Heroes of Hope 5K Recap

This morning I ran a really shitty 5K, the Heroes of Hope 5K. (It was me feeling shitty, the race wasn’t shitty.)

I’m about to lose all of my readers who don’t live in warm areas, but it was really freaking hot—80+ when we were done.

My dear friend and former coworker Jordan was looking for her first race postpartum, and I gladly jumped to the challenge! …and then another friend swooped in and found this race happening first. Fine.

The Heroes of Hope Race for Research was to raise money and awareness for childhood brain cancer. There were many attractive men in UCLA Neurology t-shirts, but I’m sad to report that I did not, in fact, take an eligible neurologist home with me.

The race started at Dockweiler Beach (I love that all the races I run are at the beach now), and ran .75 north, turned around, and then ran south from the start and down a big hill to the finish.

We started the race off talking about how easy this used to come for us and how hard it was now, and it continued to be hard. Maybe not the best mindset? I know I’m a different person than I was then, but it’s so hard for me to shake that mindset, though I’m working on it.

The race (“race”?) clearly had a lot of first-time racers who weren’t aware of race etiquette and would come to a complete stop in the middle of the course when they needed to walk. There were also a ton of walkers to weave around. Which is all fine since we were just trying to survive, not PR.

The actual running wasn’t the best, but the company was. (And clearly I have no complaints about oceanfront running.)

It was clearly a super casual race, because we came in 6th/7th in our AG with a time of 31:41. Number one in our AG ran a 24:20.

The race was really just a means to an end, though: breakfast at Uncle Bill’s Pancakes in Manhattan Beach. We’d both been wanting to go for a while and it DID. NOT. DISAPPOINT.

This iPhone pic does, but whatever.

I’m making friends in LA, for sure, but I really miss those deep connections that I had in NYC (that, ugh, I totally took for granted.) Some of my friendships are so new that they’re still pretty surface-level and I just don’t have the level of comfort that I’ve had with friends in the past. (Though I know this will come with time.)

But Jordan and I have known each other for six years. We worked together at Daily Burn and sat next to each other for 50 hours a week for three years. You get to know someone pretty well then, and I was just so happy in that job that I let all of my weird out. I caught myself being so goofy this morning and initially being self-conscious about it, but realizing that Jordan’s seen it all with me—my lows, my highs. I was so grateful to feel so at home with her, and it was such a nice morning.

Every Workout Counts

I have had a headache every day for the past 17 days. (At least, that’s when I started counting.)

The neurologist put me on a preventive medicine temporarily as well as a medicine specifically for the pain. Both the headaches and one of the meds cause fatigue—just as the depression-related fatigue was going away.

Yesterday, all of this put me in a really dark place of feeling like my mental health and my physical health can’t catch a break. I just want to be able to enjoy life in sunny Southern California, not watch everyone else enjoy life while my head (hey, I’m always fine from the neck down!) keeps me on the couch for one reason or another.

I really want to lose some weight, and there’s a class in Santa Monica called Circuit Works that’s similar to Orangetheory and walking distance from my apartment. I’d signed up for a class this morning but after I took Lucy out, even rolling over to get my coffee from my coffee table caused me to wince in pain and cancel the class.

I was so incredibly frustrated and had a little pity party for myself. (This is where I say I absolutely know it could be worse, but that doesn’t mean that feeling this way doesn’t also suck.)

I laid there thinking about what workout I could do and when I could fit it in today. It didn’t have to be high-intensity or nothing. My therapist and I are always working on less black-and-white thinking, since I am a very all-or-nothing person.

What could I do to still move and break a little sweat but that didn’t require a ton of energy? There’s a small gym at my building, and I settled on the elliptical, watching The Morning Show on my phone (anyone else watching it??)

I despise machines, especially the elliptical, but not every workout is going to be amazing—or needs to be the hardest workout. As I’m getting older, I’m beginning to truly worry about my health more—not just say I’m worried about my health but really mean I’m worried about my aesthetics—and really appreciate how important moving is.

I used to think anything less than 3 miles/30 minutes wasn’t a workout—I’d say “but whatever you can get in is great,” but didn’t buy that for myself. Even if I did only do a 15-minute workout, I felt bad about it. I’m working to redefine working out in a way that I still push myself but also in a way that I don’t negate some of its mental health benefits by beating myself up for it not being enough or not what I used to do.

tl;dr, not every workout needs to be The Hardest or The Best Workout Ever. I didn’t run a marathon today, I didn’t do a speed workout, but I moved.

Maybe this is a dumb post, I don’t know, but I’m trying to flex my writing muscle more because I have Big Writing Goals. Some of what I’ll write will suck, but I just want to work on getting myself out there more again and being comfortable with that.