Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Running on Empty

This "return to running" thing is hard! And it's not even about the physical. Well, it is. I mean, let's face it: I'm carrying about 20 lbs extra weight, and it's not like I've had anyone's baby, so...yeah. That means it's harder on the joints. Yep, like that knee joint - that pesky joint that has been injured since November and is still being rehabbed...albeit on my own and not at official PT. I had to let them go after they wiped out my FSA, man. :::cries silent tears:::

The physical exertion needed to get back to running is something I've done before. It's a big cardio adjustment, moving from a machine that carries all of your weight (elliptical), to running where you've got to support all your own weight. However, it used to be much easier than this. I am currently using Couch to 5K as a guide, and today was Week 3, Day 1.

That being said, my struggle appears to be way more mental this time. Here are some of the random things I struggle with:

1. When I finished my half marathon in December 2009, I was a size 6. Now, I haven't been that small since high school/college, and I had no pipe dreams of maintaining that size once training ended. But I figured, it can't be too hard to stay at an 8 or even a 10, right? WRONG! Well, partially wrong. I was able to maintain for a while, until the bottom fell out, around September 2010. That's when the plantar fasciitis just made it pretty much impossible for me to continue running. I had to shut it all the way down. Then my grandma and dad died three weeks apart in October and November, and add the stress...I swear I gained about 15 lbs while I was in NY dealing with all of that.

2. It feels like someone flipped this evil switch on my body's metabolism. I probably work out harder now than I ever did, aside from the previous running. I do cardio and weights 3x per week and power yoga 3x per week. I definitely am getting stronger in the upper body, but the pounds are not budging. The inches ain't moving. Matter of fact I feel like in some places my clothing is getting tighter. Is some of it muscle? Probably. But still. Very, very frustrating. It's hard to want to get up every morning at 5:00am when you feel like you're not getting any results.

3. In my head, I remember when I was running 9:45 miles (which for most people is pretty slow, but I was slowly working my way down and feeling good about it). So I want my body to do that. This ain't a 9:45 mile body. It just ain't. LOL! It's more like a 11:30 body on a good day. But my MIND still wants to go 9:45. Very, very frustrating.

I think, if you've never really run and THEN had a huge set back, you can't understand this, or can't understand why I can't get over this (well, I know one person who can - waving at her if she's reading this, and sending a hug). It's a challenge. I'm so glad I've gotten back into my regular yoga practice because I know that will help me "get out of my head."

I hope, when I get to Week 9 of C25K, I can look back at this and wonder what I was so worried about.

If you're working on your own personal fitness challenge, I commend you. This thing is hard work, but we'll get it done.

Monday, July 25, 2011


"Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger for confession." - Mohandas Gandhi

I've downloaded two books for my Kindle app on the iPad recently - "The Five Love Languages," by Gary Chapman and then "The Five Love Languages for Singles," also by Gary Chapman. They've been sitting there, looking at me like, "read us! Read us!" Although he says that singles can benefit from the original book, I decided to download the one for singles after
Serenity 23 mentioned it.

I started reading it last night and read some more this morning. There is a section about forgiveness. It's honestly nothing that I haven't heard before. Sometimes it's just the wording of things that can affect you. Like this sentence:

"Forgiveness is a response to confession."

Remember how when we were little, our parents would tell us, "if you just admit that you did wrong, it would be better for you." We'd continue to say that we didn't break the dish/kick the cat/scratch the furniture...all the while they KNEW we did it, and so the punishment definitely fit the crime. Would it have been less severe if we had said we did it? Possibly. We still would have gotten in trouble, but at least we told the truth, our parents would forgive us, and we'd move on.

How is it that we forget this as adults? Stuff would be so much easier if we could just admit when we mess up. I read that sentence and immediately was taken back to the end of the relationship with my ex. I can vividly recall apologizing for MY reaction to things...but he never once confessed to doing anything wrong. Even though we both know he did. Would that have saved the relationship? Hell no. But it would have made for a better transition. Had he just said, "yes, this is what happened," it would have been much easier for me to forgive him. Especially since I kept catching him in lies (did he forget that I'm a trained investigator? LOL)!

I mean, ultimately I am responsible for me. I know this. I'm responsible for how I react to things and the emotions I decide to hold on to or let go of. But that sentence really summed up WHY I had such a hard time with the end of that relationship.

Don't forget that your confession - no matter how much it feels like torture - can be healing for the other party involved. Maybe that could be your last selfless act before you part ways.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Bridging The Long Distance Gap

"True love doesn't mean being inseparable; it means being separated and nothing changes."

"Missing you gets easier everyday because even though you are one day further from the last time I saw you, you are one day closer to the next time I will."


I've been out of blog-spiration for a minute...lol. I tweeted that I'd blog if someone gave me a topic to write about. As usual, my tweeps came through and the topic for today is: The Top 5 Things That Make My Distance Relationship Work. Here we go!

And one more time for posterity - COMMUNICATION! I can't stress this enough. If you hate talking on the phone, a long distance relationship is NOT going to work for you. LDR and I talk every day, several times a day. Every conversation is not deep and meaningful; sometimes it's just about hearing the other person's voice. He's not here, so he can't read my feelings based on my actions or facial expressions. If he's said/done something that bothers me or affects our relationship, I have to let him know. Really, that goes for any relationship, but especially for one involving distance. No matter the feeling, good or bad, you have to convey it. Also, keep in mind that email/texts don't always convey tone. What you meant might not be what is interpreted when the other person reads it. Voice to voice is usually best. It's always cool to get that occasional "sweet nothings" text message, though.

You need trust in any relationship, but you REAAAALLLLY need it in a long distance relationship. We're not walking around with webcams to record every move of every day. I have to trust that when LDR says he is somewhere, that's where he is, and vice versa. This issue goes along with communication and transparency. We talk about our day and what we've done, who we saw, etc...we don't hide anything from one another. Now, I have the added security that our home town is about [ ] <-- this big. If he WAS doing something, there'd be 285 people trying to tell me about it. LOL! Not to mention, my brothers live there, and he has a big family...we have a wide circle of friends/family so eventually it would get back to me.

Most long distance relationships do not have this type of safety net. That means you're really going to have to step out on faith. If you need to constantly check your mate on their every move, a long distance relationship is not going to be a good fit for you.

Wait. That sounds like one of us is in jail. LOL! I can't think of another way to word it, so just work with me.

I find that if we have concrete plans about when we will see each other next, it reduces anxiety. Folks on FB and Twitter will tell you, LDR and I are always posting countdowns until our next visit. It keeps us sane. Because we're 700+ miles away from each other, airplanes are involved. That means scheduling well ahead of time. Not to mention, LDR has two sons so we have to keep them in mind when we make our plans. If you can, it's also important that both people do the traveling. I don't think it would be fair to ask one partner to constantly make the trips, unless it just works out easier for you to do it that way. It would actually be easier for me to go up there more, because I get more vacation days from work, but because it's my hometown, we have added distractions when I visit. Which actually leads me to my next point...

Nothing is more frustrating that finally getting to see your significant other, and then the days are done and you feel like you didn't have any quality time. We both have friends and family up north, so when I go to see him, I often feel like I'm being pulled in two directions in a tug of war. Luckily, he is very understanding about the situation. My ultimate goal is to spend quality time with HIM, so while I may spend a day or so visiting family and friends, most of my time is with LDR.

When you're together, focus on the important things. If there are big issues that you need to discuss face to face, by all means, do that. Just don't sweat the small stuff. Does it drive me crazy that the contents of LDR's suitcase usually end up ALL OVER the apartment when he's here? Why, yes. Yes it does. LOL! Do I focus on it? Nope! We only have a few days of time together. I just covertly move stuff around while he's in the shower, or whatever. I also straighten up his apartment when I'm there, because clutter puts me in a state of confusion and disarray...but that's another blog for another time. :)

You also need to strike a balance between the "free time" and planned activities. When he comes down here I try not to plan our visit to the exact minute. There are days when it's worth more to me to just lay on the couch and watch movies, or cook together, or just be random, than it is to have a night out on the town or attend a concert. People always ask me, "what are you guys going to do while he's here?" Sometimes the answer really is "nothing." Just the fact that we are in the same space is enough for us.

When we started this relationship, we went into it knowing that distance would present an extra challenge. But we both decided: this is it. We want to be together and we're going to make it work. We didn't step in with our toes, we jumped all the way in. You have to decide that this is the person you want to be with, and focus on that. When it gets frustrating, you don't go looking for a third party to make you feel better, and you don't start contemplating starting a new relationship simply because that person is in your physical presence and your SO is not. You focus on strengthening your bond, and you believe that the light at the end of the tunnel really is the moment when you two are occupying the same zip code and working on your "happily ever after." If you start thinking the light at the end of the tunnel is a train, you're going to get flattened. Period.

Of course, there are many other little things that go into making a long distance relationship work. I think these are the 5 big ones, for us. We most certainly have frustrating days. He can tell you that many times during our conversations I've said, "I'm so sick of this damn phone!" LOL! Or we've both said, "I wish you were here." So far it's been 1.5 years and still going strong.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fruits and Nuts...Mostly Nuts

Aunt Betty: "Our family tree is full of fruits and nuts. Mostly nuts."

What's your family tree full of? Do you know your roots? I'm currently working on the trees for both sides of my family. This is something I've wanted to do for a while, but never really got around to it. I just wasn't sure where to start. Enter modern technology, in the form of the iPad and an app called "Mobile Family Tree." I've spent a lot of money this summer, but I think this app is the best $14.99 I've spent in a long while.

I can remember two assignments in school - one in elementary school, and one in high school, both having to do with our family trees. In elementary school it was a tree diagram. It didn't have a lot of branches, but I remember being sad that I really didn't have much information to fill in. I want to say this was around 4th grade.

In high school, it was an 11th grade English assignment in Ms. Gingold's class. I remember her being in front of the class all giddy: "I want you to write about how your family came to be in the United States." Inside my head I was like, "really? OK. Slavery. The end." What the deuce? I remember being so upset about this assignment (I think it was actually a journal entry we had to write), but not knowing how to say, "this is some shullbit! What do you expect the black students in the class to do?" I don't even remember what I wrote. I fudged it and made up some stuff - but I made sure to throw that slavery in there - and all I really knew was that my parents were from GA. The end. But it always bugged me.

Side note: My BFF wrote a "protest" as to why this assignment was not fair to the black students in the class. Did I mention that I love her? She always had the guts to say the things that I was thinking, but couldn't quite articulate.

I don't know if my nieces and nephews have ever been asked to write anything about this. I just know I don't want them to feel like I felt. I felt ashamed that we had no info...and angry...and frustrated. People were coming to class with their stories about family crests and great-great-great uncle so and so coming over on such and such ship. I had none of that. And the ish was not my fault. And I'm sure no one cared, but I just felt stung by that whole situation.

So, I'm determined that we WILL have more information than what I had to fill into my anemic little tree in 4th grade. And THAT'S why I'm working on the family trees.

I hate that we let all these elders pass on in our family and didn't document more information. But it's been so much fun to find the info I've found so far. I didn't find out until our 2007 reunion that my great grandfather was married twice. My grandmother had a whole other set of siblings that I didn't even know about. It's been really hard to get information on them (my great grandfather was born around 1851), but I will do what I can.

And my nieces and nephews willNOTbe without info. And neither will their kids. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


I apologize for being gone again! It's been hectic. Just finished up my family reunion on my mom's side, and I'm working on the family tree for both her side and my dad's side. I've also been trying to switch to Word Press, but I haven't really figured out how to use everything over there. Very overwhelming - lots of bells and whistles. I consider Blogger easier to use right now...so I think the switch is on hold. I'll let you guys know.

What's everyone been up to?