November 30, 2004
my walk with an Olympian
I have a whole new set of muscles hurting after spending two hours with Philip Dunn, his identical twin Malcolm, Judy Heller, and a number of racewalkers and newbies like me. Wow! It was tremendous watching Philip in action, so relaxed and effortless and fast fast fast. And it was great doing the exercises and getting the feedback.
A part of me freaked out early on. I was still wearing chinos, as I hadn't had the time to change into my running pants, so I was the only person there not wearing tights or running pants. I was the largest, the slowest, etc, and when I realized we were each going to get personal attention (eg, criticism), I had this moment of being back in grade school and not getting picked for the team (any team).
But then I reminded myself: I wanted to learn how to get better. I was among friends. Most of us felt like we were practicing silly walks. Everyone was kind, everyone was friendly, and we were having a good time. We worked up enough of a sweat that most of us peeled down to the bottom layers.
I wish I had taken notes!
Oh, and another PFitter remarked that I had lost weight and I was looking good. I did the usual (oh, no, not really), but inside glowedsomebody noticed! May this trend continue!
BTW, Natasha is back home. She got some antibiotics while in hospital, and some meds to bring down her fever, but the vet thinks that we caught in enough time that she should be fine at home. She ate a little, she drank a little, and she climbed up onto her scratching pole, so I'm feeling kinda optimistic.
another bad morning
This has to be a quickie. My ankle feels much betterso much better that I'm about to go to a racewalking seminar with Philip Dunn.
Natasha, the one cat in the house who hasn't been sick this year, is at hospitalsame symptoms Nigella had. To add insult to injury, she peed on me in the car. Sigh!
November 29, 2004
More on the half
I think I wasn't clear, or maybe that my priorities weren't straight. I was bummed that I was slow, but the Seattle half was fun. Part of it was sheer tourism of walking through a town that I barely know, and looking at two things I never get enough of: fresh water, and woods. And truth be told, I do like hills, a lot. I just know I like to charge up them, and that that can get me in the end. This time I didn't, and I finished pretty fresh.
The support was great. It was about every second mile, and it featured bottled water (which I like better than Seattle tap), and gatorade. There was supposably a Gu stop, but I never saw it.
One support station towards the end offered Krispy Kreme donuts cut into bit-sized pieces. You know I had one!
A good Gu story: I saw lots of Gu wrappers, and sometimes full Gu packages along the road. At one point in Leschi, I noticed a Gu wrapper in the gutter of a garage. It was a vanilla Gu. And then a crow landed and tried to make off with it. It's awfully shiny!
Once I decided it was time to pass people, I had no trouble doing that. Until I got to the Hanna-esque woman. She was tall, with red curly hair, like my pal Hanna. I got right up next to her, and then she pulled away. She looked so relaxed, so mellow, and she so effortlessly sped up. I tried to keep up with her, and I had to admit defeat relatively quickly.
In the last mile or so, others passed me. There was a downhill, and walkers ran down it. I didn't, and at that point, I was happy to speed up a little more, but let the others go. As I came a couple blocks from the finish, I noticed the Hanna-esque woman. Perhaps she had stopped at a coffee shop, or did some grocery shopping, but she was suddenly right in front of me. I passed her--I'm sure she let me. She is an absolutely lovely person, and if you're reading, thank you.
The recovery area really was amazing. Incredible. All this food and drink, info booths, first aid, massage, acupuncture, the band. It was great. I was in post-race delirium, with a bottle of water under my arm, a banana and a cup of smoothie in one hand, clam chowder in the other, and somehow the space blanket wrapped around me, wandering around. Which is how I left behind my shoe pocket thingee.
When I went back in a couple hours later, what a different story. The food was still there, the first aid, massage, acupuncture, but the party atmosphere had moved on. There were a couple of booths left, and very few people.
You know, I'm planning to do Austin in February. Gosh, I'd love to be able to finish in time for the "party" rather than finishing once everything is put away, like an afterthought. The thing is, it won't happen this time.
Not as planned
When I got up this morning, I had a plan. Do the exercycle. Pick up the dog. Ride the bike to work. Ha!
So, I was bringing Echo home. He was excited, I was excited. Got to the front door, opened the overzealous screen door, and unlocked the door-door. Echo was in, I was following, and the corner of the screen door bit into my ankle.
Now, I've hated the screen door since the day I had it installed. It's taken off a shoe, well, at least once a month, but today was the first time it's drawn blood. Sure enough, I had a gaping rip, not huge, but not small either--painful, bloody, unpleasant.
So, I learned that you can glue these things shut. It's still tender, and red, and swollen, but it's no longer, well, bleeding.
November 28, 2004
Another day, another half-marathon
Well, I'm back home again. Seattle was great. We pricelined an expensive hotel, ate the most incredible sicilian dinner, and today, I did the half-marathon.
It was a beautiful day. Sunny for the most part, and towards the end it was warm enough to make me want to peel a couple of layers off.
Seattle has run and walk divisions for both the marathon and the half. It's amazing how many of the walkers ran. And, I'm sure, how many of the runners walked. Running versus walking seemed like a really tenuous line in the sand.
Anyways. My belly was still very upset this morning. The race began and while I stayed slow, I had a hell of a time trying to bring my heart rate back down. I wanted to pass people and just generally hot rod around, and it's hard holding back. The course is beautiful--the beginning goes through downtown, past the new library, into the International district, and then onto the freeway; then you walk through several affluent neighborhoods along Lake Washington, and then you go through the arboretum. Oh, and there's some hills.
So, long story short, I tried to keep to a 65% heart rate for the first seven miles, and I did great, except for the hills. Then I started passing folks, and that went great, except for the hills. The hills felt like mountain climbing. Now mind you, I know they aren't that bad, but I just couldn't do a decent speed and a decent heart rate. I had hoped to finish in about 3:30, but I finished 3:53:43 without a negative split. This isn't the PR I wanted. In fact, it's no PR at all.
But, it was a lot of fun, even though I was slow. In comparison to Portland, there was no music. There was one case of drumming, and there were several cases where homeowners stuck stereo speakers out of their windows, but no live bands, until you got into the Recovery Area. The Recovery area was great. There were oranges, apples and bananas, and you could take what you wanted. A smoothie company offered tasters, and Ivar's offered clam chowder. (Man, clam chowder was the best post-race meal. It was so delicious!) Krispy Kreme was giving out donuts, and someone else coffee.
I dropped by to see my friends who were tending a booth for their magazine Walk about, who told me that Philip Dunn, the Olympian racewalker, had just been by. By the sounds of things, he and his family were doing various events. He had told them that the hills killed his time. There, I feel better!
I got a quickie 15 minute massage, and then went looking for the buses that went from the Seattle Center to the Westin. I was never able to find them, so I walked the mile back to my hotel, got my icebath, and then hit the road. Well, almost. I realized I had left my shoe pocket at the masseur's table, which has my brand-new (from Friday) drivers license, so back to the Seattle Center.
Runners and walkers are just great. My shoe pocket remained on the ground where I had left it, with that single dollar still left in it(!!). Walking out, I saw Mela, who had run her pal Cory in. Yay!!
Anyways, from this I learned: I am not ready for hills, and I am not in good shape yet. More work awaits. Tomorrow.
November 27, 2004
off to Seattle
Well, this ought to be interesting. I feel spectacularly bad. My belly has been unhappy, really, since I overate on Wednesday, but it's gotten rather odd. Yesterday, I started some really unpleasant cramping, and last night, I bled from my belly button, not a lot, not (I think) for a long time. I had a little freakout session last nightI've never heard of anyone's belly button bleeding. So, I guess I got lucky.
If this were a local race, and I hadn't signed up, I'd wait and see how I felt, but I've been planning on doing this half-marathon since before I did Portland. So, the show must go on. I'm hoping that perhaps this will pass and I'll feel fabulous tomorrow.
The weather in Seattle doesn't look bad. It should be about 37 and foggy when I start, and 44 and foggy when I finish! I'm hoping that I'll be finished by about 11:30, and that we can have a late checkout at the hotel so I can icebathe and change into street clothes. Oh, and at the finishline: clam chowder!
It sounds like a great race. The design seems walker friendly (the course doesn't open for cars until 2:15, allowing a 7 hour finish), they have normal support (yay, gatorade, yay, Gu!), on-demand massages and acupuncture. I'm getting excited for it! I just hope my body cooperates.
November 25, 2004
I hope everyone here in the States had a great Thanksgiving. I had these big plans of a long morning walk or some quality time with the exercycle, but I fell into some house cleaning and that was that. The rest of the day has been eating (dim sum, and then a rather lackluster meal at Jake's Grill). I've been thinking that I would be missing the non-stop kitchen action of cooking too much food and inviting too many folks over, but in fact, it was nice to have a leisurely day.
It seems lots of folks were more productive today. Susan of Finally Running ran a kick-ass 5K Turkey Trot. Among the no-race-reports-yet are Richard of Running Towards FitnessI'm hoping he was able to run, Deene of Tenderfoot Diaries, and Mark of Fleming's Running Blog.
November 24, 2004
I think about fitness much differently than I used to. Hey, I can walk a distance, no big deal. The 45 minute walk in, at 65% max heart rate (MHR), makes me sweat a little, mostly on my back (where I'm carrying my backpack). Pilates, I'm lucky to maybe be able to do 40%. Yesterday, I did 6 minutes on the rowing machine, and 65% MHR was rough. Really hard. This morning, I did some time on the exercycle and 65% also caused me to sweat buckets in a very short amount of time.
I know it's about stamina and endurance for my non-walking muscles, but I feel like a weakling!
I am so infatuated with my new exercycle! It is so much fun. All the cats watch me like I'm insane.
Have a great thanksgiving, all you American readers!
November 23, 2004
I am so excited! The Windsprint (eg, exercycle) is home. For some reason, getting across town was arduoustraffic was thick and slow well after it should have thinned and sped up. But the trek got my mind off my obsessing, which was making me kinda cranky.
We heard a funny song, Underwear Goes Inside The Pants (video), which set the tone for the evening.
We got the Windsprint home without incident, all the animals came and inspected it, and then we both tried it out. If it wasn't so close to bedtime, I'd do a workout but I do want to sleep tonight.
Remember when I said it wasn't that noisy? Ha! It's like running the vacuum. It's a good thing we live in a free-standing house.
Today every muscle in my body aches. Damn pilates! I can barely do anything and I am still far too aware of it the next day. I approached the instructor of the class about smaller or private classes, as I thought that she maybe had a pilates practice outside of the gym (she does not, but she done personal training in the past). Anyhow she is going to get back to me about rates, and then we'll see if I can afford this.
I'm reading The Abs Diet, which, not remarkably, sounds like an extended article from Men's Health. The fact that women might actually read it seems to be an afterthought. But anyways, there is all this talk about abs, abs, abs, and how they appear to be the kidneys of the muscle groups, fanatically controlling everything. Well, I give in. I'm weak and I must be strengthened!
I walked in again today, but was mulling things over so much that I had a hard time keeping my speed up. I ended up turning up the iPod and trying to lose myself in the Breeders and David Sedaris' Santaland Diaries, which was entertaining, but didn't work either.
I went out for happy hour with some acquaintances last night, and something rubbed me wrong. I'm really not quite sure what it was, but I think that there were a couple things that revolved around one of our waitresses, who was impossibly cute and young and fit. Some folks at the table were complimenting her, and there was this part of me that started shrieking (inaudibly, of course), why aren't you noticing the weight I'm losing and how fit I'm becoming? (Well, of course, these are acquaintances, I see them maybe once a month, it's kinda unrealistic that they would notice that.)
I was also uncomfortable about my perception that their attention was sexual. This is and has been a hot button issue for me. While I was single, I longed for that sort of attention, but when I got it, it freaked me out and put me on the defensive. And it still does, even though I'm safe and secure in a relationship. I hope and fear that losing weight will increase my attractiveness. That's the crux of it.
Yet, as I've said before, my fat hasn't been a very good protector from attention. I need to be my own protector. And I need to, at this very late stage of the game, get more okay with it.
November 22, 2004
I'm not sure what got into me this morning, as we stayed up late watching the extras from the They Might Be Giants documentary, Gigantic, but I walked into work. 3 miles. My neighbor was out so I leisurely chatted with him after I had started the timer. So, the timer reads 50 minutes, which is usually how long it takes me. I was in zone, however, 43 minutes, which is probably closer to how long it took me today. Wuhoo! That's a big improvement. (This is frightening. The phrase "in the zone" has started a loop of Britney Spears in my head. I am so in hell) And, I felt great. Like I could walk forever.
I weighed in at the gym: 239. I made the goal! So the next weigh-in will be December 6, with a goal of 236.
I suppose I should worry about if I'll make that in the next two weeks, what with Thanksgiving and the mini-trip to Seattle, but I'm not worried, really. I don't get it. I've been eating and drinking bad things like pizza and beer and a burritohell, yesterday, I ate a donut. I have been trying to eat more veggies, beans, fruit, yogurt, nuts. I don't get it. Oh well.
November 21, 2004
I've spent the weekend surprisingly far away from the computer, and I gotta say, it's been pleasant.
Saturday morning, I went out with the PFit/StayFit folks for a walk from 24th & Hawthorne to Mt. Tabor. I needed to do 9 miles, and I think I did about 10. It was very pleasant, though really rather cold. Like 36 degrees. And once I got to the top of Mount Tabor, it was windy, too.
I used to walk over Mt. Tabor on an almost daily basis, but that was 10 years ago. A lot has happened then, particularly around the 4 city reservoirs on Mt. Tabor. After 9/11, there was talk of burying them, which really didn't go over so well. I really haven't been there since I moved out of the neighborhood.
Well, now the roads around the reservoirs are closed to motorized traffic, which means Mt. Tabor is a great place to walk, run, do Tai Chi, roller-blade, cycle, etc. I loved walking up on the road, not having to worry about who was going to mow me down, in this incredible beauty. I loved encountering other brave souls out on a chilly morning. It was great.
Afterwards, I went looking for yarn for a walking hat for Seattle (not found), and stopped at a new bicycle clothing store and bought a couple pairs of cute bike socks.
That evening, we went out to Scholls for the best pizza ever. Sunday morning, we did breakfast out, then went to Powell's where we bought too many books (Simply Pilates, Simply Ball, Punk Rock Aerobics [hey, how could I resist?], The Walker Within, and The Cat Owner's Manual).
Then we went to a used sporting goods store where I fell in love with an exercycle. It's a schwinn Windsprint and it is completely different than what I went in expecting that I'd want. I've been looking almost exclusively at recumbent style stationary bikes, whereas the Windsprint is upright. I have seen the Airdynes, and I thought they looked cool and old style, but there were really noisy. The Windsprint is less so, and, it's like riding an actual bike. It even has programs like spinning where you ride in the saddle and then hammer standing up.
As usual, I had a gas playing with all the threadmills, ellipticals, bikes and Gazelle-like devices. There was a little girl, maybe 5 or 6, who had the same obsessive impulsive to try out everything. Of course, nothing there was sized for 5 or 6 year old girls, but that didn't stop her. She was having such a good time. She reminded me of me, though I wonder if I was ever that fearless. I certainly wasn't exposed to exercise equipment or to the idea that exercise could be fun. So I was chatting with her, and her dad was chatting with her, and totally being participatory with her, letting her bench press (all the while with his hands holding the pole).
We go and pick up the Windsprint, probably Tuesday night. I am already obsessed--I want it in my living room now.
November 19, 2004
Well, I made a trip to the gym, and it's nice, though surprising, to see progress. I did my usual upper-body workout, which I have been doing only occasionally since before the Michigan trip, and while parts were hard, it felt really good.
I learned that my gym has two evening pilates classes in addition to the once-a-week lunchtime class. They also have a small-session twice-a-week abs session.
My goal for Monday is to weigh 240. Today, I weigh 236.
And, I got on the treadmill to do a little long slow distance (except in this case it was short slow distance). To keep my heart rate at 65%, I usually do 2.8 miles an hour. Today, 3.2! Now, I don't ever take my waking heart rate, so I don't figure out what is truly 65% each time. But all things equally, that's still .4 miles an hour faster.
I've been investigating pilates classes, and, um, they're expensive. Hmmm, get a wifi PDA or take some introductory classes? The gadget wins everytime. Okay, it's not quite that bad, but close.
Yesterday one of my coworkers complimented me, saying I looked fit. I feel anything but fit, as this week has been a lot of sitting on the couch, and too much beer drinking (I'm fond of beer drinking--but I try to cut back when I'm dieting. Like now). But, how nice is that? I'm loving that.
I love the fact that I'm wearing size 20 pants, and last spring I was wearing 26s.
Still, I'm a bit nervous about weigh-in day, Monday. Will I have lost the three pounds? Here's hoping.
I was under the impression that I could sign up for the Seattle half-marathon through today. In fact, it was through last night at 11:59. Damn it, why did I put this off? Now I need to register at the Expo, which sounds like hell. Oh well.
I seem to be stuck when it comes to the whole thanksgiving weekend. Usually, I cook a big meal, dirty every dish in the house, and invite a bunch of folks over. I love this ritual, but my sweetie doesn't. So it's not going to happen this year. Okay, so what will take its place? Go out to an expensive meal? Get a pizza? Make food at home (If so, what?)?
In a similar way, I feel stuck about the half-marathon. The hotel isn't booked, the kennel for Echo not reserved, I don't have a decent rain jacket, and now, I'm not even registered! Oh well, that's what today is for...
November 18, 2004
dreaming of running
I dreamt last night of running. It was effortless. I moved gracefully.
I look forward, to someday running again. I feel that joy of movement with walking, and with cycling, so why does running come up again and again in my dreams? Is this some unconscious feeling that walking isn't real exercise?
Whatever. I was interested to see this story over the shoulder of another bus commuter: Running 'key to human evolution'
I feel whomped again--just achey and exhausted. Damn this flu! The sun is out and it's pretty nice so I am going to walk on my lunch, and hope it doesn't set me too far back.
You like it, you really like it!
Wow, gosh, I am flattered and overwhelmed by your response. Thank you!!
Chrissie asked about the photo. It's one I took at the end of October of my human-powered route to work. Most of the ride is through the neighborhood, or along the giant arena, but there is this striking vista that I always enjoy. This is a view of the Steel Bridge Pedestrian and Bicycle Crossing, which connects the Eastbank Esplanade and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. The Steel Bridge was built in 1912 and is a double-deck, vertical lift or telescoping-lift span bridge.
This is a double-decked bridge; the lower deck is a railroad deck while the upper deck is used for highway and light rail traffic. The two decks may be lifted at the same time, or the lower deck may be raised independently of the upper deck, telescoping into the latter. The Steel Bridge was the first bridge built with this independent lifting system and is the only one of this type existing in the United States today.
The bridge, and the whole waterfront loop, is tremendously popular. So, when I bike or walk to work, that is usually on my route.
And the view, off in the fog, is of downtown Portland.
November 17, 2004
Welcome to the new-old blog, brothers and sisters!
Everything is here save your previous comments, and if I can figure out how to move them over, I shall. Now, the next step will be bringing the altportland guide into this century...
Yesterday, I went to amazon.com to look at some potential xmas gifts for my sweetie. Amazon is so thoughtful: the front page was full of all sorts of Heart Rate Monitor books. They are so inexpensive that I really just want to buy a couple, even though I've barely looked at the ones I already have. If only absorbing the information was as easy as buying the books!
I'm still tired, but feeling better than yesterday. I'm hoping that tomorrow I can get some exercise of some sort, and not be entirely done in by it. Hope hope hope.
I'm also on the lookout for pilates classes, afterwork, here in Portland. It's a bonus if they are on the east side. If you're local and do pilates, please give a holler.
November 16, 2004
back at work
So, I'm back at work. My symptoms are not bad at all, except for the inability to do anything physical without wearing myself out. So no planned exercise today.
As if to remind me of my pathetic state, I ran into one of the M-W-F gym regulars on my way into work. We both just smiled and nodded, and I thought, dammit, he just came from the gym. I was jealous! Soon, I'll get back to this stuff. Soon.
November 15, 2004
Well, I'm sick again. This is terribly disappointing. Yesterday I started with the hot and cold, constant sneezing, constant nose running, and exhaustion with simple activities. Sigh. So I'm home so I don't share it with others.
The worst of it is that I am sick. Simple activities, like bringing my coffee cup to the kitchen, winds me, and bringing clothing upstairs covers me in a head-to-toe sweat, drenching the waistband of my pajama bottoms.
Saturday morning, a few of us PFitters met at one of the running stores. They had a fashion show, and then offered us 20% off. They had some really cute things. And of course, they had nothing in my size in women's clothing. I was surprised to find out that they didn't have anything that fit my best pal J, who is much smaller, really, an average-sized American woman. "You know," she says, "I bet they'd sell a lot of clothes if they had a broader range of sizes". Well, duh. But who is making them?
One of my goals with losing a little weight this winter is not just gaining speed, but also being able to buy cute women's workout wear. I want to be able to buy clothes, not mail-order, but in a storeand not socks! I am so far away from that. I am trying to get there, but I am so far away.
I looked at exercise equipment afterwards. Treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes. Fun. Love working out on the machines in a store. I don't know that I'm getting any closer to buying. I keep thinking, I could get up at 4:30, and I could drive to the gym and workout a couple hours and drive the car back home (or somewhereI can't afford to park downtown), and then I thinkhow realistic is that, really?
November 12, 2004
I biked into work this morning. I felt a bit creakyno doubt from yesterday's walk, Monday's bruises, and not having ridden in a couple weeksbut it also felt pretty good.
The bruises from Monday have really come out now. On the bad arm, I have a big swollen green bruise from wrist to just above the elbow. The shoulder, which I had iced immediately, doesn't look great, but looks nowhere near as bad as the one a bit lower on that arm. I'll see the chiropractor today, who can give me a better idea how much damage I did, exactly.
My sweetie and I saw my mom in May. We talked a lot about walkingwe were both doing PFit at that point, and had that beginner's zeal. Mom mentioned that she had got a stepometer at McDonalds, and that she was enjoying wearing it.
At that point, I owned a pair of walking shoes and that was it. No pedometer, no heart rate monitor, no garmin, no technical fabric clothes, no hydration system.
Anyways, fast forward to the trip last week. Mom gave me her stepometer. Like the rest of my pedometers, it's off, running about a third high, but it's still kinda fun to see the numbers.
Yesterday, I hit 36 thousand. So that's probably really 24,000 steps. In one day. Not too bad!
November 11, 2004
Well, I just got back from doing a 25K, or 15.5 miles for those of you playing along at home. I did the whole long, slow distance thing, so it took me over 5 hours.
(The map to the right will give you an idea -- though the purple line is not the route I took)
The weather was beautiful--a perfect day to be outside moving around. I went from the beginning to the end of Alameda Blvd, and then up and around Rocky Butte, and back.
I didn't have any sort of real discomfort until I had been walking about 4 hours, which I thought was great. My goth toe was uncovered and unhappy, and my legs were tired, but otherwise I felt like I could walk on and on.
This route was interesting as there were a number of hills involved, not the least being Rocky Butte. When left to my own devices, I like to charge up hills, which I'm not convinced is the right way to tackle them. I tried today to keep my heart rate at my walking pace, which meant slowing down a bunch--really slow. I was pleased with as well as I did, and surprised how fast I had to scramble to make the heart rate going downhill.
Afterwards, I went to breakfast at my favorite place, that I usually can't get into on the weekends, and then took the bus home. Now I'd like to nap <grin>!
November 10, 2004
Well. Yesterday I went for an hour-long walk with Jill, which felt great at the time, but afterwards I had a headache as well as the it-hurts-to-think/move/breathe fullbody sensation. I ended up bailling on the Anthony Bourdain talk and dinner because I felt so icky. I had planned the trip to my mom's around this event. I am seriously bummed.
But today is a new day, right? Fresh slate, all that. I managed to get out of the house at 6:15 and onto the bus downtown, so I made it to the gym by 6:45. It felt like old-home day -- all the Wednesday morning regulars were there. I decided I would do as much of the upperbody workout as I could without causing myself pain, and I did manage to get through a lot of it. And then I got some quality time on the treadmill.
November 9, 2004
I feel, still, pretty stoopid. Oh my gosh, I can't even think and walk down the stairs. This does not bode well for me. So I hurt, almost universally all over. My eyes hurt. I wonder, really, how hard I landed on my head. My walk to the bus this morning hurt.
I'm trying to keep a sense of humor about this, but I'm having a hard time forgiving myself this.
I'm trying to look at the good side of this. I did manage to clean and declutter a quite a bit last night before I did my gymnastics. I brought about half of the clothes upstairs. I have a backpack full of magazines to bring to the gym, and I cleaned up about half a grocery bag of newspapers.
I read a forum thread about buying a treadmill, and then did some further reading at Runner's World where they say, don't put your exercise equipment in the basementout of sight, out of mind. They're right: I hate my basement and I doubt even with "remodeling" that it would be that pleasant a place to hang out.
Oh. And I got my student loan payment thingee. Payments start next month, and they're 2/3rds of my mortgage cost. Sigh. I get a raise next month, but I doubt it's a 2/3rds of the mortgage type raise.
Sweetie and I had talked about goals over the weekend, and for both of us, we wanted to eat better and eat at home most of the time, unlike our current bad behavior of eating out as a habit. We figured it would save us some cash too, that we could put into the house. Or, the student loan payment.
November 8, 2004
Do you ever experience that slow-mo sensation, that everything has slowed waaaaay down, and yet you can do nothing to change it? The future is already written, you just have to follow-through, and you're powerless to do anything different?
Well. Not the greatest day. Missed the pilates class when a manager came in to chat. Came home, let the dog out, and started cleaning house, you know, at a fat-burning heart rate. Taking pieces of clothing upstairs, one at a time. Natasha, one of the cats, was making a game of plopping in front of me at the top of the stairs. I was trying to discourage this, and I was coming down the stairs thinking that I might step on her (bad) or that I might trip over her (bad). And then all of the sudden, I was tumbling down the stairs.
I feel pretty stoopid about this. I bruised both arms, my knees, and one shoulder is really unhappy. I hurt now, two hours later--what will I feel like in the morning?
One of the many nice things about visiting my mom includes having the downtime to think about goals. As either Mom or I was sick at all times during this visit, we had lots of time to sit in front of the TV. Since we have really different tastes, and Mom controlled the remote, we mostly watched what she wanted: Lifetime, and Court TV. I'd try not to watch, and daydream.
Essentially, I've committed myself to a course of improvement.
- Working on the outside of the house: we have a failed tropical-scary garden in the front yard. It's overgrown and overtaken by wisteria and fennel. Everything must go! At least, somewhere else. I am torn about having a wildly exuberant front yard--I want it, but I don't do the work. I need to remember that, and not move in that direction again!
How to make it happen: spend 15 minutes a day on it. Work on only one thing at a time.
- Working on the downstairs: my clutter is everywhere. My horde of magazines threaten to fall off shelves, and are dragged around by cats. I want to get the house back into sufficent shape that if someone says they're coming over, I or Sweetie don't totally freak.
How to make it happen: spend 15 minutes a day on it. Work on only one thing at a time.
- Getting a toolshed: We have no garage, no carport, no shed. The lawnmower lives on the basement stairs, and the bikes in the living and laundry rooms. Our laundry room is full of garden tools. This stuff has got to go!
How to make this happen: we've priced sheds. Now we need to figure out how big we need, and where it will work in the yard.
- Lose some weight: I realized that while I was hoping to lose weight, I was just hoping. To really do this, I need to have a plan, goals, etc.
How to make this happen: my goal is to lose 3 pounds every 2 weeks. I'd love something more dramatic, but realistically, well, I gotta be realistic. I have a job and workout goals and other things going on. I plan to concentrate on eating whole foods and lots of veggies, eat more frequently, and eat smaller portions
- Workout more: this piggybacks with the losing weight--I want/need to do more fatburning exercise. This works well with needing to do more LSD walking.
How to make this happen: ugh. Keep biking to work, keep squeezing in exercise whenever I can, start looking at how else I can exercise now that it's dark whenever I am off work (like active housework, decluttering, walking the loop around my first floor).
- Clean up part of the basement so I can get some exercise equipment: this piggybacks with the shed, and with exercise. Once the shed is there, I'll be able to get down into the basement, and start cleaning. Right now, the stairs and the basement are an obstacle course.
Do you think I have enough on my plate?
Is it time for a nap yet?
Well, I'm back at work, and I am so very happy to be here. Out the windows, the trees are all crimson, and everything looks soft and smudged in the fog. I still have the crud, and got winded with grocery shopping and cooking yesterday--and I feel no better, so I didn't ride in or even visit the gym.
Which fills me with panic, honestly. I'd like to do the Seattle Marathon's half 11/28, but between the trip and the crud, I haven't been putting in the mileage. And I know I have to. And I don't know if this is just a cold, and I'll feel crappy for a full week no matter what I do, or something else that might respond positively or negatively to activity or rest.
I'll do pilates on my lunch, and I had thought about having a long session on the treadmill tonight, but I guess we'll see.
November 7, 2004
I'm tired and I have a bit of a cold, but it was a good trip. A trip where I got the stomach flu, and Mom had a cold. I did two hour-long walks, outside of pacing in airports, and I "ice skated" for the first time since I was a teenager. I put that in quotes because it was more like 'go forward on skates for 50 ft, grab the side of the rink' rather than any sort of real skating, and let me tell you, it was hard. But it was dead fun, and I spent the rest of the trip trying to figure out how I could get back to the rink.
My road rash is still there, but much less painful; my goth toe lost its nail.
It's always good to see my mom, and always nourishing to see the area where she lives, which just looks right on a cellular level. But the conservatism and homogeneity make it really hard to spend a lot of time there. Here's a weird example (that really has nothing to do with conservatism or homogeneity, but hey) that happened this trip:
Mom asked me what I wanted for Xmas, and I couldn't think of anything. (Sure, there's stuff I want, like technical fabric clothes, and home exercise equipment, but... ) Well, how about magazines, she asks, knowing magazines are cheap and something that I seem to never think I have enough of. Runner's World came immediately to mind, and do you think we could find a copy anywhere in her town? Well, um, we did find two copies--one at the library (yay, library!), and one at the Waldenbooks--but that was a copy from September.
At WalMart, we saw a copy of Running Times, which I immediately bought. I had never seen that outside of a sports store, so imagine my surprise (I only go to WalMart with my mom). While I do buy RT, I don't do it with the compulsive regularity of RW.
Even at the not-so-small regional airport two-and-a-half hours away -- no RW.
We landed in Chicago, and not only was it a balmy 55 degrees, immediately I saw African Americans, mixed-race couples, people who weren't Christian, gay men and lesbians. I immediately felt about 50 lbs lighter. People were smiling at me, and I am sure I was smiling back. And the first newsstand: the new Runner's World.
One thing that I had not expected was my mom's pride in my having done a marathon. I chatted with one of my favorite aunts, who congratulated me on doing Portland, and said, 'You've walked 26 miles, you know, Vicki, you can do anything, anything at all'. Wow. A quilting buddy who came by said something similarly complimentary.
I purchased Women's Health (you and improved) with some enthusiasm. If you want me to become a regular subscriber, here is what I want to see:
- an emphasis on health, primarily the areas that Rodale does so well with other publications: running, cycling, fitness, nutrition, supplements
- I don't want to read or see spreads on fashion or makeup. I don't want to know what he won't tell me or sexy things I can do with him or for him or why opposites attract. I don't want to know how to dress slimmer, or why layered hair is good--every other women's, and notably women's fitness, magazine already does this.
- I don't mind diet stuff, but that shouldn't be the emphasis of the magazine. Start from the idea that women are okay the way they are, but they want to be healthier, stronger, more fit, more successful.
- in the best of all possible worlds, you would be like the original Women's Sports and Fitness, targeting an audience of all active (and wannabe) intelligent women, or like Dandelion (ditto)
- there's an audience waiting for a new mainstream women's health magazine--but this isn't it. This is a weird mating of Men's Health and any women's fitness magazine out there. We're smarter than that--and so are you