Whoa. Hi. Hey. Since TCM, this blog has been completely silent. One reason for that involved a serious lack of running. I took a post-race break, which turned into a serious slump. I was also trying to figure out some health issues, which I’ve since started to deal with. Oh, and since the end of October, most of my free time has been trying to plan a wedding!
A few weeks after TCM, on a trip out to Palm Springs, Todd suggested we climb to the top of Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park. He proposed at the top, and we giggled all the way down. Then we celebrated with a late lunch at Steak ‘n Shake, because you can take us out of the Midwest, but you’ll still have to pry that chili mac from my cold, dead fingers. An added bonus means that every time we have a craving for mediocre fast food (it’s not often), there’s less guilt and more nostalgia.
Being engaged is weird — we’re both so excited for the marriage part, but the wedding part is actually pretty stressful, and we’re just ready for everyone to enjoy the party.
- Wedding planning is a two-step process in which you first define the forest, then pick a million trees. We’ll be hosting a destination wedding in Santa Barbara, CA, over Labor Day, which we’re SO excited about, but we’ll be more excited for it once all of the big pieces are in place. There are days where the trees feel more fun than the forest. Falling down those rabbit holes can be stressful when you haven’t defined any real parameters. Our venue required at least a day-of coordinator to manage logistics, but because we’re not local, we decided to hire a full-on planner, which immediately lifted 50,000lbs of stress off of my shoulders. She’s helping to keep us on track and focused on defining everything so that we’re in a good place to focus on the details. Thankfully, by the end of the month, all of the big vendors should be booked. I also purchased my dress back in late Nov in Vegas on a trip with my mom (for her work – my first time!). It was a sample dress, which means I took it home with me that day, and had to navigate the Vegas airport solo carrying a giant wedding dress bag. I kept reminding myself to look happy so that people didn’t think I had been left at the drive-thru altar.
- Little things have a way of reminding you what’s important. Santa Barbara can book up for Labor Day weekend, so we encouraged our guests to book things early for the best options. In that way, it’s been fun to get a pretty steady stream of unofficial RSVPs in the form of hotel reservation texts and emails. Every time someone texts to tell me that they’ve locked down their room, I feel such an overwhelming sense of gratitude and excitement that such amazing people from all stages of our lives are willing and able to carve out some time to celebrate with us.
- Wedding planning puts a spotlight on social norms. I’m so thankful that I’ve got an amazing guy who is interested in tackling this huge project as a team. Some people/vendors seem surprised by this, which is frustrating and disappointing, and if you ever need a reminder that we still have a ways to go in this whole gender equality thing, plan a wedding. It also makes you think and rethink the various traditions and the meaning behind them. Some things I’m able to answer easily and viscerally, while others have been a little grayer. I’m beyond grateful for a partner who is open, who embraces who I am and what I want, and who gives me the space and support to find my path. He doesn’t care whether we share a last name; we share a life. We share goals. We share love.
Any advice on how to survive wedding planning?
All of this is to say that the majority of my brain has been occupied with wedding planning. And, until a few weeks ago, the rest of my brain was focused on how I was feeling physically (bad and off). I had gotten some routine blood work as part of my work-sponsored wellness fair, and my results suggested that I had some thyroid issues. I had to wait a few months to see the doctor I wanted, but a few weeks ago, I was formally diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease (hypothyroidism). While my symptoms weren’t crazy, I was having some dizzy/fainting spells, and the fear and ambiguity of having bloodwork without a doctor to interpret the results was weighing pretty heavily. Thankfully, it’s pretty easily managed with a once-a-day pill. I’ve been on my synthetic hormone for almost a month now, and with any hope, we get my levels adjusted quickly and easily. Unfortunately, an informal Twitter poll of fellow Hashimoto’s warriors suggests I won’t suddenly be an elite distance runner, I’ll just medicate like one.
Now that I’m feeling a little more empowered by my diagnosis and spending less emotional capital on PubMed’ing my way to an unofficial doctorate, I’m making a conscious effort to focus more energy on being active and getting stronger. I can always tell when I haven’t been working out. In addition to the added pounds, my brain feels sluggish and restless, and I tend to slip into an easy malaise. I’m using the New Year (and, if we’re being honest, the fear of disliking how I look in my wedding photos) to reset my running, and to explore the strength training I never seem to find time for.
A few days ago, the idea of getting back into shape and “doing it right” felt weirdly overwhelming. I’ve been struggling with how to set meaningful micro-goals, but tonight I found some Twitter inspiration. From today forward, I will be setting different monthly fitness challenges. In this way, the regular “accomplishment” endorphins help keep me on track over a long period of time, and the challenges can be shaped around specific goals I have. I’m still figuring out what my challenges will be, but I think my January challenge will be to run 6x week (1mi+). My hope is that this particular challenge will help me build a routine, build accountability, and build mental strength during a month whose inertia is typically tough to overcome. That frequency isn’t realistically sustainable over the long term for me, but that’s not the point. For the next three weeks, I can make it work.
Outside of running, I’m also hopping back into weekly volleyball with my brother, which will likely be an unwelcome but super fun shock to my body after 3-4 years away from the court. I’ve been going back and forth on trying a group fitness option (Pure Barre, Orangetheory, or my gym’s equivalent add-ons are all ones I’m considering); perhaps my February goal will be to give one of those a test drive.
What kind of goals, activities or challenges are you working towards?
Any ideas for my monthly challenges?
Tell me what goals, projects, or hurdles you’re hoping to conquer in 2018!