Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I can't believe I ate the whole thing

Yesterday was an interesting run. Normally I would do a 4 miler, but I felt so good and the morning was so perfect for running, I decided to do my 6 miler instead. And dam if I didn't end up doing 7 miles! I hit the 6 mile mark, felt pretty strong, and decided to add a mile just for fun. I probably could have done 8.

This weekend we went to a harvest festival in a nearby town. It's the usual small town stuff, Boy Scouts selling shaved ice, Girl Scouts selling cotton candy, home made crafts booths and so on. We decided to hit our favorite restaurant for lunch, and I got a wild hair up my rear and ordered a chili size-you all know what that is, hopefully; a tasty concoction of chili, a hamburger patty, and toasted bun; all topped off with cheese and onions and a ginormous side of fries. This thing was huge even by current restaurant standards. The waitress raised an eyebrow when I ordered and gave me a look that said, "bigger people than you have tackled this one and failed." I figured what the heck, worst case scenario, I end up taking half of it home for dinner.

So I tucked into my chili size,and Hubby laid waste to his westernburger (anything with barbeque sauce on it has western in its name. It's a rule here in California). I kept eating and talking, eating and talking, and suddenly my plate is empty. The waitress came by to refill my iced tea, and now I received a look of shocked admiration. "You go, girl," she said. "You're so thin-how do you do it?"
"I'm a runner. " I replied. Hubby added "She runs a lot."

Mind you, I rarely do this kind of thing, I'm really extremely careful about what I eat. I almost always take in to account the "big 3" that are banned from my diet-sugar, salt, and fat. I'm thinking that I didn't have too much sugar to worry about in this meal, but the salt and fat are probably more than I eat in a week-seriously. But it's all good; we have to treat ourselves occasionally, and one huge over the top meal is ok if I have months and months of sensible, careful eating. And, I did skip the sugar in my iced tea, so perhaps that balanced out the chili size?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm Somebody!

Well, I have finally reached a benchmark in my running career today. I was on an easy 4 miler, nothing special, when two boys passed me on bicycles. I heard one yell "Yeah baby, you need to be running." Then just after they passed me, I heard the phrase every runner can look forward to. That's right, some kid finally yelled " Run, Forrest, Run!". I was absolutely elated. I've been waiting for it ever since I started running. I knew it would come eventually, it was just a matter of time. I even thought of asking Hubby to yell the magic phrase at me when he served as my water boy, but somehow that felt like cheating; it has to come from a stranger, preferably a young person. And the joke is actually on the yeller, not the yellee (meaning me) because we as runners expect it.

So I'm in the club. I truly am a runner. This ranks right up there with my first 10 mile run and my first race. I'm reminded of Steve Martin in the movie, The Jerk. He finally sees his name in the phone book, and he starts running around like a lunatic yelling, "I'm Somebody!".

Now, if I can just get someone to toss a cigarette at me from their truck...

Friday, September 26, 2008

AMGEN tour of California

I did another 10 mile long run today; I decided I needed a change of scenery so I returned to a course I haven't run in months. The good news is they've finished the paving project and the road for the most part is fantastic for running. The bad news is that because the recently built McMansion City opened a new access road that terminates on my running course, the traffic is terrible. I had a really slow run with a few walk breaks due to the heat; I got out the door really early and it still got too hot for me. This is what happens here sometimes in September, we have a mini heat wave before our fall weather starts. And yes, we do have seasons here in California, they're just very subtle.

I'm really excited about Lance Armstrong returning to cycling. He's going to compete in the AMGEN tour of California and one leg of the race terminates in Paso Robles, about an hour north of my home! And-they will have time trials in Solvang, about an hour or so south of me! I could see both if I wanted to! The AMGEN tour is a big deal. It's a Tour de France style cycling race encompassing 800 miles of racing from town to town. All the worlds top cyclist compete, and the cool thing is the local cyclists know where to go to see the competitors actually on the road. It's a great way to see them racing without having to deal with the crowds in town. I have a friend who volunteers every year as a course worker, and he has the best inside tips for where to go to see the cyclists.

So I know what I'll be doing on February 19 and 20-I already have it on my calendar!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Working with bimbos

Today's run was excellent. I just did 3 miles but at a very steady fast pace. After the running gods made me suffer throught a torturous 6 miler on Tuesday, they decided to throw me a bone and give me a good run.

I just discovered a new sign that you are truly a runner-if you dream about your long run, then yeah, you're addicted. I did the whole run last night in my sleep. I'm wondering if this means I can skip the run Friday?

Let's switch gears, faithful readers, from the depressing and perhaps boring posts of late regarding America's financial woes. Perhaps it's time to clear the palate; allow me to return to my usual lighthearted and upbeat posts of yore. My experience in business office employment taught me that every office has a bimbo. I'm wondering if it's some sort of California legislation that requires every office to hire one. If that's true and knowing how things work in California they probably require that offices have a bimbo to cubicle ratio.

The last bimbo I worked with would win a gold medal for stupidity. Some time in May one year she came in the business office with a check in her hand, and a puzzled look replaced her normally cheerful expression. "I got this check in the mail. I don't know what it's for. Should I send it back, or just cash it?" I looked at the check. "This is your tax refund. It's your money. Keep it". I replied. I always tried to keep my words under 3 syllables when I talked to this young lady.

Now she seemed really confused. "That can't be right, she said. My dad does my taxes, why would he send in too much money?" I sighed deeply and thought carefully about my answer. I didn't want to contribute to her confusion. How do I explain this to her in 2 syllable words?
"Your dad didn't send in money. You had too much money taken out of your paycheck to pay your taxes. When that happens they send the money back."

Her normally worry free and thus wrinkle free brow furrowed a bit. "They take money out of my check?" Oh, dear lord, this was much worse than I thought. I responded carefully. "Ok, you know how when you get your paycheck there's that other piece of paper attached to it? The one with all the numbers and initials on it? Like OASDI and SDI and 401K? That's money the company takes out of your paycheck to pay your taxes and social security and disability insurance."

Her response? "How long has this been going on?"

I swear this is a true story. It's yet another reason for why I retired early.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The blame game

Well, faithful readers, I'm going to do what I said I wouldn't do and post about this perfect storm of financial ruin we find ourselves in. I'm doing it mostly to help myself understand what happened and who deserves the smack down. Grab a cuppa coffee, I've got cinnamon rolls I'll warm up, have a seat and prepare to discuss.

The banks deserve a big chunk of the blame pie. First, they started bundling mortgages, turning them into securities, and selling them to investors. So they said, man, that was easy; lets loan out some more money so we can bundle up more mortgages! They got really, really creative with how to structure loans and who to give the money to. ARMs are just a tiny example of their creativity. There were interest only loans, negative amortization loans, zero down loans, you name it, they did it. And the thing is, the borrower didn't have to prove they could pay the money back! Anyone remember the "no document" loans? Seriously. The bank said "OK, Mr Borrower, you say you make X dollars a year? We'll just take your word for it". And why did the banks do this? They did it because if Mr. Borrower couldn't make the payments, he could either refinance or sell the house, since the values of houses were skyrocketing. In fact, most of the creative loan market was based on this assumption.

Then we have the investment bankers who are #2 on the blame list. They were just plain greedy. The took all sorts of profit from the bundled mortgages. So they said, man, that was easy; we want more of that! And they just could not pull themselves away from the trough; they had to gorge themselves right up to the bitter end. Greed, pure and simple.

Finally, let's look at the borrowers. I know, it's not PC to lay blame on some poor guy who's losing his home, but they do have some responsibility for this mess. We've all seen the news reports showing some poor soul who's losing his house due to unforeseen circumstances. He buys a house with every intention of repaying the debt, then loses his job or suddenly has serious health issues that make it impossible to honor that obligation. But the reporters seem very careful to avoid the other borrowers-the ones that bought a house that was way beyond their means. Or the people that got a mortgage with a balloon payment. In some cases, the borrower was given a ridiculously low interest rate with an adjustment to a much higher rate after a couple of years, and instead of planning on how to deal with it, they just ignored that huge payment looming on the dark horizon until it was too late to come up with a plan for dealing with it. These people were seduced by the siren song of low payments for x years. They probably had every intention of paying more than the minimum or saving up for the day they had to pay the piper.

Unfortunately, human nature being what it is, that intention was never realized. When you're walking through that new house that still smells like fresh paint and you're imagining your troll doll collection on the built in bookshelves, it's hard to imagine what will happen 5 years down the line when you have to come up with a balloon payment. A mortgage is a huge responsibility that lasts for years. It should not be easy to get. It should be entered into carefully and thoughtfully. Too many loans were given to people who just didn't think about that financial responsibility. It would not surprise me if some of those people who are losing their homes don't even know what kind of loan they have. So the borrower deserves at least a small slice of blame pie.

I apologize for this long post. I'm just so angry that I have to be on the clean up squad. I have a modest home, and live a modest middle class lifestyle, and now I have to pay $3000 to bail out someone who couldn't make the same reasonable financial decisions that Hubby and I have made all our adult lives. It sucks like a Hoover and I have no one I can smack in person.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A fine mess

I did a terrible, slow, sluggish 6 miles today. I'm pretty sure the running gods have a rule book, and the first rule is that no one is allowed more than 2 good runs in a row. They do that to keep us humble.

I was going to post about this financial mess the good ol US of A has fallen into, and I just can't bring myself to do it. It's too depressing and it would be a long, sad and sorry post. I'm depressed because I know that I, the taxpayer, will be forced to bail out huge banks. I know that the CEOs of those banks will take the millions they will be paid upon leaving the corporations and spend their retirement years blissfull and comfy in their well appointed homes while my fellow taxpayers foot the bill. I wish that I could personally smack every banker who approved a subprime loan to someone who should never have been approved for any kind of loan.

I guess I did post about the mess we're in, didn't I. Now I'll have to bake some cinnamon rolls from scratch to get myself out of this depressing mood I'm in.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Busy weekend

I did an easy 4 miler today, picked up the pace a bit just for fun. Yet again I forgot my gloves! We had 3 potucks this weekend! My favorite was our Scottish Society. Those ladies know how to potluck. The only way I survived it was to take just 1 bite of everything; sort of like a Costco style potluck, and calories be damned! And apparently, Mr. Garmie visited the Congo last night while he was on the charger, because that's the map that came up this morning when I downloaded my run. The least he could have done was to bring me a souvenir, at least a snow globe...

I had a doctors appointment today. My doc is a runner, and while we usually spend a little time talking about running, today was more so than usual. After discussing shoes, orthotics, training plans, whether walk breaks are worth it (we both think yes), the last race we both did, and his college days of running, it finally occurred to us that we hadn't talked about the usual stuff people talk about in a doctor's exam room! It was sort of like, "Oh, yeah, there's another reason we're both here...". I'm pretty sure he doesn't have many patients that share his passion for running. It pleases me that he'll never be the kind of doctor who will tell me, ya know, maybe you should cut back on the running.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A former fatty

I did a very easy slow 10 miles today, a pretty good run. It's getting colder in the mornings and I keep forgetting my gloves! I bought a nice pair on sale this summer from my FNRS* and have yet to wear them. I'm thinking I'll have to wrap Mr Garmie around them the night before my next run.

Sarah commented on my last post regarding my weight loss of 50 pounds, she thought I might be a life time running skinny person type. I was, indeed a skinny person for many years, even though I had a pretty terrible diet-fat, sugar, salt, didn't matter to me; I ate it all. The only thing that kept me from gaining weight was my fast metabolism and an active lifestyle. Throughout my teen years, I rode horses, which includes mucking out stalls, loading and unloading hay bales, and grooming and saddling a very big horse. My weight stayed down well into my 30s, then something happened. I took a sedentary job and my metabolism decided to take a permanent vacation.

I started to slowly gain weight and I didn't care. I thought weight gain in your 30s and 40s was normal and unavoidable. I stopped seeing a doctor regularly and just kind of stopped caring about my health. Now fast forward about 10 years to my late 40s. I had a very minor health issue that just wouldn't go away. I went to a new doctor (I went kicking and screaming and being nagged the whole time by Hubby). The Dr. immediately addressed the minor health issue, and then he said something like "Now, lets talk about your weight.". This led to a 15 minute conversation about things like heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and my current new health issue of high blood pressure.

The doctor told me the single most important thing I could do to avoid all these nasty problems was to lose weight, eat healthy, and exercise. I decided then and there to turn the whole mess around. I had great motivation-I knew that I would be in the doctor's office at least a couple of times a month to check my blood pressure, and I knew he would weigh me every time. So the blood pressure meds started working, my weight started dropping, and I started running for the first time in my life.

I still see the same doctor, and he seems pretty pleased overall with my healthy lifestyle. He's even told me a couple of times not to lose any more weight; it seems that now while I'm within the normal range I'm near the bottom of normal! I think I'll keep it right where it is. It's so much easier to gain weight than it is to lose it!

*friendly neighborhood running store

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Liposuction for a 12 year old

Does anyone else watch The Doctors? It's a new program featuring 4 doctors who will answer questions, show medical procedures on TV, that sort of thing. This is my new program to watch while folding laundry. So, yesterday, the docs featured a 12 year old girl who had liposuction to suck out a pretty large volume of fat from various portions of her body. Her parents both approved, with Mom saying, "It's no different than buying her a car", and Dad saying she was a pretty persistent girl who really wanted the surgery. Keep in mind, faithful readers, that while the girl was overweight, she was not morbidly obese.

the girl said that she had tried dieting and it just didn't work for her, she still couldn't lose weight. I have heard that so many times, and it just really kind of irritates me. Yes, losing weight is hard work. But it's not impossible, and it doesn't happen overnight. The problem is people don't want to put in the work required. Losing weight and keeping it off requires 4 elements: cut the calories, increase the exercise, make good food choices, and do this for the rest of your life. I guarantee you will lose weight.

The problem is, people like this girl don't want to do the work. They want a pill or surgery to do it for them. Unfortunately, this child will probably gain back the fat that was sucked out of her body because she hasn't changed her lifestyle to sustain the weight loss. And she probably hasn't even reached puberty yet-how will the surgery affect her body in the future? And what in the world were Mom and Dad thinking, to allow her to have the surgery? What about the surgeon? When he was interviewed, he talked about the maturity of the child, she was able to make a good decision, blah blah blah.

This girl is now 14. She will undoubtedly continue to have cosmetic surgery; she says she wants to look like Anna Nicole Smith or Dolly Parton-at 14! this is just messed up. Just do the work, people. Put down the Twinkie and have an apple instead. Lace up your tennies and go for a walk. It's way cheaper than liposuction and your body will thank you. And before I get comments from people who are going to tell me they tried all this and still can't lose weight and I'm just being mean to fat people, I've done it. It took me almost 2 years to lose about 50 pounds. I've kept it off for several years now, but I had to change some pretty bad habits to do it. Trust me, it can be done. It's hard but not impossible.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mileage-it's just a number

My rhr has been up several days in a row, and my legs felt pretty dead after yesterday's 6 miler. I'm not sure what's up with that. I've decided to take an extra rest day this week, so no run for today. I really want my mileage back up to 30 mpw, but if it takes an extra week to get there, so what? Will the big picture change if I don't run today? 10 years from now, when I'm still running, will I look back at this week and say, "Gee, I wish I had done that run on that one day"? I think not. So I'm giving myself permission to take an extra day off this week. I'll do some core stuff instead and work on a couple of projects I have in mind around the house. with 2 days off in a row, it will be interesting to see how my planned 10 miler for Friday goes.

I'm currently re-reading a favorite book, a translation of Beowulf by Seamus Heanley. There are passages that still ring true today; it just proves what I have always thought-that human nature has not changed throughout the ages-as an example:

Beow's name was known through the north,
And a young prince must be prudent like that,
giving freely while his father lives
so that afterwards in age when fighting starts
steadfast companions will stand by him
and hold the line. Bahaviour that's admired
is the path to power among people everywhere.

This, faithful readers, from an epic poem written around the 10th century.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another slug run

Yet again I got out the door late, which never bodes well for me, I'm definitely an early morning runner. I did 6 miles at a really slow pace, but I did manage to do them. My legs have been really sore lately; could it be possible that I already need new shoes? It seems like just a month or 2 ago that I bought this pair.

I had a truly interesting encounter with a woman in a parking lot recently. I was getting in my little Mini Cooper (it's a real Mini, not the faux BMW modern Mini). The lady was a tiny little elderly lady, perhaps in her late 70s, early 80s. She just said "nice car" as she walked by. I get that occasionally with our cars, so I didn't think much, just said thanks. Then she said "I really like the Mini Lites-they look better than the originals". This stopped me in my tracks. This was not your average grandmotherly lady, this was someone who knew enough about cars to realize we have after market wheels on the Mini, and she knew what brand of wheels they are.

I talked to her a bit, and found out that she and her husband raced cars all over California in the 50s and 60s, the heyday of the "drive it to the track, race it, drive it home" era. She raced an Austin Healey Bug Eye Sprite, and her husband raced Corvettes. It turns out she lives in the apartments right next door to where I used to work, and often saw my little Bugeye in the parking lot. What a nice lady, with such an interesting life. She invited me to her apartment to see some of her pictures and momentos from all her races, and I'm going to take her up on the offer.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Car show etiquette

We spent yesterday on our fence project again, so today was an easy 2 miler on the deadmill. No big whoop. I've been doing crosstraining on Sundays, a combination of 30 minutes on the elliptical and 30 minutes walking on the deadmill, but I really hate the whole crosstraining thing. I know, I know-it's good for me, rests the old running muscles, yada yada. I still hate it. So, stubborn person that I am, I'm just not going to do it any more. I'll do short easy runs instead, sometimes on the deadmill, sometimes not. So there.

The car show season is winding down; here in California we'll continue to have an occasional show but for the most part it's a summer thing. I encourage those of you who have never attended a car show to go to one. Look at the cars as a piece of rolling art. Talk to the owners. They're generally a pretty friendly group. However, be aware that while a car show is lots of fun, you need to be careful around vintage cars. Don't touch, lean against, or plant your rear end on a car. Seriously. The last show I had a car in, I watched a woman plant her rather generous rear on the hood of my car to get a cheesecake picture. Fortunately a good friend saw the same thing and asked her to remove her ass from my car. I was too busy trying to get my heart to function again. You have to understand-this particular car has a really nice paint job that I personally hand rubbed, coat by coat (it's a lacquer paint job, done when lacquer was still legal in California). And keep in mind that some cars, like Hubby's Allard, have aluminum body panels; this means they're soft and will dent really easily. And no car owner wants a dent in the hood of their car shaped like your butt.

So along with the rule about not touching the cars, this obviously includes not opening doors so you can get your picture inside the car. You wouldn't walk up to a stranger's house in Beverly Hills that you admire and open the door and just walk in, now would you? At least I hope you wouldn't do that. That would be weird as well as illegal. So don't do it to a car on display at a car show. I'm including this in my post because I have actually seen people do this.

So a little thoughtful respect goes a long way at a car show. The thing is, if you happen to meet the owner of the car, and you're friendly and polite, and show an interest in the car, she just might let you sit in the car and have your picture taken. Hubby and I have done this lots of times. Have fun, enjoy the day, admire the cars. Just don't touch.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fast pace 6 miler

OK, so I slept in late, then spent (translation: wasted) the morning on the computer, and finally got out the door for a 6 mile run. I felt really strong and had a fast pace, decided to see if I could sustain it instead of bonking around mile 3 like I usually do and then just slogging away for the last 3 miles. So my splits were actually pretty funny: fast, slow, fast, slow, REALLY fast, really slow, depending on where I hit the hills. But the good thing is my average pace was almost a 10k race pace, and I did a pretty good fast run. It made me believe that a sub 1 hour 10k is possible. Don't laugh, I know that for some of you a sub 1 hour 10k sounds kind of ridiculous. For me it's fast. Hey, we all have our goals!

I have a new favorite gadget in the kitchen. It was a birthday present-a magic bullet, sort of a tiny little blender. I've been experimenting with fruit smoothies, basically I just throw in whatever I have in the fridge with a little ice, fruit juice, maybe some yogurt. I've found that watermelon makes a great smoothie, especially if you put it in the freezer for a bit, then add vanilla yogurt. And nectarines-excellent smoothie material! And hummus-I love hummus as a dip, I make my own and it's much better than the store bought stuff. This is a kitchen gadget that actually works as it's supposed to.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

There are those days of such historical note that we all can easily remember where we were and what we were doing at that particular moment. For my in laws, Pearl Harbor is one of those moments. My generation can easily recall the day Kennedy was shot. Now, sadly, we have another day to add to the list. Hubby and I were in London on vacation with our parents on this terrible day 7 years ago. I won't bore you with the details except for one event that actually took place a couple of days after the attack, when the entire city of London stood still in a moment of silence in honor of those who lost their lives.

My mother and I and my mother in law were in a huge square just outside the Tower of London, where all the tourist buses congregate. one moment it was your typical bustling big city full of noise and movement, then suddenly, silence. No traffic noise, no voices, nothing except an occasional birds cry. I couldn't see the busy street that borders the square, but the traffic must have stopped because there was no noise coming from the street-no engines running, horns honking, nothing. All the people in the square stood silently, enveloped in their own thoughts. It was a profound moment.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Heart rate monitor

I did 5 miles today, I'm in a fall back week; my blessed, blessed fall back week! So no runs longer than 6 miles, then I'm back to a 10 miler and I'll probably start tacking on more miles-gradually. The nice thing about being done with races for the year is I can add miles and build my base at a leisurely pace.

I finally got the heart rate monitor strap working again. I put in a new battery and still no read out on Mr. Garmie. So I kept playing with it, installing, re-installing, it finally started showing a reading. The trick for those of you who have yet to replace the battery-the battery has to be firmly seated in just the right position.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My new political affiliation

I did 3 miles today with a new battery in my heart rate monitor strap. I got no heart rate readings at all-zip, zilch, nada. This means one of 2 things: a) I'm dead, or b) I installed the battery incorrectly. I'm assuming the correct answer is b since I never saw a very bright light filled with dead people beckoning me forward.

I was reading some notes given to me by my grandfather some years back about his life growing up in west Texas. He commented that his father, and his grandfather, were politically very active in their small community and that they were both "Jeffersonian Constitutionalists". I don't know what that is, but I like the sound of it. It has a nice ring and I have decided that that will be my new party, a party of one unless any of you, faithful readers, care to join me. Feel free to use that affiliation if you get called by any pollsters who want to know what party you belong to. We can make up the rules and a party platform as we go along.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Does digging post holes for a fence count as cross training? That's what I did all day Saturday, with a little concrete busting thrown in to the deal. I really felt it in my arms and abs. Sunday I was going to either a) do some easy cross training on the elliptical, or b) go for an easy 3 mile run. I ended up doing neither. Hubby and I woke up really late, watched telly a bit with my morning coffee, then decided to heck with our plans today, let's go to Ventura for some antique shopping.

We had a leisurely drive down the coast then split up in Ventura-Hubby headed for the gun show, I went to my favorite street loaded with antique and second hand shops. I ended up spending most of the day visiting with 2 of my favorite people in the antique world; Arthur and his wife Darlene run a very nice little shop filled with good quality antique furniture and old stained glass panels. I've purchase lots of stuff from them and we spend most of our time swapping stories about travelling in Great Britain and Europe. After wandering through their shop as well as a dozen or so others, I still managed to come home empty handed.

Sadly, so many "antique" shops around here are second rate. The merchandise is nothing special, and I have to dig through lots of useless stuff to find the gems I'm looking for. After years of combing shops for antiques I've become very particular about what I will buy. I considered a pretty decent bird's eye maple chair and a nice old serving dish; I finally said no to both and walked away with nothing more for my efforts than a Subway sandwich to split with hubby. You would think after going through that many stores I could have found something worth buying!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The running force

The running gods smiled upon me today. I did a really good 10 miler, no walking breaks except to cross a couple of busy streets. Otherwise, I just ran at a comfy pace, just let my body do what it's been trained to do. It was very cool and foggy and that helped; cold enough that I should have worn gloves. I wish every run could be like this. When I thought about taking a walking break, I imagined Obi Wan Kenobi's voice, telling me "Use the running force, Luke Snailrunner. The force is strong within you." That of course led to a whole Star Wars fantasy with me brandishing a light saber and saving the universe. I always imagine myself as a female Luke, rather than Princess Leia. I just don't think I would look good in a brass bikini.

I figured out my low heart rate thing. It's not me; it's the heart rate strap. I knew something was seriously out of whack when I saw my avg heart rate for this run-36! So then it occurred to me that I've never replaced the battery in the strap. Duh!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Running tragedy

I did 3 miles this morning, got up early enough that I could take advantage of the cool weather. I didn't really push the pace, but it felt about average for me, and I'm still seeing the really low avg. heart rate-it was a shocking 94. This is the 4th run with a low hr. Next week is a fall back week; after that I think I'm going to have to start doing speed work again. I'm definitely not getting much of a cardio workout.

A runner in Santa Barbara was struck and killed Saturday by a drunk driver. This poor woman was doing everything right. She was with a group of 30 runners, at 7:30 am, in the bike lane and running facing traffic. A drunk driver drifted into the bike lane and killed her. The group was with Team in Training.

I truly, truly hate drunk drivers. I have been forced to change my running routes because of them. I worry about Hubby on his daily commute, since he drives a tiny little Mini Cooper (73 vintage). I see these people on the telly, in court pleading not guilty, and I wonder about their choices. I know that your ability to make decisions when you're drunk is compromised. So, how about this-if you will need to drive home, DON'T DRINK! Just don't have that first glass of wine or beer or whatever.

I truly enjoy drinking wine, and occasionally beer. Hubby doesn't drink at all, so I have a built in designated driver. If I'm out with the girls, without the Hubster, I just don't drink alcohol, not even one little glass of wine.

Just be really careful out there, faithful readers. Stay safe.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Politicians, and why I don't like any of them

I ran a very easy 6 miles today, slow because it was hot and I didn't get my lazy butt out the door early enough to take advantage of the cool morning. You'd think I would know by now, I only make it harder on myself when I start late.

I am going to discuss a particular aspect of American Politics today; you are forwarned, faithful readers. This, however, will not be a rant, and it will not be partisan. I'm of a certain age that has allowed me to experience lots of election years and lots of politicians. They all, to a man (and now to a woman), have a nasty habit of believing that if I can relate to them on some elemental level, then I will vote for them. So they go to the local diner and eat the cuisine du jour, they bowl, shoot, swill beer out of the bottle, dandle some random baby on their knee, and generally engage in all sorts of activities that they are obviously uncomfortable with, all in the hope that it will make me, the voter, cast my vote in their favor. So I want to tell them all, every one, liberal or conservative, to just stop it. it doesn't work.

The problem is I'm not that stupid. I know that the typical politician lives a life that has no relationship whatsoever to my life. I see them stepping off a private jet with no carry on baggage, looking as fresh as if they just stepped out of a spa in Tahiti; they then ensconce themselves in the ample leathery comfort of a limousine and are whisked away to that diner where they eat a hot dog just like regular folks.

So, Mr Politician, you want me to relate to you? Well, let's see if I can conjure up the following fantasies:

Try to imagine either of the front runners in our current race for the White House mowing his own lawn. How about envisioning him in the garage with a few of his buddies (since this is a fantasy, just pop in your favorite Washington politicos here) changing out the starter on a 67 Camaro. Or how about picturing either candidate installing a new toilet in their Mcmansion? Let's look at their wives, shall we? How about trying to imagine either wife with her rubber gloved hand elbow deep in the above mentioned toilet, trying to scrub out a hard water stain? My point is that the lives politicians lead and my life are completely different. And it doesn't matter anyway, since that's not how I vote. I vote base on ISSUES.

So, to the politicans currently running for office, I have one piece of advice to offer. If you are encouraged by your advisors to partake in any activity that you are uncomfortable with, that you have never done in your life, that you really don't want to do, just say so. Just admit that you don't bowl/shoot baskets/play bingo, whatever the activity is, and you will get points from me for honesty. It doesn't mean I'll vote for you. I'm still voting based on issues.