1.35 km out of 1.92 km
February always makes you feel like winter will never end. The warm(er), sunny days are few and far between, so when you find yourself gifted with a rare perfect, winter’s day, you need to take advantage of it! I will admit that I haven’t been taking advantage of the nice days as much as I should have. I haven’t been doing so great with the PTSD thing and I recently returned to work and that hasn’t gone well at all. I only worked three days last week and I ended up a huge mess. I was supposed to go into work for 4 days this coming week, but I’ve worked it out so that I’m only going to be working 2 days. Even those two days are filling me with dread but I’m going to do the best I can.
I was such a mess last week that I didn’t even go to my fitness class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I have been hiding in my house, sleeping through the days and trying to occupy my brain with anything and everything that wasn’t what I was supposed to think about. Even school work has been too overwhelming but I gave myself yesterday a free pass on my work and hunkered down today.
The call of the sunshine was a little too loud this afternoon though, so I took a break half-way through my module (adjectives before lunch, adverbs after!) and laced up my runners for the first time this year. I haven’t been out for a run since November 16th and before that, mid-September. I have been feeling the urge to go out but I am too chicken to run on ice and snow. Today the streets are clear and I needed help to get out some of the pent-up anxiety so off I went!
My goal was to see what I could do before I needed to take a break and although I didn’t make it a full kilometre before I had to stop (darn!) I did run for a full 7 minutes which is a personal best! When I stopped I met up with Shawn and the dogs and walked for a bit until we reached the spot I stopped running. I started running again from there and made it home (with one 15 second walk stop)! I was quite proud of myself!
I might start the Couch to 5k program again as the spring makes its way into my life, but I might just try shorter distances (like my almost 2km route) and see how long it takes before I can run the entire thing without having to walk. I can build up endurance from there. This year I think I was to focus less on the distance and focus more on my endurance. This is the first time I have run this much without feeling like I wanted to die. I think if I give myself smaller distance goals I will feel more like I am accomplishing something as I reach them (because I WILL reach them!)
I’m just enjoying the feeling I get from running and exercising and I am becoming some strange Fitness Girl version of myself. It’s helping my anxiety and I really hope that eventually it’ll help when my PTSD gets too overwhelming. I’m now working on trying to make myself healthy both physically and mentally and that’s something that makes me happy these days.
Meanwhile, for my first run in 2014 (and my first ever winter run!) I’m pretty happy with how it went!
I go back to work tomorrow after having been off since the end of November. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I am doing much better than I was three months ago and I can actually go out into the world without having a nervous breakdown. On the other hand… I don’t know how I feel about going back to work, my job in particular. Part of it has a lot to do with the fact that I have to continuously walk by the building that the guy jumped from last March. I can’t help it. It’s right next to my office. I am just so over down-town, big cities in general lately. The jumper guy just added to my original dislike of cities. I’m also at the point where I’m ready to move on to a different job. Something that I really, truly enjoy. I just don’t know what that is yet – besides moving into the publishing world. I’m not ready for that one yet though. Still have some schooling to finish. Either way, I’m back to the real world tomorrow morning.
Besides missing not having to wake up to an alarm clock in the mornings, I am seriously going to miss snuggling with Sophie.
This dog, this tiny, vocal, fluffy little girl has been a huge part of my healing process. I didn’t even realize how much she’s been a part of it until recently. Whether it was the middle of the night, or during a crying fit, or just sitting quietly on the couch while I browsed the internet, Sophie will jump up beside me at least 10 times a day just o squish her face into mine, give me kisses, let me rub her belly and just hug her tightly for ever. She is a champion snuggler and I have never had a dog that loves to cuddle as much as she does. Sophie just loves to be loved and to share that love with her humans. She’ll alternate being beside me on the couch and then wandering over to Shawn at the table and stare at him, climb up onto his lap and give him kisses. She bounces between the two of us snuggling away. I’m a little worried how she’s going to be once we’re both back at work full time. I’m at least going back progressively while Shawn is hopefully on his way to finding new employment. I’d like to think there will be a decent enough transition period that Sophie won’t freak out about being alone (with Jinx) for 10 hours a day, 5 days a week.
Normally Sophie doesn’t DO selfies.
I realized this evening, as Sophie and I were smooshing our faces together, that it’s going to be impossibly hard for me to be gone all day tomorrow and not have snuggle moments with her. She’s been the best hug, the best comfort while I have been home. When I am anxious or sad I just bury my face into her fur and hug her while she grumbles at me. She’s vocal. She sings, she grumbles, she’ll occasionally bark at me when she thinks I’ve not paid enough attention to her (or paid her the wrong kind of attention… she might have told me off after the Olympic Ice Dancing routine I tried with her in the kitchen this weekend…)
Go, Team Canada!
But she’ll come right back up to me, tail wagging and jump up on her hind legs, stretching her JAZZ PAWS! up in the air at me so I’ll bend down and hug her. And hug her, and hug her and love her. She’s a bundle of love and affection that’s kept me together at times I was sure I’d fall apart. She didn’t care that I thought I was broken. She didn’t think I was broken, she just loved that I was on the couch next to her.
Jinx is great when I am down and out, he is. He’ll stay close and keep a watchful eye on me. He’ll curl up on the couch next to me, but he won’t snuggle. He doesn’t like kisses. “Boys don’t get kisses, Mummy!” is his stance on the matter. But he’ll protect me and he knows when I’m sick or sad. Sophie however, will jump right into that fire and smoosh herself right into your heart if you let her.
The best part about you exercising at home, Mummy, is that I can Downward Dog with you!
Both dogs stay near me constantly, but Sophie likes to be touching me as much as possible. She’ll take any opportunity for a cuddle. She’s not clingy or needy, don’t get me wrong. She likes her space well enough! Sophie just seems to know when I might need a little extra love and a giggle in my life. If I’m trying to hold a one-minute plank, or get 25 sit-ups in, she’ll sometimes come right over and stick her nose in my eye (thanks) and give my nose a little lick. Then she’ll slide down into play-mode and hang out with me as I giggle up a storm and take a break from the exercise.
Once I’m on the couch, she’s up there waiting. SNUGGLE TIME! Don’t play that computer game too long! Don’t watch too many hours of Buffy or Veronica Mars without stopping for a CUDDLE BREAK! Don’t forget to LOVE ME!
Sophie is my little snuggle bug and I’m almost in tears to have to leave her home while I’m at work the next two days. She doesn’t sleep in bed with us anymore (preferring to claim MY spot on the couch overnight!) so I won’t have as much snuggle time between getting home, eating dinner and then bed. I’m not sure who will miss whom the most. Thankfully she and Jinx will have Shawn to snuggle for most of tomorrow – although he’s got an appointment in the morning so he’ll actually be leaving the house with me at ten to eight tomorrow morning. Poor dogs, they’re in for a bit of a shock.
If I could get these dogs certified as therapy dogs for myself, I would. Having them – especially Snuggle Sophie – around me all day has been one of the best things I could possibly have asked for while dealing with my PTSD.
Unusual for me, I didn’t chronicle my birthday this year. A lot of it has to do with what’s going on in my life (and my head) these days, although I can’t really say why I haven’t blogged in 20 days. I guess I’m just not feeling it much lately.
On January 23rd I turned 38 years old. What a strange age to be. I find it very surreal to be closer to 40 than to 20. In my mind, I’m still closer to my teens than I am to being a grown-up. I’m not sure when this feeling will change, if it changes at all.
I woke up on my birthday and came downstairs to find a hand-made card waiting for me and a gluten-free birthday cake. These wonderful items were both courtesy of my amazing husband. Since it was my birthday, I was turning old, and I have been home on medical leave and feeling sort of out of sorts, I decided that my fancy party t-shirt was the appropriate attire for the day. Shawn got me that shirt for Christmas. Have I mentioned how wonderful my husband is?
In a surprising turn of events, I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday this year. It had nothing to do with age and everything to do with the PTSD crap I’m going through. I didn’t want to see anyone, go anywhere, do anything,or even really talk about my birthday. Two days before my birthday I woke up feeling excited that it WAS ALMOST my day. That was the first sign that I was starting to feel better and I have medication to thank for that.
Anyone who knows me knows how much of a birthday person I am. Generally I start counting down the shopping days until January 23rd in November. I used to write these helpful countdowns in my friends Val’s and Jill’s agendas. I’m helpful like that. This year I didn’t even tell new people I’d met that it was going to be my birthday. I realize this probably doesn’t matter to most of the world, but it’s a huge sign of how Not Myself I have been. I’m getting better but I still feel like I missing a big chunk of myself and I’m a little bitter about that.
So my birthday was spent with my husband and it was pretty quiet. We went to a movie during the day (Frozen) and then we had take-out for dinner. I braved the world and went downtown the next night to have dinner with my boss because I wanted to see her and I miss her a lot. That was nice and it was nice to know I could actually hear about work and not have a major panic attack start. Again, medication to thank for that. Not a huge dosage, but enough to erase the anxiety and fear I have been living with for the last handful of months.
I didn’t even see my in-laws until the start of February. I just wasn’t feeling like being around people or having any attention paid to me. Heck, normally I love attention. heh… I just wanted to be quiet this year. Reflect. Spend time with Shawn. The fact that we’ve both been home for the entire duration of my leave from work has been a blessing in disguise. I don’t know how I’d have gotten through what I was going through if I had to be alone with my thoughts all day.
Meanwhile, I’m still trying to digest the fact that I’m two years away from turning 40. It’s not that I think 40 is old, except in my head, I do think 40 is old. I know it’s not. I know more people in their 40s that I would think were in their late 20s if I didn’t know their real ages. I guess the idea of 40, the one that I grew up knowing, my parents’ 40.. or my grandparents’ 40… is still stuck in there somewhere. I have all these questions – when I’m 40 am I too old to keep having rainbow coloured hair? Am I too old to have pigtails when my hair is long, or too old to get more tattoos? Can I still wear t-shirts with cartoons on them? Will I still be cute? Hmm.
Most of this is completely in my head and I don’t totally believe it. It’s another one of those “two people in my head with completely logical and true ideas that do not get along” things. Like how I know I can succeed at school and at the same time think I can’t do school at all. Two differing opinions all living in the same space. It’s enough to make a person dizzy, yo!
So, I had a birthday in January. It’s now February and I’m not sure where the time went. I start back to work this coming Thursday and although it’s a progressive return, I’m not sure how I feel about going back to reality. I’ve been pretty happy in my cocoon at home doing things that I feel like doing when I feel like doing them. Alas. I still need to pay the bills.
When I left work in November I was 37. When I return to work this week, I’m 38 and honestly? It does feel like an entire year has passed in the last 2.5 months. I just hope that 38 treats me better than 37 did.
The last couple of weekends my trainer has been posting little work-out ideas on our facebook group for my fitness class. Just ideas of things we can do at home on our own. I had been trying to make my own programs but honestly that would end up eating up any motivation I might have had, so I like that Elissa is posting ideas for us. I tried to do the one she posted last weekend but couldn’t make it through. My not sleeping is one factor the other is the new medication I’m on temporarily to help with my anxiety – it makes me nauseous and diminishes my appetite so I am not eating nearly enough to be working out much. Alas.
But I’m trying to get as much as I can in!
These workouts are found on Pinterest and although she shares them privately with those of us in the group, I am going to be linking to the original post (if I can find it) and give credit where credit is due since I’m posting it on my blog. I’m not sure what the protocol is here, so just know that this is NOT something that either I nor my trainer came up with.
This particular work out is from Annica Nicole, she calls it the Ten Down Tone Up.
Now, I tried this one Saturday and only made it through three times. By the time I got to 7 burpees I was ready to collapse and I felt like crap. That was my cue to stop. Mind you, I started this late at night and I don’t think I’d quite digested dinner even though I thought I had waited long enough. On top of that, I was bored. It was too repetitive and my mind was wandering (and not in that “wow, my mind was elsewhere and boy was this fast!” sort of way.) So I didn’t finish it – but I DID get 50 squats in because I love squats. Yes, I know. I’m odd.
Today I did this in the late afternoon and I mixed it up a little. Instead of doing 10 of each, then 9 of each, etc. I started with 10 burpees, 9 squats, 8 lunges, and so on. This meant that I ended with 1 burpee. Then I started over with 10 squats, 9 lunges, 8 bicycles, and so on. This actually allowed me to do the program longer and not take breaks. Also it appeased my Wandering Mind and I was able to ALMOST complete it. Alas, I had to stop by the time I got to 10 push-ups. My arms were giving out and I was exhausted. By this time the dogs had decided that I had been ignoring them long enough and Sophie decided it was time for me to pay attention to her.
Make sure you stretch like this, Mummy.
While I was on my last 30 second plank (before I stopped), Sophie came over and smacked me on the head with her paw. Then she stuck her nose in my ear and eye and I was laughing so hard I fell over. Thankfully, I’d already reached my 30 seconds. As soon as I was on the floor she burrowed into the space between my head and shoulders and grumbled at me. This prompted Jinx to come over and see what was what. He smacked me on the head with his paw, smacked Sophie in the face and then tried to pull her away by her tail (his way of playing). Then they both swarmed me with wet noses and paws and I got the idea… it was time to stop. I was getting really tired anyhow.
I made it through to the end of the circuit I was doing and Jinx stayed beside me on my mat until I had to do burpees again.
Is this how I do it, Mummy? Am I planking correctly?
I have to say that my abs are already killing me from yesterday’s workout. I did way more today so I’m not sure how I’ll be tomorrow. I may or may not work out, it will depend on how I’m feeling. I won’t be able to make it to class on Thursday because it’s my birthday and I plan on eating all of the roast beef and mashed potatoes for dinner and that is not food I want to eat before an hour-long Crossfit class. I’ve been pretty good at working out three days and then taking a day of rest over the last 2 weeks. I’d like to keep it up. I’m not sure how it’ll go when I am back at work. All that work will cut into my free day-time time and I’ll have to go back to only having evenings to exercise and do homework! Alas!
I’ll also be happy when the roads aren’t so icy and I can start attempting to jog again!
I hate shopping. I only shop when I am desperate for something. Like jeans without a hole in the crotch, or underwear without extra ventilation. Or pyjamas without holes in the thigh area. Or underwear that don’t fall off when I exercise or move. Oh, and lastly, exercise pants that stay on when I exercise.
Turns out I needed all of the above, like, today. The jeans especially because the one pair I had that fits me (sort of) anymore has new ventilation and it’s cold outside and the ventilation is all inappropriate! So off we went to the mall. As I mentioned, I hate shopping. I especially hate shopping for jeans. Jeans shopping is up there with shopping for a bathing suit. It’s awful and I always end up majorly depressed and cranky afterwards.
I don’t know what happened today, but I managed to find 5 pairs of jeans and only one didn’t fit. It didn’t even go up past my thigh on one leg, so I just tossed that one aside. It claims that it was the same size as the other jeans I had with me, but I’m doubting that the brand knows how numbers work. Happily, I’d already tried on three of the five pairs and had no problems with them, so I didn’t start out feeling fat and whale-ish. In fact, one brand of jeans was too large in the larger size and so I went with the smaller one. Huzzah! And guess what? They are actual, honest-to-God, name brand jeans. Me! With something name brand! They are Calvin Klein if you can believe it. Holy cow! And they were on sale and yes, they are too long, but they fit like a dream and I am happy with them. I have never been happy with jeans before. Not like this. Normally, I just settle for whatever isn’t completely awful because I need something. The second pair I ended up getting were a Jessica Simpson brand because they had a petite line. Unfortunately, I am still too short for the Short leg jeans and I’ll have to hem those, too. They are also a boot-cut type leg so I can’t just roll them up like I do with skinny/straight.
Either way… my jeans have always been from Reitmans because they made some for short people. Or I’d go to Wal-Mart or Zellers and pick up some house brand jeans. I have never owned fancy name brand jeans. I did try on some Levi’s once but I didn’t like them and didn’t like the price, either. Happily The Bay still had sales and I got myself some new jeans.
I also lucked out at Sports Experts and got myself a running shirt, tank-top, and new running pants (with ties!). All on sale. The best sale was at the undies & jammies store where I got myself some new undies on sale (that fit!) and the most comfortable flannel pyjama bottoms ever. And two tank tops. All half-off.
Normally when I have to go out and replace clothes that I need to replace, nothing is on sale. Thankfully there are still sales happening after Christmas. I think it’s stock-clear out now. All I need now are some new shirts for work because I either don’t fit into the ones I had or they are so worn out they’d better serve as rags. I still don’t like to go out shopping, but I am actually pretty thrilled at how painless today’s outing was. Especially when I am still having anxiety issues over everything and being around people.
Now I just have to worry about having spending money that I don’t really have on things I really needed. Most of it was left over from Christmas, so it’s not too bad. But I always panic about spending that money on “frivolous” things. Shawn likes to try to remind me that wearing pants isn’t frivolous, but I still fret over it. I need these things, yes. But what if we need the money to fix something in the house? Like how our front porch light is no longer working. If it’s not just a matter of buying a new light (it’s not the lightbulbs) we’ll need some sort of electrician and that costs money. Ugh.
BUT… I am going to try to just focus on the fact that I was able to shop for AND buy jeans without having a meltdown. Regardless of my mental state and health, jeans shopping is NEVER painless and today, it was! Plus these new jeans make my bottom look cute and perky. It’s obviously from all those squats and lunges I am doing every week.