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Survived the Work Day

Friday, December 16, 2011


Got to the end of the work day, and made the major deadlines. There's still a bunch of follow up stuff to do, but by 5:30 pm that was down to stuff I can defer till Monday.

If I'm going to have a last minute fire drill to do things, a Friday in December is a good time to have it. The structure of Paid Time Off ("PTO") with my employer is such that people are incented to hoard days and use them late in the year. This results in few people being around on Fridays in December, which means fewer interruptions. Of course, I would rather have been one of those people refraining from interrupting anyone; but you can't have everything.

I followed the plan of taking a walk at lunch. It really helped my mental outlook, and it did not prevent me from getting done what had to be done. :) It would have been nicer to be running, but it was pretty good weather for walking, too. And I did need the non-running day today.

I get to have a real weekend! Let's see . . . temp is supposed to be 27 F (-3 C) tomorrow morning, with snow flurries. That sounds like great weather for a nice run before meeting my daughter at McDonald's.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 12/16/2011 7:33PM

    There must have been a fire sale on jampacked days . . . I've had a few myself this week. Arrrgh.

But: weekend is looking appealing, and getting to the gym will be high on my priorities list for tomorrow!

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RG_DFW 12/16/2011 7:32PM

    It's 45 outside and I'm dreading going out in a few minutes, brrrr....

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/16/2011 6:40PM

    What Kriszta said! It's supposed to top out at 51 here Sunday... so your Monday may look pretty terrific!

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KRISZTA11 12/16/2011 6:06PM

    Have a beautiful morning run in the snowy morning,
and a nice breakfast with your daughter.

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Busy Thursday

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Work was in hurry up and wait mode much of the day. It was a wait period around noon, so I grabbed the opportunity to get a run in. I cut it a bit short, since there was a lot to do back at the office; 2.93 miles in 21 minutes, for a 7:10 pace per mile. Pretty good for the third day of running in a row. And I can't complain about temps in the 50s for running in mid-December, even if there was a light drizzle off and on.

As planned, the three running days were all lunch hour days, which means shorter runs. Tomorrow will be a day off from running. I will *have* to get a walk at lunch, or I'll go nuts at work; but it might need to be a shorter walk. I'll just have to see how the work flow is going in the morning.

Got a final decision on how to handle the non-routine deadline task about 3:30. That let me start cranking things, but it was a bit of a late start.

I did get some of my paid job work done tonight, before I ran into a more complex issue that I would probably mess up if I tried to deal with it at 9 PM. So the work computer is going back into its bag, having done the job of letting me crank some extra clicks and keystrokes after dinner.

One way or another, I will meet the deadlines tomorrow. Then I can have a real weekend, before plunging into the post-deadline insanity of work on Monday. Or perhaps I'll get lucky and things will happen as they should, instead of as they usually do.

Ah, well. I got my exercise in today, and I finished the day in my nutrition ranges, toward the high end of the calorie range. Just have to do more of the same tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 12/16/2011 7:07AM


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CAVEPRINCESS65 12/15/2011 10:07PM

    emoticon job!

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/15/2011 9:56PM

    Good job... one day at a time, remembering what's important to you, and making it all work! emoticon

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Ready, Fire, Aim!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I'm feeling a time crunch. Monday I had training for my volunteer job doing tax prep and related quality review. That was 5:30 to 9:30 PM, and it ran just a little over. I didn't get to bed until 11:30, an hour past my goal bedtime. Oh, yeah. The pizza with training turned Monday into a cheat day, but not a terrible one. About 500 calories over the top of my range, and my range might still be a little low for as much as I'm running.

I thought about that, and didn't want the late to bed thing to happen in Training Part 2 on Thursday. So yesterday (Tuesday) I went online and did the first part of the certification tests that are less work if I have real software on a local computer instead of the crappy web-based POS software. I figured I'd do the rest tonight, turn in my proof of completion Thursday, and be to bed on time 6 days just like my goal. Oh yeah. Doing that meant staying up till I was getting to bed just before my 10:30 limit, instead of comfortably making up the lost hour by going to bed at 9:30. But I can deal with it, right? I have a plan!

Man plans, and God laughs.

I've got a fire drill at work this week. Friday is a big deadline, and there's been a non-routine task added to the routine fire drill this quarter. Today I got the last piece of information to crank things that will make it possible to meet Friday's deadline. I needed this evening to work on part of cranking things, so I fired up the work computer. All I got done was handling some routine email; but that will save me an hour or so tomorrow morning.

This evening I had the energy audit tech in to finish the home energy audit. He was supposed to be here at 4:30, so I left work early to be here. The tech got delayed by an emergency no heat situation, and wasn't here till 6. So I got dinner and the routine email handled, then dealt with the tech. More routine email after he finished, and a miniscule part of cranking stuff . . . and an email from the boss indicating that there may be a changed decision making me rework some of the cranking. I'll find out tomorrow, but it seems that work is definitely in the mode of Ready, Fire, Aim!

So, just like other blogs I'm reading this evening, I'm experiencing Life Getting in the Way of Fitness Plans. Kind of. I'm still feeling that lost hour of sleep, but I've been back on plan with eating after Monday's indulgence. The good news is, I got a great run in on my lunch hour on yesterday (4.18 miles in 29:10, for a 6:59 pace per mile) and a good run in today (3.63 miles in 26 minutes, for a 7:10 pace per mile). Yesterday I set out to run fast, then kind of lost the idea part way through the run; but I'm happy with the effort. Today was just a run to use the time I had available. Great weather both days, 46 and 47 F and sunny.

I had plans of another run on tomorrow's lunch hour, but that looks like it will not happen given the work situation. I've already sent an email bailing out of volunteer training on Thursday evening. And now I need to get to bed before my nominal deadline, so I'll be well enough rested to have a chance of being in good spirits as I do what must be done to meet the deadlines.

It's the hard decisions that tell us where our true priorities are. It appears that this week, getting some exercise has been a priority. And right now, getting enough sleep has worked its way to the top of my priority list.

Good night, Sparkers!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 12/15/2011 12:51AM

    You are doing great!
Exercising and eating mostly well when work is so demanding is hard.


I remember times not long ago, when I was under very high pressure at job and my natural reaction was less sleep, no exercise and overeating.

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RG_DFW 12/14/2011 9:04PM

    sounds like you deserve the rest!

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/14/2011 8:57PM

    Sleep good. Go sleep! emoticon

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Third Day Running in a Row

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It went pretty much as planned. I got started in the heat of the day, such as it was - 38 F (3 C) and sunny, with a wind out of the south and west. The only minor surprise with clothing was that I needed gloves, while the gloves had stayed in my pockets the last time I ran at 38.

I felt like I was running slow, especially at first. That was OK for a third day, not having done this before. Fumbled to put the gloves on right at the beginning, running into the wind. Ran the big hill the easy direction, then added distance without noticeable hills to make the run come out over a half hour. It mapped out to 4.37 miles in 32 minutes, for a 7:19 pace per mile. That's faster than I felt like I was running, and a decent pace. This being the third day in a row, I wasn't particularly tempted to stretch that to 35 minutes for the next Spark Point.

No issues from the calves at this point, and I'll definitely take tomorrow off from running.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 12/11/2011 5:15PM

    I'm happy it worked so well for you!

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CHANGING-TURTLE 12/11/2011 5:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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Sunday Morning

Sunday, December 11, 2011

It's been an odd morning, and it's still early.

I had strange dreams last night. I don't remember most of the details, but they featured eating snacks at a party and feeling guilty because i wasn't tracking them. This, after deliberately making myself eat to the high end of my range yesterday in honor of my long run.

I had decided that I would see how long I could sleep in past the alarm. The answer turned out to be six minutes. At that point, the text message alert sounded on my cell phone. I'd forgotten to turn it back to vibrate last night. The text turned out to be from my daughter, but no emergency. She's happy that she's healthy enough to return to work today. :)

Weigh-in was at 165.0, a new low and the very bottom of my maintenance range for the Merriest Maintainer challenge. I remember working to get back down to 165 after my first marriage; I think that's the last time I weighed this little. That would be 1983 or 1984, and I certainly wasn't able to run 6 miles then! I probably couldn't have lifted 100 pounds unassisted then, either.

So I got up and started my routine. I noted that the weather was nearly identical to yesterday morning. There's time for a run before church, but my calves are feeling a little heavy. Let's stick with the original plan and defer the run to the afternoon. Jogging up and down the hall while my egg cooks confirms that my right calf is tight with a minor twinge; I need to give it a half day and re-evaluate.

With no running this morning, I decide to vary my breakfast. Instead of my usual oatmeal, let's cook grits. I have them hanging around, and I rarely eat them any more because they don't fit into the nutrition plan smoothly. But the reason they aren't smooth isn't the grits, it's the cheese I normally cook with them. So let's experiment. Try cooking them with milk and unsweetened cocoa, then add raisins just like I do with oatmeal. It worked, and was vaguely reminiscent of chocolate Malt-O-Meal that I recall from childhood.

Oatmeal will remain the staple, but I can toss in grits for variety now. Since this worked, chances are that all the spice variations I've used with oatmeal will work as well.

I don't know what I'm going to do about the weight. I'm reluctant to add yet more calories to my range, as I'm not confidant I'll keep up my current exercise level through the winter. OTOH, I'm coming up on tax season. Training for taxes will feature pizza, which is really easy for me to binge on. Maybe I just let training days be cheat days, and stay on food discipline on other days. That should produce a weight gain over training, that shoudl come back off after training. If it doesn't, I certainly know how to cut calories from the diet to move it along.

OTOH, I can still see a small roll of belly fat and I don't yet see clearly defined abs. So perhaps I have a few pounds that I can still afford to lose. It's nice that they aren't coming off quickly any more; that gives me time to think about how comfortable I am with the revised weight.

Oh, well. Time to be off to church. Then I need to get a run in this afternoon, and think about what I'm doing in the way of food over the next week or so.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEHALLA 12/11/2011 5:56PM

    Really enjoyed your thought process,thanks for sharing your challenges and solutions.

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BOBCATGIRL76 12/11/2011 10:57AM

    I'm having dreams about dieting too! In mine I went out to dinner at Applebee's and couldn't find anything on the menu I could track on my phone. Maybe it's just a good sign that tracking is starting to become ingrained in my life.

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KRISZTA11 12/11/2011 10:53AM

    emoticon to getting weight loss under control, and reaching your new minimum slowly.
I guess alternating perfect days and cheat days may be good for you, at this time of year, when you cannot avoid cheat days anyway.
Good luck with afternoon run!

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FROGGGY13 12/11/2011 10:36AM

    Why not add some of the cheese to your grits, kust not as much? Maybe a stronger cheese where a little goes a long way?
I miss grits, they're not easy to find around these parts.

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WATERMELLEN 12/11/2011 10:07AM

    If you (used to) like grits with cheese, another thought might be to experiment with a savoury version -- say a little low fat feta and some Greek seasoning? or maybe low fat cottage cheese and Italian seasoning? Nice whack 'o protein, too.

Nice work on monitoring the maintenance weight range and paying attention to the calf twinges!

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ARLENE_MOVES 12/11/2011 9:55AM

    Enjoy your day - hope your calf gets better so you can run this afternoon!

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/11/2011 9:10AM

    You are discovering grits the way your nutty sister now cooks them. A cup of skim milk, cook 1/4 cup of grits in it the way I would cream of wheat. Add spices and fruit: breakfast.

I seem to remember finding one spice combination I wasn't crazy about, but for the most part it works.

Hope your half day delay on the run is just what you need. Enjoy your Sunday!

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