In like a Lion…

 

I decided this morning that I am going to start using my lunch hour to write blog posts. At least some lunch hours. I haven’t been terribly successful at blogging in the evenings; most likely due to my intense desire to do basically nothing after Mr. Baby goes to bed, so I need a better time for the writing. (Currently, I attempt to use my lunch hour to study, so that’s a small hiccup in my plan, but let’s not worry about that just yet. ) So, in any case, here I am in Collaboration Room 3, eating my chili mac, and trying to figure out how to transition from this unimportant and unexciting announcement to whatever this blog post is actually going to be about. Which I think is going to be me whining about how snow days aren’t fun anymore.

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Sadly, it’s true. The magic and fun of snow days is officially gone. (Spoiler Alert: I have a plan to bring it back, so stay tuned). Yesterday was particularly unmagical because the task I was doing was not well suited to remote work.  I had to open up 4 files for each month going back to January 2016 and paste data from each of those file (56 files, I think. Whatever 4 times 14 is) into a new file I was creating. And over the remote connection it took way longer to open each of them than it should have. And then excel kept crashing, and it was just really frustrating, and hard to get anything done.  At one point I had finally made a good amount of progress and excel crashed and I hadn’t saved in over 45 minutes, so that was really disappointing.

“But wait!” you say, “At least you could work in your PJs! From the couch! Maybe even watch a little TV!” And you have a point. But realistically, I was mainly sitting on the floor, near the couch, “throwing” toys at Mr. Baby to keep him occupied while my computer took an eternity to open my files. Add that all up and I end up feeling like I didn’t get anything done (although in the end I did finish gathering data, it just took forever) while also feeling like I ignored Mr. Baby all day (which is also ridiculous and untrue).

Really, the day was not by any means a failure. And the way I feel about how it went is way more dramatic and harsh than reality calls for. It’s just. Well, I just wish snow days could be more fun.  More like they used to be. I never even got to go outside in the snow, what the heck?!

So, now what?

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Well, I am apparently a drama queen who throws even the slightest wrinkle in my plans why out of proportion. And I am also a bit of a whiny child who wants my snow days  to be actual days OFF. BUT I am not the kind of person who just complains and doesn’t try to come up with a solution for next time. So even though it’s March and it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that another snow day will come my way before next December, I have a PLAN! And here it is–

OPTION 1: Have a schedule – Jeff and I split our time taking care of Mr. Baby, but not by a schedule. I think I would have benefit from knowing exactly what times I could expect to be productive (work wise).

OPTION 2: TAKE THE DAY OFF.  Make it an actual snow day. Yes, this won’t always work, but yesterday I probably could have taken at least a portion of the day off. So, next time, I need to consider that option.

OPTION 3: Drink a glass of wine and eat a HUGE bowl of ice-cream after Mr. Baby goes to bed. I enacted this part of the plan last night, and it really turned things around.

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So, next time. I will be better. My snow day will be better. I am an eternal optimist.

Now, back to work!

Not Another Resolution Post!

At January 3rd I feel somewhat late to the resolution party. Even all the resolution haters out there seem to have taken the time to express their dislike by now. I bet you’ve all taken down your Christmas trees, too.

But guys its ONLY the 3rd!

I normally like to give myself the entire month of January to come up with, plan out, and get used to my resolutions, but this year I’m ahead of the game. I hope this isn’t a bad sign. Haha… Honestly I think a big part of my speed this year is that I was able to use my 2014 resolution tracking document as a template, rather than starting from scratch. And trust me, having a way to track this stuff is a key to success.

-POP

Like last year, even though I have both running and non-running resolutions, I’m only going to share the running and blogging ones with you guys. Posting the whole list would take too long, and you’d probably think I’m insane. Likely, I’ll share a few of those non-running resolutions throughout the year, whether or not I explicitly tell you about them now.

One more thing before I get to the list. While I do have a somewhat lengthy list, I’m not sure it’s complete yet. I’m considering this a work in progress that I’ll update as the year goes on.

2015 RUNNING RESOLUTIONS

  • Take an off-season. Or more specifically, a self imposed, non-injury related, continuous 3 week break from running. I think it’s a good idea to give my legs a break. I’ve read a few articles about it and have started to sort out a plan. I’ll probably write a post about it. 
  • Do NOT run a marathon. Next time I run a marathon, I want to run it faster. By an hour, at least. Going into training in 2014, I was faster than in 2013, and I did speed work. But my long run pace (at the same effort) wasn’t any better, and my race time was MUCH slower. Even though this year’s race was tougher, I still don’t think I should have been quite as slow as I was. Additionally, every time I check pace calculators using my recent race times, I come out with a marathon time over an hour faster than I just ran. So, something is up with how I’m training, or maybe I’m just much slower at the marathon than other distances? Either way, I want to figure this out before I run another marathon.  
  • Improve at the 5k. This resolution is a little less clear than the previous two, but I’m not sure exactly where to set my goal for this one. I’ll start with trying to PR, but I’ll see where training takes me, and I’ll get a more specific goal out here when I check back in. 
  • Stop whining pre-run. I like running, and I need to quit acting like such a baby before every run. The second I start going, I enjoy myself. I look forward to long runs throughout the week, and shorter ones throughout the day. So, why on earth when I’m finally going to have a chance to run do I whine and moan about HAVING to run. I don’t know, but I need to stop. Any ideas on punishments or rewards for good behavior?
  • Try out an 80/20 running plan. I got the book 80/20 Running for Christmas, and it’s fascinating. I’m really looking forward to giving it a try for 5k training, and then possibly for longer distances if I like it.

And for the blog…

2015 BLOGGING RESOLUTIONS

  • Post (at least) twice a week. Or 3 times a week, or every other day. I’m not sure what I’d like my schedule to be. But I would like to have one.
  • Create a backlog of posts. Hey, maybe if I have some posts ready to go at a moments notice, I won’t end up with two weeks of radio silence when I get busy. This could help with the consistancy/schedule I’m talking about in number one.
  • Write some product reviews. I’m not sure if this is going to be fun for me, but since I enjoy reading reviews for new products on others’ blogs I think I should give this a try.
  • Read running books and post about them. I have several books about running, time to read them all! Also, I really want to see Unbroken, but I hear you should read the book first. 🙂
  • Catch up on and write retroactive race recaps. I have notes on almost all of the races I’ve ever run, and I’d like to get this info on the blog. Plus, I have a few 2014 races I haven’t gotten around to recapping, yet. 

That doesn’t sound too bad now does it? I mean, the first two running resolutions are to not do things, so that shouldn’t be too tough, right? I suppose we’ll find out! Last year I checked in on my resolutions monthly, but this year I’m switching to a quarterly schedule. So, I’ll be back in early April with an update.

Have you made resolutions yet? Or have you declared your dislike for them? Do we have any similar ones?

 

The Friday 5 – 4th Edition

It’s Friday! Time for my favorite post of the week, where I write about five random topics. I try to include some running stuff, this being a running blog and all. 

1. I finished the blanket I was knitting! I gave it to my sister at her baby shower last weekend, so now I can post a picture of it. I hope my niece or nephew will like it. It’s a little on the small side, but so are babies, so I think it will be okay.

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2. Have you heard about this Run Run Run song by Michelle Lewis?   Lewis wrote the song shortly before the bombings at the Boston Marathon, for a friend. Since then, it has taken on kind of a new meaning. She and her husband created a video for the song (below) dedicating it to “all those training for Boston in Boston”. I like the song and I REALLY like the video. Part of my running route is in it! Towards the beginning, there is a woman wearing an apricot colored jacket (spoiler alert: it’s not me) running near the water.  That’s Beverly,MA! About a 1/2 mile from my house. 

You can read more about this from Runner’s World, and check out Michelle’s music on her website. All proceeds from the sale of the song from now until Marathon Monday will benefit the One Fund. I bought my copy from Amazon.

3. I cooked a delicious dinner!  If you know about my cooking skills, you know what a feat this is. I made citrus black bean soup and southwestern style twice baked potatoes. I think it looks like restaurant food. 

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4. Sometimes it takes me a REALLY long time to write a blog post – In fact, I rarely write them in one sitting. I don’t know why it’s so hard for me, I’m not terribly concerned that they be well written or cohesive masterpieces. I think I just have a hard time expressing myself in words. Blogging is a strange hobby for me then, isn’t it? Having a few weekly “themed” posts is very helpful. I’m doing much better documenting my runs now that I’m posting weekly recaps on Mondays. Along with the Friday 5, that ensures that I post at least twice a week. I think if I don’t post regularly, I would just stop posting all together. Which would be unfortunate because I think this is really fun. 

5. I order spices online. I love me some Penzeys. The first time I encountered them was at my mom’s house in Buffalo; they have a shop there on Elmwood.  There’s also a shop in my area (sort of) in Arlington, MA. It’s a little bit too far to travel for spices, so I order them instead. I time my orders so I can get free shipping, and every time I get a package they send a little free sample of a spice. Score! Plus, their catalog usually has a coupon for a free spice as well. They know how to keep me as a loyal customer, that’s for sure.

I hope you have a good weekend! Filled with good music, good food, and good running.