When I don’t run in the morning, I have two choices when I leave work. The first choice is to make a left at the light on the corner of the Parkway. You see, I live about a mile from my office. That mile is a convenience for which I have felt truly blessed with for the past 11 years. It’s so easy, at the end of a long day, to make that left and head home after being mentally exhausted from the job. (I’m an HR manager so mental exhaustion is a natural occurrence when I sometimes have to disconnect what I WANT to say to someone with what I’m supposed to say to someone…legally) …anyway I digress… My other option is to go straight and head for the employee gym about a half mile further down the road. (It’s too hot during the day)
So picture this. I’m in the middle lane …the lane to my left, makes the left turn home. My current lane and the one to the right go straight…hands are on the steering wheel…kind of twitching to make that left turn. However, what I realized is that I really wanted to run. I really, really did! I don’t think I’ve ever had a prouder training moment (mentally) …I WANTED to run. What is this feeling? Whatever it is…I must say…I LIKE IT!
My son started working about three months ago. The plus side? He has his own cash now. What parent doesn’t love THAT! The downside for me? His job starts at 5 a.m. Since it’s only about 1.5 miles from the house, he sometimes walks, but being the mom I am – most days I tend to get up, throw something on over my p j’s (it’s still dark enough to hide my Mickey outfit) and drop him off. While that may sound crazy, I do have a plan in mind – a morning run. The problem is that it always sounds so good about 8 the night before, but every morning all I manage to do is crawl back in the bed with the hopes of at least another two hours of sleep before I have to get up for work. The difficulty, however, is that I tend to be more tired trying to squeeze in another two hours of sleep, than if I just stayed awake.
This morning, however, I finally did it! I dropped him off at work, came home, sat on the edge of my bed for a few minutes to contemplate life – then I got dressed, threw on my sneakers and headed out for a morning run. WHAT? It was only 5 am. WHAT? It was still dark out! So many routes to choose from, so little time (otherwise known as “so early in the morning”). I ended up taking a route that, of course, had many hills in the short two miles I managed before the humidity finally overtook my consciousness.
The time wasn’t great, but any time there are hills involved I feel like it was a major win. Besides it’s good practice for two hilly upcoming fall races. Feeling pretty accomplished and extremely happy that I won’t have to plan my evening around what time I think the gym might be empty so that I can hit the treadmill.
What will happen tomorrow? I don’t know. I’d like to think I can make this a two-day streak, but I also know that tomorrow is his one day off from work so there’s no need for me to rise so early. Can I do it? Will I do it? Stand by…
I had almost decided to pay the $60 for a 30-day gym membership. The gym is literally steps from my office… out the front door, walk across the sidewalk, boom – there. I thought it would be so convenient during my lunch. I could run across the sidewalk, jump on the treadmill, shower and hop back into my office during my lunch. I also figured I could take some Zumba and Yoga classes at night and on weekends. All of this as opposed to driving the 1.5 miles to the employee gym and going into the basement of the government building, running on the treadmill and just lifting weights.
I decided to do something different. Yes I did. I bought the Shaun T Cize DVDs. I ordered it about 9 days ago and it came today in the mail. Exciting!!! Cize teaches you to dance so you actually forget it’s exercise. Of course I read a lot of the reviews first. Some of the reviews were negative. They didn’t like the fact that he spent the first 20 minutes of a 30 minute DVD teaching each of the dance steps and repeatedly starting back from the top. I actually liked the fact that he would teach you a step, then start back at step one and take you through what you just learned. I learned eight new steps and at the end, he took you, fast-paced, from the beginning step to step eight – three times. Then they changed the song (he said we would recognize it, but I really didn’t) and you did the routine two more times (he said it was three, but I only counted twice). Needless to say, by the end of the 30 minutes, I was a sweaty mess. The fact that I went to the gym and finished three miles on the treadmill first, made working out to the DVD that much more intense. My original plan was to just watch the DVD tonight and start tomorrow, but I was way too excited and just decided to go for it.
Now tonight, I took a shower, took an aspirin, rubbed on some Biofreeze and I’m going to bed, knowing that today I killed it!
This was actually what my post was supposed to be about today, before I checked my emails about all of those races. Today has been an absolutely gorgeous AND productive day. I figured it would be a perfect day to do a little cross-training. (Besides, my KT tape was falling off and I didn’t want to necessarily replace it for a run of any particular distance.)
I woke up a little late this morning so most of my cross-training plans, which included a mile or two on the stationary bike while watching I Love Lucy, were already out the window. I did, however, manage to get some weights in. I understand that weight training can help with my running, so I did a few sets before the shower.
It was so beautiful outside that I decided to go for a walk at lunch time. I managed 1.75 miles before I decided it was time to head back. The benefits of that walk were a much clearer, less stressed state of mind and a feeling of tranquility when I got back to the office. (Tranquility is not usually a feeling that we have here in Human Resources). Either way, I feel good about today. I can’t wait to see what happens after work. I just might surprise myself.
An outside – inside run. Exactly what is that, you ask? I got off work late (again) today thinking that I really wanted to go for a run, but not really feeling going home, changing and heading back out. As with most days, however, after a 12 hour day all I wanted to do was curl up and continue my Blue Bloods binge marathon on Netflix. So I put on my beautiful pink Disney Princess Half Marathon t-shirt. I figured I would channel my inner princess. Don’t worry, I wasn’t running a half today, just getting out there keeping up with my training schedule.
I headed out of the door. I don’t know if there is anyone like me, I often struggle with where I’m going to go run. Do I want to run on a busy parkway? Do I want to go the track? Treadmill? The decisions, the decisions. A mile on the treadmill, a mile on the treadmill. (I have done a lot of chanting to myself today). I figured that I would head to the employee gym and just stay on the treadmill for a mile, though I wasn’t sure if that would help negate the slice of pizza, two wings and two tablespoons of garlicky couscous with feta and spinach that I had for lunch today.
The car thermometer read 87 degrees, much too hot to be outside, but when I stepped out of the car there was a beautiful breeze and the sun had an evening glow. Why go inside when I’ve got the perfect weather? I headed down to the baseball fields, through the condo complex parking lot and onto the parkway. It felt great! My one mile inside run turned into 2.8 outside. Today was a good day.
Today was supposed to be a day of rest. Unfortunately I made the mistake of turning on the news first thing this morning. Not to actually watch the news, but to check out the weather to see if today was going to be a good day to be outside. Since they are supposed to give the weather on the 5’s, I tuned in at 8:04 expecting to hear “go” or “no go” for outside relaxation. Instead what I heard were four minutes of the most depressing news ever – deadly accidents, people getting shot and elderly people being beat. So instead of spending the day relaxing, I went to work instead.
After spending three hours in my quiet office I still couldn’t shake that depression feeling, so even though today was supposed to be a day of rest, I actually went for a run instead. Not a long run, but instead of my usual Jeff Galloway run/walk, I ran for the first mile straight followed by a run/walk for another three quarters of a mile. The exertion was just what I needed to remember that the world may not be a happy place, but my own little bubble can be as happy as I choose to make it and today I choose to be happy.
To give you a little background, I’m a Human Resources Manager. Human Resources involves the most challenging component of work ever, humans. Sometimes it’s a good day, some days there are days like today. The conversation went something like this… (The names and dates have been changed to protect the innocent and the illogical.)
Supervisor (who has been with the company MANY years): Do I need to write a performance evaluation for Terry Tiger before she leaves on her last day?
Me (thinking mmm, no good can come of this conversation.) I’m not sure when her last day is, but her evaluation date is August 11th. If her last day with the company is before her evaluation due date, then no you don’t. (Me, now thinking this is the end of the conversation).
Supervisor: Her last day is April 15th. Do I need to write one?
Mind you, this conversation is via email so if you forgot what I said, feel free to go back and look at the answer, unfortunately that only seems like common sense in my world. The kicker was that I had this same conversation with two long term managers today!
Needless to say, that today was filled with such insane conversations. It’s just one of those days that had me tilting my head saying, “really”. Unfortunately, we can’t always say exactly what’s on our minds (sometimes the response in my head is quite…colorful. I needed an outlet and had the perfect solution. Today was Tuesday, so what better way to burn off some of the confusion and stress than taking it to the streets? OK, it wasn’t quite the streets, it was more like the treadmill, but hey for today, a run was cleansing activity. It was a great way to shake it off…and shake it off I did. The sun will come out tomorrow (actually it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, but I’m still floating on that runner’s high.) It was a great two mile Tuesday.
The last couple of nights I have found myself absolutely dragging when I got home from work. A full mind-bending day at work, followed by household activities including; groceries, straightening up (notice I didn’t even say cleaning), and fulfilling family needs often leave precious little time or even the desire to exercise. I read that one of the worst mistakes you can make is to go straight home after work instead of going directly to work out. Sometimes as psyched as I am about running, it’s been a hectic month at work. Finding the balance between work and running is absolutely part of my journey.
Today I thought I would try something new, for me anyway. I decided to go to the employee gym to run on the treadmill at lunch, especially since the outside temperature went from the 50’s to the 80’s in less than a day. The good thing about the gym at lunch time is that there are very few people there at 1:00 in the afternoon. In fact, there was only one guy dressed in jeans working on the Elliptical (it did look mighty uncomfortable). Perfect!
I was able to get in 30 minutes of my walk/run before I decided I needed to wrap it up to get back to the office in time for a 2:30 meeting. Unfortunately in my excitement of getting the gym bag ready this morning, there were a few essential items discovered missing. The nature of this oversight, however, required me to run home to take a shower since the thought of putting on certain sweaty garments was absolutely appalling.
The upside is that I found an overwhelming amount of energy to get through the rest of the afternoon. I was also able to go home at the end of the day ready to tackle some serious housecleaning, OK perhaps serious straigtening would be closer to the truth. The downside? I haven’t found it yet, but I will definitely share should anything surface.