The numbers don’t lie…

December 16, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The temps around my part of the country have been allllll over the place, which is making for some very interesting running. One day this past week, I experienced running in a fairly fast-paced snowfall with a wind chill in the teens. I don’t think I even need to say this run was not one of my best. I can’t tell what my pace was, because for all practicality, how does one calculate actual speed versus speed against wind gusts of 30 mph? It was like running in a vortex.

Then, just a mere two days later, it was 50 out. 50 degrees! You can’t deny that kind of weather. I think that kind of weather happened because Mother Nature missed seeing me huffing around the neighborhood. “Where has she been? Did that day of blizzard like conditions with little to no snow accumulation deter her? Hmm, I’ll get her back out with a nice warm day!” Jerk. But I ran, so who won that one?

Actual training for the half marathon starts soon — the beginning of January, to be precisely vague. I’m following the Hal Higdon half marathon novice training schedule and extending it by repeating a couple of the weeks to realllllly get good at the running, so it will take about 14 weeks. In those 14 weeks, I’m sure I’ll run in crazier weather than what I just described. This is why I need to decide my limits. I need to decide, before a winter weather “event” (thank you, Weather Channel) occurs, exactly how much is too much — how cold is too cold — how windy is too windy. You get the idea. I need to do this now so later, I can’t go changing the rules and screwing around with the training.

It’s hard being a grown up sometimes.

In other news, I have a doctor’s appointment coming up — you know the kind. The yearly physical. *insert horror movie music here*

Here we go again…..OFF ROADING…..

I don’t mind doctor’s appointments, I don’t have a phobia of medicine or anything like that. I’ve had major surgery without incident, I usually do what they tell me and overall, I’m a pretty healthy person, so I hardly ever even darken the doctor’s doorway. But one thing always puts me off, always gives me the shakes.

You know the drill. Your name is called, you’re taken to a room. After a couple of quick questions, they gesture to the scale and ask you to “hop up”. Who is actually hopping that makes them so sure this is the correct verb for this scenario? I’d like to meet this person filled with boundless energy.

At any rate, this is where it gets tricky. First, they back you up to get your height. I’m average-sized with a dash of short and I’ve been this way since I was 13. I’m comfortable with this. It’s fine. The view never changes, so I’m never shocked when they say my height out loud. However, the weight thing…well, let’s be real here. Who hasn’t had a minor panic attack? Your scale at home, sure, you can negate that old thing. “Oh, this scale is so inaccurate. That can’t be right.” But the doctor’s office scales? Those things are calibrated at NASA. You can’t do anything to fudge those numbers.

I feel like maybe it would go better if they kept me with my back to the numbers, but they tell you to turn around. Turn around and face the numbers. The numbers don’t lie. This is how it went down last year:

Nurse: Okay, go ahead and turn around and we’ll get your weight real quick.

Me: Um, can I take off my shoes?

Nurse: It’s okay, it won’t make that much of a difference.

Me: Well, um, they’re boots, so they’re kind of heavy. I’ll just slip ’em off…just a second.

Here, I should interject: these boots were not heavy. They were ankle boots from Target, they cost $20 and they were made of all man made materials. In hindsight, Nurse was right. They would not make that much of a difference — at the time, they could cost me everything.

Nurse: *sighs* well….

And so begins the silent conversation we have between each other, using only our eyes — mine for begging, hers for apathy.

Me: Look, you’re a reasonable woman…

Nurse: This is ridiculous. I have other patients.

Me: I mean, we’re all women, aren’t we? Can’t you see where I’m coming from? Sisterhood solidarity.

Nurse: I never would have pegged her from the waiting room as a difficult one.

Me: I know I shouldn’t let the numbers determine my self worth, you’re right, you’re right, it’s just so darn hard.

Nurse: Wonder what I’ll have for lunch…

Me: And in all fairness, if you’re going to let me take my boots off, then you should really let me strip down to my skivvies, right? I mean, my pants have to weigh at least an ounce or two. And these earrings? I mean, c’mon. Whoever started the chandelier earring movement cllllllllearly did not think about the sheer heft of each dangle.

Nurse: I need to stop at the post office to mail those Christmas cards….wait, why is she still standing there looking at me like I’m her only hope? Where was I?

Back to normal, real, out loud conversation.

Nurse: Be quick about it.

I start to pull those boots off like I’ve just been given a reprieve on death row. I’m sure that I will now match the weight on my driver’s license, all because I removed the offending extra weight I was silly enough to take on when I decided to wear shoes this morning. I start to reach for my earrings. She clears her throat. I used my lifeline on my boots, apparently, I don’t have any option but to leave on everything else. Like a contestant on a game show, I hope I’ve made the right choice. I hope this will not cost me my happiness and chance at $1 million. I take a deep breath and step on the scale.

So that was last year. And you know the sick thing about it? I’m a normal, healthy weight. I am a healthy person. But for whatever reason, numbers are what matter. Not if your pants are too tight or too loose, not if you like how you look in those 3 seconds you see yourself in all your glory before you hop in the shower, not if you over did it last night so you should under do it tonight. That’s not what dominates the brains of so many women, including myself.

Sick.

So, I stopped weighing myself at home. I try and go by other indicators (mentioned above). But on Friday, I’m going to hear those numbers and this time, I’m working on how I’m going to handle it.

I’m not going to try and strip down to nothing in front of an RN I just met 5 minutes ago for the sake of 10 ounces of cloth and man made materials. I’m not going to beat myself up for being NORMAL. I’m not going to curse myself for making a yearly physical appointment right between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m going to take it like a woman.

But, I’m probably going to try and convince the nurse NOT to turn me around after she takes my height. And, I’ll wear slip-ons. 🙂

Wish me luck!

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A Whole New World

December 11, 2009 at 1:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

After a great weekend at home visiting my parents and sister, I feel completely in the Christmas spirit swing of things.  I haven’t been home to just visit for a weekend like this since I was in college.  Amazing how rejuvenating just hanging out with family can be…assuming you like your family.  Me, I have always been fortunate to like my family.  In fact, I have a hard time relating to people who are constantly fighting with their parents or siblings – but I can see how it happens.  Think about it, often, your parents and your siblings are the people most like you.  And “they” (who is this “they”?) always say what you don’t like about yourself you see in others…so if you’re looking at someone who is just like you and you’re staring at what you don’t like, I get how it could make for a tense Thanksgiving dinner every other year or so where you say through clenched teeth, “Passtheturkey.  PLEASE.” But what you really mean is, “I disagree with your life choices and their effect on my existence.”

Luckily, I don’t see anything I don’t like in my family members.

Okay, enough mushy love.

I had a terrific run on Friday morning.  I went about 3 miles and I finally graduated to running in the neighborhood that backs up to ours.  HALLELUJAH!  I’m telling you what, trying to run more than a couple of miles in a neighborhood that only has a half mile loop is the definition of insanity.  I see the same houses overandoverandover again.  Boooring.  I find that when I’m bored, it’s easier to quit.  Suddenly, I get bored and then it’s like, “what that? My ankle is a little sore?”  “whats that? My stomach is rumbling?”  or “what’s that?  I just remembered I don’t reallllllly want to be running this morning when I could be watching a morning marathon of Toddlers and Tiaras on TLC?”

I did a lap about our neighborhood then cut through my backyard and a neighbor’s yard to get to the next subdivision.  It was akin to sneaking out of summer camp late at night to get to the boys’ cabins.  J  I ran FAST on those yards, as we all know, swiftly moving feet barely damage the grass of your lawn-conscious co-inhabitants.  Sure.  Whatever.

I made it to the next neighborhood and it was like a new world.  Hey!  I haven’t seen that house before.  Hey!  I haven’t done the half-nod to that passing motorist before.  Wow!  I haven’t seen that trampoline-turned-garbage-receptacle before.  I’m guessing it was last year’s big Christmas present and then two dozen jumps, three in-the-air-flips and one sleepover later, it lost its appeal (so probably like March).  Now, it’s holding 3 dozen black bags holding….leaves?  Dead bodies?  Only the owners know for sure.

Over the course of my run, I did a lot of thinking about Christmas decorations.  You can’t help but notice the disparity among the houses, especially when you run in someone else’s neighborhood.  Which leads me to my first bout of…..

OFF ROADING!

I have ALWAYS taken issue with Christmas decorations.  I don’t know at what point I was deemed Chief Deputy of the Décor Patrol, but it is a task I take very seriously.  Each year, my gripes adapt to the current trend or travesty.

* First and foremost, please, please please, choose your theme and stick to it.  Nothing is more confusing for those of us who feast our eyes on your light displays that include nothing short of Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, the reindeer, a Mickey Mouse blow up snow globe, a utility box wrapped to look like a giant gift and a Nativity scene of the Holy Family.  Wow.  Sensory overload.  Choose.  Choose wisely.  If you’re going to be a decorator who believes in “The Reason for the Season”, stop and think.  The third wise man was NOT Frosty the Snowman and the gifts were NOT gold, frankincense and light-up candy cane driveway markers.

* Recognize that an abundance of lights does not make up for a lack of class.  On a drive through some of the less cosmopolitan parts of my Midwestern state, I realized people in the country do it up.  They do it up big.  Oh boy.  Hanging so many twinkling icicle lights that it requires them to fire up the back-up generator from a nearby county DOES NOT cancel out the fact that you still leave them up all year long.  Oh, and if it doesn’t occur in nature, why simulate it in Christmas lights?  I have yet to see a multi-colored icicle and I consider myself pretty well-traveled.

* Finally, those blow up snow globes, carousels, Santa Clauses or whatever they may be.  I find them not only a hazard to small children everywhere, but they cause a yo-yo effect to the Christmas spirit.  What is little Taylor or Jordan to think if they constantly see an inflatable snow globe with life-sized (well, child-sized) characters inside, frolicking in Styrofoam snow? I’m actually surprised we don’t see more headlines that read like this: “Child trapped inside globe, says she just wanted to make a snow angel with Rudolph.  Details at 11.”  And the worst part, these people, these celebrants who choose such gaudy lawn décor then choose to let them fall in a heap when the plug is pulled.  That same “majestic” carousel with Santa, Mickey and Minnie spinning about gleefully last night is now a puddle of polyurethane and brightly colored parachute material in the stark contrast of daylight.  It’s even worse in households with more than one inflatable – it looks like an oxygen-deprivation rave with beloved characters crushed about your brown lawn, hungover from a hard night. What kinds of a message are sending these kids?  Forget about the worry over death panels, people should be up in arms about the choice to pull the plug on inflatables!

Please — for the love of ol’ Saint Nick.  Choose your decorations wisely, select your theme with care and leave the life-sized animated decorations where they belong – the Disney World magical holiday celebration.  Book your tickets now and save the rest of us the horror.

Makin’ Some Changes

December 4, 2009 at 12:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Oh me oh my.  I’ve gone and done it again.  I left the blog world and abandoned regular posting.

Oops.

I think the fault lies in the fact that I lead a busy life.  I know, everyone says that.  But I do!  I just today hemmed a pair of pants that I bought back in September.  I ask you, what other reason would prevent a normal red-blooded consumerism-obsessed American woman from sporting a hawt new pair of gray dress pants?  Exactly.  BUSY.

But in my absence, I’ve made some changes.

FIRST CHANGE: (and perhaps the biggest)  I’m going to train and run a half marathon in April.  It’s the half of the full I was going to run.  I made this decision based on a few factors — I know I blogged about my struggle with iliotibial band syndrome and how it was affecting my running.  Well, after some rest and smarter stretching, I’m doing much better — running painfree.  It made me realize, however, that it was partially an overuse injury.  Obvi, I went from being an 85% couch potato to running a whole bunch.   So maybe the grueling training for a full marathon was asking for it.  It scared me a little.  I also consulted friends and family who have run marathons before.  I was more often than not given the impression that I would be leap frogging it if I ran a full without having run a half.  Finally, and maybe most personally, my sister will be running the half in April.  Why does this matter?  Without going too deeply into it, my sister has survived probably the most trying year of her life and her desire to keep moving forward and experience new things has inspired me so much.  I can think of nothing better than running our first half marathon together (well, not togethertogether.  I’m still going to dust past her 😉 — only kidding).

So, I’ll run a half in April and a full in October.  That’s the plan.

SECOND CHANGE: I’m not just going to stick to running related topics.  I mean, really, who was I kidding?  Pretty soon the blog would just look like this:

DATE: Ran

LATER DATE: Ran again.  Farther.

EVEN LATER DATE: Still running. Farther and farther.  Have reached end of earth.

I mean, c’mon.  Booooring.  The very same sister mentioned above told me I needed to start blogging some of the things I was saying.  A lot of my commentary is derived from my thoughts when I’m running.  Do you ever experience that?  You’re pounding the pavement and your mind is so clear.  It doesn’t even matter if I’m listening to music, I am so clear in my thoughts, whether they are deep, funny, a social commentary or a private matter of introspection. See where I’m going here?  It kind of loops back around to running.  Tricky, very tricky.  I’m a slick one.

So when I share my thoughts on something other than running, I’m going to call it “Off Roading“.  That way, if you’re relying on this blog f or only running-related topics (um, really? zzzzzz) then you can skip it. 🙂

So there you have it!

Goals for the short term:

* Keep up the running (tomorrow 3 miles…)

* Avoid fast food for the month of December.  If travel requires I eat on the run, make an effort to find something healthier (Subway, anyone?)

* Whittle My Middle (wonder what I’m talking about?  you’ll find it on Oh She Glows.  I’m a little late on this challenge, seeing as how I started it on December 1st, but better late than un-toned.

* Blog more regularly (which, after my extended absence, could really mean anything more than once every six weeks).

We’ll see how I do.  Life is full of challenges and most of the time, you’re the only one who knows if you followed through or wimped out.  A blessing and a curse!!!

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