Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Laugh at the Confusion, Live for the Moment!

Another epic hike!  Wow!  This one had elevation and distance.  We even dragged our 14 year old along.  She was not too happy about it at first since the first three miles were all up hill.  But she was a trooper and did all 11 miles!!  Not that she had much choice.  ;-) Actually she did awesome and it was her longest hike ever!  Super proud of my sweet girl and love that she likes to go along and do these types of things with her mom and dad!  The dog came along as well.  She LOVES going on hikes and being off leash.  I made the mistake of asking her if she wanted to go for a run about an hour before we were supposed to leave.  She whined at me for about 20 minutes because she wanted to leave NOW!  I will not ask her that again until it is time to walk out the door! lol  Silly puppy!
We started at Peavy Arboretum and worked our way across the Saddle, towards Dimple Hill and then down to the Oak Creek Gate.
The weather was perfect (for this time of year) and it didn't rain.  We even saw some blue sky on occasion.
Some parts were hard.  Lot's of up hill and it was work.  Again, for the third week in a row, no frustration.  I have truly turned a corner.  Do I wish I was stronger?  Absolutely!  Do I realize that I kick ass for being out there and getting it done?  Absolutely!
Two of my favorite people!  
Love being able to go on hikes like this that are practically out my back door.  
I took a break from my normal eating and just let it go during the holidays.  I realized just how clean I have been eating the last few months because my gut rebelled big time.  I enjoyed the treats, chocolates, cinnamon rolls, fudge, etc that were around this past week but I paid dearly for indulging.  I don't think there will be a repeat performance next year!  Not worth it at all!!!  In a way it was a good lesson for me.  I realized that I had been doing very well in eating healthy and that my body likes that lifestyle better.  :-)  Nothing like being miserable for a few days to help me figure it out!  The hike on Sunday was a nice way to burn off some of the crap I had been eating so I could hit the reset button on Monday.

Monday was MUCH better!  I drank a ton of water, which meant I was peeing every other minute.  At least when I'm home I can do that.  Unlike work where I have to time bathroom breaks between classes.  I ate well and kept things under control.  I had a bit of a headache but that is to be expected when coming off a sugar withdrawal.  At least for me.  An entire year of no sugar and then BAM a week of overindulgence does not make for a happy head!

I even went to the movies and did not eat popcorn.  The movie popcorn is always so good but then I am miserable all evening after.  I'm pretty sure that whatever is in the butter or the way the popcorn is cooked does not fit the gluten free lifestyle.  I always feel crummy after so I don't know why I put myself through that.  I think this is the first time at the movies with NO popcorn, NO candy and NO soda!  Funny, I still really enjoyed the movie.  AND I didn't have to get up to pee half way through because I had been drinking a giant soda.  :-)  Go figure.

Two years ago I began this blog to help me and maybe let other people know that they aren't alone in the struggle to become healthier.  It's not an easy journey and has not gone the way that I had planned.  I'm not where I thought I would be at this point in the journey.  Blogging (or journaling) about the journey has helped me keep things in perspective, keeps me accountable and has helped me focus on the positives rather than the negatives.  (Most of the time!)  :-)

This is the time of year for New Years Resolutions.  I won't be making one this year.  I'm such a rebel.  Actually I will be continuing my work towards beting a healthier and happier me.  I don't think this is a new resolution, just a continuation of my long term goal.  I don't have any set plans yet, I will be holding off until after I finish my internship in April and see where I am at then.  For now the focus will be getting through this last part of my Masters degree, drinking lots of water and eating as healthy as I can.  Oh, and continuing to be completely thankful for the amazing friends and family who have walked with me on this journey.  I'm so proud of all they have accomplished in reaching their goals and learning from their failures.  I want to be just like them when I grow up.  :-)
This is perfect for where I am at right now!  Learning to laugh at the confusion and live for the moment!
I think this will be my theme for 2015!  Instead of having a resolution I will have a theme and work on what I can control and laugh at the rest.  :-)

Tomorrow I participate in the Hangover Run once again.  I can't wait!  Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!!

Trail therapy.

I've talked about this before.

How on the trail there is opportunity to work through things, either alone or with friends.

How on the trail there is opportunity to spend time in God's wonder.

How on the trail there is opportunity to examine yourself.

Last Sunday I went on a hike with my husband and four good friends.  We had planned a little Christmas gathering and the first thing on the agenda when we were planning our activities for the day was to go on a hike.  The second thing was that the hike needed to be something new.  We decided to go do the 400 gate hike.  Joe had done this one before and two others in the group had done parts of it but it was new to the rest of us.  Joe said the first three miles were pretty steep but then after it wasn't too bad.

With my new attitude about my abilities firmly in place (tightly griped like a life-line) I embarked out with my friends on a new trail.  I was a little worried that I would revert back to the way I have been and not enjoy myself.  I was determined to have a good time with a good attitude.

Joe wasn't kidding.  The first three miles were tough but they were fun too.  I know, right?  That doesn't sound like me.  Or at least, it doesn't sound like me this past year.  Makes me feel like I'm finding my way back to the having fun at all costs part that I had lost.

What made it fun?  Well, two friends took off running up the hill and I just laughed because I knew that was SO not happening for me.  And I was okay with it.

My husband and two other friends were up ahead of me while I worked my way up the hill and I enjoyed listening to them laugh and talk.  With no envy or feeling inadequate because I was in the back  I was okay with it.
Love these people!
Then I started thinking about what had changed and why I was okay with being in the back when I have spent the last year being so frustrated and angry about it.  Yes, I am admitting that I was angry.  I have been angry with myself for not being better, for not working harder, for letting events of the past year hold me back and make me sad, for not shaking off the emotions that get in the way and moving forward.  For not being stronger.  For not being Badass with Sparkle.

I realized that the thing that was really getting in my way on the hikes was that I was worried.  I was worried there would come a point where my friends would stop inviting me because I slowed them down, or because I couldn't keep up.  So I would try to keep up, feel uncomfortable, not be able to breath or whatever, and I would get frustrated with myself.  I should have had much more faith in my friends.  I owe them apologies for not trusting in their friendship and acceptance of where I am at.
Loved all the ferns in this part of the forest.
I realized that I was starting to view our outings with dread because of this.  I wanted the time with them but it was being tarnished with my own bad attitude.  Too many tears and frustrations focusing in on what I didn't have instead of what I do have.  My husband Joe and my friend Wendie bore the brunt of this and thankfully just kept encouraging me and dragging my sorry butt along during this past year.  Again, apologies owed for focusing on the negative instead of just being thankful that I can even be there at all.
We actually saw some blue sky!!
So here I am, trudging up this hill.  At the back of the group.  Aware that I'm going to be sore and tired later.  And I was happy.  For the second hike in a row I was happy where I am at.  This made me feel like the last hike wasn't a fluke.  I have turned a corner and while I'm sure there will be days that I'm frustrated, and days where I'm sad, I think that I'm going down the road of figuring out how to be okay where I am.  Such a good road to be on!
Beautiful!  I can't wait to go again and see the view on a clear day.
The hike was hard but awesome!  It rained.  The wind blew.  But I was with my husband who spent most of the hike hanging with me, which I loved.  I got to laugh and joke with my friends.  I got to see a new and different part of the beautiful world I live in.
This was at the top of the last big hill we had to climb.  Can't really see how steep it was but believe me, it was steep.  :-)
The afternoon consisted of laughter, football, chili, cornbread, laughter, adult beverages, laughter, pushups, and did I mention laughter?  Can't get much better than that!!  Such a perfect way to begin Christmas week and my winter vacation!

The other fun thing that happened last weekend was that I went on a run with my daughter on Saturday.  We ran in the pouring down rain.  I took the dog.  We got soaked.  We ran some, we walked some.  It was a blast.  No worrying about pace.  No worrying about running the whole thing.  Just get in three miles and call it good.  Did better than I thought I would considering how long it has been since I actually have gone for a run.  I think that might be because of how I have changed my focus.
My beautiful girl was proud to wear one of my race shirts.  Made me realize that I should be more proud of my races too!
Why am I running/hiking/biking/swimming now?  Because I want to.  Not because I am on a training plan.  Not because of a race I'm signed up for that I must PR in.  Not because I have to run all of a race or somehow it won't count.  Not because I need to loose a bunch of weight in order to feel like I've accomplished something.  Not for all of the other silly things I build up in my head.  I am going to do these things because I WANT to do them.  I want to be healthy!  It is supposed to be fun!  I'm especially focused on reclaiming the fun.
I love this sweet puppy!  
I have the annual Hangover Run coming up next week.  I'm probably going to suck at it.  I never have done this one well so I really have nothing to worry about.  I am going to go and have a fantastic time and enjoy my friends and family.  It is always a fantastic way to start off the new year!

Then I have a 10k in January and I don't anticipate setting any records at that race too.  But once again, I get to spend time with people I think are amazing.  So I already know it will be a fantastic day and I can't wait.

Also time for me to stop focusing on myself and remember to be the kind of person and friend that my friends need me to be!!!
Got a mug this week that has this quote on it.  Been thinking about it all week.  :-)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Happy Where I'm At!

Today I went on a hike.  Not a terribly difficult route.  It's just under 7 miles on an old logging road.  Nice and wide which makes it fun when there is a group because we can all walk together side by side.  It was my friend Tony's birthday.  He had gone on a run earlier and timed it so that he finished his run so he could join us on the hike.  We also had Josh, Wendie and Wendie's cousin Holly.
I originally had planned to leave the puppy at home.  But she got so excited when I put on my running clothes that I just didn't have the heart to put her in her kennel.  Talk about a happy puppy!  She has done really well with her training the past year.  The only problem has been occasionally being stubborn about coming when we call.  Working with my trainer, we got her a shock collar and had a lesson on how to use it properly.  Wow!  It has worked miracles!  I decided to put the shock collar on her and let her try a hike off leash.  That way I had a little back up if she decided to take off.

Bailey did awesome!  She stayed on the trail we were hiking on.  She stayed in sight the whole time.  She ran around in circles, ran ahead and then back and basically had a great time.  So much more fun than her pulling on the leash the whole time.  When there were other runners or bikes I would call her and have her heel next to me, still off leash, and she was awesome!  Several times we met people with dogs and she said hi to the other dogs but then came when I called her.  I was super proud of how well she did.  My little puppy is growing up fast!  :-)
First off leash hike!  She was AWESOME!
At one point in the hike I had stopped to adjust Bailey's collar and got a ways behind the group.  This was towards the end of the hike, around mile five, and we were walking uphill.  I just didn't have the energy to run to catch up.  In the past this would have really frustrated me and discouraged me.  However, even though I haven't been running or hiking for several months, I've been thinking about my running and exercise in general.
I know that I made the right choice to take a break and focus on my grad school classes.  The classes have been very stressful this fall and a lot of work.  So, I'm walking quite a ways behind the group and thinking about where I was a year ago and where I am now.  A year ago I had been doing really well on my running and was getting faster.  But I had just started taking a new medication to deal with my pre-diabetic symptoms and it didn't make me feel good.  Plus I was pissy about having to take the medication in the first place so I didn't have a great attitude about it.   I was in my first semester of grad school.  I was tired all the time, not losing weight and in general just frustrated.

This year I am getting ready to start my last term of grad school after the holidays. (YAY!) I have adjusted to the medication and I'm not pissy about it (most of the time).  I have hopes that I can get to a point where I have lost enough weight and my exercise is consistent that I can quit.  Today is not that day and I'm okay with it.  I haven't been running but I have been making sure I get my 10,000 steps in every day on my Fitbit.  Luckily I have a job where I stand a lot and I move around my classroom a lot and sometimes I walk around the halls at lunch to get more steps in.  We ran today and for everyone else it was just an easy jog.  I was okay but I couldn't have gone much faster and we were only going about a 14' mile pace.  I have some rebuilding to do once I start hitting the pavement again.  Today is not that day and I'm okay with it.
Getting kisses from my sweet puppy!  So in love with this dog!  :-)
I guess what was great about today was that instead of getting mad at myself for where I am not, I was happy about where I am.  I have amazing friends that encourage and support me and constantly remind me that I need to work on MY journey.  I watched them walking ahead of me, talking and laughing and I felt blessed!  These were some of my people and they didn't care that I was slow.  They were glad I had come along.  They weren't annoyed (I hope) by my silly dog running around them.  They thought she was doing great.  So today, for once, I was able to go on a hike and not beat myself up because I couldn't do more, go faster, do better.  I was content with where am right now.
Ice Storm and then Wind Storm.  Lots of damage but it was beautiful still.  
Maybe that is one of the things I needed to work on this fall instead of running.  Learning to be okay with where I am at.  This past year I have been so frustrated that I wasn't where I thought I would be by now.  Frustrated that my body hasn't cooperated with my efforts and we can't figure out why.  Frustrated that I'm still tired all the time and we can't figure out why.  This fall I have been able to let a lot of that go.

I have been thinking about what I want to accomplish and how I'm going to get there for new goals.  I have some thoughts bouncing around so that I can hit the ground running (pun intended) when I'm done with grad school.  Maybe I needed to take a break so that I could learn to be okay with where I am and also be okay with not reaching my goals every time.  I am terribly hard on myself in many areas and that is also something I have been working on.  If my family and friends are proud of me, I need to learn to be proud of myself too.  I have done some pretty kick ass things in the last three and a half years.  Things I never would have thought I could do when I started this whole running thing and I could barely run the corners of the track.

New plan is to keep cheering on my kick ass friends that are accomplishing Big Hairy Ass Goals!! I will remember that what they are doing is not what I need to be doing, that does make my goals less, just different.  Some of the things they do I don't even want to do, so there is no need to feel less about what I'm doing.  I will remember that the only person who was thinking my goals were small and stupid was me and that is NOT okay anymore.  I will also cut myself some slack when life, parenting, work, being a wife, housework, chores, grocery shopping, laundry (the list goes on!) gets in the way of my goals on occasion.  Because I have a pretty sweet life.  Actually I have an exceptionally awesome life and the best part is I get to share it with my best friend.  :-)
New pants, like Joe's only in my favorite color.  Best part?  I thought they wouldn't fit.  :-)
One more week of work and school and then I get two weeks off of work and a month off of grad school.  It will be awesome to rest my brain for a bit.  I signed up for a 10k in January so I will be getting my run on this week.  It will be slow and sad and not anywhere close to where I was or where I want to be and I'm okay with that.  My daughter is going to run the 10k too, it will be her first!  So we are going to be training together.  How cool is that?  I'm super excited!
Today has been a great day!  Can't wait to continue my journey with the better attitude AND add back in the running.
Bailey is a wee bit tired, can't imagine why!  :-)
Life is a journey!  Run Happy!!
Next step, figuring what the hell I want....