Me time

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I’m finally returning to my routine, which means my days are filled with a little me time.

This past month, well more than a month, has been a little tricky for me to get away and go to the gym.

Once you get yourself into a routine, one that you truly enjoy, it’s a hard habit to break. Because of my healthy “habit,” if you will, I had to put more focus on it again.

So far it’s been a success . . . . 

For the past three days I made myself a priority and headed to my favorite place and got some running, weight training and either the elliptical or bike riding into my slotted “me time.”

My me time has been put on the back burner because of Lucy.

This is where my guilt comes into play. I know she’s a dog, but it breaks my heart knowing she has such a hard time of being alone.

She’s starting to pick up on my routine. She knows when I put my running shoes on and grab my purse it means she’s staying home.

When I take her out one last time before I leave she doesn’t go, but follows me and constantly tries to get my attention. Today she began shaking outside, one of her favorite places to be.

Yesterday and today she started to run out of our bedroom when I sit on the bed close to her crate. She knows.

I’ve done everything possible to help her conquer this fear, but so far nothing is working.

When I finally get her to come to me at the foot of the bed,  she’s shaking like a leaf. It breaks my heart that this poor puppy has such anxiety when she knows I’m leaving.

I try and console her before putting her in her crate, but it doesnt help, the crying begins as soon as I walk out of the room.

I put a few treats in her Kong, hoping that would keep her busy, but of course she’s not interested because she’s watching me leave. (When I returned I found all three treats in her crate out of her Kong not. She loves these treats. I was shocked.)

With that said, leaving and getting in my workout has done wonders for my mood today and yesterday. Today I ran my fastest mile in a long time. It felt good to pick up my speed. I also rode a longer distance in the same 30-minute bike ride I typically do.

I left the gym with a huge smile on my face. I walked out a new person ready for my day. I absolutely love the therapy a good workout provides for me.

I love having a gym membership. I love walking through the doors, putting my ear phones in and going about my workout with no interruptions.

Yes, going to the gym on a regular basis was something missing out of my equation. A very important missing factor.

Now the challenge is getting Lucy to enjoy that small fraction of time away from me, while I indulge in a little me time.

Laughter

Today was really needed, past due if you will.

Jason has been working nonstop and I seem to always have something to write or edit. Our schedules have been busy with only a little bit of time to spend together. That time is usually at the end of the day when we are both exhausted.

So, today was Jason’s first day off since we drove to Maryland for my nephews birthday party. After doing an interview early this afternoon for work, Jason asked if I wanted to go out to lunch. It’s been a long time since we treated ourselves. A long time since it was just the two of us out and about enjoying each others company.

As soon as we sat down at our old favorite place, one we frequented often in Fort Myers for a drink, wings or a burger, the laughter instantly began. Our waitress was laughing with us. That’s the thing about Jason you never know what he’s going to say.  I won’t lie, sometimes my jaw drops before the laughter begins.

I love how Jason makes me laugh. How he keeps a smile on my face. The mood is always light, always stress free, which is something I need from time to time.

This is the first time we have visited this restaurant of ours in Kingsport. After our experience, I’m sure we will return.

Today reminded me why I have grown to love having nothing planned ahead of time. Yes, I have grown to love this quality about him. I’m a planner, so it was hard to get used to.

Yesterday while I was at the gym he called and asked if I wanted to go hiking. This of course was not in the plans, and, my first reaction was no thank you. He chose to make plans to go hiking the day I worked out my legs and did the elliptical, ran and rode the bike.

My decision of course changed.

The hike was quite honestly difficult once we started because of the intensity of my workout. Because of this it was the first hike I got cranky. My frustration got the best of me because the soreness was already starting. But it got us out of the house and out in the woods. Out in the cool, often times really cold temperatures with Lucy by our side.
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I’m glad we went. I’m glad we got to see one of our favorite waterfalls once again. Laurel Falls.
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Throughout our lunch today we were both laughing. Old memories were brought up and new memories were made. It’s moments like these I treasure the most. It’s the simplest of gestures.  The smile,  the touch, the kindness that speaks volumes to me. It’s Jason knowing when we need to go out to lunch and have some time together.

The best part is the laughter continued when we got home. I love having Jason home for this reason. Our home comes alive, it comes alive with laughter and good times.

I cherish what we have together. I don’t know what I would do without him. He truly is my life, such an important part of my life. The best thing that ever happened to me.

I’m so glad we got to spend quality time together. Days like today rejuvenate me for what the week has in store for me.

I truly found the best man for me. He’s a keeper for sure.

Home away from home

On average I travel to my home away from home four or five times a week. I have to admit I feel a little lost when I do not get in ny car and drive towards Snap Fitness in Kingsport.

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Snap Fitness Kingsport

My day does not feel complete without the gym. It’s true, working out becomes a way of life, becomes an obsession, becomes second nature. I know I’ve said this a million times before, but it’s my stress reliever, it’s my me time, my breath of fresh air when the stress becomes too much.

Today for the majority of my workout I had the entire gym to myself, which I won’t lie, I absolutely loved. I definitely got lost in my music a little more than usual as the tunes streamed through Pandora and into my ears. Shuffle mode kept all the right music flowing today. Although I was looking at the flat screen in front of me,  I couldn’t tell you what I was watching. Today’s workout completely cleansed my soul …

More times than not people start going to the gym because they want to improve their body. Yes, that was true for me at the beginning, but now it’s more to keep me going. Yes, I would love to continue to make some improvements. But, I try not to get upset when I don’t see the instant or gradual improvements. It’s just motivation to do a little more the next time I walk through the doors.

Today, instead of running I did 5 miles on the elliptical and about 7 miles on the bike, with some weight exercises in-between. Oh, the stretching felt wonderful after today’s line-up.

So, after I left I treated myself to a delicious smoothie when I got home. It was a tasty, filling post workout snack.

The best part about the gym, is every day is a new day, which only allows you to push yourself a little more, as well as set new goals.

Finally returned

Today, after taking 11 days off from the gym, I finally returned.

I had to listen to my body, as well as Jason telling me to take care of myself after I came down with a wicked cold and cough. My first sickness of the winter season and boy it was no fun. Well, it still is no fun as I try to get rid of the last of this horrible cough and runny nose.

So today after giving myself some time to recover, I laced up my running shoes and hit the gym. Yes, something I have been wanting to do for quite some time now. But, sometimes the best thing you can do is listen to your body tell you it’s just not time yet.

I felt like I was home again when my key gave me the green light to enter the gym this afternoon. I instantly got on the treadmill and ran a mile and a half, which actually wasn’t all that rough considering. It felt good to sweat off some of this sickness that uninvitingly took a hold of my body. After doing a little bit of weights, careful not to overdo it, I then did a little over six miles on the bike.

Overall I was pretty happy with what I achieved with not feeling 100% yet.

Yep, I will be returning again tomorrow and hopefully get back on schedule. I have to take baby steps first . . . I don’t want this sickness to come back before it fully goes away.

I feel refreshed and the best part is I am feeling a little better.

A mile and a half more

I’m feeling extra excited today, especially after my cardio workout this morning.

I finally decided to decrease my speed, since I have been beating my time, and increase my distance. This morning was a huge success! I ran a mile and a half, then decided to bike for five miles before running another mile. My usual mile, turned into 2.5 miles, yippy!

I cannot express how excited I was at the end of the workout.

My legs, for the first time in weeks, felt good. I’ve been battling shin splints lately, so I have only been running a mile at a time. Last week I only ran four days, instead of my typical five, which probably helped with my run this morning as well.

It always feels good to do more than what you set out to accomplish, way more than what I hoped for. I’m already setting goals in my head for tomorrow.

When we lived in Fort Myers, I always ran two miles a day. So, I of course, want to finally surpass that distance and put some good miles on these running shoes.

I’m glad I decided to start running all those years ago, although I haven’t been consistent throughout that time, I’m excited to be at it again now. There is just something about lacing up your running shoes, putting on some good music and letting everything else go. It’s almost as if I enter another world, one that is only focused on the now. My thoughts always become clearer while my heart beats a little faster. No matter what I am stressed out about that day, a run always cures those feelings, always pushes them aside and gives me a positive outlook on the situation at hand.

IMG_271809577749490The best part about all this is Jason has offered to run with me. After we move from our apartment next weekend, I won’t have access to the clubhouse’s gym. I’ve researched gyms around the area and am hesitant on joining any of them. Jason always encourages me to go for a run somewhere, which I should, but always find it easier to hit the gym and run on the treadmill. So in an effort to get me outdoors yet again, as well as save some money by not joining a gym, he offered to go running with me. This is huge! Although I always like running by myself, since it gives me that “me” time, I’m having second thoughts. It would just be another way for Jason and I to spend time together. I can only imagine what type of encouragement we would give each other . . . more new achievements would be made.

Today, I can feel it, is going to be another great day. How could it not be after a workout like that one?

Another great workout

After taking yesterday off, I was determined to set a new record for myself at the gym.

Since arriving in Tennessee I have included more cardio in my workout. I am now riding the bike for 60 minutes, as well as running a mile.

With Jason and I hiking trails that are a little more difficult than the flatlands of Florida, I am pushing my body into better shape.

Today after doing more than 15 miles on the bike, I increased my run speed and ran my second fastest time. My body feels incredible … I can feel every muscle I worked.

I want to eventually increase my running miles again, but taking three weeks off I am taking it a little slow. I also want to find a trail I can run outside, which will only get me into shape faster.

I absolutely love the feeling, that natural high, I get after a workout. It puts me in a wonderful mood for the rest of the day.

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This is another reason I run, it gives me the opportunity to reflect on my life, which I have to say is pretty incredible!

Three weeks later

One of the many sayings that graced the gym walls.

One of the many sayings that graced the gym walls.

Today, after taking three weeks off from working out, I walked to the clubhouse, up the stairs and directly to the bike to begin a routine that I had unfortunately grown out of for multiple reasons.It felt wonderful as I pedaled away, at a more rapid speed than ever before, listening to songs that one after another encouraged me to continue. Once I finished more than 14 miles in a record time, I stretched and headed straight to the treadmill to run, something that I have missed tremendously. A mile went by as the tunes were pumping into my ears and I decided to call it a day.

After all, that was a lot of miles after taking so much time off . . .

The stretching that took place once all the cardio was completed felt incredible . . . I did not realize how tight I actually was.

Due to our recent move, getting ready for the move and dealing with all of the emotions that came with it, I put exercising off to the side, something I of course regretted after I fell into stride today. Exercising became a part of me years ago, and today reminded me once again why it should continue.

With hiking trails only miles away, trails that are a lot more rigorous than I have ever experienced, it is a must to stay in shape, so I am not huffing and puffing climbing the hills to get to the top.

Exercise is such a great outlet, such a wonderful way to provide yourself with some “me” time, which only rejuvenates you for what the rest of the day will hold.