Archive for the ‘Goals’ Category

Pedaling

I don’t remember learning to ride a bike.  I don’t remember my first bike.  I remember the pink one with the banana seat.  I remember the big old blue bike with twin baskets on the back.  It was a single gear bike.  But it got me around town and to school.

In grammar school I began to save up my birthday and Christmas money.  When I had enough my Dad and I went to the local Bike Shop and ordered my first new bike.  It was a red ten speed.  A boy’s ten speed.  My Dad preferred the strength of the boys frame.   So I learned to start by putting my one foot in the pedal toe clip, pushing off, and swinging my other leg over the back of the bike.

Once I grew too tall for that bike, I bought a blue ten speed.  Boys frame again.

I rode all over the local area.  I rode to work at the day camp that I worked at during the summers.  I rode in all seasons.  My Dad belonged to a bicycle touring club and I would sometimes go on lower level rides with the group.  We even did a couple of bike camping trips with the Club.

Then I went away to college and worked full time during the summers.  My blue bike sat in the garage.  Finally, Dad asked if he could donate it to a group that refurbishes bikes for kids who can’t afford them.  We donated my bike.

7 years ago M’Lord and I bought our house in a great area for local biking, including being near a canal with a walking/biking path where the old tow path was.   So we bought bikes.  This time I actually bought a girls frame.  My silver Cannondale is a 15 speed hybrid that I can ride on or off road.  No typical ten speed curved handle bars and skinny seat.  It has shock absorbers and wide tires.   I rode around locally.  But I was out of shape and then got pregnant.  The bike sat in the shed for most of the last 6 years.  I’d go out for a short ride every once in a while.  But the bike mostly sat in the shed.  M’Lord, on the other hand, uses his much more often than I have, including riding 17 miles each way to and from work at times.

This year I started to mix running with my walking, at the suggestion of my OB, to get my heart more fit.  I asked M’Lord what it would take to get my bike back into working order.  He thought that I’d need new tires, new cables, and some other work.

However…when I got home from grocery shopping this morning I found him out back with my bike upside down.  He’d checked and refilled the tires and given it a basic tune up.  We fixed the seat height as I rode around the yard a few times.  It seems to be fine.

So after lunch I put on my bike shorts and took a 3.6 mile ride around the neighborhood.  My knees were not happy about the ride, which means the seat needs adjustment, but I did alright. I just have to remember which ways the hand grips turn to shift up and down again.  Half of my shifts were in the wrong direction, which is not fun while trying to go uphill after years of not using my legs that way.

While my legs will be sore tomorrow.  I got out on the bike and can now mix my cardio workouts between running/walking and biking.

Either way, my legs will not be happy with me for a while.

 

Moving Those Feet…

…and legs…and getting fit.

Breathe.

I am a healthy weight for my height.  I surprised my OBGYN by not gaining any weight this past year.  But I am not fit.  I can walk.  I can walk a few miles without my legs and hips thinking of rebelling.  But anything requiring cardio fitness is tough.  I am not cardiovascularly fit.

During grammar school summers I belonged to the town swim team.  I could swim laps for a good long while.  I also owned a bike, a boys 10 speed, and rode around town, which was rather hilly, regularly.  My father belonged to a bike club and would often lead rides on Sundays.  If they were lower level rides I was able to go with them.

In high school I marched, and twirled a flag while I was at it.  We’d practice for hours.

Then came college.  Then a full time job.  My fitness level went downhill quickly, despite tromping, in work boots, around building construction sites with no, or really slow so we used the stairs, elevators.

Then I was introduced to Country Line Dancing.  I love country music, so it was a natural segue after a bad break up.  I started going regularly on Friday nights.  That morphed into 3 nights a week.  I could dance for hours, many dances in a row with no break, including some good fast ones.

Eventually my husband and I bought a house that was much farther away from the club than our apartment had been.  So we started going maybe twice a month.  We also bought bicycles.  I used mine occasionally, but my stamina was in the minor leagues.  Hills killed me.

Then came pregnancy, The Cub, and the need to pay a babysitter if we want to go out.  So no more dancing or biking for a long while.  I would go out for walks, but not on a good, steady schedule.

This fall I began to take longer routes home from or to school than the short, straight there route that I take with The Cub.  I was moving more, at least.  And I do walk at a fast pace.  I timed several of the walk routes so that I knew how much earlier I would need to leave in order to do the longer walk and not be late for pick up.

But I need to get my cardio fitness level up.  My bike needs a tune up and new tires and tubes, at least.  That costs a bit.  But running shoes combined with a small Christmas Bonus could do the trick.  So I did that.  I bought running shoes.

The winter weather has been on and off good for running, but I’ve gone out a few times on week-ends or during the week.  This week, though, I changed my pattern.  Instead of walking the Cub to school, heading home, doing some chores, then heading out to exercise, or walking the longer routes to or from the school, I dressed for running for the walk to school.  Both today and Wednesday were warm enough that my lungs wouldn’t scream at me for running in the cold.  So I walked/jogged home.  Wednesday was a 1.1 mile route.  This morning I took a 1.5 mile route, and actually ran the first .59 mile of it before needing to walk for a bit.  Then I alternated for the rest of the route.  But I did it.

My goal is to work up to just about 3 miles of walk/jog.  We live on a 2 mile loop road.  Miss our house and you’ll pass it again in 2 miles.  Many people in the area use it for walking/running routes.  There are two loop roads off of my loop road that will add .95 miles to the route.  That will put me up to a 5K.

There is one thing about my body that bothers me while running…my butt bounces.  I’m not chesty, so a good sports bra is plenty.  But my butt bounces.  I can feel it.  Ugh.

But to celebrate the good run part and that the spring weather is coming, today I am wearing a skirt.

A Bookworm…

I love to read.  We read to Liam every night and, many days, in the afternoon.  He is in Kindergarten and is testing at an almost 3rd grade reading level.  Our job is to work on comprehension with him.  So I do a lot of reading.  But…

…I seem to have lost the ability to just sit or lie down and read for a good long while.  My books.  Ones that I want to read.  And I don’t always do my own good job of absorbing what I am reading.  I find myself going back over a page because I don’t remember any of what I just read.

I don’t like this.

I grew up reading.  There was no internet.  We were allowed a certain amount of TV time per day.  I didn’t have a large circle of friends and was often home.  So I read.  And re-read.  Nancy Drew.  Anne of Green Gables.  The Happy Hollisters.  Honey Bunch.  Cherry Ames (as my Mom is a nurse and still has a good amount of the series).  The Secret Garden.  They were all comfort to me and were read over and over.

I could read for hours.

For the record, I hated reading for school – being told what to read and how many pages and having to remember the right things to pass the test on the book.  There were only a couple of books from high school that stuck with me for some reason.

In college I would lose track of time when I should have been studying because I would be reading.  Somewhere in that time period I discovered science fiction/fantasy and began to work my way through those kinds of series.

I could lie on my dorm bed and read for hours.

After college I moved home, started to work, and, again, spent a lot of time at the library and the newly opened Barnes & Noble, finding books to read.  What a wonder B&N was when it first opened.  So many books.  The place is still dangerous to me, though I try to stick with borrowing from the library to keep the spending down.  For now, most of my B&N purchases are for The Cub.  Henry Huggins will soon be joining Bunnicula on his shelf.

For 7 years I commuted to work on the train or the bus.  I got a lot of reading done on the rides home.  Danielle Steele was a big one for me at that time.  Then I switched to a company that was more local and I drove to work.  There went the commuter reading time.  But I still read at home and discovered Nora Roberts and JD Robb.

But somewhere in the past 10 years or so I’ve lost the ability to just sit and read.  Blogs and online articles and magazines are easy.  Short bits of reading that do not take too long.  If I find something that I like I can print it out or fold the page and go back to it.  Recipes pile up to be sorted and possibly made, or put into the recycling bin if I later decided that making them will never happen.  And I can always find it again if I search hard enough.

But a book.  A good book with some depth.  Not a basic formula romance.  That has become a challenge.

My brain wanders to the chore list, the grocery list, the errands list, the “Did I forget to send that form to school with The Cub?” list, the work list.  It loses touch with what I am trying to read and absorb.  I take books out from the library that catch my eye and return them without reading them.  And if they aren’t new books I have 6 weeks in which to get them read.  If I try to read while The Cub is at school I feel guilty, thinking that I should be doing chores or errands so that I can hang out with him when he gets home.  And I find myself zoning out in front of HGTV or FoodTV or some such station, or the internet, after he has gone to bed, instead of picking up one of those library books that caught my attention enough for me to bring it home.

Tonight I am going to work on reading, and absorbing what it is that I have read.  Time to walk away from the laptop and not turn the TV on.  Time to read more of the book that I liked enough the first time that I took it out of the library but didn’t finish that I took it out again and am almost to the end of those 6 weeks.

Here goes.

Wish me Good Reading.

A Flowery Dream

I’ve had this odd dream/idea of working in a flower shop, making pretty arrangements.

My allergies have a large say in why I do not work in a flower shop.  We had to instruct the florist for our wedding that no strong scented flowers could be used or the bride and mother of the groom would be sneezing and headachy through the whole thing.  Lilies and hyacinths and eucalyptus do not enter my house and if I wear perfume it has to be on the back of my neck in order to avoid headaches.

In my current life I work on this dream by buying basic bunches at the grocery store and trying to arrange them in pretty, though simple, ways.

Years ago I worked as an assistant superintendent on the construction of the Barneys flagship store in NYC.  It backed up to a beautiful old hotel and we had to rebuild their cart wash room for them as part of the construction.  It was my area.  To get to it through the hotel I had to go past their flower shop.  The florists would let me watch them prepare bouquets and centerpieces for events.  Often they’d give me a rose or other flower to take with me.  There I was, in my jeans, flannel shirts, hard hat, construction boots, etc, walking through the jobsite with my clipboard and a rose.  What a juxtaposition.

There was a wonderful woman who followed her flower shop dream and turned that into a 30 year career of designing the flowers in the White House.  It was not an easy career, but what a career.  I just finished reading her book on her time there.  What interesting stories.  She worked under 6 First Ladies and created more than just floral arrangements.  While I was reading it, she passed away.  I am so glad that she took time out of her retirement to share her stories.  The book is My First Ladies by Nancy Clarke.

I will probably never work in a flower shop.  And I certainly will never end up working at The White House.  But I will continue to buy my grocery store bouquets and cut whatever flowers I can manage to grow (there will be a fence around my flower garden this year and we will plant earlier) and arrange them for me and my family, placing them out of snacking reach of the cats.  It will make me happy.

A Forgetful Blogger

I had started a post about football, and that I don’t like it or watch it, but I’ve scrapped it.  But I’m stuck.  I think of good post ideas when I am out and about, doing other things, etc.  What I don’t remember to do is write down the ideas.  So when I do have the time to blog I don’t often have an idea.  I’d like to post twice a week, that hasn’t happened very often.   There are bloggers who post daily or every other daily, and manage to have ideas for those posts.  I would like to work on that.  I found three drafts that I did back in the fall that I never finished or posted.  I may finish the one, adding the photos, and finally post it, but the others are going in to the trash.

What this blog is not is a food blog or a photography blog.  It’s just a me blog, and I’ll figure it out eventually.

A New Year

Goodbye 2011.  Hello 2012.

Many friends and some family have had a rather rough year.  Ours has been pretty good.  We are happy and healthy, have jobs and a home, and The Cub is doing very well in school.  I’ll take it.

So what am I hoping for in 2012?

I haven’t blogged as much as I thought that I would.  I will work on that this winter.

I want to get more fit.  Not in the lose weight sense but in the work on my cardio fitness sense.  Yesterday I jogged for a few short parts of my walk.  I have no stamina, but it’s a start.  My small bonus from work will pay for new running/jogging shoes.

I want to to continue to try new recipes.  I was pretty successful at that in 2011.

I want to sit down and play more with The Cub, go on more adventures.  Even if it is just a walk on the canal path to get us out of the house.  This is a work in progress.  But today I sat and cuddled with him and we watched a bunch of Christmas specials that we hadn’t yet gotten to. That is a start.  Maybe tomorrow we’ll finish building his Lego Mac from Cars 2.

I want to watch less repetitive TV and read more.  TV watching is a post for another day and I need to figure out what I’d like to read about.  I’ve lost my interest in mysteries.  That is also a topic for another post.

I’d like to listen more and talk less.  This is a continuing work in progress.  I just talk too much.

I want to actually finish the projects on my list, like ordering two years worth of photos and getting them in to albums and painting the hallway.

I want to work with my new Pentax K-r and learn more about digital photography and what I can do with the camera.

I’d like to….

…so many ideas.

Resolutions – no.  I don’t like that word.

A To Do List in constant flux is more like it.

Happy New Year.  May yours be one full of love, family, friends, fun, good health, and joy.