life gets in the way


I know, everyone. Don’t faint. Yes, I’m posting again.  I have been meaning to post for some time, but work has been extremely busy. And, to be honest, until a little while ago, I was in a rut.

Boston’s winter has not been kind, and we still have a long way to go til it’s over. We already have about 3 1/2 times as much snow as we normally do for this time of year. I’ve not run outside in over a week, basically because my options include (a) running on very slippery, uneven sidewalks, if they are even shoveled  or (b) running down the middle of the right hand lane on my street, which, by the way, is a major road in Boston. So, this week, I once again (gulp, heavy swallow) embraced the treadmill once again. And the Escalator-to-Nowhere stairclimber. Tomorrow, I’ll be hugging the recumbent bike again.  It’ll be nice to see my long lost friend again.

I’ve now been on Prozac for something like 2 or 3 months. I can honestly say that it is making a huge difference. I’m very glad I finally decided to start taking it.  My doctor said we’ll know I’m at the right dosage, when I don’t feel just “better” but “normal.”  We recently upped my dosage and right now I feel like I am at that level of “normal.” Yes, sometimes I feel a bit sad, and sometimes lonely, but those times are becoming fewer and farther in between.

I am trying to focus on my friends, and meeting new ones too.  At my request, my mom and I have taken a bit of a break from each other. At least where I am concerned, and I know this may sound harsh, this is for the better. I am not sure when I will reinitiate contact, it’s one of those things I think I will know the time is right, when the time has come.  And, in case you are wondering, she no longer reads my blog. She said she stopped when I started using abbreviations (you know, such as WTH? or WTF?) And, I don’t think she understands or thinks anti-depressants or medication actually help.

Until then, I greatly appreciate the support of my friends, both those I see in person, and those I talk to online. I also love my doctor and therapist. Both of them have been wonderful, and have been asking all good questions (not always the easiest to answer, but that’s ok, to get better is to go through some hard stuff occasionally.)

Also, things between Bill and I are good. They are very civil. I think we are both moving forward with our lives. It really doesn’t help to be caught up in the past. I find that if I think about the past, it only makes me sad, by and large. I’m not trying to not think about it, but to focus on good stuff.  It’s taken a while to get to this point with us, but I am glad that we are in this place now. He’ll always have played a big part in my life, and I hope to be friends with him in the future. I’m just going to keep moving forward.

My gym is running a Spring Challenge, where you have 204 miles to go as a goal between MLK Day and Patriots Day. I figure I can do that as long as I don’t have any injuries, because you can accrue miles by running/walking/biking/elliptical.  Nope, unfortunately the Esclator-to-Nowhere doesn’t count, but the trainer who runs the program told me she’s thinking of challenges that involve it. I understand that participants may get some perks, and they will likely put together some group runs, and maybe have us run some 5Ks and/or 10K races. I told the trainer in charge of the program about the 10K I will be doing on Super Bowl Sunday, which is supposed to be fast and flat, and along the water. It also has a 5K option for those who so choose, which would be good for newer runners, so she is going to check it out. I offered to help her find some good races – whether or not she takes me up on it, is fine. It’ll be nice to meet more runners, and especially if some of them are new to the sport, I feel like I can offer a lot.

Today I ran 6.27 miles on the treadmill, starting at 6.7 as the speed, increasing up to 6.9. I was pleased to see my average pace overall was 8:49 because it felt nice and easy, very aerobic. I’ve been working on my abs and doing some strength training too. Today, I held a plank for 6:10, my longest time ever!!! And that was at the end of my workout, when I usually feel like I am going to turn to jello!

And, here’s my big news: I am going to start working with Rich, who is a Master Trainer at the gym, next week. My first session will be an hour long, and then after that, I will likely go down to half hour sessions (just because they are a bit more affordable.) Rates for Master Trainers are a bit higher than for personal trainers, but I really like this guy. He’s very down to earth, and encouraging, and friendly, and I don’t worry that he will be texting someone else while he’s working with me. I did a free session with him a few months ago when I first joined the gym, and I really liked his style of coaching. So, wish me luck–when I asked him if I should work out the day before our first session, he laughed and said “I wouldn’t…” LOL 

And yes, ladies, in case you are wondering, he is very cute.   Hey, I would have to be lying down in a coffin, 6 feet underground to not notice! I am sure that women throw themselves at him all the time, and that he’s perfected the “I’m gonna act oblivious act to avoid an AWKWARD situtation” act out of necessity.  (To be honest, I consider this a good, healthy sign that I’m even noticing things like that.)  Yeah…never been a problem I’ve had to deal with, LOL.

Needless to say, I am ready and willing to have my butt kicked. Changing up my routine has been good, and gotten me out of a rut that I badly wanted and needed to be out of. And my weight as of today was 110, which has me very psyched!

I realize some of these pics that I have included in this post, you may have seen before through Twitter, but what’s a blog post without some pics of my animals? The cats even seem to be getting along better, “sharing” each other’s food. (Um…yeah…it’s more like “stealing” each other’s food, but hey it’s only semantics.)  So, the move has been good for them, and even while it has meant going through a lot of pain to get here, I think things are starting to become good for me too.

Thank you to everyone for all the amazing support these last several months. I hope that by writing this positive post, you can see how much I appreciate it and value it.

Onward, and upward.

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The last few days have been quite hectic, to say the least. I moved on Sunday, and have been busy unpacking and trying to organize things over the last few days. At times I have felt like if anything can go wrong, it will.  My TV broke during the move (or maybe it broke before, who knows?) The recliner chair was never put back together by the movers, and they left behind a moving blanket whichI did NOT want to be charged for.  The painters didn’t get into the apartment until AFTER all of my stuff had been moved in. I came home Tuesday afternoon to find the painter hard at work, but all of my stuff which had finally gained a sense of normalcy, placement-wise, had been shoved into the middle of the room. I know the guy had to do it, and the place does look better painted, but I couldn’t find anything all over again!!

 The worst thing to happen, which I couldn’t do much about, was that none of my wall unit air conditioners fit in the windows of my building. It’s quite old, and they are just really weird to describe. When it hit 90 today with disgusting dew points, it felt pretty miserable in the apartment. I’ve since bought a portable AC to cool the place off, but again with the windows being so weird, it’s a whole ordeal to get it to exhaust to the outside, so right now, it’s sitting in my bedroom. I had turned it on earlier, and while it felt cool in the front of the unit, guess what was happening on the back end?  You guessed it, a ton of hot air was coming out, as is expected.  So it was like a vicious circle of energy, it would exhaust hot air just to cool it back down again.

At times over the past few days I’ve felt panicked.  Stuff I used to have help with, I don’t anymore. The “feeling helpless” side of me would start swearing out loud and get more pissed off by the minute. The rationale, independent side of me would say that I could do it and just needed to take a deep breath (as @ridgeley on Twitter so kindly reminded me to do. By the way, if you are not following her, you should. She always posts interesting photos, reads a lot about current events, and she is a real sweetheart of a person.)

Tonight, I realized all this negativity and insecurity is just feeding into itself and making things even worse.  I remember when I first changed my tagline on my blog to “moving forward with optimism.”  It was kind of a play on words, but now I think it has to become more of my motto for life again.  Training for the marathon in 2008, they drilled it into our heads that you had to have a positive attitude, and it needed to extend beyond just the race, otherwise the head games would do you in, and you’d never make it through.   Over the last few months, for various reasons, I’ve let that slip.

So, from now on, when I hit these hurdles, I’ll remind myself that I made this choice to go it all alone, knowing things would be difficult at times.  All the things that stressed me out over the past few days either worked themself out, or will over the next few days. I just need more patience, a whole lot more sleep, start writing again, and to get back into a routine. Oh, and remember that it’s ok for me to ask for help (which is something I don’t like doing).  The only thing I’ve been able to keep some semblance of a routine with is running. I’ve tried to not miss too many days over the past few weeks. It’s kept me (somewhat) sane.

I think this is a time when I’m going to learn a lot about myself – my friend and sister-in-law keeps reminding me that I’m not the same person I used to be when I first moved to this city. (Thankfully, she means it in a good way…)

So, these are the good things I can point to over the last few days:

  • Fresh coat of paint in the living room/hallway really does make the place look better.
  • I had some really good, generous friends give up their entire Sunday to help me move.
  • I’ve got some very good family close by with whom I was able to spend a lot of time recently, and I think that strengthened our relationship.
  • I’ve got my cats back, and one of them seems to be really flourishing, running all over  the place, rather than confining herself to just the bedroom. (They were even both on the couch with me for a few seconds! I should mention, they don’t get along.)
  • The older cat has stopped hissing and growling at me, finally. (She was not happy with being boarded at the vet temporarily.)
  • Work has been really understanding about my taking so many days off over the past week and a half.
  • Have been able to run the past few mornings at a relatively decent pace, even given the humidity. Runs have only been 4 miles or so, but I’ve not slept well either. 
  • Noticed this morning that if I want to run hills to get stronger, there is no shortage of them around me. Even scoped out a long  hill to do some hill workouts on with my friend, Meg.
  • I got to see this view below the last few mornings while out on a run (photo taken with zoom by Gorillacam app so it’s not as clear as otherwise would be.)   I will try to take more over the next few weeks. Should be really pretty in the fall when the leaves change.

 

View of Prudential and John Hancock Towers from the reservoir near Boston College

I know that thing are not perfect, and money will be tight for the foreseeable future, but I will make it through. My mom taught me how to make do.  And if worse comes to worse, I get a second job. I’m no stranger to working long hours or working hard.  (I’m actually glad to be going back tomorrow as we are starting to get into the busy time. I’m already talking in front of the new Law Review kids next week – they come back 2 weeks early. Talk about “August Tsunami.”)

If nothing else, I’ve got my running hobby to help me keep things in check. I’ve got plenty of running clothes and my sneakers are in good shape, so I should be set for a while where that’s concerned. If  do a few less races, it won’t kill me.  There are a lot of new places to run around here to keep things fresh and interesting.

Anyway, that’s it for now.

This has been a long and strange month and I’m going to be glad to see it leave. Long story short, and with no details, because they are personal, I made a difficult (really difficult) decision over the weekend that has major consequences for me and others.  Ididn’t arrive at it lightly. So, I’ve been quite stressed for the past several weeks, which is part of the reason why I’ve not been posting much. Only so much energy to go around. Right now, I’m kind of running on empty.

By the way, this paragraph is only intended for the person who sent me a nasty “mention” on Twitter, in case he/she reads my blog.  (The rest of you can just skip it.) First of all, if you are someone who I’ve never met in the physical world, and are that type of person who just looks to send snarky comments to people you’ve never spoken to before, GET A LIFE.  Second, if you are someone who really does know me personally, then “man or woman up” and confront me in a non-cowardly way. Call me/email me/see me in person, but don’t hide between a fake Twitter name that you created just to be an ass. And rest assured that if you do keep creating Twitter IDs, and follow me again, you will be blocked and reported for spam every single time.

OK…NOW that I’ve got that out of the way, I’ll talk about what I usually talk about here: running. I’ve really cut down the volume of running when it comes to long runs on the weekends. We were out of town for 3 weekends straight in July, to go to Florida on vacation and to go to a wedding in South Carolina.  Who goes to Florida in July, you ask? Well, we did, in order to see my sister and her family. (Their oldest kid was in a national soccer tournament.)  For those of you who’ve never been to Florida, at any time of the year, trust me, the humidity is absolutely gross. One morning I left the gym at 10 a.m., and it was 89, but the humidity factor made it feel like 109. GROSS.  I couldn’t believe how my 9 year old nephew was able to run around on a soccer field for almost an hour every day in that kind of heat.

I’ve only run one race this entire month, and it was my favorite. The Weston/Marathon Sports 5 Miler. The first year I ran the race, I did it in 50 minutes or so (this was also when I was training for a marathon and had no concept of pace.) Last year, I did it in 44 minutes and change.  Last week, I only hoped to break into the 43 barrier.  So, you can imagine my surprise at finishing with a time of 41:33 sitting on my Garmin. 🙂

Ordinarily, I’d do a whole race report, and maybe I will in the future, but I  hope everyone will understand why I’m just going to include  my stats for now. This race usually includes tons of really fast runners so I’m very satisfied with my placement.

  • Division F30-39: 40/137
  • 147/418 Women
  • 489/914 overall

All I can say is, my running over the past week (with the exception of Saturday morning, when I found it hard to pretty much move forward at all), has been on the faster side.  I’ve been going for runs in my brother’s neighborhood and looking down at my watch, feeling like I’m running slow, but finding that I’m running under 9 minute pace, or in the low 9s (even on the 3rd straight day of running.) So, if stress and lack of sleep makes me run fast, well, then I guess I’ll be a speed maniac for the foreseeable future. It’s like my mind has just completely taken over on my runs.

Anyway, thanks for reading, and to those of you who have been contacting me personally lately, thank you very much for reaching out.  The view below I will soon be seeing often. I definitely think being near water calms me down.

Reservoir near Boston College

I admit I have not been blogging so much lately. I have a good excuse. It’s called mulch. Lots of it. Six yards of it.  If you are wondering, ” Terri, just how much is six yards of mulch?” then let me tell you, this is an amount of mulch that gets delivered via dump truck and the pile is so large, that ten days later, I am still at it.  I’ve had three good work days out there so far, at least 3-4 hours worth each day, filling up my wheelbarrow over and over and over…wait for it….and over, again.  It’s hot (some days more so than others, today being a steamy one), but it’s something I enjoy doing.  Our neighbors definitely appreciate it, as we understand that before we moved in, no one living in our house could grow grass in the front lawn, and when you drive into our neighborhood from one direction, since we live on a corner, our house is one of the first you see. We’ve been told that we do good work!

I’ve also been planting annuals (purple Midnight Dreams petunias, to be exact), and for once, bought too few, rather than too many. So, I’ve got to go back and buy more tomorrow, along with veggies.  Bill spent most of Sunday making a pen and gate to go around what will be part of our veggie garden, as Ruthie, our yellow lab (focus on the word “yellow” for a second) found it enjoyable to sit in the nice black, composted dirt I put down in preparation for our veggies. 🙂

Me, trying to "break out" of my pen/cage (not the best pic of me, but oh well!)

 Bill spent most of Sunday making a pen and gate to go around what will be part of our veggie garden, as Ruthie, our yellow lab (focus on the word “yellow” for a second) found it enjoyable to sit in the nice black, composted dirt I put down in preparation for our veggies. 🙂  That garden is about 7-8 feet by 14 feet. Hopefully we’ll get some good crops this year, we’ve not had such good luck the past two summers, so we’re going to get starter plants from a different nursery. I really would like to start from seed, but I’m not sure I have enough indoor space.

Oh, and I’ve also been running a fair amount. We’ve had weird weather – pouring rain during most of last week’s track session, and some major heat today (hit about 90, with high 80s forecasted for tomorrow.)  I did a 12 mile run this past Sunday on the course that I am running a half-marathon on, at the end of June.  Here I need to give a shout-out to someone with whom I talk regularly on Twitter, but who for privacy reasons, I won’t mention by  name because he lives near where the race will be held. (You know who you are.)  You were very patient in answering all of my silly questions about where to park, bathrooms, etc., and I am very grateful!  (So silly of Meg and I to drive the course ahead of time and not pay attention to stuff like that. We were so preoccupied with figuring out how bad the hills are!)  And a major thanks for reminding me to be careful, those roads really are narrow and windy.  I felt like I had my own tour guide ahead of time, and honestly, it’s the little unknown things like that, which nonsensically, can make me very stressed sometimes. So, anyway, thank you.

The good news is that while the course has some KILLER hills (and I mean killer, they just go on and on and on, and wait for it, on and on…) it also has some major downhills, and there is a lot of shade cover.  I was told that the roads I’d be running on are called The Road In the Woods by some “younger folks,” and they really are. The course makes you feel like you are running in the woods for a lot of portions, yet you don’t need to worry about tripping over roots!  Also, because my GI system has been giving me issues on runs lately (no pun intended, LOL), I kept my eyes out for areas where, if necessary, in a pinch, I could make a run to take care of business and be somewhat private. (Hey, you never know.)

I also know what shirt I am probably not wearing that day. Not sure if it was my bra, or my camelbak strap, but I got some major chaffage on my neck.  My husband and one of my guy coworkers was like “you look like you got a hickey!”  Yes, that’s just what  I want to look like, at work, at age 37.   SIGH. I feel like I should be wearing a sign saying “I ran on Sunday and this is chaffing, not what you think it is!” with a finger pointing to my neck.  (At any rate, diaper rash ointment seems to be helping.)

Oh, and I found I am capable of driving with two ice bags on my legs. Where I ran is about 30-40 minutes from my house on the highway and I didn’t want to be too stiff for the rest of the day so I stopped, bought two bags, and took care of things.  And no, I don’t drive a stick shift (although I am very capable of doing so, I actually like driving  a manual transmission!)

Anyway, folks, here’s the deal.  There is NO WAY IN HELL that I am going to do 1:52 on that half-marathon course. There are too many hills. I am not trying to be dramatic, just trying to be realistic. In fact, I’m more likely to run faster this weekend at Boston’s Run to Remember Half-Marathon (which I’m doing as a long run with several thousand of my closest friends), because it’s a much, much flatter course.)

I’ve been trying to add “progression runs” into my workouts, meaning every mile you run gets faster with the last mile being run at about your 10K pace or faster. My coach said I should try to do at least one of 5-6 miles per week. Another run he wants me to do is 35-40 minutes of “comfortable but hard” running.  The progression run I attempted on Friday was halted due to my needing to visit the fine establishment of McDonalds at 6:30 a.m., and the sad realization that I probably can no longer use Sports Beans. (Believe me, this bothers me.) Yeah, that really wasn’t so much fun.   I tried it again today – it was already in the 70s with humidity levels upwards of 74-75% so I’m happy that all but one of my miles “progressive.” (The third mile involved some walking, as I didn’t have water with me. Stupid, I know. I just didn’t feel like carrying it.)

Anyway, my next post will include info on our track workouts, in case some of you are interested in doing track workouts but just don’t have a group around you like we do.  Tomorrow’s workout just might kill me if it stays this hot! (8 800s, with active recovery in between!)

Thanks for reading!

How can you not love this face?

Wow, it has been a while since I posted on here. And it’s been a while since I’ve been in the mood to be on Twitter a lot. I go in spurts. Sometimes I’m just about addicted to Twitter, other days I don’t want to really get on there, especially during lunch because 20 minutes later, there I still am, typing along with  my thumb and pointer finger (I know, I’m weird, I can’t really type with two thumbs.)

Anyway, what have I been up to since the Claddagh 4-mile race? Well, I was supposed to run a 5-mile race the following week, on March 14th.  Unfortunately that also fell on Day 2 of a 3 day deluge of rain, during which our area got 10 INCHES  of rain.  We are now in the middle of getting somewhere between 4-6 inches again.  Mind you, some folks have not stopped pumping water out of their basements during that time because we’ve had a few normal rain storms in between.  Lovely.

I feel like a wimp, but I just didn’t feel like running that race in a downpour, with 25-30 mph wind gusts.  I hated to disappoint my friend Meg, and I really did want that 3rd medal, but I guess for me, the third time (next year) will be the charm and I’ll finally get all 3.

Let’s see – I went to a Celtics game on St. Patrick’s Day, thanks to my husband who won seats just 14 rows off of the floor.  Nothing like being in Boston on a day that celebrates the Irish. 🙂  Then I took a few personal days and took it easy.

Penny and Terri at the tweet-up - finally we met!!

During my personal time off, I traveled to NYC.  I am so happy to report that I FINALLY met Penny, aka @southbaygirl on Twitter, of the PlanetYnnepRunning blog (she recently had to protect her blog so you have to request the ability to be read it).  She was in NYC to run the NYC Half Marathon, and asked if I could come down from the Boston area to meet her. I figured it would likely be the closest we could ever get to each other, so I went down and stayed with my brother and met her at a tweetup, and then again on Sunday at, and after, the race. She is, quite honestly, one of the most generous and genuine people I have ever met. And I felt like I’d already known her for quite some time. Because, in a way, we have. We’ve read each other’s blogs now for almost 2 years. Amazing, huh?

While I was in NYC, I had a great run with my brother on Sunday night (in SHORTS, no less.) Oh yeah, did I neglect to say that while I was there, it was also about 70 degrees? I know Penny was aggravated/frustrated by that, but for my part, I was LOVING it. (Especially since it went back to the 30s this past weekend her in MA.)

Penny and I, with @tinyjenna, @followjocelyn, and @katiemiller at the NYC Half Marathon

What’s on my horizon?  Um, a lot.  Work this Sunday, April 4th (volunteered to work without realizing it was Easter. Sigh.)  A big legal research teaching event on April 9th. A  5 mile race on April 10th.  Packet stuffing for the Boston Marathon. Then, the Boston Athletic Association 5K on April 18th, the day before the Boston Marathon.  Oh, and I’ll be meeting Lindsay, of Chasing the Kenyans, or @lindsaydecken on Twitter, the weekend of the Boston Marathon – hopefully she’ll be able to stay with me at least part of the time without having an asthma attack (the animals could do it.)  Yay!  (She’s another person whose blog I’ve been reading for at least 18 months now!)

Oh, and there will be more dog training classes in our future. We broke down and have taken Ruthie twice, to get her more acclimated to being around other dogs. We now realize it’s out of fear that she gets into fights. She even got into a fight at the dog school this past weekend. It was suggested we get her a muzzle – it will still allow her to breathe, of course, but sends a verbal cue to owners and other dogs that she is not one that plays well with others so much.  She loves people, though, and she really wants to be friends with our calico, Callie, so things could clearly be much worse. But doesn’t she look so sad?  (Bill petted her the whole 2 minutes this muzzle was on tonight and then she got a treat right after we removed it, so she wouldn’t feel like she was being punished.)  We’ve been told to put it on her at random times so she doesn’t just associate it with dog school.

Ruthie and her muzzle, looking so sad

Oh, and I have also been writing a lot more lately. Thanks to @ridgeley on Twitter, who was extremely generous with her time and advice, I bought myself a Toshiba netbook a few weeks ago. I absolutely love it.

toshiba nb305-450 - picture from newegg.com

The battery power is great, the screen resolution is wonderful, it weighs almost nothing.  And, I LOVE the keyboard. I feel inspired just looking at it.  I’ve been taking it to work and am able to write on it almost every day at lunchtime.

And, for reasons I cannot go into, I have pulled myself out of, or begun to, anyway, pull myself out of a negative funk at work. I’ve decided to give more of the benefit of the doubt to some people and also to try to not let the stress of others affect me as much. I can try to help them and support them, but I can’t take everyone else’s problems and turn them into mine. It just weighs too much.

All of this, in addition to finishing Stephen King’s 1074 page tome, Under the Dome. And continuing to run in the early a.m.  I’d like to extend a  personal thank you to Turtlepower1 on Twitter for worrying about me. He got me motivated to write on here tonight!

Oh, and I have a few more products I can write about now – so stay tuned! (Nope, I didn’t forget about my cold weather running products, not at all!)  Hey, if you buy them now, they’ll all be on sale. 🙂

Yep, it’s been a pretty busy three weeks.

This is one of them. I’m out there for my run this morning, in the cold darkness of pre-pre-dawn, thinking everything is going well and thankful that I have a doctor’s appointment at 9:30, so I can leave home a bit later than normal. Everything’s going fine.  Around mile 3.5 or so, I’m on the main road.  Cars see me with my bright headlamp on, yet no one can seem to move more than 2 feet from me (I swear, if I straightened out my right arm, I could touch their cars and freak them out), and someone senses the need to remind me that they’re there, with a beep. That doesn’t bother me so much.

I should explain, I run on the roads a lot in the winter. The sidewalks are uneven, and they are covered in snow and ice.  Yes, I could wear the Stabilicers but they tend to hurt your feet a bit if you do end up running on dry patches for a while. It’s like wearing cleats on dry floor. You get the idea.  (Anyone from 32 North reading this though, please know, I still love them and wouldn’t wear anything else.)

Ok, I digress. So I’m running on the busy street and up in front of me, I see someone stumbling. I mean a lot. Like movie-type drunkness, where each foot is crossing way in front of the other. I’m thinking, it’s not even 7 a.m., maybe this guy has a problem and I should help him out.  I almost did run over to him but when I got up closer, I could hear him yell (over my headphones, which I try to keep somewhat lower sometimes so I can hear the traffic better) “You’re gonna get hit!” and not in a nice tone. “Maybe so, JACKASS, but at least I can run in a straight line.”  This is what I am thinking, but you know what, it’s not even 7 a.m. and I don’t feel like getting into an altercation so I just keep going on.

I should probably mention that this is the SECOND time in two weeks that I’ve been yelled at by someone clearly under the influence of something, either in liquid or some other form. It also happened on Christmas Eve when I was out for a run with my brother and some guy ran after us.  When my brother called the police to report it, the cop said “XX Grove Street, we’re already on it.”  Love our local cops.   SO WEIRD THOUGH!

Then, as I’m just about home, I see some 5 teenagers waiting for their bus. It’s about 7 a.m. now. All I hear out of them is the word “headlamp.” I tend to think it wasn’t complimentary. Whatever, lazy asses.  I swear, the teenagers I see in the morning – most of them are way overweight, and I see them smoking. Way to go, you idiot.  Spend some more time on the computer rather than getting outside and getting fresh air. How can anyone be so dumb to start smoking in this day and age? How can you avoid all the tv commercials that tell you how bad it is for your health?  (Although I have to say that there are two good kids who always say good morning to me, no matter what the weather. So, good kids, I’m not talking about you right now.)

So it’s already a sh&i$TY day.  I head off to my doctor’s appointment after showering and an uneventful walk with Ruthie (that’s a good thing in case you’re wondering.) It’s only supposed to be a 15 minute check-up. I get there in plenty of time and wait in my car until about 7 or 8 mins. beforehand and put my 4 quarters in the meter.  Well, the doctor ran late. It was still a 15 min. checkup, but I realized I needed toothpaste and a toothbrush – I forgot mine at home and have a dentist appointment this afternoon. So I stop (quickly) in CVS and get my goods. As I’m heading toward my car, who do I see but the lovely and oh-so-friendly neighborhood meter maid. (For those of you who might be local and are wondering, it’s the city of Somerville, where they must train them to be douchebags.) 

I swear, he must have been checking my meter, because I got to my car, literally ONE MINUTE after the damn thing expired. He hadn’t even started writing the ticket and I said, “I’ll throw a quarter in it now, I just got back.”  To which he answers “it’s too late.”  I said the thing just expired one minute ago, and he said “I wouldn’t know that,” and continued on writing, all the while he’s avoiding any attempt at eye contact.  I said “you know, usually I end up giving extra money to the city” (seriously, I do) and I said “I do know when it expired, because I know when I put the quarters in.” He continues writing and even though I’m standing RIGHT THERE, he tries to put it on the front of my car.  I was like “just give it to me.”

A $30 ticket.  I just paid $15 for my co-pay, so really that doctor’s appointment, which was just a check-up on my asthma, cost me $45.  NICE.

I can only imagine what’ll happen when I head off to the dentist this afternoon. Can hardly wait…

Anyway, I’m not normally like this anymore (at least I try to not be anymore).  I don’t like being mean to people.  So, I’m going to take a few deep breaths and hope the rest of this day doesn’t totally suck. 

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I got in 5.21 miles (thanks Garmin for the accuracy), average miles of 9:24. Considering I’ve not run that early in the morning due to the holidays and my being off from work, I’ll take it.

Thanks for listening to me vent.

Snowy January morning (that blob is a light-up polar bear)

In case you’re not on Twitter the picture above is what my front yard looked like this morning when I got up.

We got a lot of snow this weekend.  As I was shoveling, I thought, “I am so ready to be done with winter.  And it’s only January 3rd.”  Ugh.  When I took  Ruthie out this morning for her first walk of the day, I was wearing snow pants and in places the snow was up to my knees. I wish I could say I was kidding.  So it’s understandable that I waffled a bit about whether I should go to the gym today or get out there and run.

Well, I ran.  Just 4.5 miles, but that was enough.  Air temp was 24, with winds somewhere in the 19-20 mph range, so it felt more like 11, according to the Weather Channel app on my iPhone. (Love that app.)  I probably averaged something in the 10 minute speed range.  For me, running in those temps means 3 layers up top (warm base layer closest to the skin, dry-wicking long sleeve shirt over that, and then a warm fleece jacket on top.)  Only had my long tights on my legs, because I’ve found that sometimes two layers on the bottom can make me overheat.  Oh, and of course, I have to wear warm fleece gloves and a thermal fleece hat with flaps that cover my ears.  I find that if I wear the muffler around my neck, sometimes it just ends up making me more hot, and then I’ve got a sweaty wool thing around my neck that turns cold and wet in the cold.  Not a great feeling.

Today’s run was slow.  But I had my Stabilicers on (I cannot say enough good things about this product, and no, the company is not paying me  a cent to say that.)  So the run also became a good thigh workout.  The sidewalks were covered with snow and ice, so I paid a lot of attention to not falling and staying steady on my feet.  I also counted people clearing snow: 2 using snowblowers, 2 shoveling, 3 christmas trees sitting at the curb, looking very sad and lonely.

I also spent some time thinking about that guy, Dan Vassallo, who won our race on Friday.  His time for the 10K was 32 minutes flat. The guy who won the 5K did it in something like 17:17.  That means that even though he ran twice the distance, his mile per minute pace was still faster than the guy who won the shorter race.   Dan is from the same town as me. I want to see this local guy do really well. When he ran our town’s half marathon, he did it in something like 1:05.  Now, you may be thinking, “well, he has a long way, 5 whole minutes, to go before he can beat the likes of Ryan Hall.”  Yep, that’s true. But  let’s remember that Ryan Hall only runs for a living. That is his full-time job.  Dan doesn’t have the sponsorship that allows him to do that.  And he’s still running 5 minute miles. This guy is amazing.  Think about how fast your treadmill is moving when you put it up to 12.0.  Now think about running at that pace for about an hour. Puts it into perspective, huh?

I know this is usually the time of year that we set goals, running and otherwise.  I’ve not come up with my running goals yet, but when I do, I’ll let you know.  For right now, these are the things I want to focus on in my life:

  • Try to stay more positive at work and not let myself be dragged down by the cloud of negativity that has been over our heads for many weeks now.
  • Get writing every day. No excuses. Sort of like those folks who want to run at least one mile per day.  It may mean writing in a journal, or writing down my dreams that I remember from the night before, or writing down notes of conversations or observations I’ve had. Maybe responding to prompts.  But just doing it. Because you never know where it might lead.
  •  Clear out the clutter. In my head, in my life, at home and at work.  That way when of the day comes, I can leave with a clear conscience, and head home to what is important to me – my husband, and my animals. This will be a hard thing for me to do, but I need to let go of a lot of the small stuff, more so than I’ve already succeeded in doing.  This may require me saying “no” more often, in many ways.  (And if all else fails, watch an episode of Hoarders to re-scare myself straight where the physical clutter is concerned.) 
  • Keep up with fellow bloggers (and my own blog)  more regularly.   I learn a lot from others, and it’s good to see other writing styles too! 

That’s it for now.  One thing  I am going to change on this blog over the next week or so will be the Motivating Music page.  I’ve not been good at keeping up with re-posting videos for a long time now. So, I think I may have a new idea for that.  Stay tuned.

 I hope you like the new blog theme, by the way.  I think it looks “cleaner.”

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