Unlike the rest of the world I was sound asleep by 10:30 pm last night. Personally I find the whole countdown-at-midnight-thing overrated, and I had a race to run this morning! I was registered to run Brazen Racing's New Years Day 10K at Lake Chabot. Brazen puts on excellent trail races. I've run four but hadn't run one in a while and was really looking forward to it.

Tangent: About a month ago I was feeling sick and tired of my usual running routes. I wanted to branch out and find new routes and trails to run at. Realistically I am lazy (and chicken) about exploring new areas on my own which is why I signed up for last month's ZombieRunner 5-mile race. Races are a great way to explore new places - you're not alone and you're committed (i.e., paid money) to be there. For the same reasons I signed up this race so I could explore Lake Chabot and run some hills (the route was basically a mountain). /tangent

I slept till my alarm went off (can't remember the last time that happened). I was groggy and not at all in the mood to run, let alone race, but once I got up and got moving, I was good to go.

I was out the door by 7:15 am. As I drove across the San Mateo Bridge to the East Bay I got a call from my cousin Matthew. He had spent the night at Oakland Airport on a layover (how's that for a NYE?!). He was meeting Jonathan and Janelle, his brother and sister-in-law, for breakfast in 20-min and wanted to know if I could join them.

My first instinct was to say, "Sorry I have a race" but one of the things I want to work on in 2013 is to live a more balanced life. I have neglected one too many relationships because I had a long run or was too tired after one. I have friends who I hadn't seen at all in 2012 because of running.

I have been thinking a lot about that and the communities that I had chosen to associate myself with (check out this fantastic post "redefining communities" for related reading) and realized that I need to make room in my life for other things and people.

So I told Matt that if he texted me the address to the restaurant they were meeting it, I would skip the race and meet them there. Coincidentally it wasn't far from the race itself.

While I had just seen Jonathan and Janelle last April, I hadn't seen Matt in four years. We were long overdue for a visit.

Breakfast with my cousins
Breakfast with my cousins

It was so much fun to catch up on lost time. To check-in on what they are up to and what their plans are. To laugh, recalling past memories.

There will always be another race to run but family comes first and is non-negotiable. Reconnecting with loved ones is priceless and something that should never be passed up.

I anticipated writing a race report today and never envisioned starting the year off with a DNS. But I'm so glad I did. I can't think of a better way to have begun 2013. Happy New Year!