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Showing posts from May, 2009

Another day year older

My cake doesn’t look anything like the photo, but since cupcakes are everywhere this year, I thought I’d try to be trendy.

Trendy is not my style.

Okay, so yes, it’s my birthday, the big Five-Eight. What a boring age to be. There’s nothing exciting about 58 at all. Age is not a factor when I plan my day or create a to-do list. I can’t wait until I’m old enough to get away with being eccentric.

Since today also is a national holiday here in the United States, I nixed the idea of going out for dinner. Who wants to eat in a restaurant on a big picnic day? We’re having an old-fashioned American meal today: grilled ribeye steak, tossed salad and a baked potato (mine will probably be a sweet potato, my husband’s is a russet). For dessert? I thought about chocolate, of course, but ended up making a carrot cake. It’s not frosted yet but I’m using real cream cheese. None of that neufchatel crap on my birthday.

Next time I get married (kidding, honey!) I’m going to find someone who makes a Big Deal…

Friday Quote Day

“A [wo]man too busy
to take care of [her]his health
is like a mechanic too busy
to take care of his tools.”
~ Spanish proverb

That would be me.

My to-do list gets longer and longer, and even though the days are getting longer and longer, too, there’s just not enough energy to go around. When the weather is nice, as it has been the past few days, I’m finding that starting the day with a run means that’s all I do.

And I can’t neglect the to-do list in favor of running. I just can’t.

So I might be MIA for a while, while I (in preparation for the annual 4th of July reunion):
paint woodwork and doorsclean up the perennial bedsfinish planting the vegetable gardenmow, mow, mowclean the garageget crap out of the guest roometc., etc., etc.I’m not especially happy about this, as I felt I was beginning to get back on track there for a couple of days, anyway. I’m learning, reluctantly, that getting older takes a toll, at least it does on me.

Stuck in the middle of holiday prep will be a short visit to my …

The wheels of government …

turn slowly, apparently.

This post will be completely lacking in health or fitness content, mostly because being on the road and then being exhausted – emotionally and physically – has resulted in a lack of health or fitness content in my life over the past few days. This post also is kind of lengthy and might not interest you, particularly if you live someplace other than the United States and/or are happy with the state of your health care.

So, here’s how Washington, DC, works. You and thousands of others drive and drive and drive – slowly – from all directions into a tiny little section of real estate surrounded by several outerbelt highways. You get lost a couple of times and finally find your hotel. Which, as it turns out, isn’t in a particularly nice part of town, so you have a bag of microwave popcorn for dinner.

You’ve driven in DC before, so you are willing to find a parking garage and walk to Capitol Hill the following morning. That process actually went very well. The weather …

This training stuff really works

Keep in mind that I'm training to Train. I'm not really Training for a race yet, because according to all the experts you have to be able to accomplish a little bit of sustained running (three miles seems to be the starting point) before you begin Really Training.

Until yesterday, I couldn't manage even one mile. Yesterday, my first mile was smooth as silk. And my total time came down, as well, averaging out to 12:36/mile for four miles.

The new Runner's World came yesterday and I actually saw the words "thirteen-minute mile" printed in their pages. It was in a training article, in which they suggested that if you normally run a 10-minute pace, you might want to back it off to 13 minutes starting out. (I'm in the office, the magazine is down a flight of stairs and in my house – a separate building – so I don't really have all the details.) Suffice it to say I was startled to see anyone being told to run a 13-minute pace for anything from the pages of RW…

Kicking ass

Okay, back to running for a paragraph or two.

I was out of town last weekend and didn't get to run Saturday or Sunday, so I'm making it up by running every day this week. Still planning for Friday to be a rest day, although it won't be, really (more about that later).

Monday's run was on the treadmill because it was ... can you guess? ... raining! Again! My grass is so beautifully green and lush and, um, long. It wasn't a very good run, if good equals fast. It was more of a walk – three miles in 42 minutes – but at least it was miles.

Yesterday was a perfect May day and I did four miles outside. Pace was faster than last Thursday's, but still slow – 13:03/mile. I only stopped to walk about six times, which is a tremendous improvement. Progress!

Now, about Friday. I'm putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and joining a group of WV citizens who are meeting with Senators Rockefeller and Byrd, and Congressman Rahall. We have appointments at 9 and 11 a.m.…

Discouraged? You betcha.

This will probably be a downer kind of post. It might wrap up on a high note, but the way I feel right now – probably not.

When I applied for private health insurance almost a year ago, I was taking an antidepressant, which increased my premium significantly. One of the side effects of it was decreased appetite, and I liked that. Another side effect was a rash, and I didn't like that at all. I stopped taking it for six weeks to let the rash clear up, and when I started it again the rash came back but it didn't affect my appetite. My husband, who is a psychiatrist, says that sometimes happens: A side effect may be present upon initial dosing, but it will clear up or go away later. I quit taking it at that time.

In order to reduce my premium, I had to document that I had been off the antidepressant for six months. My doctor insisted on seeing me in his office (which meant paying for an office visit – my insurance doesn't cover office visits), signed a letter saying that yes, I…

Friday Quote Day

Few things are impossible
to diligence and skill.
Great works are performed not by strength,
but perseverance.
~ Samuel Johnson

Good old perseverance. Or, as my mother liked to call it, stick-to-it-iveness.

This has been a really good week so far, despite my whining and bitching about the weather. The plan?
Saturday: Run 3 milesSunday: Run 4 milesMonday: Total Body WorkoutTuesday: Run 3 milesWednesday: Total Body WorkoutThursday: Run 4 milesFriday: RestWell, here we are on Friday and I’m ready to rest. Taking last week a day at a time, I actually did everything on the schedule. Even more amazingly, I ran 18 seconds/mile faster on Thursday than I did on Sunday.

Don’t believe everything you read
Remember how I wrote yesterday that I wasn’t going to be able to mow or run outside? Well, God must have been listening, because the sun came out – the sun! the sun! – mid-morning and I was able to do both. It didn’t start raining again until after dinner.

(How lovely to hear from you, Marilyn – I didn’t …


Today’s grrr is brought to you by Mother Nature.

It has rained here in the Middle of Nowhere every day for the past 10 days. It is raining now. Not a light rain, as the graphic implies, but a steady pour.

On the one hand, I still haven’t had to water the newly planted garden space. So that’s a good thing.

On the other, though, I haven’t mowed the grass in 11 days. You can just imagine how lovely it’s looking about now.

And that explains the recent treadmill workouts, as well. If I’d registered and paid for a race, I’d certainly run in the rain. My preference, however, is not to, and so the treadmill and I have a date again today.


When is an afghan not an afghan?

When it’s a throw! (Warning: Knitting talk ahead.)

I was supposed to knit 36 repeats of the 8-row lace pattern. I stopped at 30. Actually, I think the proportion turned out better, because if I’d done a gauge swatch (Swatch? Swatch? I thought that was a pocket!) I’d have realized that I should have added a couple more repeats widthwise, as well.

As it is, the finished piece blocked out to fit on top of a twin bed – no overhang, and starting where the pillow ends. Thus, it is a throw. And it looks so nice on the couch in our “new” living room, doncha think?

I did three miles on the treadmill yesterday morning, a jog/walk combo that averaged out to 15-minute miles. Which, I guess, makes it a three-mile walk. It’s amazing how different I felt yesterday compared to Sunday – slow, heavy, just plodding along. Increasing my speed was very difficult, and I could only manage it in quarter-mile segments. (On Sunday I was able to run continuously for 1.25 miles.)

The plan I’m following right now is …

Progress photo

Well, not progress, really, this is the new starting point.

I’m happy to report that I did the South Beach Phase 2 Total Body Workout yesterday, which targets, um, the total body. You’re supposed to use a step for a couple of moves, and since I don’t have one I used the bed of the treadmill instead. It seemed like the perfect height and I got to watch television at the same time!

And for the past three days I’ve managed to down two bottles of water each day. Baby steps!

Thanks so much for your thoughtful and encouraging comments. I wish I hadn’t done this so many times before in my life. For those of you who are younger than I, and especially those of you who are losing a significant amount of weight for the first time – figure out now what you need to do for maintenance. I know you’ve read all the same magazine articles that I have, and they’re right. You can’t pick up where you left off once you reach your weight-loss goal. Maintenance is for a lifetime.

Unlike riding a bicycle, it does…

It'll be just like starting over

I began blogging more than three years ago, here, with a very specific plan. Part of the plan was to post a first-of-the-month progress photo and to compare each new month’s to the first month. After a year, here’s what that looked like.

I planned my menus and exercised regularly. My workouts included a combination of cardio and strength training. I lost weight slowly but consistently and when I got married in 2006 I had lost a total of 39 pounds.

When I decided in January of 2007 to run my first half-marathon (the Country Music in April, 2007), my weight loss slowed down and then stopped. This sometimes happens to runners in training. Looking back on it, the weight training took a back seat to the running and I ate more, because Lord knows you need to fuel up when you run. Heh.

And that, as they say, was the beginning of the end. I haven’t gotten back on the losing side, until very recently, since.

I never made it all the way back up to the weight I was in that very first photo, but I wa…

Friday Quote Day

“It’s not knowing what to do,
it’s doing what you know.”
~ Anthony Robbins

(I found this quote last week and had every intention of having it autopost last Friday, when I was gone. Alas (I love typing ‘Alas’!), the computer was being uncooperative, so I’m trying again.)

I have a minor quibble with this quote, but generally it speaks to every one of us who is trying to get fitter and/or thinner. We know what to do. We’re not stupid. It’s not like we’ve never heard of vegetables and walking and fiber and water and … well, you know.

I would even go so far as to say that many of us – in fact, most of us – already are doing the right thing(s).

In my case, though, I’m throwing in a few wrong things, as well and, to be honest, I’m totally not doing a couple of things I used to do.

The question is, “Why?”

I wish I knew the answer. Why have I quit drinking water, for instance? I used to drink at least four, and usually six, half-liter bottles of water every day. I’ve been feeling guilty about the tras…