Sunday, December 27, 2009

First Snow of the Year

A couple weeks ago we had our first snow of the season and it stuck. It was on a day off so I didn't have to go anywhere, which was nice. I don't like winter - I'd much rather warm, sunny weather, but it's still magical when it snows and to see everything covered with white.

River is IN LOVE with winter. It is his absolute favorite season. He adores playing in the snow. When it's cold outside, it is impossible to tire him out. He just wants to play forever.

Here is some during and after video of our first snow. And River of course, enjoying himself.


He is chewing on a tennis ball and "wrestling" with the falling snow.


I got him to put the ball down so I could video him snapping at the falling snow - so cute!


Not much accumulation but it was so pretty covering all the bare trees.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! My Christmas was very nice: good giving, good getting, good food, good time with family :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Christmas Toy*

Woo boy my arms and shoulders ached the day after my yoga class last week! It was a good, sore muscle ache though. I have the bad kind of pain in my back, shoulders, arms regularly so it was refreshing to have meaningful pain. That sounds weird I guess. My next class should be on Jan 6th and I'm really looking forward to it.

I'm basically done with my gift shopping. But I have a lot to wrap. I bought C a bunch of things that fit together in a theme (kitchen/baking stuff) and I'm going to wrap each one individually. I bought her the cutest set of measuring spoons - I have to take a pic before I wrap them up.  C and I went in on a bunch of cooking/baking stuff for my other sister (S) too. I hope C doesn't mind having very similar presents! I'm sure she'll be happy with what I got her but it gives me a twinge of guilt that I wasn't more unique. I still have one very small thing to buy for C and I need to stop and get a gas station gift cert for S because she's a poor grad student. All presents are bought for my mom. R bought gifts for his mom and dad but they still need to be wrapped (by me). And that's it. R and I don't usually buy gifts for each other. He is extremely difficult to buy for unless I have thousands of dollars to buy him a camaro or some sort of new electronic device. The small thoughtful gifts are just not his style. We save the money we would have spent on each other and eventually buy something for our house instead.

We didn't put up lights again this year and we never bothered to get a tree. We both like the decorations but it just didn't happen. I used to be really into Christmas but not so much anymore. Christmas without children to share it with just isn't the same. We don't have any kids in either of our families and our few friends don't have kids either. I do like giving gifts though - it's fun to get someone what they want/need.


I did get to buy a toy for someone this year though! I bought it for a family our company sponsored for the holidays who have an infant that needs a kidney transplant. They also have a 2 yr old and I figured this thing would be great for both of them to use. It was so cute. I haven't bought a baby toy in a long, long time.

All our snow has melted. I don't think it will be a white Christmas. It would be nice to have some snow but please, don't snow on Thursday. We will be traveling to and back home from my mom's house (~2 hours each way) that day, as is our tradition, and bad weather would just make it annoying. Not that we couldn't handle it. We have a 4 wheel drive vehicle and R is a very good driver. Christmas day we are off to MIL's house (only ~ 15 mins away) in the afternoon so if it had to snow, that would be the ideal day. Have I ever mentioned how crazy my MIL is? I don't think I have. If there are any bizarre presents from her this year I need to remember to take pics of them. Corn on the cob handles anyone? Or how about a purple, plastic trash can? No? Then how about a staple puller and some blank diskettes? Oh it just goes on and on.

*One of my fondly remembered childhood Christmas movies. C and I were discussing this on Sunday (while baking about 4 different kinds of cookies for the holidays because it is one of our holiday traditions - frosted sugar cookies, gingerbread men, chocolate orange crinkles, and sugar-cookie-chocolate-peppermint bark) and now I really want to see it again! Maybe I'll order it on DVD. Whoa! I just looked and someone has put the entire movie up - the first part is HERE. I don't know if it's good quality but I'm off to watch it now!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Running Update and First Yoga Class

Sadly C and I have all but stopped running.  I definitely plan to continue but we are in a rut right now because of the holidays and the disgustingly cold, snowy, icy weather.

From when we completed week 9, to now, we've gone out about 2x per week, with at least one week off.  We regressed a little in our pace and then got better, our best time being slightly under 14min/mile.  I've also done my elliptical a couple times when it was raining or just generally crappy outside.  The last time I went jogging was last Tuesday - a week and a day ago.  I actually think about going a lot but jogging in the bitter cold is so very unpleasant it's all too easy to procrastinate.

I'm trying to figure out a good solution for us.  We just aren't going to be able to jog much outside in the next 2 months.  Buying a treadmill is not an option, especially because that would not allow C and I to continue jogging together.  I received a flyer in the mail recently for a fairly cheap fitness center membership that even claimed to have an indoor track (better imo than a treadmill) and I was hopeful that might be our solution.  This past weekend C and I went to check it out and we weren't impressed.  It was not a great looking place, the woman at the desk was not incredibly pleasant (though she wasn't really rude).  Besides the start-up fee, the flyer I received claimed membership was $10/month.  Well, apparently access to the indoor track area (which is suspended above the basketball court where smelly guys run around and sweat, and which only looked to be 1/4 mile or less) costs an extra $20/month.  This is just silly.  I don't think we'll be going there.  I'll be looking around for another indoor track but I suppose I would settle for just a nearby fitness place with a good amount of treadmills and a cheap membership fee.

I'm not counting myself as having fallen off the wagon just yet.  C will probably decline but I am going to try and get out there again tomorrow or this weekend.
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I've always been intrigued by yoga.  I've tried some yoga on tv at home but it's very hard to look at the tv and try to do the poses at the same time.  Also, it's hard not to get any feedback on if you're doing things correctly or not.

For some reason I've had a hard time finding any classes that would be easy for me to get to and not require me to spend a million dollars on a gym membership (though if I found a gym with a great schedule, I might pay a good deal to be able to attend the classes)

A few weeks ago I was excited to see a sign in the elevator of my work building for a once-a-week yoga class starting up on the 11th floor.  But then I forgot about it and ended up missing the first class.  The second class was supposed to be last week but was cancelled because of the weather.

So, today I attended my very first yoga class. I loved it! I wish I could take that class multiple times a week. It was challenging and relaxing at the same time. I worked on balance, worked my muscles, and stretched.  It was right in the middle of my work day and it was so nice to be able to get up from my desk and actually move my body.

The class is postponed now until after the new year but I can't wait to go again!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sharing a Song

This was my post for the Blog Cross Pollination. I wanted to repost it here as well because I've been wanting to share this song with everyone for a long time now. Ever since I wrote the post it's been replaying in my head.
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Being a mom is my dream job. I’m sure I’ve said it before. My goals have always involved having and raising children. If I end up without children, I know I’ll survive and have a good life, but it will be a life I never ever imagined. We all have our own version of the common infertility journey and even though I feel so strongly about it, I’ve found I’m unable to express how I feel properly in a blog post.

A few months ago I heard a song that completely expresses infertility, from my point of view, in a way I could never manage to do. The emotions and imagery in the song so closely represent how I feel.

I was working from home that day, listening to music, watching River asleep on the floor next to me. The playlist song switched and I unconsciously started listening ~Where do we go from here?~ to the words. Only a few lines in ~How do we carry on?~ I was pulled in by words I thought I heard ~…cuts me with every could-have-been~ and I started to listen more intently.

~Pain on pain on play, repeating~

Tears.

The words and my complicated feelings melded and she was suddenly singing my story, unasked.

It was a sad, lonely moment, lost in my infertility, but it was also not so lonely. Even if the song isn’t specifically about infertility, it is proof that others feel as I do. I thought of all the blogs I read of women going through this same hell and I wanted to share the song with everyone.

It expresses the uncertainty, the pain, the fact that there’s this unknown future without children waiting in the shadows (…backup makeshift life in waiting), the obnoxious “just relax” we’ve all been told (…time heals everything), the hopelessness and periods of giving up (…nothing to see here now), the sadness (…crumbled and puffy faced), even the millions of sterile, modesty-stealing procedures and appointments we’ve all endured (Around old magazines, fluorescent lighting sets the scene…).

My favorite verse is “All I want, only one street-level miracle. I’ll be an out-and-out born again from none more cynical.” It’s such a simple thing that I wish for – to get pregnant and raise a child. I no longer believe it will happen, but if it does, I will be so very grateful.

To listen for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nNbTW0lhR1Y

Where do we go from here?
How do we carry on?
I can’t get beyond the questions.

Clambering for the scraps
in the shatter of us collapsed.
It cuts me with every could-have-been.


Pain on pain on play, repeating
With the backup makeshift life in waiting.

*Chorus*
Everybody says time heals everything.
But what of the wretched hollow?
The endless in-between?
Are we just going to wait it out?


There’s nothing to see here now,
turning the sign around;
We’re closed to the Earth ’til further notice.
A Stumbling cliched case,
crumbled and puffy faced.
Dead in the stare of a thousand miles.


All I want, only one street-level miracle.
I’ll be an out-and-out born again from none more cynical.


*Chorus*

And sit here cold?
We’ll be long gone by then.
And lackluster in dust we lay
Around old magazines.
Fluorescent lighting sets the scene
for all we could and should be being
in the one life that we’ve got.


In the one life that we’ve got.

*Chorus*

Are we just going to wait it out? Sit Here?
Just going to Wait it out? Sit here cold?
Just going to sweat it out?
Wait it out.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Bloggy Cross Pollination

Today's post is a mystery guest post brought to you by The Great Blog Cross Pollination!
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Im busy reading this book called “Maybe Baby”. It’s a collection of short stories written by a multitude of people. All the stories are related to having children. Some people relate their story of how desperately they want children and the lengths they go to achieve that dream (obviously that’s the category we are all so familiar with) but then there are other stories of people who aren’t sure if they are meant to be parents or even want to be parents (a category Im starting to identify with), people who have had children and regret it (doubt I’ll ever be in this category), people who fall pregnant naturally (and quickly, like in first try – very annoying) but then face other dilemmas like abusive partners or their child gets cancer. Its actually a good book, quite a balanced outlook on having children, the ins and outs and how it works for some but not for others.

But there is one “golden thread” that runs through all the stories – in all the authors lives there is one big thing that happens to them in their lives. Whether it be infertility, working through an abusive lifestyle, financial difficulties, dealing with cancer, dealing with ones own parents, dealing with an ill parent, dealing with feelings of inadequacy etc. There is always something that happens to all of them. It appears that life is never plain sailing. The fairy tale of meeting a prince, getting married, having kids and living happily ever after is very often just that – a fairy tale. Wow, how jaded Ive become….(I hate the bitterness I feel for all my years lost thanks to infertility).

With infertility so much the focus of my life, this book has actually shown me that I need to start seeing the wood from the trees. I often feel a pang of jealousy as I see my neighbour’s kids running and playing or that cute family in the store pushing the baby pram and another on the way. The problem is what kind of lives are behind the fa├žade? What is the thing they are dealing with? My issue though is do you think that infertility is a big enough thing to deal with in a lifetime? Because I sure hope it is.

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Any guesses as to who my guest blogger is?  Let me know in the comments before clicking on the link below. :)

To find out who my guest blogger is (and read her story ), and to read my post for this event, click over HERE.

Many thanks for Geohde at Mission Impossible for organizing this!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Funky

I haven't felt much like blogging.  I haven't felt much like doing anything really.  Work for the past three days has been crappy.  I don't want to be here and I don't want to work.  If I were four years old I would totally throw a tantrum right about now.

I read my last post over again and I really didn't mean for it to be such a doom and gloom post.  The situation with the blood work was frustrating but really, what's waiting another few months in the scheme of the last 13 years of waiting?  Really, nothing at all.  And, I don't think the blood work is going to tell me anything anyway.  So, no big deal.  And my grandpa, I miss him and wish he hadn't died, but I'm not overwhelmed with sadness or anything.  I'm the most sad for my grandma.  Since I was remembering him while writing the post I figured I'd write out some things that I'll remember most about him.  It ended up sounding pretty sad.

Thanksgiving at my grandma's house was nice.  I think I'm a turkey snob now, after having cooked/hosted for the past three Thanksgivings, because I definitely missed my turkey!  But all the food was yummy.  My aunt had to prepare everything at her house and then pack up and move the entire meal to my grandma's house because my grandma doesn't want to leave her house anymore.  That's no small task.  She's a wonderful person. (not only on thanksgiving - she helps my grandma clean and even comes over on a regular basis to help her bathe)
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Anyway, I wanted to lighten up the posts and I've never blogged about crocheting before so here goes!

Back in July my sister (C) and I decided to learn to crochet.  We went to a craft store and bought a book, some yarn, and a hook.  Then we sat on my couch and proceeded to get frustrated in about an hour. haha

We kept at it though, C much more than me.  She has made a queen size blanket as an xmas gift for a friend, another half a blanket, a couple hats, and at least one scarf.  All summer and most of the fall she only worked part time so in the mornings she would crochet before work and she'd also do it while watching sports on TV with her SO.

I've never completed a project except for my very first one:

It's a... dishcloth :)  About 12'' x 12''.  It was fun to make something so small to start with because I really felt accomplished afterwards.  I wanted to make a bunch more but I haven't yet.  I think they'd actually be useful as kitchen cloths.

I have also done a few swatches to practice different types of crocheting.  After the dishcloth I started my blanket.




It is brown, cream, and brick colored yarn, double-stranded (you crochet the entire time with two strands of yarn held together - it makes a thicker blanket I guess).  I tried to pick colors that would match our basement room so that we could keep it down there on the couch.  I'm happy with how it's turning out.

I started it in the summer.  It's still not even half done!  It is now about twice as big as it is in the pic above.  Maybe someday I'll finish it.  I really enjoy crocheting but I never think about sitting down to just crochet and it's hard to crochet and watch a TV show with R at the same time.

Going to the craft store is dangerous now.  Even though I don't crochet often, every time I go I want to buy more yarn and patterns!  There are so many kinds of yarn out there!  I have to stay away from that store until I actually need more yarn for my current project.

Proof:

This is a beautiful pink yarn that I bought because I think it would make a wonderful, light-weight, baby-type blanket.  It's soooo soft I want to sleep with it like a pillow.  No, I haven't even started a blanket from it yet.

If I ever manage finish another project I'll definitely post pics.


Bonus bloggy fun: Can you find the dog in three of the six pics?!  hehe

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

My Blood

CD1: On Wed, I was in NYC for work and couldn't call my clinic.

CD2: On Thurs, I called the clinic and the answering service (who was kind of rude) said that the clinic is closed on Thursdays... well ok then.

CD3: On Friday, I called the clinic at 8am when they opened and asked if they could take me for the CD3 bloodwork that day.  She said "Didn't we give you a 'script for it?"  Well yes, they did, but they told me that was just in case CD3 fell on a weekend.  I told her that, she sighed and told me to hold on.  When she got back on the phone she said that the bloodwork lady was soooo busy and that was a lot of blood to take and... well, couldn't I just go to LabC.orp?  (Btw, I HATE going to those places, I've had bad experiences with them not giving a shit and treating you like garbage.)  I'm a push over and I say, "sure".  I get directions from her and hang up.

I knew I was going to be late to work, which was fine, but I had to be at work by 11:30am for a conference call.

I arrived at the address and drove around the corporate park area looking for the building number, which I didn't have.  Finally found it, went in to a very empty waiting room, signed in, and waited for about 5 mins.  She called me up and I handed her my 'script and started to hand her my insurance card.

"Oh we don't take that insurance."

I look at her.  She looks back at me. "Yeah, they don't have a contract with us." Sigh.  So I ask how much it would be to just pay out of pocket.  I seriously was thinking about doing it just to get it over with.  She tells me about $500 and I decide to save myself the money.  She can tell I am defeated because she asks if I know where this other place is.  Well, sure, I know where that address is but given that it's after 10am now, and that place is at least 20 mins away, there's no way I'd make it to work in time. Ah well.

I called the clinic when I got to work and told them and they apologized for sending me someplace that doesn't take my insurance.  I know I should have called them before I went there, I just didn't think it would be an issue.

CD4: On Saturday I decided that I would stop by the other place to get it done quickly before R and I go on with the rest of the day.  But silly me doesn't call the office until 11am and they close at noon on Saturdays. I suck.

Summary: No CD3 bloodwork for me.  Better luck next cycle.

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My grandpa died one year ago today.  I'm not one to put a lot of meaning in a death-day.  I don't feel any different today than I do on any other day except to be amazed that a whole year has passed already.  I miss him the same amount every day.

Every day I feel the same amount of sadness for my grandma that she has to go on without him.  For 32 years of my life they were a pair, never one without the other in my mind.  Now, for the past year, it is only her. That's hard to get used to.

We usually host Thanksgiving at our house (have for the past three years anyway) - I love the preparation and cooking and having everyone at my house.  I think it's my favorite holiday.  This year I decided to go and be with my grandma instead of host it at my house.  I've never celebrated Thanksgiving at her house before.  There will be a good amount of people there so hopefully the hustle will keep her mind off of last year for the most part.

When I get there on Thursday morning, that distinct, gruff voice won't greet me by saying "Jilly's home!" as I walk up the basement stairs to the kitchen.   I won't get to chat with him from my favorite place at the counter, as he sits at the dining room table, leafing through a newspaper and chewing on a toothpick.  I won't ever see him fall asleep in his living room recliner, to the late news on TV, as grandma and I chat in the other room.  He won't ever cook me pasta again or laugh over the fact that we like it al dente and grandma likes it mushy.  I'll never again see his flowers and tomato plants growing in the front yard, or see the bags of vegetables and garlic that he grew, around their house.

But, I'll remember all those things forever.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Always Unexpected


{girly-talk warning!}

Well, yesterday I spotted just the teeniest bit and today is apparently CD1. Weird. And good. I was either on CD117 or CD43. Annoyingly long. Waiting can kiss my ass.

It's very light but I'm just going to go with it.  I'll call tomorrow and then hopefully have my CD3 bloodwork on Friday. I'm very glad I don't have to choose to take the provera.

I looked back at my FF notes and apparently I had a little ewcm about 14 days ago. Interesting. I suppose it's too  much to hope that the glumetza and exercise are helping but it gives me some happy thoughts about this coming cycle.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Patient Fertility / GYN Appt - 10/28/09

It went fine I guess. When I was filling out all the new patient paperwork I actually was able to write truthfully that I exercise ~3 times a week and jog ~2 miles each time. That was cool. I’ve never been able to write anything like that before.

The one and only doctor at this place is a man and I prefer female doctors. I was told over the phone that if I needed anything done to my hoo-haa a nurse practitioner would most likely be the one to do it. Well, I met with this main doctor (Dr. M) and to my surprise, he busted out the dildo cam on our first date… err, I mean, appt. I was definitely not expecting a u/s but who am I to turn one down! Apparently I can survive an exam by a man.

There was also a female doctor, who seemed to be learning, following Dr. M around. They were both very thoughtful and made sure I could see the screen of the u/s. I hate those silent u/s’s where they don’t let you see what's going on and don’t say a word throughout the whole thing. As I laid there staring at the screen, I tried to imagine what it would be like to see an actual baby.

Just like all my other u/s’s, they saw both ovaries and there was no sign of cysts even though I specifically asked about the “string of pearls” symptom of PCOS. He also measured my lining, and even though I haven’t had a real flow in over a year, my lining was very thin.

Dr. M of course thinks I have PCOS and put me back on glumetza. I’m taking it now and haven’t had many side effects but I’m only up to 2 pills a day. The goal is 3/day. I’ll probably make it there at the end of the week.

I want more information than just his guess that I have PCOS. He order a bunch of blood work for me to be done on CD3. Uh yeah, that’s a problem. When the eff is CD3?? I never freakin get a real period. Right now I’m either on CD110+ or CD30something if I count the last time I spotted (off and on for about 3 weeks) as a period. I told him this and asked him if I should take provera. He said sure and wrote me another script. He says I should count any spotting at all as CD1. Ok then.

My appt was a few weeks ago now and I haven’t taken the provera yet. The “what-ifs” get me every time. What if this cycle is the one and only time I’m going to ov this year and I take provera to end the cycle? Missing that non-existent opportunity scares me for some reason. It shouldn’t – I know I’m being stupid. I just need to take it and get on with the blood work. But what if the blood work gives me no additional information again? *sigh*

Overall the appt was fine and I like the office. They were all very nice but no matter how much I told them that I’m not interested in IUI/IVF/etc at this time, that’s still their main focus. I have a feeling he wants to try me on clomid again. I guess I wouldn’t be opposed as long as they monitor follicle growth (or lack of) at the same time.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week 9 (Goal Reached!)

FINAL WEEK!!!

Week 9 Instruction: Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 3 miles (or 30 minutes).

Note: Again, (and from now on I think) I only timed the actual jogging portion. Counting the warm-up and "cool down" (walking to get back home or to get back to the car) we probably go an average of .5 miles in addition to the mileage listed below.

Day 1 – 10/29
Run time: 30:12
Run Distance: 2.11 miles
Ave Pace: 14:20/mi

Day 2 – 11/01
Run time: 30:13
Run Distance: 2.13 miles
Ave Pace: 14:12/mi

Day 3 – 11/03
Run time: 30:13
Run Distance: 2.08 miles
Ave Pace: 14:34/mi

Neither C or I were worried about bumping up to 30 mins. We did repeat week 8 but only because we wanted to keep ramping up very slowly. On Day 1 we weren't intimidated by the 2 extra mins and we were able to push through to 30 mins without much problem.

Right at the beginning of the run on Day 1 the bottom of my right calf/top of my heel (maybe my achilles tendon area?) started hurting. It felt very tight, like it was cramping, and it wasn't an ache, more like a bit sharper pain. I have no idea what it was from. It wasn't really bad, just something I noted. I ran through it and it didn't get any worse, but it didn't get better either. I tried to stretch it out well afterwards. I continued to notice it while just walking around after that.

On Day 1 we went around the little loop (my neighborhood) once, and around the big loop (adjacent neighborhood) three times. On Day 2 we went to a new area of the local bike path. This day was much tougher for some reason. We both felt really tired and C ended up stopping to walk for a min or two near the end. She caught up to me though. Looking at our pace, maybe we were just going slightly faster than usual so we tired more quickly. My achilles tendon area hurt again on this day, but it was a little bit better.

On Day 3 we repeated our course from Day 1. It was very cold and windy out - pretty unpleasant for jogging. I have a zip-up sweatshirt that I wear but half way through my core gets too hot and I have to take it off. However, my thighs and my butt are always freezing! I'm going to have to get something to wear under my jogging pants for the winter.

Day 3 was pretty crappy. Along with the cold and wind, I felt completely uncoordinated and weak. I know this will happen sometimes but it sucked that it happened on the very last day. We wanted to celebrate but instead we had to concentrate to make it all the way through. We usually talk quite a bit but we were pretty quiet on this day trying to make our bodies to what we wanted.

We made it though! Week 9 completed! We are proud!

C and I are celebrating this weekend by going out to dinner at The M.elting Po.t. She's never been and I've only been there once. It should be fun :)

It's really amazing to me, especially if I go back and read posts from the early weeks, that I'm now able to jog without stopping for 30 mins. We even jog for most of the 5 min warm up now, instead of walking.

My achilles tendon pain was yet a bit better on Day 3 and now I'm pretty sure it's gone. At the very beginning (last March/April/May) I had very tender shins but this time around, and all the way through to week 9, I haven't had that issue. My knees I can't quite figure out. I continue to have almost no knee pain when I run but my knees hurt when going up and down stairs. They always did but it seems as if it's a little worse now. It could be just normal aging-with-arthritis stuff. I plan on going to an orthopedist next year if I continue with the running. Just to make sure I'm doing all I can to preserve what health my knees do still have.

The biggest difference I have noticed (I really started to notice in the past few days) is my breathing. I used to breath so hard that I could barely swallow. And I'm not talking on the longer jogs. I'm talking during jogging for 3 or 5 mins this would happen. If I had to swallow, I would breath a few times and then hold my breath while I swallowed quickly. It was unpleasant. Now it's totally different. I don't have to think to swallow anymore. I breath much more easily, even at the end of a 30 min jog.

I haven't ever managed to get back that magic "I could jog forever" pace. I think I've been close a few times. Jogging always with C is a factor I think. We talk which takes more energy and makes it so that I can't inwardly focus very well. I wouldn't change it for the world - I love going with her - but jogging alone seems to be a different experience.

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So, now my first goal is complete.

My overall goal is still to jog regularly for a year ('till the beginning of Aug 2010), but I need a new short term goal. I'm not sure what it should be yet.

C and I need to figure out what we are going to do now. Should we just continue jogging for 30 mins, 3x, every week? Should we go back to the beginning of the couch to 5k plan and jog for distance this time instead of time? Should we work on jogging more often?

I'm not sure I will ever want to jog for more than maybe 30-45 mins but maybe that will change. I always imagined myself jogging about 3 miles, 3x or 4x per week and that's it. I'm interested in doing 5k's eventually but a 10k? I'm not so sure I'll ever be that good or even have the desire.

Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Week 7 and Week 8 (Three Week Summary)

Whoa, I am still jogging! I know, it's amazing. To me it is anyway :) It's been forever since I've posted an update so here is a summary of the last 3 weeks. The program I'm following is here.

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(For weeks 7 and 8 the instruction is the same for all three days.)

Week 7 Instruction: Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.5 miles (or 25 minutes).

Note: Total time for all days on week 7 would be 25 min jog + 5 min warm up = 30 mins. Walking at the end (any time over the 30 mins) throws off our actual pace so days where our pace is crappier were days we walked longer to get home.

Day 1 – 10/8
Run time: 33:48
Run Distance: 2.11 miles
Ave Pace: 16:01/mi

Day 2 – 10/11
Run time: 38:20
Run Distance: 2.15 miles
Ave Pace: 17:48/mi

On Day 2 we went to a different place to jog. I was hoping it was going to be a bike-path type area in the woods but to our joggy dismay it was more like hiking on a little dirt path with a lot of small hills. The hills killed us - we are not used to doing any incline at all. We had to walk a lot but tried to jog as much as possible. If not for jogging though we would have really enjoyed ourselves. It was a beautiful little spot and only about 5 mins from my house.

Day 3 – 10/13
Run time: 32:01
Run Distance: 2.13 miles
Ave Pace: 15:03/mi


Week 8 Instruction: Brisk five-minute warmup walk, then jog 2.75 miles (or 28 minutes).

Note: Total time for all days on week 7 would be 28 min jog + 5 min warm up = 33 mins. This week, to get a sense of our true jogging pace, I started only timing the actual jogging portion and leaving out the warm up and any walking we may do to get home. On Day 2 I wanted to time to 2 miles even because we were almost there at the end of the 28 mins. On Day 3 I'm not sure what I did - possibly timed the warm up but then stopped it right after the 28 min jog was done.

Day 1 – 10/15
Run time: 28:14
Run Distance: 1.89 miles
Ave Pace: 14:55/mi

Day 2 – 10/18
Run time: 30:05
Run Distance: 2.00 miles
Ave Pace: 15:03/mi

Day 3 – 10/20
Run time: 33:15
Run Distance: 2.20 miles
Ave Pace: 15:09/mi

(Then we did week 8 over again)

Day 4 – 10/22
Run time: 28:07
Run Distance: 1.89 miles
Ave Pace: 14:51/mi

Day 5 – 10/25
Skipped jogging this day. C and I went for a hike instead. We didn't measure it but it was probably ~2 miles total and we tried to walk at a brisk pace the whole way. Took River with us - he was soooo happy to be included and he got to wade in the river a little too.

Day 6 – 10/27
Run time: 28:06
Run Distance: 1.93 miles
Ave Pace: 14:32/mi
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

C was with me on all days. I mentioned this before but she has really been a huge help for me with sticking with this. We both think it sucks and we both are determined to continue. It is also nice to be able to get together at least three times a week and chat about whatever. I'm truly grateful to have such a great relationship with my sister.

I was able to jog the 25 and 28 min intervals without stopping to walk at all. There are days that are tougher and that we really have to talk ourselves into making it to the very end, but I did them all. C has a tendency to go faster than me; so, on rare occasions she has to stop and walk for a few mins, but that probably only happened once in these three weeks.

We are not working on increasing our speed at all. The intended speed is still very much out of our reach at this point (1.93 miles instead of 2.75 miles on week 8, day 6). We do try to either keep about the same pace or beat our last pace by a bit.

Mostly we jog at night, in my neighborhood and in the adjacent neighborhood, doing different combinations of loops. On the weekends we try to get out (in the daylight *gasp*!) and go someplace different like a bike path or that hiking trail.

On all days, except week 8, day 5, I did anywhere from 100-140 crunches. I'm still not seeing much of any weight loss or clothes fitting me better but I do think my abs are improving a little. While doing the crunches, I can now crunch up higher than I could at the beginning.

I've basically given up on the wall push-ups. I didn't do them at all in these three weeks. We still do a ton of stretching - briefly after the warm-up and then an extended period after jogging. I am paranoid about injuries so I probably do way more stretching than I actually need. IMO you can never have too much (if you are doing them correctly) and plus, it feels good.

Speaking of injuries, there was nothing to report in these last three weeks. There is usually a good amount of pain involved but nothing that sticks around for more than a day.

This all feels both like a big accomplishment (just look how far I've come from a couple months ago! not to mention that I've never exercised regularly before this EVER) and an insignificant accomplishment at the same time. It continues to be so hard to get out there and go, and the jogging is very difficult in the first 5 mins and at the end. Overall though, I think we are proud of what we're doing and we still want to continue.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Weekend and An Upcoming Appt

R is traveling for work. He left on Sat (10/24) morning and he'll be home later today. This marks the longest I've been home alone without him. There have been nights when he's had to work, or a weekend day when he was gone and I was home, but I'm usually the one who does the traveling. I travel to NYC for work (though I haven't now since early this year) for multiple days or I go off to visit my grandma and leave for the weekend.

Two nights by myself in our king size bed was weird!

However, I don't mind. I like to be by myself every once in a while and being at home alone for 2 days/2 nights was kind of like "playing house", except opposite. Instead of "playing house" with a "mommy" and a "daddy", I was "playing house" as a bachelorette ;)

Don't get me wrong, I missed R like crazy and can't wait for him to be home tonight so I can give him a kiss and a snuggle!

Of course, I wasn't really alone. River was with me almost every single moment. Velcro-dog that he is. And, C came over for a while on both Sat and Sun.

But at night, I was alone. I pottied the dog, fed the cats, got ready for bed, made sure the house was in night lock-down, and went to sleep... alone. Reading back, this seems silly and like no big deal. I guess it's just the fact that it almost never happens so it was a little adventure.

And I only freaked myself out listening to weird noises a few times! hehe

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C and I had a very nice weekend. On Sat we decided to make a big dinner so we hunted through recipes, made a shopping list, and went shopping. It was rainy all day which = one very bored dog, so I took Riv with us in the car.

We decided on an herb roasted pork loin with onions, apples, and squash. It was delicious. I don't have the recipe with me (it's from a magazine) and I can't find it online or else I'd link to it. The pork was sort of "dry rubbed" with nutmeg, garlic, and sage, then browned in butter and roasted in the oven to finish it off. The apples, onions, and squash were put together with some garlic and honey mustard and baked. There were some things we'd tweek a little if we made it again but it was a very yummy recipe.

We also made spaetzle for a side dish from this recipe. I had never heard of spaetzle before (apparently neither has blogger!) and had just seen it that morning on a foo.d netw.ork show. I love trying new things and it looked like fun to make. It turned out well - like an eggy homemade pasta in butter. yum. I will definitely be making it again. Suggestion: if you try making this, when you remove them from the boiling water, put them in a strainer first, then into the buttered bowl. At first I was getting a lot of excess water in my bowl, even though I was shaking off as much water as I could.

There were big plans to make a pumpkin banana tart for dessert but there was too much food as it was.

We watched Mama Mia while we ate. Very girlie (imo) but I love musicals (and so does C) so it was enjoyed. Funny thing - the main character is named "Sophie" and maybe half way through I turned to C and said "awww Sophie/Sophia is such a cute name!" (C and I talk baby names sometimes) and C shoots me this just slightly worried look. So I said "oh, was that one of your baby names?" and she said "yeah...". Hah poor girl probably thought I was going to steal it from her. Not that she has anything to worry about. Who me? Have a baby? um, not.

On Sun we got together again and made these oatmeal cookies. They are so good! I'm eating one right now (just ate leftovers from Sat's dinner for lunch!) I really like crispy cookies and the orange zest in this recipe adds something really nice. We also went for a hike with River. It was chilly but a really nice day. Ahh autumn... I wish it could stay colorful and crisp outside and just not turn into winter.

I also got laundry done and a whole mess of dishes (since there were dirties before we even started all our crazy cooking! and now there are only a few). It was a very nice weekend.

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So, I POAS this morning. It, of course, was negative. I already knew it would be but I'm a special kind of crazy and I hadn't peed on something since June! haha

Seriously though, I looked back at my FF logs and I haven't had much more than spotting for over a year now. The last day I was able to guess was "CD1" was in July. I am so very broken. I watch those "I didn't know I was pregnant!!" shows and alternate from thinking to myself, "wow, how the heck could that even happen?" to "shit, that could totally happen to me!" No period for months on end? normal. Fatigue? normal. Fluttering/pokes in abdomen? eh, intestinal issues. Cramps? who the f knows. Weight gain? normal (see above weekend food orgy).

If I didn't POAS every once in a while I swear (if some sort of freak miracle occurred), I could end up on that show!

Because of all this, a few weeks ago I made a gyn appt at a new-to-me fertility/gyn clinic. It is for this Wed morning. The place is related to the fertility clinic I went to in the spring of '08 but this one is a non-fertility related gyn in addition to the fertility stuff. The big fertility place was all about getting me pregnant and not about figuring out what's wrong. I want to be pregnant more than anything but ART is not for us right now (and maybe ever). I want them to help me figure out why I barely ever get a period and why (I think) I don't ovulate.

I'm assuming nothing of any value will come from this appt. I'm jaded and I don't believe doctors can solve any of my issues. I've seen doctors for many different things and have been let down so many times. But with a new place comes new possibilities so... maybe it could be the start of something good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bloggy Award and Playing "Catch-up"

Yeesh, I've been away for a while. I'm so late with this but I was tagged for a blog award by Flying Monkeys and Justina. Thanks so much you two! You are both my very first taggers ;)

I can't for the life of me figure out how to get the award pic to show up in this post but the link to it is:
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_xW-FcR9yKRA/Ss4EBp1gY1I/AAAAAAAAAV8/NaDfzHaF5-w/s1600-h/Over+the+top+award.jpg

Rules for the Over The Top Award:
- USE ONLY ONE WORD! It’s not as easy as you might think. Copy and change the answers to suit yourself and pass it on. It’s really hard to use only one-word answers so try your best. (I totally agree with Flying Monkeys - parenthetical thoughts don't count!)

- Tag 6 other bloggers and let them know that you think they are 'Over the Top'!

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2.Your hair? frizzy
3. Your mother? unforgiven
4. Your father? dead
(4a. Your father ('cause I have two)? microbiologist)
5. Your favorite food? thanksgiving
6. Your dream last night? forgotten
7. Your favorite drink? water
8. Your dream/goal? sahm
9. What room are you in? office
10. Your hobby? jogging
11. Your fear? vomit
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? happy
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? thin
15. Muffins? yum!
16. Wish list item? baby
17. Where did you grow up? MA
18. Last thing you did? emailed
19. What are you wearing? glasses
20. Your TV? timesink
21. Your pets? messy
22. Friends? missed
23. Your life? frustrating
24. Your mood? stressed
25. Missing someone? always
26. Vehicle? silver
27. Something you’re not wearing? watch
28. Your favorite store? Williamsb.urg (this is not a store, it's the town in which my favorite store is)
29. Your favorite color? many (I don't really have just one - I like bright colors and earth tones. If you assumed from my clothes the answer would be brown.)
30. When was the last time you laughed? yesterday
31. Last time you cried? yesterday
32. Your best friend? R
33. One place that I go to over and over? work :(
34. One person who emails me regularly? blogger (ok, so that's not really a person)
35. Favorite place to eat? anywhere!

I tag the following people (and I promise I won't be offended if you don't play along, especially because I'm not sure if any of these people have been tagged for this already):
Heather
IF Optimist
kate (Bee in the Bonnet)
Journey Girl
Kate (Living the Dream)
Kate (The Waiting Room; also, she could also use some hugs if you want to stop by her blog)

Hah I know a lot of Kates in blogland apparently!

<<<<<<<<<<@@@@@@@@@@>>>>>>>>>>

I'm still jogging. We just finished week 8 and are going to start week 8 over again tonight. I have two weeks of updates to post. But I haven't quit yet! Just had to put that out there! Our goal day of completing the entire thing is set to be Nov 2nd.

I got some comments on my last post praising me on my motivation. Thanks so much to all of you for the compliment but... Seriously? What motivation?? I really don't feel like I have any motivation at all. Which makes me think, maybe I'm wrong. I suppose I could just not be going out there three times a week. But, all I can think about is that I should be doing BETTER or doing it MORE OFTEN. I dunno...

On most days I have to literally drag myself out there kicking and screaming. I hate going. It hurts, it's so crappy to feel like that for a half hour. But then, afterwards, I feel good. It's so odd. If I didn't have my first goal of getting all the way through this 9 week program I would have quit long ago. Just knowing that it feels good afterwards is not enough to get me out there. C is a huge part of why I haven't given up yet. She is working towards our goal too so on the days one of us is throwing a tantrum (usually me) the other one helps motivate. I might be still doing this if she wasn't going with me, but probably not.

<<<<<<<<<<@@@@@@@@@@>>>>>>>>>>
I have a blogging problem. I read too many blogs (and try to comment as much as I can) to actually update my own blog on a regular basis. I obviously can't read blogs/write posts all day long and I'm having trouble finding a nice balance. Every day I think about posting, but then I end up only reading others' blog posts and then the day is over.

I also have a problem blogging about bad things. I have before but I think really letting it all hang out (so to speak) would be helpful for me. For whatever reason, when I'm really upset, I don't want to hash it all out again. Shame? Denial? I really have no idea.

<<<<<<<<<<@@@@@@@@@@>>>>>>>>>>

I've been feeling really crazy lately. Work is making me lose my mind. The problem is, I don't think it's this job in particular. I think it's just any job mixed with my mental stability. I'm not a good enough writer to explain this well but, most times, when I'm at work, I feel like I just can't handle it all anymore. Stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, restlessness - something is making me go absolutely bonkers at work (and at home when thinking about work). It's not fun and it's making R crazy too having to watch me freak out over and over. I'm thinking about looking for a therapist/counselor/psychologist.

Last week R and I took a week off from work. I felt really happy most of the week. I thought it might help with my craziness but as soon as I got in on Monday, I fell apart again.

<<<<<<<<<<@@@@@@@@@@>>>>>>>>>>

We didn't do anything specific for our vacation. We got some things done that would be harder to do while working. We both went and got eye exams and new glasses - something I haven't done in two years (even longer for R). I cleaned out half of our garage. We hung around and watched TV, played computer games, and just enjoyed not working. It was nice. I wish I could be on vacation forever! :)

<<<<<<<<<<@@@@@@@@@@>>>>>>>>>>

Hmm I have blogging back-up here and there is much more to say but this is getting really long.

Happy ICLW! If you are here reading my blog for the first time and got hit with this post... oops! sorry :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 6 - Day 4, 5, & 6 (More Rain)

I think this will be a rather quick update - I didn't take many notes for these days.

This past week work has been crazy and I've had to curb my blogging to compensate. I probably didn't curb it quite as much as I should have. Anyway, I was tagged by two different people in the last couple days for my very first blog award (thanks you two!) and I promise I'll get to it very soon.


Week 6 – Day 4 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Jog ¾ mile (or 8 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins).

Day 4 – 10/1
Run time: 33:47
Run Distance: 2.20 miles
Ave Pace: 15:23/mi

Did 110 crunches but don't remember if I did wall push-ups - probably not. Went to the big loop neighborhood and didn't take River.

We thought this day would be a piece of cake since the last day was jogging 25 mins straight which went well. We were wrong. It proved to be fairly tough for us but we made it through.


Week 6 – Day 5 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog 1 mile (or 10 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Jog 1 mile (or 10 mins).

Day 5 – 10/3
Run time: 18:23
Run Distance: 1.28 miles
Ave Pace: 14:20/mi

No clue if I did any crunches on this day - I don't think so.

Notice anything wrong with the above stats? Yep. This was the first day in 8.5 weeks that we threw in the towel. Or, more like, grabbed a towel.

We noticed lightning while we were doing the 5 min warm up. C was worried but I shrugged it off. It seemed only slightly cloudy out, no big deal. We went out to the big loop neighborhood (was that thunder accompanying the lightning? uh oh.), got about half way through the first 10 min jog and it started raining. sigh. Neither of us was up for getting completely soaked again and it wasn't just a sprinkle. We jogged the rest of the 10 mins but started making our way back to the house. It kept raining harder so we jogged about half of the 3 min walk time. That got us all the way back home, we came inside (about half wet), stretched and called it a night.


Week 6 – Day 6 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: jog 2-1/4 miles (or 25 minutes) with no walking.

Day 6 – 10/5
Run time: 31:48
Run Distance: 2.11 miles
Ave Pace: 15:03/mi

Did 110 crunches but no wall push ups and didn't take River with us.

This day was tougher than our last 25 min jog but we made it jogging the whole time. It didn't even rain - amazing.

Overall, this week was basically pain free besides normal muscle soreness. The pain in my right calf that began after week 6, day 3 improved through-out the week and was not much of an issue. However, the day after the day 6, 25 min jog (10/6) was very painful. My left hip, all the way down to my foot, and my right calf ached like a bitch the whole day. It was the worst, most uncomfortable pain I've had so far. It was not a sharp pain like I injured myself, just a dull ache that would not go away. I was kind of worried. But, the next day it was all but gone.

Hmm this was longer than I thought it would be. We are on Week 7 now and it's proving to be a crappy week so far. Hopefully it'll get better!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Week 6 - Day 1, 2, & 3 (Shower in the Street)

We did not repeat week 5. Jogging 20 mins straight gave us enough confidence that we felt ready to go on to week 6.


Week 6 – Day 1 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Jog ¾ mile (or 8 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins).

Day 1 – 9/24
Run time: 32:04
Run Distance: 2.13 miles
Ave Pace: 15:05/mi

Did 110 crunches and 45 wall push-ups, in sets of 15, with stretching in between.

River went with us for the entire jog. We went across to the adjacent neighborhood to jog the bigger loop. There were a lot of barking dogs and cars to navigate because we went out a bit earlier than we usually do. It was pretty annoying, especially with River along, but we made it.

It was warmer out that it had been so that brought back some sweat-in-the-eyes awesomeness.

C pulled way out in front on every jogging interval. I felt really crappy (not because of her pulling ahead) – like I weighed 400lbs – and was barely jogging at some points. blah. I still had no pain though, only sore muscles.


Week 6 – Day 2 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog 1 mile (or 10 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Jog 1 mile (or 10 mins).

Day 2 – 9/27
Run time: 31:51
Run Distance: 2.13 miles
Ave Pace: 14:56/mi

Didn’t do crunches or push-ups and didn’t bring River with us.

It had been raining all evening. We knew we had no choice but to jog in the rain. We couldn’t even post-pone until the next day because it was supposed to rain then too.

But we had no idea how hard it was actually raining until we got out there. It was POURING. Oh my gosh, we got completely soaked. It was crazy.

C and I both wear glasses. On the warm up we could hardly see anything – our glasses were wet and fogged up. So, we decided to leave our glasses behind after stretching. This was really weird. I wear my glasses at all times so I felt like I didn’t have a shirt on or something – naked. However, we couldn’t see anything anyway. There was so much water pouring down our faces, we might as well have been holding our heads under a running faucet.

We thought about giving up MANY times that night. It was so uncomfortable to be jogging in that much rain. But we made it the entire time (we both stopped once, for a few seconds each, because of an oncoming car that we were trying to navigate safely).

I couldn’t have gotten any wetter if I had jumped into a pool. Afterwards, I just sat down in the driveway, in the pouring rain, to stretch. I figured why the hell not.

When we were all done it started thunder storming. Hah.


Week 6 – Day 3 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: jog 2-1/4 miles (or 25 minutes) with no walking.

Day 3 – 9/29
Run time: 36:37
Run Distance: 2.37 miles
Ave Pace: 15:26/mi

Did 110 crunches but no wall push ups. Did not take River with us.

We planned to go out early for this but it was raining again so we post-poned a bit. I was watching the weather radar map like a hawk, hoping it would stop at least for a little while.

It finally stopped raining (yay!) so out we went. We went to the adjacent neighborhood again. I’m liking jogging over there much better than my little loop. I’m sure in a few weeks I’ll get bored with that neighborhood and want to branch out again.

This day was very chilly. I haven’t bought warmer jogging gear yet (like, a long-sleeved shirt ;)) so my arms were Cold. Luckily (?) I forgot all about my cold arms once I was tired and sore.

We actually jogged 25 mins straight!

Apparently 25 mins for us right now is 2.5 times around the adjacent neighborhood plus the time it takes to get to that neighborhood from my driveway.

I’m still amazed by the fact that we can jog 25 mins straight but I also regularly feel crappy enough to be sad I’m not making better progress. Doing the 25 mins seemed easier at the end than the 20 mins, so I guess I am making a little progress.

C and I did well chatting a lot of the time and making each other laugh (which makes the time go by faster).

Our pace of 15:26/mile seems off from what we have been doing but it is skewed by the fact that we walked a lot farther (~7 mins instead of the usual ~2 mins) after jogging to get back home. I think we would have been at our usual pace or below.

Apparently the pain free jogging has come to an end. I had Very sore calves after this jog, which is fine and expected, but I also noticed a new pain in the front of my left leg. It’s below the knee and to the left of my shin. It's painful to walk sometimes but gets better quickly (I’m not limping or anything). I’m sure it’s some muscle I fatigued on the longer than normal jog – I’m not worried about it. Just noting it here for reference.

Next installment is repeating week 6. (Week 7 is jogging 25 mins all three days - s c a r y.)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Day at the Fair

On Saturday (9/26), C and I went to the Big E. We left our whiny significant others at home so we could thoroughly enjoy ourselves without feeling like we needed to leave early or entertain them :)

And good thing we did because R would have been upset right from the get-go. We waited in traffic for an HOUR in order to make it to the parking area. It was crazily busy that day.
This is us at a complete stand-still.
When we finally arrived we could not wait for some fair food! These are our favorite - fried cheddar cheese curds. YUM. We split an order so we would have room for everything else we wanted to eat!
Then we split an order of some of the best onion rings I've ever had.
The baby animals in the exhibit buildings always draw huge crowds. We had to wiggle our way in to get a shot of these guys. So cute.

There are many little craft booths at this fair. There was one with these miniature lighted buildings with appropriate miniature objects inside. This was was a little pool hall. Fascinating.
Different new england states have their own buildings. Inside the buildings are informational booths, people selling things specific to that state, artsy displays and FOOD. (For example, the Vermont building has a B.en and Jerr.y stand selling ice cream.
The Maine building has a baked potato bar that is incredibly popular. C and I waited in a huge long line for ~20 mins for these...
My absolute favorite ride at fairs is the swings. I, of course, dragged C along for a ride!
The view from the air.
Every year they have a butter sculpture. I've seen these at other fairs as well - like the New York State Fair. The one this year was impressive. You can't really tell from the pic but it is a large sculpture. The tallest tree was probably about 4 to 5 ft tall.
They have all sorts of animals and host many shows.
Loved the colors of this game. I like to play the silly games but usually don't want to waste the money. (hey, I could use that $3 on more food!)

There was a camel in the petting zoo area.
And lots of goats and sheep. We were petting a donkey (not pictured below) that kept knocking over the food dispenser on purpose. It was so cute, like he was trying to tell us to stop petting and start giving him treats already. We complied :)
We ate so much more food - we split a cream puff, and I had a corn dog and some salmon on a stick (sounds gross but it was tasty if you like salmon). We also split some blueberry soda from one of the state buildings. Delicious.

We both bought bags of maple cotton candy to bring home for the guys.

The weather was very nice. It got nice and chilly when the sun went down which is great when you are standing in large groups of people. We stayed until ~9:30pm and made it out without getting stuck in too much traffic (although we did kind of get lost trying to find I90! oops).

We had a blast :)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Week 5 - Day 1, 2, & 3 (The Dreaded 20)

Week 5 – Day 1 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins).

Day 1 – 9/17
Run time: 29:30
Run Distance: 1.93 miles
Ave Pace: 15:15/mi

Did 100 crunches but no wall push-ups. (Not sure why I gave up on the push-ups. I keep meaning to do them again.)

It was very cool on this day. My arms were so cold but my core was warm. C and I joke that we’re going to get leg warmers and wear them on our arms as the weather gets colder. What’s that you say? Just buy a long-sleeved shirt?? Um, that would be WAY too easy! ;)

I was hoping to get my magic rhythm back but I don’t think I ever quite got there. It was harder to tell since I was talking to C and that makes me expend more energy too. It wasn’t as easy as week 4, day 6 but it wasn’t bad either. Breathing-wise, I felt pretty good. I did have some very sore leg and butt muscles by the end of the last 5 min jog – youch! Sore muscle pain is no big deal for me though – I can easily push through it with the thought, “yay it hurts because it’s WORKING!” (The toughest things for me are being uncomfortable/fatigued and breathing.)

C said it was about the same difficulty for her as that last day she went (week 4, day 5) but she didn’t have any specific pain – just sore muscles.

Still great on the pain front – go bum knee, go!!


Week 5 – Day 2 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog ¾ mile (or 8 mins), Walk ½ mile (or 5 mins), Jog ¾ mile (or 8 mins).

Day 2 – 9/19
Run time: 30:09
Run Distance: 2.00 miles
Ave Pace: 15:05/mi

Did 75 crunches but no wall push-ups.

This day was a big mile-stone for C and I. We are really getting sick/bored of jogging around my neighborhood loop so we have decided to change it up a little. Saturdays are a great day to do this because we have plenty of time to get in the car and go somewhere else.

Day 2 was our very first time jogging somewhere else AND it was our very first time jogging in the daylight (ugh, my eyes! Too bright! grah, YOUR eyes! Don’t look directly at the jiggling!)!

We went to a nearby bike path that is nicely surrounded by trees (not directly next to a busy rd) and is parallel to a river. There were a good number of people around but jogging past people didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might.

It was a beautiful day – cool and breezy. However, never having jogged in the day before, we realized it can get pretty warm while jogging in the sun. (duh.) We used the shady bits to push ourselves when the going got tough – “just get to this next shady area and we are almost done!” The change of scenery was nice, it made time go faster.

I left River at home. He can be obnoxious while walking on a leash with people and other pets around – he wants to sniff them all and get as close to them as possible – so I didn’t want to have to worry about him and worry about jogging at the same time. I do feel bad when I don’t take him, the more experience he gets the better he’ll behave.

We did very well. We had to push ourselves but had no problem jogging for the entire intervals.

After running we went home to shower and then went out again to a spa and got hour-long Swedish massages. It was my bday gift to C. She had never had a massage before. I wish I could have one every day. I LOVE them so much.


Week 5 – Day 3 instruction: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog 2 miles (or 20 mins), with no walking.

Day 3 – 9/21
Run time: 30:05
Run Distance: 2.02 miles
Ave Pace: 14:55/mi

Did 100 crunches but no wall push-ups. No river on this day either.

Whoa, 20 mins already?!

C didn’t think she could do it. I was a bit more positive as I had done it before in the spring. I told her she would be surprised and that I knew we could do it.

To change it up a bit more, we jogged away from my house to an adjacent neighborhood. It gave us some change of scenery and also made it so we didn’t know how long we had been jogging. Since we’ve been jogging my neighborhood loop for so long, we know how long it takes to go certain distances, which makes the time seem longer.

We had to push like crazy to keep going at the end – it was very challenging.

But we did it!

And we got down below a 15min/mile pace. We were very pleased with ourselves at the end.

I got a cramp in my right lung area in the last min or so of the jog but I kept going and it subsided quickly after jogging was over.

This was the last day I did back in the spring before I quit. I’m not quitting again. I’m determined to get to week 9 and I have C now to push me as well. She actually said after we jogged the 20 mins, “Well you can’t quit again, we’ve come too far.”

And I Totally Agree.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bad Flow

This post probably won't flow very well. I don't know why but I have a need to make every post as readable as possible. That's one of my big issues with posting, why I don't post as often as I'd like, and why I have to edit so much after I write something. I'm a weird kind of lazy perfectionist I suppose.

I stayed up way too late last night basically for no reason. I have work I NEED to be doing but I'm just having the hardest time actually doing it. I'm avoiding, and day dreaming, and reading blogs, and doing other, less important work. Ugh. Procrastination is a horrible thing.

I feel like crap today too. And not just because I didn't get my normal amount of sleep. I feel so uncomfortable and stressed and anxious. I need to have all my work done and go for a walk or take a nap or something. I don't even want to eat, which is weird for me. Everything sounds bleh right now. I had a piece of mushroom pizza for lunch - it was ok but I should probably have skipped lunch all together.

Filming for the movie started today and I watched several different scenes being shot - car chase(s) - all from my office window. Of course I forgot my camera but I don't think the pics would have been too interesting anyway. It was fun to watch tons of cars all driving backwards down the road to re-set scenes. There was a lot of gun fire and a couple car spin-outs as well (they drive a water truck through and wet down the necessary parts of the road). Pretty interesting stuff.

I now know that being an extra in a movie would be a really boring, tedious job :) Not to say I wouldn't probably jump at the chance but ugh, I watched these people walk the same stretch of sidewalk over and over with long waits in between each take.

The filming lightened up my day but only added to my procrastination.

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Now, if you don't wish to hear intimate details about my period - don't read any further! You have been warned.

*we are now boarding the Infertility Pity Boat - please put on your life vests*

I think, at this point, I have basically given up all hope on this baby-making business. I really do.

I have been thinking about this lately and I really don't ever see myself getting pregnant and I no longer feel like anything I do will make me able to conceive (the old fashion way).

In the last year, since Sept 14th 2008, I've had... 6 periods.

6.

They aren't what I would consider "normal" either. Even though I know everyone is different, I don't think these are even in the normal range. My periods are usually extremely light - think, only ever need barely a pantyliner - and can last anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks. Ugh it's so frustrating.

My last one lasted 3 days and was back in July. Right now I'm on CD 62.

How is something not incredibly wrong with me?!

I'm so so so fed up with my body :(

When I was on BC pills I got the heaviest periods ever. I didn't even know they could be so heavy. I cramped like an SOB too. I don't cramp at all normally. I'm obviously far from being a doctor but those facts alone say to me that I don't produce (or can't use) the correct hormones that affect a normal cycle.

Any doctor I've ever been to, even the RE, has told me that I'm too fat and that's why I can't get pregnant. Apart from run of the mill blood tests (which never show a damn thing) no one will bother to look deeper into my issue. It's almost as if I don't matter because I have a crappy BMI.

My only option is to lose weight and dieting affects me mentally. I eat when I'm sad or stressed or bored (or procrastinating other things *grumble*)- not good, I know. This is why I started running. At least it was one of the major reasons. I thought if I could exercise on a regular basis and work on limiting my portions I would at least lose a little.

Well, I've been exercising regularly for 7 weeks now and I've lost NOTHING. Sigh. Just writing about this makes me want to cry.

Ok, I'm done dwelling on this today - back to ignoring it and... procrastinating.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Strange Happenings (and Happy ICLW!)

First I want to say Happy ICLW! :) If this is your first time at my blog, you can learn more about me from reading my timeline (in the side bar) and reading this post that I wrote last month for ICLW.

Now on to the weirdness…

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On Friday morning R and I were on our way to work, about to turn left onto a small side street that has access to our parking garage, when an incident occurred. DT Al.bany is a busy place in the mornings – there are a lot of people on the sidewalks and cars all over the place.

There was a truck turning left, from this small side street, on to our street, so R waited for it to turn in front of us before turning (this was not technically the right of way rule but R was being nice and trying to get the truck out of his way).

At the same time, there was a woman with a seeing-eye dog on the sidewalk approaching the crosswalk across this side street. (No walk lights or traffic lights here – the intersection is very small.) I happened to be watching her because I love dogs and dogs being trained for service interest me. I couldn’t tell if she was blind but she probably was - she also seemed to be training the dog (telling it when to stop and when to go).

She got to the crosswalk around the same time as the truck was turning out in front of us. She stopped at the street because if she didn’t, she would have walked right into the truck.

After the truck turned, the road was clear and she could have crossed. By that time we had been waiting to turn for a while and people were backing up behind us. We, of course, waited for her to cross for a while, but she never did. We were blocking traffic and R made the decision to turn, since the woman and her dog were still very much on the sidewalk. My thought at this time was that she was wanting to wait until most of the traffic dissipated (including us).

Unfortunately, as soon as R committed to the turn, and was at the crosswalk, the woman and the dog decided to start crossing.

Bad situation all around. Looking back, for maximum safety, maybe R should have waited in the road until whenever she decided to cross since she was most likely blind and wasn’t able to tell we were there.

But, R made the decision he thought was correct at the time, a decision I probably would have made as well with the available information.

This sounds ominous but nothing bad happened. We went through the crosswalk ahead of her at the same time she and her dog were also in the crosswalk – probably about 10 feet away from us. If we had stopped when we saw her start walking, we would have been right in her way, in the middle of the crosswalk.

That brings us to the “strange” part of the story.

We parked and as we were getting our stuff from the back seat, a car pulled up behind us. He wasn’t parking, just pulled up and stopped in the middle of the driving area of the parking garage.

He had his window rolled down and began yelling at us that we almost hit a blind lady – didn’t we see her?! we created a very dangerous situation!! what kind of terrible people were we?? and on and on… It completely surprised us and we are both not ones to roll over and show our bellies to people being assholes for no reason. We yelled right back that he had no reason to be confronting us. Finally, I told him to move along since he was holding up traffic behind him by then. He rolled his eyes at us, but he moved along.

We thought that was the end of it. But, as we were crossing the street outside the parking garage to our building the same guy runs (literally) up behind us, confronts R and calls him a “fat f*ck”.

We start yelling at him again to leave us alone and mind his own business. I asked him why he thought he needed to confront strangers because he thought they made a mistake – “You’ve never made any mistakes??” He said “DID I SAY THAT!?” I yelled that he was a self righteous asshole.

He was very physical, and while he never touched either of us, we could both tell he wanted to. He was right in R’s face, as close as possible without touching, and he kept shoving his finger at me like he wanted to push me. It was all bizarre. I am NOT afraid of people like this and I yell right back. Maybe not so great to do, especially if he was violent but that’s just how I am.

The guy followed us into our building (we think he might work here too) and kept arguing with us until we got in the elevator. Most of what was said is all a blur of adrenaline now. As we got in the elevator, the arguing was dying down (it was mostly just between him and me at that point) and I told him that I hoped he wasn’t going to be an asshole for the rest of his life. And as the elevator doors were closing, I told him, in a calm voice, that we really felt sorry for him. I wanted this guy to feel bad that he caused conflict about something that was in no way his business. And I do feel sorry for him on some level – he must be a very sad/angry person to want to start shit with total strangers over something that had nothing to do with him.

Seriously? What did he expect to accomplish by yelling at people who were involved in an unfortunate situation? R is a very good driver and would never have done anything to put this woman in danger. Sometimes close calls just happen. I’m obviously still angry at this guy because writing this out made me want to yell at him some more. I can’t help thinking about what this guy wanted us to do? Say we were sorry… to him?? I just don’t know.

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There is going to be some disruption here in DT Alb.any starting this week.

C.olumbia Pic.tures is apparently shooting some of a movie here and will be closing various streets all around our building from 7am – 7pm off and on for the next couple weeks. If you are interested in this type of thing you can read the little blurb they sent to us here.

While this has the potential to be very annoying, it also has the potential to be very exciting/interesting. One street that will be closed off is the main street right outside my office window. I’m hoping I get some good views :)

I’m going to start bringing my camera to work just in case.

(and hey, maybe jerkface will confront us again and I can snap his pic and post it all over the internet! hah)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Week 4 - Day 4, 5, & 6 (Rhythm Revelation)

C and I both agreed that we would re-do week 4 again. We just weren't ready to move on to week 5 because the last day of week 5 is jogging for 20 min with no walking. *gasp*

Week 4 instruction recap: Brisk five-minute warm up walk then: Jog ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 secs), Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins), Walk ¼ mile (or 2 ½ mins), Jog ¼ mile (or 3 mins), Walk 1/8 mile (or 90 secs), Jog ½ mile (or 5 mins)

Day 4 – 9/10
Run time: 30:01
Run Distance: 1.94 miles
Ave Pace: 15:28/mi

Did 100 crunches but no wall push-ups.

It was very chilly on day 4. C even wore some extra layers but I was fine. My arms are what gets cold first and I hardly noticed.

This day was very trying. I was in the "ugh I'm never going to make it through all the jogs" mentality and really had to push or try to zone out and not think about the fact that I couldn't breath in order to make it to the end. All the while C was doing great. She was pulling ahead in every jogging interval and ended up wayyy out in front of me by the end of the last 5 min interval. I don't mind when she does this, we both have to go at our own pace, but it definitely discouraged me a little. I have at least 70 lbs on her so it's only reasonable to expect that she will progress faster than I will. She didn't say anything to me at the time but she went home that night and told her fiance that she really pushed herself and that she thought she was improving. Her improving is great - it means she will be more into going again and it will all contribute to our motivation.

Day 5 – 9/12
Run time: 30:39
Run Distance: 1.95 miles
Ave Pace: 15:42/mi

Did 75-100 crunches (I lost count because I was trying to talk to C at the same time) and 45 wall push-ups in sets of 15 (with stretching in between each set).

Day 5 was much warmer than chilly day 4. It had been off and on raining all day so the ground was wet and it was humid - bleh. Not good outdoor running conditions. This day absolutely SUCKED and was very discouraging. We both were having a difficult time pushing ourselves to keep going. C's legs were hurting her (I think she might have pushed herself too hard on day 4). I completed all the jogging intervals (hating every single second of it!) but C walked about 45 secs in the middle of the last 5 min jog.

We aren't even sure why it was so bad. I was so fatigued - no idea why - and C was in pain.

Day 6 – 9/14
Run time: 33:54
Run Distance: 2.21 miles
Ave Pace: 15:23/mi

Did 100 crunches and I forgot to write it down but I don't think I did any wall push-ups.

On Day 6, C instant messaged me and told me her legs were still hurting and she was feeling crappy so she was going to skip running. I was totally fine with it. I really don't want her to hurt herself so if she needs a bit longer of a recovery period that's cool with me. Weirdly, I never, not even once!, thought of skipping too. I'm very proud of this. In fact, as soon as I got home I changed from my work clothes into my jogging clothes to give myself even less of a reason not to go.

I had read earlier that day that positive thinking really goes a long way with running so I decided to try it. I'm usually a big complainer, especially when C is with me. I started out my warm up telling myself that I was going to do better. That I was going to do well and make it easily to the end. I have no idea if this actually helped but I plan to continue this positive thinking!!

The weather was perfect - not chilly, not warm, not humid, with a slight breeze. So nice.

I took River out with me while I was putting on my shoes and amazingly he pooed, so I decided to take him along. (He eats dinner right before and it is inevitable that if I take him and he hasn't gone already, he will. I have not been taking him at all because I am unwilling to stop while he poos in someone's yard and then finish exercising while holding a bag of poo - yuck.) I ended up keeping him with me the entire time and he did awesome, walking right beside me most of the time.

Usually the warm up is fast walking once around the neighborhood loop. This takes about 5 mins 30 secs. I had been telling C I think we should add some jogging to our warm up and she agreed. I jogged until I was breathing a bit faster, then slowed down to walk, and did this over and over, making the warm up 5 mins even.

The first 3 min and 5 min jogging interval were ok. Not horrible but I was definitely struggling to catch my breath by the end of both.

Then, something amazing happened.

Something I can only describe as "finding my rhythm". On the second 3 min jog interval I happened to jog at a pace that was perfect for me. I was breathing hard and sweating but I was not gasping to catch my breath! It was really unbelievable. I've been doing this now for 6 weeks (and this spring for 9 weeks) and never once had this ever happened before. I felt like I could have kept jogging like that forever. I finished the interval and thought "holy crap, was that just a fluke?" I believed it was but I was definitely wishing to repeat it.

And I did.

I found the magical pace on the second 5 min jog interval as well. I had no problem jogging the whole time and again felt like I could just keep going forever. It was the first time in this whole experience so far that I really could see myself doing this long term and not dreading every minute of it. I was so happy that I walked a bit further for a cool down than normal (which is why my distance is greater than it has been before).

Day 6 was a hugely rewarding experience. I actually enjoyed jogging for about 10 mins of my life! :)

Tonight is the start of week 5. Day 1 is really not that much of an increase so I'm looking forward to it. I'm really hoping I can find that magical pace again and that it all wasn't just in my head...

If you are a runner, have you ever experienced anything similar?