Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It must be Tuesday...

Good Lord, my schedule is all outta wack. Don't even know what day it is....

Anyone have any additional ideas to help Rachel out this week? I think she's doing very well as far as listening to her body and changing things up for the better.

Girl...YOU ROCK!


So here's a new one. Saturday, Nathalie and I planned a really long walk, hoping to make 18 miles or more. We started out early into the hills in Los Gatos. It was nice and cool, we kept up a good pace and I felt great. We did nearly 7 miles of steep hills, stopped for a snack in town, and then headed down the trail past Vasona into Campbell. We felt awesome. The hill part felt like nothing to us. After the break we started feeling a few aches and pains (my feet, Nathalie's knees) but we made sure to stretch fairly often and that did the trick. We did another 6.5 miles into (old) Campbell, where we stopped for lunch. Damn my feet were sore! So while we had lunch, I stretched them as best I could. We hung out and rested for half an hour, then hauled ourselves out of our seats to start the trek back. We were pretty psyched; at that point we'd done just over 13 miles, aside from some aching joints we felt really good and really energized. We knew we'd be sore but we were on track to do over 19 miles. Yeah!
Well a mile back into the trip back, it got really hot. And we'd decided to take an alternate route that we discovered had no shade. I'd been hydrating the entire time but I started getting tired. And then lunch felt like a weight in my stomach. I stopped to rest, put my feet up, and eventually felt a little better. So we stretched again, and kept on going. Next milestone was Los Gatos Creek Park. By the time we arrived, I felt queasy, dizzy, and really weak. We sat down, and I called my husband. I had to give the phone to Natalie so she could describe where we were - for the life of me I couldn't come up with a rational sentence. Long story short, I didn't complete the walk (though Natalie did despite aching knees), though 15+ miles isn't too shabby. I got home safely, showered and put my feet in ice water for a while, then I don't think I got off the recliner until I got into bed around 8:00 pm.

I'm still trying to figure out what happened. It was hot out but not ridiculously so. I had hydrated quite a bit, some of which included a sports drink. I'd eaten carbs the night before, whole grains and fruit at breakfast and pasta salad with chicken in it for lunch. Based on past patterns, I should have been ok but I wasn't. Here are a few things I'm going to work on for next time: 1) get more sleep - we're buying/moving into a new house this week, work has been busy, and life has been stressful - I've not been sleeping long or well. 2) try to eat smaller quantities, more often, especially on walk days. My lunch wasn't excessive but given the other factors maybe it was too much at once under those particular circumstances. 3) Keep something salty to eat around me as well as carbs? I remember using salt pills as a kid when I took horseback riding lessons in the summer. It helped then. And 4) wear light-colored clothing; my walk gear wicks moisture really well but both pieces I wore on Saturday were black which I'm sure didn't help. Any other thoughts or suggestions?

This didn't discourage me at all, fortunately. First of all, 15 miles is nothing to take lightly. Also, going through this is only going to help me figure out how best to succeed on the actual walk. I'd much rather deal with this now and find a way around it than have it be a surprise I can't overcome or prevent on July 7th. And last - after soaking my tired feet and getting lots of sleep, I felt absolutely great the next day! Amazing how the body can revive with just a little TLC.

Next weekend I'll be in the midst of moving. You can think of me lifting and hauling boxes - I'm trying to look at is as an upper body workout. If I manage to get any walks in I'll post about it. Otherwise I may skip a week. And in the meantime if anyone out there has any pearls of wisdom to share about how I can better prepare for these long hauls in the future, I would very much like to hear them! Any advice is appreciated.



Things have been busy here at Casa de Chaos and also at the Officina de Chaos.

First off, KublaCon was a lot of fun. I'll have a post just for that soon....we all survived and most importantly, I just checked and I still have my sanity. Hee hee...

Second, the Officina is a disaster area. Lots of work stuff going on and on top of that...construction. We have sublet half of our floor, so now the Architects and Contractors are in here tearing it all up so they can rebuild it to accommodate two separate offices.

And finally, preparations continue for my special visitor. He arrives Friday. Booyah. 'nuf said.

Better check on the sanity again...it's still there...so far, so good.

OOOOOHHHH, and there was knitting! Actual knitting...whoa.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Quality time with the man...

Welcome back to Apartment Therapy Thursday...

OK, so I've been spending some quality time with my man Rhett. He's been slowly getting a good, thorough Spring cleaning. One room at a time, sometimes more than a few days at one room. This place gets very dusty, very fast. Vaccuuming and dusting occur quite often around here...

Tuesday, I worked from home so that a donation truck could come and pick up quite a few pieces of furniture. Didn't work out quite that way, so now I'm stuck with a bunch of stuff. Argh. I was hoping to get it out of the apartment by the time the first round of visitation started....not going to be that lucky.

What's all this about visitors?

This weekend, we have a friend of Spencer's. I'm taking the boys to the Kublacon convention. Three days of gaming. Three days of two teen boys. Lord help me.

Two days after that is all over and done with...it's vacation time...and...I get a very special visitor...for 10 whole days. I'm so looking forward to his visit...

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Test is Done. Now I wait.

Well everyone...for those following...I took my glucose re-test today. I felt a lot better during and after the test today than I did back in December, so I'm hoping that's a good sign. Now I get to wait for the results sometime next week. I am soooooo glad this is over. It's been hanging over my head for way too long. Now I can get on with things...

Oh, and I went in weighing 16 lbs. less than I did in December. Not the full 20, but I am VERY happy with it. The weight ticker will now move to the bottom of blog home page and the walking milage ticker will go up topside. It will be updated on the 2nd Wednesday of every month from now on.

Oh, and Antonella are going walking again tomorrow...after not going for about 2 1/2 weeks. Between both of us being sick, her being out of town, and the evil chaos that has been work, well, we haven't gotten around to it. But, we're both finally in a place where we can start up again and keep it up again. Yes! We've both missed it.

I'm still in a size 14, making my way slowly to a size 12. The jeans are getting baggy. Booyah.

Well, that's it for Weigh-In Wednesday. Tomorrow, we get back to Apartment Therapy Thursday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Ssssssome training walk....

Hey everyone, it's Boobie Tuesday so that means you at least get something from Rachel:

Snakes on the Plain (ok, it was really the hill):

This weekend’s walk wasn’t the longest one we’ve done but it definitely was the most challenging. Nathalie and I met early and drove up to Los Altos to Rancho San Antonio. Note to self: next time we have to meet earlier than 7:00 am if we want to find a parking spot. There wasn’t a single spot to be had, so we found one about a mile away from the trail head in one of the few neighborhoods that didn’t require a parking permit. No biggie, a little extra mileage was only going to help.

Rancho is really nice. There were a fair number of people there, but it’s big enough that it didn’t feel crowded. The first thing we saw there were a small herd of deer and also some wild turkeys, none of whom seemed to care very much that we were there. Our path into Rancho took us about as close to deer as I’ve ever been, and all they did was look at us and go back to eating.

After checking out the trail map, we headed up the hill. It started out fairly easy. Flat at first, then an incline which got my heart rate going, but I was pretty comfortable. That’s when Nathalie dropped the bomb: “Oh” she says, smiling, “I forgot, there’s a really big hill coming up”. Very convenient. She’s good at suddenly remembering challenges after it’s too late for me to say ‘no’ to her suggesting the option. The incline gradually got steeper and though my legs were ok, breathing was definitely getting harder. A lot of the time it would level out just as I felt the going was really tough, but as we neared the spot where we were going to stop for lunch, it got really steep and there were no breaks; all just one big hill. I had to stop a couple of times to get my heart rate back under control. But we finally got to our rest stop. By the time we reached it I really was beat and breathing hard, but I was pretty pleased that it only took about 5 minutes for me to feel normal again. At that point I was able to look around and I found some new friends:

These little guys seemed pretty used to human presence too, and hung out not too far from us most of the time. I think they were waiting for me to share my PB&J, but I didn’t.

Here’s a view on the way up:

It doesn’t do the justice to the terrain at all (it was really quite the incline), but it’s still awfully pretty.

We ate and rested for a little while, and then were back on our way. Going up was tough aerobically but man, going down was really tough on the muscles and joints! I’m inclined to think that walking in the City won’t be quite as hard because we’ll be going up and down over and over, not all one bit uphill and then one looooonng downhill. I was ok, but Nathalie has a problem knee so I was a little worried about her. She seemed to do ok though. On our way down we ran (almost literally) into this guy:

He’s hard to see in the dappled light, but I think he’s a gopher snake. There are lots of signs there warning about the presence of rattle snakes in the area, but he (she?) didn’t fit the description. All the same, I didn’t get close enough to get a really good look though. I may be curious but I’m not nuts.

We made it down safely, after choosing trails that extended the walk as much as possible, without sending us over the hill to Saratoga. As steep as the climb was, the descent was steeper and for longer. Nathalie wants to do the same walk next weekend, but in the opposite direction. THAT is going to hurt. But I’ll probably be up for it. In the meantime, I’m nursing a couple of blisters and some sore muscles. I’m happy though; we did nearly 12 miles on some pretty tough terrain, and it makes me feel pretty confident that I’ll be well prepared for whatever the walk brings. As long as we don’t encounter any rattle snakes on that either.


My Avon Walk for Cancer Page

Things are really crazy in the Chaos lately. I miss you guys, but I don't have it in me to write anything right now. I'll be back soon I promise!

In the meantime - Stephieface this is for you....

I've been showing lots of attention to Rhett - it's been helping with the stressful aspects of the chaos. We've been spending a lot of time with our new electrical toy. And oh boy, has that been fun. Rhett just loves it when I run it over his furry patches... I've also been organizing all knitterly goods...which means...handling shafts of all lengths and girths and fondling lots of balls. Oooh, don't forget the stroking/petting of balls. Oh my yes...lots of balls.

Run with it girl...you know you want to....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Still Life...Still Living...?!?

Hello everyone!

I'm getting better but the cough still hangs on...it's rather annoying actually.

Anyways...I've got lots to catch up on here in the Chaos:

Knitting projects...various crafting projects...participating in the Mother's Day Project...various other things to talk about...including cooking...gallons of tea...and we'll just forget about work...yeah...that's the best thing for that right now.

Lots of things coming up in the next few weeks...a special visitor...gaming conventions...work chaos...all over chaos...in other words, a good time. Lots o' links, etc..stay tuned. OOO, and StephieFace tagged me as a "thinking blog" or something or other...I'll be posting about that as well....cause I've got to go look it up again.

I've got a lot to do this Saturday...Rhett needs some serious attention. On Sunday I'm going to spend a few hours reading and writing in blogland. And the rest of the time is Chaos Spa time. Mani, Pedi, a soak in the tub... Aaaahhhhh.....

And now, if you'll excuse me, there's a countertop in the kitchen that has a seriously high pile of stuff that's been accumulating over the last few weeks...and it's got my name written all over it. Time to head into Rhett's kitchen.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

She lives...and is back at work...her coughs ringing thru the office...

I feel fine, really I do...just can't get rid of this annoying little tickle cough...very annoying little tickle cough actually...

Anyway...take it away Rachel...

Well we didn’t do the long walk this weekend. Our landlady asked us to let her hold an open house on Sunday so perspective renters could see the place, and I started to completely stress out about getting everything done on time. I didn’t cancel though, Nathalie and I just cut back. Hee – I love saying we ‘cut back’ – to 9.5 miles! A year ago I was hoping to be able to do 5 miles every so often. To consider 9-plus a short walk – I gotta say I’m pretty pleased about that. I also walked another 2.5 on Sunday; that was a slow one, with hubby and dogs. It really helped stretch out some knotted up muscles.

We rescheduled our long walk for this coming weekend. We’re going to
Rancho San Antonio and we’re hoping to put in 18-20 miles. And holy crap, my husband just told me his parents are coming out from MA to visit sometime on Saturday. I’m gonna be real purdy and company presentable after that walk! Hee hee, can’t wait.
More on the Rancho walk next week – assuming I survive following Nathalie over hills and through the woods. She’s going to seriously kick my butt.

My Avon Walk for Cancer Page

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

A little late never hurt anyone...

Take it away Rachel!!!! (she's been busy!!) Oh, and Rachel? You go right ahead and have that latte...you deserve it...

Where am I? Holy crap, it's Boobie Tuesday and I almost forgot about it. Bad walker/blogger! No latte for me.

This weekend, Nathalie and I decided to live on the edge and change our walk route. We met at her house and walked to Los Gatos. From there, we went into the hills - an absolutely killer workout. Every time there was a fork in the path, we chose the steeper option, and didn't quit doing that for 7 more miles. It was freakin' fabulous! It was definitely hard but I can see improvement in my condition from previous walks, and I felt really good. We stopped for lunch, did some more hills, and then headed back to where we started. It normally would have been 3 miles back to Nathalie's, but we decided to explore. And explore we did. Holy cow are there some huge homes in them thar hills! One place has this manicured play area for the kids that's bigger than most school playgrounds I've seen around here. And I'm sure it cost quite a bit more too. None of the houses - estates, really - were my style, but they certainly were interesting to look at. I felt as if I was going to be chased down at any moment and evicted from the neighborhood for doing something as low-end as cracking a sweat.

We ended up doing nearly 16 miles, most of it hills. That's more than I expected we would. Though less than what we're doing next week. Nathalie wants to go to Rancho San Antonio in Los Altos, she's threatening 20 miles and wants to meet at 6:00 am to do it! The woman's a slave driver, I tell ya.

I was pretty beat for the remainder of the day, but felt fine on Sunday. I've been really good about stretching before and during my walks - though I still have to make stretching after a walk more of a habit. My legs have been completely a-ok, but when I get fatigued, my shoulders start hunching and my posture becomes terrible. I mentioned this to my sister-in-law who's a physical therapist. Good move. She gave me this giant foam cylinder thingy (it's about 36" long and maybe 8" in diameter) and showed me a few stretches I can do with it. It hurts like hell and feels absolutely wonderful! So now I have set reminders for myself to work with it twice a day, and I'm already sitting straighter. And a couple of the stretches she showed me happen to work out the ol' stomach muscles as well, and that never hurts. Well actually it does, but you know what I mean. I'm going to keep using this thing even after I finish the walk - my shoulders are chronically tight and this is the first thing, besides a (for me usually unaffordable) massage that really helps.

I'll do pictures next time - we took some but they're in Natalie's camera. Again, bad blogger. Though I'm going to get up and get a latte anyway. Neener, neener!


My Avon Walk Page


And now for some comments....hack hack cough cough...was that my lung?!?? Yes my friends...the evil cold hangs on...it's moved on to my chest...always a fun thing. My doc says rest or else...so I stayed home today...should have stayed home yesterday, but I felt sooo much better! Honestly, I did! In the interest of resting...I will stay home tomorrow as well. Sleep in as late as my cough will let me and maybe work from home a bit in the afternoon. Spencer is staying an extra night at his Dad's so I can recover a bit more...wouldn't want to be sick for Mother's Day!!!!!

Friday, May 04, 2007


I am currently in the evil clutches of a cold....I apparently sound like a frog...my 12-yr old finds it quite amusing...

Therefore...no weighing-in...no testing... The torture drags on.....

Only tea...tea...sleep...and more tea....

Hopefully I can kick this bad boy (the cold, not my son) this weekend and take the test next week.

Grrrrr...I SO want to get this over with already!!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Blink and You'll Miss It Post...

Today is Weigh-In Wednesday...but there will be no actual weighing in...I'm going to wait until Friday before I go take my test and then post...

What will happen to Weigh-In Wednesday now?

Well, if you are any type of observant...I've committed to losing 61 lbs...so we still have WIW for quite a bit longer...Only with a few changes...

I will weigh-in once a month only...probably the second Wednesday of the month. I hate scales and I hate being a slave to a scale. Which is why I am so excited to have this first hurdle gone. I will, however, regularly update you all with my clothing sizes...THAT is how I measure my weightloss.

So here's the first update:

I started out way back when with a size 18. After about 5 lbs or so, I was down to a 16. Now I am at a size 14 - which is getting quite baggy by the way. Another 8 lbs or so and I'll be in a very comfy size 12. My goal size? I would be very happy in a size 10. Although the weight loss total to clothing size ratio dictates I may even go lower. (Sounds all intelligent and fancy, doesn't it? hahaha I sure fooled you! Like I could even DO the math at this point. Riiiiight.)

Anyway...that's WIW for today and the projected WIW for the future... Tune in Friday to see if I made 20 lbs before the test....

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Let's hear it for Boobie Tuesday...

...and the fact that thanks to Rachel...I've got a post...otherwise...you'd all get nuttin'...

I’ve been very distracted lately, thinking about all sorts of things besides walking. Like my new (and first) spinning wheel that arrived last week. And the new house we’re buying! More on those on my blog; I’m here to talk training. Even though I’m obsessing about spinning and moving.

Fortunately I was able to overcome the temptation to sit at my wheel for hours on end – I even put it away, because this weekend was all about walking. Saturday I joined some fellow employees and a lot of other people in the WalkAmerica walk for March of Dimes. This was taking place all over the country. Our walk was a little over 6 miles at Vasona Park in Los Gatos. I ended up passing most of the people in front of me, and since no one I knew was keeping pace with me, I worked on keeping my heart rate up the entire time. I learned why it’s said ‘cotton is rotten’ in the athletic world – I wore a team shirt provided by my company and was hot as hell pretty early on. But it was fun, I made good time, and had a good workout. Note to self – avoid cotton during the walk.

Once I got home though, I really started dragging. My head hurt, I was so tired, and had absolutely no energy. I tried hydrating but it didn’t seem to help. We went out for dinner and when we came home around 7:45 I sat in the couch. And don’t remember anything until my husband woke me at 10 to go to bed, which I did. I think that night was the first night I got more than 5 ½ hours sleep in weeks. And damn, I felt so much better! There is something to be said for this sleep thing, that’s for sure.

Sunday I got up early and met Nathalie. I put in a super-long stretch including shoulders, and off we went. We walked from Los Gatos down to Campbell and back, had lunch, and then took off in the other direction to do some hills. Those were tough, and Nathalie totally kicked my butt, but I still made it. And it’s a good thing I remembered to bring my camera, otherwise we’d have missed recording this:

Pretty cool, huh?

We ended up doing over 15 miles, which put me at 22 miles for the weekend. Yeah! And I was pleasantly surprised to actually feel pretty good and energetic when I was done. Especially once I did this:

And holy crap – I just added up my miles since I started training for the Avon Walk – I’m at 190! And I’ve raised over $3,000 so far. Life is good.

Have a great week!


My Avon Walk for Cancer Page


You GO Rachel!!!! Racking up the miles and the cash for Racks everywhere!!!

...and yeah...that sleep thing sure is something, isn't it.

Well, got to run dear readers...life is still crazy at the Casa and the Officina, and things just keep getting more and more chaotic every day...and oddly enough...I don't mind.

Just wish I could find some time to do more than just one row at a time on any giving WIP...oh yeah...and the current commuting shawl is just begging me to frog it...and Mom's rosary needs some tweeking...and I've got stuff to ship...ugh...I REALLY need about 5 more hours in a day...and I'd use them for that sleep thing that everyone raves so much about...