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Requiem for the Fall

December 2nd, 2011 (11:33 pm)

current mood: calm
current song: Somebody I Used to Know by Gotye

Fall is my favorite season.  It is perfect running weather, the sun is still up for a good portion of the day.  The smells are better, the breezes are delightfully warm, and the colorful scenery is enough to make me want to sit down with a book by Robert Frost!  It's football season, rugby season, and the best part of baseball season.  For those of us in school, it's a new beginning, before I'm buried in articles to read and papers to write.  Despite the fact that the end of Fall means Christmas is around the corner, I'm still disappointed.  I know it's silly.  It's not like the end of Fall happens suddenly, where I didn't expect it.  

I suppose I started my post this way because earlier this week, we had temperatures in the 60s.  Then it rained, and now we're scurrying around, removing our window air conditioners and pulling our winter bedding and heating blankets out before we freeze to death in the middle of the night.  When there's a drastic change in temperature like that, I am painfully aware that winter is creeping in.  All I have to say is, SCHADE, and looking forward to next year, especially after the extremely disappointing Eagles season and the less disappointing Phillies season.

In happier news, I ran the Philly Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago.  Yes, I finished.  No, I did not keep my pace.  Honestly, I think I underestimated how long 13.1 miles actually is when I signed up for this.  It was a good idea at the time!  I stayed with my brother in the city.  I got up before the sun came up, downed some coffee, and stretched as much as I could.  I was the last corral to start, so while the race officially started at 7am, I actually did not cross the starting line until around 7:30.  Miles 1-6 were rather good, (in terms of my slacker training schedule leading up to the race!).  My pace was steady, I was running the whole time, and enjoying the view.  Running down the center of Columbus Ave was quite an experience, to say the least.  And South St without any cars or people... rather surreal.  Anyway, by miles 7-10, I was suffering from severe stomach aches.  They weren't cramps.  It was probably the chicken quesadillas from the night before fighting back.  I'll admit, I walked quite a bit then.  Miles 11-13 were just me running on empty.  I was achy, my hands and arms were swollen, (apparently this happens when the electrolytes and hydration in one's body is out of balance), and it got to the point that I could no longer hold the water cups they were handing out.  I finished, had a pretzel, walked back to my brother's apartment, sat for a second, and then drove home.

After a while in the car, I was STIFF.  I have NEVER felt this way.  Also, my foot started to hurt.  It felt like a bruise.  My mom thought it was a stress fracture.  I refused to get it looked at, but promised to stay off it until tomorrow.  Oh, and I went to work the following day too.  It was a bad day.  That's all I can say.  My whole body hurt, I didn't sleep well the night before because my body ached so much, and then between the aches and the dehydration, I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience.  Yep, just an overall BAD day.  As a matter of fact, it took me about a week to rehydrate back to where I should have been.

Haha, I just reread this last section and realized that I made it sound horrible.  First of all, my brother let me stay in his bed so I could get enough rest.  He slept on the couch.  Then he got me up when I asked him to and after rousting me, went right into the kitchen to make some coffee.  Then he walked with me to the starting line.  My other brother drove my mom into the city at around 630am, so she was there.  One of my friends from work came down to cheer me on too.  He met me at the finish line with my mom and brother.  Also, the actual running was quite enjoyable.  I like that kind of abuse!  And yes, I plan on running another one.  The Shamrock Half sounds like fun, but it's in March and probably already sold out.

There were only two negatives to this whole half marathon running thing.  First, the friend that talked me into running this with her pulled out about a week before the race. She didn't even come to cheer me on, which made me sad.  Second, I have never been so dehydrated in my entire life.  Rehydrating my body was rather difficult.  I've been a runner for a while and have always had issues with dehydration, but never to this extent.  The weird thing was, I didn't feel bad or sick.  I just felt strange... uncomfortable I guess is a better way to describe it.  Other than that, the whole experience was pretty much a blast.

I'm finally nearing the end of the semester.  While I love both classes I'm taking right now, the work load is a little crazy.  Plus, I have an overbearing African Politics professor.  He kind of micromanages like a high school teacher would.  This is a freaking graduate class!  When I choose to take the penalty and turn my paper in late, it was on purpose.  It's not like when I was in 6th grade and just forgot to finish my crab project.  I know the risks.  He asks me to stay after class a lot, more than anyone else.  He's always checking up on me, making sure everything is okay because I didn't participate as much that week as the week before, for example.  Or I turned my paper in a day late and got a lower grade, and that worried him.  It's exhausting!  His hovering stresses me more than the workload!  At our last meeting about my late paper, I finally had to say something.  I said I appreciated his concern, but he needed to trust me.  I assured him that I was not a first semester graduate student.  I'm not sure if it worked, but so far so good.  Maybe he's trusting me to keep my shit together.  I'm really not all that bad at it!  One more week of class and a couple papers and I'll be done.  I graduate in the spring and I can't wait.

Work has been heated recently.  Tensions are running high as everyone is falling behind because of so many people taking the rest of their PTO.  It is truly a shame that my company no longer allows us to carry our PTO days into the next year.  We're on a use-'em-or-lose-'em deal now.  It's just rough.  Also, because of our recent merger, many of us are working overtime.  The money is nice, but the last thing we need is to spend more time with each other!  Our dynamics are the same as any office.  We have the backstabbers, the catty gossipers, and the excluders.  As a matter of fact, if you've ever read "Orientation" by Daniel Orozco, it's pretty much like that.  If you haven't read it, I highly suggest it!  It'll make you laugh!... unless you're living it...  I learned early on that keeping my mouth shut is the best survival tip.  So that's what I do.  :: shaking head ::  And I thought I'd grown out of middle school.  Turns out, it never ends!

So end of fall, Philly half, end of semester and crazy work.  I suppose that covers it!

Oh, the German radio station I listen to at work has been playing "Somebody I Used to Know" by Gotye.  Fantastic.  Turns out I relate.  Definitely worth a listen.  If you're interested, you can access the German radio station through the internet at www.einslive.de.  I haven't heard Gotye on an American station yet.  Peace, till next time.