30 September, 2007

I'm wheezing, which ticks me off!

Each day I follow almost the same routine. Get up, fix a pot of coffee, drink a cup, take my Advair, and drink about 20 oz of water while eating a banana or apple. About 10-15 minutes before my run/walk or any exercise I take 2 puffs on my fact-acting inhaler.

Same routine for me this morning. It's Sunday and I got a later start than I wanted today, but that's okay. I'm starting to think the shoes I bought aren't right. Either that or I'm doing something different than before. The inside of my knees ache and the insides of my shins are very very tight and hurt. Not like shin splints (it's been 30 years since I experienced those, so who knows if my memory is failing).

I got to the HS track, stretched and warmed up then started. I ran the first full lap. I had to convince myself to do 6 today. The remaining 5 were1/2 run 1/2 walk. I focussed on my inhaling, trying to relax, but it's difficult still. My time was 18 minutes, not wonderful, but it is what it is.

I'd only been home a short while, and started wheezing and coughing up this sputum. Asthma term for clear stuff that builds in your lungs. It's been some time since I've had to deal with this. Maybe it's going to happen for sometime to come. Guess my lungs are cleaning out, day by day. I go to the pulmonary doctor in 2 weeks. Maybe he can provide some insight. I've been trying to record all of my fitness.

After spending an hour or so nursing my shins and relaxing, my wheezing stopped. My quit buddy was online and we chatted a bit. Made the mistake of saying I was going to ride my bike on the open road. She went off on me like my Mom. Thinks I need to go to a bike trail and stay off the road. Like that's gonna happen. gee whiz It would take me 20-30 minutes just to get to one.

Well, I ventured out on the open road around 11, before all of the churches let out. I went past the point I travelled yesterday. Turned onto Whitfield Lane and rode for a bit, til I reached the top of a hill. When I reached the top I looked ahead and saw a nice downhill and around a curve. That usually means another big hill on the other side and at least a nice uphill on the way back. This trip was 3.1 miles round trip. I was thrilled I had no wheezing on this ride. Especially following the run/walk this morning. Think I'll try it again later, it the weather cools back to the 70s before the sun gets too low in the sky.

29 September, 2007

I wish I wasn't so outta shape!

Everything I see says "Patience". I'm trying! I know nothing happens overnight. I know I've come a very long way. I know anything worthwhile, worth having, takes blood, sweat, and tears. I don't want it to be easy. I know it needs to be difficult.

I slept in a little this morning. Was up before 7, had some coffee, a banana and 20 oz of water. Drove to the HS track, they were having a yard sale in the parking lot and at 8:15 there were quite a few people out. Most were wearing sweats. It was around 52F, I had on my short running shorts, sports bra and tank. At first I felt a little silly with so little clothing, but was I happy that's what I wore by the end. It was cool, but thankfully so. I decided to set my bar low at 4 laps, one mile. I thought I would try for a full lap with no walking, but that wasn't going to happen. So I just ran half and walked half.

My chest was much tighter than it has been. I noticed while riding the bike last night I had a tight place between my shoulder blades about the size of a woman's fist. I still can't seem to relax enough so my breathing is easy. This morning it was real work to inhale as deeply as possible. It felt like there was a barrier stopping me from inhaling all of the way.

In the middle of my 4th, I thought, let's go for 6 laps. Shouldn't be too bad. My 5th and 6th laps were a Real Push for me due to my breathing issues. In the middle of 6, I decided to add another and wound up doing 8 laps for 2 miles. Even though it was half run and half walk I finished in 22 minutes. Did a little cool down and went to get my oil changed.

Came home, rested a bit, ate some breakfast Hubby cooked and took a 15 minute power nap. Didn't really sleep. I've done these relaxation techniques since high school. It may be close to meditation. I get very still, and empty my mind. I consciously go through each muscle group and focus on relaxing them.

Hubby and I worked on making adjustments to my saddle. I'm still not happy with the way it feels, but that too will take some time. I rode on the highway for the first time. Yes, I left my neighborhood. There are a couple of nice hills either way you go when leaving the subdivision. I opted to go left. More houses and a country store. I rode past the country store a ways, turned around, and headed back. There were many people out in their cars. Most were patient and didn't pass until oncoming traffic was clear. I thought about a friend of mine that has had 9 encounters with cars over the years while riding his bike. I hope I don't have any encounters, but I won't let the possibility keep me from getting out on the road.

Once I got back to the neighborhood, I decided to make one lap around. I was winded, but not terribly. More issues with the saddle still than anything. I took a nice cool down walk up to the end of my street and back. My thighs and calves were really tight and my right hip needed to loosen up. (Getting old hurts, but you know you're still alive!)

I jumped in my car to see how far I had ridden. The ride out on the highway and back was 2.3 miles and when I add a lap in kingswood, I rode 3 miles. Now I don't have an official time, but did those 3 miles under 15 (think it was 12 or 13) minutes. Not wonderful, but not too shabby for an ole lady.

Tomorrow, I'm gonna see if I can do several reps with the highway route. Maybe extend it a bit. There's another neighborhood (trailer park with .5 acre lots and wooded) just another mile from where I turned back. If I can get 12 miles in one ride soon maybe I'll try to join a group. Who knows, the possibilities are endless and only limited by me.

Now I need to go shopping and spend some more cash! Wonder the best investment into techno crap would be? I don't think I want to spend big $$ on a GPS thingy. Maybe I'll just get a stop watch, at least then I'll know how long it's taken me even if I don't know how far I've travelled. Should get some kind of bag to hook on the bike to keep my inhaler, etc handy. I feel like my mammaw, putting all my necessities in my bra. ;-)

28 September, 2007

I've been lax on posting this week

I've been lax on several fronts it seems. I haven't been on the bike at all and believe I may regret that later this evening. I've done laps at the HS on Sunday and Monday. Did a run/walk on Tuesday, a walk only on Wed, and took Thursday off. I plan on riding the neighborhood a couple of laps at least before dinner tonight, but have to wait for the workday to end.

I have been feeling guilty over the last couple of days about my relaxed routine this week. I definitely need to get back into PUSH mode. I feel better and have less overall anxiety when I exercise and truly push past what I originally set as a goal. Granted my goals aren't breaking any records, except my own personal records. I still have this goal of doing a full mile without walking. Maybe I can at least get 2 laps tomorrow before I need to walk. Who knows how long it will take me to get to the full 4 laps. But once I get to those 4, I intend on adding more.

It is supposed to be a beautiful weekend with highs in low 80s and cool mornings. Once I get back from laps and take an hour to relax I want to get out on my bike and leave the neighborhood. Venture out and see how brave I am and how far I'm willing to get from home ('cause you still gotta ride back).

I'll let you know how it goes before the weekend is over.

23 September, 2007

Hello Autumn - calendar-wise 2 months tobacco free

The last cigarette I smoked was 10 pm July 23. Here's a stat I like: tomorrow night at 10 pm it'll be nine weeks.

New stats I like even better: ran/walked 8 laps at HS track this morning. That's 2 miles. Now, I'd like to start adding full lap runs to the routine. This morning was first time that I've had crud to spit up during exercise. Must be hayfever, could be goldenrod. I even wheezed at lap 6 until I started walkin. Don't like wheezin, especially when I'm exercising.

I took the afternoon to myself. Drove to my Sis's to pick up a couple of tools, then to Fleet Feet to buy some running shoes and good sports bra. Next to Dick's for a pair of bike shorts. I wound up at Uno's and grabbed a quick bite with my oldest daughter and her hubby. I do believe I've almost spent as much $ today as I've saved by not buying a carton + of cigarettes per week since I quit. Oh well, this is for good health.

I left the house about 1pm and it was 90F. As I pulled into Uno's about 3:45 my car thermometer read 98F. Unless we have considerable cooling, I won't be trying out my bike shorts today. :-)

I've had another glorious day in the sunshine and the convertible down. Tomorrow is the last of it. Then we move into a couple of days of rain and low 80s for the foreseeable future.

I might just run/walk the next couple of mornings. Then, once the temps are more tolerable, ride each evening in the neighborhood. Staying at my Sis's Tuesday evening with her boys while she goes to a dinner and then spending the night. That'll be interesting, it always is. Maybe I'll run/walk from her house to work. Hmm, should check the mileage and make sure I leave early enough. But then, what about my laptop? Oh, logistics!

Here's to looking forward to my first autumn, smoke free. No worries about catching leaves on fire! Smokey the Bear is my friend, ;-)

22 September, 2007

What a beautiful last Saturday (day) of summer

Mother Nature has been especially kind to us with warm days this year. I'm sure my choice of adjectives could be debated as those not inclined to warm (90+) days may say she's been cruel. I met a friend at the Cycler's Cafe today for a swap meet. Several people had bikes, wheels, tires, saddles, parts, paraphenalia, etc. We had a beer, looked around, talked to a colleague from work, saw another from a distance and enjoyed the georgeous afternoon. I talked to one of the guys inside at the counter about saddles. He gave me a couple of tips to try on the one I have, see if any of that works. I'm thinking I should invest in some padded shorts, too. (DUH)

I slept in til 6:30 this morning. Sat on the patio with a cup of jo and communed with the birds until the sun was almost up. Temps were mid 60s at 8am. I drove to the HS track and ran/walked 6 laps. Went with the intention of 4 - 1 mile. Then through some debate over 6 laps versus 25 minutes. 6 laps won out, now I wish I'd done the 25, 'cause I finished the 1.5 run/walk in 16/17 minutes. I might've been able to pull a 7th lap.

It's funny how memories flood back while I'm on the track. Setting up the hurdles, sprinting them over and over. Dealing with a busted knee and ankle all season from dragging my trail leg over the hurdle 25% of the time. Running 220s, practicing long jump. All those black girls that beat me. I could hold my own at times, just not most of the time.

Now, I'd like to think I've changed my ways with enough time to fix some of the damage. Won't know til some time passes I reckon. I do know I need to be patient with myself. I pushed myself fairly hard while running. My heart was pounding and I wasn't getting as much oxygen intake as I'd like. I should get one of the girls to sit with me on abdominal breathing. Learn to breathe in a relaxed manner and maybe one of these days, inhale through my nose. I would like to see me get to where I can run a few miles by end of next summer. I'd like to see me ride in a bike run next summer, too. Or at least join a group of people that ride regulary once I think I won't get left behind.

One day at a time. Run a little farther, ride with a little more abandon. Push myself throughout each day.

Maybe I should take salsa and tango lessons in winter!

21 September, 2007

What a week!

It started out in high 80s, went right into low/mid 90s. Been riding outdoors each day until Thursday. Did a run/walk on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from my building to the waterfront and back for 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, my quit buddy calls me about 8am to walk. Once we've hit about .4 mile she tells me how bad she felt the night before. She had pains/numbness down her left arm. Then tells me she's not feeling well now, as we are walking! I tell her we need to slow down and she says, "then we won't get the full benefit!" I'm telling her, "What difference does it make if you're dead?" Eventually, she went to the ER and everything checked out. We walked this morning, 2 miles.

Two colleagues have been in town from Warsaw, Poland. They came to dinner on Thursday evening. I drove them from downtown. Terry grilled rib-eyes and we had some good conversation on the patio over dinner. Rafal had a glass or two of Basil Hayden's. Pedro had a few beers from the tap. Terry was drinking Malibu Bay Breeze, and I behaved with 2 Amber Bocks. We left the house about 10pm and I drove them back to their hotel and still had 35 minutes to get home and wind down a bit til bed. So, Get to bed about 11:45pm and up at 5am. That's just not enough sleep for me.

My quit buddy works in a group of ~ 20 people. They took another quit-smoking friend, my buddy, and me to lunch as a celebration for being smoke free this long.

I work in a group of 2 and my boss is in Phily! So, it's not an easy thing having pot luck lunch. I am so blessed to work with such special people that care about each other they way they do.

So happy it's Friday evening. Date night! And you still have the full weekend ahead to look forward, anticipate.

I can feel the energy building as I type. There is a full moon next Wednesday. It's a friend's birthday, too. A full moon always holds something special in store. Wonder what this one will bring?

17 September, 2007

10 pm tonight will mark 8 weeks since my last cigarette

I don't ever want to eat my words, therefore I'll never say never. So I'll just keep saying "I won't smoke today" every morning from now on. I haven't had any Chantix since last Wednesday.

I've been recording my daily progress for my fitness routine, but I've left out the nice walks I have each day at work. Correct that starting tomorrow! We walked twice today, about a mile each time. I started riding my neighborhood circle this weekend. One rotation on Saturday, two rotations on Sunday and 3 times this afternoon after my commute home. My sister thinks each time around is 3/4 mile, I hope she remembers correctly, but just my luck it'll be shorter.
Here are today's details:
outside 3/4 mile 3 times - have no idea what the time was - fast downhill, slow uphill ;-)

stationary 1.4 miles 5 minutes 60 calories -
Floor work
5 each leg lift and hold;
25 crunches;
35 jumpinjacks;
10 pushups (from knees legs crossed at ankles);

Bench work
15 chest pulls;
10 each lower leg lifts;
10 each lower arm pulls;

I plan on getting up and out early tomorrow, leave house by 5:25. Start my run/walk by 6:05 am, run/walk for 25-30 minutes, shower and be at my desk by 7:00 am. I admire everyone that has quit the tobacco habit. Everyone finds their own way to refocus all that energy that used to be spent on smoking. I am frustrated on one hand because I'm so outta shape, but I'm motivated on the other because I'm changing that day by day. The temps are rising back to high 80s this week, but low humidity. I'll take each day as it comes, but would like to ride if Mother Nature is going to cooperate.

15 September, 2007

I haven't taken any Chantix since Wednesday

I was taking half a pill Sunday thru Wednesday and missed Tuesday completely. Maggie mentions that you can buy a pill cutter, I didn't and probably should've. But I got frustrated and very tired of taking the Chantix anyway.

So Thursday was the best day I had experienced to date. Met with my boss over lunch and discussed mid-year (I know we're way past mid-year). All in all it was a good conversation. I had located a client facing opportunity in Europe and he agreed! Several people providing feedback on my strengths and opportunities stated I needed exposure to clients outside of the US. I was on cloud nine! (Prior to lunch I had convinced myself that there would be one reason or another why there was somthing else that would be more appopriate.)

I had dinner with my boss and a former boss Thursday evening. She is my favorite person I have ever reported to. She's a wonderful mentor. We chatted, told stories, ate sushi. It was a great time!

I got home and had a blast online with a few friends. My quit buddy tells a terribly funny story on herself about falling during her run/walk. (Sometimes I have a hard time believing her stories). She wound up peeing her pants after her dog trips her and she takes a hard fall on hands and knees.

Two other friends are in Dallas for a client meeting. I get this email with a picture attached. K took a pic of J following a dinner theatre. An actress is hugging and kissing all over J. What a hoot!

Then, outta the blue I hear about mid-year promotions that came out. I reacted badly, very badly. Didn't sleep all night and dwelled on it way too long on Friday. I puton my workout clothes, packed my work clothes and left for the office at 5:20 am. I plugged in and took off about 6 am for a run/walk to the riverfront. Wish I had run longer and walked less, but I didn't stop even at stop signals. Plan on doing this at least twice this week coming up.

I wanted a cigarette more on Friday than I had for the last 2 weeks. My quit buddy was in meetings most of the day. I walked the block around our building 3 times, by myself. It worked. I didn't want that cigarette because of the physical addiction. I wanted it, because that what I've always done in stressful situations; I've smoked like a freight train.

I wish I hadn't done that. I wish I hadn't found out about the promos. But you know, could shoulda woulda is always the easy rationalisation.

I was wrong, very wrong. I am a hard worker, and I know I have areas for improvement. We all do. I want to be promoted, but wierding out and getting pissed doesn't do anything but make it worse. I hate it when I act like a child. ARGHHHHH!

Stressful times are unpredictable and come in varying degrees of stress. I can get through them without a cigarette. I can, I have, I will not smoke tobacco again. This is my promise to myself. Hell, if I'm lucky, no matter if I ever get another promotion, I live longer. I'll be able to breath, walk, run, ride my bike and enjoy myself.

I got out on my real bike today. I am so freakin' outta shape! I need to learn patience. I went around the neighborhood circle including 2 cul de sacs. I made it with no stops, but my heart was pounding and I was breathing so hard! The front tire is low and I couldn't get the seat adjusted to the right height. Gonna get out on it again tomorrow and try again. About an hour later, I rode my stationary for 15 minutes. I made a conscious effort to work harder than ever.

08 September, 2007

I love college football

But not every college game that's on TV! Or even better, listen to one on the radio (not televised) and watch one on the big screen. These teams aren't even in our conference. Our favorite team played on Thursday.

Sorry, but I have to vent somewhere. :)

07 September, 2007

Last days of summer...

make me happy and sad at the same time. It's been so warm in August and through this week I've been able to drive into work with the convertible top down on my car. Yesterday and today the temperature was 80F at 7am. I've owned a convertible close to 10 years and 2007 has to be the year I've gotten the most days with the top down. It's been therapeutic in a way, with the quit. My car is getting "aired out" and I'm able to breath fresh air and smell things I've been missing.

Sadly, I realise that the days are getting shorter. Sun up is later and sun down is earlier. I hope I can find some things that will keep my hands and mind occupied as I spend more and more time indoors. This gets me worried about boredom and wanting to smoke, or eat more, or sleep all the time. I will NOT be smoking. I'm going to try very hard to keep my meal portions consistent with my activity level. Maybe I should purchase one of those lamps that simulate sunshine. If I do sleep more, I'll just be dreaming of those summer days in 2008 when I can drive the convertible with the top down.

04 September, 2007

Thought I'd try to taper to 1/2 a Chantix a day

When I went to bed last night it was 6 weeks since my last cigarette. Yes! What a feeling that was this morning.

I've been on one a day for a little over 2 weeks now. I started out yesterday morning with 1/2 and did well until about 6 in the afternoon. My husband had been out, came in and lit a cigarette. All of a sudden I wanted it! Now, this was the first time I really wanted a cigarette because it was lit around me. I immediately thought, "I'm not starting over", took the other half of the Chantix and went outside.

I had a terrible time sleeping last night. Kept waking up with dreams again. So I didn't even try again today. Maybe I should let this week go by and see what happens starting Sunday.

This one scared me. I know I could start again in a heartbeat, but that was a little close for comfort.

Now, I hate to complain about my Hubby. He is a great guy. But I finally asked that he not smoke in the house a few days ago. I'm hoping he is just forgetful. But he'll smoke the entire thing. I'm not going to turn in the "smoke-free bitch". I guess I'll start spending my evenings on a different floor in the house. That's not the best solution though!

02 September, 2007

Happy Labour Day Weekend!

The wedding was beautiful. It was completely theirs, beginning to end.

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday til the processional were full of overdosing on adrenaline. I'm sure the guests were totally unaware. About 10 minutes before the processional, Heather started crying. It was just the two of us. She fought back tears walking to her Daddy. Then they relaxed and had fun with it. It was a wonderful day. The weather was picture perfect.

I think I can overcome any urge to smoke after this past week. I wanted one, but then I'd smell someone else's and would say to myself, "nah". Had a number of beers and a couple of toasting shots of Patrone. As far as not smoking, it's nice waking up the next day without that nasty head throb part of a hangover. Another reason to not smoke even when drinking!

I'll see if I can figure out how to post some pics.

Hello September!

The link below may take you to what I was able to grab on my cam.