1. My job has picked up, big time.
I've mentioned this before, and again it's a good thing, but I've picked up more responsibilities at my job. It's definitely resulted in my day going from zero to twenty, which I guess is better than being overwhelmed, but I am definitely STILL adjusting. I mean I'm serious, I went from surfing Reddit and dicking around chatting to friends on FB messenger to being very visible and not being able to complete everything that needs to be done day to day. I'm having to make to do lists to keep organized people! Eric is in the same boat because, not to toot our horns too much here, but we're pretty hard workers and responsible. It's a good thing, but on the flip side we've noticed that once people recognize that at our jobs, they tend to pile work on us because they know it will get done. I think we've definitely had some "Okay, if anyone wants to start sharing the love here, be our guest" moments the last couple of months.
As I mentioned in my "yep I'm alive" post yesterday, a lot of things in my life were put to the side to adjust to the new workload. I was incredibly frustrated about that since I am a firm believer in work/life balance. I was used to now having time for my hobbies for the first time in like 9 years, including even working on a long neglected book, so having that taken away for a bit made me salty. It took some momentum out of my music project, this blog and my fitness stuff. I basically ate at maintenance or above for all of May and barely worked out.
At the same time, I definitely am grateful to have the opportunities that have been put on my plate. I hate to always bag on my old job because honestly, I'm mostly past the super bitter feelings I held even a year ago towards it. But for the latter part of my time there, I was never, ever given special projects or any chance to prove what I was capable of. I was just constantly beaten down and constantly given the corporate version of the "40 pieces of flair" speech despite working long hours and churning through a ton of work every single day. It feels really, really amazing to have higher ups tell me what a good job I'm doing, recognizing me in meetings in front of the rest of the company and to basically be trusted with projects I'd never in a million years have gotten at my old job. I haven't had to suck up or kiss a higher up's ass to get these opportunities and I haven't had to change who I am, I just got them for being myself and showing how hard I work. So while it was annoying for my personal life to be put on hold for a bit, it's worth it to finally feel good about what I do in my day job.
2. Pigs Flew and Friends Finally Meet!
So I've talked on and off about my ladies group on FB over the years, but if you're not up to speed this is the TL;DR. Basically a group of us fitness bloggers connected roughly about 3 years ago, and a private FB group was created so that we could share fitness challenges and commiserate about our journeys. It morphed into this thing that I can't really explain other than to call it the eyerolling millennial term "safe space." But really, that's what it is. The members of the group have hardcore bonded and we talk about EVERYTHING. Nothing is off limits, be it serious or silly. Boys, movies, books, politics, health advice, fitness, recipes, job searches, personal struggles, family issues...you name it, we've discussed it. We also do a lot of challenges with each other and keep each other in check. I can honestly say that I would continue to be a in a cycle of self pity and laziness towards my fitness had I not found these women. They've really been my rock during some tough points in my life. The most amazing part is that everyone is incredibly respectful of one another and we really, really jive well together. It's a really amazing group of smart, talented, wonderful women.
We've long joked about having a "retreat" and finally meeting in person, but last year Meg threw down the gauntlet and told us she was signing up for the 2017 Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati, and we all basically decided that we were long overdue to meet in person. Not everyone in the group was able to make it, but we did manage to get 6 of us ladies (and three husbands!) together. I think we were all super nervous about finally meeting. I mean we talk every day, but at the same time, going to a strange city to meet people you've never met is nerve wracking!
What actually happened was pretty amazing. From the moment we all met in person, it was like we'd known each other all our lives and there was no awkwardness. There was lots of screeching, hugging, tears, the whole 9 yards. Everyone got on really well the entire weekend, and while it was a bit of a whirlwind, it was a total blast. We all got in Friday and hung out for a bit, just catching up and getting acquainted. On Saturday Tiina, Anna, Desiree and Desiree's husband all did the 5k, so Meg and Anna's husband (our marathoners) along with myself spectated their races. I've never really spectated a race before, and let me tell you, it is definitely a lot easier than running a race, ha ha.
|The Furious Five and group OGs. L to R: Me, Anna, Des, Meg, Tiina|
Once everyone got cleaned up, our sixth lady Brittany and her husband, Chris, met us at the race expo. We walked around for a bit, and I didn't intend to buy anything but found amazing locally roasted coffee that was roasted just for the Flying Pig race! Coffee is my life, so I had to get it. It was pretty delicious!
|Expo fun! L to R: Anna, me, Meg, Gary, Chris, Des, Brittany, Chris|
After that we all had lunch at this very tasty waffle place (Taste of Belgium I think?), and then sadly Brittany had to leave and go back home. The rest of the day was spent chilling at the hotel so Meg and Gary could get off their feet. That night all of us squeezed into our room, ordered some pizzas and hung out. I honestly feel sorry for anyone who was next to our room because we were probably being pretty obnoxious with our cackling, arguing about the proper way pizza is to be eaten (everyone knows you fold it!!) and general shenanigans. I don't think I've laughed that hard in ages. We were productive amidst the shenanigans at least and made race spectating signs and also plotted out where on the course we were going to be at what times. That part was definitely important since Anna had Gary's fuel/supplies and I was carrying Meg's
Speaking of shenanigans, marathon morning was a bit of a cluster. Meg's alarm didn't go off for some reason so we were slightly scrambling, I dropped my phone in the toilet (praise Samsung androids, which can apparently withstand a pee soak), and also had a moment where I thought my purse was stolen (it wasn't, I'm just an idiot and left it in our hotel room because I like giving myself heart attacks apparently). We saw Meg and Gary off, and then scrambled to get over to the 5 mile point.
Looking back, I don't know how we were able to do so well with getting to the spots we agreed upon with our runners at the times we said we would. Mile 5 was easy, but mile 14 required grabbing an Uber/Lyft and hoofing it to another part of town. Due to all the crowds and road closures this was definitely a challenge, and I think our hearts sank when we realized we weren't going to be able to get an Uber XL. We managed to coax a Lyft driver (Her name was Melissa, Patron Saint of Lyft and Crazy Spectators) with a Toyota Corolla into fitting all five of us into her car. If you've ever wanted to know what 6 people in a Corolla looks like, well...
If we didn't bond after that, we were never going to! (Thank you Des for being a good sport!)
We honestly had the best time spectating and again were probably pretty obnoxious to be around with our cackling and laughing. I was doubled over wheezing at times I was laughing so hard. Here's a few random shots from our spectating.
|One of my other favorite pictures of the trip. Poor Gary was just trying to stretch and had no idea Tiina was holding that.|
Obviously I need to talk about the two people who are most important to this story, and that's Meg and Gary. I was so, so proud of both of them and their strength during the race. Both of them were strong, looked amazing and stayed steady with the pace goals both of them set. We were impressed with both of them and how great they looked at the 5, 14 and (I think) 20 mile marks. Once we got Gary over the 20 mark, Anna, Desiree and Chris took an Uber back to the finish line to see him finish, which Tiina and I stayed for Meg to see her over the 20. (Actually now that I'm reflecting on it, maybe it was the 18 mile mark?? I'm a space case.) After we saw her there, we took our own Uber back to the finish line.
There was craziness for a bit because unfortunately due to Uber messiness, Anna and that crew missed Gary at the finish line, and then he was temporarily missing period. After some scrambling we all got reunited, then hung out in the finisher party area to grab some food and wait for Meg. I had 2 Skyline chili dogs, and I hate to bag on anyone's regional stuff, but I am just not a fan. I ate it because I was starving (none of us really ate all day long), but cinnamon/clove in chili just ain't right. As we were waiting, we grabbed some beers. Can I just tell you that even for Portland beer snobs like myself, an ice cold Michelob is like the best beer ever when you've been running around like crazy people all day? The best part was, the guys from the beer tent randomly just kept handing them to us for free, so I think I had 3-4 beers in probably an hour span.
Finally we made our way back to the finish line to see Meg cross. We were tracking her progress, and between that/her texting, we knew she was having some tummy trouble and her pace was slowing. We made an executive decision that Tiina, Gary and Anna should go to mile 25 to encourage her and give her a last minute boost to power over the finish. Side note, I need to give a major shoutout to both Chris and Gary. Not only did they go with the flow of insanity all weekend, but they fit right in with everyone and were both super cool dudes! I was really touched that Gary walked back to the 25 mile to go cheer Meg after finishing a full marathon. Both guys are pretty upstanding, lovely people, and that's the type of partner you want your friends to have.
To much beer induced screaming and fanfare, our Meg crossed the finish line, hitting the time goal she set for herself and finishing a freaking marathon! I'm serious, we were and are so, so proud of her!! I will embarrass her a little here, but Meg is a mom to twins, works full time, does theater, writes novels AND trained for this marathon all at the same time. She is such an inspiration and one of the reasons I love our group of badass women!
We all rested up for a bit, then met up that night at a really great Irish place over on the Kentucky side of the river for dinner. We then took Ubers back over to the Cincy side for ice cream, then went back to our room for more chatting. Sadly we had to say goodbye to Desiree, Chris, Anna and Gary that night since they were both leaving out the next morning. Tiina, Meg and I went out for breakfast, then had Meg drop us at the airport. I was so sad for us all to part ways, but so happy that we all had the opportunity to spend a wonderful weekend together.
So...all of that happened during the first weekend in May, and I still have lots more to tell you, so I think you have a glimpse into how crazy things have been! I will try to write up part two sometime in the next week!