Thursday, May 2, 2013

Week of transition and some "Me" time

It's been a week of transition so far. Recovery from Sunday's Forget the PR 50K has been slower than normal. No injuries to speak of but my quads took a serious beating the way I ran the downhills. Other than that, I've been good. I ran an easy 4 miles on Monday, rested on Tuesday and Wednesday and ran again today. Very thankful for today's run that confirmed "all systems go!" as far as post-race issues.

As for transition, I wrapped up a year "detail" in my government job. Last May, I was selected for a promotion where I moved to another office in a different county. The new position included mentoring two employees, giving all the training for the staff and working on much of the complicated workload. I feel really good about my experience there and what I brought to the table. Yesterday as I said my goodbyes, the staff was very kind and even showered me with a few gifts, cake, and a Subway lunch. Next week, I'll return to the office I was hired out of and where my permanent position is...voluntarily. It's a decision that was heavily discussed and prayed over but without hesitation, I do believe it is the right thing for me and for my family. Not too many times in my life have I voluntarily decreased my income but you know what? It's not always about the $$$. Looking forward, I'm really excited about returning to a job where I'll have daily, direct contact with the public and will be able to serve them in a very tangible way. I loved my 1yr detail as far as the duties are concerned but I did miss the public interaction. I just went over my 5yr point, too, in this job. Outside of the Navy, the longest I've been in any job. :-)

Today, though? Today, I took a vacation day as I transition and with that, I wanted to ensure I enjoy the beautiful Spring sunshine. It's in the mid-70s, low humidity, and nothing but sun today. I needed an oil change in my car, wanted them to look at a few paint issues, and also needed help on fixing my car's little boo-boo that I caused. Remember, focus on backing out of your garage...while backing out of your garage...not fumbling with your iPhone. I had ordered the replacement parts for the passenger side mirror's housing and turn signal but it was quickly apparent after getting it, there was no way I was going to be able to install it. Turns out, the whole entire interior door panel had to come off and all the internals of the mirror. Given that it is a power mirror with turn signal built in, it had all kinds of "guts". The wise part in all of this is that I paid wholesale for the parts out of California so I saved quite a bit there. I only had to pay labor costs for an hour today.

Instead of camping out in the waiting room, though, I opted to dress to run and hit the road on unchartered areas. I didn't know if I'd make it 5, 7, or 10 miles today. I was slightly achy still but I had to run. Sunny, warm, and with my phone strapped to my arm, I hit the hilly country roads in northern Stark County. I actually felt really good once I got warmed up and by the end of the run, I got in 10 miles! That was perfect timing, too, because they had just finished washing my car and it was ready...mirror brand new once again, too. :-) I even found a short stretch of trail today while on my run and this beautiful back yard or "oasis" as I call it. The photo is below and in the center is their square garden. Isn't it awesome? Probably not a good backyard if you're allergic to bees but other than that, this is amazing.
Click on photo to view full screen
After the run and picking up my "feels like I just drove it off the lot brand new" car, I headed to Kent as the local burrito joint (Taco Tonto's) was serving my favorite special again. Often on Thursdays, they serve this and it is simply out of this world. Back in 2012 when I visited Nashville, I had an Indian buffet lunch after running a 20 miler and loved every bite of it. I keep seeming to enjoy this kind of food and this is no exception. Here's the description from their chalkboard today.
Given the sunshine and option to eat in or eat out and that the big warm rocks next to the Cuyahoga River were barely a 5min walk away, I opted to take it to the rocks and bask in the sunshine, riverside, and enjoy this Indian deliciousness. So so good. I just picked up this pair of Keen's, too, from Vertical Runner. I've long been a fan of their sandals but they recently came out with this new minimal version of their sandal called the Clearwater CNX. They've stuck to their signature footbed but removed a ton of rubber between the foot and the road. I love them so far and look forward to years of wearing them. Keens rock because eventually, they get dirty/stinky and one time through the wash and a sunny air-dry, they are like new again.
So yea, it was nice to get some "me" time today. Just me. I think folks (me included) underestimate the value that this can serve. Taken in bites, I think it can serve us all well to keep life in balance and "reset" a bit. As things have seemed to accumulate almost suffocating, days like today are priceless. Breathe....

Have a great day, friends, and keep Running Happy!

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