My Friday after work kicked off casually – making homemade pizza (using this awesome pizza dough recipe), enjoying it out on the deck, then grabbing Freddy’s Frozen Custard for dessert and savoring it while watching a bit of TV. I really like low-key Friday nights!
It was a good thing my Friday wasn’t a big night out – because I woke up at 4am with a nightmare, and ended up not being able to get back to sleep. I stayed in bed and read for 2 hours, then finally got up and dressed to take Sadie out for a long run. The plan was to head to the Coalton Trail for the 14 mile dirty Bismarck loop, but when I realized how cloudy and gray it was out, I didn’t feel like doing that loop only to lose the views. Instead, we headed out on the sidewalks in Superior.
When I first started running, I felt really tired and just wasn’t really having it, so I told myself I just needed to do an hour and then I could go in and hit the Peloton for the rest of my workout. But then I started to think maybe it was just that the podcast I was initially listening to wasn’t very good, because I ended up getting more into my run as it went on, and as I moved onto other podcast episodes. Going into the morning, I had told myself I wanted at least two hours to count as my “long run”, but I turned into the Calamante luxury townhome section of my neighborhood at mile 7, I found myself feeling really good – and decided to go all-in, and beat Sadie’s and my long distance run record of 18 miles.
Miles 8-12 passed quickly, but 12-15 were a bit slow (perhaps because we were then in a section of neighborhood I don’t do very often). I was really excited when I started approaching mile 17, because I had calculated that I could head home at mile 17, since it was now about 3 miles away. My podcast stack also ran out right about then, and while I certainly could have queued up more, I instead switched to music – which made me go much faster than before. At mile 18, I passed my best friend Chris’ husband Mark doing yard work, and so I yelled out a hello; he later remarked on how happy I looked, and said he couldn’t believe that I was 18 miles into my run at that point. Sadie and I just love running!!
After our run, I forced myself to do some yard work before I showered and cleaned up. I mowed both the front and back lawns, picked up all Sadie’s poop (oh joy!), and even laid down the stack of pavers that have been sitting in my yard for months to make a ramp for my mower in my side yard. I can’t believe I didn’t get around to this sooner – it really didn’t take that long! Admittedly, I didn’t prep the surface or anything; just laid them down in a staggered herringbone pattern. I was told by my landscaper that a ramp in my side yard wouldn’t be up to code because of how steep it was, so I didn’t want to do anything permanent, but these make it so much easier to drag the mower up and down, and I’m hoping that some rain will even the ground / pavers out a little bit more.
From there, I had to hustle to shower and grab a quick bite before meeting a date at 12 Degrees brewing. I ended up heating up a homemade black bean burger to munch on in the car, and paired it with a protein shake that was a mix of milk, water, protein powder… and a bit of vanilla ice cream. Yum! That was a really satisfying post long run treat.
After the beer, I came back to Superior for a fun dinner with Chris, Mark, and their kids – which was so much fun! We went to Tequila Y Mezchal, the newest restaurant in Superior, and I once again got the shrimp quesadilla I had gotten the last time I was there. It wasn’t quite as good as last time, but it was still yummy and I had a great time. I probably ate too many chips though! I can never resist chips and salsa sitting in front of me…
I was really happy to go to bed early at 9pm after dinner (ah, the benefits of going to dinner with kids) and finally get Sadie and I a good night’s rest. Or so I thought! Sadie chose to sleep on the couch in my office instead of in bed with me, but then changed her mind at 1am and came in to join me. In spite of my lack of sleep the night before, and my long run, I woke right up when she came in, and ended up reading for a while before finally being able to get back to sleep. But I slept late, until 7:30am, so that helped.
For once, I woke up and got started with my workout right away. I did a long Peloton stack (15 minute core, 20 minute spin class, and 45 minute full-body strength), to help me catch up from some missed workouts the week before. I was really proud of myself for finishing that long stack before breakfast! And to reward myself, I made pancakes and put vanilla protein powder in it, hoping that they would come out like the delicious sweet cream pancakes I enjoyed at EAT two weeks before, but they unfortunately fell short. I think I am just not willing to put enough sugar in to make them come close 😛
I spent the afternoon sipping kombucha at The Rayback Collective in Boulder, giving a friend career advice about various consulting firms and roles in the field. And then on the way home, I stopped at Trader Joe’s and did a bit of an experiment. On Friday, Boulder changed the mask requirements and made it completely optional to wear a mask if you are fully vaccinated (which I am). Although I intend to still wear my mask most of the time, I decided to skip my mask for this ten minute shopping expedition, to test the waters and see how comfortable I felt. I thought I’d be anxious and nervous, but surprisingly, I felt okay! (It probably also helped that I was one of the only people not wearing a mask, and in hindsight, my experiment may have made other people nervous, but I was selfishly still glad I tried this.) I don’t expect that I will go maskless in the near future, but it was good to know I can and that it will be okay.
I spent so many months feeling anxious in public, and at the same time, felt crazy for feeling that way. (Remember the time J had to drag me out of Costco because he could see I was on the verge of a panic attack from fully-masked people coming too close to me? Or when I awkwardly had to excuse myself from my best friend’s birthday dinner when it became apparent that my group of friends was going to eat indoors at a restaurant at the height of the pandemic?) This little maskless TJ’s excursion was such a (metaphorical) breath of fresh air – it felt like a momentous occasion to know that I could go to a store without a mask and still be comfortable. So I’m now feeling really hopeful and optimistic that the “return to normal” will go more smoothly than I expected! We aren’t out of the woods yet, but I am very excited about what lies ahead from a COVID and socialization perspective.