Tuesday, October 23, 2012
I've read so many blogs, and regretfully only had time to comment on a handful. Many of you have been doing so well! Even if you're struggling, you're not stopping. If you're succeeding, you're sharing your success with the rest of us, and encouraging us to keep on. That's what I really love about my Spark family here - you tell it like it is, good or bad, and keep on keepin' on.
I read several BLC blogs (you all are rockin' it, really!) and realized that, while there's nothing wrong with trying to 'go it alone' as it were, I probably need to find a challenge/team that will push me more. I love the teams I'm on now, but I recall a small private team of women I joined that introduced me to Lori and Karen and other great ladies, and helped encourage me to do more, be more. I haven't had a challenge team like that since, so I should probably seek one out again.
That's an encouraging sign, isn't it? Wanting to seek out more challenges, more encouragement, more activity and purpose and direction? I'd like to think so.
So, I got home after work yesterday, all psyched up from reading about successes and efforts and progress, determined to get out of the house and get some miles in. Yes, having plans is great - and I had plans for the week off from work to recover from the dental implant. No, I did not follow my plans - I did alright with the food, mostly, but didn't bother to leave the house but once.. ONCE.. the entire 10 days. That was pretty indulgent, lazy, and wonderful all at once.
I had messaged Bill earlier in the day, asking if he wanted to go with me. Now, keep in mind, we're in Oregon. Our rainy season has JUST started, so it's as if we're playing catch-up, all the rain we've been missing being tossed in and thrown at us now.
Anyway, Bill wasn't really feeling the need to get outside.
"You're going to get rained on," he said.
"That's been known to happen. It ~is~ Oregon," I replied, in case he'd forgotten where we lived.
I wanted to find my gloves to wear, but couldn't put my hands on them. Get it? Gloves? Hands on them?
I pulled on my current favorite pair of workout pants (they have a wide waistband that I fool myself into thinking helps hold Eunice and other various belly-jigglers in place), my Heartbreaker long-sleeve tech shirt (because it's roomy and I fool myself into thinking it helps disguise Eunice and the jiggly bits), my Hope pink ribbon baseball cap, and my Mirage runners.
If you dress the part, you're more apt to play the part.
Or something like that.
Garmin, music, and you all were with me when I stepped out the door. I have figured out a nice 3 mile route that is mostly flat except for a small hill mid-way through. I headed down toward Sandy (.5 mi from our house) with my alert set to go off every 45 seconds. I'd run one interval, then walk two. No big deal, no great effort, but it sure beats the h*ll out of schlumping on the couch.
Am I right?
I do the half mile down, and half mile back, and head to the house. It's been drizzly, thinking about raining, the whole time, but wasn't really putting anything down. Yet.
As soon as I step in the door...
"Gotta go potty?" Bill asks.
"Yep!" as I trot on by him.
Hey, stuff happens, right? LOL I had to chuckle, recalling a previous blog post about my backfield not being in motion.. ahem.. and a comment from Dee about her dogs running around in circles when ever they had to 'go' and how maybe that would help. Let's just say.. it does!
So I'm back out the door, on my way to the next mile. This is where Mother Nature decides to teach me a little lesson. I did state in my feed yesterday afternoon that rain or shine, I was getting out for some miles. She decided I needed a little more rain.
I mean, it came down so hard, it was raining down and bouncing up! All I could do was snort and grin as I kept up with my intervals.
It's ok if you don't! It's from my abandoned 'why I run' blog back in March.
Anyway, that's how I felt, all bad*ss running in the deluge, laughing at the joke Mother Nature was sharing with me. I spied a patch of clear, bright skies off to the west, so I just watched it as I ran and walked my way through the mile, until the rain slowed to a drizzle then finally stopped. I glanced over my shoulder, and there was this bright rainbow.
It was lovely. I like to think that it was Mother Nature saying "ok, you didn't quit, I guess you deserve this."
I finished mile two, chugged up the small hill, and finished off mile three, feeling pretty darned good. I was getting tired, admittedly, so my endurance has waned a bit. That's ok, I can build that back up.
I finished what I started. 3.14 miles in 46 minutes. That's the same time as my very first ever 5K. That's fine by me. I'm toting around an extra 18 lbs right now. Timing will improve as the extra lbs are removed. There will be more running than walking at some point.
I hesitated about blogging this, because what if.. what if I lose my groove again? What if this good feelings falls away? What if 18 becomes 25? What if?
But I've got to start (or resume) somewhere, right? Why not right here, right now. Here's to moving forward.
Monday, October 08, 2012
I completed my fourth Half marathon yesterday. It was a great day for a race - just this side of cool and crisp in the morning, ending up in the sunshine when I finished. It wasn't too hot or too cold.
This was my first experience with the Portland Half/Marathon, and I was impressed. They put on a fantastic race (after 40 years they've worked out the bugs!). Let me back up a bit though.
We had a good productive weekend, putting in a total of 8 hours at OHS - 4 for dog walking, 4 for groundskeeping. We ran errands and wotnot, and I was feeling pretty good for Sunday. At least, until Mother Nature decided she wanted to give me a little something extra special for the day.
Ok, fine, I'll make the best of it anyway. And I did!
I was snappy and short at the house, but Bill was gracious anyway and drove me downtown. Were I him, I would have said no, but he's nicer than I am, fortunately. I got a bit weepy on the ride in, apologized for hormones and nerves, and bounced out of the car while still on the bridge (yes, Bill had stopped due to traffic being backed up) and walked over to my starting area.
I just happened to run into Roxit22222 at the corner! Pure luck, and I was glad to see her. We were in the same corral, although I was starting as far back as I could, knowing I wasn't going to meet my projected 3 hour time.
I dropped my bag (even though the line was long, it moved pretty quickly) and meandered toward the back of the crowd. A cheer went up at some point and we knew the first corral had been released out into the wild to take Portland by storm!
Finally, our corral surged forward, and I got a bit weepy again. It was time to go! It took us a while to get closer to the starting line. Another first experience - there were volunteers spread across the street that we passed on our way to the starting line. They were checking bibs to make sure everyone had one on, so that no bandits made it in with our corral.
I kept glancing around at the people in my group and wondering if I'd see any of them after we crossed the finish line. I didn't know how well or poorly I'd do, but I was going with a plan to alternate intervals with walking for as long as I could.
I interval-ed the first mile, then walked the next as planned. We were heading up an incline, so I stuck with walking and hot-footed my way up. My walks up and over Rocky Butte paid off. I didn't feel stressed or winded as we made our way along, and as soon as I hit the top of the rise, I took off intervaling again. We cruised back into downtown, then headed out NW. It seemed to take forever to get to the turn around, but once we finally did I was excited, knowing we were almost done.
I sent a few text updates to 4My2Kidz and Karen42Boys and my sister and Bill, keeping them apprised of my progress. The last one I sent before finishing ended with "boy I'm hungry!" LOL
I was a dolt and did not eat breakfast before leaving for the race. I had a banana, but I usually have either cream of wheat w/ p-butter and banana or waffles and p-butter, something substantial. I didn't do that this time, and was pretty ravenous even after my Honey Stinger chews and gummy bears along the way.
I interval-ed as long as I could, but finally had to accept that running took more out of me and made it harder to keep walking than just straight walking did, so I gave up the intervals and kept on jiving my way along. My music helped to keep up my pace and I repeated a few songs as the beat was just right. My body got tired, but I never once thought "Ok, I'm done" or "Why?" I just kept going, enjoyed the shade when I was lucky enough to cross through some, and made it back into downtown.
I've walked the 10K walk before, but I haven't done the Half. It was really much more emotional for me this time, having my name on my bib, people yelling it out, cheering me on. I got choked up as I rounded the corner to head up the street before the finish. I had done it, I was almost done, I hadn't quit or given up on myself, I had adjusted my plan and I had triumphed in spite of myself!
The finish line was sweet. A beautiful medal, a nice rose, a mylar blanket LOL all gratefully accepted. The photog said "Candy, hold up your medal" and my fingers felt clumsy and I fumbled with it, but finally lifted the bling. I gratefully accepted water, and chocolate milk and ginger snaps and grapes and part of a string cheese. I felt a little sheepish with the snacks - the Marathoners needed the recovery goods much more, but I figured I'd put in my 13.1 miles, I deserved a little of it after all.
I wound my way through the finisher's area, picking up my shirt and coin and pendant, passing on the sapling, or getting my picture taken. I wanted to find Bill and get my bag and sit down! LOL It was nice to slow down, and finally locate the Man for a congrats smooch and a 'I'm proud of you' from him. That was even nicer than the medal. Well, almost!
This was my fourth Half, but I think it was my best. Not time-wise (3:21:59) no, but attitude- and enjoyment-wise. I had looked forward to the race. I had prepared for it, but without going overboard, or shutting Bill out completely from my plans. I completed it by myself, but I wasn't totally alone. I was happy to do this race, and even happier to finish.
Monday, October 08, 2012
Ms. Poppy turned the big ~*1*~ on Sept. 30, and Bill and I were lucky enough to fly down to Texas to help her celebrate. My sister puts on quite the shindig! The theme of the part was Birds, as in put a bird on it!
The menu consisted of birds nests (made out of butterscotch chips and crunchy noodles) chicken salad sammiches, quiche, mini cupcakes, fruit kabobs, hummus and cheese dips to go with smoked salmon and crackers.
Auntie Sissy (that's me) and Uncle Bill helped with the decorating and some of the cooking.
I was charged with the very important duty of cutting the sammiches into bird shapes LOL
Poppy got her own cheese pie to celebrate turning 1! Yep, it was in keeping with the bird theme.
She wasn't sure about it at first LOL
but eventually go the hang of it!
My sister and I do not really look like we came from the same family. We may share a few features, but I tower over her. Most important though is the fact that we are so stinkin' similar it's frightening (for our husbands!)
We've visited off and on over the last couple of years, but for whatever reason, it was this trip where I really truly realized how alike we are. We're vastly different in many ways, but it was overwhelmingly comforting to finally realize and know that there's someone else out there so very much like me (crazy-making and all). I think I've been feeling isolated again, here with Bill and his family and our friends.
Out lil lovebug is growing up so fast. She's walking like she's been doing it her whole life and loves zipping across the floor at high speed (for her at least). It was well worth the trip and I can't wait until I can convince them to come visit us here in Portland. I may have even talked my sister into doing the Rock'n'Roll Half with me in May!
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