Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Action Is Eloquence --Shakespeare

This is the first of my "success" cards.

According to Merriam-Webster's on-line dictionary:

Action is defined as:
4) An act of will.
5a) A thing done; 5b) the accomplishment of a thing, usually over a period of time, in stages, or with the possibility of repetition.

Eloquence is defined as:
1) Discourse marked by force and persuasiveness.
2) The quality of forceful or persuasive expressiveness.

We've all heard, "He's all bark and no bite." It usually means that the animal (human and otherwise) is perceived as harmless because he doesn't back up his yapping with any action. In the case of people, speaking and saying things without following through is nothing but noise. It's ineffectual.

It is one thing for me to say, "I need to lose weight." It is quite another for me to actually lose the weight. But I can't do that without taking the necessary steps. If all I ever do is parrot, "I need to lose weight, I need to lose weight," then I may be perceived as incapable and/or frivolous. My words are pointless, because I don't follow through.

It is only by doing that I can persuade others that I say what I mean and I mean what I say. If all I do is talk about it, then I'm just known as one who is "all talk and no action." But if I back up my bark with some bite, by putting my words into action, the results become obvious. What better way to show someone a thing can be done by simply doing it? What better form of persuasiveness, even eloquence, is there?

With that idea, I'll leave you with these words that are so profound to me, that I have included them in my sidebar since I started this blog:

"Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do,
begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it."

~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Secret Santas

I've been working at this company for just under a year now. Seems they do a voluntary, Secret Santa gift exchange every year at Christmas. Those that participate, draw a name of someone else that is participating, and a gift is purchased ($15 limit) and put under the tree. A couple days before Christmas, we all gather in my office, I mean, in the lobby, and have fun opening the gift from our Secret Santa. Of course not all the Secret Santas stay secret, but some do. Either way, it's usually a lot of fun.

I admit, however, to some disappoinment with my gift. Either someone didn't know me well, or just saw an opportunity to re-gift soemthing they received and didn't want; I got a diary, complete with a lock and key, and a matching address book. Um, hello? I'm a computer geek. If it isn't digital, I don't use it. I don't write things down on paper. At least not most of the time.

However, something my Secret Santa included, that they evidently had no use for, but for which I can find a purpose, were "Success Cards." Each of the success cards can be opened and inside is a pithy, motivational quote. There are 30 of them in the stack. While I would like to devote myself to opening one up every day, I'm going to limit myself to one each week and use the quote as a springboard for writing in my blog. Each week will be a new quote, and it will always be a surprise as I will not screen the quotes I get. I will take each one and write a few sentences about what it means to me, how it motivates or inspires me, my thoughts on the subject, and/or how it relates to my goals. Dull? Maybe, maybe not. Stay tuned to find out.

I'm Getting Younger!

Okay, maybe not really but, on some days at least, my Tanita scale actually thinks I'm younger that what I really am.

To understand the relationship one develops with Tanita, you really must read Bolder's Dear Tanita post. It is certainly insightful and dead on.

Fortunately, while I also have a love/hate relationship going on with my Tanita, I'm beginning to like her. I mean, who wouldn't when she indicates that the pounds are continuing to melt away, that the bodyfat percentage continues to decrease, that the muscle mass continues to improve, and then follows all that up by showing me that I am, at least relatively speaking, physically equivalent to someone 10 years my junior? What's not to like? Except the fact that these things are only apparent in the afternoon. In the mornings, Tanita shows me that I'm all of my 49 years and then some.

I'm hopeful, however, that with continued perseverance, along with minute attention to my diet and rigorous training, the recalcitrant Tanita will begin to show me I'm younger in the mornings and not just the afternoons. When that happens, I will believe Tanita and I have a solid understanding.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Harried Holidays

Not a lot of time available these days between preparing for the upcoming holiday, working, and training. In spite of all of that, I managed to take a few minutes out to snap a couple of pictures. As usual, I can't get enough of Mount Rainier and this last week presented some awesome opportunities.

This is one where the sun was just peeking over the top. I did make sure to put use a sun lense as the light was quite intense.

The one below was taken Sunday morning when it was 17 degrees Farenheit. That's pretty darned cold by anyone's standards. You can see the frost on the ground. This is taken from the trail where I occasionally run and bike. Is that not just a magnificent view?

Anyway, back to the harried holidays. Saturday was supposed to be my long bike. However, I still had Christmas shopping (and it's CHRISTMAS shopping, not that blasted holiday crap that I'm so sick of...I refuse to be PC, but that's another story...) to do, so instead of getting on my bike, I hit the local mall at 7:00 in the morning. I left around 5:00 that afternoon. My body hurt as though I'd run a marathon. All thoughts of getting on my bike fled from my poor fried brain.

Sunday, I got up to run the Orting trail with a few members of the Y-Run club (that weren't in Millersylvania running with Rob or IronAyla). As I sat there, waiting for some of them, I realized I shouldn't be there, that I should be on my bike. So, I proferred my apologies to those that were there and left to go hop on my bike. Before I did, though, I did stop to shoot the picture above. I couldn't resist, it was just so danged beautiful and clear out.

Well, I did get on my CompuTrainer. I chose to ride the Richter to Cawston section of Ironman Canada. I managed to get through only 30 miles before my alloted time on the trainer was up. It took my 2 hours and 40 minutes to go a whopping 30 miles. Okay, so Richter isn't exactly an easy ride, and neither is the CT, but I was absolutely toast when I was done.

That meant the long run I had planned for Sunday, got pushed to today and I added a swim to my schedule that wasn't originally on to this morning as well. Wednesday, I have a hair appointment, so the swim that was scheduled for Thursday morning is now switched to Wednesday morning. Oh, the hair appointment was for a cut AND color. New color in the pool the day after it's done? Don't think so. Give me a few days.

And I still need to make deviled eggs for a Christmas potluck at work and the potluck is on Thursday. Make those eggs too soon and they'll turn rubbery (gross). However, if I wait to long Wednesday, I may be too tired by the time I get home to do them. Making the morning of is out of the question.

Add to all of this, the need to purchase a few more presents as I didn't get it all done at the mall on Saturday, and needing to wrap said presents, not to mention, wrapping a few of them quickly enough to get them off in the mail this morning and, well, WHEW! Now you know why I'm feeling a little harried.

Okay, so I'm rambling. And I need to go to bed because I have to do a trainer ride in the morning, so I'll have the evening free to go to the mall, wrap presents, boil the eggs, address the Christmas cards (no they aren't out yet), yada, yada, yada.

Weekly totals (missing my long run, of course):

Swim: 3700 yards
Bike: 52.5 miles
Run: 6.9 miles (a little light here because of missing the long run)

Month to date:

Swim: 8750 yards
Bike: 126.4 miles
Run: 32.8 miles

I'm feeling pretty darned proud of myself. The Monday after Christmas I have my first baseline time trial on a CompuTrainer with my coach. I'm feeling a little intimidated, afraid I won't be able to live up to any expectations even though there are probably no expectations. Stupid, huh?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Not Fair...

...well, not much in life IS fair, but that's irrelevant. And for the purposes of this post, it's certainly not important. But I've been tagged twice. What are the rules when that happens? Must I reveal TEN things about myself, or can I go with just the original five (I'm opting for the latter)?

Also, one of the taggers that tagged me tagged someone else I was going to tag. Oh, this might get old real fast. Also, I'm not going to check to see if any of the other folks I plan on tagging have already been tagged, so their on their own.

Okay, the rules as I understand them are:

Write 5 random facts about yourself, and then list the names of 5 people whom you in turn infect. Also, leave a post to these people letting them know they have been infected.

1) On October 4, I celebrated a birthday. Not a belly-button birthday, but an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) birthday. As of that date, I had 15 (yup, FIFTEEN!) years of sobriety. This coming from someone who didn't think she had a problem until, while in a meeting to support my husband who was the "real" drunk in the family, I heard a woman say (directly to me, of course, nevermind that I was in a room full of people), "Quit looking for the differences [between me and the drunk], and start looking for the similarities." When I did that, I finally had to admit, *I* had a problem with drinking, too. Damn. Made me cry, but I haven't drank since.

2) I was a grandmother the first time at the age of 37. Whoa! you say. Well, I married the first time at the ripe old age of 17. I would do anything to escape my mother's house, so I married the first man that asked me. That was a mistake and one which I rectified, but not until after I had two children, both of whom I had by the time I was 20. Now, between my current husband and I, we have five children (his 3, one of which passed away earlier this year), and five grandchildren with a sixth one on the way. I much prefer being a grandma to being a mom. Being a mom is tough work and I fear I wasn't up to the task. Hence, the daughter who walked in her mother's shoes (me) and gave birth to my first grandson at age 17. *sigh*

3) I'm a clutterbug and if I'm not careful, I'll turn into my mother, the hoarder. So, I try a little at a time, to de-clutter my belongings. It's a difficult process and I don't always feel like I'm winning, but once in a while, I just get in a mood and start trashing stuff. It can be quite a liberating feeling.

4) I failed trigonometry the first time I took it. In fact, I withdrew from the class to avoid the failing grade. That was one of the first times I ever came face to face with a limitation of mine. Everything was usually so easy, but not this. I actually had to think. Mind you, I passed my Algebra class with a three point six. I didn't think I'd have a problem with trig. But there you go. I guess I'm not as smart as I'd like to think, eh?

5) I'm a military brat. By that I mean I was born into the military and stayed a (United States Air Force) military dependent until I was married at the age of 17. But what did I do? I married a (United States Air Force) military man. That wasn't good enough for me. I already knew (without knowing I knew) that I needed to escape the monster (truly, he is a twisted, abusive, evil individual) I married and I tried to break free by entering the military myself. Yup. The United States Air Force. I was in for 28 days before I was honorably discharged. I was one of those few women that still had their menses during pregnancy, so the fact that I was several weeks pregnant upon entering basic training didn't become apparent until three weeks into the training. Hence the discharge. I would be allowed to re-enter the military a year after my child was born, but by then, I was already six months pregnant again.

Okay, now for the tags. Some of them may come as a surprise. And since it's late, and I need to get my butt to bed so I can go swim in the morning, I won't go into detail about why I chose those I did.

Here goes:

KLN (aka Knees)
Vertical Man

Have fun! I need to go leave some posts.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Weekly Totals -- 12/5 to 12/11

Not a bad training week, in spite of the kitty crisis. I was so tempted to use my kitty as an excuse not to get on my trainer Thursday night, but managed to do the workout anyway.

The only "bad" thing I did was go against my coaches wishes. She had told me not to do the Christmas Rush (10k), but I think that's because she thought I was going to try to beat an hour. The reality is, I already knew it would take me over an hour. There was no way I was prepared to do a sub-one hour 10k at this point. Last year, I did the same race in 1:00:26. This year, it was 1:14 and change. I'd like to blame my surgery for the difference in pace and in all honesty that may have something to do with it, but I think the real reason is the extra 10 pounds (15 maybe, but who's counting) I've put on since last year.

Well, I did manage to do the race as a training run and I did NOT try to race it. I just tried to manage a steady pace. About mile 4, my hips and legs started aching. Okay, that was mile 4 of the race. Counting the two miles I did in advance of the race, it was actually mile 6. I guess I shouldn't be surprised I was aching a little.

Since I went against the coaches advice, that means my Saturday workout was now on Sunday. That meant a 2 hour and 20 minute ride today (actual time may vary). Since it was quite foggy (as in very dense, can't-see-the-neighbors-house-foggy) AND with freezing temperatures, which would make the roads and trails icy and trecherous, I opted to ride indoors. Of course it took me until noon to make that determination. After all, I was hoping the fog would break (it didn't until around 3:00) and I could do my ride outdoors.

So, all things considered, I'm not displeased with this week's results:

Swim: 3700 yards (only going twice a week)
Bike: 61.6 miles
Run: 13.7 miles

That's it for now. Next week is a 2 hour 40 minute long ride and a one hour 40 minute long run. week's totals might look a lot like this week's totals.

Product review on the CompuTrainer is coming. Tomorrow is a day off (from training, not from working), maybe I can finish it then. Maybe not, too, as I'll be bringing my cat home and I hope to be giving him lots of loves.

Kitty Update

PuddyRat (the cat, not me) is still in the vet hospital. As of today, he at least attempted to eat something on his own. They were force feeding him at the hospital yesterday.

His blood levels are improving, but I've been doing a lot of research on feline Chronic Renal Failure and his condition, while treatable, is irreversible, progressive, and terminal. There is going to be a lot involved in keeping him happy and healthy and I don't honestly know if I've got it in me.

I love my cat, but I just don't think I can handle the expense or the emotional roller coaster. I'll bring him home for a few days and see how he does. If he doesn't continue to improve, I'll take him back to the vet and hold him in my arms until he is gone. I want him to know he was loved to the very end.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Had to take my kitty, the one from which I draw my moniker, and the best cat I've ever had, to the vet. He's extremely ill and may even die. They suspect renal failure, but won't have a solid prognosis for another 24 hours or so. While my cat is relatively old (14), he is a well-loved, indoor kitty, and should have several more years of life left in him, so long as the renal disease doesn't kill him.

To say I'm devastated is a bit of an understatement. I'm terrified. Those of you that are pet owners will understand. If you aren't, and don't understand the attachment, pretend it's your child and you will come close.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Lousy Training Week, Great Training Month

This week hasn't been a good one. After the Seattle Half (see very long, and probably boring, report below) on Sunday, I had a regular rest day on Monday. Tuesday was supposed to be a swim but because of the chafing I experienced during the half, I didn't think I could do it. Then I had a lightbulb moment. I covered the chafing with a bandage and wore my tri shorts instead of my swimsuit and actually got in the pool. And I loved it. I almost felt the oneness coming back, so I was very happy about that.

Wednesday was supposed to be a trainer ride and core work, but I spent most of the evening rubbing my tummy, which was starting to hurt, and re-arranging my office so I had room to put my new CompuTrainer up. I didn't get the CompuTrainer up, but I did get the office re-arranged. That was a huge job and it took quite some time. By the time I was done, it was time to hit the sack and go to bed.

Thursday was supposed to be another trainer ride, but I had been so miserable at work, that I just came home and vegged out. I was tired, my stomach hurt to the point of making me nauseous and I was cramping, so I took some pain medication and just watched TV until it was time to go to bed.

On Friday, I felt better, but still not 100%. Couple that with working a little longer than normal, and I just couldn't get to the pool or get my run in. My coach is going to be very disappointed with my training this week, but sometimes, we have to go with the flow and listen to our bodies. Mine was telling me to back off.

The good news is that I had a stellar month. I almost did more in the month of November this year than I did between September and February of last year. Okay, not quite, but certainly I did more in terms of my bike training and for that, I'm very proud of myself.

Totals for the month of November look like this:

Swim = 10,150 yards
Bike = 124.9 miles (last year it was 65 miles in 6 months)
Run = 52 miles

Maybe those aren't the totals some of the rest of you do, but they are good for me. Especially the bike miles (some of which are guesstimated, on the low side, for trainer work). Last November, my totals looked like this:

Swim = 19,700 yards (obviously swam more)
Bike = 16.9 miles (big miles there, eh?)
Run = 103.4 (I was training for a marathon)

So, bike miles have improved significantly while the other two disciplines suffered a little. I expect those to pick up in the coming months, however.

Today, I'm still not 100%, but I am better and I'm much closer to having my CompuTrainer set up. I hope to get it up and going here very quickly as I still need to do a 2 hour ride today (too much slush and snow on the road, not to mention colder than I'd like, to risk going outside) before my company's Christmas party tonight. And I still need to shop for something to wear! Eeeek! Oh, well. Good thing I have a back up plan for something to wear.

December's training will be interesting as I'm slated to do a three hour trainer ride on a Thursday. My coach slid this in in an attempt to keep Christmas free and to help me be "fresh" for my bike testing with her the day after Christmas. I have a feeling that is not going to be pretty. I just hope that whatever happens, I hope she will be able to get me into Ironman shape by next August. I'm going to have a lot of work in front of me though.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow -- Take Two

The Pacific Northwest (at least on the western side of the Cascades) is known for its rain, not for its snow. It's always a major event when it snows in this area. Today was no exception, except this is the second time in the same week that we've seen snow. It doesn't ever stick around long, but it's fun and pretty to watch while it happens. Were we to get any more of it, or if it were any colder, some of us may not like it nearly as much.

Oh, and I'm not feeling well, so not doing much. I have a lengthy Seattle Half Marathon report in the works, but for now it's staying in the draft stage. I'll put it up when I have more time and don't feel so badly. Just wanted to share a little piece of our weather with those in sunnier climes.


BTW, that's my husband and my boxer dog, Precious. She wasn't too sure what all that white stuff was. Funny how a snowflake practically obliterated my husband's face. Weird. I was late getting back to work from lunch, so I only had time to take the one photo.