Sunday, February 24, 2008

Racing Fun!

Today was race day! I'm so glad I decided to race! I was very close to not going at all, but then realized that I would feel better if I went ahead and ran as fast as I could. And, I think I did.

The racing folks said that the race would go on rain or shine. So, of course, it rained. But that wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. And everyone else was bent on having a good time, too.

I love race days. You meet so many different kinds of people, people who live in the area, just like you, but you'd never even see otherwise. It's nice to strike up a conversation with strangers, commiserate over the chilly morning, laugh in line for the port-a-potties, and encourage any newbies that come your way. I get a little less anxious each time I race; I'm nowhere near as nervous as I was on my first race. Today, I had a PR in mind and was determined to not finish in the back of the pack. (My Personal Record was to get a time as close to 30 minutes as possible. I've never completed a 5k in under 35 min. Deep down, I wanted a time of 29 min and some seconds.)

There are a few things that make this race especially fun: It's one way. Most of the way is downhill. You get to run in the middle of the street. And, you end up at the beach. :-) When you first arrive, you park at the finish line and take one of their shuttles to the starting line. They also provided a van to bring back your warm-up clothes to the finish for you. Nice!

Well, this race I chose to warm-up for real. I walked and jogged about a mile, all before the race started. A few minutes before start time, it began to rain, so I huddled under the eaves of some legal building with 150 others. Finally, a guy with a bull horn called us over to the street and lead us to the starting line. It was a real line drawn all the way across the street! I waited for the official start near the end of the pack (which I thought was the middle, but oh, well), listening in on last minute snippets of advice between friends and checking out all the various race day fashions, from coordinating outfits (hat included) to 5 year-old 12k t-shirts; from high-tech wicking fabrics to thermals and cut-off sweats. It was very cool to see moms with their little kids and grown-ups running with their moms. (You can do it, Mom. We're almost there!)

I found myself enjoying it all. It was fun to run outside in the middle of the street in the rain with 300+ other people. I passed several along the way, including some old men (Those old men are deceptively quick. They look like they're just shuffling along, but then all of a sudden they pass you! So you see, it was awesome to actually pass them for a change!!). I kept pace with a few and outran several more at the end. I had to remind myself that the only one I had to beat was me and my old time. (That way, I wasn't too disappointed when I didn't pass that one final person, who beat me by 1 second. :-( )

And I did, of course. 31:12. That comes to 10 minute 3 second miles, peoples!! My best racing time evah!! 17/26 in my age group, 285/372 overall! haha!

*****Side note: On my way to the finish line, pushing myself to pass that person, this person, and not puke, what do I see but the elites, all the fast people who not only finished way before me (as expected) but I guess needed EVEN MORE RUNNING 'cuz they were running some more towards me and all the other runners. still. racing.!! Of course, these are the crazies who also ran 1-2 miles BEFORE the race to warm-up!! I don't think I'll ever be that much of a runner. I think if I wanted to run 6 miles I wouldn't sign up for a 5k. Maybe that's just me.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Phantom Illness

My dad just joined a men's rehabilitation colony. I'm very glad he chose to seek help (whether he accepts it or not is another thing), yet I will say that the idea of my father in a place like that makes me feel a little sad. On the day Tim dropped him off I felt like a parent sending her child to school for the very first time, wanting him to be safe and happy, knowing it will be hard but, at the same time, that it's good for him.

Yesterday we got a message from him requesting we pick up his suitcase, and odds and ends he's not allowed to have, from the front desk. He sounded scared and not at all like himself. I guess I got a little worried. Change is hard, especially when it's necessary and will make you a better person.

This morning on the way to rehab I started to get ill. I was nauseous, dizzy, my skin was tingling. When we got there the man at the desk said we could see him for a minute and as soon as I saw him walking down that long hallway, I started tearing up. He seemed a bit better, but I can tell he was being brave...for me? for himself? We hugged, he hugged Tim, we all hugged each other. Then we left.

It was hours before I started to feel better. I finally feel fine. Now I'm off to bed.

Was watching Evan Almighty this afternoon/evening. Love dvds, as I can pause and come back anytime to finish the movie. Anyway, there was a scene where God (Morgan Freeman. Man, I would love it if God was like Morgan Freeman.) pretty much says that when we pray for something (patience, courage, family) he doesn't give us the thing so much as opportunities to be the thing; opportunities to be patient, opportunities to be courageous, opportunities to love your family. I'm not sure what my subconscious is praying for, but I definitely have been given plenty of opportunities this year to be strong and speak my mind instead of sitting back.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Food for Life Weightloss?

We in America live a very blessed life. Everything and anything is pre-made, pre-packaged, pre-pared and available at the grocery store pre-portioned into single servings. For your convenience.

The absurdity of it all came to me suddenly at dinner last night. I watched Honey enjoy his creme brulee over a cup of coffee. When the waiter brought my coffee he left behind a container of sugar...and sweeteners. Yes, sweeteners, plural as in many artificial ways to avoid sugar in your coffee. I mean, if We as Americans really want to watch our ever growing waistlines and live a "healthy lifestyle" and make good food choices, then why all the chemically enhanced food-stuffs? Isn't that what's making us fat as a nation in the first place? Am I the only one that feels that food-science-technology-is-what-made-us-fat-and,
-by-God-it'll-save-us-in-the-end-type of mentality is not the way to go?

And why did I only just see it?

Hooray for the 21st Century

My father is here for the night and asked to use my computer, which I nicely let him use. He's been on my compy for about an hour and a half, allowing me to do some grading (bleh). But, having done enough work to make me feel not-guilty for relaxing all weekend I was ready to play on the computer....only to find that my dad is still writing. :-( What to do?? I don't want to watch more TV, don't want to clean, not quite ready to make dinner....

...Then I remembered the lappy! So I'm blogging in the livingroom, honey and dad are computering away in the other room, and King of the Hill is on for background.

Aaaaahhh... so nice to have so much technology in the home.

PR 1 mile!!



I am very proud of myself!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Where Angels Fear to Tread

Today, I was reminded, by my students, why more people DO NOT teach junior high school.

The kids are making alka-seltzer powered rockets. Once you've taped an index card tube to the film canister, you tape on a paper nosecone, like a real rocket.

Only to every 13-14 year old, it looks like a penis. So all day long I've had kids ask me, after taping the nosecone to the tube, "Is this it?" and "Mrs. Newsome, isn't this the best looking rocket?" followed by pubescent giggling.

Then, you see the boys giggling as they tape on the fins, since to them it now looks like a penis with balls.


believe me, i'm so happy to have to deal with this than what another teacher had to deal with across town. an 8th grade student (my grade) shot another in class. in class!!!!1!! Of course, this has the whole staff "concerned," to put it lightly, especially after the "incident" we had earlier this year.

The victim-boy died this afternoon. He was 15 years old.

yes, some old feelings have resurfaced when i heard the news this morning. later, the principal had released a letter to us and the parents saying that they are doing all they can to make our campus safe. none of the staff really believe this.
sometimes this job sucks.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Entropy, Take Me Away!

I am not a happy homemaker. In fact, I HATE cleaning. I hate how, when you clean, it only stays clean for maybe an hour and then *BAM* someone spills something on it or you use it. Now it's dirty. Thank you, thermodynamics.

Anyway, with nature against me I do the natural thing by not investing much energy into cleaning. Fortunately, I am blessed with a husband with a very high slob and dirt tolerance. :-) Though part me feels that if he did care a bit more about having a clean abode, then maybe he would do the cleaning. But then, my experience with the human animal tells me this would only lead to arguments over who cleans what and when and someone would feel that the other didn't do enough around the house and feelings would get hurt. :-( Our relationship is such that we both know exactly how much the other is/isn't doing, so no quarreling over housework! :D

Since I am a dilatory (man, what a great word! makes me sound so smart!) housekeeper, when I do get that wild hair to clean, the apartment really needs it in a very obvious way. If you look under my sink you would find some run-of-the-mill kitchen counter top cleaners which I use about once a week...or so. But behind them lurk my real arsenal: magic erasers and heavy-duty scum cleaners. If I was a better (ie-normal) housekeeper I wouldn't have geologic layers of calcium developing here and there, but I do so I need to knock 'em out.

If my hubby doesn't motivate me to keep a clean house, then what does you may ask? Company. Whenever we have people over for dinner, that gets me a'cleanin' and sometimes a'cookin', like tonight. We're hosting Monday Night Movie and since tomorrow is hubby's birthday, I'm making a lasagna by request. From scratch (except for the pasta). During the two-hour simmer time for the bolognas e I managed to clean the kitchen, including the fridge, and both bathrooms. And I will tell you I feel very complacent knowing that all that is now clean. I'm sitting here sipping on tea and dipping homemade biscotti.

And Honey is washing dishes. Friends will be arriving soon, tracking in dirt and dirtying more dishes.

And chaos wins again!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Saga Continues-At the Scale

OK, you Daemon of the Diet aka The Scale. Today we met in battle once again and no matter what the outcome we will battle again. So I might as well get over it and learn to let go and realize that you have no power over me.

At least, you only have as much power as I give you and I give you way too much. You are only a machine. A stupid machine, really. If you are any more to me it is because I made you that way. I made you more important than you really are. Today you showed a 2 pound loss and YES I was very happy and relieved. But immediately afterwards, I was angry with myself and how I let you play with my emotions. I will learn to conquer you!! I will learn to see you as a tool and not as The Judge.

Today you showed me that if I have faith in MYSELF, I will overcome. I will lose weight if I continue to eat healthy food (not too much) and exercise regularly. My husband tells me that the scale doesn't matter as long as I continue my healthy lifestyle. I should listen to him more and the scale less.

Slackers and Other Beach People

Walking along the beach in Santa Barbara is a favorite past time of many people, be they locals or tourists. It's a great place to take in the sun, surf, sand, and "local color" (read: weirdos). I mean, people love to people-watch and there's always a lot to look at among the palm trees: homeless folks, in-line skaters zipping past, joggers of all shapes and sizes, surry bike parties, segway enthusiasts, sand sculptors, and even musicians (OK, really just people plugging away at guitars or various percussion instruments). Well, in addition to all that you may now add "slackliner."

Slacklining is a hobby my hubby picked up last year. He really enjoys it and I gave it a whirl when he first bought his gear and I immediately didn't like it. For some reason balancing on some nylon webbing just didn't float my boat.

Tim is getting pretty good now. He can walk backwards, turn, jump onto it, sit mount, and other cool stuff. He wants to include Germany to our itinerary so that he can participate in their 2nd annual slackline festival. Well, if I'm going to be in another country surrounded by a couple hundred slackers, then I want to slack, too! So yesterday afternoon we went to Santa Barbara, set up his line between some palm trees next to the bike path, and I gave it another try. At first, I needed Tim to help me mount the line and help me balance. Then, it was his turn to show off to me and be an object of much commentary amongst the passersby. We continued in this manner for over an hour, me improving until I didn't need him to get up on the line anymore! I could even stand for a few seconds all by myself! My goal is to be able to get on and walk all the way across and start to turn around by the time we get to Germany. I want to be part of the slacker-crowd and not a spectator.

Anyway, the nicest part is that this is another thing we can do together. And folks can point and stare at the both of us! XD

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fat and Old

That is me. Right now. I am old and fat.

I try to ignore it, but my big gut keeps reminding me that I am fat.

**Just got back from reading my previous post** Yeah, I was like, gee, this is all very familiar...did I already blog this?? And yup I already did.

Well, I was feeling a bit better during the week. I changed from the Core Plan back to the Flex Plan and I KNOW I have done very well. I dusted off my kitchen scale and all my measuring cups and counted many BLTs (bites-licks-tastes). I was feeling very strong until just now....

...I worked out then took a shower. Once my clothes were off I saw this huge belly turn away from me. My gut is so huge it kinda aches, like it knows it's carrying extra weight around and is tired from it. I have been on-plan for weeks, especially this week, and if I go in tomorrow and weigh-in and show a gain I think I will break down right there and cry if I don't just leave and never come back.

At least with being fat I do have some power and can lose the weight. eventually. even if it kills me. But there's nothing I can do about getting old. Every day I look in the mirror and my mother or grandmother stare back at me. :-(

So I am not feeling very good about myself right now.

My body seems to have a plan of its own and doesn't seem to want to let the rest of me know what that is. I guess that means I have some growing/wisening up to do in order to understand my body, my self.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Unfairness and the Voices in My Head

OK. Ever since the beginning of the New Year I've been eating very healthily. Better than ever, really. No frozen foods, NO SODA thank-you-very-much, more water, etc., yet the opposite has been happening.

I've gained weight!!! I gained 1.6 lbs this January. I've gained 5.6 lbs since September. What is going on here? It is so unfair! I'm eating right, exercising, but the pounds are creeping. I normally stay about the same weight during the school year, but not this year. My husband tells me that the important thing is that I'm being healthy and that I've gotten much stronger in the same amount of time. My outer-self knows this, but my inner-self can't or doesn't want to listen to this. It wants to lose weight. It would've been much happier if I had stayed at my September weight.

This is all coming on because I gained another pound at weigh-in this morning. We even fasted last night! It took all my will-power to workout when I got home instead of sitting on the futon feeling sorry for myself. It's still taking a lot of energy to continue making good food choices. My inner-self so wants to give up, stop exercising, and just eat whatever. And go back for more.

I had a little cry in Tim's arms before working out. My outer-self is glad I worked out and Tim even said I'm noticeably stronger than last month. But my inner-self could care less. All it cares about is the number on the scale and the size of my hips and waist (which have gone up this year. bleh). It thinks life is unfair. Tim and I have very similar eating habits yet he's gotten more lean and muscley and I've gotten fatter. My inner-self is having very choice words and not-so-flattering language with me. My outer-self is trying to stay positive and focus on the good I'm doing but not as loudly as my inner-self's negativity.

I don't know what the the heck to do with my selves.

Oh, Biscotti

One day I was craving that hard, satisfying crunch one gets when good biscotti is dipped into hot coffee. Kinda sweet, kinda warm, a bit soft on the outside but still crunchy on the inside. But alas, I have been watching my intake of prepared foods. "Well, I can always buy handmade biscotti at a coffee shop," I told myself. But then a little voice said why not try and make some. Then, you'll know for sure you had a homemade not-from-a-package baked good.

So to the computer I went and found the above biscotti recipe. Let me tell you, it is very tasty! Even my husband ate some and he really doesn't like biscotti. It's sweet without being too sweet, and nice and hard. And easy! I always thought of baking as time consuming and requiring special skills and equipment that I don't have because I'm not a baker, but biscotti is easy-peasy. I've made this recipe twice. My first batch ever was a cocoa biscotti ( that was OK but not as good as these. I do hope someone out there reads this blog and makes these biscotti. According to WeightWatchers, they are 3 points each. But they are very satisfying to me and I find that I don't need to eat anymore than one nor do I need any other sweet.