Reflections on my (lack of) Motivation

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my running recently, specifically my disappointment with how I performed at my last few races and how my body is feeling about running. This is just me having a pity party for myself and getting my thoughts down on “paper.” How I’m feeling is not particularly special.  I’m sure many of you have had similar thoughts to these at one point or another. I try as much as I can to blog for me, and right now, this is honestly how I’m feeling.  At least some of the time.  Sometimes I love running and I feel really good about it. I drafted this a few days ago when I was feeling pretty low – its gotten a bit better since then. But for posterity’s sake, I like to be honest about how I feel.

Since I think best in bullet points/numbers, that’s how I’m going to separate my thoughts so they become a little more coherent, instead of one big rambling paragraph.

1. I have not enjoyed/felt like running.  I haven’t stuck with a training plan because I don’t really enjoy running right now.  I really am enjoying my workouts with my trainer and I’ve really been enjoying yoga, but running is not really doing anything for me right now.

2. There is no sense of urgency with my training because I’m not doing unknown races distances.  I know I can do a half marathon now.  I think I was so committed to training for my first half because I was terrified of what would happen if I didn’t train well.  I’ve become complacent.  And guess what…it wasn’t hard because I actually did train!  When you don’t train well, its really freaking hard.

3.  My body hates me.  No, really. My scoliosis is really causing issues, and my back line is tight causing achilles pain and plantar fasciitis-like pain.  Who wants to run when you feel like that?

4. There are so many other things that are going on in my life…running is taking a back seat. I’m planning a wedding, the holidays are coming, and work is crazy.  Running is not the first thing on my mind.

5. My nutrition is slipping. I’m not eating as clean as I should be.  I am justifying my unhealthy eating or telling myself that it could be worse instead of acknowledging the problem.  I feel like I’ll be healthier and will enjoy exercising more if I’m fueling myself better for that activity.

6. I often feel like I lack support from my friends. Outside of my blogging community of course (I LOVE YOU GUYS – you are so awesome!!!).  I mean my friends that I see in the flesh all the time.  I don’t really choose to share my blog with many people from real life.  I think Hollie and Danny are the only ones who read this that I know from real life.  Non-runners aren’t always interested in my running highs/lows, or they simply can’t relate. And maybe I might be surprised if I share more with them, but I digress. I don’t have a running partner.  There are local running groups, but back to point 4….life is insane.

Since she’s the only one I really know IRL, I spent some time talking to Hollie about this the other day and she gave me some really good advice: ” Honestly, I think taking a break from running is the best thing you can do for yourself.  Don’t run until you feel like it.  When you start to crave a good run then run again.  You’ll just feel so much better.”

I don’t know what this means for the last two races I’ve signed up for this fall.  Do I take a break after them? Do I defer them? Will I just feel more defeated than I already am if I defer? These are things I need to work out for myself, no one else can really answer them for me.

Do you ever want to break up with running? What motivates you to keep going when its tough?

Shoe Problems + Self-Diagnosis

So I have been wearing the Saucony Guides ever since I started running. I got fitted at a great local shoe store (Running Etc). I have tried a pair of Nike that were similar, but they just didn’t do the trick.

I was a little apprehensive when the updates from the Guide 6 to the Guide 7 seemed pretty major, but after wearing them a few times, they didn’t seem that different.  Among the notable changes were:

-Saucony has switched from its ProGrid cushioning system to Power Grid for the 7 which is a 15% lighter and 30% more durable material.

-The Guide 7’s newly-created platform have a roomier wider toebox that is definitely more accommodating. Adjustments to the overlays have helped to open up the shoes fit as well.

None of these changes really worried me.  When I put on the shoe, it felt the same as the Guide 6.  So fast forward a few weeks into wearing them and I’m not so sure that these changes were as benign as I once thought.

I started having issues with my heels and arches (suspected plantar fasciitis – yes, yes, I know I shouldn’t self diagnose) a few weeks before I switched to these shoes.  When I realized how horribly worn down the tread was, I chalked it up to broken down shoes.  After switching to the new shoes, it felt much better….for awhile.  Now my arches ache after wearing them.

I didn’t have a ton of pain after Crawlin Crab Half Marathon, but I do remember my feet hurting more than normal while running.  After the Wicked 10k this weekend I had excruciating pain in my left heel the next morning. I couldn’t even bear weight on it for hours it hurt so bad.

Now I’m wondering if the shoes are playing a huge part into my foot pain.  The only other factor that changed in my life is that I’m now doing yoga.  All the research I’ve found is that most yoga poses (especially the simple ones I’m doing) are not detrimental to plantar faciitis… if that is even what is going on.

I’m not sure if the shoes are the culprit, but it seems a bit suspicious.  I probably should stop self-diagnosing and scouring the internet for answers and go get checked by a doctor for real answers.

All my issues seem to point to PF: the pain is worse in the AM or when getting up from a seated position, doesn’t hurt while running, only after, most of the pain is in the heel, but the arches feel tight throughout.

I’m rolling my feet on a tennis ball throughout the day under my desk.  I should be icing more than I am, but I do roll on a frozen water bottle occasionally.  I am going to work in more exercises to stretch out my feet, achilles, and calf. I know that I’m really tight in my back line.  My hamstrings are the only thing that have made any progress.  I hope that trying to stretch more will allow me to ease the tightness that is probably the source of a lot of my pain.

If any of you have suggestions for a stability shoe that is similar to the Saucony Guides, please let me know.  I’m willing to try a new style to see if that makes a difference.

Have you ever switched shoes and noticed a difference in your feet? Do you like to self diagnose?

Wicked 10k

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Awesome medal!

I just LOVE J&A Races.  The Wicked 10K is another favorite of mine that I really enjoy.  I was hopeful for improvement on last year’s time (1:21:28), but – spoiler alert – that was not in the cards for me.

I decided to be a Starbucks barista this year.  I bought a green apron and a patch from Amazon and made my own Starbucks apron.  It was pretty easy to make and easy to run in. I don’t know why I don’t have any pictures of myself in my costume. Blogging fail.

Unlike most races, I went this year with some friends! I usually like to go alone and meet people there. I got up early and headed down the road to my friend Jessie’s house.  The crew we had was her mom, twin sister, sister’s husband and me.  We got on the road kinda late, but made pretty good time to the convention center.  We did race day packet pick up (never again, I hate it).  Her mom was sweet to hold our stuff for us during the race.

We got in line for the porta-potties around 7:45am (8am start time).  We heard Team Hoyt and company start just before 8am, and rushed over once we were done.  Corral 1-2 were already off.  We were starting in Corral 5.  I stuck with Jessie and Emily for the 1st mile, then they started to pull away.  I completely lost sight of them by mile 2.

I was able to do a half a few weeks ago, but I guess from being sick, my breathing sucked and I just lacked the stamina to keep up a good pace for this 10k.  I settled in at a 12:30 pace and just decided that I’d enjoy the costumes and the course.

I’ve been having trouble with my feet (PF?) which I’m suspecting is related to the updated model of my shoes…but more on that later.  I also have a really tight left achilles, though I’m not sure why. I decided to take some walk breaks because the tightness in my left achilles was bothering me and my form was suffering.  I was attempting to have a 1:15:00 finish, but that slipped away.  Then I tried to shoot for 1:20:00 and I wasn’t sure that was possible, but I KNEW I could get under 1:25:00.  My official time was 1:22:49.

I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t disappointed.  However, I haven’t really been as healthy as I should be, and I’m certainly not logging the miles I should be.

I met up with Jessie and crew and we headed to the party to get a beer.  The after party was on the beach this year – which is fun, but I find it to be really chaotic.

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I can’t believe I’m sharing this horrible picture! Its the only one I took!

After hanging around a bit, we went to the most awesome diner called Pocahontas Pancakes and got the best food ever! Could this be a new race tradition!?

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This my friends is a Monte Cristo on french toast and home fries (hash browns) YUM.

Here were some of my favorite costumes! All pictures stolen off the Wicked 1ok’s facebook page:

1.  the Beatles’ yellow submarine  – comprised of FOUR people

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2. Step in Time – Mary Poppins!

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3. Cupcakes

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4. This really cool skeleton thing

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5. Save the tatas (2 people that made up a pair of boobies!)

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6. Army Man

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7. Kiss

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8. Trolls

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9. Headless Horseman – someone dragged this behind them!

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10.  A Starbucks frap!

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11. Mariachi amigo (this guy was fast!)

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12. Ghostbusters!

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 Have you ever done a Halloween race? What is the best costume you’ve ever seen someone run in?

Weekly Update – 10/22

This week ended up being kind of a crappy week due to me being sick and a big baby.  In retrospect, I’m glad I took the opportunity to rest. Here’s hoping next week will be much more productive!

Monday

Ended up skipping yoga because life got in the way.  And by life, I mean my mother’s computer problems 🙂

Tuesday

Workout with Danny outside.

Three rounds of the following:

1. 12 front squats with a barbell

2. 6 split squat dumbbell press (each side)

3. 3 turkish get-ups (each side)

4. 200 meter run

5. 100 meter run

6. 50 meter run

Wednesday

Being sick hit me like a ton of bricks on Wednesday afternoon.  I opted for a rest day instead of yoga.  It was oh so worth it!

Thursday

Danny night.  I felt a lot better on Thursday.

4 Rounds of the following:

1. 12 deadlifts (bar + 20 lbs)

2.  8 side lunges (each side) with 10 lb plate. Raise plate overhead while holding lunge.

All this was after I lost my wallet and frantically drove back to Target to try to find it.  That was a workout all on its own!

Friday

I worked from home in the morning and had the afternoon off.  Mom and I worked on wedding stuff and met with the florist.  We had JoJacks for lunch…yum!

Saturday

Wicked 10k! More to come in my recap!

Sunday

Church in the morning, then Michael and I had a wedding planning meeting to discuss the budget, to-do list, etc.  We have done so much, yet so little!

Try all the socks

Ok, so I didn’t try all the socks, but I did try a few new ones!

Awhile back I wrote this post about trying out some new socks, so I thought I’d let you know what I thought of them! Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with these companies and all thoughts are my own.

Injinji Run Lightweight No Show Xtralife Socks

 

Omg, I love these things!  Its a little weird getting used to toe socks, but they are totally worth every penny!  I love the rise around the ankle, not too short.  No blisters on the ball of my foot after my last half marathon, which is a HUGE improvement.  My pinkie toe on my right foot is a bit wonky sometimes (I broke it in 2012) and the toenail cuts into the next toe.  This was a totally non issue with toe socks.  These get a HUGE thumbs up.

Injinji Sport Original Weight Micro Coolmax Socks

I only wore these once, so I don’t have a lot to say about them yet. The concept of the toe socks is the same, so great there.  Not as big of a fan of the cut around the ankle, but they are fine. Color is just ok.

 

Feetures! Elite Ultra Light No Show Tab Sock

I want to like these socks, I really do.  I love the color, I love the cut around the ankle, I love the material…but I don’t love them.  I ordered the correct size for my feet (I’m not even close to the next size) and they feel big.  The “seamless” toe doesn’t mean that there aren’t seams, and the relocation of the seams ended up causing me blisters, probably because the sock is too big.  I LOVE the cut around the ankle though.  These socks have ended up becoming just normal workout socks and not running socks.

I really like the brand and many things about Feetures, but this doesn’t seem to be the right sock or right size.  If you are a fan of Feetures, I’d love to hear your advice on which ones work for you.

Have you ever tried any of these socks?  

Sick Pity Party: Party of One

I’m sick and feel like having a pity party for myself.  Granted I’m not super sick, just mostly allergy and sinus kind of sick.  But it sucks not being able to breath through your nose.  I had to run a total of  1050 meters last night during my workout…. it was way harder than it should have been!

I think the change in the weather is just kicking my butt!

I have the Wicked 10k this weekend and I want to do it (Halloween themed!) I’m going to rest up like crazy these next few days, and push through. No way I’m going to miss the opportunity to dress up and run with a bunch of other crazies in a costume!

I wish this were true!

Are you a big baby like me when you are sick? Have you ever gotten sick the week of a race?

Weekly Update – 10/13

Looking back at last week’s full week of rest after my half marathon, I can tell my body desperately needed it.  I felt so good after that.  Sometimes you just need more than a rest day here and there.

As far as workouts this week, it was a pretty relaxed one, which is totally ok.

Monday

Thanks to Columbus Day, I had the day off to catch up on bills, blogging, and just life in general.  Oh, and my DVR and all my shows 🙂

Tuesday

First day back to working out with Danny after my half.  We spent a lot of time talking about the half: what worked, what didn’t.  I noted that my core felt stronger, I had no shin pain, and my recovery seemed to be faster.  We started to talk about the gameplan for my next half on 11/23.

Workout: I don’t recall the specific exercises we did, but they were mostly corrective exercises with focus on breathing during specific parts of the movement.

Wednesday

Vinyasa yoga with Jaye. Getting back to yoga felt REALLY good.  I ended up a little sore the next day, but nothing crazy.  I really missed the stress relief and the mindfulness of the class.

Thursday

Danny night. Yay for outside workouts in the gorgeous weather!

First Round (3x):

1. 12 (or 15 when I forget to count) KB press in lunge position (each side)

2. Bear crawls, forward and backwards for 25 yds total

Second Round (2x):

1. 10 Paloff presses (each side)

I’d like to point out that I was pretty sore the next day.  Guess that’s what happens when you have time off 🙂

Friday

Rest day! Did some wedding stuff with our venue 🙂 Afterwards, we went to the Broken Egg Bistro for dinner with Michael’s parents.  I had the best food ever!

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Chicken Cordon Bleu!

Saturday

Danny was away.  I should have gotten a workout in, but I got a bunch of stuff done around the house that I’ve been neglecting. That’s kind of a workout, right?  I also got a lot of wedding stuff done. My brother and his fiance were in town, so I finally got to see them for the first time since their engagement.  Michael wasn’t feeling too good, so we had a pretty relaxed day.

Sunday

Church in the morning, then Michael, David (his brother) and I headed down to Elizabeth City to see their parents.  Michael’s dad has a twin brother and he and his wife were in town visiting.  It was great to see them again; I haven’t seen them since our trip to Florida in March.

How was your week of workouts?  Did you do anything fun this weekend?

October Vacation + Engagement Pictures

After Crawlin Crab on Sunday, I was so ready for a relaxing week off! My stress levels have been pretty high recently, and this vacation couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.

Monday

I dragged my butt out of bed for my mani/pedi appointment.  Once I arrived at the salon, I was surprised to find out that the salon had been repossessed by the bank! I really needed my nails done before our engagement shots on Tuesday.  I had my haircut at 11:30, and thankfully she has a nail person that was able to do my nails on such short notice!  Mom and I even got a chance to go out to lunch together.  It was a great recuperation day after the half.

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Pretty nails!

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My feet actually look pretty for once!

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New haircut 🙂

 

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Lunch at JoJacks with my momma!

Tuesday

Michael and I got up on Tuesday morning to head off to vacation.

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Yes I used a filter. No shame in my game.

Our first stop was in Richmond to get my ring cleaned and shop for wedding bands at TIFFANY’S!

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Aren’t we so cute?!

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Like a kid in a candy shop!

We then headed up to Orange to check into our hotel and get ourselves ready for our engagement pictures.  We had our pictures taken at Carter Mountain Orchard by the fabulous Katelyn James Photography.  You can check out the rest of our pictures here.  Despite some rain that forced us to find a secondary location, it was a fantastic time!

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Wednesday

On Wednesday, we got up and drove into Charlottesville,VA. We went to a few wineries and did some shopping.  It was a great day 🙂

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Country traffic jam.

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Horton Vineyards

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Horton Vineyards

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Trump Winery

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Trump Winery

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Trump Winery

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Jefferson Vineyards

 

Thursday

Thursday was a more relaxed day.  We had breakfast and then sat outside at the hotel and did some reading and relaxing.  Later in the afternoon we headed toward Culpepper and went to two Greek vineyards. We had been to Mediterranean cellars before, but Molon Lave was a last minute decision and we LOVED it.  We even bought a bottle of wine and came back to the hotel and sat out to watch the sunset.

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View from the back porch of the hotel

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Our sunset picnic with Vidal Blanc from Molon Lave!

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Look at this cutie!

 

Friday

On Friday, we headed to Stuarts Draft to visit my stepsister and her husband.  We went to Barren Ridge for our last wine tasting of the trip.

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Rob, Cristina, Michael and me at Barren Ridge

Later that night, we went into Staunton to have dinner with some of Michael’s friends.

Saturday

This was our last day, we got up pretty early to head home, since we had a work picnic that afternoon.  The weather got a little rough once we got there, so we didn’t stay long, but it was a fun time.

Sunday

Had church in the morning on Sunday, then got a lot done around the house and just caught up after being gone on vacation.  I had dinner with my Dad, stepmom and stepsister, and my future brother in law even came with me.  It was a great week and a nice relaxing weekend to wrap up the week.

 

Do you like going to wineries? How was your weekend?

Crawlin Crab Weekend

The day(s) of reckoning was finally here!  I knew I hadn’t trained well for this weekend but knew I could do it.  I participated in the Shell Yeah Challenge, which consisted of doing the 5k on Saturday, and the half marathon on Sunday.  For completing the two races, you get all the benefits of each race and you get a special challenge medal.

Crawlin Crab 5k

Got up at 5:45am and got on the road at 6:30am. It was only about a 20 minute drive, and the 5k didn’t start until 8am.  It was humid already in the am, but not too hot.  I hung out with my friend Allyson from high school and a few people from our gym.

I was meeting up with an acquaintance of mine named Heather.  I met her a few years ago when Extreme Home Makeover came to my area.  She and her friend and friend’s daughter were going to do the 5k.  I didn’t know they didn’t actually register until we lined up in our corral.  I was very upset that they were going to bandit the race, but I figured as long as they didn’t take a medal, it was fine.

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Race Bandits! GRRRRR.

Since Heather and I were doing the half on Sunday, we decided to walk.  My official time for the 5k was 50.24….clearly we walked slow.

I was very upset when they took medals at the end of the race.  UGH.  After they left, Allyson and I went in to get a beer and food and celebrate.  They had an awesome craft beer festival and soup from Baker’s Crust (yum!)

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My awesome friend Allyson!

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Beer! Check out that bling too 🙂

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Allyson’s adult sippy cup!

 

Crawlin Crab Half Marathon

Got up at 5:30am, and got on the road around 6:20am.  The start of the half was 8am too.  It was pretty cold when I got up, only 44 degrees, but I knew it was going to warm up to the 60s.  I had a hard time committing to a race day outfit because I couldn’t decide between short sleeves and a tank.  Opted for short sleeves.  Got myself together and went inside to kill time with Allyson.

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Me and Heather!

Heather showed up, we checked our dry bags and got in our corral.  I was in corral 5, and we only started 8 minutes after the official start, which was awesome.  I lost Heather in the first quarter mile.

Since I knew I hadn’t trained well, I was aware that I was going to have to walk some.  However, I felt pretty good, so I set little goals for myself.  Run to a 5k.  Then run to the 5 mile mark.  Then run to the 10k mark.  At the 10k mark, I decided to walk until I hit 7 miles.  I also had a Gatorade chew.

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Views from the race. The weather was amazing!

I started run/walk intervals of a half mile.  At 8.5 miles, I started feeling really lightheaded and weak.  I had another Gatorade chew and half of my Clif bar.  I started taking more Gatorade at the water stops.  9 miles is where it fell apart.  I resigned myself to walking because I just felt so weak.  Nothing seemed to help.  The only thing that kept me going was the promise of finishing in about an hour (walking).  I made a friend at 11.5 miles and stayed with her till the end.  We ran in the last half mile together.

I finished at 3:14:36.  I finished about 20 minutes faster at Shamrock….but I also really intensely trained for that.  I was a little frustrated with my time, but learned a valuable lesson.  I went out too fast and wasn’t fueled properly.  But most importantly, I didn’t train well.  Training is SO CRUCIAL.

But, despite my frustrations, I’m proud of myself for taking on the challenge and finishing!

Michael met me at the finish line and we went in for beer and soup. Never has food tasted so good.

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I don’t know how I managed to look this happy, I was exhausted!

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All the race bling! That Challenge medal is HUGE!

 

After we had our fill, we got on the road. He followed me back home so I could get my shower.  He let me be lazy on the couch while he picked up lunch and some Starbucks.  I have an awesome fiance 🙂

Did any of you race this weekend? Anyone do the Crawlin Crab?

Weekly Update – 9/29

This was a light week in preparation of Crawlin Crab!

Monday

Monday AM: Forgot to set my alarm.  Again.

Monday PM: Yoga with Jaye.  Class was all over the place. I have trouble with her cues because they aren’t clear and I have to constantly look up at her to see if I’m doing the correct movement.

Tuesday

I worked from home since I had some work done on the house today.  My stress levels really diminished by not being physically at work.  If this is something that legitimately helps my stress and anxiety levels, I may see if I can work from home maybe a half day each week.

Danny cancelled, which is actually ok with me since its the week of Crawlin Crab.  No need to push it.

Wednesday

Wednesday AM: I’m about ready to give up on morning workouts.

Wednesday PM: Yoga was good. Pretty challenging class.

Thursday

Danny.  We took it really light, just worked on some mobility stuff.  We didn’t want to do any heavy work before Crawlin Crab!

Friday

Actually planned not to have a morning workout, so nothing to beat myself up about missing!

I only worked a half day, then went to the expo and picked up my race packet!

Saturday – Sunday

Crawlin Crab! That’s for another post….