Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Howling Wind + Stairs + Etc = No Sleep

So last night I lay in bed awake staring at the clock on my nightstand. I know I need to sleep and Lord knows I'm tired but the cards seemed to be stacked against me. The wind was furious last night; at moments it sounded like a freight train approaching. At other times, it was like having a large semi-truck driving opposite on a two lane highway. You would get the noise and then this quick suction. The windows were rattling hard in their frames and I had the fear that I was just moments from flying glass. The whole apartment building was creaking and groaning. And maybe it was my imagination but it seemed as though the building was swaying with each creak and groan. Finally a neighbor with a car alarm (set way TOO sensitive) turned it off at around midnight. Then there was a full moon, and this HUGE full moon was really cranking out the light. It was almost like having a beacon light shining in my window.

At about 3AM I got up to try to walk around and get my mind off worrying about sleeping. See if I could just relax and get a mind set to be tired. I looked outside the sliding glass door to a scene of tree branches whipping around, boxes and papers streaming through the air, and narrow elongated clouds below the full moon. It rather reminded me of those scenes in the horror flicks just before someone gets murdered. Yep, this was definitely sleep conducive! I also noticed that one of my wind chimes was blown to smithereens! It used to have several smaller chime tubes below a large medallion. Well, now it was just one large medallion on a string.

While I was walking around I also noticed that my legs were getting stiff from my earlier feat of moving 20+ oil paintings from my friend's upstairs studio to my car, drive a few miles and then up to my third floor apartment. Who needs the StairMaster? That's a gym workout right there! It felt like 100 trips up and down and back down, but I'm sure that it was at least 20 trips total. All of the unsold paintings are now safely en scone in my humble abode but are leaning waiting to be hung. So thus my mind gets on this tangent of how to hang 20+ framed oil paintings in my small one bedroom place. Yeah, this is working on getting me ready to go back to sleep...NOT!

I took a couple of Advil hoping that it would help with the stiffness of the knees and maybe help me to sleep too. Well, I finally did managed but strange dreams came again. This time Matthew McConaughey's mother kept trying to fix me up with Matthew. I was managing her Southern-style restaurant in Souix Falls, South Dakota where I was constantly avoiding getting ate by these alligators that she had imported for "atomshpere". We, Matthew & I, finally did go out on a dinner date where we quickly discovered we didn't have anything in common. It was rather comical because we were both trying to figure out how to break it gently to his mother that it wouldn't work out between us.

With all this is it any wonder that at 5AM when my alarm went off, I reset it to sleep in? The gym I considered a forgone-- not a good idea --conclusion. But hey! There's always tomorrow, right?

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Edge of Sickness & Strange Dreams

The last three days I have been struggling on the edge of not getting sick. For the last two months there has been this terrible cold that’s been circulating through the office~ enough so that it’s hit one coworker twice. (She doesn’t have much of an immune system.) It’s kind of like I have a sore throat when I get up in the morning but after my second cup of joe it’s disappeared. Then there’s the mild headache that rather gets worse and worse as the day goes on. I’ve been overdosing on vitamin C, doing the B-complex, doling up the Echinacea, and trying to eat healthy all in the effort of trying to avoid the “sickness”. I’ve even been doing the lots of fluid thing and visiting the bathroom like a zillion times a day. But I feel like a large hand is still trying to clamp down on my body; slowly but surely. Help!?!

I tend to wonder as a side effect of all this stuff I’m trying to do to avoid this sickness is causing me to have these REALLY strange dreams. Like last night’s dream....

I woke up with light blue skin and bright green hair in a pair of pony tails. I was an Irish Smurfette? I was dressed in a blue and white gingham mini-skirt like apron (kind of Dorothy-like) with black capris and one purple argyle sock. No shoes; just the one sock? I was convinced that it was a Donny Osmond reject.

This dream world that I woke up in had a light green sky, the grass was purple, and the water ran a little orangeish. I was greeted by a purple pair of twin girls dressed in green polyester jumpsuits that had orange eyes (The orange eyes were kind of freaky!). They welcomed me to the Land of the Lost Sock, and ask if I was “THEE BIKER CHICK”.

Dazed and confused I told, “Some of my friends call me that.” The pair of purple girls got all excited jumping for joy, and each took a hand and led me down a green brick road. Meanwhile the thought of the “follow the yellow brick road” goes through my head. Not realizing it, I start humming the tune.
“Wow!” one of the purple girls shrieks,” That’s Ozzy’s favorite tune!”
“Who?” I ask.
“Ozzy! THEE MAN! That’s who were heading to see!”
“Okay”, I say and we continue down the green brick road.
Along the way we come to a sharp curve in the road where two bright blue do-do-like birds are sitting in a yellow tree. They turned out to be called twin tweedle birds, which always do everything together. They didn’t talk but their squawking in unison was quite annoying. I learned that there wasn’t many of them left because the Queen of Endive liked their vitals.
We continued on down the road, and started to come to a pink hut.
“This is Zee-Bart’s place! He’s a chilled dude!” One of the purple girls explained,” But we’ll come back later. He’s probably out catching some really knarly waves in the river.”

On down the road we continued, and we met a variety of colorful characters as we continued along. Among them was a black haired gal in a bright orange rain gear outfit who talked with a lisp. Her name was Crisp. She commented on my stylish dressing statement. Another character was a pink Lion with a slicked back gray mane who talked with a southern like accent and played music from what looked like a teal colored pickle. He kept referring to it as a slide and it sounded like a clarinet. Never did catch his name. Then there was Ralph who was an alligator wearing an orange cape and that had a persistent ticking. He had swallowed a clock and it was stuck in his intestines, but he didn’t seem to mind because it helped him to always be one time.

And then as we arrived at a HUGE lime green mansion I finally got to meet THEE MAN. He turned out to look like Kermit the frog casually wearing a sequined red vest, purple shades, with one silver earring of a bike hanging from his nose. He really needed to see me because I was the only one that could change his flat tire on his bike. Figures! I woke up before I changed the flat, and ask a whole lot of questions.

Strange dreams! And I can’t help to wonder what I’m doing to cause these. Oh, did I mention that I saw a job file from my work that I’ve been looking for about a month and a half? Or that I saw what I think was my other lost sock on THE MAN? He was wearing the orange and green BBTC sock I lost last week! All I can say is Strange! Is this a common side effect of something I’m doing to avoid the sickness? I would almost describe it as an acid trip of a dream.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Do You Ever Slow Down?

This questions was thrown at me on Monday night as we were walking from the restaurant to the opera. I took the night off from preparing for my Art Show that takes place this Saturday. But the question has been rather plaguing me since.
"Do you ever slow down?"

At the time I stopped cold in my tracks in the middle of State Street (a busy downtown street). The ladies I was with just cracked up at my reaction. I'm standing in the middle of a downtown street with my jaw hanging out, and a perplexed questioning look on my face. I quickly recovered with a laugh and continued on.

As we were chatting and catching up during dinner I had revealed over the meal all that I had been up to... training for a marathon, possibly training for a 70.3 triathlon, preparing for a solo art show, and volunteering, with my friend Diane, as a volunteer coordinator for the Little Red Riding Hood Ride (which has all ready filled up in a month's time with 3000 female riders). Then on top of this I'm working on a schedule with one of my dinner companions about leading bicycle rides up Emigration Canyon for the cycling season.

"Do you ever slow down?" The question has been haunting me. With my art show coming up, my whole world is in STRESS mode. I keep on thinking that I just might need a retreat or something. I remember a while back Diane mentioned on her blog about going on a retreat. At the time I checked out that retreat and got to thinking about the idea of it. But it was mainly just pipe dreaming. I looked at a couple of running retreats that looked interesting but then again would THAT really be considered a retreat? Hmmm....?
I would like to find something inexpensive and retreat-like. Maybe a "Day Spa"? Though, I don't really consider myself the pampering type. Earlier this month I had to forgo the yurting expedition because of getting ready for this show. Darn! Anyone have some suggestions out there?

The other issue that came up with this haunting question
"DO you ever slow down?"
Am I my own worst enemy? I am creating all of this stress for myself. It's all on me and no one else. It's like one of those "Aha!" moments. It's all true and it's all my fault... Now what am I going to do about it? The funny thing is that I always classified myself the type "B" personality but it seems that I woke up from a dream and discovered I'm really the "A" type personality. YIKES!! What happened? Was I deluding myself before? WOW! Talk about pipe dreaming! There must have been something real good in my pipe!

"Do you ever slow down?"
I think I need to ponder this....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Blarney vs BS? Irish Luck?


Top of the morning to ya!
Oh, the sayings of the Irish....

"May the road rise and the wind be always at your back. May you be across Heaven's threshold before the old boy knows your dead. The best way to get rid of your enemies is God's way, by loving them. A nation's greatest enemy is the small minds of its small people. Better fifty enemies outside the house than one inside it. The lesson learned by a tragedy is a lesson never forgotten. Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes. If wars were fought with words Ireland would be ruling the world. Keep in with the bad man for the good man won't harm you. 'Tis better to have fought and lost Than never to have fought at all. If you're the only one that knows you're afraid, you're brave. Fortune favors the brave."

The list could go on and on of Irish sayings and toasts. It like there's a saying for any occasion. I always find it interesting that we celebrate it more here in the US than they do in Ireland. I also find it interesting and funny that there always seem to be a surge in the Irish population on this day. Everyone is Irish on this day! It makes for some REAL interesting cultural combinations. But I guess everyone wants they bit o' Irish luck! Not that I can blame them. We could all use a little more luck. But I can't help but think that we are also claiming a great deal of good old Blarney in the process. Or should I say BS, hmmm?

What's the difference between Blarney and BS? I asked a friend and she gave me this answer--

" BS is when someone looks at me, a 40+ aged woman, and tells me that I don't look a day over 28. Blarney is when someone asks--what might your age be so that I know what age beauty begins at." Some may call blarney the "Gift of Gab". In the dictionary, blarney is defined as "...flattering or wheedling talk; cajolery. " Huh... it sounds pretty darn close to BS to me. But I might be off in my opinion. What do you think?

I'll take this all one step further with some questions: Are Irish really that lucky? Or could it be that they come off more lucky because of the blarney? And if the Irish are more lucky, and I'm only 1/4 Irish-- Does that mean I 75% SOL? Hmmmm... What's your opinion? Or do I dare ask?
Oh, and may a bit o'Irish luck be yours!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Perfect 10-- A Final Update- Week 10

Wow! 10 weeks has flow by in this Perfect 10 challenge. I've reached some of the goals pretty well but the losing weight one has eluded me. So here's the final update/summary for the Perfect 10 in 2010.

-- Lose 10 lbs. in 10 weeks: Well, this week I did managed to lose 2 lbs. So overall that puts me at a total of losing 3 lbs. for the 10 weeks. I will admit that I'm disappointed in myself but it's better than what I usually do during this time of year, and it's something that I will continue to work on.

-- Build up to 10 miles of running in under 2.5 hours: I achieved this goal in week#7 and managed to do it in 2 hours and 6 minutes. I think I'll be very prepared for the half marathon in the Salt Lake City Marathon on April 17th. I'm even a little bit hopeful that I'll manage the half marathon in under 2.5 hours. But we will see how that day goes.

-- Balance exercises 2 times a week: This week I only did it once. Overall during the 10 weeks, I have had only a 60% track record on this goal. But I think that I did accomplish what I was working toward behind the goal. My balance has improved. In fact, the other morning I did a Tree pose in yoga and managed it without having to clamp on to the wall before I usually fall down. That's progress!

-- Gym 3 times a week: Yep! I was there on Friday, Monday, and Wednesday this last week. Overall my track record for this goal is about 90%. I'm getting my moneys worth out of that gym membership, and I hope to continue on this goal. I'm most curious to see what happens to my use of that membership when cycling season is in full swing.

Unknown fact:

The last one--- and I must admit that coming up with these are probably the hardest part of the Perfect 10 for me. I always feel like I'm an open book for the most part and figure that I share quite a bit with everyone that's in my life. AND yes, for those of you that are still reading down this far I do consider you part of my life-- even though some of us have never conversed via email, phone, text, or other means. Just by the fact that you are reading this I feel like our lives have touched. Sorry if that sounds a little too Zen for you. I very much believe in the power of one. I like the idea of each one of us being that drop of water that makes a wave-- some of us make larger waves, and others of us are more gentle but each one of us has an effect on others. I hope and pray that overall I'm making a positive effect on other people's lives. But I will admit that sometimes, I can be a general screw up and I'm very very human.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Perfect 10 Update- Week 9

One more week to go and I hope that I do better next week than I did this week. In many ways I feel like this has been a "nothing" type of week. I backed off and let my body rest. This rather proved to be a challenge for me. But anyway here's my progress report...

--Lose 10 lbs. over 10 weeks: No change from last week which surprised me considering that I took the week off from running/working out to recover from my injury. So I'm still only down 1 lb. over all for the 9 weeks. Not so good, BUT I will admit it's not as bad as would normally happen during this time of year. Since my low weight this summer just prior to the Slow Salty Dog Triathlon, I'm presently only up 3 lbs. overall. Normally by this time of year I would be at least 10 to 12 lbs. heavier, and figuring that I would lose it all during the summer. This year when summer comes, it'll be like I have a head start in a way.

--Build up to 10 miles running in less than 2.5 hours: I know I've all ready accomplished this goal and I was not running this week because of the injury that happened to my right thigh. I'm still hoping to work on my speed and distance but considering I've lost a week I'm not sure what to expect. I guess I'll find out tomorrow morning with my usual short Friday morning run.

--Balance exercises 2 times a week: Nope! I took the week off from this too.

--Gym 3 times a week: Nope! Didn't get my money's worth this week. The closest I came this week was 1/4 mile swim at another pool on Saturday.

Unknown fact:
Last night I almost finished a WHOLE box of Girl Scout Cookies. That Cookie Monster got loose! While I snarfed them down, I thought about how I was a Girl Scout when I was younger. It seems like a lifetime ago. I once won a Mississippi Valley Girl Scout Cookie Top Seller T-Shirt. The quota to win the t-shirt was 250 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies sold. Of these I actually only sold about 70 boxes. My Dad, a welder and member of the Union at the time, coerced the rest of them out of his fellow employees. I really wonder if they hated that time of year, and looking back now I kind of feel guilty because I didn't really win the right to wear that t-shirt.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A New Hairdo & On the Mend

I'm always going through phases-- blonder or redder for the most part. This last Saturday I got a new haircut with a bit of color. I told my hairstylist that I was ready for a change. She cut it with a little more layers to bring out my natural curl and then I went with a bit of a darker red. I finally this morning felt like I did a halfway decent job of styling and took a couple of quick pictures. (Why is there such a learning curve with styling your hair after a haircut?) This is for you MOM; now you can see what I look like.
And here's the result...

(I apologize for the raised eyebrows and the smirky looks. It's not easy holding a camera and trying to look semi-normal.)
Yes, that is all natural curl that most times I try to take the curling iron and wrestle it out of my hair. I'm really hoping that I figure out the new "do" before my art show on March 20th.
After the haircut on Saturday, I had made an appointment at a local massage place to see if I could get the pain in my top right thigh worked out. OMG! It was a very painful massage that I muddled through-- the young man that worked on my legs was kneeling on a stool near the table and using his elbow to get deep into my upper legs muscles and glutes. On top of it all, I was in a mood to chat. I talked the poor guys ears off. Not normal for when you get a massage but the funny thing is that we discovered we had a connection. He was friends with the neighbor boys that I used to hire to cut my grass about 10 years back. Small world!
I was walking normal out of the massage parlor but woke up the next morning to discover that my ass was on fire! He had told me that I would be sore the next day, but I had not expected this. All of Sunday I was going back and forth between sitting on a hot pad or sitting on ice. Talk about freezing my ass off!
Slowly over the week, my ass has been less and less sore. I've actually been feeling quite good and think by this Friday I'll be able to start back up with the running. YAHOO!