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What I'm Reading Right Now...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Good morning!

Had a great workout last night - my H20 Intervals class is the best...and not just because I'm the instructor ;-) We are in the "Insanity Asylum" series and watching folks who could barely get their feet off the floor of the pool POP their rib cages completely out of the water - amazing! emoticon

I'm a big reader, so I have several books going right now. Just thought I'd share.

1. "Sugar Nation: The Hidden Truth Behind America's Deadliest Habit & the Simple Way to Beat It" by Jeff O'Connell. Mr. O is the editor-in-chief of bodybuilding.com, very thin, athletic and pre-diabetic. He's put together a great book about what's really killing diabetics - apathy! A great read if you're diabetic and SERIOUS about taking care of yourself and taking control of your future.

2. "The Fault in our Stars" by John Green. This is a YA novel with heavy subject matter that, so far, has hit me in every soft spot imaginable. I've cried several times and I'm not even halfway through the book - not because the text is necessarily sad, but it has provoked a lot of cathartic emotion in me.

3. "The Athletes Guide to Recovery" and "The Athlete's Guide to Yoga" by Sage Rountree. Good to have for reference, and the yoga DVD is a great one - not too advanced or pose-y

4. Also researching in re the article "How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body." I 100% agree with this statement. Yoga CAN wreck your body, just as any other sport or physical activity can. There is some controversy about the article (from the NYT) and the author's upcoming book - but my thought is that the focus of yoga is gentleness, focus and awareness, and yoga injuries occur when those mantras are crushed under the mantle of ego. It's not yoga, it's ego that leads to injury. (Isn't that pretty much true of many sports injuries?)

5. Reading blogs on SP. Nice to see who is still here and who is re-committing along with me. :) Can't wait.

Music post coming soon.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Hooray for your pool folks! emoticon

I agree that *any* physical activity can lead to injuries. It often freaks me out when people put their "wants" ahead of their "needs" when it comes to exercise. Aren't we all doing it to be healthy?

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BILLALEX70 1/24/2012 9:02AM

    Sounds like some good reading.

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Song of the Day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

At JOPAPGH's request:

"Lonely Boy" by the Black Keys

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOPAPGH 1/24/2012 8:26AM


Mine: "Passenger Seat" by Deathcab for Cutie

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BILLALEX70 1/24/2012 6:20AM

    Glad to see this return !

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BILLALEX70 1/24/2012 6:20AM

    Glad to see this return !

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Checking Back In

Monday, January 23, 2012

*waves* Hi again! Looking at my last blog post, it's been a while since I've been active on Spark. There is certainly an inverse relationship between how busy I am in real life versus how active I am online. Don't worry - my facebook "friends" are often surprised to see me online, too. :)

ANYWAY. What I've been up to recently:

--I've gotten most of my YMCA fitness certifications & am working on a few others. If I could just feel more comfortable with my pilates proficiency, I'd start down that road, but dang it, dont' you just hate when you are troubled by *one* move in a class or practice? Mine is plow. I'm a-workin' on it.

--My weight has crept up a bit, some of it from additional muscle (I teach water "Insanity," boot camp and cycling each week), but some of it is falling into bad habits - eating when tired, eating too late, not getting enough sleep, eating too much, eating too little & having to overcompensate for low blood sugar, etc. It's a process.

--Personal life is buzzing along. My boyfriend is a wonderful person; I don't know why I put up with being treated so poorly in the past - ah, but I *do* know, and I bet some of you can relate.

--My last A1c was 5.8 emoticon and all of my blood numbers are in the optimal range. I'm going to make this a forever thing.

--The lower A1c has not cured my progressive diabetic retinopathy, but right now there is little to be done without risk of blind spots. So, we wait until it's a disability rather than an annoyance.

--My goal for the rest of January: Rest as much as possible and eat better.

What have you been up to? I know some folks are losing, some are re-committing to the program...let me know your good news!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I modify so many exercise moves that it never occurred to me how hard it must be for fitness professionals to meet those requirements. Know that you are super-human for being able to get so *many* moves down! :)

I, too, have a hard time with eating when tired. Sometimes I am tired specifically because my blood sugar is low, so I do need that food but...how much? And how long do I wait to know whether or not it was enough? As you said, it's a process.

Hooray for being treated well! You (we all!) deserve it!

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MIAMIA7 1/23/2012 8:13PM

    Welcome back Donna. I have continued with my exercise but need to clean up my eating habits. Hope to lose 10 lbs. Sounds like most things are going well for you. So glad.

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BOBBYD31 1/23/2012 8:07PM

    hey donna, glad to see you back here but i admit i am missing more than ever. working on getting healthy to run JASR, been off the better part of the last 9 months.
i look forward to hearing more from you but sounds like things are goomng well

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BNSUHAS 1/23/2012 9:49AM

    Glad to hear you are doing well and excellent A1c! Best of luck :)

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JOPAPGH 1/23/2012 9:26AM

    Hey Donna, great to see you here. I have also recommited to Spark, but have yet to blog this year. Maybe the end of the month.

I am seeing good progress from tracking my food again and exercising at least 30 minutes a day, biking, running or walking. Down 6 lbs year to date.

When do we see the Song of the Day blogs again?

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BUCKEYESKIER 1/23/2012 9:05AM

    It was great to see you on Saturday and to see you back on SP!

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LANNIEMANUEL 1/23/2012 8:42AM

    glad to hear you are back and in a stable relationship.

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Trying a New Path

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

emoticon Hello Spark friends! I am trying hard to think of something super-interesting, kitschy and fun to write, but I think I am clean out of wit, if not brevity.

A few bullet points for an update:

--This month's goal is to weigh myself each morning, which I am doing an admirable job meeting with the 5am wake-up call Monday-Friday.

--Morning workouts are going very well. I feel better and am quite a bit stronger stability-balance-agility wise than I was at the end of 2010.

--I am filling in as a sub for cycling/interval classes at the downtown YMCA and fervently hoping for a regular assignment. The fitness director told me I was the best-trained non-instructor they had & she would find me a regular slot. Which means....

--I can haz THREE jobs? emoticon *fwump*

--The IT band & hip appear to be completely rehabbed (thank goodness for that 6:15am cardio muscle class). However, I think my 40-mile/week regimen may be over for good. emoticon My body simply is made for variety, I feel, and I will be able to run up to half-marathons with a 15-mile/week goal.

--I have to have laser surgery on my *other* eye next week. Niiiice. Less stressed about it than that first time, since the left eye came back very nicely.

How are you doing? Gimme a line or two! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILLALEX70 4/13/2011 5:10AM

    Glad to see you around!

I'd look at the Y thing as getting paid to do something you're going to do anyhow, so win-win. As you know I'm knee deep in training right now, but only one more mega-mile run before taper. Hard to believe all of this training is about to come to fruition.

Hope the surgery goes well and recovery is brief.

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BOBBYD31 4/12/2011 11:08PM

    3 jobs you crazy woman but with the spinning you just want to torture someone else for a change. good luck with the eye surgery, i hope it goes as well as the other one did. take care

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GRAMMAP1 4/12/2011 10:37PM

    I admire what all you are doing. Being 75 my activities are limited and the weight is hanging on. I wish I had started this in my 60s. That is when the weight started coming fast and furiously. Bless you. Jane

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DEVOTEEOFISET 4/12/2011 9:12PM

    Good Job with the 5 AM wake up call!
** Oooo, I hope you get the regular gig** and all the best for the surgery on the other.

Keep up the good work!!! :)

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HJFOGARTY 4/12/2011 9:09PM

    sounds like you are well on your way to a complete recovery - I had IT band issues while training for my first 1/2 and I was so glad just to finish my race - been careful ever since to not have it happen again - better planning was my key - wishing you continued success! take care of you and hope the eye surgery goes very well for you! stay strong

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Race Report: Just a Short Run, Pittsburgh, March 26, 2011

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Holy frijoles. I am still trying to catch my breath after all the whirlwind that has been the first quarter of 2011. So much stuff! So little time!

ANYWAY. My first event of the year was planned long ago - the Just a Short Run race in Pittsburgh. Last year was the Sparkpeople inaugural, with about a dozen participants. This year? WHOA. Don't know the final count, but it was at least 5x that. Thanks once again to Bob, Anne, Lynn, John, Jan and all the other logistics/planning people!

This is a great event (plug, plug for you all in the area) because there are a variety of races to choose from - 5K, 8.1mile, half-marathon and 30K - and for western PA, it's a flat course. I think Ohio would call this "mostly flat, with some rolling hills." The course is scenic - when there is water in the lake, haha! - and it's all paved roads. We had a group rate for the hotel, and it has a free deluxe breakfast. I doubt when they had us sign that "no hotel parties" contract they anticipated our descending en masse to the breakfast bar at 6:15am! emoticon

My race? Probably shouldn't have happened. I'd been quite sick in the week before with a respiratory/sinus infection, not able to jog more than a mile without intense chest pain & coughing, but I was determined that I would do this race, and do the 8.1 miler I'd signed up for. So I sat in the car, trying to stay warm, willing my lungs to work properly for 90 minutes., willing my legs to slow down enough to keep the bronchii happy. Missed the pre-race Spark meetup, but knew that the less cold air in my lungs, the better. Walked up to the starting line with John & hoped for the best (as was he, coming back from injury).

You know what is weird? Trying to run below your usual pace is just as tough as trying to break your usual pace. Like inertia slows you down even more. Also, hurty on the knees and ankles. I toughed it out on the run until my chest hurt so much I couldn't take it, then walked & coughed like a 50-year smoker until I could run again. About 1.5 miles of my race was spent walking. :(

I plucked up enough to notice a couple of Sparkers in my pace range - SMILEITSALLGOOD and BAM0827 - and asked if I could pace with them. Thankfully, they agreed and I got through several miles comfortably, making small talk. I might have ended up a DNF if it weren't for Bonnie and Britt! emoticon

In the last mile, my lungs did finally give out and I let them go while I walked/hacked/jogged. Jan checked on me, but I was definitely okay aside from the rebel bronchii.

Do I know my time? Nope! Do I care? Nope! Did I do it? Yep! That will have to be good enough this time. Next year - it's ON! emoticon

Later that day, we headed out for an early lunch at Primanti Brothers (pizza!) and then into the city to Frick Park. My boyfriend? Doesn't run. Ever. He does walk, and he put two more miles on me! (Evil.) (He's rail-thin, too. Super-evil.) (And eats whatever he wants. Mega-evil.)

Saturday night's post-race party was held at the local Second Sole store, with food, drinks and cake. Didn't stay too long due to general fatigue, but it was fun to mingle and talk and meet and greet. Spark parties and get togethers are less awkward than other meetups, even if you don't know many people. You know that you will have several things in common with the other attendees - health, fitness, positive attitude - in addition to *just* being a Spark member.

Hopefully, this event will keep expanding - we had Spark Coaches Nicole and Nancy there as well as people from all over - maybe Chris Downie will join us, or maybe the site will host a Spark convention in the 'Burgh.

Here's to everyone who made this weekend a great one!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHRINE2010 4/4/2011 5:32PM

    Hope you are feeling better. Pittsburgh has all kinds of wonderful events like that. Come on back for some more!!

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BILLALEX70 4/4/2011 6:05AM

    Way to rock it! Even sick you're a warrior and that's no surprise to those of us who know you well.

It was nice to finally meet the BF and chat with him a bit. Glad you had a good weekend away and looking forward to another time we can meet up.

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BOBBYD31 4/3/2011 8:41PM

    donna i hope your feeling better now. sorry it was such a rough race for ya but like you said next year! i think i have to agree with you about your boyfriend being evil, that is just not right how some people can be that and eat what ever they want. sorry i didn't get to spent much time with you this year, take care!

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BAM0827 4/3/2011 8:28PM

    OMG, I know you said you weren't feeling well but I thought it was an injury, like foot or something. Bronchial is awful in that cold weather - kudos to you!

As Bonnie said, thanks for joining us. I think I may have walked more if you hadn't been there. :) So I guess we pushed each other! Spark support at it's finest!

I'm also glad you got to visit Pittsburgh a little!

Hope you're feeling 100%

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MIAMIA7 4/3/2011 8:13PM

    Donna-What a way to power through! Amazing that you did! I have asthma so I know how difficult that can be. Sorry we didn't get to talk more but glad you had a great time while in Pittsburgh! Can't wait until next year!

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    Hi Donna! Great blog. I was happy you joined up with us for while. It really helped since we probably would of walked more in those miles without you there. Sorry the crud got to you at the end, but so glad you finished.

Hopefully we can meet up again at the next event.

Keep on Sparking!


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BEANPOD77 4/2/2011 11:11AM

    Hi Donna! Great blog. Congrats on completing your race. You did awesome..with all that crud in your chest you still hung in there..Not sure I would have ..That first hill was almost enough to stop me! In SW Ontario, we just dont have hills!
I have loved reading everyone's experience of that weekend. I had a blast! Don't think we had an opportunity to meet in person at JASR? It was my first time, and my first Spark event. I found everyone so welcoming. I didnt make the Fri. dinner or the Sat. lunch and was a bit shy at the after race get together...but really enjoyed myself. I second your shout out to the organizers and all the Pittsburgh area folks that put so much work into making this an event to remember.Hope we can meet next year..I plan on returning and am hoping to bring a few with me :-)
Hope you feel better soon emoticon

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DJS-DEBBIE 4/2/2011 11:03AM

    I am in awe of you! You did great considering how you were feeling. I am already looking forward to next year!

And wouldn't a convention be awesome!

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LYNNANN43 4/2/2011 10:46AM

    Donna, why weren't you in the Rose Barn with us before the race?! It was SUPER heated!!!!! WAAAAAAY better that sitting in the car!!!!

That aside, I'm so glad you still came even with that stupid lingering crud you have:D

And speaking of evil men, Hubs has worn the same 33" waist Levi's since I've known him at 16 years old! UGH!

Feel ALL better soon!

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