Happy Holidays!

In order to make up for my appalling lack of communication lately, I present these hilarious pictures of Christmas cats! I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I do! If, like me, you’ve been running around like a lunatic the last few weeks trying to get all of your holiday plans in order, take a moment and enjoy a good laugh.

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As much as I love the Christmas season, it’s a LOT of work and it can also be incredibly stressful. Between getting all the goodies made, shopping, wrapping, and planning present exchanges, I’m beat. Amazingly enough, I have, (so far), managed to keep up with my workout routine. It doesn’t do much for my energy levels, but I am feeling better than I usually do this time of year. The hustle and bustle, combined with the cold weather is usually pretty rough on me, but this year has been much better. I won’t claim that I am completely pain-free, but I am in considerably less pain than I have been in past years, which means that I am able to enjoy the holiday season with a clear, un-drug addled head! Yay!!

So, considering the season, I thought I’d take some time to express my gratitude to a few very special people in my life, starting with my parents. Thank you for ALWAYS being there for me. Seriously. ALWAYS. There has never been a point in my life where I felt like I couldn’t go “home” if I needed to, and that means a lot to me. I know I’m stubborn and generally won’t accept help unless I absolutely have to, but my mom and dad have accepted that little quirk and have always been there, “just in case”.

The last year and a half have been fairly traumatic for me and by association, my family as well. I have moved, lost things (nearly including my sanity), and have had more ups and downs than I care to count. Through all of it, my parents have been there, they didn’t interfere or try to push me in any particular direction, they just made sure I knew they were there if I needed them. They may not have always agreed with my decisions, but they have always accepted them without passing judgment. I don’t care how old a person is, they still like to know that they’ve made their parents proud, and I am glad that my parents are the kind of people who have no qualms with saying so.

Next on my list of fabulous people, is my best friend, Heather.

Heather, thank you for listening to me whine and for not being afraid to tell me to put on my “big girl panties” when necessary. It’s nice to have someone who isn’t afraid to tell you that you’re being ridiculous about a particular situation or to remind you that you are in fact, capable of handling something. Without you, I probably wouldn’t have even thought of running in a 5k, and I certainly wouldn’t be looking forward to running in the Color Me Rad 5k next year! 🙂 There is no one else who I would WANT to go with to pay to have people throw dye at me while I run …

And finally, Aaron.

You are the one person on the planet who could motivate to me do just about anything, (namely exercise), even when I REALLY don’t want to. Thank you for always using compassion rather than criticism to get me moving. You’ve been the one holding my hand through trigger point injections, days when the pain was at its worst and even bad dreams; I truly don’t know how I would have made it through the last year without you. You keep me going, but more importantly, you make me WANT to keep going.

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Please excuse me for a moment…

cat-fukken-win-5990-1I sincerely apologize to anyone who might be offended by the language used in this picture, I only used it because it was absolutely necessary… 🙂

Why am I posting this particular picture? Two reasons: #1: this picture makes me laugh out loud every time I see it; #2: it is an exact representation of how I feel right now.

Not only did I manage to jog a full 1.5 miles (in one go, no stopping!), I FINALLY achieved my goal of a 12 minute mile. I came in at 11 minutes, 53 seconds, to be exact. So, yeah, I’m feeling pretty awesome. When the little voice came through my headphones to tell me what my mile time was, I actually (half) shouted “hell yeah!”. Yes, I was in the middle of a park, and I should probably also apologize to the elderly couple who I startled with my little victory cry; I am terribly sorry for scaring you half to death, I just got a bit carried away.

In other news, I have decided to try my hand (or maybe I should I say “feet”?), at an 8k race. In just over four months, I will be participating in the 8k portion of  the 2014 Shamrock Marathon. I haven’t decided on a plan of attack just yet, but ultimately, I would like to finish it in 45 minutes or less. That would put my pace at about 9 minutes/mile… Don’t worry, I’m already questioning my sanity, so no need to call the men in white coats just yet.

Right now, my biggest concern is whether or not to join a gym. Why? It’s too darn cold. I know, it’s only November and it’s not even “cold” yet, but without my protective layer of blubber, 50 degrees is just too cold. I barely even broke a sweat after jogging 1.5 miles and once I cooled down from the workout, it literally took me hours to warm back up. Somehow, I don’t think I’ll get a very good workout if I’m dressed like Randy from “A Christmas Story”, so I’m thinking maybe joining a gym for the winter months is the way to go.

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My only concern is that running on a treadmill is going to bore me to tears. How on Earth am I supposed to entertain myself if I’m trapped in one spot? Trust me, trying to watch a movie or TV while running is a sure-fire recipe for disaster. I DO NOT have the attention span for that kind of multi-tasking. I enjoy jogging outside because even if I take the same path every time, there’s always something new to look at. It also gives me the perfect opportunity to spy on my neighbors and come up with bizarre stories to go along with my observations.

For example, the other day, I noticed that two of my neighbors were home extremely early. It seemed awfully suspicious that they pulled into their respective driveways (right across from each other) at the exact same time… Sure, it could have been pure coincidence, but what if they planned to come home early that day to perfect their zombie apocalypse plans? Perhaps they belong to a secret cult of cat worshippers and had to get ready for some kind of gathering? This is exactly the kind of thing that keeps exercising interesting!

Unfortunately, since the cold always has a negative effect on the fibro, I’ll probably end up spending the winter on a treadmill. Maybe I’ll take a few tours and choose a gym based on its people watching potential!

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