Friday, December 30, 2005

18 MILES DOWN! (Made my hair frizz??)

We got it done.

Actually I felt good till about 11 miles, which is about 3 miles longer than I usually feel good. I was doing 6/2 intervals which no doubt explains the improvement. Time was not good, though... 4:14:20. That's a long time for 18 miles. Maybe I ran more. I did a couple double-backs and detours to be sure I got in 18.

WOW! I just measured it here, and it was almost 20 miles... 19.88. No wonder it took longer.

Journey was happy to take walk breaks by the time I started tiring, but she had worn herself out with side trips after gophers etc. when I let her off the leash on an untrafficked road. I told her she was just running farther doing those but she didn't listen.

I took the 70-oz Camelback but we were out of water the last 5 miles, with both of us drinking from it. I went through a whole 5-0z flask of homemade honey gel (I've been modifying it till it's probably 3/4 honey and 1/4 corn syrup.) I wished I'd taken a packet of peanut butter crackers, or a bag of chips. I was hungry. I took a salt capsule every 1/2 hour.

I'm glad I didn't have another 8 miles to go.

So after running I drank a bunch of OJ and lemonade and, my favorite, plain seltzer water, then cooked dinner (pork chops, brown rice, baked apples), then.... my most weirdest post-long-run activity ever.... put a home perm in my hair.

I'll have to get used to it before I have the nerve to post a picture. It's way curlier than I'd expected. Glad I didn't use the "hard-to-wave-hair" instructions. You're not supposed to wash it right away but I'm considering it, to calm it down some.

Journey has been sacked out beside the sofa for hours. Wonder what she'd do if I said, "Wanna run?" Naw, I couldn't do that to her. She wouldn't get the joke. I gave her an aspirin, since I took some myself.

ONE-GOAL DAY (Well, maybe two...)

I have one major goal today:

And maybe laundry later on (since I didn't get that done yesterday.)

Yesterday I had all these lofty goals. I accomplished two of them:
The grocery-shopping, and the run. Since I accomplished 2 out of 5 goals, ("less computer time" is an issue in itself), maybe I should set fewer goals.

All my stuff is ready for my run... my honey-gel, my salt capsules, my hair all braided, light breakfast, Camelback filled.

Here's a quick tip:
When filling your Camelback, make sure the mouthpiece is on the other end of the drinking tube. My kitchen floor is clean now, though, a job that wasn't even on the list.

I'm planning to run/walk slowly. I need this distance and don't want to have to bail early.


Thursday, December 29, 2005


A year is too much to think about.

Just for today:

Defrost the fridge DONE!

Grocery shopping DONE!

Laundromat (Didn't do this... not after shopping, which to me is a major stress, a nightmare of decision-making.)

Jog 2 miles easy (includes shower and hair afterwards) DONE! (Except I didn't shower or wash my hair... ick. Well, it was only 2 miles...)

Vacuum (Didn't make this one either.)

LESS computer time (it is really draining my time, and that drains my energy)

And these goals will probably take up my whole day.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Look at the cute pin that came in the mail from P.F.Chang's RNR AZ Marathon. The "official race souvenir." I've put it on my 50-States&D.C. Marathon Hat, which will take me another 20 years to complete at this rate. The hat is from The Little Penguin Wine Company, and I got it as a doorprize at a really fun gathering of marathoning friends last February at the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa. Oops, forgot to include that one in my sidebar marathon list, gotta fix that.

So far I have:

  1. Washington, D.C. (MCM x 5)
  2. Maryland (now-defunct MD Marathon Festival; ChesapeakeMan run leg)
  3. Ohio (Columbus x 5, Athens)
  4. Tennessee (Country Music)
  5. Alaska (Mayor's Midnight Sun)
  6. Hawaii (Honolulu)
  7. Chicago
  8. West Virginia
  9. Florida
  10. Virginia (MCM... not sure if it "officially" counts but heck, it starts and ends in VA and I've done it 5 times!)

And soon I will have Arizona.

Anyway, it's a really neat little race memento. I also have a Country Music Marathon mug that holds my coffee every single morning. I had to buy that; it wasn't a perk.

I need to get excited about this race.

Folks who are doing either the 1/2 or the full marathon, please check in here!!! Commodore, Tammy, Tri-Mama... who else? (Darn, Vertical Man, wish you were coming...can't you get better in time?) I've got info on a gathering, masterminded by a member of the Dead Runners Society. I was thinking of drumming up a little email list so we could stay in touch about meeting up, etc.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

HUGE Yesterday...

First excitement: I met up with Mary Carey, a member of Tri-Drs who has been visiting the moon, um, I mean Arizona, from Colorado for Christmas. Mary and her husband were with family in Mesa, and they were able to meet me yesterday for a run. They kicked my butt. I was able to keep up, with a struggle, but it was a great run. We took a gravel road through the desert in the Superstion Mountains here, the same road on which part of the Lost Dutchman will be run. We didn't measure our distance, but went out for 30 minutes, returned in 28. My lungs and legs were burning. BTW, our route looked just about exactly like the one pictured, although the photo was taken in the Sahara (I found it on Google...)

Then, I started biking home, about 15 miles. Steve was meeting his sister and various branches of her husband's extended family for a hike, which wasn't going to fit with my run with Mary and Brian. However, a few miles into my ride, my cell phone rang, Steve calling to say they were running late and if I wanted we could meet up after all.

So.... after a really hard 6+ mile run and a negligible bike ride (about 5 miles) I went with everyone up the Superstition Mountains to the Weaver's Needle view, 2.5 miles each way. A lot of challenging rocky hiking, strenuous enough to breathe heavy, but easier than the trip down, which has left me with sore quads and a mildly twisted ankle. S-i-l Michelle sprained her ankle, too.

Then burgers and beer at her house. After appetizers. Before hot toddies. I ate too much. As I have for the last 3 days. Or last 3 years.

That was yesterday and I'm whupped. But maybe I'll go to my in-laws' RV park and do slow laps in their 88*F pool. I could use our own park's 88* pool, but it's only about 20 feet long. I'm thinking about rigging up some ropes and a belt to secure me to the side of the pool to do "stationary swimming" (I just coined that expression, although it may already be in use, I'll check...)

UPDATE There IS such a thing. I Googled "stationary swimming" and found this link. It's exactly what I was picturing making, so I don't see why I need to spend $30 on one...

This is an indication of HOPE. Once I get over my initial disappointment, I can pick up the lemons and make lemonade!

Monday, December 26, 2005


OK, everyone has things they want to improve, or start, or revamp, or redo, or work on, or accomplish in the New Year.

When you think of all the things you want to have come out differently, or better, than the past year....

What's FIRST on your list? What is the main thing where you want to make a new start, or put the hammer down, or put the pedal to the metal..... the thing above all things you want to make happen in the coming year?

I'm posting this point to ponder early.... while there's still 6 days before New Year's Day.

As for me.....

Let me think about it.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


And already thinking about, well, it must be something akin to New Year's resolutions, although I never make those, on principle. They're just invitations to failure, in my book.

However, I'm feeling urges to clean up my life, now that I can breathe again (what a terrible way to feel about Christmas.... if the commercialism would go away, would I feel better?)

Clean up my backed-up email.
Clean up my Important-Papers file.
Clean up my photo files.
Clean up my closet.
Clean up my dresser.
Clean up my head.
Clean up my heart.

How can I feel that, now that Dec. 25 is almost at a close, the hard work is over, and then make a list like that for a fresh start... when I was not able to make any lists concerning Christmas? It feels like looking forward to the marathon around mile 100 of the bike ride. So eager to be able to put what seems like an eon behind me, that even running a marathon or revamping my whole life looks like a fresh start.

Despite my Merry Christmas post earlier today, and despite being a professing Christian -- Christmas.... well, I get through it. I could probably celebrate it out in a snowy forest by myself surrounded by surprised deer, but I struggle surrounded by gift-bearing humans with expectations.

This accounts for my odd and possibly depressing choice of favorite Christmas songs. (There are 2 links there for 2 separate posts.)

I like the simple thought of the favorite chosen by more than one of of my fellow bloggers: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Take it easy. Don't try so hard. And for Pete's sake stop worrying about it.

To all a good night.


For me, it's still Christmas.

There's been so much fuss this year about the Christmas season, and the fact that not everybody does Christmas.

I know that.

But.... if it's my birthday and I have a party, I invite all my friends even thought it's not their birthday. And everyone has fun.



Saturday, December 24, 2005


There's this joke: A bunch of laborers are carrying their heavy loads. Except for one, whose load is only half the size of the others'. The foreman stops him and yells, "Hey, you, Lazy Guy! How come you're only carrying half a load? The others are working twice as hard as you!" The man answers, "They're the slackers. They're too lazy to make two trips like I do."

So today I ran 10 miles, in two trips. Runs longer than about 6 or 8 miles have been making me feel stiff and sore, and my 18-miler earlier this week became an 8-miler, but I need the mileage for my marathon prep. So Journey and I went out and did a relaxed, comfortable 6. Back home, we both rehydrated, I had lunch, did some downtime in front of the TV, then went out again. Journey looked up from the sofa in astonishment when I said, "You wanna run?" Like, "You got a short-term memory problem or something? We just got back, I'm all sacked out on the couch." But she shook herself dubiously and gamely set off with me, and was a good sport for another 4 miles. I think it's the first time she's felt what I feel every time.... "I don't feel like doing this, but it feels better once I get into it."

So I got in 10 miles. I'm not sore or stiff. I am, however, starving, despite having used up all my Weight Watchers "Activity Points" and "Flex Points" as well. This brings up again the old question, "Does WW adequately address the needs of extreme endurance athletes?" I've read that you burn more calories when you break your workout into two installments, since you get a double dose of "after-burn" -- that revved-up metabolism that lasts for however long after a workout. Work out again and you get another metabolic boost. At least that's what some say. This could translate into, "You may need more refueling after two workouts than after an equivalent single workout." That's my own added conclusion, not anything I've read. Just my analytical mind grasping at straws.

I don't know whether the endurance benefits are the same if you don't do it all in one chunk, or whether 10 in the form of 6 + 4 is the same fraction of 26.2 as 10 x 1. Mathematically, 6 + 4 = 10, which is the same part of 26 any way you figure it. Athletically, I'm not sure...

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Our son's longtime friend and hunting buddy Dennis was killed yesterday in this accident on the Baltimore Beltway in Maryland.

Jon called us late last night to let us know. Jon was at work as a firefighter/paramedic in Cumberland, MD, about 100 miles away, when he found out.

Dennis was at our house all the time when Jon was in high school. He and Jon went hunting every chance they got. They both joined the volunteer fire department the minute they turned 16. Jon went on to become a paramedic, and he and my husband (also a paramedic) often worked alongside Dennis at fire and accident scenes. Jon eventually became a professional firefighter/paramedic, while Dennis worked at miscellaneous jobs, like the one in which he was killed yesterday.

I hadn't thought about Dennis for months but the world still feels different without him in it. One person's death affects many lives.... think about all the people whose driving path had to be re-routed, or who were stuck on the closed highway, no doubt who had never heard of Dennis Sines but whose lives were nevertheless changed by the accident that caused his death.

We'll miss him.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Maybe I'll try this.

Today instead of running, or biking, or any kind of training, I cleaned house ("cleaned RV"), did 3 loads of laundry, went grocery shopping, and mailed my last Christmas present, which will never, never make it before Christmas.

I feel much better today.

I should know not to try to run two days in a row. I find over and over I can't do that. That's why I do so much of my marathon training on a bike. Because I can't run on consecutive days. I shouldn't have tried to run long yesterday after running even moderately (4 miles) the day before. I know I can't do that.

Now that the rest of you know, too, don't let me try that again.

Monday, December 19, 2005


I planned an 18-mile run and set out.
I bagged it.
I made it 8 miles, walking the last 3.
I wasn't tired, exactly, or sick or anything...
I just don't have it in me today.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Here are the words of the other Christmas song/carol I mentioned. An amazing and touching history of how Longfellow came to write the poem is found here, along with two verses referring to the Civil War, which were omitted when the poem was set to music and presented for public use. And if you don't know the music, you can hear it here. There is another tune, but I haven't been able to find it on the web.
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play, And wild and sweet the words repeat Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had rolled along th' unbroken song Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head "There is no peace on earth," I said, "For hate is strong and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till ringing, singing on its way The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime Of peace on earth, good will to men.


When I referred to the "third verse" of "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear," I didn't even think about one book's second verse being another's third, etc. Some don't have at all, the one I was thinking about:

And ye, beneath life's crushing load,
Whose forms are bending low,
Who toil along the climbing way
With painful steps and slow:
Look now, for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing;
Oh, rest beside the weary road
And hear the angels sing.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Come, rest beside the weary road... and hear the angels sing.

Friday, December 16, 2005


So, there's this tag game going around... KLN tagged me and it has taken me a day or so to figure out what it's about! I'm still not sure I know but here's what I've gleaned from KLN and from PuddyRat, who tagged her, and from Mark who, I found out on Nancy's blog , tagged her. I'm finding things out in my usual roundabout way.

So here's how I believe it goes:

  • Someone tags you and leaves a note in your blog telling you you've been tagged.
  • You post in your blog that you were tagged, and by whom, and share 5 random thoughts/facts/things no one knows/things you maybe don't know either about yourself.
  • You tag either 3 or 5 other people (KLN posted 5 but Mark says 3.... will the correct number of people please stand up? I wanna do this right...
  • Leave a comment in their blog telling them they've been tagged.
  • And they continue it on.

This is what I've figured out so far, anyway.

OK, eeks, 5 things about me. Most of my friends know me pretty well, maybe better than I know myself. (I kind of feel like I'm playing Truth or Dare....)

  1. I got a D in high-school P.E. in 1968 because I did not read and report on Dr. Kenneth Cooper's article on Aerobic Exercise in Reader's Digest.
  2. I delivered a baby once.
  3. I gave birth to one of our children in our TV room in our house.
  4. Sometimes I worry that I can't hold my booze and ought to leave it alone.
  5. I still have recurring dreams about my first love.

Then we have the new Holiday Memories variation:

  1. My favorite holiday memory: my children discovering that Santa had been there.
  2. Favorite holiday treat: chocolate-covered cherries.
  3. We will be in Arizona... Christmas Eve with family; Christmas Day Dinner with "campmates."
  4. Favorite holiday song: "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" for its third verse, and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day." I may have to write these out for everyone, in a separate post.
  5. Family tradition: Somehow my husband, children and I started a ritual of making peanut brittle and then going roller skating, on New Year's Eve. We did this yearly for ages. I can't begin to remember how it started.

OK, next victims:

Thursday, December 15, 2005


First off, the picture here... is not my current weight.

This evening's weigh-in: Down 3.2 pounds from last week!!

Lower than what's shown in the picture.

I came home and celebrated with eggnog (which I've not had all week) with BOOZE in it (which I've not had all week.)

Back on the wagon tomorrow. A very auspicious beginning.


Has anyone noticed.... my red/green color scheme for Christmas?

I tried to add some Christmas decorations to my sidebar, but can't figure out how.

This is one of them.

More to follow in subsequent posts.

Monday, December 12, 2005


Yahoo! Avatars
With the bike, the ever-present faithful and loyal companion, the woodland (not desert!) hiking/biking trail, and the CUTOFFS, it's LOL-perfect!

This is my second post of the day... don't miss the cool sign below.

A SIGN OF IMAGINATION... and other stuff

Now, that's clever! The Gecko as seen on top is a staple of Arizona folk art. Some local resident with an enviable mix of imagination, humor, and artistic genius made the improvement in this road sign. I love this sign.

I passed it today at about mile 4 of my 16-mile run. I had taken the picture earlier... it's on the road to town and we pass it all the time.

16 miles down... I'm glad I didn't have 10.2 more to go. But I'm only 4 miles now from a 20-miler, which I know is more than adequate for a marathon. I will get there. I walked 1-2 minutes after every 20 minutes. At 2 hours I walked 5 minutes. The whole trip took 3 hours moving time (I stopped my watch for true stops, like doggie pit-stops.)

I'm tired. My feet feel stiff when I get up and walk after sitting. Either I'm getting old or I need new shoes. Probably the former... the shoes have one marathon and a long recovery period on them (worn for ChesapeakeMan practically brand-new, maybe 20 miles on them, the few short runs in the month after, and then my slowly-increasing training since the middle of November.) I don't think my shoes have gone more than a hundred or so miles. Two hundred at most. Maybe I need to take more glucosamine. I took a couple of aspirin (still my favorite mild anti-inflammatory pain med) when I got home, hoping to get ahead of aches.

Folks have been asking/pondering about Weight Watchers Points and exercise. In general, the program is not geared for extreme endurance exercise. People who do that have to wing it. I know that I earn/use/whatever about one "point" per mile or ten minutes of running. That would give me about 16 extra points for today, nearly a whole day's food. So I just forget it and eat what I want the rest of the day. The old "calories don't count for as many hours as there were miles in your run" system. Makes plenty of sense to me!

Sunday, December 11, 2005


Bunnygirl asked: "Does Weight Watchers take into account your activity level? Most days I would be hungry on 1500 calories, too. That sounds like a goal for sedentary folks, not for runners and triathletes like us."

Good question. Actually, yes, they do. You get extra "points" for exercise, based on the intensity and duration of activity, combined with your weight (heavier people work harder than lighter people and burn more calories.) A lot of people see exercise as a way to get to eat more, but what I see here is WW's recognition that exercise requires fuel.

However, a lot of members are at the stage of starting to think about considering maybe beginning a walking program.... not coming off an Ironman triathlon by training for a marathon. At my meetings back "home" in Maryland I got "What are you doing here? You just run it all off." As we have seen, I don't run it all off. Well, maybe I do.... maybe I would have even more extra weight if I didn't do what I do. However, even though the WW leader here in AZ thinks the number I set for my goal weight is too light, my current weight is 14# over the maximum WW recommendation for a person of my height of either sex. They base their weight parameters on a healthy BMI of 22-25. If you go below a weight equivalent to a BMI of 20, you have to produce a doctor's note stating that that is an appropriate weight for you and giving you permission to continue attending meetings. My goal weight would give me a BMI of about 22.5. My current BMI is about 27.5, easily into the "overweight" category. Despite being a runner and triathlete.

You can also select from "eat anything" plans, higher-protein-lower-carb plans, higher-carb-lower-protein plans, and "eat as much as you want but only these foods" plans, depending on your food preferences, how willing you are to write down what you eat (on some of the plans you don't have to), or, as in my case, understanding that different activities require a different balance of nutrients.

For newcomers, they don't start you counting "activity points" for a few weeks, until you get used to the system. However, I think, since I remember about how many points (calories) I burned/earned per mile or per 10 minutes, I will credit myself for that even though I'm back to square one. As Bunnygirl described, I get too hungry on the "target" amount of food if I have run or biked for an hour.

Friday, December 09, 2005


Well. Hmph. Excuuuuse me very much.

OK, there is a leash rule. But who cares if a cat isn't on a leash?

Our neighbors, apparently. While I was out running, Steve was in the yard cleaning the camper, and Annie was meandering around sniffing things. Apparently a neighbor came over and asked Steve if that was our cat. A little while later, a campground host showed up with a copy of the "Pet Rules," with the rule in question highlighted: "All pets, including cats, must be on leash when outside the owner's campsite" (which she was, although easily in sight). A note at the bottom said that we could come to the office if we wanted to discuss it.

OK, there is a leash rule.

But a cat isn't bothering anyone, if it doesn't sneak into their house or something. Cats don't bark or walk up and bite people or kill their small dogs or chew up shoes left on the doorstep. I guess a cat might poop in someone's gravel cactus garden, but I never heard of a campground enforcing a leash rule for cats. So now if she wants to go lie in the sun we'll have to put her on a tie-out. Which will make her not want to go lie in the sun.

OK, there is a leash rule. And it does say "Including cats."

I'm still mad. Who the heck cares? And why didn't they mention it to Steve at the time instead of complaining to the office? I think that's what burns me. They ask if it's our cat and then go call the office.

I want to go soap their windows.

OK, there is a leash rule.

But I'm still mad.


Well, it wasn't working on my own. So I'm back to paying money for the privilege of accountability. I am 5 pounds over the weight at which I originally registered at Weight Watchers in Nov. 2000. Or maybe it was 1999. Anyway, I lost 22#, gained it back plus 11 more, lost 20 on my own, and have gained back 14 of that. It boils down to 25# to goal. Again. ~Sigh~

However, I had attained "lifetime" status in WW so I don't pay more that $12 for a meeting (they were $10 back in Maryland but this is Arizona.)

It strikes me as an only-in-America phenomenon that we have to pay money to lose weight. Although I know WW and other weight-loss organizations now span the globe. It seems unjust, somehow.... some people unable to scrape together the money to buy any food at all, others shelling it out to help them lose weight without, heaven forbid, feeling hungry.

Except I do feel hungry when following the WW plan. My leader and group-mates back in Maryland couldn't understand this. They had trouble "eating all that food." What "all that food?" Other than the minimum "points target" per day, the only foods with a quota are fruits/vegetables (5 a day, less than the most recent U.S. Government guidelines) and milk (2 a day under age 50, 3 over 50, and for teens and nursing moms.) Maybe they couldn't get it all in because they were a lot bigger than I was and were supposed to eat 5 - 10 points (250-500 calories) more a day than I was. My "minimum points target" is 20, which is about 1500 calories, give or take a hundred. Then I have a "Flex Account" of 35 more a week (roughly 250 calories a day) which can be used or not. I use mine. I am very hungry on only 20 points a day.

It all boils down to one more way of counting calories, except that instead of counting to 1500 you only have to count to 25 or so. Just makes it easier. But it's no different than writing down every calorie, or following a 1500 (or whatever) calorie diabetic plan (which is a very good healthy eating plan for nondiabetics also.)

Anyway..... now I have a framework to work in, and an advisor to answer to. Hopefully it will make the difference.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Darn, you can't read the sign on the outhouse, but it says "Out Of Order." Too funny. Actually, the restaurant-souvenir shop across the road (which looks a lot like the outhouse only bigger -- it has great food and its walls are papered with dollar bills contributed by visitors from all over the world) has indoor restrooms. I suspect "Out of Order" translates into "Simulation Only, Do Not Use."

After browsing Tortilla Flat, population 6, about 50 yards from end to end, we hiked up nearby Boulder Canyon trail, which involved short sections of modest rock-climbing and an elevation gain of 700 feet over about a mile and a half. I was sooo glad to see WATER. (I didn't think there was any, here on the moon....) We drove along the lake on the way to and from Tortilla Flat and the hiking trails. It will be gorgeous to kayak on, lots of inlets into desert canyons.

I see I need to clean my lens... I didn't even notice that when taking the pictures. Ychh.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Here are two votes.... or maybe it's two abstaining.
What do you do? Walk? Stretch? Yoga? "Recovery Run?" Sleep?

I started the day by repotting two small red poinsettias into one large pot to make one large one. Very pretty. Then my husband and I set out to Camping World to buy some RV supplies and he backed over it. The new poinsettia, I mean.The plants were OK but the pot was history. So we bought a new pot, and while I was at it I bought some pretty blue pansies and primroses and a window-box-style planter to add some greenery to our desert scenery. Ate lunch at TGI Friday's, had a margarita. Back home, I fixed a Long Island Lemonade (or a reasonable facsimile), and potted all the above -- along with repotting my Norfolk Island Pine that I planted the day my dog Amber died last year. I got a white poinsettia and watered it with blue water (water + blue food coloring) to turn it blue...they were selling these for $14.95 in Wal-Mart but I bought my white one for $3.50. Remember doing this with daisies and Queen Anne's Lace? We now have a patio garden, which I plan to enlarge and embellish. We put down a patio rug (I got the blue flowers to go with this) and I had another Long Island Lemonade. Been loafing ever since but have switched to eggnog. It's no wonder I don't lose weight.

That was my rest day.
What do you do with yours?

Thursday, December 01, 2005


Check out the time for my distance! Considering that I felt lousy at the start and figured I'd jog it slowly, things went well!! Mostly due to Journey... she was feeling peppy, I guess, spurring me to 10-minute miles in spite of my heaviness, and on the return trip I thought, well, let's see how much I can keep up with her. Running with a dog provides more than just protection! They say that to run faster you need to run with someone who runs a little faster than you do... Normally I hold her back, saying, "Slow, Journey... slow...." to keep her at my pace. Today I thought, well, maybe she'll pep me up a little, and WOW! There were a few stops, for drinks (I haven't gotten a pic yet of Journey drinking from the Camelback) and I got my breath during those. But I'm sure happy with this time for a training run!

This run followed a trip with my parents-in-law to scout out a pool in Apache Junction, where they are living, and which is the closest town of any size for us. We found a gym with a pool, but the pool was only 47 feet long and maintained at a constant 88*F. Whew. Way to warm for working hard. Mom-in-law mentioned that the pool at their RV park is the same temperature, but they have an exercise room. I looked at that and wow, nice!! Good machines, treadmills, bikes. She checked on my using it as their guest and it will only cost $5 for the whole winter!! Can you imagine? It's 20 miles away so it's not inconceivable that as I get back in condition I could ride my bike to and from.

I still need a pool, but I'll probably have to go as far as Mesa to find a full-length one and hopefully a masters swim group.

Then I got info from Commodore about group bike rides near here. It will be great to find biking friends and meet Commodore!

It just goes to show.... I've been depressed and discouraged for a few days (more than that, off and on) but next time I'm feeling like that I'll know to wait and hold out... this is a test, this is only a test.... because something good may be about to happen.

Box Canyon

There was a 4-mile hike planned today among folks in the RV park, about 15 of us. It was a nice hike, very pretty scenery, but I ran my watch and our moving time out and back was an hour and 15 minutes, so I don't think it was 4 miles; probably more like 3, but it was a good recovery walk, since I'd been pushing harder than usual the last couple days. It was fairly easy hiking; level canyon bottom, no hills, but a few rocks to climb over or around, and some soft sand and gravel to trudge through (we were following a dry creek wash.) Steve did not go; he gets a free round of golf once a week for being a "course marshall," and today was his day to be marshall.

I have not messed with the color in this photograph.

Back home the strength training got crowded out as I took Journey for a desert walk, then went grocery shopping, then came home and fixed supper, then made a snack to take to a get-together in the park activity hall, and we went to that. It was the "Welcome Back Fiesta," implying that most of the people here come every year and know each other, which in fact is the case. Many of them have been friends for years. I feel like we're the new kids on the block.

The "exercise room" boasted in the campground description here is not that great. There's weight machine designed for bench press, lat pull-downs, and those things where you lift weight with your lower legs, either sitting or lying on your belly; but you have to put on and take off attachments to do the various activities, and it's kind of flimsy, and one of the butterfly arms is broken off. The park probably got it as a donation or something. There are free weights, the kind with removable discs that you screw onto bars to create the weight you want; a set of very light one-piece dumbbells (I've contributed my pair of 10# weights); a rowing machine; 2 stationary recumbent bikes (one with a non-operating display screen); a fairly decent treadmill; a broken weight scale. There's a pool but it's more a splash pool than a swimming pool. I guess it's OK for the ladies' aquacize sessions but there is no way one could do distance or stroke work in it. I've used small pools but this one just won't work. So I'm in the market for a gym with a pool (or a gym and a pool) where I can get a membership for the winter. Quite possibly the park owners are not into exercise and don't even know the equipment is limited or in disrepair. I think it's the first year with new owners. Maybe I'll bring it up.

However, there are TWO hot tubs, and a dry sauna. I've been craving a hot tub, and the sauna is a bonus. Those perks are going to be very, very nice.