26 November 2015

I've been playing on Facebook off and on all day, in between bouts of activity (getting dinner ready, facing the treadmill, getting sucked into Jessica Jones) and every time I pop onto FB it demands to know what I'm thankful for today.

Well, FB (since this will pop up over there :::waves at my FB peeps::: ) the things I'm thankful for today are the things I am thankful for every day. You never ask any other time. What's up with that, FB? Is it that you don't really care? Hm?

But... I am thankful. Very thankful. I have too many things to be thankful about to list, but I can try to hit the highlights.

♦ I have a kick-ass family. I would twist your nipples and make you cry like a little girl for my family. I have the most spiffy Spouse Thingy, a frakking fantastic son, wicked awesome sisters, amazing nieces and nephews, and I hit the in-law lottery several times.

♦ Hell yeah. You would be so lucky to have my mother-in-law.

♦ I am especially thankful that my son has found such a wonderful, amazing woman, and that she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. She's bringing a level of class to this family that is sorely needed. (Either than or we're bringing the total opposite to hers, but hey, things balance out.) She brings out in him so much of what we always hoped for: he's always been a good man, but with her, he's a Good Man.

♦ My friends. I have the best circle of friends. And it's an eclectic circle of friends, from cat people to writer people to my tough-as-nails pink people. They're spread out all over the world and while I might not see them often, they are part of the glue that holds me together.

♦ All that pink stuff...while on the surface it's all about finding the cure, doing what little we can to make a difference, that pink stuff has given me focus and a drive to better myself so that I can participate. By taking this year to not walk, I realize how very much it matters to me. The people I've met because of it are people I have come to love, especially my team mates. I truly love the Pink Slips, Rock the Pink, Blogging Babes for Boobies, the people I've crewed with... I will rock my Pink Slips t-shirt until it falls apart.

♦ Other peoples' patience. I know I am not the easiest person to be friends with, because you never know when my crap is going to float to the service and throw a wrench in things. The patience of others has made it possible for me to feel all right about signing up for things and giving them a try.

♦ The furballs. Even though they seem to not want me to sleep and spend far too much time every day reminding me that Food O'clock is almost here, and in spite of the number of piles of cold yak I've stepped in, life is definitely better with them in it.

♦ Reasonable health. I know I will never be at the pinnacle, but I'm damned thankful that all my issues are pretty much manageable.

♦ That I can try, and not be afraid of failing. And I can do that because of everything listed above, because my friends and family will catch me when I fall, or help me get up and dust off, and then cheer me along when I try again.

♦ And the ones who take care of me when I am giving things a try...yeah, so very thankful.

♦ And DKM, I am very, very thankful you don't shout at me when I'm in the passenger seat squealing because WE ARE GOING TO DIE! and THAT CAR IS GOING TO HIT US! and I'm really thankful you haven't hit me yet. ;)

I could go on. And on and on and on. I am honestly thankful for all these things and more every day. Life is good; the people in mine are better.

He's thankful for today's turkey, and the nice, long nap he can now have.


22 November 2015

Odds n Endz #974,194,194,555.666

♦ I’m sitting in Starbucks, with every intention to make some headway on a manuscript that was begun 2 years ago but barely outlined. My brain is not engaging because 1) this is the first caffeine I’ve had today and 2) somewhere in the vicinity of my table is a (presumable) woman who apparently bathed in a giant vat of perfume today, and it’s making my head pound….and the inability to breathe will surely follow.

♦ Seriously, why do people feel the need for perfume? It rarely smells good and too many other people have airway issues because of it. Just freaking take a shower, use a nice mildly scented soap, and call it a day. No one really needs to smell like anything other than their own self.

♦ Why, yes, right now I do feel a little grouchy, why do you ask?

♦ After just a year and 4 months, not long after the warranty expired, my laptop croaked. I liked that laptop. I am not happy. I replaced it with a Surface Pro tablet, reasoning that it runs all the software I need, but I didn’t stop to consider its size. I have 54-year-old eyes; I probably should have just gotten another big-assed laptop.

♦ I will suffer before giving up, though.  It will work one way or the other.

♦ Anyone got a head-mounted, face sized magnifying glass? That might work.

♦ Ok, I am no longer sitting in Starbucks. I am at home, at my desk, where I can breathe without coughing. And where I have Max tail flicking at my face.

♦ This is almost as annoying as the perfume, though perhaps quite a bit less in the way of potentially deadly.

♦ I stopped at the grocery store on my way home. Hungry. Yeah, you can guess how that went…

♦ I didn’t want to stick with the diet, anyway.

♦ And on that front…I have reached the pinnacle of a great big old pile of frustration. I eat well, I watch my caloric intake pretty closely. I move, I sweat, I burn calories. But my weight loss has stalled and I haven’t lost a damn thing since August. I honestly thought that at this point I would be much closer to goal, but I’m still 50 pounds from it.

♦ I know what the answer is: either move more or eat less. Since I don’t want to be a giant mass of unhappy and starving, I refuse to eat less. I’m at 1300-1500 calories a day as it is. So I need to get off my ass even more. And that makes me unhappy, too.

♦ Well, unhappy other than the goals ahead. I registered for the Hot Chocolate 15K in San Francisco in January (which was, in hindsight, a mistake, seeing as how I will be nowhere near the pace needed and I should have gone for the 5K) and there’s the Pixie Dust Challenge in May.

♦ I want the shiny medals. Seriously. Weight loss and better health? Meh. Shiny medals? Hell yeah.

♦ I never said I was mature.

For the hell of...Buddah, looking quite annoyed with me.


18 November 2015


The day after the 10K I got on the scale, expecting a jump, because I do tend to hold onto quite a bit of water after adding new exercise, and a little extra after pushing myself. I normally end a 3 Day about 6 pounds heavier, and it's gone within a week. Sunday I was 4 pounds higher than Saturday, and thought nothing of it.

Same thing Monday.

And Tuesday.

When it was still up today, and by the same amount, I was more than a little annoyed. I can feel it, the bloating in my arms and legs, puffy feet that barely fit into my shoes, the right side of my face first thing in the morning. I hadn't expected it to hang around this long; it was just a couple of hours on one day, not slogging through 60 miles in three.

I also hadn't expected the level of soreness I experienced on Sunday. I could barely move, but I mocked myself because it was actually pretty funny and I knew it wouldn't last. Monday it hurt about 75% less, and yesterday only a little. Today, there's just a hint of ouchiness in my my hips and, oddly, my upper arms. I had hoped the water retention would whoosh away with the pain.

"Well, yeah, it'll take you longer," the Spouse Thingy said at dinner tonight. "You have no growth hormone. There's nothing there for muscle repair. It will take you longer."

I had forgotten, really. When I did the first 3 Day I was still on daily HGH shots; now it's just left to time, and all those micro-tears in my muscles have to repair without the aid of growth hormone.

So, I can deal with it. I *know* that it's water weight because I haven't been pigging out, and it's a self-correcting problem. So tomorrow we're heading up to Old Sac and checking out the other end of the river walk path, and I'm going to push myself a little bit, walking fast after warming up, and adding some slow jogging if I can, until I feel like I need to stop.

I really want to make this work. I don't ever have to be the fastest, but at some point I want to be a runner.

And anyone who knows what I used to think about running is probably sitting there slack-jawed right now.

Yeah, I didn't get it. I think I do now.

Plus, runners get shiny medals every now and then. I like the shiny medals.


15 November 2015

Before the start... me, Emi, and Amanda; Photo by DKM
I did not die. I can barely move today, but I did not die.

It was a beautiful day; chilly when I left the house but already in the high 50s by the time I was standing here, at the start. And the start gate framed the Tower Bridge nicely; I've driven over that bridge dozens of times, but on this day I was going to get to walk over it, right down the middle, and honestly...that was kind of cool.

Aside from not training for this, I made a couple of mistakes. I couldn't eat beforehand--partly because it was just too early for me to get any food down, partly because I was actually a tiny bit nervous--and I lost my water bottle before we even got started. The water bottle wasn't an issue so much as it was a worry, because there were 4 aid stations along the way where water and Powerade were available. My real issue was that, not having eaten, I forgot to stick a roll of Lifesavers in my waist pack, and just before the 2nd aid station, maybe a quarter mile, I realized I was feeling nauseated and dizzy.

My blood sugar was tanking. Not having candy on me was probably the worst thing I could have done. But, I made it to the station, where there was cake.

photo by DKM
A bite sized piece of cake, some Powerade and water, and I felt awesome. My pace was better than I'd hoped--under 16:30--and I took off.

Well, "took off" is relative; I was not speedy even though I was bettering my usual pace, and I was getting passed...a lot. Honestly did not care, as long as I wasn't last. And I don't even know why I cared about not being last.

I slowed down some after mile 3 and started feeling blisters forming around mile 4, but none of that was much of an issue. The route was beautiful, taking us down the river and through part of downtown, including a stretch up Capitol Mall which was an incredible view. If I could have stopped for a picture, I would have, but at that point I knew if I stopped I wouldn't get started again. I slowed down enough to grab another piece of cake (we're talking one-bite sized pieces...I didn't really want it but wasn't chancing another drop in blood sugar) and Powerade, and headed for the final stretch.

My main goal was to finish 10K in under two hours. My typical walking pace has been 20 min/mile, and all I really wanted was to better that.

The finish time is from the time the first wave of runners crossed the start line; I was in the 3rd or 4th wave, so started about 10 minutes after that. My chip time, what I finished at, was 1:47 minutes.

My pace...17:14 min/mile.

I was one of the last hundred fifty people, I think, but I am not unhappy about that. Hell, I'm stoked. It gives me a really good idea of what I need to do to get ready for Tinkerbell, and in spite of how freaking sore I am today, I had a fantastic time. All the swimming was terrific for my cardio; my feet took a beating for lack of training, but I was never winded not felt like my HR was too high.

So. Next goal is a 15K in San Francisco on January 10; it has a pace requirement of 15min/mile and while I'm not counting on being able to do that and thusly not getting the shiny medal at the end, it's another test. If I know I have to *really* train for that, I will.

And who knows? I sure as hell didn't think I'd do any better than 18-19 minutes for the Beat The Blerch.

Photo by DKM


12 November 2015

A few months ago I signed up for a 10K; it's purely for fun, what with there being couches to stop to rest on, and cake at the end for all the participants. I fully intended to jump right into training for it...right after I healed up from a new tattoo. And then I bought the scooter and spent ,y free time breaking it in.

But yeah...right after the second new tattoo, I was going to really get to training. For reals.

Somewhere around week 2 of the healing process, I had a thought: 6 miles is no big deal, distance-wise. It's the time it takes, and I wanted to shave time off my minutes-per-mile pace. But what is my current mpm? It used to be 20, but that was at an in-no-hurry pace, and I know I ca go faster than that.

My ultimate goal, one I need to achieve before next May, is to be able to manage less than 16 minutes per mile. For that, I will train my asterisk off, because I committed to the Pixie Dust Challenge, and I want that freaking medal. I am motivated by shiny things.

The thing is, I can do the Blerch 10K in time to finish; it's a fun run, and there are 4 hours to complete it. At my leisurely pace I can do that in 2, so there's been no urgency to train hard to get the medal I know I'll get anyway.


This is also the chance for me to push myself and see what my pre-training pace is under event conditions. Yes, I can walk at a good clip, but that's around town, with nothing dangling in front of me, no expectations other than not peeing myself because I can't get to a restroom fast enough and not dying. I learned from the 3 Day that what you do when you're training by yourself, and what you do when in the middle of it are, can be two different things.

So I didn't do anything special to get ready for this 10K. I want to see what my pace is when I want
something (besides cake) at the end. And it will mark the official start to my 10K + HM training.

So. I did not train for the Blerch but I will not die...and PARTY IN ANAHEIM IN MAY! I'll be a zombie on race days, but we're staying a couple extra days, so...if you're there, LET'S JAM FOOD IN OUR FACES TOGETHER!!!

Today's lesson: don't try to write a blog post while texting with someone...soooo much backspacing was needed here...


7 November 2015

Odds N Ends #805,043,

♦ I have been getting up at normal-people hours lately. While I enjoy the time to relax before having to get up and get things done, there are a couple of negatives. Like, it’s too cold to go for an early bike ride. It feels like a *really* long time between breakfast and lunch. And I still have trouble getting to sleep early enough. I’m not sure how you normal people manage.

♦ Though it’s over a year away, the plan for the 2016 walk is to do it in San Diego. Most of the team is going to Atlanta, but I won’t know until May if my doc will be comfortable with me making a flight like that on top of the physical exertion. I can handle one hour in a plane or if push comes to shove, drive down there.

♦ The Spouse Thingy is going to sign up for medical crew; he could walk it, but the truth is they would need him more as crew than as a walker, since they’re always looking for medical people.

♦ I have a 10K next weekend. I have not trained. It will not be pretty. But…at the end there’s cake. I don’t know if they have sweepers but if they do and I wind up being swept, oh well. But I’ll get cake at the end, and that’s what matters, right?

♦ Hell, I can do a 10K if I walk it all. It’s a matter of how much time is allowed. I have no clue.

♦ Email: I was in San Francisco once and I didn’t call you. Didn’t even think of it. But you were in Ohio at the time. That still counts, right? Of course it does. LOL

♦ Email: Are you telling me that if you went to San Antonio to see the Alamo you wouldn’t see your sisters? No…the only reason I would go to San Antonio would be to see my sisters. It’s a damned goal. But I am telling you if they were in SF and didn’t have time or had other reasons, I’d be cool with it. (And no, that did not come from any of my sisters, just someone who enjoys poking the bear.)

♦ Girl Scout cookies are going up to $5 a box. They’re good but not five dollar good.

♦ I am ready to start Christmas shopping. No clue what I’m getting anyone, but I’m ready to go wander aimlessly around the stores. And Amazon. Lots and lots of Amazon browsing.

♦ I should get some work done first. I still haven’t formatted Max’s newest book for e-readers…


6 November 2015

Ok, this may be a new record for the longest I’ve gone without blogging. But I’ve been a little busy, what with having coloring books to play with, and a new scooter to ride all over the place (srsly…I had the BMW for a year and only put 590 miles on it, including the 45 mile trip to the dealer to trade it in; the MP3 has 800 miles almost, and that’s with having left it at the dealership for a couple weeks waiting for a new horn switch) and the new season of Doctor Who in full swing. And there’s the whole getting Max’s new book finished.

That’s all apropos to nothing. I went to Starbucks today to so something other than write and edit and write more. I just wanted to ride my scooter over there, have some tea and play online, with no real objective in mind.

While I sat there with my iced tea and coffee cake, I started getting texts from a couple of friends. I felt like I was about 3 levels of normal, sitting there like everyone else with my face plastered to my phone. Well, maybe 4 levels, because I did have a Macbook Air in front of me, and it seems to be the required form of computer in the ‘Bux.

One friend started off with a plethora of apologies: she’s going to be in San Francisco next week, with her husband and 5 of their 6 kids, and she wanted to see me, but… no time. They’ve got only 3 days and each of the kids has been promised they could pick something for the entire family, and…and…and…

The gist? She was worried that I would be offended.

No. I am not. I don’t think she believed me, but I truly am not.

Look—and this goes for everyone—your vacation is just that. Yours. You do not owe it to anyone to change your plans, or create new plans, just because there’s someone in the geographical vicinity who may or may not have time to see you. I’ve been caught in those cross hairs and it’s horribly uncomfortable; just because you’re there and you might want to see someone...that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea or even possible.

We’ve made plans to go somewhere before where there are nearly 20 people—some who are family, some who are friends—who would expect to join us. The sheer exhaustion of that many people, those expectations, and the fallout have made us just not go. Because really, whom do you disappoint? With whom do you make plans? Whom do you not? Who gets told they don’t make the cut? Who do you piss off? Who will understand and who will trash talk you because clearly you’re able to be there so why are you not visiting?

It’s never simple. The things that are genuine reasons can be brushed off by others as mere excuses, and it just turns sour. Hearing “but we’re family” from someone can be irritating as hell, because they’re not stopping to consider that they’re not the only family in that area harboring the same expectations, and there are only so many hours in the day and there’s no kind way to see one side of the family and not the other.

At some point it stops being a vacation and turns into visiting people. Nothing wrong with the latter if that’s what you wanted all along, but if your goal was the former and you don’t get that much needed you-time to do any of the vacationy things you planned simply because you know there will be repercussions? It sucks.

So no…I will not be offended if you’re in San Francisco or Sacramento or three streets over and don’t have time to see me. No, it doesn’t matter who you are or how much I would have liked to spend some time with you. I do understand.

I damn well better understand, seeing as how I’m the Queen of pissing people off by not visiting when I’m in the area. I hate feeling like I’m walking on eggshells just because I want to go somewhere but also know my own limitations and my need to crash at unexpected intervals. But, I always feel that way. We go, and I seriously worry about it half the time we’re there. Who’s mad at me? How bad will the fallout be? Who just doesn’t get it? Who thinks I’m faking? Who’s going to throw the well you did that so why didn’t you do this? thing in my face?

(and in seeing how hard I’m pounding the keyboard, apparently this is a spot more sore with me than I realized…)

The friend who was so worried? I know she would like to see me. I would like to see her. But this is her vacation and her kids deserve the time they’ve been promised, and she doesn’t need to worry about perceived expectations and the possible hurt feelings that come with not meeting those expectations.

Go forth and have fun, people. If your friends and family don’t or won’t even try to understand…it’s their problem.