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?
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.
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!
***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!
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.
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
So yea. I did indeed make my run Thursday evening. It was brief, and relatively ugh-ish, but it was done.
Friday was good in that meeting Roxit2222 was great and the walk was fun. We had it all - sunshine, wind, rain, and hail as we were leaving LOL I cracked right up at our luck/timing.
Saturday was rather bland and didn't involve much effort doing much of anything. Just blah.
Sunday was better, in that we drove down to Salem to attend Riley's first birthday party. He's so big now.
Food along the way was not stellar in the least. Too much fat, too many calories, too much sodium. I bailed on tracking, and kept telling myself to remember how awful I felt after eating such crap. If I can remember that I didn't feel well after having X, Y, or Z, then maybe I can somehow convince myself, the next time I have a mouth-craving, that I really don't want it after all.
Yesterday. It was a Monday. Know how I know it was a Monday? (as told to my friend Molly via email....)
I had a Chobani Pineapple yogurt for breakfast. It was lovely and waiting for me when I finally got around to opening it. . I peeled back the lid and found that some of the liquid had separated so I rolled over to the trashcan to gently tip the cup up and let the liquid run out. As itís drizzling out, the rest of the yogurt follows suit and plops into the bottom of the trashcan, pineapple and all.
It looked so sad laying there in the bottom of the can. As if it really did want to be eaten and couldnít quite understand why I couldnít hunch over the can with a spoon, slurping it up from the bottom.
Never fear though. I had a boiled egg handy, so I replaced the forlorn yogurt with that, and managed to stay within my ranges yesterday. I've reduced the range somewhat because even with the purported calorie burn the BodyBugg is showing me, which is higher than Spark is estimating, I'm at a standstill. Never mind that wolfing down what I wolfed over the weekend could easily be attributed for feeling rolly-polly bloated and blech. I'm cutting back. Again. WooHoo.
Yesterday also saw me walking to the gym, having a good ST session, and walking home again. It was so nice, sunny, and warm, and it felt so good. Unfortunately, the walk, the sunlight, the ST, something must have contributed to my not being sleepy. I recall looking at the clock around 1:00 a.m. and groaning because I had to get up at 4:15 and I just was not sleeping yet.
This evening? I think by the time my day is done I'm going to want to go home and crawl into bed. Instead, though, I'll try at the very least to get a good walk in. Now, there's walking-the-dogs walking.. then there's walking-with-Bill walking.. and finally there's walking-for-reals-cardio walking.
It's great that I have three levels to choose from. It's all a matter of what kind of company I want - 'yappy, darting everywhere, sniffing everything, tinkling in Every Single Yard, barking at everyone' company.. 'doing the best I can but my hip is aching' company.. or 'just get the h*ll out of my way I'm walking here' non-company.
For a blog that started out as not about much of anything, there sure are a LOT of words here. Hmm.
Calories in. Calories out. That's a lot like Breathe in. Breathe out. If ONLY it were that easy!
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