Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Wait, what?

This is what it feels like to start a long-awaited sabbatical with being sick:


I'm spending my days mostly on the couch. This is week two of the festivities. I'm watching Netflix, reading (exclusively stuff I will most likely never teach). Not doing a lot of knitting--it feels too effortful. (That's how I know I'm really sick.) Cancelling plans a day at a time. Even stuff I really want/wanted to do.

Maximum cat snuggles potential is nice.
Even if they do give me looks like this.

I had already planned to start sabbatical with REST--desperately needed. And I was going to add into the early weeks some fun things to do--go to a museum, take my camera for a walk around the neighborhood, go pray by the river. My spirit needs some fluffing up, some nurturing. It needs space to expand into and beauty to look at. But the body makes its demands first, and this smart woman is going to listen (for a change).

We also have occasional five-minute bursts of David Bowie Dance Party
(including singing and sometimes crying, but that's getting better, at last).

On the good side: being on sabbatical means I can actually take sick days, time to recover and heal. Also on the good side: I am excited about my writing and research projects even though I don't know exactly the shape the final product will take and even though this not knowing is slightly terrifying.

For now, that's not up to me. For now, my job is to rest and heal. So that's what I'm doing.

May you feel well and whole.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Off the couch (sometimes)

Dec. 28, 2015: a momentous run!

Dexter and I celebrated our "runniversary" just after Christmas, marking the date we started the "Couch to 5k" program a year ago. Woohoo!

Back in December 2014, I had seen a couple friends posting their C25k progress on FB, and Dexter and I both needed some exercise, so I thought: what the heck, let's give this a try. I downloaded the app onto my phone, and off we went. I wasn't sure we would stick to it. We even waited a few weeks before investing in good running shoes. (We eventually got them at Fleet Feet, which I loved. They watched our feet while we ran and had us try on different brands. We ended up with really great shoes.)

Brand new shoes on their first run.

When we started, just running for a minute and a half was a challenge. The brilliant thing about the C25k app is that it starts you off s-l-o-w, working up gradually to longer and longer intervals of running in between lots of walking. There were a couple of times when we repeated a particular week's training because we didn't feel like we'd really mastered it yet. And there were a couple of times where we took a week or so off for illness, then went back a couple weeks in the program. We made it work for us, and it worked great.

We ran outside a lot--even when it was snowing!

Though I definitely enjoyed the "getting fit" aspect of the program, even better was the fact that I was spending time with Dexter three times a week, talking about whatever for a half hour or so while we worked our way through the program. There was no agenda, and our topics ranged from silly to thoughtful. He put up with my penchant for post-run selfies, and I put up with his gaming stories. Ha!


We ran our first 5k in April (the Westerville Bunny Hop, on Easter weekend), and a couple more since then (the Music in Motion 5k in October, and the Delaware Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving). I'm hoping we'll do a few more in 2016.

After our first 5k: we were ecstatic about the fact that
a) we finished, and b) we ran the whole time!
He pulled way ahead of me after the first k. I was proud of both of us.

After our October 5k
In the summer months, Dexter and I started to run together less frequently--probably in part because he's less "into it" than I am, but also because our pace is so different. Being OLD and creaky, I like to go slow for a longer distance; being a teenager who is noticeably taller than me (with longer, younger legs), he likes to run the first mile pretty fast, and then he's done.

Our running shadows

These days, I am still doing my 2.5 miles three times a week, but he's back in school, taking p.e. class every day, and only running occasionally. Every once in a while we'll hit the road together, and spend at least the first mile keeping pace with each other, chatting. I miss this.

For the special occasion of our runniversary, we ran together again. It was not the best run... It had been raining incessantly for weeks (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration, but only slight). We waited until the rain stopped to venture out only to have the clouds dump buckets on us when we were about a half mile from home. Not a great run, but we made it.

Post runniversary run: soaking wet and fogged glasses, but done!

Here are our stats for Dec. 28, 2014 through Dec. 28, 2015:
Miles run: 232.5 (about 374 kilometers)
Time: 53:13:06
Workouts: 27

Not bad, if I do say so myself. Here's hoping I--and we--have some good runs in 2016!


Being... mysterious?