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Friday, September 17, 2010

This week has not been particularly good. It's certainly been productive, work-wise, but I've just been feeling so ridiculously blah this week.

On Tuesday, I almost had some kind of breakdown at work over my commute, of all things. Actually, scratch the almost. There were tears. There were so many delays from accidents and construction that it took me an hour and 45 minutes to drive 38 miles. Most of the accidents appear to have been caused by the glare of sunshine. I actually get delays every single day and it almost always takes me over an hour to get to work. Add that to the fact that my most recent raise didn't cover the increased cost of gas for my commute, and therefore this project is costing me money, and you get me not just stressed about my commute but actually angry.

I also got some surprising and unhappy news from a friend last night. Nothing life-threatening, but challenging. Hopefully, she'll be coming for a visit in a couple of weeks and we can talk it out. She needs a mom-cation. She may be running a 5K with me that weekend, too. If not, she will be waiting at the finish line to cheer me on. I hope she runs it, though. At this race, every finisher gets a medal. And it's not as if I'm hard to keep up with!

I think a big part of my blah feeling today is that my tummy is messed up and my knees still hurt. I've had problems with my knees for years. It's part of my family legacy. My mom's side of the family is full of people with knee problems. And let me tell you, 34 years of skiing hasn't helped that! I took a twisting fall on a snowboard about eleven or twelve years ago and what was just an occasional pain became something far worse. I went to an orthopedic surgeon because I had every symptom of a torn meniscus, but he said it was bursitis and recommended rest. And rest I did, getting progressively less active for the next decade. My knees are seriously crunchy and they were prone to just randomly giving out. Like I'd be walking, and my knee would unhinge, and then the next step would be just fine. Working out has made my knees so much stronger, so while I'm still crunchy, I haven't had that much pain. This week, it seems like the bad ol' days. I blame the cumulative effect of a summer spent primarily in cute but un-supportive shoes. It's almost like my knees are saying, "Yeah, all those wedges were cute, but that's enough now. Go put on your Merrell oxfords and put your toes away." I had a similar problem about 18 months ago when I wore ballet flats almost every day. At a certain point, I had to work from home because it hurt to move my foot from the gas pedal to the brake and that just didn't seem safe!

And I know the running is a factor. I'd be lying if I didn't admit to being more hurt after a run than before, and I've certainly been more sore during my recent runs than I have in the past. However, I still think it's more a shoe thing. These knees are not meant to wear heels so often.

I also think a foam roller is in my immediate future.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOM2GIRL2 9/18/2010 10:09AM

  Sorry about the knees-- I hope this weekend gives you a chance to recharge. I have a foam roller and love it-- when I actually get around to using it, that is :)

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FUNFROG79 9/17/2010 4:59PM

    I feel your pain literally, after two knee surgeries my knees are never great! Hang in there! emoticon

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KARVY09 9/17/2010 3:32PM

    Ick, sorry about the knees. Hopefully you have a nice long weekend to de-blah.

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Oops! Yay! Ouch!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sometimes it seems like my whole life is just one long string of exclamations.

So, you know how the WTF challenge entry card has a couple of lines about "I will" and "I will not?" Yesterday, I posted that between that moment and Sunday, I would not leave my office after 5:15 PM or go to bed after 11:00 PM. Which would be great except I realized afterward that I had a meeting from 4:00-5:30 yesterday. And somehow, I managed to turn that into not leaving my desk until 6:45. And not long before the meeting, I realized that my iPod was nearly dead and I didn't have a charger, so I needed to go home to charge it before heading to the gym.

I did manage to get to the gym and on the track by about 8:45, so my seemingly interminable delays didn't stop me from my run. But the point is, they shouldn't have happened. The meeting is a valid excuse, but why wasn't I ready to go straight from the meeting? Why did I stick around so late? Why didn't I ensure my iPod was charged when getting ready in the morning? All of those things were avoidable and a sign that I have a lot of work to do in cleaning up my bad habits.

After I got home from the gym, I made dinner and watched some TV from my DVR. From there it was a tiny leap to "Wait a minute, I feel asleep on the sofa again and it's after midnight." And then I had tummy trouble and that delayed me getting to bed further, so I didn't sleep until after 1:00 AM. Yep, a lot of work to do.

So now that I have growled at myself a bit, I need to focus on the positive things I did yesterday. Of course, one was signing up for the What the Fall??? challenge, which is aces. Another was that I registered for a Pilates class that's starting up at the end of the month. Last week was the final week for my Thursday night golf league, so the Pilates class fills that void nicely. It doesn't start until 7:30 in the evening, so I think I may make a habit of taking myself out for dinner on Thursday nights. There are so many interesting-looking restaurants in my area that I have yet to try. Or I suppose I could go home, eat dinner and then go to Pilates, since it's not that far.

The other yay is that I did not allow myself to get distracted from running by either the delays or the stop at home. I am a girl with a mission and I am proud of myself for sticking to it.

Now, the ouchy part of my post is probably related to being so good about sticking to my exercise goals and being consistent about working out. Last week, I had some kind of workout/physical activity every day except Friday. So far this week, I ran in a 5K, did strength training and cardio, and did a midweek training run. I plan to be back at the gym this evening, but I'm worried about the increasing soreness in my knees. Part of me is saying, "They're sore because they're weak! Build up the surrounding muscles and they won't hurt any more. Also, you'll lose weight, which will put less strain on them." But part of me is saying, "They're sore because they're getting overworked! You need more than one day off per week, dummy!" I call these parts Miss Gung-ho and Miss Things-that-are-probably-true-still-sound-
like-excuses. I think you can probably guess which one I side with. (And I'm aware of how weird it must seem to side with a part of myself.)

At this point, I'm hoping it will pass. However, I'm not ruling out scaling back later.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRPOOH63 9/16/2010 10:35PM

    I am impressed by the fact you can go home and then workout. I don't do good with that - have to know what you do and don't. Too easy to get involved in other things. You do a great job of staying on top of things....

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LITERARY_CHICK 9/16/2010 10:59AM

    Good job identifying what you did right. Sometimes we expect so much of ourselves that we only focus on the negative. You are doing amazing. Keep up the great work!

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JENELOPE 9/15/2010 7:59PM

    I don't run quite that often, Evamathena! I do two half hour runs on weekdays and a long mileage run on Saturday. My other activities are things like going to the gym (elliptical and strength), golf, and ambling around a park for a few hours. As an example of that last one, a big history park here, Greenfield Village, had an antique car festival on Saturday and I walked around for three hours admiring Model Ts, Olds Runabouts, and the occasional Duesenburg.

I wear Saucony Proglide Stabil running shoes because I liked the way they fit my arch. I may go another route next time, though, because it turns out I need forefoot cushioning more than I need motion control. I got them from a Michigan store called Running Fit and I would highly recommend getting fitted by an experienced sales person. Definitely take in your current shoe so they can see the wear pattern.

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SIMPLY-EVA 9/15/2010 4:23PM

  I rely on the calendar feature of Outlook to get me to do stuff. Simply, I just can't remember everything everyday. I charge my phone every night whether it needs it or not, but it took setting myself a reminder to get into the habit. I also carry a plug-in adapter in my bag so that if by some chance I do lots of texting or listening to music then I can plug in while at work and re-charge during the day. Just a thought. As for your knees, you could be right on both counts. Maybe scale back to running 5 days a week for a bit to see if that helps or do three then take one off then 3 more instead of 6 in a row? I'm not there yet but I'll be waiting to see out what you decided.

curious: what brand, type of shoe do you wear? I am looking for a good one.

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/15/2010 4:22PM

    It is important that you distinguish between soreness from being out of shape and the pain that signals injury (or will become an injury.) Hard to do at first. But if your knees hurt all the time, then I would recommend that you scale back. If they only bother you during exercise, then I would recommend that you slow down. Patience at this stage really does pay off down the road.

Comment edited on: 9/15/2010 4:22:47 PM

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~*~ WTF??? Entry Card- 9/15-9/19 ~*~

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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I'm taking part in YOOVIE's WTF??? Challenge (a/k/a "What the Fall???). She's making this challenge open to everyone, which is totes awesome. You have no idea how jealous I was of all you Tiki girls! For the original template, please see YOOVIE's blog post here:

For the excellent background info- including rules of the challenge, see her blog post here:

The challenge runs 9/15-11/30, so it's a great way to lead up to the end of the year and get the habits necessary to fend off the holiday embiggening.

I strongly encourage you to use her original template, because mine is probably not as easy to read. I ramble. And I removed some of the background info, which you really might want to have. Plus, I'm "allergic" to all caps.

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~*~ WTF??? Entry Card- Template for 9/15-9/19 ~*~

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Starting Weight: 202
Starting Measurements:
Measure your Waist - 40
Measure your Hips - 44
Measure your Thigh - 23.5
Measure your Upper Arm - 12.5
Measure your Boobies - 38.5 (D)
Current BMI: 30.7

During this challenge, I have a general goal of: getting so far below 200 pounds that I never see 2xx on the scale again, even if I fluctuate a little.

My biggest challenge will undoubtedly be: stress, lack of sleep, poor time management.

My nutrition goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on: sticking to my calorie range 6-7 days per week, being honest about my calorie intake, enjoying what I eat within those boundaries. Eat five Honeycrisp apples a week. (I love them so much I had to include them in the challenge!)

My cardio goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on: improving my pace, building miles, cross-training on non-running days.

My strength training goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on: getting regular strength training, trimming down my wee "bingo wings," working on push-ups.

My rest and flexibility goals for the next 10 weeks will be focused on: getting at least 6-7 hours of sleep per night, shifting my day forward by 1-2 hours, always leaving work on time (even if "on time" moves up an hour).

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Between now and 9/19, I am going to: run on Thursday (half hour) and Saturday (5.5 miles).

Between now and 9/19, I am not going to: leave work after 5:15, go to sleep after 11:00, skip any prep duty that might interfere with sticking with my goals the next day (i.e., always prepare coffee maker, always prepare my lunch, always pack my gym bag). Eat any fast food.

These 3 excuses will be unusable for the duration of this template:
I'm too tired.
I don't have time.
There's something good on TV.


You can motivate me by: joining this challenge, too! Being just as wonderful as you always are.

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(Note: Because there are no emoticons for knitting or watching TV- a valid hobby, IMO- I claim this pirate in the name of all people who don't need 15 emoticons for babies, and would like just one little cartoon ball of yarn or sewing needle or TV)

This week, take the time to do one of the following just for yourself.

A. complete a fun project
I started knitting a hat two years ago, but got distracted by the rest of life. I picked it up once, but didn't stick with it. Last year, I wouldn't buy a new hat because I kept thinking, I'll just finish that gorgeous hat. I'm finishing that doggone hat!
B. start a fun project
C. brainstorm ideas for something you can do just for yourself over the winter, something that will take a semi-long time to complete. - Like make your own new bag, or put together a family photo album, or redecorate a room, or start a journal, or make a quilt, etc
D. Make a list of things you loved as a child but have not done or participated in for a very long time. See which ones you can incorporate into your grownup life.
E. Volunteer.

Practice setting time aside for yourself, either every day or once a week, and allow yourself to be selfish for a little while, and recharge, so you can better handle the rest of your life and be better for your family or job and friends.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_DASH_ 9/15/2010 6:00AM

    sweet! get in on it!

"I'm too tired."
think: exercise undoubtedly gives you more energy and makes you feel good with endorphins. you will sleep better when you do sleep and function better when you can't sleep.

"I don't have time."
think: break it up into smaller sessions- even 5 minute segments if you have to. keep resistance bands under your desk at work. take half of your lunch break to walk around where you work. do pushups and situps for ten minutes before bed and for ten minutes when you wake up. think of little things you can do - park far away, take the stairs, carry a water botttle, be prepared - make it easy on yourself in any way you can. i like to keep a gym bag with all the necessities in my car so i am ready to go and dont have to waste time going home first to get dressed for the gym. there are some times when that would negate any time i had between things if i had to go home first.

"There's something good on TV."
think: it will be on as a rerun again, i can look up the episode online and watch it later, the show is predictable and i'm not missing anything by choosing exercise time over tv time. or use tv time as a reward after you do the work out- there is always something good on, so save it for later if you can. or when you reach your first goal, invest in tivo. :D

just ideas i had - your post reminded me to make affirmations to go along with the excuses i have - that i know i will inevitably make this week. good luck to you!!

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ASHARON 9/14/2010 8:20PM

    Stay strong!

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MRSSIBRAT 9/14/2010 6:29PM

    I just did mine!! I am so excited for it!!

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JENELOPE 9/14/2010 6:19PM

    @YOOVIE- Oh, believe me, I totally understand. All caps make sense for your posts. But for mine, they seem like overkill. I'm excited and motivated- but not shouty!

Thanks again, for this great challenge!

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YOOVIE 9/14/2010 5:04PM

    oh man ihate doing all caps for my answers but i dont know how else to change them so people know what part is answers and what part is questions!!

you can do this! its gonna be awesome!!!!!

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POOHLA711 9/14/2010 1:38PM

    Thanks for the reminder to get this done today!
giggling at your pirate note, BTW. :-)

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FOXXYROXXYD 9/14/2010 12:16PM

    I did mine last night - we're in this together - woo hoo! You reminded me of some things I need to put on mine... sleep:)

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RJOANNEW01 9/14/2010 11:53AM

    I was so surprised to find out that WTF did not stand for Walters, Thompson, and Friends! Our family crews for hotair balloons, and our pilots and crew chiefs, although we do not have one, have WTF magnetic signs on the sides of their vehicles. Of course we have had some interesting comments about them... Do you do Albuquerque? Any suggestions for dieting at AIBF if you do?

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I may be slow, but I get there!

Monday, September 13, 2010

So, checking the results of yesterday's 5K, they clocked me at 41:59 and a 13:33 mile. The next person to cross the finish line was the first place finisher in the women's 65-69 group. So I beat a first place finisher, that's something, right? emoticon

Well, as I told my niece, finishing upright and running was our goal, and raising money to help people with cancer was our medal. Well, actually, starting on time and with the pack was really our goal, after the original 5K fiasco last month. We managed to do that and I think we ran pretty well. I'm not sure I believe I ran to the best of my ability, though. I know I can run for three minutes, so why am I clinging so hard to the 2:1 intervals? I think it's time to come up with some new interval tracks and try something new tomorrow night.

My niece ran in a 5K cross-country invitational on Saturday as well as the 5K race on Sunday. She was pretty tired on Sunday, both from lack of sleep (some mean ol' auntie had her up later than usual watching "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" on Saturday) and from running. She has a big problem with side stitches. I told her I'd do some research and try to find a solution, but I think that it will just take time and training. She was also disappointed because she finished a lot slower than the fastest girl at her invitational, but a) it was her first event; b) she joined the team very late (on Tuesday, in fact); and c) she's only a freshman and didn't run track in middle school. She's got a lot of potential, but has commitment issues.

Anyway, it's time for me to run off to the gym. No running today- just a lot of ellipsing and lifting!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRPOOH63 9/13/2010 9:46PM

    Have to say that it was nice to hear you started on time and actually followed the route this year. Not nearly as funny as your last event but a big congrats to you for finishing! emoticon

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DRPOOH63 9/13/2010 9:46PM

    Have to say that it was nice to hear you started on time and actually followed the route this year. Not nearly as funny as your last event but a big congrats to you for finishing! emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/13/2010 9:38PM

    Actually, if you want to runner faster, you should try dropping down to 1/1's. Try it -- I think you will be surprised.

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50FITNFUN 9/13/2010 8:49PM

    I had to giggle just a bit when you were so pleased to have come in ahead of a first in class finisher. It brought back, vividly, the feeling I had when I came in first place for the entire women's division of a 5K last year. Of course, there were only 2 women in the whole race and I was, quite literally, only one step ahead of her as we had planned to cross together. But, my stride being just a tad longer, put my left foot over the line a step before either of her feet! It was a shallow victory, but I accepted bragging rights anyway! emoticon
So, I say to you...savor your moment no matter how big or small. These "wins" will help keep your motivation fueled. You go girl!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/13/2010 8:51:23 PM

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LEXUSIASIS 9/13/2010 7:40PM

    You are doing so well, perhaps some day I'll be able to do the same. Thanks for the inspiration. emoticon

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MOM2ACAT 9/13/2010 7:08PM

    You finished the race, and that makes you a winner in my book! emoticon

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My head is swelling- but my body is shrinking, so that's okay

Friday, September 10, 2010

I have received an astounding number of compliments this week. First and foremost, I've gotten an unbelievable lift from Spark teammates and friends through blog comments, wall posts and fun goodies. I think it probably goes without saying that I enjoy writing blog posts. I worry that I make them too long sometimes, but well, I'm chatty. I "talk" too much whether it's speaking or writing. I did almost put a reference to seeing a "teal deer" in the woods in my Up North running post, but I thought that might be silly, even for me. ("teal deer" = TL, DR = "too long, didn't read") Anyway, I'm so happy that so many people have enjoyed reading my blog posts. I know that reading other Sparkers' blogs inspires me so much and I love knowing that I'm doing my part.

Earlier this week, I had an unexpected compliment from a complete stranger. A guy was walking through my office and first asked me about gaining access to a classroom, something I was unable to help him with. Actually, come to think of it, it went more like this:
Me: (addressing passing stranger who was obviously looking for something) Hello. How are you?
Passing Stranger: I'm fine. (Pause.) You made eye contact.
Me: Yes. I do that sometimes.
... Exchange about classroom I was unable to help with...
PS: You have pretty blue eyes.
Me: Thank you. (Awkward pause.) I'm guessing that right now I have pretty red cheeks to go with them.
(Pause while I flutter and dither because, honestly, how do you deal with unsolicited compliments to your physical appearance by complete strangers while in your workplace?)
PS: I guess I should go so I don't embarrass you any further.
Me: Thank you. Really.

It was both flattering, and a little bit awkward and creepy. Later on, a completely different person looked at my face and did a double take. In a good way, I mean. Despite the fact that I clearly do not have much skill at accepting compliments gracefully, I resolved then and there that I'm going to wear that aqua colored cardigan more often. It's very flattering.

Finally, last night at golf, one of the ladies on my league wanted to see my outfit (I take my credo of "I don't always golf well, but I usually golf cute" very seriously) and her partner said, "I'd rather see Jenna's diet. What are you doing? You look great!"Naturally, I referred her to Spark People!

I do believe that all of these compliments are turning me into some kind of flattery-seeking monster. And since I'm nearly alone in the office today and I can't count on random strangers to feel compelled by my pretty blue eyes to feed my ego, I'm going to pay myself some compliments.
Me: Hey, Jenna, you're seriously rocking the weight loss! You look awesome and your butt looks really great in those jeans!
Me: Um, thanks. They're a little bit too big for me, but the other pair was dirty. I really need to buy some new jeans, but I don't want to spend the money while I still have so much weight to lose...

Yep. I really gotta work on that whole "accepting compliments gracefully" thing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRPOOH63 9/12/2010 8:50PM

    Congrats! How exciting. AND I would love to hear about the golf outfits because I am a big believer I play better if I look good. AND I just bought a Nike golf skirt because it matches my golf bag -- it was a size 16 so I thought well it is on sale and I will be that size soon - brought it home and it fit. So spark works if you work spark!

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ROMANS_8 9/10/2010 1:42PM

    Woo Hoo! I love getting compliments too, cause it actually means what I'm doing is working but I am also like you in that I don't receive them well at all. for me a lot of that has to do with not enjoying being the center of attention though. But I agree with everyone you deserve those compliments! Also I really do love your blogs! keep em' coming! :)

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/10/2010 1:42PM

    Here's what has always worked for me:

"Thanks! I appreciate it!"

And mean it.
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SIMPLY-EVA 9/10/2010 1:34PM

  We are our toughest critics so good for you that you are working on accepting compliments gracefully. When people compliment me on something I say "Thanks!" now, but in the past I used to wonder if they were lying, then I went through the whole thing about "why would they lie about that?" It was silly, but in time accepting compliments has gotten easier!


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FOXXYROXXYD 9/10/2010 1:30PM

    Rock the body and Rock the compliments - you SO deserve it! Well done my friend!

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1CRAZYDOG 9/10/2010 1:27PM

    Well, you've earned every compliment! Good for you and keep up the great work.

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