July Was A Whirlwind…

I realized this morning that I hadn’t blogged in a while and when I logged in to see where my last blog left me, I saw that it was 6/30/16! Bad blogger for not being more consistent. I really do need to work on that. Perhaps that’s a post in and of itself.

July was filled with quite a bit of insight, upheaval and dealing with travel (for my other half – not for me unfortunately) and in dealing with all of it life just sort of caught up to me. That being said, with kindergarten fast approaching for my littlest one, I suspect that August will be just as busy, albeit with more opportunity to take a few moments of my days and post something that will hopefully be worth while to read. I’m still figuring out this whole ‘blogging’ thing after all.

I need to get back to making my dolls and refreshing the stock in my etsy shop. I love to work on them, but they do consume quite a bit of time – particularly if I’ve opted to reroot their hair and I have a tendency to just sit down and work, work, work once an idea hits me. I’ve been seeing a LOT of Suicide Squad Harley Quinn’s of late and that makes me happy. Some great ones have been created and I have to say the attention to detail amazes me.

 

Then there is the bracelets, which I also have been loving to make because they are quick, easy and something I can work on while watching TV at night. Been bouncing around the idea of trying to create some matching earrings for them to – but need to source some solid and affordable posts as I am HORRIBLY sensitive to anything plated and wish not to sell something I can’t also wear. I find it important that even if no one inquires, I wear my own creations daily. If you won’t wear your own stuff, then why would you think someone else would want to as well?!

 

 

I’ve also been batting the idea around to add some vlogs to my posts. I’ve been hell bent on relearning how best to apply make up and I’ve yet to see one from someone my age – which though I don’t look nearly close to what people would think 39 looks like, there are some base differences to how I can apply make up to say a twenty-something with fresh skin. I’ve also been wanting to post opinions of products and what I find works for me – in an effort to help out those in the ‘older’ set. If there is an interest in that, please let me know in the comments!

Racing is something I need to get back into as well once the weather is more conducive to running outside. I find running on the treadmill to be difficult at best since I can’t train in intervals nearly as easily (why for has the health and fitness industry not created a treadmill in which you can program timed intervals?! Get on that engineering/programming types!) I’ve been doing well on Weight Watchers and have managed through their program and walking 10000 steps a day approximately to loose a total of 12 lbs in about as many weeks so it’s a good, solid and manageable progression. Only 27 more to go!

There really has been a lot going on, and a ton that I want to start discussing more openly regarding my point of view on things. I just need to organize and start working on them. Stay tuned for more!

 

 

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One Week and Counting…

Well, technically 8 days until the race itself. But in eight days, this shall be mine!

 

Isn’t it pretty!? I have struggled all year long, both mentally and physically with training. I’ve used excuses to not run, I’ve allowed myself to grow stagnant mentally and then I when I decided enough so that I could obtain this beauty right there, I started to have physical issues with my legs. I finally completed 6.2 miles a bit ago. It wasn’t at all fast. It wasn’t nearly close to the level of running I was at when I allowed my brain to stop me. But it will be enough and this, this will be in my collection.

I’m pretty much tapering this week and next in preparation for it only so that I don’t inadvertently push myself into injury. Shoes do indeed make all the difference (I’ll likely write on that later as I have a new pair arriving today I am going to be trying out)

Now, to figure out of the idea I have in my head for a race costume (my first) will be successful. That is the focus for my upcoming weekend.

In addition, I found out that this Springs Dapper Day will take place the same weekend that the race will be on which means that the parks will be packed with sartorial delight and frivolity. Should make for an interesting mix. I’m still considering bringing something to wear for that as well, if for nothing else than to just be silly and have a good time.

Wish me luck!

 

 

6 Weeks and Counting…

End of January I was hit with an upper respiratory infection. Needless to say, wasn’t able to run for a while. Got to again and knew I was running out of time (literally) when not only was my house hit with something, but I for the first time in my life was hit with the flu followed by what can only be walking pneumonia. I’ve gone almost a month without being able to REALLY train for the 10k coming up in April.

Regardless, I will complete it. Even if I have to walk the whole damn thing, I will pound that pavement until I make it mine. Time is irrelevant. I knew a while back that I would be unlikely to maintain a pace to which I was normally accustomed for shorter races. You are going to see this woman cross that finish line and earn that tie-fighter medal!

Training will commence this week. I’m still coughing occasionally and when I do it’s productive, though still pretty deep so I know I need to pace myself.

Of Orthotics and Aging……

As I have previously mentioned, I have been having serious issues with my running since taking a (very silly) hiatus over the insufferable Florida summer. I have been to see a sports medicine/orthopedic surgeon regarding my issues and he has prescribed some physical therapy (which I will actually begin next week, schedule willing) and plastazote orthotics with arch supports. These are orthotics generally prescribed to diabetics – which honestly after trying them out I think I may want a pair for my regular every day shoes!

One would think that being given something like this would tend to make you consider your age – someone in their late thirties who has been relatively healthy their whole lives (outside of having a little too much weight on them currently) wouldn’t require such things. But I have found over the last 5 years or so that my knees snap-crackle-pop more often (well EVERY TIME) I go up or down stairs. I’m slower to recover if I do get a mild cold. I’m sore a little more than usual, etc. We age. We season. We get better. We feel like we’re falling apart.

 

I look forward to using these however, as I know that if they do as they should then it should help alleviate the issues I’ve been experiencing, as well as allow me to not only complete the races I have (amazingly) fallen in love with participating in, but also to help with my overall health and well-being. Maybe I can even get some of this extra weight off again!

For this 4th day of my Phenomenal February, I look at it not as a detriment, or a negative new thing that has been added to my life as I get older, but as a welcome tool to help me combat that exact feeling. I have ten weeks until my anticipated race. I can do this, and I will do this.

My health is much improved from being sick at the end of January. I can feel energy around me that is electric with anticipation. Choices are being made every day to make improvement.

 

Besides, isn’t that how races are finished?

Cheating at Races…

I saw this blog post this morning from Lani Tashima who is a writer for MousePlanet and I couldn’t agree with her more. Now, I am nowhere near a level where I would ever have to be concerned with being cheated out of an age group win – but as someone who diligently pays for her races and trains for them, those that do not really rub me the wrong way. I know the first race I ever ran, when I went onto Marathofoto to look at my pics I realized someone else also had my bib number. Now, how they got it I have NO clue unless they just guessed, but it was still an annoyance.

We all know cheating, in any environment, is a bad thing. We’re (hopefully) taught it at an early age. When you cheat on a race, regardless whether it’s a small local event or a large production like the runDisney races, you are hurting not only everyone that pays to run that race, but everyone that helped to ensure that the race was something that could even exist AND you make future races all the more difficult to participate in, which is really counterproductive.

Now, I wish I could say I get it because, particularly in the case of runDisney races, they are expensive. A 5k is generally going to run you about $65 – $75 and the challenges are usually a couple of hundred dollars and that’s before you factor in hotel stay, transportation, etc. Local 5k’s in my area, by comparison are usually $25 -$40 with little to no transportation and obviously no need to lodging to factor in. But runDisney races are expensive in part because they do provide finisher medals for all and (usually) those medals are solid quality items that simply because they are Disneyana can become collectors items. This is in addition to the event shirt that is provided with registration, AMPLE amounts of post race refreshments (which cheese dip that is not purchasable anywhere else and is apparently to die for) and race specific merchandise that is available for an additional charge that has to be designed, created and stocked. Beyond that though there is the traditional Disney spin on things; on route entertainment, plenty of water/rest stations, medical staff on site and on the routes themselves (not all races provide this!) plus opportunities that are intrinsically Disney with character meet-and-greets before, during and after the races and a tremendous amount of organization for not only the races themselves, but logistically pre, during and post race. Even the Expos that they provide are generally larger events unto themselves and chocked full of vendors and training and information.

But here’s the thing, just like anything else that someone loves to do, they are going to be alright spending money on that thing. For some it’s crafts, others it’s dolls, for some it’s even Christmas decorations. For some of us, we ENJOY the races, even when we despise the training, and there for we plan and save and decide which ones we want to do and invest not only in the race, but in our own motivation, determination and enjoyment of the experience.

When someone cheats – either transfers/sells/buys a bib when that is not allowed, or has a sub racer run for them, or outright just copies a bib from one posted online – they are hurting everyone. They might feel that they are sticking it to Disney, or the race promoter or whomever. They might feel that they are getting away with something taboo. They might just be an ass who simply doesn’t care. But they forget that they are hurting the people who want to invest in this sport and themselves. They are hurting the person who decided to start running in order to improve themselves, their health, loose weight, help out an existing medical condition, or otherwise celebrate something that they have overcome. They hurt the kids that have goals and dreams to accomplish something. Because if they continue to do this, then the races get more and more expensive, there is less and less provided and those that normally could have participated have to opt out.

Basically, if you cheat when it comes to running, then I have no sympathy for you and truly feel you suck. I worked hard to meet the goals I’ve met so far and to work towards the ones I have set for myself and I will not allow others to ruin the opportunity for me , or anyone else who is TRULY working and investing in themselves, to accomplish them. This is the feeling when you know you’ve worked for it, tackled it and overcame it. This is what you are actually robbing people of and that, my friends, is just despicable.

 

 

Resolution

I do not write as often as I want to or should. As I’ve mentioned before, my daily schedule is pretty chock full of things to do and mundane day-to-day tasks to tend to. I’m changing that with this post. I want to blog about my business. Yes. Because blogging about my business is a smart thing to do – it’s literally free advertising and it’s a great way to share the art that I find so much joy and relaxation in doing. But I also want to blog about the two other things in my life that take up what there is of my free time – running and Disney (and combined there is runDisney!)

This week I start to train for my first 10k coming up in January. Between now and then I’m certain to run at least a few official 5ks and I’ll recap those. I want to write about my experiences in training, the joys and heartaches, the progress and set backs and yes, I know there are plenty of blogs about the running lifestyle. But I’m a late thirtysomething who just recently truly discovered (and subsequently lost due to the opressive Florida humidity) the joy of running and I want to help inspire others to do the same.

I want to write about Disney because, yes, though there are plenty of other Disney bloggers out there, me and my family regularly take day and weekend trips to the Happiest Place on Earth and I almost always run into someone in the parks to whom we’re able to give some sort of information that they either didnt know or else were able to assist them in saving some money.

 

I also have grandiose ideas about costumes I want to do for various running events. All this in addition to the various things I want to do with my dolls throughout the next year. And maybe even some family/personal growth stuff too along the way.

Regardless, I want to get at least one post up a week, and preferably one a day if manageable.

Ready to take the journey with me?

 

The Struggle Is Real….

Work. Kids. Family. Finances. FINANCES. Time. Priorities. Love. Partners. Work. School. Exercise. Running. Social Activities. Play dates. Birthday parties. Finances. Personal Time. Hobbies. Yes, the struggle is real. I’ve mentioned it before that time can be tight when you’re a mom, a partner to someone who works night shift, work full time and basically am single mother most of the time. I wonder how I do it all and then realize there are plenty of things I’m unable to get to and have to decide if I can live with that or not. Sometimes that struggle is the worst as I can feel, quite simply, like I’m letting SOMEONE down; be it my children, my partner, my family, my coworkers or worse…myself. Its no wonder that since having my littlest one I’ve not lost the weight that I put on in pregnancy. I saw a post today about Loey Lane, a beauty blogger, plus-sized advocate and general all around bad-ass who talks openly about confidence, acceptance and just being comfortable with yourself. This is something that I realized I’d lost. I push myself so hard to get back to my pre-baby body and loose the gut I’ve gained without realizing or accepting my age, how exactly my body has changed, and where I am NOW.

 

I started running in 2013 as a response to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings with the intent to eventually run that race. I had always had the adage that unless my life was in danger, I wasn’t running, and yet here I was signing up for 5k’s and taking great pride and pleasure in improving my per mile minute. I just turned 38. Yes, I’m overweight and weigh the most I have ever in my life. I also have two beautiful children to show for my efforts and the wear and tear my body has experienced. I have horrible eating habits that I have to work to improve. I run, when I can, and push myself to do so when the weather permits (when it’s 90-something in Florida and the feels like due to humidity is upwards of 110, you don’t WANT to go out in that!) Do I wish I wasn’t in this body? Yes…because I feel like I’m letting my partner down. I feel like I’m not attractive anymore and why should they have any interest in this mass of flesh and pudge? But then I remember that love transcends appearance (thankfully) and that when you have it pure it can overcome anything. But there in lies the crux…I can’t accept myself so how can I expect someone else to? In order to be where I want to be, I have to accept me as-is with the idea that I will take steps each day to make improvements for MYSELF.

And this is where the struggle comes in. Mostly this blog is about my Etsy shop, my creations and promotion. But I do want to share that we all have similar struggles in life – money, weight, confidence, acceptance. It was recently pointed out to me that I still seem to have some issue with wrapping my head around two things – 1.) my age and 2.) that I am now, officially,  a professional. Yes, I do have issues with this, particularly #1. I just turned 38 but you’d never know it. I dont look it. I don’t “act” it (and how in the world is one supposed to act any particular age, anyhow?) and I don’t generally -dress- like it because I didn’t have a household growing up that was anything other than blue collar. Now, I don’t dress like I used to – being semi professional and a recovering goth make that pretty easy – though I still tend to gravitate towards all black. But gone are the days of fishnet shirts under tank tops with chunky knee high boots and a cute skirt over more fishnets; replaced with jeans, a tee shirt and flats or sneakers most days.

The struggle comes in accepting who I am NOW instead of who I was or even who I want to be. The irony is I can’t get to be where I want to be until I accept where I am now and embrace it. Maybe that’s why I enjoy painting my dollies so much as well – I have an outlet for that recovering goth that’s not only beautiful, but the whole universe of Monster High in particular is about embracing your “freaky flaws” and being who you are – not what other expect you to be. This while holding on, somewhat, to the innocence and frivolity that is youth. Even funnier still is I’m generally the one to state that age is just a number and that when I get to be the big 4-0 it will be like any other age. I still believe that, but it’s easy to accept this train of thought when you don’t really accept your age to begin with. It’s certainly not a death sentence as many feel it is, but a new chapter – a new decade to explore and grow and adapt to.

I could continue on and on and I may in future posts…but for now I want others to know, even other thirty-something moms trying to hold down the fort without loosing their proverbial minds, that they aren’t alone, there are those of us out there that understand, and the struggle is real—-so don’t fight it. Embrace it.