This video isn't solely for them though, we hope our new friends across the continent happy holidays and a wonderful new year!
Click here for video on Jake's site.
When Jake and I got back from Africa, we decided to make a little video for our Canadian ex-pat friends in South Africa. Though it got put on the back-burner shortly before finishing, Jake decided to use this holiday to finish it up and add some stuff that has occurred over the last year.
This video isn't solely for them though, we hope our new friends across the continent happy holidays and a wonderful new year!
Click here for video on Jake's site.
I don't tend to have solid or official New Year's Resolutions, but I do like the idea of starting fresh and therefore I do think a lot about what I plan on accomplishing in the following 12 months.
What got me thinking about it today was, you guessed it, jobs. I thought to myself that I hear about so many people being way better than I am at being proactive. So I think if these next few job interviews don't go through, that I want to start taking days out of my week to walk into businesses and point blank ask them if they need help. I was reading about a young girl pursuing a legal degree getting laid off from her intern position and grabbing a job for $9/hr at a tanning salon to make ends meet while she did an unpaid internship elsewhere. Most people commended her for it, realizing even as job hiring managers that everyone needs to pay bills somehow. So I need to quit caring and just get a minimum wage job until I can get recognized for my qualities.
And I started thinking, where would I really love to work?
So maybe I'll go for those spots next year and see what happens and have fun in the process. Any of those jobs would allow me to practice being a better person, mentally and physically. Sometimes I need something in my every day routine to help me achieve my goals rather than fitting it in my free time. Like riding a bike.
I attempted to run 20 miles before my marathon next month. It's the standard distance in training before a race, with most people running 26.2 miles for the first time on race day. But the first attempt was on a snowy cold day and the park that SAID WAS OPEN ON THEIR WEBSITE was actually closed and I was pissed. The second was Thursday, really a little too close to race day as far as resting goes, but I thought it'd be worth a shot with good weather. 8 miles in and already I was feeling a little weary with how my leg was feeling.
My left knee has IT Band syndrome and the top of my foot is bruised and stressed. And while those did hurt a bit, it was my right hip and IT band that was causing me the most trouble, probably due to overcompensating. But I thought to myself "If I do 20 miles today, I'll hurt, but I can totally do nothing for 2 weeks and be baby all I want and it'll be really good for me." However, steep downhills for a mile halted that plan, and I started to cry out of frustration for not having any stabilizing ability for hitting rocks and ice, which forced me to come to a complete stop to limp down them. It wasn't fun, and it was to the point that I thought injury would do more harm than enduring 20 miles would do good for race day. So Jake suggested we turn around and by then end, we did 10.3 miles of grueling pain.
And yet, the mile of walking back uphill still yielded a 15 minute mile and my goal for race day is under a 17 minute mile to finish before the cutoff time. So at least I have a little more confidence in finishing, even if I walk some (stopping is not an option considering lactic acid rigor-mortis).
So this Christmas came and went. And... it was disappointing. That might sound unappreciative. Maybe it's not what I mean. This year was anti-climatic. I'm very appreciative of everything and everyone in my life. But I never felt that Christmas happiness I usually get and never really felt the spirit of Christmas. I'm not even sure what that is, but I think maybe Jake and I usually do more. See more friends. Decorate the house a tiny bit. See more lights. Hang out in the snow more.
This year... it felt like I didn't see much. And now it's over and gone and I feel like it never came. And it's probably all due to me not being employed. I didn't get to buy anyone a gift. I made two things that felt small and not noteworthy. I didn't even get Jake anything. Steve has always been too generous and I can't even get him something small. I don't have time to knit. And I don't feel productive or that I'm contributing positively in any way.
And this whole year has flown by so carelessly. I'm glad I've taken up running because without it, I think I'd have spiraled into unbelievable frustration with not having done ANYTHING this year. I mean, really, anything. Yet, here I am, 5 months of running, and I'm entering my first marathon in two weeks. It's an accomplishment to say the least and a show for how much time I've had on my hands from being unemployed. Lame. It won't satisfy me next year, that's for sure. And so I feel if this Durango position is a fail, I need to leave Denver. Nothing is keeping me here. I might as well just move back in with my dad until I figure things out. I sure as hell don't know what else to do with myself.
Honestly, I feel like a caged tiger, pacing back and forth in anxious distress, my natural abilities being suffocated by a 10x10 room and nothing to apply myself to. I can't focus, knowing I'm the only dead beat person in the house not contributing. I feel like I can't watch movies or play on my playstation because anyone could come home and think "it's 5pm, you're still in your pajamas and on the couch?" I feel worthless and too stressed out to remain.
So let's hope 2014 isn't a repeat. If I'm this depressed now, I don't know how I'll survive another year of this.
I want a job. I don't function well without SOME sort of schedule. I feel myself wasting away and not accomplishing anything. The sad thing is, is that Jake stresses me out so much I don't feel like I really have a day to myself to really do what I want to do at my own pace. I feel like I need to contribute to something and if I'm not applying to 10 jobs a day every day that he'll look down on me. And it pretty much just makes me wake up at 10am every day not ever wanting to get out of bed or face the day (keep in mind that 730 is my normal "sleeping in" and 630 - 700am is when happy Lauren wakes up naturally).
So I've been thinking about all the things I WOULD actually accomplish if I had a schedule. Because remember when I was working 14-hour days 5 days a week at DR Photo? I would come home, run 5 miles, then do some strength weight training, then knit, and then watch some T.V. after doing dishes, making good food, and showering. On my off-run days, I would BIKE uphill over an hour to my personal trainer for an hour of grueling weight training, BIKE back, and had a similar home routine. I think about that now in 5 hours of winter daylight without a steady schedule to base it around and my head explodes. Instead, jobless Lauren is a lethargic zombie who is too stressed out to even spend outdoor time with my Benedict meowsers.
And here is what I was thinking about. It's simple and not unlike what I was doing before:
Monday - work maybe a typical 8-5 or 9-6 schedule (or more ideally for me I think is four 10-hour days and 3 days off, but let's work with probability). Come home, cross train for maybe 45-60 min depending on how "feelin it" I am. Preferably Insanity, or maybe a combo of Insanity, Turbo Fire, and some custom weight training specific exercises, probably running related, like power lifting squats, lunges, etc. Daily pushups and pullups. Evening spent making a large dinner for many leftovers during the week. Hopefully it's Raw, or maybe I'm splurging that week and making pasta. I'll be running 40-50 miles a week, so I need those crazy carbs!
Tuesday - Run day. So after work, I hit the trails if it's daylight, or if it's warm enough, fuck it, bring the headlamp for night time adventure run. Tuesdays mean either Tempo run or maybe a steady run with speed intervals at the end. Probably 11-12 miles. Stretch. Come home and maybe do an extended stretch after some sugar reloading and an ice bath (hooray! Not). Running that distance would probably take me 2.5 hours, so after all that, I need to make leftovers and possibly crash out pretty soon.
Wednesday - Work work work. This day is a nice easy weight training day. 30 -45 min tops. I want sort of a break. I could even do 20 min and be happy. Probably very core related. Daily pushups and pullups afterward of course. If leftovers are low or maybe I'm bored, I could make more food to last through tomorrow or pull out some salad time. Mmmm
Thursday - Run day. After work it's a shorter interval run, fartlek, or possibly easy steady run. Maybe 8-10 miles. Maybe if I'm tired, just 5 miles. Let's not think about the winter times. Or maybe if it's light out, I could do hill sprints. Hopefully it's 1.5 hours tops. Then it's stretch, ice bath, extended stretch, dinner, and maybe because tomorrow is Friday, I'll feel spunky and watch a movie as I knit.
Friday - After work, I get a day off if I want. Not for pushups and pullups though. And most likely I could use a relaxing or possibly power yoga session. 40-60 minutes. It's Friday though, which means I'll be up late on my computer playing games, reading about the latest research done in Astrophysics, and hopefully contributing positively somewhere. Learning math, physics, etc, bettering myself. There could be a college lecture going on or I could take my telescope out and look for the latest comet through the night sky. Maybe I'll get ready for a weekend camping/trail running trip, or even leave that night.
Saturday - My long run day. Maybe 15 miles. Maybe 30 miles. Who knows what the latest race I'm training for is. Serious stretching and core work after. Could take 5 hours, could take all day. If I have daylight after, I'll hit up my local coffee shop and do some work on the computer. And then play around on Reddit. And then research where I want my career to go or if there are job opportunities in Paris. Maybe I'll look into more school and see if I can fit that in my Mon/Wed/Fri schedule. Weekend classes? If I used up all my daylight running, then it's heading to a different coffee shop perhaps. Or a quiet hipster bar. Or meeting friends for drinks. Or maybe more "better myself" time. Or enjoying my camping trip.
Sunday - Recovery run. Short and sweet. This would be a day for cleaning up around the house, the stuff I don't touch every day, like dusting, bathtub, mopping, organizing, cleaning sheets, maybe other laundry, detailing my car. And in between I might be doing more research, work, homework, playing on my Playstation, reading, doing cool errands with Benedict. Food prep for the week. Or, again, enjoying my weekend camping trip - or not enjoying it and driving home instead.
I think every morning I'd wake up early enough to do at least 30 minutes of reading. I'd like to finish a book every week minimum. Improve my vocabulary. I would like to train or spend 30-60 minutes just on Benedict too, outside preferably, maybe in my garden or doing some sort of crafty thing and play with him simultaneously. I'd also like to knit every day and keep up with my Etsy. I keep wanting to knit more but find it difficult with Benedict and it's also part of the Jake stress where I feel like I'm not being productive enough and will be judged.
I guess I've just been thinking too much lately.
I've had some good runs lately. I've also had some exhausting ones that make me question my motives. Winter training has proven to be a challenge, but one I can deal with. I tend to cut down my mileage by about 25% and I'm a lot slower too, or at least I haven't improved my speed at all since it's been cold. Just too stiff and a little miserable.
Yesterday I ran with the Denver Trail Runners and it's hard to believe I can get their kind of speed one day. It was a little ridiculous because watching their stride, it didn't even seem like they could possibly be going much faster, but within a minute or so they'd be a half a mile ahead of me or more. I felt like such a loser.
And Saturday was my long run, pushing 18 miles. But I always hit a wall (The Wall??) at mile 12 like every time. I think it must have happened during my Black Squirrel Half Marathon too... and it never fails to flatten me and make me cry from exhaustion. In the warmer months, and with lots of daylight, I was pretty good about pushing through and wanting to die at the end. But when it's cold and I'm racing against the sunset? I just don't have it in me.
This was 2/3 of my run Saturday, including the decent. It was actually pretty fun, except for the two times I fell on my ass, twisted my ankle and further injured my IT Band problem. However, running through it, I felt fine and when I got to my car at mile 10.5, I knew I could continue onto South Valley and complete the other 8 miles. And then magically, feeling good, good, good, good, good, mile 12, BAM, shit. And I want to die. So strange.
Which makes me so skeptical that I'm at all ready for a marathon in just over a month. Really? I think it's two half marathon loops. When I finish the first one how on earth will I get the motivation to do a whole other loop, climbing 1400 feet?
Nevermind, I was wrong about the double loop:
But the first climb is 1700, not 1400. Well, can't say I've not done worse. Most of my training is about that I believe, if not worse. And at way higher elevations, starting at 6200 ft or so.
I love how there's a huge climb right around the time I hate my life and then you see that hill at mile 24? Are they sadists? I know I will cry when I cross the finish. I cry after every run over 13 miles in training. I will also be crying because I just finished a fucking marathon after less than 6 months of running. Do you believe that? I just started running in JULY.
When I ran in Austin, though, the extra oxygen at sea-level really didn't feel any better. I was still really exhausted and sad at 13 miles and barely pushed through 15. Though again, if I wasn't racing against the sun? Maybe. And maybe it was just the humidity stifling me even though I enjoy heavy air way more than dry desert air. We'll see how it goes.
So with all this training, I've added new things on my wishlist. I think I'm just going to run my debt straight into the ground and just not care. Even if I'm only substitute teaching with a crappy pay, I can still afford my monthly bills and will be living pretty much the same way I am now, afraid to buy a $1.75 cup of coffee.
The Dreaded Wishlist:
I feel like there was more on my wishlist. Well, I have $230 worth of shopping cart items on Nike. Another $150 on REI/REI-outlet and $50 or so on Sierra. So I guess that about sums that up. And the problem with most of those is the time-dependent promo codes that make them THAT low even. Probably tack on an additional 30% plus shipping after December 2nd or 3rd. As in today and tomorrow. Lame.
I have been too lazy to put up pictures and I feel a post without pictures is too boring for most people to read (except maybe Erin, she's probably down just to hear me jabber a while).
But who knows, I need to back up my phone pics anyway, maybe I'll easily grab some to put here.
What do I even want to write about?
My latest wishlist. Or, things I wish I had time for:
Okay, guess I need to work on that Oil Industry resume and back up my phone files. Womp womp.
I wish my parents got me in to more activities as a kid. Yeah yeah, I understand I was stubborn and a perfectionist and I probably would have pitched a fit. Get over it. As a parent, slap me around and push me. I think that's the main reason for a lot of my problems. Though now I push myself. It's okay, but I'm 27 and I wish I had done more by now. I want to have more crazy stories under my belt of jumping off cliffs and video footage of me breaking bones trying to do a trick. Eh, we'll see, maybe one day.
Maybe it's that thought that got me to want to re-start another body transformation. I want to BE strong and capable so I CAN get into parkour and cliff diving. I decided it's time to DIY some fitness equipment and try to get over my qualms with the Bodyrock.com girl getting boob surgery but sounding like a hippie idiot preaching "just lovvvve your body as it isssss." And then get plastic surgery apparently. Yeah, great motivational speaker.
Anyway, 30-day challenges here I come, and I WON'T spend your ridiculous prices on dip bars and sand bags. Where did you come up with those prices Bodyrock? You cray cray. I feel bad for the people who fall for your bullshit. I'm going to attempt to sweep the shit aside and get my daily HIIT on.
So I'm going to Austin tomorrow and seeing the FamBam in Ft Worth this weekend. I'll be in Texas a week and hoping to talk to my uncle about an IT position, I have some leads on Petrol industry jobs elsewhere in the state thanks to a Redditor and my plea for help in /r/jobs. I'm also beginning some CRM self-training in hopes of some jobs opening up.
I hope to do a trail race while I'm there but the one I want to do the most is $70.... hmm. We'll see.
I don't know what else to write, hopefully I'll have fun pictures and stories from Texas, but I'm not taking my DSLR with me. Too much running gear and I don't feel like checking in bags. We'll see how that turns out
Well my seasonal job is coming to an end soon and so far no takers on any of the jobs I've applied for. I'm not quite sure what that will mean since I planned on saving enough money to go to my sister's wedding in May but that was kind of dependent on finding a good paying job starting in October. If I don't find one soon I might have t spend all my money on bills and not be able to save enough for travel to wherever the wedding will be.
And that brought me right back to desperation and wanting to know what the hell I should even be doing with myself. I feel like a worthwhile asset to any company, but apparently I'm either inexperienced because Master's degrees are applying to entry level jobs, or I'm "Overqualified" in that they think I won't stick around long enough to be worth it. Well, I'm applying, so I'll put out the effort as long as you need. I only wish they would contact my references like FIRST so they can hear first-hand that I would be amazing anywhere.
The problem is I don't know how to sell myself. I wish people would just RECOGNIZE my capabilities and potential instead of me figuring out how to sound like an egotistical jackass. I have no clue ever what to write about myself and I feel like at the age of 27 I've single-handedly accomplished nothing. I didn't do anything cool or worthwhile in school. I've only had crap simple jobs after graduating. And then I slacked for 6 months traveling around Africa and have been pretty much unemployed the entire time I've been back.
So I've decided on trying school again. I talked with a couple people in the academia world in Colorado and it pretty much feels like my only option at the moment. And I don't want to be a failure. I've wanted to be a forever student and obtain a few degrees. This time I'm going right back into Astrophysics and hopefully I'll find something that I want to do research in and then continue onto my PhD. We'll see how everything works out. I'm going to sit in on some classes, talk with some faculty and then apply by hopefully next fall but maybe earlier if it's possible.
And in the meantime I'm going to try to be a substitute teacher, taking the test for Mathematics. I actually took it once before but failed by 8 points which is like 2 or 3 questions. And it turns out Colorado has the highest test score requirement and had I taken the test in ANY other state, I would have passed. But I did that test without studying and without a graphing calculator which was required. I got a calculator on Craigslist for $10 and I think with that alone I'll pass, but I also bought a study guide and plan on selling it back to Amazon when I'm done with it.
Substitute teachers don't really get the pay rate that I need, but something is better than nothing and at least it will be consistent hours since the consensus is that subs get called every single day here.
I'm stressed. And sad all the time. Running helps but I skipped Tuesday because I worked a shitty 12 hour day starting at 4am and just didn't feel like battling cold weather. Today is actually pretty nice and I'm supposed to do a slow 5 miles, which I'd probably just do at Wash Park nearby, but I don't even know if I'll go. I'd have to go like NOW and I am just tired and out of it. Tomorrow is a scheduled 13 mile run, so I think I'll just do that early in the day and just have an easy slow
Decided on doing my 10 mile run on my favorite never-fail Marshall Lake/Eldorado Springs since I heard it opened up. However, I didn't realize only certain sections were open and when I got there I saw that the main parts of my run were still closed.
I didn't have time to search new trail routes, so I decided to run the closed parts (which is dangerous and sometimes damaging, you probably shouldn't do what I do).
And here's the look of them. I don't really have too many pictures of the actual trails PRE flood, but you can probably see the significance of the damage anyway. I imagine these trails won't be open until next season... and maybe even longer than that... It's sad =/
I have no idea what to do with myself, so I try to blog to organize my head.
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