Friday, April 27, 2012

Down Again & A Fairy Tale in Reverse...

My bathroom scale was being a friend again this morning.  I stumbled on to it hoping but not hoping; but not sure what to expect.  I tried to clear my blurry morning eyes a couple of times before I was sure of what I was seeing.  Yeah!  I was down two more pounds!  Wow; what a way to start off the morning. 

I promptly went in my closet and tried on those size 12 Calvin Klein jeans that I could just barely squeeze into.  They fit!  I was VERY tempted to wear them today but its “Homeless” Friday.  (Yes, the ultimate version of the casual Friday has been down graded at my work.  We now call it – Homeless Friday’s!)  So instead of wearing the dressy beige Calvin Klein’s, I grabbed a comfortable pair of holey jeans to pair with layer t-shirts.  I’ll save the Calvin Klein’s for Monday.

I had quite the stats for this week when it came to working out but then I did do a century this last Saturday.  But here are my stats—151 miles cycling and 4.6 miles running.  I’m going to try to continue this working out and eating plan; in hopes that I’ll continue to lose.

Now for the fairy tale in reverse? 
My mom has been playing with the idea of renaming her cat from Porsche to Pumpkin.  She has her reasons; besides, the variety of spellings possible for the car.  One of which is that she says she’s always calling her cat Pumpkin anyway.  I rather found it a bit funny at first when she mentioned it because it really struck me like a Cinderella story in reverse.  Yeah, can you imagine going from a Porsche to a Pumpkin? 

But I guess it’s a good thing it’s not a dog.  Because changing names on a dog would confuse the heck out of dog.  Come here Spike!  Come here Squirt!  Or whatever!  At least you don’t have to worry about a cat coming when you call.  Most of the time they just look at you like they are saying “I’ll come when I damn well feel like it.  So hold your horses, will ya?”

Well, this week Porsche/Pumpkin or Ms. Orange Porsche is recovering from having her back claws removed.  Mom thought she better get it done understandably to save on the new living room furniture.  Mom was lucky enough to have sometime off to stay home with Ms. Orange Porsche--- You know, I rather am liking this possible new name.  What do you think, Mom?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mark That Off the List!

“Well, I did it! I did it! I did it! Yes, I did it!”  The music from “My Fair Lady” is streaming through my head shortly after I finally managed the 100 miles on my bike on Saturday afternoon.  It was a long day on the bike but it wasn’t as long as it could have been.  The century bike ride took me 6 hours and 14 minutes riding time and the weather was just beautiful.  The sun was out there was barely any wind and the temps reached up to the upper 70’s.  I couldn’t have ordered better weather. 
Photo: A quick shot of first signage of Willard Bay.  Can't see the Bay yet but I was taking a quick break.

 But with all that being said the last 30 miles were pure struggle!  I had pushed it too hard for the first 50 miles and it came back to haunt me.  I was maintaining an average speed between 18-20 mph on the way out from Centerville, UT to Willard Bay.  That was quite a bit faster than I should have been going and when I got to the half way point and stopped for a bit I felt a bit of headache coming on.  I had planned on going about 16-18 mph but I ended up riding for awhile with a faster group and wanted to take advantage of the draft.

I found myself grabbing a quick bite and thinking that I’m going to need to take it easy on the way back.  Meanwhile I’m watching the breeze blow a flag showing wind from the south.  That was the direction I would need to go 80% of the way back.  Not a good sign!  One of the guys commented on how well I was doing and I said,” we’ll see!  Sometimes the last 20 miles can be a real bit*h!”

I started out with another group of riders back hoping that I could draft for a bit but I quickly lost them in the distance.  Before I know it my average speed I was able to maintain into the slight breeze was between 15-16 mph.  My headache was still intact but I was hoping that the half bottle of Coke would kick in to dissipate it. 

But about 30 miles to go and I find my dear friend Ron waiting for me.  He was in the middle of the group that left the lunch stop that had left me in the dust.  I guess they left him in the dust and he was waiting for me because he was already bonking.  So we were a team all the way back to our cars.  We took turns drafting, talking each other up, and complaining to each other.  “Are we there yet?”  “Well, we ARE getting closer, I hope.”  Those were the common phrases between us. 

We suffered through together and I gave him a Big Hug when we got back to the parking lot where are cars were.  Then, after I got everything in the car, I headed to a McDonald's and ordered a Big Mac, a Wild Berry Blend, and the largest Diet Coke they had.  (The only things that I'll eat at a McDonald's too.)  I was a terribly unsafe driver and eat the Big Mac while driving the 15 minutes south back to Salt Lake City.  I got home and felt wiped out the rest of the day.  But I did it! I did it!  Now it's on to other goals for the year!

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Check In with Progress!

My temperamental scale was quite a bit more agreeable this morning when I got on but it could have been concerned for it's life being shortened too.  I was very pleasantly pleased to find out I was down 4 lbs.  Yahoo!  It's always nice to see progress.  10 more to go for my goal weight.  Yahoo!  Sorry, I may be going a bit overboard on the "yahoo's" but all my efforts are finally paying off and that's always nice to have happen.  Maybe I'll treat the scale to a new battery; maybe...

This last week, I've really started paying attention to food portions and have purposely been putting my food on smaller plates to make them appear larger than they really are.  A bit of a mind game with myself but it seems to work.  I will admit that I've been visiting the fast food places STILL.  It's not good of me but I will say that I've been avoiding ordering combo meals and ordering from the sides menu.  I've been ordering items such as the side salads and wraps.  But I will say I have fallen in love with McDonald's Real Berry Blends!  OMG!  I love the taste and they seem to be so filling.  I haven't checked the calorie or health contents on-line and I'm a bit afraid to because I'm not quite ready to give them up.  I treat it as a yummy whole lunch meal replacement.

My exercise had a little more variety this week.  I managed to get in some running and time on the elliptical machine too; not just the bike. 
My stats this week..
4.6 miles running
15 minutes on the elliptical
96 miles on the bicycle  

I'm planning on riding my first and only century on the bike tomorrow.  I just hope it's not too windy on this ride.  It's a relatively flat century (as flat as you can get in Utah) from Centerville, UT up to the Willard Bay Recreational area.  I did this same century about 5 years ago in my record time of 5 hours and 35 minutes.  But tomorrow, I'm not planning on doing it THAT fast.  I'm hoping to do it a little slower and come in under 7.5 hours.  I'll report on how it goes next week.  Till then keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Happy Friday the 13th & Checking In...

I’ve managed to make it alive and unscathed so far through this Friday the 13th, even though I forgot to wear black.  I haven’t noticed any black cats walking cross my path but it’s just barely after lunch and I still have a good part of the day in front of me.  Knock on wood!  Which does pressed wood office furniture counts as wood?  Maybe I should be knocking on the door frames?  I think they might be real wood.  But then again, I just might be S.O.L.!  I’m not superstitious as I’m sure you have surmised. In fact, I’ve always found the whole idea rather amusing.
"Blue Bike on the Grid"; Original Watercolor I did on 5" x 7" Paper. 
The weigh in didn’t go well this morning.  I’m now up another pound.  I now have 14 lbs. to lose before I reach my goal weight.  It hasn’t been a good week.  It’s been raining the last three days off and on just enough not to allow me out on the bike.  I’ll also admit that I’ve been having a tough time getting my behind early out of bed to catch a run in the mornings too.  On top of it all and probably the most contributing factor to my weight gain is because it’s that darn female bloated feeling ugly time of the month.  I usually am up at least 3 lbs. when that happens.  So, I’m hoping that might mean I’ll be 2 lbs. down by next Friday.  Well, one could rationalize that way at least; right?

The only Stats I have this week are on my bike.  I logged in 92 miles in from Saturday morning through to Tuesday night.  No time logged in running or on the elliptical machine or anything else this week.  Though, I will admit that logging in that many miles on the bike in 4 days is pretty good.  But I want to see about getting some time in running at the very least this weekend; probably on Saturday on the “dread-mill” because they are forecasting some more rain.  Seems like it’s been sunny the most while I’m sitting here at my desk at work; it’s like the weather Gods are teasing me! Or, maybe they are tempting me to play hookey from work? 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Birthday, A New Cat, & Spanish

This last Sunday evening, I took the Popette out for her 79th birthday.  I took her to a local restaurant to celebrate.  We went to the Oasis Café which was a wonderful treat for both of us.  Of course, in typical Popette style the waitress got more than she bargained for.  It all started shortly after the entrée was placed before the Popette and she asked for a take out box for the “micro- salad” as she pointed at a mix of alfalfa sprouts and fresh greenery crowning her entrée.  The waitress stopped and had that “deer in the head lights” look.  I laughed and told her to keep on her toes with this one while pointing my finger at the Popette.  After that it was a sparring contest of comebacks between the two; the Popette and the waitress.
Photo- The Popette and her painting!

The Popette LOVED her portrait!!  Thank you Colleen for painting it!  Immediately we had it sit up on a chair so the Popette could “admire” herself while she immersed herself in the wonderful entrée minus the “micro salad”.  The food was glorious; such a mix and blends of different flavors that complemented each other that it got to the point where we were savoring every bite.  After the meal, we stretch our legs for a bit by wondering around the Golden Braid Book Store that’s right next door to the restaurant.  What a wonderful evening!

Photo- Mom's new cat; Porsche!
 Here’s Mom’s new cat, Porsche.  I got the photo in the mail with a cute Easter card.  She looks like a cute cat!  But I have to laugh, because every time Mom spells her name it’s spelled a little bit differently.  I told her I never knew there were so many different ways to spell Porsche.  She thinks she should have named her Pumpkin or something else that would have been easier.  Pumpkin, huh?

Last night was my second class of Beginning Spanish.  I feel like I’m learning a lot of words that I can read or write but I REALLY suck at the verbal!  Need to go to the library and maybe see if they have Spanish on discs, or DVD’s or something.  Oh, or possibly a good looking male Spanish tutor!  That could give me the extra incentive. J Anyone have any suggestions or leads, please contact me. I will admit that the other students probably didn’t like me much.  I was the only one that had done all the homework the teacher had given out and I had a list of questions to ask.  Meanwhile, the rest of the students looked lost as I asked the questions.  Yeah, that’s me not winning any brownie points with the other students but on my way to becoming the teacher’s pet.  It reminds me of Junior High only without the acne!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Two Shakes, Checking In, & Happy Easter…

This last Wednesday for lunch I ran through the Taco Bell drive thru (Yes, I admit that it was VERY BAD of me.)  But it was so nice that I took my scandalous fast food of tacos lunch to a local park to enjoy the beautiful day.  As I was on my way to the park I’m driving through a residential neighborhood where I observe this…

There are two older men standing in the driveway area and a younger man on the opposite side of the front yard mowing the grass.  One of the older men, in well worn blue jeans and a polo shirt that has seen better days, is signaling the younger man.  The young man stops pushing the lawn mower with the motor still running loudly.  The young man throws out his arms and makes an exaggerated safe base motion like an umpire.  Then he turns sideways and points to his behind while he overstated-ly wiggled his hips side to side twice.  I almost ran off the road.  It caught me off guard so much and I just found it too funny.  I’m not to sure of the correct whole translation of the sign and body language but I got the two shakes!

Now for the weekly checking in…
Well, as you might have guessed by the above story I wasn’t good for the week when it came to eating.  Between that and the weather rainy or too cold (did I mention that it was snowing this morning?) this week, I didn’t manage to get as much exercising as I should have ideally for the week.  Here are my stats for the week…

46 miles cycling
3.95 miles running
13 minutes on the elliptical
Oh, and did I mention that the scale finally made a decision this morning and I was not happy with it.  Not that I think the blasted thing cares on way or the other, BUT it decided that I’m 13 lbs. to my goal weight.  Argh!  So I’m hoping for more good weather this next week and a better focus on trying to eat better.  And I would like to wish everyone a Happy Easter Weekend!

"Potted & Rocked Discoveries"; an original watercolor I did on 9" x 12" Paper.
You can see more of my watercolors on my art blog here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March STATS!

I complete forgot about putting my various Stats for the month of March at the end of my monthly report.  So here's a quick write up...
237 miles cycling
20 miles running
1 hour 47 minutes on the elliptical
now I'm up to 17 books read for the year.
(Goal of 60 books for year - seems pretty doable!)

I want to try to maintain 20 miles per month as the summer season progresses.  It's good cardio and it works a different set of leg muscles than just the cycling does.  I also have noticed that it helps my cycling.  Go figure!  But anyway, that's the stats for this last month.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A New Cat & A Month End Report...

Mom now has a new cat whose name is Porsche.  It’s a grey cat and I’m sure that mom will be mailing me a photo via snail mail any day now.  (Mom has yet to managed the feat of attaching a photo to an email.)  Prior to the announcement of the new cat when I would talk on the phone with her she was always mentioning about seeing a cat or kitten at a local pets store.  So last week when she called me mid-morning while I was at work  with an excited voice and said, “Guess what?!??!!”  I guess she got a new cat.  It took a little bit of the wind out of her sails, but she continued on excitedly and told me about the new family member.

It was a couple days later that she called me because Porsche was hissing and snarling at her.  She was afraid the cat would bite her in the middle of the night so she was sleeping catless with the bedroom door closed.  My first thought was that THIS was not going to work out.  

I know that there’s an adjustment period whenever there’s a new pet.  I know I had one with my dog Rocky.  I was ready to take him back the first week.  Well, almost the 3rd day after he had torn into a HUGE stuff animal and I had little bitty styroform balls all over the green shag carpeting.  We were finding those balls for months!  I told visitors that we were fertilizing the living room lawn when they discovered the small white balls.

The last time I talk with Mom, it seemed that her and Porsche have come to an arrangement and are getting along.  But I have a bit of fun when I call mom and ask if everyone is alive and well.

Now for the Month End Report… ( A little bit late but…)

1.)    Saving Money?
Well thanks to the help of selling some paintings, I’ve managed to save more by about 18% which has been nice.  The even nicer park of all this has been that a piece of my work will in the future be displayed in London, England.  Yes, a fellow blogger has purchased a piece of my art work, and I think that’s SO cool!
Here's the artwork...
"Cycle of Red, Yellow& Tyedyed"; A Poured Watercolor on 11" x 11" Paper.

2.)    Uncluttering My Life?
I’ve started forming a large pile to go off to the good will.  I went through a couple of kitchen cupboards and in fact, emptyied out two of them completely.  They were just full of STUFF.  I’ve also been starting to go through all of the warm weather clothes and seeing if I want to keep or put in the pile.  But I’m progressing on this goal a little more this year!  Yeah!

3.)    Reaching My Goal Weight?
I’ve rather hit a plateau these last couple of weeks but I’m trying to hang in there and focus.  I still have between those 12 to 13 lbs. to lose.  They seem to be like a parasite that’s hanging on for dear life.

4.)    Cutting down on eating out?
UGH!  I’ve been just plain HORRible about this one.  In fact, today for lunch I went through the Wendy’s drive thru and all of the gals working at the restaurant leaned out said hello and asked me how I was doing!  NOT a good sign!  But I will say I’m not on a first name basis yet!  Obviously, I need to work on this one!

5.)Do 1 Century Bike Ride this year?
I’m hoping to have the first one be the Willard Bay Super Series Bike Ride that my bike club puts on the 21st of this month.  If it’s not too windy, it will be a go!  I’m still waiting to hear about RAGBRAI.  The lottery will be announced on May 1st, and I’m thinking I’ll need to really step up for some riding if I get in that.  I mean 471 miles in a week; O-vay!  That’s a lot of riding.