Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Clap Along If You Can ... If That's What You Wanna Do...

 Even the Minions and Pharrell could only make me happy for short periods of time...While I lived up in NE.

I cannot really remember how long it was, but if I had to guess it was about September (and for sure right after Chicago) of last year when things got progressively worse. The Summer for NE was ending and well Fall in NE is even colder than the Winter of Texas. Ugh.
I started spiraling about that time I suppose. I was also nearing the end of the long arduous marathon training cycle (alone not to mention the disaster that trip turned out to be)...and I was just OVER. IT. Just a bad idea all the way around for someone like me. To train for a marathon up in small ass town in the middle of nowhere to start with...anyway things just got progressively worse for me.
I realize now that had I gone to a doctor I am pretty certain I would have been diagnosed with some level of depression. I won't even say it was S.A.D. (seasonal disorder) because it wasn't just that. I had become to loathe anything and everything about where I was, AND where I WASN'T (Texas).  At least I think I may have; some of the symptoms were there.  Maybe it was just S.A.D.  I am just thankful I never resorted to drug therapy.  It just took a little willpower and me, myself and I to make everything happy again.
I realized how much I was sleeping and how much I wasn't doing. I went to work, then ran after or worked out, whether inside or outside, came home, ate, watch TV, go to bed. And the weekends werent much more than that since really all there was to do was go to the grocery store and geez that takes like an hour. Movies are only at night and there are only 2 screens and 1 side was ALWAYS a kid movie, and only sometimes did they have R rated movies and only on one screen at 9pm. So allllllllllllllll of that greatly reduces what movies came to Sidney.
I had a few friends, but the overwhelming majority of them had husbands and kids...and the only one that didn't, well she was as recluse as I was becoming so we only saw each other at the gym or out running.
So needless to say my weekends were spent indoors as well even if it wasn't cold out.  What else was there to do????  Ugh I cringe just thinking about it even now.
And since I mentioned it let me give you a peek into that. My first Winter there I think I was still in honeymoon or yay its actually Winter here mode...or something. I don't know. What I DO know is that this last Winter broke me. Like broke me into a million gazillion pieces. Let's see the coldest we got, WITHOUT THE WIND CHILL, a couple of mornings in a row it was NEGATIVE 28 degrees, close to NEGATIVE 50 with the wind. And THAT also fried my battery finally. It was fine when the wind chill was in the 20's but after 2 days of the extreme EXTREME stuff I guess it just couldnt take it anymore. THIS was in early MARCH. Even the week after I left which was April 26, they had snow (measurable) twice in that following week. I am CERTAIN had I still been there, I would probably have been pushed over the ledge.
Anyway, anyone that is on my Facebook or Twitter knows the trials of the weather I have had to endure and honestly who can go out in THAT? Who would WANT TO? Well so yeah, that was 9 months basically of being trapped inside a house. So more eating. More sleeping. More watching TV.
Not exactly good for the mind, the body OR the soul. Now that I am home, I love the feel of the heat. The humidity. All of it. And yeah I might get tired of it at some point, but all I will have to do to snap myself back to reality is to remember what I went through. Seriously its shit you can't forget. Seriously. :O)
I was slowly crumbling into a horrible depressed mess. Coupled with that I missed my family, my friends, my old life. And as much as I would have LOVED to have met the man of my dreams up there, that didn't happen and it wasn't going to. I figured that out early on..Ha! Anyway, there are some other things that added to it all; some I don't really want to go into just yet mainly because it might seem as if I am pointing fingers or being mean and that wasn't the case.
I am even still dealing with some of that after returning home so again I'll stay quiet on that for now. I will say that I'm a little disappointed in humans in general. Why have so many become only interested in communication non-communicatingly?? LOL, I know that is not a word, but seriously. I guess I am just old fashioned. I still want to TALK to a person. I still want CONTACT. Not just following a persons life on Facebook to know they are OK and that be enough. Like I said...another day maybe I will go into that more.
When I came home at Christmas, I chalked my crying at the drop of a hat, for ANY reason, up to hormones. But now, looking back yet another sign I was in a clinically depressed state I believe. My family thought it quite funny, so I did from time to time, but now I know it wasn't funny.
Which is why in January I came home again with no hesitation, and then again 6 weeks later in March for an entire week...and then well I posted right after that because I was ending the blog. I had to put my entire focus on getting back. I just couldn't take it anymore.
And well since I've been back? Its been a full month now and I am HAPPY to say that in 4 weeks I've taken exactly ONE nap which was this past Sunday. I still get up around 5 (waking up naturally), but my going to bed time is no longer 8:30 or 9 like in NE, but more closer to 10:30ish.  I just have more energy and more oomph!  Its actually quite wonderful and there are times where I am like please don't get dark, please don't get dark!  I don't want this day to end!!!! 
When I have said a couple of times in my posts about being just 'more active naturally', by that I mean a) I'm not sleeping like Rip Van Winkle, and b) my free time is spent going here, going there, walking to this place, walking around that place. Sitting outside, a festival, doing stuff with a relative or friend. Just NATURALLY active i.e. not laying around inside a house because its so cold you cant or too windy so you cant, or you cant because THERE ISNT ANYTHING TO DO unless you drive 2-5 hours away. Oy.
You get the picture. In addition to doing my normal active stuff: run, weights etc., I am not being a lazy ass bum. Not that there isn't anything wrong with that, but you know what I mean. :O)
Actually probably should not try to do ALL the things ALL the times :O) I sometimes forget I'm not home visiting and I don't have to go go go because I'm here now and its OK to relax and take some down time. Its just that I feel like I missed out on SO much that I want to soak up every thing that I can.
I would even venture to state that something else that has helped me with my 'mood' is the access to all the amazing food! I could do multiple posts about the lack of decent food options in Sidney, and I am not talking about restaurants even though yes, that was a problem in of itself, but with only a Walmart and a can imagine. PLUS being up there, the amount of decent fresh food is VERY limited. Disgusting actually. I basically didn't have anything other than chicken for 2 years. Certainly NO seafood. That frozen franken-fish crap is D.I.S.G.U.S.T.I.N.G.  And the veggies..oy.  At least in the Summer, the Farmers Market would have decent.  And Safeway was better than Walmart but OH SO EXPENSIVE.
A couple of times I did buy good seafood when I made the trip to Whole Foods in Ft. Collins or Boulder but that was FAR AND FEW trips.
Anyway I am certain that all the fresh options I have now are greatly helping me mentally and physically. I feel so great with good things in my body!!
I am not one to go out and eat at all; I am perfectly fine cooking up delicious food at home, but you know just having OPTIONS makes me happy. If I DO want sushi, or I DO want a hamburger, or anything else then I know I can go to any number of places to get anything or everything I want anytime I want. And I mean literally ANY OF THE TIMES! Houston or Katy for that matter, doesn't shut down at 6pm every night!!! LOL.
I LOOOOOOOOVE my new place (reminds me of my loft I had downtown but a lot bigger), and the kitchen in it is fab fab fab!!!  So I've had a lot of fun preparing foodz :O)
And last, but certainly not least, there is my FAMILY. Everyone is within either 1 minute or 1 hour now and its so fantastic I just can't even believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I see my niece quite often for obvious reasons (we are 2 miles from each other), but even if I can't see my sister every day (nor do I want to ;o) hahaha!, its OK. Just KNOWING I could see anyone and everyone at the drop of a hat raises my mood to elevations beyond anything I could ever have imagined I would feel.
I mean oh my goodness have you seen my Tucker???  He makes my heart sing and just burst into a gazillion pieces any time I see him or even just a picture of him!!!
That HAT!!!  Tucker's hat NOT Brandons!  LOL

Monday, May 26, 2014

Time to Get Back on the Horse

Its no secret that for the past 2 years, I've been phoning it in as it pertains to any distance races.  And its also no secret that it was due entirely to my geographical status.  Not only did I mostly have to train on a treadmill, but when I didn't I didnt have the push I needed from so many years of training in a pack. 

While I am a lone runner, its not in the sense of being entirely ALONE.  I am what I call a pack runner, especially when it comes to training.  I got so used to the training with Kenyan Way for so many years, and the push it gave me at the workouts and the long run Saturdays that I lost all motivation up in Nebraska in that sense.  There were a few runners, but nothing like Houston, let alone KW, and they were either too fast for me to even contend with, or social runners which I am not.

I like to conversations over coffee, not running.  Just not my style.

Coupled with the depression that set in this past year there, well yeah.  I was only phoning it in.  

Having said all that, I also didnt have the numerous opportunities to have races to actually be excited about or train for.  The few I did were traveling races and were few and far between.  It wasnt until this past December, ramping up for Houston that I started having a bit of fire in my belly again.

And now that I am back home, the fire has grown.  Its time to do my best again, whatever that may turn out to be.  

Its also no secret that prior to moving to NE that I would NEVER have entertained the notion of doing any races past the Spring series here in Houston due to the heat factor.  However I have to put that behind me for now, and use these little 5K's etc (not that there are many here this time of year) as my ladder to get back into it again.

I did the ABB 5K back in January here the day before the half marathon, but before that, well it had been 2+ years.  I havent run a 5K over 30 minutes since 2009, my PR being 25:50 but typically running around 27:30-28:15 for the most part.  When I ran over 30 in January, that was fine; I wasnt looking to do anything more than just finish so I could run the half the next day, and for the extra medals :)

So when I saw that there was going to be a 5K here this past weekend I signed up for it.  And no, I didnt really 'train' for it meaning I havent started hill or speed training just yet.  I simply want to start doing the races again, to get use to them again, and to get better at them.  Again.

Well it was about a bazillion times hotter this weekend than it was in January and I did it 29seconds faster than in January, so I am more than OK with that.  Still over 30min, but as I said:  Work to do and I am fully aware of that.

I am having to reacclimate to the heat, but mostly the humidity and to the actual running outside all the time thing and not on a stupid treadmill.

I don't have another 5K until July, unless one pops up between now and then.  I am following all the running groups on FB now, so if something does I will know about it.

I am hoping for the weather to cooperate this week so I can go get some hills in, but its not looking so good until Thursday and I have a boot camp/speed training with one of the running clubs scheduled for that night.

After getting back in the habit of racing, we'll focus on either the marathon or half marathon once that starts up in August.

My other focus is dropping the weight, which is going really well.  Slow, but what I am doing is working.  Being back in Houston helps tremendously which I think I mentioned in a post a few days ago.  Just much more active without even thinking about it.

I got the 5K + 1 mile warm up on Saturday
7 miles on Sunday running from a friends house to the bayou, around some of it, then back
This morning I got up and swam 20 laps and pool ran 8 laps (before the rain storms!); then I hit the gym later for some elliptical, a LOT of jump roping and weights focusing on upper body.

I am having some plantar issues, especially on the right foot, so I am icing and frozen water bottle rolling.  Might have to TM it tomorrow, just so its easier on me than pounding the pavement.  Of course what I SHOULD do is lay off running for a few days, but yeah.  Thats not going to happen :)

Till next time!  I have to get back to watching American Ninja Warrior :)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

My Heart

In case anyone needs to know...THIS is my reason for any and every decision I make for the rest of my time on this Earth.  My great nephew Tucker who just turned 3 months old!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Settling In - Finally Relaxing

After my trip home early March where I was actually here for a week, I knew the day before I headed back to Nebraska that it was time.  There would be no waiting any longer than I had to.  That day was the hardest.  Having to say goodbye to my new little great-nephew was just awful and I was ugly crying.

I was going to start the process of finding a job etc. so that I could be back home.  I figured it might take a while you know??  Besides my 2 years wouldnt be up until July...
Little did I know that within 2 weeks of THAT I would actually have a job and planning VERY quickly how to wrap up things in NE, make the cross country drive, move into a new place AND start a new job all in a matter of what would end up being 2 weeks (thanks to the movers moving my date up a week) the end it worked out WAY better.  But oy the stress of it all!
Having accepted the job (which by the way was all handled via Skype; isn't technology great!?), I had to give my resignation to CAB, give notice to utilities, FIND A PLACE to live ... thank God for my niece being in the general area of where my new job is and where I would need to live (never having lived in Katy, I knew NOTHING about the area), finish selling stuff out of my house in NE, thankfully I had begun to do that weeks before, schedule movers, pack everything up and figure out my route back to Texas.  Those 2 weeks were the most stressful, but then the actual driving back was stress, moving into a new place was stress, unpacking was stress...oh so much stress!
I cannot believe its actually been a month since I got in my car and 10 miles later I had Nebraska in my rearview. 
I am not going to go into how much NE took from me, I wrote about a lot of it back around Christmas time with my ghosts of past, present and future, so if you need to, you can go and read that.  Funny that I read those this morning and man...I actually had forgotton how dark those days were around that time just a few short months ago.
So anyway, yes back to now.  I am settling in nicely; I immediately started back to Kenyan Way, but only on Saturdays.  I've met up with a few friends a time or two to run in the old 'hood, and I have been exploring all the wonderful places here in my new neighborhood to run as well.  I thought I was going to maybe not like it out here but WOW!  Its actually fabulous!  My first love with running routes will always be inside the loop but I sure cant complain out here.  Cinco Ranch is awesome!
I've got some work to do to get my speed and endurance back up but that shouldnt be a problem given that my mojo is back.  It was incredibly brutal on me up in NE with little to NO motivation, not to mention no one to give me the push I needed.  Since being back at KW, I've been pushed and while I hate it at the time and I feel like I want to die, I'm a lot stronger than I ever give myself credit for; but thats not unusual.
I've got the NE weight to lose, plus a few extra that are just me wanting them gone.  Probably about 10 lbs I want gone and its already making an exit.  Being back here, I am active all the time whether I want to be or not :O)   No more being cooped up inside, plus the depression (another post, another day) and its already making a difference without even trying it seems like.  All I want is to go go go and do do do!  I cannot wait to be outside in the hot air and sunshine.  I tell people all the time now that I am pretty darn sure I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER go anywhere that its cold EVER EVER EVER again. 
I'm still doing weights, just not as much, but need to change that...and I am trying new boot camps, not to mention my bike is all brand new again since I put it in the shop as soon as I got back to have it road ready.  I'm also swimming some...I just have to get my body as happy as my heart and soul are now that I've come home!  Its also nice to have so many options for various running clubs and running stores having free group runs and boot camps periodically as well.  Meet new people!!

All in all its just been a crazy past few weeks, but I am loving every crazy stressful minute of it!

Some times I let myself think about the last 2 years..and how miserable I was and what effect it all had on me, but then sometimes its like it never happened.  In that I mean its like I cant remember any of it.  And you know why?  BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING MEMORABLE about it!!!  And then I wonder did I just waste 2 years of my life??  I try not to think of it that way; that every thing, every decision, every experience is MEANT for something whether we ever figure out WHAT.  LOL.
 And then I just try to not think about it at all and just be in the moment.  In this great time in my life where everything seems to be perfect.  I give everything that is wonderful in my life up to the grace of God. 


2 Corinthians 12:9-10
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Here We Go Again :O)

Yesterday I was adding up my Houstons and I have done 4 full Chevron Houston marathons and 3 Aramco Half Marathons.
I need one more full and 2 more half's before I can just register every year without having to have a HARRA guaranteed spot (or via lottery as I did last year from Nebraska).  They now have the legacy for the half marathoners which is kinda cool.
I still don't know if I am actually going to do the full in January...or drop to the half.  I have some time to ponder it.  I meant what I said when I said no more fulls but after that Chicago fiasco last October AND the fact that I am now back in Houston where training is so much more enjoyable ... I dont know.
I also registered for the 5K the day before.  I sure liked getting the 3 medals especially the HUUUUUUUUUUUGE one for doing the double this past January.
I have SO much to write, so many topics I honestly don't know where to start.  I'll figure it out though...and Melissa thanks for waiting around for me to start back up ;o)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Home Sweet Texas Home

Now that I am back home FOREVER AND EVER AMEN, I am thinking of starting to blog again...
Stay tuned.  If anyone will even ever see this.  I am sure I am off everyones radar at this point.
Oh wellz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!