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Hello, E2. It's been a while, random reQuest nodes notwithstanding.

My life continues to change. It now looks nothing like I could have imagined four or five years ago.

I'm still running. In fact, I am qualified for and entered in the 2019 New York Marathon, and I'm signed up to run the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon in May. This morning, G and I ran the Gridiron 4 Mile race in Central Park - a traditional 'season opener' for many New York City runners, and the first organized race I ever ran - last year, in fact. Last year, I ran it at approximately a 12:30 pace (12 min 30 sec per mile), which I was completely happy with for a brand new runner who had never raced before and was approaching 50 years of age. This year, despite having taken the winter off and not run in three months, I ran it at a 9:50 pace, remaining conservative to avoid injury and using the race and time to explore my pace and energy management as well as practice form.

I may be coming to the end of my time in my awesome Super New York Deal(™) apartment. My inquiry as to whether they wanted to sell it resulted in a very high number (one I can't meet) but may also have resulted in my landlords realizing 'hey wait, we could sell this thing, couldn't we?' Ah well, all good things come to an end. It's not definite, either - but they're not getting back to me about their offered lease renewal if I wasn't interested in buying yet. So we'll see.

That makes my first half of the year a bit more complex. I now have a fiancée, and we are planning on being married in July, if we can pull it off. That will involve not only the wedding (which we are, perhaps vainly, hoping to keep somewhat small) but parties in both New York and San Francisco mid-year for all those friends and family that can't make the wedding itself.

Even if I do manage to remain in my apartment, we will be moving in to it together, which is our way of acknowledging that we can't look at this as 'her moving into my place' in order to maintain a balanced and positive view of it. Moving sucks; moving into a space you don't feel is 'yours' sucks more. My job is to ensure she doesn't feel that way. Superficially, this is easy - there are very few pieces of furniture I care about, and all else can be tossed out - and for those few things I won't give up but we don't want in the place, I can take them to Vermont.

So! Moving (one way or another), a half marathon, get married, throw a party on each coast, and train for a marathon. Oh - and I started a new job a few weeks ago, which will require me to travel to the glorious (yech) Mountain View, CA every six or eight weeks.

Still.

Still.

After the race today, I realized something more important than my time. Unlike even last year, I'd woken up not 'not wanting to go run' but looking forward to it. I'd enjoyed myself all the way through the race, with no 'gotta finish' doggedness surfacing. Afterwards, I'd felt much, much better than I had in weeks, and I realized something amazing: at the new job, I've been having trouble avoiding the carb-y snack wall due to being distracted, busy, and somewhat stressed (in a busy, not unhappy way). I was really getting down on myself for having failed in my low-carb regimen so badly, and over the past two months, I'd gained back perhaps ten pounds. Not good. However, as we rode back to Queens after the race, despite not having had any breakfast other than coffee, I realized - I was hungry, but not in the same way. I was hungry the way I'd been so happy to learn to be a couple years ago - an awareness that my body needed fuel, but with no craving for shitty food alongside it. When we got back, I ate a hard boiled egg and two egg whites, had another cup of coffee, and had a single tiny piece of crystalized ginger for a taste hit, and I was fine until around three pm, when I made a protein powder shake - and since drinking that, have had no cravings.

I realized I'd been handling the eating badly. I'd been eating and then punishing myself for a 'failure of will,' which simply encouraged me to continue eating those damn M&Ms - because I'd already failed and was already punishing myself, continuing to eat them was a defiant, sullen admission of failure to justify the punishment. This was why, along with the pure chemical addiction symptoms, that refraining from eating the first one of the day was so critical, and so much easier than refraining once I gave in. As for the physical, I hadn't understood the degree to which my winter schedule had prevented decent high-gain cardio exercise - and that exercise is clearly what helps me manage my hunger. The relief was palpable - this isn't a problem I don't know how to deal with, it's something I have tools to cope with and I just proved to myself that a couple of those tools work, and work well.

I love my soon-to-be-wife, deeply and strongly, and I know she loves me, too - an experience I never thought I'd ever have.

I can't wait to see how this year goes.