#threewords

Monday, January 10, 2022

She’s Running the Distance

that is what a half marathon pr looks like

Let’s get the ugly bit out of the way: I did not complete the marathon and therefore, did not complete the Dopey Challenge.

Instead of coming home with six medals, I received four. The marathon’s medal was given to me after I got off the party bus, but I didn’t receive the Goofy or Dopey Challenge medals. I’m not nearly as upset as I could be about getting swept during the marathon. In all honesty, I made it farther than I thought I would.

But…

I PR’d the half marathon.

Shaved 13 minutes off my previous best race.

I got stronger as the race got longer, too. I walked most of the first half and then I started doing intervals -  run the chorus, walk the lyrics - when a good song came on.

The balloon ladies passed me, but I finished a whopping 30 seconds behind them this time.

I may have gotten pulled at mile 4 of the marathon, but at the end of the day, I completed a 5K, a 10K, and a half marathon.

Maybe I was crazy to attempt a Dopey without getting an IRL marathon under my belt first, but I don’t care.

I PR’D A HALF MARATHON.

Woo!!!!!!

Posted by Matty on 01/10 at 08:17 PM
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Saturday, December 25, 2021

I’m full of contradictions and hypocrisies

I may run at the speed of turtles swimming through peanut butter. But I run.

My Christmas present to myself was the top medal hanger… I haven’t done the #threewords in a long time, but I’ve been using Twelve’s words / the unofficial motto of the Whovian Running Club to guide me. Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind. Sadly, the only thing I’m good at is laughing hard.

We didn’t celebrate Christmas at all this year. Not one bit. No special dinner, no last minute “I feel like I need to buy you something”, not even a bone for the dog.

I don’t know. Neither one of us is feeling it this year. Which is fine.

Everything is fine.

 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

When you’re young, you got time
When you’re old, you built a life
In between you’re just along for the ride
Nothing’s in a straight line, like the wrinkles on your eyes
Try to take it one candle at a time…
- Pictures, Matt Nathanson

I’ve been on a steady pace of a new job just about every year and a half, two years for a long time. That’s when the honeymoon period is over, and the bipolar starts to affect things. Which, at this point, is probably a good sign to start seriously thinking about disability.

This job change completely blindsided me. I’d actually been doing well, and was mostly happy, but… there’d been some… hiccups. Definitely wasn’t expecting to be forced to choose between engaging in ethical behaviour and doing what was expected of me. I have a very odd moral code, but the things I believe in, I do not waiver on. One of those things is taxes. I am, apparently, on the side of the government because I believe they should be paid. The owner and I had several differences of opinions, but this last straw was the last straw. I’d already been looking for freelance gigs I could do on the side, and it was easy enough to find a real 9-5, so I’ll be back to normal after Dopey.

But anyhoo… it’s the reason I’m kind of stuck in my head.

We watched Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas, as I’ve done every year since 1977, and it felt different this year.

I’ve been missing my father a lot lately. This year has been a bad one - I’m the same age my mother was when she died, and April 30th was the 20th anniversary of my father’s death - and I haven’t been able to get through it. Not that turning the calendar to a new month is going to make a huge difference in the facts of the matter, but there are no major milestones in 2022 that are triggering. Unless celebrating our 20th anniversary is a trigger… which it kind of is, but we will unpack that baggage in August.

I don’t know anymore. I know I blog a lot about being bipolar, but for every entry there’s a ton of things that I never say. I never really work through my shit here, in real time, and I probably won’t start any time soon. It’s easier to dissect it, in writing, well after the fact. But that doesn’t mean that I’m not tempted to do so.

So with that said… Christmas is hard. It is always hard. This year seems harder.

2022 is around the corner and I can’t be more thrilled for a fresh start.

In the meantime, I’m going to take it one candle at a time.

Posted by Matty on 12/25 at 10:34 PM
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Thursday, November 25, 2021

Gobble ‘till you wobble!

“Not Disney Cold; Miami Cold.”

Continuing to question my life choices…

Racery was a bust, but I actually had a good reason. Things are going on over here. Secret Squirrel type things. But, good things.

I learned too much about myself during Wine and Dine. Nothing like being trapped in your head for 22 miles because your fucking headphones shit the bed.

I had a lot of time to think about stuff.

A lot of time.

About seven hours or so.

Left foot. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot…

Yeah.

So I took an extra night off from Racery to deal with stuff.

We’ll see what happens.

BUT!

One other good thing came out of the debacle that was Wine and Dine.

I got good and pissed off.

I hit rock bottom.

I reached out to some running friends.

And… this morning?

This morning I walked the Miami Turkey Trot. 10K, of course. 5Ks are for pussies. (I can’t even WRITE that with a straight face.) 5Ks are nice. Quick(ish). But, somewhere along the line, 10Ks became “my” race. I just like them better. I don’t know why… and even if I did, it probably wouldn’t even make sense to me.

Anyway.

I PR’d that fucker.

Best 10K time since I started tracking my running stats in 2019.

AND LOOK AT THOSE SPLITS!

NEGATIVE SPLITS!

I GOT FASTER AS THE RACE GOT LONGER!

That’s the me I knew I was.

I’ve been training for endurance, not speed, and it has bitten me in the ass more than once.

I mean, today, I came in 4th from last. Was last in my age group, even. (Where’s my medal for that?)

BUT.

The one thing I had that the people behind me didn’t was the ability to sustain that pace.

How do I know? Because they passed me about two miles in. I caught up around four and a half miles and the distance grew greater between us with every step. By the time I saw them cross the finish line, I already had my medal and they were much slower. MUCH slower. They looked like I felt at the end of the Wine and Dine Half… and I could have kept going.

And I actually did put in almost an extra mile… got lost going to my car. Yup.

It’s a skill.

Posted by Matty on 11/25 at 05:30 PM
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Saturday, November 13, 2021

Unicorns, racery, clicky knees, and balloon ladies

I. FUCKING. DID. THE. THING.

Let’s talk about last weekend, shall we?

The 5K was rainy and cold.

The 10K was rainy and cold.

The half marathon was dry, but freezing. Hey, you line up in a corral in a running skirt and two t-shirts and you tell me you aren’t thankful that people are idiots and crowd too close to each other… even in the days of COVID.

Also, I’m now runDisney official! I have not one mylar blanket, but two! Seriously, that was the only thing that kept me from getting hypothermia on Sunday. Those things are magical.

I followed the advice of tons of rD runners and walked the 5K and 10K, with the idea that I was going to save my legs for the half. Not that I’m much of a runner - more of a speed walker who does intervals - but still. A half marathon is no joke.

My pace for both the 5K and 10K was shit, and it’s only by sheer luck that I didn’t get swept during the 10K. But, I think a lot of that had to do with my ability to get in front of the 10K corral. Every bit of distance between me and the balloon ladies helps!

But. Holy shitballs. That half marathon almost killed me. No joke.

I started in the last corral, got pushed to the middle of the pack, and immediately had issues.

My compression socks, my protection from the shin splints caused by road running, decided to keep slipping. My shins were burning and I had to stop several times to pull the socks back up. Precious seconds lost every fucking time.

Then, my aftershockz failed. Which I found completely hysterical because they were the fucking sponsor of the weekend. It was also a Very Bad Thing. I’ve trained myself to keep pace using music. No music, no pace. I almost thought about turning on a metronome app and holding my phone to my ear the entire time, but decided against it.

Then, I had to pee. I’m normally so good at avoiding bathroom issues during runs - I actually train for bathroom avoidance! But, when your bladder is screaming, you stop. At least I made it into Animal Kingdom and got to use a real loo instead of a port-a-loo. Because… ew!

Then, the heart rate monitor on my Garmin kept going off. I wasn’t in any sort of cardiac danger, but fuck, that thing was annoying.

Then, my knee started clicking.

Then, those asshole socks caused major blisters on the balls of my feet.

I was in pain and already wondering how the fuck I was going to survive those last few miles…

And then, the balloon ladies and the Galloway pacers caught up to me. (The balloon ladies are unofficial pacers, they keep to the 16mm required pace. The Galloway ones are volunteers also, but official pacers.)

I was so done at that point. There was limping, and crying, and that hopeless feeling that becomes all consuming. Why was I doing this to myself? How was I ever going to survive the Dopey? I couldn’t even make it 13 miles at pace, how was I going to do TWENTY SIX? IN A ROW?

One of the rD bike riders (sweepers) came over to me and kept pace with me for a while. Asked me if I was OK. Yeah. In hysterical, ugly, tears, I told him that all I wanted to do was cross the finish line. Please, don’t put me on the bus, blah, blah, blah. He told me I was fine. I just needed to pick up the speed a little bit. So I played a game. Every time the balloon ladies got too far ahead, I’d sprint for a bit. (AND OH MY GOD. I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE.) I still couldn’t catch up to them.

Finally, just as we were rounding the corner into Epcot, one of the medical workers asked me if I was OK. Yeah. In hysterical, ugly, tears, I told her that all I wanted to do was cross the finish line. Please, don’t put me on the bus, blah, blah, blah. She told me I was fine. She told me she wasn’t giving me a free ride to the finish line because I was so close.

I made it. Under my own power. I even sprinted for a little bit right at the finish line. Got a great air shot.

I couldn’t wait to get my Challenge medal and have my official rD finisher picture taken.

I couldn’t wait to burst into happy tears because I was so tired of crying sad tears.

I fucking did it and I’m still so proud of myself… I’m not sure that feeling’s going to go away any time soon.

Because.

I did the OTHER Very Big Thing a few weeks before Wine and Dine.

 

Will you just look at that?

No. Seriously. LOOK AT THAT.

I have a motherfucking BOSTON MARATHON finisher’s medal.

I’m never going to run a BQ. I know this. But because COVID had originally forced the BAA races to be virtual, I got in.

I ran the 5K, the 10K, the half, AND the full. (Weeks separated each one, thankfully! I’m almost at that point in my Dopey training where I can run the four of them back-to-back-to-back-to-back.)

It took me 9 hours on the treadmill. I was hoping to run outside, but Florida weather can fucking bite me. It was 98% humidity. I have a bad heart. I certainly didn’t need to put that kind of stress on my body, so the treadmill it was.

The medal itself has ‘virtual marathon’ inscribed on the back and the ribbon says ‘virtual marathon’ as well, but 26.2 miles is still 26.2 miles.

But I don’t care. Plenty of ‘real’ runners ran the virtual because they couldn’t / wouldn’t travel to Boston, so I’m in good company.

I finished the Boston Marathon and I have the medal to prove it. So there.

Which now leads me to the next nine days.

It is the Fandom Running Club’s Battle of the Fandoms Season 3, Episode 2. I’m on yet another Star Wars team (Stay on Target. I’ve also been on ‘No One Runs Solo’ and ‘Pew Pew’.) Because we’re in the last few weeks of Dopey training, I decided to kick it up a little bit.

I wanted to earn all my RandomTuesday Fanthropy medals this year since I failed so badly last year. I’m about halfway there. (Cue the Bon Jovi…) I have another 286 miles to go before I can be done. That works out to about 6 miles a day.

Thankfully, I hit my goal for their Fans Run the World event - I have done over 365 miles. I’m at 399.8 (THREE NINETY NINE POINT EIGHT. WHAT THE FUCK, WENDELL?) Had I been paying attention last night, I would have run the .2 miles I needed. Oh well, I’ll make it up tonight.

The plan is to get on the treadmill in about an hour and stay on until I cap. (15 miles is a cap, but I’m supposed to have a 20 mile Dopey training run I moved to this weekend since I did Wine and Dine last week instead.) My feet are still heeling (HA!) from the blisters, so last night was only a 5K. (ONLY A FIVE K. When did I become THAT runner?)

I’d like to cap before Battlecast because I want to hear the shout out. I need to hear the shout out.

Goals.

I’ve even planned out this Racery’s miles.

 

I have 76.3 miles to go if I want to hit what’s scheduled. I’ve already done 3.1, which would put me at 79.4 - that’s the most miles I’ve ever done in a Racery event. I want to hit all those goals because it puts me in a position to finish two more RTI challenge medals. I have a bunch of the Whovian Running Club Challenge medals to earn, but since the PHRC has more mileage in their challenges, I’ve been trying to knock those out first.

Just realised that I screwed up the mileage in the screengrab… the 20th is supposed to be another cap. As I look at this in more detail, I think I want to shift my miles from the Trapdoor to the Phoenix Challenge. The back of my Phoenix medal is autographed by Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), and I’ve really wanted to display that one. I think I’m stalling because I need to have it framed… I have the frame. I just don’t know how to make it look the way I want it to.

You can see the corrected tracker here.

OK. Well.

It’s treadmill time!

(Thanks for sticking around if you made it this far. I know listening to me ramble on about running probably wasn’t much fun, but this is my blog, so…)

Posted by Matty on 11/13 at 09:33 AM
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Saturday, October 30, 2021

NO TOUCHY

reminds me of the 75 different versions of the SG budget…

 

І ми продовжуєм нести свій прапор, а не хрест. Ми продовжуєм іти на власний Еверест.

And we continue to carry our banner, but not our cross. We continue to walk on our own Everest.

- - - - - - - - - -


SOOOOOOO.

We are at 5 days until Wine and Dine. FIVE! DAYS!

Five days until I run a 5K, a 10K, and a half marathon around Epcot. (And some Disney parking lots… *sigh*)

Yeah.

I can’t say that I’ve trained particularly well, but it can’t be nearly as hard as a Racery event.

(Also, whoever curated the runDisney Training playlist on Spotify needs some serious help. I find none of the songs inspiring.)

 

- - - - - - - - - -

A zillion years ago, I wrote about this nifty little report I was trying to write.

A quick rundown of the process:

I beat the snot out of QuickBooks until I could run two reports.

I export those reports to Excel and clean them up. QuickBooks exports the Estimates vs Actuals report like… well, it looks like it barfed data all over the place. So, there’s a lot of cleaning up of that particular report. The custom Customer report isn’t nearly as bad, but it’s not necessarily great, either.

Once that’s done, I import them into Access.

Run a couple of queries.

Load the report.

And BOOM!

A very usable, very pretty, Jobs in Progress report.

It mooshes, it squooshes, it slices, it dices!

Until you try to update the data.

And then it’s a different type of BOOM!

Yeah… I broke the fuck out of that when I went to update the data.

Part of the problem is that I couldn’t append the new information because it would create duplicates. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing, but it was hard to parse out the old data that way. So, I got the bright idea to append and then delete the old data.

And it was beautiful.

All the queries worked, but the report didn’t.

I thought it had something to do with the dataset becoming screwed up when I deleted the old data.

So I went to the backup I made. And then, because I don’t trust myself, I created a back up of THAT backup.

I named it NO TOUCHY because, well, I kept over writing the first backup.

I swear, I am smart.

Anyhoo…

I beat my head against the wall for a few weeks, playing with it here and there, when I had a spare moment at work.

Yesterday, I had the hallelujah moment.

I HAD NAMED ONE OF THE FIELDS DIFFERENTLY.

Turns out there is a big fucking difference between CustNum and Cust Number. ESPECIALLY when the damn thing is looking for CustNum.

So now, my pretty report works again.

About fucking time.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

Great snippet of life at home:

Me: So, I’m watching Titans and it’s OK. You know, DC Comics, Robin.

Him: I thought you didn’t like superheros.

Me: No, I don’t, but I’m totally down for some Dick Grayson.

Him: Dick Racing?

Me: That too.

 

Posted by Matty on 10/30 at 04:00 PM
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