So today marks 3 years since my mom’s passing. I was going to write a post about her but I can’t seem to find any of the right words. I’ve tried every year since it happened and nope – not working. But I am going to pepper this post with pics of her, despite them not having much to do with the content. I will write about my Monday instead.
Yesterday, I woke up and did not want to get out of bed. The weekend had been full of work so I never felt rested. I was cranky (I always feel this way the day before and day of the anniversary) and under the covers was a much better option then facing the world. Nevertheless, my responsibility was to plan the end of the year holiday shindig and it just happened to be yesterday. I was one giant grinchy ball of “holiday cheer”.
As I was getting ready, I decided I wasn’t going to have any expectations for this Monday. Typically, I would have grand ideas/hopes/expectations of how the party was going to turn out. I would worry that no one would have fun, the food wouldn’t work itself out and I would be an epic failure. There were other items on my to-do list that had to be finished as well and originally, the Monday had to roll out PERFECTLY.
Then I just said f*&^ it. I decided no expectations of this Monday and even bolder, I wasn’t going to have any expectations of myself. I know, right? Clone Amy has stepped in once again.
I left all of the decorating to my committee members (who rocked by the way) and I went to grab the main dish. It went faster than anticipated. On Sunday, I was trying to figure out what to bring and picked up some clam chowder from Costco. When I was buying it, I felt like a lazy jerk. On Monday, I realized this was a good idea and it didn’t matter I hadn’t crafted it in my own kitchen. When some of my coworkers were getting on the worried side for a small item or two, I decided to brush it off. We didn’t end of up playing one of the games as originally planned and I even rolled with this one.
I cut myself some slack as I drove through McDonald’s for my second cup of coffee. For being slightly bitter there weren’t any gluten-free desserts at the potluck and for feeling frustrated with some folks who were giving me grief. When I came back to the office, I plowed through pieces of my final large project and just got it done.
Then I wallowed some in my apartment, soaking up some relaxation and conversations with my dad and sister. Running had been on the agenda but I didn’t want to and I allowed myself a guilt-free pass.
All in all, my lack of expectations turned out well. I got a very sweet giftie from one of my supervisees and an extra one from another co-worker. I for real got 5 hrs of “restful” sleep last night – this is more than I’ve had in 3 weeks. I delegated pieces of my project and just embraced my limitations for the day. I’ve decided I highly recommend it!
I’ll end this with one of my favorite pictures of my mom:
Today’s post is brought to you by the best cup of coffee I’ve made in weeks. And my strange shirt with deer on it. Oh and my tasty cookie with frosting that I had for breakfast.
I’ve had some interesting happenings this week and I figured saving them for one post was a good idea. That way it seems like I am whining less… hopefully? The other day Simon woke me up at 4:30 am. This is not unusual, however, he comes up and walks by my face and IT SMELLED BAD! Great. TMI but Simon is a long-haired kitty and at times poop gets stuck to his bum. I figured this was the issue and quickly got up and scrubbed his bum.
Later, I came home and found poop on the floor. I do feel sorry for the little guy though because about a 1/2 hour later he puked his guts out. Kitty stomach flu.
(Strange pic ahead!!!) Then my (male) co-workers and I were discussing birth and the placenta. We had a disagreement so I looked up placenta online. And I found this
I showed my other male co-worker and he said at first he thought it was a pastry teddy bear that just needed some powdered sugar. I took so much sick delight in telling him what it really was!
The other night I was attempting to balance my beautiful BLT (minus the L), with a can of pop while getting Simon’s toy for him. In slow motion my BLT hit the carpet. So sad! And no, I don’t do the 10 second rule on carpet especially with a pet. Plus there was the aforementioned poop issue!
There was some stress at work this week hence the cookie for breakfast. Wednesday, I got home and locked the door behind me. It was hermit time. Thursday when I got done at noon(!!), came home, took care of some things and left for a run. 10 big fatty miles! It was a great run that boosted my Dopey training confidence. It was also amazing weather 39* and dry. To not run would be slapping mama nature across the face!
To be honest, I was tempted to hang on the couch again but then two things happened: a) my friend texted and helped kick my butt in gear and b) I realized I didn’t like the underwear I was wearing so I would get to change it after running and then showering. I am absolutely serious.
It’s been a strange week. Monday was the two year mark of my mom’s passing. I wrote a post about it but not sure if I will ever hit publish. It’s easier this year than the last and I have conflicted feelings about this. I know healing is important and I am grateful for it but…
I’m looking forward to heading back to WA on Monday! I’m going to stock up on my favorite blend of coffee, smother my family in x’s and o’s, run and relax.
My mom LOVED Halloweenie! It was her favorite holiday and she always went all out. Example:
She made both my sister’s and my costumes and of course, her own. We were decked out every year. Since we didn’t live in a neighborhood full of kids, we would trick or treat in a different neighborhood with family friends and the moms would stay back and hand out candy to all of the trick or treaters.
As we got too old to trick or treat, she would make the BEST bags of goodies for all of the kiddies – they loved coming to our house. Mom would find the grossest candy she could find (gummy brains, gummy earwax – whatever) and they would love it!
Today has been kind of up and down for me, since it’s the first Halloween without mom. I did “dress up” a bit for work though
I think people made fun of me but I’m sure I made my mom proud! Haha, she loved it when I pulled stuff like this! So, it was nice to remember her this way.
On the running front, I headed to the gym tonight to partake in some indoor running. Oh yeah… I don’t like indoor running. Oh well. I ran half a mile around the indoor track and then jumped on the treadmill for a “speed” session. I did 2 miles in 19:30, which is a 9:45 pace! Then I finished the mile on the track. I didn’t feel great when I was trying to finish the mile on the track so when I got done I walked two laps. I started to run after this to finish it out but then I had a bad dizzy spell and decided I needed to walk the rest of the mile.
I shouldn’t be surprised by the dizzy spell. I’ve been playing it fast and loose with my meds recently. I know it’s not wise but my meds make me tired 24/7 so sometimes I “forget” to get the refill on time. Me=dumb. Plus, Motrin 800’s dehydrate me quickly so this is a possibility as well. Despite my head feeling crappy, I’m pleased with the speed session and looking forward to charting progress. I already know it would have been tough a few weeks ago to sustain that pace for the whole two miles. Progress is a beautiful thing friends!
I saw this today on Pinterest on the Sweat Pink Sister inspiration board. It was exactly what I needed to hear today. As a total over-analyzer I often ponder the question if everything happens for a reason. I struggle with this when I hear about sad/bad things happening to others or when my mom passed. In fact, last week, I had a couple of sad dreams about my mom. The dream on Tuesday night (into Wednesday, a.k.a “meltdown day” – hmm, imagine that?!) was a bad one. I dreamt she just left my family and I kept saying over and over that she would have never done this; there must be some mistake. I woke up in the early hours of the morning and a huge sense of relief washed over me as I knew mom hadn’t left. But it took me a few minutes for it to register that she had died. Yes, this was a tad overwhelming. Add this to the monthly hormonal imbalance, trying to get used to my new position at work, starting crossfit, and I have been an emotional basket case for almost a week now. I’m trying to pull and keep it together. I have my moments of success but other times, I haven’t done as well. Note to self: Amy, you are a total sap – don’t watch the Harry Potters where Dumbledore and Diggory die – TOO SAD! Good thing no one was around! This quote is amazing! I’m going to plaster it in my apt and in my office!
On to less depressing matters… I got my new running shoes today! The Brooks PureFlow! I am very excited to put them to the test. My goal is a run in the morning but it all depends how I feel. Why might I be sore? CrossFit baby! Tonight’s session went okay. We did a load of burpees, which made all parts of my body cry a little! Why are burpees so hard? Why does my chest have to hit the ground?! Haha, burpees – you do NOT complete me! The coach came over to me to help me with technique for my air squat. He told me to relax – apparently I am one giant ball of tension! I explained I didn’t want to do it wrong – that I like to do things well even if I’m slower than the rest of the group. As a swimmer, I was usually in last place but I had killer form! The coach’s response tonight, “well, relax because you ARE doing it wrong!” Oh, ok, good to know. Then he also explained he was going to START pushing me. Uh-oh Marley.
One of my co-workers sent this to me today with the following caption
Haha, thankfully, I have NOT ever made Simon a sweater! That might be crossing the line into cat lady territory :)
Oh! I also got my 1/2 off compression socks in the mail! Yay! They are bright red and I really like them. They don’t squish my feet (toes) like my other pair. I have rather large feet for my height (I wear 7 and 1/2 in regular shoes and 8’s in running shoes and I am only 5’2). Sometimes compressions socks feel they are too short for my feet!
I was a bit sore this morning from my run last night but I 100% don’t regret it. I felt powerful and it was a major ego boost. I needed it. I also took pics of my tummy so I could track my progress on a weekly basis. I have no intention of posting these just yet! Ha! Sorry but I need to actually see some progress before I’m comfortable blasting them all over the internet. Last week I felt mega hungry all week and I’m hoping this was simply the hormones and not the effects of crossfit. I will say I was hungry when I got home tonight and I think I need to start cooking food for the week on Sunday. I end up making less than stellar choices or I nickel and dime my calories. Tonight I had cereal but I am still hungry… ugh!
Whewww! I’m currently HURTING today! I took a “red-eye” flight back from WA last night and everything was jacked from the beginning. My dad and I hit major festival traffic going over to Seattle making the trek about 3 and half hours. I got to the airport and my tickets wouldn’t print. Turns out there had been a change in my flight – no worries, since it would get me to Chicago earlier. Well, we were delayed since someone forgot to file a flight plan (whhaaa???) so I got in late. On the plane, I was put in an exit row, which sounded amazing but the woman in the middle seat kept stealing my leg room. NOT okay with this! Sleep was a bit hard to come by and then I had to BOOK it to the train into the city. From there I climbed Mt. Everest the stairs up to Clinton St (haha, they didn’t have an elevator – eek!) and made it to Union Station in record time. Oh yeah, there was a freak rain shower on the way there! I managed to grab some breaky/coffee and race back down to my train, which left about 2 mins later! Yep, this little comedy of errors seemed out of control at the time and kind of on the stressful/exhausting side but ultimately, I made it back to my furry little guy, Simon.
All in all, I had a fantastic time home with my family. I never stopped running from activity to activity, seeing friends and family and of course some shopping with my sister, Heidi :) Here are some fun pics
Haha, there you have it – a bit of my life/vaca in a nutshell! Actually, I left out a huge chunk – CrossFit. But that will be tomorrow and I don’t have any pictures of the carnage workouts. I do want to give you my little review though so stop back! OHHH! And of course some pics of my treasures I brought back with me!
Haha, NO! Totally not the end – for some reason, this 25k recap has been on the top of my list of things to do but I haven’t done it. Along with laundry (great scott, I need to do laundry), taking out the garbage, calling home and a billion other things on my “Monster Summer To-Do” list that seems to grow everyday. But clearly, writing about a race is far more fun than almost everything on this list (except calling home and doing laundry – totes serious here folks!) so here we goooooooooo!
Last week was an insane week with work. I had to run and work in my coffee shop for a conference. This particular conference LOVES their coffee/espresso, which don’t get me wrong, I understand but it also means it is super busy. I knew being on my feet for 8 hours a day two days BEFORE running 15.6 was going to be unpleasant but I tried to think of it as more training. On Friday morning I did a shake-out run that merely managed to shake my confidence. For some reason, this turned into a really tough 2.5 mile run. Yay!
I fought mad traffic and got to the slightly disappointing expo around 6:30 pm. I found the list of folks and looked for my name. Ummm… no Amy German. I looked again… WTF?! I frantically tried to remember if I still had the receipt and then looked up and realized I was looking at the 10k list of participants. Gonzaga is so proud to call me an alum!
Dinner was with friends at a local restaurant and I, along with two of my dinner mates ordered the mac and cheese. It was delish! It was also incredibly rich and perhaps not the best thing (read settled very heavily in my tummy) the night before running
I should preface this next part with the following… I didn’t train enough. I knew this going into the race and was hoping a) that I would finish. I mean, I knew that I WOULD but I wanted to finish still upright! And b) that I would get it done in 3 hours. While I had done some training, it wasn’t nearly enough but in my heart I knew I could do it. I also knew it would hurt.
We got up bright and early on Saturday and I had peanut butter on a sandwich thin and a banana. We got to the start right as the 10k-er’s were getting started. This part of the race was very organized. The 5k had started earlier and then the 10k and then we were up next. Standing in line for the porta potty, my friend Meagan wrote on my legs
Then it was time to line up – this race is/was HUGE! I lined up with the 11 min pacers and we were off. I crossed the start line at 8:25 am and the race started at 8:20 exactly – well done race folks.
I started out pretty slowly but did pull ahead of the pace group a bit. I took a bit of Chocolate Rage GU right as the race was getting started for the caffeine kick and then took the rest of it at mile 4. I did NOT turn my Garmin on during the race. I knew I wouldn’t stop staring at the pace and was trying to run according to feel rather than obsessing about going too fast or too slow.
The race was going well – much better than it should have actually. I felt pretty good and knew I clippin’ along faster than I thought I was going to be able too. There were a ton of water stops and I took some water at each one and then started alternating with Gatorade. At mile 9 I took some of my Espresso Love Gu and was saving the rest of it for the last push. I knew I was ahead of schedule and no longer was “just finishing” an option. I knew I could get in under 3 hours by a lot and I also knew I would be proud of myself – yay!
Mile 11… you fickle creature.
Right before mile 11 hit I started to cramp and feel pretty sickly. Special note, I had/get REALLY bad monthly cramps and took a Motrin 800 before the race started. This was a poor choice. Usually, running while I have cramps helps relieve them but apparently running 15 miles DOES NOT. The cramps were making themselves known and I think I was getting dehydrated (apparently Motrin can do this). I started getting woozy and proceeded to have to puke my guts out and walk/run for about 15 mins. Needless to say, my spirit was kind of crushed here.
At this point, I was really calling on my mom for help. I just started talking to her and hoping she would give me strength to keep running. Some of the cramping and dizziness went away and I drank more water. I thought maybe I could still make my goal so I attempted to push it. I was incredibly lucky that the weather was ideal – breezy and overcast so this helped. Right before mile 14 I almost quit. As in, I stopped for .2 seconds and didn’t think I could finish. But I dug deep and just kept going.
The finish line is uphill – completely unnecessary if you ask me, and a 73 year old woman came up from behind me and wanted to talk about my mom, which made me start to cry. This made me start to hyperventulate=really hard to sprint to the finish. But I ran through it and guess what? My time was 3:02:59. Yep, I missed it by 2 mins.
I crossed the finish line and another woman came up to me and said I should be proud for honoring my mom like this. I cried. I cried for my mom, I cried because this was the furthest I have ever run and I cried because I missed my goal by 2 mins. Oh and I probably cried because I was cramping so badly (dehydration) that I thought I might vomit. Again.
My friends found me – btw, Meagan KILLED the 25k! So proud of her! And Aaron PR’d! Yay! and we took a few pics
The top three pics are blatantly stolen from Meagan’s blog – check it out! Oh and there was another injury from this race:
Of course, the pic of my bling, which really, isn’t this one of the reasons we race?!
I have done a lot of processing about this race/run. I’ll go more into it tomorrow because I learned some really important lessons both during and afterward that merit sharing. But for now I will say the absolute best part of this race was running it for my mom. It helped ease the sting of the first Mother’s Day without her, helped me dig deeper physically and mentally than I thought I would be able to and helped me to realize she is here with me. My mom never got to see me run in person but she was so stinkin’ proud of me. She would tell me how impressed she was all the time and as I was running the last two and half miles, I kept saying, “hey mom, I am RUNNING 15 miles! How cool is THIS?!” I am very grateful to have had this “time” with her!
To be honest, I haven’t been excited about Mother’s Day – at all. I really felt I would be wallowing and wasn’t looking forward to all of the facebook posts talking about moms and how great they are. But that hasn’t been the case. Yesterday was the 25k and I did it in honor of my mom.
I was pretty nervous about this but it turned out to be just the thing I needed. 15.6 miles is some really good thinking time and it was nice to dedicate those miles to my mom. It was also nice to call on her near the end when I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to finish. I’ll write more about the race tomorrow. In the meantime, here are a few pics…
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there. Hope you know how much you are loved!
Can we all talk about how much Mondays suck?! During the academic year, they are always filled with anxiety for me. Luckily, the school year is over so I don’t hate them as much as I used to. But still, I dread them a wee bit.
Today, I woke up not feeling so hot. I am fairly certain it’s all related to my long run last night. 12.5 miles. In the interest of full disclosure, I walked the last mile. I was beat. I was starving. I was ready to come home. Oh yeah, not to mention the lightning that started and it was 9:15 pm. This is just a bit too dark out for my comfort level.
The 25k is THIS Saturday! I can’t believe it! I’m sooo going to need to trade some baked goods for a massage when it’s done!
But yesterday’s run went fairly well and was 12.5 miles of sheer confidence for Saturday. Here is what I was happy with:
1. I kept my pace fairly steady – 10:45-11:20… at least until the end ;) I also totally accepted if I wanted to run 12 miles (15 soon enough) I needed to embrace the time/pace and enjoy the run
2. I wore my Aspaeris pivot shorts – this was an AWESOME choice! I have only ever worn them for recovery but these really helped and I will be wearing them on Saturday.
3. I added a GIANT hill at mile 3 – lately I have been trying to avoid hills around this mile because I felt I couldn’t tackle them or I would be too tired to keep running. But I ate this hill for breakfast! Or at least as a snack! For those of you local folks, I did Howard hill up to Oakland Drive!
4. I brought water with me – I typically think I don’t need fluids but I am so happy I’m getting smarter!
5. I didn’t have any expectations for this run. Instead, I went out there ready to enjoy it and if I fell short of my goal than this was okay. But I did well! I also exceeded my expectations. I didn’t really start getting uncomfortable until mile 9, a major improvement.
6. I kept running!
7. I wore my sparkle skirt! I think I got a marriage proposal from a passing motorist as I was running :)
Things I still need to improve upon:
1. I only took one shot blok while I was out there. I didn’t notice my waning energy until much later but at this point it was too late. I was EXHAUSTED.
2. I didn’t eat enough before I started running. Again, I didn’t notice this until much later but when I got home I was feeling a bit light-headed. I ate something immediately but then I started to feel nauseated. I ate more after a shower (lots of protein) but still felt pretty sick. Then today I still felt kind of crappy. Lesson learned!
3. I didn’t bring ENOUGH water – I was out by the time I made it to the track for the last couple of miles and really thirsty. So, apparently, I am not smart enough.
The good thing is the positives outweighed the negatives! I know I will finish on Saturday. I also readjusted my goal – before I thought maybe I would finish around two and half hours. Buuut… I am now a bit more realistic and am hoping for three hours or less. I also decided to dedicate this race to my mom. I decided this last night as I was running and knew it was the right thing to do. It will be more constructive than wallowing on Mother’s Day and I know it will give me some great motivation to dig even deeper to keep going.
Okay… sad stuff aside, I do have a great announcement! Duck on the Run put a call out on her blog for some runners to join her on this
as an ULTRA!
Haha, crazy girl! But in the excitement of this past race weekend (more on this tomorrow) I decided to jump in with both feet and told her I was IN! I am super excited! We are still looking for a few more runners so let us know if you are interested! It’s going to be a BLAST!
Running and Reading Long starts today! Yay!! I will be posting on Thursdays about my reading so I for the next several weeks I will be doing my Thankful Things Thursdays on Tuesdays. Or maybe on Fridays – I haven’t quite decided yet. I am thrilled to share the insights from the program though and have a feeling it’s just what this introspective gal needs right now as I’m reconnecting with my love of running!
Sometimes life happens… not just “life” but LIFE. I apologize for the hiatus – it wasn’t planned. The best way I can describe it was the last week and half have been tough. I have been missing my mom. A lot. Grief is interesting because sometimes the load is lightened and you think to yourself, “wow, maybe I have come out into the other side!” Then a day later – a birthday, a picture, a memory later and BAM, you are right back to where you were months ago. Sad… depressed… and wondering why I am trying to be happy when it feels like it’s a lost cause?
So I wallowed – for about a week and a half. Then on Thursday, I was laying on my living room floor and I just said to myself, “Get UP”. I had run once during this time period and spent more time on my couch then I should have. I also was sleeping an obscene amount. I would nap during lunch. I would nap when I got home from work. Then I would go to bed early. Yep… I repeated it to myself, “GET UP!”
I did. Running felt a little out of my reach so I did a workout video. It was hard. But endorphins were released and I felt better than I had since I last wrote. The thing is, during this time, I did have fun. I hung out with some new friends who make me laugh so hard my cheeks hurt. I flirty texted with a cute boy. I put on a baby shower with some of my besties FOR one of my besties. BUT there is a difference when YOU MAKE YOURSELF feel better rather than depending on others to do it for you. I am responsible for my healing. This is not to say I can’t depend on others – of course I can! But healing and working through my grief must come from me and exercise and writing is a venue for this.
Of course I didn’t realize this right away – or rather, I ignored it! What can I say? Sometimes, it’s hard to crawl from the couch to my running shoes or my computer when it seems like it would take.so.much.effort. It’s also NOT an overnight realization/process. I know I will hit more rough patches but I also need to realize I have tools to help ease the pain. I also need to remember it’s okay to feel bad; to mourn the loss of my mom. Heck, maybe even seek some professional help ::gasp!!::
So, this is where I am at… I have missed writing! The following are some of the GOOD things that did happen during this time:
So, there you go – some of the happenings that I missed blogging about. As far as running, I went yesterday and while it was tough, I just plugged along, slow and steady. As I mentioned, on Thursday I did a strengthening video and it was a good workout! Today I am going to hit the pavement again. I talked to my family today and it helped make me feel better too. OH! And today is my Gr. Kate’s birthday!! Happy Birthday Gr. Kate! You are one of the coolest women I know!! LOVE you!
It was a long day at work today. In fact, by the end of the day, I felt so tied up in knots, panic, anxiety and frustration that I could barely sit still. This is what I looked/felt like
I feel it’s important to explain that ever since my mom died my coping skills have been sub-par. While I have always dealt with anxiety, now I can shoot straight from things are okay to panic in 60 seconds. Today for instance, my cheeks were flushed and I almost had to throw up – all of this hit me as soon as the some of the stress started. It seems my reserve is on empty. I find this extremely frustrating! The thing is, the rug was completely ripped out from underneath me on that December day. When my friends first heard about my mom, one of the things they told me was I was going to have to get used to a new “normal”. At the time, I thought they were talking about how hard it would be not to see her, hear her voice or just have her in my life. Trust me, all of this IS the hardest part. But another aspect of this new “normal” is that some of my safety and security as a person has been stripped away. So while it is so frustrating to feel like my internal compass is off, I am realizing everyday that this all takes time. I know, it’s probably written on every sympathy card out there but now I’m living it. When I talked with my doctor last week, she said I need to work on my coping skills. I decided to add them into my training plan and this way it could feel a bit more normal rather than only doing it because of my mom.
Yoga was on my training schedule tonight and before the class started the instructor had us go around and talk about either an injury we might be dealing with or maybe something that was bothering us. I said I had a stressful day and a few others said their’s was as well. So, today was restorative and relaxing and then she had us focus on gratitude and letting go. All I have to say is WOW! I felt so amazing after the session! My earlier stress and anxiety had melted away and I felt so much more at peace. It wasn’t until tonight that I realized how incredible yoga could be – pretty much I didn’t believe the hype. After tonight though, I am a believer.
I’m really looking forward to going back again next week. Even now, a couple of hours later, the anxiety and angst from the day has not returned. I also got a fantastic stretch! I have always struggled with stretching after running. I have been getting better and better but I have never felt like I was doing it right. I will definitely use some of the stretches I learned tonight when I am done with a run. Oh yeah, and did I mention it was a work out? Ok, I know some of you are rolling your eyes and wondering where I have been all this time. Maybe, it just wasn’t the right time for me to figure it out but now it is. Honestly, I couldn’t be more grateful.