January 31, 2006
out the window backwards
not much to report - I did work long enough Saturday night to trashify my run Sunday, and I took Monday off from work and found myself quite recovered runningwise. This morning I had a cutdown workout meant for the track but run on the road: mile/1200/1000/800/400, with 3min rest between each item. I was scared of the mile but accidentally ran it 13s faster than the goal, which set me up to be a little too tired to get the other goals. I was under for the 1000 but 2 - 9s over for the other items, oh well. I was all set to quit my job when I got into work, and I went in to talk to my boss and I don't know what happened but I didn't manage to quit. We have another meeting set for tomorrow morning and maybe I will actually succeed in quitting. Meanwhile the forecast for tomorrow dawn is 40s and 13 miles, and I honestly can't wait for that part of tomorrow.
January 28, 2006
I still can't shake the bad feelings that have been plaguing me lately. Since I have to work an overnight tonight, I decided to do my long run today. I set out for 18 miles, and the air was cool and the GPS reported numbers that made me think it was messed up, but I spent over 10 miles thinking about work.
In particular I thought about a conversation I had yesterday with my boss in which he was pressing me to decide on which weekend to do some Huge Server Thing we need to do, and I was saying well, not this weekend, and not next weekend because we're doing blah blah blah, and we're doing some other work the weekend after that, and then maybe the next one after that but could I take a couple hours off that Saturday to go to a friend's wedding? (he said, well let's just pick another weekend then). Anyway I was thinking about this around 10 miles when it finally occurred to me that I never asked "hey, how about a weekend where we don't do ANY work?" That did it, depressed me so much I came in, turned off the watch, got into bed and stared at the wall for a couple hours.
So despite the overnight I will try 18 again tomorrow.
January 27, 2006
Less than a month into the year and I've already reached a new low of crappy weeks. Sometimes it seems funny, but mostly it's a real downer, and I find myself yelling at cars and thinking hateful and ungracious thoughts about well nigh everyone.
The job is sucking the life out of me. There are just not enough days (or nights, or weekends) to get everything done, and the requests (or demands) just keep coming. My search for another job has taken on a new sense of urgency. Of the two places I interviewed last week, one reported that I was second choice, and the other (one that I really do want) said nothing until I emailed to follow up; then they said they'd make some decision at the end of the week and let me know (they haven't, and it's the end of the week - most peoples' weeks, anyway). This week I had an initial phone interview that seemed to go well but now seems to have gone nowhere. For years I've had no trouble getting jobs, and now I can't get arrested. I wonder if my luck has finally run out. Meanwhile I have to try really hard not to be a total snot at work. Service First!
Runningwise, well...this week my schedule ran out, so I fell back onto the 8-weeks-to-go week of Advanced Marathoning's 18-week 70+ plan, but I'm in such a crappy mood all the time lately that I find the P Plan less than inspiring. I wussed out and turned Wednesday's track workout into 6x3:30 hard on the road, but bagged that idea before I even started and instead just ran some miles, a few of 'em brisk. Thursday morning I thought I'd atone with 2 hard miles in the 10, but while the miles felt hard, they weren't particularly fast (6:30 and 6:19). Today I used my 2.5-mile warmup to obsess about how much I hate my job, and by the time I stopped home to shed extra clothes I was a seething mass, storming around yelling I can't take it anymore. I went out for the remainder of the 11 miles and after a while noticed some low 7s and even a high 6, and I figured the GPS was just blowing smoke up my ass. As I ran I called every car "stupid car" regardless of model and every driver "fat cow" regardless of gender. Now I have a blister on the sole of my foot.
January 23, 2006
Not much to report today except I felt fine, not at all like I'd raced (rather, run) a half-marathon yesterday. I ran about 6 this morning and about 4 this evening, and only the very slight tightness in my hamstring reminded me that yesterday was anything harder than easy.
In other news, I had a glorious comp day during which I only worked a tiny little bit. The rest of the time I spent running errands and doing stuff around the house, and I even read for a bit and took a nap. Normal people live this way? I am so jealous.
January 22, 2006
I'm not Rappaport
This morning I ran a half-marathon in Naples (about 2.5 hours south of here). It was the third time I've run this race, and I've never run it well. I'll get to the details in a bit, but I kind of blew up, thought a lot about dropping out, finished in 1:32:09, which was 2nd in my age group and 22nd overall (but who cares). First in my age group was a very very good runner by the name of Rappaport. Since neither of us are from Naples the award-givers had no idea what either of us looked like, and I got to say "I'm not Jennifer" a couple-three times when they they tried to give me her first-place plaque. It didn't occur to me until later that I could've said "I'm not Rappaport" but I don't know if anyone would have gotten it.
bad/good/ analysis/excuse-making follows:
bad: I went out too fast - 6:30 for the first mile. Unless I have someone pacing me, I do this every fucking time.
bad: because I went out too fast, a lot of people passed me - some because I let them (I was slowing down on purpose), and some because I was just slowing down. I think 6 or 7 women passed me all race long. When this happens I never know whether to let them go or try to stay with them. I also get demoralized.
bad: round about 6 miles or so my legs just didn't want to go. I thought about making the last half of the race a marathon-pace run, whatta cop out.
bad: it was 66F and 96% RH at the start, 68 and 93% at the end. And sunny. Put all that together and it felt too hot.
good: there was a very cute pug hanging out before the race, and afterward.
um: I don't remember much about miles 8 - 10 except I'd made some kind of deal with myself about quitting or slowing down or doing something at 8, no 9 (I've forgotten that too). Suddenly the next mile marker said 10 and it was like a cosmic present.
bad: blister on the sole of my foot starting around 7 or 8 miles.
good: a couple of my idols were running, and I beat both of them even though I was having a bad day. It's not that I want to beat them as people. But it makes me feel better to know that even if I'm having a bad day I'm still able to run faster than some people I idolize. Nope, that doesn't sound right either. Guess the reader will just have to figure out what I mean, or decide I'm an ass.
um: my friend Al and I started driving at 3:30 this morning to get to the race. In order to do that I had to get up at 2am and drink coffee and what have you before driving 25 miles to Al's house. I am not a hothouse flower, but it was a little weird racing on little sleep and a different biological schedule.
good: at about 10.5 I came upon a very encouraging guy who said "deep breaths. cleansing breaths." I muttered something about having gone out too fast and then began taking deeper (though probably not too cleansing) breaths. A minute or two later a girl appeared (I could hear Encouraging Guy encouraging her) and though I pulled away a bit, I wasn't at all sure I could keep ahead of her. At 11 miles I got my typical half-marathon-late-wind and resolved that if nothing else I would not let her catch me. At least that worked out.
good: I never thought I'd do anything in the age group at this race, because it's a money race and all the Russian women from Gainesville swoop down for the cash, leaving the age-group awards for the extremely fast non-Russian non-Gainesville women. But many of the extremely fast non-Russian non-Gainesville women decided to do something else today, so I got lucky.
bad: this race was at the end of a very light (50-something) training week. I should have been faster than 1:32.
good, sort of: For the last 2 years my half-marathon PR has stood at 1:38. I never in my life thought that a crash-n-burn would be a 1:32.
January 19, 2006
a chocolate ATM
Yesterday when I got home I found that my husband had brought me a chocolate ATM. He recently started working in a bank, and they have these little promotional candies. This made my day.
other: I've had two job interviews this week, and I sort of would like one of the jobs and really would like the other. I think. But these things take time to sort themselves out so it's pointless to think about it much right now.
My running schedule this week looks like a mini-taper. Today I ran 3 miles and never left the warmup-shuffle zone, even after a 5-minute standoff with the boxer who lives one street over. It really felt weird running 3 miles. I'll run a little more tomorrow and Saturday but I'll probably be jumping out of my skin by Sunday morning. The weather's not looking greatfor the half, but it could be worse.
January 16, 2006
ouch, my wrists
I see how it works now - you get promoted and then immediately work a couple of 70-hour weeks, and of course you can't complain. Here I am at the end of a 3-day weekend during which I've worked all 3 days, some due to a clueless developer throwing crap code into production and then crying because "the sqls are running so slowwwww," some due to stupid shit beyond my control (power out in a server room), and some just because. But in return for all this my boss has told me to be sure to take a day off sometime in the near future. It will be next Monday, I think.
Meanwhile I have a job interview tomorrow afternoon and another Thursday morning. The one tomorrow is for a job I think I want, and tomorrow's going to be one of those 3-hour gang interviews and it's going to be technical, and the job involves some stuff I haven't done for a while so this could be nerve-wracking. The interview Thursday is for a something a lot like what I do now, only it's less of a commute and the nature of the business is less god-damn-nerve-wrackingly IMPORTANT than what I do now, so it seems less likely I'll have to work so many nights and weekends and holidays.
Anyway, yeah, when I'm not actively engaged in saving pennies for The Man I do this thing called running, and that has been going fairly well. I babied my sore hamstring and it grew less and less sore, and for most of last week it was an old fairy tale. I was able to complete last Tuesday's tempo workout (13mi with the last 5 in 34:00) without hamstring pain, which is not to say that the workout wasn't hard. It was hard, but it didn't hurt the hamstring. The rest of the week was easy stuff on my way to 84 for the week. On Saturday I coulda run a little with my friend Ray, or I coulda run a lot with a friend who runs a lot slower than I want to, but I ended up running 21 miles alone in 20 - 30mph winds and I kept telling myself "hills, hills, it's like hills." During this run the sore hamstring got sore again, maybe because running into wind really is like running hills. Despite the hamstring, I did some strides the next day (yesterday) and a track workout today - 8x800 @ 10K pace, 100m recoveries - and I'm still alive and able to touch my toes, almost. The rest of the week is way way light, and maybe I'll be able to run an ok half-marathon Sunday despite the predicted warm temperatures.
The weekend wasn't a total wash. I did some computering, got the network shored up with stable primary and backup domain controllers, retired one very ancient computer. The front bedroom, where the computers live, is much quieter now.
Other random stuff:
The Forrest Whittaker character in The Shield has been on my mind a lot. I don't know why it fascinates me so.
We've gotten hooked on a British copshow series called Cracker. The people look like real people, and I suppose they talk like real people too, though the Manchester accent seems so close to the unintelligible Scots accent that I'm lucky to get 7 out of 10 words.
I don't know why I hate track so much, but I really hate track.
I wish I had time to play music anymore.
I can't stand convo, vacay, concern, deliverable, issues. I will go way out of my way and write really bad English just to avoid using the word "issue."
January 3, 2006
This morning I daydreamed my way through an easy 7 miles, thinking about the half-marathon in a couple of weeks and the marathon some friends of mine are running this weekend and a song my old band used to play that I hadn't thought about in a very long time. I managed not to check my pace until after the 4-mile mark, and it was about that time that I realized my hamstring leg felt very much like a normal leg. As the day went on, the leg felt asymptotically normal so I guess I should go on and try those mile repeats in the morning.
Meanwhile, I'm celebrating: our local cable provider just started providing a channel that provides reruns of Homicide: Life on the Street. Also, I got promoted at work today, so the word "senior" doesn't always mean "old."
January 2, 2006
My life has been taken over by this hamstring. I worry it's not getting better fast enough, I'm making it worse, I'm developing compensatory injuries trying to run on it, it just doesn't feel right, it's going to get worse and worse as the marathon gets closer and closer, and I'll end up bailing on the whole thing two days beforehand. yikes.
I think I'm thinking about it so much I've lost the perspective to be able to tell if it's better or not. It certainly doesn't hurt to walk on it like it did late last week, but on the other hand I feel its tightness with every running step, and I can cause a spasm in a different part of the muscle pretty much at will (by running faster, not just by thinking about it). Yesterday I ran 10 easy in some shoes I'd never tried before (asics gel magic racers someone gave me); it felt ok but my shins weren't all that pleased. This morning's easy 6 didn't feel quite so easy after 4 miles, and once I noticed I'd slowed down, I caused that hamstring spasm trying to speed up again.
All day I dreaded this evening's little 4-miler because I was afraid it would suck and underline this injury and I'd get all depressed, but it went better than I thought it would - lower legs much happier, and only a bit of actual hamstring pain (the tightness remains). I can't tell if I'm getting better, holding steady, or something worse. The schedule calls for 3x1600 tomorrow, but I think I'm going to give it another day.
January 1, 2006
and where has this gotten me
I have mentioned I'm a running-forums junkie, and there are a few I read habitually. It's the season for year-in-review and how-many-miles threads to sprout everywhere, and I came out of mostly-lurkerdom to post in a couple. In 2005 I ran 3480.8 miles (didn't quite make the projected 3500). The punchline, of course, is "and where has this gotten me?" As self-pitying as that sounds, I don't mean it that way, but reading about so-and-so-2:55-marathoner's 45 mpw average, or ms-superfast-masters-lady's 2500 miles for the year, I gotta wonder. I think some people are just going to have to run a lot in order to glimpse the backs of the people in the front of the pack. Lucky for me I do like to run, so I don't dwell on the philosophical stuff too much.
Otherwise it's been a pretty good weekend. My hamstring has felt better each day. Still, I skipped the 5-mile race yesterday and instead did 16+breakfast with my friend Ray, whom I hadn't seen in years. It was great - we gabbed the whole way and hardly noticed we were going faster than we'd planned. I still can't get over how we'd lost touch for a long time and then, once we met up again, turned out to have this completely different thing - running - in common. I was also pretty happy to be able to keep up with a 40-something-year-old guy as opposed to the 59-or-60-something-year-old-guys I usually can run with :-) The hamstring complained about some of the hills I made it run, but I placated it with lots of massage and capsaicin, and ran an easy 10 this morning. It feels pretty good now, and I think if I continue to baby it until maybe Thursday, it will be ok.
My boss gave us all $20 gift certificates to amazon, and instead of a buying a book (shame on me) I put it toward a wireless access point. The thing arrived yesterday, and now this 1920s house has all mod cons, or at least the mod cons that are important to me. Now when I have to work at night or on the weekend I can sit next to my husband instead of being trapped in the computers' room (they have the big bedroom, since there are 6 of them and only two of us). I can also sit on my front porch with one of the laptops and watch both physical and virtual worlds go by.