Long Time, No See

Yeah, I’m writing a new post….six years later.

I fell down a rabbit hole of nostalgia the other day and found my old Livejournal which then brought me here and I spent like two hours reading old posts of mine. Made me miss the days when I could just write and not worry about anyone’s opinion but my own.

Why here and not my other site? Well, I have too many non-friends and work colleagues that know about and follow me there. I just want to write for myself and whomever has been persistent enough to stay subscribed to my RSS feed. Because if you’re still following me, damn. Well done.

None of this is getting pushed to social media, so keep this between us, k? 👍🏻

So wow, what’s happened in the past six years?

  • Moved from Minnesota to Oregon
  • Moved back to Minnesota
  • Dad passed away
  • Mom was in the ICU (she’s fine now)
  • I had a hysterectomy
  • Bought a house
  • Said goodbye to Chester (2014), Roxy (2017) and Pixel (2019).
  • Said hello to Fiora and Fergal (2019)
  • Still at the same job
  • Still surviving in this pandemic (allegedly)

Now for the obligatory cat photo:

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDP2D0BpirF/
Fiora is the one with more white fur – Fergal is the one with the fluffiest belly <3

Obviously that’s a short list. Lots has happened – like I’m 40lbs heavier than I was back then. A great combination of stress and age can really pack on the pounds.

The hysterectomy surgery really took a lot of my fitness away from me (had basically a c-section that took months to recover from) and I’ve been fighting an uphill battle ever since. Granted my diet sucked, so my reduced levels of fitness didn’t stop the weight gain.

What fucking sucks is that pre-pandemic, I had my shit together: was on WW and had lost 10lbs and started going to Orange Theory Fitness instead of Crossfit and was seeing some amazing fitness results as well. I was back to running (up to 2mi) after not being able to for so long. Clothes that hadn’t been fitting were loose! Fuck yeah.

Then the pandemic hit. Fuck.

I couldn’t find any of the staples that were helping me be so successful with my diet. Like, I couldn’t find chicken breast, canned (or dry!) beans, canned tuna and salmon for the longest time. So I ended up buying what I could that would last because I tried to only go to the store every two weeks – which ended up being hamburger or whatever was available. A.K.A. food that wasn’t “diet friendly”.

Additionally, the stress of “fuck the world is ending” in the beginning had me hoarding all the comfort foods and foods that would make a shit-ton of leftovers because T was also forced to work from home. Tater tot hotdish. Anything with potatoes, really. Wine. Cheese. Pizza. CARBS. We’re all gonna die, so might as well enjoy myself while I still can, right?

Now here we are months later and I’m back to being a fat fuck.

Yes, the food supply issues are resolved now. OTF is open again, but I’m not fucking going to a gym where they’re not requiring people to wear a mask while they’re huffing and puffing on a treadmill LESS THAN SIX FEET AWAY FROM ME. Fuck that.

The biggest battle I’m having now is breaking all those bad habits I’ve picked up since quarantine. One glass of wine turns into <error quantity unknown> and lord knows the snacking comes hand in hand with that. Grabbing a frozen pizza out of the freezer for dinner instead of getting off my fat ass and cooking. Step one is to stop that shit during the week. I’m out of wine, so that should be easy.

Now, I’ve been outfitting my home gym. We had purchased a rower instead of a treadmill a few years ago because T said that he’d use that when he wouldn’t use a treadmill. Fast forward to now and I’m the only one who uses it, but I don’t feel like I get enough of a workout on it. I’ve also spent the past six months trying to find kettlebells or any free weights and I FINALLY scored a 4kg and 8kg kettlebell (which is more than enough for my weak ass) a month or so ago. Next step is to get a treadmill and a weight bench.

With what I was able to accomplish with my fat ass by going to OTF, I’m going to start running again and a treadmill will be the best way to do that. It’s how I started running in the first place in my 30s. Once I get into the groove of pacing and distance that does transition to running outside, but well, it’s almost October and I’m not fucking running outside when it’s less than 40 degrees. Hell no.

Now that my diet is also (slowly) getting back on track, here’s hoping that progress can start going back the other way. I can do this, right?

Also, plan on this kitten making more posts more frequently than every six years or so. 😂

If you’re still around – what’s new with you?

Well then.

Yes, I know it’s been a while. Ok, so it’s been 11 months.

I’ve been busy! I’ve also been blogging in more than one spot too. Although, since I started this job, I’ve been blogging less. It figures that once I started making and fixing WordPress, I didn’t have any time/energy to USE it. 😀

Terrible problems that I have, I know. In order to catch you up, I’m going to ask myself a few questions.

“You signed up for a race series? With a half marathon? Are you insane?”

“How did your half marathon training go?”

“How did your half marathon go?”

“What are you doing next?”

For the race series, I kinda go into detail into it here. So go read that and I’ll answer the half marathon training question instead.

(And read all the posts on that blog to get caught up even more on what’s been going on.)

It started out well, then it went to shit.

With my job, I get the opportunity to travel a lot – which I love! Since my last update on this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to go to:

  • Montreal (Canada)
  • San Francisco (CA) twice!
  • Santa Cruz (CA)
  • San Juan (Puerto Rico)
  • Austin (TX) for the SXSW Festival
  • Christ Church (Barbados)
  • Portland (OR)
  • Philadelphia (PA)

Gorgeous day in Philly. #latergram

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

All this travel is fantastic. However, it also throws a wrench into my normal routine which includes my training routine. I could have a long run scheduled on a travel day and I think “oh, I’ll just do it the next day!” then I get mired in being in a new place with people I’m not normally around and usually dealing with weather I’m not totally used to. You don’t realize how much a sudden 30 degree change in temperature or being at a different altitude can wreck your fitness goals.

Thus, a week where I was supposed to have run close to 18 miles, I only squeezed in 5. The next week, I was sick with a combination head cold and spring allergies. Do not recommend.

Time was ticking away to the half marathon date and I was woefully undertrained. I started planning on running a Galloway-style of speed intervals. For my half, I was going to do a 3min run/1min walk then adjust as necessary. Given the fact that my long run was only 9 miles and that was BEFORE the trips/sickness, I was in a slight panic.

Which brings us to the next question: how did my half go?

Well, it didn’t.

See, this post for that story.

Which leads us to what am I up to now?

Well, first off, I have to miss the last race in my race series! But it’s because of an awesome reason: I’M MOVING!

It’s no secret that winter and I don’t get along. Well, this past winter broke me and Tim and I made the decision to move to the West Coast. After some deliberation and a visit, we decided on the Portland, OR area.

The question I get all the time since we made the decision was “Why Portland?” Well, we’ve always loved the Pacific NW, and upon doing the research, it fits all our desires:

Changes of seasons. While Portland has distinct seasons, it rarely gets above 90 degrees even in the hottest part of the summer and in winter it rarely gets below freezing. It might snow and stick around for a few days, but it’s gone shortly thereafter. I can still wear sweaters/boots – but I won’t want to hole up in my house for 5 months and curse every time it snows because I have to shovel. Some people have said “but it’s cloudy and rainy”. I’ll fucking take it.

And the summers there get warm – and they don’t need air conditioning. SIGN ME UP.

Liberal leaning. Oregon is consistently a blue state. I don’t think I could even live in a red state, to be honest.

Tech community. I have a number of coworkers that are already in Portland, there’s a ton of tech giants and startups, and I can get FIOS internet for half of what I’m paying now for Comcast’s meager offerings. Hell. Yes.

Outdoor activities. I love hiking, biking, and running outdoors. With Portland’s weather, I can run outside year-round (unless it drops below 40 degrees). Where we’re going to live (outside of Portland proper), we’re an hour from the beach, an hour from the mountains, and an hour from wine country. Sounds pretty damn good to me.

Cost of living. The Portland area’s cost of living is very similar to Minneapolis. Seattle and San Francisco were much higher. Not needing to change our standard of living = awesome.

I could keep going on, but I’ll just leave it there. We love the Portland area.

Really the only stress point I have about the whole thing is moving the cats. Twenty-two hundred miles with three cats who hate the car? OMG SEND ALL THE BOOZE.

Since we’re driving both vehicles out, my sister is going to come and ride along with me so I’m not alone with the yowling. Well, I think Chester will be fine, and I think Pixel will chill out eventually, but Roxy will lose her shit.

The battle of stubbornness has begun. #friday #alwayswatching

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

The vet has some pheromone stuff that should help – they highly recommended to NOT tranquilize them because it stresses everyone out. I tend to agree.

Well, I guess that’s enough catching up for now! Stay tuned for my next post a year from now. 😀

Otherwise, see my WordPress.com blog linked to above or my other standalone site at carolynsonnek.com for future updates.

Dirty Girl

Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza

I just had to laugh at this post by The T-Rex runner about how sick they are of seeing all the posts in social media about paleo, gluten-free, vegan, et al.

I’m right there with them.

I love a nice cold beer on a hot day. I savor an amazing slice of coal-fired pizza. (Especially if it’s from Black Sheep Pizza – also pictured above.) Gluten-free, unless you’ve been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, is just a fad.

It’s fitting that I ran across that post today. I recently joined up at Lifetime Fitness because I needed something to break up the life monotony of being in my house all the time. For that same reason, I got a 1 day/week membership at Coco Minneapolis to get me out of the house on a workday – and so I can go to the food trucks. The best part is that it’s an amazing space:

Co-working at CoCo Mpls

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

Not a bad view while working.

A photo posted by Carolyn Sonnek (@csonnek) on

Back when I worked downtown, I was OK doing my cross training workouts at home. Now, I’m *always* home and it’s slowly making me crazy. That combined with the desire to bump up my fitness level, I joined the gym. It’s close and they have great free group fitness classes*. Plus, my friend A who works for Lifetime tipped me off to a “free signup” weekend over the holiday weekend. No signup or processing fees – saved myself ~$150!

I did my free fitness assessment yesterday. A tool, I’m sure, to scare gullible people into purchasing personal training. When the nutritional part of the assessment came around, the trainer said that I don’t eat enough vegetables or protein and too many carbs and cheese.

No shit. I love cheese!

Yes, I can fit in more vegetables. In fact, that is one of my current goals. And protein? I’m pretty sure I don’t need as much as the trainer thinks I do – because their next point was to go down to the gym cafe/store and stock up on protein powders.

Um…no.

I think I also crushed the trainers happiness by telling her my goal was to improve my fitness and run times. “Not weight loss?” was the first thing out of her mouth after I said that. I said “sure, that would be great, but if I do the other things, the weight loss will naturally follow.” She then asked me if I “journaled my food” – i.e. calorie counting.

Sheesh.

I know I’m 40 and not skinny, but dieting/counting calories is the worst thing to do for someone who loves food. Because then I become obsessed with food and that’s all I can think about! Which makes me want to eat everything. EVERYTHING.

I’ll be more mindful of my portion sizes, because that is my downfall, but I’m not counting calories. Period.

Back to T-Rex’s post.

My favorite part of T-Rex’s post was this at the end:

So y’all, eat clean if you want. Be paleo. Don’t eat sugar by choice (GOD, WHY?). Go vegan. Only eat fish and things that are purple. I personally don’t care. But if you need me, I’ll be the girl with a craft beer in one hand and a cheeseburger in the other after every marathon, so don’t feel bad if you’re right there with me.

I know friends that have gone vegan and it was great for their health. I tried it, and couldn’t stick to it (cheese, y’all). For the most part, my goal is to eat vegetarian for breakfast and lunch, then dinner’s whatever I feel like making. If it’s a bacon cheeseburger or bratwurst, so be it.

So what I’m saying is: you eat what works for you and I’ll eat what works for me. Stop judging me! 😉

____
* – Did a kickboxing class on Monday. My arms FINALLY don’t hurt like a SOB. Goddamn. Now I’m taking an INSANITY class tonight…I think *I’M* insane! 😉

Engineering Happiness

Our baby just hit 1000 miles. Sniff.

A lot has happened in the past few months!

You all know about my career transition plans and goals, but my goodness there’s been a lot going on since I last wrote about it. To make a long story short, I posted about it over on my other blog, carolynsonnek.com.

Go read it. I’ll wait. In the meantime, look at Chester hatching a giraffe:

This is how Chester shows love.

Cute, right?

Oh, you’re back! Pretty cool, eh? New awesome career -> acquired. 😀

Since I have Awesome New Job, I finally quit Ye Olde Part Tyme Jobbe! With the travel opportunities that my new job offers in addition to the more demanding nature of the position, I need to have my full weekends back. Before, when I was slogging away in Cubicle Hell, I only needed a full day off to recharge. Now? I have much bigger plans!

We also bought a new car! We traded in the old 2003 Mazda Protegé for a 2013 Nissan Juke SL in Sapphire Black. She’s pretty. And fast. And awesome.

Next, I get to go to San Francisco for the first time in May – completely non-work related, funny enough. Our good friends Jason and Vicky (our only in-person guests at our wedding) from the UK are taking a California trip in May and we decided to meet up with them in SF for a few days. I’m very excited. Might have to get in touch with a few friends that live out there to meet for coffee or cocktails. I can’t wait!

Finally (I told you there were a lot of things!), I’m getting back into running and healthier eating after I saw myself in a fitting room mirror today. Who put my head on this fat body? I had been getting back to running on a more regular basis, but as always, I can’t run away a bad diet. The standing desk has really helped in my form and I’m not having as many hip issues like I used to. Score!

Since I don’t have the temptation to eat out for lunch all the time like I used to when I worked downtown, I’m going to refocus my energies into eating healthier and dropping some of this winter coat I’ve acquired. A goal I can stick with!

Hell, if I can transform my work life in 6 months, I can transform my body…right?

So that’s the latest in the life of ye olde Blogkitten! Keep an eye on my other blog as that will be more focused on the tech things I get interested in. And a lot of my Instagram photos. 🙂

Happy blogging!