When I first moved to Oregon, I had an entire month to "math camp" and generally take it easy. During that time, I made an effort to keep my activity level up, exploring new running paths and hiking trails. "Oh, the places I'll go!" I exclaimed. With all my spare time, I was fairly confident I was destined to be the next Kilian Jornet... or, perhaps more realistically, Emily Dirr.
Well, that was naive. Once real school started, I quickly realized that I would, in fact, have to spend more than three hours a day being an adult. Remember that brilliant 9:00 - 5:00 schedule I was bragging about, a schedule that was sure to be the key to my success? Yeah, that lasted about a week.
At first, I tried to run regularly. I followed the first five weeks of the Hanson Method to a T, and I felt great. Just as the plan jumped from five to six days of running per week, however, I realized that kind of schedule was more than I could handle at that moment. I decided to try a different strategy, condensing the same number of miles into fewer runs. For a few weeks, I ran 6 - 8 miles three or four times per week. My body wasn't responding well to that kind of schedule, though, and then, just as I began to reevaluate...
... midterms happened.
Midterms, to put it lightly, were a bitch. All of us econ kids were at our desks every waking moment and I just couldn't bring myself to leave, even for a couple of hours. I assume this isn't unique to my program, but there's a lot of pressure to work when everyone else is. If other people are at school until midnight, I feel like I'm slacking if I'm not. To be clear, I rarely feel like I'm competing against anyone, one of the many great things about my program. When I stay late, I'm not thinking, "If I don't stay, I won't beat so-and-so." Rather, I'm thinking, "So-and-so thinks it's necessary, so I'll probably fail out of the program if I don't." It's an easy hole to fall into.
UO has a dumb quarter schedule so a mere three weeks after midterms (one of which was mostly useless because of Thanksgiving), it was time for finals, which were, unsurprisingly, more stressful than midterms. So, you know, it was more of the same.
Anyway, my current running regimen can be summed up as follows:
I'm so hot it hurts.
I've run three times this December, for a total of 11.5 miles. November was better, but not much.
And since I haven't been running, I feel like kind of a slob. It doesn't help that I'm rocking an extra pound or seven. I'm not a weight-conscious person at all, largely because I had hovered around the same weight for about seven years regardless of my activity level, but my parents' scale tells me I'm a good 5 pounds above the heavy end of that spectrum and I don't feel awesome about it.
My point is, I let my running go to shit and didn't really do anything about it. We're all busy. Being busy isn't an excuse, but I've let it be. I know that if I wanted it badly enough, I could get my runs done. But I haven't.
I hate posts that spew the "NEW YEAR, NEW ME!!!" message so I'm not going to do that. I just wanted to let you all know what's up with my running and lay it out for myself. Needless to say, I'm trying to turn things around and perhaps give myself a goal to work towards. You know, for accountability and all that.
Feel free to give me your honest opinion on the matter, but I'm definitely not looking for comments to the effect of, "Don't be so hard on yourself! You're busy! You're trying to figure things out!" I already know that, but I also know that finding time for running while in grad school is far from difficult. If I can make time for drinking and gallivanting, I can certainly find time to take care of myself.
Hey, let's end this on a happy note! Bailey and I went to Powerline yesterday.
That blob is Bailey. The poor dog gets ice balls on her feet when we're out for a while so has to stop to bite at them. She rips booties right off, though, so I guess that's her choice.
I love the trees when they look like this! Side note: if I read any more bitching about snow/cold, especially from people who live in temperate places (*cough* Oregon *cough*), I'm going to flip out. I get it: it was below freezing and snowed for like five days. Go drink a beer and get over it.
Do yourself a favor and listen to this if you're looking for a new power jam. I'm probably six years late to this song, but it's awesome. Very mall music-ish, which doesn't sound remotely appealing, but it's got a great beat. Try it.