For the Love of Coffee

It’s coffee time again. Grab a mug of your favorite steamy beverage and join me for some coffee talk.

Meditations in Motion

If we were having coffee I would tell you about the experience I had trying to register for the Marine Corps 17.75K race.

In a recent post, I wrote about my friend Nancy inviting me to run the Marine Corps Marathon this fall with her, my hubby, and our mutual friend Dennis. Dennis, at 76 years old, has run the Marine Corps Marathon 30 times. After undertraining for his last one, about 10 years ago, he said he would never run another marathon.

Runners, more than any other group, should never say never. Dennis, following a significant weight loss and fitness regimen, has decided to run MCM again this year. Nancy has visions of us all crossing the finish line together.

For those of you unfamiliar with this marathon, it is so popular that to get to run it, you must first win entry through a lottery system, unless you have run it more than five previous times. Both Dennis and Nancy fall into the latter category; Bill and I do not.

The Marine Corps, however, guarantees access to their marathon if you register for and complete the Marine Corps 17.75K race, run each March near Quantico, Virginia. I decided to enter this race so that if I decide to run the marathon, I will be assured of a spot.

Meditations in MotionThe website for the race, run on a hilly course through Prince William Forest Park on gravel and paved surfaces, warned that this event sells out quickly. Armed with this knowledge, I set a notification on my calendar for noon on February 20, the designated time for registration to open.

At exactly noon, I logged onto the site and clicked on the registration button. And got an error message. Ugh! I tried a few more times and was eventually directed to the registration page. After filling out all of my information, I got a message, complete with a spinning circle, that said my registration was processing. Success, or so I thought.

I quickly opened another tab and attempted to register my hubby for the race. I tried for another 10 minutes without success to get to the registration page. Panicked, I called to Bill. “I can’t register you! Get on your laptop and try to get to the registration page for the race.” We both tried unsuccessfully for an additional 10 minutes to get onto the correct page to fill in Bill’s registration data.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, I was able to access the page. I quickly filled in Bill’s information and got the same “processing” screen as I had gotten for my registration. The processing screen quickly turned into a “Congratulations!” screen and a confirmation email was sent to Bill.

Wait a minute!” I thought, “I never got a confirmation email for me.” Sure enough, when I clicked back onto the page that had been processing my registration, I now found a blank registration page. My data was no longer there. I had never actually successfully registered myself! So many Type A runners (me included) had tried to register at precisely noon, the system was overloaded.

My fingers flew over the keyboard as I resubmitted my registration information and again clicked “register“. I finally got a confirmation email. Both Hubby and I are officially registered and have begun training. Whew! Compared to the registration process, running the 11-mile race should be a snap.

Meditations in Motion

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about a recent program Bill and I listened to on NPR called the TED Radio Hour. This particular program was titled “A Better You“.

One of the guests on the show, technology guru Matt Cutts, talked about a quest for self-improvement he has implemented. He tries something new for 30 days. Yes, every 30 days he tries a new “something new” and he does it every day for 30 days. 30 days has been found to be approximately the time it takes for a new task to become a habit.

If he enjoys the new activity, as when he learned the ukelele, he continues doing it; if he doesn’t enjoy the undertaking, like when he tried meditation, he discontinues it after the 30-day trial period.

As Bill could tell, the longer I listened, the more excited I got. “I want to do that!” I exclaimed. He was not surprised; I love trying new things.

I am planning to begin in March. My first new undertaking is to try adult coloring. There are tons of coloring books available for purchase, but there are also free downloadable coloring pages online, which might be a good starting point. I plan to borrow a new set of crayons we have at our house for our grandchildren to use.

I’ll let you know how it goes. Maybe over a cup of coffee.

 

I am linking up with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner for their Ultimate Coffee Date, Kooky Runner for Tuesday Topics, and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5.

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68 comments

  1. Wow, a late February registration for a March race? Nothing like planning ahead. I’ve considered that Quantico race before… not because I want tot run MCM again, but because it sounds pretty. Hmm. Maybe next year. I’ve actually been road running quite a bit this winter. the trails are either icy or muddy and I just can be bothered to deal with either. I just want to run.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I thought that was strange too. If you are not trained up for an 11-mile race, you don’t have very long to get in shape! I will let you know my thoughts about the race. I have not been doing any trail running for a while either. Roads are enough of a challenge for me right now!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh no! Registering for that race sounds like it was super stressful. I had a similar experience years ago when trying to register for the Brooklyn Half. After the fiasco with registering, I knew that the race couldn’t be as stressful as what I had just experienced LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m just glad we both got in. It would have been terrible if one of us got in without the other. I like it when you can register more than 1 runner at a time.

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  3. I think we are very different people in many ways (and wouldn’t the world be boring if we weren’t), but I do share you love of trying new things. I know many people who enjoy adult coloring! I tried to get my Dad to do it, unfortunately no go.

    I’m glad you got both of you registered! Registration problems are the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I get my courage up I will post a photo of my attempt at coloring. I enjoy the variety of personalities of running bloggers I have met. We all have something unique to contribute!

      Technology issues are so frustrating! I like it when you can register more than one person at a time.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes i have heard about the crazy rush to register for that race. I am glad that you got into it! I once spent hours tying to get into the Army 10 miler bc the site kept crashing. It’s now a lottery! Thanks for joining in for coffee

    Liked by 1 person

    • It WAS crazy! I had no idea. So glad we both got in. It would have been disappointing if only one of us had successfully registered. The last time I ran the Army 10-miler we had to register right away too. Thanks for the opportunity to share!

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  5. I just made my coffee and brought it back to bed. It is 6 AM on the west coast So now that we have our coffee let’s talk! I have had similar frustration trying to deal with computer programs when time is not on my side. I probably looked like a crazy woman, grunting and sighing, pulling my hair, screaming in frustration. I’m trilled it worked out for you.

    Now as to the coloring project! I loved your start – orange scribbling! You gave me a good laugh on this Friday morning. I have a friend who does this type of coloring and she creates beautiful pieces . It is like a meditation and I hear it can calm one down . We could all use a little of that after dealing with the frustration of trying to sign up on online applications!

    I can sit and play the ukulele, I can sit and learn Spanish on my app, I can even sit down in prayer and meditation … but somehow I cannot sit down and have the patience to color. πŸ™€ But I admire people who can do it.

    So Good luck, have fun coloring … and running in that prestigious popular Marine marathon. Hoo-ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I heard that coloring is like meditation too. I don’t know…I am excited to give it a try! You can play the ukelele? That is a rare talent! So cool!

      I am looking forward to the run. So glad that both hubby and I got officially registered. Thanks for the good wishes!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. HAHA – that coloring thing. That honestly was me just READING the situation. That sort of thing stresses me out to no end. So glad you both got registered!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My sister loves those adult coloring books. I don’t have the patience for it. And as you might expect, I don’t like to color in the lines…

    Congrats on getting registered! So nerve-wracking. Kudos to your 78 year old friend who is running MCM again!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That coloring. ❀
    That registration sounds like when we broke the office internet signing up for the Brooklyn Half last year. 17.75 sounds like such a fun distance even without the symbolism

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Being a self-proclaimed art geek, I used to LOVE coloring as a child, and was really intrigued when the adult coloring books hit the main stream. That said, I have not done much coloring because the patterns I like are the complex ones that require a vast array of crayons/pencils to achieve the desired effect (yadda yadda yadda). Hence that which is supposed to relax a person actually stresses me out (some). Both of my daughters (both grown) have really gotten into the coloring (both also have art geek tendencies, too LOL)…the son, not so much πŸ˜‰ Crazy about the 17.75 registration…glad you have a happy ending to that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I was an art geek in school too. I entered college as an art major and graduated as a chemistry major. How did that happen? I am going to try the coloring with the markers, pencils, and crayons we now have on hand (for the grandkids). If I like it, I may buy some better ones.

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  10. What a great idea! Some of the adult coloring books are amazing! I see them at Ollie’s a lot.

    30 days focused on a new habit can really create insight and clarity depending on the activity that you are choosing to try. I mean 30 days is not a long time, one day at a time and it can be a life changer. I recently did this with bullet journaling and what a difference!

    Enjoy your coloring!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I should look at Ollie’s! I downloaded some pages for free just to see how I like it. I will have to go in to Ollie’s to check out the books if I continue. Bullet journaling is something I would love to try. Maybe I will put it on my list of things to try for 30 days!

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  11. That registration situation sounds absolutely nerve wracking!! I’ve only experienced this with getting concert tickets! Glad it worked out.

    My psychologist recommended coloring when I have insomnia. I still haven’t tried but I have quite a few adult coloring books at home since my dad published a couple series of these. I have plenty of markers since I like to color code things in my bullet journal. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I have insomnia from time to time. I never thought about coloring to help with that. Good to know! I printed out some free coloring pages from the internet as a starting place just to see if I like it. I’m excited to start!

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  12. So many people in my running group were stressing over the 1775 registration. That’s when I wonder if a lottery is a better way. Why should people who can log on mid-day, have better internet connections, and/or just get lucky have a better chance?

    I think I would like adult coloring in theory, but my eyes are so tired at the end of the day, I’m not sure it’s a great option for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! Boston almost used to be that way. You had to register right away even though you had a good qualifying time or it would fill up. Not in one day, though!

      I will let you know how I like the adult coloring! πŸ™‚

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  13. Re ukulele – no rare talent! I never played a stringed instrument before January 2018 , but it was on my list of new things to try in retirement! I have a lot of fun with different strumming groups I’m involved in. It’s a joy! One of my past blogs chronicled The journey of β€œUkulele torture and rapture” πŸ˜‚.

    Because I make an effort to study and learn new chords, and practice a bit, I have progressed fairly quickly, but I am not saying I am a musician nor am I much of a songstress, but the most important thing is I am having fun !

    I wasn’t always so good on following through on goals, but like you I was working and raising kids but now that I am retired, I have no excuses !

    Liked by 1 person

    • I still think playing the ukelele is impressive! So cool that you learned in retirement. This is what is supposed to happen when we retire – we get to try things we never had the time to before. Congrats!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. One new thing a day – that is a challenge indeed Laurie. I am already alternating between balking at our new computer system, Windows 10 workstations/laptops and a new accounting system and dreading it. My friend Evelyn (whom I mentioned will be 63 this year and finishes grad school in August) said “you underestimate your computer skills – you’ve been doing things without just calling the I.T. guy since 2003 when you and Robb went out on your own! Yup, but I don’t want this to monopolize my free time – there is precious little of it as it is and the days just might be turning warmer to begin walking. We were supposed to learn to Skype with one another … in 2017. That’s not happened yet. The crayons and coloring book are supposed to be great fun from everything I’ve read and now you know how to color so you can stay within the lines. Will you do one new item a day while on vacation too? That might be tough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • One new thing a MONTH. One new thing a day would kill me! πŸ™‚ I should change my wording on my post. I plan to try one new thing each month and do it every day for 30 days (or 31 days if the month contains 31). I understand your hesitancy about a new computer system. I sometimes balked at using new technology at school. The thing was, when I did learn the new technologies, I usually wound up wondering how I ever did my job without them! I think I will wait until we get back from Costa Rica before I jump into my coloring project. I don’t want to drag supplies down there with me. I will probably begin on the 15th.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Whew! I misread that – it probably was not you, but me. I thought to myself “boy am I a slacker!” One new thing a month is good – I guess I will count this new computer knowledge as my new things. I still have not looked at the DSLR manual. Windows 7 is phasing out as of January 2020 and no more support for it (virus protection will be gone as well). So we will have to get Windows 10 before then. I told my boss I’d like to get it one one laptop (I have a spare) to learn it before having to immerse myself in it plus a new accounting system – he does not see my point. That is true that once you get the hang of new things you do wonder about how you did without it before. Good idea for saving the crayons and coloring book – you’ll have beautiful warm and sunny weather to run, walk, sightsee, take pics and relax. A couple more days of this cold and hopefully when you return on the 15th Spring will be here (or at least closer).

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      • I am an Apple-user, so I don’t have to worry about Windows. I was a teacher and most schools use Apples. When I retired, we bought an inexpensive PC, but I didn’t like it. I eventually bought a Mac. I think I just like it because it’s what I am used to, not because it’s inherently better. We got about 6 inches of snow last night – our biggest storm all winter. Warm weather is sounding better to me all the time!

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      • I’ve heard wonderful stories about Macs and how reliable they are and you don’t have to mess with upgrades and licensing issues – you take them out of the box and you’re good to go. I resented Microsoft when they forced Windows 10 on users a few years ago – I found an app to thwart it from a computer show I listen to, but before I could find that, I let it roll out on this laptop – then reversed it back to Windows 7 the next day. It was not comparable to our system and I understood Windows 10 was buggy as it was a free version. I don’t like a lot of bells and whistles and that is what I saw with Windows 10. What a way to begin March with six inches of snow! We are in a deep freeze right now. Wind chills to -10 overnight and tomorrow and snow squalls are tomorrow’s agenda – I’ll just go along with you, if you’ll pack me in your suitcase!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. Sounds like a good plan. I so am in awe that you run. I’ve always ran ‘like a girl’ haha as told by my hubby once a long time ago. lol Anyway, I hope to read you guys all came across the finish line together. The one new thing a month sounds interesting. I’m always venturing into new things to keep this old brain active, but have always been that way. I seem to master none though. Thanks for visiting Peabea Scribbles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am hoping that is the case – that we all finish together. Good for you for trying new things! I have a feeling that some of the things I try will stick, some will not. Not sure which category the coloring will fall into! πŸ™‚

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  16. I would last one day at adult coloring… Do you think you’ll like it? So many people do! LOL on the spirograph pic!

    Having run the MCM ten times, I fall into the guaranteed entry. Every few days I’ve been getting a reminder to register if I’m interested in running it this year. One of these days… never say never.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have no idea whether I will like coloring or not. I like creative endeavors, but I am not very good at staying inside the lines! πŸ™‚

      Not sure if I should do a marathon this year or not. I would hate to push it too fast and reinjure myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I hear that the MCM races are so popular and tough to get into – I’m glad your registrations worked out after all that work!

    I love the idea of trying something new every 30 days. I need to think about what I would do! Meanwhile, Lent is approaching and I’ve been thinking about ending a bad habit…

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  18. Your posts always make me giggle…type A here too! Adult coloring…let me just say that starting out, do not buy a super complicated one with a ton of detail on every page. Type As want to finish the page and it’s impossible, they take FOREVER! I abandoned that particular popular series of books and grabbed some “easier” adult coloring books that have been super awesome. Enjoy and have fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Nicki! I will follow your advice. I just downloaded some pages from the internet to get started. I didn’t even buy a book, but I will begin with an easy one. You are right, I will want to FINISH!

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  19. Congratulations on your stick-to-it-ness and successful registration – you really have to watch those overwhelmed sites to be sure everything goes through!

    That’s a great colouring in cartoon. πŸ™‚

    I was offering what help i could to a blogger feeling very down the other day and commented that it’s all about finding the right balance between the good stuff and the bad stuff in life – not to focus so much on the bad, and immediately wondered how your balance theme for this year is going?

    Has your Yoga improved yet?? ;-).

    Thanks for the coffee.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes. I was mostly worried that only one of us would get registered and the other one wouldn’t. I like it when you can register more than one runner at a time, but this race didn’t allow it.

      So kind of you to help a fellow blogger. I am not surprised at all! πŸ™‚ Yes, I did write a few posts referencing balance and I have been keeping it in the forefront of my thoughts. So, emotionally my focus on balance is going well. As far as yoga goes, not as good. I still wobble and flail my arms in balancing poses. Maybe one day I will take a picture and post it! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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