Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Under Contract

Six in six.

Here's the skinny.. If I'm drinking a beer, I'm drinking a beer. If I'm not, you can ask once if I'd like one.

Don't ask why I don't have one.

No means no.

That's all I'm saying.

Okay, I know this is cryptic, which it's supposed to be. I have nothing against someone buying me a beer. That'd be great. Just don't press the issue.

One more thing.. just give me the six months. It's a chance for me to find out who my drinking buddies and and who my real friends are.

A little hint.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Mental Cleansing

I've been doing a lot of cleansing lately - of the soul and of personal artifacts (aka "junk"). It's my mind that has been cluttered recently. There's a lot up in the attic and I don't know what to keep or what to get rid of.

So I went for a run.

We don't own a car, so I had to return the weekend rental to DCA this afternoon. I figured I'd pick up the Mt. Vernon Trail from the airport and do a long run. First off, I didn't know WTF to pick up the trail from the airport and figured I'd get arrested when I started running on sidewalks leading to unknown parts of the airport. Alas, I picked up the trail. It was a perfect day to run in DC because the snowflakes that were falling, which translates to 'snow storm', keeps most people inside and off the road/trails. It was a nice, easy 40 minute run up to the start of the Potomac Heritage Trail. From there, it was a little over 4 miles to Chain Bridge. I picked up the C&O Canal for a mile (about all I can take) before ducking through a storm drain of sorts and hitting the trails through Battery Kemble, picking up Glover-Archibold, Whitehaven Park to Dumbarton Oaks over to Rock Creek Trail. This route follows some of the PHT 50K, so it's a favorite of mine to do.

I needed this run.

Usually when I let my mind wander when I run, I find myself stubbing my toe, tripping or twisting an ankle, and getting really flustered. I've run the PHT so many times that I know it. I know it almost too well. And it was nice when I reached a stretch that didn't look familiar. There aren't too many places to go off the trail, so I kept going.

I let my mind wander. I let myself ponder events of the week; why things that have happened are happening, and why I'm dealing with them the way I am. I was crossing Chain Bridge unsure of myself and of the decisions I've made for myself when the sun came out for probably the first time all day. It shined over my shoulder.

I took it as a sign that, no matter what I decide, someone's got my back. The sun stayed with me the rest of the way.

I had a lot to process and being alone on the trails was the best way to deal with it. I know I have a lot of unanswered questions and more questions than what I had when I started the run, but I have confidence in my current decisions.

Two hours and 45 minutes later, my mind may not be clear, but it is clean and ready for a new week.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Kirstie Alley's body double


No, not fat. I am overweight per my doctor. Not just by a few pounds, but I am about 15 pounds overweight. Yep. Fatty here is 172 and I should be closer to 158. Based on his "weight chart" a normal/healthy weight for me is 137-158. I don't think anyone that knows me has ever known me to be under 150. I think the last time I was under 150 was back in college. I was going through a breakup, living on my own, was poor, ate corn and rice and $0.25 chocolate chip granola bars from the vending machine since that's all I could afford, and ran to/from the gym 3 miles away to lift.. every day. I got injured a lot that year, too, and dealt with bad back problems. Sure, I was "in shape", but I wasn't healthy.

Apparently now I'm healthy - good blood work, good cholesterol levels - but I am fat.

I know what I need to do, no question about that, and it will start with getting a new doctor. I know I need to get better about eating a few things in moderation and cutting back on the booze, which I will do.

I have some goals that I've told a few people about. They are in writing. My first 'mark' is the end of March. I'm not sure how much I will say in terms of updates leading up to it, but I know I have my work cut out for me.

Friday, January 19, 2007


To say I'm excited would be an understatement.

I have made many a trips home to Michigan since moving to Baltimore in 2001 and then to DC in 2003. I make it a point to see a few of the softball gals when I'm there. Most of the time it's a chance to get a chunk of the team together when I do visit since I'm not there for long or that often. We always seem to pick up where we left off last, and most of the time it's back to 1998-1999.

This weekend is no different in the reminiscing department, however, it will be done in DC rather than in Michigan.

A few of the gals are making the trip east to help me 'ring in a new age group/decade'. It will be the first time they've been to DC to see me. Like I said, I'm beyond excited.

However, with being a host comes responsibility. I've moved the start time because I will be "out of pocket" most of the day. Why would I do such a thing; plan to be away the morning of my own party when I have guests in town? My prior commitment? I'm going for a run. It's not just any run, though, as it's a training run on a 50k (31 mile) section of the 100 mile trail run I'm going to be doing in May. Sure, my birthday was planned.. oh, 30 years ago, and should take precedent. I mentioned this dilemma to my boss, who won't be able to make the trip down from Philly. She disagreed and said it was a very grown up, mature decision. She knows the race and the training are both important to me, and if those invited knew me at all they would agree.

For those that don't agree with that.. fuck 'em.

How grown up is that? ;)

Like I said.. giddy. I can't wait to show them my adopted town.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

My birthday was this past weekend. I bought a birthday card for my sister (we're twins.. and, obviously, share the same birthday). I bought her a second card. I wrote it as it was from my cat.. her 'nephew'. I tried to put the pen in his paw so he could scribble sign the card.. with my assistance, of course. It was a funny card. Appropriate.. I think. Is there such a thing as cards/gifts from pets being appropriate?

Is this my destiny? Am I meant to be a crazy cat lady?

You be the judge.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

When in Texas, do as the Texans

15.5 mile race.. a "bar" set up with half a mile to go.. Cuervo, Crown Royal, and Lone Star. I had to come back for more.. and one of the "bartenders" gave me a can for the road.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

An addendum

I should include a little more information about my last post.

My coworkers know that I do the occasional triathlon or trail run. It's hard to hide the fact that I'm training for something when I come into the office with raccoon eyes after a morning swim, have my bike stored in the cube behind me after riding in that morning, or am red-faced in an afternoon meeting after a run at lunchtime.

Given that, I'm approached from time to time from the weekend warrior or the cubemate looking to lose some LBs and asked "how do I do it".

I will offer some suggestions as to easy changes to make in their everyday life, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator ("but it hurts to walk up the stairs," they tell me), park further away from the building in the "fitness lot", and cut back on drinking pop. Simple, right? If they don't take that advice, what's the point of saying more?

But here's the kicker.. I don't know what will work. What works for me probably won't work for others. My coworkers see me eating my 2nd breakfast, snacking throughout the day, and eating two lunches. However, they don't know that for dinner the night before I had a pint of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream. Or that I slept of the sofa the night before because I was up late watching "Playmania" on GSN.. (that show is addictive and I have yet to be called). And, yes, I did sneak some chocolate that was left in the kitchen when I was leaving the office. I'm not perfect.

I'm not this uber-athlete they make me out to be. I am far from it and try to deflect as much attention as possible. But if someone wants to go for a run with me, I'll go for a run with them at work. If someone wants me to go to the gym with them after work, I'll join them for 30 minutes.

I'm no super hero, but if just having someone workout with them is all the motivation they need, I'll gladly throw on the cape for them.

We all have our own forms of kryptonite.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"you'd be so proud of me"

I'm sure I'll be hearing this line more than usual in the next few months.

It's not uncommon for a lot of people to resolve to lose weight at the start of the year. One of those people is a coworker of mine. The timing of her 'lifestyle change' just happened to coincide with the new year, so it's not really a resolution per se. The realization came in October/November with one of her grandparents died. Usually it's an extreme event like this scares someone into changing there ways. She realized that her current eating and working out habits are very poor. She realizes she's a perfect candidate for diabetes. She realizes, after turning 30 this past September, that she's not getting any younger.

It just so happens that she scheduled a meeting on Dec 28th with a personal trainer/life coach who is a consultant for our company to help her get healthy. When she tells others about this, they assume it's a NYR, but she is quick to point out that it was just a good time for them to meet. She also scheduled a physical with her doctor for early January, and people think it's NY related. For her, I think it's best that she get out of the NYR mindset and she's doing a good job of it... so far. This isn't something she wants to accomplish in 6 months or before December 31st, this is something she hopes will prevent her from getting diabetes and possibly living longer than her grandparents. It's getting healthy. This year, her focus is on "self".

It's an admirable goal and it will be tough. She admits that she loves to eat. She just loves food. She loves good food. She loves cooking. She has no sense of portion control. She has started to eat more healthiful.. as has most of my department. I think the number of SmartOnes, Healthy Choice, and Lean Cuisine frozen entrees in the freezer went up exponentially last week. And it's not uncommon for me to get comments like "that looks really healthy", "you're such a healthy eater", "lunch number 1 or 2?", or "all I have for lunch is leftover KFC" when I'm preparing.. well, lunch #1 or #2. I've learned to tune it out or just smile it off. They mean well.

I also have a few coworkers that will come back after lunch to report their choice of salad for lunch instead of a burger and fries. "You'd be proud of me," they start. I just smile. They mean well.

So to help my coworker, I've been working out at the gym here at work after hours. A close friend and coworker of hers was all gun-ho last Tuesday to "workout everyday!", as she put it. She's gone once. I make it a point to work out with her at least 2x a week. I know she appreciates me being there as she probably wouldn't be as motivated to workout if she were to hit the gym by herself. It's not like it's adding to my schedule or that I'm going out of my way. Besides, it gets me out of the office at a decent time.

She's starting easy with 30 minutes of some form of exercise every day. She's starting off slow and she has a long ways to go. There are no big goals like lose 30lbs in 3 months, but she does want to be able to hike without getting winded on a possible trip to Costa Rica in July.

I'm glad to help out and I hope she sticks with it.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I have my clearance, Clarence

It was somewhat exciting to be cc:ed on an email from the Program Coordinator of my course alerting other 'higher ups' involved with GWU and my program that I have completed the requirements needed to graduate.

The key word is "somewhat". . somewhat because it's "just a certificate" and not something like.. oh, a Master's degree. Is it more than just a pat on the back? Does it really mean anything?

I'll be able to answer that myself if I'm able to use it as a springboard to a new job, which is my intention. I have been checking online and newspapers to see what jobs are out there, what I'm qualified for, and the pay. I've also been working on updating my resume to include the latest academic addition as well as any relevant work experience since the last update a year ago.

I'll admit that it is nice to be graduating from something with some form of degree. I still feel like I haven't lived up to my former professor's expectations and that will hang over me until I get a Master's or some other advanced degree.