Thursday, January 29, 2009

Since we are talking about bread...

Turns out that no matter what I do, I can only bake two loaves of bread comfortable. I can bake three if I stay up until midnight. But then I will fall asleep and burn it anyway.


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Never mind... I found my post on Boris Baby

I do not understand how one little kitty cat can have so much energy. It's been almost a week. 5 days, actually, and Boris Baby is one big ball of energy. I have started to call him Taz for Tazmanian Devil, that whirling dervish of mayhem.

He basically chases the ball and then sleeps.
He cries to be pick up, and then he pushes off to be let down.
He climbs your leg to get into your lap. Only to use it as a stepping stone to the other chair to the table.
I am best friends with the squirt bottle. Really.
He is also very fluffy and loving. He closes his eyes and leans back when you scratch his neck or in between his ears.
His entertainment is also in the form of chasing his tail, shadows, phantoms moving under the bed covers, and basically just chasing whatever is in his imagination. And he has a terrific imagination.

I have been working at home for the last three day.
And I am utterly exhausted.
Even the Dingle Doggie is exhausted. She just lays about and uses her eyes to follow BOris Baby, rarely getting up any more.

I can't wait to go to work tomorrow so that I can rest!

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Lost it

I wrote this whole long post about Boris Baby and I lost it. GAH!!!!!

Sometimes, I hate technology!


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Monday, January 26, 2009

Coldest Long Run. Ever.

Yesterday, I ran 16 miles. Not unusual. I've done it before. But not in over a year. And certainly NOT in 7.5 degree weather.

Yes.
SEVEN POINT FIVE DEGREES.
FARENHEIT!

That is cold.

I wore my fleece hat from Patagonia with the built in ear covers.
And a thicker Mizuno temperature regulating top under a VERY THICK fleece Patagonia half zip top.
For my legs, I wore a thick North Face long johns. And over that, my thicker Nike pants I've had for about 10 years. Seriously. You get what you pay for and although these were expensive when I first got them, they have paid for themselves many times over.
I also had on fleece mittens.
And fleece socks.
And finally over all that, I had on my NYCM windbreaker zip front jacket- it's a thicker windbreaker.

Let me just say that FLEECE RULES, EVERYTHING ELSE DROOLS.
That is that.
I love fleece.

My legs were still a little cool. But not too bad. It helped that there was not much headwind, if any wind at all.

And since last week was my first FULL week of training that included Scary Trainer, my left Glute Medius and my right TFL/Hip Flexor pulling on my upper ITB was a bit achey. But not enough to make me slow down too much. I kept thinking that I should have put some Atomic Balm on my legs and the trouble spots. Live and learn.

So, my new lesson is, nothing is bad if you are prepared. And if you aren't prepared quite it enough, you can improvise and you won't die. So I have now proven to myself that running in 7.5 degree whather won't make me die of hypothermia. I am amazed by that. The problem is that I have to think of a new excuse. I am running low on creativity.


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Kitty Kat Knews...

So, Boris the Kat has acquainted himself with every room except for the third floor. There is a reason for that. The third floor is Henry Cat's domain. But more on that later.

Saturday morning, after my 6.1 mile run in the cold, we went to the Worcester Animal Rescue League to pick up Boris.

OMG. Is he CUTE or what? He looks like Henry Cat did when I first got her. Thin, Black and White, maniacally active.

When we first brought him home, Dingle Doggie was BESIDE HERSELF! When I say, "beside herself," I am talking shivering, shaking, whining, barking, back end half wagging the whole time. She was LIMPING. I swear I thought she had had a stroke. Turns out she was so excited she could not see straight. She couldn't even stand up! Now I know what the term "stroking out" means! Seriously!

So, we set up a second floor guest room with a makshift litter box, some water, and baby cat food. When we are not there to supervise, Boris the Kat stays there with the door shut. We tried the baby gate - first one, he went right through like it wasn't there. The second one was MESH. He jumped and stood on the top railing just to mock us. Yes. That is what he did. So, now we shut the door. The whole door. He hasn't figured out how to turn the door knob or slide under the 1-inch space at the bottom of the door. Not yet.

Henry Cat will have nothing to do with Boris Baby Kat. Nope. She has stayed on the third floor and refuses to come down. She is not even curious. I know she has HEARD Boris Baby Kat. How could you not? HE IS LOUD!!! GAH! Joseph brought her down a couple of times. She was all hissing and growling. It wasn't a territorial thing. It is the noise she makes when she is at the vet. It's more fear. I am not sure what's going on. She can't live on the third floor for the rest of her life. I mean, she HAS to come down at some point. Right now, we are managing to switch them off - Boris in the room, Henry in the house, Boris in the house, Henry on the third floor (this last one is NOT that hard - no barricade is needed).

And the Dingle Doggie is getting more exercise than she had gotten in a long time. She is SO HAPPY to be playing with a Baby Kitty. They are totally used to each other now. But Boris Baby continues to hiss when Cass gets a little rough. The dog is like Odie. Tongue hanging out, smiling, wagging her tale, as happy as can be, even when Boris Baby takes a swipe at her nose. Such a Dingle Dog! Now we are thinking maybe she needs a Baby Dingle. Seeing her with Boris Baby, it is obvious to us that it's the best thing we could have done for her.

And now that Boris Baby is in the house, I am realizing just hold OLD Henry Cat is. At 16 years old, she is a symbol of health. Still very mischevous and somewhat active (when she isn't sleeping all day, ahem) but compared to Boris Baby, she is slow, older, and fat. Amazing.

Boris Baby is a riot. Other than trying to climb under the stove (uh... HELLOOOOO), he runs around and chases nothing. I have no idea. Then he whines and you pick him up. He is soooo happy. 5 minutes later, he wants to be let down. Just repeat until he is put into his room for the night. It's like having a CHILD. Sort of.

We bought him some Baby Cat toys yesterday so now instead of chasing nothing, he chases the balls around. We know where he is because we HEAR the bell inside the ball. ALL OVER THE HOUSE!!! He carries the ball in his mouth like a dog carries a ball.

And he loves the shower. And sinks. And tubs. Almost fell into the toilet this morning. GAH!

And so, I am at work. Not a single meeting today. I just needed the rest!


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Note to self: Turkey Jerky

Not the same as Beef Jerky.
Never get it again.


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Friday, January 23, 2009

Second TWiST of the new routine

Last night was the second session of the 4 week rotation and the second workout of the week.

We did more emphasis on the upper body and upper hamstrings. The first work out on Monday was more about quads and lower hamstrings. Which mean that Tuesday morning, I had to bike instead of run and even then, biking, on a low gear, was difficult.

The second workout last night was different. Because of the upper hamstring usage I could run this morning. I was very comfortable and I managed 3.3 miles on the treadmill.

On the diet front, I am down only 2/10 of a pound but it's still going in the right direction. Now I am impatient to get may calories down by another 100 - to 1700. But I am at 1800 for four weeks. I have done a good job of keeping total calories below 1800 and my protein intake up to 120g. And the good news is that I am not tired even with the running in addition to the lifting!

Speaking of running, tomorrow I have 6 miles. I really want to go outside to run but we have to get a Boris Kitty from the Animal Shelter in Worcester which is about an hour away. So I guess I will be getting up early to do this.

The only thing else going on is my hip flexors are pulling on my ab muscles. My foot is better since I could run on it this morning but there is a low-grade pulling kind of pain down the right side below by belly button and down about 3 inches. And my upper thighs have a constant ache. I think I need to roll and stick tonight.

Sunday I have 15-16 miles on the schedule. It will take me a while and I have to go out early so I can finish in time to leave for Chinese class. It's going to be a cold on. Yikes!


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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Down one more

Day 2 and I am down another pound. That makes it a total of 4 pounds in 2 days.

Thank goodness most of it was water because it means the weight will drop quickly. I am sure that a couple pounds or so will be fat and harder to take off.


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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Torture with Scary Trainer (TWiST)

How is that for an acronym? I am so clever sometimes, I scare myself. Right-oooo.

So, it's no state secret that:
  1. Scary Trainer has been away when I've been around
  2. That I've been away when Scary Trainer has been around
  3. That traveling around Thanksgiving threw me off for the rest of the 2008
  4. and that I've gain back about 8 pounds.
YES! That is EIGHT WHOLE POUNDS!!! A few pounds here and there is okay. But this much weight is like giving up. I was totally dejected when I stepped on the scale. How could I put in all this work and let this happen??

I have done some soul searching and I will say this whole psychological thing is interesting. I feel like I really try to see myself without the veils of denial and all that. And I told my good Cher that at some point, I could feel something snap inside me, inside my brain. I think it was when I hit the 12 pound marker. And it's like my brain refused to budge.

Deep inside, I heard, "I cant." And "it won't work, I don't deserve it, it's too easy and I have to suffer more, I can't believe I'm almost there and then what will happen, I am scared and I don't know why.?

I also couldn't see myself too well. I have a really fractured self image. First, I took dance. And you know how all us Ballerinas are with self image. I am muscular and I grew up in the willowy south with all the Blond Blue Eyed People. And I had a mother who told me repeatedly that I was a "mistake", and only "ok" in the looks department but only if I didn't stand next to Il-Ju, a girl who was supposedly perfect and the one she always compared me to. And do you know, that to this day, I hate Il-Ju.

So many thoughts went through my head. And it's like I watched myself and I couldn't do anything - like I was bound and gagged while watching something horrible unfold and I couldn't make myself avert my eyes.

I can't imagine the majority of people who do not have that type of consciousness and the self sabotage they do to themselves. And then they can't even help themselves. But I am different. I know what I've done and I can get myself back to where I was before Thanksgiving. Back to last May when I was losing weight on a regular basis, and THEN some!

Well, Scary Trainer is BACK.
I am BACK.
And all my work travel has been canceled for the foreseeable future. Yahoo!
The only thing I have to worry about is our trip to Palm Springs for vacation in February. But since I am traveling with Joseph, I am not worried about the working out. And since I am traveling with Joseph, I am worried about the food.

The good news is that Scary Trainer actually went to INDIA for a couple of weeks. And he went to his girlfriend's mother's house for Thanksgiving. And you wanna talk about FOOD ISSUES? Yeah. He had some. HAH! The only thing I said to him was, "NOW you know how I feel and how hard it is for me when I travel! Bwahhhhahahahahahah!" He totally got it. Now.

Anyway, I had my first Torture with Scary Trainer (TWiST). And everything hurts. He was proud of what I tried to on my own though so I was very happy about that.

And he also sent me a diet. Last Monday, I had a session. As I was walking out the door, I told him not to forget to send me the eating plan. I got home, and there it was in my email. Uh.... makes me feel like it was pre-meditated, which he confirmed that it was. Hmmm.

It's a 12-week diet.
The first four weeks, I am at 1800 calories.
The second four weeks is 1700 calories.
The third four weeks is 1600 calories.
I asked for a cheat day but Scary Trainer's idea of a cheat day is being able to eat up to 200g of carbs on my long run day. Uh.... not exactly what I had in mind...

So while he was gone, I've been talking to people, reading success stories and to the last person, some common things arose:
  1. You have to count calories and journal your food. You can't get away from it. This includes calories, fats, carbs, protein.
  2. Eat 5-6 small meals a day
  3. Watch everything they put into their mouths
  4. think "Do I want that in my body?"
  5. Allow themselves a single cheat day every week or two weeks
  6. Don't beat themselves up over a small mishap.
  7. About half of them DRINK NO ALCOHOL... Hmmm.... Not sure about this one.
They all said "it's all about the diet."
You can run, lift, do whatever you want but if the diet component is missing, they will either not do well in their chosen sport OR they stay fat.
This was very eye opening for me.

I don't have an issue with not eating pizza etc.
It's when I DO eat, I eat too much at one sitting.
Portion control is a HUGE problem for me.
Scary Trainer is going to have his hands full figuring this one out for for me when we get close to my goal.
But all of this proves the point that this is a life-long thing.
You have to find a sustainable way to reach your goal and stay there and maintain it. FOREVER.
Or you will have to reconcile yourself and give up losing a few extra pounds so you can stay sane on the intake side. It's all about choices and what you can live with. But like the age old rule, You can't have everything. You can't have your cake and eat it too!

Once I am at my goal, we are going to have to wean me off the diet slowly and in a manner that is helps me deal with the portion control. Maybe the key is to not go off the diet but deal with cheat meals or social situations differently.
Like only order a salad and fish, eat only half or whatever.

I love that one quote where the guy interviewed said, "Do I really want that inside of me?"
That resonates with me and it is now my new mantra.

It's been ONE DAY and I am down almost 3 pounds.
Read that again.
Three. Pounds.
Yeah. That's what I'm talking 'bout.

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    Tuesday, January 20, 2009

    And while we are on the topic of babies...


    Here is another one for you! GAK!
    I found him on Petfinder. He is a Chow Husky mix. And his name is Schroeder. How perfect is that???

    I want him!!!
    Joseph is going to kill me. I sent an email asking for more information.
    SO DAMN CUTE!!!


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    A baby in the house come Saturday morning


    We are getting a Kitty Baby!!! YAHOO!
    We pick her up on Saturday.

    His name is Boris and he looks like Henry Cat.
    How cool is that?
    I hope Henry Cat doesn't think we are trying to replace her.
    But I just LOVE black and white kitties!!

    We will have a baby in the house come Saturday morning!
    HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY!!!


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    Teddy

    He collapsed today at an Inaugural Luncheon according to the NY Times News Alert I got. I haven't read any details about this.
    "Kennedy Has Collapsed 2:55 p.m.

    Senator Edward M. Kennedy collapsed during the inaugural luncheon.

    President Obama began his speech by talking about “Teddy,” noting it was a joyous yet somber moment. “My prayers are with him and his family and Vicki,” referring to Mrs. Kennedy. Senator Kennedy, 76, underwent surgery for a brain tumor on June 2.

    Our colleague David M. Herszenhorn reports that Senator Kennedy suffered convulsions at the luncheon and was taken from Statuary Hall in a wheelchair that had been lowered to a reclining position.

    There was no immediate word on his condition, but President Obama, getting up to speak, seemed slightly shaken.

    “Right now part of me is with him,” he said of Mr. Kennedy. “It’s a joyous time but it’s also a sobering time” he added, “our prayers are with him and his family.”"
    All I have to say is that he can die in peace now.
    I think he looks on the election of President Obama as an extension of the work that his brother, JFK, may have had a hand in, had he lived.
    And it must be such a stark contrast with all that he has seen and experienced in his life.

    Now he can go.
    He can die in peace.
    Knowing that the fate of our country is in the hands of his "chosen one."

    For the first time in my life, I feel sorrow for the Kennedys.
    And acknowledge the icon and statesman that Kennedy is.
    And my concern for this man and his family surprises me.

    Maybe I am becoming more liberal in my old age.
    Couldn't possibly be...

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    Speaking of History...

    History was made today. And we are recording the entire coverage. Why? Because I had to sit in meetings from 9am until 5pm today. The whole day.

    Of course my 2-3pm person is AWOL - on some super duper project. I left a message. And my 3-4 got requested to be changed since she is busy dealing with some fallout-to-be based on some of my decisions affecting the group.

    But having said that, we will watch the coverage on fast forward tonight.
    And then from here on it, History will be made from this time going forward for at least the next 4 years.

    I hope Congress doesn't get in the way with their petty politics and annoying distractions and self-aggrandizement.

    And yesterday, President Obama did some community service. I hope that everyone gets the fact that the success of the country lies on ALL of us. And so do the failures. And that we must rely on one another to make good things happen and prevent the bad. I hope they do not think he will cure cancer. We just need a leader so that the rest of us can. Or at least can try. He will not bring miracles. But hopefully he will be able to pave the way and lay the foundations so that WE can.

    I hope people get that.

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    Forward into the Past

    I've been busy on Facebook. If you look at my page, you see a lot of runners and triathletes. Then you look closer and you will see a group of people that seem to have no connection. I've been busy looking for my past. I guess that's what you do when you get old. Or older, as in my case I hate to think that I am OLD already. And I've been connecting with a group of people from junior high and high school.

    One of them was my first date ever.
    He asked me to a Sock Hop in 9th grade.
    He was one of the nicest people I knew.
    I couldn't date and I wasn't allowed to go to dancing social events so I stayed over at a friend's house and we went from there. And I had the time of my life. Knowing Ramon the way I did, it does not surprise me the direction his life took. And he is as handsome as he ever was. He has a literary blog, too. What is it with writers? It seems that the group of people I knew, there are a few artsy, literary types. And a singer, too.

    I've found Mimi, who was so happy and happy-go-lucky. She loved peaches. My forever image of her is sitting outside near the cafeteria, on the sidewalk with a group of girls, and her slurping the juice from the peach that she just bit into. Turns out that she still loves peaches! And whenever I eat a peach, I conjure up the image of Mimi and her peaches.

    Then there's Mary Laura who I had a raging relationship with in 7th. I was push-pull in 7th grade, alternating between nice and mean. I really liked her but she wasn't too popular and sometimes I was mean to her. Talk about learned behaviour. It was my feeble attempt to fit into more of the "elite" crowd - only to fail and hurt Mary's feelings. She was a trooper. And now she teaches. Which means she is still a trooper!

    There are a few other people from both Private School and Public High School. The differences are wide and varied. But that's a topic for another post.

    I also need to find Millicent, which is yet another story.
    Where can she be...


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    Monday, January 19, 2009

    My foot

    It hurts. ARG!!! It hurts on the right side on the top around and across the metatarsals. Ok. So the other foot does the same thing when I push on the same area. BUT, on the right side, it hurts a little more and it hurts when I walk and it bends. PFFFFT.

    And I am so screwed tonight. I am seeing Scary Trainer. My foot hurts, and I've gained 6 pounds.

    I am soooo going to get yelled out.
    Sigh...

    On another note, I did study Chinese for 3 hours today. 16 hours to go to catch up with the 2009 Goals.

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    What is about Chinese??

    How can one language be so damn difficult??? ARG!!! The only saving grace is that it's not Icelandic. Talk about Impossible Language. Icelandic takes the prize for that. But Chinese? Almost as difficult.

    And I am finally hunkering down and studying. Given that my goal is to study for an hour a day, and I have not studied one iota since the beginning of the year... yeah... you do that math. I am behind 19 hours. Wait. I am down 18 hours. One hour down already today.

    And to make it all worse... I am not caught up in my catching-up-exercises. I am still on Chapter SIX! Each subsequent chapter takes that much longer to master. I think I've been on Chapter Six for about a month! And since I have not studied in about a month, that means I have to start over and review every single chapter starting with Chapter One.

    Oh. And I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and make flash cards.

    On another note, the top of my right foot hurts. I hope it's not a stress fracture. I hope it's just a strained muscle from running on the Stupid Treadmill yesterday! No human should have to run 15 miles on a treadmill.


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    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    2009 Goals Restaurant #2: Doyle's Cafe in Jamaica Plain

    The funny thing about going to this place is that I have gotten it mixed up with the Corrib. Seriously. I have no idea how I did that. But we finally went to Doyles in Jamaica Plain yesterday on our way to BMS Paper Supply which is a block up the road.

    It's your typical Irish pub-local-eatery-grill with plank floors, booths and tables, signs and pictures and all sort of paraphenalia on the walls. The service was brisk and no-nonsense. Not your super friendly, lets-sit-and-chat kinda place but we were there to eat. You can tell they have a LOT of regulars.

    The beer list was pretty good. Joseph had their own Doyle's Pickwick Ale which was darker than Guiness and had I known that I would have ordered a pint. I had the half and half, which is half Harp and Half Guiness. I usually just get a Guiness. They also had Murphy's, which is what I go for if a place has it. Usually, places have Guiness. So if there is another stout, I tend to go for the change. Anyway...

    We had the clam chowder. Good grief, it was GOOD. It was thick and no nonsense. Clams, potatoes, cream, with the right amount of spices. Joseph ended up with a burger. Whatever. He said it was good. I ended up with their fresh fish cajun broiled on a bun with onion rings. GOOD GRIEF! The fish was so fresh it flaked onto my plate. It FLAKED! And the spices were only on one side of the fish so it was not overpowering at all. The Onion Rings were excellent. They were not "bread battered" - what I call it when you have a totally breaded ring that is OILY and you can pull out the onion in the middle of all that breading with the breading intact. Instead, it was FLOURED and CRISPY and parts of the flour had dropped off so you could see the onion underneath. It was so flavorful that I did not need any ketchup.

    This was a really good place. I would definitely go back. They also sponsor the Doyle's Emerald Necklace Road Race which is a part of the New England Runner Pub Series. This year it's on April 5th according to their flyer which Joseph picked up at the restaurant. We have been meaning to do the Pub Series for years. Maybe this is the year.

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    I really love it when it snows!

    Ever since we got the snow mower.
    Of course it's not like do any of the work.

    And on another note, it's the best time to go food shopping!

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    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Heat

    It is freekin cold here.
    FREEKIN COLD.
    I am wearing my battery heated jacket.
    I am thinking of ordering battery heated insoles.

    Battery heated clothing rocks!


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    Thursday, January 15, 2009

    2009 New Restaurant #1: Ruth's Chris, Boston

    Ruth's Chris happens to be one of my favorite steakhouses of all time. I remember the first one I ever went to in Crystal City in Washington DC. A friend of mine pointed out that we went to another one in Birmingham AL but I didn't remember that until she pointed it out to me. I think the whole experience of actually visiting Birmingham was so traumatic that I put it completely out of my mind.

    Last night I took my managers to a Thank You dinner there and it did not disappoint. It remains one of the best steak restaurants that I've ever been to. The Chop Salad is still as good as I remembered it. And my filet and lobster tail were superb. The sides are typical of these a la cart places - shareable family style, and excellent. The wine list was also very good. Not big but it had a lot of quality wines. I went with what I knew to be good quality and "safe" by choosing the 2005 Stag's Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon. It needed a little airing in the glass but it was excellent and went very well with a variety of the steaks and even with the lobster tails. I had a carmelized banana cream pie for dessert which had REAL sliced banana on top of a round individual serving pie, with sugar on top that had been carmelized using a torch - the type you use for the creme brulee. It was delicious!

    I would recommend this place to anyone in the area looking for a good solid steak.

    The interesting thing was that the place was filled with MEN. You could count the women in there on one hand. I have no idea what that is all about.


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    Wednesday, January 14, 2009

    My Boston Marathon Biography Page

    The biographies of the runners are up. You can find it on the Women's Lunch Place website. Just move down the page and you will see me in the middle.

    Give early, give often.
    If nothing else, just give give give.

    :o)


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    Speaking of the Boston Marathon...

    ... I am running it this year. I think I mentioned that already. I got sucked into the vortex by the Managing Director of the Women's Lunch Place, which provides specialized services to homeless and deeply poor women. And let me tell you, if you hadn't considered that, you should. Imagine being homeless and having nowhere to sleep? To shower? I mean... HOW DO YOU KEEP SAFE??? Yeah. That's what I am talking about.

    So, my goal minimum is to raise $5000.
    Yes. FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS by April 20th, Marathon Day.

    So, this is where I start soliciting and asking and begging and groveling for donations.
    From all of YOU!
    All of my lucky friends.
    This is a chance to spread good karma.

    If you want to give any amount, let me know.
    You can donate in a couple of ways.
    1. Write a check made out to "Women's Lunch Place".
      In the Memo Line, be sure to write “Team WLP” and "Julia Kim".
      Example: Team WLP – Julia Kim

      Mail checks to:
      Women’s Lunch Place
      Attention: Team WLP
      P.O. Box 1130
      Boston, MA 02117
    2. Donate directly online at: https://app.etapestry.com/hosted/WomensLunchPlace/Registration.html
      Complete the following sections of the “Online Registration: Make a gift or register for an event” page and then select submit.
      • Contact Information – All starred (*)
      • Donation Information
        • “Donation Amount”
        • “Marathon Runner” - Enter Julia Kim
        • Payment Information: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa are accepted
      • Other Information: PLEASE remember that your donation can be doubled or tripled using Corporate Match
      • Security Code
    If you are on my list of known friends and I have your postal address, I will be sending you the following letter with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

    If I only have your email address, then I will send it as an attachment in an email.

    Here is the donation request letter:

    January 5, 2009

    Greetings!

    As we start the New Year with fresh resolve and renewed hope for prosperity and success, I am asking for your support as I run the Boston Marathon on April 20 for a very worthwhile and important charity, the Women’s Lunch Place (http://www.womenslunchplace.org/) in Boston, which is committed to helping poor and homeless women in the Boston area. As a member of the WLP Team, I am charged with raising $5,000 by Marathon Day – April 20th. And I am requesting your help and support.

    I have run over 50 marathons and half marathons, and countless races of other distances. I have run the Boston Marathon as a Charity Runner 5 times, vowing each time “never again” until the next good cause. And the WLP is exceptional in that they provide a safe, comfortable, daytime shelter, nutritious food and services for women and their children who are homeless or poor. The WLP treats women with dignity and respect, fostering a community that is committed to meeting each woman’s needs – on their terms, whatever that may mean.

    The last few months have been tough for all of us, and during tough times, we all turn inward and charitable giving declines. But tough times stress social services the most and more people than ever require help.

    Imagine being homeless, moving from shelter to shelter, scrapping for the most basic of necessities – food, clothing, a place to sleep, warmth… Visualize dark nights, loneliness. Now, imagine yourself as a woman. Maybe you have children. How will you keep yourself safe? Safety is a highly pressing issue for homeless women, requiring specialized services.

    Your generous donation translates to hot meals, a nap room where women can sleep without fear, a place to shower, clothing, outreach and placement services, advocacy, an email address, and a physical address, which is a key component to getting a job and back on one’s feet.

    My minimum fundraising requirement is $5000 by April 20th. So, I am asking for your generous tax-deductible donation for a worthy cause. And the homeless women of Boston would be grateful for any amount you can afford.

    Thank you for your generosity and help!


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    2009 Book Review #1: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

    You can get a really indepth review of the book here.

    I do not read reviews before I read books.
    I only read the front flap and maybe something about the author in the back.
    I will also open up some random page in the middle and see if it engages me.

    With this book, I did none of that.
    Joseph picked it up one day and read it through in about two days.
    I tend to read things when I am doing OTHER things so I tend to take much longer.
    This book took me a little over a week and a half.
    Considering I only read most books about 3/4 of the way through before I forget about it, that's pretty good.

    Being a runner, the title did not intrigue me at all. I don't usually talk about running too much and if I do, there is no special philosophical meaning to it. I found that the book was not particularly engaging for me. In fact, I was rather bored until just before halfway through when the writer talks about his thoughts in the later stages of running a marathon from Athens to Marathon in Greece. Just to write an article about the experience. In one small paragraph he talks about how his thoughts go from pleasant to hesitation to irritation and finally to anger. At the cows and the trees... In fact, I really laughed out loud very loudly and read that small part of the paragraph about three times. Just to amuse myself. And because I could relate to that experience. Of course, I do not change over 20 miles. Usually, I have gotten to irritation and anger in thhe first half marathon.

    And then later on, he talks about running over the Boston University Bridge when running the Boston Marathon. Uh... There is no Boston University Bridge on the Boston Marathon course. The only BU Bridge I know about crosses over the Charles River from Boston to Cambridge, and is nowhere near the Boston Marathon course. I thought I was going nuts, so I actually asked Joseph about it. We agreed that he was probably talking about the Mass Pike Overpass at 40K right before you get to Kenmore. It's sort of on or about BU property, although on Marathon day it is usually filled with the kids from Dana Farber cheering on their Charity Runners, not BU students. Anyway...

    I found the book to be meandering, and of no real point. I guess that could be a metaphor for running. No real point. And the writer's life was sort of meandering until he decided one day to be a writer. And it will continue to be until he decides he wants to be something else. And he writes about Japan. Whatever. Who cares? I don't. Most people know that I have no love lost for the Japanese people or Japan. But I digress...

    If this is a good example of the writer's genre and method, I do not think I will read any of his other books.

    If anyone wants to read it, don't bother buying it. We have a practically brand new copy that we would be glad to give you.

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    This weekend's Long Run

    We have a major arctic freeze coming our way tonight and through the weekend.

    I am thinking of running long on the treadmill this weekend.
    That's 15 miles.
    FIFTEEN!
    It's not like I haven't done it before.
    Like, oh, 5 years ago.
    And wanted to blow my brains out.

    I might actually do it this time.
    Blow my brains out, that is.

    At least,I will want to poke my eyes out with a long stick.
    But you gotta do what you gotta do...

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    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Ruth's Chris

    On Wednesday, I am taking my managers to Ruth's Chris for dinner.

    Happy happy happy!

    I love Ruth's Chris.
    This is a new one that opened a year ago.
    I've only been to the one in Crystal City, in Washington DC, and it was quite memorable. One of the best steak houses I've ever been to.
    My favorite thing on the menu is their chopped salad.
    Except that it is HUGE. I hope someone will be willing to share it with me or I will not be able to get it.

    This is a "Thank you" to my managers for all their hard work in 2008.
    They put their heart and soul into their jobs, their people, to making our department better than above average. Because of them, we have a solid reputation throughout the company for delivery, quality, integrity, and being a great group of people to work with.

    They also make me look really good.
    When I don't know the answers, they supply me with enough information to look like an expert.
    When I am mad, they give me a dose of reality.
    And when things get tough, they roll their sleeves up just a little higher and get to work a little harder. As if they weren't working hard enough already.

    I can't thank them enough.

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    Bread bread bread

    I making Russian Black Bread right now. Trying something new. It has white, whole wheat, and rye flour in it. Really substantial and the color is quite nice. It is rising in a warmed oven right now.

    I'll let you know how it tastes.


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    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    Final Run for the Week

    Actually it was a walk.
    I walked 2 miles in 30 minutes.
    So it was a very slow walk.
    My legs were still tight this morning and my back ached a bit so I knew that going out and running 6 was out of the question. But, I had to do something. So I walked on the treadmill.

    My legs are tired.
    My glutes ache.
    My back hurts.
    And even my arms and shoulders are achy from the effort yesterday.
    So today I decided to rest and recover.
    Tomorrow, I will be lifting in the evening.

    In the meantime, I have gained 2 pounds after cutting back on food and increasing activity. Something ain't right in paradise.

    On another note, my wonderful Hunny Bunny is building out the mudroom for me. Lots o' Cabinets for me to hide my crap in. Yahoo! It was a surprise. I didn't know he was going to be doing this. He has spent the whole weekend on it. There is still a little bit more work to do to get the top cabinets in but it's totally useable already. It also allows me to store all my kitchen appliances and extra dishes so I can just have every day stuff in the kitchen. I am so happy!!!

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    Saturday, January 10, 2009

    Note to self: Long Runs and Leg Work

    Never ever do a long run the day after you do a heavy leg workout, especially less than 24 less after.
    And if you do, do not plan on an "easy run."
    And if you can't wait another day because a blizzard is due, choose the blizzard.

    Today I ran 12 miles.
    12.17 to be exact but since my footpod isn't calibrated, it's probably more around 11.5 miles.
    Regardless, I am calling it 12.

    Nice little headwind running west which made things more difficult.
    I really didn't warm up much at all during the entire run. Maybe it was the wind, maybe it was the tempertature being in the mid-20's. What I wore was good - long jobs under thick running tights, a thick zip top underneath a very thick half zip, fleece socks and fleece mittens. The visor was ok but I am thinking that maybe it was too cold for just a visor and I should have worn a fleece hat, too. Before I started, I was afraid I had on too much but about half a mile in, the chill set in and I ran with a light coolness for all 12 miles.

    My legs felt tight and my glutes from the lunges and the single leg deadlifts last night were noticeably unhappy. Things were just ok and I kept thinking that right around the corner, in another tenth of a mile, I'll get the happy euphoric feeling that I had last weekend, but it never happened.

    I was able to hold my own until about mile 10 when I got noticeably tired. And then at Mile 11, I couldn't wait for the run to end.

    Tomorrow I have 6 miles.
    I am not sure how I feel about that.
    I have about 10 things on my Weekend To Do list and I have done one thing - run.
    Depending on how I feel in the morning, I might go really light and do some mild form of recovery instead.

    The weight is still up. PFFFT.

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    Friday, January 09, 2009

    La Quinta

    We are going there for a winter getaway vacation. Joseph made the reservations today.

    Let me just state for the record how excited I am.
    I am so FREEKIN EXCITED I AM GOING TO PEE!!!That is how excited I am.

    I just wish we were going for 2 weeks instead of 6 days.
    Sigh...

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    Everyday since the 1st

    Actually I think it's been about 2 weeks but I am too lazy right now to go take a look.

    Anyway... I have done something everyday since the first of the year.

    I have to stop thinking about it or I might just implode.
    Or take a day off.
    Cause I tend to do things like that.
    Like get in my own way.

    I am having issues with getting my food on track though.
    Well... I might just ease into things this week and start anew on Monday.
    Sounds good.


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    Volunteering Opportunity?

    I was going to volunteer for this until I had a discussion with Joseph.

    Of course, it involves lots of water.
    So, I changed my mind.


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    Thursday, January 08, 2009

    Jerky

    Both orders arrived today when we got home.

    Let me just say, "that's a whole honkin' lot o' jerky."

    And talk about service. I only ordered this a couple of days ago. It's like they had a premonition and were waiting around the corner.

    And do you know that my Boss has never had Beef Jerky?? I mean WTF!??? What rock has he been hiding under?

    Of course it could be a ruse to get me to supply him with Beef Jerky. Just like I do with potato chips.

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    The T

    On the one hand, commuting by T is a pain.
    On the other hand, I get a lot of reading done.

    I might just make it through 15 books this year.

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    Wednesday, January 07, 2009

    GAH! What a pain!

    Ok. I hate it when I come to work on the morning we have sleet, snow and freezing rain, with not a thing on my calendar so I could have worked from home and saved myself the getting ready and commuting time, to meet with my boss - just because he said the day before, "I'll talk to you tomorrow" - and I take him literally at his word (which is the first sign that I am clueless) and then I get his admin to put me on the calendar for 15 lousy stinkin' minutes at the end of the day and he reschedules it.

    UNTIL TOMORROW!

    I know he does this on purpose.
    It's a sport for him.
    He is such a pain.

    It would be worse if me and my entire group didn't love him so much!

    We are too much a like.
    Sheesh.

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    So far so good

    I got up this morning and ran on the treadmill. I was thinking of going out for my run but the sleet and ice was not so inviting. Instead of 60 minutes I really wanted to do, I ended up running 45 minutes. Usually my goal is 45-60 minutes so that was totally acceptable.

    I had a terrific run! I started watching a new DVD called Radio with Cuba Gooding. So far so good. Anyway, I was going much faster than I usually run on the treadmill. But the exceptionally good run on Sunday gave me a lot of confidence to boost up the pace. My legs felt great. Really great. If I hadn't felt pressure to get ready for work, another 15-20 minutes would have been a welcomed piece of cake!

    I have mapped out my food for the day, leaving about 400 calories for when I get home later. That gives me breakfast, a snack, lunch, a snack, a dinner, and then the 400 left over.

    So far so good.


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    Food

    I have to get back on the horse with the food thing.

    Last night, I had about 400 calories left. Enough for a decent sized healthy dinner. But I came home HUNGRY. That is the magic word. Hungry. So, what happened? I had pasta and meat sauce and a couple glasses of wine.

    And this morning?
    4 pounds up.
    That's the 2 pounds I lost at the beginning of the week PLUS 2 more.

    I am speechless.
    Nothing to say.
    No one to blame.

    And it sucks.

    I'm getting organized today.
    My problem is dinner.
    Ill be eating dinner at work and then soup when I get home.
    I know that'll work.
    And I can work with it.
    As long as I know exactly what I have to eat, and not have to think about it, I'm fine.
    It's when I have to THINK about it and make a decision.

    Thinking and decision-making doesn't go well together with Hunger.

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    Tuesday, January 06, 2009

    Favorite things #15: Beef Jerky

    And just to prove it, I just ordered over $200 worth of Beef Jerky from Heido Jo and Vermont Beef Jerky Company.
    I couldn't decide.
    Sigh...

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    2009 Movie Review #1: Slumdog Millionaire

    I am not a real movie goer. The thought of sitting in a theatre watching a moving and doing nothing else for 2-3 hours just about sends me over the edge. The Coolidge Corner Theatre is about a 10 minute walk from our house and on the marque, the sign said "Slumdog Millionaire." Joseph had said he wanted to see it. But I was less inclined; having traveled to India more times that I wanted to, sitting through a MOVIE about India was not my idea of afternoon entertainment. So imagine my reaction when Joseph suggested we go see this on January 1. He even made a case by saying that John the Nephew had said that even I would like it. Huh.

    I reminded him that the movie we watched the night before (Eight Below) sent me into the depth of sadness and melanchology (and yes, I know it is supposed to be an "uplifting" film so you can see how skewed my film genre definitions are).
    Well, Parker Morse has a pretty good over all view of the movie on his blog.

    If you see the movie, the thing to remember is that India is exactly as the movie shows it. The rich are very rich (you do not see that many of them in this film), and the poor are poorer than the stray dogs that roam the streets. And there are so many people that it seems that people are expendable in many cases. There is no digging out when you are so far deep whether by birth or cirumstance.

    The other thing of note is that the streets in the movie was much cleaner than when I've been to India. And the most notable thing is that the rickshaws are much dirtier and dustier in real life.

    And yes, there are definitely Chaiwala's. They serve tea in the offices. I have one when I go to India. But they are not typically that tall, light skinned, or speak English that well, if they speak it at all. Of course, they can't have an illerate highlighted in the movie, right? Alrighteee...

    India is so often presented in some highly romantic fashion. The British said that you can't tame India. And that is so true. The Indians can't even tame it. For me, in my view, there is no such thing as a "romantic India." Unless you consider the Taj Mahal - the biggest icon of a man's love for a woman in history. Instead it is a land of very hard divisions and harsh realities, population explosions, the haves of India trying to keep up with the "haves" of the rest of the world, and tripping over themselves in the process. This is a country where they have almost as many words for "yes" (all with different meanings and connotations) as the Eskimo have for "snow."

    I would encourage you to see the movie.
    But then it will also show well on Netflix in 6 months when the DVD comes out.

    Oh. And sit through the end.
    In true Bollywood fashion, it sends with a lot of singing and dancing.


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    Monday, January 05, 2009

    Working out is a lot of work!

    Ok. Tonight was my first foray into the gym withg a real formal Scary Trainer workout, without Scary Trainer.

    He's on vacation.
    In India to be exact.
    For 2 whole weeks.
    TWO WEEKS!
    So I am working out on my own.

    And all I have to say is GOOD GRIEF it's a lot of work!
    I had to set up my own weights, rack them, carry them around, get the bars, get the weights, break it all down! MY LORD!

    I did all of the exercises but one. The banded squat to press. I was supposed to do 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest 8 times. But I was so tired. This was my next to last exercise and I could only get halfway through the second set! Then the rotator cuff exercise was last and I could barely do those. Usually, I pump them out until the last two reps. This time, my right side was tired from the start, and my left side was tired halfway through the first set.

    I did either maintain or go up in weight for all of the exercises including 175 lbs for the sumo deadlifts. However I could only do 25 lbs for the floor press because I couldn't get set up with the 40 lb weights. Usually Scary Trainer puts them in my hands after I have laid back. GAH! Anyway, since I couldn't do 40's, I did 5 sets of 8 reps instead of 5 sets of 5 reps. I hope that is okay. Scary Trainer seems to do that sometimes - lower the weight and increase the reps and/or sets.

    Tomorrow, I will run for 30 minutes.
    I wonder if I can run outside.
    I hate the cold.

    Oh, of course I went over my calorie allotment for the day. PFFT.
    After eating with wild abandon like a total starving lunatic, it's hard cutting back.

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    Do or do not, there is no Try...

    Yoda said it best, didn't he? I was watching TV the other day and there was a small blurb about resolutions and why they fail.

    First, the verbiage is all wrong.
    Resolutions.
    Goals.
    Things you want to do.
    They all smack of resignation that you will TRY but if you fail, then at least you tried.

    So from now on, I am calling these my 2009 Things I Will Do list (TIWD).



    2009 TIWD Theme: Momentum

    Description: I have done some things in 2008 that set me on a better path. This year is about maintaining that, apply some gentle pressure and keeping that momentum going. Some of the things I did were:
    • losing weight
    • lifting
    • getting a handle on nutrition
    • getting more balanced on fitness - not just running and numbers, but also making sure that everything is balanced.
    This year, I hope to build on that foundation and then do more.

    So, without further delay, the 2009 TIWD list:
    1. Go to 15 new restaurants - 5 are out of metro Boston and Brookline area

    2. Host 5 dinners for Charity - if possible. Try out the first one and see if it works.

    3. Run 5 marathons

    4. Go to 5 movies at the theatre instead of watching them on the treadmill!

    5. Run or bike consistently for 5 days a week. This is on top of Scary Trainer which means lifting twice a week
      • May 9th: Doing great. I've done some sort of activity every single day since December 29th!

    6. Collect 5 new distilleries
      • Benromach Organic
      • Port Ellen
      • Fettercain
      • Lonach

    7. Serve dinner to the homeless for a special dinner or a holiday dinner

    8. Do the house to where I am 75% comfortable that its done. This is the interior - cleaning up, finishing the rooms, getting organized

    9. Lose 5 lbs I've gained, lose 5 more pounds on top of that

    10. Visit someone I haven't visited in in a few years or meet an online friend face to face and not necessarily at a race!

    11. Swim at Walden Pond in my wetsuit

    12. Study Chinese at least 5 hours a week!
      • January 14th: Not doing so well on this one. Sigh...
      • May 9th: STILL not doing so well...
      Then we have the carry overs from prior years or just things I have to work on.
      1. Stay off Webkinz!! TIME SUCK!

      2. Read 15 books

      3. Visit one new baseball park (failed spectacularly at this one in years past)

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      Sunday, January 04, 2009

      Out for the season

      I am out and off the treadmill for the season.
      I ran on the treadmill yesterday, shooting for 6 miles.
      After 4.75 hot miles and a strong desire to poke my eyes out, I gave up.
      Not even a movie could keep me entertained or interested.

      So I knew that I could never do my scheduled 8 mile run indoors today.
      I waited until the afternoon when we were back from Dim Sum at Chau Chow City with Amanda and Jenn, and after I had relaxed and digested enough of the tonnage I ate not to throw up, and after the temperature rose to about 39*. That was about... 3 o'clock. Yup.

      That was cutting it close. I figured on about 2 hours for 8 miles. Yes. TWO HOURS. I am slow. And it's the first time I've run this type of distance since October, and my first run outside since about... oh... October... And my first run in the cold since about... oh... hmmm... last winter?... Hmmm... Well. No matter.

      Let me just say that this was possibly the best run that I have had in recent memory. Okay. In long memory. Oh... since about... hmm... over a year?...

      What I wore was perfect. Silk zip top under a thick half zip with a pair of thick running pants. "Thick" is relative of course, considering the thickest running gear probably is too thin for people who do not run.

      Starting out was a little slow since I had a ball of dimsum in my belly - [note to self: you need longer than 2 hours to digest dimsum if you want to go for a run and not feel it.] But I soon warmed up and I felt really strong. My legs were just moving. And my posture was pretty good. At first I had a stitch in my side - probably from all the dimsum I had - but I managed it for the first half of the run - it went away during the second half but the dimsum ball was still there... ahem...

      Anyway, I felt so good. I felt as if I could just keep going and going. And at one point I looked down while running up hill and my pace was about 8:30 and then 9:17... I just put my head down, flipped my sunglasses down over my eyes, and got into a trance and I kept speeding up.

      I got home in about an hour and 25... not bad for the first run.
      I think that the past year of weight training had a lot to do with this. First, my core is very strong. It has to be in order to deadlift 175 lbs. In fact, my core, back and legs have to be really strong. And I could really feel how strong I've become. Joseph says that my strength is really good because of all the lifting U've been doing, so I am already ahead of the game.

      Joseph came home shortly after I did.. Turns out he had taken water, gatorade, and a jacket for me because the sun was setting and he was worried. He is so sweet. But he missed me. I told him it was because I was going much faster and he was looking for someone much more plodding. HAH!

      So, I am taking my runs out on the road for the season.
      And I am continuing my twice weekly sessions with Scary Trainer.
      Now I just have to figure out what to wear during the 10* mornings during the week before work.

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