Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Living the charmed life

Today's Miles: 3 walking. 0.25 running (see below). Plus 120 lunges and 60 push-ups.

Sunday was a VERY long day of driving from TN to PA. Over 10 hours. 577 miles. With someone I just met. Who liked to talk. A. lot. I hit the sack at 12:30 a.m. Monday morning and was dead out at 12:31 a.m.

On Monday morning, I woke up early to hit the gym & make up for the lack of physical activity on Sunday.
I decided to hit the treadmill.....walk a bunch (trying to make sure I get my 10K steps a day) and run a bit after I talk to Mark on the phone. 7 a.m. = walking. Waiting on Mark to call. 7:30 a.m. = Mark finally calls. After talking to him for nearly half an hour I decide to start running. I crank up the treadmill and run for about 2 minutes. All of a sudden...........SCCCRRREEEEEEEECHH. Except, it actually stopped in less time than it took to type out screech. Most treadmills slow to a stop. This one stopped so fast I was nearly catapulted off of it.

Hmmm. That was weird. Why'd this thing stop? Maybe I hit the emergency stop button?

Let's try this again. Crank up the speed. Get into a good run. Pass the 2 minute mark...Okay, I'm good. 

SSSSCCCCRREEEECCHHH.  Seriously? What's up with this thing? 

One last try. Crank up the speed. Run for about 47 seconds.

SCCREEEECH.   What the....
SLAM. BAM.    Damn it that hurt!

That's why I only ran 0.25 miles. The treadmill was possessed. It was not the only demon I encountered today.....

This afternoon I was at a farm helping with an installation that involved placing somewhat sensitive electronic equipment in a barn full of curious cows. We had to run wires to hook up the equipment and mount antennas and all kinds of fun electronic guru stuff. What my computer specialist technician was not prepared for was the curiosity level of cows. Most just watched and eyed us with suspicion while they went about their business of eating. Some would come and sniff us or our equipment. But there was this one....the ButtLicker. She was ALL up in our business. Checking out absolutely EVERYTHING we did. And every time you turned your back on her...yep....right on the ass. She molested me at least a dozen times. And when you shooed her away, she'd just go to the next person. Then get shooed, and eventually come back to you. The owner's son came through once when she was fondling me as I was bent over working on something with one hand and smacking her in the head (in vain) with the other. He started laughing and said "Yeah, she can be a pain sometimes. But watch her because I think she's coming into heat." (For those non-aggies, "in heat" means she's "in the mood.") Great. Now I've got a horny cow molesting me that will likely try to mount me at some point.

ButtLicker became part of our installation crew. When all of the other cows lost interest, had eaten their lunch and were settled in bed for a bout of cud chewing....ButtLicker continued to woo each of us to see if we'd respond positively to her advances. After some time, she realized we were on to her game and she lost interest in us, but not what we were doing. Someone (I'll call her M), left a 75 ft roll of wire that was connected to two of these somewhat sensitive electronic boxes and half-way mounted to a post, casually tossed over a gate.

Here's the thing about curious cows. If it will fit in their mouth, they'll eat it. If it's something they think they can play with, they will. If they can destroy it, you shouldn't have put it in the barn in the first place.

I turn around and see ButtLicker with her head through a loop in the wire. Oh...No.

Before I could walk the 25 steps to get to her, she somehow got herself all tangled up. Ever have your dog on a leash and they get the leash wrapped around their head and legs, then sit down and look at you like "Help?"

Cows don't do that. And cows weigh 1200 lbs.

ButtLicker started to panic. Making it worse. Then she decided she wanted out of there. So I stepped in front of her to keep her from bolting and someone (I'll call him B) decided to walk up behind her to box her in..... Which suddenly turned this panicked cow into a circus performer. She managed to spin a 360 on one hoof, and I swear she ended her spinning with "TADA!"  This maneuver also revved up her spunkiness - which resulted in her bucking around a bit like she was wanting us to play with her. Now we only have about 3 foot left of wire...and remember those somewhat sensitive electronic boxes? Let's just say I'm glad we had extra. They don't respond well to being catapulted across a barn.

To keep ButtLicker still long enough to unwrap her, I volunteered M to stand at her head and be molested while me and the farmer's son untangled the beast.

As if that weren't enough for the day....
At the end of this very long day.... I had to Pee. Not one of those, I'll go up to the bathroom shortly or I'm a little uncomfortable. It was barely-make-it-to-the-toilet-and-get-your-pants-down-before-the-dam-breaks kind of pee. Somehow, I make it to the....uh....bathroom.

The bathroom was a permanently mounted port-a-potty. Luckily, it was the cleanest port-a-potty I've EVER seen in my life!

So I go running into the port-a-potty and get my pants down just in time. Ahhhhh. Niagara Falls is released!

Suddenly, my leg is wet. What the??? OH HOLY CRAP THE LID'S DOWN!! I'M PEEING ON THE LID!! (As I involuntarily start to stand a bit out of shock.) At this point, I can't stop peeing. SHIT! SHIT! I CAN'T STOP PEEING! Pee is running off the lid onto the back of my pants and undies, and I'm peeing on my own leg.

Just another normal day...

Gotta run....

Friday, March 2, 2012

Three pounds of guilt

Total Miles: Not sure...check the Fitbit stat in the morning.
Do you ever feel trapped? Feel that need to just run away?

I've been in a bit of a funk of late. Maybe a tad depressed? I've not really had a lot of energy, not cared a lot about writing my blog (sorry peeps) or much of anything important (sorry Dear Husband), work is overwhelming, house planning is overwhelming. There are days I just want to eat a HUGE carton bowl of ice cream and lay on the couch and watch TV all day.

Oh wait.... I think I did that for a few days. In case you missed the last episode, I had the mother of all a very bad head cold that had me wiped out for 2 weeks. One week of on-the-road suffering. One week of on-the-couch suffering and trying not to go Wicked-Witch-of-the-West-on-steroids-with-PMS-Postal on my husband. No worries. He survived. Barely. With a few bruises maybe.

So, what's up with me? I'm normally pretty damn cheerful (even when I'm bitching about something). But I've been such a grouch of late.

Finding balance in life is tough. We all have our thing. Some are overwhelmed parents with kids running all over the country to every after school activity imaginable. Some are overworked professionals who wouldn't know what to do with all of the extra time if they only worked a 40 hour work week. Some are struggling to make ends meet. Some are families in the middle of a major life change - moving, divorcing, getting married and blending families, building a house, retiring. We could sit and play the game of "who's got it worse," but no one really wins at that game. You just want to drink more.

It's hard to sit back and see all of the wonder in your life when you're overwhelmed and feeling trapped. I mean really - what's my problem? I've got an incredible husband who would and has done everything in the world for my happiness; a great family that is always there when you need them, and not when you don't; a great job; a roof over my head; too much food in my stomach; what's the deal? Why can't I see the blessings in all of that? Not sure why...I just didn't.

So, what do you do about it? What can you do about it?

First....get off your ass.

Next....do something that requires just a bit of physical exertion. Go for a walk. Go for a jog. Do some yoga stretches. Do some push-ups. I don't care what it is. DO SOMETHING!

Repeat daily.

Seriously. It may be that simple. Endorphins from exercise are the most powerful drug on the planet. Don't get me wrong, you might need professional help and medication - and that's okay. But you may just be in a self-inflicted funk. I'm talking about more than just the "woe is me" feeling that goes away after a day of self pity. This one lasts for a bit.

Exercise truly has a magical way of changing your outlook.

For example:

The last run I went on was at the beach in St. Petersburg, FL while at a conference. That was January 25. When we got back from there, I was tired as heck. I'd worked for 2 straight weeks without a day off (yes, being at a conference at the beach is work when your presentation to an international group isn't until the last day of the conference = STRESS!!), and I was totally stressing, and I had been working out nearly every day for weeks. So I decided to take the rest of the week off from exercising. My mind and my body needed a few days.

Then somehow with my crazy ass schedule, I wound up working super long days, then another weekend and then got sick.  So...three weeks gone in a flash... with no exercising.

By the fourth week, I was miserable. I really didn't give a shit about much of anything. My job suffered, my attitude suffered, and mostly my husband suffered. I had the intent of working out some that week, but my schedule had me working back to back 16 hr days for half of the week....more tired....more moodiness....more this-chocolate-bar-will-make-me-feel-better-even-if-only-for-a-minute episodes....which led to more self doubt, out of control feelings, self-loathing, body image issues. Seriously, I felt like I looked like a whale. My pants were too tight. I was ashamed at what I had become (in 4 weeks). Soft. Weak. Emotional.

I avoided the scale at all costs. I walked by it, and it just KNEW. I could see it just shaking it's head at me...saying "But you worked so hard for what? Nothing? You're such a failure! Go eat another candy bar then come see me you fatass." (Yes, I have a Nazi scale.)

This past Sunday I finally had a moment of mental clarity or a break through or a slap up the back of the head (Thanks Baby!) or whatever you want to call it. I needed to get over it. I needed to get up and get off my ass and get over it. So what if I'm starting over. So what if I fell off the wagon. So WHAT?

So...Monday morning, I very shamefully and very slowly with only one eye partly opened hopped on that scale...and guess what. 3 pounds. I only gained three pounds. For a month of nothing, over-eating and steroids....three pounds. I was so expecting like 10 or something. It felt like 10. It felt like 50 pounds of more than just body weight, there was some guilt-pounds in there too I'm sure of it. Guilt for letting Mark down. Guilt for not doing good enough at work. Guilt for not doing enough for me.

But those 3 pounds did a lot of damage in 4 weeks. And it has out-stayed its welcome.

I'm back on the wagon, of sorts. I pulled out the FitBit and started walking. Time to get back to my 10,000 steps a day - plantar fasciitis be damned. I'm jogging a bit, trying not to really over do it. I'm strength training a bit. I'm counting calories again. And you know what. I feel so much better.

Just getting off the couch and moving has made me feel so much better. I feel IN CONTROL. I can now see that in a few weeks I'll be running again. I'll pick out a spring race and start training. My 3 pounds will leave and I wish it would take that stubborn paunch of backfat with it. And life will go on. I'll get back my cheeriness. Mark and I will find our happy place again.

When I'm in control of myself, the rest of my world is orderly. When I'm out of control - my life reflects it, in every way. If I don't put myself first, I'm no good to others.

So what are you waiting for? Get off your ass and do something!

Gotta run...to bed. It's late!

PS - We're going to the bank tomorrow to see about a home loan. But my plan is to have a bit of a walk or jog early in the morning to combat the overwhelming "I think I'm going be sick" feeling that is building up. The irony is Mark is cool as a cucumber about this - he's been working out!!!