Wednesday, September 24, 2008

See you on the other side

Good bye for now, Grandma.
We will miss you.

Time is only but a moment.
And the moments come quickly.
This is not a goodbye forever.
This is a goodbye until we meet again.

And when that moment comes...
I will see you on the other side.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Dear Abby



#1. I am glad you are fine. You do not sound fine. I am not an alarmist but you don't sound fine enough that I am worried. And I don't typically worry. Another about most people. Some people. Okay. Maybe like the people on my lists. Ahem. So.... may you are on the list after all. I have to think about that some more. Sheesh. Anyway... I think that things are crazy for you. And I think you need time for yourself. Just for you. To quiet your mind and spirit, so that you can come to some balance and harmony. But that takes time. Always does.

#2. You can come for dinner whenever you want. Of course, I hope it's a night that we are here. And of course, you must be there for Whitney and Shannon. Because it is what it is and it is what you do. I agree. You do a lot for people. I think you need to do for yourself. And let others do for you. Relax the mind, relax the body, let your heart and soul rest. We all need rejuvenation.

#3. I can't imagine that I am anyone's inspiration. That is too funny for me to think about. Anyway, a cleanse is good. It is better when it is followed by a cleaner regimen. Body fat is the worst. And it's amazing how much of it we all have. Seriously. I am absolutely stunned at the thought of it all. So, let me know how it goes.

Oh, before I forget... I think you're wonderful.
Okay. That is about as gushy, mushy and complimentary as I ever get.
Whatever.

P.S. I hope you find that guy from Paris. Although I am not big on French people. But I could change my mind if he had a place in Bordeaux because that is my favorite. He could be my favorite French person. Yup yup yup. As long as he isn't weird. Yup. Yup Yup Yup...

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Another new workout cycle

So, it's the beginning of a new 4-week workout cycle. Just when you start getting used to the routine, Scary Trainer switches things around. And tonight's first set of workouts was definitely not easy. Halfway through, I was wishing that I had been lazy this morning and NOT gotten on the bike for 30 minutes. Yah. It was that hard.

So, we are doing progressive sessions or something like that. Basically you start out with high weight and low reps. You decrease the weight and go up in reps. And you keep doing that for unknown number of reps and sets that seem to be set by Scary Trainer by some magical method, that can tell when I am about to die, but don't because it stops short of killing me. Ahem.

So tonight we started out with deadlifts. Again.
150 lbs once, then 145 lbs 3 times, then 140 lbs 5 times.
Rest.
145 lbs 3 times, 140 lbs times 5 times, 135 lbs 7 times.
I thought I was going to die.

Then it was squat to press. GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
25 lbs at 8 reps, 20 lbs at 10 reps, 17.5 lbs at 12 reps.
Rest
20 lbs at 10 reps, 17.5 lbs at 12 reps, 15 lbs at 15 reps.
I thought my arms were going to fall out of the shoulder joints.
And then I was going to die.

The it was walking lunges using 25 lbs dumbbells.
16 lunges down one way.
Rest.
16 lunges back down the other way.
Good grief!!!

Next it was a combination of banded chin up and kettle bells.
ARG!!! I wish they had left those stoopid kettle bells over the pond, for cryin' out loud!!!
So 8 chin ups, then 20 right arm kettle bell swings (you have to use your but to swing the bells up and it wasn't not pleasant), the 8 more chin ups, and the 20 left arm kettle bell swings.
Rest.
Repeat the above.

Okay. Now I really wanted to die.
During my cool down stretching, my arms were still shaking.
Tomorrow is not going to fun, and I know that Wednesday is going to be worse.
And then Wednesday night I am back with Scary Trainer for another night of torture!

All I gotta say is I wish I hadn't gotten on the bike for 30 minutes this morning. I should have saved all that energy for tonight. If this doesn't make me lose weight, along with my 1500 calorie a day intake, nothing is going to work. Nothing. Then I can go back eating Stove Top Stuffing and baked Mac and Cheese and pizza and rice and all manner of unhealthy-for-you carbs in definitely-unhealthy-for-you portion sizes.

My goal by January is to be able to wear a sleeveless shirt or tank top to the gym and feel good about it.

Unless Scary Trainer manages to kill me first.
I am rethinking my plan to make him my wonderful muffins.
Sheesh.

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Week 38 Training Recap

I am starting to get back on the wagon. I certainly hope it lasts. The weekend was a little screwed up because Joseph's Grandma had a stroke. This meant that I had to run earlier than usual for a Sunday and it was timebound. We were leaving the house at 10 am sharp for the 3 hour drive ahead of us. But I managed to do something every single day so it was still a good week.
Monday: Rest in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening! I managed to haul my butt out of bed and walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes. That's it. Then Scary Trainer after work.
Tuesday: Bike or run in the morning.Ran for 30 minutes easy outside. I ventured out in the dark but it got light pretty quickly. Felt good to be outside.
Wednesday: Bike or run in the morning. Made it out the door for a 48 minute run. Felt pretty good overall and my legs felt strong. It's interesting how a strong core can make your entire run so much easier.
Thursday: Bike or run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.Had a great workout with the trainer. Decided not opt out on cardio in the morning to get into work early with Joseph. Otherwise I'd have to take the Train from Hell (TFH).
Friday: Run for 60 minutes in the morning.Had a pretty decent run in the morning. 45 minutes wasn't too bad.
Saturday: Run for 75 minutes in the morning.The weekend is a little screwed up. I forgot I had a massage in the morning so I had to cut the run a little short. Ended up with 65 minutes instead of 75. I felt really good. I was thinking I should do some speedwork to get my speed back up now that I've lost weight.
Sunday: Run for 90 minutes the morning.I soooo did not feel like running! But I ended up going out and a slow run-walk-slog thing. After 10 minutes, I still wasn't into it. I turned around at 15 minutes and ended up with about 32 minutes. Anyway, this is the first time that I went out when I didn't feel like it and after the run, didn't care that I did. I am usually glad that I did and the runs usually turn out okay. But today, it was ho-hum and I really didn't care. I think I am just tired.

Total Running Miles: 19.17 miles (record: 26.9 miles)
Total Biking Miles: 0 miles (record: 67.8)
Total Swimming Yards: 0 yards (record: 3300)
Total Strength Training Days: 2 times
Total Workout Hours: 3:58:26 of cardio, 2 hours with Scary Trainer
This coming week is going to be hard. I have people coming from all over the country for some management meetings, which means that eating will be a challenge. Lunch meetings, dinner meetings, yadda yadda yadda. Must. Be. Good.
Monday: 30 minutes recovery in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening!
Tuesday: 30 minutes recovery run in the morning.
Wednesday: 30 minutes easy run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.
Thursday: 30 minutes recovery run in the morning
Friday: 60 minutes easy run in the morning
Saturday: 75 minute easy run in the morning. We have a cookout in the afternoon at a friend's house.
Sunday: Run for 90 minutes after Chinese class. Another messed up schedule! We are hosting a cookout at our house in the afternoon for Joe's tri club.


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Sunday, September 21, 2008

"We're the same, you and I."

This is what Joseph's grandmother (father's side) told me the last time we visited her in the nursing home. Smart as a whip, her senses intact, she could tell a story and crack a joke like nobody's business. And I loved talking to her.

I didn't know her for too long. I only met her a year ago, or something like that. But she and I hit it off right away, in ways that I don't hit it off with most people hardly ever. In fact, I've known people for much longer who I don't have that type of rapport with.

There is something about her that makes me feel I've known her before. A sense of comfort from another time and place, something immediately "family." Maybe we were sisters in a prior life, or best friends. The only thing I am sure about is that our history is from another time, and we were close.

Last week, Grandma had a stroke. Then another one. She is at the hospital and we visited her today. At the age of 91, after 2 strokes that have left her unable to see and unable to swallow, she still knew I was there. She heard my voice and woke up. She told me she knew I was there. I held her hand and told her some stories just like before. And even though she looked like she was sleeping, I knew she was there, listening to my voice.

Her time to pass on is coming closer. And God is waiting for her to cross through the door. I told her that we would see each other again. On the other side. And I'd know her when I saw her. And then I leaned down, and I whispered into her ear that I love her. And that she and I, "we're the same, you know" just as she told me herself a month or two ago. And she nodded and whispered back.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Perpetually 30

It occurred to me today, as I was walking to meet Scary Trainer, that I am not as old as I am. Okay. That sounds weird.

I am chronologically 49. *GASP!* I can't believe I said that out loud.
In all the tests that I've had done based on lifestyle, I am about 10-12 years younger. For someone of my age, I am in exceptional health. I do know that for a fact. And as for how I look, someone recently told me that I don't seem to age. In fact, they said, I look better than I did when they first met me which was around 21 years ago.

When I think about how I think of myself, I am about 30 years old. I think I was 30 for years before my 30th birthday. And now that I am well past it, I don't think I've outgrown it.

As I walk along and see these older people, they are wither sitting and resting or walking along slowly. Some of them even have kids, which makes it ok to walk slowly. But short of that or an injury, I really don't get the strolling thing.

Then I would see people running by me. And they were usually younger. It doesn't help the stats when you realize there are a lot of college kids around. But then there are a lot of younger professionals who are in their late 20's and early 30's who are very active.

Then I noticed how people are dressed. There is a definite difference in the dress of the 40+ crowd and the less than 40 crowd.

So I look down and I've got in loose fit running pants, a Life is Good long sleeve, a Boston Marathon jacket and a brightly striped orange nike bag made of...well...plastic. Or vinyl. Ok. Not plastic. Anyway...

I definitely don't identify myself with the "older" crowd. I don't dress like them, I don't talk like them, and their interests are not like my own. In fact, I find them all rather dull. We went to a block party last weekend and there were people there that were 5 or so years younger than I am, and I found them to be a bit boring.

I guess you're as young as you feel right? I feel like I'm 30 years old. Again.
Weird.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Where does the time go??

Ok. So, I know that doing the job of three people doesn't help at all when you have zero time in the day to do what you need to.

My entire day is one disruption after another. Today I stayed home so I could get things done. Namely, I had to do some Chinese homework which I try and squeeze for an hour a day. Did I do that? Hardly. Then I had to do something with the Roadmap (don't ask). Did I do that? Zilch. I also had to finish up the second version of my department staffing strategy. Do you think?? Of course not.

So, what did I do? I fielded calls from one of my managers who can't manage (and isn't managing any more of his own decision), about an issue with one or two of his staff members. Then I had to work on the headcount issues - contractor moves and affect on our finances and also our headcount totals. There was the Big Ole Project where the people in that group aren't talking to people in another part of that group, and want us to do the work instead of the people they are not talking to in their same group. Got that? And then there is the PR and publicity of tell my Boss all the things I am getting pinged on becayse the Big Boss can't decide what it is I do for the enterprise and if it's impactful. Uh... let's see. Hmm. The vendor thinks so. One of the EVP's thinks so. And another SVP that had questions for me. And another one who told a major vendor to come talk to me and see my help and opinion. So I spent the day fowarding these things to my Boss in case his boss keeps asking about our enterprise value. There are also the little things that I have to make decisions on, most of which I should not be doing or managing at my level. And I have to for one reason or another.

So today, I got nothing done.
What does that mean?
It means I will be working through the weekend every minute I can find, and I will be working nights for the next 3 weeks to catch up. Yeah. It's going to take that long unless they keep piling it on. Which, of course, they will.

Like pushing a rock uphill sometimes.

I did manage to get a 45 minutes run in this morning. It was COLD. I can't believe the cold season is here. I have a hard enough keeping warm in the summer. And now that it's FALL, I am going to freeze! Today, I was cold all day long.

Tomorrow, I am looking forward to my 60 minute run. Can't. Wait.

Oh, and Scary Trainer took a look at my fitday food log and he gave me a lecture about how 1500 calories is 1500 calories, not 1501, not 1550. Anything more and it accumulates and no wonder my weight won't go down... blah blah blah... nag nag nag... I am so irritated that I might not make him any peach muffins. Sheesh. He's right of course. Whatever.

And the next thing is that he will want to take away my cheat days. I know he will. The only days that I feel sane and human. Hmmm.

Tonight I made a new dish. Chinese Curried Beef & Potatoes. I added mushrooms, hot peppers and a few other things and it was delicious! And I can also make it with Chicken. Maybe some jumbo shrimp would taste good, too. The best part is that it was only 205 calories a serving. I was going to take some to Scary Trainer but now I am so annoyed with him, I may not. Sheesh.

Anyway...
We have another full weekend coming up.
Someone shoot me.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

A night of highs

I had a terrific workout session with Scary Trainer tonight. Just terrific. I maxed out again on a few exercises.
100 lbs on the squat
40 lb dumbells on the bench press
40 lb dumbells on the incline rows
50 lbs on the good mornings
Happy happy happy.

I was disappoint in the chin ups. I still can't do them without jumping. Tonight I only jump a little but that little push made all the difference in the world. Scary Trainer said that for me, most of my weight is in my legs. I have big legs. Not big
and FAT but big and very muscular. In most women their heaviest is their butt. On me, it's my legs. So when you do a chin up, where your weight is has a lot to do with how easily you can do this. For me, since most of my weight is at the bottom, my arms have to lift it up that much further. And arms are usually really weak on women. He said it would take longer for me than for most people to do a chin up. But when I get there, rest assured, that I will be very strong.

I also talked to Scary Trainer about the Body Bugg and he thought it would be a good idea. I am waiting to hear back from the Body Bugg customer service as to whether I need a USB port to initialize the display. If not, then I can go ahead and get it and just not use the internet part until I get a new home computer. Otherwise, I will have to get the computer first - the timeline on this purchase will get moved up pretty quickly at this point. Anyway, he thought it would be anm excellent tool to modify my behaviour when it comes to portion control.

Next week, I also get a new workout for the next four weeks. He said we would be doing pyramids. Does not sound good at all.
Not. At. All.

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BodyBugg

I was watching The Biggest Loser Families on DVR last night and I noticed that the contestants were wearing something on their arm. Jillian mentioned the name (which I didn't catch) and said that it was a great tool because it tells you how many calories you are burning.

Wait.
How many calories I am burning?
Not how many calories I am eating?
???

How awesome is that?
There are so many calorie counters and trackers but nothing tells you what your caloric expenditure is. And without really understanding the minus side of the equation, how do you know that your plus side is enough, too little, or too much? "Too much" being the conundrum of most of the population.

So, I had to go looking. It was not easy to find. I did a lot of sleuthing and in the end, it was good ole Google that got me there. Of course, I had to try about a half dozen combinations of key words.

I will be doing some reading on this gadget. But at first glance it looks like it's relatively easy to use.

How awesome would it beg to know the number of calories I am using in a day. It could be motivation to run or bike more. Of course, it could also be motivation to have that cookie you've been eyeing, too.

Unfortunately, nothing is a substitute for resolve and willpower. But still... this gadget could help!

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Half

I just signed up for another half marathon. I signed my Hunny Bunny up for the full marathon. This one is all the way in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Yes.
Michigan.

We are good friends with the Race Director.
He's a nut.
He has run a marathon once a month for something like 67 months.
Or something.
After a certain point, I guess it doesn't matter if you're over or under by a few in the count.
Anyway, he's also really fun, drop dead dry humor funny, cool, and all around good guy.

Anyway, we are going.
And he had good beer.
It's always nice to be pals with the Race Director

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Favorite Columnist

I have found a new favorite Op-Ed columnist, George F. Will, at the Washington Post. Okay. It's not like I had an old favorite Op-Ed Columnist before. Or any kind of columnist. It's only recently that sort of figured out what an Op-Ed Columnist is. Just don't ask me because I am not sure if my definition is right.

Anyway, he is direct, erudite, and caustic. And he is a baseball fan to boot.

Next week, I am going to attend a dinner at Salem State College to hear him speak.
Happy happy happy!


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Monday, September 15, 2008

Week 37 Training Recap

Last week was pretty bad. First my adductor strain. BAH! Then Reach the Beach. Double BAH! So, it was a light week. I can't seem to get my act together.
Monday: Rest in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening! Done. It was a high volume week but it was really easier than I thought it would be. We did not do those dratted Bavarian Split Squats which cauewd my adductor strain. Thank goodness!
Tuesday: Bike or run in the morning.30 minutes on the bike. It felt so good!
Wednesday: Bike or run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening. I actually did manage to bike for 35 minutes this morning. Little motivation from a drop in weight from the day before. And of course, Scary Trainer in the evening. I hit a new high on the bench press - 40 lb dumbells in each hand! Yahoo!
Thursday: Bike or run in the morning. Another pound down! Back to where I was in May before the plateauing started! Rode 45 minutes on the bike. A mere 11 miles. But I was sore and tired form Scary Trainer last night so I am still satisfied with my workout this morning.
Friday: Rest Day. Going to be doing a driver for Reach the Beach again, And another two days without sleep begins.
Saturday: Rest Day. Second day of Reach the Beach.
Sunday: Bike or run in the morning.Nothing. I am so sleepy that I feel like I am in a walking coma.

Total Running Miles: 0 miles (record: 26.9 miles)
Total Biking Miles: 27.3 miles (record: 67.8)
Total Swimming Yards: 0 yards (record: 3300)
Total Strength Training Days: 2 times
Total Workout Hours: 1:51:24 of cardio, 2 hours with Scary Trainer
Next week should be better. I keep saying that. So I am crossing my fingers that it really happens!
Monday: Rest in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening!
Tuesday: Bike or run in the morning.
Wednesday: Bike or run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.
Thursday: Bike or run in the morning.
Friday: Run for 60 minutes in the morning.
Saturday: Run for 75 minutes in the morning.
Sunday: Run for 90 minutes the morning.


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Sunday, September 14, 2008

I am an observer

I guess there is no way to deny it. I am a loner. An observer of the world, I live in my head, tucked away in an armchair observing the world through a book; or behind a glass or window, observing the world as it passes by, experiencing life through the world as only the "world" can experience it. And what do I protect myself from? Perhaps nothing. Of course, I can dive headlong into anything I find interesting if I choose to. But it's never for too long. It's sort of an experiential ADHD in some ways. And then we lose interest quickly or decide the experience is enough and that there will be no more difference in flavor and taste if I continue to chewing the same experience. So I pull back. People like myself, we must have broad imaginations and many stories to tell.

And it's no different in group events. I am in the middle of the thicket but still manage to carve out times of aloneness. In fact, before entering any fray, I look for that escape route.

This was no more emphatic than sitting in the van alone, engine running, watching the runners out outside, including my own teammates, living the race. I don't just watch. I see and understand their language - the smiles, the body movements, how they are dressed, who leads and who follows. And hoping all the while that my quiet sanctuary isn't shattered by the approach of some of my dearest friends or even my most loved.

I am an observer. "Introvert" is so cliche. But an observer is so much more. We can express our joy for others and sadness or sorrow inwardly, with full range of emotion, as expressively as anyone else. But we don't need to share it to feel the full force of "seeing and feeling"; in order to know it is valid. Indeed, in our quiet times, we cry and laugh, and smile and frown, and converse with ourselves, all alone. And we share that depth of experience with ourselves as we can with no other - in ways that no one else can experience.

There are more people than not who do not understand that there is nothing wrong with me. I am outgoing but I value my peace. I appreciate my friends' desire to reach me, efforts at inclusion. I smile, knowing that they care. Sometimes I join, and sometimes I wait. But those who know me best - they all know that I'll step in when I am ready and step back out when I've had enough.

As I see someone approach, smile on their face, I always feel a tiny knot of dread knowing that my affair with myself and the stories of moment will come to an abrupt end. And I steel myself. And then I step outside of myself, smiling for the world.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stupid Cereal Bar

Ugh. I got so hungry I ate that stupid Cheerios Cereal Bar with it's 994 unrecognizable ingredients.

Amazing how a basic instinct like eating can derail the best laid of nutritional plans.


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Following Up Behind

So, there's this guy at work who has recently become a friend after years of just being co-workers because we (he, my Hunny Bunny, and I) are taking Chinese together.

Anyway, he recently took over a very painful and time consuming project that I was peripherally involved in mainly because I know almost everyone or almost everyone knows me.

So, now he has super senior management backing but not many people know that because they don't know who he is. So I told him to copy me on all his emails so people would see my name a have continuity.

Well, half the people read his stuff even if they don't know who he is and half of that half respond. The rest of the people who don't respond, well, he has to follow up. It's painful sometimes. So now, after he sends out a second or third note, I come behind him and send out individual emails to the delinquent people asking them, "hey, can you take care of this? I know it's a pain, but the poor guy is just doing his job and you"re gonna have to do it anyway."

Sometimes, historical connections, long time relationships, and name recognition are both curse and blessing. Sigh...

Especially when you are doing this on the roads of NH while you are driving a van and watching your friends run 210 miles through the mountains. Sometimes, the job is just too much.

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Food on the road

Ok. So far I've had a sausage egg cheese sandwich on an English Muffin, a hot dog, a bite of meatball sub, and a cheeseburger. And it's only 12:15pm. And I'm only a driver.

Good grief!!

Time to dial back on the food intake until we get to Hampton Beach and Browns for Lobster.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Foreign subtances

Since I am sitting in this van waiting for runners, I have nothing better to do than read the label on a box of Cheerios cereal bars that someone brought for snacks. And there are about a thousand ingredients and the only things I recognize are sugar, corn syrup, wheat bran, sugar, sugar, sugar.

No idea what the other 994 ingredients are.

Sad.
I won't be eating Cheerios Cereal Bars anytime soon.

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Stripes and Blinkies

One of the best things about this race is the night time running. I'm driving along the dark country roads in the middle of the night, it's pitch black, no lights in the country!, and the streets are lit only by the stars there are no clouds. This year, it's a little iffy for startlight thanks for Hurricane Ike. But there are a lot of FOG! Enough to make me lean over to watch the road in front and turn off the headlights to see better. Of course, 5 out of the 7 years we've done this race, a hurricane has come through bringing torrential rains. This year, it's light rain as opposed to a downpour.

Anyway, I love driving the road, climbing an incline and as I hit the downhill on the other side I see vertical columns of stripes and blinkie lights, reflector strips on bottom, headlamps at the top, bobbing up and down all in a long line. And as you get close, the stripes and blinkie columns turn into shapes and then shadows and finally into people. All different shapes and sizes of people.

There's something poetic about that but I can't quite put my finger on what. I'll have to think about it a bit more.

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Reaching the Beach is not going to be fun!

It is once again that time of year when we set aside all our personal goals and self-interest and do our best, our very best, for The Team. Dead Man Running is once again running through New Hampshire to Reach the Beach at Hampton Beach.

This year we are in the second van. The run started at 2:20 pm with runner 1 in Van 1. And we are waiting at the first van transition (VTA), waiting for the 6th and last runner in Van 1 to come in and I'm already sleepy. This is what happens when you get up at 5:00am and your usual bedtime is 9:30pm. There will be no sleep for the weary for a while, I am afraid!

Abby starts off this first van rotation and there are 5 more runners after her. We won't be able to sleep until around 1 am or so. Then a few hours sleep while the other van runs through the night.

I hate being an "early-to-sleep"-er sometimes.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to Zero

This morning I reached that long elusive zero base on the scale. I have successfully shed the awful 2-3 pound weight gain/loss that has plagued me since the beginning of May when my work travels began. Or should I say work "travails."

Not I am back to the weight at the end of April which gave me so much motivation. And that number is still able to do that. I am motivated! This morning I rode for 45 minutes. I was tired from last night's workout but it felt good visualizing the fat cells shrinking!

It will be a challenging weekend. In some ways, 1500 calories is a lot of food. But when you cannot log your food due to lack of computer access, and you are eating out of a lunch box, not sleeping for 28 or 30 hours, and stopping at whatever podunk hole in the way is open to forage for food, well... 1500 calories isn't a lot.

Tonight is the pre-race dinner leading up to Reach the Beach. We are going out for BBQ, which is a tradition. Tomorrow morning we take off to New Hampshire to the start. I have my list of foods that I wil take with me. It was be a 28 hour run for our team because we lost our fastest guy I love watching him run; he makes it look so easy! But we have other fasties on the team so I will continue to be hugely entertained.

Anyway, my hope is to stay on this caloric limit somehow. The last thing I want is this event to derail the hard work of the last 6 days. Especially since my role is only peripheral. I am only one of the drivers.

Okay. I've been obsessing about this for a while. I haven't exactly started panicking. Yet.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I am a runner

Okay. I can define myself a lot of ways. But one of the ways is as a runner.

I am not fast. In fact, I am very slow. And this year, I have gotten slower still. There is belief by some certain very fast individuals that I have hidden speed. I have looked everywhere and it is truly hidden. I am waiting for it to reveal itself.

My first foray into running was in high school (or was it junior high) when the track coach saw me on the field hockey team and talked me into a single season of 4x100 relays. I was the third leg usually and the fourth leg on occassion. I didn't have any training other than running up and down the field hockey field so I didn't really know much. I would show up for track workouts because it was a requirement but I hated it. I hated running around in circles. And the funny uniforms we had to wear. And it was hot and sweaty. Okay. So is field hockey, but this was a different kind of hot and sweaty. The coach told me to "run fast from that line to that line. Run as fast as you can. Run like the devil himself was after you." And that is what I did. Only to collapse into a heap and tell myself "never again." That is high much I hated it.

Fast forward about 30 years and it's deja vu all over again. This time, it was a different coach. And I married him. Anyway, since that first foray, I've been running for about 15 years with some dedication. "Some" being the operative word. I don't think I have ever run a full year. Not ever. Things have gotten in the way. Injuries, different priorities, work, inertia... And this year is no different. I decided to concentrate on losing weight and almost everything has taken a back seat to that. Funny, isn't it? You would think that you need to make working out, running and biking in my case, a priority to lose weight. But I did that, failed, and then discovered that it's not that simple. It just does not work that way.

But even though I have put a hiatus on my running, I am still a runner.
If I am not as fast as those people who think I secretly am, I am still a runner.
And even if some other runners wonder why I try because I am slow, I am still a runner.
And I don't feel as if I need to be really fast... or even plain ole regular fast... to call myself a runner! Really! Imagine that.

I am a runner. It took me a long time to call myself that. Even when I was running 20 miles, running half marathons through 50 states, 10 marathons under my belt... I wasn't so sure I was a runner.

But now I know.
Now that my focus is elsewhere, I get that yearning to go out and let myself go. As my friend Josh "Flash" Gordon once told me, "let yourself go." Of course he followed that up with "let it all out. You can run fast so just do it." Uhhh... yeah. Right. And you know? I love Josh for that. Because he thinks that I just need to "Find my fast" and it's just that simple. Let it all out.

I know I am a runner now. I know because the few times I have gone out to run, I have let my spirit go all out. I am still very slow. Slower than slow. Slower than I used to be. But my spirit soars. And I think the endurance and strength gained from the weight workouts this year have helped make my legs running-worthy; I don't really even feel them for the first 9 miles. But that is the furthest I've gone this year.

I know that some people struggle with this definition of speed and running fast and being a "real" runner. If you are a runner, you will know. It might take months or years to come to that conclusion. And when you do, it's not going to be because you are fast or slow. It is NEVER about the speed. You might THINK that is the definition, but it's not. There is more to it than that.

But I can't convince you of that. You have to convince yourself.
And don't even think you are putting that monkey on MY back!
I dare anyone to tell me that I am NOT a runner.
Just because I am slow.

I am a runner.
My spirit flies before me.
I embrace my freedom.
I embrace my speed. Whatever it is.

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No Textbook

ARG!!! I am getting ready to study my Chinese and I don't have my textbook! ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can't do much without it.
I can't do the workbook because most of the info is in the textbook.
I can't copy the dialog because it's all in the textbook!

NOW WHAT???

Ugh! Now I suppose I have to just copy my vocab words and reorganize them. Again!
HFFFF!


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A little motivation

There's nothing like a like a little motivation than a little drop in weight. I got on the scale this morning I dropped a pound overnight. A pound is a lot. But it really isn't if you consider that it's one of the 3 pounds I gained since hitting my lowest weight. Which then leads to the fact that there's nothing as demotivating as gaining and losing the same 3 pounds since May.

The good news is that I'm now on a downward descent since lowering my food intake. And the pound loss made me get on the bike for 35 minutes even if I didn't want to and even if I have Scary Trainer tonight.

And in that way, yeah, a pound definitely did a lot!

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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Nothing to say

Gawd. What can I say. Nothing. I got nothing.

I know that I am totally exhausted. I have been sticking to my 1500 calorie a day limit and I am hungry but it is strangely satisfying, this raw low-grade sense of hunger. Not the kind that makes you go foraging but the kind you are aware of but can push away when you are busy and focused on something else. This is a good thing.

And of course, this morning I was rewarded with a .4 pound weight gain! PISS! It's only Day 4 or something like that.

I have also made a renewed commitment to studying my Chinese. I studied for an hour this morning when I first got into the office. After 9am, I was bombarded for the whole remainder of the day. In fact, I couldn't follow up on two items that came up today. This again told me what I already knew... if I do not do it first thing, there is little chance that I will get it done later in the day.

We are now watching "McCain Revealed" on DVR. I'll see if I end up liking him better after this piece of propaganda.


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Monday, September 08, 2008

Week 36 Training Recap

Last week was a total wash. Coming off of vacation the motivation is always pretty low. But then, I managed to strain my right adductor on the first true workout of the week (with Scary Trainer) doing those blasted Bavarian split squats. Walking was difficult so I knew biking and running was out. Anyway, this was the week.
Monday: Rest Day! Done. Walked around in Freeport while doing lots of shopping. I think I walked at leat 10 miles. Joseph thinks I barely walked three. Hmph.
Tuesday: Bike or run in the morning.Nothing. At. All. We drove around looking at houses and talking to a real estate agent about the Boothbay Harbor region. We're thinking about it.
Wednesday: Bike or run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening. Got up, had breakfast,packed up the car and then drove down the cost of Maine and NH to get back home. Then Scary Trainer session. I think I pulled an inner thigh muscle or it's the hamstring insertion. Not sure. But I know that it hurts like a mutha!
Thursday: Bike or run in the morning.Nothing. I am feeling that adductor or hamstring pull. Not sure what it is.
Friday: Bike or run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.Scary Trainer - done. We concentrated on the upper body. I am now pressing 37.5 lb dumbbells, one in each hand. Yahoo! Another record. I saw Chris the Massage Guy and talked to him about the adductor. Then he and Scary Trainer had a nice chat. Anyway, if I do squats with my legs close together, the adductor is not that affected. So that is what we did. Ended up with another good workout.
Saturday: Bike or run in the morning. Nothing because of the adductor pain. It is better today.
Sunday: Bike or run in the morning.Nothing. Still resting the adductor. We managed to spend the whole day outside at the Jumper Classic. So it wasn't a total loss!

Total Running Miles: 0 miles (record: 26.9 miles)
Total Biking Miles: 0 miles (record: 67.8)
Total Swimming Yards: 0 yards (record: 3300)
Total Strength Training Days: 2 times
Total Workout Hours: 2 hours with Scary Trainer
Next week should be better. My leg is feeling better. The massage on Saturday really helped to get the blood through there and helped relax the muscle. I am feeling much better much more quickly than the previous time this happened to me. Anyway, here are the goals for the week. It's a high volume week with Scary Trainer so that means nothing too strenuous on my off days. Of course, wait til he finds out that I chopped off my left index finger again!
Monday: Rest in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening!
Tuesday: Bike or run in the morning.
Wednesday: Bike or run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.
Thursday: Bike or run in the morning.
Friday: Rest Day. Going to be doing a driver for Reach the Beach again, And another two days without sleep begins.
Saturday: Rest Day. Second day of Reach the Beach.
Sunday: Bike or run in the morning.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

Jumper Classic

I managed to score VIP tickets to the Jumper Classic. Long story, much confusion, but we went and I'm glad we did.

Anyway, everytime I go to one of these events I feel the tug to go back to riding. It's hard to resist. The only thing that keeps me from taking the next step is my memory of the ER doctor telling me, "Let's see if you can ever walk again" after I asked him if I could ever run again. This was the last time I was ever on a horse. About 7 years ago when I fell off during a riding lesson and was taken to ER via ambulance on a backboard and a neck brace. Fresh memories. Like it was yesterday. And I even remember the pain.

Anyway, I felt that "pull" again and remembered that I still have my old jodphurs and paddock boots.

Amidst all the jumping they had a dressage demonstration. It was really fun. I felt like dancing to the music along with the horse. You could tell that they were having a lot of fun together. I thought maybe dressage is something that I can do. But it's really hard. And anything having to do with horses is a full time job. It's always something.

I might think about it for next year. We'll see.
I say that every year, too.

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Random thoughts for a Sunday

The government should not be bailing out Freddie and Fannie and just let nature take it's course. Things will starighten out organically. Not without a lot of pain, true, but who says life has no pain? We can't continue to keep playing monetary god and manipulating things. Since we're not god and all-knowing, we're bound to miss something else and cause even more problems.

Sarah Palin is making eyeglasses and updo's fashionable again. Interesting how far-reaching her personna is, even if you don't like her.

Michelle Obama scares the hell out of me.

I still hate McCain for calling me his "friend" continually. I have only five friends and that is that. I will not say it again.

After that Ivans guy killed himself, the government now thinks the prosecution didn't make it's case that he was guilty for the anthrax terror. NOW they say that?? There has to be a way to get restitution from a relentless dog-from-hell-on-your-ass goverment agency.

I wonder if I can buy an island and set up my own government? Every citizen would be happy.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Fingertip

I have once again lopped off the tip of my finger with the humungous chef knife. Ok. I didn't LOP it off. Instead, I sheered off a slice of the fingernail and got to the nail bed. Blood everywhere.

Joseph had to take over and also became a trauma doctor.
Ugh. Did I mention blood everywhere??

I sat there while Joseph finished cooking dinner, which was quite good, as a matter of fact. And I did manage to finish the spicy wontons that I had started making.

I should mention that Joseph found the nail on the pepper that I had been slicing so that didn't make it into the dinner, thankfully.

Now I have a giant bandage and I can't type.

It's always something.
I am also feeling very sorry for myself.
Sniff...

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Amazing what 1500 calories can do & a visit from The Nephew

Well, since I arrived back home and weighed myself, I have lost 3.6 pounds of the 4.6 pounds I gained while I was on vacation.

Amazing. I know that a lot of it is water weight but I also know that some of it added fat. I told Joseph this morning that for the last couple of day that old hunger I carried around with me during the first 4-5 months of this program, is back. That is how I know that I am eating just under what I need to maintain, which means that I will lose weight. That is the measure of how you are doing with food intake and portion control. If I keep this up, I will hopefully break the next weight barrier before the end of the month. Speaking of which, I have 21 more days to go! Not including Cheat Days of course.

Speaking of Cheat Days, today is a Cheat Day. And Scary Trainer said he thought I should stop the cheat days for a month to rev up my metabolism. Huh? GIVE UP MY CHEAT DAYS??? WAH!!! He said that I have found my maintenance intake of about 1700-1800 calories a day. That is of course forgetting any additional hard cardio, since I haven't really done much of it despite my incessant obsessive talk about it. Ahem. I asked him how he knew that and he said, "uh... isn't that how much you've been eating?" Yup. "And you have lost any weight." Oh. Hmm.

So, we did a little compromise. I will try to be "good" or eat better or more mindfully during my Cheat Days and maybe have a Cheat MEAL as opposed to a whole day. I guess I could also try to stick to a 2000 calorie day which is the max I need to maintain my weight if I work out for an hour. But he had a point when he said that I could undo what I did for the last 6 days by overeating the same amount of calories that I under-eat the week before. Hmmm... I hadn't thought of that. So that is what made me promise to exercise moderation during my cheat days and maybe go to one cheat meal. Much as I hate to admit it, I think the guy knows what he is talking about.

And speaking of cardio, of course, my adductor still hurts so I can't do any real workout. But I am looking forward to the massage.

Also, our Nephew John is coming to town. He had a work function at Harvard and was in town overnight. This morning he is coming over and we are going to brunch. I hope we go to dimsum. I haven't been to dimsum in such a LONG time! And it will be soooo wonderful to see him. John is an exceptional human being. All of the three kids are terrific, but John embodies all the total efforts of both his parents and his grandparents to make the practically perfect child. He is brilliant, hard working, respects his elders, he is mindful of those around him, understands his potential for the future and sets goals and achieves them, he was a good student at school and now he is a good student of life, he is compassionate, strong, empathetics, logical, pragmatic, caring, and most of all, he is aware of shortcomings. He remains humble to this day, in spite of his successes, always grateful to his parents and his grandparents for shaping him into the man he is today. How do I know this? Because we've talked about it.

When he is in town, he always calls or emails us and lets us know. Even if he can't make it to visit or if he is just passing through. Even if he can see us for one hour, he always tries. And we know that he tries. And his trying and effort tells us that he cares.

Now... of course, Elizabeth the Niece is back from Europe playing music and we haven't heard a word from her. Ahem. She is in NYC visiting friends. Why is it that boys are so different from girls? Very interesting case study in gender differences, IMHO.

Anyway... lots of errands to run today.
More later.


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Friday, September 05, 2008

If Sarah Palin were running for president...

...I'd vote for her. Even if she had no more experience than she has today.

A true outsider with a totally different agenda than the hopeless politicos we are stuck with. She is a MOM who became an activist.

'Nuff said...


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Philly

Good grief!!!
I just signed up for the Philly Half in November.
$107 FREAKIN' DOLLARS!!!
For a HALF MARATHON!!!
ARG!!!

The streets better be downhill, the wind at my back, cloudy and temperate, and paved with gold. Oh. They had better have a nice steak dinner for us afterwards. And before, too!

I put down a time of 2:15.
Very ambitious.
Especially since I haven't run more than 9 miles, which was two weeks ago and took me almost TWO FREAKIN' HOURS!!! GAH!!!

I need to hit the road again and start running.
Right after I recover from this stupid adductor injury!
Pffft!

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Revelations and lessons l'm still learning

Well, it's been a long time in the making but I am finally decided on going with the 1500 calorie route. When I spoke with Scary Trainer a few weeks ago, he thought that if I got my cardio workouts up to a point where I needed additional calories we would cross that bridget when we get there and deal with it then. He said one option is to take in extra calories while I am doing the activity. That was a huge concern for me but I don't know why. I mean, I haven't really ramped up my cardio in the last two months. All I've done is think the idea of it to death. Yah.

Anyway, I've been rooting around, reading some articles and some research papers on the subject of calories in and calories out. Everyone agrees that it's true - calories in and calories out. What differs is what those calories are made of - macronutriets which go to glycogen storage and muscle/bone repair among other things. Some materials are better and more efficient for certain jobs than others, although ALL macronutrients (carbs, fats, proteins) can do the job in the end.

And the other thing that highly differs is the burn rate between different individuals. For some people who say that it doesn't apply to them because they don't burn as much... well... if you peel it all back, it's still calories in versus calories out. It's just that for their age and body physiology, the calories out is more efficient than other people. So all those charts that give you standard burn rates is just that. Standard. Average. But they can differ wildly between individuals. I may not burn as much as another person during running. But during biking, I might burn more. And overall, I may burn less than another person in total. And that is even if two people were the same height and weight and activity level. So that is where it gets so tricky.

Based on some of the stuff I've read, my current BMR is 1300 calories at the weight current weight, give or take a pound. At my goal weight, I will have a burn rate of 1280 or something ridiculously low. That is given my average build. Now, if I had muscles popping all over the place (which I do not), the burn rate for BMR might be only 50 calories higher. That's it! Only. FIFTY. MORE. CALORIES!

For my activity level which is moderate - 4-6 times a week for an hour or less on average, I only get to eat up to about 2000 calories. At my goal weight, that comes down to about 1900. My CHEAT DAYS are MORE THAN THIS!!! ARG!!! I know for a fact that eating 2000 calories is a piece of cake! You just keep popping food into your mouth and swallow. Do this mindlessly and repeatedly.

And if you are sitting around instead of working out, then you should be eating a lot less but I know that I do not do that. And then I wonder WHY I can't lose the pounds! Lots of people wonder why they can't lost the pounds! HELLOOOOOO!!!! It's not good news but it's reality!

Well, it seems that on my days when I am "good" I eat just enough or right below the calories I need to MAINTAIN my weight. So if I eat 100 calories less every day, guess what? I will have 35 days of eating like that to lose one pound. Yeah. One pound is about 3500 calories of energy! The bottom line is that I don't do that. I might be good one day and then go over the next day. If I go over the next day by 200 calories, and I do that for 35 days, alternating with the 100 calories less, I will GAIN half a pound

It was a revelation for me. So the decision is "do I eat and stay at my current weight?" Or "do I reduce my overall caloric intake, increase my cardio, and get down to my goal weight?" And that isn't even the question. The question really is do I want to maintain that kind of life style? All to look thinner and more muscular or fit?

The answer is easy and immediate. Yes. Yes, I do want that! And now that I have more knowledge, I can do it better. I am not saying it will be EASIER because it won't be

And that is why I am convinced now that I need to and I will embrace 1500 calories for the next month and see what happens. Scary Trainer is good about the long runs and such. He said, try to go without but if you need it, take GU and Gatorade DURING the event and not before or after. Also, he wants me to get my protein grams up to equal my body weight daily. That means I don't have to worry about getting enough protein in within 30 minutes to an hour of working out long and hard; I will be eating it anyway so that's one less thing I have to consciously worry about. Thank god for small gifts!

And so I am committed. I want to get lean and buff. When I reach above my head to the top shelf, I want my deltoids to show. When I climb the stairs I want my quads to separate and see the definition. I know I can do it. And so I am going to do it. I will.

As Yoda said, "there is no try, there is only do."
And so, I will do.
Do do doo do do....

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Adductor and nutrition pain

Okay. It's been a day and my adductor still hurts. It hurts to walk. I can swing my right leg out a little bit and the pain goes away but seriously, that action just can't be good for the rest of the leg or even the other side of the body which is going to have to compensate. Seriously.

Anyway, there is certainly no way that I will be able to bike or run today. And it's in such an awkward place that I can't realistically ice it. Scary Trainer sent me an email asking me how it was. So I told him, "it's your fault! GAH!" Of course, he ignored me. Sheesh.

I am working from home today. I had hope to get some things done but good grief! I am being IM'd and emailed and phone called one right after the other and sometimes simultaneously. I wonder if they realize that life would go on if I happened to just stop showing up for work one day! Jeepers!!

On another note, today is the first day of my cutting my calories back to 1500 calories. I am giving myself until the end of the month to break the next barrier. And then after that, I will poke my eyes out. After today, I will have 22 more days to make this work. 22 more days! ARG!! Of course, I am still giving myself cheat days. HAH!

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Back home to Scary Trainer

Well... we checked out this morning and managed to wend our way down the east coast of Maine and New Hampshire to arrive home about 5 hours later. Not bad for only a 3 hour straight shot highway drive under normal circumstances.

We went out yesterday and took a look at houses and the various penninsulas in the Boothbay Harbor area. Yeah. We liked it that much. And so we decided to drive the coast to see if another town closer to Boston jumped out at us. Nothing did. Other than for the wrong reasons. They were mostly sandy beach strips or homes that were annoyingly tucked away behind big screens of trees so that you couldn't see the ocean. And the costs were in the millions. Even the ones "across the street" were ridiculously priced. Whatever.

I don't care about waterfront but I would like a view! We still liked Boothbay Harbor the best so we decided we might want to go back in the off season when it's cold and see what it's like.

Anyway, tonight was Scary Trainer day. Good grief! After 5 hours in a car, the muscles were really dormant and during one of the Bavarian split squats I think I strained a hamstring or an inner thigh muscle or something on my right leg. It hurts to lift my leg when I walk. Sigh... it's always something, ya know?? Anyway... The last time this happened it took about a week or two to get over it to where I could get back to normal use.

Suck!

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Fingernails!


GAH!
How can my fingernails grow so quickly? I clipped them before our vacation started last Friday and now they've grown so much that I am having a hard time typing on my BB!!!
WTF!!!!!

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Ugh. Don't feel like doing anything.

And this is why I should never ever take a day off. After yesterday's rest day of shopping, I don't feel like doing anything today. But we will be biking all day. I need to work off breakfast anyway.

So far, we have consolidated as much of our shopping items as we can. Still looks like a lot. Not sure how we will get it all into the car. But, that's Joseph's job. LOL!

Of course I have to do some work later today. I can feel it looming over my head.

Okay. The troops are getting restless. Gotta go...

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Monday, September 01, 2008

Shopped out in Freeport, Maine

Ok. We are done. Cooked. Finished. No more shopping!!! We went to Freeport today. After about 10 pairs of shoes, sweaters, shirts, pants, suits, jackets, and a bunchaother things.. we are shopped out!

We ate lunch at the Lobster Cooker. Very good. I ended up with fried oysters which were really some of the best I've ever had.

I ended up getting a lot of clothes appropriate for work. Now they will think that I am going on interviews! Anyway, it's nice to be able to try on clothes and not walk away totally discouraged because you think you look like a fat cow in everything. In fact, there were times in the last few years when I would put a shirt over my head and just KNOW that it was wrong before I even straightened myself. I wouldn't even bother finishing the look because I KNEW it was BAD! So I would put it on over mu head and then whoosh! just as quickly take the top off. And I was worse with pants. And dresses and skirts? Forget about it!

But this time, I got suits, tops, pants, sweaters, things that cling, and new fancy shoes. Yah. Miracles.

The next miracle would be to get it all home. Our entire cargo was packed full after our shopping adventure. And we didn't have anything in the cargo area. Not sure how we will get everything we originally brought down back home in addition to what we bought today. We might have to buy a new car to get all our stuff home!

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Week 35 Training Recap

Last week was much better than the week before.
Monday: Rest in the morning, Scary Trainer in the evening.Done. New workout. I almost died.
Tuesday: Run or bike in the morning.
Wednesday: Run or bike in the morning.Good grief. Legs hurt! Walked for 45 minute in the morning because my Hunny Bunny made me!
Thursday: Rest in the morning, Scary Trainer in the evening.Bike for 5 miles easy in the morning. Scary Trainer session was heavy on the upper body, not as bad on the legs.
Friday: Run or bike in the morning. Leave for Boothbay shortly thereafter.5.65 miles in the morning.
Saturday: Bike or run in the morning. 4.57 miles in the morning.
Sunday: Bike or run in the morning.8.7 miles in the morning.

Total Running Miles: 21.1 miles (record: 26.9 miles)
Total Biking Miles: 12.2 miles (record: 67.8)
Total Swimming Yards: 0 yards (record: 3300)
Total Strength Training Days: 2 times
Total Workout Hours: 5:36:33
Hopefully next week will continue to be as good as last week. My plan is:
Monday: Rest Day!
Tuesday: Bike or run in the morning.
Wednesday: Bike or run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.
Thursday: Bike or run in the morning.
Friday: Bike or run in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.
Saturday: Bike or run in the morning.
Sunday: Bike or run in the morning.


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