26 of 52: Midway

Jimmy is Fast

More to the point – Jimmy is faster than me. A lot faster. But he ran with me this day anyways. Kind of fitting when I think about it. He was with me on the first run after the Downs Park 5 mile run. I imagine he’ll be at the last one also if I ask with enough lead time. (Is *now* too early?)

Even though Jimmy is much faster than I am he ran with me for this 13.1 miles and at a pace that did not hurt me. Fortunately he did most of the talking while I interjected a “mhmm” and a “right?” every now and again.

We have a bit in common and I picked his brain about his professional story (which I can never seem to remember) and when it comes to Jimmy in work and in life (to include running) he says “I’m just a simple guy.” And he is. I mean this in the best possible way. He is full of gratitude, appreciates what is and does not sweat the small stuff. It was nice to get to know him better over the 13.1 miles on this run.

I figure since this is the halfway point it would be OK to look back for a sec on all the other runs.

  1. 2:03:41
  2. 6:22:58 (50k PR!)
  3. 1:59:40
  4. 2:04:54
  5. 2:11:19
  6. 2:09:28
  7. 2:10:53
  8. 2:01:04
  9. 2:12:45
  10. 2:06:19
  11. 2:08:22
  12. 2:14:19
  13. 2:35:52 (15.9 miles)
  14. 2:17:00
  15. 2:07:30
  16. 2:08:11
  17. 2:08:33
  18. 2:21:24
  19. 2:44:35 (pacer)
  20. 2:00:46
  21. 2:18:33
  22. 1:53:46 (PR!)
  23. 2:21:54
  24. 2:38:16
  25. 2:18:05
  26. 2:12:38

If I take out the outliers and odd/longer distances these runs have a range of almost 40 minutes! Also – on the whole I am slowing down a bit. I don’t know for sure but I think it may be because I hardly do anything other than these 13.1 mile runs anymore!

I would like to get back to working out multiple times a day a couple times a week and then once a day a couple times a week. I can’t tell if I felt like I had more purpose because I worked out more or if working out more was my purpose. Does it matter? I liked it and I miss it.

Oh – look at me slipping into “not the run” before I even write about the run…

The Run

We started at Jimmy’s place. I’m starting to form this “rule” that if I ask someone to run with me I should go to them. Seems only right. Jimmy had a sketch of a plan for the run for which I am also grateful – not only for the fresh course but also for not having to sort it out ahead of time.

We made our way over to the stadium and crossed over into West Annapolis. These were all familiar roads – but then Jimmy’s plan had us turn left onto Ridgely Road – a road I had only ever driven on. Two thumbs up for the new scenery as we ran across Weems Creek. We continued on up over Rt 50 and then made our way around to Rowe to run back into downtown Annapolis (DTA).

All routes lead back to DTA – but sometimes you run over the Naval Academy bridge for good measure – which we did.

We passed straight through DTA and crossed back over into Eastport, running the perimeter before heading back up the road to his place. The miles flew by on this one no doubt because of the conversation.

Not the Run

Over the past 15 years or so I have been coming back to this idea of simplicity over and over.

First it was in my work – code to be specific. I stumbled onto the idea of “elegance” in code while looking for ways to get better at it. At first I though this was all about how to get the job done with the fewest lines of code – but as it turns out, elegance in code is also about how thoughtful you are about how your solution might function beyond its current need. Will it be able to grow and change without compromising its core function? Can it do that and yet remain simple enough for others to understand?

This idea spread to other areas of my life I think probably in an attempt to establish a sense of order in what was still new world for me – sobriety. I suppose that every aspect of me had become cluttered in some way and now it was time to clean house.

Can I be elegant as a person? Can I adapt to my changing circumstances and remain simple? It may just be that being simple is the best way to adapt to change. That by appreciating the honest truth of “what is” – rather than trying to change “what is” into “what I expected…” is the quickest way to being happy…

…and maybe running faster – like Jimmy.

Next Week: Cherry Pit 10 Miler

25 of 52: Easter Run Club – Half Marathon Edition

Traditions Are Important

Traditions have a way of marking time, cementing the idea of an era or the idea that something is important. They give us something to remember, or to pass on so that others can be remembered. They are a way of letting people come together to celebrate one another and to demonstrate our commitment to one another or an event or place.

It sounds heavy but the tradition itself doesn’t need to be. It could be as simple as touching the head of Testudo before a football game or – making it more of a ritual. You might also make it complicated and secretive giving it more of a ceremonial feel.

You may wonder why I’m rambling on about this so I will tell you. I’m trying to figure out why this annual event is important to me. Maybe it’s just cus I enjoy it and the people I share it with – maybe its more than that. Heck, I honestly can’t remember when it started! I guess it really doesn’t matter as long as I can keep doing it for as long as I can. What I DO remember is that Coach Susan started it and I’m so very glad that she did.

What the heck am I talking about? Easter Run Club.

Every year on Easter Sunday a few of us (rarely the same group) get together and run a few miles (or more) and then afterward (and this is key) sometimes we split a pastry and enjoy a caffeinated beverage from a SECRET place that I can’t tell you the name of. (But I can tell you that it rhymes with “Marbucks”).

I know – “how is this different from any other run?” I’ll tell you. It is not because we run with easter baskets picking up hidden eggs (because we don’t). It’s also not because we put on purple gowns and light candles and chant in Latin while we run – because we also don’t do those things either.

Running with fire is dangerous.

I guess it’s different because it happens the same day every year and while “run club” or running together with friends could happen any time – Easter Run Club is one that almost always does happen. Back to the idea of tradition – you make an extra effort to make it happen because there’s something there that you’re trying to honor – and I like to think that something is each other.

The Run

Easter Run club started from DTA at the leisurely hour of 9:37 this year. Lara was marathon training – so she showed up with some miles already run – 6 ish I think and another 7 or 8 to go. (I need to start either writing these sooner or taking notes!) Susan and Gloria were *not* marathon training. SO that left me running 13.1. We were going to have to get creative about how to make that happen and all finish somewhat at the same place at the same time.

Me n’ Susan and Lara and Gloria with the Naval Academy Bridge in the background. Photo Credit goes to a nice yet anonymous Mid just trying to live their life.

It basically turned out to be a lot of little out and back’s to add extra mileage and then taking the long way back from the Naval Academy bridge and a couple of trips over into Eastport at the end to really tack on some extra miles. The cool part for me was that by the time I finished, the coffee was already in hand and mine had had plenty of time to cool off to a drinkable temperature.

Why is your coffee so hot Marbucks? Why???

Not the Run

I can’t remember much else about the run specifically, but I can tell you this – at the end of the run – where there was coffee and conversation there was also (for me) the sense of history from having done this for going on 8 or so years now – and makes me feel good thinking back on it as I write this.

My parents and family made sure to celebrate our traditions and one very important thing I learned growing up is that you can make your own traditions and you can even make old traditions new by adding your own twist. What’s important is that you celebrate the people, places and events that having meaning to you and your life.

Easter Run Club is not a grand tradition steeped in ceremony nor is it a small personal ritual – and like so many traditions this is one just because we keep doing it – but I like it and I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can.

Next Week: Midway

24 of 52: That Time I Ran on the Freeway

I Don’t Recommend It

I was not supposed to be running on the freeway, but I was tirrred and the sugar in the gatorade I drank was having a crazy impact on my ability to make decisions.

Me: Oh crap. I missed my turn. When did that happen?

Sugar Rush Me: What? I can’t feel my face.

Me: Damn. I have a conference call in 30 minutes. I don’t have time to backtrack.

Gatorface Me: I should have bought the sugar free Gatorade.

Also Me: I guess we’ll just run up this exit ramp…

I’m getting a little ahead of myself here. This happened on April 14th and I’m writing this on June 12th so a little rewind might be in order…

The Run

Two weeks prior I set a personal best at the B&A half. One week prior I ran alone in Columbia and got lost. THIS particular week I planned on running a new route just to shake things up a little. I didn’t want to run alone really but as it turns out I need to work on making plans in advance so – there I was.

It started just fine with a familiar 5 miles to start but then I decided to make my way towards Downtown Annapolis ‘the back way’ (around the mall) instead of my usual route down West Street.

Not a super scenic run but I had never done it so that had some value in and of itself. About 7.5 miles in I ran out of water so I decided to stop at Wawa for some Gatorade. I got two small ones – fully loaded. All. Of. The. Sugar.

Flavor: Greenish.

I have been drinking the same hydration mix (Beachbody Hydrate) for the past two years almost. It agrees with me, low in sugar and does a good job keeping me functional. It’s not that I didn’t think that chugging a bottle of Gatorade was a good idea – I simply didn’t think about it at all. It was so cold and there was something about it that just wouldn’t let me put it down. I nearly gave myself brain freeze.

Anywho – one bottle in me. One bottle in my running bottle. Off I went.

By the time I made my way to the the Navy Memorial Stadium I knew I needed to start making my way home. “I’ll just run by Dan’s place and see what he’s up to.” I ran up the driveway just as the fam was pulling out.

They were headed across the street to check out a basketball setup to put in their driveway. I decided to follow them over and check it out. As it turned out they decided to take it home – so I offered to help Dan carry it back while Katie Q drove the boys home. This whole episode took about 12 minutes. It was nice to catch up but I had a conference call to make and about 3 miles left to run.

And this is kinda where the GatorSugar kicked in and started messing with my head. Or maybe it was because I took a 12 minuted break from running to carry a basketball hoop back to Dan’s place. I’ll probably never know cus I checked all the stats on Garmin and that info is NOwhere to be found.

I should have run back to Riva road and then back the way I came, but I knew that would be a mile and change too far so I figured I would make and early left onto Chinquapin Round Road and cut through a side street or two to make my way back. By the time I hit 665 it was too late.

Me: Oh crap. I missed my turn. When did that happen?

You know the rest. Well some of it. 665 isn’t really a freeway as much as it is the quiet death of one. The part where 50 peels off onto an expressway/exit that eventually peters out into a two lane thoroughfare with some traffic lights. Well I was at the first light and I had to make my way back… upstream.

“I’ll just run on the shoulder. Oh – look. There’s no shoulder. I’ll just run on this tiny strip of “grass” nestled between these cars and that really tall sound barrier. At the least the ground is super uneven and covered with unfamiliar foliage…”

High stepping to avoid tripping in the foliage was not super easy 12 miles into the run and it got old in a hurry. I started walking when cars came by and running when there was a break thanks to the red light I was running away from. There was about 90 seconds of good running between light cycles so it worked out okay. On one of the walking breaks I happened to realize that I could cross over and run against traffic.

Running against traffic is the norm for road running. When you are on surface streets. It’s scary as crap on a freeway-type road like this one. It wasn’t long before I made my way up the on ramp and found myself basically right across the (6 lane) street from my apartment. No – there’s no crosswalk there.

I made my way across and directly into the building, into the shower, and made it to my call right on time. I don’t think I was 100% lucid for the call but well – at least I made it back alive. 13.26 miles.

Not The Run

It’s weird writing about this so long after it happened. It’s been almost two months but I guess that’s still recent enough for the important stuff to stick with me. Not bad for a guy that can’t always remember why he walked from one room to another.

Yes – I know that’s not how memory works and yeah, I heard about the doorway effect, but this is my blog and I write for rhythm sometimes – not so much for rhyme.

Work has been forcing itself back into my work life balance after having been neglected for too long so while it’s been great for me on a number of levels I’ve had to scale back on the writing – from moderately slacking to “not at all.” I’m sure Garmin has a stat for that but dang – I can’t find it in my run data either.

Next Week: Easter Run Club – Half Marathon Edition

23 of 52: Lost in Columbia

The Plan was Simple

Run to Centennial Park, around the lake and back home. It’s just a shame that I had no clue where I was going. Coming of last weeks PR I wanted more of the “exploring” slow kind of run. I was alone and did not care in the least how much or often I walked.

A good thing too – I had no idea how far off the mark I would be.

The Run

You see those two little red lines at the top bouncing off of rt 29? Yeah – that’s me thinking that Centennial park was just on the other side. Al I had to do was find a way across, right? Nope – I was a full major thoroughfare away from where I thought I was. Explore I wanted – Explore I got.

The first few miles of the run were actually kind of hilly – more than I wanted. I didn’t work out AT ALL the week prior and I was just feeling slow all over.

I had a good sense of what direction I wanted to go but dang if I just had no clue about what would be in my way – like this on ramp. Off ramp? I’ll just call it NOPE. There was zero shoulder and a ton of traffic so I turned around.

About the 6.5 mile mark I ran into a nice lady out walking and asked if she knew the way to the park. Based on her reaction and the directions I got I knew I should just pack it in and head home. I was halfway. I’d have to make up some distance at the end because I was just not in the mood to retrace my mis steps and all those hills. I took the direct route back to more familiar territory.

Not The Run

I am cramming. I am cramming at work. I am cramming on these posts. I am cramming on training for an Olympic distance triathlon I have in about 4 weeks. I don’t like it much.

The work I don’t mind so much – I’ve been missing some spark in that area for some time so it’s nice to be reminded that I have skills – but this other stuff. It’s supposed to be fun – not a grind. SO what can I do?

I figure I can either let off the gas, lower my expectations for myself OR I could try to engage with the work in front of me. To do as much as I possibly can. Take the grind out of it and try to make it a challenge. I’m a little tired of being so-so.

Next Week: A loop, a hoop and a bad decision I will not make a gain.

22 of 52: B & A Half Marathon

Everyone’s Driving a Different Machine

It’s been a few weeks since I ran this race and I swear I have only a passing recollection of who said this. Was it me or Dan? It was probably me, responding to one of Dan’s insights about running – or runners. That’s usually how it goes. Dan shares a thought that he’s been having about runners or running – more like an ongoing observation – one he’s been working on for years. And then in a moment of un sophisticated word salad, I attempt to summarize what he says in four words or less.

OH! Now I remember – we were headed south on the B&A – probably around mile 4 into the race which means he had already stopped to pee and then caught up to me. I’ll never understand how he does this… Kari had dropped us long ago. We were at that point in the race where the leaders were starting their return run from the turn around so we could see them – and they were working HARD.

Dan said something to the effect that he thought it was interesting that no matter where you are in the race – front, middle, or back – there were people working just as hard. And it’s true. No matter what combination of training, ability, physical characteristics, age, experience, motivations and whatever else you’d like to throw in the mix – if each individual person was working with the same effort as everyone else we would all be traveling at a different speed. At the moment the reason seemed obvious to me:

“Everyone’s Driving a Different Machine” – the word salad fell out of my mouth.

The Run

This was my 4th time running the B&A Half. When I looked that up I was surprised – I could have sworn I’ve run it at least a few times more but nope. Athlinks doesn’t lie. I mentioned many weeks ago that I might try to PR this race, but honestly my training hasn’t been all that it should have been to make that happen. My half marathon PR was 1:55:33 @ 8:49/mile. None of my other 21 half marathon distance runs have come close to that pace. What was I thinking? And then this happened…

I PR’d by 1:47.

What?? How? I’m not sure but I think it has something to do with what I was writing about last week. About shortening the scope of my attention from “all the miles” to “this mile” and at times “this moment”. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The first 5 miles went by without a hitch – I mean aside from the mile markers being off by about .34 miles. Well – the markers weren’t off exactly. We noticed that they were right on the marks on the street that indicated where they were supposed to be. So what the heck? Did we miss part of the course? We wondered about it for awhile and joked about our sub six opening mile. At some point we gave up trying to figure it out or we got distracted. I was thinking – “dang, I’m gonna have to keep running after we finish to make 13.1.” I wasn’t really looking forward to it.

Dan and I headed South on the B&A. I’m in the grey shirt and white hat. Dan is in the blue shirt and orange hat.

I was feeling good. The extra push I get from running a race surrounded by a bunch of other runners was in full effect. I have been getting more weekday runs in and some strength training. The winter sun was gone and I was enjoying the cool temps.

We had talked about running 9:30 but the first several miles were right on 9 minute pace. A short while after Dan caught up to me from his unscheduled/scheduled pit stop, he started feeling some pain in his calf. With a full marathon two weeks in his future he decided to stop and work it out rather than keep running on it. I fully expected him to catch up to me again in a mile or so.

But then Dana Dobbs ran past me. Who is that? He’s a local triathlete. I’ve never met him or run with him but a lot of folks in the tri club know him which is how I know who he is. Anyways – he’s fast as hell – and as he passed me I took note of how wide open his stride was.

I usually run with a conservative stride – a pretty consistent .95 m. I don’t want to over extend myself because I feel like the longer my stride is the more I put my knee at risk but after seeing him run I decided to open it up a little bit – but not try any harder. Turns out I opened .15 m per step to 1.1 m – that’s about 6 more inches. Per step. Apparently that adds up.

I ran down boulters to the turn-around and then back up the hills to the trail head. I still felt strong so I decided to keep doing what I was doing. About a mile later I saw Susan and Angus at Arnold station and I said to Susan – “I think I might PR?!”

I had just looked at my average pace and realized I was on track to do it. But could I? Surely the math was wrong – I had made a mistake – and so I proceeded to think about this for the next mile and try to do the math. I am not good at runner math and so this took all of my mental focus so the mile disappeared…

And THAT is the moment that I realized I shouldn’t think about running the rest of the race – I should only think about “right now”. Which is hard to do for me.

I had just seen Susan at Arnold Station – at this point I’m trying really hard to do math.

I’ve known for awhile now that I don’t like to suffer for long periods of time. I can suffer through short track intervals or in the pool – but the idea of suffering for MILES – I don’t have what it takes mentally. If staying in the moment really works (and I have been trying it out on shorter tempo runs and it seems to) then I may have found a loophole in my “no suffering” clause.

I probably still don’t like to suffer for long periods – who does? But maybe now I have a way to cheat time a little bit – to make me feel as though no time has passed at all.

I don’t know what happened in mile 6 – but I like it.

Long story short – every time I would start thinking about “how much further” or if it was hard – I just tried to bring my thoughts back to the moment. I have to give some credit to the book Dan got me for Christmas – “Running with the Mind of Meditation”. The author talks about focusing on the breath and when the mind wanders – and that it WILL wander – to just refocus on the breath. Simple.

This went on for awhile – and then I was done.

Mind games or not – I’m pretty sure I was suffering at this point.

If the race had been about a half mile longer – Dan would have caught me. He finished about a minute later. I have no idea how long he stopped to work out his calf but HOW DOES HE DO THAT? It doesn’t really mater – I’m just happy to have such a consistent and well matched running buddy.

I almost forgot! The mile markers sorted themselves out somehow and by the end the finish was right on 13.1. I don’t know how Josh Harriman made it happen but thank goodness he did. Another .35 miles would have sucked.

Not the Run

It was a great day. I think I really learned something new about how to think while I run and I’m pretty sure I’m going to figure out how to apply this to work and trumpet and pretty much every other part of my life. It’s nice to know that while I may just be driving “my” machine – it’s possible to mod that machine from time to time and keep getting better.

Next Week: Where the Hell is Centennial Lake?

21 of 52: I Ran with Dan

The Plan

The plan was to write this in the style of Dr. Seuss. You know…

I Ran with Dan
We ran and ran
and ran and ran and ran

But as it turns out Dr. Seuss makes something that is very hard to do – look very easy. So for now I’m going to keep writing in the style of Chris Kaplan which should be pretty easy for me.

The Run

So there it is. With the B&A Half Marathon coming up I wanted to make sure we ran to the head of the trail in order to get some more time on Boulter’s way which is funny because I’ve run up those hills probably hundreds of times already – just not so much in recent times. Dan and I agreed to just get that (and the bridge) out of the way first.

BUT FIRST we ran past a townhouse I was thinking about renting. Of course I forgot to start my watch so let’s just say we got some bonus mileage prior to the “start”.

It was coldish with the threat of rain so we had light jackets on but by the time we hit the far side of the Naval Academy bridge we decided to ditch them. We rolled them up and placed them in a small tree off the ground and joked about wether or not we’d even remember to pick them up by the time we were finished.

We made our way to the trail head and then ran back down, over the bridge and onto the Naval Academy. We have a lot of really neat places to run here in Annapolis, but the Academy has got to be one of the most iconic (along with the downtown area). It was late enough in the morning that there were quite a few midshipmen out doing what midshipmen do… we wondered at what an amazing experience it must be for them. I wonder now in retrospect if they’re aware of the uniqueness of the experience. I imagine some do – most don’t. I hope I’m wrong.

The thing that always catches me off guard is how these young people *always* defer to us as we run through *their* campus. They immediately and with extreme courtesy make way for us and say hello. It’s remarkable. Maybe they just think we might be an admiral they haven’t met yet ( you never know who you’re talking to) – or maybe that type of courtesy (be nice) is one of the things they’re taught at the academy. Either one is a good life lesson in my book.

We enjoyed the academy, running as extreme a version of the perimeter as we could, ran downtown and then made our way back to Dan’s place by way of West Street. 13.1 and done.

Not The Run

We got to talking about how many weeks I’m up to. And I said how I felt like after all this time (21 weeks) it feels like I should be more than halfway. Some weeks I feel like I’ve been doing this forEVer. Then other times it’s just another run. Mostly when I’m in the middle of one I don’t think about how many more I have to go because being in that moment none of the other runs matter. I don’t have to worry about them.

I think this is also how it goes with the miles of a long run. Say you set out for 20 miles. Usually for me it goes like this…

  • Miles 1-5 – “YAAAYYYY”
  • Miles 6-10: “How far are we going again? I mean I can run all day but I just wanted to double check. For a friend.”
  • Miles 10-15: “Keep on running. Keep on running.”
  • Mile 16: “I hate my life.”
  • Miles 17-19: “The cold dark space in my heart is dragging me forward.”
  • Mile 20: “I am a machine. I just ran 20 miles. Bring me all of the tacos.”

In truth I can bounce back and forth between feeling all of these things regardless of the mile I’m in but the thing is – in a single run I am almost ALWAYS concerned with the other miles of that run. The opposite is true if you think about each week of this as one mile of a long run – where I have little regard for any of the runs ahead of me. I tried this attitude out in the future (week 22) when I ran the B&A half and had a surprising result.

Spoiler – I PR’d – but more about that…

Next Week: The B&A Half Marathon.

ALSO: We remembered the jackets. Did you?

20 of 52: Ghosts on the B&A

I See Running People

It was a very busy weekend you see. At least it was supposed to be or I remember it that way, but when I look back at my calendar there isn’t much on it. Friday night was busy with the kids – so no time for a run outside. Saturday I had a morning sound check and late morning concert and Sunday was complicated so I figured that Saturday after the concert was the best time to run.

This run was four weeks ago so I’m having a hard time remembering where my head was. But what I do remember is although there were people on the trail I felt like Bruce Willis in “The Sixth Sense” – like no one could see me – and it made me think back to people I used to run with regularly but haven’t seen in awhile. Ghosts from my running past. It’s not a sad thing – more like my running history laid out before me. It made me smile.

The Run

Being that I wanted to run outside, I was alone, and I didn’t want to put much thought into where to run, I went straight to the B&A trail. It was around 3 in the afternoon so the usual traffic of runners and cyclists had given way to the families and more leisurely patrons of the trail giving me an added sense of detachment.

I didn’t have any expectations. I had just run the Rock n’ Roll half the week before at a very slow pace and I hadn’t run at all the entire week in between – but I felt strong immediately. I decided right away that I would run the first half faster than normal and just suffer slowly on the way back.

I started at mile marker 1 and went north with a skip in my step and a song in my…. ear. Seriously I could not shake it. We played it earlier that afternoon at the concert and it stuck with me for ALL 13.1 miles. What song is that you ask?

Falling in Love with Love

What? Yeah – it’s a catchy tune but it’s not my favorite. It’s in a weird key for me and I always struggle with it when I play this particular arrangement. But here it was, in my ear, driving the pace of my run. We had played it a little fast at the concert and maybe that’s why it was stuck in my head. Who knows. I kept expecting it to to go away but it never did. I kept expecting to slow down – but I never did. Not that I was going crazy fast – just faster than I had expected.

Maybe it was the easy pace the week before, or the week off in between, or being distracted by memories or the uptempo tune in my ear but I did not feel like slowing down. So I didn’t.

Not the Run

Oh what to say. What to say? I’m not feeling poetic or particularly insightful four weeks after the fact. I’m feeling like I still have three more reports to write after this.

Work is busy which I’m enjoying. I’ve been feeling very out of balance on the whole work life spectrum – with very little energy going into work and most of it going into “life”. And it’s funny because normally this means I’d be killing it in the life department – but all it really means is that it’s been taking a lot of energy just to keep on moving. You maybe read about this a couple weeks ago – job uncertainty and needing a career coach and all. I’m still working on that project – but in the meantime, my minimal energy at work has had me feeling guilty.

It used to be (in another life) that I’d get this way – lower energy at work – after having put in a couple years of solid over achieving and professional development – but not this time. I have no excuse other than “I cannot stop staring at these crossroads in my career. I’m not sure exactly how to proceed.” So the busy time at work has been a nice distraction from that. At the very least I don’t feel guilty on payday. I guess if all else fails and I start to lose my pace, I can just put the headphones on listen to a little “Falling in love with love.”