Saturday, May 10, 2008

Pushing it

We have been working in more difficult confines this last week at work installing the last few pieces of equipment and cables in the shelters.
This often involved squeezing into twelve-inch wide spaces (or less) to snake a cable behind a post or to insert the plug of a cable into the socket of an electronic box, neither of which you can see.
We do a good bit of work by braille.
The physical effort to accomplish this amounts to performing inclined isometric twisting crunches for minutes at a time.
It is tiring.

I said all of that to explain that the run this morning was a push.
I did not feel tired enough to settle for the short 3-mile route.
Even though I was tired from work, I was mentally ready to push the session all the way around the 4.5 mile course.

The weather was mostly nice for the run – temperature, about 60-65, a light breeze of about 5 – 10 MPH.
I could have used less humidity, but it was not a big problem.
I started out at 6:03 AM.
The sun was already up above the eastern mountain.
Somehow, the light made the session feel less intimate and personal.
I like running in the semi darkness.
Just me, my thots, and the weather.

All systems were go for the first three miles, though I could tell that I was not up to my best strength.
Early into mile four (where I used to think I was in mile three) my left hamstring began to announce its discomfort with each step.
The unanimous response from Running Central, the Coach, and the Runner in me was “Shut up and run”.
Which we did.
And no further deterioration in ability or performance occurred.

As I trotted into the intersection of Old Madison Pike and Voyager Way I twisted my left ankle.
Fortunately, there were no ill effects from the incident and I finished the run with no problems.
I do not think of it very often, but one of the side benefits of running is the strengthening of ankle, knee, and hip attachments.
In some people, no doubt, this degree of twist would have resulted in a sprained ankle.

Somewhere in the last quarter-mile, my breathing increased to the accelerated level.
I was not concerned.
Given the physical effort at work that last couple of weeks, this was expected.
But I was daydreaming and did not realize that this had started until I was almost to my finish line/crack.
That being the case, it was even less of an issue.
The end came at 6:46 AM – a 43 minute session.
Not bad, considering.

I am looking forward to running the Cotton Row course again.


I have decided to retire.
Interestingly, there is enough work to keep us busy through most of the rest of this year, but I want to jump off.
There are some financial consequences to this decision but they are relatively minor.

And there is the possibility that I can work some next year at my current place of employment.
That will supplement my income sufficiently to help me preserve my IRA accounts for another year.
I also have a backup plan to take a tax preparation course with HR Block this fall and possibly work for them next Winter/Spring.

My last day at work will be either Friday, May 16th, or 23rd.
I feel a bit strange jumping overboard when I have a good job.
But after weighing all (both) of my options, I do not see much benefit to staying on.
And I am increasingly less able to handle the physical demands of the job.
At some point I fear that I am going to damage some part of me permanantly.
The most likely candidates are knees, wrists, elbows, or shoulders.
Oh yea, and my back.

Plus, Hillary has promised that she is going to take care of me.
Yea, right.

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