Maybe utter exhaustion is my superpower (nope, I love sleeping 9 hours)

This week is OVER! I am finally at my day off and only TWO DAYS till we leave for Texas. I slept more last night and plan to make that my priority this week. I am visiting my parents today and I will get there, and plop myself on the couch. After admiring their new kitchen of course haha

I really don’t know what happened this past week. Since Tuesday night when I didn’t sleep, it’s just been a struggle to both see the forest through the trees. I had two workouts this past week and both were hard, in the sense that I might fall asleep and my legs feel like half ton logs. No pep, I used caffeine to get awake enough to do them.

Yesterday I stopped three different times during the tempo just to reset myself. I just needed to get through it. No, I didn’t feel strong when I was done. I didn’t feel accomplished. I felt kind of shitty and like the workout was UGLY. Oh well, I am tapering now, so it’s all ok.

I’m not going to Texas to win or PR, I’m going to have fun with my sister and her boyfriend, enjoy the trip and RELAX. I’m also going to enjoy the warmer weather because it’s snowing right now and I’m not about that at all.

Yesterday I wondered how I was even standing upright. I felt so tired all day Friday, eked out a tempo Saturday morning and then worked all day yesterday. I was just dumbfounded because really all I wanted to do was sleep. But sleep had to wait. Sleep was not possible. For a whole 10 seconds I thought maybe that was a gift, that I could not sleep and still function mostly normal.

That is not my superpower, because I hate it. I love sleeping 9 plus hours. I love naps. I feel and perform so much better in that state. Relaxed, rested, happy. However, I do think learning to perform in a sleep deprived state will be helpful if I ever get into longer racing events. Heck, it will even be helpful at the end of the race next Sunday when I want to stop. If anything, I can grind. It ain’t pretty, I don’t enjoy it all the time, but I can do it.

Breakfast: salted caramel (new flavor!) oatmeal with Nutzo

Running: 38 minutes (in my new shoes!)

Are workouts ever easy and 7 days till TEXAS!

Last night my coach texted me, while I was sleeping, and changed my workout this morning. I was already nervous for the run he had given me, and getting a new, even harder one, late last night wasn’t ideal.

I already was trying to catch up on sleep from the night before, and going to have to wake up earlier to get this longer mid-week run in.

Needless to say, not my favorite way to fall back to sleep and wake up.

I was supposed to do a tempo run of 10-13 miles, the last 8 at marathon pace. He changed it to 3x3miles at half marathon pace with .5 mile recovery in between.

Jesus it was not easy. No workout is. Am I delusional in thinking someday I’ll feel good during these? The thing is, I have to guess at HM and M pace because it’s been so long since I’ve done them. Oh well, I tried my best. I hope it’s good enough for Texas.

Speaking of Texas, I’m going to leave the van at my parents house, and also take my other car there too. I don’t drive it as much with the van, so it makes sense to park it in a more long term place. I might even take some of the insurance off it since I’m not driving it.

7 days till TEXAS!

Breakfast: peanut butter and jelly on an onion bagel and iced latte

Running: 12 miles

Texas is in 8 days and how I think about food and running

I can’t believe I am going to Texas in 8 days. When we first started planning this trip, it seemed so far away, and now it’s here.

I can’t wait for a break. I can’t wait to travel with my sister. I can’t wait to watch her run her first marathon. This will be so fun!

I think I’m going to leave my van at my parent’s house for the week, and maybe have it taken to the shop to get some of the winter wear taken care of. There is a bit of rust I’d like to address before they become a problem.

This morning I had an hour easy on the docket, and my legs were already tired in the first mile. I didn’t sleep so well last night and had really restless legs. Therefore I don’t think I shut down completely. I’ll try to sleep more tonight. If I want to have a chance in finishing this marathon, I’ve gotta be all over this taper. Tomorrow I’ve got 13 miles with a tempo section, so rest starts now.

I’ve started thinking about my eating in terms of tomorrow’s run. It’s a weird thing and I’m not sure why this is dawning on me now, but if I think about not being hungry, being over hungry or just having a hard time with food that day for some reason, I try to think about how I want to feel in my workout the next day. If I think I ate too much or if I only want to eat junk food, I try to tell myself that the extra food is for tomorrow’s run. I also remind myself that I feel better when I eat healthy foods. My running is better and I also enjoy those foods more. Sometimes I think society tells me I should want greasy, sugary foods when really I’m happy with plain Jane stuff.

Or I’m just boring. One or the other.

Breakfast: blueberry scone with peanut butter

Running: 60 minutes

A full weekend, a full life. My sister ran 20 miles!!!

What a beautiful past few days! On Saturday it only took about an hour for the sun to replenish my solar powered battery. Since then it’s been nice not having to worry about driving to charge it or running out during the night.

I also have enjoyed not using my heater! Last night was too warm so I opened the door for a bit to make it cooler. I think it hit 70 degrees yesterday, and my van insulates very well, making it warm. It was quite comfortable, but I sleep better in the cold. So as the temperature dropped, I opened the doors. I think van life will be quite nice in the warm weather. I can’t wait to take the insulation off the walls and light up the van naturally!

This weekend was lovely. Sunday in particular, I had a great day. It started with my younger sister and I running 20 miles. That is the longest she’s ever run! It was fun to spend the first 4 hours of the first nice Spring day with her. She was so tough and got through it even though I know she wanted to stop. She’s going to finish the Silo District Marathon in two weeks (!!!) and I’m so happy for her!

I asked her whether she likes running alone or with someone better and she said she was glad I was there so she had someone to complain to. HAHAHA a true runner! We sort of started talking about how we’re going down, and I realized we’d be close to Frozen Head State Park, where the Barkley marathons take place. I told her the only thing I want to do is stop there and get a picture at the Yellow Gate.

She’s seen the Barkley movie…and she will never let me do it (I have no interest) and she also does not want to stop at the gate. I’m working on it. Hopefully we’ll get there.

After we finish running, we hung out at my mom and dad’s for a few hours. She plopped down on the couch as did I and we talked about Texas. I’m so excited to go! It’s something I never thought I’d do (sit in a car for 3 days? NO WAY!) but as I get older, I have realized that spending time with family, relaxing and not having to move all the time is quite a virtue. I’d rather sit on my butt for 3 days with them enjoying the trip than control things. So they can plan, I’ll just be along for humor and snacks.

My sister-in-law and I got lunch at Nikki Green and talked for 3 hours! We haven’t really gotten to know each other very well in the 6 months she’s been my sister, and she wanted to try the restaurant. I more than willingly obliged. I think Cassidy is hilarious and enjoyed spending time with her. We went for a walk after lunch because it was so nice out, I showed her my van and told her about how it goes living in one.

She told me about her family and how different it is from my own. Not good or bad, just different. She is a teacher and works with international and slower students. This past Saturday was their prom and one of her students (whom Cassidy has worked so hard with to improve her social skills) was voted to prom court! My mom has been helping her find a dress and she looked beautiful. I almost cried when Cass showed me the pictures.

After I said goodbye to Cassidy, I walked by my work to say hello and it was busy, so I stayed for a few hours to help out. I love it when the weather turns and it gets like this. I don’t like being bored at work, and now I know I won’t be. We are severely short staffed, so it’s all hands on deck. I also love my coworkers, I am blessed to have them.

After I helped them out for a while, I got back home to my van, ate and went to sleep. I had a wonderful weekend.

Monday was also a great day. My coach told me I could do a double long run (Sun-Mon) if I wanted. So I did a medium long run of 13 miles. The sun rose as I started which filled me with energy. I didn’t have much uncomfort in my hip flexor, so I will continue stretching it out and strength training to make it stronger.

I ate breakfast then headed to the gym for said strength routine. An hour is just enough for me right now. I get things done correctly, don’t feel rushed, but it does make me work. I feel like I am doing something to make me a happier runner. I even forgot my headphones and it was ok, I didn’t need a distraction. The energy flowed, I got everything done. This is the kind of strength training I can manage.

After that I did some promotional stuff for Agava, read for a bit and then went into CTB. The weather was so beautiful I ate lunch outside. I worked with my favorite people, I made a bunch of smoothies. I’m happy when people get the vegan ones. Speaking of vegan, a guy came in carrying a cute dog and asked me to make him a soy Nutella latte. I also noticed he got a Varna’s Vegan panini, but of course just because you get that means nothing. When I went to deliver his food, he had a TAMERLAINE FARM hat on!!! I immediately struck up a conversation with him and told him I had the same hat (which I wore in my last race!) He knew about Strong Hearts Vegan Power and was indeed a vegan. That was pretty awesome! I love it when I can connect in that way. A real connection, not simply online.

I finished my shift, ate some nachos for dinner, did a crossword and called it a night.

What a filling past few days. I have a wonderful life.

Breakfast: peanut butter oatmeal with banana and Nutzo (anyone tried it?!)

Running: OFF, Trail Runner Body

Van Life Finances

Upstate NY is thrashing me. It snowed all day yesterday, and last night it froze again. I just cannot trust the weather man anymore. Where is the 60 degrees and sunny we were promised? To be honest, I don’t really mind the weather for myself as much as I would like some sun for my van. It’s a lot easier to get power from my solar panels if we actually have sun. I’m down to 10.1 on the power scale and under 10 is getting close to running out my battery.

I have been driving it a lot more and letting the engine run to power my internal battery…but seriously sun. Seriously. Where are you?

My glasses came in from the optometrist and all I have to do it pick them up. I might do that when I get done here at the gym. I have to work at 11 so I should have enough time. Bonus I can charge my van batteries as well. Not having to drive is a blessing and a curse, only a curse when it’s cloudy…or I wake up on days like today and there’s an ice sheet over the panels. Excellent.

I have gotten some questions about how much money I am saving as a result from living in my van. The answer to that is complicated. I have paid off one of my three loans. I would like to pay them all off by the end of the year.

That said, I did not move into my van because I am poor. I am privileged to have chosen to live in my situation. I must make that clear. Therefore, I am saving as much as I can, but I am also using some of my money in other ways. Ways I planned when I made the transition to vanlife. I have seen four different doctors since the beginning of the year and had medical bills. I have dental and health insurance now which takes money from my paycheck. I have a payment for my van, my car insurance, my cell phone, my student loan and when I travel, gas bills.

My last two loans are the one I took out to buy my van and my student loan. I plan to pay those off this year. However, this month I have made payments to the dentist, doctor, gynecologist, optometrist, my last payment to Rod, who I got the van from (he let me pay $5000 upfront and the last $500 six months later, bless him), my payment for our AirBnB in Texas, and I needed new running shoes and a watch. Of course I could have saved more, but these things are what I wanted to use some of my saved money for.

I am going to Texas in May, I do not plan to spend extravagantly, but I also plan to enjoy the road trip and vacation. I have never done this before, so I am not worrying about money. It’s my sister’s first marathon, we’re going to have fun.

A brief lowdown of my bills each month:

$200 car/van insurance

$150 cell phone bill (I have unlimited)

$150 van loan repayment

$150 health insurance

$64 dental insurance

$67 student loan

$50 Best Buy credit card bill (for my laptop I bought a while ago, no interest so I’ll pay it off eventually)

I am probably forgetting something. But this is the basic of what I pay. I am seeing if I can get to a lower cell plan, because I might not need unlimited. But right now I am focusing on other areas of my life. I am frugal, but I feel lucky that I don’t consciously mind every penny. I used to do that (obsessive compulsive behavior really) and it took the fun out of most things. Going out to eat, getting new running shoes, it was like a stab in the gut. Self-imposed actually, and it was silly. I’m doing my best, I’m enjoying my life. Right now, that’s good enough for me.

Any questions?