Weekly Recap: A Sliver of Hope (2/12-2/18)

Success!

Woohoo! I ran 4 times last week! I'm not sure I remember the last time I ran 4 times in a week. It definitely was either December or November. Plus the weather has also been much better (warmer), which means more time outside for bike rides!

And I posted more than my weekly recap blog post, which you can find here:

What Matters

I'm trying to do better with posting more content that goes beyond what I did (or more often, what I didn't do) in the prior week. I used to this. Somewhere along the line I fell off the wagon.

weekly-recap-lowcountry-views

So, it was a good week. I feel better than I've felt in a really long time (years maybe?). And while I'm still sad and missing my sweet Meadow Beagle (like crazy), my body is no longer heavy and achy from illness and injury, I recover right away from my workouts without DOMS affecting my next workout, and my hair is thicker. No really. Thicker hair is a really good thing, beyond vanity.

I've always had crazy thick hair, but with all of the health issues I had over the past year and a half or so, it had gotten just a bit thinner, as is typical with the particular issues I had. I got my hair cut on Friday and my stylist noticed that my hair was super thick again. She actually asked if I was pregnant since my hair was out-of-control thick back then (seriously, I couldn't get regular ponytail holders around it more than one time). It sounds superficial, but hair health is a reflection of overall health (specifically when we're talking about some of the issues I've had), so the fact that my hair is rebounding along with the rest of me is good. 

Anyway, enough about my hair. Here's how my week shook out:

Monday

The weather was beautiful, so I went for a short morning bike ride in the morning and then a yoga class in the evening. I almost didn't go to yoga, but I'm so glad I did. I only got one yoga class this week because of my schedule, but it was a good one.

Tuesday

Tuesday was a run day and a strength training day. I'm thoroughly enjoying my new run routes from our new house. They're peaceful and always have salt water views. Who can complain about that?

salt water sound views lowcountry

Wednesday

Valentines Day! This isn't something D and I have ever gone out of our way to celebrate, but B was really into it this year with his class party and that made it fun. D cooked dinner (salmon and spaghetti) and we had a nice evening at home, watching the Olympics. 

Thursday

Normally (ideally), Thursday is a run plus strength day for me, but the weather was too gorgeous on Thursday evening to be trapped inside. So we went out for a family bike ride instead and caught an amazing sunset right after we got home.

lowcountry sunset charleston
charleston sunset

Friday

I wanted to go to yoga on Friday morning, but my schedule was just too packed and I had too much work to get done before heading out to the hair stylist at 3. I also hit up Stretch Zone for the first time in a while over lunch. With my piriformis injury, I couldn't really do anything at Stretch Zone without pain, so I haven't been there since the beginning of January. 

It was probably also good I took a rest day anyway, even though I was feeling good, since I put my body through more last week that I've done in a while.

Saturday

Saturday morning, I headed out for another easy 3 miles. It was so windy and my legs were definitely feeling all that I put them through over the week. I wasn't sore, but I did feel a little bit of fatigue, which makes sense since I ran more and did more in general than I have in months. But I still felt way better than I felt before, so there's progress. 

Sunday

My longest run in months (and months!) - 5 miles. That seems laughable that 5 miles was a long run for me, but every has to start (or restart) somewhere, right? After I got home from my run, we headed out for a 6-mile family bike ride. 

salt water views lowcountry charleston

Workout summary


3 mile bike ride
Monday 3 mile bike ride
Yoga
Tuesday 3 mile run at 8:51 pace
Strength training at F45
Wednesday 3 mile bike ride
Thursday 3 mile run at 9:08 pace
Friday Off - Stretch Zone
Saturday 3 mile run @ 9:14 pace
Sunday 5 mile run at 9:24 pace
5 mile bike ride
Totals 4 runs/14 miles
4 bike rides
1 yoga
1 strength
10 TOTAL WORKOUTS

I'm so glad to be back out there and running pain-free again. And to also not be sick and feeling better than I have in years. Running is fun again! 

How was your week? Is it feeling like spring where you are yet or is it still cold? 

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As always, I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap series.


What Matters

Confession: I still watch Grey's Anatomy.

Seriously.

Hear me out. I promise, this isn't a Grey's recap post.

But really, this season has been pretty good. A recent episode focused on Miranda Bailey experiencing a major life event followed by an epiphany about what truly mattered in her life (and what didn't). To paraphrase Miranda - You have to let go of the things that don't matter, so you have space to hold on to the things that do. 

what matters

Let's say that again because it's worth repeating:

You have to let go of the things that don't matter, so you have space to hold on to the things that do.

That's something that's really hit home with me lately.

With Meadow Beagle getting so sick and then experiencing the unbearable pain of losing her, I've found myself lost in thought about all of the good times we've spent with her over the years. She was a special little dog, that's for sure. 

And all that introspection got me thinking about what matters - what I hold on to and what I let go of. In fact, I started this blog post with this title before that episode of Grey's Anatomy aired, and before we lost Meadow, so it's been on my mind for a while.

When I think back to when we first rescued that sweet little beast in 2011, I have such fond memories of that time overall. We were living in small, vibrant city (that is apparently "the next Brooklyn") in a house that I love (and that we hope to start using as a vacation home soon). I could walk or bike anywhere I needed to go, I had finally started working out (although not running yet), and I had a fun social life. 

Meadow in 2011 (and Lucy Belle, Stella Blue, and Foster Girl Mimi)

Meadow in 2011 (and Lucy Belle, Stella Blue, and Foster Girl Mimi)

Despite my rosy memories, 2011 wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. I had a really terrible work experience that year. It was awful. I was miserable. And the job that replaced the job I lost was also not what I expected (although retrospectively, provided valuable experience for the future).

I spent a lot of time that year being pissed off and sad about work. And I was itching to move out of Pennsylvania. 

But now, all these years later, those bad experiences are not what I think of first when I think of that time in my life. Part of this is mere cognitive bias, specifically the fading affect bias, but maybe that's okay. 

The things I think about when looking back on that particular time in my life are my family (obviously, including my dogs), my friends, the house where we lived, the activities we participated in, the Etsy shop I ran, writing a really terrible fashion blog (the fashion was terrible, not the writing), and the fun I had in the city - the things that matter. 

In light of all that, I started thinking about my current stage of life.

I've been working myself to the bone with barely any time to eat or sleep, and one particular project was the main reason for that. And it was causing a lot of completely unnecessary stress.

It made me cranky, snappy, and generally miserable. It took away joy from my full-time job and my freelance work/consulting business and clients who I actually enjoy working with, and stole valuable time from other fun things I wanted to be doing (art, running, yoga, life). And of course, it took time away from my family. 

I didn't have time for the things that matter.

The things (and people and animals) that matter

The things (and people and animals) that matter

After two particularly insane weeks (one with crazy deadlines and another with crazy work and a sick dog), I decided enough was enough. There was simply no point in the stress I was dealing with and it was something I could easily let go of.

I'm luckier now than I was back in 2011. I have more options and the luxury of letting go of a side gig if it's not working for me (also, I worked hard to get to the point of having choices like this and I'm not done yet).

So I let go. I let go of something that didn't matter.  

And with that I could refocus on things that do matter - my family, my health, art and design projects, and other side projects I've been putting off because I didn't have time.

Once I put in my notice with the stressful side gig, I felt an immediate rush of relief. My mood improved and my stress levels felt lighter.

And I'm so glad that what ended up being Meadow's final week with us wasn't mired by unnecessary stress. I spent time with her, met all of my other deadlines, and didn't feel like a frazzled train wreck (just a brokenhearted train wreck, but that's a different story). 

Despite letting go of a bad situation, I'm still busy. But the difference now is a relatively unimportant thing that was taking up a disproportionate amount of brain space and time is gone. And that leaves me with more space to experience and enjoy all of those things that matter. And those things? They're what I'll think of first 7 years from now when I think back to 2018.

Seriously.

Posted on February 13, 2018 and filed under Life.

Weekly Recap: Channeling Grief (2/5-2/11)

Moving Forward

First, I want to thank everyone who expressed sympathies via blog, Facebook, and Instagram comments, texts and phone calls for the loss of my sweet Meadow. She was one in a zillion and I'll never find another like her. This week has been hard. But I've also channeled some of that grief into other projects. Meadow had a strong spirit, and she'd want me to keep moving through the pain, just like she always did. 

I've also been doing things to remember her, including finally catching up on old blog posts, like our Disney race/vacation from November where she came along: 

Race (and Vacation) Recap: Disney Wine & Dine 10K

weekly recap

I didn't realize how much of my time (and brain space) was taken up by caring for Meadow, until I didn't have her anymore. To be clear, I don't regret that time and I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat. And I'd much rather have her here and be shuttling her from place to place, worrying about her, petting her, feeding her, paying her massive vet bills - but she's not here and that's my reality now. I'm learning to live with it. 

On that note, I'm doing some small things to get myself back on the right track in many aspects - blogging, working out, side projects, life. In workouts, I'm still trying to find the right schedule and routine, but I'm getting there. 

My husband was out of town last week, so that always presents some scheduling challenges for me, and last week I ended up missing Monday and Wednesday because of that and my own work schedule, but in general I'm doing okay. 

A few highlights from my workout week:

I got into side crow for the first time ever! I've had regular crow for several years, but I've never practiced yoga consistently enough to get much beyond the basics. Now that I found a studio I love and I'm practicing more, I'm able to do new things, like side crow!  

I ran a new run route from our new house. Rather than looping around our neighborhood because I didn't want to get too far from home, I ran farther out to the sound. I'm so stoked for that new route. It's peaceful and beautiful and good for logging lots and lots of miles.

Running views - That's the Sound out there (it was low tide)

Running views - That's the Sound out there (it was low tide)

That was also my longest run since December. Only 4 miles, but I'll take it as I rebuild from illness and injury. And it was an okay pace, especially considering the 100% humidity and all the time I've taken off. I'm on my way back!

I got in 2 strength workouts, which is my goal for the week. And I was able to lift heavier last week than I have the past several weeks. My muscles are bouncing back and remember that they've done this before. (The number on the scale is also dropping.) 

All good things, all good things. 


Workout summary

Monday Off
Tuesday 3 mile run @ 9:23 pace
Strength training at F45
Wednesday Off
Thursday Strength training at F45
Friday Yoga
Saturday Off
Sunday 4 mile run at 9:10 pace
5 mile bike ride
Totals 2 runs/7 miles
1 bike ride
1 yoga
2 strength
6 TOTAL WORKOUTS

I also tried to take Autumn Beagle out for a run with me. We didn't get very far before she got distracted by the smells, but she does like to run, so I'll keep trying. She and Lucy used to run short runs with me when we lived in Charlotte, but I got out of that habit. Old lady Lucy is a bit too long in the tooth now for that, but Autumn is still spry, so we'll see how she does. 

Running with Autumn (sort of)

Running with Autumn (sort of)

Other than that, I had a relatively uneventful week (thank goodness for that after the past few weeks I've had!) and I've been enjoying the Winter Olympics. And I totally bought Hulu Live just so I could watch the games. 

Up next: Putting it all together and attempting to get in at least 3, maybe 4, runs plus yoga and strength. 

How was your week? What's your favorite Olympic event?

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As always, I'm linking up with HoHoRuns and Taking the Long Way Home for the Weekly Wrap series.