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Second Place Is First Loser

9 May
Anyone’s who has ever read this blog or met me in real life knows that I am not the best runner. Let’s not kid ourselves, 9/10 I’m the worst runner. I’m never going to win a race or even my age division (until I’m in the 70+ category – then watch out!). Despite what my lack of hardcore training may suggest, I don’t like this about my running. When I was growing up, “winning” was everything. If you weren’t the best at something or you couldn’t be the best at something in the future, there was no point in doing it. “Second place is just first loser.”

I think because of this, I’ve always been a pretty competitive person and [not to toot my own horn but] I’ve been pretty successful in everything I’ve done. Until now. I’ve been thinking a lot about this since the Boston Marathon. Let’s face it, I’m never going to BQ. For most “casual” runners [i.e. those who do not get paid to run], Boston is the holy grail. That’s what people work for and train for. It’s the great accomplishment of running. And I’m never going to get there. So why run? Why put my body through 1/2 marathons that I have to slog through and come out demoralized? Yes, I like running. Yes, I like what running has done for my weight. But is it time to give up competitive running?

All of this isn’t helping my panic about graduation. I worked my rear end off for 3 years and as hard as I tried, I’m not going to graduate at the top of my class. I’m not going to graduate with a fancy big law job and a 6 figure salary. I’m going to graduate in the middle of my class, from a middle tier law school, with no job and 6 figures worth of student loans. I’ve been asking myself a lot lately, was it worth it? I’m not sure.

I’m not going to give up competitive running just yet, just like I’m not going to give up practicing law (I totally couldn’t afford to NOT be a lawyer right now). I’m focusing instead on what I AM the best at. I’m the best at straightening my hair. Seriously. I’ve got super thick, super curly hair down to the middle of my back and I can straighten it in 15 minutes with no mirror. I’m a pro. I am the best at random trivia – for example, today is not only Mother’s Day, but also Harry Truman’s Birthday and V-E Day. Your fun fact of the day. You’re welcome. I was once the best at flip cup, although I am woefully out of practice. Apparently it’s not acceptable to binge drink and play psuedo-drinking games as an adult. Who knew.

What are you the best at? 

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>Confessions and New Directions (not the Glee kind)

3 Apr

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Ok, so I owe you, my loyal readers (yes, all 7 of you), an explanation. I’ve fallen off the blogging and running wagon, largely because the wagon fell on top of me.

So, let’s talk about what’s going on:
1) There is no more Moondoggie. Ok, there is still a Moondoggie, but he’s not my Moondoggie anymore. He’s someone else’s now. D and I were together for almost 6 years. About a month ago he started to question our relationship and about a week ago he told me he wanted to be with someone else. A specific someone else. A skinnier, more successful, faster runner someone else. Apparently I’m too sad and stressed out all the time. Yes, yes I am. I’m in law school. Obviously it’s all much more complicated than that. But it basically boils down to me being alone. I’m trying to have a positive attitude about it, but I’m 6 weeks away from entering the most stressful 2 months of my life (bar studying) and I’ve lost my best friend. I’m not doing super well. Which isn’t helped by …

2) I haven’t been running. Pretty much at all. I feel awful, so I do nothing but lay around and feel sorry for myself. Then I feel bad that I didn’t go running and it just gets worse. I get that it’s a vicious cycle. I totally get that. Also, my leg isn’t loving me. I hurts after 5 miles every damn time. Because of #1, I’ve felt absolutely no desire to go to the PT about it, so I just dig myself a little deeper.

3) I hate my job. HATE. IT. Viscerally. It makes me question whether or not I want to be a lawyer. Too late now. I really want to be a prosecutor. Unfortunately, because of stupid dumb budget issues, no one is hiring. I had an interview for a perfect prime dream job and didn’t get it because I didn’t have any connections. Great. Awesome. Fabulous. So, $200,000 in student loans, 3 years and 1 failed relationship later, I’m 3,000 miles away from home with no job, no boyfriend and not a ton of friends (see #4).

4) I have no friends. Well, that’s not true. I have a handful of friends. I moved to LA 3 years ago from NY to be with D. I knew it would be hard and I knew I’d have to make new friends. Unfortunately, all of those friends were D’s friends. And he won them in the breakup (they were his friends first). So I’m pretty much all alone out here. Not great.

5) There is no more Roommate. Well, at least not after May 15th. It’s a bit of a mess. So, come May 15th I’ll be homeless. And alone. Great.

I know this sounds very Debbie Downer and I know it’s the wrong attitude to have. I’m working on it. Right now, all I want to do is cry. But I can’t keep doing that forever. So here are some of the things I’m working on:
1) Time to find a new apartment. This is obviously priority #1 as I would prefer to not be homeless, if at all possible. Rumor has it it is hard to be homeless and study for the bar. A friend of mine may be leaving LA after graduation and said I can sublet her apartment. This would be good, except (a) I don’t want to lose my friend (see #4) and (b) it’s 4 blocks away from D. Don’t really need to see him and the new girlfriend walking around the neighborhood (or worse, her running faster than me).

2) Pass the bar. I was 100% committed to staying in LA 2 weeks ago. Right now I’m at about 80%. Unfortunately, I have to take the bar somewhere and wherever I take the bar is where I have to practice. Right now I’m registered for the CA bar and that’s what I’ll be taking in July. They offer the bar exam twice a year – July and February. So I’m giving myself until the February bar to figure things out. If, come the winter, I’m still miserable in LA and I still don’t have a job, then I’ll reconsider my options. For a whole slew of reasons, I don’t want to move back to NY. But we’ll see. That leads me to #3 …

3) Find a job. Any job. If I can’t do what I really want, I need to find something that will hold me over until something opens up. Even if I hate it. I can’t afford to not have a job once I graduate. Even if I hate it, it’ll be experience.

4) Make more friends/be more social/get over D. This is all kind of wrapped into one big messy “I don’t want to do this”package. I am not, by nature, a super social person. I like to have a small group of really great friends. Obviously, though, you make said small group of friends by meeting lots of people and weeding through them. I’m basically pretending that I just moved to LA and need to make new friends. It’s hard and it sucks and I don’t like it, but I’m doing it. I’m also on-line dating. It makes me feel pretty pathetic and awful but I don’t know where else you meet people – I don’t have friends to set me up and I don’t have time to go to a bar and meet someone. I have some dates lined up next week. I’m definitely not excited about it, but it is what it is.

5) Run. Jury’s still out on the pre-graduation celebration 1/2 marathon. I think I could run it, but I’m afraid it will hurt and after my first 1/2 when I was hurt and miserable and wanted to quit, I don’t want to run another race if I’m not completely confident in my abilities. So we’ll see. BUT. I did sign up for my very first full marathon! I had planned on running the Vegas R’n’R in December, but with the new time limits (and the emotional D baggage that goes along with being in Vegas) I decided it wasn’t a great idea. I questioned my darling Twitter friends and the beautiful Sarah suggested Long Beach in October. Close? Cheap? Flat? Sold.

So that’s where I am right now. The tone of this blog might change a little. It’s going to be a little more about finding myself, in running and in life. If that’s not your bag of donuts, no big deal. Thanks for stopping by. If it is, then stick around. Who knows what’s going to happen next?

Gidget’s Rule #2 – Don’t stop believing (See what I did there? With the Glee reference? Going back to the title? Yeah, stick around for more of that kind of wit).

>If I Distract You With My Blogging Fail, You Won’t Notice My Running Fail …

11 Mar

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Ok, so I’m officially the worst blogger ever. Real life has eaten me a little bit. There have been some amazingly stressful things going on and this isn’t really the right place for them. Needless to say, my life’s been turned a bit upside down and I’m still trying to catch my footing. I promise to be a better blogger from now on.

In fairness, I was also a pretty poor runner in my blogging absence. I did sneak home to NYC for a long weekend this past weekend, which definitely helped heal my soul a little. It did not, however, help my running one bit. I had grand plans of running in NY with my sister, who’s training for her first ½ marathon in May. Things I did not counting on:
       It was VERY cold. Much colder than I anticipated
       I left my running shoes in LA (because I’m a GENIUS)
       I didn’t have a lot of time and a lot of things to do and people to see (and Mardi Gras’ to celebrate…)
So I managed to get 1 lousy, stinking 5 miler in. I also missed a training run because I landed in LA much too hungover to function Wednesday afternoon. I did manage to buy new running shoes, though! I had a gift certificate for a running store near my sister (thanks, Groupon!) and am going to need a new pair between now and my potential quasi-graduation celebration ½ marathon, so I figured I’d pick them up with my gift certificate. I also grabbed some Gus because the only flavor I have left is strawberry banana and that stuff’s just gross.
I promise to be a better blogger. Stay tuned for my review of some awesome products sent to me by the awesome Sarah from Once Upon A (L)ime and my big marathon conundrum.
You know you love my cliff-hangers.

>Identity Crisis

18 Feb

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Workout:
2.5 miles – 23:24 [aka super fast awesome all star]
How do you know you’re a runner? I’ve been asking myself that question a lot lately. Yes, I’ve completed a ½ marathon (slowly and with an unbelievable amount of IT Band pain, but I finished). Still, even crossing the finish line, I don’t know that I’d have called myself a “runner.” I’ve never been athletic. I fall down. Like, a lot. I never really played sports or was particularly active. When I first started running almost 4 years ago, a friend of mine suggested we run a 5k together to lose some of our post-college chub. I ran the 5k in a whopping 39:45. But I was hooked. I started training for the Brooklyn ½ Marathon but then got sidelined by bronchitis halfway through my training and never recovered.  After that, I kept running my short runs, but didn’t really increase my distance in any measurable way. Then I started law school which, in case anyone was wondering, completely takes over your life. I pretty much stopped running altogether for about 2 years.
After a bad breakup last year, I was looking for something to keep me occupied. A friend of mine was training for a fall ½ marathon and suggested I run it too. I remembered how awesome running had once upon a time made me feel and gave it a shot. But I definitely cheated my way through my training. I focused almost exclusively on long runs and completely skipped my weekday runs. As a result, I really aggravated my IT Band. It first started flaring up about 2 weeks before the race, but I was determined to run anyway. So, I carried my right knee through the last 8 miles, finished in just over 3 hours and was sidelined for almost 3 months. Gross.
Now I’m back to running 4 days a week, feeling great, getting faster – but I still wouldn’t call myself a “runner.” Runners are tall and skinny and fast. I’m short with some junk in my trunk and SLOOOOW. Runners feel confident running their short weekday runs, I get nervous I won’t finish my 2 miles EVERY. TIME. I have all the running gear – Henry the Garmin, my amazing compression socks/leg warmers – but I feel like a sham every time I open a Gu packet. Real runners need Gus. I’m not working hard enough to require that kind of fuel. I cried crossing the finish line of my 1/2 marathon – partly out of pain, but mostly out of disappointment. This wasn’t the triumphant feeling of “Finally, I’m a real runner!” I had expected. Maybe I’ll feel it after my next 1/2 marathon (Oh, I didn’t tell you about that? Yeah, more later). Maybe I’ll feel it after my potential-possibly-to-be-run full marathon. Maybe I’ll never feel it. Maybe that’s ok.
I think part of it definitely has to do with how many running blogs I read. It’s definitely amazing to see all of your achievements and I’m completely in awe of each and every one of you! But every time I read about your super speedy, super long, super easy runs, it definitely makes my “fast” or “long” runs seem pretty insignificant. I just have to keep remember that it’s TOTALLY awesome that I ran an 8:48 mile tonight and it’s TOTALLY awesome that I’m going to run 6 whole miles this weekend. And it’s TOTALLY awesome that my Bic Bands came, so I’ll look adorable doing it 🙂
Also, let’s talk about how I’m going on my long run on Saturday with a GROUP of beautiful fabulous ladies I met on the internetz who can run circles around me. Um, eep much? Yeah, let’s not think about that right now.
Are you a runner? How do you know?