One Summer, Three Life Changes

austin, blogging, daily life, family, motherhood

I had every intention of consistent blog posting after Henry’s birth and I probably could have managed it. For whatever reason, I have been gifted with the ability of strong habit maintenance whenever life gets stressful. Not that Henry has been too stressful — I have been lucky to have for my first child a chill baby, but you know what I mean. But add on to that a cross-country move and preparing to start a new job, and well — life has been, well, rather full at the moment.

joscoffee

Doing the touristy Jo’s Coffee picture. 

We’ve been in Leander for two and a half weeks. Our mattress is still on the floor. Henry is still sleeping in the pack and play. The bookshelves finally went up this week (priorities!) and about half of our belongings are still in boxes in the garage. We still have not found a CrossFit gym. My runs are still more walks than runs. And mainly I feel like I am starting completely over and things still just do not fit (especially my pants!).

happyhenry

Henry, aggressively happy amidst the detritus of unpacking. 

Still — the kitchen is unpacked. I did my first week of meal prep for dinner and lunch this week, trying to ensure good habits before the school year begins. Henry and I went for our first “run” together yesterday. We managed to make it to mass downtown on Sunday, even if we failed to find parking afterwards to walk the boardwalk on Lady Bird Lake. I am loving the H-E-B’s (not Heb’s!) curbside pick-up for grocery shopping — definitely makes life much easier. I love planning for class. I love not having the pressure to write a dissertation anymore.

I told Bruno I was not sure I wanted to continue with this blog anymore. I was not sure I had the time or will have the time when the school year begins. When it comes to living here, when it comes to life now, I want to start how I plan to continue — whether that is with running, food prep, bedtime routines with Henry. For the past few weeks, I was not sure that blogging had a place in that “continue” part.

Bruno suggested that I try once a week, explaining I did not want to waste all the writing, all the posts I have already put out here on the blog. And so, taking his suggestion, I will try to keep at it, once a week.

I need to remember that I am in a transition period right now. As things start to settle, a routine will develop. Life eventually will develop some normalcy, some rhythm. Living in the Austin-area, full-time teaching, and most importantly, being a mom are still all so new to me. Eventually they will not be so new. Eventually Henry will sleep through the night. Eventually I will be able to run longer than four minutes at a time and will feel confident on my bike again. Eventually this place will be home.

 

 

 

 

Favorite Things : February 23 – March 1, 2019

blogging, favorite things

I meant to mention it last month, but with the dissertation it was put on the backburner. I wrote my first post on this blog last year on February 1, 2018. A year later I have written 164 blog posts, writing 86,243 words total. This is an average of around 525 words per post. Reveries of the Solitary Jogger is a tiny part of the internet. I mean — for the month of February 2019, I received 190 views from 107 visitors. Not much. But, in February 2018, I received 36 views from 1 visitor (probably Bruno), so I would say that is quite the leap! I’m grateful to be writing just for fun and I hope that I do, at least sometimes, post something useful or helpful.

Not much really caught my eye this week, so it is a short favorite things for the week.

I love this twenty-twenty-twenty rule.

A must-read: Wealthy, Successful, and Miserable.

Related: Against the hustle and grind. I had a good chuckle at the opening line, “I saw the greatest minds of my generation log 18 hour days.” Also, that WeWork “community” sounds downright creepy. No thanks.

What did I miss? Did you read anything on the internet that you found insightful or inspiring this week?

Have a great weekend!

 

 

My Favorite Non-Running Related Posts of 2018

blogging

I did not just work out in 2018. I did lots of new things: I took a wilderness survival course, played Dungeons and Dragons, and made my own sourdough bread. I shared some of it here on RSJ, but there are a few that are my favorites.

Winner for the most absurd: Gonna Take Some Time To Do The Things We Never Had, Or Why The Music Video For Toto’s Africa Exemplifies Graduate School. I stand by this sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti.

The one where I really got out of my comfort zone: To Build a Fire. I took that wilderness survival class and now I know what I don’t know and know that I would not make it in the wilderness, but I can make a fire.

The one where I admitted I do kind of love my hometown: Thoughts on a Hometown. Still never moving back. Nope. Nope. (Watch it happen.)

Winner for the most accurate: The Dissertation Writing Process. Can you just hear Freddie Mercury and David Bowie singing “Under Pressure” in the background? It worked though. 2019 will see me defended and the little letters P H D after my name. What happens after is TBD.

The one where I explained reality to Joan Didion: In (And Out) of Bed: A Response to Joan Didion. Joan, darling, migraines are gruesome. They are not glamorous. They are gross.

136 blog posts, mostly consistent with some time off in October and November. It has been fun.

See you in 2019!

 

 

 

 

The One with the Baby News

blogging, books, daily life, Harry Potter, health, pregnancy, running

Ok, ok so it has been almost three months since I have posted and with good reason too!

Things have been going on. And I am very happy to say that all of them are good.

I left you September 5 with some thoughts on working from home. Soon after, I ran Run Woodstock 5k and half-marathon. I ran just ok, actually terribly. I ran that race a half hour slower than I did at Run Legend. I knew it would be harder, but that I was that much slower bummed me out. I felt tired and exhausted. I had no idea why. I thought, perhaps, I was over-trained. This is probably true. I took some time off running.

runwoodstock

Me after the Hippie Half-Marathon at Run Woodstock. Probably pregnant here!

I focused on teaching and my dissertation. I only have two more classes to teach right now and all my dissertation chapters are approved — I need do some edits and revisions, but I should be able to defend in February!

A little over two weeks after Run Woodstock, I still felt tired and exhausted. I was starting to get a little suspicious. On a Wednesday morning, I asked Bruno if we could pop by a Walgreens to grab a pregnancy test before we went to campus. Later that morning, I informed Bruno that yes, I was indeed pregnant. Very pregnant. Those lines were dark!

I’ll admit that I was surprised, but very pleased. We had wanted to start having kids as soon as we knew that I would have my dissertation done before baby no. 1 arrived, so the timing is very good (especially now that chapter five is approved). Baby C is due next year in early June. I will be waddling across that stage mid-May to get my Ph.D. diploma. Proudly waddling.

I want to be careful about how I write what I say next, especially because I know that I am very blessed and happy to be pregnant. I do not want to seem like I am complaining thoughtlessly or without compassion for women who have been struggling to get pregnant or who have lost babies.

That said, from about three days after I found out I was pregnant until probably about a week or two ago, I was having a very hard time. Normally, I’m an anxious person, but the increase of hormones made me well, frankly, depressed. I felt like a complete mess of vomit for the last several weeks and felt sick all the time. I could barely eat anything, barely cook anything because the smell of anything sent me running (the only running I did) to the toilet or trashcan. I regularly had severe headaches and was exhausted. I know. I know. All of this is normal. Many have gone through this before me and will do so afterwards. I feel silly for even complaining. And I’m lucky, happy, etc., but I would be lying if I said it was not hard.

The little energy I had was directed to prepping for class and crawling to the finish of writing this fifth chapter. I barely did anything else. I have no idea how women who go to regular jobs do it. There was a week that aside for teaching Tuesday night class, I barely left the house because I was afraid I would spend most of that time in a public restroom getting sick. This did little for the depression problem.

Quick shout out to Bruno for taking care of the majority of cooking and cleaning and having incredible patience during this time. Marry a man who, when you are having a meltdown because of how terrible you feel and how you feel bad for having a meltdown for how terrible you feel, surprises you by taking you to get a professional massage that very afternoon. Then, for his birthday, when you regain your ability to function like an actual human being bake him a layered coconut buttercream cake.

I feel better. I only get really sick every three days now, instead of what felt like every hour. Full disclosure: I worked with an orange Home Depot bucket that said “Let’s Do This!” next to my computer for just in case. I still went to CrossFit about 2-3 times a week, but the week before last I started running again. Last week I ran a Turkey Trot 5k. I am cooking again. I went on a full-blown baking spree last week in the kitchen. I’m doing my holiday re-read of Harry Potter. Rejoice! I am starting to feel, at least for now, like myself again. It feels good.

With that said, I’m hoping to finish the 2018 year of blogging and running strong. I am interested to see how running as a pregnant lady goes. It will be a new chapter in my life, one that I’m very happy to begin.

pregnant

xo, Ali

Monday Miles (100th post!) : August 6 – 12, 2018

blogging, crossfit, cycling, monday miles, races, running, training

Today is my 100th post! When I started this blog back in February, I wanted something to add to my day that was not just graduate school related. Don’t get me wrong. I love graduate school. I love Rousseau and political theory, but I wanted something else to add to the day that would help bring the stress down and to help me remember I’m not only a student. In return, it has added some more fun to my day that is not just mindlessly scrolling the internet (so guilty).

It is strange how much has changed in one hundred posts. Back then I was working on my third chapter of my dissertation. Now I am working on my final chapter, chapter five. Then, I had not ran a race in two years. In the time I have been writing this blog, I have raced four. Then, no CrossFit, just on and off lifting. Now, I have been doing CrossFit for three and a half months. When my brother saw me yesterday (for the first time since January), his first words were, “Jeez! Triceps!” (Excuse me, while my ego explodes.) In the day to day, when I do not think progress anywhere is being made, it is nice to look back and see that actually a lot has happened. I’ve accomplished a lot in these one hundred posts. Who knows where I’ll be in the next one hundred?

So, yes, to the main purpose of this post: this week of training.

8/6/18 : Yoga with Adriene: Yoga for Tired Legs. Romwod. I was still exhausted from Saturday. I just wanted to focus on stretching and getting my hamstrings feeling better.

8/7/18 : Morning – Leg shake out. Bike 30 minutes. This was so slow. 4.8 miles. Yoga with Adriene for Cyclists. Afternoon – CrossFit. Back squats. Find eight rep max, every three minutes for five rounds. Round 1 – 65 lbs.; 2 – 85 lbs.; 3 – 95 lbs.; 4 – 105 lbs.; 5 – 110 lbs. I fought hard those last eight reps. Keep in my mind my last 1-rep-max was I think 123 pounds, so it is probably higher now? I love back squats. Front squats – every two minutes for five sets, three front squats with one thruster. Round 1 – 43 lbs.; 2 – 53 lbs.; 3 – 63 lbs.; 4 – 73 lbs.; 5 – 78 lbs. I like these too. My wrists hurt a little bit after, but I was told that would go away as I gained more forearm strength. Romwod.

8/8/18 : The impromptu sixteen-miler. Good lord. This may have not been the best decision, but I’m glad I did it. My legs were already tired and I did more than I thought possible in three hours. I’m most likely not going to run that 50k, but I’m looking at a possible race later in the fall. More on that later though.

8/9/18 : I could do no more than Romwod.

8/10/18 : Romwod again.

8/11/18 : CrossFit. Also, known as the work out where I’m pretty sure Bruno and I got lapped. This was a partner wod and Bruno is a little further ahead in his ability to do pull-ups than I am, so this was kind of a mess in trying to do everything synchronized. Still, it ended up being a good work-out. Here is what I managed in a little under 20 minutes: 4x 10 ring-rows, 200 meter run. 3x 17 jumping pull-ups, 200m run. It was ugly, but it still happened. Romwod.

8/12/18 : Rest. Sweet rest. Bruno rolled my legs out and that is about all we did. Glorious.

Totals : 16 miles ran, 4.8 miles cycled, 2 hours CrossFit. Pretty good for a recovery-ish week.

xo, Ali