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February 2023

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Location:

Millcreek,UT,

Member Since:

Jun 21, 2011

Gender:

Female

Goal Type:

Other

Running Accomplishments:

800m- 2:23

1600m- 5:10

1 Mile- 5:12

3200m-11:03

XC 3 mile-17:55

XC 5k- 19:00

XC 6k- 22:25

Local 5k- 18:42

Local 10k- 41:31

Local 15k- 1:03:55

Unofficial Half (2020)- 1:45:46

Official Half (2021)- 1:49:28

60% (5 miles)- 32:32 (6:30 average)

80% (3 miles)- 18:52 (6:17 average)

16x400s- 82.0 average

20x400s- 82.6 average

SUU Road Race- 23:30 (3.9 miles/6:02 average)

Short-Term Running Goals:

Get up to 45-50 miles/week

Run a sub-19:30 5k again

Train for and race a half marathon

Long-Term Running Goals:

18:45 or under 5k

Run a marathon

Personal:

26 years old, not married, no kids. Going against the norm in Utah.

Mental health advocate, LGBTQ+ rights supporter. Newly identified bisexual woman. Ex-mormon

Former college runner for Southern Utah University

Current Employment and Community Engagement Manager at a special needs company called Atlas Advocacy Services.

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Miles:This week: 0.00 Month: 0.00 Year: 0.00
Adidas Distancestar Spikes Lifetime Miles: 3.00
Adidas Boston 7 Lifetime Miles: 430.33
Nike Pegasus 34 Lifetime Miles: 493.60
Nike Pegasus 34 II Lifetime Miles: 365.31
Nike Pegasus 36 Lifetime Miles: 480.43
Nike Pegasus 36 II Lifetime Miles: 319.00
Nike Pegasus 37 Lifetime Miles: 188.01
New Balance FuelCore Nergize V1 (walking) Lifetime Miles: 219.85
Nike Pegasus Turbo Lifetime Miles: 31.68
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Well, I know I said I'd get back into running like two weeks ago, but I didn't... whoops.

I am making changes in my life that I think are for the better. For the first time though, I'm making changes because I want to, for my own happiness, not because I feel like I have to in order to be better. I used to have a very perfectionistic view on things, and in the last year I've learned to step away from that and accept myself as I am flaws and everything. I chose to live life how I wanted, I admit I rebelled against everything I was told to obey and said no, I can do what I want. I tried drinking, sex, coffee, delta 9, stopped going to church, stopped paying tithing, started wearing tank tops and lower cut cute shirts and shorter shorts. I picked out cute underwear and stopped wearing the religious ones and it felt good to take ownership of my life and truly have the freedom to choose without the pressure of pleasing parents, church leaders, friends, family. I made it known I left the church and that I was doing things I wanted to do which were very much not in line with the church's standards, and I did feel like a disappointment to those close to me but I was finally experiencing the pure bliss of agency. I needed time to experience what I wanted to experience, without the pressure to be a perfect human who never tries any of that and obeys everything they're told to do.

I don't mean to make this religious, I believe everyone should be respected for their own beliefs and I don't bash on people who wholeheartedly believe in the LDS faith because I used to be one of them, it's the church/organization I have a problem with. I believe it was very harmful to me in a lot of ways, while also being good for me in a lot of ways. But I won't get into that.

In the last few weeks, I've been wanting to make a change not because I think what I'm doing is wrong or inherently bad, but because on a deeper level, what I've been doing isn't taking care of myself. When I started all of this a year ago, I was so deeply depressed that I didn't care if what I was doing was affecting my wellbeing, and in fact, I sought out and put myself in dangerous situations because it was self-destructive behavior, and I was teetering on the verge of suicide. In fact, it's what led to me being raped, which sent me spiraling.

There were many things at play: bipolar disorder, leaving a very controlling religion, and then being raped. All combined sent me into utter chaos. It doesn't excuse my behavior, but it explains it. But it's not like I went out and hurt other people, the only person I hurt was myself. Even typing this out I fear being judged for my choices, but I'm trying to be more comfortable with doing what I want and not caring what other people think. I think if I can have the compassion for myself and remind myself of the circumstances that led me to my decisions, I can care less what others think. Because I know what I've done has never hurt another human being intentionally. It may have caused my family distress, but that was never my intention, and I can't take responsibility for other people's feelings.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that I've experienced a lot in the last year, and I'm ready to make a change and decide how I want to live my life. I've seen both ends of the spectrum- what it's like to be a super religious LDS woman and what it's like to be the "sinner" as the church views it, or the more "worldly" way of life. I got to experience what I wanted to experience. And now, I feel like I can take my knowledge of both and shape the way I want to live according to my own standards and values, not somebody else's. I get to choose what I personally value and how I want to live my life. It's unfortunate that I felt like I had to rebel and see the opposite end of the spectrum in order to come to that conclusion, but I make no apologies for how I chose to survive. A lot of these "rebellious" activities were desperate attempts at finding something to experience that maybe would change my mind about wanting to die, to bring any sort of happiness in my life or something to look forward to. I was in survival mode.

Now, however, I'm not. I'm finally adjusting to actually living my life. I'm trying to make changes so that I can learn to thrive and experience true happiness, not just moments of pleasure.

A few of the changes I've decided to make: no more casual sex (this is a hard one for me because I went off the deep end after being raped, got very hyper sexual and used to having a lot of sex. Now, however, I feel like I'm missing out on the deep meaning and intimacy that sex can bring, and want to reserve it for relationships and deepening the connection I have with a partner). A focus on dating for a relationship (kind of the same, kind of different- meaning that I know what I want and I won't stick around for guys that don't know what they want, or that want to string me along, or use me for sex). I want to start finding hobbies again to fill my time, remind myself what I like and what I'm good at- running, writing, drawing, etc. I want to experience the pure joy of creating something that others can admire, such as a well written book or blog post or short story or something, and maybe a nicely drawn portrait of someone I love. And with running, I want to experience the true accomplishment of setting out to do something hard and doing that, then performing better than expected. That to me is true bliss. 

I'm recreating my own standards and values, I'm still in the process of figuring that out. I know I value love, passion, empathy, and loyalty. And I know I want to raise my standards from where they have been not because anyone is telling me to but because I care about myself enough to know that I deserve better. It's really an act of self-love.

Sorry this was long-winded, I just wanted to give kind of a life update and express a few of my thoughts, which I should honestly do more of. I should start journaling again, lol. So many things I want to start doing, running is one of them. I'll get back into the habit slowly but surely :)

As a side note, this week has been difficult for me because I'm coming up on the anniversary of the rape. It happened on February 27, 2022. I'm doing my best not to spiral, but I do have moments where I need to take a minute and feel my emotions, cry a little, and remember. But I know now that not everyone is like that, and that if I surround myself with good people I can learn to trust them.

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I'm going to start running again tomorrow. I've been sick and the air has been terrible. But it's time I get into it.

I discovered a new song that I'm obsessed with today: Go to war by Nothing more. 

TJ and I took a break for a month ish. But we met up on Valentine's Day and decided to try things again taking it slow. I'm feeling overwhelmed actually by dating. Feeling a lack of motivation and general lack of confidence/ low self-esteem. Feel like TJ is out of my league. So I kind of want to focus on myself for a minute to help build back my self-esteem. I just don't feel like a very cool person haha. TJ is so hard working, he has 3 jobs- full-time at the fire department, he runs a contracting business, and he works at Riverton hospital 1-2 days a week. I just barely bumped up to one full-time job, so I feel like compared to him I'm not that interesting. Lol. Idk, I need to just be more confident in myself. I don't really know what sets me apart from other people, I kind of feel like nothing does. Eh. Whatever.

What I do know is that I care deeply about other people, I can be very empathetic, I'm a decent writer, a decent runner (when im motivated and actually train), and a decent artist (when I actually draw lol). I find a lot of fulfillment in my job working with special needs. I know I'm a kind person, I just think I'm a little lost in life right now. I probably just need to focus on myself for a while. Idk. 

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Well, one of these days I'll start running again. Lol. We had a big snowstorm (over a foot) this week and I wasn't motivated to go out running.

On February 2nd, I started having lower right abdomen pain similar to the pain I felt when I had an ovarian cyst rupture in August, just not quite as bad. I wondered if it was another cyst, but I thought I would wait to see if it would go away. I also didn't have money for a doctors visit, the past few months I've been living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes got close to zero, so I was worried about if I'd have enough to eat let alone go to the doctor. Anyways, I got a new job at the end of January and upped my hours to full-time because I finally feel like I can handle it, so this past paycheck was a much more comfortable paycheck. I have car problems that need to be fixed, but for now, I'm not worried about if I'll have enough money for food, so I'm happy. Until my car breaks. Lol.

Anyway, I decided to go to the doctor on Thursday because my pain was still there, coming and going. Sometimes it's pretty intense. He ordered STD tests to be sure I was good there and those came back clean, and then gave me a referral to get an ultrasound done. I was lucky to get in so quickly because they had a cancellation, so I went this morning. Results showed my IUD is properly in place, and they found a simple cystic right ovarian lesion, which is new compared to the CT done at the ER in August. Most likely a normal follicular cyst. My doctor said that if I'm still having pain I should follow up with him or my primary care doctor. I can't get in for another month to see either of them, so I scheduled it with another doctor in the same clinic on Friday of next week so I can figure out what my options are since it is causing me pain. I guess cysts usually aren't painful.

The results said: "the right ovary measures 3.8 x 2.7 x 3.9 cm and contains an anechoic cystic structure measuring 2.8 x 2.2 x 3.1 cm. The left ovary measures 2.8 x 1.4 x 2.4 cm and is normal in appearance." I didn't realize the cyst could be bigger than my other ovary, and yet, it is... hmm. Maybe that's why my right ovary is enlarged. Idk.

I used google to try to inform myself, and maybe I shouldn't have. Now I know all the risks, haha. A cyst could cause torsion to my ovary which is a medical emergency and requires surgery to save the ovary. Or it could rupture, like my other one did. Basically from what I could tell treatment of my cyst is just a wait and see approach, which makes me nervous, unless it's big enough to warrant surgical removal. The U doesn't drain cysts because I guess they come back quickly if you do that. So that's what I'm looking at. At least it's nothing life threatening, just hurts.

I have a lot of anxiety though. My mind always goes to worst case scenario, which is a tortion, which I could lose my ovary from. So I worry about my fertility. I also wonder what is causing these cysts, and if there's something I can do to prevent them. Idk. 

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Until I start running I'm just gonna post my thoughts here. I should probably journal or something, but blogging is fun too lol. Idk.

Anyway, I had therapy today. Today is the anniversary of the day I was raped. It's been a hard weekend, to say the least. 

In therapy I expressed that I was still struggling with feelings like it was my fault. I then expressed that I should take responsibility for the part that I played in it, like how I got in that situation in the first place and then not fighting and not running. But my therapist said something that changed my view. She said that I should definitely take responsibility, but not in the way I was thinking. I was hypomanic at the time which meant I was hypersexual and impulsive, so I was making decisions I normally wouldn't do. And then when he started assaulting me, I was in a trauma response. I froze and went along with what was happening because I was remembering the fear I felt when I was groomed by my coach, it was a learned behavior. I went along with things back then because I thought it would keep me safe, so when I didn't feel safe with this stranger that had catfished me, my brain went immediately to do the same thing it did back then, which was to go along with things to keep me safe. Not necessarily that that was what actually would help keep me safe, but my brain had perceived it to be the safest course of action due to previous trauma.

Anyway, my therapist said that the only responsibility I need to take is that I didn't take care of my mental health. I had a "F*** it" kind of attitude. I was slightly suicidal at the time, I was hypomanic, all of which could have been prevented if I was more med compliant. So that is where I needed to take responsibility. Everything else was out of my control, and his actions are all on him. I shouldn't blame myself for what happened because it was not my fault. I could've done more beforehand to prevent it and protect myself, sure, but it wasn't my fault that he chose to rape me. That's all on him. I didn't ask for that, nor did I deserve it.

Feeling good about the progress that I've made. 

And yes, it was rape. I don't really want to go into details. But it was rape. It was unwanted, I hadn't consented, and he disregarded me when I answered his question and said I didn't like pain (to which he responded wrong answer and continued to assault me). He just did whatever he wanted without any consideration about how I felt. 

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