Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Are You A High Maintenance Runner?

It was snowing like a mother this weekend, so I did what any respectable lazy ass would do and scrolled social media. A college friend had posted something on Facebook to score "How High Maintenance Are You?." Naturally, I took the bait because I've  done all the Buzz Feed quizzes and I already know what kind of cheese I am (sharp cheddar). 

The friend who posted this said she scored 93. I scored 12. This score made me insecure. Do I not take care of myself enough? Do I smell? Why do they spell "allot" that way and have I been spelling it wrong my whole life? (BTW, I own 20+ pairs of shoes, highlight my hair and wear ((shitty, grocery store)) make up everyday).

25 scarves?

This got me to thinking. Maybe it's just that I'm low maintenance when it comes to body hair and heels (aren't they just for strippers?). Perhaps my special gift is being high maintenance in other areas! So, I created this. Now we are speaking my language.

Total Possible: 58

0-4: You are so low maintenance you basically are dead. But, good for you. You love running just for the bare bones of it.

4-20: You are semi high maintenance, but over all, quite sensible. You keep your costs low and focus on the act of running itself.

20-40: You are bordering on being very high maintenance and likely annoying to those around you, lol.

42-57: Definitely high maintenance. How do you live with yourself? 

58: You are insufferable and should re-evaluate all life choices. Maybe you should take up Pickleball. 

My score? 20 (wear make up to races, have recovery shoes that cost a lot ((allot)), have 10+ pairs of running shoes, sometimes blame outside circumstances for shitty performances).

By the way, none of this is judgey just meant for fun, so don't come at me!

Give me your scores! General high maintenance (first chart), runner high maintenance second chart. I'm 12/18. 

That was fun!


Friday, October 20, 2023

I "Ran" a 50 Miler and Now I'm Unemployed

Hey, I've missed you.

I suppose it's very possible to have an existential crisis at the age of 56. Not that I would know anything about that. I mean - I just lost my job, my husband got laid off, my kids have flown the nest, I have been dizzy for the past seven months and I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

Why am I like this? Maybe this is why I don't have a job?

On another note: remember when our kids were young and someone would ask how old they were and we would give their age in months? I'm going to start doing that now. I am officially 682 months old. Never mind. That's sounds awful. My existential crisis (EC) just got worse. 

Back to the EC. There is nothing like job searching to really emphasize all of the things you are not good at and all of the jobs you would hate. Like, who wants to be a dog food canner? And who is qualified to work at all the cool places like Google where they have personal baristas and toilets with seat warming and anal hygiene? (that's a rumor. I have no idea what toilets at Google are like but I want to find out).

I knew my job was ending. I was an independent contractor for the past 8 years and my employer was getting rid of contracts September 30. I knew this. Yet, it hit me really hard when it actually happened. I didn't realize how much my job anchored me and made me feel like I was good at something and that I had purpose each day. Even on the days I didn't like my work, and they were frequent, I still felt a sense of productivity and satisfaction. Yes, some of that was tied to making money and some of it was just knowing I had done the best job I could that day.

So, here we are. Early on (and it's only been less than three weeks) I knew I needed structure to my days. I committed to:

1. Job search for 2-3 hours day/apply to one new job a day

2. Run (or get off my ass one way or another)

3. Do something nice for someone. This could be as small as letting someone in during traffic or as big as doing CPR to the beat of "Stayin' Alive" and savings someone's life. Trust me, it's all been small stuff so far and my CPR has expired so there's that.

The only thing that has really boosted my spirits these days is running. When I run, I get perspective and feel I can conquer the world. I breathe in the fall air and everything feels okay somehow.  You know what I mean. I know you do.

There is no easy solution to dealing with life's unknowns and timelines. It's a quick and unconscious deep dive into pessimism sometimes. But, I try to reframe things, remembering the words of Mel Robbins, "What if it all works out?" instead of, "What if I end up canning dog food and never get to experience a Japanese toilet?" 

But, guess what? I ran a 50 mile trail race in September (Run Rabbit Run in Steamboat, CO). My first one (and probably my last). I was severely undertrained due to my VN condition (dizzy, foggy, unbalanced) but I figured I would go for it anyway. If I had my first DNF, so be it. I fell hard at mile 11, but pressed on even though I thought I might have broken my hand (see grotesque image below). The first half of the race was phenomenal and I felt great, then the last half was a slog to the finish as I got more fatigued and feared falling. I also had to poop and felt a major blister on my toe explode. Why is running so glamourous? Have you ever almost crawled across a finish line? Well, it wasn't that bad, but I was in a pretty pathetic state. And, you know what? I was stubborn and determined and I did it. At 681 months old, I did it.

Trying to haul ass up Rabbit Ears Peak. Some guy at the top (not
with the race) took my picture because he thought it was a cool shot.
As I went by I yelled out my cell number and told him to send it to me
and he did!!

The hand the day after. It looks like my hand is dressing up for 
Halloween. 2 x-rays later, not broken. But still hurts, actually.

That finish line feeling. Sheesh the volunteer waiting for me was just happy
to finally be able to go to bed.

And, now. I look around at all of you employed bastards smiling like you love your jobs. Just like I look at people running when I am injured and can't run. It's jealousy mixed with longing or something like that. The reality is I know not everyone loves their jobs, not everyone has a job. Maybe we place way too much emphasis on our work and not enough on all of the other things that make for a balanced life like hobbies and Golden Retrievers and wine and running and Netflix and travel. Oh, did I tell you we went to Spain and Greece in August? I like the traveling version of myself a lot. She is relaxed and tan and drinks Ouzo at lunch. .

Bike tour in Barcelona sponsored by Old Navy skirt and very heavy bike

Roof top sunsets in Barcelona. Same skirt I wore on my honeymoon. 
Maybe I will get lucky tonight

The island of Naxos in Greece. Still wearing the skirt. My eyes say
I have had a few of those small glasses of wine.

Ouzo FTW. If you go to Naxos you must visit Giannoulis Taverna
where the food is incroyable and the living is good.

Some village in Naxos where shirts were not required and they served
Rooster stew

Hmmm...the conclusion is a probably just don't want to work and would prefer to travel and drink wine and be with friends. I think my new job is meant to be - RETIRED. Welp, too soon for that unfortunately.

Enough of my ranting and complaining. Tell me about you.

- How many months old are you?

-Ever DNF'd a race? Nope, not yet, but I'm sure it's in my future

-Did you travel this summer, if so, where? We went to Greece, Spain, Las Vegas, San Diego and Michigan for a Ragnar Relay.

-Ever been laid off? Yes

-Did you make a career shift in your later life? Not yet. Please tell me what to do. 



PS: I might be on here more often. Clearly I've got time to kill

PPS: Do you want to hire me? Kidding. Not kidding.