitment to do my cousin's first HM with her. SLENDERELLA61 will be joining us and that will be a great reunion, but I'll be staying with my cousins, and pretty much focused on THEM, and I'm completely uncertain of how that's going to work out. Last time I stayed with this cousin (the mom of the one who's running) was in HER mom's home when I was what, 14? It's a family reunion. Emotionally quite different from a Spark Trip.
For a similarity: the goal was to get to the finish line uninjured. Still is. Got to erase any clock time expectations from my mind.
For another little minor difference: last year the race was two days before my birthday. This year it's four days after. That's probably not of significance in terms of the numbers, but psychologically dealing with the birthday BEFORE the race in the light of recent struggles.
Similarity? Last year I had behavior struggles before the race trip as well. I think the uncertainty of travel is a stressor that I have to take into account, no matter WHAT the focus of the trip.
Difference: last year I drove... I had that four days in a car to build the anticipation, the healthy "on the road" habits, the determination, and the coiled Spring effect. This year I'm flying, and that's a whole different scenario. No car in which to pack a cooler full of healthy options, suddenly at relative's home, not wanting to mess with their routines, etc.
Rational fact: No matter where one is, one always has choices and decisions to make.
There may be a difference in how much I'm on-line. Because I'm flying, I'm taking ONLY the smart phone, not the tablet, and that will hamper posting. So if I seem to disappear from Spark for a week or so... I'll be back.
Difference: weather. The weather for the race day sounds perfect, per Marsha's local report. But what I'm flying out of is quite different: the snow storm is predicted to start about the same time I'm flying away. So I have to pack stuff in the car that I'll be leaving at the airport to deal with snow and COLD when I get back. Last year it was an extremely mild November for the drive (for which I am grateful).
Difference: because I'm flying, I'll be coming home to an actual family Thanksgiving dinner. I missed it last year as I was still on the road. And this year I'm taking care of the grand-dog while son and his wife go to her people.
Now: expectations of emotions. I am hoping that I will come home refreshed and recommitted to healthy lifestyle, even if NOT to run a whole bunch of races next year.
ONE day, one decision at a time. I DO expect to have fun, and deal with whatever the trip throws my way.
LIFE is good. No matter the variables. Keep on keeping on, and live it, today.