Hi there.

I don’t have much to share as of late and I’m really sorry.

Duncan's latest favorite spot under my desk by the air conditioning vent

Duncan’s latest favorite spot under my desk by the air conditioning vent

I went to yoga 3 times this past week and took no pictures #blogfail. I had a bit of a cold all week and my balance was off so I found it really challenging to get through a lot of the poses. I took a few slow walks around my neighborhood during the week as well and also got through my Wednesday night hike but the toe is still being a punk. I can walk fine for about 1/2 mile and then I start limping or just changing my gait enough to not roll off the toe. Geez..I feel like all I do is share updates about not being able to roll off the toe. #brokenrecord

The exciting news is that I finally got a haircut!

Fresh outta the salon

Fresh outta the salon

It had been 7 months since my last haircut so I was WAAAYYYY overdue. And Denise, my haircutting goddess also did a fabulous blowout job and I managed to get a couple of days out of it.

still looking good later the same day...

still looking good later the same day…

The morning after

The morning after…no makeup hope it doesn’t scare you

As a naturally curly haired girl I don’t often get the chance to run my fingers through my hair so I enjoyed that for sure.

And then by Friday I was back to curly girlIMG_0666-1

Oh and Chester came to hang with me for a day last week when Mr. SOTSS had to go into the office.IMG_0642And I may or may not have taken between 20 and 30 selfies with Duncan

Sally and Duncan selfie #1,6424,259

Sally and Duncan selfie #1,6424,259 and you can tell he’s thrilled

So since my life has been fairly uneventful why don’t you tell me what’s going on with you? Anything exciting?

On this day Sweat Out The Small Stuff turns four

I can’t remember the last time I posted twice in one day but after I shared this morning’s post about my toe setback and yoga and mental health progress I realized that it was 4 years ago today that I shared my very first post here on Sweat Out the Small Stuff so it’s my 4 year blogaversary!

4-year blogaversary!

Also, Facebook’s “On this day” feature let me know that a friend shared this article about returning to running after soft tissue injury that was shared with me via Facebook on this day back in 2014 when I had my ankle injury. Basically it says start with a 10 minute run. Then if all feels good add 2 minutes to the next run and so on and so forth. But if there is pain, reduce by 2 minutes. So even though I started out running about 12 minutes my first run back, I increased mileage (and overall time) much quicker.

 

When did you start reading my blog? Have you been around a short while? Since the beginning or did you just discover it today?

What other blogs do you read?

The setback

So the setback specifically is in regard to my toe (shocker!). I thought I was being smart with my return to running but apparently there was a delayed response in tendon overload. I ran fine at the Spring Lake 5 miler on May 27th. I didn’t run again until almost an entire week later for just 3.5 easy miles. Again, no issues. Two days later I ran another 5 miles and I think that was probably where the overload came in because the next day I felt a smidge more achy than usual and literally each day this past week it got progressively worse until I found myself limping by the end of the week. So sneaky that toe! Needless to say I’m back on running hiatus. But I learned something here and I’ll use this setback as a reminder that even if I feel good one day after a run or even two I need to wait it out a little longer.

The progress

While the toe has had a setback, I’m happy to report that I’ve been making progress in a few areas.

1. Yoga Poses: I am getting better at crow! And, last night I realized that about 15 minutes into class I could touch my fingers to the floor during forward fold which I don’t think I’ve been able to do before (hello tight hamstrings!). I had a really awful time this weekend when my toe hurt so bad I was struggling to walk and I was at the Jersey Shore with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter. I didn’t want his daughter to see me cry but I was in such pain. I really just wanted to curl up with Mr. SOTSS and cry my eyes out and have him comfort me but obviously it wasn’t appropriate at the time. And I didn’t want to ruin a fun night since she doesn’t get to see her dad that much.

A fake smile as I limped along the beach with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter and a full moon.

A fake smile as I limped along the beach with Mr. SOTSS and his daughter and a full moon.

So the progress in yoga was a well-needed lift to my spirits. It’s empowering to try new things, stick with them and then see small improvements and progress. (I wish I could say the same for biking but we all know I never found my groove there). And now this brings me to #2 but first watch my shaky crow:

 

IMG_0596

Enjoying the last of the sunset from the window of the yoga studio

2. Mental Strength: Ok so this one was a huge aha moment for me last night at yoga. I’m gonna get a little deep here so bare with me. We were laying in Shavasana at the end of yoga class tonight and listening to the song “Awake My Soul” by Mumford and Sons. I felt so calm, so happy, so clear. This really sounds silly but I truly felt like I found a new way to soothe myself. A small choice to give yoga a shot in the midst of my toe injury depression has turned into 6 weeks of attending 2x a week and leaving class each and every time feeling not just good but great! My toe feels much better in the few hours after class, my core is getting attention after being ignored for so long. But most importantly my heart and my mind are getting a workout during practice that have their own “afterburn” effect.

Yay me!

Yay me!

I know you’re thinking “Um what’s the big deal? People do this every day.” Before my husband died (like a few weeks before he died….probably in March of 1999) I remember crying to my close friend when I thought about the inevitable funeral. Who would comfort me that day, because frankly the only person I wanted to comfort me would be him, but if he were laying in a casket that wouldn’t be an option now would it?! (side note: I read the book Option B, by Sheryl Sandberg recently and loved it because I could totally relate to so many things she said). Well, I survived not only the funeral but 15 years of widowhood (dating on and off but pretty much on my own) before meeting Mr. SOTSS. I learned how to comfort myself and pick myself up after every setback. I didn’t have a choice. It became something I was so proud of. And of course meeting friends like Lisa and beginning my journey into the running world only helped my mental game. A coworker once nicknamed me “the rock” because he was so impressed with how I kept moving forward. But something happened when I met Mr. SOTSS. Not right away because I still had my protective shell….but over the years I’ve started to rely on him more and more to help me with my moments of depression or anxiety. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful to have a significant other who loves me and wants to comfort me in times of sadness but the more I rely on him and not myself the more I’m losing what I worked so hard to gain. Not to mention it really puts too much pressure on him because emotional support is not necessarily his strong suit…..he’s a dude and dudes are from Mars not Venus right? :) (Hi honey! Love you! ;)) Life is best lived in balance and I think 2017 is the year I’m learning this just a bit more. I’m learning to diversify! LOL! …adding yoga and hiking to my exercise passions. Adding a standing desk so I can balance the time I spend sitting while working. And now I can focus more on getting my own self through the tough times again like I used to.

However I don’t think I’ll ever be able to balance the amount of Duncan pictures I take. He’ll always be my muse and my biggest addiction :)IMG_0589

Question 1: When you are overwhelmed, depressed or anxious do you tend to reach out to others to help you keep moving forward or do you like to find your own path?

Question 2: Have you been dealing with a recent setback or discovering progress in something in your life?

Hi there. This week I’ve been celebrating so many things!

From Tongue Out Tuesday…

the progression of Tongue Out Tuesday

the progression of Tongue Out Tuesday

to Throwback Thursday…

Fall 2015....Chicago! A wonderful trip to celebrate my birthday.

Fall 2015….Chicago! A wonderful trip to celebrate my birthday.

and we can’t forget yesterday was Global Running Day!IMG_0499

I ran a few miles but to be honest my toe has been a smidge more achy since returning home from St. Louis (where I did a lot of walking) and I’m keeping the mileage low and probably thinking it’s best to keep to only one run a week for another week or two. I’ve come way too far to have a setback! (this weekend will be 12 weeks since the injury first happened).

Oh, and apparently today  is National Best Friends Day. I have lots of human friends but I think Duncan is truly my BEST friend. IMG_0502

This is how excited Duncan is to see me EVERY SINGLE TIME I return…

 

Excited is an understatement. #labradoodle #dogs #doodlesofinstagram #dogsofinsta #sillypup

A post shared by Sally Stilwell (@sweatoutthesmallstuff) on

 

How can I not want to be best friends with him?

Also, it looks like I’ve designated Mondays to be for yoga

Yoga Monday "top knot"

Yoga Monday “top knot”

Getting used to traveling with this combo

Getting used to traveling with this combo

If you had to choose would you prefer Tongue out Tuesday or Throwback Thursday?

Do you have another favorite day to celebrate?