Monday, January 24, 2011

51st Year Bucket List

This weekend was my birthday weekend, always a time of reflection and cake. The following week is always a little avoiding my reflection because of all that cake. But, trust me, I am not complaining.

Last year was the first of the 50’s, and I had plenty of ups and downs. Cruised through the beginning of the year like a champ, didn’t feel a day over 32. The second half of the year, however, brought a darker side. Doing that whole “what have I done with my life…and why didn’t I become who I thought I could be” thing. Had a little help shining the light on my faults, flaws and failings, which was more uncomfortable that I expected it to be, but I guess it has to be done; to keep one in check, to make one humble. Don’t know and didn’t like it much.

But this is a New Year! I LOVE having a birthday in January; you get two Start-Overs in just a few weeks. The New Year’s Start-Over is where EVERYONE starts over…and rapidly falls back into the old routine. Birthday Week is the gateway to Start Over, Part 2, so I just consider New Years a trial run. This year, my Start Over consists of a bucket list. Not THE bucket list, where you list your life “wanna’s”, but a 51st Year Bucket List.. Not to be confused with 31 flavors, but I bet I can make room for them somewhere on my 51st Year Bucket List..

Below are the buckets I will empty throughout the next year. I reserve the right to add to or subtract from my 51st Year Bucket List.

1 Finish Reading Sheila’s Book—I’ve borrowed it now for several years
2 Return Sheila’s Book
3 Two words—Size Six
4 Retrieve Beryl’s Dog’s Ashes
5 Scatter Beryl and his Dog and his Mom.
6 Run an 8k
7 Buy a Tom Petty Album (I say that every time I hear a Tom Petty song)
8 Download the last three year’s pictures from my camera
9 Wear more Monkey Hats
10 Feed the birds
11 Plan less, do more
12 Drink 40 ounces of water daily. Before dinner
13 Drop 8% body fat.
14 Eat more bacon (while dropping 8% body fat, I like a challenge)
15 Get a new bell for my new cruiser bike
16 Wear pearls with Jeans. Often
17 Write an old fashioned letter. And send it.
18 Get a Patty Mills Shirt
19 Run a10k (joggle, who am I kidding. I don’t run)
20 Listen to Rubber Soul more often
21 On nice days, do things OUTSIDE
22 Don’t stress out about not doing everything on my 51-Bucket List
23 Finish Beer Table Project (see #11)
24 Bike the new Banks to Vernonia trail. Ring Bell often (see #15)
25 Write a review for Joe Kurmaskie’s book Mud, Sweat and Gears (LOVE this book)
26 Take a class. With my dog.
27 Try different flavors of ice cream (31 flavors here I come)
28 File away the monthly receipts sometime before the end of the next month
29 Give my employer fewer hours a day
30 Give my family, my dogs and myself more hours a day
31 See all best Picture Nominees this year. Except the ones that I don’t (10 of them this year, that’s just crazy)
32 Go on more lunch time walks with Mary Whitcher
33 Send the birthday cards early enough to make it there on or before the birthday
34 Spend less time making to-do lists

So there you have it. You may have noticed that I did not promise to be a better person, nor did I add anything about wearing a dress or high heels. I figure there’s no sense in adding things I just can’t do (see #22). Happy Start Over, friends!

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Seven Dwarves of Stress

What does stress do to a person? It sucks the life out of you. It makes even fun things seem like chores. It takes the joy out of your every day. I sure thought this year was going to feel different, that I was going to run like the wind, sing like a bird, laugh like a kid after a soda and some cotton candy and some cap'n crunch. But stress swooped in and talked me into losing sight of what life is really all about.

Well dammit, that’s enough. I’ve had it up to HERE with the Seven Dwarves of Stress: Mopey, Cranky, Edgy, Forgetful, Achy, Gloomy and Fat. Be gone with you stinking nasty Seven Dwarves of Stress. I don’t like you, have never liked you. GET OFF MY RIDE!

There, that’s better. Now I know they will creep back in, they are truly the sneakiest of bastards, but I’m going to give them a real fight. I began the chase earlier this week when Achy took over my neck and back and shoulders and knocked me flat. Boy howdy, that flat makes me mad. Who died and made Achy the king of my life? Be gone with you Achy! With the help of the Magic Dr. Simon and a little new awareness of how STRESS can rule your life, I do believe that Achy is soon to be history. Grrrrrr. Achy better be afraid.

Started (yes, started, give me a break) my running life again this month, before Achy came to visit. And you know what I have rediscovered? The best way to out run the Seven Dwarves of Stress is to run. Okay, walk and go faster and joggle in all the jiggly places (damn that Fat Dwarf), but just get that wiggle on. When I’m breaking a sweat, I seem to be breaking up with the SDoS. So I am coming back to my life; making the time for me and my real friends, the Seven Sisters: Silly, Funny, Hopeful, Noisy, Lively, Lovey and Totally Bitchin’. Oh how I love Totally Bitchin’.

Those are my dogs. Max and Kate. They are going to help me banish Fat and embrace Totally Bitchin'.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Some habits are hard to break. Or is it that some habits are hard to start. I do believe I wrote something about updating my blog in between events….oh well. It’s Shamrock Season already!

To celebrate the loss of an hour of sleep, we got up well before dawn to join the 20,999 other people who are inclined to spend a Sunday running around Portland. Dressed in Green. The 2010 Shamrock Run was the total opposite of 2009 which was a monsoon complete with screaming wind, biting rain and running shoes that took a week to dry. 2010 was cold, crisp, clear and a perfect morning for a run with your friends.

Since this was my 2nd year, I thought I had the lessons down pat. Pee first, run second. Carry the tiny camera. Ditch the hat, but tie back the hair. That was the plan. It took us much longer to get into town this year since the train wasn’t running as often for some crazy reason. And since we had been waiting for so long, we jumped on the first train that came along. Unfortunately this was NOT the train that runs next to the course. Who knew? When did they put in THAT set of tracks? At least we weren’t alone. Standing room only, elbow to nose. I’m short. Once we stopped it was a mad dash down to the race start, stopping at the honey bucket along the way. As we neared (NEARED) the porta-potty, heard them start the countdown for the race. So instead of getting to pee, had to get my extra clothes off and run back to the staging area. As I ditched my clothes, also forgot all about the tiny camera and something to tie back my hair. Check out this hair:

In spite of my planned zen-like start gone awry and once again running on a full bladder, I had a FABULOUS run, uh, joggle. I set no speed records, but I kept my wiggle on the whole way. Nearing the top of the Broadway Miserable Mile (uphill then a little more uphill, rewarded with some more uphill) I almost gave in. Was THIS CLOSE to taking a little breather, figured no one would even notice if I walked just a tiny tiny bit to catch my breath (heart rate 170)….when a little person passed me. Maybe 7 years old. With legs MUCH shorter than mine. Sigh, huff, puff, motor on. I think I saw a buzzard up above circling, but I faked him out. Decided to carry on, not become carrion. Then came the downhill dash to the finish. Well, dash might be too strong a word. Once again, the husband was on hand to prove that I made it on my own two legs:

With a race of this size and starting in the back of the pack, even a pokey puppy like me has to maneuver around and through people and sometimes feels like you’re going so slowly that you’re running in place. Not complaining, however. It’s a great morning when you see such a wide variety of regular folks out doing something good for their bodies and good for their souls. When I was younger, it never even crossed my mind to do this running thing unless I was chasing after the ice cream truck or running away from responsibility. Now that I am old, hoping to show others my age that it can be done. We don’t have to give away our mobility. We don’t have to stand on the sidelines and watch. We can be the movers, shakers, doers. And trust me, I get lots of shaking going on. And there are rewards:

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Chubby Girl looks at 50

Back in the running shoes once again. I stepped on the scale last week and found an extra six pounds hitching a ride into the new year. Damn the egg nog and rum and nuts and candy and fudge and cookies and lack of motivation to get out there and get my wiggle on.

I’m one of those people that BELIEVES that the new year brings a fresh start. And I am always just a little disappointed when the new year ends up being just a continuation of the old one. This is going to be a big year for me: I turn 50 in just a few short weeks. FIFTY. I am in shock that THIS is what 50 feels like. I thought by this time in my life I’d know all the answers, be settled, be rich, be old. Well, none of those seem to be true. I have more questions every day. Unsettled seems to be my middle name. My retirement dollars are more like retirement cents. And I refuse to act or be my age.

Last year I completed several 5k’s and enjoyed the last one just as much as the first one. I do not love the act of running, I love the act of finishing. I love the feeling that I started and finished something. I love the sweat and the wild hat hair. I love that my goofy husband follows me to these runs and takes the pictures to prove that his aging wife is refusing to grow up. I am lucky in many ways. I have good health, fabulous friends, bad dogs and the sense to appreciate all of the above.

So this year, I hope to blog a little more often. I’ve noticed that I generally write when I have an EVENT. Life is not just about the EVENTS, it is about the day to day, the ups and downs, the smiles and the tears. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Happy 2010. Let’s make it a TEN!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Here I sit. I may not get back up for awhile. Today I ran in the Portland Race for the Cure with 40,000 of my closest friends. That’s not an official count, but it seemed to be about that many from my perspective. It was a stunningly beautiful morning for a party and I’m glad I was there.

My goal was to run the 5k twice, then walk the last 5k with my friends. Can I tell you I had nightmares? All night I kept waking up to see if I was sick (OMG how will I run with the flu?) or if I had overslept (OMG what happens if I wake up at 7:00 and miss the whole thing?). But I wasn’t and I didn’t.

The first 5k was great fun; I was pretty focused and only stopped to take a few pictures. I kept motoring along and thought that maybe I was on pace to run this one faster than any previous race. Okay, I am using the word ‘faster’ very loosely. I should say ‘less slowly’ instead. But I was doing fine. Until the train. Amtrak. I have the pictures to prove it. I will admit that it was nice to have a moment to catch my breath, but really had to get my wiggle on as soon as it passed

Rob, the ever patient husband, snapped my picture at the finish line. I haven’t seen it yet, but I trust that I am looking a little damp. I am looking forward to seeing my final time; Once again, I forgot to push the stop button on my watch. After a short break for water and tinkle, I headed back to the start line for Race #2.

If the first race was fun, race #2 was SPECTACULAR. This race was all women and there were more talkers and visitors on this run. These women were out for the socializing and a good time. Sigh, my kinda people. I took LOTS of pictures and made LOTS of stops and chatted with LOTS of women. It was so fun. It was more relaxed and I was no longer afraid that I was going to puke in the street. And nothing hurt.

Rob got another picture of me crossing the finish line. Haven’t seen that one either, but I bet I look relieved. After a brief banana and water break, it was back onto the course to find Mary, Andrea and Meri.

I had to run to catch up with them, so got in just a little more running (and lived to tell about it) before hooking up with them about a mile in. There were SOOOOOO MANY people on the walk you could hardly see pavement. Men, Women, boys, girls, babies and a few dogs, all walking for the same reason: Cure this Cancer. It was very emotional at times. I am very lucky that my friend Mary survived her tangle with the cancer and I was honored to be walking with her. Rob got a picture of her crossing the finish line as well. I am very proud of her.

So I did it. I did all three legs. My butt muscles are sore and my feet are tired, but I did it and managed to wave and smile and WOOOHOOO most of the way. I’ll get some pictures posted soon, but now I must go watch some football and have a reward beer.

Thank you to everyone who donated to my race…and thank you to those that are still planning to donate. Our work is not yet done. Joggle On!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bandon 5k

On my post inApril I wrote something about having a dream where I had a 5k and didn’t train. Well part of that dream came true and I lived to tell about it. We were camping in Bandon this spring when I saw an ad for a local 5k…I fretted all week about whether I should, or could, do it. It said something about ‘a challenging course’ along the beach and through Bandon. I don’t know about you, but walking on the sand is a little more than I can handle sometimes, so RUNNING on the sand sounded a little out of my league.

Just in case I decided to do it, I went for a test run with Kate, the big poodle. On Tuesday, we made it about a mile, mile and a half. I swallowed a bug part way and spent the rest of the run hacking up bug parts. Really thinking I wasn’t up for this.

Wednesday we made it two miles, no bugs. Kate wasn’t too sure she wanted any part of this. Just so you know. Thursday we made it three miles. Kate wouldn’t make eye contact with me after that. But hey, I’m thinking maybe…

Friday night, still not sure what I was going to do. Went to bed and figured I’d have some sort of sign on Saturday morning. Did I mention the run was on Saturday morning? Well, I finally decided what the heck…no one knows me there and if I had to sit down part way and have the husband come pick me up off the sand, then it would be my little secret. Well, Saturday morning dawned calm and clear. I had no choice. Was powerless.

OMG can I tell you I had the best time ever. I’ll try to make this short, but even thinking back about it, I get all excited all over again.

A small town 5k is a WHOLE lot different than a Portland 5k. Instead of 20,000 of my closest friends, I think there might’ve been 200..including spectators. I was worried at first I was the only old chubby gal, but there were all kinds of people, young, old, skinny, not so skinny, fast, slow…it was so cool.

I took off joggling in a little tiny pack, and most of the pack left me behind. That’s okay by me. I joggled down the boardwalk, along the jetty road and then turned onto the beach. Hey, sand’s not so bad! The view was spectacular, the tide was coming or going or whatever it does that early on a Saturday morning and I got to wave at little kids walking on the beach with their folks. I totally dig waving when I run, takes my mind off whatever body part is swaying at the time.

After we crossed the beach we came upon the STAIRS. These STAIRS were quite possibly the longest set of beach STAIRS I have ever seen. And I discovered that joggling muscles are totally different than STAIR muscles. So by the time I got to the top of the stairs, my joggling muscles were ready to take over again. I really thought that by the top of the stairs I would have to sit, so was surprised when I was still motoring forward.

I have to tell you a story…I was joggling along the beach stretch and WAYYYY ahead of me was a gal, in other words, I was WAYYYYY behind her. And I was pretty steadily WAYYYY behind her. I was totally stoked when I caught up with her at the top of the stairs. I could hear the Chariots of Fire music playing in my head and I was joggling in slow motion, really, was probably joggling in very slow motion. But it was cool and I felt very tough. I had almost as much fun climbing those stairs as I did joggling along the beach. Climbing stairs is a lot like running for me…I’m very glad when both are over.

Anyway, we finished the run together; she was my new best friend that day. As we huffed and puffed along the bluff, you could see forever. I’m sure this is the prettiest 5k course in the state. As we came into town, there was a cop car on the corner. When we slowly joggled by, he was very kind and told us that we were going so slow that we didn’t even register on his radar. Dude. I’m old.

I can’t tell you how much fun it was. Okay, I could but it would take a lot more typing and I don’t think anyone wants to read all of those words. But feel free to drop me a line and I’ll tell you all about it. Really I will.

BUT WAIT, there’s more. I got a ribbon. Seriously. And I have the picture to prove it. I got 3rd in my age group. YES! Okay, there were probably only 4 in my age group, but you can’t take my ribbon away from me for that.

So the moral of this story is: Just do it. Get out of bed on Saturday morning and do something you’ve never done before. Make new friends. Get your wiggle on.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring has not Sprung

The calendar says spring, the rain on the window says ‘not quite yet’. After a few days of sunshine a week ago, it’s back to gray and wet and cold. This totally diminishes my urge to go outside and joggle. Kate, the world’s largest poodle, doesn’t even want to joggle in this mess.

I had a dream last night that I decided to run a 5K without any training. It was a very vivid dream, I could hear the other runners, felt the rush of excitement as we started to move forward as a giant clot of runners, felt the burn in my shins and lungs as I started up the long slow hill on Broadway. I told you it was vivid. I woke up before the finish, but I did manage to get past the hill and start on the downhill part of the run. My gut tells me that I need to get back in the shoes and set another goal and pick another race or I will NEVER get to cross another one of those finish lines. I totally dig finishing a run.

This past week I joined the Health Challenge at work. My personal goal is to lose 15 pounds, so I am back on the Weight Watchers plan. I am not so good at doing the DIET thing, which is why the Weight Watchers is right up my alley. I can still eat and drink what I want, just more mindful of how much I am actually putting into my mouth. I like the fact that I can “cheat” on this plan by using Activity Points to offset my Food Points. Even though I haven’t strapped on the running shoes in a week, I’ve been still getting a wiggle on with some very brisk walks with friends, some of whom are also doing the Health Challenge. And pushups. I like pushups.

One of the new challenges I’m doing is the
One Hundred Pushups Challenge. It fits into my overall plan to do pushups on a regular basis and seems do-able…similar to the Couch to 5k. If you break it down into small enough pieces, you can actually accomplish it. I think I’ll actually aim to go through it twice; first will be the 100 on the knees girlie pushups, the next will be the 100 tough gal pushups. Thought it was funny that one of the ads on the Push Ups Challenge website was for PushUp Bras. I guess if I had big enough boobs I wouldn’t have to push up so far…would already be half way there!

So here’s to staying healthy, getting more fit, dropping 15, and then dropping and giving 100. And maybe spring will actually show up soon.