Running... Again?

  If you know me you know there was a time about 10 years ago or so where I was running. A lot. At least 5 days a week and at least 5 miles a run. I wasn’t training, I wasn’t preparing for a race or a marathon. I just found myself enjoying the time spent running. I wasn’t obsessed with numbers, but I kept track of them all and liked seeing improvements in time and distances. It was good physical health and mental health. Then I tweaked my knee. Not bad enough that I couldn’t walk on it, just a tweak that told me I needed to back off of running for a little bit. So I decided on 2 weeks. At the end of 2 weeks I aborted a run very early as the pain was still there. 2 weeks became 3, became a month, became 5 years. 

Today Was a Good Day

Happiness in various forms

Today was a good day. Which means the other days weren't. And that's just the truth. I've been realizing for a while now that my mood has been less than good lately, and has been getting worse over the last 3 or 4 weeks. The monotony of Quarantine Life was getting to me, but I wasn't allowing myself to admit to that. As a happy member of the introverts club this should be my shining moment! No need to come up with excuses to not go out with people from work or reasons to leave early?! Sign me up. And for the first month or so things were fine. Then I noticed I was getting short with the people I do interact with. I was cutting daily walks with the dog short, and I wasn't enjoying reading, or watching stuff. 

So I got a new phone. Not as a cure for these blues, but because I needed one, and it'd been 3 years. New tech is always fun, and using the phone was fun. Until it was just normal. Not new, not fun, just normal. Back in the rut. 

My sleep was starting to be affected by this rut. I've never been a good sleeper, but it took a nose dive (thanks FitBit for pointing that out). FitBit grades your sleep, and I was a solid C+/B- performer, but I dropped to a D/D-. Thank god I don't get graded on my sleep. So I tried changing up patterns. I upped my non-prescription sleeping meds. I found a bit of alcohol would sometimes get me to sleep longer and better (contrary to what the studies say), but nothing would last more than a day or two. Plus, do I really want to be drinking daily?

So what was different today that has made me declare it a good day? First, I took advantage of FitBit's 90 day Premium trial. It was probably the only extended trial of something I haven't tried yet (Hulu, CBS All Access, Netflix, etc), that opened up some Mindfulness exercises, and one that honed in on sleep. It starts off with suggesting two actions; 1 to not do (drink alcohol after 8pm, no caffeine after 3pm) and 1 action to add (meditations, adjusting sleep schedule). I chose to do a meditation (equal breathing) before bed, and one in the morning (gratitude). Yesterday I was ready to scrap them all. Sleep hasn't improved, but last night I did my meditation and again this morning, and maybe that's a reason for why today is a good day. Today I tried to focus on being happy about what I am able to do and control.

The other possible reason, or in conjunction with the meditation stuff, is I cut my hair. I have THICK wavy hair. At just about 43 I can say I was blessed with a good amount of still brown hair. But when it doesn't get cut regularly it goes from short and nice, to shaggy and kinda cute (according to some), to I need to take a weed whacker to this thing real quick. And one thing I always overlook when dealing with my sleep is my hair. I think when it grows out so much it keeps my head too warm for good sleep. So over 2 months of not seeing a barber was showing. So last week I was able to find and order some hair clippers, and after a longer than usual transit time they arrived yesterday. And this morning I put on the shortest guard and went to town on this bad boy. It was exhilarating to see clumps of hair just fall. Of course it helps to know that it'll grow back. And so after a month of not feeling air on my head I was down to peach fuzz, and the wind freely blowing through my hair. It was a small thing in the grand scheme of life, but it allowed me to erase a big indicator of this whole quarantine life, and it might just help with me sleeping better tonight.

The other thing that I hadn't been doing for a while now until recently is run. I've never thought of myself as a runner, but when I started 5 years ago it quickly became a habit. Trust me, if I could find an activity that is as cheap (relatively) and the calories burned per hour as high as running I'd probably do that, but until then I run. Or I did run until 6 months ago when I decided the shoes I got were crap and were the cause of my foot and knee pain. New shoes came shortly after the new phone. I've put in a handful of runs before today and they were all good runs, meaning no pain, but they weren't fun runs. Today was a fun run. Today was a good day.


So to sum this all up, meditation might just become a new part of my daily regime, and small things in life can have big upsides.


Popular posts from this blog

Running... Again?

The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Upgrading to a 4K Monitor