Lately, I feel like I've been moving at warp speed, and not taking time to focus on one area, or even enjoy the art of doing nothing (what is that?).
Hence, why I haven't blogged in 4 months...again. I always said I would only do this when I felt inspired or wanted to, and blogging became another item on the list of things I "should do" instead of "want to do."
When did life get so cluttered and full of things? And I'm not just talking tangible items like clothes and technology, but stuff that makes you feel mentally heavy, like my email. Oh, my email.
I went through a period of time where I signed up for every promotional email for my personal account (can't miss out on any deals!) and every free content subscription on my work email (learn as much as possible). Unnecessary emails increased to hundreds a day. Do you know how much brainpower and time it takes to go through, read, filter, and decide what to do with each email? Too much.
An unforeseen effect of giving every company my email is a heaviness I feel. Heaviness from not being up to date, or on track. I'm behind seeing who's offering 20% off through Saturday or what paper I should download to learn about the latest trend in our industry. But what's it all for?
I know part of it is from working in the social media industry. It's a fast-paced and always fun journey, but like all things, has its downsides too. The fear of missing out, needing to be up to date all the time on everyone else's lives, feeling that you need to share and update your own life.
In reality, nothing happens if you don't get that promotional email, don't check social media, or read a new whitepaper. You might even have a conversation with a friend and discover something new, without reading it first.
My goal before the end of the year is to purge. Purge unnecessary emails traveling to my inbox. Purge unnecessary things in my house. And focus my time and energy on the important tasks at hand. Instead of letting other people dictate how I spend my energy with their messages, decide how I want to spend my time by eliminating their intrusions up front. (I'll probably spend less money too).
And maybe, I'll have some time to try some of that Art of Doing Nothing. One can hope.
Tomorrow is the Madison Mini. My absolute favorite race of the year. And I've decided to not run it.
I'm still trying to heal some injuries, including a new hip pain that just hurts to walk. So even though I could probably grunt through it, I fear that would set me up with more issues. This is the first race that I've ever backed out of, and I'm having a really hard time with it.
Even after I officially deferred my entry to next year, I still have that urge to just run it tomorrow. To just get out there and do it. It's taking complete willpower to NOT run. I'm already missing the energy in the starting line corrals and the race-day anticipation. I'll be more than envious of those lined up, excited at the prospect of a good race.
Even thinking about tomorrow brings a rush of sadness, anger, and failure - but relief, too. Tomorrow, I simply have to show up, and cheer on friends, and maybe hand out some water here or there. And maybe party at the finish line with everyone.
Good luck to everyone tomorrow, and enjoy the best race in Madison!!!
Running low: being injured is tough.
It's tough mentally, and obviously, physically. Especially when you ran a PR marathon 8 months ago (running high!) But...maybe that's the reason for the injury.
After my last 20 mile training run last September, I was flat on my couch, relaxing. As I flexed my feet back and forth, I suddenly felt a POP in my right calf. I immediately froze, instantly terrified that something bad just happened, with 3 weeks to go to the marathon.
It didn't feel bad, but it didn't feel right either. So I took a couple days off, and got a massage. He said my soleus muscle was swollen, that I probably just strained it, and to go easy. But running is still ok!
Marathon day arrived - I had an awesome race, ran a PR, and calf didn't really bother me. But I could tell that I was definitely favoring my right leg.
Fast forward to April of this year, and I started to continually experience more pain in my right leg and foot. Pain while running, swollen feet at night, tenderness in my heel, knee pain, you name it. In my 5 years of long distance running, I've never so much as lost a toenail, so I knew I needed to go see a professional.
Enter Renewed Life Chiropractic in Madison, WI (highly recommend them!) and she confirmed that I probably semi-tore or tore my inside soleus muscle. And months of running on it caused it to heal incorrectly, and cause all the other parts of my leg to be out of whack. The scariest pain was in my foot - plantar fasciitis - the most dreaded of all running injuries. I couldn't even walk in flip flops.
Running low: not being able to run. Or when you do run, feeling awful about it.
But with 3 months of chiropractic work, massage therapy, running very infrequently, and lots of Rock Tape, I've gone this entire past week without pain! I miss running so much, and eager to get back into it.
Here's what helped:
Lesson to be learned - if something feels off, it probably is. Don't be a dope like me and continue to run without seeing a professional right away. I could have probably nipped this in the bud back in the fall.
Running high: running for the first time after an injury - no matter what the distance or time. After not being able to run, I appreciate it so much more. And look forward to enjoying running for how it makes me feel, and not a time on my Garmin.
And, one more running high without me taking one step: when your friend qualifies for Boston Marathon after an incredibly dedicated training season. Congrats, Krista! You can read her heart-felt post here.
Oh hi, there!
I'm back from my blog sabbatical. My last post was January 1, 2014. And that feels like it was 2 years ago.
It's been a challenging six months - and I couldn't blog about it. And writing about trivial things in life felt...well, trivial. And superficial. So I walked away for a while. But I'm ready to be back.
So what's the story?
Since mid-December of 2013, my husband, Tim, has been in pain. He's had symptoms that range from back pain, chest pain, and trouble breathing to fatigue, and just overall unhappiness from all the pain. He went from prime marathon shape, to not being able to run at all. After this continued into February (we'd met with several doctors, took a trip to the ER one night, and had every blood test known to mankind completed) he went in to the clinic to get some injections in his back to help with the pain.
Only, the doctor found a string of enlarged lymph nodes from his left armpit up through the left side of his neck. And sent him straight to a CT scan.
This was probably the most terrifying moment we've ever had. The human brain goes to the worst possible situation (why is that?!) and stress and emotions take over. 6 hours later though, they said that everything looked ok.
But, his pain continued into March, and April, and the lumps in his neck grew. And the doctors had no answers. Needless to say, it was hard. Hard for him to be in pain all the time, and have such a different quality of life than he's used to. Hard for me to see him in pain, and experience this with him.
So, to confirm not what it is, but what it is not, we decided to go the biopsy route, and put it all to bed. A couple weeks ago, we took a Friday off, and he had the outpatient surgery on his neck. In at 8am, out by 2pm. All went well, but we had to wait a week for the pathology results.
When we got the call that everything was negative, I felt a shadow lift off our house. We felt lucky, elated, and blessed. And ready to put this six months behind us.
Doctors still don't know what possessed him for so long - their best answer is a crazy virus that worked its way through his system.
I feel like we are back to being our happy selves again, and that the dark cloud is gone. He feels good, and even ran a half marathon this past weekend.
Thank you to everyone who supported us during this time. Even if you didn't know, you probably supported us in some way :)
And here's to a great second half of 2014!
This year, my one little word is: explore.
: to look at (something) in a careful way to learn more about it : to study or analyze (something)
: to talk or think about (something) in a thoughtful and detailed way
: to learn about (something) by trying it
Each new year, I choose a word to live by for the rest of the year. (You can read about my past words here). This word should be present in my every day life, and a focus when I'm feeling lost. You can read more about one little word on Ali Edwards' blog.
Accomplish was a great word for me last year - little did I know at the time that I would reach new heights in my career and reach my running goals.
This year, I'm looking to explore - learn, be thoughtful, detailed, and try new experiences. I feel that I can apply this word to so many facets of my life.
Travel: I want to explore new countries, cities, and cultures this year and be slightly uncomfortable. It's how you learn about yourself the best.
Myself: As a person, I'm always open to growth, and I definitely want to explore myself more this year - how I can improve, and be a better me.
New perspectives: As humans, we tend to get into ruts - and continue to live life the same way, with the same answers, and the same perspective. What if we asked a question first instead of answering"No!" or "Yes!" first? I'm hoping to question options each time I come to a new crossroads.
Paleo/Primal: I want to explore the paleo/primal lifestyle even more, try new recipes, including some of the weird ones. Beef heart stew anyone?
Running: This is always a constant in my life. I don't forsee any marathons in my life this year, but rather many half marathons to enjoy - and maybe race at least one for a new PR :)
What is your word for 2014? Why?
Thanks for reading! Here were the most popular posts this year.
As I've missed every Monday in December, here's a massive compilation of Christmas Thoughts in photos.
I've taken on some more responsibility at work, so I tabled blog posts for a while. It was worth it - we worked hard to launch a new website, new messaging and positioning, new goals, and more. Very exciting.
1. We've had so much snow already this year - at least, that is what it feels like. One morning, it was so beautiful that we drove around to take it all in.
2. And thank goodness this was the year we purchased a snow blower! Well worth the money thus far.
4. Started and finished the Christmas cards a little later than normal this year. I may be one of the strange people who actually enjoy sending cards - all the way from addressing each envelope, to catching up with people when asking for their new addresses.
5. What would Christmas be without a new doggie jacket? Louie was well equipped for the snow and cold.
6. Before heading to Milwaukee for Christmas, Tim and I exchanged gifts at home. One of my favorite things in life is to find or create a gift that makes the person say, "Wow! You were listening to me" or "Wow, you really get me." (Marketing insights, anyone?) So I've been secretly working on a medal hanger for all our race medals with chalkboard paint, so current PR times can be included. I'll post the full project at some point!
7. I learned how to play cribbage. I love Christmas for all the games!
8. Reed, my nephew, was especially adorable this Christmas. He's walking (like a cute, drunken sailor) and it's crazy to see how much he's grown up.
9. My Christmas Eve photo - when I took this, everyone was in bed. It was so peaceful with the Christmas tree glowing in the dark, and it really felt like "Christmas" to me in this moment.
10. My three favorite people/animals on Christmas morning! Even though my family was in North Carolina, we had a massive group text going all day. We shared it virtually. I'm lucky and grateful, too, that my in-laws and their family have taken me in and treat me like I was their daughter, sister, niece, etc. But it's still hard to be away from family on this day.
11. Family photo.
12. Sisters! (Technically sisters-in-law, but feels more like sisters).
13. If Christmas had a theme this year, it would be running and coffee. We are the new owners of a Starbucks Verismo, and let's just say our coffee intake has increased. Tim also found this Wisconsin mug for me which I LOVE. It includes the Capitol, terrace chairs, cheese, farm and cows, a football, the Allen Bradley clock and building, and Port Washington lighthouse (I think - I'm guessing at all of these).
14. Reed has so many new toys to play with! Here he is enjoying a new truck. Note to self: toy packaging is super intense. This one involved a screwdriver and lots of effort.
15. And finally, post Christmas, I experienced a wonderful sunrise run. Here's to winter.
Hope you had a Merry Christmas!
So I missed Monday....and the two Mondays before that. You can always tell when things at work get busy when....
In celebration of Thanksgiving this week, this will be a thankful post full of thankful thoughts.
1. I am thankful for good friends. We hosted our annual Friendsgiving last weekend - 25 adults and 5 babies. We ate an entire 26-pound turkey, plus countless sides and desserts. This is year number 7 that I've participated (Tim and his roommates hosted in college prior to us meeting).
2. Thanksgiving, thankfully, is mostly primal, and you can avoid the weird glances and quizzical looks. Both of the dishes I made (Pecan Pie Squares from Primal Cravings and Sweet Potato Casserole from Deliciously Organic) were primal, and no one knew any better. Tim's turkey was primal....obviously.
3. I'm thankful for my Louie, who was exhausted after Friendsgiving. Licking all the kids' hands and cleaning up their leftover food was hard work.
4. Christmas came slightly early in the form of a Santa Hedgehog. The noise this thing makes is hilarious, and Louie quickly became BFF with the toy.
5. Being a chihuahua is hard work, man.
6. I'm thankful for re-discovering my creative outlet - scrapbooking. I started a Week in the Life project more than 2 years ago, and finished it last week. It's a very cool project where you track your daily life for a week in pictures and journaling, and then document into one book. I've completed one every two years, so I've decided to do Week in the Life, Christmas style, December 9th - December 15th for 2013.
7. It happened. The first "real" snow. It's been so cold that's it's still on the ground. I'm not going to lie, I like it. I guess that's the Canadian in me.
8. I'm thankful for my employment - I hate to call it work, because it's not work. It's a daily adventure, full of twists and turns, challenges and joys. Three years ago this week I started at Shoutlet. Time flies when you're having fun and working with good people. Plus, I got a bottle of mini champagne. Who doesn't love mini champagne?!
9. I'm thankful for my in-laws family that I'll be spending Thanksgiving with, and my family who will be with me in spirit, enjoying some milder weather in the Carolinas. I'm thankful for my friends, and looking forward to sharing some mimosas over brunch on Friday.
10. And finally, I'm thankful for my husband, for he can cook a turkey, and handle all those flopping gross bits that make me squeamish. Oh, and he's a pretty great guy too. ♥
Happy Thanksgiving - I hope you have wonderful one, and resist the urge to leave your family for silly sales. Unless it's Friday - and in that case, good luck.