May 30, 2011

I wasn't done - Part II

Posted by Jan on Monday, May 30, 2011 with No comments
Geez, I need to shut up. There were three other things I have been meaning to mention, but keep forgetting.

So before I... *ahem*, forget

I signed up for my 1st 10K! When I heard about the BAA 10K I was reluctant. At the time, I was literally hurting from all the aches and pains and I just didn't think I could even do it. But I needed a new goal since I was tiring of 5Ks. I still think I have bitten off more than I can chew physically, but since I have taken some time off from running, I feel so much better. I have no doubt I have the will and the endurance. I just don't know if the joints are gonna start yapping! There's only one way to find out.

I also thought it was fun that I was doing my inaugural 10K on the BAA's inaugural 10 K.

A little tidbit about me: I love stormy weather. Snowstorms, thunderstorms, hurricanes. As long as no one gets hurt. Tornados, on the other hand, scare the heck out of me (although they fascinate me like no other). Because of how I feel about tornados, I would never, ever consider living in the mid-west.

As we all know, the mid-west has been pummeled this year with tornados and what happened to Joplin, Missouri just wrecked me.

But on FB, I follow Runner's World and RW suggested to support Joplin by registering for the Boomtown 5K or 1/2 marathon race (even though it is cancelled) and run it virtually. So that's what I did. I registered for the 5K and on June 11th, I will run a 5K for the people of Joplin. It's nice to know that my registration fees are being used for the recovery efforts. God speed, Joplin.

And finally and certainly not least, I posted at the end of March about an event that I was participating in that was a big deal to me. I know that personal blogs allow you to post what you believe in. But for me, I have chosen not to talk about religion or politics. Those two subjects can be too much of a hate magnet and that's not what I am about.

After the rash of tragic suicides in the fall that involved such young beautiful people I felt that I needed to make a statement. Not in a brash way. Not in an "in your face" way. The NOH8 campaign does just that. In March, the campaign was on it's way to Japan, but because of the earthquake and the tsunami that followed, it was postponed and the campaign came to Boston instead. I heard about it through my online photographers network of friends and decided it was time to take a stand.

We need to start showing young people that it is not okay to promote hate. Although the campaign was started because of Prop 8 in California and same-sex marriage, it can apply to all types of hate: religious, racism, sexism. I am happy to see that such prominent actors/actresses, sports figures, politicians, etc are being the role models they should be. But I am also very happy to see everyday people standing up to make a statement, for whatever their reasons.

I will also confess that as a photographer, I was fascinated in watching the incredibly talented Adam Bouska work before my eyes and see just how a "magazine shoot" might be put together.

So here is my glamour shot, made available finally this week. It is my silent political statement. Peace...

May 29, 2011

The case of the human gutter ball

Posted by Jan on Sunday, May 29, 2011 with No comments
So all this talk this morning made me get out on the bike trail earlier than usual. I wanted to beat the Sunday crowd, enjoy the fine weather and then have the afternoon to go to the movies. It was Groundhog Day, except in reverse from yesterday.

Fairly early in the ride though near tragedy occurred. In my blog entry yesterday I talked of the poor guy and the biking accident I saw. I then posted a few comments to all of you that I have been lucky not to have experience any accidents.

Well, not no more. And I wish I could tell you something really exciting happened that caused my accident. Like me taking a direct hit of bug splatter on my sunglasses causing temporary blindness or me avoiding pinwheeling a poodle or saving a kid from a runaway tricycle. Nope, none of that. It was caused by the natural ornithologist in me. I just happened to see a big fat bird in the creek I was riding past and I took my eyes off the trail a little longer than I should have.


The fence I ran into
My bike ran off the pavement and my shoulder slammed into the shoulder high wooden rail fence. Next thing I know, my hand reached up (at about 15 MPH) to get me away from the fence but my fingers got caught between the standing posts. Lovely. A jolt of pain, then the realization that my feet were still clipped in and then the thought "Aw, sh*t, this is gonna hurt."

But I recovered. Just like a bowling ball on it's way into the gutter, but saved by the blowup bumpers.

Dang. Blood everywhere, hand throbbing, but I decided that if I can still bend my fingers, they weren't broke and I could finish the 12 miles I still had to go. And that's what I did. EDIT: Because that's what lunatic warriors do...

Here are the results. It's all blurry, but maybe that's best! No sprains or broken fingers. Very sore shoulder and forearm, and a bruised ego. But that's it.

I realize how much worse this could have been. And I realize that this could have been prevented. If that's my early season lesson, then I will take it. Save the bird watching while I am on my own two feet and not on 2 wheels doing 15 MPH.

Now I am going to get cleaned up and have a pseudo pity party at the theatre with Jack Sparrow and some Swedish Fish.


I wasn't done

Posted by Jan on Sunday, May 29, 2011 with No comments
I woke up this morning (yes, rather late) and I remembered a couple other things I wanted to mention on my blog entry from yesterday...but I forgot. Yes, menopause at its best.

One thing was food. The prices of food have skyrocketed. This month, for the first time ever, I have saved all my receipts to see what it costs to feed me. There is only one of me, so that makes it easy -- and hard.

But between May 9th and May 26th, I plunked done $267 on friggin' food. This is grocery store shopping folks. And I am not talking Whole Foods either. Just run of the mill grocery stores. And the scary thing is this: I am not eating anything extravagant. I am not a cook. No weird recipes calling for exotic ingredients. In fact, my intake of food hasn't changed in nearly a year (except I don't eat any type of meat or fish anymore). I am truly the queen of routine.

My biggest expense is fruits and veggies. But that comprises most of my diet. I probably have at least 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies a day. The next biggie? Coffee. I was buying K-Cups...I know, I know, I should be concerned about the environment, but it was so convenient just making one cup in the morning instead of a 1/2 pot that would wind up getting wasted anyway.

But I did an experiment and bought the "brew your own" K-cup and it has worked out beautifully and cut my coffee expenses by at least 60-70%. I get a single cup convenience without the outrageous expense and I am being kinder to the earth.

The coconut milk creamer and almond milk is expensive, but I just will not substitute those for the regular dairy products anymore. I am almost off of all dairy products. Cottage cheese is still on my list. But now it's once a month instead of weekly. And that's a good thing because cottage cheese went up .30 cents. This wasn't even for a name brand. Just plain old store brand. I couldn't believe it.

Plowing thru the receipts for the month, I can see that technically I have had two "dairy" filled products: a tub of cottage cheese and some Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches (my summertime addiction). I have been eating these ice cream sandwiches for at least 7 or 8 years. The biggest guilt free treat I can find and they are delicious. If you have never had the opportunity to try them, I encourage you to do so. I know they make other ice cream products, but I haven't tried them.

I have had to laugh that the trend lately is not to restrict yourself when it comes to treats and diets. In fact, I refuse to think of what I eat a "diet" (as in weight-loss). The word "diet" has negative connotations and I have been controlled by it most my life. I think of what I eat as "intake". If I want chocolate, I have chocolate. If I want ice cream, I have ice cream. Yesterday I had Swedish Fish at the movies. I do not restrict myself because it just makes the urges worse. But there is a new trend all over the TV, books and the internet lately: the "I" Diet or the "Compassion" Diet, blah, blah, blah. It only makes sense folks! Just know where the limit is. I can honestly say when you make something a part of your routine, you don't feel deprived and after a while it loses its power. Take for instance chocolate. I was having a piece (not a bar) of chocolate a night. That went on for about 3-4 weeks. Now I don't have that craving. I am not sure if it is because my mind realizes that I can have chocolate without losing control or I just got bored with it.  Whichever, I have no chocolate in the house and I don't have that urge to have a secret stash somewhere. Weird.

But don't ask me to give up my sliced Red Delicious apple and peanut butter every night. It just ain't happenin'.

What's your favorite indulgence?

May 28, 2011

Ping ponging thoughts

Posted by Jan on Saturday, May 28, 2011 with No comments
Todays workout entailed a 14 mile ride on the bike. The weather was gorgeous and the ride went so fast because I was thinking of my blog entry for today. My thighs hurt because I have been pushing the resistance training a bit. But it's one of those "feel good" hurts.

Anyway, I was thinking that my approach for the blog entry was gonna be tough. So I decided not to try and figure out how to word anything. I am just gonna throw it all out there because, well, it's all over the place. Lot's of little things that really don't have much to do with workouts, but all to do with a day in the life of Jan.

So to start off, I received an email that 3 out 5 pieces of my photography work were accepted to be displayed in a month long showing at the ALL Art Gallery here in the city. I am thrilled. I really didn't put much thought into what I should submit. I just went with some of the ones I really liked.

I updated my photography website this morning and actually had to start removing photos! I just have so many (over 250) that I really like. But after 5 years, I am not surprised that I have so many. So out with the older and in with the newer.

Like I said, I did a 14 mile ride on the bike trail. And saw my first bike accident. I didn't see it happen, but I saw the result: cop cars, fire trucks and ambulances. The guy was moving, he was wearing a helmet but it looked like his shoulder or arm was badly injured. I have been waiting for this. After nearly 800 miles on that trail, I am surprised I haven''t seen it earlier and I am glad that I haven't personally experienced it. I have come very close though. May the poor guy have good meds and a speedy recovery!

I heard yesterday that Christopher Meloni is leaving Law and Order: SVU. Kind of bummed because I really like him, but I realized something. I think Paul Michael Glaser and Christopher Meloni were separated at birth (never mind that there are a couple of decades between them too). Just sayin'....

I went to see Bridesmaids this afternoon. It was pretty funny. One scene in it I know would make SUAR at Shut Up and Run roar with laughter. If you follow her blog and see the movie, then you know which scene it is! I will probably go see Pirates of the Caribbean tomorrow because I absolutely love "Jack Sparrow".

Somebody hit my vehicle with a rock or something. I saw it just before I got on my bike this afternoon, so I had a little bit of a bent attitude riding. I hate it when somebody feels that it's okay to ruin someone else's property. I know it probably happened in the Hannafords parking lot. At least I wasn't in this parking lot... and if I was, I would never admit it.

And to top off my day, I dropped a toolbox on my ankle. Nice big egg. You know the ones: swells up, no color yet... the awful colors will show up in a day or so. Yup, it friggin' hurt.

I promised you that this would be all over the place. At least I didn't let ya down.

Have a great holiday weekend.


May 25, 2011


Posted by Jan on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 with No comments
So this morning, in the blogger comments, I received a subtle hint from Meghan that I haven't been around too much. And Meghan, you are right. It's been a weird month.

So many things tipped me out of my routine. And let me tell you, I am the friggin' queen of routine! Extra doctors appointments, AWFUL New England weather, Blogger down time, family obligations, deadlines for my hobby of photography, new computers and cameras.... Everything is out of whack.

But things are starting to settle down. I have been keeping up with as much of the physical exercise as possible, but there came a point last week when I got on the treadmill for 3 minutes and turned it off. My muscles and joints were screaming and it was at that point I knew I needed a break. So that's what I have done. I kept up with some light bicycling and weight lifting, but the running hasn't been happening.

I have been very active with my photography. I had a deadline last Friday that required all my spare attention for an entire week. I am excited that I may be showing some of my work again in a popular local gallery and I am waiting for the results of that.

This is the time of the year when my photography shuffles up to the top of my priority list. All winter long I just keep my head above water (snow?). I keep myself busy with other stuff, but come spring and summer, I am constantly outside capturing the light. 1.5 weeks ago was a classic example. I spent at least 8 hours wandering around Lowell photographing interesting things and then another 3 or 4 hours in front of my computer processing the images. I love the magic of it all. But the walking is good for me, so I never feel guilty about those days (my longest photo walk is about 13 hours).

Tonight though, I kept a promise to myself and I did a 5K run. It was slow, but it finally didn't feel like someone was stabbing the top of my hamstrings with knives. So the break was good for me physically and mentally.

At what point do you know and give yourself permission for a break?

May 5, 2011

I can, because it's mine!

Posted by Jan on Thursday, May 05, 2011 with No comments
Nope, this has absolutely nothing to do with running, nourishment, menopause, high gas prices, or what have you. Just pure amusement. It's a substitute and a diversion because I have been a total slacker for working out this week. I am reaching for a laugh instead of a bar of chocolate!

Laugh away!

And for those of you who are not "dog people" here's one for the other type furry 4 legged friends