Jobless no more!

Confession: I have been unemployed for the better part of six weeks now.  I wasn’t sure how I could casually write about joblessness without breaking down in tears or being smooshed under the weight of  self-pity.  To back track,  my position as an Associate Web Producer at a Portland-area ad agency was eliminated along with my paycheck. The layoff was unexpected and it left me terrified.  I sobbed for a few hours, went for a run to clear my head and then biked  back to the office to pick up a few personal belongings.

I never made it back to the office that day. A car collided with my bike only a few blocks from my apartment.  First laid off and then hit by a car. On the same day. As I skidded across the pavement my first thought was, “!@#*&%!, This is the WORST !@#%^! Day EVER!!” It was closely followed by a second very real worry, ” My Legs!”  That I might be both unemployed AND unable to run evoked a true panic.  Let’s be honest. Finding yourself  sans job in this economy in a town with the second highest unemployment rate in the country may be… I don’t know…  a bit of a bummer, but being struck by a car mere days before a major marathon felt a whole lot scarier. Luckily, Stella, my road bike, took the majority of the impact and  I was able to race in the Eugene Marathon (time of 3:07 and fourth place woman) only ten days later. I do not suggest adding car/bike collisions into a pre-race taper program. It’s just not a good plan.

So. for the last six weeks I’ve been diligently, nervously, and apprehensively following every job lead, every whiff of opportunity and running, running, running when I couldn’t stare at my computer screen any longer. It was tough. Very tough.

All of that changed this week. This week was a true roller coaster.

Monday: I had run a intense hill workout with Trail Factor the day before:  about 12 miles of fire lane work that left my legs burning and weak. But I struck out on a 19 mile trail run on Monday for a back-t0-back long workout. I finished the day much as I had started it. Exhausted. Unemployed. Unsure of my future.

Tuesday: I started track practice but suffered a mysterious and sudden hamstring cramp. I was forced to cut the workout short and left to wonder if all the trail hills had left me a bit too tired. I iced my unemployed hamstring that evening and prepped for the following morning’s interview. I was excited about the meeting, but my cranky crampy hamstring cautioned me against getting my hopes up. It was a big deal to even be invited back for a second interview. Similar to a race situation, I calmed my nerves by laying out my clothes and packing my bag the night before. The only difference? I didn’t need Body Glide or a bib number for the interview.

Wednesday: BIG DAY! At the conclusion of the interview that I thought went well, I inquired when I might hear back from them. “Very soon” was the only reply. Oh no. Oh no! Oh no! So not a good sign. I calmed my fears with wine and a friend that night and tried my best not to fret. Between the stress of the interview and fretting about it that afternoon I decided to forgo an afternoon run. My hamstring agreed that it was probably a good idea.

Thursday: Discovered that two glasses of wine is really my limit. I awoke with a thick dry mouth and a foggy head. But there was a message in my inbox inquiring f I could come into the office to discuss next steps. I danced. I clapped my hands. I yelled, “Woohooo!!” at my houseplant. Then I immediately downed a cup of coffee, tied my shoelaces and squeezed in 10 miles. That afternoon’s interview was fabulous and it ended with a job offer. I felt like pumping my fist up in the air and screaming. It felt like I had won the lottery. This isn’t just a job. This is the job I truly want! I celebrated with at home by watching Hulu in pajama pants

Friday: I woke up in the middle of the night and pulled out the offer again just to make sure I hadn’t hallucinated it all. I woke again so I could meet up with the 650 club (named such because we meet at 6:50 in the morning) to run about six miles of trails. I tacked on another three or four to round it out. I dropped off the signed offer, met the rest of the team  at the office, and flew to Sacramento that evening.

Saturday: Today. On vacation and totally not stressed. Running in my hometown always feels a little strange. The roads seem deserted in comparison to the busy Portland streets and the air seems drier. I ran six miles this morning and another five in the afternoon.

Summary: 68.7 miles running this week

Details about the job: I couldn’t be more excited. I will be an Associate Producer for an ambitious Interactive Design Studio. They specialize in interactive displays and physical installations for museums. Their work is compelling, interesting and fits my personality. Who would have thought that what seemed like such a terrible string of bad luck would turn into such a great opportunity. I can’t wait to get started.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in running, Trail Factor, work and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Jobless no more!

  1. jmari101 says:

    Hi Heather, i’ve been following your blog for some time now but wasn’t able to comment until now … first of all i am glad your okay and nothing seriously happened, except from the fact that i’m pretty excited but all the more so in reading that you were able to bring your full marathon time down to 3:07. OOWA – Congratulations.

    That’s really good.

    I’m basically a hardcore runner in the Philippines (pretty far huh) looking for ways to constantly improve my marathon racing times. I haven’t done a full yet but hope to do my first this July 5 in the Milo National Eliminations here. I started seriously running races competitively last October 2008 with my first half at 2:15, since then i was able to improve this in my last half marathon (April 2009) finishing 1:33 (weather’s crazy humid here most of the time).

    Other than that and the fact i really like your blog which details everything about running. Oh, btw – also finished my first 102km Bataan Ultramarathon last April 5 here, it was crazy but fun.

    Keep on writing good articles. Cheers – Mari

  2. Boses says:


  3. Irish Cream says:

    WOOOOOO! CONGRATULATIONS, lady! That is SUCH amazing news! I am so happy that something so crappy could turn out to be SO positive!! My mom loves to tell me that everything happens for a reason, and stuff like this just pleases me to no end because it suggests that maybe she’s right after all.

    I am SO excited for you! I just want to squeal (and I totally would if I had a houseplant to squeal at!)! Yay for you!! 🙂

    In other news, amazing running week, despite a crampy hammy! You continue to impress!! Hope the hamstring gets better soon!

  4. Hooray! So glad you got a job – and a great sounding one at that!

  5. Wow, what a story! Congrats to you heather for weathering all that crappiness and getting to the job of your dreams. I thought the phrase…in order to live a little, you have to die a little…was only metaphorical. But in your case, it actually happened! So excited for all the new developments in your life! Rock on!

  6. Ana-Maria says:

    Awesome, Heather, congrats! I am glad running helped out during this tough transition – it never fails, does it? Glad things worked out and you found your dream job. I knew that would happen, and am glad the company realized you are such as steal:) Ana-Maria

  7. Meyrick says:

    That’s great news! Congratulations!

    If you think about it, that crappy day lead to a period that included: a serious marathon PR, a few weeks off, and a dream job.

    A fair amount of stress too I’m sure…

    Happy to hear that you are among the ranks of the employed again!

  8. Mike g says:

    Congrats on your good week. You run hard and work hard so you deserved some good luck. 307 is so solid.

  9. Kevin says:

    Congrats on the job, HD!

  10. Marc says:

    Congratulations on getting both a job and a job that you wanted! It seems like so many people today are settling for uninspiring work simply to get work. I’m glad you didn’t have to do that. I wish I could take over Dola’s job.

  11. Roisin says:

    Congratulations! Having recently been on the verge of unemployment, I know exactly how you were feeling. You deserve this good stuff now!!!

  12. Cynthia says:

    Hi Heather! I’ve been reading for a while now, I think your blog is great & really inspirational. Congrats on the job. Do you often run on the American River Bike Trail? I live in Sacramento near Land Park so I run there often, though we don’t have as many hills around here …
    Have a good vacation.

  13. modhealth says:

    Congrats on the job! And great week of running. I need to pound one like that out this week. You’ve got me motivated!

  14. aron says:

    YAY congrats girl!!! so happy its a job that you are excited for too! just makes it all that better 🙂

  15. Static says:

    Congrats! Totally awesome on a front that until erading your blog I would never assosciate with running.

  16. Betsy says:

    I am so happy for you, Heather!

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