Goal So Hard: December.

Okay, woah. This is my last monthly goal post for 2017. Before you know it, I’ll be writing my goals for 2018! I am feeling a tad hesitant about writing goals for December because my goals for November took quite a hit and were largely left unaccomplished. I am taking it as a sign that I need to slow my roll for a bit when it comes to training and fitness – or at least my shins and calves are screaming at me to do so. If I’m being totally honest, I am really enjoying the break.

I set out to head to Run Collective over a week ago and ended up running about 2 miles with moderate pain in my shins, stopping, and walking home. Having had both shin splints and a stress fracture in the past, I know how shitty it is to pretend you don’t have an injury for too long only to wind up taking triple the time off because you disregarded your body’s warnings. I have spent the last week and a half taking it really easy, enjoying multiple days off, foam rolling and icing my ass off, and visiting my physiotherapist and massage therapist. As I sign up for some pretty big goals in 2018, the last thing I wanted was to start the year with an injury. Better to recover now than to push myself too hard and pay for it later.

Luckily, when I went to my physiotherapist my fear of having a stress fracture was put at ease. She warned me that the extent of inflammation in the muscles of my calves and shins was a sign that I was well on my way to a stress fracture. Talk about scared straight. As we head into the last month of the year, I am ready to enjoy the holiday season and enjoy a variety of workouts before more intense work starts in the new year! Plus, gingerbread heals injuries right?

  • Set clear intentions for 2018. This isn’t about numbers or hitting a certain goal, it is about truly doing a deep dive in self-reflection and identifying what is important to me, where my path is, and aligning myself strongly with it. Not specific to fitness, but all aspects of life.
  • Try one new workout or studio or class. I am planning to venture out of my comfort zone to a new fitness class or sport or activity. I did this once for barre class and then tackled 20 more classes after that because I was so hooked!
  • Plank-mas. A plank a day for 31 days. Because I hate planks and what would this merry month of December be without me bitterly complaining about core exercises.

It is frustrating to not be running right now, but it would be even more frustrating if I had to not run for months. Perspective. As I mentioned, I am also kind of not-so-secretly loving a bit of time off. My physiotherapist encouraged as much activity as I mentally needed to survive, but nothing that had the impact of running. Hot chocolate and a Christmas movie instead of an evening running in the dark and frozen streets of YEG… don’t mind if I do… for now.

My Christmas 2017 Wishlist.

Christmas wish lists aren’t as fun when you’re not six years old spending hours with your brother circling toys in the Sears Wishbook that you’re going to ask Santa for for Christmas. Nevertheless, I present to you, the millennial version of a Christmas wishlist… a series of links to online shops. I casually cc’d my parents in my email wishlist to Santa. “Oh no! Did I accidentally include you in this email?! So strange. Ugh, you know me and technology!” Let’s get on with the wishlist (and let’s be real, these are dream gifts and moderately expensive. I’d seriously be happy if I got almond butter for Christmas. Really. That shit is expensive).

  • North Face Thermoball Parka II. I currently am decked out in my brother’s old winter jacket and taking advantage of his high closet turnover and online shopping problem. I walk to work every day and while I do enjoy the odd burning sensation I get every day when my butt cheeks thaw out after my walk, I would really appreciate a longer jacket.

  • Ciele Athletics Qckcap Sublime (Women’s). For running, for hiking, for adventuring, for pretending I’m on top of the latest outdoor enthusiast fitness fashion trends. I kind of dig these colours too.

  • I think United by Blue is a super cool brand. It’s right up there with TenTree for me and I like that MEC sells both brands now. Their graphic tees are incredible but those are arguably hard for Santa to guess how they will fit, which is not the case for these amazing mugs. I have a mug problem.

  • Patagonia Black Hole duffel bag. Two reasons I have added this to my wish list: 1. I used to steal my dad’s Northface 70L duffel bag all the time for trips and travel because I loved it so much and 2. after watching The Ginger Runner’s vlogs I have this obsession with his aqua blue and orange Patagonia duffel bag that he travels with. I know, random.

  • While they are pretty pricey, I find the 3-wick Bath & Body Works candles last forever! I am still burning the lemon one I bought in the summer! I have since switched it out for a cinnamon clove Christmas-esque one but you can never have enough candles. My favourite scents are vanilla, cinnamon, and any type of tree. I think we can all agree that ‘campfire donut’ is the most intriguing scent you’ve ever seen. Yes, please, I like both of those things.

  • Last, but certainly not least, I am waiting somewhat impatiently for Champs Boxing Studio to open in Edmonton. I try to get to Rumble in Calgary whenever I’m there and now we are getting our own similar studio in Edmonton! Cue the *hallelujah* sound drop. I cannot wait to go, so as soon as they start selling passes I will forward the link to Santa.

I have exactly 26 days to ensure a secured spot on the ‘nice’ list so I guess I should get cracking. I mean, sarcasm can’t possibly put me on the naughty list right? Right? Oh boy, I have so much work to do. Mom, if you’re reading this and you’ve already deleted your email, don’t worry, I’ve printed a copy and laminated it and posted it on your fridge. 😉

I miss the mountains, but CHRISTMAS!

I miss the mountains so much. I haven’t escaped for weeks now and I am feeling the need to get back. I actually was briefly in Stoney Nakoda on Friday for work and my colleagues and I drove down Highway 40 to spend just a couple moments in the mountains in Kananaskis before we drove all the way back to Edmonton. It gave me a taste of fresh mountain air but I definitely need to get back! I am finally getting my winter tires on this week so I’ll be ready for the winter roads! Instead of being outside all weekend, I tried to bring the outdoors in.

I have some pain in my lower left leg so I have actually taken almost a week off of exercise to try and let my body heal. It’s amazing how embedded exercise is in my life because it felt harder NOT working out this weekend than it ever does to workout. I am crossing my fingers that it is muscular and not anything close to a fracture, but it’s taking it’s sweet time feeling any better so I’m just taking it day by day. Without exercise in my schedule I had a whole lot of time to decorate my apartment for Christmas!

It’s really fun starting out in an apartment with an eclectic collection of decor from my childhood and the opportunity to buy for my current taste and stage in life. With no real time commitments I didn’t feel rushed when I was shopping and out and about which is perfect for one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. Don’t go in with a plan or limit or time commitment… I always get frustrated when I do that. Typically I avoid the malls and shopping centres as much as possible every weekend from now until Christmas but I had such a great experience this weekend with my ‘low expectations’ relaxed approach.

I found parking spots close to the entrances. (I am going to attribute that specific success to Jo’s tactic of simply acknowledging that it will happen and visualizing it… manifesting what you are looking for). I found a few ‘perfect’ gifts for my family and friends. I met cute lulu salesmen and lingered longer than necessary feigning distress and required assistance. Yes, I definitely indulged in some retail therapy to sooth my anxiety over my possible running injury. I think I created the most delightful cozy winter space!

I am embracing kindness wherever I go at this time of year because I think we all need it. It’s stressful, busy, cold, and dark this season and so I am making it my mission to be extra kind, extra patient, extra generous, and extra genuine. I have already started to feel the effects of not seeing the daylight for the entire workweek and thus it has become so important to me to step away from my desk, be outside, even just for two minutes. Even when it feels like I am far too busy at my desk to be gone, the world won’t end if I take a tiny piece of time for myself to get vitamin D, sunshine, and fresh air.

Whether this is a serious injury or not, I am taking any pressure off of myself. You can’t give your body a timeline to heal… no matter what you write in your training journal or in your calendar, your body is like, ‘okay, cool… but like, imma do my thing here.’ For now, I’ll just spend time in my adorable decorated apartment. 🙂

Have you decorated for Christmas? Do you have a ‘theme’?

What are the traditions you are looking forward to during the holidays?