When you’re at mile 24 of the marathon, no matter how terrible things are, they start to get good again, because you really and truly are ALMOST THERE.

Almost there, even if it feels like we might be painting forever…

When last we spoke I was at the painful point where I hadn’t been able to cook in my kitchen or wash a dish for about 2.5 weeks.  I was prepared for about 2.  It was finally getting to me.  However, between Thursday and Sunday, everything pretty much fell into place.

Thursday, our counters got installed.  While I was bummed we had to wait 24 hours to hook up plumbing, it was so nice to be able to put things on the counter.  It sounds so minor but all of a sudden, I could actually chop up a salad in my kitchen and it was amazing.  Then, on Friday, the in laws came and helped us with a ton of work, including hooking up the plumbing (Zliten wanted me to share that HE helped with that too).  Friday night I loaded the dishwasher and it was the most glorious thing ever.

Saturday, we were supposed to do an 8 mile run but slept until NOON instead (apparently 12 hours of sleep was necessary) and then got right to work on the kitchen. We pulled out some Ryker tools from the attic and throughout the weekend, installed all the cabinet hardware, cabinet shelves, unpacked all the boxes, and got a under-the-sink mounted trash can and installed that.  By Sunday, not only did our kitchen feel like a kitchen with some minor cosmetic issues, the rest of our house was no longer trashed either and we had set up the Christmas tree inside.  Life felt back to normal, pretty much.

I’m proud of how we’ve handled the remodel.  Everyone kept telling us that things would be so crazy, and it was, kind of, but we were ready for (most) of it.  So, one year, I actually got picked for a trial in the Jury Duty pool.  It was something I tried to avoid and dreaded but it actually was an interesting experience that I think everyone should go through once.  I feel like this with the kitchen.  We kept our shit pretty calm.  We were so lucky to have knowledgeable and helpful in laws to guide us through the work, but I think the kitchen will mean more to us when it’s done because it’s got some of our blood, sweat, and (very few) tears in it.

Yesterday, our fabulous in laws put up all the backsplash and after work we painted the walls.  I figured it wouldn’t be that much different (the old color is inside the tape around the green fairy) but going from warm spring green to cool minty green makes the kitchen look SO much better with the other colors we’ve chosen.  We have a little more paint work to finish up (and figure out how we’re framing the fairy), the fam is going to grout and finish the backsplash, and we still need to deal with a few pieces of tile but man, we are close!!!

The rest of my life is sort of limping along behind all this remodel stuff and I’m coming into my last few days of work for the year on fumes.  I haven’t had a workout plan in weeks.  When I do motivate and get my ass moving, I’m enjoying it and it feels great.  However, it’s now week 7 of no schedule and somewhere between 2-4 hours of trackable activity (not counting walks and lifting heavy things during the remodel).  I have to remember that this is how normal humans do things.  Normal people don’t ride their bikes for 5 hours a day.

Still getting to play bikes, but the miles are few and far between.

I do miss being abnormal though.  On the weekend trips to Lowes for ONE MORE THING WE NEEDED, we’d see a billion people riding their bikes and get really sad for a moment.  I miss that stuff.  I just have to remember, besides the kitchen looking amaaaaaazing, these good things have happened to me with 7 weeks off:

#1 – I have lost weight.  Makes absolutely no sense, right?  I stop training and tracking and the magic happens.  The week I did the Livestrong ride, I was 185.7 average.  I’m 182.8 this week and my highest weight this month has been 183.7 so far (and that’s a good sign as my weight usually stabilizes around a number – right now 182-183 – for a bit right before it swings down).  It’s slow going but I’ve made just about as much progress on weight loss in the last 7 weeks than the 6 months prior.

#2 – My body has healed.  My heel is back to 100% now, and I currently don’t have any aches, pains, or niggles.  All the residual fatigue of the Ironman coupled with summer and fall’s training is totally gone.  While I’m sure I’ve lost some fitness, I’m super excited for my body to kind of be a blank slate right now so I can mold it back up into a faster, shorter course athlete for a while.

Either way, training resumes December 18, nothing crazy in terms of hours, but I will be maintaining a schedule with actual prescribed workouts instead of “let’s go do something today for a while… or not…”.  I may actually be excited enough about it that I’m working up a schedule now.

I’m hesitant to be all *WOO WOO SUB 2 hour half marathon* anymore at 3M because 5 weeks is not a long time to train, but I’m interested to see what I can mold myself into in that time.  And, of course, I’m going to show up and see what happens, because sometimes what happens is MAGIC.