Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A Dislocated Dewclaw

I finally put my fabric field-bandaging skill from undergrad first aid class to practical use.

I've used my baby-delivering training in the past., completely against my will. My previous dog had her last litter of puppies late one night, and every pup but the first was in breech position. To make matters worse, she'd had her pelvis broken as a puppy, so she wasn't able to push them out on her own.

I found this out the hard way, after the first puppy's delivery wore her out and the second got stuck coming out backward, and the poor little thing literally was strangled to death in the birth canal. I did call her vet, and he refused to so much as offer any advice over the phone. He said to let nature take it's course.

Nature had already traumatized me enough that night, to say nothing of what my poor dog was suffering through. I called my mother, and she told me that I would have to help her get the babies out, though she was also freaked out by the hollering my dog was doing through the phone lines.

So I played obstetrician. I put on rubber gloves, sterilized them as best I could, lubed one up, and went in after the stuck puppy. My dog wasn't a big girl -- she was a small Scottish Terrier / Cocker Spaniel mix. After the second puppy came out dead, I cried through the rest. Okay, i wailed. Every single one presented a furry butt and tail first. *sigh* I had to gently reach in and pull down on the front shoulders of every other pup to get them out, cradling their backs in the palm of my hand. It wasn't a good night for anybody. I'm glad I don't have to deal with that vet ever again. Well, at least I won't hesitate, the next time I have to deal with birthing babies. I hope I never do.

My Yorkie has a dislocated dewclaw that's been getting hung on everything and making him limp and shriek pitifully for a couple of days. It was actually poking out sideways from his leg horrifically, which made it even more susceptible to getting snagged and yanked.

I cut a wrap bandage out of a tee shirt sleeve and gently snugged his dewclaw back against his leg. (With his long hair I figured tape to be a Very Bad Idea.) It seems to have been a successful owwie preventer. For now. I may come home from work tomorrow and find the bandage missing.

As long as he leaves the bandage alone, at least he won't be able to injure it worse while it heals back in place or until I can take him to the vet. Poor little fella has had a bad couple of months. He was terrified I was going to hurt him worse than he already was.

Curses on lazy breeders who don't remove troublesome dewclaws at birth while they are still soft. This shouldn't have happened. They should have taken care of his dewclaws when his tail was cropped. Damn puppy mills. If you're not going to be a responsible breeder in EVERY way, you have NO business breeding animals.

I'm Sweating... Ammonia?

For a while now, I've been a little paranoid about how I smell after working out. I'm not talking about how normal sweat smells, and I won't stay sweaty without showering long enough for it to turn into a body odor issue. Ick. Gross.

There is no way that I could have on clean clothes going to the gym and come home smelling of ammonia. Or so I had thought.

Last night after my monster workout, I headed to the store for some dinner to cook and went home to eat. But all through my drippy sweaty workout (big drops falling on my shoulders and startling me, because I'm not a "sweater"), I kept getting whiffs here and there of ammonia coming from my clothes. Maybe it was my running shirt, I thought. It is made of a wicking material, so maybe that's just the nature of the fabric, but yuck.

I ate, then I showered, and then I went to bed. I didn't need anything to make me drowsy. Somehow I dropped right off, and I was actually in bed by 11. Really unusual for me. I just felt that good kind of tired that follows a successful workout, you know?

Well.... I woke up this morning, and I was aware that I must have been sweating for a while as I slept. At three am, a beep on my iPad woke me up, but I was feeling comfortable at the time and went right back to sleep, with a grin and a chuckle because the comment that beeped was pretty funny.

I woke up a little sweaty, but still covered from my neck down. Lol. I suppose I must have been burning a decent amount of calories even while I was sleeping, but I got out of bed and realized I smelled like I'd been spritzed with ammonia again. Yuck. Even my dog was keeping his distance.

A little research told me that I'm not imagining the ammonia sweat. And why is this not a thing anybody ever warned me could happen? Like in health class or one of my college PE classes? Oh, right. I went to college back in the dark ages - the 1990s. More knowledge has been gained in the world of exercise since I last had any instruction.

It's a signal of imbalanced nutrition -- high protein and inadequate carb intake. :D. Which means I'm not eating enough carbs. Quick, somebody tell my Dad before he nags me again about needing to cut all carbs from my diet! I need more... Pass me some chips. Okay, make that an apple. ;). I was just kidding about the chips.

The other thing I have to do is drink a lot more water, to dilute the ammonia my kidneys obviously can't excrete enough of.

More on this later... I just wanted to put this out there, in case someone has been too polite to tell me I really smell weird when I'm exercising hard. :).

Yet again, confirmation that I have to eat more. Okay. I'm working on that.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Major Workout Tonight

33 minutes on the fat burner program on the elliptical

All the leg machines, 90 reps each -- except for glutes, because my piriformis is still strangling my sciatic nerve and it hurts like crazy to do them... Which means that I most definitely can't skip them and i have to do them forever... Torso rotation crunches, triceps extensions, yes, 90 reps each. I noticed, though, that leg presses and hamstring curls suddenly became easier, so I increased the weight on leg presses. Hammys are a bit of a struggle from reps 25-30, so they will stay the same until I can beast through them. All of that took an hour, and it was definitely a cardio activity for me. I was breathing hard with my usual pulse rate of 180 BPM.

So much for trying to work in the target heart rate zone, eh? I'm way beyond 80% every time, and my resting heart rate is usually around 60. Even when I'm just walking.

Which I did. I put in another 1.59 miles on the treadmill and my total of calories burned was over 1000. (1139, to be more precise) Don't worry, I'm eating well. (If i wasn't, my fingernails wouldn't be nice and long once again. )

Sometimes I just get into my workout and don't feel like stopping. My legs needed stretching out after the strength machines, so I walked. I need to keep putting miles on my legs anyway.

I was dripping sweat from my scalp so much it kept surprising me when it would fall onto my clothes. I'm just not a sweating type person. This is a very new phenomenon to me. It's all the water I try to drink, I guess. But gosh, I was crazy-soaking wet. Men were staring and grinning at me in Wal-Mart afterward. I guess I was quite a sight in my all black ninja gym rat gear, soaked through my hair and rosy cheeked.

So I grinned back at them. A couple were kinda cute. ;). I won't tell them I can only hold a plank for 11 seconds.

My sister should know I didn't wear my neon pink Zensah shin compression sleeves. I wore the black ones. I got the pink ones for cancer benefit races I run in. Yes, to be noticed. Well, why not? I'm about to turn 42 and I'm single. I'm not getting any younger, but at least I'm not all wrinkled.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Somebody spent an hour earlier this afternoon sending me pornographic texts, complete with photos, supposedly of uh, his manhood. I didn't recognize the number, but that's a pretty sad thing to do. It reeks of desperation. And the photos weren't impressive. I respond better to warmheartedness than something like that.

Actually, the most memorable times I've spent in male company lately was cuddling on the couch with a friend I've had feelings for, for twenty years. I felt safe and cared for. It made me happy, but I didn't think he wanted to know that.

He developed a sudden lack of interest. Maybe I took a step in the wrong direction. He was okay with it at the time, so I have no idea what his problem was. Going by the way he stopped talking to me suddenly and completely, I suppose he doesn't even want to be friends anymore. I probably got too close.

What I had to understand is that he went through a rough breakup and divorce, and it has left him very suspicious. I understand why, but I'm not going to once again, pay for the sins of someone else. I wouldn't have tolerated it if he had put spyware on my phone, even if someone else gave him a very good reason to distrust her.

It's a shame. I've always really liked him. I still do. I can't help feeling that he believes I've done something wrong.

I'm not the one to distrust. I'm not even any good at lying. A friend once told me that I'm transparent -- it's easy to see what I'm thinking and feeling because it always shows on my face and in my demeanor. He was right about me wearing my heart on my sleeve. I suppose that's undesirable rather than endearing.

It's been my experience that nobody likes people who are open and honest about their feelings. They want mystery and lies, and then cry out indignantly when the find they have been lied to and deceived by their sexy mystery woman.

Honestly, he was rude to me. Apparently, I texted him during a football game and that just IS NOT DONE. He actually said to me that he didn't want a girlfriend because that would interfere with his football watching. I said, oh, I guess I'll catch you after football season is over.

Or not. If football is so important you would hurt a friend's feelings over it, I guess I know where I stand. I've heard divorced men say that no woman is going to come before their kids, and while it sounds noble, it usually means they intend to treat women like sh*t and whip out the kid clause while expecting the woman to stick around and accept their fate.

With him, I suppose any potential relationship would have to play third fiddle, with the child first, and the television second. In any case, he's shown cold disregard for my feelings on several occasions. Unfortunately, it's something I'm quite used to, so I have to just throw him into the pile of horrible men who have stomped through my life, and accept that he was cut from the same cloth.

As far as having something to offer, I've never looked at a man's wealth (or lack thereof) as a point of contention in a relationship. I make a good living, so if he falls short, things will be just fine anyway. I only consider the personality traits that would affect his ability to make me feel cherished. My standards regarding material possessions are pretty low. Love is more important than money.

People are more important than flatscreens. Maybe it's a vulnerability that makes him so two-dimensional. Maybe he's afraid, but I have never been one to make someone pay for the mistakes of a past partner, and I won't be punished for what she did. Whoever "she" may be. If that's your attitude, you need to work it out with a dominatrix and learn a little respect for the women you think you deserve to hurt. Maybe you need to go to confession. Seriously. Or you could simply apologize and be easily forgiven, if it's me we're talking about. I'm pretty forgiving.

So I backed away, knowing I had lost once again, without even being allowed to put forth a good effort to get what I wanted. :-/ Well, I tried to show him how I felt, and he cut me off from him completely, by ignoring me. Maybe he's depressed and not understanding what he inflicted. What can you do, other than realize you're never going to be good enough?

Oh, but don't be bitter, I'm often told. No, stay kindhearted, squishy and vulnerable.

One question. Why? It seems that being cruel is much more effective.

Obviously, he still holds a place in my heart, despite his ultimate reaction to me. I dreamed about him last night. I've heard that when you dream about someone, it means they are thinking about you. It's a sweet thought.

Shin Pain Returns

Okay, I'm too tired for the gym tonight after all, and if I go, I know I won't be able to sleep. Right now, I need more sleep. I just can't deal with any more sleep deprivation, which is why I've been trying Zzzquil. Maybe tonight I can sleep without it.

I know I work best with ten hours of sleep, but I just can't get that in and still do all I have to do. Going to bed at 8 pm just will not work.

I felt a little twinge in my shin again, and my calves are really sore from running Thursday. Maybe easing back into exercising is the prudent thing to do, since I'm still coughing.

I'm still shivering here in the house, because the heat has decided not to work today. And the repair man has forgotten about me yet again. Maybe he will feel like fixing my heat when summer gets here. I don't like his style of not quite permanently fixing anything, and then I have to feel stupid and bothersome about calling him to tell him I have no heat again. I don't like this. I want it fixed.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Enough Time To Get'er Done & Run

Yesterday was a bit jam packed for me. I worked until nearly 5, wanted to go to the gym and run, early enough to avoid insomnia, and be home by 7.

I was home by 5, but I was starving, so I ate leftover Chinese food and a protein bar. While I let it settle, I got dressed for the gym. I arrived at 6 pm, and not only was the entire gym's worth of cardio equipment occupied, the parking lot was so packed I wasn't sure I'd find a space at all. It was 32 degrees, so the walk in was painful in my workout clothes.

By the way, my cute new UnderArmour running capris actually have big scratchy thick inseams all the way down that chafed the daylights out of my inner thighs. That's rather impractical. They look cute, but I'm displeased with the utility, after all.

I hung up my jacket and keys and the first treadmill became available. I walked over and saw that it was merely paused. Moved on.

The next to last treadmill wasn't being used, but after about ten feet, I realized that the belt was jerking horribly.

The last one seemed okay, so I committed to it and staring straight into a brick column for my whole run. Oh well. Instead of observing my form, I had to pay attention to how it felt. It worked. Five minute fast walk warmup and then I launched into a fifteen minute mile pace, just to see if I could do it.

I ran that pace for 20 minutes straight, and felt like I was in awesome beast mode! Lol. I know it's not fast, but it was fast for me, and it felt right. Plus, I kept my form pretty well, and a couple of good looking men were doing chest presses with barbells next to me. I couldn't see what I looked like, but I could see other people's semi-ghostly reflections okay, so I watched them and tried not to look at my timer while I just ran with my music.

Finished my cool down walk and got home in time to see The Vampire Diaries. Yes, just because of Ian Somerhalder. Eye candy, nice guy, and my type. Lol.

As with any man whatsoever, he wouldn't notice me if I was the only woman in the room, anyway. It's just a simple fact of my life, and it always has been. Ah well, I'd never get anything done at the gym if any of the men ever spoke to me anyway. :D

I can look at it this way: when the new facility is complete, with the first real indoor pool this town has ever had, I won't have to worry what I look like in a bathing suit. I'll be... invisible. I just want to swim. Today more than ever.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why You Hatin' on Runnin'?

Have you ever noticed that when you WANT to be a runner, lots of people who don't want to achieve that are always ready to try to talk you out of what you want to accomplish? What's behind that anyway?

Some are already seasoned runners who just don't want you to be a runner as well. It's like running is their little elitist club that they don't think you should be allowed to join, as if you even needed their permission. Hmm. (Be successful just to spite them.)

But I think that many of the naysayers don't want you to run because they don't want to put in the hard work over the long time that it will take to shape you into being a runner. They don't want you to accomplish something for yourself because they would want instant results to become a runner as well. It's better to hope for someone else to fail than to let them step ahead of you in something you don't even want for yourself? Wow.

Running is not bad for someone my age, per se. It's running without consideration for the sedentary middle aged person's current level of fitness that is the problem. Diabetics have considerations. Overweight / obese people have considerations. Weak people have considerations. People who drink, smoke, eat poorly... Yep, even more considerations.

I'll be honest with you -- when I first started trying to jog a few years ago, all the ligaments in my ankles crackled painfully. It was like my ankles were made of glass and every step was close to shattering them. My guess is that all my leg and foot muscles necessary to support my ankles were too weak to deal with the extra force of running under my weight. Enter strength training. The crackling was not there when I ran my first 5k in 2011.

I started really training for running in May 2012. Shin splints have been the dominant problem, again, likely because other muscles needed to be strengthened. I really thought all this time that I would be predisposed to knee problems. Nope.

I believe that if you are already a lightweight, fit, young person, taking up running will be simple for you. Add years, and you will need to add some caution. Add pounds, add some more caution. Add health conditions, add more caution. Add years of sitting on your lazy butt, and you will add more cautions, no matter how thin you are, because your cardiovascular system will need to strengthen. Try to jump in whole hog with an intense program and you will hit a brick wall. You will get hurt. You may cause yourself cardiac problems.

My advice? If you are in your twenties, it'll be a lot easier to get into great shape and STAY THERE if you do it now. If you are in your thirties, it'll be a little harder, but still very worth the effort.

If you wait until your forties, when you are overweight and starting to have health concerns? It'll be a lot harder to get healthy again. You should still do it. :). I think your quality of life will improve tremendously by getting fit, no matter what your age is. Go for it!

By the way, I'm in running for the memory of the easy speed I used to have as a kid when I was physically much more streamlined. I want to feel the wind in my hair once again. Nothing wrong with that. :)

That's a lot of oatmeal...

In my effort to be a healthier eater, I have made homemade peaches and cream oatmeal for my breakfast the past two days, and it has kept me from getting hungry from 6:30 when I eat it, all the way past my 10:30 lunchtime. I still ate the lunch I brought on Tuesday, even though I wasn't all that hungry, because 10:30 to nearly 5:00 is a very long time, before I can get home from work for a snack.

I love convenience foods, but prepackaged oatmeal is never a good deal, nor a good nutritional idea for me. So I made my own mix sort of ahead of time.

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats (I was going for 2 "heart healthy" servings for two days' breakfasts.)
3 cups milk

*** Cooked the oats & milk in the microwave until done. Realized that the basic instructions provide for some really soupy, runny oats when cooked. Added in more oats. Let cool and packed into two containers for breakfast.

When I woke up, I added half a cup of canned peaches (packed in juice), a couple of spoons of raw honey, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and reheated in the microwave. Mmmm yummy.

But you know, this turned out to be about two cups of fiber filled breakfast for each day after all the liquid puffed up the oats, so I felt overstuffed for several hours on Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday, I was insanely thirsty, so I drank nearly 100 ounces of water. I couldn't get enough water.

Wednesday, my body said "Yeah, THANKS for the sudden influx of oats, water, and fruit that I'm not used to," and decided to get rid of all excess baggage, apparently including my liver, spleen, and a kidney.

You know how it is. You don't want to go through it, but after that sudden loss of twenty pounds is over and things calm down, you feel like a great weight has been lifted. Or dropped. For a little while, there is peace and you hope you are off the hook from any further unpleasantness.

And then you start having to put up with bs from other people once again. The crap is never truly gone. Somebody just keeps on piling it up somewhere.

I think my body was saying, thanks for the oats, but next time, let's try half that amount and see how we do, okay? And how about a little protein with it? I think that I could substitute some vanilla protein powder for the vanilla extract and accomplish that, since cooking an egg is something I really don't have time to add to the morning routine.

I've gotten seven servings of fruits & veggies yesterday and today, but I was still hypoglycemic and hungry by the time I got home at four today. I ate an apple and was hungry again in half an hour. I took a nap that was supposed to be an hour before the gym and ended up being three hours. I was just so darn TIRED.

I never made it to the gym. Boo. If I went at 8 pm, my heart rate would be too elevated to sleep. That's what got me on Monday night, which created my sleep deficit resulting in my long nap today.

*sigh*. When will I get this right? Running is wearing me out, but I want to get to the point where I can run longer distances to make myself lose weight. Argh.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Naming the Demon

I just spent two and a half hours at the gym. Doing what? Oh, an hour on the treadmill. Leg day strength training. Forget my legs -- it's my brain that's mush right now. I'm pretty sure I used up all the calories I had eaten by that point.

I sat down in the dressing room for a moment, between treadmill and weights, and I felt the searing pain of a giant splinter stabbing my thigh right above my knee. But there was nothing there when I looked, so it's my stupid femoral nerve acting up on me once again.

I looked in the mirror to assess the damage... Well, my English heritage glows right through at times! High up on my cheekbones under my eyes, my skin was so red I looked like I'd been slapped. Or maybe punched in both eyes. And I'd been thinking nobody could tell where my family overwhelmingly came from. I've got a blush that'll give Ian Somerhalder a little competition. Lol. Except that I bet he doesn't blush, and I most certainly do. I don't have the ability to hide what I'm feeling, unless I can hide my glowing face. :D

I did the first day of 10k training today. Lemme tell ya, I did NOT have the magical go juice (energy) to run for forty minutes. I was just so darn fatigued! I blame the bronchitis for that. I didn't cough much, fortunately. So, I may end up repeating the first day or so of the training program for a while, until I feel satisfied that I can handle the running task I am given.

My brother once told me that the secret to losing weight is knowing what your demon is. For some it is salt, or sugar, or carbs. I think he believed I was noshing on Twinkies or something similar. My demon is food in general, and my fear of it. I don't really like eating, but I have to. There's not a lot of "healthy" food that I like, and I promise you, I could get fat on a diet of nothing more than celery. (I had the flu & pneumonia once and couldn't eat or drink for three days because I was too weak to get up and get it from the kitchen. I gained five pounds. I kid you not.)

If my demon is food, then its master is running. Running is the only exercise I've seen real results from. I'll just have to make time to get it in. And I'll have to figure out how to fuel for the activity. Any hints out there?

Motivationally Mired

I've got to go to the gym. TODAY. While I'm off work and can get something done without an audience.

So I'm sitting here eating a bowl of oatmeal and raw honey that I don't really want, because I know I'll need the carbs later. I was doing great on the mornings I supervised the walkers before school, energy-wise, because I brought oatmeal to eat while I watched. Then it got too cold and that stopped, along with my motivation to eat oats.

I've been recovering from my bronchitis, and I think cardio might be okay now. (My 5k in two weeks is going to suck.). With time off comes insecurity. "What was I thinking, believing I could run and change my body? Really? Nothing has worked so far. Nobody's looking at me anyway." Okay, that one guy at the gym smiled at me a few weeks ago, after a year and a half of seeing me there. Doesn't mean anything, unless I just gave him a laugh.

I finally tried on my new running clothes after unblocking the mirror.

UnderArmour fitted running capris - nice, but I wanted the pink striped ones too. These make me look slimmer than I am. Iiiiiii will alwayyyyys love youuuuuuu..... :) (why was I scared of fitted ones?) I must get more... I wonder if their shorts work this well? I need shorts that NEVER ride up.

Zensah shin compression sleeves in neon pink - wow. They gloooow. I should be visible to drivers when I wear them, if I can ever conquer my fear of running on roads.

Zensah arm compression sleeves - neon pink. Well, gotta match! I put one on and I swear it felt like an electric massage under my skin. I guess I am the target audience for such items, because they work on me. I wear my shin sleeves every day for cafeteria duty, and I can tell a difference. There's just one problem with the arm sleeves - my biceps are fat, and the top band shows that. Yikes.

Zensah seamless running shirts - green, okay. Pink, yikes. It's a dusty rose, a bit sheer, and showcases my rolls too well. Black - awesome! They fit snugly and come down over my butt, which is great. The black makes me look slimmer. These were $40 shirts, on clearance for $9.99 each, or I never would have tried them.

Of course, I'm wearing the black to the gym. The pink will not be seen in close quarters while I look like this.

Reebok running tank - blue / green Spirograph looking pattern... Makes my breasts look like a flat wall. Lol It will be okay. If that was all it took to make my boobs vanish, I'd buy out the stock.

I thought of something while I was looking at myself in the black gear with insecure eyes. If I could see a photo of myself slimmed down, would that keep me motivated? I need to Photoshop myself so that I can see potential results. It's really a simple thing for me to do. I've just got to snap that picture and then doctor it in stages to see what the possibilities are.

Clueless Nutrition

Ok, I'm going to make a confession:

I have no CLUE what constitutes good nutrition for a woman my age. I've been winging it for the last twenty-four years. Before that, I can't say that good nutrition was always available. I won't get into that here, but when the only meal provided is a pot of white beans (which, it is well known, make me vomit), I can't vouch for having properly fed at crucial times in my development. I hate beans. My childhood is the reason why.

Anyway, what's important is the present going forth, and I need to get it straight now. The problem is that I don't eat enough. My family saw at Christmas what my appetite has become. I picked at what little food I put on my plate, though there were extenuating circumstances that day. My dog was recovering from his attack, and I was still in shock from what I had seen.

I just don't feel like eating. That's all. And I certainly don't feel like going to a lot of trouble every night after work and the gym. I definitely can't use recipes that call for exotic ingredients. Keep in mind that even leeks are exotic in this little town.

I keep searching for "running nutrition" and while I get a few interesting recipes, there is no guide to tell me what I'm supposed to eat. I suppose it's that plate thing, eh?

Another thing... It happens randomly that I can't sleep after working out past 8 o'clock. If I work till 4:30, I'm starving and have to eat something, then wait a couple of hours for my food to digest, which puts my workout way too late for sleeping. What's the answer? Sleep aids?

Maybe I need to come up with some great stew recipes that I can make on the weekends and freeze so that prep won't be a problem when I'm busy.

Maybe the problem is that my extra hours of work are wearing me down to the point that $75 extra a week isn't worth it anymore. I'm tired and out of entertaining ideas for the kids. I want my time back. Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad at the original 1 day a week. Two... Are wearing my patience thin. I just want to go home at 3:15. Eat. Nap. Go to the gym. Run outside before dark. Cook nutritious food for myself. Play with my dog. Meet some new people. Work on my house. Do some fiction writing.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Reality and Imagination

Last night I dreamed I finished a half marathon. Strong finish, hands up, smile for the camera, all that. Except I don't believe there was any camera, because it seemed to be a typical low-rent local event put on merely to collect cash. They did give me a finisher's medal, though it was a cheap looking hunk of metal. Lol

The amusing part was that I was about to lose my right shoe coming across the finish line, and I probably looked rather goofy trying to keep it on. In reality, that's not what will happen -- my piriformis muscle will pinch my sciatic nerve and I'll end up dragging my right leg across the finish. I knew this even while I was dreaming it.

Well, it's better than the dream the night before, when I was carrying a severed head in my left hand, everywhere I went. People acted like there was really something wrong with that. Hahaha. I don't know whose head it was or even who did the deed. I just knew that I had to carry it and it was making people avoid me. That's probably the point of the dream -- a demonstration of why people avoid me -- like I'm carrying an invisible severed head all the time.

Aw come on, I've never actually wanted to hurt anybody, let alone deal with the goriness of severing a head. It's just my mental version of Jacob Marley's chains. An albatross for the feelings I can't Ignore. I woke up with a bad headache yesterday -- it could have been my own head I was carrying around.

Maybe I could go to the gym today and get back to my running. I think the bronchial swelling has gone down, because only a little light coughing remains. I don't feel dizzy and lightheaded today, so yayyyyy. Finished my antibiotics so the insomnia is gone. Any hope of doing well in the upcoming race is gone, ha ha.

But that's okay. I'm still just a beginner in running. When it stops being a parade of pain and injury, then I'll be able to do more. My ankles tell the tale. They are pretty sculpted now, and don't crackle when I try to run. It takes a while for everything to start to come together, especially if you weren't built like a skinny boy to begin with. :) Much easier for those who naturally are, of course.

Three day weekends could be such a wonderful thing if I had anything happier to do than sit here by myself. I'm sure my dog would argue that the opportunity to give him lengthy belly rubs is reward in itself.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Running Goal Review

I was invited this week to run the St Jude Half Marathon with a fellow teacher and her sister in December.

I'd like to be able to, but I've learned that when I push myself too hard toward a slightly unreasonable goal, I injure myself. The half is on my goal list for 2014, actually. Right now I'm trying to conquer the 5k.

I just don't want to do the injury-rest a month-injury-rest a month cycle. I want to, more or less, smoothly progress upward without all the age-related setbacks. That way leads to permanently quitting because I'm injury-prone.

I want to be a runner the rest of my life, but as someone told me, until I can run and it's a reward instead of a punishment, I won't stick with it. I can't just relax and run yet. Bleh.... Right now I have to monitor foot strike, lifting my right leg, and breathing, constantly. My body isn't trained to just run yet.

Things that would help me progress:

No diabetic complications (that's a random variable, though I've been fortunate)
Easy, healthy, quick food prep (will take lots of research and long cooking days to prepare, but I think, doable)
Stronger legs / no more shin splints / no more piriformis syndrome
Appreciable weight loss (This one defies all logic with me, because I don't eat ENOUGH)
Knowledge of good local places to run (1 mile path in the park, track & treadmill are all I've found)

I did buy some spiffy new running duds, and I still haven't tried on my shirts yet, though the UnderArmour capris fit nicely. It would have been nice if Dick's hadn't inexplicably cancelled my purchase of the pink striped ones, though.

I may not be able to hit my goal of a consistent 15 minute mile by the end of the month. It's two weeks away and I can't do anything about running right now. I'm a little bit frustrated.

Fortunately for me, while I've been sick, my Yorkie has been very insistent about cuddling with me whenever possible. He willingly comes into my arms for full wraparound hugs and sleeps pressed against me, giving concerned looks whenever I start hacking.

Blasted Bronchitis

I get bronchitis once a year, usually as allergy season kicks in. This year it came early, but I didn't let it drag on for a month before I saw a doctor; I went after seven days. It started as laryngitis. Aha! Maybe that's a warning indicator for me. The first subtle warning was a sudden drop in stamina while running. (I thought I had lost my fledgling mental game, actually.) Then came the chest pain with no other symptoms.

And then.... Laryngitis. Aww come on, I'm not THAT talkative!

I probably fought off a cold successfully, but not the bacteria that tends to cause my bronchitis. And thus I developed a bacterial infection in my upper respiratory tract with resultant bronchitis.

I was JUST starting to advance in my running! But I have to take it easy for a while. *sigh*. I have to remember not to beat myself up over this, a factor I had no control over. If I push too hard, I won't get completely well and I'll probably relapse.

I guess I should just be satisfied with the fact that my throat is almost healed from all of the rawness of last week and that now I can drink all of those lovely bronchitis-healing liquids I couldn't bear to swallow much last week, try though I might, and I never got enough.


On the brighter side, I've started doing stretches for piriformis syndrome, and my "dead leg" no longer seems to be dragging. I feel the pinching still, but I can use it normally. I haven't tried so much as a slow jog with it though. *cough, hack, wheeze*. I'm not up to doing the full complement of physical therapy stretches yet, but I will probably have to.

We were released from school yesterday for impending freezing rain (which started as I got into my car at 1:45, so it was a good call to leave early. Today was excused as a snow day as well. So what did I do? I rested my butt off.

I accepted the inclement weather time-out as good rest-in-bed time, and that's just what I did. I slept about ten hours today, and I'm still pretty tired, but not coughing as much, nor as brutally. I'm still working on the Popsicles for my throat, because it is healing rather dry, and it sticks together quite often.

Confession: When I made my "getting ready to be sick in bed" run to the store for comfort provisions, I bought a 12 pack of ginger ale and a 12 pack of Pepsi, which I haven't done in a long time. Under (previously) normal circumstances, I would make excuses to drink a couple of cans every day until it was gone and I was feeling guilty. I think that in a week, I drank 1 Pepsi and 3 ginger ales total. (I tried orange juice, but it was excruciating, and even Crystal Light hurt too much after a couple of days. Then water started hurting too, but I forced myself to drink it.) The rest are still sitting there in the box. That should prove how raw my throat was. :).

In bed, trying to stay warm, tired tired TIRED! Running would be tough, even if my coughing didn't bring accusatory stares from fellow gym goers for being a possible agent of contagion. Resting, coughing, expelling, hydrating. Necessary steps. :-/ It's not laziness.

My central heat is temporarily working, but needs a new blower, uncrushed return duct (how did THAT happen?), and an honest repairman who doesn't forget what is wrong, what he has seen, and when he said he would be back, and then cover it by telling another version to someone else, who agrees that I'm just an idiot because I'm female.

Yeah, I'm aware of what's being said, and I'll forgive your sexist attitude if I can get my central unit repaired. I'm not stupid, but I will admit this mechanical stuff bores the daylights out of me, so I don't study it.

I just want it to work properly, and I'm willing to pay fairly for a proper repair. :). Really! But I've been put on the back burner until the repair guy forgets what needs to be done, and then forgets me entirely, so what can I do about it? Nag? Okay! I'll become a naggy b!

Anyway, I'm imagining all of my running gains draining away, here in the middle of week two of "sick woman recovering." Maybe I'm wrong... Maybe I will only lose a week's progress or so. *sigh*

Weird dream this morning.... There was a cherubic blonde-haired little boy in my dream, holding out his arms and wanting me to take him. We played with Legos. He was a smart little fella for a toddler, because he built me a little Lego forklift with wings. :) I know, weird. I woke up crying. No need to analyze that one. It's pretty obvious what it means.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bacterial Infection, Again

For the second time in 10 months, I went to the doctor for a help kicking my (supposed) cold. Nope. No sinus involvement to speak of. Turned out, yet again, to be a bacterial upper respiratory infection. No wonder my ears were hurting.

It just hurt too much to cough, which I needed to do, with my raw throat. Plus, the stuff I was trying to cough out was just too darn thick and sticky in there. Yeah, eww. I thought I was pushing the fluids before! As they used to say in the old MTV commercials -- too much is never enough!

By Monday my throat was too raw for any liquid but water. Everything else not only burned like napalm, it hurt underneath it. I became afraid to swallow.... Shades of Poe, anyone? Seriously, tried straight honey to coat my throat, then warm herbal tea with tons of honey to soothe it. Chloraseptic throat spray stopped helping for more than a few moments, and Life Savers made my eyes water, but a dry throat sent me into gut-wrenching hacking spasms that made me think I was going to wet my pants, throw up, expel my lungs, pass out, and suffocate simultaneously.

It's embarrassing, to say the least. I hide from witnesses, in case something awful does happen.

Talk about a rock and a hard place. It really frightens me when that happens. It makes me have flashbacks to watching my mother die from COPD. It may be what kills me, but the irony of it is, I've chosen to take good care of my lungs. I've never been a smoker. I avoid other people's smoke.

And here I am. I even sound like her at the end right now, in my hoarseness like hers. It's a horrifying glimpse into the future and the past.

Now I've lost eight days of running and strength training at the gym. Probably a few more, while I get past the hacking and inevitable evil stares from other gym goers, who will stare accusingly a the plague bringer and not understand that the bacterial infection isn't contagious like a virus would be. If a virus gave rise to the bacteria, I never heard a peep from it. Maybe I got exposed to the flu and fought it off because i had a flu shot, but a little bacterium took up residence in my right upper bronchii, which cased my chest pain last Tuesday, following my loss od stamina and forced shallow breathing on Monday.

It's possible that there was no virus with a tag along bacterium. Maybe the bacterium was a lone assassin all along. It happens, though it's uncommon.

Obviously, I can't sleep. It's probably anxiety over sleeping with my electric fireplace on, to keep my pipes from freezing while the central heat does its psychotic thing of working three days on, three off. What gives with that thing? It "works" when the repair guy is here so there is nothing for him to find, but it won't keep working, and he kinda acts like I'm too stupid to understand how to run my central unit, suddenly, after 12 years with the thing. It worked great for nine years, then kerplooey! I know, the don't last forever, and mine likely wasn't new when I bought the house. I just miss how well it used to work, and my formerly low utility bills.

So NOT fun to deal with while I'm dealing with a respiratory infection, though it was interesting to find I had refrigerated my sleeping self all night. Fan going, top off, 63 degrees, and you would think that with my skin temperature mirroring the chilly air in the room, literally with half of me exposed to the skin all night, that I would have pulled the comforter up. Nope. I was just there, chillin. Literally. I suppose I may have to induce hypothermia again tonight, to get any sleep in. It's just not coming, though I've had a double dose of codeine cough syrup. And started a Z pack. And that shot. Yeah. They gave me the works. And I hope it work fast. I'm on a Walk Across Tennessee team with some marathoners!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bronchitis Update

So far, my chest cold is holding steady. I had laryngitis today, and a little bit of coughing. No fever, no aching, though my throat is a bit scratchy and my ears feel a little itchy. I'm still taking the Dragon Slayer remedy twice daily. (So if I smell like garlic, you know why. Get over it.)

I've been taking Aleve D Cold & Sinus to stave off sinus symptoms, lots of orange juice, Crystal Light, Vitamin C Gummies, spicy southwestern soup, and lots of rest at home after work. Avoiding my family because I'm sick and I don't want to give this to anyone. These are my safeguards. Don't get me wrong; I'd love for someone to come and take care of me a little bit, but who would want to do that? I must be realistic.

Bronchitis has always been difficult for me to get over. Last year I had it for over a month before I finally went to the urgent care clinic for a shot. I had become so weak and worn down. Turns out it started with a sinus infection, which drained right into my lungs and became a full blown respiratory infection with bronchitis. They gave me a shot which really did make me feel like I might live after all, cough syrup loaded with codeine so that I could sleep, steroids and antibiotics. Yay, I was loaded up with some fine healing pharmaceuticals, and I started recovering fast.

I cough so hard my face goes dark red and I gasp and choke to get my breath back afterward. It scares the kids in my class because I sound like I'm choking and I look like I'm about to rupture blood vessels in my head. Usually it's just a few drops of blood when I cough though.

In short, I look and sound like I'm dying. Running is hopefully helping me to strengthen my poor lungs. Any little irritation after a bout with bronchitis sets me off, so I have to avoid people that smoke. Hey, didn't you know their right to smoke is more important than my right to clean air to breathe which doesn't make me labor to inhale? No? Well, smokers can be a little closed-minded about what their entitlements are, and most don't give a damn if they are actually hurting someone right here and now.

Running helps with general health and immunities, but with a chest cold or any symptoms below the neck, running is discouraged. With fever or a compromised ability to breathe, you put excessive strain on your heart to just keep running and breathing. I hate having to take time off from running, but I don't want to get REALLY sick.

I'm afraid to jinx myself, but I think the Dragon Slayer is actually helping. Yay. It may not cure it all instantly, but it gives the old immune system a good boost to squash the bug. If nothing else, it'll lessen the severity. I'm hoping I don't wake up with lungs full of mucus though. It would be a disappointment.

So... I'm not doing too badly tonight. I hope this is a positive sign. :)

I'd really like to get back to my training because I don't want to lose my progress, and I have some goals I'd like to meet. One of those goals is to maintain a solid fifteen minute mile. I know you aren't impressed. Lol. I am truly an out of shape beginner, suffering a whole lot of common beginner problems, but in May I will be able to say I've been running for a year, and I will advance myself to intermediate status. (Though just by the grace of being over 40, I'm in the Master Class of runners. It sounds impressive, but it just means over 40. I qualify for the Clydesdale category too, and that's less flattering. LOL)

Oh, I also bought some new running clothes, but I've been too tired to try them on. Capris and Zensah technical running shirts that were $40 but I got them on clearance for $9.99 each. Yay!). Neon pink shin and arm compression sleeves. If you're gonna wear them, ya might as well be bold, right? Besides, I plan to run in more cancer charity races, and the signature color is pink.

Someday, someday, I'll be in that magical zone where I can start running the miraculous five miles a day that will make me lose weight. Right now, I'm building up to it. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Drinking the Dragon Slayer

I'm starting to feel a little bit loopy. I have taken two doses so far of the Dragon Slayer remedy (http://www.clickclackgorilla.com/2011/12/06/dragon-slayer-season-begins-again/) in hopes of keeping my chest cold from settling in. So far I've had a sore throat / back of tongue, reduced stamina (that was my first sign I was about to get sick), pain when breathing, and coughing. A little sneezing and a runny nose as well.

I made sure to eat a good lunch with beets, which is unusual for me, because they taste pleasant and still taste like the dirt they grew in. My feeling of wellness is taking a downhill slide, though very slowly. I can handle a brief cold, but once it gets int my chest, I'll suffer for a month trying to breathe with bronchitis, and I have a 5k to run in exactly one month. I was hoping to show some improvement in my time for that race. I'm afraid it will be a battle once again.

I stayed home and in bed yesterday after work, except for going to buy an exercise mat (for stretching my piriformis at work ) and the ingredients for the Dragon Slayer remedy.

Dragon Slayer:
Juice of half a lemon
A medium clove of fresh garlic, minced
A dash of chili powder

Mix it up and drink it in one swallow. It mostly tasted like lemon juice to me.

Right now it's my planning time and I just want to be home, asleep in bed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Here There Be Coughs.

Last night I couldn't run for longer than a couple of minutes at a time without stopping from panic breathing. I was disappointed that I had to keep taking walk breaks because I conquered panic breathing a couple of months ago when I got closer to the end of my C25k program. It was mind over matter, after all.

So what was the MATTER with my MIND last night?

I deny that it had anything to do with a couple of men actually LOOKing at me at the gym last night. One of them actually smiled at me. Yeah, a year and a half later, I got noticed. Lol. What are the odds?

Maybe he was just being friendly. Maybe I was the subject of a laugh because I looked like I was dying there on the treadmill.

I just couldn't catch my breath last night. Why? WHY? WHYYYYY when I've been making progress with my running? I managed to finish my leg exercises on the machines after that, increasing my reps to 20 on every set. I'll admit that on the glute machine, I was trembling like an earthquake by the last set, with the effort of doing the lifts properly and controlling slow returns. But as I've said before, there is a nerve problem in my right leg. Meralgia paresthetica has messed with my right quad for years, and I have likely developed Piriformis syndrome on that leg as well. I have to drag that leg to move it forward. I did some of the physical therapy stretches on it today, and woweee, that Piriformis is TIGHT. And that's a bad thing. It's pinching my sciatic nerve, causing pain and weakness.

My entire core is weak, but I'm working on it.

If you are in your 20s, stay in shape. Get there if you aren't.
If you are in your 30s, get in shape and fight to stay there.
If you wait until you are a depressed 40 year old, you never know what conditions other than obesity and diabetes are lurking in the shadows to waylay you when you finally work up the courage to do what it takes.

At this rate, imma fall and break a hip before I lose any weight permanently.

Tonight I came home from work, feeling pain in my right chest when I inhale. And I'm coughing. I've apparently picked up a bug and they always go straight to my lungs. Bronchitis, pneumonia... I dunno which it will be or what to do about it.

I hope I can kick it fast, because I have a 5k exactly one month from tomorrow. I don't want to be merely trying to survive, once again.

Instead of going to the gym, I had some spicy homemade soup and then passed out face down on my bed. Yep, I guess I'm tired.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Welcome to My Wall *bonk*

First, a disclaimer:
I was my fault, and I was really stupid today. I blame my disordered eating -- I'm scared to eat and it kills my appetite often. (Which is my fault too.) I didn't eat enough. I started the day with two cups of milk, made into lattes. A few hours later I had three scrambled eggs with a wedge of Laughing Cow cheese. And then I waited on the repair guy to get here until it was dark. Several hours of not enough fuel and then I went to the gym. I had a G Prime pouch and a half a pack of Clif Shot Bloks on the way.

Today was the day for my 35 minute run - the longest I've ever run. The end of my Couch to 5k program. A milestone.

Well, I tripped over that milestone and the road almost rose up to hit me in the face.

I was going at a very easy pace - only 3.6 on the treadmill. At this point I'm working on endurance rather than speed. I should have been able to do it.

Maybe I should have taken another rest day and cross trained instead. Maybe I should have been eating better in the hours since my previous run to replenish my glycogen stores. (Oh, ya think?!?)

Halfway through, I was struggling. My concentration was wandering, almost desperately. I felt absolutely fatigued. I kept checking my timer. I finished the Clif Bloks with water and took a few walk breaks in my run, which disappointed me greatly. So darn tired. Sweating crazily... I mean, sweat was dripping off the sides of my face and my hair was drenched, and I don't usually sweat my clothes damp, but my clothes were soaked. I finished the time, running slowly as much as I could, but my brain defeated me and my hand kept slowing the speed down before I even realized what I was doing.

I took my time on the strength machines, which was easy, because I'm one of the few people in town working out on a Friday night instead of being out on a date. Abs, arms, chest, shoulders. Lots of machines I just hate. Hahaha. I make my jokes about leg day, but I would rather do those exercises any day.

I weighed myself, though I swore I wouldn't, and I've lost two pounds. Surely that came from the extra miles on the treadmill? I'm just trying to get more miles on my legs and feet, to make them stronger.

Then I got my second wind and decided to stretch my legs out with a very easily-paced 2.5 mile walk. But I got hungry. And then I started feeling the warning trembles (and blurry vision) of dropping blood sugar. Plans to make a peanut butter & plain yogurt protein smoothie (after a grocery shopping expedition) dissolved abruptly when I realized I wasn't going to make it to the store and back home again.

So I made a side trip to grab something carby and quick while the world was swimming in front of me, hoping I wouldn't pass out. Made it home to a cold house, turned on a space heater in the bedroom, and got my shivering self under the covers where I passed out for a couple of hours.

I know. Don't lecture me. I've lived with hypoglycemia / Type 2 Diabetes over 20 years now. I'm handling it.

When I started waking up, I was thinking how pleasantly womb-warm and cuddly the room was. Quincy was snuggled beside me with his legs splayed to catch a breeze on his tummy. I showered, and got my gym clothes in for washing. That's why I'm up so late. Gotta wait for the load to finish so I can hang everything up to dry.

Today I decided I've had absolutely enough of washing and wearing the same pair of UnderArmour running tights, and ordered myself a new set of clothes. Capris, shirts, leg and arm compression sleeves, socks. I hesitate to buy a lot in this size because I'm hoping that I can get to a smaller size before dropping another $70 on a pair of tights.

Yes, they have been worth what I paid for them. I like the way the UAs are made, how they fit, and especially how they look on me. They give me reassurance that I'm doing the right thing. They make me feel kinda like Catwoman. :D. Yeah. Shut up.

They hide the fact that I'm pasty and pale under my clothes. Lol I'll get some color on me this year, I promise. My calves are shaping up visibly, so maybe my thighs are in there somewhere. Besides, come spring, I'll be running outside and have to switch back to tanks and shorts, no matter what I look like.

If you want to offer advice, here's what I need advice on: meals with NO exotic ingredients, that can be prepared ahead and possibly frozen, that will meet my nutritional needs. Not prepackaged stuff. Recipes I can cook. I don't mind doing some batch cooking, but I just don't have time after a long day of work to cook a good meal from scratch, digest it, and get to the gym without disrupting my sleep schedule. Mmmkay? ;)

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Teacher Nightmare

I know that a lot of folks out there (like me) still have school nightmares: you arrive naked (sometimes just partially, like barefoot) at school, you can't find any of your classes, you can't find your locker / remember the combination, you don't understand anything you're about to be tested on, you can't find your homework....

If you're sharp and can avoid the anxiety manifestation, you'll realize it's just a dream and make the best of it. You can go explore parts of the school that don't exist in the real world, skip class and have a huge party somewhere on campus, become the walk-on star of the school play, or any number of other crazy slacker activities you wouldn't have worn your penny loafers out of line to do when you really were a student.

Dreams of being in a math class where I didn't understand a thing going on plagued me until I was a graduate student and found myself in a very familiar room and situation from my nightmare.

Statistics. It was the manifestation of my lifelong nightmare. When I completed the class with an A, that nightmare stopped. I still have the others though. Probably because I work in a school and it keeps the scab pulled off the wound. Apparently I still have a lot of unfinished business to deal with, regarding my school anxiety. Perfect attendance through school anxiety -- that was me. Stomach aches EVERY morning. Nausea at times. Yeah, kids, I understand. Sometimes I still get that.

As a teacher, the nightmares grow new teeth. Last night I was suddenly in another school. It was the first day of school and I was there just in the nick of time to greet my first class of the day. But they hadn't told me what room I was going to be in. I tried to find it by using information posted in the hallway, and when I got to my old classroom, someone else was already all moved in and using my stuff. (Okay, that did happen a couple of times.). I decided to come back after and get my stuff when I figured out what was going on, but I was mad.

I followed through the halls, looking for the names of the teachers I usually worked near. Of course, the hallways were composed of weird angles that made no sense to me. I finally found my name on a "teaching team" sheet and some teacher came up and said, "Oh! You're a ______. You're in room 204" (200- something... I can't remember now.)

Now she called me a ____ lizard, frog, something amphibious... Sheesh, what is with the cutesy animal mascots and team nicknames. I had to do that my first year. We were the "turtles". Lol in more ways than one, lemme tell ya. I didn't like the association with being slow, so I painted a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and put him up outside my door. For about five minutes I was "cool" and then the miscreants were allowed to take over by those weakly in charge of the school.

Anyway, I wandered the building searching for my new classroom for an hour and found a note saying that my room number was one of the truly awful second floor attic classrooms without closet space, windows, or even a board to write on. *sigh*. I think that was when I woke up. Ugh. It's like that movie "Office Space" when the guy with the red stapler keeps getting his desk moved to worse and worse places in the building before anybody just goes on and fires him.

So the student nightmare only changes a little when you're a teacher. But you have it for the rest of your life, even when you're being told you're doing a good job.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Almost Finished With C25K. :D

I have one more run to go. Yay! Tomorrow, if my legs cooperate. I will probably go on and forge ahead with C210k. C25K is an eight week program, but I didn't finish it that quickly. Nothing said I had to! The every other day approach, I believe, is intended to ensure that participants take necessary rest days from running. If you're young and in decent shape already, you probably CAN run every other day.

I'm just a tad over 40, finally starting my running life, so I had a hard time believing that my muscles weren't strong enough and my connective tissues weren't elastic enough to just beast the darn program. If it hadn't hurt, I probably would have tried to skip some rest days.

Yeah, mentally I'm still 25 years old wondering where the heck the last sixteen years went. I haven't had the traditional middle age so far. No serious relationship, though there were a few guys who admittedly, were allowed to treat me like a doormat, necessitating the building of much higher and stronger emotional walls. No family of my own, ever. It'll never be possible. It was very important to me. It'll haunt me the rest of my days.

I kicked myself through training May, June, and July, running outside in seriously high temps and humidity that made me dizzy. At the end of July, my shin splints were so excruciating that I had to cease and desist through the month of August. I blame poor shoes, the pavement I was running on, and my own stubbornness. Plus, I didn't know the difference between normal soreness and the pain that precedes a serious injury. (I was having trouble WALKING.) I thought I was just being a crybaby and I tried to tough it out.

Yeah, you've called me that too. You think I didn't know? :) But I digress.

I'm learning what's simple muscle soreness, what's serious pain, and someday when I'm stronger, hopefully my soreness won't stretch for days into an injury I couldn't see coming.

I started C25K over at the beginning in September. I don't regret it. When I started back with the 1 min run 1 1/2 min walk increments, and breezed right through them, it made me feel so successful. My ego needed a bandaid! A silly multicolored one fit for a child. My inner child needed some gold stars.

I signed up for a Valentine's Day race (okay, the Saturday before. Believe me, I know when my birthday will hit. No problem with my age, just so you know. Just the ironic suckage of being born on Valentine's Day and never having a Valentine. Bleh). It's a charity race, under the banner of "Tickled Pink For A Cure". I see that there are seven women registered in my age group already, so of course, I won't even place. Haha! But because I signed up early enough, I'll get a personalized bib. They didn't ask me what I wanted on it. Maybe they'll just stick with my first name.

I'm okay with having no chance of winning, I really am.

I just don't. Want. To. Come. In. Last. Again.


I did that, and it didn't kill me, but it embarrassed me. I'm still embarrassed.

The reward for me being brave and signing up is a new pair of Zensah shin sleeves in either Neon Pink or Tie Dye Pink. I can't decide. Maybe just the Neon, for visibility. I'm going to get a pair of arm compression sleeves, too.

I hope this course will give us (at least) water. The last one had NOTHING on the course. At the finish, we could get a bottle of water. If I'd known that, I'd have taken my handheld. I do get pretty dry-throated at times and then I get choked.

Recap of last night at the gym - 10 min warmup walk + 30 min nonstop running + 5 min cool down walk. I never needed a walk break in that 30 minutes. Major goofy grin here, because I didn't believe it was possible a year ago. It was jus a bizarre lifelong fantasy of mine.

Tomorrow night is 35 min nonstop running. I know I can do it, because once I overcame my panic at higher breathing, I realized the only thing I had to worry about was energy management.

Yep, still a problem for me. Clif Shot Bloks will have to be the solution until blood sugar stops plummeting with exertion. It'll take some practice to get the nutrition and energy balanced for distance running.

After I finished 2.5 miles on that treadmill, I was over the time limit imposed by the gym. Oops. :). Only 30 minutes per cardio machine during peak times. BUT... When I arrived, there was only one treadmill available to use, so I took it. By the time I finished my first round, several had opened up, so I didn't skip my cool down.

I did all of my leg machines, including the glute machine, nicknamed the "butt blaster". Lol. That just sounds rude! I don't have any butt to lose, but it's incredibly weak, and my piriformis / glute/ i don't know what keeps hurting / dying on me while I run. Strengthen 'em all -- maybe that'll fix me up. Sadly, I could only do 10 pounds on that one! Lol. My left leg was up for the new challenge. My right leg... The effort to properly and slowly push back a mere ten pounds had me shaking and sweating. You're not supposed to kick. It has to be a controlled push and release. (I'm relieved there was nobody in there to witness my misery.)

I don't know how interrelated with this my meralgia paresthetica is. Its the same leg. But after I developed a tightness somewhere above my hamstring a few months ago, I have noticed my right leg doesn't want to lift on its own power, and I essentially drag it forward and up using my hip. Yeah, ouch.

Feels like I'm doing a zombie imitation. Braaaains! I hope nobody can tell when they see me walk.

It's weak, or dying, or something, and if I ask a local doctor, it's either all in my head or unfixable, but please keep coming back every few months so I can collect more money from you. Ka-Ching.

My neurosurgeon told me I have the very healthy spine of a 19 year old. (Give it back! Lol) He also said there was nothing he could do to help except give me a bunch of pain meds which will definitely make me gain weight. No THANK you! I'm gonna try making myself stronger. And I'm going to run while I still have sensation in my leg, even though that sensation is most often burning electrical nerve pain. Yeehaa.

After the leg machines, I got back on the treadmill to see what would happen if I put in a nice leisurely 2 mile walk to stretch things out. And build my base. And 2 turned into 2.5 before my upper leg started whispering that I'd better knock it off before it screamed.

I'm not any the worse for wear today. It's the usual bit of calf soreness. No shin pain yet. Still wearing my shin sleeves because they massage my legs nicely and keep them warm and feeling loved.

Note: Thanks to cherierunsthis.com, I know the magic mileage where weight loss hopefully starts: 20 miles a week. I'm going to work my way there, and at least it will give me some hope. :D

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

5.1 miles

I completed 5.1 miles on the treadmill tonight. 30 minutes of that time was nonstop running. True, I allowed for a ten minute warmup walk at the beginning because I'd taken so much time off, and I ran at only 3.6 mph for most of it, but I ran 30 minutes without stopping! Went and did all of my leg day machines (even the glute machine.... I hate it intensely because of my femoral nerve problem, but it's a weak place for me) and then got back on the treadmill to go another 2.5 miles, taking it at an easy walking pace. I just wanted to know if I could do 5 miles :). I can.

A caveat: I did take half a pack of Clif Strawberry Shot Bloks before I started to run, and I felt so wasted after my run that I took the other half. That enabled me to keep going, feeling normal.

I hope I'm not too sore tomorrow.

I stopped by the coffee shop, thinking I would get a drink as a rare treat, but I sat at the dang drive thru and got ignored! Several times, a girl, then some guy, and even the owner (who now swears I must have been invisible and the bell wasn't working) walked past the window. Once the girl was facing out of the window for several seconds and then just walked off.

I sat through a full five minutes wondering if this had anything to do with me asking the owner out a few years ago. Yeah, I did. He absolutely blew me off and ignored THAT question. Nice manners. He's just another guy who hates me.

I got cold. It's 28 degrees out. I was tired and wanting to order dinner too. So I drove off because I didn't think waiting any longer would get results. I just made a glass of chocolate milk at home, where the new thermostat isn't making the central unit work after all. I told it I'd like 74 degrees. It hasn't moved past 68.

I should just buy a new one. I can afford it.

My poor dog. I gave him a little bowl of milk and he shivered so hard after drinking it. Now he's cuddled into my belly. The love of my life.

In case you were wondering, no, I did NOT check my weight on the scale. It's never a good thing for me to do. Call me negative all you like. Bad stuff keeps happening.

The new thermostat isn't what the central unit needed after all. It's dead. And pretty damn cold in here. So before you start, please do not tell me how blessed I am. I'm feeling pretty low.

"Local" Running Store? What's THAT?

Annoying limitations of living in a small town that is getting smaller every day.

We don't have a "local" ANYthing, except Wal-Mart. There is a single "sporting goods store," but they apparently cater to the basketball shorts, star jerseys, and little league crowd. They sneered at me when I asked them about sports bras. Maybe the problem was that the teenybopper employees were too engrossed in their personal conversation to assist customers who actually HAVE something to put in a sports bra. It's a problem they clearly didn't understand.

I can't shop in a wannabe sporting goods store that doesn't even have merchandise for women. Not even when my nephews would like something from there. Dick's may be nearly an hour away, but they at least understand that women spend high dollar amounts when they find what they need. even Gander Mountain gets that. They may not have running gear, but they do have UnderArmour, and I tested my size there.

Well, Dick's is great, but I'd really love the place if they actually stocked my size. I'm fat. I need an XL top to contain the girls. They seem to think that women like me don't need athletic wear too. How do I get down to a large or medium without buying the XL clothes? Oh. My baggy cotton t-shirts. Chafe city. Guess it's just too bad because I'm fat.

(I HATE shopping. Think it might have something thing to do with my self-image? Yeah buddy. It might be different if someone showed an interest in the person who is in here, and ignored the pudge on the outside. *Sigh* Don't lecture me. I know. I KNOW. I already tried that. It didn't work. If you really had "the ONE true answer", you'd be a millionaire self-help guru, wouldn't you? Maybe in a few years, things will get better. That's been my mantra for the past 25 years. I'll probably still be reassuring myself with it on my deathbed.)

Okay, stop and imagine the sound of me running in my compression shorts. It's like corduroy pants. Only louder. Rip-rip, rip-rip. :). Are you smiling? It's pretty darn funny.

True, I could wear a L, but it would be tight. Indecently, trampishly tight. Tight clothes make me claustrophobic, too. And let's face it -- muffin tops and fat rolls aren't attractive. If you've got them, you shouldn't flaunt them. You should hide them until you lose them. Just my opinion. :) Bottoms that are too tight? Yeah, I COULD wear a 12, but I'd like to believe I'm realistic. Pulling out a wedgie is NOT cute. It's a health issue. You know where I could head with that, so I'm not going any further. It's disgusting. People shouldn't be staring at your crotch in workout clothes for any reason. Leave it to their imagination, completely!

Hey, I would spend the money for some name brand gear, if I could just try it on. :D I NEED to see that it's not gonna make me look like an idiot in denial before I buy it.

The "local" running store is an hour and a half away. I got shoes! I got Gu and Roctane! I got an Amphipod water bottle that fits my small grip - in neoprene! I even got reflector bands to wear! I loved Fleet Feet. I just wish they had had clothing in MY SIZE. LOL I guess runners don't believe somebody my size is a runner too, and would like to dress the part with some styyyyle.

Because I don't actually have any style of my own. Hahaha!
And none of these items are available where I live, which is starting to feel like Little House on the Prairie. One restaurant announces that it is building here, and three close. It's shrinking into a ghost town.

I ordered Zensah Compression Shorts. (I love their shin sleeves. Lifesavers for my shin splints.).

Wow. Now I understand Spanx. I was a size 10 wearing those shorts! I just had a leeeetle trouble sitting down. Lol. I had asked before ordering if sizing would be appropriate for me : "Thank you for writing to us. If you wear a size 14 in women's pants, the
shorts should fit you. You would be on the upper end of our size scale, but
still within range for the shorts to fit well."

Gee, thanks... Hahaha Way to stroke my ego! Lol. Well, at least he wasn't mean with his answer. Upper end. Yeah, no kidding.

I AM working on it! I have been since June 2011. I run partially because it might help me lose weight. (I understand there is no guarantee, now.). The other reason I run: when its going well, I love the feeling of nearly effortless speed. The wind in my hair. The feeling of freedom. Solitude with a purpose. The rare endorphin rush. (Twice in seven months. Yeehaa! Pitiful, huh? Lol)

I would love to have a local running store. :). I could try stuff on, and set my sights on incremental rewards for running. I could actually buy a pair of socks safe to run in!

I'd love to have a local craft store, or fabric store, or even art classes. But let's face it.... Nothing is local but the dried up hometown and the self-proclaimed lords of the county who won't allow anything of the sort unless it provides a payoff to them. Gotta love small-town corruption.

I wonder, will it still be great to be big fish in a small pond, after the big fish drink all the water and the pond dries up? This isn't a community, it's a fiefdom. ;)

Feeding the Beast

I finally had enough of dealing with my central heating unit NOT kicking on unless I jacked up the temp to 85 degrees. I played with the mercury switch inside, and while it heated for a few hours, by the next morning the darn thing had stopped working again.

Argh. If only anger could keep me warm... my feet and hands wouldn't have been freezing. But you know, it was one of those situations in which I was incredulous that once again, the unit was malfunctioning.

The problem was that once it came on, it would never go off, and I'd wake up in the middle of the night, sweating, all covers thrown off, ceiling fan on high, with a headache, fresh out of a nightmare. Then the stupid thing wouldn't come on without casting a virtual magic spell. I suspected it was the thermostat. A few other people agreed.

So my brother went to Lowes with me to help me pick out a suitable programmable thermostat to replace ye olde mercury switch. And after we had dinner, he installed it for me. :D I was going to give it a shot myself, but I think he suspected that I was chicken about touching wires.

And you never know with me anyway. I once short-circuited a TV at work that wasn't even plugged in, just by putting my hands on the sides. The kids said that they saw what looked like lightning branch out from where I put my hands, and then crackle across the screen. I saw it too. Lol. They accused me of witchcraft, but some acted like I had a very cool secret power: amplified static electricity. Who knows? My only defense is that I didn't mean to do it. The librarian who checked the TV out to me started raking me over the coals about how I plugged it in wrong, or messed with the cords (really? For a TV / VCR cart? Hahah ) when my students defended me. "Um, Mrs. ______... She never plugged it in. She rolled it in and it fried just because she touched it."

I was not on the librarian's favorite person list after that, but she didn't seem to like anybody anyway, so it wasn't a big concern, though she treated me with disdain forevermore.

Hey lady, don't mess with me. I've got microwave fingers!

The truth is, I've never been able to wear a digital watch for more than a few hours before the LCD completely blanked out. I had two digital wristwatches for Christmas, and my parents assumed that I was messing with them somehow and broke them. I can't remember how I convinced them that it was the contact with my skin that zapped them, but the next Christmas I got a digital watch pendant to wear on the outside of my clothes.

You know how wearing a cheap ring or bracelet will eventually turn your skin green from contact with the metal? My skin turns black within hours. I can't wear cheap earrings either. Apparently I've got acidic skin, which causes some kind of reaction to the metal, and probably accounts for my problem with digital wristwatches.

However, the watch pendant never touched my skin, and it died within a couple of weeks. It could just be a coincidence, or it could be simply shoddy workmanship there at the dawn of the 80s.

But the zapped TV made me worry about touching those wires myself. It's made me rather paranoid. And there's a digital readout, so... I dunno.....

On the brighter side, after feeding my beastly central unit a lovely new programmable thermostat, it seems to be working properly. I woke to a 62 degree house (I thought he set it for 65, though, but 62 might be for my at-work hours, and 65 for sleep time -- I don't remember last night that well. ) and then bumped up the temp to 74 to see what would feel comfortable. I was absolutely tickled to see the ambient temperature reading start going up as the heat kicked on properly. :D

74 may turn out to be too warm, but I suspect that my perception of temperature is to blame. Lately I am just so darn COLD all of the time. My down comforter helps tremendously, but when I'm out from under it, I freeze and my toes stay blue and cold. Maybe it's a diabetic thing. I haven't been having any problems with mine, except when I forget to eat breakfast. Random blood sugar drops have really backed off since I started running.

I was told last night that I let my dog's recovery and my week with a migraine just be an excuse for not running. If I really wanted to, I'd have just ignored all that and gone running.

I'm not going to explain to him my fear of coming home to a dead dog who choked to death on a constricted airway. (I woke up to that Dec. 26th, 2007. I just can't take the chance. Love is more important to me than running at this point.) He gets choked with his collapsing trachea enough on normal days.

I'm not going to explain to him what a real migraine feels like. He obviously doesn't suffer from them. They aren't simply "bad headaches" -- they are an entirely different entity. When you have them, you understand that sometimes you have to leave the world behind until they are gone. When you don't have them, you just don't GET IT. God may have blessed you to not have them. :) God bless you if you do have them. I hope you find effective treatment. To date, I haven't.

I HAVE run through bad headaches before... They got so much WORSE by the time I got home, and I was sorry I'd done that. Endorphins? Yeah, whatever. Lol. They don't come when you call with a migraine. When your right eye is about to explode out of its socket with every heartbeat, you don't deliberately triple that heart rate.

I know running injury free is very good for me. I want to be able to do it whenever I want, and I want to accomplish long distance runs. But as of yet, that fellow is right. I don't love exercise for the sake of exercising. I don't love running unconditionally yet, because of the unpleasantness and pain I haven't trained past yet. I've only been running for 7 months. It hasn't lost me any weight, and I have suffered shin splints every couple of months. I don't want to be truly sidelined with a stress fracture, so my body screams with something more painful than muscle soreness, I cooperate.

So it took me ten years to put on this weight. It darn well better not take ten years to get it off! I've been working too hard to see no results after all this time. And I'm going to eventually push myself across a marathon finish line (2015), even if I still weigh this much and it's "muscle weight". That will be amazing, indeed.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

You're Going to be Amazing!

"Make 2013 Your B****! "
Hey, I didn't say that! I merely censored it. A friend told me that last night. So okay, I'll give it my best shot. LOL. The title, well, that comes in at the bottom.

I used the lovely KitchenAid stand mixer I bought myself for Christmas last night to make cheese straws, and the word is, without a doubt, SQUEE! Seriously, it's an impressive machine. It was fun just to watch that paddle mixing cheese straw dough.

I worked out the kinks in my cheese straw recipe, while I was at it, without multiple failed batches to feed to my dog. Even bad cheese straws still taste good. Lol. Nearly melting the butter with the cheese in the microwave was the trick. It was liquid enough to make the dough soft and warm enough to extrude through the cookie press. Melting the butter all the way might have caused problems with blending into the cheese, so I might not go all the way with it. I've seen a lot of recipes calling for twice the butter... Yikes! My recipe? Hmm...

I brought several great batches of cheese straws to our work Christmas party a few years back, and they were hardly touched. Same thing with any labor-intensive (and high cost) recipe I make for work -- down their noses they look, and I'm stuck with a lot of leftovers. So why should I even bother? This year I wasn't too interested in the food that others brought. Potluck just doesn't equal pig out to me. I really haven't had much appetite in a few months anyway.

But it's okay... To each his own. :). I just won't be wagging my massive Crock Pot to work anymore. I'll save my best recipes for my family and for parties, though I won't be spending another $200 on party food. I don't dream of being a caterer. :P

I've got a lot of running to do. I hope my legs are strengthening for the challenge. Maybe I'll lose a few pounds when my distance increases. I'm not counting on it. Running doesn't magically make everyone who runs lose weight.

All bodies are different. Not everyone who runs a marathon has to rely on energy supplements. Some days I need one and I'm only training for a 5k. But I have hypoglycemia, so a little boost of easily digested carbs helps me. No need for me to be ashamed, if that little bit extra keeps me going longer until my body becomes leaner and more efficient. As the saying goes, even if you're running slow, you're still lapping everybody still sitting on the couch.

Some people have no problem eating right, and some of us develop disordered eating. "Normal" is such a small segment of the population. I have a problem with eating enough when nobody is around to enforce regular meals. I don't binge, though sometimes I just don't want to eat a thing, and that's not a good strategy for me to keep running. Heck, I'm exhausted on the weeks I've eaten and slept properly.

There's just so much (stress, depression, diabetes, and more of the intangible problems that have nothing to do with food intake or exertion level, and everything to do with hormones) that ties into my body situation, and it is not that I'm stuffing my face when nobody can see me. Funny you should accuse me of that. Is it what YOU do? Projection of your own flaws onto others. Nice. Lol !

Unless you know some secret about MY body specifically, I'll pass on your trite advice. :) You don't know what you're talking about, because let's face it, you only really know about your own body.

Some folks are lucky to lose 80 pounds in six months. Some kill themselves at the gym for two years and cut calories at the same time, and still can't lost twenty pounds. Doesn't mean the second person isn't trying. It means the first person is a freak or did something dangerous to get there and it doesn't make them healthy. (Some of them merely cut down on their alcohol consumption.) But let's pat person 1 on the back and sneer at person 2. That's the usual thing to do.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to weight loss.

But I'm going to exercise, because at least my heart and lungs will be healthy. I'm going to stop worrying about the scale and what it says, because it says that I'm becoming a solid chunk of muscle. The treadmill says that I will eventually be moving my solid chunk of muscle across a marathon finish line. I'd love to have some company. :)

All I really have to remember is what someone told me on a runner's forum this morning:

"You are going to be amazing!"

That's all I need to know.