Category Archives: life choices

Half Marathon Training

I made my own training plan (see above).
(Which, I now realize, needs a touch of editing as I left out the “MI” after the 6’s and 7’s.)

I trolled around for a good half marathon training and none seemed to suit me. I’ve run a few races and I run 3-5 miles no problem, so I took my starting point and mapped out how many weeks I have to train (nine starting Monday) and I made my own plan.

Reasons Other Training Plans Were Not For Me:

This is not to say they’re no good, they simply were not for me. I felt they started too low and increased mileage too much per week, or pushed too hard from the start. Here, specifically, were some issues.

-Rest day was the same every week. With an alternating rest day, I feel like I can do a whole body work out for the week and not push too hard, it also gives me more flexibility.

-Some had easy days as three miles per day so progression so there was a wide gap between weeks where the long run was ten or more miles, and it felt like maybe it would be too much of a break between distances, that’s why more short distances escalate a bit, too.

– Lastly, it felt like each week day was the same, with maybe one day rotating, and didn’t focus on evening out the body; even leaving out other muscle groups like shoulders and back. So I have more rotation and feel like over the course of one and a half weeks I get a full body workout.

This training plan is not perfect, but I think it’s what I need to be successful, and I think it’s aesthetically pleasing (sans the current error which I will update tomorrow, but likely not repost).

DIY:

To do this yourself, I recommend using a PC. I love my Mac but it just doesn’t use Microsoft products the same. That being said, all I did was find a pretty picture, size it, save it, and open an Excel spreadsheet. I went to the Page Layout tab, then clicked background and selected my saved photo. I then selected the number of rows I wanted and fit them to the background tile and did the same for columns.

As for how to plan… I’ve done 10 week training plans when I was running and a half to three miles per run and fared pretty well, so now that I run three to five miles per run nine felt like plenty of training time for me. I wanted to get a whole body workout in and ensure that I put sufficient training on my legs and core. Some people, however, only want to do legs, sprints, and hills. I’m not a professional of health in any way, shape, or form, so you should talk to a professional and include what you think is best for you in your training plan. (*#disclaimer*)

Get ‘er Done

I’ll check in each week with updates. The key here for my is getting the miles and muscle groups in, even if I don’t stick to the outline. As long as everything gets done each week, I’ll be happy.

If you use this plan, or make your own, or have one you followed that you love, I’d love to see them in the comments. Let’s all collaborate to make each other’s training more feasible and hit the ground running! (See what I did there?)

A Plunge within a Plunge

 

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Photo by Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash

An unexpected turn in my emplyoment (see relevant post) was a sign that I wasn’t in the right place for my career path, so I took a job I hoped would set me on the right road. I’ve been at this job for seven months now.

I’m a scheduler at a hospital in a far-reaching healthcare network. When I started, I was a temp. When I finally got offered a full time position, they told us we’d be moving. My commute is much shorter, but my opportunity for growth has changed. All of the schedulers (those of us who review and put in orders, take calls, and maintain the first step in customer service for radiology imaging) and the health benefit advisors (HBA’s for short, the financial representatives who get authorizations and estimates from the insurance companies and then let patients know what their out of pocket expenses will be and often negotiate payment plans) were all in our respective hospitals. All orders had to be sent to where the patient intended to get the imaging done. In the interest of convenience for patients, we were all moved to a centralized location referred to as the pre-access center and they are going to mainstream scheduling and benefits advisement so that regardless of what facility an order is sent to, or what facility a patient would like to go to, especially if they are different, we could schedule the patient and have them understand any financial obligations.

For me, this meant I went from having the flexibility of multiple locations, multiple hiring managers, and multiple teams with theoretically rotating openings  to one manager maintaining one team with a more predictable turnover rate.

We have an incentive that is being paid out at three, six, and nine months at 25, 50, and 25 percent respectively. At six months, we’ll have received 75 percent of our total incentive and I fully expect at that point that at least a few people will leave. I had, therefore, planned to apply for an HBA position when one opened. Then they neglected to send the internal email notifying us of the open HBA positions; I only found out when one of my coworkers emailed asking us for coverage for a long break to take the interview and a lunch. I had a short, mini internal battle and asked my boss for a meeting. She put me off for a few days as she was genuinely busy and then I caught her in the hallway and asked for two minutes. She had no idea, which I knew, that I had a master’s degree or such long-term goals. She had me send her my resume and after another couple days having not heard anything and knowing how fast the positions would fill, I considered how to best follow up.

Then, luck would have it, we had a pre-access center meeting and in the meeting a coworker asked who people interested in open positions here should send their resumes to. I jotted down the name of the recruiter covering our center.

After the meeting I asked my boss if following up with the HBA temp-supervisor would be okay. I gave her my elevator speech and she said that I should have an email, I told her I never got one and asked what I should do if I don’t get one. She said to double check and then if I don’t have one, we’d go from there. There was no email and she was not available so I called the recruiter.

The recruiter was so sweet, gave me the job code, and told me to send her an email when I applied. I sent in the application with a resume and cover letter and then sent her a message thanking her for her time regardless of the outcome. I’m not a hard core go-getter, so these were all pretty big steps for me.

It was a trying time having to explain to everyone- friends and family, over and over- why I was taking a lower-paid, hourly job and a considerable backward step in my career. It’s a bigger moment for me to have had the strength and belief in myself to have minorly pestered my boss, gone after two elevator speeches, and gunned for another job only seven months into my employment.

Best case, this all pays off. Worst case, I stay where I am and try again in six months or search elsewhere. While there wasn’t a whole lot of gamble, it took a lot of guts and shell shedding for me. I’m glad that took this plunge-within-a-plunge.

(And don’t worry, I won’t keep you hanging like Inception– you’ll know how this ends.)

Semi-Annual Resolution: 1 Week Update

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

The best promises I keep are the ones to myself. Crazy resolutions don’t work because I also don’t make a promise I can’t keep. (See referenced post here)

So far I’ve earned 12 points and have spent none. In order to tell you the breakdown of points, I should add that I have, sort of, added a points category- sex. I have given each whoopie session 2 points and am tagging it as “dancing for 10 mins” in my fitness tracker and therefore counting it as a dancing session for my points. This is because the average woman burns about 70 calories during sex and 10 minutes of dancing is worth about 70 calories.

That being said, here’s the update
7/14 – ran 2 miles, 30 minutes of working out : 4 points
7/16 – 3 whoopie sesh’s : 6 points
7/18 – 1 whoopie sesh : 2 points

Okay, so I got myself to run once, I’m a little proud, but only a little. To be fair I also worked over 60 hours that week  (including weekend days and nights- 3 jobs) and had some trouble finding time and not being exhausted.

The big win here is that I’m definitely eating better. Not only did I not have a zebra cake (even though I gave one to my boyfriend and kissing him after he ate it made me crave one) or soda, I’ve been making healthier choices overall.

More updates to come next week! Here’s to hoping for a 20 point week!

Semi-Annual Resolution

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Alright, it’s that time. The gym membership has run out and I “can’t decide on a new one” and “every time I go to run it’s raining” and “I’m too sleepy to wake up early”. Out of all these, the third is probably the worst because I know if I can just get myself to wake up at 5ish and put my feet on the ground I’ll stay up; I never seem to get my feet on the ground these days so I’m working on motivations to do so.

This is my resolution post in which I will proclaim my goals and what I plan to do to achieve them- not the exercises but the motivations.

Resolution:

I will run and/or work out three days a week, but regardless of a workout I will wake up between 0530 and 0615 each day (except weekends).

Plans/Motivations:

I’m too poor to reward myself with big things like massages or shopping sprees on a regular basis, so here’s the plan: points. I will assign points to activities and I will “purchase” rewards with my points. I will give myself the option to save points for a bigger reward. Points will expire at the end of each month.

Points:

  • running- 1 point per mile; minimum half-mile/half-point increments
  • biking any distance- 2 points
  • workout- 1 point for every 15 minutes, minimum 30 minutes if I didn’t run first
  • Waking up at or before 0600, so feet on carpet by 0605- 2 points
  • Dancing- in my living room or out on the town- 4 points for the whole event, regardless of time, minimum 15 minutes

Rewards: The key to these for me is demanding I pay up for any of the following. If  don’t have the points, I can’t have it, so some things will be left off since I know I can’t control myself.

  • Zebra Cake Roll- 12 points
  • Ice Cream – 15 points
  • Soda- 15 points
  • New Book- 30 points
  • New Workout Article of Clothing- 50 points
  • New Non-Athletic Shoes- 75 points

I will try this beginning tomorrow. Next week I will, along with a more traditional post, update my point collection and usage and so on for the next six or so weeks. If this doesn’t work, I will try another method of motivation in September.

Send good vibes!

Becoming A “Better” Half

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I’ve had some tough luck in love. I’ve also been dumb and imperfect.

I’ve tried to learn a lot and grow from the mistakes I made, from the things my ex’s did right and wrong that I reacted improperly to, and to try to be better at choosing who I allowed myself to fall for and how I contribute to a relationship.

From my ex in high school who told me he loved me. We were together almost a year when I realized all of the ways he didn’t appreciate me.

I went to all of his family events. I tried harder to get better at Spanish so I could speak to his family, most of whom spoke only Spanish, and forgiving him for never coming to any of my family’s gatherings. He pushed one final button and I told him I couldn’t do it anymore. I showed up on his doorstep with a bear I had dressed to look just like him. I knocked on his door and when he answered I was not warmly welcomed. I gave him the gift anyway and he belittled it. He tried to brush me away, and that was it. I broke up with him the next day. Less than a week later, he screwed another girl in the back of a car right out front of the school while we were all getting out of practice.

I thought maybe he left because I wouldn’t do those things. I thought that maybe if I had done those things, he would have tried harder to keep me. Then I thought it through and knew I was wrong. That I deserved to be appreciated for so much more than the easy girl in the back of the car that was discarded a month later.

I had wanted to keep myself from going all the way until I was 18. I’m not really sure why. Maybe I once told my mom I would, maybe I read somewhere that it was a good age to wait until, maybe I thought that was old enough and informed enough. I started dating a guy I met at the theater when I was 17, he was 20. He was sweet, and kind, and Jewish, and cute. I made the move and it escalated from there. Prom and my 18th birthday were coming up, we had been dating for eight months or so and I knew we would be together through my birthday and I didn’t want to be a taboo teenager, so I mulled it over for a few more weeks and two weeks before my 18th birthday I told him I wanted to.  Then, I realized he wasn’t the driven man with some setbacks that I thought he was. He was sweet and cute, but he couldn’t have the intellectual conversations I wanted. He didn’t drop out of college to find himself, he dropped out because it was too hard and he didn’t try. He borrowed money from me for gas but had money for weed. He failed three times to go to his drug test for EMT school that he told me early on in our relationship was what he wanted to do. The third time he told his mom he didn’t go because he was with me all day, but I had just gotten there. That was it. It was one thing to not be driven, another to not pursue a supposed dream, another to not stave off smoking for a few weeks so that he could test clean, but lying was off limits. He lied to his mother who let him live in her house, he clearly lied about his goals or he would have gone after them, and he used me to lie. I was weak, and I gave him a few more chances.

The big second chance I gave him was after I got a message from a girl I had met once back home while I was away at college telling me, using a pet name for him, that he had been cheating on me. Her phrasing “has been cheating on you”. I became a flurry of emotions and waited about an hour before calling him so I could be calm. I told him what she said and said “please explain”. He burst into apologies, told me it was one night, that he had gotten wasted and didn’t even remember anything and that it had been a threesome with her and one of his friend’s I had met a few times. I told him I needed some time. I forgave him. We were together a little over two years when I was one year in to college and he still hadn’t made any moves to get out of his parent’s house (he had moved from his mom’s to his dad’s). I broke up with him for the last time.

In college I had my first one night stand, and then I realized I didn’t need a relationship; especially not from boys who didn’t truly appreciate most women, let alone me. I could have the physical I wanted and the emotional I needed from mutually exclusive persons. Most of my one night, two night, long-term stands were great. I also got taken advantage of. Some nights I was too drunk to say no and too embarrassed in the morning to admit what happened. Other nights I just wanted to make out but then it felt like I never got the opportunity to say no and felt like it was my fault for leading them on so I just let it happened. Twice I was outright raped. Once was completely against my will with choking that made me scared I would suffocate and pain that was excruciating. The other I was fairly drunk but said no multiple times and when he continued, I ended up kicking him off of me and demanding he leave my apartment. I told someone in his fraternity that I trusted and told them that if I went to the police it’d ruin his life. All I wanted was for him and some other senior brothers to talk to him and explain that no means no and it wasn’t okay; it never got further than a meeting with him and his fraternity brothers. I never reported either incident, I blamed myself.

Then I finally thought I was in a good relationship. A guy who said he knew what he wanted in life, who had a nice car and a seemingly great family. Then time moved on and things got complicated, His sisters often caused drama between each other, his father was a drunk and mean, and sometimes both, and his brother had a girlfriend that caused major amounts of drama for everyone and was exceptionally attention seeking. I could deal with all that, especially because his mother and her boyfriend were amazing and everyone was great in their own way, even if occasionally over dramatic. He, however, soon began to show his true colors.

When we first began dating, I made it clear I wanted to, long term should we have kids, raise them in my faith. He said “fine” that he was “pretty much an Atheist” anyway. When we were together going on two years and it became more of a reality, he started to change his mind. When we first started dating, I lived with my parents, so he was not allowed to sleep over. But when I moved out on my own, he almost never came over or slept over insisting on various excuses. I lived 15 minutes from him, yet I always had to be at his place, but I obliged. I also gave him $1,500 for a motorcycle that we were supposed to share, that he promised to take me on at minimum, monthly; he took me on 5 or six times. I moved downtown, right into the heart of where everyone wants to be. When we first started dating, we’d go out almost every week. I moved out there and he never came over, claiming it was too far of a drive and too expensive (even though I explained that we could drink at home or not drink at all and then go walking around or dancing, and that it was equally as far for me to drive to him as it was for him to get to me). On our first holiday, he got me things I needed, which are my favorite kind of gift because it shows you know someone in their day to day; like a spatula because I didn’t own one or a microwave because I broke mine. Our last christmas I got a cheap piece of jewelery I didn’t like and some other cheap, generic gifts. The last straws came in his lack of consideration and hypocrisy. I asked to see a movie with him and he said he couldn’t because he promised a friend he’d see it with them. Okay, that is completely understandable and respectable, a month or so later I asked him to see a movie with me when I came back from a trip and he agreed. I came home and he had seen the movie with the same friend he couldn’t break the promise to over another movie, and he couldn’t see the problem. Consider multiple similar situations. I tried to explain to him all of this and he put up a wall. I packed up what things of his I had and asked if he was home so I could get my golf clubs. He told me he wasn’t but that his roommate could let me in. I grabbed my clubs, grabbed the rest of my things that I could see or think of, and put his box of stuff on his bed. I didn’t hear from him for two weeks, so I messaged a couple of his friends that I had gotten close to and let them know that we were over but that I wanted to stay friends with them, but that I also would understand if they weren’t up for that. Then his sister called and said that he was confused, that his friends are saying we broke up. She’d known our issued this whole time, I explained the gathering of my stuff and returning of his and that I haven’t gotten so much as a text from him in weeks. She understood, called him, called me back and asked if he could fix it. I said no, that I gave him the opportunity to, multiple times. And that was it. She called a few weeks later to tell me he was heartbroken, I told her that maybe this would make him appreciate his next girlfriend more. That he could learn from it. I also tried to learn from it. I never should have given him the money, I should have put my foot down on taking turns at where we slept sooner, and I should’ve noted not getting the things I wanted earlier on and not giving in, especially because I gave everything I had. I also realized that he said he was going to go to school, going to do certain other things to propel his career and he didn’t. He never would. He’s a good person, he just wasn’t right for me in many ways. And I didn’t do my job in that relationship by saying I wanted things but not acting like it, by being okay with not getting the things I wanted and needed and then demanding them.

I learned how to be better in a relationship from all of these failures and I also learned what to look for in a man. My mom suggested creating a ticker tape in my mind of a shortlist of what I expected. A marquee because it’s not a checklist that once one thing happens, it’s done. It’s a revolving list because certain things should repeatedly happen; like actions that prove someone is driven and caring. I decided to make two; one for myself and one for future boyfriend. I wanted to make sure that we were taking turns staying at each other’s places, that we would both make kind and loving gestures, and that we would both be inherently driven and use that drive to better ourselves and our lives. I decided that if I expected certain things from them, I needed to be those things for myself.

These relationships have helped me determine what to put on my list for myself, for my future theoretical hubby, and to become a better individual and a better “better-half”.

Workin Hard and Hardly Workin

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I have three jobs. Three real jobs.

Not any of those entrepreneurial gigs where I guilt all my friends into liking and joining my facebook page and asking them when I can host a party, or if I would add five people to their page for a giveaway, or ask if I want to join their “team”. (Been there, done that. Let me say, it is not easy, involves hard work and a lot of being shut down to be successful because it’s the people who break out of that friends and family barrier that are able to carry on that kind of job for longer than a few months.) It was not for me.

No, my full time job (where my hours and location are about to change) is as a scheduler in the radiology imaging sector of patient access in a healthcare system in Colorado.

Continue reading Workin Hard and Hardly Workin

Rugby and Running

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My two loves.

Running is my “me time”. Where I can get away, push myself if I want to or take it easy. I can run as hard, far, and with music as loud as I want. I run for fun or sanity when the desire comes. I train for halfs. I sign up for and run any race of any distance from 5ks to half marathons. I’m not fast, I run in a very strange manner awkwardly flailing and bouncing around as I pretend that it’s feasible to dance and run at the same time, and I often trip, slip, or cramp pretty often. I love it.

Rugby is my chance to be a team player, to show the power of a confident tackle, to be there to guide or take a pass from a teammate. I’m a wing so if I’m on the field I’m always on one end watching the rest of the field and doing a whole lot of yelling trying to push or pull our numbers where the action is. Yes, my 5’0″ has tackled and been tackled. I do a lot of running, and I’m still not fast. My teammates are strong and cooperative and helpful. Every water break is a sprint of support in the form of water, inhalers, and gummies. Half time is for strategizing. End of the game, win or loss, is a celebration of leaving it all on the pitch.

Similar yet very different; one singular, the other a part of a whole. They work together, training for one supports my training for the other. More often than not, though, they are contradictory.

Running is for fun, and for sport. I run in large herds of people who cause traffic just for a shiny thing and shirt; and it’s amazing. These events are not always local, so I travel and am gone for entire weekends for them. I’ve had to miss rugby games for these events.

Rugby, in its aggressive nature, has caused me injuries that made me lose training time, made me limp sadly through a non-refundable 10k, and made me miss signing up for events I’d’ve loved to do for fear of missing a game.

Sometimes I think I’ll have to choose between the two. How long can I keep up running on injuries, and how can I hone my rugby skills during the time and energy consuming process of training for a half marathon? I guess only time will tell- or maybe my body will.

For now I think I’m enjoying the push and pull of this love triangle. At least I know it keeps me centered.