Sunday, February 17, 2013

Half Way There

Half way through my February Challenge over on Facebook and my team is doing fabulously. We're in 1st place out of nine teams, but the 2nd place team is hot on our trail! We've been posting videos of ourselves working out, muscle shots, after-workout-sweaty pics and motivational sayings galore. It's really fun to see what everyone else is up to in their own little corner of the country. Some people are doing a Beach Body program, but most are doing their own thing, running, walking and lifting their way towards reaching their goals.
Here's a sweaty shot of me in the gym locker room.  

After working out diligently and keeping fairly good track of my calorie consumption over at My Fitness Pal, I thought I'd see some good results when weighing in at the two week mark. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement.



I'm actually up .4 pounds since my beginning challenge weigh in, and yes, I'm up many pounds from my lowest weight about a year ago. Of course I didn't measure myself at the beginning of the month, so even though I feel better I don't have any tangible evidence saying that all of this work is actually doing something. Now I know .4 pounds is really nothing and the scale is an evil bitch, and all of this cardio is fantastic for my heart and lungs, my blood pressure is normal, I'm raising my good cholesterol and lowering the bad, I'm more fit than I have ever been at any other point in my life, but is it too much to ask that the MoFo scale go down??!!?? Grrrrr...

The only factors that I think may have come in to play is that I am eating back too many of my exercise calories and I have not been sleeping all that well. I could probably stand to eat less. Sleeping more eludes me. I've been getting up a lot to visit the bathroom. I drink a lot because I'm supposed to and then it haunts me at night. Last night I woke up about every 2 hours. At 2:30 I couldn't go back to sleep, so I started to read. This is what I'm in the middle of:



Grete Waitz was a Norwegian dynamo. I can't imagine winning the NYC Marathon ONCE let alone NINE times! (Anyone else hear Mr. Rooney from 'Ferris Bueller'?) What an extraordinary accomplishment. And I am so sad to say that when I Googled her name for this picture I discovered that she passed away from cancer at the age of 57 in 2011. When and if I run my first marathon I will be thinking of Grete. I'll be running for her and Fred Lebow, the founder of the NYC Marathon, my mother-in-law Gloria and my mom and my girlfriends and for everyone who has battled cancer in their lives. My favorite mantra is "Do it for those who can't." So I'll focus on what I CAN do and not what the scale tells me, because .4 pounds is not a problem in the grand scheme of things.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Well, it started when I noticed a slight odor coming from the basement. It was the burner, and one of the valves was dripping a bit. FARGHHH!! I couldn't tell if we were out of oil because the damn gauge is broken, but thinking back on when our last delivery was and how cold it has been, it could only mean that we had indeed run out. Since I don't have a contract with a fuel company, I then had to find one to get us a delivery. Well, because of the huge storm we had, all of the oil companies were backed up AND lots of people were having emergencies.

I had to shovel this yesterday so we could GET an oil delivery!

Our usual oil company could only come as early as today. That was the best I could do. And then it got cold. Now, because of the cost of fuel oil and the fact that this 2 story house is usually empty most of the day, I keep it cold. We keep the living room warm because that's where we spend most of our time. But the rest of the house? My bedroom upstairs is always cool, and the kitchen, dining room and the kids rooms? 55*. Yep. That's cold.

Charlie started really worrying about the pipes freezing and once he worries about something that sets me off. He's usually pretty calm and cool. So I started calling other companies to see if they could get me just SOME oil to get us through the night. One finally said they had a truck in the neighborhood and would call back in 10 minutes. I then went to take Charlie to jazz band, with my husband's van since we've been parking single file due to the snow. Would you believe I passed the truck on the way to the high school and since Charlie didn't have my car keys, he couldn't get cash for the driver and they wouldn't wait?!? Just our luck!

So, we had to stick it out and freeze. I was overwhelmed with the urge to run to the kitchen and raid the cabinets. Even though the stress and worry was causing a huge pit in my stomach I wanted to shovel food in my mouth to comfort me and calm me down. Now, the house is pretty bare. I need to do a huge grocery shop, but there are still some treats here. I had a bag of Kisses from Christmas that I never used. I had opened it the other day to give everyone a snack and there was still about half the bag left. Last night I could really envision sitting with the bag in my lap and just peeling off that shiny silver wrapper and shoving one lovely chocolate drop into my mouth after another.

I ran to my computer and posted on my February challenge Facebook page that I was extremely close to throwing it all out the window and plowing through whatever I could get my hands on. Everyone there was sympathetic to what I was going through and helped encourage me and talk me down from that ledge. I still had some push ups to do from our bonus points 100 push up challenge, so I did them. I called my dad to  make sure we were doing everything we could in regards to the situation. We watched Big Bang Theory. The time passed and so did the urge to binge.

Charlie and I hunkered down with blankets and comforters and slept in the living room. It was a rough night, sleeping on the couch. It got down to 53* in the house. I bet the kids were thrilled to go to school this morning! I called the oil company and found out that we would be in the first round of deliveries. When the truck pulled up at 8 am, I could have kissed the driver! After about 45 minutes, I put the burner back on. It went on but didn't fire, so I hit the reset button. It went on AND fired, and then it went off. It did that a few times and then stayed on! So it wasn't clogged from all of the gunk at the bottom of the tank! When the burner fired, I prematurely called Charlie to say that the burner DID go on, and then he asked if the heat came up. Crap. NO! Well, it took about 7 minutes, but the heat finally came up and the house is no longer a 1,600 square foot walk-in fridge!

Now I'm waiting to hear from the plumber about servicing the burner and getting a new gauge for the oil tank. I called twice and he has yet to call me back, so I'm stuck in the house. I would LOVE to get to the gym and work off some of this stress. I also need to hit the grocery store BADLY. It's Ash Wednesday, which means a meatless day as well as all Fridays during lent. I have 2 boxes of macaroni and cheese and 3 eggs. I don't think my husband wants peanut butter and jelly quesadillas for dinner tonight, although that would make a nice lunch! I never thought of that! Necessity IS the mother of invention!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Cabin Fever

Unless you've been away on a tropical island without any sort of link to the outside world, (in which case, I HATE you!), you know that the northeast was hit with "Winter Storm Nemo." It seems we've been getting storms like this more often. Last winter was mild, but the winter before Long Island was slammed. Looking back, I think we've had a super snow storm about every three years since I've been married and living in this house ('95).

It all began on Friday when I had the pleasure of driving to Freeport for work, which is an hour drive on a good day. It was freezing rain by around 6 am, and since I had to be at work by 9 am, I left a little after 7. The traffic was okay. I just took it nice and slow. Thankfully I brought my car in on Wednesday because it was doing some shaking at high speeds. The tires were fine until I asked him to do a wheel alignment. Before I knew it, I needed two new tires, a tie rod and some sort of steering knuckle, along with the wheel alignment, which ran us about $800. ugh. At least I knew the car was good to go, until I had to cross over the bay to Fire Island on the Robert Moses bridge. My car felt like it was all over the place. It was fine for the 30 minute ride before that, so I came to the conclusion that it was the wind gusts that they warned us about making my car shimmy like that. I white-knuckled it the rest of the way to work and vowed NOT to take that route home!

Thankfully it was only going to be a half day, taking cap and gown pictures of the 4th graders moving up, so I would be getting out before the worst of it. I left at noon and took Sunrise Hwy. home, the entire way. It's not the optimum route, because there's a lot of traffic lights for at least 20 minutes, but I feel safer on roads like that, especially since there's a lot of businesses and gas stations on it, just in case! Ocean Parkway, my usual route, is pretty much no man's land, especially in the winter, when summer homes are left vacant. In fact, if you heard about all of the bodies being found on Long Island, near Gilgo Beach, that's exactly what I drive through! Oh, but the view of the Atlantic on a good day makes up for it! *snicker*

The kids had a regular day of school since the snow didn't hit our area until around 4 pm. Charlie's store closed at 4 pm, so he didn't have to work until 9 pm and then fight his way home. Thank God!!! By 6 pm, major highways were shutting down to only emergency vehicles and 100's of cars were getting stuck, leaving people stranded. He would have probably been one of them. My poor niece works 2 jobs, wasn't out of her 1st job until 6 pm, drove 2 1/2 hours to her 2nd job, and wound up getting snowed in there. Thankfully she works at Walgreen's, and probably the only place better to get stuck at would be Walmart or Target. She was able to eat (they have fresh and frozen food and a microwave in the break room), be entertained with cards and board games, and attempt sleep since they have blankets and pillows for sale! She actually laid down in the candy aisle! Talk about sweet dreams! They were allowed to eat what they wanted. I probably would have had to been ROLLED out of there in the morning!

This is Middle Country Rd., a 4 lane major roadway! My niece's store is on this road. (Photo courtesy of Tri Hamlet News and Rob Nolan)  


So, the snow hit and it just kept coming. I shoveled early in the afternoon when it was just slush. That made shoveling the 3 or 4" at 7 pm a bit easier. Charlie went back out again at 1 am and shoveled a good 5 or 6" and cleared the end of the driveway where we were plowed in. I wasn't happy about him being out there and I could tell he was in agony from the wet, cold wind, but it made my job that much easier at 9 am. There was probably another 5" on the ground. I never did see what the official snowfall amount was for MY town, but a town 4 miles north of us got almost 31". It really didn't matter what any of us got because the job that was done clearing Suffolk County of this storm was a disaster. We all knew it was coming, but for some reason they got so far behind that even the plows were getting stuck. I can not WAIT to see the news briefing on the response to this storm by the D.O.T.

Bundled up and ready to tackle Nemo Saturday morning. Between shoveling the driveway and keeping the outside basement doors clear, I had at least 4 hours of shoveling workouts.

Thankfully, my husband's store was closed on Saturday, and he's off on Sundays. The Long Island Expressway and Sunrise Hwy. were closed for a very long time. In fact, the LIE just opened up this morning, TWO days after the storm!

All that snow will be there until it melts. The driveway and mailbox are done. The walkway can rot!

We always park single file with a bad storm- it makes for less shoveling! 

So, Charlie and the kids were home since Friday at 4:30 pm. (Charlie went into work at 11 this morning.) There's been a lot of video games played and tv watched. I cooked and baked a lot. I made a chocolate chip quick bread and whoopie pies, the perfect treat on a cold night paired with a mocha cappuccino.

DELICIOUS!

I finally made it out a little while ago. I had no choice. My Kohl's bill needed to get paid TODAY. SO, that meant a trip to the bank before Kohl's. The drive through was closed so I had to brave that parking lot, but it was a good thing, since it forced me to go into the adjoining grocery store and pick up more bread and snacks, since we were dangerously low. That's what happens when 4 people are stuck in the house for 3+ days. A 16 year old son can literally eat you out of house and home. After that, I made it to Kohl's in one piece and paid my bill. Do you know how hard it is to go in there and NOT buy something? Especially when you know the clearance racks are chock full of new stock? I really deserve a medal. It would look nice next to my Diva Half marathon bling.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February challenge Update

So, it's the 5th. The For The Love Of Fitness Challenge is going strong over on Facebook. My team is doing phenomenal. It doesn't hurt that when I told my FB friends about it, 4 of them jumped on board, starting us off with 24 bonus points. I love seeing everyone being active and trying to do well for themselves and their team. There's been lots of sweaty muscle shots posted along with some video footage of people walking, running and exercise DVD-ing . I plan on finally popping in some Insanity and getting a video done this morning. It's Insane Tuesday, where we were asked to post a silly picture or video, so it's only fitting that I share my love of Shawn T.. It's been a long while since I've seen him. Hope he recognizes me!

My husband and I have decided to run the Long Island Half Marathon on May 5th! This will be my 2nd half and Charlie's first! I can't wait to cross the finish line with him, but we have to get to training. Since Charlie works 6 days a week, there's not much time left for running. He did manage to run my 8 and 11 mile training runs before the Diva half, so he'll be giving up his Sunday mornings off for a run. We kicked off training with a trip to the gym over the weekend. He hasn't run since September, so he took it nice and slow, and he did great for not having run for four months, but got a frickin' blister. We'll have to look into his sock/shoe situation. Yesterday I got back on the treadmill and ran 4.11 in 40:00 with a 2 minute warm-up, averaging 6.2 mph. I did intervals at 6.5 mph, all the while keeping the incline at .5. I could definitely feel the difference in my legs. It made the run tough, but still do-able.


Here's he calf shot I shared with the group yesterday.



Life has been pretty much status quo. I worked one day last week and I'll be working one day this week. Just one day a week at least takes care of my grocery shopping, so two days a week would make me feel rich! Again, this is supposed to be the slow season for the photography studio, but because Hurricane Sandy muffed up their fall shoots, we're working. By the spring I should be working more regularly and maybe even SAVING money for the future slower season.

Did I just say "saving money"? HA! Saving money will probably be a long shot since my son will be heading into his senior year in September. It was a pretty big shock when he came home yesterday with his course selection for next year. How the hell did that happen? Where did all that time GO?!? My baby boy is almost out the door. Not sure how I feel about letting him go.