February 12, 2009

Gotta find my purpose before it’s too late

So the thing about unemployment is that it’s really a lot more up and down than I’ve been making it sound. There are some times when it is kind of nice to be able to sit at Starbucks and wait for Boyfriend even if he’s running late, because my schedule is flexible. And it’s definitely kind of nice that I’m getting paid for doing nothing. (I just have to try to enjoy that while knowing that soon I will not be able to get paid even if I want something to do). Anyway, I just want to go on the record as saying that I am not all depression and tears and alcohol. I’ve been pretty positive since I first got the news, and yesterday (my one week anniversary of getting laid off) was actually the first day I really cried or got terribly upset.

It would seem that a lot of others are unemployed right now too, so I’ll start the tip sharing: cooking has been one of the most awesome activities. Even if I lie in bed all morning, if I pad over to the kitchen in my pajamas and cook something delicious for lunch, I feel really productive… and it even inspires me to crank out some more cover letters and job applications and headhunter queries in the afternoon. Even if I just cook and then lie in bed and watch TV while eating, it still makes me feel at least a little bit more useful. (Note to those of you who are dieting: this should not be construed as advice, as it goes against one of the most basic rules of dieting.)

Unfortunately, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I just haven’t been that motivated to work out. Yesterday I skipped my two hour Biggest Loser elliptical workout in favor of lying around drinking and crying and being depressed; however, it’s usually much less dramatic than that, and more about the fairly common excuses of “oh, I can do it tomorrow” or “nah, don’t feel like it right now.” My marathon planning has fallen by the wayside (how can I schedule marathons if I don’t even know where I’ll be living in a few weeks?), and without a race, I don’t even feel like going for a run. Something has got to change.

Today, Boyfriend was trying to console my tears by telling me that we should come up with a goal for me that is 1) not work-centered and 2) not location-dependent. His suggestion was an Ironman. He pointed out that what’s kept me from doing triathlons before has certainly not been grit or determination, but time, and that is one thing I currently have in abundance. In my woe-is-me state, I told him that an Ironman wasn’t a good goal, because it would have to be several months out and by then who knows what kind of job I’d have and whether I’d have any kind of time to train.

But it got me thinking.

Right now I run marathons without a lot of fuss. I don’t train – I just tell myself I’m going to do it, and I do. I know, I know an Ironman is way harder than a marathon…. but what about a half-Ironman? And what if I could care less about how fast I finished – just that I finished? And what if I compressed a normal training schedule into a shorter period of time, but did everything right and didn’t skip workouts? And most importantly, what if I applied my incredible determination and sheer will toward making this happen?

Maybe this is just crazy talk, but the world is a pretty crazy place right now. Maybe I can’t continue with my goal of being the youngest female 50 stater (that is, I can’t continue right now – of course I will resume once I can cement some plans). But maybe my new crazy goal should be to see how fast a person could get half-Ironman ready?

It would certainly keep me busy.

Addendum because I’m sure this will be suggested in the comments: Yes, I know I could do a sprint tri or something shorter and easier… but where’s the challenge in that? Go hard or go home!


30 thoughts on “Gotta find my purpose before it’s too late”

  1. I definitely think you should look into training for a triathlon, even if it’s just a half-tri. It would keep you busy and focussed on a goal which would help ward off any feelings of depression! I know you can do it!

  2. As we move into the let down mode and cold harsh winter weather after all the blitz of the holidays there may be a tendency to gravitate to higher calorie food choices in the name of “comfort”. This could certainly sabotage a New Year’s Resolution. Here are a few tips where you can still enjoy the warmness, comfort, and flavor of a favorite soup without ruining your healthier food plan.

  3. Just to be different, I say you should crank out the marathons now, before things really get crazy with a new career. It would be a shame not to make your marathon goal of being the youngest female 50 stater. If $$ becomes an issue, I’m willing to help by sponsoring you for a race. Maybe other blog buddies would be too. Just a thought. P.S. What the hell is Jumbo talking about?!!

  4. It’s a great idea- if you can run marathons without training, tri training is great because you really do have to train.
    I doubt registration is still open for any iron-mans in 2009 though.
    Also, I doubt anyone could do a half-ironman without investing in a pretty serious bike.
    And Olympic triathlon would definitely still be challenging but probably do-able if you train hard for a couple of months.
    Assuming you can swim well? Swimming is weird because you can’t just power through it like running or biking- it’s more about technique and if you’re not already a good swimmer it can take a long time to develop. (I speak from experience!)

  5. Do it

    1/2 IM races often fill fast so pick your race soon

    Look at the beach2battleship in november. This gives you plenty of time to build a base now and continue to train after you start your new job

    Welcome to the dark side!

  6. I say go for the 50 marathons. That’s about one a week right. How far out do you have to plan them anyway?

    You don’t know where this might lead. You’ve wanted to do it for a long time. This might just be the opening that you need to get them done.

  7. Hey Laura,

    Sorry about the job but you can use your free tim eto come out to the Nike Run Club. See, life is already looking up. Hope alls well otherwise.


  8. Whatever you decide to do (tri or marathon), it is going to help. However, I tend to agree with marathonmen…why not run a few more marathons since you have the time, and get closer to your 50 states goal? I bet you could find sponsors if you put your mind to it! Good luck! Ana-Maria
    P.S. I don’t think anyone is thinking you are depressed, you are jsut going through a tough time, which will pass…

  9. Hey there!

    I kind of stumbled upon your blog, and I’m sort of in the same situation as you, except I’m almost out of school…and finding work is not looking good…

    Except for me, it seems like a big drain where the fact that noone wants to hire me makes me more and more depressed, and…I stop applying.

    Anyways, good luck in your training, I am sure you will do awesome! You definitely seem to have the determination and perseverance!

  10. DO IT!

    I was just talking to a friend yesterday how I’m absolutely kicking myself for not getting into this marathon business 5-10 years ago. I had time, I didn’t travel for work, and kids weren’t on the horizon. That’s you girl! Let me live vicariously through you. :o)

  11. Conceptually I like it, but the lead time on the race might be a problem.

    Someone pointed out that you would need a bike. I know a guy here who trains on the gym bikes (shudder), and rents from a bike shop for really long rides, and the tris he does.

    That being said, I vote for 50 marathons. You’re well on track, you clustered in a nice spot so you should be able to find some locally. Don’t you Maniacs put on all kinds of inexpensive races on that sde of the country? I know they do here.

    BTW, to remind yourself what you’ve accomplished, and to allow some of us to live vicariously through you, could you post a new picture of your race map? I was just looking at your old one…

    Good luck with the job hunt. Go run!

  12. I agree with marathonman – hold on to your goal of 50 states and I, too, would be willing to sponsor you for a race. My husband did Wildflower half ironman and it’s a strenuous, time consuming training period – much longer than marathon training..but doable.

  13. I totally understand your apprehension to lock in any plans. On Kelly’s blog we were talking about locking stuff in is almost certainly the sure fire way to find something. I had planned for my best buddy to fly in during this week. Of course a week ago Friday I got staffed and he wasn’t able to come.

    Have you done all of the states that are within a drive away? I’d bet that you could find all sorts of marathon races that are within 4-5hrs distance. That way when you do start traveling again (and you will) you can flex travel the shit out of it to all of the other places for the fall races.

    While I’m not a tri-guy (yet) I do know that a lot of people really like the variety that the training affords. Don’t feel like biking? Float around in the pool for a while. Want some fresh air? Go for a jog.

  14. First time visiting your blog (it showed up in my google reader!) – I finished my first ironman this past fall, having only done a sprint previously. I agree on the jumping in full force, and though there are a lot of things that I would do differently the second time around, I found that the training really didn’t take over the rest of my life.

    Good luck!

  15. Laura, I know you don’t know me… and I don’t comment often… but I do read your blog. You have inspired me to start running again. I am starting the couch-to-5k program by coolrunning.com for the second time. First time, I got major shin splints because I pushed myself way too hard. This time, I’ll be taking it slower. I would love to be able to run a marathon someday… but for now, a simple 5k run would be AMAZING! I used to run when I was younger– about 8 years ago, when I was 16– and I loved it. Due to severe anorexia, I had to stop. Now I am in excellent health and have been for about two years. I am ready to run again and am so excited! 🙂 Best of luck on your job hunt. I, too, have recently become unemployed. It sucks.

  16. Hmmm…Know you were just here, but Nola has a 1/2 iron in April. Might not be full, either. I, however, think you should stick to your 50 states goal. An awesome quick goal would be two back to back full marathons. You could do the Sun Trust National Marathon on March 21 in DC and the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach on 3/22. It would double it’s purpose by getting you a state and a district closer to the 50 states goal…

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