Things women deal with (NaBloPoMo day 5)

Tonight I’m once again so exhausted that I don’t know how I’m going to write my daily post. It’s nearly 9 PM, I’ve been working on a few different posts for hours, and still I have nothing ready to publish. My brain is pretty much fried. I had an unusually busy morning and my energy level never recovered after I got home at 2 PM. I thought I would have plenty of time to rest and recuperate before heading to the gym at 8 PM, but the downtime didn’t have the desired effect. I’ll get back to boot camp tomorrow night. Funny enough, sitting here typing on my laptop seems just as difficult as the weight training I missed. I don’t want to rehash my post from two days ago, but I do want to be transparent about how much more challenging NaBloPoMo is for me now than it has been in years past. I’m still going to see if I can complete it!

In order to make this post slightly more interesting I’ll tell you about an incident that happened to me last night. I was in my car on my way from boot camp to the grocery store because I had a craving for cereal. Not the best thing to eat after a workout, but probably not the worst either. I was waiting at a red light in one of two left turn lanes and digging around for something in my purse. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the car in the other left turn lane inching forward so that their passenger side window was aligned with my driver side window. I had a gut feeling that whoever was in the car was being a weirdo so I deliberately didn’t look in the other car’s direction. I wanted no part in any shenanigans. Under normal circumstances both cars would have gone on their way without any interaction when the light turned green, but unfortunately for the state of our society these days that’s not how this story ends. Suddenly the person in the car next to me honked their horn. I finally glanced in that direction to see what the ruckus was all about, and I saw a male driver smiling broadly at me. He leaned as far as he could towards my driver’s side window and shouted, “Smile!” He also pointed at the corners of his lips, which were still upturned in a Joker-like grin, in case I wasn’t familiar with the facial expression he was demanding from me. Yes, you read that right. Some man decided to use his car horn (generally employed to indicate automotive distress) to inform a random woman in a separate car that she needed to look happy for his benefit. In what universe is that acceptable? And yet, this is a situation that women face on a daily basis. It’s absolutely ridiculous. In that moment, tired and sweaty, I had never been less inclined to comply with a man’s request. All this dude got was an exasperated eye roll and my middle finger extended in his direction before the light turned green and our brief encounter was over. I wish I could have given him a piece of my mind along with flipping the bird, but I didn’t get the opportunity. So if you’re of the male persuasion and happen to be reading this post, please think about how you interact with women to make sure you fall into the same category as this jerk!

Dino Dash 5K (NaBloPoMo day 4)

Yesterday morning I desperately wanted to ignore my alarm when it went off at 5 AM, even though I had taken full advantage of the extra hour of sleep afforded us by the end of Daylight Savings Time. I even went to bed relatively early on Saturday night because I had the Dino Dash 5K Sunday morning in Irvine. It’s a much larger race than the School Ghoul 5K last weekend so I had to factor in about 25 minutes of drive time and some parking difficulties when I arrived. After turning off my alarm I seriously debated going back to sleep, but I registered for this race for a reason. I know that I need motivation if I want to run more. With my low energy levels there’s no way I’m going to lace up my running shoes on a random weeknight, so races are necessary to get my rear in gear. Plus, my endurance is in the tank these days so running even a few miles is painful. A race at least offers the accomplishment of crossing the finish line, and usually a medal too. I need these proverbial carrots to get me moving in the right direction (rather than back to the fridge for a some leftover pizza). It’s demoralizing to look back and remember how much easier running used to be for me, but the only way I’m going to get better is if I put in these painful miles first. So I reluctantly turned on my bedside lamp at 5 AM, threw off my covers, and started getting ready for the Dino Dash 5K.

The race itself was really fun. I didn’t appreciate the uphill portions of the freeway overpasses, but their downhill counterparts were great. My finish time for the 5K wasn’t anything near what I would call impressive – maybe not even respectable – but I ran 3.1 miles more than I would have otherwise. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t miserable either. Progress! I hope that this is the beginning of my journey back to half marathons, and perhaps marathons (Disney World 2021), because I sincerely miss them. Not only do I love challenging myself, but there’s also the social aspect of running with friends and strangers who are meeting the same challenge. The medals are great too! I know that getting back into this hobby/habit will be extremely beneficial to my body as well. I’m not in terrible shape thanks to my gym membership, but my cardiovascular health could definitely use some improvement. (And don’t even get my started on other aspects of my body that are less than optimal right now.) I’m headed to boot camp tonight at 8 PM so that will help not only boost my physical well-bring, but also my mental well-being. That’s the number one reason I need to run more often. I have more races in a couple of weeks and I really need to break in a new pair of running shoes by then. I’d better get started!

First challenge (NaBloPoMo day 3)

It’s only the 3rd day of November I’ve already hit my first hurdle of this blogging challenge. It’s only 5:30 PM so I theoretically have plenty of time to write and publish a post before I go to bed, but I’m completely exhausted. And I’m not just talking about a little sleepiness. I feel like I have a weight inside my head that’s pressing down on my brain. That’s the best way I can describe my fatigue. This weight makes my eyelids heavy and my thoughts sluggish. If not for my stupid restless legs I could very easily lie down and pass out at a moment’s notice. (Trust me, I tried to nap this afternoon since I had been awake since 5 AM, but my legs were not having it. I’m running on many, many ounces of Coke Zero right now.) None of this is exactly conducive to producing blog posts that I’m inclined to publish. In fact, it’s taken me multiple hours to finalize even this single paragraph. I’m just so weary. But for now I will attempt to soldier on. Maybe tomorrow will provide more suitable circumstances for writing something of substance!

Halloween 2019 (NaBloPoMo day 2)

I had a busy Halloween considering how low my energy levels are these days. The only thing I’ve been able to do consistently while on medical leave from work is exercise. I have managed to attend boot camp classes three to five times a week for the last few months and it really makes me happy. (My runs have been few and far between, however, but I’ll write about that in another post.) I still have a long way to go in my fitness journey, but I definitely feel stronger after three months of weight training, even if my dress size hasn’t gotten any smaller. Although I don’t like the number on the scale right now I am trying to have a positive attitude towards my body in its current form. It’s not easy! Getting back to the story, I was determined to get to the gym on Halloween, but I had to go at 9 AM since my usual evening class was cancelled for the holiday. As you can see in the above photo, my gym buddy and I had matching floral skeleton outfits from INKnBURN. She even brought flower crowns so that we could enhance the effect. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays so celebrating it this way was really fun. The workout itself was pretty difficult, but at least I started the day by doing something healthy.

I had plans to meet my BFF and goddaughter for trick-or-treating at 5 PM. After an egg sandwich for breakfast and a post-gym shower I attempted to take a little nap to replenish my energy stores, but my stupid restless legs had other ideas. I may have dozed for half an hour or so, but my twitchy legs did not allow any more than that. (I know it’s my brain causing the muscle spasms, but sometimes I daydream about a leg transplant that will fix my PLMD.) I knew that the long drive to/from my BFF’s house, as well as several hours of Halloween celebration, were going to be hard on me, so I took half a dose of my stimulant medication to ensure that I wasn’t dead tired before even arriving. (I use the stimulant very sparingly to get me through events that demand a lot of energy, but it’s a band-aid rather than a long-term solution to my constant fatigue.) Trick-or-treating with my goddaughter’s Girl Scout troop was a lot of fun. Safely guiding about ten girls from house to house to gather their candy while trying to avoid anyone getting left behind was quite the balancing act. I’m really glad I got to share the holiday with my goddaughter, though. It was the most human interaction I’ve had in months (unless you count Disneyland), but it was very draining. By the time I got home I was fading fast. My nighttime medication generally requires about two hours to take effect, but I somehow managed to pass out in about half that time. You know I’m exhausted when even leg spasms can’t keep me awake! The next morning my gym buddy and I were planing to go to the 9 AM boot camp class again, but neither of us was up for it when our alarms went off. I ended up sleeping very late to recuperate from all of the Halloween festivities. Still a fantastic holiday!

Happy November!

Ah, good ol’ November 1st. Historically the day I kickoff my contribution to (the now defunct) National Blog Posting Month. November is traditionally National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and the weblog community started their own version in 2006 (NaBloPoMo) where bloggers endeavor to post new content to their sites every day of the month. I accepted the challenge several times during my more prolific blogging days – some years being more successful than others – but extenuating circumstances have kept me from flexing my writing muscle too much recently. Of all my hobbies that have fallen by the wayside since my health began to decline I miss running the most, but writing is a close second. I love the creative outlet blogging provides, but it demands energy that my mind and body don’t always have to spare. Like I’ve said before, fatigue affects every area of my life, and writing is no different. Also, no one has ever said there are too many hours in the day, so finding time to consciously devote to blogging (rather than aimlessly browsing the interwebz) isn’t easy. I have been reading a few books lately that I hope will help me get back in the habit of writing everyday, but I haven’t put any of the ideas into practice yet. No promises, but I’m going to try to use NaBloPoMo to kick-start my blogging habit again. We’ll see if it works.

P.S. November 1st is also the Day of the Dead – better known as the day after Halloween when kids are sleep deprived because they stayed up way past their bedtime trick-or-treating. I figured on this 11/1 post it was appropriate to include a photo of me with my BFF and her daughter from last night. Aren’t we adorable?