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Money and Time

Often when you read about how to be healthier or loose weight, it is all about food choices and exercise. Now OBVIOUSLY those two are what is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, weight, and effect our health the most. What I keep finding though is that what is often missed in these discussions is the MONEY and the TIME it takes to eat healthy. Now studies have shown that obesity and poverty are associated. I am not going down that rabbit whole today. If you are uncertainty of that correlation, there are many valid peer reviewed studies on it.

This post is about me (as most of them are) and those that can relate. This is about those of us who do not fall into the above mentioned category of poverty but still struggle. Yes, it is diet and exercise. Yes, I can choose to have a healthy salad for lunch instead of quickly throwing together a PB&J sandwich or going through a drive through. I know that. I can eat a well balanced home cooked salmon dinner instead of ordering a pizza…….but I’m tired.

Let’s face it…. It is hard to eat healthy. It shouldn’t be, but it is.

Why? Oh why?

Yes….. It’s Money!!!

I have been starting my day off with a healthy smoothie for a while now. Do you know the cost of good fruit? Even frozen. Then you add in the yogurt, protein powders and such and it all adds up. And I am bot even talking about going organic because thats a rich mans game for family. And this is only breakfast. Why is a healthy salad or salmon dinner more expensive than picking up a burger or a bowl of pasta? Then we are not even getting into snacks……

Yes…… It’s Time!

We are all going a million directions where as they say time is money. I have my morning smoothie game down pat where it doesn’t take me a long time now but that being said, I also don’t have a 9 to 5 job. Luckily for me, I don’t go into work until 1:00 affording me time in the morning to have my smoothie and if I plan a healthy lunch. Dinner though is another thing when I am getting home tire at 6:30. It really is much easier and faster to throw something together processed and filled with carbs than cutting fresh ingredients. Also lets not forget that the fresh ingredients are more expensive. Honestly cooking healthy meals is more time consuming than opening a box and we can all agree with that

With all this being said…..

For me since my kids are older giving me more time……..

For me since I can afford to make the healthier choices without effecting my bottom line for the most part…

It honestly and 100% comes down to will. Some days I have it. Some days I don’t. Some days I am just tired. Some days I just want to spend time cooking a healthy meal Some days it’s a mixed bag much like my entire life.

Here is the thing too. I am not striving for perfection. I know I will go through cycles where I follow a plan and some days I won’t. I also know that in the end all I can do is make the best choices on any given day. Some days that will mean a instagram worthy smoothie, salad, or healthy dinner. Some days it will mean eating fries out of a bag while downing an impossible burger.

Balance…..

Because as I’ve said before – None of us are getting out of here alive and we need to stop beating ourselves up over things that don’t really matter.

Balance

Because I know that I am lucky to be able to do what I can

Tip for the day

Stop beating yourself up because there are enough people in the world that will do it for you. Be your own BFF and have your own back knowing that you are doing the best you can

AND THAT IS OK!

What a Year! Oh wait:)

2022 has been a year……. And it has only been a month………

Damn!

January was not the year for running. I looked at my stats and I ran a total of 15 miles. Yes, you read that right. 15 whole miles. So, with out a doubt, not a stellar month for running. I am trying to get back into my training as I would like to comfortably finish the NYC Half. Not looking to run a sub 2 like I did the last time I ran it, but looking to at least enjoy it like I did last time too. I had fun. Running a sub 2 I still managed to take amazing photos and fun selfies while zipping through the city. I want to be able to have that same fun at a different pace.

So I have been trying to get back to my training…..

But it’s hard.

It is so hard.

Again January has been a year….. Like any year, some good. Some bad. Let’s break it down.

The good.

My state of NJ has finally come out of the dark ages and allowed home bakers to legally bake from home with a permit. So beginning of month, I was working on getting all permits and paperwork. Then I was off to the races baking. More truthfully, off to the oven. It has been a whirlwind of testing recipes, filling orders and trying to figure out marketing/required labels. But I have loved it all because to me baking is one of my Happy Places.

So I will share some of my happy moments with you!

Just a little bit of what I’ve been mixing up

While doing this, I am still working my 30 plus normal job, pretending to take care of the house and not letting anything on the home front slide. To say it’s been a lot might be an understatement but I am not complaining because I have a goal.

Then the flip side of the month has brought a lot of different emotion.

A family member has been dealing with the demons of Covid. Watching in slow motion from afar the stories you have watched on the news play out in real time with more than likely the same outcome. This story is still playing out but leaves raw emotions especially for loved ones who you are supporting. So many emotions…. The ONLY thing I will say is …… please get vaccinated. If not for you, for your loved ones.

Then there was/is a health scare with my own mom. She is visiting sister in California and Monday morning fainted falling face first full force on a tile floor breaking her nose in 3 places. After a ride to ER, it was determined that she had a Saddle Pulmonary Embolism which basically is a massive clot in her lungs. They found a second one in her leg. It was a week…… Up and down… Up and down….. Things move quickly in the medical field though (at least in this case). 2 days in ICU. Another 2 in regular room and by Friday in a rehab facility to get strength/confidence back. Hopefully this is a short stay as my sister can’t wait to have her back in her home.

Isn’t she cute? She has some work ahead of her, but outcome is good.

Again, so many emotions all in one week.

All this emotion gets you thinking what does everything mean. I’ve had these conversations/thoughts before. I am having them again.

All or Nothing

Why do we think it has to be all or nothing?

Why do we think that we have to go all in?

Why is balance so hard?

I admit that I have a problem with balance. It might be one of the things that works in my favor when it comes to getting shit done. It also might be one of the things that works against me when it comes to getting shit done. The all or nothing approach comes at a cost.

We can’t start eating healthy because it’s just to hard to give everything up.

We can’t start working out because we don’t have time to commit

We can’t because of this or that or this or that……

But what if instead of thinking we have to commit 110% percent…… What if we just realized that just doing something is better than doing nothing.

What if instead of going gang busters on a new diet plan that we know long term we won’t stick to, we decide that we look at where and how we can make even what might appear to be small changes?

What if instead of waking up at 5:00 AM (you know I’m never doing that) to squeeze in our workout/run in, we just look at what we can do and give that time..

What if instead of thinking that we need to run as fast as we can for what we deem is necessary distance, we just decide to give what we are able to give.

What if instead of sitting on the couch binging Yellowstone (highly recommend), we do it from the treadmill or stationary bike?

There are ways to make what might appear to be small changes….. some might even say insignificant changes……. in a way that are not only sustainable but together can bring big change.

Here is the bottom line…… If you continue to do the same thing, nothing changes. If you start with small changes over time, they will lead to big changes.

So start where you are!

Do what you can!

Most of all be kind to yourself in the process, because you are worth it:)

In Waiting Room

Why are we also perpetually putting our happiness in the waiting room?

I will be happier when I get a new job….

I will be happier when I’m single/married…..

I will be happier when I can fit into a size x again….

I will be happier when I loose X number of pounds…..

I will be happier when I can hit X pace, PR, finish a certain event…..

I will be……

What if we just focus on the will be and see where that takes us?

What if instead of putting our happiness in the waiting room, we focus on what we can do to be happy where we are?

Easier said than done and we all know that.

We live in a society where we are always looking for the next shiny object that is supposed to make us happier. Supposed to make us feel complete. We live in a society that also knows that the discontent makes money.

Now it may seem like I am saying not to have goals…. not to strive for things…… Not to look forward but thats not what I’m saying at all. I am saying we must learn to embrace where we are, what we have, and what we can do in our lives who anything we do will never be good enough.

It also doesn’t help that many of us feel like we are in a holding pattern since the beginning of the Covid Pandemic. NO LIFE DIDN’T STOP even if it is not the same but in many ways a lot is still on hold.

When I was in top form chasing sub 2 half marathons (check), 25 minute 5K (never got it only hit 26 minutes) and a 4:30 half (another miss); these goals kept me motivated. They inspired me to push, but the chase is what made me happy. The disappoints may have been real in not hitting goals, but they also weren’t life changing when I didn’t reach them just as they weren’t when I did.

I was happy with the chase and any goals achieved were the cherry on top.

Right now, I am trying to motivate myself for just the chase. So much to be done and not enough time to do it is keeping the motivation at bay. Many of us are in the same boat because of jobs, family responsibilities, and just the day to day of life. Right now I keep waiting for the motivation to find me, but what I have to do is find the motivation. I’m looking…… I’m really looking…….

If you seek, you will find…..

Motivation…… I’m coming for you…… Is that considered motivation? lol

Perfection is a Myth

I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I am far from it. I have many faults but I really don’t feel the need to list them. I also have many positive traits that I don’t feel the need to list. All that being said, we all know those that put forth the ”perfect life.” They have the perfect home. The perfect style. The perfect this the perfect that….. Blah…. Blah…. Blah….

Let’s be real, there is not such thing as perfect in the real world. Usually when you peel back the mask of perfection, you will see how imperfect it all is. The problem is that often no one bothers to look past the initial layer to see the reality of what striving for perfection cost. Perfection is an unattainable goal and often leads to frustration, giving up, or in some cases drastic measures (think of those celebs who went one cosmetic procedure to far).

In our workout routine or diet, the strive for perfection often leads to people walking away feeling like a failure. We think that we have to follow a strict diet and if we don’t follow to the letter T that we cant do it. Many times people who decide to get fit go gang busters…. Going to gym every day. Starting strong as they say. Then they get sore. They miss a workout. They can’t hit a pace in a run. They feel like they are too slow. That why bother because we just aren’t good enough. The strive for perfection often sets us up for failure.

I am to the point that I am realizing that striving towards “perfection,” towards unattainable goals, to comparing myself to not others but old versions fo me were setting me up for failure. My goal is no longer perfection, but only to be better and the best version of me. A realistic version. A version that I can live with. A version that is sustainable. A version that will never be perfect, never be more than it can be, and one that I can say I did my best.

I’ve been thinking along these lines with my nutrition. I have always said that my problem with diets is that if I get hit by a bus that I don’t want my last meal to be celery. Not that there is anything wrong with celery as I actually had it for snack last night, but you understand. I do not want to live my life feeling deprived. Striving for things that long term will not keep. So as I started thinking about my nutrition, I’ve realized that sometimes change while hard doesn’t always mean depriving myself. I want to develop a nutritional plan that I can live with, feel good about, that is healthy, and most of all sustainable. Also I know for a fact that I am not going to be giving up certain things and that is ok. Embracing the imperfection of moderation.

So far. So good.

The morning smoothies are still a thing and one that hubby and I look forward to. The thinking about what I am eating, when I am eating and why I am eating has been helpful. To be honest, the cravings for certain foods is lessoning. My boss gave me 2 caramel chocolate bars 2 weeks ago that are still uneaten. Not because I am depriving myself but because i just dont want them. That would be unheard of before. My morning coffee is now filled with an almond creamer instead of half and half or such. If you know me, you know I take my coffee seriously so this was a big step. But once I took that step, I realized that it was more in my mind than in the cup because my morning coffee still tastes like my morning coffee. This past week, I also made homemade cinnamon rolls for my family. They are delicious but I didn’t have one because I really didn’t want one. On the other hand, when I made Pumpkin donuts I did eat one. Just one and that was enough. No shame. No Guilt….. Balance.

I have also been taking this approach to my running. I have continued to walk the first few miles of my long run and the first of pretty much all. Then my goal is to keep the pace in the 12’s because that is where I realistically am. In being real with what I can do, how fast I can run, and what my body can do; I have actually been able to run better Striving for unattainable goals has been my downfall with my running. Working towards being the best I can be on each run has been making running both enjoyable and sustainable.

To be the best version you can be on any given day either in your nutrition, in your running or in your life will change day to day. The trick is to give yourself the grace you need to be that version. Accept the version that you are today and if it doesn’t live up to your expectations know that tomorrow is another day!

An Actual Running Post

So since this is supposed to be a running blog, I thought I would do something novel and actually talk about my running…. I know, shocking!!!

As you know my training for NYC Marathon has been all over the place. I started off great following my training plan right up until I didn’t. And while my training hasn’t been stellar with following the plan. I feel (especially after yesterday) that I have been doing ok.

You know the expression….. You do you

Well I have been doing me and it has been working. With all my issues both mentally and physically, I just started loosely following the plan and doing what I felt would work for me. Before all my issues, I’ve followed training plans to the letter T (what does that even mean?) with great results. The problem with cookie cutter plans is that when you are not the ”ideal” runner, they might not work for you. Even though I took that into consideration in the beginning, I took it to the next level recently. After yesterday, I would say it has worked for me.

What have I been doing?

Well not as much running as my plan has called for. On days where I had foundation runs, I might have done HITT, biking, combo of biking/running, or even yoga. Since my goal has never been about time, I really stopped worrying about training runs where I needed to hit certain paces/training zones. I would do the run my way. Once I got back on ”schedule” with my plan, my biggest thing was to make sure that I was getting in the miles for long runs which is really where I was lacking. Even then I needed to make sure not to jump my miles too quickly as I was behind. So I adjusted.

Having run multiple marathons, I also know what works for me in training and what doesn’t. I know runners who feel the need to run multiple 20 mile training runs for their marathons. I have done them and I know that for what ever reason they don’t work for me. I find them defeating. I find them hard in a way that is not good for me mentally going into an event. They just don’t work for me. I would much rather do 16 to 18 miles and then the next day do a few miles on tired legs. This works for me.

Now all that being said, yesterday I went out for my longest run this cycle and I started at noon which is about the time that I will be starting NYC. I wanted to see how my body would be at that time of day as normally I run right after I take my morning meds.

16 miles.

It went well. To be honest, it went MUCH better than I expected. I continued with the walking the first 3 miles as I ALWAYS start off too fast. Plus since being Hypopara it does seem to take my body a bit to warm up. Then my goal was to keep the pace in the mid 12’s. To keep it at a level that I felt that I could run more than walking. There was no walk/run time. There was just doing what I could. I found that if I paid attention to pace, ran the “slower” pace, and didn’t try to run something I can’t sustain that I could run. I could run without the need to walk. Now don’t get me wrong…. There was walking, but there was much more running.

In order to conserve my battery, I did the first 6 miles with no music. Just me and my thoughts. I am not a runner who minds being alone and it was nice. Maybe a little boring, but I reminded myself that NYC will not be boring. I normally do not listen to music on race day as I LOVE to listen to the crowds, the runners feet hitting pavement, and just taking it all in. Out alone in my town though it does get boring.

Holding back is what I realize that I need to do if I want to have a good day. Yes, I can run faster BUT I can not sustain those paces AND they are not good for my body or feet. As you can see, I kept a fairly steady pace. At the end though, I wanted to push it to see what I still had in the tank. You know the Finish Strong mentality. I pushed it to the point that my arms literally went numb (you know the feeling like you laid on them). It was a good training run both mentally and physically.

What I learned…… Starting later, I do need to adjust my calcium intake. At mile 10, I added Calez to my water for added calcium but maybe I should start earlier. I also need to add more as miles add up. Maybe even taking a calcitrol at some point during run. This is why my arms/hands went numb at the end. As soon as I finished my run yesterday, I came inside and popped 500 mg calcium and a .25 calcitriol as I felt a crash coming. This also may have been due to the faster pace at the end. Either way, I need to pay attention and adjust accordingly. One thing with calcium levels is that they fluctuate and you have to pay attention to the signs to adjust with them.

Another thing that I made a mistake on yesterday, but to me I think it was a beneficial mistake……. I forgot my bag of fuel. This time around, I have been trying not to use gels but more natural (ok still processed) food. Since I started at 12, I didn’t eat lunch. So I ate a protein bar before starting out. I had a bag of almonds and some bars with me. I left the bag on counter, so I only had one Nutrigrain bar for the entire run. I ate half at mile 6 and then finished off around mile 12. While not ideal, I view this as a win because just think of how much better my body will feel when properly fueled on course. Learning to run/push when the tank is literally empty is not a bad thing.

Recovery…….

When I came home, I stretched. I took added meds. I had a chocolate cake batter smoothie (Sadly no actual cake batter, but healthy proteins). Then I soaked in some epsom salt. Followed by the use of my foot massager. Overall recovery was good. Although I know that I did not replenish both water and nutrients enough. We ordered Thia food and I really couldn’t even eat much as I wasn’t hungry. Weird…. but I will do better today.

Today as I sit here typing, I feel good. I feel like I just ran 16 miles yesterday. My feet are sore, but normal sore. My legs are tired, but normal tired. I will do some restorative yoga and be kind to my body. I will also make sure today’s smoothie has some properties that will benefit recovery.

How is your training going?

Passenger or Driver?

You are either a passanger of life or you are driving. I have realized that recently I have been sitting back and allowing myself to view life as a passenger. Like I have no control on what is happening. Where I am headed and what choices do I have to make. Like the trip has been mapped out and I am just going along for the ride. Like it has been predetermined.

It is easy for this to happen. Your driving along. You hit a few speed bumps. Take a few turns and before you know it you are not only heading the wrong direction unaware but you put it on autopilot and just keep going.

I am stopping the ride, getting off and figuring out where I want to go and how I want to get there. In order to do that, I have to step back and just re-access. Start asking where I want to end up and what I’m willing to do to get there and why I want to go.

More to come as I start actually coming up to the answer to some questions

Are you a passenger or driver in your life? If you don’t know, then I think you know:)

Golden Jet

Let’s first start off with if you want a fun semi action comedy, Central Intelligence is funny. Maybe it’s because I like The Rock or maybe it’s because Kevin Hart is so funny, but it’s one of those movies if it’s on tv you watch it. Anywho…….

Right now I am waiting for my new running shoes to come and I am not running until they come. I haven’t really been paying attention to them and even though I kept saying that I needed to get a new pair, I never did. I also didn’t realize how far gone they were. I think not having actual races last year where I would pay better attention that I just let things slide.

Exhibit A

As I said last post, I am rethinking my training anyway. Plugging through my 80/20 training book, but I am also thinking of non running training. Back in the day (and I mean 2015), I loved not just Crossfit but Cross training. I did Crossfit. I biked. I swam. I did Yoga. I worked with a Personal Trainer. I did group classes. Then I ran and then I ran and ran and ran and stopped doing anything else. So as I ease back into my running and training, I want to keep the balance that I used to have. I want to keep the balance for a few reasons.

  1. “A woman my age” really needs to have balance.
  2. Not that I am going to be as fast or am training for speed, but my best runs overall were when I was more diversified in my training.
  3. My body could really do with the steady stretching of yoga
  4. I miss having good arms and I’ve recently been told by one of my 3 year old students that I have “squishy arms.”
  5. I actually like cross training when I think about it and admit it

So here we are, me trying to become a less rounded person by being more rounded. I have been using an app not on a regular basis, but plan to for cross training. They have a free version which is fabulous. Although I admit the free version constantly reminds you that they have a paid version. That being said they have a whole slew of workouts for everyone and every mood. From meditation to kickboxing to strength training to no equipment and the list goes on. Now in order for me to commit to it, today I decided to buy the year subscription. Honestly for thirty bucks it is still a steal. That used to be my monthly gym fee.

So today I was doing a weight training and a Tabata workout. I had everything here to make it an intense workout. As I was beginning the workout and the instructor was talking about what weights to use. I was ready to grab the bigger weights that we have. I was reliving my Golden Jet moments when I used to be able to bench press. I’m not sure if I have my training journals from back in the day, but I know my deadlift and chest press totals were impressive. So today, I was thinking go for the big weights.

Golden Jet

Golden Jet

Golden Jet

Luckily I remembered that he landed face first when trying to live his glory days. So I dialed it down a notch or two. Guess what? I had a kick ass workout at the intensity that I should be out. So here is to working on a new Golden Jet flip but one that I am actually in a position to land safely.

A Small Step is still a Step Foward

I used to always use the expression

I not only used it, but I meant it. Well what if now I’m not so bold. If I don’t want to go big? If I don’t want to go bold? Yes, I do like the thought of going home, but before doing that I do want to do some stuff.

I remember when I first started running races and my son who was much younger at the time asked me if I was going to win. After laughing, I told him that not only would I not win but I wouldn’t even be close to winning. He looked at me puzzled and asked then why would I even do it. As runners, we know that is a loaded question!

Anyway….. at the time my answer was about pushing myself to do hard things and such. I’m not really there and haven’t been for a long time. Don’t get me wrong, I have been pushing myself to do hard things but the definition of hard has changed:)

So here is where I am………. Some days, I think…. I am going to get up and run. I am going to do xyz……. Then I don’t……. Then I beat myself up because I didn’t do xyz. You know that viscous cycle. That hamster wheal of shame. I want to get off the hampster wheal. I know that I don’t have the drive that I used to have. I don’t have it for many reasons. That being said, I am not ready to stop challenging myself.

This month will tell me a lot about what I want to do. It will give me some answers to is everything I’ve been fealing hypopara related. I’m going for a sleep study as there is a distinct possibility that some of my exhaustion might be due to sleep apnea. Like literally this morning after a full night sleep I woke up exhausted as did hubby due to my snoring. So we will see where that takes us. I am also doing my 24 hour urine test. If things look good, I would like to up my calcium as I am also tired of living in the low to under calcium levels. Plus as I do more physically, I also need to take more calcium. Your body uses more calcium too, but since your body regulates it you don’t even notice.

What I am thinking for this month is just reset number 1 million and 10. I have been reading the 80/20 training method and before I start it, I probably should finish the book but it seems promising. I also would like to start using all those weights that have been getting dusty. I know I am past my crossfit days, but I really do enjoy training with weights. Plus as they say…. A woman your age should strength train even if my days of massive weights are gone. I would like to do something every day….. Be it a mile walk, biking, yoga, strength training. I think mentally it will be good fo me. Plus I do know that physically it would be good too.

I think though, I am going to give myself some flexibility and lots of slack. Just small goals. No go big or go home goals. Just do something good for yourself and go home:). Small steps eventually get you to the end of the road too!

If ever you have suffered from depression, you learn that sometimes small steps will help you….. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Household chores…. Going to work……. Just going through the motions. Those that have suffered know that these small steps help them to get to a place where they can take the bigger step of dealing with it. Sometimes life really is about fake it till you feel it. And while I am not currently dealing with depression, I am going to utilize this same strategy to get me to the next step.

Blowing in the Breeze

I used to want to be a badass. I used to want it. Train for it. I used to want to push myself to and past my limits. There were no limits. There was only not working hard enough. Not pushing hard enough.

To Train

To Train hard

To be at “the top of my game.”

Now……. Let me be clear……… There is NOTHING wrong with that mentality. I get it. I’ve been there. I might get there again. Who knows. I know though…… I am not nor have I been there in a long time. I’ve been swaying in the breeze…. Ever so gently just seeing where I might land.

To be honest, I am not sure where I am right now. I just know it is not the balls to the wall give it all you got place right now. I have no desire to train hard. Most days I might not even have any desire to train. There is no wake up at the crack of dawn to squeeze a run in. There is no going out at night to make sure to hit my miles.

There is just going with the flow. I know that there are many reasons for this change besides being hypopara which may have been the catalyst for change, but change is inevitable anyway. I just don’t have the same drive. I don’t have the same commitment. I don’t have my running crew as we all are in different places. We trained together. We ran together. We raced together. Most of all running was about more than running.

So as with life, things change. People move. Peoples schedules change. Goals change…..

What many runners know too is that without in person events, it just isn’t the same. I often think to when I was growing up our family Minister was a runner. Something he picked up in the service. He went out for runs just to run. This was well before running became mainstream. I thought I had that mindset, but I realize that while I do love running I can’t wait to be at a starting line again. That being said, I am also not in a rush because I want to also do it safely. The thought of a major event (if any are even coming) brings on a bit of a panic attack. Like a serious one…… Not the OMG, she’s having a panic attack meme. Anyone else???? This pandemic has changed many of us in what we once never gave a second thought to, we will think long and hard about before diving in.

I have signed up for a trail race in October. While I don’t have time to train on trails like I used to this race is a friends favorite. Plus they required a waiver of proof of vaccination. I liked that. I respect that and things like that will go a long way to getting us back to normal even if it is a new normal.