some wkend oopsies

This weekend I made a few mistakes.  I shall detail them for you in hopes I can help you all avoid them in the future.  Also, I’ve included a couple of things I actually got right so I don’t sound so grumpy.

1.  Running – the oopsie:

A) Way overdressed-I was wearing long sleeves & capris.  It was about 65*.  Not a smart plan.

I bet they were as toasty as I was

B) I didn’t bring any water.  I didn’t exactly hydrate all that well during the day so this kicked me in the bum.  Speaking of lack of water, I also did a crummy job with fueling.  For some reason, I didn’t eat much prior to leaving & I was extremely hungry during the run.  By the way, I repeated the hydration mistake on Sunday too and I didn’t have to use the restroom for 10 hours.  Yeah, ridiculous, I deserve to have a crappy run.

C) You know, it would have helped if I had done some decent running during the week.  I have some excuses (of course) but really, I could’ve pushed through on some of those days and I didn’t.  Lame.

2.  Watching lots of teen angst tv – the oopsie

A)  I found a CW series on Netflix & it seriously had some drama.  But I couldn’t pull myself away.  AND there is only one season so I am going to end up disappointed!  Did that stop me?  Nope.  I haven’t quite finished the first season and I’m committed; however it fed into my feeling all emo.  Excellent – this is what I refer to as not the best life choice.

3.  Spending a holiday weekend alone – the oopsie

A)  Ok, so this isn’t an abnormal thing for me but it did make me feel kind of blue.  Needless to say, number 2 didn’t really help with this.

4.  Going to the store when feeling said blueness – the oopsie

A)  I spent $30 on incidentals.  It started with some coconut oil mousse & it blossomed from there.  Then there was this candle warmer thing that I convinced myself I should purchase since it was Easter & I needed a giftie.

What did I do well?  LAUNDRY!  Yay!  Good gravy, my laundry situation was ridiculous!  It really is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment to get it done.  I seem to forget this…  Please feel free to remind me!

Going to the grocery store!  Yes, this does contradict my previous statement but I had two prescriptions to pick up & I really wanted to put off going-like I had for the last two days.  I’m terrible about just getting it done despite it meaning I’m out of meds.  So again, an “I’m proud” moment.

Running. While Saturday’s run was fairly miserable, I did get up & do it.  There was about a mile in there that was enjoyable & so at least there is that.  Then I ran yesterday as well.  Eh…  I started out wearing my old shoes since my Hokas are giving me blisters (more in another post).  Within the first few steps I knew this was a giant mistake and went back to change.  Different shoes helped despite my blisters getting worse.  I am attempting to give myself props despite the runs being lackluster.  Oh!  I did follow some Runner”s World advice!  I read an article about hills and pace. They advised not trying to keep the same pace rather keep the same effort.  It’s difficult for sure but I could feel the difference.

I guess that’s it.  I allowed the feeling sorry for myself-sometimes I think it’s important to just feel the emotions rather than pushing them away.  I also indulged in an alcoholic beverage which may or may not have helped but whatever.  AND I picked out my outfit for this morning.  Not sure why this is noteworthy but I going with it.

With that, I will spare you any further time commitment to my angst.  I hope you had a lovely holiday wkend (if this is your thing) & the beautiful weather that seemed to descend over everyone. I’m CONVINCED we have seen the last if the snow-enjoy!

holidays are scary vol.1

The following isn’t a grinchy outlook on holidays.  I just wanted to put that out there so my message isn’t lost

Yesterday I read a post about how to avoid the holiday season blues.  While I liked the article and it had some good points/advice I felt the advice was a bit… plucky.  Maybe the advice was quality for a case of the “blues” but not so much for those of us who have dealt/deal with depression.

This got me thinking about my own experiences of struggling during the holidays.  It usually starts out with Halloween and the fact that my job has turned it from a holiday I used to enjoy to one I now fear.  Halloween is just a mixer for alcohol at this point and it results in some debauchery and late night emergency calls for yours truly.

vomit

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday as I’ve already professed.  Since I don’t have family close by, I always take the shift for work since others do.  It’s not so bad but it does mean most years I spend the holiday on my own.  I cook a big meal because that is “Thanksgiving” for me but then I eat alone.

Then Christmas.  The Christmas season is lovely albeit the horrific Kay jewelery commercials that play from now until Valentine’s day.  However, it will be two years on Dec. 16th that my mom passed away so the holiday has changed for me a bit.

Essentially, this is NOT a recipe for a lighthearted and fun holiday atmosphere.  The last two years were pretty rough due to my mother’s passing and I really want to avoid my all-out feelings of despair this year since it takes a lot to recover from.  So, here are my suggestions/plans of actions for this year.  Maybe it will help others who don’t feel so jolly when it seems like the rest of the world is.

it’s okay to be cranky even if *everyone* else is trippin’ holiday balls

1.  Lower the expectations: this was suggested in the other article but taking it one step further is important in my case.  Of course lowering the expectation for “the most fantastic holiday season EVER!” is there.  But even more important lower the expectations of yourself to feel you have to go all in simply because it seems everyone else is.  Don’t feel bad if the stockings aren’t hung on the chimney with care or you don’t have elf ears on to go caroling around the neighborhood.  Instead, do something you really enjoy.  I want to bake some cookies for a cookie exchange and make some Christmas gifts.  I don’t want to decorate my apt or get a tree.  I need to avoid any guilt associated with this.

2.  Do you what you need and want to do:  okay, so this sounds pretty selfish but let me put it in context.  Does going to holiday parties make you feel more alone if you are single?  Does going shopping on Thanksgiving eve/Black Friday make you feel guilty?  What about buying your own presents rather than spending money on others?  Well, skip the party, go shopping and buy yourself something – IF THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT.  There are some obligations that are meant to be kept and others can be politely declined.

3.  Be wary of being a hermit:  I’m very good at being a hermit.  Being able to spend time alone is a healthy quality however, I take it to the next level at times.  So, this year, I am working on forcing myself out and about during the craziness of the season.  But I am being selective about how I’m doing it.  I’m choosing to spend time with people who make me laugh.  I’m also fighting (seriously, with every fiber of my being) NOT to cancel plans once it’s time to leave.  I do this.  A lot.  Why?  Because I want to stay home in my sweatpants and avoid all of the anxiety (real and imagined) that’s wrapped up in being out and about.  Most times I have a great time!

4.  Exercise:  this was also one listed in the other article and I know it’s true.  Even when I don’t feel like heading outside I need to force myself to go.  Fresh air is good for you, or so they tell me, and I need to keep sickness, headaches and low self-esteem away.  Exercise can help with all of these.

5.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors’ goods:  or the fact they have a spouse, or a baby, or a dishwasher or a washer/dryer.  Whatever it is that friends and family members have that seems like it would make life easier or better, try not to let it over shadow what you do have.  I’m terrible about this.  All of those things I mentioned are things I want and feel could make the holiday season more fun (and functional!) but it’s not in the cards for me YET.  I need to remember the YET part rather than getting trapped in the “it won’t be for me EVER” downward spiral.  So far this year, I’ve accomplished this by buying myself lots of stuff since I don’t have to spend it on anyone else.  Sort of a silver lining but it could also lead to buyer’s remorse later so I need more tools in my toolbox to help with this.  Definitely in progress.

patience is not a virtue I possess

6.  Feeling unsettled or out of sorts:  currently I feel the need to rid myself of ALL THE THINGS (yes, I know this goes against my buying of all the things but I can’t always help what goes on in my brain).  I want to purge my spare bedroom of the clutter that I no longer use.  It comes from my feelings of restlessness during the holidays and I’m going to take advantage of it.  The stuff I’m not using is bogging me down.  The stuff I did purchase is actually useful – it’s a nice change.  The other part is, I know I will feel out of sorts and I need to accept it.  But I don’t need to over analyze it.  Easier said then done but I’m working on it.

it happens…

7.  Avoid some of the holiday movies… like the plague:  Hallmark channel and ABC Family air these incredibly dripping with love and holiday cheer movies constantly during this time of year.  DON’T WATCH THEM!  They are completely unrealistic and there is no way in hell I’m going to fall on my ass ice skating and some ridiculously hot guy is going to help me up and three days later propose to me…  While it’s snowing fat fluffy snowflakes with children singing the song from the Grinch.  Even though I know this in my mind, my heart starts to feel badly because maybe if I were better _________ then it would happen!  Lame.  Not to mention, when the movies focus on a generic meaning of the “true spirit of Christmas” and this doesn’t hold true for you, it can be depressing.  And lonely.

The thing is, there aren’t a whole lot of ways to completely avoid feelings of stress, loneliness, sadness or whatever during the holiday season.  And I think this may apply to everyone at some point during this stretch.  What am I going to do about it?  I’ve mostly listed the issues above and now I need to think of an action plan to help keep negative nellies at bay.

I’m going to care bear stare the negativity

I’ll post the list this week as it’s still in progress and I would love to hear some input from all of you!  How do you uplift your spirits during the holidays if feeling down or anxious?

fa-la-la-la-laaa (that was kind of hard to spell!)

Yay!  Merry Christmas!  I wanted to quickly pop in to wish everyone a happy holiday season.  I had a lot of trepidation this year, since it’s the first real season without my mom.  And while it’s been tough, it has been very special spending time with my family.  I want to tell you all more about it but for now I’ll jump to the materialistic side and show you what my dad got me

helllllooooo darling!
helllllooooo darling!

Wahoo!!  I am super excited!  In the realm of running presents, he also got me a headlamp, some sweet (and warm!) running tights, headphones and I get to pick out a new pair of running shoes.  Yippee!  My sister (and her fam) also got me a fabulous new hat for running to cover my ears.  Ummm… yes, I got very nice gifties!

I’ll chat more tomorrow… I hope you all are having a wonderful day – maybe celebrating Christmas or maybe not.  Hopefully, at least some relaxation!!

triple crown – my 5k version

Want to enter an incredible give-away?  Head over to my fellow Panty Raider, Amy’s site Running is Cheaper than Therapy for the chance to win entry into the Blue Ridge marathon.  Seriously – this beast of a 26.2 looks INSANE!  And crazy fun of course!!

yeah… running this is immediate and epic bamf status

As I’ve mentioned (maybe a million times?), this past weekend I hit the road for three different 5k’s.  To be honest, this wasn’t intentional – I completely got my dates mixed up and didn’t realize all three were the same weekend when I hit the “submit” button.  Nevertheless, I don’t regret any of them!

1.  Friday night my friends and I drove up to Grand Rapids, MI for the Yule Run, I’ll Walk 5k (7 pm start).  My friends and I did it last year so it’s nice this is becoming a bit of a holiday tradition.  It turned out, I would be the only one to run as the others walked with the cutie-patooty baby and puppy.

It was cold.  Or I was cold – not sure which one.  The course is mostly flat and it started right on time.  I started running and I was worried I had gone out too fast.  I was seeing 9:30’s on my garmin.  I took control of my breathing and decided to keep pushing it.  I crossed the finish line at about 29:50!  I was THRILLED!  My garmin said the same and that the course was even a tad bit long (just a smidgen but still brings my overall pace down!)  My overall pace is listed at 9:34 on the website.  I was shocked.  I had convinced myself I couldn’t run faster times anymore so this made me really happy.

awww – me and the other goils when we were all done!

The rest of the night was spent with friends, Chinese food and a tasty beverage – it was a great night!

2.  Bright and early Saturday morning (8:30 am start) was the Turkey Trot 5k.  I’ve done this race quit a few times and somehow I always forget how HARD this course it!  Man, it’s beastly!  It was my friend’s first 5k so I was jazzed to share this with her.  I’m a loser and forgot to take a pic of us together but you’ll have to trust me!  She did so great!  I was super proud of her!  Me?  I ran over to the start since it was really close to my apt and I knew I was in for a tough 3.1 miles.  My legs felt heavy and uncooperative!

these are two of my buddies – don’t they look awesome?!

I finished this one (which was approximately 12 hours after my first!) in 33 mins and some change.  I think my overall pace was about 10:34 (38?).  Once I saw this part, I wasn’t as disappointed.  In reality, as soon as the “gun” went off and we started up the hill my goal was 33 mins or under so I was happy with this.  Afterward, we headed out to IHOP and I had my first ever IHOP pancake.  Tasty!

3.  My last 5k was the Jingle Bell run and it was at 2 pm on Sunday afternoon.  By this time, I was LOW on motivation!  I was sitting in my recliner and wondering if I was going to get up and actually run.  I was beat and while I wasn’t horribly sore, my legs were definitely tired.  Luckily, I realized I had made all of these races massively public so I got off my bum and went out there.

right after the jingle bell run – man, I was happy and proud!

The weather was beautiful and I was slightly overdressed.  The race got started a little later than it was supposed to but then it was “go” time.  Funny enough, at this moment I was still wondering if I was going to be able to pull this off.  We hit the road and I felt like I was running in slow motion.  Turns out I was running sub-10 min miles so I kept focusing on the mileage countdown.

Oh man, finishing was SO HARD!  Haha, but I crossed the finish line in 29 mins and some seconds and had a 9:24 pace!  Wahoo!  This course was much flatter than Saturday’s so this definitely helped!

Take-Aways:

*I need to stop underestimating myself!  I know this is a recurring theme here but it’s a recurring theme in my life overall.

*A few months ago, I bought some tights that I thought would be good for winter running.  Turns out they are recovery compression tights.  I figured this out Saturday evening and wore them that night and for the race the next day.  I think they really helped!

*Running all out 3 days in a row is hard.  Plain and simple.

*I didn’t stop at water stops for the first or third races.  I can get through 3.1 miles without a water stop in the middle of Nov.

*It was a good boost of endorphins, confidence and FUN that I needed to infuse in my lackluster marathon training.  Oh yeah, I’m still training for a marathon (<— kind of a joke as of late!).

*Not to brag, but my form kinda rocked!

here are some of the lights from the Yule run!

It really was an ideal weekend of racing weather-wise and it also really helped me kick off the holiday season.  So happy I didn’t succumb to the nagging voice in my head that said, “you are too tired to do this!”  Thanks so much for all of the support!