I’m Not Gonna Lie – I’m Feeling a Little Overwhelmed…

So, the last time I wrote was Monday, and for some reason, this week, I’m feeling particularly stressed out about life in general.  Since Monday, I have done really well with going to bed at 9pm, getting up at 5am and getting a meditation in before I start getting myself and Landon ready for the day.  This is definitely helpful, especially in just getting me prepared for next week when I will have to start getting up to run early in the morning.  I’ve also been totally on track with the nutrition plan, and I’m now down 5 pounds since Sunday (which is AMAZING since its now only Wednesday!)  So, that’s all great.  But, this week so far has just been pretty challenging, and I’ve been honestly struggling a bit to keep a positive attitude in the face of it all.

So, on Monday, I had an assignment due for school, and Landon was home with me all day.  Justin ended up being gone pretty much the whole day because he had to go to work early in the morning, didn’t come home until after lunch and then had to fly to Arizona for work on Monday afternoon.  He was gone for two nights and just came home today (thank goodness!!).  I work a 12-hour shift every Tuesday from 8am-8pm, so Tuesday morning I got up at 5, had a cup of coffee, did a meditation, showered, dressed, woke Landon up, gave him breakfast, got him dressed, dropped him off at daycare (he cries like his heart is forever broken EVERY TIME we take him to daycare, which breaks my heart), and then headed to the urgent care where I work.  And THEN, because the daycare closes at 6pm, I had to get my adult son (age 20) to watch Landon in the evening, since Justin wasn’t home.  My son doesn’t have a car, so I had to get permission from my boss to leave work to rush to the daycare, pick up Landon and drop him off at home and then rush back to work.  Of course, the second I walked back into work, there were multiple patients waiting for things that only an RN can do, and I was the only RN on duty, so I had to spring into action immediately.  I HATE keeping people waiting – I guess because I hate to be kept waiting.  But anyway, it all worked out fine, but WHEW! Single moms and dads, I seriously salute you for dealing with this kind of crap every single freaking day, because everything is 100 times more difficult and complicated when you don’t have a partner to help you out!  Love and hugs to you all! So anyway, my shift ended at 8pm.  I came home to  Landon still up at around 8:30 so he was pretty punchy and acting all crazy.  I gave him a snack, got him into his PJ’s, read him some stories, sang him a lullaby and tucked him into bed, and then went straight to bed myself.

In what seemed like 5 minutes later (even though it was actually 8 hours) – I woke up at 5 am, and did it all over again – coffee, meditation, get myself ready, wake up Landon, feed him and get him ready, take him to daycare (deal with him crying like someone died as I’m leaving), and then I had to head off to my first clinical rotation of the week.  Incidentally, throughout this whole time, I just gotta say, I’m also missing my husband like crazy.  I am so grateful to be able to say that he is hands down, my best friend, and everything is just better when he’s around. Which is GREAT, but it also makes flying solo just super-sucky by comparison.  So, anyway, I finished my clinical day at around 4 and by the time I got home, Justin was home and all was right in my world again.  BUT – I have clinical all day tomorrow, plus I have to teach a diabetes prevention class in the evening, and then I have clinical all day Friday.  I have a major assignment for my capstone project due on Monday, which I haven’t started working on yet, so that is going to take up a lot of my time on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.  I also have to be continually studying for all of my classes to stay on top of the content, PLUS, I’m supposed to be preparing now, for my nurse practitioner board exams that I will have to write after I graduate before I can actually be licensed as a nurse practitioner (this is barely happening, at this point).

AND, I’ll just admit this too while I’m at it – my house is a mess, there are about 8 loads of laundry that need to be done, our suitcase from our trip to San Diego is still not unpacked, and, after I pay all our bills this week I might have $5 left to my name. UUGGGHHHH!!!  BUT – one thing that I know for sure is that in times like these, when I’m feeling like this, the best thing that I can do is to turn to gratitude.  Its kind of nice to have this outlet to just let it all out and vent about everything, but at the end of the day, what really gets me through it all is really and truly counting my blessings and just reminding myself of all of the things that I’m grateful for. I know that might sound simplistic and Mary Poppins-ish, but it works for me, ok?  It’s been hard – especially this semester – because I feel more disconnected than I think I ever have from friends and family, just because I simply don’t have time to be there for them the way I wish I could be,  between all of the other things I’m juggling.  It’s a necessity to prioritize right now, unfortunately.  But I just have to keep my eyes on the prize.  Come December 15th, I will be done with school and embarking on a brand new career that will fulfill me and support my family in achieving all of our future dreams.  So, its all worth it, but for right now, I just hope everyone understands.

As crazy as this may sound, I’m actually looking forward to getting back to running next week, because I really feel like that helps to keep me balanced.  It’s an outlet and an opportunity to clear my mind.  It’s also time that is just for me, guilt-free, because its still working towards something productive.  So, sorry for the venting, but this is what’s real for me right now.  Oh, and I had said before that I would share a link for the meditation series’ that I like the best so here it is:

https://chopra.com/articles/guided-meditations

They have lots of free content, but also packages that you can purchase, and periodically, they offer their packages for free for a 21-day period, so if you register, you will get emails letting you know when that is happening.

So, its 9:09 now and past my bedtime! Gotta get up early and get back at it tomorrow! Thanks for letting me unload. 🙂gratitude

 

 

 

My Toddler Does NOT Care About My Goals

Well, yesterday I said that I was going to start getting up at 5 every morning and meditate, because that is the time that I am going to have to get used to getting up for training.  That did not happen today.  So first, I actually got up at 6:30 – not 5:00 – mostly because I was up during the night from 1:30-3:30 – just unable to get back to sleep.  This happens to me quite a bit.  I just can’t turn my brain off when I wake up in the night and its so hard to get back to sleep!  We got an herbal sleep supplement in our swag bags from the race in San Diego called Estrella PM, which worked really well for me, so I ordered a bottle of that yesterday from Amazon. I really like it because it just seems to help me get a good solid night’s sleep without waking in the middle of the night, and with no groggy feeling in the morning.  But, for now, I’m out of the samples that we had so that’s that.  It’s supposed to arrive on Thursday and I can’t wait because I really can’t afford to not be sleeping.

So, when I got up at 6:30 this morning, my 23-month-old, Landon, was still sleeping, but he normally wakes up anytime between 7 and 8.  So, I had a choice to make as far as what to do with the time I had before he woke up: shower and get myself ready for the day or meditate.  I knew I wouldn’t have time for both, and my husband, Justin, left for work at 5am and was likely going to be gone until lunchtime.  Because I had an appointment today at 1pm, I opted for the shower – and by the time I was done, Landon was up and trying to climb out of his crib!

Saturday, Sunday and Monday are normally “days off” for me – which really means that they are days in which I have to study and catch up on assignments for school.  I am in graduate school right now, working on my master’s degree in nursing.  I work a 12-hour shift every Tuesday as an RN in an urgent care, and I am in clinicals for school all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  This week is a bit complicated because Justin has to go out of town for his work – leaving this afternoon, and coming back on Wednesday evening.  We only have Landon in daycare three days a week right now, so since Landon has to go to daycare tomorrow and Wednesday, I kept him home with me today.  I love having him home with me, but he is at an age where getting anything done while he’s around is very, very difficult.  So, studying on a day with Landon at home pretty much looks something like this:

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As you can imagine, successful meditation with him around is completely out of the question. 🙂  I left for my appointment shortly after he went down for his nap, and he woke up and Justin left both within 30 minutes of my return. SO – meditation is probably not going to happen today.  BUT – there is always tomorrow!  I WILL get this down and make it all work somehow.

As far as following my nutrition plan, I’ve been totally on track, and I just have to say that the Optavia 5 & 1 plan is absolutely amazing.  NOT saying its easy.  Justin and my 16 year old Zachary had chicken enchiladas for dinner yesterday and I wanted to eat some SO BAD – but, yesterday I weighed 150.6 pounds and this morning I was 147.4 pounds.  My doctor was amazed today because the last time I saw him, about a year and a half ago, I was 25 pounds heavier and my blood pressure in his office that day was 190/101! Now, I’m off all of my blood pressure medication and doing great.  So anyway – that part is going good.  I did my meal prep yesterday, but just ended up making some salad with chicken breast and some salmon with a salsa fresca.  Both were really easy and perfect for the hot weather we’ve been having.

SO, that’s the update for today – I now have a crying toddler at my feet so I guess its time to sign off!

The Road to Boston Starts Today!

Last Sunday, I ran the Rock n’ Roll San Diego Marathon (which is a fabulous race, that I highly recommend – beautiful course, although quite hilly – so well organized and lots of fun). I finished in 4 hours and 23 minutes, which is a pace of 10 minutes and 4 seconds per mile.  In case you’re reading this and are not familiar with standard race distances, a full marathon is 26.2 miles. There are other standard race distances – generally, a half-marathon (13.1 miles), a 10k (6.2 miles) and a 5k (3.1 miles).  Before I got into running seriously, I thought the term “marathon” applied to any kind of long-distance race, so I just want to clarify – when I talk about running/training for a marathon, I’m talking about 26.2 miles.  So here are the official results:

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So overall, the race was good, but honestly, not quite what I wanted it to be.  My goal for this race was to finish in under 4 hours.  Don’t get me wrong – I feel great about finishing this race – I mean, finishing a marathon is finishing a marathon and is an accomplishment, no matter what the time.  Also, we had a great time at the race. It was an amazing experience, and I definitely something to celebrate!

 

I could give all kinds of reasons (aka: excuses) why I fell short of my goal.  Ultimately though, I have to admit that the bottom line is I just simply fell off track in the last four weeks of my training program.  Even though some stuff happened – I got a really bad cold, school became suddenly very stressful and time-consuming, race-day was hotter than I expected, blah, blah, blah – if I’m being 100% honest, I am responsible for the result that I got, and I could have done better with a more committed approach to my training.  Which is ok. I am not beating myself up over this at all – just being real about where I’m at right now, and where I need to be in order to reach my next goal, which is to qualify for the Boston Marathon in my next race, which is the St. George marathon in early October.

To qualify for Boston in the St George race, I need to finish in under 3 hours and 45 minutes.  That is an average pace of 8 minutes and 35 seconds per mile.  So that means that I need to run the next race about a minute and a half faster per mile to reach my goal.  What’s it going to take to get that much faster? Commitment, motivation, and a lot of determination.  So, since blogging about my weight loss journey a few months ago helped me so much to stay on track, I’m going to make time to write about my training journey because I think it will help to keep me accountable.  So if you’re reading this, THANK YOU!!  You are helping me more than you know and I appreciate it so much!

I’m not going to share my entire training plan right here and now, because that would just be so boring, but the plan for the upcoming week is to drop weight before the physical training begins next week.  I decided that I would give myself two full weeks following the race for my body to heal before getting back into a training regimen that will include running and strength training.  Sticking to the training plan is obviously a key element to getting where I want to be, but another, equally important key, is nutrition, and weight.  I know that part of what it will take to be as fast as I want to be is to get lighter, so going in to this training, I need to drop some weight.  As of this morning, I am 150.6 pounds (further evidence of how off-track I got in the month leading up to San Diego). My goal is to run St George at a weight of 130-135 pounds.

So, for the next 7 days, starting today, I am going back on the Optavia 5 and 1 plan. (If you want details about what that is, go back and read my earlier blogs)  This is going to be challenging because I have totally fallen back into the habit of eating whatever I want over the past month or so, but I know if I stick strictly to that plan, I will give myself a really good kick-start, while also giving my body kind of a detox/reset.  So, my focus for this week is super-clean eating, a gallon of water a day, no alcohol, no junk, definitely no sugar and very, very low carbohydrates.  As I get into my training program and the weekly mileage ramps up, my nutrition plan will need to be modified, obviously, but this week’s focus is really just to drop as much weight as possible before I start training.  Since it’s hotter than hell in Vegas right now and for the next 3 months, the only time I can really get my running in is early in the morning, so I will also need to get disciplined about getting up early – around 5 am – to get my training in.  So for this week, to help me get into the habit of doing that, I’m going to get up at 5am every morning and meditate.  I really like the Deepak Chopra/Oprah Winfrey mediation series, so I will use that.  I will post a link for the series I use in my next blog.

Later today, I’m going to take my measurements and some current “before” pics.  I will also post those in my next blog.  I’m also going to prep my meals for the upcoming week so I will take pics of that and share later on.  I’m planning to keep the meals simple for this week.  Probably just grilled salmon with broccoli and turkey mini-meatloaves with some kind of veggie – not sure what yet.  I’ll see what calls to me at the grocery store.  So thanks for reading, and also thanks in advance for supporting me on this journey!

Here are a few more photos from the San Diego race – it really was a lot of fun – and here’s to bigger and better things in St George!