Friday, May 25, 2007

Thank you!

One more cup of coffee oops! That's not right. Heh. One more post before I shut this machine down and give it a rest.

Thank you all for your good wishes for this non-momentous birthday. Fifty-five has truly been a year to remember, and it's been so fun having all of you in my corner.

If you haven't already read it today, do go have a peek at Laurie's blog. That woman is eloquent. And strong! And sturdy! And happy!

The day's barely half over and it's been so great. Thanks again. I'm shutting up now.

No, really! I am! Honest!

Friday Quote Day

You are only young once,
but you can be immature
for a lifetime.

- John P. Grier

What does that quote have to do with fitness, weight loss, running, knitting or getting healthy? Absolutely nothin'! I picked it because … drumroll … it's my birthday!

It's not nearly as momentous an occasion this year as last year's "double nickels." Fifty-six just doesn't have the same cachet as any number ending in zero or five, does it?

I've lost a total of eight whole pounds since my last birthday. Maybe I shouldn't have looked for that particular statistic; that's kinda depressing. And who needs additional depressing the day the calendar ticks over to another year.

Last year I listed five things I need to do to continue on the health-and-fitness path for the rest of my life. They were:

  • Carefully watch what I eat
  • Exercise daily
  • Avoid sugar
  • Keep a food/exercise journal
  • Take vitamins
I can see that I'm falling down on the job in more than one category. I'm not as careful with my food, I don't exercise daily, I haven't been avoiding sugar and my food/exercise journal hasn't been much of a priority lately. But I'm not a total loser. I still take vitamins!

I would say a recommitment is in order, wouldn't you?

Almost everything on my to-do list has been crossed off. The last big job left is mowing the yard, which I'll do today, and the remainder of the list is stuff I need to remember to take with me when I leave for my daughter's tomorrow. Every time I think of something else I can't forget I toss it into the guest room. Good thing we're not having company tonight.

One of the reasons I'm traveling is for a big family baby shower for my son and his wife. Remember that big project I wouldn't identify earlier this year? Here it is! Clicking on the link will take you to the free pattern. I think it's a perfect combination of understated classic plus little-girl lace.

Since I got all the projects done a couple days before my
self-imposed deadline, I also made her a lovey. If she chooses it for the never-let-it-go comfort toy, I can easily make a spare so there will be one for clinging and one for the laundry.

Then I started this for me.

This week will be lots of fun. The baby shower, of course, but also: My grandchildren are out of school, the neighborhood pool is open, my daughter has been walking several miles every morning, my son-in-law is going to encourage my weight-training and I hope we can run together, my granddaughter's dance recital is next weekend … I'm really looking forward to the trip.

Before I go, good luck to ws, who races on Sunday!

I may or may not be blogging all week … right now I'm thinking probably not daily, and maybe not at all. I'll just have to see how it goes. Y'all have a good week while I'm gone, and behave yourselves. And now …

Let's get this party started!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Okay, I forgot about ...

After I pressed "Publish" a couple hours ago, I thought about that thing I just did. You know, that thing in April, the thing I started training for in January, that race? And I realized that I can accomplish something new and challenging, and I can even do it by breaking it down and setting small goals and pushing myself beyond my limits.

Now I need to translate that success, that achievement, that dream into this other one that's been plaguing me since I was, oh, eleven or so.

Also? I've been online or on the phone looking for a summer photography class ever since I posted the first time today. No luck yet, but at least I'm looking. That's better than wishing, or waiting for it to magically appear.

Ain't it the truth

Yesterday Amy wrote:

"is there a better way to be sure you never lose another pound than mapping it on a calendar?"

Well, um, no. I don't think there is.


Isn't that how semi-organized, otherwise intelligent people get most things done? Here's the goal we want to achieve. Oh, and we need to get it done by this date.
So we break it down into manageable chunks. Lessee, that's X number of months/weeks/days/hours, divided by Y number of things to do to reach the goal, meaning if we do five tasks a day or write one chapter a month or lose two pounds a week, we'll be done on time!

Done. That's the kicker, really. We're never done. There will always be another project. The house doesn't stay clean, the weeds don't stop growing, there will always be another letter/article/novel to write, photo to take, dish to wash, skirt to iron, muscle to build and pound to lose.

Because if you're anything like me – and I think you are – these pounds don't go away forever. They tend to sneak back when I'm not looking, planning, thinking, watching, planning, sweating, working, and oh, did I mention planning?

I've been reading PastaQueen's archives from the very beginning, a few entries each day. She stutter-stepped for the first few months and then, in July, 2004, said:

I'm going to focus on losing about 15 or 20 pounds at a time and celebrate when I reach that small goal.

And that worked. She hasn't faltered since. Fluctuations? Sure. But she's made steady progress toward her ultimate goal. I'm pretty sure she thinks it's taken longer than it ::airquote:: should ::airquote:: have, but truthfully? It's taken as long as it's taken. Period. One step at a time, day in and day out, planning, experimenting, assessing, evaluating. Keeping on keeping on.

Me? Well, my progress stopped last fall. And I think I've let that lack of progress color my attitude about my ability to do just about anything else new or meaningful or challenging. I have this very cool, very expensive new camera and I keep saying I'm going to find a class and learn how to use it. It's difficult here in the Middle of Nowhere to find photography courses. That's what I keep telling myself. The truth is, I haven't even started to look. We do have university extensions and community colleges within an hour's drive. If it was worth it, I'd have found one by now.

If it was worth it. If I was worth it, I'd have made better progress on that other goal I have. You know, the shrinking part of the title of this blog.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Someone left me a huge-ass long comment – with the tantalizing promise of 100,000 more characters to come – yesterday evening while I was out. Since his/her name was "Anonymous," I've now had to change my settings so that no anonymous comments can be left. [The stat details indicate that this person was using a computer from the California State University Network – the things they're teaching in universities these days!]

I know there are a couple of you out there who aren't registered with Blogger or who are still having Blogger 'issues,' and I'm so sorry about having to block you. This is like my mother punishing all three of us when my brother or sister or I did something to piss her off. Well, my brother or sister anyway. Heh.

I really, really, really should have put "play computer solitaire" on my to-do list, 'cause that's what mostly got done yesterday. Well, not mostly, but I could kick myself when I waste time like that. If it had been on my list I could have crossed it off with a sense of accomplishment!

I moved some winter clothes to storage and laundered all the summer stuff that's been tucked away. [Still need to press some things, though.] I had soooo hoped I would be buying all new summer things this year. And as I was putting the heavy jeans and sweaters and wooly things in boxes, I wondered if I would be wearing them again next winter. No wonder I played solitaire all afternoon – it's what I do when I'm depressed. Before computers, I used to play endless hours of real solitaire with real cards to pass the time and not think.

And then last night I went to the prison to help facilitate an AA meeting. I have no problems whatsoever. And I have almost unlimited emotional, financial and personal resources to handle whatever little bumps in the road I happen to run into. I'm not 19 years old, facing 17 years of incarceration for being peripherally involved in a meth lab. The Bureau of Prisons hasn't changed its mind and extended my release date by four months. Yesterday's mail didn't bring divorce papers, and my husband hasn't been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. My kids aren't being left alone by their crack-addicted father and I can call or e-mail anyone I want, any time I want, and it doesn't cost me 45 cents a minute. And while I don't have a job, if I did, I'm quite sure I'd be earning more than 12 cents an hour.

Nope, I don't have any problems at all. I feel a little selfish and
more than a little vain when the biggest problem in my world is my pudge.

Of course, that doesn't mean I won't still be talking about it, whining over it, being pissed about it and wishing it would go away. But every once in a while something powerful happens at those meetings and I get to learn – again – what's really important. And it's not my dress size.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Well, I'm back at my race weight. That means I gained three pounds this week.

When I saw That Number I said to myself, "Self, you are not going to blog about this. You are going to ignore that number and get on with your day."

But, seriously, why have a weight-loss blog and then ignore or hide my lack of progress?

I'm not even going to try to analyze what might be the cause of it. Yesterday's sneak peek showed I'd stayed the same. There's no rhyme nor reason to it; it is what it is, and I'm not going to be ruled by a number.

Now, if I really weren't going to be ruled by a number, I wouldn't be going on and on about it, would I? Heh.

My run yesterday wasn't quite as wonderful as I wanted it to be. Much like That Number this morning. [Ouch! That was me slapping myself. getoveritalready!] I did the four hilly miles, but walked about 1.5 of them; my time was slightly less than an hour. It's fine, though – the longer I'm out there walking, the more calories I'm burning.

Theoretically, anyway.

Last night at the prison, after I got my drawing students started on their first upside-down drawings, I filled a notebook page with Things To Do this week. I'll be visiting my daughter soon and have to do tons o' chores before I leave. I always feel good when I start crossing things off. The first few completed tasks give me a sense of accomplishment and my energy levels inexplicably soar. You'd think when I'm doing all this, um, stuff, I'd be tired, but instead I get revved up.

Maybe that's what happens when we plan our meals ahead of time and schedule our exercise activities, instead of hoping we'll find time to prepare something healthful, or to spend an hour sweating.

And speaking of my daughter, she and her husband are celebrating their wedding anniversary today. Happy anniversary, sweetie! Your card's in the mail! If I'd made that list last week, it would be in your mailbox today. Ooops!

Monday, May 21, 2007

About that pain

It's gone. Just like that. I took a day off and it feels fine.

To address some of your welcome and thoughtful comments, I also thought it might be a callous forming. I'm surprised at the pin-prick aspect of it, though. I didn't think the center of the callous – that is what it looks like – would be so exquisitely tender. The fact that there's one on my left foot as well, and it doesn't hurt, also baffles me, but perhaps it just formed more efficiently. Heh.

I wear Thorlo cushioned socks, and because I'm a quirky kinda gal I wear them inside out. Works for me. ws recommended these, and they're awfully darned cute! Who knew specialty socks could be so fun? And they claim to be the most comfortable socks I'll ever wear. Guess I'll order a pair to find out.

ws also said, "Running shoes are supposed to last 400 miles?" I've always read that you can expect them to last anywhere from 300 to 600 miles. Since that pair wasn't, as running shoes go, terribly spendy, I think 400 miles was about their limit.

Jen suggested maybe my shoes were laced too tightly. I thought of that, as well, and even stopped after a couple of miles on Saturday to relace them, but it didn't seem to make a difference.

I'll try again today. It felt kinda good to be a slug yesterday. I wasn't totally sluggy – I mowed three acres, but it was on a riding mower so I can't really count it as exercise. It was just me pretending to be a farmer. Heh. I didn't even lift weights yesterday. That means two days on this month's calendar are without stars.

Are you as totally bored with my foot pain as I am? Thought so!

Congrats to Mary Christine for finishing her first half-marathon! One down; hopefully many more to go.

It's supposed to rain here today and tomorrow, but it's nice right now. Even though it's earlier than I usually head out, I think I'll get the walk/run over with for the day, before I lose my window of opportunity.

Thanks again for all your ideas and thoughts … I hope I've magically healed myself. If only I could figure it out, I'd surely pass it on!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

A pain in the …

One of the biggest reasons I wanted – no, needed – new shoes is the old ones had lost their cushioning. They had fewer than 400 miles on them, but a small blister had developed on the right side of the ball of my right foot.

The new shoes aren't helping.

I've been in denial about this, hoping it would magically fix itself. It doesn't hurt when I wear Birks or slippers or flip-flops or even dressier sandals. It hurts when I wear shoes that lace up. FlyLady would be so disappointed. Heh.

I want one of those TV evangelists to shout, "Heeeeeaaallll!!!" and make the pain go away.

I tried doing eight miles yesterday and had to quit halfway. Sometimes it felt like a needle pushing up through the ball of my foot. It was, at times, breathtakingly excruciating.

So. I think I need to take some time off for this to get better. I can lift weights and use the rowing machine for exercise, but no runner's high for me for a few days. Hopefully that's all it will take.

Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I went out last night, to the annual volunteer appreciation dinner at the prison where I volunteer. The Volunteer Coordinator and Chaplain organize the dinner, and once again they did a wonderful job. We were entertained by the prison's Praise and Worship choir, and they had us all on our feet, singing and clapping with true joy.

I didn't feel like I was at a prison at all. And for that one evening, I don't think the women who live there did either.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Tidying up some loose ends

Thanks, as always, for your comments. It truly helps to know I'm not writing into the void. You like me! You really like me!

Jonathan asked yesterday if I rotate between two pair of shoes. Not at this point. WS mentioned in a comment that she does, and Jonathan does, as well. I still haven't made it to a "real" running store, and I don't want to buy two pairs of shoes until I get some expert advice. I'm basing my shoe selection on reviews and what feels good, but the shoes I'm wearing might not be what I need. Just think: If an experienced, trained salesperson analyzes my stride and recommends The Perfect Shoe, there's a chance I could go even faster!

Isn't there? Heh.

Speed isn't everything, as I so clearly demonstrated when I did four flat miles in 50 minutes yesterday. Oh, well. This is fun, damn it! Fun!

Anne and Jonathan have both mentioned a new food product this spring and I want to add my recommendation for Bell Plantation's PB2. Getting a peanut-butter fix
with PB2 isn't quite as easy as sticking your finger in a jar, but almost. And there's just enough simple prep involved that you can put the brakes on. Having to mix two tablespoons of powdered peanuts with one tablespoon of water gives you the moment of clarity you need not to polish off the whole jar. Oh, and it also gives you a sandwich's worth of deliciousness for only 54 calories. How cool is that?

Finally, the toys can see! I stitched their little eyes on last night. The photos are crappy, but the penguin and koala are zoo-ready. Or, maybe, baby-shower-ready. The patterns are by Fiber Trends, but I honestly have no idea what yarns I used to make either of the toys.

Felting [or, more correctly, fulling] is quite an inexact science. Remember the Noni disaster carpetbag I made earlier this year? But these little critters turned out just dandy. Good thing they're toys – they don't have to fit!

The penguin is soft and squishy and cuddly, while the koala is quite firm. I'd have preferred a little softer koala, but you know what the Rolling Stones said: You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.

What I need now is for the sun to come out and my legs to hold up for the eight-mile morning run. I'm tempted to put it off until tomorrow; I feel like this whole week has gotten twisted around somehow. At some point I will be switching my long run day from Saturday to Sunday, but I want to plan for it – not just put it off because I'm feeling lazy and discombobulated.

Mary's race is tomorrow – go wish her well!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday Quote Day

I feel the need …
the need for speed!
Maverick and Goose, Top Gun

Okay, I'm so lame. I forgot it was Friday! This quote works for what I posted an hour ago, doncha think?

Just don't start thinking I've got any love for Tom Cruise. I don't. He was pretty cute in Risky Business and I must've watched Top Gun a hundred times [I owned a video store when it was released on video. And I'm a pilot, so the aerial stunts were pretty awesome.]. Thus endeth my admiration for TC.

Back to your regularly scheduled day.

It must have been the shoes

I bought my first pair of New Balance shoes three months ago. At that time I was running [if you could call it that] four miles on hills in 58 minutes. My fastest four-mile hill time in those shoes was 49:26.

My fastest four miles ever, on the flat road next to the river, was 47 minutes, about a month ago.

Yesterday? 46:48 on hills!

Yeah, me!

It feels kind of funny-clunky walking in them, but those shoes were fo'-sho' made for running.

Yesterday got all messed up. I'd intended to do six miles, but the pump-and-well guy called to say they had the equipment they needed to make the last [we hope] fix to our water system and could they come at noon? If I'd known Wednesday I would have run very first thing in the morning. As it turned out, I barely had enough time to do four. The truck was pulling into the driveway as I was getting out of the shower. [I wasn't sure how long the water would be turned off, and I had to leave for a meeting in Charleston, WV, yesterday afternoon around 1:30.]

So it looks like my mileage may be reduced this week, as well as my minutes, since I'm now Ms. Speedy Gonzalez. Meaning my ass probably won't be, but oh, well. Some things are out of my control.

So ws likes orange shoes. I'm beginning to think orange and neon green are the new pink in athletic shoes for women. Last year I had no trouble finding white-trimmed-with-pink or solid white shoes. This year? Not so much.

The meeting I went to was held at a Greek restaurant and I was able to eat fairly healthfully. The gyro meat I ate seemed salty, so I made sure to drink plenty of water. My, my, it was good, though.

Blogger has a new auto-save feature going on, and they probably should have taken the testing just a little bit further. I wasn't able to continue writing when I first published this, and I wasn't able to put the correct time on it. I thought I might have to copy-and-paste it into a new entry. Looks like all is well again, but I forget what other Important Stuff I wanted to say. Heh. So I'll leave you with a wish for a great day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What's your limit?

That was how I greeted my daughter when she returned my call yesterday as I sat in the doctor's office. I'd arrived 15 minutes early for a 9:30 a.m. appointment. I think she called at 11. And, yes, I had my knitting with me but I was bored and irritated and it was more fun ranting to/with her than sitting there steaming in a paper gown. [Isn't that a lovely mind picture? Heh.]

When he finally did show up, about 10 minutes later, he was profusely apologetic with all kinds of excuses. [None of which was, "I was delivering a baby."] But still. I told him if I hadn't had to drive an hour to get there I'd have left an hour earlier.

At any rate, that's done for another year. And it's always good to have someone compliment you on your accomplishments. Total weight loss from last visit [in March] to yesterday's was 29 pounds. And he said there's no way he could run a half-marathon.

If his office wasn't so far away I'd go there for my weekly weigh-in. Those scales were two pounds lighter on Wednesday morning than mine were on Tuesday morning.

Speaking of knitting – which I haven't been doing much of lately – I'm so not in love with the baby sweater I've been making, and I think I'm just going to toss it. It's a top-down raglan. While the
width of the sweater and sleeve looks like it would fit a newborn, the depth of the raglan like looks more toddler-like. The yarn wasn't terribly expensive and I have plenty more, so I'm not even going to reclaim what I've used. Into the trash it goes. Lesson learned: I had second thoughts about this after I put the sleeve stitches on holders, but I kept on knitting, thinking it would end up okay. It's. Just. Not.

I've finished the felted toys I talked about a while ago, but they're still blind [they're for my expected granddaughter, so I need to stitch the eyes on instead of sewing on googly eyes]. Once they're really finished, I'll post photos. They're so cute; even Mr. Shrinking Knitter, who doesn't pay much attention to knitted toys, was impressed.

I went straight to the mall [such as it is] from the doctor's office to get new running shoes, so they'll get their first workout today. I'm now officially a New Balance girl; my last pair were great and I wouldn't even try another brand, which kind of amused the salesperson. I just wish these were white and white, or white and grey, or white and pink, instead of white and ... coral? Orange? Oh, well, they fit, and they're not for style, they're for business – the business of running.

I was so, so tired when I got home yesterday that all I did was read e-mail/blogs and watch television. No exercise at all yesterday. Dr. Oz would not be happy about that.

This article
at the Runner's World website says when Lance Armstrong is training for the Tour de France he increases his daily calories from 3000 to 6000.

Maybe I should take up biking.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cue the weird music

Your comments yesterday about my dream of missing a plane were most insightful, and I thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts. It's not a recurring dream – maybe that means when – not if – I get to goal I won't ever have to board that plane again.

Now here's the weird part. I got an e-mail from a friend who had been on a little getaway with her husband last week. They were flying home and … get ready … missed their plane in Atlanta!

Doo doo doo doo, doo doo doo doo. [That's the scary music you always hear in horror movies when something bad is about to happen. Not that I ever watch horror movies.]

Maybe I was just dreaming about what happened to her, and I was taking it way too seriously, trying to make it all about me-me-me. Isn't that always the way it is? Heh.

I've been buying tons o' music on iTunes lately, some for a baby shower favor CD mix, some for myself and some for Mr. Shrinking Knitter. He's older than I, both in actual years and in mindset, especially when it comes to music. He thinks 1956 [I was five that year] was the Best Year Ever, for a variety of reasons, and he especially enjoys
listening to the golden oldies from that decade. He also likes hymns and gospel music. Me? If you've read my profile, my favorite musician is Bob Dylan, but I also enjoy rock, pop, disco, hip-hop and show tunes.

So you can imagine what my recent and rather eclectic purchases have done to the iTunes "Recommended for You" feature. It probably had to go lie down after compiling my list. Could this be any weirder?

I put some of that music to good use yesterday lifting weights. Sometimes I think it's just too much trouble to tote my little Logitech speakers and iPod out to the garage where the weight bench is. How lazy is that? Pumping iron is much more fun when I'm also pumping out Fatboy Slim [Wonderful Night], Salt N Pepa [Push It], The Gap Band [You Dropped a Bomb] and Lily Allen [Friday Night]. [The speaker system weighs less than a pound and is smaller than a loaf of party rye. I'm so lame for ever thinking it's "too much trouble" to walk it from the house to the garage.]

Needless to say, the weight routine went great yesterday. I walked to the post office and back [1.5 miles], but didn't run at all. Today is a scheduled six-mile tempo run, but I have a gyno appointment this morning and it looks like rain later. I'll take my Friday rest day today, run six tomorrow, four Friday and eight Saturday. Of course if it doesn't rain, I'll run later. I'd rather stick with the schedule; my latent OCD tendencies just love sticking a little star on my calendar for each completed fitness task.

Looking back over my weight charts from last year, it looks like I've lost about 25 pounds since my doctor last saw me. He never was one to fuss at me about my weight, mostly because I was always heading him off at the pass. That's a good strategy, by the way, if you think you're going to get lectured about losing some lard. Go in for your appointment ready with a list of what you already do, and ask what s/he recommends to help facilitate the process.

At least s/he'll think you're trying. You are trying, aren't you?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The dawn's early light

A very noisy bird in the birch tree by my bedroom window started chirping at about 5:30 a.m. I totally could have slept in this morning! But. It. Wouldn't. Shut. Up. Of course once I actually got up and made coffee, it did. Shut up, that is.

I ran four miles [on a flat road] yesterday in 48 minutes. Took the iPod with me for the first time in weeks, and it felt good to be running to music again. I'd hoped to be a little faster, but that's not my real goal right now. I had fun! It was cool starting out, but I warmed up quickly and felt great when I was done, a feeling that lasted the rest of the day.

Today is a weight-training day; I will be sure to eat something and be well-hydrated before I start. I don't want a repeat performance of Sunday's little heart flutters.

I'm up a pound from last Tuesday, which means I'm averaging a 1.5-pound-per-week loss at this point. Heh. Gotta find the positive spin, right? I was down a pound yesterday morning, and I know I didn't gain two pounds in one day, so I'm not sweating today's number too much.

I dreamed Sunday night that I missed a plane. It was quite real and vivid, and I asked Mr. Shrinking Knitter what it might mean. His training was more along the Rational Emotive Therapy line than in Freud's dream interpretation, so I had to go web-walking to find some insight. Dreaming of missing a boat or a plane can mean that you feel you've missed some opportunity in your waking life; you're too late; you can't make a connection, that you need to pull yourself together to make the connections you desire. I'm supposed to ponder these questions:

  • Where are you going in your dream?
  • Why are you going there?
  • What is it that makes you feel you are "too late" or that you don't have what you need to take your part on the stage of life?
  • What are you currently trying to accomplish in your waking life?
  • What's missing for you to do your job properly or to get what you want?
  • How can you better prepare yourself for what you want to do?
I'm not even sure now that I want to explore it. But is was a very realistic dream. My first thoughts after reading the questions were that it related more to weight loss than to running, knitting, my little home-based business, my volunteer work or my family relationships. I don't think it's too late to continue working toward a weight-loss goal.

Is it?

Monday, May 14, 2007


Belle writes a lovely account of her wedding day, which happened seven years ago yesterday, here. Congratulations and happy anniversary!

Mr. Shrinking Knitter asked me to marry him a year ago today. We'd been living together since 1997, and dated off and on for four years prior to my moving to
the Middle of Nowhere. We were talking yesterday about just how much better our relationship is now that we're married. He said we seem to get along better than any other couple he knows.

He's a shrink, so I'm not sure that's all that remarkable. But, still, we get along much better married than we did shacking up. Surprisingly so!

Adam's surgery went well. I don't know when he'll be able to start running again, but I'm glad he checked in.

Jonathan reminds us – well, me, anyway – to take things one step at a time. I'm so guilty of all-or-nothing thinking, frequently and unwittingly setting myself up for a fall. Two of his examples, cutting out sweets and not eating in the evening, are strategies I've unsuccessfully employed time and time again. And it occurs to me, just reading this, that instead of telling myself what I can't do or have, it might be beneficial to add some truly wonderful things to my regular day-in, day-out routine – not as a reward for "good" behavior. Hmmmmm.

Need a good dessert recipe for Memorial Day weekend? PQ recommends this strawberry cheesecake from the Cooking Light website. And speaking of PQ, I've been reading her archives from the very beginning. Again. False starts, small successes, simple changes and, finally, steady downward progress. Great inspiration! And be sure to check out her biceps!

If you haven't guessed already, I don't have much to say today; thus, the hijacking from others' blogs. I didn't walk outside yesterday, after all. Rest days are scheduled for a reason, and rest days after long-run days are vitally important. Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I took his mother to church and out for dinner, where I ate reasonably well. I spent most of the day scanning photos for a DVD slideshow due by the end of this month. I also designed a CD cover for a party-favor project.

I did take a short break in the late afternoon to lift weights. Got a little more than halfway through the routine and started feeling lightheaded, sweaty and nauseous, with a few heart palpitations thrown in just to scare me. Mr. Shrinking Knitter was very reassuring; I think he checked my pulse half a dozen times during the evening. No further incidents. Note that I didn't have a bit of trouble putting the weights down and walking away. Heh.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

If you're a mom …

or if you know one or if you have one, then Happy Mother's Day!

We had a little cold front pop through overnight and it's quite lovely today – cool temperatures and low humidity. Whaddya wanna bet I take a walk on a rest day?

The first half of yesterday's eight-mile run was great. I deliberately left the stopwatch at home; I just want to get the joy back. At about the five-mile mark I had to walk for a couple minutes and found myself alternating between a fast walk and a slow jog the remainder of the route. Mr. Shrinking Knitter came by at Mile 7.5 and I hopped in the car for the last half-mile back to my car.

The joy is not completely back, but it's getting closer.

I logged 24.1 running miles last week and did three half-hour weight-training sessions.

I haven't registered for it yet, but I've definitely decided to do the Rex Healthcare Half-Marathon in Raleigh in November. Leading up to that, I'll be doing the Army Ten-Miler on October 7 in Washington, DC. Training starts in three months.

You know what that means, don't you?

Two new t-shirts! Heh.

Seriously, it means I have 12 weeks to work on losing some – or maybe even all – of the excess weight I've been lugging around since last fall.

I don't mean to imply that I haven't been working on losing it; y'all know I have. Three months of non-training fitness workouts and non-training meal plans should yield some lower numbers between now and the first of August. I'm not setting a number goal; I just want to be lighter, leaner, faster and meaner when I start training than I am now.

Is that too much to ask?

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Love the quotey love!

Thanks to everyone who contributed their quotes/thoughts in the comments yesterday. So many good things to think about! I especially liked the St. Francis of Assisi quote: "Start by doing what's necessary, then do what's possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible." That's exactly how I finished the half-marathon.

So yesterday was a better day, although I waited to do the run until it was uncomfortably warm. It was not pretty. I wanted to do the 6.6-mile loop, but only did four miles, and it took an hour. That's walking, not running! I also did a half-hour of weight training, making three sessions this week. I'm ahead of schedule on bumping up from two to three.

Considering that Friday is supposed to be a rest day, finishing four hot, humid miles was quite an accomplishment. Today is my long run day, and I'll be going down to the four-mile-long road that runs along the river for an eight-mile loop. Soon, since it's supposed to hit 80 again today. I'm looking forward to a nice, long, flat, no-pressure run.

Running hasn't been much fun this week. Perhaps I'm having delayed-onset post-race letdown. Maybe I need to go back to the same four-mile loop I was using during training – a flat, pretty, quiet road where I could really hit my stride, such as it is. Heh. It kind of sucks to have to drive there, but it sucks more for running to feel so much like work.

A few days ago, in an impulsive moment, I ordered a tiny little expensive video of me crossing the finish line in Nashville. [I totally need to figure out how to charge $15 for one minute's worth of something. Anything! Well, almost anything.] I got an e-mail yesterday that the clip was available for download and half an hour later [hate you, dial-up!] I was able to watch it. It's set to music, includes many angles – the starting line, the Kenyans, the bands – and then there at the end they have two views of me-me-me, smiling and stumbling across the line.

I want her enthusiasm. I want her sense of accomplishment. I want her confidence and power and pride.

I want that woman back. Does that mean I have to start training for another race already?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday Quote Day

Vitality shows in not only
the ability to persist
but the ability to start over.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Every day's a new day! You can start over any time! How about right now? Heh.

I'm trying to determine whether it was the four-pound whoosh, all the compliments at the hairdresser's or the flat tire that started my recent derailment. Something happened Tuesday – or, maybe, nothing happened Tuesday, maybe it was just time for a break – and I hope it's over.

Because something kind of "clicked" last night at dinner and I've felt pretty good ever since.

Wanting it won't make it so. Action needs to follow desire. Wishin' and hopin' won't get 'er done.

Have I used up every possible cliché to suit this situation? Add yours to the list! While you're doing that, I'm going for a run.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

On my mind

It's the middle of the night, but I can't sleep and neither, apparently, could my dog, who peed on the bedspread, pooped on the carpet and is generally feeling pretty awful, poor thing. She acts embarrassed at her sudden lack of control over her bodily functions. Rather than being annoyed with her, I feel sorry for her.

So the bedspread is in the washer; the mattress pad is next and maybe I'll just take a nice long nap this afternoon. Heh.

How does one flat tire end up costing more than $300? Well, you can't just replace one; you have to do both rear tires if the flat can't be repaired. And since the front tires were close to shot as well, you just whip out the credit card and keep on knitting. They changed an air filter and the oil, as well.

You don't know how many times, Jonathan, I've thought about what you said to me early in my training. You have every right to say, "I told you so," and then some! For those of you late to the party, I discovered that excess weight doesn't melt away when one starts training for a half-marathon. I might have been the last person on the track to know that. Jonathan alerted me first, and I also read it in Marathoning for Mortals. This information came to me in the first few weeks of the training regimen, so I had plenty of time to decide whether to stick with the race plan or work on the weight.

Y'all know which course I chose, and I have no regrets. I learned far more about myself training for and completing the race than I would have had I just slogged along for four months tallying calories in/calories out. [Although I did continue the tallying … old habits die hard.]

So when Jodi commented on Tuesday's post about a slight gain she experienced after beginning a running program, I popped over to learn more about her. She seems to be as dazed and confused with this whole weight-loss crap as many of the rest of us are.

[Not all, though! PastaQueen has a centered, matter-of-fact attitude, with a side of humor thrown in; she's my go-to blog when I find myself sliding toward insanity. She can even bill me if she wants to.]

It would be so nice to go through a day not giving a rat's a$$ about what I eat. I don't mean eating one gooey confection after another; I just mean eating normal amounts of normal food without wishing I could have a gooey confection. And then, after several days [or sometimes just hours] of wishing, going ahead and having it anyway. And then feeling bad about it and drinking a gallon of water to compensate.

The diet mentality can be pretty self-destructive, at times.

I had a crappy, confection-filled day yesterday; can you tell? That's probably why I couldn't sleep. Heck, it's probably why the dog's sick! Maybe it's because my six-mile run was hard and long and hilly [1:27:40, pant, pant]. Maybe I'm self-sabatoging that incredible four-pound drop. [Maybe? Definitely!]

At any rate, today is another day, another opportunity to either Do the Right Thing or Screw Up Royally. Which will it be?

Film at eleven.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

More ripples

I walked into the hairdresser's yesterday afternoon and one of the owners looked me up and down and said, "Debbi, you've really been dropping the weight!"

Followed, of course, by the inevitable, "How'd you do it?"

The funny thing is, I'm wearing the same sizes I wore last summer and fall. I'm not smaller at all. But as Jen said in her comment yesterday, I'm leaner, and even I can see that. I also know how to dress to camouflage my most unfortunate parts.

Yesterday that meant a pair of black slacks, a beige-and-white striped tunic top with a wide neckline and three-quarter length sleeves and a pair of beige suede sandals. [I'm a neutral. Heh.]

According to most fashion consultants, in print and on the tube, the "right" length for a top for someone my height [5'2" on a good day] and weight [mumble-mumble] is high-hip. To me, I look like I don't really care that I'm six months pregnant and if you don't like how I look it's your problem. The right fabric in a tunic-length top skims over all those lumps and bumps, making me not only look better, but feel better, as well.

Anyway, everyone at the salon knows I'm a runner [Hey! I'm a runner!], and they weren't surprised when I gave running the credit for my transformation. But for the first time, they were curious. How long had I been running, when did I start, is it hard and, most surprising of all, how could they – all of them – start?

So I told them about the Couch to 5K plan at Cool Running and they're going to check it out. I made them promise to call me when they decided which 5K they were going to run so I could go, too.

Ripples, baby, and I'm not talkin' about wine. [Do they still make and sell Ripple rotgut wine?]

I did my weight-training when I got home from the haircut appointment. No running yesterday, but today is a six-miler, and I'll do it on my hilly road instead of driving to a flatter route – partly because it's more convenient and partly because I have a flat tire. I started out last night for the prison and heard this unusual noise coming from the rear of the car, turned around as soon as I could and limped back into the garage. Triple-A can be here anytime I need them today, so I think I'll run first, while it's cool, and then give them a call.

May all your tires stay inflated, as long as you need them.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Data check

Well, all those runner-type folks sure knew what they were talkin' about when they warned me that I wouldn't lose any weight while I was in training. They also said it would be worth it, and they were abso-f'in-lutely right. Whatever disappointment I had at maintaining my weight for the four months of training was gone, erased, wiped out when I finished the half-marathon.

"They" then said I could expect to get back on track once I stopped training so hard and started eating normally again. Once again, they were right.

Four pounds down this week, thankyouverymuch. The only other time since January, 2006, that I've lost more than that in one week was prepping for a colonoscopy. Heh.

Here's the weird part: I ran a total of 20 miles [and walked almost two] this week, lifted weights three times and ate a very satisfying average of 1400 calories per day. I've also consciously consumed more water than I usually do – easier to do now that it's warmer here in the Middle of Nowhere.

That's now normal people lose weight!

I think I need to go lie down.

If you were here early yesterday, I made one revision to the recipe – I mixed a tablespoon or so of cornstarch with the water before I added it to the stew.

Busy day today, no time to blog more. I hope your data checks out as favorably as mine did.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mmmmm. Mmmmm. Good!

My menu plan this weekend was thrown off a little bit because I made enough spinach lasagna for two nights and we ate out one night. Yesterday I got around to making a SparkPeople recipe I printed out a couple months ago, and it is definitely going into the rotation.

The dish is called Caribbean Pork Stew with Pineapple; clicking on the name will take you to the SparkPeople page, where you can print it out all nice and neat. I'm also going to print the ingredients and directions here, noting my substitutions.

12 oz. boneless pork loin [I used a lemon-pepper-seasoned turkey tenderloin]
2 Tbsp. flour [I eliminated the flour]
1 Tbsp. canola oil [I used cooking spray]
1 medium onion, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped [I used red]
1 clove garlic, minced [I used 3 cloves]
1 small chili pepper, seeded and minced [I used about a tablespoon of chili sauce]
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger [I used minced fresh ginger]
1 can (8 oz.) sliced pineapple in juice
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper

  • Trim all visible fat from meat. Cut into 1-inch cubes. Toss with flour to coat.

  • Generously coat deep, medium skillet with cooking spray. Set over medium-high heat. Brown meat, turning it to color on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to plate.

  • Heat oil in pan. Sauté onion, green pepper, garlic and chili pepper until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Return meat to pan. Add 1 cup water, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, salt and pepper. Drain liquid from pineapple into pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. [I added a tablespoon or so of cornstarch to the water before I added it to the skillet.]

  • Stack pineapple slices and cut into 8 sections. Add fruit, tomato and cucumber to stew. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. This stew keeps 2 to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 258.2
Total Fat: 10.0 g
Cholesterol: 41.2 mg
Sodium: 796.9 mg
Total Carbs: 22.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.4 g
Protein: 18.2 g

I served it over rice and we both love it. I think next time I'll throw in an extra onion and cut them into chunks instead of slices. Enjoy!

I'm actually looking forward to my weekly weigh-in tomorrow. I've eaten sensibly and exercised moderately all week. I feel a little lighter, but then we all know that's not a terribly accurate predictor of weight loss. And the number, I keep reminding myself, is just data. Information only. Not a judgement.

It would be nice, though, to get back on the losing track.

I did a weight-training session yesterday. Sunday is a scheduled rest day, but I felt good and decided to throw one in anyway. I'm not OCD – really, I'm not! – but it does give me a sense of satisfaction to see a little foil star in every square of my May calendar so far. Last week I walked two miles and ran 16. That gets bumped up to 22 this week, and that's where it will stay until June.

Maybe. Heh.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The ripple effect

As Mr. Shrinking Knitter and I were eating dinner last night, we agreed that my taking up long-distance running as a hobby – at my age! – was kinda unusual. Were it not for his son, who has run four marathons in two years, I doubt I ever would have considered registering for anything longer than a 10K.

On the morning of our family wedding party last fall, Mr.
Shrinking Knitter's son got up and ran 15 miles just as normally as you or I would pour a cup of coffee. And with that run, he inspired a whole bunch of people to pick up the pace.

Shrinking Knitter's cousin and his wife were here that day; she is now doing the Couch to 5K training program.

When I registered for the Country Music Half-Marathon, I asked my son-in-law if he'd like to join me. He did.

My daughter is planning to run a 5K this September.

Her sister-in-law in California is thinking of running Bay to Breakers.

Thanks, Lee. From all of us.

Who have you inspired by your weight-loss and fitness efforts?

I did my eight mile long run yesterday, not planning to run it in a certain amount of time but hoping I would at least match my half-marathon pace of 12:05-minute miles. Woo hoo! 12:02!

My after-dinner brush-your-teeth-to-prevent-evening-snacking plan is working well. I'm training myself to drink something instead – usually decaf coffee with a splash of sugar-free creamer [which is really flavored high-fructose corn syrup, but oh, well].Thanks for your comments yesterday – even the spammy one! But to Mr./Ms. Spammer – don't come back! Belle's comment about it all starting with a diet is especially thought-provoking. I think she recently posted a longer and more thought-provoking comment on someone else's blog in the past day or two, but I'll be darned if I can find it now.

Now what else is this blog supposed to be about? Oh, that's right … knitting! I have been doing a little bit lately. During race training, I could think of little other than running. It's nice to be not-so-obsessed for a change! A baby shower loometh in just three weeks, and I have a couple little gift projects to complete. Made good progress on one of them yesterday. I also am making a simple little top-down cardigan for the baby which is turning out rather large. I think I'll put it away for Christmas. Besides, a North Carolina newborn making her appearance in July isn't going to need a sweater of any kind!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Lessee … where do we start?

Thanks for your opinions about fudge bars and obesity as a mental illness. What a combo, eh? You never know what you'll find when you drop by here!

I think I have tried all the frozen-dessert options at one time or another. [PQ, I think Popsicle and Fudgsicle are the same brand.] I've also tried the Kroger store brand [blech!], so was surprised that Denise liked the Publix brand better than all the big names. We don't have Publix here in the Middle of Nowhere, but next time I'm in Nashville I'll pick some up.

Oh, how I wish I were one of those who doesn't care for chocolate. As I've, ahem, aged, I find I don't neeeeeeed it like I used to. [Add that to the list of post-menopausal advantages.] I actually like citrusy flavors better than fudge. But on a hot, hot day, a frozen fudge bar hits the spot. Jonathan, I promise to try the WW brand again, and hope I can limit it to one serving.

As for the obesity-as-a-mental-illness issue, I'm on the fence. Overeaters Anonymous has applied group therapy principles to the problem of compulsive overeating for many years, but success rates are hard to come by. I'm fundamentally opposed to the "pill for every ill" path the pharmaceutical companies want us to travel. There's a place for medication as a way to treat disease, of course. But not every condition or feeling or issue needs to be treated with drug therapy.

We frequently overeat as a response to boredom, stress or depression. Is the overeating the illness, or is the boredome/stress/depression the real problem? For which condition do we seek treatment? Most antidepressant medications list weight gain as a side effect; how helpful would it be to be treated for depression and see your weight continue to rise?

I've experienced a major depressive episode – serious enough for hospitalization – once in my life. Upon admission, my doctor prescribed something which made me feel flat – no highs, no lows, no happy, no sad. I never refilled the prescription, preferring to feel something rather than nothing.

I guess I need to think more about this. I wouldn't want to be unsympathetic to anyone experiencing a true mental disorder. But there is much to be said for feeling one's feelings, working through a problem and coming out on the other side stronger, capable and empowered.

Thanks, PQ and Grumpy, for defining my weight-training method. Pyramid! Of course! I should be able to remember that, as it's roughly my body shape, as well. It went well yesterday; a big advantage of pyramid training [if you're trying to burn calories lifting weights] is that it takes longer than just hoisting a set of dumbbells for two sets of 12 reps. Heh.

Anonymous [tg] wanted to know what my post-race workout program looks like. I'm weight-training two days a week [Tuesdays and Fridays] this month, and plan to add a third day next month. I'm running four days a week: four-miles on Monday and Thursday, six on Wednesday and eight on Saturday. Since this week was supposed to be more restful, I didn't do a six-miler, but I plan to do eight today.

I'd like to run between 20 and 25 miles a week this summer, and then start race training again in August. Remember the other day when I said I'd probably do a half-marathon in Huntington, WV, in November? Well, I think I've changed my mind already. My son lives in the Triangle area of North Carolina and found out that Raleigh is resurrecting their City of Oaks Marathon, and offering a half-marathon distance as well. It's the same day as the Huntington race. Decisions, decisions. The tipping point, of course, is that I'll have a new granddaughter to visit in North Carolina. Is there any doubt where I'll be going?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Just what I always wanted

Yarn with Vanna White's picture on the label.


Friday Quote Day

"It is impossible to win the race
unless you venture to run,

impossible to win the victory
unless you dare to battle."

~ Richard M. DeVos

One last reference to the half-marathon. I couldn't resist; I've been saving it for the first Friday Quote Day post-race.

That quote is so pertinent to so many things we weight-loss bloggers struggle with. How many times have we tossed the "what happens if I quit" ball around? Do we accept the status quo or keep plugging away? If we stop [eating healthfully, exercising, attending meetings, journaling, add your own] or start [eating sugar, skipping breakfast, cutting out workouts], will we undo all we've done?

This is a battle, but just as you can't cross the finish line unless you cross the starting line, you can't attain a healthy weight by wishing it were so.

I might print that quote out great big and put it on the bulletin board on the wall behind my desk. Right next to my finisher's medal.

So. Jonathan has thrown down the gauntlet, claiming the Weight Watchers frozen fudge bar is better than my favorite from Healthy Choice. What say you? I was going to create one of those fancy-dancy web polls, but all that HTML stuff isn't really necessary.

Here are your choices; place your vote in a comment:

  • Weight Watchers Giant Fudge Bar
  • Healthy Choice Fudge Bar
  • Fudgsicle Low-Fat Fudge Bar
  • Blue Bunny Health Smart Fudge Bar
  • Skinny Cow No-Sugar Fudge Bar
  • Klondike Slim-a-Bear Fudge Bar

WS mentioned yesterday that in 16 months she's never used her oven. Believe me, if I'm cooking for one I don't go around throwing spinach lasagna together. This is my husband's new favorite dinner, and since he eats out frequently [because his work requires travel] I'm only too happy to make something he requests when he's home. It's really not that hard to do, though. Just kinda messy. And I definitely take advantage of pre-shredded mozzarella and sauce from a jar.

Ran four miles again yesterday, in about the same time as Wednesday. It's great to just run, with no speed goal in mind, but I do like to keep track. Today is a weight-training day. I bought another set of dumbbells, 8 pounds. I'm going to do the dumbbell moves with three sets of weights today, going from light to heavy and back to light. I know there's a name for that but I can't remember it now. I'll be going from 4 to 8 to 12 to 8 to 4. I suppose I could do the same thing with the bench moves, but I'm too lazy to get up and add more plates to the barbell and the other attachments on the bench.

That's kinda funny, actually. Here I go, working out with weights, but don't want to spend any extra effort rearranging plates. Sheesh.

Not to get political or anything, but what do y'all think of this?

On a personal note, happy birthday to my daughter! On May 4, 1970, while the National Guard was on alert in Ohio, I was in labor, about to have my first child. She's an important and valuable part of my life. I know she wouldn't be if it weren't for the gift of sobriety. And quitting smoking. Heh.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

On the road again

I feel like a kindergartener. [And is there any better way to feel, all enthusiasm and joy and anticipation?] My workout calendar has three stars on it already – gold for weight-training, red for walking and blue for … ta-dah … running!

I seriously didn't think I'd run again until Saturday or Sunday, but I started out at a fast walk yesterday up the first hill on my road and just couldn't help myself at the crest. I ran almost the entire remainder of the four-mile route. My son-in-law has already started running again; perhaps I don't want him to outdo me. Heh. But it doesn't seem to have hurt me physically, and it certainly helps mentally. I can almost feel those little endorphins running around my system.

I crossed off each of yesterday's three meals on my menu calendar and the only extras I ate were two Healthy Choice Fudge Bars – those things are da bomb when you want some chocolate. They seriously don't taste healthy at all.

Mr. Shrinking Knitter has requested spinach lasagna for dinner, so I'll throw that together this morning and then probably head to a Major Shopping Vicinity about an hour away from here to pick up a part for the lawnmower. This part was replaced last year around July 4; hard to believe it would fail so soon. Part of the yard has been mowed; the remainder looks like a hayfield.

And the water pump is once again delivering "fizzy" water, so I need to call the guy who installed it just a week ago to see what's up with that.

I think I want to move to a condo.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Time to knuckle down

All right. This blog is called the Shrinking Knitter for a reason. I started it as a way to stay accountable and get support while I was losing weight, and to talk about knitting once in a while. Hmmmm. For the past four months it's been about running.

I thought when I started the blog that I would forevermore be a fitness walker. That was okay, but I do love to run and I'm glad to know I still can. Barring injury, I should be able to keep on running for many more years.

So it's time to use running as a weight-loss tool, along with weight training and nutrition.

In order to continue running for fitness, I'll need to eat good, clean carbs – whole grains, vegetables and fruit. I got pretty sloppy with food as race day approached, although it didn't do any damage. I'm the same weight today I was in January.

Hey! I can maintain! Heh.

In order to build muscle, I'll need to eat high-quality protein – chicken, tuna, Boca Burgers [we love Boca Burgers around here!], etc. I wasn't as sloppy with protein as I was with carbs, but there's always room for improvement.

Jonathan commented the other day that all the little things I did consistently led me to the finish line. Since he said that, I've been trying to pinpoint what some of those things were.

I'm going to use my Mac's calendar application to create a workout schedule that I can print out. As each day's activity is completed, I'll cross it off or put a star on it. Doing that was very helpful as I trained for the half-marathon.

Since it works so well for exercise, I'm going to do some menu planning as well. The YOAD idea of eating the same breakfast and lunch is a good one. I'm okay with Shredded Wheat or Fiber One, skim milk and fruit for breakfast. [I'll go back to steel-cut oats when it gets cold again.]
I also like yogurt/fruit/skim milk smoothies. I need to keep fresh salad greens on hand, along with chicken strips, tuna and low-fat cheese for lunch.

I want to have a vegetarian meal at least once a week for dinner, and won't have any trouble coming up with ideas for that, or for the rest of the week, for that matter. The YOAD book and the internet are both rich sources of dinner menus, as long as I'm willing to use them.

I've been very sloppy about eating in the evening. I'm not sure when I picked this habit up – I never used to do it, but I was able to justify an evening snack because I knew I'd be running the next morning. I'm going to start breaking that habit tonight, by brushing my teeth as soon as I'm finished with dinner. I'm not hungry in the evening; it's just a bad habit.

The goal for race training was to cross the finish line. It would be great if I could set a weight-loss goal and have it happen simply by eating cleanly and exercising consistently. But if you've been here a while, you know I've been there, done that. I guess the reward has to be simply stacking one good day on top of another. I think it will result in a few more pounds lost, but I don't dare put A Number out there.

I lifted weights yesterday and feel deliciously sore this morning. I did two sets of 12 reps of several different moves, some on the bench and some [curls, squats, kickbacks] not. I tried to use the same go-get-'em mindset with the weight training that I used with running. Today I'm going to run/walk four miles on my good old mountain road. I can't wait to get out there and pick up the pace again! My knee was fine yesterday and feels perfectly normal today.

I guess what I learned most during the race training was how capable I really am. [I'm getting a little teary!] And I'm not done.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

What's next? That is the question.

First, once again I want to thank everyone for all the great comments. If you're thinking you don't get enough comment love on your blog, go out and run a race. Heh.

Lots of those comments are coming via DietGirl, 'cause she put me in her sidebar! Thanks, Shauna!

Reading your messages brings all the excitement back again, which is a good thing today. According to the Penguin, who wrote the book that gave me the confidence to undertake this endeavor, the third day post-race is probably the toughest. You're back to normal life, you're probably still in some pain, you're not training, there's no carrot on a stick dangling in front of you. It's. Just. You.

Mr. Shrinking Knitter was here yesterday to help ease the transition from spending the weekend with my daughter and her family and 30,000 of my closest running buddies. But he's gone today and it's just me and the dogs and the mop and the lawnmower.

The thrill is gone. Heh.

I'll answer a couple of comments about the future, and then I need to get back to Normal Life.

Jeannie wanted to know how many miles I was going to do this week; ws remarked on the fact that as soon as I hit the finish line I was planning next year's strategy, and
Mariah asked, "What's next?"

I was rather surprised at myself that I'm sooooo going to do this again. I remember after Lainey finished her first half she said she was so over long-distance running. [But not running! Oh, no, she's already training to be part of a relay team for the Edinburgh Marathon!] I really loved the discipline of training, the excitement of race day, the sense of accomplishment when I finished. Nothing I've ever done – ever – has made me feel the same. And being the kind of girl whose favorite drink was More, I think More Races are inevitable.

John "the Penguin" Bingham says in the book that if you're older than 40 you need twice as many days to recover as the number of miles you've just run. That means 26 days, but it doesn't mean a month-long slugfest. I walked almost two miles yesterday with Mr. Shrinking Knitter. I'll walk again tomorrow and Friday, hopefully for four miles each day, and start running again next week, if my knees feel okay. Today and Thursday I'll start a serious weight-training program, eventually adding a third day. M@rla, I'll be in my garage, thinking of you! It's not so gloomy and awful with the door open. [I can't help but think of Kevin Spacey in American Beauty when I lift weights in my garage. And my favorite line from that film? "I rule!"]

I usually wear patella straps when I run, but I forgot them for the race. No harm done, but after a short, leisurely walk yesterday my right knee was very painful. I need to remember I'm 55, fercryin'outloud! It feels perfectly fine this morning, no "clicking" sound when I bend it and no tenderness or pain going up or down stairs.

Next will be another half in the fall, probably in Huntington, WV, in November. I don't relish training in the summer, but early mornings are cool here even in August, so all I'll have to do is rearrange my blog-writing schedule and get used to busting my ass at 6 a.m. instead of sitting on it. I also want to find some 5- and 10K races around here this summer.

Y'all have been great ... I couldn't have done it without you. And now, we return you to your regular progamming.