running

Saturday, November 12, 2022

I had a fucked up week that lasted years.

Shrinky Dinks, invented in 1973, are a children’s toy and activity kit consisting of large flexible sheets which, when heated in an oven, shrink to small hard plates without altering their colour or shape. (see also: drug dealer)

It’s a Matt Nathanson sort of day around these parts.

I hit a wall with running about the same time Potterhead was forced to shut down. Despite my running coach’s best efforts, I couldn’t improve. In fact, I swiftly went from success to abject failure. He thought I had exercise induced asthma and that’s why I had not improved. I wasn’t fully convinced (I’m still not), but I saw a doctor he recommended. Guy was a complete douchenozzle, but I took the prescription for the inhaler and went on my merry way.

Fast forward to Wine and Dine.

I hated the 5K, was absolutely miserable during the 10K, and walked off the half marathon course at mile 7. The truth is, it wasn’t the humidity. It wasn’t the heat. It wasn’t the asthma. I just didn’t want to be there.

I’ve been joking about how I hate running, but the soundtrack in my head during those 16 miles… well, let’s just say that those little voices in my head? The ones I’m not supposed to talk about? They were right.

I. FUCKING. HATE. RUNNING.

It doesn’t spark joy. I don’t get a runner’s high.

I. Get. Absolutely. Nothing. out of it.

NOTHING.

So. Really. What’s the fucking point?

I walk a 5K in a little less than a hour. Longer if I’m on the treadmill because that’s when I allow myself to read certain fan fics… but even with reading the un-put-downable pr0n (as the Chicken calls it), I fucking hate it. That’s an hour I could spend doing anything that actually makes me feel good.

I fired my running coach last night.

I left all but one of my Disney running groups.

Being able to admit that I hate it has taken a huge weight off of my shoulders…

but, of course, I’m a fucking idiot and posted in my favourite running (non-RTI FB) group about my struggles and asking if it’s normal.

And… there was that one asshole who told me I was mentally ill and needed to see a psychiatrist.

Bitch, please.

You mean the psychiatrist who held my hand and walked me out of the most suicidal mindset I’ve ever experienced? (Fuck you, CrossFit.)

You mean the psychiatrist who has been trying to help me get past the closure of the only place that has ever truly inspired me to run?

Or, perhaps, you mean the psychiatrist who has pushed me - repeatedly - to find a simple prop to occupy my time?

This one goes out to the one I love…  FIRE! She’s coming down on her own now…

I’m sorry.

I lost the plot there for a minute.

I guess I’m fucked in the head after all.

Thank you for the diagnosis, internet stranger. I feel much better now.

Posted by Matty on 11/12 at 01:50 PM
bipolarrunningPermalink

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Proud member of the wherethefuckarewe tribe

oh, bestie, have I got a story for you…

Let’s start with the title of the entry.

Get the boring shit out of the way.

My dad, in all of his politically (in)correctness, used to tell me we were part Indian.

But not any of the tribes you would find in East Buttfuck, Maine.

Nope. We were members of the wherethefuckarewe tribe. (God, I wish I could type his pronunciation… it was a thing of beauty.)

I always lie when I talk about the things I inherited from my father.

Well, I suppose it’s not a lie if it’s omitted.

Mousy, crap brown hair? Check.

Blue-ish eyes? Check.

Potty mouth and blue humor? Oh, fuck yes.

Sense of direction or lack thereof? Nothing to see here. Move along.

Yeah. I get lost so fucking easily that it’s almost comical.

Eh, fuck it. It is comical.

I got lost today during a half marathon. Between mile markers 2 and 3.

Long story short, I walked 5.4 miles. The majority of those were trying to get back to the finish line,

I swear, it’s a resume worthy skill.

Right up there with making Excel do things that it was never meant to do.

 

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

*looks around*

*grabs axe*

*puts axe down*

*grabs gasoline and a zippo lighter*

*walks over to family tree and douses that fucker in gas*

*starts to walk away*

*throws zippo over shoulder*

*strut like a bad ass while the tree goes up in flames behind me*

*zoom in on a shit eating grin*

 

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

Take a seat. Get comfy.

Shit’s about to get real.

The other day, I get this random DM with a GoFundMe link from one of my cousins.

Let me set one thing straight:

I. FUCKING. HATE. GOFUNDME.

Nothing says “I only care about your money” like a link to a GFM page.

Which, let’s be honest, is pretty much on brand for that branch of the family tree.

Not a word as to WHY there’s a GFM link in my DMs. Just the link.

So I click on it to find out that in MAY, she was in a terrible accident. Life support, serious injuries, yadda, yadda, yadda.

(I suppose it says a lot that I’m so blasé, instead of treating it seriously.)

Shall we view a timeline?

May: accident happens

October: random DM in my inbox

Hmmmm… let’s see. October less May, multiplied by the square root of cheese, and divided by a pizza pie, gives you, what? Five months?

For five months I had no idea that a person I used to care deeply for was staring death in the face.

I didn’t even know why I was getting the GFM link. There was nothing to put it in context.

So… yeah. Fuck that noise.

Fuck her.

Posted by Matty on 10/22 at 08:35 PM
completely randomrunningPermalink

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Happy 40th, Epcot!

I really need to rethink my priorities.

I got tired of answering message after message during Irma (which was our first hurricane as Florida residents), so I started posting #bluedotupdates on my Facebook page. Normally with a screenshot of the current conditions. Of course, hurricanes are hard to predict. They can change course in the blink of an eye. Like, for Irma, it was headed straight for Sunrise, so we decided maybe it would be smart to go north west. Well, Irma decided to go there before we could totally make our minds up. Probably a good thing that we were frozen by fear…

We’re located between Miami and West Palm. Closer to Boca than Fort Lauderdale. We are often in the Cone of Uncertainty. We are often nervous. We are often scared. The #bluedotupdates are often soothing. People know where we are and how we’re fairing. While I can get exhausted thinking about what could happen, and answering the same “Are you guys OK” day after day, I appreciate that people care.

I mean, it’s not like I have many friends… mostly acquaintances. People I want to meet up with when they’re near… then blow me off after making tentative plans. And I get it - I absolutely suck donkey balls at staying in touch with people. I hate the phone, but I would rather talk than text. Texting takes too long and I’m never sure where the conversation actually ends. Quick likes on Facebook are more my speed, but they don’t breed intimate friendships.

I’m a fucking walking disaster.

But anyhoo… that’s not the point.

The point is that I’m Facebook friends with three members of my blood family. Two that I was really close to growing up and one that I became close with recently. M & C are my aunt’s daughters and L is my godfather’s oldest.

I’ll give you one guess as to who reached out to see if I was OK.

I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of being hurt. I’m tired of letting that branch of the family tree live rent free in my head. (...And if you read the archives, I tend to say the same things about my mother.)

The sad thing is that I know therapy would probably help with bits and pieces of that, but every therapist I’ve ever seen wants to dive into the minutiae of my parents’ alcoholism, the physical and mental abuse my mother put me through… and I know that that’s probably the root of all my problems that are outside the scope of the bipolar.

But.

It’s easier to work through that shit here than it is to talk to a complete stranger. I don’t know. Despite everything, I’m still a little protective of my family. Not that they deserve it. (Well maybe my father does. He tried the hardest to do right by me… but the rest of them can go fuck themselves.) Here I can edit my word vomit. Dial back the emotions. Engage in unhealthy behaviours. *shrug*

Maybe I like constantly feeling like shit.

Who knows.

 

- - - - - - - - - -

In other news, and not really in order of importance:

  • We went to Universal last weekend for Halloween Horror Nights. The only house worth the price of admission was the Halloween (1978) house. We had express passes - which is the only way to do the event, tbh - they’re great if we want to do certain houses more than once. (We can justify the cost of those since the HHN ticket is included in our annual pass.) Since we had early access, we were able to get into Halloween before the doors opened to the crowd. And it freaked me the fuck out. (That movie is the only one to consistently scare the shit out of me no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I hear the music and my blood runs cold.) We also got lost in the house. There was one room that was a hall of mirrors and… GAH! That, of course, was the one room we couldn’t find our way out of.  We used the express pass to go through it a second time (when the wait was two-ish hours) and it scared me even more the second time, despite knowing where the jump scares were.

  • I’m running a ridiculous amount of races between now and Wine & Dine: 5K tomorrow, two 5Ks next weekend, a 5K the weekend after that, and a half marathon the weekend after that. Then, I take the weekend off for my first trip back to UConn in years. (And I almost got a room in Storrs before remembering that the football stadium is in East Hartford… I’m close enough to the stadium to walk to the game.) Have I mentioned that I HATE running?

  • My Stetopher fic is a struggle. I haven’t figured out the actual plot yet, so it’s eleven chapters of backstory / exposition. I’m oddly OK with the struggle; it means the characters are more in character than most of my fan fic. I’m also loving bouncing in between the three characters thoughts. It’s a fun project, even if it makes me want to tear my hair out.

  • I’ve taken a break from using italki for Ukrainian lessons. I’m not feeling it right now. I just haven’t found the right teacher and it’s frustrating. I found a (online, yet a true classroom setting) class based in NYC, affiliated with a Ukrainian group that I am familiar with and trust. When I was going through everything with the class organiser, I mentioned my struggles with italki. It boiled down to: there’s a huge difference between a native speaker trying to teach a language and someone who has been trained to teach that as a second language. I looked into teaching English as a Second Language a few years ago, and opted not to because I would essentially have to relearn English. Yeah. No. It tracks. Except now, I’m in the ridiculously odd position of using the Яблуко text for a third class. And, that book has been written in to the point where I have to retype the assignments because I can’t just take a photo of the page. Plus, the paper is C2S so I can’t write in pencil. It has to be pen, and it can only be one type of pen. (Staedtler triplus fineliner, if you must know. It’s the only one that doesn’t smudge… but who the fuck prints a textbook on coated paper?!?!)

    At any rate, we have that basic chapter one conversation: How are you? Fine. (Як справи? (Добре!)) What’s your name? Wendell (Як вас звати? (Вендел)) Where do you live? America (Звідки ви? (З Америки)) What’s your profession? Accountant (Яка ваша професія? (Бугалтер)) How old are you? 47 (Скільки вам років? (Сорок сім)) —and next thing I know, I’m in Beginner Two. ACK!!!! Also, it is an absolute bitch to switch between languages on the keyboard. First world problems?

  • Posted by Matty on 10/01 at 11:56 AM
    #fuckPutincompletely randomFriendspolyglot in trainingrunningTravelUCONNukrainian by bloodPermalink

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Привіт! Мене звати Wendell. Як вас звати?

insert witty comment here

Today’s 5K was a horrendous waste of time.

I was told that the course - up and down the Hollywood Beach boardwalk - was beautiful and shady and quick.

I’ll agree that it was beautiful before the sun came up and there was a nice breeze. I’ll disagree with the shady and quick. As far as I’m concerned, that wonderful shady stretch just meant that the humidity was trapped by the trees that bestowed their shade upon the sweltering masses who decided that running in South Florida is a Good Thing. And, of course, running through soup doesn’t necessarily equate to speed.

It’s the “Fire Hero 5K” - a double whammy because it was held on September 11th - and there were firefighters in full gear running the fucking thing. 3 miles in 20+ pounds of gear. Nope. I wanted to pass out just looking at them.

I’ve been thinking about a lot of things, most of them not good.

But let’s start with a good one.

My husband and I are firm believers in the fact that a guide book with only take you so far. At some point, you need to put the book down and explore. We spent almost the entire week in Lviv just walking around, just my bad Ukrainian and a city map to make sure we didn’t get too lost… and we had some of the best experiences that way.

Same during this last trip to London. We took the train out to a friend’s so we could meet up and do the Harry Potter Studio Tour together. While we were waiting at the “station” for our ride, we popped into a little cafe right there on the platform. The guy saw our Arsenal caps and… we got an education on Gunner history and lore. AMAZING. (But, he ended up being outshone by the fan seated next to me at Emirates Stadium. I learned… things.)

Also, during this last trip to London, as I so loudly put as we were walking down the road towards Buckingham Palace, WE SAW THE FUCKING QUEEN.

Fun fact - if the Queen (or I guess King, now) is in residence, the Royal Standard flies above the palace. Do not ask me where I learned that. I cannot tell you… it’s like it’s always just been in my head, waiting to be useful. Anyway, the Royal Standard was flying over Buckingham during that trip. We were going to - I think - be tourists and watch the Changing of the Guard again. (I will always try to do the touristy things, but I will not revolve a trip around them unless I absolutely have to.) As we were walking, we were just chit chatting and trying not to run over the stupid American tourists in front of us who were walking stupid slow and buried so deep in their books and maps that they didn’t realise a car was coming towards us. A car that had a flag on it. A flag that just happened to the the Royal Fucking Standard. THE QUEEN WAS IN THE CAR. AND I SAW HER.

I also let anyone within hearing distance know that, “OH MY GOD, THAT’S THE MOTHERFUCKING QUEEN.”

(Shush. Let me have my random moment of being an obnoxious American tourist.)

So yeah… kind of surreal to think that Queen Elizabeth is dead. She seemed… indestructible.

I don’t know. The other stuff that’s been weighing on my mind… I thought I was ready to talk about it, but I’m still not. Two people know about the panic attack at the gas station and the google search that destroyed my Friday night and most of Saturday. Just two… any more and the thought of sharing that kicks up another flight or fight reaction.

I’m not ready to talk about Phoenix Day, or my Ukrainian lessons… none of it.

So, this post was pretty pointless.

I guess most of them are, but this one is even more so than usual.

pssst…. we saw the Queen

 

Posted by Matty on 09/11 at 05:02 PM
#fuckPutinbipolarcompletely randompolyglot in trainingrunningso many fandomsTravelukrainian by bloodPermalink

Saturday, September 03, 2022

двадцять neuf

During my Ukrainian lessons: think in Ukrainian, speak in French.

My running coach is on vacation, so I decided to load up on local 5Ks to make sure I get some outdoor miles.

I’m very disappointed and mostly confused about today’s 5K.

I ran intervals a bit - started out way too fast and burned out, so I walked for about a little more than a mile, and then I went back to intervals. According to my Garmin, my first few runs were at a 9/10 minute pace and my walks at 17. That was pretty decent, but my runs really should have been at a 12/13 mm. I watched my Garmin the entire second half to keep my pace in the slower range. And… surprise! I felt better. It just goes to show that - IN THIS CASE - I should not listen to my body. Apparently, my body thinks a 9mm is my speed. It’d be nice if it were sustainable, but I can’t even do a 30 second run interval at that speed without wheezing and seriously questioning my sanity.

But, then I finished the course and looked at my Garmin.

In “feels like 90” with 86% humidity, I ran 3.35 miles at a 15:15 pace. I WAS THRILLED..

And then I looked at my chip time.

It didn’t matter what I did in the end. My chip time was 16:30.

ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!

I walk a fucking 16:30. Without intervals.

And I RAN this time. That should have helped…

I know my pace is thrown off because my distance was off and it makes me question a lot of things. Like I started my watch late and yet still hit mile markers a full quarter mile after the watch registered a mile.

It might be the foot pod. I forgot to take it off my shoe when I got dressed this morning and it’s calibrated to the treadmill. (I used three different data sources to make sure the foot pod was recording a similar speed. I mean, if it matches Nike Run Club, Strava, and the treadmill, then it’s calibrated correctly as far as I’m concerned.) I’m guessing that if it’s overriding the GPS, it’s clocking a quicker speed because I did an offset. I don’t know. But, at the same time, I’m scared to take it off because I had to basically reprogram my Garmin so it would read correctly. I used to have a really nice Garmin foot pod but it died and Garmin doesn’t sell that model any more. I couldn’t even get a refurbed one from them. I ended up with a Stryd pod, based on a lot of research, but I hate it. (I had to change my watch face to add one of Stryd’s data fields and now I don’t get the information I want / am used to. First world problems, I guess.)

In other news, I’m building absolutely ridiculous excel spreadsheets again.

At my new job, we’ve been hoarding paper. You know it’s bad when the printing companies can’t get their hands on a C1S 80 pound cover, or whatever.

SO. Our Production Manager doesn’t understand how to manage inventory and it’s being complicated by the fact that our inventory is spread over four warehouses and some other issues. She has this excel spreadsheet which is basically an out of control data dump. She can’t even assign dollar values so that I can properly value our inventory at month-end… and we’re sitting on about a million dollars worth of paper.

Because we’re still using Excel 2010, I really had to go back to basics, which was miserable.

I ended up taking her spreadsheet and working through the messy transactions, cleaning it up and making sense of it. I got about 25 lines in before I wanted to throw things. At that point, it was better to move on to the formulas and figure out how to get it to export some real data.

I love pivot tables, so that was kind of the endgame. It took so much trial and error to carry the dollar values, to calculate the inventory without double counting it..  but in the end, I got there.

Three pivot tables:

1) Inventory location showing stock size, type, brand, and quantity

2) Stock value by stock type

3) Number of sheets allocated or used by a job

It’s clumsy as fuck and it’s a little convoluted to get the data actually in, but now that it’s set up, it shouldn’t be that hard to maintain.

It’s honestly the stuff of nightmares.

And with that said, I’m off to find some food, play some Sims and do some Ukrainian homework.

I know. My life is SUPER exciting.

Posted by Matty on 09/03 at 02:55 PM
completely randompolyglot in trainingrunningPermalink
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