Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 31 - Still Searching for the Run

August Miles to Date: 3.8
August Average Pace: 14:30
2016 Miles to Date: 193.2
Yoga Sessions this week: 4
Streak Day: 106 (Maximum: 106)
The American 200 - COMPLETE

Transition has proven challenging for my running. When I get up in the morning at my parent's place, I don't feel like running. I'm not familiar with the neighborhood, the streets, it's hilly, I'm tired. I just don't want to. It's weird how the motivation ebbs and flows. It did this in Texas too and I'm not sure if it's because my next goal is so far off, or because I'm not on a real training program yet (I'm waiting to complete my move since I'll be at a new altitude). That will all change in the next two weeks, and I've been keeping up with my yoga in exchange, but still...I miss running but have no motivation. Which is just a weird place to be.

I did a lot of N&N this week (needlepoint and Netflix), which was wonderful. It's been such a long time since I truly haven't had anything to do. And even though I have class prep to be doing (and have been doing), it's not exactly the same (yet) as the workload I felt as a graduate student. It's been so nice to just relax, recharge, and get ready for this next phase of my life.



I also got to ride roller coasters this week, which was so much fun. And I got to meet Snoopy. And I also got to go to the Dressing Downton exhibit, which was an exhibit of various costumes from Downton Abbey. As a long time fan of this show, this was especially exciting. The costumes looked gorgeous on TV, but it paled in comparison to in person. Plus all the details you can't exactly notice on TV were amazing.





The only other really exciting thing that happened this week was my runDisney Virtual Running Shorts medals came! I'm so excited that I got to participate in this inaugural event and I hope rD learned a lot from it and does it again.



Next weekend is graduation (crazy!) and then the roadtrip to Oregon begins! Almost onto the next chapter of my life and it really hasn't sunk in. It's crazy though. I'm almost a proper adult. And I don't know what to do with that. So I'm just gonna keep running...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 30 - A Change of Scenery

July Miles to Date: 21.0
July Average Pace: 14:46
2016 Miles to Date: 189.4
Yoga Sessions this week: 3
Streak Day: 99 (Maximum: 99)
The American 200: 194.9/200 (9/16/16 Deadline)

Day 99. How in the world did we get to Day 99????? It's been quite the week. First I had a wonderful Girl's Day Out with some Texas friends for a birthday. We went to a spa and a fancy bowling alley and it was a wonderful way to spend my last day in Texas.

Then I went to Ohio to visit my parents, where I ran Wednesday and Saturday. It's much cooler here than in Texas, but also a little more humid and it rains more often. That's taking some getting used to.

Last night, I got to do something I never thought I'd get to do again - go to Barnes and Noble at midnight to buy a new Harry Potter book. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the reason this blog will be so short. I want to keep reading...and I'm tired for staying up so late. It was much easier to do nine years ago...I'm not as young as I used to be.

My goal for this week's workouts is to finish The American 200 and I feel like it's a very attainable goal since there's only 5 miles to go. After that, I may look into another mileage challenge I've had my eye on.

Keep running.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 29 - Embracing the Run

July Miles to Date: 15.7
July Average Pace: 14:48
2016 Miles to Date: 184.1
Yoga Sessions this week: 1
Streak Day: 92 (Maximum: 92)
The American 200: 184.6/200 (9/16/16 Deadline)

Well, after I left you all last week, I decided to do something I'd never done before. I wanted to run every day of the week to jump start my running again. With all the move things and the finishing up at school, it had been really hard for me to get out and run in the morning since my defense. I'd been doing yoga, so at least there was still some activity, but it is not the same as running. And I'm here to run. So on Sunday afternoon I texted Catie and said, "Help kick my butt in gear this week. I want to run every day."

She was a encouraging as ever (I seriously couldn't ask for a better running buddy, even if we live over 1000 miles away from each other). I didn't want to run far each morning - just at least 2 miles. And so Monday morning, I set off and ran 2.16 miles. I've been flirting with 14 min/mi for the most part this summer, so I was pretty excited to see a number closer to 13. I want to get faster than that...at least back to Princess Pace, where I was running 11-12, but one step at  a time. 
Monday was done!
Tuesday, I woke up determined to make it out again, so I made my way out the door at sunrise for another 2.15 miles. I was a bit slower, adding a minute to the miles. My legs felt tired from the packing and the running the day before, but I made it.
Tuesday: Check!
Wednesday, I woke up tired, and having taught for 4 hours the day before, I didn't know what kind of shape my legs would be in. But I was determined again to do this thing and jump start my training (again). Got another average pace closer to 13, which was a lovely surprise and a bit further distance (2.3 mi)
Wednesday! Check!
Thursday was my last run day in Waco. With the movers and the cleaning on Friday, I got a workout without really trying. So I laced up one last time and went out for a 2.14 mile run. My leg were so tired. Two days of 4 hour lab plus four straight days of running (something I've NEVER done before, even when I was in training for Princess), made for tired leg and 14 min/mi. But I did it.
Thursday! Check!
After that, I retired the blue shoes with over 300 miles on them. With only a little life left in them I decided it wasn't worth moving them. I am onto my last pair of running shoes, which means I need to get to a store to try on the Ghost 9s soon!

Friday was moving day. I did my last bit of packing in the morning and then the movers came and packed so efficiently and then they were gone! I spent the rest of the day cleaning the apartment to leave and left Friday night. I go home on Tuesday and cannot wait. It will be nice to have a couple weeks off between now and graduation and the back half of this move. I will run this week when I get to home. Until then, I'm hanging out with Texas friends, enjoying the time I have left with them as best I can, and just taking everything in.

End Week 29.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 28 - A House Full of Boxes

July Miles to Date: 6.95
July Average Pace: 15:50
2016 Miles to Date: 175.4
Yoga Sessions this week: 5
Streak Day: 85 (Maximum: 85)
The American 200: 175.8/200 (9/16/16 Deadline)

When you spend your mornings packing and your afternoons teaching and your evenings hanging out with people one last time, apparently you do a lot of yoga. I ran on Wednesday and intended to run this weekend, but Friday and Saturday night I was out late and slept too long. I also have a very tight IT band so maybe it's for the best that I concentrate on getting it stretched out. I will run my normal schedule this week. I don't want to lose my running.

It's my last week in Texas. It happened so fast. I don't think I realized how soon after the defending and the turning in of the dissertation this would be here. Oh! And I turned in my dissertation this week. Now I just have to wait and hear from the grad school about whether everything is "technically" correct.

My last week in Texas so I've been trying to make the most of my time. I think that's part of the reason there's been more yoga than running. Because hanging out with people at night means I oversleep and in July in Texas, there's a very small window in which I can go running. This won't be the case after this week. And like I've said multiple times here this summer, I am looking forward to that very much.

You may have noticed (Idk, maybe not. I don't know how many people actually read and follow this) that we have our own Instagram now! So I'm posting pics for the blog there (post-run selfies and watch-shots and the like). I did it so that I could also post those things directly to the Facebook page. Are you following the blog on Facebook? I'm going to try and do better with having content there besides the blog posts (IG will help). I know that nothing is really ever going to come from this blog, but I want to at least engage with those of you who tell me about the inspiration I give you.

It's been about 10 days since I became Dr. Clark. And it's surreal. It's hard to pick a "weirdest" part. Maybe it's hearing students address me that way for the first time this week. Maybe it's having to sign emails to the students that way. Maybe it's both. Maybe it's some other part I'm forgetting. But it's surreal nonetheless.

I will get back to the running this week. I can't lose it now. After all, if I could train prior to my defense, why should a little thing like moving stop me???

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 27 - Two Things

July Miles to Date:
July Average Pace: 16:40
2016 Miles to Date: 173.4
Yoga Sessions this week: 4
Streak Day: 78 (Maximum: 78)
The American 200: 173.4/200 (9/16/16 Deadline)

So two things happened this week. One was much more important than the other. I didn't run a lot this week, instead choosing to do a lot of yoga to let go of the stress and anxiety that accompanies defending a doctoral dissertation. If you've never defended a doctoral dissertation, let me tell you. It's intense. It's insane. And it's entirely unpredictable. My closed-door questioning session lasted nearly 2 hours. And I felt ill-prepared and stupid through most of it.

But in the end, I passed. I am now Dr. Clark.

Dissertation-brain didn't let me think to put Dr. Clark on this delicious cake
Saturday, I went on my first run as Dr. Clark. I only make it 1.7 miles because my body and my mind are still exhausted. I'm hoping for a more regular schedule this week to allow me to do what I normally have been doing. I have two weeks left in Texas. It's all happening so fast.

The second thing that happened this week is that I started an Instagram just for the blog. So Run-fies and Medal pics will be coming through there (and posting to FB). I'm thinking of starting something on there called "Medal Mondays". I'm not exactly sure what it's going to be, but I thought it would be fun to take everyone through the medals I have earned in my 2 year running journey.

This week's blog is short because there's not a lot to report. Two weeks left in Texas heat. I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 26 - A Wedding and a Defense

July Miles to Date: 3.2
July Average Pace: 16:47
2016 Miles to Date: 172.0
Yoga Sessions this week: 3
Streak Day: 71 (Maximum: 71)
The American 200: 172.0/200 (9/16/16 Deadline)

Oh yeah, and I made my dress.
My defense is three days away. It feels long and short. Soon and far away. Simultaneously. I'm ready, and I'm not. I will probably never be fully ready. So instead I am taking it one day at a time, reviewing what I can, and practicing. All your good thoughts on Wednesday please.

For a bit of a study break (and a bit of fun), yesterday I went to a wedding of a former labmate. It was absolutely beautiful and a great time. I saw two labmates who I haven't seen since they graduated in 2014, which was wonderful. These were the two women who taught me most of the things I turned around and applied in my research. I didn't realize how much I had missed them until I saw them again, so I was really glad I went.

As I was driving home, I realized just how quickly my time in Texas is drawing to a close. That is most likely the last time I will make that drive to Austin. I only have three weekends left here. And that is so weird. I don't know how it happened. I just turned around and it's almost over.

I won't miss Texas. I really won't. It's hot, and sprawling, and dusty, and full of pollen I'm allergic to. But there have been some great people here. And I've learned a lot of things, both in my education and about myself. I'm not the same person who moved here 5 years ago. And that's not a bad thing.

Streak day 71. 71 days of showing up for me. Wow. I know I say it every week, but when this started, I honestly didn't think I'd make it this far. I didn't think that every day for 71 days I'd do my workout. Just because I'd been doing such a capital 'B' Bad job of that for over a year. Something would obviously have derailed me. But it hasn't. I've been determined to keep this alive. And it led to over 40 miles in June!


Defense day will be a real test of the streak, however. I know I probably won't think I have time to run on Wednesday morning, so I'll have to do yoga that afternoon or evening. I am so nervous about Wednesday. It's just the unknown that scares me. The fact that they can literally ask me anything, and even though I'm reviewing and reading and studying, there is no way I can be prepared for everything. Which is terrifying to admit or comes to terms with.

So I'm going to go back to studying.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Road to Dopey: Week 25 - The Dissertation is almost Done

June Miles to Date: 35.9
June Average Pace: 14:09
2016 Miles to Date: 163.6
Yoga Sessions this week: 2
Streak Day: 64 (Maximum: 64)
The American 200: 163.6/200 (9/16/16 Deadline)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Chesire Cat: 15.6 miles

My dissertation is due in three days. My defense is in 10. Which means this week has been...stressful? Interesting? Terrifying? Exhausting? Let's go with all of the above. That seems easiest (and most accurate). it even caused a few interesting, stress induced dreams including, me being stuck in a weird version of Jurassic Park, my parents announcing they were getting divorced, and the engine seizing up in my car due to an oil leak.

There was a time that all of this going on would have meant I would have quit working out. But thanks to the streak I had going into this, it meant I had to keep my workouts. And I'm convinced it is the only thing that has helped me keep an ounce of my sanity. Run out the stress, chase away the bad dreams.

And so we arrived at 64 days of showing up for me. And I'm on track to exceed 40 miles in June, which I haven't done since January of this year.

I have to finish my dissertation this week, and my slides soon after so that my advisor can see them before he leaves for the July 4th holiday. Yeah, he's going away before my defense. That doesn't add to my stress though...

My plan for today is to do some studying for my defense, hit the grocery store for food, and generally try to rest a little bit so that I can make it through this very last final stretch.