Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I'm (not) sick of you...

Last week a friend and I were talking about our relationships.  "How are you guys not sick of each other??!!" She asked me.

"We're just not..." I said laughing.

"You've been together so long" she continued "What the hell do you ever talk about???"

I guess I'm really lucky.  I don't know if I believe in "soul mates" but I do know that I'm extraordinarily fortunate to have met my partner for life at age 16.

I thought about that today.  We had planned to hike again today, but Mother Nature decided to throw a wrench into the works and it rained - a lot.  

So Marc and I decided to take the day and hit some outlet malls.  It took 45 minutes to get there and we talked the entire way.  It would be mind-numbingly boring to an outsider, I'm sure, but to us talking about places to bike in the coming weeks, talking about extended family, we just truly enjoy each other.

We had lunch out and then hit the outlets.  We didn't buy much, but got a few great deals.  But we browsed and chatted.

When we arrived back at the cabin it had clearly down poured because both the back and front yards were flooded.  I was a little worried about my boys - a strange place and a storm, but they greeted us like we had been phone a few minutes rather then several hours.

They are my good boys!!

The rain cleared and I took them to the beach where they played for a while.  

A nice rest day for all of us - but we'll get the hike in tomorrow!

And I will continue to try to keep my blessings in mind!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vacation follies....

Trying to do a blog entry on the tablet is a pain!  But I wanted to get a quick post in for anyone who is interested!

We headed out early yesterday - destination southwestern Pennsylvania.  What a crappy trip down - literally.  You haven't lived until you've stood in the middle of a thru-way service station scrubbing dog crap out of your vehicle.

That and other misadventures, and I was quite ready to strangle someone.

But we arrived safely at the cabin, and quickly unpacked and headed over to the beach.  It was warm and beautiful and the dogs - who had been cooped up all day - ran swim wrestled and played like puppies!

My stress started to melt away.

Today dawned gorgeous.  When I made reservations months ago, I never a anticipated mid 70's weather.  Our planned 4-5 mile hike today ended up covering 14 miles with a leisurely picnic lunch on a outdoor table overlooking the lake.

Marc and I walked hand in hand along the Pymatuning Spillway with the dogs happily trotting between us and somehow my weight struggles seemed remote and irrelevant.  

Let's hope our good fortune and my sanity continues!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

A deep breath!

When we think of stress, we think of bad things, right?  But when “experts” talk about stress, they say that even things that are GOOD in our lives are stressful.

Like getting married – that ranks way up there in the stress department!

Yesterday we had one of our twice yearly graduation ceremonies.  It was our largest graduating class in the 12 years that we have been up and running!  It was SO gratifying and humbling and powerful to have a moment in time to celebrate with the graduates and their families.

Having said that, it is a ton of work to put these events on, and also emotionally draining.  Yesterday, after the ceremony, while everyone was enjoying pizza and cake, and I was running around making sure that the pizza was stocked and cake was cut and napkins and plates and forks were all out and everyone had everything they needed, one of the women I worked with came up and said to me “You look EXHAUSTED!”

I got back to my office after I had most of the cleanup done at about 2PM and I realized I was just standing in my office and I was shaking. 

I called my boss and said “Listen, I don’t want to be a drama queen – it’s not exactly like I work in the coal mines but I am shot!”  I told her that I was going to spend the next two hours trying to get everything done and if I did that, I wanted to start my vacation a day early.  I got it done, needless to say.

But when I got home I was still in a hyped up, anxious state.  I hadn’t exercised yet that day AND had brought home cake to eat.  This amplified the guilt and anxiety.  I grabbed the dogs and we starting walking – but it had to be SLOWLY, as my hamstring was a little achy from running around all day and in heels to boot.

And as I walked slowly, with the dogs happy as could be beside me, I thought about how I haven’t been running, and about calories and about my weight.  And I realized that exercise has become a punishment.  Even walking the dogs has turned in POWER WALKING ONLY to burn as many calories as possible.

And that made me very, very sad.  And I realized that since I was walking slowly that I was relaxed, and enjoying myself.

What a concept.

Today, my first day on vacation, Marc and I cleaned and did some packing and then threw the bikes in Dexter and headed out to a marina near the water.  And we rode.

For three hours we rode and talked and soaked in the beautiful fall sun.  And I tried as hard as I could not to think about whether I was burning “enough” calories.  I tried to be in the moment. 

We arrived back at Dexter at almost exactly 37 miles.  And I grinned at Marc and he knew I wanted to go to 40 and so we did.  Not because we had to.  Not because I needed to burn 75 more calories.  But because I was having fun and because I thought that having had this bike only a couple of weeks and being able to put in 40 miles is pretty fucking awesome.

I don’t know where this leaves me right now, completely.  I do know that I don’t want to continue the way I have been and that something needs to give.  I also know I can’t bear to gain any more weight. 

I hope this vacation will refresh and restore me and allow me to come back with a clear head and some clear goals that don’t involve self-induced torture!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We can rebuild her…

I went to the orthopedic group today.  I find myself in a weird place mentally after this visit.

First off, the doc was a complete arrogant asshole with virtually no empathy.  The good news is that I felt CLINICALLY he definitely knew his stuff.  But geez, a little care and understanding would have been nice!!!  Do doctors generally take a class on where they learn to think they are better than everyone else???

We started with the hamstring.  He pulled, twisted, prodded, bent, and otherwise manipulated my entire leg in every direction imaginable.  And?  A severe strain.  That's it.  Nothing more or less glamorous then that.  Which means taking it easy, low impact activities, letting it heal.  He said that the hamstring is a huge muscle and "trainers don't talk about recovery in days, they talk about weeks and months."

He said the yoga, stretching and weight lifting is good - in the ONLY compliment he would give me today, he said that I was doing everything 100% right and that's all I can do.

Now on to the Achilles area - the diagnosis is retrocalcaneal bursitis.  He said that he has only personally dealt with about 5 cases in his career.  However, in looking it up, it is apparently a common runner's issue.

He wants to take the most conservative approach to begin with.  That is phonophoresis.  Basically I go to a physical therapist and they use an ultrasound to drive medication - in this case cortisone - into the area.  The cortisone will reducing the swelling and with several treatments will theoretically heal me.

So the news could have been much, much worse.  Yet I don't feel better right now.  The doctor's office will contact my insurance who will hopefully pay for this and then I make a PT appointment.

You would think that knowing what’s wrong and that it is not dabilitating - in BOTH areas would be a welcome relief.  But as I sit here I feel almost lost.

This is my incredibly busy week at work.  But I am on vacation next week.  So I want to put this in perspective, relax, and then begin treatments and hopefully get back into a steady routine which I feel has eluded me for the past month!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Scraps…

I’ve been working on this for a while and kept getting side tracked.  First it was because I found out a friend was preggers and I needed to make a baby blanket.

Then to be honest, it was laziness.  But I finally finished my newest afghan.

Like me – it is made using up old scraps.

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Saving Sunday

Yesterday the plan was to bike around an area of Lake Ontario that Marc has been wanting to bike.  When we woke up, the temps were great, but the wind was incredibly strong with even stronger gusts.  I was pretty disappointed, especially after we went to a couple trails to hike and they ended up being pretty short.

Hoping to salvage today, I woke up and got on my workout clothes – including my new biking shorts with the padded ass and crotch.  Just as an aside?  Walking around with padding in your butt feels a little like you crapped yourself – just saying.

Anyway we went outside and it started raining.  Well shit.

So I came back in and went downstairs to lift weights – pouting of course.  But, after lunch, Mother Nature was merciful and cleared the skies for a while. 

While Marc got ready, I hurriedly made some healthy banana oatmeal cookies that I’ve been wanting to try since seeing the recipe.

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We took off.  The wind was strong – not as strong as yesterday, but it was definitely windy.  My quads got a workout today – good thing I didn’t work my legs this morning. 

We headed into Watertown with Marc in the lead.  Marc asked me if I wanted to ride around some of the city streets and I told him I would follow wherever he led. 

So we biked through some of the streets.  Marc didn’t say this was the reason, but I am suspicious that he wanted me to practice things like stopping, turning, braking, avoiding obstacles, encountering traffic – all things that I don’t experience much on the rural roads around here.  He really worries about me!

We finished our trek around the city and took a long loop back.  The new biking shorts did a nice job of protecting my hiney.

We ended up traveling 26 miles in 2 hours.  We passed 3 runners and I felt like a traitor.  Yes, I’m an idiot as you all know.

Home, I was tired and hungry and ate the cookies guilt free.

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A pretty good Sunday.  I see the ortho on Tuesday and I’m hoping for good news.  But now I’ve realized that if running long distances is not in my future – for now or forever – the world will not end…

Friday, September 19, 2014

Don’t fear the reaper…

I know this news will come as a shock, but I think too much.

Being a thinker is often a good thing.  But sometimes I fuck myself up being up in my head.

Today is the perfect example.  I haven't run since Monday.  Today the hamstring felt great.  To boot, it was PERFECT running weather - sunny, mid-50's, light winds.  I had my running clothes with me.

Then the self-doubt and potential sabotage started.

"It's going to hurt!"

"You'll only go 1/4 mile and have to quit."

"You can't run anymore - that part of your life is over!"

"Don't even try, just go walk!"

Somehow, and it was close, I managed to force myself to change my clothes and walk out the door.  Saying that I felt scared makes me feel stupid, but I did!

I started running.  And - no pain.  So I kept going and when I hit one mile I was happy - if nothing else, I had run a mile.  At 2 I started to feel draggy.  “Just get to 3” is what I told myself.  :Do a 5K today.”  My legs felt a little sore but I think that was more from biking 2 nights ago and doing the elliptical hard last night.

At 3 miles on my route, I hit a major intersection so I waited at the light.  My heart rate slowed and when the light turned I started running.  I got to 4 and promised Fat Jen that we would stop at 5.  But when 5 hit and there was no pain?  Why quit now?  At 5.6 miles I felt a little twinge but continued and made it to 6.25 miles.

I felt AMAZING and, as stupid as this sounds, I almost wanted to cry.

Now look, I don't know how I'll feel later today or tomorrow.  And I know I'm not fixed.

But I have hope.  I know need to listen to my body.  And I also need to not let fear stand in my way.  I mean if I had had to walk – so what???  If I can find balance, that's the sweet spot.

victory

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Smart or LOSER???

fat

I find myself in the position today of feeling very smart and very pathetic at the same time.

Marc and I leave for vacation in just over a week and I know that we'll be doing a lot of hiking and being active  But I also know that I'll be eating more then I should.

So I've really been trying hard this week to be on track.  And I've been doing well, but the scale is stubbornly at 126 ish  It's frustrating for many reasons because not only will I not have a vacation "buffer zone" I won't even be near the weight I would like to be in general.  But I want to be as down as I can possibly get!

September is Recovery Month.  And every year the members of the treatment community get together to network, catch up, and present awards to deserving members of the treatment community.  It is held at a local Ramada Inn. And there is a buffet breakfast.

The buffet always has the typical hotel breakfast fare: crappy runny eggs, pancakes, fried potatoes, fatty bacon and pre-packaged muffins and pastries.  Knowing that this food is total SHIT unfortunately does not make me want it any less!!

So today I ate my typical Thursday breakfast of 2 eggs from our chicks topped with some ketchup.  I then went to the gathering.  And as people went up to the buffet and came back with heaping plates I was jealous.  And angry.

How absolutely PATHETIC is it that I am a 42 year old woman that has to take pre-emptive action due to a total lack of self-control???  As I sit here now, I know I made the right choice because otherwise I would be feeling bloated and guilty because, trust me, I would have PILED that plate up and sucked every bit of it down.  But the knowledge that it was the right choice doesn't exactly make me feel better about how insane it is that I am so weak willed.

I did throw myself a little pity party which involved me eating 1 dark chocolate Hershey's Kiss, but all things considered it was minimal damage!

Now, Mr. Scale I expect to rewarded for good behavior tomorrow - do you fucking hear me??

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A new start…

It's fall.  The kids are back in school, the air is getting crisp, and all around people are starting anew.

The "island" challenge is back on at work.  So people around me are working on eating healthier.

2 people I know have started the couch to 5K running program.

This is absolutely wonderful and I am so happy for the people that are so excited about their new starts!

I'm also, if I'm being honest, a bit jealous.  I remember the excitement of dropping 4 pounds a week and challenging myself to run 2 minutes longer and succeeding!  And that sense of victory and accomplishment.

So it's not up to me to piss on anyone's Wheaties, and I won't.

But the challenge, the real nuts and bolts of this journey, is keeping it up in the long term.  When you no longer get those gigantic losses.  When you have to live a new lifestyle and the "honeymoon" phase is over.

It ain't easy as I can attest to as I continue to struggle.

So maybe I can live vicariously through  those people that are just beginning their journeys.  And I hope that, despite my failings, that I have done enough that I might - just maybe - be able to inspire or encourage those that will stumble at some point.  Maybe that can help me keep the faith!

If you are new to this - or if you think you're starting over - come join me!  Let's walk this path together!

begin

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Volume

No, I'm not referring to a dial in Dexter.  Nor am I talking about my hair.

I am talking about my favorite subject - FOOD!

I've talked a lot on here about thinking of calories like cash.  And if you only have a certain amount of money to spend you have to decide how you best dole it out.

I know some people who allow themselves a small piece of chocolate every night.  It's a small indulgence but they like sweets and this satisfies that craving.  It's pretty "expensive" but it works for them.

This would never work for me.  For me it always has to be about QUANTITY and feeling filled to the brim to be satisfied.  Fortunately I can accomplish this without consuming a ton of calories.

Take my lunch for today:

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Does it look like a lot?  OK, how about when I put it all in a container?

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That is a pound - a full POUND - of coleslaw mix (no dressing, of course) - and yes, I ate every last bit.

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So I put a LOT of food in my body, but let's break it down:

Coleslaw = 100 calories
Salmon pouch: 70 calories
Apple: 80 calories

So I ate the whole lot for 250 calories!!  Not only is it relatively skimpy on calorie count, but the salmon pouch has 13 grams of protein, so it packs a wallop.  The fiber in the apple also helps feeling full.  And eating this much food takes a while.  I could shove a donut down my face in 2 minutes for twice the calories and be starving a few minutes later.

So for me, it's not just about the calories themselves, but the volume I consume makes a huge difference.

I am still fighting to get my eating back in check, and it's little tricks like this that helps!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Adventures in biking…

I know you are all just DYING to know how the ride went yesterday so let me fill you in.  The day dawned sunny but cold. Fortunately i have all the cold weather gear so that didn't deter me.  I first required a lesson on gear shifting.  My last bike I think was a 3 speed.  This is a 21 speed with 7 rear gears and 3 front.  So Marc and I went through what to use and when.

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I could tell Marc was nervous about me riding so he had to give me some extra tutorials - like what to do if I went off the road (many of the roads around us don't have shoulders).  And then we were off.

I was concerned that I might have balance issues - but that was no problem at all.  The shifting took - and will continue to take - some getting used to and some finesse.  But I caught on relatively quickly.  What also took getting used to?  Riding on the opposite side of the road then what I run!

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The traffic was light so Marc and I rode side by side for most of the ride - which was awesome!!  For many people who run, they LOVE the quiet, solitary time while they are running.  Me?  I HATE that part of running.  To be able to interact with someone while going was wonderful!

I asked Marc how far we should go and he left that up to me.  I decided to start on the route I used to do ( Sad smile ) on my long runs.  Having run this same route so many times, hearing my Garmin beep as the miles FLEW by was so weird.  We got into the nearby village at 8 miles and I told Marc I wanted to continue a longer route rather then head right back home.  He asked if I was sure because that would mean the long and vicious hill that we would have to tackle.  I was cocky at this point and what's the worst that could happen?  I'd have to walk the bike up the hill, right?

We hit this hill at just over 10.5 miles. I had both my gears at 1- I huffed and puffed and almost had a stroke but I made it up!!  Marc waited at the top for me.

We were then headed towards home but took another detour to extend the ride.  I was definitely slowing down, but still felt good.  I felt bad for Marc having to slow his roll, though!

We ended up at 21 miles in just over 1.5 hours.  That's an average of just over 13 mph.  Not great but considering I haven't ridden in 25 years, not too bad!

No pain in the hamstring but - interestingly - it bothered my knee some.  That's what everyone worries about with running but I have no knee issues when running.  Not surprisingly my ass started to hurt - padded bike shorts are on my to buy list!  Any of you bikers out there - looking for recommendations!!

The biggest disappointment was the calorie burn.  A measly 550 calories.  I burn that running in under an hour!!

It was really fun to do something different and to spend time with Marc.  So the jury is still out, but overall it was a great first outing!!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Just like riding a bike…

So there we were yesterday driving down to Syracuse.  Marc was explaining to me the difference between mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrids and the pros and cons of each for me.

He had also talked to a biking friend and gotten some recommendations for locally owned and reputable bike shops and had a list.

First stop was a small cramped shop with some dudes and a small attached hippie like cafĂ© in a not so great section of the city.  The guys were super nice, helpful and knew their stuff.  They showed me some bikes that started in the $700 range.  I explained that I was a runner who was injured, that I haven’t ridden a bike since I was like 16 and that I wasn’t willing to drop a ton of cash on a bike when I don’t even know that I will like or even be able to bike!

We headed over to the used section.  Now the extra issue with me is finding a bike with a really small frame that will fit me.  But there in the used section sat the perfect sized bike and it looked like it had never been used at all.  I stood over it and it felt great.  And then I looked at the ticket “$1,499.99”.  Uh…not!

So then the guy that was helping us sent his co-worker to their warehouse and he came back with a super nice mid-priced bike with a  good name – Raleigh – that I really liked.  But it was still $500.  He offered to let me take it outside and ride it, but the steady rain we had been having had turned into a downpour so I wasn’t about to head out which would result in spending the rest of the day soaked and with a black streak up my back!

I thanked him profusely and we left.

Marc asked where next and I said that I was concerned that all small bike shops would be selling higher end bikes and he confirmed that they probably would.  So we headed to the mall.

First stop – Dick’s Sporting Goods.    We have one here but is is MUCH smaller with a fraction  of the selection.   We began looking around and as is typical for big box stores – no one to help us in sight.  We pulled out a few bikes and looked them over.  As Marc began pumping up the flat tires for me to try riding one, a guy came along who was apparently a section manager.  He then called over a young sales guy.  They both appeared that there sole interest was to point out that there was only 2 bikes that would fit me and I should take the one that was $100 more due to easier to use shifters.   

As the saying goes, they were about as useless as tits on a bull!

bullI wasn’t thrilled with either of the bikes there anyway and felt discouraged as we headed over to Sports Authority.   We don’t have that store here and I knew nothing about it. 

Marc said that I might have to buy from an online vendor which I didn’t really want to do – I wanted to try a bike before buying.

We ventured to the back of the store where the bikes are held and looked some over.  There was a no-name brand on sale but as I stood over it it was too big.  The selection of mountain bikes was vast, but then there seemed to be only retro “cruiser” bikes for a very casual rider.  No nicer hybrids or road bikes.

But then in the corner sat a lime green bike with stickers all over it.  It looked my size.  I stood over it and it was a perfect fit.  The brand was K2 which Marc had not heard of, but he began looking it over and pointing out that it had some high quality parts.  The sticker showed it was $249.99.

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Again, no salesman, so Marc pumped up the tires and I hopped on.  I was shocked how fast and easy riding came back to me in just the short spaces I could ride in the store.

The bike felt really good.

Finally we located the department manager and she went into the back and to get the biking department expert.  She was gone a while but finally came out with him.  He was a short chubby guy in his 50’s with an easy smile.  I liked him immediately.  They told us that they had looked in the back and this was the only K2 they had and it was on clearance – originally $349.99.

We started talking to the guy and he clearly knew his stuff.  He pointed out a Diamondback priced at $500.  He then told us that they haven’t had any issues with the K2’s and that they are decent bikes.  Marc and I both felt he was being honest.

I rode it around again and really liked the feel – it was a smooth ride.  I made poor Marc jump on it and also ride it around as he would be more likely to notice issues.

I then asked the guy if he would discount it more based on it being the last one/display model.  He said he would ask the department manager we had seen earlier but probably not as it was already on clearance.  I hemmed and hawed and then asked him to ask her.

As he stepped away to contact her on the radio, Marc said that in his opinion that bike was a great deal and what I was looking for and I should get it.

When the salesman came back and said that they would knock off another 10% I said “SOLD!”

Then came an awesome surprise.  Rather then taking us up to cash out, he led us to this small room in the back  with tons of tools and bike parts and he mounted the bike and began quickly and expertly going over it.  He chatted with us as he adjusted and perfected the brakes, shifters, alignment and every other single part of the bike.  We didn’t know that they provided this service  - that ALONE was worth $$$!!

This guy explained that he is a mountain biker and talked about local places he rides.  He asked me a few questions about my riding preferences which, of course, I didn’t know and he made some standard settings and told Marc how they could be adjusted if needed.  I told him I was surprised that it was “just like riding a bike” when I got on and rode a little in the store.  He told me that it made it easier because I was obviously a “natural athlete”.  Marc and I exchanged smirks – if he only knew!

We then headed up front to check out.  He told the girl that it was an additional 10% off.  She punched that into the computer and it asked for a reason.  She asked him why it was being discounted and while I was looking at her computer to see if “floor model” was listed he – in a boost to my ego – said to enter it was because “She’s cute!” and then turned red and giggled.

Marc swiped the credit card and we threw my new bike in the back of Dexter and it was done.  I am a bike owner.

This is obviously a cheaper model.  If I grow to love biking I’ll get a higher end one in the future.  It should serve my needs for now.

This morning we’ll head out and I’ll try not to kill myself.

Wish me luck!!

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Saturday, September 13, 2014

I want to ride my bicycle…

I believe those were the words of the late - and amazingly great – Freddie Mercury.

I don’t have a bike to ride – yet.  Marc and I are heading down to Syracuse soon where I will visit some bike shops and may make the leap.

It’s so weird and stupid.  But in my head, it’s like I’m associating getting a bike with failure.  Like somehow getting that piece of equipment means that I am resigned to never running again.

And it doesn’t help the stupid war that goes on between bicyclists and runners.  Yes, did you know that many hard core bikers HATE runners and vice versa?

So there’s this feeling that I am switching sides.

But then there’s the rational part – the NEW JEN – that can see a bike as just another tool.  Maybe long distance running just isn’t in my future.  Or maybe it is once I heal.

Time will tell.

But FITNESS?  Being HEALTHY?  That IS my future – period. 

nope

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Moving day!

There’s good news and there’s bad news when it comes to the newest additions to our family.

The 10 chicks that were Tony’s last hurrah with one of our Sussex hens?  They are all doing great!  We had mama hen with them for some time in our basement and then moved her out. 

The babies managed fine on their own as we knew they would and are healthy and thriving.

That’s the good news.  The bad news?  Monday night I went down to try to get a head count.  They are mixed breed, obviously, but from what I am looking at?  6-7 roosters and only 3-4 hens.  Damn!

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We don’t know for sure but here Marc is holding one that has an obvious comb and one not so much.  Both boys and girls get the comb, but the boys have bigger and more pronounced ones.

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We won’t be keeping any of the roosters but we’ll wait to see who crows before we send them off.

But anyway, they are all getting big. And smelly.

So tonight we moved them out of the basement and into the coop.  We have them in 2 wire cages to let the older hens get used to them and hopefully they won’t pick on them – or peck any of them to death like they did earlier this year to the other new babies we introduced.

So that’s the big excitement of tonight – I know – I live a very wild life, don’t I?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Defeat or opportunity?


Yesterday, this injury was making me feel so defeated!  But today I got angry.  Angry in a good way, though.

I will not let this determine my fate.

I did yoga at lunch and despite incredible pain, during some stretches, others that didn't use the hamstring area, I noticed how really flexible I am becoming. 

And then Marc and I talked about buying me a quality bike.  

Home and an hour hard on the elliptical.  

It's not the ideal - not how I would script it.  But I told Marc - I'm sick of being in pain every single day.  It doesn't make much sense, either, does it???

So today I'm determined to make some fine ass lemonade from the fucking lemons in my life.  Just for today...

Monday, September 8, 2014

What’s the plan?

I have a Facebook friend who is really just an acquaintance that I met through Marc.  She is definitely in the wrong era, because she is a hippie type woman that would have fit right in in the 60's.  Some of her posts about worshipping "Mother Earth" make me laugh a little but hey - live and let live, right?

Today she posted something about trusting that the universe has a plan for her and being content to follow that plan.

Oh how I wish I had that belief system!!!  I felt really good after the long hike yesterday.  I slept well with only a slight bit of ache in the Piriformis a couple of times and woke up feeling really good.

But then I stepped on the scale and discovered the small piece of cake that I had after the run apparently contained about 20,000 calories.  I tried not to be too distraught and carried on this morning.  I headed out to run and was instantly in agony.  I powered through for 3 miles, but could not take the pain any more.

New and improved Jen curiously went into hiding about this time.  Fuck it all Jen threatened to emerge.

So I started thinking about the Facebook friend's quote.  I wish that I could believe that the injuries and weight gain and this whole road I've traveled being meant for something.  That the universe has a plan for me.  That I could just relax and believe that whatever happens, it is all part of what should be and that I may not understand it, but it is a-okay.

fate

Sunday, September 7, 2014

A wonderful Sunday!

As you guys know, Sunday are traditionally my “long run” days.  But right now, it’s hard to see that as anything but the distant past. 

After pushing myself yesterday, I had a hard time sleeping as I kept waking up in true pain.  So when I got up this morning, despite fantastic running weather, I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Normally, this would result in a meltdown.  But remember, we’re dealing with The New and Improved Jen!  Shockingly, 7 days in, she still mostly has the reins.

So instead of freaking out, I decided to take a run on the elliptical.  This is such a weird injury, because even laying down is extremely painful, but the elliptical didn’t hurt at all. 

After lunch we decided to go hiking, not wanting to waste this stunning day.  We had hit this set of trails only once before with a photography club outing, but there were more trails to explore.

We had a magnificent time.  We didn’t see one other person on the 3 trails that we hit, and the dogs had a grand time running, chasing, smelling.

One trail was easy and one was very difficult.  I enjoyed the challenge.  In a first for me, we had to use ropes with knots in them to climb the steep incline – Archer scampered up and Chakotay made it after a couple of slips.

We had an almost  too close encounter with a porcupine – fortunately Marc was leading the pack, because my dumb ass would have probably stepped on him and if the dogs had been leading it could have been BAD.  But a couple of stones thrown his way convinced him to move along and stop blocking our path on the narrow and steep trail we were on.

I found myself completely at peace in the woods.  I think I like this new and improved Jen!  I hope she sticks around for a while!

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

Run for Recovery 2014

All week they were calling for the weather to be cool and rainy today.  They were not wrong and when I woke up this morning, I expected that my mood and the weather would be of like mind.

Well, they kind of were.  It was not as cool as predicted and there was only a light drizzle.  I expected that between my weight and my leg, I would be in crappy spirits but I wasn’t.

I again adorned my magic tutu as we left for the race.

before race

We got to the race venue and signed in.  Since this is the Run for Recovery I saw a lot of past and current clients as well as colleagues.  I was also approached by lots of runners I had seen at past races with the “Hey! I know you!” type comments.

My tutu received more attention then in the past – from the “I LOVE it!” to “Did you lose a bet” to a former client saying “Don’t you know you might be on tv??!!”

We lined up and it was just a light spitting of rain and humid.  The obligatory pre-race instructions and speeches and then the air horn.

We took off.  My leg started to hurt immediately.  The Achilles was holding up, though.  I was not feeling great and only 1.6 miles in, at the 5K turnaround, I was wishing I had chosen the 5K option. 

But I carried on.  We raced along the wet streets and it was surprisingly humid.  I thought we would never reach the turnaround, but at about 2.75 miles I saw the fast guys coming at me and knew I was close.

I saw a woman coming and knew that I would not be taking first this year.  She was not all that far ahead of me but looked strong.

At 4 miles I was ready to stop and walk and my leg was THROBBING.  Fortunately, although it was a fairly flat course, we started a very slight downhill jaunt and the wind was at my back – but the rain had picked up.

I started to pass some of the slower 5K walkers and could hear “You GO!” and “Nice tutu!!” above my music.

At a turn about 5.25 miles in, a group of cheerleaders were waiting and climbed into a pyramid cheering and pointing at me.  I gave them a thumbs up.

It really started to rain, but I was in the home stretch.  As I hit 6 miles, a woman suddenly  passed me and I felt like yelling in slow motion “NOOOOOO!!!!!”  But I was gassed and had nothing left to try to catch up.

As I crossed I saw the timer and was shocked at how terrible my time was – 48:42.  I was terribly disappointed.

I waited the couple minutes for Marc to finish and we made our way to the venue building to eat.

So the final unimpressive stats:

15th out of 76 10K’ers

3rd place female

I did manage to come in first in my age group by some miracle and got a medal.

IMG_3088 I shouldn’t be all that surprised or disappointed , but I am.

BUT here’s the kicker – as we were leaving I heard someone yelling my name.  I turned around and recognized the mother of the client (who was the runner I ran in a couple of races with) who died of a heroin overdose earlier this year.

She came running up to me and instantly her tears started to flow.  She handed me a t-shirt that said his name and a message about running in his memory.  She said that she had gotten it made for me, and that she believes in her heart that he could not be saved from the tragedy that is addiction, but that my program had allowed her 21 months with a clean and sober son, where she got to know him and love him.

I instantly choked up and assured her that every time I run a race I think of him and that I would wear the shirt proudly and that he would never be forgotten.

She looked at Marc and said something to him about how she had called me when he first got in trouble and told me – a complete stranger at the time - that I was the only one that could save his life.  She said “That was a lot of pressure I put on your wife, and maybe it wasn’t fair, but I am so thankful to have had the time I did with him thanks to her.”

And I hugged her as the rain started to POUR.  I was at a complete loss for words as she let go of me and said goodbye.

And as I got into my vehicle with Marc, we were both solemn and I realized that even though things are not completely as I would like them to be be, I am alive and, blissfully, free of the torture that this wonderful young guy suffered from.

So 3rd place?  Maybe that’s not so bad…

Friday, September 5, 2014

Facing the proverbial music…

When I had lunch with my friend Peggy this week she told me I shouldn't weigh myself on Saturday.  When I asked her why she said that if it was bad news it would ruin my race.

So after thinking about it I looked over at the scale this morning.  I decided to have at it.

And the result - well it's bad.

I weighed in at 126.4.

Yup.  As my friend Jessie would say  - "I suck at life."

I knew I have gained weight and knowing the number doesn't change that one way or the other.  But the cold numbers - 7 pounds over goal?  It sucks.

I haven't had a meltdown over it, though, but combining this with my injuries I feel discouraged.

Notice I said discouraged, NOT defeated.  Because giving up is not an option today.

But when I race tomorrow and my time sucks, I reserve the right to be a whiny little bitch about it.  A FAT whiny little bitch.  Smile

So what now?  Keep on keeping on, right?  I have eaten extremely well this week and I just need to continue on the right path!

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

How to make it happen.

I am asked all the time about how I lost so much weight.  I so wish I could give an answer that would sum it up in a nice easy package.  

I could talk calories and exercise and macros.

But today when someone asked me that a word popped in my head - persistence.


I can't tell you how many times I wanted to give up.  And I still have those moments.

And there have been and are days when I do give up and surrender.

But I have always - always - gotten back up.  Not 100% all the time, but just think - what if you are on track 20% more of the time?  What could you accomplish?

Persistence - the unwavering stubborness - that will get you there.  Giving up is not an option!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weighing benefits versus rewards

Let's see - in a perfect world I would eat only things that are completely healthy and wonderful.  But I certainly don't live in a perfect world.

Now don't get me wrong - I try my best to eat mostly healthy - fresh veggies, fruit, meats - but sometimes you have to weigh the benefits of eating something versus the risks.

One of the big controversies is artificial sweeteners.  Some people are convinced they cause all kinds of ailments and are positively horrible for you.  And let's get real - they probably aren't good to eat in mass quantities.

Yet I eat a Dannon Greek yogurt almost every night - for 80 calories.  It is high in protein and satisfies my sweet tooth – and it has artificial sweeteners.

As does the fake maple syrup I use – Mrs. Butterworth’s Sugar Free.  But it has only 20 calories for a 1/4 cup.  That’s worth it to me even though it’s probably not the healthiest choice.

And then for lunch once per week I eat canned soup – usually Progresso light.  Canned soup has a lot of sodium.  But it’s fast and easy and better then getting a Big Mac!  But certainly not as healthy as if I made my own soup.

And my beloved peanut butter? It’s not the natural kind.

I try to buy the “better” option – like I use Hunt’s Natural Ketchup with no high fructose corn syrup.  But is ketchup really all that healthy?  Probably not- but I love it on my scrambled eggs.

How about “real” food.  Red meat is terrible for you, right?  Well I try to limit my red meat intake, but once again, it’s high in protein and I enjoy a thick steak once and a while. 

I guess each individual person has to weigh what they consider to be a good food choice and fit that into their goals.

What are your thoughts on this?

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Ending and Beginning

Today is, of course, Labor Day.  Which marks the end of summer.

But it is also September 1st – which marks a new month, a new season, a new start.

Yesterday the rain continued to pour down in buckets, so in addition to the good workout I had, I took advantage of the poor weather to clean the house. 

So when today dawned hot and humid, I felt no guilt at all for heading out to the beach.

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It was a totally relaxing and fun play day.  The dogs had a blast – can you tell?

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They are toast tonight!

I feel strangely at peace with everything.  I wore a tankini today, not a bikini, for obvious reasons.  But I am confident I can and will get back on track.

So here’s to a wonderful close to summer and the anticipation of fall and a fresh crisp start.