Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Summer Camp in a Suit

Mr. T is spending the summer in another part of the country.

As a 1-L, first year student, he spent a good part of this year wondering if he would get a summer position.

The change in the economy added an element of uncertainty to the tradition of gaining summertime hands-on experience.

Initially, he verbalized his worry.
Then, he got down to business and started getting his name out.

He applied for a number of positions--many in New Mexico, as well as several out of state.

Some applications consisted of just signing up for the initial interview.

One application for the federal government was convoluted and took a full day to complete.

Sometime later, he received an email stating he was eligible for the job.
Then, he received an email stating he was not.
Sometime after that, he was interviewed by conference call--in between classes on a cell phone, with poor reception and no privacy.

His comment afterwards was that he didn't think it went so well.

He put this option on the back burner, and continued seeking opportunities, mostly in the area of child advocacy and, desirably, in New Mexico. He was offered more than one position, all of them unpaid.

Then he received a call from the federal government--with a contingent offer.

The contingency went on for a little while, as the ponderous wheels of governance sorted itself out. He didn't receive confirmation of the job until 3 weeks before the projected start date. This hasn't left us with very much time.

On the plus side--all the details are rushing at us so fast, we've had little time to think about the reality of absence.

Mr T is going to Washington.

As always, my imagination has been running rampant, and I have visions of going to the Media Museum (the Newseum) and seeing the cherry blossoms at the Capitol (even though they are long gone).

The reality, is that Mark will be gone all summer.
Already, this year has been a change for us.
He hasn't had time to do much more than study.
The lawn has grown up around our ears (sorry Muffin), and my former training partner and motivator is generally planted on his seat at a study desk for more hours than any seat should have to handle.

When Mr. T asked around, he heard that Washington internships weren't all nose-to-the-grindstone.
That's good.
He's been working hard all year.
A summer party in a suit is just what he needs.

(Actually, we're pretty sure he's going to be working hard. Just hope he gets some fun time in, also.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Riding with Mark

Mark bought me a cookie this weekend.

After almost 30 miles of riding hills he was feeling bonkish, passed a bake sale, stopped for a treat, and got me one also. This was his first long ride in more than a month—since he hit a pothole, went down on his bike, and separated his shoulder on March 29th.

The bake sale was located after about 7 miles of sustained climbing, on the inside curve of a short, flat area, just before the road banked right for a turn onto a steep uphill.

I was a half mile behind Mark, struggling after another week of yet again being sick—a “spring cold” as my sister put it—and still having difficulty with my lungs due to a lingering congestion in my chest and a cough that just won’t go away.

Coming up the hill, going into the flat, right-banked stretch of road, I always move into my big ring to gather momentum for the next (steep) uphill stretch. I was exceptionally tired. Too many workouts missed due to illness, too many hours on my feet at work, feeling drained, I just wanted to get as much speed as possible, and get up that last, danged hill—so I flew by the bake sale, and just as I was passing I heard a chorus of children’s voices, “Naomi? Are you Naomi? Mark bought you a cookie!”

Huh? It took a moment to process all the yelling. Are they talking to me?

I was already moving into the uphill stretch, and just wanted everything to be over (even though I was only half way through the ride) and didn’t want to stop.

So, I didn’t.

But I also didn’t to want to disappoint Mark.

And, I couldn’t stop thinking about that cookie.

So on the way back down, I stopped, and picked up TWO cookies.

And 20 miles later, I was glad I did. Sun-burned, wind-blown, struggling with fatigue, concentrating to just keep turning the pedals--one of those sweet, chocolate laden confections of sugar, flour, butter, and eggs, got me through the last 8 miles of riding.


I still have another left,

For whenever I need a boost,

And a really nice memory.

On the flip side of this weekend, I did the Run 4 The Zoo 10K on Sunday. It was another struggle-fest due to the muscle soreness I could feel with each step--but it was over a whole lot quicker. 56 minutes and change quicker. Bleah. Not my best, but certainly an exercise in pushing through fatigue.

In a nutshell, the morning temp was extra cold, my legs hurt and my hands felt like ice until mile 2.5, the mile 4 split was too short, so I felt like I was on target for my estimated time--only to find out later that I wasn't, it was very nice to see Pirate, Bones and his main squeeze (thanks for the hug!), and Miguel but the large crowd was disconcerting, and I followed the 10K with a slow 5K without replenishing myself after the 10K, and ended up super dehydrated.

Still, it's nice to have a 10K benchmark, since I haven't done one for awhile.

And, my legs are now super sore this morning.

I feel like I had a good weekend.