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!

I really have, over the past few weeks. And I’ve missed reading everyone else’s. I have been feeling a bit disconnected. But over the past few days, I ran again, in the morning, as was my usual routine, and felt more like myself. May not do so tomorrow morning, not sure yet, as I know tomorrow will be a very long day.  After the usual work day, there is a reception for new foreign students that I need to go to. I just don’t plan on staying until the end.  I’m trying to draw boundaries between my work and my home life. If you don’t, I find that work can swallow you whole if you let it. For some people, obsessing about work might be alright but for me, it’s not. I am now past that point in my career. It’s not like I am a clock watcher, but hey, I have a life. Or at least I try to sometimes.

I feel like I’ve been in a weird funk lately. I have not been in the mood to go back to work after my vacations. Usually I tend to feel somewhat motivated at that point, but not lately. Work has been weird. Lots of change going on, and don’t get me wrong, I think some change can be good. But if I hear the word “team” used again in an insincere manner, I think I’m going to hurl. Really.  I wish people would just say things like they mean it, and get on with life.   And I wish I could stop wondering if I’ve chosen the wrong field, or the wrong place, sometimes.  Like I said, I’ve been in a funk lately.

However, there are a few bright spots, like the other folks that I am working with, regarding my new specialty, and the fact that one of my friends at work now also has an office space on my floor. I have to remind myself to think of those good things, and not get bogged down in all the other crap.

My run yesterday was not the fastest but it felt good. As I was about halfway on a 4 mile loop, I ran past Silver Lake, near my house. There were a few triathletes swimming in the lake, and it just gave me this needed jolt of energy. I also saw another runner. This is somewhat unusual – usually I only see people out walking their dogs, or walking, but not too many runners in the 6 a.m. hour, for some reason. I think a lot of people who live in my suburb tend to run in the evenings.

Yesterday morning was quite humid – about 95%, I think, but the temperature felt relatively cool, about 70 degrees. We are in the middle of a heat wave here, and today it reached 97. And it was humid, so I stayed inside and rode the exercise bike while reading a copy of Mother Earth News that I had checked out from my library. I didn’t even bother to take my headphones with me to the gym and I didn’t really miss them. Don’t worry, though, Alien, if I’m out there running tomorrow morning, I’ll be sure to wear them.

Wow, even this post feels like I am all over the place. I think I need to get back into more of a groove where running and blogging are concerned, and hopefully be able to successfully get through this freelance research crunch I am operating under.  We are hoping to give the book chapters to some critiquers somewhat early in September, so that’s why there’s a rush. I’m a bit nervous those readers won’t feel like it’s been researched enough. I guess a little part of it will always feel like my work is not good enough.

Anyway, sorry to be such a downer this evening. I will leave you with a picture (taken from above) of the munchkin who has been laying behind my chair in my dining room/home office filled with the books of half my library at work (it feels like it anyway.)  She just sighed, in boredom, I think. (As in “Mom, I need some attention, it’s been minutes since someone petted me!”)   🙂  Notice the Red Sox collar. It matches her very fashionable Red Sox leash that my husband insisted on getting for her. He said “just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean she has to wear pink.”  But I like pink!

Ruthie sleeping and sighing

Ruthie sleeping and sighing