November 20, 2011


November 19, 2011

It's a sad, sad day

Rest in peace, Aunt Carol.
I did not have the opportunity to spend much time with you, or get to know you as well as I would have liked. The time I did spend with you, however, was laugh filled. I know you were strong, practical, creative, and full of love. Watching you with your husband DOC was a delight. How ironic that you battled and beat the cancer, that complications from the final treatment is what took you from us.

My heart goes out to DOC, to Chuck and Richard. Carol went into the hospital for her final chemo treatment the week after my father was admitted for pneumonia. They were both put on ventilators and sedated approximately the same time. While my father was brought back to consciousness and quickly passed, DOC and his family have had to watch Carol decline for over a month. She never came back, and they were ultimately denied the chance to say goodbye.

My heart goes out to Aunt Beth, who with her medical background was forced to play a duel role in both my father's and aunt's passing. She is the sister to my mother, the sister to my aunt, but also the respiratory therapist who had to tell the hospital technicians maybe it's time to turn the monitoring alarms off, maybe it's time to get the morphine ready, maybe it's time to help these people that she knew and loved to leave this place.

My heart goes out to my mother, who lost her husband of 48 years, and almost exactly a month later has lost her sister. It's a new reality we live in now, a sadder place without them. I realize my pain is but a drop in the ocean of her loss, and there is nothing I can do to make it better. Mom, I love you, and I have an endless supply of hugs for you. I have a sympathetic ear whenever you want it, early morning or in the middle of the night. I have tears for you. I wish I could take on some of your pain, alleviate it in commiseration.

It's a sad, sad day.

November 16, 2011

Whoda thunk it?

Cherry Cider
Vanilla Gu
Why would I water Gu down to make it drinkable, when I can drink natural juice that gives me the same (or better) nutrition? The pertinent info:


Cherry Cider ingredients? Water, Grape juice concentrate, Pear juice concentrate, Apple juice concentrate, Cherry juice concentrate, Citric acid, Natural flavors, Ascorbic acid.

Gu ingredients? Maltodextrin (Glucose Polymers), Filtered Water, Fructose, GU Amino Acid Blend (Leucine, Valine, Isoleucine, Histidine), Potassium And Sodium Citrate, GU Antioxidant Blend (Natural Vitamin E And Vitamin C), Sea Salt, Natural Vanilla, Citric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, GU Herbal Blend [Chamomile, Cola Nut (Has Caffeine), Ginger], Fumaric Acid, Pectin.

The Gu ingredients aren't as bad as I thought, but still. hmmmmmmm….

Gu normally costs between $2 and $3, depending where you get it and what flavor you prefer. I don’t remember how much I paid for the Cherry Cider, but you can bet it wasn’t $48-$72!

Bonus: I can water the Cherry Cider down and still approximate the benefits of Gu.

Bonus 2: I understand Cherry juice has anti-inflammatory properties.

Bonus 3: Even if Costco discontinues this particular brand (every time I find something I like, it gets discontinued), the ingredients are simple enough I can make my own.

I brought Cherry Cider instead of Gu on my long run this past weekend, with no issues. Granted long run is a misnomer when I only did 7 miles, but still. As long as it continues to agree with my stomach, I’ll be filling my fuel flask with Cherry Cider from now on.

November 11, 2011

Well boo! 8-(

I got all excited this morning when I realized my Daily Mile widget said I'd run over 700 miles this year. "I could actually hit the 1K mark!" I thought. "But wait..." I thought. "I haven't really been running that much. I thought the 1K mark would be harder to hit..."

Apparently it is. I just took all the cycling miles out, because really I'm fine with having those in as times instead of distances. Because really all I'm interested in is how far I've run. For some reason, while I can chart how far I've run and click through for a "last 12 months" total, I can't get a total for just this year that doesn't include riding and walking.
Like how I saved you the trouble of simply looking to your left?
This is where I am now. Turns out I'm only half way to the 1K mark, and this total includes walking. I started to take that out too, but some of those walks were 5 miles and more. It's not likely I'll hit 1K this year, which makes me a little sad. I didn't realize until today, when I thought I was close, that it was a goal of mine.

Does anyone know of a better site to log these things, where I can parse out the totals I want? I've been frustrated with Daily Mile for a while, but haven't found anything better.

Here we go...

Yesterday was a "rest" day on my new marathon plan, making today the first official day of training. I didn't make it out early enough this morning, so after 5 hours of puttering at my Mom's, I headed to the Y.

Walking in, I noticed a woman dancing on a treadmill. Walking with a lot of hip, arm, and head movement. She was obviously enjoying herself, and I thought it was pretty awesome she felt that comfortable in a room full of people. That woman "danced" the treadmill for at least an hour. On a whim I Googled dancing on treadmill and found it's apparently gaining popularity.

I hopped on a stationary bike and decided very quickly I would not be able to ride it for an hour. I don't understand bike seats that tilt forward. I always feel I'm sliding right off. I continued riding though, until a recumbent stationary bike opened up, then quickly switched over. 

I'm not sure what I was thinking, riding a bike for an hour after doing practically nothing for the past month. I chose the random cross country program and wasn't sure I would be able to finish. I had to push hard to do so. My butt hurt, but only a little. I take that as a good sign, and hope this program will work to reduce that type of pain.

After the bike I used my new phone app to track what I did on all the upper body machines. I threw the hip adductor and abductor machines in for good measure. Seeing as how my weak ass hips are a large part of my problem, working them 2x a week seems like a good idea.
Tomorrow is 11.11.11. According to, there are three possible scenarios for predictions and opinions concerning 11/11/11:

"1. Something good happens— There is absolutely no scientific basis for this belief. There are no known logical premises for this belief. The belief that something good will happen is based solely on spiritualism, faith, and/or innate optimism. This belief is not necessarily a bad thing; we don’t know everything; the probability is not zero.

2. Nothing happens— This is the most likely scenario. Just because an unusual date number sequence occurs doesn’t mean that something extraordinary will happen. Usually it’s a non-event.

3. Something bad happens— There is absolutely no scientific basis for this belief. There are no known logical premises for this belief. The belief that something bad will happen is based solely on pessimism of reality. This belief is not necessarily false; after all, things are generally/usually a mess. The probability is not zero."

I'm going out with my neighbor to celebrate the unusual date. In honor of Veteran's Day, we're going to the 100th Bomb Group for dinner with a group of her friends. Should be fun. Delicious, if nothing else.

Offering a hearty thank you to all the Dices and Sabes and Howie's of the world, who put in their time to help ensure our freedoms.

November 9, 2011

Rewind and reset

My training plan went out the window a month ago. Since then I've been feeding my sorrows and pain, and not moving. Wallowing. Yes, I cut myself some slack considering the circumstances, but still. I'm not liking myself very much on this path, so it's time to change. Even when I was healthy, I wasn't following the plan I drew up, so it's time for a new plan.
This should actually read Plan C or D...
I still haven't decided which marathon I will run, though it looks like the Vegas Really Big Free Marathon is closed already. I refuse to pay for entry until I know I can pay to get there, and that probably won't happen for several months, even if they open a few more blocks of entries. That leaves the Towpath Marathon, which I've run the half of twice. It has also been suggested I run the Columbus Marathon, which is 2 weeks after the Towpath. I've put both those on the calendar and will decide closer to the date.  

My butt/hip/piriformis/ITB is a problem yet, which is also why my training is currently nonexistent. I am stretching, but to this point not strengthening. With that in mind, I've added weight training 2x a week.

I had 2 days of cross training on my previous schedule, but I never did them. This is not good, as cross training will also help strengthen areas that currently cause me problems. The new schedule has one day of swimming and one day of stationary bike, both followed by the weight training. I'm hoping doubling up will give me incentive, as I'm less inclined to be willing to beat myself up over missing a double workout. There's also the whole "as long as I'm here" mentality helping to keep me honest. 

I still want to do speedwork and hillwork, but I was overly ambitious with them on my previous plan. I've reduced the speedwork to a single day per week, with hill work incorporated into the plan every 4th week.

I also still like the idea of doing my long run on "tired" legs, to emulate the latter half of a marathon. I may have overdone this concept in my earlier plan though. I've altered the plan to include a shorter "tire the legs" run on Saturdays. The long run schedule had to change as well. Before I had multiple weeks of an ever increasing distance, with a 10-miler every 4th week. I've revamped it to alternate the same ever increasing long run with a 10-miler every other week, to give my body more time to regroup.

I've built 2 rest days per week into this plan. I was taking them anyway, so figured I should just own the fact I can't work out 6 days per week at the intensity I want, without hurting myself.

The new Plan:

November 4, 2011

Wait, WHAT?!?!!

From the website:

Budhia Singh’s life reads like a Bollywood movie scripted by Dickens. Born in India, next to a railway track, abused and beaten by an alcoholic father, he is sold at the age of three by his impoverished mother to a street hawker. Destined to lead a desperate existence as a beggar, Budhia is then rescued by a concerned local judo coach, who runs an orphanage for slum children.

It doesn’t take long for Budhia to reveal his remarkable talent for running. Biranchi seizes the opportunity to do something much more symbolic for India’s poor, as he has done so many times for other slum children in the judo arena. He embarks on a mission to turn Budhia into a running phenomenon. Within six months, Budhia has run twenty half- marathons. Within a year, he has run 48 full marathons. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that Budhia is still only four years old. He’s become the darling of the masses, an Indian icon, and is mobbed everywhere he goes. Now Biranchi is convinced that he has the potential to become India’s greatest runner and first Olympic marathon champion.

But with the fame comes the controversies. At the end of his record-breaking 65 km run, he collapses. With the world’s eyes on them and an international storm brewing, the Indian government decide to intervene, accusing the coach of cruelty, and threatening to take his newly- adopted son into care.
Is Biranchi effectively enslaving the boy for his own gain? Has Budhia merely traded slum squalor for sporting slavery? Or is Biranchi the man who saved Budhia from a desperate future, a man who loves Budhia as his own son?

Even though they still don’t make trainers his size, an opportunistic tug of war is played-out by adults over Budhia’s control. He is caught in the crossfire of lawyers and politicians. Biranchi openly mocks his detractors while inviting the state government to his judo hall to see the food and shelter he provides for Budhia. He gathers all the slum children to protest outside the Child Welfare Committee, holding banners saying "What about us?" Biranchi relishes being a spokesman for the poor, lambasting the Government for their hypocrisy. The Media are whipped into a frenzy - headline stories and publicity strategies in both camps fuel the controversy.

In the midst of this furore, the biological mother who sold her only son to a stranger for $10, and who has for so long championed Biranchi as a saviour, dramatically changes tact. She accuses the coach of torturing her son. Biranchi is thrown into jail. Budhia is kidnapped by his mother; forced back into the slums as she demands her share of the spoils from her son’s achievements. Budhia is effectively held ransom, unable to see the adoptive father he loves, the debate and intrigue entirely beyond his control.

Without his son, Biranchi is a broken man. For the first time he ponders whether to go on fighting or to abandon the struggle which has brought him to the brink of a nervous break-down. He pours scorn on the accusation of torture and the perception that he is gaining financially out of the boy. He claims that the Minister for Child Welfare bribed Budhia’s mother to make the charge and that the government wants control over Budhia, and a piece of his reflected glory. Biranchi is acquitted of all charges. But before any solutions regarding the fate of Budhia can be found, a shocking event takes place. Biranchi is murdered by a gangster, shot with three bullets at point- blank range in a slum ‘mafia’ killing.

Budhia is woken-up in the middle of the night and is told the news by journalists. He falls silent, speaking only to tell the endless stream of reporters: “no more questions”.  His life has come full circle and, not for the first time, his survival hangs in the balance. For the world, Budhia has been spared his enslaver but for this small boy, he has lost his mentor and father-figure, the only loving advocate he ever had.

Who killed coach Biranchi Das - what precisely was the motive? And what becomes of Budhia Singh, India’s ‘wonder boy’, the world’s youngest marathon runner? As the investigation into the killing unfolds, Budhia is once again rescued from his humble beginnings and awarded a scholarship for sporting excellence from the very state government who claimed his running was tantamount to torture.
Wikipedia has little more to say on the subject. It does however confirm this child, now 9, ran 40 miles in just over 7 hours. Of course, both the movie website and Wikipedia are both sensationalized.

I wonder what the real story is, and whether this child really ran that far. If so, did he do so willingly? I understand his world is different than ours, but how does a 4 year old run for 7 hours, willingly?

November 2, 2011

Oh yeah...

I actually got up this morning, put my running clothes on, puttered around for a while, then at the last possible minute headed out the door to run 5 miles. I ran!
Oh yeah. In my haste to berate myself for eating too much and not moving enough, I completely forgot WHY I haven't run so much lately.
My butt has felt better since Saturday's run, which was cut short due to a sharp pain in my hip instead. Apparently whatever tightness I had in my piriformis moved from the spine area to the hip area. Also apparently, because it didn't hurt directly every minute of every day, I promptly forgot about it.

So I headed out the door today, congratulating myself for actually moving when I hadn't for several days. My run felt awful. I was stiff, my feet hurt, my knee hurt. I felt I'd forgotten how to run, which I attributed to not moving in several days. When that happens I just wait until mile 2, which is how long it takes to shake everything out when I haven't run for a bit. Only I never got to mile 2. Just after mile 1, my hip screamed at me. Not just a little complaint. A sharp pain. I wanted to run through it. I continued on my route, walking, for several hundred feet before thinking better of the idea. I do not want to sideline myself for the entire winter again, like I did last year. I will listen to my body, and maybe even give it what it wants.

I'm thinking what my body wants is core work. The piriformis is directly in line with my lower abs, which are weakened and abnormally tightened by surgery scars. I came home, stretched, and tested for both the 100 pushup challenge and 200 situp challenge. I've started these challenges more than once in the past, but never got very far. I figure if I just keep working at it, eventually I may actually finish.

That's my plan and I'm sticking to it. I'm going to add planks in there, too. I'll also continue to attempt shorter runs, until I can complete them pain free. Then we'll talk about long runs again.

November 1, 2011

Ready to be done

The sewing room is officially done, other than putting all the books back on the shelves. My Mom has to do that, as she knows what she wants to keep, and where she wants to keep it. I expect there will be book donations in the near future.

Next up, the master bedroom.

And no, I did not run today. Instead I ate. And ate. And ate and ate and ate, just like I've been doing for the past several days. I'm not good at this mourning thing. It's multiplicative. Missing my Dad makes me miss my Grandmother, who passed 10 years ago. At this point, just about everything makes me miss my Dad. Looking at the completed front bedroom today made me cry, because he won't get to see all his plans come to fruition. My mother getting a new iPhone made me sad, because Dad was going to get her one for Christmas (even though she told him she didn't want one). I'm ready for some semblance of normalcy, but I have no idea what constitutes normal for me anymore.

My final class started today, and I'm also feeling the stress of having to find a job on a faster timeframe than originally expected. I thought I had unemployment until March, but now I'm pretty sure I only have until mid-January. I started submitting at least one resume per day. It's been 11 years since I've had to do this, and I'm feeling decidedly rusty. And oh, by the way, I've got that whole "did I really learn anything in college?" thing going on too.

So yeah, you'd think I'd WANT to get out and run, to relieve some of this stress and work off some of these excess calories. Somehow that's not happening.

Halloween Party #1

I'm a little late with this, but Saturday I went to an Aliens Only party. What fun! I only wish I had more pictures..,.

I went for the whole "this is my skin" thing.
Didn't go over as well as I'd hoped, but that's pretty standard for my Halloween costumes.
By the end of the night I was calling myself a Muppet.
He insisted he wasn't Skelator.
I didn't believe him.

Most awesome costume.
If only because we literally just finished watching the movie when he walked in.

OK this was really the most awesome costume.
I have another costume party coming up this weekend, where I'm supposed to be my worst (or best) nightmare. Still working on that...

Still working on healing my butt so I can run, too. 8 miles turned into 6 Saturday. Nothing yesterday. Hoping to get out for 5 later today. We'll see how that goes, as I have a bunch of moving to do at my Mom's first.