And now it has been even longer! (dusting off the old blog here…)

Yeah, wow. Apparently I am useless at blogging over winter break. But hey, here I am now! Alive and well and writing!

What have I been doing, you (don’t) ask? In a nutshell: there was Christmas, there was New Year’s Eve (both of which involved being out of town and not generally near a computer), then there was returning to work and some skiing, and then out of nowhere classes started again and there was more skiing. Now it’s cold as all get-out, and there probably will be more skiing. There has been running! And biking! And lots and lots of schoolwork even though classes weren’t meeting! Oh, and beer… of course.

For the sake of my own chronological sanity, I’m going to break this down week-by-week as I did last time.

Week of Dec. 24: Christmas week, which I mostly spent with my family in North Carolina. It was warm, but there was rain, and it only seemed to stop as soon as I got off the treadmill (grrr). I had a lovely time spending the days with the folks, though as I always am, I was quite ready to be home by the end of the week. Friday of said week I drove back home, unpacked and did a lightning round of laundry, and re-packed for the New Year’s Eve weekend with Saint, which we spent split between two tiny towns in southwest Virginia named Abingdon and Damascus. We stayed with a lovely woman who runs the Lazy Fox Inn out of her house and makes the most fantastic breakfasts in the state, saw a fantastic play at the Barter Theater, laughed deliriously at the absurd accommodations for our actual-New-Year’s-Eve-night stay at the Martha Jefferson Inn, and biked 14 miles in the snow on the beautiful Virginia Creeper Trail, after which we ate some of the best pizza I’ve ever had at a pizza joint in Damascus whose name escapes me but damn was that pizza good. I ran in the snow and did not freeze; The Streak continued. We drank a growler of delicious Scaldis Noel. We ate entirely too much at the House on Main Street’s NYE prix-fixe dinner (I ate the whole thing, which I should not have done but it was sooooo gooood….). We watched the Redskins beat the Cowboys for the NFC championship. We toasted each other at the stroke of midnight on The Eve, after which I promptly passed out because I am awesome.

Week of Jan. 1ish: We made our way back to civilization on New Year’s Day, and I found myself pantsless because my actual pants had been completely charmed off by the towns in which we stayed. Seriously, I couldn’t get over how delightful everything was, and that only solidified the thought in my mind that I should, in fact, go down there to run the Creeper Trail Marathon next March (this year’s race is a) sold out and b) not well-timed in terms of my training and other races around then). I used the 2nd to re-set myself and do laundry and whatnot; I went back to work on the 3rd. On the 4th I made Saint this for his belated birthday present: http://www.sprinklebakes.com/2012/11/christmas-candy-cheesecake.html (with my own candies) and it was every bit as ridiculously awesome as it seems. On the 5th Saint and I went skiing for the first time this season, and it was pretty excellent; we lucked out with decently warm weather, but still perfect snow conditions. On the 6th my heart, and RGIII’s knee, was more or less broken, and I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that it took me a good two days to get over the loss of both (denial gave way to anger fairly quickly, and the depression lasted a liiiiittle too long, but acceptance came soon enough); thinking about baseball helped a lot, and little did I know that more awesomeness from that was yet to come.

I kept running. I ran 40 miles for the third week in a row. I realized that I was a) getting faster and spending much less effort to cover distances at faster speeds and b) really, seriously in need of some reduced mileage, because whatever was tweaking in the backs of my legs was only getting worse.  I did my last double-digit run of recent runs on the 6th, which was 12 miles, and the last 5 miles felt like the last 3 of my marathon, which was when I knew something was wrong; I can knock out 12-milers in my sleep, so… yeah.

Week of Jan. 7: Because I was just talking about running, I’ll start there: I didn’t immediately reduce my mileage by as much as I should have; stubbornly, I still went for 30 miles, and got there, but was hurting by the last one on Saturday morning. I worked, and did a metric fuckton of dissertation work that I should have been working on over the rest of break, but I swear I blinked and it was Jan. 8, the day before I was to meet with my advisor… But, it got done, but I am now actively making an effort not to do that again any time soon. I prepared for the start of classes on the 14th. Saint and I played golf on the 12th, because it was 70 degrees outside, and why wouldn’t you play golf in January in that weather? I went to my local running shop and asked them which doctor they go to, and in talking to the owner of the shop may have figured out that it’s not a hamstring issue that I’ve got, but rather a possibly pinched sciatic nerve, for which I immediately decided that it was going to be nothing but easy, flat runs of no more than 20 miles a week PLUS heat/massage in the morning and ice at night, all until further notice. What I should be doing is not running and cross-training (hello bike and elliptical) all the time and still lifting weights, and actually remembering to massage in the morning (I don’t own a heating pad, though it has occurred to me that I could, you know, buy one) and not being a wimp about icing at night when it’s cold in my house, but – you can guess where this is going, right? I’m still running, and being horrible about massaging, and being even worse about icing, even when they both help me feel much better.

Anyway.

It was made known to me that baseball is starting soon. The Nats acquired Soriano and traded away Morse, which made me feel sad and confused, but ultimately okay with both (acceptance came even more quickly with this one than with the Redskins, for obvious reasons).

Week of Jan. 14: Classes started! I’m teaching the same class as I did last semester – freshman writing, basically – and I have a totally different group of students whom I suspect will be great fun to work with. I started to nail down my class/work schedule a little better, only to have it thrown off immediately by doctor’s appointments (and the same will be true next week, too. Wheee!). I did another slightly metric fuckton of dissertation work. It became abundantly clear to me that I am going to have to spend less time Internetting (ahem oops) and more time dissertating if I am to get anything even remotely accomplished this semester/year; on Wednesday, we lost Internet at home, which would have been superbly helpful to me for achieving that goal if the brunt of my work for this week was not 80% Internet-based. Dammit. Because it rained nearly all week, I ran several slow and short runs (3 miles at the best 11:00-12:00/mile pace I could manage, though I’ve learned that I’m shit at measuring my pace when not on a treadmill) and felt achy still, but better when I was good about massaging and icing. The Streak has not been broken, and it’s currently at 64 days, and I know I should stop to preserve myself for the half-marathon in March at which I want to set a PR, but… but…

I learned that I’m really good at making excuses, and I’ll likely pay for this in terms of running later this year.

Speaking of which, my goals for the year are as follows: Sub-25:00 5k, Sub-2 hour half-marathon, Sub-5 hour marathon.(Oh, and, um, not get hurt. Hmmm….)

On the weekend Saint and I went skiing, which was about as warm as last time but with much less optimal snow, because that 70-degree weather that let us play golf one weekend prior also visited the mountain, and melted (no joke) half of its face off. It was sad seeing runs in bare grass, but with the cold snap we have now I’m hopeful that some good snow can be made for future weekends.

I ran 3 miles in absolutely frigid conditions this morning, which made me grin like an idiot – seriously, what else can you do but smile when your eyes are streaming tears because the wind is pushing against you so hard, but damned if I don’t love running in the cold weather? – but is now causing me some hurt, which makes me think I was going too fast, but dammit it was cold outside and I wanted to get inside ASAP, plus I was excited at being able to finally be outside after being cooped up last week [for anyone wondering why I run in the cold but not the rain, I wear glasses, and no combination of hood or hat has ever helped me keep my glasses clear long enough to be able to see], plus I was just feeling good in general…

Yeah. I am going to be good about icing tonight. I promise!

Week of Jan. 21: That’s this week! I had yesterday off, so Saint and I after returning from skiing on Sunday made a late dinner of burgers and mac & cheese (I have no regrets) and slept in yesterday morning; after some meetings, I came home and we lazed around for most of the day and heard the cold front (literally) blow in. Today it was back to business as usual, and I found myself with an extra half-hour or so, and thus I decided to blog. I continue to run reduced mileage this week, and remain open to the possibility of skiing this weekend, though I confess it might be perfectly pleasant to also spend a weekend dissertating for once. We’ll see.

So, um, hi! How are you? 🙂 See you in February?

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