Thursday, June 09, 2011
As some of you may be aware, I've lost my mind.
That, m'dears, is a link to the Mud Run MS Portland page. I don't even recall how I heard about the event.. I could blame.. erm.. credit Oregon Live Run blogs, or Race Center emails, or even Active.com emails. However it happened, it happened, and I became enamoured with the idea of playing the mud. So much so that I posted on my city Spark team page trying to recruit other feeble-minded.. uuhhhh.. eager participants.
Chazeray is most awesome and up for the challenge! I was lucky enough to meet Chas at the Fanconi Valentine 5K race.
We've posted a few things on the Portland Spark Team discussion boards and do get some return posts, but everyone's schedules always seem full.
Anyway, I took the plunge and signed up for the event, creating the Sparkin' Mudders team LOL Here's my official fundraising page:
I've shamelessly hit up friends and family via email about helping to raise funds, and now I'm here asking as well. If you can donate, that is wonderful and will be truly appreciated and I'll get extra muddy for you! If you can't, that's good as well, just keep us in your thoughts as we slog through 6.2 miles of mud and obstacles and adventure!
Coach Nicole recently posted a DailySpark blog about her adventure at a Warrior Dash, similar to the mud run. If you haven't read it yet, you should!
I'll do the best I can to get before and after pictures of our Sparktacular team. There's still time to sign up, so for you local Sparkers feeling the need to get down and dirty, don't delay! Join the Sparkin' Mudders today!
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
It feels like I've been trying to blog for-ev-ah but just haven't had the time. I exagerate, of course. It's only been a few days, but still!
Let's see.. Saturday. I ran with the Tribe. We met at REI and ran up to Lincoln High School track, where we did acceleration gliders and our Magic Mile. I ran my mile in 12:24, which is my best time! I've improved by a minute from my first MM, so I'm quite chuffed about that.
While we'd planned on taking the bikes down to the Springwater trail for a ride over the weekend, we opted to stick to the neighborhood just to see how our legs felt after a long winter off! Good thing, too. Bill was pretty uncomfy, knee-wise, on our little jaunt. I felt pretty good, but stuck with him and only zoomed off once by myself.
We did see Pirates 4, and while it was enjoyable, it felt a little too long-drawn-out to me. Maybe a smidge too slow moving. Of course, the ending is left wide open for the next installment!
Sunday was relatively quiet - we stayed in for the most part. We did head over to the step-ex-wife's to spend a bit of time with lil Riley. That was a very nice break from chores.
Monday was relatively normal as well. I got a quick walk in at lunch, and made it through the day no worse for wear. By the time I got home, Bill was just getting back from taking the puppy-girls for a walk. There was much rejoicing and jumping and yipping and barking to be reunited!
Then, Maggie seemed a bit off. And then, she had a seizure.
She had a seizure, her first, last Superbowl Sunday. She didn't have another one until sometime last month. She basically looks like she has a leg cramp. At least, that's how it starts out. One lil back leg stiffens up, then slowly the whole of her stiffens up and she not quite there anymore. She pants and struggles, and doesn't understand what's happening. Just writing about it is making me tear up. She's a very good little lhasa-girl, high spirited and a silly clown.
She had a seizure Sunday evening, but because it had been a while since the others, we held her, petted and soothed her and let her come out of it. Having another one less than 24-hours later is panic-inducing. We snagged her up, leaving poor Millie behind, wondering what was going on, and headed to the vet.
Within an hour, Maggie had had another 4-5 seizures, even though the vet was giving her medicine to control them. We were advised that someone would need to monitor her all night long ot administer more meds if need be, and we were prepared to do that at home. At least, we were until they said she was continuing to seize, and they recommended a 24-hour emergency vet on the other side of town.
After-work traffic was never so maddening as it was on that drive. Why were people in MY WAY when I had to get my baby to the vet??
We made it to the second vet's office and they whisked her away, again. Epilepsy is the diagnosis, which is a catch-all term for 'something's misfiring in her brain'. Poor nugget. They were able to stop the seizures, but we still had to leave her overnight.
In all, we spent three hours getting her treated, and then finally settled. Monday evening's plan for Zumba and ST at the gym was blown out of the water, as were my plans for a relatively healthy dinner. Oh, dinner wans't bad, really. But the ensuing string cheeses and popcorn and chocolates and.. other stress eating items weren't good at all.
I called off work for Tuesday so we could go collect Maggie in the morning and get her home to see how she was doing. I barely slept Monday night, up early Tuesday, and fitful with nervous energy until we could get her. She was up and at 'em, and eating well, and just a bit 'off' due to the medicine. She'll be on phenobarbital twice a day for the rest of her life. It'll slow her down a little bit, and will increase her appetite. Otherwise, she should be relatively normal - or whatever normal is for the bouncy lil bean.
Once we got her home and settled, I did go into work, albeit late. I was still tired, so blew off my lunch walk, and once I got home, I didn't do my scheduled run. Day two of slug-dom. I did manage to restrict myself to only two Skinny Cow ice cream sammiches last night, so I suppose that's an improvement, right?
My sodium has been high. My calorie intake has been high. My activity since Saturday has been low. I have 13 miles on the schedule for Saturday. I have no excuse other than letting stress get the best of me. No more though.
Today, I had a good breakfast - yogurt and blueberries, and an english muffin with peanut butter.
For lunch, I had a 35 minute walk, followed by a fresh salad (with home-grown greens thanks to Farmer Bill) with a grilled chicken breast and a banana.
For an afternoon snack, I'll have a big healthy orange.
For after work, I'll be running to the Gym and back (3.1 miles conveniently!), and will be doing Zumba, and then ST.
For dinner, I'll have a salmon burger, brown rice with broccoli and a smidge of butter, and cottage cheese.
For dessert, because I'm a spoiled girl, I'll have ONE single Skinny cow ice cream sammich.
All that will fit nicely into my calorie scheme - 1458 calories. My protein will be a bit higher than it should be, and my fat a bit low. I can live with that.
Maggie is fine. The meds should work into her system and stabilize her over the next month. She'll be fine, and she doesn't seem to mind getting her half a pill twice a day, pressed between a tiny smidgen of cheese.
She's my baby, one of two children for us at home, that we can pamper and love on and get licky kisses from and spoil absolutely rotten. We love her and Millie as much as we could any two-legged children (and sometimes MORE) and taking care of her means taking care of myself and NOT giving in to stress or using it as an excuse to eat poorly.
Maggie on the left, Millie on the right.
I'm back in control, and I'm back on track.
Saturday, June 04, 2011
Bill and I have been married for 3 years, as of June 2. We've had a few bumps in the road lately (queen of the understatement indeed) but we are together and just like getting fit and healthy takes commitment and determination and work, so does a marriage. We're in it for the long haul.
To celebrate, I took advantage of a couple of LivingSocial.com deals - $30 to spend at Yen Ha, a local Vietnamese restaurant, and two tickets through Fandango for half price. The restaurant is close enough that we took a leisurely stroll up there. Only a couple of times did Bill have to remind me that we weren't in a race and to slow down. I walk fast now. Faster than him at least, without even realizing it. Hee!
Dinner was great, and we'll for-sure be going back. The movie tickets will be used today. We're going to see Pirates 4 this afternoon. The last Pirates movie we saw in the theater, we both dozed off part-way through - not because the movie wasn't great, but because we'd gorged ourselves at meal out prior and just had no oomph or energy for life at the time. WAY different now!
As a joint gift, we decided to purchase a Wii system. We've ordered it online, and it should be here next week. I must confess, I was hooked by the Zumba for Wii commercials I've seen on TV and it was just a matter of time before I talked myself into getting the system. I'm so easy!
So, while we're waiting for the system to arrive, we might as well go and buy the Zumba game, right? Of course. Off we go to one of the local big-box stores.
I guess I should mention that lately, since March actually, the scale hasn't been moving in a satisfactory fashion. Ok, fine. I'll continue on without your support, evil scale. And I have. And it's working. See, my jeans (I had 4 pair I was rotating through) were getting bigger. Like to the point where I needed to retire first one.. then another.. and then ANOTHER pair. I've adopted two old pair of jeans from Bill - men's jeans, size 38. That's pretty awesome. I NEVER thought I'd be fitting into his pants. Really.
While at the big-box store, I thought I'd try on some jeans, just to see where I was, size-wise. On a whim, I picked up a pair of 16s and headed to the fitting rooms.
They fit. They freakin' FIT! And not like they were painted on, fit. Fit-fit, like I can wear them to work, fit. Like I haven't worn a size 16 since High School fit!
I couldn't decided if I wanted to cry or fist-pump with a 'take THAT b*tches!' so I did both.
Kashmir is right - the scale LIES.
For perspective.. I've always loved these kinds of shots on other people's pages, so here are my own.
Those are new size 16 jeans, laid overtop an old pair of 24s. I went a little nuts and bought three pair - two straight-leg, and one bootcut. They all look nice, they all fit comfortably, and they all prove to me that my efforts are NOT in vain.
Oh yea. We ran to the gym yesterday morning, and got our ST on. While there, I did my calf raises on the prescribed machine. I had a thought, and adjusted the weight, then called Bill over. I asked him to get on, and lift the weight (the pads rest of your shoulders, and you're supposed to stand under the pads, lifting them as you do calf raises). He did so, with an 'ugh' and 'ooof'. I explained to him that I'd set the weight to 60 lbs, and THAT was what I used to lug around.
Now yes, I know, the 60lbs of weight I used to carry was distributed all over my body, not just resting on my shoulders. I made my point, though, and he looked at me not a little bit stunned. Heck, even I was a bit stunned when I'd done it as well.
That's pretty much my Friday. I've got a Tribe run this morning (we're doing our Magic Mile today and I'm excited to see if I've improved my time, yay!) and then we should go tooling around the neighborhood on our bikes - it's been too long! Then the movie this afternoon, and back for something delish and healthy for dinner.
If you're local here in Portland, soak up that wonderful sunshine and warmth. We've earned it with waiting so patiently (LOLOLOLOLOLOL) for spring/summer to get here!
If you're elsewhere in the country, I wish you the same - sunshine and warmth.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Somehow it seems fitting that, being June 1, we talk about how things are blooming. Not just flowers, of course. Here in Portland, the weather's been less than stellar, so some of our usual bloomers are slow to bud and produce, but like me, they are slow and steady. They WILL get there eventually, it's just going to take time.
Yesterday, I went for my Tuesday run, and got about a block and a half before my Garmin died due to low battery. Old me would have bagged the run and gone home, because how was I supposed to run without something to tell me when to run and when to walk for my intervals???
How indeed. I opted to run a block, walk a block. It took a little longer than my usual :30/:30 interval, and that's fine. It worked for me, and I got my run in - 3 mi in 45 min. A nice slow run, no stressing my knees that were still a bit achy from Saturday. A good way to get back into the rhythm of running.
By the time I'd circled the blocks/neighborhood twice, it was time to head home. I ran back to the house, then walked on past for my cooldown. We live on a dead end, so I just walked up to the end and back. My pulse was going, my heart pounding, my breathing was quick - I felt wonderful. I felt clarity.
I felt like .. dare I say it? I felt like an athlete doing my cooldown. Not so much while I was running - although I ran without a hat or ponytail, so my hair was all bouncy and blowy and just felt good while I was trotting along - but while I was walking that cooldown, I felt good, really really good.
I've become an A-number 1 sweat-er with all my upped fitness and efforts. I was one who didn't use to sweat - I glistened, and not in a Twilight-y way, either. I was a delicate lil flower of womanhood.
Anyway, I'm great at sweating now. I love a good sweat. When I get done running, or with Zumba, or whatever, I'm checking for a mirror to see just how evident my effort is on my shirt. And it's not even consistently 70 degrees here yet! I can only imagine what a sweathog I'm going to be when we hit the 80s.
I had 2,224 fitness minutes in May. That's less than some of you, more than others. That's a record for me, one that I plan on breaking this lovely month of June!
If you recall (and for those of you who don't, here's a link - www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3757425 ) I declared November my month, and it could not have been ANYTHING further from the truth. Big ole hairy lesson learned on that one!
So, I am NOT saying June is going to be my month. June is going to be A month, one of twelve in this year. I do think I can increase my fitness minutes, but I'm not sure by how much. Just.. more. I do think in the process of increasing my fitness minutes, I can make the number on the scale decrease somewhat. Again, I don't know by how much, just.. some.
One good thing about June already is the fact that I've been able to move locations at work. I work in the same building, on the same floor, but.. I've gone from this:
My old location fronted an elevator lobby - that was my view, people coming and going all day, or nothing at all. My new location has WINDOWS! LIGHT! AIR! So, much like my plants that have happily moved with me to the new location, I will be soaking up the light and the air and the view of green things growing outside. Granted, the direct view is actually the 5th floor of the Marriott Suites Hotel, but if you look to the right, there are hills and trees and life! It's wonderful!
I just found out that another gal in my building is also a Galloway runner! Neat-o. Our training group (the Tribe) has started it's second session of Half training, so I passed the word to her to see if she'd be interested in coming along. She's considering it!
How did I find out? Well, I spent a nice chunk of time this afternoon talking with one of the office runner guys. I always admired him and the other runners getting out there at lunchtime for their runs. I still do, in a way - I don't run at lunch. I walk, now, usually. I can't be bothered to sweat that much at work, only to have to shower and fix my hair All Over Again. Not even the Aquanet helmet can save my hair from run-damage and sweat, so we won't be going there.
So, we talked and he actually invited me.. Me.. ME!? to run Pints to Pasta with him in September. Here's one of my sorta role models, and he's inviting me to run with him for this thing.
Internally, I'm all.. "Duuuuude, really?"
Of course externally I'm gracious and glad "That would be great, it sounds like a lot of fun!"
And then internally I'm back to "No freakin' way!" and "You've got to improve your speed, NOW"
Heh. I'm better now, much more calm and less spastic, but that's only because it's a long time until September.
I've turned the Spark menu plan back on, on my Nutrition tracker. Yea, I turned it off, thinking I could manage well enough without it. The current plateau since March says otherwise. I'm back on plan, back in range (mostly.. d*mn those almonds and pineapple angelfood cake last night!) and feeling a little less frantic. I'm still not focusing on releasing weight (says the woman who signed up for yet another weight loss challenge, this time with the Galloway SP team!) but expect my weight will decrease as my fitness increases, as long as I can balance out my nutrition a bit better.
I'm learning.. over and over again.. that you cannot control everything. You cannot control people's actions, the world at large, nature - so why fight it? Give up the fight and control what you can - your own emotions, your own reactions, your own destiny, your own path. Find that calm serene place, behind your eyes, within your soul, on the pavement, in your rushed breath.. find it, center in on it, and let the storm around you surge while you gather your bearings and ride it out.
The storm will pass, and you'll find yourself where you need to be. I am where I need to be. I'm finding my path, and while it's bumpy, it is not without its rewards.
Today, I'm bloomin'. Today, I'm happy to be me.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
This has been a rough time of late. I appreciate all your thoughts, notes, goodies and hugs with Katy's passing. She's no longer in pain, and for that we're grateful. Bill has been in Texas since last Saturday, returning tomorrow evening. We've reached a point where some hard decisions need to be made, and the distance has and hasn't helped.
What has helped the most has been running. I've missed more runs than I should have, but I've kept up with the tribe. Last Saturday, we did the Friar Trot 5/10K, in Sherwood, OR.
We had a great time, and I was fortunate to run with my Tribe buddy Holly. She's quicker than I am, and although we kept to our 30/30 intervals, she set a quick 12 mm pace, and I hung with her as long as I could. She peeled off about 2.5 miles in to finish the 10K, and I kept on to finish the 5K.
Thanks to running with Holly, I finished in 38:12.3 - yep, that's right, I PR'd. By a lot LOL My fastest 5K time previously was 42, so I'm thrilled with this. I plan on continuing to improve.
I stuck with Zumba and ST on Monday and Wednesday, although it was a struggle to get myself up and out of the house. I ran on Tuesday, but flaked out on Thursday. I wish I could come up with a way to overcome the Thursday Tireds, but so far they win more often than not. Friday was a wash as well - I could have hit the gym, but opted to hit the loveseat instead. I rationalized it by figuring I was resting up for Saturday. For the 10.5 mile run with the Tribe.
For about 12 seconds, I considered NOT going for the Tribe run this morning. I finally kicked that ridiculous thought to the curb and got fueled, watered, dressed, and on the road. We met at 8:30 this morning, met some newbies starting the second session of the training, and headed out. For the newbies, we did a quick 2.25 mi, circled back by REI, dropped them off, then took off to finish out our milage.
We were all over the place with our pace, ranging anywhere from 13 to 16 and back again. It was good, though, and I felt pretty good. My inner thigh muscles started to ache a bit, right before we hit this big*ss hill. Like, a ridiculous hill. Seriously. Holly and I cursed Aaron's name as we mostly walked up, then pussyfooted our way back down - the sidewalks were wet, the blossoms and leaves were laying everywhere, slick and scary. About 2 miles out, Holly's hip was hurting enough that she needed to walk it in, and I stuck with her. We were well behind the rest of our group anyway, so why not.
This run hurt much more than the 9 mi run did two weeks ago. Maybe because I didn't do my maintenance run on Thursday? Maybe because I've been eating like.. the old me circa 2009? Maybe because I've not been sleeping as well, or moving as well, or... whatever. It hurt, I earned it, and I'm good with that.
We finished in 2:39.. 2 hours, 39 minutes. Unfortunately, I had to potty right from the start, so it was a relief to finish and use the facilities. Geez-o-pete! Fortunately, I was able to then hobble to the car and drive myself home. One glass of chocolate milk later, I was in the tub, in cold water. Cold water. C-O-L-D water! Jeff Galloway advises an ice bath for aching legs after a run, and Holly and others in the Tribe have sworn by them. I haven't hurt quite this much previously, so I figured it was time to take the plunge, so to speak. Rather than add ice, I just ran the cold water, and eased (squeaked!!!) my way down into the water. The puppie-girls were fascinated with the process - why is mama sitting in the tub, in a hoodie, in cold water, cursing and squeaking and gasping?
Yea. I feel good now though. Better. My knees still ache, but that's normal for me. The rest of the hurt is gone now, and hopefully will remain gone.
So.. running. I'm not fast, but I'm getting faster. I'm determined and dedicated, even if I did get off track this week. Not once, when we were out there this morning, did I think, 'let's quit' or 'I don't want to do this anymore' or 'I wish I were doing........' whatever. I was right where I wanted and needed to be. It makes all the difference in the world.
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