Weekend Plans

New_DayThis week was almost a run-less week. My freelance work that has kicked into high gear, plus some added busyness from the non-profit Board I am on, kept me hopping all week. Unfortunately, this pattern is going to continue right on into the holiday weekend. The silver lining is that, even though I have a lot of work to do, most of it will be in blocks. That should leave other blocks of time open which will let me run or at least get in some kind of workout.

I did manage to squeeze in a short 20 minute jog on Thursday morning, but that’s been it so far. My weight is up too. Just a smidgen, nothing to be overly concerned with, but something for me to keep in mind for the weekend. In fact, I think I am going to try to use these three days to do a bit of a reset. All the stress and work lately has knocked my eating a bit out of alignment and I haven’t been getting nearly enough sleep.

I would have loved to been able to get up to my cabin, but the freelance work just won’t allow for it. That’s okay, Hermes isn’t quite to full capacity, and the cabin just isn’t as fun if I my little buddy can’t go on long hikes through the woods with me. He has another vet appointment on Tuesday, but so far he is recovering really well. He’s almost back to his old self! Fingers crossed that he stays that way.

So, my plan is to finish up the work I need to do, sleep as much as I need, eat healthy and get in some extra workouts. Believe it or not, that pretty much sounds like the perfect weekend.

When was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?

last time first timeNot long ago, Julian and I were in a cool little shop up North and I spotted this quote on a pillow. I don’t need another pillow, but I loved the quote.

One of the great things about heading down this whole fitness path is that I’m doing new things all the time. And they aren’t just new, they are things I would have considered completely impossible just a year ago. I’ve opened a lot of new doors in a very short period of time.

Taking a couple risks led to my feeling like I could take a couple more. Then some of those risks started paying off, and that meant even more confidence, which led to being even more open about trying new things. It’s not just fitness, (although honestly, those are the things that blow my mind sometimes,) but other things as well. It’s a strange correlation, but learning to lift weights has helped me to speak my mind in situations where I would have normally held my tongue. It’s not because I am tougher, it’s because I am starting to see that I can do, and be, a lot more than I ever thought.

It’s exciting because I am rapidly approaching 40 and there are certain things that I’ve always wanted to do that I thought I would have to put behind me. You know, the whole, “It’s too late for that now.” I love reading stories about people in their nineties writing books or breaking weightlifting records, and yet, there are a number of things I had resigned myself to being “too old” for. Sometimes it isn’t just age – there are things that have sounded interesting that I have discarded just becuase they don’t seem like they fit my life. Well, I’ve proven to myself that I don’t even know what that means anymore. My life really can be just about anything.


Finding Happiness


“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

John Lennon, 1940-1980




Just a Quick Update


I needed this today. (From wewanderandwonder.com)

I still feel like I am still recovering from my week with the sick pooch (plus a few other random stresses,) so I am not completely on my game. I am still here though, and I love reading all your blog posts! You guys make my day.

Even though I’ve been indulging in some emotional eating, things are still going pretty okay. It’s been hard not being able to walk Hermes like I am used to, though. He is able to get around okay but is still on rest for the next week – until the staples from his surgery come out. We’ve been doing some short (sloooow) walks. They let him do what he needs to do, but don’t do much for me. Normally, I love our walks because they let me work off stress, get some “walking meditation” time in, and burn some calories all at the same time. These little 20 minute jaunts down the block just don’t have the same effect.

Fortunately, the strength training is still going well. I’m loving The New Rules of Lifting for Women, and I’ve kept to my every other day routine. I finally admitted to myself that the Swiss Ball I bought was defective and returned it for a new one. That one inflated beautifully. While I was at the store I also picked up a few more weight plates, and I am ever slowly working my way towards a home gym.

Hermes' "Welcome Home" present from his girlfriends. He doesn't normally get cheese, but when he does, he's a happy pup!

Hermes’ “Welcome Home” present from his girlfriends. He doesn’t normally get cheese, but when he does, he’s a happy pup!

After a pretty decent week of running, I am on a bit of a hiatus. I was going to go yesterday morning, but: 1) I had a small blister on the back of my foot from my work heels. Nothing major, but the equivalent of a paper cut, small but ridiculously painful., 2) it was raining, 3) my raincoat has lost much of its waterproofness and needs a respray, 4) I was super low on sleep on account of Julian and I having not seen each other much lately and spending the previous evening talking. It was much needed time together, but I was really bleary eyed in the morning. Any one or two of these things wouldn’t have kept me from going out, but when I piled them all up… yeah. I threw some Neosporin on my blister, put a good bandaid on it, and crawled back into bed. There is a line between excuses and darn good reasons, and this time it felt like staying home was the smart move.

I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead. It’s the last of my summer freelance work and I’ll be wrapping things up. So, I’ll be laboring away on Labor Day, but I am still hoping to get a few runs or maybe some good, strong walks in anyway. It’s too bad Hermes can’t join me, but hopefully he’ll be back at it in full strength in a week or two. Now it is time to shake off this post-stress malaise and get back to looking ahead!


Running Quote – Each Step Changes Us

Parallel PathsI have a ton of thoughts going around in my head – posts to write and ideas to share, but I am a little overwhelmed. Hermes’ surgery last week sucked up all my mental and emotional reserves, and now I am running on fumes. So, I thought I would re-post something I saw that made me happy. I loved this quote posted over on Fit For a Year:

You are different in some way than you were the day before

It’s important to remember that each footstrike carries you forward, not backward. And every time you put on your running shoes you are different in some way than you were the day before.

John “The Penguin” Bingham, Going with the Flow, The Penguin Chronicles Archive.


Photo credit: Jennifer Elaine Hagedorn

Hermes Update and Dealing with Stress

On a walk in the rain

Can’t wait to see this face.

First, good news! I finally got some good news about my little guy. It has been a long, rough week! As I mentioned, his initial surgery to remove the tumor went well, but it was followed up with complications. Hermes spent two nights in the Emergency Animal Hospital and another night at the vet’s getting blood transfusions and IVs. However, I got the call this morning that he is looking great, has finally eaten some food on his own (his last real meal was Monday morning before all this went haywire,) and is sitting up and bright-eyed. The doc is weaning him off his IVs and if all goes well, I’ll have my little guy back home again by the end of the day.

I can’t wait… the house is far too quiet without him.

Here’s an interesting thing – I’ve been handling the stress differently than I ever have before, and it has a lot to do with the changes I have made over the last year.

I actually hold up fairly well under extreme stress. The day-to-day stuff can really get under my skin, but when things go absolutely sideways, I tend to be pretty solid. I think I get this from my dad who was the same way. (Perhaps a good inheritance for once, eh Andra?) He had some, well, let’s call them “anger management issues” on the day-to-day, but when things went really, really bad, he was always calm, cool and collected. I’ve worked hard not to have the anger problems he had, but I’ve nurtured the calm. I tend to be practical, (sometimes to the extreme,) and while I have my teary moments like everyone else, my goal is always to hold it together until I get through to the other side.

The waiting is the hardest part.* Whenever situations like this come up, especially ones dealing with medical issues, there is always waiting involved. My tried and true method of getting through it is books. Preferably something interesting, but fairly light. My favorite are older, formulaic murder mysteries like the Nero Wolfe books by Rex Stout. I can’t tell you how many books I flew through back when my mother was in the hospital, waiting on some kind of news.

My other tried and true method is emotional eating. I’m not proud – when the shit is hitting the fan, I’m not going to take the time to count calories. Besides, I love food – and I really love great food, so having something decadent really does make me feel better for a bit. This week, I have been doing both of these things. I’ve been burying my head in books  and coating my throat with wine.

But… that isn’t all I have been doing. I’ve also been running, weight lifting and walking. Now, I need to make this clear – I am not trying to balance out the scale here. There is no way one of my runs will burn up the quantity of dark chocolate almond bark and glasses of wine I’ve had. It’s more that I have added another tool for coping. The night Hermes went in for emergency surgery, I knew it was going to be a couple of hours to before I heard how it went. As I headed towards the kitchen, I heard a voice in my head say, “Is emotional eating really going to help right now???

The rest of me said “*&^$!”

… and then went and put on my running shoes. I had that antsy, nervy energy – the kind that makes you want to pace, or punch something. Going for a run, even a bad run, totally let me escape the situation and work off the twitchiness. And man, were my runs bad. My times were terrible, I had equipment failures, I was distracted and unfocused… and yet, I ran. I found, incidentally, that 2 min run / 1 min walk intervals are perfect for this. I didn’t have the willpower, or the mental capacity, to run much more than this, and “just doing whatever” was actually more stressful because it involved making choices – something I had already been doing way too much of this week. Intervals gave me a structure, a purpose, and a framework, plus I could run full-out for 2 minutes if I wanted knowing I had a break coming. Though by every metric my runs were terrible, for me, they were great.

I also worked on my strength training. I mentioned that I am starting to go through The New Rules of Lifting for Women. Even though without Hermes in the house I could have slept in, instead I got up, got out my weights and went to work. I’ve been walking too. One day this week while I was waiting on a call from the vet, I headed out for an hour-long lunch hour walk. Another morning, before weight training, I went for an early morning power walk.

Sunrise. I took this on an early morning walk this week.

Sunrise. I took this on an early morning walk this week.

This is all really new to me, and believe me, I understand why it wouldn’t be appealing. One of my coworkers is going through a rough time too. He said, “I am having to do enough stuff that I don’t want to do right now, I am not going to make myself run as well.” I get that! And even though it briefly occurred to me to take the rest of my chocolate into the office and put it on the “free food” table in the break room, I haven’t – there is a still the long road of recovery ahead.

Here’s the point – I think everyone deals with stress a little differently. I am not going to judge anyone for how they handle it. For myself, I am surprised that exercise has become something I’ve started turning to. I’ve heard for years that exercise is good for stress, but it always seemed like a lot of blue mud. How could sweating, and panting and working hard feel good? Yet here I am, workout clothes hanging in the laundry, running shoes ready to go.



* Did I just get Tom Petty stuck in your head? Please tell me I did.

Sick Pup

Hermes loves bunnies.

Hermes has a thing for bunnies.

Hermes, my little buddy, is sick. He had a tumor, roughly the size of my hand, in his spleen. We had an amazing, fun weekend up at Julian’s parent’s place last weekend, but on the last day he stopped acting like himself. I thought it was a reoccurrence of the back problems he had a few months ago, but the vet did an x-ray and we found the tumor.

They did surgery and removed his spleen. The surgery itself went well, but when they went in, they found the tumor had ruptured. He ended up losing a lot of blood. Last night he spent the night at the Emergency Pet Hospital and they had to give him a transfusion. Despite all of this, things looked pretty good. Julian and I picked him up from the hospital and brought him to the vet. He seemed drugged up, but he looked good.

However, he is having complications. He’s having problems with his heart. They are working to balance everything out, but he is going to have another night at the Emergency Pet Hospital. I don’t know how this is going to all play out. Basically, it is up to him and how he does over the next 24 hours or so. If you have some spare good thoughts, please send them my pooch’s way. He could use them.

In the meantime, if things are a little quiet over here, this is why. I’m a wreck. He’s my little buddy. I hate that he is hurting.