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November 29, 2005

I love track, yes I do

I wish I liked track more, really I do. I know it does a lot of things for you that road running doesn't do. Gets you fast, makes you tough, all that. But I just can't fall in love with it, and I always, always dread it.

I ran this morning at that good rubberized track at University of Tampa. It beats the hell out of the public track I go to sometimes, but I still can't say I enjoyed it. The workout was 3x2000 and I wanted to get 7:55 for each item, but that didn't happen. I went 7:57, 8:03, and 8:06, yikes. It was windy and spitting rain, and too dark to see my watch so I just ran by feel (guess I was feelin' pretty slow, haha), but I can't really blame everything on that. I cut short my cooldown by a couple of miles because by then it had started raining pretty steady. I'll probably tack the miles onto the hill run I have planned on Sunday.

Even when I have a crummy track workout (and this wasn't crummy, just not stellar), I'm always happy to have gotten it done. Still, I was feeling pretty shamefaced all day about not hitting the times until I plugged them into this handy calculator and realized that I'd got my math all wrong and hadn't really run those 2000s at 6:50 pace. Even better. Still doesn't get me to love track, though.

Other: I have the day off work tomorrow in exchange for having worked a lot this past weekend. And I have a job interview.

Posted by joe positive at 8:19 PM | Comments (1)

November 28, 2005

absolutely ordinary

There was nothing noteworthy about today's run; I'm just trying to see if I can keep this blogging streak going, even if it means blogging about nothing. Today's 6 was so unspecial I've forgotten about it already. I'm still not completely caught up on sleep after this weekend, and there's early early track tomorrow, so even though it's not quite 7pm I'm heading toward the living room for some desultory crunches and girly-pushups, then onto the couch for Law n Orders until I fall asleep.

Posted by joe positive at 6:44 PM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2005

long long day

Last night I had to work overnight, and though I didn't fall asleep and let the world become chaos, the work ended up taking 20 hours, during which I managed 2 45-minute rests (one nap and one thing where I lay awake but coulkdn't sleep) and a 9-mile run. The run was surprisingly ok; I stopped home a couple of times to check on work, and breaking the run up like this helped me get it done.

Sometime after 2pm I found myself with work done and run done, but despite a good try I couldn't sleep more than about 90 minutes, grrrr. Now I'm just trying to stay awake until a more normal bedtime. Hopefully this week will go better.

Posted by joe positive at 7:09 PM | Comments (1)

November 26, 2005

the virtues of restraint

Since I have to work overnight tonight, I did my long run today instead of tomorrow. It was just barely a long run - 17 miles - but the longest run I've done since Baltimore. The plan was 8:15s going down to 7:45s, and to make the math easier I amended this to 2 @whatever, 5@8:15, 5@8:00, 5@7:45.

The weather was everything I'd hoped for the past two race days, 50s and still. Usually it takes a couple miles for me to get the legs going, but I only needed a mile today and then I was off at a much faster clip than I was supposed to go, and not feeling it at all. I decided, though, to try my best to hit the paces and hold them rather than let things wander all over the place. I checked the GPS every block and tried not to let the lap pace vary more than a few seconds.

It didn't really work; either the GPS was horribly off or I was having a really great day. Checking the pace fairly often didn't get me to slow down that much, but it did keep me focused on the relationship between pace and effort (when the GPS is horribly off or I'm having a very good day). Even though I was going faster than planned, I still broke the last 15 miles into 5-mile chunks and tried to pick it up each chunk. I started to get tired with 3 miles left, so I pushed the last 2 into the low 7s just to get it over with.

So it was a good fun run and all, but rather than thinking about it as a thing in the past that's now over with, I'm sort of interested in what it will bring in the future. Will it give me a plus-or-minus XXX time in that half-marathon two weeks from now? Did it cause a tiny hairline crack in some bone that I won't notice until next month? Did I grow a couple of capillaries? Will I fall asleep in the middle of database maintenance tonight and not be there to stop the transaction log from growing out of control and killing replication and then the whole half-terabyte will have to be restored from backup and replication rebuilt, which will take much longer than a day, probably into the start of the business week and then some rich white guy will earn a couple fewer pennies than expected on his retirement account and I'll get fired, giving me lots more time to run? That's one thing about running: you do the work, and then later something happens. Something always happens.

Posted by joe positive at 4:12 PM | Comments (1)

November 25, 2005

pollyanna speaks

1. It was nice and cool this morning. I ran 10 miles at whatever pace felt good at the moment, which turned out to be faster than I ran those 6.2 miles yesterday.

2. I got to work from home today.

3. The co-worker who quit had a really nifty flat-panel monitor, and I asked my boss if I could have it. He said yes, but immediately asked if I could work all day so he could let everyone else go home early. How could I say no? I already was home!

4. Late this afternoon I found out I was going to have to work tonight, but then I found out I didn't have to after all.

5. One of the perks of working from home is being able to change into running clothes towards the end of the day. Right on the dot of 5 I went out for 5 miles. I love it when the sun is setting and it gets cooler and cooler as you go along. I wish there were more races at sunset. When I got in from running my husband was watching one of those ancient David Lettermans on Trio and there was REM in all their 1982 shoegazeboy glory. For people as old as I am this can summon some pretty weird reactions.

6. According to the race results, the guy I was running with yesterday - who told me he was trying for 42 - did absolutely great. He's #51.

7. There is a 10K tomorrow a bit north of here that is off-road for a mile an a half, and very hilly. I was this close to entering it as some kind of redemption for yesterday's mess, but I came to my senses.

Posted by joe positive at 6:05 PM | Comments (0)

November 24, 2005

trot, schmot

Today's turkey trot (10K) reminded me a lot of the really bad half-marathon I ran in Parkersburg, WV this past summer. In both races I went out too fast, got into enough physical distress that I decided to drop out, found that there was no way back from nowhere besides following the race course, and jogged in with a really crappy time.

Unlike the race in Parkersburg, today I ran with people I know, and most, if not all of them had a really great day. I was happy for them, but I left shortly after the race because I didn't want my crappy mood to poke through.

I came home and whined. Since it's a holiday, I am only on call and don't have to work unless the pager summons me, so I fixed a drink at 10:30 in the morning and whined some more. After a while my husband offered to pace me in the half-marathon coming up in two weeks, but only on condition that I stop whining by the time I finished my drink. I took him up on it, finished my drink and switched to water. All better.

No whining for the rest of the day :-)

Posted by joe positive at 11:33 AM | Comments (0)

November 20, 2005

things turn around

The pitiful week got worse before it got better, but it did eventually get better.

The situation at work continued to gnaw at me to the point where it actually affected my running; I stopped a couple miles short of Tuesday night's goal, and bailed out of Wednesday's track workout after just one item. I've worked in jobs like this for years but never got so worked up about it that I let it get in the way of running. I decided that something's got to give, and it will, and soon.

Thursday evening my husband's grandmother died. It was totally expected and must have been exactly what she wanted, but it's sad nevertheless. My husband headed for Baltimore to attend the funeral (which will be Tuesday); I couldn't take that much time off, so I stayed home.

I did, however, get to the 15K we'd planned to race Saturday. The weather was warm and windy and lousy, and I went into the race with the biggest bad attitude since, well, I don't know. I hated everything: the disorganization, the lack of traffic control (the race was along two-lane backroads in Monster Truck Country), the sun, the wind, the heat. Somehow I ended up with 1:02:40, which was 3rd place and a PR and all that blah. I did finally meet Kevin Beck in person, and got to chat with him and some Sarasota people I'd only ever met online, and that was pretty cool.

But wait - there's more. When the mail came yesterday it included 1) my husband's birthday present to me (3 countem 3 pair of NB900 shoes, which I love, and which are no longer in production, and which we found on clearance somewhere), and 2) the award check from Baltimore, which I was beginning to despair of as the weeks went by.

And this morning's slowish 10 miles was not a heartburning hatefest about work that I couldn't wait to get over with. It was just a slowish 10 miles, business as usual. Or, as we say in The Business, BAU.

Posted by joe positive at 5:40 PM | Comments (0)

November 15, 2005

poor pitiful

I guess it's ok when you get to the 46th week of the year before you hit the Worst of All Possible Days of the year. Today was the worst day so far, full of annoyance, stress, and sadness, and not all of it about me either.

I've bitched about my job both vaguely and not so vaguely recently, bitched about the long hours and the expectations of 24/7 uptime and the gut-punch feeling I get when I make a mistake. I've thought a lot about finding another job or just quitting outright. Today one of my 3-person team quit, leaving me and the other guy to divvy up that 70-hour week and add it to our own 70 hours. Our manager didn't say a word about it (he let the quitter tell us); he just left it to me and the other remaining guy to "step up" and "do the right thing" (i.e., martyr ourselves for the company). Suddenly our carefully-planned schedules go out the window. Now, instead of just letting my co-worker know I actually need a weekend day off to go race, I need to let him know of any reason I might not be available to work on any given day. Or night. I had a job offer the other week which I turned down. It's since been re-offered and I am sorely tempted. On the other hand, my manager has taken a couple days' vacation, and it would be terribly unfair to do something like this while he's out. Wouldn't it just.

But not all of it's about me. My husband's grandmother has been fighting lung cancer. For a while she was doing much better than anyone thought she would, but we heard today that she's begun to stop fighting. It's what she wants now, and completely expected, but it's very sad anyway. Just a few weeks ago we were eating dinner with her in Baltimore, and she was frail and got tired easily, but it was easy to think that she was just 86 years old (she is), not terribly ill. But now she's stopped eating and she's barely drinking. She doesn't want extraordinary measures to be taken. It's just very sad.

I've been slack about blogging lately. I have been running, and it's been going well, just don't want to talk about it this evening.

Posted by joe positive at 8:18 PM | Comments (2)

November 9, 2005

I will say this

I like what I do, but I don't like doing it 20 hours a day, 7 days a week, without end.

Lately I've begun casting about for another job. I was offered one job doing what I do now, and I'm sort of investigating another job that's somewhat different from what I do now, but still in IT. But I know it's really no use; IT just sucks the life right out of you. Any IT job I take is going to be just like any other IT job I've ever taken. I want out of IT for real.

A few weeks ago I applied at a local running store and was turned down. They said I was underqualified to be a manager (true) and overqualified to be a clerk (debatable). Still, there must be something other than IT that a reasonably intelligent person can do. There must be something between 0 hours and 80, between 0 days and 7.

Posted by joe positive at 6:26 AM | Comments (1)

November 5, 2005

slack on blogging

Yes I have been really slack on blogging this week. It's been decent runningwise but whacked-out otherwise ("other" of course meaning "work," since there is no room for any other in my life). I've actually been loafing all day but couldn't bring myself to do anything prodcutive until now.

Anyway, the goal this week has been 65 miles in singles, including a track workout Tuesday and a quasi-long-run-with-cutdown this weekend. The weather's been great - not as chilly as last week, but still well below the summer swelter. The direct result has been a 20 - 30s drop in pace, which both elates and worries me. I'm not trying to run any pace at all, and whatever pace I end up with feels good, but I worry about getting injured. Hopefully as I pick up the mileage my pace will slow up naturally.

Some running-acquaintances hit the local college track every Tuesday morning at the unholy hour of 5:15. They've invited me to join them a few times but I always balked at the early hour; I need at least 45 minutes to drink coffee and get coherent in the morning. Tuesday morning I finally went and ran on this rubberized track for the first time and man is that a nice thing. I definitely have more incentive to get up early now. All the folks were doing their own workouts (mine was 10x200), but it was nice being around people.

The rest of the runs have been fun but nothing to write home about, mainly trotting along not looking at the watch very much. Today I actually left the neighborhood and ran in the park across the river from the peacocks, but there were no peacocks around, only happy dogs. The park has a 2/3-mile loop with a nice uphill grade in it, and I did 4 laps with the intention of holding my uphill pace past the crest of the grade, rather than slowing down or falling apart right after the up.

I was originally scheduled to work Saturday night and Sunday, so I thought I'd do the other key workout today. But a last-minute reprieve (thank you G, even though you'll never read this) means I don't have to work all night tonight, so I can get some decent sleep and do the run tomorrow.

Posted by joe positive at 5:13 PM | Comments (0)