Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Nice Little Run

Saturday I went for a nice little run. I say "little" because for most people it would be a little run. For me, however, it was a nice LONG run. Nearly 3.5 miles.

I went with my neighbor who just ran a marathon. I thought she would be bored out of her mind. But she apparently wasn't. She said I had some speed in me.

I am quite sure she was actually looking at someone else when she said that. Go figure.

It was a nice pace, a 3 minute run, 45 second walk. And I looked forward to that 45 second walk dontcha know. It was all fun and games until we got to.......Hell's Hill.

When I was in high school, my parents had a Volvo 240 station wagon. I'll never forget it. Red with vinyl seats.

And a stick shift.

Anyone who has ever learned to drive a stick remembers their first incline. The one where you stop, the rear of the car pointing down at a whatever-degree-angle behind you and pray to God that you don't stall. Then you slowly take your foot off the brake, press on the clutch and start bucking like a bronco having seizures.

For my brother Brendan and me, it was the slight incline at the end of my parents street. We called it Hell's Hill. In reality it was probably no more than 10 degrees upward. But it felt like we were on a 90 degree angle. We would come to a stop, say a little prayer and send that Volvo into convulsions, giving ourselves a massive headache in the process.

This hill on our run was probably like that. To me it seemed ginormous. In reality it wasn't all that bad. I am pretty sure I stopped talking 1/3 of the way up. I think I almost stopped talking because I am pretty sure I nearly stopped breathing. But then we were at the top, Hell's Hill was conquered and we were running on our merry way.

Truth be told, it was actually kind of fun :)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Smoking or Non?

There is a fine line between enjoying the humor in situations and making fun of people.  I can cross that line on occasion.

I think I am about to.  You be the judge.

A few weeks ago I ventured to the Y for my 6am spinning class.  I am certainly no blooming flower at that hour of the morning.    Like most people about to exercise, I have not showered.  Deodorant, yes.  Shower, no.  I am also  quite cranky and can be rather unpleasant B.C. 

Before Coffee, that is.

This particular morning I was running late.  Big surprise.  So I kind of broke into a run half way through the parking lot to make sure I had not made my trip in vain.  If you get there too late, you risk not getting a bike.  Which means you got up early and wasted a drive to the gym for nothing.  Makes for a very unhappy me.  Or anyone for that matter. 

Just before I hit the membership desk I passed a woman walking v-e-r-y slowly.  Think tortoise slow.  She was fully clothed—sweater, sweatpants, coat.  When I passed her on my way to the stairs I got a whiff of something.  A really big something.


Not have-a-cigarette-during-break-time smoke. This was smoke-a-pack-in-your-car-with-the-windows-up smoke.   Then go sit in a cigar bar just for good measure.  Just in case the smoke hadn’t permeated your being quite enough. 

I thanked my luck stars that there was no WAY she could be heading to spin class wearing all those clothes.  I mean, who spins in long pants and a sweater, right?  And at the pace she was moving I just didn’t figure her for heavy-duty exercise. 

I was wrong.

Apparently spinning was exactly where she was headed.  As I was situating myself on my hiding-in-the-back-of-the-room bike, she walked on by.   Bringing that smell right along with her. 

Oh. My. Gawd.  I thought I was going to pass out.

Thankfully making sure you sit in the back of the class so that no one can see you turn the color of a beet has it’s advantages.   She apparently prefers the front of the room and waltzed right on up in front of the instructor.  It was pretty amusing to watch the heads turn in the opposite direction of her as other exercisers tried to inhale clean air. 

I tried not to get to complacent about my distance from her smokey-ambiance. 

Next time she might be next to me.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Luck Be A Lady

I thought I was looking for a spinning prince.

Turns out, I was looking for a spinning princess.  And I **heart** her in all her spinning goddess loveliness.

Now spinning in the morning is kinda tough.  Spin class is from 6-7.  Two kids leave for the bus at 6:35.  One leaves at 7:30.  I have to make sure kiddo #4 is ready to go so I can leave for work at 8:05.  Like many families, we cut things pretty close in the morning.  One false move, 10 minutes oversleeping or one forgotten trumpet can turn a smooth morning into a burgeoning disaster.

But nothing ventured, nothing gained.  So last Wednesday morning I set out my work clothes for when I returned, packed lunches, woke children and left the house at 5:45 to try out a new spin instructor. 

The first thing I liked about her was her voice.  Not too loud, not too quiet.  Just right.  She described the layout of the class, asked if anyone needed help, and that was it.  No idle chit chat.  No persistent yapping.   Perfect balance of talking and not talking so that people who have not yet had their morning coffee didn’t want to strangle her.  

Then there was the music.  Loved it.  A little Peter Gabriel, some Talking Heads, some Sarah McLachlan.  And when Irene Cara started singing “What a Feeling”  I knew I was in love.  A true 80’s woman after my own heart.  I could practically see Jennifer Beals at the end of Flashdance, dancing her heart out at that audition.  It was an awesome hour, a completely enjoyable workout with lots of sweat and motivation.

Unfortunately, Cameron missed the bus, forgot his lunch check and I came home to my 10-year-old watching her 4-year-old brother while my husband drove Cam to school.   But like anything else, practice makes perfect.

And there’s always next time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Turkey Trot Revisited

When I was a kid on Governors Island in New York, the annual Thanksgiving morning run was called the Turkey Trot. There was a kids run, and an adult run that I assume was around a 5K. It was a fun way to start the day off right.

I ran the kids race a few times. Feeling like Rocky at the beginning. Feeling more like the recipient of one of his beatings by the end.

Last year on Thanksgiving Day, Adrienne wanted to run in the Andover’s version of the Turkey Trot—the Feaster Five. I took her, paid the entrance fee and watched her take off at the sound of the gun.

Then I grabbed a donut and made my way to the finish line.

This year might be a tiny bit different. In addition to Adrienne, I also registered myself for the 5K part of the Feaster Five. She is running the 5 miler. I am running the 5K which is just over 3 miles. I feel mostly prepared. The swimming and biking in addition to the running have hopefully built up my stamina to the point where I can run three miles without stopping. Too much. I have never actually run three miles outside without stopping. Or inside without stopping for that matter.

But what the heck. You never know unless you try, right?

She WILL finish her race before me. Probably quite a bit before me, truth be told. But I don’t mind.

She doesn’t drive yet so she can’t leave without me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bad Blogger, Bad

“I have been too busy living to blog about it”.  I read that somewhere  and I hope my friend doesn’t mind me using it here.  I have been remiss in my journal-this-journey commitment this week.   Mea Culpa.

Things have been a bit…..busy here.  Last Wednesday night Adrienne informed me that the two girls who sit on either side of her in Global Thought were out with what was rumored to be H1N1.

Thursday morning, as if having jinxed herself, she woke up with a 101 fever, sore throat and a cough.   She was still down for the count  on Saturday morning when Cameron woke up with a fever and sore throat.  Then later on in the day, Lucas started to run a temp.

Fun times at the Michaud house.  Half down.  Half still standing.  For now, anyway.   It is a tad sad that the only thing my children share well are germs, no?  But anything worth doing is worth doing well.  When they share, they share in spades.

For now, the other three of us are using hand sanitizer by the gallon, following the three above-mentioned sickos around with Lysol wipes, and trying to dodge those coughs that don’t end up in the now-correct elbow crook. 

In any case, I have swam a bit, ellipticalled a bit and found an awesome new spin instructor who I will blog about at a later date (or whom I will blog about- I am not quite sure which is right).

Hope all is well with you and yours.  Catch you on the flip side.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

That’s the Plan, Stan

My fabulous neighbor of bee-sting-while-marathoning fame is a certified track coach, Red Cross swim instructor, former spin instructor and inspirational mama extraordinaire. 

She might even be the tooth fairy.  Still looking into that one.

In any case, we got to chatting the other day and she told me that she is starting to do individualized training plans for triathletes and other recreational athletes with specific goals.    Ta-da.  I could use that.  So yesterday we met to discuss a little nitty and a little gritty.  And have coffee, of course.  And I decided to be one of her first victims clients.

We went straight from Panera to the YMCA for a little mid-morning swim.  I swear  I did not eat a cinnamon crunch bagel with cream cheese.  I did consider it  for a while.  I half ordered it in my head, and then decided that it would be very unattractive to hurl in the pool at our first workout together, so I changed my mind. 

Never swim on a full stomach.  I learned that the hard way.

Anyhoo, off to the Y we went for a “little” swim.   I can tell she is going to be good for me.   Like when you are running with someone, and they keep going so you want to keep going because you don't want them to see you stop and think that you can’t do it?   Yep, that was it.

We swam over 1500 yards.  Just shy of a mile.  Which is twice as far as I normally swim.  Yikes.

I mean, the thing is that I could probably have swam that far all along.  But I didn’t have a specific goal in mind.  And it is good to have accountability to someone other than yourself.  Not everyone needs that.

Apparently, though, I do.

She will set the bar higher than I would set it for myself.  Which I think is a very good thing.

I think this is the start of something good.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lucky 13

I have very exciting news.

When I got on the scale this morning it said:

“Congratulations Kelly. You have now lost 13 pounds and are now considered just moderately overweight”.

Okay, so it didn’t talk to me in reality. But it did talk to me in numbers. Numbers that are going down. Me likey.

When I went for my physical a few months back, I talked to my doctor about exercise and weight loss. She referred me to the awesome Nutrition Factory, where I have become a devoted stalker client.

The referral note said: “Consultation re: obesity”.


I mean, it’s one thing to know it sort of. It’s entirely another thing to see it in black and white.

Which is why I was very glad to know that I am now only considered moderately overweight. Which I will apparently be for the next multitude of pounds. Maybe forever.

And I have made my peace with that. I can live with it.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

But someone at my office yesterday told me my pants looked baggy. I nearly kissed her.

Woot Woot!