What I learned this week.

The week was a struggle. My training sessions have all gone reasonably well (have you noticed that when someone has a concrete athletic goal, they are no longer “workouts” but rather, “training sessions”?). But I am in a rut of cynicism that I can’t seem to shake, and almost everything I hear seems offensive. Minor, annoying events seem to be overwhelmingly frequent, for example: A huge dog jumped me (jumped ON me) during my run yesterday, and when the owner did absolutely nothing (not even eye contact, let alone pulling out a leash for Cujo), I fumed for like 10 minutes. I like most dogs far more than I like most humans, but I am not going to grab the collar of a dog I do not know to wrangle him for an insolent owner.

I have been wanting to get another dog (I know 3 dogs in a 1 bedroom apartment in the middle of a major city would be irresponsible). I’d love a large breed dog that I can run with. My Shih-Tzu’s are great sprinters, but on even walks that go longer than 20 minutes they form a rebel resistance, laying down and refusing to move.

On the look out for any more Cujo attacks.

When I am in a stubbornly sour mood, I find the way out is often through recognizing that out of ALL experiences, and passages of time, come lessons. So I am hereby going to start a weekly blog tradition of posting “What I learned this week”, every week. (Probably on Fridays, so I can do training re-caps on Sundays)

What I Learned This Week

1)

A tablespoon (OK, many a teeny bit more) of peanut (or almond) butter mixed in with oatmeal (+raisins and cinnamon) is really, really, satisfying. Another win for nut butters!

I got the idea from a post on Fitblogger (click to go to the article).

 

I think I will try adding sliced banana, and a glass of OJ, which will make the most perfect post-run, pre-work breakfast!

2) (warning: overshare coming!)

Even if you know something is a culture-bound phenomenon, does not mean you won’t still fall prey to it. (either I really hate my life, which I don’t think I do, or I had serious PMS this past week). Alright, I know I am going to get questions about this so I will just expand here: I was in a shitastic mood from the moment I woke up last Sunday morning, until ,well, unknown (still pretty grumpy). Although there are several circumstantial reasons why this might be (all very mundane, I promise) when my period arrived yesterday, which is always a surprise because apparently using a calendar is not one of my strong suits, I was like “Eureka, my pissy attitude and rude comments directed toward those I love and adore are totally and irrevocably justified!”.  No, my moodiness is an appropriate response to stress and frustration, and thusly I need to be accountable.

3) (which is really an extension of number 2)

The next person who I hear say “man, you’re in bad mood, are you having your period?” will get punched (seriously, that’s annoying AND sexist).

Screw you. Love, AB

4)

Don’t rush the plan, enjoy the pace. My 8-miler yesterday felt effortless. No, not effortless, it felt just right, a perfect fit. My running base going into training even this far out from Boston, was much larger than when I trained for Portland in 2010 (by larger I mean more consistent), and so I have had recurring impulses to sneak in extra mileage. But I am steadfastly committed to the 10% rule this time around, I WILL NOT increase my mileage from any given week to the the next, by more than 10% (ok maybe as much as 15%, but that’s the design of the cities fault, not mine). The reward for such diligence? Gloriously enjoyable long runs!

5) (actual, measurable wisdom gained)

WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE. I gave that one all-caps because it’s revolutionary, seriously. This started on Wednesday when one of my coworkers and I were chatting about finance and she said “it doesn’t really matter HOW MUCH money you make, it’s how you MANAGE it”. The woman is a genius. I realize this might be common knowledge. But I am a financial simpleton, a blank slate, clueless, and in debt (under water, as they say). I began using a free personal finance service about a month ago so that I could obtain a factual baseline of how my money is coming in, going out, and to see how and how long I am going to be living with my school loans hoisted on my shoulders. I have been slaving away at it, but felt like I was making zero progress. After the conversation above, I realized that even though it seemed like I was making data-based decisions, I wasn’t. So, I spent a few hours on the phone and have found (so far) $90 worth of monthly savings. Living within your means, working with what you have, does not mean just going to Starbucks fewer times a week, and acknowledging the difference between “wants” and “needs”, it means pulling the trigger on excesses you are allowing other people to control. The savings I found came from asking for credit card fee’s to be changed, downgrading television service (I don’t have much free time anyway), and re-allocating how I divvy out entertainment costs. My goal is to find another $200 in savings, which will officially put me as “working with what I have” or as a financial advisor would probably say “living within my means”.

When it comes to training, working with what you have is also relevant, and #4 (above) is really pointing right at it. If you don’t have the base for a 40 mile week, don’t aim for one!

The concept of working with what you have is one I also apply daily in my work. I do it from the ground up and so never really thought about it in a concrete way. I help service and care providers figure out what skills they, and the individuals they serve have to work with, and how they can shape those things to meet larger outcome goals. It’s a beautiful thing. (toot-toot, that’s my horn)

Have you heard of this website? It might save my life and financial soul: Mint.com

Did you learn anything this week? Over-shares are always welcome 😉

Training update tomorrow,

-AB

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