Thursday, December 08, 2016

the importance of saying Thank you

I wondered out loud in my office a few days ago "Am I completely out of touch with people today since I feel like I grew up in a time VERY long ago". I was of course referring to the obsessive way I was raised to say "thank you" time and time again. After dinner, say "thank you for dinner" (note, regardless if it was good or not, you thank for the fact that you got food that someone else prepared).  Someone holding the door for you when you walk through it? Say Thank you. Getting your change back from the cashier? Say Thank you. Someone giving you a ride so you don't have to walk to where ever you want to go? Say Thank you. Someone giving you a compliment? Say Thank you. Are you asking for a favour at work? Say Thank you*(and please).

You get the picture.**

It ties into one of the first lessons I had learning English as a girl in middle school. There are two words to use in English (in Swedish we use Tack for both). (It is similar in German; bitte and danke). When asking for something in English: add a please. When you get something: say thank you. For added politeness, don't say "I want" but rather "I would like" since the latter is more polite. (For emphasis, this is the same in Swedish "jag vill ha" vs "jag skulle vilja ha").

Anyway, my little December rant today is a simple vent since I have seen this increasingly over the last couple of months. You see, I work in a "helper" capacity. People usually contact me when they want something. It could be data, cells, project planning, making a meeting invitation or simply answering a question on how to change an Outlook invite without cancelling the whole thing.

What I'm noticed over the last year though is the decrease (non-existing?) notion of please, would you, and of course thank you. There's a lot of "I want" and to be fair, sometimes a (sloppy) "thanks" in the end (although when it's part of your signature, I'm not sure it really means anything specific). Funny enough, I sometimes get these emails and part of me wants to respond "I would like to help you, however since you wrote it more like a demand (and you're not my boss nor my work group) I will add your request to the bottom of the pile". Of course I don't do that, it would be rude. But I feel a need to vent and add a little please of my own. If you interact with any undergraduates or any people in general, maybe see if they can use those little words that really mean a lot....

Thank you for reading this and other rants I post on this blog.

*'Thank you' is more formal but also more thoughtful than the everlasting 'Thanks' that is tossed around a little more. Although, I'll take 'thanks' over nothing anytime. Just sayin'

**There's a little longer context that I would like to write one day, I need to work on it though since it ties into class, upbringing, use of emails as a written telephone call or note rather than a letter etc....

Monday, December 05, 2016

post half-marathon confession

So the half marathon is over. It didn't go as I'd thought, although it didn't go as bad as I let on to my friends when they congratulated me after crossing the goal line. I did better than my first half, and listened to my body so all in all - a win?!

My main issue with this race and timing? That I haven't explained that I've had two surgeries these last three months so my training schedule have been..... slightly impaired. I haven't even run longer than 10 miles the last six months. I haven't mentioned the surgeries to anyone really, I'm a little private that way. It would've made it easier to understand for some of my more competitive family, friends and coworkers. Also the main reason that I told myself not to push through the pain when it occurred after 7 miles in the race. I had set as my main goal for this race "get through the race without injuries and hopefully enjoy it".

Everything started glorious. Weather was cold but great. My microfiber towel that I have as a second layer in front of my tummy (what ever works for you to make you feel good is a smart solution) was protecting me from the strong wind gushes that got the temp down to 2C/38F. My speed the first 7 miles were excellent and on par with a PR, yet my pulse was a steady 145bpm. Alas, as I hit my stride my feet started telling me something was wrong. On top of both feet having the toes go numb, it was almost as the socks were crumbled up between the toes and the balls of the feet. I even ended taking off my shoes, only to notice that there was no issue with the real socks. (Hello plantar fasciitis nice of you to join me in the race.) And then the hip flexor began to send tingling feelings on one side....

It was really hard for me to tell the people I ran with "I'll be falling behind you and take it slow for a while - good luck with your run". Not only because I'm a proud stubborn person, but mainly because I am pretty sure I could've ran through the pain and made a better time. However, I probably would've ended up with some sort of injury and that was what I had promised not to do..... "no repeat of piriformis debacle a few years back"

After a slow 3 miles my feet decided that they were good - I will never understand how things like that just resolve while running. I plugged in my headphones and turned on the music list that I made especially for the last 3 miles. Cranked up the volume and ran fast while the rain came down. Finding the endorphins while I pushed through and finished strong.

Happy running list when wanting to run fast and nice. A lot of it is about the drums and base that touch my heart and keep me with adrenaline :)

  • Jekyll&Hyde - Fiver Finger Death Punch
  • Deep Six - Marilyn Manson
  • Square Hammer - Ghost BC 
  • I think we're alone now - The Birthday Massacre 
  • Move your ass - Scooter "it's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice"
  • Dot your eyes - Fiver Finger Death Punch "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog" (also printed on my computer for inspiration when times are hard)
  • You're going down - Sick Puppies
  • Throne - Bring me the horizon

I had dreams about finishing under 2:15, alas - 2:24 was my final time. I'll take home that my first 10 km was a PR for me (my gps kept track) and if I would've run the 10km it would've been enough to be best 22 in my age group. Now I face the music as settling to be happy about that I had more people behind me than in front of me, and that I'm uninjured. Small mercies.

Maybe the biggest achievement is that it's my third half-marathon in four years which means I'm keeping up the fitness. I should really celebrate that more and not focus on the time and feeling like a slow poke.