25 January 2015

The January Report

This year has started off (wait for it...) with a bang. We went hiking! Maple is getting her craft on with sewing classes! Sean started his 50-miler training in earnest and his platypus feet are holding up nicely.

As for me, I am eating well and reading Hamlet. I'm running just a little; about 15 miles a week.

As of this morning, I still hadn't made any running goals for this year, mostly because my running gait has gotten a little worse, so it's hard to think about training. I can go out and run a few miles, but I haven't been able to run fast or long. This might be because I willingly took a break at the end of last year, and slowing my running momentum always brings on fatigue. It might also be because I've had an incurable degenerative brain disease for almost 11 years. Well whatever, I've been hoping that eating well and taking better care of myself would help. And maybe it is helping; my past two runs have been better.

On this morning's run, with the sun blasting through the northwest winter cloud cover (giving my face that ridiculous half-tan with the jagged line running down my cheek), I realized what my 2015 running goal should be. It may be a stupid goal because I probably don't have any control over it, but fuck it, I'm the CEO of me and I get to decide what my goals are! I want to run 10 miles without encountering "lazy feet." To do this I have to focus on getting healthier and not just running faster. I have no idea if it's possible, but it seems like a really worthy goal. And by the way, I actually believe I have some control over this. Some luck would help too.

To accomplish this goal, I think I need to do these things:
  • Eat well (but maybe not as well as I did in January; that was annoying).
  • Consider meds (blah, but probably a smart idea).
  • Increase my long run length, s-l-o-w-l-y. Don't overdo it.
  • Bathe in Vitamin D!
  • Engage in more New Age. More on this below.

This month, I've been under more stress than usual, which definitely doesn't help things in the old brain department. I decided to become a manager at work, which is fun! I am now responsible for the professional well-being of other people. (!!) But since I am a new manager and don't know what the fuck I'm doing, it's a little stressful. But fun. Stressful fun. Is that a thing?

Related: The most rewarding thing that I've done in January so far is meditate every day. I didn't realize how freaked out and anxious I get about everything until I had to sit down with myself and not move or do anything for 15 minutes. Whoa. New Age Alert: I sit with my fear and anxiety and just breathe. When I get up from the mat, I am sort of inwardly holding hands with all the "negative" emotions and they don't really seem so bad. Sounds corny but that shit is a game-changer. You should try it.

Here are some of my best moments so far in January:
  • One of my patent applications was issued! I played a tiny (microscopic) part in this work back at MathWorks, but I am still really proud of it.
  • Maple made some cool shit in her sewing class and she absolutely loves it. We need to start saving for Parsons. 
  • Sean ran 30 miles last weekend, and Sean and Bailey ran 30 miles this weekend. They are a crazy pair.
  • I woke up and realized (again! fuck!) that I am addicted to being negative. I'm trying again to turn shit around and it seems to be working. Since I believe in the whole mind-body connection crapshoot, I think being less negative (see what I did there?) will help my brain too.

Until next time!

P.S. I still want to break 24:00 in a 5k. I just have to get healthy enough to train for it.


  1. Sounds like January is getting schooled by you! I'd be interested to see what eating well looks like to you- it's probably far better than it has been for me. Any interest in sharing some recipes up in here, the blogosphere? Good on your for meditating, totally inspiring. I've been doing this thing lately at night when I lay down to go to sleep- I tell my body "OK, body, this is the time when you regenerate, repair, and restore yourself." I imagine a big switch, and count down from 3, and then switch on that system in my body. I KNOW you can break your 24:00 5K goal! I know it!!! You're moving towards it every day! :)

  2. January has been one long lesson for me in being trying to roll with the punches, about goals and life in general. Just when I think I have a handle on things, the universe steps in and shakes things up. Sometimes I suspect it is laughing at me behind my back (you know, "Ha! Jennie thinks she's got something figured out? Let's show her!" That sort of thing). 2015 has knocked the wind out of me and maybe even knocked me down, but I'm determined to get up and brush myself off and getting back on that horse. Some days that seems easier than others.

    I'm impressed that you can meditate for 15 minutes at a stretch; I have a hard time with 5 minutes. But reading about your experience inspires me to try to make that a regular practice again. Anxiety has become my constant companion the last month, hanging out in my brain at all hours (but especially in the wee hours of the morning), telling me all sorts of unproductive things. Stupid anxiety and worry and fear, the triplets of doom; they think they are my new best friends, but I've got to break up with them.

    I love reading about Maple getting her craft on and Sean training for his race (I'm totally driving up to hang out with you) and you reading Shakespeare. And congrats on the patent and promotion at work--exciting news all around!

  3. Hi Portia, I've been thinking about you lately. Sounds like January was a good month for you. Thanks for telling us about how meditating is going. I have been wanting to start doing that, I've been battling some negative thoughts that are seeming to want to take control lately, maybe the meditating would help. Hope February is great for you!