Monday, June 28, 2010

Patience - not my virtue!

So these days are driving me nuts, I am up and down with my mood and anticipation more often then I can handle. So after that interview, I had a couple of things that were worrying me slightly about the job. I checked in with several people, and they agreed that the business sounds like they are really money focused, and it might be a hard job for the long haul. That being said, it has some great attributes as well, and sounds like it could serve as a great first job. I was told I would hear back "within the week" so I am going to have to wait it out until the end of this week before freaking out, then getting the nerve up to call them. The waiting is killing me though.

I figured I should look at a back up plan, other than EI in case I didn't get the job. I have officially been at home for almost a month, and it is honestly driving me insane. I am the type of person who has always worked, summers and during the school years, and being home this long, especially with no extra income, is tough. I job search, I clean, and I live in isolation other than my dog, who is starting to expect the daily long walks and treats she is getting. I honestly think I am getting slightly depressed and stir crazy. So I called an temp agency, and was shocked to hear them honestly tell me that these days, many people are earning more income on EI than working as a receptionist or admin! I can't believe it. I have no retail experience, and can't find a position where they wouldn't look at my resume and be freaked at how overqualified I seem. I can't even dumb down the resume, because I have been in government for over 8 years now. Thank god running has been getting me out in the sunshine, or else I'd be certifiably crazy right now. So by the end of the week, if I have had no success on the career front, I am going to find something to do. Job, volunteering, hobby, something that gets me out more. Suggestions?

Ok, now for my running update, which I have been bad updating this week. I ran on Wednesday, 4k steady. I finally whipped out my Garmin, look how old school I am:

Yes, that is the Forerunner 50, the first one made. So it worked wonderfully on my fairly short run on Friday (2.5K, fast tempo run) and it worked perfect! I forgot my foot pod, but it timed me at 15 minutes, perfect pace.

I ran with the hubby on Saturday. As I mentioned before, he is just learning to run. I thought I could join him, stay at his pace on his route, and things would go well. We started off fine, and then he started doing things I wasn't sure were the smartest. He was running on streets with no sidewalks (so running on the street) with his ear buds in and running with traffic. He would cross roads in areas where there was reduced visibility of oncoming traffic. So I called him out on it. This week alone, I heard of a death from a board I post on. Motorcycle vs runner. Sadly, she didn't wear ID (something I am horribly guilty of) and they only knew who she was based on her name on her water bottle. So I tell him what he really should do, pick roads with sidewalks, run opposite traffic, get ID, and generally reduce his risk. WOW, did I get an earful from him. I think he was just getting defensive for no reason, but it really deters me from running with him. I got him to finally agree to run with sidewalks on main roads, and try for side roads as well. If there are no sidewalks, I made him promise to run opposite traffic. It's the smart thing to do.

Finally, I did another 10K yesterday, in humid weather. My Garmin decided to be a PITA (pain in the @$$) and would start timing, then magically pop out. I finally gave up and started timing my 10's and 1's with the regular clock. I have no idea how I did as a result, but I think it went ok. I finally started using some fuel, as I knew it was going to be a physically tiring run with some uphill portions. I ate some of my Sharkies, and was surprised they didn't taste too bad. A bit sticky, but manageable. I will be investigating new fuel (sport beans, GU and GU chomps etc) over my long runs to see what works best for me.
Ok, that's all for today, I'm off until later this week. I'm such a geek, but I love the fact that I now have 2 followers!!! It seems silly, but it is nice motivation to keep going and rambling about my bizarre life!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Best 24 Hours EVER!!!

Ok, so clearly karma works in the strangest of way for me these days. Yesterday I was wallowing in self pity, wondering when things would turn around for me regarding work, and running was just so so. I've had great improvements in both areas that I have to share!!!

Ok, so first of all, I did go out and have a long, slow run that was overdue from Sunday. I was scheduled to do 10km, and was a bit nervous because I haven't done that distance in ages. Pretty much since my first and only official race, which was the May Race Weekend in Ottawa Ontario, back in 2009. I had been training for the run mostly on a treadmill over the winter, and in the month before the race, it was cool and wet out on the roads. Well, the day of the race, the temperature skyrocketed, and I wasn't prepared. At about 7k, I crashed hardcore, I couldn't convince myself to keep moving. I finished with a time of 1:07:45, but felt I could have done much better.

So Yesterday, I decide to go out for my run at 2pm. Normally I would never consider running at this time, but I didn't think it would be that bad temperature-wise. WRONG! It was at least 25 degrees, and humid. I immediately regretted my decision to go outside, but dedicated myself to do it anyways, just slower than usual. I went at it, and actually fared pretty well. I stopped a certain number of scheduled periods, and even had one additional stop to fill up my water bottle at a local park. So it was surprising to me when I got home and found that my warm up, run and cool down took a total of 1:15! That was amazing to me, it meant I totally beat my race time, and might have accidentally done my slow long 10k in one hour! :D

As for the work progress, I was partially depressed because of the number of places I had contacted looking for positions and getting negative answers. I had one glimmer of hope from a firm that was hiring, but wasn't sure if they wanted a "first year call" IE a new lawyer. So I continued to be persistent, reminding them I was around, and I was shocked to get a call back with terms for employment and an interview this afternoon! The interview went really well - I actually had more questions for them than they had for me. This is mostly because it would be a commission based job, which is a bit scary because there is no set income month to month. That being said, I would be taking on my own files (also scary!) working decent hours, in a small firm with great people, and I would be gaining some great experience. I think I stand a chance, now I just have to wait and see if it is offered to me. There will definitely be some challenges, but I have to be up for them. I hope that they would help me avoid any lawsuits and help me really learn along the way. So fingers crossed that I might not be unemployed anymore!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Joys of Job Searching

I don't really have a running update right now, as I had a weekend off filled with fun and some frustration, as I was off to WhamBam 2010 at the Molson Ampitheatre in Toronto, Ontario. The concert was great, featuring artists like Oranthi, Danny Fernandez, Kardinal Offishal, Karl Wolf and the headliner, Adam Lambert.

Most of the acts were amazing live, even though I was in nosebleed seats. It was a one day trip I won from a local radio station, which I went to with my neighbour, Tammy. The radio station didn't organize it very well though, and we were late arriving, we weren't told what we could and couldn't bring in (resulting in some people losing some possessions) and worst of all, they didn't talk to the bus driver before hand, resulting in us not getting home until 5:30am on Sunday.

I had the best of intentions of getting to bed, getting up at a decent hour and seeing how I felt. Well, when I woke up, I was shocked to see it was 2pm!!! I felt very bad sleeping half way through Father's day, so I decided to postpone my scheduled 10k run and instead call my dad, and make sure my hubby had a good Father's day with a gift and card from his daughter and a homecooked meal of mini pizzas from me!

So this weekend has been one full of revelations and pondering. I have these moments where I wonder what the hell I am doing, and where to go next. I haven't gotten much response from sending out my resume, and I just know, there are really not many law positions open right now. I can't even get a law clerk or admin job, because people look at me and go, "But you have a law degree!" Yes, I might have a law degree, but I'm broke, I have no income at all, and EI is the slowest process EVER. This rat race thing is frustrating.

I am debating applying to a big firm that is SO not me, just because they have a position open and I might be considered. They are the type of firm that is all about the hours, doesn't care for the people, it's about being a business and bringing in money, dealing with big corporations rather than the little people. They do litigation defence for insurance companies, so basically the tactic is deny, deny, deny and stall, stall, stall until the person that was hurt can't afford to keep going with their lawsuit. They are essentially the bottom of the barrel lawyers. I really want to be at a small firm, somewhere that helps people when they are hurt, when they need someone in their corner to get them what they really deserve.

So what happens if I put my name in and get the job? I get to be miserable, work the longest hours ever, never see my family, and for what? Just to get a name on my resume and some "experience" which would most likely not be hands on but boring behind the scenes research. What do you do? Do you sell your soul to get ahead, or follow your heart to get what you want, even if it causes you to be broke for the interim? It's a tough situation.

Ok, I think I'm going to run off and brave the heat for a LSD of 10k. I'll be checking in soon!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

(Late) Tuesday Update!

Hey Guys,

Sorry for not updating yesterday, I got caught up in my mommy role last night, helping the kid with a project that was due today.

So update on running:
On Sunday I went out for my long run, which is currently supposed to be 7 km based on the running room half marathon program. So I mapped out a 7.5km route, updated my Ipod with a great running list (which I will eventually put up here) that goes on for 2.5 hours. I honestly felt way better about that run then any past run. The 7.5km flew by so easily, and by the end I felt wonderful. The only thing I am starting to realize is that I have to find other routes as I go on. For the 7.5km, I looped three times around my neighbourhood, and while it is quiet, it gets boring and monotonous. I need a bit of diversity and hope to find a nice quiet trail or path to run.

Tuesday, I did a quick steady 3km (3.2 actually), and it felt a bit tough, but I made it through with no walk breaks. In addition, I have the choice to either go uphill or downhill (well, to be fair, it is more of a slope then a hill, but other runners know that any elevation can feel like Mt. Everest!) and I chose to do the uphill route. Yeah me! I figured I did 3.2km in 22 minutes, which equates to about a 7min/km pace. I think this isn't too bad, but I'm a bit concerned I am trying to go too fast too soon. The running room schedule says I should be aiming for 9-10 minutes, but I am confused as to whether it is for kilometers or miles, because if it is for kilometers, I'd have to go SO slow! I think I'm ok.

Updates in my other life are that all day Monday, I drafted about 15 cover letters for the job hunt. On Tuesday I went to a local event to get a mentor, and dropped off two resumes personally, which was good timing because apparently one of the firms had a position they were soliciting resumes for. My resume would be a day late, but I tried to make it clear that I didn't know about the posting, and that I was not late, just coincidentally dropping it off at that time. Let's hope they accept it! I also applied for a job as a judicial assistant - basically a glorified administrative assistant for a federal level court. I think it would be a great stepping stone position if I can't get an associate position quickly.

This week's goals:

Today - might do a quick run. Haven't' decided yet. I also haven't decided if I am going to personally drop off resumes, or if I am going to email them. I think personally is better, but I never meet the lawyers, so I don't know if my appearance matters.

Ok, complete side note, I am DYING to get something from edible arrangements, specifically something chocolate covered. Mmmm, chocolate:

Ok, I'm done for now. Hopefully, sometime in the future, someone will follow me!!! I need someone to keep my accountable!

P.S - check out this awesome contest at Running Off at the Mouth!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Update

Well, so far, so good this weekend. I went to my call to the bar on Wednesday, and surprisingly, it went far better than I had expected. No one was catty or rude to me, no one mocked or made fun of my for not having a job, and I generally enjoyed myself. What was strange is that in my last two graduations (and all my life) my last name started with a P, and now it is a B, so I suddenly was front row centre and had to go up on stage WAY earlier than I was used to, but it was ok. I had to sit beside some guy who "nukked" when laughing (nuk,nuk,nuk rather than hahaha) so was glad when I got to walk across the stage and get away from him.

Thursday after my parents left I got in a 3k run, which I only walked once through. That's progress!

No running yesterday, not sure if I am going to follow this Running Room plan perfectly, it sugests 5 runs a week, which is a lot of time and effort.

As for the work front, I'm still unemployed. I have made a massive list of law firms in the area, and I am slowly trying to find out what areas of law they practice in before applying everywhere. I hate the application process. It is depressing and too time consuming. I did go to my workplace on Friday, and was slightly happy when I found out that they had a miserable week without me. Who knows, maybe they'll bring me back.... lol. I can always hope!

Tomorrow - 7k!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ok, so here's an update of my week:

Sunday - I went out and had the most lovely run, better than I could have imagined. MY husband, who is just getting into this running thing, has been using DJ Steveboy's Podrunner couch to 5k program ( which I LOVED when I first started running. It is a great program that eases you into it, allowing you to progress slowly without pushing too hard and getting frustrated or injured. So his first week program had 8 one minute running intervals, and I just stuck with him for the entirety of his program before taking off on my own and doing a 2.5k loop on my own without stopping. In total, I covered about 7km, but will have to work on doing my runs with my dear husband (DH) on the days when I have a short run scheduled, at least until he gets more endurance. All in all, not too bad.

Monday - my intentions were to go swimming at the public pool, but there was so much to prepare for my parents coming up for my call to the bar, and I honestly just didn't feel like it. I went into town and "signed the rolls" which is really just filling out two forms and signing my name in a large book. It was amusing to me that this is the first graduation ceremony I have had since being married, and I have jumped up from the P's to the B's. Anyways, then I met up with two friends and had lunch, which was nice, but somewhat depressing. My one friend kept her job and is jetting off with her family for the summer. She admitted that 90% of her work during articling was research. Meanwhile, I spent most of my time on my feet, drafting legal documents and going to trial with my supervisors. Just depressing, that's all. So I had a little ice cream and felt better. As a note to any foodies out there, the best new ice cream out these days are the new Loblaws flavours! My favourite, PC Sprinkle Party Cake Ice Cream, actually tastes like cake with icing and ice cream with sprinkles! And at $3 for almost a litre, it is great. Check it out:

Tuesday (aka today) - has been a nightmare. My plan to run 4K was almost foiled by my townhouse, which decided everything involving water in my house had to overflow. So both my toilet (ewwww) and wash basin left water everywhere, even dripping through my ceiling. I was NOT impressed. So I spent an hour cleaning up, then finally decided the rest could wait, and went out and vented my frustrations. It was supposed to be a slow steady (aka no walk) run, but I did stop for a few moments twice along the route. Not too bad, but something I will have to work on. Now I am sitting at home waiting for a repair guy to come look at my house, and waiting for my parents to arrive. My call to the bar is tomorrow, and I honestly just don't want to go. I don't feel excited for it, probably because it is anti-climactic when you have no job. I don't want to see the catty colleagues I have managed to avoid for the past ten months, and I don't want the pitiful looks that will come once I answer the question:"So, where are you working then?" But, my parents, hubby, Father-in-law and stepdaughter are excited for it, so I guess I have to go. At least running is keeping me sane and happy.

Ok, off to scour the job postings for the day... yippee... :S I'll check in later this week!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Well, my blog has to start somewhere, and I figured, why not start it in the logical fashion, by introducing myself and what I plan on doing with this blog.

I am 26 years old (haha, I wrote 25, didn't catch my mistake until previewing the post). I am a happy newlywed, married for a little over 8 months now. The past 8 years of my life, if not longer, has been wrapped up with my educational pursuits, working my way through two degrees in my pursuit of the ultimate career - becoming a lawyer.

I am one of those unusual people who has their mind set from an early age about what they want to do. Since I was 17, I wanted to be a lawyer - not a skeevy, mob-defending, money-hungry, weasel of a lawyer, but a crusader for the little guy, someone who can help right the wrongs of life. So I finished high school, and did my undergrad in criminology.

Then I went onto law school, three years of life-sucking hell to some, so I could reach my goal. Law school really can be as bad as you think - all consuming, intense, overwhelming, and in many cases, very similar to high school with cliques and competitiveness and bitchiness. That being said it was ALL worth it to get to my dream. I pushed through contracts, business, real estate, criminal, family, every area of law you can think of and I thought it was all over, but somehow I didn't realize I still had one more year to go; I had to do articling.

I went into interviews thinking, all I have to do is land one job, anywhere that I can, at a firm that is welcoming and where I can do the type of law I want to do. So I started the interview process. No one tells you that the interview process for articling has NOTHING to do with your academic abilities, nothing to do with your experience; it is all a dumb personality contest and a process where law firms determine what they need, whether that be a person with a specific interest in a small area of law, or someone who has no life and will be willing to work all hours of the day, or even worse, someone that first a specific quota for the firm, be it a certain sex, race, sexual orientation, etc. Law firms can amazingly ignorant of the law when they are doing something they want - did you know most law firms don't even offer employment contracts??

Anyways, somehow I fought my way through the process, and I got pretty lucky. I got a great position at a great small firm. I thought, this is it. I can finally settle down, I can finally start my ever after. No more hectic life, switching between work and school, I'm settled. And it really was wonderful! I did great work, helping people who were injured get money for their losses, I loved the people I was working with and loved the work I was doing. It really couldn't get better.

During this period, two really important things happened:

#1, I got married. BEST DAY EVER!!!!!
#2, Two weeks into my employment and one month before my wedding, I fell down a flight of stairs and seriously hurt my left knee. Up to that point, I had been running about three times a week, and had completed my first race, a 10K. I loved running. The running had to be put on hold, and it was kind of ok, because I was so busy with work and life (you know, getting married keeps you busy... ;) )

So fast forward to this month, and the real reason why we are here. My dream, and my expectations were suddenly changed last month when I was pulled into a meeting with my two bosses. I knew my ongoing employment as an articling student was coming to an end, and the question of my being rehired had to be dealt with. My bosses, J and T, pulled me into an office, and let me know: they loved me, they loved my work, but they couldn't afford to keep me. That moment broke my heart. I knew that was what I wanted, and where I wanted to be, and that was taken away from me. Devastated is an understatement.

So I started looking for a new job, and things haven't went that well. Despite the fact that I have been doing this "law" thing for 4+ years, my experience = ZERO. Nothing. No one wants to hire "new calls." So here I am, 3 days from officially being called to the bar as a lawyer, and utterly and totally unemployed.

The name of the blog, Running from the Law, is a statement with where I think I am right now. The law job thing isn't working right now, so I am currently on EI until I can find something. I figured, what better time, now that my knee has had some time to heal (it isn't 100% yet, I am still experiencing more problems than I should, considering my medical and legal options) to pick up where I left off with running. My plan is to get fit, get back to the wedding weight, and run further than I ever have. So I am going to blog my progress with law and with running, with my end goals being a) get a job as a lawyer at a firm that I love, and b) run a half marathon. My goal half marathon is the Army Half in Ottawa, Ontario, which happens to be on my first anniversary in September. We'll see what my husband says about that... :S

So, sorry for the epic post, but now you have the background info, and you can know where I am coming from. Hopefully I will be able to write here 2-3 times per week, updating my life.

This week's goals:
Sunday - slow run with hubby (distance depends on him)
Monday - swim - I really need to figure out my distances here, but one hour
Tuesday - run, slow and steady 3-5 km
Wednesday - my parents are up, I become a lawyer!
Thursday - 3-5Km run
Friday - swim
Saturday - run with hubby
Sunday - going to try and get my first long run - just 7km for this week, to build up over time.