UPCOMING EVENTS for 2016: Puerto Rico Marathon (March), Virginia/Pennsylvania Marathon Double (April), Cedro Peak Ultra 45k (April), Quicksilver 50k (May) NUT 50k (June) Lake Tahoe Trail 50K (July), Cloudsplitter 55K (October)

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure. This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, and triathlete. Along the way I've cried, laughed, fallen, gotten up, lost, won, hallucinated, been dehydrated, DNF'ed, and been DFL.
I also swear. Alot.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Angry tears and happy tears: Thursday 13.

Dear Diary,
It's been a bit of an up and down week.  

13. Princess found herself a part-time job and was not interested in getting another job, and why should she? She had a very nice guest room, fully furnished, and cable, wi-fi, food, etc. With her part-time income, she was inelligiible for most apartments.

  I was in despair.


12. I finally became proactive, because the best way to get out of feeling depressed and helpless is to do something. I found her a room. She is paying half the rent in a very small house with generous access to buses. She will have to buy herself towels, linens, plasticware, food, cable, wi-fi...
Don't let the door hit your ass on the way out, Princess! Oh, and if things don't work out, here's a brochure for Joy Junction. 

11. Sunday, I slept a full night. I was four pounds down. I ran 13 miles when i got up in the morning. I ran this elevation profile, on trails and roads, and I did it in 2:48, faster than my first half marathon. My first half back in 2006, was almost completely flat and/or downhill.

10. Sunday night, I did a local 10K. It was 94 degrees out. I did a 10K a few weeks ago, on the same course, in the same temperature, at the same time of day, after running 10 miles, running the entire time, in 1:15. This time, I decided to "Galloway" it, and I did this one was 1:09:42, using the Galloway method. My pace was about 11:10. I also wrapped a bandana full of ice around my neck. For road races 10K or longer, I'm becoming a devote of the Galloway method.

9. This week I began another new adventure; New employee orienation at the VA hospital, where I was selected to be in a highly competive internship back in May. I took an oath of office, had a TB test, was fingerprinted electronically.  I was jazzed.

8. Tuesday morning, I ran the first of what will be weekly hill repeats. This is a .95 mile hill that changes abouut 400 feet in vertical altitude over its course. Jog/hike/stagger up, jog down. Twice. Then add a litttle at the end.

7. So.     Then.

On day two of my four-day training at the VA, I was called in and told that not one single instructor, including those I hadn't met yet, wanted to work with me.
 It didn't make any sense. I felt blindsided, and I left in tears. Before my internship began, it was over.
Then unbelievably, before I left, I was told you should apply for any open position here because those people who don't want to work with you don't do the hiring.
What. The. Fuck?

6. Interestingly, I did not go home. I went to work at the children's hospital, where I feel competent and happy.  They were happy to see me, since they weren't expecting me until Friday and unexpected problems had come up.  I ate my lunch. I did some work. I felt better. But I cried when I told them what happened.  They were as confused as I was.

5. I talked to professors, mentors, advisor, friends, colleagues, fellow students, and supervisors about what happened at the VA, and they all said the same thing: Smells like political bullshit to me.  

4. Wednesday morning I woke up with swollen eyes and went for a run, and decided that I absolutely, positively, was going to quit social work school. Social workers were petty, bitchy, heiarchical, and back-stabbing. I absolutely didn't want to be one.  Fuck them.  FUCK SOCIAL WORK SCHOOL.

3. Later that morning, I went to a local hospital's acute ward to visit some kids. As I was leaving one of the social workers asked how my internship was going. I only cried a little when I told her what happened. Her mouth fell open, and without missing a beat, she offered me an internship. Just like that.

2. I am now finally free to say that I am happiest working with children and families. I kept finding myself headed in that direction, time and again. I believe this is where I belong. It is where I feel that I'm good at what I do.

This VA is not where I belong. I am not cut out for it. I don't like conflict. I don't like asserting myself. I don't want to be a leader. I don't want to join the fray. I don't want to feel like I suck. I like to fly under the radar, doing my job. most of all, I do not like political bullshit.

1. So it's been an emotional week. But there is running, and fried chicken, and Jose Cuervo Lite Margaritas.

 And today, at work, I made a parent so happy that she cried.

....

11 comments:

  1. I've read your posts the last few weeks to my 14 year old daughter. I think she understands how unwelcome she will be in our home after she graduates from college....thanks!

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  2. Maybe its a good thing the VA people were assholes because you found out sooner rather than later what you would rather do. I am upset they made you cry, though. A friend and I decided we'll come out to NM to bash some heads if you want us to.

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  3. You know as soon as I read she offered you the internship I said to myself that it was meant to be. I so glad you found your place!!!

    Sounds like you are having some great runs!!!!

    Luck on the princess/daughter front!

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  4. It always throws me when I can be faster with some walk breaks than without. Even after a year and a half it just seems unnatural.

    That whole VA thing sucks. People are unbelievable. But I guess learning what jerks they are early beats spending your time their in misery. It's sad, though, because their focus seems to be on their little games instead of making sure that our soldiers have the care they need.

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  5. I'm sorry for your rough week and political bullshit. I can feel the sting in your words as I read them.

    I'm really glad that you'll be working with children and families, and that they'll have the opportunity to benefit from your knowledge, compassion and humor.

    Happy running!

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  6. Sorry you had to deal with the jerkoffs at the VA. Per Forrest Gump regarding crappy days, "Sometimes there just aren't enough rocks."

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  7. i understand the disappointment yet the gift that resulted from it...so well. Do what you were made to do. Im going to try the ice around my neck this week while running b/c we are having a major 90 degree + heatwave and its rough.
    thx.

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  8. Happy Continued Trails and adventures!

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  9. Wow....after all that, that's what the VA pulls? That's absolutely horrible. I mean, it's great that the silver lining is you realized what you were truly MEANT to do, but still - how sucky is that!

    Great job on the 13-miler, that's fantastic!

    Also - how did you split the run/walk on Galloway? 10min run/1min walk? 8/2? I'm curious, because I'm tentative to run a 10K in October and I think it would be best if I did that too....

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  10. as trite as it sounds, sometimes things do happen for a reason and maybe the va thing led you to the children's hospital, and to where doing what you love to do will also make you happy. i'm glad for you that you found someone who appreciates you and wants you. hugs!

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  11. wtf? that is so very, very strange. i have lost track of your professional development, are you in social work school? i am a social worker at the VA and all i can say is wow, i have never heard of such a thing. i'm sorry that happened! b-s!!

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