Wednesday, October 26, 2011
I found myself having a hard time breathing before I left for Texas last Friday. Oh, I wasn't have any respiratory problems, no.
I just couldn't breathe.
You know, that easy breath you draw deep into yourself, hold for just an instant, then release without really thinking about it? Yea, that kind of breathing - normal, unlabored, unthought-of, just.. breathing.
I couldn't draw a full breath before I left. Stress, anxiety, depression, the grumples. All these things added up and I'd find myself blowing out air from my lungs in the hopes that the next time I drew air in again, I'd get a full breath. I didn't. I couldn't.
I landed at DFW airport on schedule on Friday afternoon with no trouble at all. My flight was direct, which when I booked I thought was pretty cool, but about 2 1/2 hours into the flight, I (and my knees) realized.. not so much.
I didn't avail myself of the potty as I should have before boarding the plane (don't ask me why, I have NO idea, I thought about it then thought, nah, I'll be fine). So, 3 cups of coffee and 2 cups of water later, I'm squirming in my seat on the plane and working up the courage to ask the man in the aisle seat to allow me out to go to the plane potty. For reals. I had to talk myself into bothering the person to let me out! Man I've got more issues than we have time to dissect, but anyway.. he was kind enough to let me out, and I got to stretch my legs a bit and get rid of the squirmies.
Once we landed, I circled the baggage claim chute while waiting for my suitcase to arrive, as well as my sister and Ms. Poppy. I heard them long before I saw them, lil missy putting up a squall in her buggy. They were both so tiny! Seriously tiny! I felt like a jolly green giant, although I was wearing purple. Anyway, we hugged, I exclaimed over the incredible amount of cuteness contained in that baby buggy, we got my suitcase, and headed home.
The last time we had been in Texas, Libby treated us to some pepperoni rolls made by their friend Jason. They were really good, and I asked if we could get a few while I was there. Bad me, I know, but what the heck, I'm on a break, sorta. So we swung by the pizza place and got the rolls. They were incredibly good, and Jason was incredibly generous.
Once we got home, I got my hands on the baby. I was quite the baby hog, really.
I won't detail the entire trip other than to say it was a great time. My nephews seem to have grown immeasurably since April!
Liam and Zak at the Fun Fall Fest where they got to go Trunk'or'Treating.
It was very hard to say goodbye to them Monday morning when they went to school, but we had a good weekend together and hopefully they'll get to come to Portland for a visit sometime soon.
THAT is Jasper. My sister has three cats - Elliot and Olivia (she has dog, too, named Finn - it's a Law and Order SVU thing) and Jasper. Jasper is only about 6 months old and he's nothing but fur! He loved Aunt Sissy as much as the boys did LOL as you can tell. Libby did say while I couldn't take Ms. Poppy or the boys home, I could take Jasper. I'm not sure he appreciated that.
Brother-in-law Justin drives truck. He's out for four days, then drops around home for a few hours before heading back out again for the rest of the week. He came home for a bit on Sunday, and Libby sent him back out to get donuts for us! Apparently you've never had a donut until you've had a TEXAS donut!
What? You want baby pics? Well why didn't you say so??
Poppy lookin' stylish in a Sissy-provided outfit, conversing with her singing giraffe.
Doin' the Hustle!
They took to calling me the Baby Whisperer, simply for this move.
That's right, she'd get a bit fussy and nothing would sooth her. So what did Aunt Sissy do? Flipped her over and strung her out along my arm. Lil Ms. Poppy is a solid 7 lb 4 oz lady, and she felt very very good snugged up on my arm. She hung out there - literally - quite contentedly! She would quiet down so quickly at first, it worried me! Was I cutting off her airway? the blood supply to her head? LOL Nope, she was just happy to have a different point of view apparently. Let's face it, wouldn't YOU get tired of staring at the ceiling all the time?
There is nothing sweeter or more soothing than having a sweet little baby snugged up against you. I physically ache with missing holding her right now.
So, my nutrition was horrid, but I didn't care. I got my water in faithfully. We didn't do much but stay mostly at home, with a few outings now and then. I doubt I got in my minimum 7500 steps a day. None of that matter. I reconnected with my sister - we talked, we talked and laughed and cried and laughed some more. We cackled over silly things, and revealed things the other hadn't known before. I had enough time with the boys that they got used to me and didn't think twice about calling me Aunt Sissy. By the time I left them on Monday, I could breathe again.
Now, I'm taking a few more breaths. I'm taking that breath in between - between the end of one thing and the start of another.
I've finished my running season/training. I've finished using fueling as an excuse to eat more than I should. I've finished being complacent with maintaining.
I'm starting a 15-day Reboot Entry - 15 days of eating and juicing whole foods, no dairy, no processed foods, no grains, just pure veggies and fruit. I'll start that on Saturday.
I'm starting in a new direction with my fitness. Well, I will be. Being flat on my behind does not count as fitness. I've let everything go since the Half. I need to get back into a groove again. Not a frenetic groove, just a nice steady even-paced forward motion.
I'm encouraged that this morning, on the drive into work, in the dark cold, I thought it would be nice to get out and run. I haven't really been thinking about running at all, so to find myself thinking about it, thinking it would be good to get out and just go for a run.. that was a positive thing.
I want to keep breathing, and breathing easier. I'm hoping that settling down, trying new things, giving myself a chance to change things up a bit, these things will add up to forward (downward?) movement and momentum to get back on the wagon of releasing lbs again. I need to find that kind of WIN once more to not give up hope or think that the last 55-60 lbs were just a fluke. I need this.
Monday, October 17, 2011
Recovery" makes me sound like an addict, and I guess in a way, I am. I ran the Girlfriends Half yesterday, and ended up with a good time. 3:04, a minute slower than when I ran the Foot Traffic Flat Half in July.
First, let me show you how I started the day:
I don't know if you can tell or not but I am not a happy camper. I've got a wicked case of the grumples LOL I didn't realize it showed so much on my face and attitude!
I woke up in plenty of time, ate some cream o'wheat with peanut butter and banana, had plenty of coffee and water. I was mostly organized, although it took me until the last few minutes before leaving to realize I probably should pin my race bib to my shirt!
I was quietly resolute to finish this task before me and with the finishing, take the next step into the next phase of the.. whatever I'm doing right now, or will be doing. No, I still haven't quite shaken the malaise that's taken hold, but that's alright. I'm not stuck standing still, I'm just moving forward grumpily!
Bill opted out of the festivities, so I drove to the event, found a prime parking spot, and started wandering around the starting area. I got there about an hour early, hoping to find the tshirt exchange. I ordered an xlarge shirt, but it's too small. I never did find the tshirt exchange, and really I'm not even sure if they would have had an xxl, so I opted to stick with what I had. It's now hanging in the guest room where my closet is, as a goal shirt. One day, I'll be able to wear it without being embarrassed about it.
So I checked my bag, and then started walking. I'm a pacer, as in walking about - it gives me something to do, it allows me to warm up, it keeps me from just standing there looking like I'm lost. So I walked the block, and snapped this:
The finish line, before we even got started!
I was lucky enough to randomly run into Kashmir and Keakman and several of their friends, so I had a team to huddle with until the start. That was good, and I think it relieved some of my grumples. It's hard to be grumpy and rude to really nice people, so even if I wasn't overly outgoing, I was still very happy to see them and to hang about for a bit before the start.
There were lots of girlfriends.
Lots and LOTS of Girlfriends.
Of course, I forgot about having my camera with me while we were all in a group so didn't get any of those shots. I did manage this though, as we were starting.
Ha! Yep, that's me, in a window reflection. The race had started and we were slowly inching our way to the starting line.
Once we crossed the timing mat, we spread out. I danced and dodged around walkers, finding openings to squirt through without hurting myself or others. I ran for a bit until I finally settled down into my first walk interval, and from there it was a pretty steady pace.
The first mile came up quickly.
I had figured I wasn't going to go all out, I'd take my time, enjoy the run, and take plenty of pictures along the way. That mostly worked. I managed to snap pictures from the start through mile 5.
Mile 2. There was a water station not far past this point, with lots of support and people cheering. That was pretty cool - our names were on our bibs, so to hear someone cheer your name was a little jarring at first, but then I remembered and sort of enjoyed it.
I snapped pictures based on my Garmin's mileage rather than the race mileage which comes into play later on. There were two gals running with a Garmin as well and apparently they heard mine going off and thought it was theirs for a bit. They ran on ahead of me though, so the confusion was short lived.
Mile 4 was pretty cool. Again, there was an aid station with lots of support and supplies. I ran with my 4 bottle belt, so I didn't stop for any of the offerings but thanked the volunteers regardless. Without them, we wouldn't be able to get out there and run.
It was right around Mile 5 that I saw Aaron and Kim, our Galloway group's director and his mom. It was neat to run into them, but I still had so much of a dark cloud about me that when we caught up together again, I slowed way down to let them go on ahead. I was just in the mood to run anonymously, lost in among all the other women.
That's where my camera's batteries died off. Of course. So no more shots of the race unfortunately. For a while, I worked hard to get past a group of four older ladies who were walking four across. I'd get close then they'd speed up and I'd walk then start to run and they'd be gone again. It was maddening for a bit until I finally made it past them and kept on truckin' to keep my lead. They were great ladies I'm sure, having a good time with friends.
There were hills which, for some people may have been nothing, but were enough to slow me down quite a bit. I ran what I could, then walked the rest, pumping myself up convinced that when I reached the top I'd be rested and ready to run again. Well, it sorta happened that way LOL In all though, I did alright. I had wanted to finish in under 3 hours, but I didn't put enough effort into training and preparing for it, or into making it happen.
When I realized I wasn't going to make it in under 3, I slacked up some. What I failed to realize was that either my Garmin was off, or their official distance was off. I finished 13.0 in 3:03:59. Now, had an extra .1 been tacked on, it would have been longer. If it were actually 13.1 then I wasn't far off the mark from the Half in July. I'm going with not being far off the mark. I'm good with that.
There were people waiting after crossing the finish line to take our timing tags. I thanked the lady who untied my laces and retrieved the tag, then thanked her even more gratefully when she retired my shoe LOL I don't think I could have kept my balance if I would have had to do it.
Then the firefighters. We received a cold waterbottle of water and a necklace from the firefighters waiting at the end. Fortunately, none of them were covered in chocolate! LOL
Girlfriends Half Marathon 2011 Bling
There was chocolate, somewhere, but I don't know where. I saw Robin and Kate one more time before leaving. I was in such a state, such a hurry to leave, that I nearly forgot my bag at the bag check. I went back and got it, and downed the yummy chocolate milk I'd brought with me. It was very good and hit the spot. Then I made for the car and got settled in enough to send a quick text message to friends that I'd finished and my time.
The only thing I didn't do that I wanted to do was break down and cry. No particular reason other than it was over, I was tired, and I was ready to go home and take a break. I don't know why I'm still saddled with this crappy mood, but I'll be glad when it moves on.
Once I got home, I did manage a cold bath, as opposed to an ice bath. I think Bill would have enjoyed dumping all that ice on me a bit too much, so I stuck with the cold water. It was enough. After that, and then a nice warm shower, I got myself together and did the laundry. This was a good thing because it had me going up and down the stairs, moving and not sitting. When I did sit, I was on the loveseat with my legs elevated. By the end of the night I had quite the nest of pillows, but it did the trick.
This morning when I woke, I felt pretty good. I'd slept alright, slept to the alarm, and wasn't too sore upon rolling out of bed. I was moving a little slower, but that's to be expected. I've kept moving at work, up every 30 minutes to walk the floor. My right calf and right butt ache a little bit, but nothing that doesn't ease up with more movement. I'm tired, though. I was ready to go home and take a nap around 1, but will stick it out until 4.
Tonight is supposed to be ST and Zumba at the gym. I feel so bad because it seems like I've abandoned my Zumba instructor and classmates since I haven't been consistently for quite some time. I don't intend to give them up, but I think I'm taking tonight and tomorrow to myself. That leaves Wednesday to possible go to the gym, or not. I'm off Thursday, then board a plane on Friday to fly to Texas.
I'll get intense Ms. Poppy Therapy from Friday to Monday. I think she's just what the doctor ordered!
There's no way the grumples can hang on much longer with that wide-eyed baby in the picture.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Overheard (or perhaps overread would be more apt?..) during a text conversation between myself and my sister, who just has Ms. Poppy two weeks ago today!
We were discussing our digestive tracts and various issues we face (who knew flatulence ran so deeply in the family? ha!) I told her about trying a juice cleanse after I get home from my visit to her and the kids, Oct. 21-24. She said she'd seen a documentary about juicing and it had piqued her interest. "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead"? I asked. Yes, that one! she said.
We agreed we'd both miss cheese. She mentioned she may have to give it up anyway because Ms. Poppy gets horrible crampy gas and Lib's worried it's due to the cheese (see what I mean about it running in the family?). She's always thought of it as whole food, rather than processed, but .. well.. maybe today's dairy isn't so whole and pure and unprocessed?
"Well we just never learned about the pioneers being stuck on the crapper because they were lactose-intolerant, y'know?"
That is the level of intellect I'm at today LOL
Gratuitous baby pic.
Crazy Mummy Baby.
We're also discussing Just A Short Run in March. I subtly asked if she wanted to run it with me in Pittsburgh next March, and she was all for it, until she figured out "next March" is actually only 4 months away! She always was the smart one! I've registered for the 8.1 mile run. It will be absolutely fabulous to see and meet all the Spark People who will be there. It would be over-the-moon-amazing if my sister came and ran it as well. Here's hoping.
So.. Girlfriends. This Sunday. 9 a.m. I'm sending good running/racing vibes out to Kashmir and Crispy20 and LynneS512 and any other Sparkers out there who will be doing those same 13.1 miles. It's supposed to be a great, crisp clear day for it. Best kind of running weather!
Thanks for all the good luck wishes from friends and team mates. I'll be taking all y'all along with me as I go.
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Not literally, mind you. Iím still.. well, whatever height I am now. 5 foot 8 or 9 or so. I must measure again someday soon.
Where was I? Oh yea, standing taller. I feel a bit stronger today.
The 2 1/2 days at the coast did me some good. On Thursday afternoon, we hit the beach below our hotel. It was the girlsí first time on the beach, and they were sniffiní it up for all they were worth!
Hereís the view up and down the beach.
We walked up and down that stretch of beach for quite a while at low tide. Maggie, the little white dog in the sweatshirt, is our adventure girl and was certain she needed to chase the seagulls that were along the waterís edge. They did not hold the same opinion however and flew off every time.
I gave myself the weekend to not track my food, and not stress over eating well. Stress? How about focus? Either way, I just let go, and didnít do too badly.
We stayed in Netarts, which is off the beaten path and very small and quiet. It was just right for what I needed to quiet my mind a bit. We drove over the Three Capes Scenic Loops on Friday and took in Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and on Saturday Cape Kiawanda. It was a rainy drizzly day, but we didnít let that stop us, much.
I didnít necessarily track my fitness either, but my BodyBugg did show 7,400 steps on Thursday, 6,300 on Friday, and 14,200 on Saturday (more on that number later), so all in all we did alright, though no great feats.
When I woke up Saturday morning, I woke with a sense of anxiety. We had things that needed to be done on Saturday, sure, but nothing anxiety- or worry-worthy. I just breathed through it until I quietly slowly swept my mind clear, discarding the worries with calm logic. Then I noticed this.
If this picture is too small, itís a shot of a partial rainbow, over the bay. That helped dispel any further worries, and helped me get up and get myself together for our busy day.
We decided to explore Sand Lake after checking out, so drove down to that area and was it a boon! The campground is more geared to four-wheeler and dune-buggy activities, but we decided to see what the beach was like. We walked quite a long ways and found a stretch of beach that was deserted except for seagulls and pelicans.
Maggie wasnít too keen to go chasing after all these birds this time. It was neat, though, because we were able to drop the girlsí leashes, which we never ever do when weíre not in our yard, and let them walk along with us. I know, it doesnít seem like that big of a deal, but it was for this mama. They were very good girls for the whole trip.
We came back to Portland after that, and did our unpacking and cleanup before heading downtown to get our packets for the 10K walk at the Marathon. Iíd forgotten what a madhouse downtown turns into for the Marathon, so traffic was a little bit of a snarl, but we managed alright. I got tired of circling blocks trying to find a spot, so I gave up and ducked into the first parking garage that came along. As it happened, it was the same building as the restaurant we were going to later! Fortune smiled.
We picked up our packets Ė get this, we were numbers 1 and 2! LOL I guess that makes it obvious I was a little bit excited to sign up for the walk, eh? Unfortunately they were out of shirts (really, how do you run out of tshirts when you know how many people are registered?) so we got our rainchecks and will wait patiently!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for them to send the shirts to us.
After that, we wandered the expo briefly where I stocked up on Guís for my Half next weekend, then ducked out and headed back down to the Macaroni Grill. We were meeting with the Tribe for dinner, and would be dining with Jeff Galloway himself! Huh!
It took a bit of doing, but they finally seated all 21 of us. We had folks from the Beaverton Galloway Group join the Portland group, so it was quite the turnout. I met a very nice couple from Beaverton and we talked about how we started running and what keeps us going. For being as blah as I was last weekend, that evening, talking with other Galloway runners, made all the difference in the world.
Jeff Galloway and his wife sat at our table Ė actually Jeff sat next to Bill! I was on the other side of Bill, and would sneak peeks at the man now and again. He spoke to us and was very nice, but my bad habit of being a backward dork kicked in and I didnít say anything more than hello and Iím fine thanks.
Oh well, it was still a very nice evening, and I got to wish my friends good luck and run strong for their marathons the next day.
Sunday dawned .. well, not exactly bright. Some of you noticed that I was up early LOL I was! I woke around 4:30 and got our morning underway.
I was ready for the rain this year! Letís glance back at last year, shall we?
Lawd what a difference a year makes, eh?
We took Max, our local transit train, downtown, and met up with Chas and Gaye at the Heathman hotel. We got the same volunteer from last year to take our picture this year!
We waited around for a bit in case any other Portlanders were showing up, then boarded the shuttle and headed to NoPo. We started at the same place we did last year, and commemorated the even with yet another picture!
We took off, heading back downtown on foot this time. We varied in pace Ė at one point, Bill took off at a good clip and Chas jogged up to catch up with him. They worked on reeling in each group of people ahead of them until they could pass them. Gaye and I would catch up and then fall behind, until we swapped up and I stuck with Bill and Chas and Gaye took the lead. It was fun when the Marathoners started coming along, and we finally crossed the Broadway Bridge and turned onto Naito to merge with all the Marathoners, Half Marathoners, Nordic Walkers, and Walkers. Whew!
We (Bill and I) finished the walk in 1:49 Ė not bad, considering we (me and Mina and Molly) finished in 2:03 last year. Chas and Gaye finished a few minutes ahead of us, and then we all reunited after crossing the finish line. There were lots of goodies to be had Ė juice, water, fruit, snacks, trees, medals, blankets. We ran the gauntlet of stuff and wound our way out of the maze.
We had our group hugs and smooches (Iím not telling who I smooched!) and went our separate ways. I walked over to my office and changed into dry clothes and then headed back to Tom McCall park in case anyone was going to swing by for the SparkPortland meet-up. No one did, but I didnít really expect anyone would. There was just too much going on, so weíll try another meet-up next month maybe.
I meandered down to the Firehouse on Naito, and listened to TheCoolestSarahís band play and entertain the crowd and encourage the runners. I was really hoping to see some of my Galloway gang, and I wasnít disappointed. I saw Philippe and Pat, and Susan and Lori, and then finally my bestest Galloway bud, Holly. Once Sarahís band was done, I sent her a quick text and we wound up meeting behind the firehouse and chatting a bit. It was a great way to end a busy day.
So, that explains the 22,000 steps on Sunday! I took the Max back home, and we did very little after that other than warm up with a nice hot shower and watch a movie or two. Monday was back to work, and then dinner out with the family to celebrate grandson Jamesí birthday. That means I missed ST once again, and Zumba. Tonight, itíll be raining, but after getting my hair cut after work, I plan on doing a quick and easy 2 miles.
So how does all this add up to standing a little taller? I just feel a little better, a little stronger, a little more confident. Iím running my second and last Half of the year on Sunday. Iíll run it as a celebration of my 1 year running anniversary. And when the Half is done and in the books (regardless of time) Iíll turn the page and begin a new different chapter in my Spark journey.
Iíll continue to run, for fun, for fitness, but Iím giving training a break until after the New Year. I want time to go to the Gorge and hike. I want time to hit the basement on a rainy morning and work with the x-trainer and feel my muscles quiver with effort and improved strength. I want to kettlebell again while Jillian kicks my behind. I want variety. I want to try a two week cleanse. I want to see what benefits I can reap from juicing. I want to try something new. Iím ready to break out of this rut.
Iíll keep running, but it wonít consume as Iíve allowed it to this year. The next two and a half months are for me to experiment with. Weíll see what comes of them.
Monday, October 03, 2011
Before Teresa went on a brief break last month, she posted a picture and asked her friends to do the same, with another picture to follow a month later. I put up my 'before' picture, and now, here's my 'after' picture. The biggest difference is the amount of gray hair that's showing now LOL
Yes, those are reading glasses. I don't normally wear glasses, but need them more and more at work, reading the computer screen all day.
~*~Brief update from yesterday...~*~
Thank you, all of you, for reading my Downs blog yesterday, and for your overwhelming support. I truly TRULY appreciate it, and each of you for taking the time to hear me and respond.
I ran yesterday. I ran my last long run before the Girlfriends. I am going to do Girlfriends, because I want to. My run yesterday did me a lot of good - not only to prove to myself that I could do it, but that I wanted to do it. I went into my run with the clear thought that I could stop at any time, no guilt, no self-chastisement, no nothing. I did it by myself, under my own steam, slow and steady. And I breathed easier for it, and I slept better for it.
I have the rest of my maintenance runs planned out. Bill and I will be going away to the Oregon coast Thursday afternoon, coming back Saturday afternoon in time to pick up packets for the 10K walk during the Marathon, and then dinner that evening with the Galloway group and Jeff Galloway himself!
Once the Girlfriends is over, I'll be changing things up a bit. I'm not feeling as shattered or broken now. I did lots of thinking during the run, and I sweated a lot of the blahs out. I'm not soaring or uber-chipper at this point, but I've balanced out somewhat.
Anyway, thank you all, again, very much. I've read, and will reread, what you've given me.
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