Slight Injury

Is a running injury still considered a running injury if you’re able to run?  Based on how my left hamstring felt last night, I would say yes.

Feb. 15th I did a workout that included some .1 mile sprints that finished on an uphill.  It was my second attempt to include some speed work into my routine over the winter.  While running the cool down my left hamstring felt a bit odd as well as my knee.  I chalked it up to using my muscles in a different way and my running buddy, Todd, agreed and said he often experienced similar “pains” post speed work.  My next few runs seemed fine, so I thought nothing more of it.

The past month or so I’ve felt odd twinges in the same spot.  Sometimes while running, sometimes during other workouts, sometimes while sitting.  I started to question if jumping right into a workout after sitting 8 hours a day for work was the smartest decision, but often it’s been the only way to get a workout completed before track practice.  I’ve tried to get back into one yoga or mobility workout a week in hopes of loosening everything up.

Yesterday Jason and I ran 6 miles on the northern part of the York Rail trail.  Actually I probably ran 6.25-6.5 miles thanks to his wearing the Garmin, running ahead of me, and playing music so that he wasn’t able to hear me call out “Where’s the turn around?” when he passed me on his way back.  Afraid to cut it short, I ended up going out the trail farther only to find out on my return and talking to Jason that I had gone beyond the 3 mile turn around spot.

I had a headache during parts of the run, a so-so stomach during others, but don’t recall my hamstring ever feeling out of sorts.  By evening that had changed.  A deep, dull aching pain kept persisting and causing me to change sitting positions frequently.  I tried sitting sideways and putting a pillow between my legs to no avail.  Sitting with my legs straight out in front of me (we have a chaise at the end of the couch) proved to be the most painful.  I iced the spot for 20 mins, but it was no help as the pain seemed to be too deep in the muscle.

Like any good self diagnosing runner I turned to Google.  The area of pain seemed rather high up in my hamstring, but articles regarding “high hamstring injuries” implied I wouldn’t be running pain free if I had that issue.  I finally settled on “hamstring strain grade 1” as this described the pain I was feeling, but implied full strength of the muscle was still intact.  It appeared overstretching was likely the cause of my discomfort.

With a diagnosis now confirmed by Google I have the fun of figuring out how I want to handle it.  I could continue as I have been, with somewhat regular workouts and sporadic running (if I pull 8-10 mile weeks lately I’m doing good) and see if it just gradually heals.  The fact that it seems to have gotten worse since Feb. implies this isn’t my best option despite never feeling pain while I run.

Instead I think after racing the Turkey Hill 10k on Saturday I’ll take 2 full weeks off from running or any lower body focused workout besides walking.  I really don’t like doing that as I already feel my speed/strength are suffering with limited training this track season, but it’s better than the alternative of a worsening hamstring strain.  I’ve already ruled out running either the half marathon or half a half at the Dumb Dutchman (Jason is already bored of training and likely won’t run much, if at all, after Turkey Hill) as I have no mileage base for the half marathon and limited speed for the half a half.

Injury is one of the most frustrating parts of being a runner, and I think more so when the injury isn’t a “true injury” in that it’s not preventing running.  I know it’s my body’s way of saying something is wrong though, and better to listen to it now than suffer worse consequences later.

Have you ever experienced a hamstring strain?  Do you let a mild injury persist and keep running until it worsens or do you always take a break until it’s healed?

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Running & Music

The only time in my life that I have ever ran while listening to music has been while running on a treadmill.  This was more common during my college years since I lived with my parents and they owned a treadmill.  It was located in the basement which was unfinished, thus no TV, and playing music was the only way I could manage a few miles while facing a concrete wall.

There are a few reasons I do not run outside while listening to music:

Safety – Most of my runs are ran alone.  Even if Jason joins me like last week or this morning, at some point during the run he usually separates from me.  Unlike my dad, he tends not to circle back for me thus I’m basically running alone.  I know technology has come a long way and there are earbuds available that don’t even fit inside the ears, so that runners can hear outside noise around them.  I applaud those efforts, but still feel I am safer when I can hear everything without distraction.

Nature – I feel much more in tune with nature by leaving the tunes at home.  This is particularly true when I run on trails.  I enjoy listening to the various bird songs and chirps with the occasional chatter from a squirrel.  I engage my senses much more and feel more connected to the Earth.  It can become a spiritual time, a time to separate from the “real world” of day to day living.

Pacing – Over the past year or two, I have become rather decent at running by pace.  I still utilize my Garmin, but for instance this morning Jason wanted to wear it for our 6 miles so I let him.  I don’t know what my overall time was, but I knew I was running between 9:30 and 10 min pace.  Checking his mile splits upon my finish and knowing roughly how far ahead of me he was, I’m pretty confident I was correct.  If I were to run while listening to music I am almost certain I would struggle to maintain a consistent pace.  The increased tempo of some songs would likely quicken it while the slower ballads would decrease it.

Hassle – I know there are specific playlists designed for runners which would help control the pacing issue I just described.  However, to find the “right” music to use while running seems like an annoyance.  The times I ran on the treadmill and used music I would set my iPod to shuffle, but still found myself skipping songs if one wasn’t a good one to run to, or I wasn’t in the mood to listen to a certain one.  When I’m running I want to focus on my run, not be distracted by changing the music.  On a similar note, I hate ear buds.  I will forever be a fan of wrap around headphones though unfortunately the soft part of mine deteriorated awhile ago, and I have yet to replace them.  Finding a pair of headphones that don’t bounce while running, aren’t too bulky, etc. is just not something I have any interest in doing.

Challenge – I find that running without music is more challenging.  Running with music provides a mental distraction.  For me, forcing myself to be inside my head for 6, 8, 10 miles or more is sometimes as difficult as physically running the miles.  It can be a good thing when I have the creative vibes flowing, or if I need to work through a problem in my head.  Other times though it can be tedious when the head games begin and the mind wants to tell the body to stop.  I find these times to be the best mental training for a race.  If I were to block those thoughts by listening to music I’m not sure that I would come up with as many blog post ideas, sort through as many issues, or be able to challenge my body as much.

Do you run while listening to music?  If yes, what type of equipment do you use?

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Pacing Jason

Let me begin by providing some background on my husband Jason’s running.  He ran his first 5k in June 2012 when we lived in Jermyn, courtesy of me talking him into it.  He ran 2 more that summer.  He’s never been a stranger to working out, and having been in the Army National Guard for 6 years he was familiar with long miles logged on marches.  To watch him run one would think he’s a natural as his form is quite good.  His height and build make me think he would’ve been a standout 800m or 1600m runner in high school, had he chosen to participate in track.

I don’t think Jason has ever considered himself a runner in the sense that I do, but rather he runs if he’s in the mood to do so.  Some years this means he runs quite a bit.  Other years he will go months with maybe one or two runs under his belt.  He actually ran a half marathon by himself on the York Rail trail a few years ago.  If I recall he has ran a personal best of 23-something in a 5k back when he ran more often and raced more regularly.  I would love to know what he would be capable of running if he committed to training regularly.  However he much prefers DailyBurn workouts and weight lifting.

For the past month Jason and I have been running together every Saturday.  He was only running sporadically and hadn’t ran all winter.  I told him if he wanted to run the Cancer Crushin 5k and Turkey Hill Country Classic 10k that he needed to start getting some longer miles logged.  He also threw out the idea of running the Dumb Dutchman half marathon since my dad and Armand plan on running it.

If Jason’s inconsistent training is annoying as a runner to watch, his lack of pacing himself is infuriating.  He is a jack rabbit as soon as a run begins wanting to go out hard from the very start believing that every run is a race against himself.  While I admire his drive to push hard, any distance runner knows pacing is a key element to long runs.  Too often in the past our intended 5-6 mile runs have changed to 4 because he’s gone out way ahead of me and been too tired to finish.

A few weeks ago we went running with my dad on the Northwest Lancaster River Trail intending to run at least 6 miles.  Our first mile was at a good pace, but during the second mile I watched as Jason began pulling further ahead of me.  My dad stayed with him and I called out that they were pushing pace too much.  Sure enough when my Garmin beeped the second mile the pace had increased by at least 30 seconds.  Jason made the argument that he didn’t feel like he was running any faster, but by the time the fourth mile came around he was hurting.  Dad and I ended up completing 6.5 miles while Jason threw in the towel around 5.75.

The “you need to stop going out so hard” lecture has been given to Jason by myself and my dad.  I don’t think he intentionally ignores our advice.  It’s just in his mind he is in shape from his other workouts and if he feels good then his pace is fine.  I can’t say too much as I was guilty of similar thinking during the Hands on House half marathon last fall despite my first few mile splits indicating otherwise.

Yesterday Jason and I set out for the river trail once more for our long run.  Originally we planned to run on the York Rail trail, but the increasing temperatures made us want a shadier route.  We were aiming for a minimum of six miles with a preferred distance of seven.  Jason mentioned maybe eight, but I didn’t take him seriously given how the run with dad on that trail had gone.

One difference in this run was that Jason had ordered a sleeve to hold his cell phone on his arm while running so that he could listen to music.  I hoped any upbeat tempo songs wouldn’t cause him to increase his pace more than he should.  He told me at the start of the run to let him know once we hit 3.5 miles.  I knew we wouldn’t be talking during the run, but I reminded him to let me control the pace that I would aim for 9-9:30 per mile.  I hoped being the water/sport drink carrier would be reason enough for him to not get too far ahead of me.

The first mile we ran nearly side by side.  During the second mile he started to pull away again and I called after him, but of course he couldn’t hear me.  Fortunately he did glance back and I motioned to slow the pace and he did.  I remained a few steps behind him, but not the feet that I had been.  Throughout the third mile he would start to edge ahead then realize he was gaining too much ground and ease up.  I was by his side as we approached the 3.5 mark and he responded with “Let me know when we hit 4”.  Slightly surprised but feeling ok, I agreed with the plan while expecting him to end up deciding seven was enough on our way back.

We reached our turn around point and I noticed his breathing wasn’t as labored as it had been on past runs indicating that his cardiovascular endurance was improving, and he was benefiting from my controlled pacing.  At mile five he told me to let him know when we reached mile six.  He began to pull ahead of me and stopped checking on my location.  I couldn’t tell if he was picking up the pace, or if I was slowing.  My left knee began to twinge and my legs were heavy and reminded me that I haven’t been running near as much during track season.  I moved to the side of the trail, hoping the softer ground would alleviate some of my fatigue.

When my Garmin beeped mile six I realized I had indeed slowed the pace beyond a 9:30.  Jason was at least 200m ahead of me by that point and I worried I wouldn’t be able to catch him to supply him with the sport drink.  My legs slowly began to feel better and I resumed running on the macadam trail.  I gradually picked up the pace and a slight uphill over a wooden bridge provided me the benefit of reeling in Jason.  We were almost at seven miles.  The last mile I took the lead as Jason began to fatigue a bit.  Part of me wanted to increase the pace because I was feeling better, but knew it was best to hold steady for his sake.  We finished the full eight miles together, a distance I was not mentally prepared to run when the day began or even when our run began.

I gave Jason props for completing the distance and for maintaining such a good pace during it.  I thanked him for following my cues to ease up the pace when needed and he agreed it helped him to feel better for longer during the run.  I feel more confident going into the 10k having gotten that long of a run completed.  I’m still on the fence about running the half marathon in June, and I think Jason may be more leery now after feeling how much the eight miles could hurt.  There is a “half a half” race option that day, so I told him if anything we could just run that instead.  He wants to wait until after the 10k to make any decisions.  That is fine with me, and I will continue to help pace him if he decides he wants to tackle the full half.

Do you run or workout with your significant other?  Do you find it hard to run beyond a certain distance if you haven’t planned to run that at the start? 




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Cancer Crushin 5k

Normally I wouldn’t sign up for a race during track season, but when a flyer for the Cancer Crushin 5k was put on my dad’s windshield at the Indian Rock 10k, he was all for us signing up for it.  His dad had lymphoma so he likes to run races that benefit cancer research.  I figured it was a close to home race (held in Jacobus) and since the money went to a good cause I might as well run it too.  Our running buddy, Armand, and my husband, Jason, decided to sign up as well.

Jason and dad preran the course last Thurs., but as I had a volleyball game to work after track I wasn’t able to join them.  I was forewarned that the last mile contained a hill about a half mile long.  I had no real expectations going into the race since I haven’t been regularly training, but was still hoping to run in the 24’s.  I also wanted to focus on pacing Jason for at least the first mile as he’s inclined to go out faster than he should.

The near 70* temperature this afternoon was a nice change from the sometimes cooler than usual temps we’ve had so far this spring.  The 1pm start time on a Sunday afternoon was uncommon for a race, but a nice change from the usual early Saturday morning races.  There were a lot of community groups volunteering and participating, and I saw 2 other track coaches as well as a few athletes.

Our group of 4 lined up fairly close to start line to avoid getting stuck in a pack.  Dad took off well ahead of Jason and me.  The first mile began downhill which provided for a quick start.  It then had some rolling hills through a development before another downhill that led to a gravel trail.  Jason and I tried to work the downhills and hit a 7:24 first mile.

The trail slightly inclined as it went on until we connected to road once more.  I cheered for dad before we reached the turn around point.  Once more Jason and I tried to quicken our pace on the slight declines as we knew we’d lose time on the hill.  We grabbed water from the aid station, something I don’t normally do during a 5k, but the increasing sun and decreasing breeze made it feel more necessary.  We reached the 2 mile mark in an 8:34, not far from where the trail connected back to the road again.

Once we came off the trail we had to climb the hill.  At that point I pulled away from Jason having given him some reminders to keep his eyes focused a few feet in front of him and to drive his arms if he felt tired.  I had in my sight Les, a local runner I often talk to at races and a member of the Flying Feet racing team as well, and eventually caught him near the top of the hill.  There were two girls ahead of me who Jason and I had passed on a downhill, but who came back on us while on the trail.  The hill flattened out and I turned onto a road that traveled behind the intermediate school.

With a quarter mile to go I quickened my pace.  I was slowly closing the gap on the two girls ahead of me, but doubted my ability to run them down.  Throughout the race I felt as if I could keep running, but never felt like I had the speed to pick up my pace a whole lot.  Turning into the final corner towards the finish the two girls started running harder, and I had no kick to go after them.  I crossed the line in a 25:05.

My dad had hoped to break 23 minutes and didn’t and Jason didn’t run as fast as he had hoped to either.  We attributed it to the heat/sun affecting us more than we expected.  Jason still managed to finish first in his age group though and received a nice medal.

Awards were only given to the overall male and female and the top person in each age group; the girl who won mine beat me by 5 seconds.  I know that had I been able to kick like I did in past races I could’ve beat her.  Loss of speed is a consequence of inconsistent training and decreased mileage, but I’m grateful to be able to maintain my overall endurance and strength.  I would like to run that course sometime when I’m in prime shape as it was challenging but certainly my kind of course.


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2019 – 1st Quarter Fitness Summary

When I decided in 2016 to make it a goal to never take off more than 2 days in a row from working out, I began a simple spreadsheet to hold myself accountable.  It lists the date, exercise type (Running, DailyBurn, etc), duration and any notes which are usually just which running route I ran.  I know some people make their logs very detailed including temperature, heart rate, etc.  I like to keep mine simple so that I stick to using it, and until I see a benefit to adding more categories I’ll continue with my current ones.

I’ve never been one to set mileage goals.  Over the winter and during track season just keeping consistent with running (ie 2-3 runs a week) is a big enough goal to tackle given the extremes in weather and the increased busyness to my schedule.  For that reason I have never actually added up the number of miles I’ve ran in a month.  Inspired by the last day of the month I thought it might be fun to do that for a change.

In January I took off 3 days from working out and had 11 days of running totaling 67.53 miles.  That included racing the Indian Rock 10k.  In February I took off 5 days from working out and had 9 days of running totaling 51.7 miles.  That included racing the Springettsbury 10k.  In March I took off 6 days from working out and had 13 days of running totaling 45.85 miles.  That included racing the Northeastern 5k.

My mileage is certainly on a downward trend thanks to track season beginning the first week of March.  It may appear odd since I had more total running days, but I often join the kids for part of their workouts such as a 1-2 mile warmup or on pre-meet days a 2-3 mile run.  I coach mid distance runners (400 and 800m runners and 300m hurdlers) and their long runs don’t need to be as long as the distance runners’ workouts.

I’m not running the 5-6 miles on Wednesday evenings with the group anymore as they meet when I’m coaching.  I’ve been able to keep a Saturday run in my schedule due to Jason signing up to run a 5k with me, dad and Armand in April and a 10k with me in May.  He’s needed to build his mileage up and we’ve ran 6 miles the past two Saturdays.  He should be running through the week as well, but that’s a lecture for another post.

I have been rather consistent with my core workouts thanks in part to making my kids do core regularly after their workouts.  I have also kept up with at least one upper body workout a week.  Normally I combine two 10 min DailyBurn workouts featuring chest/triceps and back/biceps to get 20 mins of work completed.  My active recovery days are slacking a bit, but I still try to foam roll as needed.  I find that with not having as many days of running or longer miles that I’m not needing as much mobility or yoga work.

Looking at how much my mileage has decreased, I’m very grateful I made the decision to run the Turkey Hill 10k instead of the half marathon.  Sometimes I miss having more runs and longer runs in my week, but I enjoy coaching and feel it’s worth the sacrifice to my own training.  I think it’s also good to have it built in as an “off season” for myself in hopes that it will motivate me mentally and physically to gear up even more for racing this summer.

 Do you use a fitness log and if so, what do you track?  Do you set weekly or monthly mileage goals?  Do you plan an off season in your yearly training?

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3 Day Weekend Randomness

Jason and I took a vacation day on Friday.  It was a much needed three day weekend for me as he had MLK Day and Presidents’ Day off so far this year, but I hadn’t taken any time off work.  Rather than taking the extra time to relax, I used the additional day to accomplish tasks.  Here is my categorical randomness rundown from the long weekend:

House – Jason and I met with a flood insurance agent on Friday to finalize obtaining a policy.  It was something we discussed in the fall after 2018 was such a rain dominated year.  While our house isn’t in a designated flood plane and we have no bodies of water close to us, it still gives us peace of mind knowing that in the event of flooding we’re covered.  I am still waiting on news from the plumber regarding the water service line work.  The neighbor across the street said the neighbor on the corner received permission to install a water meter kit (something we plan to do) and run a new line from it to the water main, but not replace their galvanized piping into the house.  It would require them to rip up either their driveway or garage floor to do it.  I left a message for the plumber asking if this was an option for us as well, as I would much prefer if we didn’t need to shell out a ton of money and destroy our yard to put in a new line into the house.  Fingers crossed this works out for the best and doesn’t cost a fortune as Jason and I were hoping to have the spare room remodeled this year.

Volunteering – Jason, myself and two other ladies from church have formed a Welcome Team group to partner with Church World Service, an organization based in Lancaster that helps refugees once they arrive in the United States.  Our group’s main focus would be socialization and being friends with the refugees through spending time together doing various activities such as playing games, going for walks, etc.  We attended our second orientation on Friday and found out that there is a Congolese family due to arrive early in April.  The family consists of a father, mother, two brothers to the mother and five children ages ranging from 1 – 13.  I have learned so much already about the struggles that refugees go through from living in camps for years on end to the hoops they must jump through to come to the United States.  I am very nervous about meeting people who speak limited English as I am a talker, and I haven’t had much interaction with people of other cultures and fear saying or doing something offensive.  I know this is a great opportunity to grow as a person though, and help others in the process so I am going to put my best foot forward in taking on the challenge.

Track – Originally our first scrimmage was to be Thursday afternoon, but due to heavy rains all day it was rescheduled for Friday.  The winds were quite wicked at times and my hips ached from being cold, but being cold was much better than being cold and wet.  Several of my kids had really solid performances and while scores weren’t kept, it helped me to know who should be in which events for our first real meet on Tuesday.

Running – Jason and I were going to meet up with my dad Sat. morning to run the Turkey Hill Country Classic 10k course in preparation for the race in May.  Unfortunately dad was sick Friday night with a stomach virus, so Jason and I took to the roads without him.  The winds from Friday carried into Saturday and we began running into a head wind.  This lasted almost until the third mile when we turned and finally had the wind to our backs.  We finished into a head wind, and I think Jason gained a new understanding of how challenging running can be.

Food & Drink – Friday morning Jason and I went to breakfast after dropping the cat off for dental surgery.  I love going out for breakfast, and there’s something extra special about going on a day off of work.  Ironically I ran into a coworker’s husband who was out to eat with his coworkers.  On Saturday we decided to use one of our gift cards from Christmas to enjoy lunch at Fiesta Mexico, a very filling treat after our tough and windy 6 mile run.  Eating high quality Mexican food made me wonder how people can enjoy food from Taco Bell.  We tried one of the desserts, sopapillas, which was the closest thing I have tasted to an elephant ear in terms of flavor since Lordys Elephant Ears stopped attending the York Fair.  Saturday evening we indulged in craft beverages at The Taproom at the Barn & Barrel prior to attending a comedy show.  I had a blood orange cider that wasn’t quite as orange flavored as the one I sampled during our tiny house trip in the fall, but was still very light and refreshing.

Comedy Show – Earlier this year I was browsing events held at Mt. Hope Estate & Winery, home of the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, and discovered they had renovated one of their buildings and were using it to host a once a month comedy show.  Tickets were only $15 a person in advance, so I ordered two for Saturday’s show as the February show had already sold out.  I had never attended a comedy show other than ones on the two cruises I’ve taken.  The 8pm start time was a tad late for my liking (Jason and I are usually in bed reading at 9 and asleep by 10), but I was looking forward to having a “date night”.  The show area was very intimate with rustic decor.  This included wooden chairs which had I known about in advance, I likely would’ve worn jeans instead of leggings as my butt was rather sore by the end of the show.  That being said Jason and I had a very good time.  There were three comedians, and the host also performed a short bit.  We found the two male comedians to be very entertaining.  Unfortunately we felt the female comedian relied too heavily on sexually themed topics.  Neither of us are prudes by any means and don’t take offense to most comedy.  We just find it in poor taste to rely on such “easy” material as sex and feel that too many female comedians do this.  I wish more females would take a clue from Ellen DeGeneres.  Overall it was a good show though and at a little over two hours, very worth the price.

Is flooding a concern for you?  Do you volunteer with any organizations?  Do you have any suggestions for me with meeting people of a vastly different culture than my own or tips for communicating with limited English speakers?  Have you ever attended a comedy show?

Posted in Food, Personal Life, Random Thoughts, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Multitasking = Overstimulated Brain

I know many studies advise that multitasking does not accomplish as much as we tend to think it does.  By focusing on several things at once we’re unable to give any one thing our full attention.  I am a big proponent of mindfulness and appreciating the little things in life.

That being said, this past week I was incredibly guilty of multitasking.  I blame this mostly on trying to take on too much in one week.  Working and coaching were a given, commitments I couldn’t break.  Working out was another “must do” although there was some flexibility in the type and duration.  Monday evening consisted of a special borough meeting (which led to more multitasking as you’ll soon read), Tuesday evening was Meet the Team night for track, and Wednesday evening was a Citizens Climate Lobby meeting.  I also signed up for a free online crash course in “pioneer cooking” knowing I wouldn’t get to watch all the videos, but that I would try to watch as many as I could.

I thought by pre-planning dinners to mostly consist of crock pot recipes and putting cleaning on the “to do another week” list that I would be fine.  Monday was a busy work day as it always tends to be, and I wasn’t able to watch any of the pioneer cooking videos because of it.  The borough meeting that evening resulted in me having to call the borough the next day to send someone out to inspect if we needed upgraded water equipment in anticipation of a big project this spring in which the water company will install a new main water line.  The borough claimed that letters were sent out in the fall advising of the project and what would be needed, but the 30+ people in attendance (Jason and I included) spoke up to say that we had never received letters.  No apology was given and we were told to have the work done “as soon as possible” with no firm deadline.

Wed. morning two men from the borough came out and confirmed that while I had a new water meter, I would need a new water line as it was galvanized steel and they wanted copper, along with a new shut off valve and two other things.  I quickly called the plumber only to discover he didn’t do service line replacement, but fortunately his dad did.  I then called him and left a voicemail.  He came out on Thursday to scope out the layout and proposed a plan that would hopefully save us money; rather than use copper line from the street to the house (a distance of 80-85 ft as our house sits back quite a bit) he was going to see if the borough would permit us to put in a meter kit and hook up from there and use well water piping instead.  He called on Friday to say the borough would allow this, but that he would need his excavator to come out to determine costs on digging the yard to lay the new line.  We’re fairly certain the current one runs directly under the house to which is there is no basement but only a concrete slab.  Due to this there is a strong likelihood the line will have to come up under the stove and into the cabinet under the kitchen sink thus causing the floor under the stove to be ripped up.

All of this craziness was being done during my work hours of which I often don’t need a full 40, but can put me into a slight panic mode when I’m trying to get everything wrapped up before track practice.  Throw into it the “Sure I can get a workout and shower in before track” mindset and I was piling on the stress.  I was also keeping my personal laptop stationed near my work desk to check for track related emails.

The strange thing was that through the whole week I never felt stressed.  I was sick to my stomach wondering about the costs of the new water line and annoyed by the way the borough handled things, but not truly stressed.  I bounced between work tasks and replying to track emails and even threw in a pioneer cooking video here and there.  My mind would get distracted during my workouts, but I quickly refocused all my energy on being mindful during them.  I thought everything was under control and that multitasking was of benefit to me.  I was sleeping well, eating well and had the energy to just keep pushing through the to do’s.

This morning I had to force myself to do my 20 minute upper body workout, but felt accomplished once it was finished.  I went to church looking forward to some time for quiet reflection and listening to the new interim pastors speak.  Instead of experiencing the calm I felt tired and highly irritable.  A woman sat in front of me whose child (possibly around 2 years old) seemed to continuously make noise through talking, smacking the chair and dropping toys.  An older lady two seats from mine was trying to help shush the child by putting a finger to her lips.  The irony in her doing that is that she had a tablet out nearly the whole service, shopping online for shoes.  I saw another older lady have her phone out scrolling a website near the end of the service.  The constant noise of the child, the visual distraction of the technology and just overall mental fatigue had me wanting to cry at some points and walk out at others.

I came home and vented to Jason about the noisy child and technology loving woman and expected to feel de-stressed.  I then proceeded to apply for clearances for he and I to begin volunteering with an organization partnering with the church.  It felt mentally draining and the sound of the TV was grating on me the entire time.  Once I finished I said I needed to go lay down for awhile to shut everything out.

An hour of partial resting, partial napping, and I’m feeling slightly better, at least enough to keep to my commitment to blog once a week.  I had never experienced the kind of moodiness that I encountered this morning, and all I can figure is that my brain was too mentally stimulated.  Jason agreed that it made sense.  I had a fairly relaxing day yesterday of running 5 miles with Jason and dad and later going out for pizza with Jason, mom and dad, but it appears that the craziness of the week finally caught up to me.

I am going to be very careful to limit the multitasking this week and rather than stress about getting a lot of work done before a vacation day on Friday, I will accept that I have teammates who can cover for me and just do what I can do.  I will not treat needing to lay down and close my eyes for a bit as a sign of laziness, but as a mini break to recharge my batteries.  I will acknowledge that I may not have the time or energy to workout as much as I feel I should, and that’s ok because my fitness level won’t deplete in a week.  I will remember that my mind needs to be taken care of as well as I take care of my body.

Are you guilty of multitasking or do you try to limit it?  Have you ever had house projects forced upon you due to your township/borough?  How do you deal with distractions during church/other important functions?


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