That Bitch “Conscience”

Little raindrops streak across my office windows.  I look up from my computer to watch the trees outside sway lazily from side to side.  The day’s earlier promise of sunshine has been wash away by a thick layer of ominous clouds.   I place my hands around my steaming cup of tea, as I lean back in my chair and sigh.

cold

The cooler weather begs me to curl up on my couch with a throw across my legs and glass of wine in hand.  There is literally nothing more enjoyable than relaxing to the sound of raindrops on my tin roof.  It’s calling to me right now; trying to seduce me away from my planned evening workout.  Wine or workout… workout or wine…decisions, decisions — who am I kidding, I know damn well it will be workout before wine.  She’ll have it no other way.  Who is she you ask?

“She” is my conscience. My relentless, nagging, down right mean, conscience.  “No rest until your work is done,” she snarls.  Why oh why does she have to be such a bitch.  I love myself, don’t get me wrong, but my conscience can be a real pain in my ass.  She’s always looking over my shoulder; she reminds me daily to push, push, push.  Yesterday, I skipped my evening workout (still did my morning run though); boy was she pissed.  That’s likely the reason she’s being such a hard ass about me wanting to skip tonight.  No way in hell would she be ok with two missed workouts in a row.

I wish I was better at standing up to her, but I crumble like a dried up biscut when she raises her eyebrow in disappointment.  Can’t get nothing past her; that’s for sure.  Still, I feel like being rebellious, so like it or not, I’m shortening my workout to 30 minutes tonight.  TAKE that!  I’m gonna show her…

My body is telling me it needs a break, and I want to give it one.  Unfortunately, the little voice in my head will not allow it.  Maybe one day I will have the ability to let go from time to time.  Until then:  30 minutes on the bike = 2 chilled glasses of Ms. Kim Crawford.

 

How To Lose a Guy in One Date

No date should start with “Omg, I think I’m going to be sick.”  Sunday morning, however, that is exactly how my date began.  Thank god, we were seated in the booth located right beside the bathroom.  The look on my poor dates face when I jumped from my chair and ran to the bathroom was nothing short of horror.  Bless his heart, he was still waiting for me when I returned.

Now, let me clarify that my date had nothing to do with my nausea; he was a perfectly nice man.  My Sunday illness was totally self-inflicted, as I was suffering from a bad case of heat exhaustion.  We had fairly warm tempatures over the weekend, and on Saturday I decided to go for a 10km run along the river.  Normally, I would run in the morning to beat the heat, but on that day, the time had gotten away from me.  With a belly full of oatmeal and coffee, I started my run at 11:00am.  By the time I finished, it was just before noon, and the tempatures were pushing 30c.  Instead of cooling down and re-hydrating myself, I went straight to the coffee shop to read my book.  I ordered my usual 16oz almond milk latte and a piece of banana bread.  The coffee didn’t sit well, but I didn’t listen to my body.

Red Faced and Drinking Coffee — Smart Move???

Feeling a bit ill, I drove up to the garden center and spend an hour in the sun looking at flowers and herbs. I hopped from store to store picking up potting soil, a hanging basket bracket, and a six pack of beer.  I arrived home at 2pm and immediately started planting my garden.  Like any normal person, I poured myself a nice cold glass of beer after working out in the yard.  I drank two beer within a matter of 20 minutes; you’d think I’d realize that maybe I was thristy, and water would be a smart decision (blonde moment).  As soon as I finished my second beer, I felt tired.  I laid down on the couch with the intention of taking a quick 20 minute nap, which ended up being a 2 hour sleep.

When I woke up, I realize what I had done.  I was completely disoriented and my head was pounding.  I stumbled into my kitchen and tried to down a couple of glasses of water, but my stomach wasn’t having it.  My body was burning up, yet I felt cold and weak.  I ran a warm bath, while keeping a cold cloth on the back of my neck.  This made it worse!  I ended up in bed by 8:30pm with no dinner and still no water in my system.

I woke unusually late Sunday morning (8:30am) still feeling like total crap. I figured it was most likely dehydration, so I slowly drank a glass of water while I checked my online dating messages.  I had a message from “chevytrucksrules” asking me if I wanted to meet up for a coffee.  “Great Idea”, I think to myself.  Some food and coffee would surely cure my headache.  Thinking I was being smart, I drank another glass of water and droved to the cafe.

I arrived first, so I ordered a muffin and a coffee and waiting for him to arrive.  By the time he got there, I had finished my breakfast, and I was half way done my coffee.  We talked for about 30 minutes or so when I felt my face go clammy and my stomach start to turn.  Oh dear god… I’ve already told you what happened next.  I politely explained my situation and told him I needed to go home.  He was such a gentleman; he even offered to come by my house later than day to change my winter tires over to summers.  Unfortunately, the rest of my day was spent in bed.

I completely know better than to let myself get dehydrated, but on Saturday I must have left my brain at home.  Today, I’m a bit better;however, I’m still pretty tired.  LESSON Learned for sure.  No beer until I’ve fully rehydrated myself…

My Chevy actually did message me today, and he even asked me out for another coffee, so I guess he isn’t turned off by a woman who can’t hold down her breakfast.  I’m going to give myself a day or so before taking him up on his offer though.  To all the Singles ladies and gents. out there — Do not forget to drink your water.

 

I Raced Myself, and I won!

A sea of red could be seen for miles across our city on Sunday morning.  On your mark, get set, go…. and we were off.  Thousands of bodies trying to cross the start line; eager racers jetting to the side in an attempt to pick up pace.  Slowly the mass begins to separate as each finds their place and the race is on.   I pick a spot near the middle; I put my headphones in and start my place list.  “Thunderstruck” by ACDC gives me a beat to find my rhythm — two breaths in, one out, two breaths in, one out.  I repeat this mantra; ignoring the urge to stop before I begin.  “Keep it slow and steady”, I remind myself.  “Don’t go out too fast, or you will burn out too soon.”

Capture

Right in the middle with my headphones in…. breathing 

I fight the urge to pass the girl to the right.  She is clearly 20 years younger than I am, and she has her game face on.  I stay two strides behind and keep my focus.  Breathe – Breathe – Breathe.  “… working double time on the production line…” song number three begins, and I’m warming up.  My pace has quickened and I’ve left the 20 year old in the dust.  I spot my next competitor.  If I pick up my pace just a bit, I can pass him on the left and cut in front of him.  Here I go, the speed burns my quads, but I push on.  I’m right on his trail; I move to the left, and I pass him.  “Another one bites the dust…”  I can see the water station coming up; should I stop?  No, too soon.  I buzz by, leaving a thirst group behind me.

Heel to toe, heel to toe — my feet have their groove, as my arms pump in unison.  I’m running alongside the river now, and I spot a log drift slowly in waves.  My eyes lock on the log and count how many steps it takes to pass it.  One, two, three, four — it’s gone.  Up ahead I see a group of walk/runners.  They are on their walk cycle; I pick up my pace and skirt around them.  “You may be right I may be crazy, but it just may be a lunatic your looking for… ”  I wave at the familiar faces standing on the sidelines.  They cheer me on, and put out their hands for a high five. Slap one, two — I’m floating on air!

Can this be right, the turn around already?  It is!  Volunteers cheer and wave me in the right direction.  I’m on my way back, and I maintain my pace.  There’s a man to my right, he’s inching ahead of me.  I let him go by — I watch as his legs propel him forward.  I keep my eyes fixed on the back of his head.  I’m counting again.  I count the bobs of his head, up one, down two – one, two, three.  I’m beside him now, and I move in front.  Not by much; can I keep this pace?  How far behind me is he?  I think I can feel him right on on my tail.  I pump my arms and tell my legs to move.  Faster, just a little faster — I need to gain some ground.

Here comes the final climb.  It’s slow and gentle, but my tired legs can feel the incline.  “Focus on breathing; the faster you go, the sooner you’re at the top” my internal voice repeats itself over and over until I reach the peak.  It’s all down hill from here.  There he is, he’s coming up on my right again.  I can see his picking up speed as we start the decline.  Little does he know, I can fly down hills.  Should I?  How much further is it to the finish line.  If I pick it up now, will I still have enough for the final push?  I go for it.  Pump, pump, pump my arms.  I drive my knees up, and he’s gone.  Behind me know.  I must keep up the pace to keep my lead.  I see the last turn only meters away.  I’m at full speed, as I turn and see the crowd surrounding the finish lane.

“Pump, pump, pump… breathe, breathe, breathe – go, go, go – don’t stop” I chant myself through the gates, I only have a few seconds until I’m there.  “Keep pushing, you can do it” My feet hit the finish line, and adrenaline rushes through my entire body.  Every inch of me is alive with excitment.  Someone puts a finisher’s medal around my neck, and I shuffle out of the finisher’s circle.

This is not my first nor my longest race; however, it was one of the most satisfying.  The older I get, the more I appreciate what I can get my body to do.  I’m not a top placing runner; I usually finish somewhere just above the middle of the pack.  For me, it’s not about placing — it’s about pushing myself.  I came in at 57:30 minutes in this 10km race.  I’m 41 years old, and that is the same time I had when I was 30 years old.  To me, that’s a win!  My internal dialogue is what gets me through the finish line.  I don’t care if I actually pass my targets; however, they are what I use to challenge myself.  With every pass, I build my confidence, and I move further and further ahead.  I’m so proud of myself and everyone else that made it from start to finish on Sunday morning.

A race is like life; you must keep going and push yourself to the finish line.  Each pass is a goal achieved, each marker a moment of realization.  My hope is to come to my life’s finish line full of pride and excitement for all I accomplished — I raced myself, and I won!

 

 

 

Office Snacks

snacksAbout once a month, a girl from our office makes a trip to costco and stocks up on office snacks.  She is a lovely lady, but she goes a little overboard on the snacking items.  She buys over $1000 worth of snacks a month, and then she hoards them in her office.   In her tiny 8 x 8 office she cramps $1000 worth of chips, chocolate covered almonds, granola bars, cookies, nuts, dried mangos, hard candies, soft candies, hot chocolate, chocolate caramel pretezel bark, noodle cups, and suckers.  It’s a dieter’s worst nightmare.  I’m not a dieter, but I am careful about what I eat.

You know it’s her shopping day when she pops by everyone’s office and asks “Would you like me to pick up anything special while I’m at Costco?”  When she gets to my door, I always say “No thank you.”  In saying this, I kid myself into believing I won’t be tempted to grab something when I’m in the middle of a stressful project, or when my carrot sticks are just not cutting it.

I’m the type of person who needs food structure; otherwise, I will eat a whole bag of chocolate covered almonds in one sitting.  I don’t mean to; it starts off with just a couple of almonds.  A couple won’t hurt, but once the sweet taste of chocolate hits my tongue, I’m doomed.  If I don’t go into her office I’m fine, but we are co-workers and sometimes I need to go to her office.  The stack of sweets sitting in the corner of her office stick out like a sore thumb.  You can’t miss the jumbo size bag of gummy bears — I think I’ve actually heard the pint sized bears call out my name.

Her shopping day was yesterday, and I was so good.  Not once did I go to her office to check out the new stash.  YEAH me, I made it through the work day on salad, chicken and an orange.  It’s hard to eat healthy when your putting in two hours of strenous cardio a day.  Last night I did an hour steady-state run followed by a 40 minute spin (bike).  Tonight is two hours on the bike and weights.  This morning, I ate my oatmeal and egg whites, chicken and quinoa for lunch, and an apple for a snack.  I also consumed a handful of chocolate covered almonds and a good serving of dried mango 😦  WHY!  This would not have happened if I had stayed away from the office of temptation.  Damn you willpower — where are you when I really need you?  You come and go from my life like a careless lover.

I purposely keep this kind of food out of my house.  My house is stocked with lean proteins, veggies, and healthy grains.  I can go a whole weekend without one little slip up, and then Monday comes around again.  Another week to test my discipline.  Unfortunately, my discipline has a mind of it’s own.  If only I could find a full proof plan to keep my sneaky little fingers out of the cookie jar — literally.  My little indulgence today is going to cost me an extra 30 minutes on the damn bike.  I’m pretty sure I can feel my butt growing as I sit here and type.

A little advice to all the well-meaning snack buyers in the world: please stop; stop now.  It’s hard enough for some of us to get through our clean eating day without having a constant reminder of all the things we’d rather be eating.  Please, for the love of God, think of us weak food sinners and lead us not into temptation.

The time has come for this girl to tie up her big girl laces and work off her sins.

 

 

But Only a Dream

I’m standing in front of the house I used to live in with my ex-husband.  The air is chilly, and ominous clouds hover above.  There is someone standing behind me; I feel a jolt of energy run through my body…

All of a sudden I am standing in the kitchen, and I realize the house is completely distroyed.  I have my house back, but it will cost thousands to repair the damages… from out of nowhere my boss looks at me disapprovingly, and say’s “how could you let this happen?”  I want to tell him I’m sorry, but he’s gone and I’m…..

I’m in a car, holding hands with a faceless man – I’m in love.  I love being in love; I feel full of joy and happiness.  He turns to look at me, and I see it’s the barista from my favorite coffee shop.  How did I not know that I was in love with this man?  We are having so much fun; we are completely head over heals for eachother.  I go to kiss him and I realize…. 

It’s now my ex-boyfriend driving the car, but it’s not a car anymore – we are sitting in my living room.  Why is it not the barista in my living room; I don’t want to be in love with me ex.  He’s standing now, looking down at me.  He tells me I need to be ok with him having another girlfriend if things are going to work out between us.  I start YELLING at no one “BUT I DON’T WANT THIS” It’s completely silent….

As I’m run through the trails behind my house; it’s the hottest time of the day, and I have no water.  My legs are burning, and my eyes are stinging from the sweat dripping into them.  I want to stop, but I can’t because the rest of my coworker are close by, and they will pass me.  The barista is by my side, and he encourages me to keep going.  We get to the finish line, and he pulls me into his arms.  “You did it, I’m so proud, and I love you so much.”  

I wake up.  I am totally disoriented, and when I close my eyes I can still feel my loves embrace.  Suddenly I realize I have to pee, but there are no bathrooms.  My eyes open, the sensation to go is real.  I sigh knowing I have to let the dream go, but I don’t want to.  I want to hold on to the feeling of being loved again.  To realize it isn’t real is heartbreaking.  I actually feel sad.  I roll to my side, and turn on the bedside lamp.  I can no longer hold it in.  I need to get up.  I mentally let go of my fantasy love – it’s gone now.

I dream almost every night.  Not always about being in love; however, more so lately.  Being single was great for a couple years, but I have been ready for love for awhile.  It just isn’t happening, and the longer I remain single, the more I miss being in love.  I find myself getting excited about sleeping, because I am loved only in my dreams.  Loved by a man that is.

In the past I have experienced dreams about lost loved ones.  Family or friends who have passed on.  In my dreams I can talk to them again, and I am so happy they are not dead any longer.  When I wake, I have to mourn them all over again.

Dreaming is bittersweet.  You can have all the things you want that are either not possible or not available right now in real life.  However, when you wake up the feeling of loss can be unbareable.  These types of dreams can affect my mood for the whole day.   I yearn for what isn’t or can’t be.  But still, I am glad for them.  I am grateful for the feeling of love, or the opportunity to tell my grandma how much I miss her and love her.

I love dreaming – I hope to dream until the end of my days.

 

 

Morning Interrupted

The sound of the alarm startles me this morning; can it really be 5:00am already?  I hit the snooze button and snuggle back into my bed.  5:05am, off goes alarm number two – NOOOO I don’t want to get up.  And here comes the internal dialogue I have with myself every morning:

“Get up and go for your run, you will be happy you did”

“But I’m tired, I can go to the gym after work today”

“You could, but it’s Friday, so you probably won’t… you had that glass of wine last night, if you don’t run it off, you will have muffin top all day”

“I don’t want to”     “Get your lazy ass out of bed”     “F*ck”       “OK FINE”

My feet hit the cold floor, and I stagger into the bathroom.  The light is blinding, why am I doing this to myself?  I brush my teeth, brush through the tangled mess of my hair, and scrounge through my laundry hamper for clean LULU.

I’m no longer thinking at all; I’m on autopilot – If I stop to think, I might change my mind and climb into bed.  The car is cold, so I put on the heater, adjust my mirror, and crank up the raRoad2dio.

I DID IT, I’m on my way downtown, and I’m going to get my run done!!! I park the car in front of my favorate cafe, tie up the laces of my worn runners, and hit the streets.  I warm up with a slow jog until I round the first corner, now begins the laborious climb up 1st Avenue.  1st Avenue is six blocks of “hill” – Lung burning hill.  My legs want to stop, and they ache all over.  I make it to the top, give myself a pat on the back and continue on.  “Pop Goes The World” is playing on my Iphone –  I’m feeling pretty good.

30 Minutes later I’m at the door to the cafe and ready for my coffee.  Greg, the barista, rings in my 20oz almond milk latte, and I settle in to for a quick read before it’s time for work.

Just as I open my book, a man sitting in the next booth decides to start up a conversation.  From the looks of him, I would guess he lives on the streets and had come in to warm up.  I humour him (I’m polite that way) by engaging in some friendly chit chat, and then I turn back to my book.  This did not faze him one bit; he continued to talk.  Honestly, I have no idea what he is talking about.  His speached is slurred and quick; I hear something about Cleopatra poisoning herself, and “Ain’t that a F*cking thing.”

My patience is wearing thin by now, and all I want is to be left alone.  I  pretend not to hear him and stare at my book hoping he will stops talking.  It doesn’t work, I turn my body completely away from him and focus hard on the words in front of me.  Still he talks.  It takes 10 minutes for him to run out of steam before he gets up and saunters out the door.

Part of me feels bad that I didn’t want to talk to him, but mostly I’m relieved he’s gone.  If I were a better person, giving up 10 minutes of my day would be no big deal.  But I not and this is my time.  As much as it pains me to get up so early, I treasure every moment of it.  I enjoy the empty streets as I run, I enjoy the first sip of my latte, and I enjoy the piece and quiet.

Although my morning wasn’t completely lost, I felt annoyed by the interruption.  Generally I’m pretty social and I will talk up a storm when I feel like it.  MY mornings are sacred though, and I don’t feel I should have to give of myself all the time.