I’m Baaack.

Well, hello.  Remember me?

Hope anyone still reading this had a very Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrated this past month).  We had a very nice holiday this year but I can’t say that I had any success in making things run more smoothly or stress free.  I was still pretty much shopping up until the last minute and wrapping gifts until midnight on Christmas Eve.  I know someday my kids will be out of the house and celebrating with their own families so I should just embrace the chaos now and be happy about it.  I saw this cartoon yesterday and it pretty much summed up my experience:

xmas eve funny

I was really starting to feel like Scrooge about 3 days before Christmas.  My husband was not too happy about my attitude … and I was feeling guilty for hating the holiday so much.  How can I make things different?  I really don’t know.  I guess letting go of some of my perfectionist attitudes would help alleviate some of the stress, I’m sure.  I also think that I might subconsciously be missing my mom and recalling the Christmases of my youth probably doesn’t help.  I have my own family now but maybe not having both of my parents around any more (and worrying about my dad and the logistics of celebrating with him) just make it not as fun.

I am happy to report that my dad is doing much better, all of a sudden, and it was all sort of a weird set of circumstances that changed things around.  Turns out, he believes, one of his medicines that he takes for his heart failure was actually slowly making him feel worse and worse.  It wasn’t until he accidentally let his prescription run out and then went off the drug for a few days while he tried to get it refilled that he realized it might be the source of the problem.  I must say, he was really not doing well.  Like scary not well.  He came over for a Christmas dinner last night and he looked much much better.  So, I’m hopeful that he can be put on a different drug that will help keep his fluid retention at a minimum while not trying to kill him at the same time.  But, since we never know when a new symptom will crop up, I do need to keep doing some behind-the-scenes research on my own to further understand our options for care, home health, etc. so I’m not caught off guard if we need help in a hurry.

The kids are, obviously, off of school for a while and, except for the gymnastics training which never seems to stop, the driving the kids around for activities is at an absolute minimum right now.  It is heavenly.  I took my teenage daughter shopping this afternoonsettlers and we ended up staying out for almost 5 hours.  It was so fun and low stress.  We went to about 10 different stores and got along great.  We went out for dinner afterward and just enjoyed the evening.  When we got home the others were playing a board game that Santa brought the family – Settlers of Catan.  We played for the first time last night and it was pretty fun.  I’m sure we will have many re-matches over the break, especially when we take it up to our cabin.  We played a somewhat similar game last year called Ticket to Ride.  I recommend them both if you are looking for a change-up to your family game night rotations other than Sorry and Monopoly.

Between my period last week and WAY too many holiday meals and treats, I’m not too happy to report that I have not been on the scale in a while.  I started feeling pretty badly about that last night and told myself that a week of bad habits did not undo everything I had worked so hard for.  I’m giving myself a couple of days to get back on track then I’ll get back on the scale by Saturday morning, before my long run (which will inevitably shoot my weight back up another few pounds with water weight gain).  I guess what bothers me the most is how much mindless eating I have done – particularly with the Christmas treats that are everywhere.  I feel like all I have eaten lately is sugar.  I’ve even consumed tons and tons of diet soda which doesn’t have the calories but it is still sweet.  Today I went back to some simple meal replacement bars, including Optifast and and Optifast HP shake, and took it easy at dinner – although I still ate more bread than I should have.  Ugh.  Well, again, I just have to be happy that I am putting the brakes on now after a short period of time and not letting it compound itself.  I’m pretty sure I’m at my highest weight now since reaching my goal.  I can feel it in my clothes.

And, unfortunately, I’m not feeling great.  I think I am catching the cold my kids had all last week.  I have a sore throat but that seems to be the only symptom so far.  I hope that is as far as it goes.  Yesterday, Christmas, I was supposed to run 6 miles and I decided to just let it go….one of the first times I have ever skipped a run on the schedule that was so long.  I was feeling really run down.  This morning I let myself sleep in as long as I needed – it has been probably well over a month since I have been able to do that and I slept until 10:30AM.  Crazy.  Clearly I needed some sleep!  Anyway, even though my throat was still sore, I was determined to get my run in today.  I had 4 miles on the schedule but since I skipped out on the 6 miles yesterday, I went out and ran 4.5 today (probably could have gone further but I was back at the house at that point and just ended it there).  My pace was pretty good and I felt really good the whole time – I do think taking yesterday off was smart.  I should point out that I did get on my treadmill last night around 8pm and completed my one mile to continue the streak … which is currently at an amazing 347 days!

This weekend will bring the first of two of my longest runs before the half marathon on January 19th.  On Saturday, I am scheduled to run 12 miles!  My 11 mile run last Saturday went pretty well so I’m not worried about it – but I can’t say I’m looking forward to it either!  That is a LONG time to be on a run!  I looked over the course map for the Rock n’ Roll half marathon that I am running and the course runs very near where I grew up.  In fact, the middle section runs right up Scottsdale Road about a block from my high school.  The elevation map was available too and I was not too happy to see a climb around mile 7 through 9.  I’ll have to study it carefully to know when it is coming so that I pace myself accordingly.  At least the last mile or two will be heading downhill.  I think having the race on my old stomping grounds will be fun since I’ll have a great understanding of where I’m at at all times.  Heck, I’ll be so close to my dad’s house he might be able to make it out to see me.  In fact, he might be the only family member that can make it that day – I’m so bummed because my daughter has her first gymnastics meet of the year that weekend and, chances are, that she will have to compete while I am at the race.  I really wish my family could be there to cheer for me – or at least scrape me off the street when I’m done!

OK, well that is all for now.  I will post some weight updates, for good or for bad this weekend.  I’m also going to try really hard to reach my strength training goal at Koko which means I need to get 4 weight lifting sessions finished in the next few days – along with running those 12 miles.  Yikes.  I really hope my cold doesn’t get any worse!

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