Tag Archives: motivation

May Motivation

Soooo….I had goals. And lo! They were awesome goals. And, with the exception of one, I knocked them out of the park.

Which one did I fumble on? (Look at me with my sportsball metaphors! Fun fact: I played softball for years, although I haven’t played since my team was kicked out of the LA blah blah blah league for a travesty on the field of play. I don’t remember exactly what happened, because afterwards, there were mimosas, but I think one of our players tried to [or possibly succeeded] in hitting an umpire.)

ANYWAY, all that being said, I messed up on the yoga goal. I’d been doing so well! So much yoga! I was going to yoga six whole times in May. I went once. One time. On May second.

*hangs head in shame*

There were so many confounding factors! We went to the coast! I had my kid’s afterschool program end of the year family night! I went to a celebration of life. (It was for a cat, but he was a very, very good cat.) The beer guy had to work and Alvie Bean is still (STILL!) not old enough to take care of himself. And on. And on.

I was very, very busy is what I’m saying.

This is exactly what I told my therapist when we were talking about how I’m too busy to add in the stuff I know needs to happen. And it’s true. I am busy. I work my day job 8 hours/day. On my lunch break and commutes, I’m usually working by either writing or editing. I generally spend 7-10:30 writing or editing each night (7:30-10:30 when I have Ye Olde Kidde), and spend a lot of the weekends writing/editing/ensuring that we don’t live in squalor.

See? Much, much too busy for pesky things like “exercise” and “eating.”

Oh yeah. Eating. (CW: disordered eating)

I prefer not to eat. If I could, I’d subsist on a diet of cheese, tartare, eggs (lightly cooked), and wine. However, I can no longer eat cheese (at least not much), and going out for tartare with quail egg every night is apparently “extravagant” and my bank says “no.”

This explains my vitamin D levels, which are low, even for Portland.

I am supposed to be brainstorming ways to talk myself into prioritizing me and my health. So far, I’ve tried yelling at myself in very motivational ways.

[I couldn’t find a meme that accurately depicted me yelling at myself without be creepy or borderline offensive. Imagine something nice and amusing here, instead.]

So, instead of being “too busy” or “too tired” to exercise/eat/take care of myself, I’m supposed to take baby steps of kindness. Which sounds kinda silly when I type it out, but for someone like me, it might be the best way.

Easily achievable goals instead of stretch goals – at least when it comes to exercise and food – are what I’m supposed to be looking at now.

For June, I will go to yoga once/week and will make a point of getting on my bike once/week. I will also do 10 minute walks (like ten minutes in a row; not a combined total of 10 minutes) once/week. I will start logging my eating again and will eat regular meals…regularly. No more “forgetting” or “being too busy to eat.”

Ugh. That looks so pathetic all written out. I want something like my schedule from eight years ago (taken directly from my workout log):

Monday – rest
Tuesday – 10 mile bike ride, 3.5 mile run, 10 minutes of upper body strength
Wednesday – 1 mile swim
Thursday – 4.5 mile hill run, 90 minute yoga class
Friday – rest/walk
Saturday – 2 hours unspecified activity
Sunday – 12.5 mile trail run

Food – not tracked, but likely I ate all the food. I looked good, yo!

Never mind that it was 9 years ago, 1 kid ago, and that I was working part time (4 days/week), hadn’t quite started grad school yet, and didn’t care about spending time with my now ex-husband. it doesn’t matter! I should 100% be able to jump right back into that schedule, right? RIGHT?

Apparently no.

So here I am, taking baby steps, not so that I can get back to that place, but so that I can imagine the possibility of getting back to that place.

So, motivation…I’m still lacking the push that it takes to go from an object at rest.

Looking for my external force.

In the meantime, I guess I’ll try faking it ’til I make it. I’ve done this before. Granted, I was a lot younger and had 100% fewer children, but I made it work once, and I can do it again.

 

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Race Report: Hop Hop 5K

This is my first race report in over two years and my first race since May 2015. I didn’t really train for it the way I ought to have, and have the complete inability to move as a reward!

There was a time in my life when I could’ve raced a 5K with zero notice because I was regularly pounding out long runs of 10+ miles. That is not a place where I’m at right now.

I signed up for this 5K and a race at the end of next month while drinking in an airport waiting for a delayed flight in January. (TBH, most of my race sign-ups are drinking related.)

French 75s almost always lead to questionable decision-making.

I have been running off and on ever since. There was so much snow and moving in January, and then I got really, really sick. And finally I was better! So I started running again. And then I rolled my ankle and then it was 5K time!

I knew that I had to go and I had to finish. I’ve signed up for a lot of races I haven’t done, but I can’t do that anymore. Not only is it fiscally irresponsible, it’s not good for my brains. Every race I don’t do makes it easier to skip the next one.

I know that exercise will lower my stress levels, increase my healthy eating/drinking habits, and help me sleep better. It’s just that the lack of sleep, high stress levels, and poor eating/drinking habits make me not want to run!

But I fucking did it.

Chilly pre-race selfie. I was so pissed at myself for forgetting to leave my prescription sunglasses in the car. They are not comfy running glasses.

I got an early morning pep talk phone call from my friend and erstwhile coach, CC and then I was off.

Waiting at the start line

There were plenty of people in costumes (and there were a lot of kids’ activities – a bounce house, egg decorating, sidewalk chalking) and I felt happy that I wasn’t.

The race ended up starting about 15 minutes later than scheduled because they were waiting for the half marathoners to clear the 5K course before they let us start.

Scary rabbit leading us in warm-up exercises that we couldn’t really do because we were too packed in.

The course itself was fine. It was a flat out and back on asphalt. There was water, jelly beans, and peeps (wtf? no!) at the turn around. I had a plan of 1:1 walk/run intervals and I stuck to my plan pretty closely. I missed one walk interval at the beginning because my sound was wonky and one run interval towards the end because I wanted to, dammit.

It took a good 1.5 miles for my body to say, “hey! this isn’t so bad!” Before that, the connective tissue in the ankles/Achilles/shins hated me. This has been common while running lately. Every time. I’ve taped, I’ve iced, I’ve stretched…nothing seems to be helping.

ANYWAY – I ran across the finish line, hopefully smiling, and got my medal. I saw the line into the food tent and balked, but decided to investigate further. It was only for food. The line for mimosas was super short. I grabbed my mimosa in the commemorative glass and took my post-race selfie.

The mimosa was terrible, so I dumped it out. Then some nice guy gave me his drink ticket, so I went back for the requisite morning beer.

I talked to a stranger while she waited for her sister (who was doing the half marathon and was going to be doing her 100th half-mary the following day!) and a friend.

Then I packed it in and headed home. I’m not sure what distance I’ll do at the race in May, but at least now I know that I can do the 5K!

I was overly sore and extraordinarily exhausted Saturday night. I was weepy and cranky and had zero chill. I slept poorly that night and spent yesterday doing almost nothing. (Although I did go out for a 30 minute walk to keep things limber.)

Tomorrow morning, I’ll hit the trails post preschool drop off. (I tried to run today, but my ankles are still so sore that I was afraid I’d injure myself further by over-correcting my stance.)

I used to run regularly on Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays. I’m planning on getting back to that schedule with a minor tweak: Monday (mornings)/Wednesday (evenings)/Saturdays (early on Alvie weekends/later on kidless weekends). Because of today’s no-go, I’ll do Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday this week and then get on schedule next week.

I will do this, because I am a

(Best .gif ever, courtesy my PSM.)

Conspiracy Theory

I am a wee bit sick. Not horribly sick, and I’m mostly feeling better; but not at the top of my game. In addition to the mild chest cold that I’m on my way out of (but whose effects will likely last forever and ever amen if I don’t take it easy on my lungs which are prone to bronchitis and pneumonia), we’ve been having a shitty winter.

The Weather Channel rated Portland as the US’s most miserable city for the 2016/17 winter so far. (Not that we’re colder or have more snow than you – I know we don’t – but we have so much more cold or snow than we’re used to, and I don’t care who you are, that’s miserable.)

These two items in conjunction with the fact that I signed up for not one, but TWO races, is what leads me to believe that I’m dealing with a conspiracy theory.

To wit:

2016. I signed up for two races. I paid to do a women’s running group. I attended the first two meetings. I got the ‘flu, even though (like every freaking year), I’d gotten the flu shot. I was so sick that I was hallucinating from lack of sleep. I couldn’t even begin to run again until well after the first race (a 5K) was over and the second (a half marathon) was quickly approaching.

2015. I signed up for five races. (An indoor tri, a sprint tri, two olys, and a 70.3). I secured the services of the best coach in these here You-Nited States of ‘Murica.  I placed 2nd in my age group in the indoor sprint tri. I immediately got a sinus infection and double pneumonia. Oh – and strep throat. AT THE SAME TIME. I did manage to do the second race I was signed up for, but just couldn’t get ‘er done for anything else.

Now – getting sick once as I begin a rigorous training schedule might be chalked up to an accident. And twice? Totally a coincidence. But three times in three springs? (This time, I feel like the weather started it, but when I made noises about heading to the gym to run on the treadmill, my body said, “Fuck this shit!”)

And the enemy is me.

And just in case you’re disinclined to believe me, in 2010 when I’d started training for my second marathon I hurt my foot so badly that I needed surgery. In 2011 when I started training for my (still second) marathon, I got pregnant. THAT WAS NO ACCIDENT! (Heh. See what I did there?)

2012 was kinda a wash, what with my dad dying and my kid being born, and the debilitating post partum depression.

What I’m saying is that my body is extremely opposed to training. Or rigor. Or any kind of physical motivation.

In fact, it seems to like sitting on the couch, arguing with misogynistic douchecanoes on the internet, and drinking wine eating fruit salad best of all.

Solution? Probably not continue to sit on the couch, arguing with asscandles on the internet (I’ve gotten one death wish and one FB block…I could strive to do better).

I told my PSM the other day that what I really need is for someone to invent a moderation pill. I’d be first in line to sign up for the clinical trial (that’s not an immoderate response, is it?). I just have no chill. I’m either all in or all out. I did my yoga as promised Monday – and accidentally found the hardest hip opening hatha class in existence. So when I realized how hard it was going to be, did I (a) stop the class and find another, easier class, (b) modify the harder poses to be gentle on my body, or (c) push as hard as I could because this gazelles doesn’t quit?

Fitspirational memes are very problematic for me.

Yeah. Obviously C. Could I move my legs without pain yesterday? No. No I could not.

I’m sure I’ve blogged about my struggle with moderation before. Things have not noticeably changed in the…ever since this has been a problem.

So, wise internets…what would you do? Continue to make ridiculous training plans that are impossible to successfully complete and then give up entirely when you fail? Skip that first part and go straight to the giving up entirely, but with wine?

If you are an immoderate person, how do you force yourself into moderation?

No, dammit! I want it RIGHT NOW!!

Speak to me! Tell me the solution that I can implement immediately, thus making myself a 123% better person by the weekend.

 

Motivational Blogging

Motivational in that I’m trying to motivate myself. I got the first round of edits back from my editor yesterday and although I don’t disagree with a damn thing she said – and in fact – told her when I sent the MS to her that I needed help with the problems she pointed out (this is a content edit, not a line edit or proofread), for some reason when she agreed  with me and offered said suggestions that I had explicitly asked for, it hurt my feels.

That doesn’t even begin to make sense, does it?

200_s-2

I guess my delusional secret self was really hoping she’d write back and say, “Holy Odin, Amy! This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever read. The only thing I’d change is to maybe make it…longer. MORE WORDS! YOU HAVE THE BEST WORDS! MAYBE MAKE THEM YUGER! BIGLY WORDS!” or something. I’m not even sure.

The problems that she explicitly pointed out have two main causes:

  1. This is the very first full-length novel that I will admit to having finished. It was a learning process and I wrote too many words. My first draft was 149K words. That’s two books. My final draft that I sent it was a good deal shorter, but not short enough but I’d gotten to the point where I couldn’t see anything to cut anymore and knew that the first 1/3 of the book could stand some major fat trimming.
  2. Going back to the whole “my first time” issue – I am a much tighter writer (hee – that rhymes! maybe I should become a poet instead) now. Much. I am more skilled at both crafting a story and telling it efficiently.

So, now I have a major rewrite coming. This is not a process I anticipate needing as much with all subsequent books in the series as they are already in much better shape.

This makes me feel a little bit like just quitting. Deleting all the files. Burning my hard drives. Erasing the cloud. Making it rain or something. I don’t really know how the cloud works.

I know that’s ridiculous and the fact that the editor opened with some really nice things to say about my plot, characters, and overall style probably should hold more weight than the ache I feel at not being perfect 100% of the time, especially on my first go, but emotions are not logical, no matter how much I wish they were.

So today is regrouping. Planning. Scheduling.

Tomorrow starts my month of getting shit done. If Hillary Clinton can campaign with pneumonia and become the first female president of the United States (just putting it out there), I can simultaneously write the 50,000 words I need to finish my current WIP (be my NaNoWriMo buddy!), edit this other book so that I can prep it for publication by the end of the year and finally show everyone the gorgeous cover, and find a damn job so that I don’t have to live in a box starting 12/1.

Right? RIGHT!?

bitchesgetstuffdone

Whiny Wednesday

This could become a thing. Book Review Tuesday (or book reviewsday, if you’re being clever, and I always am), Whiny Wednesday, Three Things Thursday, and Fuck Off Friday (that might be a new invention).

I feel whiny and don’t feel like there’s really a good medium to serve as an outlet. I worry about overwhelming friends with my constant ACK, and a facebook group that I’d previously considered a safe place to vent no longer is for various and sundry reasons that I can’t share here, because this is even less of a safe space than a private facebook group.

But dammit! I’m whiny!

I feel paralyzed in a number of areas in my life, and the problem with the deep unhappiness that either caused or accompanied said paralysis is that I cannot find a way out of that unhappiness because, well, paralyzed!

I’m at least sleeping fairly decently most nights, although I think part of that is my body saying, “well we slept 3 hours last night, so let’s see if we can fall asleep on the couch at 8:30 tonight and then wake up absurdly early with no energy or motivation! yay!”

I’m almost done detoxing from my current prescription, and then I’ll be drug free! (Just Say No! Unless you need the drugs to regulate your mind/body/whatever, then say yes, of course.)

I haven’t done monthly goals in a while (I have my annual goals, and my #40before40 list), but sometimes I need to break things down. And yeah, it’s the middle of the month. Bite me.

Five goals for the next 30 days.

  1. Write work to-do list and cross off everything that’s feasible; procrastination is not a reasonable excuse
  2. 30-45 minutes walks every day/evening I don’t have my Bean. That means tonight, tomorrow night, Friday, Saturday, Sunday (I have him 7 nights of every 14, in a 5 on/5 off; 2 on/2 off schedule). Try to do something active on weekends when I do have Bean.
  3. Bed by 11 on school nights. No excuses. No watching Criminal Minds on the kid’s iPad in bed. That’s cheating and doesn’t help with the insomnia.
  4. Stop hitting snooze. Once you’re up with the alarm, start moving wake-up earlier.
  5. Start writing again. Today, I’m blogging. Tonight I’m writing an overdue book review. Tomorrow, maybe I can do some evening work on the book with a beer. There’s a bar I used to frequent occasionally that I really enjoyed writing at. Maybe I’ll just hop off the bus there on my way home from work and write for a couple of hours to get back in the habit. Familiar space might trigger some words.

These are good, reasonable goals, right? I kept thinking that once I moved into my own place, things would come together. Then I thought that once the divorce was final, things would come together. You know what? I think if I want things to come together, I might have to stop waiting for it to happen and make it happen myself.

she needed a hero