Week 2 Day 1

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I know, it took me long enough to get to week 2.

Let's focus on the positive though: I finished Week 2 Day 1! And I'm not dead or injured!

I had a problem getting the week 2 podcast onto my The Girl Child's iPod. So in a desperate attempt to maintain some personal accountability, I did an extra day of Week 1.

Week 2 consists of 6 intervals of 90 seconds of running. The first 4 intervals were ok. Not easy, but manageable. Then I started to flag. Then I had to stop and tie my shoes. And pull my dog off of some hound creature that wanted to play. Whose owner was talking to me as my iPod blared a particularly annoying mix of electronic music. I just nodded and smiled. While sweating. And panting. Attractive, no? At least I wasn't jiggling.

Cripes, I hate my ass.

Not only am I out of shape: Poor Skittish White Dog was quite spent by the time we returned home. Now, remember, Skittish White Dog is a husky with a big thick coat. Skittish White Dog heats up really fast this time of year. So even though today I got out the door before 7:30a.m., Skittish White Dog towed me to the creek on our cool-down walk, ignored a large family of ducks, stood in the water and drank to her heart's content. She loves the runs though, (short as they are) and never stops bounding ahead as soon as I begin a running interval.

I didn't think I would continue with the same route that I've been using. Surprisingly, I am not looking forward to finding a new route when I outgrow this one. This one is semi-private. I start on my street and continue through my neighbourhood to a local green space. There I pick up a paved walkway that is hidden from the road. The walkway goes for quite some time before connecting to a local school campus. I run across the campus and connect up with the greenbelt that runs behind our house. It's a big loop, about 3km. I suppose that as my distance increases, I can reverse direction on the paved walkway to extend the route. That way I won't have to run in full view of traffic. Good plan, Mrs. A.

On another positive note I have two tidbits of happiness to report. Between my C25k and some off-day television stretching/yoga, I am happy to report that a nagging knee pain has disappeared. For a good year or more, I've not been able to sit comfortably on my knees because my right knee would not let me. Another shred of happiness is my lack of muscle soreness this evening. I was very sore after my first two 'runs'. I was expecting to be very sore this week. Not so, my friends. I'm cautiously optimistic for improved physical health. Since it took me ten years to get to this dismal, depressing point in my life, I don't expect to see tangible results anytime soon. So I must pay attention to even the smallest glimmer of physical change for the better.

There's a measure of nervous anxiousness motivating me this week. If I fall off the 'getting fit' wagon, I may just implode...or at least spiral downward into a jiggly mass of depressed worthlessness.

Looking forward to Friday's 'run',

Mrs. A.


The Ugliest Sock In Creation

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I cast this sock on as a learning experience. I learned a number of things so the process was a success! I don't like the two-tone colour scheme with this particular heel. I need to make it smaller so that it will fit just so. I don't think socks classify as mindless tv knitting. I can handle instructions and a simple pattern with no problem. I easily see mistakes and can fix them.

On a more positive note, I'm looking forward to get started on take #2. I'll just use the variegated yarn (On Your Toes Bamboo in Iris Print) instead of adding a second colour. I will also make two socks. I'm going to try a different heel and perhaps a different pattern. Wish me luck!


Growing Things

Monday, July 13, 2009

Every growing season, I try to grow something. But I have to admit: I'm just not very good at growing things.

Mr. B. humours me, but I know he's really thinking, "Why is she doing this again?" He's very supportive. If I say I want seeds or dirt or a plant he's right there helping me pick it out at the store.

If I truly want something to not-wither, I try not to touch it too much or look directly at the whatever-it-is and I hope for the best. It's kind of hard to enjoy the process though...being worried about killing it and all.

So, with my dismal and inadequate skills in mind, I offer to you the following samples:

The Pretty Pink Flowers I Forget The Name Of. Originally I had sprinkled a bunch of these seeds in my wee front garden. The extras went into this pot. Then, the 'groundskeeper' came around and yanked out all the seedlings and planted ugly begonias. At least this year, my seedlings were the ones to meet their end and it wasn't the kids' sunflowers. That was not a happy day.

My Alive Bleeding Heart Bush. You see here, very clearly, little bleeding hearts that will bloom fully in the next day or so. Not only is this bush blooming, but these are not the first blooms! This is the second batch of blooms. I bought this bush for $4 at the local Habitat For Humanity fundraiser. I was only going to buy the $2 bush, but Mr. B. suggested I might have better luck with a bigger, more established plant. So far, so good!

My Tomatoes. These could be big tomatoes or these could be cherry tomatoes. My sister passed on some of her gardening extras and I got the pots mixed up. I kept one tomato plant and passed the rest to my mother. (I also kept an onion bunch and two hot pepper plants which are also, amazingly, still alive. They are not in a photo-worthy stage of their growth right now. I'll wait 'till they flower or something before taking photos.) So, big tomatoes or small tomatoes, you'll agree that this plant is doing ok! Never having grown tomatoes before, I have taken the hands-off approach. I don' t even water this thing. Perhaps this is why my corner of the world is so wet this summer. Perhaps Mother Nature has finally taken pity on me and is helping out.
The Girl Child. Out of everything I've ever planted, I was most worried about this one. Yet she seems to be flourishing with minimal effort on my part. This season, fashion is budding. I'm not sure I'm in love with the flowers (new shoes in this particular photo) but as long as the rest of the plant continues to be as healthy and wonderful as it has been in previous seasons, I'll just keep my opinions to myself and continue enjoying each season as it comes.


Thursday's Paddle

Friday, July 10, 2009

Heading west to where the river opens wide.

For weeks I've been anticipating a paddle with a group of local paddlers. Their standing date of Thursday afternoons has been rained out three weeks running. I was excited to be joining them yesterday. We paddled west out of the city, further than I'd ever been. In an hour, we'd paddled a distance that equals a ten-minute drive. The river opens up at this point. Much wider than I'm used to seeing.

A quiet bay begins with this great lighthouse.

Just when you think you're going to have to deal with open water - chop, wind and fast boat traffic, there's a little bay on the north shore that shelters a tiny group of islands. As you get into the shallows, you find yourself directly over a shipwreck. The skeleton of the boat is covered in seaweed. It was much larger than I thought it would have been for something sunk in such a shallow spot.

Molly's Gut Shipwreck

When you're out on the river in the afternoons, there's a good amount of traffic. When you pair the first sunny afternoon with a month of rain and wind, there's a lot of traffic. Some you might not expect. A small plane did a fly-over directly over top of our group of 5 paddlers. It flew around the island we were approaching and then looped around. We soon discovered it was preparing to land directly ahead of us. It passed overhead once more - this time much lower than before - at treetop level.

The plane takes off overhead as we had back to town.

It's times like this that I realize the importance of travelling in a group of paddlers. We're much more visible when we're in a group. As a rookie paddler, I really appreciated the more experienced paddlers. It's fine to skirt the islands or the shoreline and putter about, but there are the world's largest fresh-water shipping channel, tour boat routes, the yacht club's sailing races, the wake boarding club boats to negotiate as well as numerous personal watercraft, fishing boats and motor boat traffic to watch for. The channel and the islands make for some interesting current patterns as well. Calm looking water is not always as it seems.

I believe the paddle was about 6.5km (4 miles) in total. A really good, long, interesting time. I met some new people, learned lots and got to know my boat a little better. Hopefully next week is as enjoyable.


Week 1 - Complete!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I know, I know; I should be in the middle of week two by now. Don't stress me. Last night I went out and 'ran' the last workout of Week 1 (C25K).

So, onward and upward to Week 2. I'm scared to even look at the length of the running intervals. So we won't talk about that.

I'm convinced I'm an ugly runner. I'm sure I have bad form. I sweat and pant and I jiggle. Really, I'm embarrassed. I can't even bring myself to take a 'before' picture. But I'm also sick of being like this so I will get through the emotional dramatics and I will run.

Let's instead talk about how proud I am of myself. You'd think I might be proud of the actual workout part. And I am, sort of. However, I am even more proud of the fact that I am getting past my perfectionist hang-ups and getting through to the important bit of actually getting some exercise.

Last Friday should have been workout #3. It poured all day. There was a quick break in the evening - just in time for The Boy Child's soccer game. They ended up calling the game at half time since it had been pouring since kickoff and the field was now flooded. But I digress. There was no opportunity for a 'run'.

Late Friday night I was getting a bit stressed about being off schedule. How am I supposed to stick with something if the schedule is not working out?! How am I supposed to maintain the benefits of the previous workout if too much time lapses until the next workout?! Why not just throw in the towel and wait for a better/easier/<insert excuse-worthy adjective here> exercise alternative? Why not wait for the perfect time, the best weather? Why not get X, Y and Z out of the way before starting?

Because that is the method I've been using for the past ten years and it's just not working out for me anymore.

So, I had all weekend to psych myself up for continuing with my workout schedule first thing Monday morning. Yeah, right. Monday was a write off. I didn't feel 100% and I was exhausted. I should just give up the whole idea and get over it now. I don't stick with anything. My plans and visions of grandeur just never work out.

Tuesday rolled around and I gave myself a deadline: by bedtime, I had to have fit in my workout. This was ridiculous. I know very well that nothing but actually getting off my ass and doing it is going to work. There will be no suddenly available time, no miraculous decrease in BMI, no surge of endless energy. Things are going to continue to be busy. It's going to rain. Schedules will suddenly change. I won't feel well. I'll make dinner late. I'll spend too much time on the computer. The house will never be clean enough; the kids never settled enough. I'll not have time...but really, there will be time. So just go ahead and do the stupid running already.

Goodness knows why I have these dialogues with myself. What do I really have to do in a day that prevents me from taking a 1/2 hour exercise break? Nothing! If something isn't working out perfectly, I throw in the towel.

But this time I didn't. At 8:45 last night, I went and 'ran'. Once I climbed Mt. GetOutTheDoorAndJustDoIt, I was alright.

My first running interval landed when I was in front of a parking lot full of people. I paused my iPod and continued my brisk walking pace to a more run-worthy place. The world didn't fall apart because things hadn't gone perfectly! (I'm certain it would have fallen apart if I'd been seen running by actual real-life people.)

During my third running interval, I somehow managed to skip ahead to the next song. Damn. I took some time - while continuing my brisk walking pace - found the podcast again (it's a Shuffle, no screen), scanned ahead a bit and continued with the workout. I didn't even know if I'd found the correct spot. And what do you know, the world didn't fall apart because things hadn't gone perfectly. Again! In the end, I may have even done too many running intervals. Can you imagine?!

The carnage continued: my knees hurt. So I ran on the soccer pitches for a while. My dog took off after a squirrel, stopped to roll in something and was a general pain. I let her leash out and pretty soon, she was following me. The kids didn't get to be 'on time'. Who cares? It's summertime!

So, against all usual personal odds, some exercise was had. I'm cautiously optimistic. Tomorrow I will begin Week 2. Perhaps in addition to the exercise I hope to achieve this summer, I'll also learn a thing or two and be able to apply it to other areas of my life. Goodness knows I'll have some time to consider those and other deep thoughts while I'm out trying not to be seen so that when I am seen, I'm not embarrassed to have been seen exercising.


We Went Camping!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hey all.

A two day camping trip necessitated a week-long respite from the blog.

Silly, eh?

When word came down the pipe that we'd be roughing it for two days, a few things needed to be put together so we would have a lovely time in the woods. Like food. And sleeping gear. And swimming gear. And dishes.

I spent last Thursday and Friday collecting things and packing and baking. Saturday and Sunday we did the deed. Monday was Recovery Day. Camping wipes me out!


  • Drag butt out of bed.
  • Wake others.
  • Take Skittish White Dog to the kennel.
  • Pack clothes; pack cooler; pack car.
  • Drive to rendezvous point.
  • Unpack car. Pack boat.
  • Boat ride!
  • Unpack Boat. Trek gear uphill to 'cottage'. Unpack gear.
  • Chat with hosts.
  • Unpack cooler. Lunch. Pack cooler.
  • Pack fishing gear, snacks, drinks, kids into boat.
  • Fish.
  • Visit other cottagers.
  • Kids' first motorboat ride. Fish The Girl's hat out of the lake.
  • Return to prepare dinner. Eat.
  • Campfire.
  • Rescue children from mosquitoes thicker than fog.
  • Play really cool card game.
  • Sleep.

  • Wake at 9:15 thinking it's 6a.m.
  • Check on health of The Boy, my early riser, who has never been so quiet for so long.
  • Take book to dock and read in the sunshine.
  • Help get breakfast out. Ok, brunch.
  • Pack up sleeping gear.
  • Hang out at the dock while kids swim.
  • Call MNR on idiots who parked their rental boat 30 feet from the dock.
  • Mention the wee tiny fish they're keeping in their live well.
  • Snacks dockside. Too full from brunch for lunch.
  • Take boat out for the kids' maiden tubing adventure.
  • Reassure The Girl that not everyone likes tubing.
  • Remark quietly to Mr. B about the shortest and slowest no-wake tubing adventure ever.
  • Pack swim toys and inflatables.
  • Return to cottage and pack up all gear.
  • Trek gear to dock. Pack boat.
  • Boat ride!
  • Unload Boat. Find Car. Pack Car.
  • Drive home. Unpack car. Unpack cooler.
  • Sleep.

In the end it was a great time. I get a kick out of all the 'necessary' things we need for a short overnight stay. We so appreciate our hosts inviting us to their family cottage (no plumbing, no electricity) as this isn't the kind of thing that we're able to do with the kids on our own. It's so quiet and relaxing to be on their wooded island even for just a short time. I love watching my kids do stuff for the first time. It still gets me after all these years. This time is was snorkeling and tubing and whittling. They love the 'adventurous' feeling they get from doing all of the out-of-the-ordinary stuff a trip like this entails. I love that at their ages, the kids are still excited to spend this family time together. Neither could imagine doing something like this any other way.

This one weekend made both the kids' summer.


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