Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Autumn colors

When I get better (or less lazy) with the whole putting pictures thing on this blog, I'll post some pictures of the beautiful trees here in upstate, NY. I was walking my little reds to the end of the driveway to wait for the bus this morning and we were marveling at how gorgeous it was when the sun hit the tops of the changing trees--the golds, reds, and oranges just seem to sparkle.
Yesterday I had a yoga breakthrough. I decided to REALLY focus on my breath during the class. I would imagine being on the beach listening to the surf. Water going out (inhale) water coming in (exhale.) I decided that I would not, even one time, look at my watch to see how much longer the torture was going to endure. If I couldn't do the pose being done, I would just do the best I could. It was all about the focus and intention.
And I'll be darned if it didn't work! The class seemed to go by quicker than other classes have and I felt much more relaxed at the end of the class. I think there is something meditative about yoga (duh--I can be a slow learner.)
We'll see how I do today.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Remembering Apollo

I had my dog euthanized last Thursday.
I can't say "put to sleep" and I'm not quite ready for "put to death" so "euthanized" works the best for me.
I had my beautiful Apollo for almost 12 years.
I had never before had a pet for 12 years.
His death was peaceful. I will never forget the kindness and compassion of my vet. She let me keep him in the back of my car and gave him the Big Pink Shot there so we didn't have to go through the trauma of moving him again. He still weighed 86 lbs so I was thankful to God that my hubby and I were able to get him into the car on the first try.
In some ways, Apollo was the heartbeat of our house. He was always there. Even when we were out of town, Apollo was there, guarding, sleeping, protecting. He protected my little reds when they were born. Nobody got past him unless I introduced them first. He would sleep on the landing going up the stairs where the little reds would be in their rooms and simply stand up if he didn't know who was coming. In his prime, he weighed almost 150 lbs. He looked like a giant polar bear.
So my heart is heavy.
This Sunday will be the blessing of the Animals--Apollo had gone with me for 10 years. But I give thanks to God for the memories I have of my Good Boy--and look forward to blessing the pets who bring unconditional love to our lives.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sports Rehab, mole, living yoga

This afternoon I'll see the sports rehab chick for the first time. I'll let y'all know how it goes. I'm most concerned about the time component but all shall be well.
The little reds started school again--we almost missed the bus yesterday and completely missed the "first day of school" photo ops...so this morning I took the camera out and got pics. Little reds said "But Mom, it's not the first day of school!" I said "It's within 24 hours, it counts." Bus driver was laughing. Laughing hard. I just smiled sweetly.
I was not smiling so sweetly on Saturday, at least not for the first 6 hours of making the mole. Rick Bayless may be this amazing zen Mexican chef but, lemme tell you, the man has LOTS of assistants. Making mole by myself, in retrospect, was a good measure of my own personal fortitude and stubbornness. But what the hell was I thinking? It took me 9 hours, not counting the hours shopping and calling to find ingredients. Making this sauce (and you can google the recipe: Rick Bayless' braised turkey in red mole" is not for the faint of heart. The end product, however, is slap yo mama good. Seriously. And it's getting better. Complex, rich, dark, sexy...a real palate pleaser. I'll make it again but with some different kitchen equipment. (And I have enmity in my heart for my blender. It sucks. Food processor worked much butter for the pureeing steps...)
I have joined living yoga. I'm going to try to re-work my schedule so that I can attend at least 3-4 classes a week. It won't be easy. During this first week of school, either my beloved hubby or I have had meetings every night. The first time the family will be able to sit down for dinner together is Saturday. This is not right. But little reds love their teachers. I'll meet them tonight at curriculum night. It's tough not being able to bi-locate since 4th and 5th grade curriculum nights take place on the same night, but I manage. And Dad was on-call last night so he'll be with little reds tonight. I have incredible compassion for single parents. I don't see how they do it.
So yoga either tomorrow at 6 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. Then a Saturday morning class. I'm teaching a class at a Spirituality Fair on Saturday--"Making and Praying the Anglican Rosary" and then will officiate at a wedding at 4 p.m.
Time to get ready for the day. Breathe and be open. That's my intention.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I always love the beginning of September--full of new beginnings! New school year for the little reds, new program year at the church, and new whatever else we decide. I've decided to try a 3 month experiment of doing yoga 3-4 times/week (and whenever the Yoga studio offers the 40 days to personal transformation, I'm signing up. Trust that you'll get to read ALL about it.) I'm going to cut back to once a week with the personal trainer and see how it goes. I start rehab on my hip on Sept 10. Since going to the sports med dr. last week, my hip has been pretty sore--but yoga doesn't make it any worse and makes me feel tons better.
I've also decided to try to make Rick Bayless' red mole sauce. I have ordered some of the more specialized ingredients (guajillo chiles, mexican chocolate, avacado leaves) from a gourmet supply company in California. I was hoping to spend this coming Saturday in the kitchen but I don't know if the ingredients will arrive by then. I might have to start a search in the upstate NY area to see what I can find.
And I really am going to post about making the homemade mozzarella cheese...just not now. Maybe later. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yoga! Yoga! Yoga!

Meant to sound like "Toga, Toga, Toga" from "Animal House."
I did make it to the 6 a.m. class last Friday. When we entered the room, the lights were very dim. It made me want to go back to sleep. Except that there are these really hard core chicks who take this class who obviously have made yoga their way of life and are able to do all the inversions and positions and stuff that I may never do in my lifetime (not that I'm judging my yoga practice, Lindsey says not to judge but to stay in the present. whatever.)
Anyway, I got through the class but was very happy to take Saturday and Sunday off from yoga. I had a regular work-out with my trainer on Monday and then went to Lindsey's class yesterday afternoon. It was a full class but I'm starting to get the hang of some of the "flow." And Lindsay is getting the hang of my looks that say "Uh, that pose ain't happenin' quite yet.) Like crow. Where people are on their heads with their hands on either sides of their heads and their knees balanced on their elbows. Seriously. Just picture that. And, not to be picky, but I've never seen a crow do that either. But hey, as a priest, there's LOTS that I just have to take on faith...I'm just sayin'...
Tomorrow afternoon Lindsey is teaching a "restorative yoga" class. I'll let y'all know how it goes.
In terms of the whole organic/local eating stuff: husband NOT HAPPY that I spent extra money on organic tomatoes. But they sure tasted good and even my youngest daughter has begun asking for them on her sandwiches. I'll find other ways to make husband happy and continue to shop as wisely and healthfully as I can. And also remember to take the pricetags off the tomatoes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

drinking the yoga Koolaid

I'm not quite hooked.
But I'm getting there.
I did another class with Lyndsey today.
She rocks.
It was awesome. I still have lots to learn but I come out feeling tired and clean. (even though I'm drenched with sweat.)
I'm planning to attend another class at 6 a.m.
We'll see if it happens.
My next blogs will talk about my foray into making homemade mozzarella cheese. Yep. I think I also have been drinking the Barbara Kingsolver koolaid. These times, they are a changing. The whole idea that we (and by we I mean every single one of us) need to change our actions to reverse the damage we've done to this planet is immediate and serious. Everyone has to do what they can. Eat local. Buy local. Don't shop mindlessly.
Okay, enough preaching for now. I got to get to bed so I can get up early in the a.m.! More tomorrow!

The Day After

I loved the yoga class.
The instructor was great. She encouraged all of us to go at our own rate and push ourselves when we were ready but the way she said it made me want to work harder. She reminded me of my trainer, Jenny, who gently challenged me--she made it more of an invitation than an obligation.
I think this is a translatable message in my parish. I want people to move into a deeper relationship with God and each other because that is what they are capable of doing. Yes, at first it can seem foreign and uncomfortable. But once you've been at it for a while, it becomes a life practice. I can't imagine a life without my faith. I can't imagine a life where I didn't value religious pluralism. Fundamentalism in just about any form scares the hell out of me.
I'm currently reading a great book called "Acts of Faith" by Eboo Patel (published by Beacon Press.) It is fantastic and I highly recommend it.
In the meantime, I'm checking the website for the yoga studio to see when Lindsay is teaching again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Back to Yoga--Class #5

I've been to a total of 4 yoga classes in my life. The first one, with my dear friend, JBB, liked to kilt me. (That's a southern expression which, translated, means "almost killed me.) The room was so hot that my yoga mat felt like a slip n slide. And the class was filled with old pros who had no trouble with the positions. They all were very flexible and meditative. Me: not so much.
The second class I went to was a very beginner class and it wasn't so hard (except for one pose that involved being upside down but I used that as an opportunity for a water break.) The third class was still pretty intense but the instructor was young and willing to answer my questions. The fourth class was with the teacher that taught the first class and it still liked to kilt me.
I was out of town all last week and didn't do any yoga. But I will go back to class at 4 p.m. today. I haven't taken a class with this instructor, Lindsay, because she is substituting for the owner who is taking a three week yoga class in the Mexican Desert. I am thinking that I might try to get more into yoga--I bought a key card that is good for 11 classes--and, if nothing else, it will give me more material for stand-up comedy routines. It is definitely time to get back on stage.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where did the summer go?

Well, since it's about 85 degrees, it's certainly still here...
But in terms of the days/weeks/months, it flew by.
I've been busy, busy, busy.
Spent two weeks in Anaheim, California at the General Convention of The Episcopal Church. I believe we passed some good legislation. And the daily worship fed my heart and soul. After GC, I met my wonderful hubby in Northern California to spend a few days with some fabulous friends...Great food, great company, and much needed rest. Came home, unpacked, and then picked up my little reds from three weeks at camp! I don't know who was happier--the parents or the campers! But there was much rejoicing on both sides. After a couple of weeks at home, all the family gathered at Pompanuck for a reunion week. Now we're back and I'm trying to take some time to reflect and think about Next Steps.
I did start going to a vinyasa yoga class, thanks to my friend, Jennifer. This probably is a good spiritual discipline for me because it is not an appropriate venue to crack jokes. I have to keep my inside thoughts and comments inside. Which Is Not Easy. But at least I can share them with y'all here so stay tuned.
Still haven't been able to run because of the hip injury...I keep planning to see the doctor. Now I'll make an appointment although this blog will NOT turn into the place for me to discuss my medical problems--that'd be boring as hell and at 43 I'm not quite ready to go there.
We'll see if I can get into regularly blogging again. It was great while I was running--so maybe it can be my yoga blog. As If.
But hey, you never know.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mercy Mercy me!

So many things to happen in a month!
Yes, I finished the 5k in under 35 minutes.
34 minutes, 57 seconds.
Race conditions weren't ideal--40 degrees at the start of the race, the final 2/10 uphill straight into a strong wind. And a strained hip after it all.
Interestingly enough, the strained hip necessitated a trip to the doctor.
The doctor diagnosed high blood pressure.
So I've now had EKGs, Stress Tests, Ultrasounds of my heart, echocardiograms--and will be having an ultrasound of my renal arteries in a couple of weeks.
I'm changing my eating somewhat but haven't been able to run because of the hip.
I am not handling this graciously, gentle readers.
So please pray.
I have tried to walk when I can but miss the physical outlet of running. Walking just ain't the same. I'm praying that once my hip stops hurting completely, I can return to the running.
And some consistent medical answers would be nice, too.
Prayers, please!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Achieving my fitness goal

Well, gentle readers, I've done it!
I ran the Lilac 5k course last night without stopping or dying. I ran it in 35 minutes, 50 seconds. The folks in my training class were give the opportunity to run it with one of the Medved runners who coaches us on Saturday mornings. A big number of runners participated. I was in the intermediate group. A number of people started out pretty quickly and then slowed down. I think I kept a pretty steady pace throughout the run. I sprinted at the end, which is a bit of a challenge because the course ends going up a hill. But it felt great to know that I have run the course and have done what I set out to do. Beloved step-daughter Rachel has asked me about my next fitness goal. Well, first I want to run the official 5k on May 17. There are some other 5ks that are taking place this summer that I might enter. I also want to set up a running group for General Convention in Anaheim this summer. Beyond that, I don't know! I think my goal for a while will just be running at least 3 miles 3-4 times a week. I don't know if I want to bump it up and try to do a 10k or not...I'll just see how things go.
Life is good. I'm off to Albany today for a pre General Convention Province II synod meeting. Hopefully the meeting will be inspirational. Prayers, please.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Changing roles

In the past few days, God has given me some neat opportunities to change my roles and perspectives. On Wednesday evening, I found out that I didn't get a job for which I had applied and I was bummed for a number of reasons. The friends/family members who knew I had applied were great when I told them I didn't get it and have been wonderfully supportive since then. On Friday morning, I was thinking about another woman who had applied for the same job (and didn't get it) and decided to send her a text to see if she was okay. Within a short amount of time, my phone rang, and it was this woman calling to commiserate. I got to change roles from victim to care-giver because she was clearly devastated whereas I had kind of had the "Well, God must have something bigger in store for me" attitude.
I had another opportunity in running training this morning. After being told we were going to run 40 minutes straight, I was all set to start fussing and complaining. However, it turns out that I was the only one in the group with a sport watch with a chronograph on it. All of a sudden, I felt like it was my job to encourage us with things like "Y'all, we're doing great. Half-way there!" And "We're awesome! Only 15 minutes to go!" And "Wow--we're really kicking it today! 8 minutes left!" etc...So I went from complainer to encourager.
I like learning new life lessons. And I like sharing them. So, if things suck, change your role.

Personal Best

Okay. I've been kind of lame about posting. Sorry for that. I noticed that I did great in January, pretty good in February and March, and not so great in April. I'll work on it.
This morning, I achieved a personal best. I went to running training with my group. Our directions for today were to run 3-4 miles. Now y'all may remember that my goal at the beginning of all this was to be able to run 3 miles without stopping or dying. When it was time to run, the coach asked us how far we wanted to go. I said I was fine with three miles. Another woman said she thought she could go 4. The gentleman in the group said 3.25 was the farthest he'd gone so far. So the coach said that he wanted us to run 40 minutes without stopping and that that would probably be about 3.5 miles. I have never run 40 minutes without stopping. I have run 30 minutes without stopping and here I was being asked to run 33% longer than my longest running time. No music, no tv--just other people and God's creation on a beautiful Saturday morning. So I said "Here's the deal. I will commit to this. But I'm pretty sure that I'll be complaining bitterly for the last 15 minutes." My running buddies laughed.
I did it.
I ran 40 minutes without stopping.
Probably at least 3.5 miles.
I feel GOOD!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Running with the club

Every Saturday morning, runners from the running training group (and anyone else who wants to join) meet at the running store and train together. I got back in town last night and decided to get up early and join the running training group. While I was gone, I did run in LA (beautiful run along the boardwalk from Venice Beach into Santa Monica) and also in San Antonio (hilly neighborhood my folks live in!) We ran between 2 1/2 and 3 miles this morning and it was tough but it felt great. The race is 3 weeks from tomorrow so it's time to get serious about the training! (Not that I haven't been serious, mind you.)
I'll keep y'all updated this week!
I'll be running Monday, Wednesday, Thursday night, Friday (easy run) and next Saturday (with the group.) I'm about to go back to the store to get them to check my shoes and feet because I'm getting some blisters and I want to see if it's the fit of my shoes or something else...I'm also going to get a watch so I can do splits and pacing and other official running type timing stuff--I'm truly just throwing around words here to impress y'all. "Stuff" is such a technical term...

Happy Birthday to my amazing step-daughter, Rachel. Rachel is one of my sheroes. She embraces challenges, sets difficult goals for herself (and achieves them), she is beautiful, smart, loving, funny, tolerant, forgiving, compassionate, and the list goes on and on. I owe her so much. Times haven't always been easy in our household but Rachel has helped us weather many storms together. One of the things I admire most about her is her thoughtfulness. Rachel doesn't forget to sent cards on birthdays, holidays, etc. I'm horrible about this and she loves me anyway. I have had lots to learn about parenting and, bless her heart, Rachel had to be the test ground. I screwed up a lot and she loves me anyway. She is an amazing big sister and just darn fun to be around. So Rachel, here's to you. I love you, I'm proud of you, and I'm so glad you'll be with me as I complete my first 5k! You get the credit for being my inspiration. Keep doing what you're doing. Trust your instincts. And be your best self!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Saturday, Monday, Wednesday

Yep, gentle readers, I ran all these days. Now Saturday was very tough on account of I was bushed. Maxed out. Close to exhausted. Ready to be done. And I still had to get through an Easter Vigil (love that Exsultet but it's lots of chanting! And Eucharistic Prayer D!) and a Sunday morning Easter mass. So Saturday was more of a run with periods of walking. But Monday and Wednesday were straight running through. The amazing Rachel gave me some good advice about starting slow, gradually increasing my speed, and then doing some intervals where I push up the speed for 30 seconds or a minute. I found that I like running faster for about two or three minutes and then decreasing the speed...My goal is to be running 3 miles in 30 minutes and now I'm at about 2.75 miles but I still have a little over 4 weeks until the 5k. And since Rachel will be here to be my pace person, I know I'll be fine.
Off to LA tomorrow to preach and preside at a U2charist with a Bono impersonator. Then I go from there to Texas to spend some much needed time with my folks and the little reds. I'm ready for some heat! And grateful that my parents have a treadmill in their house because running in the Texas sun might be worse than running in Palau.
More from the West Coast!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday's Run

I ran first thing this morning (well, after drinking some coffee, drinking some water, and eating half of a power bar.)
I didn't go as fast as I did on Wednesday--I think I actually tried to start out too fast instead of starting slower and gradually increasing and then slowing back down. So when I run tomorrow morning, that's what I plan to do--7 to 8 minutes at a slower pace, 15 to 16 minutes at a faster pace, and then 7 to 8 minutes at a slower pace. We'll see how it goes. I still ran 2.5 miles. I tried not to look at the time on the treadmill so often and I think that helped. If the weather cooperates, I'll run outside in the morning.
Today is my baby girl's 9th birthday! I didn't plan so well in terms of timing my chirren's births--one 2 weeks after Christmas and one that usually falls in/around Holy Week and Easter. That combined with a husband's birthday on April 6. The thing is, I'm not all that good with remembering birthdays anyway. I try to let folks know on a fairly consistent basis that I love them and try to do little things for them year round cause doing big birthday parties isn't so much my thing...That said, we have never yet not had a big birthday party for our daughters. Tonight younger daughter will have 18 school friends over for a pizza/swimming party and then 8 young ladies will spend the night and go with us to see the "Hannah Montana" movie tomorrow. Thank God for an associate priest who's willing to take the evening service for me tonight. I'll join him for the Vigil tomorrow night. But this certainly makes for a long(er) weekend!
Prayers, please.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wednesday's Run

I ran late yesterday evening.
I noticed that there are a few places in the thirty minute run that I just have to push through. At about 8 minutes, I'm starting to get a bit tired but I tell myself I'm almost 1/3 of the way done. At 13 minutes I'm saying "Ugh! 17 more minutes to go!" And then at almost 20 minutes, I'm having to just say "Deal. Gift. Breathe. Healthy." I'm ready for the weather to be nicer so I can run outside but this week has been all about the mixed precip and strong winds. There were a couple of times in the run yesterday when I felt pretty good and it was mainly when I got into the music I was listening to or just let my mind think about other things. I did focus on my running being a gift to myself but there was an equally vocal part of myself that said she would prefer a spa gift certificate. Honestly, I crack myself up.
Honestly, however, there is nothing that feels as good as stretching after the run and knowing that I have met my goal for the day. That is probably when I feel most like a winner. Everyone should feel like this about something in their lives.
My shins were so sore last night! I took Rachel's advice and iced them and they feel better today. I'm glad today is a rest day. I'll run again tomorrow and on Saturday.
And, as always, gentle readers, I'll let y'all know how it goes!
Peace, love, and tranquility!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Running through Holy Week

Ran 30 minutes on Monday.
Will run another 30 minutes late this afternoon or this evening before dinner.
I'm spending lots of time thinking about balance...
And praying for my clergy sisters who try to do so much for so many...
And not just my clergy sisters--so many women!
Not that men don't, but I think women view the world differently.
A friend of mine recently "re-framed" my running.
It's something I do for myself, not for others.
Not punishment but a gift.
I don't need to beat myself up on days that it's hard--I need to celebrate each step.
I like this.
My beloved Rachel ran 10 miles on Sunday and set a personal record!
She averaged 7 minutes, 35 seconds per mile.
I don't even think that fast.
I hope to run my 5k in less than 35 minutes.
But finishing will be my success.
Happy Holy Week.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Oh yeah I did and yeah I had

Okay, so I wasn't quite as lame as I was making myself out to be and I had posted within the week.
I did my running on the treadmill this morning and felt so good after I finished and did all my stretching. So thanks for the positive vibes, gentle readers! I have looked at my schedule and written in my running days and am feeling pretty good.
The weather here has been dismal. Rain mixed with snow and lots of fierce wind. Made one want to go back to bed and pull up the covers! I did manage to take young daughters shopping for Easter dresses so they won't be wearing jeans and tshirts to church. Not that they ever need to wear jeans and tshirts since their closets are filled with nice clothes but I tend to not notice what they're wearing until we actually arrive at church and am usually aghast at which point it is too late to do anything about it...
Prayers, gentle readers, prayers.

Movie Review "I love you, man!"

This movie was fantastic.
Laugh out loud funny.
Just what I needed on a rainy Friday afternoon. I felt like it gave me a glimpse into the world of guys and gave me lots of compassion for them! I also liked that much of it was filmed in Venice Beach where I'll be visiting in a couple of weeks--that's the boardwalk where I'll be running (or strolling, depending on the heat...)
And getting to spend time with Kyle was just what the doctor ordered.
A late afternoon lunch (big ole salads with fried calamari on top,) a movie, and then a trip to Wegmans to see the new grocery carts.
Life is Good.

I need some inspiration!

Yes, dear readers, I'm aware.
I haven't posted for over a week.
And my running hasn't been up to par, either.
The weather here has been questionable, as has my discipline!
I went to my Medved training on Thursday night. We did some great warm-up exercises--toe walks, heel walks, high knees, butt kicks--and then ran a mile at "conversational pace" but I wasn't quite up to making conversation--then went to the track to do 2 800s at a faster pace followed by 1 400 at shuffle pace (which I basically walked/shuffled)--repeated this, then walked 800.
I was just having a hard time pushing through!
And today the weather outside is rainy and windy.
So, back to the treadmill.
Looking ahead, I've got a crazy schedule.
This week is Holy Week.
Next week, I fly to California on Thursday and then from California to Texas on Sunday. I'll be in Texas until Friday, 4/24.
I've got to work out my own training schedule and then stick to it.
Today I'm supposed to do my "long run" of 2-4 miles which I'm psyching myself up to do and then I'll let y'all know. I can't do the Medved training for the next 3 weeks because of my church/travel schedule so I'm really thinking I need to go back to the 30 minutes of running 4x week. I have discovered that I do much better running in the morning and it's actually easier for me to do this when I'm traveling provided I have access to a fitness center (which I won't have in California--but the friend I'm staying with lives near Venice Beach and has assured me I can run on the Boardwalk.)
Y'all pray for me. I've come this far--it's time to find out what I'm really made of!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Medved Training

Our training organizer, Sherry, had computer problems and wasn't able to post our training schedule. But she posted it last night.
It's not quite as specific as I would like. She said she hoped we did our "long run" on Saturday (check!)
Then she said for Monday or Tuesday to run 1.5-2.5 miles (check! I ran 2 miles yesterday morning before my hour workout.)
Wednesday she said to cross train on an eliptical or a bicycle for 30 minutes.
I plan to run again this afternoon (Tuesday) just so I'm getting in 4 days of running a week. Then I can use the eliptical and stationary recumbent bike when I have my training session tomorrow and then run again on Thursday p.m.
Yesterday morning when I was running, I thought that cottonwood was blowing but it looked smaller. It was snow. Blech.
Today is warmer and sunny--kind of like Saturday--so I'm actually looking forward to running before the little reds get home from school.
I have an important phone interview tonight so I'm thinking the run will help me clear my head. Prayers, please!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday morning run

So today I decided to try a long run outside around the neighborhood. Hannah said she'd go with me on her bike and "encourage me." Which was really fun. I managed to run almost 3 miles in a little over 30 minutes so I felt great. Hannah would ride all around me saying things like "Way to go, Mom!" and "Be light on your feet!" and "You can do it, Mom!"
Sherry didn't send out any specific training program which is kind of what I thought she would do--maybe it will come later--she just said for the intermediate runners to try and go for an easy 20-30 minute run. So I think I'm going to continue to run for my 30 minutes at a time followed by extensive stretching until I get something more specific from her. But running in 56 degrees and beautiful sunshine this morning was perfect!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Group Training-night 1

Some of these people are hard core.
Memo to self: If it's raining and cold, wear a hat.
On account of I didn't do this.
Some of the "intermediate runners" (the group I'm in) don't seem so "intermediate" to me. I mean, just because it's been a couple of months since you ran your last freakin' marathon doesn't make you an intermediate runner. I may be exaggerating somewhat. But I was solidly in the middle of the pack so that was good. We all gathered (outside in the parking lot of a bank next to a field and a big school track and field where kids were having lacrosse practice) in the 45 degree weather. At least it was just kind of raining and not a driving rain. At first I was freezing. I had on running tights, cool running pants, a long sleeved tech t shirt, another long sleeved shirt, a jacket, and a vest. Sherry, the woman who is organizing the training, divided us into our beginner, intermediate, and advanced groups. There were about 30 people in both the beginning and intermediate, and 3 advanced. (They looked smug.) Sherry turned the beginner group over to another runner guy from Medved and they began their walk-run program. Sherry's dad took our group. He told us we were going to do an "easy warm-up, about 10 minute run, about a mile) around the perimeter of the field. Sherry joked that she loved mud so we would be getting a little muddy. We took off running. After about 3 minutes, this woman ran up beside me and said she liked my pace and wanted to run with me. I gasped that that would be fine. She had been a runner in high school and college but had gotten out of it and found that she didn't like running without a coach and thought this would be a good way to get back in. I gasped "great." When we finished our warm-up, I was burning up. I trotted over to my car and started shedding clothes. I got down to my sports bra, put a long sleeved shirt back on, and went back and joined the group leaving the other long sleeved shirt, the jacket, and the vest in the car. Then we headed to the track and Sherry told us about the importance of "pacing." We were going to run a series of "splits" which meant one time around the track (basically a quarter mile.) She wanted us to try to do "even splits" where we ran the same pace around the track each time. We were instructed to run our first time around the track and they would call out our finish time and after a short rest, do it again and try to run it at the same pace. Then we'd do it again, then we'd do two laps as a cool down. I ran my first split in 2:48, my second in 2:35 and my third in 2:23. So I obviously need to work on my timing better and push it a bit more in the beginning. After we finished, we stretched. Sherry told us we need to hold our stretches for 45 seconds to 1 minute which is about 3 times as long as I've been holding them so that was a good thing to learn. She'll email us our training schedules today.
I'll keep y'all informed!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Glad to run again

So I did run yesterday afternoon--well, I ran 12 1/2 minutes, walked 5 minutes, ran 12 1/2 minutes for a total of 30 minutes. I found out that eating at the Indian Buffet 30 minutes before running wasn't such a good idea. If I hadn't walked those five minutes, I might have had a big mess to clean up on the treadmill...
I got the email this morning from the Medved folks about the training class. We meet at a TRACK. OUTSIDE. At 6 p.m. And it's supposed to be 40 degrees. I will definitely dress in layers. I'm nervous and excited. I have a workout at noon today and then have to chaperone "Jumprope for Heart" at my daughters' school. I think I probably won't run today since I'll be running tomorrow night and on Friday with my trainer. I'm ready to get back into a regular schedule both for sleeping and running! I slept a bit better last night but still woke up at 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. But I was able to get back to sleep.
Again, baby steps.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Getting back in the running game

The jet lag is kicking in pretty good and I have yet to run since we returned 3 days ago. I WILL run this afternoon after my meetings and before my meeting at 4:30 p.m. It's a beautiful day and should be in the 40s this afternoon so an outside run may just do the trick.
I begin my next training program (the group training) on Thursday night. I'm looking forward to it and to having a new program to follow. Unfortunately, I'll miss some of the weekly meetings because of travel and church responsibilities during Holy Week but it won't stop me from doing the training. As I have been showing myself, once I'm committed to something, I can get it done.
Desire, Determination, Discipline.
And please God, a return to a regular sleep schedule! Last night I slept from 8:30 to 9:30, 10-1, 2:30 to 3:50, 4:15 to 7:15. It felt like I had a newborn again just without the baby. My kingdom for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Home sweet home

It is good to be home.
Thank God, kids were beautiful and healthy and in great spirits. Wonderful nanny didn't look like she was ready to quit and never come back. Pets are all fine (mixed emotions about the guinea pigs on this one but I'm working on it.) I woke up at 2:30 this morning and couldn't go back to sleep--it always takes me a while to adjust after being in a Palau since they are 13 hours ahead of us...Hopefully in a few days I'll be recovered.
Now I'm thinking about my sermon this morning and contemplating doing something I almost never do which is reading a fantastic sermon that a friend of mine preached in 2006 on today's lessons and then adding some of my own comments (and of course I will be completely honest with the congregation that that's what I'm doing.) We'll see how the Spirit moves.
I'll probably try to run some time today--I have an early workout and then hair appointment tomorrow and am just vain enough not to want to get all sweaty so that my great blow out will last a couple of days...but you never know!
I've got tons of laundry and unpacking to do but it's all good.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Almost home!

Greetings, gentle readers! I'm in the Continental Lounge at the Newark Airport with access to high speed internet for the first time in a long time, Praise Jesus. The internet in Palau is so incredibly slow that my impatient self couldn't bear to be waiting for a connection when I could be connecting with live people instead. The folks who work at Neco Marine and the Palau Pacific Resort, not to mention my best buddy Bert, are some of my favorite people in the world. My husband and I were treated like royalty and the precious bartender, Randy, made up a drink for me that will be the featured drink special for the month of May! He's calling it the Cherry Blossom. It's made with vodka, cherry liquor, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, a little lime juice, and a bit of triple sec. Add ice, blend, and decorate with an umbrella, long stemmed cherry, and an orange slice. I felt quite honored. Now lest y'all think I spent all my time at the bar, let me hasten to reassure you that was not the case. I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I continued my running training in Palau! I would get up at 5:30, eat half a power bar, drink water (unless the breakfast buffet folks had the juice set up in which case they would bring be a small glass of juice because they are the kindest people in the world,) do my stretching by the beach looking at the moon rising over the Philippine Sea (so incredibly beautiful) and then head to the activity center which opened at 6 a.m. Timothy was my buddy who staffed the activity center and was so wonderful and encouraging. Everyone was encouraging me to stay hydrated because Palau is 8 degrees above the equator and diving can be dehydrating. And since I was pouring sweat while running (the activity center was airconditioned but set at about 80 degrees and I'm used to running in my 60 degree workout room in the basement so it was tough!) I had to be really focused on taking a big bottle of my favorite iced-tea and lemonade mixture on the dive boat every day. There were two days when I had to combine walking and running because the heat was making me really feel sick to my stomach. Timothy was off that day and nobody had turned on the airconditioning in the room so it felt like a sauna. It made my respect for Rachel running that Chicago marathon and train in freakin Africa skyrocket. But I did stay on the treadmill for the entire 30 minutes--I just ran about 22 and walked 8 in different intervals. When I was walking, I cranked the elevation up to hopefully work some other muscles. I was really careful about stretching before and after. The other day I didn't run all 30 minutes I have to say I let myself get psyched out by this little Japanese woman who was older than the great wall of China and had on a Pacific Marathon 2008 tshirt. She didn't WANT the aircondition on. And she had the tv cranked so loud on the Japanese news channel that I couldn't hear my ipod! I had enmity in my heart towards her. And she kept increasing her speed, I'm convinced, just to intimidate me. At one point, and I confess this with a somewhat heavy heart, I was thinking "Desire, Determination, Discipline, Hiroshima, Nagasaki." I did ask God's forgiveness and tried to find room in my heart to admire her incredible fitness at such a very, very, very old age. Did I mention how old she was? She kicked my 43 year old butt from hell to breakfast. And then started lifting weights. Totally dominated me. Bless her heart.
But the last day, Timothy was back, the ac was on, and I did my 30 minutes straight and it felt great. So I have finished my 10 week training program, have run 3 days of week 11, and will probably plan to run tomorrow morning since my jet lag will have me up pretty early.
Our trip home has been uneventful. Our next flight leaves in about 40 minutes. It will be good to be home. As soon as my wonderful husband finishes downloading all the pics he took, I'll get some of them posted so keep checking!
Peace to all,

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Up and Running in Palau!

After 6 flights and lots of hours of travel, we are happily and gratefully in Palau. It is so good to be back!
We decided not to dive yesterday since we didn't get settled into our room until close to midnight. I felt kind of bummed because since we went over the international dateline, we left Monday morning but arrived Tuesday night and I knew I needed to run. It is incredibly warm and humid here. But I got up yesterday morning, had a light breakfast, and headed to the activity center to check it out. They have two great treadmills with a beatiful view out of picture windows. The room is airconditioned, there is water and towels available, and Timothy, the staff member, was wonderfully kind and encouraging. So I went back to the room, put on my running clothes, grabbed my music and did my running. It felt GREAT! And I was whooped when I finisihed. I went back to the room, laid out my clothes to dry, slipped into my bathing suit, and then took a nice relaxing swim in the pool.
I spent the afternoon working on the sailboat (more about that later) that the Survivor folks have rented from us for the next few days. The boat looks great and I can't wait to get to go sailing. Last night we had a fabulous dinner at this little Thai place that is one of our favorites.
The internet has changed here at the hotel and now is no longer free. We have to pay by the hour and it is incredibly slow so that might alter my ability to post quite so much but my beloved husband is incredibly invested in us staying in touch with friends and family and knows I enjoy my blogging. He'll be taking lots of pictures today so hopefully I'll have some to post soon.
God is good, Palau and our friends here are like family, and we're having a great time. Now it's time to do some diving! Can't wait to see some sharks!

Monday, March 9, 2009

I tried

In the hotel in Houston. Today we fly to Palau! Our travel yesterday was uneventful and the only unfortunate thing was that we couldn't check our luggage through so we had to drag all the suitcases from the airport to the hotel and we'll have to take them all back this morning on the shuttle.
I set the alarm for 4:30 to go run on the treadmill in the fitness center which was just down the hall from our room. I didn't sleep well last night because I kept wondering if it was time to get up...
When the alarm went off, I got up, went into the little bathroom and turned on the coffee maker that I had set up last night. There was only one little pack of white imitation creamer and I knew my beloved husband would want that so I tried to drink the coffee black and eat part of a power bar. I put on my running shoes, got my ipod shuffle (along with the new sport headphones that my beloved got me which work GREAT!) and walked down the hall. Nobody else was there. CNN was on the TV so I turned that down and began to try to figure out the treadmill. It wasn't too hard and I did my five minutes of walking and then began my first time ever of running 30 minutes straight.
I tried.
Since it was my first time to do it, I didn't have a lot of markers. I knew the first 10 minutes would be tough. The music helped. But the next 10 minutes were tough, too!
I tried.
And, I'm thrilled to report, gentle readers,
I succeeded.
It liked to did me in, but I kept thinking about how glad I was going to be later that I didn't give up.
It was harder than I thought it would be but I believe it will get easier.
However, even if it doesn't get easier, I will just have to get tougher.
(That's me embracing my tiger.)
Off to Palau.
Alii! (That's kind of like "aloha" in Palauan)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

week 9 done!

Just finished.
Not quite gasping for breath but close.
Sweating onto the keyboard.
But I did it, gentle readers.
I completed week 9 of my training.
From now on, until I start my next program, I just run 30 minutes at a time, 4 times a week. I'm sticking to the M-W-F-S program.
I seem to do best when I run first thing in the morning so I'm going to try to stick to this even though God knows I love my sleep--I'll have to keep finding out what works for me.
I tell you what, I have to struggle to get through the first half but then it's downhill from there. I have to continually self-talk ("You've got this. You can do this. You will feel so good when this is over. C'mon. Desire, Determination, Discipline. Only quitters quit. You're not a quitter.") I'm not sure where I came up with the "only quitters quit"--not exactly profound wisdom but it seems to work for me.
The music really does help. The problem is finding headphones that work. The ear buds start to come out when I start sweating and I find myself continually having to push them back in. The regular ear pieces that come with the i-pod and i-shuffle don't really work for me either. Any suggestions?
Okay, time to finish the packing for Palau. Be well, gentle readers. I'll try to blog from the federated state of Micronesia!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Running toward the plane!

It's hard for me to believe that in 3 days I'll be on a plane headed for Palau!
I just finished my run with my trainer. She pushed me and it was pretty tortuous at times but I survived and she was proud of me. Tomorrow I finish week 9 of my training! For the next 2 weeks I'll just be running 30 minutes straight.
The chocolate milk was great.
I'm almost all packed for the trip--I just have to put together my carry-on bag and my toiletries. But now it's time for a pre-Palau pedicure so perhaps I'll write more later.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

the joys of chocolate milk

Rachel had told me that chocolate milk was the perfect thing to drink after a workout. And I had dutifully purchased both Nestle's Quik no sugar added and Hershey's chocolate sauce to do a taste test to see which I preferred. The Nestle's Quik of my childhood won out.
But I kept forgetting to drink it after I ran!
Today, I remembered.
Ahhhh, nectar of life.
I finished my run (to music, with my new little red ipod shuffle,) stretched, and then went into the kitchen and made myself a glass of chocolate milk. It tasted great and made me feel energized.
So hopefully I can add this as a regular treat--although I won't have it in Palau because the milk there is more like evaporated milk--it's good in coffee but I don't like it just to drink or on cereal--so I think in Palau I'll be relying on some juice and half an energy bar before I run then I'll come back, shower, eat breakfast, and head to the dive boat.
Half way through week 9!
Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winning the Chili Cookoff

This past weekend was the Winterfest/food/fundraiser for my church community--all the churches pitched in together to raise money for our local food pantry, the Rochester Public Market, and Church World Services. I was asked to donate a pot of chili for the chili cook-off.
I love cooking. I love to cook for lots of people. So I was more than happy to oblige. And when I got the phone call saying my chili had won the cook-off, I was elated! I posted this on my facebook page and have had numerous requests for my recipe.
Alas, gentle readers, RevMutha doesn't normally use recipes.
A little bit of this and a whole lotta that...
Here are the ingredients in my cook-off winning chili. I believe the secret was cooking it in my crock pot all night long so that the ground beef almost dissolves and the flavors really develop...and I don't add the beans until a couple of hours before serving. So in the chili was:
Chopped onions, bell pepper, garlic
90% lean ground beef
Red Chili powder (from Indian food market)
Cumin (lots)
smoked salt (I make this in my cast iron skillet--liquid smoke and coarse sea salt)
Rotel tomatoes
crushed tomatoes
Tabasco sauce
2 bottles of beer
worcesteshire sauce
white beans, black beans, light kidney beans, dark kidney beans
and lots of love.
I think that's everything and it tasted mighty good.
But y'all can come over to my house and I'll fix it for you anytime.

I love running to music!

Trainer was SO right!
This morning's run was nearly enjoyable!
Okay, I'll just say it:
It was totally enjoyable. Either that or my post exercise endorphins are kicking in. My playlist ranged from Rascal Flatts to Akon--Kanye to Fergie. The only problem was that the tempos weren't all exactly the same so I think that once it's warm enough to run outside, I'll have an easier time pacing the running to music. But I ran faster than I have in the past and felt pretty relaxed. The time seemed to fly by. And the great thing was the divine way my playlist worked out: I was listening to "Jai Ho," the oscar-winning theme from "Slumdog Millionaire" and the slow part of the song came on at exactly my 1 minute cool down in the middle of the run. I thought "Praise the Lord!" Now I'm looking forward to running on the beach in Palau with my ipod.
Desire, Determination, Discipline.
And good tunes.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting geared up for week 9

Tomorrow morning I will officially begin week 9 of my 10 week training program. Each week has gotten progressively more challenging and so far I've been able to rise to the challenge. I have to believe that I can do it tomorrow, too. Run 14 minutes, walk 1 minute, repeat twice. One minute doesn't seem like a lot of recovery time and it isn't--but I can do this. Especially since next week I'll be running 30 minutes straight. Desire, Determination, Discipline. I'll run in the morning and then go do a conditioning work-out with my trainer.
Next Monday I will be running at a hotel somewhere in Houston before we board our plane to Palau (stopping in Honolulu, Guam, and Yap before landing in Koror, Palau.) Then I'll be running next Wednesday and the the week after that in Palau. I'm hoping that I can stay on my program while I'm in Palau. It's all a matter of deciding to do it and then following through. Thank God my wonderful spouse is so supportive. It might mean waking up a little (lot) earlier because the dive boat picks us up at the dock each morning at 8:30 and we have to eat breakfast and get all our stuff together before then, but it can certainly be done. If I get up at 6, eat part of a power bar and grab some coffee, hit the fitness center by 6:30, back to the room at 7:30, quick shower, pack up dive stuff...well, might need to back it up by 30 minutes...but it'll all work.
Bur first I have to get through tomorrow morning!
I'll let y'all know how it goes.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Officially Registered!

For my 5k.
My apologies, gentle readers, for not keeping you as up to date this week on my running training. I have taken to going in to work a bit later on Wednesdays so that I can do my running in the mornings, which seems to fit my schedule a tad better. I did my Wednesday morning running (it went great) and then imposed ashes on folks at services at noon and 7 p.m. Beautiful and holy experiences...
Ran on Friday with my trainer who really pushed me to increase the speed during the running sections and then decrease it to the original running speed. It turns out that I actually do a bit better when I'm running faster--better stride and better breathing! Which is completely counter-intuitive to me but hey, she's my expert. And I finished week 8 training this morning. After a shower, I headed to an ecumenical winter food-fundraising-fest where I entered a pot of chili in a chili cook-off. I tied for first place! I was plenty excited about that! What's my secret? Cooking it all night in the crock pot so the flavors mellow and develop. I used Indian red chili pepper which gave it lots of heat, lean ground beef, onions, bell peppers, garlic, smoked salt, cumin (lots) jalapeno peppers, crushed tomatoes, some diced tomatoes, a couple of bottles of beer, and then in the morning I added four different types of canned beans (cannelini, black, light kidney, and dark kidney.) And, of course, tabasco. I also added some worcesteshire sauce to give another layer of flavor. Yum.
Tomorrow is a day off (which my shins will appreciate--they are a might tender today) and then on Monday I do my run 14 minutes-walk 1 minute-repeat twice training for next week. I think I might try to do this with music instead of watching tv while on the treadmill--my trainer says it'll go much easier.
I'll let y'all know!
One week from tomorrow I head back to Palau for a 2 week vacation with my beloved husband. We can hardly wait. And yes, I will be running in Palau. And hopefully blogging as well!

Monday, February 23, 2009

week 8 begins

Yep, I finished week 7 of my training and began week 8 today!
Run 13 minutes, walk 2 minutes, repeat twice.
Piece of cake!
Okay, not really. But I wasn't gasping for breath or having ANY thoughts of imminent death, so that was cool. As always, I was drenched with sweat when I finished but it felt great. Next week I run 14 minutes, walk one minute, repeat twice, and then the next week I just run 30 minutes straight!
And I will have completed this beginning runner training program. I filled out an application for my next training program which will be the Medved Lilac 5k Group Training Program to get me ready for the Lilac 5k (I'm guessing y'all figured that out.) I've decided to be in the purple lilac group because the description is "taking the next step; building a consistent training plan" The other options were the white group ("Begin a run/walk program") but I thought that since I will have been running consistently for 3 months when this program begins, I'll not be as much of a beginner. The other option was the yellow group but the description for that one was "Increasing your speed and endurance" and that sounded like it would be more pressure than I would want. Baby steps for me, gentle reader. I'm not trying to set any records yet.
I have absolutely decided that what makes a runner is determination.
You just have to decide that it's what you want to do.
And hell yes, it's hard sometimes.
That's when it's time to toughen up.
I'm just sayin.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Almost finished with week 7!

Yes, gentle readers!
After I run tomorrow, I'll have completed week 7 of my training!
I ran with my wonderful trainer, Jenny, today. She is such a great encourager and she really motivates me by being understated--I don't know if that makes any sense but Jenny is not someone who is over the top in terms of praise--so when she gives it to me, I know she means it. Today she said she was impressed at the progress I've made in the last 6 weeks and how I've been so disciplined (yeah, I know, ME!) which is still not exactly the way I see myself--
I definitely love the way I feel after I run and I even kind of dig the times in the run when everything seems to be working well and my breathing is regulated and I'm kind of in my groove--it's an easy time for me to pray and be thankful that I'm healthy and I have an amazing stepdaughter who has motivated me to make these life changes and ask God to give me the strength and determination to stick with this...and also for this discipline to carry over into other areas of my life...
Okay, not intending to sound too preachy here...
But, for right now, it's all good.
And today, Tyler Perry's new Madea movie comes out so it's all REAL good.
I'll be seein' that on my day off Monday after I do my running!
And it's Oscar weekend!
Lawd, my heart can't hardly take it all in. Good thing I'm a runner now!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Monkey Business

Disclaimer: I know Travis is a chimpanzee, not a monkey. But "Chimpanzee Business" is not nearly as good a blog title. So don't email me about the difference cause I just don't care. If I ever decide to care, I'll blog about it and you can educate me at that point.
Who in the H-E-double hockey sticks feeds a freaking domesticated chimp filet mignon, alcohol, xanax, and bathes and sleeps with it?
I'm usually all like "Don't judge her journey" but on this one I'm pretty much judging her journey and finding it majorly messed up.
This is some freaky bidness.
You'd think she'd have friends or family members who would say "You know, this thing with you and that chimp don't seem quite right."
I dunno, maybe it's funny to see a chimp tipsy. But if the chimp doesn't know the potential harmful effects of alcohol, can't we safely say that some kind of abuse was going on?
So for any of you out there who know people who own chimps and are wining and dining them, tell them to cut it out. As for the xanax, unless a vet gives it to the chimp, that ain't right either.
I'm just sayin'.

Definitely to stretch!

Oh yes, gentle readers.
Stretching is the way to go.
In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't get in my training yesterday. I've been trying to watch all the oscar nominated films (see reviews for Gran Torino and The Reader at the end of this post) and then made huevos rancheros for dinner and just decided to run today, tomorrow, and Saturday although I hope that isn't a problem running three days in a row...I don't think it will be because of the STRETCHING!
I did just like the video instructed--crossed one leg over the other, bent at the waist, and grabbed onto my toes (I fell over a couple of times until I got the balance thing down but that's okay) and held this stretch for 20 seconds and then crossed the other leg over (only fell once.) I repeated this (without falling over! I have a steep learning curve.) Then I stretched my hamstrings, quads, calves, and hips. The running really was easier. I repeated the stretches for double the amount of time after I ran. It felt good.
I had been concerned about watching "Gran Torino." I shouldn't have been. Clint Eastwood does a great job playing an irrascible old man. The movie is great. I'm not sure if it's oscar winning great, and I'd pick Mickey Rourke or Sean Penn over Clint as best actor, but it was a great movie and definitely worth seeing.
The Reader was another showcase for Kate Winslett's amazing acting abilities. She doesn't overact. There is lots of boy flesh in this picture which was a bit unsettling...I was definitely drawn in to the characters...I think I liked "Revolutionary Road" better. I'll be watching "The Visitor" and "Defiance" over the next couple of days (in addition to running) so there will be lots to read!
And, by the way, I'm asking my little reds to move all the cans of Chef Boyardee down to the basement today. I get upset every time I open my pantry and it's time to do something about it.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

to stretch or not to stretch?

That is the question.
Of course I know that one can't simply lace up the shoes and start running. Some warm up is completely necessary. I usually will walk at a fairly easy pace for 5 minutes and then sit down and trace the letters of the alphabet in the air with my toes to warm up my shins. And after I finish my running, I walk for an additional 5 minutes to cool down and then may or may not stretch.
My running trainer just sent me a video on line that says I should do light stretching before I begin running--quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips, and hold each stretch for 15-20 seconds. After the run I should stretch even longer. This makes sense to me and according to the trainers in the video, it should make me enjoy my running more (hey, any port in a storm...) so I'm gonna try this this afternoon and I'll let y'all know.
Bonus Movie Reviews!
I watched "Revolutionary Road" and "Milk" yesterday. Kate Winslett and Sean Penn were both amazing. I was a bit confused at the beginning of Revolutionary Road--if you see it you may know what I'm talking about. All in all a powerful movie. Milk was heartwrenching...what an amazing man Harvey Milk was!
I have to see 4 more films and then I'll be ready for Sunday Night!!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

New week of training

Today is the first day of week 7.
Less recovery time this week.
Run 9 minutes, walk one minute, repeat three times.
I was concerned, gentle readers.
But it actually wasn't that bad. It seemed like I got into a rhythm fairly quickly on the second and third sets of running. The first one was the most difficult. And I worked out with my hard core trainer this morning! She made me do walking lunges and my quads felt like jello afterward. But I completed the workout and my running training without quitting.
Desire, determination, discipline. I find that the most important thing sometimes is NOT thinking about my breathing because sometimes I get concerned that I'm breathing too hard or too fast--if I concentrate on something else, my breathing becomes steady without me thinking about it. There's a sermon in there somewhere.
It's all good.
Happy Presidents' Day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hallelujah! And Help Me Jesus!

Week 6 of training done!
And today was the easiest day of the week.
Yesterday we ran outside and the first nine minutes like to killed me.
(Southerners will understand that phrase.)
But I didn't quit. And I felt good when it was all done.
Today was much better. I think I need the distraction of music or the tv or something. I think yesterday was hard cause I was recovering from a long day of travel.
And now, gentle readers, allow me to change the subject.
I opened up the kitchen pantry yesterday and was speechless.
My pantry had been stocked with Chef Boyardee.
All I could do was stare.
My daughters walked in and took one look at me and said "Daddy did it."
And then, because I was suffering from hysterical paralysis and had lost all powers of speech, they went and got their father.
His excuse was "Well honey, you were gone for a long time!"
4 days.
4 days I'm gone and he has purchased Chef Boyardee and bologna.
It's a damn good thing I didn't die in a plane crash because who knows what kind of crap my family would be eating from now on?
I said "I went to cooking school in Italy! You don't need to EVER buy Chef Boyardee! I have shown you how easy it is to make a basic tomato sauce!"
Okay, on to bigger and better things:
Happy Valentine's Day to all. I'm enjoying the family and will make a lovely dinner tonight that has nothing to do with canned pasta.
I'm just sayin'

Friday, February 13, 2009

Home again, ready to run

This afternoon I'll get to run with my trainer which I haven't done for a couple of weeks.
I got home last last night after a wonderful and grace-filled trip. It's incredible to me that I had no problems with directions, traffic, or anything else while in the Los Angeles area. Truly amazing.
I woke up this morning to my husband telling me that a Continental commuter plane had crashed traveling from Newark to Buffalo.
And I had 70 emails from friends wanting to know if I was okay.
I was on a continental commuter flight last night but I was flying from Cleveland to Rochester.
So this morning I'm praying for the folks sending emails whose friends/family/coworkers are not okay, at least in the way that those of us who are earthbound would define it...May those whose lives were ended rest in peace and rise in glory...and may those who loved them not be alone in the valley of the shadow.
As I wrote on Wednesday, running that morning was really difficult and I was so glad to get through it. Hopefully today will be a bit easier.
I'll let you know.
It's good to be home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's actually the Hotel Menage

Mirage, Menage, whatever. Still a very nice hotel with a nice workout room.
Gentle readers, this morning was ROUGH!
But I did it, by golly.
With a lot of talking out loud to myself (glad to hear from Rachel that this is not too far beyond the norm.)
I survived it but it was tough. I"m glad I have tomorrow off. I had to really focus on my mantra of "Desire, determination, discipline." And not think too much about how hard it was but focus on getting outside my head. Running ain't for wimps! But I wouldn't let myself quit and at the end I was glad I did.
Gotta get ready for a busy day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Week 6 day one done!

The Hotel Mirage has quite a nice little workout room with two treadmills. Thank God I got in there early! But I completed my running and it felt great. I will run again tomorrow morning. I did have to dig a little deep at times and repeat my mantra "Desire, determination, discipline" but that's a good thing. Now I'm getting ready for a day of meetings and research and planning. It's all good.

Live from the West Coast

Hello! I'm actually in California doing some prep work for General Convention. I'm still on east coast time so I've awoken bright and early to go do my running since I didn't do it yesterday. I did get dressed and ready to go running yesterday but then it was raining outside and I wasn't familiar with the neighborhood where I was staying so I decided that I'll run today, tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday. I completed week 5 of training feeling great and now I'm excited to begin week 6--today I run 9 minutes, walk 2 minutes, repeat twice, then run 8 minutes. Supposedly this hotel has a fitness center and I'm about to find out. I'll let you know.
I also may have had the teensiest bit of a hangover due to my dear friend Jim's purchasing me cocktails. After I finally arrived at his home around 8:30 p.m., Jim suggested that we go to the Abbey. I thought the Abbey was going to be a place where we said evening prayer or compline. I didn't realize it was a huge gay bar in West Hollywood.
I have much to learn, gentle readers!
Busy day today meeting with venue coordinators, rent a center people, purchasing carpet for our booth at Gen Con, all filled with excitement!
More later,

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Week 5, day 2 done/guinea pig update

The Bravo channel (one of my favorites!) shows reruns of "The West Wing" in the mornings. I love running while watching! The time flies by! I felt great when I finished this morning and actually ran a little bit more. And I increased the speed from Monday by a teeny bit to see what would happen. I survived! (Obviously or I guess I wouldn't be typing this...) I have to run again tomorrow and I have a workout this afternoon but all is well.
And I'm sure my finger will be okay where Sugar bit me yesterday. I poured hydrogen peroxide on it, wiped it with an alcohol pad, and washed it with antibacterial soap. Lily held Sugar last night and wasn't bitten. There was a bit of a mishap with Sugar on Hannah's bed. Hannah's bed is covered with small stuffed animals (which she calls her "stuffies.") Hannah loves her stuffies and all of them are named. And there are probably over 137 on her bed. Anyway, Sugar was on the bed and waddled into the stuffies. In the space of a couple of seconds, Lily couldn't tell where Sugar began and the stuffies ended. But she heard a small thud and then some squeaks and figured that Sugar had fallen behind the bed. The bed is a very heavy trundle bed.
Cue Lily's hysteria. Tears, wailing, gnashing of teeth, ululating, etc. Daddy comes running, evaluates the situation, and is able to rescue Sugar. Lily tells him he's the best daddy in the world. Which he is.
New rule: no guinea pigs on the bed with the stuffies.
I wonder how the guinea pigs would do on the treadmill?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Guinea Pigs

Sugar bit me.
That's the name Lily has decided on for her fierce little guinea pig.
Hannah's is named Spice.
Spice is adapting a bit better.
I found websites with recipes for guinea pigs.
Sugar better watch her back.

Rodents and Running

Had a good day of training yesterday-run 8 minutes, walk 2, repeat 3 times. I can definitely tell that my stamina is increasing, which is cool. This week I'll run Monday-Wednesday-Thursday-Saturday on account of I have to be out of town all day Friday.
So, gentle readers, You may be wondering what rodents have to do with running. For me, I appreciated the alliteration.
You see, my daughters have adopted two guinea pigs.
And the guinea pigs now reside in our home.
I have to admit, I let my daughters wear me down. But I blame their father (as any good mother would.) It all started when my beloved husband took our daughters to the pet store. And let them hold a hamster. And then we ended up having "Misty" the hamster. She lived 8 months. I had figured she'd last two weeks and let everyone know that the extent of my contact with the creature would be to preside at it's funeral. Misty was much loved by Lily. What Lily didn't so much love was cleaning out the hamster cage. Her dad was an incredible trooper and would help her do it but it didn't get done on a regular basis. Misty's demise was very difficult for Lily. Tears, drama, wailing, gnashing of teeth, consultation with the bishop (I'm not kidding--and the bishop was wonderfully kind and compassionate,) etc.
It has been a few months since Misty died. In a moment of weakness, my husband took the girls back to the pet store. Hannah decided it was her turn to have a pet. She wanted a guinea pig. The store was out of guinea pigs. My husband almost got them a rabbit but the manager (bless her dearly) told him that it was not a wise decision. He was put on the guinea pig waiting list. (Who knew there was such a thing?)
Industrious little Hannah got our nanny to look on-line at the pet adoption options. And the rest is history.
Lily's guinea pig bit her twice already. Turns out they were rescued by animal control. I hope the little dears can be rehabilitated. Guinea pigs gone wild. Can all the love in the world make up for past ill treatment? Can these guinea pigs be saved? Will this all end in heartache?
Pray, dear readers. Pray.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Week 4--it's a rap!

My trainer wasn't able to come yesterday because of a delay with her contractor.
Incidentally, has anyone ever worked with a contractor who finished a job on time and within the estimated budget? On account of if you have, consider yourself blessed indeed.
I have not thusly been so blessed...but that's another story for another day.
When she called, I was already dressed and ready to run.
So after the phone call, I got mentally geared up, turned on the TV Food Network (no, the irony is not lost on me) and did my training.
Same thing this morning! And I got a great idea about making crunchy zucchini rounds (baked, not fried) on "Healthy Appetite."
On Monday, I do 8 minutes of running, 2 minutes of walking, repeat 3 times.
Bring it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Day 2 week 4 done, ready for day 3.

I completed day 2 on Wednesday.
It felt good. Definitely had the healthy glow going (at least that's what I guess it is when your face is beet red and you're dripping with sweat.)
Didn't have time to bathe before my meeting with the bishop on account of travel time took double what it normally does with the snow. No worries, however. I just threw on my athletic outerwear and proudly reported to him about my fitness goal and he was all kinds of supportive. Bless him.
And I felt great the rest of the day.
And I'm ready to do my running with my trainer today. I wish we could run outside but there is no way with all the snow.
I was somewhat concerned with the whole peanut butter problems and the salmonella when I heard that energy bars were being pulled from the shelves. My favorite is the Protein Plus PowerBar, chocolate peanut butter flavor. I buy them by the box. Since they haven't made me sick yet, I'm stickin' with them.
That whole peanut butter mess makes me sad. Did it get to be such a big mess that the folks who could have stopped it didn't see a way out? I mean, when I hear that the inspectors found facilities with animal droppings and mold it kind of makes me wonder why the folks in charge didn't say "Whoa, guys, clean-up on aisle 5!" Or maybe have a "bring a bottle of lysol to work day" and get the dang place up to par...
There are lessons to be learned here. On lots of levels.
I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day 2 Week 4-gearing up!

Gentle readers, it is snowing like a motherscratcher in upstate NY.
And dang cold to boot!
So I
will be doing my training on the treadmill today.
Again, run 7 minutes, walk 3, repeat 3 times.
I just ate my power bar. I will go home and do my training at 1 p.m. and then shower and get ready for my 2:30 p.m. meeting with the bishop to discuss his upcoming visitation to my parish.
Today my secretary presented me with a continuing ed form that needs to be filled out.
It needs to be filled out by me, apparently.
I growled at her.
I may have also bared my teeth.
I despise filling out forms.
Especially when I don't think anyone actually looks at them.
For example, every year when I see my doctor for my physical, and the form asks how much alcohol I consume, I write in "It depends on the day."
I have NEVER been questioned about this.
Maybe it's because I don't reek of booze, have red-rimmed eyes, or slur my speech at the doctor's office. But they don't see me the other 364 days 23 hrs of the year...so it seems like maybe they'd ask about it. Or at least laugh so I'd know they read it...
Anyway, this continuing ed form wants to know about formal academic coursework (yeah, right, SO not me...) and individual study (like I'm gonna write a list of freakin' books I've read and document that!) and retreat time and conferences and blah blah blah.
I'm gonna pray that my training this afternoon gives me an attitude adjustment.
Or maybe I'll just make a bunch of stuff up and put it on the form. Like, I did individual study teaching myself to play Mafia Wars on Facebook. That should count for something...
I'm just sayin'

Monday, January 26, 2009

Week 4, Day 1 done!

Well, gentle readers, I have to tell you that I surprised myself this a.m. I decided that I had to run early because I had a hair appointment mid-morning and I didn't want to run after I got my hair all blowed out and re-redded. (I know, St. C., that coloring my hair is trashy and I should just refer to it as a regular conditioning but oversharing continues to be one of my many flaws...)
Anyhoo, my training for this week is running for 7 minutes and walking for 3 minutes, repeat 3 times.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be! I actually kind of got into a rhythm with my breathing. I have to say that I preferred the running outside so I hope the single digit cold spell we're having breaks pretty soon. I went to Eastern Mountain Sports where they are having a big sale and got another vest and a couple of more long-sleeve shirts. I told my hairdresser (do they still call them that? Maybe I should call her my stylist but that sounds too pretentious...) about running the 5k and she wants to do it with me. She regularly runs 5 miles at a time and is in much better physical shape than I am but she said it would be fun.
In two weeks, I'll be out on the West Coast for a few days. I'll get to run in the sun!
I'll keep you posted.

Nature's Perfect Food

Thanks to my friend, Lisa, I have discovered Nature's Perfect Food.
It's "Mo's Bacon Bar" made by Vosges Haute Chocolate. It contains applewood smoked bacon, alderwood smoked salt, and 45% cacao deep milk chocolate.
My mouth is filling with saliva just describing it.
I'm just sayin.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day 4 week 3 completed!

I did my training yesterday with my fabulous trainer and it went great. She pushed me just the right amount (i.e., I only gasped that I was fixin' to die 3 or 4 times...) But, as always, I felt great when we were done. We ran outside since it was 40 degrees and my new running clothes were great. It definitely felt different running outside. If I can ever figure out how to work one of those crazy watches that lets you moniter your running/recovery time, I just may get one but for right now, I either need the timer on my treadmill or my trainer with the crazy watch.
Today is a busy day with a 5 hour mutual ministry review (I'll let y'all know how it goes,) confirmation class, and then finally home! So I got up at 6 a.m., drank some coffee and ate a banana, and did my training.
Yes, gentle readers, I had the discipline to do it early. I still think that running later in the day works better for me. But I never felt sick or dizzy or got any cramps so either I'm not pushing myself enough or I'm doing something right. Actually, according to my heartrate (or is that heart racing?) I'm working as hard as I can. I'm still on the goal of "Just Do It!" I'm also reminding myself that every session completed is a victory.
I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yes I Can!

I did my training when I got home.
My wonderful husband held up dinner for a few minutes so I could run before we ate. I was nice and sweaty for dinner. But it felt good to run/walk after 4 hours of driving.
Snowshoeing was intense.
I was plenty warm. Hot, even. I ended up shedding the fleece I was wearing. Turns out that I was wearing snowshoes that were size-appropriate for a four year old.
My clergy colleagues were in the big ones that look like misshapen tennis rackets. Mine were about 10 inches long and sank deeply into the snow.
I was the last one in the snowshoe line. And while I had earlier praised the commitment of my health-conscious and fitness conscious colleagues, I have to confess that I had enmity in my heart as I was trying to catch up with them hiking up-hill knee deep in snow. I was steaming hot and my heart was racing which I tried to tell myself was a good thing. I ended up taking off my hat and shoving it in my pocket. Then I took off my gloves. Then I unzipped my vest. Then I unzipped my wind jacket. Then I yelled for the others to stop and let me catch up. They did. And they laughed at me and I confessed my enmity and we all laughed some more. (The enmity was dissolving...plus, the trip back would be downhill and I would be leading the way.)
The snow sparkled like diamonds. I have a heart that can pump blood effectively and legs that work. I have friends. I am blessed.
It's good to be home.

not so much

I got up bright and early, ate a small bowl of granola, put on my new running clothes, stepped outside, took a good, deep breath, and was promptly convinced that my lungs were going to freeze inside my body.
Then I looked at the thermometer and saw that it was 8 degrees.
Without any windchill.
Gentle readers, I realized that I was going to need MANY MORE LAYERS than I had with me.
Plus a hat.
And probably something to put over my face to breathe through.
My friends are getting their massages. I took a nice long shower and am redressed and ready to attempt snowshoeing with some borrowed outdoor gear.
I will have to do my running training this evening on the treadmill when I get home.
But rest assured I will do it.
And I will report back.
Did I mention that one of the friends who is with me has run 10 marathons? And the other is training for a half marathon.
And they are both priests.
They are also my inspirations.
Getting together with other women clergy is a Very Good Thing.
I don't have any desire to run a marathon. Like I said earlier, my goal is to complete a 5k. But you never know. And I like the idea of running with other people.
Lots of sermons in that!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congrats, President Obama

Lord, how I have looked forward to typing those words!
The inauguration was amazing.
Absolutely amazing.
I was watching it with two clergy chick friends at a bar in Bennington, VT. We all stood together when the new President took his oath of office.
And we shed lots of tears of joy and pride. We also talked about how proud we are to be Americans and how we are looking forward to the changes that are going to come and how we need to be the change we are looking for.
Very inspirational, very beautiful.
Then we headed over to Manchester, VT to do some shopping. I found a great store that sells outdoor gear for camping, hiking, running, etc. I bought a pair of running pants, a long sleeve running shirt, and a wind jacket. I also bought a pair of hiking/running shoes that I can use to go snowshoeing tomorrow. I'm thinking about doing my training tomorrow morning and actually running outside to see how different it feels. This would accomplish two things: I could get my training in before a 4 hour drive in the car, and I could wear my new clothes and be nice and warmed up for snowshoeing. Both the other chicks are getting massages tomorrow morning so I'd have plenty of time to do this. I'll definitely eat something before I go.
Anyway, gentle readers, I'll let you know.
Congratulations, President Obama. May God bless, preserve and keep you in God's steadfast love. I will pray for you daily.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pay off

There is definitely something to this accountability thing.
And to concentrating on "Desire, Determination, Discipline." I kept repeating those words over and over this morning.
I got up 45 minutes late and was tempted to ditch the training.
But I didn't.
I did my training, quickly bathed and got ready, and still made it to pick up my friends on time to head out of town for our retreat.
I don't normally consider myself to be a very disciplined person so I like how this is feeling.
One day at a time, Sweet Jesus...
Important note to self when I'll be running again in the morning: I need to find some kind of quick energy food or drink. I didn't eat/drink anything before I did my training and even though I completed it all, I was feeling energized but super drained when I finished. Or I just have to get up early enough to have time to eat a banana or drink something. Suggestions?
I'll run again when I get home Wednesday evening.
And y'all make sure to watch the inauguration tomorrow.
And pray for our new president and his administration and for the country that we will be willing to BE the change we want to see in the world.
I'm just sayin'

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Desire, Determination, Discipline

So I'm taking a couple of days to go on retreat with some clergy friends.
And I've decided that I have to get up extra early and run tomorrow morning before I head out of town.
And I also know that it isn't going to be easy to get up and run.
If I blog about it, I'll do it.
Desire, Determination, Discipline.
Run 5 minutes, walk 2.5 minutes, repeat 4 times.
I'll let you know!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Running for Obama

I found a great inspiration for running.
President-elect Obama!
On account of I did my training today while I was watching him give his speech in Baltimore on CNN. I think if he was still talking I'd still be running! He is so fabulous. I danced around the family room with my beloved husband singing "In three days we'll have a new president! And we can be proud to be Americans again!"
It feels good, gentle readers!
On many levels.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Why Ashton Kutcher rocks my world

I overheard a blurb on tv that Ashton Kutcher is producing something for President Obama where all these Hollywood stars say what they are going to do to support the new president.
It gave me chills.
I love that.
What can each of us commit to doing/being that will support the new administration/the US/the world?
I think committing to being pray for President Obama and his family is pretty easy. Although I have to admit I didn't pray enough for President Bush. Perhaps if I had, my feelings for him would be different. But I want to do more than pray for President Obama. I want to be a better citizen for him!
Which probably sounds kind of hoaky but there you have it.
So way to go, Ashton. You're doing a good thing.
Now we all need to do the same.
I'm just sayin'

Running toward the weekend!

Did my training today with my trainer.
On account of she's a triathlete and great coach.
She gave me some good tips as I was running about my form and relaxing my shoulders and took my heart rate during the walking.
She also was a great cheerleader and encourager!
We need people like this in our lives.
I will run tomorrow and then take Sunday off.
And I will have completed week 2 of my training.
The first 10-12 minutes are the most difficult. After that, it does get a bit easier. But there is something about the level of focus that runners have to have...
My trainer had "Desire, Determination, Discipline" written on the front of the little spiral notebook she brings with her each week to record what we do in our training sessions.
I found that inspirational.
I'm just sayin'


My two little redheads did everything they could last night to ensure a snow-day today. They wore their pjs inside out and backwards. They put icecubes in all the toilets in the house. They put spoons under each of our bed pillows. They put their school planners in the freezer.
But, lest you worry about our upstate NY kids becoming wimps, let me just tell you, THERE WAS SCHOOL!!! Yep, it's -14 with the windchill but what's a little cold compared to a first rate education? So some of the kids lose their smaller digits and have their noses fall off because of frost-bite...Man-Up!
heh heh heh.
And, after all, it's Running Day! This afternoon I will do my running. Which both fills me with dread and maybe a teeny weeny bit of anticipation of feeling good afterwards...
I was talking with a great friend yesterday about the frustrations of parish ministry, especially when parishioners don't want to commit to anything and yet expect 100% commitment from me to them. They don't attend church, don't support us financially, and yet expect us to be there the minute they call with any kind of pastoral problem. (Yeah, God, I get it, welcome to Your world.) She had a great line: "Don't expect me to feign a level of intimacy to which you are not willing to commit."
She gets it.
I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Week 2 day 2 done!

Oooo Lawd!
Gentle readers, today RevMutha had to dig DEEP to get her trainin' in!
But I'm pleased to announce that it's done and, once again, I'm glowin' and feelin' the afterburn. I have convinced myself that the hardest thing is just tying up my running shoes. Once they're on, I'm committed. And I also tell myself that I don't have to set any records--I just have to do it. It will get easier and I may or may not get faster. The main thing is just getting it done. And I did. Thanks be to God.
I'm wondering why in the world the guy who's here to give us an estimate on a new heater is still in my house seein' as how he's been here over an hour. It sounds like he's just chattin' with my husband but I'm ready to get dinner on the table.
Although I'm just as happy to wait a bit...
it's all good.


I'm procrastinating.
I have to write 2 reports for the annual meeting this Sunday.
I have a meeting in 1 hr and 33 minutes.
So I'm giving myself 3 minutes to blog and then I'll write the reports.
If I was at home, I would procrastinate by running.
But I will be running this afternoon!
And I'll report in.
By the way, it's motherscratching cold here.
2 degrees without the windchill.
It's supposed to be colder Thursday and Friday.
At least I remembered to make my daughters wear hats, boots, and scarves. Ya know, growin' up in the deep south we'd read stories about kids wearing hats, boots, and scarves and it was as foreign to us as people living in straw huts.
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Movie Review for The Wrestler

Mickey Rourke ABSOLUTELY delivers in this film and I'm so glad he got the Golden Globe award last night! The movie is amazing and gritty and touching and powerful. Loved it. Don't wait for it to go to video. And I hope Mickey gets an Oscar!

Day 1 week 2 completed!

Can she do it?
Yes she can!
And without throwing up.
(I honestly didn't mean to drink that much wine while watching the Golden Globes but I was just so darn happy for Anna Paquin and all the folks in Slumdog Millionaire!)
Anyway, I am still pleasantly surprised at how much better I feel after I run. This must be why people do it.

a new week of training begins!

I begin my second week of training today!
And I've decided to run on Monday, Wed, Friday and Saturday.
Doing the Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday-Sunday thing didn't work for me because I didn't get my running in on Saturday or Sunday because of everything I was doing at church.
I'll run this afternoon and let y'all know how it goes.
3 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, repeat 5 times.
I can do this.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

2nd training day completed

I did it, gentle readers!
I completed my 30 minutes of training.
And I'm glad I did.
Today has been stressful.
The memorial service I did lasted 3 times as long as I had anticipated. And it was a beautiful blessing so I have no regrets. I wasn't able to run this afternoon before my diocesan meeting so I came home, got dinner in the oven, and laced up my running shoes and ran while dinner was in the oven.
It's true that exercise is a stress reliever.
Now I'm gonna combine that with a glass of wine with dinner.

Staying motivated

Today is supposed to be the second day of my running training.
I find it somewhat disconcerting that I'm already having trouble staying motivated.
But since I know I have a bunch of readers cheering me on, I will do my best to complete day 2 of training this afternoon.
It's the whole schedule thing.
Remember the parishioner I had to see on Tuesday afternoon?
Well, he died.
And I'm doing a memorial service this afternoon for another parishioner who died last week and I've got a diocesan meeting this afternoon at 4 and blah blah blah.
But I'll do it.
By golly, I'll do it.
Y'all are counting on me.
I'll report in later.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

My New Year's Wish

That Ann Coulter would never again be on The Today Show.
That poor girl needs a big ole dose of nice given to her.
But I'm not sure she'd quite know what to do with it.
I wonder what happened that made her so angry?
A wise woman reminded me one time that God gave us 2 ears and one mouth so we'd listen twice as much as we talk.
I'd like to share that with Ann.
Bless her heart.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Saw this one with my sister and all our kids on Boxing Day.
Brad Pitt is great but I'm not sure if he's good enough to get any awards. He sure is easy on the eyes!
The make-up artists should definitely get kudos--especially with what they did with Cate Blanchett (sp?)
The movie is long--2 hrs 48 minutes. It's occasionally a bit slow.
Set against the backdrop of Katrina about to hit New Orleans makes it more curious for me...
Anyway, you can probably wait til it comes out on video.
I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Movie Review for Slumdog Millionaire

See it.
2 thumbs up.
A bit tough at times--people can certainly be cruel, especially to those who are "other" and this movie gives lots of food for thought.
Definitely stay for the closing credits!

First day of training completed!

And I've realized that runners who also happen to be priests have to be flexible with their training schedules...seein' as how I had mapped out my afternoon in terms of going to the grocery store and getting the essentials (what do you mean we're out of milk, eggs and toilet paper? Ye Gods and little fishes!) including my power bars (or cupcakes, I hadn't decided yet) and then my phone rang to tell me one of my beloved parishioners, Bob, was not doing well...
Which meant that the grocery store trip was gonna be accomplished at breakneck speed so I could get to the nursing home and see how Bob was doing for myself. His daughter was there with him. They are quiet and introverted people. The nurse practitioner was delicately trying to explain to him that things were not going well and they were running out of treatment options. This information was met with wide eyed stares from Bob and daughter. I asked Bob if he believed he was going to get better and be able to get out of the nursing home and he looked right at me and said "yup."
So there you have it. I stayed a bit longer and then told Bob that I had set a goal for myself to run the Lilac 5k and he said "that's great!" and I told him I was going home to start my training and he said he'd see me later this week. God bless him.
I drank my water, rested a bit, and then put on my running shoes for the first time (other than when I tried them on.) For this first week of training, I run 2 minutes, walk 4 minutes, and repeat this 5 times for a total of 30 minutes.
Happy to report that I survived.
Tomorrow I have my regular workout with Tamithetrainer and on Thursday I run again.
Blessed Epiphany...

And so it begins

I don't do New Year's Resolutions on account of my oppositional disorder.
However, I'm regularly impressed by my beloved step-daughter and her commitment to running.
I have previously taken the stance that I will only run if I'm being actively pursued by something dangerous (and that's actually up for debate since experience has shown that I may drop to the ground, roll into a ball, and protect my vital organs...)
Anyway, I have recently been of the mind to set myself a fitness goal of being able to run 3 miles without stopping (or dying.) My beloved stepdaughter went on-line and printed me out some different beginner runner programs. Together, we went to a fabulous all-things-runner-related store called "Medved" and were helped by a very kind young woman named Sherry. Sherry is a runner. (duh.) Sherry is holding a clinic for beginning runners starting March 25 with the goal of completing the Lilac 5k race (actually 3.1 miles but I figure that's doable...) on May 17.
I'm not waiting until March 25 to begin my training. I'm beginning...drum roll....this afternoon! I've purchased my first pair of running shoes and my training this afternoon will last 30 minutes. I am instructed to eat 2 hours before I do my training and I feel it is very important to follow this instruction.
The running people suggested a power bar and piece of fruit. I'm thinking I'd prefer a cupcake.
I'll let y'all know how it goes.