Friday, December 29, 2006

Good Stuff Junky

A few posts ago I talked about how it's hard to be a runner sometimes. Today I would like to discuss how it's hard to be a sane runner sometimes. Sometime in my post-marathon stir-crazy over-ambitiousness I decided I should run seven days a week. Even after I started to be bogged down with aches and pains I stubbornly stuck to this schedule. I finally was forced to not run one day because I had to travel for work and voila! My aches and pains got better. But then I proceeded on with my stubborness until I got cranky with mrp for scolding me about running too fast and running too many miles and realized that I was in a running-mania induced fog. I had become one of those people too. Running, frankly, is addictive. I've noticed in an out-of-body sort of way that I exhibit addict like thinking and behaviour about running. Like, I obsess about it, plan my life around it, occasionally resent my family and friends and co-workers who get in the way of it, and snap at mrp when he wags his finger at me about it. I feel sad on days when I don't do it on good days and on bad days I feel anxiety about it--am I a wuss? will my fitness level go down? am I dooming myself to a performance plateau? am I now a fat lard ass?

Now bef0re you plan an intervention, let me just say that I feel this way SOMETIMES, especially when I don't have a plan to stick to and to consult for what I should be doing on any given day. Also, I hate being unhealthy about anything and can only be that way for so long before I catch it and get better. I want to do things the right way. I want to work hard and focus and improve as a runner--I want to improve as much as I can in the short time I have for this training cycle. I know injuring myself and burning out now is not conducive to that. I am working on a sane training schedule that will help me get to where I want to be and I'm happy and excited about that. And for the record, that schedule peaks at the same weekly mileage as the last training cycle and includes one day off from running every week. So really, even though it's hard I can be a good girl healthy runner.


Now if I could just get back in the routine of doing ab exercises every night and throw away those damn cookies...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I Am One of Those People

Christmas has once again come and gone. I have to say this might have been the best Christmas I've had since I was little. Sure, it was stressful getting everywhere we were supposed to be on time and I had to spend an inordinant (read: any) amount of time with certain annoying relatives. However, I had a wonderful time with mrp. One night I wrapped and baked while he tinkered. The next day we had much fun with his parents (where we gorged ourselves on delicious salmon and runny banana cream pie and raked in a shop vac and a fabulous fuzzy pink polka-fotted robe respectively) and then at my step-family boozefest (where we gorged ourselves on whiskey and tequila shots and raked in a Lowe's gift card and a 1/2 hour massage and pastries respectively). The rest of the time brought us two toasters and two salad spinners, a cheesy picture frame, a drill and a saw, and some second-hand tchotchkes. We also kept gorging ourselves to the point we were moaning by Sunday night.

I would say that mrp's gift was the pinnacle of the holiday. However, it's not the gift itself--it's the thought and care that went along with it. It's that mrp bestowed on me the first really nice thing, the kind of thing that becomes a family heirloom, on me and that to him I am worth that. And in case I need to say it, although I don't think I do, but overkill be damned! It has nothing to do with the monetary value--whatever that is--it really is all that other fuzzy wonderful thoughtfulness that makes the gift the best gift I've ever received. The fact that the gift sparkles like nothing I've ever seen sparkle before is just icing on the cake!


Sorry to switch gears, but I haven't posted in a while. Anyway, as for running, I am on pace to run 2,275 miles this year. I have a running log on a horrible corporate sponsored site, but I like the log so much and I've consistently used it so I just can't give it up. Anyway, it has all kinds of handy dandy little features like it tracks how many miles I've run each week, month, and year. Anyway, 2,275 sounds pretty cool especially when I started the year off running 30 mpw.


In other running news, I signed up to run the Mardi Gras 1/2 marathon in New Orleans in February. It's a good time for a Boston tune-up and coincidentally a good time to go see my sister. The only thing is that the course is pretty flat and won't be good for preparing me for Boston's rolling course, but it will be good to experience travelling to a race. Other than a 5k or a 5miler here or there, this will probably be my only real tune-up for Boston. I liked the 5, 10, 1/2 a month a part thing I had last summer (5 miler in July, 10 miler in August, and 1/2 marathon in September). Unfortunately, you just can't schedule that kind of thing in or near Cleveland in the winter.


Finally, before I go let me just mention that last night my friend *B* called and left a vm accusing me of being one of those people that doesn't answer her phone after sundown because she's content in a happy relationship and doesn't need anyone else to talk to after hours. Sigh.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Poor Innocent Bystander Puppy

Ahh, the unproductivity that is the day before a long holiday weekend. I am still realing from some stupid tenant drama this morning. My new tenants decided to get a golden retreiver without telling me. My other tenant told me, so I called out the new tenants who proceeded to be big babies about the whole thing and decided to give the dog back. All I did was request an additional security deposit and lay down some ground rules to keep my investment safe and to keep the peace between tenants. Instead of discussing and negotiating they threw a hissy and copped out. Oh well.

Now I probably get to endure tenant wars. It seems like the new tenants blame the tenants on the other side for "ratting them out" but it's really their fault for not just owning up to it in the first place. Plus, do they really think they could hide a 70 lb dog from me for long? Too bad. I really liked them. If nothing else this gives me cause to start putting the wheels in motion to sell my house. Unfortunately, there are TONS of duplexes in the same town for sale right now and it looks to be nicer ones listed for what mine was listed for 2 years ago. I have to get the facts, crunch some numbers, and think real hard about how much not stressing about this house is worth to me. Right now it's priceless, but I'm getting stingier by the minute. I really feel bad for that poor dog!


In other news, the popliteus is doing well. I've taken a bit of a cut-back week just running 6 miles most days and I'll just do an easy 12 sometime this weekend. Next week I'm ramping it back up hoping to get in 60 (don't worry--easy) miles. Maybe, just maybe, I can get to the track in a couple of weeks.

Anyway, I hope y'all have a great christmas or are having a great Chanukkah (luckily for me there is not one right way to spell this!) Mrp and I will be starting our accelerated family immersion plan on Sunday. In the mean time I have to wrap lots of presents, buy a few more more little things, bake a banana cream pie (yummy!), and help my grandma chop vegetables. Woohoo!


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Unlocking the Secrets of Annoying Relatives

Yesterday I had to travel for work to Chicago. I got to see a factory. It was cool. I took the opportunity to rest my weary popliteus muscle. I headed out during lunch today for 6 miles and felt great!! I have to say the day off did wonders for me. I still felt a little bit of tightness but it was MUCH better than it's felt in a couple of weeks! I am feeling very excited about that!

Not much else interesting going on. I have to wrap a million christmas gifts and get mentally prepared for the familial onslaught that is christmas. Damn, is it going to be family overload. I suppose it's a good thing for the most part. I just have the hardest time with my mom's brother's family and my cousin's wife. Most of the members of that family are one level of annoying, but this chick just pushes all my buttons. She is my sports talking metro-sexual wannabe overly aggressive (read: gay and overcompensating) cousin's high school "sweetheart" who more or less waited him out because she thought to herself, "cha-ching!" All she does at family gatherings is talk about hers or someone else's wedding, house, or kids in the making or kids already made. She's about as multi-dimensional as a sliver of onion skin.

You know, it's funny; these things she talks about that drive me bat-shit-crazy are all things that are important to me. However, there's something about the shamelessness with which she discusses these sacred wonderful things that just bugs. I don't yet know why. I'm working on figuring it out. I think the fact that she boasts about these things bugs me just because it's tacky as shit and that I feel that because I don't and have a black spot of divorce on me others in my family assume these are things I'm not good at and that she is. You know, I think it's that my family believes all the talk and boasting of hers and other members and don't recognize me and my real-deal-put-it-into-actions way about me. My family is so much about perfect happy appearances that I feel less than because I come to the party with my flaws hanging out. Hmm. This makes sense. This is why I always have an overwhelming need to rip on everyone!! I want to expose their flaws too! I hate fakey mcfakeity family BS. I wish that part of my family were more open and honest and let it all hang out. Then it would be more fun.
Ok. I feel kind of embarrassed that somewhere deep down I care so much about what these white bread slices think about me. But, the way to fix it is to first admit it. I feel like I actually resolved something that's bugged me for years. This might actually be a really good christmas!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Queen Willie

Sometimes it's hard being a runner. Today and maybe for the last few days it's been hard for me. The runs themselves haven't been terribly bad but I've just generally felt like doo. I feel kind of stiff all over and have little aches and pains here and there. I'm tired and hungry and thirsty all the time. I also have one actual injury that keeps me from running at all the places I like to run most. I can't even begin to think I could run fast right now. But at the same time I still love it. Even when it's at it's worst I love it. Nothing feels better than finishing up a run that I didn't want to start in the first place. I also feel like pushing through these kinds of rough patches make me much much stronger. Yesterday I ran 16 miles and for the most part I felt kind of blah but I knew that that is just why I NEEDED to run 16 miles yesterday. I needed to push through and get stronger and I feel like I did. Even though I'm not at my best right now I feel confident I can work hard, push through, and achieve my goals and that makes me happy. I still need to find a good group of running friends though. I really think that would help. Soon.

Otherwise, we had a good weekend. We went to two parties and slept WAY in both mornings. The booze cruise was SO unbelievable cheesy with its wood panelled cabin and electric slide playing DJ. The DJ's name was Captain Willie but mrp changed it to Queen Willie. As a woman, I feel a little offended. The people I work with were too behaved though. I wanted some drunken drama!! But, alas, there was none to be had. I avoided the people I can't stand and talked to everyone else and enjoyed the buffet and the bar too.


That's all I got for you now. Running's a little meh lately but life's pretty darn good.




Friday, December 15, 2006

A Summary of What I Would Have Posted if Blogger Didn't Suck So Bad

I just wrote a post about how I was grumpy and now I'm happy and la la la la la la la. But then I went to publish it and blogger ate it so now I'm grumpy again. Oh and I mentioned how I am slacking off today a bit after having had a productive week and how talking to my friends always stirs my maternal pot and how much I look forward to trying to bake buns in my oven with mrp and yet am happy with things at this moment and how this makes me the ultimate analytical multi-tasker. Oh, and tonight mrp is making his debut on my arm at a work-related booze cruise. Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

There's Nothing Wrong With Wanting More

My damn calf is acting up again. Thank goodness I have an appointment with the sports doctor tonight. I need to get this thing under control or just understand what the problem is so I can figure out how to manage it. It's more annoying than downright painful. I just want it to go away and let me be free to run like the wind!

In other news I feel the need to find more running friends. My running friend *T* is nice but he isn't training for anything and he isn't challenging me to be better. Instead I feel like he's just a warm body to make running at the park less scary in that maybe the serial killer will find me less appealing when I'm running with a dude. He is very nice and I like hearing about his fat girlfriend in the roller derby and imparting my old lady wisdom on him. I just want someone to impart wisdom on me for a change. This is one of the reason I love mrp so much. He is always teaching me new stuff and I trust his advice immensely. But this is not (another) post on how much I love mrp. No, I just need to branch out and find some more running pals. Once I get this calf situation under control I'm going to try some new groups.

This weekend I also came to the realization that I am sick of being a coaster at work. I hate it. I want to do a good job and be proud of myself and maybe accomplish something beyond bringing home a paycheck. I can still do a great job at work while doing other stuff like loving up some mrp and training hard. Those things won't die if I stop thinking about them for several hours a day. In fact, those things might even be more enjoyable if I create a new branch of happy and satisfied here at the office. Yes, the irony is that I am typing this post at work. I know. I know. I'm getting back to the memo.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Moon Over My Calfy

Ok, so I was happy until I mangled my leg. What the hell did I do? I kind of feels like I strained my calf at the very top and that it's pulling behind my knee. It is this weird tightness/soreness behind my knee, but on the calf side as opposed to the hamstring side. It is really tight and uncomfortable after I get up after having been parked on my ass for an extended period of time. Once I walk around for a couple minutes it feels better. I first felt it after a slow 6 mile run on the treadmill on Monday. Then I pretty much forgot about it. Then after my run last night it was back--not during just immediately upon stopping. Today when I woke up it sucked and then eased back up throughout the day. I ran pretty much pain free for 6 miles at lunch (I was hyperaware of it so I noticed several twinges of tightness but overall hardly anything). Then again when I stopped there it was. It just freaks me out. I am limping around to walk to the restroom or to get a cup of water. How am I going to do a long run this weekend? And running was going so good!! Damn. The smart thing to do would be to try to get into my sports md asap before continuing to run on it. The obstinate runner thing to do is to just keep running as long as it doesn't hurt while I'm running. This course of action will actually be fine if it's just a slight muscle strain, which is what I'm suspecting since it's tight and only hurts when my leg is straight. If it's something like a meniscus tear or tendon problem I'm pretty much screwed no matter what I do. I guess I'll just keep on running.

In other news there was a gorgeous huge moon last night beaming down on our fair city. Of course when I saw it I chalked the full moon up to this recent rash of happiness I've been experiencing. Of course that's not the case, but it is just the type of joke us ho-hum types like to make. But seriously, it was so gorgeous twinkling on the snowy skyline and I'm still feeling happy--gimpy leg and all.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Whatever It Is

Oh my god. I'm such a chick. I'm getting all moony about Christmas and wrapping presents and decorating. Who AM I?! Lately I've been mildly pursuing why I have this deep-seeded idea that it is cheesy to have any stereo-typically female desires like wanting to get married, have babies, home-make, etc. Why is it embarrassing for me to divulge this information about myself? I know it has something to do with the fact that all the female humans I know that talk about this stuff pretty much do so incessantly and it annoys me. I hate when women have self-worth only as floofy doofy ditzy females. I feel like I can hang in a man's world and talk about things like politics and art and literature and movies and sports and dirty jokes. My only contribution to this world is not limited to my ability to coordinate the napkin rings with the coasters. I suppose I feel somewhat looked down on by those decorating wifey mom types among us. I guess deep down I feel like to be a good wife, mother, home-maker I have to be those things singlemindedly like many women. I know deep down that I'm a better partner and I'll be a great mother because of my curiosity, worldliness and experiences, but for some reason I feel like those bitches better know it too! Why do I care what they think? I suppose this is the important question. It's also important to stop seeing these people as judgmental bitches, too. I suppose that's not helping. Heh. Ok, ok. They're not judgmental bitches (usually)--that part's all in my head.

But seriously. I have been so happy the last few days. The only time I'm stressed is a little here and there at work and then driving in morning rush hour traffic on icy roads. Otherwise, I've just been giddy with glee. My cats are pretty much behaving. Mrp is the most adoreable mrp in the land and running has just been fab. My job is a bit boring, but not too bad either. My mom's not totally gross and boozy when I've seen her the last few times. My sister almost sounds like she's responsible. My pituitary tumor is in the back of my mind (literally!) and I've just accepted it and feel like I'll do what I need to do when I need to do it--what else can I do?! Money is the same and I've accepted it. I'll keep shoveling out of the debt with my puny shovel and do the best I can--what else can I do? My house worries me, but not so much. All the things that usually worry me are just not worrying me. Instead my thoughts are consumed with wishing for more birds at the bird feeder and being excited to see the orchard covered in snow in the daylight and how lucky we are to live next to a beautiful old bridge and how absolutely gorgeous the roads around our house are for running.


Part of it might be that I've been getting to bed on time most days lately. Part of it is that I've been working hard at relaxing and dealing with the things that obstruct my happiness. Part of it is that I have a great life. Whatever it is, I'm just happy!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Voila!

I need to update my running goals for this training cycle. It's hard to pick just the right goal: not unobtainable but ambitious enough to inspire me to work hard to achieve them. Anyway, after the marathon I made new running goals and I think they were all too conservative. I wanted to break 34 minutes for a five-mile and I have since broken 33 minutes! (Yes, I AM awesome in case you wondering, heh). This morning I also annhilated my previous 5k PR that I set in highschool of 22:03. I ran a 19:42. This might be the biggest breakthrough--mental, anyway--of my adult running career thus far. My 5k time used to be the barometer of my worth as a person back in my teen years. Yes, of course, now I realize how damn pathetic that sort of quantitative self-valuation is. However, to run what seemed like only the times of very very worthy people does make me feel pretty damn good. Besides that, it just demonstrates that with a little hard work I can do all kinds of cool things I doubt I can do.

Ok, onto the new goals. I input my 5k and 5mile times on this handy-dandy magic Mcmillan calculator thingee and I think for a 1/2 I'd like to go under 1:31 and for a 10 mile I'd like to run around a 1:08. As for my new marathon goal I'm going to train for a 3:12 (7:20/mile--4 seconds slower than last summer's half-marathon pace--yikes!). I think the 3:12 is tough but doable. It's kind of funny--last training cycle the Mcmillan calculator predicted my marathon time almost to the second from my 5 mile time (if you put in 34:57 for 5 miles it predicts a 3:25:36--I ran 3:25:38!) and my half-marathon time almost to the second from my 10-mile time (if you put in 1:11:40 for 10 miles it gives you 1:35:11 for a half and I ran a 1:35:11 for the half!). So by this logic, I should run a 3:13:32 in Boston (that's what you get when you enter my 32:54 anyway--if you put in my 5k time I should run a 3:12:03). This is getting just a little to magic-eightbally for my taste. Plus, running talk = boring talk.