Saturday, January 30, 2010

Empty Nesting

The wedding planning is going well...that I can tell. Fortunately, my daughter has taken this task by the horns and is steamrolling the whole process. I am amazed at how decisive she is. I am used mainly for a sounding board or an opinion giver. She is really rockin' it. I am finding myself more and more amazed at what she can do. She has already gotten the bridesmaid outfits and shoes, toasting glasses, cake cutlery, centerpieces, spoken to a florist...the list goes on and on.

I'll admit, when they first made their plans of getting married known, I was not all on board for it. College students, getting married and making it on their own? I was quite the skeptic, a nice word for every cell in my being freaking the hell out. Every time she would need rescuing, I was thinking "how is she going to handle these types of situations living 2 hours away from me"? The same thoughts must have been going through her mind, because in the past couple months, she has been needing to be rescued less and less. She amazes me. I must have done my job well or am extremely lucky! I still wish they had waited a year, but I'm getting better about it.

I, on the other hand, am adjusting to empty nest syndrome more like a cow being lead to the slaughter...yeah...a little less well. As a young parent I remember agonizing over "when am I going to get my life back again?" Irony is a bitch. Parenting has been my life for almost 20 years. Now what??? Lively nights of BINGO at the senior center? ("Did you see that Pearl has a new troll doll as a good luck charm?"), or do I become a cliche of an early midlife crisis resplendent with a convertible car, wild hair and dressing as a 20 year old? If you ever see me wearing pants with "Juicy" on the butt, please slap me.

I'm still knitting the wedding shawl...s..l..o..w..l..y. I'm going to try and keep a journal before the wedding chronicling her past, feelings and events of the present and my hopes for their future. I'll give it to her with the shawl. See, my gift is not the shawl, but my time and effort. You're not just getting an item. Knitters understand's not a quick craft. We deliberate on which yarn will suit the project best in a color we know the recipient will love. We diligently pick up the project and work on it at every opportune moment, stitch by stitch until it takes form. We agonize over mistakes and try to make it right. At some point along the way, we grow weary of the project but knit along anyway even though it doesn't seem to get any bigger. As we finish the item, we almost become a little sad that the process is over and wish we could keep the knit for ourselves. But, we give it away with a glad heart that the recipient will love it as much as we do. Wow. When I first started writing this paragraph, I didn't know it was going to be an analogy of raising a girl!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Time To Shake the Doughnuts...

Yes, it's time to shake the spirit of doughnuts past right off my body. My plain glazed and iced cake doughnut booty needs to go. Now that the half marathon is over, I'm going to spend the next month SERIOUSLY trying to shed some pounds. You see, I want to keep running and am addicted to the 5K, 10K, half marathon schtick. It's got to be easier to run without carrying extra weight around. Imagine running around carrying two small (or one large) toddler(s) get the idea. You would think that training for a half-marathon would be the ticket to shedding weight, but not so. Longer runs need more fuel and that becomes a delicate balance (or excuse). "I'm a runner, I need to eat this bread" didn't quite work for me weight-wise.

My secret, extra special, scientific, complicated way to lose weight? Counting calories. 1600 per day. Oh I'm sure if I wanted to do it "right" I could also measure protein, carbs, fat, fiber, intake of macro and micronutrients...but as much as like like to geekify everything, I won't follow it too long. As much as I hate to write down everything that goes into my pie-hole, it's the only thing to hold me accountable.

Someone once told me that the definition of crazy was to keep doing things the same way expecting a different result. So, my "theories" of eating whatever amounts of food I want as long as I ate quality food are out the window. Sure, I didn't gain as much weight eating quality (and some crappy) foods. I felt better and I actually pretty much maintained my weight for a year. Losing is a different story. I've already lost the few holiday pounds I had put on.

In wedding/knitting news, I started knitting my daughter's wedding shawl. She picked the pattern: Shetland Triangle by Evelyn A. Clark or Ravelry link here. I'm knitting it out of Baruffa Cashwool which is one of the softest and thinnest laceweight yarns I have knit with. It should truly be a shawl that floats/glides on air. It's inexpensive and a good value for the 1460 yards it contains.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Half Marathon

I know, I've been a bad blogger. The half marathon was 3 days ago and I'm just getting around to blogging about it. Things have been quite busy around here at Casa del Marshmarathon! We took a vacation to Disneyworld (of which I'll also have to blog about later), holidays, training, continued planning of the wedding...and...and...I'm spent! Even as we speak, DD is coming in here to tell me that I'm supposed to go with her to the florist in about an hour to see

Back to the half marathon... I stayed in a hotel room in Houston so I wouldn't have to drive around street detours, get frustrated with parking and could just walk out of my hotel to the starting line. The hotel was very nice, but the open plan of the lobby and upper rooms was very noisy acoustically, and I didn't sleep very well.

The day of the race, there were so. many. people. It was crazy! We filled the George R. Brown convention center! We filled the streets. The energy was contagious. So many bodies ready to push the limits! We hear the starting cannon and cheer! It took me 20 minutes just to reach the starting line there were so many of us!

Miles 0-5 I felt great! The air was chilly but invigorating. I got to see the sunrise from an overpass over Houston. My legs felt strong and I only walked up a couple of inclines. I didn't make the mistake of starting out too fast. My pace was steady. I smiled at the camera, I took in my surroundings, I waved to folks on the side of the road waving and cheering us on. I took it all in and absorbed the experience of it. I felt very zen.

Mile 6-9 - okay, a bit of a challenge here. Focusing on breathing, walking through all water stops, and inclines. Legs starting to burn and not wanting to cooperate as much. Downed a gu pack (should be called "ew" pack) some water and some sport beans which does help. More people on the side of the road cheering now.

Mile 10-11 - Wait, what mile marker did I just pass? What's my name? Thankfully there are even more people and entertainment to distract the runners. Elvis impersonators, funny signs, cheerleaders, rock bands, balloons, noisemakers...much needed distractions from my own body's protests. Feet feeling the pounding. Walking a bit more now. See the 12 mile sign. Start to cry...wait...crying takes more air...STOP CRYING! Okay, crying over. THERE'S NO CRYING IN RUNNING!

Mile 12-13 - running through downtown again, lots of people. Can't think in complete sentences anymore. Focused. Can't even hear my headphones - take them off. Can't feel my feet. Hoping my foot shaped stumps can carry me across the finish line. See the finish line banner. Almost start crying again. Remember it takes more air and stop. Pumping arms to make my body go. Finish! Right after finishing I hear my name called from the sidelines. I see my daughter's face and we hug through a separation in the fence. I am crying now, so glad she came for me!

I am so glad I did this race. Do I want to do another? You betcha! Pain is addicting!!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010: The Year We Make Contact

We all like fresh starts, so it's time for my 2010 list of resolutions improvements! Resolutions are usually too much to bite off, so I choose to set small reasonable/reachable goals for myself. 

1 - Be more social - I have a natural introvert nature. Always have. I mean, I play well with others just as long as the group isn't too large, but many times I let my hermit tendencies take over. I don't want to be a social butterfly, because that would be impossible for me. That would be like asking the Pope to do standup comedy. ("A Rabbi, a Deacon and myself walk into a bar...") God made us all with unique qualities for a reason. We can't all be the life of the party, but I do need to make more people connections. I made some really great knitting friends over the internet who are now some of my BFF's in real life (IRL) also. (blows kisses to those who read this blog) To echo sentiments from some of my friends, "you need to get out more", which will help following the aftermath of #3 below.

2 - Finish half marathon and continue running - Sunday, January 17!!! I could have trained more, but I think I did pretty well for myself for where I am right now. I intend to continue running and will likely sign up for another half marathon after this one is over to continue the cattle prod to the buttocks motivation. 

3 - Get through my daughter's wedding alive (or at least without threatening to mame someone) while she obsesses over invitations, decorations and accessories. I'm not a frou-frou wedding planner-type person. When I got married (long ago) I just told my bridesmaids to wear a nice pastel dress and they carried a single flower down the aisle. Although she is far from a diva bridezilla, the number of tiny, miniscule decisions that she's asking of me is enough to make my head spin at times. The other day, I told her she had 2 more wedding related questions/requests to request of me for the rest of the day and to choose wisely. 

4 - Simplify and de-stuffify my house/life - I've already started this one thanks to Hurricane Ike. My garage is already full of crap to get rid of, but I want to go through my house and cull the things I don't need. The catch-phrase lately is "simplify" and I could use a little of that.

I also intend to continue working on last year's improvements. It's all about baby steps...set small reasonable goals for yourself one day at a tiny step at a time. Right Bob?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Out with the old...

I like that the new year is a time to reflect on the past year, condense it down to a manageable pieces, pick out the things you didn't like and try to make the new year better. Like jellybeans. I can do without the black ones in my life thankyouverymuch.

I'm not much of a "resolution" person. It's hard for me to say "I'm going to lose 20 pounds" or "my house will be clean every day" or "I'm going to teach pigs to fly". That just sets me up for failure and disappointment. Instead, I try to work on things. Even if I make them only a little better, it's still better right??? Let's take last year's list for example:

1 - blog more. - Done! More doesn't mean every day. It just means more.
2 - not have too many UFO's going at once. For the most part, I tried to have no more than 5 things going at once. Something easy, something portable, something challenging, something practical and a wild card.
3 - spin more. Again, "more" is a relative word. Compared to last year (before I got my spinning wheel) I did spin more...just not very much.
4 - Get this house decluttered after hurricane ike - Done! (with pics)

5 - Get back into running. I refocused my blog to include running...hence Marshmarathon was born. I then became inspired and kept up my motivation and continued to progress albeit quite slowly and often took a two steps forward one step back approach. Signing up for the Aramco Half Marathon was a good motivator like a cattle prod to the buttocks! Injuries be damned!
6 - Worry less and enjoy the little things in life - I lost my job in February when our company's contract lost the renewal and got another job which is less hours per week, easier but a little less money. So worth it!
7 - Go on a trip with my daughter. Uh...will have to settle for Schlitterbahn and shelling out the bucks for a wedding.

8 - Lose weight and eat healthier. Again, it's all relative. I think I lost a grand total of 10 pounds but hey...I didn't gain!
9 - Knit a little every day. Nope. Just didn't do this one.

10 - Knit more from my stash. I did do this one!

I still don't know what my New Year's list will be this year. Still workin on it!!!