Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gone! Poof! Just like that

A month ago I was working on my external hard drive - organizing photos and documents that I had put there. Long story short, the hard drive fell and crashed into our wood floor.

Immediately we tried to see if it worked but it sounded stuck and would not be read by either of our computers. L took it to a hard drive recovery place to see if it could be fixed. The cost estimate for this work: $1000.

Was it worth it?

Well I had 15+ years of ALL MY PHOTOS and documents on this drive. Of course it was worth it.

Yesterday we got news that the drive was damaged beyond repair and not able to be recovered. (And no charge to us- no recovery, no bill)

15 years of tangible memories gone in in instant. Poof.

I'm incredibly sad over this. Yeah, "it's just photos" and I have the memories, but those photos were more than just that. I would look at them and they would remind me of more memories that I had forgotten over time- What CB looked like as a 10 week old pup, irreplaceable photos of my late grandmother and late great aunt.

I'm looking at this in 2 ways... First, I need 2 hard-drives to truly back up my data in case another catastrophe happens. Lesson learned the hard unfortunate way.

Second, it's a fresh start. While I love all the photos I took of places, many from a period of my life brought a gray cloud over my head because of the abusive relationship I was in at the time. Now they are all gone and I don't have to be unintentionally reminded of the bullshit I put up with for so long while looking at pretty photos of mountains or Mexico. Silver lining?

So here's to only the happiest of memories going forward.

And ps: go backup your blog, your photos, your files- anything important to you in at least 2 places RIGHT NOW.

- xaar

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Knoxville Marathon Training Week 1

Monday AM: 7 Miles, 55 minutes. Progressive run before work.

Monday PM: 1 hourBallerina Fight Club @ Mazi.

Tuesday: 1 hour, Zi-Cardio @ Mazi

Wednesday: REST!

Thursday AM: 7 miles, 53 Minutes. Speed workout. 2x 2.5 miles @ 7:18 pace. Felt fantastic.

Thursday PM: 1 hour, Hip Hop @ Mazi. I always have the biggest smile on my face after leaving this class.

Friday AM: 6 miles, 49 minutes. Hillz for breakfast.

Saturday: 11.25 miles, 1:40. Just another weekend long run colliding with Polar Vortex version 2.0
Ran south the first 5 miles and thought "WOW this is so fun and not too cold." Then I turned around into 30 mph headwinds. OMG not so fun.My hand warmers were defective and weren't very warm and any exposed skin on my face was burning from the wind + arctic air. I am constantly surprised at how the lakefront path is always plowed and salted and relatively clear. At least in the segments that I run on.

Sunday: 3.75 miles, 29:20. Easy miles to close out the week. My highest mileage week in what seems like forever.
So I went into this week still mulling over a "goal" race for the spring. By Tuesday I had settled on the Knoxville marathon in late March- It will be a "win win" because I'll get to see my mom and also run a challenging race in a beautiful part of the country.  10 weeks isn't a long time to train for a marathon- considering many "popular" plans are 18 weeks but I thrive on shorter cycles.  The last 2 Fox Valley Marathon cycles I've done were 14 weeks. I enjoy being fully focused and engaged in training while enjoying every single step and arriving at race day feeling prepared and mentally fresh- something I never felt with the longer plans. Next week starts 9 weeks of working with Coach B until game day and I really couldn't be more excited.
I was happy to run outside Sunday and see the beautiful sky.
I ran around the Planetarium and it wasn't plowed at all. But was fun to run in.
It was so cold outside during Saturday's run that much of the water in my bottle froze.
I'll never get tired of this view. 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Over-Under Confident

I committed to a spring "goal" race.

What I find very interesting currently is this duality of feeling extremely confident and completely unprepared concerning this goal.

Overconfident because I tell myself I've built a decent base of miles to tackle another training cycle. There's been some speed work sessions I've completed which I never would have thought possible right now. (2x 2.5 miles at 7:18 pace to name one of many kick ass workouts) That nearly 100% of my miles have been high quality and far from "junk" miles. And let's not forget I'm freaking injury free and feeling invincible! (While of course I am taking every step possible to maintain that)

And then....

I find myself in incredible self doubt. That I haven't built up enough base mileage. That I haven't completed many long runs (mainly due to the shitty polar vortexes that have descended upon Chicago). That the course I've chosen according to the website "has some hills, particularly in the first half... Not terribly hilly, but there aren't many miles that are just flat." That this race is just over 9 weeks away.

It is an interesting place to be feeling such strong emotion on complete opposite sides of the spectrum. Maybe some of these feelings are residual from the bonkfest of FVM which was completely out of my control. Or maybe I'm just overly hopeful that this is the "3rd time is the charm" with my goal.

Either way, I'll be in a place I enjoy with people I love doing something I enjoy immensely. And at the end of the day, that is all that matters to me.

Do you usually feel overly confident or completely unsure of executing your goals?

Usually I'm pretty much in the middle. As the project or race goal grows near, I have a pretty good idea if I will succeed based on my preparations, and that increases my confidence exponentially.

- xaar

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Happy Birthday CB

Happy Birthday CB!!
You always make me smile when we are out running.
You're so damn cute when you're passed out.

Even at age 9, you still can do loads of cool tricks like roll over.
You've been there for me when many others turned their backs.

You are always game, for an impromptu game of ATTACK.

You're still a freaking awesome frisbee dog.

You make our small family complete.

Last night he got to eat tacos for dinner (a yearly tradition).

He also got this cool tornado puzzle.

For Christmas he got a disc puzzle which spits out treats when he hits it.

Not to be all sappy, but CB has been in my life for 9 years. 9 YEARS. I seriously can't remember life without him. I still remember the day I picked him up at the Greenville, SC Humane society. I walked in the puppy room and I knew instantly we were meant for each other. We've been inseparable ever since.

I hope we have many more runs and memories together.

Happy 9th Birthday!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Thoughts {2}

•I wrote down my time "goals" i'd like to achieve in races this year. Putting these numbers on paper made me giddy with excitement. Last year I was 2 for 4 with surpassing my goals- only in the 5k and 8k... (I'm no longer counting the 10k since I don't race those) Perhaps this is the year Chicago is blessed with "perfect" weather for a half marathon I plan to run. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but surely won't hold my breath.

2013 time goals... So last year...
•I have not registered for any 2014 races currently. And it feels good and weird to not have an event on the horizon. With the knee still being a little funky I can't pull the trigger on anything yet- plus I'm tired of running in super shitty conditions for races (read: half marathon in sub freezing temps, with 30mph winds and sleet.) oh snap, I've actually done the rain/sleet-wind- freezing temps a few times, it's just not enjoyable getting the early symptoms of hypothermia. Plus, I'd rather spend a few extra $$$ knowing I'm 100% healthy for the race.

• My "theme" for running in 2014 is "cautiously aggressive." Cautious because I am injury prone and must constantly listen to- take care of my body to make sure I don't end up with injury again. Aggressive because I know I can HTFU a whole lot more. In the past month I've had some kick ass runs with some speedy (for me) paces.

•I don't do "resolutions" for the new year. I make changes weekly if not daily. Most of my "goals" keep evolving as time goes on.

•Eataly is one of the coolest places I've been in Chicago. It's like Ikea for all things Italian.

•Three Dots and a Dash might be my new favorite bar. What's not to love about a Tiki bar that makes you forget that the weather outside is "feels like negative 15?" Perhaps it was the rum drinks instead.

•I'm looking forward to running outside tomorrow. It will be "warm" with some snow. I've been enjoying my treadmill runs, but getting outside for a bit could be fun provided the path is plowed and salted.

- xaar