Monday, October 24, 2016

The elephant

I have been working at my current job for 1 year and 11 months.  It is a 50 min drive south every morning, sometimes less and sometimes more.  I mostly enjoy the drive, especially in the morning.  When I started this job, and commute, I noticed a guy running on a road that runs parallel with the freeway.  I saw him regularly, I don't know if he was there every morning, sometimes I get focused on other things, and forget to look, but I saw him often.  I loved seeing this guy running.  He was not the "typical" runner.  He looked heavier, he wore a big sweatshirt and sweatpants, but he was running. 

I also used to look at the scenery when I was driving.  Washington state is such a pretty place.  On my drive to work I see mountains, I see water, I see fields, I see trees.  It is gorgeous, especially at the right time of year when the sun is coming up on my drive, which is right now.  I would always think about how the people on the road with me are probably not paying any attention to the gorgeous sites as they drive down this very busy freeway.  I told myself I would not take my views for granted as long as I was driving them.

Well, of course I don't notice it everyday.  And living here, the reason it's so green, is because it rains so much of the year.  So in the winter, especially when it's still dark out, I don't notice what's going on around me so much while I drive.  Then spring comes and the sun starts rising again during my drive and I'm enthralled by it all again. 

I don't know when I quit noticing the guy on the side of the road running.  I don't know if he quit running, or if I just got distracted by other things.  Every once in awhile I'd see him and think about him running his road, but I didn't pay much attention to him.  He looks pretty similar to the first time I saw him, same heavy, oversized sweatshirt, same sweatpants. 

I am impressed by him.  I don't know if he quit running for awhile, I don't know if he's running different routes at times, I don't know if I just forgot to look for him.  But I know that I still see him sometimes, I saw him this morning, and he is still running.  That inspires me.  I often wish I could go to his road and run with him. Ask him how far he runs, how often.  Just talk.  Tell him that I see him and that I think his morning runs are amazing.  I can't, I won't, but good job guy on the side of the freeway. 

So there is an elephant in my blog.  My 40th year goal.  The goal I had to run a race a month before my 40th birthday.  I was going strong.  I was running, I was also getting age awards.  And then I sprained my ankle.  I decided I was going to finish my goal anyway, even with a sprained ankle I was still going to complete my goal.  Well, I ran in July, and then in July the race I had planned on doing (on the last weekend of the month) was canceled with no notice.  I ended up running with a friend and counted that as the race, since I had no control over it's cancelation.  But after that I didn't have much motivation to continue with the goal.  I did run in August, but I didn't actually care about it.  By this time I had run 7 5k's and I was pretty burned out with the 5k's, and the races.  So for September I skipped a race.  And I don't really care.  It hasn't bothered me at all.  Besides, if you count all my races between my 39th birthday (Oct. 6) and my 40th, I still did 12 races, but it was not a race a month.  I did 2 last October.

And what did I learn about this?  I don't care for 5k's.  I miss the long runs of last summer.  I am a long distance runner.  Oh, and running a race a month is expensive.  ; )

So I'm going to work on building up my runs again.  I am currently running 3-4 miles 3 times a week and 5 miles for my "long run."  I can't wait to get higher mileage long runs again.  I was so excited in May when I ran my first 9 miles in forever,  And now I'm back to small mileage.  It's okay, I'll get there.  =) 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Birthday weekend

My birthday weekend was nice.  We walked onto the ferry going to Friday Harbor, which is on San Juan Island, so we didn't have a car.  A lot of the things I would have liked to do required a car.  I enjoy going to the county park on San Juan Island and the light house, and there are two camps, the American Camp and English Camp (the San Juan Island chain was disputed territory for a long time and each side had a camp on opposite ends of San Juan Island).  Plus, there are hiking trails that I have enjoyed doing in the past, however, I don't know if I could have convinced Chris to go hiking anyway.  Anyway, all of those things weren't possible without a car.

Ferry crossing
When we got there our room was tiny, seriously, smallest hotel room I've ever seen.  However, we noticed that someone had punched (or something) the bathroom door.  We went to the lobby to let them know about it because we didn't want to be responsible for the damage, and they moved us to a different room, upgrading us about 150%.  Our new room was huge and very nice. 

damaged door
Good thing we got a bigger room, Saturday was a pretty rainy morning so we basically stayed in the room all morning.  I got sucked into a movie marathon on USA network, and ended up watching 2 and a half movies before finally leaving the room.  We walked the "main drag" of Friday Harbor.  We haven't been there for 3 years, and it seems like a lot of the touristy shops closed and became either restaurants or something else.  We went in a few of the stores, but there really didn't seem like there was very many.  Chris's "go-to" store, a hot sauce place, was closed, but he went to a jerky place.   The restaurant that we love to get drinks at, the Crabhouse, was closed for the season, so I didn't even get the San Juan Island Iced Tea that I love.   I had mentioned going to the Whale museum and/or a movie, but because I was lazy we didn't do either one. 
One side of our room
what I did Saturday morning . . .
I had a massage scheduled for the afternoon, and it was the best thing ever.  Have I ever mentioned that I've never had a massage?  At least not one from a professional before.  It was heavenly.  I think I need to go more often than once every 40 years.  ; ) 

Saturday evening we went out for drinks and dinner, and because I'm old now, back to the room fairly early.  We went to one place and really liked the bartender.  She said she was moving upstairs at dinnertime to a sushi place, but since we don't like sushi we went elsewhere for dinner.  Then we went to get a drink from the bartender we liked, but they were "foo-foo" drinks and I wasn't extremely impressed.  I actually liked the boring "dive bar" (if there is such a thing in a tourist town) that we went to Friday night better.  We did get in the hot tub afterwards, but I'm not crazy about really hot hot tubs, so I didn't stay very long.  Sunday was basically getting up, packing, and leaving the hotel.  We hung out at a restaurant waiting for the ferry home. 

It was a short trip, and it was nice to get away for a weekend, but maybe not exactly what I had planned when I asked for it a year ago. I would have preferred to have a car, but we decided to leave it for Damian in case of emergencies. 

I didn't take a ton of pictures, mostly because we didn't do a whole lot.  I did take a million pictures of the ferry crossing, but how boring is that.  =)  The highlight of the trip was the massage.  I need more of those in my life.

I have more things to talk about, not about my birthday weekend, but it will have to wait.  I'm running, and still going to the gym.  Although, last week I was really sick and skipped both more days than not.  I'm feeling better today, went to the gym at lunch and am going to run this evening.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Holy soreness!

I haven't been swimming very much, or at all, lately.  I've been going to the gym during my lunch and with swimming there is no getting around getting my hair wet. It's inevitable (go figure).  When I have to dry and style my hair, it takes me at least 45 min to get ready, so swimming for 30 min and getting ready for 45, that's a lot of time for "lunch."  And while I know there are others in my office that take long lunches, I don't think they are doing it 2-3 times a week.  I do enjoy swimming and I think it's a great exercise, but I don't feel like it's a good thing to be doing for my lunch break. 

I started weight training because I don't have to get my hair wet, which cuts my "get ready" time in half. However, I am super self-conscious about the weights, I don't really know what I'm doing.  Several years ago I joined a gym in Mount Vernon, it was right across from my office and I went right after work.  It had a separate, small room for women only I that was what I used.  It had very few weight machines, but I would do them all.  And I wasn't scared of people watching me and laughing at me.  My current gym does not have that.  All of the weights are right in the open and it's very intimidating.  There are  millions (or it feels like millions) of weight machines, none of which look like the ones I did 10 years ago.  So I googled "weight machine workout" and found a "12 week plan" none of which I am doing, other than the weighs. . .  and no machines, or only a few. 

I started at the end of the week 2 weeks ago with one bicep and back workout, and then waited 3 days before doing it again, so I just repeated that workout again, and then the next day I did triceps, shoulders and chest.  My upper body was a little sore, but not too bad.  Then two days later, last Thursday, I did legs and abs . . . holy cow, I was so sore on Friday. 

I might have been more sore because I ran on Thursday after leg day . . . 4 miles.  Funny thing that happened, I got new shoes, and on my run on Thursday I felt a rub spot in my shoes.  I was pretty annoyed because they are new and I didn't want to have to go buy another pair.  Well, I decided about a block from home to stop and check my shoe, and out fell a barrett.  =)  It had fallen in my shoe after I went to the gym.  That would have been one hell of a rub spot if I had ignored it!!

And then Saturday came, and I was even more sore.  I had problems with stairs, curbs, sitting, standing up, laying down, moving in general.  It is amazing how much you use your quad muscles.  I did not know how much I use them to stabilize myself.  Any time I would sway a little, I would almost fall over. 

I also ran on Saturday, 3 miles.  I figured on Sunday my legs would be okay enough to do a "long" run of 5 miles, which I did, but then yesterday evening my legs were almost as sore as Saturday. 

My long run was nice.  My first 5 miles since I sprained my ankle in May, that's 4 months, or 20 weeks . . . but who's counting?  ; )  So, how is my ankle doing?  Fine.  It has been a little sore here and there, but nothing that concerns me.  Friday was the most sore it's been in a while, and I think that was because of the way I was walking and just generally moving from my sore legs. 

What actually has concerned me the most is a pain I  have in my other heel.  It's on the back of my heel, not on the bottom (plantar faciitis is the bottom).  I've been stretching pretty regularly for the last 3 or more weeks, at least 2-3 times a week. 

This week will be more difficult to do the weights.  I was supposed to go today, but my work schedule didn't allow time.  Tomorrow I'll go, but I'm also doing a cycle class in the afternoon because my sister can't on Wednesday.  The only time I can go on Wednesday is after work, and that is one of the busiest times for the gym and I don't like a lot of people there when I do it.  I think I can go on Thursday, but it's my birthday and I was thinking of skipping.  Friday I have off.

We're going to San Juan Island Friday for the weekend for my birthday.  It's been planned for a year.  =)  Hopefully we'll have decent weather.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

time goes too quickly

Damian turned 18 two weeks ago.  I have an 18 year old child.  How is that possible?  I don't really know how this kid . . .

Turned into this kid . . .

Have I mentioned this is my most favorite marathon picture?

 I cannot tell you how proud I am of him.  He's an amazing kid.  This year is going to be full of tears.  He's my "mama's boy"  and that's okay. 

Oh, and for his birthday we are giving him a skydiving trip.  So this post is to be continued . . .

Friday, September 23, 2016

Fragmented sentences

I have started running again.  Last week I ran 4 times.  They are slow, short runs, but they are still runs.  =)  I'm going about 3 miles and am running about 10 and a half min/mile or slower.  Sunday I ran 4 miles and it was a little faster because I did a flatter route.  I am still going to the gym as well.  Last week I skipped a swim because it was the day after I got my hair colored and my hair dresser thought it would be a good idea.  But I went and did 30 min of the elliptical machine.  I also skipped cycle class last week because of my hair appt but I went again this week. 

Tuesday I went did the elliptical machine and then went home and ran.  I was going to swim but I originally thought I was going during lunch and I had court (for work) and didn't want to do my hair completely again. But a meeting was moved and I didn't have time anyway.  Instead I went after court and then went straight home and ran. Wednesday I did the cycle class, and yesterday I did some weights. 

I haven't been sleeping very well and was so tired on Wednesday that I almost didn't do the cycle class, but my sister was going, so I forced myself to go.  Wednesday evening is kind of a blur because I was so tired, but I'm pretty sure I went home, ate, took a bath and went to bed.  Yesterday I woke up and felt awful.  Completely stuffed up with a sore throat.  But in order to get reimbursed for the gym I have to go 12 times in a month, that is 3 times a week, but I skipped a day last week so I had to go 4 times this week (well, I could have done 4 times next week, but wanted to get it over with).  So even though I felt awful I still went to the gym, but I did 20 min of weights. 

I think adding weight lifting to my routine would be a good thing.  I've thought that for a long time, but haven't had a gym membership.  Now that I have one, I've been pretty intimidated by it.  I don't know what I'm doing and can't afford a trainer.  So I've avoided it.  Yesterday I googled "weight machine workouts" and found a pretty decent website, so I did day one of that.  It's a 12 week plan, but I'm not really following it, just the weightlifting stuff.  We'll see how I do.  It was pretty weird doing the weights, and I felt like everyone there was watching me, but they probably weren't.  The next day on that schedule was supposed to be today, but I didn't go.  And it includes bench presses, and that really, really intimidates me.  I don't know if I'll be able to get over that one to do it.  I wish I had a work out partner.  My sister would never do it with me.  =/

My ankle is doing surprisingly well.  I haven't noticed any problems with my increase in running.  I ran both Saturday and Sunday this weekend, and it's holding up pretty well.  I wore heels 2 days in a row with no problems.  =)  Today was going to be a rest day, but I took one yesterday (if you don't count the weights) and would like to run, so I may go for a run today.

On Sunday and Tuesday Maddox ran around the block with me after I got back from my runs.  I think when he asks if he can go running with me,though, he's really just wanting to get in the jogging stroller and have me push him to the park.  But he's really getting too big for the stroller.  Or I'm too weak and don't want to push him up the gradual hill to the park.  ; )

A week and half ago I got Damian to run 3 miles with me.  We've been talking about him doing more exercise since he's not in sports right now, but wants to do track in the spring.  However, that day was the only day I got him to run.  It was fun, but I think he's faster than me, even in his out of shape-ness. 
I went to the gym 4 times this week, if I run tonight and tomorrow, that's only yesterday as a day off from cardio . . . I don't know, I should probably rest.  It does feel nice to be a little sore and to be active again.  I have missed it.

I've also noticed that I'm feeling less self-conscious about my body.  I haven't lost much weight (2lbs in 2 weeks) but being active makes me feel better about myself.  Of course it also helps to have someone tell me regularly he likes my body, but that's besides the point.  ; )

Anyway, it's late on Friday so I should finish this up.  Especially since I started it on Tuesday, which is probably why there's so many fragmented sentences and random thoughts.  =)

I didn't even talk about Damian's 18th birthday or my trip to Leavenworth with my sister.  I've been too over-consumed with myself.  =/

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Ramblings of an obsessed person

February 2013, that was the last time I weighed as much as I do now.  Honestly, I'm not sure how I gained so much weight in 4 months.  So what do I need to do?  I'm not sure.  Cut out the crap in my diet and start running again.  When I think about it, I lost weight very slowly.  The first time I lost these 13 lbs it took me a year.  And to get to my lowest recorded weight of 141 (I actually got down to 139, but never on an official weigh day) it took me another year and 8 months.  That's 2 and a half years to lose the weight I gained in 4 months. 

I am swimming 2 days a week.  I am doing a cycle class every Wednesday.  And the last 2 weeks I've been running one day on the weekend, other than this week when I ran on Monday as well. 

As I told you last week, I joined LA Fitness.  Yesterday I had a meeting, well, I don't know what they called it.  I thought it was a free session with a trainer that you get with your membership, but then the guy said he wasn't actually a trainer.  He took my heart rate, and my body fat percentage, which is high.  Then put me through a few fitness "tests" to see how fit I was.  3 min of steps, 40 squats (super easy, he was looking at my form because he said at 40 you start to deteriorate squats, but he said I was still strong) as many pushups as I could (I got 20, which impressed me, I think that was above average), wall sits (only 38 seconds or so, which was average), a plank (1 min 12 sec, again impressive, and according to him was good). My resting heart rate was high (72).  I took my resting heart rate just now and it was 56, he said average was 60 and a fit person is 40.  My active heart rate was 124 after 3 min of steps, which he said was poor, but after the fitness "test" I did a cycle class and took my active heart rate again and it was 112. 

After the "test" he took me over to the weights and had me do some arm weights.  We didn't do very much because I wanted to get to the cycle class.  And it actually left me with more questions than anything else.  Of course the whole point of it is to get you to sign up with a trainer, which I'm actually thinking about.  It's rather expensive for me, but I wonder if I do 2 a month for a few months to kind of figure out what to do weight training wise, if that would help kick start my body into losing some weight.

I've been thinking that a gym membership is good.  I can cross train and I can do some weights, both of which I've never really done.  Once I start running regularly again, I may stop swimming and go to the gym during lunch to do weights instead, plus the Wednesday cycle class, which I really enjoy.  As long as I go to the gym 12 times in a month, I get part of my monthly membership fee reimbursed by my healthcare plan.  But to really learn the weights, or even the machines, I'm wondering if I should have a trainer.  I've always wanted one, but they are expensive. 

My ankle is feeling okay.  I think the fear of the pain, or of reinjuring it is worse than it actually is.  I'm going out of town this weekend with my sister.  We're going to Leavenworth for the Wine Walk, which we've been doing for the last 2 (this will be 3) years.  It's a blast, but I won't be able to run.  I will be doing a lot of walking . . . so I will definitely wear my brace. 

Next week I am thinking I may start running regularly again. I'd like to see how my ankle does, but I really don't want to make it linger any longer than it already is. 

Well, I've rambled enough today.  Maddox started Kindergarten this week.  He's such a cute kid.  =)  Damian started school last week. Funny that he wore the same shirt on his first day of school and on Maddox's first day of school.  I just noticed that in the pictures.  =)


Friday, August 26, 2016

People say . . .

People say don't compare yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself. . .  so I have obsessed over comparing myself to myself latetly, and it's not good.  I keep thinking "a year ago . . . "  A year ago, I was running my longest distances ever, and was feeling great about my body and myself.  I got down to a smaller size than I've ever been in my life (well, since I quit growing), and the lowest weight in my adult life.  I wasn't especially fast, but faster than I am now. 

And I keep comparing myself to myself. It doesn't help that I've gained quite a bit of weight.  Three months is a long time to not exercise, and I haven't really changed my eating habits, have actually been a bit worse.  I keep telling myself to quit snacking, quit having that extra afternoon coffee (that one is the hardest), and I keep ignoring myself. 

(Oh and don't get me started on how much I miss my long hair.)

I also keep telling myself that it's only temporary.  My ankle will heal, I will be able to run again. I will train for another marathon, I will get back down to a smaller size and weight.  But going on 15 weeks of this injury, I feel this is not a "temporary" thing. 

Just in the last couple weeks, as I've mentioned, I've changed some things.  Vacation, while I didn't eat fantastically, was where I decided I was going to start exercising again.  And I did.  I swam almost everyday.  I came back and have been going to a gym, this week I've been twice and am going today after work.  I've been tracking all my food, and still am going over my allotted calories.  It's not running, and it's not as frequent, but it's something.  2 weeks, well, technically 3 counting vacation, of exercising, and I haven't lost a lb.  In fact, last week I was up.  It really goes to show that I need to quit eating.

More than once in my life I have wished I could be anorexic. Just enough to lose weight, then I'd go back to eating.  Isn't that a strange wish?  It sounds even stranger once I've written it.  But don't worry.  I can't.  Sadly I've actually tried, and I failed at it.  (It's for the best.)  I don't like being hungry (who does?) and I'm not unhappy with myself enough to force myself to be hungry. 

So, the gym. . . I really like the gym I'm going to.  I said before, but my sister got me a 2 week pass to her gym.  And I've been going as often as I can.  It's in Everett and I have been going after work. This week I did 2 cycle classes.  I really enjoyed the second, and not so much the first.  My ankle was feeling really good all week, I even wore heels on Tuesday.  Yesterday I rode the bus, so couldn't go to the gym, so I thought I might try running.  When I got home I mentioned it to Chris, and he got upset, saying that I've been gone all week in the evenings.  So I didn't go run.  (It's probably a good thing because my ankle is bothering me some today.)  But it makes me think about the resistance I would get if I mentioned that I want to join the gym for real.  At least for a little while.  They say you have to put yourself first, but how do you do that when you have a family?  What is the line?  Where is it acceptable to put yourself, and your health, first but still be home with your family? 

I feel that if the gym was in Mt. Vernon it would feel different to Chris.  Then I would go home, change and go to the gym.  But since it's not, I have to go right after work and don't go home first, it feels like I'm gone longer, when in reality I'm not.  I tried to say that to Chris yesterday, that it's the same as me going for a run, I just don't come home first or shower at home.  But I don't know if he really gets it. 

Next week will be a little trickier with the gym.  Damian starts school and can't watch Maddox.  (Maddox doesn't start until the 6th.)  Since we only have one car, going to the gym after work makes it hard to pick up Maddox at a reasonable hour.  I've been thinking about going to the gym during lunch to swim.  And then doing the cycle class on Wednesday only.  (Honestly, I liked the cycle class so much, I would go everyday, but they don't offer it every day, and it doesn't start till 5:30, Chris would really be unhappy about that.) 

Going to the gym at lunch time would also require the purchase of a hair dryer, which I haven't owned in a long time, and even when I did own one, I didn't use.  That would be the solution to joining a gym longterm.  Just going at lunch. 

So the best solution to joining a gym would be to just join one in Mt. Vernon.  But, there are only 2 with pools, the YMCA (which is a gross pool) and Riverside Health Club (the most expensive gym I've seen).   Both are more expensive than LA Fitness in Everett.  Riverside Health Club requires a year commitment, the Y doesn't, but you pay $10 a month more than if you had the year commitment.  LA Fitness doesn't require a year commitment, and it's still cheaper than the Y's price is with the year commitment. 

Sorry to ramble about this, it's been in my head for a week and I'm having a hard time figuring out what to do.  Plus, I'm frustrated today with my ankle.