Sunday, November 7, 2010

Kitchen Declutter

I decided to start early on Zone 2 which includes the kitchen. Before I can really clean it, I'm supposed to declutter it! Last month, I was able to make headway with the files, the desk and the glassed shelves. This time, I'm attacking the cupboards.

Here's some stuff that I'm finally letting go of:

  • A broken hand blown votive holder. It was beautiful! Someday, I was going to do something with the pieces, not sure what.
  • Fridge Magnets. I must admit to something here. I covered the side of the fridge that faces the stove with magnets. Why? Because I could never keep that side clean! So, I'd switch the magnets out and throw away the dirty ones. And the magnets were things that I thought I should keep. But why really, do I need them?
  • Expired food
  • Matches - for some reason, I have a big box of these.
  • Napkins from our wedding. I had these idea that I'd save the leftovers for our anniversary party. But let's face it, these napkins - we didn't even want to use them when I was trying to use them up!
I have rediscovered:
  • 3/4 of a shelf free, under the pans. I can keep all my pots on pans on one shelf. the 2nd shelf in that cupboard holds our waffle maker, that's it.
  • My yarn dyeing drawer

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mornings - Who Knew?


I've been getting up early 3 mornings a week to go running since about July or August. So as I was trying to figure out how to get in all my Fly Lady tasks, I thought, why not add one thing onto each morning schedule? I can slowly work it in, and if I can't get it done in the morning, then I can do it later that day. The driving reason behind all this, was that I would like my evenings to be free, and not have to do any cleaning.

So, new tentative schedule made, we'll see how this goes.

This morning, I hit the snooze button a couple times, hoping my husband would get up and take the dog out. No such luck. I got up, took out the dog, did my list and then it was time to go vote. Came back, had breakfast and then went to work. All of this in the morning and I am not a morning person. Granted, I wasn't fully awake the whole time and maybe that's a good thing. And I am very grumpy still in the beginning. But I did get through my stuff and still had time to spare. It was like magic!

Now, though, I'm feeling pretty tired. Do you think my work would mind if I scheduled in an afternoon nap?

First 5K Report


It was a beautiful morning, a little chilly but warming up. We picked up my friend, Cris and headed over to Como Lake for the Fearless 5K and 2 laps around the lake. I had my hand knit mitts and cowl, so I was ready to go.


Oddly enough, I wasn't nervous. In fact, I think I was a little too laid back. I remember in high school I did a presentation where the teacher commented that we were a little too laid back. Maybe when I get too nervous my nerves shut down and I just survive that way.

We lined up in the back of the pack. What I didn't realize until afterward, was that they started the 1.5 mile walkers at the same time! So we were lined up with the walkers. Because of that, it was hard to start running. So we had to walk until there was open space. There were a few people in costume and even a wedding party.

I think that I started off too fast, even though I didn't think I did. I started to run a minute, walk a minute and had a hard time running just a minute! What happened to my 6-8 minute runs?! For the recovery walks, I was going faster than usual because Cris can walk just as fast as I run. So perhaps I wasn't getting my recovery walks in quite right. Whatever the case, I was feeling very turtle-like.



May I just say, that I had the best cheering section? My brothers & sisters in law came out to cheer me on. Even baby Sam made an appearance, but apparently sleeping was more important to running to him right now. I even got flowers and a balloon.

And so we started our second lap. We seemed to hit more of our stride. I started to walk slower, at a better pace and was able to run at least a minute in between. I also noticed that there were not many people behind us anymore! That must have been when the walk was over. The crowd was definitely thinned out and I was thinking, "are we last?"


But there were at least a few people behind us. There was one lady that was very inspiring. She walked and ran like us and was always just a few yards behind. This whole time, I was running and walking, and I realized that my mind was still thinking this was a training run. That I didn't want to push too hard and get injured or tired out or whatever. But then I said to myself, "Hello - this is a race! This is what I was training for." And then I pushed myself more. I was still frustrated that I couldn't run as much as I had in the past. I'm not sure if it was because I hadn't run much the 2 weeks before, if it was a different location or if it was just nerves. But anyway, we did finish.


I was hoping for 45 minutes, but the time was flipped to 54. We were some of the last ones, but hey, I knew that I might be last going in. The good thing is, there is a lot of room for improvement for the next race.

This was a good race to go to for a first one. It was fairly low key and we only had about 5-6 people pass us during the first lap. The people were very friendly and helpful as well. Thank you to all of my cheering crew!

First race done. Now we'll see what's next.

November Legs

Before my race report, let me get my legs out here...



Excuse the messy floor. The puppy seems to drag in leaves and such each time he goes out.

Garage Sale 2010


A couple weeks ago, I had my garage sale. This was after the FlyLady had said not to do this because you can't recoup the money from all the stuff you bought. Well, I had been saving stuff up for quite awhile. I had decided not to save things that I might price less than $1 in order to have a nicer and not a junk sale. The rest I either threw away, recycled or donated to charity.

I was actually kinda dreading the sale. But with my new FLY tools, I was able to prepare 15 minutes at a time and could plan out my set up better. Before FLY Lady, I most likely would have worked like a dog until I dropped. But this time, I stopped every 15 minutes to drink some water and think about what was next.

Last time, I remember being so tired. When it went to take down the signs, I recall being so weary that I could barely pull them up. And we didn't make much more than $200, so why bother? But for this time, it was too late to NOT do it. I had boxes of good stuff saved and a bit of small furniture to unload. My prayer the night before is that it would be a "joy and delight" to everyone, including me.

By the end of day one (Weds), we had cleared $200. Day two, I decided to do 1/2 price because it was my last day. We cleared $450! And got rid of a bunch of junk in the process. A few people told me that they hadn't been to such a nice sale in a long time. A few people went away very happy. One lady commented that she felt like I was giving her things, boy did she have a big smile. Another lady said that she had almost lost her faith in garage sales and was going to stop. But my sale renewed her faith in garage sales. I had no idea there was a faith in garage sales, but whatever it is, that lady had it.

By the end, I wasn't exhausted, not energetic, but pleased. It was my best garage sale yet. Will I do it again? Not for awhile, maybe in 2 years. But then again, I am getting rid of stuff NOW so maybe I will never again have that much nice stuff at one time to sell.

Whatever the case, it was a Joy and Delight.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Jitters

Ohmigosh! I'm really doing a 5k tomorrow.

What am I going to wear?

Where's the camera?

Where's the race, anyway?

!!!!!!

(deep breath)

Ok, got my list going of stuff to bring.

Lay out clothes tonight, make sure they're washed.

Got my handknit mitts done last night.

Okay, let's do this thing already!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Revenge of the Treadmill

We've been having some really rough storms this week. The winds have been so strong, that I actually broke a door going into a restaurant! The wind took it out of my hands and it hit a brick wall (that it normally wouldn't hit) and shattered.

With this in mind, when I woke up Wednesday and heard the winds still blowing, I headed downstairs to the treadmill. I haven't been on it for quite awhile, and had to wait until my husband took off his computer equipment.

10 minutes in, I was sweating like it was summer. Maybe it was the warmer air inside, but I did feel as if I was putting in quite an effort. I did the 2 min run, 2 min walk routine. With these shorter runs, I can't get into the groove of running, though. The whole thing feels like effort and I was constantly checking my watch. In some ways, it almost feels like I should be on week 2 or 3 of the C25K program.

Not a great workout, but it's my last until the 5K. Tonight I'm going to walk 3.2 miles to let myself get the feel of that distance. But that's it, no more exercise until Saturday morning.

I'm not sure what you're supposed to do a week after a race, but I'll probably just let myself rest and do fun runs on Wednesday and Friday. I'm even thinking of trying an easy running program after the pressure of the 5K is off.

5k, here we come!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tired, but Happy Wings

Last night, we got ready for dinner and I was tired. There were 3-4 things on my "to do" schedule and I just wanted to sit on the couch and knit. But if I did that, then important things would not get done! So I went to hulu, put on a show and started in on the dishes. Within an hour, all my stuff was done and I was on the couch, knitting.

Tomorrow, our mission team is coming over. Normally, I'd be doing the "stash & hide" thing t and all these boxes or bags of misc junk would find their way into the craft room or bedroom. But not this time! All the main areas are mainly clutter free and fairly clean. I only need to mop floors and empty out a wastebasket or two. Easy, peasy. This is so wonderful, to just be able to relax and touch up a few things before company comes. I'll also have time to make some cookies.

Monday, October 25, 2010

This is SO Not the Way to Get Ready for a 5K

Last week I only ran once, you could say I started my taper early. With the garage sale, I was just strapped for time and tired. I'm back at it again this week now with a run this morning. Since it had been a little while, I decided to be nice to myself and take it slow; 2 minute run, 2 minute walk for 1/2 hour.

And then, I thought, why not run the 5k this way? I timed myself and I did about a 14 minute mile this way. At that rate, I could do about a 45 minute 5K and not wear myself out. I also think it might work for my friend who isn't as fit for running. She could probably walk as fast as I run sometimes, so it could all work out fine.

I'll run again on Wednesday and then take off until Saturday. The forecast had a possibility of snow and high of 30 something. I'll have to see if I can find my long underwear and see how it feels running in that. I suppose I have to figure out what to wear on Saturday too.

The Looming 5k
Man, I'm a little unsure about this first 5k. This morning I woke up from bad dreams!

In my dream, we were in some sort of stadium waiting for people to show up. None of my family had come, and the 20 seats that I had reserved kept getting filled by other people until I thought, "forget about it then, they can find their own seats." And then, I went somewhere to get a drink of water and the race started without me! I ran toward the race and couldn't find the starting line. By the time I got to the starting line of sorts, the second wave event had started which was motor bikes and skateboarders. I had to dodge these guys while running through muddy tracks and not seeing a runner in sight.

Well, with that bad experience out of the way, my 5K should be a breeze.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tromping Through Leaves

I was tromping through leaves this morning, they do accumulate a bit on the side of the roads. My feet make a distinct sound anyway without leaves. The trees are almost bare but have not taken on the stark dead look yet. I am becoming more aware of seasons passing while going outside 3X a week.

I passed a group of walking senior ladies twice. I see them often if I leave from home at a consistent time. Their feet make no sound! They are tromping through leaves, they're just chatting. The first time I see them is as I'm walking my warm up. The next time is during my first run. I wonder what I'll be like at their age; will I still be running? Will I have a group of girlfriends to walk with? And then I thought, I wonder if I had waited another 10 years to get in shape? Would I still be here or even able to do such a thing as a whim? Or need strict doctor supervision because of maybe getting diabetes or heart disease?

This morning I was thankful for the freedom of possibilities. That there is really nothing holding me back from eventual success in anything I want to do (within reason of course, I still can't fly or freeze time). I have a fairly good support system of people to cheer me on, or if I tell them to cheer me, they'll do it. I am very fortunate for being in this place, at this time. So I tromp through leaves; the things trees shed to prepare for the next season. And I shed a little more of my past to go toward my next season.

The Run & Upcoming 5K
I didn't push myself, much. Managed to run about 13-14 minutes worth, about a mile or so. I've also been getting ready for a garage sale this week, so I have been physically tired. Wednesday, the start of the sale is also my next scheduled run. I may just do a shorter run then. My concern is, this is the last week before the 5k and my training is limited. But I'm slowly getting accustomed to the thought of being last. But not to worry, I won't be last by myself!

My friend, Cris called me Friday. She started talking about running with me in the 5K and I did a mental facepalm. Mentally, I had already given up on running it. But now she reminded me that she was planning on running with me. I told her that I didn't feel ready, since she had said she wasn't doing so well. Instead of her saying let's forget it (like I wanted her to) she sealed the deal.

"We'll walk and run it together."

And so, now I won't feel so alone in being the last one on the course. I figure if we look like we're having a fun time which we have a tendency to do, then everyone else may wish they'd ran slower. Also, we talk a lot when we're together, so we'll need our breath for the chatting, not the running! But seriously, I am glad that I have a friend to go through this with me. She mentioned she can't do more than 1/4 more, so SCORE!! I am a little farther than her in the distance department, although it's slow. We should be able to somehow adjust our run/walk. Mentally, I'm back in the race and will be fine with however I can do it.

After the 5K, I'm not sure what I'll do about running. I still want to do the 3x's a week thing. But it's getting so cold out. The thought of the treadmill is so boring to me. Maybe join the gym - but then that's driving somewhere. It's so easy to just put on shoes and do it.

Pause.

Did I just say..."It's so easy to just put on shoes and do it?"

You can't see me, but I'm laughing. Just a few months ago, that wasn't easy. So, I'm going to stop thinking about after the 5k.

Changes
Skip this part if you don't want to hear me talking about fat. Anyway, my body is still changing. That one little spare tire I had is almost gone, I can barely pinch it now. However, I noticed this morning that I'm getting another crease, it's like the fat is folding in half. Yuck! I know it sounds gross and sorry to tell you all about it. But why I mention it at all, is that as gross as it is, these changes are because the fat is melting away. Eventually it'll be a good things. It is sorta interesting to see what my body does with the changes. My weight hasn't gone down very much, but I have been getting a lot of compliments on how I look, even how I stand differently.

Changes are happening. This week, I can tromp through leaves. But next week, I may be tromping through snow. Life is so seasonal.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Rebooting

I ran again yesterday but wasn't able to get my goals. In fact, I ran about 3/4 of what I did on Monday. I've been thinking about what Barefoot Fresca had commented on from Monday's post.

How do I want to do this 5K?

Why do I want to do it?

And why, after 4 months of running, can't I go 1/2 mile yet? Am I really that out of shape, or is it a mental block?

Why?
I'll answer the 2nd first. I don't really want to do the 5K. I really only want to run one, if I can run one. And before I started running, the 5K was the only thing I really knew about to test yourself. But without a goal to motivate me, I won't have a driving reason to be consistent and push myself. However, I'm wondering if running itself has become a habit enough without a 5K motivator. I've thought about dropping out of the race, or seeing if they'd let me run one in the spring instead.

How?
If I do run this, how? On my last run, I thought that it's ridiculous to have the goal of running 3/4 mile increments in 3 weeks when I can't quite do 1/2 mile yet. So, why not go in 1/2 mile increments? I'm very close to being there, within 1-2 tenth. Run 1/2 mile, walk for a couple minutes, repeat. It may mean that I'll be the very last person to finish, but if that's what needs to happen, then so be it.

The Elusive 1/2 Mile
Finally, why can't I do 1/2 mile yet? I'm not sure. I do seem to be inching up in progress each week I go out. However, whenever I make out new running plans I don't attain them. I sat down Wednesday and did the math on this last plan I put together. There's an adage where you're only supposed to add 10% to your training each week. Well, I was adding 10% 3 times a week! No wonder I was so exhausted.

For now, I'm going to take a break and not run until Monday. My body is still a little sore and I'm unusually cranky and short fused. Both signs of overtraining, or so I've read. How I feel on Monday will really decide how I race. Or not.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Flying and Limping

FLYing
Well, I've managed to get through FLYLady babysteps through day 25...in about 2 weeks. Some of the days are no brainers for me like get up and dressed every morning, read something, etc. So I skip and do 2 days. But I'm wondering if I should've just done one day at a time and was thankful that it was easy. Because now that I have the FLY schedule thing going, it's feeling overwhelming. I didn't have the time in between to get used to it and gradually add things in.

So, like usual, I'm modifying. I like the zone ideas, but I don't like that it switches each week when I'm decluttering. I've decided to just declutter in order of the Zones, maybe up to a month if it's really bad or I'm busy. (sounds kind of like the house diet program I tried to start). I'll still do the Hot Spots 2x a day in the places that have been cleaned out, laundry load a day, Home blessings and some other small things that I can do each day. But for the 15 minute things, I'm decluttering in the zone.

That leaves me with the issue of having a clean house, if I may not get to the downstairs bathroom until about February. Eww. What I'll do, is I'll combine the 5 Minute Room Rescue with the Zones. I'll clean in the Zone for that week for 5 minutes a day. That way, I'll be able to keep up with having things clean or at least presentable.

I like this idea because it enables me to complete an area and do a whole house clean while keeping things up. I also won't have to switch to a new place each week and have to remember where I left off. I've made such progress in the kitchen already! The area under the desk is cleaned out and only a couple necessary things remain. I wish I would've taken a before & after picture!

Storage?
IKEA is currently my favorite store, at least for dreaming. I've been looking at getting some storage things and such but have decided NOT TO BUY MORE STORAGE CONTAINERS. Instead, I'll get rid of stuff and maybe empty out some storage places and containers and use them where they're needed. I do have plans though, and they include a trip to IKEA.

My husband took the initiative to look for closet organizers last night. I was pleasantly surprised! Perhaps my new cleaning mode has inspired him. We haven't figured out yet what we'll do with these 70's style reach in closets.

Garage Sale
Next week is the garage sale. In a way, I wish I wasn't having one because of all the time and energy they take. But in another way, I'm glad I'll be able to make some money off all this stuff we've accumulated. I'm trying not to have much in there under $ .25 and just donating that little junk and dated stuff to charity. If it's only worth that little to me, why put the effort into displaying and selling it? And if it's not worth more than a quarter to me or someone else, why am I keeping it?

I am hoping to sell about $400 worth and maybe get a new sofa for the living room. If all goes well, I'll have another sale next year. If not, then freecycle and the charity pick-up will be at the top of my list.

Oops! It's past time for me to get ready for bed. Time to make sure the sink is shined and my clothes are laid out for tomorrow. Babysteps, babysteps.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weeble Wobble

I'm ready for a nap or for a massage or something because today was my most grueling workout yet.

Maybe it was because I was tired all weekend, not getting enough sleep. Or that my legs felt stiff and puffy yesterday. Or that I hadn't run for 2 days when I was supposed to run yeterday. Whatever the reason, it was hard work.

The Run
7 Minute Run. Looks like a lot to me, but I just went for it, no problem. When I did my recovery walk, I only needed 5 minutes to make it up to the top of the big hill.

9 Minute Run. Started off well. As I got to the bottom of the hill, it suddenly dawned on me that there was a slight incline all the way up to almost my next run start. So I thought, what is better; a long, slight incline or one big hill? I prayed through the Lord's Prayer again and was 2 minutes short and still going up that incline. The street is a busier one and I felt very self conscious with my crippled turtle run. I slowed to a fast walk for a block and then got on the straightaway and did another 30 second run. I only managed to do about 8 minutes and my legs were rubber.

6 Minute Run. I walked the 4 minutes and went past the start of the run to the next street and back - my first route increase! The last 6 were fairly easy and I actually went 6 3/4 to make up a little for the previous run. I could've kept going, but I needed my recovery walk time. As it was, I only had 2-3 minute of that.

When I was done, I was ready to crawl back into bed. I managed to stumble around and get ready for work but my husband just looked at me and shook his head.

I think I'll change up my route for Wednesday. Right now, it's like a weird Y shape. So I'll take the right side of the Y first and have my long run on more of the straight and decline areas. I really hope the 5K doesn't have too many big hills.

The Looming 5K
I was looking at my training schedule and realized that I only have TWO WEEKS to really prepare for the 5K. The week before I put in fun short fartlek runs to taper down to it. Do I need to taper for my 5k? I'm not sure, but it sounda like a good idea.

I really don't know if I'm going to be ready for this. Can I really do it when I couldn't run 9 minutes today? My 2 mile run seems so small compared to what I'm going to need to do. Why didn't I sign up for the Turkey Trot 5K and give myself another month?

But maybe, I'd be like this no matter when the 5k was. Sort of like cramming for a final. I always did this! Would have fun on the journey and then all of a sudden have to get serious and knuckle down. The sooner this is over with, the sooner the pressure is off and I can run just for fun again. Not that this isn't fun sometimes, but if every morning was like this, I probably wound't be a runner.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Cobwebs, dirt and bugs, oh my!

This morning, we cleaned through the garage. It wasn't an entire clean through, but re-organizing and clearing out of the corners. Things got moved to better places, the place was swept out, I even took a broom and got rid of the cobwebs on the walls and doors. All the while, feeling like Pigpen from Peanuts. The boxes are still on the shelves and the equipment and things are still in their unorganized drawers. But we got through the area and it looks so much better! The only thing left is to dispose of the old toilet. Next Saturday I'll be able to set up tables and start getting ready for the garage sale.

Next up is laundry. I have a laundry basket that keeps getting filled with cleanish clothes in the bedroom. I think that if I had a perfect closet system for my husband, it would involve baskets to throw his clothes in! So today I'm going to empty out the basket and put everything away. Now, I do this every couple of months but it doesn't seem to solve the problem. However, I'm hopeful that the FLYLady's system will help in this area.

She suggests doing a load every day. I grew up thinking that you spent one day doing laundry and doing all of it! This continued at college and when we lived in an apartment, because you had multiple washers & dryers. You'd go until you had hardly anything left to wear and then wash it all. Usually, I let it accumulate into we had a few loads and then we'd spend the evening folding while watching a game or a movie. But to do 1 load complete every day? That might just actually work.

I like this because:
  • It won't take as much time to do 1 load as opposed to 4
  • I won't have to wait for a large block of time before doing some and can keep up easily
  • We don't have enough laundry in a week to do one load every day, so it won't be every day
  • I won't have those hanger-oners things to wash that always seem to be in the bottom of the dirty basket but never get washed (I hope)
So, I'm going to add 1 load of laundry to my schedule. I probably only need to put it into 3 days, and 1 on Saturday for the dog. Time will tell if this is the key for easier laundry.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Digging Deeper

Each run, I'm increasing each of my 3 run segments by a minute. Today, I started off with 6, then 8, then 5. I'm finding that not only do I need more recovery walk between runs, but it's more than that. It's also because I want to get to the top of the hills before starting my run! So, if I stick to the same route until the 5k, then I'll be able to naturally decrease recovery time as my runs get longer. I do have alternative streets to increase my runs as well. It'll be fun to see how much farther I can go each time.

During my long run, I decided to go through the Lord's prayer to keep my mind off of what I was doing. It totally worked! By the time I had prayed and expanded parts, I was about a minute shy of my time. I think having some sort of structured thoughts to go through during the runs may be good for my mind games. I could memorize a verse, a poem, some famous sayings.

I make it up an incline to an open area and my breath caught (and not because of running). There was a lovely orange/pink glow in the background, framed by chocolate brown tree trunks and gold and orange leaves. It's one of those moments that can't be captured in a photo or even words. Something to soak up for the long winter ahead.

On my last 5 minute run, I got to a steep (to me) hill. Instead of slowing to the pace of a crippled turtle, I told myself, "dig deeper, dig deeper." I did, and I went up that hill at a jog. It was a Rocky Balboa moment! Or something like that.

Onward
I've decided to change my training from M-W-F to every other day until the 5k. And dangit, I just remember I was going to knit a hat or crown or something for the occasion! May have to go and hunt up a pattern and yarn. And I'm still not sure what I'll wear, the weather is so changeable.

Tonight I'm getting together with the Norman women (in-laws). When we last got together, I asked them all if they'd consider running a 5K with me next year. D, because of hip issues, is going to train to walk one. J is currently training for her first 5K on Jan 1. MIL is not training, but will cheer us on, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to catching up with them. And so amazed that we three are working on these goals.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

House Diet Stats

I'm retiring the House Diet, but recording the last stats that I had on my sidebar.

The house has lost:

40# - garbage & recyclables
57# - for charity

= 97# Lost!

(updated 2/23/10)


Not too shabby for 2 months work! And I KNOW the house has lost more than that as well.

Ch-Ch-Changes

What happened to the house diet, you may ask? Well, no one is asking, but I'll tell you anyway.

I fell off the house diet awhile ago. Got to my craft room and man, it's still not right. That room needs a forklift or something more and it derailed me. But...I didn't stop doing stuff. I decided that what was really needed was to simplify my life, my house.

Clothes Cull
I read a book about Elegance and how you shouldn't keep clothes that didn't suit you, didn't make you look good. Although I'm not planning on buying Chanel or Hermes anytime soon, I was able to do a huge cull of my closet. I had thought after I was done that I needed then to go shopping to fill up the holes in my wardrobe. But you know what? I have less than 2 weeks of outfits now and it's working just fine. It's easier to do laundry, to choose what to wear and it's less clutter in my mind.

A few years ago I heard a lady say that she had streamlined her wardrobe by only wearing one color - cream. Because of that, she only needed a couple pairs of shoes, and everything matched. That inspired me to cut out different colors of pants such as navy or red, etc. I've gone another step further now, and am cutting out brown. I am now only going with black, cream and khaki for pants/skirts and letting my shirts be the color. This is going to help when I buy shoes and accessories as well.

And lastly, I've streamlined my jewelry. I've been wearing the same pair of earrings for the last couple of months! I remembered a lady I worked for did that. Of course hers were gold and diamond, but hey, we work with what we got. I wear the same bracelet as well. Sometimes I'll change my necklace if I want to wear one. So someday soon, I'll be culling my jewelry. I really don't need a drawerful when all I really need is one or two of each.

Quality, not quantity.

In Other News
This summer, I've started to run, which you can read about here. In a way, it's a form of simplifying. It's causing me to get up early in the mornings and my schedule is different now.

I've also started to FLY with the FLYLady. There's a bit more of stuff to talk about there, so I'll save it for a new post.

In summary, I'm continuing to go forward with my life; decluttering, better health, simplifying. I was emailing a couple friends about why this is happening now. For many years, I've wanted to make these changes but haven't. And now they're happening and it's not such a struggle.

The reason why I think this is happening now is simple. In the last couple of years, I've truly been able to see a better picture of how God sees me. Just as I am, overweight, disorganized, sinful...he loves me. I can't do ANYTHING that could increase that love. All he really desires right now is me to just BE with him. Not DO something for Him. It doesn't matter if I go to church, Sunday School, Bible Studies, humanitarian efforts, etc. What he really wants is me to just sit with him and enjoy my company. (This is a bit simplified, but you get the picture.)

I've been able to accept this truth. For years, I've KNOWN it, but couldn't experience it. Now that the truth has become a part of who I am, I am able to really accept myself the same way. And in really accepting myself where I am right now (not where I'd like to be or what I'd like to look like), I am able to make the changes that I want to. I am so darn comfortable in my skin now, that there's less head baggage. There's now room to just go ahead and make changes just becase I want to.

I make the changes not because I want to be the person on the other side of the changes, but because I am taking the person that I totally love and accept now on that journey.

Ufdah, that's a mouthful! But it's a mouthful of truth.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Turtle Run

My runs are getting a titch longer but the route that I'm on now is a bit shorter. What that means is, I have a shorter recovery walk time. I still need a little more time (1-2 minutes) of recovery walking between runs. I am hoping that will change as I progress.

After about 3 minutes of running, I get into a sort of groove where my feet just take over and keep going. It only happens, though, when I'm not thinking about running and how many more minutes/seconds to go. And finally, today, I was able to concentrate my thoughts instead of having them go around like a pinball. I was actually able to pray something more than, "help!" and for a minute or two, it was controlled thoughts. I count this as big progress.

I am also a little less conscious of my turtle running. Sometimes, when a car comes, I pretend to be the hare and increase my effort but it really throws off the groove that I'm in. So I'm learning to just accept that I run like a turtle. People can laugh or think badly about my pace, but hey - I'm out there running. This is where I'm at, and I'm happy about that.

Cool Down
On my cool down walk, I turned down the street I live on, which had been re-paved yesterday. My right arch was achy so I thought, why not? I had already decided the socks were going in the trash (it was dark in the bedroom when I fished them out). So I stopped, unlaced my shoes and walked the rest of the way home in my socks.

Instantly, everything felt changed and different muscles were working. The ground was cool and pleasant and smooth. I concentrated on my mid-foot strike and pushing off more and not overstriding. A car passed and I acted like carrying running shoes and waking down the street in socks was what everyone does nowadays. I really liked how the road felt and how my feet felt. My right calf was tighter but my arch stopped aching. By the time I was home, everything was feeling good except where I picked up a pebble for a few steps.

I think that I'd like to do more of this kind of training after my 5k. Although it'll be colder out by then, I may be able to find a more minimal shoe or slipper to go around in. I really do not like what my running shoes are doing to my feet! Just 16 minutes of running and they make my feet ache. How will I get through 45 minutes of the 5k? Hmmm.

Monday, October 4, 2010

In Which My Training Switches Gears

This morning was the day that I really kicked my training into gear. Just for this month, I'm putting aside my fun fartlek runs, my "let's see what I can do" runs and gear up for the 5K. I do like the fact that I have a good plan in place to be able to run/walk about a 45 minute 5k. It is very doable and is not overwhelming (as long as I don't look at what I'm supposed to do next week). What I am fearful about is that I will lose interest or have a set back and won't be able to complete it. I have to, have to, have to do this training schedule!

My next step while doing this, is adding better nutrition and eating habits. I keep losing and gaining the same 7 pounds. This morning I was up near my starting weight again (nevermind that I had a great cheeseburger yesterday). Although I've never been one to fluctuate my weight this much, so I know something is happening in my body.

My stomach continues to sag and the creases are more pronounced. In one way, this is very interesting; to see how the fat is melting away. But in another way it's kinda gross to see flabby floppy parts. I'll spare you the details. I don't even like looking at this part.

Anyway, I'm going to explore better nutrition and eating habits now. Funny thing is, though, I haven't really had cravings for food like I used to. When I think about what I want for dinner, I really don't care. Used to be that I would have a definite craving or idea. But now? Meh.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Can I, Really?


Ufdah. The hold up on the posting is a mix between perfectionism and technology (I wanted to get the pics posted and it involved finding a mini usb and an adapter for the card reader). Last weekend, I broke my running "fast" after being sick, and ran while at the in-laws. I had mapped out a 3.3 mile route and it was a gorgeous morning all around. They have the perfect set up for a 5k training ground. The above pic is the 5 minute walk/warm up section on a hard packed dirt road.



Then, I played telelphone pole tag. I tried in the beginning to time my run, but since I didn't have my watch and just my phone, I realized the futility. Instead, I saw the line of telephone poles along the road and remembered someone saying that they used to run between poles, then walk between one. I did that, even though I can run farther than between poles. What was different was the greater distance and I was actually running half my run, not 1/3 to 1/4 as usual. I loved this change of pace.

This week, I'm back to my schedule, sort of. I missed Monday so I'm off a day but will get back on track in a few days. Today I thought I'd try the actual CP25K week 4 run, which is run 5 minutes, walk 2 minutes for about 36 minutes. It was a bear! I'm used to more recovery time between my runs. So I extended it to a 3 minute walk. I ended up not quite doing the whole thing, but still ran about 18 minutes. I may try this again on Saturday along a different route. It seems every time my run was to start, I was going uphill, and walking was downhill.


The Upcoming 5K

I've been thinking about the upcoming 5K, with October just around the corner (tomorrow!). I have 4 weeks of training left and:

  • I got behind a week from being sick
  • I haven't run longer than 6 1/2 minutes at one time
  • My mile time is still around 20 minutes, average walk/run rate
  • I haven't run longer than 1/3 mile at one shot
  • My run is often not much faster than a fast walk
October is my time to really hit it hard. I think I need to go back to the C25K running plan because with missing a week, my modified is not going to do it. I won't be able to run the whole thing right now. Even though I've seen improvements each time I go out, my body isn't there yet.

Perhaps what I'll try to do for my 5K is:

  • Run 3/4 mile
  • Walk 1/4
  • Run 1 mile
  • Walk 1/4
  • Run the rest
  • Finish
So maybe what I need to do in training, is do these 3 sections of running. Split my training into a smaller scale version and work up to it. I'll have to do some thinking on it.

October Legs


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Best Laid Plains

I was sick yesterday, so of course I didn't run either. It's too bad, I had picked a "new" route to go on that's about 2.5 miles out and back. I actually thought of running it on Sunday, but slept in so there you go. I should be good to go for a run tomorrow.

I have been pondering something, though. Whenever I tell someone that I've take up running, usually the response goes like, "I hate running" or "I used to do that until my knees/ ankles/ hips gave out" or "I could never do that" or even "have fun with that (meaning that's crazy but if you like it, then, hey)."

Why do people feel like they need to justify why they don’t run? Or dismiss it as something weird?

The more I run and learn about running, the more I’m convinced that as a people, we have really lost something great. Not merely the physical and health aspects that have been lost, but the psychological, the societal and the spiritual. It’s all wound up in this one action. So simple, yet so seemingly unnecessary in our modern culture.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I Go Hard Core (or my version of)

After a long and busy week, less than 7 hours of sleep and on a rainy morning, I head out the door. With 3 strikes against me; to me, at this stage, this is hard core. No sleeping in and snuggling under covers, waiting for tomorrow. I didn't even think of NOT getting up. Dusted off my rain coat and headed out.

Ok, so it wasn't that bad. It was sprinkling when I finally got out there and it stopped midway through. I was tired though. My runs were heavy. There was no way I was going to have another PR today, breaking my progress streak. I'd be lucky to make all my minimums.

But after my first 5 minute run, something happened. Maybe my body warmed up or woke up and realized that it needed to kick into gear. My next run just kept going, and I ended up doing another 5 minutes, 12.25 total. I knew that my PR for longest combined run time was 12.5, so I crested a hill and ran off again (when I just wanted to do my cool down walk).

I was planning on cheating. My minimum run is 2 minutes, but I only needed 15 seconds for my PR. How about just an easy 60 seconds? Nope. My body said, "we can do it, keep going!" So I did, and finished the 2 minutes.

My body continues to surprise me. Just when I think I know what it's going to do, it does something different. So I give it room to do well and still have some wiggle room in case it can't. It makes me wonder how I could ever be successful in a cookie cutter exercise program. No wonder I had so many past failures! I was trying to do someone else's version of what would work and failed again and again.

On another note, I really hated to put my running shoes on my feet. I apoligized to them and promised them that this would be the last pair of running shoes they'd have to suffer through. Next year, we'll be running more minimal, just wait and see! They sighed and shuffled out the door. They have heard my promises before and were a bit cynical.

But didn't they know? All I want for Christmas...are Vibram Five Fingers.

**

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Raise Your Hand


Last night I went to Gear West to see Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run. I was thrilled to find out that he was going to be so nearby, so I had to go. There were about 150 there, coming out on a cold rainy night. Chris ran from a store in Wayzata to Gear West in Long Lake, about 3-4 miles, beforehand. I really wish I had been in shape enough to go, being curious about how he runs. Maybe someday, if I run an ultra, he may be on the trail. (Wait a minute...I haven't even run a 5k yet, and I'm thinking about an ultra? That's just crazy talk.)



If you ever get a chance to see him, I'd highly recommend it. I recorded the audio, so sometime I'll post that here (if I can figure it out) or somewhere around. I had some "aha" moments that spoke to my heart when he was talking. At one point, he had people raise hands, if they were a runner and I got to raise mine for the first time. This is it! I'm really beginning to be a part of this community. Even though I can't quite go for 1/2 mile, I'm already relating to things with runners.

I do believe, I have my Runner's Learner Permit.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Come As A Child

Good things:

  • Each run I seem to make a new PR for one of my stats.
  • I am on track for a good 5k run and able to meet my goals
  • No more heel pain or heel spurs
  • I get to go see Christopher McDougal tonight at Gear West
  • My minimum run time is now 2 minutes when 3 weeks ago, that was my longest consecutive run time.
About the heel spurs thing. When I first started running, I was having awful heel pain, so that I would avoid walking on them and often walked on the outsides of my feet barefoot. I found that when I ran, I would land mid-foot and my heels did not hurt like they did when walking. It was only recently that I realized...I haven't had heel pain in 2 months! I wonder if this is because the muscles in my feet are building and therefore are stronger. Who knew that running would cure foot pain?

Yesterday, I drove past the middle school where kids were having track & field practice. I loved seeing how they run! It reminded me of when we went to the Twins game, we stayed longer to watch the kids run the bases. They run with such joy and openness. Their feet strike the ground just about under their body, and they push off into nice heel kicks. And best of all? They do it because they want to, because it's fun.

I can't wait to be able to run like a kid again.

Monday, September 13, 2010

and then again...

My pants have been irritating me all day. I finally figured out why. They're too baggy! They've been sitting in the closet all summer and now, they're just too big. Keep having to pull them out and they're poofing out very unflatteringly.

So maybe progress is happening more than I realize.

Ho-Hum

2.2 mile route...11.5 minutes of running, did a 6.5 minute when my goal was a 5. A good run, a good morning. But I'm feeling ho-hum.

This weekend, I wondered what would happen if I just stopped running. Would it really matter? I'm not that far into it that I'd go through withdrawl. On Sunday, my husband took a very unflattering photo of my face. It showed all the fat places in their finest glory. I had thought that maybe my face was showing a difference, but it did not in the photo.

What I really want, is change NOW. Mentally, I'm already a marathoner or maybe an ultra runner. Yet when I go out, I am barely plodding along, not even able to go for 1/2 mile. In the mirror, an obese woman looks back at me. This is after 3 months of run/walking. When will the changes happen?

I know, I'm whining. And yes, I know that it took years to get this way and will take awhile to get in shape. Mentally and logically, I know all that stuff. But psychologically, it's just not so good right now. Which really, is kind of my pattern. A couple of "hey, this is great!" weeks followed by a couple of weeks of whining. Bear with me for a little while and it'll get better.

Something I've been pondering, is the affect of the mind on running. I was talking to a friend about exercise and she wants to get back into a walking program. She went through this book before, went all the way through it, something about 90 days until your walking habit. She wished there was another book for the next 90 days because She quit before after 90, and didn't make it a habit.

What came out of my mouth next, surprised both of us. I said something about if we only work on our physical self and don't address the mental issues, then you may not be successful. We also need to become more mentally healthy. I'm not sure where that came from, but I think it has a ring of truth to it.

When I started running, I had been inactive for years. I would try out different things, but they just didn't stick. I'm not sure what happened years ago that I stopped being physically active. In the last couple of years, I had been growing more in mental health; boundaries, spiritual maturity, in so many internal ways. Then, my husband went through kidney failure and we spent a year in survival mode until he got his transplant. He had just become fairly stable when I felt I could breathe again. Once I could breathe, I found I was exhausted from holding my breath so long. Through the winter, I rested as much as I could and went through a down time. But spring was coming.

A variety of inspirations happened this spring/early summer. I was so tired of being overweight and tired. I had high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. And I was only mid-thirities! I also started watching Losing It with Jillian Michaels and watched other people, in far worse shape, get better. It was my turn. In mid-July, I hit the pavement.

I was mentally ready for a change. Now, I just need my body to catch up.

Friday, September 10, 2010

6.30

This week has been weird because of having Monday off. For some reason, I thought today was my hard run day. So, I mapped out a 2.2 mile route and pushed it hard.

6 minutes, 30 seconds straight! A new PR.

I also did a 4 minute, and some others for a total of 10.5 minutes of running. My last run, I could've kept going but I was running out of road and time. I'm just amazed to see what my body is able to do. This is so much fun!

Yesterday, I sat down with a bunch of free online 5K beginner plans and mapped out what they would look like for the 7 weeks left before my first 5k. It was interesting to note that I'm already out longer and farther than what they all recommend and am sort of running the same amount. So, I made up my own plan (like I usually end up doing) with the guidelines that I'm already using:

- Minimum miles on a route
- No runs under a certain amount of time
- Must run at least one run of a certain length each outing
- Must run at least a combined amount of minutes

Mondays are easy days, Wednesday are hard, Fridays are medium. The week before my 5k, I should be able to run 30 minutes at a time. Wow, that sounds so unattainable right now. But if I follow the plan, then it'll happen. I'm going to up my miles to 4 (which includes 5 minutes warm up and 5 for cool down) and then work down on my time.

An interesting note on this - I've already run my next Weds goals today. So maybe I should try to run a week ahead of schedule and add in that little grace time.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On Par

Hot dog. I ran for 4 minutes in one swoop! Then a tiny 90 sec and then a 3 1/2. A new PR for me. I could have perhaps gone longer, but I really don't know how far I can go without risking injury. Besides, after 3 minutes of running, the roads turn into quad-killing hills.

I "passed" a couple guys out on their golf cart, they must be maintenance guys because they didn't have clubs. The one guy was looking at me oddly. Perhaps he was thinking that he could walk faster than my run. So can I.

One issue I'm having is that my right foot goes numb and then falls asleep. It usually does this between 26-30 minutes into my route. This time, I untied my laces and walked in my socks for the last 2 blocks home. Instantly, I could feel different calf muscles working and different pressure points in my right foot. By the time I walked in the door, my foot was fine. I think that because my right foot is wider, I may need to unlace my shoe a little more. That, and, learn how to run barefoot. I hope these are the last supportive running shoes I need to buy. After that, it may be ballet slippers for me!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I Forgot to Mention...

...that I lost 5#'s last week. Went 3 weeks with no change and all of a sudden, 5#'s gone. I also bought a new bra and it was 2" smaller.

Funny thing, the poundage and inches don't matter as much as they used to, to me. The real changes that I'm enjoying seeing is how long I can run and and how well.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Running Is A Holiday

This morning, I got up (late) and made pancakes for my hubby's birthday. Then I went off and treated myself to a run.

I did 2 main long run stretches (by Darrel's and 3rd) and wondering if I'm to the point of doing lesser but longer runs. I also ran out of road and went out again past Alice's and around my street the other way. This week I plan on having no runs under 60sec and increase my route to 2 miles. Now that I'm up to about 2-3.5 min long runs, it shouldn't be too hard, right?

Yesterday my husband and I went to Target Field, the new Twins Stadium for the first time. I loved it! I didn't think I would, but the whole thing has a more intimate feel than the Dome. We walked around it and I felt a difference in the way that I walked. Before, it would be a trudge to see how little I could do until I could sit. Now, it was wonderful to feel how strong my legs were now and they weren't tired after all the walking and stairs. I saw some people slogging along and thought that they could use some running in their lives. So many people are like electricity, the lazy old man. I used to be that way, but now, even if there is a shortcut, I am enjoying going the long way out. It's fun, like a holiday.

Happy Labor Day! May your running be a sweet labor.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's Not Just Me

Today, I had a confirmation that it's not just me noticing the changes in my body. After a small run this morning (6.5 min of running, 26 min total out), my husband and I headed out to run some errands. My main errand was to buy a new bra. My old one had room enough that I could stuff tissues down there. The lady at the store measured me, and I was 2" smaller than my last fitting!

These small changes in my body are giving me confidence, along with just feeling better and more in shape. Now, even when I walk through a parking lot, it feels like a good way to stretch my legs and not a drudgery. I may not look much different, but psychologically, I'm a shapely, slender runner. I also did something silly this morning. After my run, (and oatmeal and 1/2 glass of water) I weighed myself. I was down 4#'s. Hopefully for the official Sunday morning weigh-in, I'll still be down some. And slap my hand, but I had ice cream twice today. There goes the good and the bad. But can I help it that I enjoy both the good (running) and the bad (calories)?

Time to go to bed and get my running sleep.

ETA: I forgot to add that I had NO soreness from barefooting yesterday. I was expecting some soreness but my feet feel great.

Friday, September 3, 2010

September Legs


Getting Dirty

I never realized before how dirty my treadmill belt was until I ran on it barefoot. My feet were black when I was finished. And here I thought that running outside would make my feet dirty! Well, it probably will, but anyway.

5 minutes of combined treadmill barefoot running. I'm going to look into getting some sort of flat shoe so I can "barefoot" outside. My first run was an easy 2 minutes until my calf cried, "uncle!" Other than my calves stretching themselves into a new motion, there were no aches or pains; no arch burning or toes falling asleep.

What was most amazing, is that I didn't think about my form at all. My legs and feet naturally went into their own rhythm; mid foot or outer mid foot strike and rolling inward. I did try to pick my knees up a little more, but that's all I did consciously.

I think that I may knit some felted slippers of a sort for running outside. Wool may be a great thing to run in. It absorbs sweat, won't chafe if it's felted, because it'll form to my feet. Best of all, it give me a little bit of protection while allowing my foot to move naturally.

Since this was a light run, I'm going to go out tomorrow on another light run, this time with shoes. I know I need to build up the muscles that will help me go barefoot more. Now, if only I could convince my husband that barefooting is good.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

So...Pronation is Good?



I've been reading a book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. A fascinating story about the Tarahumara and how running is what they do - legs are their vehicle of choice. I've just gotten to the part about barefoot running and it's rekindling my desire.

As a girl, we never had much money for expensive shoes. My dress pair was always beige and boring, no matter what color I wore, I had to wear these plain beige shoes. So when it came to play shoes, which were often outgrown, we went with bare feet for the most part. I learned to be able to run on gravel. In our hayfields, I remember pretending to be a gazelle, leap running through our hilly hayfields and never falling. I could feel the ground as I landed and adjusted my foot placement if needed. The only times I sprained ankles was when I was walking.

I had a neighbor friend who lives 1/4 mile away, and I would run for fun down the road. I'd also run home from our bus stop, which was down a long hill. My mom would say should could hear me "thundering down the road." It made me more conscious of my running, but I still did it because I enjoyed it. And I did it in any shoes - which means cheap Kmart or Target ones.

All this to say that I used to know how to run barefoot. I didn't have to read books, articles, how-to's on the proper form. Granted, I was a kid and had a little more joint flexibility. However, I can't remember once ever having a running in jury or being sore.

Tomorrow, I'm going to do my run on our treadmill, barefoot. I think it's a good place to start because the treadmill is an even ground and is softer than asphalt. I may make Fridays my barefoot day if this works well. Eventually I'd love to be able to run barefoot, or with a flat shoe for all my runs. I remember the last time that I tried this, I felt no pain in my arches, no foot falling asleep and no calf burning. There was some foot soreness the next day or two, but I believe that was due to building foot and toe muscles. It wasn't an injured feeling, but muscle soreness.

The Tarahumara run in sandals that they make - a sort of rough form of flip flops (though more secured). Made from recyled tire treads and leather straps, they truly have the corner on green running. Ironically, you can now order these sandals using the link above for only $48.70. So much for being natural and free!


Flip Flop



I've been reading a book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. A fascinating story about the Tarahumara and how running is what they do - legs are their vehicle of choice. I've just gotten to the part about barefoot running and it's rekindling my desire.

As a girl, we never had much money for expensive shoes. My dress pair was always beige and boring, no matter what color I wore, I had to wear these plain beige shoes. So when it came to play shoes, which were often outgrown, we went with bare feet for the most part. I learned to be able to run on gravel. In our hayfields, I remember pretending to be a gazelle, leap running through our hilly hayfields and never falling. I could feel the ground as I landed and adjusted my foot placement if needed. The only times I sprained ankles was when I was walking.

I had a neighbor friend who lives 1/4 mile away, and I would run for fun down the road. I'd also run home from our bus stop, which was down a long hill. My mom would say should could hear me "thundering down the road." It made me more conscious of my running, but I still did it because I enjoyed it. And I did it in any shoes - which means cheap Kmart or Target ones.

All this to say that I used to know how to run barefoot. I didn't have to read books, articles, how-to's on the proper form. Granted, I was a kid and had a little more joint flexibility. However, I can't remember once ever having a running in jury or being sore.

Tomorrow, I'm going to do my run on our treadmill, barefoot. I think it's a good place to start because the treadmill is an even ground and is softer than asphalt. I may make Fridays my barefoot day if this works well. Eventually I'd love to be able to run barefoot, or with a flat shoe for all my runs. I remember the last time that I tried this, I felt no pain in my arches, no foot falling asleep and no calf burning. There was some foot soreness the next day or two, but I believe that was due to building foot and toe muscles. It wasn't an injured feeling, but muscle soreness.

The Tarahumara run in sandals that they make - a sort of rough form of flip flops (though more secured). Made from recyled tire treads and leather straps, they truly have the corner on green running. Ironically, you can now order these sandals using the link above for only $48.70. So much for being natural and free!

So...Pronation is Good?



I've been reading a book called Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. A fascinating story about the Tarahumara and how running is what they do - legs are their vehicle of choice. I've just gotten to the part about barefoot running and it's rekindling my desire.

As a girl, we never had much money for expensive shoes. My dress pair was always beige and boring, no matter what color I wore, I had to wear these plain beige shoes. So when it came to play shoes, which were often outgrown, we went with bare feet for the most part. I learned to be able to run on gravel. In our hayfields, I remember pretending to be a gazelle, leap running through our hilly hayfields and never falling. I could feel the ground as I landed and adjusted my foot placement if needed. The only times I sprained ankles was when I was walking.

I had a neighbor friend who lives 1/4 mile away, and I would run for fun down the road. I'd also run home from our bus stop, which was down a long hill. My mom would say should could hear me "thundering down the road." It made me more conscious of my running, but I still did it because I enjoyed it. And I did it in any shoes - which means cheap Kmart or Target ones.

All this to say that I used to know how to run barefoot. I didn't have to read books, articles, how-to's on the proper form. Granted, I was a kid and had a little more joint flexibility. However, I can't remember once ever having a running in jury or being sore.

Tomorrow, I'm going to do my run on our treadmill, barefoot. I think it's a good place to start because the treadmill is an even ground and is softer than asphalt. I may make Fridays my barefoot day if this works well. Eventually I'd love to be able to run barefoot, or with a flat shoe for all my runs. I remember the last time that I tried this, I felt no pain in my arches, no foot falling asleep and no calf burning. There was some foot soreness the next day or two, but I believe that was due to building foot and toe muscles. It wasn't an injured feeling, but muscle soreness.

The Tarahumara run in sandals that they make - a sort of rough form of flip flops (though more secured). Made from recyled tire treads and leather straps, they truly have the corner on green running. Ironically, you can now order these sandals using the link above for only $48.70. So much for being natural and free!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

3:30

My SIL has recently started training to run a 5k and she is up to a 5 minute non-interval run. I couldn't help but compare myself - I am only doing a measly 2 minute run. Is there more in me that I am holding back on? Could I possibly go farther? Am I not pushing myself enough? Time to break out of the Twilight Zone.

Along my route today, I walked around a block instead of doing a run interval - to conserve my energy. On Darrel's street, I shuffled off into a run. End of street came, and I decided to keep going...cross street...2:30...along next street...3:00...end of next street and up a slight hill...3:30!!

But wait, there's more!

I had only gone 6:30 and my goal was 7 this morning. So at the top of the hill, I shuffled off again, aiming for that 30 seconds even though I was tired from the last interval. Next thing I knew, it was 1:30 and I had blown through my expectations.

All this, and I almost stayed in bed, procrastinating. The rest of the morning, I was cheerful and singing a little while my hubby (who stayed up really late working) grumped about. What a change, I'm usually the grumpy, bumbly person.

Who is this woman?

In other news, I've noticed my butt is less firm and a little saggy now. Great, just what I've always wanted. And of course, I've also noticed that I'm losing weight in the area that women hate to lose - the bust area. At this rate, I'll need to buy new bras in a few weeks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Legs - 2

Awhile back I posted leg pics and you haven't seen them since! It's because I'm poky with getting the camera and internet together sometimes. Here they are from 2 weeks ago.



I can see a difference from the last time. My knees definitely show more shape and there's some toning going on. To see all my leg pics, just click on the "legs" tag at the bottom of this post.

From now on, I'm only going to post them at the beginning of each month.

And Then I Woke Up

Last night I dreamt that I was walking along and all of a sudden, just started running. It was smooth and easy, like flying. The path turned into a tunnel and I needed to bend and run while part of my body was sideways. But it was beautiful!

And then I woke up.

Had to take the dog out to do his duty (which involved avoiding the step that broke last night on the deck, setting the dog down and watching helplessly as he slipped off and fell on the rocks [he's just fine] and feeling a little traumatized being half awake and it seeming all a dream).

By the time I hit the pavement, I had a head ache and was grumpy. I had routed a new way which took me alongside the highway. There is a strip of ground along the highway that is dirt so I thought it would be good to have a softer ground to run on. There were a lot of cars and I felt very self-conscious. But I did run about 90 seconds along the busy road. I had decided to do 6 minutes of running, so I was pacing myself.

On a stretch of road that goes by Darrel's, I started a driveway in and ran the whole thing! About 2 minutes of running, my longest of the day. Each run was a struggle at about 30-60 seconds in and then I'd play mind games and try to think of something else. I know that I'm building endurance and muscle, it's just a slower process than I originally thought it would be.

Now I'm grumpy and tired and am craving caffeine. Pass the endorphins, please!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

I'm Like Electricity (it's not what you think)

When I was in middle school, we built a light of sorts, that would connect to a battery. One of the lessons that the teacher taught was that electricity is like a lazy old man. It will take the shortest path home, so don't cross the wires between the battery and the bulb or it won't work. She was right.

Yesterday, I was like electricity. I wish I could say that I was energized or hot, or fast or something like that. But in reality, I was like the lazy old man. The whole run was a struggle again and since my shins were a little sore from the last run, I took it easier; and the shortest path home. I did manage to go about 1.1 miles and run about 5 minutes before the lazy old man took over.

I'm getting a little bored with my route and need to map out something new. Or maybe I need to have something to think about and do some mind games while running. Either way, I'll try to put something new into practice tomorrow morning.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Kidney Anniversary

One year ago, Tuesday was the kidney anniversary. What a year it's been! We took the donor and his wife out to eat at Kobe in Plymouth for Hibachi. We caught up a little and reflected some about the last year. The donor said he'd do it again if he could, no regrets. His wife echoed the no regrets. What a wonderful gift to have been given and so willingly.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

120 Seconds

As I walked for my warm up this morning, I shivered. A woman sitting on her porch was bundled up in a warm looking wrap and here I was in shorts and t-shirt. Am I crazy? Should I put something else on? But 35 minutes later when I got home, I was quite warm.

The whole run seemed to be a struggle to push myself. I thought maybe the cool weather would help, but my body just did not want to move. Since this is my middle week run, it was the one that I pushed myself on.

Walk - 6 minutes
Run - 60 sec
Walk - 2 min
Run - 90 sec
Walk - 2 min
Run - 75 sec (wimped out)
Walk - 3 min
Run - 75 sec (made up for my time)
Walk - 2 min
Run - 2 min!!!
Walked the rest of the way home. I may have walked a little more between runs, but don't remember now. It was about 35 min out of the house.

On my last run, I got to the place where I was to start my 90 sec and there comes the garbage truck coming toward me. (And another reason not to run on Thurs is it's garbage day and it's not pleasant to run by.) I thought great, I can't wait until it goes by because it stops every few meters and I like this mostly flat place to get in a longer run. So I started off and committed to not looking at my watch until I ran past the truck. It was 75 seconds. I pushed myself past the road construction sign, 90 seconds. My legs started to complain, "hey, remember us? We're still going here. Are we done yet?" The next driveway...hey, only 15 sec to go until 2 minutes. Done!

What I learned is that if I don't push myself, my legs will get lazy and stop when they could have kept going.

In other news, I notice that my belly fat is getting floppier and kind of gross looking. I used to be somewhat glad that my fat has always been firm so I didn't have that puckered cottage cheese look. But now it's all sagging and there's a new crease near my waist. Reminds me of a balloon that you slowly let the air out of. I sure hope that the fat is being let out of my body.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Heart of the Matter

As I progress, I'm adding bits of things to help along the way. If I added them all at once, I'd get overwhelmed and most likely be paralyzed and paranoid about how I run. However, I think what would be important to know, would be if I'm in my target heart rate zone when out running around. This may be the key to having my training sessions be more effective and thusly, better results. So I googled.

Discovery Health - 93 to 138
American Heart Association - 93–157, Max 185
The Walking Site - referred to the karvonen formula found here. It requires some planning ahead and seems like the most sensible way to figure it out. The Walking Site also has a percentage range for your heart rate.
fitsugar - 93-157, max 185 (echo)
Fitwatch - calculates from resting hear rate - 184 (must be the running around with the puppy I just did)
about.com - 92-100

Talk about getting a complex, when all I want to do is find my target heart rate! If I do the averages though, it should be about 93 - 147. I guess that I'll probably stick to the low to middle end for now and see how it goes.


105 Seconds

Monday
Took a 2 hour nap and there went my running time.


Tuesday morning, 7am
"I think I'll run later today," I said to her husband." He smile/laughed.

"You already delayed your run by a day," said a little voice."

"Hrmpphhh," I said as I rolled out of bed.

And so, I found myself, groggy, with a pair of running shoes on (and clothes of course), stumbling around the neighborhood. I usually try to smile or not to grimace when cars go by so that people don't think I'm in pain, or that they think exercise is bad. I couldn't muster more than an un-frown that morning.

On the first run, I decided to see if I could push myself past my Twilight Zone of 90 seconds. So I shuffle ran, sometimes not going faster than walking. At 90 seconds my legs said, "done!" But I told them to keep going, and so they grumbled along for another 15 seconds until I relented.

I did it!

But I didn't do it again then. The first run of the week I'm making an easier run, so I let my other runs be easy. I maybe ran for about 5 minutes during the 25 min workout. By the time I got home, I was awake and almost able to smile.

I'm so tagging this as Progress, because I need all I can get.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Resetting the Clocks

This really stinks. I finally decided not to be obsessive about weighing myself, and am only going to weigh in on Sundays. And what does the scale say? It says I'm back up to my starting weight! I felt like stomping on the stupid thing and looked around to see if anything had their thumb on it. You know, like how people used to cheat people by putting their thumb on the scale so it looks like they got more than they did.

This last week was a good week for my running and I planned better meals as well. I should have at the very least, been down near my lowest weight.

My friend, Cris, tried to encourage me that I'm building muscle. But at this rate, I'm going to be 200+ of muscle and nothing else. Shouldn't things be looking better?

I'm also trying to tell Myself that what I'm doing is actually worth it in the long run. But myself isn't buying it much lately. In fact, Myself forgot to reset the alarm and so didn't get me up this morning to run. Myself may or may not help me run this afternoon or evening.

Anyway, I did have a good run on Friday, I went around the neighborhood for about 45 minutes and did about 6-7 min of running off and on during that. The weird thing is, I'm still in the Twilight Zone of 90 sec runs. I think I need to push myself into at the very least, 1.75 - 2 minute runs. Perhaps my body's time clock is saying that 90 seconds is all I can do, so stop it already! I need to reset that clock (just like my alarm clock).

I am SO tagging this entry as "Regress."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"I Should Be Doing What You're Doing"

My first pair of running shoes - Saucony Women's ProGrid Ride 3


As promised, I went out for a run yesterday after work. I had mapped out a new route, one that went north of our home. This one is flatter with only slight hills so I felt it was a little easier. The first run, I went for 90 sec without tiring and checking my watch. I continued to do mostly 90 sec runs with a 30 sec speed run. It felt good to break out of my slow shuffle run to a greater range of motion.

As I was running by a house, a woman, who looked to be at least 50#'s up on me, waved and said, "I should be doing what you're doing!" I hope she does. 1 1/2 months ago, I couldn't run 60 seconds without being exhausted. Now, I can easily do 90 sec and run/walk a route of 1 1/2 miles (going on 2). The process is slow but it is the right direction.

Sometimes I feel discouraged when I can't run as well or as much as I want to. Or when I don't lose the weight or when it comes back on. But is there any other option? I'm going forward, in the right direction. Slow changes, but lasting ones.

I timed my training and route and figured out an estimate on how long it will take me to do the 5k. If I ran/walked a 5K tomorrow, I could finish in -

(Drumroll please)

52 minutes!

A bit longer than I was hoping, but it's under an hour. Then again, having such a high estimate means that there is a lot of room for improvement.

My new training plan is off the training plan. For now, I'm going to do more fartlek runs; run until I pant heavily, walk until I catch my breath. I know that I could right now, get through a 5K slowly with running and walking. So now all I need to do is improve my time. I also realize that I will most likely end up walking some of my 5k. I didn't want to do this, but it's my reality. There will always be more 5K's to run in. Most important to me is that I enjoy running and that I keep the injuries down.

Monday - easy run/walk
Wednesday - more intense run/walk try to improve times, push myself farther
Friday - easy/intense run, depending on soreness level

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Oops

This morning I heard my radio alarm go off and they were promoing a few interesting stories. So I thought I'd listen to those stories and then get up. Next thing I know, it's 45 minutes later and I missed my chance to run. I was so disappointed! Was looking forward to running. I'll have to go right after work or after my meeting tonight.

Another interesting thing to note, I got the book, Joan Samuelson's Running for Women from the library. The book hasn't appealed to me, with a pic of Joan on the cover, sweaty and on a track. And who is this Joan person, anyway?

So I had a few moments yesterday and went to youtube, looking for Kathrine Switzer videos. There was a link to the 1984 Olympics 1st women's marathon. I played it and wow, it was like a spiritual moment. Watching Joan Benoit just fly through the run and making history for women's running, choked me up a little. At the end I thought hey, that image looks familiar! Sure enough, on the cover of Joan Samuelson's book, there was Joan Benoit (can you see that the light bulb is about to go off?).

I thought well, maybe this Samuelson woman used Benoit's picture...hey wait, the full name of the author is Joan Benoit Samuelson!

*facepalm*

Needless to say, I'm excited about reading the book now.

Here's a link to the video, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. Keep in mind:

Years of struggle went into this. In the 70's, women weren't allowed to run marathons in the US. Many women gave up their time, their own marathon running and resources so that a women's marathon could be added to the Olympics. This is history right here, in our time.

The First Gold

Escher


Doug was cleared to be able to have pets about a month ago. So we were looking around at puppies. Last Thursday, on our 15th Anniversary, we picked up a 1/2 lab, 1/2 ?? and named him Escher.

I suspect that the 1/2 is a Springer Spaniel which would make him a Labridinger. Hopefully that's the case as that would make an excellent smart dog and also good for hunting.

He's already adjusting well and only wakes us up at night once to go outside. His favorite toys arent' the ones we bought him, but an empty paper towel roll and a rag that was tied in knots. Now, we just need to get the potty training thing down.


Monday, August 16, 2010

No Sweat

Maybe it was the new shoes.

Maybe, the hour body massage.

Perhaps it could've been the 4 day muscle rest.

Or then again, maybe it was the beautiful, cool breezy morning.

In any case, this morning's workout rocked.

I came out of the house feeling good this morning and my brisk walk was truly brisk. I love cool mornings like this, probably was in the 60's-70's range because when the breeze blew by I got shivers. It only took about 9 minutes to walk around and up the hill to start the run.

My first run surprised me. Normally, I huff and puff and just try to make it to the next mailbox. I was going along and all of a sudden - hey! There's the end of the street! How'd that get there so fast? And so it went. I walked until my calves felt untight and then ran again. No timing or even listening to an interval podcast, just pure outside running and walking.

And so I turned or corner and realized that I was running out of road, I was near my home. I did one last 1 min run so that I could have enough time to walk it off. And voila, it was done.

I entered the house cheerfully and felt great. I wasn't soggy sweating, maybe due to the cool breeze. But on the other hand, I didn't push myself to long runs because I did have brand new shoes on and I also didn't want to strain my calves in case they weren't fully recovered.

If all runs could be this fun, then I'd do this twice a day if I could.

***************************

On another note, I spent the weekend being lazy and journeyed through the last 40 years or so of women's marathon running. We got a puppy who will be a future running partner. But for now, I sit with him and wait for him to have to pee and read Marathon Woman by Kathrine Switzer.

I devoured this book. It was well written, compelling and inspiring. I am so thankful that Kathrine was there at that time - a driven woman who had a true love of running. Where would the sport be now for people like me? Intimidating up the wazoo, that's where.

When I was in high school, my sister had gone before me and had been on the track team. There had been no question of IF a woman could be on the team, only if she wanted to take the time to do it. So in 8th grade, I joined up as a spinter. My track team stint was short lived because:

1. My shoes were stolen after the 2nd practice and we had no money for more
2. I joined a little late and was not as in shape for the practices. Can you believe that all they did was run back and forth? Gah.
3. I have a habit of starting things and not driven enough to finish. Until now, of course.

Anyway, the point is, there has never been a thought in my mind that women could not run when, where (at least in the US) and however they pleased. In fact, one of the best long distance runners on the team was a girl. It really floors me that about the time I was learning to walk and maybe run, women were just gaining ground in long distance running.

We've really come a long way, baby!