Saturday, January 6, 2018

Working on...

I haven't written in awhile.

There are a couple of reasons for this.

One is the basic reason that I have just been busy.  Work keeps me hopping, especially during the holidays.  Getting the kids to stay focused when they can see the winter break in their sights isn't always easy.  Fun though.

Then Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, wrapping presents, baking, workouts and a couple of races tossed in, just for fun.

Tends to keep me going full steam for awhile.

I did the Corvallis Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day.  That was fun.  It was rainy but unusually warm, almost 60 degrees. Joe did the 10k and I did the 5k.  I wasn't really excited about doing the race for some reason the morning of.  But once I got going I felt really good.  I had a good race and finished solid.  They race peeps were having some difficulty with their timing equipment so I didn't get an official time.  But my Garmin said that I finished in 35:24 which is a good time for me.  I was pretty and glad that I did the race even though I wasn't really feeling it before it started.
Race selfie!  Joe loves these. 😉
Since this race is after my birthday but before Joe's, it's one of the few races we aren't the same age. lol
Joe started his 10k about 10 minutes before my 5k.
Found my teammate Cathy after the race.  Love this lady's sense of humor and smile. 
Joe finishing strong. 
I next did the Shellburg Falls trail run.  That's a 5.2 mile trail run with 750 feet of elevation gain.  Lots of ups and downs.  I felt really good during the run but was a bit slower than the year before.  That's a little frustrating when I felt like I was stronger and doing better than the year before.  But I got out there and did a race and had a good time doing it so that's a win.  Loved seeing Heather and Kelly at the start and finish.  Those ladies always make me smile!!
A little blurry pre-race selfie.

Pre-race drink.  Helps warm you up!  lol
I LOVE this lady so much!!  Heather's first trail run in over a year.  Yay!
Kelly and Heather needed to be part of a pre-race selfie too!!  
Managed to get through the last few weeks of school and then it was winter break.  I still had quite a bit to do in order to get ready for Christmas but I managed to get it done with a few days to spare.

But I was struggling.

I am always trying to find a good balance in my blog with sharing the real me without sharing every single detail of my life.

But a lot of the things that make it real are the personal, hard things.

So I'm going to share the next bit and I hope you understand that it isn't easy to share.  Hard to expose what I perceive as weakness.

Every year I struggle during the winter months.  It's dark.  It's dreary.  I get up and do a workout in the dark.  I come home from the workout in the dark.  I head to work in the dark.  It's still light when I get off work but gets dark quickly after I get home.

My new classroom is nice but it is an inside wall of the school and has no windows.  I see daylight when I stand in the hall between classes for four minutes each time.

I'm pretty sure this hasn't helped this year at all.

This year has been worse than normal.

I'm not depressed per se.

But I'm definitely not a happy camper either.

I saw my doctor at the end of November and he already could tell I was struggling.  We talked about a few things I could do to help.  I had my yearly check up at the beginning of January and he said we should see how I was doing then and if we needed to be a little more proactive.

Christmas Eve I was supposed to go for a hike.  I overslept and by the time I got up and moving I would have really had to rush to get the hike done, come home and clean up and then head to my mom and step-dads for our Christmas celebration.  So I didn't go.

Then Christmas morning I was supposed to do a 50 minute bike ride.  Very doable.  Yet I didn't get it done.  I made cinnamon rolls for the next family gathering with my dad and step-mom.  I also made a pan to take out to Joe and his crew at the fire station since they had to work.  If I had made them the night before Joe could have taken them to work with him.  But I was so tired that I didn't and I needed to take them out myself.  I just couldn't seem to find the energy to stick a bike ride on the trainer in the middle of making rolls and getting ready to go to the next Christmas celebration.  So I skipped that workout too.

From Christmas Eve until New Years Eve I only did my workouts on one day.

At first I said I wasn't feeling good.

That isn't really the case.

I didn't have the crud.

I had a bad case of the blahs.

Overtired (more than my usual overtired so that's a little scary!)

Overly weepy.  Also disturbing because I tend to be quick with the tears in general but they would start and just not stop.  Ugh.

No desire to do much of anything.

When I messed up something, like forgetting the chips for Christmas with Joe's family on the kitchen counter, I made it a huge, awful mistake.  Big time over reaction.  Happened several times over the last month or so.

I knew what was going on but I just couldn't see to pull myself out of it.

Then I got frustrated.  Because I knew what my doctor was going to advise when I saw him and I didn't like it.

That's the weird part.  If I have a friend struggling I would say to them to do whatever it takes to feel better.  It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help, to take a pill, to do whatever needs to be done to get better.  I have encouraged and supported many people to do whatever they need to do in order to feel okay.

But somehow when it is me, I feel like a failure.  Like I'm not a strong person.  I should be able to do better on my own.

Double standard for sure.

My doctor says that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I generally have been able to keep it under control with the help of a big daily dose of Vitamin D.

This year I haven't been able to keep it under control.

My husband could see it.

My coach could see it.

Even my doctor could see it and he only saw me twice.

When I went to my yearly appointment I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork.  Updating my family history and such.  One of the questions was if I had felt down or depressed during the last two weeks.  I hate saying yes to that question because I know it will lead to more follow up questions.  Joe was with me and I knew that I needed to be honest.

Sure enough.  When I was with the nurse she had follow up questions.  Once again I was honest, even cried a bit over one of the questions.

So....this year I have to admit that I need help.  I have to ask for help and be okay with that.  I have to admit that I'm not strong enough to do this on my own.

Harder than it sounds when it appears that everyone around me can function without taking a stupid pill but me.

My doctor wants me to do three things.  First, take the pill for a short time, just to help me get through the worst of the winter darkness.  Second, he recommended that I head over to Central Oregon once a month or so to get a few days of sunshine.  Third, I am to get a therapy light to use.

I will be picking up the prescription tomorrow for the pill.  Joe and I already had plans to go to Bend for the weekend next week so that works out well.  And I just ordered a therapy light on Amazon, one for at home and a small one for my desk at work.


I have made a very concerted effort to make sure that all my workouts got done this week.

Not easy.

I was back to work on Tuesday and so tired that getting up early to swim, getting on the bike on the trainer after work or running after work wasn't easy.  It didn't help that several of my workouts I wasn't able to quite get the speed I was supposed to.  Perceived effort was that I was working hard like normal but I just couldn't seem to have the speed where I needed.

But I have done every single workout and done them as well as I can right now.

I'm sure it will get better.


Thirteen weeks until my first triathlon of the season.  Beaver Freezer.  I'm hoping eventually comes sooner than later.

On the fun side, Strava did an end of the year video of what I had done during 2017.  It was a good reminder that I don't sit around on my ass most of the time.

Today I was able to go ride my bike outside and there was blue sky and sunshine.  One of the things that was a little nervous about for this ride was that I would be wearing my clip on biking shoes.  I have been using them on the trainer for a couple of months now.  I did one short ride in November around the neighborhood stopping at all intersections and stop signs to practice starting and stopping.  That went pretty well.  Today's ride would be my first time venturing out for a long ride and doing my actual workout.

I was supposed to keep my heart rate in Zone 2.  Which meant between 129 and 136 bpm.  At the beginning of the ride, as I worked my way through town to get out to the countryside, it got over 150 bpm.  lol I think I was a little amped up.

Once I got out of town I was able to get things under control and enjoyed my time riding outside for a change.
Stopped and started several times and didn't fall down!  Yay!
I'm hiking tomorrow.  Taking Finn along and meeting up with my hubby and my brother-in-law.  They will run and I will hike mostly but it should be fun.

The advantage of making plans with people is that then I do a better job of not oversleeping or just staying in my pajamas and not go of all.

Working on being okay with asking for help.

Working on knowing I'm still a strong person, even if I do ask for help.

Working on getting through this season as best I can.

There is always something to be working on.  Seems the workouts, work and just life all go hand in hand.

I'm working on that too.  😁

Sunday, November 19, 2017

What's Your Why?

Over the last few months I have been swimming, biking, running, hiking, and walking.  Along the way I have stopped often and taken pictures of the amazing world we live in.

This past few weeks I have struggled to get my workouts done.  I come home from work and just want to get comfy clothes on and crawl into bed.  Basically I just want to hibernate.

I have been moody and weepy.  I have been irritable.  I'm pretty sure I haven't been a lot of fun to be around.

Today on my hike I spent a lot of time taking pictures because it was just so incredibly beautiful.  It occurred to me that this was a big part of why I started the journey to being a healthier me.  I wanted to be able to hike, go on adventures and enjoy the world I live in.

So today I'm looking back at the last few months and remembering why I love being an active person.

November 19, 2017-Hike to Dimple Hill, outside of Corvallis, Oregon.  Hiking.

November 11, 2017-Cape Perpetua Hike, Yachats, Oregon.  Hiking.
We went out the Cooks Ridge Trail and came back down the Gwynn Creek Trail.

November 10, 2017-South Beach, Newport, Oregon.  Beach Walk.
October 28, 2017-Peak Group Ride, Corvallis, Oregon.  Biking.
Love this lady and her amazing smile!!!
Joe and Rebecca heading out for a short run on the riverfront after our group run.
October 24, 2017-East of Albany, Oregon.  Biking.
October 23, 2017-East of Albany, Oregon.  Biking.
October 22, 2017-Nettleson/Davies Loop, Corvallis, Oregon.  Run/Hike.

October 15, 2017.  Nettleson/Davies Loop + Dimple Hill.  Run/Hike
One of my favorite people!!
October 5, 2017.  Nettleson/Davies Loop.  Run/Hike
October 1, 2017.  Silver Falls State Park, Oregon.  Run/Hike.
September 24, 2017.  Forest Park, Portland, Oregon.  Hike.
September 23, 2017.  Bike bike ride with my favorite guy.

September 20, 2017.  Pure Endurance Group Run, Corvallis Riverfront.  Run.
August 26, 2017.  North of Albany, Scravel Hill Road.  Biking.

August 19, 2017.  Foster Lake, Sweet Home, Oregon.  Pure Endurance Bike Ride.
Me and Coach finishing up a ride.  It was a good day!  😊
Good reminder that I have a lot of great reasons to get up and get moving every day.  

What's your "Why"?