It’s Complicated

It’s been over a year since I made that long 3 day drive from Missouri to California to work and live in April of 2017.

Despite all that Northern California has to offer, it still does not really feel like home. Don’t get me wrong, I do not regret my choice to move here. My job is great and challenging. We are healthy and doing well, financially. But I do still get homesick for Missouri and particularly St. Louis.

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Davenport, CA

When I see pictures of sights in St. Louis, my heart sinks a bit. I should delete all of the St. Louis instagram accounts that I follow. But I want to see what I miss. I know it’s weird but for some reason, I keep thinking I’ll move back when I retire. Hey, I forget that I don’t have many more years to my retirement! It’s just a quick thought in my head. But I am where I will be until the end of my life’s journey. I was intimate with that city, one might say. I ran so many miles through that city. Kevin and I had so much fun there. St. Louis is an old and great city despite the crime and poverty there.

I long to be in St. Louis the same way that I longed to be in California when I lived in Missouri. I know that’s weird. My feelings are very messed up and complicated.

I miss my kids and grand-kids so much that I feel like I’m not really, completely here. They say they are moving here next summer. I think they really want to be here and nothing would make me happier. But even so, a piece of me will always live in St. Louis.

I feel so left out of Daniel and Sadie’s life. I was very close to them and watched them grow and contributed to their upbringing. This must be how an empty nester’s feels.

And what makes it worse is that my baby brother is very sick. Since I am the older sister, I feel like the Mama in some ways and that it is my responsibility to be there. He has a great family and life there but I feel I should be there for support and comfort. I wasn’t there for my other brother when he was fighting cirrhosis and died a few years back.  I have 2 sisters that I feel like I deserted.

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My baby brother and one of his 2 sweet grand-kids.

Most days and weeks, I’m happy and fairly content. But other days, I fight depression. Yes, I said it! I think not many people would know that about me….that I have experienced depression since I’ve been here. It’s not that often or that bad..ok it can get pretty bad occassionally. I’ve thought of seeing a counselor but somehow, I feel that makes me weak or a waste of time and money. I’m the tough one. I’m the one that adjusts to everything. I’m clutch! Kevin is a good friend, husband and person. I couldn’t keep my sanity if I didn’t have him. He’s patient with me and sees the pain that I am in when I go through these episodes. He tolerates and puts up with my crying spells.

Peyton and Eli are aging. It really shows on Eli lately and he is the younger of the 2. They are not that old but Eli is experiencing arthritis and walks like an old man. It’s never far from my mind that one day….probably soon that I’ll have to say goodbye to my babies. I have tears in my eyes even typing that. At the end of every work day….those boys welcome me home like a queen. That will never get old! It’s all I think of driving home….getting that love!

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Peyton, Me and Eli

This area is full of natural beauty. I relish it. I indulge in it. But, the traffic is horrible and it pushes the limits of my patience…not that I am known for patience.

Daniel is flying here “solo” in the middle of July and the rest of the family is coming out for a visit 2 weeks later. I look forward to that like a kid looks at Christmas! I go to sleep thinking about hanging out with Daniel for the 2 weeks he is here alone. I want to spoil him like I used to!

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My friend, playmate and husband

I don’t blog much anymore. I find I either don’t have time or don’t know how to put my thoughts into words like I used to.

I had gained considerable weight and stopped running which also caused some depression. I’m happy to say that I’m on track to getting back to my goal weight. I am running again consistently and it doesn’t suck so bad. Kevin has lost a lot of weight and runs with me regularly. We are getting into some local 5ks and 10ks which is helping us feel like part of the community. It’s still not like those running parties in St. Louis. I do really miss those.

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Moi

I’ll wrap up by saying that I love it here. I love my job, the ocean, beaches, redwoods, sea lions, otters, parks, diversity of people…..I’m happy that a boss turned friend gave me this opportunity. When my son, daughter in law and sweet kiddies move here, I will be content.

My advice to myself ~ life is short, stop bitching ~ 

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Why a Less than Ordinary Runner Runs a Marathon

I’ve had many people lately, including runners, tell me how the marathon is not a healthy thing to do to my body. I agree.

I just finished up week 12 training yesterday and completed my 20 mile run. It was grueling. I could barely rest last night because my body ached so much. I am better this morning but it was hard to walk normally when I took the dogs on their morning walk.

I know to people who see me daily, they think I’m hurting myself. I am. They think I look injured. I am.

I even wonder why I do it to myself. I do believe this is my last marathon. I will stick to 5k, St. Pats 5 Mile and maybe an occasional half marathon. That is my comfort zone.

The good thing about the human body is that the injuries and pain now are not permanent. My body will recover.

And it’s because a marathon is out of my comfort zone that I do it.

I do not have a runner’s body. I am much older than the average runner. I run much slower than the average runner. I hate coming home from a long day at work and running until dark. I hate giving up my entire Saturdays to long runs and ache with pain afterwards. I hate spending more time to muscle and foot care than to fun things.

I read something once and maybe it sounds cliché but it’s exactly why I had to do the first marathon at 54 years old.

“A marathon takes an ordinary runner and turns them into something extraordinary.”

That’s why I did it once and attempting to do it again.

Maybe it’s vanity. Maybe it’s insecurity. Maybe it’s because I squandered most of my life as a fat, inactive person.

Yesterday, it was a beautiful, cool and sunny day on the MKT trail where I ran my long run. That trail is nature at its more beautiful here in our area of Missouri. My husband, Kevin, rode his bicycle and carried my water, fuel, glide and other things such as toilet wipes! (just in case HA!). He’s the reason I am able to do this, by the way. I fussed at him a little bit because he never puts the top on correctly on my hand-heal Nathan water bottle. Then it leaks on my hand causing weird friction. But other than that, I had a drama free run. He had a great time on his bicycle. He gave me encouragement. He always has. He told me numerous times he was proud of me. He pepped me up when it was getting hard at mile 15 or so.

The trail was beautiful and he rode at a leisure speed. He loves his bicycle and cycling. For about 13 or more miles, I was able to enjoy the beauty of the morning and the trail.

I wore my outfit that I plan on running the Chicago Marathon in. I have never worn a skirt before so that was a newbie for me. My outfit felt comfortable. The morning was cool (less than 65 degrees). The temps never got over 72 before my run was over. All things were perfect. Well as perfect as it could be for someone about to tackle 20 miles.


My training run was set for 18 miles. The good thing about an “out and back” run is if you go out 10 miles, you have to come back 10 miles. I thought if worse came to worse after 18 miles, I could just call my run complete and walk for 2 miles to get the soreness out. But I was determined this would be a 20 mile run. So it was.

After the run, while Kevin was putting his bike on the rack, I walked around about 15 minutes or so as to not cramp up by immediately sitting in the car. That was a good decision because nothing is worse than thigh cramps after a run. So I walked around the area drinking my water and tears in my eyes because I completed the 20 miler. It’s by far my longest run in almost 2 years and only a few months of colon surgery.

When I got home, I walked around a bit more and sit outside my beautiful back yard enjoying a beer. I was able to enjoy that beer like it was going to be my last one! I felt happy and relieved that I was able to do it. I really had in my head that I would not be able to.

I had a warm shower and got in my favorite pajamas. Kevin rolled and massaged my calves and hamstring muscles. That’s when the euphoria set in for me. I was in pain and high at the same time. A high that only runners know, maybe. I was aching, hungry and happy. I might have been the happiest person in Columbia, MO at that time. Kevin made me a delicious, hearty and healthy lunch except that I wanted about 3 servings of Lays potato chips!

I felt like I was extraordinary. I felt immortal if only for a while.

“Cause we could be immortals, immortals. Just not for long, for long” ~ Immortals by Fallout Boys (Favorite Running Song)

It’s Been A While

So much as been going on with me and it’s been overwhelming! I’m trying to slow it down, if possible.

One of my resolutions this year was “to live more in the present.” I want so much to do that.

I’ve lived for sometime in stress and sadness  but I feel that is leaving. I’m trying to eat better, exercise more and enjoy life more. My last 2 or 3 weeks have felt hectic but my stress level has been low.

I better get my ass back on track because I have a Half Marathon in April and then the Chicago Marathon training begins! I deferred it last year due to the things on my plate but I will do it this year!

Our company is expanding and we are even under construction to double our plant size and product produced. I’ve finally hired enough supervisors and technical specialists that have given me relief. We can’t make enough product for our customers. My responsibilities doubled and hours almost doubled. I wake up at 4:30am and get home at 6:30pm so my running has been for the most part on my new treadmill!

NordicTrack and iFit which allows me to run where in the world that I want. Today I ran from Flagstaff to Sedona in beautiful Arizona. I do love my new treadmill. It uses Google Maps and simulates the terrain which changes inclines to the terrain. I run often on beaches 🙂

I use weekends to do outside running when I can.

I’m doing more than running, I am working on strength building. So I think I’m doing the right things.

I have gained about 10 lbs that I am working hard to get off. I feel embarrassed that I let myself fall into this slump.

Everyone who knows me knows that I want to move to Northern California. There is a medical device company in the San Francisco area that has been courting me for the last couple of weeks. I have my second interview with them on the phone on Tuesday. After that….who knows. I’m not sure how I feel about that possibility but I think it will be good for me to check out the possibility. The only thing that would stop it may be leaving Daniel and Sadie. Maybe it will go no where but I’ll see.

Daniel and Sadie – the loves of my life

This week has been very sad to me. We lost 2 icons that I loved to cancer. David Bowie’s music could have literally been the soundtrack to my entire life and especially in my teenage years. Alan Rickman was my favorite actor. I felt a personal sadness when I heard he died. I hate cancer.

Check out my husband’s cousins. We went to see them a few months ago and I was blown away. He writes most of their music and they rarely do covers…but this one was incredible and its a cover of my favorite song ever by Fleetwood Mac (Stevie Nicks). Check them out. It makes me happy about their incredible success and they are good people. (Ruth and Madisen Ward)

I’ve missed you guys 🙂

All Those Damn Vampires…..

The title is a line from one of my favorite “cult following” movies “Lost Boys about my favorite place.  Santa Carla = Santa Cruz and it’s filmed in Santa Cruz and particularly on the boardwalk.

Since my last  blog entry “Cleaning My Plate” – I did clean it a bit.

Sadly, I decided to defer my Chicago Marathon entry until next year. I have feelings that range from being a failure to relieved. I just couldn’t find time to run during the week due to long work hours. I wonder if I just used that as an excuse.

And what is worse, I have run not in almost 2 weeks. That does make me feel like a failure. I don’t feel like a runner anymore…except when I see runners. 🙂

However, I do suspect I’ll be running again soon and on the beautiful beaches of Santa Cruz and surrounding areas in California. 🙂

I leave in the morning for a 2 week vacation in my favorite place in the US. My husband is from the area so a few years we went there to visit and I fell in love with that little hippie beach town.

I plan to retire there when it is possible.

We rent a beautiful suite right on the beachfront near the boardwalk. I wake every morning to the barking of sea lions and the ocean waves crashing.

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I am still not in a Cali state of mind yet. I can’t clear my mind of all the things that is swimming in my head….work, family, leaving my dogs for a long time….life, I suppose.

I plan on getting another tattoo from my guy (Tim Buonagurio) at “Good Omen” Tattoo to commemorate something that was a far distant dream….completing the Rock n Roll Marathon in St. Louis this past October. My tattoo will look something like the medal..I think.

IMG_9335So very soon, I’ll be on beautiful beaches drinking margaritas; on the boardwalk eating garlic fries and deep fried twinkies; hiking the Redwoods, running on the shore of Monterey Bay and having a relaxing time exploring and hanging out with my husband….who I haven’t seen much in months.
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♥~Keep Santa Cruz Weird~♥

My Year of Running 2014

Year End Running 2014
I ran 833.7 miles in 2014

I made a few goals (resolutions) for 2015:

  1. Run at least 1 mile each day in 2015.
  2. Run and PR in the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April 2015.
  3. Train and complete my 2nd Marathon toward the end of the year and PR.
  4. Eat healthy at every given chance
  5. Drink less alcohol and eat less junk food
  6. Make and use lists or “Stickies”! (tip from my grandson, Daniel)
  7. Live and Love in the moment and not worry about the future as I obsessively do most of the time.

This morning, it was 24 degrees and I ran 1 mile in shorts and sleeveless shirt in Zone 4 threshold.

I then joined my husband in the basement and while he did his spinning, I ran a 32 minute interval (Z4 – 3 min, Z2 1.5 min) interval run.

We were both dripping sweat and loving it!

I am training for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April and I want to do a different type of training which uses the heart monitor to keep and zone levels. Instead of worrying about miles etc….you run so many minutes in higher/lower heart rate zones. So far, I like it. Its challenging and it makes the treadmill better when I can’t run outside.


My scheduled formal runs so far for 2015:

February 7Run for Your Beads 5k in Soulard St. Louis

March 14St. Patrick’s Day 5 Mile run in Downtown St. Louis

April 12Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in St. Louis

So, I’m in training for the HM and happy about that. It is a bit depressing going from marathon training to no training.


I stole this survey from two blogs that I read:

The Dancing Runner” and “Running to Ramble” and  and I want to do my year end 2014 Running Summary.

1. Best race experience?  This is usually hard for me to pick because I have so many favorites: Run for your Beads 5k, St. Patrick’s Day 5 Miler, Race for a Cure…etc but this year, hands down favorite race experience was completing my first full marathon in Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis this past October 19. Not much compares to crossing that finish line with my family watching.

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2. Best run? Was my Half Marathon in the Go! St. Louis. I ran the entire thing with no walk break shortly after I was released by my doctor to run after extensive surgery. That’s when I knew that I could possibly do a full marathon.

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3. Favorite Run? (I added this one) Run for Your Beads 5k – Mardi Gras in St. Louis Feb 2014 because my 7 year old grandson Daniel ran it with me. It was a struggle to keep him focused and running but the last half…he was a star encouraging everyone. At the end of the race, many of the runners wanted their picture made with him. He also received a lot of beads for his encouragement and he felt like someone very special…which of course he is. I was smiling from ear to ear.

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4. Best new piece of gearDefinitely my Purple Garmin Forerunner 220

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5. Best piece of running advice you’ve received? “Run the Mile You Are In.”  I can’t tell you how many times I remembered and followed this advice while I was training for 26.2 miles.

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6. Most inspirational runner? Besides me HA! Meb Keflezighi of course. His win in the Boston Marathon was so inspirational for me. I cried when he crossed the finish line. I am a fairly new runner so I don’t know many sports figures in running. I’ll have a different answer…maybe next year.

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7. If you could sum up your year in a couple of words what would they be?

disciplined
emotional
diarrhea (runner’s know what I mean) HA!
stressed
devastated
frustrated
invincible
marathoner 

                                                             ♥♥♥Happy Running 2015♥♥♥

And So It Ends….2014

Each Year End I Summarize My Year 🙂

  1. I turned 54.
  2. I finished recovering from my body and arm lift surgery from December.
  3. I enjoyed a flat stomach for the first time in my adult life (I still smile at this).
  4. I stayed married to my best friend.
  5. I stayed gainfully employed.
  6. My son and daughter in law are great parents to my kiddies.
  7. I found out in March that my brother Jimmy was very ill.
  8. I still lived in 2 wonderfully different cities (Columbia and St. Louis Missouri).
  9. I got to spend another year with the 2 lights of my life (Daniel and Sadie).
  10. My 2 dogs continue to make me a better person than before I had them in my life.
  11. I ran for the 3rd time in the St. Louis Annual St. Patrick’s Day 5 Miler.
  12. I ran Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April for the 2nd time soon after I recovered from my surgery.
  13. Allison (my daughter in law) graduated from Nursing School with a Masters Degree at St. Louis University School of Nursing.
  14. I soon registered for my first marathon. (Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis)
  15. I trained 4 hard months for my first marathon and most during the heat of summer.
  16. I learned much about myself during marathon training.
  17. I ran a lot this year and never regretting one mile.
  18. Long training runs made me feel both like shit and invincible.
  19. I enjoyed wearing summer clothes for the first time in my adult life.
  20. I loved my body this past year….never said that before.
  21. Daniel spent a week in the summer with us in Columbia…maybe the best week of my life 🙂
  22. We didn’t go on a vacation this year to California and Las Vegas like we always do:-(
  23. I kept a blog all year!
  24. I got acquainted with many cool and great people on WordPress.
  25. I completed my first Marathon on Oct 19, 2014!!!!!! (Rock ‘n Roll Marathon – St. Louis)
  26. Having my family waiting for me at the finish line was emotional for me and one of the highlights of my life.
  27. I got to meet some Facebook runner friends that were running in the Rock ‘n Roll in STL
  28. I drove to Nashville, Tenn to be with my brother, Jimmy at his liver doctor visit. I hadn’t seen him in years.
  29. I spent a fun night out on the town with my baby sister, Barbara in Nashville who I haven’t seen in years.
  30. I didn’t see Barry or Beverly (brother and sister) at all this past year.
  31. I become Kaizen Leader training and certified.
  32. I spent more time alone in St. Louis this year than in the past.
  33. I wore Hoka One One running shoes for the first time and loved them.
  34. I spent Halloween with Daniel and Sadie in SoHa (South Hampton) in St. Louis…..I enjoyed it more than they did.
  35. My kids cooked an awesome Thanksgiving dinner for us in St. Louis…I was impressed.
  36. I was sad that Joe Cocker died.
  37. I made an ugly Christmas sweater and wore it!
  38. I enjoyed Christmas with my family and especially Daniel and Sadie.
  39. Daniel came to spend a couple of days with us in Columbia before the end of the year.
  40. James, Allison, Daniel and Sadie spent December 30 and New Years Eve with me in Columbia before heading back to St. Louis.

This has been a crazy year for me. I have the flat stomach that I’ve always dreamed of. I have spent a fortune on clothes like never before. I embarked on one of the hardest things I’ve ever done physically and mentally in my life…training to run 26.2 miles. I still get excited and stressed thinking about it. I also received sad news this year from my brother Jimmy.

I have eaten badly and drank too much.

This year has taught me so much more about my self than the rest of my years.

I am not sure what 2015 will bring but I will try very hard to appreciate every moment and live in the present and not worry about the future like I tend to do.

Happy New Year 2015!

Neurotic Runner Girl

First, the Lunar Eclipse (Blood Moon) last night was spectacular. At first we worried it would be too cloudy but the sky was so clear you could see Mars…really. I set the alarm for 1:30 am and watched until 3:00 am. We put on our coats, shoes and brought binoculars to go outside. It gave me goosebumps and not just because it was cold. I wish I had carried my Canon camera out with the zoom lens but thought it would be a bother. It was a beautiful, blood-red color before it finished.

Daniel and his mommy and daddy watched it too from St. Louis. We called each other at 2:30 am and spoke briefly wishing each other a happy “Full Lunar Eclipse” day! It was a bit hard to get up at 4:45 am after that but I feel rested and fine.

Today has been an uneventful day at work and otherwise. I registered myself and Kevin for the “Race for the Cure” joining the St. Louis Blues Hockey team like last year.It was a total fluster cluck last year.

My fault of course.

I registered later than normal this year due to not being sure after my surgery how and if I would want to run.

Let me tell you about me and pre-races. I NEVER like being late to anything no matter if it’s pleasant or a gyno exam! I just hate it.

Even though we have an apartment in St. Louis and most of our races are in St. Louis, I still have a big fear of being late and having to rush. That’s the same case at airports. I’d rather be 3 hours early than right on time. I am a preparer. I print out, write down, map out everything I need to know. I lay out my gear, get ipod ready, pin bib on.

Most of our runs in St. Louis are big runs…from 2,000 runners to 15,000 runners. So maneuvering in the downtown area of St. Louis when those bothersome runners are getting their run on is hell and I mean that with closed streets, constructions, one ways etc….

We were getting there not late but late to me. I go into panic mode and usually blame Kevin! Most of the time it’s his fault. 🙂 Long story short or too late…..we missed the St. Louis Blues Race for the Cure Team picture 😦

I get neurotic over the following things before a run no matter how long or how short the race is: headphones not dangling right, shoes tied too tight or too loose, does playlist have my power songs in them, is my GPS working properly, are my panties going to ride up my crack, did I drink enough water, do I need to use the porta potty one more time, did I wear the right bra, did I pin my bib on straight, is the pin making a hole in my new shirt, are my ear bud wires too long, are they too short, do I have on too many clothes…that list is never-ending and drives my husband crazy!

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The stresses before the run!

But a few minutes before the horn sounds..after every thing is fixed, I calm down and enjoy the runners around me and realize how much I love running.

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~Run like the Wind~

Sláinte!

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Sláinte! (pronounced “slaan-sha”) translates to “Health”.

Today, my husband and I are starting the 31 Day “Squat Challenge”. 30 today, 35 tomorrow and so forth.

Since my surgery (well, before that), I have no ass! Well, it’s very flat and without that muffin top that I used to have, I can’t hold up my pants! I have plumbers crack now! I want to build the booty up. Squats is the best way, I believe.

I am back on my “No Sugar Challenge.” I made it to 12 days and then 5 oatmeal cookies made it to my mouth. I feel better when I don’t eat sugar if I’m honest with myself. Just that one little hiccup set me back because I’ve been craving sweets ever since. I couldn’t even fall asleep last night thinking about how a Cadbury egg would be good. I love them!

Cookies give no real satisfaction to me when it comes to craving sweets. The reason is that one cookie can be eaten so fast that I don’t get to enjoy the cheat! It takes many and that is going over the line. At least with cake, pie or a pastry, you can slowly enjoy it with a cup of coffee. So from now on, if I cheat…it won’t be cookies.

I should run tonight but my right knee is still a little sore from Saturday but if it’s sunny when I get off, I may go for a couple of miles. I saw someone on Facebook was doing a run challenge that intrigues me. 20 miles in 10 days. I can’t get too many challenges going or I’ll quit them all!

Tonight is left over Corned Beef, Cabbage and Colcannon. I’ll dine alone tonight because Kevin works late. It will be me and my Irish dogs!

Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one!

~Dia duit~

31 Day Squat Challenge
31 Day Squat Challenge

Born to Run…or was I?

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Day number one of my 30 day challenge to not eat sweets, junk food or fast food. It’s 6pm and I’m doing good! HA

It’s going to be hard to not eat more tonight. I am going to try to not to after 6pm unless in extreme duress! 🙂

I got in a little late to work this morning due to icy roads and I didn’t get a break from the time I stepped in until I left.

I was even too busy to get hungry. Kevin packed my lunch and I love him for it. It makes my day much better and helps me to stay on track with healthy eating.

I am still not exercising except walking per surgeon’s recommendation because of where my open scar is located. I now have one on each hip. I need to be running but weather is so bad even if I could. We run in a couple of weeks in the St. Patrick’s Day 5 Miler. I will never make it without walk breaks. 5 miles through downtown St. Louis is very hard. I’ve run it the last 2 years. Over 13,000 runners are in that race. I love it and will do the best that I can. I am hoping to start doing some running toward the end of the week.

I don’t even feel like a runner anymore and that gave me such satisfaction. Maybe I’m over-reacting. I want to run.

I guess bread pudding for Mardi Gras is out?
I guess bread pudding for Mardi Gras is out?

Bitch, Bitch, Bitch

bitching burns no calories

I have been very busy at work this week. I was looking forward to Mardi Gras and St. Louis this weekend but now they are calling for very cold, icy rain and a lot of snow.

I am getting another place on my left hip that has wound separation. The other places are healing but another one coming. I am getting very concerned that I am not healing. All the scabs and wounds are not very attractive! Maybe I’m worrying too much. My arm scars are healing pretty good with the exception of a place under my right arm. He said it was caused by the stitches trying to spit out but said it would go away. The surgeon said that all the stitches would be completely dissolved by 4 months so I’m counting on that. I have a follow up appointment with him next Friday and my yearly mammogram tomorrow.

I am a bit frustrated that I am unable to take the rest of the 5-7 lbs off. The weather is too cold to run. I can’t believe I am saying that when I used to love to run in winter. I have also been instructed by my doctor to ease up on exercise because of the area where my wound separation is. I’m very frustrated. I am not eating well. I had to drink most of my protein today.

So in summary: i’m frustrated at work, diet, exercise, weather 🙂

Tomorrow….