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Posts tagged ‘work’

Juxtaposing the negatives with the positives

Some days you wake up and just know that it’s not going to be a good one. The day just takes on a certain “air” to it. Today was one of those days, for various reasons.

Today was the first day since I left my full-time newspaper job that I was genuinely frustrated. More frustrated than I can even relay. See that face? That’s what I looked like at 6 a.m. this morning when I realized that a name server propagation that I started the day before still wasn’t showing up for me. The good news is that my boss could see it.

So could the client. But any necessary changes would be completely unseen by me.

Head. Hits. Desk. In. Frustration.

The site turned out to be fine, a beautiful culmination of four-months of work. It was one of those issues, the first in a long time, I had to admit was completely out of my control. I couldn’t make anything happen faster. I did everything correct. It just wasn’t showing up for me. Hence the 6 a.m. wake-up call for me.

And, yes, those are my running clothes. And my husband has a Samuel Adams mirror. My new “schedule” lately has been waking up early, working for about three hours, then heading out for a run before it hit the triple-digit temperatures we’ve been getting in Northern California lately.

As I was trying to navigate through all of that, I also remembered that today was the day I should be checking my email for word from Nike about random-draw entry into the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. A huge group of ladies from my running club signed up, and a man or two. I’ve mentioned before my luck over the past two years.

In 2011, I didn’t get in through random draw. But I got to run as part of a sponsored team. In 2012, my running club group was accepted through random draw.

This year? Not so much.


As much as I wasn’t surprised and slightly relieved that the $175 race fee wouldn’t be deducted from my American Express, I was really sad for the women in the running club who wanted this to be their first half marathon.

And it’s still kind of a bummer. But it, essentially, solidified my race calendar for the rest of 2013.

But as much as I wanted to rebel against the Nike random draw and say “buy all the Lululemon things instead” (one of my friends did that, apparently, I like that idea), I realized that the positives in my running life and my life in general are completely outweighing the negative.

Sometimes you need to be reminded about things like that. These are the things I’m thankful for right now:


A year ago, I felt like I was fighting never-ending battles and getting nowhere. My creativity was hampered. I just felt like I was going nowhere in my profession anymore. There was no growth personally or professionally.

Today marked the fourth (or fifth?) site that I’ve helped launched that I’ve worked on. And this one was MASSIVE. I spent an enormous amount of time on it over the past few months. When a site finally goes live, there’s just a feeling that encompasses both relief, but also great satisfaction that I did something amazing.

I’m thankful that I’m back to growing in my work and learning new things every day.



I didn’t make mention of it here, because I was still a little unsure of making a commitment, but about a month ago, I decided that my husband and I were no longer eating quick-pasta meals, frozen pizzas or anything that came out of a box in our freezer. At least for dinner.

I’ve had some severe stomach issues in the last two months, thanks to my missing gallbladder (which I still, for the record, don’t miss). I’ve had to trim down even more from what I was eating even two months ago. My body is rebelling.

Since I’ve cut out a lot of processed things, that’s stopped. Unfortunately I can’t cut down on ALL processed food. My husband doesn’t support that diet. He should, but he’s a spice-it-up-and-cook-it-to-taste-good-even-if-it’s-not-all-that-healthy guy. That said, I realized in the middle of my site launch last night that I hadn’t yet eaten dinner.

I buckled and went to McDonald’s. I immediately regretted it. And my stomach made me very aware it was not happy. Back to real food.



Ignore my slightly-dirty running clothes. That’s my ever-offending left hip that’s been giving me problems. On Wednesday, I ran seven miles in the morning. Then I went out to Mountain House and ran three with my running club. I even kept pace with the lead runner.

goodbad1My leg wasn’t screaming at me at all. In fact, it felt nice to get out and run a faster, stronger pace. That was my longest-distance day of the week. I realized that I’m oh-so-close to 100 miles, which I’ve told myself repeatedly isn’t my goal each month.

But with two days left, I’m eight miles away. I’m not feeling bad. I’m running well. And the stupid hip injury may have just been a symptom of pretty significant overuse (someone remind me not to book five races in a two-month period), instead of something more permanent.

I’m keeping my paces mostly slow, but if I can keep going at this rate, I should be able to pick the pace back up in a week or so.



Most people run Nike for a necklace. I’ve run it the past two years because I wanted to challenge myself. It’s a tough course. It’s a beautiful course. But it’s not the only San Francisco-based run that goes along that route.

In fact, the first half of the San Francisco Marathon covers nearly an identical route, except in the last couple miles.

The necklace is a nice touch. It’s a beautiful gift. But both my Nike Women’s Marathon necklaces aren’t exactly my favorite necklaces ever. I have a roman numeral 26.2 necklace that I love more. I’m more afraid of losing my Nike necklaces than anything. So I don’t wear them often.

I would have been excited if I got in. But the price increase this year kind of turned me off.

But you know what? I’ve run five marathons. In August, I’m running my 20th half marathon.

“I didn’t get in,” I pouted to my husband earlier.

“Boo hoo,” he replied back.

As much as I’d love to get a reprieve entry and, maybe, run it, I’m good with the wait until next year. No running over to the Nike Facebook page and complaining about how unfair it is. No crying. No regrets.

It’s just another race. Two years ago it meant the world to me, because it was the one race I saw myself doing that crazy first-year of running half marathons. I’ve been lucky enough to run it.

I’ve mentioned before how I’ve cut down on races year after year. I think 2014 will include even fewer. I think most people will think it’s for financial reasons, but in reality it’s not. It’s because I’m running better, with not as much stress weighing on me. That’s making embrace running more and really want to put 100-percent into a race. I can’t do that racing twice a month, even if one race is a 10K.

So I’m cutting back. I realized when finishing the San Francisco Marathon that after five marathons, I’m finally understanding 26.2 better. I don’t think 2014 will be the “year of the marathon” like this has turned into the “year of the PR,” but I’m becoming less anxious about the goals I once considered “unattainable.”

Now everything is a little bit more within reach.

Sometimes I disappear

I hate to say it, but this is the time of year when I tend to disappear. From family gatherings. From social outings. From blogging. I just get too busy. That’s not a bad thing (because I’m busy making money).

Unfortunately I also seem to disappear from running too.

Not this year, though. This week already I’ve logged 25 miles with a long run scheduled for Sunday morning. I’m hoping to have 35+ by the end of Sunday morning. I’m hoping to gradually step up my mileage as I really start to prepare for California International Marathon on Dec. 2.

Because it’s that time.

My students published the first issue of the campus newspaper for the semester on Friday. At my full-time job, I’ve been busy with the high school football season taking off. That means I’ve been logging some serious time sitting in front of the little monster above. (For those who don’t know him, that’s Domo He’s one of many monster-types at my desk.)

I’ve been logging serious mileage lately in general, both slow and fast. And, outside from a down period a couple weeks ago, I’ve been feeling really good about my running. So much so that I’m really excited about a 5-mile race I’ve decided to do next week all about women empowerment. It’s actually one of the races I had to forgo last year because of a nasty Achilles strain that put me on crutches.

I was feeling great about running until I started hitting the road/treadmill this week. That’s when I noticed a slight twinge in my calf. I also noticed that my shoes were looking a little more beat than I remembered.

That’s when I knew. It was time to buckle down for a new pair again.

After only 300+ miles. I honestly thought the LunarEclipse +2’s would last a little longer, but I’m the same runner with the same weight, so this shouldn’t really surprise me too much.

These are the “Breathe” edition of the LunarEclipse’s. Kind of pretty looking in person. I’m going to do another outdoor run in my old shoes (the long run Sunday) and then start moving through the process of retiring those. Sigh. I really loved the hot pink. But these are my first “pretty” running shoes in general, and the new ones are pretty nice too.

So about that disappearing? I literally have to make time to blog now with school and video shoots more than twice a week. I’m busy. But I’m also working on balancing everything better this year. That’s why I pushed myself to run days in a row. It’s why I stopped everything and started blogging today.

It’s why you’re reading this, basically.

But it also means I’m working 70+ hour weeks when my students are in production for their newspaper. So I’m also a bit whipped out by Friday, especially after a 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. shift, which in reality tends to be a 2 p.m. to 12 a.m. shift. I’m trying to get over the fatigue, though, put my mind in an active area and just run.

Today that meant five miles. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

But if my blogging is lacking into the next month or so, it’s because life gets crazy busy this time of year. I’ll only worry about it if I start slacking on my training.

Meet me Monday: It doesn’t define me, but it’s a big part

One of the first questions I get asked after a weekend is how long my long run was this weekend. I got to answer “twenty” today, which made me feel pretty good.

But, sometimes, I think people see me as one-dimensional. I’m getting a lot of “really?” looks since I told people I’m swimming now. I got some eye squints when I bought a road bike (which I’m hoping to finally take on a longer ride this weekend, finally).

In fact, the title of this blog sums up how I’m introduced now more than ever. “This is Tara, she’s blah, blah, blah…and she runs.”

One-day after my twenty miler, I’m not feeling any bit extra powerful. Just happy to have made it. Happy to, potentially, be doing it again this weekend with Jennie.

I’m also a little sore, which is cause for the wearing of compression sleeves under my jeans today. (Yes, I wear jeans to work. Yes, we have a dress code. Yes, I can make jeans professional. I actually spend time crawling around on the ground for video. I once ripped an awesome pair of slacks. I also once split a pair of jeans shooting video, so I have a tendency to tear apart my clothes pretty good.)

But, especially with marathon training, it’s easy to forget all the other things in my life. I do it. So do others.

And that’s OK. Sort of. Until I start forgetting things like turning in my Flex contract for school (which could have cost me $350) or a conference call, or a video assignment, etc.

I’m dubbing it “runner’s brain.”

It kind of makes you think running is the only thing in the world. That’s not to say that’s bad. There’s just more too me than that.