Saturday, March 08, 2008

Have Stress, Will Unravel

It's odd, working at a company that's basically wrapping up and closing down (well, not the WHOLE company, but the people around me are all getting laid off). The tone varies almost daily, from giddy gallows humor to increasing concern as the number of paychecks left hits single digits, then back to something almost like relief. But the twitch quotient is way up; suddenly colleagues have become potential competitors, and everyone's in a dither about when to jump ship and in what direction. People are re-evaluating their careers, and the "extra day to wear jeans" that was so graciously allotted by corporate, while pleasant, wasn't exactly helpful. I'm sticking it out for as long as I can. I'm getting great experience, building my portfolio, trying to keep my own adrenaline buzz of imminent unemployment at a minimum, at least for now.

So, because life isn't stressful enough, I've decided to add an extra layer: I signed up to run the 08 Vancouver marathon. I've never done this distance before. In fact, until a few weeks ago, my furthest distance run was half that. But I figure I'm right on schedule. I just turned 40, so a few months before my birthday, I changed career paths completely, and now I'm going to (try to) plod through 26.2 miles in one day. I reckon the convertible and trophy boy are weeks away. I resisted telling people for months that I was considering doing this, because I really don't want to tell people I'm going to take a shot at it, only to limp back from Vancouver and admit I got 10 miles along, then purposely shot myself in the foot in order to get Medivac'd back to safety. I will tell you now, odds are 50/50 at best for me crossing that finish line under my own power. I'm only telling now because all the books and articles and discussion groups I've been reading on this topic say that first-timers should definitely tell. It's a commitment thing, like getting married instead of just shacking up. (Tell that to my friends in their double-digit-year relationships, hardly a married pair in the bunch, but whatever.)

One advantage of telling is that now I get to request suggestions for my iPod. I'm looking at some very long, very dull runs ahead, and I NEED MUSIC. Thumping, noisy, energetic music. Suggestions, please.

I will try not to bore everyone with details of the training as it goes along. Poor Toasty already gets the brunt of my new obsession, not just in words but in biking miles alongside me in freezing weather as I rack up the slow miles and he tries to ward off hypothermia and frostbite. He's my hero, and for once, I don't mean this sarcastically.

OK, I'm outta here for today. But I have to add a note to those who know me and who suffered endless discussions of how unhappy I was as an English teacher: yesterday I came across a woman at a coffee shop, elbow deep in a stack of student compositions. I nearly burst into song.


Lynn Sinclair said...

Happy belated birthday, and best of luck in the marathon. As for songs, I'm sure you'll get lots of current title suggestions, but I have one from long ago that always gets my blood pumping: Radar Love by Golden Earring.

Raggedy Angst said...

Excellent start! Thanks, Lynn!

NuclearToast said...

Update: Raggs ran 18 miles yesterday, a new high-water mark for her. Good job, baby!

CJ said...

First of all, you're 40? I thought you were 10 years younger than that!

And second, you've run 13 miles in one outing? If you can do that then 26 will be no problem. No shame in walking a mile or 2 either :)

Raggedy Angst said...

Awwwwww, CJ, you are my favorite person today!

DK said...

Good luck!

Ash said...

OMG - You are going to do great! Just signing up is a huge accomplishment. :)

Song suggestions:
Gloria Gaynor: I Will Survive
(Save this for a really tough moment.)
Tom Petty: Runnin’ Down a Dream

Raggedy Angst said...

Apparently, the "wall" I keep hearing about is around mile 20 (20?!). I think a little "I Will Survive" might be a great choice, if I can time it right!