Quick Post-Christmas Check-In

Hi friends! I kind of disappeared there for a minute. It wasn’t intentional, but between holiday festivities and a bunch of time off work, I just didn’t feel like blogging.

I ended up with seven whole days off from work, which was an absolute treat. I got to spend some time with my family and Ben’s, relax, and just enjoy the holiday season. And the best part is, this is a short week, with another long holiday weekend coming up, woohoo!

I’m hoping to get back on the proverbial wagon as far as workouts go, but I know that motivation is way low this time of year, and it’s supposed to be in the single digits or colder all week, so my motivation is even lower!

Anyway, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas, and that this week is short and painless! I’ll try to check back in on Friday with my usual Friday Free-For-All post. I’ve got lots to update you on!

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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.

Happy Blogiversary to Darlin’ Rae

Exactly one year ago, I was sitting at my parents’ house. I don’t remember how it came up, or why, but I decided I was going to run a half marathon. And I started this blog to document my training.

First ever race medal!

In one short year, so much has happened! I ran my first half marathon. I made a bunch of amazing friends, and Team Can-Am was born. I’ve formed phenomenal relationships with fun, athletic, talented people all over the world. And I became a runner. I can’t wait to see what this next year of running and blogging brings 🙂

Many thanks to all of my readers and friends out there. I couldn’t do it without you!

Blog World Tour

So a few weeks ago, right in the midst of holiday craziness, my lovely accountabilibuddy and fellow member of Team Can-Am, Kim, tagged me to participate in the Blogging World Tour.  Yes, yes, I know it sounds fancy, but really, it’s not.  It’s just me giving you a little sneak peak into what’s going on with my obviously very focused and organized blog-writing process (HA!).

Step 1 is Acknowledging the blogger/blog that invited you to the Blog Tour:

Kim is hilarious and awesome.  She loves margaritas almost as much as I do, and she has a lovely Wonder Mutt named Calypso.  If you don’t already follow her and would like a daily dose of hilarity, go check her out at Black Dog Runs Disney.

And now I get to answer some questions that supposedly will give you some secret info about how and why I blog.

What am I working on?

Regarding this blog, I’m striving for consistency.  I started out blogging 7 days a week, which was too much.  I backed off to whenever I felt like it (except weekends), which was not enough structure.  These days I’m just aiming for at least Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and if more than that happens, awesome!  I’m also trying to write posts or at least start drafts as ideas occur to me, with the goal of having one or two posts ready to go when I hit a spell of writer’s block or get super busy, and also keep a list of topics to write about so that I don’t get stuck.

In life, I’m working really hard on paying off my student loans so Ben and I can buy a house and start a family within the next five years.  This is hard, because I spend money like nobody’s business.  To me, budget is a four-letter word, and bonus time means paying off my credit card.

How does my work differ from others of its type/genre?

I’m gonna be 100% honest here and say that I don’t really think it does.  I don’t think I have a terribly distinctive “voice” (maybe another blog thing to work on?), and I don’t think my content is all that unique in the world of running/fitness blogs.  And really, I’m OK with that.  I didn’t start this blog as a money-making enterprise, and my goal is not to generate income or get the most follows or shares or likes.  In fact, I’m happy that my blog is relatively small, because I’m able to focus on quality interactions with the limited number of followers/commenters I have.  So maybe that makes my work unique?  I don’t know…

Why do I write what I do?

Mostly because Ben doesn’t understand my running talk.  I’m sort of joking, but it’s true.  My “real life” friends and family aren’t runners, so they don’t really understand a lot of what I talk about when I talk about running.  They don’t understand my enthusiasm for good socks, or the devastating effects of runger (OK, maybe Ben understands that one, poor guy!), or exactly how much being sidelined with an injury sucks.  But here, I can write about how I’m feeling and what’s going on, and instead of glassy-eyed stares or stupid questions like “Why can’t you just go on the elliptical instead?”, I get commiseration, camaraderie, advice, and support.  I write to share my feelings and build a community with like-minded people.

How does my writing process work?

Other than my regular weekly posts, Manic Monday and Friday Free-For-All, there isn’t really a schedule.  I often get ideas for posts in totally random places–in the car, watching TV, or at the gym.  I try to jot the ideas down where possible, or make a mental note, and then flesh out the posts later, usually on the day I post them.  Yeah, there’s not a whole lot of planning ahead around here.  And then after most of the words have come out, I proof-read and edit the crap out of the post.  I know that some people are more along the feeling of, “Well, it’s more authentic or natural if I just write and post as-is,” but I’m way too Type A for that.  I’m a grammar enthusiast to a fault, and I put a lot of thought into word choice, phrasing, transitions, and punctuation.  I guess that’s what comes from being a theater major and an English minor.  After proof-reading a post several times, I will then do a preview of what the post will look like, and proof-read again.  It’s amazing how different a post can read and look when it’s in your actual blog layout rather than draft format.

So there you have it, an insider’s look at the super secret and effective blogging life of Rae.  And now, I’m supposed to tag someone (multiple someones?) to do a blog process tour of their own.  Since all of my accountabilibuddies have already been tagged, I’m going to nominate my friends Dana and Amy, of Slow and Steady(ish) and Let’s Go Running.

How do you stay organized with your blog posting?

Are you a proof-reader, or do you shoot from the hip and post as-is?

I Sweat Pink

I am so excited to announce that I’m now a Sweat Pink Ambassador!

Sweat-Pink-ambassador-badge-SMALL

This is my first ambassadorship, and I couldn’t have asked for a better community.  I think their mission statement says it all:

We believe that kicking ass is best done in pretty shoes. We’ve learned that real women sweat, and sweat hard. We know that assertiveness, strength, and ambition are the ultimate feminine qualities. We concede that sometimes it takes hours to get ready, but we’re also no strangers to just rolling out of bed and going. We’re convinced that we run faster in pink shoelaces. We believe in pushing ourselves, and we believe in giving ourselves a break, too. We’re all about the rush of endorphins and the thrill of the challenge. We’re all for looking great and feeling even better. We’re committed to finding our best fit, and making it stick. We sweat pink. 

Let me just tell you, I definitely fulfill the “sweat hard” requirement!  I probably sweat more than the average human female.  But in all seriousness, I’m mostly excited to “pay forward” all of the support and inspiration I’ve gotten from this lovely online community I’ve found.  It’s no secret that I struggle a lot with finding balance in my lifestyle, and I owe a lot of my success to the kind words and advice I receive every day from you, my readers and friends.  I hope that I can be inspiring and supportive to many, many other men and women through the Sweat Pink initiative.

Do you #sweatpink?

Very Inspiring Blogger Award and Even More Liebster!

Well, I must be doing something right–I received four, count ’em, FOUR separate nominations for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, and a third Liebster nomination!  Either that, or people just feel really sorry for me…  But I’m pretty sure it’s the former 😉

Inspiring

How it Works:

  • Thank and link back to the blogger(s) that nominated you:  Thanks Susie, Mike, Colby and Tina, and Tantra!
  • List the rules
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other inspiring blogs
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

So, now you get to read some random stuff about me.  And I promise, it’s random.

1.  I belch like a man.  Seriously.  I call it my special talent, and I’ve been doing it since I was a really small girl.  I’ve made car windows rattle.  While I was in SF, I belched at a bar and a guy turned to me and said, “That was you?  I thought it was a 500 lb man!”  So yeah, that’s me!  I sound like a large man.

2.  I am ridiculously punctual.  I’d rather be 15 minutes early than 2 minutes late.  Unfortunately, the rest of the world is not on my wavelength, and I often end up waiting around for other people.

3.  I have 4 tattoos, but I want lots more.  They’re kind of like Pringles–once you pop, you can’t stop!

Photo Jun 08, 11 56 02 AM

4.  I recently discovered that I don’t really like peanut butter.  I know, I know, for a runner this is absolute blasphemy.  I tried for a long time to like it, and ate it because I knew it was good for me, and it was cheap and easy (oh god, I feel a “your mom” joke here), but I just don’t like it.  I’ll eat peanut butter with chocolate, but plain peanut butter kinda makes me gag.  Which is sad.

5.  I was once an accidental arsonist.  Long story short, some friends and I tried to have a “bonfire” in a dry field on a windy day.  Within 60 seconds, half the field was on fire.  We had to call the fire department to put it out.  I ran away from the scene, sobbing, and confessed to my mother.  I was grounded for 2 weeks and learned a very valuable lesson.

6.  My first taste of alcohol outside my parents’ home was Malibu coconut rum.  I was hanging out with a girl who was significantly older because we were in a musical together.  I was 16, and I thought it was gross, but played it totally cool.

7.  My first word other than “mama” or “dada” was “triangle.”  As my mom tells it, I was watching Sesame Street and that was the word of the day.   She brought my bologna to me sliced in triangle shapes, and I proudly said “whygeegoo” while pointing at my plate.  Mom:  “No, honey, that’s bologna.”  Me:  “Whygeegoo, whygeegoo,” while frantically pointing from the bologna to the dancing triangles on the TV.  It apparently took her a while to comprehend that “whygeegoo” meant triangle.  And then she was quite chuffed that her baby had tackled such a difficult word.

My Nominations:

So many of my favorite blogs have already been nominated at least once, if not multiple times, so I’m trying to spread the love around a bit.  I follow a lot of really amazing blogs, so I can’t list them all, but here are a few great ones!

And then, of course, there’s the Liebster.  The lovely Kari at Green Mountain Life nominated me for my third Liebster this year.  Since I’ve already had a couple of go-arounds, I’m not going to send it around again.  But I’d like to thank Kari for the nomination, and I encourage you to go check out her blog!  I’m so excited to have found another VT blogger/runner!

Are you a belcher?

Do you have any tattoos?