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Days 86-87 – Weekend shortfalls

29 03 2010

A quick post to admit this weekend kicked off not only Spring Break, but a break from my regular commitment. With good friends visiting from Pittsburgh, my routine had to take a backseat.

I worked in the Shred DVD on Saturday so I could only spend 20 minutes exercising and get a thousand errands done, and a 3-mile run Sunday to be done in less than 30 minutes. I am sad that my weekly mileage was 10 instead of 20, but the reality of my lingering cold and other much more fun priorities (hitting the Title 9 warehouse sale and visiting with my great friend) makes that more than okay.

Taking a Spring Break for skiing this coming week means I will get back up to 9 miles with — I hope — still plenty of time to get to 13 over the next six weeks.

Day 31 – The exercise treasure box

31 01 2010

My January prize

I wrote yesterday about not needing a star chart like my kids have had over the years for everything from using the potty, brushing teeth and cleaning their rooms… But then on today’s 6-mile run I thought — why not reward myself? If, like Zach’s kindergarten treasure box, there is a little incentive each month, doesn’t that just make it more fun to succeed? Maybe it will be a dinner out with my husband or a new skirt… For January — realizing how many miles I’ve put on my current running shoes — I let myself order a new pair of “go fasters” to see me through this half-marathon.

Shoes are supposed to last about 300 miles, and (according to my Buckeye Training log) I’ve run 62.1 in January on my trusted Brooks Adrenalines that have been with me since last spring. Time for a new pair before these are toast and I start feeling pain. I found my size on sale at Sierra Trading Post for almost half off too! Should have them by Tuesday…

So one month down – 11 more to go is a fantastic milestone. I am so glad to be heading out of January – the long, cold month with its short days and lack of fun holidays has never been my favorite. I’ve been lucky that we’ve had relatively warm weather with no real snow since December.

I have also taken advantage of slower work this month, and that needs to change. As a writer, I get paid by the hour for what I do. I’m lucky enough to make my own hours and have an extremely flexible schedule that allows me to run in the middle of the day and write at night if it suits me.

The last day of the month is always a bit of a scramble to squeeze in some more hours and wrap-up as many projects as possible. So today, running 6 miles sure sounded fun compared to writing a customer newsletter about manufacturing software tools. I will have to put in more work time the next few months, so we’ll see what that does to my exercise plan. The treasure box ante may need to be upped!

Day 19 – Help Haiti

19 01 2010

The overwhelming tragedy in Haiti consumed me today as I read details in the morning paper. I’ve been looking online at relief efforts and how to help — and also trying to decide how to honor my great uncle who passed away two weeks ago. I was considering planting a tree in his name or a donation to his church.

On my run — when I so frequently find clarity these days — I realized I could combine the two donations through an organization called Partners in Health. Uncle Brady was a great doctor who helped so many people during his lifetime, so I think he would be pleased.

I worked with PIH on a case study for my client, Serenic, which provides financial management software for nonprofits like CARE, Unicef and other international groups who do amazing work around the globe. I was so impressed with PIH’s mission and the person I worked with there. Sure enough, they had an “in memory” form on their website.

An excerpt from the case study: “PIH was founded in 1987 with one clinic in Haiti and a vision to bring the fruits of modern medicine to those who need it most – showing the world that providing comprehensive medical care to entire communities is not just possible, but essential. PIH has three goals: to care for its patients, to alleviate the root causes of disease in their communities, and to share lessons learned around the world. The organization and its founder’s story are chronicled in a best-selling book, Mountains Beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer.”

With so much devastation in an already poor county, every dollar helps. Please do what you can through whatever group you choose to support!

Day 15 – Short and sweet

15 01 2010

I was sad to miss Pilates class today after my one good start last Friday, but Anna’s awards ceremony at school took precedent. Found enough time for a 3-mile run before Zach’s ceremony later. I am proud of my kids for working so hard at school and for loving to learn! Let the long weekend begin – I’m ready for resting and running…

Day 9 – I have a reader!

9 01 2010

Today I need to rejoice in the fact that someone commented on my blog on Day 7 — and I don’t know him!  The idea to blog came from my friend Jo-Anna, who read the book and saw the movie Julie & Julia. It’s based on a true story about a woman who cooks everything in Julia Child’s cookbook in 365 days and blogs about it. She got a book and movie out of the deal, so Jo-Anna told me I could do that too.

While I am not counting on a movie, I did think it was a great way to get in shape and — just maybe — be part of this blogging community where you find other people who are interested in what you have to say (beyond your loyal friends and family). So thank you to my reader, who on Day 7, encouraged me not only to keep up strength training but also inspired me to keep writing about it!

Back to today…when I really could not move when I woke up. From my core to my calves I was completely sore. Boot camp? Pilates? The two-day combo is clearly working my out-of-shape muscles. How could I have run 9 miles in late October and already be so sore from a week of exercising. It’s a good pain though – progress!

Today a 3-mile dog walk in sunshine seemed like enough to stretch my legs and save some strength for a longer run tomorrow when it’s supposed to be in the balmy 50s. Now – if I can just get up out of this chair…

Day 5- Farewell great uncle

5 01 2010

Today’s run was longer starting with a 1.3 mile loop with Lottie — her first official run around the park vs. a walk.  We have some training to do on that front. I dropped her off at home to go for two more loops, so nearly 4 miles today (before the 10-20 degrees hit in the next few days).

My thoughts were absorbed in news I got last night that my Great Uncle Brady passed away yesterday. He was 89 and had suffered from a rare blood disease for the past few years. I was lucky enough to really get to know him and was reminded by his obituary today of his long list of accomplishments – from father and volunteer to orthopedic surgeon and university professor.

He spent most of his life in Hamilton, Ohio, near Miami University. He was busy practicing medicine when I went to college, but I saw him when my parents and grandmother – his sister – were in town and his wife left an open invitation — even answering my call in the middle of the night to fix my broken wrist at his office. That story was certainly retold each time I visited him in Ohio! Exaggerated a bit more each time…

How serendipitous that I married someone from his hometown. Scott, the kids and I shared many visits, meals and drinks at the “West Virginia Bar” in his basement. He came to our wedding in Texas to dance with my grandmother and provided a connection to her for me ever since she died nearly five years ago.

Remembering Brady and my grandmother brought tears during my run. I hadn’t cried yet for the loss that, even when someone has lived a long, full life, you can’t help but feel. I imagine she welcomed him in Heaven and that they are sharing stories of the past five years right now and memories of their childhood in Sutton, WV, that I’ve heard so many times.

The last time I visited was a year and a half ago. He had already lived longer than his prognosis, so I gave him an extra long hug when I left. I will miss and remember his incredible wit and wisdom, his generosity and stories and will always treasure the times we celebrated together.