Friday, October 31, 2008

Don't let your pumpkins drink and drive

Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween.

Just don't let your pumpkins enjoy too many adult beverages. Or it could get a little messy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sorry, this mailbox doesn't accept junk mail

Six pieces of mail were waiting for me when I went to the mailbox today.
  • A package containing I bra I had ordered from Victoria's Secret last week.
  • A random piece of junk mail.
  • An extra large postcard supporting a candidate for State Senate.
  • And four, count 'em, four of those extra large postcards sent to me from the folks at the Republican National Committee telling me how evil the Democratic presidential candidate is.
Yup. That's pretty much been what's been in my mailbox every day for the last two weeks or so. Minus the bra of course.

I'm ready for the election to be over.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

First day completed

Day 1 of the challenge was successfully completed.

I headed over to the YMCA after work and spent some time on the treadmill to nowhere. I logged 2.8 miles in 30 minutes. I'm slowly getting back into the running. It's actually gotten easier in just the last week. I still run at a slower pace than I used to, but I last longer without having to take a break. I think at this point I may have to aim for that 5K I've been toying with the week after the 2-mile Turkey Trot. After the run I headed over to the bike and spent 20 minutes pedaling before I had to head home for the night.

Now, tomorrow might be a stretching it a bit. See, I'm bowling with some girls from work at night. And it's basically right after work. So I might have to count the bowling as my exercise for the day. It's kind of like strength training. Picking up a heavy ball. Throwing the heavy ball. Repeat two times per frame. Ten frames per game. Two games. Yeah. That sounds like a "workout" to me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A challenge

I'm joining Teacherwoman.

Starting tomorrow, for the next 33 days there will be some kind of workout. Running, biking, walking. Maybe I'll even pull out the Billy Blanks Tae Bo tapes I have. Or, gasp! Maybe I'll even get in the pool, a place I haven't been since July.

And besides, maybe the scale and I will get along a little better after 33 days and it's the end of November.

I can do it.

Anyone care to join me?

I try to avoid the ironing board

One thing I really really dislike about the weather getting colder?

Switching over to winter clothes.

Let's not even talk about the fact that three-quarters of my winter wardrobe doesn't fit at the moment due to the nasty meds I had to take to get rid of the monster. I'm confident they'll fit again.

What's worse? Having to iron.

Sounds silly. But my shirts never end up wrinkle free. I swear I put more wrinkles in than I take out. Ugh.

Which is why I try my hardest to buy clothes that don't require ironing.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Badgers were a good excuse to watch some TV

It was very fall-like today. Temperatures in the mid-50s, sunny and just a slight breeze. And since I was working a funky split shift today, with a large chunk of time off in the afternoon, I was toying with taking my bike out and sneaking in what could very well be my last ride of the year.

You know, because we have a forecast that features the mercury barely hitting 40, winds around 30 miles an hour and a chance of snow for the next few days. Not really ideal biking conditions.

So I went to work this morning and did what I had to do. I was sitting at my desk, writing my story and keeping my eye on Wisconsin's homecoming game against Illinois.

Then I was done. Ready to leave for the afternoon and I glanced at the football score.

Wisconsin 10, Illinois 10 at halftime.

Hmm. Not the blowouts that Wisconsin has been suffering the last two games. And from the glimpses I had seen, it was actually a pretty good game. And of course, since I'm cheap, I don't get ESPN2 at home. And I really didn't want to listen to it on the radio. Just wasn't in the radio mood today.

So I stopped and thought for a moment and it dawned on me.


Remember? With its swanky new treadmills with TVs right in your face? It was a Saturday afternoon, there was bound to be a treadmill or two available for me to hop on and sneak in a run while watching the Badgers.

So I headed over and hopped on the treadmill to nowhere. Almost three miles and 30 minutes later, the game was heading into the fourth quarter (ironically, just as House of Pain's "Jump Around" came up on my iPod's play list) and the game was tied at 17.

It was time to bike then. Over the next half hour I logged 7 miles and watched the Badgers take a 27-17 lead with just under 3 minutes remaining. I could have walked away, satisfied that the Badgers would come away with their first Big Ten win of the season.

But 3 minutes is a lot of time. And Illinois had the ball. And I didn't want to take any chances of missing some big comeback by the Illini while I was downstairs in the locker room changing.

So I hopped back on the treadmill and walked while the game finished.

The Badgers won. And I got in a good workout. And that makes a happy Badgergirl.

Then it was back to work for me. But at least I could pass my time by keeping my eyes on the Badger hockey game against Minnesota tonight. Unfortunately, it's not going as well as this afternoon's football game.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mark it on your calendars

Mark it on your calendars.

Two days. In a row. As in, Tuesday then Wednesday.

I haven't done that since May. That's a long time. And that's why I'm marking it on the calendar. It's a momentous day. Why?

I ran. Two days in a row. Granted it was just a two-mile run yesterday and today. But still, this is the girl who has run maybe three times in the past two months. It's a big day for me people.

So I did it. And I'm hoping to add day number three tomorrow. Because not only have I found some motivation, I also have something to run towards.

I've decided to run in a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. I have my choice between a 5-mile run/walk and a 2-mile walk. And since I've just recently discovered this will to run again, I'm going to opt for the 2-mile walk. But I'm going to run. And if they race people get mad at me, oh well. An added bonus? Besides getting up early on Thanksgiving morning and running before sitting down to a Thanksgiving meal? Participants apparently get a free pie along with the shirt. Sign me up.

Once I get done Turkey Trotting, there just might be a 5K on the horizon. But I haven't decided yet.

For now though, it's a Turkey Trot and I'm aiming for day number three.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Five days of nothing

Take a couple of days of vacation, add in a weekend and toss in an extra day off to account for an upcoming Saturday shift this weekend and what did I have? Five days to do whatever I wanted. And what did I do?

Well, nothing too, too exciting. But it was an enjoyable five days to myself.

Thursday there was sleeping late, lounging around my apartment and then dinner with a friend at O'Charley's. I thought about hitting the YMCA, but decided against it.

Friday I did some errands during the day and then hung out with a bunch of 6- and 7-year-olds at a Halloween party at The Rugrats' house. All of the kids had a good time, even The Hellion (my youngest nephew), who demanded that all the "scary men" be taken down. He's only 2, I guess he doesn't quite get the whole scary Halloween concept yet.

I listened to the Badgers suck it up on Saturday. Seriously. What happened to this team? I can't remember the last time they started 0-4 in the Big Ten. At this point, even that "gimmie" game against Cal Poly on Nov. 22 doesn't look like so much of a "gimmie." More like a "must win" in order to get to a bowl game. Maybe things will turn around this weekend when Illinois comes to Camp Randall. A Badger can hope, can't she?

After the Badgers disappointed me, Mom and I went to the apple orchard, had a delicious caramel apple, looked at the crafts and then got some yummy treats. The two chocolate muffins? They're mine. Mom opted for the pumpkin and blueberry variety. And the mini-apple pie? We shared it.

Sunday was spent with the family, celebrating my youngest cousin's first birthday and then watching the Packers beat up on the Colts. Again, Aaron Rodgers looked good, bum shoulder and all. And Brett Favre? You're not doing yourself any favors pulling this kind of stuff.

And today? My final day of a super-extended vacation? I didn't do much. Did some errands. Paid some bills and putzed around. I thought about heading over to the YMCA, but decided not to. After all, it's vacation. The YMCA will be there when I head back to work.

Tomorrow. Ugh.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I tried something new today

That, my friends, was hard.

I was planning on hitting the YMCA after work and heading upstairs to spend a little bit of quality time with those sweet treadmills again today. But when I walked in the locker room, I nearly ran into a couple of co-workers.

"We're going spinning. Come with us!"

Umm, I was planning on running to nowhere. Although I admit, the idea of spinning has always appealed to me. I've just been too scared to try it. Especially alone.

But here were three girls I knew, granted not all that well, and they were inviting me to come along with them. Suddenly it didn't seem so intimidating.

"Sure, give me 2.2 minutes to change."

So I threw on my gym clothes and headed down the hall to me them. We set up our bikes and started spinning. And I'm not going to lie. Parts of it? Tough. No, actually that's not a good word. Brutal. That's better. Seriously. Standing up, with a ton of resistance, going up the mountain? So hard. My legs felt like they were going to die. I had sweat dripping off my forehead. And not just a drop or two. I'm talking a steady stream. Very gross. But also kind of cool. Because it made me realize how hard I was working.

And then the hour was up. I felt good about what I'd accomplished, yet I was ready for it to be over. I'm not sure how much more my legs could take.

Walking back to the locker room, the girls asked me if I'd want to join them again. I said yes. I'm thinking if I could add one spinning session a week to my workouts it would be kind of cool. And it'll payoff at some point down the road.

I just hope my legs don't hurt too bad tomorrow morning. Because those four flights of stairs I have to walk up to get to my desk? Those could be painful.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A treadmill to nowhere, with a distraction!

I kept my promise. I made it to the YMCA after work today.

Since I got out of work so much earlier than normal, it was kind of weird. There were like three people there. I had my pick of which treadmill I wanted. At first I was just going to choose a random treadmill, but then I was confused. The row of treadmills? Half were missing. Replaced by more ellipticals and stair masters. I was confused. I didn't want to climb stairs to nowhere. I'd rather run to nowhere. But then I glanced around the rest of the cardio room. There were the missing treadmills, in the next row.

Complete with TVs.

Yes, hop on a treadmill in the middle row and you could tune into whatever channel you felt like watching. And the TV wasn't hung on the wall, where I can hardly read the closed captioning and only have 5 channels to choose from. No. This TV was there. Right in front of your face. Inches away. So close you could actually read the scrolling sports scores that ESPN runs across the bottom.

Obviously I chose a treadmill in the middle row. I hopped on, tuned the TV to ESPN, plugged myself into my iPod and I was off. Very slowly. But I was running. I spent 30 minutes on that fancy new treadmill and I logged a run of 2 miles and sprinkled in a half mile of walking. All the while I was listening to my tunes and watching NFL highlights. After I was done, I headed over to one of two bikes at the YMCA that were also rigged up with the TV. Same thing. Some tunes, some NFL highlights and even a bit of the 4 o'clock news to help me pass the 7 miles I biked in a half hour.

So. I made it to the YMCA and I ran. And I biked. And I didn't die. I actually feel pretty good at the moment. Let's hope tomorrow is a repeat of today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'm hoping to become friends with the scale again

I admit. I have a love-hate relationship with the scale that sits in my bathroom. Most days we get along OK, but lately? Not so much.

Let me back up a bit.

It was four years ago. I stepped on the scale in the morning, still half asleep. But those three numbers that flashed before me woke me up quickly. There in a scary, blood-red color was my weight. Not too surprising since I was on a scale. What was different was that those three numbers were the highest I'd ever weighed in my life.

The highest.

Scary. Depressing. Motivating.

I made a decision that morning to change the numbers that were flashing before my eyes. I started watching what I ate, using Weight Watchers to count my points. I gave up regular soda, switching to Diet Coke. I tossed the snacks and cookies from my kitchen cupboards.

And I started hitting the YMCA on a very regular basis. I admit, when I first started going, running a half mile was tough. But I set the treadmill on a low speed and started putting one foot in front of the other. Gradually I worked up to running a full mile. Then a mile and a half. Then two. Eventually I was up to running three miles following it up with some time on the bike and then hitting the weights.

And all the sweat paid off. A little more than a year later I stepped back on the scale and I liked the number that was flashing before me. A number that was 50 pounds less. I felt good about myself.

I maintained that weight for almost three years.

But things took a turn for the worse when I got sick last winter. For starters, there was the Monster in my head. But the cure for the Monster? A nasty medicine. One of those that proudly list weight gain as a side effect. And even though I spent my spring and summer running, biking and swimming as I trained for a triathlon, I wasn't able to fight the weight gain. The number on the scale? It went up.

By 30 pounds.

And those scary, depressing feelings that flooded me that morning four years ago have returned. There's nothing left to show of all of the hard work I put in trying to lose the weight the first time.

I took my last dose of the nasty medicine on Friday - 10 months and two weeks after taking the first dose. I gave myself the weekend off, but starting tomorrow? I'm in Operation Lose Weight mode again.

I'll be watching what I eat, counting my points and hitting the gym again. To kick start my efforts, I've joined in with some other bloggers in a weight lose challenge, hopefully it'll give me the added motivation to get my butt back in gear and start shedding the pounds - because starting is sometimes the hardest part.

I'm not aiming to look like a supermodel. I just want to get back to the point where the number on the scale gets back to what it was in December, a weight I was comfortable at. I'm hoping I can get back to that number by late spring, maybe April. I figure 30 pounds in 5 and a half months sounds doable, doesn't it?

I know it will be hard. And honestly, sometimes I worry that I won't be able to do it. But I'm going to try. Because I don't like the way I look at the moment. And I don't like it that I have a closet full of cute clothes that I'm unable to wear right now. And I don't like it that it's so much harder to run right now, carrying around an extra 30 pounds.

So tomorrow I start. A healthy lunch and a packed gym bag will be ready for me when I walk out the door at 5:50 tomorrow morning. Since I'm only working until 3 p.m., I have no excuses. I will go to the YMCA if it kills me. A little treadmill time followed by some time on the bike. And I might even venture over into the weight area.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Excuses, excuses. I've got 'em.

I had good intentions of going to the YMCA after work. After all, I skipped it all last week due to my head aching and so far this week I've been stuck at the office late.

But tonight I had plans to make it there.

And those plans were promptly tossed out the window when I left the building today.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that I smelled like a fire after watching a local tavern almost burn to the ground. Or that my feet hurt because I still haven't broken in those boots I bought last weekend. Or maybe it was the big ole nail I saw sticking in the front tire of my car. Or maybe I was just looking for an excuse to skip it.

Whatever my excuse was, I didn't make it to the YMCA. Instead I sat in a somewhat sketchy tire store while they fixed my tire and afterwards I came home and took a shower. Unfortunately I think still smell like smoke.

But tomorrow? Tomorrow I'll make it to the YMCA.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm over the word limit at the moment

Too many books. Too many pages. So many words. Not enough time.

Every so often I run into a reading problem. And that's where I find myself at the moment. Three books. Not enough time. And it's all the library's fault, since they're the ones who decided to grant my request for two books that I've had on hold for awhile.

See here's my problem. I just started The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory a few days ago. And so far it's pretty good. Granted I'm not very far into it, about 130 pages out of 600 or so. But I like it. And I've said before that I really don't like stopping in the middle of a book.

But here's where the library becomes a problem. I got an e-mail the other day. Not one, but two of the books I had requested were in. So after work tonight I go and pick them up, before they decide to give them to someone else.

So now I have The Host by Stephenie Meyer and Pinkerton's Secret by John MacRae sitting in a pile by my bed, begging to be read. And I admit, I haven't looked at their due dates yet, but I have a feeling the library's going to want those books back sooner rather than later.

Suggestions? What do I do? Finish what I'm reading and start in on the library books, taking the chance I may rack up some late fees? I mean, it wouldn't be anything new. I tend to have late fees at the library fairly often. Or do I put the book I'm currently reading aside (since I do own it) and start in on the library books? Or do I get really ambitious and try to more than one at once (something I don't like to do because it tends to confuse me)?

Like I said, too many books, pages and words at once and not enough time to read them all!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Today calls for bullet-points

It's late, it's Sunday and I'm tired. Too tired to form coherent thoughts. Therefore, you get a bullet-point post.
  • I went to my class reunion this weekend. 10 years. I can't believe it. Friday night we went to our school's homecoming football game. About 25 of us showed up and it was fun. Afterwards I went with three other classmates for a drink and catching up. Good times. Saturday was the big kid social gathering at a downtown bar. Lots of fun. I saw people I hadn't seen in 10 years. Most people looked the same and we remembered each other. But then there were also those who I talked to that neither of us had a clue who the other was, even though we were both wearing name tags. Oh well. A good time was had by all who came. And, I even won a door prize. A CD full of 90s R&B hits, some of which just might be added to the playlist on my iPod that I use at the YMCA. Brings back good memories.
  • I made the mistake of wearing a new pair of boots to the reunion. Word to the wise, don't do this. I don't think you're supposed to wear new shoes, stand in them for 7 hours and walk about two miles between bars. I think the blisters I have on the bottom of my feet prove that. Ouch.
  • I sat outside in the garage today to watch the Packer game. Even though it was only in the upper 50s and there was a bit of a wind. See our cable company and the local FOX affiliate aren't getting along. Meaning the channel isn't on cable. So my Dad rigged up the small TV in the garage with rabbit ears. It was the only way I could watch Green Bay lose. And it was cold.
  • And let's not even talk about the Badgers. Really? Another last minute loss? And the Brewers? Let's not go there either. Although congrats on at least making it to the post-season this year. It was a good season.
I think that's it. Time for bed.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I am lightning

I can't believe it's been 10 years.

It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that I was walking through the halls of my high school. Back then the biggest worries were if I had my calculus homework done, if I could get the night off from my part-time job so I could go to a basketball game, what to wear to the dance or trying to figure out what the funky smell was coming from the locker two down from mine.

I liked high school. I spent my time studying, but I was also involved. Yearbook. Orchestra. The Newspaper. Tennis. My friends.

It was a good three years I spent at Appleton North.

Then we graduated. And we all went our seperate ways. Sure, some of my friends went down to the University of Wisconsin with me, but it was a big camps and it was hard to keep in touch.

And in the days and years since we last walked the halls of high school, I've lost touch with a lot of my friends. Sure, I run into some of them occassionally or hear about people, but I don't really know what's going on.

This weekend I get to get caught up.

It's my 10 year class reunion - starting with taking in the homecoming football game tonight and then a big kid gathering at a bar downtown on Saturday. I'm excited to see everyone. To catch up and find out whose been doing what and where everyone is.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Shhh....I think he's gone

I think the Monster is finally getting the hint that he's no longer welcome.

Knock on wood, he hasn't been around much today. But even though he's missing in action, I'm still taking preventative steps. I'm still taking Tylenol. And I'll still pop a Vicodin when I go to bed tonight. And even though I felt OK after work, I stayed away from the YMCA, even though I really wanted to go and tackle the treadmill.

I just don't want to anger the Monster.

Because I've got plans for the weekend. And those plans don't include the Monster.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sorry, there's no room at the inn for the Monster

I wasn't really in the mood for a visitor, but he decided to come anyway. And I'm not happy to see him.

The Monster in my head.

I've been battling the Monster since Monday. The first day and a half, he was tolerable. I'd pop some Tylenol and he's kind of go away. Still there, but I could function. Yesterday? He became an unwanted head-guest. The kind that doesn't listen to directions. No amount of Tylenol could get him to leave. Always there. Right. Above. My. Eye. Painful. Annoying.

I drugged myself up with Vicodin when I went to sleep last night. It still hurt, but I was able to fall asleep. And I stayed asleep until my alarm started buzzing this morning. When I opened my eyes? I wasn't happy.

The Monster was still there. And he was worse.

Luckily, I could stay in a bed a bit longer than usual this morning since I didn't have to be in court until 9 a.m. I pushed it until the last possible minute, thinking maybe the Monster would go away.

He didn't.

So I got ready and went to work. And I struggled. I felt funny. Dizzy. Nauseous. Throbbing. Disconnected.


I haven't had a headache like this since last year when the Monster really overstayed his welcome. The month I was so sick I barely remember the month of December. All I vaguely remember is that it was a month full of headaches, tests, needles and hospitals.

I don't think the Monster's visit is anything like last year. In fact, I just had an MRI on my brain and the neurologist told my my head looks very good and my brain is stable. I'm crossing my fingers the Monster's nasty visit this time is just due to the weather changing, or the stress I've had at work this week. Or maybe it's due to weening myself off the steroids I've been on for 10 months to cure myself from last year's visit by the Monster.

Whatever it is, the Monster's still here a bit tonight. So now I'm off to go drug myself up again and fall asleep.

And hopefully when I wake up tomorrow the Monster will be gone. Because at this point? He's definitely overstayed his welcome.