Timed Miles, Stinging Cold, and Unplugging

Blog Pause Day 3: Welcome back to the third installment of the 2015 Blog Pause.  Each day we're revisiting three favorite post from the past year.  

Today's selections share three life lessons that I've learned.  First, don't be afraid to try new things -- even ridiculous ones, like the time my husband signed me up to run a timed mile at a college track meet.  Second, the cold doesn't sting as much when you're prepared for it.  Third, there's great wisdom in remembering to unplug for a few minutes.

On Running a Timed Mile for Purposes Other Than Gym Class

I'm relatively positive that every American, if they're not personally doing so, knows somebody in their 30's or 40's who is training for some sort of race.  Whether the distance ranges from a 5K to a full marathon, running seems to be a new version of the early-to-mid life crisis, just healthier.

Races are common.  Races are normal.

But at the start of each indoor track meet at the university where I teach, there's an opportunity for members of the local running club -- people who appear otherwise perfectly rational -- to run a timed mile.  This isn't exactly a race.  It's a track meet.  It's filled with college athletes in their university-sanctioned uniforms who resemble gazelles as they run casual warm-up laps at paces faster than some people can sprint.

A few weeks ago I joined this scene and put myself on the line quite literally.  Yes, as an almost 37-year-old mother of three, I stepped up to the starting line to run my first ever timed mile at a college track meet.  (Continue reading here.)

The Cold Stings the Most When You're Not Prepared for It

Yesterday I found my missing winter gloves on the floor of our minivan.  After leaving the house bare-handed for every outing during this past frigid week, I've gained a new appreciation for keeping bundled. 

It's easy to fall into a bad habit of not bundling yourself, though.  In the early morning when I leave the house with my work bag -- an over-the-shoulder carrier that's so crammed with paperwork that it triggers the "fasten seatbelt" signal when I set it on the front passenger seat beside me -- I forget that I should layer up with my scarf and hat.  When I leave the house to run errands with my kids, my focus shifts to making sure they're appropriately clothed (and wearing two shoes, preferably matching) than ensuring that I'm good to go.

It's a bad habit, especially because the amount of time necessary to prepare myself is negligible compared to the amount of time I'll suffer the negative consequences of not preparing.  (Continue reading here.)

Unplug for a Few Minutes

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you. 
(Anne Lamott | Salon, April 10, 2015)

Like all past summers already have and all future summers eventually will, this summer draws to a close.  Last week's meetings and increased activity in my email inbox signaled that the end was near.  On Monday morning when I walk across campus to my first class of the fall semester, the deal will be sealed: summer living will be over.  (Continue reading here.)

See you tomorrow for Day 4 of the 2015 Blog Pause!

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