Posts Tagged With: moving

Hitting the Reset Button

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while, not just to share it really, but as a process that writing can be. I’m actually really glad that I starting thinking about it, since I figured some things during the process. If this extremely personal share can help one person, it was worth posting.

Not long before the turn of the new year, someone mentioned that it was a new decade. I had never even thought of that! I started to think about where I was in 2010 and what the last decade has ensued, and it was literally too overwhelming for me to consider. I decided to look back over just 2019, but what occurred in 2019 includes 2018, and I really figured some things out. I “Dr. Phil’d” myself pretty successfully and decided that 2020 is the year of hitting the RESET button.

reset button

What happened? What went wrong? I mean, I just finished an endurance trifecta, so it can’t be that bad, can it? Yes and no. I shall ‘splain.

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, it doesn’t take long to understand that I absolutely love to run. Now, those July and August mornings I could use a portable air conditioner along the route, but running makes me feel like me. I can work things out, run with friends, and feel accomplished before 7 am. My spiral, whether it can be considered an actual spiral remains to be seen, but it certainly wasn’t a rise to the top, began when I got injured two years ago, right before my marathon. It was a calf injury that THANKFULLY, did not bring itself about during my race and I was able to get my 3:33 PR. It was when I returned to speed work a few weeks later that it flared up. Since it flared up, I didn’t train much on hills/trails for my 43ish mile stage race, each day being around 14 miles. So when I did the stage race in April, my calf was fine, but since it was so technical, my posterior tibialis had a panic attack and caused my ankle to swell and hurt like the bananas. It was the first time I’d ever been injured where I was taken out of the game. I couldn’t run, I could barely walk. And I didn’t know what to do. Physical therapy didn’t magically heal it, and I slowly realized, like as in two months later slowly, that I would seriously need to just STOP trying so hard to will my way through the pain and let it slowly heal on its own. Patience is not always my strong suit.


During this time, I spent my workouts on my bike, aerobically working out, doing what I wanted, when I wanted, at the pace I wanted. Translate that to about an hour a day on my bike pedaling pretty darn easily.

I had to DNS all my races that I was really looking forward to, and it bothered me when I saw happy runners running. I wanted to be out there too, and I felt some pent-up pressure building.

Then Hurricane Florence hit Wilmington. During this time, my son had an injury that required him to be hospitalized, and that story, in and of itself, would drive anyone to madness, so I’ll keep it short. I’ll just say that I don’t know if I’ll ever truly get over what happened and how the doctor behaved and our subsequent meetings to discuss said behavior, but eventually, after lots of tears and “I wish I would have said ~”, I decided to give that up. But that revelation came months after Florence. Florence did not wreck havoc on my house, thankfully, but the entire disaster brought about so much uncertainty, fear, and general sadness because so many others had been affected. Thankfully, I had recovered from my ankle pain enough that I could run, but for about a week after the storm, I was literally too exhausted to run. It might have been the stress of my son being in the hospital, worrying if we should stay or leave, getting windows boarded up, getting up early and staying up late to be sure we were aware of the weather (the storm took two entire days to pass through), dealing with tornado warnings in the middle of the night, and then hearing the stories of those flooded. Then the aftermath included the pictures of death, retention ponds smelling like rotten fish, smelling the river from our house, and knowing we were damn lucky. That’s all I can say to describe it to keep it short. We bonded with our neighbors, tried to help others as much as we could, but with my son’s massive foot injury, we stayed closed to home so he would not be exposed to any sort of bacteria. And he couldn’t walk.


The eye over my house


The actual speed of Hurricane Florence











Time slowly healed those wounds, and life got back to a new sort of normal. I began to plan for the Boston Marathon, so I was really careful about my miles, and I started to pay more attention to my nutrition that I had let go the last few months due to being injured and dealing with the hurricane.

My training was going really well, until it wasn’t. I was at the track, having a fantastic workout, feeling amazing, which was too amazing. I pulled my hamstring, which was pretty tender already, doing leg swings before a long run the Saturday after the amazing track workout. I remember exactly where I was, the position I was in, and how it felt when it happened.

I desperately tried to make it work, but after lots of physical therapy, time off, and tiny test runs, I pulled the plug on running the 2019 Boston Marathon. I cried. A lot. But after that, it was ok. I knew things would be ok. I spend a lot of time run/walking myself back to health. Again.

While I rehabbed, my husband got a job offer from his current company to move to South Carolina. I worked my fingers off with finishing my jobs in Wilmington, preparing our house to sell (oh my, this was a doozy), planning a surprise 50th anniversary party for my parents IN MISSOURI, and planning a gift-giving present for my sister’s 50th birthday. Then we had a trip to Missouri, sold our Wilmington house, surprise party, trip to South Carolina, close and move in to our new house. Then my husband was required to travel every week for work back in Wilmington, due to company decisions that shouldn’t have been made, was required but wasn’t part of the plan. I was also dealing with some other personal stuff that I’m not getting into, but it caused a lot of not-so-good feelings. It was a lot. I had started to train for my endurance trifecta as well, and if anyone knows me, running more than maybe 6 miles in the summer is not my cup of tea. I was riding the struggle bus when it came to this part, but I got it done, each and every weekend. I followed my plan, I did what I needed to do to accomplish my trifecta goal.

Then all our travel started in October. Half iron tri, New York City, Lake Norman, JFK (which was 18 hours over 3 days plus that pesky 12 hours of running) weekend, then immediately turning around and being gone all Thanksgiving.  And to top it all off, the cherry on the pie was that I had yet another injury from the 50 miler that took me out of the game. Again. I. Was. Damn. Frustrated. And I stopped caring.

Why am I writing about this? Because it paints a picture, and not just the cropped “after” picture, but the entire thing. I needed to zoom out, so I could see what happened to me. I was sort of lost, probably about 15 pounds heavier than I had ever been without having just had a baby, and my nutrition was off the rails. I had too many empty bottles of wine in the recycle bin, too many crackers in the pantry, and way too much shredded cheese on my salads.

When I zoomed out, I realized exactly what happened. I got distracted and was doing so much for so many other people, I let myself go. I remember asking myself one time on the bike when I saw a belly roll I’d never seen before, are you ok with that? And unfortunately, my answer was, “Yup, don’t care. Chocolate covered almond, please, with a side of chardonnay.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am not blaming the circumstances on my nutritional failures. I made every single decision that led up to it. It was my fault, not stress nor moving nor being so damn busy this summer that I barely knew what side was up. I holed myself up in my house, avoided meeting the neighbors because I was just too freaking damn tired, didn’t want to tell my story, and felt judged because I didn’t have a job. If I wanted a glass of wine (or three), I had the damn glass(es). If I was too exhausted to cook, we either ordered pizza or got some fresh meals from the store. If I wanted to eat cheese, I ate cheese. Creamer in my coffee? Yup, fill ‘er up! I didn’t say no very much, my body paid the price, and it became the norm.

Now some people have already told me that I’m being ridiculous, I’m not overweight, I don’t need to worry about it, blah blah. But it bothers ME. It’s not who I am, and my current nutrition and weight would not coincide with my HUGE athletic goal that I have. I knew I couldn’t continue, as my already-tight clothes were not going to last any longer. And I just was not happy. That is the cue for change.


Not this time…this one is for real and for good.

In looking back, I realized the mistakes I made, but what do I do about it? It took me a few weeks, and I decided I needed to do a few things. The first, and most important thing, something that I have rarely done, was to forgive myself. Things happen, but the key point was that I was going to do something about it. After I forgave myself, I picked a date to start, which was January 6th. What was I starting? I hate this word, but it’s a diet. I needed to go cold turkey. No creamer, no cheese, no wine, no nonsense. I have been on this diet before, and it’s really hard. Low carb, low fat, low calorie plus exercise every day. Why this plan? Because I needed a reset, a complete reset in my mindset. And I wanted results quickly, because I know myself and I tend to get frustrated easily. When I feel and see progress quickly, it eases my mind and makes the sacrifices worth it just a little quicker than if I just cut back.

Today, after one week in and yesterday being my cheat day due to the Clemson game, I can feel progress. I feel different, I feel better, and my mindset has definitely shifted. It’s been good for me, absolutely a good decision that I made, and I’m extremely lucky that I had the opportunity to stop, think, and start to move forward again. I visualize what I will look like and how I will feel when I take the excess weight off, and I can see myself running the Houston Marathon for a PR next January.  I might grow my hair out longer so I can have a Jordan Hassay braid. I might not. I might have my tattoo redone. I might not. I’m hoping to find a job that fits my crazy kids’ schedules, but I might not. And that’s ok. I can see and feel a healthy, happy me emerging. This I know for sure.

bye felicia

See ya, 2019!

I wave goodbye to 2019. It was stressful and CraZy, but it was a really good year. As I wave goodbye, I turn around and face 2020 with my arms open wide. I am here.

hello 2020

From Overcomer, one of my favorite movies of all time.

Categories: anything is possible, being epic, Boston Marathon, follow your dreams, learning from failure, marathon, running, running buddies, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Moving On From Living On Edge

After nearly 2 1/2 years of living on edge, which is not to be mistaken with living on THE edge, I can finally breathe.  I’ve felt like the rug was going to be pulled out from under me for so long, and I’ve been preparing, planning, moving, buying, selling, bartering, and doing things accordingly so we would be ok if that did happen.  Basically, I’ve been living on adrenaline for a very long time, and I’m tired.  The rug did get pulled in a matter of sorts, more than once, and lookee lookee, I’m still here, and we are all ok.  After living in my house for three months, I feel like I can finally relax, I can breathe, and I can start truly living like I’ve wanted to for so long.

I don’t want to bore anyone with all the little details of what has taken place over the last few years, but it includes my husband facing a layoff but being lucky enough to find a job prior to that, then him having a job he grew to hate and then had to drive 3 hours a day to go and do, moving over 1,000 miles, twice, with two kids and four cats, the changing schools, us all leaving friends we dearly loved TWICE….. you get the picture.  It was just very stressful.  Would I change it?  Absolutely not.  We learned a lot about ourselves, more than what we could have had we not gone through these difficulties, trials and tribulations, and just life in general.

So here’s a list of 10 things we learned in just the last few years.

1)  I like lists.  Lists are good.

2)  Running is my damn castle.  It holds me up, it protects me, it gives me strength.  Running is the one thing that is purely MINE.  It’s me NOT being a “homemaker”, a term I literally hate, it’s me NOT being a mother, NOT being a wife, NOT being anything but just me and what I want and what I need.  It brings me peace, it makes me happy.  I don’t have to listen to the stupid fucking statements, “What do you do all day?”  “You don’t even work part-time?” “I couldn’t do what you do all day” “You’re so lucky you don’t have to work”.  I would love to spout off in response to these statements, but I know that it’s pointless.  I just run, and think, and think while I run.  Sometimes I come up with my best ideas when I run, sometimes I think about the leaves and ocean.  I realized how much running was a part of me just a few months ago when I had shin splints so bad I had to stop running and defer the marathon I was COUNTING ON running, which is something I’ve never had to do.  I turned into a freaking nut case, grasping at straws, trying to make the injury go away by ignoring it.  This was the time I needed running more than ever, and I couldn’t have it.  I’m finally at peace with everything, the deferment, the chance to just run for another month or so before gearing up for training for Boston, the cross-training I’ve done because of it.  I can look at it with a healthy sense of, “Sigh” and “It is what it is” instead of “WHATAMIGOINGTODOWHATHEHELLSHIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTT”.  Which leads me to:

3)  I like to swear.  Go through this bullshit and see how much swearing you do.  I swore before, but now I’m a little less filtered.  Some people say that if you swear, you are suffering from a sort of ignorance because you can’t come up with anything besides a swear word.  Well, they can suck it.  I swear.  Big freaking deal.  Swearing isn’t important in the grand scheme of things.  I honestly don’t give a shit what they think either.



4)  I give less of a shit  about stupid stuff than I did before.  Neighborhood drama ran fast and frequent where we lived in Texas.  So did materialism, big time.  What really truly matters to me is my family.  It doesn’t matter if we live in a tent as long as we are happy and together.  The rest of it is just bonus.  I’m also putting us first.  I don’t feel the need to do things out of obligation the way I used to.  My kids and husband and our needs/wants are first.

5)  I live with a daily sense of gratefulness.  All along this journey, I whined and complained, but I also knew it could have been or could be so much worse.  There is not a day that goes by that I’m not grateful for everything in my life, because no matter how difficult it may seem at the time, at least I am alive.

6)  My family freaking rocks.  My two kids, husband, and I, plus our four cats, lived with my parents two years ago, just before we moved to Texas, and then my sister and her husband when we got to North Carolina in late June, while we looked for and waited to close on our house. AND WE ALL STILL GET ALONG.  There’s nothing I can do aside from buying them a freaking month-long European vacation to repay them, so the only thing I’ve been able to do is just say thank you.  So thank you Mom and Dad, Randee and Chip, including cats Sammie, Jack, and old Tom.  YOU ALL are our rock just as much as running has been for just me.  You made a really difficult situation into something fun and enjoyable.  And that’s a huge understatement.  Thank you.

7)  My husband and kids are rock stars.  My husband and I have grown closer over all the shit that we’ve had to do the past few years.  We’ve listed (that’s an entire list of ten things right there because listing and showing a house is NOT for pansies), sold, searched for, negotiated on, and purchased houses, bought cars, sold cars, researched schools, sports clubs, and everything in between all while dealing with the detailed logistics of getting our entire family and moving truck full of shit to our destination on a specific day with the least amount of damage done.  Twice.  Apart, we are pretty good at it, but together, we fucking rock.

I packed the entire house, Hubs loaded the entire house.

I packed the entire house, Hubs loaded the entire house on a day that felt like the surface of the sun.  We honestly did not know when or where we would get to unload the truck.

8)  I’ve learned the painful truth that you lose friends when you move.  You find out who your friends are and who your friends are not.  I’m the kind of person who has a few REALLY close friends, and that’s just the way my personality works.  But my true friends are ones I can count on.  We can go a few months without talking, but when we do talk, it’s like no time has elapsed.  I’m very lucky for them, especially since I haven’t always been a good friend back, but they’re still there for me.  If you’ve ever moved as an adult, you realize who is there for you after the dust settles.  And who isn’t.

9)  I worry.  A lot.  About everything.    I’m guessing this is very common, but the one thing I do know now is that I don’t have to worry as much as what I used to think was necessary.  (See, I’m already worried that I’m offending some non-swearing person and then he/she will not read my blog anymore because I have a lot of swear words in it.  But I’m not worried enough to actually change it – progress.)  Things really do have a way of turning out the way they’re supposed to, and worrying doesn’t make a difference.  Don’t borrow worry from tomorrow…….

10)  I’m a damn athlete and a good one at that.  It’s taken me 40 years to actually call myself an athlete.  I always had a perception that athletes could only be the ones with less than 10% body fat, were the winners of races, and were the gazelles among the field ponies like me.  I don’t know what shifted in me… maybe my 40th birthday, maybe it was because I don’t give a shit about labels, maybe because I’m tired of reducing my accomplishments to less then what they are.  We runners are athletes, no matter what.  And I can also give myself credit for the damn good times I bring in when I run.  No, I am not the fastest, but again, that doesn’t diminish who I am as an athlete.  I qualified for Boston, and yet I find myself thinking I’m not good enough or fast enough to be considered a true athlete. I crossed the finish line in front of 83% of all of the other finishers in the Houston Marathon, and even beat 78% of all the men finishers.  I AM an athlete, and I am a GOOD one too.

After my BQ run at the Houston Marathon

After my BQ run at the Houston Marathon

SO what exactly does this all mean?  I’ve learned that I can go with the flow, that my extended family is awesome, I have amazing friends, and that I have to put my husband and kids first.  I’ve also learned that I need to give myself a little more credit for my accomplishments.  In doing that, I feel a little more inspired to keep going, to try harder, to inspire others to follow their dreams, to give these next goals my absolute all.  I want to PR in the Boston Marathon.  I want to finish a 1/2 iron distance next October.  But if I don’t, I’m sure not going to worry about it.

Categories: Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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