31 December, 2007

What a year 2007 has been!

So many changes and challenges! Tonight marks 23 weeks since my last cigarette. Close to that 6 month mark. I don't think I would ever have believed I could've done this anytime prior to July.

Yesterday I felt like I was coming down with bronchitis. My lungs were super tight between the shoulder blades and I was coughing like mad. I had yucky congestion. I took my vitamins, slept most of the afternoon, and by 7pm felt normal. That was very weird!

I felt great this morning so I got out today and rode my bike on the open road. I decided I wasn't going to worry so much about speed, just ride for an hour. The temp was in the high 40s so I wore the dust mask. This was good, as the air was cold. Problem was getting it to fit with the sunglasses and helmet. I'm gonna have to find better glasses or goggles for riding as these are too clunky and need to be higher above my brow. I wasn't very successful in getting the fit right as the mask kept fogging up the right lens. It's so not easy to see through a foggy lens! At least my right contact is the one for reading, not distance!

I was riding out King's Church road on the first leg. I came up to the Lassie house, but no dog. Whew! I thought maybe the other day was a fluke. The wind was variable which made the ride interesting. I turned around and was heading back just enjoying the ride and lack of traffic. All of a sudden here came Lassie, running and barking! I stood in the pedals and humped it. Which was interesting as there was a car coming in each direction, but they were cool and we had no problems.

I took my regular turn down Dawson Hill and it seems the more I rode the better I was feeling. Now, this doesn't mean I was all that happy with my speed or cadence. Just my lungs and legs felt good. As I approached the end of my Dawson Hill leg (which is a 90 degree right hand turn) I met another cyclist. We spoke and he kept going as I came to a stop to get a drink and turn around. He noticed and came back. He was very nice and we chatted for a few minutes and then rode together back to the end of my usual King's Church leg. He showed me how to draft. I feel terrible that I didn't get his name! I'm sure I'll see him out and about again. It was nice to have a buddy to ride with, even if it was just about 3 or 4 miles. I told him I wouldn't be going downhill with him. He said it's not that bad coming back up that one. I'll get out and do it. I just don't have that much self confidence yet.

I headed back and got to the neighborhood, looked at my stopwatch and did a lap before turning in. I wound up with about 53 minutes and 13 miles. Nothing to brag about. My biggest regret is we are headed into the coldest days over the next couple of months. Now you just never know how cold or for how long around here. It would be nice to have some snow, but I would love to have plenty of days in the high 40s and 50s that are dry for riding.

Biggest regret for today is that I didn't get out and do my 1st workout of week #2 for the 5K. Tomorrow is going to be cold and nasty. I should've done the run thing and saved the bike for the trainer. Oh well. I didn't. I wonder, if I ride my bike in the trainer standing, would that do any good as a simulation for running? :-) Probably not.

Now there's a group that has a New Year century planned for Saturday. I'm not ready for that this year. There's also a Hangover Classic run tomorrow, but that is a 10 miler. I'm not ready for that either. I will get on my trainer and put in 60 barring any unforeseen barriers. Hope to behave tonight and ring in the New Year quietly.

Here's wishing all of you the best for 2008. Have a very safe and Happy New Year!

Hope it's my first full year of tobacco-free-ness.

29 December, 2007

I finished week #1 of coolrunning.com's Couch to 5K in 9 weeks!

Today has been a good day for me and fitness! As I stated in my earlier post, I got in a good 60 minute workout on the trainer this morning. I felt very good following that.

I've had some issues with getting this first week behind me for the 5K program though. The weather has been either cold or rainy or both. I have no problems with running in the rain if the temps are in the higher 60s.

I have major asthma issues with any type of physical exertion in cooler temps, starts bothering me once we drop into the low 40s. I've been reading quite a lot about both cold air and exercise induced asthma recently. It seems that swimming is one of the best exercises to do if you have asthma due to the high humidity and wamer air temps. One exception is if you are sensitive to chlorine, which can trigger an attack. The drier the air is, the more likely it will irritate your bronchial tubes and cause an increase of mucus and restrict the airways which translates to wheezing.

The temps were right at 39F when I went out for my workout today. Hubby gave me a couple of his dust masks he uses when he's running his woodworking tools. They are made of paper with a metal strip over the bridge of the nose that is bendable and soft rubberband that goes around you head/neck. This worked very well for me today. I wore it during the first 2/3s of the workout. Then removed it for the walking part and put it back on for the running part for the remainder of the workout. It's not the most attractive thing to wear. It gets a little on the icky side too. Moisture builds and builds inside, but it keeps the air that you breathe nice and warm and moist. I also take 2 puffs on my fast-acting inhaler about 15 minutes before a run. This helps open those airways up nicely.

One of the girls at work is starting a once a month Yoga class for beginners in the next week or so. I'm excited about this. I'll get some stretching, which should help with the riding/running I'm doing. But what I'm most excited about is the breathing you learn with Yoga. I need better breathing techniques and learn to relax my breaths while exercising. This should also help alleviate some of the ashtma/wheezing stuff, too. At least I hope it does!

Trying to take advantage of a week away from work

It's been a full and hectic time, getting ready for Christmas festivities and hubby's birthday. Plenty of stress to go around for everyone, too.

My sleep cycle still isn't where I wish it was, but the Melatonin is helping. If I wake up before 3am, I go ahead and take one and it's good for 4 - 5 hours. Good thing I haven't had a need to get up before 8. Man, it's gonna make it difficult next week when I have to get back to work and the real world!

I have attempted to keep on my fitness schedule. Though this training program for the 5K has slipped more than I'd like to admit. We've had wet days and chilly days, I've had days of riding or running just to wheeze afterwards. It's supposed to get up to about 45F today, so I'm hoping to get out and do the 3rd workout of week 1. I put 60 minutes on the trainer on the 23rd and then went out and ran my first workout for the 5K. I put 45 minutes on the trainer on the 24th and then again on the 25th. Christmas was the day my Mom started to "coach" me and I nipped that quick!
The day after Christmas (hubby's birthday) I put approximately 35 minutes on the open road.

Had my first dog incident. Now, I've ridden this same route many times and not seen a dog that could/would chase me. This one was Lassie! Beautiful collie. I caught sight of it laying in the front yard across the road from me. I watched it sit up, look at me and stand and stretch. It then proceeded to bark, run, growl, and nip at my heels. Being the brave soul that I am, I screamed! I squirted my water bottle. All the while pedalling as fast as possible. Man, my heart was racing and then I started coughing. I had to stop riding and catch my breath and gain some composure from the coughing. I decided to turn around and head back, which of course meant I had to pass Lassie again. This time it ran with me, but not growling or nipping at my heels. I was so annoyed with myself for getting scared. I've never been afraid of a dog before in my life, ever! I think if I'd maintained my composure I wouldn't have had the coughing fit either and could've continued on my ride. I wheezed for sometime afterward.

The 27th I went out and did my 2nd workout for the 5K. It felt really good, better than the first one. However, I did begin wheezing about 30 minutes after my cool down and spent the next hour coughing. I put about 18 minutes on the trainer on the 28th. Probably should've just taken the day off. I had tightness in my lungs between my shoulder blades all day, felt like beginnings of bronchitis. Thank goodness it's gone now.

I got up this morning about 6 am, but couldn't seem to stay awake! I dozed off and on until 9. Guess I'm getting lazy being off a regular wake/sleep cycle during vacation. Of course those 2 pomegranite margaritas could've had something to do with it too. :-)

I put in a good 60 minute workout on the trainer this morning, though. Feel very good about it. If my energy level stays good, I think I'll go out and run #3.

26 December, 2007

The start of a full week + of festivities

December 23rd marked 5 months since my last cigarette. I worried about the holidays and wanting to smoke, but survived it!

We invited both our Mothers to spend Christmas Eve with us. My Mother-in-law opted out as she has a standing invitation with my Sister-in-law. My Mom took us up on the offer. We always celebrate with Hubby's family on Christmas Eve. It was a very plesant evening. My Mom went with us. We ate and played games and exchanged gifts.

It was good for Mom to be with us on Christmas morning. Hubby prepared a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, milk gravy and biscuits. We cleaned up our breakfast mess and then retired to the family room and opened our gifts. It was pleasant, but so different than having littles ones on Christmas morning. There used to be excitement in the air, squeals and laughter, the sounds of ripping paper and 15 minutes later it was finished. We picked up our paper mess, hubby started reading about his new toy while Mom and I began to prepare the Christmas meal.

My side of the family is small. Just my brother and sister and our children. All of her grandkids came. My brother's oldest flew in from Arizona, which made it even more special. We all got to see each other. It was so nice! My Sister broke the rules and bought gifts for everyone. We adult kids aren't supposed to do that.

The day after Christmas is hubbie's birthday. His Mom, Sis, and Bro took him to lunch. Later in the day my daughters and I took him to a very nice dinner at Jack Frye's. He got an Orange Bowl print of UofL's win back in January. The youngest made him a bday cake. This was his 50th and I probably should've done a big shindig, but I didn't.

Our anniversary is just around the corner - 30th one on the 30th and then New Year's Eve the next night. I'm beginning to think I've already hit my celebration limit. Hoping for some quiet time and more reflection. Then planning for the new year and how I can schedule work, play, fitness, and some other things into the year.

Some of that will depend on what happens with raises, bonuses, and the such. Sure would be nice if the housing market opens back up a bit. Of course that means it'll be at least another year before we'll see much benefit.

Positive thinking, nose to the grindstone and a little bit of good luck are what we need in 2008. I'm working hard on the first 2 things, we'll have to wait and see about the third.

22 December, 2007

There is nothing like December in Louisville, Kentucky

The weather is unpredictable as heck. Never expect cold and snow in December. But as soon as you are positive it won't get cold and snow, you wake up to sleet or freezing rain or maybe a dusting. :-)

I've talked my BFF into training for a 5K on March 1st. It is the first of Louisville's Triple Crown of running. There is a 5K on March 1, a 10K on March 15 and a 10 miler on March 29. Coolrunning.com has a Couch to 5K in 9 weeks that looks great. http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml

Now yesterday was very nice. Got up to 56F or so. I went out in the neighborhood and did my first workout. It's a weird feeling to be in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt on December 21st. I saw a few other's in shorts yesterday, but there were plenty of people in sweatshirts etc. I like the way this workout slowly builds. I've heard people sing it's praises. I swear though. I haven't run since November. The last 2 60 second runs were not easy. Too much smoking damage on my lungs and heart I think. But perserverance it what it takes. And your mind can place limits that your body can overcome. I gotta retrain the mind!

Today, the temps rose to 60F. I got out and rode my bike for an hour. It was a superb day. The sun was shining bright. I wore my bike-shorts and a long sleeved t-shirt, with a sweatband on my head covering my ears. The wind was stronger than I would've preferred. I was too slow and am not happy about it. But I keep thinking, if I could get 2 weeks of back to back days out there, I would be doing great! By 45 minutes, I was feeling great and my cadence was staying closer to 80+. I also think if I had someone to ride with, a group, I would push myself more than out there alone. I've got to find the motivation within myself. This way, when I do ride with a group, I'll be ready.

I've asked for cool weather apparel for Christmas, but forgot to list the booties for my shoes. Oh well, I can always improvise on those.

Tomorrow starts out at 48F and drops all day into the 20s with winds pushing 30 mph. LOL If you don't like the weather in Kentucky wait 48 hours, it'll change.

Christmas is almost here! The weather is going to try and get us to a merrier place.
One more tobacco free day, life is good.

20 December, 2007

End of the year - should be fun - can be stressful -- Very Full Of Stress!

I thought I should post a warning to everyone that is either trying to quit smoking or have already quit in the last months.

This is a very stressful time of year for some (a lot) people. We put off the inevitable like shopping, decorating, mailing Christmas cards and so many more task. (I've bought 4 gifts to date). Money can be tight and the pressure to spend on others can be stressful. Relationship strains make us sad if we won't see loved ones this time of year. The loss of a friend or loved one in the recent past makes this time of year much more difficult and leaves an empty place.

Monday and Tuesday tested my will power. But Wednesday I wanted a cigarette all day long. I haven't had an urge like this since August! I didn't smoke, I kept trying my old diversions: Dum dums, chewing gum, nice walk in fresh air, mini altoids, finding alternative things to focus my attention. It just kept coming back. I made it through and I didn't succomb, but it was scary. Monday was 21 weeks since my last cigarette! This just goes to show how there are still triggers ready to tempt you.

I'll be sending out all the good karma and smoke-free thoughts to all of my 'quit-buddies' for this holiday season.
Merry Christmas to everyone!

I'm so grateful I found you guys and Chantix!

16 December, 2007

Well well well

It's amazing what a few good hours of sleep will do for ya. I swear, the last few weeks (probably longer) I've been more sleep deprived than when the girls were babies (now this could be an exaggeration as that was decades ago).

It has a horrible affect on my ability to function properly. I felt like I was going to lose my mind a few times. My sis and friends were wonderfully supportive, I am one lucky girl!

I took the Melatonin Friday night at 7 fell asleep by 8 and didn't stir until 2 am. since I didn't want to be awake yet and my mind start going like crazy I took another Melatonin and slept til 8. I spent Saturday moving slowly and thinking about nonstressful things. Took another pill about 8 Sat night and fell asleep around 10. Woke up at 1 with my mind going 100 mph so I took another pill. Slept til 4, had a few nagging thoughts, but drifted back til 8. Hubby has been wonderful. He went to the grocery today and made chili tonight.

I did get a full 60 + minutes each day on the trainer, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday plus some core bldrs and such thrown in. I am so happy I bought this bike. No matter what bad stuff is happening, I get on it and the bad goes away, even if it's just temporary. My wardrobe is shrinking! Well, my body is shrinking and my wardrobe doesn't fit! Hope I have some money left for all those sales next week.

Now, because I have postponed the inevitable, this week will be each night shopping until I'm done. I've bought one gift. And the item was emailed to me on a link all I had to do was put in my credit card info. Oh yeah, my boss is in tomorrow thru Wednesday at lunch. It should be good. I have my year-end discussion and project plan for next year.

I miss the magic of Christmas. Without any little ones around, it's just not the same. Big sigh...

12 December, 2007

There are some things that are basic to good health

Here are the ones I think are at the top of the (my) list:
nutrition - eat well balanced meals - always eat breakfast (kick start your metabolism) - smart portions
sleep - be sure to get good sound sleep each night - I need 6 hours, prefer 7 hours and relish 8 hours
moderation - in all things - don't drink too much, eat too much - anything too much

Now, I have worked very hard on my nutrition. I don't count calories, but I do manage portions. I have oatmeal morning mornings. I eat a good lunch, meat and veggies. Supper I try to be sensible and keep it light. No soft drinks! They put too much crap in your body. Drink plenty of water, especially if you are exercising. This is very important.

Sleep has been elusive for me lately. Thinks it's the hormones causing it. But it started with the Chantix. I don't like taking pills, but gonna try Melatonin tonight. Wish me luck! Haven't had more than 4 hours a night in weeks.

I rode 60 minutes today after missing 2 days in a row. I hate when I miss! But I only had one meal in the previous 24 hours - that's not enough. I only had about 3 hours sleep last night - not enough! See I broke my rules - not enough sleep or fuel.

So I have my guidelines, but fall off the wagon every so often. - Moderation!

11 December, 2007

We were blessed with a beautiful day!

Now, there's something not quite right about having a 72F day on December 11. But Mother Nature smiled on us and that is exactly what we had today. The sun came out, though we still had clouds, those rays of light were glorious hitting my skin and eyes.

I've been trying to be very focussed on my new bike, on the trainer, and put down 60 minutes a day for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This is after spending quite some time at 25 minutes, building to 30, 35, and finally 45 on Friday last week. I plan to stick with a minimum of 60 going forward, unless something prevents it. I look forward to this time. It's all mine. I can think or not. Mostly I get lost in the ride, is that meditation?

Today, I came home right after lunch, thinking I would put an hour on the open road. I was so excited! I've only been outdoors once and that was just the subdivision. Put the first 2.6 miles behind me and was feeling great. Turned back and found a 12 - 15 mph head wind in my face. Geez, it was difficult! I worked through the gears and found a comfortable place for the flat spots. As I began to come to the end of the second 2.6 I started to think I was just gonna head home. But thought I didn't want to quit yet. I hadn't been out that long and the day was so nice. I took Dawson Hill to the big bend and back for another 3 miles. Now the wind was blowing across me from side to side instead of at my face or back. I've never had the wind blow me around on a bike like that before! It was a bit scary! Like driving a high profile vehicle. Difference being, I didn't have any protection around me. :-)

I wasn't happy about the speed or how difficult it seemed. But, I had only gotten 4 hours sleep last night and ate a bologna sandwich for dinner. Don't think that was enough rest or fuel to have a great performance.

I think I'm hooked on this. When I finish a ride or a run (that's been too long now), I completely relish the burn I have in my legs. It feels so invigorating. Think that's the endorphin buzz that athletes get addicted to. You know what? I'm thrilled at being addicted to a naturally produced substance by my body. It's so much better than tobacco and nicotine.

We get rain for the next few days, so I'm sure we won't get much sunshine. That's okay, I know it'll be back soon and I had a wonderful time in it today!

09 December, 2007

These are always the most difficult days for me

as we approach the shortest day of daylight in the year. I truly think lack of sunshine wears on me. It affects how I embrace each day. This weekend has been full of gray skies. Sorry to those of you in the Northwest, but I could never live in Seattle. Too many days without sunshine.

This year has been one of depression, reflection, letting go, discontent and then there have been wondrous days of joy, pride, surprise, laughter, passion and love.

I've been enlightened by some in the professional world about the reality of my future with my current role and company due to circumstances beyond my control. Funny, if this were any other employer I would've immediately started looking for a new job, or at least answered some of those headhunters that have come knocking on my door. But I love the work (sometimes it can be crap) and I am grateful for the relationships I've maintained and people I have the opportunity to work with. So, I will continue to look for opportunities with my current employer to grow, prove myselft and advance.

I've been very emotional for a couple of months due to relationship issues between my girls and hubby and me. Thanksgiving was a BUST. Finally, drug out the Christmas tree and decorated it this afternoon. Seriously thought about skipping it this year.

So, it's time I pull my head out of my ass. I've done some good things this year and I've reaped several benefits. I have to find or make my own sunshine on a daily basis.

I quit smoking and I've slowly changed my lifestyle to one that is more healthy. I think I've spent too much time fantasizing, but if you don't have dreams and ambitions what do you have? Some of my fantasies have come to fruition, which has been marvelously delicious on so many levels. Some of my fantasies never will, which is the way it should be. Some will just take more time, serious planning and execution on my part.

What I should do is get back on my bike and ride, 'cause that always make me feel good, alive and vibrant!

Hopefully, the next post will be back to boring fitness stuff.

05 December, 2007

Will it ever be good enough? I don't think so

Guess I should find a few other hobbies to get interested in, 'cause I spend too much time riding, running, or typing about it. :-) BUT I am not smoking tobacco!

I've attempted to jot down all of the information I know about my fitness each day I have something to record. Once I've gotten finished with a ride, run, or other activity I've sent myself an email with the statistics. Last weekend, instead of decorating the house for Christmas, I went through all of those emails and entered the info into a spreadsheet.

My first thought about the results, once I got everything entered, was disappointment. Now, what is wrong with me? I've done things I haven't done in decades and my first reaction is, "is that all?". Am I the only person that has such expectations? Are we always ready to set ourselves up for failure?

Maybe it is the American way, the reason we are such successful entrepreneurs. The reason my parents were disappointed with anything less than all A's. (My Dad was a high school Biology teacher).

Should it ever be good enough? I don't care about racing and out-doing running/riding/whatever other people. At least not yet. First, I want to do better each time than my previous time. No, that is second. First, I want to enjoy what I am doing and relish in the sweat, my surroundings, listen and feel my heart beat in my chest and hear my breath between my ears.

Yoga in January! Not sure there's much to measure or record with that. But if there is I will record it.

Was too busy to ride tonight. I feel guilty about it! I miss riding. It's going to be in the 60s again this weekend. I need some rain gear with reflective tape. I want to get out on the open road and put down some miles on this new bike. I'd love to get 15 behind me, maybe more if my legs will hold.

It's "Over the Hump Day"! Weekend is right around the corner now. ;-)

02 December, 2007

I love my new bike on the open road!

Now I'm praying for a dry day to get back out and ride.

The ground was already wet when I got out of bed this morning. The rain varied between hard and steady to a soft mist most of the morning. I checked the forecast, which is always wrong, and prediction was for rain all day and high of 65F. I went to the Hour by Hour and still had rain listed for each hour. I kept sticking my head out the back door checking. Somewhere between 1:30 and 2:00 PM the rain had stopped, it was about 60F, but windy. I went out and did 4 neighbourhood laps (a little more than 3 miles). Wore my headband/sweatband, made sure it covered my ears. Man talk about nice! Now I'm gonna be jonesin' for a nice dry day to get out and ride!

I was really enjoying myself. I played with the gears just a little. It was definitely much better than the old bike. Gears shift so much more smoothly. The shoes and pedals make for great speed and were so much better when climbing the hill. Bastian decided to run the first lap with me, I'm surprised he did the full lap. He caught up with me again about 3/4 of the way through the 4th lap and raced me to the house.

Now, everyone has told me that I will fall. On one level I knew they were right. But, ya know, on another level I kept thinking, if I stay aware and keep focussed, I won't fall. Thought I was being so smart, before getting to the driveway I unclipped right shoe. Slowed as I hit the gutter at the drive and slowed further as I approached the garage. Oh deary me! I went down on my left side. Dummy me, should've unclipped the left shoe since that is the foot I always put down first! Boogered my left knee, but the bike is fine! Now, just like anytime a person is walking down the street and trips (not necessarily on anything), I had to look up to see if anyone was outside or driving down the street. Then I just started laughing out loud. Bastian stood there watching me. Here I am, this 49 year old woman that is trying desperately to get into some kind of shape, falling off of my bike just like I did when I was a pre-teen.

Gave myself about 20 minutes to catch my breath and then decided to do ride indoors on the trainer. Took me 15 minutes just to get setup and ready to ride. Hubby had a box fan in the garage. He blew the sawdust off of the fan with his air compressor. I got so hot so fast yesterday I knew having a fan would help keep me a little cooler. Found a tall stool to set beside the bike so I have a place for my water, stopwatch and remote controls for the big screen and surround sound. I had no preset idea of how long to ride, except was calculating if I'd ridden 3 miles outside that took at least 15 minutes. I knew I wanted to ride at minimum of a total of 30 minutes. I also wanted to make sure and ride long enough to keep my left knee from getting sore from that fall. At the end of 15 minutes, I thought, "I feel pretty good let's go 5 more". At then end of 20 I thought the same thing and went for a total of 30 inside. If I'd had more water I coulda gone longer, but decided that I shouldn't push too far too soon. I want to stay healthy and not strain, pull, damage any muscles, tendons, or ligaments. It takes to long to heal!

So happy to not be smoking. I wouldn't feel as alive or as happy if I was still a smoke. Life is good and I'm thrilled to be living it!

I brought it home!

The new bicycle is in the trainer, just waiting for me to jump on anytime I want. It's very different riding from the stationary. I think I need (want) a gadget (odometer) so I'll have an idea of the distance I'm travelling and then can determine my mph.

The stationary's front wheel has a fan blade built-in, this is what creates the resistance. However, it also provides a nice breeze in your face while you are riding, which helps to keep your core temperature cool. It has a gadget that tells distance and estimates calories burned, etc. The handle bars also move alternating in a front to back motion which gives some upper body workout, though not a tremendous amount. Helps tighten up those loose areas though.
The road bike in a trainer is just that. The trainer fits the rear wheel between 2 connectors and there is a metal roller you adjust against the tire. This roller is what provides resistance. I can manually adjust the resistance or use a remote. For now, the front tire in sitting on the Yellow Pages to keep the bike level. Not exactly making any fashion statements, but I'm not trying to impress anyone, YET!

My first time out, I decided on 30 minutes, 'cause that's what I've been doing this week. Within 5-6 minutes I was sweating profusely! I was getting much warmer much faster than on the stationary. I need a box fan, in the worst way! I ran through the gears a few times, spending time in each one. Then I settled in and just rode. It's gonna take a few days to get comfy in the seat I think. I haven't been leaning so forward as I do on this bike. Need to work on my core abs a little more strenuously. These should keep my back in better alignment while riding.

I was very surprised by the fact that my right leg is stronger than my left. I am ambidextrious and I thought most tendencies were to my left. I didn't realise how uneven my gait/cadence is from left to right leg. It made the bike and pedals bump and clink a bit while riding.

The clipless pedals allow for working on one leg at a time as well as take advantage of the 'upswing' part of the pedaling. This is going to take patience and perseverance on my part. Find a comfortable way to sit and pedal one leg at a time and find a place to put the other foot. This is also going to be working new muscle groups. I could feel some new sensations in my legs both as I was riding and this morning before getting out of bed.

It's raining this morning, but forecast says it should get to 66F. If the hour-by-hour is accurate, I may be able to get outside and ride the neighborhood around 1pm or 2. I would love to get out on the road, even if it's only 10 or 15 minutes. Just to get the feel one time. If not, I'll ride indoors. If I get bored, I can pop in the racing DVD that came with the bike. That should provide some inspiration!

Just need to stay hydrated and find that fan!

30 November, 2007

11/12 behind us for this year we label 2007

We love to measure things. It's the competitive nature that we have.

I dread wintertime. I know it's necessary. I should embrass it I know. I'm hoping maybe this winter I can. I've battled asthma for years and cold air would lock up my bronchials bigtime. But I haven't smoked any cigarettes in over 18 weeks. I've been cycling and running. So hoping that maybe I could try skiing this winter, if the weather gets cold enough for long enough. You just never know what winter will bring to this part of the planet.

Got my bike, shoes, pedals, trainer, etc today. Took the day off from training. Stayed up too late last night. I'm hoping that this is gonna keep a smile on my face for sometime to come. I just hope I'm not cryin come Monday. The little bit I was on the bike in my shoes and clipped in I realised that I have some muscles that will get a workout over the next few days. Gotta get the towels washed and dried. Think there's gonna be a whole lotta sweatin' goin on this weekend!

29 November, 2007

What a great End of Week!

My Cards won their last game of the season. It's been disappointing after last year. But what an adrenaline rush and a W!

Not sure I can drag my body out of bed. It's midnight and I typically get up at 5 in office by 7. Hmmmm, have to wait and see what happens!

I just want to pick up my bike and play on it all weekend. Well, there are other things I want to play, too!

Oh yeah. I spent some of tonight plugging in my mileage into a spreadsheet from end of Aug to now. Interesting stuff. Wish there was more! There will be come Springtime!

Thank Goodness it's Friday!

Just a little disappointment

is easy enough to handle. My cycling shoes didn't make it in yesterday, so picking up the new bike is on hold until they arrive. I have to say it must be for the best for some reason I may never know.

The sun is shining brightly this morning and the skies are clear. It will be a great day, even if it is getting colder.

I've still been putting in my daily miles on my stationary while I wait for my new road bike. I've increased my time to 30 minutes and think I'll bump that up again when I get to the new bike and put it on the trainer.

Hubby asked me about my diet last night. What I'd had to eat for lunch, etc. Seems he is concerned that I'm not eating right. I told him that I don't like to eat beef more than a couple of times a week (been limiting that for over a year now) and I'm eating breakfast most mornings (kicks off your metabolism) and a good lunch. I dont' want to eat a big meal at supper time each night. Important thing is either having healthy snacks or no snacks.

Hope I don't have to wait too terribly long. :-)

27 November, 2007

Some Randomness while waiting for my new bike

I get to pick up my new bike tomorrow after work! I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.

So, I'm sitting here feeling like a big slug. It's that time of the month (which by the way needs to end 'cause it holds no useful purpose any longer).

I've sat here for the last 3 nights and craved and talked about having one of those new Dark Snickers or one of my favorites, Midnight Milky Way. Hubby has a bowlful of chocolate something or other ice cream every single night. He offers to fix me a bowl and I say "I'd love one, but no thank you".

When you stop smoking it is so easy to continue that hand to mouth motion with food instead of cigarettes. I used Dum Dums while I was on Chantix and for the next couple of weeks. I still grab at least one every day or so.

I drove to the little country store around 6:30, after I rode my stationary. I bought each one of those candy bars. I ate dinner and had one. I'm trying to convince myself I can't have 2 candy bars in one day!

I've been good and am working very hard to stay focussed on this fitness regimen. I don't think I'm totally overboard with watching what I eat, 'cause I am not going to give up my beer at night. Crazy, I choose beer over a second dark chocolate candy bar during that time of the month. Actually, I choose beer over most of the junk food I used to eat all of the time. :-)

Wish me luck, only 55 minutes til bedtime. This time tomorrow I'll have my new bike and placed on the trainer in my basement. I'm a lucky girl!

25 November, 2007

Feel all giddy, like a little kid

I ordered my bike, shoes, pedals, and trainer yesterday. Have an appointment to pick everything up on Wednesday and have the bike 'fit' to my body. I was happy to keep everything close to what I set as a budget - $1,000. Sounds awfully extravagant, but then I look at some of those bike prices and realise what an investment you can make. I've since thought about my purchase and still need to get a rack for my car and would like to have a gadget to put on my trainer, keep track of speed/distance. Friend told me that's not necessary, which I guess is true.

I could spend a small fortune with this fitness stuff. Apparel is so expensive. Now, I've never been one to worry about 'looking the look' when doing stuff. But a decent pair of bike shorts is $50, a good sports bra is $40, a pair of lightweight gloves with grips is $25. We don't need to add all the other garments that wick away moisture, like socks, shirts, jackets, leggins, etc.

Feel guilty, because I didn't ride yesterday. So, I've gone out today and ran the neighborhood 2 laps in 20 minutes with a 4 minute cool down walk. Plan on getting on the bike indoors in a bit.

I'd love to have some lofty goal in front of me. Say a triathlon in X amount of time. But after running the neighborhood and reaffirming my unfitness, I am humbled and happy to be tobacco free and working on it. My breathing is still laboured when I run, that may never change. I seem to remember having a lot of tightness even in the HS track days. I don't get that feeling while riding, guess it's just not the same cardio workout.

Addendum: got on the bike intending on 25 minute ride. As the end of the ride was approaching remembered an earlier email exchange with a friend, who loves to say TITS (time in the saddle). Doesn't understand why people measure miles. I think we all like to measure something. Mileage, time, and speed have always made the hard statistics. I worry if I only log time, I may not be getting the intensity I should. Anyway, I logged 6.8 in the 25 minutes and then decided to go for 10 miles or 45 minutes, whichever came first. I got the full 10 miles in 38 minutes, which cracks me up, cause I felt like I pushed really hard the first 25. I didn't slow as much as I thought I would in the last 13 minutes. I'm starting to get very juiced about bringing home the new bike and getting setup. I hope I have no problems walking on Thursday or Friday. Once I get those pedals, I'll be working new muscle groups. Hello gluteus maximus!

Next post is probably gonna be less about this fitness stuff and more contemplative, retrospective, or maybe not.

22 November, 2007

Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

We spent the morning at home, with no need to rush, read the paper online, watched an old movie on TV, etc. Then I started cooking the one dish I made around 11:00.

The temps dropped all day, so I didn't try to get outside and run. I did get 6.8 miles on the stationary which felt good when I finished. Then I soaked in the jacuzzi.

It turned out to be a nice and quiet Thanksgiving for us. My sister hosted along with her 2 sons. Mom came, along with my brother and his youngest daughter and then hubby and me. No one else, neither of my 2 or my brother's 2 oldest. (Unbeknownst to me, I behaved badly before my trip to Europe and so my oldest is unhappy with me). Hubby texted the youngest happy turkey day wishes. She texted back that she was cooking a feast, her first turkey! I'm happy for her and sad for me that I missed not being there to witness it.

Today, I slept in til 8. Vegged online a bit and then rode my stationary. Temps didn't go past 40F today and started in low 30s. I took off a little after noon and went to a cycle shop. Talked to a friendly and knowledgeable young man about entry level road bikes. I started to order, but decided to come home and let it sink in overnight. Gonna get hubby to go with me in the morning and get it ordered. I need shoes and clipless pedals, look into a trunk rack for my car, and a training stand for riding indoors.

I stopped by Dick's Sporting Goods, thinking I'd purchase some running/riding gear for cold weaterh. Geez! The top was $49.99 and the pants were $49.99 on sale. I think I'm shopping online a little later. I do want to have warm clothes that wick away the sweat and moisture from the skin, but $100 and still not have your ears or hands covered and not thinking about a windbreaker or hoodie, too! I don't care to make any fashion statements. I mean, I'm gonna be sweating and huffing and puffing for goodness' sake.

:-) I'm terribly excited about getting a nice bike to ride. Weather is supposed to be back close to 60F next weekend! They said if we get everything ordered, all should be here by the weekend. Wouldn't that be just perfect?!

20 November, 2007

What a fantastic morning!

The temperature was 60F at 5am this morning. I got out of bed about 4:50, fixed a pot of coffee, checked email, packed my bag and headed downtown. I exited the office building at 6:10 and enjoyed a balmy run to the waterfront and back. I ran 2 blocks and walked one all the way to the park and part of the way back. I finished the last 6 blocks with a run 1, walk 1. I felt very good with this run, not terribly out of breath like times past. I wish my BFF could've joined me. I'm sure we'll get together soon enough.

Hope to get some miles on the stationary tonight. Though I'd love to get out on the road, it will be too dark to chance it when I get home.

It's still overcast right now, but the high today is forecasted for 75F. We all know not to get too comfy with these temps. It will be snowing on Thursday afternoon I am sure. Guess I should invest in some running clothes for cooler temps and some gloves, too. There is a Turkey trot early Thursday morning here. A short run (2 miler) a long run (5 miler) and a 2 mile fitness walk. I'd love to do that if I had the right clothes (and it doesn't rain).

I'm so glad to be home and starting to get back to a regimen. I feel so much more energized and alive.

Here's to a terrific Tuesday!

I got home about 4:30. It was 73F and gorgeous. I started the grill and got on my stationary. Put in 6.8 miles in 25 minutes and burned 246 calories. It was difficult for me. Too long since last ride for that length and/or intensity. I felt great when I was finished, though. Legs weren't too hard or sore. I kept pushing every few minutes.

Tomorrow is a half day for work. May just work from home, so nice to have that flexibility. Morning is supposed to start at 58F, so I'd love to get out and run the neighborhood early. If it's not raining I'll ride outside, if it is I'll ride indoors. Need to make up for missing too much while in Europe. I also need to make sure I don't add fat layers this weekend with all of the food that will be in my face.

Friday - I want to shop for a new road bike.

18 November, 2007

I'm a very fortunate being and today is my Sabbath

It is a sabbath for me. No, not a religious day, not because it's a Sunday. It is a day of reflection over the last bit of time and possibly all of the time I've been afforded a memory.

Before leaving Warsaw for home, I was chatting with my Sis. She was sending good thoughts for safe travels and I responded with a few thoughts about my not having any regrets and have had a good life, so hoped no one would be sad if I die in the next bit of time. Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping I have lots more time here. There are things I want to do, just not sure I have all of these completely visualised and on a list as of yet.

This trip to Europe was a fantastic opportunity for me. Flying home, I worried I hadn't taken full advantage of the opportunity, but most of that was fatigue. I'm sure there are things I could've done to capitalize more fully when interacting with clients and colleagues. However, I did absorb a lot of information. I listened, I contributed, I debated (though not much). Today is a day for me to disseminate that information. I am working through that exercise, but not in this forum. :-)

What an adventure I've had to date. Now, I haven't attempted any extreme sports. I've not tried to climb Mt. Everest or bungee jumped from a bridge. Unless you count white-water rafting. Now that was an adrenaline rush. I have worked hard to save money and take trips to faraway places. I've made sure that my children had some awesome opportunities and experiences, too. There are things I've never done, that I'd like to experience. Snow skiing would be new, rock climbing, love to try kayaking. I enjoyed canoeing and rafting and this would strengthen my upper body.

What I have begun to do recently is take a hard look at my life. These last few years I've wandered with minimal direction. My kids grew up and left the nest and I think I've floundered. I've thrown myself into work and being attentive to my hubby, but not much more. I've taken some big steps in changing my lifestyle this summer, no smoking cigarettes, no overeating, beginning a fitness regimen. It's been stressful. It's been challenging. I've bored people to tears, because this is all I've wanted to talk about. I have spent a large part of my life trying to attend to other people and being somewhat selfless (no not completely as I'm no Mother Theresa). I have a thirst and hunger I need to fulfill. I'm just not sure how to do it or what it is I truly want to do. I need something beyond work and family life. Now it's time for me to find it.

16 November, 2007

Home and now I need to take some time and reflect

I'm not ready for the reflection quite yet. That will be soon, o'er the weekend once I've had a chance to rest a bit and ponder a while.

Last day in office was Wednesday and started out with not much sleep. This has been typical for most of the trip. Worked for a couple of hours in the hotel and then proceeded to the office. It was nice and quiet until lunch and then again for a short while after lunch. Then I was in meetings and calls until 9:15 pm Warsaw time.

We did squeeze in a nice visit, in the office, over dinner with a couple of colleagues. There is a company called "Room Service" that takes orders for several restaurants (many categories to choose) and delivers right to your door. One friend walked across the street and picked up some beers. We had a very nice visit and dinner, even though it was surrounded by meetings and calls.

I got back to my hotel room about 9:30 or so. Chatted with my hubby and youngest daughter. Then got on email and tried to weed through some of that. A request came through to schedule a call for Friday. I was going to be travelling all day Thursday, so pushed that through. Then my boss emails me and says, "Go to bed!" I finally turned in a bit after midnight. Had to get up around 4. At lease the first 3 hours were good. :-)

Arose a few minutes after 4 and then began to weed through email for 20 minutes. Then I had to wash my hair, dress, and pack my luggage! Thursday was 23 hours long for me, from rising out of bed to falling asleep once home. I was lucky all in all. Slept most of the flight from Warsaw to Charles de Gaulle in Paris. I hate CDG, it is one of the worst as far as efficient. Flight from Warsaw landed 30 minutes late and I feared the worst. Almost ran from the plane to board a bus that would take me to another terminal, wore my tennis shoes this time (had to go through CDG 3 times during this trip). I get to the gate and all is on time. Whew! I go by a snack and water, sit and wait. We pass the On Time time and the natives start getting restless. Finally, someone says the flight crew is slightly delayed, we'll start boarding once they arrive. Then an hour goes by. We leave 1.5 passed scheduled time. Find out there was a small technical glitch with the A/C, but more of the wait was due to a transportation strike effecting the fueling of the planes. Needless to say I knew at that point I'd missed my connection in Cincinnati. Now for the earlier lucky statement.

Lucky #1 - The row in front of my seat was empty, the woman next to me asked the flight attendant and moved to that row. Now I had 2 seats all to myself! This was very nice for a 9.5 hour flight, since it was coach. Plenty of room to stretch a bit and not worry about elbowing your neighbor. I slept most of the first 4 hours, save the first meal.

Lucky #2 - As soon as the wheels were on the tarmac, I turned on the phone and called my hubby. He was on the road to come pick me up! The airlines had called and emailed the house, notifying of the missed connections. Said that I would land about 10, which would put me home around 11pm. He wasn't willing to wait and knew that I would've rented a car to drive myself home. So I arrived at my door at 8 pm.

Hope to have a reflection or two before the weekend is finished.

Here's a new quote that I like a lot:
"Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect. It means that you have started to look beyond imperfections."

13 November, 2007

First dinner in Lisbon last Tuesday

Well my colleague completely wigged out when my dinner arrived at the table. I had ordered the grilled fish. Seems a whole fish is common place in Europe (Portugal at least). These are pictures of my dinner upon arrival, and then once I'd almost finished. It was delicious.

Tonight in Warsaw we had Venison, Boar, and another game ( I don't remember!) along with dumplings, dill pickles, cabbage, fried goat cheese, lard (grease drippings with bits of meat) and bread, grilled veggies among other items I can't remember. It was absolutely delicious! I can not say it was healthy. I tried not to eat too much of anything. However, I had to taste it all. The main thing I noticed is there is not much of green vegetables except for peppers (bell).

I have to try the Coca Cola tomorrow before I leave. It is in the 6oz bottles and Pedro insists it is the original coke. Last coke I drank a few weeks ago I couldn't finish - was too sweet and flat tasting.

Okay - gotta run. See ya soon!

12 November, 2007

It's late - after midnight

Wish I could tell everything about what I'd like to say. Not enough time though. Good day - sharing information with the guys here in Warsaw. Learning lots. Food isn't conducive to being fit though. Meat and starches. Very little fruits and veggies. Unless you are talking potatoes, carrots, cabbage.

Cold as a witch's titty out there tonight. The wind is biting. I mentioned the cloud cover. You don't want the sun to shine, 'cause the cold will be bitter then.

More later, I promise! Sweet dreams to everyone. Ya know I love you all!

11 November, 2007

16 weeks!

I need a new picture to celebrate! Maybe next week, once I've gotten home and a bit of rest. Look too tired right now.

10 November, 2007

What a great day and it's not over yet!

It's difficult to get past jetlag, especially when you've stayed up late due to insomnia and/or partying 2 nights in a row already. Worked in email past 1 and still didn't fall asleep til almost 2. Set the alarm for 7:40, but woke up before 7 and couldn't get back to sleep. Trish and I met a little past 8 am and went for a run this morning.

There is this hill that we've traversed several times to get back and forth to the meeting hotel. Just beyond and further down the hill is a very nice park. It's a nice incline coming back up, that I can't run yet, but kept up a brisk walking pace. We spent right around 25 minutes out there this morning. I would say I ran at least half of it, if not a little more. It is going to take me forever to get my bike legs back, I think. Not thrilled about that. Realised that I only have a little more 3 months to get ready for the 5K in March. My BFF is wanting me to do one on 17th. Not sure I'll make it due to jetlag coming home.
Once we got back and showered, we grabbed breakfast and took off. I needed cash, then we hailed a cab. Went to the open air market, which is mostly a flea market, but there are some nice souvenirs and deals mixed in. You just have to look! We walked and walked and found our way back to San Jorge's Castle. It was vey nice walking through, seeing the view in daylight and climbing the turrets and walls in the daytime. (We had dinner there Thursday night). It was after one so we grabbed a toastie, water and chips at a small cafe. Then we grabbed a cab and went to Belem. We saw a tower built on the water and a monument. Then we walked towards the main city along the water and worked our way over a walkbridge across a large boulevard with a train in the middle. We were wanting to see the President's Palace, but missed it as we were too far from the water and walked behind it.

09 November, 2007

Hope to post something of interest soon

It's been a busy week. Not enough sleep, for sure. Not enough fitness either! Trish has agreed to run with me in the morning. I'm so happy, 'cause it's been 2 days!

They smoke everywhere and anywhere here. We took the clients out to dinner and then those that wanted to a bar for drinking last night. The bar smelled very bad. Several lit up as soon as we sat down. I had no desire to smoke at all. Which is a great thing! Drank too much and stayed out too late. Forgot to set my alarm, thank goodness my colleague called me at 8 and woke me. I made it to the meeting at 10 til 9, hungover, but no headache. Because I didn't smoke!

Tourist tomorrow! I'll write something interesting soon I hope.

04 November, 2007

It's Sunday and I leave tomorrow

What a weekend. Friday night was quiet. Thought we'd have date night, but he'd had a long day of spreading grout and his knees were shot.

Saturday saw very little housekeeping, a 5.2 mile slow bike ride and I began looking at winter clothes. This is going to be a trick packing for 5 days in 75F highs and 4 days where the high will be 40F. I started pulling out some older sweater dresses I haven't worn in a couple of years because I couldn't squeeze into them. Oh my goodness! I tried on a couple and they look great! Now I have to decide if I'll want to walk the distance from my hotel to the office on those cold mornings wearing a dress or if I should just pack slacks and leave it at that. We went shopping for shoes. I hate to shop. I was miserable and we wound up going to 3 places before I found anything. Afterwards we went to dinner. This was fun for a while and then turned sour. The rest of the night was a bust.

Today started with long conversations and clearing the air. I think it's good now. At 5:00 pm Terry will be a full week tobacco free. I am so proud of him. This smoking cessation puts everyone on edge with the nerves and emotions. We are working through day by day. It's been a day full of more laundry and finding clothes and toiletries for packing. I did get another 5.2 miles behind me. These were harder than yesterday with wind gusts hitting me head on at 20 - 25 mph. My thighs were hard as rocks when I got home. I was disgusted both days with my performance on the bike. Just need to get over it though. Tomorrow is an off day, due to all the travel. I'm hoping I can get a little time on the hotel equipment Tuesday once we check in. Gotta stay awake somehow! Hope to be able to run outdoors in the mornings in Lisbon, but if not can use the equipment. Problem is it doesn't open til 7am! What's with that?

I hate this time change! It's been dark too long and it's only 6:30. Glad I don't live on the east coast, where it's dark at least 45 minutes earlier than here.

02 November, 2007

Good week

Work was trying through midweek. But I feel good about the rest of it.

Had a good 3 day weekend of riding and took Monday off, mainly due to dinner with colleagues from out of town. Can't say I logged tons of miles, but Tuesday saw 5.5 outdoors, Wednesday saw 7 on the stationary (home too late). Thursday and Friday each saw 5.2 outdoors. Worked from home on Thursday and intended on loggin closer to 10, but work got in the way with calls. I can feel these short days making me feel less energetic. I've got to stay focussed and get on the stationary when it's too cold or too dark to get outside.

I leave for Europe Monday. The weather forecast in Lisbon is mid 70s. So, hope I can get out and run in the mornings. If not, I'm praying there are bikes in the gym. With temps in low 40s next week in Warsaw, I won't be too optimistic for the 11 - 14.

Met my daughter's intended last night. Went to their place and had pizza, talked, and I asked lots of questions. We all behaved very well. I feel better. He seems like a normal, hardworking guy. We'll take it a day at a time and see how life unfolds. I just want her to be happy.

Now to hopefully log at least 10 tomorrow and Sunday. Weather should be good for it. Maybe I can do more on one day. I'll let you know in a couple of days.

Enjoy your weekend!

28 October, 2007

I love sunshine

It makes all the difference in the world for my attitude, outlook on life, etc.

I wanted to get up and run this morning, but just wasn't to be. I started waking up about 4 o'clock every 30 minutes or so til 6:30 when I finally relaxed enough to fall back asleep and didn't get up til 8:30. Not sure why, but my lungs were full of wheeze, must be allergies and still cleaning out the tar and crud. It was 10 before they were clear. So, I didn't even try to run. I'm a slacker. :-(

Went out about 11:30 to get on the bike and ride. Chain was off, fixed that. Front tire was low, air compressor isn't here it's on the job site. Rode the bike up to the Pantry to fill the tire, their air tank is out of order, so I rode back home. Not a smart thing to do, ride on a soft tire. It takes a lot of extra effort/work to keep it in motion.

So, I load the bike in the pickup truck and go into town. Find a station where the air tank is working and fill both tires. (I need to get a hand pump for my tires and a diddy bag to keep it in and hang from my saddle.) Then I go to Mom's. She needs her furnace filter changed (she bought the wrong size!) and then I look at her PC again. I tell her that it's going to have to be replaced. She doesn't think so. I decide against arguing and I say my good-byes and leave. No sense in prolonging the agony, right?

Finally, I make it home and the bike is ready, it's now 2:30. I put in 12 miles in about 55 minutes. I was very slow the first 30+ minutes, just not as much oomph in my legs as I'd hoped for. Also had about a 15 mph head wind for a lot of that 30. At last, I catch my stride. I start feeling very good, I'm heating up, take off the windbreaker and tie it round my waist. The wind dies down. I take a few pictures. It's hard to believe we still have so much green in the trees. It's also hard to believe how good my roses look. We're supposed to have a freeze tonight, so I'm sure this is it for peak colour and my rose will start suffering too.
Big Duh, double duh - it's Sunday night and I realise, I was so slow because I was on the hardest big sprocket! I've been riding on the middle one til the ride captain yesteday had me change it. I never shifted it on the hills! I feel a bit better now. ;-)

I'm so happy the sun was shining brightly. If it was overcast like yesterday, I would've stayed inside, eaten things that weren't good for me, and felt guilty about all of it. Still, I should put in a few hours of work, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I already gave up some of my day off on Friday. Looks like long days this week.

p.s. I wish I had a magic wand sometimes. My Sis is having a hellish travel day with some added complications. Sure would like to make something good happen for her. Tomorrow is supposed to be her and my hubby's quit date. Send some good thoughts their way if you can.

27 October, 2007

A heart to heart and a nice long bike ride

Friday was a good day all in all. I took the day off, well except for an hour call with my boss and some email before lunch. I went out for a 12 mile ride at lunchtime. It was overcast for the first 15 minutes and then came the glorious sunshine. Hubby worked in the morning and came in just about the time I finished my ride.

We grabbed a quick bite, cleaned up and went for a matinee. Enjoyed the movie, Michael Clayton. We then went to dinner, where I broached the dreaded subject. We talked, got defensive, ate our dinner, kissed our oldest as she was our server and left for home, it was a quiet drive. Once home, we were on different floors for a little while. I went to him and said we've got to finish this. In the end, we both have different views, we both love each other. We know our relationship will never be like it was, can't be. But there is too much to keep, hang on to, sweat equity, to throw it away. And once we retired for the night, make-up sex! I love when that happens. There is just something about it that makes it so much sweeter than other times.

I got up and out this morning. Met a friend at the Waterfront on the Ohio for an organised ride with the Louisville Bicycle Club. We rode 18 miles in about 70 or 75 minutes. Funny, everyone there had their gear and nice road bikes. I stood out like a sore thumb. :-) Which is just fine with me for now. The newbie is easy to spot! I'm so glad Jennifer agreed to go with me. Not that I couldn't or wouldn't go alone, but it was nice to have someone familiar at least the first time. Everyone was very nice and helpful. Our route started east of Tumbleweed on the River and headed west to Main Street and into Portland. Portland is a grand old neighborhood full of character. We went through Shawnee Park and headed back.

Jennifer said if I had clips and a lighter bike I would be riding at 16-17 mph easy. We'll see, a decent, inexpensive bike starts about $500. What I need is a headband to keep my ears warm and gloves for my hands. I have to work through the right clothing, though it was breezy and cool at the beginning of the ride, I warm up rather quickly. Think I need to look into a new saddle, long padded bike pants, shirt that wicks away moisture and a sleeveless windbreak. I could invest a ton of money into this without blinking an eye! Next time I need to have proper dry clothing for the drive home. I caught a chill fairly quickly once I got a few miles down the road.

The weather started out at 52F for the beginning of the ride at 10am and didn't get past 58F this afternoon. Stayed overcast all day and never saw the sun, but no rain thank goodness.

Tomorrow, the sun is supposed to shine. So, I intend to get out and try a run early. (This I need to do, 'cause it's been too long since I've been in a regimen for the running.) Then put about 14 biking miles on my rural roads during church.

Here's to a super Sunday and another win tonight for the Sox!

25 October, 2007

It's a full moon - is this the harvest moon?

The full moon is wondrous. My mind has been full of Daddy. He's been gone too long now. Typically, this happens on a Friday. Missin' my Daddy, that is.

I love a full moon. The sky has clouds, but 90% are so thin the moon shines through so brightly. And so many odd, freaky things happen.

Terry told me that he thinks I don't like him.
But he knows I still love him.

Go Soxs!


So now back to my happy self! Well, not yet but soon!

Sorry for that depressing post. Not sure I can put any smiles on faces today, won't even try.

I think part of my problem is that I've gotten out of sync with my fitness routine. I've only run one time in over 2 weeks. I rode Sat, Sun and Mon. I've been sedentary since. My quit buddy, BFF, told me to get back on the stationary bike tonight. I had every intention, but wound up working late and then ate supper. A frozen fish thingy on white bread, Yum! not

Instead, I'm going to have a beer. Stretch out on the couch and veg in front of the TV. Get my arse up in the morning and get out in the neighborhood and do a run. Taking tomorrow off, but have to hold a call with my boss early. Then get outside and ride for lunch. And if I'm lucky, hubby and I will take in a matinee. Hmm, wonder what's good on the big screen? I need to check it out.

I have a friend that's joining me for a ride on Saturday morning. I am so very excited! We're going to WaterFront Park downtown. They've built bike and hiking trails that follow the river.

I feel so much better when I'm getting out there. It's the best for your attitude and outlook on life. I will focus on getting back to it tomorrow, over the weekend and through next week.

Problem is, I'll be traveling from 5 - 15 November in Europe. Now I have to be creative to find a way to stay on some kind of routine!

Til next time! Give some good stuff y'all

23 October, 2007

Funny how

we learn things about ourselves. And then how quick we are to put a slant or rationalise on why we did it or thought it or said it.

I know my faults, I don't like my faults. I hate it when others point them out to me and I hate that I get defensive when they do. I am passive/agressive. No matter what, I can't break the mold (not yet anyways). If you are my family or friend I will do anything you ask. I will defend you til the end for anything you've done, even if deep inside I disagree with your actions.

I agreed to do something this evening for a family member. I don't agree with the circumstances. My daughter pointed this out to me and that I should not have agreed. So what did I do, I got upset with my daugher. Needless to say, she didn't stick around long.

I'm sad on so many levels right now. I hope it's hormones, but that's probably a cop out. I've worked so hard to make major changes in my life. Stopped smoking, started getting fit, really buckling down in my job and trying to show strength, leadership, and grow my understanding.

I'm not happy. I want independence, to be on my own for a while. Is this a mid-life crisis? Maybe, maybe not. I've never been on my own. To do something like that would be a major lifestyle change that doesn't just affect me.

So now, my youngest daughter, Amber wants to marry someone 17 years her senior. She is 22. He also has a 3 year old daughter. I'm not thrilled about Amber's choice. She doesn't have a great track record. But you know, the last thing I would do is say/do something that would set her off more determined than ever to do it. I also want her to be happy. I will not try to dictate to her what that should look like.

Terry wants nothing to do with this man. He already laid down the law with her before the wedding without talking to me. He said that she is always welcome and he wants to see her often, but her boyfriend is not welcome and he will not meet him. He knows I'm very unhappy about this. He knows this could split us up. I don't like him right now. He has been my best friend since I was 16 and now I don't even want to look at him. What do I do? My bff tells me to let it be for a while. I don't know if I can.

Amber may make unpopular choices, but is one of the sweetest people with a huge heart. I gave birth to her. I will always love and defend her. She has to live her life. I have to let her know that I will always be here for her.

I wanted to smoke in the worst way today, when I was driving to work, when I was at work, when I drove home at noon, when I arrived home, when I worked at my laptop all afternoon. I just kept thinking about it. And then, I would say, sometimes out loud, No I'm not smoking any cigarettes. How easy would it be? Too easy. I'm not falling into the trap. It's a mind game. Life is easy, life is difficult. I choose not to smoke today. I will choose not to smoke tomorrow. I will choose to not use a life event as an excuse to fall off of this wagon. Am I changing at least one of my personality flaws? I'm trying, I am trying so damned hard.

This is another piece of my adventure. Life is change. I'm trying to embrace it. I do not want to look back. I only want to look forward. I just wish I knew which way forward is.

Lunchtime ride in the rain

I had to be in the office for meetings Monday morning and rain was forecasted to come in mid afternoon. So I left for home just before noon and arrived about 12:30. Quickly changed clothes and headed out on the bike. It was sprinkling but I thought that would be okay. HA! It was pouring about 3/4 of the way through the ride. When I arrived back home after 5.2 miles in 19 minutes I was a drenched cyclist. Shoes felt like I'd been wading in them. Had a chill, so I wrapped up in a nice warm towel, grabbed a sandwich and snuggled on the couch for 30 before starting work again. It was a good feeling.

Here's a pic from a week ago of the fall colour. I'll try to post more if the rain hasn't beaten all the leaves down. We should be right at peak any day now.

21 October, 2007

More mileage!

I'm thinking these days getting shorter are affecting my sleep cycle, but could be other things, too. Slept past 7 again this morning. So frustrated, my lungs were full of crud for a good hour and a half. Typically, everything will clear up within 30 minutes of getting up, taking my Advair and drinking a cup of coffee and bottle of water.

Finally got out and did my first run/walk in 12 days at about 8:30. I knew I needed to stay at least half of where I'd been training, so stayed in the neighbourhood instead of going to the track and did one loop plus length to and from the house which is about .9 of a mile total. Admittedly, with the hills it's more challenging than the track. My lungs still weren't clear and the wheezing was terrible. I thought of just stopping at one point, but decided that wouldn't prove anything, but I was a quitter. Not something I have ever thought of myself ('cept for cigs!)

Bastian the mut went with me. He would run ahead to the next mailbox and then catch up, run at my heels and then race to the next mailbox. I ran the whole time from the house to the bottom of the hill (1/2 way). Then I walked/ran up the backside about half and half. It took me 10.4 minutes, which is slow, but I was just gauging my leg mostly. When I got back to the house the soft tissue at my ankle had some decent pangs and there was some swelling, but they subsided.

Then about 11:00 (while most were still at church) I got out for my bike ride. Put 14 miles behind me at about 65 minutes. Slower than yesterday, but I expected that. The temps were 10 degrees warmer at 74F and winds were 6mph stronger at 12 compared to Saturday. With .8 of mile left to the house I took 5 and stopped at The Pantry and bought a banana and ate it. After that nasty cramp yesterday, thought I should be more proactive. It was another beautiful morning, with just a few wisps of clouds and bright sunshine.

I have to remember my camera next time! It would be good to share some of the fall colour since it's coming into peak now.

20 October, 2007


I was driving back from errands and set my odometer to check mileage for a possible bike route. This one will be challenging as it has a couple of big hills.

I was thinking about my ride earlier today and realise I failed to mention some benefits of being out on a bike. Riding in the countryside, you get to see plenty of Mother Nature's bounty and treasure. Birds are flying south, I saw a couple of flocks of geese. The birds have also been in full song and are best heard when riding past the woods. The trees still aren't at peak yet. Probably midweek or so and I'll miss most of it sitting in an office building in the city. But you can spot several trees here and there that are full of yellow or orange. I've seen a few that have a burgundy hue. The sad part is I've seen only a very few red ones. The maples exist, but I worry the drought has made them turn brown before red. I could be wrong and I hope I am. ;-)

At one point while riding I heard rustling off to my left. When I looked, there was a big fat groundhog scurrying at the edge of a field back to his burrow. I passed several small farms, one had cows that were laying in the sun at the edge of some shade trees. Another had goats with their bells clanging around their necks.

The saddest part of riding in the countryside is when you see the roadkill. I hate to see or smell any dead animal. When you are on your bike, the smell is much stronger than if you were in your car doing 50 mph. I got very sad when I noticed just off the road in the grass someone's puppy. At first, I had this fleeting thought, he's sleeping. But I knew better. You couldn't see any signs of trama and there was no smell yet, so I have to assume it had happened within the last day.

Now that I'm more and more confident on my bike I am able to observe what is going on around me. People tinkering in their garages, others setting up yard sales, decorating for Halloween, mowing the grass, children playing. I'm also paying more attention to the cars and motorcycles. The vast majority are very courteous. There were 2 today, however, that made me come a little unglued. Someone driving a small car with no patience barely passes me, get this, when another car is coming in the opposite direction! Now, I'm sorry but what is 2 seconds to hold back? The other was a work van. I don't think there was a full 12 inches of clearance when he passed by me.

Hope tomorrow brings another ride full of sights, sounds, smells. I'm sure I'll be reporting back - boring everyone.

Until then, be good, do good, and try to commit one random act of kindness before the weekend finishes.