real life

The last I left off, I was moaning and groaning about how much stuff I had, and the whole packing saga.  I ranted about Ariel and her hoarding; she made it look cool in the movie but in reality so.much.stuff. is overwhelming when it comes to packing … or sometimes even in everyday life.

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Silly me!  I didn’t realize Simon’s middle name was “Cat” until the vet visit.  Poor guy – he desperately needed some “sedagives” for this trip.  

Anyway, I jumped in my (overflowing) car about 6 days after my goal leave date.  I was on my own, well, Simon-Cat was my co-pilot, I shouldn’t discount his presence.  It was a harrowing experience.  The whole drive was fraught with danger – no seriously, one blown out tire, and 3 others that “should’ve blown out as well”, Simon-Cat’s Houdini escape during Chicago traffic and tornado winds in Montana.  Not to mention, my previous (completely unrealistic and just plain stupid) plan to make it back to WA in 4 days.  Oh, let’s not forget how I don’t like to drive.  The title of my blog makes more sense everyday.

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Simon-Cat found very strange places to sleep at hotels and while we waited for our tires in 95+ heat, we sat in the car for over an hour with the AC on full blast.  Since I had to take a few different routes, I kept resetting my destinations and here is the Little Orange Bug That Could sitting all pretty on the ferry ride to home!

I got back in 7 days.

It was also filled with multiple meltdowns by Simon-Cat and me.  Hotels that got worse and worse as the days dragged on; the second to last one had hallways littered with stains.  I’m certain the staff simply gave up because one particular vomit stain was merely wiped up – I avoided this landing all together.  And I know my stains, living with college students for 13 years means an extensive, albeit at times unnatural, educational experience.  The Motel 6 was my last stop and with this one I used a tissue to utilize the remote control.  Trust me, you would’ve done the same.

My brother says I will be proud of myself one day.  I will look back and feel empowered by my 2,500 mile trek across a number of states.  I’m not so sure about this.  The jury is still out and I’ve yet to get that warm, fuzzy feeling of accomplishment.

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I’ll never recover from this.  Front and back of the treacherous tire.

When I got back I was able to rest for a whole 5 seconds before attempting to finish pulling together our 20th high school reunion.  This too, came with a whole bundle of chaos and my already rattled nerves were shot by the end of the 2 1/2 weeks until event time.  After which, I slept for DAYS.  The rest of July was spent recovering from 2 1/2 months of stress, anxiety and the non-stop questioning of “did I make the right choice for Simon-Cat and me”?  You see, Simon-Cat threw up at least once everyday for about a month.  It was no fun.  He still is more pukey than normal and his new nemesis is the garbage truck.  He is not yet sold on being a Washingtonian.

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high school and bestie reunion FUN!

August rolled around and I started to realize the freedom I now had since I’m no longer part of the higher ed world.  It was nuts.  I made plans for a weekend in August without checking 3 different calendars!  Such a luxury – seriously, I’m not exaggerating.  I’ve been involved in before school starts higher ed activities since my sophomore year of college.  It was/is BIZARRE.  Job searching also commenced.  My original plan was to head over to a bigger city nearby but after spending time with my family, I am currently looking for options here in town along with our neighboring one.  I like the idea of being closer even if the one further away has a Trader Joe’s.  So far, my options are slim – even in the bigger city.  This is a bit of a downer.

Which takes us to the last couple of weeks.  It’s quite strange to be unemployed.  I’m aimlessly going through the days and have become an official insomniac.  There are a ton of complications from the outside world that come with not having a job; for instance, I don’t get a regular paycheck anymore.  Boo!  I miss this!  Nor do I have medical insurance currently and guess what?  Prescriptions are spendy!  I kind of feel like I’m in a bounce house with a bunch of hooligan kids who enjoy making me lose my balance and fumble onto the floor and against the sides.  This has happened before so I am literally familiar with the feeling!

bounce-house-o
hopefully, it’s clear this isn’t me, I wanted to provide a visual to drive my point home!

During these last two weeks, I decided to officially become a LuLaRoe Fashion Consultant.  I’m currently hanging out in the que (it takes about 4-6 weeks to become a consultant) but my mind is constantly swimming with ideas, doubts and excitement about this adventure.  There are times when I can’t sleep (part of the aforementioned insomina) because I am putting outfits together in my brain utilizing this versatile clothing line along with pieces I already own.  While I want to get started right now! I also realize the wait is good so I can get myself organized.  I will be doing a full post on becoming a business owner and what this entails in the near future.

When I type all of this out, it seems like there has been a lot happening.  And realistically, there has, but life is so up in the air that it’s hard to see where I’ve made progress and where I need to concentrate my efforts.  One thing is absolute:  I made the right decision to move back the great Pacific Northwest and to be with my family.  I am still finding my way here, this much is true.  Nevertheless, it is where I belong.

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Truth

This here, is a recap of the last 3 months in a Reader’s Digest format.  I know anecdotes (mostly humorous) will find their way into future posts as I seriously skimmed through a lot but this is a good start to returning to my love of writing and blogging.  Happy to be back!

 

wkend eve – thankfully

I know I should be all carpe diam and appreciating each moment like it’s a precious gift… However, if the universe offers me any more “gifts” this week, I may simply attempt to send them back.  Wednesday night I was laying in bed, completely exhausted.  The trying moments of the week were weighing on me.  I MADE myself focus on some of the good things and started to see that they did push some of the not so good things aside.  Mostly.

A snippet of the things going wrong: sat in something at the caf and didn’t realize it until I got home.  A pair of my favorite pants are most likely ruined.  When I was soaking them I also noticed they are getting a hole on the inner thigh.  I am more disappointed than I should be but I’ve had these pants for approximately 9 years and I really like them!  (I get attached easily – I was wearing shorts I got back in 1998 when I wrote this.)

I’m bloated.  Had a migraine on Wednesday as my allergies are amped up on steroids.  Or more precisely, the pollen is amped up on steroids.  This in turn has caused a very raw nose that I’ve had to vaseline and is quite unsightly.  I’m pretty embarrassed and I’ve got a comment or two.  Basically, I’ve felt crummy this week for all kinds of reasons.  Yesterday I *broke* my office computer, which essentially means it quit working when I attempted to turn it on.  I am seriously a jinx it when it comes to electronics.

I do try to not get caught up in the whole, “my life sucks” and instead recognize that all days can’t be winner, winner chicken dinner.  I get it.  So, Wednesday night I started thinking of what DID go right…

yes, I can be

My incredible niece turned 20!  I just love her to pieces and I am so stinkin’ proud of her.  I can’t wait to see her in a month and a half.  I also got my nephew’s high school graduation announcement – so weird!  I seriously dig this kid as well and I’m lucky to have them both in my life.

Run camp.  Reaching out to everyone has proven to be a wise choice.  I’ve received a lot of “you can dooo it(s)” from people – a great support.  I don’t mind asking for help to lift a heavy box or something but when it comes to an area where I feel I should be strong, I struggle.  One of my friends has a nifty plan in the works to help me get motivated and make it to those early Saturday morning runs.  I’ve yet to hear what this plan is but people have my back.  It gives me confidence and some hope.

even harrison ford and the wookie want me to succeed

If I put half as much effort into my life as I do making sure I don’t have to make a second trip after the grocery store I would be the president of the United States by now.  Just an entertaining thought.

I had a solid run at lunch yesterday.  I was frustrated before I left and by the time I was finished I felt like a normal person; not the crazed one who left 35 minutes earlier.  I forget this feeling sometimes.

I got some free movie theater popcorn.  I also went to this charity dinner gig and saw one of my Dopey running mates.  Simon has been quite cuddly this week as well.  The other night he was laying in the crook of my arm with one paw draped across my chest.  Another heart melting moment for me.

I watched the third season of Sherlock – I thought it was great!

I recognize these aren’t earth shattering problems but sometimes when things stack up, I feel steamrolled.  I know some of it is part of the stew pot of anxiety/depression and I’m working on building up my “bounce back” reserve so these silly things don’t feel like such a big deal.  See?  Here’s me being all Pollyanna.  There’s hope for me yet.  Maybe I’ll carpe of this diem.

*Edited*  My sister sent me these socks today.  I absolutely cried out in joy when I opened the package.  Yep, I’ve got a really fantastic sister!

my trex love runs deep
my trex love runs deep

fun finds & penguins

Here are a few of my fun finds.  This is the third time I’ve typed this sentence as my stupid thumb brace has somehow magically hit all of the buttons in tandem to erase what I’ve typed.  Maybe it was the blogging gods giving me a hint…

Anyway, here we go:

First and foremost this most fabulous gif ever:

I know, I can’t help it, I’m in love with these penguins and their sort of sack race fun!

Yep, rewatch it as many times as you need/want to.  I’m in total and absolute love!

2.  At the expo this weekend I found this sweatshirt:

yay! run MI friends!

A “Run MI” hoodie!  I love me a good hoodie, or long sleeve t so this was perfect.  Not to mention it was only $25 AND it’s a decent color that won’t show too much cat hair.  Oh and Michigander pride!

3.  Honey Maid Grahamfuls.  These probably aren’t the most nutritious snack out there but it reminds of when we used to put frosting on graham crackers as a kid.  I got the peanut butter/chocolate flavor but there are a bunch to pick from.  They are tasty.

4.  Adding mini chocolate chips to my Chobani snack size yogurt.  Mini chocolate chips are too fun so I’m compelled.

again, any reason to have dean on my blog

5.  Have you seen these Procompression socks?  Oh goodness, I LOVE polka dots!  I’m getting the sleeves.  They are the sock of the month so they are cheap (use coupon code BRD).

procompression sock of the month

6.  Did you know ants hate cinnamon?  I didn’t either and I’m hoping it’s true.  There must be an ant nest outside of my apt because I’ve been seeing a few of these bad boys.  They aren’t giant carpenter ants (vomit) but they aren’t the itty-bitty ones either.  I think they are the middle children of the ant family.  I’ve lined my window sills with cinnamon as it isn’t dangerous for Simon.  Fingers crossed this works and doesn’t attract other critters, which I didn’t even consider until office mate suggested chipmunks might like it.  Just something else for me to worry about when lying in bed at night.

7.  New sunglasses.  I ALMOST bought the white polka dot ones (see the above proclamation of love) however, they were just a bit TOO big.  Settled on another gem that are still bigger but don’t completely eat my face up.

I sent this pic to my sister and friend for opinions
I sent this pic to my sister and friend for opinions

8.  Yuengling – as I may have mentioned, I’m not a huge beer fan but more and more it’s growing on me.  Sometimes I find it odd that the running culture does include quite a bit of beer consumption… just a thought… I had one of these puppies the other night before the race and it was very drinkable.  I will definitely purchase in the future.

9.  Head scarves!  I’m wearing one in the above sunglasses pics and I adore them.  Headbands give me headaches and these are perfect.  I haven’t gone to bohemian in the styling quite yet but the option is there.  Target, friends – they are a bit shorter than the neck scarves although you can still wear them in this fashion as well.

10.  Some good songs.  Office mate is my personal DJ and he has great taste in music.  Many of my new favorite songs on my running mix I hear first at work.  Unfortunately, they are on my ipod which is currently somewhere so I can’t give you any names.  More to come…

11.  I guess I didn’t really find this per say, it’s more like I put it into action.  I’m trying to make working out more of a habit as opposed to something I do my best to wiggle out of on a daily basis.  I don’t want to THINK it’s optional.  I took mini post-its, numbered them 1-21 and get to remove one each day I do a work out.  I’ve also established how many days I can actually miss during this period before I have to start completely over again.  Like a reverse advent calendar, I’m loving ripping one of those suckers off the wall.  I missed 3 days in a row this week though so it’s time to start over.  I was going to give myself one more day to hop back on the train but time to be more honest with myself.

is it just me?  or does this 21 look a little smug?
is it just me? or does this 21 look a little smug?

Here I go again…  That’ll do for now me thinks.

indy wrap up – written between naps

Since I returned from Indy, I’ve been exhausted.  I attribute this to the following:

1. Long run on Sunday

2. Late nights and early mornings

3. Sitting in sessions all day – my brain is tired.

4. Heavy meals.  REALLY heavy meals.

5. TONS of walking

While I had a good time, I was very happy to be home.  Of course for the last few days, all I’ve done is nap off and on and go to the bathroom.  TMI?

Well, just hang with me for a few minutes…

I traveled with some serious food-lovers.  This wasn’t a negative, I love food as well so it worked out to the benefit of all of us.  I tried a few new things and we tried to hit up as many local places as possible.  I ate my first etouffee – a chilly cheese version with crawfish.  YUM!  I love crawfish!

Then I discovered a pecan praline.  Maybe I’ve had one before?  It couldn’t have been that good because I forgot all about it.  Needless to say, I won’t forget about this one anytime soon!

this was massively sweet and it took me four days to eat - worth it!
this was massively sweet and it took me four days to eat – yum!

A bison burger… I’ve had bison before so this wasn’t the epiphany part of my meal.  I had a fried egg on my burger for the first time ever.  I was hugely hesitant and voiced my concerns.  Soon after this, I wasn’t talking at all because I was stuffing my face with this goodness.  Definitely a treat and definitely something I could only eat on special occasions.

We went to a combo Thai/jazz bar restaurant (yep, we are probably thinking the same thing) and it was delicious.  It was a huge plate of crab fried rice and one of my coworkers enjoyed the other half.  We also found a local pub with such excellent fare, it won our patronage twice during our week-long visit.  All in all, there were some seriously good eats.  BUT all of the restaurant foods made me swell up like a balloon!  I’m sensitive to water retention and considering I don’t eat out very much, I was shocked by the outcome of all the eating out (and a few adult beverages) had on me.  How do I know?

I lost 5lbs of water in a 24 hour period!  On the drive home, I went to the bathroom before we left and MAYBE a half hour later I had to go again.  This was happening the whole entire time I was in Indy as well.  I was being very intentional about drinking water while there too as I was constantly thirsty.  And while this is kind of a funny story, the fact is, I know it’s really bad for me.  My ankles were swelling on a daily basis and my not-tight-at-all socks left indents on my lower legs.  YIKES!

Yep, I peed out every last ounce of water from my body (and hopefully all of the sodium).  Alas, how does this fit into my body image (semi) crisis of last week?  Well, I tried to walk as much as possible and avoided snacking.  My meals were packed solid with sodium and calories but I also knew I would be back home soon and I could focus on a healthier routine then.  Stressing about it while there wasn’t going to help me at all.  I also left food on the plate and tried to ensure I wasn’t overeating.  It wasn’t easy, the goodness would call to me!  I ate breakfast every morning and didn’t drink any pop.  Small victories but victories nonetheless.  And wouldn’t you know it?  I didn’t gain any weight (aside from the water) while I was there.  I just feel crappier health-wise.

One good thing about going on a vacation is coming back and being able to jump into healthier habits.  My body is CRAVING some quality nutrients!  OH!  And not to be a total coffee snob but I’m going to be… I’m happy to be back because I couldn’t get a good cup of coffee to save my life!  One day it was marginal and that was it.  I tried a new place everyday – some local and some chains, nope.  Sad.

We walked back and forth (and back and forth – times this by a lot!) to the various restaurants and by the end of the week, I could find my way around without the help of google maps.  In fact, I would say I know some areas of downtown Indy better than areas here in Kzoo!  Indy is a fun city.  It closes down fairly early in the evenings though and at times were walking home and NO ONE was out and about – not even cars.  It was so strange.

From our hotel, I saw this funky building.  I was fascinated by how it appears to be paper-thin.  I mean, beyond obsessed!

I swear, this isn't a trick of the camera - you wacky architects!
I swear, this isn’t a trick of the camera – you wacky architects!

Then there was this funky little door/window that led to a roof access.  The door is my size!

so cute... so inviting... I'm so weird...
so cute… so inviting… I’m so weird…

Again, happy to be home, getting back into a routine and hanging out with Simon.  The poor dude missed me and has barely left my side since coming home.  If you get the chance to visit Indianapolis, do it!

firstworld woes

beware – whining ahead…

haha, I quote this movie all of the time!

Yesterday was a draining day.  It started out with the lovely sounds of vomit.  Simon was throwing up – on my bed.  I swear, I channeled my inner ninja and jumped out of the bed with lightning speed!  While I didn’t totally avoid a barfy comforter, I was able to manage the damage.  Oh Simon… I love ya… and then his pitiful “meww” made my heart/frustration melt.  This was at 5 am and it was an omen.  DON’T GET OUT OF THE BED FOR THE WHOLE DAY if this happens to you.  For reals.

poor little dude did not feel well.
poor little dude did not feel well.

Once I fell back to sleep (this took a while, which is very uncommon for me), I had the lovely experience of waking up incredibly late.  I ended up needing to take annual leave since I wasn’t able to get to work until 10:30 am.  *Sigh*

Okay, so these aren’t terrible problems and normally I would just laugh them off and be fine with it.  However, I ran out of one of my meds on Friday night and these are my calming meds for the anxiety beast in me.  So, little problems suddenly become LARGE problems.  Anxiety and irritability were coursing through my veins and within 10 mins of being at work, I started crying a little.  I forgot the pharmacy closed early on Saturday and Sunday so I missed the pick up.  It’s completely my fault and I definitely regretted my malfunctioning memory.  I should have worn a sign around my neck yesterday reading, “do not approach – you’ve been warned”.  Why isn’t this allowed anyway??  My poor office mate was nice enough to bear with me for a couple of hours but he didn’t return in the afternoon – I’m not surprised!  Having anxiety is the pits.

Again, the following isn’t a big deal but… I was also wearing uncomfortable undies.  Can you see a trend here?  I have this odd thing with underwear, which is a story for later.  But it’s been with me since childhood.  Why the troublesome undies?  Because my laundry mountain rivals that of Everest.  It’s embarrassing and kind of pathetic.  I need to buck up and get it done or at least wash two loads.  I think this will allow me to feel a bit more in control of my life!  I have no idea why this would be a contributing factor to my semblance of control but there you go – another look into my psyche.

oh my gosh – I’ve always thought the snuggle bear was creepy and now I will have nightmares

After work, all I wanted to do was drink run okay, who am I kidding?  I wanted a nap.  My calves were still  sore from my weekend o’ running and I’m certain it’s from training outside on hills rather than my treadmill.  I was sporting some compression socks yesterday under my work pants and this helped tremendously.  Despite my silly despair yesterday, I am proud of myself with the running.  9 miles on Saturday and 5 on Sunday – I felt accomplished considering it was chilly and my apartment was toasty warm!

I could not figure out how to refill this.  My troubles are hard, friends.

seriously, I still couldn't figure it out by the end of the work day.  It just sat there, mocking me
seriously, I still couldn’t figure it out by the end of the work day. It just sat there, mocking me

Well, this is essentially a list of woes that are miniscule when compared to real problems.  I do understand this.  One of the downfalls of having anxiety is a serious lack of perspective at times!  The logical part of my brain understands this but the rest of my brain completely panics rather than simply acknowledging it’s a lame day.  I used to be ashamed of my anxiety and depression; I thought it meant I was weak and I just needed to push through it.  Noooot quite the case.  Meds, diet, exercise and sleep all play a big role in managing it (and friends and family!).  Some days one of them (anxiety or depression) might win – like yesterday.  Good thing I have today to start over, yeah?

And to end with a silver lining!  The following came in the mail AND a coworker brought this back from WI!  Cheese and beer (well, this kind of beer) can bring one so much happiness.

my dopey shirt finally came! they didn't have any at the expo
my dopey shirt finally came! they didn’t have any at the expo

and

this is a great beer - and I'm not much of a beer drinker
this is a great beer – and I’m not much of a beer drinker

is that runner-girl drunk?!

No, I wasn’t drunk.  But toward the end of yesterday’s 9 miler, I was kind of weaving so it looked like I was!

this is about how fast I was going too

I need to back up a bit…  Friday night I stepped on the treadmill fully prepared to run 5 miles.  Due to some sickness during the week, I hadn’t run since Monday and I felt it.  Also, pain killers were my friend this week and I think these added to my sluggish steps and made for this awful run.  My dad called at mile 2.6 and then I didn’t get back on the treadmill.

Soul-sucking run – Check!

nope. done.

I figured Saturday should be a redemption run, right?  I knew I wanted to go a bit longer but didn’t have a firm number in mind when I set out – yes, outside.  This was a huge help.  I felt pretty good in the beginning.  I ran up this giant hill and then ran around downtown.  I increased my speed for about a mile and half.  It felt great!

goooo Amy gooooo!

When I do my longer runs, I get nervous about speed since I want to have enough energy to finish.  I need to stop being so cautious since I’m never going to get faster unless I attempt to push it.  In theory this is the right attitude.  In practice, it sure is tough!

I did have to end up walking a little at three separate times.  I was kind of bummed but I know in a week or two, I won’t have to again so this is helpful.  My last mile and half I was bobbing and weaving like a drunken sailor.  I was BEAT.  My hip was hurting.  My ankle was hurting.  My legs were exhausted.  So, while I thought about hitting some double digits, it would only to be able to say, “I hit double digits!”.  It certainly wasn’t the smart thing considering my body was yelling at me to stop.  At least I listened.

I probably wasn’t exactly ready to run 9 miles.  Two weeks ago I did 8 and that felt MUCH better than yesterday’s 9.  I haven’t done enough during the week to support these longer runs and I know this is the way you get injuries.  My calves are TIGHT this morning.  I failed to foam roll/Tiger Tail last night and I’m regretting it today.  My plan is to hit a few more miles today since the weather is cooperating.  Not to mention, yesterday’s run was only marginally better than the aforementioned soul-sucking one so I need some good running mojo.

OH!  That reminds me – yesterday’s run also included a forceful headwind, some snow and chilly weather.  I swear my weather app completely lied to me, they made it sound like the conditions were much friendlier than they turned out to be.  So I warmed up on the couch with Simon and some Twilight – I needed a good movie marathon.

this is EXACTLY how I feel about movie marathons on tv!

a water-drinking fiend

I did some of the running yesterday.  It wasn’t pretty.  I might have had something to do with me laying around until 8:15 pm and then attempting to coax my muscles into actually moving.  I’m fairly certain those muscles had atrophied during my couch laziness.  Of course that means today‘s run will be off the charts amazing – right?

I have the next two days off.  This week is spring break and I decided taking two days vacation was a good idea.  I was wrong – it was a fantastic idea!  I have all kinds of plans for this weekend, some of which involve some crafty business and cleaning all the things in my apt.  There is a chance none of this will happen and I will exist in my sweatpants and a hoodie, snuggling my cat.  It really is 50/50 at this point but I’m headed into it with some motivation.  Fingers crossed I can use this motivation for the greater good!

Today is the beginning of Lent.  I took one of those Buzzfeed surveys titled, “what you should give up for Lent”.  The survey determination?  Television.

Yep, I don’t know how I feel about this.  First of all, how does Buzzfeed know me so well?!  I swear, they have spies everywhere!  Or maybe they work for the NSA –  this makes more sense in my brain.  Anyway, this is probably a really good idea.  I’m sure I would get a lot more done if I didn’t spend time in front of the boob-tube.  However, I don’t want to give up tv.  There I said it.  But I could scale my tv watching down.  I should think of a time limit… or something.  I shall ponder this.

Last year I gave up my snooze button.  This was remarkably difficult.  I want to give it a shot again this year.  I failed my first day but I shall not give up!  I’m so completely addicted to my snooze button.  I set 3 alarms because I am this dependent on it.  I’ve read the science-y articles that say hitting snooze is detrimental to feeling awake but in the morning when I’m all warm and cozy it’s difficult to believe said science-y articles.

I also like to do things that are beneficial for Lent.  I guess the snooze button falls under this and I have a one or two other ideas that I’m hoping to put into action.

I got to pick these nummies up today!  Wahoo!

girl scout cookiesYou can bet your sweet bippy I tore into these about .03 seconds after I picked them up.  It would have been sooner but I figured stuffing my face with cookies in front of others would be less than appetizing.  I’m probably going to alienate many with this admission, nevertheless here is a truth about me:  I can’t stand Thin Mints.

Last and this is going to be TMI… I peed 10x yesterday!  This is huge for me!  To be honest, this is sometimes more than I pee in TWO days, let alone one.  I definitely have an issue with hydrating.  Today, I’m already on my third water bottle (24 oz) so I am very proud of myself.

 What are you proud of yourself for?

 Are you a Girl Scout cookie fan?  Which kind. 

ground sirloin taste on a ground chuck budget

Friday I went to the grocery store.  It was one of those trips where I needed toiletries along with food so the bill was heftier than I wanted.  That’s when I realized a) food is expensive – why do we have to eat?!  b) last week I bought two pairs of cords and two shirts for LESS than this grocery bill!  c) it’s quite possible I could have gone a bit cheaper on this trip.  Here is the rundown:

Non-food items: body wash, female products, cold cream – I didn’t NEED the cold cream.  I saw this commercial for Abaline and I thought, “hey, that’s cool!  Washing my face with cold cream, just like in the 50’s!”  I’m sure my decade is way off but I like the sound of it.  The cold cream was on clearance but was still $3.95

does the skin right!

Cat food:  Simon is one lucky and picky cat.  I stocked up on treats and cat food.  I also put down puppy training pads right outside of his litter box so he cleans his feet a bit.  It also stops him from tracking litter onto the carpet.

Regular food:  I’m making some white chicken chili this weekend and needed most of the ingredients for this.  Except for the chicken, which I already have, thankfully, as it wasn’t on sale.  Bacon, eggs, bananas, a frozen pizza (I despise cooking on Friday night), a jug of water and tomatoes.

Coffee:  I have a problem but we all knew this already.  I needed creamer (I bought 3 or 4 bottles) and coffee.  I finally found some coffee that I really like and is actually fairly cheap.  A bag is $5.00.  I really like grocery store blends/roasts and strongly recommend them.  All of my favorites are non-big coffee chains.

Kind Bars:  while these are so, so good they are not “kind” to my budget (ha!)!  They were on sale for $1.39 per bar.  Since I used to eat granola bars/breakfast bars for breakfast this is a great alternative.  It keeps me full a lot longer, it’s all natural and with a banana I’m good to go.

Chobani Flips:  yep, still in love with these!  My fridge is stocked and I eat this for breakfast or lunch.  These aren’t cheap either but my obsession controls my pocket-book!

When I write it out, it doesn’t seem like that much.  I do buy chocolate milk for after running and to take my meds with at night.  I didn’t buy a lot of snack foods although I did buy my current favorite chocolate, Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate and Caramel squares – oh so yummy

Still, where does all the money go?  My cart wasn’t even all the way full!  Sometimes when I am going through aisle and see families I don’t understand how they feed everyone!  Not to mention, our sales tax isn’t bad at all.  In WA it’s 8%.  While my budget could withstand some ground sirloin it better supports ground chucking it.  I’ve been thinking a lot about budget lately and how I use/spend my money.  There is something to be said for learning how to better manage my funds when I’m doing okay rather than when I’m financially pinched.  I’m almost completely out of credit card debt.  I’m ecstatic about this considering it will be the first time in 15 years where I won’t be dragging a credit card ball and chain.  Oddly enough, the other day when I went to buy my Hokas, the price tag made me a bit nervous at first (they were mega on sale so I bought two pairs)  so I almost put it on my credit card to make me feel better.  Thankfully, I realized this was silly.  It’s a habit.  I can fool myself into thinking I’m not really spending the money if I put it on the little 3.370 × 2.125 in piece of plastic with the magic black strip.

breaking the habit is hard – rejoice!

Then there is my running budget – absolutely a whole other post!

cat vomit is a form of foreshadowing

I’ve started to figure out that when Simon gets all ornery and doesn’t want to eat that he doesn’t feel well.  Yes, I am extremely perceptive and it’s only taken 7 years to put this pattern together.  I was waiting on the vomit since yesterday morning.  It was a sign

Sure enough the day was obnoxious.  I was irritated for the entire day and it just felt like everything was a process.  By the time I got home at 5:30 pm, I was beat.  REI processed my return incorrectly and rather than giving me a refund they sent me a gift card.  I wasn’t amused.  20 minutes on the phone did not resolve this issue but Simon finally puked so I guess some of the suspense was now over and maybe the crabby day would be done.

sicky face magee here needed some snuggling to make him feel better
sicky face magee here needed some snuggling to make him feel better

Thankfully I had my sweatpants and this to make me feel better :

my special friend
my special friend

I realize I shouldn’t be eating my stress away but a) this is my favorite ice cream ever and Kzoo finally got a Baskin Robbins and b) I decided I didn’t care!

Meanwhile, I haven’t been able to stop my fingers from googling races.  Yay!  Since my joyous reunion with distance running a week and a half ago I’ve been itching to hit the “register” button.  On.Every.Race.  It’s like I’m in an alien tracking beam.

look at he-man’s form at the end of the gif – pretty impressive toe-point!

Thankfully, I’ve held off… for the moment.  I know there are always races that I’ll sign up for along the way.  This year I don’t have a major destination marathon in the works.  I am going to do the Detroit Freepress Marathon in October (as long as time off works).  Detroit has garnered rave reviews and the fun fact of running over the border and into Canada and back is nifty.  The medals have a car on them, too.

I let my coach know, I want to cross the finish line of a 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours this year.  Jamie totally thinks this can be done.  I do agree with her, however, I want to give myself two options to achieve this: 1) Sunburst 1/2 in South Bend, IN.  You get to run through the Notre Dame stadium for the end of the race and proceeds benefit the NICU where my friend’s baby spent the first few days.  Race day is May 31st.  2)  Park to Park in Holland, MI.  I did this race this past Sept and it was my return to distance running.  I cried a bit as I hugged the pacers since they played a significant role in me finishing.  This race is Sept 27th.

Of course there are always a ton of other options with regards to finish lines.  I’m positive something else will catch my eye and I will figure out a way to register and run.  The Flying Pig marathon is one I’ve had my eye on and hopefully 2015 will be the year I can sign up for this little piggy!  Then there are 10k’s (my favorite) and 5k’s (less favorite) that I do every year as well.

How do you decide which races to sign up for?

Do you like to run the same race over and over?

dopey strategery

SNOW DAY!  Yes, I am going to concentrate on this first.  I’m currently hanging out on my couch, watching “Deadly Women” (Investigative Discovery show) and drinking coffee.  I even have a foot warmer in the form of this chubby bunny.

cubby bunnyOne more picture – this is an insight into one of my quirks… I am continuously convinced I can balance anything on anything.  In answer to your question, yes, I do spill a lot.

this really is why I can't have nice things
this really is why I can’t have nice things

As I mentioned, my game plan for Dopey is in the works.  Now I shall share it with you!

1.  I’m not going to wear my garmin – for any of the races.  This was a huge decision for me.  I want and need to run these races by feel.  I don’t want to get caught up in numbers or disappointment with not running a certain pace.  My biggest concern with this is getting swept for not going fast enough to beat the finish line requirements.  But the pros outweigh the cons in this situation.  And I may need to carry my cell phone so I can still check the time.

2.  Walking off and on – when Disney first provided participants with Jeff Galloway’s training plan for Dopey it involved the walk/run method.  I didn’t want to use it because as I mentioned I had (farfetched) hopes of not having to walk at all.  Now, I realize running the first two races and walking segments of both the 1/2 and the full will make this much more enjoyable.  Especially since I’ve come to this decision/realization now.

hmmm… I wonder if Mr. T is available on saturday and sunday…

3.  Laid back pace – I trained at a slower pace.  At first I tried to add in some speed work but decided to focus on distance instead.  I know, I’m pretty smart, eh?

4.  PR dreams have been set aside – yes.  This was ludicrous!

ludicrous speed no

5.  Ice bath – I plan on taking an ice bath after each race.  There will be a delay between crossing the finish line and getting back to my hotel so hopefully it won’t be too late for an ice bath to help with recovery.  I think it will be better than nothing though.

6.  Compression/stretching – Part of my running costumes are compression socks and I will wear them after the race as well.  I’m lousy at stretching but I will make this a prime focus.

7.  HAVE FUN!  I mentioned this yesterday but it’s a major focus for me.  This will be what keeps me going during the third and fourth races of the weekend.  It’s going to get me out of bed at 2:15 am.  It’s going to inspire me to live in the moment rather than dreading the next and longer race.  I’m excited.

wwe wrestler edge totally gets it

I am concerned about the heat and humidity.  I got it in my mind that last year heat/humidity was an anomaly and that it wasn’t normally humid in Jan.  In Florida.  I’ve started hydrating and will certainly be drinking gallons of water the rest of the week/weekend.  Last year, I took a water pill (WHAAAT was I thinking?) the Friday before the race in order to feel less bloated.  A bit of heat stroke was inevitable.

haha, this is kinda gross – I’m not even sure I had this much water in me last year

I will be escaping sub-zero temps here in MI though soooo I think I will survive!