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diary of a non-jogger – new personal record

Well, golly. I haven’t written on my blog in weeks! I only wrote one post in March! Oops. Obviously I’ve been going through some stuff, but I’ve also been swamped with my grammar course this semester. I just did my final exam in that course today and I’m both happy and sad that the course is over.

I was mentally exhausted when I was done the exam (almost 2 hours long!) and I went up to take a nap but I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about how it was a lot nicer out today than it was supposed to be. It was supposed to pour rain all day and yet the sun had started to peek out from behind the clouds. It’s cool enough outside that a run wouldn’t have been uncomfortable. So, I got up, changed into my running clothes and went out.

Now, I haven’t run since February 23rd and I have been quite ill for the past month and a half (possible bad reaction to medication, not sure. Seeing my doctor tomorrow.) I kept the same goal in mind I had last time though – run as much as I can in a shorter distance and work on building that up. Last time I was thrilled that I was able to run a full 7 minutes without stopping. I didn’t make a full kilometre in distance though, but because I had a shorter route, I was happy with what I was accomplishing.

This time I got the 5 minute notification from runkeeper and I’d only covered about 0.63km. I was determined to make a full KM though so I kept running. I wasn’t feeling like I needed to stop yet, so I took that as a good sign. I was waiting for the distance notification to sound but it didn’t. Finally, I needed to stop because I knew my body couldn’t go much longer without a walking break. I was disappointed that I hadn’t made a kilometre yet again. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my phone and saw that I’d actually ran 1.10 km!! Seems I need to turn on distance notifications! I forgot to check the time though, I think it was just under 7 minutes.

I walked for 0.05km and then started running again and managed to get another 0.45km of jogging in before I got home. Which means I ran 1.55 km out of the 1.63! I’m so proud of myself.

Sure, this isn’t even close to 5km and I really need to build up my endurance and distance again – especially since I’m doing the 5K Spartan Sprint in May! I’m hoping that most of my health issues are going to go away finally and that I can go out for runs more often. I’d like to try and keep 3 times a week as a general running schedule, plus I have my two nights a week of crossfit/interval training (and hopefully soon, the weekend morning outdoor classes!).

I shall continue to run this shorter route until I can run the entire thing. I am thinking that if I keep this up regularly, I should be able to make some decent progress this year. I have obviously built up a lot of muscle and stamina over the last year with regular exercise. I’m still enjoying the jogging and exercise too, and now it has the added bonus of NOT feeling like I have to do it or my world will collapse. I can enjoy the activity without it being necessary to help battle my anxiety because the anxiety has lessened a whole bunch lately.

When I got home, I sat on the stairs for a few minutes and drank the rest of my water. Then Shawn and I leashed up the dogs and we went out again (almost the same route) and took the dogs for their walk before the rain started once more. It was a nice cool down after the run.

I’m hoping to go out again tomorrow since it’s supposed to be warm out, and I’ll be home early from work (oh, yeah, I’m back at work full-time again…) because of the doctor’s appointment in the afternoon.

Let’s see if I can actually achieve my goal of running a full 5km without having to walk in-between this year! I’m super excited to try!

sometimes, you just need to be your parents’ little girl again, even if you’re all grown-up

I am still dealing with my PTSD. I am still not quite ok. I am much better than I was 3 months ago, but I am still unable to work a full 5-day work week. I just want to get through March.

Today (Wednesday) and tomorrow (March 27) is the one-year mark for my trauma and the jumper. I knew I didn’t want to be anywhere near downtown this week, I didn’t want to be anywhere near work. So I did something that seems to be quite helpful: I escaped my home and city and came to visit my parents in a completely different Province.

I’m currently blogging from the bottom bed of a bunk bed (I am sadly above the weight limit for the top bunk) in my parents’ house. I have come alone, letting my husband have a much needed vacation from me. ;) I have been driven around, and fed, and entertained by my parents for the last 2 days and they have made me all of my favourite foods, and even altered some to make them gluten free for me.

I took a train. One-way, since my parents are driving me back home since they were coming back to Montreal this weekend anyhow. I spoiled myself and nabbed a discounted business class train ticket for the trip here. I was served a wonderfully delicious gluten free meal on the train.

(Seriously, Via Rail has managed to impress me three times so far with the quality of their gluten free meals!) (And wine!)

My Mum met me at the train station, since my father was in a course (painting!) and then we hit up the outlet mall so I could look for some new running shoes.  I was in town for less than 20 minutes and I’d already bought shoes. It was a good afternoon.

My parents used to live about 7 minutes away by car. Almost 2 years ago, they moved 3 hours away – from Quebec to Ontario. I have always been a Mommy’s Girl, and when I was sick or scared, or even happy – I’d want my Mummy. When what happened last March happened, I could only call my Mum. This is also the sort of thing you kind of want to protect your parents from anyhow. It’s a rather horrifying event to have happen to you and you know your parents can’t fix what happened. But sometimes, when you’re scared and sad, you just want to be that little girl. The little girl whose parents take care of her and tell her everything will be ok and they will slay your demons for you.

Neither my parents nor my husband could change what happened. They could just stand by me and offer me support and love when I needed it. But my parents live so far away and I went back to work (yes, pretty fast). I thought I was going to be ok. It was rough, I was in shock, I had anxiety and nightmares, but I was working through it.

But then I didn’t want to be around anyone. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to see anyone. My parents visited for dinner one day after Christmas, but I didn’t spend much time with them after that.

But this week, this week I wanted to be with them. And so I am. I am being spoiled. I am being cared for. I am currently sitting in a kid’s bunk bed for crying out loud. ;)

My fort.

I might be 38, but the kid in me is happily being taken care of by her parents. Her parents are protecting her and they also have the added bonus of living a heck of a long way away from downtown Montreal and all of its tall buildings where people can jump to their doom.

There’s no stress. No anxiety. I am happier and calmer than I have been in months. Tomorrow’s anniversary (I need another word for this… anniversary is too HAPPY) will be spent here, with my parents. Possibly playing cards or Scrabble. Eating pineapple upside down cake. Cuddling with cats that I shouldn’t be cuddling with because I’m allergic to them. (Sorry, not sorry!)

I miss my husband and I miss my dogs. They are my everything. They have been such a huge part of my healing process. But sometimes… sometimes you just need your parents. There’s a certain kind of comfort that you can only get from your parents. It’s all part of the healing process and right now my healing process is calling for roast beef and pineapple upside down cake. ;)

I love my parents and I am so happy that I have been able to spend this week with them. Friday I go home to my husband and the dogs. Hopefully they have been surviving ok without me. My guess is that all three are just living off of pizza and fries. ;)

jinx puppy turned nine

Fancy dress for his birthday dinner

Somehow, Jinx Puppy has grown up. It’s like we’ve blinked and he got old. But he’s not old. Yet, on February 28, 2014, our little puppy turned 9-years old! Shawn and I spent the last week of February shaking our heads in disbelief. This little guy – the best wedding gift ever! – was only 4 months old when we met him. How did he grow up so fast?

Looking through photos, I noticed that he celebrated his third birthday in this house. This also means we’ve had the house a long time. Not to mention the fact that we’ll be married nine years come July.

NINE.

Next year will be 10.

TEN!

Shawn and I both still think of Annie as being 7 years old and yet it’s been three years since we lost her. Jinx will forever be our Puppy. Our gentleman puppy. Protector of All Things Proper.

Are you really trying to take a selfie with me? Do you want to be THAT person?

Jinxy sleeps a lot now. He also snores very loudly. He limps a little when he gets up from one of his naps, as I think his hips are possibly bothering him when it’s damp. Once outside, he’ll happily romp around with Sophie in the snow (he loves to pull her tail) but he’ll quickly plop himself down at the bottom of the stairs, in the snow, and chomp away on pieces of ice he has found.

He’s not as spry or sure-footed as he used to be, and really, most of these changes have happened in the last year. Funny how that can happen.

Don’t panic, Mummy. I’m right here. I just need a little more blanket though…

As much as Jinx loves his comforts, and pretty much all of my fuzzy blankets, these days, he’s always there when I desperately need some love. If I’m crying, or really sick, and if I’m having an anxiety attack (as I often do these days) he’ll be right there. Next to me. He’s not a huge snuggler, not like Sophie. But when he knows I need that extra comfort, Jinx is there. He’ll put his paw on me, or sneak his head into (or at least, squished up right next to) my lap. He’ll beg me for pets and snuggles by pulling at my arm with his paw. He’s sensitive and caring. He’s my protector. He’s my comfort.

Wild party times for Jinx’s 9th birthday!

My little boy is technically a senior now, but he’ll always be our puppy. He looks like a puppy and most of the time acts like a puppy (a very well behaved one!) What a weird reality to accept!

Happy birthday, Billionaire Jinx Puppy! There were no party hats, just a nice tie. I know how much you like things to be proper. I love you, you big goofus.

diary of a non-jogger – first run of 2014

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!

the healing power of snuggles

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.

Snuggle Selfie

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.