September Slump

11 Miles Running
3 Miles Walking
Smazy Sunday Strides

Ahhh September…for many in the country it’s when things get back into “normal” – weather takes a turn for the better, the kids are settled back into the school routine and most of the country waits with baited breath for the first leaves of fall to start turning.

As Tom Hanks (Joe Fox) once said in “You’ve Got Mail

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Freshly sharpened pencils my arse…in SoCal, September is when the sun decides to kick it up and 70 degrees is only something you see between 2-4am (if you’re lucky).   In fact, at my sister’s wedding a few weeks ago, one of her best friends walked up to us in all of the humid glory and announced, “My business is hot”(my new favorite line).  So thanks to September in SoCal – everyone’s business is hot and it can make people a wee bit crabby.

As September begins, the kids are in the last two weeks of summer vacation (you know the ones where they are practically begging for structure and you wonder how much duct tape it would take to stick them to the walls in their bedrooms for a few hours) and then beginning the agonizing 2 week adjustment to actually being back in school.

No, we're totally normal here.  When I say take a picture I get this.  Two words to their teachers - good luck.

No, we’re totally normal here. When I say take a picture I get this. Two words to their teachers – good luck.

All of those crazy kids and the hot business sure do make it easy to lose perspective.  So I know that I was grateful for a message on Saturday night at church about purpose vs. perfection.  It got me thinking – where’s my focus?  Striving for perfection and wallowing when I fail (news flash: this is very often) or focusing on making intentional choices to make my life purposeful?

What?! This is a running blog?!?  Fear not….there’s a point here….

Since my ideal “running” has been derailed by my intense hatred and continued no-treadmill streak matched with 80-95 degree temps, I’m having to remember why the heck I’m doing it.  For the last year the script in my mind giving me purpose was, “Boston..Boston…Boston“.  It kept me motivated and my passion, purpose and drive tractor beam focused.  I can’t tell you how many times I chanted this through my mind or imagined running through the finish line to get myself motivated before and/or during a run.workout.

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How many months, moments, and minutes did I dream about crossing that very line and thought of that moment to get through step after step? I didn’t plan on the huge popsicle stain, ehhh you win some, you lose some…

But these days – it’s a lot more of, “Uh it’s 97.3 degrees outside and I’m running 5 miles because I used to like this?”

Do I love running any less?  Nope.

Is it really hard to have an AMAZING run when it’s a bazillion degrees outside?  Yeppers.

Dear Pumpkin Spice Latte, sitting on ice, you make September better in so many ways.

Dear Pumpkin Spice Latte, sitting on ice, you make September better in oh so many ways.

So what have I been using running for lately?  Smaller, shorter distanced quasi-goals (i.e. don’t hit your next race more than 5 minutes longer than your PR type stuff), thinking, praying, relaxing (okay as much as you can relax during a cardio workout).

Thinking…yes this is probably the scariest of them all.  This morning I spent a lot of time thinking about my parenting and the whole perfection vs. purpose thing.  I’ve made a lot of intentional efforts to get the boys’ school year off on the right foot – homework routines, incentives, schedules, pretty little signs and checklists around the house I’m practically living in an elementary school….and the response – whines, cries, tears, fits, tantrums, and general crabbiness…and that’s not to even speak of the kid’s behavior.

Yes there’s definitely benefit to the things I’ve been doing, but I’ve been so focused on just getting the “right things” done to get ready that I feel like I might have momentarily lost sight of the purpose – getting everyone off on the right foot this year.

So my challenge this sweltering September – spend more time dwelling on my purpose instead of the actions or reactions that mark the [lack of] perfection….ensure that I spend the time thinking about what and why I am doing the things I’m doing (running, working, mom-ing, wife-ing and the like) instead of how I did or didn’t do them.

What’s your fall like?

Are you a purpose or perfection person?

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13 thoughts on “September Slump

  1. I misread your post title as “September Shrimp”. Now where’s the recipe???
    Also mistook your Spice Latte for that chalky white stuff people have to drink before a CAT scan. My batting average around here today pretty much sucks.

  2. September is generally a month I think could die in a fire. Overwrought kids, exhausted parents, unrelenting heat during the day and cold mornings. At least the running here is good early in the day.

  3. My Fall is:

    1. Similarly lacking in cooler temperatures. Except we also have humidity (YAY!!!)
    2. Obviously very behind on my blog reading. (Ooops.)
    3. Lacking in “kids back to school”. (But GGR is experiencing frustrations similar to yours…in fact, she just blogged about it here: http://greengirlrunning.blogspot.sg/2013/09/mother-runner.html)
    4. Also lacking in pumpkin spiced-ness. I just can’t into it, in the tropics.

    Ah well, at least I won’t have to worry about running tights, insulated running vests, and wind-blocking mittens in a few months! =)

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