Monday, November 25, 2013

In which she whines

I'm an optimistic realist.  I generally look on the bright side of life, even though I have battled with what I term "low periods."   Last week, when I finally shook off the lethargy and sadness that had been holding me captive for a few weeks, I felt great.  Rejuvenated.  Life was good.  I ran 5 miles on Thursday and felt better than I have in ages.  Things were looking up.

And then on Saturday, everything changed and I spent a solid 24 hours either crying or trying not to cry.  I'm still feeling sad and terrified, but at least the crying seems to have stopped.

I hate that I cry over everything.  It's a physical reaction that I have never been able to control - when I get even the slightest bit sad, I cry.  When I get really angry, I cry.  When I get really happy, I cry.  I have no control and it's very very annoying.

When my husband told me that he wants me to get a job, ASAP, I was sad, scared, and angry.  Hence the uncontrollable bursts of crying for a solid day.  Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions and calls me lazy - the reason I'm upset that I have to get a job right now is not because I'm opposed to working.  I have been looking forward to going back to work when my daughter is in school full time.  But she's not yet.  Which means that not only do I have to find a job and aftercare for my son, I have to find daycare for my daughter, plus whatever job I find will actually have to pay enough to pay for that daycare, plus enough extra that it's actually helpful for me to have said job.

On top of that, I'm terrified because I've never actually looked for work.  All of the jobs I've ever had just kind of fell into my lap. I've gone on interviews, but they were formalities.  I have never actually had to WORK to get a job.  Now, after a nearly 7 year hiatus from the work force, I'm scared that I won't find anything - especially in this job market, with my limited skills, plus my lack of a degree.

Plus - and this is the part that really kills me - in order to save money while I'm looking for a job right now, we've decided to pull my daughter out of the preschool she's in.  I am more broken-hearted over that than anything else we've cancelled.  (No Christmas party this year, no trip to New Orleans for me to run the Rock N Roll half marathon...)

Reading back over this post, I want to smack myself.  I know that people have things way worse and that I'm so incredibly lucky that I've had the past nearly 7 years to stay home with my kids.  I know that getting a job and putting my kids in daycare is not the end of the world. I know that taking my daughter out of preschool (when she can already read anyway) is not the end of the world.   I'm just feeling so lost right now, and all of my normal optimism has fled and I am just terrified that things are not going to work out.   My husband is the pessimist, not me, I don't know where my faith has gone.

It doesn't help that it's 20 degrees outside and I just want to eat cookies and curl up on the couch.

Anybody have any optimism I can borrow?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dashing Through The Snow

I was thinking that yesterday's post might have seemed strange to some people.  I cleaned my kitchen, and I was excited about it?  Granted, we all know that runners want a pat on the back for everything (my eyes are going to pop out, I'm rolling them so hard!), but really it's pretty simple.  I've always struggled with a mild form of depression, ever since I can remember.  I've been in therapy at a few different points in my life, I've been prescribed medication (that I never took), etc, etc.  It's never been a HUGE deal, which is why I don't talk about it all that much, but it's always there, just kind of below the surface.

As I've gotten older, I've gotten better about dealing with feelings when they come up - in fact, running has helped me immensely.   Lately, I've been in a low spot.  Not running, going off of my birth control, the changing seasons, lots of little things have pooled together and brought me into one of my low periods.  Hence, the "Yay!" moment when I was able to have a productive day yesterday, after a few weeks of lethargy.

. . . and that concludes our "Confessions!" portion of today's show.  Moving on.

Last night I got an email from a family friend.  She and her daughter were signing up for the Dazzle Dash that's being held this weekend, and wanted to know if I wanted to go.  She said she thought of me because I'm a runner.  #1, let's stop for a second so I can go "Yay! Someone thinks I'm a runner!"   LOL  And #2 - what the heck is a Dazzle Dash?   I knew it involved holiday lights, but I wasn't sure the distance, etc, etc.  The crazy limited miles I've been running lately have already lead me to decide not to go to the 5K I had scheduled the weekend after Thanksgiving, so I wasn't automatically sure that I could do any dazzling dashing.  I looked up the event.  Turns out it's a 1.4 mile walk or run through a big Christmas light display that's put on by the hospital every year. (Usually, you drive through it)  Alrighty then!  So I'm all signed up.  =)

I'm hoping that this will be the "baby step" that I need to get me back into running.  A fun event with friends, no pressure, no fuss.  Just having a good time getting a little exercise, which is why I started running in the first place.  I'm looking forward to Saturday! 

Have you ever run in a holiday themed event?  Did you dress up? 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tidy Tuesday

Alarm was set to go off at 6.  At 5:58, I woke up, saw that my husband was still in bed, and turned my alarm off.  Woke up approximately and hour later and rolled out of bed, trying to decide how I felt about yet again not doing what I told myself I was going to do.  Apathy is a weird emotion.  Or lack of emotion?  I don't know.  It's strange.

My kids woke up and we went through our normal morning ritual.  I gathered up my running clothes and hopped into the shower, and somewhere between shampooing and conditioning, I decided that running was not going to happen today.  Other parts of my life needed to be tended to.  Running could wait.

As I typed those last words just now, I nearly cringed, knowing that running has been waiting.  It's been over a month since I've done any real running, and I feel like I've been *thisclose* to not being able to call myself a runner anymore.  But that's another topic for another post.

Where was I?  Oh, right.  In the shower. (My apologies - "Don't picture it!" as my aunt used to say)  After deciding not to run, I felt lighter, and I began to think of all the things that I would do today, instead, while my daughter was in school.   Run errands.  Clean house.  Listen to Christmas music (don't judge).  Have coffee. Blog.  Be.  

Guess what?  I did all of those things.  I went to Target and got all the things on my list (and a few that weren't!).  I came home, had breakfast and watched Sleepy Hollow, and then I put on some Christmas music, cranked it up, and proceeded to clean my kitchen. It felt wonderful.  I danced, I sang, I scrubbed, I got funny looks from my dog.... It was great.

Now I have about an hour before I have to go get my daughter from school, and I think I'm going to spend some of that time vacuuming.  Exciting, right?  Well, no.  But shaking off the lethargy of these past weeks feels good.  Even if I'm not directing my energy into running or working out, at least I'm not sitting on my butt watching t.v. and eating Girl Scout cookies feeling crappy about myself.

(Though I may have a Thin Mint or two after I vacuum.  I'm only human, after all)

Do you ever listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving?  I never used to, but I kinda liked it today. =)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Funday

Yesterday I thought a lot about motivation - or, rather, the lack thereof.  I told myself that this week, I'd get up early and actually do all the things I've been putting off.  Exercise, housework, etc, etc.  Pfft.  Or not.

Alarm went off at 6.  Anyone want to guess what time I got up?  6:38.  Both kids had appointments at the dentist this morning, so no housecleaning got done.  By the time my daughter and I got home it was time for lunch, then her naptime.  I did manage to throw a load of laundry in the washer.   Quick, someone get me that mother of the year award!   


By the time we picked my son up from school, I'd worked up enough pissed-off-ness (at myself) that I told the kids to leave their shoes on, cuz it was outside fun time!  They cheered, because lately only my husband has taken them outside.  I've been glued to the couch (or the computer) more than I care to admit lately.  All of my get up and go "got up and went," to steal a phrase from.... someone.  

This afternoon, though, it was nearly 70 degrees out and the sun was shining.  There was no reason in the world for us to stay inside - especially when I had a yard full of leaves that needed raking.  10 big bags of leaves later, my shoulders were a little sore, and my throat was scratchy, but I felt like maybe I wasn't completely worthless, after all.  

We'll see what tomorrow brings.  I hope I'll actually get up when the alarm goes off.  I hope I'll go for a decent length run.  I hope I'll finish raking the leaves.  Notice how I'm doing a lot of hoping, and not a lot of promising? 

Hope, I have.  I guess what I need is more courage. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I've been looking for motivation lately.  Motivation to workout, to lose weight, to eat better, and just generally be a better version of myself.   It hasn't been working.  In addition to joining a DietBet, I joined Jenny Hadfield's 2013 Holiday Challenge.  No money involved in that one, but again, I was trying to get some motivation up.

Today, as I sat on my couch with my kids while they watched t.v, all of us succumbing to what I like to think of as Sunday Sloth, I picked up my Kindle and began to re-read "Half-Assed: A Weight-Loss Memoir."  At one point, Jennette Fulda writes:

People waited for motivation to find them, but they needed to go out and find motivation . . .
You just have to do it, even though you don't want to.  If you saw diet and exercise as optional, you were screwed.  It was nonnegotiable.  

Well.  How's that for a nice kick in the tushy?   Here I sit, in my comfy p.j.'s, waiting to want to work out, and Ms. Fulda comes along with her truth and just calls me on my crap.

I have to...  just do it?  Nike is right?  There's not going to be some magical pixie dust one morning that turns me into the person I want to be, the one who is dedicated, never skips a workout, and doesn't quit when things get hard?  I have to do it on my own, even though I don't want to?  Well shit.

I guess I have some decisions to make.

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Over Under

If you're a runner and you've turned on your computer, phone, or tablet in the past few days, you've probably seen the piece in the Wall Street Journal by Chad Stafko entitled "Ok, You're a Runner. Get Over It." If you have somehow missed it, go ahead, click on the link.  I'll be here when you get back.

*elevator music*

Ok, we all on the same page now? I have seen lots of responses to this article, including one from Mark Remy of Runners World.  People have called the original piece "stupid," "rude," "full of asshattery," etc, etc.  While I was out on my run yesterday morning, I was thinking of the article and how I am pretty much the exact opposite of the "typical runner" that he described.  You know, the one who wants attention?

I ran on a paved trail yesterday so that I didn't have to run through my neighborhood, because I didn't really want to be seen by anyone.  Some days, running through my neighborhood makes me self conscious - because of my weight, because of my speed (or lack there of), because of all the little things that make up my insecurities.  I prefer to run in the park or on the trail because 99.999999% of the people that I encounter in those places are also out there, running (or biking).  They understand why I'm out there, as I've said before, they are my tribe.  My  people.  I am not ashamed to be running a 12:30 pace and get passed by someone doing a 7:00 pace.  Doesn't bother me in the least - because I am out there, same as they are, and we are the same at that  moment.

Non-runners, however (like the illustrious Mr. Stafko), make me self conscious.  Why is that?  Why do I let someone who does not (maybe cannot?) do the things that I do feel bad about the way in which I do them?
Why is it that when I run through my neighborhood, I fervently hope that I don't see anyone that I know?  It makes no sense.

I'm not sure where I'm going with all of this, except to say that the WSJ "article" was a piece of junk, and that I run for me, not for any "pat on the back."   Also, I need to stop thinking negatively about myself when I run through my neighborhood!

I'm sure I had other, grander points to make, but I started this post on Thursday and it's now Friday and honestly, my blog post ideas can be fleeting. LOL

In other news...... I am down 1.2 lbs, which I am happy with, but if I continue to lose 1.2 lbs per week over the next few weeks, I will not win my DietBet.  So I need to step it up!  "Dieting" is not my thing, but I have been paying attention to what I'm eating, and getting back into running is helping, too.  The Girl Scout cookies that were delivered to my house on Wednesday, however.... yeah, they're not helping so much.  Though, for the first time in the history of the world, I've had 4 boxes of cookies (well, I had 5, but I gave one way pretty much immediately - thank you, Liz! LOL) in my house since Wednesday, and I have only eaten a couple of cookies.  Normally over the course of two days it would have been a couple of BOXES.  So I say that's progress! =)    It also helps that I went to the dentist yesterday and my mouth hurt for hours afterwards.  No eating for this girl! I even went to bed at 8pm yesterday, so I got to skip my usual 9pm snack when I'm up watching crappy t.v. =)

Fingers crossed I can keep up the reigned-in eating, and I can step up my running and working out.  We'll see.

Happy Friday, all!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cold Front (and back, and sides...)

Holy Guacamole, I was not expecting 41 degrees to feel so cold today! Apparently it's time to dig out my (limited) cold weather running gear. Brrr!  Shivering burns calories, right?

Speaking of burning calories... Yeah, I'm not. I think I've actually gained a little since I started my DietBet. Ugh. Fall just makes me want to eat! 

Ok. That's a lie. Breathing makes me want to eat. Still. Ugh. 

So anyway....  

I've decided to go back to run/walking for awhile. I'm not really "feeling" running right now, and I need to do something different to keep myself going.  Today's run was all-running and while it felt good, it was only 2 miles. Anything longer than that and I kinda get bored these days. So, run/walking it will be for awhile. 

What I finally got through my thick skull is that running/being active is a lifelong thing, and like anything else in life, it will change over time. So I'll run/walk for awhile, then run again, then maybe take a break or add speedwork back in... Who knows. The main point is that I keep on keepin' on, in whatever way works best at that particular moment.  There is no "right" way to run. You just... Run.

So. Let's run.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Day Dawning

Oh, hi there!  I wasn't sure how long I'd be away from the blogosphere, hence my "pause" post, but it seems I have returned to the land of the living (and running), so why not blogging, too?

I spent three weeks after my race basically being a total slug.  I ran once each week,  in a very half-assed manner.  I ate all the food.  I gained 4 lbs.  Essentially, I was in a pit of doom.  Of my own making.  With leftover Halloween candy mocking me.

Then, last weekend, I turned on the t.v., and there was the New York City Marathon.


 I sat and watched as the elites battled it out, and I checked my NYCM app for updates on my friends who were running the race. I got excited about running again.  Of course, after 3 weeks of lethargy, my "Whee! I wanna ruuuunnnnnnn!!" was soon replaced by "Oh, crap.  I have to run."

So I told myself I'd start easy.  6 - 8 miles this week.  Baby steps.  So far, it's working.  I ran on Tuesday and I ran today.  I even did a workout DVD this afternoon while the kids were at school.  (I know, right? Crazy)

Other than my rekindled love for running, I do have another motivation to get up off the couch.   Money.

Have ya'll heard of DietBet?  Feel free to go to the website to read all about it, but the short version is this - you pay $20 (or $30, whatever the bet is) and try to lose X amount of weight over the duration of the bet.  If you are successful, you and anyone else who is successful split the pot.   The bet I'm doing runs from tomorrow through Dec. 6th and the challenge is to lose 4% of my body weight.  The pot is over $18,000 at this point.  EIGHTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.   According to the website, 31% (I think) of people who do these bets win.  There are about 900 people in my bet.  So let's make the numbers easy and say  300 people will win the bet.  If I'm one of them, that means I get $60.   Which means a $40 profit, AND I will have lost 6 lbs.  Score! =)     Of course, in my fantasy, I am the ONLY one who wins the bet, and I get the ENTIRE $18K.   Wouldn't that be nice?  LOL

Anyway, I weighed myself in last night, and started calorie counting and blah blah today.  I'm not really big into "diets," but I have gained back all the weight I've lost this year (at one point, I was 8 lbs lighter than I am now) and I'm a little bummed, so anything to kick me in the pants and get me headed in the right direction is a good thing.   Right? Right.   Plus, I hate to lose a bet!

Also, I'm about 12 weeks away from my next half marathon.  Which means I've got to get a move on, not to mention get my nutrition figured out so I don't get sick again this time.  

PLUS! PLUS - I'm going to be thirty five (shhhh!!!) in January.  I can't start another year this heavy/out of shape.  It's just no fun.

Ok, I'm sick of me already, which means I'm sure ya'll are, too.  I should have baby-stepped my way back into blogging instead of dumping a long post on you guys with no fun pictures or anything.

Wait, hold on.


Ah, doggies.  They make everything better.  

Friday, November 1, 2013


Taking a little break. 

I'll leave you with this t-shirt I saw at Target the other day.