Thursday, May 28, 2009

Feeling good!

Me last night as a fashion trendsetter with my side pony.

After many months of unrelenting stress, I feel like I can breathe again. Circumstances haven't changed much at all, but I'm doing some things to take care of myself, and amazingly enough, they're working.

I've had two sessions with the counselor. It feel right to be looking inward at this time and I'm glad I get to do it. So I feel a little unraveled inside (does that make sense?) but I think that's a good thing. I told the counselor that what I'm seeking is:
  • resilience
  • optimism
  • purpose
To my way of thinking, with those qualities, nearly anything life throws your way can be handled with grace and dignity, and you can probably emerge from any situation with your sense of humor and hope intact.

So for a while it felt like my theme song was "Every Day is Exactly the Same" by Nine Inch Nails (you know it's bad when Trent Reznor is speaking for you), now I'm feeling more like "Feeling Good" by Michael Buble.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sad but probably close to true

Michaelangelo's David is to be returned to Italy.

After a two year loan to the United States,
Michelangelo’s David is being returned to Italy.

I found this on the Green Smoothie Girl weblog.
Be good, and if you're in Nor Cal, stay cool!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I am a runner!

I saw a bunch of photos of myself last night. They made me sad. In them I was smiling, in shape, and getting ready to RUN! It feels like a million years ago that I ran the marathon and the ultra, but the truth is they both took place LESS THAN SIX MONTHS AGO!

So today I've decided I'm a runner again. That means there will be more running than walking when I go out. This morning I ran 3 fast-ish miles (8:40 average pace). But it's getting hotter and I felt a wicked headache coming on. So I came back home, went on with my day, and then this afternoon in the 90 degree heat, I headed out again to finish what I'd started. I wasn't even CLOSE to fast during this 4 mile trek, but it got done. And I came home smiling inside, because I'm a runner again!

(Note: I think anyone who runs at any pace at any time is a runner. What I've written about here is just for me at this point in time.)

Friday, May 22, 2009

More laughter

Girlfriend Linda who (sadly) lives in Chicago and not RIGHT NEXT DOOR alerted me to this laugh-out-loud funny weblog: Wendi Aarons. (The title is the author's name -- there is not hidden humor in it.)

Here's a sample of the fun. For some reason I think Colette, Eileen, and Katie will enjoy it most...

Lessons Learned Last Week

Make the shocking discovery that it's never a good idea to use the term "douchebag" in a PTA meeting. Even if the person you're talking about just so happens to be a really, really big one. Isn't that right, Angela?

At a party, find out that shaping your hair into a nice, high pompadour while drunkenly screaming, "Look! Look at me! I'm in Big Love, baby! Look! I have compound hair! See it? See it? Now, where my sista wives at? Come on, you bee-yotches! Let's fight! MY Bill Paxton! MY Bill Paxton! Hahahaha! Rawrrr!", is actually not something that will make you popular and fun to be around.

During rare visit to the gym, discover that nobody is impressed by a 17-minute mile. Especially when you tell them you sprinted the whole way.

Learn that, even if you tell your husband that tonight's dinner will be "tender crescents of imported whole-grain pasta smothered in a pool of rich, succulent, sunset-colored baby cheddar and lovingly paired with an organic butter reduction," he still won't be happy you've made box mac 'n cheese again.

While watching a DVD, realize that, after one glass of wine, Matthew McConaughey isn't really such a terrible actor after all. After two glasses of wine, happily take back all of the nasty things you've said about him throughout the years. After three glasses of wine, begin to weep over the nuances he's bringing to the role of a romantic cad with a heart of gold. After four glasses of wine, stand up on the couch and howl, "Mathhhhhewwwwww Mc... Mc... Conorwee!!! I LOVVVVEEEE YEWWWWW!!" After five glasses of wine, rifle through stacks of old US Weeklys and lick pictures of Matthew doing shirtless yoga poses.

Pass out with disc of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days stuck to right cheek and a hand-written note reading "Help Me" stuck to the left.

Saturday & Sunday
Stay in bed recovering from week full of life lessons. While difficult at times, know the experience was worth it. Relax, meditate and promise to be a better person from now on.

Make the shocking discovery that it's never a good idea to use the term "asswipe" at a PTA meeting. Even if the person you're talking about just so happens to be a really, really big one. Isn't that right, Angela?


Chip on dailymile highlighted Awkward Family Photos as his new favorite website, and I'm with him on this. Happy Friday, friends!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I have a few spare minutes to answer some questions:

Colette asked how I like P90X. I like it a lot, but not as my primary exercise. In an ideal world, I'd do P90X for upper body twice a week, and for lower body once a week, in addition to running about 30 miles. Last night Tim and I did Chest and Back (a million pushups of all kinds, and a million pullups of all kinds), and tonight we're doing the Plyo disk. Tomorrow I'm gonna be SORE!!!

Anonymous asked where the trail was that we hiked on Sunday. I got it from a book titled "Best Easy Day Hikes, Sacramento" that's a Falcon Guide. We did the Mountain Quarry Railroad Trail. To get there (as per the book) you take Highway 49 south through Auburn and down into the canyon. You turn right on Old Foresthill Road at the base of the hill, cross the bridge and park along the road. The trailhead is at gate 150. Hope this helps!

Matt -- I just have to say thank you for taking the time to write what you did. Your encouragement is so very appreciated!

The Other Mothers

My girlfriend Eileen, who has way more energy and smarts than several of me put together, is starting a website for moms. I think the working title is "The Other Mothers." Here's what Eileen has to say about who she'd like to reach:

So maybe I have my niche right there. The rest of us mothers. Those of us who are most definitely not "one of those" mothers. Those of us who love our children, but don't necessarily love the work of motherhood, who try to get it together, but usually feel like we're falling short and just can't keep up. Those of us looking for clever, and perhaps offbeat hacks for getting through the day....

If you'd like to provide some feedback, or stay informed about the project, you can check her out here!

Perhaps a runner?

I'm starting to remember why I like running, which is a good sign. Did 7 yesterday, and 8 today, with a goal of 30 for the week. My hope is that the extra pounds I've put on (limited exercise + eating for stress management = muffin top) will leave nearly as quickly as they came on. Why is it so much easier to gain weight than it is to lose weight?

Podcasts are my entertainment of choice when I run, and today I downloaded a bunch of NPR's offerings including Fresh Air, Food, and Shuffle. If anyone's interested, there's a good interview with the creator of "Glee" the new series that's premiering tonight. What I found fascinating is that this man is also the creator of "Nip/Tuck." Talk about a range of subjects!

Ummmm, I think that's it from the home front. Have a great day!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Feeling a little more like me

Thank you for every wonderful comment and email you took the time to send. They helped to alleviate my fears and to make me feel like I'm not the only one who struggles.

Yesterday Tim and I went for a hike. Did you hear that? My husband (the one who said, early in our marriage "I don't get walking. You should run or you should sit.") and I went on a hike. We drove to Auburn and caught part of the Western States trail, covering 6 miles and having a great time.

The two of us along the trail.

Tim was hiking and smiling AT THE VERY SAME TIME!

Aren't the Sierra foothills beautiful?

Today I went out and ran 7 miles. Well, I ran 6 and walked about 1. That's better than I've done on any outing in a month or more. 3 of the miles were on a trail right by our house. It's all single-track and lots of ups and downs, but that's a good surface to train on, right?

I really am feeling a little more like myself every day. And rather than getting harsh and punitive with me, I'm staying gentle (mostly) so if my pace is slow, or if I don't get quite as much done as I'd like, then that's just fine.

Again, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The whole truth

Although this blog is primarily about fitness, whatever I happen to be enjoying at any given time also seems to make its way into my little wedge of the blogosphere. And I really like to focus on what's good, however...

...this last week has been one of the most difficult I've ever had. I lost interest in everything. Any hope I had vanished. I could barely drag myself out to exercise. Healthy eating? Gone. And I was in a very scary place emotionally.

So what's a girl to do when her hope is gone and she can barely drag her butt out of bed? Well in my case, the solution has been multi-faceted:
  • Honesty: I told my husband and a few key girlfriends exactly how I was feeling.
  • Medication: I increased the dose of the anti-depressant I take (my dr has given me the ok to bounce between two dosages, and believe me, uppping the dose has been a VERY good thing)
  • Professional help: I'm going to see a counselor this week (something I'd been planning to do at the first of the year, but that was when my dad started having troubles, so it got put on hold)
  • Physical help: I'm starting to eat foods that have a vitamin or two in them, and starting to get consistent with exercise once again.
My pride doesn't like what I'm writing, as I'd be way more comfortable saying, "Yep, I just picked myself up by my bootstraps and did what had to be done!" I don't want to be the poster child for anti-depressants. And I like to think that I require less than the average person to just keep on going. But the stresses of this year have taken their toll and it's time for things to change.

So why do I mention any of this? Because I feel that what I write presents a real picture of my life, albeit with a positive slant, and to exclude what's happening now would be a lie of omission. Would anyone else know? Nope. But I would. And there's the teensy weensy possibility that someone who reads this knows someone who's struggling, or could be struggling themselves, and in getting honest, maybe someone would know that they are not alone.

Today I can tell that my serotonin levels are better, as I'm starting to smile again. And I'm looking to the future with a small measure of hope. And that, my friends, is a VERY good thing!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Like a boxer who's been hit hard...

...I'm coming back to standing up, slowly but surely. Being sick sucks. It's not worth the downtime (and the responsibilities don't go away!), and I need to learn a new way to take time off. I'm sitting here carrying a few extra pounds, feeling not very energetic, but completely certain that I can get back to standing firmly on my own two feet.

My dad's doing better each week. He has not had a stroke and does not have a tumor, but his memory is still impaired. Well, this weekend we started playing brain games (variations on what I play daily on Lumosity) in an effort to help him get back to normal.

That's it from here.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Be careful what you ask for...

I could tell stress was getting to me when I first heard about swine flu, and I thought "I'd like to get that." While that may sound crazy to some, I was picturing some freedom from responsibilities and some down time. Well, now I've actually got something going on. Chest tightness. Coughing. And I'm happy about it, as it gives me permission to slow down just a little bit in my life. So I'm drinking Breathe Easy tea and maybe running at 70% speed today. (Not literally running -- just talking about the pace of life.)

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Things that make me smile

It's become crucially important to notice things that make me smile. Perhaps it's important all the time, but now when I'm feeling so stretched, it's a must, not just a nicety. So here are a few things that brought a smile to my face in the past 24 hours:
  • Saw a minivan that said "Dad's the boss, right mom?".
  • I got my "Wag more, bark less!" sticker from Agatha and Louise. (My sister Michelle has one on her car, and I'm following suit.)
  • Tim told me about My Living Desktop and I downloaded it this morning. Right now I'm listening to crickets chirping with an occasional horse trotting by and a beautiful pasture scene in the background. And you can set the desktop to provide built in serenity breaks -- great for those who need to be on the computer for hours at a time.
  • I had a podiatrist come by and take care of my parents' feet yesterday. The doctor was kind and gentle and I could not have asked for anyone better. It is a huge relief to know that neither of them (both of whom are diabetic) have any feet issues.
  • Still batting 1000 with my new morning routine. Today I ran/walked 1 mile and threw in 30 incline pushups and 300 lunge walks. The air was moist and it was crisp and lovely. Spent most of the time in prayer, and then listened to the latest Vegan Freak podcast. Anyway, what made me smile was how foggy and mysterious things looked as the sun came up.
About to tackle the piles on my desk. This will not be smile producing in the process of working through all the stuff, but I'm sure I'll be smiling when my desk is clear once again. :)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


We flew into So Cal early Friday morning. Sandy (my funny, smart, loving mother) met us at the airport and we headed to Disneyland for a whirlwind day of fun.

Tucker plays in Toontown.

Tucker and Grandmother enjoying the sunshine.

Indiana Jones is the best ride at Disneyland.

Me and Tucker trying on ears.

Melange, part deux

  • Dinner is a sandwich from the book "From the Ground Up" by Amy Stewart. I've seen numerous variations on this, mostly called Pan Bagnat. The recipe from this book uses a baguette that gets sliced, then spread with olive and garlic tapenade, then topped with roasted carrots and squash, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, thin slices of bell peppers. Finally you sprinkle the whole thing with a little red wine vinegar and some good olive oil, then put the top half of the bread on, wrap it all in waxed paper, and let it sit under a cookbook (no joke!) for a while. I made this a couple of weeks ago and my whole family loved it. Austin told me I could NOT change a thing when I made it next, and I forgot to tell him that cooking (unless it's from a package) is never exactly the same. We'll see how tonight goes!
  • I bought a much-needed bookcase for my office a couple of weeks ago. It's still not assembled. I'd thought I was going to do it, so I wasn't asking Tim for any help, but today I pulled out the directions and yeah, I need a man. Thankfully I have one! :)
  • My sister and I were going to run the San Francisco half marathon as her first half marathon, but for a number of very good reasons, we've decided to run the Nike in October instead. (She signed up as a fluke and got in, not knowing how truly lucky she is! I will be running as a bandit -- yikes! Is that super bad if I'm just there for her?)
  • I'm back on the green smoothie bandwagon. Really, I've never fallen off, but now I'm back to daily green smoothies as a way to feel great.
That's it for now. Prolly more later...

The new morning routine

Big changes in my morning routine are afoot. My usual modus operandi is to get up, slip into a robe, sit and mindlessly click on the computer for a while, then click some more, and keep myself available for whatever anyone needs. I throw on clothes to take the kids to school (emphasis on the "throw") and rarely do anything to get myself ready for the day until sometime later. This is not working well. It's making me feel depressed. So it's time for a change.

Here's the new plan: Get up and throw on exercise clothes (which I will set out the night before). Spend a few minutes on the computer, then head outside. Walk/run for 2 miles, adding in pushups, lunge walks, marching, and any other exercise that strikes my fancy. Shower and get ready for the day when I get home.

I did this today, which means I'm batting 1000. And it felt really good.


  • Got back from Southern CA Sunday night. Missed 2 days of solid rain here -- hooray! Will be posting photos from Disneyland soon.
  • Over the weekend, Tim and Austin washed and folded all the laundry in the house!!!!! Do you realize how big that is??? What a treat to come home to no laundry mountain! Thanks Tim and Austin!
  • My dad's doing better enough that he doesn't require daily visits. That gives me a little free time today and I'm taking myself on a field trip here right after I drop the kids at their respective schools. (The photo above is from The Flower Farm website.)