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There's Only One

Monday, May 27, 2013

I have run a bunch of 5K races, but this one was for just one mile.

And it was more important than all of them, combined, for it was the final mile of the Boston Marathon.

My husband and I walked and jogged and did not go too fast as his back was bothering him.

But that's okay. This was not for speed. It was not for PRs. It was not for personal glory.

We participated for those who no longer have legs, and for those whose futures are gone. We did this for the scared, to show that we aren't. We did it for our city, and for our country, and for anyone who's tired of the violence and hate in the world.

I have already told the sponsors that I hope they will do this again, for it was an amazing experience. There is a turn, just before Boylston Street, near the Hynes Convention Center. You have just gone up a small hill. And you turn. And you see them. And you hear them.

The people.

They line the blocks, and they are LOUD. And they are watching, and they are cheering. There were signs. There were high fives from strangers. And the press was there, for people who had been hurt 40 days before, or who had been running and wanted to finally finish. We are not marathoners. We were not that part of the news story.

We were there to be a part of it. And it was one day when this 50 year old who will never run a marathon (trust me, I am FAR too slow) could feel like a rock star.

That day will live on. It was our 21st wedding anniversary, by the way. And that is how we spent it.

And that day will live on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLISCIOUS 5/27/2013 10:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for being there!

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DDOORN 5/27/2013 8:43PM

    Such an absolutely WONDERFUL way to honor yourselves and your city...! Very, very cool.


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DDOORN 5/27/2013 8:43PM

    Such an absolutely WONDERFUL way to honor yourselves and your city...! Very, very cool.


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DOGLADY13 5/27/2013 7:59PM

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Dan and I wouldn't go to something like that; we don't go for crowds of people, but I love hearing about them. I'm glad you were there to represent. I'm glad you wrote it down for all of us to share.

And congratulations on your wedding anniversary! Happy Day!


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CODYG123 5/27/2013 7:03PM

    thanks for sharing! emoticon

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PICKIE98 5/27/2013 2:48PM

    You are so cool, you're hot!

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MS.ELENI 5/27/2013 12:39PM

    What an awesome way to spend your 21st anniversary. Wonderful tribute
by the way our 21st is July 4th.

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NUMD97 5/27/2013 12:20PM

    It's an incredible message to the world: The US will not bow to these madmen. And these simple pleasures will continue.

Thanks for posting a very powerful blog.

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BLUEANGELLK 5/27/2013 12:19PM

    Wow. Must have been a powerful experience. Congratulations on taking part in this and on your anniversary.

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There's Nothing Tricky About It/Don't Tell Me This Town Ain't Got No Heart

Monday, May 20, 2013

Two songs today, for the price of one!

We got back from vacation a few days ago. And I am pleased to note that I was able to maintian (and actually lose some inches), even though the diet and exercise opportunities were not necessarily the best.

We have gotten far, far better at vacationing. This is the same Cape Cod hotel we have gone to for, now, 16 years.

Let me tell you what things were like in 1997.

We would go out to HUGE breakfasts every morning. Omelets, pancakes, my husband would have bacon. Lunch was out, usually something fried. Exercise? What, are you nuts? Big dinners out, of course. Cookies at night in the room. Hot tub. Drive everywhere. Lather, rinse, repeat.

This is what things were like this year, and have been for a few years.

Breakfast is oatmeal and fruit, brought from home. Water. Walk to where my husband gets a pizza - and it's for him, only. Lunch is in the room - pizza for him, salad and a smoked turkey sandwich with hummus for me. There's a kitchen in the room so it's all made there, and it's apportioned. Hot tub. No swimming this year as the pool was not open, but we have gone swimming in the past. Dinner is still out, but this year it was a salad and a medium chicken burrito on day one, sushi on day two and Thai on day three. Filling and wonderful all three days, and well within the calorie budget (sushi went over on the sodium budget, but nothing else did). Skim milk and a skinny cow ice cream (portion control, FTW!) at night.

Oh and let's see. My size in 1997 was probably a 22/24. This year it's a 14/16.

Could I be better? Yes. I could be more vigilant and nuttier and stricter. But I was on vacation, so I allowed myself some leeway, but not too much.

I came home to no change in weight but a change in my measurements. They went down.

And this is why I bring food for two meals/day, every day, while on vacation. There is nothing tricky about that.

As for the second song, it's a tribute to Jeff Bauman, who was injured last month at the Marathon. That man is more than just someone who was unlucky that day, just like you and I are far more than our sizes. If someone bothers to just look, then they'll see.

Enjoy George Harrison, and the Grateful Dead.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 5/25/2013 7:37PM

    Dan and I have done vacations like that. We both feel much better at the end. No food hangovers or guilt. Much better.

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DDOORN 5/22/2013 8:18AM

    Thx for fixing the Dead link! :-)


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DDOORN 5/21/2013 7:03AM

    Who could ask for a better vacation than that?

Thx for the links...although I generally followed all the Beatles fairly closely, don't remember that Harrison tune! The link to the 2nd tune didn't work though...couldn't seem to tweak it to make it work. Loved the live Dead stuff with the extended jazzy jams! :-)


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PHEBESS 5/21/2013 1:57AM

    Way to go while on vacation!

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MS.ELENI 5/20/2013 12:27PM

    because of my health and other reasons if I do go out of town I always get a room with kitchen. I usually do not leave the room. I take a lot of food from home so I always have food handy that is better for me than take out.On plus side it also saves money emoticon

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Monday, May 13, 2013

You're so vain.

I'm vain.

We're all vain.

It's normal.

It's probably evolutionary.

After all, you smell better, your clothes or your skin are cleaner or nicer, you're more likely to attract a mate. You smell better, you take better care of your teeth, you live longer. You work out or, as they called it in cave times, you gather or hunt your own food, and you live better and stronger, and longer. You get yourself educated and it makes you happier and you get a better job and you're, again, more likely to attract a mate and you can afford better care and you live longer.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting any or all of these things.

Yet I saw, yet again, recently, someone going on about how plastic surgery is cheating, and diet assistance is wrong and somehow if WE DON'T SUFFER ENOUGH and WE DON'T WEAR THE SCARLET F FOR EVER AND EVER AND EVER then we are somehow, I dunno, unworthy.


Now, I am not advocating starving yourself. I am not advocating having surgeons cut you until you look like a cat, either. And I am certainly not advocating stupid acai berry or green tea scams.


Instead, what I am suggesting, is that you do what it takes to get you where you need to be. And if vanity is the key, then be vain.

Make yourself up in order to get the morning paper vain. 500 pairs of shoes in your closet vain. Put me on a reality show vain.

Do it.

Feel it.

Own it.

Make it work for you. Because anyone who tells you that there is exactly one way to do this, or that one way or another is somehow superior, they are lying, and should be called out as the lying liars that they are.


You wanna be a vegan? Be a vegan. You wanna eat like a caveperson? Then eat like one. You wanna get your cardio in by doing the polka? Then do the Goddamned polka.

What are the basics?

* Diet, as in watch your calories and your portion sizes, and you proportion your choices away from processed garbage and in the direction of real food that a human cooks, as opposed to a factory constructs.
* Exercise, as in you sweat and you get aches and you pant.
* Water, as in you drink it, and you visit the bathroom more than you're used to.
* Salt restriction, as in you read labels and you find yourself eating a lot more real food because sodium is put in for processing more times than you can shake a stick at.
* Weight training, as in you carry heavy stuff, whether it's weights at a gym or your groceries or your kids or the dog or a bunch of books or luggage but you do it and you stop using wheeled carts for most things and you get some aches from that but you go on and you do it anyway.

All of the details, all of the rest of it, is window dressing. And if you want to read about it, or blog about it, or think about it, have at it.

But it really just comes down to those few things and, in the end, motivation often comes down to vanity, or its products, or its effects.

But don't take my word for it.

Hell, you probably think this song is about YOU.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    No more wheeled carts at the market? What a concept. I can do that.

And I can be vain too. Yes I think this blog is about me. Yahoo. Another reason for my list of benefits of losing weight. Thanks Sistah!

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DDOORN 5/14/2013 9:35AM

    Terrific breaking down to the essentials of living a SPARKED life!

And vanity is a wonderful muscle to build after all these years (for myself, at least...and I suspect I have MUCHO company!) of ripping myself up over perfectionistic and unrealistic standards!


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PHEBESS 5/14/2013 12:46AM

    You so crack me up!

And yes, vanity that keeps us from becoming size 58 is a good thing!

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BLUEANGELLK 5/13/2013 7:25PM

    emoticon I'm so vain.....I bet I think this blog is about me....I'm so vain!!! emoticon

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PLMITCH 5/13/2013 3:59PM

    Vanity can be motivating. The key, as you said, is finding what works for each of us. There is no "one size fits all" approach.

Well stated blog!

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CODYG123 5/13/2013 2:56PM

    Thanks for sharing and have a happy reality day. ;)

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MS.ELENI 5/13/2013 11:39AM

    Great blog and so true. emoticon

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From the Past Until Completion

Monday, May 06, 2013

I ran my 40th 5K a few days ago, on Saturday. I shaved over 4 minutes over last week's time and came in nearly exactly the same as when we did this race last year (this is the third year of doing this race), when I weighed 11 pounds less.

Wait, what?

Yeah. Wacky, eh?

Even wackier when you consider how I was 5 1/2 years ago.

Anyway, I had thought of more to write, but the Internet gods ate it and I've gotta get some work done. :)

So enjoy New Order and please support brain cancer research, which is what I was running for.

Saturday will be my 41st 5K. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCHMAIDME 5/7/2013 7:38PM

    The 11 pounds must be muscle. ; )

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PHEBESS 5/7/2013 12:43AM

    You are the racing queen!!!!


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WOLFKITTY 5/6/2013 10:55PM


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WUNMURRA 5/6/2013 5:23PM

    Loved your blog
I too have lost much of what I have typed over the time to the 'internet gods' appetite.

Well done on the run

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WENDYSPARKS 5/6/2013 5:09PM


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THINAGIN2 5/6/2013 4:24PM


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DDOORN 5/6/2013 4:10PM

    Energizer Bunny of the 5Ks! Kudos to ya!


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MS.ELENI 5/6/2013 3:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JMB2LOSE 5/6/2013 3:39PM

  Great job! 40 races is ALOT to be proud of!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 5/6/2013 3:15PM

We may get older but we also get better. emoticon

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You Feel Joy, You Feel Pain 'Cause Nothing Will Be the Same

Monday, April 29, 2013

This peppy song is a part of my 5K playlist. I don't listen to this playlist unless I am running, and we ran a 5K on Saturday so it came up.

It is one of those songs that gets me moving, and it's set at a time during 5Ks when I am not at the start and not at the end, and the runners have spread out and sometimes I wonder what the heck it is I am doing there, and why I do a dozen of these every year. This year, it was even more meaningful, as this was our first race since the tragedy at the Marathon.

It was a charity event, for PKU awareness. If you've ever read the fine print on a sweetener packet, you've likely seen the phrase: phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine. That's a substance that these folks can't metabolize. Intaking it will (eventually, as it builds up over time) kill them. It is a genetic disorder. I don't know anyone who has it. But it's of course an area where people could use support, so we ran.

And I heard that song, as I was huffing along, and had the same old conversation in my head -

Why are you doing this?
Wouldn't you rather spend your Saturday sleeping in?
Or, better yet, going out for brunch?
Pancakes sound nice.
You haven't had pancakes in a while.
Ooohh ... pancakes.

And then I remind myself that, if I am ever going to see a pancake again, I still need to finish the race. So I continue plodding along.

This time, I found myself getting bad fatigue and shin pain when I could see the finish. And that's always ironic - I like to pour it on at the end, and my body was telling me not to.

And then I remembered that there are people who, 2 weeks ago, lost their ability to run or even walk or stand, without help.

So I said, what the hell and I ran anyway.

My hips hurt today, 2 days later. My shins are on and off wonky. Advil is only working sporadically.

But I don't care.

We spend so much of our lives trying to avoid pain. And it is normal and natural to do that. After all, even the tiniest of animals will move away from negative stimuli. It seems foolish, unless you're some sort of masochist (and I am not, in case you were wondering), to go in the direction of pain, and do things, repeatedly, that hurt. Repeatedly.

But as I think about this, and I grab another pair of Advil, I am again reminded that I have shins at all.

So who the hell cares if they hurt a little?

I feel both joy and pain today.

But I feel more joy than I do pain.

Come join me for joy and pain this Saturday. It'll be my 40th 5K. :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IFDEEVARUNS2 5/6/2013 3:18PM

    Thanks for the reminder. I have aches and pains, but you're right, I can run. So I will, and will just pop the Ibuprofen!

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PHEBESS 4/30/2013 9:53AM

    You truly inspire me. I know you don't think that you do - but you do.

Not sure what I'll be doing Saturday, we're currently in Singapore - but I'll think of you on your 40th 5K.

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CAROLISCIOUS 4/29/2013 8:39PM

    Here's to #40...the joy and the pain.

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BLUEANGELLK 4/29/2013 2:31PM

    Good thoughts. Without pain, we wouldn't know how good joy is. Congratulations on #40!

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CDCSMITH2013 4/29/2013 1:25PM

    You are totally my inspiration for my 5K in June (assuming my PT guy give the okay).

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QUAIL75 4/29/2013 1:22PM

    Wow! Your 40th 5K?! That amazing and so motivating! emoticon I'm doing my second in June and I will run it for those who can't.

I love that song! I haven't heard it in a long time and it brings back great memories. emoticon

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SHEENADEE 4/29/2013 12:56PM

    Wow! #40! emoticon

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MS.ELENI 4/29/2013 12:18PM

    emoticon 40 - 5Ks So very awesome. I just think it is so great.

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DDOORN 4/29/2013 11:32AM

    OUCH to your shin pain! I have my one & only annual 5K @ the Binghamton Bridge Run this coming Sunday. Have been out doing some practice jogs and am gearing up for it. Not my thing, but I like committing myself to at least this one 5K a year to mix things up. I like to pour it on at the end too. Doubt I'm going to do as well this year as others...have had a consistent 11 min. mile speed demon, and slowing a bit: But we're OUT THERE and DOING IT! Yeah!

Cool song...hadn't heard before. Thx for the tip! :-)


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