Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Madness: Running & Working Balance

Good Last Day of March Morning To Everyone!!!!

Just like this year thus far, March has flown right on by. March was a bit of a busy month for me. It started off pretty rough with a really bad sickness and sinus infection which just seemed to rock my world. The pollen content in Florida has just been off the chain lately and the worse year I have ever encountered with this.

I used to say I never had any sinus or allergies or anything to that nature, but getting older and dang I have been hit every year. I mean I turned 30 and it has been non stop. Still today, I am suffering with a sinus headache and pressure, but really trying to just push it on by. It is the headache portion that is really getting me bad.

March also brought a whole lot of happiness for me as I got to spend a great week home in New York. I miss my family terribly and wish I was with them so much, but my life down here in Florida is way better than anything it could be back home in New York, plus it just makes my visits that much more special. And it gives them and excuse to come and visit me more often.

March at work was a bit crazy. We had a floor set the day I got back from vacation but work actually  has been pretty great. I am FINALLY feeling like it is home to me and getting my rythm, taking over a store is a pretty hard thing to do. I took it over right before Christmas, so I was completely out of wack and now that we are far from Christmas, organzing and getting it all together has taken a bit, but we are finally getting there.

I read a BUNCH this month too. I read 7 books and trying to finish up my 8th one today because I want to end on an even number haha. I have a thing with even numbers. I will do a big currently post this weekend on my book choices, there have been some really good ones.

The one thing about March that has really improved was my running. The beginning of the month started off rough because of being sick but then on vacation I really kicked it into high gear, then I came back from vacation and only ran once last week BUT I did get to the gym twice.

And this week, I ran on Tuesday morning before work for 2.00 miles and then yesterday I ran before work 10.00 miles.

Let's chat about this for a minute...

Ever since I changed my stores with my work, I have been struggling to find a balance with working out and running, that is really nothing new. My job is honestly not your typical retail job. I work 8 and honestly sometimes more a shift, I don't get a break, we work a lot of single coverage and I am working my store all day long, on my feet. It can be seriously tiring. I commute 30 minutes each way, with my new car it is a dream because I have AC and the car drives amazing, but that 30 minutes really zones me out.

It is the first time I am usually sitting all day and I am beat. I just want to get home and get in my sweats, read a book, watch TV, Blog ( which I know I have been neglecting a lot lately), or honestly I just want to sit down and maybe just close my eyes for a bit. Then I have to make dinner or maybe I just want to go shopping after work or have a date night with James on a whim. But knowing I hadn't got my run in or the gym puts a lot of pressure on me.

Because when I get home at 6:30 or later, it really makes it hard. Now that it is much lighter out, it does add that bonus but I am really tired.

So I had to slap myself in the face a bit and say, you gotta make a change because making excuses about my full time job, just doesn't cut it. I know I am better than that and I can do much better than what I have been doing.

I am going to have to do it in the morning. If I want to enjoy my days off and enjoy my evenings, then I need to do it in the morning. Yes I like my sleep but I always want to have some free time, and to reward myself, on my days off I will sleep in, the other times, I will get up early.

So for two times this week, on Tuesday and Wednesday I set my alarm for 5:00 and got up and got my runs in. THIS IS HUGE FOR ME.

Tuesday I had to be to work at 7:45, so I got up at 5 and went for a two mile run. AND I felt amazing. I was defintely a bit tired but through out the day I was energized and was so happy that I could just come home and truly unwind after my work day. I had energy and pep and honestly it wasn't that bad. So I thought, why don't I do my long run of 10 miles on Wednesday rather than my day off, so I could sleep in and treat myself on my day off.

Now a long run of 10 miles and then working, is a lot for me because my body is tired and usually I  nap later in the day. Yesterday I woke up with a sinus headache, some aches and pains BUT I didn't make an excuse, I really wanted to prove to myself I could do this and it really will be okay.

I actually got up at 430 and was running by 530 and finished my 10 miles before 8. I felt great and even more I felt accomplished and proud. I used some SPARK from Advocare for my run and fueled with coffee right after. I had some time before I had to go to the store after the run and ate breakfast and watched a show and then I was on to work.

Yes around 2:30 I was getting a bit tired. I think I was craving some serious protein lacking and got a coffee and had a protein bar and I started to feel even better. Once my work day was over, I came home and was able to take a quick cat nap and then James and I went to Trivia night.

The pressure I typically felt was taken off of me. I honestly felt a bit more relaxed. And did I mention pretty darn proud. You know what, I was able to sleep in today on my day off and that was the best thing.

So for now on, I am going to do my work outs in the morning before work, setting the time between 5 and 6, depending on when I have to go to work, even on the days I close at 1:30, then on my days off I can sleep in or even better, use those days as a true rest day! That will be my full reward.

April will be my test month for this. Also I will be blogging this experience too to keep me accountable and dedicated my whole planner for the month of April to it.

This small change, I know will have a BIG impact on my life.

I want to prove that I can have a crazy work schedule and really work on my running and fitness for 4-5 days out of the week!!

Join along with me!!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Catching Up

Good Thursday Morning Everyone!!

Man it has been one heck of  whirlwind of a week for me already.

Last week I was on vacation and oh my gosh, I had the best time. The weather back home was good,  not great, I mean for my Florida blood, it had its chilly times but most of it was just plain wonderful. I did a lot when I was home, but also did a lot of nothing too. If that makes any sense whats so ever.

On Sunday, I flew in and had lunch with Poppy. Which I have to tell you, this trip alone was a blessing with him. Last year, he was not doing so well, his health was very scary and I saw my Poppy in such a down and out state, he was weak and tired and just not himself at all. It made me appreciate him so much and it was a great trip, but I could tell he just was not happy with how he was feeling and acting.

BUT this trip was a complete 360 from last year. He was up and moving and seriously, it was the Poppy I knew my whole life. It made this trip extra, extra special, because it proves love can conquer all.

After our lunch, where we spent tons of time catching up and talking. I went to my mom's real quick and then went for a 4 mile run, in honor of my dad. It was 4 years since he left my world. The run felt amazing, the weather was nice and despite all the hills, my body was enjoying it. We had dinner that night all together as a family and then I am sure I passed the heck out, it was a long day.

Monday was Poppy's birthday, so I made no plans but to just stay with him all day. I got up early for a run, I can never sleep in on my vacation. Another great run, this one was so special because it was quite and early and my little sleepy hometown looked so different than I had ever seen it before. Then we spent the day shopping at the Christmas Tree Shop and we celebrated Poppy's Birthday.

I made this for him for his birthday. I took all my cousins, his Grand kids names and put it into Scrabble letters, like it was a Scrabble game, which was something special to us. HE LOVED IT!!!! He thought it was the coolest thing ever. I was so thrilled he enjoyed it and how it came out and it was a lot easier to make too. Now I want to create everything with Scrabble letters.

Probably one of my favorite pictures with me. Just because of the smile and how great he looks. I want to frame this picture, it just warms my heart.

Then for his birthday we went to the movies and saw Zooptopia, which yes it was a Disney movie, but so stinking cute. I loved it!!!

Tuesday- I slept in a little bit and then Poppy and I had some errands to do, take him to the eye doctors and we spent the afternoon together. We went to our favorite little place for lunch and then later that day I went out for drinks with a friend. Which was one of the highlights of my trip...

We hadn't seen each other in forever and spent two hours catching up and it literally was like  no time had passed at all. Jenna and I have been friends since we were like 5, it is always great to see those true lifelong friends after all these years.

I spent the night curled up on the couch reading a book. Seriously it was just how I wanted my night to be. I just wanted to relax and unwind and not worry about tv or responsibility.  It was great, actually any free time I had I spent it with a book, and did not worry once about TV.

Wednesday was a gorgeous day and I had the best fun I have had in a really long time...

I got 3 miles done in my fastest time and it felt amazing. I had lunch with a friend Sam...

And then spent the afternoon in Woodstock, walking around and enjoying being outside. I went to little shops and bought some things, had a hot latte, I really felt like I was on a vacation lol. Then I went to Bingo that night with Poppy, which was a great time, despite the fact neither of us won.

Thursday, I did my virtual run with Gone For A Run...

The weather was damp and really cold that morning and my body was  not enjoying being up so early. I could feel like a difference in my legs and everything. But I got it done. I spent the rest of the day with my amazing Aunt...

And her dog Max. I mean how cute is he!!! We went and got Pedicures and did some stuff with the boys, who god they are getting way to big now. We went out to dinner at this really nice restaurant and I was in bed super early. It felt great to go to bed with a full heart.

Friday the boys had me up super early and I was just feeling so tired. I did not sleep great the night before and when I got back to Poppy's I fell asleep on the couch for two hours and decided that day was going to be a lazy day. I had no energy and just wanted to lay around all day. I played Scrabble with Poppy...

He of course beat me, I mean I could not get rid of that Q and then I spent the night at my Mom's, where I literally just laid around all night...

Saturday mom and I were up super early and we went shopping, I found a ton of stuff I cant get here in Florida and then we went to Olana...


It was so cold. But we walked around the grounds and had a great morning. My mother and I have one of those relationships, very nontraditional, we get under each other nerves super quick and fast but love each dearly and sometimes we just have to yell and scream with each other and then we are good again. It was nice to have a day with her. After we said our goodbyes,  I got my last run in.

I have to say I was pretty damn proud of myself this trip. I ran 6 days that week. I ran 3 miles for 5 of those days and then 4 miles on Sunday, only day I didn't run was Friday. I felt great the whole time, the running every day helped so much.

I definitely ate different than I typically do when I am here in Florida. I ate foods, I do not typically eat, which I found out is a lot of carbs haha. I had a bagel sandwich, lasagna, baked macaroni and cheese, a slice of ice cream cake, I ate a bunch of freaking jelly beans (my poppys favorite) and I enjoyed every moment. But I also made great choices and drank a lot of water. I think I only gained a pound.

Which Hell Yeah that is amazing!!!

And Sunday I got back home and went right back to work that night, which sucked because I feel like I had tons to do. Sunday and Monday were long days with work and just getting back to it. I missed James so much and Monday night we had some fun with friends and went out for Happy Hour. It was just the night I needed after those two days. Tuesday I was my day off and I got 4 miles in and spent the whole day with James. We hit up Trader Joe's and spent the rest of the day fixing his phone, that he dropped on the ground and broke. Not the best part of the day, but we had fun together.

Yesterday was my travel day and I had tons of plans of getting stuff done after work but work took a turn and I had to go in and close, which meant me getting caught up and feeling good about things did not happen. It set me into a nasty mood and I was not one bit thrilled about it.

But this morning I shook it off, got up early and I am using the morning to get things accomplished, such as this blog post, ordering some stuff online, cleaning and doing some major laundry. I only have to go into work for a few hours, I am using some PTO time because I need some time to myself after this week and not closing tonight. That way I can come home, do some work in the gym and have great sit down dinner with Bubba.

Sometimes you have to step away from the whirlwind and just breath.

So that is where I am currently at. I have a long run prepared tomorrow because Iron Girl is in a little over two weeks and I signed up for the half :0)

Hope all is well with everyone else!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

4 Years and A Day....

Dear Dad,

It has been 4 years since you left me. 4 years and a day actually. The day I found out you passed away, 3/13/16, was by far the worst day of my life. Nothing seemed or felt real. I didn't believe it and I couldn't believe it. I tried to walk around the day, just figuring out what I was doing. I was trying to figure out how this could happen, why it was happening and when was I going to wake up from the nightmare of it all. It hurt so bad, I couldn't breathe, but I somehow managed that day to function. I went to lunch, I packed my bags, I talked to people on the phone, I was normal. I took a nap and woke up still hurting, but I felt just numb. It had not sank in yet.

You know when it became real...

The next day. The next day was hell because it became visual and real and I really understood that day what it was like to lose someone you love so deeply and unconditionally. The next day, which is today, 4 years ago, was a day that my world crashed. Because I woke up that day and knew it was real, I knew you really had died because I came home.

You weren't there when I got home at the door. There was no trace of your voice or smile or laughter. You weren't there to greet me at the airport or at the door. Your car, your clothes, your shoes, were all there, just empty but you weren't there. Your smell was there....

But you weren't.

That's when I knew you were gone and you were never coming back and I was never going to see you again, any and every time I went home. You were never going to be there again and I knew on the following days and years to come, small things of yours would slowly not be there either. I knew the day after was the end of my world.

4 years later and you still are not here when I come home to visit, which by the way, I come home every year this time of year. I come home and spend the week with Poppy and Uncle Kevin, because in them I see you and it makes it feel like you are still here.

So even though the day after 4 years ago, I couldn't see you or feel you or hear you, 4 years later I find you in things. I found you in my morning run this morning, as I ran past our old house on Landon ave. I found you as I crossed over the bridge. I found you in the breeze as I ran down West Bridge street. I found you in the quite morning peacefulness of this quite town. I might not have seen, heard or felt you, but I found you.

And I find you every time I am home. I come home and in the air, I know you are there for me.

You are missing a lot every year, but i know you are looking down on me. I turned 30 this year. Yes, you have a 30 year old daughter, I wish we could have many more years, 25,5 years was enough for you I suppose. I am  being selfish and wish I had double that. I turned 30, I got a promotion at work, and I bought a new car. I know it wasn't a ford, but I think you would have approved.

I carry around a picture of you wherever I go. Sometimes I open it and just stare at it and some days I just don't look, but I know it is there. I heard songs this year that reminded me over you. On  your birthday I cried for you and on Father's Day. I even earned a medal running in honor of you. I fell even more in love with James this year and I'm so glad you got to meet him when you did. He is living up to his promise of taking care of me.

The things I wish you didn't miss were not the big occasions, but the small ones. The ones when I was having a great day and wanted to tell you about it. Or the bad days and I just wanted you to listen. I know those days wont happen anymore, but I just miss your phone calls.

Can you find a way to call me from heaven....or wherever you are.

I have done a lot this year in growing up and becoming the woman you dreamed me to be I am sure.

Please continue to look over me, love me and guide me.

Say hi to everyone for me and send my love...

I miss you always and forever and my love is even more...

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Best Thing I Have Done For Myself So Far This Year

Good Evening Everyone!!!

It is happy evening over here in the RunChewSparkle household because James and I are finally on the mend from our sinus infections and flu and stomach issues. It has been horrible over here. We are piggy backing off each other with medicine and its just plain sad to see. We are not exciting at all, but we are making the most of it. James ended up having a sinus infection also, pretty bad and he is left ear is blocked with all the fun of it, while mine is my right ear, see us combined, is just a damn hot mess.

But with all that put aside I wanted to talk about the one SPARKLE part of my life. Going into 2016 I set up some goals I wanted to accomplish, little things to improve my overall health, like taking vitamins everyday, drinking more water, sleeping more and better, losing some weight. But aside from that I have set up goals personal to grow myself as a person stronger, such as writing 1-5 positive thoughts from the day at night and my big one, reading more.

Each year I always say I am going to read more. And I do read a lot, I have always loved reading, but then I get in a rut and make excuses, and only read on vacation or certain times and don't read the books I want and have a hard time getting involved in my Nook. Well from last year, you know my very good friend Nanci and I started a post of what were were currently reading. I was reading at least one book a month and I did hit a goal of 35 books last year.

This year I wanted to hit 50 Books. And this was the game changer for me so far....

This my friends is a Library card. Yes at 30 I finally went and got one. Now growing up I loved the library. I had one all my life, then in college the library became more of a research area and not warmth and comfort I got from it as a kid. I missed that connection of taking out books and really reading more.

So on one of my days off, I went and got my card and it has been a God send for me ever since. I am obsessed with the library. I got multiple times a week, picking up books, dropping finished ones off.

I am on the library website requesting books all the time. I mean this is a pile I have so far....

I cant stop. I want to read everything and anything at this point. Most of these books by the way are coming home with me on my vacation. I will spend tons of time reading, its all I want to do. At night before bed, I have been squeezing time in to read and it has been so nice.

Getting the library card has changed my life because I get any book I want and not have to spend money and if I end up loving the book, I can buy it then from the store. 

I am 30 years old and I have found the love of my childhood again.

When I was a kid you could always find me with a  book, it was a way for me to escape and dive in. A way to feel connected and get lost from what was going on. I found books I connected with and books that still continue to change my life.

My SPARKLE part of my life is reading and using the pure benefits of something as simple as a library. And I am sure when I go home, I will pop into my hometown one, just to feel like home again.

And if you want to see what I am reading, check out my Good Reads account and follow me!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Hello From The Sick Side

Hi everyone!! I have been absent this week because once again I have fallen down the sick well again. I have to honestly say I am getting sick and tired of this path.

I have been so well this month after the half marathon. My running has been back and I have been feeling back to normal and then Sunday happened.

Actually back to how awesome my running has been, I realized every Saturday this month I ran a different race and a different mileage each one. Saturday the 6th was 13.1, the 13th was a Valentine's virtual of 2.14, the 20th was Gasparilla 15k of 9.33 and last Saturday was a beach 5k for race for the cupcake. Which by the way was so much fun!!!

This race was probably my favorite of all the weekends because it happened so close to home and on the beach in the morning. It was a lot of fun and inspired me to get out to the beach much more.

On these Saturday's except the half I worked on those days, I made no excuses and got the race done and happily, well not all happily headed to work lol.

I have felt so good and really proud of myself. Then Sunday came and around 9 at night it started to hit me with a weird sore throat. Then full on full force shivers, even though my body was literally on fire. I mean to touch and I felt like I was burning and felt so wrong. I felt like I was panicking and dying. I always feel like that when I'm sick.

Then Monday morning came. I was burning up, throwing up and crying uncontrollably. My ears and throat hurt and my whole body ached I felt like I couldn't move. We went to urgent care and they took 3 hours, which left me throwing up more and then telling me I didn't have the flu, but like the flu, wtf!!

I also had a sinus infection and rapid flu, I was a hot mess. Tuesday morning I woke twice, dripping and drenched in sweat. It was bad but finally my fever broke and in a big way. Tuesday I tried to do some work from home with conference calls and such. I washed all of our bedding and was starting to feel okay.

This morning I woke up with the worse ear pain and used it as another day of rest. It has helped but I just hating being weak and it back tracks everything I have been doing. It just sucks. And yes I give myself a pitty party when sick. 

Anyway im hoping to move past this week and be much better and back to normal and live in a bubble. Haha.

The one thing with being sick that has been nice, is I have read and finished two books and my naps have been nice. Lol.

Hope everyone is feeling better also!