me tim frick
Cross Country Move

Moving During the Pandemic

No one wants to move during the pandemic, but we had no choice.

To be honest, moving during Coronavirus is a daunting task. Moving across the country is scary but moving during Covid-19 makes you question everything you do. You want to see friends and family members before you go but also want to be safe. You also have a moving company packing and unpacking all of your stuff. The thought of other people touching every single object right now I owned was scary!

If you follow me on social media, you know a few snafus happened during our move pack up:

  • The Car Shipping company lost our keys (and every car key on the truck). We had to overnight our dinky key and need to get new keys remade.
  • The movers and the van driver got into a large fight which ended up in our movers walking out mid pack. (And yes the military hired a “full service professional moving company”. Had we known all of this would happen we would have moved ourselves. My husband and I had to help pack the van (the moving services repacked it elsewhere).
  • My cat disappeared and was ultimately found in the ceiling of our basement. When you think your cat is missing on moving day, you go as far as to use the “NextDoor App” and offer a 1000 reward to anyone who finds him.

After all of the craziness, we were finally able to begin our cross country move during the pandemic.

When contemplating the options to move across the country (drive or fly), we settled on driving. Why? It seemed like more fun, but also I’m not entirely sure my comfort level on a commercial airplane during the Covid-19 outbreak. I knew in the car we could control who we saw and who we came into contact with.

Tim and I’s travel style is very low key. We didn’t have checkpoints or places we needed to be by a certain date and planned it as we went. I would call hotels while we were driving and see what was available for the day. Based on the 10-11 day travel span, we knew we needed to get between 300-400 miles (5-6 hours of driving). We wanted to spend a day out west somewhere; we didn’t know where either.

Continue reading “Moving During the Pandemic”

Oigo Suitcase Review
Cross Country Move

Oigo Suitcase Review

While moving across the country, I needed new suitcases. I’ve had most of my bigger suitcases since college nearly a decade ago.  None of my suitcases were high quality, but somehow they made it through the years.

I wasn’t too familiar with suitcases in general. I knew I needed something that would last as well as fit into my two-door sedan, and hold two months’ worth of clothes. After doing some research, I stumbled upon Oigo Suitcases.

Oigo Suitcase Review

Continue reading “Oigo Suitcase Review”

Personal, Reads

Digging Out of a Hole

April Fools Day is kind of a weird day for me. My blog FueledByLOLZ would cause you to assume I’m the queen of pranks and funny jokes today.  Believe it or not, I’m not. I debated even posting this but at the end of the day, April 1st is like any day.  It’s a memorable day for some and a day that gets pushed away by others.

I also have a lot of personal friends that read my blog, and I wondered what they would think reading this post about my struggles.  Many knew me throughout my highest anxiety points and had no idea.  Many friends had an idea but never said anything.

On April 1st, 2014 my husband proposed to me.  We had been dating for a while, lived together and even moved together.

engagement photo 3

We began dating during an already turmoiled senior year of college.  Then maintained a year and a half of long distance and eight months of living together.

Living together only reinforced our relationship. I made the decision in 2013 to move from New York to Texas, and I had no idea what to expect.  I’ll never regret my choice.

The day after I moved in, I got a knot in my hair.  It took over an hour to get the knot out but instead of remaining calm, I was in hysterics over a trivial knot.

Just thinking about Texas and my hair is huge....
Just thinking about Texas and my hair is huge….

He asked, why don’t you just cut the knot out?

I still think that could be a front runner of the most dramatic moment of our relationship.  It caused me to panic immediately and get more upset.  But of course, he remained calm and helped me work through the knotty situation. An hour and bottle of conditioner later…it was over.

Since then, he has been the calmer half and voice of reason.  I panic and get upset, and he calms me down.

A long time ago, I blogged more about social anxiety and depression.  I dealt with depression more in college and social anxiety after college.

Between working in Oswego, NY as well as living in Texas, I found myself isolated.  I felt as if I was always moving and making new friend groups.  After I had moved to Texas, I was more stressed and anxious because I had no family or friends, no job and nothing to do.  We were 180 miles in the middle of nowhere. I had blogging, of course, but you can only enjoy blogging for a certain amount of hours, and you can only apply for outside jobs for so long…

There is a real world outside of the computer screen…

Even harder about the military lifestyle is if you aren’t married, you don’t receive the same benefits as a spouse who is.  The city we lived in Texas is centered around the base, so there were a lot of obstacles we faced.  Obstacles that added more stress and anxiety into my life and in turn, Tim’s life.  Unlike where we live now, the base was the only thing to do.

And run to the border of Mexico...
And run to the border of Mexico…

However, I chose to move to Texas.  I wouldn’t have learned so much along the way without.  I did, however, notice old tendencies from college slowly creeping back.  I began sinking into depression and with more anxiety than I had felt before. 

When we found out we were moving to NJ
When we found out, we were moving to NJ

When we found out we were moving to New Jersey, it was a relief.  I’m sure I would have found my way in Texas, but NJ is a short drive to our immediately friends and family.  It is a much better fit for us.  September-December of 2014 flew by, and the change was good for me.  I assimilated well into the Garden State and had so much on my plate with unpacking; I didn’t have time to breath.

moving box meme

Then the Garden State Honeymoon period wore off.

I had a very successful but often gone boyfriend; I couldn’t find a sustainable job, and I was struggling to make friends.  My depression and anxiety began to creep through the cold winter months.  I made friends through (the then small) Oiselle team  I had a solid two friends, but that didn’t help finding a job.  I applied to things in my field (public health) and outside of it (running stores as well as a couple of hospitals).  I sent follow up emails but went weeks without hearing anything back.

Anxiety is different for everyone.  Someone might struggle in overwhelming social settings like parties, but someone else might struggle with mental and personal thoughts.  Personally, I battle with second guessing everything I do.  Not in an average way but a way that can lead to panic attacks.  A way that I have received help throughout the years.

Even when jobs weren’t calling me back, my husband reassured me I would be fine.  We were financially fine, and I was making a small living, but I found myself spending weeks isolated.  Maybe that’s when I made the goal of traveling New Jersey to go to every diner, but I can’t be sure. 

It’s odd to look back and say “my boyfriend” but he supported me throughout everything.

He supported me through anxiety ridden meltdowns to even telling me: no, don’t work there, you will be miserable (and that was most definitely true).

Fast forward to late March 2014.  I was running again; I had just begun working at a local running store, and my anxiety was dwindling.  A long six months after moving to New Jersey my life was slowly coming together.   Even though on paper I should have been happy, I still felt as if I wasn’t providing enough or not doing enough.

On April 1st, I was in the midst of another meltdown.

Anxiety is funny that way; you can be happy, sad or somewhere in between.

You never know, and there is no way to predict it.  At the time I was crying my eyes out, sad…for what reason I can’t remember.  I had gotten over it by the evening, but I was still in a funky mood.  Was I going to go to bed sad again?  It never adds up either…my life was coming together.  I had a job; my running was going well, and I was making friends.  For some reason that is always unknown, I had anxiety.

Tim proposed me to that evening.  I was shocked, and it didn’t feel real.  It took me a couple of seconds to not be as shocked but of course, I said yes.

wedding 9

That was a great week for me.  I got engaged and ran a half marathon PR. 

The engagement wasn’t a band-aid to fix my anxiety.  It wasn’t a cover up to make everything feel better, but it was a turning point in my life.  For a reason, I can’t explain it was the start of building myself out of a hole that I had dug for myself.

Throughout the wedding process, my husband was there for me when he could be.  The wedding planning took up plenty of time, but it wasn’t ever that stressful.  Another interesting point of anxiety is that it can make you very Type A in a certain situation and laid back in certain situations.  The wedding was one situation I was laid back.

So where am I now?

I’m reflecting and thinking about where life has taken me in the last few years.  If you asked me three years ago:

Would I be living in NJ and loving it?  I would have laughed.

If you had asked me two years ago: Would depression be out of my life? I would have also probably laughed.

If you had asked me a year ago: where I see myself after one year of marriage…I don’t know what I would have said.  I would have laughed to buy time but, to be honest, I’m not sure what I would have said.

First dance

While depression is something I am currently not dealing with, anxiety is something I always will.  There are periods my anxiety is worse and periods where it is almost nonexistent.  I would not consider it a day of day battle but I also wouldn’t consider it over either.

My husband has been there for me throughout everything.  Throughout the good, the bad and the ugly.  Throughout trivial meltdowns that I can’t explain and the highs and lows.  Social anxiety will be something I will deal with off and on, but the major battles are thankfully in the past.  April 1st will always have a different meaning to me.

Our wedding Anniversary is on April 12, 2015, so I’ll have more of a story then. 

At the Sunset outdoors

Reads

How to Make A Move Painfree

Moving can be tough. As most people know, I’ve moved several times. My move last month was unexpected but, to be honest, we found what we needed in a house. If we had known how the events of our previous house would play out, we probably would have kept looking last year.  My apologies for not giving an exact reason of moving.  We left on good terms with our landlords.  Unexpected but good conditions.

Life happens and sometimes you need to roll with the punches! We only moved 4 miles away from our previous house.

A lot of people have asked: how do you prepare for so many moves? 

tips for moving

The short answer is: Not accumulating a lot of junk.

But let’s look at the long answer.

Here is my personal step process for an easy and relatively stressless move.  Keep in mind this works for me but might not work for you!

Step 1: Clean out your current house.  Every move I use as an excuse to see what I’m not wearing or using. If I haven’t worn or used something since the last move, it gets donated. Someone else will use it more than I am! We have started cleaning and sorting about one month before leaving. We give away items we haven’t used in a year.

cleanest room ever...
From things….to no things…

Step 2: Take one room at a time. We conquer each room one day at a time. We have each room scheduled of when we are going to pack it. That way the move doesn’t get too overwhelming. We can also take our time figuring out what we need and don’t need. This process starts about two weeks before the actual move. Our previous house had eight rooms, and it took us about ten days. moving 3

  1. Important to note during Step 2: It’s important to make sure essential items stay away from the packed items. Personally, we have a lock box with our valuable items as well as passports, important documents, and extra car keys. You don’t want those to pack those.
  2. Also important to note is inventory everything. We label each box with the room it’s going. We also number the box and have a master list on the computer. The last thing you want it to get to your new destination and be trying to figure out which box went missing. moving box meme

Step 3: This is the part where you pack up everything and move from house to house…I have done a 4-mile move and I have done 3000-mile moves.  It’s about the same: Move all of your boxes from one house to the other.

Now to actually move...
Now to actually move…

Step 4: Unpack in the new house.  If you’ve labeled your boxes by room, this makes it a lot easier.  You can quickly drop off items in the appropriate room.

Pack all things in giant penske truck
In this case: Drive truck or vehicle to new house.

It’s safe to say after three weeks of living in our new house we are nearly unpacked.  After I had taken a nasty fall the weekend we moved, I lost some motivation to unpack.  When you have a giant piece of your flesh missing, you seem to be more lazy than normal (So I’ve heard).  It might have taken us a little bit longer to unpack, but no move, training cycle or anything is that perfect.

Questions for you:

What advice do you have for people moving? 

What are the shortest moves and longest moves you have done?

For me, the shortest was now, and the longest was when I was a child from the UK to the US (but maybe that doesn’t count since mom did most of that).

Running

Letting Myself Slide…Six months of Training Thoughts

It’s a very hard realization to make that you are nowhere near in the shape you were 6 months ago.  Letting myself slide with training, enjoying life and grabbing life by the horns as well as traveling have all played a major part in that.  6 months ago was around my birthday month in July when I was PRing in the 5k.  Oh how I wish I was back in that shape…but I’m not.

I can attest my falling out with running the day I broke my arm.  After being hit by a cyclist and breaking my arm I fell into a spiral of demotivation. Even though I only missed a few days of running and was able to run awkwardly with a broken arm, the real effect it put on me was mentally.

The day I broke my arm was the day I stopped doing speed workouts.  Since August I’ve only raced a handful of times and I haven’t done speed work by myself.  That is a major contender of why I’ve gotten out of peak running shape.  I know it is one of several factors.  While living in Texas I had very few racing options and I opted to log high mileage instead of speed work outs.

Moving on to the next major factor of my life, I’ve moved in with a significant other.  I don’t regret it and in fact I absolutely love it. I will always make time for him over my running time.  I’m not on my own personal schedule anymore and I’m okay with that.  I’ll always choose to go out to eat on a date versus staying home and cooking something.  I’m perfectly okay with that but it takes a toll on training.

It’s a hard realization to come to that you have both gotten slower in running and let your training fall through the cracks of life.  Breaking 20 minutes, a once easy task in the 5k is strenuous and difficult for me right now.  I don’t even know if I could break 1:30 in the half marathon.  Please don’t compare these times to yourself, imagine if you were currently struggling to run 90 seconds slower in your 5k or 6 minutes slower in a half marathon (probably more).  That is essentially where my training is at.

I know the last 6 months have not been conclusive to my running.  I’ve been enjoying life outside of running and enjoying doing other things that don’t revolve around blogging and working out.  However, it’s still a hard realization when running a race that I’m not the racer I was 6 months ago.  Quite frankly, it stinks.  All of that being said I’ve 100% enjoyed the last 6 months of my life and would never trade it for the world.  There is more to life then running, then blogging and working out.

I’m not making excuses or looking for sympathy I’m just objectively looking back at the last 6 months of training and realizing I have a lot of work to do.  Life isn’t all about training and I’ve come to learn that in the last 6 months.  I’ve come to enjoy that in the last 6 months.  It seems like a daunting task to get to where I want to be.  A task that I feel I might never conquer again.  I often wonder if I will ever PR in races again (silly worries).

With that there are exactly 98 days until the New Jersey half marathon.  Instead of making a PRing goal for myself, I’m going to make a goal to dig out of the run cave I’ve in and start training again.

For the next month I’m going to build consistent miles again.  After finding a base line February 23rd at the Lake Effect half marathon (granted the weather cooperates) I’ll reevaluate my training.

I needed a kick in the butt and that came this week when I got the flu and was unable to train or do much of anything.  I’m able to sit here and contemplate my life, my training and where I want to go with it.  While I have 100% enjoyed and been low stressed the last 6 months, I’m ready to get back into training.  I know it will take the better part of those 100 days to get back into shape but I’m ready to try to work back there.

 Questions for you:

Have you ever had a long lull in training?

Were you hit by the flu this season?  There is a lot going around!