Sunday, March 31, 2013

March Recap

# Runs: 18
# Other workouts: 0--totally fell off the wagon with yoga.
Miles ran: 107.1, oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, hit that triple digit mark!! Woohoo!
Favorite run of the month: I want to say either my 13 mile long run or this week's mile repeat workout, but probably because they were both relatively recent and fresh in my memory. Overall it was a good running month. I broke double digits (see below), 8-minute miles finally felt like no big deal, and long runs felt happy to the last step.

Current shame: Easter candy. Someone take it away from me. Out.of.control. I'm going to weigh 400 lb by race weekend. 

Current obsession: Getting rid of stuff, organizing stuff, cleaning stuff, all in an effort to get our house ready to sell. And two projects at work that I've become completely obsessed with. Oh, and that little 13.1 I have coming up....

Current excitement: My race is almost here!! Immediately after giving birth, it feels like you'll never get back to race shape. And yet it happens! And I feel invincible when it does. Also, I get to see my bestie in two weeks!! 

Current crazy: Stuff at my current workplace is crazy. Not with my job or even my department, but the larger university. I've stayed quiet in what has been a much larger arc of events. And I've gotten a lot of conflicting, confusing advice about that choice.  

Current PITA: The last 5-6 lb. of baby weight has been stubborn. Immediately post-race I'm diving into a more disciplined approach. Back to food journaling. 

This coming week is going to be one nervous, seemingly unending countdown until race day. It's funny, the last half I did was a training run before the Cleveland Half. It was not a huge thing. And this feels like a huge thing! My official return to racing. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mondays in Love: Pre-race nerves!

(oops--somehow didn't hit the "Publish" button on this yesterday! Please pardon the delay.)
Two weeks 'til race day!! It's hard to believe this training cycle is coming to a close so quickly! The taper is starting, but fortunately for my sanity there isn't a huge drop-off in mileage or pace. There are other clear signs the end is near. Here are some signs I know race day is drawing near:

  • I'm getting weepy thinking about the awesome support I got via FB, phone, prayer/thoughts, and even on-course during my last race (Cleveland, May 2011 for anyone keeping track!)
  • I finished my longest training run (13.0--woot!!) and felt awesome about it!!
  • I ordered my pace bands and made a hotel reservation for Race Eve. I thought about getting up at o'dark thirty (the middle of the night, really) and driving up on race day, but I've learned that with the kids, it's way easier to just pay the premium to stay close to the start/finish line. 
  • I've started trying to commit to memory where the hills are in the course, so I can prep mentally during long training runs. 
  • I'm portioning out my Gu supply so I have the *perfect* assortment of flavors and caffeine contents for race day. 
  • I'm at about an 8 on the tension scale about breakfast on race day. I'm super focused on getting the fueling right, and figuring out how to do that from a hotel room. 
  • I had a dream two nights ago that I was at the start line and realized I'd forgotten Body Glide. Panic ensued. 
  • I've made a mental note at least 4 times today that I need to find a place for dinner on Race Eve where I can carb load. 
What goes through your mind as race day approaches? It's been a while for me. I'm loving this energy as it approaches!!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mondays in Love: News from Life

I have news. HUGE news. News that cannot wait until the end of a weekly training recap.

We are moving to SLC, UT this summer. 

(yes, the exclamation points get their own line)

Part of the circus that kept me so busy over the winter (you know, other than having a less-than-12-month-old baby), was being on the academic job market, which is its own beast.* The outcome is that I've accepted a new faculty position. It's a wonderful opportunity, though one that means leaving STL, which is a very bittersweet thing.
(I have no idea how the formatting got all messed up here, and I don't even know what it originally said--edited to at least be legible!)

We moved to the Midwest almost 8 years ago, I think honestly never really intending to make it our long-term home. I think we both kind of thought we'd come for 4 years so I could get my PhD and we'd head back east. And yet this became our home. Over the 5 years the degree ended up taking, and the 3 since then that we've lived in STL, we developed friendships we will have for the rest of our lives. We had kids. We both built our careers. We fell in love with corn fields. 

Ok, that last part is a lie. I still miss the mountains. 

The decision marks a great opportunity, with a bittersweet farewell to a place we've loved. They don't call the immediate post-PhD years "The Gypsy Years" for nothing. In many fields, a post-doc (or two, or three) is required before a tenure-track faculty position can be acquired. In my field, post-docs are not required (though they do exist), but it is not uncommon to move from one university to another. 

I have already been scouting out running groups in our new city and good news: there is no shortage of outdoor fitness enthusiasts there! More good news: I already know the scenery is great, from a run I did there about a year and a half ago and 100% enjoyed.

So while I'm piling on the miles for the next 2.5 weeks before my 13.1, I will also be frantically staging our house for the market, finding movers, searching for housing there (online), etc. It's going to be a crazy spring, and a whole rest of 2013 filled with new adventures!

*The academic job market is really a bizarre beast. I've been asked enough times how it functions that I thought this might be of interest to people. In my field, which at least generally resembles most in this regard, the job market kicks off at our fall academic conference, usually in late October or early November. Jobs are posted in the weeks leading up to the conference, and for many weeks afterward. Applications are due generally beginning in November and ending perhaps in January for tenure-track positions. Applications are screened and reduced to a long list from which phone interviews are conducted. From the phone interviews (usually), a short list is created, and three candidates (usually) are invited to campus, generally in late January through mid-February. The on-campus interview generally goes from dinner the first day through breakfast on the third day, including a 60 minute public research talk, one-on-one interviews with faculty and the Dean, and group interviews with faculty, students and sometimes groups from the community. An offer is extended anywhere from the day interviews end to weeks later when university administration finally approves the offer. Candidates generally respond within 10-30 days, at which point either a contract is signed or the offer is made to a second candidate. This process is usually wrapped up by April or so. Most faculty positions have a start date of something between July 1 and August 15, or roughly 9 months after the initial application was submitted. The odds of securing a tenure-track position vary substantially from field to field, but within my field I've been told that I was in pools of anywhere from 45 to 150 applicants for each position. Once you accept a tenure-track position, you generally work 6-7 years toward tenure, with a major review during year 3. Expectations vary from field to field and university to university, but virtually all faculty positions at research universities come with 40% research (grants and publications), 40% teaching (3-5 courses per year is normal) and 20% service (university committees). 

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Monday, Let's Talk About Goals

Today I want to talk about goals--goals met, goals dreamed, and things accomplished entirely by accident. Oh, and the Girl Scouts. They will be making an appearance too.

Goals Met
I hit double digit mileage this weekend!! It wasn't my most energetic run, but I got through it without incident.  It had been the better part of 2 years since I'd seen this on my Garmin. It meant a lot.

Another goal met this past week: I was officially back on track with my training schedule and feeling awesome about it. Three and a half weeks to go!

Third goal met: our old house sold again! We "sold" our old house three years ago to a family that ended up renting from us for two years then not buying it (grr, to say the least). The house has been on the market since last summer. We accepted an offer on it a few weeks ago, but it fell through. Last week we accepted another offer on it, which is moving forward. Fingers crossed that it works out this time!

Goals dreamed: I'm getting ready to buy pace bands for my upcoming half. What should I pick for time?? I have an idea, but I'm not sure if it's realistic. Does it hurt to dream big?

Things accomplished entirely by accident: You know those put-together runners whose gear always matches? I'm not one of them. I wear what's clean and weather appropriate. Last week, apparently that meant accidentally looking like I was completely obsessed with Detroit. At least I didn't wear my medal while I was at it. Ha!
Race shirt and jacket together=a little too much Detroit '09

And the Girl Scouts: The last thing I want to think about while reaching for a box of Girl Scout cookies is "Goal Setting". Followed shortly by "Decision Making." Anyone with me here?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Deep thoughts, or not

After being sick about a week and a half ago and feeling like my training schedule got totally off-course, I've righted the ship and even discovered that I'd accidentally built an "extra" week into it in the first place. So, no harm! Things are back on track. But honestly, beyond that, I don't have a whole lot of running content for you. But the rest of life, yes. That I have lots of.

And so I wrote a whole post about a part of life that's been, well, happening a lot here lately. And I stared at it. And I decided that I cannot share it, at least not yet. I posted it on a private blog instead, safe, quiet. 

Life is good. There is no terrible news, no tragic events. Just a lot that's completely dominated my life in chaotically stressful ways that I haven't been able to talk about here. Perhaps someday I can. Perhaps some of it even soon. Maybe. 

That's what I've got peeps. Oh, and I've got some mile repeats on deck for Wednesday. Bring it!