Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I got the day off to wait for ac repairmen again. They were here, done and gone in a flash, which left me free to go buy shoes! Yaaay for me! I live out in the sticks, so my careful research on Runners' World and other websites didn't do me a bit of good. I went to several stores and ended up settling on the following two:
Size 10 (yikes, my feet have grown!) Nike Flex. They have breathing holes, which I may have previously rejected as making them fragile, but Western Oregon gets hot as blazes 3 months of the year. Alas, these breathing holes have hot pink fabric peeking flirtily through them... and the shoes also have hot pink laces. I can't believe I am wearing trendy, brand name black and hot pink shoes. Where is my tutu?
When I picked them up in the store, I wondered if they might be kind of hard and flat, but as soon as I tried them on, I realized that they were good for me. As an under-pronator, I have problems with arch supports encouraging my ankles to wander even farther outwards as I land smack on my fifth metatarsals.
The Nike's toe box isn't particularly wide; I couldn't possibly wear this in a 9.5. The only reason a 10 works is because I have the laces loose at the proximal end of the metatarsals.
Size 9.5 D New Balance 580V3. These are a lot less fashionable, and also feel a bit loose in the heel, but they have a nice roomy toe box, which is important for me. I intend to rotate these shoes with the Nikes and to wear neither one of them to work. I promise!
I ran today in the Nikes, intending to follow the beginner's 5k plan here on Spark. It is 3 minutes of running, followed by 1 minute of walking, followed by 3 minutes of running, followed by 1 minute of walking... ad nauseum... oh, not really ad nauseum. It says in the directions to do this for 32 minutes. Apparently my stomach read ad nauseum. I had just increased my speed to a 10.35 min mile (which I can't maintain for more than a minute), when I suddenly had to throw up. So I stopped the treadmill, did what I needed to do and came back to finish my 32 minutes (which I did at a slow jog and 17 min/mile walk) I felt like I was cheating when I entered my time, which was 13.8 minute miles. I would have been penalized for my stop if I were in an actual race!
I went upstairs and checked my blood pressure. Very good: 115/72. Pulse 117. Face beet red, though, and I had trouble breathing. It was about 1 hour 45 min after a normal lunch. I have been working on the treadmill at the YMCA or just walking outside. I just used my own treadmill today for the first time since we moved it out of our home gym (which leaked this winter) into a storage room. My husband is out of town and I wanted to move the treadmill back into the gym but couldn't get it out of the door so I just left it in the storage room. There are oil paints in boxes in there. I didn't think they'd bother me, but I think that is what the problem was.
Has that every happened to any of you? Oh, well. I am not discouraged. I got my email letting me register for the BLC today and I can always go back to the YMCA until my husband returns and helps me get the treadmill back in the gym.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I just started jogging on the treadmill more than 1 minute at a time last week and I just registered for my first 5k tonight. My right ankle has hurt since that 9.5 minute treadmill run, when I happened to be wearing shoes I bought at a thrift store. It doesn't matter that I might not be being prudent. I, who am normally a worry-wort, am not feeling the least bit prudent. I want to do this. So I am buying shoes this week.
The 5k I picked is on a course I've walked a couple times, Alton Baker Park in Eugene, Oregon on June 23rd. It's a reasonable-for-Oregon path, part along grass and gardens, part along the Willamette river. It's a good enough path so my ankles should be fairly safe if I'm wearing decent shoes and I pay sharp attention. (I'm an under-pronater.) There are no hills. The only real hazards here are slippery duck poop, slippery moss, trippery roots poking up through the path and people who were tripping moments before and now won't move out of your way, so you have to veer around them on soggy grass.
To make it extra cool and meaningful, I can Pre-meditate before the race on Pre's Trail, named after University of Oregon/Olymian track legend Steve Prefontaine. This is a bark path just a few hundred meters away. Prefontaine himself used to run on the same path the 5k will be held on, also. I would NEVER compare an oaf like me to him in terms of athleticism, but he was also an idealist, and volunteered time at schools and a local prison. He honestly wanted to do good. And in that way, I feel connected and honored to make my first run on his turf, whether I am "ready" or not!
P.S. There is also a "Grapes of Half" race the same day, but since it is half a marathon and half a hundred dollars, I decided I was REALLY unready for that one. It includes several stops at wineries. I might be too tempted, if my ankle acts up, to stop and never start again.
I will also skip the next local race, the Dirty Dash, which includes mud pits. Apparently they INTEND for you to fall down. From the advertisement:
"Donít let your life get stuck on the slow boat cuz of your own dirt drought, filth famine, or slop shortage. Youíve got big pants to fill and you arenít gonna fill Ďem wearing padded spandex tri shorts, swimming through crystal clear waters and road racing for 13 miles of pavement pounding agony. The only way you fulfill your dirty destiny is by belly-flopping into a mud pit and breast-stroking your way to a mud makeover courtesy of The Dirty Dash... Unlike most races where you emerge a little leaner but with labored breathing and a lifeless look in your eye, youíll finish our race 5 pounds heavier, 3 times homelier, and 20 times happier. Youíll be Tweeting about it so loud the Ducks will think itís a mating call."
Um. No thanks. Maybe 30 years ago. But not now, thankyouverymuch.
Monday, May 13, 2013
These Days are Ours... ours.. ours....
I can't help myself. I just have to interrupt my own math homework to slick back my hair, strike poses and sing "These Days are Ours... ours, ours.... Happy Days!"
Lawd help me when I run a nursing home.
Yesterday morning was Mothers' Day so it was our idea to lavish attention on the wife of a patient. She has Alzheimer's. I massaged her feet while she watched a TV game show in which very large people in strange, shiny, custom-made swimsuits "dived" (more like prayed while falling) off a diving board. She hummed gospel music. I asked her what the name of her church was again and said maybe I could get permission to drive her there one Sunday. I vaguely remember she went to a tiny Pentecostal church way the heck out of town. I doubt I'd really get permission. But I can pretend I can, can't I? Just to make her happy?
She brightened up quite a bit. She loved the choir there! She and the other ladies carried on so! ... but she couldn't remember the name of the church... oh, just give it a minute... oh, oh, darn... oh... oh... "Happy Days!"
I kept a straight face and we talked about it some more. She was convinced that was it. Ah, well. I picked octopuses off one navy midshipman's trousers once and threw them off the balcony because he was afraid they were coming after his face. He was happy once they were gone. If this lady wants to believe she had a church led by the Fonz, more power to her!
In fact, I like this power of positive thinking stuff. I doesn't appear to be working for my thigh-slimming, but maybe if she can get Fonzie for her church, I can get more entertainment at my shul. When my rabbi retires, I want Jon Stewart and Bette Midler to be co-rabbis at my shul. Not too much to ask, is it? Eugene is a beautiful place. Very green, good for the lungs to breathe such nice, clean air while jogging along riverside paths. It will rejuvenate them after breathing in LA fumes. I think I'll start writing my letters to them now...
Friday, May 10, 2013
I got the dreaded letter last night. The piece of mail I've been waiting for all year, the one that says my last hope into nursing school was dashed. I kind of knew it already. I've been having manual labor dreams for weeks. I've been driving forklifts, loading trucks, repairing hinges, fixing broken fuel pumps. I've done farm labor and I've been an auto mechanic. I've done blue collar work most of my life. My head was telling me I should plan on going back to that because at almost 48 years old, no one was suddenly going to let me into another world.
Sure, I've done SOME white collar, but it's been dominated by the blue, because the blue paid my bills while I was a single mother (18 years). I thought I was doing the right thing then, keeping us in a nice home, bringing home groceries, paying the mortgage. My kids never went without. The traditional papa and mama roles were blurred in our home - I was the husband and the wife, the bread-winner and the bread-baker... and my resume reads that way. I ran the front and back of the house. Maybe people reading my resume imagine me as a whip-cracking no-nonsense people-pusher, who gets things done, and not as a nice person at all. Or maybe I'm just too old.
Anyway, despite my 3.98 grade average, despite the fact that I was chosen by anatomy teachers and the science resource center as an exceptional student to tutor other anatomy students, I was not chosen as a nursing student. A few of the students I tutored were. My mother and husband think my age had a lot to do with it.
Until I got the letter, I didn't particularly know what I was going to do.
For about ten minutes I was devastated. I admit my first inclination was to swear off eating ever, ever again. (Twice when I was an impressionable preteen I did this and dropped ridiculous weight. My early relationship to food was to love it to the point where I was 20 pounds over or to give it up because I didn't deserve it at all.) But I'm not naturally a drama queen anymore, so the temptation to make headlines by starving until someone took me as a nursing student didn't last.
It soon seemed 100% clear. I've spent my entire life with my hands in a lot of different pies. I don't mean the pies you eat. I mean, I really am a front of the house-back of the house person. I cook, I clean, I repair, I nurse, I play, I train, I teach, I give tours, I lobby bureaucrats, I do paperwork. I have always tried to stay out of nursing homes because they are horrifically depressing places, generally. And I tried to stay out of the VA for the same reason. But then a patient I cared for went into the VA and I had to volunteer to work there so I could make his experience better. I couldn't let him whither. And once I looked around, I had ideas... and more ideas. This is who I am. I am an idealist. Let me at a sad place and I will try to cheer it up.
I am over the nursing program now. I am changing majors today to nursing home administrator.
Thursday, May 09, 2013
This morning before I left for the gym I stood in front of the mirror, flexing my biceps. I've always had biceps, and big shoulders. I've been accused of looking manly over a dozen times since I gained weight and I don't like it. When I was younger and thinner, people used much nicer descriptions - they said I looked like a gymnast, or a gazelle. So this morning, I was looking in the mirror, flexing my biceps, and I sang a few lines of Porgy's from Porgy and Bess. Yes... the baritone. I can still sing baritone. But then I sucked in my belly and looked girlish and fluttered my eyelashes and did my best Bess in soprano. I can still sing soprano, too, despite years of asthma. I do squeak occasionally in contralto, though (go figure). I was never chosen to play the heroine in school musicals in high school or college, despite the fact that I can sing it. Someone else always had a MUCH more feminine body than I did. So I got stuck playing men or old women or crazy, ugly people or hicks and I think it kind of messed with my head.
But I am starting to see my waist again. Not much, but it is nipping in a little. And in my head, I am beginning to see myself as the potential future star of my own operetta, in which I can play any damn part I choose - or even all of them.
Enough day dreams. I have to change and go off to work.
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