Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How to Streak when your Spouse is 700 Miles Away

Jerry's been gone for 75 hours now (but, who's counting), and not only have I kept the kids alive, but I've also managed to keep the fish alive, remembered to blow out burning candles, and...oh yeah, keep my streak alive!

So, at this point, I'm certain I've acheieved "expert" status on streaking without a spouse.

Here's what I'm thankful for:

  • Daycare.  Week day runs would be much harder to fit in without it.
  • The double running stroller.  Kids haven't run in it much for a long time, so right now, it's a novelty for them and they're enjoying it.  Over the weekend, we ran to a couple of parks, and that was a good combo: They had to sit in there for no more than 10-15 minutes, and then were released to the park, then back in for more running.  Breaking it up helped us all.
  • The treadmill.  On campus I have access to the gym treadmill, and in my temp apartment, there is a gym also equipped with a treadmill.
  • Good friends.  Who, while not yet called upon, have offered to take the kids if/when I want to run outside, by myself.
  • A good babysitter.  She's been watching our kids since Norah was a baby, and I've already booked her some weekend mornings so, again, I can get outside for runs by myself.  The fact that she's willing to come in the morning and for just a few hours is great; she's a huge help.
I'm pretty fortunate to have all of this at my disposal (it would be even better if I had the space for a treadmill IN the apartment, but alas, I don't even have room for my books in this apartment!), and even though it's not as convenient to keep the streak alive without Jerry here, I think I'm going to be able to manage it.

At least for the time being.  You never know what wrenches life will throw in my way, but for now, it's working.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Day #365 and Beyond

The end of 2013 was a whirlwind for us: I had the end of the semester, we had celebrated Christmas, then we packed up and moved out of our condo and into the apartment the kids and I will be renting for the next 4 months, and we closed on the sale of our condo.  In the midst of all this, I did manage to keep up with the running and thus the streaking, and on December 31st, I ran my 365th consecutive day and therefore completed 1 year of streaking.

It felt great to reach that achievement, and I was pleased with my year in running:

1,288 miles
3 races (1 HM, 1 10K, 1 5K)
2 new PRs (10K, 5K)

I didn't race much, and I can't believe I missed a "round" mileage number (1,300) by 12 miles, but honestly, I was so sidetracked in November and December, I wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention to my mileage; I was just concentrating on getting my runs in every day (consequently, those 2 months were my lowest mileage months: 98 and 90 miles respectively).

So, onto 2014:

I didn't stop streaking on Jan 1st; I kept streaking and plan to keep streaking.  What can I say?  I may be an addict now.  So, my plan for 2014 is pretty simple: Keep streaking.

I really am not planning any other running goals beyond that.  Jerry leaves this Saturday for NC and thus begins the 4 month experiment of me as a single parent: To keep the streak alive during those months will be a trial (but I think it can be managed), so to expect anything more in these initial months of the year seems like folly.

At the end of April, the kids and I will be moving to NC to join Jerry, and from there, I have no clue how the rest of my year will shape up -- in running, as well as in other ways, so again, I'm just hoping to keep streaking.

Maybe I'll race some this year, maybe I won't.  We'll see.  What I hope for is that this time next year, I can report a 2nd year of streaking, and hopefully, will have run at least 1,300 miles. ;)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Big Changes

After several very positive job offers were considered, Jerry has accepted a position in Winston Salem, NC.  His tentative start date is set for mid-January.

It's an exciting move for him since it will offer him a step up in both pay and position and promises to be rich with opportunities for professional growth.

So that's awesome.

The kids and I won't be joining him in NC immediately, though, since after a few lengthy discussions with my Dean, I decided it was to my own professional benefit to stay and finish my academic contract and teach the remainder of the year.  So.  That's gonna be tough to be apart, and I'll be honest: the idea of full time Momming and full time teaching is intimidating, but I know I can do it.  Especially when I know there's an end in sight.

The big question will be: Will I be able to continue streaking?

Monday, December 02, 2013

2013 Turkey Trot 5K

After I posted on Wednesday that I didn't expect much from Thursday's 5K, I went out and surprised myself and my legs by running a new PR (by 2 seconds) of 26:33.

Afterward, seeing how narrowly I'd beat last year's PR, I kinda kicked myself for not really pushing it in that 3rd mile and earning a significant PR.  Doesn't matter.  I was pleased with what I did.  Leading up to the race, I actually wasn't sure if I'd even be able to pull off a 30 minute 5K (my legs were still achin' something serious from that fall).

Here's the kids and I after the race; they were all about the cookies:


For my effort, I was really sore on Friday, but thankfully, by yesterday, my legs seemed fully recovered from both the fall and the race.  And, yesterday was day #335 in the streak: Exactly 30 days until I can celebrate my 1 year streak-versary!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Falling Down

On Sunday, while running, I tripped, fell, and scraped my left knee. (I also did something uncomfortable to my right quad because it's been aching like I ran a marathon.)  However, after I fell, I assessed the damaged, determined it wasn't anything I couldn't run through, and ran on to finish up my planned run.  The streak is now at day #330.

The fall, while real, is a good metaphor for the entire month of November.  Because Jerry and I have had a doozy of a November.

Jerry got laid off.

There's a lot to discuss here in terms of explanation, but it's boring, and it's not a tale no one hasn't heard before.  It was a blow, but:

Thankfully, Jerry had anticipated the company's downsizing and had already been pursuing a few promising leads, and since the news, he has been inundated with calls, emails, and texts with leads and opportunities.  Ironically, now that he's a "free agent," managers from across the country have been contacting him and doing their best to try and "pick him up off the waiver."  Sorry, that was a lot of sports talk.

From all this, he will most certainly find a fitting offer from another company.

Also, he received a generous severance and, with our savings, we aren't concerned about any immediate financial impact.  Plus, you know, I work too.

While we are some of the most fortunate who can receive this kind of news, it still complicates our lives and is stressful to deal with.  A new opportunity for him most certainly means moving out of state.  We will probably have options to consider, but it's a big decision, and a big move (wherein I will have to resign my job), especially since we don't yet know where or when.  That would be okay, but we're also on the verge of closing on our condo, which we've already been negotiating a sale on now for months.  We're now set to close on that at the end of December.

In the end, all of these big events will, most likely, work out just fine and maybe even better than fine -- in some ways, the lay off could be advantageous for us and maybe push to make some decisions we were reluctant to undertake before.

So, the lay off announcement pushed us down, but we didn't stay down, and while his company's decision bruised, it's nothing that won't fade and that we can't recover from.

As for the running: Tomorrow, I run in my 9th consecutive Turkey Trot 5K, a streak of its own, but I have no expectations about time this year.  My runs following Sunday's spill have been short and slow, and I doubt my legs will feel good enough tomorrow to really push myself.

Still...you never know.  Sometimes an unexpected descent means you have no where to go, but up.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Sayonara October!

October always feels like a particularly long month.  And the last week of the month was particularly exhausting: We had company staying with us (which is always fun but is also busy), then I came down with a round of the barfs, and then it was Halloween which, once you have kids, requires days of events not just one day.  Given that, I was just happy to get last week's runs done, and squeeze in an even 100 miles for the month.

So, I'm happy to see October in the rearview and am pleased to look forward to November, one of my favorite months.  I have the turkey trot on Thanksgiving (always one of my favorite traditions), and I am planning for an early December half marathon, so I have that training beginning to peak as well.  Thankfully the weather has begun to cool off, so even though the days are shorter and I'll have to adjust to running in the dark, the relief of more temperate weather is welcome.

In general, because FL's sub tropical climate gives us the opposite enjoyable weather as the rest of the country, from now until March I get to enjoy FL's "race season," and just yesterday, I was starting to get excited about determining which events I wanted to include in this year's race calendar.  Certainly, it's tempting to do them all, but practicality dictate that time and finances be considerations, so I have to limit my choices.  Still, it's always fun to look at my choices and weigh the favorites with the events I've never done, or haven't done in awhile.

I'm lucky to have such choice, and it being November, I do pause to be grateful for the running events that stretch out before me from now until March.

Monday, October 28, 2013

M.I.A.

In terms of running, October has been an average month: Still streaking (today is day #300 -- "only" 65 more days before I can fill out the forms and submit my official USRSA application!) and still putting in an average of 3-4 miles a day.  However, in terms of blogging, October has been a giant failure.

In part this is because I've been very busy with work this month (midterm), but in part, I've had little that feels blogworthy.

The weather has cooled off here, though, and it's been lovely here in South Florida, so for the first time in almost 6 months, I'm enjoying running outside again.  Does that count as a noteworthy piece of blogformation?

Hope so.  Because it's all I got right now.