Satisfaction

I have never felt more powerful than I did today.

I am in the best physical shape of my life.

I am surrounded by friends who share my interests and spark my imagination and who support and challenge me.

Financially, too, I’m better off than any previous point in my life (not that that would take much doing, but it’s a start).

Lastly, my social circles are expanding in ways I’ve never even dreamed to be possible.

Honestly, I’m not bragging. It’s just been a very good day. I’m savoring.

Radiohead? Live?

Plans are in place. A friend and I are taking a road trip south, to Indio, California, to attend the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. We only have tickets for Saturday, but, man-o-man, what a lineup. Death Cab for Cutie, The Pixies, Stereolab, among lots and lots of bands I’ve never heard before… but mostly, I’m going because Radiohead is the headlining act. I’ve liked Radiohead for a long time, and have always wanted to see them live. Now’s my chance.

I only got the ticket because a friend of mine was unable to go, due to his starting a new job recently. Thanks, man! I owe you big time.

In addition, I’m going to be exposed to so much new music. So cool.

I’ve been so burnt out recently, even though on the surface things are going really well, that having the anticipation of a road trip helps pull my sorry ass through the financial serfdom.

We’ll be camping there overnight. Transportation is being provided by Dollar Rent-a-car, in spite of all the nasty things I’ve done to their cars on past road trips… Hopefully Dollar representatives aren’t reading this right now. As long as I don’t link to their site I should be OK. Unless one of you, my faithful readers, decide to squeal. Don’t be a squealer.

Doldrums

I woke up, barely, this morning and realized that I could not come in to work. I wish I knew why I feel like that sometimes. I don’t link that feeling to anything besides a strong desire to simply hide in bed all day.

I say I hate my job, but when I actually sit down and list the things I’d want in a job, my current job meets most of them, even in spite of the antagonism between my boss and myself. Downtown location, lots of variety, decent pay, doing stuff I know how to do well, the side benefit of working closely with law enforcement (I always wanted to be a detective; have I ever mentioned that?) Really, except for the awful relations between me and management, and the near-total lack of challenge, my job is pretty much perfect. Oh, I’d like more flexible hours, too, but now I’m just whining.

And socially things are going well for me this week, so that’s not something to hide from. Caleb and I are planning that road trip; that’s going to be fun, and it’s giving me something to look forward to. Then there’s my diet, which I’ve successfully completed, and my newfound energy and running…

There’s nothing bad going on. So why am I so drained? Why do I feel like there should be dark clouds overhead? Am I wishing there were more bad things in my life?

I dunno. It’s counter-rational.

Slowly approaching the new normal

I’m nearly done with my diet. My weight has stabilized around 172-173 lb., and my calories/day is nearly to the level of maintenance.

I went for a short run today; I planned on 2 miles. However, I could not make it that far. Not sure what was the problem. Could have been my lack of sleep (got to bed around 2 AM last night), could have been what I ate yesterday (a Wendy’s Double with Cheese for lunch, then snacked the rest of the day, ended up eating popcorn at the movies last night (I saw “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” again because the rest of the group hadn’t seen it yet and we didn’t like any of the other choices)), could have been my allergies which have picked up quite a bit with the warm weather, could have been my lack of water.

Or it might be that I’ve been pushing myself harder lately, trying to pick up my speed and increase my endurance at the same time. Maybe I dumped my “coach” too soon? Maybe I still need some guidance for improvement? Maybe so.

I’ll just have to start dating an experienced runner again…

People watching

I should write something today. But I don’t know what.

I’m sitting in Starbucks, at Pioneer Courthouse Square (of course), people-watching. In fact, hang on…

…OK, now I’m facing in a better direction for people-watching. There’s a band playing down in the Square. According to Citysearch, the band is sponsored by Multnomah Bible College, although the music doesn’t seem to be specifically Christian; the last song they did was a note-perfect cover of The Police’s “Message In A Bottle”.

There are two Japanese girls at a table next to me, conversing in their native language. If Jake was here I’m sure he’d say something to them. They appear to be studying; textbooks open in front of them. One of them has a little PDA/calculator/device open, and it’s covered in stickers of other Japanese faces.

There’s a blonde-haired guy with another iBook; he’s here as much as I am, it seems. He almost always has the chair next to the power outlet (there’s only one here at Starbucks’ so the tables next to it are very popular.

I had lunch at Wendy’s today. A Double with Cheese (no mayo) is 640 calories. It was delicious. I held myself back from ordering fries, even though I had the calories to spare; I want to have a decent-sized dinner tonight. All I had for breakfast was two Cliff Bars (250 calories each) so I’ve still got over 800 for the day.

Little League

Went to my nephew’s first Little League game of the season last night. It was a night game; started at 7:30 PM out at Alpenrose Dairy Farm, which is home to the Little League World Series. I’d never been out there before; it’s a great facility for kid’s baseball.

I showed up late in the third inning, and his team was down 3 runs (score was 1-4). My nephew got up to bat (he bats 10th out of 12) and popped up right to the first baseman. Hey, at least he made contact. We cheered him on.

The other team scored another run in the next inning, and my nephew’s team couldn’t get any offense going for a while.

They only play six innings total, so there’s not a lot of time to get a rally going. But then, in the fifth inning (“our” team batted last) the kid ahead of my nephew got on base with an infield grounder. My nephew got up to bat, man on first, no outs, and after getting a full count, swung away and knocked a low pop right between the pitcher and first basemen and over the head of the right fielder, who had pulled too far in. The kid got a double out of it! And the kid on first made it all the way to home!

That was the start of the rally that led to their team tying up the game at 5-5 and sending the game into extra innings. They only needed one, though and they ended up winning their season opener.

My nephew had the biggest grin on his face at the end of that game! He’d done good, and helped keep the rally going!

Bony protrusions are just bones, actually

Normally, when I sleep, I sleep on my side, with my legs pulled up and bent. I heard that it’s better for your back if you bend your knees like that and started sleeping that way.

But now that I’ve lost so much weight, when I lie down like that, my knee bones bump up against each other, and my legs don’t fit together well. I’ve had to start sleeping with a pillow between my legs in order to be comfortable. Just another thing to get used to about my new body.

Another milestone!

This morning I ran to work. I’ve been talking about it for a while, and I finally made it happen. Yesterday I brought a change of clothes and left them in my office, along with the stuff I needed but didn’t want to carry when I was running. Which was, basically, everything: my wallet, my bus pass, my cell phone, my iPod (I don’t run with my iPod), yadda yadda.

Then, this morning, I got up before 5 AM, threw my contacts in, took my vitamins, got into my running clothes and shoes, and headed out the door. It’s taken me about 2 hours to walk downtown before, so I figured that would give me enough time to run and have time left over to shower and change. I was out the door at about 5:10 AM.

I started running about 5 blocks from my house. From there to the head of the trail is about 1/2 mile (according to Yahoo Maps), then I stopped to do some quick stretches, then ran the rest of the distance, all the way to the Hawthorne Bridge, another 3.8 miles according to the signs on the trail.

There wasn’t many folk on the trail at that time of day; I saw two lone bikers and a racoon. Once I got going I found it very peaceful. On my previous runs I’ve found it necessary to think about other things; plans, or my stories, anything but the run. But this morning I was able to either just notice the scenery around me, or zone out entirely and just move.

I walked the rest of the distance to my office, but in the future I plan on running across the bridge, which should make it a 5-mile run. I did feel a pang of guilt that I didn’t go the full 5 miles today, but that was immediately followed by the positive voice in my head telling the negative voice to shut the fuck up. I mean I’d just run farther than I’d ever run before!

I got to my office at 6:28 AM, plenty of time to shower and change before I had to start at 7:00 AM.

My right hamstring is bothering me today, so I may not run again until Saturday. I’ll stretch it out and maybe even go sit in the hot tub at my gym tomorrow or Friday.

Future races

In a burst of spending, I went ahead and registered for two more 5Ks:

Both of them should be pretty challenging.

I might be willing to try an 8K or 10K event by the time I’ve completed these. We’ll see how I do. It’s exciting to have something to look forward to!

Bridge to Bridge 5K Results

They posted the official results for the Bridge-to-Bridge.

Jake finished in 19:49, with a 6:23 pace, 2nd in his age group, 26th overall, and 25th overall men’s.

Caleb finished in 25:57, with an 8:21 pace, first in his age group, 81st overall and 68th overall men’s.

I finished in 30:25, with a 9:47 pace, 10th in my age group, 184th overall and 100th overall men’s.

Woo-hooo!

Now we’re all going to improve our times by two minutes in the next one, right? Right? Who’s with me?