Life Updates

Oh, hey.

The other day mom asked why I haven’t been tweeting lately (where she gets most of her inside info from since I’m bad about calling home) and I said it was because I was busy and just wasn’t feeling very “twittery.” Mark my word that will be a real word in the next two years, by the way. Sometimes you just don’t feel like talking, and sometimes you’re doing all your talking somewhere else and just don’t have words leftover. That will make more sense at the end of this post, but anyway, here’s what’s been up.

dogs who's here

“Who’s here? Is daddy home??”

Running

Every time (damnit I still write that as one word every single damn time) someone asks how running and the injury is going I get all “weelllllll… see it’s like…ugh it’s kind of complicated” as if I’m about to describe [something long-winded and complex and embarrassing that I couldn't come up with at the time, left blank, and am here editing this post a day later still without an idea of what it might be]

I’m casually running about 20 miles a week; still no real workouts, training plans, or races on the horizon. Going to the gym and hopping on the treadmill for 30 minutes before hitting the weights or a group class is a fun reminder of how “normal people” work out. It’s also a fun reminder of how lunatic crazy we runners are sometimes.

spin bike

loving spin lately, even if Roda is a kind of terrifying beast machine that scares me into more “ADD A QUARTER TURN!”s than I can handle

The urge to get back into hard training and put a goal race on the is there, but is always overshadowed by my inane fear of this stupid injury rearing it’s stupid head again. I can feel it’s getting better, but the discomfort is never 100% gone. Is it discomfort I can run through? For sure. But I set out on this rehab mission so that it would heal completely, not just become tolerable. Some days it’s bad, usually when I’ve been lacking on my PT exercises duh, and some days I feel so good it makes me think I’m ready to start pushing now. But without a race on the horizon to rush me out of the gate I don’t really see the point in risking it. And I’ve been avoiding registering for anything for that reason. Kind of a chicken/egg situation.

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selfie in new Lesko Shimmel during a post-run “I want to race!/I don’t want to race!” identity crisis

On Rehab Day 60 of 100 I did a treadmill hill workout to test it out – probably a little later than I could have, but I’ve been babying it being cautious. It went well and was encouraging, but I’m not ready to call it good to go until another hard workout passes the test. Maybe then I’ll start browsing the race reg sites. Anyway I made a pretty graph of it for you.

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Hill workout for the ol’ treadmill – pick your own speed and increase accordingly

I’m hoping between Spring race season and going out to the Cleveland Marathon to cheer friends I’ll get bit by the race bug – and that I’ll be 100% mended by then.

Work

The past few months have been busy showing, selling, and managing Fall 14 orders for my Oiselle territory. My freshman season has been a great learning experience and fun way to explore the other pockets of the sales world (I said I wasn’t meant for sales and would never go back after leaving my last job – turns out I just wasn’t meant for that kind of selling.) I love representing a brand I believe in and showing off terrific product to like-minded people, and being fully immersed in the corporate side of the running world. I’d call it a dream job if it wasn’t so part-time.

But, (don’t worry, I’m not going to say I’m leaving) ((also, sorry if you thought I was and you were going to swoop in and steal my job)) our face-to-face sales seasons are only a few weeks twice a year, the majority of the account management is done through email and phone. Once this season started wrapping up I realized my few freelance writing and marketing gigs weren’t going to keep me very occupied, and boredom was knocking louder each day. I also realized I’d been spending WAY too much time at the computer. If I had to guess, I’d say 80% of my human interactions were occurring digitally, and it was starting to show. I stumbled over words, struggled to cohesively string sentences together without an awkward “oh, what’s the word??!”, and my armpits seemed to be getting even sweatier than usual in public. My IRL social skills were deteriorating, fast.

One day a few weeks ago I was riding my bike back from the coffee shop I’d been at with my laptop full of digital ‘net friends, and I pulled up to the gastropub down the street for a beer. Because sometimes that’s just what you need to make the words flow, you know? Out of nowhere, without really realizing what I was doing, I blabbed, “Are you guys hiring?” The manager came out, handed me an application, the next day I had an interview and the day after that I had a job.

I worked restaurants in college and abhored everything about it except the money. It was a means to an end, and I made sure everyone there knew I was only there to pay tuition. When I graduated I felt this huge sense of “I’ll never be a waitress again!” empowerment, and settled in for my destined life of BSBA Marketing/Advertising/PR cubicle-hopping.

It’s funny how life works sometimes.

While leaving to work dinner shift when Brian gets home isn’t ideal and long weekend shifts will surely put a damper on any long running I may do in the future (how do you on-your-feet-all-day professionals do it?), I absolutely LOVE working there. The people – coworkers and guests – are cool and fun, we have (biasedly) the best craft beer selection in town that I get to learn and brag about, and I can actually feel my communication skills putting themselves back together each day. Somebody called me “witty” the other day! Do you know how long it’s been since someone has said that not about something I wrote? [answer: forever]

Do I feel weird working with all those me-five-years-ago college kids? A little. I like to smile and nod, refraining from patting them on their cute little heads when they talk about their business admin degrees and internships and “I can’t wait to leave here once I graduate” stories. No use tarnishing their dreams with my Bachelors Degree Behind the Bar role.

But the truth is, being there because I choose to makes all the difference. Rather than required internships, winter break “tuition+booze fund” jobs, and eventually punch-the-clock cubicle work I’d drudged through in the past, I’m there because I wanted human interaction and awesome beer, and that’s what I’m doing. And it feels good, even if my diploma is atrophying in the corner. Also it’s helping replenish the savings depletion I did during last summer’s soul searching funemployment mission.

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nailed the “fun” part. If only there was a way to turn wanderlust adventuring into $$…

I think that’s all pretty universally applicable to most things in in career, love, and just life in general – surround yourself with things, work, and people who make you happy, and your world will suck a whole lot less. Who cares if it’s what you “should” do or want? And even if we can’t have exactly what we desire (does it ever really work that way?), learning to make the most of what we do have in the interim is all we can do. That’s something that this self-admitted “mope-er” needs to work on, and I’m thinking maybe that’s what all this off the beaten pathness is about after all. Piecing part time jobs and pouring pints might not be where I saw my future as an undergrad five years ago, but it’s working out and I’m happier at the end of the day because of it.

Suck on that, stressed out and miserable, Life Plan Sarah of 2008.

… fuck. Sub all those “five years ago” to six. Hashtag getting old.

Sarah OUaL

Spring Training in Arizona (where Clevelanders get sunshine in March)

‘Not every post has to be a three ring circus!’

- me, to myself, every time I have something of questionable interest to write about but can’t drum up the creative energy to “polish the turd” and make it seem worthwhile.

My life is not exciting enough to post about my day-to-days (and even if it was I’m just not THAT kind of over-sharer.) I always try to put at least like, five seconds of brainstorming and MS Painting into the things on Once Upon a Lime to make it worth your time to visit. I say I’m a less-than-frequent blogger because I like to wait for inspiration to hit and focus on quality over quantity, but sometimes it’s just because I’m lazy.

And other times I have words and thoughts pouring out every orifice of my body like the Hoover Dam broke in my brain, but like to keep them to myself. To anyone who’s ever told me I talk too much or have more opinions than any single person should, joke’s on you. I keep a lot of the real good gems all to myself.

All this share/don’t share was weighing on me last night as I was falling asleep trying to think up a theme for last weekend’s trip:

  • “Get the Most out of Your Spring Training Trip”
  • “What to do When One Person on Your Baseball Nirvana Vacay Isn’t a Fan”
  • “6 Smart Phones, No Good Directions, and Other Family Vacation Hells”

… and then I was like, ‘Uhh, why don’t I just post some pictures and say what we did?’

And so that’s what I’m doing instead. Aint no one changing the world at sarahoual.com today.

Or any day.

mlb spring training arizona 14

spring training 1

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Game 1, Indians at new Cubs Park in Mesa. Drank Old Style like Chicagoans and refused to respond to anything other than Rick, Ricky Vaughn, or Wild Thing all day. *runs to Netflix to see if any of the Major Leagues are on demand*

I adopted the Cubs as “My National League” team in 2003 during their playoff run (national secret: Bartman didn’t blow the NLCS, my bandwagoning did) and got hooked on their pretty ivy wall and troubled past-time. Ruth’s Called Shot? Cursed by a goat? 100+ year drought? The Cleveland misery I’d groomed over the years just translated so easily – like those North Siders were my long lost step brothers + sisters. Cleveland is always my ultimate pride and joy, trump card ride or die, but it’s fun to have more than one box score to look up each day from April-October and someone to root for in the opposite league. I also adopted the Angels as “My ‘home’” team when we moved to SoCal, but that’s just for the excuse to go to the ballpark and spit sunflower seeds all summer.

spring training 2 st francis az

Dinner at St Francis – Baked Goat Cheese (delicious), Roasted Salmon (double delicious), Sticky Toffee Pudding (kill yourself and go to heaven delicious). The extra treadmill time was worth it.

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Game 2, Indians at Padres in Peoria. San Diego shares this park with Seattle, whom IMO have the best beer and menu selections of any professional stadiums around, and they brought their A-games down to AZ with them. The Sad Sarah look is a product of being told they sold out of veggie dogs and I was going to have to use my Stone IPA to wash down… peanuts and another Stone IPA. Took out my frustration at the “test your pitching skills” booth and hurled softballs underhand to the gawks of old men until I got knots in my shoulder. Sigh, glory days.

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(supposed to be an embedded IG vid here. probably didn’t work. link)

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And on the last day we saw the Indians play at their home park in Goodyear; bumped into some old college buddies, put Bertman’s Ball Park Mustard on everything we ate, got on the live broadcast back home, and managed to escape the third day in the sun without sunburn. We also got a couple players to sign a GussStrong jersey for auction, which seemed a valuable use of our super fan time. If you aren’t familiar with the Columbus-area coach’s battle with cancer and are in the mood for a story that will inspire you, make you cry, then inspire you some more, read HERE.

“Since I’ve had cancer, I’ve lived a better life” – Stephen Gussler via 10tv.com

Great weekend with the jackpot “chosen” family and a Cleveland team keen on winning. Hopefully they save some hits and Ws for when the season actually starts.

Sarah OUaL

Jersey Chasin’

(if your mind first went to New Jersey and not sports jerseys, we can’t be friends)

Later tonight Brian and I are hopping a quick flight to Phoenix, better known in March as “the mecca of pre-season baseball,” to follow the Indians around and revel in the glorious optimism that a clean slate graces an annually disappointing team. We’ll peek in on bullpens, pretend to learn names of minor leaguers who we’ll never hear of again, and critique ABs, pitch location, and off-season weight gain of the veterans. We’ll OD on sunflower seeds and UV rays, and drink plenty of plastic cup beer. I’ll wear everything CLE I own, use my Harry Doyle “juuuuuust a bit outside” voice until annoyance, and will inevitably be disappointed when we board a plane back to CA instead of setting up a tent in front of Progressive (nee Jacob’s) Field and waiting for opening day in Cleveland.

spring training arizona 2012

Our First Spring Training Voyage, 2012

Nothing like Spring Training to make you feel like the ultimate Jersey Chaser.

jersey chaser – n – \ jer-ze chay-ser \

Someone who endlessly pursues, often with disregard to self-respect or reputation, a ball player with the intention of gaining entry to “the pack,” and eventual permanent relational status with the targeted athlete. Usually has very little knowledge of the sport. (synonyms: cleat chaser, diamond digger, __[sport]__ ho, etc)

Brian played baseball in college when we started dating, but since I was on the softball team I got an automatic free pass from any “jersey/cleat chasing” reputations (had jerseys and cleats of my own thankyouverymuch.) I also lived with four other baseball guys, tutored one, and was a medical emergency contact for another – suffice to say my entry in the pack was not earned horizontally.

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I lived with all of them and only made out with two of them. One turned into my husband and the other’s name is Alison, and is acquitted under the “cheap tequila” act

In the days leading up to this trip, I’ve decided that when you live 2000 miles away from your home team and they make their pre-season “home” a state away, taking a long weekend to visit them to get your money’s worth out of your replica jersey is very low-grade, acceptable Chasing.

And when your mother, father, brother, and sister in law are all flying out from Ohio to join you since you didn’t get to spend the holidays together, it’s just called vacation and a damn good time.

jesus hates the yankees

Waaaaaaaay back —- GONE!

Sarah OUaL

- in running-related news, good luck to everyone running the LA Marathon, and track fans make sure to follow along with the World Indoor Championship action in Sopot, Poland. @Flotrack will have you covered. Go USA! -