Just don’t stop

I’m not even sure how long it’s been, but it kind of feels like it’s been a month. Yeah, that sounds about right. Okay, it’s been pretty close to a month of the BFF’s now-dubbed Torture Death Plan (TDP), and I am still alive. Though I do have this nasty thing on my heel from Sunday’s Torture Death Run (TDR):

Blisterious. Ick.
Blisterious. Ick.

I’ve tracked every single thing that goes in my mouth, and have been vigilant with the exercise plan that we’ve put in place. And no, I do not yet love or even LIKE running, and I doubt I ever will.

I am told that I look noticeably different. Though I’ve dropped about 1.5#, so not a whole lot there. But I feel good that I have a nice little routine, and even though I HATE running, I like that this time around I am better controlling my breathing, and can run at least 2.7 miles without stopping. Just don’t stop. That’s the mantra of BFF.

That being said, not all runs are the same, and the TDRs in the hills of Greenwich are exactly that–torture, and you feel like you will actually die. The first mile of the run is all uphill. Then steeply downhill. Then small uphill. Then the way back is just awful because it’s steeply uphill, followed by a mile of downhill, which still sucks because it’s the final mile. Oh, and this goes without saying, but I’m luck to run half of it.

BFF’s goals were essentially threefold: (1) Slim down. (2) At the end of the month, be able to run the entire first hill-and-a-half without stopping. (3) At the end of the summer, be able to run at least the 3-mile TDR without stopping, but preferably the 5-mile TDR.

I told him he was out of his mind.

But a week ago, I ran to the top of the first hill without stopping.

And a few days ago, I ran to the top of the first hill without stopping. Then stopped briefly. Then ran to the top of the (very steep) half-hill without stopping.

Winded.

Miserable.

Blistery (new shoes).

But I did it.

Why is it that everything I do that is exercise-related have to be such a mental game for me? Obviously, there are the aches and pains and blisters and side stitches, but once you move beyond that, why is it that it’s so hard to just keep going? To just not stop?

I believe I will always struggle with that question, just as I will always struggle with food, with my weight, etc., etc. But it’s always a little easier when you have someone in your ear, telling you Just don’t stop.

More life changes!

Beauty school dropout.... Nah, just a grad-school dropout. Oops!
Beauty school dropout…. Nah, just a grad-school dropout. Oops!

I already mentioned in my return post that the last year has been absolutely nuts, full of adjustments and life changes.

Well, this week comes another ridiculous life change.

I have made the choice to leave the PhD program in which I was enrolled, and begin a new job in another week. The decision isn’t sudden by a long shot. After I earned my masters in anthropology back in 2011, school essentially made me miserable. I tried in earnest to fall in love with the new department and the research I was supposed to do, but it never happened. And anyone who’s been in a PhD program or has earned a doctorate knows that if you don’t have a borderline obsession with your research, it’s torture. That, in tandem with a…ahem…heavy handed…supervisor and advisor, I was in a constant state of stress and misery.

So, I was offered a job doing something creative with bennies to boot, and I accepted! It’s a very exciting new chapter that I am so ready to begin.

But with that comes a whole host of new things. And let’s face it: Change is tough. Over the last few years, I’ve had the luxury of a fairly flexible schedule (this job is 9 to 5 Monday through Friday, with about a 45-minute commute each way), and I’ve generally had the time to cook a breakfast, go to the gym later in the morning, come home and shower and cook a lunch, and then go to class or work in the evening. That is, I’ve had a fairly stable schedule of going to the gym and doing cooking spur-of-the-moment almost every day.

In a week, my schedule will be more along these lines:

4:45 a.m. Wake up
5:30 a.m. WOD
8 a.m. Leave for work
9 a.m.–5 p.m. Work
5:30–9 p.m. Second job (2–3 days per week)
9:30 p.m. Get home

I know I’m not alone. There are many of you out there who probably have similar grueling schedules. Right?

So…how do you make this schedule work for you? How do you pack food for an entire day away (often I have no idea how hungry I will be from day to day!)?

I worked full-time when I lived in Portland, but I never went to the gym, and I didn’t hold a second job. So I could get used to waking up early and having a longer commute, but I never made time to exercise or do much else than go to happy hours with friends. How do you all hold it together, budget your time, and still find time to go grocery shopping?

If I think of my life as a puzzle, when I’m sort of just replacing my school piece with a work piece, all of the other pieces have to fit into place, but maybe just in a different way than I expected.

And, of course, it’s going to take some adjustment. Hrmph.

So give me your tips! What should I prepare for? What helps you through? Comment below to let me know!