Certainly, whether you’re a runner, or just a person who has taken the stairs instead of the elevator, you know the feeling when you crest the hill and the climb is over.
In more than one way, this week is that for me.
The Pittsburgh Half Marathon is in the morning. My training was 100% on target until these last two weeks, when work intruded on multiple of my runs. The worst casualty was my last hard speed workout, where a Thursday night run last week that was supposed to be 10 miles turned into an unwilling rest day when I got home from the office at 10pm. Up until about 8:30, I was still convinced that I was going to manage to get out and clock it anyway. But it was already once I felt trained. With the few runs being so close to the main event, I didn’t feel like I was losing out, more like the universe had said “let’s taper a little more than the Runner’s World App said to.”
As stable as my running career has been, my engineering career has been volatile. At the beginning of March, my direct supervisor announced he was moving on to a career leadership program. For most of March and April I’ve been riding the roller-coaster of that change at work. At first, what does this change mean? Next, how do I show that I’m the best one for this job? Then doubts, stress, preparation, agonizing amounts of patience, and finally, a few weeks ago, a respected friend and colleague of mine and I found the perfect solution. After interviewing separately for the job, we agreed to apply jointly. And, as of this Tuesday, we are officially job sharing the supervisor role. This past Monday was the last Monday I’ll work for the foreseeable future, as I move to a part-time (Tue-Fri) schedule, while taking a big promotion to the management team at Ford.
I feel very fortunate. Life isn’t always so kind as to give us exactly what we need, regardless of whether we foresaw that need ourselves. This promotion could have been a life-changing amount of stress, and a lonely road as I learned the ins and outs of managing a team. The job share solution ameliorates that in two ways; giving me the flexibility to manage my stress and load through the part time schedule, and giving me a partner to share the hike up the learning curve.
With that taking effect, and the race travel winding up and dropping me here, in Pittsburgh, hours before the race, I truly feel that I am at the crest of a ridge, looking out over someplace new. It’s a triumphant feeling, but not entirely without trepidation. Tomorrow morning, I’ll know if this hard Spring training plan paid off. And once that immediate challenge is over, I get to take on something I’ve looked forward to for a long time, professionally.
My bib number is 22818, and the race website was offering live tracking, if you want to play along at home. No live tracking on the new job, but I think you can assume you’ll hear about it here. As Brit said in comment to my last post, I’ll need the constancy of running during this exciting time, and I think that experience; the meditation afforded me during a long run, will make for some interesting blog posts.
8.5 hours to the Pittsburgh Half Marathon. I’m trusting my training when I say 10.49 hours to the finish line.
Wish me luck, folks.