Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
So today as noon approached I started coming up with all sorts of reasons, in my head, why I wasn't going to do this run. Of course, I had been stupid enough to mention my planned run to Baboo on the way in so that about 11:30 Baboo messaged me and asked me when I was going, because he thought he'd go too. What could I do? I can't say I'm too busy. Having your spouse/carpool partner/workout partner means they know. Oh, THEY KNOW. Baboo knows I'm neither so important or busy that I can't go for a run at lunch. All I've been doing these days is training and learning about how the brain functions.
Besides, I can't look Baboo in the eye and make my crazy excuses. I just can't do it; it's like lying. Baboo gets all uber-reasonable and says things like, "well, if you think that's what's best" and then he acts all trusting and reasonable until I want to scream STOP TORTURING ME WITH YOUR TRUSTFULNESS!! My threshold of guilt is too low and besides, I SUCK at lying, although not always to myself, so it's easier just to not go through that, y'know?
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I'm grateful that it is raining outside; it's a nice, steady soaking rain that'll help the plants during the dry winter ahead.
I'll be grateful when it stops.
I'm grateful for keys that don't break off in locks.
I'm grateful for engines that start.
I'm grateful for light switches that, when flipped, bring light into the room.
I'm grateful for second chances.
And, well, fourth ones.
I'm grateful for my kids, and for the time I got to spend raising them, and the lessons I've learned from that.
I'm grateful that they're all pretty much independently living their own lives now.
I'm grateful for our cats.
Even Lily, the really noisy bossy one.
I'm grateful for my friends who may not always agree with me but continue to be my friends, nonetheless.
I'm grateful that, actually, off the top of my head, I can't think of any enemies.
I'm grateful for all the years that I got to spend knowing my mom and dad. I miss them. I've seen some pretty awful parenting and I'm grateful that I was raised by parents who taught me some pretty darned important stuff, like how to work hard, be smart, have fun, and love well.
I'm grateful for the Baboo family who is my family now.
I'm grateful for my feet.
Even the one with the big, black toenail.
I'm grateful for all the miles I've traveled on my feet.
I'm grateful for hills.
I'm grateful for flat, open spaces.
I'm grateful for my new career.
I'm grateful for my favorite carpool partner, who is the best of all partners in everything, ever.
I'm grateful for coffee.
And lovely, flavored coffee syrups.
I'm grateful for sweet.
I'm grateful for salty.
I'm grateful for all of it.
I'm just, well, grateful.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Msr. GarMEAN says that I ran 2.81 miles. I ran 1-1/2 loops around the 1500 meter blacktop track out front, and then out and down the boulevard and back on a blacktop path. It hurt like hell, too, but not necessarily because of any injury: it felt mostly like I have some very, very stiff legs. I walked a bit here and there, but what the hell, I did it. I got off my widening butt and did something to keep it from getting wider.
AND I answered my own question: can I work out at noon without being thoroughly whipped or (what's worse) disgusting and stinky for the rest of the day? Answer: yes, I can. I can work out and still be productive and avoid stuffing my face with impulse foods from the Canteen or the Exchange.
In other news, there is this guy at work, an older guy who I think is one of the building engineers, who is very nice. He walks by my office every morning and says, cheerily, SMILE!
At first it was charming, and I laughed. Sometimes I waved at him.
After hearing it every day, though, the charm started to wear off.
Now I've heard someone yell, SMILE!! appoximately 24 times at about 7:55 am every week day.
I think I may actually hate the man now.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Music: Britney Spears, Circus, which has not been released yet. C'mon. Who do you think you're talkin' to? I'm the GeekGirl.
I'm leavin' on a jet plane...right after work, to join Sweet Baboo in Arizona. My plans for this weekend are simple: 1) Don't do an Ironman 2) Watch other people do an Ironman 3) Volunteer at IMAZ 4) Perhaps meet other bloggers.
On a slightly related note, I've been reading a research report on BMI. It all started when I was printing off charts to stick all over my desk area. I'm supposed to be searching medical records for people who meet a certain criteria to recruit them for a study, and one of the criteria is related to their BMI. I looked at this chart. THERE'S some good newss: According to this chart, I'm overweight with a BMI of 27.
Oh, LIKE I NEEDED TO READ THAT. Like I don't have enough issues with body stuff anyway that I struggle with, one day really liking myself and one day hating myself, one day starving myself and another day eating two lean cuisine entrees at lunch instead of one and then going and getting desert AND a candy bar mocha latte and yes, I know most us women, we do it to ourselves but I still blame men. All I've been feeling fat lately because I need new pants. I'm sitting a lot now and pants that you sit in require a certain amount of shall we say, "relaxed" fabric content.
But seriously, I can't be that unhealthy, right? I mean, how many pre-obese girls can run up a mountain (and crawl back down, but that's besides the point) or run 31 miles before sundown? I wear a 10/12 depending on the time of the year and how many times I've eaten Chinese food that month. Certainly, I'm bigger and slower than the tiny bird people I train with and hang out with but still, I hold my own.
So I looked, and I found this study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise [39(3):403-409]. Thought I'd share. What they did was look at BMI according to a height/weight chart, and then compared with skin fold test and the test where they dangle you in water, to see if the BMI chart was accurate in predicting fatness. The following was observed:
1) Athletes whose BMI classified them as overweight on the chart (over 25 bmi) were incorrectly classified as overweight 77% of the time (female) and 87% of the time (males).
2) Non-athletes, meanwhile, were incorrectly classified around 44% of the time for both groups.
Then I discovered Whitney Thompson. She apparently won "America's Next Top Model" which I've never seen. She's a size US12, or 10, or 14, depending on who you read. She's tall, but just look at those full thighs and healthy cheeks.
So there ya go.
Food for thought.
Think I'll go get a latte now.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Music: Nora Jones.
I would really love, love, love to share all the cool things I've been doing and learning this week but it involves real people and real lives and their confidential medical and behavioral health history soooo, nope. Can't do that. The only thing that I can share is that I was doing some computer stuff this window flew up:
Oh, well, I can tell you that part of my job involves recruiting research subjects and I'm not allowed to approach them directly, but I can approach clinicians and ask them for help, which involves ingratiating myself to others to a degree that I'm actually pretty comfortable with.
Countdown to graduation for the youngest Mini-Baboo: 6 months left. We just paid lots of money to fix our 4-year old dishwasher and I can't prove it, but I'm sure Mini-baboo broke it. We only communicate by texting now. I worried, for a while, that he is lonely. I remember when I was 15 and my mom got her first full time job since I'd been born, and I hated coming home to an empty house. Or did i? Maybe it's just mom guilt making me remember that.
No, now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I liked being alone in the house, raiding my mom's snack closet. (Mine is locked)
So, last week I texted back and forth with him, who I desperately want to graduate on time and get on with his life somewhere else, and it went something like this (I should explain first that Mini just got a cell phone a couple months ago and is still playing around with a feature that lets you put a "signature" in all your text messages):
This, then, is the meaningful communication that now exists between my youngest and me, but it's more communication than we used to have. I have to say it's handy to be able to call him and say, "Now, what was the only flavor of bagel that you'll eat for breakfast these days?" while at the grocery.
And, fix his grades he did. He'll do anything for Internet.
I got home last night and ate, and ate, and ate. I'm still trying to figure out how to do the workout thing. I'm starting to feel a lot like the zeftig WonderWoman I've seen on the Internet. I was worried that I would find myself unable to fit in decent workout, and indeed this has happened, and I'm freaking out because I'm afraid that by December I won't be able to fit through the doorway of our new house.
And I've decided to let my hair grow back out. Maybe to my shoulders. I'm sure that when I do let it grow out I'll be starkly reminded of why I cut it in the first place but all I can remember now is how handy it was to be able to tie it back while still damp and get on with my day.
That's it, I guess. Nothing exciting. Just ordinary, working mom stuff. Oh, and this Friday, I'll be flying to Arizona to volunteer and IMAZ and watch Baboo do his, uh, what is this. I think it's his 8th Ironman.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
You may already be sick of this story, or if you're a beginner, you might not have heard about it yet.
Oh, how I've been tempted....times when I noticed nobody was manning the turnaround, or how many loops you ran was on the "honor" system. When you're as slow as I am, there are many, many times where the course is pretty much empty. I could just run across the street and head back, I've thought. Nobody would ever know I didn't finish this out-and-back part.
I've also noticed shortcuts when driving bike courses, and goodness knows I'm a terribly cyclist. I'm so slow, in fact, that I could probably cheat and still finish in the lowest 25% of the field.
But what good is it to "finish" something that know that you haven't followed the rules? Are there people actually feel entitled to being a "finisher" when they haven't competed following all the rules? I know that if I did it I'd be wracked with guilt. I have a low-guilt threshold. Triathlon is that important to me that I have to feel like I've finished it honestly and completely.
Does cheating diminish us? I think it does. How meaningful is it to finish a multisport endurance event if "anyone" can do it by wearing fins, or drafting on the bike? I'm not talking semantics, here, like walking in the water instead of swimming. I'm only talking about people who violate clearly published rules.
Just my two cents.
Friday, November 14, 2008
And as you were trying really hard not to fall, did you think to yourself, crap, I was SURE I thought I saw a trail on this side, why oh why didn't I go down the OTHER side where there IS A PATH?
And then as you were doing all this did that did you realize, oh hell, this hill is way higher than I thought it was and OH MY GOD those people look REALLY TINY DOWN there in that parking lot?
Well, me neither.
Baboo and I have started a weekly post-work trail run in which we run near the house we just bought like a couple of stalkers. I wonder if they know it's us.
Mini-baboo asked if he would get to live in the new house, and I laughed and I laughed and I laughed and then he said, no, seriously. Will I?
Sooo, here's my workout for at least next week:
HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE for this. I keep planning my weeks but I never follow through.
Oh, and eat less candy, fried food, etc., blah, blah, blah.
Then, of course, I tried to do a teensy weensy run in my neighborhood about a week later, and, well, that was it. Pfffttt. Game OVER. Stupid leg.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Of course we got it.
You really think a couple of realtors and a pair of homeowners would stand in the way of two Ironmen who know what they want?
It looks ordinary, but it's not. It's a sage-green, stucco home with a brand new roof and brand-new stucco. It has a brand-new interior all chosen and decorated by people with taste. Not that we don't have taste. We're just not creatively tasteful, most of the time.
Our new cottage sits on a huge, 1/3 acre pie-shaped lot, and on the other side of the back fence is open space, where we go trail running a lot. A bit further beyond that, maybe a mile, is a national wilderness. We'll cut about about 30 minutes off our work commute, once we move into it. This has nothing to do with the wilderness thing and more to do with the fact that we'll be on the complete other side of the city from where we are now, which is where work is.
Sweet Baboo has always wanted land to run around on, and now he has it, I mean we has HAVE it, without the hassle of maintanance and taxes. I have always wanted to live in the city, meanwhile, so living on the very edge of the city, abutting the Sandias, is going to be really, really great.
So there it is: our "adults only" (not in the bowchicaBOWBOW way, but in the all-the-kids-are-grown-and-have-lives-of-their-own sort of way, although I'd never rule out bowchicaBOWBOW way) home. 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with a nice little wood stove to cozy up to on winter days. Otherwise, I 'spect we'll be hitting the dusty trails that run by our back gate. Often.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
We went out today, on our day off (Now that we work in the same placeI figure that everything, I mean everything, will be "we" until we're talking simultaneously or sequentially in a cute or slightly creepy way) and looked at houses.
We've found houses near trails. (Funny, so far every house we've looked at has involved us looking at aerial photographs or walking up and down streets to see how close the trails were.)
We've found houses that were cute.
We've found houses that were in nice neighborhoods.
We've found a house with a decent-sized yard.
We saw houses that were closer to work.
But we didn't find a house that encompassed all these.
In fact, most of the houses we've seen have had tiny little yards and at least one of them desperately, desperately needed to be saved from the seventies and at least one house that was so peculiarly modified for its owners tastes that it was just plain weird.
So, we went back to the house on the hill near the path that got our attention in the first place. Walked through it again. Noticed how cottage-like it felt. Walked around the huge back yard. Noticed, for the first time, that it had brand-new stucco, as well as the brand new roof. Noticed that, when you're sitting in the living room, it feels like you're outside.
Remarked about how nice it was, after all, to see people headed up the trail, that was so near the house.
And then, well, we made another offer. We've decided that, well, we want this house. It's probably the last house we'll ever live in, and it's turn key. At this point, there's no question of buying it, it comes down to how much of a deal we can get on it.
As soon as we have some sort of deal, I'll post some pictures. Until then, I'm too superstitious to do that.
So, we'll keep looking around. We are still getting this house ready for an eventual transition, and that includes 2 estimates each from roofing companies (we have a couple of broken roof tiles, no leaking or anything), and some painting and other odds and ends. Today will be a parade of workers trooping in and out to provide estimates. One of them will be answering the burning question: why is there water in the bottom of my dishwasher AND my refrigerator?
I know that appliances, "aren't made like they used to be" but these are 4 years old. I suspect that the fact that Mini-Baboo's main chores are kitchen-based this has something to do with all this. For instance, he made eggs while cleaning the kitchen, in the microwave. Didn't put anything over them. They splattered all over, and then he just left the bowl and splattered egg in their to dry. And don't get my started on his bathroom. Teenaged boys, I'm sorry to say, are disgusting. But you know, it's all good: just 6 more months and then it's "Anchors aweigh, my boys, anchors aweigh!"
Other stuff: My back hurts and I feel old.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
It's a good house for us, since we'll be empty nesters in a couple months. It's single story, smaller, which I'm wild about, but nice with recent updates inside. Best of all, it's right off the trail where we like to run, and has a large backyard - did you know Baboo likes to garden? I love, love, love to watch him putter around the garden, putting out birdseed and such. I've missed that in our current house, which has a little walled back yard that is about 20 feet wide and 15 feet deep and COMPLETELY surrounded, mostly by people who don't care about back yards, and are satisfied to just have a back yard full of sand and tumbleweeds.
So this house. Well, it's also about 9 miles from work. We currently live across the Rio Grand about 23 miles away. There are four roads that cross the Rio Grande from home to the VA, so as you can guess, it's about a 45 minute drive, at best.
We did some digging, and figured out that the owners probably originally built it back in the 80s. So maybe they are sentimental, which might explain whey the owners have priced it about 45% above current market value. My wise, analytical husband found out that in this zip code, of all the houses that have sold what the average price per square foot is.
Pricing that high up over is not the way to move a house these days, folks, because I'm telling you that just in Albuquerque alone, a city of just under 500,000 people, there are over 2800 homes on the market, and those are just the ones listed with agents.
So Saturday, we made an offer. It was based on the average price per square foot of recently sold homes in the area, with an additional 25% thrown in for the fact that it borders open space. 2 hours before the deadline, we were asked for extra time, as the owners had been gone all weekend, and said they wanted to comp homes that had sold locally and were near open space so that they could see about a counter offer.
Our realtor did that for us and and sent the results.
There were four.
They average price per square foot was below what we'd offered.
We also know that ours is the first offer they've gotten in the over 70 days the house has been listed.
So, we are waiting to see if they are serious about selling the house or not.
I want this house. We, want this house. It's nice and clean and updated and in a decent little neighborhood. I can totally see myself in it. I love the idea of running, literally, through a small gate in my back yard and hitting some good running trails. I might even get a mountain bike if it call comes together. But we're not going to be stupid about it.
So have you ever bid on something on ebay and then waited, waited, waited?
This is like that. But way more exciting/terrifying/fearful/fullofdreadandworry.
What will they say? What will they do? They can just say no and hold out, if they want.
Aaaggghhh! I hate waiting. I'm just not very good at it.
Friday, November 07, 2008
- I started this post during lunch at work on Friday. Right now there's a kid out in the lobby that is one of those kids that, when they're happy, they make that really super high-pitched screaming screetching noise. I tried closing my door but high-pitched sound waves are high-energy. I learned that as a science teacher. Anyway, the screaming comes right through.
- I've lost 5 pounds since I started working here. Kick ASS. One of the things I do about 4 or 5 times each day is run up a flight of stairs and then back down, either to get supplies, or photocopy, or what have you. My butt is going to look GREAT!
- Somebody asked me on my blog about how I consider myself lazy? well, here's your answer: Sometimes I just don't do anything. Nothing. Nada. I didn't do any working out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday...I'll try a trail run tonight. I'm REALLY GOOD at it, too. I can do nothing and look extra, extra like I'm doing a whole lot.
- After 2 weeks at the VA, I'm just about detoxed from FaceBook, but I still have the occasional craving.
- We cleaned out from under our bed. Oh. My. God. I mean, we've only lived here for four years, but: Oh. My. God. There was a lot of loose cat hair, pennies, and for some inexplicable reason, a lot of benedryl tabs.
- I've learned how to estimate market value on a house that's for sale. We looked at ones that sold recently in the same area, figured out the average per square foot, and then offered them about 25% over that to make up for the location of this particular house we're looking at.
- I also learned that when a "used" house sells, it's appraised. If the appraisal is way below the agreed upon price of the sale, the seller has to be willing to negotiate.
- I had a great trail run today (Sunday) . It's the longest continuous run that I've had in about a month. The left leg still hurts, but I can run. I managed about a slightly sub 12 minutes pace over a little over 5 miles, with no hiking or walk breaks.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Bike: 15 Mi Can you tell I got pretty sick of the bike? This past Saturday was actually the first time I got into a saddle since AUGUST. I had several back bike experiences that really kind of freaked me out. First, there was my tire blowing up at Barb's race. Then there was several times that I fell over while trying to clip in going up a hill. Then there was the couple times I got ditched on rides with other people. I'm going to do indoor cycling for a while. I predict a better season next time.
Run: 52 Mi - My injury is slowly getting better - in fact it felt better this past Sunday than it's felt in weeks. I'm planning to start bringing this up soon, to get ready for my first 50-miler in February at Rocky Racoon.
Swim: 4700 M - I'm in a master's swim class now. We do a minimum of a couple thousand, so look for this number to increase pretty fast.
Wrapping up the 2008 Triathlon season. What did I accomplish?
I did a 25K midnight run in Texas.
I did a 25-mile trail run in Colorado.
I did four marathons, in Mississippi, Texas, New Mexico, and Utah.
I did a 50k ultra marathon in Alabama and one in Texas.
I did five sprint triathlons in New Mexico
I did the 1.2 mile swim and the half marathon run at Barb's race.
I did one ironman triathlon in Idaho.
I lost ten pounds, and gained thirteen back. (170 lbs right now)
I lost a dress size, and then gained that back, too. (size 12)
I can do 8 pushups in a row now. (I've been slacking on this. I'll have to get back on the ball if I want to meet my year goal of 10 in a row)
I've just about got my last kid graduated and gone.
I got four black toenails.
I got my first over-use injuries!
Here's my 2008 totals, so far:
Bike: 1644 Miles (2740 km)
Run: 669 Miles (1115 km)
Swim: 32 miles (51,541 M)
Apologies to my international friends. I'll put up KM and KG up soon.
Not bad for a big girl who hates to exercise!
Monday, November 03, 2008
"Staging" is going to be a challenge. We have personalized this house quite a bit, and selling means de-personalizing. And cleaning. Where did all this STUFF come from?
Looks like we'll be buying boxes. And bubble wrap. And tape. And maybe getting a storage shed. I'm actually kind of excited about playing the game, "how-badly-do-you-want-this-nickknack-do-you-want-it-badly-enough-to-pack-it-in-a-box-and-move-it-and-unpack-it?" I played this game ten years ago, and it was liberating. In 1999, I rented a dumpster and filled it three times.
2) I'm flying to Arizona for IM Arizona, so if you want to meet up I'll be there. I'm planning on doing the Gatorade swim the morning before the race before the mandatory volunteer meeting. I'm doing the bodymarking and thenthe women's T1 changing tent, and then I'll spend the rest of the day screaming like crazy, eating junk food, and waving a cowbell.
3) Hmm. There was a third thing, but I can't remember what it is right now. I'll think of it soon...
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Today I finally, finally, finally got a decent run in. It was a trail run, so a lot of it was hiking, but still - it's the longest run I've done since the 50K 2 weeks ago. My leg appears to be nearly healed, too, so I was actually able to RUN.
This is in an area that we've discovered we can get to pretty close after work. We came out here Friday, but my leg hurt like hell and I could barely walk. I did a few hill repeats and worried, worried, worried.
This morning, miracle of miracles, I barely felt a thing. We were at 6000 feet up, about 1000 feet higher than usual. I climbed up a ways, and got about a 200 degree view of the area.
The goal is to be ready for the Ghost Town 38.5 in January. I'll need to get in some more climbing and hiking along with running before then. Also, if I can't run on pavement at some point between then and now, I'm going to be in a world of hurt. The trail runs will get longer, in the meantime. Today I was only out for about an hour and a half or so. That sounds like a long time for 5 miles, but I was taking it easy because I was nervous about the neg, and also there was a LOT of climbing, stopping, and looking around.
Then we went to look at a nearby house for sale. Mmmm. How cool would it be to have trail running in your back yard? More on this as it develops. I'm just happy to be back on the trails again.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
It didn't happen right away, of course. Most things insidious creep up on you and then, lo and behold, you start searching through your fall clothes and, well, they don't fit. OWCH. Plus, it's 13 more pounds that are on the tips of my toes when I'm wearing heels. OWCH.
Then there's the whole leg injury thing. My leg is still injured. I can only run on trails, and even then I keep a 13 minute pace. Luckly, I just have the one sprint triathlon in early December, so I have time to heal.
Meanwhile, I hate the way my clothes fit. You know that feeling? I sure do. Ugh. The waistband cutting into my belly, the pants creeping up me....ew.
Yup. That extra me surface area AND volume needs to come off SOON. Hopefully, now that I"m not cooking and eating all day, it will. Usually when I go back to work it comes off.
So, okay, I need to work out more but how to do it? First off, the master's class meets 3 mornings a week. The other 2 days I figure I can run in the morning. Then, of course, there is that little 440 track in front of the VA that I could jog around during lunch those same days, so that Tuesday and Thursday are run days. Hmm. Friday evenings, a trail run in the foothills. Weekends, long ride or long spin classes and a long slow run. It hardly ever rains here, so schedules are pretty dependable. The problem with spin, of course, are the mirrors. Yikes.
Meanwhile, Baboo has sympathy pounds. We'll be working on this project together. ;-)
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