October 23, 2017

Life is Short

When I was 6 years old, I broke down in a horrific crying fit in the shower, absolutely devastated with the realization that I was going to die one day.  I don't remember what triggered it.

Hadn't been to the Palace of Fine Arts in years -
Saturday's Post Parkrun Brunch walk put us there.  With Friends.  How great!
I do remember that my parents were out and the poor baby sitter had to try to manage me until they returned.  Even when they did return, both my mom and my dad were obviously a bit flummoxed on how to deal with me.

Eventually, I just learned that my preoccupation with death, and the likelihood/proximity of it for myself and everyone I knew was not, like many of the ways I viewed the world, "normal."  But, it does motivate many of the choices I make.

Doing our sabbatical year while we were both young and healthy was very important to me.  My *life-is-short* concept is always pushing me to do the things I want to do while I can.  I'm so grateful we were able to take the time off and enjoy visiting all of the friends, family, and foreign places we enjoyed.

The beaches of Portugal -- one of many sabbatical experiences I cherish.
Similarly, my *life-is-short* mentality puts me in a frame of mind where being able to run (or hike or even walk) at all is such a blessing.  I can't help but view my daily physical efforts against the specter of potential diseases or injuries (hello car accidents, friend's husband who died of a heart attack at 37, my quadriplegic Brother, and every other person I've known in any way who's ever died younger than 70). 

Often, this means I just don't have the same level of drive to outperform myself or PR than I otherwise would.  After last week's fiery smoking down week, I had big plans to run from Emeryville out to Yerba Buena Island on the bay bridge and back on Monday.  But, when I went outside, the smell of smoke and limited view of the Oakland hills quickly changed my plans.  Instead I walked easily for 4 miles in the poor air quality and then tacked some hard short speedwork on the TM interspersed with free weights and calisthenics in the hotel gym.  Life is much too short to struggle through a run in nasty air quality that will likely negatively affect me more than missing a workout.

Liquor store in North Beach, SF
Tuesday, I returned to the yoga studio.  I'm doing a decent job of getting in once a week (4 times in the last 5 weeks with an off week for SJRNR), and that's likely where it will stay for a while because it appears to take me 3-4 days to recover from yoga these days.  I am seriously out of yoga shape!  The soreness!

Wednesday, I had a big work day, so I just worked and took a rest day (and let the soreness from the yoga keep me from too much physical activity).  My new desk treadmill arrived, so I now have a fully functional sit/stand/treadmill desk configuration (minus the swiveling monitor).  It's so nice to have an ergonomically awesome home office situation -- my old set up was a desk I bought 15+ years ago when my only criteria was cheapness, a broken office chair purchased from a startup I worked at that went out of business, and whatever else I cobbled together over the years.  It all went the way of Goodwill, the dump, or curbside free pick-up when we packed up.  And now, thanks to E doing all the research and acquiring most of the components (other than the treadmill) I'm excited to have a fancy functional workspace that will allow me to walk while doing non-seriously demanding work/life tasks.

I almost never splurge on *stuff* - the new office set up is a BIG DEAL for me.
Thursday, I wasn't feeling it, so I headed out for whatever I could muster with no judgment.  What I could muster was 2.73 easy miles @ 12:51 plus 1.74 walk/jog home.  This was one of those days when the reality of how privileged I am to move without pain weighs in and changes my perspective from one of disappointment at how I didn't come close to hitting the assigned workout to one of gratitude that I can move at all.  I understand that this perspective may be limiting my physical performance by giving me permission to make less effort than what I could probably do.  But, I can only assume that going out for some effort without stress is best for my overall quality of life and joy.  Also, I got some bad news about a family member's health that day that only solidified my choice of perspective.

Friday, I was in a hotel for work and fit in a super short 0.5 mile interval workout with weights and medicine ball efforts between ladders from 10mpm down to 9:19 mpm at 1% incline.  It was less than half an hour, but better than nothing.

One of the most beautiful finishes for a run. 
Also, what a flattering picture -- do I look excited to stop my watch or what?
Saturday I did the Crissy Field parkrun with E and a friend from Seattle, C.  I love C, she's the closest friend (other than E) that I had when we lived in Seattle and I only get to see her once or twice a year now.  I also love the Crissy Field parkrun.  It's such a beautiful location, the people who run the group are so kind, and it's a great way to start the day by running a 5K with views of the Golden Gate Bridge alongside people from all around the world.  I managed a 10:24/mile average pace, which included a stop for C to retie her shoes. I had hoped for a faster showing, but it wasn't available for me that day.

Sunday was a gloriously lazy day.  I did 4 very easy miles @ 12:27, followed by 15X30 seconds hard with 90 seconds walking recovery for 6.4 total miles.  E and I had lunch downtown, I went grocery shopping for the week, and a friend visiting from Texas came over to grill rib-eyes for dinner.  Lazy easy Sundays at home are definitely one of the best things about being back in our regular life.  And life is definitely too short not to take advantage of them and appreciate them when they are available.


Jen said...

That home office setup looks sweet!

bt said...

Thanks, Jen!

Arvay said...

Wow the weather looks beautiful! That Portuguese beach somehow reminds me of one in SF... maybe Baker Beach? I expect to see the GG bridge at the top right of the frame. :)

Cat said...

I miss that parkrun! I like the number of parkruns we have in the UK but none have that view, or the post-run doughnuts/coffee thing!