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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow, Snow, Snow--But March is Coming!

Bud has been hanging on by the tips of his fingers through December, January, and February.  March 1st is like the shining sun at the end of a very long tunnel.  The man with the eternally optimistic view, who never lets anything get him down, is caving under the boringness of the Winter Months of Doom:  those months where it gets dark out at 4 PM and it's just too darn cold to do anything but huddle at home with a blanket and watch crap TV, and it snows.

But tomorrow is March 1st!  Yeah!!  It may put a big smile on my Bud's face.  

Except it's snowed for three days here.  I woke up this morning to see little teeny tiny flakes still falling from the sky.  It's not doing anything to the roads, thank you very much--just making it very annoying to have to sweep off sidewalks and steps once again.  It's reminding us that while we had days where it was in the 50's in November; well, this is February, and dammit you're gonna get some snow.  

I plan on starting to run outside in the next few weeks, so this snow just has to go.  I don't want to get my new running shoes all muddy, so it has to go and dry up so the trails aren't gross.  Mother Nature, get on that right away, okay?

And in a few weeks, we have Daylight Savings Time.  It may very well send Bud into a swoon.  He is a sunny day, hot and humid kind of person.  I just get crabby and demand Peanut Buster Parfaits from the DQ.  I want to eat everything on slices of toasted baguette and sip cool drinks in air conditioning.

But that's a bit away, so for now I'll take March 1st on the calendar.  Hearing the birds chirping every morning is a good sign Spring is on it's way; also smelling the lovely soaps we have on our Spring display at work keeps me on an even keel.  I am a sucker for Lemon Verbena anything.  I may have to buy the soap and keep it tucked in my purse so I can smell it all the time.  That's not weird, is it?  I would be discreet, I assure you.  

And March is bringing my family a lovely little gift:  my niece is having her second child--a little boy--on my sister Patti's birthday:  March 13th.  My sister loved kids to bits, so I know she will be doing a happy angel dance on the other side.  We look forward to meeting my little great nephew in a few weeks.  Love the smell of a newborn infant!  And it's an excuse to buy baby things.  

How are you going to celebrate the coming of Spring?  Looking up old favorite recipes to make that are a bit lighter than our winter fare?  Planning a race or sporting event?  Or cleaning out the house?  

I have one word:  limoncello.  It's approaching limoncello making time at my house.  That is my Spring word.  It may also be my Summer word, too.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Exercise Update and One Habit at a Time

I read somewhere recently that you should only try and establish one habit at a time.  Instead of trying to eat better, exercise each week, and save more money, focus on creating just one into a habit you do.  Setting too many "goals" is a set up for failure and keeps you from really making an all out effort  since you're juggling so many things at a time.  And I am a really shitty juggler.

This made an impression on me, and I thought about all I was trying to do--and not doing very well.  I determined that the most important habit I was trying to cultivate was exercise.  With races looming in the future, and my weight somehow creeping up even more (dammit!), I know that exercise is crucial to my mental well-being and getting me ready for races that I do not want to just "get through".  

So my first step was buying a new pair of running shoes--my black and green Brooks Glycerin 10's I talked about on my previous post.  I was willing to step away from Asics because I have heard so many positive things about Brooks running shoes and quite frankly, my feet hurt in those darn Asics.  So I shelled out the money for the most expensive pair of shoes I've ever purchased.  But they are designed for what is important for my tootsies:  comfort, arch support, and cushion.  If my feet will feel even 20% less sore after running in them, I will be grateful for spending that money.  

Today was the first day I was able to get on the treadmill and run in them.  My running is still pretty crappy, and I am trying very hard not to think about all those times I could just get on the treadmill and run 3 miles before work, and go out on the trail and run 10 miles training for a half-marathon.  That was then, this is now.  My weight is certainly affecting my running.  I feel so heavy that I can tell it's wearing me out and I can't run very far.  But I am persisting, cause I know it will change--slowly, but surely.  I made myself stay on the treadmill for 35 minutes today, alternating walking and running, and upping my speed the last 1.5 miles to see how I felt running a 9:20 mile vs a 10:00 mile. I didn't make it to 3 miles, but I was close.  My shoes felt really good on my feet--I had on the right socks this time.  Monday I tried running and wore horrible socks.  Within a mile my ankle was bleeding onto my new shoes and I had to stop.  I never get blisters or anything like that while running so I was really annoyed!  But today they felt fine and there was no blood sacrifice made to the running gods.  I think I'm going to be very happy with these shoes.

I've also done 3 Body Pump classes.  This is going to be a weekly schedule effort to make 2 classes--my work schedule changes a bit every week so hitting a second class will take some planning.  I decided yesterday that I really do like the pump class--and I feel shaky and sore afterwards so I know I'm doing something right.  The key for me is to get in my runs before the class, cause afterwards I don't want to do anymore exercise.  I am done.  

So that's my focus for the next 6 weeks:  establishing a good exercise habit.  Knowing my sister Michelle is also working out to get ready for the races is a good motivation.  Having a half-marathon plan in place is also great, too.  

I cannot wait til March and outdoor running!  As I type, we have a big snow storm heading our way--I was so hoping we wouldn't get anymore snow, dang it.  But we need it desperately so we don't have a drought this summer and the farmers can grow our food--especially all those lovely veggies.  I'll take the snow and know that in a few short weeks I'll be making my way outdoors to run in the spring air.  It will feel wonderful.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Quite Frankly, I'm Kinda Scared I'll Fail, Dammit

One of my big issues all my life is not finishing things.  I remember being in Blue Birds as a kid and not being able to finish any of the crafts.  I have thought about this for years, and I think it's a combination of A) Being afraid what I make or do will not be good enough, and B) My attention span will not allow me to see things through.  

It is one of my biggest frustrations.  I thought that telling Bud about what I would like to accomplish would spur me on, since he's such a tough cookie about doing things.  He always keeps moving and finishing stuff and won't make any excuses.  He sees things through. 

Well that worked for about a year, and now he knows me well enough that he doesn't believe me if I tell him about my grand plans.  He's a big believer in me--there's no doubt he thinks I can do anything.  But, he knows me and knows I will not finish things.  This is perfectly reflected in my inability to read just one book at a time.  I can't do it.  I have to have multiple books always moving through my reading week.  It's also reflected in my inability to stick to a healthy eating lifestyle.  The negative voice in my head is so natural it's set up permanent shop and decorated with lava lamps and furry rugs.  It's in no hurry to leave.  It's probably also eating ho-ho's and lounging on the couch.

So here is my challenge to myself:  stop the negative crap talk in my head.  It is such a giant brick wall that it will take perseverance and determination to break it down.  This half-marathon I'm going to do in May is a prime example.  I've done them before and had great results, and horrible results.  I want this one to be fun and feel good the whole way through.  I want to prove to myself and others that women in their 40's are still athletes and tough cookies.  I want to eat good things and not cave into those intense after-run cravings for pizza and coke.  I don't want to have to take imodium every time I have a long distance to run each week.  Now this last part may be beyond my control, but with some tweaking in my diet I can only imagine it will be better.  My cooking challenge this year will certainly be finding tasty ways to eat good foods and making sure I have a healthy lunch for work.  I can't eat the same meal every day for lunch--that's a sure way to drive me into the arms of fast food.  Today I'm making a hearty chili that I can freeze and also eat for some lunches this week:Chicken and Barley Chili.  We've got a potential big snow storm on the horizon for Thursday and Friday, so this sounds really good this week!  Of course that potential storm will also be screwing my work out schedule big time if it does arrive.  I'll just take one day at a time, thank you.  

If you've got any good suggestions for gagging that negative voice in my head, I'd love to hear them!  It's an on-going battle, and I want to win!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Let The Games Begin


Brooks Running Shoes: Glycerin 10.  The most expensive running shoes I've ever purchased.  It's rice and beans for me for awhile.  But...I think I have a pair that will make my feet feel better.  Going to Running Wild and talking to someone who actually knows something about running really does help.  Now that I've discovered I have a high arch, it makes all the sense in the world why my feet hurt all the time!  Wrong shoes.  So, these are my babies.  And, they filmed my running on the treadmill, and I could see how I run.  I pretty much run straight as an arrow, which also explains my tight hips.  My sister, who came along to find a pair of shoes to begin her running odyssey, runs nothing like me! She's more of a kick out and cross over kinda gal.   So we both got completely different shoes.  

I hope we both get some maximum fun runs out of these shoes.  Next week we both officially start our half marathon training, so fingers crossed we both get through it with no injuries.  I started taking a Body Pump class at the Y and with two classes under my belt I can say with certainty that I can't lift my arms very high.  I am sore!  Lots of room for improvement there--barely any weight on my barbell and I was sweating and trembling after an hour.  

The Body Pump class coupled with 3 days of running will be my training--and maybe an occasional yoga workout at home to help with the muscles.  

And food.  My nemesis.  Always working on that--every day, all the time.  Making good choices is really difficult.  Cutting down on my portions seems to be a good way to start.  And cutting down on pasta to only occasionally, instead of every week.  It's tough with pasta cause it's so quick and easy to make for a fast meal and especially if Bud's not coming over.  I'll be forced to not buy any, so I won't be tempted to eat it.  

So here I go.  Gulp.  Here's to a better body, better eating, and more energy.  

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Next Week is Vacation Week! Woohoo. Kinda.

Taking a week of vacation next week.  Just have to get through work on Saturday night, then it's a week off.  I am going nowhere and the only plan I have so far is to get my hair done on Monday afternoon.  And go to the gym more than once--sometimes having too much time is a bad thing cause I keep saying, "I'll do it later."  

It's still messy outside.  It's warmer, which is good, and the snow is all melting into a big muddy mess.  I hate to see what my house looks like outside, so I try not to look when I'm coming and going everyday.  

Hopefully how my state of mind will be all week
Inside--well, the great de-trash needs to happen.  Especially in the basement.  I've done a few little jobs around the house, but this one requires plenty of loud music, big garbage bags, and the kind of discipline that right now is completely absent from my body.  I'm making Tuesday the big day for this project.  I can do it!!!  That's what I keep telling myself.  

What I really want to do is have a reading marathon.  We'll see how far I get on that.  And just once, could I sleep til 9 AM?  I consider that noon in my world.  I would feel that the day was already mostly over, and that would be my excuse to lay around in my sweats all day and do nothing. 

And I want to spend a day at home and never leave the house.  I call it my "don't spend any money" day.  I feel successful if I haven't spent a penny all day and make supper out of what I've got at home.  It's a small victory--usually followed by a day where I spend more money than I want!

So this is my lazy vacation week plan.  I'll go where the whims take me.  I predict they will take me to the couch.   

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Back To That Gratitude Thingy

My gratitude has been on short notice for a few months.  I've had lots of examples of wonderful things happening in my life, but quite honestly, I appreciated them for about a nanosecond.  So, in moving on through my grief, I've decided that it would be a good thing to remind myself once again about the positive things that happen every week.  

Here's just a few for this week:

I am glad I have not had the flu.

I am glad I got off my lazy butt and cleaned out my kitchen cupboards.  Now they are neat, organized, and I know what I've got ( a lot of dip mixes).

I am so grateful Bud has eaten and liked the new meals I've made this week: Thai Noodles w/Peanut Sauce and Chicken topped with  Bruschetta and Mozzarella.

I am really happy to have some new shirts for running.  $12.99 at Target in colors I love.  Gets me motivated.

Bud has watched two Snow White movies with me this week.  And stayed awake through both of them.  

So yes.  I do see the positive things that happen to me and around me.  Grief is a long road, and I think I have turned a corner.  I cannot keep dwelling on things--it is wearing me out.  It is time to move forward and step a bit more towards the light at the end of this dark tunnel.  I am looking at ways to honor my sister's memory and life--running a race in her name, possibly putting a bench in a local park for others to sit and enjoy the scenery.  Being brave and open to new opportunities.  Starting to write.  Planning for a giant flower garden this summer.  Making limoncello for summer sipping.  Training for those races!