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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Rainy and Cold in the Land of Beer and Cheese

Rain, rain, rain, rain. Today was not only rainy and drab, the temperature dropped from 50s this morning to a chilly 35 by the time I got out of work. I did 30 minutes on the indoor bike today, but wasn't motivated enough to brave anything outside.

I registered for my next round of classes this week. As a graduation requirement, I have to take an online phy ed class. No really, I'm serious, quit laughing. I started reading the textbook while I was on the bike and got 2 chapters done in a half hour. How much can really be said about goal setting and the transtheoretical theory of change as it applies to higher level wellness and fitness? I think that basically I have to read this incredibly dry book and commit to 3-5 days of fitness walking or greater for 10 weeks supervised by an exercise professional. It will be tough, but I'll give it a whirl. What a joke, but sometimes you just have to jump through the hoops because the man says so. LOL. I think I will take a stab at submitting the past 11 months of exercise logs and my evaluations from the exercise physiologist I already work with and see if I can get a pass. Worth a shot anyhow.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A girl and her dog

Today, my 2 year old ESS pup Maddy and I went for a quick run after I got home from work. Daisy, my old girl was not happy to be left at home, but a) I know she won't misbehave, b) I cannot handle 2 dogs and run simultaneously, and c) she has a hard time doing much more than 2 miles - at 45 pounds she is far to heavy to carry home fireman-style.
So, I took off the Invisible Fence collar, slipped on her walk collar, and off we went. It had been raining all day so there were lots of puddles and mud for her to find along the way. She enjoyed every one of them. Trying to control Maddy on a leash is a little like stuffing toothpaste back in the tube - a total mess. She pulls, she lunges, she stops short, she zigs and zags all over the place. I was hopeful today that taking my life in my hands would at the least make me faster as she pulled me down the street. Remember the Marmaduke cartoons? That's kind of how the walks always go, only with a 45 pound ball of fire instead of a Great dane.
I ran my usual route backwards this time, just for a change of pace. It was interesting to say the least. There was absolutely no way to control my pace with Maddy along. She drug me along at breakneck speed, then we slowed way down as I tried to hold her back and regain control. And so it went over and over. The end result was a less than spectacular pace of 12+ minute miles overall. From a positive perspective, my arms are still firmly placed in thier sockets and we made it home without a major wipeout. We'll just call it a success and call it a day.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee

I got this sent to me from my good friend Lisa and thought I would share it:

You will never look at a cup of coffee the same way again.A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word.In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl.Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me what you see.""Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.

Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water."Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling.Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

It's easier to build a child than repair an adult. This is so true.May we all be COFFEE.

Big Exercise Day today

We started our day today with a big run as soon as we were out of bed and the paper read. Mike and I ran together for a change which I always enjoy - usually he is running way ahead of me and I lose motivation as he gets farther and farther away. It was really nice out, kind of cool, but I warmed up quickly as we got going. It was a big run for me today, 4.23 miles, and I think I did pretty well. When we got home, Janet called to set up another Sunday ladies ride, so shortly after noon, we took off on our bikes. We headed through Rockport Park and onto the bike trail to Afton and then onward to Turtle and Shopiere. We headed back a little differently, trying out the new pavement on Read road and picking up the bike trail to Hayner Road and back to my house. All told, we biked 33.29 miles this afternoon and it felt GREAT.
I suspect today was our last hoorah for getting outside much, especially on the bikes. The funny thing is, I had no idea how to dress for a warm (50's) almost December day. I left the house in a performance tank, 2 long sleeved driFit tops, and a florescent wind breaker. I had on bike shorts with tights over the top and neoprene booties over my shoes. I had lots of other equipment tucked into the waist band of my pants - a balacava, a hankie to use to cover my face, extra gloves, and lots of other goodies. I ended up needing none of this extra equipment and wishing I could strip off several of the other layers.
On this beautiful Thanksgiving weekend, I am especially thankful for the opportunity to get outside and enjoy being outdoors with my family and friends.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Berbee Derby - Like a Thanksgiving Day Parade Only Faster

Today was the Berbee Derby in Fitchburg (by Madison). We got up early and roadtripped with Mike and I in one car, and my sisters Tracy (here from Denver) and Michele, her husband Jeff, and my nephew Jacob in another car. The race was huge. It was a 5K Run and walk, and a 10K - there were 2500 participants expected, including Jeff, Mike, and I. My new Forerunner arrived in yesterdays mail, so I was good to go although I forgot to turn it on at first and then forgot to stop it. The race was awesome, the course was a little hilly, but i still ran 35.23, an 11:24/mi pace. I think was a personal best and a thansgiving MIRACLE! Results and info can be found at

Lunch at my parent's house was good too. Had a little turkey and vegetables. I tried asparagus (ick) for the first time and brussels sprouts (super ick) but can now take credit for living on the edge and trying something new.

Here are a few pictures from today. The top one is Jacob and I messing around at my mom's house. The others are Mike and I and my kids, we were shooting for a Christmas card shot - what do ya think? Hope y'all had a great Turkey Day!

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Naughty Dog Is Dead Meat

my dog Maddy is such a shithead. I think I have finally come to grips with this simple fact.

She will be 2 this year and is the most destructive dog I have ever owned. Maddy has always been a chewer. When she was a puppy, she would shred toilet paper while I showered so it looked as if it were snowing by the time I was done. She once ate a stack of shipping boxes, creating a cardboard snowstorm. She has roughly 100 chew toys, tennis balls, rawhide bones, and a plethora of other toys to distract her from her mission in life - destroying anything of value in her path.

In the few years she has been alive she has been responsible for a massive amount of destruction. Her partners in crime are my 2 teenage sons who are often charged with watching her but pay very little attention to what she is doing when I'm not home. Last year, she chewed the corners off the new oak cabinets in my newly built house. That was the beginning of a long string of inappropriate chewy toys. Among other things, she has eaten the remote controls to all the TVs in the house, several video game controllers, lots of computer cable, at least 6 retainers. We resigned ourselves to lock her in a kennel whenever we were gone, which seemed to curb the problems. The day the boys went back to school this fall, they forgot to put her into her cage...... she proceeded to chew the cordless phone into a milion billion bits. Maddy is officially an electronics specialist- like everyone else in this house, she loves her gadgets. The only difference is we like to play with them, she however likes to EAT them! Lots of lectures ensued about responsibility and controlled containment strategies. Vows were given that it would never ever ever happen again - "promise."

Today, my hubby met me at the door and said "your kids aren't getting anything for Christmas." Then he hugged me. THe boys forgot to kennel her when they left for school today. Never one to pass up an opportunity to east soemthing of value, Maddy the Destroyer had eaten my Garmin 301, my most prized possession. She tried to eat my iPod too but only managed to mangle the charging cord and the cute pink leather case. She ate the buttons off the Garmin and munched on the screen so it is totally black. Because the buttons are chewed off, I can't get it to power off and quit beeping. With every sickly beep I would like to wring her stupid neck with the Garmin strap. Lucky for her, she ate the strap too.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What the heck IS a stone anyhow?

Someone commented that they had lost "a stone" and I have seen it in several other people's postings. How much is a stone equivalent to?
In my head I am picturing a guy taking rocks out of his pockets while standing on a scale. ....... :-)

it's a beautiful day for a bike ride

Just got a call from my biking friend Janet and we are going out on a group ride today. I am so excited - I miss the outdoor activities of summer/fall. It's funny, I never realized how much I enjoy being outside until this year - I am always itchy to get out and do something and dread working out in the basement gym.
Weather today looks lovely. Sunny and cloudless with no wind, but what worries me a little is a high in the 40s - BRRR! I'm gonna bundle up and give it a whirl anyhow - I bought a case of handwarmers at Sam's Club yesterday so worst case scenario I have to tuck them inside all the cold spots in my riding gear - LOL.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Back on Track again Baby!

Well, today I decided was the day where I get myself off the lazy track. Since the weather has turned cold with rain and snow I have had a hard time getting motivated to work out indoors. It's just so much nicer to ride around on my bike on country roads enjoying the scenery! I couldnt' wait to get out and run around in the sunshine or get the bike on the road. Watching TV from the elliptical or reading assessment textbooks on the stationary bike just isn't the same as being outdoors getting fresh air and sunshine. I have been slacking a bit becuase of this, not putting forth as much effort as I should be either. If I don't step it up I am going to be bumming at the Berbee Derby Thanksgiving Day.
I got up this morning early and did some time on the elliptical. So now I can check the front half off my "two-a-day" plan for today. After a quick shower, it was off to work and I walked the 2 miles to work. All summer I walked to and from work every day and I must admit I have slacked on this a little more lately too. So I am back on track with that again too, at least for today.
I have to go see the doctor tomorrow for what I think will be the appointment when he pulls me off the fast. I'm a little nervous about it - that will mean transitioning back to real food again. Being on the shake plan has been really a mindless experience - I had to drink 6 shakes a day, so basically I had to count to 6 and that was the extent of meal planning and calorie counting. Now the real work will begin, and it's work I have not always been really successful at in the past. I want to lose at least 14 more pounds before its all said and done and I move into maintenence. Can I do it? I sure hope so. I hope I can resist the call of Red Robin's A1 Peppercorn Burger, or the sausage pizza at Happy Joe's, or any number of my former favorites. I have to be strong andhave the courage to resist temptation. Wish me luck - send your good vibes my way!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Pet Peeves

Why is it that everyone who congratulates you on your weight loss has to tell you how great you must feel? I didn't feel "bad" before I lost weight, I was just fat! I was healthy feeling and had no chronic health effects from my weight other than inactivity. So I guess that comment means fat=bad (the opposite of great) which frankly feels a little insulting.
While I'm at it- what is with people who ask loudly in a crowd how many pounds you've lost? I work in a hospital on the top floor so I am often caught in the elevator with someone who does that. There is no easy way to sidestep the bluntness of the question that I have found sucessful. I have tried answering "a lot," but the questioner invariably presses on even more loudly for the exact amount of pounds lost. In the last week, I have been asked that in an elevator full of Family Practice residents and then again in the elevator in front of at least 6 20-something construction workers (at the hospital working on a renovation). I have lost more than 175 pounds, or almost the equivalent of a high school linebacker......... it's really kind of embarrassing to admit in front of a pile of people you don't know that you were once at that level of gluttony. Everyone can relate to needing to lose 10 or 20 pounds, but I imagine there are a lot of folks out there who hear my answer and think "Wow - you must have been huge!". Yes, I was, thank you very much for shining a spotlight on it! There is another co-worker here in the hospital who asks ocasionally at the end of meetings for the update, still embarrassing but I can tell she is trying to be supportive.
I know these people mean well and are trying in their own way to be suppportive, and I try to remember that they probably dont mean to be rude or embarrass me to death as I try to answer the question before I crawl under a rock and try to hide...................

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Todays workout

Well, this weekend's plan to do "two-a-days" was overtaken by laziness. I did get an hour in on the indoor bike. I was going to run outside, but it just looks too cold and I am feeling very unmotivated! maybe I will change my mind before it gets dark out!

Pictures Family YMCA 2 mile 10/1/06

First pic is Mike and I with my nephew Jacob pre-race.
Pict #2 is me getting a high five from Jacob as I cross the finish.
Pic #3 is pre-race of Jeff (my bro-in law), Jacob (my nephew), me, and Mike. (I don't knwo what we were watching so closely.........

Pic #4 is Mike crossing the finish. We called him "Team Adidas" that day as he was decked out in Adidas gear head to toe (except remaining loyal to his Asics tennies).

Anniversary Pictures from the Zoo Run Run 9-23-06

Here we are on our 17th wedding anniversary after running in the Zoo Run Run in Madison. We had fun with this one - Mike wore a bowtie and I wore a clip on veil. We had matching Dri-fit tees made up too.

Mike got to the finish before I did and some lady told him "If you want to be married another 17 years, you better go back and find your wife!"

Had a blast with this race, although it was very hilly and challenging. I actually tripped, somersaulting down the street, about 1/8 mile from the finish line and sprained my ankle.

Pictures from the Cow Chip Classic 2006

The first 2 pictures are of me running the Cow Chip Classic. This was a really fun race. Also running were my brother-in-law Jeff and my neice Taylor (who was running her very first race!).

This last picture is my hubby Mike crossign the finish line.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Mike Before and After Pictures

Picture on top is of Mike around 2001 while he was umping for our son's Boy Scout softball team. The one on the bottom was taken July 4, 2006 wearing the same shirt, after a 130+ pound weight loss. Quite a difference in the two, eh?

Introduction and After Pictures

The first picture is the "before" picture. It was taken at a family wedding in October 2005, and quite frankly when I saw it, that was the moment I decided it was time for a significant life change. It's funny how the mind works - I actually thought that dress was kind of slimming when I tried it on, but the truth is the camera doesn't support the fibs your mind tells you.

The second picture is Mike and I ready to go to his class reunion August 5, 2006. We clean up pretty well I think. Mike is at goal weight here, and I am still working at it with about a 140 or so pound loss at this point.

The last picture is of Mike and I at a birthday party for our niece, Sarah on November 3, 2006. Total weight loss to date in this picture: Mike - 135.5 pounds lost (37.38% of loss from starting weight) , Jenny - 176 pounds lost (50.55% of loss from starting weight)

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