Drowning

I hesitate to start this post because it seems so melodramatic even to myself.

I’ve been having stomach problems again. Poor food choices and stress have combined to give me what seems like chronic diarrhea. Is a week long enough to say chronic? It’s gotten to look like cornflakes and I’ve seen enough blood that I can’t deny it’s there. Even to myself.

In any case, I’m eating imodium like it’s my job. Gas-x too. The gas cramps and pressure keep me up at night and make it hard to sit or stand. I don’t want to wear pants because of the pressure but I’m scared to wear a dress in case I can’t make it in time.

Running is pretty much out of the question, but I’m forcing myself to continue with strength training. Made it 3 times this past week, and am pushing myself with (slightly) heavier weights. As much as I enjoy strength training, it doesn’t help my anxiety.

Everyone around me seems to be going into full meltdown mode. Some of it is from my need to be fairly close to a toilet. Some of it is entirely independent of me – mom flipped out on me about a prescription for heart pills. She hasn’t had it for over 2 weeks. Her prescription ran out, the visiting home health aide insists she goes back to her specialist for a refill, but was willing to call in one months worth. Mom said the pharmacy won’t fill it because of Medicare laws even though she’s on Medicaid.

She’s mad at me for not taking the day off work to drive 3 hours to pick her up and take her to a specialist. Stop being so selfish you might be thinking. Then you throw in the fact my brother and his son could barely get her up the stairs into her house, and she hasn’t left since then. And the bedbugs. It’s hard for me to reconcile. I picture having to call the rescue squad to get her into the door, if I could even get her out. Never mind the 6+ hour round trip when I have 3 brothers who either live with or less than 15 minutes away.

There’s other minor things. There always are. But I feel like I’m drowning.

Week 1 thoughts

Week one of the new year is down. I heard that most people give up on their goals by the 2nd Friday, so I’ll be curious to see what sticks for me which will be here soon.
As mentioned in my previous post, my first goal is to drink 112oz of water a day.
1/1 – 16oz short
1/2 – made it
1/3 – made it
1/4 – not quite half
1/5 – made it.
I’ve also learned that I need to make more of an effort to drink the bulk of it in the daytime so that I’m not getting up every 15 minutes in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Weekends continue to be a struggle for me in the way of not sleeping 12 hours and drinking enough water. It is entirely too easy for me to get out of a routine, or into a bad routine?
I’ve gotten back to running in earnest. I’ve decided to focus on improving my Cap City time in the Spring and then focus on prepping for Big Bad Wolfe in the Fall. If I only focus on Big Bad Wolfe, there’s really no reason for me to run until April, and I prefer goals to work towards. They keep me motivated.

My 2019 Cap City time is ugly at 3:30:54, so definitely have room to improve.

New Year, Slightly Better Me?

New Year’s Eve has always been a depressing event for me. I could point to this thing or that thing that happened, but none of those things are really why. I don’t think I’d be wrong to say it’s a time of the year where we tend to be cooped up in the house, never seeing what little sunlight there is and making elaborate lies about how we’re going to wake up a sexier, smarter, kinder, and above all else thinner version of ourselves who remembers to take our vitamins, never forgets a name or birthday, and checks our teeth for spinach every time we have it which is all the time because we’re now a healthy person, right?!

(I have Tom Waits’ Step Right Up stuck in my head now.)

I have a tendency to do this to myself anyways. Occasionally I wonder if it’s my father’s bipolar sneaking in, or just mania from depression, but I can spend hours planning amazing rigorous workout routines with 4-5 runs a week plus strength training, yoga, and spin also taking up those same 5 days, and then find myself laid up with a cold after I destroy my immune system going from 0 to 60 in a week.

Since October, I’ve been in a funk and have run at most a few times a month so I’m itching to go weekend warrior myself into a sneezing, coughing mess.

Instead, I’m going to focus on one simple buildable goal for a couple weeks before adding a new one. My first one is to drink adequate water. Sexy, right? I do need to get back to the basics though.

All of this isn’t to say I won’t be making other healthy changes too. But I know myself. Instead of focusing on juggling 17 flaming knives, it helps to juggle one knife and a few oranges. Really focus on that knife, if the orange falls okay, no big deal as long as that knife stays up. I’ll swap out an orange for a knife over time and hopefully make some long term sustainable improvements.

Inspire Columbus

I fell off the running wagon and got run over by it when I got sick in the last week of September.   Not only did I not run the half marathon in October, I’ve barely run at all. Period.

                I told myself I needed to recover from the cold.  (It’s crazy to me how much a cold can zap your energy.  People joke about the man cold, but colds are horrible!) 

Then I told myself that I needed to run intuitively.  That I needed to find my love of running again.  To just go out and do what felt good each day rather than following a plan and getting frustrated when life happens.

                It turns out, it wasn’t bad advice necessarily, but it was a total lie in my case.  I’ve barely run.  I’ve hit the gym and lifted weights a few times, but nothing too amazing. 

                One of my friends sent me a link to Inspire Columbus through the Columbus Running Company.  (Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with them. I know that’s shocking considering my stats, but it’s true.)  The challenge is to keep moving through January to have an opportunity to win raffle prizes.  The only catches are- you pay $5 for the challenge, and the miles need to be tracked through Strava and outdoors. I personally have Strava pull the data from my Garmin watch because I’m not a huge fan of the app. 

                  My goals are simple.  I want to get moving again- preferably outside.  My stretch goal?  The CRC strava group has a weekly leaderboard, I’d love to break the top 100. This week’s leaderboard ranged from 45.5 to 17.3 miles.  I don’t expect to go out and crush 46 miles to be #1 and honestly I don’t expect I’ll crush 17.5 this week to be #100, but I will by the end of January.  #JeninesJanuaryChallenge 

Columbus Marathon

I started out this year with the goal of running my first marathon ever. I was turning 40 in the first bit of October, and the Columbus Marathon was turning 40 in the second bit. It was serendipitous, totally meant to be.

And then life happened. Mom was in and out of the hospital, spending 8 weeks getting around the clock antibiotics for a spinal infection. She was home for a short bit and ended up back in the hospital under a medically induced coma because she was in so much pain from her congestive heart failure.

Nate was looking forward to the holidays for the first time in ages (his father passed away 3 years ago immediately after Thanksgiving and we lost his mom in November of 2017.) I didn’t expect my mom would make it through the the holidays. (These days I’m hopeful, but not taking it for granted.)

The stress of this plus the trips up North made me realize there was no way I could dedicate 6+ hours running on the weekends. I switched to the half, and continued to half ass train for it. It wasn’t pretty, but I was going to make it happen.

I felt like I was starting to come down with something but got the flu shot anyways. And then I ran a ten mile race. I wasn’t sure about it, but I’d convinced a few of my friends to do it because it’s my favorite race. I got super light headed and considered turning around at mile 1.5 for the 5k course, but decided to carry on. It was ugly. I struggled, but I ended up PRing the race by 20 seconds.

And I came down with a cold. Everyone jokes about the man flu or how pathetic men act with a cold, so maybe I should claim that metaphorical man card, because it destroyed my energy levels for 3 weeks.

Which happened to be how long it took to get to the Columbus Half. Even worse than a DNF, I was a DNS.

Life just gets in the way

I’ve been meaning to post for weeks now but life keeps happening. It started with several reminders/ prompts from my computer that I have zero right to privacy on company computers/ time. Which I respect, but means it’s all cell phone all the time for posts.

And then things with mom keep popping up. I’ve been stressed and not handling it well. I’m eating foods that I know disagree with me, and too many of them trying to find some sort of comfort. I’m forcing myself to continue my strength training and spin workouts but find myself avoiding running because I don’t want to be left alone with my thoughts.

I’ve noticed that when Nate is totally stressed, our cat starts getting sick.

Well, I’ve now managed to make him vomit everywhere too. I guess he’s accepted me? Lucky him, and lucky me.

Anyways, I intend to write some posts in the coming weeks about everything that’s been going on, and I intend to make running more of a priority or I’ll never make it to the Columbus Half marathon.

June Recap

May was pretty lackluster. I think it’s because Cap City was such a shitty half marathon performance for me. That plus visiting mom as she was bouncing between a rest home and various hospitals kept me pretty busy and frankly pretty depressed.

So here’s my May stats:

May

  • Ran 14 miles
  • Walked 3 miles
  • Strength 6 times (most of it was scheduled personal training- having accountability is huge.)
  • Yoga 2 times

In a previous blog post I said all right, this is it. I’m going to get back to it. And here’s my June stats:

June

  • Ran 17 miles
  • Walked 9 miles (Columbus Arts Show)
  • Strength training 1 (may have done others? Only 1 in Garmin)

So… yeah. Not exactly what I’d intended. The first two weekends of June were spent driving to Toledo. My workout buddy was skipping strength training classes every other day, and my trainer was in another country. Mom went home, which I personally think is a terrible idea. We were also having some issues at home that I’m still debating on whether or not I want to share, so overall I was still pretty depressed. When I’m depressed it’s hard to practice self care even though I know it will improve my mind.

Are these all excuses? Yeah. Probably. In all honesty, I could have gotten in a few more runs if I’d wanted. I could go to classes at the fitness center by myself and the floor wouldn’t open up and swallow me whole.

I’m in the process of figuring out how much cross training has a positive effect, and what’s the tipping point that keeps me from running.

I’ve realized that I absolutely hate the yoga class at work. I don’t know if it’s the instructor, the music, the style of yoga, or some other factor but I find myself completely aggravated by the end of it. So I’m dropping that class. I may try some YouTube videos or something instead, my trainer insists yoga is necessary for runners.

Depression is a Bitch

I’ve really been struggling with depression over the past month or so. I could list a million reasons but mostly it’s just mom being in and out of the hospital, her not wanting to be at the nursing home, but also knowing in the back of my mind her going home isn’t the best move either.

I feel helpless and lost at sea, and am never sure how much of what I’m hearing is true. She has a tendency to hear what she wants and also happens to embellish a bit.

My brother and I spoke about our fears of losing her and I guess it made it a bit more real. I hadn’t put my inner thoughts into words with another person before. Nate understands to some degree- he lost both of his parents over the past 5 years. His father passed in his sleep, and his mother passed shortly after a fall in the shower. I’m not sure that he necessarily understands how bad it hurts to watch the slow process of illness and recover over and over wondering if this will be the time she just gives up.

(After watching my grandmother pass from cancer, I’m a strong believer in a person’s will to continue being a huge part of recovery.)

Either way, it’s that plus a million little things that usually wouldn’t bother me just piling up. I went from fuck yeah I’m going to run a marathon to, maybe it’s best I switch to a half marathon so I can continue to visit rather than spending so much time training, to what do you mean I ran 16 lousy miles in May, that’s completely pathetic!

That was a wake up call for me. I’m trying to be honest with people that are close to me and tell them I’m struggling with depression, and need help getting motivated. It’s difficult to open up, but I feel like it’s clearing the air.

And I got out tonight to run. It was only 2 miles, and it was slow miles, but I’ll blame some of that on the heat and get back to it again tomorrow.

Running is Selfish

So not going to lie. This hurts my soul, but I think it’s the best decision in the long run. (No pun intended since this will actually be a shorter run!)

A number of things went into my decision, most of which all lead back to the same thing, my mom is in the hospital again, hoping to get back to the rest home. She’s also requiring blood transfusions among other things.

It turns out there’s a shortage of O positive (universal donor) blood products right now. They’re down to a 1 day supply at the hospital and my mom has an oddly specific set of antibodies and they had to find some at the Red Cross and bring it in for her.

My fingers are obviously crossed for her recovery, but my intention is to visit every other weekend while she’s in the rest home/ hospital and donate platelets on the alternating weekends. They may not go to her, but I don’t think they’ll go to rich vampires or a sadist like Elizabeth Bathory de Ecsed who enjoyed bathing in the blood of women she murdered. (Seriously, it’s a thing. Look it up.)

Between stress and drive time I’m struggling to get 4 runs in a week and handle life at home without losing my shit. I expect to continue to train as much as I can (continue with the full marathon plan and cross train 4 days a week but not beat myself up if it doesn’t happen.) Family needs to be priority right now.

I’m keeping my 20 mile Big Bad Wolfe registration, and hope to complete that and PR the Columbus Half Marathon. Wish me (and my momma!) good luck this year. And go out and donate some blood to vampires or hospital patients through the Red Cross if you’re healthy enough. 😉

Recovery Week

I’ve spent most of this past week feeling really run down and tired from the combination of the half marathon and 3 hours in the car to visit mom and 3 hours back. By Saturday I was starting to wonder if I was sick or had some sort of a chronic illness. (I’m very dramatic apparently.)

I’ve skipped running, yoga, and weights trying to give my body some rest. This weekend I ended up doing lots of yard work so the backs of my legs are angry and my nails look like I’m a mole, but I’m looking forward to getting back at it. Heck, I’m anxious to get back at it.

I’ve been trying to follow the advice of pain free plus three because I like the rhymes. By that logic, I should probably have ran today. Instead I planted a few petunias and coleus in our side shade bed after we pulled all the ground cover. I sort of want to kidney punch whoever planted it after filling a lawn and leaf bag that was then so heavy I couldn’t move it.

I’m curious how I’ll juggle yard work plus running through the summer and fall since I tend to do both in the early morning or evening when the sun is not brutal. Especially since mom is now in a nursing home temporarily and I’m hoping to visit her frequently.

Feel free to drop your recovery tips and tricks or advice on how you juggle everything.