“Have Fun With That, Emily!” #1 – The Early Bird Challenge

I decided to start a new series on the blog. It’s called “Have Fun with That, Emily!” It’s where I pick a mildly irritating or self-flagellating challenge and see how long I can run wit it, while posting random updates on my progress (or lack thereof, since I am historically reliable at not finishing what I started, looking at you #JanuaryWhole30).

For Have Fun With That, Emily! (Or #HFWTE for short – wow that is an ugly hashtag) I woke up at 5:00am this morning. And I kind of hated it. (No kidding, right?)

But what made it worse was I was waking up to go to work after 2 blissful, restful weeks of vacation, where I guiltlessly slept in every morning until I darn well felt ready to wake up (which was usually somewhere between 7 and 8 am, because I’m old). So now getting back to the usual morning routine is the worst. Hyperbolically speaking.

And then I had a small, mad idea. What if I never slept in? What if I always got up by the same time every morning regardless of schedule (except for early morning flights, obviously) to the point where my clock resets? Is that a thing?

The “experts” (in quotes because I’m too lazy to look up real scientific data) suggest to wake up the same time every morning, and don’t deviate by more than an hour if you must. Because we all love to wake up by 6:30 on a Sunday, right?? That’s why brunch is an early meal. Wait, I’m thinking of marathon start times, not brunch. Yeah, that’s different.

Anyway, for a weird n=1 experiment, how about I try to wake up the same time every morning? How many days of a 5am wake up call can I handle before my senses and emotions implode with overwhelming sleep fatigue? Or will I be a responsible adult and stop scrolling insta in bed for 90 minutes a night after I tell the kids to turn their lights out so I can get extra sleep?

Only time – and my puppy slippers – will tell.

Yes. Puppy slippers.

Tomorrow I set my alarm and begin The Early Bird Challenge (if I come up with a better name I’ll update this post). Off we go!

Go make it a great day!

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Get It: Goals for 2019

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Woo-hoo! Can we just take a moment to celebrate reaching the new year? I don’t know about you, but this year was HARD in the best of ways. So much healing and growth over here, and a LOT of fun memories. But now I am super, super stoked to have a fresh, shiny new year before us with all the magic and possibilities. Who knows what can happen?

Lately, I have stopped setting “goals” in the sense of having a specific thing and deadline to acheive said thing. I find that I either get really “meh” about it and give up, or once I achieve the thing I’m left with a “what’s next?” feeling and it takes a while to get motivated to do a new Thing. So nowadays I prefer to think of my goals as more like intentions or affirmations. Stuff I want to become, but are ever-evolving so I don’t have to feel pressured to not “fail” and not get into a slump. For me it’s a way more positive way to look at it.

So what’s in store for 2019?

One more Whole30 in January

Ugh. I know. Again. I just did one in September! But some of my coworkers are on board, and I said I’d do it in solidarity. Honestly, this may be my last one for a while. I feel pretty good on what food works for me/doesn’t work for me, and my challenge currently is to put more effort into being intentional with my health-for-me eating. I tend to get lazy and order a lot of take-out and convenience food when I feel overwhelmed with the usual Life Stuff, which if you “choose your own hard” just means I feel crummy and tired which begets more unhealthy-for-me convenience food. It’s a cycle.  So this Whole30 my focus is more on the habits to get me eating consistenly well, and less about the what I’m eating: weekly meal prepping, planning ahead, and forcing myself to eat what’s in the fridge rather than grab something on-the-go.

CrossFit 3x/week (and maybe some half marathons)

I recently started up my membership at my local gym again, and I am sooooo happy to be back! I had taken a year off, and I really missed it. As much as I love running, there is something about the fellowship of seeing familiar faces when I walk into the gym that I don’t get elsewhere. Also, holy wow I LOVE barbell work. We’ve been doing TONS of oly lift work since I returned, and I am just so warm-fuzzy good. Just slap some plates on a barbell and I will snatch, clean, jerk, and be happy.

Also, since my cancelled half back in November, I haven’t really been running or looking for new races, and I do want to get back to it. Now that the sun will slowly be creeping back in the morning I’ll have fewer excuses to get outside and run. I’ll put together a racing calendar for the year and in between the strength I’ll gain with CrossFit and a steady running program I’ll be able to do some distance racing consistenly. Because fun, right?

Marie Kondo All the Things

OMG, you guys, did you know that the new “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo” show is on Netflix? That’s right, they made the hit home organizaiton book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up” into a series. I started watching last night and I am so ready to go through my house and “spark joy” all over my stuff. My kids and I all have birthdays in November/December and then Christmas happens, so by the new year we are drowning in stuff! For my own sanity I am making plans to start going through the house and declutter. There’s something about a small home that makes a few items out of place feel like a few hundred. But I am in fact a strange human and I LOVE to clean and declutter, so while this will be an extensive project, I’m super pumped for it.

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Finally, I want to blog more than once a month. It’s been something I’ve been trying to get back to doing consistently for a while, but haven’t figured out how to make the time for it other than get less sleep, and I like sleep. It keeps me healthy and sane. Both good things. But I also like writing and sharing my life here. So I’ll keep experimenting with different schedules and pockets of time (sometimes writing from my WordPress app on the train commute is the best I can do!) to compose my posts and do my best to remember “progress, not perfection!”

And that’s my stuff! Are you putting together some goals or intentions for the year? Or are you just winging it and seeing what comes your way? I’d love to hear your thoughts on new years resolutions!

Go make it a great day!

Do’s and Don’ts When Preparing for a Holiday Feast

It’s almost T-Day, y’all!

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I know it’s not Monday, but I still thought this was good.

This year I’m flying solo like a festively roasted bird. And honestly, I have procrastinated in making any plans for the big day! I may crash a friendsgiving, or I may go on a long and crave-worthy hike (weather/smoke permitting!) and catch up on “The Christmas Prince” with some Indian take-out. Then my folks are coming down over Black Friday so we can hang out and prep for Buttercup’s fourth (Fourth!!) birthday party. How did you get so big? Stop getting so big.

But I know not everyone can be so lucky  as to enjoy take-out and watch cheesy Netflix rom-coms on Thursday. So if you’re stuck with a big houseful of people and have some apprehension for the ritual of sitting with others to stuff your face, never fear! I’ve put together a little “do’s and don’ts” list for your gratitude feast.

DO: Make time for a little movement before the party

If you’re feeling stressed about the day (especially if you’re the host that’s cooking the thing! I’ve been there, and I feel ya), almost literally all the research shows* that 30 minutes of movement can improve your mood and energy. So before you roll up your sleeves and shove your arm up that bird carcass, put on your shoes and go for a walk around the block, fire up a quick Aaptiv class (<– affiliate link!), or have a pillow fight with your kids. Exercises gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy. And you know what they say about happy people.

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DON’T: Exercises to try to “Earn It” or “Pre-Burn” the calories

I know, I said that you should move around before the party starts, and I’m not trying to be confusing. There’s a difference between exercising because it makes you feel good and keeps you healthy, and exercising to punish yourself or to be deserving of indulging in food later. Now, I totally used to be one of those people who would go for a run the morning of Thanksgiving to give myself some caloric wiggle room for the day. And my whole evening the mental chatter would include, “Did I run long enough to eat this? Or this? Oh shoot, I forgot to include the calories in the wine!” Instead of relaxing and enjoying the experience of enjoying a good meal in good company, I was mentally calculating and planning a gym visit in the moring to cover for all the extra indulging I did. Total holiday spirit, amirite? So give yourself a pass and some grace this time around.

DO: Enjoy any and all dishes and “worth it” treats that make you feel festive and happy

Unless you have an allergy or aversion to something that’s really going to mess with you, it’s perfectly okay to unabashedly enjoy whatever you want during a celebration. All the stuffing? You do you. Both pumpkin AND apple pie? It’s like we’re meant to be. Starting with a salad and saving the indulgences for after you get in your veggies? A brilliant and strategically sound move. Allow yourself to relax and enjoy what you want, be that the marshmallows off the sweet potato casserole or the roasted brussel sprouts. You do not need to apologize or feel bad about yourself for making choices that feel right for you and doing what you love!

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DON’T: Feel pressured to eat something you don’t really want

One year, after dinner I was feeling quite satisfied and decided to forego dessert. I received some mild pressure and questioning from my family about not having a slice of pie in front of me. “No, thank you” I responded to the offer, sipping my coffee and enjoying the cozy post-dinner downtime. Folks, we are all adults here and are perfectly capable of making our own choices. If you know the stuffing is going to mess you up, you’ve never been a fan of mashed potatoes, or you don’t want to be uncomfortably full but they’re passing pie around, you can say no. It’s totally up to you.

DO: Take time to participate in or start a holiday tradition that’s not about the food

Yes, we are free to eat, drink and be merry. But let’s be honest, there can be a lot of time where we sit around and stare at each other, mindlessly muching. So after the meal, plan an activity to get everyone away from the table and spending some non-food time together. In my family, we are huge cribbage and jigsaw puzzle players. Or go for a neighborhood walk, play charades, or break out some crafty goodness projects. The best memories are the ones created from shared experiences.

DON’T: Comment on people’s diets, what’s on their plate, or what they’ve eaten/didn’t eat

Otherwise known as the “keep your eyes on your own plate” rule. This should be more general knowledge, but we work with what we have in this life. No one likes to sit down to a meal only to be told what we’re eating is wrong or unhealthy. We’ve all had that one family member (or maybe BEEN that one family member #guilty) that wants to dispense all the diet opinions over dinner, and comment on the food choices of others, whether it’s by choice or doctor’s orders. Just this one time, let’s just not. As much as you like and appreciate the freedom and autonomy to make your own decisions about what you do with your health and body, allow others the same dignity to live their own lives as well.

The Nutshell

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See what I did there? Holidays are a time to hit the pause button on all of the Life Stuff and enjoy some of the simple pleasures of life. As long as you make choices that feel good to you and keep you moving to the next chapter, you are rocking your own road.

Go make it a great holiday!

The Half Marathon That Wasn’t

Last week I was totally prepared to publish a post about my big running comeback, thrilled that I had successfully completed my fourth half-marathon after taking a five year running break. However, nature had other plans.

The night before the race, as my friends and I prepared for a huge pasta dinner in anticipation for running a couple hours in the morning, we received notification that the race was cancelled due to poor air quality from the California wildfires.

It was a crushing disappointment, but we quickly reframed that this was nothing compared to the loss of homes and lives for those directly affected by the fires. We commiserated over our small yet dispiriting let down over the pasta anyway, washed down by a satisfactory amount of wine, and assembled a plan B.

Plan B turned out to be a pretty good substitute: a 10 mile hike at Pinnacles National Park.

It was an absolute gorgeous hike and a beautiful day. I’m pretty sure we found the only spot in California with clear air!

And we went through caves. Like, dark, probably bat-infested, need-a-flashlight caves.

It was so cool. And after hiking almost 10 miles, my legs were shaking as if I ran a half marathon!

Sending lots of prayers and support to the folks affected by the fires and the brave firefighters and first responders working tirelessly to battle the flames and help those in need.

Go make it a great day!

The Last 90 Days – Week 3, the Catch-up Edition

Good morning, friends!

How did the weekend already fly by so fast? And it’s already Tuesday? We had a flurry of a busy weekend over here, so it’s no wonder that I feel like I looked up and suddenly it’s Tuesday.

So let’s play catch-up a bit from what I had started writing as last Friday’s post, but then Little Miss decided to wake up early (again!!) so I had to put my laptop aside and put the Mom hat back on for the rest of the morning. Sometimes despite best efforts Life happens, and we just roll with it.

I had mentioned last week that I’ve been feeling a little “over it” with the Last 90 Days challenge. And with all of the blank check boxes from my progress tracker for the week, yeah. I suppose so.

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Wake up 1 Hour Early – I slept in Saturday morning after a late Friday night, but since I had a whole day to myself, it wasn’t like I was deprived of that hour of me-time. So I let myself sleep in a bit. Honestly, getting up early is the one thing that’s coming the easiest (and I love my sleep!) through the whole challenge. My body is getting more used to the 5:00 AM wake-up call and sometimes I even wake up a few minutes before my alarm goes off. I “reward” myself those mornings by reading my latest book for a bit before my alarm goes off and gets me out of bed.

Exercise – this one has not surprisingly been one of the more challenging habits to pick up, but I’ve done pretty well this week. Especially since all those workouts are running. Three more weeks and my half marathon will be over, and I can shake up the routine a bit!

Drink More Water – okay, so I say “drink more water” because the actual task is “Drink half of your body weight of water in ounces” and that is mouthful so I just abberviate to “drink more water.” And I’m not certain how much I weigh since I don’t weigh myself or even own a scale, so I’m guessing I’m around 150 lbs, and 75 oz of water daily seems like plenty! So that’s about four of my water bottles daily. I chug one first thing in the morning, and sip the rest throught the day. So far this strategy is working, and I only have a hard time if I’m on the road for work or running errands on the weekend and don’t plan my water breaks appropriately.

Eliminate 1 Food – after a lot of post-Whole30 delibration, I decided that my one food to eliminate for these 90 days should be alcohol. Out of all of the “not worth it for now” foods I reintroduced this once seems to be such a gateway food to making further poor choices (late-night snacking, sleeping in the next morning feeling terrible, skipping workouts because I feel terrible) so I’m going to back off for now. I do have my birthday party coming up and I may enjoy a cocktail or two at my party, but for the regular every day stuff I’ll pass on my nightly wine for now.

Gratitude List – this one has been the easiest to do, but hardest to remember! I finally started setting an alarm during my commute so I can use that time to jot my list down on my phone. It’s pretty powerful how quickly I can turn my mood around, from cramped and cranky in a crowded train car to looking around at all my beautiful commuters and marveling on all the blessings in life just from taking a pause to reflect on life’s good stuff. So cheesy, but it works!

For Next Week – And since I’m a few days behind posting, I can give you a bit of a spoiler and say my habits have definitley slid over the busy weekend. I’m using my time this morning to reflect and put together my plan on how to get back in the game and finish Week 4 out. The key to my plan: take a break from wine tasting! 🙂

I suppose I should stop buying wine if I’m trying to take a break from alcohol. Anyone want to come help me drink it? 🙂

Go make it a great day, kids!

It’s Getting Hard: A Pep Talk

What is going on, friends? I totally went MIA yesterday, which is bound to happen from time to time. normally I get out of bed an hour early to blog.

But yesterday I got out of bed, on Day 17 of the Last 90 Days, and … oh, this is embarrassing … I was over it. Not over blogging, but I felt tired and bored and not willing to get out of bed and start my day like I had intended last night. So I laid in bed and mindlessly read emails and scrolled social media and all of the sudden I had to get ready for work. So no post, no reading, no me-time. And it’s driving me nuts.

What happened? What’s missing? What was different about Day 1 that makes Day 17 so different? It’s the same day, same routine. Same “5 to Thrive” objectives. How did I bounce out of bed Day 3, tie on the shoes for a run, fill up the water bottle with pep, and today I just want to lay around and scroll Instagram?

So I did some pondering, and I started my homework for “Workshop Wednesday,” and I thought about all the times I started something and gave up on it – work project ideas, exercise programs, All the Whole30’s (oh, so many dropped Whole30’s!), home projects and crafts – and then I found the theme: I quit when I don’t realize progress, and lose my emotional attachment to my “Why.”

Progress is encouraging, but like a lot of things worth doing in life, like encouraging your body to get stronger and healthier, saving for a home, working toward a promotion, they all take a long time with no noticeable results until that one day when you PR a lift or receive recognition from a VP that noticed that great presentation. That’s when you have that “wow, it’s working!” celebratory moment.

However, what fuels your fire during those long stretches that it seems like the goal is so far away (or worse, not even close)? How do you keep turning down your favorite food because you KNOW it messes you up (looking at you, candy!) so you can realize your health goals? How do you put in that extra hour at work when you’re starting to feel that tug of guilt that you should be at home taking care of the things you’re putting off there so you can kill it on this assignment? How do you lace up for a run when race day is ages away, and you really don’t want to put your body through that right now?

For me, I need what I call a “Why”. I need an emotional reason to hang on to when things get annoying or hard. And when I started pondering my Last 90 Days progress, I found that my “Why” was a wishy-washy “oh, I like challenges! This might be fun to do.” I have no end game, no expectations. So it makes it really easy to brush off if I’m not feeling it, because it’s entirely based on a “I feel like doing this” emotion rather than something solid that doesn’t change based on my mood.

Also, I really have no end goal in mind for this challenge, other than “let’s see what changes.” I don’t know how my life is going to change for the better by drinking water and gratitude journaling. Maybe it won’t. And if I make my motivation based on results I see, I may be disappointed in the end.

So I have to cement in a stronger “Why,” one that is not dependent on outcome. That I trust the process and don’t pass judgment on things I may not understand. That I’m doing it purely because I like to do hard things and I want to be the kind of person that finishes what I start. My “Why”is because “I finish things and I finish strong.”

How about you, do you have a “Why?”

Go make it a great day!

A Good Ol’ Sob Fest

Good morning, friends!

It’s another beautiful day, and I’ve had so much going on lately. Last night I saw “A Star is Born,” and can I just say I must have a heart of stone or something? I swear I was the only one in that theater not crying at the end. I mean, I felt a little emotional but there were folks outright SOBBING as the credits rolled.

photo credit: <a href=”http://photo%20credit: Aramisse Grieving with a little friend via photopin (license)“>Aramisse

I must admit,  I was disappointed. The whole reason I went was because I wanted to experience a good, emotional cleansing and I even brought tissues expecting a good cry-fest. But it turns out I only needed them when I spilled my water down my shirt. Anyone else love a good cry at a movie? I think the last movie I actually cried at was the whole opening story line of Disney’s “Up”. If you don’t feel a little sniffly about that beautiful montage of life and tragedy, I’m not too certain if you’re even human. I mean, you could be, but I’m just not certain.

But historically, I have never been much of a cryer. Which I’m working on changing recently. Did you know that crying is actually really good for you? In addition to relieving stress and pent-up emotions, it also provides a detoxification pathway via tears, kills bacteria, improves vision, and (no-brainer here) can elevate your mood.

Despite all the benefits (and the fact that crying is a normal human action) our culture has historically had such a stigma around crying, especially for men. And I get it. When I’m around a crying person (99.9% of the time it’s one of my kids) I feel this uncontrollable reaction to MAKE IT STOP. Make them happy and feel better RIGHT NOW. Why does crying cause such discomfort in the observer?

When I need a good cry, I just want to get it out and done. I understand that sometimes crying is the best therapy for me, and the quickest way to get from Point A (sad) to Point B (relieved and refreshed). And I am relieved and grateful when I have the space to just let my emotions out in peace and move on with my day. So if I’m good with my own crying, why can’t I be good with others’ crying? I can only conclude that it’s because I was conditioned all my life to believe crying means there is something wrong, and it needs to be fixed.

But that’s just not true. Crying can be many things. It can be from overwhelming happiness. It can be from anger or frustration at a situation out of my control. It can be from processing grief, which I know from personal experience that “the only way out is through.” And in the case of my kids, crying is a last resort when emotions don’t make sense or are just too intense and crazy. Because it’s always SUPER disappointing when you don’t get the red cup instead of the blue cup, isn’t it?

I’m on a mission to evangelize crying. At home, in public, at work, wherever. Now, you can be discrete (I’m not at the point where I can just sit at my desk and ugly cry yet), but if I need to excuse myself to squeeze some tears out in the women’s room, I tell myself that I’m a human having a human experience, and I don’t feel so ashamed when I get back to my desk with the lingering red in my eyes. When my kids cry I check in with them, ask if they need me or want to be alone, and let them have their feels. And especially when I find myself needing to cry around my kids, I am not afraid of letting them see it, letting them know that grown-ups can feel sad too and that’s okay. Just like when they’re crying and I offer to talk about their feelings, I tell them mine. “Mommy’s feeling overwhelmed. I need to stop and take care of myself for a bit.” or “I feel sad because I miss Grandpa.” They need to know (just like I need to remember) that emotions aren’t scary, and feelings do not require fixing.

So let the floodgates flow! The waterpark is open for business! Find a corner and let it all out. As I heard the other day, “Put your issues in your tissues.” Detoxification and stress-relief benefits with one simple exercise? I’ll sign up for that!

Go make it a great day!

(photo credit: Aramisse Grieving with a little friend via photopin (license))

A Tale of a Run

Good morning, friends!

I had a crazy long training run yesterday. Like, ridiculously long and I’m amazed that I can still stand this morning. You know those runs when you set out and are like, “oh, this’ll be fine. I’ll just blast through this and totally have time for my life at the end of it.” completely underestimating how long these miles will actually take? Yeah, it was one of those.

It’s been a goal since I moved to the East Bay to hike around Lake Chabot. The route is 9 miles, and I had always intended to make it a 3ish-hour hike. Once I started half marathon training, I realized that eventually I would be able to run it, and I was sort of excited about that. Because I get excited about weird things.

The opportunity presented itself this weekeend, when I was scheduled to do a long training run. I’m using the Aaptiv app (<– affiliate link!) for my training program, and according to the plan I was supposed to run around 10 miles in 100 minutes. Ha, that’s cute. But I figured I could do 7.5-8 miles in that amount of time. And I thought I could run around the lake until the run time was up, then just walk the rest of the way as a cool-down.

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It started out like that. But I had never been to the other side of the lake before. I headed out on the Eastside trail as I usually like to do, with no idea what I was in for.

Hills. I was in for hills.

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And it was a legit trail back there. At some point the paved path turns into dirt, and then it starts switchbacks up and down the ridge behind the lake. I was warned by my friend that there was a beast of a hill around Mile 4, but I was not anticipating all of the rough terrain and climbing. My calves started getting tight and cramping, despite all the water  I was throwing down from my Camelbak. After I passed Mile 4 I did a lot of walking up the hills and jogging back down for quite some time. After Mile 6.5 I was almost walking the entire way. My legs were just done.

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At some point I realized I was in the trail system, and I wasn’t sure which trail I was supposed to be on. That’s okay, I just need to make sure the lake is always to my left, and I should make it back to the Marina. And the views were getting more and more gorgeous as the sun burned through the clouds.

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Eventually I made it to a parking lot. And it wasn’t the parking lot I had parked in. In fact, I had no idea this lot existed, or exactly where I was. Crap, I took a wrong trail somewhere. I had been running Strava to track my mileage, and I looked on my map to see what was going on.

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Well double crap. I was supposed to pick up the end of the red line, and I was about a half mile off the trail that took me back to my car. At this point I realized that there was no way I was making it back home anytime soon. I had plans to head up to Healdsburg for some wine tasting, and I realized I was in no way going to be home in time for my friend to pick me up. So I texted my apologies and strategized a new plan for getting a ride as I hiked back to the main trail.

By the time I was done, I had completed 9.6 miles, averaging a 14 min/mile pace. Good lord, I felt so slow. But most of it was because I was walking up every stupid hill for five miles. At least I got some good hill training in?

I finally made it back to my car, my 100-minute run now transformed to nearly 2 1/2 hours of slogging through trails, and I was ridiculously late in meeting up my friend. I blasted back home, boiled some eggs as I took the fasted shower ever followed by a quick cold bath to cool down my legs, slammed the eggs down as I put myself together in some cute “wine tasting tourist” attire, and skipped off to BART to meet up my friend.

Happy ending time, we got our wine.

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I would love to hike the lake loop again some day when I have the time and not under the marathon training pressure, but I think for my next (and last!) long run I’ll find a different course so I can try to run the distance instead of having to pepper so many walk breaks in. I’m still not exactly sure where my endurance is for 13 whole miles yet, and race day is looming ever closer. But at this point, the only way out is through! I’ll just show up, run as much as my stumpy little legs can, and see what happens.

Go make it a great day!

The Last 90 Days: Week 2 Recap

Good morning, y’all! It’s another Friday! Here’s an awesome comic I found by War and Peas for your Friday amusement:

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Mood, magnificent spider. Mood.

I’m so happy to check out my Last 90 Days progress from this week! It was certainly a more focused week, with a couple days where I had successfully completed all of my “5 to Thrive” goals!

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As much as I would love to see check marks across the board, I know that Life happens, and I’m happy with simply striving each day to make the best choices for myself. Like on Sunday (10/7), we went on an amazing boat ride on the bay to watch the Blue Angels air show for Fleet Week.

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Due to the schedule, the long day, and the fact I had my two mini-me’s with me, I wasn’t able to squeeze in exercise that day. And I’m not certain how much water I drank (I was guzzling La Croix the whole ride, but I found out sparkling water doesn’t count – it has to be plain water!) so I’m guessing I didn’t hit my goal. But, dude, I was on a boat!

What’s up for next week? I have another week of half marathon training to tackle (including my longest run in recent history, I’m going to try and get in 8 miles this weekend!), and I’m thinking about trying to snag one of the Start Today Journals because I really like how they lay out the gratitude and intentions lists day by day. It might help me remember to do my daily gratitude checking!

That’s it for now, go make it a great day!

Survival Mode Thursdays

Good morning, friends! And it actually is morning over here, haha! I heard my alarm this morning (yay!), and not ten seconds after I sat down to write Buttercup zombied into the kitchen demanding to know why I wasn’t in bed – she had gotten up to come in my room and snuggle with me, and I had already retreated to the kitchen to do my hour of “me-time”. So now she’s snuggled in front of “umizoomi” and I’m snuggled with my coffee. Cheers!

The other day I talked about how I’m approaching the first “5 to Thrive” habit of waking up early and having an hour of time to myself every day (well, most days, haha!), so today we move on to the next habit, exercise at least 30 Minutes every day.

I know what you’re probably thinking. I sort of thought it too – “Uggh. Like, every day every day?”

I’m a pretty active person, but even I don’t think I’ve ever actually consistently exercised daily before. Life just happens. But progress over perfection, we’ll give this a go.

Since I have the Big Sur Half coming up, pretty much any spare time for exercising needs to be running or recovering from running. So I’m putting CrossFit on hold until after November 11th so I can maximize my mileage. I know that some strength training will improve my running, but we’re a bit too close to race day for any real gains so I’m just going to focus on mileage with the goal that I don’t die.

runselfie2018-10-10
(this is me not dying after a weekday run)

But running every day? That is a bit much for my legs to take right now. I just finally finished my Couch-to-5k in August after taking nearly a five-year hiatus from running and I know I don’t have the strength or stamina to take a road beating every day. Right now I’ve worked myself up to 1 long run and 2-3 short runs per week, and that’s after months of working out maybe 1-2 days a week, maybe.

The first few mornings I didn’t run, I ended up starting the Commit30 monthly challenge (yeah, I know, another challenge!) to do 30 air squats, 30 push-ups, and 30 sit-ups every morning for 30 days. I would do it in my living room, then do some stretching/core work/foam rolling. Just 30 minutes, and done!

But I didn’t keep it up every morning. For example, Thursdays are the worst for any activity that isn’t 100% vital. Those are the days I am crunched with both single-parenting and work, and I can barely get my kids and myself fed, schooled, homeworked, and to bed on time let alone squeeze in 30 minutes for myself. For a while that was the sticking point in my week – how do I get everything done on Thursdays? Then it hit me … I don’t! That’s my one day to not do all the things. So I make sure that I crush it the other 6 days a week, and keep Thursdays as strictly “survival mode.” If I can squeeze in a quick walk over my lunch break, then it is a more fabulous day than I had planned.

Progress over perfection, my friends. If I can go from working out for 1-2 days a week to a consistent 6 days a week over the last 90 days of the year, this is going to be such a huge win for me.

Any tips for squeezing in activity into a richly scheduled day? I’m always on the lookout for fun new organization techniques!

Go make it a great day!