The Leap Year Dare challenge officially started, so I decided instead of walking it like I did the 12ks of Christmas challenge that I would run it. I felt oddly nervous about it for some reason, I don't really know why other than I hadn't run since November and didn't know what to expect. Would it be really hard? Would I still hate running? Would I get hurt again? Could I question my life any more? I am VERY happy to report that the run went very well. For starters the challenge this week was 2k, ie 1.24 miles, so I was comforted by the fact that even if it was a horrible run that it would only be 15 to 20 minutes of horrible. I took Molly with me and walked her for a mile just as a warm up and just to get her a little extra activity for the day. After we had a nice walk, I put her in the car and got down to business.
I was surprised how good I felt during the run and I credit being back down weight wise and also my stair stepper for keeping my legs conditioned and strong. I really didn't have any lung issues and my legs felt strong and energetic the whole time. When I had gone about a half mile I looked down at my Garmin and was shocked to see that my pace was between a 12 and an 11.5 minute mile. I hadn't really planned to go all out for this run but I was like, "maybe I should try for a sub 12 mile." I picked up the pace a little bit, and with 5 seconds to spare I managed to do it! I have never been able to do a sub 12 after taking so long of a break from running, and again, I totally credit the stair stepper for keeping my legs somewhat in shape. It also made me do some soul searching about myself. I've always said that I'm a slow runner, I'll never be fast, yada yada. But it's like, what if it's just that I'm fat and not applying myself? I'm already faster that I ever was, what if I were 20 pounds lighter? 40 pounds lighter? Goal weight? It's thrilling to think that someday I could be fast if I just keep applying myself.
The rest of the weekend has been very nice. I had my coffee date with one of my readers yesterday and it was really cool to be able to sit down and chat with her. She has done a lot of amazing traveling, which has inspired me to write a date on the calendar to get my passport stuff taken care of so that Eric and I can plan trips. I'm hoping we can get together with more frequency!
My shelter shift was a bit bittersweet today. A lot of people have told me that they couldn't volunteer at a shelter because they'd want to bring home every dog they meet, which is somewhat true, there have definitely been dogs where in a different set of circumstances I'd have worked on Eric to petition for dog #2. Mostly though, I'm happy to spend time with them and am thrilled when they get adopted to loving homes. Except this one dog.
So we work with all kinds of dogs, some of them being parts of court cases and victims of abuse. There has been this sweet collie/shepard type dog there since I started volunteering, and I won't lie, I've fallen utterly and completely in love with her. I love her as much as I love Molly, and I am practically giddy that I get to hang out with her every week. She is the most darling, beautiful, sweet dog and is incredibly smart and obedient. Most endearingly, she loves to lay in your lap while she quietly chews on a Kong. She's cuddly the way that I wish Molly was cuddly. It hurts my heart that someone abused her to the point that she's been in our protective custody since August. I came back from lunch the other day and saw an email from one of the shelter people saying that her abusive owner had plead guilty, was being fined/put on probation, and that my sweet girl was finally going to be put up for adoption. I know I should be happy for her, but I admit that I sat at my desk and cried over the news. I love Molly, I do, and I accept her as is. But I am so devastated that she is an only dog kind of gal and that we simply can't bring another dog into the house. It wouldn't be fair to Molly and wouldn't be fair to this poor dog that's already endured so much. I love this other dog so much, she brings such joy to my Sundays, I wish things were different. If she can find an owner who will love her a tenth as much as I do, she'll have a very happy life.
I wasn't sure if she was going to be in today but the county must still be working out all of the legal stuff involved with her because she was still there! I was so impatient for the walker to get done walking all of the dogs so that I could go in and visit her, and it was the best visit yet. I brought her an interactive toy, but all she wanted to do was lay in my lap and go to sleep. We sat that way for 45 minutes and I enjoyed every minute of it. There were lots of hugs, smooches to her nose and general quality time. At one point she flipped almost on her back (so I was cradling her like a baby) and she was gazing up at my face. As much as I 1000% wish she could come home with me, we had such quality bonding time today that I'm at peace with her being adopted. It still hurts, but I know it's what she deserves.
I also wanted to give you guys a reading recommendation for the book I'm currently reading.
So Goodreads recommended this book to me, and since the title alone appealed to me I put it on hold at the library. I am on 70 pages into this book and I swear, it's already changed my life. If you are an introvert, PLEASE go pick this book up. If you are a boss/manager, PLEASE pick this book up.
All of my life I've been a bit shy and introverted, and it's gotten more pronounced as I've gotten older. I feel like it's a trait that's looked down upon in society but especially looked down upon in the corporate world. I can't tell you how punished I was at my last job for being introverted and was constantly made to feel like a loser over simply being myself. I tried to force myself to be more extroverted and all it did was make me utterly miserable, anxious and exhausted. Moving to my new job was such a breath of fresh air because most everyone there is an introvert and it's such a wonderful situation. I feel so much more relaxed, happy and accepted. I feel valued and like I can put forth quality work. I can't tell you how much more relaxed and mellow I am now that I can just be myself!
The book basically talks about famous introverts, the history surrounding this notion that being an extrovert makes you a better person/leader and gives a lot of scientific data about introverts. It's not only really fascinating but even the little of it I've read has already made me feel validated and normal. It's proof that introverts have a lot to offer the business world and the world in general, that we're valuable in society and that there's nothing wrong with the way we are!
My week shouldn't be too crazy, just kind of the usual! I'll keep you guys updated for Weigh In Wednesday, or depending, Thinner Thursday. ;)