More Searching For The Perfect Analogy.

So, let’s just say you have an injury. A running injury…your quad (huge thigh muscle) hurts like a mother trucker periodically. And the doctor gives you some pain medicine but says: It will make the pain go away temporarily, BUT, if you use it too much it could be bad for your health. Let’s say, it will give you heart problems. But only if you use it REGULARLY. And those heart problems could be a ways down the road.

Yes! There are other things you can do for that leg pain, there are some stretches and exercises you can do but it’s kind of ambiguous and we’re not sure exactly what will work or how much of a struggle it will be to do those exercises. And you may have to try several before you find something that works.

But these pills! They make the pain go away immediately! You just have to self-regulate because if you don’t, somewhere down the line, you may have some health problems.

You’d take the pills right? I mean, sure the mystery exercises you would have to try might someday work to make the pain go away, but the pills! They’re right here! Right now! And you KNOW they work!

For me? Leg pain = Sadness and Anxiety. The pills? The 6-pack of Krispy Kreme donuts eaten in a dark parking lot and then hiding the empty box in my purse so no one sees it in the garbage. (What? Typical Tuesday for me.) The exercises? Other ways to learn to deal with negative emotions: therapies, meditation, etc.

Eating the donuts makes me happy. IMMEDIATELY. It makes me able to sleep when I’m stressed because the full stomach is like a giant bottle of Nyquil and a warm bed. SO COZY.

This is why I keep doing it. I KNOW there are other ways to cope with my emotions, my sadness, my stress. I KNOW that the donuts will cause me long-term health problems, especially if I stopped running. I KNOW all of these things, but still…DONUTS ARE EASY. They are a quick fix. I know that people say, “Overeating makes me feel worse,” but that’s LATER. Right now…sitting in my car in a parking lot where no one can see me? Those donuts bring me JOY. In that moment when I’m feeling sad or stressed…They make me feel BETTER. Which is why I keep going back to them.

And yes…this is basically the same problem addicts have with alcohol or drugs. So I try to think of it that way, but DUDE…I HAVE TO EAT. So I can’t just give up food all together. And in that moment, I can convince myself, “I’ll eat these donuts now. But tomorrow will be better.” Because, right NOW? The donuts make me happy. And the negative impact of them? Is not immediate. I don’t immediately gain 12lbs and increase my cholesterol. No, the negative effects are far enough down the road that I can give myself plenty of “good days” between today and the day the negative healthy impacts manifest. I mean, I can tell myself that I’ll eat PERFECT tomorrow! And I’ll run! And I’ll do BodyPump! But right now? I need these donuts to make me happy. So I eat them.

It’s just a quick and effective solution to a temporary feeling of anxiety and sadness.

And you either join me in the car and fight over the last glazed, or you never bought the donuts to begin with. And my husband never buys the donuts. So I’m constantly trying to come up with analogies or metaphors or diagrams or picture books, to explain my struggle. Hence the leg pain/pill analogy. Because he’s in Physical Therapy right now for tons of pain in his back. But you know? I’m still not sure the analogy helps because he still just knows that no matter what he’d do in the analogy, he would still never buy the donuts in the real world.

Probably because my “leg pain” is much worse than his. He doesn’t experience sadness or anxiety like I do. So it’s hard for him to understand that drive to make it GO AWAY. And while running or therapy or friends could also make it go away, I don’t always have the means or the time to go those routes. But when I’m running to the store for stuff for dinner and the donuts are RIGHT THERE…it’s irresistible. Especially on days like yesterday where there are kids home sick from school and family calendars that need to be done and work and laundry and dishes and…

DONUTS. NOW.

I don’t know. Just another entry in the quest to Try To Explain To My Husband Why There’s A Smooshed Up Krispy Kreme Box In My Purse.

Pop Culture Bullets Of Miscellany

  • I recently watched a few of the most recent episodes of Chicago Fire and why didn’t anyone tell me that some of my favorite (and the prettiest) actors are playing FIREMEN in a drama? I mean…screw the hot doctors from Grey’s Anatomy…we’re talking FIREMEN on this show. It’s also interesting some of the facets of the life of firemen, but also? FIREMEN. So, you know. You should watch it.
  • I’m also watching the HULU ORIGINAL (It’s evidently not a Hulu Original, I guess I hallucinated seeing that logo somewhere…but I am watching it on Hulu, so there’s that) show Misfits and even though it’s a little…mature…for my tastes, the concept is really original. British delinquents with super powers! I love it! But I just noticed today that the picture on HULU is actually a bunch of grown-ups. Not teenagers. So I’m super-confused now. I’m only on season 2 but still…why is the picture grown-ups? Is the current season them as grown-ups? I don’t know! And how did I just now notice this fact? Either way. Right now…I’m enjoying the show…even if it’s a bit grown-up for me.
  • I just read Hoot. I have had it on my list FOREVER and I really enjoyed it! It’s an easy read, a little more “teen fiction” than “young adult” but it was really good. I see why it’s on a lot of school reading lists. I’m always glad when I enjoy a book that’s required reading. I always HATED the required reading books as a kid, I think on principle alone. I probably would have hated Harry Potter if they had told me I HAD to read it.
  • Nikki is reading Wrinkle in Time and I think it’s as important to me that she like this as it was that she liked Harry Potter. I loved Wrinkle in Time as a kid…I read it several times…so while I loved Harry Potter as an adult, her liking this book means we might have been friends as kids. Which makes my heart happy.
  • Okay…the best for last…did you hear? We’re getting the TFioS trailer today! Here is the teaser for the trailer and I am SO EXCITED. I mean…THIS BOOK…it just made me feel all the feels and the movie has the potential to just rip my heart into a million pieces and make me GRATEFUL for it.

Frack You, January

Can I use Frack? Is BSG too far in the past for that to be used? Do people get it? Do people even associate it with BSG anymore? Am I spending too much time analyzing the use of a curse-word-fill-in in the title?

ANYWAY.

Frack you, January.

I mentioned previously that we had a slew of unfortunate events around the holidays. I’m still driving a van in which I can not turn off the air-conditioning. This, my friends, SUCKS when you’re having record-low temps. I’ve had some sleep issues due to stress and ailing children. I’ve been eating horribly and running less. Basically, I’ve just bombed ALL of my attempts at making this an awesome new year. Making the first 27 days of this month suck ALL sorts of royal donkey butts. I had all three of my inboxes to ZERO the first week of the year and BAM! 150 emails total yesterday. My eating has been at MAXIMUM STRESS BINGING levels and I’m still not getting to any of my strength training workouts that I swore I’d do to get ready for my 12-hour run in 5+ weeks.

About the only thing I’m keeping organized is work but that’s what PAYS THE BILLS. It’s always easy to keep my work life in focus, no one pays me for anything else.

SO! This is the last week of January and I’m going to kick it in the balls on a Tuesday. I mean, I know Mondays, and the first day of the month, and New Year’s Day – those are always great days to get your shit together. But I heard the last Tuesday in January can be a pretty good day for a do-over too.

And maybe if I spend the last four days in January trying to get my life organize, then I can start February on better footing.

Y’all? I do this calendar for my Dad’s family every year and I’ve NOT EVEN DONE IT YET. How awful is that? I worked on it in November, but I got a slew of last-minute photos before Christmas, and I’ve just been putting off working on it until I had a large chunk of time to dedicate to it and HERE IT IS, almost February and my family has NO CALENDAR.

My Dad would be so proud.

So! Today! Getting the shit together! The last Tuesday in January! I’m going to work on my inboxes, my bullet journal, my family calendar, and my strength training. I’m going to quit looking at 2014 as an already catastrophic failure and I’m going to – instead – be grateful that I have 48 weeks left to make it AWESOMETASTIC.

I’m going to smile more. I’m going to yell less. I’m going to MAKE GOOD FOOD CHOICES and I’m going to prioritize other things besides the job that pays me. Just because the other shit doesn’t put heat in my van, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t give it attention. Baby steps. Maybe not all three inboxes to zero today, but maybe under 50! I may not squeeze in a run AND a strength workout but maybe at least one of the two? And maybe at least work on the calendar a bit? Not finish it – but log in an hour or so? BABY STEPS.

So…Frack You 27 days of January! But Thank God for the 28th day! I hear it’s the best day to re-do your resolutions anyway. Screw the 1st, it’s so cliché.

Commenting On Comments

(I stole that from the corporate entity known as Daily Grace. Not from the human Grace Helbig who you should subscribe to here.)

So, there was a Twitter conversation started yesterday about commenting on blogs. Well, first it we me irritated with the continuing statements I see about how “No one blogs anymore.” That irritates me because I still read TONS of blogs. Some of the old staples and a-listers may not blog the way they used to (if at all) but many still do, and BILLIONS of new ones have popped up.

ANYWAY – the conversation THEN moved to whether blogging has stopped, or whether comments have just stopped. And that part I agree with, there has DEFINITELY been a decrease in comments. Now, doesn’t phase me much because I NEVER COMMENT ON ANYTHING.

I am the worst about opening the comments box, typing out a comment I agonized over for 10 minutes, and then deleting it.

I seem to have incredible stage fright about leaving my words on other people’s sites. On my own? I barely proof them. But in the comment section of another blog? I over analyze and panic and change my mind 100 times because THAT COMMENT IS SO STUPID. WHY ARE YOU TYPING IT?

Anyway…so that’s why I don’t comment. A lot of people said they don’t comment because it’s hard on phones to leave comments. I think my site is mobile-friendly (I considered that in the redesign) but I’m sure not all are. So I can see that being huge.

I would love to know why you don’t comment. But I don’t want you to COMMENT to tell me because that seems silly. HEY! YOU KNOW THAT THING YOU DON’T LIKE TO DO? DO IT! AND TELL ME WHY YOU DON’T LIKE TO DO IT!

So…feel free NOT to comment. BUT! If your reason for NOT commenting is one you can get past in this one small moment…tell me why you don’t comment, and ALSO? Tell me one blog you love that no one else knows about. I’m going to post all of those links in the next entry because it drives me CRAZY that people act like no one is blogging anymore.

Help Me With My Regret By Avoiding Your Own.

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Will you do me a favor today? Go sign up for a race you aren’t sure you can even do. I mean, don’t choose one that’s tomorrow. Choose one the appropriate distance of time away to prepare. And just DO IT. For me. Sign up for it. Plan. And train. NOW! DO IT! WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Your first 5K? Your first half-marathon? Your first marathon? DO IT. I’ve shown you that if I can do it, anyone can, so you have no excuses. GO! NOW!

Oh. So you want to know why? Here you go.

I am not one for regret. I’ve made a lot of giant mistakes in my life. GIANT. Some that I still feel the ripples of periodically. But I don’t really regret them in the strict definition of the word. Because, even the next day, I could still always see a future where the mistakes lead me to better places.

But y’all…these last few weeks and especially this week? I’m making myself sick with regret. SICK. I’m not sleeping well, I’m stress-eating, I’m emotional and anxious…all because of regret.

And do you know what I regret? That I’m not doing a local race on Saturday.

Here’s the story. The “toughest” local race we have is a 50K trail run called Mountain Mist. I first heard of it in 2011. I had started making friends in the running community so I knew some of the people participating that year and I looked at the pictures and read the stories and thought…No. Way. In. Hell.

It’s a very tough 50K. Over the next 2 years I learned more about the course. I listened to people explain the time cutoffs and the difficulty and how to kinda of compare it to other local races. Last year, when I was actually doing 50Ks, I didn’t even consider signing up because, based on my other local race times, I wouldn’t make the cutoffs. One comparison in particular is a 25K and it took me ALMOST five hours and someone once told me a good rough estimate for your Mountain Mist 50K time would be to double that 25K time because of the similarly difficult trails. Well, that would make my Mountain Mist time 9+ hours and the cutoffs are all for an 8 hour finish.

So! No way in HELL I was signing up last year. And then, I did that other 50K in November last year and it took me almost 8 hours. And it’s WAAAAY easier. Several people told me to make the Mountain Mist 50K cutoff you probably need to be able to do that other one in 7 hours. Which I didn’t do. PLUS, my marathon time was over 5 hours and the qualifying marathon time was 4:40.

Basically, on paper I wouldn’t make any of the cutoffs. And while they still might let me register because they know me and know I know the trails (they don’t let out-of-towners register without meeting certain criteria) but I knew, mathematically, I wouldn’t make the cutoffs. So, why bother.

It didn’t phase me much last year at race time because I hadn’t done those races in enough time to have successfully completed the 50K. So, I had no regrets regarding Mountain Mist 2013 because my 50Ks the months prior were too slow to indicate I could have been successful. But this year? This year has been a whole other story.

They opened registration in October. BEFORE this year’s set of 50Ks. So, I only had last year’s times to go by. And I really didn’t feel like I had gotten that much faster. So, I didn’t register. And it filled up in, like a day. Then? I did that first 50K in under 7 hours. Then I did my marathon in under 4:40. Then I did that NEXT 50K in 6:18. Basically? I probably (almost definitely) could have made the cutoffs.

BUT I DIDN’T REGISTER. Because I didn’t believe it was possible.

Several people have been AMAZED that I really doubted myself so much. Most of my closest running buddies and mentors were just shocked that I wasn’t doing it. Especially when AFTER the fact they announced the re-birth of the Grand Slam which is a prize given to people who do the three local 50Ks plus the marathon. I did everything but the last 50K. And it was too late to get into the race.

So – this whole week? I’ve been rolling in regret. I don’t always realize that’s what’s bringing me down…but the proof is in my dreams. Every night this week I’ve angrily dreamed about that stupid race. And many variations of maybe being able to do it – but mostly they are nightmares about getting hurt NEXT year. About NOT being able to do it NEXT year for whatever reason. Meaning THIS year I missed my ONLY CHANCE.

Because now? That’s my fear. What if all of the success I’ve made this year, getting so much faster, falls apart next year? What if in one of the 3 previous races I hurt myself? You have to trust an injury-free September thru January. Do you know how hard it is to trust that? Do you know how many miles you run training for 3 50Ks and one marathon? Your chances of injury are HUGE. I made it through this season injury free, what if that’s my luck? What if that’s my last chance? WHAT IF I MISSED MY ONLY CHANCE TO DO MOUNTAIN MIST EVER?

And I’m not sleeping at all. If someone came up to me today and said: “You can run it. Be there at 7:30am ready for a 50K. We’re going to let you do it.” It would be ON like DONKEY KONG. Because this week? Has been AWFUL. I have been HATING myself all week for not gearing up to finalize my grand slam on Saturday. SO MAD AT MYSELF.

I’m trying to make myself feel better in two different ways.

First? When they opened registration? I didn’t have the credentials to believe I could have done it. I barely did the Dizzy 50K in under 8 hours. I couldn’t do a marathon in under 5. There’s NO WAY my math lined up to meet their cut offs. NO WAY.

(But then regretful me says: You could have TRAINED to get faster, Kim. You had PLENTY of time. You just didn’t believe in yourself.)

Second? Now I’ll do it in 2015. That’s the year I turn 40. That’s a GREAT way to start the year I turn 40. With a race I’ve been terrified of for years. I’ll start off that year with a BANG! Do my first Mountain Mist. Get my first Grand Slam jacket. All the year I turn 40. You can’t beat that with a STICK. That’s the way I should have been planning it all along! 2015 will me the year KIM KICKS ALL THE ASS.

(But then regretful me says: You were going to train for your first Olympic Distance Triathlon that year. You already had big stuff that year. Now 2014 is just going to be boring as shit.)

THE REGRET IS KILLING ME.

So…take my advice. Learn from my mistake. Trust me that the regret of NOT doing it is SO MUCH WORSE than the regret of trying and failing. Do it. That think you’ve been thinking about doing? DO IT. If you fail? You fail. But the pride of trying MONUMENTALLY outweighs the feeling of failure. Whereas this feeling? The shame of not even trying? The regret? It SUCKS GIANT DONKEY BALLS.

Go. Now. Sign up. Do it. For me.