Friday Five Vol. 85

How in the world is it Friday again? How is it the last Friday of January? Although in all honesty, I am over January. It’s always a bit of a harsh transition into a new year. I should have wrapped up 2023 in a bow (which I haven’t yet) and made plans for 2024 (which I haven’t yet) and here we are, four weeks into the new year.

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Confession: I’ve been dragging myself out the door for my runs this week, lest you think that this working-out thing always comes easy to me. Just because I am consistent doesn’t mean I don’t have days where I don’t want to do it. The funny thing is, and you probably experienced it yourself, it’s all about getting started.

Some of you have asked before how I manage to keep up this rigorous workout routine (streak day 1121) and honestly, it’s all about habits and discipline. I don’t debate with myself, I just do it. As you know from my Weekly Run Downs, it’s also about finding like-minded people and a community who support you.

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I previously mentioned that we had a Great Horned Owl nesting outside my office window last year. Well, it’s back this year! Our IT team set up a webcam again, so we can always go to a live stream URL and observe the owl via the Internet, but when I am in the office, I can also just go to the window and watch it from there, because it’s on eye-level with my 4th-floor office suite! Neat, isn’t it? No babies yet, but this will be fun to watch.

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My parents are getting a new kitchen (after almost 40 years in their house) and I am living vicariously through them. I mentioned back in October (gasp, I can’t believe it’s been 3+ months) that they had a pipe leak in one of the rooms in the basement which turned out to be a pipe leak in the kitchen, which is right above said room in the basement. Part of the kitchen had to be disassembled and fixing it would be a patchwork job. So after consulting with the insurance, redoing the kitchen (just the cabinetry, that is, the appliances are fairly new) was the smarter solution. My mom sent me the layout design and it’s going to be beautiful.

I’d like to reiterate that I am still saying almost weekly how much I appreciate our new kitchen floors (it really is an upgrade!), but in the same breath, I’ll probably also rant about the lack of counter space, the old and fickle stove/oven, the squeaky and tight drawers, and the many other frustrating shortcomings of the kitchen in our rental. I’ve been thinking lately about how I could make some improvements, but I am not sure if there’s much I can do other than changing the cabinet knobs and possibly doing some touch-up repainting. But I am open to ideas if you have them. In all honesty, the whole kitchen needs an overhaul, but I know that’s not going to happen.

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This weekend, I am looking forward to participating in Capstone PeloFondo. CAPSTONE is the 5-year anniversary celebration of the PeloFondo event. If you recall, PeloFondo is a Gran Fondo-style endurance challenge for Peloton riders and the main goal is to ride a designated amount of miles over the event weekend. You can join individually or as a team and pledge an amount of miles that you vow to accomplish within 48 hours. I have done PeloFondos in the past and I pledged miles again for my Streakers 365 Team.

How was your week? Any plans for the weekend?

  1. I’m excited for your parents new kitchen! I really want new cabinets, and they’re SO EXPENSIVE. Ugh. I’m also excited about your owl, so cool!
    I’ve been enjoying January. I like the starkness of it, the calm after the storm that is November and December.
    Today was a day when I did NOT want to do my exercises. As you said, I did it anyway. I felt better after. :-)
    Good luck, enjoy your Peloton challenge this weekend! We don’t have any plans that I can think of. I’m hoping to spend some time reading, and write a blog post or two. I thought to do that today, but ended up being out on a walk for a couple of hours, and then ran errands all day.

  2. The owl is so cool! You know I love WFH, and offhand being able to see an owl from the window sounds like the only perk that would ever get me back to the office.

    Yep I’m with you 100% on workout motivation. Sometimes the decision to workout is as obvious as the decision to breathe, and sometimes it takes a little more effort to get on board. Luckily your starting motivation doesn’t matter – a workout that you had to drag yourself to counts the same as the workout that you had to drag yourself to.

  3. I have been loving the daily yoga practice…I want to be careful not to force myself to do it daily in 2024 because I want it to stay FUN, but I cannot believe how much more flexible I am after 26 days of yoga!

    I’m glad to know it’s sometimes tough for you to get motivated to get out the door. I’m still in absolute AWE of the amount of exercise you fit in each week! And I love Birchie’s point that even if it feels like a slog, it still counts. They’re not all going to feel amazing or easy. It’s the showing up that counts and the rest mostly takes care of itself.

  4. Hoping the Peloton challenge is going well. I’ll live vicariously through you about having plans for the weekend. Although I’m going to make some granola, so that’s something!

  5. Oh, how fun to watch the owl! Things like that make life great! I agree that January has been SOOO long.

  6. Getting a new kitchen complete with an addition was something I never thought would happen for us. It has been a great space since we redid it. I hope you find a way to spruce yours up.

    I drag myself for runs sometimes but am always glad when it is done.

  7. someone just asked me this week if there are days that I don’t feel like working out. My response at the moment was no but I didn’t find out why. Yes, it’s true that usually 10-15 min into the workout, I feel better and ALWAYS glad I came out. But most importantly, I think my mind has got the post-run euphoria wired, knowing that I’ll get the reward so it doesn’t take any effort to go out and run. Obviously, it took years to get here, so for new runners, I tell them to go slow and enjoy the nature, form the routine and habit.
    January really is going faster than usual, I guess it means we are having good time?

  8. It is helpful for me to know that you struggle with workout motivation. I always think it is so easy for people who work out all the time, but the truth is that it is a struggle for us all from time to time, but you just gotta DO IT. Sometimes putting on your shoes is the hardest decision!

  9. That horned owl is so cool! Both of my boys love owls so they would love being able to watch one on a webcam! There is an owl that seems to live close to us, probably in the nature area by the creek. We can hear it hooting at night. It’s a really sweet sound.

    I am glad January is almost over. It’s one of my least favorite months! It’s usually super cold here. The weather has really warmed up though so it’s ending on a better note. But we had 10+ days of miserably cold weather!

    There are changes I would like to make to our kitchen but even as a homeowner I don’t have the motivation. I’d love to get our cabinets all painted white but it would be quite expensive and I don’t know that I could talk Phil into it. So I am no help on how to spruce your kitchen up!

  10. A new kitchen after 40 years is richly deserved! I don’t know if I ever want to redo my kitchen – how do you eat without one?!

  11. Being face to face with an owl is so exciting. Does it make you skip into the office knowing you can watch it? Please keep us posted on what is happening.
    Also yeah a new kitchen. I just came back from my parents and also realized the kitchen they installed in 2000 is falling apart at some areas. So it must be very exciting following along your parents for that overhaul. Fingers crossed everything went smoothly.
    As for your own kitchen… sigh. I would probably just redo the kitchen myself if I knew I am gonna be in that apartment for x-amount of time and then see if the cost per year would justify my inner peace. But not sure if that would work for you. Changing doorknobs can make a huge difference through. We did that in the waterfront apartment were we only stayed a year. It made a lot of difference.

  12. That is so wild about the owl!!! They are such fascinating birds. New kitchen- I so want one! Ours if from the 90s… Ahh, one day…

  13. I have been really not excited about working out too. Here I blame the weather– it has been literal weeks since we have seen the sun, and I feel like a neglected plant. Exercise always makes it better, though.

  14. You are so, so right, San. My mom always says, Just Do It. Just get started. Put on the workout clothes, put on the sneakers, and start moving before your brain has a chance to wake up and protest. (This is why I just cannot understand people who read, drink coffee, and do other things pre-workout. If I did that, I would still be on the couch…. :>)
    I’d love to do a PeloFondo BUT I think my cheapo bike does not measure mileage accurately. Yes, I keep the resistance low and go for speed (I know, boring, but it’s how I always ran, too), but I cannot imagine that in 42-45 minutes I am really going 20 miles. Please. So I feel like I would need to do 20% more miles than I commit to, to ensure I cover the distance. :)

  15. How exciting for your parents. A workable kitchen makes such a difference in a house I think. The kitchen in our rental was not well designed. You couldn’t open the bin when the dishwasher was open, which is ridiculous. The pantry was really deep and skinny. I like narrow and wide so you can get at things.

    And how lucky for you to be able to watch the owl out your office window. Hopefully not too much of a distraction? During the pandemic I often caught my my husband watching the livestream of the eagles nesting in a building in the CBD.

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