I've been taking the occasional day off, which has been fantastic and amazing and I don't know why I didn't try this sooner. I'm just generally happier when I get a day off from work now and then to rest and recharge. I'm not exhausted all the time, and I'm not staying up all night trying to get basic chores like laundry finished. March is going to be terrible when it comes to getting days off - we are going to be both short staffed and busier than usual at work in March, so I'll be back to working seven days a week. I have an agreement with my jobs, however, that I'll be able to start getting a day off again once April rolls around. I just keep reminding myself that although March will be exhausting, I'll be making good money.
In other news, I'm still digging this whole yoga thing. I'm not afraid of it anymore, and I'm even considering giving some other activities a try. If I can summon up the courage to go to yoga class by myself, then why not try spinning or take a dance class?
In addition to physical activity, I've been trying new foods and recipes (mushroom and spinach empanadas = delicious) and getting back to healthy eating. I had fallen into a black hole filled with junk food, but by focusing on real food and preparing my own meals and snacks, I've managed to climb out of that hole. I've finally kicked my soda habit, I have more energy, my skin is better (not great, but better), and I've lost six pounds since the start of the year.
I also have a lot on the horizon when it comes to running, and all of it terrifies me. But it is the good kind of terrified. The kind of terrified where the terror is mixed with equal parts excitement and anticipation. I have a bunch of races on my schedule, which helps keep me motivated. Here are some of the highlights:
- I'll be running the Shamrock Shuffle this year. I'm not sure what to expect. This will be the biggest race I've ever run. I mean, come one, 40,000 people is nothing to sneeze at. That's a lot of people in one place, so I'm preparing for the inevitable panic attack that will hit as everyone converges on the corrals.
- I'll be running the Soldier Field 10 Mile and training for the race with Chicago Endurance Sports. It isn't cheap, but I was able to save enough money to sign up for the race AND the training program. I like that the training program will force me to stick to a regular schedule, and I think it will also be a good way for me to meet other runners. It will also get me back outside. I've been spending too much time inside the gym, and I tend to get a little too lazy at the gym by choosing the elliptical over the treadmill and going slower than I should.
- I'm running the PAWS Run for Their Lives 8k again this summer to help raise money for PAWS Chicago. I adopted Hannah from PAWS, and I'll always be thankful that they brought us together. I believe that Hannah saved me more than I saved her, so I'm happy to help raise money for the organization initially saved her life. If you are able to donate, then please do so. Any amount, even $5, helps homeless pets in Chicago. My fundraising page can be found here.
- I'll be running the Chicago Half Marathon in the fall. I have never run that far at one time before, but I know that I'll be able to do it with the right training. I'm not really thinking too hard about the race or training just yet (beyond the excitement to committing to a new distance) because I need to take things slowly and focus on one race at a time.