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Saturday, April 28, 2012

May Is Coming...Finally!

I have been looking forward to May for quite awhile.  The warm weather we had in March and April messed me up and made me want to plant flowers much too early.  I managed to restrain myself, but now May is around the corner, and I can start looking at flowers.  I have a small square corner garden next to my house that desperately needs a makeover.  I have been taking pictures of my yard since the summer I first moved in, and I found pictures from years ago where this little corner garden was ablaze with beautiful flowers and looked just gorgeous.  Now it looks a bit sad.  I've decided this is going to be my "tranquility garden".  I am redoing it by simply planting masses of annuals and putting down fresh pea-size gravel.  And, I think a tranquility garden requires a new statue.  I've always wanted a lovely Buddha in my garden, and I think I'll be looking for one later this month when I'm on vacation.  I know the place to go--and it requires a plane ticket!  I'm hopeful I'll find the perfect one and it won't cost too much to ship it home.  If it does, well, I guess I'll look a bit closer to home.  

And what else?  Well, the battle to wipe out my goosey plants continues.  Another blast of Round-Up hopefully took them out.  I was so anxious not to destroy other plants I was being too careful.  But then I decided a scorched earth plan was the only option.  I realized I was being waaaay too fussy about a few lilies.  I haven't bought any new lily plants for years, so it's time for new.  I solemnly thanked the plants for giving me years of beauty, then proceeded to spray that Round-Up.  

I can't wait to start planting.  And buying those herbs and potting them, too.  This year I will have time to tinker with the garden.  Trust me--I am no green thumb. I just dig a hole, dump in the plant, and water them.  Plants survive in spite of me.  Not spending every free moment planning on where and how long to run has given me a sense of relief.  And not feeling like I have to enter races is keeping my stress level down, too.  May is such a busy month for me I am going to create a list for each week so I don't forget anything!  

And did I mention I'm starting a 24 day program to lose weight?  I've never done anything like this before.  My sister is a distributor for Advocare, and after talking to her I decided "what the hell" and, along with my niece, we are both going on a cleanse/recharge our body program.  I am not going to drink any booze or coffee for 24 days, and cut back on all the junk.  I'm looking forward to shedding some of the "heaviness" I feel hanging around and resetting my taste buds to eating good healthy stuff.  And Bud will probably be happy to eat healthy foods, too.  I'll keep you posted on my journey to better eating!  

So May--welcome!  I've been waiting for you.  Can't wait to get started.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Surprise! A 5K Race With My Sister

After finding out the 5K I wanted to run today was cancelled, I went to work and talked to a friend who is a runner ( a fast one).  He told me about a 5K that was this morning 5 minutes from my house that benefits Victims of Crime.  I called my sister last night and asked if she wanted to run it with me.

She just started running a month or so ago and has never run a race.  

She said "I'm not ready!" and I said "Neither am I!  We can run together and who cares how fast we go?"

So bright and early this morning we met at Thomas Park and signed up for the race, then sat in her car for an hour chatting about menopause and how after 40 everything on our bodies stops working. It is good to know I'm not alone in the world of weight gain, sweating, and digestive problems.

Then we were off!  Holy crap, this race had a lot of hills.  Big hills, little hills, gentle inclines, then a few all out long long hills.  We took our time and took walk breaks--although I think Michelle could have run the whole thing.  I sounded like a freight train having a heart attack.  We finished running side by side and held hands in triumph of her first race and my first race running the whole thing with someone I knew.  We made plans to get together and run at least once a week at Thomas Park.  It's the first time in 8 years that I've finally got someone to run with!  Although I think Michelle will be much speedier than me.  It's a great motivator and now we have less than a month to prepare for our next 5K.  

I've never just decided to run a race the night before, and I liked the feeling!  It cut down on the nervous anxiety.  It also helped that I only got about 5 hours of sleep since I was awake til 1:30 last night and got up at 6 AM. For some reason this helps me run better.  Although what would have helped me was to be better prepared.  I will be requiring a nap later today, but for right now, I am sipping my McDonald's coffee and eating yogurt.  And happy I ran a 5k today.  With my sister.  

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Weekend Off With No Firm Plans--Holy Shit!

The last weekend off I had Bud and I went out of town and I filled up on bottles of Trader Joe's Goddess Dressing.  Enough to last me through the summer.  So now I've got another weekend off (still have to work tonight--boohoo) and since it's the beginning of turkey hunting season tomorrow, I've been informed Bud will not be available for a Saturday afternoon anything, and this may possibly extend into the evening hours.  Hey, that's just more reading time for me.

I finally finally finally went to the gym this morning.  For the first time in 3 months, thank you very much.  That's $120 the Y got from me for nothing.  Stupid me.  I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, reading on my Nook and slowly feeling my right leg go numb.  I'm convinced that losing 20 pounds will make my feet stop hurting when I exercise, cause I'm really sure I can't blame my shoes.  They are just fine.  It's the poundage that's above them that's the problem.  I walked around the track for about 10 minutes afterwards to stretch out the hips and get the feeling back in my feet, and afterwards, while stretching in the hallway, I saw a poster for an EcoFest 2012 that is tomorrow in my city.  And--they advertised a 5k run tomorrow night at 6PM.  Flash of brilliance!  I could just run a 5K--very poorly, and very slowly--but run one on a whim cause I have Saturday off.  I rushed home and googled the information, eager to sign up.  

It was cancelled. Dang it!  Race denied.  Oh well.  I'll still go running tomorrow morning.  And I still have the weekend off, to run both Saturday and Sunday and work in the yard--and break through my reading log jam.  And remember how good it felt to walk in the gym and work out, even if it wasn't for long.  I did it, and broke that darn invisible barrier in my mind.  Now if I could just figure out a class to take at the Y that won't bore me, is at a time I can attend every week, and helps get me in shape, I'm all set.  

Have a great weekend everyone!  

Monday, April 16, 2012

Blowin' in the Wind

Wow.  There's nothing like driving a pickup truck up and down rolling Iowa hills and highways with a 35 MPH wind determined to slam into the side of your truck repeatedly and drive you off the road.  I think my arm muscles will finally relax tonight and my fingers will stop convulsively clenching a steering wheel that's no longer there.  A bit of a different Monday morning than I usually spend, but I got to hang out with my honey for a few hours, so it was worth the unending terror of high winds.  And I got to see some beautiful Iowa countryside and all the different shades of what I call "Springtime Green" in the trees, fields, and yards.  It's much lighter and fresher looking than "Summertime Green" which is waaaay darker and much more lush.  Kinda hurts your eyes to look at that, there's so much green around!

It was easy not to plant any flowers in late March and early April cause I just plain old knew better.  We always get some kind of cold blast just when we think it's safe to plant.  Plus, none of the shops around town had their shipments of flowers out yet.  No temptation at all.  

Until today.  

I must confess I was not studying the road quite as well as I should have when I drove past a drug store that had all of the most colorful flowers in the world sitting outside waiting for me to buy them.  But I resisted.  Mostly cause I couldn't stop without causing a major accident, and Bud would have been irritated beyond irritated at an unscheduled stop.

But now the flowers are out, and I must have self-control.  Must have self-control.  Must have self-control.

I give myself about two more weeks before I buy flowers.  Then it's a mad dash to get them all planted and feeling groovy in my yard before the end of May hits and I am overwhelmed by an overflowing schedule of running a race, going on vacation, and helping my niece with her graduation party.  All in the space of two weeks.  And fit work in there, too.  And try and keep training for another race the weekend after all this madness.  

I shall remain calm.  Yep.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blog Crossover!

Some of you know that I have two blogs:  this one, and a book review blog:

The Bookalicious Babe Book Reviews.  I also have a podcast!  Can you tell I love to read?  

Good Reads has an Independent Book Bloggers Award contest that starts today.  You can vote for your favorite book blog--which I hope is mine.  I would love your support--I could win a trip to NY!  Please vote! Contest ends April 23rd.  Just type in Bookalicious Babe to find my blog.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Milk Test Complete & Running: My Body Hates Me Right Now

So my suspicions were correct, and after not having any skim milk (except for a couple drops in coffee) for a week, I feel much better.  Still paying attention to what I eat and how I feel afterwards, and now that I've started running again, I'm really staying aware.  And keeping all those tips I learned last year from Jeff Galloway's seminar in mind--gliding up those hills, mantras, and keeping form are crowding out everything else in my brain when I go for a run.  And most important is remembering to train past the 3.1 miles of a 5k so I don't feel so damned exhausted at the end.  Which means getting up to 5 miles before May 19th.  

And how is the running going?  Well, very slowly.  Starting from scratch again.  But knowing this is how I started last year, and then had a satisfactory finish in November--well, it keeps me moving!  My first 5K is a little over a month away, so I have lots of work to do.  Incorporating strength training back in, too.  This means actually going to the gym for the first time in months.  I am ashamed I've fallen behind so much in taking care of myself.  

One bonus to loving Trader Joe's Goddess dressing:  I'm actually craving lots of veggies and salads.  The key now is to keep them interesting!  I successfully made my lunches for two weeks running for work, and never once was tempted to having something else.  I have my official salad containers for work, and little containers for dressing, too.  Eating fruit every day, too.  I did have sugar yesterday and by evening I was ready for veggies.  I actually made a really delish simple open faced sandwich:  A sliced baguette, smashed avocado, slices of tomato, Goddess dressing, pepper, and parm cheese put under the broiler for a few minutes.  So good.  Now I'm craving grilled veggie sandwiches--I must have one soon.  I will never give up meat, but I have found a few veggie dishes that I like to eat; I guess even this old dog can learn some new tricks.

Also am busy planning the death of many plants in my gardens.  I hate to kill perfectly good plants, but I need to switch up the yard, and the time of eagerly accepting any plant anyone offered me is now gone.  I am thinking of turning a small spot near my house into a "Zen" garden.  But my idea of Zen, of course.  Lots of colorful annuals, and a lovely little Buddha.  I know just where I want to get this Buddha, and it must wait for a few weeks.  Can't wait to pick it out.  
Instrument of Destruction Coming Soon to My Garden

Luckily our weather has turned back to actually being what is should be in April in Iowa--50's to low 60's, so the urge to run out and buy plants is squelched by the knowledge that tonight we have a hard freeze warning.  I will be out in the yard late tonight after work tossing sheets all over my plants.  I can certainly wait until the danger of freezing is gone before I put out those herbs and flowers.  

Holy crap: I just realized I sound like a boring middle aged woman.  Wow.  I'm really not--I think a lack of alcohol is affecting me. Bring me a lemon drop, stat!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Peep Day

I'm not going to put up a picture of Peeps cause we all know what they look like--and I'm too busy eating the Peeps I have at home.  One package down, three more to go!  Thanks to my friend R for giving me a lovely Easter bag full of them and one chocolate marshmallow egg.  It's all about moderation, folks.  I think my record for Peep eating in the Easter season was 8 whole packages.  But that was when I was young and foolish.  I like to keep my Peep intake down to a maximum of four packages now that I'm wandering into middle age land.

I left some out last night opened up to the spring air, and they were nicely hardened this morning--so breakfast was a cup of coffee and pink Peeps.  Now I'm ready for brunch at 10:30 with Bud and his folks.  Then it's back home to mow the yard, dig up some garden plants, and go for a run.  It promises to be a lovely day with plenty of sunshine.  

Have a great Sunday, and keep that candy consumption down a bit--remember to pace yourself!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Skim Milk Fatality

I don't know why.  I don't get it.  I don't like it.  

My body doesn't like skim milk anymore.  Can't eat it with cereal, can't drink a glass.  Bad things happen.  I don't want to drink soy milk, either.  So, I guess I won't be drinking chocolate milk after a long run anymore; have a feeling it would make that day a very loooong one.  

What happened?  I have no idea.  I've noticed for the past few months that eating or drinking something was giving me major gut issues, but I couldn't figure out what.  Paying attention finally solved the mystery:  milk.  Moo.   I don't know about cheese, since I cut back on that, too just to see if that was the issue.  I don't think it is (fingers crossed and praying to heaven it's not).  

This means no more iced mochas, or most of the drinks in the cafe at work.  Phooey.  Iced tea or iced coffee is about it--but since I like an iced latte, that's kinda on the banned list, too.

I have to look at this as a good thing.  Like discovering that I was drinking too much water on my long runs last year.  That was giving me major issues during those times when a potty was no where near.  Cutting back on my water and using meds on those days when I had runs longer than 6 miles really made things much better.  

Now that I'm starting to run again ( I know, I know--I'm a fair weather runner) knowing milk is a no-no will make it easier to decide what to eat in the morning before heading out in the warm weather.  

This has given me an opportunity to pay attention to what I'm eating.  I always try to, but fail miserably.  Probably cause I'm too busy shoveling food into my pie hole.  

So goodbye, Dairy Queen.  Goodbye  chocolate malts (tried one yesterday and it didn't sit well).  Goodbye iced mochas with an extra shot of espresso.  

Hello fruit and veggies.  I will also be paying attention to breads, too.  Hope there's no issue with that.  You may very well hear the wails spouting forth from me if this is an issue, too.  

Do you suddenly have issues with a food group that never bothered you before? 
I'm convinced it's from all the lovely changes that start taking place for women at a certain age.  I'm not in menopause, but it's creeping closer, and my body is definitely feeling some of the effects.  I think this is one of them.  

from here