I wanna have control…

I wanna have control…

Today I ran.  It was a cold day, barely above freezing and my daughter suggested I do yoga instead.  I really was tempted, especially since I did a leg-heavy workout yesterday but I thought, hey, I took a day off on Wednesday and I’ll be not exercising on the weekend, so let’s just do it.

Usually when I go for a run in layers I strip one off in a mile or so.  No today!  I had on long pants, a tank, a long sleeved tech shirt (my favorite, a black shirt with a yellow design Steel City Road Runners shirt I got last year at the marathon expo), an oversized Akron marathon swag bag headband that found its way into my swag bag at the expo (it’s great — it can be a straight-up headband, or it can cover my whole head, or it can be used as a scarf) and fingerless gloves.  I was not warm the whole time!  I was dressed perfectly I suppose.

It was good run and at 4 miles, the longest I’ve run since the week after the half marathon when I did 5 miles.  It was a slow run, but since as I said I worked on my legs a lot yesterday, and as we know I’m out of shape, I’m OK with this.  I’m not seriously counting calories but I am irritated that my running app gave me credit last year for burning 800 calories on this route last year, because, I suppose, I ran it way faster then (47:59 for an 11:55 minute/mile pace) than I did today (55:07 for a 13:47 minute/mile pace) but it said I burned 388 calories!  That is a HUGE discrepancy because I sure felt like I worked really hard today!  I think, looking at the calories burned in other 4 mile runs, it’s a lot closer to 400 calories so I guess that 800 was a glitch.  Anyway. I’m obsessing. This is a very hilly route.  I really am happy that I was able to run the whole way.  I felt good and strong, and I felt like I could have kept going when I was at the end of my route.

The only thing that I’m not thrilled about is, well, let’s say it’s a problem that female runners (and sneezers and laughers) have, especially after childbirth.

The song I was listening to just before this went down… Creep by Radiohead.

I wanna have control

I want a perfect body

I want a perfect soul…

Isn’t that just so fitting.

Interesting, all of my incidents occurred while I was running downhill, and I find this really interesting.  I am guilty of barreling down hills like a damn fool, trying to make up for lost time!  Even though I profess to not care about time!  It just feels GOOD to run really fast down a hill, especially after slogging up the huge hills in Highland Park.  For any locals, I took Highland Ave up to the park, and then up Farmhouse Rd to Heberton, where the 422 feet in elevation climb ended and I was able to run with abandon.  It’s just fun.  Until you wet your pants.  Yeah, yup.    The second incident was right after I turned onto my street (yeah.) which is a downhill right after the huge uphill on Stanton.  This is why I wear black running pants.  It’s not for the kind of modesty one might assume.

(By the way — I really did not set out to talk about pee.  Just going where my brain takes me.)

The fact that I was running without thinking, while it felt fun and free, I’m sure had a lot to do with this.  I need to be more conscious of what I’m doing.

Mindfulness is something that I struggle with from top to bottom and I think it’s what I need to work on to be able to actually become an employee somewhere.

I’m not one of those moms who are great at multi-tasking and I’m not great at saying, “No,” or “Wait a minute,” or “Let me finish this up and then I’ll help you,’ or “Hold that thought!”

Instead I tend to give everything priority one.  Finding shoes, packing lunches, answering emails, cleaning up –all of it at the moment is of the highest importance.  Which is hilarious because of course, what gets shoved to the side are the things that are actually important, like enjoying myself and being kind to those around me.  Oh, and also, everything gets done in a really unsatisfactory way.

Conversely, when I let myself just shirk everything — like running fancy-free down the hill — things sort of go to shit too (thankfully that parallel hasn’t quite been made.).  When I think, “Self, just don’t worry.  It will all get done.  Cut yourself some slack,” well, the things don’t get done and the slack ends up tripping me.

I need parameters.  Which I knew and appreciated before, and this Project Karen 2.0 is reinforcing.  I enjoy projects and exercises and limits and goals.

It’s why I enjoyed writing extremely formal poems in graduate school.  I was able to be very vigorous in my practice and make choices about words, and how to say what mattered in a restrictive format.  It was a lot of fun!  Because I am a nerd.

Being forced to pay attention is a really good thing.  It’s the sort of thing that we don’t DO unless we’re reminded that it’s a good thing, though, isn’t it?  Not until something dramatic happens that we say, “Oh fuck, I better value what I have because look what can happen!”  Whether our lack of mindfulness causes the event (like my running mishap) or whether we realize that we will have regrets if we don’t value what we have when some random shit happens (I’m thinking especially of Sandy Hook), it is something that I seem to just let slip away until something jars me into really snapping to attention.


And I got so caught up in my son’s hullabaloo yesterday that I didn’t say Happy Valentine’s to my husband here. Love you babe!  We had a relaxing night watching one of our favorite movies, Before Sunrise.  And we learned that another one will be released this spring.  Can’t wait!


  •  Running: 4 miles
  • Words written: 1000+
  • Weight: 144 (that bullet point got scared it would be eliminated)
  • Job I Don’t Want: Circus Juggler
  • Deck Check: Creep, Radiohead (Pablo Honey)

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