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Showing posts from August, 2008

The best-laid plans …

Just about all I’ve talked about for the past couple weeks is party, party, party. Then the morning after the party, you all get … nothing! Well, there’s a reason for that.

Yes, we had the party, and yes, it was a big success. Our family room is the perfect size for a dozen people (we could have squeezed a few more in), and the guest list included the cream of the Democratic crop in our little county.

We failed to include the elusive Unknown Factor as we planned the event. Sometime very early Thursday morning, my husband’s mother fell in her bedroom and severely fractured her right humerus. Her housekeeper didn’t find her until noon.

My husband, of course, spent the day and most of the evening at two hospitals, and my mind was definitely not on the party. My mother-in-law was initially taken by ambulance to our local emergency department and then transferred to a larger facility for the surgical repair of her arm yesterday afternoon.

She did very well with the surgery, spent last night in…

Upping my average

Today being Thursday, I stepped on the scale for the official weekly weigh-in. All those other days don’t count – it’s just information. Heh. Thursdays are for real.

175. Down another pound. When my body is cooperative, my typical weight loss is about half a pound a week. Metabolisms slow down as the years go by, so any of you youngsters out there reading this, take heed. Figure out what works for you now, get-r-done and avoid the lifetime struggle.

Easier said than done, I know.

Anyhoo … my average weight loss at this very moment is .533333 pounds per week.

The party is tonight! I am – amazingly – on schedule with the cooking and cleaning and Martha-Stewarting. Still have to figure out the photo shoot. Someone who shall remain nameless suggested having five people (I assume she meant guys) paint their chests, á la football fans, with the letters O-B-A-M-A. I reminded her that these guys were, um, old. One is on oxygen. I seriously doubt any of them would be willing to display – well, you…

What speech were they watching?

Sorry this is turning into a quasi-political blog lately.

My husband and I care very much about the outcome of the coming Presidential election, and since the Democratic convention is going on, that’s what’s on our minds. We flip back and forth between MSNBC and Fox, figuring we’ll get the partisan viewpoint from each side of the broadcast aisle.

I was at my prison volunteer gig for much of last night. When I got home, my husband urged me to stay up to watch Hillary. Based on the commentators’ build-up, he predicted I would be happy with what she was going to say.

(I’m not a Hillary fan, I don’t care for her stage presence – that head-bob bothers the heck out of me – and it’s difficult for me to listen to her strident voice. Thus, my husband knew I would need some convincing.)

So, I stayed up to listen. The way our family room is arranged, I can sit at the computer and not have to look at the TV. I was not swayed by crowd reaction or by her facial expressions. And I thought she said all t…

It's all about the food

The dieting portion of this blog is temporarily suspended. Continue reading at your own risk.

If you’re going to throw a party, be sure to have good food and plenty of it. That’s my daughter’s philosophy, and I think it’s pretty good advice.

The members of the group who will be here Thursday night are middle-aged and older, so I think mostly traditional appetizers are in order. We’ll have Swedish meatballs and those little sausages cooked in a sweet-and-sour sauce, along with artichoke dip, hummus with vegetables and crackers, a bowl of cinnamon-spiced nuts and a fruit pizza.

Cupcakes are on the menu. Cupcakes sure seem to be popular these days – Google Blogsearch came up with 1,181,447 hits and is selling a boatload of cupcake cookbooks.

Mine are plain old chocolate, and will be decorated with the words “Yes We Can” on top. I think some will be iced in blue and some in white, with red lettering.

I’m also making pig candy. I first had this at one of my daughter’s Oscar parties s…

Almost party time

Have I mentioned that my husband and I are having a party to watch Obama’s acceptance speech Thursday night? I’ve lived here 11 years, and other than our wedding party (held at his mother’s home) and our annual 4th of July family reunion, I can think of only one other “party” we’ve held, and that was for a group of knitting friends.

My husband really wasn’t part of that equation.

Anyway … we’re excited and I spent the weekend putting the finishing touches on our office/family room. After much trial and error, I think I found the solution to hanging 12 photos, all the same size, so that they a. don’t fall and b. are equidistant apart. Sticky-back Velcro works like a charm. Of course, the frames (simple, black, wooden, ordered online a couple weeks ago) are very lightweight. During the initial stages of trying to use actual picture frame hangers, three frames fell, resulting in broken glass. I bought cheap Dollar Store document frames to replace the glass. It’s been two days now and every…

Weigh day, weigh day!


Last Thursday it was 178.5. You do the math.

And, um, while you’re at it, tell me how it happened so I can do it again this week.

This is the first time in, oh, three years, probably, that I’ve even considered the validity of the “starvation mode” theory. I typically eat about 1200 calories/day and lose zilch. (My current BMR is 1457.) I didn’t even pretend to count what I was eating last weekend and I see a new number. I can tell you for sure that I wasn’t starving, though. Heh.

I’m not holding my breath that this is a new trend, of course. It’s a fluke! An aberration! It won’t last!

(I hope those theories about negative self-talk are wrong.)

Moving on … Jonathan had a great post a couple days ago. I’m still catching up on blog-reading and I’m so glad I didn’t miss this one. The idea of maintaining one’s weight, instead of one’s weight loss, puts a subtle but important shift of focus on this project for me.

Finally, I wandered over to MapMyRun the other day. My internet connection bein…

Recovering from the weekend

Oh, that used to have such a different meaning for me, back when drinking was my number-one sport.

Now, though, I’m recovering from long drives and road food.

I took four days off from training, Friday through Monday. I didn’t manage to get a long run in last week, as I’d planned, but I’m just now starting the fourth of the 16 weeks of training, so I don’t think it will hurt in the long run. The long run – heh.

The weekend was great in many ways, with the food situation being the only part that was out of my control. Here’s how weird I am: We went to Panera for lunch Sunday and I was craving a salad! Nearly every meal Friday and Saturday was fried or starchy carbs. I glanced briefly at the Panera bagel menu (love their asiago bagels), and then moved along to the chicken caesar.

Amazingly, the scale hasn’t yet displayed any damage, making me think – in the warped corner of my brain – that eating fast food won’t affect my weight after all. I realize all a scale does is report information, b…

No rest for the weary

Life is a blur these days, and today is no exception. It seems as though training has taken over my life (and my blog). I still knit, but not much. I mostly run, think about running, recover from running and get ready to run.

Like now.

As soon as I finish a seven-miler, I’m outta here! Won’t be back until Monday afternoon, so probably won’t post again until Tuesday. My husband and the dogs are holding down the fort while I’m gone – I dread the state of my floors upon my return.


Surprise, surprise … NOT!

Lessee, when I last posted my weight (something I never did over at SK, and never did here until this week), I was at 178 and had burned about a million calories over the previous three days. Thursday is my official weigh-in for the week, so two days and another million calories burned later (and another two days of meat and salad, meat and salad) and I weigh … are you ready? … 178.5.

Obviously I haven’t backed away from the scale. Also, I’m not complaining, asking for help or searching for answers – just reporting.

Nice to know my athletic experiences aren’t too-too different from some of yours. That softball league was the first time a girls’ sport was offered by our city’s parks and recreation department. I was 13, so that was in 1964. The times, they are a’changin’.

The busy-ness continues around here: Easy run today, along with weight-training (which I completely forgot to do yesterday – a 10K walk seemed like enough, I guess), and I need to finish mowing (got rained out yesterday)…

Speed(?) drill

I tried. I really, really tried.

I was supposed to do a warm-up mile, three 11:03 miles and then a cool-down mile. Since I was accompanied by my husband and we were on our usual 10K route, I decided to add additional walking miles at the beginning and end, and go an additional .8 of a mile. Theoretically we would be walking the last mile at about the same time.

It was the middle three that killed me – I averaged an 11:43 pace for those miles. And it was so, so hard.

I don’t have much of a hill strategy, and – this being the Middle of Nowhere, West Virginia – even a relatively flat road has a slope or two. I had high hopes that a swift descent would more than make up for a slow ascent, but it didn’t work that way.

I’m consoling myself with the fact that it’s still early in the training schedule. Yesterday was Day One of Week Three. And it was my first tempo run outdoors. I don’t have to run hills on the treadmill unless I want to.

Which, of course, I never do.

So I caught up with my husband …

Wacky week

I’ll be out of town this weekend and have to mix up the training schedule a bit. My long run will be Friday instead of Sunday, and I’m swapping the tempo run, originally scheduled for Thursday, and the easy run, which I was supposed to do today. I hope this leaves me with enough energy to take care of a one-year-old Saturday and Sunday. Heh.

Also, in addition to a 20-minute weight-training session, I’m adding a long walk to each of my three or four rest days. (Early in the training schedule I only run three days/week. Later on I add another run day.) My husband and I walked 10K yesterday in about an hour and a half – a nice, not-too-slow pace that felt good. My hope is that the additional walking will help get rid of some weight. Did it work?

Well, here’s what the week looks like so far:
Sunday: Weight – 177.5. Ran seven miles, moved some furniture, planted mumsMonday: Weight – 177.5. Walked 6.2 miles, moved the same furniture to different places, rearranged all my computer equipment. Ed…

Weekend wrap-up

My rest day this week was Friday – I’m not sure how it happened that I didn’t do a lick of exercise then, despite good intentions, but that’s what happened. I walked six miles Saturday with my husband (six point TWO, actually, as he always points out), and did my long (slow) run Sunday. Goal pace was 12:47; as you can see, I didn’t make it for most of the run.

BUT … I ran and ran and ran. Very few walk breaks. There’s a tortoise-and-hare analogy in there somewhere, but I’ll be darned if I can find it. Perhaps it’s that I ran seven miles instead of the six that was on the schedule. I really thought I was supposed to do seven. Is this how Alzheimer’s starts?

I finally bought the chrysanthemums I wanted for around the birch tree. I don’t think I’m finished buying mums, but here’s what it looks like so far. I took the photo at dusk, hoping the little solar walkway lights would be on, but they weren’t and it was starting to sprinkle and my camera’s not waterproof and, well, here’s my gravel-…

Crazy 8s

08/08/08 … wonder how many weddings will take place today?

Thanks for all the support and encouragement you offered yesterday when I wrote about how relatively easy my husband was able to lose weight. I told him I wrote about him; I think he would argue that it was easy – he loves and misses his peanut butter – but he also acknowledged that guys lose faster than girls.

As he said, women have more body fat, thus less muscle, thus we are biologically and physically incapable of keeping up with men when it comes to shedding fat. I guess he hasn’t met Marla, who has stuck with a strength-training regimen for, literally, years. Loved her comment yesterday, by the way. Third helpings, indeed.

We have satellite repair people coming in 15 minutes and I’m not even dressed. Gotta run (I’m not even going to talk about yesterday’s tempo run, except to say it sucked!)

My husband's weight-loss plan

Some people really do lose weight more easily than others. If you’ve ever tried and failed at maintaining a significant weight loss, I’m sure you’ve run into someone, somewhere, who managed to lose ____ pounds and has kept it off for ____ years.

Well, I live with one. And it is frustrating beyond belief to eat dinner with him. He can pack away a significant amount of food (two hamburgers with buns and mayo, a huge portion of mixed vegetables and a ginormous baked potato, for instance), while I have one plain beef patty and a salad. Guess whose scale will show a slight gain in the morning?

He lost a lot of weight before I met him 15 years ago. Over the years he’s gained about 20 pounds back. He would occasionally try to get rid of it, but his work situation was challenging and he enjoyed food as a reward. Most of the time he was eating on the road, as well.

When he retired in December, he came home to healthful meals and limited snack opportunities (no hotel vending machine down the hall)…

The treadmill is my friend

– at least when it comes to pacing.

Yesterday’s easy run was a repeat of last Tuesday’s: two miles at a 12:47 pace.

It hardly seems worth it to me to work up a sweat for anything less than three miles, though, so I started out at a brisk walk, bumped it to a slow run after one lap and hit my stride (a 12:30 pace, or 4.8 mph) at the first half mile.

After 2.5 miles I was able to kick it up to 5 mph and finished the last lap at 5.5 mph.

Three miles total at a 12:39 pace. Pretty speedy for an old, slow, fat lady. Heh.

Worked some more on the gravel yesterday. I’m putting large rocks around the perimeter of the area, and am halfway finished with that. I need to gather more rocks from another part of the property.

For that job, the wheelbarrow is my friend.

A new record!

Perhaps I’m returning to childhood, at least in sleep habits. Or maybe following the sage advice of Ben Franklin? Last night I was in bed (reading) as soon as Jeopardy was over.

I missed my weight-training workout yesterday morning, but more than made up for it by spreading five tons of gravel yesterday afternoon. If (when?) the WPA starts up again, my husband and I will be in line for supervisor positions, ’cause we sure have racked up enough experience in hard physical labor lately.

Five tons is a lot of gravel, my friends. Not only did it take more than 20 minutes to spread (my usual weight workout time), we’re not done! I got seriously dizzy late in the process and had to stop before I passed out.

I must say, I much prefer accomplishing a task to simply hoisting dumbbells. But I’m already beginning to see the benefits of the little bitty bit of weight training I’ve been doing. My husband and I moved a lot of furniture from his mother’s basement yesterday morning. And then – on the sa…

Maybe I should dye my hair

Described as “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules,” Wonder Woman has been an iconic superheroine since her comic-book creation in the ’40s. She achieved new status as a television heroine to little girls growing up in the mid to late ’70s.

Yesterday, she was me. Heh.

Sort of. No one has ever described me as ‘beautiful,’ and I certainly wasn’t swift on my long (six miles) run. Missed the target time by more than four minutes.

I always start out too fast. I was pretty much whipped by the fourth mile. Today the front of my thighs are very sore. I’m just glad I don’t have blisters or any other kind of foot pain. Thigh muscle pain works itself out in a day or two. Usually.

Wisdom – in knowing when to speak up and when to shut up – was a small part of my Sunday. I could have done better; Wonder Woman certainly would have.

The strong part I have down pat. After my morning run, I:
cleaned water (50 gallons Sunday, 75 Friday) from my mother-in-law’…

And the winner is …


But we must give Denise the credit. Since only three people left comments – sob! – and Mindy had already taken herself out of the running, Denise felt that wistfield – who loved the bag – should be the winner. How cool is that?

I’ll mail your bag to you, wistfield, as soon as you e-mail me the address where you’d like to have it sent.

When I logged on to my Blogger dashboard this morning, I was astonished to see this message:

I’d hate to see the Shrinking Knitter deleted, so I asked for a review. Apparently some spam-checking spider thinks the blog is spam, and a human will have to have a look at it. In the meantime, I’m going to check into one of those services that will print your blog in book form.

Yesterday’s tempo run was hard, hard, hard. I don’t run fast, ever. (I like to say I was built for comfort, not for speed. Heh.) But I understand that if I want to reach my goal of finishing the Richmond Half-Marathon in 2:30, I’m going to have to do some speedwork. I was supposed …