Burning the midnight oil

You didn't think I was going to post today, did you, constant reader? You should know better than that by now. It was not my intention to post so late tonight but I wanted to try to finish watching season two of House of Cards before I posted. Alas, as of this writing I am watching episode 12, which should say something about the quality of the second half of the season. I have found the writing to be incredibly uneven this season. All of the trimmings are still top notch, which has made it hard to stop watching, but there have been more than a handful of cringe inducing moments this season. There are moments that make absolutely no sense, and what's worse, the overall plot is meandering, it lacks the tightness of the first season. If season one was an amazing Thanksgiving dinner, season two is trying to make another great meal with the leftovers. All the good pieces are still there, but they lack the freshness and consistency they had the day before. It makes me wonder what a person who is watching both seasons for the first time would think about the differences in the two seasons. This is by no means a full review, I'll have some more to say in a few days when I finish the season and get some thoughts together.

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I haven't talked about my Couch to 5K progress in the last couple of days, that's because I decided to rewind a week and take another crack at running two miles in one workout, without stopping. On Friday I went after the two mile run, and something interesting happened. After I warmed up I ran around a mile and a half before my calf cramped up and I had to stop. After five minutes of stretching and pouting about my failure I decided to give it another go. The first half mile was rough, I could feel my calf seizing up ever thirty seconds, but after I broke the half mile mark it loosened up and I was able to finish the run relatively easily. To think just six weeks ago I could barely run a quarter mile without my face turning blue.

One of the more interesting aspects of doing this running routine is learning how far I can push myself before finally having to give up. No matter how skilled someone is as a runner, we all have that point where we can go on no further. As I stretch out my limits, my mind is beginning to probe the small moments during each run where I feel like quitting. Even though my brain knows that it can run much further than a mile, there is a strong urge to quit after I hit the three-quarter mile mark. I still get that urge to turn down the speed at this point, my hand will reach for the controls without really thinking about it, and it takes a lot of effort to push on. What I'm wondering is how much stronger will the urge be to quit after two miles when I am in the finally weeks of this routine. Will it be the same kind of feeling I am getting now, or will the extra distance lead to a more powerful psychological response.

I have been fortunate to lose a couple of pounds since starting this running routine, and every extra pound lost makes it easier on my old man knees to finish these workouts. As I get closer to my goal I know that controlling my diet and getting my weight down below 200 pounds - which I've been over for the better part of a decade - to ensure that my body doesn't fall apart when I am doing longer runs. I've talked about dieting before on this blog, but I think it's worth saying again that I am not thrilled with having to eat salads and grilled chicken every day. I know there are few things on this planet less interesting than talking about a diet so I'll leave it at that.

Next week I intend on getting up at 6:30 each morning and having something written before noon. As much as I enjoy writing at night, it is almost impossible to keep a regular reading schedule, get work done, write these posts and have any kind of social life whatsoever. Take tonight as a case and point, I wrote some fiction in the morning, went all-in with HoC, went out to eat with some friends, and now there is no way I am going to get any reading done. I'm going to have be more judicious with my time, especially if a couple of job offers go through. For the first time in years I feel like time is starting to become something of a finite resource. Somewhere all you 9-to-5ers are rolling your eyes and saying, "no shit, Sherlock." In the interest of not waisting any more of your precious time, I will say adieu.