Weekend Update – 11/21/16

Happy Monday, y’all! I’m very excited that this is a three day work week for me. I just have to put my head down and grind through until Wednesday night, and then I have four glorious days of rest and relaxation to look forward to.

This weekend was equal parts rest, socialization, and productivity, which always makes me happy. I worked my second-to-last shift at Athleta on Friday night, then came home and stayed up late watching BBC shows and eating popcorn with Ben.

We slept in rather later than I would have liked on Saturday, and woke to find that it was sunny and in the mid-60’s outside. WHAT? We spent some time cleaning and doing laundry, then I went outside and talked to my friend Mandy on the phone for over an hour. She’s got a lot of crazy stuff happening in her life right now, and I’ve been feeling like a bad friend for not getting in touch more, so it felt really good to finally reach out. It was also nice to be able to be outside in short sleeves in late November!

After that, I spent a little time knitting and watching Netflix, and then it was time to head to Friendsgiving at my friend Jaska’s mom’s house. Jaska and I have been friends since high school, and her mom is like an extra mom to me. There was lots of good food, good conversation, and snuggles, which was just what the doctor ordered.

Sunday morning couldn’t have been more different than Saturday. I was rudely ripped from Slumberland by Ben’s alarm at 8 am, so I grumbled and snuggled back under the covers. Ben got up, and a few minutes later poked his head in the door. “It’s snowing out, just so you know.” I leaped out of bed and ran to the window and sure enough, there was already a blanket of snow on the ground. I really love snow (especially when it happens at a seasonally appropriate time), so I was delighted, and officially wide awake. I hopped on the new recumbent bike for 30 minutes, then showered and pulled myself together for Lady Brunch.

I have been lucky enough over this past year to collect several very good, smart, strong female friends, and we get together regularly to just be ourselves and talk about life, politics, or whatever else we feel like talking about. I feel SO supported and safe with this group of ladies, and after dealing with all of my swirling emotions post-election, I NEEDED this so hard. We ate chicken curry and Trader Joe’s scones and drank mimosas and just talked.

After that, I just spent the rest of the day at home, knitting and watching Netflix while Ben played video games. I have been SO BUSY these last few weeks, it felt amazing to just be at home so much and not have crazy demands on my time.

Did you get any snow this weekend?

Friday Free-For-All – 11/18/16

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

My in-laws ordered a recumbent stationary bike. This is HUGE! It means that I can actually exercise in the comfort and relative privacy of my own home! It’s no secret that I haven’t been digging running as much lately, so having an in-home option for cardio will be great, and will hopefully help to keep me active this winter. Being able to pull up my Netflix queue while pedaling away will certainly make the time go by faster.

I quit Athleta and I’m dropping out of my jazz dance class, both as of the first week of December. I’ve been feeling WAY too busy lately, and with the holiday season looming, I knew I needed to take a big step back and just chill out for a bit. This fall ended up being a lot busier and more stressful than I anticipated, and I’m looking forward to just having more time to be at home with Ben or hanging out with friends, especially because IF I get cast in 9 to 5 (fingers and toes crossed!), I will be in rehearsals four nights a week from January through early April. I will miss my class, and I will definitely miss my colleagues from Athleta, but I need to do this for the sake of my mental health.

WE BOOKED TICKETS TO THE BAHAMAS! Finally! Ben’s aunt and uncle own a house on the island of Eleuthera, and we have been trying to get our shit together to get down there for years. YEARS! So we finally bit the bullet and bought tickets for February break. I am positively giddy with excitement. Eleuthera is a smaller, less-touristy island, and because we’re staying at his aunt and uncle’s place, our only expenses will be airfare, food, and drink. I’m planning to spend most of my time just sitting on my butt, reading, drinking, and relaxing.

I can’t freaking believe Thanksgiving is next week. How did this happen? I feel like just yesterday it was spring and now it’s Thanksgiving?! This year we’ll be with my parents down in Quechee, and I have a full four days off from work, which will be heavenly. Also, because of the holiday, I don’t work at Athleta at all and I don’t have any dance classes, so my evenings are all my own, hooray! Also, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be released on Friday, and you KNOW I’ll be binge-watching that while hopefully scoring some black Friday deals online. I’m gonna finally bite the bullet and buy myself a Chromebook so I can stop stealing Ben’s.

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? I’m ready for the break if nothing else…

 

So, I Ran Last Night

Last night I went to my local Planet Fitness and ran on the good ole treadmill. It was three miles, and it actually felt pretty good. You may remember that I actually like treadmill running, so getting back to it was nice. I watched trashy reality TV and just tried to remember what running feels like. I’m hoping to slowly slide more easy running back into the schedule as things get less busy this winter.

Unfortunately, my shoe struggle is still ongoing. The Hoka Claytons are the best that I’ve tried in a while as far as comfort for my weird toes, but no matter what socks I wear or how much Body Glide I apply, I get really painful blisters on the bottoms of my arches where the upper meets the sole. Every. Single. Run. I had hoped that I would eventually develop calluses, but so far that hasn’t happened. I’m going to continue to try to wait it out and hope for some callus action, but for now, it’s a struggle.

My next and possibly final option is to order some Altras online. I think the foot-shaped toe box and zero drop structure would be good for me. I just have to hope and pray that they won’t give me blisters like the Hokas. I’ll probably order several pairs/sizes to find the best fit, and then send back the others. My coworker has a Zappos account with free overnight shipping that I can abuse, so the shipping costs won’t break the bank. If the Altras don’t work out, I really don’t know what I’m going to do. I feel like I’ve tried just about everything at this point, and I’m getting pretty discouraged.

How do you feel about treadmill running? Yay or boo?

Weekend Update

This weekend was largely spent at the Flynn Theatre, where I was on the makeup crew for Lyric Theatre Company’s production of The Who’s Tommy.

While being on stage is my first love and true passion, being on the makeup crew is an AWESOME alternative. While I would have loved to audition for Tommy, my Disney trip would have kept me away from “tech weekend,” which is a very important set of rehearsals for any production. While the production team might have been willing to work around it, I didn’t want to put them in the position of having to make that decision. And I also didn’t want to stress about missing rehearsals while I was on vacation.

Being on the makeup crew is great for many reasons, the most notable of which is that you still get to be a part of the show with a minuscule (by comparison) time commitment. When you’re in the cast of a show, you’ve got generally between 12-15 hours of rehearsal time each week for 3-4 months. As part of the makeup crew, I came in the week of the show, and spent probably a grand total of 15 hours at the theatre. But I still got to see my friends and go to all of the fun social events surrounding show week. Win-win!

This week is all about getting back to normal(ish). I haven’t been on a regular schedule since before Disney, so I’m hoping to get back to healthy eating, back to the gym, and back to preparing for 9-5 auditions, which are coming up more quickly than I like to think about. I have a voice lesson after work today, which I’m excited about, and then after that I actually get to go home and eat dinner. What is life?

What did you get up to this weekend?

Friday Free-For-All – 11/11/16

Photo Jul 14, 10 05 37 AM

Woah, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts. Months, in fact. But I really love being able to just do a random brain dump of stuff that’s going on.

9 to 5 the Musical auditions are coming up. I am very nervous about this. There is one part I particularly want, but I know competition is going to be fierce. I’m doing my best to just do the work I need to do to be prepared and let the chips fall where they may. I’ve been taking voice lessons and dance classes and all that good stuff, so there’s at least that.

I’ve got a bit of a cold and I’m feeling very whiny about it. I have plenty of sick time, but we’re short-staffed at work right now, AND I’m on the makeup crew for The Who’s Tommy, so taking a sick day isn’t really an option. I’m hoping that I can get some good, restful sleep tonight and be on the mend soon. But for today, I’m drinking all the liquids and feeling sorry for myself.

Project “Save Up for a House” is moving on apace. Living with my in-laws continues to go better than I could ever hope for, and the money in our house fund is starting to stack up appreciably. We’re starting to think about actually getting pre-approved for a mortgage and stuff soon, which is both exciting and terrifying. I’m very hopeful that we could possibly have our very own house by this time next year, which would be amazeballs.

The truck is acting up again. Mickey is a 1987 Toyota pickup. It was Ben’s dream car as a kid, and he was able to pick up Mickey, who was in beautiful condition, a few years ago for a great price. Unfortunately, he’s begun to show his age a bit this year, and has been in and out of the shop. Keeping Mickey on the roads is still cheaper than getting a new car, but definitely more than we’d like to be spending considering that we’re trying to save for a house. Not to mention the fact that while he’s in the shop, we have to carpool to two not-so-close work destinations every day. It’s been trying, to say the least, and I look forward to having Mickey hale and hearty again.

Are you whiny like me when you’re sick?

So that happened…

As many of you probably saw on Instagram, I completed the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon on Sunday morning. That was my 3rd half (last year’s W&D doesn’t count because it was a shortened course), and without doubt, the least trained I’ve ever been to run a race in my entire life. Seriously. I looked at my stats on Smashrun, and prior to Sunday, I hadn’t run AT ALL in 41 days. And prior to that, I hadn’t run more than four miles in one go since August. So yeah.

For the record, I DO NOT recommend that you try to run a half marathon without training. My legs were so sore on Sunday night that I was honestly scared I had seriously injured myself. My legs and back are still stiff and sore. I have blisters like you wouldn’t believe on my feet. And I’m still tired. Oh god, am I tired. I’m sure that’s also partly due to lack of sleep, but holy hell, I feel like I got hit by a truck.

I am definitely relieved that the race is over and done with. Obviously, I haven’t really been feeling running lately. The move to Underhill means that my usual routes are no longer available to me, dance classes have kept me busy two nights a week, and I’ve been feeling a lingering burnout after the shitstorm that was this spring. Now that I don’t have any more races looming, I can just get back to running as an enjoyable outlet that I do a few times a week for as long or as short as I want. No plan. No schedule. No pressure.

I definitely feel like I’m through with distance running for a while. I just hate being beholden to a training plan when my life is already so busy. I love running, but I can’t plan my life around it right now. I like having time and energy for other things. I’ll still be here, and I’m sure I’ll still talk about running and racing and whatever else I’m up to, but I think running and racing will be a much smaller piece of this blog moving forward.

Have you ever run a race that you weren’t trained for? How did it go?

Countdown to Disney!

One week from today, I will be flying to Orlando for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon weekend, and I couldn’t possibly be more excited about it.

Work has been very busy and stressful this fall, and things have been very busy and chaotic personally as well, so I’m really looking forward to five whole days off of work, eating and drinking my face off at the Food and Wine festival, riding tons of rides, and soaking up some sun and warmth to fortify me through the cold, dark winter months ahead.

In anticipation of this most exciting trip, I will leave you with a few photos from last year’s trip, because it seems like all I want to do today is look at Disney pictures and dream about Mickey-shaped treats.

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RIP Main Street Electrical Parade😥

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RIP Osborne Lights😥

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Hello? Anybody Still Here?

Hi friends! Long time no see!

It’s been almost exactly two months since I decided to take a break from blogging, and it’s gone by really fast! All of a sudden today, I started to feel really nostalgic about this here little blog, and miss checking in with you, so I decided to pop in to say hello. I’m still not quite sure what the future holds for the blog, but I’m not really ready to say goodbye forever. So for now, I’m just gonna take it one day at a time, post when I feel like it, and try to let go of all of the weird feelings of obligation that lead me to my break.

So, what have I been up to? A lot!

We moved back in with the in-laws.

We’re back out in the boonies, which has many pros and cons. But it’s definitely going about as well as it possibly could. We’re all getting along great, the cats (all five of them!) are getting along great, and we’re watching the pile of money in our house fund grow. We’re getting ready to actually start talking to a mortgage broker and maybe even look at some houses. It’s a very exciting time.

Dance Classes

I’m taking a Jazz Fusion class on Tuesdays, and Tap on Wednesdays. The jazz class is AWESOME. I mean, it’s also a little awkward, because I’m one of only a small handful of adults in with a bunch of middle and high school girls who dance circles around me, but it’s great exercise, and exercise that I enjoy doing the entire time. Tap has been more challenging. I actually started out in Tap 2 because I’d already taken Tap 1, but after a couple of weeks, it was clear that I needed to go back to the beginner class and get more comfortable before moving up. Still, though, it’s good exercise as well, and will help me in my future theatrical endeavors.

Not a whole lot of running.

I think taking a break from the blog gave me “permission,” if you will, to take a break from running as well. Marathon training took more of a toll on me than I first realized, and even though I took a short break post-marathon, I still had lots of races and stuff coming up so I didn’t really give myself the time I needed, and kept pushing myself to run. I haven’t run since September 26, so it’s been almost a month, and I’m in a pretty good place about it. I think backing off on running has allowed my metabolism to normalize a bit; I’m not nearly so hungry on a regular basis, meaning I’m not eating as much, and I’ve actually managed to lose a couple of pounds, hallelujah! I’m definitely not going to completely give up on running, but the wheels are turning, and I think I feel a larger post coming on.

Work has been BUSY.

I have one team mate out on maternity leave, and another who was out for two weeks of vacation in September, and is now out for another five days for minor surgery, so my workload is significantly higher than usual. This has been a somewhat difficult adjustment for me, but I’ll make it. I’m also still working one shift a week at Athleta, which is great, but starting to feel like a bit too much on my plate. I was only planning to work there through December, but I may need to step back sooner rather than later for my mental well-being.

Wine and Dine is coming!

I fly out in less than two weeks and I couldn’t be more excited. I desperately need a break from work, and I’m excited to spend some time with my team Can-Am ladies, including finally meeting Lisa in person!

Whew! There, you’re all caught up. As I said above, I’m not quite sure how often I’ll be popping back in, but I no longer consider myself to be “on a break.”

What’s the most exciting/positive thing that’s happened to you in the last couple of months?

 

Taking a Break

I think it’s time for me to take a break from blogging.

The biggest contributing factor to this decision is how stupid busy and stressed I am at the moment. I have quite a bit on my plate, and blogging is something that should be fun, but right now, is just causing me stress. Writing my own blog posts and responding to comments, crafting social media posts, plus reading and commenting on other blogs is something that I spend a significant amount of time doing these days, and I’m starting to feel like that time could be better spent elsewhere.

The other piece is a bit harder to articulate. Basically I’ve just become overwhelmed by the expectations and obligations of having an online presence. I don’t like the behaviors required to be a “successful” blogger, or Instagram user, or Twitter user. Jockeying for likes and followers and using a billion hashtags and worrying about SEO is just not me. This was a big part of why I stepped down as a BibRave Pro. I was hoping that removing that particular obligation would help ease the pressure, but I still can’t totally escape the feeling that if I don’t post regularly, or have tons of likes on my Instagram posts, I’m not a “good” blogger. I’m also struggling with the pressure of having an audience. It sometimes feels like the things I’m doing (running, racing) and the things I’m writing here, or perhaps the way I’m writing them, are more for other people than for me, which is not why I started blogging.

I just need to hit reset and figure out a) if I want to continue blogging, and b) what that will look like for me in the future. I need to take some time to reconnect with running and exercise as an outlet for myself rather than a performance for my online audience. I need to do it because I want to do it, not because I want to see the likes stack up. I need to find the internal motivation rather than the external motivation. I need to escape from the world of hashtags and optimization and creating my “brand” and just focus on real life for a while.

I’m not sure how long this break will be, but I’m not planning to come back until I really feel the desire to blog again. I deeply appreciate everyone who’s ever stopped by, read, commented, or otherwise reached out. I’ve made some amazing connections through this little blog of mine, but I’ve just got to step back and figure out my own stuff for a bit.

Manic Monday – 08/22/16

Manic Monday

Leaf Peepers Half Marathon Training Week 6

What Was Planned vs. What Happened

Monday 08/08/16: Rest | Rest

I was still quite exhausted and had some DOMS from the relay, so I decided to take it easy. I thought about going to yoga, but since moving has been stressing me out so much, Ben and I did a bunch of packing and took a load of stuff to our storage unit, which made me feel 1000x better.

Tuesday 08/02/16: 4 Miles + Legs | Rest

We had some friends in town on Monday night, which meant not much sleep, which meant no early wake up to run. I had a voice lesson after work, so I decided to just shuffle the rest of the week around a bit and rest today as well.

Wednesday 08/03/16: Rest | Rest

Aaaand are we surprised? No? Yeah, didn’t think so.

Thursday 08/04/16: 4 Mile Tempo | 3 Miles @ 10:02

I ran! It was short and sweet, but I ran.

Friday 08/05/16: Rest | Rest

Our company sponsored a charity Bocce Ball tournament, so I was out and about all day, and driving between Burlington and Middlebury, so no run.

Saturday 08/06/16: 8 Miles | Rest

I fully intended to do my long run before wedding festivities, but we had some friends in town from Portland, ME for only a few hours, so we grabbed breakfast with them instead.

Sunday 08/07/16: Rest | Rest

After too much to drink, and not really sleeping on Saturday night because we were tenting post-wedding, Sunday was a much-needed recovery day.

Weekly Mileage: 3

Total 2016 Mileage: 494.7

Oof. That’s two not-so-great weeks in a row. I’d like to say that I’m ready to buckle down and prioritize my runs this week, but considering that we have to be out of our apartment in 10 days, that wouldn’t be true. Priority number one this week is just getting shit done. I’m hoping to sneak a few short runches in, but no guarantees, as work is also super busy this week.