Friday, May 30, 2008

156.4 - Flashback Friday

So yesterday I read some of my old posts from 2006 to try to get some perspective on my whiny-"my ass is still so big"-ness. (And thank you all for your positive support. What would I do without you guys?)

Here's one from June 7, 2006, that slapped me in the face:

The scale finally moved in the right direction this morning. 202. Down 4 lbs from Saturday. I knew I was retaining water, but it helps so much to see the confirmation of it on the scale. If I can hold it, then I'll be down about 4 lbs for the 4 weeks with WW. I can definitely handle that. That's 52 pounds a year.

What's my ultimate goal weight? I'd love to be down to 135, but even at my thinnest at age 23 I was 145. Can I get to 135 in my late 30s? I have absolutely no idea. At this point, I'd be thrilled to get into a size 12 in regular clothing stores and never have to shop at fat girl stores again. That's my goal for the end of 2006--to be a size 12. That might be aggressive, and if I end up at a loose 14 by Christmas, that's okay too. By next summer, I want to be a size 12. Then by Christmas of 2007 I want to be a size 10.... by 2008, a size 8. I think these are numbers and time frames that are attainable.

More goals--I want to run a 5K this fall. There are plenty in the area, and I am going to sign up for one and DO IT! Not sure I'll ever run a marathon, but I could perhaps do the 1/2 marathon in Evansville next year.....Today is day 2 of week 2 of 5k program. I want to start yoga, but not sure if that will happen today or not. Happy to be making positive progress.


I was wearing size 18s when I wrote this post. I was at the early stages of becoming a runner (thank you couch to 5k program), and was doing OK on Weight Watchers but it didn't stick. The rest of 2006 was a bitch, and I got really off track and didn't regain possession of myself until February 2007 when I joined LA Weight Loss and finally found the focus & energy I needed to lose 55 pounds in 9 months.

Reflecting on the goals I outlined two years ago, I've met them all, even if they weren't exactly at the times I'd predetermined. By the summer of 2007 I was in size 12s and this summer I'm in 8s. I've run two 5k's, a 7k, and a half marathon.

For crying out loud--I have a damn lot to be happy & proud about on the weight loss and fitness front.

There's nothing like remembering where you came from to realize how far you've come.

The past 2 days I've gotten in some decent runs. Wednesday I did 4.5 miles, and to shake things up I ran the first 3 and walked the last 1.5. I haven't walked that far in ages, and I really liked it. I kept my pace quick and pumped my arms, avg. a 14ish walking pace. Then yesterday I did 4 miles total, with a blisteringly fast first mile (9:50--yeah baby!) and then 2 more miles running, and the final mile walking. I feel like I'm working my glutes more by walking quickly, and it's definitely not boring. Maybe it will help keep things fresh.

Wednesday night was horrific on the food front. I must be low on serotonin or something because I've been struggling like mad to keep my spirits on a halfway even keel, even with all the exercise. So I face-dived into massive carbs and had a nice little gain yesterday (157.0). But last night, I kept it together and only had a yogurt cup around 10 p.m., and I was hungry for dairy, not trying to soothe myself. That is a victory, my friends.

Luke starts his new preschool Monday, so we are going to visit the center this afternoon. Then my mom will keep the kiddos while I workout. Probably a weights class, if I can get there by 4:30.

The weekend--not sure what's on tap. Hopefully it will be uneventful and everyone will stay healthy. I plan to run a long one, maybe 8 miles, if there's enough me-time for that. And a visit to the pool is definitely in our sights, as long as it's sunny. It's the 2nd summer in 13 years that I will be semi-comfortable in a bathing suit (thank the fashion gods for skirted bottoms). And that is a huge victory, indeed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

155.6 - Food & Clothing In Las Vegas

Okay, so I'm not in Las Vegas or planning to go, but couldn't resist putting it in the title to mimic Hunter S. Thompson's Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (and I've only seen the movie, not read the book).

First, the food. I made another one of Roni's recipes last night, Mexican Pie, and it was tasty. It took a bit longer than I thought it would, about 45 minutes of prep work (of course, I'm a slow chopper since I'm such a novice in the kitchen--your mileage may vary). DH would have preferred it to be made with ground sirloin (his story is that he ate a lot of ground turkey when he was in his 20s and poor, so he is eternally anti-ground turkey now, which is a bummer because I love it and cook with it a lot). But otherwise he loved the flavors, and I do to. I had leftovers for lunch with a salad on the side. I froze the rest of it in individual plastic serving containers; hopefully it will freeze/reheat well.

I have loved everything I've made from Roni's website, and it's become my go-to source for new recipes. If you haven't been over there, you should visit. (And I'm not promoting her for any other reason than I love her stuff.)

Last night when I really wanted something junky to eat around 10 p.m. while watching season 1 of "The Wire" (holy cow, McNulty should be renamed McHottie), I instead peeled an orange and got my sweet on from the Florida goodness. Surprisingly I was satisfied and didn't need anything else after that. Go figure.

Now for the loathing, er, clothing.

So this morning, I experienced what most American women do on a regular basis--I hated everything in my closet. A closet full of clothes, with nothing to wear.

I didn't shave my legs this morning so I had to wear pants and my spring pants options are in short supply. I put on my only pair of khaki's and a form fitting brown print t-shirt, and of course had to check out the backside view. You know the pose--stand with your behind facing the full length mirror with handheld mirror held strategically so you can see how your ass looks.

Holy crap, talk about disappointing. Seriously, there are times when I swear it doesn't look like I've lost a single pound and the size of my behind is exactly the same as it was 50 pounds ago. And this morning in those khakis was a big ole wake up call. My butt needs a lot of work. It is still way too freaking big.

So I stripped everything off, pulled out my brown pants and a white blousy eyelet shirt, and was relieved to see that the darker color and the blousy-ness of the shirt helped camouflage my saddlebags and size of my hips.

It's so hard to know what the reality of your body size and shape are. I'm constantly trying to compare myself to other women--is she bigger than me? am I smaller than her? what does 155 really look like?

We all know the camera lies. Clothing designers utilize vanity sizing (which, personally, I enjoy). And when you see everything through fat-colored glasses, even the mirror doesn't reveal the truth.

I wish I had the nerve to find someone I think is my size, then ask a neutral third party to tell me how we compare.

Maybe that would put these demons to rest at last.

Or maybe I'd be sorely disappointed yet again because, yes, indeed, I am still the bigger girl and exactly as fat as I suspected I am.

The scary part is, that's not really what I'm afraid of. My true fear is that someday I'll reach my dream weight (whatever the hell that is) and I'll still see a fat ass in the mirror, regardless of what size it actually is.

Obviously I have a lot of work still to do on my fat head.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

157.2 - Birthday Cake - 2, Best Intentions - 0

So apparently I have absolutely no control over myself when birthday cake is around. And we had plenty of it around this weekend.

It was a Birthdaypalooza for Miss Sophia, who turned 7 on Sunday. Friday was her party, and of course there was cake (she had a blast--said it was the best party ever). And then on Sunday, Mark got up at 6 a.m. to drive to the Donut Bank Bakery to buy her another cake, because of course there has to be cake on the day of her birth.

I think between the two, I probably ate an entire 1/4 sheet cake. And I'm not kidding.

Cake is one of my trigger foods. And birthday cake especially because, Hey, It's birthday cake! And I only get birthday cake once in a while! And if I don't eat this now, then well will I get it again? Not for months and months! So eat it eat it eat it!!!

I threw out the remains of the cake last night, and took the garbage bag directly to the curb because, seriously? I could have pulled a George Costanza and gone back to the trash can to eat any unsullied cake in a weak moment. Cake is my kryptonite.

Yes, I know, I have a problem. And cake is not the answer.

It's back to normal now, and no one else in the family has a birthday until the end of July. Which is a good thing because it's probably going to take me 2 months to get over the damage I did this weekend.


Friday, May 23, 2008

154.6 - Pizza and the Weekend

Last night we took the kids to a local pizza parlor and ate pizza. This restaurant has the distinction of being the first to bring pizza to Evansville in the 1950s. They know their stuff. They make the thin, cracker-crust style that I really like. And I only eat plain cheese because I like the simplicity of it and don't so much enjoy flavors mixed on pizza (I know, I'm a weirdo). But I ate a lot. So, obviously I gained a bit today.

And I am still sore from my weights class Wednesday and haven't done any more workouts since then.

Tonight is Sophie's birthday party. She will be seven years old on Sunday, May 25th. Her party is a Webkins party. Webkins are stuffed animals that also have an online counterpart. It's crazy how elaborate the website is. And they are all the rage in this age group now, so it's a timely party for Miss Princess Sophie.

Mark is taking her to ride a pony at a stable tomorrow afternoon, and she has no idea. It's his big surprise to her. He likes to get her something special just from him every year.

I bought her another American Girl doll (Josephina, which she asked for) and an outfit for her dolls. This will be her 2nd. They are expensive, so are reserved for the big days like Christmas and birthdays. But she loves her Emily doll, and still fawns over her (the hair on these dolls is like none I've ever never tangles and stays beautiful when you brush it). So it will be a good gift.

The weekend will be fun, with a birthday picnic at the park Sunday after church, then if the weather's nice we'll take the kids to the pool at our gym on Monday.

I'm planning on squeezing in a workout or two in the next three days. I'd like to get back down to 153 next week and start working my way down to the 140s soon. I'd really like to be 145 by the end of the summer.

Tuesday is Sophie's last day of school. I can't believe she's almost done with Kindergarten and will be a 1st grader. My baby's all grows up.

That's about all I have the brain power to deliver right now. I'm tired and grumpy and have so much work to do and don't want to do it. So, let's hear it for a 3 day weekend and some rejuvenation.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

153.6 - Playing Hooky

DH went to see the Indiana Jones movie last night at midnight. He's been waiting for this movie, I think, longer than Harrison Ford.

So today at work he naturally asks me if I want to go see the 11:10 a.m. showing with him. Because of course he needs to see it more than once in 24 hours.

It was fun and I enjoyed it. If you're not an Indiana Jones fan, don't go see it. There's so many references to the other movies that you'll miss a bunch if you don't have that history. It's not the best action movie ever, but my expectations were not very high anyway. So all in all it was a fun way to play hooky.

I was pleased to see a little dip in my weight again this morning.

Sophie has a doctor appointment today at 3 p.m. (a recheck from her ear infection), and I don't know if I'll be making my way to the gym or not. I'm going to leave it open and see how things go.

I've got a ton of stuff to do since I was out of the office for a few hours, so I'll sign off. It's almost Friday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Surprises All Around

Please indulge me for a moment, you non-American Idol fans...

DAVID COOK WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLY COW, I am shocked. He was too, I think. I am such a goober--sat here after the kids were in bed watching AI on the DVR, and I fast forwarded through all the has-beens (I'm assuming some were decent? Who knows, I didn't have time for any of that... give me the envelope, please!) and then watched the results and got tears in my eyes because I am so stinking happy that this person I don't even know now has a brand new life ahead of him.

And I get to be one of his biggest fans (yes, that was me who just downloaded all his AI songs off of iTunes before they were deleted tonight at midnight). He beat Little David by 12 million votes. I was 2 of them. Yay DC!

The other surprise (much less dramatic, but hey it's my blog so I pimp myself here, ya feel me?) was that I got to go to my weights class afterall. We finished with our meeting way earlier than I thought we would, so I ran home, changed, picked up kids, and hit the gym. I was only 5 minutes late, and I stayed another 25 minutes for part of the pilates class afterwards. I am sweetly sore right now.

I will sleep happy tonight.

153.8 - The right direction

I did a little happy dance when I saw my weight this morning. I am heading in the right direction again, at last. I would love love love to be at 145 by the time the DMB concert at the end of July gets here.

BUT, setting time-based weight loss goals is pretty much against my better judgment, because it sucks when you miss the mark and then you feel like a failure, even when you've eaten well and exercised and lost X number of pounds...and I'm against feeling like a failure. So it's not a goal, per se, but a vision of what the future could hold. If I get there, fine. If not, well, hopefully I'll still be in better shape than I've ever been in my life.

I got in a 3 mile run yesterday, and it was one of those "off" runs. I had had trouble getting my breath all day while at the office, and even with my inhaler, I still wasn't breathing right. Running without your lungs functioning correctly is a pain. Not literally, but it was still tough and it was everything I could do to finish 3 miles at an avg. pace of 10:44.

The bugs were still a-plenty at the park where I've been running, and I think it's because the grass is so high out there. Thankfully the park department has been mowing and maybe that will make the buggies move elsewhere. I wore my glasses and didn't have any eye issues, and thankfully none went up my nose or in my mouth. I'm all for extra protein in my diet, but not from the insect world.

Tonight's weight training isn't going to happen. I forgot that we have a client meeting out of town today, and I'll be in the car on my way back when the class happens at 4:30. My right hamstring is achy and something is wonky with the front of my shoulder. Not sure what I did yesterday but it feels like a tendon or something is out of whack.

Oh the joys of getting older.

So, who knows what's on tap for tonight, exercise wise. I'd love to run at night after the kids are in bed, if I've got any energy left. I haven't run under the stars in a while.

***American Idol Rant***
So, it's official--before I even watch tonight's Idol results I know it will be David A. They might as well have given him a crown and scepter last night; it was such a coronation. I was expecting this, but it still bites. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that David Cook at least gets a record deal.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

154.6 - Bug Eyed

'Tis the season to get bugs in the eyes. I went for a run yesterday around 4:30, and it was cloudy so I didn't wear my sunglasses.

That was a mistake. They should also be called "anti-bug glasses" because if I'd worn them, perhaps the 5 bugs that got into my eyes (yes, I'm not kidding, I stopped at least 5 times to pull a bug out of one of my eyes) would have ricocheted off my lenses instead of swimming in my eye juices.

Lesson learned.

It was a good run otherwise. 3.25 miles in 34:34, avg pace 10:38. My short runs have become run fast/walk a bit to recover runs, and I suppose that's okay. I'd like to say I run the whole time, but I really really like running faster--Garmin is telling me I'm running between 8:30's and 9:30's on a regular basis--but I can't keep it up for more than a few tenths of a mile at a time. Then I'll walk a minute or so to catch my breath, and pick it back up again.

Wash, rinse, repeat, until I'm all done.

Even though I am walking quite a bit, I do like that I'm getting some high intensity interval training in. I'm hoping it will help me lose some more poundage.

I was successful in not eating a bunch of crap last night before bed or when I woke up in the middle of the night, and the scale was down a bit today. Now I've just got to keep it up and build some consistency back into my routine, and things will be all good on the food front.

Tonight I'm planning another run--the distance will depend on when I get out of work. Anything is better than nothing. Tomorrow I'm going to do another Group Power weights class. I'm very much looking forward to that.

Monday, May 19, 2008

155.4 - Squishy Buns

Today's weight is a gift after the weekend of food and inactivity I indulged in. It's a gift, but it feels like the kind of gift I should return because it's not quite right. "Thank you, it's lovely and just what I always wanted" (but I'm on my way out the door with the receipt in hand to the return counter).

Because I feel all squishy and like I've replaced some muscle with fat and that's why the scale isn't being cruel, but my body is taunting me with "Ney ney na ney ney, you're still a fattie."

It's time to hit the gym again. And hard.

I only worked out twice last week, and put up a mere 3.5 miles in my running totals. I'd like to blame the weights class that crippled me for 3 days, but I could have worked out Saturday or Sunday. I just didn't. I enjoyed the slothfulness of doing nothing way too much.

Erin over at Lose the Buddha is working out with a trainer, and I am so envious of her progress and her muscle building. (She's also getting married!) She's new to weight training and has generally not liked it, but now she's a convert. What impressed me most was this statement:

Here's the thing: losing weight made me thinner, and it uncovered a whole slew of body image issues I wasn't really prepared for. Lifting weights has shown me something new to try and love about my body, as opposed to hating or feeling self-conscious or apologetic for not taking up as much room anymore.

I feel like the woman in When Harry Met Sally after Sally's fake orgasm scene: "I want what she's having."

Guys, I am so bummed but we aren't going to go to Spain next year. Boohoo! (I know, I'm such a spoiled brat.) It was just getting too expensive with the Dollar in the toilet and flights going for upwards of $1200 a piece. And it's still a year away--who knows what misery the US $ will be going through in 2009. So, darn it, I spoke too soon (even though we did all have an "official" meeting and I was getting super excited over the whole trip) and it looks like we'll do something as a group next summer, but not in Europe.

And, poor Miss Sophie got strep throat, again. She definitely needs her tonsils out because they keep getting attacked. She's on zithromax now, and I hope her body isn't getting majorly screwed up with all the antibiotics she's been on this year. We meet with her doctor Thursday for her ear infection recheck and I'll be asking him about it then. Her ENT appointment isn't until June 9th. It can't get here soon enough.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Oh. So. Sore. and A Bunch of Rambling

Day 2 = pain everywhere. This is why I didn't cross train during my Half Marathon training. Lifting weights hurts for days! I realize that once I've been doing it awhile, I won't hurt so badly. But today, I can barely sit down to pee. And opening heavy doors hurts my chest. And walking up stairs.... oh don't even go there.

Sadly, my abs aren't sore at all. Guess 5 minutes at the end of class ain't gonna do it.

No weigh in today because I had Chinese food last night and I'm not a masochist. I don't want to know how much water weight I'm retaining. Lalalalala--I'm not listening to you, Mr. Scale.

Have a funeral today (my mom's husband's father died, which is sad but he was old and had severe dementia, so it's one of those "it's really a blessing" type of thing), and I'm wearing my black dress from The Limited. I'd forgotten how low cut it was, but oh well. It will give my family something to gossip about, I suppose. I do look mighty cute in it, if I do say so myself.

Tonight my mom is keeping the kids, so DH and I get to have yet another date (we are sure getting those a lot lately). I think we are going to dinner and to see the 2nd Narnia movie.

I will workout Saturday morning, with a run and another Group Power class (if I can move). I'm torn about running tonight because my legs are just shredded. I'm sure once I get going I'd be okay, but really? I'd like to be able to get out of bed tomorrow morning, so my guess is today will be another rest day.

Oh, and I'll have tons more to say about this later, but had to let you guys know--we are going to Spain next summer. With 3 other couples that we hang with. And until our first planning meeting last night (which is when I had the Chinese food) I wasn't that excited about it--because Spain has never been on my list of European destinations that I'm dying to visit, but The Mastermind of the trip decided that's where we all needed to go because none of us would ever go there by ourselves, and we are all a bunch of lemmings and nodded our heads that Yes, Max, we should all go to Spain--but after seeing where we'll likely be staying I am nothing but excited. Plans are still very preliminary, but we are looking at staying in the Catalonia region (which is north of Barcelona), in a farm house in the hills/countryside. When we get a house booked, I'll post it so you can see where we'll be staying. So far, all of them are incredible, and all are at least 15th century (one was even built in the 12th century). Unreal.

It's a whole year away, so thankfully we have time to study up on Spain and, oh yeah, work our asses off so we can afford it. But hey, my ass needs some more worked off of it anyway. I'd like it to be a bit smaller since I'm going to be on a beach next year in SPAIN!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

154.8 - Back to Class

Now that I'm no longer in training for a half marathon, I feel like I can do more than just run (I know, I know, I should have been cross training and all that when I was in training, but the days I had available to workout had to be spent on running just so I could get the miles in).

So yesterday I took a class! At the gym! With other people! Other than the Indy Half Marathon, it was the first time in months and months that I'd done any exercise with other people around (not counting the people on the other treadmills at the gym, because really we're all in our own little world and it's a very solitary environment when everyone is plugged in, which is just fine by me). It was a Group Power class, which is like Body Pump, and is free weights in a group class environment.

It rocked. I loved every minute of it, except for the lunges. I hate lunges. And even though I can do them now with reasonable success, I still hate them with a passion. When I first started exercising and losing weight last spring, I could barely do lunges. Couldn't do them at all with a weight bar on my shoulders--I felt so stupid being the only one in class without weights (it didn't help that I was also the fattest one in the room). So even though I didn't enjoy them yesterday, it was super cool to be able to do them with a bar of weights on my shoulders.

I am reasonably sore this morning. Not so much that I can't sit down to pee (although, who knows how bad it will be tomorrow--day 2 is usually much more painful that the day after), but enough that it hurts a bit to climb stairs.

What the class did for me especially was emphasize how flabby my stomach is. I could do the 5 minutes of ab work at the end of class no problem, but having 60 minutes to examine my body in two mirrors is a recipe for micro examination of all the flabby bits. I did appreciate the strength and fabulousness of my legs, because damn! my quads and calves are in the best shape ever. And I am vain enough to notice that, besides the instructor, I was probably the fittest person in the room (there were only 3 other people besides me, and I'm such a smug ass, because I kept thinking, I bet that instructor can't run 13.1 miles), which of course is a huge change from the last time I set foot in a group exercise class.

Anyway, I need to work on my abs. Pronto. Last year I ran one night in only my sports bras (yes, plural, that's not a typo) and it felt so amazing to be sans shirt in the cool air. I'd never run like that in daylight though, because my stomach is a mess. (It did contain a 7 pound child, twice, so I am willing to cut it a break, but seriously? It's a mess.) But wouldn't it be excellent to have a belly to be proud to bare?

It's the new frontier of fitness.

Bring it on, baby!

Now I've got to dust off my Pilates DVDs and start seriously building my core. Question for you Pilates people--do you work your core like you do any other muscle, giving it a day off between workouts? Or could I do Pilates every morning before work? And yes, I realize I'd have to wake my ass up early to do this every morning before work, but I have goals and dreams. Even I can become a morning person, right?

***American Idol Chit Chat***
Woohoo! David Cook in the finals! Poor Syesha--did you see how they tried to make her crowds look bigger by cropping the camera shots in tight? Her crowds did not compare to the David's. And it was so sweet that they both cried, they were so overwhelmed. I want them both to win next week. I am setting myself up for a David C. loss, because I think David A. is unbeatable. But am consoling myself that 2nd place on Idol does not mean failure, and hoping I'll be buying his first album within the next year. The Idols are coming to Evansville in September, and I would love to go if I could get tickets. But no one I know (besides some of you) is even watching it this year, so I'd have to go by myself. Maybe I can talk my sister into going... she takes pity on me on a regular basis and might go with me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

155.6 - The post that almost was

Holy cow, was it a busy day. But a good one. It looks like a paper plant exploded on my desk, though, I still have so much work to do. It can be really feast or famine in our work (we are self employed), and thankfully we have food on our plates, so to speak, even if it's not quite a feast yet. I worked until 5 and didn't feel like doing the gym thang, so no workouts today. I barely ate all day at work (no time to get lunch, it was that busy) and was mentally fried, which is the perfect recipe for--can you guess it?--McDonald's. At least I had an excuse to get the Southwest Salad for dinner.

Yesterday I almost did something nuts, at least for me. I was this close to changing into my running clothes in my car while parked on the side of the road. I was listening to DMB in the car after dropping off DH to pick his up after it was serviced, and was on my way to get the kids, when the Pavlovian response kicked in and I HAD TO GO RUNNING. I only had like 30 minutes before I had to get Luke and knew I didn't have time to go back to the office to change, and it was just so beautiful I wanted to run outside instead of picking up kids and running inside at the gym.

So I'm hashing out in my head where I could park close to Luke's day care provider's house and change my clothes in the car without being seen. I even thought, Man what a cool blog post that would be (how whacked is that?). I even turned onto a side street where I thought no one would notice, but then I came to my senses and instead drove across the street to a gas station.

Hello, my name is Laura and I have a running problem.

I changed into my running clothes in a gas station bathroom. I tried to pretend I wasn't naked next to the perfume for 50 cents dispenser or the "personal products" machine. And got in and out of my clothes in record time. I bought a bottle of water on my way out so I was a patron and not just some crazy lady with a running problem, then got in my car and drove to Luke's sitters house, parked the car on her street, and ran for 2.15 miles.

It was a short one, but it was pretty fast. It felt great just to move and breathe the fresh air in the sun shine, even if it was only for a little over 20 minutes.

***American Idol Blather***
Oh my goodness, David Cook just made my toes curl. His version of "The first time ever I saw your face" gave me goose bumps. Randy is a complete bonehead for not getting it. That was incredible. I thought Simon was nuts to choose that song (nuts, or decidedly evil), but it was amazing. Damn, that boy is fine.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tan Lines

I've got some funky tan lines on my legs right now.

Which is noteworthy for two reasons.

1) My legs don't usually tan, and I suppose I have Louis Pasteur to thank (yet again) for the light dusting of brown on my gams because the low dose antibiotic that I take for my adult hormonal acne makes me photosensitive. So in addition to clearing up my skin, this miracle drug is saving me money because now I won't have to go to the tanning bed (I know, oh so bad for me, but I'm not going this year, don't worry).

2) The tan lines are from my socks and my shorts because I'm running outside. Do you know how bizarre this is for me? Until last year I didn't do much of anything outside. I don't mow the grass, I don't pull weeds, and I'll plant flowers with my daughter maybe once a year (if she pesters me enough). I always hated to sweat and hated the Indiana humidity and didn't like my hair to wilt in the heat. I love air conditioning--always have. So this running business has had me outside more than I've ever been in my adult life.

And now I have tan lines to prove it.

The ones on my thighs are no big deal, because I'm not into micro-mini's (Stacey and Clinton would have a fit if I were). The sock lines, however, are becoming an issue because it's skirt and short weather now. It looks like I'm wearing light-tan footless tights.

So I've got a dilemma on my hands. Do I (a) embrace the tan lines and wear them proudly as proof of my fine athletic self getting my run on in the great outdoors, or (b) self-tan the heck out of my ankles and feet and try for a match? EDIT: Or (c) Put sunscreen on my legs before I run so I avoid The Tan altogether. Duh.

I have to say, this is a problem I never dreamed I'd have. And with issues like these, who needs therapy?

Notice there's no weight listed today? Um, yeah, that's because it was Mother's Day Weekend and of course that meant dinner out Saturday at our favorite Japanese hibachi restaurant (then dessert at Cold Stone, which I swear I will not visit again until next Mother's Day), bagels for breakfast Sunday, and brunch at Bob Evans (cinnamon pancakes, oh my goodness) after church. I had a salad for dinner Sunday but then pretty much face-dived multiple times into carby crap, for no other reason than my body wanted it because that's what I'd fed it all weekend.

Sooo, today it's back to clean livin', and tomorrow (or the next, depending on whether I think I've surrendered the bloat) I'll weigh in. Thankfully there are no more holidays on the horizon where I'll have carte blanche to overeat.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

156.2 - 10k on the 10th

RBF Nancy hosted another virtual race, which I ran today. DH took the kids to the store (I assume to buy Mother's Day swag, but taking the kids and letting me run is a gift unto itself), and the weather was p.e.r.f.e.c.t. I felt strong and hit the pavement in my new running shoes, which felt fine and didn't hurt my shins at all.

And I think they are making me faster. Check it out:

6.2 miles in 1:07:04
Avg pace: 10:49
Lap 1: 10:15
Lap 2: 10:08
Lap 3: 11:12
Lap 4: 10:56
Lap 5: 10:52
Lap 6: 11:38
Lap 7 (.2 miles): 10:20

I ran another .4 miles to get the rest of the way home and the avg pace was 10:23.

What I feel best about this run is that I pushed myself hard and ran quite a few hills (which are really just long inclines in my part of the world). I was running 9's and 9:30's a lot, and even pushed through to some 8's and 8:30's for short bursts. I drank water just about every mile at a walk, so obviously my miles aren't averaging in the 9:30s.

But I'm gonna get there. I can feel it in my bones.

The post-race party includes a long hot bath and Jen Lancaster's new book. I've got to say, this is one of the best race events I've been a part of. Y'all should join me next time.

Yesterday's food was spot on. 1570 calories, no night snacking, one tiny bite of the kids' pizza, and lots of water. The scale obviously played along with a .8 drop, which I'll gladly take.

Happy Mother's Day all you mama's out there. Hope you get to sleep in.

Friday, May 09, 2008

157.0 - Line in the Sand

Yes, that's right, I'm now up 5 pounds from my "maintain" weight of 152.

And frankly I'm pretty freaked out about it.

I suppose I've been in denial. I've been telling myself that I can eat like a normal person, run and train for a half marathon, and not gain weight. That a couple pounds up is no big deal, it will go back down soon. That a snack or two at night, and a bagel for breakfast a few times a week is no big deal. I'm not scarfing down powdered sugar donuts or Ben & Jerry's or Twinkies (well, I did have two packs of Twinkies a couple weeks ago, but it wasn't a box and it stopped at the two packs). So I should be losing weight and getting back to my designated weight of 152 any day now, right?

WRONG. Turns out, it doesn't work that way. Indiscretions are building upon more indiscretions, and viola! 5 pounds up, and a solid 5 pounds it is. It's not like I was 152 on Monday and now I've got water weight to lose.

And I really don't like it. It sucks that I can't eat like a "normal" person--which is basically what I've been doing--and keep my weight where I want it. It sucks that I wake up and think "Oh, that handful of Chex mix and 4 chocolate kisses I had after dinner shouldn't make a difference in my weigh in, should it?" But it does.

And it sucks that I'm writing everything down again and filling in my little circles in my LAWL exchange book. And it sucks that I've only run one time this week.

And I know it's seriously demented to link my self esteem to the scale like this. But guys, it's not just the scale. I can feel those 5 pounds in my clothes, which is why I'm not deluding myself that it's water weight. And I know I am at a weight that some people would kill to be and I should just stop whining. But, that's not how I roll. I whine, and I'm stomping my foot like a spoiled toddler because this sucks.

All this suckage is wearing me out. I don't like feeling this way. So I'm going to start making myself do the things that make me feel better.

Like eating clean food instead of buying fast food salads every day (today I had a great salad I brought from home). And getting enough sleep. And keeping healthy snacks around instead of junk. And getting back into the gym when the weather's bad, because why the heck am I paying for that membership if I'm not there?

I'm not going to be another statistic and gain back my weight. I am the asterisk (*results not typical). The line's drawn in the sand, and the weight gain stops now.

Of course, tonight we are having 10 kids over to our house while our friends help our friends move, and there will be pizza. So I've got a tough battle to fight tonight. But I am going to win the war.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

156.6 - Rain rain go away

It's been rainy and cloudy and a low pressure system has been hanging over us the past two days, and I am so out of it. I've had a nagging off-and-on headache since yesterday morning, and just feel plain icky.

Last night instead of going to the store to buy groceries--is there anything worse than dragging two kids into a store in the rain, then lugging out and unloading groceries with two kids in the rain?--I went home and ordered Pizza Hut pizza and pasta.

And promptly went from 154.8 on Wednesday to 156.6 today. Good gravy, that's a lot of weight in one day.

I got in a run on Tuesday, a 3 miler around our neighborhood, and it was really nice. I ran my 2nd fastest mile ever (9:33) in mile 1, then finished up the 3 miles in 31 minutes. I'm feeling so cruddy today that I know I need to run, but don't wanna.

I've still got a ton of work to do before I leave for the day. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have time for a bit more yammering.

***American Idol Blather***
I am so glad that Dreadlock Boy got voted off last night. Bless his heart, he's cute as a button but how the heck he made it into the top 4 is beyond me. I have a feeling that David A. is going to win, because he appeals to so many people. But IMO, David C. is so far beyond any of the contestants, he should be a shoo in. My hope is he'll get a record contract regardless of whether he's 1st or 2nd.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

A review of *Half-Assed: a weight-loss memoir*

In the movie You've Got Mail, Meg Ryan tries to decipher what her online crush's handle, NY152, means. Most of what she and Tom Hanks come up with are absurd--Meg: "The number of people who think he looks like Clark Gable." Tom: "152 people who think he looks like a Clark Bar." Then Meg says "152 insights into my soul."

I won't list all 152 insights into my soul that I found in Jennette Fulda's memoir of how she lost half her body weight, Half-Assed: a weight-loss memoir. The insights she has for anyone who's struggled with her weight are dead on. Here are five of my favorites:

"I was waiting for an intervention. Surely if I were drinking myself to death, someone would get my friends and family together, sit me down on the plaid couch in the family room for a good talking-to, then send me off to a nicely landscaped facility for twenty-eight days. Why wasn't anyone ganging up on me because of my weight? I could guess it was only because weight is inexorably entwined with identity. Drinking and smoking are things that you do. Fat is something you are."

"I could accept myself and be working to change myself at the same time. I knew it would be only when I truly accepted myself that real change would be possible."

"All this healthy living was starting to make me feel alive. I'd never even realized I felt half dead."

"So many women focused solely on the weight loss, their self-esteem wobbling with every movement of the scale. I preferred to think like an athlete, feeding my body what it needed and pushing it to its limits, and the weight loss tended to follow. I needed to do what I was doing because I loved it."

"I'm on permanent probation. I'll be making weekly check-ins with my parole officer forever. His office is my bathroom floor and his face displays three numbers. He lets me walk all over him. If I stop exercising and stop eating right, I will go back to fat prison. There is no leniency"

If you're a fan of The Pasta Queen, then you know she's funny. Most days, you'll find a metaphor from Jennette on her website worthy of spewing coffee all over your laptop from laughter. And the book is no exception. I laughed out loud a lot, which burned some calories and added days to my life, I'm sure.

But there's so much more than laughter to be found here. Indeed, by the last chapter I had tears in my eyes because, as sappy as it sounds, I'd felt like I'd been taken along on a journey of self-discovery. Which, as you all most likely know, in Jennette's case has a happy ending.

Only it doesn't end. That's what's so great about reading a book by a current blogger. You get to really know this person--inside and out, the good bits and the bad--and instead of being bummed that you've finished the book and you have to end the relationship with the courageous heroine, you don't. You can log onto her website and pick up where she left off.

So if you haven't yet, you should buy her book. You can even buy an autographed copy.

It's not a self-help book and it's not an instruction book. You won't find any diet tips or recipes or "You can do it!" exclamation-point encouragements. And, as Jennette herself even says, just because she did it doesn't mean you can too.

But it's a great read, and if you've ever struggled with food or your weight, you're sure to find the other 147 insights into your own soul, too.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

155.4 - Quicky Quick

So swamped. Have no time at all for me and it's driving me crazy.

Sophie is better--no dizzyness since Saturday, thank God. I took her to the doctor yesterday and she has a massive ear infection and strep throat (doc put her on augmenten). This is her 4th or 5th bout of strep this year (I've lost count, she's been sick so much), and so we are taking her to see an ENT on June 9th about getting her tonsils out. Her pediatrician asked if she snores, and she does a little, so he's guessing the ENT will look at her adenoids too. I'll be glad she'll be done with sore throats, and glad it's happening over the summer, but bummed she has to go through this. Oh well, tonsils get taken out all the time. She's with me at the office today and will go back to school tomorrow.

Food has been okay except for my ever-present problem of night time eating. I need a hypnotist or something. Seriously. Why I have no control over myself at night is beyond me at this point.

My legs are feeling much better today, and I might get to run tonight if DH can stay home with the kids.

Tomorrow, please be sure to come read my review of Jennette Fulda (aka The Pasta Queen)'s book Half Assed. I'm on her blog book tour. Coolio!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Indianapolis Half Marathon Race Report

Prerace-The Best Laid Plans
It wasn't in my Friday plans to take Luke to the doctor, but that's where we were at 9:10 a.m. His eyes and nose have been a mess all week, even after the antibiotics and pink eye drops. We thought it best to check him out before we left him with my mom for the night, so off to the doctor we went. Diagnosis: allergies. Zyrtec and a couple samples of Rx eye drops, and he's all set.

It also wasn't in my plans to leave 2 hours later than scheduled, but that's what happened. Client issues got in the way, and we didn't hit the road until 2 p.m. CST, which was 3 p.m. Indy time. We had hoped to get into Indy early enough to have a nice pasta dinner with my niece Kate's family, but leaving late meant we'd get left overs around 7 p.m.

It further wasn't in my plans to drive through crashing rain and thunderstorms, but that's what I did for 3 hours (the last hour was clear, hallelujah). It rained so hard I couldn't see a few times, but mostly it was just relentless rain and passing semi-trucks in the white-knuckle driving position.

Additionally, it wasn't in my plans to spend the night at a hotel. About 2 hours into the drive, I get a call from Kate that her son Matthew has the stomach flu, and while we were still welcome to stay at her house, she said, it was at our own risk. We thought it best to stay at a hotel and let Matthew recover without house guests and avoid the possibility of getting ourselves sick. Thankfully the Doubletree still had a room for us.

And, to top it all off, my sister-in-law (who is Kate's mom and was in Indy for Kate's daughter Julia's piano recital Saturday afternoon) who was staying at the Doubletree seriously sprained her foot in the hotel pool. When we got to the hotel, Nancy was laid up and in serious pain, contemplating a trip to the hospital. So we ate a carry out pasta dinner (which Kate brought over to the hotel around 8:30 p.m. and was actually super delicious) in her and her husband's room.

We wished everyone a good night and bemoaned our upsidedown day, and hoped for good sleep.

Of course, I barely slept. I woke up and looked at my watch every few hours, and when 4 a.m. finally arrived, I was relieved rather than upset it was so early.

Race Day--All is Right with the World
The rain the day before had hit Indy during the night, and we totally expected to be running in soggy shoes. But it turned out to be a glorious day--mid/high 50s, cloudy at the start, blue skies and sunshine and a cool breeze to finish.

I was showered and fueled and ready by 5 a.m. my time (6 a.m. Indy time), when Kate picked me up. We picked up her friend Mary, drove downtown and found a parking spot relatively easily, and by 7:05 we were walking to the start. Kate and Mary were in corral F, and because I had registered in August of 2007 and must have entered a really slow finish time, I ended up in corral U. I left Kate & Mary at their corral and walked blocks and blocks through crowds of people to get to U.

While making my way there, I got a call from Jennette, who was in corral S so I didn't get to run with her. I hung around in the corral and knew I was in the wrong starting corral when I heard a woman in front of me say "As long as we finish in 3:08, we'll be okay." But, hey, I figured I'd at least be doing the passing instead of being passed.

The race started at 7:33 and we all just stood there. Eventually we started moving, and I was panicked because I had to pee and didn't know when that was going to happen. I made my way over to the left side of the herd of people and started looking for portapotties. At corral R, there were a bank of them with no lines, so I jumped out, did my business, and got back in the herd. That was a huge lucky break, getting to go before I crossed the starting line.

Which I finally did about 25 minutes after the race began. The first 2 miles I spent dodging people. This is the biggest half marathon in the country--35,000 people registered. I think I passed at least 10,000 of them. Not really, but there were a lot of us runners who dodged walkers in the early part of the race. But I didn't mind. The weather was perfect and I spent a great deal of my time thanking God it wasn't raining on us.

Miles 3, 4 and 5 were really decent. I was in a zone, happy to be there, listening to Dave Matthews, and falling into a comfortable 10:45-11:00 pace. Around mile 5 I took an energy gel, and psyched myself up for the 500 racing track. I also used a portapotty quickly, since there was no line and I needed to go again.

When we made our way to the entrance of the track, the sun came out. I'd been running about an hour and still felt strong. I'd worn my sunglasses (I bought them at the running store a few weeks ago and they are excellent for running) and I was glad because the sun was bright and shiny in the 9 a.m. sky. I did have some groin pain around mile 6, which was weird because I'd never had pain there before, but thankfully it went away pretty quickly and wasn't an issue.

The entrance to the track was a steep downhill, then a steep (but short) uphill. By then a lot of people were walking, but I stayed strong and kept on running, even though I slowed a bit. The track is about 2.5 miles of the course, and they were some of the best miles of my life. The asphalt is smooth as glass, a road runner's dream surface. It was a big party out there, with people stopping to take pictures of each other in front of the finish line on the Indianapolis 500 Track. I got such a high out of this historic nature of the course I was running on, and I'm not even a NASCAR fan. And since these were miles 6.5 - 9, I had also hit my runner's high and felt pretty amazing.

When we left the track, I still felt good and knew I was on track to finish within 2 hours and 30 minutes, and thought I could even beat that time. I took another energy gel, and then hit a water station soon after. I had been stopping at the water stations about every other mile, and at all the Gatorade stations (there were 3 I think). With only 4.1 miles to go and with no aches, pains, or cramps, I still felt strong and dare I say it, fairly cocky about my ability to perhaps finish running in the 10:30s.

But, alas, of course I hit a wall around mile 11. My longest training run was 10 miles, so I was in uncharted territory. The water station at mile 11 just about did me in. When I slowed to walk and drink, it took a heck of a lot to start running again. I knew, though, that if I didn't pick it up again, I'd fight not to walk the last 2 miles, and that just wasn't going to happen.

And those last 2 miles were some of the toughest of my life. It was one of the prettiest parts of the course--with downtown Indy in the distance, and the White River on our left side. There was a wind off the river which helped cool the strong rays of the sun. But, it was also a gradual incline (not a hill, but a long incline nonetheless). And with the wind, it made those last miles tougher than they probably had to be.

That was where the run became all mental. I kept telling myself, if it was easy everyone would do it. It's not a Half "Marathon" for nothing. You are a runner, you are going to finish this race running. By the last mile, I basically separated my mind from my body. It's like when you play piano and your fingers do the playing from memory, and you don't have to think at all. Your fingers just play the piece for you. That's what my body did. It ran the race for me.

I took out my earphones for the last half mile so I could hear the cheers from the crowd. And I complained out loud "Who put this stinking hill at the finish?" because we hit yet another long incline.

But it was all good. I crossed the finish running, without pain, and with a big smile on my face and my arms in the air, fingers in a "V," the typical cliche. It was a cliche I was happy to be.

I actually ran a total of 13.37 miles because of all the weaving and zig zag running I had to do to pass people. And by my Garmin, I did 13.1 miles in 2:25. And I did 13.37 in 2:28 with an average pace of 11:04. My best mile was my first, 10:37. The slowest mile was mile 12, 11:45. But I finished strong, the last .37 miles were at a 10:37 pace.

Post Race--The Let Down
I ran with my cell phone, which I always do, and as soon as I got a decent distance from the finish line I called Mark, excited about finishing within my goal time and all in one piece. After he congratulated me, he broke the news that Sophie had had a terrible dizzy spell that morning, had thrown up twice, and was immobile in bed with the curtains drawn. My happy bubble burst, and all I could do was grab a banana, a bottle of water, my finishing medal, and head for the portapotties, while I talked with my daughter and ached to be with her. They had watched the race coverage on TV at the hotel, and she said she thought she had seen me on TV. Whether she did or not, it was a comfort to her, I think, to be a small part of my race. She had wanted to call me when she got sick, but thankfully Mark was smart enough not to spoil it for me, since there was nothing I could have done anyway.

I called my niece Kate, who finished in under 2 hours (SHE ROCKS! This super star ran an average 9:09 pace). She had just heard from her husband that Sophie was sick (the husbands were supposed to get the kids together and come downtown, but of course that didn't happen with all the sickness going on), and she and I figured out how to find each other. I also called Jennette and left her a voicemail that I was sorry I would have to miss the book release party. We had very little time after the race to mingle, so I also didn't have time to find Jennette in the melee of people. And all I could do was worry about Sophie anyway. I didn't even have my official photo taken afterwards.

(Jennette called me later while I was in the car on the way back to the hotel, and she was super gracious and understanding about me not being able to come to her party. It truly was one of the biggest disappointments ever that I didn't get to go. You all know how much I love the Pasta Queen, and I wanted to be part of her book release party so much. I'm getting all teary just thinking about it!)

We dropped off Kate's friend Mary, had Mary's husband take our picture, and then drove to the hotel. Sophie was miserable but such a sweetheart. I gave her my medal, and told her she could keep it because she was such a trooper and I dedicated the race to her.

We managed to get home (I've been long winded enough, I won't go into the gory details), and by late afternoon Sophie was a lot better. Saturday night I was just exhausted and slept like a rock.

The Day After
So here it is, the day after I ran the longest distance of my life, and I feel great. My quads and hams are achy, but not bad. My knees, hips, feet, and joints are all fine, and I am in awe of what my body did yesterday. I am already planning on running this race again next year, and Kate and I talked this morning to commiserate and are planning to stay downtown at the Westin and do this thing the relaxed way in 2009. It will be good prep for Kate, who's planning on running her first marathon in Chicago in 2009. And it will be a motivation for me to keep training and improving (and losing more weight) so I can run faster. At least I'll be seeded next year--she said if you break 2:30, you get to be seeded. No more U corral for me!

I'm still in my PJ's, still not unpacked, taking care of my little girl who's no longer dizzy but has a 101* fever and a sore throat (this is one of the few patterns we've found with her dizzy spells--a fever/sore throat either precedes or follows them). At least she's not dizzy and perhaps it's a short one. We'll know more in the following days.

And I'm eating whatever I want today (donuts, cinnamon rolls, and a bagel, oh my!), and tomorrow I'm going to begin another season of weight loss. I've got another half marathon in Evansville in October I want to run, and I want to be 10 pounds lighter and, dare I dream it, 10 minutes faster the next time I run 13.1 miles.

The next time I run 13.1 miles. That's got a beautiful ring to it.

HM Pictures

Before the race: two t-shirts, no make up, very little sleep, but tons of enthusiasm and excitement.

Me, Kate, and Kate's friend Mary, after the race in Mary's front yard.

Isn't that a cool finisher's medal? The tires on the car actually turn.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Indy HM Results

I DID IT! 13.1 miles.

Here are the official results. Garmin was quite a bit more generous, but I'll report the official times on this quick post.

5M Split-- 54:53
10M Split-- 1:53:37
Finish Split-- 2:29:29
Pace-- 11:25

I'll have a full race report later, hopefully Sunday. I will report the disappointing news--I didn't get to meet Pasta Queen or go to her book party, because Sophie had a dizzy spell (complete with vomiting and massive vertigo) while I was at the race, and we had to leave as soon as I got back. At least DH didn't call me while I was running to let me know and I got to run the race in blissful ignorance.

It was a doozie of a weekend, but at least the race was AWESOME. More later......

Thursday, May 01, 2008

154.0 - HM is 2 days away and I'm a mess

So the Race is less than 48 hours from now, and at this point I can't even think about the 13.1 miles ahead of me. I'm so preoccupied with all the stuff I have to do to get out of town and on the road. I don't handle travel well, I guess. I get so stressed about all that has to be packed (which seems like a ridiculous amount for such a short time period) and all that has to be done at the house and for the kids before we leave.

Like kenneling the dog. I almost forgot about her, until my hairdresser asked me Monday at my haircut how was the puppy and what are we doing with her while I'm at the race? Good grief, I'd completely forgotten about Lucy. Thankfully the Puppy Hotel has room for her (normally she will stay with family but they are going out of town too, so this is our only alternative).

Anywho, I won't list all the stupid details. Suffice it to say, I'll probably be exhausted before we even get in the car to drive 4 hours to Indy tomorrow.

DH is letting me take tomorrow off completely, so at least I'll have the morning to finish getting everything ready. We plan to leave for Indy around noon, and since they are an hour ahead of us, we'll get there around 5 p.m. Just in time to unpack, eat, talk, and hopefully fall asleep at a decent hour.

Because I have to wake up at 4 a.m. (my time) on Saturday morning. Which is insane. I don't do mornings, and I certainly don't do wee hour of the morning mornings. I am praying adrenaline will carry me through. Next year if I run this race, I am staying downtown so I don't have to wake up so ridiculously early.

I ran my last run of the week yesterday, 3 miles at a decent 11:15 min/mile avg. I tried to keep my pace around what the half should be, so I could "feel" how fast I should be running. I have a hard time staying consistent, which really I don't care about that much. If I have to walk, I'll walk a bit. I just don't want to wear myself out and go too fast early on, and I know I'll have to consciously slow myself down at the beginning of the race.

The 3 miler wasn't nearly enough for me, mentally. I'm beginning to understand Wendy's frustration at not being able to run a long run. I have been in a funk since the weekend (freaking PMS hormones, I hate them), and it's not letting up. The best I've felt in days was that hard 2 miles on the treadmill Monday. Then yesterday, when I was finally starting to feel good, I had to stop because my 3 miles were up and that's all my training plan said I should do. And I was bummed I couldn't run any more and didn't get my hit of endorphins.

I suppose it's a sign that running truly has infected me, through and through.

Finally, and I'm sorry to ramble but that's just where my mind is today, I am freaked at the possibility of not being able to run with my iPod. Earphones are BANNED at this race, because it's an "official" race of some sort, and I knew this and have always known this, but have trained in denial and somehow think I will be able to sneak them in and run with them anyway. That's my plan, and I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it's not going to be enforced too strictly. There will be over 30,000 people there. Why would they care if a back of the packer has little tiny ear buds? I don't know what I'll do without Dave running with me.

This will probably be my last post until after the race. My bib number is 10969--how's that for a great number?

Oh! And guys, this is so cool. I'm probably going to get to run with Jennette Fulda, aka the Pasta Queen, aka the author of Half Assed (which I'll be reviewing on May 7th as part of her blog book tour). Jennette and I run almost the exact same pace, and we've exchanged cell phone numbers, and I'm hoping we can find each other in the field of human bodies that will be this race. Even if I don't see her at the race, I'm going to her book party Saturday afternoon. What a fabulous day it's going to be.