Sunday, October 27, 2013
What has two feet, a runny nose, a shiny new medal, and just won first place in a 5k for her age category?
So here's how it all went down:
Yesterday was FREEZING. Okay, not technically, but it was DARN cold. I had two hours of class on Friday, a full day scheduled (including a wedding performance) on Saturday, and a bunch of shops to do on Sunday, so it was a full weekend and when I woke up at 6 and let the dog out, the blast of cold air that smashed into my face made me reconsider this race I hadn't yet signed up for and probably could live without.
The whole point was to get Little Bear to run, but since the Kids Dash had an attached adult 5k, I had added it to my to-do list. However, I hadn't managed to get any decent running practice in for the last three weeks, so I was afraid I was going to be too rusty. Would I even be able to finish? Plus, I didn't have any decent cold-weather running clothes except a jogging suit that was probably going to be too hot. It would just be easier to skip it...
Mom was having none of it. "You know you want to," she told me when I called. "And you ALWAYS get like this. You try to talk yourself out of it before you do it, but when you do it you have fun." (Boy, she's got me pegged!)
A couple of hours later, we're both shivering at the starting line. There are 64 people standing around looking frozen, all in various varieties of layered clothing. Someone was wearing the short-sleeved race t-shirt over a long-sleeved one. I thought this was a good idea and abandoned my sweatsuit jacket to do the same thing. It worked well, keeping my chest nice and warm but not too hot. My fingers, however, were ice. Note to self: WEAR GLOVES to these things!
(I actually did one smart thing and that was wear the ear warmer/headband thing my husband had bought me twenty years ago. It kept the sweat out of my eyes and my ears nice and toasty!)
The race began and I started too hard, too fast. I was panting when we reached the first hill, about .1 miles into it. What I found out later was that the ENTIRE course was hills. Up hills. Both ways. How is that even possible????
At some point I felt a twinge in my right knee and I tried to walk it out. I think I was still recovering from whatever muscle got pulled in my hip during the half marathon, and that threw my alignment off. The knee pain prevented me from running as fast as I wanted to. (I'm still approaching this sport conservatively. I really really don't want to injure myself.)
Finally the last hill was in the distance, and I could see the finish line. I didn't even try to sprint -- I just crossed it, happy to be able to walk and go eat something. I was really hoping for hot chocolate. No such luck. Mom took my picture, and I saw Daddy Bear and Little Bear waiting to start their race. Mom said "I think you did it in 30 minutes," and I looked down at my watch, which I had forgotten to start. I didn't really care about the time. I just wanted to get inside from the cold.
Little Bear had ZERO interest in running his dash, and I had to drag him part of the way. He was tired and cold, and I sympathized. I picked him up and carried him halfway, then he ran the last few feet himself. They gave him his bucket of candy, which he gave to grandma, and we went in to feast and see if they'd posted the times yet.
The food spread was amazing. Not your usual bananas and granola, they'd gone all out. There were mini Subway sandwiches, fruit and veggie trays, cookies, snack mix, SUSHI (????) cheese and crackers, bagels, and pumpkin shaped pretzels. Little Bear went to the bouncy house and played until they announced the winners.
Was I surprised to find out I'd WON? Well, slightly! When they announced third, I was sad because I thought I might have had a shot, but the time seemed pretty slow. The second-place time was only a minute slower than me, and I was doing the math in my head thinking, "I'm pretty sure I was faster than that, but maybe not." I was SHOCKED to hear I'd won for my age group, and I walked up to get my medal in a state of "Wait, really? There has to be some mistake here!"
It was a fun morning, and Mom looked over at me and said, "Now aren't you glad you came!?" Um, YES!!!
Next weekend was another hill race -- a trail race in Kentucky, but I think I'm really going to skip that one, since I have another one a week later. I want to make sure this knee is okay. And I would love to be able to sleep in just ONE Saturday!!
Friday, October 25, 2013
There was frost on my windshield this morning, which made me ever so happy I wasnít getting up early to run. To think that just a few short weeks ago I was complaining about how hot it was! From August to October is the difference between night and day. Literally. It was dark when I went to work.
Little Bear is running another kids dash tomorrow. Iím not really ďpushingĒ him to be interested in running, but I want him to know that exercise and fitness is an important part of our lives. Plus, letís face it: Momma likes BLING, and baby medals and trophies are just adorable. Heís supposed to get a medal for this one, and heíd better, or Iíll hear about that for a month. (Heís still telling everyone, ďGramma poke in eyeĒ over an incident that happened in April.) I had planned to run the associated adult 5k, but I have no idea what to wear. Iíll either figure something out or wear dance clothes! I do have sweat suits, but Iíve never run in them and Iím worried they might be too hot.
Winter is on its way. I could see it in the clouds yesterday morning, and I can see it in the clouds of frost I exhale. I love winter; just donít particularly love driving in it. Itís not exactly the perfect season to be gifted with a bicycle. (Iím scratching my head at that, but I guess itís just the misfortune of being born in late autumn.) In any case, Iíll have a shiny new pink bike to ride after the last snow recedes next year.
Winter is usually Tae Bo time, and WiiFit time for me, but Iím not sure I can get Little Bear to give me space in the living room. Heís as bad as the dog, getting underfoot whenever Iím trying to do the Just Dance game, and climbing on my back when Iím doing yoga. I really donít mind because heís only a toddler once. Eventually he wonít want anything to do with me, and Iíll have a too-empty house to myself. So even if it throws my fitness schedule off, so be it. Mommy/Baby time is just as important as losing weight.
The plan is to ease back into a regular fitness program by sneaking up on it: Iím going to do as much physical activity this weekend and next week without actually PLANNING it. That way when I start a structured fitness program in November, it wonít be such a shock to the system. The plan is also to start slow Ė a half hour of this, another half hour of something else, and 10 minutes of strength training and 20 minutes of that yoga I love and dread at the same time. Iím getting better at organizing my time, and more selective with the work I take on, so Iím managing the hours of my day a little better. At least in theory. Iím not really sure where yesterday went.
I have another crazy day tomorrow, with the race, a shop, dancing at a wedding, and then going to another wedding reception that night. (!) But that is the last overscheduled day I have until the end of the year (excluding Thanksgiving, which shouldnít be too bad except I want to run a 5k that morning.)
My old boss called me yesterday to talk about running. He warned me not to get too obsessed. TOO LATE, I thought. But Iím trying to keep them to about 2-3 a month, rather than the two per weekend I originally planned. Life shouldnít be a support system for running; it should work the other way around.
Tonight is Pizza Night, a fact Little Bear starts celebrating on Thursday afternoons. (A childís sense of time is uncanny. If he canít read the calendar, how does he know what day it is???) He gets slightly less than one 3-inch square piece of pizza, and really seems less interested in the pizza than he is the pomp and circumstances surrounding Daddy bringing it home. Heíll trade pizza for stewed carrots if you ask him. Are we blessed or what?
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Well I have the single greatest excuse EVER for why I didn't run yesterday: my pants kept falling off!
My mom loaned me the earphone set from her ipod shuffle so I could listen to my interval training podcasts and work on building speed in my running. Yesterday wasn't TECHNICALLY a scheduled running day, but I missed it on Tuesday, and it wasn't too horribly cold out, so I thought why not?
Walking (briskly) to my timing spot, I start the stopwatch and began my "warm-up" jog. I start feeling a weird sensation around my hips and eventually stop and look underneath my hoodie -- only to find my pants and underwear are sliding down my thighs! Thank heavens there was nobody around to see that. I guess I've lost more weight than I expected.
I try to fix it, but end up throwing in the towel and heading home, where the PLAN is to work on the Saidi piece I've been assigned, only guess what -- the dvd I've burned of the dance isn't working. Sigh. I drag down a laptop to my studio and put in the dvd, (which did play, and I get a whole 16 counts learned (big deal) but by this time, Little Bear is awake and Daddy's making his plate, so I give up. I notice I've lost one of my only good gold earrings, and I'm searching the house sad about it for about a half hour. Daddy suggests we go to my favorite Mexican place for dinner, since neither one of us has a good idea of what we want to eat. I have to go to a mystery shop, and when I get back I check Little Bear's rocking chair in his room, and there's my earring! But we still went to get Mexican. (Grilled shrimp and veggies. Actually remarkably healthy!)
This morning they brought donuts in to work, and of course I ate one, because I'm still in "tour" mode thinking I can eat whatever I want. If I keep this up, my pants WILL fit again -- but that's not my goal. Today I'm trying a different pair of pants and attempting to run again. I have a race Saturday and I'm out of practice!!
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
When I went out to warm up my car this morning, I could see the trees in the distance swaying against gray clouds. It's still dark when I get up, and will be even darker once we switch to daylight saving time (groan) but it was light enough to see what looked like snow clouds looming in the lower atmosphere.
I could go for some snow right now :) It doesn't do much for my joints and hips, but there's something kind of nice about cold weather -- as long as you are out in it by choice. If I lose my job in the next few weeks, I am planning to NOT be out before about 9:00am, unless it's to run. walk, bicycle, or take the dog for a drag. (A husky-beagle mix, he LOVES him some cold weather walking!)
Cold weather means soup cravings, and my soups are notoriously low-cal and delicious. It also means I can make or buy that artisan bread I love, and I can roast up some root vegetables for sides. Autumn and winter veggies are starchy, but delicious. And a fennel-roasted chicken (or pork loin) is about the closest thing you can get to Top Chef in our house!
So .. the weekend! Yes, I debuted my Nebtidi, and hopefully I will have video of that soon. My coach/teacher praised it highly, and I had audience members come up after and tell me how much they enjoyed my piece. We didn't have a green room, for some reason, so people were just kind of peeking around corners to talk to us. We don't bite! Well, most of us don't! My mom actually got to see this show, since I recruited a friend to watch Little Bear while I was dancing. She said I looked beautiful and skinny. That's high praise from my mom.
Little Bear was bored to tears, and it was stupid of me to think a BABY wanted to be out that late, in that noise, just to watch dancing. He loves to watch the dancing on TV, but a theater is just no place for a tyke.
However: during the intermission, there was open drumming and dancing, and he "danced" for a few minutes until one of the Arabs asked him if he wanted to drum. (Little Bear understands about as much Arabic as he does English. It's weird. We're not bilingual in our house, but even if he doesn't speak it, he may be able to understand it!) Well the minute he heard "tabla" (Arabic for drum) he ran over to the woman and took command of her drum. EVERYONE was laughing and cracking up at this crazy little gringo with blonde curls, banging with all his heart on that drum head. Another woman tried to teach him how to play a frame drum, and he kept turning it inside out to play it. He went back to the tabla and finished out the set like a pro! That made his night. He's been talking about it ever since. :)
It was a long weekend and all of us were ready to get back to our normal lives. Little Bear made it home in time for Kindermusik on Monday, where he did remarkably well for a child who hadn't slept all weekend, and then was super excited for Story Time yesterday. I was ready for a nap, especially when I woke up an hour early yesterday because I had forgot to reset my clock from Indy time.
Needless to say there was no exercise on Monday, and only half an hour of dance yesterday, in between private lessons and a trip to Target to try to buy cold-weather running gear (with no luck -- for some reason Champion seems to have changed their sizing, and the "small" that I wore in the summer now won't go on over my feet. Was I in the kids' section???) Mom tried to reassure me that I had actually lost weight and that I wasn't fat. I'm well aware of that, but it was still annoying to have all these adorable clothes in front of me that are sized for a 12-year old. Grr.
So I'm still 139, which means I've still lost 20 pounds since I restarted Spark in May. There are several things I need to do to maintain my new figure:
1. RESISTANCE TRAINING!!!!! -- Goodness I KNOW I'm supposed to be doing this, but I haven't yet built up a "streak" for it. AIAIAIAIAI!!!! What is so hard about this????
2. YOGA -- Again, I feel better when I do it, so why am I not? It's 20 minutes, for heaven's sake!!
3. REGULAR CARDIO -- I have GOT to get back into a running groove, or at the very least a walking groove. I keep telling myself I'll do Tae-Bo, which is my normal cold-weather exercise. But I haven't quite honored that promise.
TWENTY POUNDS -- it's a lot. It's four 5-pound bags of sugar. It's two 10-pound dumbbells. It's basically just slightly less than my SON! And that's what I've lost.
I've lost twenty pounds, I've written more than one novel, and I've run a half-marathon. I seriously am starting to believe I can do anything. So for my next trick, I think I might try working at home.
This is the part that is so scary -- working at home means a LOT of discipline. It means actively searching out work, whether it's freelance writing or mystery shopping. Can I make enough each month to pay our bills? Hopefully I can hang on at my crappy day job long enough to get a small stockpile of money I can use to pay immediate bills, while trying to build a freelance/mystery shop/merchandising whatever career. I know people do it. I know it's work. But honestly, if I can do all the above, can't I make a work-at-home career actually WORK?
One of the Spark Coach quotes that went by the other day said: "Use what talent you possess." Well, I'm a trained writer and editor, who gave it up because it was "hard." Maybe it's time to make a go at a freelance career? My friend Lauren did it! Heck, she sold everything and moved to a third-world country to write! THAT's some serious courage. And I don't think she even ran a half-marathon (lol). So it CAN be done -- I just have to decide if I'm the person who can do it.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
To every thing there is a season, amirite?
This is the season for me to stop feeling sorry for myself about whatever evils I perceive to have befallen me, and to take responsibility for my own happiness. So here are my final thoughts on mean people.
My day job I should have quit 15 years ago. I knew that with every passing year, but it's more and more obvious every day. I cannot view this as wasted time, but merely an extended educational opportunity. It is seriously time to move on.
What I learned from the experience with my crappy day job:
1. Do NOT sink down to the level of petty office bs. Those people have no lives and they truly thrive on fomenting discontent and discord.
2. Most of all of their crap has NOTHING to do with you.
3. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. This is true everywhere. The goal is to find a barnyard where it's not as intensely obvious.
4. These people deserve each other.
I'm here if you want me, but I'm not going to beg you to come to class. If you're serious about dancing, you will come to me. I'm not going out of my way to bring it to you.
Yeah, I'm that good :)
Regarding home, family, friends:
You are ON YOUR OWN. Loved ones and friends may or may not be there, but ultimately the only person who will give you an unconditional, unselfish, no-string-attached HUG is yourself. Learn to rely on yourself. Learn not to expect love and maybe you'll find it.
Now, with that said, I'm ready to start a new chapter in this crazy life, one which involves running more and running in the cold (oh no!) and one that involves a LOT of self-discipline, which will be good for me. I need that.
More later on the Indy show and goals met!!
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