Saturday, December 31, 2005


Reality Check:
As I have read through other friend's blogs, I realize that I should list some of the highlights of 2005, and also list things I would like to do for 2006...

Things that went right in 2005:

*Cut back on my work hours to reorganize and take care of my family.

*This little guy...

*Maintained working out, running, and eating properly for most of the year.

*Trained for and ran in the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon for the first time on June 5th, 2005 with my brother, husband and thousands.

*Watched my son graduate from high school with wonderful grades.

*Struggled and fought to purchase the house my grandfather built, which is now in escrow.

Things to improve upon in 2006:

*Get back on track with serious weight training.

*Begin training for the next SDRNR marathon on June 4, 2006.

*Run in the Bay to Breakers 12K event in San Francisco with my brother.

*Organize and repair my current house so that we can rent it out.

*Repair the house we will be moving to.

*Spend more time with my family while I can. My kids are both at ages where they SHOULD be moving out and/or going away to school in the near future...

*Recheck career options.

*College, again...


Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Peace On Earth...

Christmas this year began with dinner at my sister-in-law's house on Christmas Eve. She put on a great dinner and it was quite special because we were all there for the first time in YEARS. We opted not to attend Christmas Eve services this year, but did attend the Mass on Christmas day, which was less hectic but just as special.

Michael surprised me with a new camera. My Olympus 5 mega pixel camera,
with all the bells and whistles on it broke in the most peculiar spot, which is where the batteries are stored. The latch that holds the batteries inside broke. Taking a photo with that camera is not impossible, just challenging because velcro and rubber bands are holding the batteries in, rendering some of the advanced camera features useless. The new camera is the same brand as my now "old" camera, but the battery enclosure has been redesigned. The new Olympus camera has 8 mega pixels and came with a dual lens kit(Zuiko Digital 17.5-45 F3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm F3.5-4.5) I really wasn't expecting anything that nice. I spent a good part of Christmas day playing with F stops, flash settings, and everything between the zoom and marco settings. I was stunned that Michael gave me such a wonderful camera. I had a good time experimenting... I even caught Evan, um, showing off.

The other big hit gift was the toy big rig truck filled with small Matchbox sized cars that Renee gave Evan. He spent a good part of the day lining up all the little cars, sorting them by color and counting them, and lying on the floor with the big rig so he could watch the wheels move... Evan received other wonderful gifts, but that big rig with the cars was his favorite.

Once the boxes and wrapping were cleared off the floor, we enjoyed macadamia nut pancakes for breakfast and maple sausage. This sounds like a small thing but it's a rare day when the 5 of us are able to sit together for a meal, even breakfast. The rest of the day was spent lounging around the house. Michael and I watched silly Christmas movies while the kids did their own thing. For dinner we barbecued steakes and also served potatoes and cucumber salad... (Keep in mind that Southern California had 75 degree weather for Christmas day.) We did put in an appearance at my in-law's house for dessert, which was pleasant, and they were happy to have us there. My in-laws are now in their mid 80's and the big Christmas Eve dinner is just too much for them to handle, so my sister-in-law hosts it now. My mother-in-law was stubborn about giving up hosting the dinner but she finally gave in, and I think she realizes that it is too much work for her and it's time that someone else take over.

I'd say we had "Peace On Earth," for a moment, well, at least at our house. I truly enjoyed the peace that was brought to our Christmas day this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Surf's Up, Way Up!

Surf photos from the San Diego Union tribune

Yesterday was the first day of winter, but it felt a lot like summer! It was 85 degrees in my neighborhood, and the beach was showing off some ginormous 20 foot waves! I have yet to take out my winter sweaters or fully utilize my fireplace. Oh, I'm not complaining one bit. Christmas isn't about the weather. It just seems odd to be at Christmas week and have very balmy weather here. I'm sure this will all change in a week or two. Hmmmmm... It might be a good idea to barbecue some steak on Christmas day. Oh, we do partake in the traditional Christmas dinner with family on Christmas Eve, so we're not missing out on ANYTHING...

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Parties

I feel as if I'm a week late in doing everything related to Christmas. Today Christmas cards and gifts to be mailed ARE going out. I still need to finish shopping for a few people, but that should be relatively easy.

I am finally feeling better and the coughing is finally diminishing, however so slowly. Energy levels are definitely up but not quite back normal. Working out has been very scaled back, but I am doing SOMETHING, and I suppose I should feel good about that.

Michael and I did the Christmas party rounds, and we did okay. The Thursday party was mostly family oriented and the cuisine was geared towards hyping up the kids. They had a "decorate your own cookie table" complete with plain sugar cookie cut-outs, frosting in a can, sprinkles and candies. Another table was an ice-cream Sundae table. My family asked "Where's the real food?" There was a table with fruits and vegetables. 2 year old Evan had a wonderful time. There was a train set up in the middle of the room and he enjoyed watching that and chasing around some of the other children. After this sugar filled event, we ended up at a Thai fusion restaurant for real food... Michael and I also attended my office Christmas party on Saturday, which was at my boss' house. I work on call so I don't see everyone as often as I would like. Turns out everyone came down with the same affliction I had. Pass the Robitussen! My coworkers are a lively bunch, which helped to contribute to a very fun filled evening. Pomegranate martinis are now dubbed "Princess Juice." Then, finally, another party on Sunday where I met a wide range of people who were quite interesting. I met a retired pro baseball player and a woman who makes quite a living at photographing animals and flowers. We also had learned that the party host ran the same marathon we were in, so we shared our gory details...

Whew! No more parties until this Friday, which is Michaels' office party. Yay!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Getting Ready For The Holidays

Just when I'm starting to get into the swing of things for the holidays, I've come down with strep-throat. This infection really slowed me down. I haven't worked out or run in about three weeks now. I have taken my full course of anti-biotics, and I am feeling and looking much better, but I am still wiped out. I am hoping, now that the antibiotics are finished, that I will begin to feel more energized. It bothers me that I haven't been very active. I hope to be doing some sort of work-out again by this Monday. Today I finally felt up to making a few batches of cookie dough (to be rolled and baked in a couple of days) and I did make one 5 pound batch of my grandma's fudge recipe, which is not an easy recipe but the results are worth the effort.

Michael and I celebrate our 23rd wedding anniversary on December 11th. 23 years of marriage boggles my mind, especially since divorce is so prevalent. Some how we've made it work. We've gone through all kinds of life altering events and managed to come out okay. We had dated each other for four years prior to marriage, so we knew what we were getting into. We were (and still are) each other's best friends. I feel fortunate to have a life partner who I still enjoy being with.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'm Turning Into My Mother

My mother's first language was not English, so while I was a kid she was learning English as I was learning to talk. My mother was great at "Spanglish," but purely non-intentional. She also came up with some of her own versions of words or titles. One of my favorite titles for "The Beverly Hillbilly's" was her version: "The Beverly Hilly-billy's." I never really considered her version of the English language mangled, just very creative.

I'm not quite sure how the subject of video games came up, but Michael and I were talking about all of the different devices on the market to play video games. I meant to bring up "Game Boy" and "Play Station" separately, but it came up "Playboy Station." Gah! I am turning into my mother!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Thanksgiving Week

I've decided to have a self imposed vacation from serious working out until after Thanksgiving, which is just a few days away. That doesn't mean that I won't go for an easy run or be active, it just means that I won't throw myself into a serious, sweaty, all out effort work out. My body has been rebelling and, perhaps, I've been over-training. For starters I have tendenitis in my left arm, I'm dealing with all kinds of other unexplained aches and pains, and now I'm dealing with allergies due to the extremely dry and warm weather at the moment. My "vacation" from working out actually started last week. I did work out with my personal trainer friend one day, just so he could show me how to work out around my tendenitis. The only down side to not working out as I was is the extra weight that creeps on. I'm up a good 6 pounds now, and I'm sure a good part of it is water retention. I realize the weight will go back down once I get back on schedule.

My son had a guitar recital last night. As a parent, I've been to other recitals for school and various instruments my kids were trying to play at some point, and the hard part is sitting through EVERY haphazard rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Last night's recital was quite different. There were young children as well as adults who participated. I was not prepared for the performances that I amazingly listened to. Some of the most unassuming kids and adults would rip out guitar rifts from Metallica, Korn, Led Zepplin, etc... Now it's my turn to gush. My son decided to play Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." I sat there in amazement. Other people were straining their necks to get a better look at what MY son was doing. That was so cool! The audience clapped and cheered loudly when he finished, and people didn't do that for everyone. He pulled it off! I had been listening to him practice sections of the song for weeks, but never the whole piece. I am very proud of my son. (GUSH, GUSH, GUSH!)

The house thing is still going on. We've signed papers, but the sale of the house is not final yet. No celebratory dancing in the streets and champagne yet... It seems there's always some bizarre obstacle to jump over. It shouldn't have to be THIS difficult to buy a home that's in the family.

Thanksgiving will be at the in-laws this year. I have my "eating clothes" ready to wear... Meaning, I'm wearing clothes that I don't have to unbutton to feel comfortable in. I plan on eating everything. Cheers!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Shelter Island 5K

I participated in the Shelter Island 5k this morning with 596 others. Here are my results:

156 IRENE M..... 285 46 6/40 F San Diego 26:39 8:35

It was a GORGEOUS morning for a run, especially by the bay with the incentive of a brunch right after the finish line. :)

Around the last mile I ran in with a woman who is exactly my age. She said she was trying to pace herself with me because I was just a little bit ahead of her at the start. We finished together! That was cool! There were some phenomenally fast women in my age group... They looked fast just standing still! This was not a PR for me but I was still happy with this run. THEN there was food... Lots of food. If any of you just so happen to be in San Diego this time next year, I do suggest participating in this event, even if you walk it. They provided a champagne brunch at Humphires by the Bay in their outdoor concert venue. It was great. We also met some wonderful people. We talked to a guy who reminded me of my brother, been running since high school, today was his birthday and he came in 4th in his age group. I'm gonna keep this event in mind for next year.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

"To Do" List

Angie had posted on her blog a list of things she would like to do and a list of places she would like to visit before she leaves this world. This really got me to thinking about my life and rethink MY list. I really hadn't thought about what I'd like to do next or where I would like to go in quiet some time.

Things I'd like to do, not in any particular order:
*Learn how to surf.
*Learn how to scuba dive.
*Learn how to kick box.
*Have a greenhouse or entire greenroom.
*Figure out how to grow an orchid and get new blooms.
*Finish my BA in Art.
*Use my art supplies I bought months ago.
*Take private guitar lessons from a real guitar teacher. (Group lessons from a friend was not a good idea.)
*Take computer classes. ( I am computer challenged.)
*Join a running group in town.
*Participate in at least one marathon a year for as long as I am able to, even if I have to walk it.
*Volunteer to do something like Habitat for Humanity.

Places I've never been to but would like to visit:
*St Petersburg, Russia
*Some of the South Pacific Islands
*New Zealand

Places I've been to and would like to visit again:
*Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
*Belem, Brazil
*Cancun, Mexico
*Mayan Ruins, Yucatan, Mexico
*New York, NY, USA
*Chicago, Il, USA
*Colorado, USA
*Arizona, USA
*New Mexico, USA
*The Iowa family farm, USA
*Boston, MA, USA
*San Francisco, CA, USA
*The beach,here, in my own town...

Friday, November 04, 2005

Weighty Matters

I did go to Costco and purchase the weights. The funny thing is that I ended up with "Nautilus" weights. They are EXACTLY the same as the Bowflex weights, except for the logo, and the weight stand is slightly different. These weights are so co cool!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Investing in my health...

I had been sidelined with the flu last week, so I'm just now getting back to working out and eating normally this week. My suspicions that I might have tendonitis in my left arm have been confirmed by my chiropractor. He did some adjustments on my arm, which did help, but he told me the usual recoup time is 6 weeks, which I already knew. I can still work out, I just have to be mindful of how I grip weights and keep the weights lower than I'm used to.

I'm also looking into purchasing a new set of weights. Costco is now carrying the Bowflex dumbell weights. The price looks good, plus they come with a stand. I mentioned something to Michael about these weights and he didn't say much but he had that look on his face that said "you don't need those." I'm torn. I do have some money set aside, which will not disrupt our household finances, but it is an expense. I feel like I've gotten my money's worth on the Bowflex I bought over a year ago, so I know I would definetly use these weights. Besides, there's nothing stopping Michael from using these weights... Hmmmm...

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

Someone sent this to me for Halloween last year. :)

What I want to know is how did they get all these dogs to be so good? I only have one dog and she's just like a 2 year old child and won't sit still, well, unless there's a treat involved, and it better be a really good one!

Monday, October 24, 2005

Trick or Treat!

We attended a Halloween party on Saturday. I had no clue what to wear. Luckily, my daughter and I wear about the same size so I wore her Japanese school girl costume. Not exciting but it worked. Michael wore a black lab coat that had the tag "Dr Phi-Good" on it, with some funky sunglasses from the "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" movie. People are funny when they dress up in costume. It's almost like they leave their regular personalities at home and become someone else... It could also very well be the alcohol that was served... Some of the stand out costumes were:

*A lady went as "Elle" from the movie "Legally Blond." She had the pink suit, pink pumps and pill box hat, complete with a real-live chihuahua, dressed to match, even with the little hat.

*My friend who went as "Jack Sparrow" from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean." He was complete with beads in the beard, big pirate hat and authentic looking pirate knife.

*Me. I got a lot of attention from guys, as I was dressed up as a school girl,even with Michael there. Who knew? I so very much disliked wearing a uniform during all of those years I had spent in Catholic school.

There were several pirate women but none of them stood out. There was a woman dressed as Marilyn Monroe, um, well... There was only one Marilyn... 'Nuff said about that!

I only ran twice last week, for a total of about 10 miles. My knees are acting up with the weather changing a bit. I managed to get the area around my Bowflex tidied up so I am able to utilize it. Now if I can prevent myself from getting the flu that seems to be going around I will be doing okay!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Male Ego

This is an e-mail I've just received from a very, VERY close friend. He has recently turned his life around by paying attention to diet and exercise. He was one of those people who used to make light of my working out until I showed off my after pictures. He has also discovered running:

"Dear Irene,

Tonight was very different. For the first time, I ran with someone. It was by accident. My neighbor apparently started his run right after I did, and he saw me, caught up to me, and before I could say anything we were running together. He's not just any runner. His wife told me that he is training for a marathon and he looks like a marathon runner. Mistake number one. He asked me how far I planned to run tonight. I told him that since it is Tuesday night, I planned to do my short run which is three miles out. This was a mistake because I just committed myself to running six miles with him. Mistake number 2. He mentioned that his wife told him that I told her that I run every day. While this is true, or used to be true, his expectation level was very high for my performance. Mistake number 3. When we reached my marker, he suggested going to the Hudson bridge, which was another three miles out. I couldn't say no, since this is a super stubborn guy thing, so we continued on. His pace was faster than mine. I kept up with him. He doesn't take little walking breaks and I absolutely could not tell him to go into a walk because I was tired or out of breath. I sucked it up. I didn't show any pain even though I felt pains in parts of my body I had never felt before. There was even a moment when I felt light headed and dizzy, but that lasted only a few seconds. Since we were talking the whole run, time just flew by and I got into a marathon like rhythm. I have never run that far, at that speed, without stopping. When we reached the bridge, he said he was going to add a few more miles by doing the off trail loop that goes around the mall. I told him I couldn't do that because I had to get back home. Real reason? That would have killed me. So he went on farther and I turned around and dropped into a walk as soon as he was out of sight. Then it hit me. Once he's done with his mall loop, he can't see me because that would mean he caught up with me. I even thought of doing a cowardly thing like ducking off trail to a side street until he surely had passed by on his return trip, then finish walking home. But, no. I couldn't do that. After a few minutes, even though my legs felt like rubber and my whole body ached, I went into a trot and then into a jog. I did stop a few times, especially on hills, but I made it back home before he could catch up to me. The total journey was about 12 miles so that is my Q time run."

Here's my response back to him:

"Well, Kudos for sucking it up. As I was reading this e-mail, I kept thinking to myself "What a dork! He's gonna hurt at the end of this." Well, now you know what you CAN possibly do, and with training you could muster a half marathon with out too much pain... Well, now you have something to think about. (BTW, I used the word "Dork" with only the most sincere affection...) You should consider even a 5k event, just for fun. They only set you back about $25 and you usually receive a t-shirt, a goodie bag and some sort of food & beverage at the end, usually a bagel, water or Gatorade. Some events even have cookies, coffee, free beer, kettle corn, bagles, juice and other goodies just for the participants. There's a Shelter Island
5K walk/run on November 13 that I am considering. There's a champagne brunch afterwards ;)"

FYI, He gave me permission to post his letter.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Roller Coaster

Work outs and running this week have been sparse. I did manage to get in one 4 miler high intensity interval run, one session of Tae Bo and one session of weight training. I'm usually on schedule with alternating working out and running each day, 6 out of 7 days a week. This week was difficult due to the emotional roller coaster I have been on.

A huge "UP" moment this week was meeting someone I had met through I was so wonderful meeting "Bigazahouse" (John) in person. He was out here on business and took time out to meet with me. He's a great person and knows his workouts and weight training stuff. It's so nice to talk to someone about working out and not have them look back at you like you're speaking Martian. Most people around me do not work out with the same intensity or enthusiasm I do -- They all think I'm nuts. Actually, I'm not nuts, I just want to be healthy as I can with in reason. He also brought me a little goodie bag of chocolates from another buddy, "Reddraggin" (Sherry). I must say the chocolate came in handy on the days I was having a hard time...

A major "DOWN" this week was being told that our offer to purchase the house my grandfather built was "unacceptable" in my aunt's and cousin's eyes. We felt our starting offer was respectable, but we had 3 other written offers with higher amounts in our hands, just in case. We did not show those offers because it wouldn't have made a difference. The feeling was that they didn't want ME to have the house because it wouldln't be fair to anyone else in the family because I would benefit from the sale of this house... Huh? Financially, this house would put me and my husband in a money hole for a while because the house needs so much work. My intention is to keep the house in the family and to NOT bulldoze the house down to put condos in its place then sell it off... There's a lot of family history behind the house. It was one of the first houses built in that area in about 1946. My grandfather built the house. It is on a hill that faces Mission Bay in San Diego. I know there would be major regret in the family if someone else, outside the family, would buy the house because we know the house would be torn down, the lot would be split for either 3 townhomes or two separate houses. This is the house that I spent my summers at with my grandparents, and picked up my love for gardening. The house is more than just fond memories, it's of historical value. Compared to other parts of the US, San Diego is relatively "new." The 1940's doesn't sound THAT old, but for a house that was one of the first houses in the area, it may have some historical value. We're thinking of enlightening some local historical group about this house. We have photographs of when the house was being built, original blue prints and other documentation. We'll see what happens. I was quite heartbroken when my aunt said our offer was unacceptable and didn't bring up counter-offering. She just whipped out a written offer that someone supposedly sent her lawyer. Hmmmm... The house isn't even listed. My dad was not happy with that. I tend to be a pretty stoic person and hold my emotions pretty close, but after that meeting I felt like crap, and I went home and cried. It was so overwhelming that it felt like my mother had died all over again. It's that important to me to hang onto this one bit of my family history. In my husband's family in Iowa, they keep property in the family and work out a deal, because it's FAMILY. I guess instant financial gratification is all my aunt is interested in. I'm looking at the big picture where no one else is.

After not sleeping after that "meeting," the next day I went to a spa day with my coworkers for my bosses' birthday. When I arrived at the spa they were already looped on mai tai's. I didn't have time to unwind with a drink because I was whisked away to my 80 minute deep tissue massage. That massage was just the thing I needed. My back was knotted up and the lady who worked on me managed to get all the kinks out... Later on that evening we went out for dinner with my nutty coworkers and boss... It was good to laugh and unwind in a big way. I slept well that night. I was neither "UP" or "DOWN" -- I was feeling nice and steady, and that's good.

Since all house talk that one night, I have been chatting with my dad and we still might be able to make it happen. There is a glimmer of hope that we can still work this house thing out. My dad IS the main person on the will, but he said he would included my aunt in everything, even though she is secondary. He's regretting keeping her in the loop...

Here's another "UP": Today is my daughter's 22nd birthday. We'll do presents after dinner, and maybe have my dad and in-laws over for cake.

I'm hoping this next week will be more "normal." I'm so exhausted...

Sunday, October 09, 2005


There's something about this time of year that makes me feel like gardening a little more than I normally do. Perhaps the trigger for my sudden urge to garden was filling up a couple of holes the dog worked on in my back yard, IN THE MIDDLE OF MY LAWN... Since I live in Southern California, we usually do not have really extreme weather, so the gardening center and nursery are open all year long. I hit up Home Depot's gardening center and came away with new pruning shears, a couple of bromeliads, a ginger plant with a beautiful purple bloom, 3-6 packs of red dianthus, potting soil, and a new sprinkler head. There's something very therapeutic about digging in the dirt, well - for me... I can't explain it. Perhaps gardening evokes happy childhood memories of playing in my grandparent's abundant garden, and that they let us get play in the dirt, help them "harvest" green beans, squash, tomatoes, corn, oranges, and other vegetables and fruits. I musn't forget the added bonus to gardening, especially when planting several small plants -- it's like getting a hamstring workout in without putting much thought into it.

I've been keeping a consistent running base of about 12 to 15 miles/week. There's 5k run event in November on Shelter Island that Michael and I might consider. Someone asked me when I was planning on running my next marathon. (Key word "WHEN.") I may consider the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon again for 2006, but that might be it. I think if I limit myself to one marathon per year then I will be okay... I sort of have the half marathon idea in the back of my head, but maybe in the course of training for the marathon. I really should start looking ahead.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Featured Fitness Essay!

My fitness story is a featured essay on someone else's fitness blog! I've never done anything like that before, so it seems a little weird, but in a good way...

Check it out my story!

Just in case, I'm Guest Essay #3.

Saturday, October 01, 2005


There is no rest for the weary...

Thursday morning and afternoon was spent running errands and had to zip over to my uncle's house to meet with an appraiser. That evening was a planned girls night out. It's difficult to get everyone together anymore, so I didn't back out. I was good and stuck to my one drink. It was great getting caught up but I was a zombie.

Friday I couldn't sleep in because I'm back up day care for my daughter's little boy. Luckily, she had only one class at the college, so she was only out for about 2 hours... No kicking back after that. More uncle's house issues to deal, computer issues, lunch with a friend, visited my dad, then zoomed back home and did laundry. Then it was time to get ready for a big soiree. Michael's business partner turned 40 and had a huge party. The food was decent and they had an open bar. There was a band and dancing. I must have danced with everyone! Seriously! Michael was out there too... I must say that it was cool to know that women really watch out for each other. I was dancing with this one guy, an acquaintance of Michael and his partner. He didn't really do anything inappropriate, but he seemed to get a little too close for comfort. A couple of ladies, who I don't know well, came up to me and asked me if this guy was bugging me and offered to step in and divert him. Perhaps this guy has a reputation? I don't know, but it was cool to know someone was looking out for me. I thanked them and then left the dance floor for the restroom, found Michael and ended up chatting with a really great lady who is a jeweler... Hmmmm (Michael, it's just about 2 1/2 months 'til our wedding anniversary!) With the open bar, Michael was toast. I didn't drink that much but I didn't eat all that much, either. I was okay but not good to drive. Luckily, there was a hotel a few short blocks away from the party venue. I'm not sure what time we left the party but what ever time it was, we were done...

Saturday morning we woke up with parched throats and Michael was feeling a little ill. I took advantage of the nice deep tub and bath salts provided by the hotel. After a few hours of trying to wake up (and thinking how nice the hotel was and too bad we really didn't take full advantage of it), we wandered down to the lobby for breakfast. They actually had decent food. Whole grain bagels, fresh fruit, and coffee is what I had. There was no protein to speak of but at least it was a decent spread. They also provided the usual pastries, cereal and such, but it was nice to have some good options. Since this was not a planned hotel stay, we didn't have a clean change of clothes. We wandered around downtown La Jolla and purchased shirts, just to have something fresh to wear... Our clothes LOOKED like they were partied in! After wandering around a little longer, I decided that I would drive back towards home ( was more functional than Michael), and actually ran errands along the way. Still no rest back at home. We were expecting company! There's nothing like a good cover up to cover up dark circles under the eyes...

Today was day one of the October challenge on For all practical purposes, I ate as clean as I could, drank plenty of water, but my plans to work out circuits with resistance bands never materialized... I don't consider it a screw up. If I would have stayed in bed all day, then that would have been a screw up. We did do all that walking, a good 2 hours worth of passive walking, but it was MOVEMENT during a small time frame where we really didn't feel like moving at all.

I think I'm allowed to rest now... Good night.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Things That Go Bump In The Night

This is a post from my diary for today...

I'm reading "We Thought You Would Be Prettier - True tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive" by Laurie Notaro. It's a good before bed read, since it is very light and funny. In one chapter she talks about her dog barking at something that doesn't seem to be there when she checks out the situation... Ironically that is the chapter I had read last night before dozing off to sleep...

While I was deep into some serious REM sleep, all the animals at my house were going nuts. The cats kept jumping on my side of the bed and meowing in my face and the dog was restless and kept barking in her "you've gotta come see this" bark. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well last night after all that animal commotion. DH and DD got up to let the dog out a couple of times. This morning we discovered what all the comontion was about. There was a sick rat on the top of our patio roof, and the dog went out to bark at it this morning when we got up. My hero, DH, got the rat down from the roof, put it out of it's misery and burried it ... 2 cups of french roast coffee isn't even making a dent in how tired I am.

Reality check:
I'm exhausted. I'm gonna skip my cardio today. I have no energy.

Things that went right:
If there's any consolation, it IS a beautiful day outside and my roses are starting to have their last hurrah before the weather gets too cold.

Things that need improvment:

Friday, September 23, 2005

Which Month Are You?

I don't know why I am attracted to these meaningless quizzes, no matter how warped, stupid, or twisted they are... Ironically, this "Which Month Are You" quiz says I'm a June. I was born in June... I didn't learn anything new... ***sigh***


Which month are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, September 19, 2005

Rising Above

Part of me is exhausted and doesn't want to do anything today, but another part of me is telling me I should just go and do SOMETHING because it will make me feel better. The exhausted part of me is my emotional psyche, and the mind is a huge thing when it comes to motivation. I know I shouldn't let things and people I have no control over get to me, but it becomes difficult when these things and people involve me directly... This week will be about transitioning from Body for life to ShapeShift. I need to have the work out pages with me so I can figure out how this new work out will "work out" for me.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Spreading My Wings A Little...

I've been keeping up with the running, attempting to bring up my speed again, albeit ever so slowly... I'm running in my neighborhood. about a 2.5 mile route, around the lake near by, which is about a 6.4 mile distance, or the gym treadmill at 4 miles. I'm looking at other weight training routines but I'm finding it hard to switch gears since I've done Body For Life for so long. I'm looking at one program that involves circuit training but I'm not sure that's the way I want to go. I have to do more research into it. I do realize that to make more changes with my performance (and even physique) that I need to change what I'm doing, even if it's for a short while. I'm back at my pre-marathon training weight (yay) and I'm gaining muscle again. I was so consumed with marathon training that I put weight training aside. Marathon training and weight training was just too much wear and tear on my body. I need to figure out a happy balance.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Labor Day Weekend...

Over the labor day week end I ended up with the flu, so no work out and no running. I did feel much better today and did a 2.5 mile run in about 21 minutes, which included a few hills. I was also incorporating HIIT (high intensity interval training) on this run, so I was able to really kick things in gearfor those hills. With the 3 day weekend, comes a little over endulging, so the weight is slightly up but only by 2 pounds. I'm sure it will be back down in a few days. No run events in the near future but something may come up.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Official Race Results

Michael and I after the Moondoggies 4 mile run, waiting in line for the shuttle to take us back to our car...
Here's the official race results: (age, div/tot, gender, city/state, time, pace)
46 15/54 F San Diego,CA 35:43 8:56

Sunday, August 28, 2005

I Had A Good Time!

The Moondoggies 4 mile run was today. I surprised myself and did 4 miles in around 35:49ish... I can't remember exactly but my mile/min was under 9:00. For those of you who don't know, I've been having issues breaking my time in the 39:00 minute zone. This run was way, WAY better than I had anticipated. I even had a lousy night's sleep due to the cat jumping all over me most of the night. (She brought me a nice little gift of a decapitated mouse... I didn't find it until this morning on the floor by Michael's side of the bed . She really loves me ) The run went from Moondoggies bar and grill in La Jolla to Moondoggies Bar and Grill in Pacific Beach. It wasn't quite a costal run but we ran parallel to the ocean, about a block away. It was also extremely humid. Not quite Florida humid, but humid enough to feel like my breathing was quite labored. The knees did okay. I must say that there were some extremely fast people in my age group this time. I came in 15th in my age group, and I'm not sure out of how many because the results were still being posted when we left. I'm not a huge beer drinker but after the run we had our bananas, oranges, sports drinks, bagels, etc, and the free beer just went down so nicely because it was already hot and humid. We met a lady on the bus shuttle back who came in last. Michael and I made a big deal about that because it's not a matter of finishing first or last, it's that she finished. She was heavy and was dealing with some health problems, but you've gotta feel happy for her that she did this on her own two feet.
After a little sleep we have a beach party to attend. I am thankful this party is at the beach. It's expected to be in the 100's in my neighborhood today. The beach is always at least 10 to 20 degrees cooler than it is at my house.
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Moondoggies or Bust!

I've been consistent in keeping my 4 mile runs under 40 miutes but I haven't been able to break through 38:00 minutes yet. The weather is changing and I can feel little twinges in my knees this week. We also have the Moondoggies run this Sunday and I'm hoping it will be smooth going. The course is relatively flat with no hills what-so-ever. I'm also trying to shake things up with weight training. I switch almost all of my exercises from machines to free weights. I really felt the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) yesterday in my arms, which made it a little more difficult to run -- gotta swing those arms back and forth to run! I have about 2 weeks left in my BFL challenge and then I'll be looking to try something new.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

I'm Returning!

I did a 6 mile run around the lake today UNDER an hour. I know that doesn't sound like much for the seasoned runner, but for me it was a really great run. For the past several weeks I've been plagued with asthma and the running has been s-l-o-w... I was lucky to muster 5 miles in an hour. Perhaps the mild weather played a huge factor on how I felt today, but I did feel good and didn't feel winded or tired after the run. It's amazing how breathing properly can make or break a run! I also wore my newer Nike's for the run. Gotta love new shoes!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Back To Basics

Vacation was fun. I did almost nothing in the way of eating right and exercising, but I did have my nephew find a Bally's for me so that I could fit in a 5 mile run on the treadmill... We played tourist a couple of times in Chicago, which required a lot of walking, so I suppose that counts for something... It was the excessive eating and drinking that threw me off course. Even Michael mentioned something about getting back to eating right upon our return. (Shock!) Everything has returned back to normal and I've already dropped 2 of the 4 pounds I've gained on vacation. Oh, and by the way, the above photo is my nephew/Chicago tour guide Kyle, husband Michael, daughter Renee and son Erik looking at "The Bean."

Saturday, July 30, 2005


It's time for a family vacation once again... We're all flying to Chicago to visit my sister & family and play tourist for a week. It should be fun because we've never really been through Chicago before (and the airport does not count.) I've been hearing how hot it is there so I hope I'm able to go running at some point. Of course, there is always the gym, and I can use my membership out there. I'm just concerned about the eating part because I'm getting rid of the post marathon weight and I'm somewhat stable right now, plus I'm gaining muscle. I just want to be in control of my eating and drinking over the vacation and stick to my free meal plans of Sunday dinner and Thursday lunch or dinner. We'll see how it goes. My goal for this trip is to not loose any ground I've made thus far. I've been working out with weights consistently at the gym, and only a couple of times I had to stay home with resistance bands. I've been running at least 4 miles at a time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays or Sundays, and keeping my time anywhere between 38 and 41 minutes for the 4 miles. I did have one really off day and did about 43 minutes for 4 miles. My goal is to run 4 miles in under 38 minutes, even if it's 37:59... Having bouts of asthma has thrown me off, and I know it's a seasonal thing. The running doesn't bring it on as I'm already dealing with controlling my breathing before I even set foot in the gym. As for the knee pain management, that's going well, in part to all the suppliments I take and cutting back on my running, since marathon training is over for now.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Week 6

I just now looked at the canender and realize that I'm already at week 6 in my BFL challenge. Wow, that went fast. I'm officially down about 2 pounds since the start of this challenge, but down an over all total of 7 pounds since marathon day. I'm fitting into my skinny shorts this week WITHOUT having to suck in my tummy. Not sure of my body fat percentages yet, perhaps I'll do those next week... I know that number has dropped. I'm still doing HIIT cardio on the treadmill, averaging about 4 miles inbetween 38 and 39 minutes. I'd like to get 4 miles in under 38 minutes. There's a 4 mile walk/run event at the end of August that I'm thinking about doing. The fees are only $20 to sign up. It's the annual Moondoggies walk/run, which goes from La Jolla to Pacific Beach. I'm up for it. Just need to see if Michael is.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

My Uncle Ron

It has been busy since the 4th of July. My uncle Ron passed away. He was a very cool guy and did a lot of great things in his life. He taught middle school and after retirement he traveled all over the world. He was also an avid skier and had many, many friends. This is an older photo of him but it shows his great smile. I was able to spend some time with him more recently and we chatted about the marathon. I was glad that he got to know me as an adult, instead of knowing me as the little 9 year old girl he knew when he accompanied my family on camping trips. He will be missed.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Are You Sure???

I ran in the Annual Coronado 5k-15K on the 4th of July . This is the 3rd time we've participated in this particular 5k event. I wasn't expecting much, just to enjoy the run. I ran my slowest 5k time ever, with a 9:03 minute mile pace, and I was good with that. Just for chuckles, we went to take a peek at the results that were being posted. Michael found mine right away. It said I placed 2nd out of 40in my age group, 248 over all ... I kept asking him "Are you sure???" I'm so stoked and in disbelief at the same time. I guess being bumped up to the higher age group changed things a little. Who knew? They didn't award medals but I did receive a nice polo shirt that says Coronado 5k-15K Event Winner on it. We also watched some of the 15k runners come in, or I shoud say speed in. The top 3 finishers were incredible to watch, who were all men, but the women top three were equally phenomenal to watch. On the flip side, it was quite inspirational to watch the final particpant of the 5k finish the race. She was a woman with a walker... Now if that isn't inspirational I don't know what is!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

5k on the 4th

Michael and I are going to wake up early and participate in the 31st Annual Coronado Independence Day 15K run 5k Run/Walk. We're doing the 5K. I'm still not quite up to speed, as my last 4 miler averaged just over a 9 minute mile. I'm okay with that... We're going to have fun anyway. I know this won't be my personal best but we needed to get back on the running bandwagon... I've been averaging about a 15 miles a week now, and hope to keep that going for a while, I just want to build up a little more speed, provided that my knees will let me. Being back at weight training is really kicking my butt... I've really lost tone but I hope to get that back in due time. I finally posted my before pictures on Muscletank. I'm not as bad as I perceived myself, but I do have plenty to work on...

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Back at the gym...

I've been getting used to tracking my food and workouts but I haven't always been great at it. I purchased index cards to write my food and workouts on, which is what many people do. I was good for 3 out of 6 days this week... I'm feeling sore from being back at the weights and running HIIT. The sad part is that I lost some ground with my weights so I have to go lighter... I know I'll get it back... The good thing is that I've already dropped a pound, so things are moving in the right direction, since I've already lost 5 pounds of the water weight fluff from the marathon. I've been posting on but I haven't been using it to capacity. At some point I will have to break down and use the calorie and protein/carbs/fat sections under the food tab. It feels good, however sore, to be back at weights again.

Monday, June 20, 2005

On our way back...

Back to reality now. The previous week was filled with joy and merriment... Erik graduated from high school on June 17, 2005! Yipee! It was a great day. His class consisted of 13 students, which made for a very intimate graduation ceremony. The ceremony was held at The Prado at Balboa Park, at a small amphitheater. The weather could not have been more perfect, as the skies were blue and the temperatures were in the mid 70's. We also had other friends and relatives who graduated last week, which made for a very busy party week. We had Erik's party on Saturday, and a good time was had by all, however, we have plenty of leftovers... Today starts working out with weights again... I have to take it easy, though, since I had a surprise bout of asthma -- I really didn't see this one coming... I was still able to work out. I hope I can really get the HIIT on the treadmill going tomorow.

Me and Erik - June 17, 2005 "Future's so bright, I've gotta wear shades."
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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Change Of Plans

I know I said that I would begin a new round of BFL this week. Well... Uh.... It never happened. There's just too much going on right now. I've been eating clean, BUT life has been a little hectic, between painting the interiors of the house and getting ready for Erik's high school graduation. It feels as if I've had a killer upper body workout, though, with all the prep work and painting, but I know it's not quite the same thing. I've been taking short breaks between spackling, painting, rehanging art work, and moving furniture, just to check e-mail. I did get an invite from Jen to join (Thanks Jen!) It figures that I would get some sort of glitch that is preventing me from fixing my stats, or even logging in. (My stats are off and it says I'm doing a Men's Health Abs Workout...) I've checked my internet settings so I don't know what the problem is. I hope it's resolved soon. Since I didn't even have the mind set to do weights this week I am going to attempt a 30 minute run in the neighborhood. The funny thing is that my extra weight from the carb load is slowly dropping off on it's own. I'm only 3 pound up from where I was at the start of my carb load, Wednesday pre-marathon, and 6 pounds off my goal weight. Graduation is this Friday, parties on Friday and Saturday (we know a lot of graduates) and the festivities end on Sunday with Father's Day. June 20th is my new target BFL start day now... Really...

Sunday, June 12, 2005

One week after...

In ths post marathon week I've done practically nothing in the way of running or even working out. Monday, post marathon, I felt like I was a hundred years old, as getting in and out of a chair was with the greatest effort. I did attempt to do some light stretches but that was monumental in itself because stretching requires movement... I also took a closer look at my left middle toe. I had a pedicure a week prior so the color covered any immediate visuals. I was afraid to look, but upon removing the color, I discovered that my toenail didn't actually come off or turn black, it's the area surrounding the nail had blistered, which pushed the nail up, making it feel as if it came off. The blister popped so that will be okay... I don't remember much about Monday, but I did have a great IM chat with Natalie from South Africa, who is running in the Comrades event this week. She asked me if I had "cottonwool head." Well, I suppose I did because my mind was fuzzy and a friend had asked me if I was on drugs... No drugs, not unless you count Tylenol. The only explanation for my disposition was "cottonwool head." By Wednesday I was feeling somewhat normal and visited my chiropractor for my bi-monthly adjustment. Upon arriving, the lady at the front desk announced, " I saw you run through the finish line at the marathon. I would have yelled for you but I couldn't remember your name!" She was there to support her husband who also ran. My chiropractor wanted to know all the details of the run and if I had any major pain issues... I just had sore muscles. By Wednesday I was moving more normally, but no where near running. Michael and I took some time off to celebrate my birthday, so spent a couple of days at the Catamaran hotel/resort located between Mission Bay and Mission Beach. Perhaps we were somewhat dillusional because we brought our running gear, as there are wonderful, paved beach and bay paths to run on... Well... Running never happened, but we did take long walks... As this was a week of rest and recuperation, I am now feeling rather puffy and needing to get back into the swing of things. I have plans to restart BFL June 13 and begin running again, but no LSD runs for a while. My niece wants to participate in a 5K with me on the 4th of July so I think I'm up for that. I'll be ready. This week Natalie is running in the Comrades in South Africa and Naomi is running her marathon in Alaska... I'll be cheering very loudly for the both of them! I can't wait to hear their post-marathon stories!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The party is over but not forgotten...
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Tuesday, June 07, 2005

After the marathon -- Karl, me, and Michael
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Saturday afternoon we attended the pre-marathon expo at the San Diego Convention Center to pick up our bib numbers, timing chip, and other miscellaneous items. I met my brother, Karl, there as he arrived directly from his flight, with Dad (who drove him) to the expo. He was amazed of the magnitude of the event. He mentioned the last marathon he ran the just had a couple of tables for race numbers and a couple of tables for t-shirts. There were vendors selling mostly athletic gear, gels, shoe inserts, and so on. We didn't linger there too long since we had our carb-load dinner reservations at PF Changs. It was a very yummy meal, and we made choices from the sections that they have for a marathon they sponsor in Arizona. We loaded up on brown rice... Karl kept insisting that I load up so he kept ordering more... Karl stayed at Dad's house. Michael and I went to be relatively early for us, perhaps around 9 pm. Sunday morning we woke up at 4:45 am. I didn't sleep all that great because I was feeling like a 6 year old at Christmas time with a head full of anticipation and excitement . I had all of my marathon gear prepared the night before so it was easy to put on. We attached our timing chips to our shoes the night before because, knowing us, it would have been a disaster to put those on in the dark, early morning. Our brother-in-law, Jim, was kind enough to get up early and drive us near the marathon site. We took a slightly different route since traffic to the marathon site was backed up for miles. We arrived with plenty of time to spare. With the help of cell phones we found Karl, took a a picture, checked our gear in at the UPS trucks, and before you know it, it was time to cruise over to the starting corrals. Even though Michael and I had different corral numbers, we stood side by side in my area, as people with different corral numbers were already mixed in, anyway. The start gun went off but it took a good 8+ minutes to make it to the start line where the true timing starts, and that's when people began to run. Yeay!!!! There were rock bands already playing. I can't remember what songs they were playing but I remember running to the beat and being really happy and feeling great. Karl phoned in when I was at about mile 2 and asked where I was. He was already near mile 4. At that point Michael gave me a kiss, said "good luck, honey, I'll see you at the end." Michael doesn't really run and didn't train as I did,so I knew he was going into his run/walk pattern at that time. It was fun seeing all the people cheering us on, the various cheerleaders from local schools, and other groups who so gleefully cheered us on, like the guys dressed in drag :) I would high five any of them who had their hands out -- that helped with motivation in a big way. There were also several runners with interesting sayings on their shirts. Of course the TNT people in their purple shirts had the names of loved ones who had passed away on their shirts, and there were folks who had funny sayings on their shirts. Since I lost my mind after the marathon, I can't remember the majority of those funny shirts, but the one that sticks out said, in big letters, "START OFF SLOW, then taper," (in small letters)... I just wore a white Nike tank made with that wicking material. Next time I'll get creative... (See, I said "next time.") I kind of got that "runner's high" sensation running down SR-163 through Baloba Park, probably between miles 9 and 11. It was wild to run down a stretch of road that is normally filled with cars and traffic, and it was also very scenic. At the halfway point my time was 2:26:24. Still doing okay. Right after mile 17 were the Powergel booths, and I grabbed one of those and downed that with a little water. I needed to use a port-o-potty so I found one around mile 18 with no lines (a miracle!)... But once I got back into the run my arthritic knees started giving me grief! UGH! I stretched a little then visited the medical tent at mile 18, got a couple of Tylenol, and did a run/walk pattern every half mile for the next 5 miles. At mile 20 I noticed that something felt weird in the toe of my left shoe... It felt like a big rock but then it dawned on me that it was my toe nail on my middle toe coming off... It didn't hurt, it just felt weird. Mile 20 is where Karl called me on the cell phone to announce that he had finished. His chip time was 4:19:41. When I arrived at the point where people were yelling "you only have 5K left" I began to run again, and kept running past all the other people who were hobbling and walking. I was guessing that my time was 6 hours because I had to slow down, but when I crossed the finish line the time above my head was 5:39. Okay! I know the chip time is going to be a little faster than that -- which was 5:30:53, even better! I'm good with that! Happy, Happy, Happy! They handed out bottled water right away. I came in with a girl who must have been in her 20's or so. I told her congratulations. She said this was her second marathon, and I said it was my first. She said "Wow,. You did well!" Then we had the medals placed around our necks and wished Michael was able to run with me the whole way so we could hug each other, but I knew he was a good 45 minutes behind me, since he called me on the cell phone around mile 19 or so. I had my photo taken with my medal then went through the finishing area to get bagels, bananas, yogurt, powerade, more water, dorky green rubber slippers that actually were like heaven to wear at that point, and Powerbar Protein bars. Since the marathon ended at MCRD, I has cell phone issues. Dad kept trying to call me but I kept cutting out. Since I couldn't really reach anyone I just took off my shoes, noticed the slightly blood stained left sock (I was afraid to look so I left my socks on) then put on the green rubber slippers and ate what ever food and drink I happened to have in my hands. I waited for Michael . He came in at 6:18:17 chip time. God bless him. He did this to support me. He said he had to stop at medical tents twice, once for Tylenol and once for blisters. After he collected our things from the UPS truck, we gave each other a big hug and kiss. (I was on the other side of a fenced area that I couldn't get back into when he came in.) Michael found a nice grassy spot to lie down on and stayed there for a good half hour while I found Karl and Dad. At that point Karl has been finished for a good 2 hours and was ready to go home. Michael and I were still trying to find our minds. Michael did find the free beer for marathoners booth... He also picked up a bag of kettle corn. Kettle corn doesn't rock me one way or the other, but that day it had to be the best thing I had ever tasted. I didn't want any more Powerade... Next feat, getting up to go home! We hopped on a shuttle bus to Dad's car and Dad took Michael and I home. (On a side note, it felt like Karl and I were 10 and 6 years old again, sitting in the back of Dad's car...) I must give out big hugs to several people: First, the people who live in the neighborhoods we ran through, who took it upon themselves to have orange slices, sour hard candies, pretzels, water, and lots of cheering support for the marathoners, second, to the people who volunteered to help a this event -- as there were many to pass out water, Powerade, medical attention, etc. -- I plan on being a volunteer if I don't run next year. Third, hugs to the on-line support I have found. I've discovered that I'm never really alone and someone has been through what I am doing. And finally, hugs to my family and friends who first thought I was out of my mind when I started to work out and exercise, and say "no" fattening foods and lots of alcohol. Now they're on my side and realize that, just maybe, I am on to something. Preparing for this marathon was definelty worth the effort. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. It's one of those things you have to do for yourself to know exactly what I'm talking about. Okay, I am now officially emotional...

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Getting anxious

It's June 1st and we're already experiencing June gloom weather... I just hope this weather doesn't mess with knee pain management or asthma... We're making plans to attend the pre-marathon expo on Saturday and hook up with my brother, Karl, at PF Changs for dinner, provided he doesn't object... I've been trying to do easy taper runs but getting sick didn't help. Yesterday I ran on the gym treadmill for 40 minutes and actually felt refreshed afterwards. Perhaps that was mental. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm ready for this marathon. I suppose I'm as ready as I'll ever be since I've followed the books as closely as possible and heeded the advise of more experienced runners and my chiropractor. What ever happens, happens. I suppose all virgin marathoners go through some sort of anxiety or pre-conceived notions of Marathon day. I guess I'm looking at this marathon like childbirth, and hopefully the labor won't be that intense or long, and the birth will be crossing that finish line.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Down but not out

This was supposed to be a "taper" week but I ran only once this week, so far. I ran a very comfortable 12K distance on Tuesday, but by Thursday I was sick. It's a cold that's going around but it really knocked me out. I have no energy to run or to even set foot in the gym to try something else like the recumbent bike. I'm feeling a little better as I type this entry, so I hope I can get in an easy run around my neighborhood tomorrow. Even though my weight is stable and normal, I feel like I weigh a ton. I don't do well being sedentary, even when I know it's better listen to my body and rest... I''ve been easing up on the carbs since I'm not doing much, and I've been drinking plenty of water... Sounds boring but I dislike being sick. Ugh!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Marathon article

Browsing through the San Diego UT I found this article about the RNR marathon and three first time marathoners. Do check out the link. I could relate, especially when they discussed aches and pains...

Monday, May 23, 2005

Hot in Las Vegas

Sitting out at the pool all day only turned into an hour... It was way too hot. 100+ degree heat and no shade just didn't cut it. The good thing about the Las Vegas trip is that I wasn't as bored as I thought I would be. It helped that there were some other non-architect people around as well. I did well with the eating and drinking and did not have to deal with hang overs, bloatedness or weight gain. I did fit in a 4 mile run on the treadmill at the Luxor gym. I dragged a little but I felt good that I did it. I also attended the convention and picked up a bazillion free pens and what ever else they had to give. Michael was like a kid in a candy store. He loves all the building supplies and shiny, new, state of the art materials and fixtures. We also walked up and down the strip in the evening, which is a long walk, but even though I got the 4 miler in that same day, I needed to keep moving. Even at midnight, it was still toasty outside. The newer casinos have state of the art filters and air conditioning systems, which helps with the smoke, but being a non-smoker, the smoke around me still made me feel as if I lit up myself. Only one person in our group was kind enough to ask if it was okay to light up. Nice guy. No other smoker in our group asked. Hmmmm. I didn't run today, even though I had planned to. I was exhausted, due to a late flight home. Tomorrow I have plans to visit the gym and get in a 40 minute run. I have "12 sleeps" left before the marathon. I restocked my MSM, but I need to hit up Costco for the Sam-e, as it's much less expensive there. The next couple of weeks are all about staying on track with out over training. I received my race number and corral number last week... Gotta chill. Nerves are starting to creep up. Gotta find that "Zen" state of being.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Ramblngs, rantings, etc...

Yesterday turned out to be a no run, no exercise day, but not intentionally. I played front desk person at work while the other staff memebers had a seminar in how to use a very high tech piece of optical equipment that takes retinal photos. Retinal photos used to be done with a special Poloriod type camera, which was adequate but it was a flat, 2 dimensional photo. This new, nifty (huge) piece of equiment shows several computerized layers into the eye, in which the doctors can check the health of the eye, and if the patient is having prolbems this can be a valuable tool in aiding a diagnosis. Without getting into a ton of optometric vocabulary or a long winded explanation, this high tech piece of equipment will be a time-saver for the doctors. Sorry, the name of this machine escapes my mind at the moment! Arrgh! After work, I took my 17 year old son, Erik, to get his hair cut. It's a miracle! He said he would get his hair cut, but not at my place, so I took him to a "hip" place in Hillcrest. Keep in mind that his hair resembled the rock and roll hair of the 1970's -- really long and bushy. Someone said he looked like a cross between Jim Morrison and Slash... His hair cut was somewhat of a dissapointment because the lady at the shop gave him a dutch boy 'fro... not a good look... It looked okay wet but when it dried out the volume of his hair took over... I guess she never cut super thick, wavy hair before. Today I'm taking him to my stylist to "fix" the unjustice... Other foibles? My daugher ran out of gas, the dog left an unpleasant surprise on the carpet, every other call at home was a soliciter, Erik forgot his cell phone -- and was at the "Star Wars" premier but waited in line with all the others that HAD to see it at the midnight show -- his friends kept calling his cell phone a few times to see where he was in line. Blah, blah, blah! The best thing about yesterday was the gorgeous weather and free lunch from the guy training the staff on the new equipment. Today I'm going out to the gym for a tempo run and, perhaps some abs exercises. Next, it's all about packing for Las Vegas for the AIA convention this week end. I actually do not want to partake in this trip because, as a non architect, I will be bored. The last time we went to Las Vegas for a business related function I was bored silly since there was no one to hang out with while everyone attended seminars, and I don't gamble. (I have this thing about loosing my money...) I couldn't hang out at the pool because it was February and rather cold. Maybe, this time, will be different. The weather is much warmer so, maybe the pool will be a good place to hang out with a good book, even by myself.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Taper week and other ideas

Yesterday I decided to do upper body super sets with resistance bands. I think that was a wise decision because, boy, I sure feel it today! I also threw in 3 sets of 100 regular abs crunches, just for fun... Since this week starts my taper I ran an easy 3 miles in 30 minutes on the gym treadmill No, not fast but it was comfortable. I took a good 20 minutes to cool down and stretch. I am now planning my next strategy for AFTER the marathon, which is more strength training. I purchased yet another work out book "Lean, Long & Strong -- The 6-week Strength Training, Fat-Burning Program For Woman" by Wini Linguvic. It was at Costco so you know it didn't set me back much. I have yet to really read it but the color photos which illustrate the exercises are nice, plus there are some stretches and stability ball exercise that I would be inclined to try. I've had the majority of my work out success on BFL, but it's good to see what else is out there. My boss swears by Billy Blanks Boot Camp, and says it's really hard -- she's a work horse, so it's gotta be a toughie! I know I said I would post what I'm eating but with the carb loading my eating does not follow the BFL guidelines , especially from Wednesday evening to Friday evening when I do my carb load. I suppose I should log the food intake anyway, just for my reference, but I've gotten really lazy about doing that. I know what I need to/not eat, and what is working and what isn't. Whole grains have been working great. My Friday dinner is Asian cuisine, usually from Pickup Stix with brown rice. Yummy! I know a lot of runners dine on pasta but it didn't work out for me. I felt like I was running with rocks in my stomach -- 'Twas not a good feeling...

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Aches, pains and shoes

I was looking forward my long slow distance run yesterday, but the arthritis decided to make it's presence known. I thought warmer weather equaled happy knees, but around 7 miles into my 10 miler I started to have discomfort that caused me to stop and stretch. I did a walk/run for the next 2 miles, then walked the last mile. I still considered my 10 miler successful because 1) I made the effort to do it, and 2) I didn't have to send my husband to get the car -- I walked home on my own. On the up side, yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous, sunny spring day. I feel very blessed to live in Southern California. Once I arrived home, had my protein/fruit shake, showered and rested a little, we then made the trek out to Road Runner for shoes. Sometimes aches and pains means needing new shoes. I ended up with Nike Shox Oz. I was wearing Mizuno Wave Rider 7, but a leather detail at the toe caused some discomfort, and I felt that same discomfort with the Wave Rider 8. The Mizuno's had great support for my high arches, but the toe was going to give me grief if I didn't change the shoe style. Bummer. The Nike's felt comfortable, had decent arch support, (but enhanced with a shoe insert for high arches) and the toe wasn't hitting anything weird. I'll see how they do in the real world. The sales guy tried to sell me the most expensive shoes at the store, but those didn't fit correctly. Then I began to notice that he showed this particular brand/style to other customers. Having a sales background, I realize that you always present the customer with the "creme de la creme" item first, no matter what their budget is, however, it was funny to watch this guy bring out the same shoe over and over again. I must give kudos to the sales guy, though. He helped 4 of us at the same time and we never had to look for him. Shopping doesn't float my boat, so I felt good leaving the store with my purchase. Today is R&R. I plan on staying put and, perhaps, firing up the barbecue.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Yeee Haaaa! Warmth!

The weather forecast calls for sunny skies and temps in the mid to high 70's, maybe even 80's. I guess with the arthritis stuff I've turned into a warm weather person and now I have a tan. I don't purposely go out and get a tan, I wear at least a SPF 15 sunscreen every day, and a SPF 30 or higher on the days I run outside -- with all the out door running I do, especially on Saturdays, I've gone from rather naturally pale to having more warmth to my skin tone and everyone notices. I am looking forward to my LSD run this Saturday with the warm weather. My knees will be much happier. I did a full on UBW with resistance bands today and really tried to challenge myself, especially since I haven't used the Bowflex or weights in about a month or more. I could have probably pushed myself a little further with the bands since I'm not really "feeling it" yet. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Time to taper

I mustered my 20 miler on Saturday and it was not easy. There were changes in the barometric pressure through out my run so I was dealing with pain early on. It would go away but as soon as the clouds would move in I would definitely feel some discomfort in my knees. I ran my slowest training time ever. I averaged about a 12 minute mile pace. That sucks, but I did it. I just hope the weather will be kind by the time the marathon rolls around. Today I have plans to whip out my resistance bands and do my UBW. I am starting to get itchy about weight training again. I haven't weight trained in a few weeks now, just resistance bands, yoga type stretches and miles upon miles of running. The next 3 weeks will be my taper distance running, until the marathon. Even though it looks like I'm prepared for this first (and probably last) marathon, it's still an unknown factor for me. I need to start thinking "this RNR Marathon will be a ton of fun" instead of "26.2 miles is long."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Figuring out my arthritis

Yesterday I felt speedy on the gym's recumbent bike :) ... The forecast said rain but my joints weren't feeling so bad and I'm not quite sure why. I'm still figuring out what really aggravates my arthritis and what doesn't. So far, weather is the largest factor determining pain, and the second is being sedentary -- I do better when I stay active. I wish I could figure out how to harness and control barometric pressure just for my knees... Now, wouldn't that be something! I'm currently taking glucosamine-condroitin, MSM, Sam-e, calcium-citrate, and a multi-vitamin. Yesterday I purchased Rush-Tox and I'm adding that to my collection of supplements. The marathon is just a month away now and all I want to do is finish it. Prior to the diagnosis of arthritis I was convinced I'd run the marathon in well under 5 hours. Now it's a matter of participation and making it to the finish line on my own. I'm trying to do everything the books say to do in marathon training, but I won't exactly know how it will be until I get there...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Running Tunes

No running today since I did a tempo run yesterday at the gym via the treadmill. Today I did "housewifely" things (I don't like that term "housewife" since I didn't marry a house) --- I did laundry, vacuuming, general cleaning -- which is your basic maid service. I came across some CD's I forgot about and decided some of the songs would be good running tunes... My MP3 player now has "Diamond Dogs" and "E-Pro" by Beck, "Cliffs of Dover" by Eric Johnson, "What is Love" by Haddaway, "Fell In Love With A Girl" by The White Stripes, and "The House Is A Rockin" by Stevie Ray Vaughan. This officially puts my MP3 player at 103 songs, which is almost nothing compared to those who have Ipods. 103 songs will keep me from getting bored for a little while ;) I need to start entering my running distance and times and daily food intake here... It's off to do UBW with resistance bands...

Sunday, May 01, 2005

LSD runs

My 8 LSD mile run scheduled for yesterday turned into a 12 miler instead. The weather was perfect and my knees weren't giving me any problems, so I just went with it. I have an 18 mile LSD run scheduled for this coming Saturday and there is no reason why that shouldn't go well, either. I've backed off the speed and number training days so my knees are happy and I'm able to run without that awful pain I had just a couple of months ago. I'm looking ahead to after the marathon, as I'll probably go back into BFL again.

Friday, April 29, 2005

New blog!

Here I go, once again, running blindly into the bloggers universe with my ramblings. I hope to get it right this time. I had a bit of a tough time thinking of a blog name since just about everything I entered was already taken. "Magazine smiles" comes from the song "Dreamboat Annie" by Heart -- "Sad faces painted over with those magazine smiles. Heading out to somewhere, won't be back for a while." This title "Magazine smiles" and context to the song it comes out of has nothing to do with my state of mind. It's just something from years past...

There's now about 5 weeks left until the Rock N Roll Marathon . I did no training this week what-so-ever, since getting the flu. I might do a modified LSD run on Saturday. It's not exactly what I had planned but I don't want to thrash myself, either. I feel like a blob for not training or getting off my tush to do anything. Gotta think positive...