Monday, August 31, 2015

Running in the Rain

It feels like so much, and yet not enough happened this weekend!

I'm sorry for not popping in for a workout update, I just ended up being busy, and decided to use my spare time to nap instead of blog :P

On Friday right after work I met my friend Gloria for lunch. She used to work at the same company (we made the awesome Habitat bake display last year) but left a few months ago to pursue a calling to ministry at the United Methodist Church. I've really, really missed her lately so I was more than excited for lunch and some hangout time. We hit up Granite City again for lunch (that became a kind of tradition before she left) and then went to the mall to wander around.

As we were walking past one store I realized it was full of calendars and games...just my kinda place! So we went in and looked around and it was so cool! I found something for my mom for Christmas (never too early to start stocking up the gifts), and also decided to get an adult coloring book for myself. They're supposed to be great stress relievers, and I put mine to use right away. Here's what I got colored over the weekend:

I love that these are meant to be whimsical and surreal and I can color trees blue and the grass purple :P
Gloria and I had such a good time and it was fun to catch up. It's so weird not having her around, and after the rough few weeks I had it was good to get in some serious face time with a friend.

It was a pretty quiet evening and I decided to go to bed early since I had to get up for a long run on Saturday.

Oh, Saturday.

I woke up at 4:30 (yes, AM) from a nightmare. In my dream, I had signed up for an Ironman and decided NOT to train. Go ahead and put that on the list of things I would never do...the not training part. I've been really good about my half training, so if the day ever comes that I decide to do 140.6 you can bet your butt I'd train for it.

Anyways, not only did I decide not to train, but it was like a weird tough-mudder style Ironman, and first I switched to some stupid bike I thought would work better in the mud (it was literally rubber with roller blade, I know) and then I ended up leaving my bike behind and swimming through mud for most of the cycling portion. I woke up right after I finished the bike portion and was told I had 30 minutes to run a marathon or I'd DNF (Did Not Finish). You probably don't need me to say it...but I DNF'd in my dream.

So I woke up...and it was raining. Hard and loud. I checked the weather and it said the rain should stop between 6 and 8, but indicated that it would start again after. Knowing my long run (I'd planned 11 miles) would take just over 2 hours, I figured a 7am start time would still be okay, and I dozed on and off until about 5:45,

I got up and started getting ready, getting kind of anxious about the unrelenting rain, and decided to pack a bag for the gym too. People, it kind of killed me to even think about running 11 miles on a treadmill. But I packed the bag, including a towel, shower stuff, two water bottles and my Shot Bloks, and just as I picked up my keys to get in my car I decided I would run outside instead.

Okay...not one of my better ideas as it was about 6:45 and the rain still hadn't stopped, but I figured two things:
  1. The weather people said the rain would stop for a few hours.
  2. If it rains on the day of the half, I will have to run outside anyways.
So I laced up, put on my waterproof jacket and Camelbak, and stepped outside.

It really wasn't bad for the first few miles, but I should have known the "weather people" can't be trusted. The rain was pretty light, and I figured it would let up for a bit. So I planned out my route in my head because I wanted to stay close enough to home that I could get there relatively quickly if the weather looked like it was going south (ie too much thunder or lightning started, because there hadn't been any lightning up til then).

But then the rain decided to be heavy. And it also decided not to stop being heavy. My waterproof (which is really, really light weight) was only waterproof for about a mile and a half, and then I was soaked through. After about three miles my feet started getting more and more wet, and by 5 miles I was going crazy trying to decide if I should stick to my planned 11 miles, or head home.

'Head home' won out. I had what I felt were good reasons, but I still beat myself up about it a bit all afternoon. There had been a bit of lightning, but what really worried me was how wet my feet were. My shoes were so soaked that they were heavy and squishing with every step, and my feet were sliding around a bit in them. I haven't written about it yet but I've had problems with a blister on one of my big toes after my long runs - nothing terrible, it's just that my right foot is bigger than the left by almost half a size, so my right big toe rubs a bit against the side of my shoe as I run. After every long run I drain it and let it dry out, and I've been able to keep it in check.

But my feet were so wet that I was worried I would get other blisters that would interfere with my training. And since the whole point of training is to actually run the half, I decided to call it. I figured I'd end up running between 6 and 7 miles, and I was okay with that. I finished at 6.5 miles, and was (admittedly) pretty happy to get home and dry off.

Since I know you wanna see it, here I am after the run. Pardon the terrible lighting, while my mom took the picture I stood in the laundry room so I wouldn't drip all over everything:

And I totally took a picture of my feet since I knew I'd mention that blister. 
To make myself feel better about the whole thing I decided to use this run as my Platform 9 3/4k for the Hogwarts Running Club. The medals won't be shipped for a little while, but I took that second picture to use for it. I can't wait to see the medal!

I had to shower really quickly because I had a chiropractor appointment to get to...and since my shoes got so wet I decided to go buy an alternate pair just in case. It's something I've been meaning to do for a looooong while and I just haven't been able to convince myself.

Before I go on about the shoes, I've gotta say that the adjustment I had at the chiro was one of the best I've had. I go to the same place I was an LMT at, and just before I left a new doctor started. I've had a few appointments with him and he's really great. Very thorough and his 'style' works well with my body. But moving on...!

When I got to the running store, the woman helping me had me try both the Ghost and Glycerin models by Brooks, and I ended up getting the Glycerins. I've heard good things about the Brooks brand, but I've never had a pair. The Ghosts fit well but felt very clunky, even moreso than my 1260s (which are a very "sturdy" shoe) and they slid off my heels a lot when I ran. The Glycerins don't run in wide widths (not the women's, at least) so I tried the men's ones and almost immediately fell in love. They actually felt like gloves - light but supportive and hugged my feet really well without being tight. When I ran with them on the treadmill they won out over the Ghosts. And as a bonus times two, they had them in royal blue AND were 20% off since they're the "old" model (12s, not 13s)...check 'em out:

I also picked up a pair of footless compression socks while I was there. My legs have been a bit sore/achey after my long runs and I have a pair of footed compression socks that have helped, but wanted footless to wear with my flip flops. I put them on when I got home and I love them!

I didn't do a whole lot after that...I dropped some stuff off at my aunt's for a party on Sunday (sidenote...check out this picture I took of a baby squirrel who decided to climb her!):

...and then I went to Cam's. His grandparents wanted to take us all out to dinner for his mom's birthday. It was a pretty uneventful night as far as things go, which I was totally fine with. I showed Nana how to play a one person card game called Grandma's Game (which I picked up from Runs for Cookies), and then Cam and I watched an episode of Bloodline (our new "watch together" show), and then I hit the hay.

Sunday (yesterday) Cam and I got up and headed for the gym right away (right around 8). I'd been playing with the idea of going for a run to make up miles from Saturday (and test out my new shoes), but I decided against it. We did this instead:

I'm feeling it in my back today (in a good way), so I'll take this workout as a success. We generally try to fit in one "core" exercise and then at least 4 auxiliary ones with each workout, and weekends are usually the day we do deadlifts, and then whatever we left out during the week.

After our workout I got out my CPCU study stuff (yup, that's still happening!) and crammed some studying in. I have a week and a half until my test, so I'm starting to get a little nervous! Eep! I'm at a place I'm pretty comfortable with, but the next week will definitely have some focus to studying. I'll be really happy to take a few weeks' break when I'm done with this test, especially since there's so much other stuff happening the week after. That said...I need to order books for my next test as soon as I'm done with the first, so I shan't relax too much.

Cam and I hung out with his parents and grandparents a bit before I headed over to my aunt's for a barbecue. A good chunk of our family was there, and it was nice to just sit around and talk for a while. The weather was warmer this week (apparently we're gonna have a temperature spike again here soon...yippee / was almost 90 degrees when I went out for lunch today which left me suddenly dreading today's run) so we got to sit outside in the sun for a while too. I felt like I left early (I was getting kind of tired) but my mom and brother got home about 15 minutes after I did, so I must have been right on par with everyone else.

And that was the weekend! Who would have thought all of that would happen in one weekend?! Not me, for sure, although I should kind of expect it by now, especially since I actually had a lot of that planned out...whoops.

In case you feel like you're missing out, here are my run and workout recaps for the last week. Sorry I've been so bad about keeping up with these...perhaps I should make it a September goal to be better about it...!

Since today is Monday, I did three miles, per my normal schedule:

Like I said...the weather has climbed back to brutal. It was hot and humid today...just the kind of day that makes me loathe running. I waited until after 6 to go out and run, which is really late for me. It was difficult, but only for my hamstrings and calves...I could certainly feel the afterburn from those deadlifts! I could also tell that there's a slight difference in form from the new shoes, but my knee fared really well. It didn't bother me at all, and that was my main concern with getting new shoes.

And apparently part of our weird weather the last few weeks is due to the wild fires out west. It's just so nuts to think that that's happening thousands of miles away and yet we're still impacted! Hopefully things cool off again after this week - I'd love to run the half in weather like we had last week, rather than weather like today!

And as promised, a workout roundup from last week, both runs and lifting:
Tuesday's run splits (I didn't run Monday because of Rico) and our workout log. Turns out our gym has a bunch of water damage so we couldn't use certain machines (like the leg press) and couldn't do a few of the things we wanted to.

And Thursday. I ran again...just two miles on the treadmill. We had to work out and then were going for dinner with Cam's fam so we kept things short and sweet. We also had an argument about my bench weight and ended our workout in angry silence while we both pumped away...that's why I didn't fill in the final weight for us. I know mine was 60lbs for the 10 set, and I think his was like 195...
And that's it for this post! I have nothing but the usual work/study/workout/run planned all week, so you probably won't hear from me for a bit. I kind of want to keep it that way...there is way too much other stuff that has happened in the past month, excitement can keep to itself for a while!


Friday, August 28, 2015

Warning: May Contain Emotions

Hi all!

Sorry for being radio-silent this week. It's been busy and a bit exhausting, and I just need some me-time away from a computer.

And I'll just be blunt about this: It hasn't been an easy few weeks emotionally. Things could be easier. But they aren't, and I guess I have to deal with that. I mean, they're getting easier, but the last two weekends were kind of the pits.

I mentioned in my last post that "I just don't feel like doing anything."

A few years ago I didn't understand that this is one of the cardinal signs of depression. Lethargy, sleeping a lot, the absolute lack of desire to do anything, and not finding joy in things you normally do...depression at it's finest!

I don't think I've mentioned it here but I was diagnosed (like for real) with moderate depression a few years ago. There were a few options offered to me, one of which was medication, but I declined because I wanted to see if I could manage my symptoms in other ways. "Diet and exercise" can help - and have - but it's not a cure all. I've actually had to spend a lot of time training my brain to think differently and to 'overcome', if you will, thought patterns conditioned by depression.

I don't want to bore you with the details, but another check-box symptom of depression is all-or-nothing thinking. I can give you a very simplistic example: I have a To Do list with 15 items on it. I get 10 done. I feel like a worthless POS because I didn't get all 15 things on the list, plus 5 extraneous things done.

(PS: Welcome to my senior year of college.)

I'm not surprised that I reacted to everything from the last few weeks the way I did...I've basically felt hopeless about the bad situations presented to me, so it's no wonder that my brain just wanted to power down for a bit. And I decided to let it.

I woke up at 5:45 on Saturday because I had a lot to do - I had a 10 mile run scheduled, I had a chiropractor appointment, and I needed to call the vet ASAP to get Rico seen.

But when I got up my knee was bothering me just a little too much, and I was getting more worried about Rico (remember, I thought he had an abscess that was going to burst) so I decided to skip the run and try to get Rico an appointment as soon as I could...and that appointment ended up conflicting with my chiro appointment, so I rescheduled that too.

Sidenote: I am busy. Every appointment I've made in the last month (eye doctor, chiro, massage...everything but the dentist!) has ended up being rescheduled, sometimes multiple times. Meetings at work, animals, other appointment's all messing with my schedule. I finally just rescheduled my eye exam for October because there's no way I can fit it in in September with all the stuff I'm doing (the half, our fall fundraisers at work, Nana and Papa visiting...)...I basically just said 'No!' to more stuff in September. know the long and short of what happened with Rico. I'd originally arranged to take him in early on Monday so they could check out the tumor and see if the could drain it and what made it way worse was that I had to call before they closed to change those plans and schedule an entirely different kind of appointment. It just sucked everything out of me to do that. And to make things more complicated, Cam and I had plans with friends Saturday night. I totally almost bailed (which he said he'd be okay with). Almost. But I decided in the end it would be 'good for me' to go and be around other people.

So I went. I ate dinner (thanks, Sarah!) and...I fell asleep on the couch. I was just mentally and emotionally too exhausted to actually interact with the people around me. And even though I was a bit mad and disappointed in myself, sometimes that is what needs to happen.

Cam and I were supposed to work out on Sunday too, but I told him I just wanted to get home and hang out with Rico while I could. I just wanted to be home. And Cam understood that.

So to my little dude...Goodbye. I missed you before I even had to let you go, and I'll never forget you.

And I'll forever remember your affinity for stealing my food.
The good news is, the weekend is almost here, and I'm getting out of my funk. Though I was busy at work this week, it was mostly because I had many more volunteer meetings than usual, and I think it's really good that that's what kept me busy. Seriously, the things that have lifted me up are PrideZ, the American Cancer Society, Habitat for Humanity, and knitting lessons. I love being involved, and I love helping. Those things make me feel amazing.

I also ended up doing a lot of yoga on Saturday and Sunday (and even throughout the week) to cope with all of this...which actually felt like a really great way to handle it. I put on a few Sarah Beth Yoga restoration videos and just settled in and let my mind focus on the physical aspects of what I was feeling rather than the emotional ones. It helped me calm down and escape from my brain for a little bit...and had the added benefit of easing some of the aches I've had lately.

I've actually been trying to fit yoga in more often, even if it's just for a 'good morning' stretch before work. It helps focus my mind and set positive intentions for the day, even when my main goal is just to work out some stiffness. It's truly amazing what a little activity in the morning will do!

Okay so all the sad stuff aside, we got a taste of fall this week and I'm in love. The temps are supposed to spike again over the weekend and through next week, but I'm really hoping for a drop off again after that. I miss sweatshirts and sweatpants and snuggling into warm covers in a chilly room at the end of a long day.

On top of that - Nana and Papa (Cam's grandparents) got here from Idaho on Wednesday night. We all had dinner together yesterday, and I'm so looking forward to having them here the next few weeks. They're amazing, amazing people.

Before I go - I feel like I've been revelling in my pets this week. Just really enjoying them and the happiness they instill in me. So here they are. The pups (in honor of National Dog Day this past Wednesday) and Benjen, my little fighter, and another one of Rico, my little dude:

I'm hoping to do some running and workout updates before the weekend ends, so fingers crossed you'll see something from me again soon!


Saturday, August 22, 2015


This will be a short one...

I'm pretty down and out today. I had a good week, but once again the weekend brought more bad news, and I just don't feel like doing anything.

Rico (my two year old hamster) has had a growth on his chest for the last few weeks. I've been keeping an eye on it, but it's grown by about 1/3 in the last few days, so I finally decided to get him checked on.

I honestly, truly thought it was an abscess that needed draining because of how fast it grew. Here's the best picture I could get...and keep in mind that 2 1/2 weeks ago he was totally normal and his chest was flat:

That purplish thing extending into his food dish? That's what I'm talking about.
Turns out it's a tumor. It's possible that there's a lot of fluid build-up around it, but regardless there's not much to be done.

I just feel so crappy about this. I asked for an estimate to drain and biopsy everything, but in the car on the way home I had a flashback to when I was eight. I got this awesome hamster when I was six. His name was Winny, and he was totally my bud. Just after he turned two he got this large saddlebag looking lumps on his sides, and we took him to the vet who informed us that he had tumors and probably didn't have much longer to go.

I cried and cried and cried, and after talking with my mom, at the ripe old age of eight, I realized that I could not keep Winny alive simply because I wanted him to be.

Well...I thought of Winny during the ride home today and the same thought planted itself in my irrationally whirring mind, putting a dead stop to the idea of spending nearly $200 to keep my old little dude alive for (maybe) a few extra weeks.

Rico doesn't need to have some painful, drawn out death just because I can't bear to let him go. I hate myself for knowing that, and for knowing what's coming on Monday.


I guess there's not much I can do though.