Today was an incredibly satisfying day.
And a beautiful night. This was taken at 9:45 p.m., FYI. Things are getting light up here.
I was dreading today all week, for work/school-related reasons. Oh, and an 8-mile tempo on the docket. I was intimidated. But you know what? Today was busy, non-stop, and coffee-filled just as I expected, but instead of feeling like curling up in a ball and dying when it was all over, I feel fulfilled. That sounds like something you'd read in Fifty Shades of Grey (Gray?). What I mean is, I am happy tired instead of dying tired. It's a subtle but important distinction. Instead of feeling defeated, I feel rejuvenated.
I was really worried about doing my tempo just before a midterm because my insides have been known to malfunction for hours following a harder/longer workout, but it was literally the only time I could fit it in so I decided to risk it. I set off from school intending to run on the "road to school" but it soon became apparent that it was too icy to run there. Sidewalks are almost completely clear of snow now (this is, like, the fastest breakup I've ever seen, although we're supposed to get 2-5 inches of snow on Saturday) so I thought I would be okay without Yaktrax, but unfortunately it hadn't warmed up yet. Bummer.
I ended up running in some terribly ugly places and having to stop at some of the longest red lights I've ever experienced (wait, I take it back - Washington, D.C. has the longest stoplights), but I finally located a gloriously ice-free sidewalk I got to run on uninterrupted for the last three-ish tempo miles. It was gravel city (seriously, there's inches of the stuff covering every surface, everywhere), but I guess I can think of it as extra padding.
My pace was all over the place at first because I was constantly slowing down to traverse ice sheets and then speeding up to make up for lost time, but once I found my little sidewalk paradise my pace was very solid and I had to hold myself back some. Surprisingly, this run felt significantly easier than Sunday's 10 miles, which itself was a great run. I was listening to music, which I never allow myself to do, and I brought a handheld with me (with a li'l bit of Nuun), so that might have had something to do with it. I was really pissed I didn't have time to finish with an even 10 miles. I had way more than another half mile in me. Damn you, knowledge!
So that was that. Mid-week 10-milers are scary, even after a rest day, and when you throw the word "tempo" in there it's terrifying. Instead of defeating me, though, this run left me feeling refreshed, energetic, and ready to tackle the rest of the day, which I totally did.
I was going to go on another "Ahhh, grad school, what do I do Ahh Ahhh Ahhhh panic attack Ahhhh oh, chocolate, gimme" rant, but I'll cool it for today. I was hoping to have my mind made up by the time I leave for Norway, but making a decision is next to impossible when you don't have all the relevant information. It seems I'm going to pull a Jeano and wait until the last second (no joke, I have an email from my mom dated April 30, 2006 saying "Where are you going to college? You have to tell them by tomorrow." I couldn't give her an answer because I didn't know yet. My indecision then was more about apathy than anxiety, though). My latest piece of news is that even if I don't receive funding to the "better" school, I'm guaranteed it from the second year onward. So great, it's an even harder decision now. Let's hope the schools I haven't heard from yet reject me as I suspect they will, because I think my head would explode if I had to consider somewhere else. I will say that I'm definitely leaning towards one over the other, but every hour or so I suddenly panic and change my mind for a few minutes. It's really fun. Wow, I guess I actually did just go on a rant. Sorry about that.
I'm still on partial blog lock-down, "lock-down" obviously referring to reading other people's blogs and not writing on my own. Sorry! I've really been all take and no give lately. I've got a few pretty long layovers on Saturday (and Sunday. and Monday), though, so I'm hoping to get caught up with your lives then.
Let's throw some questions your way:
- Which do you prefer: tempo runs or intervals?
- What time is it getting dark where you live these days?
- Are you a last-minute decision-maker, or are you a planner?