Is THIS Bliss?!

Lorina's Blog

First Race of 2016!

My first race of 2016 was this weekend!

It was hilly. And windy. Two things I hate the most when running! I thought I trained on enough hills, but alas… no. But even though I was really hoping for under 30 minutes, I was expecting closer to 32-33, so finishing in 30:30 was fantastic! And I took second place in my age group.

Did I tell y’all about my stupidphone? I don’t remember. Anyway… on January 1st, all happy that I was running my first run of the new year, I dropped my phone and busted it. We weren’t eligible for an upgrade until July, it costs way too much to get a new one, so I reactivated my old phone. The one I got in 2012, but was a 2011 model. And that thing was a piece of shit. It would randomly crash, or the battery life would go from 70% to 5% in five minutes, and it rarely lasted through a run. Sometimes it would throw glitches on Runkeeper where it would show me running at ridiculous paces. Like this…

I can assure you, I did not break the speed of sound. I would have remembered that.

It crashed three minutes before the race started on Saturday.  It barely restarted in time for the race and I ran with it plugged into a backup battery bank. Then, because it’s an ornery little fucker, I stopped it after the race, took off my ear buds, shoved it all in my running belt, and accidentally restarted Runkeeper. So it was tracking my movement while I puttered around waiting for the last of the runners to finish, while eating a jelly donut (yay for post race donuts!), through the awards ceremony, and the entire drive home. All in all, it kept track for an hour and a half, and didn’t crash. But let me try to go for a two mile run, and it’d shit the bed a quarter mile from home.

So, anyway… we checked to see just how much more it would cost now to replace my phone, rather than waiting for the contract to be up. And… it wouldn’t! The only difference if I upgraded now vs. in July is that I have to send them my old phone back, instead of keeping it as a backup. You want this glorified paperweight back? Fine! Take it!

I’m now the happy owner of a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7, with an Otterbox and extended warranty. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. Being both broke and thrifty, I always got last year’s model on phones, whatever was cheapest or free. And now I’m looking forward to going for a run without having to carry a backup battery and remembering every step and turn I make in case I have to manually plot my route. See ya later, I’m going running!

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Mr. Beavis

On February 27th, I lost my best friend.

I’ve been meaning to write about this since, and just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I didn’t know where to begin. I didn’t know where to end. I still don’t, but … well, to be honest, I’m in the midst of cleaning and need a break. So what better time than now?

Beavis, as some of you may know, was my one eyed Pekingese. We adopted him about 10 years ago, shortly after he lost his eye. And he proved that what your mama always said was wrong. It IS still fun and games after losing an eye. He loved learning new tricks, playing soccer, entertaining himself (and us) thrashing his toys around, and in general, being a complete and utter jackass. One of his many nicknames was “Little Doggie Dickhead.” He loved mud puddles, and hated baths. Turned into a piranha if you tried to groom him. Didn’t come when he was called, never wanted to come in the house, would try to bite guests, but I adored him.

Last fall, he very suddenly went blind. I woke up in the middle of the night and he was pacing and panting. I thought he had to go potty, and let him outside. He promptly fell down the steps on the back porch. That’s when I realized something was wrong. He had a displaced lens (I never even knew that could happen) and glaucoma. That still didn’t stop him, though. It barely slowed him down. He still enjoyed going for walks, playing soccer, doing tricks, and running… but only running when he was on a leash. It warmed my heart that he trusted me – like his mommy was holding his hand – to run when we were together. Not that “trusting me” to keep him from harm actually made him want to actually listen to me. He still had very strong ideas about where he wanted to go.

“No, Beavis. We can’t go that way. There’s a fence.”
“I don’t see it, Mommy. I think you’re wrong.”
“Dude. You’re blind.”

All was good, more or less, until mid February, when he had his first seizure. We came home to find he’d thrown up and piddled in the house and was lying on the floor crying. A few seconds later, he was fine. I hoped it was just a fluke, and he was fine for the next week or so. Then it happened again, and we scheduled an appointment. His bloodwork wasn’t all that bad. A little bit anemic, a little bit of a low thyroid, a little bit of liver problems. Nothing horrible for a 12 year old dog. Nothing that should have caused seizures. The vet prescribed some meds and told us to just keep an eye on him (“Not funny, doc!” said the one-eyed dog.) and give a call if he kept having seizures.

He was good for a few more days, then after his nighttime walk, he started acting sluggish. I didn’t think much of it, thought it was just the start of another seizure event. But it didn’t happen. He just got mopier and mopier. When I noticed his tongue was nearly white, we took him to the emergency vet and they found he had major internal bleeding, likely from an undiagnosed tumor that had ruptured. He was too sick to even try to save, so we made the gut-wrenching choice to have him euthanized.

As horrible as it was, I’m relieved that it was sudden. He didn’t suffer or slowly dwindle. His last day, he enjoyed a couple of walks, ate like a champ, played with toys, jumped through a hoop (yep, even blind!), and had a very good day. It was still fun and games right up to the very end. I know we gave him almost 10 happy years, and he had a few bad hours. That’s pretty good.

For me, on the other hand… I was a frickin’ wreck. I ate ton of chocolate. I cried at the drop of a hat. I got choked up when I heard the mail being delivered, without hearing him barking. Music… music tore me to bits. “I walk along the city streets you used to walk along with me…” Choked up. “You’re a bad dog baby, but I still want you around…” Tears spilling over. “Everyone I know, goes away in the end.” Blubbering like a goddamn baby. (I listened to some of these songs while writing this, and still got weepy. I am NOT going to listen to “Hurt.” Nope. Nope. Nope.)

It hit me way harder than I every thought it would. Way more than losing any of my cats, and I consider myself more of a cat person than a dog person. In part, I think because every time I lost a cat, I had others. Spare cats. Backup cats. And as much as I adore my kitties, one cat isn’t that much different than another. Beavis was … very different. Since he went blind, especially, he was so completely dependent on me. I couldn’t just let him outside to do his business, I had to go with him. I had to give him his meds several times a day. I had to keep him out of trouble, and keep him entertained. It was like having a baby… or at least a brand new puppy.

Then to make matters worse, he died the day after the 6th anniversary of losing Dad. So it opened up wounds that, while not exactly healed because they never fully heal, but were at least not quite as fresh and tender. It was not just the grief of losing Beav, but reminder of everyone I’d already lost, and everyone I still had to lose. Bleak. Totally bleak.

But… it gets easier. Sure, I ate a shitload of chocolate, and maybe didn’t exercise as much as I normally would, but honestly… who gives a shit? Getting through a depressive event is hard enough. I’m certainly not going to give myself additional stress by worrying about whether or not I gain a few pounds. I feel bad about Beavis, but I should. I loved the little shit. Feeling sad is exactly how I’m supposed to feel.

I’m beginning to come out of the haze now, and while I still get emotional thinking about him, I’m starting to think about getting another dog. Not right away. Maybe over the summer. There’ll never be another Beavis, but I’m sure any dog I get is going to be just as awesome.

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I gave up. And it was awesome.

Last summer, after faithfully logging my calories (most of the time) and exercising regularly (most of the time) for about six months, I was pretty damn happy with my results. I looked pretty good, I felt pretty good, and while I wasn’t as lean as I’d been a few years back, I knew that being that lean took a lot of work and dedication, and that the benefits of being leaner weren’t really all that great. Wearing a size smaller didn’t make me feel any better, physically or emotionally. I still saw just as many flaws and problem areas when I looked in the mirror. I still had to scoop cat shit out of the cat box. I still had to pay my bills every month. The sky wasn’t any bluer and the clouds were no fluffier. The only difference was that the tag inside my jeans – that no one saw but me – was a smaller number.

So, rather than continue to push towards a goal that really didn’t matter, I gave up. I don’t mean that I got so burnt out by logging and exercising that I said, “Fuck it,” became a couch potato, and ate a bag of Butterfingers a day. I just eased back a bit. I stopped logging my food. After doing it off and on for five years, I should have a pretty decent idea of what to eat. I stopped weighing and measuring myself. I ran a little less, especially after I bunged up my Achilles and had to rest for a few weeks. But the biggest thing I gave up was pressure on myself.

So, about 8-9 months later, what’s the result of giving up? This.

June 2015  to February 2016
I’m closer to my “goal body” now than I was when I was trying so hard to get there.


I’m still not even sure I want to be as lean as the 2012 pic again. But I’m taking an attitude of “if it happens, it happens.” I’m not going to push myself too hard, I’m not going to weigh and log every bite of food that goes in my mouth, I’m not going to weigh and measure myself. I’m not going to give up chocolate and cookies and other goodies. I’m just going to continue to eat mostly whole foods and move my body in ways that feel good.

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