#microblogmonday 8

So I had this bright idea that I could get up early and go for a run before I would normally even get up…….I’m not entirely certain whether it was a genius idea or the stupidest thing ever.

I hate mornings…..with a passion.

My little boys need to be at school at 8:35am. I consider it a win if I crawl out of bed before 8am.

I try my hardest to do EVERYTHING the evening before: lunches packed, backpacks packed, outfit picked out, coats and shoes ready to go…..

That way….we get up, get dressed, brush teeth, eat breakfast and head out the door.

When I run, I typically do so after I drop the kids off at school, but I find that “the morning” is taken up by eating breakfast, checking social media, dawdling around….and then there is the post run shower and by the time that’s over, it’s almost noon.

I figured that if I didn’t think about it too hard and got my running gear ready to go…..I could POP out of bed at 6am and run for half an hour and then still have time to shower and be available to help the kids by 7am.

That’s a whole extra hour than I normally have…….it’s got be to a good idea, right?

I went to bed at a decent time and managed to sleep for 7 hours – Yay me! The alarm went off at 6am and I’ll be honest…..I did not just jump out of bed. I really contemplated not doing it but finally jumped out of bed at 6:18am.

I threw my gear on and was good to go for 6:26am. Yay me. It wasn’t as bad as I anticipated but it wasn’t the same as running during the day or in the evening when I’m more warmed up and limber. I’m still running really slow and taking it really easy since the whole “shin splint” episode. Things are slowly getting better and I’ll be back at it in no time, I’m sure.

I was excited to finish at 7:01am and ran up to take a shower…..I was a little later than I originally planned but still WAY earlier than usual.

During my run I had a thought flash through my mind……as awesome as it is to be done the run and to have extra hours in the day – what that really means is more hours to clean the house. While that’s awesome as far as actually taking care of my home, I hate house cleaning.

I was also a little nervous about being hungry all day or the dreaded 3pm crash.

I really wasn’t too hungry, but man!!!! By 3pm, I was BAGGED! I’ve managed to make it through the evening, and I’ve gotten a TON done today but I’ll be heading off to bed sooner rather than later.

I’m still trying to decide if I’m gonna try another early morning run on Wednesday.

Oh and I managed to freak the crap out of Jon and the kids…..NO ONE is used to seeing me up that early and it really threw them all for a loop. Throughout the day, I had different ones asking me what was wrong? What was up? And what was I thinking?

From that standpoint, it’s nice to shake them all up once in a while. Gotta keep them guessing!

I am Winning! Day 26 – Tuesday March 11

I’m sitting at my kitchen table, a million lego pieces on the floor around me thanks to 2 little boys who eat, sleep and breathe lego.

I have so many thoughts swarming around my head. I feel like I’m trying to herd a cloud of flies. I can’t seem to grasp one or get them to neatly line up so I can process through them. I’m not sure if I’m subconsciously avoiding dealing with “them” or if I just get so few opportunities to sit and think……..and now there are just too many……

I mentioned that I have a Dr’s appt on Thursday. It’s the yearly appointment of joy and fun, if you are a woman. And, it just happens to work out that it will be 4 weeks/28 days since I started this journey. So, I will get up on Thursday and take my measurements. I’m unsure whether I want to step on my scale at home or just do it at the Dr’s office.

I mentioned that I’m scared of the number.

It’s true! And so incredibly stupid.

It’s been so freeing not knowing the number. And yet, I still mull it over and over in my head, way more often than I’d like. My thoughts go something like this……

If I’ve lost 10 pounds, that’s awesome.

Yah, but your eating has been impecable…..surely you’ve lost more than 10 pounds.

But you’ve seen yourself in the mirror….you’ve got a LONG way to go.

But you’re doing SO good.

Yah, but it’s not fast enough and you are running like crazy.

I know but I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want to set myself up for a blow.

Is it a disappointment if you’ve lost weight and gotten stronger?

No, but what if I’ve not lost hardly any weight because I gained muscle?

I don’t want to be over 200 pounds. I hate that number.

And on and on and on……..

None of that is positive. It’s not helping me.

I know that I’m fitting in clothes differently. I feel better. I can actually see my cheekbones. I feel less exhausted and crazy(anxiety is less….sort of, I guess). I’m sleeping better. I’m accomplishing more (I think). And yet, I’m still on this stupid merry-go-round.

There is less of it. So, I guess that’s a positive.

I’ve probably upped my distance in running/walking too fast. The difference is…..I feel so much better when I’m exercising. I seem to hit the “high” after 35 minutes. And it feels SO GOOD!

BUT……my knees are tired and one is a little swollen. It’s funny because it doesn’t really hurt, but it feels……weak? Maybe that’s the best word for it. So, I’m going to back off a little because I don’t want to actually damage it. But as soon as I think about backing off…I start to feel a little panicky because I don’t want to gain weight back and I don’t want to feel anxious again.

Ha! Again with the “having anxiety” about having anxiety.

At least I can recognize this and laugh at myself. Even though it’s no laughing matter. Anxiety sucks. If you’ve never really dealt with it on a constant day to day basis….count yourself blessed. It’s as wearing as long term physical pain. It’s soul crushing.

I don’t want to think like this. I don’t want to be like this. And yet, even in my weakness, there is a positive side. I’d like to think that I have a certain amount of understanding and compassion for others who may be experiencing anxiety or other mental health issues. If you haven’t really experienced long term anxiety, it can be difficult to really comprehend.

My least favorite “helpful” suggestion is, “Just stop thinking like that!”

I wish I could.

I’m not sure if it has to do with a crazy imagination or what, but just recently I was standing in the shower and my mind flashed to a picture of me slipping, hitting my head on the temperature dial, splitting my head open and dying. In one second, I went from doing a mundane task of getting clean, to a flash of panic.

I don’t want to die. I’m actually quite satisfied with where I am at right now. I don’t want to think thoughts like this. That thought or picture flashed through my head, followed by a wave of anxiety and my immediate next thoughts were, That’s the anxiety. Why does my brain do this? I don’t want to see that picture. I don’t want to feel this anxiety. The panic that washes over you in an instant, like water flowing from the shower.

I didn’t ask to feel that. I don’t want to feel that. Even though I can recognize that it’s “anxiety”, that doesn’t mean that I can just dismiss the whole experience. I’m left exhausted by the surge of panic. Even if it was only for a moment. Even if I know it’s not real, and that there is little to no chance of “that” actually happening……the experience is still wearing. I want it to just stop. If I never had a thought like that again…..I would be thrilled.

But I can use my experiences to understand and show compassion and to teach….so that when my son comes to me asking if the mark on his face could possibly be cancer. Even though, his next comment is that he knows it most likely isn’t and that its probably just the anxiety speaking…..

I can know that I’m helping him to differentiate between the anxiety and reality. I can also understand that he’s emotionally exhausted and has little reserves to “hold himself together”. I can “get” that he’s not wanting to feel or think like this.

It makes this whole situation a little easier to deal with.

But believe me….if I could just stop this…..I would.

If you don’t deal with anxiety, maybe the next time someone shares an anxious moment with you….instead of encouraging them to “just stop it”, you could just listen……and say something encouraging like, “That’s tough. It’s got to be hard fighting against that or feeling like that.” It’s amazing how encouraging validation is. It’s not saying that being anxious or stressed is okay. It’s just acknowledging that the person is experiencing stress on the mind and body; and that they are fighting against it. It’s incredible to hear someone say, “Keep going! I’m standing here with you, beside you. Even if I’m unsure what to do….I’m here!

If you do deal with anxiety, keep fighting. Every day is a fight. Every day you fight….you are winning!

You are winning!

I am winning!

Day 15 – February 28

Today feels like a good day. I woke up at 6:15…..stayed in bed until 7:15am, BUT….I made the choice to do that because the older kids are home today; and except for breakfast and getting dressed….Siah was all ready and packed to go to school (Yay for evening prep). So, I had time……

It’s been 2 weeks since I started this “journey” and it’s been filled with ups and downs. There have been a lot of downs, but I keep attempting to focus on the ups.

I’ve seen a pattern that I hope to break. I managed to make it out of my “fat” jeans and into my “regular” jeans…..this was a fabulous feeling, BUT…….I noticed that as soon as I reached that milestone, I wanted to quit.

Yup!

I have no idea what my weight is right now, but I know that I’m no where near an optimal weight/size/shape/fitness level. And so I choose to carry on.

I know that this has happened in the past….I’ve reached this place and figured that it was good enough and that it gave me a reason to give up. I say give up, because while I am comfortable eating this way (closer to Whole30 than paleo), it’s not easy. It requires effort and discipline. It requires not inhaling a bowl (or 3) of Frosted Flakes or Lucky Charms. It requires planning ahead to have lunch and snacks. It requires making dinner instead of eating out. It requires going out for a walk/run even when I don’t want to because I’m tired or it’s snowy or it’s raining…..or I really just don’t want to. It requires a recognition that all my choices have consequences, when a part of me just wants to “do/eat whatever I want” without having to deal with the consequences.

That’s really what it comes down to……one of the things I talk the most to my kids about…..

CHOICES and CONSEQUENCES

Now, I did make a choice. It was actually a conscious choice. I chose to not monitor my food choices for a while because I was exhausted and so worn out. I knew that the consequences would be weight gain and a general feeling of physical, mental and emotional “blergh”. I needed to not feel like I was trying (and failing) to control every aspect of my life. And so I just ignored that area of my life….until I felt pretty horrid and was at the point where I could no longer fit into my “biggest” clothes.

And here I am…..wanting change.

When I was on my walk/run last night, that word was on a loop in my head.

CHANGE

I’m typically resistant to change. I like safe. I like routine. I like knowing what to expect.

Basically it all comes down to fear and control.

Again with the fear and control. ARG!

But………… I feel like this is a year of change for me.

I’m not out to force change onto myself, but I’m willing to allow change to happen and to do what I can and what I need to do to encourage that “change” to happen.

The last 2 weeks have been interesting for me. It’s eye opening to see that I do things to sabotage myself so that I can stay in a “comfortable” place. And yet that’s part of the lie….that the place I am in is comfortable….cause it’s not. And who said that life is supposed to be comfortable, anyway?

One of the “downs” of the past 2 weeks have been anxiety.

I haven’t been walking around in a 24/7 panic attack, and in fact, I’ve felt pretty stable most of the time.

I have noticed that I must be feeling worse than I realize because the desire to “escape” has been intense at times. I’ve wanted something to “take the edge off”. I’ve noticed that there have been a few more times than I’d like where I’ve wanted a glass (or 3) of wine; or to take a few Ativan just so I could escape from the pressure. I’ve noticed this particularly at the end of the day, and definitely on weekends. I’ve also noticed that when confronted with certain situations, my anxiety goes from what has seemed like “non-existent” to full on panic.

For example, Jon called me the other day when I was picking the girls up from school. My initial thought, when I heard that he was not at work but on his way home (it was earlier than his quitting time – but I had forgotten that he had a dental appt), was that something terrible had happened. He couldn’t explain himself fast enough and I could feel “worse-case-scenario-girl” kicking into overdrive.

And, Geli messaged me the other day from school…..I totally forget about what….I just remember “the forbidding feeling of doom“. I quickly cut her off to clarify that everything was ok and that she wasn’t about to “drop a bomb” on me.

I hate that aspect of my brain. I have a Dr’s Appt on March 13 and I’ll be talking with him about meds and whether or not we need to tweak things. I feel pretty good most of the time but those “flare ups” and the “desire to escape” bother me.

On a positive note….I feel a lot stronger, in regards to walking/running, than I did 2 weeks ago. I don’t feel like I’m going to die before I finish, HA!. Which is a good thing, right? I’m going further, faster than I did two weeks ago. I’m definitely not where I was when I stopped running last year, but I have the memory, both physical and mental, of what I am capable of and that has me excited for both attaining and surpassing where I was. I’ve restarted the C25K program because I figure that it can’t hurt…..and even with that…..I see differences from where I was to where I am.

Last night, I just turned the running app on and hit play without looking at exactly what the walk/run info was….I just followed the prompts, instead of anticipating them. It felt a lot easier. Just going with it. Instead of anticipating the “tough” times and counting down every second…….I just let go of all that “control” and trusted that I could do it.

I let go of the control and put aside fear and……..it felt great. Even better, I was over a minute faster per km than my previous run/walk.

I’m excited for where I’m going and trying even harder to be content with where I am at.

It’s a process. I’m in process. It’s ok. I’m ok. I’ll be ok.

How are you doing? I’d love to hear what’s happening in your life….the good, the bad, the ugly…..it’s all ok.

Day 3 – February 16

I am still nervous about actually getting up at 5:30am and going for a walk/run. Mornings have never been my strong point and so, I went for a walk last night instead of this morning….and then I woke up at 6:30am this morning and reluctantly heaved myself out of bed at 6:45am. That’s still better than 7:30ish – no?

I really, REALLY did not want to go out last night, but I didn’t want to do it this morning, even more. So, before I could really think too much about it…..I laced up my runners, harnessed the dog, and set out. It was GREAT timing on my part. There was a horrific rain storm and it hit about 5 mins into my walk. Zeus was all stressed out and kept stopping to shake the water off himself.

But, I plodded out 3 very wet and soggy kilometers. Yay me.

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post walk/run, blotchy lipstick and all

I’ve been struggling a bit with anxiety over the weekend. I have a tendency to run events over and over and over and over inside my head. Which……can be absolutely horrific. We were chatting with someone this weekend and later, I mentioned to Jon what stuck out at me the most from that conversation. Which I received as a horribly negative criticism and yet in reality it was a totally unimportant and insignificant comment. I recognize that it’s “anxiety” but that doesn’t seem to stop the “loop” from playing endlessly in my head.

At that point, Jon said to me, “It must really suck to live inside your head, sometimes.” Which it totally and utterly does.

HOWEVER……..I also realized, that this exact same tendency to go over and over and over an event or scenario is also what allows me to come up with creative, inventive and excellent ideas for issues or problems that I may come up against. I look at the “issue” from every angle and aspect; and am typically able to come up with incredible solutions.

So, what is a weakness……can also be a strength.

It’s interesting for me to realize that something that I thought broken about me……is also a huge gift.

Hmmmmm………..

A record setting pace

When I was 20 years old (seems like half a lifetime ago) I ran in the Vancouver Sun Run 10K and had a time of about 42 minutes.  I’m told that’s pretty good.  My new employer has been entering a yearly corporate team to the Sun Run and I signed up to go.

PandJRunning

When I signed up I had the idea in my head that I would try and beat my previous time which would require a significant amount of training from where I was(am).  Regardless, when you sign up you are supposed to put in the time that you predict you will finish in, and I conservatively put in 46 minutes or something like that.  This time effects your bib number, starting position and so on, as faster runners get to go first to prevent bottle-necking on the race course.

So I started running a few times a week.  I had a goal, a date to aim for, and I was excited about getting back into running.

Then Patti decided to start an 8 week “Couch to 5K” program but didn’t want to run alone and asked if I would join her.  I can’t put into words how quickly my goals changed.  Before she even got the full question out of her mouth, I no longer cared at all about the Sun Run or my time.  I immediately had a new goal; to be Patti’s running partner.

There are challenges that go along with this.  For starters, I might be turning 40 this year, but I can still run at a decent speed without training and I can definitely run a full 10K without stopping, even if the time is a bit high.  So my first challenge is to make Patti feel that she is not holding me back or cramping my style by getting me to run/walk/run through a fairly light 3k over 30 minutes.  Also, I’m still signed up for the Sun Run and I still have a low bib number coming so I need to not be a total mess out there, so I need to fit in the occasional 10K as well, but the goal is now completely different.

Why?  Why would I change my goal so fast?  Typically ADHD people don’t like to change goals once they are set on something.  On top of that I have wanted to beat my 42 minutes for 19 years and this is my first crack at it.

Because, Patti and I are better together.  Patti is an amazing person.  I don’t think I’m that bad of a person myself.  Both of us have accomplished a decent amount on our own, we both have skills that are unique to us and we both have imperfections and problems.  But when we do things together we rock!  I’m not just saying that; we’re amazing…. Really!!!

OK, so in all honesty our weaknesses match our spouse’s strengths in an uncanny way and when we rely on each other’s strengths we are just… better.

Patti and I were talking about this the other night while we were running (actually I talked and Patti concentrated on breathing and managed a “yea” once in a while.  She’s a good listener when she’s running….) We were BOTH talking about this the other night while out running and it came up that she feels that her blog only represents a half of her. Certainly there are things that we don’t share on a blog, this is after all a public forum and we share a lot, but we do choose to share some stuff and not other stuff.  What she meant is that the readers of this blog only get her side of things, and you don’t get mine.  Not that my opinions are all the different, but that sometimes my perspective is.

So we have decided that I will start contributing to the blog and not just as a guest blogger, but under my own name.  Just to warn you, sometimes I’m all surface level, geeky, odd humor, and sometimes I’m deep and philosophical.  Patti is generally somewhere in the middle all the time…. See we complement each other even there.

So as the title says, I’m running for a record setting pace.  I’m not aiming to beat 42 minutes on a 10K; I am aiming at running more, farther, faster with Patti on whichever trail we happen to be on, as long as we are doing it together.

See you soon…

SunRunBib

BTW: As you can see from the picture, my bib number for the run is 2955 which puts me in the yellow zone which is way too close to the front… but if I beat 50 minutes I’ll be thrilled (and a little surprised).

Success and Anxiety

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So, I tried again tonight and YAY! I made it. I re-did Week 2 Day 3 of the “Couch to 5k” program AND…….did it with no problems. This is after not running for over a week…..almost two weeks? I’m not sure? I’m quite excited about that.

My knees feel tired but not injured which is good.

So Saturday, I’ll be attempting Week 3 Day 1…….which is a bit of a jump from this week but I’m trying to not worry about that.

I have been worrying quite a bit though. If you’ve been reading here for a while, you might remember that at the end of last year, I realized that I’ve been dealing with and fighting against anxiety, my whole life (for as long back as I can remember). Most specifically Social Anxiety but heck, if it can be worried or stressed about……most likely I’ve worried about it at some point in my life.

I went on Anti- Anxiety meds back at the end of November 2012. I was started on an extremely low dose and it made a HUGE difference. I don’t even know that I could fully explain (and most definitely not from mg phone – I’m posting from my phone……yah for the WordPress App) how much of a positive difference it made and how fast.

When I found out I was pregnant, at the beginning of January……to be honest, I felt devastated because it was best for the baby if I went off the meds. I had UNREAL amounts of anxiety for the twelve weeks that I was pregnant and would have been seeing a Reproductive Phsycologist this week had I still been pregnant. (That appt was to discuss the safest meds I could take that would still help me.)

Probably, had I not gone through the 2-2.5 stressful “cancer” years……I’d still be just plugging along; but those years really did a number on me. There is so much “fall out” from a family member going through something like that.

I started back on the meds as soon as I miscarried. I went back to my dr and checked in with him. It was all good and I made an appt for a follow up in 2 months from then.

But the meds don’t seem to be affecting me in quite the same way they did initially. I’m not sure if hormones are at play – my hormones always seem to be messed up after a miscarriage – or what the issue is but what I do know, is that I feel anxious. And it SUCKS!

I have an appt for Wednesday to talk about the possibility of a dosage increase…..but I’ll see what my Dr. says

It’s tough to feel anxious about stupid things. Things that really should make no difference and most people wouldn’t even give those things a second thought. Where as me……I fight those thoughts a third and fourth and fifth and even tenth time; and get more and more exhausted because I’m always fighting “the anxiety”

It’s hard to feel like you’re not enjoying life because everything’s a fight. And so for now……I take meds because its what I believe I need. In some ways, even taking the meds feels like I’m “failing”. Like I should be trying harder and yet……..I’m “tried” out; and going this route…..it enables me to still be available for my family. Which is so necessary………although, I’d love to check out……not forever……just for a moment….maybe to catch my breath.

It’s what all mom’s hope for, right?

Running from or to?

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I started running in the beginning of March. I’m not sure if I was running away from something or running towards something. All I know is that I needed to do something…….and for some strange reason, running seemed like it fit what I was looking for.

I used to run…….a long time ago…….literally, a life time ago. When I was 16, I ran; and for the most part it was something to do to expend energy. I’ve never been particularly “athletic” but for a while I did run.

Not sure why I stopped but I did.

So I started again. After 20+ years, I’m not sure that you’d really call it running quite yet…….BUT…..I have been running in short intervals (and between extremely heavy breathing walking sections) and so I call it running.

About 2 weeks ago, I bought new runners and 2 runs after that, I landed one step badly on an uneven piece of curb and pulled my MCL.

I’m so bummed. I’ve been to physio. I’m icing it. I’m doing squats and lunges all to strengthen my quads and even though it seemed like my knees were good to go today……..not too long into my run (and walk). We had to slow up and walk.

I’m annoyed. I just want to run. I wonder…….I wonder about the whole “running away from” scenario. I wonder if I am just running towards this new phase off life. I wonder if I need to deal with stuff. I’m sure I do……..who doesn’t? Mostly I just want to run…..to feel the feeling that kicks in about half way into it…….to feel so good….

And I can’t…..not yet….but soon….