Morning Ramble on Multi-Tasking

30 08 2011


On my way to campus after emails with Twin about events around the Virginia Beach Rock & Roll 1/2 marathon. This is usually my hardest event of the year because of the humidity in Virginia Beach. The last couple of years it has been made worse for me personally because of health complications.

The VBRNR was the first time I was literally carried across the finish line. In a very real sense, it was this race that my body was finally screaming at me to deal with injuries and prolonged stress issues. Last year, I was dealing with medication and unclear medical diagnoses and the injuries of the past. This year, I am off meds, healing from injuries, and completely starting at ground zero again figuring out what my muscles are doing.

I will, however, have fun because I have given myself a few things to work on through the 3 hours on course. Other than my feet, the biggest thing is focus – which is an adventure in itself when surrounded by tons of runners, music, and distractions.

Yesterday, I was riding the train home with Turtle-Kidlet (haven’t decided on her nickname). We were talking about how people her age (21) were always blamed for texting while driving accidents. Personally, I think they learned to multi-task by the adults around them.

I have been trying to simplify my life.  I have noticed that I will allow all the little things I need to do get in the way of good training sessions and races. I get irritated at my slow progress – which is how it is supposed to be – and think about what I could be using the time for.


So, I have actively been progressing on observing what I can do, packing days lighter so that unexpected things can happen including finishing more on my to-do list or a surprise lecture from an out of the country teacher, and taking the pressure off of myself when I am on the track.

I am taking a Hatha Yoga class on Monday nights. We had a great deal of reading to do, but the class was on being aware of what I am doing in the moment. When doing a yoga practice and thoughts from my to-do list etc float in, I am being taught not to get frustrated at the interruption, but to acknowledge it and get back to the task at hand.

I think of it this way – I count out my repeats, pay attention to the flow and when something interrupts like a loud child demanding attention,  I turn it into a piece of paper and place it on a mental table so I can get back to the task at hand. It worked last night, so I am going to try it in Virginia Beach.

Driving home, I thought about how exercising has truly become disrespected as people multi-task. I saw a woman running by a local park. She was pushing a stroller and dragging a dog. I pulled over to watch as she became frustrated as the dog stopped to sniff & pee, then the child tried to get out of the stroller. Mom pulled the dog (who barked) and yalped at the kid to get back in the stroller (who cried) telling him that “You are ruining Mommy’s run!” Great – we have enough problems getting kids to want to exercise without adding guilt!

No, lady, you are not only disrespecting the nature of your dog & kid, but of your workout too. Yeah, I am not a parent, so what do I know? I know a lot about the rammifications of shoving too much in and sacrificing real benefits for the ability to say I “accomplished” more in one day than others. There are no Accomplishment Olympics. There is no record taker keeping tally. The only “medals” for this come in little orange perscription bottles.

Really pathetic when people measure success by the meds they are on!

I use an I-pod when using the elliptical-runner, or other cardio machines mainly to focus (I am not a soap opera watcher and most gyms have those on).  I tried to use one in running races last year to try and focus on something other than self generated irritation. I found that I was more nervous and walked slower with worse form!  I am trying to find folks to practice with – gym and training – but I am very careful because I am not interested in workout time becoming a drama filled coffee klatch.

Sounds cruel? Nah. I am getting back to my exercising is something I get to do vs something I have to do. Just because I am studying to be a personal trainer doesn’t mean I have unlimited motivation. I live in the real world and empathetic.

I have to spend the next few days getting my levels straight and looking forward to hanging with one of my best buds.

Think about how many things you do at once and how many you are really able to do well. It surprised me!

Expo Experiences …

21 09 2009

YAWN!!! Good Morning Virginia Beach!!  Coffee and Corn flakes … conversation and laughter.  Linda’s house is great! She’d been able to find Cytomax at her Big Lot’s so I finally was able to get some of that in me to see how I was going to tolerate it.  In days of old, Cyto was the only thing I used when bike racing, but I had some stomach issues with it.  Appears they’ve gotten the mix right.

Since I was sans luggage, Linda loaned me a pair of shorts and a t-shirt. I was laughing because they were the shorts we were match set in at Camp.  We did marvel at the little shaving kit that I was given by Southwest. There was a toothbrush and all sorts of things in there. Ok, if you’ve got to lose your luggage …

First thing on the agenda was the expo.  I had most of my race gear with me, however I really wanted to deal with a shoe issue.  I’ve been having little problems with the Fast Twitch 3’s that are my light shoes, so I wondered if 1/2 a size larger would be good.  I’ve also been toying with the idea that because my orthotics now correct most of my pronation if the pronation control in the shoes was throwing me off.  I’ve had my eye on the Brooks T-6 shoes that Oh-Canada Lisa wears, but finding them in an 11 in Denver has been trouble.

I got outside and was immediately hit by the humidity and heat that early in the morning.  Wow.  I wasn’t used to it at all.  Linda said it was better than last year and all I could think of was how I was going to re-wire my competitive head in order to handle this race!  Linda kept reminding me we were there to have fun and not kill ourselves.  She has an Achilles Tendon issue and me with my knee.  The thing that really caused me some concern was my breathing.  I realized I’d left my inhaler in Denver, and I wondered if I’d need it on this race.  I didn’t think so because I’ve handled the humidity of Disney.

Linda and I are a lot alike.  First things first: GET RACE NUMBER.  Being as shy as she is, Linda seems to know just about everyone.  She was introducing me to Tidewater Striders who are doing the Goofy in 2010 while we were getting our packets! I was a little dismayed because I remembered when I registered that I thought I’d be well below the 2:45 mark for the half.  I just had to deal with it.

We threaded our way through to where we would get our t-shirts.  I turned around and saw the big vinyl sign for San Jose Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in October.  This race in Virginia Beach was my shake out for the shoes and orthotics before I go to my annual Birthday Race. I stopped dead.  Remember – I’m 5″9.5″ and Linda was right behind me at 5″5′ … I pointed at the pictures and said “That’s ME!”  Sure enough … It was me at my first San Jose Rock and Roll 1/2 on my parents’ 49th wedding anniversary and the day before I turned 43! I fell on the ground so Linda could take the photos. We both were just laughing … and stopping traffic.  People would look and point and look and say “OH MY GOSH THAT’S YOU!!!” and take photos!  I always want people to have fun when I’m doing things, but this was just too crazy.  I remember my Mom asking me why I had to wear those silly Stitch ears on my head … before she saw a guy in a red and gold lame wig. Two years later, here’s to making people laugh!!

That race was memorable because it was the first one that my parents were at.  Mom-mee has become the cheerleader at now three 1/2 marathons and flies to Denver for the Gorilla Run.  Dad tried really hard to get photos as I was coming in at the end unfolding off the bench to try to take pictures with his cell-phone. 

Back to the business at hand.  We called Mom, but I was laughing too hard so I asked Linda to talk with her. She was still concerned my luggage hadn’t arrived, but there truly wasn’t anything we could do. 

Wandering about the expo, I found the Sauccony (sp) dealer where I picked up a pair of Fast Twitch 3’s in 11.5. My slightly swollen feet (swollen from travelling) handled them better than the pair I had brought with me.  Of course, Linda knew the owner of the store sponsoring the dealer.  She’s so darned shy!  Next stop was where they were selling Brooks and they actually had one pair of T-6’s in size 11. OH MY GOSH … they felt fantastic! They felt better than the Fast Twitches, but I wasn’t going to about and return the shoes saying “I’ve found the Brooks that I was using the Saucconys to replace …” I knew then and there I was breaking another of the “cardinal rules” of racing — I was going to be wearing new shoes on race day.

Now, if you know me, you know this isn’t exactly new ground for me.  My very first race, I wore a water belt – something that wasn’t even an option when I was running.  As recently as Memorial Day, I was trying out a pair of Racer ST-4’s after over a year in ST-3’s.  Kristin H. yalped at me soundly after the race.  I’d been teased that they were so white that I needed to scuff them up as I was walking to the start with Scott K. and David R.  The biggest change, of course, is that the T-6’s have NO stability control on them and the heel is far lower than what I was used to.  All I could think of was if I was truly going to be able to know if the orthotics were right was to try a distance under pressure in shoes without control.  Ok – so that’s what I told myself.

At the expo we met up with a bunch of really wonderful folks and … probably best of all … we were notified that my luggage was en route to Linda’s! Whoo HOO!!

Off to lunch … after a week of not being able to keep anything down due to potential MSG issue from a local Chinese food place, it was the first I’d been able to eat since the weekend!  Yeah – so much for “carbo-loading”.