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Thursday that feels like Friday

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today I'm going to be the weird Nebraskan that I am. Tomorrow our state celebrates a holiday that nobody else does. It's a joke in movies and TV shows: Arbor Day!

State offices actually shut down. Although they moved it from the traditional April 22 a few years back to make it a Friday holiday, it is officially still for the same purpose: go out and plant trees.

So, today I'll go to work, and tomorrow, I have choices! I'm thinking tomorrow, if the weather is even HALF decent, I'll hike over to my sister's place to check out the family heritage iris. Would you believe our Spring is so early the Iris club has called off their late May regional convention, according to my sis. Because there won't be gardens at the right growing phase to tour by then!

Have a great Spark Day all! Keep taking care of you... for the best possible reason... because you're worth it!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMETER 4/28/2012 6:55AM

    Three cheers for weird Nebraskans! And I hope you had a swell day off.

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_LINDA 4/28/2012 12:27AM

    Irises are so pretty. Lucky you to have something other then blowing dirt and brown grass to look at on a walk..

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MNTWINSGAL 4/27/2012 12:36AM

    Here in Minnesota Arbor Day isn't "legally" celebrated....offices are still open, etc. But when my kids were young and I ran a licensed day care out of my home, we planted trees every year. I drive past the house we then lived in sometimes and the ones that we planted in my yard are still there. Others were pot-planted and sent home with various "clients." I wonder if any of them made the transition into their yards? And if they are still standing?

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1CRAZYDOG 4/26/2012 9:47AM

  Hope you have a wonderful Arbor Day! Plant (or hug) a tree! LOL

Yes, everything here is blooming way early. I don't know what's going to happen with the asparagus crop but it's way ahead of schedule. Not bitten by the one frost we've already had, but fingers crossed. The price of asparagus in the market is ridiculous!

Ok, off to get Mr. Spot walked (me too!)

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MIRAGE727 4/26/2012 9:28AM

    Because I'm married to a Nebraskan from Lincoln, I know Arbor Day started in Nebraska City, NE. Go Big Red!
Here's a news flash. I live in Dunedin, FL now. As I am on a City Committee, I know The City of Dunedin places great importance on being designated a "Tree City USA" and celebrates Arbor Day. They also have a huge tree giveaway as part of the celebration. Furthermore, if you take down a diseased or dead tree on your property, you must replace it with another. I am proud to live in this Paradise.

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KALIGIRL 4/26/2012 8:33AM

    Fun! Hope you're enjoying this fabulous weather.

Didn't send out a bike ride notice because we're headed to the Spring Affair - we need more plants like a hole in the head, but it's such a fun event just to see the folks and yard art.

Have a great weekend.

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LEANJEAN6 4/26/2012 8:01AM

    You are good ----- I didn't realize you are in Nebraska--wonder how yer weather compares to ours--Lynda

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WATERMELLEN 4/26/2012 7:57AM

    Not planting a tree? Hmmmm. Would building an arbour count? And: what happened to that "u" anyhow??

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FITFABJENN 4/26/2012 7:39AM

    Well happy Arbor Day, friend!

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MSLZZY 4/26/2012 7:26AM

    Yes, and how about all those tulip festivals? Will there
be any tulips left blooming by then?
Have a great Arbor Day!

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Yesterday I took one look at the forecast and the sky, and decided to hike home in my shirtsleeves and jeans after work. I nearly got mowed down by a co-worker who was out biking, having finished his shift an hour before I finish mine (ok, it wasn't really anywhere close to getting mowed down, but I like to give him a hard time).

The clouds and sky... incredible. The peace and quiet on the new section of bike trail they have re-done since the great flood control project was amazing. I did break out the book and read during one "recovery" pace period or two... and in the end got home about 110 minutes after leaving work.

It felt good. I showered, stretched and went to bed early. Propped up on the pillows with my laptop I exchanged IM's with my daughter in law for a bit, but still was asleep on schedule. This morning I woke well rested and decided to leave early enough to give myself the option to walk all the way. Only I got about three blocks along and discovered I'd forgot my lunch!

Reverse course... back to the house, pick up the lunch bag, start over. Go a different way. Now it was a bit of a race... would I make it to work on time? Would I wimp out and catch a bus partway there?

I meandered across a nearby college campus, under its bell tower, and kept on walking to a McDonald's for a pit stop and their 65 cent premium roast coffee. First time I'd tried it, and I carried it out to see the bus slide on by! Oh, well, I was committed now!

Picked up the bike path again, and cruised on the rest of the way to work, trotted up the stairs to my 4th floor cubicle and... ta-da! Made it on the dot of my official start time. I felt victorious. All day long.

And... for those of you keeping track... the iris, the big hybrids? Full bloom, some of 'em! Bleeding hearts? Yeppers, full bloom. Seems to me things are springing a few weeks early this year. They might be shocked over the weekend, as it's supposed to get back to more seasonal temps.

Yep, no matter that the nose drips. I love the Springtime. I love walking, the pace at which you see more of life. I love NOT wearing headphones, so I hear the sound-track of the life around me. Birds. Bicycle bells. The animals in the Children's Zoo as I walk past. And traffic zipping by on the roads.

Life *is* good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 4/26/2012 6:54AM

    Spring is my favorite time year, when everything comes back to life. emoticon

Reading about your walk to work was like reading an adventure story. No wonder you kept the feeling of victory all day long! emoticon

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MRS.DOYLE 4/26/2012 3:27AM

    I used to love walking to and from work when I was still working full-time. It was a great way to exercise and much more civilised than using the buses. Now I make myself go out for a long walk each day to keep up the exercise minutes.

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_LINDA 4/26/2012 2:49AM

    Well done! A campus is such a lovely place to walk, ours is just amazing! Glad you can find enjoyment out of it in spite of the allergy hassle..
With our wacky up and down weather, not sure if anything is blooming. Crocuses and tulips are the first, but have not seen any so far...

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MSLZZY 4/25/2012 10:34PM


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ALOHAEV1 4/25/2012 9:29PM

    How lucky are you to live in such a cool place? Thanks for letting us walk along with you, I had to have my kleenex with me too!

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WATERMELLEN 4/25/2012 8:48PM

    This is my absolute fave time of the year here too . . . quite a bit behind your schedule (we're still at green fuzz, hyacinths, daffodils, tulips -- bleeding heart and iris not happening for awhile).

But I love every minute of it, and like you prefer the original sound track too!

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BARBAELLEN 4/25/2012 8:33PM

    For sure, a beautiful Spring day is right at the top of the list of spirit-lifting remedies. Glad you had the opportunity to soak it in!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/25/2012 8:06PM

  Sounds like you had a good walk despite the allergies!


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Reminders to myself for today

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Remember the old peace corps slogan, "give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime"?

This can be applied on so many levels... from eating and exercise (modeling good habits) to budgeting (living within our means) to work and study habits. Most people learn by watching. If I model good behaviors, and get good results, it's a whole lot more powerful than talking someone's ear off!

Right now I need to model better food choices for myself, and my mantra for today is "I feel better when I eat better." It's bald, unvarnished truth: I do.

So, short blog, simple reminders to get me through ONE day. Today. May it be a great day for you all, too! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 4/26/2012 2:53AM

    Amen. Hold that thought and live it to the max!

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WATERMELLEN 4/25/2012 8:50PM

    I feel better when I eat potato chips: right at that moment. Darn.

I feel better later when I have NOT eaten potato chips! Have to keep reminding myself of that.

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REJ7777 4/25/2012 6:00PM

    Thanks for being a good model for those of us who read and enjoy your blogs. emoticon

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ANDI571 4/25/2012 11:24AM

    I like how you added budgeting into the mix. Food and money are the two things I am trying to get balanced. I have always been one that if I am eating right, I am spending money. If I am saving money, I am eating wrong. Trying to get both on the same trek is not easy.

We can do it Barb. We have all the tools we need. Now to just use them.

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COMETER 4/25/2012 7:22AM

    I DO feel better when I eat better!

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MSLZZY 4/25/2012 6:36AM


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KARIDIAN1 4/25/2012 12:52AM

    I am trying hard to stay in my limits, but sometimes life happens.

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MNTWINSGAL 4/24/2012 11:20PM

    Yep - You only need a little nudge. And you are always so good at nudging youself into that all-important first step. Tomorrow, back to the best choices for you!

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EBEAMS 4/24/2012 8:31PM

    You know it ... cuz tomorrow isn't promised and today isn't yet through ... One day at a time!

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DEBRA0818 4/24/2012 6:20PM

    ODAT is the only way it gets done. In a certain sense, we are always at emoticon, right?!


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SUNNY332 4/24/2012 5:47PM

    I agree 100%. I just read an article today on clean eating. It said you could reduce your daily calories by 65% if you ate clean/raw. That is something to think about. Plus, it said the nutrients were better absorbed and used when eaten clean/raw.

Take care and keep up the great work.

Hugs, Sunny

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1CRAZYDOG 4/24/2012 11:43AM

  Great blog! That's my motivator when I'm tempted to eat something I know is not a wise choice. I know I won't feel good afterwards, so I just hold onto that thought and make the right choice.

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MIZCATHI 4/24/2012 9:50AM

    It's definitely true! I love my morning routines, really starts my day off right. Up early, read or play with the dogs, coffee on the patio, gym, shower, breakfast and out the door early.

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KATHRYNLP 4/24/2012 9:26AM

    We are what we eat... emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/24/2012 8:55AM

    "I feel better when I eat better."

Me, too! I just don't seem to retain that thought as consistently as I'd like. I think I will adopt that mantra for myself today, too, Barb.

Make it a great day!

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DOOBIE893 4/24/2012 8:17AM


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KALIGIRL 4/24/2012 8:11AM

    Here's to one day @ a time!

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LEANJEAN6 4/24/2012 8:07AM

    Eat healthy girl!!!---a great reminder!!! I'm with you on that!!! Thank-you-Lynda emoticon

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COOKIE352 4/24/2012 8:06AM

    Great attitude emoticon

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Decision points and the princes of Serendip...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I wanted to do my "long walk" outdoors, rather than on the treadmill, because let's face it, the treadmill is easier to "phone it in". So, I got my act together, and stepped out the door into misty rain. I had a 12 mile map in my pocket and plans to be out for between 3 and 4 hours.

My whiny side wasn't thrilled with getting wet and chilly, but I reminded myself firmly that if it is raining two weeks from tomorrow, I will put on the rain gear and "do it" anyway.

I got to the first decision point about direction to turn, and the tug of knowing there were nature stops one way and not known the other made my decision for me. I turned in the direction of where I knew a road race was being run this morning. As it happened, I was there in time for a quick pit stop before the runners got truly started, and I walked the sidewalks alongside the road full of runners.

They clearly had me outpaced (it was two races being run simultaneously... a 2 mile, and a 10 K). When they split off the two milers I kept on parallel with the 10K runners. When they turned, I kept on, and picked up the bike trails and neighborhoods hopping parks as I went along.

My long loop with all the options ended up shy of the 12 miles originally planned, but I was out for a full 3 hours. I figured it up (according to my GPS) at about 10.75 miles. The "about" is because I ran out of battery life! And by then, bright sunshine. All in all, a very satisfactory prep walk.

Stretched really well after, hydrated and had lunch. Now... maybe a nap? Hope you're all having a good Spark day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 4/23/2012 10:21PM

    emoticon to get out the door and do it! emoticon Barb! I can't walk that far!

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REJ7777 4/23/2012 9:16PM

    emoticon I think you deserved a nap after a 10,75 mile walk in the rain. You must have felt so good, afterwards, to have actually gotten out there and DONE it! emoticon

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MIZCATHI 4/23/2012 5:46PM

    Wow, you rock! You were looking for inspiration, and there it was right there for you.

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KALIGIRL 4/23/2012 8:48AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Sounds like a great prep!

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SLENDERELLA61 4/22/2012 8:25PM

    Great walk!! I don't think I've ever done a 3 hour walk. That sounds like something I need to tackle soon. Thanks for suggesting a new goal. -Marsha

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SUE_2U 4/22/2012 3:15PM

    Wow what a great trek for you! Ending in sunshine, too! emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 4/22/2012 9:23AM


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MSLZZY 4/22/2012 7:43AM


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MEDDYPEDDY 4/22/2012 1:30AM

    We are having a cold and boring rain here today - IŽll think of you and try to get out in it anyway...

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EBEAMS 4/21/2012 11:00PM

    Very nicely done! Way to just go do it! I'm hugely impressed ... oh, and I've finally figured out that when running in the rain or sprinkles to just try and enjoy the moist feeling ... eventually, whether it is dry or wet, I end up soaked either way! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 4/21/2012 9:54PM

    Sounds like a nice long walk. Glad you did it.

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WATERMELLEN 4/21/2012 8:37PM

    Nice! It was coooool and damp here today too: so my main workout was at the gym (elliptical and upper body free weights and stretching). But then Charlie and DH and I went for a long long walk in a spring swamp as well. I just love being outside regardless of weather when the leaves are practially unfolding in front of my eyes.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/21/2012 5:27PM

  Awesome! Hope you got that quick nap in!

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MAGGIE101857 4/21/2012 5:00PM

    Great job - I did the treadmill today for 13 miles - knees were a little achy and I figured that would be easier on them. But that means I need to get my butt outside for shorter run the next two weeks before the HM!!

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_LINDA 4/21/2012 3:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
a nap sounds about right! emoticonWay to walk it!!
I can't wait to get out on the trails! The sunshine has finally found us and I have a very brief lull in work to enjoy :)

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Ready or not, in 16 days...

Friday, April 20, 2012

My second half marathon. In December, when the e-mail came announcing that registration was open, I signed up on the first day. I remembered the thrill of finishing last year. The couple of days of moving a little slow after, but the grin that lasted a month, I swear.

Was it wise, given my aspirations for the Tri in July? At this point, I'm not sure. I know I am fit enough to walk the 13.1 miles. I make zero promises about finishing time, because I have no clue how much I'll jog how much just walk. If I want to guarantee a finish, I'll walk nearly the whole thing.

But if I wish to guarantee my ability to finish training for that Tri? I may be playing a "safety first" game with the half. And you know what? That's OK.

The competition is NOT a single day. It is not a single race. It is not with the other racers. It is with myself. It is a competition of character, of keeping promises to myself!

To US, fellow Sparkers. To living our lives, our way... fit, healthy, strong... the best we can be... to be the people we most desire and need to be. To purpose. To goals. To LIFE!

Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 4/22/2012 8:29PM

    What an awesome philosophy! You are so right. The race is not one day. The race is life, is health, is fitness.... I love the commitment to character and promises to yourself. This is an incredible blog. I voted for it. -Marsha

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EBEAMS 4/21/2012 10:52PM

    You are so right ... You are already a hero for your dedication and commitment to yourself! You care enough about yourself to explore your mental process and figure out what is right for you, what isn't right for you and not try to do everything to 100%! Giving ourselves permission to be what we are capable of being is so much more beneficial than pushing ourselves to be what we might never be ... there's no comparison! I'll say it again ... You are already a hero! Hugs!

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WATERMELLEN 4/21/2012 8:34PM

    For I have promises to keep . . . the most important ones are always to ourselves!

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REJ7777 4/21/2012 6:34AM

    It sounds like you have a balanced, workable plan. Why am I not surprised? emoticon

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DEBRA0818 4/20/2012 12:41PM

    Whosh! The time goes by and before you know it, you'll be post-race receiving congratulations from everyone for a great job and you will know the thrill of accomplishing something really tremendous for your health and for your life!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/20/2012 10:42AM

    Yes, you are absolutely not competing against the others. This is something you're doing for you. Who cares if you walk the whole thing? You'll still accomplish your goal of completing it without risking a set-back in your Tri training. Great way to work it out, Barb!

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1CRAZYDOG 4/20/2012 9:53AM

  Good luck to you! I am proud of you for doing it YOUR way and not stressing about your time, etc. Sometimes we put so dang much pressure on ourselves. Whatever you do, you'll do fine. Keep it up!


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KRISZTA11 4/20/2012 8:00AM

    Good luck to the half marathon!
If you plan to walk a lot and jog less, then I don't think there is a risk of getting injured and you'll recover in time for your Triathlon in July.
Congrats to your consistent, long-term healthy lifestyle!

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_LINDA 4/20/2012 7:58AM

    Well done Barb, you got your head screwed on straight with that amazing attitude!
I get the feeling you are going to rock this race!!
Go, Barb, GO!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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