Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Stupid Thing

I did something pretty stupid and now I'm paying for it. I belong to a September challenge on Facebook through a Beach Body coach (you get assigned one when you register online after purchasing a Beach Body program) and you earn points with every workout, motivational quote, sweaty pic or muscle shot you post. The idea is to win by accumulating the most points with your assigned partner. Well, I did as much as I could and I was dedicated, even rising to the challenge of doing 100 push-ups in one day (I did every one OFF my knees).

I wanted to pick up Insanity again, to join in with everyone else doing it. I should never have attempted it, especially only 9 days before my half marathon. On Thursday, I got out Plyometric Cardio and got to it, huffing and puffing my way through all of those suicides, level 1 drills and ski jumps. It's amazing how much strength I've lost not doing it. I took a lot of breaks and drank a lot of water.

 
That's everyone stretching behind me.
 
And now I can hardly walk! I thought I took it easy, but apparently I broke my ass. I am supposed to be running 11 miles to be fully prepared for my half marathon in only 7 1/2 DAYS, but I can't do it. So today I'm resting. I already took a hot bath with Epsom salts and I think it helped a bit. I'm planning on getting it done tomorrow morning. I just want to kick myself! If that were physically possible I STILL wouldn't be able to do it because I'm so sore!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another Busy Week

So where did I leave off? Oh, yeah, it was my anniversary on Monday. Thursday was my husband's birthday (told you September was busy) so I made him cinnamon apple pancakes for breakfast before he had to leave for work at 10:30am to close the store that night. When we were in PA over the summer, there was a Living Social deal that was too good to pass up. My husband would be a world traveler/adventure seeker if he could. Our life doesn't afford that now. Had he not gotten married and had kids, I could see him backpacking it all over the world. I couldn't do that for him, but the deal, for $139, gets you an hour of ground instruction and then a 1 hour private flight lesson and your flight log book at one of our small local airports. We just have to schedule when he can take his flight lesson. I think he'll really enjoy it. Maybe when he turns 50 I'll get him the chance to go sky-diving. I'm pretty sure I won't be joining him. (Shit. I forgot he reads this now!)

Charlie's birthday cupcakes, chocolate cake filled with chocolate fudge topped with devine chocolate buttercream, otherwise known as an orgasm on a plate!


I still haven't heard from the program where I interviewed. On Thursday, one week after the second interview, I called the recruiter I had my first interview with and left a message asking about the status of my application. He still hasn't gotten back to me. I do know they can take a while to process the application and what not, I just thought they really needed someone to fill the position. I guess it wasn't that urgent.

Friday was a big day. Since my kids are on the bus by 6:35am and I didn't have the little ones, I was free to get my long run in. The weekend was going to be busy, so I didn't want to put it off. I downloaded some new music to my iPod and set off at 8am, for a 10 mile run. I started at the traffic light by my house and just ran straight down the highway, over the bridge, around the beach, (stopping at the Beach Hut to use the facilities), back over the bridge and back to the traffic light. The last mile was a b*tch, to say the least. I had a bottle of water with me and I would stop at every mile to walk through a sip, (since I haven't learned to run and drink and NOT drown while doing it), but I might need to bring some Gatorade with me on my next run to see if it helps. My left calf kept cramping up. It was like the toes on my foot were connected to that muscle and every time I would move them too much when striking, my calf would lock up. But I persevered and pushed through, slowing down to get it done.



10 miles. 1:51.27. About an 11 minute mile. I'll take it. I'm still very frightened that after running 10 miles, the finish line will still be a grueling 3.1 miles away, so I asked Rik, our From Fat To Finish Line team captain, if I should squeeze in an 11 mile run to give my confidence a boost and he said I should. He also suggested that I run with whatever electrolyte drink they'll have on the course to see if that doesn't help with the cramping. Knowing how much I sweat during any given workout, let alone a two hour run, it's got to be the issue. By the time I am on my front porch stretching, my shorts are dripping into my sneakers, and there's usually a thin layer of salt on my legs and arms. So, I'll be picking up some lemon-lime Gatorade for my Friday run.

Friday afternoon was a big moment in my house. Charlie finally got his cast off! And his frickin' hand REEKED!!! I really felt bad for the x-ray tech and orthopedist having to examine him right after that thing came off. It smelled like the worst baby feet odor. He also had such horribly dry, peeling skin on his palm. Poor thing. We got out the nail brush and scrubbed his hand the moment we got home. It seems back to normal now, although the knuckle still seems swollen. The doctor said it is healed, so that's all that matters. Do you know that the office charged my insurance over $3,000 just to set his hand in the cast? It took the PA about 10 minutes. Ridiculous. Between the office visits, x-rays and cast, my insurance was charged over $4,000. I only had to pay $239 of it, which was taken off of the Choice Care debit card that my husband's boss gives us, so it cost us nothing. Thank God. We do pay $150 a week for our coverage, though, so we're paying our share.

Then, on Friday night, my girlfriend hosted a girl's night at her house. It was almost a weight loss success party. My gf has lost 25 pounds on Weight Watchers, and her WW gf she met at her meeting has lost 56 pounds. Donna's other friend has lost 110 pounds in 11 months after having gastric bypass surgery and then there was me. The woman who had surgery looked fantastic. I have to say, the few people I personally know who have had weight-loss surgery have not lost all the weight they needed to. This woman was exercising before surgery and continues to workout now. She wasn't bashful in showing us the loose skin on her stomach and it wasn't horrible at all. She had the stretch marks of a mommy who had 4 babies and some skin, but it was nothing like "the jowls of a dog" that I expected. Of course if she wants skin-removal surgery to be covered by her insurance, she needs to let it get infected instead of caring for it the way she does, continuously trying to keep it dry and clean. Crazy, right? And they even said that the skin can be used for burn victims. I never realized that!

After a jam-packed Friday, we then had to get out bright and early for my husband's cousin's daughter's wedding. Second cousin? First cousin once removed? Who the hell knows. Anyway, I did a lot of driving, picking up my f-i-l, then his gf, then to the church. It was a beautiful day and she looked amazing. We had time to kill between the church and reception so we stopped at the very adorable bakery across from the church. I had a piece of blueberry coffeecake practically the size of my head which was not as good as I had hoped, but ate the entire thing, never the less. We then had to hoof it all the way to the reception hall 45 minutes away. Charlie and I had a great time with his cousins, talking and dancing. The food was great and I had too much of it. I did pass on the chocolate fountain. I think that was the ONLY thing I didn't inhale! They had a photo booth at the reception where you go in and take pictures. The bride and groom get one copy and you get the other. You can wear props, like a hat or a boa, and you can choose your style photo, be it black and white, color, a wanted poster, etc. Our pictures would have been perfect if Charlie hadn't looked down to read the instructions and just continued to look at the dang camera!



My f-i-l's pictures were hysterical. Poor Beverly had like only one eye in two shots, the first picture my f-i-l looks like he's in pain... so funny. They did a do-over at the end of the night and had better luck that time. What was really nice was that the photos were put in an album and you got to write a sentiment to the couple, and we received a frame to put our photo in. Sweet.

So yesterday was back to normal. Church, my parent's house, gym. Uneventful and calm, although the tooth that was bothering me did break and I now have to go to the dentist and have the rest removed, probably by an oral surgeon. It's the result of the years of eating late at night, not caring about my teeth or my health. This will be the second tooth I've lost because of my former bad habits. Sad but true. I'm sure that will make for a very interesting post later on.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another Anniversary

Yesterday was our 17th wedding anniversary! I still can't believe we're married 17 years and together going on 22. It doesn't seem like all of that time has passed, but it must have because we have two kids that are 16 and 14 to show for it. Charlie is the best husband and father I could have ever wished for (and he's probably going to be reading this at work, so hello, dear!) and I love him to death, even when he leaves his breakfast dishes in the living room.




We didn't celebrate since we had just gone out to dinner for my birthday and Chelsea had dance last night. We have another wedding on Saturday and the kids are staying home, so we can treat that as a date night! We've been bleeding money profusely, so we have to take it easy. Then there's our big trip to Miami and Key West in a few short months where we can celebrate our anniversary along with my weight loss journey, my 11 Ragnar Relay teammates successes, the documentary and the race itself!

I still haven't heard anything about the job I interviewed for. Someone else was interviewing for the position as well, and then it had to go to H.R., which could take a few days since they need to do all of the fact checks, along with a credit report! Well, my history is as clean as a whistle, not even a traffic ticket to speak of. I just want to know already! The waiting is torture.

It was a slow start this morning and I managed to get out and run at about 9:30am. I was planning on running 2 miles down the highway and back, but at about 1.25 miles there was a water main break and the road was closed so I just looped around and ran my usual 3 miles in 29:29. Turns out the break was bad enough that the library is closed on the opposite side of the highway. I guess I won't be making my free prints of the new From Fat To Finish Line flyers! If you didn't know already, our Kickstarter campaign fell short, but we have a new campaign at IndieGoGo that allows us to KEEP all of the funds raised!! So, if you haven't already, please consider helping us and making this dream of helping others live a full, healthy life a reality! Thank you!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Frickin Fabulous at 41

It happened. I turned 41 on Thursday. It was like any other day, getting my kids up and out the door, going for a 3 mile run, bringing the little ones to the bus stop, spending some time with my husband before he had to head off to work, running to dance and karate... The only difference was my 2nd interview at 2pm.

The interview went well. It is going to be an all around tough job. The group home that I would be working at has residents that are some of the lowest functioning clients this program has. They will all need help with toileting and hygiene. Some are more mobile than others. Only one woman can hold a conversation with you. So not only will it be a physically demanding job, I'll have to get over dealing with adult diapering AND the very emotional toll it will take on me. I get so sad seeing those that are disabled or elderly. What I think this job will help me with is focusing on the positive aspects of these people's lives. They attend day-hab programs that keep them active and stimulated and even though they may have very little family interaction, they get great care and affection from the people that work there. I was honest in saying that I've changed a ton of diapers in my life, but never an adult, nor have I ever helped shower adults. I don't know many people that would have experience like that unless they worked as a home health aide or in a similar facility. I'll hear from human resources some time this week maybe as to whether or not I got the job.

My husband (hello dear!) worked late on my birthday and he surprised me with a double chocolate Entenmann's cake, a card and a beautifully wrapped box. This summer I started wearing one of the anklets he bought me, so he picked out a new one. I didn't expect anything since we've had so many expenses recently between back to school and our family weddings. The best part? The thing I always look forward to when it's a holiday or special occasion? Charlie always writes something special and heart-felt in my cards. He always brings me to tears. Just thinking about it gets me choked up. He wrote "I want you to know I am your biggest fan and I'm super proud of you." It's so nice to hear that. I love my Charlie.

Since we couldn't go out on Thursday, we ate out last night. We rarely go out to eat, so it's nice to not have to prepare dinner and clean up after it. I chose Ruby Tuesdays because I think we have beaten the Chinese restaurant horse to death. I enjoyed my grilled chicken sandwich with swiss and bacon thoroughly! They had a lot of healthy side dish choices, like grilled zucchini, which was delicious. I was afraid to go hog wild and eat just anything because I had my 10k this morning. The last thing I needed was the grippers out on the 6.2 mile course!

So it was the second annual Hampton Bays Lions Club Over The Bridge 10k. You hit the bridge at about mile 2. Would you believe that bridge is a mile long and incredibly steep? I guess you can tell by looking at the picture. The wind that was whipping off the Atlantic did not help at all (except for my perspiration issue!).



I tried drafting behind some guy, but that was a joke. You couldn't hide from the wind. I just tried to listen to my tunes and stay positive. Any person that was cheering from the sidelines I was high-fiving. I needed that "umph." What a difference a week makes. Coming off what felt like a terrible race at the Smith point Bridge 5k (that bridge is a mere speed bump compared to the Ponquogue!) to running this 10k and setting a PR of 59:55!!! I did it! I got her done in under 60! Last year's time was 1:04! A tad more than 4 minutes off my time! I came in 107/143 runners and 13/18 in the women aged 40-49 category. There were some seriously fast runners out there today!

So 41 has come in with a bang. Now on to the half marathon 3 weeks from tomorrow!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Making The Most Of My Time

Since the little ones I babysit are in school full time, I've only had to put them on the bus a few mornings, so far. That's about only 45 minutes out of my day. I get up around 5:30am (if I'm not up already, which has been the damn case!) and get my kids going. I just make sure there's progress in getting ready and getting out the door. They head for the bus stop at 6:35, so I have 2 hours to myself if I have the kids that day. If not, I'm on my own until 1:30pm!!

So, there's no excuses. No excuses not to get a good workout done. No excuses not to have the laundry going, the floors cleaned, an idea of what's for dinner, the bathroom scrubbed. I admit I have enjoyed ample time on the computer. Right now I've been keeping track of our From Fat To Finish Line Kickstarter Campaign, getting a bit depressed seeing that we're down to only 33 fundraising hours left and we still have $39,000+ to go! But, we have a plan in place if this falls through, so stay tuned! Anyway, I have been accomplishing a lot, even with my computer time.

The laundry is all caught up. There's a place for everything and everything is in its place. I have been working out a minimum of one hour a day. Yesterday I ran 3 miles in the cool, crisp air of what felt like a fall morning. (I had to wear my long-sleeved Cuddl Duds shirt under my t-shirt!) I pushed myself and finished in 27:44. I thought about all of the lives lost on 9/11 and ran for them. Having the right attitude before hitting the pavement really helped. I'm going to force myself to think like that at my 10k on Saturday. After my run and getting the kids on the bus, I spent the morning with my husband before he had to leave for work. ;) Then at noon, I went to the gym and did that machine mixer workout- 15 minutes on the elliptical, 20 minutes on the treadmill and 15 minutes on the arc trainer for a total of 4.79 miles logged. (I love www.dailymile.com!) That's an 8.29 mile day (with my run's warm-up/cool down walk). The rest of the day I spent cleaning and relaxing until I crashed at 8:30pm!

This morning I was free from the moment my kids left for the bus. I finally got to a project I've been wanting to get done for a while, and it all started with an idea on Pinterest...



I made it myself and didn't give someone else $28 plus shipping! The best part was that I already had all of the supplies I needed to make it so it cost me ZIPPO, ZILCH, NADA! When my mother-in-law passed away in 2004, family members divvied up her massive amount of craft supplies. She really liked the idea of doing them, but never really sat down long enough to do any! I miss her. So, I already had the 9x12 unfinished piece of wood (which she got on clearance at Michael's for $2!) and the paints and even the cup hooks! I painted it black with good old acrylic paint, used one of the race bibs to mark the placement of the cup hooks and I practiced writing out "Races" like 100 times on a piece of paper the size of the spot I was going to paint. Of course it's not perfect. I can see the word heading upwards and that annoys me, but I still LOVE it! Now I have to make one for my husband's bibs and 2 medal racks for us, as well!

Of course things might be like this for long. I have my 2nd interview tomorrow afternoon for the 5am-9am shift and I think it will go well. I'll miss my early weekday runs and I can't believe I won't be home to get the kids off to school, but they'll be in good hands. My husband is home every morning and can fill in for me. What caught me by surprise was realizing that I won't see my kids after I say goodnight to them until they get home from school. That's like 16 hours! Very strange, to say the least, but I'm actually looking forward to having a new purpose. Turning the page...

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's CRUNCH Time!!

I can't believe I haven't posted since 9/2! Well, between the kids starting school and not having anything to say every day, I slacked. Now I have TOO much to talk about!

My kids started school this week. So far everything is going well. Chelsea's learning her way around the ginormous high school and even though she's gotten lost, she doesn't seem too frazzled by it. Charlie's doing ok with his hand in the cast. He's managing to write somehow. Today started their 1st full week of school and back to dance for Chelsea. This is when things begin to get chaotic.

Chelsea's 1st day-9/4/12

Charlie's 1st day-9/5/12 (I couldn't let him know I was taking a picture!)

And to add more fuel to the fire, I went for my first job interview today. I was extremely nervous about it all. It is a not-for-profit agency that caters to the needs of the developmentally disabled. I couldn't fill out the application online so I had to go to human resources to fill it out and bring 2 personal and 1 professional reference for the initial interview with a recruiter. I was flabbergasted. How was I going to get a professional reference when I've been out of work since '96? I had no contacts left with old co-workers EXCEPT my kids' pre-school teachers. Through the years, since 1994, I've subbed for either of them when they were on maternity leave or had obligations with their kids. Both my sister and my neighbor wrote my personal references in regards to the care I provided for their kids when they needed me. It was really touching to read what everyone had to say. I really appreciate it! It sure did help my confidence when I entered that building this morning.

The application took a while to fill out. There was a double-sided sheet on workplace attitude regarding stealing and being late, etc. Plenty of forms to fill out on drug-testing and criminal/credit background... Then there was a 30 minute timed aptitude test! It was broken down into math, reading comprehension and more workplace attitude questions. The math and reading comp. multiple choice sections were fun. For example, if John made a purchase totalling $8.62, and he gave the cashier 9 singles, seeing that the cashier had an ample amount of each coin, what is the least amount of coins the cashier can give back? So, you have to do the math, $.38, and figure that 1 quarter, 1 dime and 3 pennies is the only way to have the least amount of coins. It turns out math skills will be necessary for possibly dispensing medication to clients. The other section was just to make sure you weren't a lazy low-life that was going to try to make a buck without doing anything or even getting there on time.

So now I'm waiting for a 2nd interview time to be determined at the residence I'll be working at. I chose that position (part-time Direct Care Counselor) because it's only 4 hours a day, enough to get my feet wet back in the work force and it's not even a 10 minute commute each way. Also, it's early in the morning, so my husband will have to get the kids up and out the door (just make sure they're conscious since they are 14 and 16 now!), but I'm home by mid-morning with the entire day ahead of me to clean the house, workout or run and be home for the kids in the afternoon for homework help or extracurricular activities. I think it will be ideal.

I had the Smith Point Bridge 5k on Saturday. It was 78* with 87% humidity, so the run was torturous. I actually ran 4 seconds slower than the same 5k last year and 4 MINUTES slower than my PR back on June 9th! But I have come to realize that I haven't been training for speed but rather distance the last 3 months. You are supposed to do both, but I was barely managing 2 good runs a week over the summer, so my interval runs suffered, and I am ok with that. So my bad run on Saturday turned into an excellent 9 mile run on Sunday. It was in the high 50's and very overcast when I started. The BEST part of the run was when my old friend that I haven't seen since hs graduation ('89) mentioned that she was visiting from NJ and that she might find me on my route. Was she a sight for sore eyes at mile 6!!! I was shocked. I really thought she was kidding! She's been training for the same half as I am as well as her twin sister Lynda. Lynda said I inspired her to run and we, in turn, inspired Dawn! So we'll all be running the Diva Half on 10/7, less than 4 weeks away!

After the 30:40 5k from hell

Dawn and I after my 9 mile run
 
I'll take an 11 minute mile for the half!

 
I'm really enjoying the new route my husband and I started. It's just a straight run all the way down the highway, over the bridge to the beach and then turn around and come home. The worst part is crossing side streets and going on and off the sidewalks. Towards the end my hips didn't want to play anymore. Thankfully that won't be part of the half marathon route.

After my run I got ready and we headed out to my husband's co-workers' son's 1st birthday party. I am exactly 40 years older than him! He was born 3 months pre-mature and he is doing very well. He is also a beautiful blue-eyed blondey boy like my Charlie was. The Charlies were at the Mets game that I earned free tickets to for donating blood, but Chelsea and I had a good time hanging out with my sisters (Oh yeah, did I mention just about everyone works for the same company? My husband, 2 brother-in-laws, their brother and brother-in-law, their cousin's husband, my cousin, my nephew, my niece's now husband... This family is royally f*cked if that company ever goes down!) and all of the clan.

That's about it in a nut shell. If I think of anything else, I'll let you know. Oh, yeah, one HUGE thing. If you can, and you haven't, go to Facebook and like our From Fat To Finish Line- The Documentary page. Then go to www.fattofinish.com and see how you can pledge to our Kickstarter campaign. New incentives have been added, like a digital download/t-shirt package for $35. We only have 3 days left and we REALLY need all the help we can get. Remember, you pledge an amount and get a reward for it. It's NOT a donation. If we don't meet our goal, you don't get charged! If you can not help us financially please post about our fundraiser on Facebook, Twitter and in your own blog. The more people that see we're out there, the better our chances are of getting this project off the ground. I hope we've all inspired you to do something positive in your life and that, in turn, you can help us reach more people with this documentary and pay it all forward. The direct Kickstarter link is kck.st/MGYi3i

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Where Did The Time Go?

Friday night was my niece's wedding. I was thinking that this was the first wedding for someone I have known his/her entire life. I just realized now that that would have been my younger brother's wedding, but he's a boy, so that doesn't really count. I was 15 when Keri was born. I did a lot of babysitting for my sister. It doesn't seem like that long ago I was in their apartment, blaring Billy Joel and Madonna to entertain her. I vividly remember her in her pajamas, (you know the ones that are one piece and snap from the thigh up and there always seemed to be an extra snap somehow?), standing up, leaning on the back of the couch, staring at our reflections in the big mirrors that lined the wall. She had a conniption when I laid her down to rub some Orajel on her gums and started choking. That sent me in a panic. Music does soothe the savage beast, because there she was, giggling at herself, while I was crying, thinking I almost killed her!

Keri and my sister Laura

So, fast forward about 25 years, and there we are, sitting in the church, waiting for her to walk down the aisle. I don't know how my sister was still standing. I was crying BEFORE she walked in! Once I saw her, I was just blown away. She looked absolutely beautiful. I just couldn't help but smile.

Keri and her dad, Mike
(I had two cameras with me, one set to take black and white or sepia pictures and one for color!)

Keri and Jerry
It seems Jerry was able to hold it together during his part of the vows (unlike MY husband), but Keri was very emotional. They've been together since he came to her high school graduation party in 2005!

The entire wedding party didn't fit in the shot. 8 bridesmaids and 7 ushers!
My FAVORITE picture!
Then it was off to the reception for a little too much food and Pinot Grigio. (I was channeling my inner Ramona Singer, although I hope I didn't humiliate or insult anyone like she does!) I think I was successful at dancing off plenty of those calories. I still think I'm in high school and I listen to the Top 40's pop station, so I was in my glory! I do love me some Pit Bull! "Excuse me, I might drink a little more than I should tonight..."

Charlie and I caught in a rare moment sitting down!

We were on that dance floor until the last song was played. Keri danced the night away, as well. Jerry, not so much.

Keri doing the Cupid Shuffle

Everything went perfectly for her special day. Keri just seems to have that luck, where if something can go wrong it WILL go wrong. It's a running joke with everyone who knows her, so for the groom not to pass out or the cake to NOT fall on the floor, (the groom cake topper was carrying a golf bag!), it's a major success!

We got home at 2am and crashed. Yesterday was a lazy day for all of us. I did manage to spend an hour on the arc trainer to start off on the right foot with the "Spectacular September Challenge" I'm participating in on Facebook with a Beach Body coach (I belong to the free Beach Body website since purchasing Insanity). Today I was supposed to get up and run. Well, you know how that went. I have tomorrow morning free, so I'll prepare better for it tonight.

I hope you all have a happy and safe Labor Day weekend! School starts on Tuesday. :(