PLMITCH's SparkPeople Blog PLMITCH's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Technology Disorientation (would be a good title for a Big Bang Theory Episode!) Yesterday late afternoon my MacBook Pro really started to run slow, so like all good technical folks I started running some diagnostics only to find it going the Mac OSX version of BSOD (Blue screen of death) -- for a Mac, it is "GSOD" (grey screen of death!). A quick call to Apple confirmed my worst suspicions -- hard drive issue! <BR> <BR> And there started the disorientation -- clearly felt out of sync the rest of the night - and it is not like I don't have another device to use -- I h... Tue, 15 Apr 2014 17:01:40 EST Big Day For My Dad A very big day for my dad -- he is moving from the place he has called home for the last 30 years to a nearby senior living community! He has been living alone for the past 2+ years (my mom passed away on 12/31/2011) and while he has managed OK, he clearly was beginning to tire of the "aloneness". <BR> <BR> He is in great physical health for 83, but clearly the lack of social interaction (outside of a weekly trip to the grocery store, church on Saturday, and his one dinner out on Saturday... Wed, 9 Apr 2014 14:21:01 EST Feels like a Monday... Good news: Nice 3 day weekend and was able to recover from my trip to Arizona. Bad news: Tuesday is here, and I am NOT in the mood to work! Good news: It's a 4 day work week, so if I can just get through today, tomorrow will be here and the weekend will be that much closer! Tue, 8 Apr 2014 10:14:06 EST Heading home... As much as I have enjoyed the warm 80+ degree temps, low humidity, and great southwestern cuisine, I am ready to get home to be with DW and the puppies! I did get my "fix" of southwestern food today -- a Mexican omelet for breakfast (which had some of the best chorizo I've tasted in a long time), and then for lunch a specialty of this next of the woods -- carna seca! How it is prepared here: The beef is laid in strips on the rooftop but covered so that birds can't get to it, and it is lite... Tue, 1 Apr 2014 16:55:04 EST Very good trip to Arizona After this winter on the Delmarva peninsula, any reason to go to Arizona would make it a good trip, but as it turned out, this one was even better than expected. A little background... <BR> <BR> My dad has been living alone for over 2 years now. My mom passed away on 12/31/11, and I really thought when we came out for the memorial service in March 2012 he was giving some serious thought to moving into a senior living community (we toured it with him at that time). Time progressed, questio... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 23:33:21 EST "My Little Pony" Bully Debate <link><BR>y-told-ditch-pony-bag-article-1.1726433 </link> <BR> <BR> Is this a tough issue or what? When I first heard the story on "Good Morning America", my immediate reaction was to take the side of the 9 year old boy being bullied, not only by the bullies but also by the school. But as I have reflected on this story, I'm not so sure. <BR> <BR> Let me state this for the record: I do not condone bullying! Period. Where I am having 2nd thoughts i... Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:10:54 EST Result: 20,818 days I turn 57 years old tomorrow, and while that may be an unremarkable age, what caught my eye is turning 57 and having been born in 1957. Symmetry... <BR> <BR> So I took it one step further and used an app to calculate the # of days I've been on planet earth, hence the blog title! <BR> <BR> One thing I will be doing tomorrow that will be a first is running in a 5K race on my birthday! 3rd one of the year, and as always, hoping for a PB! Fri, 14 Mar 2014 16:39:19 EST Nice run today Saturdays are typically my long run days (no work conflicts, etc), and so I had set two goals for today's run: 1) Run at least 5 miles; and 2) If my legs still had life in them, go for a total of 6 miles. Of particular concern is my right knee, which is not feeling 100% at the moment. I'm sure if I saw a Dr, they would tell me to take it easy for a spell, but I'm not quite ready to do that just yet. <BR> <BR> So I purposely ran at a slow pace -- first two miles at 6.0 mph, then then ne... Sat, 1 Mar 2014 16:57:03 EST A year already? A year ago today my wife and I each had significant events to celebrate: <BR> <BR> - She was hired by a local not-for-profit company, and I am pleased to report it has exceeded her expectations. The words she uses to describe it: "I feel valued!" <BR> <BR> - After years and years of battling weight issues, I achieved a milestone I could only dream about a few years ago -- hitting my "normal" weight goal (as defined by BMI). <BR> <BR> It has been a good year for both of since then. Her... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 15:21:45 EST Running for enjoyment If you had asked me 3 years ago if I'd be titling a blog called "Running for enjoyment", i'd have called you crazy (or worse!). Back then, I could not even imagine running at all, let alone for enjoyment! But that is the beauty of time - things change. I discovered running, how fun it can be, and in fact how therapeutic it can be. Today I was thinking about my initial runs, and if I could just get to 3 miles in 40 minutes! Now I'm disappointed if I can't do 4 miles in 40 minutes! And to... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 22:38:16 EST That was a LONG 31 days! I don't know about you all, but that sure did seem like a LONG January to me! Work, cold weather, snow, short daytime, you name it! It'll be nice to flip the calendar tomorrow and a short 28 day month! And that much closer to spring! <BR> <BR> <em>126</em> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 09:55:49 EST Back to the deep freeze... OK, so not as bad as in the midwest, nor nor as scary as what the south is dealing with (snow with no equipment to clean it off in many places), but doesn't mean I have to be happy with these teens for temps or wind chill close to zero! At least it appears this is a short lived event, with temps back in the 40's over the weekend. <BR> <BR> <em>444</em> Tue, 28 Jan 2014 08:48:08 EST One issue resolved, onto the next... So, everything is OK on the job front. There was never an issue of "do I have a job?" more along the lines of "is this the kind of work I want to be doing?" (at least some parts of my job), but my manager and I had a very nice chat, came up with a game plan, and so I feel much better about it. <BR> <BR> But, as the saying goes, "horror vacui" ("Nature abhors a vacuum."). Last evening, I talked with my brother, who is in Arizona with my SIL visiting family. They went over to see my dad ... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:26:58 EST It's great to have friends... Had a very nice conversation with an old work friend whom I've stayed in touch with over the years even though we have not worked together directly for nearly 10 years. Kinda good in that if we are looking for advice from the other, it is not weighted by current knowledge of a given situation. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I have had some job quality issues on my mind, so we spent the better part of 30 minutes today discussing the best way to move forward, and I felt 100% better AND have a game plan on... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 15:24:57 EST As good as 12/31 is going to get.... Since my mom passed away two years ago on this date, 12/31 has become somewhat of a melancholy day for me. Don't get me wrong -- I know my mom is in a MUCH better place, but being human I can't help but miss her. She did so much for me -- all of which I appreciate that much more. <BR> <BR> So I was really happy last month when I saw a 5K race that was going to be on 12/31/2013! Nice to have a different focus today! <BR> <BR> And the training over the past month paid off -- a PB of 28:1... Tue, 31 Dec 2013 15:54:25 EST SLOWLY getting back to "normal"... Amazing to think we've been home one week from what was one of the best vacations ever! 10 days and 9 nights at Sandals Grande Riviera in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Great food, great drinks, the staff was simply amazing, our butlers outstanding. The highlight (and there were many) was our "Renewal of Vows" ceremony on December 9. What was so cool about it was that Sandals treats it just like a wedding, so both my wife and I got pretty emotional (in a positive way). <BR> <BR> <BR> The weather... Sat, 21 Dec 2013 19:06:26 EST November wrap up Well that was a busy 30 days! Work, or course, a 5K race, Thanksgiving, dinners with my kids, and various other usual activities. It just FLEW by! And the next few days will be VERY hectic as we get ready to head to Jamaica! But the good news is we are pretty well packed and know what the suitcases weigh, which as we all know is important as the airlines LOVE to stick it to us if we are even a pound over the 50 pound limit! AirTran charges $75 for an overweight bag, and that is who we are... Sat, 30 Nov 2013 18:06:24 EST A very busy next 34 days ... Isn't it funny how weird thoughts hit...I was doing some work planning when it hit me how busy it will be between now and 01/01/2014. Of course the usual holiday "stuff": family get-togethers, shopping, decorating, etc. Then add in a much needed "real" vacation right in the middle of those 34 days (I define "real" as going someplace special and RELAXING -- which we are doing - think Jamaica and 9 days of pampering!), plus the year end work rush, and there you go -- 34 days! <BR> <BR> No... Wed, 27 Nov 2013 15:29:33 EST Proud of our Tomas! If you look at my SparkPage, you'll probably notice pictures and references to greyhounds. My wife and I have rescued racing greyhounds since 2004, and 5 of them have changed our lives in ways we can't even begin to describe. We currently have a pack of 3 (#'s 3, 4, and 5), which we find is a nice # to have. <BR> <BR> One of the unique attributes of greyhounds is that their blood is a universal blood type - it can be given to other dogs who need blood, so our two youngest ones -- Tomas a... Mon, 25 Nov 2013 15:38:54 EST Very good 5K race today I've been running for two years now, and a few things I've figured out: <BR> <BR> - I prefer warm weather over cold for running <BR> - I don't like wind when I am running! <BR> - I am amazed just how warm I do get when I am running, even on a cold day! <BR> <BR> So today's race, the 40th annual Turkey Trot in Newark, Delaware, had both chilly temps, wind, and a new wrinkle for me -- a hilly course! It was in the 40's at race time, but cloudy and windy, so it felt much colder! <BR> <BR... Sat, 23 Nov 2013 16:10:02 EST Good visit to the Dr Had my 4 month checkup with my Dr this morning. Good news - all my of my key vitals are in good shape and level, weight is in range, so I am now on a 6 month schedule! <BR> <BR> The only down side to today's visit is that i was due for my tetanus shot! Nurse did a nice job of administering it, but I know my left arm is going to be sore tomorrow! Oh well, short term pain... Wed, 20 Nov 2013 10:47:27 EST Fun and relaxing Sunday in store Everything is shaping up to be a fun and relaxing Sunday (today): <BR> <BR> - Out for breakfast to our favorite diner <BR> - Wine tasting at a new winery that just opened up a few weeks ago <BR> - A GREAT football game this evening between the Broncos and the Chiefs. <BR> <BR> GO BRONCOS!! Sun, 17 Nov 2013 08:33:14 EST 7 mile run on Sunday. Longest. Run. EVER! Earlier last week, I saw on my Galloway Easy 5K app a 7 mile run coming up, the longest training run on the app, so given that I had never run that distance before, I planned to do it on Sunday when I had the time to enjoy it and not have to rush back to work. <BR> <BR> I had the app set for a 4/1 run/walk ratio on my previous training runs, but since this was a new distance for me, I set it back to a 3/1 ratio. On top of that, it was a VERY windy day on Sunday (gusts over 30mph!), so hea... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:58:59 EST CRAZY BUSY! What a busy week!! Good news is the week is flying! Bad news is that it seems like I'm getting a lot of nothing done! Oh well! As long as I get through to tomorrow at 5PM, I'll have a relatively quiet weekend to get caught up! <BR> <BR> C'mon Friday!! <BR> <BR> <em>211</em> Thu, 7 Nov 2013 11:34:01 EST Proud of my children! While Friday was a crazy day for me with a few more twists and turns than I had planned for, it was a very exciting day in that my youngest daughter, who is working on her Masters degree in Public Administration, got a chance to shine in a very public way in a newspaper article that describes the program she is working on, which is to help increase the number of high school students who apply for college here in Delaware: <BR> <BR><BR>dll/article?AI... Sat, 2 Nov 2013 10:43:59 EST Busy Sunday ahead... Long list of to-do's today: <BR> <BR> - Breakfast and shopping <BR> - Mowing and cleaning up the garden (at least the tomato vines -- pepper plants may stay for a little longer) <BR> - Broncos at 4PM <BR> - Red Sox at 8PM <BR> - And in unattended mode, upgrade my Mac to OSX Mavericks! <BR> <BR> Thank goodness tomorrow is a work day and I can recover! <BR> <BR> <em>211</em> Sun, 27 Oct 2013 09:06:32 EST Successful return to the 5K race curcuit! Saturday 10/26 is a day I have been looking forward to for a few weeks now, as today was my first 5K race in several months due to my Achilles tendon injury back in June. <BR> <BR> The results: 28:55, good for 34th place overall (out of 89 participants) and 2nd place in the men's 50-59 age group! Decided to go with a 4 minute run / 1 minute walk ratio, first time at that pace in a LONG time, and was able to stick to it except around the 27 minute mark when I snuck in a 30 second walk bre... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 11:58:59 EST Another good run today (on the treadmill) With the coastal storm dumping copious amounts of much needed rain on the Delmarva Peninsula, today's run was inside and on the treadmill at the Y. I've really made an effort to do as much running outside as I can, both to enjoy the weather before it gets icy / snowy / cold, and as a way to help the Achilles tendon better heal. <BR> <BR> One of the nice things about the treadmill is adjusting the speed, so I took full advantage by starting at 6.0 mph, 6.2 after 1 mile, 6.5 after 2 and 6.7... Thu, 10 Oct 2013 18:04:18 EST Very successful running week A very good running week for me as I slowly get back into ideal running condition. A total of 12 miles, ran Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, so a good test of the Achilles tendon. No issues! I'm right around a 10 minute mile, obviously want t lower that, but I promised myself I would get there slowly and not reinjure the tendon. <BR> <BR> Pretty sure I am going to run in the "Panther 5K Run/Walk" on 10/26, which benefits our local high school's AFROTC. The run is at one our loca... Sun, 6 Oct 2013 09:01:27 EST Good run today! Slowly but surely, I'm getting back to a normal running schedule. With just a one day break from Tuesday's 3 mile run, today I got in a nice 4.40 mile run in 50 minutes, which includes a 3 minute warm up walk and a 3 minute cool down walk. Staying with the 2 minute run / 1 minute walk interval, although I did have to add a little extra walk time in that 3rd mile! <BR> <BR> The important part is no pain in my Achilles tendon during the run, and so far none since I completed my run (4 hours... Thu, 3 Oct 2013 17:44:19 EST Oh Myyy! Today is my 2 year anniversary of my Lapband surgery, so wanted to keep this light and fun (not that this was going to be a dreary blog!), so I borrowed the now classic George Takei line (and the title of the Facebook page his husband put up!). <BR> <BR> So, to think -- 2 years ago, obese, diabetic, wearing size 44 or 46 pants, thought running was for "crazy" people, and ate like there was no tomorrow! <BR> <BR> Today: normal (BMI, that is - can't vouch for everything!), no longer diabet... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 12:01:58 EST Very Proud! I've been very lucky to have such great "kids" (they are 31, 29, and 23!) -- not that it has always been a smooth ride, but each of them has found a path to success. Last night was one of those great moments where we got a chance to celebrate a major achievement for my oldest daughter (29) -- graduating from nursing school! Once she completes her board review, she will be an LPN (for now she is "just" a GPN!). It has been a strain on her and my son-in-law, as this was an accelerated 16 mon... Fri, 13 Sep 2013 08:59:28 EST "Green Light" (I can start running again!) Good news from my Orthopedic Dr this morning -- I got the green light to start running again, albeit VERY slowly to start! He also wants me to get some off the shelf orthotics to help cushion the Achilles tendon. I'll go look for those later this week. <BR> <BR> But for today's run, I will set my Galloway app to a 1/1 mix (1 minute running / 1 minute walking), and just get in a nice easy run. I did a 3 mile power walk on Sunday in a little over 44 minutes, so I am going to shoot for a 4... Tue, 10 Sep 2013 11:08:57 EST Great weekend, busy month ahead! Nice way to end the unofficial end of summer (Labor Day weekend) -- 4 day weekend and a family reunion in WV! Weather was warm but not overbearingingly hot, officially "tasted" my homemade Pinot Grigio wine with the family on Sunday evening (thumbs up! It is good!), played Cornhole for the first time (I LIKE that game -- may have to go purchase a set!), got all the mowing done with the self propelled mower on Friday and Monday, good bowling practice last Friday (plan to bowl in league play ... Tue, 3 Sep 2013 09:02:31 EST Achilles Tendon Progress So I think the healing process has gone much better this time. The air boot really seemed to stabilize the tendon, and this week, with no air boot on, have been slowly introducing back some workout activities that involve the flexing of the tendon. Yesterday was a big test -- shot some hoops at the Y gym. Started out with just 5 minutes of walking around the perimeter of the gym while dribbling a basketball, the 15 minutes of shooting, all a deliberate pace. Did jog after a few stray ball... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 09:24:24 EST Monday Ramblings... - It occurred to me over the weekend that today (8/26) it will have been 35 years when my first marriage started. WOW, that is a long time ago! BTW, it ended officially in 2003. <BR> <BR> - Wore the air boot sparingly over the weekend with no soreness or tenderness. Had close to 10,000 steps on Saturday and over 8000 on Sunday, so I'm feeling very confident that the Achilles tendon is on the road to recovery. Next "test" will be today at the Y when I jump on the elliptical for the first ... Mon, 26 Aug 2013 11:11:29 EST Dr Update Had my quarterly checkup with my primary care Dr yesterday. All the #'s are either good or improving. Ha1C stayed steady at 6.1, so my Dr and I agreed to stop using remaining diabetes med (Metformin, 500MG 1x/day), but to keep an eye in my blood sugar to make sure it does not start creeping back up. The iron #'s all have improved since I started on the iron supplement last month, and appears I am OK to start donating blood again!! <BR> <BR> <em>244</em> <BR> <BR> Now all I need to do... Thu, 22 Aug 2013 09:51:44 EST Surviving with the "boot'... Made it through the weekend with "the boot" -- actually I found it is much easier to maneuver around with it then I thought! Even though it is an air boot, I had assumed (incorrectly) that it would feel like a cement block, but I have adapted to it pretty easily, am able to get around stores, etc, and even mowed the back yard with our self-propelled mower on Saturday (with a couple of plastic bags tied around the bottom so that it would not get wet or grassy!). <BR> <BR> Today I got to th... Mon, 12 Aug 2013 17:01:22 EST I've been "booted"! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So, one of those good news / bad news kind of deals. <BR> <BR> Good news: Right Achilles tendon appears not to be torn (at least per the x-rays). <BR> <BR> Bad news: Due to my impatience, I'm now wearing a "boot" for the next four weeks! <BR> <BR> The next four weeks will be a LONG time! <BR> <BR> <em>211</em> Fri, 9 Aug 2013 23:10:00 EST Seeing an Orthopaedic Doctor on Friday... I ran on Tuesday -- first time outside since I injured my Achilles tendon a little over 6 weeks ago -- and made a point to keep my speed and run/ walk ratio in check. Felt a little soreness after my run (3 miles of run / walk, 1 mile of walk), but overnight on Tuesday and most of the day Wednesday the tendon was VERY tender and sore! So, got onto my insurance co. web site to locate an Orthopaedic doctor in my area, found one, and made an appointment for Friday. <BR> <BR> Keeping my finge... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 09:14:30 EST A little soreness after yesterday's run... Had a good run yesterday (3rd one since my Achilles tendon strain 5 weeks ago) -- upped the speed on the treadmill to 5.5 mph (walk speed was 4.0 mph), and after a 3 minute warm-up, consistently ran at 4/1 ratio. 3.37 miles in 40 minutes. <BR> <BR> A little sore after the run (in the Achilles tendon area), but nothing like the awful pain from 5 weeks ago! Been walking and stretching it today to keep it loose. My next planned run in Friday, but if there is any residual soreness that day... Wed, 31 Jul 2013 14:34:58 EST A good run today! Achilles tendon felt just fine this morning (as it has since my last short run on Tuesday), so decided to not only run, but run a little longer. Here are the details: <BR> <BR> - Total time: 40 minutes 12 second <BR> - Distance: 3 miles <BR> - Location: YMCA treadmill <BR> - Specifics: walked at 3.5 mph for first 5 minutes, then switched to run/walk at 5mph. For the first mile, run/walk ratio was 2/1, 2nd mile 3/1, last mile 4/1, but did not change the run speed so as not to stress o... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 15:19:17 EST Achilles Tendon Clearly On The Mend! VERY thrilled that I did not experience any issues with my Achilles tendon after a light run on Tuesday. Swam laps yesterday, will do strength training today, and as I did on Tuesday, I'll add some glute training to my strength training routine. Plan to run again on Friday, probably still on the treadmill at the Y, as the outside trails I like to run on have more than my fair share of tripping hazards and opportunities to injure the tendon. If tomorrow's run goes well, I'll start doing som... Thu, 25 Jul 2013 09:07:01 EST "Scratched" the itch -- ever so gently! Thanks to everyone who posted a comment on my blog from yesterday, and yes I did get in some running yesterday, but it was very controlled (on the treadmill at the Y), made sure to do some specific stretches, used my Jeff Galloway training to insure there was a nice mix of run/walk, and generally just took it easy for this first run in 4 weeks. <BR> <BR> Ended up covering 1.5 miles in 22 minutes, which included a gentle warm up walk, etc. Once I started running, I used a 1/1 ratio for run... Wed, 24 Jul 2013 10:27:29 EST Getting the itch to run... Today marks 4 weeks since I last ran and injured my Achilles tendon. While I have done well by substituting other cardio activities (mostly swimming), it's just not the same as a good run! <BR> <BR> I did some research on starting back up after such an injury, and between some exercises and a very gradual reintroduction to running, I should be able to start again this week. One expert suggested a one mile jog as a starting point, and increase 10% distance and speed each week. Sounds slo... Tue, 23 Jul 2013 09:15:44 EST Monday vacation day After a fun but busy weekend, it is nice to have a vacation day on a Monday! Plan to do some puttering around the house this morning, and will do some mowing this afternoon, but at my pace! <BR> <BR> Went to the Delaware State Fair yesterday to take in the sights and sounds, renew my love for goats and baby pigs, indulge in a smoked turkey leg, and enjoy a concert, last night with Trace Adkins. The ladies love him, but I will admit he is an excellent performer, and his band was top notch... Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:09:05 EST Achilles Tendon Update It has been about 2 1/2 weeks since I injured my right Achilles tendon, and after consulting with my chiropractor, decided to give it a rest vs. attempting to accelerate my recovery. Happy to report I can now walk down steps straight (when i first hurt it I was forced to walk sideways). I have done some walking, and my primary cardio exercise has been swimming. I was supposed to run in a 10K next weekend, but had to call that off. Will look to maybe run in a 5K next month, then look for a... Sat, 13 Jul 2013 10:34:30 EST Achilles Tendonitis -- alternatives to rest? Looking for some feedback from SP runners on alternatives to "RICE" for Achilles Tendonitis. This JUST flared up in my right ankle last Thursday, I think from sprinting at the end of my run that day, did not run over the weekend, no pain after Thursday, then hit the trails for a 3 mile run, and WHAM! the pain came right back, and had to stop after 2 miles. I did ice it this afternoon and will do so tonight and tomorrow in an effort to get the swelling down. <BR> <BR> So here are the two ... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 17:56:57 EST Woohoo! Vacation time! OK, not a huge vacation -- 3 days + the weekend -- but seeing our close friends in Oklahoma, lots of sightseeing, etc. Just nice to have an extended break! Wed, 15 May 2013 09:25:53 EST Fast start to the work week... A short but very busy work week ahead. Presentation for my European team at 8:00AM EDT this morning, more meetings the rest of the day, a few deadlines before Wednesday, etc. Thank goodness for coffee! <BR> <BR> Vacation time on Thursday...looking forward to 3 days off! Mon, 13 May 2013 07:41:52 EST