What I learned today

I did the 5K today and learned a few things. My sister and her boyfriend were there too, I was worried they would pass me easily but it didn’t happen, though she pulled ahead of me for half the race. After the race I came home and an hour and half later, against my better judgement, went walking at the lake with my son.. We went to the grocery store deli after for something for dinner, no way I felt like cooking tonight. I expect to be sore tomorrow. For future reference here’s what I learned.

  1. Wear two pairs of socks. I had 2 pairs set aside but because it was warm today I only wore one. Mistake, the balls of my feet began burning halfway through the race and I wished I had worn both pairs.
  2. Buy a pair of sunglasses and wear them. And sunscreen. I wore my contacts and it was a definite advantage over glasses. But the sun glare made me squint and worse, I wasn’t able to see the screen of my mp3 player. I had made a special “race mix” for today, was unable to find it and used another folder instead. Next time I plan to wear big oversized sunglasses even though they make me look like Yoko Ono. I did smear sunscreen on my face but being a brown skinned person who doesn’t burn easily (I get dark) figured it was no big deal.  Now I have a red patch on my chest that I hope turns into a tan.
  3. Walk, dadgum it, don’t run or jog at the beginning no matter how tempting. I start every workout by walking to warm up. Getting started is the hardest part, my body has to get used to the idea. I know this but when the gun went off and we started moving I forgot this and started out with a jog. I did pretty good, for me but overall I only jogged 5-6 minutes total, mostly due to my heart rate.
  4. Pay attention to your heart rate. My son gave me a neat little heart monitor/pedometer watch for my birthday and I broke it in today. I learned that my heart rate is higher when I am outside, in warm weather whether or not I’m going up a hill or on level ground. So even though I didn’t feel out of breath my heart rate was still too high so I walked instead of jogged. I’m not taking chances with this one.
  5. Training methods make a big difference. I have relied too much on the treadmill. Being indoors is a different world  from being outside in the heat, the wind and without little handles in front of you. I am a little too accustomed to the air conditioning too. Though the clammy feeling I get from sweating while having cool air blowing down on me is a lot less comfortable than being cooled naturally by sweat. I need to start walking/jogging at the lake, somewhere outside so I can manage without sending my heart rate up and keeping it there. My heart rate was in the 160s for most of the race and my heart rate for my age is 173.
  6. Bring my own damn water. In a cooler.  I almost did this, but I was in a hurry and figured “nah, they will have plenty of water on hand. It’s hot, they know what they’re doing.” Wrong. The volunteers for this race, a well-meaning but inept church group, ran out of water before the end. My sister and her boyfriend each got a bottle and she assured me they had some somewhere. They didn’t, we tried 3 different sites and they were all out. I was hot, sweaty, irritated and needed a drink.  I ended up going to Sonic for a diet cherry limeade and a water,  fortunately for me it was Happy Hour.  I wonder how many other people needed water and were also told “sorry.”
  7. No matter what you think, there is always somebody behind you. The most encouraging thing about getting to the halfway point is seeing  all the people behind you.  There is going to be someone slower than you, even though I passed a turtle that didn’t seem to move but was still going faster than me. There were 2 groups of runners and one called “walkers” which I was a  part of, for obvious reasons. Most of these people, including my sister, passed me.  But there were still people behind me, including my sister’s boyfriend.  I crossed the finish line neck and neck with a baby in a stroller. Yes, I am slow. Old and slow but I reminded myself at Sonic that yesterday was my 47th birthday and this was the 4th 5K I’ve done in less than one year.
  8. After a race don’t push yourself too soon. I did this, my son wanted to go walking at the lake and since I felt OK I agreed to go It was only 30 minutes. Another mistake, I felt a little stiff at first and my feet still hurt but by the end I felt all right. Then when I got home and got into the shower I felt it. Sore feet and aching legs, the legs are OK, so far, but I expect the feet will still be sore tomorrow.

It wasn’t a bad day. The weather was nice, I got a t-shirt and my sister gave me a belated birthday present. I also did the optional warm-up some Navy guys led. Ironically the hardest part was the quad stretches, balancing on one leg. They took it easy on us,  it made me feel a little more loose and I’d probably be really hurting now if I hadn’t done it.

Semi-positive thoughts

I’ve got a job. It’s part-time and as I feared, Retail Hell. I’ll be working part-time in a Hallmark store. Not my first choice and not what I wanted but it is a job and I am grateful. I’m working toward thankful. I start in about 2 weeks, but may start earlier depending on how the schedule and staffing works out.  My new boss hired another woman and the plan is she’ll start training next week and I’ll start the week after. I just need to go pick up the paperwork and turn it in.

I’m also volunteering at a county library 2 days a week. Ironically I started this because I was bored, had nothing to do and hoped it might help me eventually get hired there.  The job will work around those hours.  I admit I like the volunteer gig, it’s a small library, small staff and I find that those old tasks I remembered are still the same. So far, anyway.

The 5K is Sunday. I’m looking forward to and dreading it at the same time. It’s a small race, I know I can do it and even walked the route last week. I look forward to proving I can do this thing, that I get a t-shirt out of it and that my sister and her boyfriend decided to go to Sea World instead. I still have to pick up their packets, even if they don’t run they want their t-shirts. I like the sense of camaraderie from being in a group of people at the start of the race, even if I know most of them are going to be leaving me in the dust. I like doing this because I know people my age who can’t do this, for health reasons, and somehow I still can. I like the way it feels when I finish and cross that line, to know I did it. However long it takes. This particular race is the day after my 47th birthday. I am an old broad and I try not to feel too badly when I see people 20 yrs younger than me pass me by. I still feel a little irritated and embarrassed when I see someone my age or older do it though.

The race is the day after my birthday. I plan to be in yoga class on my birthday and then go eat wild onions cooked with scrambled eggs. Last year I could have easily imagined myself having wild onions, with frybread and banaha (lye-free) but the yoga class? A new development, it makes me wonder what I’ll be doing next year. The only hope is that I’ll still have wild onions to look forward to on my birthday.



Saturday I went walking at the lake, power walking really, I only did 2 miles, sweated but only broke a real sweat when I stopped. For once I felt it in my butt and in my thighs, something I haven’t experienced on the treadmill at increased speeds or distance. I was moving pretty quickly there and feeling  good about it.

The next day I felt it, my thighs were sore and kneeling during Mass was painful. I think I even groaned a little when I got back up.  My butt, fortunately, was fine. It’s Tuesday now and I can still feel a little soreness, my left knee, the bane of my existence, is hurting too. Needless to say I haven’t been back to the lake or the gym. I even missed yoga tonight, I was running late and my subconscious may have had something to do with it.

I’m not used to aching a day or three later. In the beginning I did, I took an Advil if it persisted but kept going, working through the soreness. Now, after 2 years I’m aching again and not as motivated as I once was.


I did the yoga video above, I rented it from the library and even though it was less than an hour it kicked my butt. I’m a novice to yoga, been doing it only a few weeks and still learning the various poses.There were a few I couldn’t do, like going from a lunge into warrior I. My left knee mostly but it seems I’m not always as strong as I think I am.  The video is good, though I wish they showed the poses from the sides and back more so I could be sure I was doing it right.

I could have gone to the gym tonight, I had time. But I didn’t, I told myself I needed to get home but I could have done at least a half hour before I had to be back. I didn’t, my aching legs and my empty stomach told me to go home so I did.

I might ache a little tomorrow too. Perhaps from this video. Yet I intend to hit the gym. I’ll have time and I know I need to go back,. I’d say I’ll go back to the lake but that doesn’t always work. I like the gym because there’s TV ,bathrooms and the treadmill tells me how fast and far I’ve gone and how many calories I’ve burned. There’s something more official sounding about going to the gym instead of the lake. Going to the lake sounds like i’m going to hang out and drink beer.

I’ve been trying to increase my endurance, I want to do a 10K next month. I believe I can, but I’ll probably be walking part if not most of it. I’ve done 2 5Ks, but I walked both of those. My goal is to run, if not run then jog the race not just walk. Finishing is the real goal but how I get there is the secondary goal. I just forgot that something it hurts a little to push yourself a little harder, a little longer.

Of Procrastination and Badasses

I dyed my hair again; it’s Clariol Dark Brown all over now. I’m trying to take care of things, those little tasks that I’ve ignored for as long as possible. Today I took the car in for an oil change and ended up with a $700 bill for repairs. Good-bye tax refund.

I’ve been in a funk, a light depression that allowed me to function but not accomplish much. I have things to do, errands, chores and general family maintenance and managed them all. I doubt those around me were even aware I was in a funk, I certainly didn’t mention it or draw attention to myself.

The weather has changed here, it’s Spring, in all it’s Vivaldi glory. Warmth, the beauty of new growing things (and pollen), the sun and light illuminating even the dark and dull places. There’s the promise of second chances and that has made the difference to me.

I called to check on my aunt’s headstone and to check on whether my permanent crown was ready. Both of these were supposed to take a  couple of weeks, I hadn’t heard and I almost forgot about them. Neither is ready yet but at least I called to find out.

I’ve also been looking for a job, something I’ve been doing for almost a year, I gave up a couple of months ago, Christmas was my excuse even though I didn’t have much to do. I was tired of trying and quit caring. I inherited a little money  a few months prior which helped with the bills so I didn’t have that sense of fear working for me any longer. I’m still not working full-time but have a temp job coming up. It’s not ideal but it’s better than nothing. I’ve looked at a couple of job websites too. There’s not a lot out there but I’m going to apply for a couple of jobs that look promising. I hope I don’t have to but if nothing else I may have to go back to Retail Hell to find a job. Not looking forward to the prospect but realize it’s a possibility.

I went out to walk/jog at the lake yesterday. It was warm, windy and felt good to be outside. I only stayed for 35 minutes, 3 minutes jogging, 3 minutes walking. It’s radically different from the treadmill and takes more effort, I can feel the effect much faster too. I have yoga class tonight too, I thought about not going but I need it. I didn’t go Saturday because we had plans but mostly because I was lazy. When I look at myself I can’t see any difference, all that effort must be working somewhere. I know I will not achieve that elusive Yoga Butt for a long, long time. If ever. I try not to dwell on it though. Try.

I had felt a little bummed by the fact I haven’t seen any change in my body yet. My jeans aren’t looser, I look the same and felt discouraged. Especially when I go to the lake and see healthy, fit and strong people out there, most of them passing me by. Why am I doing this anyway? I admire the dedication and discipline it takes to look like that and to move effortlessly and I want that too. I remind myself that’s the result of hard work but that these people probably have better genes than I do too. Some of these people probably run marathons, some are ultrarunners, serious badasses. I am a weenie who has to carry Kleenex because of her allergies.

My idea of what is a badass changed too. Some guy who can run 26 miles in under 3 hours is tough. But most of these people do this because it feels good, they have a sense of accomplishment. The results are obvious, they can meet personal challenges with some effort and the physical rewards are apparent to everyone. Until yesterday I considered someone like this a badass,

Then on the way to my car I saw an elderly man pushing a walker. He was dressed in sweats and ball cap, even though it was 70 degrees out. He moved slowly, I could tell it took some effort to take those steps and to keep moving. I don’t know how long he had been out there, how far he had walked. Yet he kept going. He finally stopped and stretched, bending down with his fingertips level with his knees. That took effort too, he didn’t lean forward quickly or smoothly, he did it slowly and held the position for a few seconds before standing up again. The whole exercise took a lot of effort, probably hurt like heck but he did it, didn’t quit or give up because it was hard or uncomfortable. His goal is probably not to run a marathon or to run faster than someone else. He wants to be mobile, not to be dependent or feel helpless. He was out there increasing his strength, pushing his body as much as anyone else, perhaps even more. He wasn’t giving up.


Change is good…sometimes

I wanted dark red hair, a deep rich burgundy that defies nature. So I bought 2 boxes of hair color and dyed my hair last night. My natural hair color is a dark brown but its accurate description is Clariol dark brown. So I did it, covered myself in dye the color of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper and waited to be wonderfully transformed.

What happened was not what was on the box. I expected a deep dark red from top to bottom. What I got was red on top and brown on bottom. The deep dark red I hoped for was red that looked purple under bright lights. It was a great color and I was pleased until I noticed the bottom half of my hair hadn’t changed. Even with extra dye, with trying to saturate my hair throughout and waiting an extra five minutes it stayed Clairol dark brown.

I didn’t even have streaks I could try to pass off as highlights, the red was in clumps and ended midway through my hair. The dark brown refused to change, it hung there in defiance. I read the directions again then today called their hotline. Hotline operator told me I would have to re-dye my hair, using the dark brown, if I wanted to even out the color. I had bought another box of dark red hoping I could make my hair obey my whims but she said it wouldn’t work best to go back to your old color. Just wait 48 hours before dyeing your hair again.

So I have another day with a two tone head. I could try again for red hair but the hotline operator said if I did I would need the services of a Professional. She meant a hairdresser not a psychiatrist, I presume. My dream of dark red hair is over. I wanted a change and I got it even though it wasn’t the change I wanted. Tomorrow night I’ll apply my usual shade to the roots and top and will speak of this no more.

I was despondent over my failure to override nature and old hair dye until I saw this. Now I don’t feel so badly. I don’t plan to change my hair color again. Ever.