Sunday, February 8, 2009

Girl Power!

Go make a cup of tea. Pop a bag of popcorn. I'm sure I should have split this into 2 posts, but it's almost 10PM and I'm lazy. Hope you'll still love me anyway.


My Gazelle is a police officer. Recently, he switched from a job that allowed him to work the schedule of a "normal" human being: Monday-Friday, 9-5. Well, in theory he worked 9-5, but in reality, he worked 9-6 or 9-7, or sometimes 9-9. In addition, his job didn't allow him any freedom, sunshine, or lunch breaks most of the time. He was miserable.

In light of his misery, he changed jobs.

Now, he works the schedule of a "normal" police officer. Translation: he works ungodly hours on unpredictable days.

Considering that I spent the first 2 years of our life together enjoying the predictability of my honey working a very similar schedule as mine, having him home on weekends, and planning our life around that schedule, it was a bit of a shock when he changed to this newfangled police officer schedule. How was I supposed to plan around a swing schedule, with a 3PM-1AM shift? How was I supposed to count on having fun times together? How was I supposed to be home all the time by myself? Most importantly, HOW was I going to go to sleep by myself?

I was bitter for a minute or two.

I wondered how long it would be before our relationship crashed and burned.

It made me sad.


I was patient.

I was kind to the fact that he was going to need a couple of weeks to adjust.

I didn't get mad when he slept through his entire first day off a few times.

I didn't smack the SH#T out of him when he announced to me during the first week that since I dirtied the pots and pans (that were dirtied by making him dinner), it should be my responsibility to clean them.

No no, I just stared at him, shocked, and realized that it must be the schedule change that was making him stupid. Then I laughed at him the next day, when his guilt led him to take me out to dinner and grovel a little. It was quite funny. Thank you for the dinner, crazy schedule change.

It has now been approximately a month since the new schedule, and guess what?


So what if we have to celebrate Valentine's Day on February 13th. At least we don't have to worry about the Valentine's Day dinner rush.

So what if he's working on our anniversary. We'll celebrate it on another day. It'll be just as special.

See, I've realized that all of these details just don't matter. In the past month, I have done more things for myself and by myself than I've done in my entire life.

Yesterday, I traveled 45 minutes on the Metro into DC, and spent 2 hours in the Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which is one of my favorite places on earth. In the past, I have always gone with other people. This is fun, of course, but I am fascinated by art pieces which feature people, so the Portrait Gallery is like a little piece of Heaven to me. Yesterday, for the first time, I had the opportunity to look at exactly what I wanted to look at, for as long as I wanted to look, and if I wanted to go back and look again, I did. There was no pressure to hurry, and the fact that I didn't have to worry about what someone else wanted was refreshing.

After I spent 2 hours wandering through the Portrait Gallery, I wandered for another 2 hours through Chinatown, and did a little shopping. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it is very big.

Very. Very. BIG.

It was a very empowering and kind thing to do for myself. I plan to do things of this sort much more often.

It was a ME weekend...


Throughout the week, I was bugging Robert, (who is the one that convinced me to do the 1/2 marathon in May rather than waiting until October) to help me organize group runs on Sundays in preparation for the 1/2. We worked out the details, and planned for everyone to meet this morning at 9:30 to run 6 miles at a local park. I was excited, but nervous about running with other people. However, Robert is one of my best friends ever, and I met him because he was my personal trainer when I first started running. He has already seen me in various forms of hacking, coughing, and snotting on myself. Not to mention, I felt like I needed his direction because he knows what he's talking about. I basically think that he is awesome, and I love him.

It turned out that it was just me, Robert, Carol & one point (ahem...pre-gazelle), the 4 of us hung out often, so it a was very comfortable group. We decided to do 6 miles, which was 2 loops around the lake. The 3 mile loop includes a lot of hills. Especially between the 2nd and 3rd mile in the loop. It is miserable. By the time you finish one hill, you really only have 10 seconds to recover before you hit the next one. Repeat. Repeat again.

Before we began, Robert studied my gait. He was VERY impressed by how much it has improved since the last time I called him in desperation over my knee pain. He actually said that he was very surprised that it was "10 times better". That made me so happy.

The first loop, Robert ran around the lake with me. He wanted to help me pick up my pace, so we stayed in step the whole time...he slowed down with me when necessary. We were running at about 10:30 pace according to my Nike +, and then when we hit the hills at the end, we slowed down quite a bit.

The reason why everyone should have a great running coach/personal trainer: When I was ready to fall on the side of the path and die, Robert grabbed my arm and basically dragged me up that series of hills. No really. He dragged me up the hills. Held my hand and wouldn't let it go until the hill was over. It felt so corny, and I was hoping that nobody passed us at that point, but I was thankful. He encouraged me the entire way up those damn hills. Told me to run on my toes (yeah, never knew that). Told me I was doing awesome. Told me we were almost there. I definitely would have given up if he wasn't there.

Did I mention that I love Robert?

I did make it through the first loop, averaging about 10:45/mile, which is really awesome for me, especially given the terrain. I ran the second loop on my own, and really kept a nice pace. I walked very little, to my surprise, and finished the run with 6.25 miles, average pace of 11:10. I came home and couldn't really believe what I had just done.

I just ran 6.25 miles. My longest run ever. And I did it with an 11:10 average pace.

For this, I'm awarding myself another Wonder Woman Moment. Just go with it.


Next week, we run 7 miles on Sunday. We have a standing 9:30AM long Sunday run date. If it rains or whathaveyou, we'll meet at Robert's studio and run there inside. I'm excited about the idea of having peeps to run with. This is kind of funny considering that just a short time ago, I had a chronic case of runningpartnerophobia.

It's all about the girl power. And there's no room for runningpartnerophobia when you have girl power.
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