Adjusted Reality

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

Month: January 2010 Page 1 of 4

5 Random Things

It’s all crazy up in here lately, so random is the best I’ve got.  It’s even taken me 2 days to write this.

1.  We are about 99.9% of the way there to delivering a product.  I actually might be able to share this one with you once it’s out there!  It made me realize that maybe I’m NOT so unethused with my profession.  It’s stressful and frustrating work making a game at times, but damn do I feel alive when the heat is on and totally engaged at work and in the moment when we’re close to the end.  It’s just that I used to do exactly what I am doing tonight once every few weeks, and now it’s not very often at all.  It’s that adrenaline rush… is it going to pass?  Did we do everything right?  Are people going to like it?  Is management going to tell me to box my stuff up and collect my last check?  You never know…

2.  After busting ass through a few 6 and an 8 mile tempo @ 8:55 (attempting at least), 4 miles is super easy!  It’s pretty amazing what comparisons can do – I was WAY less miserable during each point than normal (and lets face it, trying to improve your pace is about being miserable for a while until that pace becomes, uh, un-miserable).  I was even able to do 30 minutes on the arc trainer after with no issues.  I was able to do little but go home and die after 6-8.  I still question if I’m going to be able to hold the pace I need to during the race, but I definitely think I have a chance.  And I think unless it’s pouring sleet, setting a new PR is a no brainer.

3.  I am still at a loss of what to do for my birthday, and taking suggestions.  Something under a few hundred dollars, within a few hours drive, that doesn’t suck if it’s cold and windy like this weekend, and… I dunno.  Something cool.

4.  This weekend, I am heading downtown to a cool event – at a bar I’ve always wanted to check out (which is usually too “trendy” for us, I guess, as no one ever wants to go there), with free alcohol, and a vintage clothing swap!  So I will end up drunk AND with new clothes!  I guess until shopping until you drop, it’s shop until you puke, right?  Kidding, kidding, I hope to be slightly more responsible than that.  Just slightly.  Regardless, I am tres excited.  Just gotta get through my hardcore fast 12 miler (last tough run of training) in our arctic blasted weather and not die.

5.  I have been really slacking this week and not tracking my food, not worrying about my weight even though its a few lbs up, and have made the conscious decision to be ok with a shorter cross training session than normal.  I’ve still been eating like my normal healthy self, but I’ve kinda decided that I can’t be too hard on myself for another month or so (up until the race and then a week or 2 after to let my appetite catch up to my activity level).  I can tell I’m not at the lowest weight I’ve been at lately, but I am also running stronger than I was then.  I do need to make sure I don’t let it go unchecked for too long, I don’t want to start seeing 160s or worse, but I have always been a fluctuator.  If you don’t hear me talk about my weight or see some double chins start poking out here, please call me on it.

My apologies to my bloggie friends – I’ve tried to keep up but I’ve been very busy lately.  This week has made about as much sense as this picture above.  Please forgive me!  Hopefully things will settle next week and I’ll be back to my chatty self.  Definitely need birthday suggestions (it’s about a month away) – if you can’t think of anything for a sane amount of money, tell me what you would do if the sky was the limit!  For me – 5 days in Costa Rica.  Which isn’t undoable *sometime*, just not right now.  Have a great weekend, and wish me luck tomorrow on my freezy ass speedy 12 miler tomorrow!

Go Elsewhere, For I Am Boring

So, I’m still in a funk a bit, but I’m taking steps to make peace with that.

1.  There are a few things in my life that are a little out of control right now that just have to stay out of control for the time being, and I just realize that as a control freak, this will drive me a little nuts, and that’s ok.  There is an end.  There is a resolution.  I just need patience.

2.  There are a few things in my life that have not been put on a schedule and harnessed and planned like I like to do.  I can make this change.  For example, I need to start doing our monthly budget again, I’ve started it and just waiting for the month to end to get some data to work with.  Before – with just my salary and unemployment it was just too depressing.  Now, with Zliten only UNDERemployed it’s moderately less depressing!  Yes, I like my control freakiness with a side of avoidant behavior.  This will help me figure out things like whether it is possible to do something cool for my birthday AND redo the kitchen windows this year.  I would like to thank our previous owners for making ALL the windows in the house CUSTOM SIZES. *shakes fist (full of money)*

3.  This is typical end-of-winter blues for me.  I am never in a particularly great and happy state around now.  Once we get past the possibility of hard freezes and icky weather (like the rest of this week and weekend), I should be a much happier camper.

4.  It’s also the end of half marathon training.  I am at the point where I just want to run the race and do something new and different.  Less than last time where I was going nutzo about now, but there is definitely the defiant little Quix-in-my-head going “I WANNA RUN WHEN I WANNA RUN, WAH.”  I can only take the same rigid schedule for so long before I ‘splode, even if it’s self imposed.  And a different rigid schedule?  Like butter to me.  I love.  I just need different and freaky every so often.

I think a majority of the things kinda bugging me will resolve themselves mid-February.  And that’s not too far away.  And if not, I can busy myself making mountains of spreadsheets and unbooked vacation itineraries and dreaming of winning the lotto.  Hey, it could happen.

So I’m sure you’re sick of hearing ME whine, so let me direct you to other cool bloggers saying things besides wah wah boo hoo is me and my pretty little slightly imperfect life.

Get Miz on Ellen! Mizfit, you have some huevos, you are crazy, and I love it.

Endurance Isn’t Only Physical is giving away a Nathan’s Hydration Belt!

Fit to the Finish – I totally agree with her opinion on deprivation.

My Life On A Diet – the Aha moment of realizing you’re one of those Thin people.

Tiny Glow – what a difference 30 lbs makes!  Linking to this post specifically to a) show off her awesome progress and b) emphasize the IMPORTANCE of purchasing some clothes that fit every once in a while – don’t wait until your goal weight!!!

The Great Fitness Experiment – Charlotte examines Time Sickness (and ohhh boy, I have the sickness fo sho).  Extra credit – an amazing ab workout I am linking here for selfish reasons, so that I can remember it and partake of it once I finish this crazy half training.

Diet Girl is giving away a bunch of stuff in her sell out extravaganza!  Check it out.

It’s Feed Me I’m Cranky ‘s blog birthday and she’s giving away a whole foods gift certificate!  No one else enter because I’d like to win, please. 🙂

Go check out a few good peoples’ blogs and perhaps tomorrow I will have something besides blah de wah de splat.  What do you do to get yourself out of a funk?  What’s making you happy lately?

Spoiled Brat Syndrome

***whiny brat post ahead – you may finish the post with the desire to smack me over the head***

Some days, you get smacked in the face with the “woe is me, wahhhh” bat.  Yesterday was one of those days.  Today isn’t looking better.  I whined a lot on twitter and I whined a lot to Zliten over IM and I whined a lot to myself.  Because my life is so terrible and horrible and everything is wrong and poor me *laughs*.  Let me elaborate below.

First of all, I’m trying to figure out what to do for my birthday coming up.  For some reason, it is a BIG DEAL this year to me.  I don’t want to just throw a party and have people come over.  I don’t want to just go out to a bar and get drunk.  I want to do something ridiculously cool.  I want to be that kind of person that pops off to another country for their birthday.  Or at least somewhere out of town.  At the very least, something cool and unique.

The everlovin’ problem is – money.  Whoever said that money is the root of all evil is a damn dirty liar – it’s definitely the LACK of money.  Zliten is (smartly) insisting that we save some and do some house renovations this year.  But I mean, seriously?  Who needs new countertops and windows and working central heat?  I’m only half kidding – a life without vacations to look forward to for me is seriously NOT happy.  I’m willing to work hard, but I also need to play hard.

I’ve already made sacrifices.  The honeymoon is moving from 2010 to 2011 due to work schedules.  I actually decided I was going to be very frugal about clothes shopping in 2010, since I’m not losing weight, to save money.  I *need* very few things.  I need to get back to my budgeting spreadsheets to get a handle on how all the funds come and go.  Instead of running the Long Beach Marathon in October and taking a happy fun vacation then, I’m running the San Antonio one in November.

My big bad mood issue is – I’m fully realizing that I’ve lost both aspects of importance about my job.  Back in San Diego, we were broke as shit but I was enveloped in this awesomely rewarding job experience and I didn’t mind.  The things that were important to me were my Zliten and my job, and that’s pretty much it.  Now, I have a little less passion about my job (which is, honestly, a good thing for my sanity).  I’m just a good employee wanting to make a good product.  I work my hours, do my job, and go home and don’t obsess over it.  I’m also the managerial ying to my previously creative yang.  So I no longer get that whole “I made this and it’s awesome” fulfillment.  It’s ok – it had to end eventually.  But I picked this end for the money.

Now, the money just isn’t adding up.  I no longer am able to say, “well, I like my job, but I’m not in love with it, but HEY, it affords me a comfortable life.”  When you take away my vacations and make me monitor the amount of THRIFT shopping I’m doing, I no longer feel as if I should suffer doing something I don’t completely love.  I might as well figure out what that is and go nuts and be COMPLETELY poor and at least have that creative fulfillment again.

This does not bode well for a mortgage payment that keeps getting higher (my neighborhood is like the ONE place in the world where property values continue to rise which means more taxes! wheee!!!!) and the 10k left on my car installment loan.  So here I sit, feeling trapped, pissed off, and grumpy.   I always mocked people like me-now.  I’d never  be them.  I’d rather have happiness than money.  If I was unhappy where I was I would leave and figure it out.  It’s just not that simple.  I used to be a shining star, now I’m just a burnt out and jaded middle manager.  I might as well be in a Dilbert cartoon.

The other problem?  I have no carrot, just sticks right now.   You know what I mean?  Maybe it’s a bad analogy, but… sticks being things I want that are a lot of work, carrots being things just to look forward to?  2004-2006 there was a lot of work “carrot” promising if I worked just a little harder and did just a little more of a job I would have practically done for free anyway, I might get the money/support/fame/fancy cars/bling bling.  2007 held the excitement of starting a weight loss endeavor, moving states, and buying a house. 2008 continued the scale going down down down, and I started running and it was novel and exciting and then I shipped a game and then we went on a cruise.  Hard year, filled with carrots and sticks, but very rewarding.  2009 was the year of GETTING MARRIED and RUNNING RACES.  Both sticks, but balanced with THREE out of town trips.

This year, it all just feels like STICK right now.  Two races, which are awesome but also WORK.  I might get a promotion next January, but it’s gonna be a hell of a year to get there.  I would love to have something written by the end of the year, and I’d really like to pursue actually possibly someday getting paid for writing, but again, it sounds like so much WORK.  Everything that used to sound exciting sounds like so much EFFORT.  Putting money into the house sounds horrible to my inner baby brat right now because it’s a) taking money away from fun and it’s b) effort and messy and more fucking WORK.

The running does help though.  I rocked my sprints HARD last night even though I went into the gym pissed and sad and feeling glum and slightly nauseous from the cake I self-medicated myself with earlier (bleh – note to self – NEVER eat a full piece of cake again, half is enough – gave me a headache).  I reminded myself that running was something that was fully under my control, and the sprint workout that was supposed to be my killer actually came pretty easy.

Also helping,  the impending beautiful weather and longer days.   Bike rides and long walks and hiking is pretty much free, and I’m looking forward to taking FULL advantage of these next few beautiful months before it gets too hot.

I’m just trying to figure out some compromise with myself.  Sure, I might not be quite as far along here at 30 as I wished I’d be – but I’m not doing so badly.  Sure, I might not be able to hit Costa Rica for my birthday, or even get out of town, but I’m not going to sit at home and eat ramen and drink Natty Ice and cry.  Sure, we might not have made progress on renovating our house and increasing the value, but we have a house.  We’re not in foreclosure. We’ve made money on it in the 2.5 years we’ve owned it.  I may not have my dream job and might feel like a fucking glorified secretary sometimes, but I make *decent* money and have *some* clout around here.

But since I’m a brat this week, none of this is cheering me up.  People are homeless and Haiti is in ruins and most of the world is wondering where their next meal will come from and I am bitching about vacations.  And I wish that made me have some happy fuzzy realization, or think altruisticly, or made me feel better.  I have whiny baby syndrome BAD and I know I’m being ridiculous.  But, as it happens every once in a while, I fall into one of these little foxholes and it takes me a few days to crawl out.  I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.  And it’s just not fair that I can’t have it.  Perhaps the lottery ticket Zliten bought tonight will solve everything, cross your fingers for me.

So, what is your biggest wahhhh-mbulence type gripe lately?  Something that’s cheesing you off, and you know is ridiculous, but is still getting your goat anyway?  Spill it in the comments and it will make you feel at least 58% better, I swear!

Mariska Hargitay

Usually, is a bit “Fitness Mag” for me, so I don’t really pay much attention, but this article caught my eye for some reason.

Mariska Hargitay is not someone I’ve heard of before, but for those of you unhip as I am, she is an actress.  She looks fabulous.  She does not look like the token big girl in a sea of skinny women, she fits right in (you know what I mean, right?  Like the cheerleading captain in High School Musical who is obviously not FAT, but looks a little out of place?).   She does not look waifish, but she looks slim, sexy, confident, powerful, and strong.  This woman does not need to lose any weight.  This woman looks like she belongs in the business.

She is a size 8.  I am a size 8.   I think she’s a little hippier where I’m a little heavier on top – she’s a pear to my inverted triangle.  And I’m jealous to hell of her jaw definition, but I think I beat her in the sexy legs contests.

Like, she is really and truly my size.  I flit between a 6 in some brands to a 10 in others.  My go to size is 8 for jeans.  My go to size for shirts is medium (which is generally – 6/8).  And this hot looking t.v. star does the same thing.  Well, all things considered she probably doesn’t shop in thrift stores but it’s the size that matters here.  Oddly enough the lack of ability to walk into a super upscale store and shop matters way less to me as I get older.  Priorities, I guess.

Sadly, this is huge to me – the size thing.  I have a minor in theatre.  I might have majored in it, but I didn’t figure it would be terribly good at making me any money (not like my psych degree did any good, but I was young and naive).  I always dreamed of running off to LA after college and making a go of trying to get into acting.

But I never got the leads in college.  Those always went to the skinny girls.  I was convinced that to succeed in theatre, I needed to lose weight.  Not develop my acting, not get better at auditioning, not expose myself to more plays – but lose weight.  I believed that was the only thing standing between me and success.  I’d typically audition fairly mundanely, get a bit part, and directors found that I was actually pretty talented (sorta), I’d get picked for the featured bit parts.  My shining moment was being able to do 6 bit parts for a weird adaptation of A Clockwork Orange where I got to sing on stage as well as eat a pot pie (not at the same time, that would have been TRULY a feat).  I also had some really cool main parts, but they were for class performances where they HAD to cast me as SOMETHING.  One of these parts included my one and only stage kiss, which is WAY less hot then it sounds.

Although I had fun with my short lived college theatre career, I always felt like I had to be something that felt unattainable to succeed.  I mean, as a full time student with a part time job also doing theatre rehearsals, it didn’t leave much time to eat healthy and exercise.  I kept active by running around campus and taking some aerobics/dance classes for credit, and occasionally making it to the fitness center, but I ate ABHORRENTLY.  Either way too much of the wrong things (a denny’s club sandwich with french fries and ranch was a lite dinner, which NOW I know is about 1200 calories), or way too little of the wrong things (hello, living for a week on 3 boxes of crackers, coffee, and dayquil).

Now, I’m about 20-50 lbs lighter than I was back then, have tackled a lot of inadequacy issues, and feel a lot more comfortable getting up in front of people and saying and doing shit.  But I still have those few requirements in my head about when I am DONE losing weight.  One of them is to feel adequate in any situation that’s reasonable.  At my current weight, I did not feel as if I was there – partly because I didn’t feel like leading lady material.  Silly, I know, because I’m not doing theatre, but I HAVE thought about getting back to it.  I don’t think I’m going to be gracing the Paris runways with my 5’5″ and muscular build anytime soon – but it’s not outside the realm of possibility that I might want to take up acting again.  And I don’t want to ONLY get cast as the comic relief or the fat friend.  Maybe I’m there, it’s just hard for me to see it.

I’ve been toying with trying to see myself as other people do.  People call me little.  I don’t feel little.  I sure don’t see myself as a 265 lb person anymore, but I don’t feel little.  Small.  Someone that can be thrown over a shoulder.  Someone that looks like one who participates in athletic endeavors.  It’s tricky after so many years, but I’m working on it.  And finding out I wear the same size as a pretty hawt looking actress is a big help.

Such a little thing, a number.  But I gotta say, Mariska Hargitay, I didn’t know who you were before, but you certainly changed my perspective today.  Maybe I should give your TV show a try?

Second Half Marathon Training: Week 10

Really, week 10 already?  Three weeks from today, my race will be run.  Will I make it in under 2 hours?  Will I beat my last time?  Will I even finish?  Dramatic chipmunk builds the drama.

Damn you Kanye!!!  Anyhoo, will I finish?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ve got this one.  As terrified as I was at the beginning of this because 5-6 miles seemed hard and long after a summer of 5ks, it’s nice to get a good reminder that my body can do just about anything with reasonable training time.  I’m going to work to not lose my mileage base this time.  It helps that I’m coming out of the race when it is starting to be gorgeous prime outdoor running weather.  I’m starting my last hard week of training actually THRILLED and GIDDY at the idea of some nice looooooong slow runs to get used to being on my feet past 2 hours.  This is a good sign, as last time at this point, I just really wanted to finish the race and NEVAR RUN AGAIN…

Will I beat my time (2:16 and some change)?  I think it’s almost inevitable.  Saturday’s run was just a tinge slower than my last half marathon pace, and the after effects?  I feel like I may as well have just gone for a long walk.   I may not have *quite* hit some of my paces, but with how I’ve been running so far, I think I’d have to have a crazy bad day not to PR.

Now, beating 2 hours?  I’m not sure.  I still feel very strong when I run.  But there has come a point where my body makes me aware that, no, in fact, I cannot do ANYTHING I ask of it.  I can either get frustrated and piss and moan about it, or use those experiences to figure out how to best salvage each run that’s not going 100% perfect and keep those strategies in my back pocket for race day.  I’ll choose the latter.  My prediction?  I’ll need a really good day to break 2 hours.  But I’ve had good days!  So we shall see.

So day by day –

Sunday: We decided to take a nice long walk because it was FREAKING GORGEOUS.  We walked about 2.5 miles to lunch and then over 3 meandering back through some parks and nifty neighborhoods.  I figured that just under 6 miles was nothing to sniff at so I counted it as one cross training day.

Monday: 6×800 miles.  I went into the gym and started and while it wasn’t as bad as the 1600 sprints, it was no cake walk.  Then in the middle of it, I remembered that this week and next week were the ones I added to the program myself (since there was either a 10 week or 16 week program, I picked the 10 weeks of sprints and upped the ante for the last two weeks).  No one *told* me to do 6×800.  I could *probably* quit after 4 and be ok.  I could *probably* just cut the speed a bit on the last few and be ok.  But then I realized after last week, I needed to do it just like I set out to do.  And thus, I did.

Tuesday:  Yoga’d it up, had a DAY at work, and decided I needed a rest.

Wednesday:  6 mile tempo.  I had to slow down in the middle slightly, but I was able to pick it back up at the end and still make my 8:55-ish pace (I think it was 8:57 but whatevs).

Thursday: Was able to fit in 30 mins DDR, but not circuits.  This means I took the entire week off strength training, which is not optimal, but it was a ROUGH week work-wise and very very busy.  Sometimes, you take what you can get.

Friday: Since I was an idiot and stayed up WAY too late partying on a school-night (insert comment on not-a-role-model here), I got through the day, and then our houseguests pampered us with a home cooked dinner and an hour long massage.

Saturday:  If you hadn’t gathered from commentary above, it had been a hell of a week.  Crazy stuff at work, stuff to do after, and on top of it all, this morning I woke up and realized that it was that one morning per month where I’m lucky to be able to drag myself off the couch.  My legs had also been constantly sore all week.  It hadn’t even gotten better with 2 days off.  So, I said screw the 15k race plan, and decided instead to do 9 miles easy, no pace requirement.  This actually felt WONDERFUL, I got to enjoy the great day, my Zliten biked a bunch of the way with me, and I was ready an hour later to go out and do it again.  I did a bunch of yoga after and felt even greater.  My legs feel better now than they have all week.  Sometimes, you just have to throw the plan out the window.

Sunday: movies on the couch.  Resting up for the week to come.  Not lookin’ like a fool with my pants on the ground.

This week is my last hard week.  Next week, week 11, starts my full two week taper.  There is some debate on whether you need that much, but I remembered running 12 miles 6 days before my race, and never quite felt rested, so I’m going to give it a try.  At first, I was pretty freaked out about taking it easy for so long, but after having two completely WASTED weeks of training where I was lucky to get a run in at all let alone 3 at pace, and then bouncing back just fine, I think it’ll do me good.

And it’s not taper yet.  This is what’s up this week:

Monday: 5×1600 sprints @ 8:25 min/mi pace.  This is my own personal gift of hell to myself.  At the beginning, when I put together the program, I thought, “I need more work at long distances being fast, so I’ll throw in mile sprints this week and add 1 since it’s the last week.”  I think  I might could go find a time machine, go back, and kick myself.  I would take 12 x 400 over the mile sprints.  These have been the toughest on me.  But I suppose, it means I need them more than the shorter intervals.

Tuesday: DDR circuits.  Or I might just buck up, head to the gym, and do weights.  With my taper I need to taper the weights as well and I want to make sure I get in two good sessions this week.

Wedensday: 4 mile tempo @ 8:55 pace.  Going to attempt to get my hiney up early and do this in the morning outside as I have a social engagement after work.  Failing that, another jaunt around the campus at work.

Thursday: DDR circuits (or something equivalent involving WEIGHTS).

Friday: rest

Saturday: 12 mile run @ 9:40 pace.  This is another important one.  If I can do this one on pace without too much trouble, it will be a good omen for the 1.1 mile longer race.

Sunday: relaaaaax

Weight/Food/Tracking Update:

I’ve been giving myself a little leeway here as I’m pretty close to the race day.  I’ve been actually pretty good about eating good food in mass quanitites (like a 2 lb bag of baby carrots and 1/2 lb pea pods… yeah, that was 3 days of afternoon snacks for me), minus yesterday evening’s cracker and cheese fest.  I did fall off the tracking this week, so I’ll need to get back to that tomorrow.  The scale has been between 156 – 157 (minus one odd day of 152.8 which I don’t believe) but I haven’t weighed since Friday, so again, will start monitoring tomorrow.  It’s not been a bad exercise to track during this stage of training, as I actually most running days I’m struggling to eat ENOUGH.

So there.  Wish me luck with this last week and I’ll be sighing with relief when Saturday afternoon rolls around.  Still trippin’ out how awesome and loose my legs feel though!

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