UPCOMING EVENTS for 2016: Puerto Rico Marathon (March), Virginia/Pennsylvania Marathon Double (April), Cedro Peak Ultra 45k (April), Quicksilver 50k (May) NUT 50k (June) Lake Tahoe Trail 50K (July), Cloudsplitter 55K (October)

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure. This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, and triathlete. Along the way I've cried, laughed, fallen, gotten up, lost, won, hallucinated, been dehydrated, DNF'ed, and been DFL.
I also swear. Alot.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Monday, December 31, 2012

Cheap glasses: Zenni optical review

Dear Diary,

A few years back, I asked a pharmacist why I could buy a pair of reading glasses for $10 or $15 over the counter, but I have to pay over $200 for glasses that can only be made by special people in a special place. I can, furthermore, buy corrective swim goggles for my nearsightedness, but not glasses.

I ordered three pairs of glasses from Zenni. My existing glasses had numbers on the arm (see below). When you look on the Zenni website, you can look at numbers that correspond to these. They have to do with the width of the temple, the width of the nose bridge, and width of the lenses.


Mine were single vision. One pair was tinted. One was a pair of frames with spring hinges. I ordered my specs on December 20th, and they were around $47. for all three.

They arrived on the 31st, which is pretty good considering that this occurs over the span over a major holiday.

They arrived in a single bubble padded envelope. Each pair was on a tiny plastic case, inside a ziplock bag, with a nice microfiber cloth.

Here is the result. I don't know why these pictures are so yellow.

 

 

I love these prescription sunglasses. Aren't they awesome?

$47. Quite worth it. I plan to order a nice pair of running glasses next. I'm picking out a pair of lightweight frames, with transition lenses, and a mirrored finish. I'm also ordering a pair of yellow-tinted goggles for playing racquetball. I'll try it tomorrow to see if I can use my FSA card. At those prices, I might even get some more pairs to match my wardrobe.
In shirt, fellow cheapskates, I highly recommend Zenni optical. Go getcha some cute glasses.

...

Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Years Resolutions: be cheap, organized, thin, and others.

Dear Diary,

I've made several New Year's resolutions: to be cheaper, organized, thinner, and faster. Also, I want to get new states, marathon-wise. Because nobody has ever, ever in the history of the world made those resolutions before. Especially me.

Cheaper. I'm well on my way.

For one thing, being as wearing contact lenses for all night ultra trail runs were causing scarring on my corneas--I shit you not, scarring, although the OD said, casually, "well, it's a small scar, and it's not going to affect your vision over there," while I was thinking, EEEK!!!

So, I have switched back to glasses. They make me look all smart and shit anyway, and the nerd look is in. My first foray into this will be via Zenni Optical, which as gotten good reviews from strangers. Last year, when I first heard about it, I mentioned it casually to my oldest offspring, you should try this, it will save you money and then sat back and watched to see the results DON'TLOOKATMELIKETHAT; HE'SYOUNGANDCANGETALLSORTSOFTRANSPLANTS and he was quite pleased. I ordered a pair of specs, experimentally. If I like them I'll be ordering some lightweight specks with transition lenses for all day and all night running, as well as various colors to match outfits.

Second, I'm using a fantastic app on my ipad, How To Cook Everything by Bittner. I use this to pick out seven meals and populate a shopping list. I've found that planning seven meals, and buying the ingredients I need for those meals, results in two weeks worth of food, including leftovers for Sweet Baboo's lunches. I don't know how. I spend less money, and less food goes bad.

 

Organized.I'm still purging.

Last year I filled up the garage from the house, and then got rid of all of it. I had, oh, I had high aspirations of having the world's greatest garage sale, but that never happened. I wound up donating it and giving it away, mostly to group homes for people in recovery and Goodwill. Now, the new rule is that ever week I have to go to each room and get rid of five items. Not trash, but items, no matter how small. Once a room is considered done, then I can do ten from another one, and so on. On my way to work there are these collection bins and I drop stuff off.

Meanwhile, I've put much of my library on Half.com, and I sell a book, oh, every other week or so.

As part of my organization, I'm also going to track my workouts, my eating, and blog more frequently. I'm going to go back to venting on my blog, and using it as my brain toilet.

 

Thinner. I'm still fifteen pounds over where I was a year or so ago. I'm doing daily workouts, starting today. Five days a week, on the treadmill for at least forty-five minutes, and a long run on the weekend. The other two days I do yoga or some sort of fun thing, like raquetball. Sweet Baboo bought me a raquetball and other stuff. We went to the gym, and I ran around like a spaz while he stood mostly in one place and smiled a lot. But I have to say that as terrible as I am, it had a blast.

Also, I have the world's best salads for lunch. I'm not making this shit up. They are fantastic. The other therapists said I should take pictures of my salads. They usually involve mixed greens, brined artichoke hearts, calamata olives, chopped tomato, hard-boiled egg, a good balsamic vinegar. Occasionally, I treat myself to a good hard cheese, grated, but just a tablespoon or so. Sometimes, a single slice of applewood bacon, crumbled.

Of coure, it would HELP if my coworkers wood stop hitting Krispy Kreme on the way to work. That tray of do us...I'm not made of iron!

Faster. Of course it goes without saying that if I work my ass off and lose some of it, I'll get faster. But also, Tuesday is intervals day. I run like hell for 90 seconds or so, and then walk for thirty seconds, rinse repeat.

 

Marathons. So far I have planned: Oregon/Washington State in April, Nebraska in May, and Iowa/South Dakota in June. That's five new states. I'm thinking of Marine Corps marathon in Virginia too.

So that's it. I don't know if I'll do thirteens on Thursdays. I'm going to probably link my blog posts to my resolutions. Or not. I have a short attention span. We'll see.

...

 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Not thirteen. Just stuff.

Dear Diary,

I've found a middle ground for eating that seems to be working for me. It's kind of low carb but not quite. I'm removing simple carbohydrates, including flours and sugars, and keaving in whole grains. Each morning when I work out I have a small bowl of steel cut oats with fruit and then almonds or walnuts. The rest of the day, when I'm mot working out, I have lots of vegetables and protein. It's kind of Mediterranian, but not quite. It's not extreme, and I have enough energy. My task has been to bring my fat level down a bit, but it too much, while getting enough protein. In the graphs on the right, the red is fat. These are my graphs for Sunday through Wednesday.

The turning point seemed to be when mini Baboo moved out. Since then, I sleep easily, like a rock. Suddenly, I no longer crave food. I feel full. I'm eating small meals all day long, food I love that's healthy, and not running to the store for kettle-fried chips.

The shin splint on the front of my leg, or irritated tendon, or whatever it was, is finally faded. I've been working out 2-3 mornings a week, 30 minutes power walking with the incline set to 10, and 20-30 minutes running with the incine set to 2. I use my heart monitor since nobody seems to know how to calibrate the speed on this thing and When it says 15 minute pace I am about to have a heart attack. On weekends, I do a short run, like a 10k, and a hike into the mountains.

I feel like I am starting over from scratch. I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving day at a 11:30 pace, which included stopping once or twice and walking. My cardiovascular fitness is there, but my endurance isn't.

 

==============================

Last week on the way home I was inspired afresh to decorate with dead things from my yard. Not animals. I mean twigs and sticks. I have decided that the only thing that differentiates me from Martha Stewart in the area of creativity is the willingness to tie together bundles of twigs and sticks and call it art and stare down anyone who disagrees.

 

So, I headed for Hobby Lobby, which is in my way home. The fact that I got out of this bastion of Godliness without being chased by the mobs with pitchforks trying to see if I sink or swim, is testament to my ability to "pass".

 

As I, a recovering Southern Baptist (not that there's anything wrong with that) now teetering on the brink of Buddhism tiptoed warily through the store looking for spray pain (red, green silver, gold, go figure) I was struck with how our cultural norm is to embrace all cultures--but only the parts we like. Not the weird parts. So, there were lamps and such that were clearly Moorish in influence, but I'm sure that if you explained that to anyone they would just fix you with a blank stare. But anyway. So I went home with spraypaint and a bunch of red raffia, and wrestled some dead plants out of the yard and stuck them in jars.

Et, voila:

See, the difference between me and Martha, other than she's stinking rich and hard-working, is that I'm lazier, but way nicer.

 

The first picture is the stalk from a Century Plant (google it), spray painted, with red raffia bows tied around the stems, lights, all stuck in a bucket of rocks.

 

The rest are dead plants from my yard stuck in various vases, and then some silks stuck in with those so that I wouldn't have to find a place to store the silks.

Some of them I painted. Some I didn't.

 

 

 

I've heard about tumbleweed trees. Maybe next year.

 

 

...