Wednesday, December 30, 2020
66 Days Until Race Day
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
67 Days Until Race Day
Monday, December 28, 2020
68 Days Until Race Day
Today was a really good day! My only shortcoming was that I am still one workout behind on my training plan. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I double up, or maybe I will say "Forget this!" We'll see.
I took a new approach to the tempo run, which was to start around the 5:00 pace and increase the speed every mile. Across the 5 tempo miles, I averaged an 11:01 minute/mile, which is slightly closer to the 4:45 training pace than the 5:00 training pace. Much better than yesterday for sure.
In non-running news, I met Willie at CC's this morning as a baby step back into preparing to write my dissertation. The morning was quite productive, as I wrapped up a journal submission from the paper I co-presented at ASHE in November. I still have a few other submissions to knock out, but this was a nice middle ground between what I've been doing (nothing/recovering from the fall) and actually working on my dissertation.
Afterward, we went for pedicures because there was no line at the salon next to CC's. I initially resisted because I have some funky toenails, but it turned out to be a welcome treat. I probably can't justify a beauty treat every time I am moderately productive, but it was nice for today. :) Then, I came home and destroyed my leftovers from last night. I wish I had more leftovers. I'm meeting Willie for another writing date tomorrow and am probably going to pick up another LSU roll from Hello Tokyo 2.
Tonight, I have been practicing making and decorating sugar cookies, because Maryanne, Rebecca, and I are planning to do some baking and decoration for New Year's. I still have a ways to go before I am any good at cookie decorating, but it is fun so far!
Something that made today great: I loved my writing/pedicure date with Willie!
Time I woke up: 8:30 am
Sunday, December 27, 2020
69 Days Until Race Day (Plus Belated 70 Days Update)
I completely forgot to post yesterday, which is not like me at all. I ran the prescribed workout for Saturday, which was 6 easy miles. I was a little under my prescribed pace (11:53 rather than 12:05), but I blame that on coming off of a rest day on Friday.
After yesterday's great run, I had a not-so-great attempt at a tempo run today. I ended up deciding to count it as my 5-mile easy run and leaving the tempo run to re-attempt tomorrow. Since I am working on a personal record (PR) for this marathon, I don't need to blow off any runs, but especially not a tempo run or speed work day. I will attempt the tempo run again tomorrow and hope for better results.
Here's how my training week went compared to what I tentatively planned:
- Wednesday (12/23) - Speed work from 12/22 - Check! Did this according to plan.
- Thursday (12/24) - Christmas Eve run with Louisiana Ultra Runners - depending on pace, I'll either count this for my weekend long run or my easy runs on Friday and Saturday - Counted the LUR Run and decided that the slower pace was okay since (a) my run was longer than called for (11.58 miles versus 10 miles) and (b) the wind was gnarly.
- Friday (12/25) - 4-6 miles easy OR rest day - Went for the rest day
- Saturday (12/26) - Tempo run from 12/24 - 6 miles easy (which was originally the Saturday workout anyway)
- Sunday (12/27) - 10-mile long run OR 4-6 miles easy (depending on how I count Thursday's run and how I feel) - 5 miles easy
Other than taking an extra rest day and botching the tempo run, I stuck to my plan this week. Ideally, I'll knock out the tempo run in the morning and do tomorrow's 5 easy miles in the evening, but that seems unlikely based on when I have been waking up lately.
Outside of running, I have been playing Animal Crossing on my Nintendo Switch Lite that Santa Claus brought for Christmas. Playing on my Switch has done nothing to help me progress with tasks in my life such as reading the stack of books I ordered last semester, spending more time knitting, writing my dissertation proposal, organizing my desk, or straightening up my closet, but it sure is a fun game.
Tonight, I had dinner with some ladies from LSU at Hello Tokyo 2, and it was such a treat! The best part was the company, but the second best part was discovering the LSU Roll. The menu says the LSU Roll is "Snow crab, cream cheese, crawfish, Masago, wrapped in soy paper deep fried topped with spicy mayo and eel sauce. " I'm still thinking about how delicious it was. I'm going to meet Willie tomorrow to hopefully finish some lingering manuscripts and work on my dissertation, and I'm thinking about ordering one to go or going back to the restaurant since I'll be nearby. I also overordered hibachi and sushi, so I have leftovers to eat sometime tomorrow...but I really want another LSU Roll.
Something that made today great: Sushi and good conversation with LSU ladies!
Time I woke up: 2:00 pm...YIKES! It was fantastic though.
Friday, December 25, 2020
71 Days Until Race Day
Well, this was an unusual Christmas. Richard has been working nights, so our schedules are a bit flipped around at the moment. This morning when he came home from work, we opened presents, FaceTimed Richard's dad, and ate some cinnamon rolls. Then, we slept for a few hours and spent a little time together before he went to work.
As he was leaving, Elena showed up with a smorgasbord of Christmas food. We hung out in our Christmas jammies while I ate food, and I broke out a Blenheim hot ginger ale for cocktails. Elena also educated me about alien abductions and encouraged me to always have a dog who will bark at 3:00 am if aliens come for me. I am convinced!
Even though my run yesterday was shorter than planned, I opted to take a rest day today mostly because I let time get away from me. I might try to run tomorrow morning and evening to make up for it, or I might just allow myself to miss a work out on Christmas. We'll see.
Something that made today great: I enjoyed the quiet holiday with my best husband and dog.
Time I woke up: 7:33 am
Thursday, December 24, 2020
72 Days Until Race Day
Something that made today great: Cooking and eating holiday treats.
Time I woke up: 4:25 am
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
73 Days Until Race Day
Back in the saddle today! Apparently, the rest day was good for me, because I was on the faster end of the paces I wanted to hit (between 9:10 and 9:50). The plan says that recovery should be between 50 and 100 percent of the interval length, and I was closer to the 100% side (except the last one where I went over...oops). I am okay with that, though, and I am satisfied with my work thus far.
Outside of running, I dropped my car for its repair, did a bit of last minute gift shopping, picked up prescriptions at Walgreens, and went to two grocery stores. One store was out of buttermilk, but it's not all bad because the second store had Christmas petit fours! If I am not too tired tomorrow, I hope to get some holiday baking accomplished. (I can hardly believe that Christmas is in two days!)
Something that made today great: I found petit fours at the grocery store near my house. (Actually eating them might be the thing that makes tomorrow great.)
Time I woke up: 10:30 am
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
74 Days Until Race Day
In non-running news, I had a surprisingly busy day! I went to the Diaper Bank this morning, and on my way, either something hit my passenger side-view mirror, or my passenger side-view mirror spontaneously exploded. Fortunately, the car dealership was able to order a replacement part, so I'll be back in business with a brand new mirror tomorrow afternoon or evening.
As for running news, the Louisiana Marathon announced today that the race is rescheduled for March 7, 2021, so my countdown has also been moved back a bit...seven weeks to be exact. I'm going to try to keep blogging daily until then, but that could change. I am excited about having more time to train and reach my goal, but now I feel a little more pressure to actually reach it. Before, I could blame missing the mark on making a decision to break 5:00 too close to race day. Now, I have most of a training cycle to prepare. Overall, I am grateful for this gift of time, though.
To mentally prepare for the adjustment to my training, I printed a fresh plan and updated the dates and paces. (I was initially off by a week; counting can be challenging.) After all of that hard work (ha!) I decided I would go ahead and take my rest day today. My tentative plan for the remainder of the week is:
- Wednesday (12/23) - Speed work from 12/22
- Thursday (12/24) - Christmas Eve run with Louisiana Ultra Runners - depending on pace, I'll either count this for my weekend long run or my easy runs on Friday and Saturday
- Friday (12/25) - 4-6 miles easy OR rest day
- Saturday (12/26) - Tempo run from 12/24
- Sunday (12/27) - 10-mile long run OR 4-6 miles easy (depending on how I count Thursday's run and how I feel)
Something that made today great: Ariel called, so we were able to catch up for a few minutes!
Time I woke up: 8:15 am
Monday, December 21, 2020
27 Days Until Race Day
Today was not bad, especially for a Monday! A manuscript I worked on was published online, and the weather was lovely. I also cooked this delicious vegan cauliflower and chickpea coconut curry for dinner, and Elena and Sandra came over to help me eat it.
Despite the lovely weather today, I did not make it out for my training run until after dinner. A perk of night running right now is that I am able to enjoy the Christmas lights in my neighborhood. Soon, however, I am going to have to get serious about running while the sun is out.
Something that made today great: Cooking dinner and sharing it with friends!
Time I woke up: 8:30-ish
Sunday, December 20, 2020
28 Days Until Race Day
Saturday, December 19, 2020
29 Days Until Race Day
Ken and I regularly flipped our Saturday and Sunday runs, and this week was no exception. Slow Mode Running Club ran this morning at Highland Road Park, but I met Sandra about an hour early to get a few miles in before everyone else showed up. We had a nice little group and spent part of the time chatting about Ken. It was chilly at first, but it turned out to be a beautiful day!
I didn't keep a close eye on the pace today, but our 10 miles at 12:13 was fast enough to count for my long run pace (11:41 for 4:45 marathon, 12:16 for 5:00 marathon), so tomorrow I have 8 easy miles! Well, "easy." Easy used to be about a minute slower per mile, but I guess it's easier to race faster when you train faster.
Friday, December 18, 2020
30 Days Until Race Day
Today's attempt at this week's tempo run went much better than yesterday's. The recommended pace for a 4:45 marathon is 10:52. For a 5:00 marathon, it's 11:27. I held on and kept my paces at/under 10:52 for all 9 miles! I allowed myself to walk most of the cool-down mile at the end. These faster workouts are tough but not impossible. I'm proud of today's performance!
Next week, I will also be shifting my training schedule around a bit. On Christmas Eve, I am joining some folks from Louisiana Ultra Runners for 27-28 miles. Depending on the pace, I will likely count that day as two easy days and take an extra rest day. If the pace is good, I'll count it for my long run. Regardless, I'm excited to have something to do (Richard is working) that will involve running and spending time with good people.
Less than a month until race day!
Thursday, December 17, 2020
31 Days Until Race Day
I love running (I really do!) but not every run is wonderful. A less-than-ideal run can occur for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to:
- Imperfect weather (heat, humidity, cold, etc.)
- Starting too late/when you're already tired
- Eating crazy stuff earlier in the day
- Side stitch
- Bathroom issues
- Just feeling weird/off
Today, it was a combination of the first four (a bit cold tonight), so I decided around mile 2.5 that I was going to adjust my plan. I ended up going for 5 miles at an easy pace, which was tomorrow's workout. Now, I'm going to do today's workout tomorrow. If I go at lunchtime, the sun will be out, so it won't be dark or as cold as my attempt tonight.
Something that made today great: I was able to attend a staff meeting for the first time in a few months!
Time I woke up: 8:45 am
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
32 Days Until Race Day
I read some sort of "10 Commandments of Running" list a while back, and one of the commandments was "Honor the rest day, and keep it holy." I'm proud to report that I did exactly that today; I did get outside for a dog walk, but that is business as usual. I'm nervous about tomorrow's run, but after I'm through that, I shift into easy runs for two days. Although my definition of "easy" has changed since Sunday, I welcome the [literal] change of pace.
Ken's funeral today was tough, but not as tough as I expected. It feels good to be covered in prayers and support. Maybe some of my good fortune will carry over to tomorrow's run. Hope springs eternal.
Something that made today great: My grades are in, and they were better than anticipated!
Time I woke up: 8:15 am
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
33 Days Until Race Day
Monday, December 14, 2020
34 Days Until Race Day
Last night, I went through the Hanson Beginner Marathon training plan that Ken and I had been following to train for the Louisiana Marathon on January 17, 2021. Using a table in the Hanson Marathon Method book, I filled in my calendar with the paces I will train at to hopefully reach my goal of breaking 5 hours in the marathon distance. My thought is that I should build in a little cushion, so I am aiming to fall somewhere in the range of the 4:45 and 5:00 prescribed paces I'm a little nervous (but in a good way!)
|Revised training plan! I accidentally highlighted the wrong 5 mile Monday tonight...oops.|
Today, I decided to revive my blog at least through the Louisiana Marathon on January 17, 2021. This should be helpful for processing grief, staying accountable for my training plan, and making sure I do some non-academic writing. I will maintain my three rules of writing at least two sentences daily, including something that made the day great, and reporting what time I woke up.
I went out tonight for 5 miles and managed an overall pace of 12:01 min/mile, so I was a little speedy, especially for an easy day. Tomorrow will be tough emotionally because Tuesday was a day I typically ran with Ken but also because the recommended paces are a little faster than I have been running. I will also allow myself some grace as I recover from finals week and multiple races this weekend, but I can already tell that I am going to appreciate the rest day on Wednesday!
Something that made today great: Richard was off work, and we went to Costco tonight!
Time I woke up: 8:30-ish
Sunday, December 13, 2020
My Friend Ken
Richard often makes fun of me because I make friends everywhere I go. My friend Ken is one example; I met him back in February after I told him he was doing a good job on the out and back section at the Mardi Gras Mambo 15K. Later, I happened to see a post-race photo on the Red River Road Runners Facebook group, and I commented that I saw him at the race. Within minutes, we were Facebook friends, and we ran together for the first time about a week later.
Ken started running in 2019 and caught the race bug quickly; he racked up several half marathon finishes in a matter of months. After races started going virtual, Ken helped me meet several of my goals. Then, when he decided to run the Louisiana Marathon 2021, I offered to train and run with him. We slogged through some hot and humid summer days. We knew where the porta potties were on our regular running routes.
Over the last few weeks, we have been running longer than he had ever run before. One week we did 15 miles for our Saturday run, and two weeks later, we upped it to 16. This semester was a bit of a nightmare (hence my blogging silence, but that's not what this post is about) but our training made me get out and run a few days a week. Ken was also a good sounding board for venting about actual problems and the small stuff that I shouldn't sweat.
Last week was the last week of my semester, and it was incredibly busy and stressful. Usually, Tuesday is our day for speed work, and Thursday is a tempo run day. I missed out on both this week and thought I just wanted to sit on my couch all weekend. He asked me to go run the Cajun Country Half Marathon in Lafayette yesterday, which I initially resisted but ended up registering for on Friday when I had a burst of energy.
Not knowing how I would feel after the stressful week I had, we agreed to treat the race as a training run. What ended up happening, however, was that we started off pretty well and managed to hang on to our pace and earn Ken a comfortable little personal record (PR) for the half marathon distance! We carpooled to the race with another one of his friends, Julianna, and it was a really nice way to spend the morning and burn off some stress from the semester.
I was also registered to do the Mississippi Gulf Coast 5K on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday with some friends from Baton Rouge, but life and COVID happened, and we did not have our girls' weekend. Since I felt good after the half yesterday, I decided to make the drive over to Biloxi early this morning and toe the line. He encouraged me to go, saying "Don't miss out. It's a great event. Wish I could go." I'd told Ken that I would run with him if I stayed in Baton Rouge, but I was going to make that decision when my alarm went off at 2:30 am. He told me not to text him at 2:30, and I said I would wait until 2:31. In actuality, I sent him a text at 5:30 this morning:
I decided to run! Waiting for my shuttle to the start now. I have a funny porta potty story for you next time I see you.
I didn't hear from Ken all day, which is a bit unusual. Typically, if he knows I am running a race (virtual or otherwise) he checks in for updates, but I heard nothing today. After I drove back to Baton Rouge, showered, and put on my pajamas, I wrapped up in my super soft new blanket, climbed in bed, and started scrolling through social media. A few minutes later, another local runner messaged me and asked what happened to Ken. I was confused, and then they said they had seen a post that Ken passed away. I heard from a few other people that it was true.
This terrible news is, of course, not at all what I expected after racing yesterday and texting last night. I am struck by how short life is and how quickly things can change, but all of that seems trite. Really, I don't think I'll realize what has happened until we don't do speed work together on Tuesday. I am modifying the paces on the training plan we are doing together to see if I can break 5 hours at the Louisiana Marathon next year. It's a little late to be making this adjustment, so it's going to be an ambitious goal. However, I am going to commit to doing my training runs as prescribed (including striving to make the recommended paces). Maybe I'll shift my blog into training mode between now and race day (January 17!)
Until then, here are some lessons I can think of off the top of my head that I learned from/with Ken in our short friendship:
- Cool Shades are a quick and easy way to up the coolness factor of your post-run selfie.
- It is perfectly acceptable to sing anything from "Ave Maria" to "We Didn't Start the Fire" while running.
- Long runs are a great time to work out lyrics to that parody you've been keeping in your head.
- No matter your pace, if you start your Saturday long run early enough, you can get to Chick-fil-A before they stop serving breakfast.
Also, here are a few photos from our friendship, including a pre-race photo from yesterday's half marathon and a finisher picture from yesterday (courtesy of my new friend Julianna)!
|June 5 during my Crazy Desert 100K Virtual Race...one of the rare times that I also wore Cool Shades.|
|September 17 - 5 mile run from my house!|
| October 10 - Slow Mode Run Club|
November 14 - Ken's first time running 15 miles!
Sunday, May 10, 2020
Possum's Revenge Virtual Race Report
- This whole idea was stupid.
- Why did I want to do this?
- Why do I even attempt ultras? I need to just focus on running faster at shorter distances.
- This wasn't even fun.
- Maybe I'll have a baby next year. Or at least be really pregnant. Then I'll have an excuse not to sign up for this shit.
- I am NOT signing up for 69 miles again.
|After this photo, I left Ken eating pancakes on the tailgate of Richard's truck.|
|McGriddles and coffee: Race day essentials|
|Mid-run - mile 8ish?|
|The handoff to Sandra|
|City Park check-in!|
Elena, Richard, Scooter, and I eventually set out to finish the race. My desire to run had dwindled, but I was able to move at a pretty good walking pace. Richard and Scooter stayed with us for a little over 2 miles, then Elena was on her own to get me through the finish. I don't even remember what we talked about other than how excited I was going to be to finish the race and get my buckle. There was some talk of what I was going to eat and how great it would be to take a shower. We had a close encounter with a sewer drain, we smacked a "Dead End" sign during the last half-mile of the race, and then we made it home!
|Headlamp Photo-op before Richard and Scooter went home|
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Wednesday, April 29, 2020
I hadn't had a donut since I started working from home. A few days ago, Ellen texted me and asked if I like donuts. (I do.) She suggested run/walking to a donut shop that's about 1.5 miles from her house, and I was all about that plan. We tried her route today, and I am pleased to report that we completed the route, purchased and ate donuts, AND I brought some home that have since disappeared.
Not bad for a Wednesday!
|This is a stock photo from Pixabay, but I did eat jelly-filled donuts today.|
Time I woke up: 10:00 am
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
This especially exciting because the reliability was not looking as great for part of my proposal using a different measure. I still have to report both, but construct reliability just saved my bacon...I think.
My qualitative methods professor moved our paper due date to Friday, so I am celebrating by going to bed not only before 4:00 am, but I should be in bed shortly before midnight.
This last week of class stuff is not for the weak.
Something that made today great: My Tuesday class met tonight to share findings from our case studies!
Time I woke up: 10:30 am
Anyway, the end of this block of 100 days is almost here, and it is coinciding with the end of my semester. I vacillate between, "I only have a few more assignments left" and, "Oh my gosh, these last few assignments are going to take so much time!" My advisor and I were supposed to have a Zoom meeting this morning to discuss a grant proposal that is due next Monday, but she e-mailed me about an hour before we were supposed to meet and suggested that we save our efforts for a different grant. I agreed with her reasoning, and I felt a weight lift off of me when I no longer had to think about another proposal. I think this is the COVID-19 version of canceled plans, and I am not mad about it.
What is rewarding is that many of the things I am working on--the case study, the conference proposal, and my strategic planning paper--are starting to build off of each other. I would really be in trouble if I had to start from square one on everything. This bodes well for my dissertation proposal.
A funny moment is that when I finally came to bed last night (at 4:00 am, yikes), Richard rolled over and asked me, "Why were you up so late?" I told him that I'd finished my ASHE proposal draft, and he asked if it was "finished finished," and I said I was. (That really meant that I'd sent it to my advisor for review.) Then, he said, "Does that mean you don't have to be sad in front of a computer anymore?" That does not bode well for my dissertation proposal.
|Photo from Pixabay.|
Time I woke up: 8:45 am
Monday, April 27, 2020
Sunday was more of the same from Saturday. I am still plugging away at my conference proposal, though I did make time to test out a new hydration pack on an 8-mile run today. It wasn't as exciting as running the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon (which was my original, pre-COVID-19 plan for the day), but I'm grateful that I can still go out for a run.
I didn't take any photos today, so here's a stock photo of a fat squirrel.
|Photo from Pexels|
Something that made April 25 great: Richard grilled bratwurst and corn for dinner!
Time I woke up: 10:00 am
Saturday, April 25, 2020
|Photo from Pixabay|
Time I woke up: 12:45 pm (yep. WOAH.)
Friday, April 24, 2020
Day 307 (NIAW Day 5)
Within the running community, some people throw around the phrase, "Running: Cheaper than therapy!" It's on shirts, medal hangers, and stickers, and Google tells me there is even a book by that title. When I was training for my first marathon, I kept a training blog on Tumblr. I usually posted about how training was going, but occasionally I reblogged things that I found to be amusing, helpful, or both. The image below was among them. I'm not sure what the original source is, but I found it here today.)
"Well, at least I don't have to alter my dress for Ariel's wedding."
"I guess I can drink at Ariel's wedding."
After the wedding, I didn't have a convincing excuse for why not conceiving that month was not so bad. The best I could tell myself was, "Well, at least I won't have to balance a baby and school during the fall semester." When I ran out of excuses, I really started to feel the frustration of infertility. That was when I started crying more and spending more time in bed. After the chicken sandwich explosion and the tearful days that followed, I decided that I wanted to start seeing a therapist. Trying to cope alone was not working, and my pattern was unsustainable.
Or so I thought.
Something that made today great: Catching up with the BAKErs on Facebook messenger (and playing the silly games on there!)
Time I woke up: 8:35 am
Thursday, April 23, 2020
Day 308 (NIAW Day 4)
I recently did the CliftonStrengths assessment (formerly/better known as StrengthsFinder), and my top strength was "Achiever." Achievers have a reputation for being hardworking, productive, and goal-oriented. This strength is typically a good thing, as is having the attitude of gratitude that I mentioned yesterday. There is, however, such a thing as "too much of a good thing," and my infertility has brought that out in me with respect to achievement and gratefulness.
While I knew I was a busy person, I can truly see how active and scheduled I was before everything shut down with COVID-19. I put a lot of pressure on myself to exceed expectations, and sometimes that backfires. Infertility is not the kind of problem a person can fix by studying hard or reading about it. Even the "just keep practicing" advice is only applicable at certain times. I think that is part of what has been so challenging for me. Many of the problems I have had to face in life have been resolved by dedicating beaucoups (I just recently realized that's how to spell "boo koos") of time and effort. For most things I have not excelled at, beaucoups of time and effort would have helped me thrive. Infertility is not that way. Working hard doesn't result in fertility bonus points; in fact, the stress of a busy, overscheduled lifestyle could make the situation worse.
Sometimes, I have also been hard on myself because I realize that many women have much longer, more difficult struggles than I do. As I mentioned, Richard and I have unexplained infertility. It is possible that we are just super unlucky with timing. Some couples have to work through complicated diagnoses before they can conceive. Some people have miscarriages. Some couples receive news that they are not able to have biological children. Then there's me, and I have experienced none of those things. I have been disappointed 24 months in a row. That has involved some tear, frustration, and loss of hope, but some people have it so much worse.
In turn, I would feel guilty for being sad when some people have it so much worse than I do. I told myself that I should be grateful that the worst that has happened is spending time crying and being disappointed. The combination of the sadness I felt due to my infertility and the guilt I felt for feeling that way compounded and made everything worse. Eventually, I came to realize that being sad and disappointed did not make me ungrateful.
It took time for me to realize that (1) infertility is not resolved by working harder and (2) my feelings were valid. Accepting both of those facts felt like lifting an enormous weight off of my chest, but it took time. I don't know which of the CliftonStrengths reflects patience, but it certainly was not in my top five. I guess a silver lining to all of this is that I am being forced to grow in my patience as Richard and I wade through whatever comes next.
Something that made today great: I had a good run this afternoon!
Time I woke up: 8:45 am
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Day 309 (NIAW Day 3)
The day after I ran the Loup Garou 40-miler in 2018, I was hanging out with some other GOATS while we waited on the 100 milers to finish up. I had just met my friend Laura's husband that weekend while we were camping, and I must have been particularly energetic that day because he asked me, "You really love running, huh?" and I said, "I love being alive!" It's true. Even with the bad stuff, life is good.
I like to think I fall into the excellent (or at least above average) category for maintaining a positive attitude and outlook on life. When I started my first 100 day blogging challenge, I committed to reporting at least one thing that was great about the day because I believe that even the bad days have good moments. Like we talked about at Girls on the Run, it is important to develop an attitude of gratitude!
Well, even for people who are positive, negativity creeps in sometimes.
For a while, every month was a repeat of the same cycle of tracking my fertile window, getting my hopes up that it would be the month that we were successful, and feeling crestfallen when my period arrived again. Some people who experience infertility do not ovulate each month, which means that their opportunities for conception are fewer and farther between than someone like me who has a regular menstrual cycle. I told myself I should be grateful that at least I knew I wasn't pregnant and could start planning for the next cycle.
The hopeful stage typically included looking forward in my calendar to approximate a birth month, thinking about how I would tell Richard (assuming that I could restrain myself enough not to immediately text him a photo of a positive pregnancy test), and rationalizing why that month was different from all of the others. On months when I finished or nearly finished a box of tampons, I would think to myself, "Maybe I won't have to buy these again for a while!" I would also look for any slight indication that I could be pregnant. A tricky thing that I did not really realize until we were trying to conceive, however, is that premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and early pregnancy share many symptoms.
I found myself thinking I had been foolish to be hopeful. Specifically, I said mean things to myself things such as, "It was dumb to think you wouldn't need to buy more period supplies this month," and "It was stupid to think that this month would be any different." The worst things I could think to tell myself were all related to being foolish or stupid for being hopeful after I did what I thought was right to finally conceive.
One day, I read this post about reframing negative self-talk (which does contain some F words and some anti-Trump sentiments), and it really made me stop and think about the way I talk to myself. The link post specifically mentions Donald Trump, but it could work with anyone. If any other person said some of the things I have said to myself, I would tell them to shut up, and then I would file them away in my mental filing cabinet under "H" for "horrible people." Why, then, would I tolerate that kind of treatment from myself?
With some effort, I have gotten my thinking back on track and stopped calling myself stupid for being hopeful and optimistic. I don't follow the advice of the post exactly; I try to be kinder to myself than the person in the Tumblr post would be to Donald Trump. Still, acknowledging that the things I am telling myself are false and hurtful and that I would not tolerate them from other people has helped me shut that behavior down. Even though infertility is frustrating, learning to cope has helped tremendously.
Something that made today great: We had a Gamma Iota alumnae mini-IRD on Zoom today!
Time I woke up: 8:30 am