Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hodgepodge Update

Well, that was a much longer hiatus than I had planned. Because it was definitely 100% planned. Ahem.

Just kidding! Last month I started working full-time, which was a bit of an adjustment. I love my job and my coworkers, but it took some time to settle into a routine. Aka I got suckered into cuddling with Faramir every night to make up for being gone all day.

Things have also been a bit strange with the weather. My city plowed all the sidewalks at the start of winter, but I think the combination of extremely high snowfall and sustained frigid temperatures beat them into submission. I have no problem running through the cold, but the high drifts of snow have forced me inside for all my runs. The indoor track has finally broken me, and I no longer dread it. (I only dread the inconsiderate other people who run on it.)
I'm glad your 2-year-old loves Winston the elephant, but the track is not the appropriate place to play with him.
I thought a reprieve was coming with the last few days above freezing and rain, but starting tomorrow we have no more days on the 10 day forecast above 25, so the sidewalks will probably be skating rinks until sometime in March. But hey, I've already done one of my 20-milers on the track, it literally cannot get any worse.

Otherwise, my marathon training has been clicking along on schedule, despite the fact I haven't posted about it. My goal is to get back into writing it up every Sunday now that I have a better weekend routine down. I have decided to cut back to two days of lifting instead of three and one day of swimming instead of two. I certainly don't mind two-a-days, but I hate working out before going to the office. It just isn't fun for me, and I decided that, since lifting and swimming are my supplemental activities, if cutting them down makes me happier, I should do it. Please note that even though I sound firm here, I angsted for almost a week about this.
Angsting about John's mustache is legitimate. Angsting about working out is not. Sometimes I forget the simple truths of life.
Another good thing about starting work is that I know my schedule for the rest of the year, so I finalized my marathon schedule for the year. The only change is I'm replacing Paavo Nurmi with Med City. We have a huge software change scheduled for August, and I didn't feel like I could peace out if everything is blowing up left and right. This means April and May will be a little intense with three marathons, one every other week, but Michael and I figured we'll be in shape for it, so why not? Plus I have Hatfield-McCoy in June, so I couldn't have slacked off anyway. I'm really excited that I'll be able to squeeze in six this year, knock on wood. (Though my new greatest angst is whether to count Hatfield-McCoy as West Virginia or Kentucky. What state should I color in on my map?!)

I guess since I'm vomiting updates out in no specific order, I might as well review my New Year's resolutions just like I promised I would do at the end of each month occasionally.


1. Allergies - Yes! I went to see the allergist, who confirmed I'm allergic to just about everything. I've been going every week for shots and have my three month follow-up scheduled. If I'm lucky, this means at the end of April, I can drop down to getting shots every other week instead.

2. Vitamins - In between. I was doing great with this, but I fell off the wagon when my stomach was upset for a few days, since the iron upsets it even more. I'm renewing my resolve to do this, since I'm starting to notice my SAD a lot more without the Vitamin D.

3. IBS - Not needed. As I suspected, my IBS flared up between graduation, the holidays with family, moving to a new city, and starting a new job. Everything seems to running smoothly now.

Diet's better than before but still not fantastic. I have a go-to healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner; it's the snacks that are my downfall. I forgot that when I run 30+ miles a week, I turn into the hungriest hippo of them all. I need to make a better effort to buy more fruit to snack on. Or it might be worth paying for some protein bars as a healthier choice. 


Even though I cut back to two days a week, I'm still following through with the NROLFW program. The workouts are getting longer (mostly because the rest periods keep increasing), but I really want to stick it out until the end. I think my tentative end date is around the beginning of fall. I haven't given much thought to what I'll do after. At my gym you can pay to set up a training plan with a personal trainer; it's a little pricey but within my comfort range for a one time thing, so I might consider that.


Total failure. I don't really like the foam roller I bought at Meijer (yes, I was that dumb), so I haven't been using it. I also find it requires so much upper body strength that it can be hard after lifting. I have been using my compression socks and stick a lot, though, so I'm not totally neglecting my body.

I've dropped doing yoga though. It wasn't fun with all the other workouts I wanted to do. Maybe next time I step down from marathon training for a couple months, I'll replace a running day with yoga.

Giving Back

1. Volunteer at races - I've changed this resolution from one race a month to twelve for the year. Michigan just doesn't have enough winter races to make this feasible. I've also discovered tons of races don't have any sign-up pages for volunteering. A local running store from my hometown has a great volunteer program though (their races are all around the state), so I'm hoping to sneak in a lot with them.

2. Volunteer at blood drives - Sadly, I've given this up. After doing a background check and an extensive orientation, the Red Cross also wanted to do a phone interview. Enough was enough; it wasn't worth it to me for what I wanted to do. I feel bad for not donating or volunteering, but they just made it too difficult.

3. I haven't started looking for other volunteer opportunities much in depth yet. However, I saw our local nature center accepts volunteers, so I'm planning to inquire about outdoor options once the weather gets a little nicer. I love hiking, and this seems like a great outlet for that without having to travel too far.


1. Blog more - Working on it. Now that I've got a routine and got over the hump tonight of not writing, hopefully I can establish a better blogging schedule.

2. Attend a local event - Check! Michael and I went to two last weekend - a minor league hockey game and a play. Totally on a roll here.

3. Read a book a month - Not so far, but I'm hoping to set aside some reading time this weekend to get cracking.

4. Attend a social event - I've done several after-work things with my coworkers (though I've certainly also skipped my share). I'm happy so far with the balance I've struck.

5. Do a fun project - I've thought about starting a scrapbook for our marathons. Does that count?

I've gotten a good understanding in my first month at work what my responsibilities will be and how I'll be assessed on my performance. I'm really excited to keep learning and demonstrate what I can do. I've been able to decorate and organize my cube and files to my liking (for the first time ever!), so I feel at home in my little space.

I think that concludes my brain dump, most of which wasn't even running related. But now I'm poised to start delivering more hard-hitting posts that channel Squidward as my spirit animal. You know you're excited.

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