hangover-free mornings: still cool 1292 days later

Hi!

Hope you’re having a good summer so far! I just got back up north after finishing the first of two years of the RMT program in Vernon. What a crazy year. It was no joke the busiest I’ve ever been in my life and went by in the blink of an eye. How I managed to successfully complete a degree in pharmacy back in the day when I was partying most of the time is beyond me. Even if I did still drink now, I don’t know when I would have found the time to do so during this past year!

Over the summer I’m working from home, so sleeping in is an option. In almost four years, however, I haven’t been sleeping in because mornings are a good time to get out and do fun shit! Today I got up with my husband’s work alarm and left the house before he did. Yes, I felt very tired when I first woke up, but literally five minutes of yoga and coffee fixes that.

My friend Jess has been leading a group run on Wednesday mornings here in Prince Rupert and it’s the perfect thing to keep Wednesday mornings awesome while I’m away from my tribe @ November Project Kelowna. Today as five of us ran around our little town at 7 am I was so deeply thankful, still, for feeling happy and alive instead of like a booze-soaked turd.

I wonder how grateful all the cells in my body are, and every tissue and system, for saying bye-bye to alcohol. Feeling good seriously doesn’t get old. It’s been over three and a half years and the freshness does not fade. Eliminating alcohol took quite the process and I would like to enjoy this daily until the end of time.

I hope you feel really, really good today. If you don’t, and are working on that, you can do it. And let me know if you need any help.

xo Jamie

 

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Merry Christmas! Let’s catch up…

Hi! Happy Holidays, or even happy Winter if you don’t have traditions at this time of the year

It’s been a while…again! Two or three posts are all I’ve had/made time for since I went back to school, but in a way it makes me happy because it shows I’ve literally been putting 100% into my career change. I LOVE it so far! Last week I very successfully completed the first of four semesters on the way to becoming an RMT. The decision to pursue something different is proving to be one of my best.

In November I wrote about starting up a new half marathon training program. So far, it’s going pretty well. I continually take note of the fact that I’m not prioritizing running the way I have over the last couple of years, but I think it’s good for me! Loosening the grip, following the three-runs-per-week plan as closely as I can, but not always perfectly, and being okay with it! My brain has been way too busy and exhausted obsessing about other things, like muscle origins and insertions, and I don’t have the time or energy to worry about a run that I didn’t nail! YODO. Look at me, exhibiting whispers of Type B. LOL. Regardless, I’m aiming to run a strong half in February at First Half. Can’t wait! Anyone else going?

Right now, I’m at home on a three-week break from school. Since I got here I’ve been such a pain in the ass. I’m sorry, people in my life. The change in pace and lack of responsibility and routine here, at this point in time, sent me in the direction of the dark place. The dark place is depression, if you haven’t heard me to refer to it as that before. Notice that I said “in the direction of” and not “to” the dark place. Thankfully, I have the self-awareness to recognize this and where it seems to be coming from, and the resources to side-step being a miserable, negative sloth for my entire visit home. Whew! Change is crazy and it can shock the shit out of a person in so many different, unpredictable ways! If anyone out there is experiencing their own version of holiday blues or anxiety, you’re not alone.

Christmas is coming, which means my three-year soberversary is coming! Sometimes I wish I had more to write about with respect to sober life… but seriously I forget about alcohol! Like, Alcohol Who? Since I have a few weeks to myself and don’t have to study, I’m working on a sober post to wrap up 2018, plus another about goals for 2019. In case you don’t know, I fuckin love goals ahahaha.

I hope the tail end of 2018 is awesome for you! Here’s what I’ll be drinking at the next social gathering

yum

YUM! click for the recipe!

 

 

 

Adult marathon addict goes back to school…LOL.

Hi!

AHH!! The adjustments happening right now in my life are major! From the summer off work to full days of school, small town to a city, no commute to an hour each way…no traffic to traffic. Add on top the fact that I actually care this time around (LOL) and I’m swamped! I was texting today with my friend Ali, we did our pharmacy degrees together years ago, and I told her this:

Ali. The tables have turned. I AM NOW KEEN.

Thank God for this! The RMT program used to be three years but now it’s jammed into two! Me and my classmates’ lives are kind of over. I better be keen! But, HOW is a person supposed to fit in regular exercise, let alone legit training, amongst meal prep (no income, no buying lunches!), commuting, over six hours of classes a day, more commuting, studying (even already, yes), chores and trying not to forget about EATING, SLEEPING and communication with family and friends? People with kids are like stfu hahaha

HAHAHA poor me! Just kidding, don’t worry, I know I’m not the first person in history to have a very full schedule and feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day. I’m just writing about what’s going on with me and the little obsession of mine called running. I like writing about stuff that might be relatable to you reading this in one way or another.

After week one, I’ve made a few conclusions:

  1. I can and will still run often. I can carve out time.
  2. Maybe not QUITE as much as before
  3. If I don’t meal prep and be organized, I’m doomed
  4. For the foreseeable future, I can’t effectively prioritize training like I did before

Just had to read number four again and ask myself if it has to be true, but it does. Unless I wanna not sleep, run myself into the ground or fail school, training has to take a back seat. OKAY THE MIDDLE ROW OF SEATS LIKE IN A MINIVAN.

I did a couple of evening runs, which isn’t my style but I’ll take what I can get, and then I did two experiments that confirmed everything is going to be cool..😅

Morning running in my hood would mean hitting the road when traffic is annoying. But, if I’m up at five and leave the house by six, I can:

  • have an hour to run in Vernon, shower and be seated in class on time (8:30)
  • get to the Sails in Kelowna for November Project on Wednesdays, then make it to school with time to spare
  • be home in West Kelowna around 5pm with time to eat, study, do tasks of life, get ready for the next day and be in bed by 9:30

I will also have lots of time to swim in Vernon in the mornings once the pool opens again. Fewf 😂

This post is so dramatic. I don’t care! Running and training are my true passions and how I stay physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. I refuse to become any kind of unhealthy while becoming a registered massage therapist. I refuse to give up my passion. My husband, home, family, best friends, training buddies and cat all got left behind for this career change endeavor and the one thing I didn’t have to say so-long to was running. I’ve never had to care about time management this much before, but it can be done and I’ll do it! 🙂

The Okanagan Marathon is in four weeks and I will be ready for it! It’s not a goal race, but I’ll be ready for the distance and who knows, maybe I’ll even be prepared to give it my best shot.

Are you going through any challenging adjustments right now?

Fitness freak in a new city…my tips!

yoooooo!!!

I feel like I fell off the face of the Internet. LOL. Seriously. Didn’t even post on Instagram for eight days! hahahaha

The move to the Okanagan was hectic. It went a bit like this: Prince Rupert, flat tire, Kelowna, Vancouver, wedding, Kelowna, flat tire, Kamloops, Kelowna, Kamloops, new set of tires, Vernon, Penticton, wedding, Kelowna, Vernon….HOLY F*CK. It was pretty overwhelming and I felt a bit homesick almost right away for Northern BC.

Moving involves so much change and it can also be really intimidating. Social circles, training buddies and comfort zones get left behind. Then add on the task of maintaining a fitness routine…yikes. That part is like trying to stick with exercise habits while on holidays..except not just for a week or two.

I knew that if I waited to get on top of this necessary re-creation of my fitness routine I would feel shitty, sad and it would be hard to get going again. Choosing to see a new place and situation as an adventure, and as an opportunity to explore new things (sometimes scary) is the key to success, in my opinion.

Tip #1: just fucking go.

A couple days after ALL THE DRIVING was done, the first thing I did was go on a short run from my new spot at my MIL’s house. I’ve heard people say “I don’t know my way around.” or “I’ll get lost.” as an excuse for not running in a new place. Good try. It’s called an out-and-back, plus I know we all have Google maps! I ran for 3k in one direction, found a sick hill and ran up and down it, and then back the way I came. There. First run done and no longer feeling shitty about a few days in the vehicle sitting on my ass. The next day I planned a far longer route, also using maps.

Tip #2: do some simple research

Google around for some mainstream running/walking/cycling spots to start out with. Even look at a few hashtags or other stuff on social media! Seriously. I clicked #runkelowna, looked at segments on Strava, searched for paths and trails and looked up local races to see what areas they are in. Also, familiarize with the general area with Google maps or even a real map ahaha. Sounds touristy but who likes feeling like they don’t know which way is up? Not me.

Tip #3: find a crew

Go to a meet-up or an event of some kind and meet a couple people! Even in very small towns you can usually find something sooner or later like a small race, fundraiser or fun run. Lots of running stores have group runs, and I always come across different activity squads on Instagram. You don’t have to show up and start yelling “HI EVERYONE I’M JAMIE I JUST MOVED HERE WHO WANTS TO BE MY FRIEND??” nor is a full commitment necessary. Unless it’s awesome you don’t have to stay or return! Just put yourself out there. People are generally nice.

When I go to any city I check if they have a November Project tribe. If you don’t know what this is, you need to know. So far I have gone to NP in Montreal, Seattle, Vancouver and now Kelowna. Always a good time and always good people!!!!! I’m 2/2 for Wednesday mornings since I got here and plan to see how long I can streak. Some of us went for coffee after today’s workout. People are nice! #JustShowUp

Tip #3: join a training clinic

I met some amazing people when I trained for my very first half marathon in 2013 with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, many who I’m still connected with today in one way or another. Yep, the first time you show up it can be scary, just like the first day of a course or a new job, but that’s normal!!!

Most communities have beginners’ programs too, like Couch to 5k, etc. I just signed up for a trail running clinic with P.A.C.E. that was recommended by one of my Instagram friends (Instagram friends are real) as well as a friend-of-a-relative who I just met last weekend. It starts September 19th and I’m stoked for new connections, learning the trails around my new area, variety and accountability!

Tip #4: find a buddy

Even if you don’t know a single person in an unfamiliar place, someone else you know might! Ask someone at home to hook you up with one of their contacts in the new location, even for one run or just to be in contact for recommendations. Six degrees of separation, people!

There are a few people in my new area who I can meet up with and I plan to, but I really lucked out this first week – two of my favourite run buddies were in town from Victoria. They showed me part of the Okanagan Rail Trail that’s being developed from Kelowna to all the way up by Coldstream!

I have no problem exploring new places solo (thanks to Suzanne) but if you feel you need a buddy, I know you can find one! I’ll have lots once school starts, I’m sure!

Tip #5: take advantage of new amenities

Gyms. Yoga studios. Aquatic Centres. I know many people don’t like going to new places alone, and I admit it’s not my most favourite thing, but once arriving at these places we get busy! I like to remind myself that people go to these kinda places primarily to be active and feel good, and any socializing is usually secondary.

There are so many places that offer amazing discounts or promos to new visitors. Last night I went to a complimentary hot yoga class with my mother-in-law, I was her guest since I’d never been there before. Even if your first visit somewhere isn’t complimentary, just drop in, it’s not like you have to become a member to try out a new class, pool, workout space, etc. I dropped into a sweet pool yesterday because the one I want to go to on my way to school is closed for maintenance.

______________________________________

I think moving requires lots of trial and error. Learning the area and how to get places. Testing out spots to hang out, run, workout, practice. Interacting with new people who start out as strangers, may become part of your life, but might just be acquaintances or even remain strangers! New colleagues, classmates, instructors, coaches, roommates, you name it. The unknown is uncomfortable but fun, and I plan to have as much fun as I can with this! If you find yourself in unfamiliar territory, I hope you take a similar perspective.

talk soon

Jamie

Alcohol: just somebody that I used to know

Coming up on ONE THOUSAND days sober, I wanted to check in with my relationship with booze. Where are we at today?

It’s so crazy you guys. I fantasized about a time like now, way back when. So many of the times when I said “I’m never drinking again” I’d also imagine a future life that seemed unattainable. The life I was envisioning was one where I wasn’t letting alcohol make me feel, look and act shitty on the regular. There was none of the anxiety, depression, regret or guilt that stemmed from binge drinking and the behaviours that go hand-in-hand, during or after. I saw a vibrant, peaceful, fresh life where alcohol didn’t have a place. Out loud, I would test out what it felt like to say “I don’t drink“, but then I’d feel sad because I didn’t think it was possible to get to that place. But it is a place. It’s a thing. It’s awesome.

I don’t drink.

Guess what else? I don’t think about it much. That’s where me and Booze’s relationship is at. Like an ex who I’m truly over, or an old friend from the past who I’ve lost complete touch with. Or remember that cartoon Denver the Last Dinosaur? I think about drinking about as much as I think about Denver. That was random.

Never before has the name of the website tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com made so much sense. Even thinking about drinking was exhausting, and I can see that now that drinking isn’t a part of my life. Alcohol is not on my radar.

It took so much commitment, learning and change to get to this place, but it has happened. Just like a break-up with a human being, after I “dumped” booze, I had to make a ton of adjustments and reassess my time, what I did, who I spent time with, where I hung out, etc. Even after a year there were things I was still dealing with and working on. It wasn’t easy but now I find myself 965 days sober and the happiest I’ve ever been.

If you ever have the fantasy I used to have, about being able to say “I don’t drink” out loud and for it to be true, it can be and you can do it. Trust me. If I can, anyone can. I wish I had someone telling me that when I needed it, so I’m telling you in case you need to hear it!

#yodo

August! Now What?

Hiiiii!!!

How’s it going? Since Jack and Jill I have been taking it a day at a time – doing whatever I want! Some swimming, short easy-effort runs, quite a bit of trail and elevation and yesterday a solid 10k with a slightly faster finish. Oh and a couple full rest days ahaha. Lifelong Endurance and I are still in close contact but we’ll officially pick back up with training in September.

This weekend some friends and I head to the Hah Nic Na’ Aah mountain half marathon in the Babine Mountain Range! This is basically my first non-road race aside from the Mount Hays Quickclimb and I’m stoked! The terrain and views look stunning, and since I’m not actually racing it, there will be time for lots of photos!

Next weekend husband and I take off on a wedding tour/moving me to the Okanagan. Exciting times! School starts September 4th, but first I’ll zip back up north for our annual Labour Day Weekend celebrations in the beautiful Bulkley Valley. Same hood as the race this weekend, as well as the Tyhee Tri. Lucky me!

Coach Andrew and I had a chat about training and have a loose plan. We will most likely attack the half marathon distance over the fall season (after the Okanagan Marathon) and into the winter. I hope to pick out a goal half to race in early 2019! Into the new year we will start to build on that fitness for a goal Spring marathon to continue chasing down the unicorn! 🤞 I look forward to running as many local 5 and 10k’s along the way.

Some of the marathons I’m considering (at this point) include the Eugene Marathon, Blooms to Brews, the Windermere Marathon and BMO Vancouver, though I’m pretty reluctant about Vancouver, it’s just nice and close. I’d prefer to be able to drive to said marathon, and I won’t run anywhere with more than an hour time difference. April is my preferred month, but I’m not against March or May! If you have any suggestions that I should add to the list of options, please let me know!

I hope you are having a really good summer!!! Recently I opened the sober app on my phone and it’s passed 950 days!!! I’ll be at 1000 days by the end of September, holy shit. The blog has obviously been very focused on running over the last few months but I hope to do some writing about sober stuff in the next little bit here.

Hope August has been fun and talk to you after the mountain half!!!

jamie