Monday, May 31, 2010

Word Wonderings...

Okay, so another one hit me upside the head this last week. I was just about to throw away this jotted note of observations (observations which merely demonstrate I truly have so little to worry about - and I am thinkful for that).

The wonder words today are...victim/victor. I find it appropriate they do not end the same.

PS: Memorial Day is a thing of the past (get it? get it?). Pray for peace.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Deep Thoughts

Anagram that has me thinking: sacred and scared. Why is it that they are not even closely related yet made of the same materials?

(I'm smart, I'm pretty and gosh darn, people like me. Hahaha, I love Jack Handey)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Quandary at the Bus Stop

I have so many great thoughts and questions, so many fresh observations while I'm standing at the bus stop. Why is it that when I actually get on the bus the ideas stay at the curb?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fascination with Bilbo Baggins

I'm re-reading The Hobbit after 30 plus years. The J.R. R. Tolkien sure knows how to tell a tale. Adventure is wonderful, even with the awful bits.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

While I Scrub the Tub

I have a tendency to clean the house when I'm angry. I fostered this outlet a couple decades ago. My homes have never been spotless - I take this as a good sign. Yes, I've been known to clean when I'm not angry. The point is that today as I was scrubbing the bathtub I realized this is an angry cleaning. It was brought home to me when I sat back on my haunches and pondered the fact that I am dressed for work already in a skirt; I had already done up the face and mascara bit and I had changed out of my work blouse into a t-shirt to clean the bathroom. I don't know, the whole picture looked wrong.

Here's the things I'm willing to admit out loud to being angry about (maybe seriously frustrated is a better word) - I'm frustrated that my daughter mopes (as if I didn't when I was that age). I'm frustrated to be going back to work when I am working on not having to go back to work. I am frustrated at having to go back to work at the place I am going to work (that may be my biggest frustration). I am frustrated that my daughter doesn't clean the house more. I am frustrated at having to tell her I want to use the computer - doesn't she read minds, and hey, why don't we have a computer for each of us. I am frustrated that my car is again wanting monetary attention - rear-brakes, either another battery or a starter (and I'm not looking forward to finding out which). I am frustrated at some other stuff that hurts my heart and my feelings but ya'll can use your imagination there.

I'd like to really minimize this all by saying I'm just tired. or impatient or whatever. Anyway, my bathroom is clean.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Packin' Ice

The hardest part about minor injuries for me is sitting still while ensconced in ice packs. It should be very nice and rather relaxing to sit with my feet up on the ottoman, towels wrapped around ziplock bags of ice and a couple of the blue refreezable pliant thingies put on the market just for injuries of this sort. But, I get thinking of all the things I would like to have nearby...a book, a notebook, a pen, a glass of water (or wine depending on how many times I've iced these things), I want the remotes for the TV and the DVD player, my phone, oh and the bluetooth (why do we put blueteeth into our ear - has anyone really addressed that? It's creepy...just so ya'know.). With all this stuff surrounding me, well it takes half an hour for me to get all situated for a simple twenty minute icing. If I were a cake...well then we would be talking about color and borders and piping in general, how many roses, will there be any writing on the cake. It would be more complicated and last all of about twenty minutes for that too.

Am I whining? No, not really. I am on ice though. I couldn't do it without a computer...duh.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Stumbling along the Way

The motivation for running this half-marathon was purely selfish. I had quit smoking in December. In January I saw the sign on the side of a city bus advertising training for the marathon in Seattle. It was synchronistic. It was a 'sign' that I could dust off a dream and run for it. So I am.

In the meantime (isn't there always an "in the meantime" to most stories?), this last month I broke my great record and had a smoke. So, yes, you've guessed it...another and another. While I am again struggling to get my feet back under me (because I am still running and farther and faster than ever before) and stop this horse-shit, I am struck with some new revelations that I didn't see coming.

When I go without cigarettes and my little occasional hacky cough goes away, and my complexion clears and my teeth respond to a little whitening I find myself opening to meeting new people and having more great experiences at a deeper level than I had before. The clearing was not just physical it was meta-physical as well. Life came to me, rather than me going toward life. I have become more outgoing in the last few years. I was rewarded here, since not smoking, by life coming to me. It has been the reward of clearing the space within me (clearing my lungs was just the physical reward) to allow the something out there to fill the space. I haven't just met people, I've made friends. I found that I felt more complete, more thankful, more insightful than previously.

Maybe it is all still internal. But, before I lose the headway I feel I've gained I again am setting a fresh determination to finish this year out without a cigarette. Not just a day or three as I have in the last month...but another 245 days or so left to my original goal. I have bigger things to achieve than kicking the butt of this measly problem. It appears though that kicking this butt is a major paving stone to the road I actually meant to be traveling. Having now been on that road for three and a half months I know the side street I've taken is not the road I meant to be on. That other road, the cleaner more direct path, is just up at this intersection...I've got a map now. My turn signal is on. - - - Side note: the easy route is never really that easy after all.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Motivation & the Good Run

This evening was a good run. I ran a full 50 minutes, made it to the library and back. Last time I did this route it took an hour. I'm motivated to be stronger, faster than so far. For starters, I ran the hill. The hill is early in the run from my house. Last time I speed-walked the hill. I'm supposed to warm up easy for the first 10 minutes or so. I did run it "easy" but I still ran. I was already at the top of this hill by the time my timer beeped 15 minutes of running. This is good. I walked the prescried two mintues and was ready to run when the timer beeped again. By then I was on flat land and was able to elongate my stride. Nowhere today was I running slow enough to carry a conversation. And getting air into my lungs seemed more labored than I had anticipated, but I kept at it.

Tomorrow is supposed to be a rest day. No running. I have tomorrow off work so my plan is to run in the morning and rest for the rest of the day. Saturday is the team run. It's only 90 minutes this week (130 minutes last week). I don't want to be left behind anymore. I understand that by pushing myself I get stronger. I was happy to just be running before. But after two team runs that left me feeling less than stellar I see it is important to push myself when I am not with the team as much as I push myself when I am with the team. The work needs to be done behind the scenes if I am going to be able to step up to the plate with the confidence I felt going into this. As much as working my body, I've got a mind game to work out too.

I had no idea what I was getting into. And still, I'm glad to be here.


It's not the running that hurts, or takes an inordinate amount of time. It's the recovery that hurts and goes on seemingly all day.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Marathon Madness #13

It dawned on me today why the run on Saturday was so incredibly hard. I didn't eat well prior to the run, I didn't bring any water with me, and I had mentally prepared for a run about a third less than what was being called for.

Yesterday and today I've started in on a strength training program for my back and my legs. Poor posture really screws with a good run. Stronger legs just help for all the obvious reasons. I'm no athlete - although it was a funny comment from a friend - but I'm sure sounding pretty one track lately. Marathon is in 7 weeks or so. So, stick with me here for a bit. I don't know what the next chapter is yet. I'm totally ensconced in this one.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Kind 'o Sunday

Regardless of any intentional holiday here - I just had a great Sunday. I woke up in time for my favorite Sunday morning show, was treated to a great buffet size breakfast,washed the truck with K, spent the afternoon at the beach soaking up the vitamin D and stopped at the craft store so I can play with paper (and with any luck glue my fingers together) and I'm on track for an hour of yoga yet this evening. I'm feeling back on track with the bigger picture - training, health, projects, dreams - all that goofy stuff.

Saturday was good too, for that matter. I ran for a little over two hours. (You know that would not have happened had I not had my pacing buddy with me. It let me know how I truly needed to get back on track.) I stood in freezing water until I hurt or was numb or both; and spent the rest of the day recouperating - also called watching movies (Charlie Wilson's War is a good one).

I would do this weekend over again. It was one of those normal, mudane, unexceptional yet perfect weekends. I like these.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Marathon Madness #12

Really it is madness. I am not alone with the aches a pains that have surfaced since I've started running with the team. I know this because the newsletter had a lovely piece about how to go about taking an ice bath.

This is the stuff we get in our weekly "pep" talk online...

Here’s the deal: during those long training sessions you’re asking a lot from all the muscles in your legs. It’s true that direct icing in certain areas is beneficial, but full immersion has a much deeper and longer lasting effect. When you’re in the ice bath, the cold restricts the blood vessels and in turn reduces the swelling. It’s like a massage from the inside. Once you’re out of the bath and your muscles begin to warm up, the blood delivers fresh oxygen to your muscles aiding in a faster recovery.

The following steps can make the experience one that is less traumatic. First, don’t try to face down a bath full of ice water; it will make it nearly impossible for you to get in the tub. Next, prepare yourself. Leave your workout clothes on and get yourself a nice warm jacket and hat, a cup of something warm (like hot chocolate) to drink, and your favorite reading material. Then, get in without any water and then start filling the tub with cold water and gradually pour the ice (2-3 bags) over your legs. The level of the water should cover your legs and come up to your hips. Stay in the tub for 10-15 minutes. Afterwards make sure you let all your friends know how tough you have become.

Lucky for you your coaches have made this a much more sociable event. Most of the remaining Saturday practices are at locations where we can hop in the water after training. Don’t forget your towel and sandals!!

Your Coaches,
I am astounded at how this is definitely a social event. I am amazed that I run longer when I have someone to pace with. So, I am standing in the frigid waters of the Northwest...all I can say is, I'm not alone.
But I am waving!

Really it is madness.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Creative Endeavors

I didn't make it to the unemployment offices after all. At least not today. Happy Cinco De Mayo. I ate Taquitos and called it a celebration. At least I'm up with the times.

I picked up a dining table through (I love that service). In true fashion is it already covered with a project rather than a tablecloth and candlesticks. I'm a greeting card maker today. Between scouring the internet for ideas to pilfer and reviewing the materials I have to work with I'm wearing a path in the carpeting from my desk to the table. I've already vacuumed the living room so alll the bits of paper that fall to the floor since this afternoon will probably be there for a week. The theme for the greeting cards is Celebrating More Birthdays. It's another fund raising endeavor.

This is the year of the fund raiser. Besides running the marathon to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society I am also doing the Relay for Life to help out the American Cancer Society. Some years it's just good to get involved.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Between contracts

Between contracts - that's code for unemployed right now.

I've decided for Wednesday to go to WorkForce or whatever the unemployment offices are called and sit at their computers and talk to people there. I feel that I have nothing more to offer the contracting agency that I have been working through for the last year...and she has nothing but that one employer to offer me. Making the leap and getting hired on permanent at that one employer is er...difficult and/or undesirable.

I've not been to an unemployment office before...ever. I'm actually a little curious what they could say there. So many of today's population are affected by the "Unenjoyment Office" whether they go to the physical offices or not. I wanna go check it out. I'll always feel I've missed an opportunity to be a part of the larger populace if I don't go. (Yes, I'm one sick puppy)

Report tomorrow. No promises on how interesting this is.