Happy New Year! The first days of 2018 have brought my longest break from running outside of my two-week recovery post-marathon. The last time I ran was Christmas Eve two weeks ago. I’m sure you know why because most of the country has dealt with the same thing–frigid weather with temps not above 20 for two straight weeks.
I’m sure everyone has their own tales of woe during this arctic blast, and not running is definitely a first-world problem. Staying warm and safe in daily life trumps not being able to run. Still, when I’ve lamented to non-running friends that I haven’t been running, the response is always along the lines of, People run in this weather!?!? Ha! It makes me not feel too bad. My bigger concerns have been getting to work and getting the dog out.
I’ve been walking to work and didn’t have to go in to the office the week of Christmas when it first got bad. On my first day back after the new year, it was in the single digits with wind chills below zero. I bundled up in all my layers and headed out. The cold wasn’t the issue. It was the wind. I wore sunglasses, but the cold wind was so fierce that it made my eyes weep the entire walk in. By the time I got into the office, my makeup was a disaster and my eyes were completely blurry from build-up from all the tears on my contacts. And I had just got out a new pair of contacts the day before. I literally could not see. I had to leave work to go to CVS to get contact solution and then had to go to the restroom about 20 times during the day to rinse my contacts. By the time I left for the day, my eyes were burning and itchy and still blurry–and then I had to walk home in the same windy conditions.
I had to throw away those new contacts even after deep cleaning them with an enzyme cleaner twice because the tear deposits just wouldn’t come off. After that I started wearing my glasses instead of contacts.
I also tried something new–taking the bus! A coworker helped me navigate our port authority’s confusing website and find a bus I could take. Turns out there is one right at the end of my street that takes 10 minutes to get right across the street from my building. I can’t believe I never looked into that before! I rode the bus one morning and one evening, and it was awesome. I still plan to walk to work, but I’m so happy I have a plan B option if I can’t walk in.
And then there’s Django. Greyhounds are unlike other dogs in that they have very little body fat; the anesthesia for greyhounds is different from what it is for any other dogs because greyhounds’ bodies are so different. Plus, Django has very little fur and is bald on his belly and butt. So greyhounds are more susceptible to extreme weather conditions. Every time he has to go out in really cold temps, I have to put two coats on him and booties. Add to that all my own layers, and it’s 10 minutes just to get us ready to leave the house. Well, when it got super cold, Django did not want to go potty once he was outside. This isn’t an issue when I’m at home and can take him whenever he can’t hold it anymore, but when we had to go back to work, he had to go early before we left for the day. So on some days I was late for work because I had to take him out a few times to get him to do his business. Luckily I was working from home on the worst day, because on our morning walk he peed a single time; for reference, he usually pees like 50 and poops at least once. I guess for him it’s better to hold it than to poop in the cold!
The cold spell is breaking today, and it’s supposed to be much warmer this week. Hooray! I’m excited to get back to running.
The main activity I’ve been doing is Pilates. I’d been lifting heavy weights in November and December and wanted to switch it up. I have a Pilates DVD using the ring (or toning circle) and have been doing that consistently the past two weeks. There are two 30-minute segments, one focused on upper body and core and the second focused on lower body and core, plus a bonus 10-minute abs segment. I’ve been absolutely loving these workouts. It’s so interesting to me how these small, intense movements can give such a great workout. And it’s just a nice break from lifting weights. I think I might get other Pilates DVDs because I’m really enjoying the workouts.
I got a lot of deep cleaning in my house done and continue to cook a lot (I got cookbooks and a bunch of cooking stuff for Christmas.) But I’ve also started one totally frivolous activity–playing with makeup!
Probably around seven years ago, I got really into all-natural makeup and skincare after attending a seminar where I learned how makeup and skincare isn’t regulated, and there are toxic ingredients in even the most high-end brands. I threw out all of my makeup and skincare. I focused on finding good, non-toxic skincare but just never really got much into makeup. I had signed up for Goodbeing, the beauty subscription box focused on natural brands, and got a few makeup items from that. But I really didn’t use much makeup beyond a tinted moisturizer, concealer, mascara, and just a bit of blush, eye shadow, and lip balm. And, you know, most of us runners (or the ones I know at least) just do not wear much makeup, probably because the time we spend doing makeup could be time we spend running!
Before the holidays, Tarte Cosmetics had a huge sale. On a whim, I decided to buy some makeup because I really didn’t have much, and what I do have is like five years old. Now, Tarte is not 100% natural–the green beauty purists tend to bash it because of that. But, my thinking on makeup has changed a bit. I still use good-for-me skincare (mainly the Arcona line), but will using eyeshadow that’s not 100% natural kill me? Probably not. Even though they’re not 100% natural, Tarte (and Josie Maran) is good enough for me.
So, I bought an eyeshadow palette. Once I got it, I opened it and had no idea what to do with it. So I went onto YouTube and found the huge and wonderful community of beauty YouTubers. Have you seen them? It’s like this whole other universe! The first videos I watched from women using this palette were all very young, very beautiful women, all using more makeup than I ever thought possible for any one person to use. I mean, on their eyes alone they would use primer, then powder, then a base shade, then a transition shade, then about ten different shades in the crease, lid, browbone, inner corner, and under the eye. Then they’d use eyeliner on both the top and bottom eye, then eyeshadow over the eyeliner. Then they top it off with fake eyelashes and a crazy amount of mascara. For me, who usually only used mascara and a single shade of shadow that I simply swiped on without any thought, I was amazed. I honestly had no idea that putting on so much makeup was a thing! But I tried some tutorials (minus a lot of the layers like fake eyelashes) and started really having fun. Turns out, playing with makeup is pretty fun!
Then, after Christmas, Tarte had another huge 70% off sale. Everything was so cheap, and I ended up buying a ton. With my haul and watching YouTube beauty bloggers constantly, I am now doing things I have never done before, like doing my eyebrows (which is actually more than tweezing stray hairs that I’d only previously done) and sculpting and highlighting. You should have seen my husband’s face when I told him I was sculpting my nose. I cleaned out my bathroom shelves, bought organizers and organized all my makeup, and now can easily spend an hour doing my makeup. And, usually, it still looks like I’m not wearing makeup, ha ha! As fun as it is to play with and as much as I try to achieve dramatic looks, I always gravitate back to soft and natural looking. We went out last night and I wore a red lipstick that I got in one of my holiday collections. I was actually a little uncomfortable! Here are a few of the makeup looks I’ve done.
I will have a Lululemon review up this week for the new Scuba Glyde Hoodie. I bought that along with the Hotty Hot Long Shorts in this gorgeous deep maroon red color (I think it’s Deep Luxe?) when they went on sale. Yes, on days when it’s 1 degree, I’m buying shorts. Winter won’t last forever!