Now What? The Post-Wedding, Post-Running Season Re-Eval

So… I don’t know if you noticed, but wedding planning was, um, consuming. Taking up the vast majority of my free time this summer, though I still managed to do some fun things.  I know many of my more recent “readers” (i.e. Facebook friends who are extremely gifted at clicking links) came to this blog through my Wedding Wednesday posts, a nice weekly recap of the madness/fun/terror/silliness/hilarity/gravity of wedding planning. And of course, all that planning culminated to the actual wedding (not held on an actual Wednesday) and thus the end of the series.

Like I am always wont to do at a good seasonal (life, or otherwise) transition, I think it is time to re-evaluate and set some goals. Even better that as summer cools to a crisp and blustery fall which is fast approaching the quiet and chill of winter, so the seasons of my own life have taken a change and I can focus less on party-planning and more on… whatever I want. But I clearly need some goals because these weeks, coming home without any MUST DO tasks, I have been a bit aimless and a little, “Hey, Chef Gordon Ramsay, let’s watch a dozen episodes of Kitchen Nightmares and eat leftover wedding cake all night, eh?” Idleness and calm do sometimes suit me well (hey there, tiny little introverted self), but boredom does not.

I read a few wedding blogs in the last year that included stories of “post-wedding blues.” A literal sadness once your wedding has happened. One writer literally cried all night at the “death” of her wedding. I cannot relate. I don’t even really have the blues because wedding planning is bananas and our wedding was awesomesauce times a hundred. Maybe a thousand. But I can relate to this weird feeling of, “Well, now what?” There isn’t like the ONE THING to wrap all your excitement and hope and energy into. And there is free time. I cannot remember the last time I was lucky enough to say, “I don’t really have any plans tonight” more than once in a month. Looking ahead to this weekend, I have nothing planned. Nowhere I must be, no decision I must make, and- praise the Good Lord- there is no check I must write.

Since it is not my intention to watch every episode of reality TV that Netflix has to offer while downing my favorite wintery drinks in the next 4 months, I have created a few other goals. Nothing too crazy, and nothing even with a ‘defined’ outcome, which definitely flies in the face of objective-setting in my profession (we like SMART objective: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound).

Running. This summer, I took a healthy step back from running after a rough race at the Fargo Half Marathon to let a beat up body take a break. I don’t know if I knew it at the time, but I think my ‘running head’ needed a break too. I wasn’t loving it every day. I was actually finding running to be a bit of a chore and looked forward to getting it over with each time I headed out. That’s never the attitude I intended to have about running. Even preparing for and running Ragnar was filled with pressure (though I still had an awesome time!). Returning to running in the last few weeks– with no training plan, no upcoming race– has been awesome and fulfilling in a way that running hadn’t been in a while. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. And healthier.

I am loving running for running-sake. My goal is to keep at this “run when I want, where I want” thing and gradually rebuild so that, on any given weekend, I could easily knock out a 5-7 mile run. For no reason other than to run. Once I get there, then I might consider training for an event. But too often I have started my training in a deficit, relying on the first half of the training program to get back into shape, not to build for the event. I would not be surprised if this is why there have been some trainwreck events and injuries in my recent running history. No bueno.

Biking. I relished in the opportunity to get more time on my bike this summer, become a confident bike commuter, racking up over 21 miles per day, 3-5 days per week. The first snow has now fallen, and that means that I hang up the bike for the season to begin my favorite winter sport: kvetching about the cold and the snow and the general unpleasantness of the season, save for Christmas. I do not bike on my bicycle in the winter because I don’t like to be cold. Simple as that. However, since we want to ride our bikes 2700 miles (at once) in a few years, I can’t afford to not get on a bike all winter. Hoping to hit a spin class at the gym at least once a week to keep some level of fitness up and use running and supplemental weightlifting to start next spring in good shape for the riding season.

[If this is where you want to tell me that I can ride my bike in the winter if I only: a) buy a fat bike, b) get more winter biking gear and clothing, or c) toughen up, buttercup, I suggest you save it. I do not like to be cold. The chances I get on my bike before March 15, 2014 are practically nil.]

Love the stuff you have. We asked for (and got) some fun stuff for our wedding. Some things that we wanted, but probably would never have bought for ourselves (hey-o, mini-scone pan) and some things that replaced old things (like, these-are-the-plates-I-used-as-a-freshman-in-college old) that were still technically working, so I would have hesitated to replace. My goal is to welcome all of these new things into our home with love– by using them. I intend to use every single item at least once by December 31, 2013.

Love the people you have. More quality time with friends. More quality time with my family. Better one-on-one conversations about real-life, less chatter about wedding planning.

An effort on contentedness. It actually doesn’t take much to make me happy– a coffee, a good book, a nice email, sunny days. Simple things. But sometimes it is easy to get caught up in how busy life feels or in thinking about what we don’t have. This is a perfect season to focus on being content with life as it is. It doesn’t mean not thinking about what’s next and working to get there, but knowing that ‘here & now’ is as good as ‘there & then’ and that I will miss these days when they are gone.

From our recent trip to Hawaii-- a perfect place to be content!
From our recent trip to Hawaii– a perfect place to be content!

3 thoughts on “Now What? The Post-Wedding, Post-Running Season Re-Eval”

  1. There are options for winter riding without cold – either wind trainer or (really old fashioned) rollers. Rollers are absolutely the best training device in my book, because you not only get exercise, but you learn to ride smoothly and efficiently – at least you will start working on smooth and efficient after a couple trips off the side of the rollers. Nothing against spin class, but rollers work in your house, without having to bundle up to go to class.

  2. Don’t forget to plan for your Rocky Mountain National Park trip in August. That trip is supposed to include some high altitude biking (so you can see what you’re getting yourself into). Also, you can also stay at the Stanley Hotel if you don’t like our accomodations .

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