Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Random Review- #NRC Speed Run setting

I've been using the various incarnations of Nike + Running since 2012.  It has always been fairly easy to use and I like the tracker.  I run with my cellphone to track my runs and normally that works just fine.  Pick my run goal and go.  Pop my phone into my run belt and I don't worry about it again until I'm trying to stop my run.

I love love love the guided runs.  When I was working up to the half-mary distance I started using the guided speed runs and they were great.  The coach tells you when to go, how long you'll be at that pace, usually something motivational during the run, and then when to stop/recover.  Honestly do them; they are great.  The one from Kevin Hart had me laughing out loud as I ran and let me tell you it is hard to laugh in the middle of a speed interval!

Since Sharon over at Run Blog 365 is training for a marathon in March, I decided to try Nike's new training program to be a better athlete.  I'm backing off the miles and just want to feel more fit.  The plan is 9 weeks long and has runs plus cross training workout from the Nike Training Club app too.  I'm still learning to work with the app but so far I've really enjoyed the different workouts.  Now I'm still learning to use the workout plan and I've had some unpleasant surprises too.  Namely, the runs aren't guided workouts.  Because the guided runs are so good, I just figured they would be part of the workout plan but no.

I did a tempo run per my training program and there was zero warm up or speaking by the training program at all.  I hit start and bam I was supposed to just be in a 1-mile tempo run.  Again, the coaches in the guided runs are awesome, why didn't Nike pull them in for this?  So be warned, they expect you just to go for that tempo run.

Today I had a speed run scheduled.  Again, I wasn't too worried.  I had done the guided ones and they were awesome surely this is formatted the same way; nope.  I hit the button expecting a warm-up or quick reminder about the intervals we were running today or at least a quick tutorial on how to do a speed run using the app; nothing, just the timer going.

I looked all over youtube and google for how to actually use the speed run before going out today just to give myself a heads up since the tempo run had been kinda jarring.  I couldn't find anything!  So I'm telling you how it works:

1. You hit start and it starts measuring time and your distance in meters.
2.  It does have the number of intervals you should do at the top left corner of the app (1/6) or (1/4) how ever many you have.
3.  You have to remember the distance you are supposed to go and how long you should be giving yourself to recover.  It is not marked anywhere on the screen for you.
4.  Once you hit the pause button, it will mark 1 interval and then it is timing your recovery but you have to keep an eye on it since it won't tell you to start the next interval.
5.  You hit play and your next interval starts, again it doesn't tell you how far to go, you have to remember and you have to watch the phone/app for the distance.  The distance jumps about ever 10 meters but that changes too.  Sometimes it 10 meters, sometimes its 15 or 12 or 5.  It is pretty random.

If you run with a phone and use a belt, the I don't recommend the speed interval setting.  You have to hold your phone, watch it, and mark your intervals.  I find that stressful.  I run for stress relief not more stress!  If you need a speed workout use the guided runs.  Those are truly wonderful.  I started with Simone Biles and have used it several times.  You start it, put your phone in your belt, and go.  She tells you when to run, recover, stop, and the app marks all of the intervals for you.  I love the Kevin Hart speed run as well.  He's funny and it is a good speed run. 

Well there you have it.  Nike Run Club app is nice overall.  Definitely use the Guided Runs.  Avoid the speed intervals setting unless you have a smartwatch where you can mark your intervals because it is a pain in the ass to use with a cellphone.

Friday, December 14, 2018


Several years back I was talking with someone at the coffeeshop about needing to make some money but I'm too chunky to make any money as a hooker.  This person then told me that I would make an excellent escort.  According to him, the men who call escorts are generally lonely and looking for companionship not sex.  The guys after sex go to streetwalkers.  Escorts provide the girlfriend experience and that with my personality I would be perfect for that.  "All you have to do is talk, maybe shake your titties a little bit and come home with money."

Well I feel like I learned a lot in that conversation.  One that streetwalkers don't need to talk and two that my listening skills might in fact be profitable.  If you are a long time reader then you know that I'm a shy introvert with an energy that calls the hurting.  DH say I draw in the crazies.  I hate calling strangers crazies but they do tend to tell me all of their dark secrets so maybe crazy is the right name for them.  I tend to try to hide in a corner (everybody puts Martha in a corner) and yet somehow I will end up listening to the deep dark secrets of random strangers.  But that is the topic of many other blog posts back to this one.

So all of that to get to Friendscorts.  I was recently rewatching Pushing Daisies and I rediscovered the "Frescorts" episode.  Basically, the episode is centered around a rent-a-friend business.  I really like the idea.  I'm in a friendless era at the moment (okay I have friends they just all live 4+ hours away or are so busy being winner that I can't get facetime with them) and you can't make friends by staying in your house but I'm so shy I can't make myself go out by myself.  Well, I'm actually okay going to do something by myself but I'm not going to be out and about in a way that means I meet people.  I go to things like the movies or skating or running.  Basically, if I leave the house I'm doing so while actively avoiding meeting people.  With a "friend" I feel more open to meeting people.  Basically I need a friendscort so I can attempt to make friends.

If  I know I'm meeting someone then I go into places/events with a mind to meeting and talking to strangers.  People like to talk to me but I have to be in the right mindset to actually talk to them.  If I'm paying someone to hang out with me then I know they will show up.  No lame excuses or running so late I'm on my way back home and have to turn around.  If I'm paying then I expect you to be on time.  When would I call a friendscort?  These would be last minute calls.  I'm bored and have a free hour, time to call the Rent-A-Friend and go for a run.  I'm feeling sad and want to go dancing - call Rent-A-Friend!  I don't want people to mess with me while I am writing at the coffee shop, I need Rent-A-Friend! 

Friendship requires work and an investment of time.  Brene Brown writes about how important it is to respect people's time because it is our only personal non-renewable resource.  Time is something that is limited for all of us.  Because I'm shy and an introvert, I don't always have the energy for people at the right time.  I want to leave the house and go dancing, skating, running, rock climbing, drink coffee, have pizza, or go bar hopping but everyone I know locally and elsewhere is busy and working their asses off.  I don't have any loser friends that I can call at the last minute to do something.  The people I know require plans, dates, and appointments.  I don't think there is anything worse than forcing myself to go out on a planned date when I just want to sit and read.  Actually that's not true, it is worse to be sitting at home wishing someone would invite me to something at the last minute and instead spiralling into shame that I'm such an awful human being that no one even thinks to invite me to things. 

I need a Rent-A-Friend.  No long term commitments or investments just someone to hang with.  It sounds so easy.  Unlike real friends, with a Rent-A-Friend I know I have a "friend" for as long as I pay for.  No one telling me I suck because I cancel plans or I'm too mean or I don't have enough good points to make up for my bad ones.  The expectations are known and met.  The Rent-A-Friend contract spelled out clearly.  No expectations for band practice later, no feeling guilty for not attending some party the next day.  Rent-A-Friend is here and now.  Tomorrow is a different person, a different mood, a blank slate.  Okay, there is also no real connection, no real courage used, just empty conversation but sometimes you get to the point where an empty container still feel better than an empty hand.  The effect is the same but it does feel different.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Looking for experiences not stuff

For the last 5 years or so, I make a public list of things I would like for Christmas.  I call it "All I want for Christmas" and each day on my Facebook page I post something I would like.  I started doing this because I had a now no longer Facebook "friend" who was complaining about all of the Thanksgiving/Gratitude posts in November.  Now in November I do post something I am thankful for daily.  The ex-friend is bitter and in general a real downer so I had to cut them loose but that got me thinking that we do tend to only post things are a Thankful for in November and it can seem disingenuous.  So to be a bitch, I started the "All I want for Christmas" list.

Now this list has been going for 5 years so obviously I like posting it.  Not only did I start posting it because I am a bitch but also to shut DH up.  He loves to say I'm hard to shop for.  Now yes, if you ask me directly what I want I do usually say nothing.  Really, I'm blessed and my needs are met.  As far as wants, I have tons but I always feel so selfish asking for anything for myself.  Spend the money on the poor, spend it on someone in need, don't worry about me.  But anyways, this way everyone had access to a list of about 23 things I want.

For the most part my list focuses on things.  I do end up getting several things off my list each year.  I make sure my list covers items that are from a variety of price ranges from like $500 to free.  I want to create a list that makes life for others easy.  If you want to buy me something, here is the list.  I also pick things that I want not really need.  That was DH's other complaint, I'm too practical with my list.  I usually want a new vacuum cleaner or some other appliance.  What can I say I'm practical. 

This last year has been rough.  I have learned a good bit about myself in the process of surviving 2018.  One of those lessons has been that I don't self-care enough.  I have neglected myself so much that I don't even know where to start to repair and rejuvenate.  My soul is weary.  So as part of that idea, I'm putting more experiences on my list.  I want coffee-dates.  I want to go out dancing.  I want to share my wheel of brie with friends.  I want to leave the house with a purpose that isn't work or doing for the kids.  I want to get my hair done (which I haven't had done since February!).  I want to go get a mani/pedi.  I want to try new food.  I want to learn how to play and not feel guilty. 

I doubt I do anything from that list above.  I will hopefully get my hair done soon or I'll just take scissors to it myself.  I have to chop off like 4 inches.  It is just too long.  I'll probably just keep taking myself for coffee.  Really, I don't ever expect anyone to do for me and so I'm never disappointed.  Maybe I should be disappointed.  Maybe that is my problem.  Anyways . . .

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Damn it Brene!

I just started listening to Brene Brown's Dare to Lead.  I bought Rising Strong but managed to lose my copy before ever reading it and I restarted Daring Greatly but now that I'm commuting daily, I decided to listen to Brene.  She is already making me rethink and re-evaluate my last few blogs.  Damn it Brene!

So Brene teaches about vulnerability.  She is amazing and if you haven't read her work, do it!  I know I struggle with connection.  I live in a pit of shame and hustling for worthiness.  I try not to.  I really do until it is just too hard or life is too busy and then I give up and fall down the shame spiral. 

Dare to Lead is focused on being a leader.  I left my last position because I had honestly lead that organization as far as I could with my skills as the time.  I wanted to dare greatly and lead with my whole heart and I did for awhile.  Then I stopped having boundaries and then I got in over my head.  I can see that now.  I can see when I stopped being a leader and started hustling for worthiness.  I know I can do and be better because it is already inside of me. 

Part of this dare to lead thing and wholehearted living is connection.  I want to connect to and with people.  As a shy introvert, I already feel like I am at a disadvantage because I struggle to just speak to new people.  After these last few months, I had decided to give up on making new friends, new connections and just focus on me and then Damn it Brene! 

As I was listening to Brene as I drove home and she mentioned connections and connecting to people.  We have to be open to connection if we are going to live courageously.  I feel like all of my attempts at connection over the last five years have been nothing but me being open and then getting slapped.  Now that isn't true of everyone I've met over the last five years but enough to make me want to give up on the whole connecting thing.  Part of me wants to just focus on reconnecting with old friends and rebuilding those friendships; I miss my marble jar peeps.  But those are all people who live far away.  Now that I'm in a new job, I need to be open to new people and new connections, which means new failures. 

I know I can do it.  I know that I can be open.  I know that stepping into the arena means being open to failure.  Okay, Brene, let's do this.  Let's get the shit kicked out of us by connection.


Monday, December 3, 2018

Dad's surgery

On Wednesday, my dad had his major surgery to remove cancer.  It seems like anytime he had surgery it is last minute.  While we knew this was coming up, we had been told it would be this week and we all made plans, took days off, and in general prepared for this week.  When they offered to move the surgery up a week, dad jumped at the chance which meant we had to jump to get ready to be there.

To say I was unprepared is an understatement.  They moved surgery up a week so I and DH had to quickly change our days off at work and figure out how to pay for a hotel room when payday wasn't until Friday.  I was expecting him to be in surgery at 1:30pm so we could leave later in the day and instead they move his time up to 11 am so we had to scramble to leave earlier.  I was expecting a 2-3 hour surgery, like the surgeries before.  Once I was in the room waiting for them to take dad back, we were informed that it would be 4-5 hours and about 7 hours until we would see him again.

Once they took him back, we had to wait.  Baylor, Scott, & White - Temple did have this cool system were you could basically watch a screen for updates on your loved-one's surgery but it was not working so the waiting room lady would call up families with updates about every 60-90 minutes depending on when the surgery team would update the system.  At one point the lady came over to find us with an update and I nearly came unglued.  They usually only go to the families that are about to get bad news.  In those milliseconds, I just knew my dad was in trouble.  Thankfully, I was mostly wrong.  They extended his time in surgery.  In the end, instead of seeing at about 8pm, it was nearly midnight before I saw my dad again.

He stayed in the hospital until yesterday and as with any surgery, we are watching him for infection and other complications related to  his surgery.  I'm back at work after missing the last 3 days of last week.  I honestly can't focus on anything.  I'm blogging, listening to Christmas music, and in general keeping my mind busy but not on anything heavy.  Honestly, I'm just trying to be ready to hop in the car and rush home in case they suddenly need me.  What I can really do from 2 hours away, I'm not sure but I'm sure there is something!

So dad is recovering.  I pray he continues to get stronger everyday and soon enough he'll start another round of chemo.  In case you need to hear it: Do not ignore changes in your intestinal track or bowel movements.  I've lost 2 friends my age to colon cancer.  My dad is fighting and my father-in-law is 2 years from being declared cancer-free.  People don't ignore your body.  Get your year check-up.  Get your pooper checked. 

Dad with Baby Lala practicing gun safety.