Sunday, March 6, 2016

That Time You Cried While Singing Country Roads, AKA: I Give Up On Titling This Post

Coming up with a title for this post presented a significant challenge. I have running updates, and I have..hell, I don't even know how to categorize this, "majorly gigantic life altering news that has running implications." And implications for nearly everything else.

Since you already know about Project Fix Joanna, I'll start there. Also, I'm burying the good stuff to make you read more of this post. Because I'm evil like that.

Project Fix Joanna
I last wrote that I'd done some short runs successfully. After that things got weird, largely because I fell into a cycle of getting sick a few times over a month-long period. Also because I continued to have knee pain and swelling. So I stopped updating the blog because it was frustrating.

I'm back because I have progress and new hope. I can now run pain-free--with help. My calves have stopped throbbing on the daily. The help? I run with a compression sleeve on my left knee. This allows me to run and to be no worse for the wear afterward, which is huge. However, I still experience pain and swelling from medium-to-long daily walks at my work place, shopping for groceries on the weekends, and hiking with my family (which involves a 3-year-old, so you know it's not much distance). Clearly I need to be more diligent about using compression for non-running activities. I likely also need a second visit to the sports massage therapist. But guys, I can see light at the end of the tunnel!

Down here at the bottom line [paragraph] of it, my progress has emboldened me to set some new goals. Since I am so terribly out of shape my goals are modest but THRILLING to this long-benched runner. I am aiming to run 12 miles per week for March and go to yoga at least twice. This is double my February mileage, and that, my friends, is a great thing. I am also aiming to train for a half-marathon in the fall, which brings me to the "majorly gigantic life altering" part.

Majorly Gigantic Life Altering Part
My STL running buddy, Rachel, and I were recently discussing the Utah Valley Half-Marathon, scheduled for this June. One of the many reasons for this discussion was the fact that my house may be largely empty by then and I may have some logistics hurdles to clear....because we're moving to Ohio.

Yes. An incredible amount of life has happened since my last post.

Actually, it turns out that we'll almost certainly be gone before the race, so this might be my first DNS. I'm guessing a DNS wasn't your first question about this news though.

Over the winter I interviewed for a position at a university in Ohio. This was not something I did lightly. I carefully considered the position itself, as well as the implications for my family. The alignment of the job to my research and career interests was undeniable, and the location appeals to me for personal reasons as well. I will be within driving distance (or a very short flight) of my own alma mater, my native West Virginia and virtually everyone I ever knew before moving to Utah. In a way I have difficulty articulating, this move is something of a homecoming for me. I've never lived in Ohio, but to be so close to so many places I love, and in a city much like one I've known and loved and grieved leaving (STL)--for most research-intensive academics this is as close as we ever get to going home.*

Considering the implications for my family was involved. My parents live here in Utah for half the year and have their own place. It shouldn't surprise me, but their response did. "Go! We'd rather be back east anyway, and if this job offers you what you want, why on earth wouldn't you take it?!" I am so humbled by this. How instructive to me, of a model of how I hope to treat my family. I am so inspired by them in this.

My younger son is too young to understand what's happening in any serious sense. My husband likes it here but still telecommutes to STL, so there's nothing really tying him here. My older son though, I know he's sad about this. I am dedicated to helping him find his place in our new community. Part of me laments this, because we came to Utah intending to stay. Part of me knows that life happens, and it's easier to move him now than in a year or two just due to his age. So off we go, with optimism I hope he'll be able to embrace eventually.

As for me, I am very happy to say that I have a few friends in our new city. A few who are in my profession, and one who I know through none other than our running blogs: Jodi.  Plus, my bestest friend is only a few hours away, and I have a few other friends who live elsewhere in Ohio, mostly within 2-3 hours.

So that fall race? I'm eyeing up the Northern Ohio Half Marathon in October. Y'all know I love October races, and what better way to get to know my new state. Plus, it just occurred to me yesterday, I'll be close enough to Detroit to do the Martian Half next spring if I want to. I ran it in about 2010 and still remember the course fondly. And we all know that the Cleveland Marathon will have my revenge. It's had that coming for five long years. I'll be there! This can happen!

For the next few months my life is going to have a lot more of this:

That, dear friends, is a 65lb box of boxes with one of my work bags sitting on top of it. And there's more where that came from. It's going to be one hell of a journey, in every good and stressful way, I'm sure. Then, what I really hope will be our home for a very long time. I'm so ready. 

* And by "home" I mean central Appalachia. I don't literally mean my hometown. I also mean St. Louis, in a way. And I mean home in an intellectual sense that's pretty esoteric.