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.