JESPAH   188,220
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JESPAH's Recent Blog Entries

Shed My Skin

Monday, July 27, 2009

Well, shedding my skin would certainly help with weight loss. I'm up another 1.4 lbs., which is annoying and a tad disturbing but I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing (I'm within calorie range every day, drink 10 c of water/day and am #5 on the Boston SparkAmerica fitness minutes list), so things will eventually unstick and go downwards. Eventually.

Even if I want to turn the scale into a lovely planter or objet d'art.

Still Life With Scale

Be that as it may, things are more than okay.

Last weekend, a friend we've known from online for, what, a decade? Close to it, I'm sure, well, she came up from Houston. We have never met in person before. She's behind my recipe for Mac's Cajun Dirty Bulgur. And of course the three of us (plus two others from my site on Saturday) all hit it off famously. Then she had some time to kill on Sunday before her flight so I brought her to the house.

This is remarkable not just because she is an awesome friend but also because she is MY inspiration. She lost 125 lbs. on Weight Watchers and has kept it off for a few years. Right now she is looking to drop the last 30 or so, but is in no great rush.

As you can imagine, we had some interesting conversations when it was just the two of us. We have had very similar experiences, plus she's had the experience of maintenance, or at least a semblance of maintenance.

Some wisdom and observations from her:
* There are people who are truly happy for you, people who are jealous, and people who are actively looking out for you to fail/backslide.
* Maintenance is a terrifying word, sometimes it seems easier or better to still be working on losing, versus being done and trying to stay the same. This is the case even though, with a large plateau, you are often essentially in the midst of maintaining.
* Losing face is as tough as losing weight. What happens when someone finishes, leaves and then is suddenly 50 lbs. up? They often stay away because they swore it would be different, and then it wasn't, so they stay away longer and the hole they're in is dug even deeper.
* Know the differences among regular meals, replacement meals and special meals. Eating at home is inevitably a regular meal. Replacement meals are standard restaurant fare. Special meals are things like your own wedding supper. Regular meals should be as healthy as possible. Replacements should be as healthy as possible, too, and are not enough of a special treat to warrant going off your regimen by too much and letting it all go to hell. Special meals should be rare -- but they also are, truly, a free zone. Do with that what you will.
* You can only be responsible for your own actions, your own self, your own body and your own health. Being encouraging to others is one thing -- feeling or acting responsible for them sticking with things is another matter entirely, and that way lies madness. Let people, ultimately, stand or fall on their own.

I've come out of last weekend tired but with more mental tools at my disposal.

So what if the scale is up?

It does not define me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 8/11/2009 11:19AM

    Awesome and useful blog; thanks!!

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WIFEALF 8/3/2009 7:25PM

    Interesting i took alot out of this blog thank you it got me thinking and back on track i hope..Thank you for that.,..

I am glad you got a new feed back from the lady that lost so much weight good to talk to others that is going through the same as we are...

keep it up ...Thanks for this!!!!

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TRACYZABELLE 7/31/2009 6:59AM


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KUNGFOOD 7/29/2009 8:21AM

    That is the best plan that's not a planned plan way to think of meals. Paradigm shift in thinking. Thanks!

Oooooh! Red looks good on you!

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    Greetings Jespah

I loved your blog from the moment I read it yesterday. My life is rarely so programmed and racy that I don't have time to acknowledge someone who helps me. But that was yesterday. This is today.

All of it was so dead on. But the piece that really called out to me is about the missing person who gets too busy to be engaged and next thing the missing person has a 50 lb added problem to cope with. Shame and embarrassment is such a terrible thing and is out of place in a wellness program. This program is for us with all our failings. I am getting so much support and community and wisdom from Spark that I forget in the beginning I only came here to lose weight. If I had not had to use this I would have missed out on a lot. It is tragic that some of us get too embarrassed to be able to start over or admit temporary and even major setbacks.

There is the other side of this embarrassment thing that you alluded to. I have learned that judgemental people are often people who are hanging on by a slender and shredding thread. They can be dictatorial about doing things one way and only that way. They can make thoughtless comments to a struggling person. Or worse they make comments calculated to hurt. And bless them they are the ones who fall by the wayside big time. Interesting stuff this.

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MARCHMAID 7/28/2009 9:20AM

    "Special Meals" Now that's an interesting concept. I have always had way too many of them!


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ANONYGIRL 7/28/2009 7:33AM

    My scale is up to, so I'm opting to ignore it and keep doing what I'm doing.

You're inspiring friend is a smarty. I love her point about meal types - all too often people (including myself) use being out of the house as an excuse for making bad choices. And she couldn't be more dead on about people's attitudes towards others weight loss. I'm going to make sure I make it clear to anyone who is struggling with losing weight that I'm in the 'truly happy for them' camp.

There's another one too - happy for you until you're smaller than them. emoticon

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TELERIE 7/28/2009 3:50AM

    How I love your blogs! Thanks for sharing the wisdom of your friend! Isn't it really cool to meet after such a time - and get to meet your inspiration too!
The definitions of the meals was useful. Also, I've considered myself in practice for maintaining right now on my way further down the scale, as the pounds come off very slowly. To be _there_ is still quite terrifying. And now I wonder which categories those around me fall in. Most of my colleagues are genuinely happy, I'm sure. There might be some jealousy, but I haven't noticed anyone actively sabotageing my efforts yet.
Keep on keeping on!
Hugs, Marit

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WOLFKITTY 7/28/2009 2:05AM

    I liked this blog!! :D Thanks for sharing her nuggets of wisdom! LOL!! #5 for all of Boston?! I knew you rocked, but.. WOW!!!

Hang in there!

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SPARKLE72023 7/27/2009 10:33PM

    While it's is true that the scale may not define you, nevertheless it is your OBJECTIVE GUIDEPOST to your weight loss goals and should be respected as such.
emoticon This is no time to start disliking the scale or forgetting how much it has shed light on the reality of your awesome progress. Without getting overly fixated on the scale, keep an open mind (and eye) on what it tells you so those pounds won't creep back on.

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/27/2009 9:41PM

    What a kewl thing to get to do...pick the brain of someone who has maintained for a whole year. Sounds like you made the most of it. Good stuff here!

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LIV2RIDE 7/27/2009 9:14PM

    Thanks for sharing this. There are a lot of great takeaways for me.


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LAB-LOVER 7/27/2009 8:44PM

    You know it actually never occured to me that there might be people out there who WANT to see me fail. I know that there are a few that are jealous, and I try to be encouraging for them to undertake their own journey without pushing -- as I know that they will be ready when they want to be. And then there is someone who was friendly to me until I started losing... I wouldn't say that we were friends, but friendly. Now he is not friendly. Perhaps there are other reasons, but I think it is about weight.

I do think about maintenance sometimes and agree that it's easier to be on the journey and maintaining while trying to lose. The idea of reaching my goal and then maintaining is a little terrifying. Because at some level I think that I have to keep doing everything I'm doing if I want to STAY the same.

How fun to meet online friends!


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PAM1968 7/27/2009 8:32PM

    Thanks for sharing this! It really gave me some food (no pun intended) for thought!

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_RAMONA 7/27/2009 8:12PM

    This was GREAT!

I'm taking away the definition of meals, and her take on maintaining... I always have viewed me 'plateaues' as 'maintaining'... somehow that always made them easier to live with, and I've learned some valuable stuff in the process.


And you are doing great... just hang in there. Have you checked out Tom Venuto's 'Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle'? I don't think you'd regret purchasing it... he's got some really interesting perspectives on why excess skin happens, and he just might have the answers to making your last lap at losing go a little more smoothly. If you'd like to know more, sparkmail me!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

Comment edited on: 7/27/2009 8:19:13 PM

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    As always....a very insightful blog! You had me sitting here pondering on each one of your friends tidbits of wisdom and observations.


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ETAGGEL 7/27/2009 7:34PM

    SOme very good advice there!


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Andy Kaufman in the Wrestling Match

Monday, July 20, 2009

Today, July 20, 2009, is exactly 40 years since the lunar landing.

President John F. Kennedy, on September 12, 1962 (hey, I was 10 days old!) said:

"We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best..."

It's the month in review, and I assure you I will get to that, but I want to talk about that quote a bit first.

When I plunked money down for alli, for a full year at the gym, for plastic surgery, I made commitments. And I've made time commitments, as well, from walking to and from farther away bus stops to taking a Saturday for a race, to careful food shopping and recipe reading/creating/modifying/calculating/rec
ording. And you've made those kinds of financial and temporal commitments as well, haven't you?

If you have had any success at all, you've put up with something, at some time or another.

You've gone down different supermarket aisles, and bypassed the old, familiar ones. You've drunk more water, and experienced the attendant results of doing so. You've lifted weights and felt pain afterwards. You've walked and taken more time, and perhaps that has prevented you from doing something else. You've gone to bed earlier, missing out on TV or the 'net or time with your family. You've stayed away from vending machines and fast food, and cooked your own food instead. You've controlled your portions, even when you didn't want to, You've insisted on salad dressing on the side. You've passed on the birthday cake. You've gone to the gym rather than the movies. You've purchased more healthy foods, even if sometimes they were more expensive, or harder to find, or you really, really wanted a cupcake instead.

Make no mistake about it: these things are difficult. Sure they may not be in little doses, but over time there is a lot there, and it can seem taxing at times, or like a huge mountain looming ahead of you, particularly when you're first starting out. It can sometimes feel like it's not at all worth it. It can feel like every moment of every day is a struggle, particularly if success is elusive or feels like it's far away and in the past or the distant future.

But you keep doing these things, anyway. You keep on keepin' on.

We choose to do these things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.

Do you have respect for things that come easy? Does tying your own shoes give you an enormous sense of pride and accomplishment? Most likely not, I suspect, much like how it's rare that anyone gets a medal for peeling bananas or adding two and two. The reason for that is because, for most adults (and I am not diminishing someone coming back from a stroke, etc., please do not misunderstand me -- for them, shoe-tying may be an incredible achievement, and I salute them for it), these things are easy.

But what about the stuff that's HARD? Differential calculus. XML programming. Anatomy class. Playing anything by Mozart. Making a soufflé. Dancing a minuet. Juggling five or more different-sized objects. Biomedical engineering. The legal Rule Against Perpetuities. Public speaking in front of a thousand people. Parenting a troubled child. Designing a state of the art hospital. Corporate accounting. Pitching a no-hitter. Writing a novel. Or landing on the moon.

Those things are very, very hard to do.Yet people -- and you may be one of those people -- do these things every single day. They get up in the morning, and they do them. And those things are very worthwhile, and those things are awarded with Nobel and Pulitzer Prizes, or patents, or large contracts or a community's gratitude, and all of the trappings of success and appreciation.

Yes, those things are exceedingly hard.

They're almost as hard as changing your life for good, shedding your skin and becoming a new person.

Yep. They're almost as hard as permanent, sustained weight loss. The awards for permanent, sustained weight loss aren't handed out in Stockholm or Oslo. But they are awarded in your doctor's office, in your family's eyes and in your own skin.

If they can put a man on the moon, then surely you can put your life right and get on the path to health, and truck on down it. And then keep on keepin' on, and live the life. Walk the walk. Get up every morning, and just do it.

Here's the month in review.

It's been a year and a half since I started alli. I took a five-week period off recently in order to kick-start weight loss again, regroup and try a few things to try to break out of a plateau I'd been on for a month and a half or so. Hence I've taken alli for 17 months.

In the past month, I've run two 5K races and my second time was a good third less than my first. I've had an initial consultation with a plastic surgeon and am scheduled to get things tucked, trimmed and lifted on January 15th, 2010. I've gone back to taking alli. Plus I met the very beautiful Lab-Lover and Quirkles.


I gained .8 lbs. last week (which is also .8 since last month), but such is life. Overall, I've lost over 150 lbs. And I am coming to understand that I've probably plucked most of the lower-hanging fruit when it comes to weight loss. This does not mean that I have nothing left to lose, but rather that the easier (and it has been anything but easy!) stuff is gone so now it's just going to be tougher. But I'm okay with it. I keep doing what I should be doing: eating right, watching my portions, drinking water, exercising, resting, lifting, being as happy as I can be, and I'm okay with it regardless of how the scale shifts around because I know that I am giving it my all.


Except for my thigh and big ole butt, I'm within an inch or less of my personal best in all areas. And even those two areas aren't bad, as in 1 3/4" above the best for my keister and 2 1/4" above my best for my thigh. As for overall, the results are truly remarkable as I have lost a whopping 108 inches (yeah, that's no typo) from eight areas (bicep, bust, band, waist, belly, butt, hip and thigh), total. That's, er, NINE FEET of me gone. To add some perspective, I'm only 5 1/2 feet tall.

Energy Levels

Pretty good, certainly good enough to race twice. Yesterday I buried my husband in frisbee, and he used to play in a league! Now, I was in the shade and he was in the sun, but still! I have my quiet and slow days like anyone else, but I make sure to get the workouts in, even if I'm less than thrilled to do them. I am always glad to get them accomplished.


I'm trading around 14s, 12s and 10s for pants, depending upon the cut of the garment and how stretchy it is. When I started, I was a 4x/28W. Up top I'm wearing a medium (I think that's pretty much a confirmed size 10). When I started, I was a size 3x/26W but was getting into 4x/28W tops.

I wear bracelets a lot of the time now; my wrists and hands are so much smaller. I can fit into a teeny silver bracelet I remember from college. My wedding ring is practically falling off my left middle finger. It hasn't fit my left ring finger in ages. My engagement ring is still in the safety deposit box, but it's from when I was about 40 lbs. lighter than I am now. Perhaps it's time to get it out and see if it fits.

I've got a size 10 - 12 Winter jacket for later in this year. It fits me just fine, including over the hips. Two years ago, I wore a huge 4x/28W Winter jacket. I suspect the old one would make a lovely tent. For a family of four.

Choices, choices. Respect the hard stuff. Respect yourself as you do those hard things, even if you don't succeed all the time, even if the scale is less than kind, for it does not define you. And, just as surely as the Moon circles the Earth, keep on keepin' on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GEE-KNEE 7/22/2009 10:25AM

    I read your blog because of the interesting title, and right now I am so glad I did. I like your perspective. It's very inspiring. Before reading this, I was sitting here thinking how much I did NOT feel like walking this morning, and now I feel much more motivated. I really appreciate the metaphor about plucking the lower hanging fruit because I feel it getting more difficult these last few months, but I keep pushing forward.

Thank you,

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TRECECOOKS 7/22/2009 9:45AM

    You are speaking the truth with love, and modeling respect and love for yourself.

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ANONYGIRL 7/22/2009 9:31AM

    What great writing, and what astonishing progress. Congratulations.

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SLCB1023 7/21/2009 10:38PM

    Thanks for the blog and inspirational talk. You kick butt!! Well maybe nos so much of it anymore. emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLE72023 7/21/2009 11:14AM

    All I can say is WOW !!!! 9 feet of you gone?

Wow! emoticon WOW! emoticon WOW! emoticon

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MARCHMAID 7/21/2009 9:12AM

    emoticon Nothing more to add but a mouthful of awe!

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LIV2RIDE 7/21/2009 7:39AM

    REALLY FANTASTIC BLOG!!!!! There are so many great points in this blog. Thanks for putting them out there for us all to read.


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WOLFKITTY 7/21/2009 4:01AM


I am speechless.

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TELERIE 7/21/2009 3:19AM

    emoticon Oh, I can't resist a wiseass comment: I REALLY intend to get my reward for permanent sustained weight loss in Oslo! I might even take a trip to Stockholm too, we've got friends there. emoticon
And YOU inspire me beyond words. Thank you!
Hugs from Marit

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VANYELMOON 7/20/2009 10:44PM

    Thank you for your poignant commentary. It is great to read something so positive and upbeat. I hope with all my heart that you reach all of your goals....


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CAROLISCIOUS 7/20/2009 9:40PM

    Boy I really needed this today. Thanks Jes!

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    You and your words are so inspiring.

It is hard. Sometimes very hard. You offer hope. I have only been at this since March. My life is already many times better than it was pre Spark. I simply did not believe that there was still a thin person inside me. I know she is there and I will find her eventually. I think it will take a long time. It's ok. She is not going anywhere. I am sure she is in there now.

For me it is not only the measuring, the choices, the prepping and the cooking and the tracking or the exercising when I really really don't want to do it. It is also the community and the laughter. I know I can count on you for that. It keeps me going.

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_RAMONA 7/20/2009 8:36PM

    FANTASTIC blog!!!! You inspire me beyond words. I am choosing to be in the position of being able to write my own similar blog in about a year's time. THANK YOU!


Comment edited on: 7/21/2009 11:38:01 AM

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LAB-LOVER 7/20/2009 8:12PM

    Great blog. You know I thought I could live another 50 years and NEVER see a reference to the Rule Against Perpetuities in a SP blog!

But you're right about the need for choices! And you're doing GREAT with them! I hear you on the diminishing returns from weight loss efforts, but I'm trying to think of it as practice maintaining!


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FITKAT2010 7/20/2009 8:02PM

    You say a lot of good things in this blog.

I too realize that the difficult things in life is worth the effort in achieving them.

Good job on your weight loss.

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People Go Just Where They Will

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's not an eye doctor; it's a plastic surgeon.

I had my initial consultation today. And, yes, I signed up.

January 15th.

Tummy tuck.

Breast lift.

Off goes the Scarlet F.

For good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CJROMB 7/17/2009 2:09AM

    When I first started this weight loss journey, my ultimate reward was this: I told myself if I got below 145 and stayed there for 6 months, I could have a tummy tuck. Off with the stretch marks, vertical wide c-section scar, and the fat little pot belly I had ever since I had my son, even when I only weighed 95 pounds.

I now weigh 130.6, and I've definitely been way under 145 for over 6 months.

But I haven't signed up yet because I can't spend that kind of time off right now.

I hope you'll blog about your experience. I would love to hear how it goes, and learn from you.

And thanx for the Jackson Browne. I'll admit I never liked him again too much after what happened with Darryl Hannah, but he used to be one of my biggest musical heroes.

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H-2-OH 7/16/2009 9:23PM

    That's exciting! I know how it is when you lose weight and things aren't in the same place they used to be.

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TRACYZABELLE 7/16/2009 7:58AM

    good luck

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 7/16/2009 7:25AM

    Congratulations, I am so happy for you!

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SWEETZMIX 7/15/2009 12:26PM

    Congrats! Not everyone will agree with it, but you have worked hard and you deserve to reap all your rewards. It is what it is!! So exciting and scary (the closest thing I have had to surgery is getting one of my wisdom teeth removed from underneath my gums.)

So now is the countdown..........................
6months to go

OH and I would love a lil rabbit, I don't think it's against the law to ship live animals. lol

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MARCHMAID 7/15/2009 10:42AM

    Hope you'll give us all a blow by blow (snip by snip??) description of the entire process. Cost, recovery time, bruises, pain, pleasure at the results? Personally, I don't like my neck. . . .

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LAB-LOVER 7/15/2009 6:17AM

    Wow! Good luck! What a wonderful journey you've been on!

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    Woohoo brave girl. Commitment. Good for you.

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/14/2009 9:17PM

    Exciting! A whole new you!

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SPARKLE72023 7/14/2009 7:27PM

    Hey! That's also French Independence Day (Bastille Day) . . . . ha ha ha . . . . you AND the French will celebrate your liberation on the same day.
Bonne Chance mon amie!
(Good luck my friend.)

By the way - - - - - did I give you "permission" to look prettier & sexier than me? Huh?
- just joking -
I'm real happy for you!!!
HAPPY emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/14/2009 7:27:14 PM

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TELERIE 7/14/2009 6:57PM

    Wow, scary methinks. Hope you'll let me know how it goes, I'm wondering and pondering and considering once I reach where I'll be. emoticon

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What You're Feelin' is Happiness

Monday, July 13, 2009

This song was played at my wedding, I confess. Hey, I was married in mid-1992. But this entry isn't about my wedding or my love.

It's about our new friend!

This is not a direct photo of our new friend, but looks pretty much the same. A very, very small brown rabbit is living underneath our hibiscus plant. We've left out the occasional carrot which has been accepted, we believe, rather graciously.

And we named him (or her -- we're too polite to ask) Little 'Bit. Hence the song.

But the title kinda works, too.

I have every reason to feel lousy, I gotta say. I regained what I lost three weeks ago, PMS is about to come knocking, almost all of my measurements are up and the day was stressful.

But yanno something?

I'm fine. I really am.

Oh, I'm not jumping for joy. No. But I'm not hanging my head, either.

Went to the gym, pounded out my frustrations on the treadmill and I feel ...

... peaceful.

Hey, there's something to this exercise business after all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAPPYWRITER7 7/29/2009 8:37PM

    You know, Ive spent the last few months leaning about happiness, and for some reason, I just learned/realized that happiness invloves so many different feelings. I dont need to be laughing out loud and grinning all over the place in order to have a sense of happiness. It's just like what you explained - there are so many things to be unhappy about, but youre not because you chose it. Happiness is a choice a great deal of the time. Way to go for sticking it out. Im currently in a 4 month plateau...eek. But - little by little, one goes far.

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    Well Jespah
I don't get it. I missed three of your blogs and I do so look forward to reading you. No notices. Ah well I get to enjoy em all at once now.

Love your bunny. But what will you do when that little boston terrier shows up?

Next time I see one in a shelter I will find out where you live and I will sneak him into the back yard with Bit.

Now of course you can't go on vacation or anything like that because you must put out carrots.

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SWEETZMIX 7/14/2009 4:45PM

    Good for you Janet. You still worked it out and didn't let anything hold you back. Oh how it is sO easy to blame a stressful day, the oncoming of PMS and just the world on your bad mood BUT, you didn't. You just shrugged it off and didn't let it hold you back. YOU ROCK--THAT'S ALL I GOT TO SAY! And I can't imagine having a cute rabbit living in the garden, I would want to keep it!! lol

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NYAYNE 7/14/2009 9:55AM

    Your blogs are always a musical treat, thank you Jespah. I am now 2 years PMS free but I do remember those days. Menopause isn't really that bad. I was lucky, no real hot flashes, no emotional roller coaster, but weight management is hard.

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TELERIE 7/14/2009 9:48AM

    I agree! There's something to this exercise business! And yoga too! My stress levels have decreased a lot lately! My three weeks of vacation just _might_ have something to do with it but I'm sure exercise helps!
Cute 'bit. We have hedgehogs.

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LIV2RIDE 7/14/2009 7:04AM

    I find that exercise helps manage my PMS symptoms both mental and physical. I end up working out harder for about 2 weeks just to push through. It's amazing how different it all feels now.

Enjoy your little critter. They are really cute.


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JESPAH 7/14/2009 6:14AM

    Well, the actual garden is in the back, and where Little 'bit lives (except for the hibiscus, and some tiger lilies), it's mainly weeds. If the weeds are eaten and the grass is cropped, fine. If the peas in the back are eaten, well, I'm less happy about that but they're getting munched by bugs anyway. In the choice between bug and mammalian feasting, I'll pick mammalian.

Dunno if Little 'bit has a family; seems small to be an adult (it's entirely possible that we've seen more than one bunny in the past few days, and that they're just all brown). No sign of Mom; I just figure this bunny is way too small to be a grownup.

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/13/2009 9:44PM

    We have a yard full of critters cuz we live near some vacant lots. It's fun to watch them scurry about searching

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MARCHMAID 7/13/2009 9:12PM

    Gotta say, I agree that exercise is a stress reliever for me, too, but I like it so much I'm having trouble getting anything else accomplished. Gosh, work is so pale beside bike riding. . . and I really do love my work. Still fundraising in a down economy has, um, its downsides.

Keep on truckin'--glad the rabbits are in YOUR yard. I have a plague of chipmunks feasting on my green tomatoes. : (

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LAB-LOVER 7/13/2009 9:04PM

    Just seeing the photo raised my BP! We have a PLAGUE of 'bits in our yard. But Jake and Henry help with policing!

Work stress is rising! Gotta keep the focus on exercise. It really DOES help!

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LILMYSTERY 7/13/2009 7:24PM

    Love this! Your attitude is wonderful and I agree with your observations of "this exercise business" :)

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_RAMONA 7/13/2009 7:19PM

    Great attitude... and I wish I had a bunny living under my flowers!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

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I Still Got This Dream That You Just Can't Shake

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Now for some news about the race itself. First, how the six of us did, in a field of 195 runners:

#105 Mr. Jespah 27:34
#118 Laurel 28:32
#162 Quirkles 33:29

#163 Thomas 33:32
#180 Lab Lover 35:25

#194 me 43:38

I was not last. I was second to last, but still! I beat a 33 year old, by some 3 minutes or so.

Last night's blog, I was in a rush. Tonight I want to give good info about the race.

We had a blast. Mr. J had never run one of these before. It was my second. He asked me if I wanted him to run with me. Naah. Go play and do well. And he did! We know Thomas from another site, and Thomas and I are in a BMI race to 30.0. This is why (jokingly, of course), he suggests I have some lovely pastries at every meal. Hey, he's competitive.

Here are pictures of us.



Lab Lover:

Quirkles (watch out, Thomas is gaining on you!):

Mr. Jespah, on the right (hubba hubba):

Who's that gal on the left, in the red hat?:

We're all so dang cute. I recall the first picture I ever got of Mr. J (we met through the Village Voice personal ads) was of him in swimming trunks. That was 20 years ago. These pictures remind me of that dude.

The day was warm and sunny. Nice day for basking but kinda warm for trucking along on foot. I had my new iPod, I had semi-figured out iTunes and had a Running playlist. First song: David Bowie's "Heroes" (it was yesterday's blog song, too). There's just something about bouncing along with the Thin White Duke singing, "We can be heroes, just for one day".

Then the next song was today's blog song! Blues Traveler's "Run-Around". I had to remind myself: DON'T SING ALONG.

The course took us around the park and then on a bridge over into Cambridge. It was then that my right glute decided: I wanna stay in Boston. I told the glute it had no choice and it was coming to Cambridge. It whined, and I limped a bit, but I did not leave any body parts behind (heh, I said behind).

On the Cambridge side of things, it was a small highway (Memorial Drive), but traffic was light, probably due to the holiday weekend, plus the students are mainly gone this time of year. But it was sunny! Intensely sunny. I decided to pace myself and only jog when there was shade. There were trees but not always cheek by jowl to the street so shade was intermittent.

The pack had thinned considerably. On occasion I would catch glimpses of the other side of the Charles River and see people getting close to the finish line. I mainly saw a guy in a dark orange shirt and a woman in lavender sweats on my side of the river. Mainly they were in front of me.

Going slowly means you catch things that other people miss. I picked up a small profit along the way (I think Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy" was playing then): it is now my lucky nickel. Inflation has hit the lucky penny.

I pressed on.

I passed Miss Lavender Sweats, it was not too far before the bridge to return us to Boston. That was a little uphill. I think my right glute was happy to be returning to Boston (ungrateful body part!). The rest of me was pretty cool with that, too.

Over the bridge, it switches back very slightly, and I could see Miss Lavender Sweats. I waved; she was focused. The orange shirt dude was far away already. Lavender Sweats then passed me. We were pretty much neck and neck until Blondie came on. I mean, "Call Me"? What was I thinking? Too odd for running.

I passed by some sort of official, who asked me if there was anyone behind me. I said I didn't think so.

The finish was looming.

I expected a slow time. My last time had been over an hour. I figured, given that I had listened to about eight songs (I turned off the iPod after Blondie), if they're around an average of five minutes apiece, that's forty minutes, but that hardly seemed right to me. Given my limping, the heat, and the placement of the moon in the sky for all I knew or thought about, I figured I did not beat my PR (personal record).

I saw the clock.

Forty something something?

Are you people on crack?

Is your timer broken?

I mean, come on!

This is ME we're talking about.

I'm not fast. I'm not an athlete. I'm not in shape. I'm a lumbering beast and no gazelle.

The clock came closer.

I said to hell with it.

I started to run.

I ran like I haven't run in four decades, not since I was a child.

Pound pound slap slap

Lavender Sweats was in view.

Pound pound slap slap


Mr. J. Lab Lover. Thomas. Quirkles. Laurel.

Pound pound slap slap

Through the chute, heart going fast but not gallumphing out of my chest. Not winded. Not dying. Not coughing. Not barely able to keep my head up.

I called out, "Miss! Miss!"

Lavender Sweats turned around.

"You ran great!" I said. Lavender Sweats thanked me profusely. This might be the first time that she was not dead last. I made her a winner.

I went to join everyone, walked around, joked and then we parted ways after the raffle (I think Laurel won a RoadID). Mr. J and I had lunch with Thomas who I then dropped off at his hotel.

And I recognized that I am not some lumbering beast, although I am not necessarily a gazelle, at least not yet. And I'm actually in some semblance of shape. And I am an athlete, despite what my right glute wants me to believe.

And even if I am never elite or fast or even that good, I can make the gal in the Lavender Sweats smile. And that's worth something.

Miss Lavender Sweats:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CJROMB 7/17/2009 2:12AM

    Great blog, great race, incredible job. You are an athlete, and I for one am proud of you!

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DAN_ODEA 7/14/2009 6:18PM

    Nice post, very enjoyable. Congrats on a new record! I cannot run myself; I get exercise asthma and start coughing up crap if I breathe too hard. Imaging how hard that was when I played sports in high school and college (pitchers run a lot!). Now, of course, I'm flabby in the gut, which makes running harder, and thus easier to avoid. I'll stick with my bicycle and elliptical, thank you, and I have admiration for those who can run. Again, congratulations!

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HSMOM2FOUR 7/11/2009 9:23AM

    Love the blog! Love your race report! You did awesome!!!!!

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    Well dear Jespah you are a gazelle. At least in comparison to me who still can't imagine myself doing something like this. Ever. I am truly really your great admirer.

The VV eh? Not by any chance from the Apple are you? I think I spot the sense of humor. Or at least I would like to claim some of you for my own.

Milly sends a wag too. She appreciates your recognition of her perceptiveness of character and wants to remind you that your previous time would have been better had you not stopped to pet the pooch. We both think that is yet another of your more admirable traits.

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BAMAGIRL58 7/8/2009 8:41PM

    Great blog--love the homey details. Amazing how you spanked your PR! emoticon

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TELERIE 7/8/2009 2:36AM

    LOVE IT! Thank you for sharing your race with us! I told you before I wish I could have run with you! Congratulations on a PR, runner girl!

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LAB-LOVER 7/7/2009 10:25PM

    OMG! I cannot believe you posted THAT photo, of all the ones I was in. It is maybe the worst photo ever taken of me running (or not running as the case may be). I saw the photographer and was so tired at that moment that I just didn't have it in me to try to run to look good for the camera!

OK, nuff about me. This is an awesome blog. And good for you for cheering on Ms. Lavender Pants. You did great! Can't wait for the next one!


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VANYELMOON 7/7/2009 9:54PM

    Congrats on such a great accomplishment! Good luck on all your future endeavours...

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CAROLISCIOUS 7/7/2009 9:49PM

    What a great blog! I love your humor! You beat your PR by a mile...congratulations on all you have accomplished. Yano...the longer it takes us to run these races...the more calories we burn. Shhh! Don't tell anyone!

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AIDELADE27 7/7/2009 9:05PM

    emoticon emoticon Good for you! Looks like you guys had fun! Thanks for the pix!

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FIT_TERI 7/7/2009 9:00PM

    Congrats! It looks like you had a great time with some great Sparkfriends and your hubby!! And finally some sunshine to boot! emoticon
It looks like it was a beautiful day and a terrific event. You're like a racing machine these days! Great job.

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CANNOTFATHOM 7/7/2009 8:33PM

    Sounds like you had a great time! WTG! Thanks for the pics :)


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NYAYNE 7/7/2009 8:28PM

    Congrats on the new personal best time. Looks like you all had fun. emoticon

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