Christmas 2015

Is anyone else as skeeved out by this warm weather as I am?

I know things are sort of varying if you’re reading in the US.  It’s hot as balls – literal balls – here in North Carolina, and yesterday, when I went for a run and did a little bit of speed work, I was dripping, summer-style, in my eyes and in my mouth.

So Austin and I have been making horrible jokes about how the high is going to be 120 degrees every day this summer, all the while feeling really nervous about global warming.

via Instagram
via Instagram

I’ve also heard that this is maybe like an El Nino type thing, and we could be fine. But all I’m saying is that I’m not trying to live through hellpocolypse ’16. So please, mother nature, if you can hear me, I just want you to know that I drinking out of non-disposable bottles and I recycle. So give me some good points for that, pretty please?

Christmas ’15

So, we’ve had a sort of eventful last week or so.  In addition to work being busy (as usual), Austin’s grandmother passed leading up to Christmas, and the week was full of a lot of phone calls, a day off work, and a lot of busy things with family.  We are at peace with her death.  She lived a really long life.  I enjoyed writing her letters, and actually, the Saturday before she fell ill (this is literal hours) we got a card from her.  She rocks.

So instead of heading down to Charlotte or Mint Hill for the holiday, we laid really low, and on Christmas Eve, we went to Irregardless Café for some vegan dinner.

Irregardless Cafe
Irregardless Cafe

I almost ordered something different, but I went with my standby, the vegan shepard’s pie. We drove around, and settled in and listened to a little bit of this week’s episode of Serial. Which, by the way, if anyone would like to discuss Serial, I really would love your insight. All I will say, so I don’t spoil it, is that Bowe’s logic is seriously screwy.

The night before Christmas, we watched A Christmas Story, and listened to my neighbors music.  They’re big reggae fans evidently.

Christmas Day, I woke up super early, and throughout the night, my neighbors continued playing their music.  They’re old hippies and really sweet though, so I can’t quite bring myself to go over there and crush their spirits.

Austin and I finally dragged ourselves out of bed, and managed to go for a long walk.  I made some dinner – salads to counter our nonstop holiday eating, and we walked again.

The next day, the day after Christmas Austin and I sort of split up.  He worked on the yard, and I went to Starbucks, and then took myself on a gorgeous run near our old condo.  I love that area because it’s always sidewalked, and I get to go house shopping in an area where it would not be financially advisable to buy.


It was warm enough for no shirt, so I continued the workout in the driveway, until I decided to finally clean my car.

And THAT was Christmas ’15.

How was your Christmas ’15.  Was Santa good to you?

When did you become aware of your body?

I have been really struggling with my body this week.  Which seems silly.  My body is capable of amazing things.  I’ve run marathons.  I teach multiple classes a week, sometimes multiple classes a day.  Sometimes, I look in the mirror in the morning, and see something awesome.  And yet, this week, when Aunt Flo decided to visit a few days early, and I put on a teeny bit of weight after what I felt was an amazing week at the gym, everything went to hell, and I became uncomfortably aware of how much physical space I was taking up.

I found the responses to last week’s post really interesting.  IRL, as well as online, I heard a lot from you guys (which I love).  However, the most intriguing responses came from the folks who’d shared on it in an online Trail and Ultra Running group I’ve been a part of.  Many folks commended my friend for calling me out, as they should have.  A few folks commended me for admitting what an asshole I’d been.  And more than most admitted to feeling poorly about their own bodies.  Some admitted to doing what I’d done, turning the things they felt were negative about themselves into rules that dictate what others should wear, and how they should wear it.

What’s so interesting about this group is that these folks are capable, strong humans.  Some of them truly do look like models.  Some look like fitness models.  Some are overweight.  Some don’t look like “typical” runner.  Some do.  However, their running and their capabilities are in no way defined by their looks.  So why all the angst as it relates to our bodies, especially considering the fact that at the very least, in that group especially, our bodies are capable of running endless miles on rugged terrain?

When did we get so aware of our bodies, and what they should look like?

For me, I remember being 120 lbs as a freshman in high school.  I struggled with my looks, the way I’m sure all 14-year-olds did.  I was sitting in a civics, and I looked down.  I was wearing a fitted top, and noticed the part of my tummy that was hanging over the edge of my jeans.  I pinched it.  I pinched it again.  To this day when I’m feeling anxious or particularly down, I will look down, grab that little roll, and pinch.  No matter how small or how round it’s gotten.

I’m not sure how I learned that behavior, or what drew me to became aware of this part of my body.  However, at 13 or 14, I knew that there was something “wrong” with it.  And, as I talked about last week, the things I find “wrong” with myself, I look for in others.

All of that said, I do identify with the fact that not everything I’m thinking is logical or right.  I recently ran a marathon.  I have incredible physical strength.  I just completed a grueling vinyasa sculpt class with minimal nausea.  I should have incredible gratitude for my body, these limbs, these muscles that get me from more than point A to point B.  But, my first instinct, my first learned behavior is to be critical of the physical manifestation of who I am.

At what point did you become aware of your body?  What does your body mean to you?

Is it ever going to stop raining again?

If you are in a place where you have seen blue skies and you have seen the sun in the last week or so, please get on your knees and thank God.  Here in North Carolina, I have not seen the sun in over a week.  I’ve run in the rain nonstop.  And on Friday, I actually experienced my first cold rain in a while.

But whatevs.  It’s Monday.  It’s a new week.  A new day.  And here are a few things I’m planning for this week.

  • Make a list for everything I want to do/buy for the house. 

Moon and Lola StoreI hope you guys get what I mean.  But I woke up a few days ago and decided I hated everything in the house.  I hate the color.  I hate this couch I’m sitting on.  So I’ve popped by some boutiques here for inspiration.  I’ve been poking around the Pinterest.  And I’m picking out a new color.  ANNND as we do all of that, I will be photo-ing and taking pictures.  My mom knows EXACTLY what I’m going through.  She used to do this all the time in our houses.

  • Chicago.  I’m going to Chicago at the end of the week for a quick trip to run the marathon.  I’M RUNNING THE CHICAGO MARATHON THIS WEEK.  I don’t have a time goal.  I am not putting a ton of pressure on myself.  I am just going to run and have a nice time.  I have a block about this distance since I got so sick during Greensboro a few years back, so we’re not making a big deal about it at all.  Nope.
  • I need a new outfit for Chicago.  But I don’t want to break the bank so I need to either go to the outlets, OR (whispers this quietly) go to Dick’s.  Which is so irritating, but I don’t have time to do an order through my job, because I’m a big fat idiot.  I definitely need a new tank, I have a bra and bottoms, I need a new pair of socks, and I think I want to do a Flipbelt so I can carry my phone during the race.  Which brings me to this aside.
    • I’m not sure if I’m going to wear a GPS or listen to music during Chicago.  During my last long run, I relied on Kathryn’s gps, and didn’t have one.  We mostly talked, and it was nice to not be locked into my watch.  I wonder if I can just hitch a ride with one of the pace groups and hope for the best?  I’m interested to see what you guys think about that.
  • Write write!  I talked about this maybe last week?  Two weeks ago?  But writing/being creative makes me feel good.  I am doing more of that this week.  I am MAKING TIME for what I want to do this week.

Ok, so what do you have planned for this week?

What makes me feel like me!

Yesterday, after work when I realized I could sit at my desk for like another 3 hours and still not have everything I wanted done done, I felt completely overwhelmed.  I’d promised myself I would get out of my chair and hop on the treadmill for a few minutes, and when it came time, I was trying to convince myself that I didn’t need to, instead, that I could just answer more emails.

I was irritable, my throat was tight, and I just wanted to hide in a fort of my own making.  Like sheets and stuff.  Those were the best, right?  Except my mom would never let us sleep in them.  BOO.  So I hopped on the treadmill for a few minutes, and the funk, the fog, started to lift.

While I was on there, I got to thinking about things that make me feel most like me, things that ground me.

  • Painting my nails.  

IMG_3192I don’t have a ton of time, nor do I have a ton of money.  The act of painting my nails itself is fine, and I’ve perfected the art of gelling my nails so I get a little more than a day or two of wear out of my nails.  But something about having my nails done makes me feel so pulled together, even if I’m just wearing tights and a tank top.

  • Running…after the first few miles.  I think running can be tricky for me because I feel like such a fat idiot for the first few moments.  But once I hit my stride – once I sort of hit a good rhythm – which can be after 4 miles during a long run, or after 10 minutes – I feel like a lot of problems are a LOT more solve-able, and I can break things down in my head.  I’ve saved myself (and the world) from many a meltdown.
  • Doing creative things.  I like to write. I like to draw.  Sometimes paint.  Performing live.  And whenever I do any of these things, I start to feel most at peace and like myself.  During the time when we were engaged, I struggled really heavily with anxiety, and being able to look at paper, draw, address envelopes, and put things together really grounded me.
I LOVE writing letters too.
  • Teaching classes.  I’ll let you in on a little secret.  Fitness instructors don’t always want to teach.  But just after the warm up, something takes over me, and I recognize my role as the exercise tour guide is exactly where I want to be.  I’ll smile, dance, touch, and encourage, and I feel like a million bucks after.
  • Cooking for people.  This also falls into the same category as creative stuff.  But I feel like I have purpose when I can cook for people – my husband, my brother, and his roommates, and have them enjoy it.  It’s the weird maternal part of me that I didn’t really think I had.
  • Being honest with my husband.  Spending time with my husband.  Holding Austin’s hand.  Playing and being silly with Austin.  Rubbing his back.  Having him rub my feet.  Doing our funny jokes, which are maybe only funny to us.  Going to the beach with him.  This is me.  This is us.  I love this stuff.  And I’m so happy that he can help me get both feet on the ground, when sometimes they feel like they don’t go.

So this is me.  This list is by no means exhaustive.  I will maybe keep adding to this and referencing this post.  But I want to know.  What makes you feel like you?  


Easter Weekend

This weekend was a much-needed exercise in something I’m terrible at.  Sitting my ass down and relaxing.  It’s been a rough, rough week or so at work, and my body has been really upset with me.  Hips ache, Aleve is on a drip, and rest has not been as restful as I would like it.  That’s a completely different post for a completely different day, however.

So I started the weekend on the couch.  I didn’t have to work on Good Friday, and though I thought about it, I could not physically bring myself to open that laptop and answer the emails that had begun to roll in.  And it was for the best!

I was laying on the couch and received an awesome phone call from a friends who let me know that she and her husband were expecting!  How cool!  It’s getting weirder and weirder. Me and my friends are continuing to do adult things, and yet, in some ways, I feel like a kid still.  At what point do I become an adult?  My husband and I are talking about our home, our dreams, our travel, perhaps even plans for kids, and yet, I still find reality television hysterical.

But at any rate, after I spent some time on the couch, and did a slow few miles around the neighborhood, when I realized that I’d made no plans for the evening.  A friend texted, stated that she was in a similar plight, and we made plans to meet at the Whole Foods for dinner and drinks.  It was nice because I didn’t get too crazy, and I fell into bed with Austin at the end of the night.

Saturday, we didn’t do a lot, BUT we did make a great purchase in a mandoline to make chips out of sweet potatoes.  It was okay – I think next time, I’m going to roast the chips in my vegetable dehydrator.  I also was extremely pleased – my 13.5lb bag of Arm & Hammer finally arrived from Amazon, and I got to start some spring cleaning, along with the Bissell that showed up.

I sprinkle this on everything for some help with cleaning!
I sprinkle this on everything for some help with cleaning!

Easter Sunday, we met some friends for brunch, grab some more cards for me to write some letters, and when I was away running a lap in the State Park, Austin put together a hammock that’s been sitting in the house all winter.


It was a great, restful weekend, and were leading up to a nutty week. I’m gearing up for tons on Monday, our staff retreat, as well as hydrating throughout for a big race on Sunday, which I don’t even want to talk about right now.

What were you up to this weekend? 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Raleigh

So I ran Raleigh’s Rock ‘n’ Roll race last year, the half.

The race was amazing, extremely hilly, but an awesome representation of our city.  I tried to capture it all when I actually ran it last spring, but when I run now through downtown, I remember little things.  Like when I started tearing up at the mile at Dorthea Dix’s Campus when there were pictures and American flags with our fallen soldiers on it.  Or when the priest near the start was blessing us.

So anyhoo, I registered again.  For the full.

God help.

If you’ll remember, during my last full marathon, I woke up with a stomachache, ran anyway, and proceeded to vomit from mile 18 on.

Come to find out later, I’d developed a gnarly case of gastritis after my grandmother passed…

HospitalAnd I sort of didn’t run anything intense after that, save for a few half marathons last spring, for fear that I would be vomiting on someone’s front lawn once again.

But I’ve braved the registration, and I did it.

And now I suppose I’ve got to train.  Humph.

Also, sorta thinking about an ulta. A 50k!  Eep!

Have you signed up for any races this spring ??

Weekend Recap

I know things were a little quiet around here lately, and I have a perfectly good explanation for that.  This was the last weekend that we had of the old apartment – I actually think that we have that apartment through the end of  the month, but we moved out a little early and were able to get everything cleaned up yesterday – baseboards, carpets, and all.

I feel good because I’m finally able to focus on the new place – unpack the millions of boxes that are just hanging around – and finally start working on the house, room by room.

But this weekend:

I started off the weekend by running around our new place, and around NC State University and listening to one of my favorite podcasts, The Read.  Unfortunately, a friend of mine posted on Facebook that a guy jumped out at her on the greenway on Friday morning near where we live, and I had a feeling that since he hadn’t been nabbed, I would take my chances on the street.  I found a road nearby that was closed, and went for it.

Road RunningEven more unfortunately, on Sunday, our local news station reported that a woman had been attacked on the greenway.  I am so incredibly sorry to hear that, and once again, this renews my vigilance to my safety. I hate that we have to think that way, but we definitely have to think that way.

Friday night, I stayed in with my husband, and caught up on one more episode on what I think is going to be our new favorite couple show, Mad Men.

image via Tumblr

Can we talk about for a second how you used to be able to drink, swear, and harass people in your office without it being much of a problem at all?  That still boggles my mind, and we are into season 2 now.

Saturday, I taught a pretty bomb Zumba® Fitness class, and was finally able to thank the angels in my class who put together a little card from Target for us from the wedding.  We went over to the apartment, packed up the last bit of stuff, and Saturday night, I went and did some dancing at Legends with some friends, and played sober sister for the evening to make sure that everything got home safely.

All in all, it was a very busy, but not overly exciting weekend.  I am looking forward to putting some serious miles in, getting these boxes unpacked, and welcoming some really really pretty weather to North Carolina.

How was your weekend?  What are you looking forward to this week? 


Anyone else do this?

I woke up yesterday morning, and the left side, in the bottom of my back felt…crunchy.

I know that’s a really weird way to describe it, but it felt like I crunched something between lifting and between teaching a class the day before.  I played with the idea of still going out with some of the girls  from  Lululemon for our Wednesday workout, but by the time I went home and took two Advils, it was pretty clear that it was just not going to happen.  I was exhausted, and the slightest bit of tension on my lower back was killing.

And then the irrationally anxious part of me started to rear its rude, ugly head.

//What if I’m really injured?

//What if I never run again?

//What if I magically, in the time where I don’t work out today, start drinking Cokes, eating Twinkies, and generally stop caring about my health.

And then the rational (ish) side of me kicks in.  You pulled a muscle in your back lifting.  It happens.  Take a day off.  And reassess in the morning.

Am I the only one who gets weird like this? 

Baby copperhead scare.

So I hope you guys got a chance to get out and run in the past few days.  At least, in my neck of the woods, the weather has been pretty beautiful, and the humidity has been bearable, which I need to hang onto, because eventually the heat and humidity here in Raleigh become wholly unbearable.  I can literally recount dozens of times that I’ve felt nauseous and drippy in the heat.

photo 1I managed to squeeze in a very quick 3 miles after a long day at work (can you make some noise if your Monday freakin BLEW) and check out that pace.  For exactly 1/100th of a miles, I ran a 5:27 pace.  I felt like I wanted to die approximately, so I won’t be breaking any world records anytime soon 🙂

photo 2I copped a squat on the sidewalk after, and let Coco run around and get a really good poop in because she told me she was lacking in good poop that day.

So, let’s chat about something really really terrible and awful I ran into her the other day.

SO I was taking a little walk on a rest day last week when I literally ran smack dab into a snake.

Copperhead Snake With Young

I wasn’t at all interested in sticking around to see what he looked like or what he wanted to eat for dinner, but Austin, being a dude, was interested and made me look, with my poor eyes at him.  He was a little baby copperhead, just laying around, looking dangerous, and seemed to be getting more and more agitated at the fact that we were staring at him.

“Babe, we should move him so he doesn’t get run over!” <-Austin

Please guys, I love my animals, but I had no interest in helping a baby copperhead cross the street, but Austin, being the sweet pea that he is, let the baby climb up onto a stick, and then kindly escorted him into the grass where he wouldn’t get run over.  Blech, but I get it.

So my runner ladies and gents that do a good bit of running on trails, in grass, or on cool pavement where snakes may like to chill, please, keep your eyeballs open for these guys, because a bite can be an ugly ugly time.  I’m not a snake specialist, but from what I understood from Austin (through my hysterics), your best bet if you get bitten by one of these suckers is to remain really calm (don’t go doing anything to get your heart rate up), and call 911 because they’ll probably get you where you need to go a smidge faster that you can (with your now injured appendage).

Seriously guys, chime in.  Any other tips for beating dangerous critters on your summer runs?