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*Another* cat? :roll eyes:

Monday, September 16, 2013

We've been adopted.

I arrived home last evening after being gone since Wednesday. Our cats (Spike, 10, and Cheeto, 1) were happy to see me. Well, so was the Hubs, but the cats were more demanding. I opened the garage door to start unloading the car. Within a few minutes, a kitten wandered in.

My guess is that he's about two months old. Certainly too young to be on his own. (Spike was a foundling who was rescued at about two months.) He looks like a Birman. OMG he is adorable! I walked him around the neighborhood, and no one I spoke with claimed him.

I put water and a towel out on the front porch. I was not about to let him take up residence in the house. Cheeto was very interested in the interloper on his front porch, so we let him out (with supervision).

And then the storm front came through. It was a severe thunderstorm, but with a haboob in front of it. I've seen dust storms before, but this is the first honest-to-goodness haboob I've seen. It was a wall of dust about 150-200' high that hit ferociously. We couldn't leave a tiny little kitten outside in that!

We decided he should sleep in the garage. I put food, water, the same towel, and a little litter box out in the garage. And then, after I'd gone to bed, the Hubs said "he doesn't really need to sleep in the garage." So Tuffy (named for the tufts of fur on his ears) spent the night inside, mostly in our bedroom.

I put a "Found Kitten" sign on the mail box closest to our house. I'm going to send an email to the animal shelter describing him. I will ask my vet to check him for a chip. I'd love to find the people he belongs to, but I won't mind too terribly if he stays with us. Spike is kind of an old lady now, and Cheeto is just over a year old. Cheeto could use an energetic playmate. Three cats is a lot for our 1000 sq. ft. house, but we have a fenced yard.

We saw him use the litter box last night - that's why I had no objection to him spending the night inside. Tuffy's small enough to hide under things so Cheeto can't get to him. And he fights back, so there's no telling what I'll find when I get home tonight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARGENTPUCK 9/17/2013 5:58PM

    This makes me wish I could have a cat in my apartment. Actually, I probably could (my neighbors do), but it is a tiny, tiny place and I'd worry about the poor thing while I was at work.

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GHK1962 9/16/2013 8:44PM

    Hehe ... sounds like the little guy found a home if no one claims him.

We had a little kitten wander into my wife's lap one day ... and the interesting thing was that our dogs did not even bat an eye, and they were all laying on the sofa that night. However, as my wife volunteers at the humane society, we decided to take her in to see if she was chipped (she was not) ... but a rescue cat group agreed to foster her (in the event that no one claimed her).

And ... I just heard about that haboob just now on npr.

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HILLSLUG98239 9/16/2013 7:29PM

    Annie sounds like a fun cat!

I adopted Magic from a shleter in 1996. He was probably about three at the time. He died last January. We still miss him terribly. Our pets have unique personalities, and when they're gone they leave their paw prints on our heart.

We have Magic's cremains. We planted a catnip bush in the back yard. We're going to get a little statue we can keep his cremains in and create a little memorial garden out back. That way, we can take it with us when we move.

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MOTTAMAMALOU 9/16/2013 7:00PM

    I love your story. What's one more cat?
My daughter found an abandoned cat at the water plant where she worked. She called to ask if I would adopt the poor thing. I had just moved in to my new house with new wallpaper and paint. I worked the 2nd shift at the hospital so I left her alone for over 8 hours. I named her Annie after "Little Orphan Annie." When I arrived home from work she had a bit of the wallpaper down on the floor and my curtains, rods and all, off the windows. When she did something wrong she would hide under the bed.
I loved that cat and when she died I buried her under my Mimosa tree.

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Feelin' Strong (and accomplished!)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I had a good session in the pool last night. I was a little concerned, because the pool was right next to the area where the conference I am attended was holding it's get-together. I felt kind of awkward flailing about in the pool with my colleagues just yards away. But heck, every chance I get to get in some time in a pool, I need to take it. (As it turned out, no one noticed me.)

I'm struggling with the breathing while actually swimming a freestyle stroke. It occurred to me that because I am unaccustomed to swimming, my heart rate rises rapidly. I decided to just swim for a while. I did the backstroke for about fifteen minutes. I let the water wash over my face several times. I never freaked out or felt like I couldn't breathe. After that 15 minutes, I tried a few laps of freestyle. My form was a lot better. So I think I'm onto something: just swim. Get in that good shoulder/upper body workout. Work on freestyle later.

This morning, I went out for my planned walk/run. Because I don't have to make the Hubs breakfast, put on a suit, or drive to work, I had a lot more time this morning than I normally do. I'd mapped out a 3-mile route, and I mostly followed it. After my five-minute warm-up walk, I ran 1:30/walked 1:30, then walked the last ten or twelve minutes. I did the 3-mile route in about 40 minutes. That was enough to convince me that I can do a 5K. Feelin' pretty good about that!

After we adjourned for the day, I set off for a bike ride. The first part of the ride felt magical. I was zippin' through town on the highway. I kept looking at the flags to see if I had a hefty tailwind pushing me. I didn't. It just felt great.

My route was through town to the east side of the Wenatchee River, then ride along the Icicle Creek Road until the pavement ran out. That was a great plan ... until I started climbing. Sweet Jesus was I exhausted! I stopped a couple of times on relatively "easy" short climbs, and I generally do not stop on hills (even if I'm only able to go 4 or 5 mph). Finally, I told myself to just go another half mile. Just make it to eight miles, I said, and then you can turn around. It took a LOT to get me to keep going. My inner coach was barkin' "C'mon! You got this! Another third of mile! It's clickin' away! You can do it"

You see, normally, when I do this bargain with myself - another half mile, another ten minutes - it's enough to motivate me. I get to that goal and blow right through it. I just need the motivation to get through my whiny cry-baby moment and go back to be the amazing athlete that I know I can be.

Tonight, though, the second I saw the odometer click over to 8.00, I turned around. I was on a blind curve, and I trusted my ears that there was not a motor vehicle coming in the other direction. In all honesty, I was willing to risk get smacked by a truck coming around that corner at 50 mph if it meant I could stop climbing that stupid hill.

On the descent, I quickly realized I must have done some serious climbing because I hit 41.2 mph. On chip-seal (which means I probably would have hit 45-47 mph if it was asphalt). I felt pretty good by the time I made it back to the hotel. Wiped out, but good.

I'd planned to swim again in the morning, but the mean little man at the front desk told me the pool doesn't open until 8 a.m. (He really wasn't mean, but he told me something I didn't want to hear in an entirely too-pleasant voice.) My conference starts up at 8. We adjourn at noon, and I'm thinking of sneaking into the pool afterwards, even though I will have already checked out. I'm feeling so motivated, and so *awesome* right now, that I'd love to get in another pool workout while I have access to a pool.

I ate fried and super-salty things for dinner. After today's two workouts, I decided to treat myself. And it was wonderful!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CBLENS 9/14/2013 5:39PM

    Fantastic job, keep up the great work.

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SKIRNIR 9/14/2013 10:09AM

    Great amount of exercise for at a conference! I find those things so wearying that I tend not to exercise much.

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CLEARNIGHTSKY 9/13/2013 1:30PM


I am so inspired by the fact that you exercised at a work conference!!


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GHK1962 9/13/2013 12:54PM

    HOLY Guacamole!!! 41+ mph?!?!?!?? The fastest I ever went was just beyond 35mph...and I slowed down because I got nervous. You are fearless.

It sounds like you are doing great. Yahhhh

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OWL_20 9/13/2013 7:34AM

    Yeah, you're totally ready for a 5K. My runs are made up of intervals anywhere from run 1: walk 30 secs up to 4:1. Forty minutes s good! Glad you got into the pool. That bike ride sounds like a killer, lol, good on ya for making it those 8 miles ;-)! emoticon

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Really missing the bike

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm primarily a cyclist. I commute by bike most days, 9-10 months out of the year. Most weeks, I'll do anywhere from 50 to 75 miles commuting. If this was a normal year, I'd be up to around 80 miles on my weekend rides. But this is not a "normal" year.

In April, I decided to switch to multi-sport and set a goal of completing an Olympic-distance triathlon to celebrate my 50th birthday in September 2015. In May, my doctor recommended a complete hysterectomy due to increasing random growths and new scary-looking mass in my abdomen. We scheduled the surgery for mid-June, but I spent most of May & June knowing that I'd be off the bike, no running, and no swimming for four to six weeks.

In April, I weighed about 195 pounds (I'm 5'6", so that gave me a BMI of way in the low 30's and classified me as obese). I knew the bike portion of an Olympic-distance tri would be relatively easy. I hadn't attempted swimming for exercise in decades, and quite frankly, I haven't enjoyed swimming since Coast Guard boot camp in 1983. (Something about getting screamed at while trying to swim desptie suffering from the Cape May Crud (a bad head cold) and not being able to breathe made swimming less enjoyable than I remembered it being as a child.) And I couldn't run a mile, and the longest I'd ever run (when I was 25 pounds lighter) was three miles.

So I knew, going in, that switching to multi-sport meant spending less time with the bike I loved and more time doing things I don't love. {insert .jpg of me grimacing} But prior to my surgery, I had a case of the blues. Knowing I wouldn't be able to get any exercise other than walking made me sad. Knowing I'd have to stay off the bike made me really sad.

My surgery went well, and I receovered fairly quickly. I lost about 10 pounds within a week of the surgery. Since then, it's mostly stayed off. At my four-week check-in, my doctor told me I could ride and run again. I went to the office - I left my bike there, because the thought of having it home but not being able to ride was too much - and went for a ride. It was short, but it made me happy.

But now I am facing the pain of knowing that I simply cannot spend as much time on the bike as I used to and still give enough time to swimming and running. I still can't run a mile, but I am doing a walk/run at least twice a week, and I'm walking most days at lunch (although I haven't this week). Circumstances have allowed me to get in a few open water swims and several pool swims so far.

Tomorrow, I head to Leavenworth, Washington, for a training conference. (I don't like Leavenworth, so if you're one of those people that find it charming and adorable, please don't tell me how lucky I am. It's okay that you like it (the Hubs loves it), but I don't.) The past few years, the Hubs has been unemployed, so he's come with me. This year, he's working, so I'll be by myself. Normally, I would be bringing the road bike. I mapped out a lovely route with some great scenery and short hill climbs. I was really looking forward to doing this: www.mapmyfitness.com/us/cashmere-wa/
Then reality set in.

I need to take advantage of the pool at my hotel and swim. I want to got out for a longer walk/run (my morning walk/runs are less than two miles). That bike ride would probably take me at least three hours, which means it would be getting dark by the time I made it back to my hotel. And those hills probably mean some decent delayed-onset muscle soreness, which will make it harder for me to get a decent walk/run or swim. And I'm already planning to bring canning jars and my pressure canner because I'm headed to my parents' place to pick blackberries (and can pie filling and jam). So the car is really going to be full.

Even now, part of me is talking myself into taking the bike. Ride tomorrow evening. Swim Thursday. Run Friday. Bad Kim! Stop it! Much better plan: Swim tomorrow. Run Thursday. Swim Friday.

See what I'm facing? Riding the bike makes me happy, even when I'm suffering. And it's good exercise, even when I'm not suffering. It's counterintuitive to talk myself out of getting exercise.

I miss my bike!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 9/13/2013 12:53PM

    Late to this blog comment (I was in work travel mode all week myself.)

And by the way, warning, warning, warning. I like making lists...a nerd thingy...so... LIST TIME!

1) Tri's ... my wife does them. Not the longer distance Olympic Tri though...the one down from that .. called Sprint Tri's. The Sprint Tri's are a 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike, and 5K run. (You mentioned a 5K run in your latest blog ... are you doing a Sprint Tri instead of an Olympic Tri?) She swims in the pool to train, but within a month or two of her actual Tri she practices in lakes and open water, as it is more realistic, as it helps you get the feel of open water and learning to sight as you swim. (I am just blathering a bit, as I am only spouting off stuff she tells me.) Nevertheless ... HIGH-5 for you doing this. That is totally freakin awesome!

2) Leavenworth - At first its an okay place (like at Christmas) ... but after a short while, what to do? What to do? And during Oktoberfest...there is only ONE choice of beer (whomever they go with as a vendor) .... c'mon!!! haha.

3) Errr....there is no #3 item. But it is my opinion that you cannot have a legitimate list without at least 3 items. Hence my faux item #3. :)

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HILLSLUG98239 9/11/2013 3:55PM

    I would LOVE to ascend Stevens Pass. The problem is getting back up the hill.

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KCNEWF 9/11/2013 12:28PM

    Come on . . . . you just know you'll want to do something bike crazy . . . Say ascend Stevens Pass on the bike instead of just riding 20 miles. :). Whatever decision you make, it will be the right decision for you! Just do what feels right!

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MISSG180 9/11/2013 8:45AM

    I'm so with you. My training has been utter crap because I can't quite get a grasp on a schedule.

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ARGENTPUCK 9/10/2013 11:09PM

    I don't understand this blasphemy of doing something other than cycling.

Seriously, though, much as it bums you out to train for the run and swim parts, good on you for sticking to it. Goals like these are such good motivators they even get us doing things we've hated for 30 years.

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HILLSLUG98239 9/10/2013 7:58PM

    I've done a couple brick workouts. (Well, brick "lite.") Over Labor Day weekend, I hiked, rode, and swam. My legs haven't felt the same since!

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SEATTLESIMS 9/10/2013 7:57PM

    I say, do a short swim then go for a bike ride.. or go for a bike ride and do a short walk.. mini-brick workouts even this early isn't a terrible idea. If you have the resources for the pool, get that swim in, but you should do what you feel driven to do at the time, if it is the bike, then bike.. then see if you have enough umph for a little swim afterwards?
Good luck and have fun!

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HILLSLUG98239 9/10/2013 7:56PM

    I have two years to prepare (but I just signed up for a sprint triathlon next June). A couple at our church offered me the use of their Endless Pool (before they knew of my triathlon plans!), but I have yet to take them up on it. I figure I will work on swimming during the winter. Right now, my biggest barrier is breathing while moving. I can hold my face in the water and breathe with the corner of my mouth under water, but once I start moving, all bets are off. I may have to break down and join a gym and work with a coach, but for now, I'll try my low-burdget way.

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BLUENOSE63 9/10/2013 7:51PM

  Sometimes we just need to vent sister! I hear what you are saying but if you wish to do an Olympic, you will have to get into the pool pronto. Have you ever heard of the Total Immersion swimming method. I switched to that after years of a conventional front crawl and it rocks. It can also take a relatively non swimmer to a swimmer quite quickly. Try it! Actually look for someone in your area to teach it and in about 5 lessons, you will be amazed at how easy it is to swim long distances.

Good luck on your Olympic. Read up on the Galloway method of running as it really works as well.

Happy 50th!

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HILLSLUG98239 9/10/2013 3:55PM

    OWL_20 - It's a valid question; no offense taken. I want to do something big for my 50th. Switching to multi-sport will help me lose weight more effectively than just riding. I used to run, and there really is no better way to drop weight, if for no other reason than running at nearly 200 pounds is so miserable.

Every year, I set a goal of riding a century before the end of the season. I have yet to make it. By switching to multi-sport, I can set difficult goals that are less likely to result in over-use injuries. And I want to love running again. And maybe I can learn to love swimming again.

I really do want to complete triathlons. I was just whining. And it will be a lot easier for me to complete an Olympic-distance triathlon for my 50th birthday than it will for me to get that novel written. emoticon

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OWL_20 9/10/2013 3:48PM

    Here's what I got and feel free to throw it back at me, I really don't want to offend. If you like the bike--why put yourself through exercise that you really don't like (swimming and running)? Why not set a tough biking goal instead that you'll love? Either way you go, have a safe trip!

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HILLSLUG98239 9/10/2013 3:42PM

    Solved it! If I can fit the bike & bike gear in the car, I'll do a shorter (20-mile-ish) training ride. Yay me! emoticon

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YUDEL6024KA 9/10/2013 3:37PM

    You can do it great job

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YUDEL6024KA 9/10/2013 3:37PM

    Great post

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A little down time is a good thing!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

We camped with our friend Richard last weekend. We went to Lake Takhlakh, near Mount Adams. Jim & I brought our mountain bikes. I mapped out a 12-mile course for us. Most of it was on forest roads, but there was a 4-mile section that was a multi-use trail.

Saturday, we hiked the Takh Takh Meadows trail. We deviated from the trail for a bit a scrambled around a 3500-year old lava field. The views of Mount St. Helens were amazing. The weather was great. One meadow we wandered through was a field of huckleberries. We sampled a few, but I never followed through with my plan to come back with a small bag and pick a cup or two. I love huckleberries, but I know berries are the primary source of food for bears. When there's a bad berry year, the number of human/bear encounters go up. I don't mind denying myself for the sake of making sure the bears are healthy and well-fed. (I also ate bunches of thimbleberries.)

I made chicken cordon bleu for dinner Saturday night. Yeah, I'm kind of a rockstar when it comes to camping & hiking food. We all ate too much, but it was delicious!

On our way to the campground, we stopped at a private campground to buy nightcrawlers for bait. The man who owns that place suggested a lake other than Takhlakh for fishing. Jim & I went there Sunday morning. Jim got a hit on his bait within moments of his first cast. (I don't have a fishing license, so I don't fish. Even when I have a license, I don't seem to do any "catching" when I'm fishing.) A short time later, we had two trout in our possession. Jim decided that was enough for the three of us for lunch. I plan to send a thank-you note to the man at the private campground. The fish at Tahklakh were tiny - I doubt Jim would have caught one we could keep.

After our fried trout lunch, Jim & I headed out on our bike ride. Even before we got out of the campground, I knew I didn't have enough gas in the tank for a 12-mile ride. Within a half a mile, we both gave up on the idea of even riding to the five miles to the next campground. My legs were tired, but I couldn't get enough air. Jim's legs were wiped out from our scrambling the previous day, and his lungs were burning. (He has diminished lung function.) We live at about 400' above sea level, and we were camped at about 4500'. I guess it made more of a difference than I realized. We rode up the forest road to a trail that took us back to the campground. My technical skills are pretty limited so I was occasionally terrified, but it was a fun ride. (One section of the trail had lots of roots. It was like riding down a staircase.)

After a short break, I went for a swim. Using Mt. Adams to sight where I was headed during my swim was delightful - lots better than staring at the lines on the bottom of a pool! And this lake did not have weird plants brushing up against me, which I greatly appreciated. My jumbo beachball was a great safety device. People in boats and fly fishermen could see where I was. More importantly, the Hubs could sit on the shore reading his book and still keep track of me. I'm still struggling with the breathing. I do okay just holding my head in the water and breathing, but as soon as I start moving I really struggle. I guess I've accepted that this is a new behavior I have to learn, and that's going to take time.

So I got to hike, bike, and swim all in the same weekend. Yeah, that was awesome!

I did not walk/run Tuesday morning, and I decided against riding my bike home Tuesday evening. We got home around 8 Monday evening to find unhappy cats and two very full litterboxes. After unloading the car, cleaning the cat boxes, starting laundry, and spending much time consoling the cats, we were both pretty tired. I didn't need my Tuesday morning to include the added stress of packing lunches & suits for the rest of the week and my bike gear.

I wimped out on the walk/run this morning, too. So I'm fixing to go do that at lunch. And I brought my bike stuff, so I can ride home tonight. My legs were tired after the hiking/scrambling and swimming, but I think they've had enough time to repair.

Oh, and my body weight & body fat stayed pretty reasonable, even with several days of drinking wine and eating too much.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 9/7/2013 7:49AM

    Wow, that sounds like a really wonderful vacation - so cool to be able not only to look at the lovely surroundings, but to get in the thick of it and hike and bike and swim in it. And I'm sure the bears would say "thank you" if they knew of your sacrifice! emoticon

Camp chicken cordon bleu, eh? Nice! We like non-standard camp food, too - I may have to try that in the dutch oven. Hmmmm.

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OWL_20 9/6/2013 7:17AM

    Your trip was awesome! When hubs and I go camping, we like to stay active, too. Good on ya for taking the bikes out there--I think the altitude can be killer hard to exercise in (and I'm a flatlander, too). Lovely trip, though!

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HILLSLUG98239 9/4/2013 3:49PM

    That workout sucked. It's only 80, but while I was running it felt like it was 100. That's what I get for not working out in the cool of the morning!

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Those same five pounds

Monday, August 26, 2013

I lost about ten pounds really rapidly (like within a week) after my surgery. Since then, not much. I'm finding that I'm losing & gaining the same five pounds over and over.

I'm not upset about that, though. I'm still happy that I'm under 190 and staying there. I'm wondering if 183 is a new "set point" for my body. If so, it will just take time to break through that plateau.

It's also possible that every time the scale hits 187 or 188, I panic about putting those easily-lost ten pounds right back on. And so I start paying more attention to my diet, or pushing myself a little harder in a workout.

Either way, this is good news in my mind. I control what goes into my body. I talk about having very little self control, but in reality, I have more control than I like to admit. It's just that the benefit of eating something I know I shouldn't is immediate, while the pain of doing so is delayed. If I knew someone would throw a rock at me anytime I ate one more cookie than I should, I probably wouldn't eat that cookie. So, clearly, I have self-control, I just lack the motivation to exercise it. (Much like I lack motivation to do an ab work out.)

So, anyone wanna sign up to follow me around with a pocketful of rocks?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILL60 8/27/2013 9:08AM

    No one ever said it would be easy. Hang tough cause you can do it.

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    You CAN do this!!!

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FIRYMIST35 8/26/2013 4:16PM

  Lol! We might get in trouble if we followed you around with rocks, but it's an idea.

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NJPRINCESS9091 8/26/2013 4:14PM

    I will throw a rock when you need me too! Hang in there, it is about life style changes not perfection.

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