my stomach is on strike

For the last few weeks, my stomach has decided to take a trip down memory lane & revert to its ultra troublesome state.  This past week was the worst so far & I almost had to go home early from work on Thursday & then did have to call in sick on Friday.  I have some special meds to take when it gets bad, but they make me a little blurry, which isn’t a helpful side effect when working with patients!

I’m in the midst of a bad IBS flare up & it completely sucks.  There are some variations in the types of IBS and mine includes an epic stabby feeling inside my stomach, nausea, & bloating.  It’s quite painful & unpleasant.  Since mine is combined with an ulcer, Pepto Bismal tabs are my bestie.

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I like the taste of these now.

My diet has played a role.  Since I started working at the office, I’ve eaten more gluten than I have since I went to France for my brother’s wedding two years ago.  There are a lot of office treats & I’ve had to grab some lunch out when I’ve forgotten mine at home.  Way, way, too much for this gluten sensitive gal.  I’ve been eating way too legumes, a no-no on the approved FODMAPs list also.  Then there’s been sooooo much popcorn!  I’ve never had problems with popcorn in the past but it’s been extreme as of late.  I just finished my last 1/2 a bag of Skinny Pop & I won’t be buying any more for as long as I can hold out. This one is going to be TOUGH.

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Skinny Pop – it’s my true (addictive) love!

Next up, the stress.  Ugh.  Starting a new career is challenging and I get frustrated with myself as it feels like my progress is slow.  Money is tight – what is this rent & utilities nonsense?!  It doesn’t help that WA is in the top 10 for most expensive states to reside.  I love LuLaRoe but I’m finding it difficult to forward this income source as my business person skills don’t seem to come second nature to me.  There are some other loose ends as well, so consequently, my anxiety is playing a key role in my Pepto popping madness.  My insides are basically downing pint size shots of cortisol, or at least this is how it feels.  Bad dreams, constant fretting, and I was having at least one panic attack daily for a month.  It’s no wonder it feels like Wolverine lives in my stomach & is trying to find freedom from the confines of my stomach lining!

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I’m guessing this is why Wolverine wants out (source)

Then there is the lack of exercise.  I’m quite the couch potato.  This isn’t good on a couple of levels.  1.  The New York Marathon is in 4 months – eeeeek!  I have downloaded a 16 week training plan which looks doable for a successful finish.  But there is that whole thing of ACTUALLY GETTING OUTSIDE!  2.  I’m finding I’m quite fatigued when I get home in the evenings.  9.5 hour days are long & I just want to be in sweat pants, sitting, & zoning out in front of the tv.  Productive, eh?  My former stomach doc told me working out helps with the stomach pains, & that I have to get up even if I feel really crummy.  Of course it’s easier for him to say than for me to do.

my goal

When I was speaking with my sister about some of the above, she asked me to think about things I can control so I don’t feel so helpless.  And there are a few if I convince myself that it’s within my reach.  There is an optimistic part of me that while currently being drowned in stomach acid, is hoping feeling more in control helps calm this flare up as missing work isn’t an option and my stomach hurts!  The stomach issues are also aiding in my lackluster LuLaRoe sales since my energy levels are tapped by the time I get home.  But it means I really do need to take this control back.  I’ve already jumped back on the gluten-free train – I need it out of my system.  I’ve started down the path of dealing with my student loans dilemma, & I went for a run today.  I advertised for a couple of in-house LuLaRoe Open Houses for the week & reread my last post on motivation – turns out I can give myself decent advice.  These aren’t giant steps but they are steps nonetheless.  I mean, starting somewhere is better than not starting at all, right?

get motivated – tips from a lazy-ish person

Every time I see an article that says “running motivation tips and tricks” I immediately start reading it.  I’ve read countless articles like this.  I appreciate what they have to say, I really do.  The advice is quality but doesn’t always address my motivational dilemmas.

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Most of the authors seem to be people who can’t sit still.  Me?  More than capable!  Or it seems the days they aren’t motivated are few and far between.  I seem to struggle with the motivation to get up and get out more often.  So, I decided to write a piece myself.  Perhaps it might resonate with you too.  I can’t be the only person out there who needs a slightly different take on the “how to go for a run (work out) when you really don’t want to” … at least I hope not.

Problem #1: The couch is too comfy.  The thing of it is, I can be lazy when it comes time to working out (as you might’ve guess by the title!).  Once I get too cozy, all bets are off and there is a higher chance of me staying where I’m at rather than hitting the streets in my trainers.

 

The Fix: I hate to say it, but I can’t sit down when I get home.  I have to change into my work out clothes immediately and can’t do any of the  “I’m going to sit for a moment” business.  Don’t sit down!  Ride the wave of adrenaline from getting home from work (or wherever), or the alarm clock, do the little things that need to be done, change, and get out the door.  As fast as possible.  Before the couch’s siren calls or the snooze button become too loud and convincing!

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this is essentially where the couch comes into play

Problem #2: Sabotaging my workout time.  There are way too many times where I’ve decided on a time for a run when deep down I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit it into my schedule.  I’ve picked a time during a really busy day when I knew it was going to be massively crunched and it could be sacrificed.  But I felt all noble & accomplished that I was planning for it.  When it doesn’t happen, because my timetable was ridiculous, I get down on myself for not making the workout happen.  At the same time I can blame not going on not having enough time.  Built in excuse that isn’t based on being a lazy buns!

The Fix: There are going to be days when a run simply can’t happen.  I need to be honest with myself regarding these days.  This is the way of training.  BUT some time management needs to happen here.  I can keep the days where my agenda items are stacked miles high to a minimum by planning ahead.  This means doing as much prep for the day as possible and looking for more efficient routes to accomplish tasks <— a constant work in progress.  I know people suggest scheduling a work out time and viewing it as an appt you can’t possibly miss.  My brain is onto this game though, and if we are on the same wave length, so is yours.  This is where getting out the door by sheer force of grit and will come into play until it becomes more habitual.

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I need to work harder on making good habits … bad habits are just so much easier to establish!

Problem #3: Overhyping the start of training.  This is a classic motivation killer because it becomes this MASSIVE event.  I recognize some suggest to announce your training start date to the world to garner support.  However, for procrastinators like myself, it turns the start date into a scary impending opportunity for defeat.  Suddenly there is this monumental task sitting there and it’s much easier to shy away then risk falling flat on my face in front of an audience.

The Fix: Don’t make the sweeping announcement.  Pretty simple, yeah?  I do want to share with the world, but these declarations can too overwhelming.  An element of procrastination is fear of failure, so the build up can be too much.  Begin training and get a more established routine down, & then yell it from the rooftops!  I’ve done it both ways, and when I went ahead and waited until I was a couple of weeks into my training to spread the good news, I still got support and it was of the “keep up the great work” variety.  When I declared my start date, I got lots of “good lucks!” which are just as nice, of course, although the latter works better for me.

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Problem #4: Getting frustrated & losing focus.  This runs parallel to my conundrum of setting my expectations too high.  Train for a marathon in 6 weeks when my running fitness is in the gutter?  Of course I can!  I tend to get frustrated when I don’t make progress as quick as I want or expect of myself.  This is a common theme in every area of my life, so it naturally carries over to my running.  Hope is a wonderful thing, nevertheless, when it comes to expecting our bodies to perform physical miracles they aren’t possibly prepped for, they rebel.  In all kinds of painful ways!  With regards to losing focus, marathon training seems to last FOR-E-VER, so what is one missed run here or there?  Most likely nothing terrible, but for us motivationally challenged folk, the “here or there” can derail a great established routine quickly.

The Fix: Take a good look at the expectations.  Expectations really do get us in trouble – I find we tend to either set them too high or too low without taking all of variables into consideration.  Not to mention, the need to check the good ol’ ego.  Any type of training takes hard work, and focusing on small chunks at a time helps turn goals into realities.  The frustration piece … well, this could just be me.  I don’t mind hard work but I want results entirely too quickly.  I’m a bit ridiculous!  I also need to remind myself, A LOT, of just how easy it is for me to slip back into the cushy bad habits and crush those “it won’t be so bad” thoughts with a stomp from my Brooks.

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I’m hoping I’m not the only person who struggles with motivation and isn’t always helped by the pearls of wisdom that are commonly offered.  Again, I don’t think the advice is bad and I do utilize it, nonetheless, the above tips are what I fall back to when I’m in need of that boost.  I love running, I really do.  I love the feeling of a healthy routine of running when I get home from work.  Not to mention giving myself multiple high-fives when I’m done working out and all cleaned up from a good sweat session.  Getting started though … or fighting exhaustion after a long day … or simply a “I don’t wanna” can jeopardize success and be a challenge to fight.

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Oh, and watch some inspirational running documentaries.  I love the one about the Barkley Marathons – these are always really helpful in the motivational category!

I love lists

I know it seems a little cliché to write my first post back in a million years on New Year’s Eve.  Oh well.  I’ve attempted a couple of posts in the last few days but they were all too involved.  I need to split some of this business up or you would be reading for about 10 hours!

Naturally, I have no idea where to start.  So, I’ll do a list.  I never realized how much I love lists until I started writing this blog.  Here we go:

1. I’m currently hanging out in my own place!  Yay!  I somehow got a sweet deal in an incredibly tough rental market in my home town.  I’m not kidding – it’s nuts.  Lack of availability means rent is large and in charge for so many places.  Not to mention, many places are run through renting agencies which require you to make three times your rent on a monthly basis.  Hahahahaha (this is a crazed laugh, can you tell??).  Again, I thank my lucky stars that a) I’m persistent and b) that things worked in my favor.

2. I also got an amazing deal on a set of furniture!  I love it when a plan comes together!

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Simon-cat has claimed this chair for his very own. I put a blanket over it as to limit cat hair transfer. Today is the first day I’ve sat in it – no wonder he loves it!

3. My house is right next door to my dad’s house so I was able to bootleg enough internet for my LuLaRoe business but other than that, I didn’t have access for THREE WEEKS due to connectivity problems.  I watched Twilight, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter over and over again.

4. LuLaRoe.  Since my job search has not been fruitful, LuLaRoe is my source of income.  Being my own boss and having my own business is both neato and terrifying!  As a new consultant, it takes time to build a customer base, inventory, along with revamping my business plan over and over again.  This results in waking up to panic attacks in the middle of the night!  HOWEVER, I have already met some fun people and am looking forward to continuing this journey.  Not to mention, I am enjoying this business a lot!  Although a job would be helpful!  Just keeping it truthful here.

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in this case the stress is real!

5. More LuLaRoe.  I love the clothes!  My sister had to tell me “stop shopping your inventory!”  Haha, seriously though, so many treasures!  Not to mention, when women (those are my current customers) try the clothes on the delight in their eyes is fantastic.  One woman swore off dresses many moons ago.  She put on the Carly dress and LOVED it!  First dress in forever and she bought it 10 minutes after trying it on and looking in the mirror.  It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of these moments.

6. I was doing well in the fitness realm in August, September and the first two weeks of October.  I was walking about every other day and even running!  My bum knee was responding in a positive way!  Then life took over and my routine fell by the wayside.  I will say, I ran a Turkey Trot with my sister and I was able to run a heck of a lot more of it than I thought I could.  That being said, the aforementioned anxiety and work load has led to some additional weight loss while no longer sticking to the walking/running.  I’ll get in the zone with LuLaRoe and forget to eat.  For the record, I don’t forget to eat.  Ever.  I always thought this was a silly phrase and perhaps a fake phenomenon.  Nope.  It does happen.  I’ve reached my goal weight, although I think I need to reinvigorate my walking/running since forgetting to eat isn’t the healthiest weight loss method nor one that I can count on to keep the pounds off.  I mean, I’m starting to remember to eat (a positive thing for sure).

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sister dear and I taking a running break for a picture!

7. Overhauling my life has been more complicated than I ever would’ve imagined.  There will be posts on this all on their own.  While I knew it would be a tough and interesting transition, this information was processed in the practical/logical part of my brain, rather than the emotional-feely part of the brain/heart/spiritual side.  Like I said, more posts to come on this since I do enjoy processing.  Also, it was ABSOLUTELY the right choice!

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I love this quote

8. Happy New Year!  I don’t make New Year resolutions anymore.  Some of the items or goals I mentioned above are things I’ve already been working on and need to get more assertive in making them a reality.  I recognize many people see it as a fresh start but I consider to be this marker.  So, I have another month and 3 days to my “new year” and I’m going to continue to work on my goals and work through the transitions.

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how can I fail when I have dairy on my side?! (p.s. Buzzfeed lists are the best – they do love to put together lists of unfortunate mistakes while adding some comentary)

Off to take photos of new inventory!  My blog page is getting more traffic than my LuLaRoe page and it’s reminded me how much I love to write!  Happy New Year everyone!

 

inner thoughts

I couldn’t decide on a title for this because it really is going to be a bunch of rambling – that probably should be the title.  The following things have been rattling around my brain for the last few days and I need an outlet.  Lucky you!  Of course it’s in list form, silly goose!

1. People who say you either shouldn’t or can’t eat a whole pie by yourself clearly lack ambition.  Trust me.  I am ambitious.  I really don’t know why I don’t make pumpkin pie more often – I love it.  Maybe it has to do with my ambitious nature.

2. Super thankful for my little ice machine.  My normal supplier was closed up for the holiday weekend but “babycakes” (as I affectionately nicknamed her – stolen from Spike, see below) did a great job.  Multiple cupfuls of ice were consumed.

this was on the ground - ice just WASTED. shameful
someone left this was on the ground – ice just WASTED. shameful

3. I had big plans on being productive during this past minibreak.  I wasn’t.  Unless you count powering through a couple of seasons of Flashpoint, which I doubt I should.  TeamSpike forever.

look how cute he is!

4. Have you ever watched so many episodes of a tv show that you get really into the characters?  Seriously, I had to remind myself “these people ARE NOT real!”  Maybe I should have talked to more actual humans…

5. I did not go black friday shopping this year.  I’ve done it for YEARS – back in the day when I was home for Thanksgiving break during college and my mom would drag me out of bed to run through walmart picking up presents for the little cousins and family.  While I kind of felt like I abandoned a tradition, I didn’t need anything.  Not to mention I didn’t want to be mobbed by all of the people and traffic.  Social anxiety saved me money and clutter this year!

6. Monday morning I had the brilliant idea to weigh myself.  I know, WTF was I thinking?!  Nevertheless, I knew it was time to face the numbers.  I haven’t moved much since I ran the marathon.  I should definitely be more than 2 lbs heavier but “thankfully” my ulcer makes it difficult to eat, so you know, silver lining.  Now, I need to get back on the treadmill for some walking, swimming for less impact and continue to strengthen my muscles with the PT exercises.  All of this written out looks a bit overwhelming considering my recent lack of motivation so I am going to break it down into some manageable pieces.

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truth

7. Speaking of ulcer city, two things.  Sad face – I can no longer have my afternoon coffee (well, I managed yesterday but probably not advised).  I’m not kidding when I say, I find a sense of lost in this fact.  I luuuuurve it.  But it kicks up my stomach pains, so to the curb with it.  Next up – happy face – my stomach hurt on Wednesday even though I sort of had the day off BUT I felt better for 3.5 days!  Better than I have in MONTHS.  It was delightful.  Sunday afternoon?  Acid boiled up again.  Stress man… working on some life changes.

That’s all for now.  I have a couple of other random posts on the way and hopefully some kind of aerobic activities to report on in the next few days.  I have every intention of losing these two silly pounds in the next 22 days, so I better get crackin’.  Not to mention, the endorphins, digestion help and the overall good feels that come with being active.

this might count?
this might count?

deep breath

Like most people, I was/am saddened by the terrorist attacks – all of them. I feel sorrow and true disgust at the horrific events that don’t seem to end.  The attacks on Paris sent my heart racing.

My brother and sister-in-law live there.  Many of my new friends and my new family live there.  I felt like I got punched in the stomach.  Thankfully, my brother is currently in New York but I panicked thinking of my sister-in-law and the others.  Given my propensity to think the worst (which has increased since my mom passed suddenly in 2011), I was so scared.  I’m beyond grateful my sister-in-law, family and friends overseas, are safe.

this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012
this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012

The anxiety hasn’t completely left me – I know, surprise, surprise.  I woke up today all kinds of out of sorts.  It was going to be a very packed day and it felt daunting.  I was supposed to do a PT session on my own today and this was somehow going to fit into my lunch break, in-between back to back to back meetings.  All of the stomach acid.

I made the executive decision to skip the PT session – I can still fit it in before my actual session on Wednesday.  I was able to catch up on some administrative tasks, which had been sitting on my to do list, taunting me.  I also realized I wanted some comfort food.

and some comfort memories – my dad and I in Paris this summer

Well, I realized it yesterday but I had to work so I had popcorn for dinner instead.  But tonight – tonight I wanted to feed my feelings.  I’ve been craving meat (not chicken or turkey), probably related to my iron deficiency, and I found my way to a stroganoff recipe.  How could I forget about stroganoff?!  I’ve only made it one other time in the last 12 years – crazypants!

I searched pinterest and found a recipe that satisfied my gluten-free needs.  Did you know cream of mushroom soup has wheat in it?  I wasn’t sure it would taste as good without that ol’ standby but I should’ve trusted.  The recipe I used was from Simply Recipes.  This was all homemade and business!

No pictures of my creation because stroganoff doesn’t photograph well.

Also, I ignored the salt recommendations, because I thought I was smarter?  You probably still could if you wanted to but I found I needed to add salt afterward.  I also practically doubled (or maybe more) the paprika because paprika and I are tight.

view from Sacre-Coeur in Paris

The stroganoff hit the spot.  Not only did it satisfy my taste buds but it was nice to go through the routine of cooking.  I haven’t cooked in a long time and making this bad boy was calming.  P.S. Read all of the directions before you start!  I had to scramble a bit.

Tomorrow is another filled to gills work day.  But I will have stroganoff leftovers waiting for me at the end of the day.

My thoughts continue to be with the victims of all of the attacks of this last week and previous ones.  I have so many dear memories from the two weeks I spent in France this summer celebrating my brother’s wedding and it hurts my heart to think of all of this devastation.

stomachs have feelings too

Happy Halloweenie!  Did I do anything fancy pants last night?  Ummm… no.  Why?  Because my stomach is a horrible organ conspiring against me.

I’ve called my stomach a number of unpleasant names – on this forum, to my friends and family and simply while talking to myself in my apartment.  Things like, jerk face, brat, the “mean girl” of my organs and then some other names I won’t recount here.  Right now, I am cursing my stomach like a sailor.  I feel like I’m back to where I was a year ago and it is not only exhausting but highly frustrating.

The thing is, I know I haven’t given my stomach a fighting chance and it is rebelling.  I’ve hurt its feelings.  I think of this as a “flare-ups” and this is the worst case in duration and pain-wise in months.  It is absolutely stress related and I am basically a cortisol dumping ground.  You know how I keep mentioning work craziness?  Currently, one of my supervisees got a new job so I’ve been doing most of his job for the last month and half.  Then one of my other supervisees was out for two and 1/2 weeks on medical leave so I’ve been doing chunks of her job as well.  This is all in addition to still fulfilling the expectations of my position.  Oh and coordinating three large programs.

My stomach/health are on the ol’ chopping block at this point.  I eat Pepto chewables a couple of times per day in addition to my prescription stomach meds to help ease the nausea/bloating.  I come home mentally beat and anxiety-ridden so sleep is hard to come by.  I’m back to sleeping with the tv on or I won’t sleep at all.  I haven’t done laundry in ages and I am short-tempered and irritable.  This was by far the worst week since I had to step up my game on one aspect of a large project and it was the day of reckoning for one of the larger events.  Everyday is a new day of trying not to vomit.  Last week I had a migraine and then during the weekend and into Monday I had the stomach flu.  Yesterday, my stomach seemed to give up on me again and I was down for the count.

this is absolutely how I depict my stomach

To make matters worse, I don’t feel I am doing quality work with any of these jobs.  I am really struggling with this aspect as I’ve worked diligently at conquering some of my administrative inadequacies.  Not to mention, I often feel like I’m neglecting my other three supervisees who need me.  As the name of my blog implies, all of the above is a recipe for disaster for yours truly.

In other health news, I’ve had this strange obsession with sucking on ice.  As in, I “eat” (I don’t chew ice – this makes my teeth cringe) but I down large cupfuls a few times per day.  It’s been going on for at least 3 weeks now and progressively getting more intense.  It’s SO WEIRD!  I even bought my own mini-ice machine!  Then there is the problem of me almost passing out in the mornings.  It was happening once or twice a week and then this past week it was four times.  Naturally I used my best computer/ER watching skills and scoured the internets.  Obsession with ice and the passing out piece are symptoms of iron deficiency!  Odd, right?  I also started eating a banana within the first 10 minutes of waking up to make sure my blood sugar isn’t too low.

As I overheard this little 4(ish) year old say in the grocery store the other day, “I’m a hot mess”.  I think I’ve done a decent job up until this last week of keeping it together in public.  Some of the frazzle came to the surface this week.  It’s important to say, my supervisors have worked to find a replacement for the vacancy and this person officially starts Monday.  So while I still need to do the training, I think in two weeks I should be less inclined to carry emergency Pepto chewables for my poor nervous tummy.  My medical leave supervisee is also returning on Tuesday so this will help as well.

silver lining?

I also turn to sugar in times of distress.  I’m working on this one since I know it’s detrimental.  I haven’t worked out officially in almost two weeks due to my knee, so to the treadmill for some walking is in order.  I know these will help calm my stomach issues but it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I kind of thought I was done with the really bad flare-ups.  I do understand it could be worse.  Nevertheless, constantly feeling like you want to puke your guts out and not sure if you should eat or not eat (I never know which one will make me feel better.  Again.) and having your stomach blow up like a balloon about to pop makes me dog-tired.

I’m not sure if I am done whining/sharing about this.  My tummy hasn’t been great since August but beginning Sept 25th all hell broke loose.  So, it’s one day at a time over here in Michigan and reminding myself if I can get through 14-15 miles on a knee not working properly I can get through this.  And I’ve  done it before.  Now time to shove some iron down my throat, practice my calming exercises and try to get back to a routine.  I can do it.

a good reminder
a good reminder 

the wagon wheels came off

Whenever I use this phrase, I always feel sorry for Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I don’t particularly remember her family’s wagon wheels coming off, although I’m sure they did.  Life was rough for those pioneer folks.

I’m pretty sure this was EXACTLY how things were

Anyway, my wagon wheels coming off isn’t nearly as dire.  I’m speaking of marathon training.  I know, this probably isn’t a giant surprise to any of you who’ve been reading for a little while but STILL, I thought this training cycle would be different.  I WANTED this cycle to be different

After I got back from France, I was geeked about running.  I ran a fair amount while there – much more often than I’ve ever run while on some kind of vacation and I felt good about it.  I also ran with some very cool people so this helped motivate me even more.  Nevertheless, I know myself and didn’t want to come back and jump right into 26.2 registration.  I had my sights set on Detroit, since it was the race that got away last year during my sickness.  Not to mention, it allowed for a little longer of a  training cycle and considering I would be starting late, this was a blessing.  This 26.2 registration ended on Aug. 16th if you wanted to be able to cross the bridge into Canada, which, of course, I did.

So, I decided to be semi self aware of my lack of training abilities and use the 4 weeks to see if I could stick to the plan, most importantly hit my long runs.  I did it!  I didn’t miss any of my long runs by the time it came to sign up, which I did when I realized I was DOING IT!  Training like a good runner should!

Then the wagon wheels came off of my training cycle…  Here’s the deal:  I got back from France on Wed, July 15th.  I worked the next day (which I was barely conscious for so I don’t remember much about that day) and then took Friday off from work so I could actually read a computer screen come Monday morning.  Why?  Because training for our new employees started and one of my supervises is new this year.  Training only ramps up from here and reaches heights of intense exhaustion – I knew this.  There was also the added stress/work of opening a new building, which I oversee.  No, I didn’t manage the actual construction of the building (seriously, I would NEVER want that job!) but it’s under my supervision.  But I couldn’t completely foresee the future.

The last two weeks of August and the first week of September my brain and health were fried.  At this point, I’d been on call for 3 weeks in a row.  The work days were long and the late night calls were beyond frequent.  There were no long runs happening.  I knew I needed to do them and part of me really wanted to.  The other part of me laid on the couch and tried to convince Simon he was able to cook so I didn’t have to get up.  I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted and I paid for it with some health issues.  Migraines – ewww and a fire in my belly that wasn’t ambition… just pure stomach acid eating the lining for breakfast, lunch, dinner and couple of snacks.

Fast forward to today and Detroit is this Sunday.  When I signed up, I paid $10 extra dollars in order to be able to cancel my registration and still get a refund.  I wasn’t completely delusional with regards to what lay ahead of me in my work world.  This past weekend I ran a 5 miler and no, I didn’t blow that puppy out of the water.  I told my good friend who was running with me about the bailout contingency plan and she said, “yeah, but if you think like that then you won’t do it”.  Very true.

I already have my accommodations.  I want to do this race since last year, 4 days before it I was huddled up on the couch in so much pain I thought there was a gremlin inside my stomach trying to get out – and not cute and furry Gizmo but the one where it was fed after midnight and water was poured on it.  Yeah – the scary ones.

There won’t be a PR (I thought I might be able to pull one off originally) but I will finish.  Two weeks ago, I climbed on the treadmill and started freaking out at my lack of preparedness.  I’m certainly not a Doomsday Prepper in this scenario.  I suddenly remembered this is supposed to be FUN.  It took a massive boulder off of my shoulders, one of which continued to tell me how much I sucked at every footfall.  My inner lack of confidence and the rude voice in my mind are still providing a monologue consisting of a “you are probably going to lay on the side of the road and be picked up by the marathon version of the zamboni” but I’m getting better at quieting this sabotaging butthead.

And I am now the proud owner of some wicked compression tights too, so at least this will give me a boost.

There it is.  Another race I’m not ready for.  I talked to my brother about it while in NY.  He said maybe I’m not quite ready to really commit to training.  After my mom died, and the depression/anxiety took over, running was tough.  I said I “wanted to be ready for trainings since running is part of my identity”.  Kev said, “it isn’t WHO you are though”.  It has stuck with me.  Time to release the pressure valve, stop worrying about my slow pace and enjoy the moment.  And get excited!

why you should solve a murder mystery with your co-workers

One of my duties at work is overseeing a training, development and recognition committee.  Amongst other duties, we are in charge of putting on our dept end of the semester gatherings.  Monday was our spring end of the semester shindig.

My committee did a great job of trying a few new things this year and for this most recent gathering, we decided to play a murder mystery game.  I LOVED the idea of this – completely different from anything we have ever done.  I was also fairly nervous that people wouldn’t participate.  My first inclination was “forced fun” and make everyone play.

However, my committee-mates overruled me (it was like some kind of royal uprising, I swear!) and we sent out invites to see who wanted to participate.  There were going to be approximately 30 people there and we needed at least 10 individuals, 15 if you wanted all of the characters represented.  Guess how many RSVP-ed?  15!  Success!  My worries that people would be “too cool for school” were completely unfounded and I dare say those who didn’t directly participate wished they had.  If more than 15 wanted to participate, I was ready to either a) split some characters, b) double some characters and/or c) give some characters a twin <— my favorite idea.

Anyway, if you haven’t hosted or been to one of these events, they are a blast.  Your guests certainly can make or break it, in that if they are lackluster when playing their character than it won’t be as much fun.  That being said, chances are the people who play their characters up will outweigh those other stinkers.  We chose the 1985 High School Reunion themed murder mystery and it was spot on for our group.  I did most of the legwork for this and if you are the organizer than make sure to allot some time to prep!  There is some pre-planning along with set-up that while certainly not difficult, is a bit time consuming.  When you order the packet, everything is there for you and realistically, you should just need to print and put together but it takes a small chunk of time.  Also, read all of this well ahead of your event – this was a blunder on my part.

My co-workers hammed this up and got into their characters!  It was so fun to watch!  Even individuals who I thought might be more reserved – nope!  They got into it!  I helped to facilitate a bit but mostly was on the logistical side as I also had someone be the moderator-type person.  Everyone had fun and the timing of the game worked well with our having lunch, too.  When I assigned characters, some I matched with their personalities and others I gave them exact opposites.  I high-fived my self for this idea.  I had a couple of people who dressed up and others who said they would’ve of but didn’t get their emails with their characters in time.  Note to self – assign characters earlier – again, I underestimated how much time the details would take.  No matter, there was hordes of dramatics!

I loved all of the over the top acting!

If you have a group of co-workers and are looking to do something different at your next office celebration, I can’t recommend this enough.  I think the packet is $15, however, we used one a co-workers purchased, so I’m not quite sure.  Or if you are planning your next family reunion, cook-out, birthday party – whatever, it’s a really good time and HIGHLY entertaining!  You can get as intricate as you want with the decorating, theme-favors or whatever.  We were fairly low-maintenance with it and it still worked.  Nothing beats watching your friends/family/co-workers/whatever essentially acting out “CLUE” right in front of you!

positive happenings

Thankfully, my post on Monday doesn’t reflect my entire week – only certain parts of it.  But this is normal, especially this time of the year with work.  We are gearing up for our “end of the year” and there are days where it doesn’t let up.

However, there have been some really high points!  So I will detail those here:

1.  I ran/walked 102 miles in March.  Considering my back has been a jerk face, I’m really proud of this.  Being in New Orleans helped a ton because, get this, we walked 54 miles during that time!  Holy red beans and rice!

2.  I helped/went with my buddy who bought a new car.  Very exciting indeed.  It’s nice to go with someone who is spending money because I can get the same retail therapy benefits without spending my own money.  Kind of handy.  And I was the first passenger – I felt all special.

3.  Still plowing through LOST.  I’m seriously invested and last night came close to ugly crying through an episode.  Digging this show – nice work J.J. Abrams.  Although, I will admit to wanting to write him letters asking him WHY on many issues.  That might  be stocking though…

good advice with regards to this show

4.  My shoe inserts came!  Tonight I will get to use them for the first time.  I have high hopes/expectations for these.  Probably too high but this is my personality.  Also, a good back-cracking appointment with Dr. Chiro.

5.  I didn’t go into detail just yet about my great tarot card reading experience in New Orleans – post coming soon.  I also got a candle from her a few days prior to the reading.  She asked me a couple of questions and then picked it out for me.  As the candle burns there are charms in the wax and they represent a certain something – whatever comes to your mind first.  My first charm came up – it was very fitting.  Seriously, I was over-analyzing and I said to myself, “I just need a sign” and boom!  I got one.

6.  I need a new battery for my Misfit Shine.  This means I’ve used the heck out of it!  Yay me.

7.  Back on the gluten-free train after my vaca.  Monday I was in the throes of a lack of gluten detox and it was ROUGH.  I seriously had the dumb.  And the grumps.  I’m feeling better though, emotionally and physically.  Friday and Saturday I could feel some of the depression increasing and while I’m still trying to rid myself of a “heavy” emotional state (it’s the only way I can think of to explain it), I’m doing better.  I’m looking forward to feeling lighter in a few days.

8.  I got the sweetest giftie from my grandma in the mail – a super endearing note and a small puzzle piece charm with the words “I am loved” on it.  It was perfect timing – another sign I needed.

gr. kate9.  I had a nice mini interval run on the tready on Tuesday and I’m planning a longer one tonight.  I’m going to sweat out this gluten and the negativity I’ve been wallowing in today.

10.  I also have some amazing friends.

My brain tends to notice/remember the adverse happenings and I’m working on changing this.  I know much of it is habitual.  I started this post groaning about the parts of the week that DIDN’T go well.  Then I hit delete.  Smart move.

Do you have a habit of noticing the negative first?

re-entry

Back to real life… let me just say, it’s hard work, yo!

Tough re-entry areas:

1.  Sleep – I didn’t get enough while I was down in New Orleans.  I’m not sure what it is about that city but seriously, you just don’t catch any zzz’s.  (Okay… I have an idea)  I would wake up early and go to bed late.  I’m completely beat.

sweet potato fries, I’m tired

2.  Despite it being a “workation”, it’s always different from being in the office.  There is a sense of immediacy when you are in the office that is lightened when off doing some conferencing.  Now, I’m back.  All the emails.

3.  Umm… it snowed here last night.  It was 27* here today.  In New Orleans, I got a sunburn and sweated my brains out.  I preferred the latter.  What’s up MI?!

4.  Poor Simon seriously missed me.  He barely leaves my side and wakes me up many times a night – I think he just wants to make sure I’m still there.  I always miss the little guy as well so we had a nice reunion.

5.   Foods.  I miss some of the food I had in New Orleans.  I will get more into this in my next post but I definitely enjoyed all that the city/culture has to offer.  At the same time, I suffered for this!  I’m transitioning back into my normal lifestyle.  In some ways it’s harder than I anticipated.  I really did forget how easy it is to go out and pick up ready made food as opposed to cooking.  Now, I don’t want to cook.  However, I’m back to that point where I think I’m hungry but feel crummy so I can’t tell.  As sadistic as it sounds, it was worth it!

does there really need to be a caption here?!

6.  Exercising.  Again, another topic I will touch on in my next post but we barely sat down while there.  I even went for a run with one of my travel mates!  It was great!  Since he is fairly new to the running scene I think it was the first time for him to run in a foreign city (or at least recently).  We both agreed it was best way to get your bearings and see interesting things.  Not to mention, people said we were bad asses.  I want to keep up this momentum despite me wanting so much rest.

7.  Lack of blogging – I’ve missed writing and you all!  I need to kick start my posting/reading back in action!

8.  Actually having a schedule to follow.  This is probably the biggest difficulty for me.  I love not having a schedule but I also appreciate a routine – yep, there is no way to make me happy.  Getting back into the routine takes energy and intentionality, which I’m currently working through.  In New Orleans, it was simply more fluid; Saturday and Sunday I didn’t even know what day it was or have a clear understanding of time.  It was pretty nifty.  My alarm went off in the morning and I couldn’t figure out what the noise was or why it as assaulting my brain.

I have a feeling many of you can relate to these types of “concerns” whether it be a vacation or any kind of upheaval of regular life.  Next post I’m going to detail some specifics of my trip that definitely deserve high lighting.  Can’t wait to catch up with all of you as well!