A lot has changed. But also nothing has changed.

It seems appropriate that my last post–more than a month ago– was titled Malaise. On one hand, a lot has happened. On the other, nothing at all has changed. And as each week passed, I kept thinking I needed to post here, but the more behind I got, the more overwhelmed I felt about writing. Add in stress related to my job and my frustration with my slow AF running, and I just couldn’t do it.

But here I am. Let’s catch up, shall we?

In mid-February, we had an ice storm. Trees all around my house lost limbs that first night–every so often we’d hear the crack of a branch, the thump as it hit the roof, and another thump when it fell to the ground.

But the streets were ice-free (although not debris-free) and we kept running.

Then a snowstorm that knocked out power to much of the state. We were lucky–my house kept power and water the whole time, but to conserve energy, we turned the heat way down and used the wood stove instead. The animals approved.

I even tried running in the snow. It wasn’t too bad the first day. I could run in the tire tracks (no snowplows here!) and it was a lot like running on the beach. But after the second ice storm, the streets became sheets of ice, almost impossible to navigate.

Schools closed for an entire week, partly because most of Austin had no power and partly because it was 5* and none of this stuff was melting. The average person could not navigate the roads–remember, no snowplows–and there was nowhere to go anyway since everything was closed. And then Austin’s water treatment plant hiccupped, cutting off water to tens of thousands of people, most of whom were also sitting in their dark and cold homes.

During all of this, I was supposed to drive to San Antonio for my second COVID vaccine, and I wasn’t sure I could get there. A friend volunteered to drive me in her made-for-this-weather vehicle, but those plans didn’t last long because everyone started to see the writing on the wall–this stuff wasn’t gonna melt for days and days–and I got a text that they rescheduled my appointment. Which was a relief, considering  it stayed mostly in the teens and single digits–numbers that Texans don’t recognize as temperature–and we had snow on the ground for seven consecutive days.

And then I began to worry that things wouldn’t melt in time for me to make the drive for the rescheduled appointment, either. I mean, the day before, it was still below freezing and roads remained icy and snowy.  But the day of my 6:20pm appointment,  the sun came out and temps slowly rose above freezing. Icicles crashed off my roof, and eventually we could see some grass again. I drove my spouse’s big diesel truck to San Antonio–south of Austin the roads were fine, but coming back to Austin that evening involved some icy and snowy patches of roads. I made it back in one piece and am now as immune as I’m gonna get.

The next day, I felt fine and we went for a short run, dodging a few remaining ice patches. By that afternoon, though, I’d been hit by the fatigue bus. No fever, no serious side effects, but I was tired and felt a little warm. I went to sleep early and woke up feeling fine.

A  lot of folks didn’t have power and/or water restored yet (losing power meant pipes freezing and breaking, for one) and officials weren’t sure how badly schools were affected. So between two professional development days, six snow days, and three remote days, we were off-campus from February 12 to March 1st. Some kids started calling it SNOVID.

Other random stuff: Team Holy Quokkamole continues its march across Texas. And once mail service was restored (yes, we missed several days of mail delivery) my Project Repat blanket, made from old race shirts, was delivered.

We got the news that my kid was accepted into both universities where he applied, we assembled new bedroom furniture, and here’s how my animals and I survived the Texas Snowpocalypse:

This week is Spring Break. Yesterday I completed a Hamilton-themed virtual run in the rain, and it’s tank top weather already.

It’s been one year since COVID upended our lives. A year ago, school was canceled the Friday before Spring Break because of two positive cases in Travis County. Everything shut down–Austin looked like a ghost town. Last week, on the anniversary of the pandemic, the governor rescinded mandatory mask orders and allowed all businesses to reopen at 100% capacity. Yesterday, Travis County reported 79 postive cases.

This time last year, parents new to schooling their own children realized the value of their kids’ teachers. Now districts are cutting our jobs. Instead of channeling funds directly to schools (who are providing technology and meals to thousands of economically-disadvantaged kids) Texas is determined to spend a gazillion dollars to administer the STAAR test as if school has been normal this year. Good teachers are leaving in droves, and the rest of us have to do more with less.

I’m still struggling with my running. I am showing up, but I’ve never been this slow. Some of my Quaranteam friends are injured, but all of us seem burned out and COVID-weary.

A lot has changed. But also nothing has changed.

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Malaise

It’s been a minute. But I just haven’t had the bandwith to do more than make it through each day.

After running my first attempt at the JFR 5K a couple of Tuesdays ago, I did end up going out to the track on Thursday and tried again. I took 40 seconds off my Tuesday time, so I was marginally pleased with that. Then on Saturday, I intended to run 8ish but bailed at 6ish.

Then this week, I started off reasonably strong. Tuesday night’s workout was challenging: 2-3 sets of 3:00 hard/1:00 recovery/2:00 hard/2:00 recovery/1:00 hard/ 3:00 recovery. I even went the extra mile (literally) by doing that third set. It was Groundhog Day, and I’d signed up for a groundhog-themed virtual race, so I dedicated my workout miles to Punxatawny Phil.

But Wednesday I came home and immediately put on my jammies. Thursday, I spent most of the day with a monster headache, and it hadn’t really abated much by the time I went to run. I tried, but it was a struggle. Then, a 1.5 miles in, my shorts ripped. And that was the last straw.

I sat down on the curb. I was done. Unfortunately I was a mile and a half from home.

The dog is a little alarmed at my sitting on the curb mid-run.

I walked more than ran, but eventually I made it back.

It was especially disappointing because my legs felt pretty good and I could have run a lot longer. But my head (and my shorts) weren’t having it.

The headache wasn’t really gone on Friday, although it didn’t stop me from my Friday Night Lights driveway get-together after work. It’s a small group of people I went to high school with who make me laugh and forget about the awfulness of the world for a while.

My headache wasn’t even gone Saturday morning. But I got up and met up with a Quaranteam friend–we decided to skip the Rogue field trip and stay closer to home–for six miles. Six whole miles. Some of which were walking. We are not currently making a lot of progress on our Trans-Texas virtual run–I think I contributed 15.5 miles this week, and 2.5 of those were walks with the dog, not even a run. Sheesh.

Still, I awarded myself the Bernie medal that came in the mail this week. And a couple of us enjoyed breakfast tacos and coffee in the Starbucks parking lot.

Our Trans-Texas team name is Holy Quokkamole! because one teammate recently learned that quokkas exist and are adorable. So another teammate adopted a quokka and we now have a mascot.

Quaranteam is my OG social-distance tailgate crew, and most Saturdays they’re the only reason I get up and run. And now we have a quokka.

The malaise is for real. But my friends are the best.

10th anniversary

In early 2011, Barack Obama was president, the shuttle Discovery took its last spaceflight, Auburn beat Oregon for the college football title, The Hunger Games books were bestsellers, and the iPhone 4 had recently been released. I was 40 years old. And I started running.

Like I say in my About Me section, I don’t really know what possessed me to start running. But it was an intentional choice–I bought running shoes and some athletic clothes, and I downloaded the Couch to 5K app, probably on my iPhone 4.

I think my first race was the Cap 10K in March, and then the Chuy’s 5K in May. I could run 2-3 miles at a time by then, albeit slowly. I remember being frustrated by C25K because the assumption was that after completing the program, anyone could run not just a 5K, but a sub 30-minute 5K.

Nevertheless, running was the first activity I really stuck with for any length of time. By the end of the year, I was still at it. I added the Livestrong 5K, Rescue Run 5K, and Turkey Trot 5-miler to my race total. I don’t have any real records of these–I often signed up for the “untimed” versions of races (they were usually $5-10 cheaper) and I didn’t have a Garmin or any kind of tracker.

But something clicked, and running had become part of my everyday life.

I remember taking my running shoes on a road trip to the Grand Canyon and getting in a mile or two in the national park. I went to D.C. and ran my first race with J–a nighttime 5K in which I was happy to not finish last.

Late in the year, I had some hip pain and took a few weeks off. My family ran the Jingle Bell 5K without me. But I didn’t abandon running. As soon as I was healthy again, I came right back to it. And it’s been that way ever since.

Happy tenth anniversary to me and running.

Weekend at Bernie’s

I don’t even know what day it is anymore, or what I’ve been doing the last week and a half. But that’s pandemic life in a nutshell I guess–I’ve been working back on-campus, and I’ve gone running most days.

One day, a friend and I got lost went for a trail run. I’d been out here before with the dog, which is how I knew there was an old VW bus out here. But it took some trial and error (LOTS of error) before I found it again.

I also ran around the neighborhood with the dog a few times. I met my Tuesday Rogue group for workouts at least twice. I watched the Inauguration–and the amazing women who performed. And I laughed hysterically at the good-natured Bernie-photoshopped-everywhere memes.

On Saturday I Frankensteined a long run route again (this time to add a potty stop) and saw some flamingoes who appear to have their own Quaranteam.

And the OG Quaranteam had coffee with Bernie.

On Sunday, I learned that San Antonio, which had been allotted way more COVID-19 vaccines than Austin, had set up a website to actually schedule a vaccine appointment (I am legit 1b, not trying to cut in line). Unlike Austin, where people could sign up to get on a list to be notified about appointments eventually.

But they release appointment times only periodically, so I sat at the computer refreshing the page like I was trying to score concert tickets, or get into a full college class. But I didn’t have to refresh too many times–I was pretty quickly able to schedule an appointment for Monday at 5:20. The drawback, of course, is that the Alamodome is about two hours from my house, or an hour and a half from work.

My teammate covered the second half of my last period class, and I hit the road about 3:30. Northwest Austin to Central San Antonio hits a lot of traffic hotspots, but I really only got jammed up once.

Y’all, San Antonio has its act together. Every 30 yards or so, someone directed me along a series of checkpoints from the parking lot entrance to the arena, through the temp check and paperwork check as I progressed down the concourse, then to the nurse who administered the shot. Then the obligatory 15-minute wait for adverse reactions, after which I scheduled my 2nd shot in three weeks. And that was it. I drove for 90 minutes each way to spend maybe 30 minutes from the time I entered the parking lot to the time I exited it. Even knowing I have to do the whole thing again in three weeks, it’s worth it.

As I left, I realized it was only 5:45 and I suspected traffic out of downtown San Antonio was less than ideal at that time, at least based on Austin’s standards. Since I was only a few blocks from the Riverwalk, I decided to venture over there and have dinner at one of the restaurants on the river. Afterward, I walked a couple more blocks to the Alamo because why not?

The 2012 San Antonio Rock and Roll race was my first half-marathon, and I don’t think I’d been back here since then, so it was nice to have a leisurely visit before I drove back home. Bummer I wasn’t wearing a race medal this time though. Just a Band-Aid.

Tuesday, my upper arm was pretty sore. Way worse than a flu shot, but not as bad as a tetanus shot, if you’re looking for a gauge. This week is the Rogue K Series 5K, and I’d kind of talked myself out of running it on Tuesday, especially only 24 hours after getting the vaccine. But at the last minute I decided to give it a shot (no pun intended) knowing I could bail and try again on Thursday if it sucked.

I ran pretty well. I mean, it wasn’t a PR; it wasn’t even that great of a pace compared to what I could do in the Before Times. But all things considered, it was not terrible. I haven’t decided if I’m going to try again Thursday–the weather is supposed to be quite a bit cooler so I may go over to the middle school track and give it another shot just to see what I can do. My arm feels pretty normal again and I haven’t had any other side effects, so there’s nothing really stopping me.

Except laziness. Which I have in abundance.

2021: more of the same

Compared to the snow last Sunday, this week was pretty uneventful.

Austin’s COVID numbers are so bad, the school district urged families to keep kids learning at home, and only small numbers of teachers remained at campuses. This way, kids who really needed to be at school (especially those who require special services or interventions) could attend with lower risk to everyone. This meant I stayed home not just on Monday’s snow day, but the rest of the week as well. So after four days on campus, I’m back to teaching from my spare bedroom, at least for a little while. I am grateful for this, since the vaccine situation seems to be a disaster and it may be some months before I’m able to get one. Sigh.

Tuesday’s workout was :30/:60:90 hill repeats. Two groups were meeting together, and it felt kind of crowded, but the temperature was perfect and I nailed my clothing choice. A few of us split off to run on the other side of the street, and I had a great workout.

I spent much of Wednesday dealing with technical difficulties–I had to go up to school to retrieve some materials I needed to teach from home, and I barely made it back in time to start my last class. After school I tinkered with my video setup, and then I had to tackle my new personal laptop. My old one wouldn’t hold a charge, and it kept freezing and crashing. But getting my email set up on the new one–sheesh, why is this stuff so complicated? It took hours.

Thursday, I ran three miles with the dog, and Friday was a rest day.

Saturday’s route was a nine-mile loop; my plan was to run that once and call it good. But I Frankensteined the route a bit to avoid a stretch of road I don’t like, and then I took a shortcut that lopped off another half-mile. So by the time I was close to where I started, I was only at 7.5 miles so I tacked a bit on to the end to at least finish with eight miles.

It was in the 30s and felt good, but I felt sluggish and walked a lot. Blah.

I’m still running solo, and while we’d drifted away from the Quaranteam phone call (I think we’re all having some COVID fatigue) a few of us have resurrected it. So I have that to look forward to, anyway.

Sunday should have been the 3M half marathon. Since 2013 I’ve run 3M every year except one, so missing it made me sad. Not that I minded sleeping until 8:30, but still.

Last year’s 3M half was the last road race I ran. This year, I ran a mile with the dog instead. We also had lunch in the park and walked the mile loop afterward. It was nice.

In other news, Quaranteam signed up for the Trans Texas Virtual Run. We’re doing the Texas Two Step, which runs (virtually, obv) East to West and then North to South for a total of 1,513 miles. There are a bunch of medals and shirts involved, naturallly.

Right now we have four people on our team (name TBD), which means 378.25 miles each. We can have five on a team, which would reduce our total to 302.6, but I don’t know if we’re going to pick up a fifth teammate before the February 1st start date. We have all of 2021 to finish, but even with four of us we should finish by the end of April.

Speaking of a bunch of race shirts, I went through my closet (and my kid’s closet) and collected 60 (!) race shirts I never wear.

I’m going to have them made into a blanket from Project Repat, so I spent the better part of Sunday evening organizing and cutting them apart according to PR’s instructions. It was a bit difficult, emotionally, to cut them up! But they’re just taking up space in my closet and I know I will get more use out of them this way. I mean, I need to keep a blanket in my car for coffee tailgates, you know. 😉

FYI, if you’re going to order one of these, look for discount codes online. I found one that took off almost 50%!

Snow and other oddities

I won’t lie. There wasn’t a lot of running happening last week.

I went back to work in-person for the first time since March 12. I did the Rogue workout from my house on Tuesday. Thursday I ran efforted 3.5 miles after work. Friday was a rest day. And Rogue training has dialed back quite a bit–since the JFR Ks races begin with a 5K in January, long runs are only in the 10K range. As tired as I was, 10K was about all I could manage on Saturday. Quaranteam coffee afterward was much more fun.

Sunday, things got weird.

I’d crashed early the night before and slept probably 10 hours. When I woke up, it was raining–I could hear it dripping off the roof. But within the hour, it switched to huge snowflakes. Which is crazy, because this is Central Texas.

Around 10am I decided to go for a run in the snow since the roads were still pretty clear. When I got to the park 1.25 miles away, snow had already completely blanketed the grass!

It snowed and snowed and snowed.

Typically in Austin, we get a dusting of snow every few years. It hardly sticks, and it’s gone within a few hours. But sometimes school gets canceled when it snows in the afternoon, then wet roads turn into ice. Even then, condtions usually clear up–we almost never miss more than one day of school at a time, or in a school year, for this kind of weather. I mean, the district calls them “bad weather days” not “snow days” for a reason.

When I was in high school, Austin got a HUGE snowstorm, around seven inches of snow. I remember schools closed for something like three days. We didn’t get THAT much this time, but I am pretty sure the 2021 snow was the most we’d had since the Blizzard of ’85. So we spent a lot of the afternoon outside, wandering around the neighborhood and freaking the dog out.

Late in the afternoon, however, the power went out. We’d had a fire going in the fireplace all day, so we were warm enough, but it was starting to get dark and we weren’t sure what to do about dinner. Fortunately I had a book on my iPad and was able to entertain myself. The power came back on around 8:00, I think.

Meanwhile, temps were near freezing, and there was slushy snow everywhere. Almost all area school districts canceled for Monday; a few went with a two-hour delayed opening, but the majority just canceled completely. Except for the district where I work. They decided it would be a 100% remote learning day.

Which is fantastic if everyone is prepared for it. But I was not. I had returned to campus on Tuesday–with my laptop and whole complicated two-screen setup. And I typically don’t bring my laptop back and forth each day–I really try to keep work at work unless I’ve seriously procrastinated and have grades due or something. So I didn’t have my laptop or any other teaching materials–and it seriously annoys me that the district EXPECTED us to be working at home, through the weekend, and therefore had our laptops at home already.

So here I am today, with Zoom on my personal iPad and attendance on my phone. I suppose this afternoon I will find a core workout, maybe run a mile as well. So yeah.

Good riddance 2020

Finally, the last week of 2020.

We didn’t have an official Rogue workout on Tuesday, but a bunch of us met up at one of our usual parks and improvised. From the start, I was not feeling it at all, but I muddled through almost four miles and called it a day.

It rained almost all day Wednesday as a cold front came through. During a break in the rain, the dog and I went out for three miles. It felt a whole lot better than Tuesday night.

The rain continued into Thursday, so the dog and I wrapped up New Year’s Eve with 3.4 miles in even colder rain. It was an oddly specific number, but it got me to an even 1108 miles for the year.

On New Year’s Day–Friday–a couple of Quaranteamers met up at the Starbucks. We planned to run 5K but my route overshot that by a little bit, and we ended up with 3.35 miles. It was windy and cold, but the sun was out and we had fun.

I typically don’t run on Fridays so my legs are not tired out on Saturday morning, and this week reinforced that concept. I completed eight miles, but did it the hard way. Not only that, a few of us were operating on an outdated map, so we missed the first water stop; a few folks also missed the second one. Fortunately it was 34* so it was less critical than if we’d had this problem during the summer.

I didn’t run on Sunday, but I did walk the dog twice, a mile each time.

So now it’s 2021.

My employer offered vaccines to about 900 at-risk staff this weekend, but I was not one of them despite receiving accommodations to work from home all last semester. And Texas removed teachers from the 1b tier of vaccine rollout. At the same time, Austin/Travis County continues to see a spike in COVID cases while hundreds of at-risk staff (including those like me who were passed over for the vaccine) must return in-person tomorrow. So for the first time since March, I will have to remember how to juggle work, commute, and home life. And wear normal clothes.

Wish me luck.

Here’s to you/raise a glass for everyone

This has been a Christmas season like none other. We didn’t even put up a tree, and for the first time in at least 25 years, probably more like 30, we did not visit the Zilker Tree on Christmas Eve. Sigh.

Through it all, I’ve kept running. Not always well, and not always enthusiastically. But pretty reliably. My Quaranteam friends helped a lot. I hope this conveys how important they have been to me in 2020:

I originally created a video set to Bruno Mars’ Count on Me, but I turned it into a GIF so I could share it here. Thanks, y’all. You’re the best.

But the year isn’t over yet. How’s it going, you might ask?

Monday I did a core workout, then ran a mile with the dog. Tuesday’s Rogue workout ended up about 4.5 miles–it was warm again, so I struggled a bit.

Wednesday was our Elf Run, and it was awesome. We met at a nearby park and ran about a half-mile to a house with an extravagant light show. Then back the other direction to a culdesac completely insane with lights and drive-by traffic. We ran about three miles total, and it was a blast.

Thursday, I took the dog on a short run around the block. Friday morning, after our super low-key family Christmas, I took him for about three miles.


I listened to XM radio’s Rockin’ XMAS channel–AC/DC, Billy Squier, Twisted Sister, Bryan Adams, Springsteen, and Band Aid to name a few. Totally my jam.

Saturday morning–not 12 hours after our big Christmas dinner–I headed out, planning eight miles. We brought the Quaranteam phone call back, so for a while I had some fun chatting with friends. About the halfway mark, four of us converged at the water stop. We kind of split up again, but kind of not, as I tried (and failed) to keep up with a two of them. But I ended up with nine miles, and then we had coffee.

My family gave me a battery-powered warming vest for my Saturday tailgates, so I got to test it out. 😀

Despite everything, it was a great week. I’m grateful for these people–running with* them has kept me sane(r) these many months.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!

 

*not literally, because COVID

Through the seven levels of the Candy Cane Forest

This time of year is my favorite for running. Even if days are warmish, once the sun goes down, temps drop and it’s lovely.

Sunday, I took the dog for three miles around the neighborhood. It was cool and rainy. Monday, I did a core workout at home (I really miss core class!) and then ran a mile.

Tuesday was our group’s Secret Santa party, but we had a workout to complete first. I intended to run a one-mile warmup but overshot it and ended up with 1.75 miles. The workout itself, on the track, was 3.5 miles. Then I ran a few more laps to cool down, for a total of six miles. I haven’t run a six-mile weekday workout in a long time, but I was feeling good and just rolled with it.

Afteward, we had a parking lot party with champagne, hot-chocolate-on-a-stick treats, and Secret Santa gift exchange. My Santa got me a Strange Planet “Knowledge Transmitter” shirt and I love it.

Since I don’t have a Thursday coach anymore, I’m kind of aimless. So I meandered around the adjacent neighborhood for 3.6 miles. I didn’t take the dog because I actually felt like running, not getting tangled in his leash and stopping at every mailbox and light pole.

Friday, my Elf Run hoodie, beanie hat, and bib arrived (the medal shipped separately) so I am set for next week’s holiday lights run with Quaranteam. The hoodie is really nice–not a boring cotton, but technical material with lots of pockets. I don’t wear hats when I run unless it’s well below freezing–I get too warm–but it will be nice post-run or for other holiday events, once we’re allowed to attend those again.

My Quaranteam friends were split this weekend, with some folks planning to run Saturday and others on Sunday. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but when I got up Saturday morning and it was pouring rain, I made the easiest decision possible and went back to bed.

Sunday morning, it was cold and sunny–perfect. We planned to run 6-8 miles. Then another friend joined us–he was running his One for All 13.1 and finished with us. It was a great run!

That Santa was so tall, I had to stand on the other side of the street to get all of him in the picture. I just kept thinking, what the hell do you do with a  Santa that size the other 48-50 weeks of the year?? I mean, I know it’s a lot smaller when it’s deflated, but those things still cover a lot of surface area. Then again, these houses were enormous–they probably have a room dedicated to storing Christmas decorations. 😀

It’s Winter Break for me now, and I’m going to enjoy the hell out of it since I have to go back in-person January 5th.

Inconsistency

December’s weather is very Jekyll-and-Hyde.

Sunday, it was 64* when I took the dog on a short recovery run, and 66* for Monday’s equally short, easy run. Tuesday, it was 70* when I started my five-mile Rogue workout.  I got it done, but I know it would have gone better if it were cooler.

Thursday, it was 72* as I headed out for fourish miles. This is my first official week without a Thursday group–my longtime coach moved to Colorado, so I am on my own now. I took the dog on the route I used to run on Thursdays before my coach’s workouts moved from Tuesdays to Thursdays several years ago.

It was kind of a fail. The first mile went okay, but then between the humidity and my annoyance at the dog for1) veering in front of me and 2) stopping every eight feet, I gave up and walked a bunch.

Three houses in a row had this type of tree out front. It was pretty.

Friday night, we began our pre-holiday movie tradition with “Elf.” I have to go get “Muppet Christmas Carol” from my classroom to watch one day this week, and then next Friday, when Winter Break begins, we finish with “Christmas Vacation.”

Since I’d already completed my All for One 13.1 last weekend, I got to take it easy this Saturday. I planned 6-7 miles designed to swing by the elementary school where the half-marathoners had a water stop.

I was happy to see 44* on my car’s temperature gauge as I drove to my usual Starbucks parking lot, then headed out along some of the same streets I ran last weekend, meandering toward the elementary school. Lots of holiday lights and displays kept me entertained.

I learned how to make GIFs using an iPhone shortcut

I’d done a pretty good job planning my route–I finished seven miles pretty much in front of the Starbucks. It felt like it had gotten colder the second half of the run. I pulled on a hoodie and some sweatpants, and about that time some more Quaranteamers were returning. Most were like me, taking a down week, but one was running her 13.1 so another friend joined her for her last three-mile loop.

I think they speak for all of us, glad to be done with the All for One series!

We’d all parked close by so we set up our chairs in the middle of the cars and got down to the important business of ordering hot coffee.

We also celebrated with mimosas

Sunday morning, more Jekyll-Hyde–it was 55* and drizzling. The dog and I headed out for an easy recovery run, and about two miles in, it started pouring rain. I didn’t mind, but the dog was a bit perplexed and kept stopping to shake off. It was back to a drizzle by the time we got back home, after three miles. The rain is gone but a cold front is blowing in now.

Tuesday is Rush Hour’s Secret Santa party, and we’re planning a holiday lights run too. Then it will be Winter Break–which simultaneously makes me happy and really anxious. Happy because I think we all need the time to rest and recharge. Anxious because I know a lot of people will travel, attend parties, and visit others, then send their kids to school in-person at the same time I also have to return to my campus. Austin Public Health anticipates the next few weeks to be the worst of the pandemic yet.

It turns out I also really miss my Monday core class. Well, I don’t  miss the effort it took to complete the workout, but I miss having some semblance of strength. I was diligent about attending in-person for eight years, but it’s all been undone the last nine months. So I’m putting this out there–I’m going to start (back) doing some kind of core workout on Mondays. Maybe Wednesdays too, but let’s not get ahead of myself.