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.