Training For A 5K Without Planning On Doing Them (or I Think I’m Only Doing 3 5Ks This Year)

I’ve been thinking a lot about 5Ks lately. I was on such a streak with them last year. And I’ve talked about why I’ve eliminated 5Ks as part of my goals for the year.

But I’m thinking about them a lot because I keep getting emails to sign up for them. Some of them are races that I did last year, and some of them are just random ones from one of the various mailing lists I’m on now.

The only 5K that I have planned to do the rest of this year is the Hard Rock one. I signed up for that as soon as it was available because it was a good race to do. And I was planning on signing up for the weSPARK race, but I got a phone call a few weeks ago to let me know that that race was cancelled.

But to be honest, I wasn’t sad that it was cancelled. It was almost more of a relief that I don’t have to do it if I don’t want to.

I am signed up for one race already for next year and that’s the Hollywood Half 5K. Again, it’s a fun course (or at least it should be) and it has a nice medal so that’s always a plus in my book.

But I am doing more training, or at least what I consider training, for my 5Ks this year than ever before. Pretty much ever class at Orangetheory I’m spending about 30 minutes on the treadmill. That’s about half the time it takes me to do a 5K. The only times I don’t spend that long on the treadmill are run/row days. But a majority of the time, I’m getting in my 30 minutes.

Since I never trained on a treadmill for the races before, I’m not sure if it’s helping or not. I know it isn’t hurting, but there’s something different when the machine is forcing you to go a certain speed. I know that I have my bursts of speed and my moments of slowing down in a race, but you can’t really do that on a treadmill.

I’ve got some time before the Hard Rock race so I won’t know how the treadmill training will have worked out for a while. But I am curious to see how my body reacts to the next race. And maybe if it’s a really positive response, I’ll sign up for more races for the future.

But for now, I’m just focusing on my regular workouts and not stressing about the 5Ks yet. I know that when the Hard Rock one gets closer I will have the same fear about not being able to finish and getting picked up by the sweeper van. That’s the risk in doing a 5K only race (there’s plenty of time for me to finish when some people are doing 10Ks or 1/2 marathons).

And I am considering finding alternative types of races or competitions to try. I know another blogger who does stair climbing races, but that’s not really a possibility for me with all my hip issues. But if any of you have suggestions for other race types events, let me know!

Being An Eyebrow Wax Model (or An Adventure At Queen Bee)

I’ve been going to Queen Bee for waxing for over a year now. While their prices aren’t the cheapest in town, they are reasonable.

Every so often, they have special deals. Sometimes it’s new employees who need people to work on while they are training for the job (but they are all licensed estheticians already). I’ve thought about trying one of those deals out before, but then it also makes your wax longer. Sometimes, I just need to get in and out quickly.

And sometimes, they need model to various reasons.

Recently on social media, Queen Bee mentioned that they needed some waxing models for a training video that they were working on. This isn’t something that is going to be posted publicly, but just for their own use. They needed a bunch of different types of waxing to be done in the video, and I noticed that they needed someone to come in for an eyebrow wax!

I typically go to Benefit for my eyebrow waxing, but this was an opportunity for not only a free eyebrow wax but a gift card to Queen Bee for helping out! I was totally down for that.

They needed the waxing models to come in this past Monday and since that is my day off, that worked out very well. I was able to fit it in between a doctor appointment I had in the morning and my workout class that afternoon.

Every time I come to Queen Bee, I just love how cute the place is! It so much nicer than going to a cheap nail salon for waxing.

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I checked in and waited for everyone to be ready for me. They had it all set up in one of the waxing rooms with 3 different cameras there to capture all the action.

I’m definitely not camera-shy, but it was a little weird to be in front of a camera without any makeup on and having them film an eyebrow wax. But at least I’m very used to having my eyebrows done. I’ve been getting them waxed since I was 14.

It wasn’t the quickest wax because there was a lot of talking about what they were doing, but it didn’t take forever either. Maybe about 25 minutes.

I totally forgot to get a before picture (and trust me, you don’t want to see how bad my brows were), but I did get an after one!

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Nice clean eyebrows that aren’t too skinny! Exactly what I like! I’m a little red from the waxing, but that always happens to me. That’s one of the reasons I like going to Benefit, they put makeup on your face after waxing so you can go out and do other things and not look freshly waxed.

But since I was just going to work out right after this, I didn’t care how I looked. I really think that Queen Bee did an awesome job with my wax. I still can’t believe that I was going to a cheap nail salon for years and putting up with how bad my skin got after waxing. I have totally learned that paying a little extra is worth it, especially when it comes to your skin.

Thank you Queen Bee for my eyebrow wax and I can’t wait to get to use my gift card the next time I’m in for waxing!

Heat Wave In LA (or Another Post About The Heat)

I feel like a broken record. I’m having issues with the heat again.

If you don’t live in LA, trust me, this heat wave is ridiculous.

In the valley, it’s much worse. But everyone who I know who lives in the valley has air conditioning. At my house, on the westside, it’s still pretty hot and I still don’t have air conditioning.

What’s making things worse is that it’s not cooling down at night. I’m typing this at 8:35 Tuesday evening and it’s still 87 degrees out. So it’s really tough for my house to get a bit cooler at night.

I’m trying to deal with it the best that I can. I have my fan and I’ve been moving it around to whatever room I’m in. And I’m sleeping with ice packs in my bed. I actually have 4 ice packs but I sleep with 2 at a time. Then when I wake up in the middle of the night and those ice packs are melted and warm, I swap them out for the ice packs that have been in the freezer. That’s really helping.

And I’m not trying to fit into any of my tighter clothes. I know that my body is swollen with the heat. My workout pants are feeling tight. So I’m not even going to try to put jeans on.

There are some positives with all this. First of all, there should be a break in the heat wave toward the end of this week. It will help so much to have it be 10-20 degrees cooler at night!

And, I’m finally looking into portable air conditioners! My landlord approved me getting one (just not a window unit) so I can get something to help for next summer. I won’t be ordering it until this heat wave is over because none of them are on sale yet and many stores are sold out. But this should be the last summer that it’s so miserable that I can’t really sleep.

But until then, I’m just sweating it out in my house and when I’m done working I head to my car to enjoy the super powerful air conditioning that my car has!

Awake for 40 Hours (or I Guess All-Nighters Aren’t Just For College)

So here’s the story behind my exhaustion on Sunday when I wrote my last blog post.

The graveyard shift coding job has pretty much moved to daytimes only. I’ve worked a couple of projects, but I’m only averages maybe 2 or 3 hours a week with daytime work from home. That should become more hours in the future, but to supplement that (and my income), I’m making myself available for graveyard shifts on the weekends.

I can’t do the weekdays because I’m working my new box office job, but if I’m available on Saturday or Sunday I let the company know that if they need someone to work, I can help out.

I found out that I was going to work an evening shift this past Saturday. That was fine with me.

I woke up that morning at 7am (my box office job starts at 8am on Saturdays) and worked my first job. Then I did some errands before heading into the coding job at 7pm.

Since the start time was 7pm (instead of 11pm like it usually is) I figured I wouldn’t be there too late. Even some of my co-workers agreed that we should be able to get the work done pretty quickly.

And the first part did move quickly. As a team, we finished it in about 2 hours. That’s not bad at all. Then our bosses had been told that there were a couple of other surveys that we could tack on to the end of our shift to get done and help out the other employees.

I guess there was some miscommunication between some higher-ups and my bosses because these extra surveys we worked on were not something to just “tack on” to our day (or evening as it was). There were well over 1000 surveys (usually we have about 300 or 400) and there were multiple parts to each one that needed to be worked on.

Even though as a team we worked as quickly as possible, these surveys never seemed to end! At 2am I was starting to get exhausted and tried to take mini-breaks to keep myself from going crazy. At 4am I started to feel nauseous. Probably because my last meal was at 6pm and I had a light dinner (I thought I would make it to a friend’s party that evening and wanted to save my calories). Finally at 6am after 11 hours of working, I was told that my part of the work was done. The sun was coming up as I was driving home.

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I was so tired from being up for almost 24 hours straight. And as much as I wanted to go home and go sleep for a long time, that wasn’t my reality. I had to be up at 8am Sunday morning for some things and appointments that I had scheduled before knowing I was working graveyard the night before (and I did cancel since I figured I wouldn’t be working too late).

So I had the option on getting an hour or two of sleep or not sleeping at all. I chose to not sleep at all because I was scared of not hearing my alarm to get up at 8am. So I just hung out and read until it was time for me to start my day.

Then Sunday evening, before I had time to write my post for Monday, my job emailed me and let me know that they needed me to work from home during the evening. I had plans to go to bed as early as possible, but I needed to take the job. So I worked as quickly as possible, wrote my blog post, and started to get ready for bed.

Then my boss contacted me again to ask me to work more. I was so tired that I could barely see straight. So I finally had to tell them that I had been up for almost 40 hours straight and I just needed to go to bed. They totally understood. Most people who work those graveyard shifts sleep in the next day until 2 or 3pm. That’s just not an option for me.

I’m still shocked that I made it 40 hours without sleeping. The last time I pulled an all-nighter was in college when I was preparing for my art history final (I didn’t do that well because I was too tired). I’m not planning on pulling all-nighters on a regular basis. If I go in for graveyard shift work and I know I have an early morning the next day, I’m going to let my bosses know at the beginning of the shift that I have to leave by a certain time (you can only do that at the beginning of the shift, not the middle). I need to look out for me, even though all the overtime pay is going to be really nice on my next paycheck.

But I made it through, and now I’m going to spend my week catching up on the sleep I missed!

Another Week In Workouts (or Finally Able To Do Some Jumping Jacks)

First of all, if this post is a little crazy, I apologize. I’m writing this after having been up for 38 hours straight. I’ll write about that soon, but for now, I’m doing another weekly recap of workouts!

In my sleep deprived state, I really can’t remember a ton of specifics about each workout this week. But there is one thing that totally sticks out in my mind.

Pretty much since 2005, I haven’t been able to do jumping jacks. 2005 is when my hip issues started. And honestly I don’t know the time prior to 2005 that I ever did any.

Before my hip surgery, everything was just too painful to try any higher impact activities. And right after my surgery, I had to avoid them as the bone healed from where the bone spur was removed.

I had been warned for several years in follow-up visits that high impact activities can cause my other hip to go bad quicker or to need a hip replacement quicker. So I did modifications for most high impact things (or avoided them all together).

When I used to workout with Richard Simmons, modifications were easy to find. He would always do several types of modifications (including some for the people who worked out while in chairs). So I was fine doing them there.

At SoulCycle, it wasn’t as much modification, but more avoiding specific motions that aggravated my hips. Since I didn’t have to find a new way to do something, that was easy too.

But at Orangetheory, modifications aren’t always given (they are given a lot though). And sometimes I have had to remind the trainer that I’m not able to do that specific motion that they have asked us to do.

But as I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been pushing myself to do more and more things. Part of it is that I’m getting stronger, and the other part is that I’m no longer living in fear of hurting my hips quicker (but I still am avoiding things like skiing or ice skating that are really dangerous for me to do). I’ve done jump squats (and it turns out I can jump pretty high!), plank jacks, and mountain climbers.

And for the first time this week, I did jumping jacks!

They weren’t pretty but they were done. I think we only had to do 10 at a time so that wasn’t too horrible. And I did take it easy on the second round of them.

But the point is that I did them! I’m sure if my hip surgeon is reading this he wouldn’t be thrilled about it, but like I said, I can’t live in fear of hurting my hips. I’ve pretty much been told that these other surgeries are going to happen eventually, so I can’t put them off forever.

I wish I could tell you more about the workout this week, but honestly my mind is so foggy right now (I’m writing this at 9pm on Sunday night and I’ve been awake since 7am Saturday morning). But I wanted to make sure that I got my Monday Workout Recap out to you all!

Another Leak In My House (or Testing My Patience)

I’ve had a lot of issues with my house lately. In the past few months, I’ve had 2 different gas leaks and one water leak. Although I will say, the gas leak must have been going on for years because I just got my gas bill for last month, and it’s less than half of the cheapest it has ever been. So at least I’m saving some money now.

I will say, having issues with a rental should be expected when the place you are renting is almost 100 years old. But on Wednesday night, this problem made me go a little crazy.

The evening was going normally. Got home from my workout and took a quick shower. Then I headed into the kitchen to make some dinner. I had to grab something out of my utility room behind my kitchen (that’s where my pantry storage is) and when I stepped into the room, my foot went into a puddle.

I turned on the light in my utility room and noticed water pouring out of the bottom of my water heater. There was at least half an inch of water on the ground (thankfully it turns out that my utility room is the low point in my house and most of the water was contained in that area).

First thing I did was grab some towels, I tried to stop up the leak and that seemed to help a bit. Then I started trying to clean up the floor and move everything that was in the utility room. My suitcases are in there and they are fine (but they were soaked). My vacuum was also there and when I lifted it out, water poured from the bottom. I think that might now be garbage.

Thankfully, the water stopped leaking so I could take a minute to evaluate the situation. I tried to shut off the water to the water heater, but the instructions weren’t clear on which pipe that was. So I called my dad.

My dad was able to FaceTime with me and I had the camera pointed out so he could see what I was looking at. He was able to find the pipe that I needed to shut off, so I tried that. It was stuck, but since my dad stocked my tool kit with everything, I was able to use some WD40 on it and stop the water from filling up the tank again.

My next call was my landlord. I figured this was an emergency and I needed to leave a message for him right away. And of course, when I called, the voicemail wasn’t working so I couldn’t leave a message. I found his email address from an old email that I sent to him regarding a rent issue and sent an email with the subject “Leaking Water Heater”. That got his attention and he emailed me back within a few hours letting me know that the plumbers would be at my house in the morning.

The plumbers showed up (and we laughed about how often they’ve been sent to my house lately), and they immediately saw that my water heater was not salvageable and that they would need to go out and buy me a new one then.

All in all, it took a little over 2 hours to get the old water heater out and put the new one in. And about another 2 hours to clean up all the mess (when they moved the old water heater a flood of rusted water came out of the bottom and all over my floors).

Even though this situation was not idea, I tried to practice gratitude again. At least I noticed the flood at the beginning and it didn’t flood overnight. At least I rent so I didn’t have to pay for the repair. At least my landlord saw my email that night and sent the plumbers right away. And at least I had already taken my post-workout shower.

My dad added one as well. With all the issues that I’ve seen in my house lately, I’m getting more and more prepared to eventually be a homeowner. And I’m seeing what these emergencies can cost and why renting is the best situation for me right now.

In the 4 1/2 years I’ve lived in my house, I’ve rarely had a problem. But having these three back to back has really tested my patience and my ability to stay positive and grateful. But fortunately, I am able to stay on the positive side and not freak out about these things like I would have years ago.

And now, I have a fancy new water heater in my house!

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Feeling Like Normal In More Ways Than One (or Getting Better)

I’m finally starting to feel better after my throat ulcer issue. I’m still having pain while drinking water and breathing heavily while working out, but the pain is not nearly as severe as it was when I went to urgent care. The doctor there told me to give it 2 weeks to get better and I’m just past the 1 week mark. Hopefully by the end of the weekend the pain won’t be noticeable anymore.

I’m still trying to take it easy while working out. My ear issues have not gone away as quickly as the throat issues. My dad suggested that I take some decongestants to make the fluid in my ear get absorbed. I haven’t tried that yet, but I think I’m going to start. I’m still getting dizzy a lot during the day (and especially during workouts where you go from sitting or laying down to standing a lot). As long as I’m sitting, the dizziness isn’t happening. So at least I’m able to drive and work without feeling like I’m going to fall over.

And speaking of work, that’s getting better too! I’m finally getting used to my schedule for the national box office job from home. There’s a lot of down time at that job (hence the low pay), so I’m trying to find the best use of my down time. I have done some survey coding between calls and online chats for the box office job, but there haven’t been a ton of surveys to work on lately (that should change soon).

I’m also looking into some other freelance type work that I can do from home between my work for the box office. I know that I can write and blog. I just need to find some gigs that pay for me to do that! If you know of any, please feel free to let me know in the comments.

I haven’t gone back to substitute teaching yet, but that’s mainly because all of my Mondays lately have been very busy. And since I can only work on Mondays, when that day is filled up, there’s no other option for me that week. But I’m checking for work each week and hopefully soon there will be a job for me to work.

And I emailed my old box office job. They claimed that they wanted me to come back in September when the shows were starting again. I’m a little concerned that they have decided that I’m not necessary since they haven’t had me work for a while now. But I did send them an email saying that I wanted to get back to work now that the shows are coming back as well. I haven’t heard back yet, so until I do I won’t know if they are going to keep their word about me coming back this fall.

I know I say this all the time with day jobs, but it’s feeling more and more normal now. I’m used to my schedule and I’ve created routines for myself each day that fit into the new schedule better.

If only I was making enough at one day job things would be perfect. But the struggle is worth it for me. And I know that I will find a way to fit in all the jobs that are necessary for me to support myself somehow.

67 Years (or Celebrating An Anniversary With Fondue)

This past Sunday was my grandparents’ 67th anniversary. I’ve been lucky enough to get to celebrate with my grandparents on their anniversary a couple of times. For their 50th and 60th, we had big events (their 50th was in Africa and their 60th was a family party in Portland). This year, we were doing a low-key dinner in San Diego.

That morning I went to breakfast with my parents and Krystle (and Tucker of course) and then we did some walking around at the seaport. Then Krystle had to get to the airport so she could get back to San Francisco. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to stay for the dinner because there weren’t that many flight options for her.

After saying goodbye to Krystle, my parents and I headed back to the hobbit house where we got all of us stuff together to go out that evening (and I packed my car since I’d be driving home straight from dinner).

We got to my grandparents’ place around 1pm and spent the afternoon talking. We asked my grandparents what their big memories were from their wedding and I asked my grandparents how they met (I had never heard that story before). It was really cool to get to hear them tell it and my mom actually took video of it so we can share it with other family members who couldn’t make it out to San Diego that weekend.

We all got ready to go to dinner and then we drove over to the place where the restaurant was.

We went to The Melting Pot for dinner. I had never been there and had never really had fondue before. My only experience with fondue was a single serving of goat cheese fondue that came with some bread at a restaurant once. But this was nothing like that.

We all decided to get the 4 course dinner (it was actually cheaper than getting 2 courses on our own). Between the 6 of us at dinner, we selected 2 cheese fondues to start with, then we each got our own salad. The main course was interesting. We each got to choose up to 3 meats and then as a table we got to choose 2 different cooking liquids. Then you had to cook your meat in the hot cooking liquids.

While it was fun, it was a little messy and crazy at times. All of us lost at least one piece of meat in the cooking liquid because we had so many fondue forks in the pot at one time. But it was pretty yummy.

After the main course, we were all stuffed. But we still had the dessert course to go. As a table we selected 2 types of chocolate (I don’t really remember what they were but they were both dark chocolate). Then they brought over a selection of cakes and fruit to dip into the chocolate.

The plate that my grandparents got had 2 candles in it for their anniversary.

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I tried a little of the dessert fondue, but I was only able to take a few bites since I was so full from the other courses.

Before we knew it, dinner was over. My mom and I left a little early so we could get our cars (we didn’t want my grandparents to have to walk too far to the car and it was parked in a parking garage). When my mom and I got our cars back to the restaurant, everyone else got into my mom’s car so they could all go back together. I said goodbye to everyone and made the 2 hour drive back home (no car breakdowns this time!).

I’m so lucky that I got to spend time with my grandparents on their anniversary. Since I live pretty close it makes it easy enough for me to come down to see them. I don’t think I’ll make it down again before Thanksgiving, but November will be here before we know it!

San Diego Weekend (or Spending Time At A Hobbit House)

This past weekend my grandparents celebrated their 67th anniversary. My parents were going to be in San Diego with them and they invited my sister-in-law and I to come down too (my brother is currently working in Africa so he couldn’t make it).

Everyone else got there on Friday, but I had to work on Saturday morning. So I headed down after my short shift on Saturday morning (fortunately, my drive was much less crazy than my last trip to San Diego). I got down there around 2pm and headed to my grandparents’ place first.

We all visited there for a little bit and then we headed to the dog park nearby so Tucker could get some playtime. I didn’t take any pictures there because I was more concerned about not getting knocked over by the dogs there (there were a lot and they were all running around like crazy). It was very hot but we were able to find some shade so we all sat there and watched all the dogs having fun (my grandparents really seemed to enjoy the dog park too).

Next, we headed to the rental house my parents got for the weekend. My mom warned me ahead of time that it was a little bizarre, but that doesn’t even begin to describe it.

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We all referred to it as the hobbit house. Each section of the house was its own pod/hut. When you walked in the front gate, to the left of you was the pod that had the master bedroom and bathroom. To the right was the pod that had the living room, kitchen, and second bathroom. Through the backyard and up some outdoor stairs was the second bedroom where Krystle and I slept. Yes, that meant for us to use the bathroom to get ready for bed, we had to leave our room, walk outside and down some stairs, through the patio area and then into the house.

It was seriously weird, but I was only staying there for one night so it wasn’t a big deal.

That evening, my mom and dad made a steak dinner for all of us (which included my grandparents and my aunt). We just had a relaxing dinner and caught up on each other’s lives.

Then we moved over to the outdoor patio was and my dad build a fire in the outdoor fireplace.

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A little while later, my aunt took my grandparents back to their place and my parents, Krystle, and I all decided it was time to go to bed. Krystle and I chatted a bit at night discussing our next New York trip and how weird this house was.

Overall, it was a great afternoon and evening in San Diego and I was excited to spend the next day with my grandparents as that was their actual anniversary.

Mini College Reunion And Restricted Activity (or My Week In Workouts)

This week my workouts had some really awesome moments and some pretty annoying ones.

Let’s start with the bad so I can end on a positive note. Due to being sick this past week, my workouts became very tough to do. Not only was I feeling off, I had to restrict my activities to make sure that I was safe and not preventing myself from getting better.

First of all, the fluid in my ear was causing some dizziness. So I had to be super careful on the treadmill because I didn’t want to fall off. I reduced the speed I was walking and made sure to hold on to the handrails extra tight. Monday wasn’t too bad (because that’s when I was starting to have problems), but Wednesday and Friday were very tough. There were plenty of times I had to stop on the treadmill because the room was spinning around me and I was terrified I’d fall over. I had some issues during the strength portion as well, but it wasn’t as bad as the treadmill. For the strength, I only had issues when we transitioned from standing to sitting (or laying down) exercises.

I took it easy and I’m finally starting to feel better. Hopefully this week I will have much less dizziness.

The second problem was due to my throat. The ulcer/canker sore was extremely painful. And breathing heavily made it feel much worse (probably because my throat was getting dry). Trying to drink water felt like I was being stabbed in my throat, so I had to be careful with drinking water as well. So that prevented me from working out as hard as I could.

Even with these issues, I still averaged about 500 calories burned in each class, so that’s good. Going there and doing reduced activity is still way better than not going at all.

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Now for the fun thing that happened in my workout. On Monday, I went to a morning workout. This was due to the holiday (so there were no afternoon workouts that day). And in that workout, I ran into someone I went to college with and hadn’t seen in at least 10 years!

I thought I had seen her before, but not in the same class as me. I saw her name on the heart rate monitor screen (and she has a unique name so I was pretty sure it was her) but I didn’t see her when I was looking into the workout room.

So on Monday, when she walked in to the workout room, I stopped her to ask her if she had gone to LMU with me. And I’m shocked that she remembered me!

She was a couple of years ahead of me, but I met her in the first few months of college. I was in a student film I think in September or October of my freshman year, and she was in that film as well. We knew each other a bit through college since we were both in the theater world.

So it was so awesome to see her and get to catch up for a minute after class after not seeing each other for so many years! I’m not really in touch with a lot of people I went to college with so it’s nice to see people again randomly like that!

Overall, this week in workouts had its highs and lows. But like I keep telling myself, the most important thing is that I had a week of workouts!