Eye Put the “Fun” in Conjunctivitis

Hm, in reexamining the spelling of conjunctivitis,  I just realized there is no “fun” in c-o-n-j-u-n-c-t-i-v-i-t-i-s.  WEIRD, ’cause I know that I am having an absolute blast with it.  I demand to speak with Professor James Murray!  (This is a Professor and the Madman / The Surgeon of Crowthorne reference).  In summary, “Sir James Augustus Henry Murray [ . . . ] was a Scottish lexicographer and philologist. He was the primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) from 1879 until his death.”  My citation: Wikipedia, baby!  Also, when you explain a joke, it’s no longer funny; soooooo, moving on . . .

As I have (IMO) humorously explained to a handful of my colleagues and to most of my close friends and family, I went to bed 34YO one night and awoke 92YOA the next morning.  Saturday the 6th – the Saturday that is today, has been a week of excessive body BS.  BS = bullshit should you not be up to snuff with your acronyms.  I am hesitant to complain about my issues because I know several people with serious ailments: chronic pain, organ failure, etc.  However, I’m frustrated.  And I do think that my frustration is “OKay.”

I don’t feel the need to detail all of the issues, but in summary, I’m leaky, itchy, and in pain.  The leak = my eye.  The itch = another round of poison ivy.  The pain = left shoulder and left hip.  I was texting Mum at 0500hrs because when I awoke, the entire white of my right eye was flaming red, and there was some unpleasant eye junk build up.  I set my alarm for 0445hrs because I was registered to run in the Moxie 5k with bib #2 today.  The Moxie Festival is kind of a big deal in these here parts, and it was going to be my first go at one of the most difficult 5k courses in Maine.

I did not go to the run, which leads me back to why I was texting Mum at 0500hrs.  I was attempting to ferret out whether I was merely trying to find an excuse to not go to Moxie OR if I truly felt that the eye is a serious enough issue that I should stay home and call the Dr. as soon as the office opened.  As I have outlined in many a previous post, I have anxiety with new things, large crowds, and “doing things” by myself.  However, I have never not gone to an event I have been registered for.  I have always battled through the stress of all of the above.  My main concern was not the travel to a new place, running a difficult course, the swarms of people, or being alone; my primary concern was that if I was all the way out in Lisbon and was indeed able to make a “sick visit” appointment, that the office would not have an availability late enough for me to get there in time.

As luck would have it, I am scheduled to be seen at 1100hrs.  So, I could have run the run and made the appointment, but I had no real way of knowing that this is the way it would all play out.  I am “bummed” that I missed the run, but I’m not down on myself or overtly upset or angry with myself so I think I really did make the right choice.  The Moxie will be waiting for me next year, and I will be even more determined to conquer it.

I’m off to my appointment, but I felt the need to blog through my feels just to be doubly sure that I wasn’t just punking out.  The irony is, it isn’t my pain ridden hip that took me out of the game, it is my eye . . . but ultimately, I’m not an asshole – hip pain doesn’t spread, conjunctifunivitis does.

 

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Rabbit, Run

The first (to be annual) Dennis P. Sampson Community 5k was this past Saturday, June 22nd.  When the flyer made its way to me several weeks ago, I immediately signed up.  In fact, my bib was #16 – I was well within the first batch of registrants.  This 5k was challenging for a variety of reasons, and most trying (for me) was the social aspect of the event.  Perhaps I have alluded to my discomfort in social situations and my overall and constant state of shyness, but I do not remember having detailed the extent to which I experience my introvertedness.

In my newfound resolution to celebrate the modest wins in life and not focus on my perceived losses / failures, I am not ashamed to share that my finish time was 34:34, according to my Fitbit.  Unfortunately, my phone dropped from 100% battery life to 17% in a matter of mere minutes.  Therefore, I did not dare utilize Strava, though I delight in the map the app produces based on my activity.  By the time the opening ceremony was over, I was clinging to hope and praying that I would have just enough battery to allow me music for the run!  Though my overall time was not at its usual, my first mile was 9:36, and therein lies my win!  I have never reached a sub-10:00 mile!  I can partially attribute this feat to chaos, but I bestow some of the credit upon myself.

With any first event, there are likely going to be kinks.  I noticed a few said crimps because they were applicable to the run specifically: a). confusion regarding the location of the starting line, b). the lack of a countdown, and c). no indication that the cue to begin was a siren.  Now, for many, a siren sounding off is likely an obvious segway between sedentariness and  activity.  However, my office is stationed in a police department – sirens are background noise.  I learned years ago to stage in the middle of the pack – not with the rabbits, nor with the turtles.  This weekend, I was with the rabbits due to a, b, and c.  Hence why I wrote, “I have never reached a sub-10:00 mile!  I can partially attribute this feat to chaos [ . . . ].”

*Saturday was the 10th annual Poland Spring Heritage Day, the run component was brandy new this year.*

My unfamiliarity with a new course is detrimental to my overall finish time; any time that I run a new race, my time tends to be slower than my norm.  This course was one of the most unique I have ever run.  I traveled to the Poland Spring Resort expecting a road race, but the terrain was very varied.  Knowing the terrain is essential in a successful run (success being up to interpretation).  Next year, I know just what I am contending with: pavement, mud, loose gravel, packed gravel, grass, woods / trails, and even a few stairs.  I anticipate my time will be less, on this course, this time next year.

Success, by my definition and the expectations I have for myself, are simple: 1). just do it and 2). finish.  In talking with Mum, she commented on how proud she is of me, if for no reason other than simply being present at various events.  Just three or four years ago, I would not stray from her side while shopping in a store, nor would I have ever conceived running publicly by myself.  In fact, when I first began perusing the multitude of 5Ks one may join, I would not register for one if a friend or acquaintance was not also going to be in attendance, even if I really wanted to give it a go.  On Friday night, Mum noticed that I was tense because I was going to be going it alone on Saturday, but I went and I did it and I finished.  Granted, because I was uncomfortable socially, I scampered off and headed home almost immediately after I crossed the finish line, despite how many activities there were to enjoy.

My social discomfort was not so much due to the number of people present that I did not know, but the number of people there that I did know.  As novice as I am in appropriate small talk, I am even poorer at “catching up” small talk.  Observation: strangers respect the RBF and tend to leave me to my stretching and mental preparation; people who previously knew me are seemingly oblivious to my social cues.  I am fortunate in that though I do contend with social anxiety, I am able to confront it.  I will never be mistaken for an extrovert, but I am making strides at being less of a wallflower.  In fact, when I reflect on myself now, it is difficult to remember just how timorous I once was.

I am not quite where I would like to be (goal weight, running ability, social agility, etc.), and I have been so focused on the end goal(s), that I have forgotten to take stock in how far I have come.  The journey seems far longer when we do not look at the route and evaluate how far we have already traveled along it.

 

 

 

 

Those Forthcoming Photos

As indicated in my recently posted Flippin’ Floppin’ & Flounderin’, I had briefly neglected Cupcakes and Canter altogether, and as a result of said carelessness, my 2019 event photographs have yet to be shared.

(Insert dramatic pause . . . HERE)

Until now.

TorchRun
This photo is from the Sun Journal, a local newspaper.  When I posted this picture to my IG account, I quipped, “I made the paper this year! Naturally, I’m not paying attention and fiddling with my #Fitbit @fitbit! Our leg of the LETR was yesterday – pretty perfect since it landed on Global Running Day . . . two birds and all that.”

 

SV2
Callie, myself, and Desiree ran the Safe Voices 5K in early June. This is my 3rd year participating in this event; proceeds assist victims of domestic violence. This picture too is a clipping from my IG account so disregard the arrow jutting from Callie’s head.

 

Dash4Dogs12
R to L: The Callies, Scout, and myself after the Dash for Dogs 5K!  Callie and I ran this one on April 28th.  This event benefits the Androscoggin Humane Society, which is where I adopted my Radin from!  This is the 4th year I have participated in this event, and it has become my staple first run of the season!

 

Flippin’ Floppin’ & Flounderin’

After a four month hiatus, I think that it is about time that I dedicate some effort to my writing, my blog.  I am particularly glad that approximately six months ago, I did not buy stock in the idea that 2019 is the year of me.  However, if I did make that purchase and just do not remember doing so, then I am pleased that I did not take the notion too seriously because . . . Wellllllllllll . . . I. AM. FLOUNDERING!  My current spirit animal is a freshly caught fish, floppin’ on the boatdeck.

Truth be told, it is comforting that flying fish exist.  Flopping now shall equal soaring later, amiright!?

So, what have I been up to since March, you wonder?  I have already indicated what I have been up to . . . floundering!  Gosssshhhhhh, pay attention, dear reader!

Before I outline what has been troubling me, let me share with you the one task that I have been absolutely slaying since January: the tackling of my GR reading goal!  I set my Goodreads goal at 67 books for 2019, mainly so I can finish and close out my Day Zero Project goal of reading 100 books.  I am currently working on books 38 and 39, which means, my fellow math whizzes, I have completed 37.  That translates to, “I’m 55% of the way there!”  Admittedly, I have been slacking as far as writing book reviews goes; add that to my list of slackage.

Slackage List

  • running
  • blogging
  • letter writing
  • swap-botting

and just added:

  • book reviewing

Running

It should be noted that my current interpretation of slacking re: running is that I am not at the level that I once was, but my use of “slacking” in this regard is not to imply that I have not been doing it . . .  as of late.  (Keywords: as. of. late.).  Since my NYC run in October, I did indeed stop running for several months, but I picked it back up when my first 5K of the year drew near.  I do believe the date of that was April 28th.  The Dash for Dogs 5k went well in that I ran the entire 5k, my only break being at the one water station.  I tend not to run with my cup of water because I splash and slosh.  Between April 28th and my second 5k on June 1st, I hardly ran, and I was utterly mind blown at the traction I had lost in merely a month.  Desiree’s gentle reminder, “You’ll be mad at yourself!” when it looked like I was about to walk, rang true; I finished the 5k (and with several PRs, according to Strava).  During the Law Enforcement Torch Run on June 5th, I was miserable.  I have been dwelling on how just one year ago, I was so proud of myself after the LETR, and this year?  This year, I let myself down.  I allowed myself one evening to wallow, and then I worked my way through my muddled headspace.  I have since gotten back to using the gym located at work, using my own (home) gym, or hitting the pavement.  My heart has just not been in it, and I cannot place a finger on why (or why not), but I think I am getting closer to those answers.  With that being said, when I am on the road or on the treadmill, I am happy and proud and I feel great, and I need to start clinging to those feelings, especially since I have big goals ahead!  This upcoming weekend is the Dennis Sampson Memorial 5k.  In July, I have the Moxie 5k, (maybe) a 4th of July 5k,  and the David Payne Memorial Run.  In August,  I am scheduled to run the Beach to Beacon and the Eugene Cole Memorial Half Marathon.  In September, I have the Dempsey Challenge on my to do.  Finally, in October, I am running the Maine Half Marathon.  I have also decided that I will be finding a way to run the 2020 NYC marathon (I infer “finding a way” because my entry will depend on winning a spot via the lottery OR raising at least $2,620).  So, I have not lost my love for running, nor my heart; I’ve just . . . temporarily lost my way.  (Pictures from Dash for Dogs, Safe Voices, and the Law Enforcement Torch Run forthcoming).

Blogging

My last entry was in March.  Since March, I have had copious thoughts and perspectives, but my gumption to write has been lackluster at best.  Writing this entry is my attempt at locating that luster that I have lacked.  I must admit, I have indeed missed sharing my blather.

Letter Writing

I have written no more than five letters in the last year.  I surmise that my lack of composing correspondence is due to my overwhelmed state when I look at my bucket of mail that awaits a response.  I need to sit down, go through the bucket, and determine who I want to continue writing with and who I do not.  My fear of hurting feelings or causing offense is what prevents me from completing this particular task, but I do need to widdle my list down to a manageable number, thus making the hobby enjoyable once more.

Swap-Botting

I have not been utilizing swap-bot.  My desire to swap was quelled by a member who caused me some distress.  However, that is neither here nor there.  I know that my love for swapping will trump my hesitancy to do so, especially since I do have a reliable group of people with whom I can swap.  In fact, as of today, I have four swaps that I have signed up for.  Now, whether I stay in said swaps or drop them before partners are assigned . . .   On the bright side, my lack of swap-botting has allowed me to re-engage with Postcrossing.

This entry is mainly about what I have not done / been doing, but I am brainstorming a follow up featuring what I have done / been doing.  I will get back to being 100% Amy, one step at a time.  Luckily, I took some hefty strides today.  Maybe today is the day I turn it all around.

So, when I do work my way out of my slump, will I be floundering at floundering?

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bikini Bodies Are Made In Winter”

T or F?  Bikini bodies are made in winter.

If you’re me, the answer is . . . really effing F.

So, I have been less than “nailing it” over the course of these winter months.  What I have been doing cannot even be described as bumping or tapping.  I’ve been downright, straight up, and absolutely struggling.  However, with all of my notions of failure, I have not thrown in the towel, and that alone is a success that trumps all deficiencies.

I have (close to) perfected the skill of not dwelling, not getting so bogged down by my perceived defeats that I either succumb to a depression or decide to no longer strive.  I had worked so hard, and currently, I feel as though I have backslid.  I have gained back a few of my lost pounds, and though that does not seem altogether Earth shattering, it is still detrimental to my well-being, particularly the head game.

So, before I become irreparably downtrodden and continue to backslide, I have taken action!  First and foremost, dear reader, remember several posts in the past when I wrote about comparison being the thief of joy?  I am fairly certain you recall it; I know you have read and memorized every titillating post, but just in case this singular write up has elusively slipped from your memory, in summary . . . COMPARISON IS THE THIEF OF JOY.  I believe this sentiment to be true not only in examples of comparing oneself to others, but it is also legitimate in instances of comparing our current habits, or lack thereof, with our former ones.

My POA, or plan of action, is to start slow.  I have been active only intermittently since October, and I will not allow myself to reflect on my past routine for any purpose other than to eventually implement it again.  I know it is not reasonable currently to wake up, feed my Fitbit a couple of miles and walk the dog before work, hit the gym for an hour and a half during lunch and breaks, respectively, and after work, do body weight exercises and thirty minutes of yoga.  I cannot immediately pick up where I left off, but I can once again realize this system.  I have done it once before, which means I can do it again.  My temporary faltering is not synonymous with inadequacy.

In order to get back to the grind, I am actively executing three premeditated ideas.  If nothing else, I have spent four and a half-ish months reflecting.

  1. Set a reasonable goal that is not associated with exactness.
    • So, no goal weight by THIS date, no specific distance run by THAT date.
    • Goal: GET OUTSIDE.
      • My (reasonable) goal to get outside is to help me ease myself into warmer weather.  I struggle in the heat, and I hypothesize that this is attributed to my consistent indoor exercise.  When I participate in a run that takes place in the blistering, dastardly heat of August, and I have trained only in air conditioned spaces, the humidity is utterly oppressive.  If I exit my comfort zone and walk and run outside effective immediately, perhaps the heat and humidity will not be so onerous because I, like the temperature, have transitioned with the seasons.
  2. Set a futile goal free.
    • So, quit a previous goal that was once attainable but has since become insurmountable.
    • GOAL: Let go of RTY 2019.
      • I will most definitely continue to track my mileage and progress toward 2,019 miles run this calendar year, but it is no longer a set in stone goal for myself.  I am so far behind the eight ball nowadays, the daily commitment to complete the Run the Year objective would be adverse.
  3. Do what makes me happy.
    • So, by doing something that makes me happy, all else will fall into place.
    • GOAL: Get run registrations completed.
      • Unquestionably, running events thrill me: 5Ks, 10Ks, halfsies!  The training up to is oftentimes arduous, but when I cross that finish line, the effort is SO worth it.  So, I have gotten my run list compiled for the season, with openness to two or three more.  I have also started to work on my 2019 run playlist.  *Feel free to leave a comment with a few songs that get you up and running*  Ba-dum-chhh

So, my bikini body was not made this winter.  However, an improved adaptation of “AmyBP (oneword)” is in the works.

Finally, a shout out to Erin for sending me this beauty!  Impeccable timing, my dear!

tapeworm

P.S. I’m for serious regarding *Feel free to leave a comment with a few songs that get you up and running*

 

 

 

 

 

Irresolute

Irresolute

adjective

showing or feeling hesitancy; uncertain.

Since my 5 miler in NYC, when I boldly chatted up strangers who asked me about the Maine Marathon, I have thought to myself , “I can totally be a Maine Marathon Ambassador!” but now that the application is open, I’m . . . [insert word of the day . . . HERE].  Yes, folks, I am IRRESOLUTE.

Picture this: there is a cartoon runner, an animated version of myself, resting on one of my shoulders encouraging me to apply, to go for it.  I would be a worthwhile ambassador because I exude positive energy, I genuinely enjoy encouraging, supporting, and motivating others, and I am just downright passionate about the event itself.

However, the caricature of a runner lounging on my other shoulder has reminded me how much I would be required to expose myself and my life to hundreds? thousands? of people.  To be an ambassador, I would need to commit to update my IG feed at least twice a week, write two blog posts, update Twitter or Facebook (one of which I would need to register for since I do not have either), lead a discussion at the Maine Marathon Expo, or organize a training session or group run.  I am uncertain that I want to sacrifice my life as a stealth unknown.

With every event I run in, I typically avoid the attention of the photographers and their cumbersome cameras and the TV crews if / when present, but with the ambassador swag, it would be far more difficult to merely coast under the radar, where I typically fly.  I recall how embarrassed I was with how much TV time was allotted to my presence at the 2018 David Payne Memorial Run.

I do have IG, and I do have this here blog, but I think for the most part, I am mostly unknown to my followers and readers, respectively.  Should I be accepted as an ambassador, my photo and full name would be obviously displayed on the Maine Marathon website with links to my social media.  As much as I do enjoy that I have readers and followers, likes and comments, do I really want my thoughts so accessible?  Do I want the people who know me IRL to have an open invitation to the aspects of my existence that I tend to keep private?  I know the irony of this as my blog is by no means privatized, but I have done very little to promote it to friends, relatives, or colleagues.  Though I’m “out there” to some degree, I still bask in anonymity.  Perhaps my hesitancy is purely lack of confidence.

I continue to waffle between “should I” and “should I not?” due to angst around letting myself down.  You see, I tend to be immutably goal-oriented.  So, in October of 2018, I outlined this goal for myself: apply to be an ambassador for the 2019 Maine Marathon.  At this point in time, the expectations and requirements were uncharted.  It is my own rigidity that has left me in turmoil regarding my indecisiveness.

Will I be chiefly disappointed when the ambassadorship application deadline passes without my submission, or will I be predominantly belabored if I were to be selected and expected to be an extrovert and unconstrained with my trifling social media outlets?

If I do not apply, I feel that I have failed to achieve my objective.  Reasonably, I could alter the original goal to one that is less audacious, such as improving my half marathon time.  Ultimately, I ought to extend to myself the acceptance that ambitions and intentions transform.

 

 

A Smörgåsbord of Thoughts

I often have a multitude of thoughts I want to draft into a blog entry, but since said thoughts have little to no substance, I do not write about them as they come to me.  So this entry has a couple of reflections I’ve been meaning to write about, meaning to share with others.


There are beneficial elements, of being a runner, that are often overlooked.

There are a plethora of obvious reasons it “pays off,” if you will, to be a runner.  Sure, there is the health and wellness perk, the pride factor, and the general sense of accomplishment(s) as milestones are met.  For me, one reason I have benefited the most by being a runner is that I have a pair of running shoes just about everywhere.  *Books and sneakers, they are located in every corner of my world.

I commute about 45 – 60 minutes to and from work each day.  30 minutes into my drive to work this morning, in the frigid cold and heavy snowfall, I gave myself adulting points for wearing my boots like a grownup, and in the same instance, I realized I forgot my heels at home, which I had packed in my Great Gatsby bag in order to change my footwear.  I do not know if you’ve ever been stuck wearing winter boots all day long, but I assure you that it is miserable.  My horrification was short lived, however, because I have a pair of Asics under my desk, in my office.


Achievement

^That is indeed a clicky link.  I had thought to mention Achievement quite some time ago, but I wanted to be sure that it is on the up and up before I went about touting its praises.  In a nutshell, Achievement is an account you create and pair with your wearable tracker (Fitbit, Apple Watch, Garmin, etc.).  When you earn 10,000 points, you get $10.00 deposited into your PayPal account.  You earn points in a variety of ways: by entering your water intake, weight, food, your daily step count; everything you put into your tracker will upload to Achievement automatically.  There are also short surveys (one click answers, mostly) and readings that when completed, add points to your accumulation.

It does take some time to earn the 10,000 points / $10.00; I was skeptical about Achievement, when I first learned of it, because it is essentially free money ( . . . yet earned with your sweat, occasional tears, and yeah, sometimes blood).  I thought I would give Achievement a try because any accountability is helpful, and I am happy to report that I did indeed earn my first $10.00 a few months ago!  Achievement is particularly useful in that when I am feeling lazy (oh, for the last two months or so), I am reminded that the more active I am, and the more consistent I am with tracking of my stats, the quicker I will earn by incentive.

My referral link is above should anybody want to explore Achievement.  Maybe you need that extra push to git-r-done, or maybe you just want to cash in on what you are already doing . . . either way, it’s there for your use (and yeah, I get points when someone uses my referral link.  Who wants to be my first?)!