September 10, 2018

A New Fall Routine

Wow. Jerry and I were completely overwhelmed with the kind responses to my last post. He was really glad I wrote it and said it motivated him to start working on a guest post. He really appreciates all of the kind comments and support! Thank you. Sincerely.

Last week, I was working on getting into a good routine with the kids now that they are back in school. Now that I have that down, I want to get in a good routine myself. Starting with getting to bed at a decent hour. Last night, I went to bed at 10:45--which is very early compared to what I'm used to! All summer, I was staying up until 2:00-3:00.

When I woke up this morning, I didn't feel as tired as I usually do (what a surprise, right?). It wasn't a huge chore to get out of bed.

Another thing I want to add to my routine is running--I know that it will help my anxiety if I just make myself do it. So, this morning, I dressed in running clothes and decided that I would stop and run after dropping Noah off at school.

It was raining outside, but I used to love running in the rain, so I wasn't going to use that as a reason not to run. Also, the weather is FINALLY cooling off! Last week, we had a couple of days when the temperature was in the 90's--it was insane. It was so hot and humid that we had two days in a row with a heat advisory. I brought a spray bottle to cross country practice and sprayed the kids down after each lap they ran. They loved it!

As I type this, I'm wearing jeans and a hoodie. It's 58 degrees.

Yesterday, the weather just felt like good running weather--so, I started thinking that it's time I get running again. I put it off so much during the summer because it was so hot and humid; also, I was super tired all the time from staying up so late (it was a bad habit I developed and just couldn't get out of). I think going to bed earlier and getting enough sleep will help with all sorts of things from my running motivation to my anxiety.

After dropping Noah off, I debated where to run. I wanted to go run a dirt/gravel path at a park near the college, but with it raining, I knew the path would be muddy. So, I decided to just go to "old faithful"--the State Park. There is a loop that is 1.5 miles, so I figured I'd run that for 30 minutes (circle it once, and then add an out-and-back to hit 30 minutes).

My main focus was to go slow enough to keep my heart rate as low as I could. My pace was slow (12:00/mile), but the run certainly didn't feel easy. Still, though, I felt glad to be out there doing it. I knew it would put me in a better mood for the day, and it would help me to stay on track with calorie counting.

Run at State Park

I was trying to keep my hat from putting a shadow over my eyes for this photo, and I just ended up looking jolly. Haha!

Only a few minutes into the run, I looked up and startled by a deer that was super close to me (relatively close, I should say--most of the time, deer run away as soon as they spot me; this deer was totally chill with me being just across the road. I stopped to pull my phone out of my FlipBelt and take a picture of the deer.


Just after I saw that one, I saw another deer, eating berries from a tree. Again, I was super close, but she just kept eating.


The whole time I was running, I was listening to that audiobook I wrote about ("Born A Crime" by Trevor Noah). I was planning to only listen to it while I was driving Noah to and from school, but I got really caught up in it. I listened to it for several hours while I was working on the ceilings in my house (it's still a huge mess--we are now ready to sand) and then today during my run, I noticed there was only about 15 minutes left to the book. I finished it on my way home from the park. It was SO good!

And, now I'm a fan of audiobooks ;) I have one more that I had gotten for free from the trial membership of Audible on Amazon. I don't even remember what book it is. But I think the main reason I liked "Born A Crime" was because of Trevor Noah's very entertaining reading of it. I think the narrator can make a huge difference in how engrossing the audiobook can be.

Anyway, my run was slow (12:00/mile), my heart rate was higher than I'd like (150 bpm), but I managed to do 30 minutes in the drizzling rain and I felt great afterward. It actually made a big difference in my mood today.

I'm not going to start making challenges and plans and all of that to get back to running (I seem to jinx myself when I get carried away). But I definitely would like to make an effort to run in the mornings after taking Noah to school. There is no reason not to!

After my run, I went grocery shopping. I was feeling good about the run, and decided to get some of my old favorites from when I was calorie counting and feeling my best. I used to eat a Larabar and drink a cup of tea with cream and sugar every single morning for breakfast. I loved that simple routine; getting the kids ready for school, packing lunches, and then sitting down with my Larabar and tea for 30 minutes or so before we'd have to leave for school.

Interestingly, I haven't been very much into sweets lately. So weird, right?! It's like when I suddenly had an aversion to peanut butter in 2016 (I still don't really love it or seek it out). I do still like desserts, but I'll usually choose chips or something like that when I want a snack in the evenings. I have no idea why this happened (just like the peanut butter thing) but I'm not complaining ;)

Anyway, I'll leave you with this oh-so-flattering picture of Estelle--always staying classy.

classy cat


  1. One of the reasons I love fall so much is that it always feels like a natural time to reset routines and start new habits. Screw New Year's Day - I make more resolutions for September 1st!

    If you're looking for engrossing audio books, can I recommend "Hunger" by Roxane Gay? It's an exceptionally candid memoir of her own body, and she offers straightforward but heartfelt discussions of her relationship to food and her body. Gay is an exceptional writer and she narrates the audio book herself. I listened to it earlier this year and knocked it out in about 3 days because I was so captivated.

  2. Narrators really do make a huge difference in being able to enjoy an audiobook. Some of my favorites so far have been Natural History of Dragons and Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede. Both of them are series, and have fantastic narrators.

  3. Hi! First, I have so many thoughts about your last post (all encouraging and positive, I promise), but some are personal, so I won't post them here. Second, Estelle is such a lady. Third, and final, I love audiobooks, and you're right, the narrator makes all the difference. I sometimes find one to listen to specifically because it is a narrator I like. Neil Gaiman does an amazing job reading his own work, and if you like fiction at all, Barbara Rosenblat is one of the best narrators in the business. She reads a series of period mysteries featuring an archaeologist named Amelia Peabody, and she is fantastic. The stories are wonderful, too.

  4. Great job on the run--you know how much *I* love to run in the rain, lol!

    Are you aware that you can download free audio books from the library? The choices aren't nearly as vast as they would be through a paid service, but I've listened to some great classics and a few more modern ones. It's through Might be worth checking out!

  5. Estelle is a honey. All she needs is a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and glasses propped on her head to look like the original. So glad you are trying to run again. My son, who is 46, started running in earnest again the first of the year in a quest to drop some pounds. He has run since he was a kid, he has always just loved it. He did cross country and longer distances in track in high school and never really quit running over the years. But now he is obsessed with running. He has lost 50-60 lbs. is super skinny (wsn't all that big to start with), and runs all the time. Right now he is training for a marathon next month in Des Moines. We went out to a local park Sunday morning to cheer him on as he ran the 5-mile Buffalo Run, (and came in 2nd in his age group). I was also there when he ran the Half Marathon here in Lincoln last May. I thought of you cheering on your relatives and friends as they ran races and even made a sign for him.

    I'm trying hard to get back on track, and am down 15 lbs. from my high weight from Aug. 1. I am really unmotivated to get off my butt and walk however. I just keep thinking I'd rather eat nothing than walk. I am just too lazy for words. The sad part is I still have 75 pounds to lose to get back to goal weight. With my 50th high school reunion coming up next summer (and somehow I seem to be in charge of planning it, even though I resisted, nobody else will do it, and if I don't take over, there will be no reunion), and the recent report from my doctor that my cholesterol is borderline high, I have new incentive to get the weight off again. I am to see the doctor again in 6 months and have it re-checked, and I hope to be down 50 lbs and have my cholesterol in normal range by then. I keep telling myself, I've done it before I can do it again. I'm counting calories, and one of these days I'm going to set a goal of 10K steps per day and DO IT. So far I'm getting 4-6K steps per day, which I know is not enough. You continue to inspire me. Thanks Katie! Next time you're in the neighborhood, I'm going to make sure I get to meet up with you. Right now we are stressing out waiting for my husband's PET scan results. I have a feeling after 5+ years of fighting this cancer, it was spread further. Scares me to death. Cancer Sucks!

  6. A great series to hear on Audio books is all of the Harry Potter books. the person reading the books does a good job.

  7. Congratulations on sticking to an earlier bedtime! It's such a hard change for me to make, too, but it makes SUCH a difference in my energy levels and overall happiness. I've been working on it lately too and am surprised that I seem to be going to bed earlier and earlier... maybe someday soon I'll finally stop feeling worn out!

    And sending good thoughts to Jerry in his struggle. You sound like you are a great support to him. You guys seem like a great match.

  8. Katie - I've been reading your blog for about 5 years (what?! that's so crazy, I can't believe it's been that long!!). You inspired me to start running those 5 years ago. Since then I've had a kid and have lost all my fitness. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your honesty and transparencies with the ups and downs of life. You are such a real person, and I like how you don't pretend to be perfect.
    Also - I can totally relate to your post about what you and Jerry have been going through. I suffer from depression, and have my whole life. My husband and I both suffer from extreme bouts of anxiety too, and it can be so hard sometimes! I totally get not wanting to burden your spouse with your fears and worries - you don't want to drag them down! I've had to battle to fight against that in order to be open with him and it always helps. But it is so hard, and so hard to see the one you love suffering. Anyway, I am over here in Ohio silently rooting for you guys and so thankful for your blog <3

  9. Where did you go Bernadette. Hands down the best narrator, so entertaining.


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