Friday Free-For-All – 04/29/16

FFFA (1)

This week’s Friday Free-For-All post has a theme: STRESS!!!

Insult to injury. Literally. I hurt my left quad and right foot during my attempted 18-miler on Monday, and then I got sick this week. Maybe a sinus infection, maybe just a really bad cold, but either way, headache, major congestion, mild fever, and crappy sleep. I haven’t run at all since Monday, but I think I’m gonna attempt a gentle 5k today. My fever is gone, and although I’m super congested, I’m feeling better than I have the last couple of days. This week has just been kind of a crap fest. I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to do my 20-miler with Athleta and RunVermont on Sunday, but I think that if worse comes to worst, I’ll just go for it and use some run/walk intervals to get me through it. That’s not how I’ve been training up until now, but I REALLY would rather do my 20 in a group setting than try to do it on my own later.

Ben’s employment situation. I haven’t talked about this much on the blog, but it’s weighing heavily on my mind this week. Ben is an educator, and unfortunately, job stability isn’t always a thing when you’re a teacher. Ben and another teacher were hired at the same time last year to cover two full-time positions for teachers that were away on leave. One of those teachers has decided not to come back, and one still has a year of leave left, meaning that there is now one permanent full-time position available. Due to budget cuts, the other temporary position covering leave is now only a part-time position, and we don’t know the actual extent of the position and pay. Ben and the other teacher both interviewed yesterday for both positions, and we just don’t know how the chips are going to fall. The other teacher has more experience and a Master’s degree, but Ben is better at classroom management and has better people skills. They may decide they want to pay more for the other person’s experience, or they may decide they want to save money by hiring Ben. It’s really scary not knowing whether or not he’ll will have a job next year. He has applied for a few other positions at other schools, but hasn’t gotten any interviews, which is super discouraging. Taking a pay cut by accepting the part-time position at his current school, or not getting a job at all would mean that we’d need to do a serious lifestyle overhaul, and delay a lot of stuff like home buying and starting a family even further. The uncertainty is putting a lot of strain on us right now, and it sucks not being able to plan long term because we just don’t know what next year will look like. Thankfully, it sounds like we should know either way by Monday at the latest, so at least it’s not going to drag on for weeks.

Shoes. I’m still feeling stress about my damn shoe issue. I can’t say for sure that my leg and foot issues on Monday were due to the shoes rather than just stress or attempting too much mileage after a week of almost no running, but I’m a little nervous about attempting 20 miles in the Mirages on Sunday. I’ve been doing lots of research, and even used this great shoe finder app on Runner’s World (Shoes Like Mine) to find some options. I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods on Wednesday night and tried a bunch of the recommended options, but totally struck out. Every shoe I tried just didn’t have enough room for my toes. It seems like most toe boxes sort of angle down toward the front of the foot, but my toes angle UP, so it’s hard to find a shoe with enough room. I’m trying not to panic, and I still have some options for other places to go, but it sort of feels like zero hour here, and I’m anxious.

ONE MONTH. Vermont City Marathon is exactly one month away. In some ways, it feels like I’ve been waiting forever and I can’t believe it’s finally time, and in other ways, it doesn’t seem like enough time has passed, and I’m under-trained and oh my god how am I ever going to do this?? I think if I can just get through this 20-miler on Sunday, I’ll feel a lot better about things. I seriously can’t believe it’s almost taper time. I honestly don’t even feel like I “deserve” a taper because I haven’t really been training all that much these last few weeks. It’s so weird. All I can say is, thank God for Coach Suz. I’d be a mess right now without her. OK, more of a mess than I already am…

Who else is feeling stressed out this week? I need a massage… Or a drink…

11 thoughts on “Friday Free-For-All – 04/29/16

  1. Jenn @ Fairest Run of All says:

    I hear Hawaii is hiring teachers. A thought. 😉

    Have you ever tried Brooks Ravennas or Nike Vomeros? I use those. I often have trouble with toe boxes because I have very tapered feet and my big toes stick out. Might be worth a shot? Ravennas are stability and Vomeros are nuetral, depending on what you need (I use the Vomeros for shorter runs as a rule).

    • DarlinRae says:

      I haven’t tried either of those, and I’m honestly open to at least trying anything on at this point. Thanks for the recommendations! And yes, I had heard that Hawaii is desperate for teachers, so I guess that can be Plan B 😉

  2. txa1265 says:

    As I mentioned on FB, this is just a crappy week 😦

    I got the fever-cold two weeks ago, and it really took a while to get back to 100% (still have small occasional dry cough). I took four days off then ran the weekend … and ended up taking another few days off from running as a result. I have seen loads of people struggle with this thing … I hope yours passes quickly!

    And those darn shoes! I hope you find something that works … such an absolute pain!

    Sorry about Ben. Yeah, it is really tough as a young teacher. I remember both of my kids had teachers in their first couple of years just before we left Massachusetts. There were significant budget cuts and we know one lost her job, but the final fate for the other wasn’t decided before we moved. It is really rough … and it aggravates me because it is SUCH a critical element of our society that we drastically undervalue and underappreciate.

    • DarlinRae says:

      Thanks, Mike! I’m glad you’re on the mend now, and I hope mine continues to progress quickly and get the heck out of here! I’m hoping that we get some answers regarding Ben’s job sooner rather than later, so that this weekend we can either a) celebrate or b) drown our sorrows and come up with a plan of action.

  3. SuzLyfe says:

    My fingers are so crossed for you and Ben. You don’t deserve all this stress! Tell them to call me and I will sort them out 😀
    Your quad didn’t feel great from pretty early in the run–could be that it was just tight after being at work all day and felt like being a little bitch. I don’t think that this is a recurrent issue as long as you keep rolling out that quad, so put that our of your mind. The Ravennas mentioned before might be a good idea, but my one worry is that the drop is much more substantial, and we know how that goes. It is too late to try you in a Newton Kismet, otherwise I think you might love them. The Mizuno Sayonara’s have a decent amount of room in the toe box and a more comparable drop to your Mirages, but Mizuno is very hit or miss, and I developed foot issues after running in the Wave Enigmas. I love the Nikes–I will totally recommend them. The Vomero or Zoom Odyssey might be worth a shot. I’ll keep thinking, ok?
    Now, for the stress overall, I say to remember a few things: You are far enough in your training that, if everything falls apart, you can still run the freaking thing. We might change our day of race strategy, but for my first marathon, I didn’t run further than 16 miles after my first 20 miler (6 weeks before the race) and I did much of my final weeks on the bike due to IT band issues. And I had the best marathon experience possible.
    Focus on one week at a time, ok?

  4. candies & crunches says:

    I really hope that everything works out for Ben. Job instability is very stressful indeed, but hopefully it will turn out just fine. It seems like this week is not the best for you, so just try to enjoy your run today and maybe plan a date night? It sounds like it would benefit both of you! Hugs!

    #FBF: Barcelona, Spain – The City Of Dreams (Part 1):

  5. dgobs says:

    Giant virtual hug! I hope you’re feeling better, and also that you hear good news about Ben’s work situation tomorrow. I’ll have my fingers crossed!

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