Jury Duty, Wedding Planning, and Mileage Ramping

Hi.  I’m still alive!  …there’s nothing quite like serving as a juror on a murder trial to remind you of that fact.  The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind.  In a nutshell:  I am steadily building mileage, I got engaged, and I learned that serving on a jury is really stressful while balancing mileage, wedding planning, and having your puppy-parent-co-pilot out of town.

On May 31st, Dave and I decided that after 7 years of being together (4 living together) it was time to get married.  Let me rephrase in an utterly unromantic way:  after me not having health insurance since July 2015 and Dave having an adult job with benefits, we decided it might be time for me to stop playing Russian roulette.  Let me rephrase in another utterly unromantic way:  this was all decided through tears in the Whole Foods parking lot (let’s be real…how many excursions to Whole Foods don’t end in tears, though?)  We bought a simple ring together two days later and have been wedding planning ever since.

Unintended consequence:  it turns out that getting engaged – no matter the circumstances – makes you really happy and remember why you got together in the first place.  I thought that after spending so much time together, getting engaged would just be a formality.  Instead, there seems to be an ever-so-slight shift in the way we interact with one another, which has been a lot of fun.

Now, obviously we are both extremely nontraditional people.  We chose a date (July 29th of this year) solely around the fact that my two best friends (who now live in Idaho and Australia) were just randomly going to be within an hour of my hometown that weekend.  I was in their weddings, and I would love for them to be in mine.

So, yeah, we planned our wedding around two my bridesmaids’ schedules.

I don’t fancy myself to be a bridezilla (I mean…my engagement ring and dress combined cost less than our celebratory meal…), so I never thought our wedding planning would be stressful.  We are funding the day ourselves, which already relieves decision fatigue.  Seat covers? Table linens? Wedding favors our guests will leave at the table?  Can’t afford them, doesn’t matter!

Putting together our website has been a lot of fun…and a lot of work.  The biggest stressor has been that we had so little time to secure a venue (found one- the Washington Park Zoo!) and send out invites (they arrive tomorrow and will be sent out Friday) that we had to cram A LOT of planning into a short period of time.  Oh yeah, add to that the fact that Dave was out of town for 3 days last week and 4 days this week, which has made things slightly more difficult, since he is very  much involved in the planning of our day.  [if I was making statuses saying “Future hubby asked if he could help make a small decision with our wedding!  So #blessed” he definitely wouldn’t be the one I am marrying.]

All of this wedding planning reminded me how terrible I am at multitasking.  Suddenly, 5 hours have gone by while we are at my computer designing our invitations (which ALMOST got purchased without the wedding date on them…) and I haven’t had a bite to eat, much less gone for my run.  I have had to really double down on planning the day and doing a better job about compartmentalizing tasks, as well as taking time to care for myself.  I am living off of Orgain nutritional drinks, cheese, and Lara bars.

Over the weekend, my (20 year old) niece/ bridesmaid spent a few days with me.  She helped me plan a few things since she is in another wedding this summer, and also kept me focused (apparently she has never seen a person have so many internet tabs open at once..).  Even though having her here was awesome, I definitely didn’t get as much sleep as I needed, especially because I was getting up extra early to run and work so that we could spend uninterrupted time together.

On top of a lot of late nights the previous week so that Dave and I could do wedding stuff, I was already pretty tired.  She reminded me on Sunday night to call the courthouse to see if I had jury duty, and unfortunately I did.  So, I woke up at 6 AM, grinded out some work, and arrived to the city county building by 8 AM.  Nbd, I’ll just get my run in after I’m released from the jury pool, I thought, because surely a far left liberal feminist with a master’s degree in analytical chemistry isn’t going to make it onto a jury for a murder trial, right?  (at least that’s what everyone told me).

During jury selection, I was asked if I felt that certain circumstances could justify a crime, and how I felt about false confessions.  I was honest:  I do not believe in victim blaming, and I think if someone falsely confesses to a crime I would have to question the person’s mental capacity, which makes me wonder why he/she is fit to stand trial in the first place.  Surely my honestly meant that I wouldn’t be chosen for this murder trial right?  Wrong.

Until 5 PM on Monday we listened to the strangest case I have ever heard in my life.  Side note:  in middle school/high school I was involved in a volunteer organization called Teen Court, which taught me a lot about the legal system.  If you have kids that need to volunteer for honor society or whatnot, I HIGHLY recommend.

Since the trial is now over, I can legally share details:

Woman 1 (W1) was (unhappily) married.  Husband brought home Woman 2 (W2) (who was married to W1’s ex-husband) and suggested W1 and W2 be sister wives.  W1 said no.  Meanwhile, W1 brings Man 1 (M1) home and has him sleep in her bed “for security purposes.”  She also meets Man 2 (M2), who happens to be her 4th cousin, and they develop a close (romantic?) friendship.  Husband upsets W1 by continually sleeping with W2, so W1, M1, and M2 plan to murder Husband.  M1 and M2 murder Husband, but leave body, vehicle, and murder weapon at the scene.  M2 (who was on trial – M1 and W1 have already been convicted) was charged with murder and conspiracy.  He confessed to the crime, but defense was arguing it was a false confession given under duress.

We made it through most of the witnesses on Monday, but the defense motioned to break for the day right before we were shown the confession tape.  We had to be back by 9:15 on Tuesday.

I make it home around 6 PM and have two attention starved dogs.  I take care of them and then am utterly EXHAUSTED.  I still need to run.

In my own personal coaching, I tell my athletes that sleep comes first.  Never force a run when you are completely sleep deprived.  So, I listened to my own advice and took a nap…and fell asleep for the rest of the night.  I got up at 6 the next morning and took the dogs for an hour long walk, then went for an hour long run.  I hurried up and made it to the courthouse, only to wait.  And wait.  And wait some more.  At noon, the judge told us that we were released, but had to return by 9 AM on Wednesday.

Fortunately, this meant I would be able to catch up on wedding stuff, go for another run, and tire out the dogs, since we were told that the case would last all day and into the night on Wednesday.  I woke up at 5:35 AM today, took the dogs for another hour long walk, and then went for an 8 mile run.  I can’t believe I would regularly meet my friends at 5 AM to run in grad school.  I was dragging both yesterday and today.  When that happens, I break my run up into 10% segments.

Today, I just thought about 6.5 minutes at a time.  Make it to 10%, then 20%, then 30%….  It helps.  I got to the courtroom only to be greeted by the bailiff and both attorneys.  It turned out the defendant signed a plea agreement and we were no longer needed.  Kind of a bummer that I drove all the way downtown, BUT, the bailiff said that we still get our per diem for the day.  I will walk away from the last three days $120 richer (plus whatever they give me for mileage).  Not a bad way to make a little extra cash for the wedding.

As for running, I’m actually really happy I had this experience.  I am aiming for 70 miles this week, which has always felt like a hard in-between mileage week.  It takes more effort than 50, because it is usually when doubles start, but it isn’t as exhausting as 100 mile weeks.  However, since you’re in the process of building, it feels like you’re running more than you are.  Having a sleep deprived schedule has reminded me how fortunate I am that I’ve been able to build my life around training, and I’m going to try and remember not to take that for granted!

Originally published on Go Big or Go Home

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