Sunday, February 15, 2009

I wanna dance a tango with chance

I realize I haven't written in awhile and so this is most likely going to be a completely random assortment of thoughts...bear with me. There are lots of random things floating around in my head sooo I guess its about time they were spewed out on paper...or internet, or whatever.

First off, the never-ending Boston debacle. It's really complicated to explain the whole situation but basically its a financial thing and therefore pretty much completely out of my control. Which is the most frustrating thing about it - I am absolutely powerless to do anything about this situation. There's really no point in fighting with my mom about it - there's nothing to fight about, its just facts, there in black and white - she can't give me money that she doesn't have. Simple as that. But at the same time, I just can't accept the fact that I can't do this thing that I want SO badly because of the amount it would cost to move there. And I just can't spend the next 3 years of my life constantly regretting and wishing and wondering how much different and better my life would be if I had just been able to do that one thing. I'm sending in my $200 deposit tomorrow; my spot is saved. And I'm just hoping and praying that I'll actually get to take it. If it were at all reasonable to defer and take a year off, I would do it, but that would mean having to start paying back my undergrad loans, which would basically defeat the purpose of taking a year off to work - I wouldn't be saving anything. So yeah. Things aren't good on that front. I'm pretty much trying to exist with it in the back of my mind and not think about it unless I have to, because it just puts me in a bad mood and makes me feel like curling up in a ball and crying to think that I might not be able to go there.

But onto more exciting things - like running! So I never wrote a Stevens Point race report because I was lazy, but it was a pretty fun and interesting meet. I ended up having to run the 3K first because I was in the slow heat and they were counting on the meet to take forever, so they ran that and the slow heat of the men's 5K at the beginning. My legs felt kind of crappy on my warmup, but I was still excited - I think that's the thing that has made me decide to go LD all the way...because everytime I've raced the mile this season, I've absolutely DREADED it...but the 3K makes me all pumped even though I know its going to suck. I was seeded first in my heat which was really strange and wrong on so many levels...there were a ton of no time girls who I was pretty sure would be faster than me, but I ended up getting out in first and leading for a couple laps - WEIRD FEELING. Obviously I got passed after a bit, but my first lap was 44 and the next 2 were both 46. Then obviously I started to slow down - I was aiming for 48s, but by the mile I was right about where I wanted to be - 6:22. Unfortunately I couldn't hold the pace and I slowed down to 51s for pretty much the entire second half of the race....I was following behind this stupid UMD girl who was running on the inside of the track for like the entire thing which was really bothering me. I think when I race my mind just grabs onto weird things that annoy me - something stupid a girl near me is doing, a piece of paper on the track, the fact that my feet are hot - and just throws them around in a sad attempt to focus on something other than the fact that I'm killing myself slowly via running. But anyway, I don't know where I pulled it out of, but for my kick I rocked out a 40. I passed like 3 people in the last lap, and seriously, I really don't know where it came from...the jets just turned on I guess. I ended up running a 12:12...20 seconds faster than last week and basically 11 seconds faster per mile...yeah, that's a lot. Overall I was really pleased with my race, and I feel like with some more concentrated training I could definitely run under 12...because let's face it, starting out my time with 11 would just look much prettier. :)

Then I ran the mile. Which was a really unfortunate, bad decision. I pretty much knew from the moment I started warming up that things were not going to go well - I'd run an all out 3K, and even though it had been a couple hours I'm obviously not in the kind of shape where I can be doubling like that. And what a disaster it was. I was planning on trying to go out more conservatively (as in, 43 not 40)...well, I went out in 43, and I already felt like I was dying. I don't think I have ever wanted to drop out of a race more than I did from that one. I felt god-awful, everyone was passing me, and I knew that my time was going to completely suck. But there was one thing that kept me from giving up altogether - the Point girl who tripped me at Carthage was in the race. And she passed me. And there was no way in hell I was letting her beat me. Finally, with 2 laps to go I got ahead of her and stayed there, and despite the fact that my kick was a pathetic 43, I managed to pass 2 more people in the last lap. I ended up running a 6:10, and was basically left with an overwhelming feeling of never wanting to run the mile again.

So I didn't race this weekend because I wanted to take the weekend off for the sake of my legs, and of course to spend Valentine's Day with the BF. But of course being me and never being able to turn down racing (and wanting to get a workout in that I knew would be a lazy 5 miles otherwise), I ended up racing the UW Running Club Valentine's Day 5K. I pretty much ran it as a tempo run, my first mile was 7:11 and I actually negative splitted, which is kind of funny since I was just trying to hold pace. I passed a lot of people and only got passed once, ended up finishing in 22:08 and got 14th for women, 61st overall. All in all, not a bad performance considering I pretty much decided I wanted to do it like 20 minutes beforehand. And road races are so nice...I love being an a situation where if I don't feel like killing myself, I don't feel obligated to. :)

Today's long run was amazing. Basically any time I get into double digit mileage on a run I'm left feeling so good about myself that I completely forget how much it sucked while I was doing it. I was a bit hungover from the track club shindig the night before, and so the way out was extremely unpleasant...then on the way back, we were running into a killer headwind, but for some reason I started feeling exponentially better and by the time I got home I felt fantastic. My knees are hurting a little now - I really need to get some new shoes - but it was 12 miles of awesome. We ran up State Street around the capitol where they were having a cyclocross race which was quite entertaining to watch, then down around Lake Monona and onto the bike path past Olin Park. It was a really beautiful, sunny day, even though it was cold. The only sad part of the run was that I lost one of my awesome Nike running gloves! I had taken them off because my hands get ridiculously hot sometimes when I run, and at that point we weren't running into the wind, and I put them in my pockets...sometime about half an hour later, I realized one of them had fallen out. :( Luckily it wasn't the one with my house key in the pocket...that would have been really problematic.

I should stop rambling! There's so much other crap I should be doing right now, but I just get so excited about running that I go on and on. Today a girl in my biomechanics lab group was talking about how she did the Valentine's 5K and it was her first race ever, and she asked me how you build up to running 12 miles...and I seriously just get giddy when I talk about that. Running is truly my passion...whether or not I'm winning races or running fantastic times isn't really relevant to how incredible I feel when I'm cruising along some random path somewhere and feeling like I'm invincible.

I also had a glorious Valentine's Day. The BF and I cooked dinner from the "Intercourses" cookbook my sister got me, and now I understand why these foods are apparently aphrodisiacs. It was possibly one of the best dinners I've ever had. The coup de grace was the main course - seared sea scallops stuffed with this incredible basil puree and asparagus with some really wonderful spicy, crunchy topping. Mouth-gasm? Yes. And of course I'm lucky to be able to spend the day with my favorite person in the entire world. :)

OK, I think I'm finally done for now.

[Final random comment, I'm doing a dance to "Going North" by Missy Higgins for Optima, and its been in my head pretty much constantly over the past week, and I realize that it has nothing to do with running but the lyrics kind of make me think of when you're all along in some sort of beautiful, natural place (like the Arb) running and feeling like everything is perfect and right in the world.]

up where the hunted hide unseen
under the arms of eyeless trees
up where the answers fall like leaves
where your love is all i need
i'm going north

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