T’ree-mile Tuesday

T’ree-mile Tuesday was hard.

It was completed (!!!), but slowly (12:48 pace) and with much [inexplicable] pain in my right shoulder.

I’m tempted to ask someone who actually knows something about running (like my x-country friend C.) for tips on arm-swing/upper-body posture.

But I did run three miles, although I didn’t have the reserves to move terribly fast at the end, and I was surely counting down my last four laps.

Note to self: drink more water when you sweat so much at night. Salt on one’s face after a run is never a good thing.

Update: Based on my level of fatigue today after the three-mile jaunt, I’m tempted to count this as a hard run. That way, I’ll go easy to recover on Wednesday, have another hard day on Thursday, and recover (maybe with a little fun speed work) on Friday.

Flipping the switch–some aimless Monday rambling

An interesting thing happened last week that has me thinking about loyalty conflicts.

I tend to think I’m a pretty loyal person. When I mentally “mark” someone as a friend, they get my loyalty and support in spades until we fall apart in some manner (and sometimes, even after). That, to me, is the core difference between a friend and a casual or “friendly” acquaintance. For one I reserve my strong emotions and my energy. The other gets very, very little.

Last Tuesday, I went home with Luke to chill before the weekly Thorn meeting. (This way, I would only have to arrange a ride home.) So Luke and I chat and hang out for about two hours before the meeting. I buy him dinner because I want to eat out, and we generally have a good time. This rather surprised me, actually [and sadly], because I frequently have a very hard time being really comfortable around Luke. It’s not that we fight, but I frequently feel as though I’m being a bother or being invasive, I suppose.

At any rate, we’re chilling, and I’m comfortable, and then Bob and the other GDI female staff member (“O.”) show up. Now, a joke was made between me and Bob a couple of weeks ago that I simply have to attend these summer meetings (despite my lack of self-made transportation) in order to keep Bob from being bent over and raped repeated by the Luke-O. tag-team. And damn if they don’t tag team and refuse to hear Bob’s ideas out; I spent one meeting playing translator for Bob the entire time to keep things from escalating into nastiness.

The dichotomy in the meetings is obvious even in the way we sit–Bob and I usually park near one another, and O. and Luke usually sit next to each other, no matter whose house we’re in or who else is there.

So Bob comes into Luke’s apartment, and he’s evidently had a shitty day, because he is all kinds of tense, and the immediate Luke-O. tag-team on an issue as stupid as whether some Final Fantasy game should be categorized as an RPG is enough to put that edge in his voice that I know means he may very well just walk the fuck out of the apartment, and damn any business that needs to be taken care of.

The problem is, he looks at me for support. Now, aside from the facts that 1) I don’t care a fig about a video game I’ve never played, and 2) I’m chomping on a wonderfully yummy and messy Jimmy John’s sub sandwich, I can’t just flip and tear into Luke after I just spent over two hours enjoying his company and getting to know him better. I wanted the whole lot of them to shut up before someone got killed, but I couldn’t be a bastard to either of the guys. The entire situation left me feeling a bit like an Asimov robot with a Law conflict.

On a slightly related note, being stood up by the Cool CS Guy Sunday is having me question how much energy I wish to put even into a potential friendship. While him sleeping through our coffee thing is very much not a big deal in and of itself (shit happens, after all), I am asking myself how many times I want to prod to get this to work, and how many times I wish to be disappointed for the sake of a relationship I’m not even sure will turn into a genuine friendship. Return on investment and all that, I suppose.

But then, I refuse to become cynical and guarding of my friendship–that’ll get me nowhere very quickly in my goal to understand the inner workings of myself and other people. In order not to do become a cynic, however, I have to avoid over-generalizing single friend-relations–I have to try to treat each new relationship as something completely new and fresh to give myself the maximum opportunity to explore the possibilities with minimum luggage from previous encounters.

Weekend update

Friday’s weightlifitng:

Bench: 15 pounds (6.80 kg), 1 set to failure, 16 reps (move to twenty-five pounds next time)
Lat pulldown: 132 pounds (49.0 kg), 1 set nearly to failure, 12 reps (move to next weight)
Shoulder press: 10 pounds (4.54 kg), 1 set to failure, 10 reps
Tricep pushdown: 48 pounds (21.8 kg), 1 set to failure, 10 reps

I did better on triceps this time, and I’m getting better as being able to isolate the feeling of the muscles being worked (like actually feeling the tricep pushdown in my triceps specifically, rather than a general shaky fatigue). My shoulders are still my weak point in bench pressing, but the worked feeling is starting to move inward to my chest as well, which is nice.

I was up and out running at 08:00 on Saturday. I zigzagged the 6 x 2 grid of my neighborhood once (about 2.5 miles) in just over 28 minutes. There’s a [friendly] stray collie that has been out and about for a week now that follows me on my runs for certain distances. [S]he won’t venture past a certain radius of where she usually haunts, but she will go with me for a while. She insists on running directly in front of me though, although she usually goes just fast enough that I don’t kill myself. Saturday I delibrately had her follow me because she was bothering an older woman walking with her dogs.

The half-hour run was with no walking breaks (although I had to slow or halt a couple of times to get the dog to come with me). And I wasn’t tired when I stopped. This whole running thing is unbelievable to me. It’s actually working. And it’s addictively fun.

I had the idea Saturday of doing my Wednesday morning long run around the neighborhood for time’s sake. There’s no way I can get in a solid hour run with adequate warm-up and cool-down if I go with Jenn to the track. If I get up and hit the road by 05:20, however, I can get in two zigzags of the neighborhood (five miles) and still have time for a good cool down before I need to shower.

Now that I can run longer distances without having to constantly keep on my breathing or my upper-body posture, my next focus is probably going to be footstrike. I have a strong tendency to slap my foot down, hitting primarily on the balls of my feet. This tends to make my feet sore. I’m trying to have more a heel-strike when I land; I feel it more in my calves when I do that, but it feels like the stress is more adequately distributed across my feet.

I added shin-strengthening exercises to my post-run cool down on Saturday. I did the “alphabet” on Saturday, but I prefer just adding resistance to foot-lifts by pressing with my non-lifting foot.

I did a quick, 23:00 run on Sunday around 07:00. I ate horrifically on Saturday, and I felt it in every plodding step and heaved breath of my run. Bleh. I simply must get a handle on this eating thing again. Meat (chicken) gets limited to once a week, dairy gets cut way down, and sugars go back to only the weekly ice cream cones in the school cafeteria.

I got in about ten miles of running last week (Monday thru Sunday), and closer to seventeen if I count the walking.

Two-and-a-Half Mile Monday was some kind of hell. I got a mile and quarter in, and realized I was only half-way done with my run. I felt tired (five hours of sleep–it’s difficult to go to bed at 21:00 on Sunday nights) and hungry and sluggish as only Mondays and Fridays can do to me. So today became a slow, 12:43 pace two-mile run with a quarter mile walk from 1.25 to 1.50 miles. Ah, well. I’ll get sleep tonight, and be back on my game tomorrow.