Friday, November 21, 2014

Powerless

I woke up to an upset stomach today and concluded on the drive to boot camp that I think it's in my head.  Yesterday I spent hourS on the phone (which I never do) with one of my favorite people in the world, a friend I first met in law school.  She lives halfway across the country and the best way to describe her current status is distress.  She's so unhappy and I want more than anything to be able to fix it somehow.  It hurts my heart to know how sad she is.  She's already been through a lot in terms of a divorce, a move, the death of a parent, fertility struggles, the serious illness of her other parent (who didn't take care of herself well as she dealt with her husband's illness), one of the most stressful jobs in this country (complete with being assailed on various "news" networks), the death of both of her dogs within a couple years of each other, a stress fracture, and now, a supportive partner who is AWOL due to his own insane work.  God never gives you more than you can handle, right?  Actually, I don't buy that -- sadly, some people decide they can't handle it.  I'm not worried about her in that regard, but I wish so much I could make it better.  I'm hoping that I can manage a visit to see her in January, but that's a long time away.  I'm at a loss.  I wish I had Inspector Gadget arms and I could just stretch them out and give her the biggest hug ever. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jogging

I don't know what it is lately, but I cannot get into my running groove.  I've tried all my usual "hurry it up" tactics -- running with friends who are faster, going to the track, fartleks on the road, attempting to pick it up on the downhills -- and it's just not working.

I even added my running commute back into the mix this week for the first time in ages, and I just get out there and jog.

I was actually planning to do the running commute yesterday, but I had a flat tire on my car before boot camp, and then I decided I wasn't comfortable being car-less until Friday (when I work from home anyway and could have the tire change guy come do it) (and yes, I realize I'm loser for not being able to change my own tire, but part of the problem is that my car has very small jack points and I think my jack is bent so I'm very afraid of attempting to jack it up and having it crash down).  So I made my husband come back to pick me up to go to boot camp together (he was already almost there and was planning to go straight to work afterward), then I got a ride to the office with my neighbor and grabbed my laptop to bring it back home.  I worked from home in the morning and got my tire changed.  But in the end, he didn't see anything wrong with my tire -- he said it's still so new that it has the whiskers, whatever that means, and that he didn't see a nail or split or anything else, so he just put air in it and put it back on the car.  So I drove to work, worked, and then ran home. 

This morning I got up to meet my friends at the track and just went there on foot.  I made the decision last night that I'd go straight from the track to work. 

It kind of sucks to not get to go back home after my workout to watch the news and drink my smoothie and my coffee before running to work, but I just felt so lazy.  The track is right on my way to work.  So I would have had to run 1.5 miles north, do the track workout, run 1.5 miles home, then run 3.75 miles north to get to work.  So I wore my running belt (with my phone, work access card, house key and credit card) to the track, left it trackside during the workout, then put it back on and continued north to the office.  I ended up with just over 8 miles for the morning since the track workout wasn't really very long. 

And here I sit, at my desk before 7!  Still in workout clothes, freezing, about to head down to the gym to get ready for the day...

Blah post, but still feeling very blah...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Solo life for a night

My husband is almost never out of town for work overnight, but he left yesterday for Houston, so it meant a big night to myself. 

I got caught in this on the way home from Chinese class:


(I'm parked on the bridge, waiting for the mess below to open a lane so traffic on the highway could start moving again.  No escape on the bridge.  Good thing I had an audio book...)

Then I got my neighbor to walk with me to Lululemon to get a new pair of shorts I had been pondering for a couple weeks and concluded I really wanted.

Run: Speed Short*SE Reflective

(Not me, obviously, but now I'm concerned because I realized today the shorts aren't lined.  Ugh.  Nice for wearing over tights, but I don't wear tights often in Dallas!)

Then I came home and scavenged for dinner. I have no idea why. I'm an adult, I can make dinner for myself. But there was something fun about grazing. I think I had 3 tortillas, a piece of string cheese, a bit of couscous salad, and some ice cream. I never have dinners like that when we're eating together.

Then I stayed up too late watching TV and had the whole bed to myself.

I wouldn't love it if that were everyday life, but sometimes alone time at home feels like a little party. Hard to describe.

The rest of the weekend was uneventful. We did some much-needed house cleaning on Saturday. Our second floor is probably the cleanest it's ever been. Sunday I did my long run, but I mixed in a small race for a good cause. I was attempting to treat it as part of my long run, so I had a couple warm-up miles, the race, then a couple cool-down miles. I wanted to run with a pace group to make sure I didn't end up going too fast but within about a tenth of a mile, I knew that was not an option. One of the two pacers had the loudest and most irritating way of exhaling. I tried to tell myself that maybe she had some big story about how she used to smoke and had a double lung transplant and had to blow out really loudly. Or maybe she gets really nervous about races even when she's pacing and almost hyperventilates and so has to blow out really loudly for the first half mile to calm down. But I just couldn't stand it, so I pulled ahead of the pace group by just a minute or two, and just stayed there. I met a few interesting people. One woman was wearing a STG shirt from the same year I did it, so we talked about that race for a while. It was her first BQ, so we got to talking about other races. She ran Berlin this past year and we've both done a lot of the same ones. She still has to do NY and Tokyo in the majors, I still have to do London and Tokyo.

After the race, I had some pancakes but it was just so cold out. My phone said it was 39, but with the rain and drizzle that had been happening all morning, I was soaking wet and never thought I'd get warm again.

My solution was to take a very hot shower for about an hour, with the heat in the bedroom cranked up to 85 degrees, and while my husband was in the bedroom packing for his trip, I whined enough about my innards being cold that he went downstairs and heated up my coffee and delivered it to me. Aww, now I really miss him. Forget all that stuff I said about a solo night being nice...

But that whole concern about never being warm again?  Totally legit:
 
 
Yes, it looks like it will get better, but I might be frozen under the tundra by then. 
 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Track Luxury in the Cold

It is crazy cold in Dallas right now.  Yesterday morning was 32, but wind chill of 20.  In November.  In a typical year, it will that cold about 5-10 mornings ever. 

But I managed to get myself out for a run anyway because the absolute best part about the track is being there in the winter.  You can wear 5,000 layers of clothes to get you out the door and onto the track, and then you can shed your layers as necessary and they're all right there when you're done.

I decided to wear my warmest pair of running pants/tights.  On top, I went with a bra (obvs), a short sleeve shirt, a long sleeved shirt, and an Adidas (Boston) jacket.  Plus gloves and an earband.  I figured I'd ditch the jacket during the workout.

As with the first few cold weather runs every season, I feel like I have to relearn what to wear. 

I think yesterday's outfit was too much.  It was cold and windy enough that I couldn't ditch the jacket, so instead, I should have just done long sleeves and the jacket, and skipped the bottom layer.

Live and learn.

Maybe I couldn't ditch the jacket because I was running so slowly.  We had a ladder -- 200 (200), 400 (200), 600 (200), 800 (200), 800 (200), 600 (200), 400 (200), 200 (200), and about 1.5 warm up and the same cool-down.  My paces were pathetic, but actually, I was just happy I did it. 

Between March and November, there will usually be about 5 mornings where I consider staying in bed and skipping a workout (note, I'm not counting the weeks after a marathon or anything, I just mean days when I have a scheduled workout and consider not doing it at all).  And maybe 1 morning when I do it.  I seriously just don't.  It's too much of a slippery slope when I start skipping, and I run with friends so showing up is part of the deal.  But when it's cold, it's like it's an internal battle to get out there EVERY SINGLE DAY. 

And lately, feeling out of shape, dreading my next marathon (even though it's totally for fun), I just have no desire to complete the scheduled workout.  When we last went to the track, I totally just did my own thing, which was much easier than the plan. 

Yesterday, I ran the plan in terms of distance.  I'm still out of shape and so my paces weren't even close to where they should be, but I've run long enough to know that you get a lot from the workout, even if the paces are wrong.  Doing the workouts consistently is what helps the paces eventually get where they need to be.  So if I give in to my inner sloth as I've been doing the last couple weeks (well, technically more than a month, but I planned to run very little while on vacation), it's never going to get any better.  And since I'm not hitting the paces, it means I'm basically running behind my friends and it's way too easy to say, well, I'll just skip the 600 and go straight to the 400.  But I didn't.  And that was enough to make me feel pretty good about yesterday's workout.

Baby steps.

And while the weather people are talking about SNOW (well, now they're conceding flurries at most, they just use the S-word to get ratings), they're saying it will be back in the 60s (which is normal in November) by the end of next week, instead of our current highs in the 30s and 40s.  Then perhaps it won't be such a battle to get out there, and I can focus the battle effort on pushing harder.