The Note

I keep an ongoing note in my cellphone which tracks my runs. It traces more than the dates, times, and miles. Reading between the lines shows achievement, pride, and strength. It also bears witness to difficult days, or illness. And while I cannot pinpoint where or when it happened, I slowly lost my dedication to this journey.

My friends, the days of the three miler warmups are long gone. And is it just me, or is it hard to  swallow pride and realize you aren’t where you once were? Can’t I go Dorothy on this running thing, click my heels, and voila- run a 10k for fun?  Not because I must be a masochist? This ongoing list which once fulfilled a void began to claw its way into my ego, making me feel as though I failed myself. I scrolled back further, wallowing in my losses and I became transported to my past.

And then it happened. I was delivered to a place where the sun rose up and kissed the boardwalk as I ran my first mile. A place where I sat crying by myself not in sadness, but in awe. I cradled my knees against my chest as they moved rapidly up and down against the pressure of my breath. I listened to the deafening white noise of the ocean as it mixed with my inhalations and exhalations. Having grappled with chronic illness and its effects, I felt more alive in that moment than I had in years. I needed this.

Running was never easy for me. It was always a frustrating, exhilarating, endorphin releasing blessing. Being back to square one can only temporarily derail me. Plus, now I have a new note in my phone that says “5k Training: Times for One Mile.” I have given myself a goal, and it’s small, but it’s better than no goal at all. And yes, at my core I won’t lie and pretend I was not dispirited, but I’m less disappointed in myself now than when I felt like quitting altogether. Here I am, clocking in another one miler at 10:49.

Tomorrow I’m cracking 10:30.

Happy Fall

Not to rush the seasons, but when I hear Septemeber, I think fall. Yes, I know we have until the end of the month until summer is “technically” over, but wake up! It is now dark out at 8, CVS is selling Halloween candy, and pumpkin beers are in full swing. It’s fall. Fall has classically been my favorite season- I’m a typical New Yorker so I will tell you that “I love that we have our seasons.” The vibrant autumnal colors and knee high boots get me every time- what can I say, I’m basic.

What makes this time of the year even better, you ask? Running.

A true runner can run in any condition, right? Well, I can’t. 

I get dizzy when it’s too hot.

I get a pounding ache in my ears when it’s too cold.

If it’s too bright outside, I feel blinded and miserable.

Essentially, I am goldilocks and I’m looking for my perfect conditions. The perfect conditions are September. Is there anything sweeter than a warm September air with a cool fall breeze? And for that reason, I love a nighttime run in the fall- not too hot, not too cold… it’s just right. So that’s what I did- called a bestie and went for a nice, slow paced, 2 mile run on a toasty fall night.

So happy fall, and happy running!

0 Miles per Month

Get it? GET IT…?! Because I ran zero miles for the month of July! I probably could have, but I was already slowing down with my running schedule as it was. Prior to hopping on the Bikram band wagon cult, I was completely and totally lethargic. The longer I got into yoga and making sure I went each and every day, the more I did not want to run in fear that it would exhaust my body. I tend to forget that I have lupus and cannot push myself like others can- doing both at that frequency seemed like a poor life choice. The longer I went without a daily run, the longer I missed running.

Truthfully, I was fearful that I would no longer be able to run and that my body would have to retrain itself. I was hoping 105 degrees of torture would help to prepare me. Not only do I feel physically stronger than I was, but mentally I was continuously challenging myself to push through and each day I did. My new attitude: If I could do it, I can do it.

Following my 30 days of Bikram, I did give myself one day off from working out entirely, but I was pumped to lace up my sneakers and hit the boardwalk. It was actually a craving- I know, hard to imagine, I usually crave ice cream, not running, but I needed my fix. Day 2 post Bikram and I was ready for a change. I rode my bike west, met John for a 2 mile run on the beach, and rode home, totaling 11 miles on my bike. I felt alive again. I woke up this morning charged to go- making sure to take a gratuitous ring next to my sneakers photo.

photo

dirt and sparkles = love

Taking to my beloved boardwalk I ran, blasting oldies but goodies- yup, I’m talking about you Tricky…

And it felt freeing. Not easy, but freeing. Running, I love you and I missed you. I will never leave you for that long again! Today, I finished 4 miles in 40 minutes, not too shabby for a month hiatus. The muscles and brain do not forget, so maybe it has been a while since you last had a good workout, but it’s better to start sooner rather than later. Because, why not?! That’s the best logic I have for you.

Listless with Lupus

The title says it all and it reads like the saddest dating tag on match.com that you have ever seen.

I just feel like letting it all hang out. In the writing sense. Does that exist in this world anymore? A place where one can shout as loud as they want without worry of judgement?

Why listless with lupus? I have a theory that it’s that smack-dab in the middle of summer blues that is getting to me. My zest for life that started this blog was recently traded in for a brand new model: fear. I swing between thrilled about living and listless. What if I can’t? 

So, I realized I needed to get an effin grip and grow the eff up. That’s why I’m not using curses, I’m a grown up now, people!

That being said, I was determined to get back into a healthier lifestyle, one in which I was conscientious about taking my medicine, going to doctors appointments, and listening to my body. Because I am an adult. I repeat, I am an adult.

And that’s where I found myself at a crossroads: a thirty day Bikram yoga challenge!

Q: But what happened to running?

A: Quite frankly bored with running. Here we go again, one leg goes in front of the other leg at a faster pace than when I was walking. I’m not saying I am done with running, we are just taking a break. 

Back to the new fad I’m seeing: Bikram. 105 degree room, 26 poses, and sweating from places you didn’t know could sweat. I kid you not, you can watch beads of sweat forming. Bring a towel, you will need one.

It will be a good idea they said, try it they said. I love a good competition- against myself, friends, enemies, my dog, I don’t care. If you give me a challenge and I accept it, game on.

Q: How is this challenge going?

A: … 

Day 1: Walk in to the studio and I learn they have shorter classes than they used to. Instead of 90 minutes of hell, you can go for 60! Wonderful! To be honest the 60 minutes was exactly what I needed and while I didn’t complete every posture, I walked out feeling confident in the next day. 

Day 2: Go big or go home. 90 minutes it is, I want the experience (I tell myself.) I don’t necessarily regret the experience, but I accept that 60 minutes is completely acceptable. I even decide if those are the only classes I am able to attend I can’t beat myself up over it. 

Day 3: Before I leave for class I have John take my picture because you best believe I have every intention in monitoring my progress. I refuse to weigh myself, but damn straight I want to see those love handles melt away and six-pack abs replace my “she is an adorable pregnant girl” belly. 

Day 4: I got this

Day 5: I got this

Day 6: I got this so much I am going to take a picture and send it to my mom! I am actually at a point where I have filled out an entire first line on the challenge card. Only four to go. I try convincing myself that’s the wrong way to look at things but the Debbie Downer in me wants no part in any of my excitement. Additionally, as I’m walking in to this 60 minute class a girl goes, “I usually only do the 90 minutes…but…” and I feel like a failure. The class goes well, but I bolt out of the door because I have a wedding to be at in one hour. 

IMG_3959

Day 7: I got this.

Day 8: I cannot explain enough that this was the worst class. At the end of class my friend told me she got through class by imagining ways to make me laugh. The first thing she said to me was actually, “so wasn’t that the best class yet?” We cannot pinpoint why it was such a bad class, but it was. 

Day 9: I’m enjoying class and then I feel this pinch. I spend the rest of the night into today hobbling around like a little old lady with sciatica, which I’m pretty sure is exactly what I am right now.

Day 10: Here I am. Drinking water and debating my next move. Do I give up? Do I push myself? Is this lupus or sciatica? Am I just crazy (side note: yes, but it’s unrelated) Can I just lay on the mat for 90 minutes? More to come my friends. More. To. Come.

Sincerely,

Listless with Lupus

No one actually likes the gym

There are multiple me’s- sometimes I’m pretty cool and relaxed, sometimes I suck. I’m like a box of chocolates. Delicious. (See what I did there, you may have assumed I would say: you never know what you’re gonna get. But I didn’t.)

This magical list of who I am on any given day is long and I’m sure you have a list of your own because none of us are one dimensional people. Now, my least favorite versions of myself includes days I haven’t had coffee yet, when I’m hangry, and when I’m driving. Yesterday around noon I had just bleached my whole kitchen and started folding laundry to find a whole other stack that, I swear, appeared out of thin air. Damn you, laundry. The minutes ticked and I knew I wanted to get to the gym, but I also knew the hunger was coming on strong.

It was now or never and I found myself threatening and manipulating my friend to come to the gym with me.

2015/01/img_0109.jpg
She actually called me mean, but I know that we all need tough love sometimes and eventually she would appreciate my cruelty. And she did. So off to the gym we went, in the early stages of hangry, only to find a packed house of resolutioners.

Pause in my story: I need to give credit where credit is due and tell you that Sass and Balderdash, great name by the way inspired this post, so do yourself a favor and check out her page and post here.

Back to yesterday. We enter the gym to a line for the treadmills- no available machines. AND I forgot my headphones. Clearly I can only blame all of these problems on the phony gym rats. Alison questioned, when are they going to stop coming, February? We both hoped our gym would be cleared and went on to find any machine without a wait list.

One great thing about our gym, and there isn’t much, is they purchased a separate space in another building. This building is the red headed step black sheep child of the gym and therefore, no one pays any attention to it. Let’s call a spade a spade, it’s a weirdo. But we found ourselves in an empty back room, used by only one woman that was eyeing us and clearly thinking to herself: I wish these phony gym rats would go away. Probably because we spent a considerable amount of time sitting on mats and talking about how heavy the weights we chose were.

When she finally left we found ourselves actually working out- lunges with weights, abs, squats. And I felt like a newbie at the gym because of that woman’s judgy eyes- seriously, she made us move our mats over for her! I gained a new sense of respect for the resolution goers. We all started somewhere. For me, it was August 2013- because naturally I would start as bikini season is over and no one is going to the gym because it’s too damn hot. But if I walked into a room full of judgmental people, grilling my intentions, it’s possible I would have quit.

My hope is that if your resolution was to change your habits and get fit, that you stick to it. Even when you want to quit or life seems busy. Because if as Americans we spend nearly three hours a day watching television, at least manage to find 30 minutes of leisure in front of a machine with a tv! Compromise… It’s what life is all about.

So to every resolutioner, welcome to the gym.

As for my friend and I, this was our conversation today:

2015/01/img_3373.png
See. We love it.

Life of a Mogwai

I hate showering.

TMI?

Well that’s what blogs are for: Too much information for the good of humanity. How else would you find out that other people hate cleaning themselves as much as you do? Don’t worry. You’re normal. Says the person that hates showering… And apparently this piece of work too:

2015/01/img_0108.jpg
If you’re wondering to yourself who is that you’re a better person than I am. Kudos.

Anywho!

Despite my aversion to water that’s comparable to a mogwai, I always manage to bathe myself after a workout. Mostly because I believe in overcoming obstacles in life. It makes you a better person.

Wednesday I had a choice to:

A) blog about my kickass workout

or

B) shower

Good for me, I chose the latter. So, three days later and I’m finding some time to indulge you in my progress in life. Here we go!

I, Talia Timberlake* am the heaviest I have ever been in my whole entire life. Maybe it’s because part of my resolution this year was to have no resolutions. Screw the man! Maybe it’s because Maslow had it so right when he wrote about the significance of food. Maybe it’s because Meghan Trainor sang an inspiring song about having all the right curves in all the right places.

And I may or may not have sent this gem out to a few people on New Year’s Eve:

2015/01/img_0107.png
Ugh, I’m such a jerk! Granted, there are a lot of topics of conversation that could come up when looking at that picture again. For instance, I’m wearing a romper. Normally, rompers are a welcome addition into my clothing family- not on a night where bathrooms are sparse and the streets are flooded with drunken humans. The romper on New Years Eve was single handedly my worst decision of 2014.

So after I came home from a fabulous vacation in Key West, help take me back! I weighed myself and had a life sized (literally) reality check. Remember that one time I wrote a whole post dedicated to my hatred of the scale (see here). As much as I hate the scale sometimes it’s necessary to reflect. Especially when you’re consistently opting for stretch pants because unbuttoning the top button on your jeans all of the time is looking increasingly obvious under your now tight shirt. Then again, you can always just buy a moo moo.

It hurts to see a number you have never seen before. I swore that working out was not about weight loss- until I gained weight. And it doesn’t matter what size you wear, it isn’t fun. I have many opinions on my current insecurities, for example, shut up, you’re being so annoying right now. But whatever, on a rainy day I’ll blog about how photoshop, magazines, and the porn industry have destroyed us all. So back to my recent destiny: As groupon would have it, a local cycling studio was offering up a deal, and I’m a sucker for deals so I bought into it with a few friends, thus scoring our workout classes for $5 a pop. Unheard of!

That was in December.

I procrastinated going. I got sick. I was tired. I had a really long day at work. I had a longer than usual week at work. Oh yeah, and I was afraid!

There it was! The root in my procrastination. I was terrified of going because the last time I cycled I swear I saw Jesus through beads of sweat blinding my eyeballs- and I’m Jewish. But that was over one year ago, before I realized that it’s ok to feel like death may be closer to 30 than you imagined- because it’s not. Because you’re going to walk out of your workout feeling like … Things that release endorphins. Which p.s., feels sensational.

So I took a class with my girl, Sarah, which always makes going to workout easier. Forget the fact that you won’t even be close to each other or recognize the other person exists once the workout begins, the sheer accountability is the perk. We signed up for the one hour class which is the longest class they offer. My immediate thought was: fuck. The class was also the one that incorporates weights so naturally my second thought was: why didn’t I read the description of the classes before I blindly signed up. Damn you, Sarah!

Since I have a tendency to vacillate between diligence and laziness, clearly I chose the one pound weights over the two pound weights. Like I said, I love challenging myself. Actually I always feel ashamed in weight classes because without fail I will choose the lowest weight option. One pounders are less challenging to hold than a baby rattle. Literally, a baby could lift this with ease. I don’t care. It make me happy.

My fears aside, the class was wonderful, the instructor was helpful, and I got a great workout in. I love looking around a room and seeing people of all ages, genders, abilities, sizes- it’s a beautiful thing. If you are a near the Long Beach area check out Ocean Ride. The first “ride” (they call it that, aw, so cute) is free. My intention is to go once a week minimum as a supplement to running. And maybe to fit into my pants again. Dream big, folks, dream big.

*name changed for privacy. And because Justin asked me to take his name. I know, I know, I’m a feminist… I should have hyphenated.

Facts of Life

A few revelations that I’ve come to in the past two days:

  • You have to save your drafts to wordpress or they will be deleted.
  • You will be seriously disappointed when you realize this.
  • My dog is better groomed than I am.
  • If you listen to Faith Hill’s Breathe long enough, you will start to breath.

In the spirit of going to the gym yesterday and running 4 miles in 40 minutes, I would like to thank the warped mirror which makes me look 10 lbs lighter. Making each and every trip to the gym feel like it’s working, damn girl, check out that butt!

In the spirit of my dedication to my last blog post that I never saved, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

These are the…

get it?

Facts…of…life…

le sigh.

Hey, Girl, Hey

I’m still alive and here! I’ll give you a morning synopsis so you know it’s me and not my evil twin (a little Halloween spirit in the household!) I am still running. I had a rough three weeks following the extraction of my wisdom teeth- it was followed by a hardcore cold (allergies?) that lasted for weeks. The cough still hasn’t gone home ::cough:: welcome to fall/winter, body!

Last week John and I began our quest to run while most people, including ourselves, would be asleep… The dreaded 5 a.m. haul out of bed. We took Tilly on a few morning runs, the dog is a good companion! Who would have known those four little legs could carry her so well. Don’t worry PETA representatives, we know her limits. This morning we dragged ourselves up but the weather was like, no way… Don’t run out here… so we decided to hit up the gym spot. We made it to the gym only to find a pitch black building. A pitch.black.locked.shut.building. Seriously, gym! Does this mean that tonight I can say I already went to the gym?

No… It doesn’t work like that?

Since the gym wasn’t open and I made it clear that I am not diehard enough to run outside we decided to do the food shopping that we swore would happen over the weekend. We get to the supermarket, dedicated and ready to speed shop or at least get some kind of sweat on. Hopes dashed! Two workers eye me through the large glass windows as I repeatedly try to open the front door. They don’t even blink. Or laugh at my expense.

What is going on world?! At least laugh at my misfortune!

Now, at 6:20, I have enjoyed a cup of coffee (made using a napkin as a filter since filters were on the shopping list) and watched 50 cent learn about his heritage on a vh1 show about celebs revisiting their origins… Talk about racist old people, what the hell is a Mongolian Slave?! (See what I’m talking about)

On another note, things I need to purchase:

IMG_0057.JPG
(From here)

Simply because I’m positive that’s the exact opposite of how today is going for me right about now. I guess I’ll just go to the gym twice today. I can say that now.

Grinding

When the summer began to wind down, the last thing I felt like doing was stationing myself in front of a computer to write about life. If life is about living I wanted to make sure I was actually doing that in my fleeting hours of irresponsibility. Irresponsibility because I did not work at all this summer. And it was glorious. Side note: somewhere along the line I convinced myself that I am a workaholic and not working would be like not breathing. Impossible. That was what I believed until I didn’t work this summer. Turns out I can still breath.

So in my final few weeks I was determined to do a lot of running- I mentioned in my last post that I ran four miles. Oh, was that overshadowed by my whining that I didn’t see James Franco? Sorry. Four miles might not seem like much of anything considering in my heyday I was doing that each day. Now…times have changed. As I slept in during the long days of irresponsibility, I dreaded physical activity. I was pushing it most days with two miles runs, or I would ride my bike six miles, do a 1.5 miles beach run, ride my bike home and call it a day. Three mile days were few and far between until the past two weeks when I finally acknowledged how lazy I have become. As I mentioned before, it turns out that I’m marvelous at watching every season and episode of any Real Housewives. Indiscriminately.

I forced myself up and out, riding my bike to the gym on days it was too hot to run outside, I took my bike everywhere I needed to go, and I stopped thinking I can’t. Because I have run that much and more. And before I could put in the distance I started with the basics. No excuses. And it was one day as I was riding my bike, blasting some version of Calvin Harris / Avicii something or another that it clicked in my head- today I did not think about going for a run. I just did it. And it took one whole year, but it happened. The day has finally arrived where I workout because it’s what I do and not because I require it of myself. And it feels damn good.

And today I went back to my daily grind and into my fifth year of teaching. I went back to the mornings of fighting with John for mirror space before the sun is out. Back to the days of responsibility- in my job and for myself. And now that the days of irresponsibility are over I hope that stays true. I hope I continue to hold myself accountable and I hope I continue to remember that it always feels worth it after the workout is over. Even when you swear you are going to die and ice cream seems like the only cure in this harsh, harsh world we live in.

IMG_0005.JPG

It’s been a year?!

I missed my blogiversary – Meaning, I completely overlooked the year I’ve spent writing, running, yoga-ing… Recreating my understanding of myself. Ay-yay-yay! Have I stopped caring about my paperless child?!

No.

But in one year I’ve come so full circle that this blog has taken a back seat in my life. I don’t know how I feel about that- 49% of me loves forgetting to write. I hate to say it, but it became a chore. I lost my drive and desire (and honestly maybe my ability) to casually write. 51% of me thought, shit. I deserve to celebrate this year long process. For me.

What’s it like to write about your life for a year? In this year people have scoffed at my blog and in my insecurities I lost a bit of my desire to write- this is my own flaw, my inability to stop caring about what others think. I’m aware. But I’ve also had people I admire thank me for blogging. In some way I connected to a part of them- whether it was an email I received from an old friend saying they feel like they can run because of me, or a person I bumped into running on the boardwalk. One of my favorite emails was from a stranger thanking me for writing about rhinoplasty. Because why not let it all hang out. John joined in on my running bandwagon as well. And in this year a guy who never ran more than a mile would become one of my biggest inspirations in the process. Blogging is nothing more than making connections and so many have been made. Underneath all of our differences we share so many similarities.

So let me say: I’m human. And in 365 days, 52 weeks, 12 months… I have done wonderful things for myself that have helped to inspire myself, and I have let things slip. I’ve run 8 miles, and I have also felt as though – today, I just can’t go past two. I have probably done 50 miles in a month and said who needs two more, no one has to know. I have unintentionally lost ten pounds and dropped a pant size and then I unintentionally gained ten pounds and went up a dress size. Like I said, I’m a human. And a female with a booty.

Throughout the year, one of my favorite parts about using wordpress is seeing how people find my blog. So thank you for searching for:

IMG_0530.PNG

IMG_0531.PNG

IMG_0533.PNG

IMG_0532.PNG

IMG_0534.PNG
Yes.Yes.Yes.

You searched: I’m calling bull on lupus AND then you found my blog. Or, sexy boob images… None of those on here. Sorry. Someone just searched Jews. Present! Or my personal favorite… Beyoncé body odor. Shut up. She has none.

And this is why 51% of me loves this. So thank you for a great year and for stopping by and reading about lupus and life.