Lost in the shuffle….


A dear friend gave me an ipod nano for Christmas. Let me say this; I LOVE my nano. Look… LOOK! It’s so sweet. The screen lights up. It has an internal pedometer. It picks up FM radio so I can listen to the local celebrity gossip station… whoops, I mean, NPR. I seriously heart my ipod.

One teensy problem. It’s shuffle feature is activated when you shake it. Now, I already knew I run like a duck. Fine. But apparently I am a bouncy duck and I cannot find the kill switch. The “Not Even If I Seem To Be Bouncing On A Pogo Stick” switch.

“Well, Lanie, Who cares what order they’re in? You picked out all the songs specifically for running. What exactly is the problem?”

You mean other than the fact that Fergalicious keeps popping up? (note to self; update running playlist.) The PROBLEM is that I like to know what’s going on at all times. I don’t LIKE to be surprised by so much as the errant 80s dance hit. (Shut up. It’s my playlist, not yours.)

See, I continually set these goals for myself which seem so daunting and success so unpredictable, that I find it comforting to control every little thing that I can. Example; My 4:30:00 2011 marathon goal. Okay, number one, where the heck did that come from? Seriously, a bad, bad idea. It’s so bad and inconceivable and potentially painful that I’m already training, people — and the marathon isn’t until October. My stomach hurts just thinking about it.

In any case, I’ve committed to the randomness of that whim and broke it down to ten minute miles. Nice, managable ten minute miles. Fine. Except that it occurred to me that if I were to train at a nine minute per mile pace, I would have a little wiggle room and probably not end up desperate and deranged enough on race day to pounce on one of the traveling medics and steal their vespa. Okay. So my training pace is nine minute miles.

Except today I was running them in eight. BECAUSE I CAN NEVER JUST RELAX, apparently. I read something recently; “How you do anything is how you do everything.” And how I do everything is to constantly stress myself out by upping the ante. Why? Why? WHY?!!! Why do I feel the need to torture myself with the constant and very real specter of failure? Why, when I master something, am I incapable of stopping right there? Look at the trajectory of my life;

  • graduate, get married have first baby.
  • I know. I’ll get THREE jobs.
  • Have second child.
  • Quit job(s). Stay home.
  • Let’s adopt a child.
  • NO!! THREE children.
  • Let’s start a small business.
  • …and train for a marathon.
  • Let’s open our own storefront.
  • …and train for a marathon.

The kindest among you will suggest that I am brave. I am not. I’m a big, neurotic, weepy, stressed-out mess when it comes to this stuff. I have compulsions not goals. And where will it end? What am I going to be frantically aiming for in the future?

  • tear out yard, construct zen garden, spend the entire summer erasing children’s footprints from the pristine sand
  • convince Jennifer Saunders to be my new best friend
  • achieve perfection, subsist on dew and the laughter of children

Pretty ambitious for someone who can’t manage to turn off the shuffle on her ipod.