Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Y'all rock!

wow -- the internets is a marvelous thing. I'm really appreciative of all the support and encouraging comments all y'all have left on my swimming post. This is a big step for me, but one that I must take, and I really feel like I'm not doing it alone.

I'm beginning to really understand the mad props and internet love I see on all the Tri-Bloggers' sites when y'all meet each other IRL. The encouragement (both from folks that have been visiting for a while and those that just recently found my little old site from who-knows-where) is exactly what I need to conquer all the uncertainties I have when I stand at the edge of that pool. I can't begin to explain how that empowers me... but I think y'all know.

ORN -- 4.2 miles on Miz T (that's the new name for my 'mill -- it's in honor of a friend of mine who always knew the right thing to do, even when it wasn't very much fun -- rather fitting, I think).

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

and she didn't drown!

the runner, she went swimming today! and she didn't drown!

actually it wasn't so much swimming as it was learning to breathe in through my mouth, out the nose with the face underwater. Then some gliding, breathing in through my mouth, out the nose. then some gliding, breathing in through my mouth, out the nose, with my head turned to the side. then some gliding with some kicks. then, gliding, count to three, start kicking, count to three, breathe, stroke, stroke, come up, applause. Do it again.

Very beginning stuff, for a very beginning swimmer. Our instructor is a wonderful little undergrad boy who is very patient, very helpful and exactly what we need. And now I smell like chlorine, even though I showered. And I'm very glad I ran 3.1 miles with NanoMark this morning, because I can tell that I will have NOTHING left after I put the boys to bed tonight. But, hey, I got in the pool!

Baby steps, baby steps. Even with baby steps, constant forward motion will eventually get us to where we're going.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I'll owe you five

I just finished 5 miles on the TM. Hub left for Connecticut this morning, on a 9:55 flight, so I had no opportunity to be out and back on today's scheduled 10-miler unless I wanted to be out the door at 5:00. Not so much. I had planned to be on for the full 10 all at once, but I just couldn't handle the monotony. So I settled for 5 now and I'll do the rest tonight after I get the boys in bed.

The weather is very nice today (as it was yesterday when I went out for 7 miles mid-morning) so I'm bummed I can't be outside, but that would entail enlisting the in-laws for help. Not that they're not willing, but I'm going to a friend's this afternoon for a thing we'd planned weeks ago, before Hub realized he had to go up East, so they're already taking them for the afternoon.
And they'll be pulling double-duty this week, taking Limp-Along Cassidy to school since he's not quite ready for the bus still. So I'll just suck it up, Buttercup, and hit the TM again.

This week should be full of big news and some surprises. I'll keep you posted as soon as it's feasible. Among the big changes going on are the beginning of semi-private swim lessons -- I start Tuesday at lunchtime. My goal is to be lap-ready by the end of February, where I can take some drills and such from and not reinforce bad habits. I'll have the pool on campus available whenever (I already pay the $10/month gym fee) so I'll just have to make time during the day to get over there.

Have a great Sunday and a great week!

Oh, and if anyone has input on my HRM question, I'm still considering all options and am still hungry for more advice. I probably wont' make the actual purchase until mid-February or so. Thanks!

Edited to add:
Done. 5 miles. on the TM. Except that when I slowed down at the end to cool down, the right knee locked up something ferocious. In a new and different way. I need to stretch it some, I guess. And I probably need to do something about bunching up my mileage on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. I ended up cutting a 4-miler during the week and tacking on the extra mileage in on Friday and Saturday. So between 8:30 AM Saturday and 10:00 PM Sunday I did 3 separate runs totaling 17 miles. Shouldn't be a problem, but I'm sure it's part of what's making the knee creak (that and the fact that my weight has remained essentially stable for the last month -- I must get thee to the nutritionist again, but getting time out of the office has been.... difficult). The good news is that this is a cutback week, so my long run next Sunday is only 9 miles. And I should be able to make time for the resting metabolic test in the next few weeks. TTFN -- I'm off for a good stretch, a quick shower and bedtime!

Friday, January 26, 2007

NanoMark found a friend

to reward me for dragging my lazy butt out of bed this morning and pounding out 3 miles on the 'mill, NanoMark woke up Lance Armstrong (like *he's* not used to getting up at o'dark thirty! but he is "retired" now!) to give me kudos at the end. New NanoMark PR for the mile. Go me! Just what I need to get me through a Friday!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

4 miles

on the treadmill. I really must calibrate NanoMark -- he thinks I ran 4.29 miles. Silly boy.

Off to bed now so I can do weights in the morning and another run tomorrow night. See you then!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

HRM advice?

got one? Like it? Hate it? have one to recommend for me?

I have a bare-bones Nike model that displays HR, stopwatch and current time, but not much else. No memory, no alarms, no zones. Plus the chest strap is tricky -- when it works its way up out from under the bottom of my sportsbra, I get random readings, like 87 in the middle of a 10-miler. Um, not really. And then of course there was the time that I forgot to switch the reading from stopwatch to HR, and I looked down a few minutes into my run and saw 240! Dumbas$ here thought I was having a stroke!

So it's time for a new one. I don't need GPS or distance functions -- I can get that with the Garmin and NanoMark. I'd like to be able to wear the watch as a regular wristwatch as well, seeing as my Disney watch from the cruise in '05 bit the dust before Christmas. If I'm going to buy a new watch, I'd rather have it be useful and not just pretty to look at. That's the one thing keeping me from biting the bullet and getting a new Garmin 305. One that I could wear whilst swimming might be a good choice, seeing as I've got to get some of that in sooner than later.* I've not really set a budget for it - I don't think I can spend $200 or so, though.

So, bring it on. I've done a little bit o' research, but all the choices are a bit overwhelming. Help a girl out here, plz! Muchas grassy-ass, as my dad likes to say.

*speaking of the swim -- I called the aquatics coordinator at the university where i work today to arrange for private lessons. I am going to split with another woman in my area, so 5 half-hour lessons will cost us each $75 instead of $100. The lessons will be at the pool in the campus gym/fitness center, so we can do it over lunchtime. It should be enough to get me going on lap swimming by early February so I can start the Sprint plan full-force at the end of March. Eeep!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Salsa recipe

Saturday night was a fun outing with my real-life pals in our Dinner Club. We headed over to A & R's house for a Mexican-themed dinner. The main course was fajitas, then P & D made an awesome guacamole, R & I brought margaritas (I didn't have any, but I heard they were nice), and I brought rice, beans and an experimental mango salsa. The topper was a great dish of tiramisu. double-yum!

See, during the "arctic blast" last Sunday, Hub and I had cabin fever and dropped the boys off for a bit while we went foraging for "something sweet." I had a serious craving for something to satisfy my sugar jones, so we ended up at Cost-Too-Much. I found a pack of ready-to-eat fresh pineapple spears that fit the bill.* Hub found a pack of ready-to-eat fresh mango that he had to have. I hate mango. I loathe the sliminess of it, and the taste is a bit too tart. I doubted that Hub would eat the whole pack, so I asked him twice if he really would eat the whole pack. He said he would. Well, five days later, TDP had eaten some, but the rest of it was still in the fridge. So I had to do something to dispose of the mango. Since we had Mexican theme, I thought some salsa would be a good addition.

Problem was, I've never made mango salsa, and I didn't have a recipe for it. The Internets came to the rescue, with several variations. I ended up taking one and extrapolating some to come up with my own version. And I have to say, it was loverly and spicy and gave just the right kick to the fajitas and chips. And today, I had some of the left-over salsa with my salmon and rice, for a just-right light dinner. So, the recipe:
  • ~1 cup mango -- diced very small -- really more julienned and then cut smaller
  • 1 bunch of green onions -- I started at the bulb end and cut up about five inches worth of the greens
  • 2/3 red pepper -- this wasn't called for in the recipe but I thought it would add pretty color
  • 1/2 bunch of cilanthro -- I ran this through the food processor
  • 1/2 c. of lime juice
I mixed it all together about four hours before dinner and just let it sit to blend the flavors. I served it with chips, on the fajita tacos, and today on the seafood. Yummy. And a great way to get rid of way too much extra mango!

ORN -- I may or may not run 2.5 miles today. Depends on how I feel later. I'm a little tight from this weekend's activity, so I might end up with weights instead.

*ooh, and how strange and twisted that I found pineapple a cure for my sugar jones? that's a huge step forward from my usual need for a Blizzard or a chunk of cheesecake.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lazy Sunday run

When I woke up this morning, the first thing I noticed was bright sunshine streaming through the windows. When I went out to get the paper, it was cold and crisp, with not a lot of wind. Perfect for a run. "In a bit," I though, "Let me start the laundry, pick up a bit, then I'll go."

But then Hub left for church, and I got involved rotating mattresses and changing sheets and otherwise not getting ready for a run. By the time Hub got back from church, washing his car of a week's worth of grime, and stopping by the grocery store, it was too late for me to go out before they had to leave again for the hockey game. TDP DinoBoy was amusing himself in his room with his array of lightsabers and Star Wars transformers (more than meets the eye!), and I really felt like just not running.

When the boys got back from their game -- the rest of the team signed a hockey puck for Elder Child as a get-well gift --- I still had no desire to go out and run. And it was even nicer and brighter out - probably the nicest part of the day. I'd spent the afternoon playing Bookworm online in between loads of laundry (7 altogether, not including sheets and pillowcases!), and watching the Saints turn the ball over and over and over. I snoozed on the couch for a bit, and right about the time Hub got up to fix dinner, I decided if I didn't hit the streets immediately, I was going to be faced with 9 miles on the treadmill. And if I was faced with 9 miles on the treadmill, I wasn't going to get it done.

So after I threw the last load of laundry in, I changed into shorts, a long-sleeved tech shirt and a short-sleeved shirt over that. I picked up the Garmin and set Nano-Mark for 90 minutes. And I took off. The sun was nearly setting, so the sky was a nice orangey color, with streaks of clouds in the sky. The wind was a bit brisker than I'd hoped for, but it wasn't cold by any means. I took a slightly different route than I'd planned, and finished out 9 miles in 1:35. Nano-Mark thinks I ran 9.54 miles -- shh, don't tell him I didn't really go that far! The funny thing is the calories burned on the Garmin and the calories burned according to Nano-Mark were off by 1 calorie. And I got to hear Paula Radcliffe again, congratulating me on my longest run to date. Go me.

So now I just finished dinner (two sausage and egg breakfast tacos courtesy of Hub -- yes, we had breakfast for dinner again), and now it's time for a quick shower before I fold the last load of laundry and get the boys ready for bed. I finished 99% of my scheduled mileage for the week, and am up to 74 miles for the month. And we still have more than a week to go! Yippee!

I'm hopeful that this week brings a lot of excitement and a lot of changes. I'll let you know more of what's up as soon as I do!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Not a Hothouse orchid!

Lest that silly old Bear outdo me (can't have that -- I may be slow, but I'm still more competitive than I should be!), or TriSaraTops continue to believe (not inaccurately) that I'm some kind of delicate flower, I ran OUTSIDE today. In 38 degree temps. and rain. It wasn't raining when I left -- I'm not that insane. But it started right about the time I turned the corner away from the house, and by then it was in for a dime, in for a dollar.

I got about a mile and half away when I saw a familiar car coming toward me -- Hub was returning from getting a haircut for Elder Child. I waved them down to tell them that I'd bought meatballs and fixings for meatball subs for lunch -- he thought I wanted a ride! Nope --I'm just getting started! I took the Nano -- I knew I'd take a route that I'm familiar with and I wanted to see how accurate the Nano ended up off the treadmill. Short answer: Not so much! I should have taken the Garmin to verify, but the juice was dead on it since I haven't used it in more than a month. GMaps Pedometer says I ran 6.1 miles (it was a little longer than usual because I double-backed a bit to meet up with Hub on a side street), but the Nano and NanoMark say I ran 6.4 miles. Bah. I'll have to do the calibration after all, I guess.

Actually, the Nano was pretty much useless for a large chunk of the run, because after about 3 miles, the wind picked up, and the rain got heavier, so I really couldn't hear the music over the sounds of the cars in the rain and the wind. I also got kinda cold about then, but I did hear NanoMark say that it was past the halfway point, so that was OK. I was wearing tights, a long-sleeved tech shirt and a short-sleeved tech shirt over it, but I really could have used gloves and a hat. I had been wearing my visor earlier in the day, when I picked up the boys and went to the grocery store, but I'd taken it off at some point. I didn't think I'd need it at the outset, but it would have kept some of the rain off the glasses. I also got my new Christmas shoes very, very wet -- about time, since they've got more than 60 miles on them now.

so, yeah. I ran. outside. in the cold. and wet. My husband and child thought I was crazy before they knew it was me. It was great!

Friday, January 19, 2007

small steps, big victories

oy, the work stress is killing me. combine a lot of stuff I can't get into here with nasty driving weather, and I haven't been home before 6:45 once this week. Today, I didn't leave the office until 6:45, and then I got to fight more rain and stupid drivers to get home. It does not make for a relaxed evening when you get home and can feel the stress knots in your neck from being tense on the road for an hour or more (average drive time -- one way -- this week was 1:20).

I did manage to start the day by hopping on my trusty TM (methinks she needs a name, dontcha think?) this morning, for 3 miles, covered in about 31 minutes. That's quite fast, for me at least, especially compared to the 5 mph I've been doing on that thing lately. So I was technically done for the day with the minimum amount of time required to meet my frequency goals. And I could have met Hub for dinner or a movie somewhere after work and it might have been OK.

But since I bailed on two runs earlier this week, my overall mileage is down. Because I of course didn't skip the light 2-mile days -- no, I skipped the 4.0 and 4.5 mile days -- and I was only at about 60 percent of my total for the week. And that's no good for getting me ready for the Cowtown Half in about a month. I think that's been a big issue with my mile 20 meltdown the last few marathons*, the fact that I cheat myself out of about 10-15% of my training runs. Yeah, I get the long runs done, mostly, and I get most of the weekday runs done, but I don't come near to the full amount the plan calls for most of the time. And I pay for it, in that last 10K of those 26.2. So the new plan of action is to get at least 95% of the mileage done on a weekly basis. It may not happen all the time, but I have to strive for it. Again, I keep coming back to the new mantra I stumbled across earlier this week -- "at least I try" (shaddup, Yoda -- it's all I gots right now!)

So I got home after slogging through traffic -- thank goodness I love my car and the radio stations in DFW -- and changed shoes and changed clothes and hopped on the TM. Again. For another 4 miles. A little slower pace than this morning's run -- I brought it up to 5.3 mph and kept it there for the duration. Except for the last mile -- when I got to that point, I hit the increase pace button once every minute. It was nice and easy, and I felt good beginning to end. I watched Hannah Montana and How I Met Your Mother on the DVR, and the iPod sat on the console tracking me but otherwise going unused. I didn't feel like listening to music today, I just wanted to run a bit. It helped. I feel less stressed, and more in control of myself. And my overall mileage for the week is now at 84% instead of 58%. With an extra 2 miles on tomorrow's run, I'll be caught up.

I still hadn't had dinner, and Hub brought home some left-over pizza from MIL's. If I'd gone over there right from work, I'd have ended up eating probably three slices total, plus who knows what else. But instead, I got off the 'mill, had a huge spear of fresh pineapple (YUM!) and ONE slice of pizza. And called it good. Actually, it was really good.

*I still have a hard time referring to the "last few," as in marathons, considering I never really thought I'd get even one done. Pinch me!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

OK, I ran!

two days in a row of late nights/bad traffic, plus various and sundry other responsibilities (those darn kids!), meant no runs on Tuesday or Wednesday, which is fine within my goals of cardio 5X a week, as long as I run on Thursday, Friday, Saturday AND Sunday. Not a prob. But the mileage goals -- eep! Those would certainly be in jeopardy unless I got off my butt and did SOMETHING. Add to that the fact that since the holidays, I've been in a mode to jump on the TM whenever throughout the day, and while I was able to maintain that for a bit once we got back to work, I see that it's not going to work long-term. So I have had to revert to my early-morning workout. It wasn't easy to get out of bed this morning, but it's done. And I did 3.5 miles on the TM. So if I can get back on tonight for another 2 or so, that will help with the mileage goal. And I have a sneaky suspicion I'll need it for stress relief, too. But if not, I'm done for the day.

Already 5 minutes behind schedule by being here online --eep! See you on the other side of the workday!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

more pix

My house. Dark out still, even at 7:00. Snow! in the foreground, lit by the flash.

You can see that it's not really sticking to the grass, just to the concrete. Bah!


umm. yeah. All weekend long, we'd been getting forecasts of doom and gloom for "Arctic Blast '07." Yeah, it was messy, and yes, we very much appreciated an excuse to cocoon with the kids for three days. But, really, the weather ended up being pretty much a non-event. Messy rain, hovering just above freezing for most of Saturday and Sunday, and then a little bit of ice that cleared up Monday as soon as the sun came up, even though it was below freezing for the rest of that day.

So last night, we go to bed and all is OK in the world. But we wake up to this:

Wha' happened?

Yeah, the weather guy is talking right now about how we were "taken by surprise" by the volume and mixture of this weather right now. The dangerous part is the sleet mixed in and the fact that nobody in Texas knows how to drive in this stuff. And it would be fun, except that it's not going to be enough of an accumulation to have any luck building crooked deformed snowpeople (with grass and leaves mixed in, because we can't scrape enough clean snow off the ground!).

The boys' schools are both closed, and my university is opening at 10:00 AM. Hub took the kiddos to my in-laws' before he left for the office. He's in for a slippery drive, I think, but his car is better equipped to handle it than mine is, and he can get there using side streets and not highways. He'd stay home, but he's already supposed to be the only one in the office today. I'm planning on leaving here about 9:00 ish, maybe later, if I see that traffic has lessened. I'm not going to leave early just for the privilege of sitting in traffic for an hour or more. I'd rather work from home all day, and could probably get a hellalot done that way, but I have a full slate of meetings this afternoon, so I'm thinking that's not going to happen. Pfffbt.

At least I can enjoy a leisurely breakfast at home with the paper laughing at the news coverage before I head out into this mess. Oy. More later, unless I get encased in snow!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Hair Incident of '06

Edited to add -- No significant running content -- today is scheduled for 4.5, but I'm taking the day off. Just because. Sorry -- you can come back tomorrow if you're looking for actual running notes!

Inspired by a similar encounter recalled by Jon, I give you the Hair Incident.

Apparently, in my adult lifetime, I have been prone to various and sundry outbursts of emotion, often directed at various and sundry clerks at various and sundry stores, shops and other retail establishments. My husband maintains it has something to do with my insistence on getting my way.... whatever. Most places which incur this wrath end up on my "black list" of places never again to have my presence grace their storefronts. It's happened at the Limited, at Minyard's Food Store, at particular specific Wal-Marts, and most recently, at Pro-Cuts.

See, I usually have short hair. Very short hair. No, shorter than that. I'm talking what my husband not-so-endearingly refers to as "lesbian mullet hair," except without the spikes. I'm talking low-maintenance, wash-n-wear, SHORT hair. The better to get ready quickly with hair. The better to plop a visor on during a run hair. The less to mess with hair. And I love it, except when I see a photo of myself, during which time I usually am horrified that people I know let me walk around like that. So, when that happens, I then try to "grow it out."

The problem is that to successfully "grow out" a short butch haircut, you have to have a good haircut to start with. You have to have some good shape to it, and have it trimmed and coaxed every now and again (ie, every 3-4 weeks! eep!) or it looks even more like hell than when it's short. And the whole point of LMH is the low-maintenance aspect, in that I need to go longer than 3-4 weeks between cuts. I don't have a regular stylist, and haven't in a long while. The last regular stylist I had was when I was in graduate school, and he got me through my long-hair-for-my-wedding phase. And I loved him, but then he moved somewhere more fitting for his lifestyle, and for the intervening 12 years, I've suffered with random hack artists in strip mall chain places, hoping and praying that someone would get it and give me an easy, fun, easy and decent hairstyle. You notice that Princess Amidala had no icky phase in her hair after she shaved it bald -- that's because she probably never went to SuperCuts.

But see, if for some reason, you go to a strip-mall shop around the corner, next to the Pizza Hut/Wingstop? To a "stylist" that looks like she's just cutting hair to keep her from being bored until the carnival comes back through town and her real gig opens up again? To somewhere that a coupon from the "Green Pages" gives you a 50% discount? Then I can nearly guarantee you that you're not going to have a "decent hairstyle," but rather a lopsided mess that looks nearly passable for the 2.5 minutes it takes you to pay and get the hell out of the shop. But then later? Looks like hell. yep, that's where we were a few weeks before Christmas, when it was plainly clear that I could no longer put off the maintenance haircut any longer, and certainly not if we wanted to look decent for our traditional Christmas stair photo.

So I went during my lunch hour to a *different* strip mall, to one near my office instead of near my house. And I found a Pro-Cuts, where surprisingly (NOT!), there was no waiting line. And I asked the lady for a haircut. She proceeded to wet my hair down with a spray bottle (first problem) while she asked me what I wanted. I said I needed my hair cut, so that it would grow out properly. You could see her head explode as she tried to process this request:

"but... if I cut it, it won't be long."
Yep, I KNOW that, but still. "My hair, it needs shape, it needs to be cut so that it can grow out properly."
"But you can't have it long if i cut it..."
"No, see, here, in the back? Where it's longer in the back than on the sides? It looks like a mullet. I don't want a mullet anymore."
"But it's not longer in the back... it's just the way you're pulling the sides behind your ear. It's the way you're styling it."
"OK... when I'm done styling it, I don't want it to look like a mullet.."
"I don't understand..." she said, with scissors poised inches from my head.

Um. No. Thank. You. I stood up, tore the cape off, tore off the little tissue neck thingy, and grabbed my wallet. I said, "You have no idea what I need. I know that if you cut my hair, you will make me very unhappy. It's just better if I go."
"But, you don't make any sense -- you want it to be cut, but you want it long!"
"Nope, sorry, I'm outta here." And I turned to go... and halfway out, realized that I'd left my coat on the rack inside the store. Damn. I had to go back in and sheepishly retrieve it, hair sopping down the back of my neck. Ugh.

Still steaming, I drove aimlessly through the streets of Dallas, looking for another place to cut my hair. I couldn't go back to the office with dripping hair, and dammit, I set out to get a haircut, I was going to get a haircut! So I found another place that had "Walk Ins Welcome" in neon in the window and went in. it wasn't a chain, and in fact I'd never heard of it. But there were lots of "cool" younger stylists in there, all playing with each other's hair. Lots of loud music playing. Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. This (very, very) young man, Asian, with lots of, ahem, Flair to him, comes up to me, takes one look at my dripping head, and says, "I'm thinking you want a haircut? Or you just got out of the shower?? Both?" Love him already!

I ask him, "If I say to you the following sentence, what does that mean to you? 'I need a haircut, but I want to grow it out...'?" Without missing a beat, he says, "You want to change it, and you need some shape, some style, a good cut to transition you to some length." BINGO! Baby, I'm yours!

He had just had a cancellation, so he takes me in back and proceeds to massage all the stress out of my head while he shampoos my hair with the most glorious banana/pineapple/tropical concoction ever. And then he gave me an amazing cut and dried it with a big round brush, and asked permission to play with it a little and experiment some. He asked what was up with all the grey in there -- he BSd me and said I was way too young to have grey hair, then acted shocked when I said I was 37. It was nearly worth what I paid him. Nah, it was totally worth what I paid him. See, I paid more for that shampoo, cut and style than I'd paid for my last five haircuts combined. And it showed -- I walked out of there with a GREAT cut. In the four weeks since I went in, I've not had an exasperated morning dealing with the hair, trying to make it look decent. I've not had one "bad hair day," where I really am hoping for an excuse to wear a visor to work. I've not cried in frustration and re-wet the hair, trying for a do-over because I had to scurry to get the boys up and by the time I got back to the bathroom, my hair had dried itself into a tousled rat's nest. And today, four weeks +/- since, I got two separate compliments on my hair. Gotsa love it!

Oh, and the traditional Christmas stair photo? Didn't turn out too bad, if I say so meself!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

8 miles

on the treadmill. kicked my butt. It took me 95 minutes, so it's not like I was speedy freakin' gonzalez or anything, but I spent the last half hour or so looking for a reason to get off early. I started with the rationalization at about mile 5 or so. It went something like this:
"I've already done 30 minutes.... that's all I really set out to do... I could call it good now...."
"I'm not going to get a message today anyway, not at 12:00 minute miles. I could call it good now..."
"I could always just get on later tonight, and do a split run..."
and so on. But I gritted my teeth and stayed on that stupid machine, and finished the scheduled 8 miles, all at once. And my reward? Besides knowing that my body is stronger than my mind sometimes?? I got Lance again, congratulating me on my longest run to date. Gotta love that!

So now I'm synching up the iPod to transmit a week's worth of info to Nike+, and also to load a few more iTrain tracks in -- I find the 30- and 40-minute tracks really entertaining and they keep me interested on my shorter timed runs. Can I always keep up with them? Hell no, but at least I try.

Maybe that's what I should re-name this blog to -- "At least I try."

Oh, and yes, I'm late to the party (per usual), but my friend at work lent me Season 1 of "The Office" (American version, with Steve Carrell), and I am a convert. LOVED it! She's promised me Season 2 when I'm ready for it, and then I'll have to add it to the DVR list.


Because 32 degrees and yicky rain is cold and messy enough to keep us all in hibernation mode and we're all going a bit stir-crazy right now, you get a mind-dump of random bits of nothingness:

  • Elder Child made the "A" honor roll at his new school for the 6 week period. He got a little metal dog tag (their school mascot is the Huskies) as a reward. He was pretty excited about it -- we were thrilled.
  • TDP DinoBoy must be half-monkey. Honestly. The child is incapable of sitting still. Even while sitting in my lap reading before bed, he's in constant motion.
  • I've become a cold-weather wimp. Haven't run outside since Christmas day. I've thought about it plenty of times, but as I stand out there waiting for the Garmin to synch up, I change my mind and hit the TM.
  • There's a lot of junk on my new iPod, I've realized. Way too many Journey, Night Ranger and Loverboy songs and a lot of Depeche Mode b-side stuff. don't get me wrong, I loves me some Journey, Night Ranger and Loverboy, when the time and place is right. But they don't quite do it for me while I'm on the TM.
  • I still haven't gotten the oven fixed. But the 2-burner countertop cooktop is sufficing for now. And the microwave. Can't forget the microwave.
  • Mr & Mrs. Smith is a funny movie. And Brad Pitt, regardless of how sordid and nasty the stories/circumstances about how his marriage with Jennifer Aniston ended, is still pretty dang hot. Goofy and hot.
  • Hannah Montana is a cute, fun and SAFE show for the tweens. If you have any tweens, you know of what I speak; if not, check it out the next time you want random silliness. They do a lot of spoof scenarios -- they did an episode where they made fun of the whole Tom Cruise/Oprah thing. And it's directed by Fred Savage -- how can Kevin Arnold be wrong?

gotta run -- need to bag up the boy's leg for his bath. He still has a dressing on it for the next two weeks, even though the stitches are out now. He's got a walking boot, and can start to put weight on it a little more now.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

not as unique as I thought!

This is what comes from a lazy Saturday hibernating and hiding from the latest "arctic blast" of rain and cold (or what counts for cold here in N. Texas). I found this wandering around the Interweb, over at Flatman's:
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Now I have to make lunch for the boys and prepare for a nice, long nap. Then, later, 5 miles on the treadmill. Tomorrow, 8 miles on the 'mill for a weeklong total of 25 miles in 6 runs this week. Yee-haw!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

wah! no message today!

for the past two days, I've gotten a little inspirational message at the end of my treadmill workouts with the Nike+ iPod thingy. First, I got a shout-out from Lance Armstrong at the end of Sunday's 90-minute "run,"* congratulating me on my longest workout to date. Um, yeah, it was the 2nd time I'd used it. Anyhoo, it was totally unexpected and kinda cool.

Then last night, I was supposed to do a quick recovery run, but the iPod found one of my Grace Lazenby iTrain tracks instead of BareNakedLadies or Aerosmith. I ended up joining in with the intervals because it sounded fun. She had us "joggers" up at 5.6-6.2 mph for a bit of it, so I ran 2.5 miles much faster than the slogging 5.0 mph runs I'd done previously. At I was rewarded with Paula Radcliffe coming on and telling me what a studdette I was for recording my fastest mile time yet. Um, yeah, it was the 3rd time I'd used it. Anyhoo, still caught me by surprise, and still kinda cool.

So today, I got on and cranked a steady 3.0 miles in 33 minutes, for a nice even 5.5 pace. Not the longest run to date, and not the fastest. So no message from anyone. Not LeBron James, even. Not that I know who he is. wah! All that running and no payoff.

*I put "run" in quotes because really I was just barely moving; I think I clocked a monstrous 7.5 miles in 90 minutes. Slow, slow, slow. Mostly I'm still in base-building mode and am just trying to get back into the habit of running regularly. Although, really, I've been running 70-80 percent of the days since White Rock anyway. They're slower than my normal runs, so I use that word loosely.

Monday, January 08, 2007

blogger help?

can anyone email me with tips on how to get a workout log in the sidebar over there? ---> nothing complicated, I just thought it might keep me on track with the goals to have to post them. Mostly the ones about weight/resistance training and 5X weekly RBS workouts. I'm about as non-technical as someone with the title of Director of Development Mgmt Systems can be, so if you do have any ideas to share, speak slowly and use little words. Thanks!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Goals, Goals, Goals...

(I was humming Motley Crue just then...sorry, I'm an 80s hair band freak, I know!)

OK, here we go. Goals for 2007. Coming up. Right after we recap 2006. First off, I remember something about 1200 miles of running. And a 5:00 or faster marathon. I can't put my hands on my hard-copy mileage log from January through May (egads!), but I know I ran 832.6 miles from May 1 through December 31. Did I run 367.4 miles in the first four months of the year? I'm pretty sure I didn't average 100 miles a month during that time, only because I am hard pressed to pile up that much mileage when I'm in heavy-duty marathon training. So I'm thinking I hit 1000 miles for sure, possibly 1100, but certainly not 1200. And we've gone over the 5:00 or bust thing already, so I'm not rehashing that here.

I"m sure somewhere in my 2006 goals was something about losing weight. And, um, not so much. Actually, I ended up putting on and taking off the same 10 pounds pounds all year long. But the trend was downward toward the end of the year there, so I just need to continue that direction, and quit the see-sawing.

All told, I'm not going to call 2006 a bust, though, since I did pull nearly 10 minutes off my marathon PR. And I finished two of them, even though that first one was really hard, bringing me to a total of five marathons under my belt. And I did run at least 1000 miles in 12 months. Not too shabby, but certainly it leaves me all kinds of room for improvement.

so... 2007. Just as a reminder, back in November I had these ideas about what I needed to do in the next three years.
  • I have to learn to swim, and get that swim coach for me and for the Boy, too.
  • I need to learn to shift gears on my Toys R Us piece of crap bike, but by next Christmas, on a real bicycle.
  • I need to finish a sprint tri by June, an Olympic-distance by next Christmas, and then spend the summer of my 38th year doing at least one half-IM distance tri.
  • I need to lose weight. Goal weight by the middle of next year (and this is not a joke, but some cosmic coincidence, I think) 140.6 pounds. If that means getting a trainer or nutritionist, then that's what it will take.
  • I need to re-align my life to allow for the training.
  • I cannot train for IM-distance with 11 hours a week spent in traffic, so that has to change. Somehow, I have to position myself to make that change in the next six months.
So, here are the 2007 goals and plan, determined as baby steps toward the big one that's looming large and scary a few years down the road:
  1. Complete a workout (run/bike/swim) of 30 minutes or longer duration at least 5 times each week, for at least 48 weeks of the year.
  2. Commit to weight/resistance training at least three times a week. This does not count toward the RBS workout goals.
  3. Continue working with the nutritionist. The goal is learn to eat like an athlete so that I can fulfill my potential as an athlete.
  4. By working with the nutritionist and completing the workouts as planned, the weight will come off, so that I can meet my goal of 140 & change by June 1.
  5. Complete a fall destination marathon. Either Chicago or New York City. No time goal. Just enjoy the spectacle. For now, I'm leaving the door open for a possible 4th consecutive White Rock, but not committing to it yet.
  6. Complete two half-marathons this spring. On the schedule are Cowtown Half in February and an inaugural women's race in Dallas in early May.
  7. Swim well enough to finish 800 yards at a time without stopping. In water deeper than 5 feet.
  8. Complete three sprint-distance triathlons. Right now, I've got Austin Danskin in June, IronGirl in July, and Longhorn Tri in Austin in September penciled in on my schedule.
That's a bit of a list. I'm pretty close to making another change that will also move me closer to the big goal. But I'll make that one public soon enough. But, that's enough for today, methinks.

Thoughts? I appreciate any feedback, whether that be constructive evaluation of the goals or cynical "yeah, sure, knock yourself out." And any tools you've used along the way to help you with similar goals would be helpful, too. I'll be using SparkPeople to track nutrition (although the nutritionist has another program she'll be providing me the next time I see her), and I have an awesome new Excel log for tracking runs. I'll also be using the iTunes/Nike+ logs, mostly for the chunky simple graphs (though I have some questions as to how accurate the sensor is, but I haven't calibrated yet...that's a whole other post). So there. Happy New Year!

the boys' lookalikes

For TDP DinoBoy, the face recognition decided he looked most like Michele Rodriguez. At least they got the ethnicity right that time... I'm still not sure about Bette Davis being chosen. She didn't show up on the collage, but I think it went with the eyebrows for that one. Hmmm. And Isabella Rossellini???

More very, very odd results here. At least most of the matches were men this time around. except for Lohman as the primary match. But i see the resemblance there, for sure. very, very, very odd and very fun.

how odd!

I was going to post about my morning run, with the Nano and the treadmill, but i started wandering about the internets and found this at Heather's:

I find the results rather odd, that the software seems to think I resemble either Billy Jean King or Asian men and women.... Interesting and just a bit disturbing to think I might resemble an Asian man!

What I really enjoyed, though, was the results for Hub. The photo I used was of the both of us, and these were his "celebrity matches." Rawr! I have to say, I would take Ron Livingston and Dermot Mulroney anytime! and the Carson Daly thing cracks me up!

In a bit, I'm going to do the boys' photos, but I had to post this as soon as I saw it!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I gots it!

Just picked up the Nano today! As soon as I get it set up, I'll get the Nike+ stuff set up on it, and I should be ready to roll tomorrow -- wahoo! I am currently converting all the WAV files to AAC format -- the Shuffle did it automatically, but the Nano fills up on WAV files. Or something like that. I don't know the specifics. What, am I supposed to be some kind of technical wizard just because I'm in charge of my entire division's enterprise-wide software? Sheesh, expectations.

Meanwhile, Elder Child had some serious pain in his feet today, so I wasn't able to hop on the treadmill tonight like I planned. The combination of hobbling along on the "good" foot for 8 hours at school, no painkillers from 6:45 AM until after dinner, and the lack of ice on the foot pretty much created a perfect storm that set him into hysterics at about 8:00. Out of nowhere his "fixed" one started in with sharp pain -- I think he accidentally bore weight on it myself -- at the same time the "arch" in the left one started spazzing on him. Poor baby. He was nearly hyperventilating he was in so much pain. But we iced quickly, and got him some supplemental pain medication, and he was OK after about 20 minutes or so. During that whole time, though, he just wanted me to sit with him and keep him calm. Poor bubba.

What else? Not much yet. I'm still formulating the specific goals for '07. And I just realized that my goals for '06 were on the old site, so I can't get to those posts. I remember vague concepts of what they were, but details escape me. I'll get to it soon enough, I promise; it's just that I'm having a hard time with re-entry into the job thing after such a relaxing time home with the kiddos and Hub. sigh.

Well, I'm off to bed to let the iTunes do its thing overnight. Maybe it will be ready for me tomorrow morning, for an early morning run..... Now, will I be ready for it???

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

2007. Fresh starts. New beginnings. yada, yada, yada.

I'll have a comprehensive list of goals up later this week. I'm not quite ready to commit to much of anything. And I still need to wrap up 2006 goals and progress toward such. For now, i'm still enjoying what's left of my vacation. By doing as little as possible.

BTW -- the Iowa game down at the AlamoBowl over the weekend was tougher than it had any right to be. And it was a nailbiter, and it was loud, and frenzied, and we had more fun than a set of 30-something alumni had a right to have. And hearing "The Eyes of Texas" and "Texas Fight" played by the Longhorn Band again (and again, and again, and again) was wonderful and took us back to our college days. And then on Sunday morning, driving back from San Antonio, we dropped more money at the University bookstore than we ever did as students. heh. It was greatness.

For now, I gotta run. Something about an "Arthur"/"Curious George" marathon on the DVR. Later!