The past year has been a lesson in balance. Sometimes when I reflect, I think back to when my life really started feeling stressful. I usually get back to about 17 years ago when my twins were born. I was 21 and finding out I was having twins was quite a surprise. I have essentially battled balance my entire adult life. Sometimes I feel like I’m winning the battle and sometimes I don’t. This past year has been especially challenging. Not all of the challenges have been negative. For example, we just moved into a house that meets all of our family’s needs and wants but moving is still moving. I love having my streak to keep me active but I sometimes struggle with feeling disappointed that I’m not running more. I don’t think I would honestly be running any more than I am currently without my streak though, which is important to remember. Since returning from Florida, I have run at least a mile every day but the farthest I’ve run at one time is 2.5 miles. However, I have been doing more yoga, more hiking, and I’ve been riding my bike with my youngest every morning to take him to school. I also signed up for an adult hip hop class while my daughter takes her dance class. I’m feeling more balanced lately than I have in awhile. I eventually hope to build up my mileage again but for now, I’m enjoying more balance in my physical activity.
You win some and you lose some. Lately, my blog has been losing. However, I have literally been winning. Yesterday, I pulled into first place in my gym’s workout challenge. It honestly feels great to see my name at the top of the list. I don’t think the winners of the challenge get any unique prize or recognition but I’ve loved the additional motivation it’s given me. I’m regularly working out 3 times a day and have gotten in better shape because of it. I haven’t been running much farther than I was but I’ve added in more weight training and yoga. I feel more balanced overall. Last Wednesday, I ran a new route around my neighborhood where I loop around the lake, which is my usual 1 mile route, but then I follow all of the roads as well, which adds another mile. This route is great while there is snow because I can run on the plowed streets for the majority of the run but then take the grass path around the lake for the last stretch before I head home to get off road a bit but head straight home once the snow is in my shoes. I have found it to be the best of both worlds. I’ve also still been running to work so that adds an extra 2/3 of a mile on weekdays. I haven’t decided if that will continue once the workout challenge is over. Time will tell I guess. The challenge ends on Thursday. Last Thursday, I ran a quick mile on the treadmill at the gym because I had a busy day. That was the day I decided I really need new earbuds. I don’t enjoy listening to other people talk while I run and too often there are people working out together at the gym during busier times. I’m happy for them but have no interest in hearing about how they cope with household chores or issues with their husbands. On Friday, I had another busy day scheduled so I ran a quick mile around the neighborhood before work. I work an earlier shift on Fridays so I usually have to run before the sun rises. However, the days are getting noticeably longer so I got to run as the sun was just beginning to provide enough light to see. I love running by first light. On Saturday, I drove my son to the gym but didn’t feel like running inside so I ran 2 miles from the gym. I tried a different route than last time and enjoyed it much more. I think there is still probably a better route out there though. Yesterday, it had snowed again so I ran my new neighborhood 2 mile route to stay mostly on the plowed streets. I thought about stopping for a picture because the lake was absolutely gorgeous, but my hands were way too cold. Maybe I can try to get that picture on my run today!
It snowed several inches last night and we had freezing fog this morning. Traveling this morning was a nightmare but it sure was beautiful outside. I took a walk with my husband after walking our youngest to school. It was quite cold but so pretty. As the sun started burning through the fog, the freezing fog looked like glitter suspended in the air. It was amazing. After our walk, I only had time to run a mile before work but my feet were starting to freeze anyway so I didn’t complain about the short run today. Yesterday, I ran 2 miles around the neighborhood and then did some yoga before heading to work. I haven’t done yoga, other than stretching, in quite awhile. I thoroughly enjoyed my sun salutations. On Sunday, I ran a quick mile at the gym before a family gathering. It was rushed and fairly unenjoyable but it kept the streak alive! I really wish I could have captured the sparkling air with my camera this morning but the frozen trees were easier to photograph.
I mentioned that I joined a workout challenge at my gym. I am slightly obsessed. It should be of no surprise that I can become fixated on a goal and pursue it relentlessly considering I have been streaking for more than 3 years now. Seeing my name toward the top of the leaderboard was great but watching it slip down as many participants logged more than one workout a day has been very motivating. Since we moved, I haven’t had as much time or energy to devote to exercise. This workout challenge has helped push me to find more time and get creative. I have started parking farther from where I work so I can jog to and from my job. I have added in a yoga session here and there. It’s been fantastically motivating to watch my name creep up the leaderboard. I’m currently tied for 4th place. I’m hoping to find time for 2 workouts today so I can keep my position. On Friday, I had to come home for lunch so I logged an entire mile running to and from my car. I didn’t want to count that mile toward my streak so I also went to the gym and logged another 1.5 miles on the indoor track while my daughter used the elliptical and one of my sons shot baskets. Yesterday, I logged a yoga session and a mile run at the indoor track at the gym while my son played more basketball. I’m actually sore from all of my extra workouts this week so I needed a lighter day. I’m enjoying the added motivation that this workout challenge has brought and it’s great to see the benefits of that extra motivation!
Last night we had this awful ice thunderstorm and we got the day off of school because the roads were slick. My husband got my sister’s treadmill up and running this morning because I assumed it would be to slick to run outside. He decided to run outside this afternoon and told me it really wasn’t too bad. I decided to head out once he got home and I ran 3.25 miles through part of town and the cemetery. I didn’t quite have the same experience as him. His shoes are significantly newer than mine and more trail specialized so they have more grip by design. I had several moments where I thought I was going down hard. It wasn’t my best decision. I know I had some extra, unnecessary stress because of my lack of traction. I love getting outdoors and running in the fresh air. I should have made a different decision today but luckily I’m still in one piece and the streak lives on! I did enjoy my day off despite the stressful run and have managed to get almost all of my pull-up sets in before dinner. I even got a meditation and stretch session in this morning, which was awesome.
Today was a much needed rest day for me. I still ran a mile after school with my colleagues and my husband joined us too. It was great to get out together but I was also glad to be done after just a mile. I came home from work and did my stretch routine while listening to a meditation. It felt like a great way to finish off the first week of work after break.
Today I picked my older boys up from Christmas with their stepmom’s family and drove them to the airport for their trip to Arizona. We had about 7 hours total of travel time in the car. Plus we had stops and airport shenanigans on top of that. It has been a long day! Luckily, I was able to start the day with a stretch with my legs up the wall with my favorite meditation and a quick one mile run with my husband. My youngest son came along in the stroller. He is really getting too big for the jogging stroller but he said he wasn’t up for riding his bike and I know better than to push that issue. I will probably need another stretch session or at least some yoga tomorrow to unfold myself from so many hours spent in the car but my boys were ecstatic about their trip so it was all worth it!