Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting started

This week was the kick off of my running training program and so far, I am surprisingly in love with it.  Not to say that it's easy--it's not--but I'm loving the effort, loving that I am pushing myself, loving that I am not quitting!

Here's your visual for this week:  Sweaty, overweight, red-faced woman huffing and puffing down the street with a dorky grin plastered on her face.

Each Sunday our trainer emails us the schedule.  Tuesday and Thursday are group training runs; Saturday we have monthly group seminars and weekly long runs with the group; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we cross train on our own; and Sunday is rest day.  I'll post my weekly schedule along with brief notes on the "Running" tab here.

I really had to psych myself up just to show up for the first group training on Tuesday.  I get super stressed in new situations and in groups I tend to be the one standing against the wall.  Plus I had no idea where to meet, what to bring, if I was wearing the right thing...  Which I definitely wasn't, because did I mention the massive thunderstorm that was currently under way?

But Coach said rain or shine, so there I was along with about two dozen other women getting completely drenched.  (There are quite a few men in the group too, but most only come to the Saturday meetings.)

First thing, Coach says, "We've got to get you out of cotton."

I know, I know...  But the running clothes I ordered hadn't arrived yet so I looked like a drowned rat before we even started.

For the run I was paired up with the other run/walkers and a mentor for our intervals: three minutes running at a "conversational" pace alternating with two minutes walking.  Here's the thing about that:  I do not have a conversational pace.  I have a "gasping for air" pace.  Also a "when the hell is this effing interval going to end already" pace, along with a "please let me be struck by the next bolt of lightning" pace.  So it was a good thing that our mentor was chatty.

Nevertheless, I kept going.  See how handy a competitive streak can be?  There was no way I was going to be the first to cry uncle.  But by the end I felt liberated.  Well, mostly exhausted and completely drenched, but liberated too.  For so many years I have been holding on to the belief that I CAN'T run.  I guess I'll have to rethink that...

The next two meetings I switched to a 4/1 run/walk pace.  On Thursday my eyes were practically glued to my stopwatch on each interval and I had to mentally coach myself the whole way (just to the next tree, just to the stop sign, just twenty more seconds...).  But on Saturday my buddy was doing the timing and I really didn't think about how long I was running.  I didn't have that "please let this interval end now" desperation that I did on the previous runs. 

Plus we got to run on the trails and my buddy was pretty cool--she's actually completed triathlons!--so it was a fun day.

So bring it on, Week 2.  I can't wait to see what my body can do this week!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Accepting Reality

I am probably not going to get the Halloween costumes done in time this year. 

Drama Queen's (AKA the eldest daughter's) costume is almost complete--I only need to glue on some more trim and make her magic wand and crown, but it there is no reason she won't be Glinda the Good Witch.

But that's it.  I've cut out The Professor's (my youngest daughter's) Snow White costume, but only the bodice is sewn together. Plus I stupidly cut out two left sides of the cape and no right.  And I don't have extra fabric so this means another trip to the fabric store.

Other than the bags of fabric, the other two costumes are not even on the radar at this point.

Here's the thing:  I could do this. 

But I'm not sure I'll actually be able to pull it off in a way that won't make me and my entire family completely insane.

Well, except for my husband, who's in Japan.  Until the day before Halloween.  Oh--and did I mention?--he's invited all his coworkers over for a party on Halloween night?

So I'm feeling super-stressed.  But good news is that I'm not eating it.  And I lost another pound this week!!

I'm planning to do my best and try to be forgiving of myself.  That's the hardest thing, isn't it?


BTW, even if I don't finish sewing costumes, the girls will still have the costumes of their choice--the "homemade" is my own vanity.  Despite it, I will buy, borrow, or barter if necessary.

Monday, October 18, 2010

This is serious...

It seems that in some sort of fit of optimism, I have signed myself up for the Carlsbad Half-Marathon on January 23rd. Because apparently a 5K isn't quite ambitious enough for my hyper-competitive self??! Okay then!

So I signed up for the half-/full-marathon training group at our Y.  Last season they trained for the OC Triathlon--remember I said I went and watched it?  I knew as soon as I saw them plunging into the lake before dawn that there was going to be trouble...

Our official training period started today although I missed the official kick-off.  So angry at myself!!!  All week I was planning on 9 at the Y on Saturday.  I even lined up hubs to take the girls to dance class ("So what, I just have to sit there for 5 hours?";  "It's only 1 hour and I do it every single week.").

Then, just as I was getting ready to leave I decided to pull up the info flier online.  Only to find out that it actually started a full hour earlier than I thought!!

I would like to say that I reacted the setback with grace, but I actually had a tantrum to rival the worst any of my childrens'. 

Once I calmed myself, I got in touch with the trainer who gave me absolution and encouraged me to just "JOIN US!" 

I think it was the caps that got me, but I paid my money (significant) and signed up. 

We meet Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with additional core (yoga, Pilates, TRX) training scheduled for the alternate days. 

I'm excited.  And super scared that I won't be able to keep up.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

This is Halloween, everybody make a scene!

It is precisely two weeks now until the big night and I STILL don't know what I'm going to be.  I have to be something, though--it's on the list!  Annual event means no chance for a redo and I'm not going to concede defeat. 

At first I was super excited because we had just watched The Wizard of Oz and the girls all wanted to be characters.  We had Dorothy, Glinda the Good Witch, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Girl.  Perfect!  I'd round out the cast as the Wicked Witch and hubs could be my minion, an evil flying monkey!  (Sorry Scarecrow, you were out.) 

Then we went to buy the patterns...*

And there were princesses!  And sparkly fabrics!  And crowns!  And magic wands!  And did I mention princesses?

So this year will hereby be officially designated as The Year of the Princess.  We have Princess Snow White, Princess Cinderella, Princess Jasmine, and Glinda the Good Witch, which--while technically not a princess--is the sparkliest, poofiest, glitteriest costume of all!

Should I keep in theme and be a princess?  Ignore all the sparkles and glitter and be a free thinker?  We're hosting my husbands boss and quite a few of his coworkers for Halloween, so it's got to be appropriate for that too.  Okay, off to research princesses...

*Yes, I am one of those insane people who spends the weeks before Halloween sewing costumes from scratch, despite the fact that purchased costumes cost half the price and zero the time.  My costumes are nicer and better quality but I fully recognize that the evenness of my stitching and quality of my fabrics is really not of importance in regards to an outfit that will be worn perhaps once or twice, then end the night completely covered in a smorgasbord of chocolate and goo.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


So after two weeks of feeling progressively unhooked from my friends and family, I wrote this melodramatic (and rather embarrassing) post about a random encounter at the grocery store on Saturday...


Coming down the aisle is an ageing hippie woman--grey hair to her hips, blouson batik shirt, gypsy skirt and Birkenstocks.

"Why is it," she asks, shaking a jar of what looks like coconut juice in my face, "that all of us women turn to this when we are having a hard time?"

I shrug and murmur unintelligibly as I try to step past her. 

She is unfazed: "Yesterday I had to put my cat to sleep."

I stop.

"He was fourteen.  A Siamese, blue eyes--so sweet."

"I am so sorry," I say, and I am surprised because I feel myself tearing up.  In front of this random stranger.

But suddenly I think about my own cat, Calvin, who is now sixteen years old and clearly on a gradual decline.  I think about the problems Swistle is having with her cat, Mouse.  I think about all the sorrow and how it just seems too much sometimes.

I shuffle awkwardly.  I'm surprised to hear myself speaking.

"I'd really like to give you a hug," I say. 

She pauses a moment.

"I'd like that."


So, yeah, weird and random and totally unlike myself.  But I felt better.  Well, embarrassed too, but better.  Maybe she did too? 

I'm not going to try to make this into some deep experience, because, honestly it was probably no more than a chance encounter between too slightly off-balance characters.

But by the next morning something had changed.  I woke my oldest daughter up bright and early and we walked down to the lake to watch the start of the Orange County Triathlon.  Then we walked up to have breakfast, talking and singing and just enjoying being with each other.  Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed by everything I need to accomplish that I become unable to enjoy.   


By the way, if you ever want to be INSPIRED, go watch a triathlon.  These are AMAZING athletes.  Watching them plunge into the lake as the sun was just coming up, I wanted to be them.  I think I've found item number one for next year's list...

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I am going to write a two-part post today--I'm just not able to process my day without splitting it up like this. 

The first is about my tendency to "unhook," shut myself away from all the people I love in my life and just turn in.  And away.  I've been feeling it happen these last few weeks.  It is my youngest daughters' fourth birthdays and I've been struggling to plan a party.  Friends, relatives call and I let voicemail pick up.  Returned calls?  No.   People are leaving messages wondering if my phone has been disconnected. 

I know these are probably "classic signs of depression," but I seriously don't have the time or energy to seek the cure.  I know from past experience that these episodes come and go and this one will eventually go as well.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I highly recommend...

...standing in front of the seam in the mirrors in the exercise room.  Suddenly slim!  Seriously, my reflection was about 20 pounds lighter.  Sure, the middle third of my body was optically removed, but I looked good!  Instant motivation.

Perhaps it's just the leftover warm and fuzzy feelings from my own little Mirror of Erised, but I am really feeling good about my body this week.  I can see that I'm shedding the fat: I have to keep pulling my jeans back up, the stomach pooch is less poochy, and the girls aren't busting (aha... nice pun, huh?!) loose from my button-down shirts.

But more than that, I'm feeling strong and I'm feeling fit.  I pushed myself by adding weight in my BodyPump class and I made it through right along with everyone else.  In BodyStep yesterday I was horrified to see that two of the cute young moms from my daughter's Kindergarten class were there.  I was going to have to sweat in front of them--they probably only glow!  But they actually had to take several breaks throughout, while I powered through.  Just goes to show that, just as fat doesn't mean unfit, thin does not equal fit.  Still, my competitive side was doing a little happy dance.

One thing I do know is that this feeling is not because I've lost more weight--I actually gained 0.6 pounds this week.  I guess it just goes to prove that the scale does lie

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Q: What does the dentist of the year get?

A:  A little plaque!

AHAHahaha...!?  Ha...?  No?

Oh well, turns out I could be dentist of the millennium with MY plaque, but at least I went to the dentist so that's another item off my list.  Finally.  After ten years...

Ugh!  Why?  I have always had "good" teeth, no cavities or other problems of any kind other than a baby tooth that refuses to fall out.  I've never had a tooth drilled, pulled, straightened or otherwise molested.  The extent of my dental care has consisted of x-rays and a cleaning.  Poor dentists, can't make any money from me!

Back to the question, why no dentist for ten years?  The only reason I can think of is that I don't like to make phone calls!  I mean, seriously, I put them off and put them off and put them off until pretty soon they are this big looming THING.  Then it's ten years later and I don't want to explain to a dentist why it's been ten years since my last visit, so I keep putting it off.  That's why there a lot of rather mundane items on my list--I procrastinate and build them up until they actually do become big chores.

So the good news is that I still have pretty healthy teeth.  Still no cavities, but lots of the aforementioned plaque.  Which apparently needs to be scraped out in a separate procedure called a deep root planing.  Sounds kind of scary, huh?  It sounds even scarier when my Russian dentist says it.  (Why does everything sound scarier with a Russian accent?)

Guess we'll see if I'm still a brave dental patient next week.