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Being me, only better..

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I did not realize how long it's been since I last blogged. I've been dealing with the typical (for me lately) struggles and ughs. Let's get those out of the way now, shall we?
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That's enough of that.

Weekend before last.. that would be the weekend of the 9th and 10th.. was a great one. Bill and I were lucky enough to meet up with Sususuzzzie and her DH, and Roxit22222, to do the Grand Floral Parade walk on Saturday. You can check out either of their blogs for a glimpse into the event. It was wonderful to get to meet Susie and her DH, even if it meant we subjected them to oddly long wait times in-between all the action LOL

That Sunday, we then did the Run for the Love of Dove 5K. Bill hasn't done much in the way of running since The Event (as we're calling it now) and even his walking stamina has declined a good bit, so we had planned on simply walking it slowly together. As it happens, they needed a sweeper crew, and we were happy to oblige. That simply means we were the last people to cross the starting line, and we walked the route at a steady 20 min. mile pace to keep the whole shebang moving along so police could open the roads once we were past. We even got to carry big bundles of balloons so participants could see us and make sure they kept ahead of us. We enjoyed the walk, and got to see a lot of great dogs have so much fun with their owners.

The week following was sort of a blur. I'd started, previously, trying to 'steal time' in the mornings to get in some sort of exercise before having to get ready for work. That lasted one week. I ended up so tired I had to give it up. I know, you wouldn't think just getting up a half hour earlier would wear someone down so much, but it's not really the getting up time that zapped me. I don't know about you, but for me, it's nearly impossible to get to bed while it's still light out and expect to be able to sleep. I gave up the plan and sort of wallowed for a bit.

Then Saturday the 16th was my first group run back with the Galloway Tribe. It was a warm morning, but not hot. It was an easy 3 mi run. I hadn't gone any maintenance runs the previous week, or month or whatever. I was hoping I could slide in and pick up where I left off.

I did alright the first mile and a half, keeping pace with everyone. Once we turned around though, and started back, I started falling behind, further and further. I didn't have water with me, but then I don't carry water for a 3 mi run as I don't normally need it. I did this time, and even though it wasn't HOT it was warm enough to tax me. Add in the additional pounds bouncing around on my body, lack of preparation, lack of consistency, lack of anything even remotely resembling being a runner and... POOF! I sucked.

Holly is our pace group leader, and to her credit, had the whole group walk up the one hill involved on our route, and dropped back to walk with me once we reached the top. We chatted a bit - she really was one of the reasons I was back with the group after my 5 months hiatus. Her encouragement brought me back, her encouragement kept me going (well, that and my shame at being such a lame*ss and conking out on such an "easy" run..), and her encouragement gave me a lot to think about.

Sunday, I spent the morning with Kashmir and hundreds of our closest running friends! LOL I volunteered at the Vancouver USA Marathon and Half. It was great! We got to work the bag check, and had spurts of activity prior to the Marathon start, and then again prior to the Half start. Of course, as the finishers started trickling in, our business picked up once more, but my shift ended at 11, so I eventually had to pull myself away around 11:20 LOL It was a great time for a good cause. I'm really enjoying the volunteer opportunities I'm taking lately. More on that in a bit...

Anyway.. the whole weekend, run/walking with Holly.. working with Kashmir.. staring in awe at the winner of the Marathon (who finished 26.2 in 2:34!!!) the whole thing helped me realize... I want to run again. Like, really. I do. I haven't WANTED to for so long, I'm kinda hesitant to say it out loud, like I'll jinx myself again or something, but.. it's out there.

I'm signed up for the Portland Half in October. I will never go into another Half like I did the Rock'n'Roll last month - unprepared and stupid. I was very lucky I didn't hurt myself doing that race as I did. I will do the Portland Half (from now on to be known as the PHM) as a Galloway runner, and that means putting in the miles and effort.

Sounds all cream-cheesy-easy-peasy goodness, right?

Yesterday was Tuesday. That's one of my maintenance run days.
Yesterday was the start of TOM.
Guess who didn't want to or feel like going for a run?

I texted Bill about my dilemma. His very wise words to me.. either suck it up and do it, or don't.
The man had a point. I was either going to do it or not. I could whine about cramps and wanting to eat the entire world, or I could put on my gear and get the h*ll out the door and see what I could do.

I chose the latter. In fact, I was psyching myself up to run to such a point that I missed my usual turn while driving home LOL I didn't have to go too far out of my way to get to the house, but it made me chuckle to realize that visualizing a new route allowed me to zip right by the turn.

I got my gear on and got out the door. I headed down the new route (still within the neighborhood, just a different approach/route) and concentrated on not going fast, just going. I'd been doing :45/:45 intervals before, but the group runs :30/:30, so that's what I'll stick with for now. I kept a good steady pace for the first 2.5 miles (better than Saturday!) but then finally started slowing down and feeling the effort. While I was feeling winded though, my body seemed to start feeling better. I guess I was finally warmed up as I was ready to finish. Figures.

No it wasn't a great run in any way, shape, or form, other than.. when I was done, I felt good, and I felt like a runner again. For like the first time in a very L_O_N_G time. I wish I could bottle that feeling, or record it somehow so the next time I whine at Bill that I don't feel like running, he could make me look at that snapshot in time to remember "oh yea, I DO like how I feel when I'm done so it's worth doing".

Thank goodness there's no limit on the number of times we get to resume this journey. Note the word 'resume' and not 'restart'. I didn't stop. I just wasn't making forward progress. I was dithering about off the beaten path, but never straying too far away. Eating a full sleeve of Ritz crackers.. half a dozen slices of cheese.. two or three servings of pasta at once.. not good choices, but not the end of me and my world as I know it.

In amongst all this, I'm extending myself out beyond the normal boundaries of my world. We've enrolled one of our Lhasas in a Reactive Rover class. Maggie simply goes BONKERS when she sees another dog out on a walk, to the point where it's nearly impossible to walk/drag the 13 lb growling snapping snarling buzzsaw away from the situation. She's totally unpleasant and unruly and embarrassing. We'd LOVE to be able to take her (and the other two) out in public for things like the Doggie Dash or Run for the Love of Dove - dog-friendly events, or even walks on the waterfront, whatever. She's just not socially acceptable from OUR point of view and we want to help her change that. As she's the most alpha of the three, we feel the other two will hopefully, easily, fall in line with the changes we can effect in Maggie.

The classes are every Thursday evening.. which means I won't be able to run Thursday after work. I have a plan, though. I'll be coming in to work a bit later than usual this Thursday, so I can run before work. Next week, I'll switch up my run days to Monday/Wednesday, gym days to Tuesday/Friday, and leave Thursday for Maggie-Bug training.

In addition to that, I'll be taking my first training session to volunteer for the Oregon Humane Society. That's where we found our Bubbie. I'm aching to make a career change, to get out of IT completely and into the veterinary field somehow. I'd LOVE to be able to go to school to become a Vet Tech, but right now the available courses are day classes. I cannot afford to give up my job to go to school (in my mind at least, right now). Instead, I can volunteer at OHS 12 hours a month, give something back to the community, do something that I think I'll enjoy, and learn lots of new things.

Yesterday, I made good choices. Better than the ones I made Monday. Today, I'm aiming for better choices again. Good healthy food. Proper portions. Needed nutrients. Actual weight training. A brisk walk. There are my choices today. Choices that will help change me, improve me, sustain me.

All these changes must add up to something new. A new phase in being me. Being me, only better. I hope.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIGHTSKYSTAR 7/1/2012 10:45AM

    Great Blog!! wanted to get on board with it...this team is going to be fun!!

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NUTTYSNOOPYFAN 6/28/2012 12:09AM

    Sounds like you and I are leading parallel lives again! YES, thank goodness there is no limit to the number of times we get to resume this journey! I really like the way you put that. I've been off track since March when we bought our house, and I'm just now getting my a$$ back on the path I need it to be on. Not that I would ever want you to be off the healthy path, but I do receive just a tad bit of comfort knowing I'm not the only one who has to readjust the compass from time to time.

I LOVE the idea of you volunteering at the Humane Society! I'm sure it will be a rewarding and VERY eye opening experience! After I had to quit my job at PetSmart (I loved that job) I volunteered for a couple years with an animal rescue group and I was amazed at the things that go on with rescue animals. You're gonna be amazing! Can't wait to hear more about your experiences there.

Hang in there honey! Love and hugs are being sent your way!

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IMIN2GENES 6/26/2012 8:17PM

    Cheers to all the changes! I can hear the lightness coming back to you. It's wonderful and inspirational. I'm so happy and excited for you!

Good luck with the puppy classes too!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/26/2012 12:55PM

    Cheers to changes! Keep up the good work!


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ANIMAL_L0VER 6/25/2012 1:29PM

    What a lovely, well written blog. I'm so glad your head is in the right place and you're continuing to make progress. I've learned so much from you and your outlook and positivity... thank you for that! And keep on doing what you're doing-you're great!

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CJANNESS 6/22/2012 2:50PM

  Go get em! Cant wait to hear about your updates for your half!! Thats awesome that your volunteering at the OHS, We just adopted our kitty from there about a month ago :) Keep up the great work!

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GAYEMC 6/21/2012 5:00PM

    So glad to see you back bloging and running! Sounds like you've got lots of stuff going on to keep you out of trouble, lol!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 6/21/2012 11:41AM

    Awesome words! -- " Thank goodness there's no limit on the number of times we get to resume this journey." It's wonderful to read that you are making your way back to something you have enjoyed so much.

I need to see if I can find a "Reactive Rover" class for our little unsocial one. Thank you for the tip!

Wishing you much success and fun volunteering for the OHS! It can't be an easy job and it's wonderful that you are making time in your life to help!

Here's to your new phase of being you. Being you, only better!

And we had so much fun with you, Bill and Roxi! Waiting and all. By the way, we ordered my little niece a strider bike like the one that little tiny girl was riding for her birthday. Can't you just remember that little cutie whizzing by like she a big kid?! So funny! Anyway, hopefully we can see you guys again soon. Maybe we'll come cheer you on a future race or something.

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TIGGER622 6/21/2012 6:24AM

    That sweeper crew duty with the balloons sounds like fun!!! Way to get Bill out there and stay in it! Sooooo glad you got your running mojo back - keep it up, you are AWESOME!!!

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KAREN42BOYS 6/20/2012 9:04PM

    Bill gave you good words. Volunteering to help the pups sounds good as is squishing in your runs as you're able. Things sound fairly nice right now, Candy! :D

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 6/20/2012 3:13PM

    The puppy class sounds good. Could you take Toby with you? He could use some manners. Of course, anyone else walks with him and supposedly he's fine. They want me to believe it's me he's protecting when he acts that way. I'm not sure how I feel about that... yes, i am, I hate it!

I love to hear that you are taking care of yourself. I'm excited for the changes you will see in the near future. I too am refreshing my steps here. I hope we both see success.

I'm cheering for you!


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REALLY_ROBIN 6/20/2012 2:56PM

  Love it, Candi!!! I really like the idea of you volunteering before you dive head long into school too! I've just gotten back into making progress again as well! Last night was weights and tonight is my first cardio in the gym in along time. I had been going on walks outside, but it's not the same as pushing it on the machines at the gym for me. I love your comment about not restarting....but making forward progress again!!! I'm chearing you on girl....from the north!!! We can do this!!!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 6/20/2012 2:17PM

    Welcome back among the running! And carry water at all times - that's what my Galloway group insists on.... emoticon

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    To quote Charlie Sheen... "WINNING" (LOL)

I love all the positive stuff here - and that you are gettin' your groove back. It's time for both of us to kick this into high gear again!

Keep up the great work!


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PARASELENIC 6/20/2012 1:50PM

    "Thank goodness there's no limit on the number of times we get to resume this journey. Note the word 'resume' and not 'restart'. I didn't stop. I just wasn't making forward progress. I was dithering about off the beaten path, but never straying too far away. Eating a full sleeve of Ritz crackers.. half a dozen slices of cheese.. two or three servings of pasta at once.. not good choices, but not the end of me and my world as I know it. "

Oh man, like words out of my mouth! I'm on my 3rd or 4th resume right now, too....

I love your plan with the dog training and the humane society! Please keep us updated on how Maggie is doing! (By the by: how old is she? Is she still puppy, or is that just her personality-- "high-energy"?)

As much as I would love to volunteer at the humane society, there is no way I could do anything that so directly relates to animals-- we have enough already, but I know I would take more home!

Way to go on the running, even when there was significant pull not to, and how fitting that moment was the one where your "runner-ness" was validated!

It's weird, the times when you push yourself, beyond your own desires, how utterly rewarding and accomplished that can be.

This blog was full of triumph. Keep posting!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 6/20/2012 1:43PM

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LISA01605 6/20/2012 1:16PM

    I love hearing from you! Sounds like you are doing well!

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/20/2012 1:01PM

    Yay for you, Candy! This really is just a time to 'resume' rather than 'restart'--and you're doing it the right way. One choice at a time, trying to make the best choice we can at the time. Great idea to take Maggie to the Reactive Rover class, I hope it helps a whole lot--and volunteering at OHS should be both fun and a learning experience. WOO HOO for you!

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COOP9002 6/20/2012 12:57PM

    Sounds like you're making progress.

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June? When did that happen??

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Seriously. We're into the sixth month of this year. Where has the time gone??

Our trip to W.Va. was WOOOOOOOOONDERFUL. Exactly what was needed. I did wake up early Thursday morning (the day we were supposed to travel) feeling sick to my stomach, but I tried to go back to sleep. After two hours of tossing and turning, I finally tossed my cookies (or more aptly, whatever bad chicken I'd gotten ahold of) at 2:30. Sigh. It was like a sign from above that I just was NOT supposed to go to W.Va. for some reason.

Well, signs be d*mned, I went anyway! I was able to get back to sleep for a very short while once more, then get up and get moving. I was hesitant to put anything on my stomach other than a bit of coffee and some water. Fortunately, apparently emptying my stomach just that once was all that was needed, as I made it alright through the rest of the day.

The check-in went well at PDX. I did get stopped through security because I forgot I still had my BodyBugg on. It's simply a part of me now LOL I took it off so they could xray it, then left it off. I'm on vacation! Why not?!

Everything else went smoothly. We landed at the Canton Akron airport on time, found the rental car desk, got our car, and hit the road. I was on edge the entire 2 hour drive, waiting for a deer to jump out in front of our car to prevent me from making it to W.Va! LOL That didn't happen though, and we pulled into my mom's driveway without mishap.

The next week was mostly a blur. A hot blur. Like 90-98 degrees sweaty blur! Geez! I recall that we had a great 6 mile walk one morning, crossing from Williamstown over to Marietta, OH, and back again. They have a nice waterfront in Marietta, but it's nothing like what we have in Portland. Still and all, we enjoyed the outing. That was the ONLY time I ran while in W.Va., and that was for about 30 ft LOL

Everyone back East always assumes we here in the PNW get much more rain than they do. I try to explain that while we may have more days that contain rain than they do in the East, we do get about the same amount. This was illustrated beautifully with a few major storms on Tuesday! It poured down sheets of rain. POURED. It was amazing and gorgeous. I miss those kinds of storms. Remember I said this....

One day, we took the whole gang - me and Bill, Kristan and her SO Steve, my mom and her boyfriend Argel - to Blennerhasset Island by paddle wheeler.

For those of you in the area, if you've never been, or haven't gone in a while.. GO! It was gorgeous, all the trees in full leaf, the grounds were immaculate, the mansion just as I remembered it. We have a few pictures from that excursion, but I haven't downloaded them from the camera yet. I'll post some soon.

Mom's boyfriend, Argel. Nice older gentleman, true West Virginian! It was a little odd, having him around the whole time. My mom even passed up going shopping with me because of him! That's unheard of, or use to be. I know, I sound like a 6 y/o LOL It was strange, but I adjusted, mostly. It's nice that she has someone in her life, and we'll leave it at that.

Kristan and Steve are doing well. They're both working at two different restaurants - Kristan is waitressing (although they started training her on the grill line recently which she's happy about) and Steve is working his way into assistant manager at a local diner. They have a nice little apartment, a working car, and Kristan has her dad's family, as well as my mom, nearby. I think maybe they'll stay put for a while. She's the one that ran off to California on various occasions without so much as a 'see ya!'.

It was nice to be away, to be off schedule, to simply go and do and be without worries or cares. We checked out local real estate. As it happens, the cost of living in W.Va. is so much lower than it is here in Portland, it's tempting to consider moving back East. We could get much more house for what we've paid for our small home here. Yes, it's MY home (happy new home-owner grin goes here) here in Portland now too, but the thought of being closer to family is tempting. We even looked at one home and of course, that was the wrong thing to do LOL I immediately wanted to move in, and Kristan was all for it! We'll see though. Maybe get our home appraised just to see where we stand. We'd be able to live on Bill's retirement, and I'd only have to work part-time in order to keep making my student loan payments. Otherwise, I could spend my days with him and the puppies.

The puppies! We missed them so much while we were away. They stayed with Donna and Lizz, our pet sitters, who have now become the Aunties. I believe the puppies had a great time at 'summer camp' but boy were they happy to see us when we got home. The barks and yips and kisses and licks and tail wagging was monumental!

Remember what I said about missing the storms back East? Yea, I got an extra dose on our way home. We left Williamstown Friday afternoon, driving back to the Canton Akron airport. About 20 minutes away from the airport, another storm hit, and hit hard. I couldn't see 5 feet in front of the car, the rain was sheeting down so hard. It was scary, and it's a wonder Bill was able to pry my fingers off the steering wheel, I had such a death-grip on it! Whew!

All in all, it was a fabulous trip. We rested, we relaxed, we dreamed, we laughed, we ATE. I probably gained that previously predicted 10 lbs during this time. All in all, I've ballooned up to 242.2 as of Monday morning. Part of that may be bloat, but I figure it's pretty accurate. Which leads into our next paragraph...

Since returning home, I've somewhat refocused my Spark efforts. Back to the veggies, back to the fruit, limit the processed foods and stop going out to eat! Portion control is large and in charge right now, as is moving my body. We walked to the gym on Monday and had a great workout. Well, I did anyway. It felt really good to work my muscles again.

I got up early Tuesday morning to run on the treadmill before work. It was only 1.5 miles, but after nearly 3 months of barely doing anything, I accepted that as a good resuming point and will continue on from there.

I got up early this morning and did a 20 minute KettleWorx workout. Boy I can tell it's been a while since I worked out with Ryan. I got my sweat on though, and am already feeling it in my shoulders and thighs.

If I can stick to it, I can do a run in the mornings, or a kettlebell routine. Something. Anything. In addition to my afternoon workouts as well. I didn't run again last night because we got a last minute invitation to step-granddaughter's high school graduation, so we left for that as soon as I got home from work and didn't get home until 8:30 - my usual bedtime! We had a late dinner then I crashed hard. I admit to hitting the snooze ONCE this morning, but then I got myself up, got myself in the basement, and got my kettlebell on.

I guess I've just determined.. decided.. if I'm going to do something about this close to 18 lbs that I've regained, then I'm really going to have to DO SOMETHING. Bill's on board - isn't he always? Thank goodness. Healthy meals, moving and working and sweating. That's the name of the game once again.

Whatever that schlump was, may it be well behind me. I didn't fail. I didn't quit. I didn't give up on myself. I just got sidetracked. I'm celebrating my successes each day, no matter how small they may be. They're mine, and if I'm going to love me back into better shape, then I need to recognize my efforts and keep on rockin' it.

So that's me, basically. I'm sure I've missed lots of good stuff. Maybe it'll leak out in coming blogs! Tell me how you've been?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TURTLERASKIN 6/16/2012 11:53AM

    Hey! I just got back from vacation myself, and am catching up (even though I said I wasn't going to do that...) -- glad to hear your trip was good. I think vacations can be perfect for helping us step out of our daily routine and figure out what's important, so I'm glad yours was good for that.

And yay for refocused efforts! I'm planning to spend some time this weekend refocusing myself after two weeks of not being accountable (and unlike you, I am not brave enough to look at the scale -- enough time for that at my next weigh in July 1!). So here's to starting up again!

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CHEEKY1000 6/13/2012 2:36PM

    Hi! Just stumbled across your blog. It sounds like you had a fantastic vacation. I love (and miss) living back east (even though I'm from Ohio which isn't technically "east" it's still way more east of AZ--lol). In fact, I'm from the Canton area, so I know that airport well! Actually, I'm from Massillon (right next to Canton).

The whole eastern part of Ohio and down through the Appalachian Mountains are all just beautiful drives! So lush and green. I love the history back east too. The whole "Southwest" deal, does nothing for me. lol

Anyhow, glad you are safely home and back in the swing of things. Yay you! You can totally do it!

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ANIMAL_L0VER 6/13/2012 2:25PM

    I'm glad you had a great time - sounds like a wonderful, fun, much needed trip!! Super happy for you! Also great that you're getting back on track with eating and exercise. Yay! I'm sure you missed the pooches; I miss my boys (cats) tremendously whenever I'm gone for more than a day.
I'm doing well... had a great weekend with Para and finally getting some spark time after almost 3 weeks of very sporadic use. Just went postal again, and glad I'm catching up on blogs. Once I do that I don't think I'll feel so overwhelmed and behind. Rolled my ankle when in Mpls; it's worse than I thought it was so lots of icing and wrapping - hope to get back to the gym with biking and swimming later this week. that's about it!

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ANNESYLVIA 6/11/2012 2:34PM

    Though and though you sound like you had a great trip as well as a much needed one too!

Don't worry about the green eye monster that came out when mommy did not want to play with you! Let's face you had her first!!!! I hope you still went shopping even without her.

I miss my puppy to when we go away. It is hard to believe she is 10yo. Her first senor vet visit is this Thursday. My poochie mama is still so full of life. Zhanne was my first babe, then Logan then Sylvia.

hugs, Anne

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TIGGER622 6/10/2012 3:10PM

    Sounds like an amazing trip!!! So glad you are home safe and back in action! Glad Bill is on board too, that makes things so much easier!!! Keep up the good work, I know you can do it!!!

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GAYEMC 6/8/2012 2:11PM

    Glad you had a good vacation and were able to let go of stuff and just enjoy! Now, do you really want to live with all that heat and humidity? Please don't move. Small successes add up so be proud of those.

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SUSUSUZZZIE 6/7/2012 9:16PM

    Your trip sounds absolutely wonderful and like it was just what you needed! Welcome back!

I agree with you about it being nice to be off schedule and to go and do as you like. There is something about it being so good for the soul. And I so understand the exploration of moving to lower cost areas or moving when on vacation. I think we end up enjoying our vacations to the point that we think we would be happier moving. After the last vacation I thought about how I can make my life more vacation life since moving for us is out of the question at this point. Thanks for that reminder - I need to go back and revisit that.

Congrats on getting back on track! I love your attitude! Celebrate away!
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IMIN2GENES 6/7/2012 11:28AM

    Hey girlfriend! I've missed you! It's nice to hear you had such a lovely trip. I can't wait to see the pics of it. Sounds like it really was just what you needed.

As for me, still plugging along. I like your new plan. I need to get back on my portion control again. I think I've let it drift a little too far again... LOL!

Looking forward to sharing some more success with you!

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PIXIEMOM13 6/6/2012 5:07PM

    It sounds like a lovely trip!

And I want you to know you inspire me too! ((hugs))

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 6/6/2012 4:45PM

    I'm so glad you had a great trip. I missed you terribly! I don't have a tail to wag but I could give you hugs. LOL

Sounds like you have a great plan in place. I'll be excited to hear how things are going. Please keep us posted. Oh and post pictures when you can!


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LISA01605 6/6/2012 3:47PM

    Sounds like a great trip and great break from the daily grind. I am also refocusing. I have been sidetracked myself for quite some while. The pounds come back a lot faster than they go away I am finding. Right now I am feeling really determined to meet my goals.

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GETFIT2LIVE 6/6/2012 3:07PM

    What a great trip it sounds like! So glad you were able to go and enjoy the time there; we all need a break from the routine and the stress of everyday life now and then, especially after what you've been through this year already. Had to laugh about the stop at security; I've flown several times with my BB on without thinking and actually have never gotten stopped, but it is such a part of my 'attire' now that I feel naked without it. Celebrate each and every one of your successes, girl; you are on the right track and rocking it!

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    The trip sounds wonderful - and just what you needed!

As far as I go? I'm tweakin' and twistin'.. trying to find my new groove... but as I've always said... keep moving forward - do whatever it takes... and never ever quit!

You inspire me, Candy!


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ROXIT22222 6/6/2012 1:47PM

    Glad you had a good trip. Maybe that's what you've needed. The delay of getting back there due to Bill 'issue' may have caused a bit a the slump you went into. The excitement of still getting to go, and then the fear of 'something bad' happening again just before going.... it's amazing how our mind and bodies work even when we don't realize what's going on.

Anyways great that you are working on getting back on track! WOOOHOOO!

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Country roads, take me home...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

To the place I belong..
West Virginia, Mountain Mama..
Take me home, country roads..

We're very nearly on our way. In a few hours, we'll be taking our lhasa pack to the pet sitters' and leaving them there. I'm more anxious about it then they are right now. I bawled like a big ole baby when we dropped them off last year, so I'm hoping I'll be a little more composed this year. Doubt it though!

Everything is packed that can be packed. There'll be last minute items used in getting ready in the morning that I'll add to my suitcase before finally zipping it shut.

I'm ready. I am very ready for this trip. I have no idea whether or not I'll be checking in here at Spark. I'll take pictures, track what I can, when I can, and will share our adventures when we get back home.

Until then.. take good care of yourselves, and each other.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REALLY_ROBIN 6/5/2012 5:02PM

  I hope you have a wonderful trip had a wonderful trip Candi!!!

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ANIMAL_L0VER 6/1/2012 5:42PM

    I hope you are having a fabulously, wonderful time, and look forward to hearing about it when you get back!

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GAYEMC 5/28/2012 2:16PM

    I hope you are having a wonderful time! I hear it's hot in the East, hope you can stay cool. It's been cloudy and rainy here.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 5/25/2012 12:24PM

    Have a great trip!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 5/25/2012 12:13PM

    I hope you have a lovely trip! I'll be thinking of you!!!


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GAYLEP67 5/25/2012 12:22AM

    Hope it's a great trip home...


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BE-THE-CHANGE 5/24/2012 11:12PM


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ROEBUNCH 5/24/2012 3:57PM

    Have a great trip!! We are blessed to have friends that come to our house and take care of our animals so no trauma!! Makes getting ready for a trip a bit easier.

See you on the flip side!! emoticon

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TIGGER622 5/24/2012 10:40AM

    OMG have so much fun!!! Cant wait to hear all about it!

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ONENEL 5/24/2012 6:55AM

    Have a wonderful trip

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PIXIEMOM13 5/23/2012 10:43PM

    Have a safe trip! If you don't get to check in, we'll miss you, but understand!

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TURTLERASKIN 5/23/2012 10:22PM

    Have a great trip! Lots of pictures when you get back!

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KAREN42BOYS 5/23/2012 9:49PM

    I hope you both have a great time, and I'm glad you get to GO!

Comment edited on: 5/23/2012 9:50:24 PM

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BIGMAMAT 5/23/2012 7:43PM

    Come on home BABY! emoticon

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IMIN2GENES 5/23/2012 7:39PM

    Enjoy your trip! Hope you have a wonderful time!

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I hope it's just what you need :)


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GETFIT2LIVE 5/23/2012 7:06PM

    Have a WONDERFUL trip and enjoy the time away! Hope you come back rested and recharged; take good care of yourself while you're there, okay?

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SUSUSUZZZIE 5/23/2012 6:53PM

    Have a wonderful trip! And I know the feeling about dropping the dogs off for long trips. Thankfully both of ours seem thrilled to be there!
! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Cant wait for your trip report/pictures

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LISA01605 5/23/2012 6:22PM

    Have a great trip! Can't wait to read all about it!

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COOKWITHME65 5/23/2012 6:19PM

    Enjoy your trip!

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The Inaugural Rock'n'Roll Portland Half.. with pics!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Letís see if I can recap this past weekend.


There, that sums it up pretty precisely!

Oh, you want more than that? Hmm.

For those interested in some very nice, sharp images from the Inaugural RockíníRoll Portland Half, check out this link:

For a bit of a more personal touch.. hereís my (what I can remember of it) experience. If I've left you out or forgotten something, please forgive me!

Iím still mostly in Schlumpsville this past week (month.. months?). I think we took the puppies out for a walk Thursday evening, which was really the most physical activity I engaged in all week. We had an appointment for them to be groomed early Friday morning, at our local PetSmart, located at Cascade Station Ė a very nice, but poorly planned (traffic-wise) shopping center. We dropped the puppies off at 7 and decided to walk around the 2 mile loop of the shopping center. It turned into 3 and a bit more miles, but it was great. We found a trail along the back area of the shopping center and followed it, which ended up winding along the Columbia Slough. Then we walked along the front side of a protected wildlife area that again, we hadnít realized was there. It was a very nice, warm sunny morning, and I, for the first time in a long while, was feeling the urge to do a bit more than just walk, but I stuck with Bill.

Saturday was another nice day, although we spent the majority of it at home, catching up on weekend chores so we could be completely free on Sunday. We picked up my packet at the Expo around 3:30 or so, only to realize weíd left our camera at home. We needed that camera! So we dashed back home and headed for the Old Spaghetti Factory.

Why you ask? Because of this!

Roxit22222 and her DonutMan

ChazeRay and GetFit2Live


We were so fortunate to be able to meet up with GetFit2Live and her hubby, FitForLong, and their friends HopesFreedom and her hubby and kids, along with everyone else. GetFit2Live has a great write-up of her experience, as does Roxit22222 Ė be sure to swing by their pages to congratulate them as well, please!

Dinner was a lot of fun, getting to know in person these people weíve gotten to know online. Itís always so nice to be able to connect a real face and real voice with words and images on the screen. I think we may have had more fun afterward trying to get a few more pictures than we did at the table itself!

FitForLong, GetFit2Live, CBaileyC, GayeMC, ChazeRay, and Roxit22222

SparkHubbies who put up with we crazy SparkWomen!

Of course, the big event, the reason we all drew together to indulge in pasta and fellowship, was Sunday morning, and the day started out alright. It was supposed to be warmish, but dry.

Please note that ďsupposed to beĒ. Ha!

I took Max down to avoid having to worry about parking, etc. About half way through the trip, Roxit and the Donut Man boarded the same train. I had realized I was on a Green line, and would end up further in town than I wanted to be, so hopped off at Rose Center transit center to catch the next Red or Blue line. As it happens, a TriMet gentlemen was talking with a couple who headed off toward the Steel Bridge as I arrived. He let me know it would be 17 minutes before the next train showed up, and Iíd likely make better time just crossing the Steel Bridge to reach the west side.

Done! I caught up with the others, a nice couple from Arizona, and we walked across the lower deck of the Steel Bridge. It turned out to be a good way to shake off a bit of the nervous energy and to warm up easily.

Iím a bit of a stickler for finding where Iím supposed to be and BEING there. I donít stray too far because Iím a bit A.R. that way LOL I found corrals 20 and 21 (I was assigned to 20 but planned on joining Roxit in 21) and paced about there.

As it happens, Karen42Boys was also running Sunday morning, so I was jazzed to think weíd be doing a run Ďtogetherí even if we were apart and Ö well, sheíd be running and Iíd be walking. Itís all semantics though!

So Roxit and Donut Man arrived, and we snapped a quick picture.

She was absolutely ready to get going, along with 13,000+ of our crazy friends!

Oh, speaking of friends.. did we mention that we ran the same Half Marathon as Kara Goucher? No? Well, we did! Of course, she finished by the time we had hit mile 2 or thereabouts LOL but itís still fun to say.

Another SparkFriend, Kashmir, had messaged me a few days previously, asking about walking with me during the race. Sheís on the injured reserve list and wanted to be in the race even if she couldnít run all of it. Of course, Iím all about the more the merrier! Once she found us in corral 21, she asked how much of the race I planned to walk. 100%! I had no intention of running.. except maybe a few steps, just so I could say that silly line about running in the same Half as Kara LOL Now Kashmir is an awesome, experienced runner, and she is one of my running inspirations. I met her through the Sparkin Hood to Coast team and have been in awe pretty much since then. I was glad to have her company and she really helped me get moving at a good clip once we reached the starting line.

Oh, the starting line. It took us approx. 33 minutes to reach the starting line! We moved up bit by bit, and then finally crossed the mat and were off. Roxit took off and I sent well-wishes after her. I knew she was going to run and wanted her to have a fabulous time. She did!

The sight of the crowd as we headed through downtown to surge onto the Hawthorne bridge was incredible. My picture does not do it justice!

Thatís Kashmir on the far left there. The Oregon Live article referenced above has much better images that show you how wall-to-wall people it was. Somewhere along the line, it started sprinkling. Then it started raining. And then it rained harder. I had my sweatshirt wrapped around my waist, but that was mainly as a place to carry my phone and camera. I felt bad for those who had planned for a nice warmish 60-65 degree run only to end up soaked to the bone wet and cold!

Kashmir and I sprinkled in a few running intervals here and there, and at one point around mile 3 or so, heading up hill, Kash was practically shouting that it didnít hurt to run uphill! WooHoo! The leg warmed up for her and the pain eased, so somewhere between miles 4 and 5, she took off running while I found myself slowing down. My ankle was a bit twitchy, not hurting but making itself known. Could it be because I hadnít been using it as much as I should have? Meh.

I had my tunes going so I just trucked along as best I could and enjoyed the sights and sounds. Everyone had a great time. There were a few issues with the traffic stops. One incident was actually pretty disheartening. We reached a normally busy intersection on Hawthorne Blvd, and the police and TriMet gentlemen stopped us to allow traffic to flow across. The majority of us stopped and waited patiently, but there were two ladies who were.. well, incredibly rude. They pushed and complained and made such a spectacle.

One of them shouted there was no way she was stopping, itís a professional event! She tried to dart around the police officer and into traffic, but he was able to stop her. The people around me were astonished and we were shaking our heads, truly baffled and upset by how this woman was behaving. She pitched a further fit, and finally wrenched away from the police officer and darted out in front of a car. Sheís lucky she wasnít hit! I suppose if she had been, it would have been the officerís fault. Sigh.

That was the only downside to the entire experience. Well, that and the ache that set in. I messaged Bill and Karen42Boys at mile 5, at 1:15, and then Bill again at mile 10 at 2:35. He was supposed to wait at home until I hit mile 10, then come down to meet me at the finish. Turns out he left earlier than planned, and my request for a dry warm sweatshirt went unfulfilled LOL Ah well, I should have planned better! It is Portland, after all, and I should count on not being able to count on the weather!

Bill caught a few images of me near and after the finish.

At this point, I was really just wanting to stay upright, keep moving, and get this )(*@#!$)(*^& race over with! LOL I was hurting pretty good by this time and really was looking forward to a banana, a dry jacket, and a .. oh look! They had space blanket thingies!

Call me crazy but Iíve always wanted a shiny space blanket thingy, and now I have one. I collected my medal, which is amazing, got a race finisher photo taken, was handed a box of snacks, and then wandered over to find Bill. I didnít expect to find any SparkPeople at the S sign, having just finished at 3.5 hours, but we made our way down to that area just in case. I was a mixed bag of emotions, but mostly just glad to be done.

We hobbled over.. well, ok, I hobbled, Bill walked, over to catch the Max to head back home. We just missed one train, watching it pull away as we got close, but I was in no hurry to move any faster LOL We waited what seemed like an eternity, even though it was really only about 10 minutes, and boarded the next train for home.

As I messaged to Karen on the way home, what I did was foolish. Iím very lucky that I was able to finish walking the Half without training, without injury. I had confessed to Roxit a couple of weeks before that I felt sort of.. stuck. Stuck between continuing forward, training and running, or staying with Bill. He has slowed down a good bit after his event (as heís taken to calling it now). When we walk to the gym together, if weíre not holding hands, Iím walking away from him. Not intentionally, but my natural gate has quickened, and his has slowed. So we hold hands so I donít leave him behind. I donít want to leave him behind, and thatís what it feels like Iíve done up until now. I canít give up on myself completely, but I cannot give up on him completely either. I need to strike a better balance between taking care of both of us somehow.

All in all, it was a really good weekend. The people are what made the difference for me. Hearing everyone talking about their past events, or what theyíre signed up for in the future, helped sooth something within me. Iíd been missing that camaraderie, that kinship of being with other runners and talking the talk. Again, I mean no offense to any of my wonderful online Spark friends Ė you all keep me going when I sometimes think I canít go anymore Ė but being with people and sharing the same interests and simply laughing and having fun in person it makes all the difference in the world. It put me back in touch with that part of me that Iíve shunned, that part that says ĎMaybe I can after all. Maybe I should. Maybe I want to.í

Maybe I can. Maybe I should. Maybe I will.

Right now, I haveÖ
The Grand Floral Walk scheduled on June 9.
The Run for the Love of Dove with Bill on June 10
The Portland Half Marathon on October 7.

The Fabulous ChazeRay, who is awesome and amazing and game for Anything at all times, has asked the Portland team for people to do the 5K Foam Fest in Portland on July 28.
The Incomparable 4My2Kids is captaining a team for the Pineapple Classic 5K on August 18.
Both have asked me to participate, and Iím pretty sure Iím going to. I mean.. címon.. who can resist rolling around in Foam? Or running around with a Pineapple?

For now, I want to make it through the rest of this work week (donít hate me because Iím only working today and tomorrow! Ha!) and then make it to West Virginia in one pieceÖ for some peace. Keep your fingers crossed for me on that score, if you would please. Maybe the away time will help refresh and renew me and my attitude.

As always, thank you. Thank you to teammates who offered me good luck for my race. Thank you to my friends who supported me. Thank you to those who have congratulated me. Thank you for being my friends!
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***Edited to add***
GetFit2Live asked how I'm doing today. I meant to include that!
I think I'm moving along just fine. I'm sure I look like I'm lurching down the hallway LOL I ache. I don't hurt and I'm not injured, thankfully. But I do ache. I tend to sit wide on my desk chair, so my hips get to hurting after a while. I'm making a conscious effort to keep my knees closer together so I don't put as much strain on my hips. My .. hammies seem to be ok, as are my quads. The tops of my feet are a little achy as well. Overall though, I feel pretty darned good, and I'm making an effort to move at least once an hour to keep from getting too stiff. I'm very thankful that our flight isn't until Thursday. Whew!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSTANG_SALLY2 5/23/2012 4:23PM

    I'm a little late posting to this but wanted you to know that I loved reading it. I was going to ask you who Max is but read on enough to figure it out. LOL Hey, I'm just a country girl! (wink)

I'm so proud of you for finishing. I love walking but wow, that's a really far walk! Ugh.

I hope you have a great time in WV. (I lived near there before moving to MI.) Take care of yourself. I'm cheering for you.


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SUSUSUZZZIE 5/23/2012 3:17PM

    I LOVE your blog and all of the pictures! I love reading the play by plays - it makes me feel like I was right there supporting you! I wish I could have joined you to run a leg. What an awesome idea that I would have never thought about doing.

Awesome that getting together with friends with similar goals was good for you.

Good luck to you on finding balance on taking care of you and taking care of your husband. Balance - that word that comes up for almost all of us over and over and over. Good luck to you. You will find the balance and moderation in all things that you need.

I hope you are feeling even better/less achy today. Have a wonderful trip to WVA and see you soon!

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IMIN2GENES 5/23/2012 9:39AM

    Thanks for sharing your story. Sounds like a great time even with the rain! Congrats my friend! I'm glad you're not feeling too bad and your finding your groove again.

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MIRAGE727 5/22/2012 3:21PM

    Loved our inaugural ST Pete RnR this past Feb. Thanks for sharing. Good job!

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ANIMAL_L0VER 5/22/2012 11:39AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TURTLERASKIN 5/22/2012 10:07AM

    So great that you managed to get out there and enjoy yourself (even if you're hobbling a little bit). That lady who ran into traffic sounds NUTS! I can't believe someone would do that! Anyway, I'm glad that it was a good experience for you overall, and that you've got some other ones on the horizon!

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DJ1SKYWALKER 5/22/2012 8:28AM

    Great Job! I, too, love the part about you not leaving your husband behind:-) Husbands can be a huge support to us when we also support them :-)
I live 30 minutes from WV line. Very pretty right now....Enjoy your time!

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ANNESYLVIA 5/22/2012 8:07AM

    I wish I could get together with my SP buddies like that. So much energy and fun being had!


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WALKAWAY 5/21/2012 10:56PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KAREN42BOYS 5/21/2012 10:46PM

    Hey, chica, that's a thorough report -- socially, physically and emotionally all the way around. The stuff with Bill -- that's meat worth working all the way through. It's such a delicate balance of caring for ourselves and our marriages. Reality is Bill needs you strong, just like you need you strong. But there's me saying that and then there's having it ring heart-true inside yourself. You will find your path through this.

As to the tops of your feet hurting, that was my story just a few weeks ago. Turned out my running shoes had run out of oomph and it was time to replace them. No issue since then.


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CHAZERAY 5/21/2012 9:49PM

    Glad to hear you survived. Wish I lived closer to give you more hugs than once every 6 months. Oh well, this one will have to do for now.

emoticon emoticon

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BE-THE-CHANGE 5/21/2012 8:23PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARATHONDAD 5/21/2012 7:05PM

    great job

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ROXIT22222 5/21/2012 6:54PM

    Great report Candy! It was so fun to meet everyone and I can't tell you how nice it was to have some one I knew in my corral with me. That's the part I hate is the standing in a crowd of people I don't know.

Oh and that also reminds me I should sign up for the Grand floral walk! HA... who had that crazy idea.... ;)

Have a safe trip and I will see you on the 9th! I'll be moving a bit slower that day I'm sure as it will be the weekend after my 2nd half!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/21/2012 5:30PM

    Great pictures and great blog! Are you walking okay today? I was shuffling a little after yesterday's race, but there's only a little residual soreness today. Candy, I cannot begin to tell you how much it meant to me to meet you, Bill, and the others on Saturday. It was such a special treat to connect in person with you--makes me wish even more that we were a little closer to one another, I'd go walking/running with you in a heartbeat! I can understand struggling to find the balance between wanting (no, make that NEEDING) to not leave Bill behind but also not giving up on yourself. Enjoy your trip to West Virginia; I hope we get many more opportunities to meet up in the future.


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NYTimes article - A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity...

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I found this in my reading around the web today.

The simulator that's linked from the article is nifty to play with, if you like jiggling with numbers.

I didn't do the Hippie Chick last weekend. Instead, we slept in, we walked the dogs, we caught up on a few shows, we putz'd around the house. Nothing worth mentioning, really. Sunday, we did our usual weekly grocery shopping and errands, then spent the rest of the day cleaning house (I hate coming home to a messy house after a trip away!) and grilling yummy portabella "burgers" for dinner. We also split a carrot-cake-for-two that we picked up at the grocery. It was very tasty, and we chuckled together over getting in a good serving of carrots in the process!

Yesterday, we signed papers on a refi and added me to the deed. As of Friday I'll be an official homeowner. This is monumental for me, as I never ever thought I'd own a home. Yes, the house we live in is 'ours' but now, it's official and legal. That's a relief for both of us, I think.

The Rock'n'Roll Half is coming up this weekend. I'm off Friday, but we're getting everyone a haircut (three dogs to the groomers and me to my hairlady) and then doing as much weekend chore/shopping as possible that day. Saturday we'll hit the Expo and then have dinner with several SparkPeople coming into town for the event. Sunday, I'll be lining up with Roxit222 and Kashmir in Coral 21 and heading out onto the course. I have no idea if I'll be able to finish it or not. I haven't traveled 13.1 miles under my own steam, on my own two feet, since last October. There's been little to no training or preparation for it, but I'm going to give it my best shot. We'll see how it turns out. I'm far more excited about meeting the Spark People coming into town than anything else.

After that, we'll be leaving on Thursday for W.Va. It can't come at a better time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTIE6625 5/17/2012 11:29PM

  Thanks for the link. Good luck this weekend!

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ROEBUNCH 5/17/2012 9:37AM

    congrats on home ownership!! And have a wonderful weekend, looks like you will have good weather emoticon go get 'em!!

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GAYEMC 5/16/2012 2:21PM

    Way to go on being a homeowner! Looking forward to dinner Saturday and meeting new Spark faces.

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IMIN2GENES 5/16/2012 11:53AM

    Hope you have an awesome weekend! Sounds like fun. I'm sure you'll finish. Why? You're just that stubborn... LOL! Seriously, have lots of fun. It will be cool getting to meet up with some fellow Sparkers.

Congrats on becoming a homeowner!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 5/15/2012 8:21PM

    Very interesting article though I've yet to get the link to work. Probably too many people trying it.

Your weekend sounds very nice. Sometimes it's nice to catch up on the shows and putz - actually that sounds very good right about now.

Congrats on being a home owner and the refi. We just refi'd a couple months ago. Anyway, it is very exciting and I'm thrilled for you!
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Wishing you much fun on the R&R Half - it will be nice to just do what you can do and not worry about beating times...just enjoy!

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KARENA228 5/15/2012 2:22PM

    Interesting blog, thanks for the information. And of course, Congratulations to you on becoming a homeowner.

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BARBIE1967 5/15/2012 2:01PM

  Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your race. You will do just fine. Just slow down and enjoy the run.

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ROXIT22222 5/15/2012 1:42PM

    I bet that home owner ship is a huge weight of your shoulder. Esp after Bill's scare a few weeks ago.

I can't wait for the 1/2 marathon, and like you am more excited about meeting up with people than the run it's self. Get's frustrated that I want to train better, but am having a hard time with this knee.

I am counting on the excitement, and the music to help keep us all moving quickly! And the weather is going to be perffeict! emoticon

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/15/2012 1:36PM

    Interesting article, and it supports what I've always believed: ". . . the conventional wisdom of 3,500 calories less is what it takes to lose a pound of weight is wrong. The body changes as you lose. Interestingly, we also found that the fatter you get, the easier it is to gain weight. An extra 10 calories a day puts more weight onto an obese person than on a thinner one." Encouraging, huh? Nifty simulator, too--thanks for posting the link! Congrats on officially being a homeowner now, that's huge. I'm looking forward to this weekend so much! I'm glad you're going to do it, hopefully you'll do better than you expect. Thanks for organizing the meetup, Candy!

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    Sounds like a good weekend plan! Congrats! on becoming a homeowner!

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