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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Spin Cycle

Another month gone by with no blogging - a month that has felt like what I can only imagine the spin cycle of a washing machine must feel like, all disorienting and nauseating with a lot of head banging going on, ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-thunk, followed by the annoying beep beep beep that means Unbalanced! Unbalanced! Unbalanced! I will try not to ramble on and on with one big long boring update, but instead try and hit the highlights of a month that has left me dizzy and bruised, albeit very fresh-smelling. Oh, life, you spin me right 'round, baby, right round!!!

The Good...

(1) I ran my first charity race of the year on Saturday, January 29: the NHL All-Star 5k hosted by our very own Carolina Hurricanes (although I feel I must take a moment to state for the record that I am a Washington Capitals fan). I was not expecting to have a good race - the week before had been pretty blech all around and I stayed up late the night before the race. Come Saturday morning, I had decided that I would allow myself to take walking breaks if I felt I had to, and I did. I took a one minute break somewhere after one mile, or 12 minutes on my watch, because I missed the one mile flag, and then another after a big ugly hill coming up on two miles. When I passed the two mile flag, I looked at my new watch and cursed it, thinking it was broken...it read 21 minutes and change. No way I could be going faster than my "normal" 12-minute pace, but it was enough to perk me up a little and put some pep in my step.

I missed the three mile marker, but heard someone say the finish was just up ahead, so I dug up a little grit and picked up the pace - maybe a bit too much a bit too early, but who cares, because my official time ended up being...

32:24

Holy speedy feet, Batman, that is almost 5 minutes off my first race time, even though I walked for 2 minutes! I am super happy with that and sooo looking forward to my next race, which is...

(2) An 8k!!! A week from this Saturday, I am running the Run Green 8k in Raleigh and yes, I am actually looking forward to it! Eagerly, even, and it has nothing to do with the fact that beer will be served at the finish line! I've been training with my group and having a great time. Our Saturday long runs have been getting progressively longer, and this past Saturday I ran 5.5 miles in 1:04:42 and did not die once along the way! The week before we ran a chilly, hilly 5 miles, which was a little more brutal, but totally amazing (other than the constant irritation from the pin I used to try and tighten my running pants to keep them up, chalk that up to a huge lesson learned!). I don't know what I'm going to do after my group ends...I have met so many wonderful people and I don' t want to go back to running alone, boo hoo!

(3) One of the reasons things have been quite crazy lately is that I ended up starting not one, but two businesses! The first is a little venture I started with and ultimately for the kids, because I really wanted us to work on something together as well as teach them the value of entrepreneurship in this crazy world of downsizing and outsourcing we live in. We will be hosting parties, workshops, and classes in jewelry making, an old hobby of mine and a new one of theirs. J and C both have an amazing amount of patience with little kids who are not their sister, so I think they would be great at the kids' birthday parties, and I am looking forward to hosting some ladies' nights out for the big girls. 

While planning and preparing for this launch, I came across a business opportunity that I believe in and am excited about, so I have been working on launching that, as well. It is definitely something that will be a challenge for me, but since 2011 is my year to live FEARLESS, I decided to go for it! Who needs free time anyway, right?

(4) So my sister, who is a mover and a shaker with lots of mover shaker friends, scored herself a ticket to the Oprah Winfrey show! I promptly told her that whatever swag Oprah handed out, she better be prepared to share with me! As it turns out, Oprah had some pretty awesome swag that day! My sister went to the taping of Oprah's interview with Jennifer Hudson who is, of course, the spokeswoman for Weight Watchers. I've talked before about how I have tried Weight Watchers numerous times in the past with varying degrees of success. In other words, when I kinda did it, it kinda worked, but when I really did it, it really worked. Well, Oprah gave everyone in the audience not one, not two, but THREE free one year memberships to WW, and my sister was awesome enough to give one of the to me, so you better believe I am going to go back and really work it! My first meeting was just last night, so I am still working on learning the new points system and I will be sure to post regular progress updates. From now on, my weigh-in day will be Monday, and I will be recording the "official WW weight" - even though the meetings are in the evening, with clothes on, after the weekend when I used to like to relax a little, since I weighed in Friday mornings. Sigh.

The bad...

(1) Although the day of my 5k started off great, it did not end well. I was on my way to E's ice skating lesson when I got a frantic call from my other two saying that our greyhound had hurt herself badly coming up the stairs in the backyard (or rather, falling up them). I turned around and raced home, scooped her up, and ran to the doggie ER, where an x-ray showed that she had broken all four of the metatarsals in her left hind foot (these are the equivalent of the bones on the top of your foot). In addition, she had a number of abrasions on the same foot. Seems greyhounds are every bit as fragile as they look!

After consulting with another vet and the rescue group we adopted her from, I opted against surgery to insert pins and plates in her foot, since she is almost 10 and we weren't sure how she would handle the surgery. Also, because of the abrasions and possible infection, casting the foot would have been difficult. Instead she was splinted and wrapped, and she goes to the vet weekly for bandage changes, where she has won everyone's hearts and is spoiled rottenly. 

(2) As I said, last night was my first WW meeting. My first weigh-in. Following a weekend that I knew was more or less a buffet-fest of emotional eating. I tried to prepare myself for the worst. It was bad - not as bad as it could have been and in no way undeserved, but still disappointing. 183.4. Up from Thursday's weight of 178.4. I packed on - or should I say snacked on - 5 pounds in 4 days. Well, that's why I'm back to WW, right? Because I've been struggling since the holidays - actually, since I quit smoking at the beginning of November, which may have had an effect on my metabolism, but this plateau sure has had an effect on me mentally. Because I have been lazy about writing down what I eat. Because I have been lazy about eating right, period. Because I have gotten complacent. Because I have stopped expecting so much from myself. Because this journey has frankly taken a back seat to some of life's other challenges, both good and bad. I can't say for sure that is the last time I will ever have a gain, but I'll be damned if I'm just going to quit myself again like I did last weekend, so close to my goal!

(3) One word, friends...TEENAGERS. Need I say more?

(4) Another word that speaks for itself...LAYWERS.
 
The ugly...

The company I have worked for for the past 5 years, doing something I enjoy very much with people I enjoy very much, is in serious danger of closing its doors, which would be very, very bad. I am counting my blessings, which are many, and concentrating on having an attitude of gratitude and faith, but prayers would be welcome. One thing I'm definitely grateful for is my running. 5.5 miles worth of endorphins go a long way toward easing worry and fear, at least for awhile!

(Ok, so I totally realize that I failed in my attempt NOT to ramble, but if you read this far, maybe an apology is not necessary?)


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Today I am grateful for:
  • my sweet, sweet "sharp-faced" girl, Cinder, who has the best attitude of anyone I've ever known, dog or human, despite one big boo-boo!
  • her spastic 80-pound baby brother, who gave her kisses and shared his birthday knuckle bone with her when she got home from the ER
  • the upside of carrying a 63 pound dog up and down the stairs multiple times a day...stronger arms!
  • time change countdown...19 days!
  • spring - the buds on my maple tree tell me it's almost here!