Archives for 2010

Semper Fi…the weather made me do it!

Sometimes I just know.   Its that feeling in my gut.  Intuition.  It feels right and I know I will regret it if  I don’t do it.

It can be about other people, family, friends, acquaintances or it can be about ME!!

The powerful ones are those that come to me and I think really?  No way!!

I shove it aside and it pops up again and I say…c’mon, really?

I shove it aside again but this time it doesn’t budge it stays put and says “I am here to stay, deal with me, make the decision and we both already know what it is.

I tried to ignore this last one.  I tried to tell myself that its only a maybe and I could wait until Feb 23rd to make a decision.

I really did try.

I knew I was in trouble when I started smiling about it, when I started visualizing how it could be…uh oh…this isn’t going to wait until Feb 23rd.

I was starting to feel like Kevin Costner in “The Field of Dreams” with the voices but instead of  saying “Build it and he will come”  mine would say:

“Do it because you can…now is the time”.

For me this is a big deal…because I have never wanted to do this before..nope not me..no way I want to do this.  Some of you reading this have already done this many times and it’s not a biggee.  But for me…  I can’t  believe I am even considering doing this but it feels right so I know I must.

I want, must, have to  run the Marine Corps Marathon.  For whatever reason this will not leave me.  And it can’t be any other marathon.  It has to be the Marine Corps Marathon.   So now that I am saying it I can quiet that inner voice.

So here is the question…can a woman who just started running about 6 years ago, train and run a marathon knowing arthritis that 2 short months later she will be having that double nickle birthday??  Am I crazy?  (Relatives and close friends may NOT answer that last question)

Part of me thinks this is about triumphing over the excuses I came up with this summer for not running.  Seems I have hooked into the weather like I am Sam Champion and use it as the perpetual excuse NOT to run.  It’s too hot, it’s too humid, it looks like rain, is that thunder I hear?  And as the weather turns colder..it’s too cold , windy, the wind chill makes it blah, blah blah.  Can anybody relate?

I just posted about what happened to me three weeks ago while running in the cold.   The Cliff Notes version is I ended up with a bad cough and pulled muscles from coughing.  Find the longer version here: Cough and Stand up Straight

By the way I DID do a short run on the treadmill today..felt good to get back into it.

So now that I have posted it here and told a few people, it is real.  My next step is to start training  AND register on Feb 23rd.

The actual marathon is not until Oct. 30th so 2011 will be a year of races and training .  I’ll keep you posted.

So what about you?   What is your GUT telling you…are you listening?

Take a moment, pay attention throughout the day.  Give yourself some quiet time…turn off the TV, the music, go for a walk.  Allow that inner voice to speak..give it some time. It will show up maybe not right away and certainly not everyday.  But its there.

It might be telling you to call someone, send a note, try something new, step out of your comfort zone.  Let me know what you hear or feel…especially if it tells you to run the Marine Corps Marathon..I could use a buddy..or at least a cheering section.

Hoora!  Semper Fi

Cough and Stand Up Straight….

I was going to title this “Cough but Don’t Bend Over” but I thought too many people might take it the wrong way.  So I titled it the opposite, however it means the same thing.

I speak from recent experience.  Clean thinking here please.  Trying to keep this blog on the PG side of things.

I acquired a rather nasty cough that would not go away.   Actually I had gone running about 3 weeks ago in some rather cold weather and came home feeling like I had smoked a pack of cigarettes.

The hacking turned into a cough and finally I went to the doctor.  I obviously had something brewing before the run as the antibiotics cleared up the cough.

The medicine did not clear up my sore muscles from coughing .

You would think I would learn from experience as this has happened to me before.   Evidently I am a REALLY slow learner.

If you see someone cough or sneeze in slow motion you would see what stress it puts on the body.

I don’t need to see it, I can feel it.

All the muscles on the left and right side of my chest are pulled.  As the day wears on it feels like I am wearing a corset that someone is gradually tightening.

Those women who wore those things were more than a little nuts.

Since cold and flu season is creeping around the corner waiting to pounce I suggest you refrain from bending over or using any other poor body mechanics to cough.  Grab a pillow to brace yourself, sit down, get some medicine, and be gentle with yourself.

Otherwise you will end up  b&*^%y cranky like me, unable to run and impossible to live with..or so I am told.

Not only are  nurses really bad patients but we are impossibly impatient with the healing process.

Enough already!!!

Monday I am planning to run for the first time in weeks.  Not far and I will probably be a wuss and do it inside on the treadmill.

Okay let me rephrase that lest all the treadmill users think I am criticizing them.

I am going to play it safe and use the treadmill.

I really do prefer to run outside but I will agree that perhaps inside is a better choice this time.

A little exercise will do my body and my mood some good.  My husband and dog will be so relieved.

cough

Keeping the “girls” in check and happy

Have you ever wondered who designs  our bras let alone sports bras?  Most women would agree that there is some conspiracy out there or maybe even a department that secretly figures out which bras are our favorites and then discontinues them at the EXACT moment we need to replace our favorite bra.

Sizing is another issue.  Oprah did a whole show on getting fitted for the proper bra and these women were just thrilled to find out they really weren’t a B cup but a D cup.  Seriously??   Having been an A as a young woman, then a B most of my life and for 3 brief periods while pregnant and nursing a D cup I can tell you that anyone who is shoving their D cups into a B cup bra either has a high tolerance for pain or loves to spill out all over the place.

My other thought is that manufacturers just feel sorry for those of us on the small size and are trying to boost our spirits.

Thanks but no thanks..it is what it is.  When I was younger, sandwiched into between two rather well endowed sisters and given our society’s fascination with large breasts I felt a little cheated.  Now, however, I feel lucky.  Having experienced the larger sizes during pregnancy and nursing I discovered that I much preferred my more manageable “B”s.

Thinking I had sort of figured out my own personal dilemma with regular bras I discovered the world of the sports bra.

Sports bras are a mystery that is yet to be figured out.

No cup sizes here..small-extra large.  Huh?   I figured I was a medium…only if I want to put my chest in a vice.  Turns out a large or extra large is what is comfortable for me…and I thought to myself , if I am a large or x-large what do women do who need larger sizes?

Turns out they either do a lot of searching, trying on or wear two sports bras at once to give them the support they need and to keep the girls happy.

Or they give up on sports that put the girls in motion.

Well that’s just not right.

A quick poll of my friends confirmed our mutual frustration with sizing and fit.

Champion was actually the brand that came out on top. At least for those of average size

Fortunately a company called Enell came out with a sports bra for larger sizes that actually fits.

www.enell.com

They even have a video of how to measure, get the right size AND put it on correctly ( instead of the usual wrestling match we all go through)

No surprise that this great product came from a woman, Renelle Braaten, who needed a sports bra to fit and couldn’t find one, so she and her mother ( a seamstress) designed one and now women all over the world can stay active AND keep the “girls” happy!

Girl power in support of the “girls”!    Love it!!!!

I will be heading over to the site and getting some for my youngest daughter. So Julie..now I will REALLY know if you read my blog or not!! Just kidding.

My favorite running shirt says “I know I run like a girl, try and keep up”

To all manufacturers of women sports apparel…We are women who run, bike, swim, play volleyball, soccer, softball and Lacrosse PLUS all kinds of other sports and jobs… WE are shaped like women…try and keep up with us  because  others like, Renelle Braaten, will  find solutions and make our lives healthier!
8471_jogging_cartoon

Oh Mr. Race Photographer I’m ready for my close-up

As I sat down to edit this post  I started to smile wondering if this really was a post about how to get a good race photograph or just an excuse to exhibit a rare but good race photo of myself.

A little of both.  As my friend and web designer Sherra said to me ( often) Your blog, Your rules!

Long before digital cameras I was ( am) a photo connoisseur ( sounds better than addict)

Yes I am the  obnoxious dedicated one at the family gatherings with the camera .

When I  started running a mere 5 years ago I was thrilled to find out about “race” photos and anxiously awaited to see my athletic image as I pounded the pavement to my first finish line.

Anticipation led to disappointment.  There was no photographer at this race.  No  images of my  achievement to put on the frig.

Bummer.

Next event was my first sprint tri in Minneapolis.  Yes we live in Virginia and yes we drove all that way for a sprint tri.

This tri  definitely had a photographer .   Guess what I learned?  Only the babes from Baywatch look good running in a swimsuit.

I also think that most race photographers have the uncanny ability to catch me  at the most unflattering and awkward moments.

Yet at this tri I was rewarded with this one photo.    At the end of the run I managed to catch up to my husband and grab his hand as we crossed the finish line.   It was our anniversary and he , once again, was supporting one of my crazy ideas!

At subsequent events the photos were my equivalent to those bad auditions on American Idol in that they were a continuing source of humor for the family..or at least for my husband.

Hey, what can I say.  At least I was out there moving my body.

BUT this summer at the one and only triathlon I could fit in to my crazy schedule  I accidentally   discovered the  secret to a good race photo.

I anticipated, and trained to have my best swim ever.  For many reasons it did not happen and once again I came out of the water at the end of pack, winded, a little discouraged  and frantically racing to find my bike.  Once on the bike  I relaxed, decided to do my best and enjoy.

Did I mention that I later found out the heat index that day was 105?  Not exactly conducive to  a great photo.

Yet as I rounded the trail on the run one of the volunteers clued me in that the photographer was  right around the corner.  So I put on my best race smile and ta da….

61784-076-017f

Approaching  the finish line I noticed  ( and it was no surprise) that  mmmm, I was one of the last ones in.  So I could be bummed or make the most of it…and give the photographer something to do so I hammed it up.

A little focus would be nice…

I saw him take more than one photo  so I thought well maybe the law of averages is in my favor this time and it was…

61784-106-021f

He found the focus button!!

I did discover the secret to a good race photo..  or at least this time…is  to be at the end of the pack.

Honestly, as in life, as in “triing” or “trying” you just never know for sure what is going to work.  Sometimes you just get lucky!

Being one of the last had its payoffs…and if your disappointed in my answer think of it this way..  when my grandchildren or great grandchildren are looking at this they will have no idea if I was first or last , only that I was out there having fun.

Go out, have fun, take some good photos, take some that will get you a good laugh and move your body because that’s whats its all about.   Oh and like me…ALWAYS be ready for your close up!!

Say Cheese,

Would you like fries with your latte?

I used to be a proud non-coffee drinker.  Couldn’t stand the stuff. I really wondered what the fuss was all about .

My husband disliked coffee as well so when coffee drinkers came to our house they were out of luck.

When I gave a party if a guest offered to bring something I would ask for coffee…

and filters….

and the coffee maker…

and most important of all…. a person to make the coffee.

And then it happened, gradually but it happened.  I  fell off the non coffee band wagon .

It would be easy to blame Starbucks.  I was feeling a bit left out.

It seemed like everyone was meeting at Starbucks, drinking coffee, connecting in person and via laptops.

It was the “cool” place to be.

It was cool to act like “Sally” from “Harry Met Sally” and order a venti, non fat, whip, light foam, double shot, hazelnut latte.

To order a tea seemed so , mmm, ordinary, uncool.

I spent ALL of my adolescence being  “uncool” with a VERY cool older sister so NO I was not going to be the “uncool” one again.

I discovered with enough milk, sugar, and flavoring,  a latte was palatable.

My favorite drink rolled off my tongue like I was born at Starbucks and had lattes in my baby buyambienmed.com bottle.

The caffeine grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

My husband was starting to think I might need a 12 step anti- coffee anti- caffeine program.

No worries.  After  an amusing incident this summer I am climbing back on the non-coffee wagon.

I discovered McDonalds is serving specialty coffee  as in “would you like fries with your latte?”

So in a “I have no other choice but to get my latte at McDonalds” moment  I  ordered a latte at the Golden Arches.  Twenty minutes and much confusion later I walked out with an iced coffee iced dishwater.

Ding, ding, ding…an “aha” moment for me.   A few nuggets from my noggin to…

McDonalds...stick to what you do best…clogging arteries and contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Starbucks….do NOT start serving burgers.  Do what you do best …draining peoples wallets and pushing caffeine.

As for me ( and possibly some of you) I am going to stick to what I like and do what I do best.

Oh and if you come to visit you may want to bring the coffee….and filters…and ….coffee maker.

I am going back to tea.

Shhh..don’t tell my sister..I hear it’s the next “cool” thing!

So which was it? Trip to the ER or a great idea?

You all might remember that back in January of this year I blogged about my upcoming adventure with my new clipless bike pedals.

If your memory is anything like mine (good but short) you might want to hit the link below and reread the original post.

A great idea or a trip to the ER?

So here is the scoop.  I did not meet my deadline of Feb 1st mainly because of the winter weather.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Honestly a little good ole procrastination and just plain fear also entered the deal.

Now my middle name lately could be “fearless” as I have swung on the trapeze and  rappelled off a 4 story building  and would love to do a tandem sky dive

SO why did falling off my bike make me shake in my boots?

Lets see..the trapeze had…

  • a HUGE safety net
  • a guided harness

The rappelling adventure had ..

  • a helmet
  • a safety harness
  • some really cute National Guardsman helping me (always a plus)
  • No net!!

The rappelling was a spontaneous adventure and my gray matter had no time to process what I was actually doing.

Somehow, somewhere, someone is going to ask me …

“So if you saw someone jump off a 4 story building, would you do it too???

“Why yes I would and here are the photos to prove it!”

Almost ready to jump

Almost ready to jump

"Jumping off a 4 story building"

"Jumping off a 4 story building"

Despite all this my fear was a hungry bear and it got busy feasting on:

  • Childhood memories of painful scabby knees and lost battles with the sidewalk
  • My husbands voice telling me “Your gonna breaka u face” ( thanks Paul)
  • All those friends with their wonderful bloody bike pedal disaster stories they delighted in telling!

I  reminded myself of the quote by Helen Keller:

” Life is either a great adventure or nothing”

Pushing the fear aside I started with one pedal, graduated to two…and I DID it without falling.  AND I did it just in time for my Sprint tri in June!

Bike pedal success!

Bike pedal succes

That is not quite the end of the story.  Spurred on by my success and getting a little cocky I fancied myself the master of the bike pedals.

Off I went  a few weeks later exploring a new bike path and down I went when I took a sharp turn and lost my balance.

And the pavement won!

At age 53 I sported a very scabby knee and a slightly bruised ego.

My scabby knee made for some interesting conversations especially since I took great pleasure in wearing Scooby Doo band-aids!

So I didn’t “break a my face” and I LOVE my bike pedals!

I know I have some more learning ahead of me, a few falls and maybe a scabby knee or two.

Still…I am so stinking proud of myself I may have to borrow Ava Grace’s  “I’m Kind of a Big Deal” shirt!

So my friends, face your fears, take a risk, fall down, get up, and do it again the next day…its all about the “trying”

Let me know what you’re up to so I can cheer you on!

Aren’t we all kind of a Big Deal?

This photo says it all.  Little Miss Ava is a charmer in every way, beautiful blue eyes, a head full of curls and that wonderful toddler attitude that the world revolves around her,and ONLY her.

Put her in this tank top and the package is complete!Ava Grace is kinda a big deal

I just laughed when I saw her sporting this affirmation of who she is and what she is about.  We all think she is a big deal with or without the t-shirt !!     Wouldn’t it be great if we all had the self confidence to sport a shirt like this???

Why not?  Aren’t we all kind of a big deal??  No “kind of” about it.

When was the last time you gave yourself credit for anything and everything??

I am constantly amazed by the people I know and the people I meet who overcome incredible obstacles, follow their dreams despite all the naysayers, and just keep plugging away!!  They are a BIG DEAL and deserve lots of credit.

BUT so do you!!

We are great at giving ourselves credit for the big things.  What about the little everyday things??

Give yourself credit for taking out the garbage.  Take it from someone who left old shrimp in the kitchen garbage while away for a week-end.   I thought we would never get the smell out of the house!

So your assignment for today is to pretend you are wearing Ava’s tank top!   You ARE a BIG DEAL.  Start making a list of things you do and give yourself credit for them..give yourself an “ata boy or ata girl”  Keep the list going and look at it when the sun isn’t shining in your heart.

I’ll start…I am a BIG DEAL because  … I ate healthy this morning, I vacuumed up the dog hair, I wrote my blog ,  I  laughed, I replaced the toilet paper without yelling at someone and I was patient with myself!!

And lastly copy this quote and put it on your frig to remind yourself  how really wonderful you are!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  M. Williamsom

Make it a really BIG DEAL day!!!  Smiles,

Back in the saddle again

Its been awhile since I wrote a new blog post. Have I ever mentioned that I have turned procrastination into an art form?

Actually procrastination is not the right word. There is no right word for this but a phrase “putting what I love to do last on the list”

Turns out I have plenty of company in this unofficial club which consists mostly of women. We have good intentions but our daily to do lists are impossibly long and if the things we truly love to do make the list at all its at the bottom.

Since it is now July, all tried and true procrastinators are now finding time to make their 2010 New Years resolutions and mine is to put what I love to do at the top of the list. So the good news is you’ll be seeing more blog posts. That could also be the bad news but hey there is always the delete button!

Feel free to join me on this adventure of making New Years resolutions in July.  Its fun to break the rules!  Put what you love at the top of the list.  Make an appointment with yourself and KEEP them. Think of yourself as your friend waiting for you to keep the lunch date, movie date or whatever and make it a priority.

In addition to my New Years in July resolution I am embracing a word for each season to keep me aware of the many pleasures the different seasons bring.

My word for the summer is “savor”  Savor the summer and all its delicious offerings.

  • Take in the sun
  • Eat juicy fresh fruit and vine ripened tomatoes
  • Buy outrageous fun flip flops
  • Catch fireflies
  • Picnic…at a park or in your own backyard
  • Teach someone to swim
  • Do nothing
  • Watch the sunrise and the sunset
  • Put yourself at the top of the list and SAVOR your own loves!!!!

And in the words of those famous infomercials “but wait there’s more” There is always something more to savor, take a look around and drink it in, long cool sips of what you love about yourself and this season.

I’ve had quite a few adventures this summer ( some on purpose, some not) so stay tuned!

Keeping it simple

Did you ever wonder what would happen if we yanked the cord on everything?

When did it get all so complicated?

Even reading, one of my favorite pastimes is getting high tech.

I do have a thing for books. I read them all, ..well most of them. I was using the library quite a bit but after supporting the building of a new library wing with the fines I accumulated I decided it was easier to buy than to borrow.

After a year or two the books started to breed in my basement, and closets and when we moved it became evident I had a problem.

So I became a library partron again.

I then got the notion that I could be earth friendly, space friendly and still have all the books I wanted if I got a Kindlle or a Nook e-reader.

I was just about to take the plunge when the I-pad came out and my techy friend said..no wait until this other thing comes out with even newer technology and you’ll be all set.

HELP

My desire to be “green” and make the techno leap vanished. I found a favorite book and leafed through the pages wistfully.

I yearned for simplicity. So I decided to go for a run. This should be easy and simple. I wish…this is how it played out..

Put on running clothes and shoes. Walk outside, check the weather, back inside. Oh wait need my phone for safety, need my running pouch ( spi belt..love it) Garmin running watch for time, speed, distance. Need to turn it on so it can find the satellite. Water, do I need water? Music..where’s my IPOD. Uh oh, Garmin is set for biking, need to set it for running. Looking for my ear phones, bathroom break. Find hat and sunglasses….40 minutes later I go running.

Sigh..so much for simplicity

My techy friend read this and claimed the “simple” solution was to get an I-phone.

ARGHHHHH

Think I will just go put on my PF Flyers so I can run faster and jump higher..maybe I can jump back in time?

Anyone with me??

More than just a daily walk

Long before I started running I was a walker.

5:15 every week-day morning found me rolling out my bed and out the door.

In the winter I appreciated the dark mornings that camouflaged my ratty, “grab what is warm” attire.  In the summer I appreciated sunglasses and hats to hide tracings of yesterdays mascara and my wild woman hair.

Most of all I appreciated what got me out of bed and moving my body, my walking partner Francy.

Just knowing she was waiting was enough to get me up and going.  We walked , griped, rejoiced and laughed for 2 miles every morning for over  10 years.

We agreed that what was “said on the walk stayed on the walk ” so no subject was taboo and there was a sense of trust and freedom with what we shared with each other.

Francy was walking long before I joined her. I initially started walking with her as a way to fit in some physical activity in my way too busy life, however those two miles became much more than exercise.

It was an incredible way to start the day sharing, pharmacy laughing, griping. We celebrated family milestones and even became grandparents for the first time in the same year. Later 2 of our grandchildren would be born on the same day!

People who routinely drove past us on their way to work either thought we were crazy or admired our dedication.

It really became a morning ritual that filled me in every way. I think it did for Francy as well

When I moved I have to say that this was one of things I missed most. It will remain one of those special times in my life that always makes me smile.

I hope you have a daily ritual or habit  that fills you in every way.

I found this photo I had taken early one morning and put this quote with it as a gift to Francy ( made one for myself as well) I think it sums up our walks pretty well.

Bless yourself with a walk this week..and take a friend along. Great things will come your way!

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day”  Thoreau

sunrise