Weekly recap (8/22-8/28): On grief and loss

Disney Wine & Dine + Kiawah Half Training Week 3

Everything happens for a reason. Gosh, I hate that phrase.

It's terrible, it's trite, and most of all, it's untrue. While it's often said by very kind and well-meaning people in the face of some kind of loss, the reality is that it's a tone deaf phrase that minimizes true grief. And it's why I've never said it to someone else or been thrilled to hear someone say it to me. 

weekly recap

In the past year I've experienced loss and grief. Thankfully, none related to the people in my life, but grief from the loss of our beloved pet, Stella Blue, the loss of a job and the situation surrounding it that was nothing short of abusive and horrendous (and I'm fairly certain left me with some kind of post-traumatic stress situation), and my ongoing health issues that while (thankfully) weren't/aren't terribly serious still left me chronically sick, exhausted, and unable to enjoy the things I enjoy the most (like running and racing). 

Most of the joy from anything, including running, was wiped from my life. Most days I just tried to get through without completely losing it. I turned off emotions - both positive and negative. And even though I fought back and forged new connections and paths for myself, and my overall job situation has turned around, I find myself stressed that the rug will be pulled out from under me again. I'm suspicious and as much as I try, I don't trust the good things. And why should I? I've experienced a traumatic, abusive situation and I'm having a hard time recovering. 

I stumbled upon this amazing blog post by Tim Lawrence about grief and loss that explains it far better than I ever could and I urge you to read it. If you've ever experienced loss and grief and bristled at the idea that everything happens for a reason, this blog post will help you process those thoughts.  Or if you've said the phrase "everything happens for a reason," and are wondering just why it's not the best thing to say, Tim's blog post will help clarify that as well. 

Everything does not happen for a reason. Some things are just bad. Some things you just have to live with, to get through, to allow yourself to grieve, and then carry that with you. It does not make you a bad person if you fail to "look a the bright side of things." It doesn't make you weak if you can't figure out what you could possible "learn" from loss. It makes you human. While we can pick ourselves up and carry on from loss (often we have no choice), we do not have to be persistent Pollyannas, wondering what's wrong with us if we just can't "get over it." 

The past year that I've spent sick and exhausted didn't do anything to make me a better person. It's worn me down. It's made me a much weaker runner. It didn't "happen for a reason." Yes, I chose to push through and continue running, even as my race times got (and remain) worse and worse. But it's also made me much more cautious and worried about what might happen in a race or on a run because of my health. I don't feel as free as I did before when I run. I no longer get excited for races. I'm hoping with new allergy treatments that eventually, I'll be back to myself both physically and mentally, but those things will take time. Allergy shots can take up to a year to take full effect. And who knows how long my mental state will take to improve. 

This week, as most weeks are, was another week spent persevering through recovery. I got in all of my miles and most of my workouts, except paddleboarding since my session was canceled on Monday evening. It was a good week for workouts, but I'm still not seeing the paces and the runner I used to be or could be. I hope that I will. I hope the fact that I pushed through everything will eventually pay off, but I can't help but think where I'd be if all of the sickness and stress hadn't happened because I'm certainly not a stronger runner now than I was before.  


Workout summary

  • Monday: Family bike ride - 4 miles
  • Tuesday:  Barre class
  • Wednesday: Tempo run - 6 miles (8:18 pace)
  • Thursday: Easy run - 5.01 miles (8:55 pace)
  • Friday: Barre Cardio class 
  • Saturday: Rest day
  • Sunday: Long run - 7.01 miles (8:49 pace)

Totals

Running miles: 18.02 miles
Total runs: 3
Biking miles: 4
Cross training (bike or SUP): 1
Barre/strength: 2
Total miles (run + bike): 22.02
Total workouts: 6


I also know I'm in for some more sadness and stress. This morning, I've been hit with one more pending loss - another one of our dogs, my sweet Meadow, was diagnosed with nasal cancer, which has a very grim prognosis. There is no bright side to this. This precious life doesn't deserve this. This did not happen for a reason. Even if I choose to create some kind of fundraiser in her name (which I'm considering), that does not mean that this bad thing had to happen for something good to come out it. This thing that is happening to her and to my family is just bad. 

The sweetest dog in the world

The sweetest dog in the world

And while I know that I have a lot to be thankful for, that I am thankful for, that does not cancel out the bad things that happened, nor does it somehow disqualify me from being allowed to grieve. 

I know that I will choose to carry on, but I will also carry my loss. It's a part of me now. And I won't feel guilty for that.


I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin'  for their Weekly Wrap post. You can check out all of this week's posts here.

Weekly recap (8/15-8/21): Time is not on my side

Disney Wine & Dine + Kiawah Half Training Week 2

Time flies. As I get older, it seems like weeks - years, even - pass before I even blink. 

weekly recap - august 15-21

Last week, B switched from a crib to a toddler bed. And it happened so suddenly. We put him down for a nap in his crib and the next thing we knew, we heard him pounding on his bedroom door. He had managed to climb out of the crib, so we knew it was time to make the switch. 

As I was putting him to bed a few nights later, I found myself thinking about how I wasn't ready for him to switch from a baby in a crib to a big boy in a bed. The last night he was in his crib I didn't even know it was his last night! I wasn't prepared. The transition was swift, unplanned, and much too abrupt. In less than 24 hours, B's babyhood is one more (giant) step behind us in the distance. And I'll admit, I got a little weepy. 

One of the dogs decided she liked B's new bed and decided to take a snooze in it (before we put the rails up)

One of the dogs decided she liked B's new bed and decided to take a snooze in it (before we put the rails up)

Time flies. I had a birthday a few weeks ago and I now find myself much closer to 40 than I am to 30. In the past 7 years since 30 (yes, I'm 37), I've done so much - I've gotten married, bought 2 houses (and became a landlord), moved from PA to NC to SC, taken up running (and started this blog), climbed up in my career, been knocked down a bunch of times, finished grad school, figured out more about what it is I want in life (and changed my mind a few times), and had a baby.

I'm fairly certain I've packed far more milestones into this decade so far than any other. And I'm not done yet. But wow, these years have flown right by. Wasn't I just lamenting turning 27 (and nearly having a breakdown because I wasn't where I wanted to be yet in life - because clearly a 27 year old should have it all figured out)? 

There's a scientific reason that time feels faster as we get older. It's because one month to someone who has lived 420 months is a much smaller fraction of time overall than someone who has only lived 60 months. It's the reason that when you're a kid, you think Christmas is never coming but when you're adult, you feel like there's only a week between last Christmas and this Christmas and suddenly you find yourself scrambling around for gifts at the last minute (again) because time flies for crying out loud! Wasn't it just January last week? Where did this year go? What exactly is going on around here?


Workout summary

  • Monday: 
    • Barre 
    • Standup Paddleboarding 
  • Tuesday:  Rest day
  • Wednesday: Progression run - 3.12 miles, splits: 9:05, 8:19, 7:57 (8:24 pace)
  • Thursday: Easy treadmill run - 3.01 (8:53 pace)
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Family bike ride - 10 miles
  • Sunday: Barre

Totals

Running miles: 6.13 miles
Total runs: 2
Biking miles: 10
Cross training (bike or SUP): 2
Barre/strength: 2
Total miles (run + bike): 16.13
Total workouts: 6


Time flies - not just years, but weeks. A week is barely anything to me now. It's why if I don't kick off my week just right or miss a particular moment in the plan, everything falls apart and my entire week is just off schedule. And last week got a little bit off. I'm not sure how since it started off really well, but by Wednesday, I was off schedule and it was hard to get that back. Soon, it was Saturday and I had missed my speed session and my long run was looming. And then my friend invited us boating on Sunday and since time flies and boating season will soon be over, I skipped out on my long run and went boating. 

Charleston Harbor Views from the boat

Charleston Harbor Views from the boat

So this week, while I had excellent workouts in general, including a nice progression run out in the heat, I got off schedule and just couldn't regain my footing. 

Monday
I had a double workout day here. I headed to barre class in the evening and then immediately after went paddleboarding. We did a lot of turn work in preparation for paddle surfing and I actually fell off the board for the first time in years! Some of the turns on a board can be hard work! 

SUP

SUP

Tuesday
I took a planned rest day on Tuesday. Not much to see here. Moving on. 

Wednesday
I ran outside on Wednesday in some pretty steamy temps, but still ended up with a nice progression run. So I guess that was my speed work for the week since I did end up with a sub-8 mile in there. But it felt surprisingly good, considering the temps. 

Thursday
On Thursday, I went to the gym to get in an easy 3-miler. I ended up with a sub-9 pace and I had barely broken a sweat. I probably could have gone much faster and still stayed in that easy range, but I held back because I was planning on doing my 6 mile track session the next day. But that speed and how easy it felt bodes very well for fall. 

Friday
Friday completely got away from me and before I knew it, I had completely missed my workout. Time flies

Saturday
Saturday was D's birthday and was a gorgeous morning. It almost felt like fall! By "fall," I mean it was 89 degrees with a heat index of 99, 61% humidity and a dew point of 74. There was also a nice breeze. Welcome to fall in the South. But since it was so nice outside, we went on a 10-mile bike ride around the neighborhood. I love our family bike rides! We also stopped at the coffee shop (like last week) for breakfast. 

In the evening, we out to the Isle of Palms Marina to Morgan Creek Grill and let B play in the sand while we ate fried oysters and pickles and drank Corona. 

Family bike ride
A storm blew right past us at the marina

A storm blew right past us at the marina

Storm Clouds

Storm Clouds

And then the storm clouds disappeared and left a rainbow in their place

And then the storm clouds disappeared and left a rainbow in their place

Sunday
I kicked off Sunday with a barre workout where I had some asthma struggles. I had run out of my miracle meds the previous Friday and didn't refill them until Tuesday evening. The first day I took them again was Wednesday (and I had a little bit of asthma trouble on my run that day). I forgot to take them on Saturday again, so I only had three doses in me for the whole week by Sunday morning. And I paid for that. Coughing, wheezing, and an overall terrible workout for me since my flexibility and intensity went out the window. I won't make that mistake again. No more running out of asthma meds! They really do make all the difference. 

Boating totally beat out running on Sunday

Boating totally beat out running on Sunday

I planned to do my 8-miler in the evening on Sunday, but like as previously mentioned, we went boating instead. My fitness tracker thought I was running while we were on the boat, though, and racked up about 6 miles and tons of steps. That counts for something, right? Boating is totally exercise. 

But it's probably good that I gave my lungs a rest anyway. And even though fall training officially started, these first few weeks are just about getting back into it, so I'm not too concerned. 

My coach and I reworked my schedule for the season, so I'm hoping to stay on track a bit better this season than I have in the past. I have some big goals for Kiawah and I know the only way to get there is to be consistent.

I also know that Kiawah (and Christmas and my son's teenage years) will be here before I know it because after all, time flies


I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin'  for their Weekly Wrap post. You can check out all of this week's posts here.

 

Weekly recap (8/8-8/14): Disney Wine & Dine + Kiawah Half Training Week 1

My first official week of fall training is finished! Despite the very un-fall like temps, I did pretty well. We're still hitting triple digit heat indexes here a lot of days, but it doesn't seem quite as unbearable as it was in July (although the insane humidity persists). 

weekly-workouts-august-8-14

I'm currently training for Lumiere's 2-Course Challenge (10K + half marathon) at Disney's Wine & Dine event, which I'm running with a friend at her pace, and the Kiawah Half Marathon, which is my fall goal race. 

I'm doing the run less, run faster plan (as planned) and I'm feeling really good. Right now my coach only has me doing one speed session because my other runs are all heat training, which is pretty brutal on its own. We'll keep this schedule through the Disney Wine & Dine races, then add in more speed work in the 5 weeks between Disney and Kiawah.  


Workout summary

  • Monday: 
    • AM: BodyFlow 
    • PM: Barre 
  • Tuesday:  Easy run - 6 miles (watchless), 85 degrees
  • Wednesday: Rest day
  • Thursday: Progression run - 4 miles (8:03 pace)
  • Friday: Barre
  • Saturday: Family bike ride - 9.75 miles
  • Sunday: 
    • AM; Family bike ride - 3.5 miles 
    • PM: Long run - 7.02 miles (9:08 pace), Heat index 95; Dew point: 76

Totals

Running miles: 17.02 miles
Total runs: 3
Biking miles: 13.25
Cross training (bike or SUP): 2
Barre/strength: 2
Yoga/BodyFlow: 1
Total miles (run + bike): 30.27
Total workouts: 8


I had a packed week in general between work projects, appointments, and socializing, which makes me even more happy that I was able to get in so many workouts.

MONDAY
Double workout day for me! What a great way to kick off the week with duel strength and core sessions and I'm planning on continuing this every week as much as I can. 

TUESDAY
This was my first training run of the fall season and I was still a little fatigued from the double strength workout the day before, so I decided to run by feel and without a watch. It felt hot. Really hot. Not much to say about that run other than that. 

WEDNESDAY
This day was a rest day, but Meadow Beagle went to the vet for a physical therapy consultation. Our old girl has some back issues and we're going to be doing regular therapy with her to keep her healthy and as pain-free as possible. She got a mini massage plus some laser therapy (and she loved it!). She was bouncing around the house and feeling awesome afterwards. Note to self: schedule a massage for yourself, too! 

Cool Dog - Waiting for her laser therapy

Cool Dog - Waiting for her laser therapy

THURSDAY
I took it indoors to the treadmill for a speed session. It's just so much easier to hit my paces when I'm inside right now. I did a 4 mile progression run and hit some good paces. It didn't feel hard until mile 4 when I was at sub-8, but I also think some of that was mental. Even though I despise the treadmill, I could definitely a feel a difference in my running with being inside as opposed to the horrible humidity outdoors.  

I also went to the allergist for testing and it's official: I'm allergic to Charleston. I discovered all of the wonderful things I'm allergic to that flourish here. But we have a plan to get me back into good health, so at least things are moving in the right direction and I can continue living in this wonderful city. 

After my allergist appointment, B and I headed over to visit a friend from Pennsylvania who was in town for the week. The house she was staying in had a pool, so my little water baby got to swim.   

FRIDAY
After a busy (but productive!) week at work, I was more than ready to relax over the weekend! I met the same friend from Thursday night out for dinner and had a light meal before heading to a special barre class at Barre Evolution.

Barre Evolution just launched an ambassador program and I'm excited that I was selected for the first round of ambassadors! They held a special class for us on Friday evening where we could all meet and then had champagne afterwards. 

Along with my ambassadorship, I get a special discount code for people to get their first class free. If you live in or visit the Charleston area, check it out! Go to BarreEvolution.com, select the $10 introductory class and then use ChristineE to get the free class.

My ambassador gear for barre Evolution

My ambassador gear for barre Evolution

SATURDAY
I did some cross training with the family on an almost 10 mile bike ride. We also made a stop for some coffee, bagels and donuts. B has his first donut and it's safe to say he was a fan. 

Biking break!

Biking break!

SUNDAY
We started out the day with a shorter family bike ride - just 3.5 miles to and from the coffee shop. We tried to get B a bagel, but he seemed to think bagels were donuts and was very upset when we presented him his bagel. So we caved and got him a donut. Donuts two days in a row. Parent fail.

But little B was a celebrity in the coffee shop. They remembered him (and his long surfer boy hair) from the previous day and everyone in the shop said goodbye to him using his name as we were leaving. He loved it! So precious!

COvered in chocolate icing - he even got it on his leg

COvered in chocolate icing - he even got it on his leg

I did my long run on Sunday evening. I was hoping it would be cooler by 6 pm when I headed out to run. I guess it was cooler, if you call a heat index of 95 and a dew point of 76 "cool." I should have waited until a bit later. I'm so over this hot, humid weather, though.

This has definitely been the hottest weather I've ever run in. Looking back over last year's summer runs (my app captures the weather), most were cooler than the ones this summer, probably because I was running at a different time of day and also because we had a record breaking July here this year. But they say heat training is almost as good as altitude training. This better pay off in the fall!

And that was my week! And of course, I've been up way too late every night watching the Olympics and the amazingness of Simone Biles and Michael Phelps and all of the other summer Olympic athletes. 

Is it feeling like fall where anyone else is (and by fall, I mean is it less than 85 degrees)? Can I live vicariously through you?


I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and MissSippi Piddlin'  for their Weekly Wrap post. You can check out all of this week's posts here.