Bully for Richard III for having his grave located, the title is in honor of the poor maligned monarch (yes, wrong monarch, but correct country). I have myself been absent for a while (not quite as long), but to good end. And the absence will continue for a spell or longer, hopefully to more good end
What I’ve been up to:
Training for the marathon:
Just as I was really getting into the fun mileage, I did a bunch of stupid things to my form (changed Too much Too quickly and on Too long a run – Terrible Toos) and got a stress fracture in the third metatarsal on my right foot. I know what I did, how I did it, and it has everything to do with my stupidity and nothing to do with running or my shoes or any of the other things everybody’s fond of blaming erroneously However as a result, I will be running the half instead of the full come May 5th, and am now hitting the pool instead (it’s softer). Pool running is butt, so I’m doing laps more than strict minute-for-minute running replacement. I’m working a 6 week half-to-mile program, so the Thursday after I visit the doc for a checkup on my foot, I’ll be swimming a mile straight. It’ll be great.
Since the full is out for me, a coworker suggested I look in to biking the MS150 Escape to the Lake (Erie). Since I’m committed to my first sprint tri in August, I figured nothing will scare me into getting in great biking shape more than a 150 mile – two day bike ride for charity. This past week I figured out that I can ride without pain (in my foot) on my bike on a trainer in my basement while watching my crime-dramas on the interwebs. So I’ve adapted a training program to the goal event’s training recommendations, including ramp and taper, for the MS150 June 8/9. I’ve also discovered that it’s time to bite the bullet and purchase padded bike shorts (blech, new clothes). One pair won’t turn me into a lycra-clad gear head, and might just keep me walking like a normal person these first few weeks.
So I may come away from my “injury” in better shape than ever in my life. I do need to sort out some kind of strength regimen that doesn’t make my toes curl (though toe curls are part of PT), but I’m working on it. Since I’m goal oriented, I’m a fan of this site, and it’s companion.
Dealing with Housing:
We’ve hit the home stretch on our home repairs. There’s precisely one thing left to do before the house is precisely what I want it to be: install heat (and a replacement toilet) in the sunroom. Sure there are dribs and drabs, like painting stuff that’s not (or badly) painted, but the big ticket items are all done. There’s nothing to look at anymore and get overwhelmed about having to take care of in time, skill, or money. I used to look at the house and think “Gee, if X were just taken care of, this house would be perfect.” But now, with all of it taken care of, I look at the house and simply say “Gee, I wish this house were somewhere with sidewalks, within walking distance of all the stuff I like to do, and near the parks and trails I enjoy.” The problems were never with the house. They were with the location. Location, location, location.
So we’re in the process of fixing that.
Not Getting Layed Off
This week I’ve done an excellent job retaining my employment, though it is abundantly clear that it is through pure luck alone. Between beloved friends packing up their desks (while being watched by armed goons, I kid you not), watching friends go through job searches in this area, and realizing the cuts are not over, my perspective is rocked. I’m re-evaluating what I want to do with my time, where I can do it, and what I can get out of it personally, and I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been just shy of passive about my pay check for too long. No conclusions yet, but I’m working through it. Every job has downsides, it’s whether my current downsides are worth the benefits, and what kind of transition is worth how much pain, I’m not sure. Change is scary and difficult, but increasingly looks like a better and better option. I’m not now, and never was a “lifer” – but I’m in a profession that encourages the practice and provides little backup in this area or the locations I’d rather live in.
I’m fairly certain that I will not continue with this blog, as I’m also shifting my writing efforts to different projects, and I’ve pretty well explored what there is currently in Pittsburgh. When I started, it was to find and collect all the local resources I could to live a more sustainable existence in Pittsburgh, when most of the resources out there were for California or NYC. In the past several years, I’ve noticed the web presence of several groups flourish, or simply begin, and it’s easier than ever now to find out more about car-free commuting, mass transit, building material reuse, gardening initiatives, bee keeping, home brewing, and all manner of other DIY/G projects and groups specific to the region and even specific to the city or neighborhoods. Grocery stores have started actually telling us where our produce comes from. Restaurants are composting. We’ve doubled our bike lanes, and have so many sharrows you can circumvolute the city almost without riding an unmarked road. I don’t think I had anything at all to do with it, either. I think I just started looking at the same time there were new things to see. I don’t see much of a point in continuing since it’s clear a critical mass of Pittsburghers now actually care, and the information is more readily available.
But I don’t like endings, so I’m not going to call this an ending. I’m even going to leave the site up, for now. If for some reason you’d like to contact me, just leave a comment below, I’ll still get the comments in emails.
Thank you all for following along with me, and helping me sort things out. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors