Haven't been here for awhile. No real reason why, just that I've been doing more "taking in" than "giving out" lately. Also I've been out of town on weekends and working on my dissertation on weekdays. This weekend I'm staying home while [livejournal.com profile] glaucon heads down to the Oregon Country Fair. I was going to go, but a) really can't afford it; and b) I would like to make use of a full weekend at home to put my things in order, get a little extra writing done on the diss, and spend some quality time with myself, doing things I really want to do. I plan to do a big long city hike of some sort tomorrow (Saturday), and on Sunday I'll be staying closer to home to catch up on laundry, put away the random stacks of books on my bookshelves, and generally tidy up my room and my life. Next weekend [livejournal.com profile] glaucon's sister, little brother, and sister's boyfriend will be in town for a visit. Then on Tuesday the 21st, I leave for 2 weeks in Michigan. My siblings and I are doing some sprucing up work on our parents' house, to get it ready to go on the market. Great time for that, eh? While in Michigan, I'll also be spending a day or two out at the cottage my sisters rent every summer: it's right on Lake Michigan. I might also be going to a high school reunion...but I still have some trepidations about that.

My running has been going really, really well. My legs feel great: strong and resilient. While in Portland for the 4th, the friends with whom we were staying pointed me toward the Nike corporate headquarters' running track, which is conveniently located across the street from their house. It's a nearly 2-mile woodchip-covered trail that circumnavigates the compound. A very nice running experience, save for the creepy statues that loom in the shadows. Once I figured out that they were inanimate objects, there for my edification, rather than stalkers standing off alongside the trail, I was relatively OK with them. My point is that I had the opportunity to keep up my running routine while out of town--and more importantly, that I availed myself of that opportunity. I got up somewhat early (8am--not too early) and ran both Saturday and Sunday. I've kept to my routine this week as well. The last few weeks have been a little test of my commitment, because I've just been running without a clear plan beyond simply maintaining mileage. I was initially planning to do this for 2 weeks, but I stretched it into 4 weeks. Despite feeling really good, I'm also being cautious. I'm afraid of getting sidelined with an injury again. Of course, I haven't completely abided by my "maintain mileage" agenda: I've been finding little ways to "sneak" extra challenges into my runs. On Tuesday I threw in a weird course change that added about 6 blocks to my usual "bread-n-butter" route, and also took me through some residential areas I've never really seen before, which was cool. Yesterday I did about the same thing, in a different direction, and ended up running about 4 extra blocks, 2 of which consisted of a killer uphill climb. My legs are actually a little achy today from that--LOL. On Sunday I'll jump headlong into the "challenge myself" pool by starting the marathontraining.com Mileage Build-Up Plan. Wish me luck!

Now...back to the book.
Interval 1 (9 mins running): Kind of a slog, especially the first 5-6 minutes. I felt old and mildly decrepit.

Interval 2 (2 mins walking): Phew! Stretched my arms and upper back. Yawned a lot. Legs started to feel a little bit springier.

Interval 3 (9 mins running): Nice, even, and smooth, like I could keep going at this pace all damn day if I wanted to. I felt like a "real runner" again, for the first time in a couple of years. I run an out-and-back course, and usually turn around about midway through this interval; today I had to go an extra block beyond my usual turnaround point (which means I got to that point about a minute faster than usual).

Interval 4 (2 mins walking): Legs felt a little twitchy, like..."Why are we walking, again? Who's idea was this? Can I speak with the manager, please?"

Interval 5 (9 mins running): Pure play! Legs wanted to sprint and frolic. When I got to the end of this interval, it was hard to convince myself to walk the rest of the way home.

That concludes week 6 of the plan. Next week, I'll be doing 9 minute running intervals broken up by 1 minute walking intervals. I really, really like this plan. It allows me to focus on the running rather than my watch. I do best when I don't have gadgets intruding on my consciousness too often. But also, by emphasizing time spent running rather than distance covered, it seems to short-circuit my tendency to push myself "just a little bit further" than I ought to go.

I'm amazed at the difference it is making, in my body and my mind. I am starting to feel more gregarious again, less inhibited or anxious about socializing with people. Better still, I am feeling genuinely interested in, and excited by, my academic work again.

Now I'm off to shower, and then to Essential Bakery Cafe to meet Sarah for our Destination: Yarn jaunt.


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July 2014

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