Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: June 2009 Page 3 of 4

Half Marathon Training – Between Week 11 and 12

If you’ve been following me here this shouldn’t be any surprise, but for the rest of you and for my posterity, here is how last week went.  I switched around my training a bit again, so I’m just going to list what I did!

Monday: 5 mile run and weights

Check!  Ran in the morning and felt a little stiff from 3 days off (probably shouldn’t do that again but I think in other ways it was really good for me).  By the end I was feeling great though and while I wasn’t just raring to go early in the morning, I was definitely ready to run that day.  Weights at home after work – did not want to do them, but got through it anyway.

Tuesday: 10×400 track intervals (one lap 2:00 or under pace, one lap jog) and yoga.

Check! I went ahead and actually drove the half mile to the track for this.  I was again slightly short on time and wanted to make sure I could get it all done.  However, I was forgetful and my timing watch stayed at home so I had to fake it and just run fast one lap, slow the next.  Made it through, felt good by the end, and said goodbye to the track for a while, at least until I get a wild hair up my butt and decide to do track intervals outside in the hot sun just for fun.  Yeah, probably not until fall, me thinks.  Did the yoga after work, and it was yoga-riffic (though smelling dinner the whole time made me hungry!!!)

Wednesday: 50 mins DDR

Check!  Supposed to be 60, but again, I was running short on time so I did 50 instead-if it was a normal day I woulda just waited ’til after work, but I knew it wasn’t going to be.  Also was supposed to yoga but I didn’t because I worked super late.  So see, it was a good thing I can get up and workout now, even though it wasn’t as much as planned…

Thursday: 5 mile run, 10 mins DDR, and weights

Check and check and check!  I have been really good about making up pretty much all training I miss, which makes me happy.  The run was freaking miserable because I did it an hour later that usual (had a rare late in day at work and slept late due to working late), and it was like wading through a hot tub.  Hot, muggy, and my legs felt sore and sluggish.  I put in the miles though, and got through it.  I tried to go the gym after work but I forgot everything.  At first I thought I had forgotten a hair tie and I was going to make do with my clips.  Then, I thought I had forgotten my zune, and I decided I would deal without music.  Then, I get to the gym and – oops, no gym bag at all.  I got home and decided that was the fates telling me not to bother, and did the workout at home instead.  All in all, not my best workout day ever.  Was ready for a day off mostly the next day and was actually pretty nervous for my long run.

Friday: Yoga

Check!  This was scheduled as a rest day, but I had a yoga session to make up.  Did it in the morning before work.  It was lovely.  It’s just so odd that I can’t stand yoga in the afternoons/evenings, but I love it in the mornings.

Saturday: 12 mile run

Check!  As I said, I was really nervous about this after almost 2 weeks of not having a long run and how crappy Thursday’s run went.  I got myself up at 7:20 and got out before 8.  This is huge for me on a weekend.  I started really, really slow just to be sure I didn’t use up all my juice too quick.  Zliten caught up with me on the bike after a lap around the south part of the neighborhood (he had just gotten back from taking a friend to the airport) and then decided to go zoom off himself so he could complete his mileage too!  He caught up with me around the start of mile 9 and rode with me the rest of the way, bringing me my second pack of sport beans and a bottle of ice water since I drained my whole camelback by mile 9.5.  All in all, a great run, great confidence builder, and I’m ready for Saturday!

Total week 11 mileage 27 (running):   (plus 1-2 miles of walking)

Week 12 – taper week

Monday – 4 mile run, yoga

Tuesday – 30 minute tempo run, yoga

Wednesday – yoga

Thursday – 2 mile run, yoga

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Half Marathon Woohoo!

Sunday – Rest

So here it is, the week I’ve been waiting for – taper week.  Oddly enough I’m a little sad because it feels like I’m not doing much this week, but I know it’s to get me rested up for Saturday.  And I need it.  My muscles are tight little knots of naughty knotness and are definitely ready for some unwind time.  I’m ready to not need a mile or 2 to feel good running, to be rested enough that starting running doesn’t jar my system and make my go “oof, not again”.  I think I’ve skirted the edge of overtraining a bit here, but haven’t quite gone over.  So taking it easy this week is good.  Does it sound like I’m convincing myself here?

What I know is I am really feeling ready for this race.  While in the back of my head, the goblins are saying “you’ve never run 13.1 miles, what if 12 is all you have, silly girl…”  However, the way I’ve been training, I’m perfectly positioned to run it.  I’ve increased 1 mile a week ever since my 10k at the end of April.  Feasibly, I could just keep adding a mile every week until like August and run a full marathon, but I’m thinking I might die first.  But, since 10 to 11 didn’t kill me, 11 to 12 didn’t kill me, I’m thinking 12 to 13.1 will probably not be my untimely end.

The plan for this week besides the workouts is to get as much rest as possible.  Then, a Yelp Elite event I just couldn’t miss showed up for Tuesday.  Then, a friend is coming into town Wednesday who hasn’t been here and MUST BE SHOWN 6th STREET BARS…apparently.  This is my chance to practice moderation (although, if I overdo it Tuesday I won’t even be tempted on Wednesday, so that is another strategy).  There is also the impending possibility of working late any day.  So I’m going to make the most of tonight and Thursday (which there are no goings ons) and make sure I’m in bed early and don’t do anything more strenuous than lifting the remote.

Friday rest is a given.  I’ve even taken time off work (leaving at lunch) so I can eat my pho, go home and pack, and get down to San Antonio before the traffic starts.  The plan is to have a lovely swim in the pool and make use of the hot tub, have a nice big carby dinner, and then relax in the hotel room and get to sleep early.  If I can sleep.  Hopefully I can sleep!  Argh…

The last thing to note is I am taking the week off weights and doing as much yoga as humanly possible.  I am pretty proud of myself for keeping up 2 weights sessions a week through week 11 even though I gave myself the option to cut back, but this week I need to keep my muscles as fresh as possible.  Hopefully 4 doses of yoga will help stretch out some of those knots.  I’m not 100% sure I’ll do all 4 days but that’s the plan.

Since I’ve already actually completed today’s run, I’ve only 2 more runs until H-day!  The butterflies are already starting, in a good way, of course!

Unexpected “After” Effects

I figured while I was having a cocktail and marveling over the awesome weather (rain and lightning and tornados, oh my!)**, I’d pop in and say hi. Work has been crazy, as I predicted, and some late nights, but we’re getting close! Never fear, I’ve been keeping up with my training, and I just have a yoga session tomorrow and my 12 mile run on Saturday morning to go!

I’ve been thinking lately – as I get close to being an “after”, life is peachy, of course, but there are some unexpected side effects.

1. I am very susceptible to cold! I remember at my heaviest I used to thank the dear fluffy lord for the awesome AC in my office, but now, I bundle up in a sweater, and run my portable heater constantly. Over the winter, I actually wished that I could add some fat back to my ass (from my own stomach of course) because I was so unnaturally cold when it was in the 40s. Thank goodness we rarely get in the 30s or below!

2. I used to never have to shave the inside of my thighs because they rubbed together, but now that there’s space between them, I am growing hair again. You would think 10 years would kill those follicles, right? Not so much.

3. I can no longer bitch about feeling bloated/lumpy/complain about my body in any way. I get eye rolls. Instead, everyone just wants fitness tips.

4. Instead of getting the pity look when I’m wolfing down a cheeseburger and fries, I get the jealousy look when I’m downing a cheeseburger and fries.

5. I don’t have the alcohol tolerance I used to. I have to make sure I pour all my own drinks at home to pace myself, and when I go out, I need to make sure I don’t try to “keep up with the boys” like I used to. When I do, there are some funny stories though!

6. I am that annoying chick that suggests exercise as a cure for anything. Tired for no reason? Go exercise, it will be make you feel better. Depressed? Go do a super intense workout where you can only think about the movement and not what’s in your head, and your mood will lift. It even bugs me when it slips out of my mouth too much, but it’s true. There are very few things that exercise DOESN’T cure.

7. If I’m wearing a tight shirt and/or pants, I’ll sometimes get “phantom belly” – as in I feel like my stomach is sticking out in a bubble like it used to (especially when I’m sitting. Then, I look down and there is either a little bitty lump that no one would notice besides me, or nothing. It’s quite odd.

8. My jewish nose is more prominent the skinnier I get. I forgot why I used to hate profile shots when I was younger. When my face filled out, it didn’t stand out so much. Now, schnoz-o-plenty is back!  See picture above for proof (I’m in the purple).

All in all though…I’ll take it over being 265 again. In a heartbeat.

What are some unexpected things that have happened after you got fit? Did you find out that you had funny shaped knees or collar bones?  Did you start evangelizing your new love of fat free cheese (I hope not, that shit’s nasty!)?

**Wrote this last night and got too into watching the awesome weather be awesome.  Happy Friday!

This Week’s Rare Spawn

So, I had visions of doing a wrapup of E3 (the big gaming convention that just went on last week), or more stream of consciousness posts, but to be honest, work is crazy with a big deadline looming at the end of day tomorrow, and this week is the last (and hardest) of my marathon training so most days are like 2 hours of workout.  In role playing games, a creature or a quest giver or essentially something that you need, but only has a small chance of appearing or doesn’t appear for a while is a rare spawn.  So, I am going to say that I will be a “rare spawn” this week.  I might be able to carve out some time to yak away, but it’s unlikely. The dice rolls would have to be really good.

Instead, enjoy the hammer pants dance.

5 more runs ’til H-day.

Half Marathon Training, Between Week 10 and 11

If you’ve been following me here this shouldn’t be any surprise, but for the rest of you and for my posterity, here is how last week went.  I switched around my training a bit, so I’m just going to list what I did!

Sunday: 11 mile run

Check!  Woke up a little later than I would have liked and got out around 10am instead of closer to 8/9, but the more training I can do in the heat, the better I’m supposing.  It was a great run, I felt good the entire way, Zliten actually followed me the whole way on the bike (minus the first 2 miles) and we chatted and it helped me keep my pace easy.  I barely used my mp3 player, which is good, because the race doesn’t allow headphones.  Yipes!  All in all, this run made me feel much more confident that I could easily tack on 2 more miles, and though I don’t think I can tack on those 2 miles without adding time (the 11 miles I did in 1:59, my goal for the half is as close to 2 hours as possible), my biggest goal is just to complete the race.

Monday: 2.7 mile run and yoga

I was still sore from the epic run the day before and low on time (I had somewhere to be right after work so all I had was the morning workout time), so I did one lap around the neighborhood and decided yoga would be more beneficial.  I made up the time later in the week so it worked out.

Tuesday: weights and a 45 minute tempo run

Check and check.  The plan was 60 mins DDR in the morning and weights in the evening, which is obviously not what happened.  I woke up late so I did weights at home instead.  We then changed plans from relaxing to socializing that would make it a later night, so I decided that doing the run when I was fresher and less tired was a better idea.  I ran on the treadmill, because running 5 miles in 95 and humid is not my idea of a good time.

Wednesday: yoga and 60 mins DDR

Check and check.  Morning yoga, and DDR at night.  I had really wanted to run here because it was National Running Day, but I figured it was more important to take care of myself than celebrate.

Thursday: 5.3 mile run, 2 mile run, weights

Check, check, and check.  In the morning I ran around the neighborhood twice, it was a good, comfortable, easy run.  After work I did a 2 mile treaddy run, and then a short weights workout.  After two weeks of hard training with only one day off, I was so very ready to be done.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Rest

Friends came into town and were staying with us, and I made sure I didn’t have to be ducking out of plans to workout.  It’s a good thing too – I had thought *maybe* I’d like to get an extra yoga session or 2 in to keep limber, but I didn’t have time.  I can tell I’m getting to the end of a really hard 3 months of training because even after 3 days off – I still have muscle soreness.  I do feel a lot more rested and besides putting a lot of crap into my body I probably shouldn’t have, I think it’s just what I needed to have one more really strong week of training before the race.

Total week 9 mileage 26 (running):   (plus 1-2 miles of walking)

Week 11 – the last hard week of training

Monday – 5 mile run, weights at home

Tuesday – 10×400 track intervals (more likely, treadmill intervals) and yoga

Wednesday – 60 mins DDR, yoga

Thursday – 5 mile run, weights at the gym

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 12 mile run

Sunday – Rest

Things I learned last week:

I usually do 5 things, but at this point, I’m just repeating the same things over and over.  I am confident I can finish this race, I don’t think 13 miles is much different than 11.  I’m nearing the end of a pretty rigorous training cycle, and while I’ve enjoyed pushing myself, I am ready for a break soon.  I’m going into this week feeling better than normal, so that’s a bonus.  I have 5 more hard workouts this week (and one tempo next week) and that’s it.  Another bonus.

I’m just going to dig in, finish what I started here, try to eat as healthy as possible, try to cool it on the partying (the next 2 Fridays are carbo-loading, relaxing, and sleep, no going out), and get as much sleep as I can this week.  I think if I make it to Saturday post-run, I’ll be in good shape.  I remember this feeling from gymnastics – what started as fun gets tedious.  What started with enthusiasm and “let’s-do-this-it’s-a-challenge”, now is going through the motions and “what did I get myself into”.  Then, the big meet comes and it’s fun again and all the hard work pays off.  And then, you just can’t wait for the next one to do even better.

I’m ready for my big meet.  I’m ready to put my training to the test.  Almost.  Two more weeks.  Thanks for hangin’ in here with me and hope it’s been a tolerable, if not enjoyable, ride!

SoC: Moving On

Two years ago, I was in my final days at SOE, having given my notice about a week prior, and I was tying up loose ends, handing stuff off, and furiously trying to get those who were taking care of my duties up to speed on the massive amount of duties that were being dumped upon them.  At home, most of our stuff was in boxes, we were packing up everything to move from San Diego to Texas.  My life was chaotic, uprooted, and I was terrified.  As I always am when there is big change afoot.  Noteworthy perhaps – I was around 240 lbs then, so besides the fear of unknown, there was also the discomfort of carrying around an extra emaciated supermodel 24/7.

8 years ago, well, yesterday, actually, we left our Reno basement apartment just before sunrise with our lives in a small u-haul Zliten was driving and our cars, heading out to San Diego to live beside the ocean, leave the fires behind, swim out past the breakers, watch the world die.  In other words, getting the hell out of dodge.  But dodge was where I had spent highschool and college.  Life was chaotic, I was uprooted, and terrified.  At that point, I hadn’t seen a scale in months, but I was at least 200, probably about 215 if I had to guess.  I wasn’t quite carrying the supermodel yet, but I was at least carrying an extra 5th grader.

Besides the fact that I seem to always relocate in June, the other recurring theme is fear of change, but doing it anyway.  Both moves have been pretty bold, desperate changes that have been fantastic for me.  Both changes were definitely after months of wanting, but not set-in-stone for more than a few weeks before I was gone.  Both moves also created a bunch of financial uncertainty.

Leaving Reno after college for *anywhere else* was the plan.  I was pushing for San Diego, but the backup plan was Colorado Springs.  The weekend after graduation, we drove down and looked for an apartment.  Our current 3 bedroom(ish – converted basement) rented for about 650 per month if I remember correctly.  We were in for a shock when we couldn’t find anything in a safe neighborhood near town for under 900.  Discouraged, we drove back to SD to continue packing.  We had to be out of the apartment on the 3rd of June no matter what, so it was either find a place or move back in with the ‘rents.

The next weekend we drove back, with a mission – either find something in the next few days, or the next weekend we would be off to Colorado.  After much more looking around, we found and secured a JUNIOR one bedroom (folks, this thing was a glorified studio with a full kitchen and a wall between the bedroom and the other room) for a price we were comfortable with, saw Moulin Rouge (which was our present for finding a place, and to this day still one of my favorite movies of all time), and then drove back to Reno and finished packing.  I don’t think we even had a goodbye party, we didn’t have time.  As sudden and terrifying as this sounds already, keep in mind that neither of us had jobs there.  I had a tiny savings account but had already started racking up some credit card bills since I hadn’t worked the last couple months of college so I could concentrate on my thesis.

I’ve talked a bit about my time in SD, but it was definitely the best of times, and the worst of times.  Everyone should live in a big, expensive city once in their lives.  Everyone should also live by the beach once in their lives.  I took care of this with one fell swoop!  I found out that to live in paradise, you have to work so much it’s hard to enjoy it.  Our first apartment was in one of the best neighborhoods – we were within walking to tons of local shops and restaurants and bars, and what is now a walk but then would have been a 5 dollar cab ride to the nice area of downtonwn SD – the Gaslamp district.  However, we rarely went out, because we couldn’t afford it.  After the newness of beach wore off, and also once we were on normal people hours and could only hit the sand when it was crowded with tourists, we started going less and less.  I think besides the times work took us for an outing, I can count the beach trips in the last 5 years of living there on my hands.  Sad, for someone who is a pisces and wanted to live by the water more than anything.

Then, we moved up near work to cut the commute down – but we left the fun and funky to live in suburbia chainland tech mecca mesa.  Due to raises and promotions we had much more money to play with here, so we lived on restaurant food, but it was stuff like Chilis and Applebees and Chi Chis.  There were 3 dive bars in the area that were HORRIBLE, so we didn’t go out much, but that was probably a good thing.  Then after 2 years we realized that we were a) fat b) never going to own a house and c) besides the awesome climate, could be living in a big apartment complex anywhere in the country and not have it cost 1500/mo for a 700 sq foot 2 bed 1 bath.

We considered Australia (the studio went under last year, so glad we didn’t go under down under, hehe), and were just about set up with jobs in Vancouver when they fell through.  Then, at the urging of a friend living there, we started looking in Austin, trying to overlook the fact that it was in Texas, and people can carry concealed weapons.  We decided it couldn’t hurt to visit, and I secured a handful of interviews and meetings to look for a position, and off we went on Mother’s Day weekend in 2007.

We fell in love with it.  I had more fun and social interaction with cool people and friends in that 5 days than I had almost the 5 months prior.  Not everyone wore a cowboy hat and carried a gun.  There were tons of cool places to eat and drink and swim and shop and hangout and it was all affordable!  We found our neighborhood and if I would have gotten a job offer, we would have put an offer on a house we found.  I have no regrets because I love our house to pieces, but this one was cheaper and had a pool (and…erm…needed lots more love, but that’s besides the point).

I was back to work for about a week and then on that fateful Thursday evening, I got a call from my current boss’s boss, asking if I wanted to job, for just slightly less than the outlandish raise I asked for.  Out of town interviews are so odd – basically, these people decided from seeing a list of what I had done and spending 45 minutes with me, that they wanted to pay to move me out there and have me work for them.  In 45 minutes with them, I had to make the decision that I was willing to uproot my life for a startup (well funded, but still) that couldn’t even tell me the name of the game they were making.  Zliten luckily landed a job the second week we were out there making gaga looney money as well, but at the time when I accepted, we had no idea how long it would take him.

But it all worked out lovely in the end.  This is not my most favoritiest JOB I’ve ever had, but the product is top notch.  It’s good talented people, it’s stable, there are some really awesome PARTS to it, and it doesn’t eat my life so I can do crazy things like train for a half marathon.  It sucks that we’re in a situation where my poor Zliten has been out of steady work for so long, but at least we live in a town where we can get by on what we’ve got.  We’ve got a great circle of friends, and pretty much any day of the week, Austin has some sort of event going on, more than anywhere else I’ve lived in my life.

I guess the moral here is – feel the fear and do it anyway.  You just might learn something.  Very few choices are true forks in the road – if a choice makes you unhappy, you can always go back.  Or make another one.  A good, hard life shake up is sometimes just what you need to get yourself right again.  The move to San Diego focused me into finding a career I love instead of becoming a professional waitress/student like I was leaning towards (because it was what I knew).  The move to Austin reminded me that being successful is not everything.  Having a social life is worth the effort, and so is being active, even though it’s not directly helping me achieve the goal of world domination, fame, and riches.

While I’m hoping we stay here for a while, I doubt Austin will be our final resting place.  I wonder where our next adventure will take us?  More importantly, I wonder what our next adventure will teach us?  Oh, I’m sure I’ll feel the same way – chaotic, uprooted, and frightened, but at least now that I have 2 under my belt, I probably won’t be as much so as before.  I get attached to spaces and places more than things, so leaving an apartment or an office is usually a pretty heartwrenching goodbye, but once I lock the door for the last time and say my adieu, my goldfish brain is already thinking, “What’s next?”.

I watched Pump Up The Volume recently, and something that’s always stuck with me was Happy Harry Hard-on’s words after the suicide.  If you’re so unhappy you’d consider ending it, why not do something else crazy that’s not so…final?  So if you’re feeling unhappy or unsatisfied with something in your life, why not go nuts?  Do something drastic, paint your canvas with bold strokes with wantan regard for the end result, because doing SOMETHING, even if it might not be the RIGHT something, is usually better than nothing.  Chances are, you’ll end up somewhere cool, even if it’s not perfect, and you’ll surely learn something from the experience!

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