Thursday, March 29, 2007

Rockin' On Top Of The World

Activity - Run
Distance - 2.86 miles
Time - 30:12
Speed - 5.69 mph
Pace - 10:33 min/mile
Calories - 272

Today's goal was to run at least 2 miles in the neighborhood. While running, I decided to take on the hill. It's still a challenge and I couldn't even muster light jog, so I did a fast paced walk with long strides. Once I made it to the top, it was breathtaking, not because I was out of breath, but it's a gorgeous day, and from the top of that hill I could see out past Mission Bay and to the Ocean. On the way down, I noticed a sign that said "16% grade." Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketI walked down at a decent, but cautious pace because there was little to no traction on the sidewalks, even with my running shoes, and if I tripped and fell there would be nothing to stop me from rolling to the bottom of the hill...Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Someone in our neighborhood told me that the Marines use that hill for training...


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Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Read My Mind

It's a gorgeous day to go out and run but I just went to the chiropractor. Perhaps I'll take the dog out for a nice long walk.

When I go to the chiropractor I wear comfy clothes and usually don't dress up, wear make up or have my hair done up because everything will become wrinkled, smudged, and messed up. Today was no exception... I wore stretch yoga pants and a long sleeved t-shirt from the 2007 Super Run 5k, only because it was fresh out of the dryer and I really didn't care about making a fashion statement -- It was functional. After my chiropractor appointment, I needed a few things at Costco. While I was shopping, there was a guy who kept walking past me a few times, almost like he wanted to say something, but never did. A few people were looking at me but I still couldn't figure out what the deal was. Did a bird poo on me and I didn't notice? Was my underwear showing? What???? Then it occured to me: "They're reading my t-shirt." I really do like collecting all of the funky t-shirts from races, but I ususally wear them for working out at home, yard work, or if they're made of wicking material I might wear them on a training run, but that's it. I don't selectivly decide to wear a race t-shirt as a fashion statement, although I do like some of my race t's more than others. Maggie (Casutic Mussings) has, in the past, creatively re-fashioned some of her t-shirts to make them more wearable and sized for her very fit figure. I've also read that there's a lady who makes quilts from race t's. I don't know if I'd ever put in the effort to re-style a race t, although that is a pretty cool idea. (I supposed I could give it a try once on one of my least favorite T's.) I've also tried my hand at quilting before, but I'm too impatient. I like projects that take a day, perhaps two. I could also leave well enough alone and continue wearing my race t-shirts as I do now.

Yeah, it's a slow news day...

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Gone Country

Today was a light upper body workout with resistance bands and yoga type stretches.

This is my final installment of "Women Who Have Shaped My Life." It was somewhat hard to select just one person for this final essay. I was thinking about just writing short sentences for each woman I had in mind, but that wouldn't be fair to each one because they are all dynamic in their own right, (and deserve their own an essay) so I decided to pick just one. This woman is somewhat responsible for what I do for a living today.

Women Who Have shaped My Life - #5
During my early 30's I was at a point in my life where I was in transition with what I was doing in life. Both of my children were now in elementary school, I had a part-time job at Neiman Marcus in the gift wrap/shipping department, and I was taking a few college courses. It was at this time that I became a Mary Kay beauty consultant. The strange thing is that I swore up and down that I'd never be "one of THOSE women," who I once thought were pushy, overly made-up, poufy hair, Mary Kay Cosmetic sales women who want you to push you to buy everything, and drive the pink Cadillacs. Well, that's what I though before I signed up. I actually found a group of women who were rather down to earth and not at all pushy. I was surprised that there wasn't that hard sell to sign up to be a consultant, as there was with other at home type businesses. I signed on with out pressure to do so. I had my own inventory, I did my thing and did okay. They offered helpful seminars/meetings on (of course) how to apply make-up and sales tips, and how to handle my business and finances. These seminars/meetings became helpful in real life. At one of the weekly meetings, I met a new consultant named Molly. I'm not sure how we became involved in conversation, I think we lived in the same neighborhoods, or we knew the same group of people through one of my former employers, but we got along well.

Molly was a Texas transplant. She reminds me of the character that Megan Mullaly plays on the TV show Will and Grace - Karen Walker... She was ballsy and gutsy, had the same type of hair, same build, high pitched voice but with that Texas drawl, a flair for fashion with but with a western/cowgirl edge, and pair of shoes and accessories for every occasion. Molly, however, was also very unlike Karen Walker which was sober, thrifty, and was all about a bargain. Molly also had an extremely creative side and constantly sewed clothes and home improvement projects. Molly also worked in the optical field, and that's what she brought me into.

At a break during one of the Mary Kay meetings, I was discussing with Molly and another lady how I was not all that thrilled with my current job. I felt like working in the gift wrap/shipping department was like a step backwards for me. Working in gift wrap was something I did before I got married in my early 20's. The job, to me, at times felt degrading because it we were considered lowly support staff by the sales associates, who worked on commission. We were just about the bottom of the retail food chain. Molly mentioned that the optometrist at her office was looking to train a someone with office experience for a tech position. I was a little bit apprehensive because I had no medical experience, but I did wear glasses and contacts for years, and I had office experience. I decided to check out the office and applied for the job. After a very brief interview by the office manager, I was hired. The rest, as they say, is History.

Years have passed since that time and Molly eventually left California and moved back to back home to Texas. I also left that office for a position in a different field with better pay, but did go back into optical at another office a few years later, and have remained in optical ever since. It's either a strange twist of fate that I met met Molly and completely changed career paths, or perhaps I really was looking for something else outside of retail. In addition, after 11 years with Mary Kay Cosmetics, I am no longer a consultant, but I have a greater understanding of what that world is like, and have a better respect for it.

Molly and I still keep in touch with phone calls, and she always makes a great effort to get the old gang from the office back together when she does come back to visit.

This one's for you, Cowgirl Molly!
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Monday, March 26, 2007

Dust In The Wind

Yesterday was my 16 mile long slow distance (LSD) run. I did 16.01 miles in 3:01:58, a 11:21 mile average.

I'm not speedy but I get the job done. Looking back on my average mile time, if I want to have a sub 5 hour marathon, I need to go just a smidge faster overall, and I mean a smidge. I need to allow some extra time for the "just in case" situations, like cramping, port-o-potty stops, and fatigue. Yesterday's run was a training run and it was all about the distance, and I did need to stop a few times for traffic signals. This year I want to be able to run the entire marathon route without having to stop, slow way down or walk due to fatigue. The thing that blows my mind about yesterday's run is the calories burned according to the wireless run tracker: 1525, but I guess that's why the carb loading is so important. I wore the Adidas Super Nova Cushions, but I think I'm gonna go back to the Asics Gel Nimbus for the super long runs. I never had blisters with the Asics Gel Nimbus after runs further than 14 miles. I have a blister on my one of my toes on my left foot, and my one of my toenails feels weird. It's too early in training to be getting blisters. The knees and everything else are feeling great. I did get my share of dust in the eyes, though. I had a hard time seeing to drive home , and I only had to go less than 2 miles . Today I don't feel any worse for the ware, no super sore muscles, no sharp knee pains as I had in the past, and it feels like the blister will resolve itself very shortly. Life is good.

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Friday, March 23, 2007

Independent Women

Upper body workout today. No workout or run tomorrow, but I have plans to fit in a 16 mile run on Sunday.

Women Who Have Shaped My Life - #4

My interest in fitness and running didn't come into the picture until I was in my 40th year of life, almost 41. I had always been active, but I hadn't set foot in a gym since I dated my hubbie, and I was probably about 20 years old back then. I had always been active and did things like hike, go on long walks, swim, snow ski, beach activities, and a lot of other outdoor activities, but nothing in the way of a set workout. I thought I was doing okay, so I thought...

About a year earlier, I had met CN in an AOL gardening chat room. I can't remember exactly what plants or gardening tips we were discussing, but I took a peek at her profile and it turned out that we had our jobs and family in common. We were both opticians, had kids about the same ages, and we shared the joy of gardening. We both lived in coastal cities, however, on opposite coasts... We began e-mailing each other and hit it off. We were soon sharing our work issues and office dramas, little bits about our families, gardening stuff, and so on.

A short time later I had quit my job in optical and took a job as a manager for a transportation company because I could make a better pay check. The doctor I worked for wasn't willing to raise my cheesy little pay check. About 2 months after taking the new job I was in a car accident. A 19 year old kid did not yield the right-of-way at an intersection in my neighborhood. This was the same day as my son's 5th grade graduation and my 39th birthday. I wasn't seriously hurt but the left hand small finger was shattered and there was a spiral fracture in the bone right below my ring finger. Less than a week later I needed surgery to repair the bones. Father's day was right after my surgery and my brother flew down to visit for the day. It was nice seeing my brother and getting together with my dad for a nice day. We took plenty of pictures. The next week our pictures came back from the developers. There's a picture of me standing next to my very thin and fit brother. Keep in mind that I'm wearing a surgical cast on my arm, so I'm wearing clothes that are easy to get in and out of. In the photo, I'm wearing black overall shorts. I looked tubby and frumpy. My legs looked like tree trunks. (Sorry, I can't find the photo!) In my mind I thought I was looking okay, but the photo proved otherwise. My husband tried to assure me that it was a bad photo, but I knew better. The doctor's scales put me at 150 pounds, and I'm only 5'3". Ideal weight for someone my height is about 110 to 125, depending on frame. Life goes on and I had to be back at work. I was fortunate to have a sympathetic new boss, and he helped me to get settled at the new job, even with my temporary limitations. I spent time at physical therapy to regain grip strength and "normal" use of the left hand. I was taking walks at lunch, but I wasn't paying close attention to my eating habits, so the weight never budged. My 40th birthday came and went. Life was good and I was happy with everything. I still looked pudgy in my birthday pictures, though. Was this how I was to be for the rest of my life? Still, I didn't think it was that bad. My hubbie didn't complain. He liked by big behind...

In the Winter of that same year (1999) CN wrote me an e-mail about a fitness book that she was reading, and asked me I've I had ever heard of it. It was the Body For Life book by Bill Phillips. She said that it was a weight training and way of eating plan - a lifestyle, not a diet. This was probably the first time I had discussed fitness and nutrition with CN. She was excited about the book and was on week 2 of a 12 week "challenge." I figured that I would buy the book and give it a try. Since I felt funny about buying any "diet" books, I ordered it on-line. I read through it and decided, since CN is doing this, that I could do it too, it wasn't all that complicated. In April of 2000, I took the plunge and signed up at a gym. I was totally clueless in the gym so I signed up with a personal trainer. I kept in touch with CN about my slow progress, and she e-mailed me back about her fantastic progress. We shared workout tips and ideas for recipes that followed the BFL "authorized foods" list. Everyone around me thought I was nuts because I wasn't athletic or that much into fitness prior to reading BFL at CN's suggestion. I was surprised that my own family didn't support my new path to fitness, since I no longer ate all of those "fun" foods and drank one margarita after the next, all weekend long. I was on a mission to change. CN was the only one who understood what I was doing, since she was doing it too. It took me 3 back to back 12 week "challenges" to lose 30 pounds, and CN was right there with me, on line. We even sent each other greeting cards of "congratulations" when we hit our fitness goals.

2001, I'm toying around with the idea of running my first 5k ever. All of that high intensity interval training on the treadmill got me running, really running. I began to run outside, and it was a tough transition, but I stuck with it. I ran my first 5k event on July 4 of that year. Because I ran my first 5k, it got CN into thinking about running again, as she did before she had a kid, but she set the bar even higher. She was going for a marathon before her 50th birthday in the next couple of years. I followed along with her training and those long, long training runs. I coudn't imagine running any further than a 5k. CN completed her goal, not just with one marathon, but with three marathons right before turning 50 in 2004. Wow. I thought to myself: "If she can do 3 before 50, I can do at least one, and I'm younger than her." So I did some quick research and decided to shoot for the San Diego Rock N' Roll Marathon for 2005, which was also a few days shy of my 45th birthday. CN guided me to "Marathoning For Mortals" by John Bingham. It wasn't too long after I signed up for the marathon that my hubbie said he would participate as well, and he really doesn't run. My brother, already an avid runner, found out about us running in the event and decided to run in it as well. CN encouraged me every step of the way and gave me great tips, especially for those really long training runs, and offered words of advice and sympathy when I was diagnosed with arthritis in both knees in March of 2005 ~ right in the middle of training. My brother, Hubbie and I completed the marathon ~
and it was tough but exhilerating at the same time. We finished and felt a million years old the week after, but we thought that it was such a rush to complete something like that, so we decided right away to do the marathon again in 2006. I e-mailed CN with full on, marathon-length, details about our day. CN sent me a wonderful card of congratulations, which I still have.

CN and I continue to correspond on line and share our work issues, family dramas, working out and running regimens, gardening happenings and everything else. My hope is that some day we actually meet in person, and maybe even run in an event together. Yes, it's true that it was up to me to get fit and start running, but it was CN who sparked the idea with BFL. I will be forever grateful to her for being my first supporter and cheerleader when everyone else gave me negativity in this fitness and running lifestyle. My quality of life has definetly changed for the better.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Today's run: 9.02 miles in 1:40:14, at an 11:06 minute mile pace. I was sluggish and my legs felt heavy, even though I had a decent carb load last night of Thai pad rice noodles and chicken, and this morning it was my usual pre long run breakfast of raisin bran with soy milk and coffee. I wasn't going for time, I was going for distance, so it's mission accomplished. Today the BiM site is down so I can't post the map, but I ran the bay path I usually run plus ran around Fiesta Island to fit in the extra 3 miles to complete at least 8 miles, which was my initial goal, but to get back to the restroom by the park, I had to run the extra mile.

The nice thing about running by the bay in the morning, especially the day after it rains, is that the air is crisp and clean. The air was cool, but perfect for running. It was quiet and I became lost in thought. If it wasn't for the mile marker beeps on my wireless run tracker bringing me back into reality, I probably would have ran even further. I had plenty to think about. I feel a great sense of calm and joy right now.

A friend of hubbie's wants us to run with him in the Carlsbad 5000 in less than a couple of weeks. The cool thing (if we do this race) is that I can actually run a chipped 5k, but I haven't been in 5K training mode. My 5k times are much slower than they used to be because I'm working on endurance and getting in those long miles. Perhaps that's something to think about for next year. I'd really like to PR at a 5K with close to an 8 minute mile pace. My best 5k pace was something like 8:15ish, and that was a few years ago. If I do the race, my 5k time pace would be somewhere between a 8:45 and 9:00 minute mile. We'll see.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Everyday I Write The Book

No workout today. Went into work for training, but the piece of equpment I needed training on was down, so I did some lab work and left early.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled happy blog post...

Women Who Have Shaped My Life - #3

In the 8th grade we finally had teachers who were not Catholic Nuns from Spain, but regular folk, men and women. The whole concept in grades 7 and 8 was to prepare us for the high school years, so we had different teachers for each subject and went into different class rooms as well. For English, Art and Music, we had Ms. R... Ms. R was probably in her early 30's, petite, quirky, smoked cigarettes at break time, and was amazingly able to deal with unruly adolescents. I looked forward to her classes because it got me out of the classes with some of the stricter nuns that made all of our lives miserable.

In music class, she actually showed us how to use tone, harmony, rhythm, etc. Prior to that, music class consisted of learning church songs, well, except for once in Mrs. L's class, we learned "I Am a Rock, I Am an Island" by Simon and Garfunkle... My entire class enjoyed Ms. R's music lessons tremendously -- we would sing and harmonize so loud that teachers from the other classrooms would ask her to "tone it down." In English class, we did the required vocabulary tests and various book report assignments. In addition to those assignments, she introduced us to "creative writing." Because we had the nuns from Spain, we had no clue that writing could be creative, and that we were allowed to be free with our writing. What a concept! Our class had great fun with this creative writing thing. Several of us just lit fire with this type of writing because it was fun. Ms. R would have each of us read back what we had written, to the class. It amazed me that my class mates would ask to have the stories re-read because they were so interesting and fun. Words had became colorful and had texture, and meant something to us. Ms. R also introduced us to journaling, where there are no rules, and this, again, was new to most of us in my class. Art classes were the same. She came up with the most fun and unusual assignments and we just took off with it. This was the same year I actually tried out for the school newspaper and got in. I never really tried out for any sports or other activities at school before. While on the school newspaper "team" the most I did was a paragraph about "kite day" and drew a picture to go with it... The newspaper came out sporadically, so my article and picture was "published" in the last paper of the school year... The music class that we had in Ms. R's class helped in high school. I didn't know how to play any musical instruments, but I was given a flute to use and told to figure out how to play it. Really. (And no, I didn't attend band camp... LOL) Ms. R's lessons in tone and rhythm really helped, so I wasn't completely clueless. I figured out how to play the flute in no time.

Soon after we got into 9th grade in High School, we found out that the principal (the head nun) let Ms. R go. Perhaps they had different ideas about teaching? I do know that the principal didn't care for Ms. R on a personal level. I don't know what happened to Ms. R after that, but I sure would have liked to at least gone back to the school to visit her, and to thank her for making Catholic school a little bit more interesting. I had fun learning.

Thanks Ms. R!
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Teacher, Teacher

Today's run = hills in the neighborhood. 2.13 miles in 21:25, 10:03 pace, included waiting for traffic to pass.

Women Who Have Shaped My Life - #2

Ever since I blogged about my mom, I've been thinking about other "dynamic" women who have shaped my life, positive and negative. The task was to write about 5 women who have shaped my life. Well, for #2, my thoughts keep going back to my childhood -- more specifically, my childhood at Catholic school...

I attended Catholic school from grades 1 through 12. The high school years were fine, not overwhelmingly great but pretty decent by all accounts. It was those formative grade school years that scarred, um, impacted my life forever... Most of the teachers were nuns from an order in Spain. I thought they looked scary in those full on black habits, where only their face and hands were the only skin visible. Not one had a decent grasp on the English language, so it was a nightmare learning the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't think the kids I went through that school with actually learned the proper words until we got into about the 7th grade, and even then the words were sketchy. There were a couple of the nuns who were actually very nice and kind hearted, such as the nuns I had in grades 1,2,4, and 5. It was the ladies in grades 3,6,7 and 8 that made my life miserable. I went through life in grades 1 and 2 thinking that these nuns in the scary black get-ups weren't so bad after all. Then 3rd grade came along. I swear, this witch, um, I mean nun had something against me from day one, and I never knew what it was - perhaps it was my cute, pink, horned rimmed glasses? After all, they weren't military issue black plastic frames. I dunno. My favorite subjects at the time were reading and art. She very rarely called on me for reading, and when it came time to pass out the art supplies, she skipped right past me and I sadly watched my peers delve into their bright paints and Play-dough. I soon brought in my own art supplies and pulled them out when she passed over me. She noticed my art supplies but never said anything. One time I left my homework folder in the classroom over the weekend. On Saturdays the classroom would be occupied by other kids for Catechism classes - the kids who attended public school but needed to come to class for their weekly dose of Catholic doctrine. One of the kids who sat at my desk drew a picture of a naked man and woman and placed it in my homework folder. Come Monday morning I saw this piece of "art" but I didn't have time to covertly remove it. The teacher looked through my homework folder, saw the naked drawing and hit me upside the head, hard. Damn, that hurt! I just sat there stunned. I didn't give her the satisfaction of crying. I held back. That following Wednesday, the day our class went to church for confessions, this same nun pulled me aside and told me to confess my evil sin of what was in my folder. Of course, I didn't do that, but told her I did, just to get her off my case. Finally, Friday arrives and my mother comes to pick me up from school that day, since my brother was home sick and couldn't walk home with me. This teacher is eager to talk to my mom to tell her about my big "sin" of the drawing of the naked man and woman in my folder and how she told me to confess my sin. My mom let this nun "have it;" first of all, for hitting me, second, she reminded the nun about Adam and Eve (in the BIBLE) and that an innocent 3rd grader probably drew the picture because of the BIBLE story of Adam and Eve. Then my mom asked to see the picture. The nun said she threw it away. After that chat, my mom just told me to not leave my folder at school anymore and to make sure there's only pictures and drawings of flowers, houses, and cute animals in it. I was so confused. Heck, I was only a 3rd grader and my biggest problem was getting home in time to roller-skate with my best friend in the driveway. What did I know about censorship? It wasn't even my drawing that caused this bizarre situation.

Years later, in the 1980's, I'm attending San Diego State University and I'm an Art major with a Journalism minor. It occurred to me (while I was working up a sweat -- sketching furiously on a huge sheet of news print with charcoal at my life drawing class, where my subjects happened to be a real live nude couple) that I was once was punished for having a drawing of what I'm now attending classes of higher education for. Perhaps the 3rd grade nun's negativity shaped me to do the things I was denied? Maybe I was going to follow that college path, anyway? Was this my "making lemonade out of lemons?" I'm not quiet sure, but that 3rd grade year impacted me greatly. If those same set of circumstances happened now, mostly the getting hit part, I'm just about sure that it would have made news. It was the late 1960's when I was in the 3rd grade, and I guess teachers could get away with corporal punishment at that time. After all, a nun was supposed to be all holy. If they hit you it was supposed to be for your own good. Um, I don't think so.

Now that I have my own kids and have been through the grade school and high school years, I realize that it's just not Catholic school nuns that can cause grief for a kid. In all fairness, my kids have had their share teachers that really should not be teaching, and teachers who should be given the very highest praise. There have been wonderful, WONDERFUL teachers in my life, and next time I'll blog about one of them.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Breakfast in America

No formal workout today, but the dog insists that I go outside and throw her the ball and I might fit in more dirt digging. Went with my dad to his doctor's appointment because he wasn't sure if they would give him anything to make him groggy for some testing they're doing. Turns out he was fine, but it was nice to spend time together. We had breakfast at Coco's and they actually had something decent on the menu. I had an egg white omlet with feta cheese, spinach, onions and tomatos, and some herbs, plus a small side of melon. It was a decent meal from an unexpected place.

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Sunday, March 18, 2007

Miles Ahead

Today's run is done!!! I'm testing out the Bones in Motion site, for the GPS wireless run tracker on my cell phone, just to see how the RSS feed will work.

Route:--Elev. Avg:14 ft
Location:Mission Beach, CAElev. Gain:+6 ft
Time:09:25 AMDifficulty:2.4 / 5.0
56F temp; 74% humidity
56F heat index; winds S 6

Distance:6.77 milesGoal:6 miles

Speed:5.67 mphAttained:112%
Pace:10' 35 /mi
Elevation (ft.)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
110' 25-0' 105.8+0.1+7 ft
210' 32-0' 035.7+0.0-7 ft
311' 05+0' 305.4-0.3+7 ft
410' 32-0' 035.7+0.0-7 ft
510' 20-0' 155.8+0.1-7 ft
610' 50+0' 155.5-0.10 ft
end10' 17-0' 185.8+0.2+14 ft

Versus average of 10' 35 min/mi: Slower Faster

I guess it works.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Today was the first Friday in three weeks that I haven't had to work. I spent my entire morning with my grandson. I thought it would be a good idea to get him outside for some gardening. He wasn't too excited with the idea of gardening at first so he went around the yard playing with his Hotwheels. I decided that he needed to get dirty, so I supplied him with a small hand shovel and a plastic flower pot. Needless to say, my grandson had a blast. before I knew it, he was lying in the dirt making dirt angels... It was great. It didn't occure to me to get pictures later on in the dirt discovery morning, but he was pretty well covered and quite happy with himself.

The best part about spening time with a 3 1/2 year old is that they look at things just a little bit differently. We're slowly working on getting the house in shape. Remember that the house is circa 1947ish and had nothing done to it 20 years prior to us moving in last year. The interiors are just about finished, for now, but the outside needs a decent paint job. My grandson pointed out this rust stain, just outside the sunroom door. He said "Mimi, he's sad. He's crying." I told him that we'll paint it soon and make it happy again.

While the little guy was enjoying the dirt, I was pulling some major weeds and overgrowth. The hot July 2006 temperatures and the freezing weather we had later on in December pretty much thrashed most of our plants, so we did almost nothing to keep anything going, so we're just like stating over. Amongst the weeds were signs of spring. The poppies that I had planted last year are coming back.

Today was some serious yard work. It was like doing several sets of squats, deadlifts, upright rows and tricep exercises. It's back to the "Yard-work Workout." I don't mess around. If I'm going to be digging in the dirt, it's going to be heavy duty. None of this picking little weeds with tweezers and my pinky finger extended business... I've got tools and I'm not afraid to use them. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tomorrow I run. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketIt's going to be in the 5 to 6 mile range, perhaps a little more. I'm in the zig-zagging phase right now, where one week I put in the longer mileage,and the next week I back off. Next week should be a 16 miler. The interesting part will be fitting in two 20 mile runs (in May) instead of just one.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Crosstown Traffic

It feels good to be back on "schedule." I put in a 4.19 mile (in 45:53) yesterday morning from my house to the bay and back. I didn't run the entire bay path, just a portion of it. My only problem with running from my house to the bay is traffic at the freeway off ramps. I needed stop and cross two of those ramp intersections right before the bay. Many drivers just don't pay attention.

Today was a scheduled visit to the chiropractor, and it's a good thing, too. I'm not sure what changed but I had a little asthma last night and it threw my back out. He set me straight, again, did some pressure point stuff, and worked on my feet. I feel all nice and jello-y.

Other stuff:
I stole this from Kyra's blog (Shaping My Way) -- thought it was kinda cool.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Fax Me A Beer

My job is finished, for now. I go back in next week for training on some new equipment, but that's just to keep me up to speed when I do go back in again. This time back at work was a little more complicated than the last time. There was so much back work that needed to be finished. I'm glad I was able to pitch in and help everyone play "catch-up."

One of my coworkers brought in a little "gift" for me. In case you didn't know already, my name at work (and e-mail, on line, etc...) is "Eyeballrene," "Eyeball" for short. I do believe I've explained that everyone in the office has nick-names. I don't know how it got started, but we all have crazy nick names. Even our patients know our nick names and some of them were bestowed nick names... Yes, it's a unique work place. Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketOne of my coworkers came up with mine. Irene = Eye (ball) rene... Any way... Another coworker "GG" or "Ghoulie Girl" brought a bottle of beer called "Lagunitas - The Hairy Eyeball Ale." Teehee... My name's all over it. I haven't opened the bottle, yet, it has to get nice and cold first, then maybe on a free meal, I'll pop that bottle open. I sure hope it's good.

I have a date with the road tomorrow morning. It's supposed to get warm out (90 degrees) tomorrow, so I'm thinking I'll get out early, while it's still cool, and do my 2.5 miler around the neighborhood, hills and all. I've noticed I do better on my LSD runs when I get my shorter runs in during the week. If I miss the shorter runs, the LSD runs seem harder than they need to be. I also need to pay closer attention to my nutrition. The past couple of weeks have been kinda carb heavy and I need to amp up the protein ratio. My weight is okay but I could stand to feel less fluffy. I'm kinda going through the transition between weight training and running again. I always get fluffy at this time. I guess getting fluffy is a given, I just need to find a balance so that I don't feel as fluffy...

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Road Runner

I ran a 14 miler today, but later in the day when it was warmer out, just to be prepared. I ran with my hubbie at Lake Murray by our old house, just because we needed some small hills. The run at the bay is completely flat and the marathon route has a few hills, so it's good to get in those long miles there at the lake route. This may seem like a small thing but I diluted my gels in two of my 4 oz water bottles on my hydration belt, just to give that a try. So far, it worked. I used one Powergel and one Accel-gel. The Powergel seemed to dilute better. The Accel-gel did okay, but it was on the foamy side. I finised my 14 miles in 2:44:00, that's about a 11:24 min/mile. I sort of ran out of steam towards the end, and that brought my average down. At least I got the miles in, and that's what I needed.

My schedule is out of whack. I'm back at work again, but I don't know for how long. It definetly throws a kink in my workout and running plans, but I'm doing what I can.

Thanks, fellow bloggers, for all of the wonderful comments about my "Beautiful" entry. It will be a History lesson for my kids.

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I've been called back into work this week, and perhaps next week, so my running and workout schedules will be somewhat off. The good thing about being back at work for a couple of weeks, besides the extra money, is that they're training me on some newer, high tech equipment. Now I can pitch in with patient pre-testing like I did when I was a full time tech.

Shopper had blogged about a woman who greatly touched her life, and suggested that we all do the same. The first woman who came to mind was my mother. Perhaps that's a given, because mom gave birth to me, but my mother was such a dynamic person, and had to put up with a lot in her life, but came out smelling ever so sweet.
My mom was born here, in the United States, in Oakland, CA. Her mother's family originated in Toledo, Spain, and her father's family was from somewhere in France. My mother's parents were betrothed to other people in Spain and France, but (from what I've heard) ran off to marry each other and ended up in the United States. Mom was born towards the end of the depression years, at the time Wilson was president. When mom was of the preschool age, Wilson mandated that people of Hispanic decent be sent to Mexico. Almost everyone in my mother's household was whisked to a place they had never been to before, Mazatlan, Mexico. Only the ones at work and school were left behind. That's where my mother, her 3 sisters and her parents lived together for the next 20 years. Mazatlan was not the touristy city it is now, but was was a small fishing village. I've heard stories from my mother of how she and her sisters had to be tough to put up with their new set of circumstances. One unexpected circumstance was skin color. They were more fair than their friends, even though they had dark brown hair. They didn't look like any of their neighbors and where known as the "whites" or "Gueras." They were often made fun of. I've heard several stories of how my mother and her sisters had to physically defend themselves. I've also heard stories of how they made ends meet, how my grandmother was the town Tailor and "healer," attending to births, "sewing" people up, attending to the sick, etc... My mom grew up having to do most of her mother's finish work and became quite the seamstress herself. In her early 20's (early 1950's) my mother returned to the United States, as she officially was a US citizen. At that point in her life, both parents had already died and there wasn't any reason for her to stay in Mazatlan. When she came back to the U.S, she lived with her cousin in the San Diego area, went to adult night school to relearn English, and met my father who didn't speak a word of Spanish... Ironically, my mother had to put up with prejudices once again, because she didn't speak English well, but she soon overcame this obstacle.

Fast forward...
When I was a kid, my mother was the "go to" person in our neighborhood. She always had a great recipe, knew all of the sewing tricks not shown in any books -- plus made every one's prom and bridesmaid dresses, and pierced my ears and most of my friend's ears (with their parent's right there, of course.) My mom was a fun mom. I remember one summer when it was the neighborhood boys VS the neighborhood girls in a massive water fight. At the back door my mom would give the girls buckets for the water, and at the front door she would give the boys equal sized bowls. We never knew this until later. At the end of it all, she would have homemade pizza for us all. My mom was the wizard of "Spanglish." She often invented words or changed words around . One of the most memorable was how she said "Beverly Hillbillies." Her version: "The Beverly Hilly-Billy's." LOL... My mom also threw the best parties. She did everything herself, no catering service -- well, unless you count my brother, sister, and I. Her food presentation always looked professional and was delicious. She could have gone into the catering business, but that was never her goal. My mother also had many, many friends, all of which considered her their best friend. The whole time I was growing up my mom never seemed to get sick. The only time I remember her down was when she had a c-section for the birth of my sister. Then in her later years (for her it was her mid 50's) she suddenly seemed to be in pain all of the time. This was not normal.
My mother was diagnosed with colon cancer in May of 1985. This was a bitter pill for all of us to swallow. It was hard to watch such a strong willed person suffer. My mother rarely cried when I was a child, or at least never in front of me. This was the first time I saw my mother let go of her emotions, happy and sad. At that time, my brother, sister and I each had a child and they were all babies/toddlers. It was very hard for my mother not to enjoy her grandchildren, but she did take great joy in spending time with them. I remember finding little Hot wheels cars along side my mom, in her hospital bed, where my 2 year old nephew had been playing. She enjoyed that time with him, as she did with my niece and my daughter. My sister gave birth to her second son in December of 1985. This birth also gave great joy to my mom, since it took the focus off of her suffering. My mom died March 1, 1986 at age 57. My mom never ever wore black. As a tribute to my mom, I wore something that was not so somber, but light blue and more cheery. It was one of her favorite outfits on me at the time. The church where the funeral was held was packed solid, and there was standing room only for those who came a little late. I saw people who I hadn't seen in years; people who were touched by my mom, such as the shy neighborhood girl who had my mom make her wedding dress just a couple of years before, a long lost relative whom I know my mom would have loved to see, all of the friends who said my mom was their "best" friend, and many other friends, neighbors and relatives.

There have been times through out the years (since her death) where I would have witnessed something that my mom would have loved to know about. It sometimes makes me sad to not be able to pick up the phone and give her the details. I am not as "ballsy" as my mother was, but that trait has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and try new things; to go for what I want, but in a good way. My mother was also brutally honest, even if the answer hurt. But we all knew she was right. (We knew never EVER to ask her if something made us look fat, because she would always say "YES!") My mother's honesty taught me to be honest, but I'm not as brutal... LOL...

Someone once asked my mom "Don't you feel fortunate to be in this country with everything you have now?" Her answer: "Fortunate? Perhaps. But I was born to be queen!"


Monday, March 05, 2007

American Tune

Where did February go? Time flies when your having fun, I guess...
Thanks for humoring me and playing along "Name that Artist, group, composer, singer..." Here's February's answers and winners:

2/27/07 Rock And Roll - Led Zeppelin - Katiefeldmom Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/25/07 I Don't Mind A Cloudy Day - Rennie Neubecker

2/23/07 Thank You - Dido

2/22/07 Running To Stand Still - U2 - Barbie2bePhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/20/07 Tuesday Afternoon - Moody Blues - Barbie2be Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/18/07 Call Me - Blondie - Run-DMZPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/17/07 Alone - Heart - Pamela Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/14/07 Soak Up The Sun - Sheryl Crow - KatiefeldmomPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/10/07 Hangin on the Telephone - Blondie - Barbie2be Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/9/07 Ghost Town - Cat Stevens

2/7/07 You Oughta Be In Pictures - Doris Day or Ed Heyman or Jackie Gleason or George Wein, etc. - Barbie2be Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/5/07 Working For The Weekend - Loverboy - Barbie2be Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

2/1/07 Barbie Girl - Aqua - PamelaPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting


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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Dreamboat Annie

I was somewhat amazed, but not totally surprised that the Nike Women's Half Marathon sold out. I was hoping to have someone I know join me but I guess I'll get to know some of the 15,000 other women who are running it. The last time I checked, there were still sign-ups for the full marathon.

At the crack of dawn on Saturday morning, Anne (Run-DMZ) picked me up at my house and we made our way to the bay for the 43 Annual Sue Krenn 15K. It was fun getting to chat with Anne briefly before she went off to attend to her volunteer duties. She also introduced me to many runners, and even pointed out a few who run at about my speed. It was a little brisk out but not really all that cold, although some of my fellow San Diegan runners were chilled at the 40 degree temperatures. LOL... After stretching out and a warm up run with the San Diego Track Club, we went out to the street for our run. This is the same area where I do my weekend runs at. The course was familiar and there wasn't any thing unusual, mostly flat. I've never run a 15K timed event before, so I wasn't sure how I would fare, but had somewhat of an idea. I sort of figured I'd finish in 1 hour 45 minutes. I finished in about 1:30:50 and change, probably closer to 1:31:00, which is probably around a 9:45 minute mile. All of the women runners were given a rose at the end of the run, and a really cool tie dyed t-shirt will be sent to me. There were some incredibly fast people at this run. I run that fast in my dreams. One of my former college teachers was there. I'd seen him at a prior event but wasn't sure it was him until after. I said hello to him and, of course, he had no clue who I was, since I had him as a teacher well over 25 years ago. He said that every now and then a former student will spot him at a run event and say hello. He's in his mid 70's and almost always places in the top 3 in these runs. Oh, I also came away with a bottle of Pinot Noir. They were giving away wine in a "random" drawing to the runners... After Anne was finished with her volunteer duties, we had a nice long walk back to the car, and a wonderful chat. It's always fun to talk to someone about running and everything that goes with it, and understands it. Anne and I also had plenty in common, aside from the running. In addition, it was great to be around a group of people who get excited about running. They were all so encouraging to each other. I kept hearing "great run" or "good pace" or something positive through out the run. I'm guessing that there were about 500 people at this run. Anne brought me back home and had a little time to meet hubbie, so he could get a photo of us. Oh, that's my dog, Logan, at our feet - trying to get attention.

I'm hoping that sometimes in the near future I'll be able to run with Anne. Now I'm seriously thinking about joining the SDTC. We'll see.

Change gears, shower, dress, and had my son drive me downtown for a spa afternoon with the ladies at work -- as part of a birthday celebration/bridal shower for one of my coworkers . The timing was perfect. After a couple of pomegranate mimosas, I had a mini-facial, a salt scrub and massage -- then spent time in the sauna... Niiiiiiiice... Ahhhhhh... After a few hours at the spa, we all walked across the street to the W Hotel, for drinks at their "beach" bar at the top of the hotel. The bar is set up to look like a beach, with beach furniture, cabanas and sand. We enjoyed our drinks as we watched the sun set. I had never been to that bar before, so it was enjoyable, plus my bosses and coworkers are a fun group. Dinner and beer followed at the Karl Strauss restaurant just a block a way. One of my bosses drove me home, so I didn't have to worry about having to get someone to pick me up.

Once I was home, I was done... It was still relatively early, but I was good for a night of uninterrupted sleep, and it was great.

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344 IRENE 836 47 12/21 F San Diego 1:31:01 9:46