Am I A Failure?

New running shoes

I swear the world is fighting against me to thwart my efforts in training for the triathlon on July 1st. I never had this much trouble training for a half-marathon!

I think I narrowed it down to these things:

1. New house/garden.
I’ve never had a vegetable garden before, and the prep work for that has been a lot of work. I also have established plants (asparagus & strawberry patch) that need maintenance and picking on a nearly daily basis. Also, putting the final touches on the house eats up time.

2. Social life.
I know, wah wah wah. I have an active social life. But, having SO many things going on – especially on nights and weekends (my prime workout time) – it puts a cramp in my training schedule.

3. Work stress.
My job – compared to what it was 2 years ago when I was training for the half – has exploded in terms of workload and responsibilities. I’m more mentally exhausted at the end of the day and as a result, it makes it damn hard to get motivated.

4. Eating healthier.
Since the move and due to the above factors, I seem to have less time to cook and plan meals. Which means we’re either eating out or getting takeout a lot more than we used to and I’m getting frustrated with that. Thus, more of my focus is shifting to cooking healthier dinners.

5. Training time.
I can train for running events in a relatively short amount of time on any given day because all I have to do is:

  1. put on workout clothes,
  2. put on running shoes, and
  3. GTFO.

With the bike, there’s:

  1. put on cycle clothing,
  2. put on cycle shoes,
  3. get water bottles filled up,
  4. get bike down from garage rafters and check the tire pressure and address any other mechanical issues,
  5. put on helmet and gloves,
  6. make sure I have my phone in case of mechanical issues, and
  7. GTFO, and
  8. upon return, put everything away.

And swimming?

  1. find swimsuit, goggles and swim cap; pack in gym bag,
  2. find two towels; pack in gym bag,
  3. make sure lock AND KEY for the locker room is in the bag,
  4. drive to the gym,
  5. change into swim clothes,
  6. shower and get hair wet before putting on swim cap (mama don’t need green hair, yo!),
  7. swim (a.k.a. GTFO)
  8. shower to rinse out chlorine,
  9. change into regular clothes,
  10. drive home, and
  11. shower for real.

I don’t count “showering” after running and biking because I usually shower later in the evening after I’ve stopped sweating. No sense showering if I’m still sweating! But with the pool, I can shower once I get home. Why at home? Well, it’s just less crap I have to pack and haul to the pool and frankly, showering (for real) at the gym sucks. But I do need to get the chlorine out of my hair, so I can’t skip it.

Yes, I know the packing stuff with the swimming can be done ahead of time, but it still takes time regardless of *when* I do it. It also doesn’t take that much time. It’s the driving and changing clothes two times that does it.

And I know what some of you are thinking: “Carolyn, why don’t you just work out in the morning?” For those of you who haven’t had the “joy” of seeing me in the morning, I have an alter-ego named GROG who acts a lot like Drunk Hulk over on Twitter and GROG hates getting up early.

Angry Uhu

(not me, but pretty damn close as to my morning attitude – except more grumpy)

Plus, the few times I tried it, I was so stressed out trying to get everything done before work and was tired/ravenous the rest of the day. Mornings + me = bad.

* * * * *

I saw my cousin who is three years my junior this weekend at my niece’s graduation party – the same cousin who signed up to do a half marathon, the Warrior Dash and now this tri and goaded me into doing the same – and she’s in worse shape than I am. I’m not sure when I got or why I have this sense of competition with her, but I do. Having her tell me that she’s “seriously going to die” doing the tri somehow made me feel better.

I’ve swam a quarter mile already. Albeit, not all at once, but I did that my first (and only) time in the pool! I’m pretty confident if I get to the pool at least 4 more times between now and July 1, I’ll be in good shape. Besides, I’m just shooting to finish, not be super-fast or anything.

Once I install my new saddle on the bike, I’ll be stoked to GTFO and put some miles on. Unless my body/fitness has changed dramatically over the past 3 years, I’ll be able to knock out a 13 miler with no trouble.

With the running, I’m up to 30 minutes nonstop running and I did 4 miles on Saturday. Granted, I had a pee break 1.5 miles in and the last mile was more of a 2min run, 30sec walk. So in the next month, I want to get up to 6 miles running (w/no breaks) and I should be OK doing the 5k after the swim/bike. Going to do some bricks of bike/run the week before the race too.

All in all, I should be in good shape.

My goal: to finish.

And beat my cousin. 😉

So am I a failure? Considering, I think I’m doing pretty well.

Running Through Concrete

run run run lies

I was working on another post about my March of moving, spraining my ankle, unpacking, painting, and wondering where the hell the month of March went when I got thinking about things.

On my bus ride to work this morning, I started making a list of things I want to do this year and thinking about what’s holding me back. Trying to express my mental funk I posted to my Twitter about how I felt like I was mentally “running through concrete” and how I was going to change that today.

What is holding me back?

Not having a plan for my goals and fighting with negative thoughts.

Being busy with the move and spraining my ankle has kept me from running. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I was able to go for a run, which sucks because I have a trail in my backyard now! And my pants are feeling tighter because of it. Plus, I now have the gardens I’ve always dreamed of and those gardens take work. Also, we now live in a house that’s twice as big as the old one and it takes twice as long to clean. I also need to train for the various races I signed up for and I need to get back into the groove of cooking healthy meals instead of eating out. And I do all that after work. How am I going to fit all this in?

That is changing tonight.

I’m going to go to the gym and use either the elliptical or the stationary bike and the rest of the week I’m sticking to my plans of doing some sort of exercise every day until my ankle is healed up enough to start running again. With the cleaning and gardening work I’m going to fit in at least 30 minutes of that work each day. Cooking will require me to do a bit more planning, but I was able to do that before so I just need to get back into the habit.

The negativity? That’s a more complicated thing. But I can tell you that I’m making conscious decisions and deliberate actions to be more positive despite situations I find myself in on a daily basis. Focus on the positive!

It’s the best I can do. Small steps over time equals great results. And I’m all about the results! 😉

Will have a more extensive update (hopefully with pictures!) tomorrow!

Help Me, I'm Drowning!

Pieces

Fabric swatches.

These have been a big part of my life as of late.

Also lots of boxes.

And stuff.

Is this all my stuff?

(from when I moved into my place over 6 years ago)

My life has been monopolized lately by:

1. Packing.
2. Moving logistics.
3. Exploding workload at my job.
4. Working on our first tax return as a married couple!
5. Picking out furniture and paint colors.

That last one has been a huge source of stress and fights. The cost, the fabric swatches, what furniture to get – it’s all been a pain in my butt.

However, this weekend I think Tim and I got a handle on everything and we reduced our furniture budget by about 30% of our original plan! Girl loves saving money!

We get possession of the house on the 1st, but we’re not doing the big move until the 3rd when my awesome family can help! Then, I’m taking two weeks off to paint, unpack and deal with the various furniture deliveries. It will be a much-needed vacation.

Did you notice what was missing from that list? Healthy eating and exercise.

Tim and I are in “cupboard cleaning” mode, which means we’re trying to eat as much stuff we have in the house so we have less to pack/move. This has resulted in a number of meals of mac and cheese, pasta with red sauce, and pizza. Not a whole lot of veggies in there.

Also absent has been any sense of meaningful exercise. Over the past month – between being sick, my trainer being sick, and having to work late – I’ve only been able to get to my trainer 1x a week. The rest of the week, the normal stuff I could do at home – Nike Fit, yoga DVDs, etc. – I don’t have room to do as there’s boxes everywhere!

(Did I mention we’re moving?)

Getting to the gym has been tough with all the errands we’ve done after work, plus continuing to pack and sort through things. Thus, without that stress relief of exercise, I’ve turned to wine and comfort foods more often than I would like. And I’m feeling it in my pants. Ugh.

Before I started going through this journey, now would be the time when all the self-loathing and negativity would creep in and make things worse. Now, I’m trying to be thoughtful and mindful with my feelings and what my body is telling me.

So while all this other stuff going on is important, I also have to remember to make myself a priority.

Tonight, while Tim’s going to do guy stuff* with his friends, I’m going to get to the gym for a long run, then hit the grocery store to pick up the few items I need to make Angela’s Whole Foods-inspired salad for lunches this week and more fresh veg to supplement meals throughout the week.

And finish those damn taxes!

And play more Final Fantasy XIII-2**. 🙂

Right now, I’m not feeling it – but I’m determined to shake things up and make it better.

—–
* they usually watch nerdy movies or talk about A/V setups. Or both. 😉
** I’m ~25 hours in! That may sound like a lot, but I’m estimating it’ll take me at least 80 hours to finish the story. If I wasn’t a completionist, that might be true…but I have to do all the side quests too!

The Economy Sucks

I need new work pants.

But today, after paying the mortgage and Tim’s health insurance (college students just don’t magically get health care, you know) I had to temporarily transfer some money out of savings just to cover those two things (and any other damn bill that comes up) until I get paid on Friday.

So, this means I won’t be getting any pants now or in the foreseeable future because I won’t put them on a credit card. It’s bad enough I’m going to have to put my latest dental visit on the ol’ Visa because my dental insurance sucks and add my visit to Urgent Care (shingles – for which BC/BS* paid a whopping 10% of that visit) to it as well.

I work two jobs. Granted, one is only 2-3 hours per week and probably pays for one trip to the grocery store per month. Now, I’m considering throwing a few weeknight cashiering shifts into the mix so I can get a little more money to work with in my budget. I thought things were OK for the most part – but now I’m trying to figure out how to pay for my prescriptions at Walgreens before Friday. I’ve been out of my allergy medicine for a week now and it’s really starting to create some havoc with me. The other one is essential and I can’t let that one slide either. Now I know how some seniors feel when faced with the “food or RX” question. With the rising costs of, well, everything – it’s flexing every money management/miserly muscle I have. I have a few things I could sell – but how is that going to help me next month? I’m frustrated and stressed out – and we’re not even into the throes of the heating bill season yet! I’ve checked into a few things that could be reduced/cut back and I think come December, it’ll get a bit better. I hope.

But, the fact is, I’m going to have to work more hours somewhere. I hate having to do so, but it’ll have to be done at least until Tim’s out of college. Other things will have to be cut. Perhaps then I can afford one damn pair of pants.

It’s nice to know assholes on Wall Street can make billions and still come out on top keeping those billions without paying the price for destroying everything that can allow a regular working American to stay ahead of things.

*sigh*

Hope your Monday is going better than mine.

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* More like Blue Cross/Bull Shit to me. Why do I pay so much for this shit when they don’t cover bupkus?