Thursday, January 30

Nutrition: Today I am feeling grateful for the acne that comes from eating junk food. I nabbed three Reese's Pieces off a cookie this morning, and I was legitimately feeling thissssssclose to eating the entire cookie. I can't even imagine how much junk I'd inhale regularly if I noticed zero reaction to it. (All Teh Junk Foodz!)

I ordered a bunch of stuff from StrongerFasterHealthier. Went for the fish oil, got distracted by the shiny endurance-based stuff:
It's worth a shot...and basically free shipping with the Whole9 10% discount. I gotta try something different, why not a little science? W9 peeps recommend this brand of fish oil as tip-top, so I am assuming their other products are also high-quality. I have to log 7 more runs over 1.5 hours (including Boston) that absolutely require a smart nutrition strategy...let's hope this is it.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 845p-5a, 95% quality. Woke when hubs came home at 1130a, and woke naturally & dozed about 430a onward. Got up feeling fairly rested, but also would have loved more.

Healthy Movement: Still feeling stiff & sore, mostly from squats, but I doubt yesterday's sprints helped. Where is my recovery?! (Hence, the nutrition purchase.)

Have decided to only do the ROUS group run distance on Saturday; it's still 9.3 miles, plenty "long" in my mind, just not the 2:20 that I had on my original plan. But, given my poor recovery from, oh, everything, this week, it doesn't seem worth it to push myself longer and potentially have yet another shitty run that destroys my confidence for the following week, potentially starting a domino effect like the last few winters.

So, maybe I have to deload every other week like some stupid delicate flower...who cares? I'm not trying to run a PR at Boston, I'm just trying to cross the finish line uninjured. I don't have to be a rock star. I must remember this. And I should stop paying any attention to the freaks like Shawn S who's going to run 100 fucking miles this weekend. I'm not her, and I don't even want to be her...I want to bench her! (So why does it frustrate me that I can't do what she does?!)

Session was about the same as the past few weeks have been: performance is decent, not stellar, but not bad, but my brain & physical feeling is mostly junky. Tired of feeling leaving NSS feeling disappointed - it's nice that my numbers are still good, but I don't lift in order to tell people I'm strong, I lift in order to FEEL strong. And right now, frankly, I feel like shit.

Did a yoga video after work, and my upper back was so effing tight I couldn't lower into Crocodile position without pain. WTF!

Fun & Play: Coffee break with my Buddy. Tomorrow off. Carolla talk in my session. Chatting with Holea.

Stress Management: Turned on tomorrow's out-of-office auto-reply, and realized I haven't taken a full day off since before Thanksgiving: two months. Two incredibly high-stress months (year-end, winter, elimination diet testing, begin Boston training...the only stress I'm missing is the tax firm!) during which I haven't taken a single day off despite a backlog of PTO? Oh, and that day off in November was to deep-clean the house before hosting Thanksgiving. Jeebus, I'm an idiot. So before I left, I booked three more days of PTO, at the end of February & March. Sanity-saving days, I hope.

Feeling bothered by my health results at work. High cholesterol, no surprise. But also a waist girth of 34" that puts me at the bottom of the "over fat" range. I want to punch someone.

Finally, after literally FIVE YEARS obsessing about my size every motherfucking day, I feel mostly accepting of my body; yes I want to be leaner, but I'm aware my body seems to be very happy, since it's always pulling me back to this approximate weight, which means it's healthy, which is what I need most of all, especially right now. And that acceptance has left my BRAIN so much healthier, I can't even tell you.

I mean, unless you've been down the same dark twisted rabbit hole of obsession, to the point that it ruled every aspect of every moment of your life, I seriously CAN'T tell you; and if you've been there, then obviously I don't NEED to tell you.

And yet, now you're telling me that I'm over fat? FUCK YOU.

Wednesday, January 29

Nutrition: Had a larger breakfast in an attempt to avoid snacking today. Still felt snacky at usual times; still downed some coconut butter at 10a...and promptly felt quite sick. Also felt more snacky than usual in the late afternoon. Go away, snackiness! I didn't miss you!

Sleep: 8.5 hours in bed, 9p-530a, 92% quality. Woke a few times but always fell back. Woke naturally. Still a bit slow-moving in the AM, long leisurely breakfast. Grateful for no class this week.

Healthy Movement: Body feeling unrecovered. Stiff & sore quads thanks to yesterday's squats. Calves fatigued when standing at desk yesterday & today; perhaps just not enough regular change in movement? Right shin on stairs: not good. Struggled to find the motivation to go out and run; read my vision file, used the lure of warmth (relatively speaking) & sunshine. Sprinted due to roads in neither bare nor spiked conditions. It was better than straight running for both body & mind, but fuck if I ever need to run in January again. So fucking DONE with winter running and injury anxiety. Wore compression socks rest of the afternoon. Had planned to pull the sled with Holea, but she canceled on me (sore hip). Winter needs to go fuck itself, seriously.

Fun & Play: Mary's powerlifting excitement. Watching TV with the kitties. Otherwise today was rather a drag.

Stress Management: Winter, please die. Had to sit down and do a brain dump today, sensing that the brain is starting to lean out over that abyss of being overwhelmed, defeated, stressed out, hating the world...and I absolutely don't need to fall off that cliff. Just not at the recovery level I need to be, both physically & mentally. High hopes that having Friday off TS will help.

Tuesday, January 28

Nutrition: Felt I could Eat All The Things again today. Thanks, poor sleep.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 845p-5a, 85% quality. More like 70%. I was still awake at 1030p, actually got up twice, once for water, and a second time to shut off the humidifier and take bones away from the chewing dogs out in the living room, both of which I could fucking hear through my ear plugs! Woke at 3a, fell back, dozed from 4a onward. UGH.

Healthy Movement: Feeling near normal. Right ham/glute a bit tight. Did not know what to expect at session, but things went pretty darn well considering Sundays's trashing. Started feeling the left shoulder pinch on the benching when it wasn't perfectly you listen here, body, don't you DARE fuck with my bench, I will cut a bitch! Did a super easy stretchy-only yoga video with Holea, felt good.

Fun & Play: Chatting with Mary about powerlifting. Session. Productive afternoon. Yoga. Took Holea grocery shopping with me and drove her back home, for a little bonus fun. Holea made me another scarf, super gorgeous and I couldn't stop petting it, so soft!

Monday, January 27

Nutrition: I am out of ground pork no more perfect breakfast sausage...sadface! Day two of a normal coffeemaker (not K-cups), and downed the first pot before Hop even got up. Started a second as he headed out to blow out the driveway, and he said, "Just don't make it as strong as yesterday," and I had to tell him that I thought it was WEAK yesterday! Boy's gonna need some cream & sugar if we're going to share the same coffee. And then I gave myself a serious gut ache by downing most of the second pot as well. Why must it be so irresistible?!

Sleep: 8.75 hours in be, 845p-530a, 85% quality. Woke when Hop let out dogs at 1130p (?!), woke at 4a and dozed in/out, just couldn't quite fall back. Aching back when I flipped over, seriously resembled my poor sleep the night of Boston last year, although thankfully without the hip flexor freakout I had going on then. Got really tired again around 11a, and since I was working from home, my lunch hour was a nap hour! 1130a-1p in bed, definitely fell asleep, though not the entire time.

Healthy Movement: Much improved from yesterday. Slept in compression socks. Right foot is still a concern, seems to be the big toe tendon that's inflamed...not a good tendon to be angry, yikes. Mid back still has that tender spot, but improved throughout the day. Worked from home, thus sittting all day. Big time recovery day.

Fun & Play: Staying HOME with my sweet critters. Working on training script, getting super excited to do this again. Says the same girl who is also freaking about that spelling bee she signed up for.

Stress Management: Staying home. Working from home = slow connection. Programs don't work the same. Worried I look like a slacker. Worked on reviews for my direct reports, and was super stressed. I'm no longer anonymous! Not only do I struggle with wording constructive criticism juuuuust right, baby bear, but also can't be over-the-top with praise, lest my TM think they are favorited. Or maybe I'm overthinking this.

Read This: Greatist

Dude does a six-week experiment to achieve six-pack abs.

Achieves himself a six-pack.

Writes about the long-term impact of those six weeks from the distance of one full year.

It ain't pretty.

I suspect this may ring true for anyone who has undertaken a drastic, short-term, unhealthy, diet.

It did for me.

Sunday, January 26

Nutrition: I did not eat enough during my run. I've been a little low on protein lately with only a salad at supper. Today involved a return to rice crackers for their blessed saltiness after feeling crampy muscles everywhere, post-run. And a half jar of Sunbutter by day's incredibly depleted.

Sleep: 9.25 hours in bed, 845p-6a, 74% quality. Yeah, if not worse. At least an hour before I fell asleep, awake 245a-4a, got up at some point for water, carbs, bathroom. Fell back until 5a and dozed. Logged a poor-quality nap 1230-2p as well. Felt very tired again at 5p, but too late for more napping.

Healthy Movement: Upper back a little tight but otherwise very good. Great shape for a long run, really. But the 2-hour (14m) run was brutal. Probably too fast to start, and I seem to have run out of calories because it started feeling pretty crappy an hour in already, and the muscles really shut down about 1.5 hours into it. It was a slog there onward, with plenty of walking. Without Dan, no way I would have done it all...probably would've headed for the car pretty close to the halfway mark. Feel bad that I slowed down his pace, but I tried to get him to leave me! 

Post-run we stood chatted for about five minutes, then I drove maybe a minute to the gas station and was already starting to shiver in my car. Was already stiffening up when I walked inside, and the hot coffee seemed lukewarm. I also nabbed a banana and fruit pouch thing to get some calories in immediately, but probably should have done more. Shivered almost the entire 15-minute drive home despite heated seat, coffee, and fan blasting high heat. At home I couldn't strip down to get into that hot tub fast enough, still shivering due to the cold sweat-soaked clothes. Ate an apple as I sat in the hot tub. Drank some water as I did my write-up, not enough. Any stretched muscle felt like it would cramp. Took a nap rather than eat, was so shot & depleted. I haven't felt that awful post-run since I don't know when, maybe ever. 

Got up feeling closer to normal. Serious long run aches in both hips, serious blood blister on right big toe, some smaller blisters that should go down quickly. Used the rumble roller, gently, on entire backside. Added compression socks, but only at 530p, had spaced them completely; slept in them for good measure. Right ham tightened up late in the day, top of right foot felt crampy at bedtime. Developed a sensitive tiny spot of ache, almost like a bruise, left center of spine. No idea what that is from. 

Feeling as beat up as if I did a full marathon - most (and by the far hardest) road miles I've done since Boston last year - and bummed about the walking after my 10.5-miler had gone so well, but then I realized the giant positive: I'm not injured. Not a wink from the IT band. Shins held up just fine (though right one hurt a bit on trip to/from basement around 3p). All of the various pains are truly just aches, nothing injury-level. WIN WIN WIN!!!

Fun & Play: Some of the run was fun. Hot tub bliss. Pet antics. Husband time. Reading. The birthday party for our goddaughter was canceled due to the awful weather, but I am grateful for it - I wouldn't have been good company! And glad I had no need to venture back out into the blizzard. Napping. Going to bed early. 

Saturday, January 25

Nutrition: I ate two breakfasts today. Life is good!

And so is this...too good. Below the label in first sitting!

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 930p-515a, 80% quality. Wide awake, up for bathroom, water, & carbs, at 1a. Took a while to fall back. Woke just before 5a and tried my damnedest, but couldn't fall back. Got up glad I wasn't running first thing.

Healthy Movement: Left neck/shoulder tight and upset. Trying to reason out if it's linked to ring pull-ups, that it's so frequent lately. Sat all day at meet, logged a quick OH press session when I got home, but cut it short due to the left shoulder tightness, almost a little pinchy, not worth pushing it.

Fun & Play: Breakfast with the running group (everyone else actually DID run, just me slackin'!) at my favorite Northwoods. The powerlifting meet simply could not have been a better time, unless my Joy had been there. I am so effing proud of Mary, I can't stand it. (Also, damn jealous of her strength!) Seeing people struggle with their weight and then complete the lift is SUCH a dose of endorphins, a total high. Even if I have never met the person - I want them to succeed!

I was dying to be spectating once again, and there's no way I'm NOT doing it next year, singlets be damned. would also actually be really fun to work and help out. I'm never going to be the best at something like this, not when there's true naturals out there, so maybe just doing a chicky mini-meet of 1RM testing a couple times a year would be enough for me. (Side note to Joy: Steve's wife Amanda may be interested in joining us too, if we figure out when we'll do it. Said it would be a reason for her to get consistent again...I'll tell Steve to work on her!)

Socialization: Is there anything better than a room full of people cheering for your favorite hobby? There is not. I also loved the bonus time with Mary, being able to keep her buoyed and confident, help her daughter comprehend how awesome she is, etc. And bonus time with Holea? Yes, please, every damn day!

Friday, January 24

Nutrition: Eating a fistful of macadamia nuts, cashews, and banana chips at freaking 3a does not start one off on the right foot, but the rest of the day things moderated.

Sleep: 9.25 hours in bed, 845p-6a, 93% quality. Bullocks. I was wide awake, tossing & turning, from 230-330a. I finally got up to hit the bathroom, water, and eat (see "Nutrition") just to try it. I was not hot/sweaty/gross, but I was getting desperate. Was able to fall back solidly, but the alarm had to wake me. Bleah.

Healthy Movement: Body is feeling good other than neck/shoulder area. Had a lunch run planned today regardless, and warm weather was most welcome, though the soft footing was still tough going in the spikes. Ugh. Right ham vaguely tight afterward.

Fun & Play: Warm weather! Developed a system for team birthdays & anniversaries. Productive. Fun afternoon at NSS: meet excitement!

Thursday, January 23

Nutrition: Felt quite snacky this morning and at supper. Blaming poor sleep. Overate at supper which is sure to lead to MORE poor sleep. Genius.

Ordered a new coffee maker today, sick of fighting with my shitty Keurig. This one both accepts K-cups AND does a full pot, so most days I can just make a normal pot and the hubs will have some, too. (He better learn to like it black as tar.) More treats: pumpkin spiced donut-flavored coconut butter, a 6-pack of Sunbutter (1/3 the cost of my local option!), spicy sweet beef jerky by the makers of my beloved pork jerky, AND microwavable pork rinds without any junk!

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 930p-545a, 85% quality. In late due to supper with friends in Sauk, woke regularly 3a onward. Hop let Hank out at 430a or so, dozed in/out after that. Would have loved another hour, but this was already sleeping in.

Healthy Movement: Neck/shoulder area is a little bit jacked up again. From WHAT? Solid session, though there's a little something going on during dips; left shoulder is pinchy, though it doesn't actually hurt. Probably relates to neck tightness? Yoga session was too easy, but the stretches felt good on the hammies.

Fun & Play: Another new-bed attempt for Hank & Lexi. Session. Yoga w Holea. Chatting with the hubs.

Personal Growth: I ordered the Desire map book, Joy!

Wednesday, January 22

Nutrition: No prob. Restaurant for supper where the single pork chop was totally enough meat even though it was half the size of a proper chop. Am I sick?!

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 9p-5a, 89% quality. Some tossing & turning, and woke at 3a (Hop let Hank out), and woke naturally at 5a. Could've used more, but got up feeling pretty well rested.

Healthy Movement: Slight low back ache, could feel the right shin on jacks/flings in class. Even after not running for the past three days. And I don't remember feeling it on Monday. Could it be aggravated by something in my session? Felt it a little bit on the run, which was slow and trudgy and shortened by the vicious wind, but as I ran I came up with a list of ways to run through a MN winter. At the link. It's quite humorous, if I do say so myself. (And I do!) Afterward I couldn't wear my compression socks, as I was in a dress with bare legs, and the purple would have looked more than a little off. Felt okay, though. Right hamstring tightness returned a bit.

Fun & Play: Great fun class. Interesting meetings. Productive day. Potential friend meetup in Chicago. Supper with Sauk friends. 

Stress Management: Pepe's temporarily fixed but his power steering parts are on back order. And Dad says the deer damage is insurance-worthy. This after my vehicle savings was cleaned out by the pickup. Damn!!

Socialization: Two hours with two of my childhood besties. 

Tuesday, January 21

Nutrition: Now my English muffins are gone, but I'll have to restock in order to keep the experiment going, yes? Yes. Don't argue, kid.

Sleep: 8.75 hours in bed, 915p-6a, 87% quality. Up at 330a to let Hank out, fell back solidly, woke at 5a, dozed until 6a. Easily could have made it to 7a, methinks. Had a leisurely morning, moving nice & slow.

Healthy Movement: Neck/shoulder still tight, rest feeling good. Stellar session performance, 135x5 back squat and monstah 110x5 bench. My GuyDudeBro days are sure paying off! Vague hint of ache in right shin and low left back. 

Fun & Play: Slow-moving morning, from breakfast to getting dressed to watching Clyde eat Hank's food. Lovely session. Super fun afternoon meeting. Wonderful meeting with my HR person. Silly pet antics. Actually spending a half hour hanging with my hubs, talking and helping him make candied almonds. 

Stress Management: Car issues. Power steering hose or something, diagnosed hubs. Great, the vehicle savings is already negative since the pickup purchase. (A pickup the hubs now wishes we hadn't bought. ARGH.)

Monday, January 20

Nutrition: Was planning to keep breakfast free of carbs, but...English muffin, dude. Interesting: I looked back and noticed I often snack twice in the morning, once around 9a/930a, and again around 11a. But usually go from 1p to 6p without getting hungry. Need a bigger breakfast, mayhap?

Also: acne reactions happening, and I have four new foods in my daily life, none of which I want to get rid of! Damn. (GF English muffin, rhubarb jelly, turkey pepperoni chips, artichoke dip.) Testing to commence; will remove the turkey pepperoni "chips" & the dip, because the EM & jelly is rocking my world just a wee bit harder.

Sleep: 7.5 hours in bed, 9p-430a, 83% quality. Last night I told Hank he didn't need to wake me at 445a. So, kindly good listener that he is, he woke me at 430a instead. UGH, jerk! Could have slept for ages longer, but felt fine was I was up & moving. Pretty tired in early afternoon, though.

Healthy Movement: Right wrist is aching; have a slight tweak in neck, but only noticed when changing clothes, not bothersome in normal day; return of the ache in low back, WAS bothersome in normal day. High-rep OHP? (I mean, WHOA, sets of 8, Joy feels me!) Faintly feel tightness in the right shin, probably wouldn't have noticed if I wasn't focusing on it.

Spent a lot of time waffling on whether or not to run. Just plain old didn't want to, feeling oddly tired...and the thick-falling snow made it look even less appealing, nearly defeating - definitely not my usual "Oooh, lookit the challenge!" response. So I skipped out like a chump, and felt a little shitty & disappointed in myself. This is not the way to Boston, yo. (And just yesterday I felt like a rock star. What gives?) But since I was in fact feeling nappy, I went to the Tranquility Room and set my BrainWave app for a half hour...not enough, but it helped. A nice gentle 3p stretching & mobility with my JoyBuddy helped the brain, a nice refreshing dose of movement. Pulled the sled after work, with Holea - felt very good, though a little tougher than last week.

Fun & Play: Great class. Finished a tedious big task at work. My lead did not make a big deal at all about the $100k entry I've been stressing over. Received another large facilitation project because I did so well on my last one.

Stress Management: Work: that large facilitation project is at almost the very worst time, ever. Start preparing NOW and present the second week of the audit. I am happy about the project and it will be fun (much more fulfilling than the software research project) but OOF it made me want to go find snacks to chaw. Happily, I did not.

Everyone who is a runner ran yesterday in the delightful warm sunshine. Should I have ran? Should I have ran today? Should I be pushing myself harder? Am I being lazy? Or am I being cautious? Or am I being TOO cautious?

My primary Boston-training goal is to remain uninjured so that I can start uninjured and cross that GD finish line, even if I'm fucking crawling. But perhaps I'm dashing to that end of the spectrum a little too eagerly and should push myself just a little more...I dunno, I am struggling to decide whether I'm being the lazy old verison of me or a simply a conservative version of the new me.

Sunday, January 19

Nutrition: Know what's better than GF toast? Well, almost anything, but in my world, the next step up is a GF English muffin. SO GOOD, the closest I can get to normal bread textures - when toasted, they taste exactly like a normal EM. Bliss!

Sleep: 10.5 hours in bed, 9p-730a, 87% quality. Was dog tired at about 715p, so I read on the couch until I could justify going to bed. Slept like a rock until 3a, at which time I was dozing. Hank needed out at 5a, so I hit the bathroom while I was up. Could have stayed up, but was also certain I could fall back, and after a too-short and poor night Friday, I figured I NEEDED to go back because I wouldn't have nap time today. So I did, and it was glorious. 

Healthy Movement: Body actually feels pretty great today, doesn't feel like I had a long run yesterday. Tough, at one hour, technically it was only medium. But I feel like today I could run the hour I missed yesterday. But...I think I'll just make tomorrow a little longer, not push the lack of recovery. No gain, big risk. Anyway I was already planning to lift with my Buddy, so I had a GuyDudeBro day at the Y. Felt great and since it was OHP deload, just kinda played around with what was fun. It was a JOYFUL date! Low left back a bit tight and achy rest of day. Some movement simply at dog park but otherwise sitting (working - bleah). Hubs installed my rings so I did some test pulls: delicious.

Fun & Play: Sleeping in. Coffee and reading. Silly Clyde antics. Lifting with my Buddy. Dog park to see the Dane puppies who are now giants. Hanky wasn't himself but it was still fun. And a bit chilly. Rings!

Saturday, January 18

Nutrition: Too much eating, continuing the trend of the past few days. I'm talking 2500 average when normally 1800-2000 with ease, not sure what's going on there. Saw some progress in muscle definition a week or two ago, faded back; is that just my body restoring? Do I need to try to keep it in check? Or will it rebalance naturally? Do I even waste energy on caring? (No.)

Sleep: 7.25 hours in bed, 9p-415a, 80% quality. Not even close. Took a while to fall asleep. Up at 1a for bathroom. Woke at 330a but fell back. Should've let Hank out when I was up at 1a, because, since Hop didn't come home and give him his 11p potty break, poor Mr Hanky needed out at freaking 4a. I was still very much able to sleep (or trying to, at least), so I yelled at him and kept dozing as long as I could, but the boy is persistent.

Healthy Movement: Got up with a tight right hamstring, but the rest of the body felt decent, if a little intimidated by a two-hour run. As I backed out of the garage, I learned we'd gotten a LOT of snow overnight; had I known just how bad the route would be, I would've dashed back inside for my meaty Kahtoolas. I sure could've used them. I ended up running for only one hour. Footing was VERY difficult. First two miles on unplowed roads, usually tire tracks, but pure snow for a decent-enough chunk to suck down the energy level. Plowed roads were still slippery. Pace was MUCH slower than usual, making the tight hamstring upset, even starting to pull on the hip flexors, but primarily it made me fear for the IT band, which 100% hates slow running. By the time I logged the last half-mile on unplowed McKay, I was reduced to nearly a 10:00 pace, and decided to shut myself down. Bummed. Went to work at NSS afterward so I enjoyed the PVC roller and a little bit of stretching. At home in afternoon, a few hours standing to do chores (food prep!) then lazing again. Left low back bugged a tiny bit late in the day. Felt depleted but not too depressed. Used the rumble roller on that hammie, no noticeable change. Wore compression socks all day post-run; again I can't tell if they make a difference - but they can't hurt.

Fun & Play: The roads from home to nearly Alex were unplowed, meaning both stress (since half the time I was on the left side of the road, and shitballs, if I get stuck my hubs is in Westport) but also great fun smashing through snow with my little racecar! Also, grateful for new tires. The run was quite fun at first, four of us slogging it out together. Productive at NSS. Productive at home, lots of food prep. Beautiful end-of-year statement on my 401k, hooray saving! Fun critter-filled day. 

Stress Management: The drive. The shortened run. More hours at NSS than I expected, as I went down the rabbit hole of again revisiting software replacement options, trying to reconcile needs with costs. (Not something I enjoy doing; so many options to investigate and read about and search for reviews on - when I'd rather just be DOING SOMETHING.) Tons to do this weekend, including work for both jobs. Pushed TS to tomorrow and got all my chores done today. Cash flow struggles, will be missing the sweet bonus tax firm check that normally rolls in on February 1. But not the added stress, very happy I accepted the inability to Do It All. But still feel guilty for ditching them. Can't win!

Friday, January 17

Nutrition: Was doing fine until work stress caught up to me. Finished the Sunbutter and probably need to keep it out of my house for a while. 

Sleep: 9 hours in bed, 9p-6a, 97% quality. Erm, not that good. Woke at 1a to let Hanky out, hit the bathroom myself, and was a little restless after that. Some odd dreaming (boats carrying giant explosives shaped as cupcakes: interpret THAT shit, why don't ya!), and in/out until the alarm woke me at 6. Felt like I could have snuggled deeper and logged at least another hour, but decent energy once I was up & moving.

Healthy Movement: Some tightness in right ham (it also almost cramped on yesterday's dips), and upper body is properly sore from a monster dip day, but otherwise pretty decent. If it weren't my new designated rest day, I'd be totally up for OH press. Which means I should feel even better for tomorrow's run, right? Right!

Fun & Play: Discussing my pull-ups with a coworker I've NEVER talked to before (CJ's father-in-law) because someone else was telling them about me (CJ, obvs) - celebrity status! Afternoon at NSS. Pet time. 

Stress Management: Back to thinking I have a $100k error at work, after having set my mind to rest a full two weeks ago, and that it was only $14k. Fuuuuuuck. Want to crawl into a hole and cry and let someone else fucking deal with this. Stupid gray accounting areas, I hate you! Too much to do at NSS, have to go back tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 16

Nutrition: One of those days where I wanted to Eat All The Things. And kind of did.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 915p-515a, 73% quality. Wide awake at 1a (snoring hubs, lost an ear plug) and couldn't fall back, so I got up for bathroom, water, and fell back decently after that. Hanky slept in today, wasn't in & prancing around until quarter AFTER 5 rather than quarter TO 5. Nice!!

Healthy Movement: A little all-over fatigue and creakiness, but no specific pain points. A typical Thursday, really. Session went pretty great, again didn't feel that great, but performance was PR-filled. Most fun of all, though, was watching Mary deadlift an amazing 315# and make it look easy. Too fun! Can't wait to spectate at the meet - just one more week!

Had a curious 1am thought: what if I did mobility work after every run? I feel like that might tell the body: "Yes, you're tired and depleted and dehydrated, but you are not injured. See? All joints have full range of motion. You're fine. Don't freak out in response to what just happened." Along the lines of the Z-Health concepts. Also, I've read lately that the whole point of long runs is less about conditioning your joints & muscles, and more about conditioning your mind that you are not going to hurt yourself, it's okay to keep doing this foolish thing, there's no need to shut down the muscles & stop this nonsense. Each time you go a little longer, you tell the brain it's okay to go that far. (Central Governor Theory.) Worth a shot anyway, right?

Fun & Play: Highy productive day. Excellent meeting with my lead. Fun session. Terri's visit scheduled, one month from now, thus I'll be seeing Baby Subrt in a month, too (unless she's still in hiding). Snuggle time with baby Clyde while catching up on the DVR.

Wednesday, January 15

Nutrition: I scored FIVE Reese's Pieces today. Better not push for more than that. Also, my talented, generous Buddy made vanilla bean almond milk: incredible stuff! Had some in coffee, had some more in tea. Noms.

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 9p-445a, 84% quality. Pretty solid. Woke a few times, like 2a, 3a, 4a. BUT I got up feeling like I had a very solid night. Yeah!

Healthy Movement: Low back is still a little tight, but movement helps. Finding that desk-standing requires more attention be paid, lest I get too much arch in the very area that's a bit annoyed. Very nearly skipped my run because of the many little aches, but decided I had no reasons not to run, only excuses. So I ran, and it was okay (not great, not awful), and I sent much hate outward to asshole drivers, swearing aloud several times (usually "move the fuck OVER") and I stretched really well afterward. I also wore my sexay purple compression socks afterward, just in case they might help, but the right lateral knee pain was kinda sorta there, late in the day. Low left back was a little annoyed all afternoon.

Fun & Play: Great fun class. PTO request in for Boston. RAK day that involved putting quarters into vending machines to delight others.

Registered for some Community Ed classes I've eyed up for several years now: rain barrels, healthy lawns, composting, landscaping w/ native grasses.

Oh, and that community spelling bee that I mentioned a while back? I registered, holy crap, I did. I've been waffling because I'm good, but let's be realistic, I'm probably not the BEST, but maybe the best won't register, right? And regardless, it will be fun, because it's right up my nerd alley. So why not? So, in a moment of confidence, I registered. Now it's time to get back to reading actual books rather than listening. Must see more words!

Stress Management: SO MUCH TO DO. Company announced no raises, worried about team member reactions. Who's gonna be the first on our team to bail? And create mountains of stress and work? (Just wait til after Boston, please, for the love of Pete.) Hit a deer on the way home, felt terrible for her. Car damage is very minor, thankfully.

Tuesday, January 14

Nutrition: Piece o' cake. Enjoying my morning toast quite immensely, makes everything else so much easier to tolerate.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 845p-5a, 86% quality. Wide awake at 1a (to snoring husband) and thought I'd fall right back, but tossed & turned fr a while before hitting bathroom. Took a while to fall back. Woke again at 330a, fell back. Had at least two dreams about New Orleans - what?

Healthy Movement: Got out of bed feeling like an old person, but improved as I moved. However, left shin is still extremely tight. Session was great, but it didn't FEEL like it was that great - it took Dustin pointing out two PRs (reps on bench & squat) for me to realize it went so well. Bench didn't feel smooth and low back felt a little tight on the squats, everything just felt a little bit off - so if I had felt "on" I probably would've had one hell of a day! Low back tightened up over the afternoon, but not concerning. About half of today was spent sitting, much different than normal. But according to Joy...maybe a good thing! Yoga video with Holea was exactly perfect - held poses longer than the last video so more stretching, though still plenty of mobility. Also some moves that looked hard but were surprisingly doable, always a neat discovery: I'm strong! Logged 8 NG pulls before & 8 after in an effort to keep quantity high since I want to eliminate the hang-and-kip nonsense, at least from the bar. Might keep it on the rings (RINGS!) since muscle-ups are likely to require kips (MUSCLE-UPS!) at least at first.

Fun & Play: Session. Tire-sourcing for CJ. Yoga with Holea. Productive meetings.

Stress Management: Tough-ish chat with direct report this morning. She took it well but I feel like I had to throw my lead(s) under the bus because I couldn't suck it up and just tell her what needed to change without deflecting the orders to someone else. Because I want everyone to LIKE MEEEEEEEE. And afterward, felt like she was busy chit-chatting to everyone else about it. Maybe. Or maybe I'm paranoid. Either way it is not my problem, right?

Monday, January 13

Nutrition: No issues. Downed [the last of my flavored] coconut butter before the run, again trying to teach the body to fuel off fat.

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 9p-445a, 85% quality. Woke at 1a and felt awake enough to check the time, happily fell back - pretty solid until 4a, then dozing.

Healthy Movement: Achilles still rather tight, left much worse than right - I look like a robot going down stairs. Right arm is actually aching from playing fetch with the dogs yesterday - seriously?! Otherwise I am feeling pretty fantastic. Or I was, until I tried to run. I felt like my knees wouldn't bend as I went - very stiff-legged and awkward. Pushed to the lake & a short little trek along the paths, then at 20 minutes I stopped and stretched each side for a full minute, then walked back. And stretched them both again in the Well, three minutes per side. Pulled the sled after work with Holea, felt good. At home, spent some time on the Rumble Roller: YOWZA. That thing is not nice.

Fun & Play: Great, fun class. Got to brag about Mary's deadlifts to show the boys they can manage 200 little pounds! Productive day. Fun with Holea. Sweet pooches.

Sunday, January 12

Nutrition: Exactly on par, and easily so.

Food prep: slow cooker spare ribs pork carnitas, roasted parsnips, baked yams, breakfast sausage, salads. I am set for a delicious week!

Sleep: 9 hours in bed, 1045p-745a, 38% quality. 38%!! That is because Mitzi barked me awake at 5a (she was in bathroom [cats wouldn't let her on the bed]), and so I took her to the couch and tried to get her to nap with me. All the other pets were too active for her to settle down. And I had no ear plugs. Felt like I should just get back up, but at some point I must have fallen asleep because my alarm woke me. Of course, at that time, the critters were all calm & sleepy and I probably could have made it another hour. DAMN THEM. Regardless, I got up feeling okay, but napped 1-3p with Oscar, which was wonderful.

Healthy Movement: Got up with incredibly tight calves. But that's it. Even my hips felt fine. Whoa!! I don't even know what to make of that. Right elbow is a little bit achey, as is right wrist. Possibly not liking the yoga? Met up with my Buddy for a fun OH press session, and smoked it with 5 reps on 1+ day. Hot damn! Feeling strong.

Fun & Play: Mitzi & Hanky cuteness. Buddy time. Cat-napping with Oscar. Texting with Holea, planning some fun dates this week. Made candied almonds for the team (they look & smell amazing, but I used TS product with dairy, can't taste-test). Happy & content after a wonderful weekend.

Nature: I played fetch with the dogs for a solid 15 straight minutes today (erm...that's not going to help the elbow ache). It was fucking gorgeous. Even so, perfectly fine not running. Just a mess anyway, right? Still, it was lovely to absorb some sunshine and fresh air and happy dogs. Even the cats went out!

Saturday, January 11

Nutrition: Did the long run fueled by coconut butter. With the next one I will need fluids and salt tabs. I will attempt to avoid food intake. Let's burn the fat, body!

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 845p-445a, 95% quality. Took a while to fall asleep, but was very solid until 3a, in/out (mostly in) until the alarm told me it was time to get up and RUN.

Healthy Movement: Got up with body feeling pretty darn good. First few steps of run, left shin hurt sharply, but it went away by the first telephone pole. My plan was 10.5 miles or 1:30 time, whichever would be greater, and I nailed 10.5 in 1:31! An 8:38 pace is damn impressive for me - I'd be pleased with that on a freaking half hour run! It wasn't easy, many moments of "Can I maintain this?" but each followed by [the gist of] "Shut up and stick with Dan, and yes you will!" And so I did.

Still had mental strength to tack on the extra few blocks (solo) to hit my goal, and felt capable (though not desiring) of more miles - much better than finishing depleted and shot. No post-run nap but I felt great, energy-wise. Usual long run aches & stiffness set in around supper time or so, but no specific pain points. Can't hope for more than that!

As to why it was the polar opposite of last Sunday...I wish I knew.

Fun & Play: A damn good run. Breakfast with Lisa. Amy's baby shower. Supper with Amy & Amanda. Puppysitting the Mitz.

Friday, January 10

Nutrition: Due to lack of food prep last weekend, I had to stop at the grocery store on my way to work. Tasty enough, but an expensive day. Lesson re-learned: food prep is king.

Sleep: 9.25 hours in bed, 830p-545a, 94% quality. That's a little optimistic, as Hop got up at 3a to head to work and I was awake for quite a while there - but never got up. Woke naturally without alarm, as Mr Hanky was still sleeping after having gotten up with Hop. Nice!

Healthy Movement: Body feels decent. Taking a rest day and moving the "usual" OH press to Sunday with my Buddy! Sat 5 hours at NSS, got up feeling rather creaky.

Fun & Play: Superbly productive work morning. Some fun chats, coworkers in a great mood. Saw my pal Amy as she celebrity-toured TS, but no time to chat - no prob, I'll see her tomorrow. Wonderful afternoon at NSS that included 5 of the peeps, plus Steve's little girl, and was super productive again. And: got my rings! Showed Hop where to hang them. Agreed to puppysit The Mitz tomorrow night, super fun! Happy to help my Holea. Eve time with the hubs.

Stress Management: After everyone left NSS, and it was dark, I was on the verge of feeling truly scared due to last week's theft. Nearly wanted to cry, kept my emotions in check by focusing on my work. Felt the same when I left - paranoid, nervous, anxious, vulnerable. Hate. Do the men feel that at all? Completely unfair, this "weaker sex" bullshit!

Thursday, January 9

Nutrition: Time to test something, face has been fairly clear for a week now, so I had toast three times today. TOAST!! Oh, such bliss. However...a cyst developed over the day. From where? Dunno. Gah! No toast tomorrow.

Discovered an amazing treat at supper: microwave your jar of coconut butter for a bit, just to get it softened and easy to grab chunks out. Put chunks into dish with your frozen banana slices (which were to be saved for "ice cream"). A delicious combo!

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 9p-5a, 84% quality. Woke at 2a, and was in/out there onward. Mind raced for a  little while (thinking about the physical crash that began on Friday, and why), but mostly it was restful. Hanky roused me a little too early, but I got up feeling good.

Healthy Movement: Body is feeling appropriate aches & pains. Left neck is still there but much improved. Shins a bit achey but feels like muscles. Quads still bitching about squats. All of this is just fine with me. For my session today, I got to train with a hot blonde today (Holea) as Dustin set up the new equipment - the boys looked like they were setting up their own playground! I returned tonight for a yoga video with Holea, and the new squat rack looks SHARP. Yoga felt good but the lady moved too fast, really wanted to sink into some of those stretches and she seemed more about the mobility. Feel like I've lost all prior yoga-based flexibility, but I definitely feel the increase in strength.

Fun & Play: Team treats. Planning team fun. The FORECAST. Session! Yoga.

Online shopping!

Stress Management: I feel like a brand new person again. These emotional extremes have gotta stop, no?

Been considering my goals for 2014...and what the implications might be of not having any. For me, little miss goal-setter and data-tracker, this would be a huge, ginormous change. No goals? WHAT? I would still track the things that matter, but without a set goal.

If I don't try to burn x calories, will I quit working out? Bitch, please.

If I'm not trying to do 5000 pull-ups, does that mean I'm no longer doing 100 per week? Hardly. I'm still going to go at them obsessively, and also going to keep working on a muscle-up. Why else would I be putting rings in my own garage?

If I don't have a 2014 mileage goal to aim for, will I run any less? Doubtful. Without or without a targeted annual mileage, I will be running based on the training necessary for my events (Boston, Norseman, Train & Stay, etc) and not just to log miles. That last run of 2013 was totally due to the mileage goal, and it was a mental victory fo' sho', but...not physically necessary. And hey, perhaps it was a contributor to my crash this weekend. Without the goal, I probably would have logged an OHP day and planned to go a little longer on New Year's.


Again, this would be pretty damn huge for me. Like, I need time to process the very idea.

Wednesday, January 8

Nutrition: No breakfast, not even coffee: fasting for a blood test. Cruel.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 9p-5a, 90% quality. That's a little optimistic. Hop came home at 11p & I woke up then. Also felt like I was doing a lot of tossing & turning; I know I saw the clock at 3a.

Healthy Movement: Extremely sore from squats; deload week, but they were incredibly deep (and also, 8x4 is a lotta reps). Left side of neck is still tight, not quite back to where it was yesterday morning, but close. Right side is normal. Did class warm-up and the shins were in a better place than on Monday's warm-up. Movement felt good.

Got out for a 4.55m (!) lunch run and tested my theory that the lakes would make for good trails, and they TOTALLY DO. It was like running on trails! But best of all, my shins were fine. Like, nothing at all. Very very relieved, but why the three days of panic & teeth-gnashing, body? Was that really necessary?! Also, the incredibly sore quads did not even speak on the run...another good thing to remember. (They screamed like bitches afterward, though. SO. SORE.) Neck was looser post-run, normal by day's end.

Met Holea (and Mitzy!) for some evening sled pushing, which felt totally great. And as I caught sight of myself in the mirror while pushing, I thought, "Fuck Hop's reaction, I god damn love my arms!"

Fun & Play: Another great class, the boys complained about how much they ached, yet they smoked today's plan - very satisfying to teach today! A productive morning. An amazingly "up" run for what felt like the first time in ages. Productive afternoon.

Stress Management: That run turned my brain 180 degrees.

Read This: Justine Musk

the art of thinking highly of yourself (without being a totally obnoxious narcissist or something)
I have struggled with self-esteem issues since my teens, but it’s clear in my first long-ago diary that I didn’t start out that way. I acquired my low self-esteem. I learned it. I learned to play down the fact that I was smart, to bend over backwards so as not to “intimidate” people, to feel ashamed of the fact that I read so much and had an odd-for-my-age vocabulary (and mispronounced words), to feel ashamed for reasons I couldn’t pinpoint or articulate. What’s more, it was good to have low self-esteem; anything else was to risk a big head, and who would like me then? Confidence did not endear me to my peers. Insecurity did.
Part of the problem had to do with my undiagnosed ADD, or the fact that I was growing up right-brained in a left-brained world. The right brain – holistic, intuitive, creative – has no sense of structure, details, or time. I could do things that other people couldn’t (write novels, ace certain subjects without bothering to attend class, get a black belt) and yet barely function on a day to day level. I was so disorganized and scattered that when a boyfriend once asked me, “Justine, how do you get through daily life?” I had no honest answer.
But I would say another, equally big part has to do with the innate human tendency to rise or sink to the level of expectation the culture holds for you. We like to claim that we’re not influenced by the world around us, but truth is we’re hardwired to adapt to the herd (which is why choosing your herd is so important). As a girlchild in the early-to-mid 1980s, I wasn’t expected to like math. So I stopped liking math. As a young woman, I wasn’t expected to have high self-esteem. As an older woman, I’m not expected to have high self-esteem either, but I’ve learned to say a cheerful, Fuck that.

And also:
If you’re a woman (or man) with high self-esteem, what would you do that you’re maybe not doing now?
I have an answer for that:
You would trust yourself.
You would take good care of your health, for one thing, because you value your body too much to trash it. You would honor your strengths and talents – and also your weaknesses, your limitations. Instead of feeling threatened by your imperfections (and other people who might point them out), you would learn how to work around them and form partnerships with people who complement you. You would feel the fear but do it anyway – because you would know, come hell or high water, that you can handle it. You would go after the goals that are worthy of you. You wouldn’t worry so much about what other people think. You wouldn’t confuse their voices with your north-star inner voice. You would say no. You would say yes. You would bring all of yourself to your work, to your life, because you would recognize that every so-called vice has a virtuous flipside, every shadow contains a glint of gold. You would honor your relationships. You would seek your place in the bigger picture. You would empower others. You would look in the mirror and see the cellulite on your thighs, the sag to your breasts, and recognize that you are still innately fascinating; you don’t have to be “born beautiful”, as Diana Vreeland put it, “to be wildly attractive.”   
Lots more in that post:

About the author:

And a whole bunch of delicious reading, a lot of which is focused on writing (at least at first scan) but a lot of which will speak to your soul:

Tuesday, January 7

Apologies for those of you who saw this before you were supposed published when it should have saved. I have no idea if it went out making any kind of sense!

Nutrition: Not at all hungry at supper time. Instead I finished off my pistachios, cuz I'm real smart like. Tomorrow I have to fast til my blood draw at 8a, not even coffee, so a belly fulla fats is probably best anyway.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 845p-445a, 88% quality. Dozing in/out 4a onward; think Hop let the pooches out at 4a, and Hank wouldn't stop prancing around, back & forth into the bedroom, so I finally got up. Argh.

Healthy Movement: I can still feel soreness from the ab rollouts from Sunday, wow. But that's a good ache. Not: now the left side of my neck/shoulder area is tight as Scrooge McDuck. I nearly cried this morning, wondering what the hell is going on. My body is reacting as if I were stressed beyond belief, but my brain is actually fairly moderated, so what's the deal? Session was good for the body, but see "stress management" & the roller-coaster of emotions.

Fun & Play: Early-morning help to a coworker who took on one of my toughest tasks for budget time, and she did a fabulous job. Holea & Dustin. The return to life as an iPad owner (!!!!) and shopping online for a cover. Clyde in my lap as I watched Superman II and enjoyed some true laziness.

Stress Management: Scheduled myself a day off, finally, using my annual physical as an excuse for an entire day...but it's not until 1/31. I may need to find an afternoon before then, lest the "something" that has to give turns into "me." Why the hell didn't I take ANY time off in December? Oh yeah, my team already thinks I'm a slacker, and I'm a fresh lead who fears the uppers thinking I'm a slacker, and have been raised to feel like taking time off "just because" really does mean I'm a slacker.

Here, please enjoy the roller-coaster of emotions, all experienced within the 60 minutes of my session:
  • gym rings arrived & provided feelings from both ends of the spectrum
    • up at the sight of them, freshly installed & ready to use just in time for my session
    • down because no ring play was allowed with today's tightness
  • up when chatting with Holea about the new scarf she's making me
  • very down when explaining aches & pains to Dustin, nearly crying on the topic of running
  • up with bench press, especially as I was treated to a higher deload than programmed - the boy knows what makes me happy!
  • down between bench sets, recalling Hop's recent comment that my muscles are "getting to be too much"
    • Tangent! C-voice translation: "You are unattractive" but listen here, C:
      • it was when I flexed, for fuck's sake
      • I don't lift in order to look pretty for my husband, or for anyone; I lift because it lifts me
      • the husband is just a foolish boy who doesn't how thoroughly such comments STAB a woman
  • up post-session, when I got my NSS Christmas present & chatted further with Dustin who was determined to get me leaving on a high note - he's good
  • down as I felt unworthy of the gift, upset over the body falling apart for no reason, and beginning to worry about Boston
  • up again as I could drive back to work with the ability to turn just my head, rather than my entire body
It's god damn exhausting being inside my brain.

Socialization: Making more concrete plans for Amy's shower & visit this weekend. Couldn't be happier. But Miss Terri is on day 4 of sickness and may have to cancel. Massive sadness. We'll have to FaceTime her in. Holea. Dustin.

Nature: I haven't spent any time outside since New Year's Day. That's a huge problem for this barefoot hippie. Happily, tomorrow's forecast is back to last week's temps, so I know I can handle it for a half hour. If my shins can. Also saw 11 deer on tonight's drive home. Beautiful.

Monday, January 6

Nutrition: Breakfast felt too big, almost felt gross eating an entire yam. What? Ate Brussels sprouts for the first time in ages - they go perfectly with my breakfast sausage. But then I completely shattered that healthy choice by mowing through a bag of pork rinds for lunch. Oops.

Ugh: filling out the team's "top 3 treats" spreadsheet, I put in green apple & banana, and....came up blank. Yes there are obviously other treats, but the amount of detail required to make sure it's one I can have is just stupid. For example, "jerky" doesn't work - it would have to say "Jack Links Sweet & Hot jerky." (Which would also be over our spending limit.) I finally went with pistachios.

Sleep: 8 hours in bed, 9p-5a, 88% quality. Woke at 2a (cats), awake & tossing/turning until I got up at 245a for bathroom, water, macaroon, and to let Hank out. Was a while before I fell back, then woke naturally at 445a. Wanted to keep sleeping, but class resumed today. Gah.

Healthy Movement: My right neck/shoulder is tight as hell, can't remember if I mentioned that yesterday - started tightening up Saturday night. Abs & lats a bit sore from yesterday's bonus fun, most delicious.

Normal life is fine, but when I jogged during class, my shins hurt as if I really did run my 10 miles yesterday. What the FUCK. I want to cry. Ran errands at lunch - delightful day to do so, in -20F. Gross.

Sat in hot run in eve. Massaged shins and neck/shoulder and enjoyed the cold air/hot water combo. 

Fun & Play: Class was awesomely fun - cranked the AC/DC and the guys did really well for day one back, after about a month off. Immersed in spreadsheets all day, finally solving a giant calculation after about three days of effort. A tea-gram from my Buddy. A direct report more friendly than usual. Silly pets. A peaceful hot tub and early bedtime. 

Sunday, January 5

Nutrition: Justified shortcuts of jerky & pork rinds since I had to work on a Sunday. And also because I can only find pork rinds in Sauk, what up with dat?

Sleep: 10.25 hours in bed, 915p-730a, 98% quality. Solid as hell. Got up with Hank at 445a but went back to bed for more. Yummy.

Healthy Movement: Shins ache despite the rest day. Hit treadmill as planned, but only made it a mile before right shin stopped me. Walked instead, then decided rest was likely the best option. And possibly also sitting more at work? I don't know. I nearly had a breakdown over Boston - already my body is fighting me, and I'm only just starting out. Fuck. Did some core/upper body work (weird not to tally my chins) & iced right shin.

Fun & Play: Sleeping in. Wrapping up dad's year-end books. 

Saturday, January 4

Nutrition: Weird day, managed okay but finished off Sunbutter in eve. Fat addicted again!

Sleep: 7 hours in bed, 930p-430a, 83% quality. Lexi up at 3a with the hubs, dozing in/out 4a onward until I couldn't out-sleep Hank's noise. Got up feeling okay but thankful I wasn't running, as it would have been a slog.

Healthy Movement: Got up planning to work rather than run, but when I discovered I could have run...I was mentally uninterested. Shins are aching enough that I decided to move a treadmill adventure to tomorrow and take a rest day today. I actually considered running figure 8s around NSS for a while, but was thwarted by a different early-morning adventure. Sat most of the day. At one point I bumped my left shin and realized it hurts like a mother with pressure, but right is better. Yet in motion, right is worse. Bah.

Fun & Play: Adventures at NSS. Breakfast with my favorite beast for her birthday. Two pots of coffee and SO much chatting, could have sat there all day. But I had more adventures at NSS to get to! Lots of extra year-end work, which I just love doing, especially when it's for a business so successful and that I am emotionally invested in. Also got to chat with Ms Holea and confirmed we shall start a weekly Prowler Hour date next week to make up for our missed sprints & hills. Hooray!

Friday, January 3

Nutrition: HUNGRY today. And did not bring enough food, ate too many date/pistachio rolls. Super delish though! Overate at supper after a long day.

Sleep: 7.75 hours in bed, 9p-445a, 83% quality. Fairly solid, but woke at 3a, fell back, then dozed 4a onward until dogs got me up. Started getting tired mid-afternoon.

Healthy Movement: Body is feeling significantly better. Inner shins hurt on steps, though (I wouldn't have encountered any yesterday), and glutes are tight. Logged an OH press session that told me to shut down early. Presses went fine, but all pulls felt poor, though I did nearly tip over the squat rack with my swing & pull attempt!

Fun & Play: Extremely productive day. I shall soon have my new iPad in my paws in a week or so. Excitedly planned a badass run for the morning (then learned it might be icy). Kitty snuggling.

Thursday, January 2

Nutrition: Again throwing in some extra carbs via breakfast yam - creaky legs.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 830p-445a, 97% quality. Correct. Woken by Hanky, but was already in dozing mode so I got up feeling nicely rested.

Healthy Movement: Legs be aching. Iced shin & right knee during breakfast. Shin pain is now on the lateral side, a little too close to the IT band issue for my liking, but hopefully two rest days will do the trick. Session wasn't the best on lower body nor pulls, but massive dip success! Legs were much improved by evening. Note to self: just move. It helps.

I re-requested an old tire from my husband this morning. I'm really liking the sound of "5000 tire flips" - sounds pretty BA, no?

Fun & Play: Highly productive work day. Real, honest, excellent convo with my lead. Chatty supper with my hubs. Clyde in my lap. Snuggling with Hanky. Changed my phone's wallpaper from the 15-pull-ups goal to my WW poster:

Wednesday, January 1

Nutrition: Bit high, more carbs than usual, trying to replenish from runs and happy up the body. 

Acne: Continuing to react. Too many restaurant meals with unknown ingredients (including one today). Gah.

Sleep: 8.25 hours in bed, 1030p-645a, 94% quality. Woke to Lexi at 2a, she laid back down when I told her to. Up to let both of them out at 4a, but able to fall back.

Healthy Movement: Body felt good when I got up, a little right shin pain. 3.39m run went well, was pushed faster than comfortable, legs a bit tired from yesterday. Right shin a little worse in eve. Hot tubbed and avoided anxiety.

I still haven't decided what to replace my 5000-count goal with, if anything. True pull-up grip? Squats? Burpees? Push-ups? Minutes of silent, still meditation?

Fun & Play: Lazy morning. Group run followed by much socializing. Lunch with my oldest goddaughter. Fetch with pooches. Listening to a hilarious audiobook.

2013 "Grateful" notes consolidated, which means I revisited the ups & downs of the entire year, from massive tax season/Boston/NCP/promotion stressors; to blissed-out spring & summer running, Hanking, and body happiness; to father-in-law's hospitalization and death; to fall trail outings; to winter ROUSing & benching & pulling.

As I read some of my writings around Boston, I was filled with excitement to return and to accomplish that dream. Needed that. So grateful now that I am NOT returning to the stress of tax season.

Stress Management: I am ending the mentoring thing. I semi-decided this a week ago, and it has been a load off. I don't like quitting, I don't like that my lead will know I've quit, but it's more stress than help. I'm over-thinking and over-analyzing and that's something I need to do LESS of, not more. I do need to think about the future and how I want to be intentional with my time, but NOW is actually a terrible time for that. The next 2 months mean high work stress, the next 3.5 mean high physical stress, and both lead to high mental stress - so let's not add anything unnecessary, eh?

Temperance: So sad at how much time and energy and ME was wasted on body comp goals. I weighed myself this morning, and it seems I am 145 lbs and thus pretty much exactly the same weight I was a year ago. Except healthier, and stronger, and happier. So it's time to stop wasting the time and energy and accept I have found a place of body happiness, and now I simply have to make the brain happy with it...simple, not easy. But necessary.

And...I'm going to stop the daily gratitude notes. Obviously not because I'm ungrateful, but because they started feeling like I was scrounging. And that's defeating the purpose. I have amazing people in my life, and am lucky at all of my jobs, and I love running trails and lifting heavy and eating bacon and drinking coffee. I think that pretty much covers it!

2013 in Gratitude

365 days of thanks!

In short: my amazing people, my peaceful home, trails & sunshine, my running friends, my jobs, lifting, my critters, silliness, and various foods (mostly coffee).

In detail:

For my new house. On my tromp I discovered the back half of our 7 acres is chock full of deer tracks. Love it.

For my friend Joy. It's her birthday tomorrow, and I want her to read this and know that I think she's brilliant, talented, strong, wise, beautiful, kind, and simply amazing. Her friendship has been a wonderful gift for which I am deeply grateful. She has been an unbeatable resource on my food restrictions, turned me into a tea geek, shares my iron addiction, and regularly inspires me to be a better me. I wish for each of you to have such an incredible person in your life.

Despite the amount of complaining I'm likely to do in the next week, I really do love my job. All of my jobs. I would never work as much or as hard as I do for a bunch of jerks. But for genuinely good, also hard-working, smart, grateful people? I'll work my ass off, happily.

For job security, Sabrina. Job security.

For the hot tub that we never would have even THOUGHT of buying, but came with the new house. So far, the Saturday night hot tub parties have freaking ruled.

For my husband. Before the run, he told me I just needed to believe in myself. When I returned from the run quiet and scowling all afternoon, he gave me my space. Smart.

For coconut oil. Added to coffee or tea, it's bomb dig.

For my shorter commute.

For podcasts, and for Dustin who got me hooked on 'em. Larry Miller is back, and the sound of his voice nearly made me cry. Like reuniting with an old friend.

For devoted, hard-working coworkers. Without them, my job would be far more frustrating.

For the ability to work from home at two of my three jobs, which I did this morning.

For a flexible crew at job #3, who doesn't care WHEN I come in, so long as I come in.

For parents who do things like buy end tables and sew curtains because they want to help.

For automatic bill payments. Makes life so much easier.

For good hair days.

For Lisa Timmerman. She's so incredibly sweet and yet also a complete & total smart ass. Just my kind of person! Plus, without her company, what kind of runner would I have become? Having her as my regular lunchtime running buddy is such an amazing gift. Someone with a similar training schedule, who runs at the same pace, that I much luckier could I get?

That I work at job where people can see you've been crying and ask if you're okay. At the time, it SUCKS - because it only makes me want to cry again. But it means I work with kind people, and that is something I very much appreciate.

For NSS. Grateful beyond words.

For fellow runners. Chatting with Brett & Mark kept me from ever getting up in my head on the run this morning. Lovely!

For the easiness of my job(s). Play with spreadsheets AND get paid?! Lucky, lucky girl.

For the incredibly frustrating knee pain that led me to NSS back in '09.

That Paleo eating works for me. Heather is tasked with finding a diet based on alkaline foods...I don't know if there is an easy starting template for that - sounds tough.

For curly hair. The wind made it a little frizzy, so I slapped it into an updo mid-afternoon. Not perfect, but good enough for the last few hours of the day. That's an ability that I'm sure many straight-haired ladies would give a pinky to have!

For honey. Honey is delicious!

That my husband likes his job so much. Fun people there.

For my cousin's 7 adorable kids, who treat my parents like their grandparents - and vice versa. Visited them in the eve and had fun playing "cougar attack" with them, but was just as happy to return home to a quiet house.

For free money. I found a penny on today's run, and that puts me at $0.27 in the past couple of weeks. I'll be a millionaire in no time!

For snuggly kitties.

For my friends. So lucky to have them.

For Juliet. So happy to have become friends with that girl over my years here. Thrilled for her new adventure, but sad it requires leaving us. Glad she's a FB regular!

For real, honest conversations, especially when they're with someone you've only "surfacely" connected with before. Good for the soul.

For quotes and motivational pictures.

Lessons for LIFE.

However, contrary to what I used to believe, there is no need to push so hard that you collapse to the floor when you're done.

Again: more than just fitness.

For my husband. He cleaned the house, AND he made me supper. Whattaguy!

For gas station delis that have actual vegetables. So rare!

For friends who say things like "So, you felt completely different when you got up, right? You automatically felt like a lead who knew everything?" or who notice tiny things like my first official email sent as a lead. They understand it's going to be a process, but they also have full confidence in my abilities. I sure do wish I did.

For Steve & the perspective he brings. Worth every penny.

For Lisa, once again. Bestest friend ever?

That I didn't need any willpower to avoid the massive amount of Girl Scout cookies in our area today (um, that I brought in, of course).

That I keep everything. Unearthed an email from October that saved my butt from the auditor today.

For my family. They're just awesome.

For silly smartass text conversations.

For cute boots, worn because I'm sitting today. Silver lining to the foot pain.

For smart business decisions. I can attend the powerlifting meet, hooray!

I have the most wondertastic friends; I really do.

For blood donations at work. It went so smoothly I didn't even get anxious about it. Cool!

For all of the positive-thinking peeps in my life.

That I can do my own taxes. (Less so that I can do everyone else's taxes.)

For people who bring a semblance of balance into my life, because without them, I'd be an even bigger disaster.

That my trail mix is gone. No more willpower needed.

For Steve.

For my friends. They are incredible, wonderful, amazing women.

For Americanos.

That coffee is so cheap. Nectar of the overworked!

For fun fellow runners.

For a quiet, peaceful house.

For my regular committed class attendees. Fun boys!

For fundraising opportunities at work. We had a Relay for Life breakfast that I worked 630-830 and it was a blast! Totally worth getting up for at 5am.

That I knew Jack. We lost him one year ago today.

For orange kitties. 

Clyde is my favorite.

Don't tell Oscar.
For the running group.

 For my husband. Today he was pretty much perfect.

This stuff is delicious AND Paleo AND Whole30! Better than plain ol' hot sauce on my breakfast scramble. Probably good on anything hot-sauce-able. Maybe even my tilapia?

Snapped a pic of the last few bites.
That I can actually say "I don't need this job," - now if only I could actually ditch the job itself without feeling like an asshole, or missing the people.

For a past where I did kick ass...because surely there is a way to get back there...right?

For my people.

That my husband didn't give the slightest complaint or hint of annoyance when I woke him up to get me out of the snowbank. Seriously the most patient man in the world. How did I get so lucky?

For a peaceful home.

For the knowledge that this crazy weather is nearing its end. Come on, Spring! Bring your green grass and fragrant dirt and chirping birds and warm sun over here. I'm waiting with open arms! 

For flexible hours.

For funny friends.

That I can afford to give little gifties to my besties, and that I managed to do so when one of them was having a Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day involving death of a pet. Sadness.

For signs of Spring, oh so welcome. Except for signs like March blizzards. They need to go to hell along with DST.

For the friends that fitness has given me. 

For a great employer. Great employerS.

For today's sunshine, lest I'd have attempted zero miles at all.

For my insurance agent, with whom I had a genuinely enjoyable conversation this morning. What luck to actually like the people you do business with! And how sad to be so surprised by this.

For my patient husband, and wonderfully helpful strangers who did not hesitate to grab shovels and tow straps and drag my sorry ass outta the snow.

For my many future options. Glad I'm a smarty pants.

For Brett, who made the article happen, and for Dustin, who made it possible.

For my strong Buddy. It was fun to see her deadlift my PR with ease and still be unsatisfied. Beast!

For chilly weather that makes tax season tolerable.

For friends who know just what to say.

For a bright, bright, bright, bright sunshiney day!

For funny pictures like this:

That despite all my whining and complaining and bitching and moaning and woe-is-me-ing, my people still love me. Luckiest. Girl. Ever.

For this instinct: while talking to Monica yesterday about the Train & Stay, and hearing her say she needed just needed to make the commitment and then figure out the training, my gut reaction was to tell her "Okay, so let's make a weekly running date on the trails. Let me help you do this." I did not offer, because I'm learning to avoid over-committing myself, but I like that my brain instantly visualized a regular Saturday morning group trail run, that my automatic instinct still is to help others run. I like that about me. And I want to do something with that someday. But right now I need to work on helping ME run. 

For the ease of eating healthy. I don't know where it went or why it's returned, but it makes my life so. much. easier. Actually, I do know why it's returned: I've had a massive perspective shift where I no longer feel deprived because I can't eat what everyone else eats, no longer seeking food for comfort - I'm mainly just treating food as fuel again. But I can't explain what finally pushed me back to this happy place. If I knew, maybe I could stop sinking to the cray cray place.

For Tastefully Simple's Kids in the Community group. I would never be this close to Emma without it. Next week is the kick-off event for 2013, and when her mom confirmed she'll make it, she included this:

Also.....she has to interview an athlete for a badge [for Girl Scouts]...just a quick interview, could probably get it done on the car ride there or something. You are the perfect athlete!! My mom gave us the article from the paper and my oh my woman you look BEAUTIFUL!! :)
You know this made my day. Especially when I did not initially follow the athlete line of thinking to be referring to me

For fun data, like this, from today's run:

For such incredible work ethic everywhere I work. Work Easter at the tax firm because I prefer to run on Saturday? No problem, there's three others coming in, too. And on Saturday afternoon I even got replies back from NSS peeps hanging at home but watching their email because they knew I'd be in then. I just love that everyone else I work with/for has such a high level of commitment. I don't think I could work for someone who was cool with just skating by at a half-assed level of effort.

For abundant sunshine. And even for the wind, which will help to eliminate the snow. Be gone!

For my awesome god-daughter. Dig this message from her mom:
Just had to share....Emma brought the article from Echo Press to school today for her sharing. She wanted everyone to know about you going to Boston!! She is so proud! :)
For sunshine. I feel like a flower soaking it up!

For the smart, capable, fun, chipper coworker I spent the afternoon training, who pulled me out of my funk. Also for the doe in my backyard. Beautiful.

Today I set up my appointment to select the outfits I'll model at the LAPW Style Show. When asked about sizing, I told her "Varies from small-to-medium, depending, as I have an athletic build." And then I grinned in realization that Yes, I do!

For this Boston forecast on April 15:
-Partly cloudy
-High of 59F
-Winds SSE 12 mph
-AKA: damn near perfect. 

For a talented husband. Tonight's chops were bomb dig.

For this, from my NSS peeps:

It literally could not be a more perfect representation of me, could it?

For the boys at NSS, who swapped around duties for this Tuesday/next Tuesday at my request. Or possibly other reasons, but I'm telling myself it was all for me. I feel special. And that's why I love them! And for a perfect Boston forecast:

Please please please don't change!!
For the ability to give treats to my favorite peeps regularly; today included Dustin and the entire tax firm. And, by proxy, my mom, who was recruited to deliver the tax firm treat and thus got to glow in the fun of surprise-treat-delivery warm fuzzies.

Getting all emotional about Boston already. Such a sap! My people are just so wonderful. Lisa in particular sent me a lovely email that made me tear right up. Brett stopped by on his way out to wish me luck. Lots of good FB comments. Dustin took the moderation route, didn't get too deep into thinking about it, just focused on me already being in a good mental place to enjoy the experience. And he told me to remember that, as I take my walk break and watch "everyone else" run past me, 99% of the runners in this country will never even get to take a walk break in the Boston Marathon. If only he could perch on my shoulder and dole out such gems when I am most in need!

For NSS. Spent much of the day there and loved every minute. (Holea even brought me her puppy to squeal over. Must. Get. Dog. Or dogs.)

For coffee, sweet coffee.

For my family. No matter what happens tomorrow, they already think I really am Wonder Woman.

That everyone I know is safe. That there weren't more injuries. That it brought out kindness and generosity in so many people. 

For the technology that allows us all to connect and share our status. Without my phone yesterday I would have been so confused and lost and wouldn't have had a clue what was going on or where I should go, and I would have been scared out of my mind. If my family had not been able to contact me, they would have been terrified. If I had been trying to run a fast race, I wouldn't have had my phone on me at all. The hundreds of Facebook posts made me feel very loved. The map on my phone helped me navigate back to my family. Magical elves of the interwebz, I love you!

Oh, and beyond grateful for this. Paid for with blood, sweat, tears, pieces of my very soul:

For the kindness of strangers. Boston airport worker asked me if I got to finish, congratulated me, and asked me to please come back next year. I assured him I would. A lie, but exactly the lie he needed to hear. I can be a kind stranger, too!

For all of the wonderful people in my world. They're incredible.

That I had planned to work from home today, otherwise this snow might actually upset me. As it is, I was only bothered enough to clean it off the bird feeder for my wee feathered visitors.

For small towns. Our Northwoods waitress gave me free breakfast AND a hug today when I told her why Joy had given me flowers, plus the next table clapped!! Where else ya gonna find that kind of love?!

For the technology that shall keep me in touch with my beloved Amy. She's even admitted she'll be forced to get on FB, finally! But I am still going to miss her tons. So smart. Love to tromp around in the woods with her. So very helpful with work-related conversations. One of the few people with whom I share nearly identical religious & political views. Superb workout buddy - the primary group fitness instructor responsible for my fitness addiction, in fact. Beyond hilarious. Just god damned FUN to be with. VERY sad for me, VERY happy for her.

For my dental office. Going there is like catching up with an aunt and uncle. I'm so lucky.

That podcasts are free & plentiful.

For TS. So many lovely people.

That there is an end to this snow. There is. Really!

For my parents, who brought over a kennel and a dog house and even a basket of toys!

For god-parenting. Whatever the origins of this tradition, it has given me such pleasure in letting me act like a fun aunt. I love it!

For Terri's newly-married friends, the reason she came home this weekend. It was so wonderful to see her!

For Hop's job. Pumping has begun and I shall soon be complaining about it, but we sure couldn't afford this house if he was still at his old job, no matter how many jobs I have!

For the technology & a job that lets me work from home in the middle of the day, just so I could get Hank outside before heading off to the LAPW event.

For the podcasts that block out Hank's whining and barking when the cats come back inside and he is left to entertain himself.

That my little cutie pie came home. Not as grateful that he LEFT, but hard to blame him. Garage is boring!

For Hop's job. Yeah, the hours completely blow right now, but I'm reminding myself those big overtime-filled checks are the reason we don't have to worry just too much about finances, and were able to spend (gulp) nearly $500 on the dog in just one week.

For my strength, else Hank would have gotten free when he saw the deer, and he'd have been long gone.

For parents. So incredibly helpful

For the subsidized coffee at work. A phenom benefit!

For underground fence magic. I left Hank access to both garage & outside overnight, and he stayed around. Yay! Now, how do I get him to stay home/loose during the day when I leave? He did stay far behind while I fetched the trash can in the eve, so we're making great progress.

For silly fun friends.

For the Alexandria dog park! Hank got to run and play with two awesome Great Danes (one a puppy, cutest evah) and a ball-obsessed pit bull named Vincent. (SUCH a great name!) He tried to play with Mitzi but was far too rough, she was hiding behind Holea. Best, though, was when the GD puppy tried to play with Mitzi, when his paws are the size of her tiny head. Squee! When we left, Hank was thoroughly worn out, and his neck grossly crusted with slobber from the adult GD. Perfect!

For Holea. Today's intervals may become a regular Friday date, and how fun does that sound?!

For you.

For adoring, snuggly, purring kitties.

For heat and sunshine. Oh, what a lovely time is May!

For my giant stash of PTO.

That Hop and I feel the same about living in the country. Love, love, love my house. Totally worth the sacrifice of paying for it. As I walked through the LCSP campground, I thought how pleasant it was, what a nice camping spot, unless it was full. But really, even if it's own backyard is still a million times better. Happy.

That I'm even thinking about this. Hooray for the BAA's generosity, and a GIANTER hooray for a body that has not yet told me to quit running forever!

For the possible end of pumping season; even if this only turns out to be a brief respite, Hop is to be home all weekend!!!

For the dog park. It does Hank a world of good.

That Oscar finally landed his claws on Hank's snout. Probably the only way he will learn that cats aren't fun at all.

For sugar snap peas. Nature's candy!

That Dustin gave me this description yesterday: "Three-time Boston qualifier!" I laughed so hard. It really needs an asterisk, but hey, it's still true!

For sunshine. Basked in it a little bit in the eve, finally.

That I have a Chief who thinks like this:

The sign of a really excellent routine is one which places great demands on the athlete, yet produces progressive long-term improvement without soreness, injury, or the athlete ever feeling thoroughly depleted. Any fool can create a program that is so demanding that it would virtually kill the toughest Marine...but not any fool can create a tough program that produces progress without unnecessary pain. 
-Dr. Mel C. Siff
Because, left to my own devices, I am simply a complete fool. I suspect today's fatigue & poor recovery is not just poor sleep but also because I don't think my body likes my class all that much. Or at least, not without more calories. But my brain loves my class! How to win that battle?
For heated seats on chilly days.

For time in the woods. It was really, truly wonderful!

For Oscar the alpha cat who's whipping Hank into shape.

For trails in the woods, and wondertastic people with whom to share them.

For the deer in my yard this morning. I love my peaceful neighborhood!

For my strong, fast-healing back.

For the dog park. Such fun watching Hank and Mogley wrestle like a pair of little boys!

For ham! Although I wanted to fire him just a little bit (for making this on Friday fast day) my husband is pretty bomb:


 For naps.

For fellow trail lovers.

For Hank. I got home late and only saw him for a few minutes, but he was an utterly perfect pooch!

That my back is nearly normal again. Hoping I get to do deadlifts on deadlift day!

For groups like this:

Such fun!
For my people.

For the people donating to my Relay for Life fundraising efforts. $200 yesterday!!

For really delicious healthy foods such as roasted cauliflower. SO GOOD.

For the SJU Arboretum.

For sunshine. What a beautiful day!

For dishwashers. Something we all take for granted, but would create nonstop bitching if taken away.

Still going to keep doing this. Glad for the analytical brain trying to find the balance in my life. Although sometimes I am creating mounds of stress for myself by analyzing to death, at some point this drive of mine will enable me to get this shit straight!

For my employer.

For my beastly lats. On my first set of 7, when I walked away all disgusted that I couldn't hit 9 again, I had to laugh at how very far I've come. Upset with 7 beautifully smooth, strong, solid, kip-less pull-ups? Silly girl!

For family who can lend 4-wheelers and trailers so we can tackle projects like this:

Just 1/3 of the tree line done...oof.

For my "mental reset" day:

For those days that you can open up all the windows and enjoy the cool breeze drifting through your lovely.

For my hunter husband. This morning he managed to shoot the stupid bird that has been sneaking into our garage. Birds are fine, yo, except it would start flying around at dawn, which would make Hank bark like a freaking madman, until we opened the doors for the bird to be chased out. Some days dawn is a fine alarm time for me. Most days, it made me completely regret getting a dog. No mas! Frustrating birdie is dead to the world! Sorry, dude. Better luck next time.

For today's perspective dose from Lisa. She had told me she uses Mackenzie as a cut-off point, where her running before and since then is two separate sets of PRs. I decided today that I'll do the same. Since I'm not using Mackenzie, obviously, I had to think of another date where things really changed/fell apart. I'm going to use April 15, 2012. That would be the Boston Marathon I had to sit out due to injury, after which I had to start over from scratch and fight more injury issues. So, everything AFTER that point is my new set of comparison points for all things physical. I like that perspective. It's gentle. Understanding. Forgiving.

For playful doggies.

For such a patient husband, and his generous boss who told him to bring the generator right back home in anticipation of tonight's storm.

For awesome racing. Dirty and loud and late, but awesome!

Given how ungodly tired I was today, I was grateful to be on the Whole30 program; otherwise, I would have been overeating Larabars and fake bread and the like.

For crunchy apples.

For - go check out her latest:

I'm Awesome and So Are You

 That I am awesome, and so are you.

For my current wise perspective on body image and health, which I hope helped a dear friend with hers. Remember, folks, no one else really cares what you look like. Your loved ones love YOU and want you to be healthy. Period. Your body comp has zero relation to your worth. You're amazing just the way you are.

For the trust placed in me at job #2. No problem letting me work there solo while they fill their brains two states away.

That I own one of these...
...with a view like this.
For the obsessive tracking that provides feedback like this:

This month's mileage is 161% of last year's June. That should be a huge step toward injury avoidance - pun intended!!
For obligation-free evenings. Tonight's yard wandering was good for the tired body and soul.

For my parents, who gave us their old lawn mower. Unfortunately it already needs a bunch of parts replaced, but still: very generous.

For my sleepy sweet doggy, and forgiving kitties.

Happily found that Hop was in agreement to be anti-social today, no need to deal with anyone. Exactly what I needed.

For weekends. Finally.

For a mini-reunion with my old racing buddy Amy A.

For today's Whole30 Daily about body image. It led me to this post from Melicious. Given my year of "no races" and "rediscover my love of running" goals, it spoke directly to me:

My underlying motivation for all of it – the weight loss, the physical challenges, the healthy eating – has always been that I wanted to be the best version of myself that I could possibly be. Happy, healthy, fit, strong, attractive. But that pure motivation got bastardized into numbers and external measures that divorced what I wanted from what I did.
So what if I try something different? For the first time in almost 30 years, what if I don’t set a physical goal – no weight loss, no leaning out, no target time on the clock or weight on the bar.
Instead, what if I just behave like the best version of myself? Then I will be her.
The best me eats clean and sleeps well and trains hard and smiles a lot. She’s free of worrying about what number might appear on a scale or a measuring tape. Instead of being intimidated or threatened by stronger, faster, leaner classmates at the gym, she delights in their capabilities. And she remembers to encourage the people around her to be their best versions.
Finally, the best version of me knows that she doesn’t have to eat clean or meditate or practice yoga or lift heavy or get solid sleep. There is no accounting ledger keeping track of exemplary behavior for a reward later. There is no intrinsic value in checking off tasks on a list to earn a metaphorical gold star.
The clean eating and training meditation and lifting and sleeping are the reward. They are the thing.
So I’ve banished my “concrete” fitness goals. I know that “Be the best version of me” doesn’t follow the SMART goal format. I don’t care.
I’ve done it the conventional way. Now I’m doing it my way.
Because the best version of me refuses to be measured by some external yardstick.
Nice, right? It got me thinking...
What if I act like I'm satisfied with my body comp? What if I act as if I am already strong as fuck? What if I act as though I can train for a marathon any time I decide? What if I act like I'm delighted for everyone else's achievements, with no comparing to my own? What if I act like I have nothing to complain about?
What if I act like the person I want to be?
How long will it take to actually become that person?
For the Relay event. Super time-consuming this week, but worth it.

That my dad can buff out the scratches from Hank's climb into my unattended car. Naughty dog!

But doesn't he look happy as a clam?
For Holea. Holea B awesome!

For the promotion/raise that allowed me to keep Ploughshare. We got peas today! Nature's candy, baby!!

For the Relay committee. So much work done all year, all day, all night.

For naps.

For a happy body.

For my new desk. Lack of privacy means better productivity. Time to Get Shit Done!

For the bestest pet store possible; Lea's sponsors Bark in the Park night at every Tuesday home game.

For pork jerky. I will shed pathetic crocodile tears if it has to be eliminated.

That I was able to take Emmers to that concert. Hell of an expensive birthday gift, but an experience that she will remember forEVER. And so will I!

This is when 1D finally came out. She was crying, she was so overwhelmed!
That I have this awesome new house in which to host girls' weekend. I am spending the weekend cleaning (well, not so much today), possibly my least favorite activity, but it's for the bestest reason ever: my friends!!

For fast races. They ended so early that I even got gas & groceries before heading home!

For almost an entire weekend of open windows. Cool summer days are so very welcome.

For my bosses. They all be awesome.

That almost all of my friends are going to make it to the weekend shindig. I was getting worried that my Buddy might not come and it turns out she totally is and is bringing super tasty W30 treats and now I want to fast-forward right to Friday at 3p. ZOMG SO EXCITED.

For a smart workout buddy, who I only have courtesy of NSS, thus my gratitude extends there, as always.

For my second job. I am actually excited to go work there tomorrow!

For the house and land that allowed me to host all my best beasties.

For my weekend.
Is there anything more mesmerizing?
For my home.

For all the people that donated to my Relay fundraising. I raised a total of $1674, when my goal was only $1000. I have such amazingly generous peeps in my life!

For understanding friends.

For the newly-installed doggy door. Hanky is going to be even happier, if that's even possible!

For the little people in my life, like Baby Bear Alana, who was deadlifting at NSS when I did my pull-ups. Such a beautiful wee reflection of her strong-ass Mama Bear Joy...and with many extra years of intelligent strength-training to her advantage, where might this child take her beastly talents? I am truly excited to watch and find out!!

That four dollars could buy 23 books! (Well, plus a $5 donation to support this book sale returning!)

I thought money couldn't buy happiness?
For state parks.

The peace & quiet of this morning's trails made me so very happy.
For my new goddaughter! Currently six months of smiley, bright-eyed adorableness, and soon to be great fun to spoil; playing the role of Fun Aunt is the best.

For little miss Holea. She's great fun to chat with, keeps me logging these bonus runs, and her squats impress the shit out of me. Last night I watched her logging 175x5x5 - meanwhile my 1RM is 165. And she did those after our sprints. Hey Zeus Christo!

For a learning pooch. He had more in-house training tonight, and he didn't bark once!

For the annual chance to spend my afternoon outside at Lake B, getting paid to stroll the grounds and agree with our consultants that it is a peaceful, beautiful, under-utilized locale.

For Chief, the wise reality-bringer.

That my first job allows me the flexible hours to have a second job that I love so much.

I can't believe I'm not saying this every single day: I'm so very, very grateful that I'm not injured. I'm having such fun doing all these workouts, especially being able to log bonus runs with Holea. Or things like class - I am planning to do Spartacus next week with Travis, knowing he will absolutely bust ass to avoid falling behind me. Meanwhile I'm also strong enough to land a trapbar PR & keep pull-ups progressing, and what's more fun than Moar Pullz?! I'm easily logging 8-9 hours of workouts per week, and not just uninjured, but actually feeling great. And damn it all, I'm just plain happy, and I'm sure everyone else is grateful for that! 

For the many healthy meals these tasty chickens will make.

That this can be considered a light week:

For short weeks. I just gotta make it through 3.5 days, then I have a 3.5-day weekend! I'll mainly be running & lifting & dog-parking; I couldn't be happier!

For the Well that led me, baby step by baby step, from 10-minute toning, to beginner yoga, to Amy’s class, to walk-to-run coaching, to Dustin, to where I am today. Bitches!

For quiet nights with my snuggly kitty. 

That this godparenting gig survived the divorce.

That I had free time to stay at NSS and play with the Mitz. Tiny dogs are delightful!

For old books that smell like old libraries.
Copyright 1959. Bliss!
For my family. They rule.

For the gift of a third chance. For the understanding of my people as I sacrifice so much to prove myself worthy of that gift.

For the KITC activities.

That the cold is barely slowing me down.

For cancer treatment advances. Some cancer?

For paleo junk food.

For baby animals. I love my kittehs, but there is nothing cuter than a teensy fluffy unsteady wee kitten!

For my poorly-constructed-but-effective greenhouse, and the incredibly sweet cherry tomatoes it's helping to produce. 
Better than candy, for realsies.
That this is a slow week at work. Able to ditch early to nap, yes, but most importantly I am able to ditch Wednesday and Thursday afternoon to join Hop in taking his dad to radiation treatment.

For my opportunities.

That my FIL is coherent and "all there," just tired. Easier on everyone else.

For my stress-free session. A peaceful oasis of beastliness.

For the pain meds that have him feeling okay. Let's not add any more suffering, shall we?

For good days.

That my papa celebrated his 56th birthday today. Give him at least 40 more, eh?

For the holiday weekend that allowed us all to spend a lot of time together.

For good employers. Both Hop & I are lucky to have no issues taking the time off.

For the coworker (from a completely different team) who tried to share homemade peppermint patties with me this morning. They had cream, so I couldn't have one, but it was so damn sweet of her to offer them to me!

For my Marthaler curls. This is what my hair does without any effort:

That my body is giving me extensive sleep during this time.

For the ROUS group.

For cool weather. When I let Lexi out this morning, I almost jumped with glee at the blast of cold air. Love it!

For my awesome friends.

This was payment from Monica K for shoe rental. She helped herself to a pair from my (open) locker, when I wasn't using them...I didn't even have to do anything. This is a KILLER business plan!!
For mom's fractured elbow not needing a full cast. Should make her life a little easier.

For Hop's employer. He is down to just two days of vacation, but they told him not to worry about it, take however much time he needs, they will work it out. That's incredibly generous. So very, very grateful.

For the nurses. They are wonderful.

For the hospital visits.

For the many kind thoughts from family and friends and even "who is that?" folks on FB. It's not all memes and selfies! And for those who have directly called or texted Hop especially. I know he's appreciating those people quite deeply today.

For wonderful friends. They certainly do outnumber the crappy ones.

For all of my kind coworker friends, especially my NSS peeps, who gave me a sympathy card today that made me both tear up AND laugh at how very well they know me. Best.

For my mom, who knows just what kind of help to give at this time. Hope I inherited that.

For my husband's reaction to all of this. He is being a pretty amazing son to his mom, and I'm very proud of him.

For my people.

For the amazing generosity of Dan's friends and family. A lot of wonderful donations that will cover everything we spent and then some. Mary may even put some toward my RFL goal!

For a fun local opportunity to volunteer at a race, since I'm always on the other side.

That I am upset with a 10:00 pace on a tough trail run. If that's my biggest problem, I'll take it, and gladly.

For NSS. Just walking in there to meet Holea, I was brighter. What will I do when snow covers the park grass, and my fair-weather friend says no to that nonsense?

For clearing skin.

For the beauty of a deer in the woods. Still utterly delights me every single time.

For my friends. Lisa & Amy gave me a sweet gift yesterday: NSS gift certificate! Love those girls, and beyond excited to run with one & shop with the other this weekend!

That I can use my numbers brain to help some of my favorite people.

For great deals. I found jeans & a wool winter coat & a cute dress & a buncha workout clothes. A very successful outing.

For cookies I can eat. They actually aren't all that great, but sometimes a girl just wants some (a lot of) damned cookies, you know?

For cookies that taste like real cookies! They have buckwheat flour, but it's way at the bottom of the list (sugar is #1, obvs), so my fingers are crossed.

For a productive weekend before two getaway weekends. Deeply appreciating the return to my normal life after the difficult, painful season of Dan's passing.

For the ability (time & finances) to tell Holea I can go to her powerlifting meet. I truly wanna see a "big" one, I wanna see her kick ass, and since she said that none of her peeps are going, I'm extra super pumped that I can go be her cheerleader!

For lifting. Who knew I would turn out to be a meathead who loves to bench press?

For lovely fall days. Need to soak them in and savor them!

For 8 years at TS. What a drastically different person I am since coming here! 8 years ago, I barely worked out. I had never touched a barbell, thought running a 5k was insane, and couldn't imagine myself capable of a pull-up. I was unmarried, though I had been with Hop for 4 years. We had just moved to West Union, from apartment life in Sauk. I was a super basic Excel user who did not know 1/10th of what I know now. I did not have any pets, though I desperately wanted them. I got blitzkrieged pretty much every weekend at Sidewalks. I hated my body. I was painfully shy. I wouldn't have imagined myself in leadership. I had recently relieved myself of long hair problems by getting a chop. I had no food allergies. I had no friends at TS yet, some of whom are now my besties? TS has been very, very good to me.

For this vacation. It's bomb dig, yo.

That the iPad isn't too vital. I can probably live without it. Sadly.

For finishing this weekend on a high note.

For my lead's close control of things. This is not a project I wanted to be tossed into without any direction.

For the upcoming weekend. I get to hang out with Amy in the woods, I get to help a phenomenal running supahstah have a good race, and I get to be inspired as shit. YES!

For my bosses. It's Boss's Day, and it's a good time to think about the fact that I have NEVER had a crappy boss - couple "okay" ones, but mostly I've had downright AWESOME ones. I'm a lucky girl. (And I am trying to not be sad about the team potluck day that included a "Happy Boss's Day" sign to the team's 4 leads, and that's it. But clearly not doing too well at it, if I'm mentioning it here. Or perhaps I'm fearing that zero acknowledgement on my first Boss's Day is an indication that I suck at being one.) 

For Lisa. Today is her 8-year anniversary, and I can't fathom enjoying TS half as much without her!

That I'm not running tomorrow. Instead, I can help a phenom runner log a phenom race. And get practice crewing him for when he does something truly outrageous like Western States! And this way it's all fun, no stress. (Until tomorrow when I'm jonesing to join them all!)

That I could help three of my favorite runners today while hanging out with one of my favorite peeps.

For my home. Always so happy to return, even if the "away" was fantastic.

For tomorrow's seminar. Getting me out of TS before the 1.5 weeks of nutso-ness, and giving me a reason to run some trails in St Cloud on a day I'd otherwise just rest.

For new trails.

For my lead, again. During my presentation, she was smiling and nodding and just this beautiful beaming source of confidence. Huge.

For my hard-working husband.

For DVRs that save my good shows so I can binge-watch.

For the ROUS group.

For no running injuries.

For dips. They make me feel supah strong!

For the opportunity to present the GGOB trainings. It's actually turning out to be quite fun! 

For Lisa. I probably would have sissed out of the run if not for a buddy to keep me accountable.

For these miles:

For pull-ups. Nothing makes me feel stronger.

For my family.

That my laziness didn't impact anyone else.

For Miss Lexi. She is such a sweet li'l pooch.

For inter-office treats, like today's Coconut Macaroon Uberbar - thank you, Ms Joy!!

That all of this doctoring is covered through my HSA, so I don't have to be anxious about the cost; yet another reason to be thankful I'm such an obsessive saver. 

That I may have finally figured out the truth of this picture:

For my second job. Really.

That my peeps could gather for a fun outing.

That pumping season is almost over. My hubs is TAHRD. And I miss him.

For the mentoring program at work. Forces me to reflect, and get positive in that reflection, and I need that. And it's awesome to listen to him and realize how much of what he's telling me, I've already heard from Chief...such a wise young owl.

That my neighborhood doe & two fawns are still alive. They walked through the back of our land this morning, and it made me so very happy to see those sweet round ears. I know that hunting is necessary, but dang it, I just love seeing those beautiful, peaceful creatures so close.

That the hubs came home at 7p. Not quite daylight, but for once he wasn't just a shadowy shoulder that showed up in my bed overnight!

For my dad's break-in skills. Locked my keys in my car for the Nth time, was in Sauk, and he showed up in like 10 minutes and got me opened up in about 35 seconds. Sah-weet! And I was able to repay him with oatmeal raisin cookies (his fave) from today's fundraiser at work.

For some spare time at NSS to work on some neat-o reporting.

For ROUS. The running group is playing a key part in re-solidifying my love of running. It's amazing.

For this view:

For smart coworkers.

For the team member who figured out the training; he thought outside the box and came up with a fantastic solution.

For the end of pumping season. FINALLY.

For my silly bouncy puppy dog.

For the ROUS group that will get my butt out the door into the freeeezing cold tomorrow morning.

For my family.

For getting older. Beats the alternative!

For books.

For team outings.

For Mom's help. House hasn't been this clean since we moved in! Still, I get zero satisfaction from cleaning, can think of a hundred million things I'd rather do. Like pay someone else to clean.

For the house that allowed us to host. It was super fun!

For a short holiday season. That WON'T be followed by tax season. Not even sure I can fully comprehend that yet. 

That I felt terrible in the second half of the day, not the first. 

For no plans to miss out on by being sick.

For a husband who blows snow without complaint. 

For the bench press. I love that fucking lift.

I guess I'm grateful for a theory. I just wish it was one I liked  better.

For dogs who curl up on tiny towels despite rugs and pillows everywhere:

Silly Hank!
For those who believe in me.

For sunshine.

And empty buildings!
For technology.

That Joy introduced me to this jerky. Everything about this package says SABRINA, EAT ME:

Eat excellent. Be excellent. PORK. High in Protein. Gluten free. There's even a runner in the top right corner!

For the treadmill that is still working, despite massive neglect and having been purchased (used) about 10 years ago - still going! 

For the gear that lets me triumph over Ma Nature.

For helpful friends. 

For the Doolittle's Cobb salad. So good that I don't feel at all deprived. 

For dog-loving friends.

For my quiet home.

For a source of non-addictive calorie-dense fat: Sunbutter with no sugar added. Yummy in one spoonful, but not sweet enough to make me want more than that. Moderation, what? 

That I can afford better gifts this year, after scratching everyone off the list last year, with all the affording-new-house / without-selling-old-house panic.

For good people.

For the ability to purchase my MIL's pickup. She gets some proceeds she can surely use, Hop gets his precious pickup, and she'll be able to borrow it as needed for camping very easily. 

For my peeps. They are so absolutely completely & entirely amazing. I don't know what I've done to deserve them.

That my patient husband now has a pickup, so he can tow me out of snow banks, even when said snow banks are in my own driveway.

For a no-shoes day. A great prediction of a good day is whether or not I had to put on shoes, and today I did not. The farthest I went was the basement, in slippers. Winning! 

For my direct reports. They're good peeps. 

For a good mental place. I went through all my clothes to cull out all the small stuff, and didn't even feel fat, which is amazing for this brain. A Christmas miracle!

For the most amazingest cat tower EVAH, built by my papa:

For my pets. Even when they are jerks, I lurve them.

That I can sleep in as late as I need to, and roll into work after 8am. This is a problem for me leaving when I want to, but otherwise no one else is really impacted. At least for now.

For outdoor plans on a lovely day.

For godchildren. Such fun!

For a much-improved forecast; the New Year's Day run is going to be above zero, not -12F!

Initially this mileage graph made me sad, but then I grabbed pace to remind myself the higher fall miles were mainly trails, plus hills/sprints with Holea. As my goal is now road running, I'm doing fine. Also, compare all the way back to last December, and I'm doing 7x better!