Monday, July 18, 2016

July 4-17 training recap, and some truths

It's been a rough stretch for me, folks, hence my recent blogosphere disappearance. I'll talk more about that in a moment. First, I'm linking up with HoHo and Tricia for the Weekly Wrap.
Since I'm behind a week in recapping my workouts, here is a summary of my last two weeks:

Week of July 4 - 10
MONDAY - Run 1 mile on treadmill, 30 minutes of strength training
TUESDAY - Run 3 miles on treadmill
WEDNESDAY - Cardio kickboxing class
THURSDAY - Yoga class
FRIDAY - 10 minutes stationary bicycling, 30 minutes of strength training
SATURDAY - Rest
SUNDAY - Rest

Week of July 11 - 17
MONDAY - 10 minutes stationary bicycling, 40 minutes of strength training
TUESDAY - Yoga video
WEDNESDAY - Zumba class
THURSDAY - Run 3 miles on treadmill, 20 minutes of strength training
FRIDAY - Yoga class
SATURDAY - Rock N Roll Chicago 5K
SUNDAY - Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon

Full recap of the two Rock N Roll Chicago races to come. In the meantime, here is the weekend's haul:
The Rock N Roll race series continues to provide terrific medals.
Now, onto everything else!

In general, I always try to stay positive, both on the blog and in person. At the same time, I want to keep things real. I was inspired by Marcia's post from awhile back where she shared some heartfelt truths. Here is my spin.

The truth is... I've been under the weather for the last five days. It's rare for me to get sick, and the times when I'm not 100% I usually bounce back fairly quickly. This time the bug has been stubborn. On top of a stuffy, runny nose and hacking cough, I've had a near-constant headache which migrates to different parts of my skull depending on the day. My head hurts even more when I blow my nose or cough, and I have a rash under my nose from so much Kleenex usage. I'm trying not to let the symptoms mar my days, but it hasn't been easy. Wah, wah, wah.
The truth is... I've been going through a challenging transition in the office. The learning curve has been steep and I've worked some very heavy hours. When stress is high (which is often), I'm frequently trying to remind myself to take a deep breath. Thankfully, I work with a terrific team and we're all in it together. However, the combination of stress while fighting a bug has been a lot to deal with. Because the timing of life is always perfect in that way, yes?

The truth is... I'm growing increasingly frustrated with my diet. I mentioned how I started using MyFitnessPal.com several weeks ago to track my food intake, and how rude of an awakening it was. I've worked to reduce my sugar consumption, increase my vegetable intake, and become much more conscious of portion sizes and unnecessary snacking. Unfortunately, the scale refuses to budge. In fact, despite all my efforts, it's still even showing trends of upward mobility. It's really discouraging.
The truth is... I was shaken up to learn about the shooting incident in St. Joseph, Michigan last week. Adam and I got married just a few blocks away from where the shooting occurred. Southwest Michigan is one of the most peaceful places I've ever been, so this incident was very tough to swallow. I don't know why I even bother watching the news anymore these days.

The truth is... I've been feeling extremely ambivalent about running yet again. I have no motivation to train and zero desire to set or work towards any goals. It's to the point where I've contemplated hanging up my running shoes altogether. At the very least, I'd like to take a real break from running - at minimum, two or three months. Simultaneously, I don't want to lose my conditioning entirely - especially since I still have a couple more races on the calendar to prepare for this year. But man, oh, man, I was so incredibly happy to finish yesterday's half marathon. Not because of the accomplishment, but because now I can take at least a little bit of time off from running.

I'm more fun than a barrel of monkeys today, aren't I? How about three barrels?
In any event - I hope everyone had a terrific weekend and is getting a good start to the workweek. I hope to catch up with all of your blogs soon. Tell me what's new with you at the moment?

51 comments:

  1. I hope you feel better soon!! I hate having to deal with all that kind of stuff and still have to live life. It'd be nice to just crawl into bed till it's over with.

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    1. Thanks Heather! You COMPLETELY understand - just this morning I was lying in bed thinking how much I wished I could stay there the whole day instead of having to go to work. We all go through times like this, yes?

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  2. Life stressors, I have been there where I just want to retreat. This too shall pass I always try to tell myself. As stuck as I may feel, life keeps rolling so something is bound to change even if I stay stuck. Is is weird I find that comforting sometimes?!
    Since my hubby is retired police i can't even watch anymore, I am heart broken, and even more distributed that so many people seem to think that is acceptable. My retreat may be coming.
    Keep working at the small changes in diet! I know how frustrating it is, but sometimes it just takes a few weeks to get your system on board with what you are doing. I am kind of in the same place scale wise, but i know I have been doing better. I keep telling myself if I can stay on track, next at this time I will feel better. I am old, so the loss comes slowly for me.
    Give yourself a week or two off, you had a good running weekend! Hope that stuffy headache problem feels better soon.
    Oh and you looked really good in your race pics, so don't hit the panic button on the diet...baby steps... you look good!

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    1. Karen, you are the sweetest woman, ever. Thank you so much for your kind, inspiring, and understanding words. I've thought often about how "the only constant in life is change" but I've never approached it from the perspective that this applies when times are challenging, too. You are absolutely right! And yes, it is really comforting to remember that! Oh gosh - I can only imagine how it must feel to watch all the craziness going on with the police when your husband is a retired police. My heart goes out to both of you! And you've been working really hard to make positive changes - and I feel you've already seen some amazing results! Absolutely the payoffs will keep coming for you, my dear friend! You always inspire me with your optimism and positivity. Thank you again for being the amazing, uplifting person that you are!!! Big hugs!!!

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  3. Oh no !! I hope you are feeling better! For your nose, put some Vaseline/ petroleum jelly on any of the affected areas, if you don't have any, some lip balm will do the trick. Trust me, it will fix you up in no time!

    Diet is my most disliked 4 letter word... Don't let the scale scare you... it's just a number... it's just the pressure the gravity is putting on you. You are out there doing so much, running, zumba, kickbox, yoga, 5Ks, half marathons! your body needs the food to keep going! I think it's great that you are watching what you are eating, but don't forget that the number on the scale doesn't take away from your awesomeness! You look fantastic and you are beautiful, don't let the scale take joy from you! And my only advice when it comes to watching what you eat, drink more water. Before any other beverage, water!

    Take time off from running, no worries! The road will still be here when you are ready!

    I hope you have a better day!


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    1. Thank you so much, Ana! I really appreciate your understanding and your words of wisdom. I've never heard of the lip balm trick until now and I'm going to try it immediately!!! LOL at how the number is just the pressure the gravity is putting on you. That's a terrific way to think about it. =) And yes, it's a tough balance between fueling properly to be able to stay active, versus going overboard or vice versa. Thank you so much for your super sweet words. You are absolutely right on the importance of hydration with water, too, and that the road will always be there. You are such a good friend! BIG HUGS!

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  4. Well life can't be all sunshine and rainbows all the time, can it? :)

    My advice on the running ambivalence - take that break! Losing your conditioning is a totally reasonable concern, it really is, but forcing yourself to keep doing something that your heart is not currently in isn't really worth it. As you know, I took a year+ off. Getting back into it was difficult for me because I took time off of ALL exercising, so I had to start over with everything. I can't see you doing that, so I think you could easily build your conditioning back up when/if you want to get back into it. Believe me, it's a lot easier to start over when you actually want to do it than force maintenance while you hope your mojo comes back.

    I'm sorry the work stuff has been so rough lately! It's great that you do have a good team to work with though - that makes such a difference!

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    1. If only life could be sunshine and rainbows ALL the TIME!!! In all seriousness, I can't remember a stretch where it felt like there was a tragic incidence of violence every 48 hours. But that's a topic for another day.

      Yes, I totally hear you and agree on the challenges of forcing maintenance when our heart isn't into it. The catch is that I'm committed to running the Army 10-Miler in October and RnR Las Vegas Half in November, so I do need to be at least reasonably prepared for those. But I think I can safely take off the next 4-6 weeks and still have enough time to prepare. That's something, right? And big kudos to you for having the tenacity to start over with everything after taking the time off that you truly needed. It takes a lot of courage to start over. And you've made amazing strides in a very short period of time, which has been very inspiring! You also seem to be at peace with your focuses, which I think is a huge part of the battle!

      Appreciate the sympathy on the challenges of work! I know you fully understand, having been through some very challenging times in the office yourself. Yes, I'm very blessed to work with such great people. If it wasn't for them, my path could have been VERY different!

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  5. Oof! Sounds like you've got a sinus thing going on. Maybe a sinus infection? Have you gone to the doctor or even convenient care yet?

    As for taking time off running, I PROMISE you will not lose that much conditioning as long as you keep doing something. And I know you will. If you want to take time off running and need some help keeping it interesting in the gym let me know. I'm happy to help you put together some training plans for lifting and such.

    Or, you could hire the coach I used. Her name is Lynette and she will not only help you with your diet and exercise she's also really good at talking you off the ledge when you're feeling discouraged. Price-wise I think she's really reasonable, too. Send me an email if you want more info. You might need to adjust your macros (carbs/fat/protein) beyond what MFP auto-calculated for you and Lynette is like a wizard with that stuff.

    And as for work stuff, I'm happy to hear your team is great and that you're all supporting one another.

    And, in all honesty, I don't know what it is this summer but I've been feeling like I want to crawl into a hole and not come out, too. I've been debating taking a social media break but I worry I'm too dependent on it to keep in touch with people!

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    1. Oof is right, LOL. Interesting theory on the sinuses. Historically I've never had sinus issues, but in this day and age, anything is possible. I haven't gone to see any healthcare specialists yet - but if this cold persists for more than a couple more days, I will. I'm happy they built that new urgent care facility at Halsted and Adams!

      Ah yes, you are the poster woman for not losing conditioning as long as you stay active! I am still waiting for you to publish your book on how to drastically improve your running by not running, LOL. Yes, I'd love any suggestions or advice on how to keep things interesting in the weight room. Admittedly I am getting tired of my current lifting routine, too. Thanks for the suggestion on Lynette. I have started thinking about hiring a trainer and/or nutritionist, but was planning to wait until I lose access to my current gym (targeted for Q1 next year). It certainly doesn't hurt to start looking into options now, though. Let's talk about it more the next time we get together.

      Thank you! I am very blessed to work with a great team. It really does make a huge difference.

      I'm glad to hear it's not just me that wants to hide away this summer, too! I feel like it's the worst possible time to be hiding out, though, since summer is so short. Imagine how bad it'll be once winter rolls around, right? And likewise, I also want to take a social media break but am also very dependent on it to stay in touch with friends. It's a double-edged sword!!!

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  6. Sending lots of hugs. Truth is, you aren't alone. I've been lacking motivation to do much of anything since my husband left...sometimes life just gets in the way of working out! Chin up, you aren't alone!

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    1. Big hugs, Michelle! Bummer to hear that you've also been lacking motivation since your husband has been deployed - but it's totally, absolutely, COMPLETELY understandable. Some days and weeks really are easier or harder than others, yes? All we can do is take it one day at a time. Regardless, we will all get through this together!

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  7. I'm at a point where I'd like to stay in bed too. The summer's been challenging, and I hope it settles soon. Take a break from running and do something else. Sometimes you just need to change things up and have fun in other ways.

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    1. What is it with this summer!?!?!?!? It sounds like it has been challenging for so many of us!!! I hope things improve for you soon, too. Cheers to all of us taking a break from what drains us in favor of activities that are more inspiring!

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  8. Oh no, I'm really sorry to hear that you're not feeling your best. Having a lingering cold is bad enough but add to it work stress and the tragic recent events... I really hope you feel better soon. I have to say though I appreciate your honesty! I try to be positive too but sometimes life is hard and we need to be able to acknowledge that. I've been struggling a bit lately too (mostly with feeling like everything I do & feel as a parent is wrong)... Sigh. Congrats on the RNR weekend though! I didn't know you were doing the 5K and the half M - Wow! Now time for a much deserved break - I bet you'll be ready to go again sooner than you think.

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    1. Thank you, Kelly! Much appreciate the well wishes. I have always appreciated your honesty in sharing the challenges you've faced, as well. I'm not a parent, but from what I've heard, it's extremely, EXTREMELY common to feel that everything we do and feel as a parent is wrong. You are definitely not alone!!! And in all sincerity, I KNOW you are a wonderful mother. I can tell by how the way you talk about Abel and Swede, plus how happy and healthy they both always look. You may not feel like you're doing it right - but you are!!!

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your confidence in me hopefully being ready to go again sooner than anticipated. Right now I don't have any visions of ever going running again. Ever. But you're right, don't we always say things like that when we're running a race, only to want to get back at it quickly? Here is hoping!

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    2. Oh my goodness, You are so nice! I needed to hear that today.
      For a long time being a runner was so much a part of my identity that I felt completely lost without it. Not being able (or willing because it was zero fun) to run while pregnant helped me realize that I'm still me no matter what. Maybe you will never run again. And maybe that's not the worst thing ever! Maybe you'll have the time and energy to discover something else that's new and exciting and super fun. Or maybe you'll come back to running and love it all over again.

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    3. I completely relate on the runner's identity. Sometimes I think I like the idea of being a runner more than I like running. After all, every runner out there is just a friend we've never met, right? But even if we stop running, we still understand what it's like to be a runner and those runner friends will still be out there. And like you said, there are no absolutes in life. Running will always be there for us if and whenever we want to embrace it. =)

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  9. Hopefully you are back to 100% soon. Might help now that the race weekend is over. Like someone else said I don't think you'll lose that much conditioning during the running break as you think unless you do what I had done and just stop working out all together (oops!) I'm also positive that I didn't help with the diet this weekend with all the eating out/deep dish etc but now I'm gone so you'll get there ;) I'm with you on not wanting to do anything today. Wish the weekend could be longer!

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    1. Kayla, I am really glad you were here for RnR this past weekend otherwise I might have considered DNSing. Seriously. It was a lot of fun to enjoy the festivities with you! I am definitely thankful to be able to take a break from running now that race weekend is over, though, you're right. For someone who says she stopped working out altogether, you sure picked it back up without missing a beat, Miss Triathlete who can also predict her race times down to the second! =) And I thoroughly enjoyed all of the dining out over the weekend. What I've learned is that you can make smart choices even when dining out, which I did. Likewise, when you do want to indulge, you gotta make it worth it - and Lou Malnati's was TOTALLY worth it. =) It was great to have you here. If only we could have 3-day weekends every weekend, yes??? I hope your drive home went smoothly last night after you landed!!!

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    2. I've been working at the comeback since March!But I'm not going to lie I'm pretty impressed I predicted those race times and then ran them without a garmin. But yes you can definitely make smart choices and of course portion sizes is so much of it! Drove through yet another thunderstorm on the way home but otherwise it was uneventful. Maybe next year (when you're enjoying running again of course!) we'll have to find a race to meet up at :)

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    3. It must have felt good to run without a Garmin! There are times I become so dependent on looking at it that when it's off, it totally messes with my head. My Garmin was showing the distances about 0.2 miles short (probably because of the course tunnels) which threw off my paces, etc. It's nice to run without those numbers hampering us! Yes, we'll have to find another race to meet up at next year for sure!!! Lots of great destinations out there to pick from!!!!!

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing your run/fitness stories! Absolutely love them! I saw your race pics last night and thought "must have her calves!" You inspire me! Feel better soon!

    Kim Cummings

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    1. KIM!!! It is so great to hear from you! Thank you so much for the positive feedback and well wishes, I really appreciate it. You inspire me, too, with all the races you run, championing Girls, Inc., all your speaking engagements, etc., etc., etc. Way to go, Superwoman!!!

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  11. Oh man that sucks that you can't shake that cold. Hope you feel much better soon! I'd say take 2-3 months off running. You won't lose that much fitness unless you become a couch potato (which I couldn't see you doing) You can stay fit in other ways doing other things. If it's not giving you enjoyment, switch it up!

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    1. Thank you, Xaar! Way to go in Racine this past weekend despite the challenging weather conditions! You look SO STRONG at the finish line. Thanks for your thoughts on taking the break from running. I just need to get through the Army 10 and RnR Las Vegas, and then I'll be home free! Admittedly the thought of becoming a couch potato does sound really great right now, LOL...

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  12. Blah! Sorry you're not feeling great and that the bug is a persistent one. I can relate to this on so many fronts. I often entertain the thought of cutting way back on running and I sort of have with tri training in the mix the first half of the year. I too loathe the thought of losing fitness by not running. Plus I get all grumpy and have to subsist on air if I don't run. Sigh. I'd be fascinated to hear what a nutritionist tells you. Hang in there! xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Marcia! Big hugs!!! I remember the conversations we've had about the temptation to stop running and stop blogging, so I know how much you understand the plights. BTW - I am super excited for your runcation to RnR Dublin! That would be a great way to get the motivation going, yes??? Can't wait to live the experience vicariously through you. It was great to see you over the weekend!

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  13. Sorry to hear about the bug/cold. Impressive that you were able to finish the RnR on Sunday! Nice medal haul, I'm jealous! Here's hoping you get your running mojo back, maybe a few weeks off will be just what the doctor ordered. I was sad to see that the CRB site is going on what might be a permanent hiatus. I've met lots of cool people via that site so I hope it comes back in some form or another.

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    1. Thank you, Pete! Thankfully I can attest to what the experts say about being able to run as long as the symptoms only affect you from the neck up. And I am jealous that you were able to log yet another PR this year. How does anyone nab a half-marathon PR in mid-July!?!?!?!? Only you, Mr. Superman. =) I am also sad about the CRB site going on hiatus. I was actually considering asking Maggie about taking over the management of it myself, but I don't know if I've got the time. Either way, I hope it comes back, too!!!

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    2. Glad to hear the symptoms were only from the neck up. :) Your PRs will come once you get your running mojo back. Then they will start dropping like hot potatoes! Also, if you do take over the management of the CRB, I would be more than willing to help you out. I think it is an asset to the running community here and one of my favorite sites to visit on a daily basis!

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    3. Popping in here to say I had also considered reaching out to Maggie, so if there's interest here in making this a team effort, I'd love to be part of the discussion!

      Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

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    4. Thank you, Pete and Bethany! Since I'm feeling unmotivated about my own blog these days, I haven't garnered up the fortitude yet to reach out to Maggie about putting together a team for new management. But I'll do so soon. =)

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  14. I hope you feel better soon! I hate those weeks where the migraine just moves around your head instead of just going away. :-/

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    1. Thank you, Alexandra! Yes - it's very frustrating to have the migrating migraine, so to speak. At some point you wonder how many different places the migraine can find to plop down, right?

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  15. I'm sorry to hear you're going through a rough patch :( Sometimes when I have one really bad thing going on, it makes everything else that much more difficult to deal with (I refer to it as being "emotionally immuno-compromised" ), and it sounds like that could be going on with you right now, too - lots of little things that on their own are manageable become far less manageable when they're all taken together. Sending you lots of hugs and happy thoughts!

    Bethany @ Accidental Intentions

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    1. Thank you, Bethany! "Emotionally immuno-comprised" is the PERFECT way to describe how it's been feeling. You completely understand! All the little frustrations taken one at a time wouldn't be so bad, but when you get them all at once they become quite a force of nature! Much appreciate the hugs and happy thoughts!!!

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  16. Sorry you aren't feeling well! And when you are busy at work on top of that...it's rough. Hang in there.

    As far as running, running isn't everything (I know... I just said that). Maybe just do other workouts that you enjoy. Do you like cycling?

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    1. Thank you, Amanda! Yes, it's Murphy's Law. Why deal with one challenge when you can deal with a dozen of them all at the same time?

      I've been feeling burnt out on all my usual workouts - there's only so much yoga, lifting, and Zumba you can do over the months. So I'm on the hunt for some new, fun workouts! Cycling is enjoyable but my bike is not in working order right now. These days I'm a Divvy biker only! But I know you are quite the master biker, Ms. Triathlete! =)

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  17. So sorry to hear you have been sick. Hope you are feeling better now. Way to finish the Remix challenge despite being sick the last 5 days. I'm also sorry to hear about the struggles (work, diet, shooting) you are going through. Sounds like a good break of running is needed too. When it isn't fun anymore and you are dreading it, it isn't good. I hope a break helps and your running mojo will be back.

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! Thankfully, I can attest to that saying about how you can still run as long as the symptoms affect you only from the neck up. It's a good thing, too, since those RnR races cost a pretty penny. I'm already feeling better after not running this entire week. It sounds like your training is going well for the Chicago Marathon, keep it up!!!!!

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  18. Definitely take that time off. Sometimes we just have to and we come back feeling better and with a positive attitude.

    Sometimes I don't watch the news anymore. Between that and Facebook, ugh, depressing. But I do like to know what is going on in this world so I can't completely shut if off from my life.

    Feel better! Sending hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you, Zenaida! I really admire the fact that you seem to be able to train like clockwork every year for the Chicago Marathon. Your training plan requires a lot of focus and you've got it!!!

      OMG - Facebook and social media in general are so depressing. But I'm like you, I am reluctant to go on a social media hiatus because I use it so much to stay in touch with friends!

      Thank you for the hugs!!! Big hugs back!!!

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  19. Don't read my blog posts then...I'm in a funk as well. Life has been pretty tough lately...

    Hang in there, my friend!

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    1. Doesn't it seem like a big majority of us are in a funk right now? I was just lamenting how the year of 2016 has been so fraught with bad news. It's really tough for all of us. =(

      Thanks, Wendy! Hang in there, yourself, my friend!!!

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  20. The truth is...I don't watch or listen to the news. It's the only way I can cope. I think your motivation will return once you are physically feeling better. It's hard to feel spunky when you are sick, overworked, tired, etc.! Give yourself a break. Things will turn around soon. Hey -- those are a set of sweet medals you earned at RnR. Thanks for linking, Emily!

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    1. Good for you for not watching or listening to the news! Agreed that there's no point in staying up to speed when it's just all depressing news, anyways. Thank you for the support and the kind words, HoHo. As always, thank you to you and Tricia for hosting the linkup!!!

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  21. I hope that cold is gone by now! The constant headaches sound horrible! Please get those checked out if they don't go away!

    Is there any slowdown in sight at work? :(

    And like many other commenters, I think if you don't enjoy running, you should totally take a break! Do what you like!!!

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    1. Thanks Kim! The headaches are gone now, thankfully, but the cough still lingers a little bit. Nothing crazy, just an occasional nuisance. My work is busiest during quarter-end and year-end, and we are nearing the tail-end of the worst part of Q2 close. So yes, things should start slowing down a little now - thank goodness!

      I haven't run a single step since last Sunday and it feels awesome. =)

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  22. I am a little (lot?) commenting on this but I hope your days are looking a little more up now! I have the hardest time letting work stress stay at work and it tends to leach over into every other part of my life (especially so when I am at the office extra hours every day!)
    As far as running, I think if you are not feeling it then you should definitely take some time off! Plus you do a lot of other exercising so maybe you could just replace the running with classes or whatever else you want. Running will still be there for you when you decide to come back to it!

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    1. Thank you so much, Alyssa! Yes, I am feeling much better now. The craziest part of my workplace's reporting cycle has wound down, finishing up the Rock N Roll Chicago weekend has taken away a lot of training pressure, the scale is starting to show some progress the right direction, etc., etc., etc. Really appreciate you following up with me! I hope your Ironman training is going well, too, both physically and mentally. As I said on Facebook - good luck on your long run this Sunday! Hopefully you can make it to book club afterwards, but if not I completely understand!!!

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