Sunday, September 15, 2013

So...Yeah... About that...

Why is it every time I say something about continuing to post, I stop posting?

Why is it, whenever I go off my "diet," it takes me weeks to get back on?

Why is it, although I love spending time with my loved ones, it takes me weeks to decompress when I do?

So yeah. Posting. First, it seems when I'm not running I'm not posting. I come up with most post ideas in the hours alone in my head. I've hardly run since the Monday before Superman and I went on vacation over Labor Day week. Even that run was not stellar, but at least it was a considerable distance.

I did have a post started for Suicide Prevention week last week, but decided it was too uncomfortable to share and full of triggers besides. Suffice it to say I've been there, I did not know of resources to help me out of there, and had I access to a gun during that time I don't know if I or my children would be here today. Luckily I am no longer in that place, and have not been for decades. If I ever find myself there again, I'm now aware of resources and places to call for help.

Better late than never: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline number is 1-800-273-8255. Use it if you need it or know someone who does. If you or someone you know is thinking or talking about suicide, please call. Suicide is preventable, and they CAN help.

So yeah. Diet. The good news is I'm now over a week completely soda/Monster free. I finally found a combination of teas I can drink without sweetener, that does not upset my stomach, and which I enjoy the taste of enough to consume a gallon a day (my daily hydration goal). I even found a tea I can purchase out in the wild if I need something stronger than water to get by, until I can make my own again. Unsweetened Pure Leaf Tea has tea and citric acid. Period. No preservatives or garbage added.
So I have that going for me.

The rest of my diet has been a mess since going on vacation. I eat what I want, when I want, regardless of hunger or what it does to my system. Not good. I don't know if it's gluten or grain or sugar, but my ankles have been swollen since I started eating this way again (a symptom of my auto-immune disease) and there are other effects I won't go into here. My system is definitely not happy, and hasn't been for 2 weeks now.

I had my final birthday dinner last night, am finishing up the leftovers from that today, then it's back on the bandwagon. I want to know if it's grains or sugar that's causing the reactions I'm having, so am modifying my current plan a little. I will be grain-free, but will allow a small amount of sugar for no more than one coffee a day. Sugar, not artificial sweetener. We had a dietitian from Cleveland Clinic in at work last week, and I was surprised to learn artificial sweeteners (including Stevia) are completely not helpful. I kind of knew this already, but the dietitian spelled it out clearly. Studies show artificial sweeteners stimulate appetite, fat storage, and weight gain. This is of course the exact opposite of what I want. If it turns out I actually am addicted and cannot handle small amounts of sugar, or the swelling in my ankles does not go away after being grain free for a few weeks, I will eliminate sugar completely and have to be satisfied with fruits, honey, and syrup as my sweets.

I'm not concerned with the caffeine addiction, since my current tea recipe provides enough to keep away the worst symptoms. I might crash earlier in the evening, but that's not a bad thing. The coffee actually may not even be every day. I just like to have it in reserve for days I'm really dragging.

So yeah. People. I owe my mother and a friend apologies. They called right after I got home from vacation, and I haven't called either of them back yet. I was supposed to go out and play with a third friend the weekend we came back, and that didn't happen either. I'm still trying to decompress from spending several days non-stop in the car and out-and-about with Superman. It doesn't help I now have one or both of my boys around the house frequently. Nor does it help to always have to be "on" at work, where I can no longer hide behind cubicle walls. I'm an introvert, and this much human interaction is exhausting. I've been able to escape a bit at work this past week, scheduling conference rooms to go through on-line courses. My children have not been home EVERY day. Still, reaching out to people is not easy in this state.

Vacation was, as Monkey Boy pointed out, an old people's trip. We originally planned to ride the motorcycle, but the forecast was cold and raining for most the time we would be gone, so chose the car instead. I'm good with either, since Superman and I travel well together. Car trips offer an intimacy we don't normally experience, considering our normal schedule. It's enough of an anomaly that Energizer Bunny asked "Is it even LEGAL for the two of you to spend that much time alone together in such a small space?!?"

We drove out to Stuebenville Monday to stay at a bed and breakfast, stopping at a favorite diner in Lisben on the way. The bed and breakfast house was renovated from basically a condemned state. $350K later, it looks like this:
Super narrow hallways and stairs. Super cluttered with antique knick knacks, but beautiful and historic. The rest of the neighborhood kind of looked like this:
Very historic, though quite dilapidated, with I think they advertise 20 murals. Most of those are religious. They literally painted the town for the bicentennial. The only "major" attraction (and you'll notice the quotes on "major") was the recreation of Fort Stueben. We arrived too late to actually tour the fort, but you could walk around the outside in about 5 minutes.

The best part was having the house to ourselves. I'd never stayed at a bed and breakfast before, and did not know what to expect. It would have been more challenging for me to share the house with strangers, but being off season and mid-week it turned out perfect. We hung out amid the antiques in the evening, explored the bookshelves and knick knacks, and went through the renovation photo album. The owner came and made breakfast for us in the morning. Superman chatted with him while I did a round of weights upstairs, then we cleaned up, packed up, and left.

(Yes, I brought weights with me. Yes, this was the only time I used them. I planned to run as well, but that didn't happen. Go figure.)

The reason we stayed in Stuebenville was because it's less than an hour from Oglebay's blown glass museum and exhibit. Superman and I have both been somewhat fascinated with blown glass since catching an exhibit at the Geneva County Fair a few years ago. Unfortunately, the glass blowing exhibit was cancelled because one of the glass blowers was on vacation, and the other was picking up more than just exhibit slack. However, we spent a good bit of time exploring the museums and shops at the Oglebay mansion.
The grounds and views were amazing. The history was fun, though after several hours I tend to get saturated with facts in places like this. We didn't get any photos of the glass museum, and probably spent as much time in the glass gift shop as we did the museum.

As I said, the trip was planned around a motorcycle ride. After we saw everything we wanted at Oglebay we hopped back into the car for a 4 hour trip to Dayton, where we bedded down and rested up. Next stop on the itinerary was the Dayton Air Force Museum.
The Air Force Museum covers pretty much the entire history of flight, from the Wright brothers to the most recent space flight. We planned to spend the entire day, and saturated or not both agree we could have spent at least another full day without getting bored. There was not enough time to read all the information, and barely enough time to walk around gawking at the evolution of airplanes and atomics and helicopters and war. We texted back and forth with Monkey Boy, trying to figure out which plane he worked on. It turns out his was too new to be in the museum yet. We don't even have images of the rockets and satellites section, where I was stunned at the size of it all. I expected rockets to be larger and satellites to be smaller. There's a holocaust section and a Bob Hope section. There's a hall of fame, and a wall of all the Air Force leading men. I can guarantee Superman and I will be back again.

After soaking in the history of war and flight, we headed north toward Toledo. Here we found probably the best Indian restaurant I've ever been to. The food was cooked to perfection, moist and flavorful without being overwhelmingly spiced. Since it was my birthday, I ordered one of every desert on the menu, and was not disappointed in any of them. There were no brownies or cakes. Mango pudding with fruit. Rice puddings. Condensed milk ice cream. Superman helped, of course, and it was a marvelous birthday celebration.

The next morning we headed a bit further north, to a fossil park in Sylvania.
This image is from their website. It's part of a local park system, is not manned and there is no fee for entry. They simply supply the rocks and a place to break them. There was literally no one around when Superman and I were there, though we did see a runner and a bicyclist on the local paths surrounding the area. You're not allowed to bring tools in, so I had fun for an hour or more raising large rocks above my head and smashing them down onto other rocks or concrete, then sifting through the crumbling remains to see what I could find. We found probably 10 or 12 fossils of varying sizes and shapes, which was pretty neat.

This was the last stop on our vacation, and we headed back toward Cleveland when we got tired of smashing rocks. I hung out with Superman Thursday night, then ran home Friday.

So yeah. To clarify, running didn't happen on vacation, but it has happened. Sporadically, and mostly my long runs. I ran again the following Monday, but after sitting in the car so long all week and eating crap, it's not surprising my run was less than stellar. I bailed on most exercise the rest of the week, and even then yesterday's run home from Superman's was better. I'm ahead of the curve for mileage right now, so can afford to be a little lax. That's not to say it's a good idea, but I'm not worried about it. I'm already planning how to add in the extras when my schedule calls for 14, 15 and even higher mileage runs.

Now you know where I've been and where I am. Work is good, too. It took me a minute to remember what the heck I was supposed to be doing, but I had more than one person tell me this past week that I'm doing good, that they've heard nothing but good things about me. I'm also almost done with my training, and may actually finish most of it within the 90 days like I'm supposed to. I meet with my manager and the training coordinator on Monday to get a better idea what else needs to be done. I'm very excited to finally get into actually doing my job and learning the program I'll be supporting. We will see what happens and if I can really do this, then. So much of this training will be unused and forgotten, and it's been somewhat frustrating to fight my way through, knowing that.

1 comment:

  1. It makes me smile to be reminded how similar we are sometimes. I'm struggling with the same issue of having to be "on" in a new work environment and it's so completely exhausting! Alone/decompression time is such a necessity. Looks like a awesome trip. Glad you got a nice getaway for the birthday! Love