Monday, August 18, 2008

Double digits in the hiz-ouse!

I'm hella tired so this will be quick. I ran 10 miles on the treadmill last night...finishing up around 10 pm. I walked a bit, which I didn't anticipate doing, but I'm ok with it. My mom always calls on Sunday nights and I didn't want to miss her so I walked while we talked. I felt like I was going to ralph for a majority of the run, so I'm really surprised I mustered the will to finish. There were so many times I wanted to quit but all I kept thinking was how badly I needed to do this long run. I finally realized that I could spend all day coming up with excuses (and many times I have) but while I'm doing that I could be much more productive and just get the damn run over with. I downed some strawberry-banana Power Ade gel around the 6.5 mile mark and felt really good for about a mile and a half but then slowed down again. I was surprised at how "easy" the concept of going 10 miles was once I was over the 5 or 6 mile mark. I thought to myself, "Well you've done 8 miles before and that wasn't too bad. Surely you can do 21 more minutes or approximately 6 or 7 songs worth of running". And I did. Sure, my head was tingling (not sure what that was about) and my upper back was a bit stiff (anyone else have this problem? I think I might run like the Hunchback of Notre Dame or something), but dammit I did the 10 and am quite pleased. The worst part was showering later and feeling like I had a hundred tiny paper cuts on my legs - chafe much?!

Work is going really well. Everyone is super nice and I feel as if I've been there a lot longer than 3 days. It's very comfortable.
We've got company at the house right now so I've been unable to catch up on my blog reading b/c as soon as I get home from work (it's so nice to be able to say that again - finally) we're either preparing dinner or going out or running errands. I hope everyone's kicking ass with their running. I appreciate the support from you ladies about my last post. I think I'm going to print out the Hidgon schedule and enter my info into the Runner's World Smart Coach and see what kind of workout it generates for me. I really need to buckle down. Dur. I feel like I've been saying that for months. Anyway, g'night for now.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Working Girl

No more mornings sleeping in
No more daytime LMN*.

No more couch potato days
Spent lazily in my p-j's.

My green pleather sofa I will miss
But it's time for a goodbye kiss.

I'm once again a working girl,
Thank you Jesus, I desperately need the dollar bills.


*Lifetime Movie Network

Unfortunately, I have no running achievements to mention but can proudly say that I (finally) start work tomorrow - at a physical therapy office! It only took 3 months after we moved up here but I finally found a friggin job. Yay! I'm excited (and a bit nervous) to get back to work, meet people, and get into a schedule of some sort. I found the job on craigslist - which was surprising b/c until now I'd thought almost everything listed on there was a scam or b.s. of some kind - and interviewed for it about a week and a half ago. I was told during the interview that they were going to do a "round 2" for whoever they wanted to interview again. It would be an informal interview to meet the other therapists and see how well the personalities meshed. I was extremely nervous as I was driving to the interview and almost wanted to turn around and go back home. My stomach was killing me, my heart was racing and I felt all gaggy. I arrived early and was pleasantly surprised by how beautiful the office was. It's a tastefully decorated, open area on the 9th floor of a huge building downtown Nashville. There are gigantic floor to ceiling windows that overlook rolling hills and downtown. When I met the interviewer I felt as if we clicked almost immediately. She completely put me at ease. There were several times during the interview that we'd deviate from the question she'd asked and start talking about anything from jewelry to "reality" tv. I felt so comfortable, in fact, that after she described her role in the office that I told her she was "kind of like the Michael Scott of the office". She didn't get the reference right away and I thought "Oh shit, maybe I should have reconsidered this". Then I asked, "Do you watch The Office?" and she said "Yes, I love that show". Looking back on it I'm lucky she didn't misconstrue my comment and think I was calling her a complete moron. Oy. After the interview as I drove home I was smiling the entire way. I felt SO good about the interview. I tried my best not to get my hopes up too high; Dave found himself in a similar situation back in Feb when he interviewed for a job and I would have bet $100 that he absolutely had the job...and then he didn't get it. So while I was excited about the experience, that situation was in the back of my mind the entire time warning me not to call off my job hunt just yet.

A few days later, I think it was last Tuesday, she called to see if I was still interested in the job. I said "absolutely" and she said "Although I planned on doing a second round of interviews, I had such a good feeling after your interview that I'd like to offer you the job". I was stoked! Not only did I want the job hella bad but was extremely flattered that I'd made such a good impression that she decided to ditch the second round of interviews. Score! It was funny b/c I told her how I left there and was in such a good mood b/c I got such a great vibe from her and the office and how excited I was about the job and she said "Me too! I was in such a good mood after you left and thought what a great way that was to end the week". Good stuff. The only drawback it that it's a bit of a hike: probably between 45 minutes and an hour each way. But I'm fine with it b/c I got a great feeling from the people and office when I was there and physical therapy is something that has always interested me. In fact, when I began taking college classes, I was actually taking prerequisites for P.T. Unfortunately, I was told by several people that the "supply had met the demand" and there wasn't that much of a need for P.T.'s. These comments, along with the fact that P.T. had recently become a Master's Program were enough to dissuade me from pursuing it. Of course now I wish I'd been forward thinking enough to realize that the pendulum has to swing the other way as Baby Boomers age, etc. Oh well. I'm hoping that my proximity to the field and other therapists will help me decide whether it's still something I'm interested in pursuing.

I had no long run last week. Boo! It's incredible how my weeks of running can be as different as night and day from one to the next. Two weeks ago I was absolutely pumped and was very focused on running and moving my ass in general. Last week I was more concerned with sitting on my ass than moving it. I couldn't seem to muster much excitement or motivation to move. I think I ran 7 miles the entire week. This week isn't shaping up to be much more promising. I've done 5 miles so far and contemplated doing 9 or 10 today but there is another part of me that is more concerned with fully enjoying my last day of freedom by watching t.v., reading, organizing the house, and cleaning (in preparation for company this weekend). I did do yoga, so at least that's something. I know I really should just do the friggin long run b/c there probably won't be much time over the weekend. God I wish I had a trainer or running buddy to keep me in line. Grr.

In other news I was on last week b/c for the life of me I could not think of all the food groups - which I feel like a moron for admitting but oh well. I noticed a link on the page for "MyPyramid Menu Planner" and thought that sounded interesting so I clicked on it. The page requires you to enter your height, weight, age, gender, and level of physical activity. With a bit of trepidation I entered the information. I know I'm bigger than I should be for my height but was unprepared to be taken to a warning screen that advised the following:

"The weight you entered is above the healthy range for your height. This may increase your risk for health problems. Some people who are overweight should consider weight loss. For more information about health risks and whether you should try to lose weight click here, or talk with your health care provider."

Ouch. I then had the option to view menu plans for my current weight or "to move toward a healthier weight". I guiltily chose the latter. I guess it's better to "keep it real" but it still stung a bit.

I guess that's it for now. I hope I have exciting running news to post in the next few days. If anyone in the Nashville/Murfreesboro area happens to read this and wants a running partner, please leave me a comment. I need you!!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The elusive eight

Ta daaaa! I finally set a new distance PR last week. On Thursday I did an 8 miler on the treadmill. Woo hoo. It's about damn time! I have to say I can't believe how great I felt for the majority of it. Of course, I had to stop a few times to reset the treadmill; I knew it would shut down after 30 minutes so I had to beat it to the punch. My initial plan was to do 2.5 miles, 2.5 miles, then 3 miles. The plan was briefly thwarted when someone asked me to buzz them into the computer room. I got off the treadmill, forgetting to look at how far I'd gone. When I got back, naturally, all of the info had been erased and the counters were all at zero. Blast! I knew I'd been on for just over 11 minutes so it was safe to assume I'd gone at least a mile. So I went for 2.75 mi, then another 2.75, then 1.5. Around the 6 mile mark, I was mentally fawning all over myself, congratulating my mind and body on so flawlessly executing the (almost) 8 miles. I was imagining blogging about it and writing, "I could've easily gone 10 miles! It was SO EASY." No sooner was I through with that that everything felt like it came to a screeching halt. The last mile and a half felt like it would never ever ever ever end. I kept looking down at the display thinking, "No way. I must've gone more than .03 mi. It feels like ages since I last checked!" I kept trying to focus on my songs to make the time go by. "Ok, 2 more songs and I should be done." Finally the end came. It took me 1 hr 24 minutes. I felt really good when it was over. I was proud and excited and a bit exhausted. I was very happy that I'd managed to ignore the immense urge to skip the run and put it off for another day. I always have those thoughts. The ones where you think about running and then immediately try to dream up excuses as to why you cannot run, why you have to put it off for another time: "I have to load the dishwasher." "I feel like I'm going to throw up." "I have to finish my sudoku puzzle and then make my bed." etc etc. It all worked out, I'm happy to say. The weird thing is that my legs didn't seem to be sore until 2 days after the run. My body appears to have a delayed reaction to these long runs. My hips were a bit sore on Friday but my legs didn't hurt until Saturday and Sunday. Anyone else have this problem?

Let me back up a minute. I planned on running with the local running club last Tuesday night. I noticed on the website that they met in the parking lot at a particular Kroger location at 6. As six o'clock drew closer I felt surges of nervous excitement. I was looking forward to meeting fellow runners and maybe making some new friends. I suited up and drove to the Kroger, arriving about 15 minutes early. I sat for awhile, talking on the phone and looking around. I figured it would be easy to find a group of people dressed in running shorts and t-shirts. WRONG! I drove around the perimeter at least 3 times and never found them. How difficult should it be to find a group of runners in a parking lot?! The moral of the story is to get more information when attempting something like this. I should've called to get specifics and make sure the run wasn't cancelled or anything. So I will probably get some details and give it another try tomorrow. I got home and did 2 gut-wrenching miles on the treadmill. The oven roasted chicken sub and grape Fanta did not agree with my choice of post dinner activity. Ugh.

On Saturday Dave and I decided to do some exploring. We went to the Radnor Lake Natural Area, just south of Nashville. It was absolutely stunning! We hiked for about an hour and a half and had so much fun. There is a paved trail that winds along the lake, and then to the right of the trail were hills with more primitive unpaved trails that ranged in difficulty. We were plugging along on one of the hilly trails when all of a sudden Dave (who was about 5 ft behind me) said in a very stern voice, "Jen. STOP. TURN AROUND VERY SLOWLY AND WALK BACK TO ME." I stopped and followed his instructions, freaked out that there was a bear in the trees up ahead or a huge spider web I was about to walk through or God knows what else. When I reached him I managed to choke out, "What? What is it?" "It's a deer" he says. "A DEER? Are you friggin kidding me?! I thought it was something that was going to ferociously attack me! Not a damn deer!" He tried to explain that he'd seen videos of "deer gone wild" on tv where people are attacked by deer. I figure the people must've done something to provoke them b/c although I'm no deer expert, I find it hard to imagine a deer charging at someone for no reason. I turned back around and saw a momma deer laying in the tall grass to the right of the trail. Not exactly life-threatening at first glance. It's crazy b/c I would've walked right by it! I had to laugh though after I calmed down and thought about how funny it was that Dave was trying to protect me from a lazy deer lounging in the grass. He wanted to turn around but I wanted to keep going. "Pleeeease Dave. Pleeease. I'm sure she won't attack. Let's just keep going." He acquiesced and as we continued our hike we ended up seeing 25 more deer. That was not a typo. Twenty-five more deer! How crazy is that? Including 2 fawn. It was incredible. Those deer were not scared of us. They were just doing their own thing. At times we were 10 feet from them. It was very cool! I can't wait to go there and hike again. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be in the fall.

It was a really good weekend. For this week, I'm trying to decide whether to do 9 mile or skip ahead to 10 for my long run. I guess I'll just play it by ear.
"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right."

~Henry Ford