Thursday, December 29, 2016

Runfessions...the Truth Comes Out


First off...How is it even possible that 2016 is almost history? Seriously?

Second.....there are a few things that I have kept (relatively)quiet about....until now. Are you ready? I'm gonna spill a few Runfessions to ya'll (and hopefully sleep better as a result).



Runfession #1--My hair
Isn't it crazy how we think we're doing alright with a "modern" 'do? Then, on a whim, we decide to try something a little new & different. And then...wham...bam...thank you (hairdresser) ma'am! You realize your "modern" 'do really was lacking a bit (or a lot) of style? #oops

This is what happened on Thursday...from flat to flirty
I'm in a constant battle with my hair...it's bone straight (which I like) but it is very flat and lifeless (which I detest). As much as I prefer to have it long, it really looks best at a medium length. Fortunately, I have a lot of hair (even though the individual strands are puny), so when I do venture out of that long-length comfort zone and chop off several inches...I'm always pleased at how full and "thick" it looks. My new cut definitely has a bit more sass & attitude to it, and I'm good with that.

Runfession #2--My Achy Groin
Something went a bit awry in the hip/groin "region" on the left side of my body just prior to my marathon. Things felt a bit off, but I honestly was not concerned because I felt ZERO discomfort while in the act of running. And, don't we all get those phantom niggles while in taper?

Fast forward to mile 2 of Route 66, and this phantom niggle wanted to come out and play (actually, it was more like a duel) with me.  For the remaining 24.2 miles to the finish line, there was a constant battle between my mind and body as to what to do. I persevered and finished, albeit a good 30 minutes slower than I'd hoped (due to several necessary walk breaks).

An exaggeration...but not too far off the mark
Well, it's been almost six weeks since the marathon, and the achy groin is still achy. It has not gotten any worse (thankfully) but is still clear and present (intermittently) at times. Again, I feel next to nothing when I run, but if I bend over or twist or turn abruptly, I can definitely feel a strange pulling sensation. Granted, the timing of the running streak has not been ideal (it started four days after the marathon), but I have really taken it easy with the running. It's only in the past 10 days or so that I've started to add an additional mile (or two) to some of the runs. Rest assured (literally!), in a few days, when the streak ends, I will take a few periodic days off from running and see if that makes a difference.

Runfession #3--My Runner vs. Racer Epiphany
I have always been more of a runner than a racer, but this past year I desperately tried to fight that natural tendency of mine. It was exciting clocking some faster-than-usual splits while training for Route 66. And that sub-2-hour finish at the Red Shoe Half Marathon left me feeling like a total badass racer, eager and ready for the next conquest.

But it seemed more often than not, many of my races did not play out the way I had hoped. I don't think I went into any of them over confidant, but I certainly was optimistic for some potential PR's. I don't know if it was pure fate, unfortunate race day conditions, or (subconscious) self-sabotage, but there were very few races that didn't throw some tough challenges my way.

My new Garmin...I hope to have a better relationship with it than previous watches on race days

As much as I tried to just enjoy the races for what they were, I spent far too much time focused on my watch instead. It's really tough to smile at the spectators, high-5 the kids, or even laugh at yourself when you're constantly crunching numbers in your head. I also realized that I don't have that "eyes on the prize" mentality if I'm in pain or distress.

Bottom line - I have not been true to myself...I'd rather be having fun than so focused on my finish time that I lose sight of the big picture (which is the pure gift of running itself).

Runfession #4--I recently OD'd on Sugar
It's true. I'm a sugaraholic (and I'm not ashamed to admit so). I didn't make a lot of cookies this holiday season, but instead, I concocted a lot of new candy-type creations. Almond bark, peppermint bark (with and without crushed pretzels), imitation chocolate turtles, toffee, and caramel what-have-you. The list goes on. And I enjoyed it all.

It's called Christmas Crack...and there's no argument it's addicting
Runfession #5--The Ambassadorship "thing"
Truth be told, I really don't get it with the ambassadorships. I was an ambassador for a drink product last year. It was a product I wasn't really that crazy about, but so many of my friends were becoming ambassadors, I jumped on the bandwagon and applied to become an ambassador as well. We were highly encouraged to promote their product frequently (hash-tagging, etc.), and in exchange we had access to a minimal discount (I think it was 10%). No swag, no big networking gigs, and (to the best of my knowledge) no link-backs to any of the ambassadors' social media accounts. Hmmmmm. It really made me wonder who was benefiting from this "exclusive" opportunity? The ambassadors or the company itself?

So, enlighten me, Friends. Did I just have a bad experience? Or do they all have a similar system?

Runfession #6 --BONUS Runfession!
I have been in a bit of a Debbie Downer funk since my marathon. The disappointing finish time, the phantom groin injury, and the lack of mileage (due to my recovery) have not been a good mix. Thankfully, I'm a glass-half-full type of person, and all is well (especially now that I've runfessed all of this stuff LOL). Stay tuned, I have some great goals on tap for 2017!

So, that's it for now. 
What would you runfess? Do you change your hairstyle periodically or go with a tried and true "you" style? Are you a runner or a racer? Do you like your sugar?

I'm linking up with Marcia for the final Runfession of 2016, and also with Lacey and Meranda and Rachel for the Friday Five 2.0. Do head over to checkout the hostesses and all the fabulous blogs!



43 comments:

  1. It's tough coming off of a disappointing year. I get it! Hopefully revising your goals and getting back to what feels good for you will bring you pleasure. I have to revise all my goals for 2017. I'm pretty anxious about the future of my running. We'll see what happens.

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    1. You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to 2017! I think I need to call it a "being true to me" kind of year (?). I had a lot of great achievements, but those few "lows" were tough. Onward!

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  2. Totally get the funk after a disappointing marathon! Hope your get your mojo back!

    And not all ambassadorships are the same. I hope you find the right one for you!

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    1. That post-marathon funk is a whole bunch of yuck...especially when it's the last "racing/running" thing to remember for the year. My mojo is rallying back, slowly ;-)

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  3. I love the hair! It's fun to sport a new look for the new year. We have all had disappointing races kind of comes along with the territory I think. Does anyone really PR at every race all the time? I know I certainly don't but yes upsetting when you give your all and then feel defeated. Re ambassadorships-I think they work differently. My experience with skirt sports has been amazing and I truly feel part of a family. I love their clothes or I would not rep for them. Some of these places like you said, just use you for free ads and you don't get much in return.

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    1. The racing thing certainly keeps us humble! I think part of the "disappointment" is due to the number of races I do...if I did fewer, I'd probably be able to them better...but that ain't my thing LOL

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  4. I am sorry to hear about your phantom groin pain! As you were describing it, it reminded me of what my dad struggled with a couple months ago. I know he actually got diagnosed with something, but I forget what it was called. (I'm not much help, am I??)

    I'm definitely more of a runner, not a racer too. I don't even race half as much as the running bloggers I follow. I really enjoy running just to run.

    I was never an ambassador for anything. Although often talk up things I really enjoy in an unofficial capacity on my blog! If I love something, I will talk about it!

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    1. I agree...I prefer to promote products because I actually have a genuine love for them, not because I'm "supposed" to. I haven't even researched anything regarding my groin "thing." I'm really not concerned about it...but I know I need to take some kind of action....

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  5. I don't change my hair much since it is so unmanageable - I just get layers, let them go out, get them again, go a little short and then longer, etc.

    I'm with your on the watch. I never even wear one except during races.

    I want to forget about finish times in 207 - help me, please.

    I don't apply for ambassadorships - it's exhausting having only one - Skirt Sports - but I love that company and only wear their skirts.

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    1. I do the same thing...layers, grow-out, go short, then long, etc. LOL It was time for a new 'do ;-)

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  6. I runfess that I'm nibbling on Christmas cookies with my coffee as I read this! Perhaps you should get your hip/groin assessed? No ambassadorships for me, although I wouldn't mind working for Mizuno. ;-)

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    1. I'm gonna hold off just a tiny bit longer on seeing someone about my hip/groin. I'm gonna have some "real" rest days starting next week...if that doesn't do the trick, I'll make the call LOL It's a process seeing any sports docs here....we have to go to our family doc, get a referral for the "visiting" specialist (who comes here every 2-3 weeks)or get refereed and try to get in to see someone in the big city (an hour away). Small town living kinda bites ;-( And, BTW, I'm down to three remaining pieces of the Christmas Crack...almost all gone!

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  7. Ha1 Who doesn't like sugar? Seriously.

    What I learned this year, and I hope it serves me well next year, is that while I will watch my pace in a race to make sure I don't slow down too much (sometimes, except for a fun run), I do better not crunching the numbers. Not thinking too much about what the finish might be.

    Of course, 2017 could be a totally different year. Believe me, I've definitely had my disappointing running years.

    For the most part I've only applied to be an ambassador for things I'm truly passionate about. I was wearing skirtsports long before I became an ambassador, and always telling people about it.

    Most of the time I'm not picked anyway . . .

    My hair pretty much never changes -- not the cut. But I will braid it, put it in a ponytail, put it in a bun. That's how I change things up.

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    1. I'm usually the same way with my watch and "racing," but I tried to do things different on several occasions this year...and most of them were fails. Just not my thing! I'm glad I finally reached that revelation ;-)

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  8. I love the new do! Your hair sounds a lot like mine. I'd love to have long hair but truth be told I can't pull it off..lol.

    I'm not sure which drink company you were an ambassador for but it sounds A LOT like one my sister was an ambassador for last year and she has since reconsidered. We really have to think twice before entering into ambassadorships and through the years we've done less and less.

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    1. The ambassadorships are intriguing, and I do think I just had a bad first experience. I just never see the stuff when the ambassadorships are open for applications.....you'd think they would be out there for the companies that really want the ambassadors to promote their stuff. Maybe the "good" ambassadorships are hard to find because they are so rare? Oh well.....I"ve never been very good at promoting stuff because I "have" to LOL

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  9. I went through a similar experience a couple of years ago - the run to race or run just to have fun. My life is not set up to be really fast (nor am I sure the desire is really there), and I'm much happier running for me, for the experience, and helping other people love running also. Sounds like you're set up for a great year of running and of great hair :)

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    1. You stated it exactly the way I feel...I'd rather be having fun and helping/supporting/encouraging others than focusing on my own personal gains. Glad I'm not alone ;-)

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  10. Sorry to hear you are still having some pain. I've been an ambassador for a few things and have had really good experiences. I only apply for those products in use already. I love getting a new hair cut and just did recently, however I'm horrible at styling it.

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    1. The pain is not really painful...more of an annoyance LOL I didn't realize how boring my hair was until I did the before/after pics. Oh my. LOL

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  11. Hope your groin heals soon! I am definitely more of a runner than a racer. I like to enjoy the race and pushing myself to a faster time is usually not worth it to me. As far as ambassadorships go, I've had some amazing ones and some not so amazing ones. For me the key things (in addition to a discount or free product) are the feeling that you give and get in the relationship (aka it's not all one way) and that there's a feeling of connection with either the company or the other (or both). The companies I'm working with in 2017 are all that and then some.

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    1. This was my first-ever ambassadorship, and it sounds like it was a "lemon" in comparison to some awesome "lemonade" experiences others have had.;-) Oh well...Onward!

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  12. I'm really sorry to hear that you are still struggling. I think you should get in and get that checked out ASAP.

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    1. It's more of an annoyance than anything. It's a major hassle seeing anyone local for anything other than routine check-ups. We have to wait (several weeks sometimes) for when the traveling "specialists" are here, or get a referral to a doc in the "big city" an hour away. It's easier to wait it out LOL Small town living at its finest. I'm gonna see what happens in the next couple weeks after I've had some extended non-running days...then go from there. In the mean time, I do have a call in to see my regular doc.

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  13. Nice watch ;)

    I hear you on the ambassadorships. I've had to let go of many of mine because I had to wonder who was getting anything out of it and it certainly wasn't me. If I'm going to be repping a company I better be getting a hefty discount and it better be a brand I love. Some of them are ridiculous though. I don't work for free!

    You'll have a great 2017. Get your achy leg/groin checked out though!

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    1. Ha! I'm slowly learning the ropes on all the "promotional" stuff. I don't think my blog is big enough to demand a fee, but I also am done with all the freebies that get me nowhere. I do have some brands of stuff I use because I love them....those I freely promote without reservation ;-)

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  14. I feel you on the hair. But I change my hair every quarter it seems. So just when I start to get the hang of styling it I get bored and change it up again.

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    1. I think I do a good job of trying to modify the "style" and I wear it different ways (messy bun, half up/half down, beachy-waved, etc.)....but my hair has a way of kind of always working its way back to a similar (boring) style LOL

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  15. You hair looks amazing! I am pretty wishy washy with hairstyles. I go to my stylist, tell her to do what she wants, with the understanding that it needs to not be green, that I don't want bangs and that it can still go up in a ponytail, and then I read until she is done. Bam.

    Ambassadorships are one of those things. If you love a product/brand, would use the product/brand on your own, and stand behind the product/brand even without the perks, then ambassadorship is for you. It sounds like you didn't really believe in this particular product, so it just didn't make sense. I appreciate the communities that come with some of these teams, and if I'm going to be promoting the brand on my own anyway, I'm all for working with the companies in a more official capacity. I have, however, turned down plenty of opportunities, simply because I don't use/prefer/feel strongly about the product and wouldn't feel right promoting it to my readers.

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    1. I think my one and only ambassadorship was a fail (in many aspects), and my heart certainly wasn't in it either. Onward!

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  16. I like sugar too much, which is why I try to steer clear ! I am one of those people who can not stop at just one bite.
    I race for the fun of the experience. At my age, I am never going to win, so I run for myself, for the atmosphere and for the fun.

    My cut changes frequently... my hairdresser tells me because it constantly needs to be freshened up. I think it is because he is incapable of doing the same haircut twice. But I have been going to him for 20 years, so he must be doing something right !
    Happy New Year !

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    1. I think my cut/style changes frequently....but somehow (after several months) I notice it has slowly evolved "back." LOL Oh well...glad I embrace change ;-) A very Happy New Year to you!!

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  17. I know all about hair issue lol. I'm sorry you have been down since your marathon. I hope 2017 will be a fresh start and amazing new year for you!

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    1. well, the post-marathon "funk" is comparable to post-partum depression (though I was fortunate to ever experience that LOL). I'll probably never do another marathon that late in the season...ending the year "in recovery" is rough!

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  18. I hope you get your mojo back soon. Here's to a great start to 2017!

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    1. Thanks! The mojo is working its way back...I'm glad it's a new year ;-)

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  19. I didn't bake at all this year. Nothing. Partly because we were headed out on vacay but mostly because I'd be the one eating most of it. I need to save me from myself sometimes. I haven't raced in years. Even when I had PR goals, I never really watched my Garmin, except for in marathons when I wanted to stay on a pace. All my PRs came pretty unexpectedly when I was able to just "flow". I think backing off and enjoying yourself would do you loads of good.

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    1. Total agreement, Marcia. You just articulated everything I have been struggling with. I also seem to "race" better when I'm not trying to do so. The "racing gig" just ain't my calling LOL Thanks!!!!

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  20. Last year I had such a disappointing chicago marathon, so I know how much it stinks to be in that funk. BUT just know you will come back better and stronger. I let it get me down for a while but then it fueld my desire to continue training and working hard.

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    1. Believe me, I'm on a mission to fight back LOL I'm gonna fight that funk with fun this year ;-)

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  21. Your hair looks great. i am the same way mine looks a bit livelier a little shorter but I like it longer lol right now it is long, but eventually i will chop it again.
    I feel you on the funk...I was the same way after my marathon, I was elated I did it but my legs took forever to recover. I actually didn't have any niggles until the past few weeks, but my legs were heavy and lifeless for a long time now. Hopefully your aches will cooperate sooon!
    I am like you though, I am okay with running for fun! No big goals for 2017.

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    1. I constantly go back and forth with my hair....I like it short, but the shorter length does limit my styling "options." Then again, when it's short & layered, it requires almost ZERO time trying to figure out HOW to style it #paradox

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  22. Love your hair... I tend to change my hair up more with color than cut. I totally OD'd on the sugar this holiday season!

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