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!