Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Things On My Mind

- Yesterday, I had this whole, long blog post planned out.  I found out a few things over the weekend that really upset me, and I learned there were some people whom I thought I could trust but I couldn't.  I was going to write this whole long post about false friends and wondering how you could trust some people, but luckily I decided to sleep on it.  The thing is, maybe I'm repressing my feelings, or maybe something else is going on, but I'm not as upset today.  I'm still hurt by the whole situation, yes, and I still have a lot to think on, but there are some wonderful people out there in my life, and I can't let a few bad things affect my relationship with those people.  So, I'm trying my best to move on and get over it (and learn from it).

- It's amazing how different a run can make you feel.  Generally a good run will wake me up and make me alert for the day, but occasionally a good run just leaves me feeling drained.  This happens most often if I've pushed too hard, or if I haven't adequately hydrated, or even if I was just too tired going into it, but it's still interesting.  Today's run, while fantastic, left me out of it.  I could barely function, and all I wanted to do was sleep (to the point where looking at the dogs play made me want to cry because I was so tired).  However, I couldn't be happier about the run.  I went out even though I wanted to sleep in, and I pushed myself through even though I wanted to stop.  At one point, I did listen to my body and slow down (it was either that or vomit), but I didn't just stop, and that's important to me.  I don't want every run to be that hard, but it did work out a lot of emotions for me (see above).

- Cody and Lollie had another acupuncture / chiropractic session today.  I love seeing how well they do with it.  Honestly, though, I need to see the chiropractor too.  I did something to my neck on Saturday, and while it's significantly improved today, I'm guessing it would feel a lot better if I just went to the chiropractor.

- Business is great.  I can't believe how far we've come in a year, and I can only hope things continue to get better.  Business is also keeping both Hans and me extremely busy, and I find that the only thing I want to do in my spare time is sleep.  Hopefully, I'll have a chance to do that more soon.

Well, that's pretty much everything that's on my mind.  I hope you're all doing well.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

More Weighty Issues

This morning, I was cooling down after my 3 mile run, and I started thinking about my body and my image issues, and I had a realization.

At one point, when I was in college, I weighed over 200 pounds.  I remember at the height of my weight, I had a conversation with my freshmen year RA.  We were talking about the size of women in the fashion industry, and my RA commented how awful it was that, at a size 10-12, she would be considered a plus-size model.  I remember exactly what I thought.  Really?!  She's  plus size?  She's so thin and pretty?  If she's plus size, what does that make me?  I then remember telling myself more than once that, if I could ever be her size, I'd be really happy, and my life would be different.

Well, here I am a size 10, and am I happy with how I look?  Of course not!  There for a while, when I first reached this size, I was thrilled.  My confidence was soaring, and I had a great outlook on life.  Now, it seems that I too-often forget all my accomplishments, I forget how much stronger I am now than I used to be, and I berate myself for being too "fat."

How depressing is that?  I mean, I'm a girl who runs her own business, who's run a marathon, and who is ready and willing to run 10 miles on Saturday before most of the world is awake.  I think I'm a friendly enough person, I have a great husband, and we live a fairly stable life.  So, why am I stressing out over what the scale says?

So, now I have a goal...or should I say a few goals. 

1) Quit worrying about the scale.  Yes, I will still continue to weight myself, but mainly as a way to check hydration levels before and after a long run.

2) Nourish my body.  I don't want to just say F*** it and eat ice cream all day.  I want to eat foods that will fuel me through long runs and long days of work.  I want foods that will satisfy my needs and make me feel good about myself instead of over-sugared and lazy.

3) Take time to appreciate the beauty I have.  I have a lot to offer this world.  Sure, I may not have a bikini body, but I still have plenty of good stuff to offer. I should appreciate that.

So, there you have it.  I'm going to start feeling good about myself again!

In other news- I really wish I could create a clone of myself, as I'm really the only person who seems to know what I want and how I want it! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Six Years: Part Two

Did you know that Cody was born 1 week and 1 day before our wedding day?  We didn't know it at the time, but when we were married Cody was already waiting for us.  And yes, this past Sunday was our 6 year anniversary.  I was hoping to get a blog post out that day, but due to a lack of internet and a need to do absolutely nothing, somehow that didn't happen.  I can say, Hans and I had a lovely of our best yet.

In previous years, our anniversary has been fairly low key.  Some years we've taken off work, other years we've just had a nice dinner.  In 2010, we went out of town for the weekend, but the place we traveled to was apparently in foreclosure, and while the views were lovely, we really couldn't figure out what there was to do.  Last year, we were two days out from opening the kennel and Hans' dad was in town.  We took the day off and went to a tomato festival (more fun than it sounds) and later to a show at the theater, but, while it was an enjoyable day off, it really didn't scream 5 year anniversary.  This year, we needed something special.  We were tired from all the long hours, and boy were we stressed.  We weren't sleeping enough, and we weren't sleeping well.  We needed a break.

A few weeks ago, I just happened to be piddling around online, and I decided to do a search for lake cabins.  I was looking for something rustic and secluded.  Something that would allow me to meditate and relax.  What I found was New River Retreat.  A lovely, peaceful, dog-friendly, rental property.

Was it secluded?  For the most part- yes.  Was it rustic?  Nope!  Was it everything we needed and then some?  Yes!

Hans and I left late Saturday afternoon.  I had rushed in packing, and I had already adopted the vacation attitude of "I don't care."  With each hour that we drove, I felt the stress of the past year melt away.  Hans and I talked about things we'd like to do, and we both agreed on one thing- we didn't want to do a thing!  Shortly before arriving at our cabin, we pulled into a neighboring town and picked up some groceries for the weekend as well as some Redbox movies.  We actually had time to watch movies!!

Saturday night, Hans and I watched the first of our movies, cooked dinner, and simply relaxed.  It was beautiful.

Sunday morning, our anniversary, we woke up feeling refreshed and happy.  The air was shrouded in a mountain mist.  I made us sausage and eggs which we ate on the covered porch with the river and the mountains as our view, and then we snuggled up on the couch and watched another movie.  It was so relaxing.  By the early afternoon, most of the mist and dew had dissipated, so we decided to head into town and do some exploring.

One of the places recommended in the brochures was the local Mercantile, so we thought we'd check it out.  The Mercantile offers a lot of neat foods and amenities, and one of the things they offer are bike rentals.  We asked the man working the counter where it was best to bike.  Then, we wondered if he had anything that could accommodate Lollie.  Cody could run with the bikes, but Lollie wouldn't be able to last.  We got set up with 2 bikes and a cart, and we were on our way!

We biked about 4 miles along the New River Trail, and we stopped multiple times for pictures and to give the dogs some water.

After the bike ride, we returned back to the cabin for more rest and more movies.  We had a very simple anniversary dinner of tacos, and then we spent the evening snuggling and enjoying each others' company.

Now then, this is where I have to be honest.  It's too big of an event to leave out, but it's not the best thing to have happen on your anniversary.  Late Sunday night, we took the dogs out to use the bathroom.  Our cabin was in the middle of a big open field, so I gave the dogs a little room to roam.  The next thing I new, Cody was tearing off across the field.  At first, I thought it was a rabbit or a deer he was after, but then I saw it- the tell-tale black tail of a skunk!  Just before bed on Sunday night, Cody got skunked!!!  So, what was super-relaxing became a mad rush to try and clean him up and get rid of the smell.  And boy did he smell!  Of course, we had to use my shampoo and conditioner since I hadn't brought any for the dogs.  And, of course, nothing removes skunk!  We at least got to the point where the smell was bearable, and then we went to sleep.

Monday morning, found us laughing about the previous evening.  Poor Cody reeked, but what could we do?  It was our last day there, and we wanted to get back fairly early, so we enjoyed a breakfast of waffles, and then we packed up and left.

Aside from the one major mishap, our trip was wonderful and perfect.  It was just what we needed to help us feel human again.  I can tell you now, I will happily go back to the New River.  I also think that Hans and I may make this a yearly trip.  It's just too nice not to.

Six years down, eternity to go!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Running Gets Easier

So, in case you couldn't tell, I was a little upset while writing my last running-related post.  I felt fat and out of shape.  I felt slow.  I felt like I might not even be able to run the marathon this year.  Luckily, I'm feeling much better today.

Last week, after my seven mile run, I was NOT motivated to run at all.  I very much had a defeatist attitude, and I easily found excuses to not go.  Monday was a rest day, so I was fine not running.  Tuesday I wasn't feeling well (truth) and it was raining (that's never stopped me before).  Wednesday it was still raining, and I was just SO tired (excuses).  Thursday, I finally stopped making excuses and went out.  I ended up doing about 5 miles (2 more than I was supposed to) plus an additional two miles training with Hans.  Well, at least I made up for not running Tuesday or Wednesday.  Let me tell you, that five miles was H-A-R-D.  It was hot, I was tired, and I think I ended up walking the last half mile or so.  Saturday, I was scheduled for eight miles, and I was scared.  I hadn't run 8 miles in over 6 months.  Would I be able to do it?  I had trouble with five miles just two days before.  How could I handle an additional three?  Last week's seven miles was depressing and I was left feeling completely drained.  Could I add anything on to that?  I decided to take it slow and just see what I could do.

It certainly wasn't bad.  While it wasn't my best run ever, it could have been much, much worse.  I ended up walking for about a block twice, but those were after six miles.  It was a hot day and a hilly route, but I made it all the way.  When I stopped my Garmin, I looked at my pace: 11:13 min/mile.  I was disappointed as I had hoped for under 11:00, but I decided to compare my pace to last year's.  I had expected to see a 10:36 for this equivalent run last year, but that's not what I saw at all.  I saw 11:08 min/mile.  That's only a 5 second difference, and that could easily be accounted for by the fact that I didn't stop my Garmin at the SAGs this year like I did last year.  So, guess what that means.  I'm pretty much on the same pace I was last year!  Huzzah!

In addition, my run this morning was easier than it was in weeks past.  I took things at a much faster pace (about 10:00 min/mile), and didn't feel completely drained at the end.  I was happy to be done, but I quite possibly could have pulled out another mile at that pace. 

So, I guess I'm getting stronger.  My endurance is building, and my fears have all been for naught.  I'm still worried about a few things, but I'm getting there...slowly.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Six Years

Today Cody turned 6.  He's six years old.  I just can't believe it.  I can't believe this wonderful, sweet boy is six and has been in my life for 5 3/4 years.  In previous years, I've written long blog posts about how he came to be and the fun we've had, but I don't think I'll do that this year, as this birthday is bittersweet.

The reality is, at six years old, Cody is now over the hill.  And the truth is, it's starting to show.  He's no longer the bouncy puppy I brought home with me.  He's calmer, more patient, and less likely to play for hours.  He's happier snuggling on the sofa than running with other dogs, and it's hard knowing that he won't be in my life forever.  Although, I suppose I shouldn't waste our present by worrying about our future, so let me tell you a little about my Cody-bug.

Cody is the first thing I want to see when I wake up.  He comforts me when I sleep at night.  His snuggles and his kisses can make my worst headaches go away.

A day without Cody leaves me anxious and angry.  A trip without him just isn't something I choose to do.  I want him around as much as possible.

When I got Cody, I'd just gone 4 years without a dog around.  I knew I wanted one, but I had no idea the impact this boy would have on my life.  He's given my life direction and meaning in ways I didn't even know were possible.

Here's the thing; I know my relationship with Cody probably isn't the healthiest.  It's a little co-dependent, and I should probably try to ease up a bit.  But you know what?  I don't care.  I have so many things to worry about in life.  I have so many things that stress me out or leave me unhappy.  Cody makes me happy.  Even when he does something bad, he makes me happy.  Why would I ever even think about easing up on that.  I love my little birthday bud, and that will always be the case.

Today we celebrated by having a birthday party for him at the kennel.  It was his first birthday party, and it was a ton of fun.  Cody's tired and sleeping soundly, and Lollie is right by his side.  It was a good day.

Thank you, Cody for coming into my life and being so wonderful.  And thank you to Hans for putting up with and humoring my attachment.

My sweet boy with cake and presents.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Adrenaline Rush

I was on a decent long run this morning and was contemplating what I would write.  I thought about writing how this run, while not my best by far, was mentally easier.  How I didn't have such thoughts of loathing like I've had in the past.  I thought about writing about Hans and how he's training for a 5k along with my mom, and how proud I am of both of them.  I thought about just doing a generic Independence Day post and talking about how excited I am for grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, and how happy I am I decided to close the kennel for the day (best decision EVER).

But then, right before I reached home, right as I was finishing my cool down and looking forward to stretching and getting in the shower, something happened to erase all those thoughts from my mind.  I suddenly knew exactly what I would write about, and it certainly wouldn't be hotdogs and hamburgers.  Today, I was almost hit by a car.

Let me start off by saying that I'm a VERY alert runner.  I don't run with headphones (not even in a race with closed roads).  I wear bright clothing and reflective gear / lights at night.  I'm always aware of my surroundings and I always do a full check of an intersection before crossing.  I've seen too many runners do something stupid to not be safe myself.  It's probably because of my alertness that things turned out the way they did.

I was finishing up a 5 mile run (for those of you who know what my mileage was supposed to be, keep your mouth shut), and I was just walking past the neighbor's house.  I was daydreaming about a lovely shower to wash the salt and sweat off me, and I couldn't wait to get home.  I looked across the street to see if our other neighbors were out and about, and I noticed a white car driving the other direction.  The problem was, the car was only half in it's lane.  It was drifting over rapidly into oncoming traffic.  My first thought was, "Huh.  I hope she goes back soon."  Then came a barrage of very rapid thoughts.  "She's not going back over.  Is there another car coming?  Go back over lady!  Crap!  She's not even slowing down.  What is she doing?!  Crap!  Crap!  Crap!  RUN!"  It was at that moment that I realized she was coming over fast, she wasn't stopping, and she had a very real possibility of jumping the curb and hitting me.  I very quickly resumed my run at full speed and tried to get out of the way.

The car did not hit me.  It did, however, hit the car I was walking next to.  It jumped the curb first and then plowed head on into our neighbor's parked car.

My first thought was, "I'm alive!  Thank God!"  And then I realized there were people in the car, and I had to make sure they were fine.  The drive was awake and conscious, and there was a little girl in the backseat.  The girl was fine but was very shaken up and was screaming.  She got out of the car wearing only one shoe (the other one came off in the crash) and immediately walked up to me for a hug.  I stayed with her and got her to sit on the neighbor's steps until the neighbors came out and called 911.  Everyone was fine.  I think the grandmother did end up going to the hospital as a precautionary measure.  The girl's mom was only 3 minutes away, so we called her, and she quickly came.  I called Hans to tell him what had happened.

So, I had a bit of an adrenaline rush today.  I learned that, even when my legs are exhausted, I have a lot left in them.  I also learned I'm almost useless without my cell phone, because I had no idea what to do when I couldn't just dial 911.  Luckily, the crash made some noise and people came out quickly.

What a rush!