Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Updates of All Sorts

I feel like life has been so chaotic lately, but this long weekend was exactly what I needed. 

I bought a car!  It's almost exactly the same as my old car.  Still a blue, BMW, 4-seat convertible.  The main differences:  Automatic headlights!  Automatic windshield wipers!  A radio I don't know how to work!  A big @ss key I have to carry on my runs or mess with pulling into pieces! 

I went to Chicago!  I had a major work presentation with my boss that I felt like went pretty well.  There were a few issues because I wasn't clicking my own slides and the woman who was kept skipping ahead, so I'd ask a question of the audience and the answer would already be on the screen behind me. 

Other relevant Chicago details:  I almost cried going to the airport because my pretty new car got wet (but fortunately, it turned out to be waterproof).  I got to run LSD one morning, one of my fave places to run in the world.  I got to stay at the Peninsula, which I would rank as one of the 5 best hotels I've ever stayed in (and one of the 2 best in the US).  I got to spend an afternoon with my nephew from San Francisco (he and his mom were in Milwaukee for the week and drove down to see me), and an afternoon and evening with my newest niece (born in August) (and of course my baby brother and my sister in law).  I got to have dinner at Shanghai Terrace, which was great.

We bought more plane tickets!  Technically, only one new trip on the books (Vegas in 2 weeks with my husband's boss and his girlfriend), and tickets within one already booked trip (round trip from Santiago to Easter Island in October). 

I'm less than two weeks away from locking in my airline status for next year!  That means I've still just over half the year to see if I can do it again, and thus lock in the next higher level.  Not sure I want to do that, since each trip seems to be such a beating, but it's nice to know I'm set with at least basic status for almost 2 years.  I've got to think about whether I'm going to go for segments or miles if I try for the next level up.  Right now, miles would be easier since I've made more progress on miles than segments, but segments are easier -- instead of taking my usual direct flight to Philly, I could book flights with a connection that will speed things up on the segment front.  But really, I'd rather make the basic level and then just stay home the rest of the year (except for vacation).  I have a bad feeling though that it's going to get to be mid-November and I'm going to add up my remaining trips and be something like 5,000 miles short, and then be in a quandry of whether to do some mileage runs or just let the higher level slip from my grasp.

I regained my beer mile title!  First overall female, but ... in my slowest beer mile ever (but incidentally, probably the best spring beer mile weather we've ever had).  But when I realized my main competition was really struggling (this was of course after blatantly accusing her of lying while we were in the drinking zone and I was sure she was pulling my leg claiming it was her third beer when I was on my fourth), I really relaxed pace-wise and my final lap was very slow.  More of a victory lap than the final 400 meters of a mile race.  The title will undoubtedly be hers again in December -- our marathon paces are I think more than 30 minutes apart right now, she's smokin' fast -- but I've got to take what I can get! 

Other relevant beer mile details:  My usual Philly attorney was in Dallas to meet with me and some of my co-workers and my boss.  When he was scheduling his trip, since beer mile race date had been on the calendar for at least 4 months, I told him I'd be free for lunch but that I had evening plans.  And then I thought it would be fun to invite him -- he accepted the challenge.  And he loved it.  He was rightfully very proud of himself for finishing it.  I told him he's invited back for the December iteration of the race. 

So now the entire internet is up to speed with my world! 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Breaking the Seal

I spend very little time drinking in bars these days.  I guess that's not unusual for anyone who's 40 and/or married and/or is working out 6 days a week before 5:30 a.m.  But on the rare occasion that I do drink the night away, I still go back to what I remember as a personal truth from being out in bars in law school and back in my single days in Dallas:  hold off as long as possible at all costs, because once you break the [pee] seal, it's broken.  I could be in a bar drinking for 4 hours and never have to use the restroom, but as soon as I did go, breaking the seal, then I'd have to start going about every 15 minutes.  And if I used the restroom in the first hour of being out drinking, same thing, I'd be going every 15 minutes all night long.  So just don't break the seal! 

I'm not going to be car-less for long, but I feel like while I'm doing a ton of running commutes, it's almost the same principle but regarding food in the office. 

I'm back to my old routine now that I'm officially training and running with my friends again in the mornings.  That means my morning schedule for working out and eating/drinking is something like this:

5:00 half a granola bar (I eat those kind that are "oats and honey" two bars to a package, so it's really one full bar in my mind)

Run with friends or go to boot camp

7:00 espresso and smoothie (spinach, kale, frozen beets, frozen blueberries, frozen fruit mix (pineapple, peaches, strawberries, grapes), protein powder, chia seeds (thanks Amy), carrot juice, some kind of fresh juice with ginger, apple cider vinegar (thanks Megan), and now, a little bit of liquid calcium (just using up a bottle my ex-aunt couldn't fly home with)). 

Run to work, shower, chug water.

Mid-morning snack (2 tortillas rolled up with spinach and blue cheese).

Lunch usually around 1:30. 
Random fruit and/or snacks in the afternoon.
Then maybe another half granola bar around 6:00.
Run home around 6:30 or 7
Eat dinner.

Back a couple weeks ago, when I still owned a car and was driving to work every day (and going to the hospital to visit at night), I would take a thermos of espresso to work with me, and I'd sip that most of the morning and I'd eat my mid-morning snack slowly, from about 9:30 until about 11. 

But now with the running commute, I'm just not hungry when I sit down at my desk.  And it gets to be 11, and I'm still not hungry. 

But when I break that seal and eat the first tortilla just because I feel like it's time, then I'm an eating machine.  I'm trying very hard to make sure it's mostly good stuff, but I feel like I'm going for bites of something every 15 minutes (in reality, it's probably not that often, just seems like it). 

Just like the old college days.  You know, but with whole wheat tortillas filled with spinach, instead of Jager and Redbull...

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Carless Routine

I officially started marathon training this week.  (Don't ask me for what race, I still don't know.  Probably Columbus, KC, Des Moines or Quad Cities, but I haven't committed.)  And due to the lack of car, I'm back to doing what I did all the time back in 2013, when I was in maybe the shape of my life?  Certainly at least in half and marathon PR shape.  Back in 2013, I was running fairly high mileage while training for Berlin. 

My schedule looked roughly like this every week:

Mon:  Boot camp, sometimes run home from boot camp (2.75 miles).
Tues:  Run 6-9 with running friends, then run 3.75 to work (slowly), work all day, run 3.75 home.
Wed:  Boot camp, sometimes run home from boot camp (2.75 miles), run 3.75 to work, work, run 3.75 home.
Thurs:  Run 6-9 with running friends, then run 3.75 to work (slowly) (and then work, and get picked up by my husband).
Fri:  Boot camp or 10k hill loop with running buddy.
Sat:  Rest (or occasionally race).
Sun:  Long run (14-22, depending on the week).

That was a lot of miles (for me) most weeks, but a lot of them were junk miles, basically all of my commuting miles, which were usually very slow (recovery pace or slower), sometimes doing run/walk with a co-worker.  And that led me to my marathon PR. 

And then I gained some weight, got lazy, and stopped doing 2.5 days of running commutes per week.  I've been pretty faithful about doing a running commute about one day per week since then unless it was a travel week, or the weather was bad, or I was tired... 

Then April happened.  We had houseguests for over a month and we spent most nights at the hospital with my cousin and his son (who is now fine, they flew home about a week ago).  That meant 0 running commutes for me (and about 5 more pounds, since lots of nights we'd pick up restaurant food to take to the hospital). 

Last week when I sold my car, I was forced back into the regular running commute routine.  I really should try to stick with it, even if/when I get my new car (hopefully this week!). 

Today is on track to be over 13 miles, which hasn't happened in months or longer.  Woot!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Wrong week

I think I've got the wrong week to be stuck with a running commute in Dallas.

On the plus side, it could be way hotter, and if it pours on me on every single morning commute, at least my clothes won't smell like sweat? 

I'm just worried it's going to be storming on at least 3 of my 5 commute runs (no PM commute Thursday because I'm going to hitch a ride to beer mile!).  I hate running in thunderstorms.  I can deal with the rain on a normal run, but I like it less on a commute, but the thunder and lightning will really bother me -- maybe I'll uber one day or try to coordinate schedules with my husband...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Pit Bull

I think Pit Bull must have a very high ownership interest in Pandora.  He is freaking every other song it seems no matter which of my three stations I pick.  I mean, I'm fine with an occasional Pit Bull song.  I think a reasonable ratio might be once every 100 songs?  But he seems to be about every 10th song.  Maybe even more.  Definitely too much. 

I think I'm only just now realizing this because I'm listening to more Pandora lately.  The only time I listen to Pandora is in the locker room at work while I'm getting dressed.  And I'm spending a lot more time there it seems because I am officially car-less! 

Sold my sweet baby this week and haven't got a new one yet.  Yikes!  So I'm run commuting by necessity, which is all fun and good for a few days, but I think my husband will get irritated with ride sharing by the middle of next week if this hasn't been sorted out yet.  And maybe I'm giving him too much credit, he might be irritated by the middle of this weekend, depending on how much schedule coordination has to occur. 

One of his co-workers bought my car, which is maybe less anxiety-ridden than it would otherwise be.  The night he bought it, there were random storms later in the evening.  The new buyer told me he was going to keep my car (well, his car if we're being technical) in his garage.  When I saw on the news that some parts of the metroplex saw hail in that storm, I started texting him repeatedly to get confirmation that my car was okay and hadn't been left outside. 

Then I called him again the next morning to make sure everything was still okay, and he said something along the lines of "you know, at some point, something might happen to the car, and you're going to have to be okay with it." 

I was tempted to tear up his check and seize back my car.  WTH???  I only sold it to him because he promised to love it and take good care of it.  I should have demanded that he kiss it upon accepting ownership (I kissed it goodbye repeatedly). 

I told him that I expect the car to be kept safe and protected for at least 4.75 years, until its 21st birthday, and he should exercise extreme caution to avoid exposure to hail, door dings, road debris, and accidents for at least the next 5 years.  I don't think I'm being unreasonable here.