Big Catch Up Post

Oh, hey there. Long time, no see. It’s been about six months since I last published a post here. It’s no secret that I’ve felt ambivalent about blogging for a long time, and recent events have caused me to feel that even more so. It just seems like the blogging “boom” has passed, and people favor Instagram and more quickly consumable media these days. But I’ve missed writing. I’ve missed sharing. This blog has always been more like a public diary for me than anything else, and it’s nice to look back and see what I was up to at various points in my past. So here I am again. We’ll see how long it lasts.

When last I wrote, I was an injured runner. Those of you who have continued following along on Instagram know that this is still true, mostly because I got pregnant this summer before I was able to get an x-ray for diagnosis. We were trying for baby number two, but I honestly didn’t expect to be successful so quickly, and pregnancy plus unnecessary radiation is kind of a no-no. But that means I haven’t run in six months. I can’t even really go for walks without pain. I have to wear shoes constantly, or else I’m super limpy. I have some very stylish Croc sandals for “house shoes.” And I’m six months pregnant, so I’m exhausted and sore and not really working out at all. I aspire to be doing more at-home prenatal workouts, but it’s HARD to make the time and find the motivation.

So what have I been up to? I’m still home full time with Vera, which is both the hardest and best job I’ve ever had. She’s now eighteen months old and, most of the time, an absolute delight. She’s smart, outgoing, and so good-natured. We make our rounds of the local play groups and story hours, spend time with family, and do lots of reading and play at home. She sleeps through the night and takes one two-ish hour a nap per day, but it can be as little as one hour or as long as three hours depending on the day, so it can be hard to plan out my time. We also live “in the boonies,” so it can be hard to get to the bigger activities or play spaces while constrained by her current schedule, and our world can feel very small.

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Other than momming, I don’t have too much going on. I recently joined the board of my favorite local community theatre group, which is cool and interesting, but really not all that time-consuming. I have a couple of meetings a month and am obligated to go see shows and support my friends (which I would do anyway). It’s good to have meetings that force me to put on pants and talk to adults, but it’s not exactly socialization. I’m still not going a great job of making time for my friendships, but I’m working on it. The whole “living in the boonies” thing really doesn’t help with maintaining friendships.

Another recent development is that I’ve deleted my Twitter account and abandoned my “fitness” IG. I realized I was spending way too much time looking at stuff that wasn’t serving me and it was actually making me feel less good about myself. I’m back on Facebook, but mostly use it as a way to find events and stay connected with people I actually care about. I still kind of hate it, but feel like it’s a necessary evil at this point in my life. Instagram is still my favorite form of social media, but even it is becoming a time suck, and I spend more time scrolling than I do posting or commenting and connecting.

I have recently become more interested than ever in the low/zero waste movement, and have been taking some steps in my own life to reduce my consumption and the amount of trash I and my family produce. It’s hard, because plastic and other trash are EVERYWHERE and in EVERYTHING, usually unnecessarily so. It also takes time and often costs more to switch to more sustainable products, and we have very little disposable income because Ben is the only one working. Having my sewing machine back in action has helped a lot. I’ve made my own “unpaper towels” and cloth napkins, and I’m in the process of making reusable cotton flannel facial rounds to replace cotton balls. I have a lot more I want to do, but we just don’t have the money right now.

And of course, I’m growing another human. Which takes a lot of time and energy. I haven’t been a good sleeper for a long time, but it’s compounded by pregnancy. I wake up 3-4 times a night due to my bladder, or hip pain, or who the hell knows. I often spend Vera’s naptime just sitting on my butt, knitting or reading, because that’s all I have the energy to do. I wish I could actually nap, but I’ve never been a napper. I just don’t fall asleep quickly or deeply enough to be worth it. I have plenty of projects I should be doing, like painting the new baby’s dresser, or sorting and washing baby clothes, but I just CANNOT right now. My house is semi-clean and I take a shower every day and that’s about all I can manage.

In general I feel pretty stagnant. I am in the trenches of life with small children, and while I know it’s a season of life that will someday pass, probably faster than I think, most days I feel like I’m just not contributing very much to society and have no idea what I’m doing with my life. I have a lot of fitness goals that I’d still like to accomplish, but they are on hold until after pregnancy and possibly even until after I’m finished breastfeeding baby number two. Right now I’m just focused on having a somewhat healthy pregnancy and getting this baby into the world with both of us healthy. I’ll figure out the rest later.

 

Injured Runner Alert

Something has been up with my left heel for a while now. It first started hurting immediately after the VCM relay Memorial Day weekend, and I took a full week off to try to let it heal (no pun intended). I started running again and for a time, it didn’t hurt while I was running, only while walking around after, so I was able to convince myself that running wasn’t the problem.

In the lead up to Vera’s birthday, and then our family reunion and vacation, I took more time off running. I was busy, and my foot was still hurting, so it seemed like a good time to take a step back and hope that rest would take care of things.

As you probably saw on IG recently, three full weeks of no running later I still have foot pain. I went for a two mile test run this past Friday morning and spent the rest of the day limping. I honestly have no real idea what it could be. I don’t think it’s PF, because the pain doesn’t ease as my foot “warms up.” Maybe a stress fracture? Maybe Achilles issues? The pain sometimes radiates up the back of my leg a bit. Who knows?

I have been resistant to see a doctor up until now because when I had my last foot injury in 2014, I paid to have x-rays done and then never got any concrete diagnosis. I took six full weeks of rest and my foot was fine after that. But based on what’s going on currently, I definitely need to suck it up and go see someone. Thankfully, my GP is also a runner, so I’m hopeful that she will work with me to find some real answers this time around. I’m planning to call my doctor’s office today and hope to be seen some time this week.

In the meantime, no running, all the supportive shoes, and some low-impact strength workouts to keep me sane.

Friday Free-For-All – 07/19/19

Friday Free-For-All

Long time, no see. Yikes. I haven’t been reading blogs or writing at all lately. We’ve been super busy with getting ready for Vera’s first birthday, then traveling for a family reunion, so blog stuff took a necessary back seat. Also, I haven’t really been running or working out much for the same reasons, so there hasn’t been much to write about. I’m hoping to get back into the swing of things next week, but no promises. Ben will be away and I’ll be solo parenting for five days which isn’t exactly a recipe for getting stuff done.

We turned our hot water heater up, and it is AWESOME. It turns out, our heater was on the lowest possible setting. I am one of those people who likes surface-of-the-sun-hot showers, so this is great for me. I’m also excited to see what a difference it will make for laundry and dishes and such.

I bought my first piece of non-maternity, non-nursing, non-workout clothing since before I got pregnant. I bought a new dress for a wedding this weekend, and honestly it feels like such a BIG DEAL to be buying an item of clothing just for me, for “real life.” And it looks damn good, if I do say so myself 🙂

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We finally got the pull up bar out of the basement. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages, but just never got around to it. Doing an unassisted pull up is my biggest fitness goal, so I’m trying to do some exercises each day to work toward that. It makes me miss CrossFit. *sigh*

What’s your biggest as yet unachieved fitness goal?

Friday Free-For-All – 06/28/19

Friday Free-For-All

Happy summer vacation to us! We just finished the first full week of Ben’s break, and we have been seriously getting after house projects. We cleaned the basement AND the garage, and finally got our garden going. Yay!

If you’re looking for some new running bottoms, check these on AmazonMy girlfriend Nikki swears by this brand, Baleaf, and got me a pair of the compression shorts for me birthday. All of their shorts, capris, and leggings have side pockets. The fit great too; no sliding down my butt or riding up my thighs. And the shorts are only $20! I can’t wait to get some leggings and capris too.

Baleaf Shorts

Photo from Amazon

I’m on a running hiatus at the moment. Remember how my left heel was hurting me after the VCM relay? I took a full week off and it seemed to be doing better, but it’s been up and down ever since. It never hurt WHILE I was running so I was reluctant to take another break, but I’m trying to be responsible and take care of myself. So no running for a week or two, and then we’ll see where I’m at. In the meantime I’m very busy with prep for Vera’s first birthday party (!!!!!), and I’m doing hip/glute exercises with my resistance bands every day, and rolling my feet and calves.

Vera’s first birthday is this coming Wednesday and I’m having ALL the feelings. It feels like this year had absolutely flown by and I can’t believe my baby is about to be a toddler. Frankly, I don’t really miss the newborn baby stage. Vera’s early infancy was very hard. Nowadays, she’s so much fun! I’m very excited to explore the toddler stage with her. I’m also very excited because both my and Ben’s entire immediate families will be in attendance–his sisters are coming in from Prague and DC, and one of my three sisters is making the trek in from Detroit (the other two live here in VT). We don’t have a theme or fancy decorations, and we’re not buying a smash cake. We’re focusing on a simple celebration with good food and plenty of adult beverages. Because honestly? The first birthday is more of a celebration for us having kept a kid alive and not killed each other for an entire year than anything else, haha!

Did you do a big, blowout party for your child’s first birthday?

Friday Free-For-All – 06/07/19

Friday Free-For-All

I cut off about five inches of hair this week. You may have already seen this on Insta, but just in case you missed it, VOILA! I always love having long hair, but with summer coming and a baby who loves to grab/eat/tangle said hair, it was time for a good chop. It feels so much healthier and lighter, and I’m very happy with it.

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Possible unpopular opinion: I really dislike when people post novel-length captions for their photos on Instagram. For me, Insta is about photos, not words. I don’t want to spend a ton of time reading a full-length race recap or your entire running history when I’m just trying to scroll through and get caught up. In my opinion, that kind of thing belongs in a blog post or FB post, not underneath your Insta photo.

We finally took steps toward having a vegetable garden this year. We originally had big plans to have a fairly large garden, but that kind of went by the wayside. This weekend we just went to the hardware store and grabbed some seeds. I started a few things inside, and this weekend we’re just gonna drop some seeds in the ground and see what happens. Even if we just get a few veggies, it will have been a learning experience and possibly be a net zero cost situation. Eventually we do hope to have a “homestead” situation with a large veggie garden, fruit trees and bushes, and chickens for eggs, but that stuff costs money to get started, and we don’t have any right now!

Our lilac is going crazy, and it’s making me so happy! This lilac was hugely overgrown when we moved into the house, and didn’t flower much last year. This spring I aggressively pruned it, and that seems to have done the trick! I got this white bud vase for a whole dollar at Goodwill, and it’s perfect for showing off the beautiful purple blooms.

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What’s your favorite flower? Mine is actually the Gerber daisy, but Lilac is a close second.

You Don’t Have To

Dear runner friends:

On this Global Running Day, I’d like to give you all a little reminder.

You don’t have to…

…run “fast”…
…run long distances…
…run races…
…use a GPS watch/app…
…keep track of your mileage/pace/PRs…
…post your runs on social media…
…own lots of fancy gear…
…eat special food…
…know all the lingo (fartlek? tempo? VO2 max???)…
…be a brand ambassador or influencer…
…look like a “runner”…
…read the books, follow the blogs, watch the movies…
…do anything except RUN…

…to be a runner.

Whether you ran today or not, if you run, you are a runner. Never forget it.

Friday Free-For-All – 05/31/19

Friday Free-For-All

Injury update: My foot is feeling better, thank goodness. I’m planning to give it a full week of rest before attempting some easy runs, just in case. I suspect that it’s something to do with my Achilles tendon and/or tight calves, so I’ve been doing lots of foam rolling and mobility stuff.

I’ve been on a sourdough baking kick. In fact, I’ve got some in the oven as I write this post! I’ve been working on getting sourdough “right” for a while now. I tried several different recipes and methods, and it just never turned out well. The resulting bread was perfectly edible, but it wasn’t the sourdough I was going for. Finally, I got serious. I bought myself a kitchen scale and started following Jen’s recipe and instructions at Peanut Butter Runner. She gives step-by-step instructions with videos, which were SO HELPFUL. Most of the recipes I followed just said something like “shape the dough into balls.” OK, but HOW??? Using Jen’s instructions has yielded perfect bread each and every time, and I will never go back to store-bought bread.

 

Sourdough

PERFECTION

We are counting down the hours to summer break. It’s been a tough school year for Ben, and we’re all starting to feel the stress. Thankfully, the end is in sight now; the last day of school for teachers is June 18, and we can’t freaking wait. Vera is just at such a fun age now, and I want Ben to be able to experience it too. Plus, we have so much still to do around the house and yard, and so much fun stuff on the docket this summer.

What’s one thing you’re excited for this summer?