FANGFACEKITTY   75,090
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FANGFACEKITTY's Recent Blog Entries

Back in Black

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Well, technically black & teal outdoor running clothes for the Paris HM on Sunday. I can't believe it is already here. The full marathon is only a month away now. I am so NOT ready.

I've been really busy for work the past 2 months so while I've still been checking into SP almost every day and working on some goals I have been a bit MIA overall. OK, a lot MIA.

I had 10 days on my own for Christmas, which was really nice. I got caught up on some reading and other things, watched some movies, cooked & basically kept myself amused. I was a bit bummed because I couldn't watch one of my traditional Christmas movies. I usually watch A Pocketful of Miracles with Glenn Ford and Heart & Souls with Robert Downey Jr.

Yes, not exactly Christmas movies but I'm not exactly like everyone else either emoticon

Anyway I was able to watch the Glenn Ford movie on-line - can't remember if it was through Netflix or Amazon Prime. But no one I could find had a copy of Heart & Souls to stream. Netflix only has it on DVD. I left my VHS copy in the US since I didn't want to buy another VCR here, or know if it would even play because of the regional settings. So I couldn't watch it for the first time in several years. I substituted Chaplin instead, another Robert Downey Jr. movie I liked, although with quite a different vibe to it. Not exactly a feel good movie, although it is excellent.

I also listened to a lot of Christmas music, big band / Dixieland / rockabilly style and in moving through various artists' music discovered that the actor Kevin Spacey also sings. He recorded a song for his movie Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil and also did the entire soundtrack for his biopic of Bobby Darin. I think he's a great actor and did great with the role although I just couldn't believe him as Darin because of the age difference. From an acting standpoint he had it nailed; from a visual standpoint, no.

My son arrived for a 10 day visit, we spent a lot of time just doing nothing together or watching the entire to-date Walking Dead series and sightseeing. We did some of the main tourist spots in Paris and a lot of walking that day, spent a day in Normandy at the beaches & American Cemetery, spent a day touring the World War I battlefields of the Somme, visited some local in Compiegne sites - a WWII detention/transit camp set up by the Nazis, the Clearing of the Armistice where the treaty to end WWI was signed and where Hitler returned the favor in reverse in WWII, the local royal palace and the Toy Soldier museum.

The WWI sites were mostly cemeteries after all this time but there were some remnants of the trenches in a few places and one of the sites had quite an extensive trench system still preserved, at the Newfoundland Monument. It was pretty amazing, the trenches were complete mazes.

We tried to go back to Normandy but they weren't operating the tour we wanted on the day we could go so we'll have to go back the next time he comes to visit.

Unfortunately I really slacked off on my running in January and most of February. January was a combination of being sick & bad weather - roads & sidewalks are not salted or plowed where I am (and there are hills!) & I have no intention of risking injury by running in those conditions.

I got back into a few long runs in February but still had some weather issues and a distinct lack of public restrooms on the trails which made any kind of distance run very...interesting...since lately I seemed to be unable to last the distance without the need. To be blunt I don't care for eliminating bodily waste in my pants while running so had to cut the runs short. There is absolutely NO place to go indoors and the route is through open areas that are completely and entirely visible, including through residential areas. So no stopping behind a tree either.

So I will find out next month if a longest long run of 19 miles will be enough to get through the marathon.

I will be posting my goal progress tomorrow, and my race report next week. I know there are some other Sparklers running so maybe I'll be able to meet up with some of them before / during / after. It's always nice to meet someone in person that you've "known" on-line.

In Kitteh news Rocky Road developed a twig fetish for a few weeks. My deck is littered with the twigs she collected every time she went outside. She never really did much with them, just deposited them on the deck before coming back in the house. Fortunately this obsession was short lived and she has now moved on to wrestling slippers. Currently she is in her uncharacteristically will sort of tolerate some affection mode and will sit on my lap for brief periods of time. As long as no one looks at or talks to or touches her, or in anyway acknowledges that she is doing so.

Gandalf, since he believes he is actually a person, has started sleeping under the blanket in bed, with his head on the pillow. And opening every door he can, so I have had to start locking the door when I am in the shower so he doesn't open it. If Turtle wants inside a closed room she calls for Gandalf, he comes running & opens the door for her Then struts away all smug.

Stupid Dog is still Stupid. That is one of the Universal Truths of Life.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMPROVINGME 3/1/2013 5:18PM

    So good to read about what you've been doing!
Best wishes with your big run!

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CC3833 3/1/2013 10:52AM

    Wow lots have happened! Glad that everything is going well even though you couldn't get the runs in that you wanted. I tend to have the need to go more often when it is cold outside. I'm glad that you are back on SP... I've missed you! Good luck on the marathon training!

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DOODIE59 3/1/2013 9:54AM

    Haha. Your "holidays" sound like my worst busy:) Glad you had a good visit with your son. And I am certain you'll be able to handle the marathon if you can do the 19 mile run. Have fun at the Half! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MCJULIEO 3/1/2013 12:24AM

    Been missing you! Glad to hear even of the sloe running progress... We are SO rooting for you!

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FROSTY99 2/28/2013 11:50PM

    Missed you and your tales-enjoy hearing about what is going on and how the furbabies are keeping life interesting for you.

Pat

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CODEMAULER 2/28/2013 10:03PM

    It's great to see you out here!

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MARISPHERE 2/28/2013 6:56PM

    Great post and great life! Have fun with that HM; you'll do well, I'm sure!

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ILOVEMALI 2/28/2013 3:20PM

    Busy girl -- good luck with the HM! And Heart & Souls is one of my favorite movies, too.

I've been too busy to concentrate on anything longer than about a half hour at a time -- I have just discovered The Big Bang Theory, and my life has majorly improved!

Now if I can just get my weight back under control!

Welcome back --

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MOMMACASSEY 2/28/2013 2:49PM

    It definitely sounds like you've been busy...

If you like Kevin Spacey, you ought to check out Netflix's "House of Cards" in which he and Robin Wright are *awesome!*



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2013 - New Goals

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Format :
Goal
Measurement scale
Comments

1) Maintain my weight at +10 / -14 pounds
**Official weigh in on the last day of each month, all 12 months must be within range (whole numbers only, not considering ounces)
**need to keep this a focus so I don't backslide into old habits

2) Maintain my budget and pay off 2 debts
**No late payments; 2 debts to be paid in full and not charged up again (if applicable)
**need to keep this a focus so I don't backslide into old habits

3) Finish my 1st Marathon
**Cross the finish line before the course sweepers
** registered for the Paris Marathon on 7 Apr 13. My original goal was to complete in 6 hours but the cutoff time is 5:40; I refuse to be caught in the sweep and forced to leave the course. So my new goal is 5:25, which averages as a nice steady 12 minute mile

5) Resume saxophone playing and look for a band to join
**Practice minimum of once per week (if not traveling); by end of August research local band options and joining requirements
**I'm looking more for a marching or concert band, not a rock band. I'm not making the goal to actually join a band because right now I don't even know what is out there. So the goal is more to get my skill back and then see what I can do with it.

6) Travel
**Take a minimum of one personal trip per quarter to someplace new
**I'm in Europe for another 2.5 years, I should make the most of it!

7) Set Triathlon goal date, start training
**Goal date set by June 30; measurement scale TBD once training plan is created
**not even going to think about this until after the marathon is over; note that actually completing a Triathlon is not necessarily going to happen in 2013, just the date setting and start of training

8) Improve sleep habits
**Go to bed to sleep on-time, minimum 4 nights per weeknight; 75% attainment required to meet goal for the year. Weeknight is defined as having to get up at a specific time the following morning.
**I've been a chronic insomniac since I was about 12 years old for reasons both in and out of my control. So I'm taking back those things I can control (with the possibility of help in the form of melatonin or amitriptyline if needed), like maintaining a clean organized room, maintaining a consistent and early enough bed time, using the bed for sleeping and not to read / eat / computer, etc. Since I can't force myself to sleep, and to stay asleep, I'm measuring the getting to bed with the intent to sleep part, not the actual hours of sleep achieved.

9) Eliminate the Snooze
**Get out of bed at the first alarm and do not use the Snooze button, minimum 4 mornings per weekday; 75% attainment required to meet goal for the year. Weekday is defined as having to get up at a specific time in the morning for which purpose the alarm is set
**I have a love/hate relationship with the person who invented the snooze button. I really need to eliminate this tool from my life. My hope is that by achieving Goal 8 I can eliminate my dependence on the snooze button since I will not be so tired in the mornings.

10) Learn French
**have not yet determined how I can measure this
**I know I can get by without really learning to speak the language; other US expats did it and there is a person in my office who has been working in France for 7 years who does not speak French and who has no desire to learn to speak it. But it will make my personal and professional life much easier & more fulfilling if I can speak the language, even if only at a simple level. Plus I'd be a hypocrite otherwise as I've always said about immigrants to the US that they need to learn English if they're going to live in the US so I can hardly do less than apply the same standard to myself.

11) Have fun and stress less; list other monthly mini-accomplishments
**Completely subjective
**actually, by following my goals I do have fun, at least by my definition, so this isn't necessarily a "real" goal, I just like giving myself the thumbs-up every month! To help me with this goal I have my "Watchover Voodoo Ninja" keychain doll, to help me "control my frustration with idiots and show patience".

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STSCOTT11 1/28/2013 2:00PM

    I have one of the voo doo dolls TOO...mine is a Hawaiian one that wards off bad men. lol
Great goals for 2013. I like how it is not all weight related. :) I am thinking along the same lines.
What I do need to know...is how did you TRANSFORM from your "thicker shape"...sorry I don't mean to "offend"...to the trim fit you?
I see people "get smaller" all the time but I don't want to be JUST SMALLER vs. my former plus size. I want to be FIT.
I am looking for some guidance...perhaps you can help me?

Did you workout with a trainer who guided you through working each muscle/group?
How many hours daily/weekly did you spend lifting?
Did you switch your diet in a way to help aid muscle building and definition?

THANKS for any help you can give me.

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LAURENXX19 1/3/2013 5:49PM

    Good luck on reaching all of your goals! emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 1/2/2013 6:31PM

    sounds wonderful! Especially the sax, french lessons and just learning to stress less....you gots this! You're in Europe! Have FUN with it!!! (and stupid dog too)

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TANYA602 1/2/2013 3:31PM

    What fabulous goals! You never know, you may learn french while playing in a new band in a small new town you find while traveling in Europe! Wouldn't that be amazing!?!
Happy New Year!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 1/2/2013 10:32AM

    Great goals for the new year! emoticon

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MOMMACASSEY 1/2/2013 9:20AM

    Go, you! These are great goals, and I wish you all the best in acheiving them.

My husband has been taking melatonin for a few years now--he's a shift-worker who goes back and forth between working nights and working days, so he's constantly in need of adjusting his sleep schedule, poor guy. It still works on him, though, and I'm not sure he ever goes to bed without taking some.

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GARDENCHRIS 1/2/2013 9:17AM

    lots of stuff here ! emoticon

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STRIVER57 1/2/2013 9:14AM

    excellent goals. i like being able to talk english with people sometimes, but i've never understood people who want to live in a foreign country without learning the language. i've known some ... and they've succeeded, but ... but one never thinks one's got it down perfectly ... since you don't have a measure anyway, i'd phrase the goal as seriously improve my French. i think i know you well enough to know you'll be honest in judging yourself ... unless you're too harsh, which you shouldn't be.
you know that train reservations are substantially more reasonable when made fairly far in advance? night trains to Florence or Venice are fun. enough in advance, you can do eurostar reservations for 77€ each way! Bruges is still on my list. Barcelona. SW France. the côte d'azur.
have a wonderful year. looking forward to meeting you. we'd love to run with you, but we're Galloway runners, which i'm pretty sure you're not. i did do my half at a pace of 12:06, doing run/walk intervals.

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SADDYSPOT 1/2/2013 9:02AM

    Nice broad range of goals. :) I like that you threw in a financial one. The 'Learn French' one is funny to me, that some people don't care to learn the language. In 2011, my husband and I were on a train from Paris to Versailles and there was an emergency. Someone pulled the emergency lever on the other end of our car, and then someone screamed and everyone started running off the train. Since we didn't speak French, we had no idea what was going on. Very scary. Turned out someone had fainted in the heat and had fallen over onto someone else. A nice French girl who spoke English eventually told us as we hovered near the stairs on the platform, unsure if there was a dangerous person or situation on the train. No way I'd want to live in France and not speak French, after that experience.

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CODEMAULER 1/2/2013 8:47AM

    I'm with you on the snooze button... relocating the alarm clock (must get out of bed to shut off) is my best bet.

Learning French - for me - was a bit easier to keep to reading and comprehending / listening, and THEN focusing on pronunciation. Something about speaking a foreign language tends to choke me up.

I'm looking forward to watching you measure the progress and tackle the 2013 goals!

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TRIANGLE-WOMAN 1/2/2013 6:22AM

    Awesome set of goals!!

I will be checking int...Keep us posted.

If you go to Regensburg, Germany - let me know. I bought a beautiful hat there...that ended up getting lost in the Paris airport. Would love to have another one!! I'd pay for it, plus shipping and a "tip" for your trouble!!


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¸.·*¨) ✫ ¸.·*¨)✫ Spread the Spark
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1DRWOMAN 1/2/2013 5:10AM

    Have an amazing year ahead and be good to yourself! Xo

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GHOSTFLAMES 1/2/2013 4:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Year in Review - full 2012 Goal Results

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

emoticon Maintain my weight at +5 / -14 pounds
I was within range for 6 months and over range for six months. So technically I missed this goal. But I stayed within 10 pounds over my original SP goal weight of 134, which was basically my 1st original goal before I joined SP. I had wanted to be between 140-145, which is where I stayed during those months I was over my 2012 goal range so I feel like it was a win even though I did not meet the actual published goal. I learned that I made my range too narrow on the + side.

emoticon Become a half fanatic by the end of August

emoticon Do some sort of housecleaning or maintenance daily

emoticon Break my dependence on Splenda

emoticon Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.
Actually paid off 8 off them, but this is not as impressive as it sounds. I had not included 3 or 4 of the small ones in my original tally, and many were small debts ($750 or less each). But still, I have less debt now and according to my budget will have everything except my USA house paid off by the end of 2015.

emoticon Ready to test for black belt by end of June
Postponed by the instructor to August because of test date availability but goal accomplished! I am a black belt!

emoticon finish mailbox / light switches / outlets / floors / doors / ceiling fans / curtains before I move

emoticon Run my first marathon by October 21
With the delay in black belt testing I chose to postpone this goal to 2013. I did not want to risk injury by either over-training for both physical goals at the same time or rushing marathon training into 2.5 months. I chose to focus on earning my black belt.

emoticon Other goals as they occur to me.

emoticon Have fun and stress less!
More up months than down, even with the stress of moving to a foreign country and getting set up here. I still hate my phone company though, with a special loathing previously reserved for pushups and my ex-husband.

emoticon weekly pushup challenge with GETSTRONGRR and SAFARIBABE
I hate the damned things but it was the impetus I needed to get past my personal feelings about this exercise and get it done. Which paid off handsomely at black belt testing. And I still maintain my complete and utter loathing of pushups from the bottommost depths of my soul…but still do them every day.

emoticon New Goal – Marathon Training
Halfway there!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TANYA602 1/2/2013 11:31AM

    Wow -marathon training! Impressive and you can do it!
Congratulations on getting your blackbelt, and accomplishing so much in 2012. I hope 2013 is a fabulous year!

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FROSTY99 1/1/2013 10:11PM

    emoticon

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MCJULIEO 1/1/2013 6:25PM

    We bow down to your incredible-ness!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 1/1/2013 5:03PM

    dang...nothing to be sorry about there...

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GETSTRONGRRR 1/1/2013 4:19PM

    Very cool Catgirl! You've had an adventure-filled 2012, with plenty of great goals and challenges met.

Now there's this cool new push-up app for the iPhone called "XFit Push Ups".....takes you to a whole new level!

Happy 2013!

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DAPHNE_RUNS 1/1/2013 2:58PM

    Congrats on completing so many of your goals. They were realistic attainable goals that you chipped away at.

Happy new year!

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KUJAYHAWKGIRL 1/1/2013 2:43PM

    So awesome!

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JERSEYFLOWER 1/1/2013 2:14PM

    You ROCK!!!!

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IMPROVINGME 1/1/2013 11:44AM

    Really impressive that you accomplished all those high goals! No wonder you are able to stay within a few pounds of your goal weight!

Good for you!

emoticon

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CODEMAULER 1/1/2013 11:38AM

    That's an awesome year in review!!

emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 1/1/2013 11:27AM

    You'll do it. Happy New Year!

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FIZZYBALL 1/1/2013 11:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

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December Goal Results

Sunday, December 30, 2012

1) Maintain my weight at +5 / -14 pounds
emoticon
I'm up 5 lbs from November but that only puts me 3 above goal weight and still in my range. Unfortunately all 5 of those pounds were gained in the last week as I stopped tracking and indulged more than I should have. I'm not going to say I'm back on track because I never really left the tracks; my goal is to maintain within a certain range which is what I'm doing. I'm not going to make myself crazy trying to maintain an exact weight.

3) Do some sort of housecleaning or maintenance daily.
emoticon

9) Other goals as they occur to me.
emoticon
Got the dining room chains and put them together. The cats love to sharpen their claws on the back so I have to keep chasing them away; fortunately they are slip covered so I can always replaces them if/when needed. I did all my mending, most of which was waiting to be done before I even moved. I bought a folding chair so I can start practicing my saxophone again (a 2013 goal). And I now have my residence card so I am legal. Wrote out my 2013 goals but I still have to finalize those later this week,.

10) Have fun and stress less!
emoticon
Now that I'm mostly settled I can tell I am less stressed. In the new year I plan to start integrating more into the community, or at least getting our more and seeing the sights.

12) New Goal – Marathon Training
emoticon
I've just completed week 16 so I am more than halfway there. My last long run was 19 miles which I hit at exactly my goal pace of 12 minute miles. Which is great for a first effort but I will need to do better because there is no way I would have been able to hit timing on the last 7 miles if I had run the marathon that day. But that is what the training is for over the next 14 weeks, to get me to that point. I'm finally feeling like I can do this; my crazy alter ego has always known I will because I decided I would (and it would be too humiliating to back out after I told everyone I was going to run the marathon!) but the sane part of me was having doubts. According to the plan I build up to 26 miles over the next 7 weeks and then maintain at 7 mile runs for the 7 weeks leading up to the marathon. But I've thrown the Paris HM in there in the middle because I like the HM distance. And because it's in Paris so how cool is that?

COMPLETED GOALS:
2) Become a half fanatic by the end of August
4) Break my dependence on Splenda
5) Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.
6) Ready to test for black belt by end of June:
6a) All techniques approved by May
6b) Ni kyoso suro no kata approved in February; Bassai kata approved in March
6c) Make terminology flashcards by end of February; review weekly until testing
6d) Assist in 4 classes per month (20 total required)
6e) Learn and master sais kata
6f) Keep running so as to maintain ability to run 2 miles in 18 minutes
6g) Be able to do 55 pushups in May; 60 in June
7) Goal revamped – finish mailbox / light switches / outlets / floors / doors / ceiling fans / curtains before I move
11) NEW GOAL - weekly pushup challenge
5) Finalize my budget by the end of Jan and stick to it to pay off at least 3 loans by Dec.

RESCHEDULED GOALS:
8) Postponed to 2013 - Run my first marathon by October 21
My priority is black belt testing; I will aim for the Paris marathon in April 2013

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRIANGLE-WOMAN 1/1/2013 8:33AM

    Great blog as usual!!

Thanks for being a great Spark Friend and Inspiration in 2012.

Looking forward to see what 2013 brings us!!


¸¸.•´¸.•*¨) ♥¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆
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`*♥☆ Spread the Spark!!!

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CAMSEDGE 12/31/2012 10:29AM

    emoticon You are a very dedicated individual...you can achieve anything.

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IMPROVINGME 12/31/2012 10:08AM

    Wow! You've done great on your 2012 goals and have set some good ones for 2013, too.

emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 12/31/2012 1:41AM

    I am inspired to list goals for the new year!

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MCJULIEO 12/30/2012 11:13PM

    FABTASTIC!

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FROSTY99 12/30/2012 9:44PM

    emoticon

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REBECCATKD 12/30/2012 7:48PM

    Great reflections. Happy New Year!
emoticon

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GAMEON123 12/30/2012 7:19PM

    I love how you kept track of everything! I can't really recall last years's goals even though I wrote them down. That needs to change!

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CODEMAULER 12/30/2012 6:41PM

    I love the updates - way to go!!!

emoticon

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FIZZYBALL 12/30/2012 5:26PM

    emoticon emoticon

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STRIVER57 12/30/2012 4:13PM

    sounds good. i've been splurging a little much on food ... but that ends tuesday and i think i'll be ok. Liz & I are running the Paris half also, so we should maybe try to get together before or after ??

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Too tired to blog

Sunday, December 23, 2012

I had a wonderful, long, inspiring masterpiece of a blog composed during my long run today.

19.03 miles. In 3 hours, 48 minutes, exactly at my goal pace of 12 minute miles.

Turns out that 19 miles is a REALLY LONG distance. Who knew? LOL.

My legs are not currently on speaking terms with the rest of me right now. And my brain is going on strike in solidarity with my legs.

So no wonderful inspiring blog for you today. I have forgotten it.

I am still looking for my marathon victory song. Haven't found just the right one yet but this one is close. It's who I want to be when I grow up:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MhiHZvq8zc

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAMSEDGE 12/31/2012 10:26AM

    emoticon

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IMPROVINGME 12/31/2012 10:15AM

    Yes, 19 miles is a VERY long distance! I can't imagine running that far! Way to go!

I was going into my junior year of high school when "The Little Old Lady from Pasedena" came out. What memories that video brought!

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MCJULIEO 12/31/2012 12:44AM

    "She's gonna get a ticket sooner or later, cuz' she can't keep her foot off the Accelerator..."

Love it!

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ILOVEMALI 12/24/2012 2:28AM

    you're doing great!

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MCJULIEO 12/23/2012 10:12PM

    Well done, O Mighty Kitty!

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SLIMMERJESSE 12/23/2012 4:12PM

    That happens to me all the time; I'm walking and have an eloquent blog planned. Then, upon arriving home, too tired to think.
(smiling) Merry Christmas.

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DJ4HEALTH 12/23/2012 4:10PM

    Try some hot cocoa, the protein in the milk helps build the muscles that were torn from the work out and you can also take a epsom salt bath, the magnesium will also with the healing too.

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AJB121299 12/23/2012 3:58PM

    great job

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NAYPOOIE 12/23/2012 3:57PM

    Your legs and brain have my sympathy.

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CHICCHANTAL 12/23/2012 3:55PM

    Today I walked 10 miles in 4.5 hours. I can't wait till I can run it like you do!

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FROSTY99 12/23/2012 3:50PM

    I am sure my whole body would not be talking to me-the legs, the brain, the lungs, the arms, you name it if I did 19 miles. A runner I will never be but walk I can do.

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