Something New: June – Quit Your Job

I had dedicated myself to updating the blog more this month and then my life went a little crazy. That crazy is my something new for the month.  I do not recommend trying this one for fun, only out of necessity.

On June 5th, I turned in my two weeks at my job.

I did not have another job lined up, though I had been to interviews.  I did not have much of a plan except maybe going back to school.  I knew approximately how long I could survive on what I had saved and all of that, but I didn’t have a back up plan and I didn’t have a lot of money.  If a cat got sick, I could be screwed.  If I ended up with a serious medical problem, I don’t know what I would do.  If I didn’t find a job in the reasonably near future, I would be in a very bad situation.

So why did I quit like that? For some time, my work environment is not one that I have found to be very supportive or developmental, among a myriad of other problems. A few specific situations arose and that was enough.  I hit my end point.  There are obviously a lot more specifics, but dirty laundry needs washed, not aired out in public.

I was excited to be done, but mostly terrified at first.  I hadn’t told my friends, family, or boyfriend what I did before I did it.  Hell, I didn’t know for sure I was doing it until the words were out of my mouth. I was scared to tell people at first.  You don’t just go making rash, irresponsible decisions and expect people to congratulate you.  But that’s kind of what happened.  There has not been one person that I have told even a small bit of the story to that has not said, “good for you!” in some way or another.  No one freaked out.  I didn’t get any lectures.  No one seemed worried.

My last day of work was the 19th.  I was offered a job on the 18th.  I officially registered for fall classes on the 20th.

R probably said it best: “maybe you just have to get out in order to move forward.”  I think he was right.  I can tell you that I have not been this happy in a long time.  I have  two weeks off between jobs and I have filled this first week with friends, cleaning my apartment, cats, and the gym.  Will my new job be better?  The grass is always greener, so who knows?  But it seems like a good deal so far.  I know that school will be wonderful and once it’s all said and done, I will have a master’s in a few years.  That’s not something I would have imagined saying even six months ago.

It is amazing to me how things fell neatly into place after I took the leap. So I guess if you can’t just up and quit your job, you should at least do what this is really about: make good life choices based on what you need. I wish that I had made this choice earlier so that I could have been better off sooner instead of wasting time.  One of my favorite comedians, Duncan Trussell, sometimes talks about vampires in your life, whether it’s friends or a situation like mine.  You have to get rid of the vampires. You’ll be much better off.  I already know I am.

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An Experiment in Taping

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I picked up some KT Tape after my appointment the other day. Excited to see if it will help keep me running. I am about to test it out on the 2 or so miles to Goodale Park and back. Hopefully I won’t be hobbling home.

Tendinitis, what?

I have been complaining about my ankle so much that the injury has its own name:  Anklemania.  This particular problem traces all the way back to January or February.  It’s come and gone a little bit.  I am still surprised I made it through the quarter marathon on it.  After that race, my phyiscal therapist encouraged me to take time off and see a doctor.

I waited a while to do either of those things.

Actually, I haven’t been running very much at all.  Major life changes and timing and the heat and my aversion to pain have all played a part in that.  I haven’t run in a week! But on Thursday, I did finally go to a sports medicine doctor.

That doctor asked questions and felt all around my left foot and ankle and decided that I probably had peroneal tendonitis. You can read things about it here and here. Basically, there are two tendons that run behind the ankle bone and one of them attaches down along the side of your foot.  Because the main part of the tendons’ job is to stabilize the foot so running on uneven surfaces (like I did back in January when the trouble started) can cause problems.  Not resting it enough right off (especially from injury through March, when I ran the most) probably aggravated it.

I have been prescribed physical therapy for six weeks to strengthen it.  If it doesn’t start to feel better pretty quickly, I go back in three weeks and we look at maybe a stress fracture and start taking x-rays, etc.  If it takes a turn for the worst, I go back ASAP. But, if I go six weeks of PT and all goes well, I should be good. I am allowed to run unless it hurts or I end up limping afterwards.  If that happens, I have to use the elliptical, bike, etc.

Incidentally, I had a final PT check up for my back on Wednesday which went really well.  My therapist joked that he would see me in two weeks for my ankle.  Boy, was he right!  I wonder if he’ll take my PT graduation shirt away…

Race Recap: Jaeger Run for Pride 5k

I am a whole week late in telling you all about my second 5k.  My second 5k that was so blazingly, meltingly hot that I almost didn’t do it.

The instructions for the race were basically “go down to Goodale Park and there it is.”  For those unfamiliar with Goodale Park here in Columbus, it isn’t too hard to get around, but it can be really easy to never find what you’re looking for on weekends like Pride and Comfest when there are a million booths and people everywhere.  There was one Comfest when I completely missed one of the few things I went for because I couldn’t find it.  Maybe I just have a problem finding things.

At any rate, I got to the park super early because I figured parking would be awful (it wasn’t!) and it could take awhile to find the race start (which it did).  I figured I’d start at one end of the park and work my way to the other.  They never published the race route, so no help there.  Since I got there super early and it didn’t take the entire time to find the start, I was glad to run into a friend who hung out with me while I waited.

So the official temperature at 7pm when the race started was 88 degrees.  88 degrees. I have actually never run when it was that hot and for a good portion of the wait debated not doing it.

I did it. Slowly and sweatily.

Despite my firm belief that finishing is the most important part, I still fear being last.  With such a small race (less than 200 participants), I was worried I’d be the slowest, not knowing how my ankle would hold up, etc. Someday I’m going to be last on purpose to get over the fear, but this 5k was not for that. I was pleasantly surprised both by the number of walkers and by the camaraderie that the heat built. By the time I hit the water stop at the halfway point, it seemed like everyone was kind of taking their time. I even had a nice chat with a pregnant race volunteer, who was really encouraging and so impressive to be out in the heat. Another woman and I sort of passed and re-passed each other for most of the last half and that was actually pretty encouraging to stay with it.  The last quarter of a mile was maybe the hardest just because the heat was taking it’s toll and in order to get to the finish, you had to run down the street packed with hot food trucks on both sides.  Worst idea ever.

I finished in 44:09 with a 14:15/mile pace. I missed a PR by about 20 seconds.  I actually consider that a reasonable accomplishment considering the heat, my troubled ankle, etc.

The friend who had met me earlier was also at the finish line.  Pretty awesome of him to hang out and wait for me.  I grabbed my post-run goodies of bananas and water and we sat down in the shade. For a loooong time. Ha.

The good news about the race (besides finishing), is that my ankle wasn’t killing me right after.  It took a couple of days.

Pre-Race Jitters

Tonight is the Jaeger Run for Pride 5k.  It will be my third race.  It doesn’t start for another four hours, yet I find myself nervous already.  I am carefully planning what I will eat before then so as to minimize my stomach getting in on the anxiety act.

It has actually taken a lot for me not to go out earlier today and get a short run in to test my ankle.  I don’t have an appointment with the sports medicine doctor until Thursday and after my last run on Tuesday, I’m glad that I made the call.  I did just fine during my run.  It was just after that my left foot/ankle got upset with me. It is just a 5k (and I did over that on Tuesday), so I’m sure that I will finish it.  I just would prefer to actually run most of it and not walk it.  I would like to believe I will beat my last 5k finish time, but I am doubtful.

So my pre-race jitter solutions: ice the ankle, take a nap, think positively, and eat lightly. Ha.

What do you do before a race to get yourself mentally and physically on track?

June Goal Update!

Goal: Train for and run the following races: Jaeger Run for Pride, Dash for Donation, Emerald City quarter marathon, and the half at the Columbus Marathon.
Status: My overall training has been put on hold due to first my ankle (which thankfully seems pretty well healed) and now my hip/IT band. I’m pretty sure that I can do the first two since they are just 5ks, but I need to get myself out more. I have only run a handful of times in the past couple of weeks.

Goal: Strength train 3x a week.
Status: I keep telling myself that I’m going to go back to the gym.  My physical therapist tells me that I can go back.  I’m just nervous.  Next week, I will get in there even if it’s only once. By the end of June, I want to be back in regularly.

Goal: Write every day.
Status: I keep telling myself this is going to change. Focus required.  Yesterday, I tested the WordPress app to see what it was like posting from it.  I am hoping this will at least increase some blog activity.  I have just been feeling a little bummed in general (lack of running??) and so less than inspired.

Goal: Read at least one book a month.
Status: Finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It almost, almost made me want to consider doing something like the Pacific Crest Trail myself. But then I realized that I have no experience in the outdoors, I can’t take months off of work, and I am also not crazy. I am just not made of the stuff that thrives in the wild.  So…  After I finished that, I picked up Storm of Swords since the latest Game of Thrones season is almost over and I can read ahead now.

Goal: Save money/budget reboot!
Status: I think I need to get a little more specific with this one as my current methods just aren’t working.  So for June, my goal is to use x amount of dollars a week in non-required spending (in other words, not bills). No more. For instance, I have about $30 in my wallet right now and it will have to last me until next Friday.  This game only works if you actually budget out and buy the necessities like gas and groceries and then work on the rest from there, I think.  At least, that’s what I’m currently doing.

Goal: Try something new once a month.
Status:  For May, I went to see a dietician.  I’m not sure yet what June will hold, but I’m sure that I will come up with something.

Goal: Gratitude.
Status: Well this sunk like a stone. I really feel like this could benefit my overall outlook on life, so I’m going to try this one again. Let’s see how it goes.

As seen on my run…

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This post sort of exists in order to test the WordPress mobile app. If things go well, perhaps this will be a nice way to share more things. 🙂

At any rate. Here is a picture from a recent run. I have no clue who did this awesome chalk art, but it stopped me dead in my tracks. Simply perfect.

What awesome things do you see on your runs?

Something New: May

So in May, I have actually done several new things.  I’m kind of proud of myself actually.  The main thing I’m going to highlight, though, is my trip to the dietician.

I am the first to say that I don’t know very much about diet and nutrition.  I know basic things and I can read food labels, but I don’t know much in depth.  I don’t think I do too badly, but I do feel like diet is a hurdle for me in regards to any weight loss.  So when I saw a flier up in my doctor’s office about the new dietician on the staff, I jumped for it.

I’m glad that I did.  I learned things like how many calories I should eat when I’m running and how many when I’m not.  She also gave me the breakdown in grams of what I should be taking in with regards to carbs, fats, protein, etc.  It seemed to always be about a 10% increase in everything (calories included) when I am actually running. We also talked about recovery foods and when I need to eat before/after a run in relation to actual meals.

We went down my typical menu of sorts and she didn’t feel like anything needed to be cut out.  However, we did talk about my habit of eating after coming home late from work.  Instead of eating whatever it is I feel like, I need to stick to a certain calorie limit.  Of course, those calories should be made of good things and not potato chips. Talking this out was probably one of the best parts for me, just because this is one of the worst eating habits that I have.

So have I stuck to everything I’ve learned?  Well… I’ve tried.  I have fallen off the calorie tracking wagon as of late and I’ve gotten a little lazier with food choice.  Tomorrow, however is a new day and today I stocked up on lots of healthy goods from the grocery with no intention of straying from what I bought.

Hurrah!  The dietician visit was well worth it.  I will check back in with her in a couple of months to see how progress is.

 

Other new things for this month?

  • I started volunteering for roller derby.  I can’t skate, nor would I trust myself to do so and not break myself, so… volunteering it is! So far, great fun!
  • My first massage in years, in which I learned that my current hip problem is probably related to my back problem. Whee!
  • I discovered a “butter” that I can eat! Justin’s Honey Almond Butter.  You see, I can’t eat peanut butter without heading to Migraine City, so finding something good for toast or sandwiches was an awesome discovery.
  • I applied for college… Again. Ha! This time, however, we’re doing it a little differently in hopes of great success.  More on this later.
  • Found out that the boyfriend can make really great guacamole.  My heart melted.

Happy to say that I feel as if I may have done some good things this month. Yay!

Race Recap: Capital City Quarter Marathon

I have talked about doing Cap City since I got the notion in my head to start doing races a couple of months ago. I chose to do the quarter marathon instead of another 5k because I really want to work up to a half marathon (Columbus Marathon half, here I come… hopefully).  After doing the 6.55 miles, I can tell you: that length is a great one. Not too short, not too long.

Prior to the race, of course, my training got terribly interrupted.  My ankle has continued to give me problems and then there was the disc re-flare. So I never actually got up to 6.55 miles in training.  The farthest I’d gone before then was 5 miles and that was before the back problems. So leading up to the race, I was averaging about 7 miles a week and putting in 3-4 miles a run.  Not ideal training.  If I had to walk a lot of it, I was going to do so, but I was going to finish it one way or the other.

The race was Saturday, so I hit the race expo and packet pick-up the night before.  I was already getting excited when I saw people walking around downtown with their Cap City bags of goods.  While at the expo, I found the CEP ankle support that I’ve wanted since February.  My ankle has been swelling after work and that day was no exception, so I wore it for part of the evening. It was great! I decided that I’d wear it for the race as well.

My checklist for race day.

As you can see from the timestamp on my little checklist here, I was up way past my bedtime. I knew that with all my anxiety about the race, I would never remember everything. Luckily, thanks to the list, I woke up, ate breakfast, and was out the door (mostly) on time. Somehow, I made it downtown, found parking, and got to the start with time to spare.  That time, of course, was spent standing in the middle of Broad St, talking to a half-marathoner, while waiting for the bathrooms.  I do love how fellow racers are always so friendly.  We’re all in it together, I guess!

Cap City Bib

That’s me!

After the bathroom break, I headed to my corral. I was surprisingly not assigned to the last one, though I probably should have been in it. Commence waiting… and waiting…

13,000

Cap City = 13,000 strong.

There were 13,000 people in the race. Most of them were ahead of me… More waiting…

And then!!! Finally…

Starting Line!

Ah! The starting line! Where I immediately went out too fast. And when I say fast, I really mean fast.  If RunKeeper is to be believed, it was about 3-4 minutes faster than my normal pace. By the first turn, I was walking. By the first mile, I had walked more than run trying to get rid of the stitch in my side.  Somewhere around 1.5, I got my groove.  I had set RunKeeper for 4/1:30 run/walk. I didn’t follow it the whole time, but it was handy to have some guidance. I knew that if I was going to finish, I was going to need to be vigilant about not overexerting myself.

A lot of the race is a blur of focus on moving forward. The half marathon route and the quarter marathon route were together at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end. It was kind of nice to run down Vine seeing all those half runners going down High St, though I felt slow and awkward in comparison.  I tended to stay toward the sides so that I would hopefully stay out of the way of faster people who were not as prone to walking.  If I had to guess, I’d say I did about half and half running and walking. The mile splits aren’t especially pretty and show how tough it got at the end. I was happy to see a friend of mine along the route between miles 4 and 5.  I didn’t feel so great at that point, but seeing her definitely helped get me going again.

beating myself, at least. I finished with a 1:35:53. It was not the time that I wanted, but check out all these great things that RunKeeper said about me. Ha.

It was rough, but I’m glad that I did it. Really, really glad. I can’t say that I got teary after this one like I did my first race (because who would have thought!!), but I was really proud of myself. A year ago, I never would have thought I’d complete a quarter marathon. In fact, a year ago, I was cursing the runners for messing up traffic patterns! Yet there I was. I’d done it.

The high after finishing was out of control.  What was also out of control was how hungry I was.  Thank goodness for all the awesome stuff at the finish line like bagels, bananas, and chocolate milk.  I gulped down most of it and completely neglected how thirsty I was. Definitely needed more hydration pre-race.  Note for next time.

All in all, I have to say this race was a great experience. I learned a whole, whole lot about racing and recovery. I also came away feeling like I can do anything. Ha! If I can do a quarter marathon with a bum ankle and a herniated disc, I think that says something about my perseverance. I’m glad for that.

Cap City Finisher Medal

Finishers finish!

Onto the next races!! If I can get my ankle up to snuff, I have plans for two 5ks in the next 2 months. Still hoping for the half in October. Can’t wait!