Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Frontier

Yesterday I turned in my resignation letter to a company that I have been working for since October of 2005. It was a huge step for me, but there is no doubt that I made the right decision. I accepted a position with a larger company where I will be doing the same type of work, but on a much broader scale and in a different industry.

In my previous post, I talked about believing in yourself and taking risks. I do not consider my new job to be a risk, but I'll definitely be stepping out of the comfort zone that I have been in for the past few years. This job will present me with new challenges and I am excited to tackle them. 

Professional Me.
The interview process for this new position was extensive. I have been speaking with the company since September, and I was even asked to give a 30-minute presentation. I took a relatively relaxed approach to interviewing, so the bulk of the stress was around the idea of making such a major change in my life. As I said earlier, I have been with my current employer for over six years. What would life be like outside of that world?

What does this mean for my running? I'm giving up a job that allows me to work from home in exchange for one with an actual commute and longer hours. My coach said "why would you do that!?" Instead of being able to go for a run at pretty much any hour of the day, it's now back to waking up before 5:00 and running in the cold dark weather. Of course followed by the shower, putting on makeup, doing my hair and then commuting. Not as fun as what I have now, but it's worth it for a fantastic career opportunity. (The working-from-home thing just started a month ago and while it was great for flexibility, it wasn't helping me grow my career).

Ideally, the new job wouldn't impact my training for the Shamrock Marathon in March, but I'm accepting the possibility that it may. I'm also taking a vacation to Mexico in late January which will definitely disrupt the cycle, but in a good way! My goal will be to train to the best of my ability, while realizing that it won't be a "perfect" cycle and that Shamrock might not be the type of performance I would hope for. After so many bonks, there is only so much of emotional investment I can make in marathons, anyway. 

Runner Me.
What I'm trying to say is-- I don't care as much about my marathon time as I used to. I'm burnt out on thinking about those numbers. I'll always be motivated to train to the best of my ability because I enjoy the challenge. But with the new job, the vacation, and the stress that comes with making such a huge transition, I can only expect so much. Maybe I'll care more when Richmond rolls around next fall. But maybe not.

I'm really, really happy with the PRs I set this fall in the 5K, 8K, and 10K and I've proven to myself that I can take my running to the next level. In fact, I'm so content with those times that I have satisfied my PR "bug" for awhile, and I am okay with taking a more relaxed approach. 

So, what's been going on with my running lately? For the past two weeks I've felt run-down and lethargic, plus my coach told everyone on the team that we should be taking a bit of a break from running. That was a formula for very little running, but I think my body needed the rest.

Week of Nov. 28: 23.6 miles running (including a half marathon), 20 minutes pool running, 1/2 mile swim
Week of Dec. 5: 9 miles of running (all of them very slow and fatigued), 50 minutes pool running

So aside from that half marathon, I haven't been doing very much. I have been keeping up with my core strengthening, but even my planks were shorter and fatigued. Yesterday, I went for a six-mile run and I finally felt like I had some energy. I still plan on keeping the training very light this week and start my "official" Shamrock training next week. 

I don't have any upcoming races planned aside from the marathon, although my husband wants to do the same race we did last New Year's Eve. I haven't decided if I'll race that one or if I will just be his cheerleader. He thinks I should just do it as a fun run, which I may. 

It's an interesting time for me, to say the least. I've had a great year and a great "run" at my current company, and now it's time to explore a new frontier.


  1. Congrats on the new job! I know that you were back and forth on making this decision and it sounds like you made the one that would help you grow!

    I think that sometimes my running improves when I'm focused on something else! Maybe because like bread, it cooks better when you're not constantly opening the oven. :)

  2. Dash is good at metaphors. Seriously though, I think this is awesome for you! Can't wait to hear all of the details!

  3. I agree with Dash also - I often run my best when I have other things to worry about. Real stresses place running in perspective.

    I also think that you need to do what's right for you, and if you get a career opportunity that you can't pass up, then you can't pass it up.

  4. Yay, you got an ofer and accepted the job! I think last we spoke on a long run you mentioned this- so happy for you! In the end you have to do what is best for you and that is what you are doing!!

    I personally have no goal time for Shamrock either- I just want to get to the start healthy and finish. :) I tend to get so stressed on getting faster, that I do not know whwne to stop, and injure- this cycle is about fun for me! i do not care if it's 4:30, 3:50, 4:10, 4:30, or 5! I just want to have fun and finish :)

    Congrats again!!

  5. Huge congrats on the job! I've had to reinvent my running life over the last year and I've found new ways to fit it in and really enjoy the little time I have to dedicate to running. I wish the same for you - most surprising, I'm still setting PRs!

  6. Congrats on your new position! It is a very intimidating thing to start in a new work environment, but it sounds like you've really thought it through, and you're going into it knowing that it may make training more challenging. That's key, knowing what can happen.
    I need to take notes from you, stop caring so much about the marathon time! I'd be a much happier runner

  7. Congrats on the new opportunity! i identify SO much with the shift from being time- or pace-obsessed to living more in accordance with your values, with seeking a good, healthy balance rather than perfection. No matter what your time is at Shamrock, I bet you'll cross the finish line happy with your LIFE, not just your performance at one given race!

  8. Congratulations on the new job! That's a big deal and very exciting!

  9. Congrats on your new gig!!

    It's important to keep what's important in the front of your mind. I ran a marathon on Sunday (not my best) and was at a client meeting on Monday. When I told him my time, he said, "That's very good, especially since this (meaning the meeting) is what you get paid to do."

    I think that about says it all. :)

  10. Congratulations! What a great step for you, I love the metaphor from Dash.

  11. congratulations on your new job!!!
    i love your perspective on things - you are so smart and seem to be able to keep the big picture in mind. it sounds like there are a lot of wonderful things on the horizon for you!

  12. Congratulations on the new job. How exciting to know 2012 will definitely be much different!

  13. Congratulations on the new job! It sounds like it will be a great opportunity, even if it means that you run a little less or on a different schedule. And as others have said, maybe change and new focus will be positive for your running too!