Stream of Consciousness: Saturday Run

8:24am Holy shit I overslept. Holy shit I am going to be two hours late if I leave in six minutes. Wait. It’s Saturday. I don’t have to be at work. And anyway, I work at 8, so I’d be an hour late. Still, an hour is an hour. Whatever. Okay. What do I want for breakfast?

PANCAKES.

Obviously I want pancakes. But damn. I just want them now. I don’t want to make them. I might as well get up and shower if I’m going to make pancakes. It’s a whole ordeal.

I should get a boyfriend for strictly pancake-making purposes. People do that, right? I can compartmentalize if I want. You’re the one who takes me out to dinners. You’re the one who spoons with me at night but doesn’t get offended when I push you away because holy shit you sweat a lot at night. You’re the one who takes me to exciting cultural things like art galleries and jazz performances. You’re the one who rubs my feet while I watch terrible television like RuPaul’s Drag Race and you don’t even complain or make weird comments because you’re confident in your sexuality. And you? You just make me pancakes in the morning. 

That’d be nice. But that means I have to like, go out and meet people. And people are exhausting. I’m just going to stretch and yawn for a while. Then I’ll get up and make pancakes.

8:36am Good god. I haven’t ran for the last two days. I should really do that. Pancakes are out. But wait. Maybe I could run and then have pancakes. I could burn like 500 calories so then when I eat pancakes, the two just cancel out and I’ll be all, “I didn’t even eat pancakes this weekend! I can still respect myself!”

But look at that. Look at the sun. And I just got these new microfiber sheets. They’re so soft and I should really just enjoy them for a while longer. Plus I got the new David Sedaris book. It’d be like a waste of money to not enjoy that.

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I’ll just grab my Kindle and read for a while.

9:23am I read David Sedaris so fast. It’s like I don’t even absorb what he’s saying. Which is a shame, because he’s really funny while also being poignant. I’ll have to reread this book when I’m done.

Oh my god. I need to go for a run.

I could maybe wait till later. But the afternoon sun will be out and it will be warm and I’ll sweat. And I’m supposed to meet up with my friends for dinner tonight, but I don’t know when that is. I should just get it over with now. Plus if I go in the morning, they say my metabolism will be higher for the rest of the day. I don’t know who they are, but whatever, that’s a really cliche thought. Maybe if I look on Pinterest I’ll get inspired to run.

9:30am Okay, I will only look at my 5k board because that’s where my inspiration will be. Otherwise I’ll spend the whole morning getting sucked into Pinterest’s black hole of negative productivity.

There’s that pin about things to eat before workouts. Maybe I should look at it. I never did when I pinned it.

Oh. Toast with peanut butter and bananas does look good. Better than pancakes, actually. I’ll make that.

9:36am omigosh this is so good. I need to get a boyfriend to just make me toast with peanut butter and banana.

Now I need to let this digest. I don’t want sideaches. But I’ll start getting dressed, because otherwise I’ll just be in bed all morning.

Let’s see what RunKeeper has me doing today.

A 50 minute run? WHAT THE HELL, RUNKEEPER? Fifty damn minutes? I was hoping for one of those awesome interval runs that’s only 26 minutes long. I actually like those. I get to walk half the time without feeling guilty.

Ugh. Fine, RunKeeper. I’ll do your damn run. But only because I get to wear neon socks. Also, I don’t want to be the last finisher at my race next weekend.

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Whoa. Next weekend? I should just accept it. I’ll probably be the last finisher. Maybe I’ll get a prize.

Okay, let’s drink some water. I’m dehydrated just thinking about this damn 50 minute run. UGH.

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9:50am Hey! I used to not wear these workout pants because whenever I’d run they’d slide down and accentuate my love handles. Daay-umm. Running looks good on me.

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My boobs are squished. I hate sports bras. They’re the worst. Seriously. I wouldn’t wear them if gravity didn’t suck so bad.

10:17am Running isn’t so bad. The sun is out. It’s only like 50 degrees so I’m not sweating like a pig. I could live with this. I’ll just keep a nice steady pace so I don’t die.

10:35am Okay. Twenty minutes in? I’m almost halfway done. This isn’t so bad. I’m not even fatigued yet. I can breathe! And I can actually articulate greetings when I pass other people. A few weeks ago I would have just been heaving and wishing I was dead or at least back on my couch.

10:45am This is a nice area to run. Nice city sidewalks with minimal cracks to twist my ankle. The police drive by pretty often so I probably won’t get murdered.

That’s good, because I don’t really think I can run much faster than this. I couldn’t outrun a murderer.

I’m going to take a quick break and walk for a couple minutes. I’m more than halfway done, so it’s cool.

Look at that dam. Holy shit look at those rapids.

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I should start carrying mace on my runs like my mom told me. 

11:07am OH MY GOD I DON’T WANT TO DO THIS ANYMORE. WHY DID I ADD THAT FIVE MINUTE WARMUP IN THE BEGINNING OF MY RUN? DAMMIT RUNKEEPER, I DON’T WANT TO RUN FOR FIVE MORE MINUTES.

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I’m so close to the end. I can do this. Run for 3 more minutes. Then I can walk. Walk? I should just walk now. Seriously, I’ve done enough.

NO. YOU WILL NOT STOP RUNNING. YOU WILL KEEP RUNNING. What was that thing I saw on Pinterest? Run like zombies are chasing you? No, I hate zombies. Fuck zombies. They’re not real. Run like Ryan Gosling is waiting at the end? No, run like Ryan Gosling is waiting with a puppy at the end.

Okay, Ryan. I’m coming! Keep scratching behind the puppy’s ears!

11:12am Holy shit these stretches feel so good. I want to stretch forever. Oh my god. Ohhhhhhhhhh. This water tastes so good. It’s been in this bottle for like a day but I don’t even care because it’s water. Oh my god. Ahhhhh. I need to do this more often.

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11:17am That was awesome. Seriously. 4.31miles in 55 minutes. It should always be like this when I run. Why is the weather not always conducive to running?

I stink. Oof.

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I’m going to do this again tomorrow. Maybe I’ll run more. Or maybe I’ll do those intervals. I want to get faster. Oh my gosh this running thing is awesome. Why did I not want to do it this morning?

Oof. I should really shower.

I run like Honey Boo Boo.

As you may recall from an earlier post, I decided to run a 5k this summer. I’ve been training faithfully since I mentioned it, though I haven’t been writing about it. I thought my first race would be in August, but I just registered for the Sole Burner on May 11. A group of women at work were talking about it in our daily meeting, and I decided to join. I figured if I’ve been running about 15mi a week, I can handle 3.1 on a Saturday morning. My goal time for the 5k in August is 30 minutes. I’ve still got a ways to go till I get there, but I can’t believe I’ve improved so much over the last two months.

I started out by making a board on Pinterest (I know, how very 20-something in 2013 of me, huh?). Here I researched training techniques and plans, stretches, tips, inspiration, and other things related to running. For the last week or so, I’ve been using RunKeeper in place of my original training plan – one I found on About.com. That worked well, but so far I like the ease of RunKeeper. While using the GPS feature, it tells me in 5-minute increments my distance and pace – without stopping my music. It reminds me for workouts, gives me detailed plans for each of my runs, keeps track of my goals and accomplishments (fastest pace, longest distance, etc), and it’s super easy to use.

I’ve tried running before, but it never really stuck. I was nearly positive I deserved a parade any time I ran more than a mile, so I had my doubts about even thinking about this. But it’s turned into a good part of my day. At the end of the day, sometimes I honestly look forward to lacing up my sneakers and listening to Rizzle Kicks or Justin Timberlake. Other days it’s harder to make myself do it, but I find that once I get started, I’m glad to be doing it.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was pretty psyched to get these shoes and a big collection of neon socks.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I was pretty psyched to get these shoes and a big collection of neon socks.

I got into biking a few years ago and got excited when I realized I could bike 20 miles without collapsing. I’m finding the same thing is true with running. Since I’m not a natural-born runner, I never thought I’d be able to run more than a mile at a time. It feels great to see what my body is capable of when I push myself. That feeling is comparable to being able to wear a dress I didn’t think I’d ever be able to zip. To some people, running 3.1 miles is nothing, but that’s definitely not the case for me. It’s been hard work and sometimes I feel like a big jiggly fool, but I just keep pushing myself.

Pretty much

Today I ran 2 miles in 21 minutes. This is my best 2 mile time so far. This is a big accomplishment. Considering I hadn’t planned on running tonight (RunKeeper didn’t have a workout planned for me today), it’s also pretty cool. I got home and was putting on my sweatpants when I realized it would be pretty pathetic if I couldn’t spend 30 minutes of my day doing something physical. So I put on some awesome socks and got out there.

Right after the 2 miles. And to think I wasn't even thinking about ice cream.

Right after the 2 miles. And to think I wasn’t even thinking about ice cream.

While I wouldn’t turn away any gifts of congratulations, I know I still have a long way to go. I’m eager to see how close I can hit my 30 minute mark for the May 11th race.

On a related note, my calves are probably going to turn to steel soon. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Selfishness & Priorities

In interviews and on some versions on my resume, I mention that one of my valuable skills is being able to prioritize tasks. In an objective sense, this is true. Give me a bunch of things that need to get done, and I have no problem deciding how and when to do the tasks. Four new hire files to audit? Personal development plan that needs revision? Three inch stack of motor vehicle reports to audit? Quality check corrections? Code cleanup for a client? Compiling and organizing information for the OneNote notebook on electronic on-board recorders? Revise and distribute meeting notes from the morning’s conference call? It will all get done. (For the record: quality check corrections, meeting notes, two new hires, half the motor vehicle reports, code cleanup, two new hires, last half of motor vehicle reports, OneNote project and personal development plan if time allows.)

Look at this portion of my cubicle and be impressed.

Look at this portion of my cubicle and be impressed.

Short-term planning is not an issue for me. Long-term planning is difficult. My typical planning skills don’t translate to my life-planning. I realized this today, when I got home after 7, nearly too tired to shower or eat.

I will be getting my own apartment in June, and I was made aware of the fact that I have virtually no savings. So, I decided to pick up some extra hours at work to store some money away for when I’ll be living without a roommate. I’ll need to get a few pieces of furniture, a set of pans, possibly a television, and probably a dozen odds and ends I won’t think of until my toilet’s clogged and I’m wondering how I could be so stupid to live without a plunger. Also, I’d like to get a car that was made post-Y2k.

Hush. It was a straight road. 150,000mi deserves a damn picture because Facebook.

Hush. It was a straight road. 150,000mi deserves a damn picture because Facebook.

I’m still training for that 5k I mentioned a few weeks back, so I was at the gym for an hour. My 5k time is still hovering right around 36ish minutes since I slacked off for a couple weeks. I try to run more if I can, but I’m not always motivated.

Hey self! You're too slow.

Hey self, you’re too slow.

When I got home, I wanted to read the book on Scientology (L. Ron Hubbard was an evil, manipulative genius. Going Clear is sensational.). Then I wanted to respond to my penpal’s letter I received late last week. Then I got a shiver from my ceiling fan cooling the sweat on my back, so I was reminded I needed to shower. Then my stomach grumbled and I realized I needed to make something for dinner. Then I remembered a new episode of New Girl was on and I wanted to watch that. Then I remembered the two essays I still have to write for a scholarship I’m applying for.

Then I remembered I want to write. I want to blog more. I want to churn out new content on a regular basis. But I also want to revisit drafts I’ve allowed to pile up for the last year. I want to write that one essay on maturity that’s been bouncing around my head for two years. I started wondering what I was doing with my life. And then Vince called.

Libraries are great for blogging abotu your childhood journals.

Libraries are great for blogging about your childhood journals.

What do I want more? A cute apartment? A new car? A final draft of those essays? A warm meal? The ability to run 5k in less than 38 minutes without wanting to hurl afterward? A mutually fulfilling relationship? Another finished book? My vibrato and bow hold back?

I like to confuse my upstairs neighbor by quickly alternating between Bach, irish jigs, and bluegrass waltzes.

I like to confuse my upstairs neighbor by quickly alternating between Bach, irish jigs, bluegrass waltzes, and classic Frank Sinatra tunes.

I try to accomplish the big things I feel I can control, which usually leaves the smaller things to fall to the side. As a result, I work too much and save my personal pleasures like writing, playing violin, and reading for that ever-elusive “later.”

It should be a law that Sunday mornings are meant for paper books and breakfast in bed.

It should be a law that Sunday mornings are for paper books & breakfast in bed.

I try to keep things in perspective when I plan my day: hitting my 5k goal isn’t something I can just decide to do one day. It takes time, a lot of miles put in on the treadmill, and just the right selection of songs on Spotify. Driving a decent car and furnishing my first sans-roommate living quarters will take money I don’t currently have and since overtime is available, I need to take advantage of it.

As much as I’d like to write more, it maintains an air of abstraction. It will never be done. No matter how great a piece ends up, there will always be more to write. I’ll never say, “Okay, I’ve done all the writing. I can move onto all the violin-playing, and then onto all the book-reading.”

What I’m going through right now is too selfish to be adulthood. An adult is able to provide support and affection for her family. An adult selflessly spends time with a partner. An adult doesn’t get upset when a day goes by without reading. An adult puts others’ needs before her own.

I know that at 25 I am a woman for all intents and purposes, but my obsession with my own  whims almost certainly categorizes me as a girl.

I’m not sure if I should feel bad about that.

Sunday Morning Jog

I had what you might call a bout of insomnia this morning. It’s probably not fair to call it insomnia since it started at 5am. But come on. It’s Sunday. On a three day weekend. I should be sleeping in till at least 10:30 like a normal 20-something, right? My body was not having it though. Naturally, I tweeted about it. You know, like people used to do in the 90s when they wanted to broadcast something nobody else actually cared about.

Twitter InsomniaMy friend Logan replied and said “No. Just get up and go running.”  I scowled, knowing he was right. To be honest, the idea of sitting in bed waiting for sleep to come repulsed me. Eventually I would have probably dozed off and fallen asleep for 20  minutes or so, then I would have spent the rest of the day in a sloth-like state. So I updated my ipod shuffle with a Hood Internet mixtape and went on my way.

I normally only jog about a mile, but I decided to combine two of my normal routes, making it a 3-mile loop. I’ve been thinking of training for a 5k. But just that – thinking about it. Right now it seems like a sort of nice thing to imagine myself doing. “Yeah,” I think. “That would be really cool to be the sort of person who runs 5ks.” I realize that 5ks are not very impressive. Especially when there are people who run marathons. Or do triathlons. A measly 3.1 miles seems like nothing.

The hardest part is the mental block. I don’t know how people have the willpower to run 24 miles.

I’ve tried several things:

  • Reminding myself that if I run faster, it’ll be over sooner. Yeah, I don’t care so much when it’s done. In that moment, I hate running and I don’t care if I have to crabwalk home, I just want to stop moving my limbs like that.
  • Imagining fitting into that silk origami dress that’s been sitting in my closet since 2009. I wore it to a wedding once and haven’t touch it since then. In that moment, I don’t care about the dress. It’s not that cute anyway and I’m okay with wearing non-constricting yoga pants until I cross into muumuu territory.
  • Reminding myself that nobody likes a fat girl in skinny jeans. In that moment, I vow to wear bootleg or wide-leg jeans, ignoring the redundancy of the latter. Any flowy tops that necessitate skinny jeans will be donated to make room for muumuus.
  • Remembering what I look like naked and how I don’t want anybody to see it. In that moment, my lack of physical intimacy ceases to be a problem and I’m suddenly thrilled that I won’t be having sex for the foreseeable future. Also, muumuus.

Today, I was able to push through it by paying attention to the beat of my music (it was just in time with my pace) , but towards the end I felt like I was going to hurl, so I ended up walking for about a block to recover. It doesn’t matter if I run one or five miles, once I get back to my apartment and I finish stretching, I look in the mirror and know I could have done more. In that moment, I’m tempted to go back outside and run another mile.

Normally when I jog, I pass a few other people working on their fitness. The only creatures I encountered this morning  was a flock of geese, and I was glad to find that they weren’t as violent as the ones who used to chase me through the park in Oshkosh. It made the morning seem like a sort of a sort of blessing, which made my run feel like a meditation (done to mashups of hiphop and indie songs). I knew I wouldn’t regret getting out of bed, but the quietness of my neighborhood at 6:30 was as much a reward as anything else. I cooled down with a little yoga in my sunny living room before having breakfast and coffee on my patio.

I love my sleep as much as anybody else, but this was a great way to start my day. However, I won’t be surprised if my bed calls me for a nap this afternoon.