Regrets? A few.

This morning I was thinking that with each passing year, I’m becoming the type of person who does things my way. My music taste is eclectic at best and probably sometimes dated, but Sinatra can sure make you feel the song. Of course, I burst into song because I’m a living musical. Not really, but in my head, I totally sang in key and had all the right choreography to make it look good.

In those morning moments today when I was awake, but lying in bed thinking too much, I started to think of the positive spin on my regrets. I loved and trusted too much for people who didn’t deserve it. Maybe I was the only person to give them that warmth, though. I assumed people were my friends who weren’t. Giving them friendship didn’t take anything away from me.

The biggest thing that stands out to me is that when I was outwardly brave and bold, I always caved in to other people and their expectations. I was easily manipulated into being everything to everyone instead of me for me. I wanted to be loved and liked more than I wanted to be respected. I even did it for my daughter.

I realized it the other day when my daughter said she’s a product of her environment and therefore not responsible for the consequences or results of her own choices. The person I was when she was young would have believed that. I would have felt guilty for all the wrong reasons. I feel guilty now, but not the way that would seem satisfying to the person trying to apply that emotion to me. I feel bad that I did too much and gave in too much for my own insecurities. No, I don’t think my oldest is permanently damaged from this. I just think that it contributes to the issues at hand that we are having with responsibility and respect. I think that the stronger person I am now is to thank for this realization that would have destroyed my former ego and will help her and my other kids in the long run.

Running has helped me develop some of the skills I needed to be physically and mentally strong. Not only has it helped me to conquer the difficult times, but it has forged friendships and inspired people to join me. I didn’t go into running a half marathon thinking I had an issue with mental fortitude, but I came out of it realizing it had been there.

The tough times over the last few years nearly broke me. Some parts were broken, but I found a strength I never knew. My husband and I have never been closer. We’ve used the pieces that were breaking and built something so much stronger together and for that I am grateful.

I want to say that in the tough times, it is difficult to pull away and refocus. I get it. I don’t think you should just ignore it when your world is crumbling down. What I want you to know is that you grow from being buried. The pieces that break away aren’t always going to fit back on. Let yourself become the person your trials are making you. Some people won’t like it. Especially the people who benefitted from the weakness. Do it anyway.

I haven’t run lately. I’m still working on the binge eating. I’ve taken big steps toward recovery. This month wasn’t great for my direct sales gig. I made 2 sales and one of them was to myself. I had my hair cut twice last week because I hated the first cut. The second was better, but not what I’d expected or wanted when I set out to get it done. I bought a wave iron to style away the plainness of the cut. I was really feeling down on myself. This morning, something clicked. I have been trying and sometimes failing instead of failing to try. I did it my way and I’m proud of that.

I hope this came off as positive. I feel well today with the sun shining despite the bitter cold and roaring winds. I’ll share my hair saga:

Week 9 was alright

I have nothing clever to title my post this week. I barely have the words in my head to form anything worth reading this week. I’m not going to make an “at least I’m not,” statement because that would totally damn me for that thing to happen because that’s my luck lately. I had fun that didn’t involve running. I totally mommed like a pro (I know “mommed” isn’t a word, spell check). I accomplished running things I didn’t think I was going to. Overall…

Week 9 was alright. Tuesday was a hill workout. I was on time for the warm up, did my hill repeats, and ran the additional mileage to equal 5 miles total. I didn’t want to finish after the hill repeats, but it wasn’t physical pain, so I moved along. I was pleased with myself for actually pushing through the barrier and going for it. I was dealing with finding long term solution for my oldest child after her voluntary treatment stay.

Wednesday was actually pretty awesome because I went on a first grade field trip to the pumpkin patch with my youngest child. She learned, played, and picked out her very own pumpkin to take home. We played in a silo full of corn. Yes, WE. I climbed in and sunk down to my thighs in dry corn. No, I haven’t seen the movie “A Quiet Place,” yet. I am aware there is corn.

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Pumpkin Picking

I don’t even remember Thursday clearly. There were 6 miles on the plan. I’d announced to a friend that I was going to do 3 and call it a day, but I went out and ran 6 miles. It wasn’t pleasant, but I recalled that I didn’t want to do 5 miles on Tuesday and was still able to. I was fortunate enough to bump into a runner friend at one of the parks where I’d stopped for water. We chatted for a few minutes; Me declining her offers of NUUN electrolytes and an ice pop. I picked up the energy needed to take the 1.5 miles back home for 6 miles. Another run that was better after it was over.

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Friday, I had a conversation with my teen that did not go well. She was not wanting to be in treatment due to other clients there. It was unpleasant and generally stressful to discuss. We hadn’t settled on a place for ongoing help and I was working on budget forms to determine the cost of one option. My husband and I agreed he would drive the couple of hours to pick her up on Saturday morning after my long run of 11 miles. I’d need to be finished by 10 am for him to leave on time, which shouldn’t have been a problem. It totally was Setback Saturday, I tell ya.

Saturday at 5 am, I began to consider just getting my run over with since I was already awake. I still considered a solo run when I arrived for the group before meeting time. Running felt crappy inside of the 2nd mile, but I was with the group that keeps me accountable. I stopped for a bathroom break at mile 6 and my wheels fell off. I found company in another miserable runner who needed to be finished at the same time. We ran, walked, and talked our way to finish 9.5 miles of our run. I said I’d make it up later, but I didn’t. I was frustrated with that.

Sunday, we went to church in the morning instead of our usual 5pm service. Our pastor talked about Joshua 24:15-16 and contemporary idols we enslave ourselves to. I actually thought of the Nine Inch Nails song where he refers to “God Money,” as the pastor spoke. This didn’t take away from the message, though. After, I was a volunteer at a benefit concert for a local animal rescue called My Loveable Angels. (I know about the spelling, guys). It was nice to be busy and have the distraction. Then, my phone started buzzing with messages from my husband. I decided to forgo fast food on the way so I could get home. I realized a contemporary idol of mine was food. Now that I’m aware of it, I have to make the right choice to lower food on my list of where I turn when I’m sad, lonely, happy, or confused. I’ve known for a long time it was a problem, but I hadn’t seen it as turning to something instead of prayer.

We have had so much support from family and friends through all of this stress. We have a more positive outlook for how things will be moving forward despite not being sure how we’re moving forward at times. I appreciate it, though and I want everyone who has reached out to know that I am so grateful and blessed to have this much support. Thank you!

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Seriously….this corn. Every time I take the kids here, I’m in awe.

We, Kate….no, Week 8

My brand of humor could only be labeled generic if you meant that it’s weird and is not exactly everyone’s taste. Other than being a bit of a strange bird, I’m average. I’m mostly accepting of average unless I’m reading something where the hero emerges from ordinary life and does something extraordinary. Then, I dream a little bigger momentarily. I try to consistently set high goals.

This year, I set my eyes on beating my half marathon best time. I scheduled two half marathon races a month apart and signed up for training sessions that matched those goals. I completed week 8 of the first 12 week program. I’ve missed a lot of training runs over the past couple of weeks.

Tuesday was speed work. It was a one mile run followed by 6 repeats of 200 meters picking up speed and 200 meters fast running followed by 400 meters of recovery. Then, there was the mile back for cool down. I went all out until my nagging foot pain returned and I decided to cut one repeat from the program and just wait and run the mile back. I realized on my drive home that while I didn’t do the full workout, I’d spent all of my energy out on the trail. I’d worked harder than I had and I was proud of my hard work instead of disappointed in my early stopping. My best pace was actually really impressive and I only shorted myself 3/4 of a mile in the end.

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I missed cross training on Wednesday and my Thursday run. I’ve been physically exhausted from emotional hardship. Friday, my oldest child turned 18. I make birthdays special by cooking or buying a favorite meal, making a cake of choice, and gift giving. None of that happened Friday. I tried to find comfort in knowing that at least she was still alive and that addiction and/or mental illness hadn’t taken her life. I quietly mourned, praised God, and asked Him that she one day understands the things she resented the most were the things we did from love. A friend took my two younger kids out with her kids in the evening for some bounce house activities, so my husband and I had dinner and drinks out together. That was good for both of us on a rough day.

Saturday morning was chilly and there was a steady light rain falling. I had an 8 mile group run planned. I showed up hoping I’d be able to run unlike the previous week where I’d stopped short of 8 miles on a 10 mile run. The cooler weather worked wonders for the way I felt on the run. I not only ran 8 miles, but I held a pace close to my race goal pace for the majority of my run. It was so exciting! I got into my head and thought I couldn’t finish my run or that I should give up and stop trying to get a personal best time. What I realized is the goal and it isn’t over if I don’t reach it this year. I’m doing the best I can with what I have right now and that’s impressive. I’m really kicking my butt out there and I’m grateful.

Sunday, I went to church. The praise and worship, the message, and the time of reflection at communion seemed to fill the void I’d felt when struggling with the sadness surrounding the situation with my daughter. Some days, I get more out than I put in and I find that encouraging and comforting.

Are you chasing a goal? Can you accept that sometimes, all of your hard work will require more hard work before you can meet it? Do you stop to appreciate the progress along the way?

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Please check in on your friends and loved ones and let them know that they matter and that you want them to see tomorrow and the next day and so on. Heck, tell a stranger something positive you see in them. You never know when your kindness could save a life.

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Wonderfully Misunderstood [and week 7]

This week sucked. I thought last week did, but this week was the ‘challenge accepted’ week for “could shit get worse”. Much of the story belongs to my teen and I can’t go too far into it because it’s really for her to face and come to terms with. My teen daughter relapsed in her addiction and ran away when we confronted the issue and offered to get professional help.

Tuesday morning, she had been missing since the evening before. I was pouring through comments, messages, and information to attempt to locate. I messaged my friend, Jess and said that I didn’t know how I was going to fit 5 miles into the day with everything going on. She lives over 20 minutes away, but told me she hadn’t completed her own run for the day and that we’d meet me so we could go together. We knocked out 5 miles in the humidity and heat. I felt better after taking some time away and I was happy to have someone care enough to take time out to help me.

My teen turned up less than 36 hours later in an emergency room unwilling to talk to her father or me. She’s now in competent care that meets her needs. She will be 18 this week and this is an attempt to help while we still can in this capacity. Finding her in the state she was in brought a level of stress and lack of sleep that carried over into the rest of my life. Mental exhaustion carried into my physical being with brute force. I found myself tired from taking the stairs instead of the elevator and forgetting the day of the week. I was neglecting to eat meals because I was tired and trying to catch naps when I had time where I was without kids. Friday, I had no appetite and I forced myself to eat an apple and cheese stick for dinner despite knowing I had a training run the next morning.

Saturday morning sucked. I had a 10 mile run in store. It was humid outside and I wasn’t paying enough attention to drinking water. I took my electrolyte pills at 4 miles and my drink had a mix in it for electrolyte replacement, but I was hit with muscle soreness and exhaustion of not being properly hydrated. I stopped my run before hitting 8 miles. I wanted to cry, but I had a lot of reassurance that people understood I was exhausted. From what I’ve learned about hydration, my pee was indicative that I should have had more to drink on my run and that I actually knew better than to ignore when I’m sweating heavily. I attribute it to the other things on my mind keeping me from operating normally.

Sunday, I set out to run after feeling irritable. I got out on the trail and I was running at a good pace. I enjoyed the run until my stomach gurgled and I felt the unmistakable need for a bathroom. I wasn’t on a part of the trial where bathrooms are near. I stopped running and sat along the side of the road. I messaged a friend who lived nearby, but she was not home. I assured her it was fine to laugh at my problem because I would’ve found it humorous, too. My husband picked me up with a plastic bag on his passenger seat as if it was already too late for a bathroom. Fortunately, I made it home and to the bathroom without any messes or need for plastic seat covers. My stomach was not having any more running for the day, though. I ate pretzels and napped. Then, I grumbled about how my runs were stupid this weekend.  This week, I didn’t run much and I seriously considered dropping the earlier of my two half marathons down to a 10k to lighten my load. I really want to PR my half marathon time, though.

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This could make me negative and want to sulk on the week past. I tend to go silent when I’m not feeling mentally healthy. I made a post to my Facebook on Saturday evening that said: “COMPLIMENT CHALLENGE Comment 👇👇 and I’m gonna tell you something positive that I like about you! Best challenge yet! We need positive energy in our lives.” Everyone started answering it with positive things ABOUT ME. It was heartening. I made sure to consider each person and highlight positive things I’d noticed about them. It was unexpected, but the timing was perfect. I still don’t feel well and things aren’t suddenly fixed. I had a shift in focus from the things influencing my feelings to view the way I influence others.  It is really something to have people say so many nice things.

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How is training going? Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment and share. If you’re one of the people who gave me one of those positive remarks, THANK YOU! It touched my heart.

I hope you can find in yourself or have people who will point out the positive when you’re not seeing that light. I also hope you know that you’re here for a reason and that Tomorrow Needs You (please see: To Write Love on Her Arms Melbourne, Fl, USA).

 

 

Good stuff

The Good Stuff

by: Jenn M

My husband and I have been through some shit together. The past few years have proven to be challenging and we go about it the best we can. Rarely, we’ll argue and we go to bed completely pissed at one another. This doesn’t mean we don’t have spats of disagreement. Just that we don’t spend much time in conflict.

This year has been a nightmare compared to past years. We’ve encountered challenges with our teenager where most parents never imagine themselves. We have felt shame and guilt. There have been times where we feel divided. Our marriage has been hard work lately, but our love is so simple.

This past weekend, we traveled to St. Louis to go to a hockey game and visit with his family and some of our friends from back home (near St. Louis). We went to the fan store at the hockey game and got separated. He was in line to buy a shirt, so I just kept shopping around and looking at things. I saw the perfect headband for working out with a Blues’ team logo on it. I picked it up and fought the crowd to finally get to him. The people directly behind him smiled HUGE when they saw what was in my hand. Matt turned around and had the SAME thing in his hand. He said he saw it by the register and just knew I would want it. He was there to find himself some new gear and thought of me enough to pick up something I would have gotten for myself.

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Love is in the moments

So, love comes in the moments. The small, seemingly insignificant moments where you realize that you’re in sync with another person and you acknowledge their desires. Even the “just because” gestures are meaningful.

We encourage each other. We support each other. We will not run races together because that man is much faster than me, but I’m okay with that.

I have a new headband to run with, so now if it would just get a little warmer or less windy on this first day of Spring….I’d like that.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to share, comment, follow, or whatever you’d like. I love feedback!