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
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.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
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.
**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
**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".
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