Thursday, July 31, 2008

I can barely walk

And it feels great!

I went to circuit training for the first time in forever yesterday, and my old 20/20 trainer happened to be the guy teaching. He pushed me through a tough class - obviously you get out of it what you put in, but the format was tough and then of course I did as much as I could.

Jeff came with me; he said part way through the class that he'd forgotten how much harder you work when a trainer is at the front of the room checking on you. Yeah, me too. I thought for the longest time I could do it on my own - and I know that physically I can do it, I know how to do it - but that external motivation helps, too.

This morning Sarah and I ran in Bridle Trails. Despite my sore hamstrings, the run felt good (probably really slow, but whatever). It was nice to get out of bed and feel motivated to do something.

I'm working on a few different things, with regard to my ongoing unhappiness. First, exercising close to daily is a must. Even if the restlessness and anxiety doesn't go away for the entire day, it goes away while I'm working out, and then I have a little reprieve for a bit afterwards. I'm also trying to make amends with the known problems. I really don't want to have any confrontations, but they're coming - and I know they have to.

I'm also thinking about getting away for a while. I'm asking for permission to work remotely, and I have a place to stay, oh, about, 1300 miles from here. By myself. On the one hand, it is running away, which is immature and silly; but on the other, it's time to myself to focus and try to break out of whatever is going on with me.

But we'll see. If I were to go, I'd want to leave this weekend and drive, but my hair really needs to be re-dyed and I don't have an appointment until August 9, and it looks so bad and I'm so loyal to the person who does it that I think I might have to stick around.

And this illustrates the maturity of my thought processes these days. Oh well.

Monday, July 28, 2008

When friendships end

What's the natural end to a friendship?

Obviously when one friend moves away, friendships drift apart. Or, when interests change, and schedules no longer align.

But what happens when you just decide you don't want to be friends with someone anymore? Can you even do that, if the person you don't want to be friends with is in your social circle?

And shouldn't I have learned this in high school?

I feel like right now, I have a handful of friendships that are in limbo. A gal who lives nearby, but who I never see. A set of friends in another nearby city, who have totally different social interests. Someone who has done something I can't forgive - yet I see him fairly often. Someone who hasn't forgiven me for something I did, and maybe won't.

There are people to whom I want to be closer, and people I wish to separate myself from. But it seems like this doesn't happen deliberately. When that guy lied to me and I caught him, I decided then and there I was no longer going to be his friend. Saturday afternoon, I texted him and said I was going to hug him and be over it for real this time when I saw him Saturday night. I did, and to be honest, I am. I was positive once, just two weeks ago, that our friendship was over; it's not. And I'm positive now that my "in limbo" friendships are still alive - but maybe they're not. Who really knows?

Facebook too makes the notion of friendship kind of weird. I'm in "Facebook touch" with a number of people I would have lost touch with long ago, had it not been for a saved email address. I like it, actually; when I get silly status updates from those friends I wouldn't have otherwise kept in touch with, I feel like I'm still connected to them, and them to me. But aren't they really strangers at this point? Isn't it just a bit of voyeurism that keeps us linked to one another?

Who knows. I just wish I knew where I stood with every single person. I wish all the unresolved conflicts were fixed and I was over it, instead of being here knowing something or somethings are going to happen, and I'm going to feel something. That's what's so unsettling right now - the idea that emotions are coming, and I'm going to have to deal with them. I'd rather just turn them off.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hike-running, or run-hiking?

This morning I went out with a couple of gals to run Rattlesnake Ledge. It was advertised something like this:

"This will be a beautiful and relaxing run. Trail starts out in some light woods and then opens up onto an exposed, steeper section where you can see some small wildlife. You’re immediately back into the woods for a cushy ride on a soft, pine-covered trail that meanders up and down through the woods for a few miles. It smells great and you can’t hear the freeway. It’s lovely."

Uh, yeah. So it actually goes like this:

The trail starts out uphill in the woods. It's pretty, but it's uphill. Then it opens up onto an exposed, steeper section where the view is amazing, if you can lift your head to look at it. But if you do, you'll see that there's a lot more uphill to go. You're soon back into the woods, where you continue to gain elevation for, oh, about the rest of the time on the "out" part of this run. The trail will be lovely, and you won't be able to hear the traffic on I-90 anyway because you'll be breathing so heavily. You won't really go "down" per se, unless it's opposite day and down means up. There might be one tiny downhill section...followed by yet another steep uphill.

Yeah, that's more like it.

So I ran for the first 20 minutes; the next 10 was mostly running with a few walking steps; then the next 42 was primarily speed-walking with some running when my heart rate dipped below 170. You read that right...170. At the end of the uphill portion, I stopped my HR monitor and the AVERAGE was 170. Let me reiterate: for an hour and 12 minutes. So it was pretty intense.

Oh, and the other girls beat me up the hill - by a lot. Very humbling - but in a good way. I'm out of shape and I can't pretend I'm not. The proof is in the walking.

On the way down, I led the way, until a cramp got the best of me. I walked for a few minutes and it seemed to go away, but when I picked up running again, it came right back. I slowed down, lost the girls, and pushed through the pain.

Downhill was kind of hard, but not cardiovascularly. It definitely hurt my knees, but I loved how I needed to work to maintain my balance. I don't think I could have walked down anyway; it seemed too steep.

So in all, it was 9 miles in two hours. I originally had 10 miles on my schedule, then changed it to 13. But given the intensity of the run, the work of all my muscles to stabilize myself (both up and down), and the amount of time spent running, I'm satisfied that I did the solid workout I needed to get in today.

And best of all, I woke up easily, pre-alarm, with no desire to hide under the covers. First day this week I've felt that way!

Friday, July 25, 2008


So this week has been impossible, and I really don't know why.

I was okay earlier in the week, but my inability to get out of bed has escalated toward the end of the week. This morning, I was positive I wouldn't get out of bed at all; yesterday, I got out of bed late and took a couple of naps during the day when I couldn't bear to have my eyes open any longer.

And I'm not actually tired. I'm...I hate to use the "d" word.

What really sucks is that when John is depressed, there's always a reason or a set of reasons, and we can talk, and make a plan to fix the issues he faces.

When I am down, there's never an obvious reason. If there were, I would fix it. I'd just figure out what to do, and start right away. I make plans. I do stuff.

No fair that I have no idea what to do this time.

I guess its good that all I do is sleep when I'm low. I could be abusing susbtances, I suppose, and even though I have easy access to alcohol in the house, I don't bother. And no, not because of the calories. I just don't have that kind of personality...which is odd, considering many people in my family do.

I just feel like giving up, starting over...I want to move to Portland. With John and the kids. A new city, new job, new friends...I know it's ridiculous, but doesn't it sound great, too?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, I casually - and with no motive other than making conversation - asked a friend what he was doing that night.

"Nothing," he replied. "We're really tired, we're just going to stay in and chill."

I believed him...sort of. Something in the way he said it made me feel a little bit like I'd been lied to.

Well, a few hours later, as we stopped by his house to pick something up (that he had asked us to get that moment!), we discover a car belonging to some other friends and those friends hiding in the closet.

My friend was caught in a bald-faced lie.

I actually felt good for a moment. That uncomfortable feeling I'd had had blossomed into a full-on suspicion that I'd been lied to...and knowing I had made it easy for me to change my myspace status to "Jessica says when your friends start lying to you, that's when they're no longer your friends."

On Monday, he instant messaged me. At first I was going to ignore him, but then he said, "If you're there but ignoring me because you're pissed, I understand, but at least give me the opportunity to explain to you what went down and why it went that way before you shut me out. If you still feel the same way, I'll completely understand, but at least hear me out please."

I replied, "Okay. I am here."

He proceeded to explain why he kept the information from me, and what he should have done instead, and how he's sorry I was hurt and offended.

I didn't say I forgave him; all I said was, "Okay. Thank you for the explanation."

Two days later, driving home from work, some feeling came over me and I decided to text him and say this: "I am over it. I don't even want to explain why it was important. Done, finished, moving on."

What I felt done with was my anger; what I wanted to do was avoid this person and not be his friend any longer. Sort of. I wish I could really want that; the fact is, I want this situation not to have happened. I really care about this friend; I don't want to let him go.

The following Saturday night, he was out at the club we went to, and he smiled at me and waved and tried to be friendly...and I immediately wanted to run away and not talk to him. But he wanted to talk - he reiterated out loud everything he had said over Instant Messenger. I was like, you already said all that. And he said, well, I just wanted to say it out loud. I let him say what he had to say, and then walked away.

So, okay. I'm gone for a week, and when I come back, we decide to go out on a Wednesday to see a DJ friend play in a bar. I know this guy is going to be there, and until we arrive and I see his car parked outside, I feel okay about it.

But then when we get in, I just feel so awful unimportant or irrelevant I can be just lied to directly, to my face.

I want to forgive him and move on. I've often - but not always - felt like out of all the people in our group, this guy and I have a lot in common and sometimes we have a special bond. Maybe I'm wrong and that's only there for me.

Regardless, just being reminded of the lie hurts! I can see it in my own frame of mind - I had two drinks at the bar, then a glass of wine at a restaurant with John later on - and instead of getting happy and fun, I got depressed and felt horrible.

When we got home, I texted the guy. "I don't know why it's so hard to feel like I forgive you. I guess it really hurts to be lied to, regardless of motive."

He responds: "I understand - all I can do is apologize, admit to my mistake, and refrain from making the same mistake again :-( ."

So he's done the right things. He knows he's wrong, he knows he hurt me, and he feels bad and will try not to do it again.

How do I get over my hurt and forgive him now? For real, no looking back?

The funny thing is, I'm in the opposite situation with another friend, where I did something wrong, apologized, and am not being forgiven. I'll write about that later.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Talking to my eight-year-old on instant messenger

It's a really weird experience.

I mean, does he even know how to read? Does he read sarcasm and tone and whatever the way adults do?

Here's an excerpt from our conversation (note that he's logged in to John's account):

Jessica says:
okay. will you get camille or should I/
John says:
its up to you its G now daddy left
Jessica says:
you are closer, so you can get her. What do you want for dinner?
John says:
Jessica says:
"yes" is not an answer to the question "what do you want for dinner"
Jessica says:
You want to eat "yes"?
John says:
NO we can pick cz up
Jessica says:
I know. I also asked what you would like to eat.
John says:
I want to make QD
Jessica says:
John says:
Jessica says:
John says:
yes ........ I do not how to spell that
Jessica says:
That's how. Is this still Gabriel?
John says:
Jessica says:
No need to yell, dude. Did you know that using capital letters on the Internet is yelling?
John says:

Okay, I'm a bad bad mother. Oh well!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Today we had 13 miles on the schedule, and decided to do one of my favorite runs: Bellevue to Seattle and back. It feels like an accomplishment - to run to Seattle from the east side - and to be honest, 13 miles is an accomplishment anyway.

I went to bed fairly early; I was exhausted last night. There were a couple of things going on, and we even had childcare if we wanted it, but nothing was exciting enough to get me out. Anyway, we went out Thursday and had a blast, so I think I'm done with Fridays. Thursday there were no slimy guys out, only people who love music, and lots of friends. Friday brings the frat boy crowd, and I don't need my ass grabbed in a club by a stranger, thank you very much. But back to the point: I stayed home and got decent sleep, waking up naturally before my alarm (around 6:15).

I haven't quite figured out what I should eat for breakfast while I'm trying to lose weight and marathon train (yeah I know they're not very compatible) I took the poor option of a butter croissant from Starbucks along with my coffee. 39 grams of carbs, though, and 290 calories - I probably should have more protein, but I could do worse, I guess.

The run is quite hilly - honestly, hillier than I remember. I thought it was just short ups and downs...but some of those ups felt not-so-short. And when we started it was 62 degrees; I know that's nothing for most of the country, but in Seattle at 8 a.m., that's a sure sign the day will be what we consider warm (maybe up to 80! Oh my goodness! How easily the girl from Massachusetts forgets what summers are really like!)

I felt pretty good for most of the run - unlike last week's 11 miler. I fell behind Aleks and Nancy on some of the hills (which was only annoying because Nancy had said early on "I don't think I have 13 miles in me today!" and I was like, yeah, whatever).

At one point, Aleks told me I'm a stronger runner than she is. I laughed and said for sure not right now - and she basically told me that she knows I'm just coming back and two weeks from now I'll be 30 seconds per mile faster. I love the confidence my friends have in me - it's so different from how I feel myself.

I know I haven't been running as much or lifting weights or cross-training. And my body shows it: While I'm only a few pounds heavier, I'm positive that my body fat is up and lean mass down. My knees hurt when I run - which they always do when I'm over 140 lbs - and I feel jiggles. The shoulders and arms I used to be proud of are now embarrassments. (And still I have no desire to lift...which we talked about, too. I think Aleks and I are going to try to do it together in August.)

But the thought that creeps into my head when I fall behind isn't "I did an Ironman last year, I can totally come back from this" - instead, it's "Here's proof you don't belong with these women, Jessica!"

It's silly. Intellectually I know it's wrong. But emotionally, it's how I feel.

So today, finishing the 13 miles alone (Aleks and Nancy ahead, another girl behind), I had to force myself to pick up my head and run tall. And then I picked up my stride and stretched out my legs on the way to the car.

And when I stopped running to do my cool-down walk and the runner's high hit, for a moment I could almost believe I was wrong, I really do belong there.


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Wednesday speed work!

Aleks set out a workout for us today; it looked like this:

1 mile (slow) warm up (5 laps)
1 lap @ 6:45 pace
1 lap recovery
6 laps @ 7:45 pace w/ 1 lap recovery after each
1 mile recovery

The track is 1/5 of a mile, not the standard 1/4 (it's around a soccer field), so this amounts to just under 5 miles.

I was nervous, but not couldn't-sleep nervous like I often am before a long run. I worried that I wouldn't be able to keep up; after all, I haven't even tried to run fast in almost a year.

But I woke up without knee or foot pain, so I just went. How bad could it be?

Well, turns out, I'm not sure what my actual pace was for any lap, as I couldn't quite hang with Aleks and Allison but I was ahead of Nancy (who also had a Garmin). For the first five fast laps, I was about 5 to 7 seconds behind; which translates to 25 to 35 seconds per mile behind, but I think they actually went faster than the advertised pace.

So I was slower, they were faster, and I finished five out of seven pretty well. The last two fast laps were HARD and I slowed down a lot - but got them done.

For a first speed work workout, that's fine by me.

Aleks and I made our plan for the Portland Marathon, too. It basically looks like this:

Monday: Recovery runs of 4 or 5 miles
Wednesday: Speed work (5 miles including recovery laps)
Friday: Marathon pace runs of 6 to 9 miles
Saturday or Sunday: Long runs at endurance pace; we'll have a 19, 20, and a 22 miler before the big day.

I'm actually excited to have a plan again and a training log. It feels right.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I sleep with Darth Vader and I love it

For as long as I can remember (since I met my husband), I've always had much more energy than him.

In the past few years, though - after I lost weight and became athletic - it has been a serious issue between us. I might go so far as to say an issue that made me question our marriage.

This year has gotten especially bad, too. It's not just that we go out more than we used to; it's that John uses Red Bull or other stuff like that to stay awake, and then he stays awake for way too long (even if I go to sleep) and then pays for it the following week. Stimulants - caffeine, energy drinks, etc - really affect him.

He needs them to be able to go out and have fun, but then he crashes hard. He'll fall asleep standing up, while driving, or whatever. He goes to bed at night and wakes up just as tired (maybe more so) in the morning.

Now, I've never had a problem falling or staying asleep. In fact, part of the reason I didn't realize for so long how serious John's sleep deprivation was is that I hit the pillow and fall asleep right away.

Recently, though, John started falling asleep before me. And I learned something: if he falls asleep first, I never get to sleep - because he snores and stops breathing.

I started to suspect he has sleep apnea, and that's why he is so tired all the time and never wants to do anything.

I forced him to go to the doctor, and two sleep studies later, we've learned that he does indeed have sleep apnea - it's even classified as severe. He wakes up 33 times an hour to breathe during lighter sleep and 66 times an hour during deep sleep. So obviously the poor guy never actually gets deep sleep.

This angel of a sleep doctor pulled strings to get him a CPAP machine prior to the Fourth of July holiday. And lo and behold - I have a new husband!

He's awake, alert, and feels great! He had no idea how bad it was until he finally felt well-rested. He wears this mask over his mouth and nose and it's connected to tubes and whatever - he says it looks more uncomfortable than it actually feels.

It's very quiet, too - all I hear is the sound of regular, light breathing. It's actually quite peaceful. (The Darth Vader thing is an exaggeration...but it's funny, so I keep saying it.)

There's no cure for sleep apnea; he'll be on the machine until something else is invented, I guess, or a cure is found. John's sleep apnea isn't about weight, unfortunately; it's the structure of his mouth, tongue and throat. When his muscles relax, his tongue basically blocks his airway. Surgery is possible, but they say only 50% effective...and very serious and painful. So it doesn't seem worth it if the machine works.

And so far, so good! Sweet, huh!

Monday, July 07, 2008

When does 11 miles feel like 20?

When you're out of shape and cocky, that's when.

Ugh. It was a flat 11 miles, too - and I have more pain in my feet (front of my ankle on the left, top of my right connected to my big toe and running across to the outside of my foot) than I've ever had.

And one of my knees hurts, too.

I'm trying to remind myself that running hurt in my first marathon training season; and with my lack of discipline around, well, everything right now, this is to be expected.

But it's annoying! I thought I already worked through all this stuff and could run forever! Blah!

Okay, done whining.

At least it was a nice day, and Gabriel came with me on his bike. He was so adorable - around mile 9 or so I fell behind in a futile attempt to get rid of my foot pain, and another girl was a ways behind me, so he kept riding between our pack leaders, me, and the girl behind to make sure everyone was okay. So cute!

And he asked if we could go for a ride today when I get home from work. It's so gorgeous outside that I might just shirk my household-cleaning duties to do just that.

This is going to be an interesting marathon training season, for sure. But I finally feel like I'm back motivated to run. Saturday night, we were out with friends and I just up and left so that I could get enough sleep to feel good Sunday.

I didn't even feel bad; in fact, when a friend looked at me and said, "Priorities!" in a resigned voice when I said I was leaving, I said, "Oh, no. It's not priorities; it's balance. I got to come out for a while, and I get to run tomorrow."

Hopefully this will last through October 5...Portland Marathon!