Saturday, August 30, 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 ICU for observation (due to her age and other medical conditions) and we expect her to spend a couple more days on an orthopedic unit before being transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. If she qualifies.

Because my mother-in-law is right-handed, she used her right arm to break her fall. (Note to self: Practice falling with left arm extended.) She apparently fell face-first, as evidenced by the two huge shiners and other bruises/lacerations on her face. I asked the nurse to keep mirrors away from her.

Back to Thursday night – we carried on without my husband, and he did make it home in time for Obama’s acceptance speech. The group photo I took was pretty boring, but at least everyone’s faces are visible. When it’s on the Obama website, I’ll let you know. (They are putting together a slide show of the hundreds of photos submitted to them.)

Here are a couple random shots of party food/things, not people:

The centerpiece on the buffet table

‘Yes We Can’ (and generic, patriotic) cupcakes

Obama logo fruit pizza

One of the best parts of the party was the two times everyone here burst into spontaneous applause. One, of course, was after Obama’s speech. The first was after Al Gore’s speech. The comment was made and agreed upon that if Gore had been that good a speaker during his Presidential run, he might have won the last election. (Yes, yes, I know he did … you know what I mean.)

Today is FOOTBALL! Villanova at WVU at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time. We’ll be home from the hospital in plenty of time, and since it’s not an ESPN- or network-televised game, we’re going to splurge and order it on ESPN Gameplan.

Because we deserve it. And we’re worth it.

Y’all have a great weekend. Don’t labor too hard.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

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, รก 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 get the idea.

This same reader also thought maybe we could play Obama Twister. My husband goes on Medicare in two months and one of our guests will be going to her 60th high-school class reunion this fall. Really, guys, we’re old!

Which, when you think about it, is pretty cool. We’re a roomful of geezers from a seriously red state, retired and inspired by a young, progressive, forward-thinking man who is from a completely different culture and background. His ideas and ideals, though, are ours, and we’re all committed to making his Presidency a reality.

My husband and I were so very proud last night. We figured out that the network to watch is C-Span – no chit-chat, no commentary and we felt like we were right there on the convention floor during the roll call.

Tonight? Maybe I’d better make a Kleenex run.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

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 the right things to get her supporters to vote for Obama. So did MSNBC.

Keith Olbermann: “A grand-slam. Out of the park.”

Apparently, Fox wanted something different.

William Kristol: “Tepid.”

It’s laughable, really, no matter whose side you’re on. (I’m on Keith’s side.)

Okay, back to the running and the knitting. Knitting first: I’m almost finished with the body of my in-the-round, looks-like-it-will-be-too-small pullover. The sleeves will be knit separately, joined to the body at the underarms and then the bodice will be completed as a raglan with a V-neck.

Someday.

The running: My husband and I went together for his 10K walk yesterday. When we do that and I need to throw an easy run into it, I end up doing seven-ish miles. I was supposed to only run two miles, but I felt really good and ran 3.5. The first two were continuous, then I walked a mile and then I ran another one. Each of the running distances were at a sub 12:30 pace. I know, I know – not fast at all. But I feel more and more confident about continuing to improve my time and being able to finish the entire 13.1.

On today’s agenda: Cooking, cleaning and ironing t-shirt transfers onto a couple of shirts for my husband and I to wear tomorrow night. Can’t have a party without new clothes, can we? Heh.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

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 amazon.com 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 several years ago. The serving plate was empty in mere minutes. If you’ve never made it, it’s super-simple and absolutely delish!

We don’t drink alcohol, but will have soda, tea, coffee and lemonade for thirst-quenching.

So there you have it. I’m leaving all the inspiration for the speech (wasn’t Teddy Kennedy inspiring last night?); the food is part of the background.

I received a packet of material from the Obama for Change headquarters yesterday, including a sign that our group is supposed to pose with. They want party photos to use on their blog. I’m trying to think of some creative way to pose our guests so our picture will actually be posted.

I thought maybe I’d have everyone stand on the stairs and shoot it from below, but the light in the stairwell isn’t so great. I also might stand on a ladder, just to get a different angle (I bet a thousand other photographers use that trick). I also thought I might have everyone make a silly face, but this crowd might not get into the spirit of silliness. (My fairly prim-and-proper husband would probably die if I suggested it, actually. Wouldn’t want that.)

Must. Think. Harder.

Any ideas? I wish you all could be here!

Monday, August 25, 2008

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 photo is still on the wall. It’s so exciting to walk up the stairs and see that the whole display is still intact.

I turned to Martha for patriotic decoration ideas, and ended up making tri-color, three-dimensional paper stars and some little red/white/blue drink umbrellas. I think they’ll enhance the buffet, and we might even stick some in cups of lemonade.

(I also found this cute little way of presenting gifts of cash; my older grandchildren appreciate cashmoneybucks more than “stuff” these days. That Martha is sooo clever.)

Fifteen stars are scattered across the wall space above five windows, along with four “Yes We Can” posters. (You can snag lots of Obama printables here.)

We also have goodie bags for our guests, filled with swag: posters, bumper stickers, buttons, a t-shirt transfer and a mix CD of protest songs. This was my favorite part of the party prep, and I’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks.

Now that the room is ready (please pray that the satellite doesn’t go on the fritz this week), it’s time to start on the food! Mmmmm! (I’ll write about the menu tomorrow, if you’re interested.)

With all this busy-work, have I had time to run? Why, yes, yes I have. Last week was an easy week – three runs, two three-milers and a four-miler, all at a 12:47 pace. I aced the second and third ones, which gives me a lot of confidence that continued training will result in faster times and improved endurance.

Cooler temperatures wouldn’t hurt, either.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Weigh day, weigh day!

176.

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 being the slow, dial-up model, I don’t go there very often. But I wanted to check the elevation of the Richmond Half and while I was there I decided to check the elevation of my usual route. Wow. I feel like I’m training at high altitude. Every 100 feet. Heh.

Richmond Half-Marathon
Middle of Nowhere
Yesterday was a rest day. I typically take a walk with my husband and/or lift weights. Yesterday I cleaned the house. Which wiped me out!

Okay, that’s enough outta me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

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, but sometimes I think it has a mean sense of humor.

Four days sans running was good for my pace, though. Yesterday’s scheduled three easy miles at a 12:47 pace weren’t too difficult, and I knocked 1:30 off the total target time, averaging 12:17.

I didn’t knit a stitch the whole time I was gone, but managed a few rounds last night on a pullover I’m making for myself. As I look at it on the needles, I think it’s going to be too small. Hopefully by the time it’s cold enough to wear it, I’ll be a little smaller, as well.

Friday, August 15, 2008

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.

Sigh.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

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). I still haven’t built my scrap-lumber gardening bench, but it’ll get done eventually. The lovely thing about not having a 9-to-5 job is that there are very few deadlines in my world.

I don’t wax political too much here, but I just can’t help myself this morning. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice was quoted in today’s New York Times, regarding the situation between Russia and Georgia, as saying:

“This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where Russia can invade its neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it. Things have changed.”

Um, Iraq, anyone?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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 at the end of the third speed (cough, cough) mile and rather leisurely (comparatively) walked the remaining route. The good thing is the speed drill is done, done, done for this week.

Thanks for all your comments recently. Just like nearly every blogger in the blogiverse, I love comments. It’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one aiming for a goal and working hard to get there. It’s comforting to realize we’re in this struggle together. The only team sport I participated in as a young girl was softball, and our team lost every game in the two years I played. Perhaps weight loss is the team sport of the 30- to 50-something crowd?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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 mums
  • Monday: Weight – 177.5. Walked 6.2 miles, moved the same furniture to different places, rearranged all my computer equipment. Edited to add: Also lifted weights for 20 minutes.
  • Tuesday: Weight – 178.
My meals during this time have been wonderful examples of the South Beach way to eat: lean protein, salad, yogurt – you know the drill.

Perhaps I should back away from the scale. It’s more than a little discouraging to see that number creep up instead of down. I’m not asking for advice or explanations, by the way. I’ve been through this before, too many times. I have to go by how I feel, not how much I weigh.

I feel pretty darned good. Moving all that furniture around was hard, heavy work. The fact that I can do it without hurting myself or breaking the furniture is pretty cool. Hell, the fact that I can run seven miles, at my age (57) without hurting myself is pretty cool.

Anyway – speed drill today. Speed is a relative thing in my running world, by the way. I have to sandwich three 11:07 miles between warm-up and cool-down miles. Here’s how I justify my lack of speed: The longer I’m out there exerting myself, the more calories I’m burning.

Oh, and I was usually in the art room during math class. Heh.

Monday, August 11, 2008

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-spreading project:

My husband and I continue to “decorate” our garage office/family room. I now have a display of race stuff on the wall behind my computer – medals, finisher’s certificates, a couple of bibs and this inspirational photo from the Brooks website:

Only one wall remains to fill; we’ve framed a dozen of my photos (from the late, lamented Project 365 attempt) and will get them hung today or tomorrow. Then, I think, we’ll be done.

Hope your weekend was as nice as mine was!

Friday, August 8, 2008

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!)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

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). And he started taking a daily walk. At first it was two miles, then he increased it to three, then five and now he’s really proud of himself for walking a 10K almost every day.

He lost 30 pounds in six months. He was patient and consistent. He didn’t, to my knowledge, have a weekly weight-loss goal in mind. He just kept on doing what he knew would work and, eventually, it did.

That daily walk seems to allow him to eat almost whatever he wants. We don’t keep peanut butter in the house, and if I buy a can or jar of peanuts I have to hide them. (Peanuts are not like crack for me, but they definitely are for him.)

Lean protein, good carbs, a small amount of good fat and almost no starches seems to be the way I need to eat. I dream about crispy fried chicken – dark meat! – and pizza and ice cream sundaes. But in real life, about all I eat is chicken breast, eggs, salad, vegetables, yogurt, hummus and light cheese.

And exercise is vital. Excuse me – exercise is vital!

This week of gravel-moving has been good for my muscles. I finished up the hard part of the project yesterday and then I lifted weights anyway. I didn’t especially want to, nor did I feel like I had to, considering the number of rocks I moved (to edge the gravel area). I just did it. Cross-training was on the schedule, and I didn’t have to run. One more star on the chart.

I don’t know where I’m going with this. He and I are living proof that different bodies lose weight differently. I’ve not been consistent with either food or exercise since I started South Beach May 15. Two trips to Florida will mess with your schedule. But I’ve lost a total of six pounds since that first weigh-in – two pounds a month – which is about average for me.

Training for the Richmond race seems to be what I needed in order to get the exercise ball rolling again. I could have had five rest days so far – I’ve only had one.

And six pounds is six pounds, no matter how long it takes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

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.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

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 same day! – moved all that gravel from a big pile into a large area that is now a couple inches deep. (The gravel is for weed control under a beautiful birch tree. When the whole area is finished, I’ll post a photo.) Muscles matter, what more can I say?

To address a couple of things from yesterday’s comments … Laura, I do have a Garmin (the 205) and I was wearing it Sunday. Every time I thought I’d been running at a reasonable pace, a quick check showed I was a couple minutes faster than I wanted to be. Then I’d think, ‘well, you’re dong pretty good at this pace; maybe you really can run a little faster.’ Then I’d die. I have no discipline.

And Denise (who is apparently blogless, but I wish she weren’t, ’cause I love reading her comments) mentioned epsom salts. I haven’t used this miracle product in years and years and years. My mother used to have us soak sprained limbs in an epsom-salt solution. I think I’ll pick up a box next time I’m in town. Thanks for the suggestion!

Monday, August 4, 2008

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’s basement
  • mowed three acres
  • did two loads of laundry
  • moved three heavy tables
  • collapsed
I guess WW would have gone on to leap tall buildings in a single bound rule the world with love and insight, but I couldn’t make it past 9:30 p.m.

Hope your weekend was more restful than mine was. I need a nap! Unfortunately I need to go clean more water out of that basement. And meet the plumbers. Even Wonder Woman couldn’t fix this basement without plumbers.

Friday, August 1, 2008

And the winner is …

wistfield!

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 to do a one-mile warm-up, three miles at an 11:08 pace and a one-mile cooldown.

Here’s how my brain works: I figured if the first and last miles were at a 15-minute pace, the entire five miles should be done in 1:03:24. I did it in 1:02:47, but I surely didn’t do those middle three miles in 33:24. I had to alternate walking and running from the get-go. Which proves (to me, anyway) that I at least have the stamina and will to achieve the goal. Whether I have the legs to go the distance is the question.

Finally, I used to reserve Fridays for quotes over at SK. I’m not resurrecting the habit, but I did find a good one that seems appropriate to think about over the weekend … and for the rest of my life. Maybe you’ll find it thought-provoking as well.

When we are no longer able to change a situation —
we are challenged to change ourselves.

~ Victor E. Frankl

Enjoy your weekend.