Thursday, 20 October 2016

Iron Horse Half Marathon, Midway KY, 2016

Finally, Kentucky and I got it together for a race after I missed out on a half I'd registered for there in the spring. Admittedly, I'm not in great shape but I think the timing of this was better than doing the original Kentucky race because we had a gorgeous drive there, mostly through mountains, looking at all the reds and yellows of fall colors. We also had more time to explore the area and see all the beautiful horse farms, as well as do some hiking (well more like hobbling) on the trip home.
On Friday night we drove as far as Asheville, NC and stayed in the KOA on the west side of town. Other than a bit of highway noise it was by far the nicest KOA I've been to. I passed out hard in our cabin by 9pm, WTH! The next morning commenced our long winding drive through the mountains.
We arrived in Lexington, KY for the expo at around 3pm. It was a small expo but I got another long sleeve tech t-shirt for my collection, now I just need to move somewhere with a cooler climate. They also had posters (I have to stop collecting things). That afternoon we spent driving around looking at horses..wishing I had one!! It was really nice to be somewhere that looked so different to the southeast just for a change of scenery.
Sunday morning we paid $5 for parking, in what I think was someones front yard/front field?, which was going to charity. Other than that, parking was a free for all, with a warning not to park near the many churches in town. It was totally worth the money easy in, easy out within walking distance of the start and finish. The race started at 8am, so I did not show up a bazillion hours early like my last race, ha ha. There were portapotties etc at the start but it was pretty low key since this was a smaller race in the tiny really cute town of Midway.  
The course was two out and back stretches in opposite directions, so even though the course was quiet, except for the awesome aid stations, we got to run through Midway at the midway point (puntastic). I saw Martina there and she rubbed out some knots from my dodgy left shoulder that had been annoying me before I continued in my merry way. The aid stations were nice and frequent. Most had water and then some had a sports drink I'd never heard of before, it wasn't bad but the first one had been made so strong that I almost spat it out because it was so salty.

 Like most races I've heard of in this area it was so pretty, especially the first out and back, but also hilly. I know I'm not in great shape right now so I ran small hills and walked big ones. So even though I felt a million times better than I did when I ran in Dublin, in September, I ran even slower. It was only really the last mile that I got sore enough to want to just walk the rest....much better than half way through the race :)
I finished just under 2.25 but I'll get that down in the next while. After next week, I'll be working part time until Thanksgiving. That'll give me more time for the gym, running etc. and now that I don't have to deal with the crap I've been dealing with for the last while my motivation should also come back...the lure of the hiding on the sofa and not dealing with anything might actually go away.
After the race they had some food and drinks at the finish line and further away near the start there was more food, a band and free massages. Of course with a 7 hour drive in front of us I got a massage. It was very light, I'm not even sure if it did anything but better than nothing right. 

I started off the drive home, after some food, with a 2 hour stint to Cumberland Falls in Kentucky. We got out and had a good walk around here. The falls were huge. The river was also really green, maybe from algae, regardless it was pretty. Weirdly, it was super hot that afternoon, high 80s, so we left after an hour and got back on the road with Martina at the wheel. I put my feet up and closed my eyes for a while. A ten minute nap and I felt like a new person. That did not last long lol. We hit so many delays on the way back that the drive took an extra hour. Other than food after the race I didn't eat anything until almost 7pm because of the way the drive was going. Eventually I got so hangry that Martina couldn't take me bitching anymore and got me some food :p We made it home at 9.30pm and everyone was really happy to get into bed and sleep. 

Half Marathon: 34
State Number 15 (+DC)

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Adulting is hard

I did probably one of the hardest things I've ever done today. I handed in my resignation at work. I've stuck it out for over 6 months and I'm not happy. Really not happy. I've toughed out jobs I didn't like before, as if leaving would mark me as some kind of failure, and it made me beyond miserable. 
I refuse to do that to myself again. I don't need a Ph.D (hello did that), a visa or hell even a big academic career out of this job (it's just a job while we are stuck here). So, I put on my big girl pants, had an incredibly awkward conversation and the result is I won't have a job in 6 weeks. 

A less than ideal work or management situation is one thing but when the other people you work with are actively watching, talking about you(proven for a fact) and hoping you'll fail = 0% support + 100% stress, to me that's the tipping point. In good news until I get another job and my stress dials itself back down I'll be able to refocus on running and other good life stuff again. 
It's been a funny year and a half. Stressful, sad at times, and wonderful (hello getting married).  I think even though this time has knocked my confidence, as losing jobs and being unemployed does, it's made me remember that things do work out, it'll be ok and that's given me the confidence to prioritize my happiness.