Saturday, October 31, 2015

Blogging 2015: 865 down, 1150 to go (Last Day of Lurong)

So I'm sitting here drinking whisky, which is a total cheat. BUT, I did just spend 90 minutes walking around the neighborhood in the rain following Trick or Treaters. It's medicinal.

Scotch. Neat.

This is my Trick or Treating face.

Why is this neighborhood so LARGE?

Earlier today I went for a puddle jump in the Arboretum. I know I've said it before, but I fucking love the Arb. I'll run it until it snows, and when the weather turns to spring I'll puddle jump again. It was about 50 and raining this afternoon. Perfect temperature. In the trees the wind was a total non-factor and the rain was intermittent except for the big drops shaken from the branches by the breeze. It was beautiful. I stomped or jumped in every single puddle. There were a few nice muddy ones. Not as many as in the spring, but it was deeply satisfying. I've been leaving my headphones behind a lot lately, and I haven't missed them much. Today's run called for some classical music. I actually listen to classical music while I run on a semi-regular basis. It has a mathematical precision that speaks to one part of my brain, and the ability to wring out deep emotion from another part. Sometimes that combo is disaster (PSA, don't listen to the Angus Dei while running after someone close to you dies-catharsis doesn't cover it), but most of the time it is uplifting in the extreme.  I found a version of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons done by the London Symphony and played it through the speaker on my phone. It was like running to my own goddamn soundtrack, and it was fucking perfect.

I could smell the earth and the water today. The leaves muted my footfalls to the point where I could barely hear them. Even my breath cooperated, coming easily without that one mile of gasping that usually starts my runs. I crisscrossed over trails I know like the back of my hand, and a few spurs I've never been down. I didn't encounter a single other soul. That is rare, and precious.

Autumn perfection.

I love the bleakness of the Bay.

Afterwards I headed home and peeled off my wet shoes and socks. These Brooks are now my official puddle jumping shoes after last weekend's soaking and another go today.

Soaked through.

I go back to work tomorrow night. I honestly love my job most of the time, so I'm not sad to go back exactly. I will miss just doing whatever I feel like all the time. Having 24 days off in one go is a hell of a thing. I think I'll do it every October. 

My October challenge at the yoga studio came to a close yesterday, and the Lurong is over as of midnight tomorrow. Both of these things gave me a lot this month in particular. Lurong kept me on the straight and narrow from a dietary standpoint, and kept me at it in the CrossFit box for the last 6 weeks. I saw some serious gains as a result. My yoga challenge got me into the studio for 22 classes and improved my technique, strength, and flexibility more than I anticipated. My body has changed a lot (for the better), and my mindset has changed as well.

It seems silly to say that just thinking or saying a phrase to yourself daily can really change your outlook on life, but it actually worked (much to my surprise). I could feel myself becoming less afraid, less self-conscious. I practiced active self-acceptance...and I started accepting myself. Crazy, right?

My final affirmation for the month is this:

Only I define myself.

No one gets to say who or what I am. Only I can do that. What you see when you look at me does not define me. Whatever you think of me is your own affair. I can't change the way you see me, only the way I see myself. So what am I?

I am beautiful and powerful and sexy. I am outspoken and passionate and fierce. I am intelligent and talented and driven. I am impulsive and adventurous and spontaneous. 

I am also insecure and weak and self-conscious. I am anxious and impassive and afraid. I am single-minded and ordinary and apathetic. I am cautious and timid and inhibited.

I am all these things, and I accept that fact. Every day I have worked on accepting it. Every day I will continue to work on accepting it.  My body has done amazing things over the last few months. It will do even more in the months and years to come. My mind has done amazing things as well, and I will do whatever I can to keep that momentum going. 

This year isn't over, not even close. There are goals still to reach, and I will reach them. Buckle up, bitches.



Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Blogging 2015: 855 down, 1160 to go (Lurong Day 44ish)

This morning started way too early with the dog freaking the fuck out at 2am. She did actually go to the bathroom, so at least it wasn't in vain. I was standing in my backyard schmabs out in a sports bra and sweats under what was basically a full moon. Sorry, neighbors. Hopefully none of you were up late enough to witness that.

A little after 6am I started hearing stirring from down the hall. Fantastic husband was at work and went straight to training after his shift ended, so I was flying solo this morning. Got the smalls fed and off to school and made it home in time to enjoy some delicious, delicious carcinogenic bacon. Also a much needed cup of coffee. 

Last of the hash. Sad face.

I went to the box for 915. My running mileage was from this workout today. Backsquats, 800m repeats, and some pullups and ring dips since I can't (and never will) do a muscle up. I decided to use all 10# plates to make the math easier as the weight got higher. This looks pretty cool, so I took a snapshot, but it's really only 115#. What can I say, my maxes aren't very high. 

Still kind of a badass photo, though.

Originally I was going to go to yoga at 1030, but instead I rescheduled for tomorrow night and went home to shower as I was fairly disgusting and I didn't think it was fair to make the tattoo artist smell me for 3 hours. I pulled on my tattooing jeans (seriously, I wore these when I got my shoulder work done...they're a little bigger on me now, but still comfy with a nice wide leg) and crammed my feet into my $8 slippers. I've decided shoes are stupid. If I can get by all winter with cheap slippers then I win. 

Whoa. I am seriously knock-kneed. #slipperlife

So I spent close to 3 hours laying face down on a table. That makes my lower back kind of unhappy, but it's worth it. As I've said before, I don't find tattoos particularly painful, but the lettering at the top of this? Especially the outline? That shit smarts. Still, it's part of the experience. I earned this ink, and as sick as it sounds, I like to feel it being marked on me. This is a lifelong commitment, and the pain is part of the process. The outline is finished, along with the shading. All that's left is the color on 11/20! I love it.

My first tattoo is on my back and it's a thorned vine that I drew at the end of my college career. I was feeling like a thorned plant at that point in my life-untouchable. I was getting ready to graduate, I'd just lost 65#, and I wanted to commemorate those life events. My second tattoo on my shoulder/back/arm references my children. All 4 of them. The 3 that remain with me and the one that never was.  This tattoo refers to my professional life. I'm a pharmacist, and I got to thinking about alchemy and the first pharmacists...and the plants they used to help or harm that we still use today. So I came up with this idea, and Steve brought it to beautiful life.

I have always been fascinated with tattoos. Some of them are fucking horrifying, but so many of them are astonishingly beautiful. I like the ones with a story the best. If you're just decorating yourself, power to you, go flat out. But the ones that have hidden significance intrigue me, and that's how I choose to decorate myself. I find having ink (especially big, undeniable ink) extremely powerful. It is my armor and my litmus test. Are you going to judge me and make assumptions about my character based on the artwork on my body? They you can fuck right off. I have enough friends. Fortunately, I most often find that these pieces open people up. They want to know the story, and it starts a conversation. From little kids to little old ladies, they all want to know about the pretty flowers. 

And sometimes? A huge tattoo makes you look intimidating as hell, which can be a very good thing.

"All things are poison, and not without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison"
-Paracelsus

Foxglove, opium poppy, deadly nightshade, and willow bark.

At some point in all this I ate a couple of apples. How's that for a segue.

During my session I got a text from a co-worker informing me that the bossman was freaking because the deadline for our mandatory flu shots is tomorrow. I've been on vacation for three weeks. I didn't get my shot. So when I finished up, I hustled over to Employee Health to get stuck. The nurse said "You're going to feel a poke!" and I thought Yeah, probably not.  Arm is sore as shit now, though. Can't even feel the calf.  I will once I unwrap it. It'll feel like a sunburn for a couple of days.

This is how I was dressed going into the hospital. I've noticed something about this shirt. It makes men stare at my chest. About 20 guys just blatantly stared as I entered and left the hospital. Including a couple of really old dudes. I think this one will be relegated to the gym in the future. I guess I should be grateful it's not a V-neck. It's not that I'm averse to an appreciative gaze, but come on. I'm not trying to X-ray vision your package, you know?

MY EYES ARE UP HERE.

Today's affirmation is:

I do what I want.

Sounds kinda hashtaggy. I've used it as a hashtag. But it's really true. I am very, very fortunate. I have always been encouraged to walk my own path. Sometimes it diverges pretty significantly from the paths of those around me, but it always leads somewhere interesting. Now that I have the obligations of a home and family, sometimes my choices are limited. But they are still choices-my choices-and ultimately I do what I want. I won't pretend I never let myself get dragged down by the expectations of others, but whenever I've made a decision based on what I truly wanted it has turned out remarkably well. I need to remember to trust myself to do what's right for me, and by extension, my family. 

Life is too short to conform to some cookie cutter idea of what I should be. I am what I am, and you can take it or leave it. I do what I want, 38 years running.

When was the last time you did something you truly wanted, and damn the torpedoes?



Monday, October 26, 2015

Blogging 2015: 853 down, 1162 to go (Lurong Day 43? I think?)

I was going to recap the Fall 50, but since I didn't take a single photograph it's a little hard to make it interesting. Also it was my sixth year. So been there, done that in a way. This year we had a friend come up to join us from Alabama, and we conned our neighbor and a fellow rugby wife into joining us for part of the day.
Extra blingy for the 10th year.


The Fall 50 has shit weather about once every 3 years. Shit weather defined as torrential rain, extreme wind, or irrational cold. 2010 was a rainy year. So was 2015. I only got rained on a little, but fantastic husband got pretty well drenched on both of his full legs. He and I split one of the shorter legs later in the day, which was a blessing in disguise as the regular exchange was a total clusterfuck.

Over the years I've had the opportunity to run every leg of the Fall 50, so this year I just picked 2 kind of at random. Some of our friends had a team that was starting at the same time we were, so we paced along with them for the first 2 legs. I'm generally a solitary runner. I listen to my music too loud and go away in my head for the duration. Sometimes I daydream about vacations in Scotland or on an island somewhere. Sometimes I rerun scenes from my favorite books in my mind's eye. Sometimes I sing to myself, or have long conversations with my inner sloth. It's not that I never run with people, but doing so makes me nervous. Am I going to slow? Too fast? Am I talking too much? Not enough? Am I breathing like I'm going to die? Am I even making sense? What if I start farting? It happens.

Leg 2 went fine, I definitely ran faster than I would've on my own. And since my pace was better than anticipated for that leg, I pushed myself to run harder on my second-into-third leg. I passed a lot of people on Leg 8, and it felt good. I didn't listen to music this year because I've been using my phone and I didn't want to risk it in the rain. It's harder to stifle the urge to just walk or slow way down when I don't have a beat to run to, but I didn't do too badly.

Ultimately we had a fun day, got to hang out with some fun people and have some beers, and still made it home to bed by 9pm. Not too shabby. I don't know if I'll Fall 50 again. I won't be buying teams in the future, but if someone needs a runner to whore on, I'm likely game. I should probably mention that "whore on" is a rugby term meaning to jump on a team in need of players. I'm not offering my services to your Fall 50 team as an actual whore. You couldn't afford me.

It was back into the usual swing of things this morning. Got the smalls up for breakfast and assembled lunches while they ate and I drank copious coffee. I ate breakfast early as I was going to 8am yoga.

Apple carrot sausage hash. No egg. Couldn't be bothered today.

I've never gone to this particular yoga class before. It's a style called Yin yoga. Done in a cool room, almost every pose on your back, and you hold them for a reeeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllllyyyyyyy long time. It's pretty much the opposite of "flow" style yoga. I think we maybe did 8 poses over the whole hour? It was oddly intense. Definitely a good stretch, but with a lot more introspection than I'm used to. I don't like spending that much time in self reflection. I'm too much in my head as it is. It's uncomfortable. Which is probably the point. I don't know, it was my first time. 

After yoga I ran some errands and chomped down an apple before heading over to the box to repeat the initial Lurong WOD. 

SweeTango, purchased in the midst of a rainstorm at the Fall 50.

Can I just say I crushed that WOD today? It was hard, and I was tired afterwards, but satisfied. Thrusters can still suck it, but all the rest of my bar work was leaps and bounds better than 6 weeks ago. I was elated to see the improvement. One week left to finish strong. I'm fighting the self-sabotage dragon pretty hard today, as the end is so near and I'm so close to so many of my goals. Send me your stay-the-course mojo please. I need it. 

I stopped over by my tattoo artist to take one last look at my drawing before heading home. I'm in the chair at noon tomorrow! I'm so excited!

Then I came home and cut down some brush in the front yard. Fun times, since I could only find one of my work gloves. I still have more to do, but tomorrow is a new day and I'll have some time before CrossFit. After getting covered with thorns and Russian Sage, I treated myself to a bubble bath. It was lovely.

I didn't feel much like making lunch, so I just had a few meat cookies. I wish I'd gotten a shot of the dog. She was sitting at my feet just vibrating with excitement. I tossed her a few pieces.

Fall 50 leftovers.

I picked up the smalls from school, got them a snack and settled down with a cup of coffee to watch Ellen. I never watch Ellen. It wasn't half bad.

Yep, those are slippers, and I absolutely wore that shit as shoes ALL DAY.

It was CrossFit Kids day, and since they missed last week while we were travelling and picturing, they were stoked about going today. They did KB deadlifts, rope climbs, and running. P finished first, C second. Even L finished strong, doing more than I thought she would (I knew she could, but wasn't sure she would). They were so proud, and I was proud of them. They also fell asleep on the way home from the gym, so I gather they will sleep like small corpses tonight. Win-win-win.

I had leftover chili, because it was a chili kind of a day. Fantastic husband made it yesterday. I even watched him make it and I couldn't tell you what's in it. I'm not even sure he knows. It's never the same twice, but it's always delicious. No beans this go to stay Lurong legal.

As my mom is so fond of saying "You better to everything in your power to hold on to that man." So when I get arrested for some sort of public sex act, you'll know who to blame. That's right. My mother.

Always better the second day.

At the moment I'm supervising homework and trying not to eat cookie dough. Well, I guess I'm succeeding at not eating cookie dough. For now. 

Tomorrow is the box at 915, yoga at 1030, then quickly cleaning up so I can hustle over to Artrageous so Steve can make my right calf pretty. One good thing about having big calves? Big tattoos! I've been contemplating this one for 2 years, since I got my sleeve. I get compliments on my shoulder piece daily (really, almost every day for 2 years and from some very unexpected sources) so I'm very excited to see another one of Steve's masterpieces take shape.

I'll probably need help getting a photo of it...taking pictures of the back of my leg is a yoga move I haven't mastered.

My foray into Yin yoga provided me with today's affirmation.

I will not participate in my own diminishment.

This spoke to me today. I've always tried to be an outspoken advocate for myself. In an academic setting or a professional setting, I am a force to be reckoned with. But I diminish myself in other ways. I let prevailing standards of beauty dictate my happiness. I downplay my talents. (For example, did you know that I can play the piano and the guitar? Also that I am a trained vocalist?) For many years I was literally diminishing myself by trying to weigh less than 140 pounds, and I put many things on hold waiting until I was small enough to "deserve" them. That is some horseshit right there. If you're waiting until you're "thin" to be happy, do me a favor and stop that shit right now. Be happy now. I'm not going to judge anyone for wanting to look their best, but for fuck's sake don't wait to be happy.

I'm done diminishing myself. I am going to take up some motherfucking space. I'm going to mark my body with beautiful colors and call as much attention as possible. I'm going to be bigger and better than ever. Stronger. Faster. Vibrantly, passionately, vigorously happy. And I'm going to do my damnedest to stop others from participating in their own diminishment. Not one of us is "just" this or "only" this. 

We are all capable of remarkable things. Don't forget it. 






Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Blogging 2015: 837 down, 1178 to go RW Fest Race Report (Lurong Day 37)

Big jump in mileage there, yeah? That's what happens when you do 4 races in 3 days, then come home and run your dog for a bit to make your mileage a round number.

Last Thursday night fantastic husband and I embarked on a 1908 mile road trip to Bethlehem, PA for the Runner's World Festival and Half. We drove through the night, taking turns so we could sleep at intervals. Fantastic husband started out and drove us to Indiana. I drove across Ohio and a chunk of Pennsylvania.  It wasn't too bad, as we happened upon a good Google Play station (Awesome Sing-Alongs) so we had a good mix of music to listen to.

I also ate about 3 pounds of grapes in an attempt to stay awake. Ordinarily I'm a constipated traveler. Let's just say that wasn't an issue this trip.

Bethlehem is a lovely town. I said at one point on the drive "I'm not sure what the population of Bethlehem is, but I don't think it's a huge town." Fantastic husband replied "So you're saying it's a *stifled laugh* LITTLE TOWN? Bethlehem is a LITTLE TOWN?"

He waited 900 miles to make that joke. I probably should've laughed. What can I say? I'm an asshole.

We couldn't check into the hotel because we arrived too early, but we needed to change for the trail race. Fortunately, our HTC connections came through for us and we had a place to get situated before going out to South Mountain Park. The trail race was 3.8 miles of ankle breaking loose rocks and tree roots with some grass thrown in. I've never run a technical trail before. It was...challenging. But honestly, it was fun. I finished in 55ish minutes, which I was pretty proud of. No falls, no twisted ankles.  Also? Instant PR.

The aluminum water bottle was our race swag.

After surviving the trail race and waiting for our friends to finish, we went over to the race expo and got our stuff for the official Hat Trick. I was wearing a pair of capris that I don't usually wear, and they were practically sawing my legs apart at the calf. I tend to puff up on long car trips (and plane trips, etc) and that combined with too tight cuffs (seriously, Nike, some women have thick calves) left me with slight edema. I needed compression socks, so I bought myself a pair at the expo.

#murica

It was chilly on Saturday morning, but sunny. I opted for shorts and short sleeves for the 5k. The race went really well. I finished in 31:10 and felt strong throughout in spite of the hills. In a way I wish I would've pushed harder for the sub-30 (you know, since we were there with the sub-30 club), but I didn't train and I'm fine with a 10 minute mile. I was cold, though. Note to self: wear an extra layer for a short race.

The races started and ended at the Steel Stacks.

They were dominant in the skyline. Mammoth.

This decommissioned steelworks has been turned into a historical monument, with a catwalk lined with plaques. They are at once eerie and beautiful. Most of the buildings left from the works have been allowed to go elegantly derelict (fenced in for safety). They are haunting, with the trees already beginning to reclaim them. A stunning backdrop to be sure. 

Post 5k selfie. How cute are we? I'm surprised more people don't want to punch me in the face.

Race 2 of 4.

Fantastic husband sub-30'd but didn't PR. After the 5k we had about an hour to kill and a handy jar of moonshine in the car.  I might have gotten a teeny bit drunk before the start of the 10k.

Breakfast of motherfucking champions.

We ran/walked the 10k with a friend from HTC and a random lady we picked up around the 1 mile marker. Her name was Wendy and she was from the area, so we basically got a walking tour of Bethlehem complete with restaurant recommendations. Hashtag winning. And I didn't barf in spite of my drunken state. Hashtag double winning. 

The post race food was great. They had the standard runner's fare of bagels and cookies and what have you, but they also had fruit. And raisins. Holy fuckballs do raisins taste incredible after a (sort of drunk) race.

Hey baby, whassup?

Obligatory post-race selfie.

Goddamn we're adorable.

After the morning's races we went back to the hotel for showers and some chill out time. Later on we went back down to the stacks for the Editor's dinner (don't ask-it was less than satisfying) and walked around taking pictures in the dark. This place is especially poignant at night. I could almost hear the voices of the workers who lost their lives here before unionization and safety standards. Or I could if I believed in that kind of supernatural bullshit.

Lit pink, I'm assuming for the October of it all.

Sunday morning dawned clear and quite cold. No snow as there was in northern PA, but below freezing. I had packed ALL THE SHIRTS, so I pulled out my pink Nike windshirt. I brought along a pair of muppet legs from last year's Fall 50 and combined with everything else, I was extremely very very pink. I wish I had counted how many people on the course and before and after the race had something to say about these silly party-store leggings. I was photographed, people petted me, and an old lady hugged me. It was a weird race.

There were a lot of hills, and I was untrained, but I only finished 4 minutes off my usual "untrained half" pace, so I was happy. No soreness, no blisters, just happiness. I finished with a couple of awesome ladies and was run in by the sub-30 group flag. It was a great day to half ass a half.

#everybodywantsmymuppet

After waiting for the very last finisher in the half (dude, wait until the very last person finishes sometime-that shit is inspiring). We headed straight to a Thai restaurant for lunch. Then showers, and then we got very drunk. Well, I did. Very drunk. At something like 3pm. You go ahead and judge. It was fucking fun. Also I made $20 for kissing a chick. Toll money, bitches. 

Monday we drove home. It took 13.5 hours. Fantastic husband and I have been on super long road trips before. We decided to live together during the first one. That's right. We spent a week in a car together and at the end decided we should move in together. You can talk about a lot of shit on a long road trip, and we always do. Sometimes we just sing along to the radio, we laugh a lot, and we explore odd topics and our personal histories. It is never dull. 12+ years in and we're still learning about each other. Plus there are conversations like these:

Me: No. No guns. I have my rage.
Him: You're against gun violence.
Me: Yes. Guns are wrong.
Him: But you'd run him off the road.
Me: Yes.
Him: No shooting, but a little tap on the bumper and...
Me: Straight into a ravine, yes.

He gets me.

Him: One day I'm going to get to a crash to find a woman with a broken pelvis from putting her legs on the dash.
Me: Try not to hit anything, m'kay?

So we got home, kissed the kids, put our clothes immediately into the washing machine, and waited for it to be bedtime. Incidentally the kids were happy to see us for like a millisecond, then scuttled off to watch cartoons. I felt the love. 

I wasn't precisely off the wagon the last few days, in fact I stayed pretty well on course aside from the alcohol. In retrospect I didn't even drink very much, I was just tired and (let's keep this between us) I'm a serious lightweight. I used to be able to hold my liquor (for real, I drank a guy named Wild Bill under the table and I have witnesses who will attest to that). Now I'm fucking Two Drink Amy. One glass of wine leaves me a little silly. Two and I am the happiest person alive. Three? I'm kissing chicks for a twenty.

This morning the kids were off to school and I was back on the straight and narrow with a good breakfast followed by a WOD and an hour of yoga. One of these days I'm going to get arm balance. I will.

The usual.

After yoga I picked up the dog from the kennel. She was ecstatic to see me, and was so happy to be in my lap. Might have had something to do with the peanut butter I gave her.

Am not dog. Am baby. LOVE ME.

I spent the afternoon just sort of putzing around the house. I gave myself a manicure and knitted a bit on my October sock project. I picked up the smalls and made dinner. Only L was willing to try the shrimp dish I made, so I got to eat all the shrimps.

ALL THE SHRIMPS!!

My affirmation for the weekend comes courtesy of a gentleman named Marcus that I met at RW Fest. 

You don't have to be the best to make an impact. Your best can be impactful.

I really love this. I don't write this blog to inspire people. I really don't. I write it because I need a place to dump my crazy, and I do better with accountability (real or imagined). Lately people have been telling me that I inspire them, and honestly that feels strange. I don't think of myself as particularly worthy of admiration. I'm kind of a jerk, actually. But I feel that Marcus is right. Just because I'm not perfect doesn't mean that my little corner of the internet can't speak to people. Maybe watching me struggle with my (many and varied) demons is enough. I screw up a lot, but I try to always do my best...and if that is making an impact? That's pretty fucking great. I am inspired by so many of the people around me. To be a kinder person. A more patient parent. A better athlete. A harder worker. A worthy friend.

Two more weeks of Lurong and my October challenge at the studio. Both have made me stronger in more than one way. The next 7 months will be spent chasing a goal I've let slip away for too long. I've enlisted the help of a professional and some friends to keep me on track. I'm going to give it my best.

I hope it makes an impact. 


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Blogging 2015: 808 down, 1207 to go (Lurong Day 31)

Yesterday was a long one, starting with CF at the #fiveonefive and ending with warm dynamic flow at 8pm. I used to workout at 0515 all the time, but with the job change, I simply can't be there 50% of the time. I miss my early morning people, but I do like getting to play with other friends at various times of the day. As long as there's halfway decent chitchat, I'm good.

Today has been rough for me. I slept funny last night, lots of strange dreams and wakefulness. I normally sleep like the dead and the last few nights of disturbed sleep are starting to fuck with me. When my twins were small I lived in a constant state of mental twilight. My concentration was shot and my temper was frayed. I haven't had a bout of insomnia for a long time and I'm hoping this isn't the start of one.

I'm feeling self-destructive today. I got on the scale this morning and saw a number that means I've cleared a hurdle that often feels out of my reach. And then I immediately started thinking about ways to fuck it up. Not so concisely, mind you. It's more of a tightness in my chest that makes me want to do destructive things. Eat a whole pie, or smoke a pack of cigarettes, or drink a bottle of wine. I am the mistress of self-sabotage.

I fed the smalls and fought the urge to indulge in blueberry waffles with them. Instead I made this.
You will NOT fuck this up. YOU WILL NOT.

Made it past the breakfast hurdle. Then I went to the box to do the Lurong workout for the week with a friend. Sometimes a hard workout will snap me out of self destruction mode. I had an apple on the way there, and another after the workout.  Nope. Still feeling destructive. I did wear my new pants today. Are they white with black stripes or black with white stripes?!? Who knows?!? But everyone who says wide hipped women shouldn't wear horizontal stripes can go fuck themselves. These pants are cute as shit and I looked awesome in them.

The optical illusion will confuse you into seeing smaller thighs.

Then I went to yoga, thinking maybe I could quiet my mind a bit. It worked for a little while, then my fallback for self-sabotage was thwarted. No agave coffee syrup at the market, so I couldn't have that little indulgence today.  Ragey once again. I listened to angry music and bitter bitchy chick music all the way home and contemplated stopping for smokes. Ye gods, I miss smoking. 

After washing up and getting the smalls squared away with a snack, I started working on my October sock club socks. The whole time I had the chest tightening, I want to fuck shit up feeling. I took the kids to CF kids and continued on the sock, but I couldn't shake the self-destruction. I kept myself from yelling at the kids for no reason by listening to loud angry music all the way home. The boys now know all the words to Imagine Dragon "Monster".  I wanted pizza. So. Bad. Also much wine. Instead I made leftovers.

Not pizza.

I poured one glass of wine.

Rage.

Today's affirmation must be:

I will not give in to self-sabotage.

I always, always do this. I'm doing too well, so I have to fuck it up. Not today. I don't care how ragey I get, I'm not going to succumb. I clearly can't go out for smokes (kids), I can't drink a whole bottle of wine (kids), and I will not eat my weight in peanut butter or other bullshit.  This feeling will pass. And I'm not getting on the scale again until the end of the Lurong when I have to. 

Deep breath. I can beat this. 

I can! 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Blogging 2015: 805 down, 1210 to go (Lurong Day 29)

Yikes, almost 30 days into Lurong. Doesn't seem that long, somehow. Maybe that means I'm better at making good choices than I was a year ago. I meant to weigh myself this morning, but I forgot, and I guess it doesn't really matter. I did measure my waist. 30 inches on the dot. I have 3ish weeks to get that measurement below 30 and make it fucking stick this time. That might be a stupid goal, but my waist was 29" in high school and I thought I was a fucking cow. I see now how ridiculous that was, and I sort of want to hit that 29 so I can look in the mirror and tell my 17 year old self "See? Not a cow."

Yesterday I did a shitload of laundry and cleaned my room. Sounds silly for an adult to say that, but it had seriously reached hoarder proportions.

No cats were killed in the making of this mess.

It took me 2 hours to get it all cleaned up. It's like a whole new room now.

Daaaaang. Floorspace!

I then took the smalls to the pumpkin patch during the Packer game. Hashtag winning because there was zero traffic and the patch was sparsely populated. We did the corn maze, and pumpkin bowling. P discovered that ducks bite. You know, family fun. Got home in time to go over to the box for Broga, which was loud as shit with a boatload of kids running around. Whatever. They ran around for an hour and got tired out. After dinner and showers they fell asleep immediately fifteen whole minutes before their bedtime. It was like a Saturnalia miracle 2 months early.

Last night I slept with the windows open, which was pleasant from a temperature standpoint, but something woke me up at 2am and I couldn't get back to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time for the rest of the night. Not cool. I went to bed early, so my net sleep was still okay, but I hate a broken night's sleep. Unless what wakes me up is sex. That's okay. I was sleeping alone last night, though, so I'm pretty sure that wasn't it.

Since I wasn't sleeping, I got up at 5:45 and let the dog out. I made myself some coffee and packed the kids lunches. They slept until 6:40! I had to wake them up! And then they complained because I woke them up so early. Welcome to my world, motherfuckers! I think the morning darkness is messing with their internal clocks, and I'm totally okay with it.

Breakfast this morning was a lazy one. Paleo "cereal" with a handful of dried cherries and a swirl of honey.

Believe it or not, it's pretty convincing.

I opted to hang out at home with fantastic husband this morning and go to a later workout at the box. I went to core flow yoga this morning and it was a proper ass kicking as usual. I feel as though sneezing might be painful tomorrow. Fun fact about me, I get nosebleeds a lot (or used to, it's been years since they were a serious problem) and I got a doozy right before yoga this morning. I did the whole class with half my nose packed full of tissue. And that? Is a sexy look. On the way to yoga I had an apple.

Honeycrisp perfection.

After yoga I had about 45 minutes to kill before the WOD, so I visited CVS for some stuff to tame my not-quite-long-enough-for-a-ponytail hair. CVS's are weird. The low shelves creep me out, and I don't like the diagonal aisle running from the front door to the pharmacy. It makes me feel like the world is tilted on it's axis. That's a tad melodramatic, but there it is. I had a protein shake for lunch because that shit is portable.

Stock photo.

The WOD was umm...fun? But I got a little chitchat from my friends in the 1130, so all was not lost. I sat on the floor for a few minutes after we were all finished up. When I got up I had sweated an assprint. Awesome. I'm pretty sure I smelled amazing. Got home in time to chat with fantastic husband before picking up the kids, then I washed the gross off and trekked back across town with the kids for CF kids. Why don't I just WOD while the kids are doing their thing? I don't want to. I don't want to monitor them while simultaneously trying to keep myself from either crying or peeing on the floor. Call me crazy. 

We threw some steaks and asparagus on the grill tonight, and fantastic husband made jicama faux-tato salad. I have to say, it was pretty convincing. I also enjoyed a delicious glass of Cabernet. That's right. CABERNET. Not Cab. Say the whole word people. Maybe even say Cabernet Sauvignon. I have faith in you. 

Get in mah belleh!


I'm still enjoying my wine, to be honest. 

Today's affirmation is:

I will celebrate all progress, no matter how small.

I have a tendency to overestimate possible progress and underestimate actual progress. I think we all do this to a degree. We think we can lose 20 pounds in a month, or learn a skill in a couple of days, and we get disappointed when it doesn't happen...then give up on the goal entirely. And while we do this, we ignore the small steps forward. Sometimes it's the small changes that make the biggest difference. When I walked onto a rugby pitch for the first time, I changed the course of my future. When I decided to channel my grief at losing our second pregnancy into running a half marathon, I changed my body and my perception of my own abilities. When I walked into a CrossFit box on the eve of my first marathon, I changed my definition of fitness and gained a new circle of friends. Every day can be progress. Every workout, every meal. Every decision I make that moves me forward instead of back. They are all worth celebrating. It is the culmination of small steps forward that achieves the loftiest goals. It's important, especially for someone like me with a penchant for all-or-nothing thinking, to realize how far we've come...and be excited for how far we can still go instead of dreading it. My 2015 in 2015 challenge is a prime example. Am I going to hit 2015 miles? No, certainly not. But I continue to move towards the goal, and celebrate the miles I have come, and the miles still to go.

My PRs in the gym, on the mat, and on the road may be small, but they are progress, and they are worth celebrating. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Blogging 2015: 805 down, 1210 to go (Lurong Days 26&27)

Yesterday was busy. Got the kids up and fed and fantastic husband walked them to school. The boys were all about being left on their own from the edge of the school yard. Mommy's independent little men. I'm so happy they feel confident enough to walk on their own. If it weren't for one busy street with inattentive drivers between here and school, I'd let them walk it without us. They're just a teeny bit too young for that, though.

Friday is popcorn day at school -50 cents for a bag. Sometimes we give them money, sometimes not. They were pretty well behaved for me on Thursday (in my exhausted state), so I said to fantastic husband:

"Should we give them coinage for exploded grain?"

Vague, right? No spelling, because the girl child can spell pretty well. So C spits out:

"Yeah, Dad! Can we have money for popcorn?"

Now, he might have inferred it from context, but I sort of feel like it's my fault for correcting them every time they refer to corn as a vegetable.

Anyway, they were off to school and I made breakfast.

Standard noms.

Then I went to CrossFit, where we did all the squats and some rowing. I slammed a FitAid and mashed a banana into my face right after, because I was on the way to 50/50 yoga/barre.  I was already pretty disgusting at this point, but a barre class put me into a new category of yuck. Then I chomped down an apple.

Still in the yoga studio.

Because after barre I took a hot flow class. The soundtrack was hilarious. Beyonce, Fergie, Taylor Swift. I love doing yoga to "non-yoga" music. Pretty sure I looked silly dancing in downward dog. Whatever. I was full on disgusting at this point. Side note: my new Ex Officio workout unders were extra fabulous. No chafing, bunching, or weird lines. Also not visible through my checkered pants, but they were a light color. More vetting is needed.

After yoga I headed home and fantastic husband and I took the dog for a walk. It was a gorgeous afternoon, so we did 3ish miles and then dropped the dog off so we could go pick up the kids. I sort of forgot to eat lunch. Well, not forgot so much as decided that eating lunch at 3pm when dinner is at 5 was a little off.

We had breakfast for dinner by request of the smalls. They had some leftover pancakes from earlier in the week, eggs, bacon, fruit, and cinnamon toast. I had eggs and bacon.

I eat a lot of eggs.

We then braved a family trip to the roller rink on the suggestion of a CF friend who is also a Roller Derby aficionado. I haven't been on roller skates since third grade, and the kids have never been, so we were casting bets on who would end up in a...well...cast.  Strangely enough, skating came back to me pretty easily. The kids all did reasonably well, and no one damaged themselves. Win-win-win. It was really fun, and I'm pretty sure we'll go again, especially since the kids all slept like the dead and didn't wake up until after 7am on a Saturday. If you're a parent, you get my enthusiasm. If you're not, just let me tell you that staying in bed past 7am ever is like winning the motherfucking lottery.

Since we were up late, we missed CF this morning, so I had a late breakfast in preparation for 10am flow.

Look familiar?

I splurged on a couple of lululemon workout tops and a pair of red pants. They all fit fantastically well, and I decided to see if I could do yoga in a tank with a built in bra. Ever since I was *ahem* enhanced, I've needed a pretty sturdy sports bra for running, etc. But yoga is low impact, and I hate taking hot yoga wearing 2 industrial layers, so I thought "What the hell" and went for it.

That's right. I'm not wearing a bra. Technically.

I also wore my new purple-and-lime-green unders. I couldn't see them through these pants, and I had fantastic husband check as well. He assured me that they were not visible. And he checked really well. Maybe a little too well. I made it through class without dumping the goods all over the floor, so I'm calling this shirt a winner. I had a really good class today (I guess I should be saying "practice", but it feels weird) and felt really strong. I also managed Bird of Paradise on both sides and that was pretty awesome for me. A first. 

We just tossed some burgers and sweet potato fries on for lunch today, because we wanted to get out to the pitch.

Sriracha mayo on sweet tater fries is heaven. 

Because Saturday is a rugby day!!

You bet your ass I had a beer. It's rugby. That shit is in the rules.

Tonight's dinner will be leftovers, nothing too exciting, and I have a feeling It'll be an early night. I'm tired. 

Today's affirmation is:

I will accept compliments graciously.

I am shit at taking compliments. Part of that is my upbringing. Achieve excellence, but don't talk about it. Be the absolute best at everything, but don't bring it up, and don't be too proud of yourself. I'm the worst at self evaluation. I mark myself as "competent" at everything, but basically refuse to give myself a rating of "excellent" at anything. In my mind, the way I do my job is how it should be done. That makes me competent. Not excellent. My bosses are always harping on me to rate myself higher, and I tell them that doing so makes me profoundly uncomfortable. It's only recently that I've been able to say to myself, much less to others "I am good at what I do". 

This extends to taking compliments on my appearance or performance. Last year at the Ice Bowl, I sang along to the National Anthem and someone near me said "Wow! You have a great voice! You should totally sing that next year!" and my response was "I'm too rusty, that's probably a bad idea."  It's worse if someone compliments my looks. "Your hair looks nice" "I combed it today". "You look great" "Nah, I've got a long way to go." "You have pretty eyes" "Cosmetics are a wonderful thing!" I've even laughed off compliments on my writing style for this fucking blog. Why can't I just say "Thank-you" without having to qualify it?

Yesterday two people attempted to compliment me and I totally snapped at them. That isn't fair. Whenever my husband pays me a compliment I come back with "You have to say that". He always says "No, I get to say it. I don't have to say anything."  For some reason whenever I'm paid a compliment, I feel like I'm being made fun of, so I respond defensively...with humor or sarcasm...or anger. Maybe because I've had so many negative things said about my appearance in the past. 

That could be it. I had a similar phenomenon happen when I worked retail pharmacy. I had so many negative interactions with people. They yelled about copays, insulted me or my staff, swore and behaved abusively. That stuff just rolled off me, I've built up an impressive suit of armor over the years. But if someone said something nice to me? I didn't know where to go with that. Sometimes the nice things people said would bring me to the brink of tears. So I would say something like "I'm just doing my job", or "I'm here to help when I can" to deflect.

New plan. I'm going to hand compliments out like candy. Everyone has something about them that deserves praise. Including me. So if you offer me a compliment, I'm going to say "Thank-you" and move on. Like a fucking lady. 

Hey, you! Out there in readerland. You look fantastic. Get down with your bad self.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Blogging 2015: 802 down, 1213 to go (Lurong Days 24&25)

I'm on vacation!  I don't have to go back to work until next month. I wonder if this is what being independently wealthy feels like. Except without, you know, money.

The last 2 nights were more of the same. Dullsville. And that was a-okay, although the last two hours of my shift this morning were excruciating. I was impossibly giddy, and hopped up on waaaaaaay too much caffeine. No heartburn last night, though, so the universe smiled on me in that regard.

Yesterday (Wednesday was yesterday, right? Right.) I went to yoga at 0830, so basically right after work. It was a challenging class, lots of long lunges and twisty-bendy stuff. I fell asleep in savasana.  Fell asleep to the point where I didn't hear the instructor give the word to come out of it. I heard "Namaste", opened my eyes and said "Shit, I fell asleep." Because I am spiritual. I rule at corpse pose. I am the corpsey-est corpse around.

I'm going to have to start setting a different intention before each practice. Historically my intention is "Don't fart in downward dog." I may have to amend that to "Don't become an actual corpse."

After my class/nap, I came home and set up dinner in the crockpot. Then I went to bed. I turned on the fan of death and fell into the pillows. I think I was out before I made contact. Lots of odd dreams yesterday. Not bad, just...odd.  I slept until 5:30. It was awesome. Sleeping later before my final shift of the week makes staying up all day easier, and then I just go to bed early my first night off and voila. Back in the land of the living.

Dinner was Hawaiian meatballs. I opted not to make actual meatballs since we were serving on lettuce cups. This dish was okay. Not awesome, not terrible. I don't know that I need to make it again. Fantastic husband thinks if we made it with meatballs in a skillet vs. the crockpot it would be better. Maybe one day.

Meh.

Last night was another dull one. I did a little more CE, answered a bunch of phone calls, and processed a bunch of standard orders. At midnight I had my dinner.

Fish 'n veg.

Around 7am I had an apple because I was starving, but I can't eat a lone apple or I get ravenously hungry. It's weird, but it's a thing. Google it.

Came home and had another round of waffles 'n nanas. This is fucking delightful. Honestly though it's not enough protein to fuel a workout.  By the end of Barre I was starving.

Hello, beautiful.

I took my usual Thursday morning Barre class, and I actually made it through the whole thing without feeling like my quads were going to ignite. I was hurting, but aside from a couple of Wait, WTF am I doing with my feet? moments I made it through. Planks and planks and planks!

Costco was mostly deserted today as it was raining sloths and hippos. I flapped around the produce department and dairy case and headed home with my treasures. Then I parked myself in a chair for a bit. I was going to get a flu shot, but it was pouring and I had no desire to get out of my car and slog through the hospital parking lot. I'll go next week. No biggie. I did call my tattoo artist about my calf piece. He has time this weekend to draw, so I could be in the chair as early as next week! I'm so excited!

I baked a few cookies for the smalls and went to retrieve them from school. The boys went on a field trip on the first to an apple orchard. They apparently picked apples and pumpkins. They painted the pumpkins at school this week, and today was the day they got to bring them home.  Both boys were excited to tell me how heavy their backpacks were, then proceeded to ditch them at my feet to go play. Once the girl child exited the school building I started walking away from their bags. C was alarmed "Mommy! You forgot our bags!"  I said "I didn't forget anything. Those are your bags, you carry them. Mommy is not a pack mule." 

He was quite the little thundercloud all the way home. 

He can make that face for hours. 

I was super excited to see what was in the mailbox when we got home from school. My new workout underpants! I'm going to put these babies through their paces tomorrow and issue a verdict. Early signs are encouraging...the fit is perfect and the fabric seems promising.


Pretty colors!

Did a little math and spelling with L after school, and miraculously she finished everything well in advance of dinner. This makes me wonder if she actually wrote down all of her assignments. I guess we'll find out tomorrow. She aced my little spelling quiz, though. -ight words FTW. 

Dinner was apple bacon bbq chicken. Cooked in the crockpot and finished under the broiler for crispy bacon. This was pretty good. The kids loved it. I had it with some mashed sweet taters.



I should've had some veg.

Transition days when fantastic husband is working can be pretty rough. By 6pm I'm often pretty draggy and I tend to get snippy at the kids much faster than usual. Not much I can do about the tiredness, it comes with the territory. To deal with the snippy this evening, I filled up our jetted tub and put a cartoon movie on for the kids. Then I poured a glass of wine and fired up my internet radio playlist and sank into hot water up to my neck. It was fucking glorious. I even read a book for a bit. I was afraid to close my eyes because I didn't want to fall asleep and drown (see above intention about not becoming an actual corpse). 

Where are the kids? I dunno...around.

The October challenge continues with today's affirmation:

My failings do not make me a failure.

I am made of failings. I'm cold, sarcastic, impatient, and overly analytical. I've been accused of being cruel, emotionless, insensitive, and arrogant. More than one person has called me hard. I have been all those things. I'm also confrontational and have poor impulse control when my anger reaches the breaking point. I medicate myself with food and isolation when I feel overwhelmed. 

But I work on these things. Writing this blog is a way of reaching out, being less guarded. I'll say anything, I've always been that way, but historically I haven't revealed much of my inner self. I'm working on that. It's okay to let people really see you, at least sometimes. I'm trying to be more patient. Yoga factors into that. I suck at yoga, but I suck waaaaay less now than I did a year ago. It's a process, and I'm being patient. CrossFit has made me more patient, too. Skills I never thought I'd master are creeping into my "stuff I can sort of do" file, and that is an extreme example of patience...I've been working on a lot of these things for more than 3 years. In many ways I hold people to impossible standards, myself included. But people (myself included) aren't perfect...and what a fucking boring world this would be if they were. Letting go of the perfection illusion is imperative. Life is messy, and I can't control it all the time. I shouldn't try. 

I am made of failings, but they don't have to define me. And if I'm willing to recognize and work on them, maybe they aren't insurmountable. I'm not saying I'm ever going to be excited about going to a party (so scary, you guys), but maybe I can peel myself off the wall now and then...or at least talk to the other people hiding behind the potted plants. I am made of failings, but I am not a failure. 

Still no hugs, though. Agreed?