Monday, December 29, 2008

A Time for Reflection

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed any and all Holidays that you celebrated. My Christmas was amazing, spent some time with great friends and my great family. And for those I was unable to spend time with, for whatever the reasons may have been, they were all in my heart and mind as they always are!

So now as 2008 comes to a close it seems inevitable that it also brings with it a time to sit back and reflect upon the past 365 days and all that has happened...and as I begin this process I realize how grateful I am for all that this year has provided! I began 2008 in such a different mind set and just overwhelmed with sadness and grief...I thought I had it together, but in looking back I was just basically lost. And slowly, as the year progressed, I began to find myself again. There is still much progress to be made, but isn't that what life and living is all about anyway? -- Goals and progress, self-awareness and then remembering to be truly grateful for all that is bestowed upon us! I like to believe that I have always been thankful of the things in my life, but learning to be truly Grateful and not just thankful, that is the one greatest gift I have received this year. There is such a difference between being conscious of a benefit received and being appreciative of benefits received.

So to those of you out there who read this and especially to those who comment (Frank, Elizabeth) -- I am grateful for the time you take to catch up on what is going on in my little life, and the comments provide more encouragement than I think you could ever even begin to imagine. Thank You!

Now for some running updates, since it's been a couple of weeks... Still not running, and still waiting for orthotics to come in, was hopeful that I could start running January 1st but it appears as that is being set back a bit further. But that is ok, it will all happen in time!! So, until the actual "running" starts up again I continue my new appreciation for the elliptical machine.

12/15 - 4 miles
12/16 - off
12/17 - 4 miles, 1 hour training session with trainer-Steve
12/18 - cardio workout with trainer-Steve - 1 mile on stepper; 2 miles on elliptical; 4 miles on bike
12/19 - 3 miles
12/20 - 4 miles, 1 hour training session with trainer-Steve
12/21 - off
Totals for the week - 17 miles elliptical; 1 mile stepper; 4 miles bike

12/22 - 6.10 miles
12/23 - off
12/24 - 7.42 miles, 1 hour training session with trainer-Steve
12/25 - off
12/26 - 6.00 miles with trainer-Steve by my side -- got on scale at gym and have gained 4 pounds, which puts me 7 pounds from my goal set for January 3rd.
12/27 - 6.83 miles, training session moved to Monday 12/29
12/28 - 6.25 miles with trainer-Steve by my side again, also got in .9 miles walking on the treadmill
Totals for the week - 32.60 elliptical; .9 treadmill/walking

Hope you all have a safe and joyous New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Just Passing Time and Getting By...and how many days til Christmas!!?!?!

Not much going on over here and yet there is so much happening.

Still waiting on the orthotics to come in, and my estimated return to running is still around abouts the first of the year. I can not even imagine how much slower I will be, but I do know how great it is going to feel to run again! Am finally waking up and not limping around for the first couple of hours of the day, but still feeling the pains by the end of the day. I have tried keeping up with the elliptical use but my mileage isn't where I'd like it to be; some days my legs are just so dead...

12/08 - 3.70 miles
12/09 - skipped, woke up super tired and sleep won over
12/10 - 3.50 miles after one hour session with trainer-Steve (lots and lots of ab work!!)
12/11 - 4.14 miles side-by-side with Steve, having the competition was great
12/12 - 4.00 miles
12/13 - 4.00 miles after 45-minute session with trainer-Steve
12/14 - off - Christmas shopping!!!!

19.37 miles for the week

And now for the other parts of my life....

The 12th was our office 'Consolidation Fest' - it was bringing the two County Boards that are being consolidated on July 1st together so that staff could start to meet each other. I know this isn't easy for staff from either location, especially knowing about the staff cuts that come with the consolidated Boards. All-in-all it was not a terrible afternoon, the food was good and we all laughed a little, and lets face it these decisions are all beyond our control at this point so there is no point in stressing over it all... it's either start looking for a new job and get out now OR wait and see what happens once the dust has settled! I have finally decided on the later, and am actually quite comfortable with it (most of the time) since I am hoping that there are at least two positions I could be placed in, I feel my chances are on the plus side of 50/50. However, that being said...the 18th is the Board Meeting where the Executive Director will be named and obviously that may change my somewhat easygoing attitude towards all this -- but again, that's Thursday, this is only Tuesday and there's plenty of work to be dealt with in the here and now.

Christmas has somehow crept up on me and is now only, what, 9 days away.... I have shopping to finish (and some to even start) as well as a very small get together planned for this Sunday to prepare for... I had toyed with not decorating this year, but a very good friend convinced me otherwise, so basically Santa came and threw-up in my house again this year leaving his little Santa/Christmas-sy remnants everywhere. I still have not picked up a tree. I have a great pre-lit tree that I bought about 4 years ago that I love, but here's a question for ya -- what happens when the lights decide to stop working?, which is what happened last Christmas and I've changed fuses, checked bulbs and have no clue what the deal is and last year ended up having to put lights on tree (which was no fun). So anyhow, I decided a real live tree would be great to have, I haven't had a live tree since moving into my house (6 years now), maybe it was more fun when I had them in the apartment when I wasn't supposed to?, I don't know...anyhow, with guests coming by this weekend if I'm getting a tree I better do it pretty darn soon! tick-tock

I hope everyone is having a great time and enjoying this current snow-free zone we are experiencing here in Cleveland -- we all know it'll be here by the shovels full soon enough!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What Doesn't Kill You...

Had a podiatrist appointment on December 1st and x-rays were taken and my left foot was taped up... I was back in the doctor's office on the 5th getting my feet molded for orthotic inserts and Yes, there is a bone spur (albeit a small one) on my left heel. Wonderful. The doctor is hopeful that after the inserts come in (in about 2 weeks) and some break in time (about 1 week), that I should be able to start getting back into running. So 2 weeks + 1 week = crossed fingers that I can start back running by either the end of the year or in the New Year! -- presumptuous to look for a 5k for New Year's Day?! lol, maybe a little.

So since the current situation dictates "minimal to no impact" I guess the elliptical machines will become my new best friends at the gym. yippee. And here's the totals for the past week:

12/01 - 4.68 miles
12/02 - 3.57 miles
12/03 - 3.03 miles; 1 hour training session with trainer-Steve
12/04 - off
12/05 - 3.37 miles
12/06 - 3.00 miles; 1 hour training session with trainer-Steve
12/07 - off
17.65 miles for the week -- need to get those numbers up!

So December 6th would mark my halfway point from when my new target weight goal was set and the target completion date. Now, this whole fitness thing and signing up with trainer-Steve has never been about the number on the scale, it was about getting in shape and feeling better; but after reaching that first goal, I've been pretty excited about reaching this new number and I know with my vacation and the Holiday's in between that it wouldn't be the easiest and so I am trying to keep myself in check by not getting hung up on the "number"... so that being said, I got on the gym scale on the 3rd (just to get an idea of how I had fared through New Orleans and Thanksgiving) and I was down 6 more pounds! Which puts me right on target. Now it's just staying motivated and getting through the Christmas lunches, dinners and parties (we just had boxes of chocolate delivered to the office!!!), there's 4 weeks and 6 more pounds to get through...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monthly totals

So here's what I ran for the rest of November...

11/10 - 5.00 miles treadmill
11/11 - 5.40 miles treadmill
11/12 - 3.10 miles treadmill - session with trainer-Steve
11/13 - 3.00 miles treadmill
11/14 - 4.00 miles treadmill (now granted this was all walking due to my left heel, but I'm counting it anyways!)
11/15 - 3.36 miles elliptical - session with trainer-Steve
11/16 - off - signed up for New Orleans 5k, bought new shoes

Total for week - 23.86

11/17 - 5.00 miles treadmill - morning
2.00 miles outside - evening
11/18 - off - unscheduled off day, up late night before watching the Browns
11/19 - 5.00 miles treadmill
11/20 - 5.00 miles treadmill
11/21 - 5.00 miles treadmill
11/22 - off - travel, trip to New Orleans
11/23 - 3.1 Ole Man River 5k

Total for week - 25.10

11/24 - off - travel, back from New Orleans :(
11/25 - off - left foot/heel hurts to put weight on; think the 4-5 hours walking around after the 5k really took its toll...crap...
11/26 - 9.50 miles bike - session with trainer-Steve (first session in 11 days)
11/27 - 5.00 miles bike, before heading out for turkey at my sisters had to skip the turkey run in Avon due to heel issues
11/28 - 3.75 miles elliptical, back was tightening up and it felt good to be moving
4.00 miles bike
11/29 - 4.60 miles elliptical
11/30 - off

Total for week - 18.50 miles bike; 8.60 miles elliptical

Totals for month (adding elliptical and running together):

week ending 11/02 - 21.40
week ending 11/09 - 24.00
week ending 11/16 - 23.86
week ending 11/23 - 25.10
week ending 11/30 - 8.60
** 102.96 TOTAL **

Hopefully the rest and stretching will help clear up the plantar fasciitis soon... Bypassing the Reindeer Run this Saturday (unless of course if everything miraculously feels better come Saturday morning -- hey one can always hope!)

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Time for Thanks

Again, it's been a while since I've posted. The training sessions with trainer-Steve are moving along well and up until last weekend I'd really improved on my consistency with eating and hitting my daily calories. I'm trying to avoid getting on a scale until my goal date of January 3rd but it's difficult, maybe next week when I'm at my halfway point...but so far it's worked if I just focus on the workouts and not so much the number on the scale.

Last weekend I was in New Orleans for a couple of days; what a great, fun place to visit. Got into town Saturday around 3:00 and had a show to see that started at 7:30 so not a lot of tome for seeing much. Sunday morning I ran a 5k and then spent the rest of the day walking the town, watching the Browns stink things up and eating. Before I new it, it was Monday morning and time to head home.

A couple of weeks ago when I decided to increase my weekly running goals, plantar fasciitis set in on my left foot. But an evening of icing and a day off here or there seemed to keep things in check...until New Orleans. Apparently running the 5k and then walking around for about 4 hours, yeah not so good! Needless to say it's been a slow week of recovery and the injured foot has we to some back issues and I haven't run now since the race and have a podiatrist appointment on Monday.

As for the 5k, it's nice run somewhere completely unfamiliar. The race was in a new location this year and the course was in a region that was slightly hit by Katrina. And other than one or two boarded up homes, the recovery process was moving along. The stadium that we had started and ended the race at had just celebrated its reopening. The course was mostly flat and I had hopes to run a quicker race, but with my foot issues I guess I can not really complain.

Monday, November 10, 2008

56 days

With the exception of a few work issues, it was a Great week! I started off positive knowing I'd hit my weekly mileage goal the previous week and then deciding to play hokey mid-week helped some more.

11/03 - 4.5 miles
11/04 - 3.5 miles -- gym time cut short, wanted to vote before work - only took 13 minutes
11/05 - 7.0 miles -- split this up, 5 miles then an additional 2 miles just for fun!
Took the day off work (mental health day, sorely needed!); beautiful day out got all of my yard work done!
11/06 - 0.0 miles -- session with trainer-Steve, took day off from running having issues with sore feet, painful left heel and tender right shin.
11/07- 4.0 miles
11/08 -5.0 miles on elliptical
11/09 - off

Totals for week - 24 miles

Got weighed and measured on Saturday the 8th, it's been just over 5 months since I started working out with trainer-Steve. This is a couple weeks past due on my targeted goal date, but I was in no hurry to remind trainer-Steve, since I absolutely dread getting on the scale and being measured. BUT, I tried to approach it this time with a more positive attitude (key word there being "tried"). First thing was the scale...ok, now I KNOW I'm down almost 3 sizes from where I was when I started so I don't really know why I don't look forward to this part but I don't...I missed my target weight by 2 pounds! (dang it), total lost 33 lbs (yes, I need to focus on the 33 lost not the pesky 2 that I missed). Next came the body fat count and the body fat is down 10% - AWESOME! (this is down a whole 5% from just 8 weeks ago), and total inches I don't remember because I was really happy with that body fat percentage, I forgot to grab my print out with all the numbers on it so I will have to get that from him.

Finally, since my target date has come and gone it means that it is time to set a new goal. My intention was another 5 lbs; trainer-Steve's intention was another 10 lbs. -- which would take me to a weight that I probably haven't been at for at least 13 years and even then I don't think I was there for very long, and I explained this to trainer-Steve and how I felt that number might not be realistic. However, as per usual, trainer-Steve stuck with his intentions and then informed me that the target date for this goal is January 3rd! What?!?! Is he nuts?

I was really fretting about this new targeted goal and date. 12 lbs in 8 weeks. I just was not confident that I would ever be able to drop a pound and a half a week. Then, I did some math. My last time I was weighed was 59 days earlier and in that time I lost 10 lbs... hmmm, my new target date is 56 days away and it's only an additional 2 lbs that I need to drop. It's been 24 weeks since I started up with trainer-Steve -- 24 weeks and 33 lbs, that's 1.38 lbs/week on average. Crap. This is do-able, isn't it? I mean since my last weigh in I'd dropped my calories and really focused on eating better than I had during the summer months, but although I've been doing much better I still miss the mark about 40-50% of the time. If I start hitting that mark consistently, I can do this!

So here it 56 day challenge is on! And a challenge it may be with New Orleans in less than 2 weeks, then Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. But I've come such a long way in these 24 weeks, there's no turning back now!

Upcoming races: November 22nd - Ole Man River 5k in New Orleans; November 27th - Turkey Dash 5k in Avon; December 6th - Reindeer Run 5k in Lakewood.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getting Caught Up...again

Side note observation: apparently having the iPhone isn't helping me keep my blog updated...will try to do better in the upcoming weeks...

When last I left off I had decided to start adding up how many miles I am logging each week, with the hopes of this to motivate me to do more, go father, get stronger, be faster! Since I usually take Sunday's off I was adding up my hours basically from Monday through Saturday but now the last couple of Sunday's I've been tossing in some running to try and help to hit the 20 mile mark -- I know, it is a far far cry from some of the 50 and 100 mile weeks some people do but hey, it's a beginning!! So to recap (and since I've changed my weeks to end on Sunday's) here's what I've done since the beginning of October:

week ending 10/05 - 14.65
week ending 10/12 - 12.79
week ending 10/19 - 15.62
week ending 10/26 - 23.65
Total for the month - 66.71

week ending 11/02 - 21.40

So all-in-all not too bad and about where I am wanting to start this all out at.

Other quick notes, I ran a 5k back on October 26th out in Amherst and even though side-stitches once again plagued me around the 2 mile mark I was able to finish in 32:36... which is a PR for this year, and only 1.5 seconds off of a PR since I started running last year.

Future races -- there is one in Euclid next Saturday that I am thinking about running with a cousin, but it that fall through then I may not run another race until I am in New Orleans on the 22nd.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Weekend is here and Setting Goals

Why do the short work weeks always feel like they are twice as long as they are?...

Other than clearly not getting enough sleep lately (4 or 5 hours is just not cutting it!) and missing the gym twice, it has actually been a pretty good week and looking back it appears as though I made the most of the three workouts that I was able to get in.

10/13 - (recapped) skipped gym due to knee issues and a tender back
10/14 - barely got in 4 hours of sleep due to staying up to watch that awesome Browns game (seriously, who the hell was that team out there in our uniforms playing? and clearly that could not have really really been DA -- maybe Quinn was trying out his Halloween costume?...lets just hope they bring it again this week). Anywho... with little sleep in the system, no energy and a little crabby I headed to the gym. Put in 4 miles on the treadmill and felt 100% better and cheerier when done.
10/15 - got a whopping 5 hours of sleep and had a kick-butt session with trainer-Steve. I was completely exhausted when my hour was up but managed to get in 3.6 miles on the treadmill.
10/16 - skipped gym, another night of sleep deprivation but somehow managed to get in 5 hours and just not enough energy to hit the gym for a workout or a run.
10/17 - just 4 hours of sleep, went and watched G play hockey and didn't get home until 11pm, then took me a whole hour+ to fall asleep. Managed to wake up energized though and headed to the gym -- treadmill - 5.27 miles!

Okay, so this is sorta big for me here. Since the month of October has started I have been toying around with starting to set more goals with my running. Currently my goal is something like, "...just get your butt up in the morning and try to pretend you are a runner". But the thing is, I don't think I want to keep pretending, I think I really want to be a real runner. A couple weeks back my friend G and I were talking about running and how much he hates it and how he thinks of me as a "runner"...I liked the way that sounded and felt. So, I have been toying with this idea of setting more concrete goals. I was looking at what I've done so far for the month of October:

week ending 10/04 - 14.65 miles for the week
week ending 10/11 - 12.79 miles for the week
week ending 10/18 - 12.87 miles for the week so far...

This morning trainer-Steve told me that he has the time from 6-7am open tomorrow and asked if I wanted to come in and run with him, granted it's more treadmill work but again I really think it's helping me to understand what pacing feels like and to know where my heart rate is and all that jazz. SO, I am heading to the gym to run with Steve at 6am tomorrow and then having my training session with him at 8am. If it's a good day I am hoping to put in another 5 miles (again...i am takes me about an hour to crank out 5 miles) which would put me at 17.87 miles for the week -- this would be the most miles ever for me... like as in first time EVER in the 41 years I have been on this earth. And here's the accountant in me coming out maybe, I am sort of wanting to round that off to an even 20, I mean that'd only be another 2.13 miles right?... Hmmmm.... that would mean 7.13 miles, ok today's 5 miles is only the 2nd time I've ever run that far, I am just not sure I am going to pull out the extra and then still be able to move to get through my training session (lol)... Ok, so I will plan for the 5 miles tomorrow (fingers and toes crossed -- well maybe just fingers, it'd be tough to run with the toes crossed) and then just sort of see what happens...

Ok, well, it appears as though I have just set a minor goal.

Now to think about a mileage goal for next week...
"hmmmm, how many miles..." it looks like I've given myself something to think about on my run tomorrow.

Happy Friday and Happy Weekend!!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Getting Caught Up and Finally Becoming a "Cool Kid"...

Ok, let me start with the last thing first -- I am now the proud owner of an iPhone! And for someone who knows nothing about computers (more about that later) and does not adapt well to changes (my old phone was only 2 years old, and was only the 2nd (or maybe 3rd) cell phone I have owned in about 8-9 years) this is just the COOLEST thing in the world. Ok, well maybe I am just a big dweeb and need to get a real life.


Anyway, now that I have a cool iPhone, I will have no excuses for not updating my blog...unless of course if it is because I am doing something with my iPhone!

Now, in my defense for not updating for more than two weeks, ok well it's not really a valid defense plan...I accidentally clicked on some pop-up and flooded my computer with crap, and messages saying I'd done terrible awful things to my computer and if I'd just click some more I could download programs for mere $$$ to fix the problems I caused by clicking in the first place.... aaaaggghhh... so I immediately shut everything down and did what needed to be done, I texted G and told him in a panic that I thought I'd totally screwed up my computer. THANKFULLY G is a great, awesome, terrific, patient and just my bestest friend EEVER!!!! So, he came over early on a Sunday and installed programs to make it all better -- thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! (I so wish the extent of my computer knowledge was more than knowing how to turn the thing on.)

So with that breaking news out of the way lets get back to things... so, where did I leave off in this blog...oh yeah, I was sick -- well I have finally kicked that mess, took probably about a good 2 weeks plus a day or two to finally get that thing out of my system (and just think the cold/flu season is just beginning!).

On the exercise front... still working out with trainer-Steve at least twice a week and I've re-signed for additional sessions that should take me through mid-January. I am almost at my initial weight goal and since nothing is ever good enough for myself I figured it is time now to set new goals and seriously get motivated!

Running... I've been running a lot on the treadmill and completed another 5k. I've even been out running with G twice now and wouldn't mind making this a weekly thing, but we will see how that goes and for now I'll just take what I can get.

9/27 - training session (fairly easy, still recovering for cold)
9/28 - woke up feeling crappy again, took the day off from working out
9/29 - training session (hard); treadmill - 3.75 miles
9/30 - treadmill - 3.8 miles; deep-deep tissue massage in the afternoon (awesome)
10/01 - training session; treadmill - 4 miles
10/02 - off
10/03 - training session (hard); elliptical machine - 2.6 miles (first time ever)

10/04 - Nature's Bin 5k, Lakewood - 32:54; ran pretty consistent in first two miles, but a side stitch crept up just before the 2 mile mark and I had to stop a couple of time to walk and try to stretch it out. Was hoping for a better time especially since this course is completely flat, but am not complaining since it's my 2nd best 5k time (best time for this year though). Decided while running that I will probably do the Pumpkin Race 5k on the 26th.
10/05 - Dad's birthday, he'd of been 82 today -- love him and miss him still every single day!!! G was over today to help me with my computer woes then we went out for a 3.1 mile run...just what I needed to help me get my head straight for the day!
10/06 - treadmill - 3.6 miles; abs
10/07 - off; sister Linda's birthday!!...happy bday sis, I Love Ya (even if I never mailed out your cards).
10/08 - training session; elliptical - 2.1miles
10/09 - treadmill - 1.8 miles (running really late, but figured some time is better than no time)
10/10 - treadmill - 2.45 miles

10/11 - training session; treadmill - 1.88 miles; run with G - about 1.75 miles
10/12 - off; Apple Butter festival in Burton with my Mom, walked for 1 3/4 hours.
10/13 - off; knee was really hurting yesterday and woke up with back pains today, despite wanting to run today was advised to take the extra day to rest and make sure the knee and back are ok.

The circle of life continues... I am so pleased and happy to welcome Michael into our family; my niece Miranda who lives in San Diego got married on Saturday, October 11th!! I hope they both know we thought of them often that day!! We also received the very very happy news that Miranda is pregnant! and so our family continues to grow -- I am positive that my brother John is looking down from heaven above and pleased as can be in his little girl!! I am so sorry though that he won't be here to become a grandpa...

And just one final note - Way To Go at Chicago Frank! Frank finished in just 3:07!!!! I can not even imagine...Congrats again!!

Now it's time for dinner and wait for the Giants vs. Browns game to start! Let's go Browns!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Early Morning Ramblings

It's 6:38am and I've been up and awake now for about two and a half hours, about an hour and a half until I need to be at the gym for trainer-Steve... My sleeping lately has been so messed up, as if being sick isn't bad enough. It then takes me about a week to get back into any semblance of a "normal" sleep routine unless of course a bout of insomnia hits (which it does about 90% of the time for me after being sick).

There really is no update to provide since last Saturday's 5k, but it's early, I'm awake and therefore I shall talk...

I woke up Sunday morning with a sore throat and it has all pretty much gone downhill since then. Pretty much just laid around on Sunday, watched what I believe was supposed to be an NFL game between the Browns and the Ravens -- I don't need to go into that, I'm pretty sure we've ALL got the same or at least similar opinions there... I'm seriously considering a boycott on football this year (ok, ok, not really serious about that, I don't really think I could do it anyhow, I mean IT'S FOOTBALL, the only reason I look forward to summer being almost over every year, I mean really who could survive a true boycott of such an awesome spectator sport! Go Browns. Go Bucks. Go Irish).

Monday and Tuesday I stayed home from work, medicated myself and slept.

Ventured to work on Wednesday, but couldn't make it through the whole day. Went home, medicated myself and slept more.

Thursday I felt much better, no really I felt great (as long as you didn't listen to me talk or pay any attention to the coughing) and even headed to the gym, but trainer-Steve immediately put a kibosh on those plans and sent me home (I really didn't get why...). I headed to work, honestly believing I was better, to what turned out to be an 11-hour work day! -- The last 4 hours spent in meetings where the major topic of conversation revolved around our impending merger, er, um I mean "c-o-n-s-o-l-i-d-a-t-i-o-n" yes, yes because THAT sounds so much better and makes this whole friggin' process easy and carefree, just one big happy family, it's not "them-against-us" it's improving upon two separate and distinct already establish processes, it's for the good of the general public, it's... oh, um, ok...I digress, um, as I was saying -- it turned out to be an 11-hour work day.

Needless to say, Friday morning I woke up with a sore throat, slight fever and coughing. It was a short workday so I ventured in, but was glad when 2:00pm rolled around and I could head back home to my sofa and blanket where I caught up on some missed TV action. Was supposed to go out with a girlfriend, but just wasn't really up to the bar-scene, so I opted out there. Completely forgot about the debate being on and instead watched E.T. Classic movie, and yes I still cried at the end...I'm such a sucker! But from what I've heard, I probably made the better choice in watching a classic.

So, that brings us around to this morning. I am feeling ok, but am leery about it. There's been minimal coughing, throat feels good, temp where it should be, sinuses a little stuffy but nothing really any worst than any other given day. I guess we'll see how the day progresses. Mom and I don't have a lot on the agenda for today, pretty much just hanging out locally, doing a little shopping, and grabbing a bite to eat somewhere (I'd like something a little different, but not sure what...) Talked with trainer-Steve already this morning (yes, already, at like 5:20am, ugh-morning people, i just don't get 'em!) and he's given me a green light to come on in today for a session. Since it's been a whole week since I've had a workout he says we'll ease into it today, but then I'm scheduled for Monday-Wednesday-Friday next week and he's already telling me that we're going to hit it hard. Which I am actually looking forward to. Ever since the back issues started and then going through the treatments, we've been unable to get in any good, hard, kick-your-butt sessions and then to have three in a week (oh I foresee lots of lunges and plank positions in my future) and then a 5k next Saturday morning....yeah-baby, that's what I'm talking about, let's bring it on!!

So of the many topics that trainer-Steve and I have been having is my nutrition. I've been keeping a diary of what I'm eating and when for several months now and I've improved my eating habits dramatically, with the minor exceptions of cook outs (but I've gotten better as the summer progressed) and being sick (I crave salt and vinegar chips and milkshakes when I have a cold... I know, but cravings rarely make sense, and well shouldn't you pamper yourself when you're sick?). The biggest issue I am having is my protein intake, so I guess my next step is to maybe plan out my meals more than I do now. Typically I go shopping, buy miscellaneous groceries and then I like to create whatever when it comes time to make dinner. There isn't always a lot of rhyme or reason to what I buy as far as for a specific dinner. I think where I'm lacking most though is in the lunchtime arena (I still tend to skip lunches sometimes). So since I'm a list-freak anyhow, I guess I need to start pre-planning my meals and start trying to stick with that.

Ok, time to finish the tea grab some p.b. toast and head out to the gym.

Have a great week-end y'all and chat soon! Later-bye.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Run For The Cheetah and Mums

I've been wanting to get in a 5k this month, so last night I decided that I would get up this morning to head to the Cleveland Zoo for the first Run For The Cheetah 5k run and walk. Now, I haven't been to the zoo in probably about 6 or 7 years, but I've been there enough times to remember that there's a fairly good sized hill that I would have to contend with and hills are not my friends! It appears as though running hills really agitates my back issues...but for some reason I just really wanted to do this race. -- I guess it's my way of trying to convince myself that 1) yes I am a runner and 2) my back is fine.

Well of course, when I woke up this morning my back was not feeling great...see, this just goes to show what the sub-conscious can do to you! I talked with both trainer-Steve and G prior to the race and they both basically gave me the same advice, "put the thought of pain in your back OUT of your mind", and to be honest, once I started running my focus changed to finding my place in the pack and who I might try to pace myself with and my back never became an issue during the race -- but I digress... So I got up this morning, talked with trainer-Steve and G and waited around for my Mom to show up, which she did right on time at about 7:30am. My Mom really enjoys coming to the races and it also gets her out of the house a little more and it's really convenient since she gets to hang on to all my crap I bring and all the stuff ya get at races - so, if you ever see me at a race fell free to drop your stuff off with my Mom, she really won't mind, lol.

We got to the zoo at about 7:50am and I got myself registered and we walked around a little, went to the Lion exhibit since they are my favorites (they weren't up yet), and milled around waiting for it to be time to start the race. Finally, time to line up and listen to the few instructions they had to announce. Now, I hadn't really thought much about the course other than I knew I'd have to face a hill. Well what's one of the first things I hear " you'll be running the course twice..." me, to myself: "HUH?, sh*t, that means the hill Twice! Aggghh. Ok, well I'm here, I've paid, I guess I'm going up that hill twice." With that the race was off... Now again it has been a while since I was at the zoo and as we rounded a corner I noticed the incline ahead and thought "ok, there it is, let's go"...and I ran it..."woo hoo, hmmm, that wasn't soo bad, maybe my memory of the hill was off?"...around another corner, and another... "oh crap, HERE's the hill I remembered, hmmm, I don't remember there being two hills, ok, I ran that first one, I can do this one, ok, there's a turn ahead and it'll level off...omg, it's not leveling off, it's not going downhill, it's going UP." Needless to say, I did not run the entire second hill, figured I'd save myself since I knew I'd be coming this way

I was finishing the first lap I hear lots of cheering and yelling and look around and see 2nd place overall runner is finishing the race...nothing like a nice gently reminder of how slow I am, LOL. Made it through the 2nd round of the course and ended up walking both hills (dang it). Had allot of kick left in me by the end of the race and I know it probably looks silly to those who have completed the race many minutes before me to have someone actually try to kick it in at the end of the race, but even though I am slow, it's still MY race. I finished in about 35 1/2 minutes, clock time (race wasn't chip timed, so in my mind I am going to think that I was maybe closer to 34 or 34 1/2 minutes). All-in-all not so bad considering I walked the hills. And if they deem this 1st year for the race a success (which I think they will), I will definitely be back next year!

Once the race was done and the awards handed out, and the raffle drawing was complete my Mom and I walked around the zoo for a little while. Mom couldn't handle the hills so we left out around 11:00. Once I got cleaned up and changed we then headed down to Barberton for its Mum Festival and spent a couple of hours there walking around and enjoying an absolutely beautiful day.

Since my last update:
9/18, Thursday - had some great "venting" time with trainer-Steve but that didn't leave much time for the treadmill, but managed to squeak out 2 1/2 miles.

9/28, Friday - session with trainer-Steve followed by 2.5 miles on the treadmill.

9/29, Saturday - Run For The Cheetah 5k, walk around Barberton at the Mum Festival.

Next race is the Nature's Bin 5k on October 4th!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Margarita Tuesday

Happy Mexican Independence Day aka Margarita Tuesday!

Now, for a quick recap on running and working out:

9/08 - Monday - 62 minutes on the treadmill (yes i posted this last time, but i am really really excited about getting in that much time). Final spinal block.

9/09 - Tuesday - got to the gym and stretched out, back still achy from injections so headed out for coffee and and a rainy walk in a nearby park with trainer-Steve. I have really come to cherish some of these times that we spend talking.

9/10 - Wednesday - training session, time to be poked and prodded and measured and weighed (ugh, i so do not enjoy these days). Overall, in the approximate 14/15 weeks I've been working out with trainer-Steve i am down 23 pounds and about 6% in body fat. All-in-all it is a good thing, I know this and I am truly truly pleased, especially considering the back issues I've been dealing with for about 5 weeks...just always wish it was more.

9/11 - Thursday - training session, did a good mix of upper and lower body.

9/12 - Friday - on treadmill for 40 minutes. About 11:30am, Thursday's workout lunges caught up with me big time (major

9/13 - Saturday - training session, one of the best workouts I've had in a long time, back was feeling great and my legs were still tired from Thursday, but trainer-Steve didn't seem to care (are all personal trainers this sadistic?), walking out of the gym to my car was a challenge.

9/14 - Sunday - skipped gym - walked around the Yankee Peddler with my Mom for about 3 hours.

9/15 - Monday - skipped gym - overslept when power went out overnight.

9/16 - Tuesday - treadmill for 55 minutes.

Now, to deviate from the exercise:
Saturday night went to Blossom with my friend G to see the Montgomery Gentry/Toby Keith concert (which I have been waiting for since April) and it was AWESOME. I stood, danced and sang the entire 3 hours...sorry G hope it wasn't too embarrassing, but if it was you should have joined me! - lol. YeeHaw. Thank you so much for going to all the country concerts with me this summer, I had a blast.

In regards to some previous posts about forgiveness and old friends... as i indicated previously I held some anger towards this person for not being there when my brother and father passed, and their coming back into my life was a challenge I was not certain I was up for. As it turns out, it may have been just what I needed as in the process I was able to find some forgiveness for myself and put some additional closure to the grieving process I am enduring.

Still trying to decide if I'm heading up to Put-in-Bay for an annual trip with friends in two weeks. It's a trip that I have been making for probably 8, maybe 9 or more years with my friend E and her beau R. I really enjoy these trips (sometimes too much -- or at least that's what the pictures seem to reveal, lol), so I hate to pass on it. But I've been watching what I eat and drink and with paying for trainer-Steve (who doesn't come cheap) and keeping my fingers crossed for a possible trip in November to New Orleans, I am not sure about the putting up the money to head to the island this year.... Oh, what to do, what to do...

I have also been kicking around the idea of when I should look for a running group to join, I know I am not ready for that yet since I have just gotten myself barely past the 3-mile mark for running, but I am thinking ahead and trying to set my goals for the fall and winter months. So how far and how fast do I need to go to be able to join a group and not be the one always lagging behind and running alone... Maybe I should make sure my back is going to hold up first?, nah, what fun would that be?...

Thursday, September 11, 2008


It is difficult to believe that it has been 7 years already and yet it is amazing how well I can vividly recall so many factors about that day in such detail...not thinking much of hearing about the first plane other than it being a tragic accident, learning about the plane that was hijacked right above me in downtown Cleveland as I stressed out about work and deadlines and then practically having to be escorted out of the building when we were told to evacuate because I wanted to stay in the quiet empty office to "get the job done" and then getting home and turning on the tv and coming to the slow realization of what was actually unfolding before us. Trying to make sure all my family was safe and secure in their homes, and the phone lines being completely tied up. And then the feeling of watching the first tower fall....and then the second. The looks on the peoples faces... How quiet it was with no planes overhead; and then walking up the hill to work and seeing my first plane in the sky again and just stopping and staring in awe, as if I'd never seen a plane before and the stranger stopped beside me doing the same thing and then the two of us looking at each other for reassurance that it was ok to see a plane in the sky.

I am sorry to admit that I have again been so busy with work deadlines, that it wasn't until I actually really looked at my calendar this morning that I honestly realized that TODAY was/is 9/11. But I have not forgotten the feeling of how proud I felt to be an American in those following days, and the immense love, appreciation and admiration that I felt and will always feel towards all the families who lost loved ones, to the men and women digging through the rubble, to all the policemen and firemen, and to the men and women serving for us here and overseas. To all the people on that day, and every day before then and every day since...the words of "Thank You" just do not seem to be good enough, but for lack of better words - Thank You, for having that special something to put your life on the lines for me, for us everyday of your lives!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Happy September!

September is upon us, and I've just realized that it's been over two weeks since my last update.

8/23, Saturday - training session with Steve, he made me face my fear of treadmill running head on and I go in 30 minutes walking and running, with the focus on getting me to feel comfortable on it and not focusing on distance....yet. This was followed by being stretched out, which was fabulous!

8/24, Sunday - woke up frustrated with some back pain, skipped the gym since I knew I was heading to the Lorain County fair with my Mom, sister and bro-in-law. Walked at the fair for 4 hours.

8/25, Monday - lots of stretching and ab work, walked on the track. Chickened out of using treadmill and headed to Cahoon Park for a run. Spinal block on right side, didn't hurt near as bad as first round of shots.

8/26, Tuesday - training session with Steve, back felt a little achy at injection sites but overall felt great, did lots of leg work today.

8/27, Wednesday - lots of stretching then hit the treadmill for 40 minutes; got in just over 3 miles in warm up, run and cool down.

8/28, Thursday - stretching and abs, didn't feel well headed home after 1/2 an hour and went back to bed for about an hour before heading to work.

8/29, Friday (would have been brother John's 58th b-day) - skipped work out, had chiro appt -- still recommend everyone go at least once. Brad Paisley concert at Blossom, great concert and only got hit with about 10 minutes of rain!

8/30, Saturday - training session with Steve, lots of stretching and upper body work, back bothered me at very end of session.

8/31, Sunday - skip gym, Geauga County fair with my Mom...walked for about 3 hours was really really really bad and had a deep-friend twinkie with strawberries on top (heaven), hadn't had one in about 6 years, it was worth the wait!

9/01, Monday - skipped gym, went into work for about 3+ hours (yes i went into work on Labor Day, that is just wrong!), had my Mom over for a cook-out and grilled lots of veggies on the grill (mmmmmm...)

9/02, Tuesday - skipped gym again, three days in a row in NOT good but had a nice chat with trainer Steve in the morning. Busy at work right now and a little stressed, worked late.

9/03, Wednesday - friend G's bday!! - training session with Steve, back has been bothersome (think it's work stress related) did lots to loosen up back. chiro appt before work. Left work on-time and went out to dinner with G for his bday, Red Lobster all you eat shrimp...that is just wrong, good, but wrong.

9/04, Thursday - treadmill at gym for about 43 minutes, hips were extremely tight so followed up with lots of stretching. Worked late again.

9/05, Friday (brother Dale's bday) - training session with Steve, upper body work. Just was not in a good place today mentally, struggled with everything all day. Work was a pain, and ended up staying late....again.

9/06, Saturday - skipped gym, left early to head down to the OSU vs. OU game! Go Bucks!!

9/07, Sunday - skipped gym, headed to the Fairport Harbor Perchfest with my Mom, got in maybe about an hours worth of walking. Watched the dismal Browns game...but being optimistic that SOMEHOW they'll pull it together for next weeks game against the Steelers.

9/08, Monday - have final spinal block session (left side today) at 9am so headed to the gym to get in a good run in case I have to skip tomorrow; got on the treadmill for 62 minutes and felt awesome!, about 13 minutes was spent walking between warm up, cool down, and once for water. Spent lots of time stretching, working calves and abs ended up at the gym for over 2 hours...what a great start to the morning! Final spinal block session went ok, in some discomfort this evening but will hopefully subside by morning and I'll be able to head back to the gym for another run!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Long Slow Week

Not really much going on since the 5k last Sunday:

Monday - had some back issues so avoided the gym and running.

Tuesday - still having back issues, but walked about 3 miles before work.

Wednesday - worked out with Steve (my trainer) and focused A LOT on legs (still feeling it some, two days later!).

Thursday - had intentions on running. Was supposed to meet up with Steve, but his knee was acting up, so headed out alone to the park we run at but only one car was at the park and i just didn't have a good feeling -- had a minor incident running there before that had freaked me out a little but I hadn't been alone that time -- so anyhow, i turned the car around and headed to the gym and focused on stretching and then did lots of abs!, followed by more stretching and some walking.

Friday - feeling Wednesday's workout more than I did on Friday, and woke up with a head ache so opted out of running again plus had no one to run with so back to the gym for a repeat of my Thursday workout focusing on stretching and abs.

AND, since my back issues weren't as sever after the 5k I am really wanting to do another one next month, just have to find one now.... any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I also go for my second spinal block on Monday morning, not looking forward to that again but am looking forward to seeing what the doc has to say and how the pictures compare from the first one (wish me luck).

Happy Friday to all and here's hoping for Awesome weekends for everyone!!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Run, Jane, Run

Didn't really do much most of the week after having the spinal block on Monday. Wednesday, I had my morning session with Steve. Needless to say I was REALLY apprehensive to do much of anything, I was just really worried about my back. Steve took it easy with me and we went slow through the stretches and the workout and it felt great to get in a workout and work up a bit of a sweat!

On Friday (My Birthday), I had my 2nd weekly session with Steve. He had me do a ton of stretching and then informed me we were going out for a short run and that he'd cancelled his 6am appointment. So off we went to this nice little 1/2 mile course, it was a little cool and the sun hadn't come up yet. We walked the course once, did some stretching and then off we went... I took it really easy and kept going over my checklist in my head: back, feels good; feet, feel good; shins, feel good ; back, still feels good; overall legs, feel strong; breathing, a little heavy need to calm down; back, still feels great. I must have repeated this checklist 20 times during the 1/2 mile run. Steve knew I was tense and nervous about running so every now and then he'd ask how i felt and then remind me to checkout the sunrise over Lake Erie. Before I knew it we were done with the 1/2 mile run and we walked the course once more. I was thrilled, everything felt great and I had done it! Yes, it's just a half mile...but it was MY half mile and I wasn't in pain, and my back felt fine! What a GREAT way to start my birthday off! Saw my chiro and told him about my little jaunt and he thought that was great and told me to just play it by ear on Sunday. Was supposed to call my pain mgmt doc to give him an update of how I felt and see if he gave me the go ahead to run on Sunday, thought about it at 8:30am (office not open yet) and then remembered again at 4:45pm (oops, a little to late).

Saturday involved lots of recovery from my birthday celebration on Friday night. As I laid in bed I thought about how a nice little run would feel great and would be a good way to get the blood flowing, but as I rolled over I felt it, my back had tightened up. Obviously not going for a run so I took it easy for the day and eventually my back felt better but there were moments throughout the day that there was the slightest twinge of something.

This morning was the day I've been waiting for, the Run, Jane, Run 5k/10k down at Edgewater Park to benefit Women's Center of Greater Cleveland. Rolled out of bed around 6:30am to try and be ready by the time my Mom showed up at 7:00am. Headed to Edgewater around 7:30am and still wasn't sure what I was going to do. Finally by 8:15am I decided I was going to run (ok, guess I really knew all along that I was going to run...not sure why I put myself through the agony of even toying with the idea of just walking the course). I ran the first mile in 10:03 and that took me to the base of the hill (obviously not a great time, but actually about my normal speed). Decided to try running as much of hill as possible since it was after the hill last time that my back gave out. I made it not quite half way, but I did turn it on strong at the base and passed about 6 folks along the way...suppose if I'd just maintained a steady pace I might have made it up the whole thing. Once to the top I ran until the water station, walked through that and walked while sipping my water before dumping the rest of it around my neck and down my back. Felt great and kept a good speed going down the hill until a side stitch kicked in and I found myself walking yet again, about this time my back knotted up a little so I stepped off to the side and stretched out for a few minutes and was given some great motivational "almost there's" by a few of the other runners so decided to get back to it! Stopped two more times to walk (argh) and then decided to just push myself through to the end since it wasn't my back causing me to stop, just overall fatigue from not having been out running for a couple of weeks. Teamed up with another gal who'd been walking some also and we both agreed we weren't fond of the finishing part that was in the grass. Asked her if she had any kick left in her, she said yes and off we went but she then decided she didn't have the sprint in her and finished off jogging in. Two other girls who were running must of heard my heavy breathing as I was sprinting and they moved off to the side a little (thanks girls!) and I sprinted my way through the gate...that felt great too! The first place 10k guy had just finished before me and was there to say thanks for all my cheering out on the course (yeah considering I saw the guy three different times during the course - LOL), he congratulated me on a strong finish which I found funny, but appreciated it all the same! Not certain of my final time I think it was around 35 or 36 minutes. My back is a little sore, but am resting it up and going to hit it with some ice. But I did it! I finished! And more importantly I remember how much I love the atmosphere of running a race -- even if I am not at the front of the pack or even the middle of the pack, I am still competing and I am still out there giving it my ALL; and there is no greater feeling than that!

Monday, August 11, 2008


Here's the latest...

Sunday the 3rd. With finally hitting 3 miles again, somewhat comfortably even though there was still some walking I decided to take my run outside to get used to the pavement and temperatures again. So I headed down to Edgewater Park for a nice 3 mile run to see how it'd feel to not only be outside but to attempt that awful hill that I've been seeing in my sleep. I figured I'd hit this run on Sunday the 3rd, Thursday the 7th, Sunday 10th, Thursday the 14th and then be ready for the 5k there on Sunday the 17th -- pretty good plan, right? HA. So I ran the race route and even managed to make it halfway up the hill, then finished the hill walking. Once at the top I resumed running but felt a twang in my back. Now with most of my back issues I've been able to keep up the running and then the back issues just sort of work themselves out. Not this time though, I ran about 3 minutes before I had to stop and walk and stretch out my back some. Things felt a little better so I resumed the run again but suddenly found myself alternating running and walking for about three minutes each. I finished the 5k course in under 38 minutes -- which considering my goal is to finish in under 40 wasn't so terrible after all even with all the walking. Little did I know that this slight bit of running joy would be my last for a while... As I headed home I noticed my back twang had turned into more of back spasms and by the time I got home I was unable to move my left leg to get it out of the car --- hmmm, well this can't be good can it? --- so between deep relaxing breathes and what was becoming a slow steady stream of tears I sat in my car for close to 20 minutes before I was able to get out. So into the house I went and got myself to the sofa where I pretty much stayed unable to move for close to 2 hours. Slowly the spasms calmed and I was able to crawl my way upstairs and gingerly get into a HOT shower and then onto my bed for about another half hour. Then once I started moving things felt a little better.

Monday the 4th, was grueling and between my back pains and a funeral to attend (Aunt Adele you were always the sweetest, you will be missed), I decided to not venture into work and sleep and rest and watch movies as much as possible. Went to the chiro and he took x-rays and suggested I visit a pain management specialist who specializes in spinal issues.

Tuesday the 5th, was a little less painful, actually it felt as though someone had spent a few hours kicking me in my back non-stop, I ventured into usual 7 minute walk from my parking lot to the office took me almost 20 minutes! After much self-debate and encouragement from G, I called and made an appointment with the pain mgmt doc for Friday. Cancelled my personal training session for Wednesday morning.

Wednesday the 6th, was weird, after a difficult nights sleep due to my back I woke up feeling great and almost wishing I hadn't cancelled my session but figured a day's rest might be good. Went into see the chiro and get results from the x-rays. He suggested I keep my appointment for Friday and to be prepared to be told I wouldn't be able to run my 5k -- but really, my back was feeling great...ok, yes I know what makes sense but most of what I do in life doesn't make sense.

Thursday the 7th, even less back pain then Wednesday and hit the gym for a training session. We took it easy so as to not irritate or do much rotation with the spine. Then Steve and I headed out for iced coffees and a trip to a little park with a pier to watch some of the sunrise and to just talk about life... In spite of the pains and such it was a beautiful way to start a morning -- I am working on keeping positive, but let me tell you something about stopping your day and your life for a moment to watch the sun rise is an AWESOME reminder of how great it is to be alive!

Friday the 8th, made it to my doc appointment and was told that an MRI wouldn't be scheduled for right away and that a spinal block should be able to help point him in the direction of where my treatment needs to take me. So, I scheduled the spinal block for Monday the 11th.

A spinal block...I have never had this done before but let me tell you the thoughts of needles in my spine, just couldn't imagine it being much of a good time.

Saturday the 9th, another easy workout at the gym with Steve. Then off to spend the day with my Mom we hit a farmer's market and then Trader Joe's and lunch at Herb's in Rocky River then back to my house to catch some Olympics updates. Was a very nice day.

Sunday the 10th, knowing my spinal block was only a day away and the fact that my back wasn't really bothering me I so wanted to go for a run...but alas, maybe my better judgement or the haunting words from friends drifting in and out of my every thought kept me from running. Headed off to spend another day with my Mom and we headed out to Valley City for their annual Frog Jumping Event and then onto Medina for a craft even they had going on in the square and followed that up with a very nice lunch at Miss Molly's Tea Room.

Monday the 11th. Spinal Block day. For those of you who have not had the "pleasure" of going through this experience and wonder if it hurts. Yes. Yes it hurts. Ok, well actually the first two injections were just that, they felt like getting a shot with a long needle. Then came the third injection -- ouuuuuuuch. Ok, we were done with the right side, not so bad (but mind you the majority of my pain IS NOT on the right side). Onto the left side. First needle, think I may have actually yelped a little...and the conversation went something like this: the doc, "did that hurt?... me, "um, Yeah I Felt IT"...doc, "You know why that hurt?"... me, "Yes, because you just stuck a needle in my spine!"... doc, "That is where your problem is"... me quietly to myself, "NO SHIT". Second shot, not so bad. Third shot, I felt my reflexes kick into my left leg and think my entire body jolted up off the table: the doc, "did that hurt?", "YES, THAT HURT". The doc's preliminary diagnosis, "arthritis and no running... me, "oh, ok I can't run the 5k on Sunday, ok well I can just walk it then"... the doc, "no more running".... me, "WHAT?, you mean never? But (long pause) what???"... the doc, "why do you want to run, it bad for knees", "because I like to, it makes me feel better"... at this point both the tech and the doc stop what they are doing and just stared at, "ok, well other than this current back thing it makes me feel better". At this point the doc sent me out of the room into a recovery room and I just sat there completely dazed. After a few moments he came over and asked me about running and I told him I need to run, I may not be fast or run for long but I need to run. After some hesitation on his part he told me to call him Friday and let him know how I am doing and he'll decide if I can give it a try on Sunday, but if not he will come up with a plan for me to run....eventually.

I go back in two weeks on the 25th for my 2nd set of shots and then depending on how things go, possibly a 3rd set two weeks after that.

There is so much going through my mind right now...damn a run would feel great about now, just help sort some of it that somewhat ironic or what...anyhow all I can say is --- Ugh... and try to remain positive.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Trying My Hardest to Staying Positive and Motivated

It's August 1st. I mean it is August. Already?! What happened to my summer, how is it that August is here already? Wasn't it just May or June...and July how did thirty-one days get past me so quickly? Does time really go by quicker as we get older? And speaking of older, my birthday is in just two-weeks! I've had a rough time with my birthdays the last couple (2, 3, 6, 10) years but, as of today, I'm not totally freaking out about it...

So I have been working on this whole "The Secret" concept and trying to clear my thinking and focusing on happy thoughts. I've always described myself as a optimistic pessimist (lol), so the whole happy thought concept is really a lot for me to embrace and I may be reading the book for the second time in less than two weeks but I am trying really really hard to make this change in my life. I actually think this is the first time in my 40 years that I've actually embraced making a change like this. I have had a few ups and downs in the last couple of weeks, but it really is amazing how I can relate it all back to what I was focusing on.

On the running/workout front I have also had some ups and downs, but focusing on the happy thoughts I will only report on the Had my measurements taken on July 26th, which marks 2 months with my trainer Steve. My numbers all decreased (yeah), the pounds not quite as much as I had really hoped (actually the weight didn't go down hardly anything - 4 lbs) but I lost inches and I can notice it in my clothes and that is what I am going to focus on! My body fat is also down by another 4.75%, which is huge for me. I also got in 3 miles on Monday and Tuesday of this week (July 28th and 29th), which is Awesome, especially since my 5k is just over 2 weeks away (August 17th - yikes). Had a sore knee after my training session on Wednesday so skipped any workout on Thursday and then slept in on Friday morning and didn't make it to the gym again. BUT, tomorrow I am back on my game, I am not going to beat myself up over missing, I will just have to work my ass-off to make up for the couple of missed days. I am going to start running outside for a couple of days next week to get used to it again in preparation for the 17th.

Chiropractor update - still in love! Go see a chiropractor, it is awesome!! Am actually done with my sessions but asked the doc if we could schedule a few more appts to just check on stuff after I start running on pavement next week. My back feels GREAT.

Other miscellaneous stuff -- still working on letting go and in-line with the positive thinking and happy thoughts concept, I am working on just enjoying life and the people that have come into it and those that have come back into it as well. Still trying to figure out about second-chances....that one gets confusing to me still. Is it possible that Love lasts forever?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Long Overdue Update

Can't believe it's been two weeks since I've posted. So much and yet so little has happened in that time span...

Ok, well when last I wrote I had been having some pretty major back issues and had made an appointment with a chiropractor. Now, I have never been to one before but I've got to tell you if you have Ever thought of going have haven't yet -- WHAT are you waiting for, I'm telling you I am in love. It was/is AWESOME. I'm currently going twice a week and have had a total of five visits to date. I was pretty sore after one of the sessions but that is to be expected a little at the beginning; actually I think I felt so great after the session that I overdid it a bit and don't think that helped much. Anyhow, if you're having any back issues, what are you waiting for -- GO! And if you live on the west side of Cleveland contact me and I'll give you the name of my doctor, I'm telling you he's been a God-send! Anyhow I needed to take about a week off of running, or reduce my running...which when you're only running a mile or two reducing it by much pretty much means you're not running.

To summarize the running and working out it's been slow and only 3 weeks until the Run, Jane, Run 5k...ugh, it's going to be rough, but it's also going to be Great! I am really looking forward to being back in another 5k, even if my time is going to suck oh, and that hill at Edgewater...ok, not going to think about that right now am going to stick with the feeling of looking forward to being signed up for a 5k!! So far for the month of July I've only run 9 days, walked 1 day, had 7 personal training sessions and have skipped 7 days at the gym. Monday (7/21) is the last day I ran and I got in 2 1/4 miles with a little bit of walking intermingled in there. I've sort of set a goal in my head that if I can finish this 5k in 40 minutes I will be happy, under 40 would be awesome. (I know, I know people will be finishing the 10k in the same amount if not quicker and that is awesome for them; I am slow, I will in time get quicker, I may never get hardware but that doesn't make me any less competitive! I know you speedsters out there may not get that, but those of us at the end of the pack want it just as badly as you do!).

As for the rest of my has been good, I might even dare say it's been great! I've working a lot on forgiving and letting go, second chances, letting love in and learning how to re-direct my life path. Steve (my trainer) recommended an awesome book (yes I do say 'awesome' a lot don't I?!). If anyone is looking for a great read on figuring out your place with God, the Universe or whatever you want to call it, and wonder why your life sometimes takes turns your not sure of then I'd recommend getting 'The Secret'. I know it's been out for a while and if any of you are familiar with Dr. Wayne Dyer this book is the following the same philosophy. I am already looking forward to re-reading as well as putting it into practice! If you have already read it and ever wish to discuss it, let me know!

Ok, well there's the long and the short of it all. The underlying key is that I am staying positive, the minor set-backs and the slow start with my return to running will just make me stronger in the long run!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What Was I Thinking...

Ok that sentiment covers MANY MANY MANY aspects of my life currently, social, business, but the one instance I am talking about here is I signed up to run the Run Jane Run 5k for Women's Center of Greater Cleveland in the middle of August (and happens to be my birthday weekend!). Ironically this is the last run I participated in last year. So, I've got 5 weeks to get myself together....

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

That's what it's felt like lately with running, working out, and everything! It was just a week ago that I'd not only broken that awful 10 minute mile by 30 seconds but then followed that up by completing a 9:11 mile. I was totally thrilled! And then...

Well here's the breakdown of my running:

Wednesday - 1 1/2 miles in 17 minutes -- back to an 11 minute mile and minor left foot pain that prevented me from trying to make a go at 2 mile.

Thursday - off; went to see Tim McGraw Wednesday night and didn't get home and in bed until 1:30 am!

Friday - 1 1/2 miles in just under 15 minutes -- ok back to about a 10 minute mile. Right foot bothering me after first mile and then...a sharp stabbing pain under my left shoulder blade that hurt every time I'd take a breath. Decided to not push it for the final 1/2 mile.

Saturday - Personal Training session -- feet and back felt not bad when I woke up, decided to take another running break. Bought new running shoes!! Am certain that will heal ALL my pains!

Sunday - 2 miles in 19 1/2 minutes -- under 10 minutes. Woke up in the morning with feet hurting, tight calves, and pain (under the shoulder blade and lower back). Started off walking at the gym and then broke into a run. Everything felt great while running -- the new shoes must be MAGIC! But alas, late that night, the back pain returned with a vengeance.

Monday - 2 miles in 22 minutes -- i walked the last two laps, dang it if I would have just run it out I'd of been closer to 10 minutes. Felt back pain towards end of run.

Tuesday - 2 miles in 24 minutes -- ugh, I'm going the wrong way!! Debated skipping the gym due to how my back was feeling but it doesn't hurt for the most part when I'm running, it's just once I stop and try stretching that it all comes flaring back.

Wednesday (today) - Personal Training session -- the back was not happy, spent the better part of the first half of my session getting stretched out, which lasted until about 2:00pm. Steve insists I not run until I get to a chiropractor...found one right near my house (literally, like a block from my house) and they were able to get me in for this Friday.

So now the question is, for the next two days to run or not run? It is frustrating. I really want to be running, and honestly thought I'd be up past 3 miles a day by now and thought I'd be back running 5k's as well. I question if I will ever get there. I just don't know what the deal is. Why am I hitting this wall? Ugh! I want to run!! Really, I do. I don't know how to explain it, I feel great once I start and then I get to this point at around 1 1/2 miles where I just lose it and I start to fall apart, the running slows (as if that were even possible!) and then these last couple days at 2 miles, I am completely exhausted! No really, completely! I'm finding myself falling asleep during the day and just wanting to crawl into bed once I am home -- which I have been fighting doing but maybe I need to just listen to my body more and give in for a nice good loooong nights sleep.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Taking it slow

I've been consistent with getting to the gym daily, with the exception of Sunday -- but a day of rest is usually suggested anyway. My goal after last Wednesday was to get in at least 2 miles running on Thursday and Friday.

Thursday, I ran 2 miles in about 22 minutes.

Friday, I ran only 1 1/2 miles and didn't run them consistent...but I ran 1 mile in 10 minutes (yeah), walked a couple of laps then ran 1/2 mile in 5 minutes (double-yeah). Ok. I reached goal number one a 10 minute mile. I can't believe I actually did it, again I understand this isn't any great accomplishment to some, but for me, right now, it's something.

Saturday I had my one hour training time with Steve, and after there was no running, my feet were really sore...Steve says it sounds like the onset for plantar fasciitis and that I need to take a couple of days off from running. I need to get new shoes too, mine are pretty worn.

Sunday was an off day.

Monday, still feeling pretty sore from Saturday's workout so did lots of abs and lots of stretching. I ran, but only a mile...but I pushed myself more than I usually do when running and I got the mile in, in 9 1/2 minutes!! Walked a couple of laps and then did a real slow run for about 3 minutes, then followed it all up with more stretching. Shins, calves and feet felt pretty good.

Tuesday (today), had my hour with Steve since he'll be out of town tomorrow. Got to the gym early and walked a little, then decided to run - 1 mile in 9.11 -- YES. I am REALLY excited about this time; and again shins, calves and feet felt good. Spent some time stretching then did my hour with Steve -- he kicked my butt good again today, not looking forward to how this is going to feel when I get up tomorrow.

So, I may not be getting my miles up there...I'd like to be running a minimum of 3 miles each day, but I have gotten my time down way more than I had even begun to think about doing. New goal, keep on keeping on, take it slow as far as miles covered; push myself to get the mile time in and then take it real slow for a several minutes. Hmmm, I may actually get to a point where I'm going to have two different paces to run at, albeit s-l-o-w and extremely s---l---o---w, but it's still two different paces!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Personal Training update

The personal training workouts are moving along. As of today it has been one month since I started my sessions with Steve so today rather than working out I had the opportunity to get my self weighed and measured and pinched for body fat counts. Oh Yeah!

When I'd had my measurements and all done at the beginning I didn't ask to see them and didn't want to know, all I wanted to be told was after the next "check-up" if I'd improved. Now I did accidentally see my weight last time and that was fairly traumatic in itself (and was glad I didn't know the other numbers). So, following suit, I didn't want to know today either... I've already signed up for the additional sessions, he can see the numbers, he knows my goals, just work my ass of til I'm there (or my cash runs out). BUT, he had other plans, he shared. I've lost 7 pounds and a total of 6 inches. My body fat is still high, but Steve reassured me that in comparison to the Amer. Heart Assoc. I wasn't that far off from the "normal" range. Personally, I'm a little disgusted with my body fat count percent -- but then again 0% isn't a healthy percentage, body's need to have fat on them. Guess I have a few self image issues eh? lol, and if you knew me you'd know how true that is...

So after spending my hour of personal training time becoming frustrated... I went and ran! Tried to funnel my frustrations into pushing myself harder (which is something I've decided I am not doing enough of). I got in 2 miles and some good stretching time. Hopefully be able to match those 2 miles the next two days... I ran without the ipod again and it went well. Thinking of trying to go without it the next couple of days and see how it continues to go.

Dealing with Life in general

The reason behind this blog was to keep me in check with my workouts and my training and with trying to re-kindle my enjoyment of running. But, the things that happen in the rest of my life CLEARLY have an effect on my workouts and health habits (that and since nobody reads my blog, what difference does it really make what I write about on here... right? ok, well sort of right).

I think I'm living a page out of my life in bizarro world. Here's my thing... what's the statue of limitations on apologies?

If a situation occurs between two people and after the occurrence you have no contact or interactions of any sort with that person... Is it "ok" for that person to come out of the blue three years later and apologize? I have basically written this person off, they are no longer a part of my life and I have come to terms with it. Or at least I thought I had...

Does the situation change depending on the type of friend the person was; a life long/childhood friend, a co-worker friend, a boyfriend/girlfriend? I suppose the seriousness of the infraction plays a part, too, maybe.

Anyhow, I've had a blast from the past and had this other person come up out of the blue and apologize. The problem is, I am not certain of their intentions for this... (yes, I have trust issues on day-to-day basis but seriously not sure I can trust this person anymore after all that has happened). Now, lets say this person showed up two and a half years ago with this apology or even two years ago... I would have most likely jumped at the situation to make amends with this person. But so much has happened in my life in these three years...and I would have expected this person to be there for me during the times of my brother and Dad's illnesses. The truth is, this person wasn't there during my saddest darkest moments and I am not sure I can forgive that. Is that unfair? Selfish? or Human?


Friday, June 20, 2008

Running with demons

Been fighting lots or running demons and other internal demons alot over the past couple of weeks...I can't seem to run even a mile lately without just feeling exhausted and hyper-ventalating, been having some restless nights with out much sleep so I have slept in and skipped the gym more than I care to admit. Last night was a long evening, but a good one so that helped; went to see a midnight showing of the new "Get Smart" movie. By the time I dropped my friend off and then got myself home it was almost 3am...guess getting up at 4:15 to head to the gym wasn't going to happen! Woke up around 6 and decided that maybe I was in need of a good "mental health day" so I call into work, rolled over and went back to sleep.

I woke up about 9am...the kitties just couldn't wait for breakfast any longer!...checked my emails, had a quick breakfast, chatted with my friend who was on his way to Canada for the weekend and then headed out to the gym! Was a beautiful day out and thought about heading down to the park to run, but the mile markers aren't marked real well and I was afraid I'd give up too early. Besides, somewhere in my head I had decided that I was going to run 3 miles or 30 minutes today! Ok, now first off, I haven't run a solid non-stop 3 miles in probably about 10-12 months and second well with running about a 11-12 minute mile I sure wasn't going to get in those 3 miles in the 30 minutes...seriously, what the hell was I thinking?!?!

I got to the gym did some ab work then lots of stretching then onto the track to warm up and then run! As I walked the track to warm up those demons that have bugging me lately woke up and started chattering...they were some strong ones today. What was going to only be 3-4 lap walking warm-up turned into almost 20 minutes of walking and fighting with those demons. To top it all off i'd left my i-pod at home, usually the music lulls the demons back to sleep or I just turn it up louder to drown them out and I focus on getting through the next song...but today no music, just me and the demons! They reminded me of the weight I've gained and the clothes that don't fit that did last year, reminded me of the skittles and diet Coke I'd had at the movies last night, and how slow I am when I do run, they brought up work and that with the merger I could be out of a job within the next year, they even brought up personal relationships, they had no boundaries today... I kept trying to quiet them and rationalize with them telling them - I am at the gym, I am working out, I have my trainer, overall I am eating better, I have proved myself at my job and if/when one door closes another will open, I have at least one good friend and others who care about me. Then I glanced at the clock, 11:30 exactly, and for a brief moment I ignored everything else in my head and all i heard was "Run!".... And I did...I ran. I turned their taunts into conversations and then into debates...I was going to dispell their aweful ideas. Suddenly a couple other people , faster people, came up to the track to run and I wondered if they had demons they were conversing with...or maybe it's just me and I am crazy?! I looked at the clock and 20 minutes had passed, I was already over a mile and a half, I did a quick check and everything was feeling fine. 30 minutes, that was basically my initial goal but I only have 8 more laps to go and I'll have my 3 miles...keep pushing, nothing comes easy, sometimes we have to find our limits... I can feel blisters forming on my big toe..."stop running on your tip-toes", "control your breathing"...Oh Now the Demons are Giving Running Advice!!...

When all was done I'd ran 50 laps (a smidge over 3 miles) in 35 minutes! I did it! I ran 3 miles without stopping. I know this is no real feat to some people, I read blogs of real runners who are doing a 3 mile warm-up before their 30 mile runs, some run 50k's and even 100-miles, but for me, today, my victory came at just a smidge over 3 miles long and I did it!

So now I am home and have the rest of the afternoon to myself and I feel content.

I know those demons will be back and I will be ready for them!