Monday, January 27, 2020

Please, Let Me Finish

Let me preface this post by saying I tried my hardest not to come across rude or ungrateful, but I know, at times, we can read something and not hear tone or intent. With that said, if you read this post and get the sense I'm being disrespectful, bratty, etc, please know that is NOT my desire. And, now, with that little caveat out of the way, let's get onto the post ;)

I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia back in ninth grade (holy crapoly, it's been over TWENTY YEARS ago now - WOW!). I had fractured a couple vertebrae in my back due to a cheer leading stunt and the pain never went away. After countless doctors appointments, seeing my fair share of specialists, trying what seemed like a billion routes of treatment, they finally landed on fibromyalgia (which, at the time, was seen by many medical professionals as either a catch all for something they couldn't quite put their finger on {since there was no test to run and fibro presents differently for different people} or "all in the patient's head" since all of the tests run come back "normal"). I'll be honest, at the time I was a little relieved that there was actually a name to go with all of the pain and symptoms I was feeling, but, on the other hand, distraught that there wasn't an easy or clear fix. I was told "you won't die from it, but you will die with it". I'm not sure if that was supposed to be reassuring or not, but let's just say that reminding a fourteen year old of her mortality wasn't very comforting.

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Without going into the nitty gritty details of fibromyalgia, you can take my word for it that it sucks. The Mayo Clinic defines it as "a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues." See, like I said, a catch all of craptastic symptoms and issues... I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

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Although living with fibromyalgia isn't a walk in the park (actually, walking in the park can feel like an insurmountable challenge some days), what I wanted to talk about in this specific post is FIBRO FOG.
Fibro fog: A type of cognitive dysfunction reported by many people with fibromyalgia. Also sometimes referred to as brain fog, its symptoms include difficulty with concentration, memory deficits, and confusion. The reason for the changes in brain function with fibromyalgia is not clearly understood. [via MedicineNet]

Have you ever experienced what some call a "brain fart"? Where you're trying to think of a word/ phrase/ idea/ memory/ etc and it feels like it's just out of reach? The wheels of your mind are turning but they aren't spitting out the result you're looking for. Well, I experience that, thanks to my best friend worst enemy fibromyalgia, more often than I care to admit. 
I'm an intelligent woman. Not to toot my own horn, but I graduated in the top fifteen students in my high school class, went to one of the top ten public universities in the United States and graduated with an Economics degree while maintaining a GPA of 3.68 and working 20-30 hours a week. I'm an analytical thinker, dependable, a problem solver, self-motivated, a hard worker, etc... but at times I can't think of the word "apple"... you know, that red thing in the tree we like to eat... 
Let me say, fibro fog is no joke. Yes, the physical pain my body is in 24/7 sucks, but I can't even explain how frustrating it can be when you're trying to have a "simple conversation" and your brain seems to be fighting against you the entire time.
And, here is where I might ruffle some feathers... Not only is it incredibly frustrating to not be able to get your mind to work the way you want it to, but when your friends/ family/ loved ones/ random strangers you are speaking with try to "help", it can be infuriating. Say, for example, I'm talking to the hubby and my fibro fog rears its ugly head in the middle of a conversation about the beach. I may be stuck on trying to come up with the word "sand" and the hubby, bless his heart, senses my frustration and starts tossing out words he thinks I'm trying to say. "Oceanside" "fire pit" "towel" "sunshine" Again, I'm not trying to come across as ungrateful, but throwing out words that one thinks I'm trying to say is not helpful. In fact, it makes me feel dumb, ashamed and even more discouraged. When this happens, at least with the hubby, I look at him, try to take a deep breath, and say "Please, let me finish". If it happens with someone I don't feel as comfortable with, I may just shut down and say something like "oh, never mind" because I want out of the feeling as quickly as possible. 
I know, this may seem like a trivial thing, but to me it's huge. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the idea of help, but the fibro fog already makes me feel like I'm fighting a never ending (and un-winnable) battle, and, at least personally, if I can't think for myself I'm losing a huge part of myself. I realize not everyone with memory issues may feel the same as me, which is absolutely okay, but for me, I don't want to feel dependent on others to form thoughts or coherent sentences.

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The reason I am even taking the time to share this is because I realized, if I don't voice how this "help" makes me feel then I can't expect people to read my mind and recognize it is something that can make me feel slow and stupid. Maybe it is something I need to work through and "get over", maybe I need to accept the assistance with a smile and a grateful heart, maybe I will get there eventually, but, for now, I want to be able to process through these brain farts on my own.

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Thanks for trying to alleviate some of the frustration I'm feeling when I can't get my words out, but, please, let me finish.

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Is there something that bothers you but you don't mention it when it occurs? 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 4

Sunday, January 19th – 10.35 mile run


Monday, January 20th – 8 mile run


Tuesday, January 21st – 6.2 mile run


Wednesday, January 22nd – Rest Day


Thursday, January 23rd – 14.14 mile run


Friday, January 24th  10.25 mile run


Saturday, January 25th – Rest Day

Another week where I opted for a second rest day instead of a ride on the bike. These last two weeks I've picked up an extra weekend shift at the running store because one of my co-workers has had car issues, which means more time on my feet (and less time to run/ workout). Even on days where I take a "rest day" I'm still walking over 7 miles throughout the day and am on my feet for at least 8 hours, so although I'm not clocking a workout I'm not technically resting with my feet up. From the looks of it, things should be settling down to my new normal now, so hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things with a cross-training day (and, shoot, maybe I'll even add foam rolling and stretching back into my daily habit... maybe ;)). But, even with the two rest days I was able to get in almost 49 miles while starting my taper so I'll take it!

How were your workouts this past week?

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 3

Sunday, January 12th – 10 mile run with the hubby


Monday, January 13th – 6.2 mile run


Tuesday, January 14th – 6.2 mile run


Wednesday, January 15th – Rest Day


Thursday, January 16th – 20.20 mile run


Friday, January 17th  10.10 mile run


Saturday, January 18th – Rest Day

Technically I guess I "should have" done a ride on the stationary bike either Wednesday or Saturday, but since I had to work open to close at the running store both days an extra rest day was totally fine with me. I'm still getting the hang of fitting in all of my runs with working 40+ hours a week (this week was extra busy because we added the Carlsbad Marathon Expo last minute so I offered to work a couple extra shifts I normally wouldn't have had to work), but as long as I'm getting in all of my runs I'm stoked. And now I technically have a couple of "taper" weeks before the Mesa Marathon (even though that race will just be another long run in my training for the LA Marathon and Old West Trails 50K ;)).

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, January 17, 2020

Friday Favorites

Like I suspected and mentioned a couple weeks ago when I shared the news about getting my new job, the blog has taken a bit of a back seat. With that said, I'm thankful you have stuck it out and continue to check back for new content. I promise I won't leave you for good, but I'm still getting the hang of juggling everything I've got on my plate and I'm sure once I get a better handle on things I'll be able to post regularly again. Anywho, enough wasting time trying to justify my absence and sharing "excuses", it's time to get the show on the road and share some of the things I've been loving lately.


National Parks Are For Lovers Box


Just in time for Valentine's Day (although, #RealTalk, the hubby and I don't celebrate it, but I still love the idea of the box and could see me getting it for him any day of the year), Parks Project released a National Parks Are For Lovers Gift Box and it's pretty fan-freakin'-tastic! The hubby loves "collecting" mugs so this would be right up his alley (not to mention his love for socks). Parks Project will even fill out the Valentine's Day card for you and include it in the shipment! Oh yeah, and just in case socks and mugs aren't your jam, this Polaroid camera is AMAZEBALLS!

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Sending Cards


Okay, a few times on here I've shared some requests to mail a card or two to someone. Well, here's another request. This 104-year-old Vet is asking for Valentine's Day cards. Um... YEP! I don't have any Valentine's Day cards in my craft closet (I normally keep cards for most occasions on hand so it's easy to drop them in the mail whenever needed), but I do have plenty of blank note cards so I'll make something. If you want to join me in sending this sweet man some love, please do!

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Puppy Adoption Photos


Let's be real, Facebook can be the place of a lot of hate, divisiveness and drama, but I'm only there for the positivity (which can be few and far between) and puppies. I came across an article with 30 pictures of shelter dogs after hey had been adopted and I wanted to squeal seeing them all. These pups all looked thrilled and I pray that their lives (along with the folks who rescued them) are that much more rich now that they have a loving home to call their own. #AdoptDontShop

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Buffalo Plaid


I'm not sure about you, but I love the lumberjack look of buffalo plaid. It feels cozy and warm (not sure a pattern can really evoke those feelings, but that's the sense I get). I don't think I can pull off the flannel look per say, but a little of the plaid on say a Mitten State sweatshirt is super cute if you ask me! Not to mention the special color way on the Ghost 12 shoes!


What are you loving lately?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Workout Recap - Week 2

Sunday, January 5th – Rest Day

Monday, January 6th – 8.88 mile run


Tuesday, January 7th – 6 mile run


Wednesday, January 8th – 6 mile run


Thursday, January 9th – 60 minutes on the stationary bike


Friday, January 10th  12.12 mile run


Saturday, January 11th – 8 mile run


Here's to a cutback week - WHOO HOO! Last week my back-to-back long runs consisted of a 20.20 mile run and a 10.10 mile run for a total of 30.30 miles over the course of two days. This week my back-to-back runs only hit 20 miles (which was shorter than my long run in a single day last week). My legs appreciate the break (especially now that I'm getting into a routine at work and have 4 days of working open to close), although, to be honest, they're still tired, but that's what you get when you're standing for 9 hours at a time... But when it's important to you, you make the time and make it work!

How were your workouts this past week?

Friday, January 10, 2020

Friday Favorites

I know, I know, it's been a hot minute since I've posted a Friday Favorites (and I'm sure you're tired of the excuses so I won't even bore you with them), but I'm doing my best to get back into a routine and hopefully this is step one. And, with that, let's not drag out the intro any longer than it needs to be... Here are some of the things I'm loving lately.


Upcycled Puffy Tote from Parks Project


I'm not sure if I've mentioned it recently or not, but I love me some bags. I do my best to live a minimalistic lifestyle, but bags (as well as water bottles) are a weakness of mine. When I saw Parks Project release their newest bag, which is made from old puffy jackets, I was in love and have been trying to figure out how I could justify its purchase (and trying to decide on green or black). (As of right now I'm just loving it from afar, but hopefully one day I will be able to make it mine. Honestly, I think the only thing saving my wallet right now is that the bag doesn't have a zip closure. If it did, SOLD!)


I mean, a pocket for my water bottles... GENIUS!

Momentum Jewelry Sale


Momentum Jewelry is currently running a New Year Fresh Start Sale. You can score BOGO on Motivate Wraps and Footnotes, $15 Motivate Packs and $15 mini SPARKS. If you follow me on social media I'm sure you've seen your fair share of my arm candy and my favorite stuff normally comes from Momentum. Whether you are buying yourself something to keep you motivated or stocking up on gifts from friends and family members, you do not want to miss this sale. No coupon required (the discount will automatically be applied). This sale runs through Sunday so get your shop on!

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ROAD iD Ambassador Program


2019 was the inaugural year for #TeamROADiD (the ambassador program with ROAD iD). Apparently we did a good job because they're bringing the program back for a second year - WHOO HOO! (Don't worry, you can save your applause until later ;)) If you love ROAD iD and are interested in applying for the 2020 team, you can fill out the application HERE. (FYI: The applications will close on January 20th, so don't delay. Everyone will be notified by February 7th of their status.)

Okay, this picture has nothing to do with the ambassador program, but isn't it super cute?!
Source: @roadid's Instagram feed

REI Co-op Cool Trail Pack Cooler


The hubby and I LOVE REI. We received an REI gift card for Christmas and have been eye-ballin' a ton of gear (honestly, I think if we won the lottery we would buy almost the entire REI and Patagonia stores... but then we'd have to play the lottery to begin with ;)). When we were in our local store a few weeks back we saw this cool backpack cooler combo and I had to share it. Inside the pack there is a leakproof cooler insert, which holds 10 pounds of ice to keep 20 cans cold for up to 40 hours. And when you aren't using it as a cooler, you can remove the insert and use it as a roomy pack for day hiking. What a stinking awesome idea... And the colors are AMAZEBALLS! (Like I said with the first find, bags are my jam!)


Dear Mother Nature, Starring Pattie Gonia


I found out about Pattie Gonia through a few REI Instagram posts and recently watched the 30 minute video they made on YouTube. Wyn Wiley (he/him), aka Pattie Gonia (she/her), has made waves over the past year as an environmental advocate drag queen. REI follows Wyn as he travels to Hawaii to see first-hand the impacts of careless consumption and plastics on Mother Nature (or as Pattie says, "Mother Natch"). Wyn meets with scientists, non-profit leaders, volunteers, then rallies the Pattie community to lead a beach clean-up. Ultimately, Wyn partners with sustainable fashion designer, Angela Luna, to create three dresses that personify the plastics crisis. If you have the time, you should definitely watch it. Not only are Wyn and Pattie AWESOME, but we absolutely need to think more about our plastic consumption... like NOW!


What are you loving lately?

Thursday, January 9, 2020

2020 "Word of the Year" {& GIVEAWAY}

A few months back (wowser, I can't believe this conversation started in October and it's already January... where does the time go?!), my contact at MudLOVE asked if I wanted to team up with them for a collaboration. Every year they encourage their employees and fans to choose a word or phrase as a tool for living an intentional year. They were hoping I'd join the campaign and obviously I was all in! (There isn't much MudLOVE could ask I'd turn down - THEY ROCK MY SOCKS!)


To be honest, I normally try to sit down and set out goals for the upcoming year (as opposed to resolutions, which feel like they're meant to be broken), but I've never really picked a single word or phrase to encapsulate my intentions for the upcoming year. This led to quite a bit of soul searching and I was excited to get the wheels turning. #RealTalk: You'd think picking a word would be easy, but I found the task rather strenuous and a bit stressful (I doubt it was meant to be demanding, but I wanted to really find a word to capture my purpose/ aspirations, not just throw out a phrase willy-nilly).

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After a few weeks of deliberations (I had to get my choice to them by the end of October so they would have time to make the custom band before the craziness of the holiday season began and I literally sent my info over on the very last day because I was still going back and forth on which word/ phrase I wanted to use), I finally decided.

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"be kind"

I believe this phrase truly encapsulates everything that I am planning to work for in 2020. And, for me, it is three-fold.



First, I want to be kind to myself. I am often my harshest critic (aren't we all?!) and really want to take this upcoming year and work on being nicer to myself (although, let's be real, I am sure this is going to be a lifelong goal). If I wouldn't say something to a friend, I shouldn't say it about myself. I often always seem to demand perfection from myself, but that's not realistic or feasible in every situation... and when I come up less than perfect I need to acknowledge the shortcoming, see if there is something I can fix and then adjust accordingly. I don't need to beat myself up for hours days weeks upon end over mistakes (whether they be tiny or huge). We are all imperfect - I am willing to acknowledge that in others yet demand an impossible level of perfection from myself. I need to learn to give myself grace, to do my best and then to move on.


Next, I want to be kind to others. I do my darnedest to try and put others first, but this year I want to be deliberate about it. I want to be kind to others for the simple reason that they are God's workmanship. Obviously I hope my intentions are never selfish, but who knows if deep down I am actually doing something good because I hope one day they will return the favor or because I want to be known for my kindness. I want to be kind to others whether it is acknowledged or not. I want to put others first and show them love whether I think they deserve it or not. #BeKindOrBeQuiet


Finally, I want to be kind to the environment. Don't get me wrong, the hubby and I pride ourselves on being tree huggers, but again, I want to be conscious about this. I haven't worked out exactly what this will look like - whether it will be a monthly clean-up effort, donating to conservancy charities, getting involved with an environmental group, etc - but I know I want to make it a focus. We only have one place to live, we need to protect it. God has entrusted us with his creation and we need to do our part to take care of it! And, I promise, every effort (no matter big or small) matters!


I am so excited to be reminded of my intention on a daily basis because of my MudLOVE custom band. Did you know that they now offer a turquoise or coral color glaze as well as the traditional brown?! Of course I had to try one of the new colors on my 2020 band. Not only do I love the premise of the campaign (and the new glaze option), but I love what MudLOVE does on a daily basis as well! In case you aren't familiar with their work, every one of their handcrafted products that they sell provides one week of clean water to someone in the Central African Republic. AMAZEBALLS!


And now, what you've all been waiting for, a chance to win your very own custom band! Entering this giveaway is easy-peasy! Simply use the Rafflecopter widget below and cross your fingers. Some entries are available daily so I'd HIGHLY recommend entering early and often (and coming back every day until the giveaway ends). Beast of luck to you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This giveaway will run through Monday, January 13th at 11:59pm PST. The winner will be contacted on Tuesday, January 14th via the email address on their Rafflecopter account and has 24 hours to claim their prize (make sure your information is up-to-date and you check your email regularly). US Residents only. All entries are verified, so do whatever the required action for the entry is or it will be disqualified. I'd hate for you to miss out due to a technicality, so if you're going to click the option, make sure you do whatever it asks or a new, random winner will be selected in your place. Best of luck!

PS Even if you don't win the giveaway, you're still a winner because MudLOVE's Word of the Year campaign features custom bracelets for $12 ($4 off!). This sale will run for the entire month of January. Whether you're making custom bands as a way to 'treat yo-self', as a group gift for your runner girl gang or stocking up for future presents, don't miss this sale!

What is your word of the year?