Thursday, April 7, 2016

Random Things On a Thursday (#8)

Hello there, dear readers! Sorry this is coming to you a bit late this Thursday...the day completely got away from me!

First up, Monday's post has been updated to include the lifting logs from last week, in case you're interested! Second, my Shamrock Shuffle post will be up tomorrow, since I know you're desperately waiting to read it.

Some of the following is just a jumble of things I came across this week, the rest are my usual random thoughts. Perhaps you'll find it as entertaining as I did!

Our family has a new little rugrat to claim as our own! My cousin's wife gave birth to a healthy little boy in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I have a picture but I'm not posting it yet, just in case important people haven't seen. Rest assured, he is cute and managed to avoid looking like a potato. They named him Michael, after my cousin's grandfather Miguel, one of the nicest men who has ever walked this planet.

Hopefully I'll have the chance to go to Milwaukee next weekend to meet the little dude and I can provide some pictures after that. Until then I'll give you this interesting fact: Michael is the third person in my family to be born on April 2nd...which happens to be the same day my great grandmother died. Crazy!

This morning I booked our flights to Europe for the fall! It's finally real and not all just talk! Wooohooo!!!! There is still more planning to be done, but I'm excited that we've passed the first milestone for the trip!

I have found my people.
Sounds scary, doesn't it? But last Friday I went out with most of my new department, and simply put: They are awesome. I had so much fun, was sad when I finally had to get up to leave, and couldn't wait to see them all on Monday. I have truly lucked out and am fortunate enough to say that I've joined an amazing group of people at work.

The department does application support (that's literally most of my new title) and there is so.much. to learn. So much. Like...every system that our underwriting units use. And there are a lot of them, and each is like a maze with portals that pop up to mess with your head. Until today, my training felt so slow going but everyone has been patient and helpful and encouraging. I can't wait until I'm pulling my own weight and can prove myself on this team. I'm not on the phones yet (the thought still terrifies me), but I'm confident I'll be ready when it comes!

Seriously...the last few weeks in general have felt like a new day dawning. It's nuts. I'm glad these crazies have my back! (And they are indeed a 'special' bunch...)

Pickle Popcorn
To totally switch gears: YES. It exists. I saw this at the checkout at Trader Joe's the other day and had to give it a try. It is amazing.

I totally get that pickles are a love 'em or hate 'em kind of thing. Me? I love them. This is genius. And delicious. If you like pickles, I highly, highly recommend it.

Pooch to 5k
In searching for information about Couch to 5k (mainly the run schedule) I discovered Pooch to 5k! It's an actual thing, which I think is adorable!!  Like C25k, the goal is to get up and running to a 5k distance...but this one is focused on your dog, and is spread over 12 weeks instead of 9.
Logo from their website.
This struck me as such a fun and cute idea if you're looking to start running with your dog. When I first did C25k (eons December 2010) I always took Nigel out with me. We both eased into running with it, and he managed 4 miles with me last weekend before I finally relented and dropped him off at home. The occasional run (or rather, his slow lope alongside my true effort) has always been good for him, and has helped maintain his weight the last few years. If you have a dog and want to get him or her running with you (or use them to motivate yourself) this is a very sweet idea :)

I've noticed after many runs (especially ones in the cold) that it takes a lot to warm me up after a run - usually I don't relax until I've taken a hot shower. It was really bad after the Shamrock Shuffle - I spent so long out in the cold, then ran and warmed up, and then walked a mile and a half in the cold and wind and then spent over two hours at the train station and travelling home.

This cycle of shivering repeated itself during my workday on Monday because after our C25k group finished I had to rush through my shower (which was already a chilly luke-warm) because I didn't claim a shower fast enough so I was in a pinch to get to my desk on time. Since I didn't "warm up" in the shower, I was left feeling chilled all day.

Anyways...I did some googling to find out wtf is up with all that, because obviously it's annoying.

I'm a person who already "runs cold" - my extremities tend to be cold to the touch, and I'm always wearing multiple layers. But it turns out that full-body shivers after running is really common for distance runners. Here, have some article links: Link 1, Link 2

The basic jist is that you warm up during your run, expanding your blood vessels. When you stop, the vessels constrict to help bring your core temperature back down, but it can happen too rapidly if you're still wearing sweaty (wet) clothes.

The bottom line solution is to do things to help "warm up" ASAP after running. I'm used to walking into my house and taking a shower right away, but if I wait too long my body tenses up and I can't shake the inner chill. So I'll have to start carrying extra clothes with me (I did change after the Shuffle, but not for over an hour) and work my plans so "get inside" is top of the list.

So there you go - question answered!

Next question? Why is it so hard for me to sleep well after a long run?!?! I'll have to look for the answer to that next, but throw your two cents in the comments if you have explanations!

Crazy Swimmer
This evening at the gym I decided to swim and run. I got out of the pool right before the swim classes, and someone asked how many lanes they were using. I thought he was talking to me so I said, "Oh...I don't know. I'm just leaving." His response was hilarious. He said, "I know you're not with them. You're one of those crazy fast swimmers I see here. I recognize your tattoo." (I have a large tattoo on my shoulder:)

I laughed, totally flattered, because I'm really not that fast. I thanked him though, and told him I'm more worried about distance than speed, and he assured me I'm lapping him and everyone else when I'm there. That definitely left me feeling proud!

It's still cold and awful here. Wtf, Spring. Hurry it up, and bring temperatures that don't go below 50 degrees with you!

The end! Happy Thursday, see you again tomorrow!

Oh, and before I forget...I am so super psyched to be travelling to Champaign this weekend to run a 5k with Papa Bender! I'll have a weekend/race recap for that too, and I promise pictures! Ahhhh race season has started!


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