Crocuses, daffodils and snowdrops

Just an aimless little post to check in and highlight some things…

Spring flowers are springing up, appropriately. It’s still quite chilly, which I don’t mind all that much, because at least it’s been dry and above freezing most days. We’ll be in the dog days of summer soon enough.

This is a recovery week — a very easy one, in an attempt to rest up for my 30K race on Sunday. Aside from a few bouts of unexplained insomnia, I’ve felt great this week. My legs have felt really good, and the two hard workouts (a tempo-y mid-length run on Tuesday and a set of 800m intervals on the track this morning) have gone well. I’m also dropping fat, after a few weeks of disciplined eating; pants are loose and I feel lighter on my feet.

With some hesitation (due, perhaps needless to say, to our crap economy and the fact of our self-employment), I’m booking no less than three major trips this year, all of which have a running component. First, there’s a major trip out to Oregon in the late spring, kicked off by the Newport Marathon. Next up, a trip to visit Jonathan’s family in South Africa in the early fall, where we’ll race a half marathon in Hermanus (lovely area near Cape Town). And finally, we’ve committed to running the California International Marathon in Sacramento early December, after which we’ll spend an early Christmas with my family in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Links to all these races are on the Races page.

This is more traveling in one year than we’ve done in several years put together. The Oregon trip is one I’ve wanted to do, but have put off for nearly five years. And we haven’t been to South Africa in several years, so it was our turn to make the trip to reconnect. And I try to get out to California at least every 1-2 years, so it made sense to combine it with the second marathon of the year.

My resolve to take these trips was further tested today as a new wave of layoffs decimated the employee rank and file at the massive global corporation for which I contract. Well, not quite decimated: about 4% of the North American employee workforce got the axe. At least two five of my favorite colleagues got pink-slipped yesterday and I’m sure I’ll learn of others this morning. As a contractor, I’ve thus far been immune to these “head count reductions” (since I’m not officially a “head” — just a relatively buried budget line item). But I still worry. Hmm. Maybe the insomnia this week isn’t such a mystery after all.

Someone I worked with many years ago told me the story of when both he and his partner lost their jobs in the same week. Their reaction was to go on vacation to a tropical paradise for a week, then deal with it. He said it was the best thing they could have done, as they made a pact to enjoy themselves and not think about work, money, the future, etc. until they got home again. They got new jobs. Life went on. And they had a good memory to share.

So fuck it. I’m living high this year regardless of whether or not everything implodes around me. Those spring flowers have no olfactory effect, but I’m going to stop and smell them anyway.

Total change of subject: Fellow blogger Joe Garland of RunWestchester has attained 15 minutes (maybe longer!) of fame on episode 21 of Runners Round Table. I’ve become addicted to this podcast, often whiling away the hour of a recovery run with it as a background.

The next couple of days are very easy, so I probably won’t post again until after the 30K race. Until then…

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