Clean vs. Tequila

January 4, 2018

Miles run: 0
2018 total: 12.7/2018
Days without spending money: 1/365 <— WOW

Fourteen days ago I started a 21 day cleanse – called the Clean Program. This is the third time I’ve done this program; the first time I lost over 25lbs – not in 21 days. The 21 days kickstarted the weight loss, and it took a few more weeks to get down to my goal weight. A year later I did it again, to reset my weight. A couple of weeks ago I felt like first, I wanted to reset my weight after months and months of marathon training, and second, I wanted to enter 2018 nice and clean and detoxed.

ButWhyI won’t lie; I felt like total horseshit during the first 36 hours; my dependence on caffeine has become intense, and the headache from caffeine withdrawal was worse than any hunger pain I imagined I would experience. After that, the cleanse became really, well, cleansing. My energy is low, but my focus is so sharp! I know, it seems contradictory, but its true. I love having my brain working so well; but I hate slogging through my day, my running, feeling as though I’m going to topple over.

I won’t lie; I “cheated” a couple of times. On New Years’ Eve I allowed “a” sip of tequila. I love tequila; did you know? Well I do. And I did on NYE. One other time too; I can give up dairy, cheese, wheat, gluten, white rice, nightshades (no tomatoes, no potatoes), processed foods, you name it. But tequila? That one; well, that one hurts.

Have you ever cleansed? Finished Whole 30? Sugar Detoxed? How did it make you feel?

 

That cute little pug photo is by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Running in circles

Miles run: 5
2018 total: 17.7/2018
Days without spending money: 1/365

Behold, the cul-de-sac where I ensure that all of my road runs end on whole number. My neighbors may think I have a screw or two loose. Or maybe they don’t. Who knows?

Spent: January 3, 2018

January 3, 2018

Miles run: 5.7
2018 total: 12.7/2018
Days without spending money: 0/365

Yep, having a tough time with that spending thing. So why am I tracking the number of days that I do not spend money this year? Because I read somewhere, someone  saying that this year they were going to only purchase things they really need, and try not to spend money unless absolutely necessary. This sounds like a fantastic idea to me and, since I’ve been toying with making some career changes, it would be helpful to be mindful about my spending. But really, I didn’t think it would be that difficult to go a day without spending.

I blame technology – well, it’s my fault for using technology, but the ability to add my credit cards to my phone, have websites save payment methods, just that one step of “not” having to pull out the purse, dig out the plastic, squint my eyes and punch in 16 digits, well, it makes it way too easy to spend without thinking.

Had technology made it difficult for you to be mindful of your spending?

 

The cute little piggy photo was captured by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Daily Check in: January 2, 2018

January 2, 2018

Miles run: 3
2018 total: 7/2018
Days without spending money: 0/365

Full moon. Like a harbinger of doom…

Sometimes just a quick check in will do.

The run: My legs hate running in the dark, cold of early winter mornings. Got it done. No goals other than getting 3 miles done.

Spending: Today was the day to pay bills. That’s just life.

My sanity: It only took 2 hours at work for my “equanimity” goal to be tested. Outwardly, I was fine. Inwardly, I failed. It’s okay, though. I’m not going to beat myself up (anymore; I spent the rest of the work day doing that).

What I learned today: I learned how to use css to create a sliding accordian menu. Exciting right? No really, it was totally exciting.

What did you learn today?

Next Goal: Equanimity for 2018 (miles)

January 1, 2018

Miles run: 4
2018 total: 4/2018
Days without spending money: 0/365

New Year’s Day goals. Most people at least contemplate the idea for a moment. Some flat-out reject the concept, while on the other end of the spectrum, some place all of their bets on them.

Clean
Eat clean. Play. Plunder.

I think I’ve spent more time over the last week thinking about the crazy, sometimes unpleasant, sometimes amazing, ride that was 2017. I’m grateful to be able to look back and know that I’m leaving the year better off than I started. That’s not to say the year was perfect; far from it. But I’m in a better place.

Looking forward, and onward, to 2018. I’m trying to keep my goals simple, yet extremely relevant.

Mind: In a word: equanimity.  One of the “four immeasurables,” of Buddhist virtues. I want to improve all of those qualities (love, compassion, joy, and equanimity), but right now, cultivating the ability to, essentially, be chill in the face of anything life throws at me, needs the most work.

Body: Of course, I have running goals. For the first time in years I don’t have a big race on my calendar. Yet. But I am going to go for a crazy mileage goal: 2018 miles in 2018. That’s 2018 “running” miles. Not tracking every step I take on my Garmin. Just the running ones.

Tidy
Tidy for 2018. For now.

Finance: I’m not joining any of the “official” 2018 mile groups. What does this have to do with money? Because another goal of mine (not running related, but still) is to only spend money on “needs.” I don’t need to pay anyone to track my miles. My Garmin will do.

I have other things I’m working on but they aren’t really tied to the new year. The inward focus has been on getting enough sleep, eating clean, “me time,” and moving. The outward focus has been on being present with my husband and sons, and finding ways to make a contribution to the world.

What is your current focus?

October 10, 2017: Not running with the cool kids

I don’t want to sound critical of the whole social running scene. Call me old school, but for me running has always been, first and foremost, a solitary activity. Yes, I loved my cross country running experience back in high school. Yes, I love that my husband has become a solid running partner with whom I run about 99% of my workouts with. But before and after XC, before I met my husband, before I had anyone to run with, I still ran. Why? Because I fucking love running.

Even as I run beside my husband, we spend very little time talking (we do talk more now that I’m HR training and have slowed way, way down). Mostly we are in our own heads, our own thoughts, processing whatever comes across our minds. It’s not necessarily meditative (although it can be with some focused intent). It’s just time to think. Or listen. Be quiet. Be in tune with our minds, our bodies. So for me, the pressure of socializing with a group of people during a run would sap all of my energy and leave me with nothing for the run itself. It’s just who I am.

The problem I’m seeing, and maybe it is just my problem, is that social running seems to be offering itself up as a solution to helping people who dislike running in the first place. And I know people come to the sport for many reasons: to lose weight, to collect fancy bling at the end of a race. So what I’m feeling is this: if you don’t like to run, for fuck’s sake, stop running. Go find an activity that you enjoy. If you enjoy group activities, join a boot camp, or cross fit, or a spin class. If the only reason you are running is to socialize with other people, there are such easier ways to do that, that might actually appeal to you.

Is that harsh? Why? I feel terrible seeing people suffering through injuries, illness, discomfort, physical therapy, surgeries, etc., in order to participate in a sport they don’t actually enjoy, just so they can be part of a group, or earn a medal, or lose some weight.

Now let me clarify one point: I don’t enjoy the feeling of being overheated. I don’t enjoy when my legs are sore, or my feet trip on a rock and I scrape the shit out of my knees and elbows. I don’t enjoy getting up early when I haven’t slept the night before. BUT here’s the thing: the act of running, the act of bounding from one foot to the other, for any length of time – I LOVE that. That love overrules any discomfort, or fatigue, or inconvenience that I might experience. You know what else? If I take more than a week off from running, I get runner’s itch. It’s horrible. By the end of that first run after a break my thighs are covered in bright red streaks from where I’ve attempted to scratch off the outer layer of my skin. I hate it. I hate it. BUT – I love running. So I’ll endure it. It goes away after a few days of running.

So this is my roundabout way of saying, if social running groups do not appeal to you, that’s perfectly OK. You don’t have to #RunWithTheCoolKids (a hash tag that evokes a wave of bad high school memories but that’s another story for another day) to be a runner.

 

 

 

September 20, 2016: Chasing boredom

This little guy kept landing on my arm.
This little guy kept landing on my arm.

I’ve been in Denver the past 4 days; this was a vacation for me, a business trip for my husband. I managed to get most scheduled runs done, staying in my HR zones and enjoying the beautiful and cool pre-fall weather here.

I don’t know what I actually expected from this trip. It wasn’t like I was dying to visit Denver. I just wanted to get away. In fact, I purposely resisted almost any trip planning whatsoever – very uncharacteristic of me – because I long to feel – wait for it – bored. Bored, with nothing to do, nowhere to go, no direction, no idea, no obligations, no stress, no anxiety, no house to clean, no laundry to do, no errands to run, no one to worry about. I wanted to luxuriate in the self-indulgence of hours-long day dreaming.

And when I finally had the opportunity to do just that, what did I do? I started looking for something to do. Next to the hotel was a butterfly habitat – naturally I had to check it out. After that hour was gone, walking back to the hotel I noticed there was a movie theater across the street. So then I contemplated watching the new Bridget Jones movie (because there’s no way my husband will suffer through that with me). I had my phone out, looking up showtimes, when the voice in my head gently but firmly said “stop.”

I reminded myself that the one thing I did NOT want to do was fill up the day with “stuff” to do. I plugged in my earphones and chilled. In the lobby, then the pool deck, and finally in the room. I meditated. I listened to a book. I painted (just on my tablet but still). It was actually pretty fucking awesome. I felt my creativity begin to stir, as if from a long, deep slumber.

Processed with Snapseed.
That’s me, determined to do absolutely nothing. Yah.

Now I’m headed home but not back to work right away. I’m hoping to continue my “thought” vacation for a few more days in my own environment. I need to learn to relax at home, instead of blaming my home environment for evoking feelings of stress (due to the fact that it is always in need of cleaning, in one form or another).

How do you keep the creative juices flowing?