Sooo…it’s been a while.

Four months, just about. Do you ever go on vacation and then that trip just completely derails your life? I admit, four months is a long time to try and get back on track. It took me about a month just to try and stop wishing I were back on vacation again (that’s a lie–I still wish I was on vacation. It was Hawaii–who wouldn’t want to go back?). I have a real problem with doing that–I’ll be doing great right up until I leave, maybe even for a day or two after, and the poof! Good intentions vanish just like that! And all my plans and goals vanish with them. I guess I should be relieved my next trip is a runcation so I can’t get derailed. Yes, it’s back to Disney, this time for the Wine and Dine–both the 10k and the 1/2 Marathon.

And no, the full marathon is no longer lurking on the horizon.

After our vacation to Hawaii, my friend decided she’d rather go back there then dedicate another six months of her life to training for a marathon for a second year in a row. As you can imagine, I put up a good fight but eventually gave in. (I sucked down a mai tai and wholeheartedly agreed.) However, we’re making up for it by deciding to run in Florida in October. I would complain about the heat and humidity, but fuck, the heat index for the past three days has been over 100 with humidity around 80 to 90% in the mornings, so really, not all that different. Just, I actually have to go out there. I’ve been hiding in the air conditioning here.

This means I need to start training. Maybe work on my shitty eating habits. (Twizzlers and beer are a terrible thing to have an hour before a run. Or even a walk, at least in this heat. In case you were ever considering it.) I’ve done my usual let’s get moving preparations–bought several new pairs of shoes, some new running clothes, a new Garmin. Ran a 10k–the Wonder Woman Race Series. Highly recommend, if you get a chance. For a first time event, they put on one helluva show. Very well organized, great cooperation with the city (every intersection either had police or volunteers to keep runners safe), everyone who participated seemed to be having a great time in spite of the thunderstorms (which I think most of us welcomed–kept the temperature down and held the humidity at bay). Seriously, if you’re looking for a first time race and want to do something fun, this is a good one. My time wasn’t great–oh my god, there were so many hills. So. Many. I was not prepared for that. But it was good enough to move me up a corral in the W&D, so that’s something. Hopefully, I can find one more before the end of July, but it’s not looking good. No one in their right mind wants to organize a long run outside in July.

And this is where I’m at. I’m doing a good job of acting like I’m going to train, I just need to do it. Come on, motivation. Where are you hiding?

Missed Opportunities

Here’s my attempt to sound less negative. Instead of saying last week was a week of many failures, I’m going to say that last week was a week of missed opportunities. Which is utter bullshit. I totally failed. I missed a run. I didn’t go to any classes. I didn’t keep up with any of my journals or start on a daily planner to help organize my time better or give a damn about nutrition. I just dropped the ball on everything I had hoped to achieve. I failed.

However, by the time Sunday rolled around, I managed to at least get in my long run and made the best time I’ve had since starting running again. Many failures, but one great achievement.

And today, I’m back at it. I put off my run until it was almost too late, froze my ears off because even though it was sunny and forty (supposedly), the wind chill was around 30 and I forgot my ear-covering headband, had to walk most of it because soooooo many obstacles (mud, ice, other dogs), but I did make myself go to yoga tonight because my hamstrings are so tight, you can use my legs as foam rollers. Getting my legs back in line is something I really need to start working on. Having to take painkillers every night just to sleep because my hips are killing me is really not an ideal long term solution.

It’s really frustrating. On the one hand, I’m glad that I went out, even if it wasn’t the best run in the world. I’m glad I went to class. I actually did most of the things I hoped to do today. On the other hand, my procrastination methods are beyond reproach and I’m mad at myself for letting so much time slip by, time I really should have spent being more productive. That’s one reason I put a time limit on the social media apps on my phone. Did you know you can do that (if you have an iPhone; I don’t know about the rest)? I’m now allowing myself one hour every day for social media. That may seem like a lot, but my sister and I primarily communicate through Messenger, so I have to leave some room there. It’s mostly because I spend far too much time scrolling–I don’t absorb anything, I just scroll. I can scroll through an entire article and an hour later, I won’t even be able to say if I’ve ever heard of the topic, much less read an article about it. It’s ridiculous. It’s what I’ve started doing to pass the time, and I know I can do better things with my life. Not to mention, the eyestrain is really getting to me. I already have glasses. Thanks to work, I’ll never be able to get laser eye surgery (no fine particles allowed, and I work with flour). I need to protect my eyes as much as possible. There’s a lot of excellent reasons to stop. I’m just hoping I can stick with it.

One useful thing I learned today–tomato products are a huge no if I’m going to run. First, the heartburn. Ugh. Heartburn. Getting old sucks. I never used to get heartburn, and now I keep a bottle of Tums by my bed. Second, there’s nothing fun about running with the constant taste of tomato soup in the back of your throat. Some things I don’t mind joining me on a run–that is definitely not one of them. Life lessons, people. I can only hope now that I’ve written it down, I’ll actually remember it.

Adult Snow Day

As adults, we don’t get a lot of snow days. We’re obligated to go into work no matter what the weather, and usually, we’re not alone. When we head off to work after a winter storm, a plow has been by to clear the way, a truck has come through to salt the streets, or a path has been made through the snow by commuters who have come before us, making the morning drive slightly less dangerous.

This is not the case when you own a bakery. When you have to get up at 2:30 in the morning, either the winter weather has not yet quit, or it’s too early for plows, salt, or commuters, so you’re the one paving the way through the tricky streets. No one wants to be the only person driving on a slippery street in the middle of the night. True, you’ll be less likely to hit another car, but if you wreck yours, there’s not a lot of people out there to help you. Plus, you’ll have wrecked your car. Most of us can’t afford to lose our only source of transportation, and we sure as hell can’t afford to replace it.

An ‘ice storm’ came through last night. Or at least, that’s what all the forecasters wouldn’t shut up about. All I’ve seen around here was a dusting of snow, but man, would they have you believe to watch out for downed tree limbs, power outages, and ice build up on the streets making them impossible to drive on without sliding off the road. I should know better by now, but not wanting to risk my employees or myself on the roads in the morning, I called it and told everyone we’d be closed. I was then up half the night, peering through the windows, trying to see if the weather justified my decision, costing my employees a day’s worth of pay, and the bakery a day’s worth of profit.

That was a day lost. Bitterly cold, but sunny, and the roads were cleared in no time. I don’t know, maybe having to drive through it at three in the morning would have been pushing the boundaries of safety, or maybe everyone would have been fine. It’s too late to take it back now.

So, we got an adult snow day.

I spent mine doing chores, making kick-ass breakfast burritos, trying to shower attention on my dog, who seems to be pulling away lately, and basically practicing poor time management. This is a problem. Whenever I have a day off, I somehow manage to lose half of my day, and then my list of things I need to accomplish goes unfinished. I’m starting to think I need to set myself up with a daily schedule so that nothing is left undone. I’m better with lists and I like checking things off when I’ve completed them. I don’t know if it’s age, or that I let myself become easily distracted, or a combination of both, but I really believe a daily planner is the way to go. I’ve missed classes I truly intended to go to this week because I just ran out of time. I had to squeeze in a treadmill run before work yesterday, leaving only twenty-five minutes to shower and eat breakfast before I had to leave. I really need to get my life better organized and take training seriously because it’s only week three and I’m already behind.

As for Tony, I think the fact that every other walk has become the shortest walk ever is really starting to effect him. I know he can handle ten below freezing–he’ll be over in the lawn, rolling in the snow while my fingers are going numb–but I can only handle the cold for so long. When it’s daylight, I do my best to try and last outside as long as I can, but when it’s dark, it’s just so much colder. He seems unhappy, but maybe it’s simply a manifestation of my guilt that I don’t spend enough time with him. Like with everything else in my life, I tell myself, I will try harder tomorrow.

Curled Toes

I missed my run yesterday due to having to get up early, a long day of work, lack of sleep, grumpiness, whatever extraneous excuses I could think up not to go. Made myself go today. One of the benefits of being off by a day was that the polar vortex had time to recede and warm weather has briefly fought it’s way in, so it was just a beautiful day for a run. Unfortunately, that also meant a lot of melting snow and ice, so poor Tony got to go straight into the bathtub when we got home. He is not a fan. I don’t care. He was a muddy mess, and now, hours later, he’s still a slightly-damp fluffball (he’s not a fluffy dog by nature, he just has a lot of fur).

Due to irregular work hours, I’m also missing tomorrow’s run, so I’ll have to make it up on Sunday. Other than a class or two at the gym, I didn’t have anything planned anyway. (Yeah, my team didn’t make the big game, and I really don’t give a damn about either the Cheating Bastards or that team that used to be in St. Louis, so I won’t be watching.) It’s not a problem right now–I usually have to work every other Saturday, and once it gets light out again, it’ll be easier to go running in the morning, but I’m a little worried about training for Dopey when I’ll have runs scheduled Thursday through Sunday. I know it’s months away, but these runs occur during the two busiest seasons at the bakery, and I’m going to miss some key runs. It’s something that makes me reluctant to sign up, because if I can’t complete the training, will I be in a good enough position to complete the challenge? Again, months away, no need to stress about it now. Right.

After not running for so long, am I the only person who feels like their feet don’t know how to work anymore? I find my toes curling in odd ways, like they don’t understand they’re supposed to lie flat. My toes right now are a little sore because they keep trying to scrunch up. It might be the shoes. I had shoes that I loved, that I bought again and again, and then the company ‘improved’ them to the point that I’ve had to find new shoes. I hate that. Why fix a shoe that’s already perfect? I don’t know how often I’ve scoured reviews that start, “I used to wear….” but they can’t anymore because the new version sucks. Just leave our shoes alone. If I wanted something different, I’d find a different shoe.

And to all the chocoholics out there, go out and try the new Lava Cake Hershey’s Kiss. It is a rich, delicious bite of chocolate that tastes just like lava cake. I’ve started keeping my emergency chocolate up the stairs at the other end of the house so that I really have to want it in order to go up the stairs to get it, and thank goodness, or the bag would be gone. Highly recommend.

…stupid run…

In an attempt to be more efficient, I’ve got a bit of time on my hands and decided to update.

Did you know that green gummi bears are supposed to be strawberry flavored? I had no idea. I knew about the pineapple ones (the best), orange and lemon were sort of obvious, but strawberry? And the red ones are raspberry? I never would have guessed. It’s sort of ingrained that green will be apple and red will be cherry. The things you learn.

So today’s run was a near complete disaster. There are two paved run/walk/bike/whatever trails around here, one that goes around the lake, and one that runs through town. The lake one is always wonderfully maintained and I know that while there might be a couple tricky spots along the way, for the most part, it will have been cleared and ready for use. I assumed the same about the trail through town. I was wrong. The trail through town was a goddamn death trap. So much ice. And you couldn’t even run off the trail because so many people had already done that, the area around the trail was ice. Dog had a blast, because at one point, we were walking through a field, so he got to roll/skid/slide across the snow, which had been melted and frozen so many times, it was little better than ice. We persevered through three miles of this crap, mainly because I didn’t have the time to change my mind–I needed to get this done and then make it home to meet the cable guy, because we all know what happens if we miss that appointment, even if we’ve already spent the better part of the day waiting for him to show but he was running late and so he kept putting it off and putting it off and you only have so much of your life you can spend waiting around for a five minute fix. Fortunately, I made it home about ten minutes before he arrived.

I should have just gotten on the damn treadmill, but it was only just at freezing outside and the sun was attempting to shine. I knew that if I was moving, it was not going to be that bad. And it wasn’t. Had no trouble staying warm. But I don’t know if the ice was the reason or the cold air or what, but I had trouble breathing, my legs felt heavy, and it just seemed like I was struggling the whole time.

Ugh. What a day. But I’m going to make it to the yoga class in a couple hours, re-center myself (like I was ever centered to begin with), and maybe feel like I’ve accomplished something . It’s amazing how one bad run can make you feel like the whole day is a disaster.

On the other hand, at least the trail was so bad, no one else was around, because the words coming out of my mouth might have gotten me in trouble with parents, or decent people, or anyone easily offended by ‘colorful’ language (though they themselves probably have let go a swear or two after slipping on the ice for the twentieth time).

Yesterday when it was tomorrow was too a day for me.

So this whole winter thing is a bitch. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who go out running in negative temperatures (and perhaps maybe a small question regarding their mental stability). Once the air hits the twenties, I’m out. For one, I just don’t have the gear for it. Also, that’s bloody cold, and I prefer feeling my extremities for the rest of the day (and my life). With wind chills well below zero, I have a feeling most of this week’s training runs are going to happen on the treadmill. Only one of last week’s was on the treadmill, and not only was it the most difficult, but it was also the slowest. I’m not quite sure how that worked out. My speed was regulated. I was forced to maintain a steady pace throughout. And yet, I was more tired after that run than either of the other two, both of which took place outside and lasted longer distances. I honestly don’t mind too much running on the treadmill–I cover the screen, put something on the television, and I’m good to go. I’ve trained for a half marathon almost entirely on the treadmill before (both our summers and winters are brutal here–can’t win). I’m just not sure why all of a sudden, it’s harder. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

I’ve forced myself to sit down and write tonight. I kept meaning to, but I’m not very good at this time management thing, and it became more important to try and go to sleep than spend half an hour writing in my blog. I’m a night owl, which doesn’t help. I really start picking up steam when it’s time to go to bed, and so I find a myriad of ways to procrastinate before yelling at myself to turn off the lights and go to bed. This is a huge problem. I don’t get enough sleep, which makes me tired throughout the day, so that by the time I get off work, I really don’t feel like doing anything. There’s another group of people I admire–those who go to the gym after work. I suppose if I did go, I’d feel more energetic since I’d get my blood pumping and my adrenaline flowing, and then I might be tired enough at night to prioritize my evening schedule so I can get some regular sleep. It’s all just a matter of actually finding the gumption to put my foot out the door.

This is obviously going to be a regularly occurring theme for me, knowing I need to move, but not actually finding the energy to do so. Incorporating cross-training into my routine is actually this week’s goal in my training journal. I do feel glad I’m able to maintain my marathon training–sure, it’s only been a week, but I haven’t missed a run yet. I’ve still got six days to add in some classes (journal starts on Monday), so there’s still hope. I just have to not let myself be distracted by other things and get my foot out the door.

The title of this segment, in case you were wondering, is quoting Winnie the Pooh from the movie Christopher Robin, which is why it sounds a bit discombobulated. If you’re in need a bit of heart-wrenching nostalgia, this is the movie for you. And while Pooh may believe that doing nothing can lead to the best kind of something, well, he’s not trying to run a marathon. Silly old bear.

The Guilt Cycle

Today, I did nothing. Well, not nothing. I went to work, and then after that, I just sort of fizzled. Oh, I can come up with excuses–I did my training run on the treadmill yesterday followed by nine hours on my feet at work, getting home with just enough time to grab something to eat, unwind a little, and then go to bed before having to get up early for work. This, plus a broken night’s sleep, left me feeling pretty drained. But the sun was shining, the temperature was actually above freezing, I could have handled taking the dog for a long walk, or even doing some upper body exercises. Instead, I opted for none of that, and with doing nothing has come a lot of guilt.

First, there’s the guilt for not being a better dog mom. Let me tell you about my awesome dog. Tony is a rescue–some asshole abandoned him and I was lucky enough to adopt him from the Humane Society. He’s affectionate, playful, only barks as a warning (he’s not one of those yippy dogs), smart when he wants to be, pretty well behaved–someone put a lot of work into training him (all the more reason they’re an asshole for dumping him in the streets), thinks he’s a sixty pound lap puppy when it’s actually more like your lap and both armrests of the recliner, is currently hogging half the bed but is also keeping my feet warm. Really, I have no idea how I was the one fortunate enough to adopt him.

He also came with heartworms.

If you’ve never had a dog with heartworms, then you’re doing it right–keep it up. I learned on his first vet appointment that these horrible, long, nasty things were entwined around his heart and in his bloodstream, which meant my poor dog was on doggy bedrest for the next eight months while we attempted to kill the parasites. We started with the basic heartworm medicine I give him on a monthly basis. This was used to kill the young worms in his bloodstream and to start weakening the walls of the larger worms in his heart. After six months of meds, he got a series of shots designed to kill the large worms, which would take a couple of months to do the trick. Throughout this whole time, his physical activity had to be limited to regular, brief walks. Anything that caused his heartbeat to pick up could dislodge the bits of dying worms before they’d properly dissolved and clog up an artery, causing his heart to stop. So running was definitely out of the question. Even a lunge after a rabbit had me worrying he was going to hurt himself. Fortunately, Tony made it through with flying colors and he is in perfect health, as happy as a pup could be.

So, yeah, I feel like shit every time I skip an opportunity to take him outside and let him stretch his legs and play.

Along with dog mom guilt comes personal accountability guilt, the feeling that I am letting myself down, that I am throwing all my hard work away, that even missing one day is a failure. I know (hope) I’ll get some sleep tonight, that tomorrow’s weather is going to be gorgeous (compared to earlier this week), so Tony and I will have a good time working on my three mile run, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking what a waste of a day. I can be damn good about beating myself up over every little thing, but this doesn’t feel like a little thing. Yes, I’ve got eleven and a half months to nail this, but at the same time, I know those months can go flying by if I let them. I can’t let myself get caught up in thinking I have plenty of time, because I don’t. I have a lot of work to do, a lot I want to achieve, and I’m just hoping a year is enough time to get it all done. I can’t let myself fall behind. I know I need to stay on top of each day to make being healthy a habit.

There’s some unhealthy thinking wrapped up in there along with the potential for a positive outlook. I know this. Just like I know that some days I’m not going to want to feel like doing anything, and it’s okay, but if I give in without even trying, that’s where I’m going wrong. Like today. Part of me wanted to try. Lazy me won out.

Whatever. Score one for you, lazy me. Healthy me will kick your butt tomorrow.