Monthly Archives: December 2017

Reflecting Back On 2017 (Kind Of Reaching My Goals)

I can’t believe this is my last blog post of 2017! It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was writing my goals for the year. This year definitely wasn’t what I expected it to be, but that was mostly for the best. But because of things not being the way I thought they would, some of my goals didn’t end up happening the way I thought. For some goals I totally surpassed what I expected and for others they didn’t happen. But even with the non-successes (I don’t consider them failures), I learned a lot.

My first goal I had for 2017 was 181 workouts. When I set that goal, I expected to be out for a little while when I had surgery so I thought it might be a bit of a stretch. I tried to make up for the time I thought I would be missing by doing more weeks of 4 workouts a week. That ended up being my new normal which was pretty exciting. And then I didn’t have surgery so I didn’t have to take the time away that I thought I would. But that didn’t slow me down and as long as the last few days this month go as planned I will be ending the year with 196 workouts!

I was pretty shocked when I looked at my total and saw how far over my goal I had gone. I knew I was going to be doing more than I thought, but I didn’t think I’d be 15 workouts ahead of my goal. That’s pretty amazing and even if every workout wasn’t the best one, consistency is so important and I think I’ve proved to myself that I have that.

My next goal I had for the year was to get through my liver surgery as easily as possible. I’ve got a history of having an easy time with surgeries, but this was going to be the first time I would have to stay overnight at the hospital and it was a much more extreme surgery than any I’ve had before. Well, as you all probably know from all of my posts about it, I didn’t have surgery. So technically there was no way for me to accomplish this goal. But I reframed it in my mind to be more about getting through this entire situation about my liver with less stress. And I think I did accomplish that. I think that I will always be a little nervous before going in for an MRI because I don’t want the tumors to grow, but beyond that time I really don’t think about my tumors that much at all. I do think about them once a day when I do visualization, but after that I try to not focus on it.

Next was to work on my recovery and hopefully reduce my binge episodes. I’m torn on how I did on this goal. I think that I have made some big strides in my recovery and there was some time where my binges were the most infrequent they have ever been, but that didn’t last. I don’t know what I need to do to keep that momentum, but my awareness is higher than ever and I consider that a win. I think this past year I’ve also become more aware of how long this recovery journey may take and that even if it doesn’t feel like I’m taking steps forward I am. I wish that some of my progress was more obvious and the results could be seen, but I think I’ll just have to wait a bit on that. But it’s a good thing that there isn’t a deadline to be recovered.

Next was a money related goal. I wanted to reduce my debt to be at a number that I had in my head. That reduction would have been about 25% of the debt I have and would have been amazing. I didn’t quite make it to that number, but I did get my debt down about 19% which is better than I have done before. This is also after getting a major reduction in my hours at one of my jobs. I went from 12-15 hours a week to 4 which cut my income down a lot. So to be able to reduce my debt that much and re-budget my life with the reduced money coming in is a big step. I wish I could have done more, but I also know that the circumstances weren’t easy and to reduce the debt at all took a lot of work.

I also set a goal to have a new PR in my 5K race. That worked out pretty well for me since I had a new PR at the one 5K I did this year. I had that PR on the course with the hills which usually slows me down. But because I had my running intervals longer that made up for any decrease in speed I had on my hills. To PR is awesome and I’m so happy that I was able to do that. But I was sad that I only had 1 race this year and that I didn’t have another chance to try to improve on that PR. Next year will be weird because neither of the 5Ks I usually do will be happening, but at least I know that I hit my 2017 goal for my races!

And my final goal for this year was to have more fun. I think I totally succeeded in this! I had so many Disney and Universal adventures with friends. I went to a lot of fun parties and just tried to have a lot of fun with the random things of life. And even though dating can be crazy and stressful at times, I’ve been having fun with that too. It does help that I’ve been turning all the bad stories into stories for my book so whenever I have a bad date I think about how funny it will be when someone else reads it. I haven’t gotten serious about anyone yet, but to have fun with dating is something that hasn’t really been in my past before and I’m glad that’s kind of my experience now.

Overall, I think I had more wins than non-successes with my goals. I might not have achieved everything I wanted, but that’s not really what goals are about. If they were all easy to reach then I didn’t set them high enough. I need to be striving for things and not reaching my goals does motivate me to do better. Look at my workouts as an example. I missed my goal in 2016 but far surpassed it in 2017. Missing that goal last year motivated me to do even better this year.

My next few posts will all be about what I’ve got in mind for 2018. I’ve got some big goals again that I’m thinking about and I’m excited to share them next week. But for now, I guess that’s a wrap on posts for 2017! It was a great year for me and I’m so grateful for you all following me on my journey! Have an awesome NYE (and please don’t drink and drive!) and hopefully we all have an incredible start to 2018!

Making My House Look Fancy (or Doing Some Upgrades For The New Year)

I’m not sure why, but for some reason I’ve been on a big cleaning and organizing spree. Maybe it’s because so many of my friends posted photos of their holiday decorations and I thought their homes looked much nicer and more grown-up than mine. Also, I know that things have gotten a bit cluttered lately and I know how easily that can get out of control. But mainly, I just wanted to upgrade some stuff around my house because it was time to do so.

Things started pretty basic with getting a new shower organizer (my old one was starting to rust) and I got some baskets I could hang off of towel racks in my bathroom (I have a serious lack of storage in there). I also wanted to do some better organizing in my kitchen. I had won a blender at Orangetheory a while ago but hadn’t organized my kitchen to fit it in there. I had my old blender still in there and I knew that it was time to get rid of that. So I started to clean and move things around in my kitchen to find a space for the new blender and that got me to move things around more.

And of course when I started moving things around I realized that I needed to do some more shopping and organizing. My parents gave me a set of knifes over 10 years ago that I never opened because I already had a knife set. But since I was doing so many upgrades I decided to switch knife sets. And since the new knife set didn’t have a knife block, I had to get one. I ended up finding a really compact one that didn’t have pre-cut slots so I could use it with any knife set. I also found a new dish drying rack that was much smaller than my old one. Since my kitchen counter space is limited, it’s nice to have more space now that I’ve switched things up.

And the most recent upgrade was inspired by my first one. The new shower organizer was nice but since I could put more things it in I wanted it to look nicer. The variety of bottles in there made things seem more cluttered than it really was and I wanted to fix that. I’ve used nicer containers for soap before since the giant bottles don’t fit where I use them. So I decided to look into new containers for my shampoo and conditioner. I ended up finding glass bottles that looked almost identical to the face wash bottle I already had. I got those (I realized that I could have just gotten more face wash bottles, but it was much cheaper to get the new bottles).

I also had learned from past mistakes about decanting one liquid into a new container and got some funnels too. And while it was a bit slower than I thought to move everything into the new containers, the end result looks so nice!

I’m thinking about maybe getting more containers like this for other things I have around my house like lotions or my body wash (which is still in the original bottle in my shower). It really does look so much nicer this way when the containers are out and I don’t have somewhere to store them away. And I can get the bigger sizes of things now and then pour them into the smaller containers (which should save me a little money).

Of course, all of these upgrades did cost me money which wasn’t the best. I really wanted to save money, but once I got started on these projects I wasn’t really able to stop. I’ve got a few more projects in mind that I want to do, but I’m hoping that I can do them without buying more stuff. A lot of this organization has been trying to minimize what I have in my house. I’m aware that I have too much stuff at times and I need to work on that. But when I’m getting rid of stuff, it helps to also make the stuff that I’m keeping in my house look nicer.

My organization and upgrade project is an ongoing thing. But it’s nice to know that I’m going to be starting 2018 in a much nicer looking place that feels much more grown-up to me.

A Very Low-Key Christmas (or Not Spending My Day Off Doing My Usual Stuff)

I really didn’t do much at all this year on Christmas. It was a bit unfortunate that it fell on my day off of work because it didn’t feel like much of a break. In fact, it was a bit annoying at times because I would think of an errand that I would want to run like I do on a normal day off but couldn’t do it because everything was closed. Since I couldn’t do my normal day off stuff, I tried to not really focus on doing much at all.

Originally I was thinking about hanging out with some friends for the day with watching movies and getting Chinese food. I do that a lot and it is always a fun way to spend Christmas. But as it got closer to Christmas, my friends weren’t able to meet up. Some ended up having something to do with relatives that weren’t that far out of town. Others didn’t feel like doing anything that day and didn’t want to get dressed to leave their house (I don’t blame them). And other friends ended up getting the nasty cold bug that has been going around and I was happy that they weren’t going to come over to expose me to getting sick.

But spending Christmas alone isn’t that big of a deal to me. It would have been fun hanging out with friends, but I was able to just be lazy for the entire day and do everything that I wanted to without worrying about anything. It’s award screeners season and I’ve got access to all my digital screeners (the DVDs haven’t started arriving yet). So I spent a bit of my day watching some of the screeners so I don’t feel like there is a crazy rush to watch them all before I vote for the SAG Awards.

I also hadn’t had a chance to catch up on shows that I have been recording on my DVR or streaming so I started to watch some of those. And I love to read and wanted to get through some of my library books so I spent a lot of time doing that. And of course, I got my Chinese food. It was just delivery food since I was on my own, but I made sure not to overdo things. And once I was done eating, I didn’t want to keep the leftovers in my house because I didn’t want to keep eating when I knew I didn’t need to. So all my leftovers went in the trash as soon as I was done. It did feel like a bit of a waste of money for what I spent on food, but the wasted money is fine when it is helping me. Plus, I figure I save a ton of money on other things by having free movie screeners or getting books from the library so I didn’t have to feel too guilty.

I didn’t see anyone besides the food delivery guy the entire time. I spent the day in sweats with no makeup on and my hair up in a top knot. I was kind of a basic white girl for the day, but that worked for me. I didn’t feel like making an effort if I was just going to be home alone for the day and it is nice to not worry about things.

I know I need to do some of my regular errands during this week after work to make up for not getting them done on my day off, but I didn’t have a ton that I had to do anyway. And with my next day off being New Years Day, at least I know that most stores like grocery stores are open so I don’t have to put things off for another day.

I’m sure that for some people reading what I did for Christmas is a bit depressing. But Christmas isn’t really a holiday I’ve ever celebrated. It feels like just another day to me. And yes, I would have loved spending time with friends seeing movies and going out for dinner but I can also do that other nights. I like that I have my traditions on Christmas that can be done on my own or with my friends. But whether or not I’m celebrating the day with others I always seem to have a good time.

Holiday Workouts (or Getting Some Confidence Back)

This past week of workouts ended up being one of the better ones I’ve had lately. I didn’t expect that at all, but I love when my workouts end up surprising me and I have some great accomplishment! Things didn’t really get awesome until the end of the week, but the entire week was still a good one.

Monday’s workout was a 2 group workout instead of the 3 group that we usually have on Mondays. There was a focus on endurance, strength, and power but for me I did most of the treadmill work the same way. I did my normal walking speed and my base pace incline was 4% and my push pace and all out pace inclines were at 6%. The endurance block was longer push paces with the pushes increasing throughout the block. The strength block was supposed to be hills, but I just used my 2 inclines. And the power block was 6 rounds of 30 second all out paces and 30 second walking recoveries. That last block was so tempting to try to run, but I chickened out because I knew I’d be going to San Diego right after my workout and I didn’t want to be in pain if running was going to hurt my toe.

On the floor, we started with upper cuts with weights, Y raises on the straps, and heel touch abs. The next block was upright rows with weights, bicep curls with weights, and skaters. I’m getting a lot better with the skaters and that surprises me since so much of it has to do with balance on one leg. I struggle with most single leg stuff, but somehow I’m not having as much trouble with the skaters as I do with the other stuff. And the last block was decreasing rows starting at 400 meters and going down 100 meters each round. And between each row we had frogger squats. None of my rows were amazing times, but they were all pretty decent and within the range I like to be in.

Wednesday was a strength and endurance day. There were 2 blocks on the treadmill and 2 blocks on the floor and we switched between each block. Both of the treadmill blocks were similar with 4 rounds of 90 second push paces followed by 45 second base paces. Both blocks also ended with a 1 minute push pace to a 30 second all out. But in the first block we were supposed to increase the incline each round and on the second block we were supposed to start at a higher incline and decrease it each round. But I kept my same plan with just 4 and 6% inclines. I did try 8% for a bit but it felt a bit too high for me. It’s been a while since I’ve had the higher incline so I think I need to start working toward that.

On the floor the first block had single arm chest presses, bicep curls on the straps, plank low rows, and tricep pushups. The second block had tricep work, shoulders, double crunches, toe touches, and a 300 meter row. I tried to make up for my lack of strength (aka incline) work on the treadmill by going a little bit heavier on my weights on the floor. I hate that I feel like I’m not pushing myself, but I also know that recovering from an injury is always frustrating for me because I always mentally feel ready to be back to normal before I’m physically ready.

But after feeling a bit let down on Wednesday, I totally made up for it on Friday! First of all, I was very excited for this workout because I knew my coach, Bruce, would be wearing the Santa hat I got him 3 years ago. This was the 4th year of a Santa Bruce workout and I feel so happy seeing him wear the hat that I randomly got for him my first year at Orangetheory.

But the festive outfit was only the start to my awesome workout. We had a run/row endurance day which started with a 1 mile run. I knew that there was no way I would be getting a PR on my mile, but I decided to use this opportunity to see if I could get back into running. The goal was to do the mile with 2 minute run/1 minute walk intervals but I didn’t know if I could do that or maintain it for the entire mile. But I wanted to see what could happen so I went for it.

It wasn’t an easy or pretty mile, but I think I did pretty decent. I was able to keep the intervals for the entire time except at the end I just kept running instead of adding in any walking. And I bumped up the speed at the very end because I wanted to see if I could be close to 14 minutes. Of course, after seeing what I got I was kicking myself that I didn’t bump up the speed sooner or went a little faster.

But considering that I hadn’t run in about a month it was a huge accomplishment to do any running at all, let alone do run/walk intervals for the entire mile! This wasn’t a PR, but it was one of my faster mile times so I was pretty excited about that! After the mile run, we had a 400 meter row. I was still catching my breath when I was rowing, so it wasn’t the best time. And because my mile took so long, I only was working on the next treadmill interval (which I did as a walk) before it was time to switch to the floor.

The first block on the floor was goblet squats, hop overs, and seated knee tucks. And the second block was lunges, pullovers, pushups, high rows on the straps, and running men. It was a tough floor block because each move was hard and the blocks were long. But I was trying to do the best that I could after the longer run and I think I was pretty successful on the floor work too.

After a really successful Friday, my Saturday wasn’t as great. It was a combination of factors including having some pain which was likely caused by the running as well as only getting about 2 hours of sleep (when I hurt I don’t sleep as well). It was a 3 group workout which did help because I wasn’t anywhere for too long. Each section had 2 blocks and we switched between each block.

I started on the treadmill and realized that it wasn’t going to be the best option for me. So within a few minutes I stopped the treadmill and headed to the bike to do that for my cardio. When I’m on the bike, I’m not as focused on the intervals but instead just trying to be consistent with my cadence. I know I didn’t get as much of a cardio workout as I would have gotten on the treadmill, but I also knew that if I had been on the treadmill it would have caused me to be in a lot more pain so I’m glad I avoided that.

On the floor, the first block was plank work, squats, and burpees. And the second block was arm swings with weights, mountain climbers, and lunge hops on the straps. And on the rower the first block had all out rows with recoveries. And the second block was timed rows with squats using medicine balls between each row. I wanted my rowing to be great, but it just wasn’t my day for that. I know that my workouts suffer a lot when I’m tired, but sometimes it’s not my choice to be tired and I just have to do the best I can.

This week of workouts will be a bit weird with my schedule, but I’m still getting them in. I’m excited to know that I’ve really done amazing with my workouts in 2017 and can’t wait to see what the last few workouts of the year have in store for me!

Just A Quick Christmas Hello! (or Back To Normal Blogging Tomorrow)

I know that my Monday posts are normally my workout recap, but since today is Christmas I just wanted to do a quick post to say that I hope you are all celebrating Christmas however you like to celebrate! I will be doing Jewish Christmas (more on that later this week) and will be enjoying a relaxing Monday!

It is weird to think that today is a holiday for everyone when for me it just feels like a normal Monday off. The only difference for me is that I don’t have a workout today and nothing is open. I usually do all my errands on my Mondays off, but this time I don’t know if I’ll even really be leaving my house to do anything.

My workout recap will be coming tomorrow, but I just wanted to have a quick message today to say that I hope you are having an awesome day doing whatever you love to do! And if reading my workout recaps is how you wanted to spend Christmas, I’m sorry. But I guess having that tomorrow will make your Christmas 1 day longer.

 

I Have To Be Political (or Hoping My Healthcare Stays The Same)

If you follow me on social media, you probably have seen that I tweet a lot about politics. I’m a Democrat, and I don’t always agree 100% with what Democrats say. But in a political climate like what we are in now, I feel more in line with my political party than ever.

It seems like politics are in the news more than ever now. That may be because things seem to be crazier than they ever have been. Also, the president seems to like to tweet out ridiculous things every now and then to make sure that he’s still in the news. Some of these tweets I feel are just to cover up something else that isn’t going to be reported, but I also feel like he just wants to make sure that there isn’t a lag in his press coverage.

I’ve become more politically active in the past year. Partially this is due to the last election, but I also feel more involved to the issues that are being discussed. I think some of feeling more involved is just being more educated by listening to a lot of political podcasts. But also it seems like so many things are personally affecting me in a way that they haven’t before.

When Republicans tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act, I was terrified. It’s because of the ACA that I have health insurance that is 1/3 of the cost that it was before. Before the ACA, I was only eligible for insurance that was created for people with pre-existed conditions. Now that pre-existing conditions can’t be used to turn you away from insurance, I’m getting normal insurance that has better benefits and lower monthly premiums. I do still miss when I was on my dad’s insurance because everything was free then, but what I have now is much better than what I had when I started to have to pay for it.

I was so relieved when the repeal of the ACA didn’t pass. I know how important my health insurance is for me. I don’t have the simplest health issues and I need insurance. If I didn’t have insurance, I can’t imagine where I’d be now. If I hadn’t found out about my tumors and continued to take hormonal birth control, the tumors would have continued to grow and they could have ruptured. And I know I wouldn’t have gone to the doctor when I did if I had to pay thousands of dollars to be seen. But because I had insurance, it was $50 for that appointment.

I’m aware that there are problems in the healthcare system and I’m not denying it. But so many problems were solved when the ACA passed and I’m so grateful for that. But with the recent tax bill that will likely be signed by the president, the ACA might not exist the way it has. The president seemed pretty pleased to announce that the tax bill pretty much ended the ACA. And that’s not false. They removed the mandate that required people to have health insurance in this bill. And if people aren’t required to have insurance, healthy people won’t necessarily get it. And that only leaves sicker people (like me) using it and that makes everything more expensive. If there aren’t people paying monthly premiums who don’t use their insurance that often, there’s nobody to offset the costs of those who use it a lot.

As far as healthcare goes for next year, I think I should be ok. I already have the letter from my insurance saying what my monthly premium will be and my benefits are pretty similar as they were this year. Some of my benefits are actually going to be better. But I’m worried about what will happen in 2019 when there is a chance that fewer people will have insurance. I don’t want to think about how expensive things can get. I’m lucky because my parents help me pay my insurance (it’s still too expensive for me to afford on my own right now) so if the price goes up they will still help me. But it still is making me think about trying to prepare for having worse insurance again.

Fortunately, my IUD is still good for another 9 years so I don’t have to worry about that for a while. And hopefully my tumors will continue to shrink so I don’t need surgery. But the idea of having bad insurance again has made me wonder if I should have surgery to remove the tumors next year. I don’t think I would do that because I’d rather not have surgery, but it’s still a thought in my head. If I needed it no matter what, I would do it without thinking too much about it. But since it’s still a gray area, I don’t know what the right move would be for me. I won’t be making a decision until I see my surgeon again in October unless something crazy happens to me, but I know I’ll be thinking about it until then.

I’m really hoping that my fears about my health insurance don’t come true. Maybe a lot of people are going to be so happy that they have any insurance when they didn’t have it before that they will keep it. The enrollment numbers are showing that healthcare enrollment is close to what it was last time despite the enrollment period being cut in half and almost all the advertising money to tell people to sign up was taken away. People have been pretty good about sharing online to remind others to sign up and that seems to be working. I don’t know if the president really wanted people to forget to sign up so he could say that people don’t like insurance or what, but if the numbers are almost the same as the last year they won’t be able to say that people are unhappy.

I know that this is a bit of a rambling post. I think I’m still in shock about a lot of what is happening in politics now. There are some people who didn’t understand that there was something in the new tax bill designed to take down the ACA until the president was sharing how happy he was about that. The new tax bill hasn’t been signed by the president so maybe there is still hope that things can change. But no matter what happens, I know that I have to continue to be political and to share my voice. If someone wants to tell me that healthcare doesn’t matter, I want them to know my story and why it matters to me. I won’t stay silent on an issue that I feel is important. I know I have done that for far too long and I can’t keep doing it.

Not Wanting To Wait Until The New Year (or Managing The Crazy Times)

My schedule has been crazy for a while. Part of it is my fault with planning a lot to do, but I think that the holidays are always a crazy time. I keep saying that things will be normal again on this date or that date but then something else comes up that changes that entire plan.

For a long time, I said my schedule would be fine once the 300th episode party for the podcast would be done. But then I had more parties to go to (even if I didn’t end up going to all of them) and then family things to help with and that seemed to stress me out. I think also not having any extra time off for the holidays is throwing me off because it won’t feel like I have a break. I just have my regular work schedule happening and my next day off work for a holiday isn’t until the 4th of July (too many holidays happen on a Monday which is already my day off work). So it feels like I’m in something that just keeps going and going without a break to have a sense of having time to catch up. I still have 2 days off a week, but usually for holidays I get at least one extra day or one regular day becomes a half day. Not so much this year.

With all this craziness, I’m lucky that my fitness schedule isn’t too affected. Next week and the week after will be a bit weird, but I will still get in my workouts one way or another. I know that this is something to be proud of because for so long I would consider this craziness an excuse to take a break and not work out. But instead, I’m almost annoyed when I can’t get in as many workout as I want to because of holiday schedules. And while in the past my food plan might have gotten out of control too, it isn’t as bad as it has been in the past. It’s not great, but I know it could be so much worse. But since I know it could be better I want to work on that. And it’s just far too easy to say that I’ll work on it when I know things are normal again.

I don’t want to get into the mindset of waiting to fix things that aren’t going the way I want them to be. That’s the problem of waiting until Monday, next month, or next year. And with it being near the end of the year it is really easy to think that I’ll just fix it on January 1st. But I know if I wait to do that, it won’t happen. It’s far too easy to procrastinate and get myself deeper and deeper into whatever hold I’m digging myself into.

And if I keep telling myself that I’ll wait until it gets normal, I know that won’t ever happen either. There may be a small break of time where things seem very routine and easy for me, but I know that it’s not all the time and when it happens it is very brief. More often than not, my life is crazy with times of insane stress of too much stuff and then insane stress that I’m not doing enough. And I want to work on being better prepared for those times.

As much as I want to say that my life will be normal again after the holidays, I know that there’s no way that it will be true. I’ve got a trip planned with my mom and sister-in-law in February, I’ve got the busy season at my day job, it’s almost pilot season for acting and I’m hoping to have some more auditions, and I’m guessing that my dating life is going to continue to be crazy for a while. All of those things have a good chance of stressing me out and making it feel like my life isn’t normal.

Maybe I just have to think of all the craziness in my life as the normal times and when things are easy for me those are the crazy and weird times? I don’t know. But I do know that the more I’ve had to work through times like this (and it happens a lot because I know I blog about it a lot) the better I get at managing it. This is one of the first times that it’s really seemed much easier for me and I don’t feel like I’ve had a huge setback when dealing with the stress. I’ve had minor setbacks, but they are much smaller than they have been in the past. So I think they are also easier to bounce back from.

I know that each time I write about this I say how I should be happy that I’m seeing progress and acknowledging that I have to work on these things is major progress. It doesn’t always feel like that when you are in the crazy times, but I think that I’m finally starting to believe it.

Girls Day In San Diego (or It Might Be My Last Time Doing This Drive)

Even though I was just in San Diego for Thanksgiving recently, I was back down there this week. My mom was down with my grandma and I decided to use my day off work to go down to be with them. I don’t usually have time with just my mom and grandma so it was pretty nice to get to do that.

I got down to San Diego just after lunchtime and met my mom at the hotel she was staying at. Right after we got there we headed over to my grandma’s place to spend time with her. She does have some memory issues, but she was having a good day while I was there. We went for a walk to sit outside in the sunshine and when we got back to her place we spent some time looking through photo albums of trips she had done in the past.

My grandma was saying how she didn’t remember going on the trips, but she still enjoyed looking at the photos. And she did remember the people on the trips and some of the specific activities they did.

We spent a few hours with my grandma and then my mom and I had to go back to the hotel. My mom had some business stuff she had to take care of and the person we were working with was meeting us there. But I think my grandma appreciated our visit that day and it helped to break up the routine of her day.

After my mom was done with the business stuff, she and I walked to a restaurant for dinner. It’s not too common for my mom and I to have dinner alone, so that was a nice treat for me. And I thought the sign outside of the restaurant was pretty funny. We went to a brew house for dinner, but neither my mom nor I drink beer. But we technically went to the beer side of the sign.

I thought about spending the night in San Diego because I was originally going to meet a friend of mine who lives down there, but he wasn’t able to meet up with me that evening. So I decided to drive back home. Some people consider it a bit much to do the drive to and from San Diego in a day, but I don’t mind it. Also, I prefer to sleep in my own bed and I knew that I had stuff I needed to do around my house the next day.

The drive to and from San Diego is pretty routine for me. I’ve been doing this since I moved to LA in 2001. My grandparents have lived in San Diego my entire life so I’m just so used to going there to see them. Even when they moved from their house to their new place it was still in San Diego and only a few freeway exits further for me to go. I have the drive down so much that I have landmarks I use to help me figure out how much more I have in my drive. But this might have been the last time I do the drive to see my grandma in San Diego.

Next month, my grandma is moving to be closer to family. Right now, I’m the person geographically closest to her and I’m 2 hours away. I could always go down in an emergency, but I can’t go on a regular basis to visit her. But she is moving somewhere that is minutes from my aunt and uncle and pretty close to my parents too. This way, she can have visits from family more often and we all know that this is going to be the best thing for my grandma.

I’m hoping to be able to go down to San Diego for the day to help pack up my grandma’s stuff when my family is there, but as of right now I’m scheduled to work that day. I’m hoping to get the day off so I can help, but it depends if someone else can cover the time that I’ll be missing. It might be very last-minute that I find out that I can go that day so I’m not really planning on it.

So if I don’t go down to help pack things up, I’ve just had my last day trip to San Diego to see my grandma. It’s so weird to think that could be true since I’ve done it so many times. I do have friends down there so I might still go down from time to time to see them, but it’s different from going there to be with family. I also know that when my grandma isn’t in San Diego I won’t necessarily see my parents as often as I see them whenever they come down to see her.

Those are all very selfish thoughts when I know that my grandma is going to benefit so much from the move. But it is a sad thought to think about something that I have done for so long isn’t really going to be a thing for me anymore. But that just means I’ll have to go up to Northern California to see everyone and I’m ok with that!

Childhood Friend Hangout (or I Don’t Think We Look 18 Years Older)

I’ve always considered myself lucky that I make friends easily. When I go to a party where I know nobody, somehow I will leave that party with a new friend. But the problem with fast friends like that is that the friendship can be fast too. I’ve had so many instant friends who aren’t really my friends a few months later. That’s fine, but it’s always nice when you have a friend that you’ve known for a long time.

My friend Abby is one of my first friends. We met when we were 2 or 3 years old and even though we weren’t in school together growing up we still saw each other from time to time. Abby is the friend who introduced me to my friend Kate (and it’s weird to think of a 9-year-old introducing other 9 year olds to each other). While we weren’t friends who saw each other every day or every week, we were always friends.

We aren’t 100% sure of this, but we think the last time we saw each other in person was when Abby came to my high school homecoming dance my sophomore year. We went as a group that year and she was a party of it. That would have been when we were 15 and we looked like this.

I don’t exactly know how we stayed in touch during college (social media wasn’t a thing then) but somehow we did. And since social media existed we’ve stayed in touch mainly through Facebook. We’ll message each other from time to time. I got her hooked on Old Navy workout clothes and whenever we see a good sale we’ll let the other know about it. And we’ve said that we wanted to get together but it never worked out (she lives in the Bay Area near where we grew up).

But this past week, she was in Southern California for a work convention and she ended up having a little bit of free time during a dinner break on Saturday evening. So I got into my car and drove down to the Anaheim Convention Center (which is so close to Disneyland but my pass was blacked out) to meet up with her. I was so excited to get to see Abby again and realized that we had gone over half of our lives without seeing each other!

We went to dinner at a restaurant near the convention center (but not too close since all of those were so crowded with convention attendees) and finally got a chance to catch up in person! We both remarked about how amazing it is that our friendship has stood the test of time even though we hadn’t seen each other in 18 years. It takes a really special friendship to accomplish that. And it wasn’t weird at all catching up. I think that being in touch on social media helps so we knew what each other had been up to.

She told me about the house that she and her husband bought earlier this year and caught me up on what her family is up to. I told her more of my crazy online dating stories and other bits of randomness that has been going on in my life. But what was the greatest thing about this dinner was how totally normal this was. It felt like we were catching up after not seeing each other for a few months, not years!

Unfortunately, our dinner was quick because Abby had to get back to the last session of the conference she was attending. But of course, we had to get a photo to prove that we hung out together!

But when I put the last photo I know we were in together with this new one, I really can’t believe that there is an 18 year difference in them! I don’t think I look 18 years older in the photo than the old one and neither does Abby. Maybe I’m not a good judge of how old we look, but it doesn’t look that different to me.

When I dropped Abby off at the convention center again, we told each other that we couldn’t let 18 years go by before we see each other again. I know that we can’t promise that it won’t, but we are both really going to make an effort to make sure that doesn’t happen. But if somehow that does happen, I know that our friendship will last and when we do hang out again that it’s not going to seem like that much time has passed (but seriously Abby, we can’t let 18 years go by!).

I feel so lucky to have amazing friends like Abby in my life. I know that not everyone is as lucky as this and don’t have friends that have known them for over 30 years. While it’s nice to be able to make friends quickly like I can, I am so much more grateful for the lifetime friends (or the new friends who will last a lifetime).

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Another Walking Week (or Trying To Not Be Anxious About Progress)

I had another week of workouts where I couldn’t run. It’s tough to be patient with myself, but I do feel like my broken toe is almost better. I still don’t know how much longer it will take before I feel ready to try to run again, but I hope it will be soon. It’s always annoying when I have a workout that I know would have been a perfect running day and I have to walk it, but I know that it’s the best thing for me right now.

Monday’s workout was a power day with 3 groups. On the treadmill, the first block was a pretty basic power type workout with 1 minute intervals with a walking recovery in the middle. I had my normal walking speed for all of it, but I kept my incline at 6% as both my push pace and my all out pace inclines (usually it’s 6 and 8%). The second block on the treadmill was 1 minute all out paces with thrusters with weights between each all out. I was so tempted to try to run at least 1 of the all out paces, but I stopped myself by reminding myself that if I did that and it hurt that the recovery would take a lot longer. The floor work had lunges, ab twists, jacks with medicine balls, and crunches.

On the rower, the first block was the same pattern as the treadmills with the 1 minute intervals. But the second block was a pretty awesome one for me. We had a mix of 10 pulls on the rower for distance and counting pulls for 100 meters. On the 100 meter counts, my best was 8 pulls and I did repeat that a lot. I’d love to get it down to 7, but that’s probably going to take a little while. But for the 10 pulls for distance I really kicked butt! I’ve learned that for the pull for distance rows that you have to go as slow as you can tolerate. A lot of people rush through it thinking it would help get them more distance, but you need the pause in the middle of each stroke to help get the meters going. My best attempt was 157 meters in 10 pulls which was the best of any girl in class (some of the guys managed 200 meters). I was pretty proud of myself for that!

Wednesday was an endurance day. I was again able to use my normal treadmill walking speed with my lower inclines for class. We had some longer push paces which are tough but doable. But this time my body just wasn’t able to handle it and I had to take some breaks in the 3 minute push paces. I don’t know if that was because of my toe, my hip, or if I’m getting out of shape. But whatever caused it was very frustrating because I know I can do those. I’m hoping it was just because of my toe because I don’t want to believe that I’m getting out of shape when I feel like I’m working pretty hard given the circumstances right now.

On the rower, we started with a 1 mile (1600 meter) row. I knew we had this coming up so I had looked at my records to see what my best time was for this. It was 7:12 so I decided to set a goal of getting it done in 7:11. I knew it was going to be difficult to do that, but it was possible. I tried to remember all the techniques I’ve been working on with my rowing like going much slower than I think I should and focusing on keeping my timing and pace steady. I thought I was going pretty hard but I guess it wasn’t quite enough to beat my old PR.

Then again, I had just spent 30 minutes on the treadmill and I was still recovering my toe so I probably should be just very proud of myself that I was close to my PR. It was significantly better than what it’s been in the past and I did keep my pace steady for almost the entire time.┬áThe rest of the time on the floor was one block that had squats with high rows on the straps, chest presses with weights while on the Bosu, pullovers on the Bosu, and crunches. I was a bit slower than normal on the floor because I needed time to recover from the row, but I was using some heavier weights than normal so I was happy with that.

Friday’s workout was a pretty awesome one. It was called the Orange Inferno and it was a run/row format. For the 30 minutes of cardio, you had rounds of 200 meter rows and .25 mile runs. I had to do it as a power walk so I had .125 mile walks and I kept my inclines at 6%. The goal was to do as many rounds as possible but to do at least 5 rounds. I decided I wanted to try to do 6 rounds and knew that the only real place I could make up time would be on the rower.

My rows were all pretty good. I was always under a minute which is ideal but none of the rows were close to my record. But I wasn’t overdoing it because I knew that I wanted to be able to start on the treadmill without too much of a break. It was just constantly going back and forth and I tried to limit the time I used to catch my breath or to drink water. And I finished my 6th round with about 30 seconds left before we switched! I could have gone back to the rower to start my 7th round, but I figured with that little time left it would have just been me getting to the rower and strapping in so I stayed on the treadmill for that last bit of time.

On the floor, we had 3 blocks. The first block was power push ups, chest fly with weights, tricep work with weights, and scissor kick ab work. The second block was plank rows with weights, low rows on the straps, hammer curls with weights, and ab work. And the last block was a core blast for about 4 minutes. We had straight leg raises which I had to modify because my hips were feeling pretty done by that point and sit up rotations which I had to modify to bicycle crunches. It was a pretty amazing workout and I really felt great about myself after it was done. I wish I could have done at least a little running, but I still felt very fast and powerful which are the best feelings I can have after a workout.

Saturday’s workout was a strength day, so at least I knew in normal circumstances I would have walked it and walking didn’t feel as annoying to me. I started on the treadmill and kept the same routine I had done the rest of the week. I was at my normal speed, but the only incline I was going to was 6%. I could have probably tried 7 or even 8%, but I was feeling a bit tired that day and wasn’t ready to push myself. Since I wasn’t really doing the inclines, the entire time I was on the treadmill was pretty much going between 4% (which is what power walkers have for their base incline) and 6% for everything.

On the floor we started with front raises, bicycle presses (which are like a combination of a bicycle crunch and chest presses), and side plank work. And on the second block on the floor we had goblet side lunges, shoulder presses, and four point planks. The rower also had 2 blocks starting with a 2 minute row for distance and then a 1 minute row for distance. I was able to do more than half the distance when I did the 1 minute row so I was pretty proud of myself. The second block was another 2 minute row for distance (I beat my previous 2 minute row) and then lunges with 100 meter rows between each round of lunges. None of my 100 meter rows were a spectacular time, but I realized that there was just enough time at the end for me to do one more round so I went all out on the rower. I was just under 20 seconds which is pretty impressive for being at the end of the workout.

Next week will be the last week until my schedule gets a bit weird with the holiday workout schedule. I’m still trying to plan when to work out but I know I’ll be able to do at least 3 workouts a week. I just don’t know if I can do 4 each week without having to do 4 or 5 workouts in a row. I’m still working on the planning, but I know that I’ll be able to figure it out.