I’m still looking (albeit kind of slowly) for evening care for Edda. We’ve had a few leads, but they fell through (not vaccinated, schedule mismatched). At full child care capacity, I hardly touched Edda Monday morning through Friday evening. We had an hour of morning care and then about 3 hours of care in the evenings (Edda is attending an aftercare program until about 5:30 pm). But now we have neither. So now those hours are mine to do – feeding Edda, picking Edda up, doing the nighttime routine. I do enjoy caring for Edda because we do become closer to each other (her care for now, is easy, predictable and not stressful, it’s just time and attention) and I’m finally meeting people in her aftercare which she has gone to for over five years and were, for the most part, strangers to me. And if I’m honest, I do like having the house to ourselves. Of course, this is at the expense of the other things I like to do. I like to do a lot of things – ha ha, but those things need to be put aside for now. You might be asking – well, what about Jeremy, why don’t you split the Edda-care? What’s fair? What’s square? Well, he is great at Edda-care and does it all when I work at the hospital. But mostly because, he does all the food in the house – the cooking, shopping, kitchen cleaning, lunch packing (both me and Edda) – and these things are done in parallel with my Edda care. When we did have childcare, all those hours I spend with Edda now were released to me (during which I was able to do my own thing with not a word from Jeremy – usually I was working, but oftentimes, I was pursuing my own interests which included nightly Spanish exchange lessons which are now pretty much on hold), while Jeremy still and always made breakfast/lunch/dinner for all of us.
Vince called yesterday and I got the report from the first day of class. He showed me his notes that he’s taking – all about Reynolds number and laminar flow and Maxwell’s equations. He was like, you know the math professor? he really likes math. I laughed and says, that’s usually how it works – your professors generally really like the thing that they are teaching you. Usually obsessively interested in some unhealthy way. Why would anyone want to know so much about math? (Ha ha, just kidding. I’m just a generalist, not a specialist like all those professors out there.) Apparently the math professor derived Maxwell’s equation the first day (the class is culminating in one knowing how to do it) but Vince doesn’t realize this and is furiously note taking wondering what a curl is and wondering if he was supposed to know all of this already and the answer is no. The prof did the whole semester in an hour. I’m not sure I would have taken that approach. Jeremy was in meetings all day and couldn’t talk to Vince and so I recounted the conversation with Vince to him and Jeremy sighed – Dimensionless numbers are so cool. lol. And Reynolds number is the very first one.
Jeremy had a good workout yesterday – the famous 40/20s. Forty seconds on / 20 seconds off, three sets. He did the power he wanted and didn’t have to bail. He was super chuffed.
Christine, Jane and I went to Tysons 2 to do some serious shopping. I’m not an enthusiastic shopper, but it was a lovely, all encompassing experience and I really enjoyed the outing with Christine and Jane. We touched, smelled and looked at so many things. I can still smell the perfume on myself when I turn quickly in certain directions. I would have never guessed that I would ever enjoy the smell of perfume, but I do! If I had to pick the thing I would buy for myself, I think I would pick perfume. (I only wear perfume to the hospital, which I know, it strange, but I put on only a light amount to counter, you know, so many people who haven’t showered recently.)
Vince’s first day of class was yesterday. I knew his first class was early afternoon- organic chemistry. He showed up an hour early for class to find the room and he was nervous – didn’t want to eat lunch. Of course, the room was the main lecture hall in the building and he texted us a photo of the door. Do you think it’s a dinosaur skeleton in the air on the left? You can do it Vincie! I’ve got your back and I’m rooting for you <3. Muah! (Though it’s been over three decades since I took orgo and then promptly forgot it so, probably, I’m not much help past the first couple of lectures.)
I think sometime over the pandemic when we were all really, really stuck at home, Vince made us watch this video. We had made a habit of piling into bed together at about 9 pm and proposing youtube videos to each other. It’s not easy to find videos we all agree on, but somehow we agreed to watch 11 raccoons on a porch.
So we’ve been hearing scurrying in our attic for a little while now. It was once in a while for a bit, but then in the past week, the scurrying evolved into steady chewing right above our heads from 3 am – 5 am. We first fled to the guest room and Jeremy (who has more sensitive ears than I do) could still hear it. Then we turned on some white noise (babbling brook) which does drown out the chewing, but the first night was too loud, so while I did fall asleep to the brook, I woke up and then it was too loud for me to fall back asleep and I felt like I was in a forest and I’m never really comfortable sleeping/camping. Jeremy, on the other hand, woke up and thought the house was flooding or that it was an enormous rain event. We eventually just settled on low volume plain old white (or brown) noise -> it comes in different colors. While we were trying to rescue our sleep, I did both 1) make an appointment with an exterminator and 2) made Jeremy go up into the attic and see if he could see anything. Honestly, I thought it was going to look like this:
But he saw nothing but a sea of blown insulation and the exterminator was not available for 4-5 days, so we settled into brown noise slumber – which is actually pretty nice and might be implemented full time even after the animal infestation is gone.
The exterminator came yesterday, went up into the attic and within three seconds was showing us the holes that the mice made to burrow into the insulation and the little trails running atop the blown insulation like criss crossing freeways through the plains of the Midwest. So we have mice. But, hopefully, we won’t have mice for much longer.
This is the big training week for Jeremy. There are a few bumps in the road (haha) including repairing the bike, logistics regarding getting the bike to California, getting caffeine gels. Jeremy tracks a lot of things – resting heart rate, something called “body battery” on his Garmin, small details about his training, weight, etc. Sometimes he looks at these numbers and he says – I slept great, but my body battery says that I’m not well rested, I was going to do a hard workout, but maybe I shouldn’t now. I think it confuses him sometimes. We looked at the race date which is two weeks out now and I said – well, you can rest and ride easy, but if you want a shot at your ambitious goal, you have to do some hard workouts this week no matter what your body battery says. He, for the most part, coaches himself which is vastly harder from my perspective, than being coached. I track almost nothing – just the key workouts. Paul sends me workouts and I try to do them all. If I’m exhausted (based on my own feelings – not by anything that measures anything) or my schedule is too full, I scoot the workout days around or I’m ok pulling back the workout a little (meaning making it a little slower – but usually not by much) and then I spend zero time second guessing myself or deciding each day what to do. I probably would do different workouts if I was left to my own devices, but also left to my own devices, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t work as hard as I do now. Well now, I’m not really working out. I’m taking a break – last week a true break – only stretching and eating ice cream and birthday cake, this week, gentle swimming if I can get to the pool. I have a months long shoulder injury I’m trying to rehab.
I’m following UC Davis stuff on instagram and I get a bit emotional seeing freshman orientation photos because Vince missed it all – though they are trying to make up some of it. Vince was saying he’s in a weird spot. All the juniors and seniors have their friends and eat together. All the freshmen have their orientation pod to hang out with. All the sophomores have neither – no one knows anyone. He’s like I have no one to sit with in the dining hall!
He went to the football game on Saturday. He’s thinking about going to frat/sorority parties. Classes start on Wed. I just want him to feel strong, steady and not overwhelmed during the school year.
My raise from my boss. Almost 10% from last year. Droves of people are leaving the hospital to take these travel contracts. And I mean travel lightly – no one is moving, these are all at local hospitals. I’ve heard pay now as high as $5000/wk for three shifts – day – non covid. Basically doing what I’m doing now. Though I talked to one person leaving and she said – you know the higher the pay, the suckier the job. She’s leaving because she says our floor is so hard and she cries in the parking lot all the time. And I said you want to go to another sucky job – and she said, at least I’ll be paid three times as much. I can cry for three times the pay. I think at least 3-4 day shift people are leaving to travel. And other people are going to other departments or interviewing for other positions. It’s going to be brutal the next few months working on a short floor.
I saw my friend Satya yesterday – we went for a walk in her neighborhood.
I visited Bette so Jeremy picked up Edda in the afternoon.
Vince is getting ready to start school (next week)! Finally! He’s going to put on a backpack and walk into a classroom. After 18 months of not doing that. I hope it isn’t a big shock to the system. He texted us the physics syllabus – which, honestly, looks hard. A week for the first law of thermo. A week for the 2nd law. and there are 10 weeks like that. oooof. A quarter goes by fast, one needs to concentrate the whole time – like a good tempo run. Vs. a semester which is like running intervals, a little break between the hustles. Great vaccine compliance/testing on campus – fingers crossed for a good year.
Well, the bidding continues for nursing skills. I am so risk averse in terms of making a living. I want a secure job, I want to be able to find a job wherever I am – under any circumstance. I can be paranoid about losing everything and so I need/want to know that I can start from ground zero and immediately provide for my family. (This might be some good therapy fodder. In the modern parlance – a scarcity mindset. I’ve worked on it, but it’s still there, not in an obsessive way, just in a Doris way). I’m somewhat comforted that I’d be able to make $250 an hour like next week if I wanted or needed to – even if it meant moving to Idaho and I’d be thrown into a chaotic pandemic work environment. Never did I think the nursing degree could outstrip my engineering degree, but the world is a crazy place right now.
I probably spend about 10 hours a week running, or prepping for a run or stretching after a run (this is way less than Jeremy does on biking). Now, since it’s after my race, I’m taking at least a couple of weeks off running. This week, absolutely no running. Next week, I want to swim – I think the outdoor pool is open. As soon as I gave up the running this week, I feel like those 10 hours have been swallowed up again with other things. If I had never run before, and I asked myself, you think you can run an hour a day, I’d say – no you are crazy! Where would I find the time? Obvs, I’m turning towards other things that I love to do but don’t have time.
Jeremy made me a wonderful birthday dinner last night – lamb, cheesy potatoes, asparagus, a delicious salad with blue cheese chunks and candied pecans (no photos! sorry!). We had a lovely red wine that Colleen had given us this past weekend.
My parents came over for dinner and not only did I have the wine, but I had two slices of my birthday cake. Inspired by me, everyone had a second slice, except for Jeremy who is still weight-conscious for his bike race in a few weeks. I feel very fortunate this birthday with many, many blessings including very big ones like my health, family and friends and the people who help Edda everyday and very small ones like the last, extra slice of birthday cake waiting in the fridge for me for the day-after-my-birthday (by myself) celebration.
It’s my birthday! I feel like this is my last birthday in my “youth”. I’m 49. (It’s one of my favorite numbers – seven squared). Once I’m 50, I’ve for sure crested the hill – more than halfway done. Of course, I’m pretty sure I’m more than halfway done now, but it’s a psychological thing. I think I didn’t convey how excited I was in yesterday’s post regarding the Cherry Blossom. I was completely THRILLED to run that time of 1:35:54. It surpassed all my goals which were in order of difficulty: to finish and be grateful that my body can move for 10 miles, to run faster than twice as slow as three time olympian Jenny Simpson (52:16, 2nd place – so 1:44:32), to beat my time from 2013 when I was 40 years old of 1:42:23, to run under 1:40 – 10 min pace, to pace well, to run faster each mile, to feel strong the whole way.
Today, I’m going to eat cake to celebrate my birthday and have some wine. Jeremy showed me the slideshow Google photos made of me on his phone – all the way from before we had kids until now.
Vince is going to vote in the CA recall election today. Let’s see what happens.
OK, my first road race in forever. Beautiful day! I made my way downtown via the metro.
It’s a 10 mile race, a long way to run. Here are the splits:
I ran with the 1:40 pace group for about 7 miles. The only other Doris in the entire field was also in that pace group. Our pacer was pacing a bit too fast for 1:40 – so if 1:40 was your stretch goal, then the pace group was going too hard for you. I like to negative split races meaning that you run the second half faster than the first half and I really want it to be a progressive run meaning each mile should be faster than the mile before. When you negative split a race, you are almost certainly passing everyone in the last miles which is a great motivator to keep going.
And then Sofi came over with Jojo. I tried to take a nap while they were here, but Jojo parked herself on my lap and then proceeded to attack me with doggie kisses. It was not very restful, but it was very funny.