Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 winds down...the "hits' list

New Year's Eve is here. Finally.

We are still experiencing very weird weather -- temps in the high 30's or low 40's, rain -- not snow, even our lawn is starting to green up. This can't be good...

Stepson is here until about 2:00. Then he is off to work so Hubby and I will figure out what we are going to do tonight. His sister is having a poker party -- but they live a long way from our house and driving back with all the lunatics is not exactly my idea of fun.

We may just stay home, which I am fine with too.

I'm looking forward to 2007 but have to say that I've had a pretty good 2006.

Here is my list of 2006 highlights:

1) Our Trip to Europe. Hubby and I both agree that our trip was definitely the highlight of the year. Although we can't pick a favorite place or event or meal of the trip, the whole package was truly wonderful.

2) My finishing the Lifetime Fitness Oly distance Tri: Oh, and that 1st place trophy for Athena's 40+. May I remind myself that there was only one person in my heat (me), but hardware none the less. I signed up for the event again for 2007 and my goal is to have a better race time. This means finishing the swim much less time. I've signed up for another swim package with my swim coach and renewed my membership with the MN Tri Club. I need to focus more on those open water swims and biking.

3) Training for Twin Cities Marathon with Marcia, Mary and Cheryl: Notice I said TRAINING and not the race. The race was pretty good, although certainly not my best marathon. Training with these women was fun and inspiring. We had a lot of laughs inbetween a lot of miles.

4) Making contributions: I feel very good about the fact that I'm in a position to make contributions of money to causes I believe in, or time (to coach new runners or to stomp for a political candidate I believe in), or both. It really is true that you get back much more than what you actually give.

5) Living a sane life: If I wasn't sober, none of my life would be like this. I'm grateful every day for being able to experience life as a sane, sober person.

Other highlights include playing on our weekly golf league; enjoying lots of easy time off and spending it at home; enjoying the company of my friends; renewing some friendships that had fallen away; and most of all, spending time with Hubby.

Monday, December 25, 2006

ho ho ho

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

We had a nice, slightly chaotic holiday. Step-kids were over yesterday and so were my in-laws, Hubby's twin sister and daughter. We had a lovely mid-day meal sprinkled with a little holiday drama (caused by me and my big mouth).

All calmed down (eventually) and every one ended up going to Midnight Mass at the in-laws parish. It was a lovely setting: candle lit sanctuary; wonderful music; very peaceful.

The service was the service -- Catholic -- so there was some chanting, standing, kneeling and crossing (the last of those two were done by the believers. I pretty much sat and observed during that part).

It was very nice to share that with Hubby and his family -- and I was glad we could all participate together.

Today, Step-kids went back to their mom's house....(always sad to see them go). Hubby and I went to his OTHER sister's house for the rest of the day. Ate as if it were going out of style; played some games; talked and basically just hung out.

It was a great day.

I hope you and yours were also able to celebrate however you felt fit today.

Here is to a joyous, healthy, fun, PEACEFUL 2007.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Finally --- snow!

It is December 21st (happy birthday today to both my father and my younger sister) and we are FINALLY getting a bit of snow.

Although it has been nice to not worry about ice and slipping and trudging through the wet stuff, a little snow this time of year is actually quite nice.

We aren't getting socked in like Denver, but it's anticipated that we'll have 1 - 5 inches by the end of tomorrow.

The not-so-fun part of this is that, although I'm off of work tomorrow, I have to drive about 20 miles from our house to my sister's in the morning to pick up her dog, who is at the kennel.

My sister, a rabid Green Bay packer fan, is in Wisconsin today with her husband and a bunch of their football friends. They will be attending tonight's game -- which is the big game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Packers.

I pick up Fletcher (the dog, my "nephew") for her before the kennel closes tomorrow for the holiday.

I'm happy to pick him up -- I'm unhappy about driving through the messy snow in my little Jetta. I'll also have to make an appearance at work so I can pick up my camera. I forgot it when I left today and want it over the holiday to capture lovely snow photos and incriminating family holiday photos.

I got the holiday cards out (yea!); we have our tree up (yea!) and I'm slowly coming out of my funk. (Yea).

The picture above was taken at the lot near our house where we've gotten a tree the past few years. The tree you see in the shot was literally the last one on the lot. It is in our living room now.

This picture is one of Hubby and StepSon walking the tree home. I'm including it because I think the photo is nice and also as "revenge" on StepSon, who has been so 'cooperative' about having his photo taken these last few years. Welcome to the Web, my boy!

After I post this blog, I'm going to sign up for some running and tri events for 2007. That will also help me move forward.
That's it for now....

Friday, December 15, 2006

Another Week Bites the Dust

I've been so cheerie lately.

Not really.

Still sitting in my funk, but am hopefully close to turning a corner. December 21st is coming up and with the solstice, the days will start to get longer.

First by nano-seconds, I understand this, but longer none-the-less. My mood really is impacted heavily by the amount of sunlight hours. I have very little motivation once the sun goes down.

Hubby and I have tried to get to the gym twice a week but we have a difference of opinion about when to go. I like to go right after work -- energy is still there, then I can get home after a work out and just relax. He likes to come home, have some thing to eat and then think about going. More often than not, when we do it his way, we don't go.

This week however, I did get a number of workouts in:

I ran with a couple of girlfriends last Saturday -- just under 5 miles. I didn't run well, but did get in the miles.

Sunday, I had a swim lesson with Dave. He was not as brutally critical of me as I thought he'd be. He videotaped me and I looked okay in the water. Much better than when I started lessons with him. My biggest visible problem happens when I turn my head to breathe if I lift my head back instead of just turning it to the side. Lifting causes my hip to open up too, which throws my glide off..

I swam again on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, Hubby and I did make it to the gym for a light workout.

Eating this week has been not so good, however. I don't seem to have much self control or ability to "just say no". My health club has a weight loss program that starts in February and I am seriously considering joining the three-month program.

We get our Christmas tree tomorrow...Hanukkah started tonight and I light the menorah. (I converted to Judaism many years ago, but really don't adhere to any religion any more. I like certain traditions of all religions -- but would not classify myself as a member of any religion at this point).

Our holiday will be very, very light. No presents between Hubby and me; very little for the kids or for family. No one really needs or wants any thing. (Which, I think, is a very lucky position to be in).

I'm in the process of figuring out which organizations that I'll send my end-of-the-year contributions to. Again, I'm thankful that I'm in a position where I can make some contributions to causes and groups that I believe in...

I'll get a few workouts in over the weekend; hopefully get our holiday cards made and out the door and relax a bit.

Ho ho ho ---

Friday, December 8, 2006


It's official!

I'm in a funk!

The weather is cold; work is uninspiring; I'm not training for any specific event (and if I was, I'm not sure I'm mentally in the game right now). Frankly, the holidays are a tough time of year for me in general, so I'm dealing with that right now.

I'm looking for some ways out of this -- I will probably just have to ride it out a bit.

I know that I have lots to be grateful for -- I'll try concentrating on being grateful for the next couple of days and report back.

For now: blah.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Deep Freeze

All I can say is BRRRR.

We've had a blast of very cold air move in to Minnesota over the last few days. Sort of a slap in the face from Old Man Winter.

That being said, we here in Minneapolis have been very lucky compared to other Midwest locations which were recently pounded by a huge winter storm that dumped a ton of snow along with the cold. I heard on the news that about 198,000 people in Illinois are still without power.

At least we have electricity and heat.

Yesterday was the Reindeer Run 5K -- this annual event is another of those "holiday biggies" that attract a few thousand runners -- including lots of families and folks that don't usually run the lakes on a Saturday morning.

I love running this race because "Santa" and "Rudolph" are there and lots of people dress up in costumes. I saw someone dressed as a tree running with two people dressed as presents; a few ornaments, lots of reindeer, a couple of elves that were dressed like the ones in the animated version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer... etc. All very cute.

I was supposed to catch up with other runners from my club, including my good running friends from Marathon days. By the time I got down to the lake though, the line to enter the tent to pick up race numbers for PRE-REGISTERED runners was huge.

This is pretty unusual. At most races, when you are pre-registered, the lines move along very quickly and orderly. Not here. Took me about 10 minutes to get half-way up the line when a volunteer announced that the lines should split, with half going around to the other side of the tent. I scooted over to the other side and got my number pretty easily but had no time to find anyone.

I ran the race but could really feel the fact that I have not been very active lately. I moved slowly, the cold air really cut down on my ability to breath correctly. (My asthma is much, much worse in the winter than the summer). Hills were hard for me to complete and feel strong. I was about 40 seconds slower finishing this race than I was the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. The really bad news is that this slow finish puts me in time range of races I ran when I was just starting out in 1999.

That put a little damper on my ho-ho-ho.

I know that it is normal to pull back on my fitness level after marathon training season is over AND I've been enjoying the pre-holiday eating season just a little too much, so both of those elements will add up to slower times and tighter pants.

I've also read that most runners will improve for about 10 years after they start running...and that runners, as they get older, start to slow down. This would mean a double whammy for me, moving in to my 8th year running and rocketing in to solid middle age.

I left the race resolved to really think about how I train and figuring out ways to train smarter and harder on multiple levels for 2007.

This would mean really looking at how and what I eat and being accountable in a real way, not the "gee I wish" way. It means getting up early to get miles in or yards in or spins on the cycle. It means finding some people that run a hair or two faster than I do to train with to try to improve my speed.

I also need to determine which events to do next year -- and what distances. A few tris have 1/2 price entry fees if you register before December 31st, including a 1/2 Iron distance I'm considering. (GULP -- 1/2 IRON!)

I also bit the bullet and signed up for a swim lesson, which is scheduled for later this week. Although I've been swimming, I'm sure that my coach will be very disappointed in me when I see him.

Enough complaining for now. I'm going to go get under a few blankets, drink some hot tea and dream of the summer.