Sunday, January 25, 2009

Did You Know It Is The Year Of The Ox?

Did you know it is the year of the Ox?

2009 will begin on the Chinese calendar tomorrow. It will ring in the year of the Ox , the second animal on the Chinese zodiac. There is a legend that goes along with the zodiac and how the animals got their place. The zodiac is a cycle of twelve years, each represented by an animal. You can find out which animal you are on the zodiac as well. It's fun to read the whimsical descriptions of each.

Did You Know Crowds at the Gym are Already Dwindling?

Did you know crowds at the gym are already dwindling?

My husband said last week at the gym already seemed less crowded. He pointed out that it has only been about three weeks since folks made new year's resolutions and are already dropping them. He guessed that maybe they would rather try to lose weight using the best diet pills rather than working out. I did point out to him that maybe folks are having to cut out gym membership because of financial struggles.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Did You Know About Temperature Inversion?

Did you know about temperature inversion?

Living at sea level, I guess I've never had an occasion to hear about this. But my friend Montucky lives and hikes in the mountains. His blog is where I learned about this unique, short lived phenomenon. Here is how Montucky explains it on his blog :

"The weathermen on the news stations here are mentioning that it will be relatively cold for the next week or so, but if we get tired of it we can always drive up into the higher elevations where it will be warmer. It’s a period of temperature inversion, where warm air moving over at high altitudes traps cold air down in the valleys, keeping them much colder and foggy. Above the inversion layer (currently around 4,000 feet) it’s clear and sunny."

If you want to see great photos to go along with his explanation, be sure to check out his blog!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Did You Know It's About Being Cool?

Did you know it's about being cool?

I just turned off Oprah. The infatuation with Obama is really getting to me. I don’t quite understand it all. Just before going to a commercial, there was a clip with Justin Timberlake talking about the energy felt over this change in administration. He talked about walking with a swagger after the election. He talked about how now America has a swagger. “America, we’re cool now.” I didn’t realize that’s what it was all about….

Friday, January 16, 2009

Did You Know Fans Can Make a Difference?

Did you know fans can make a difference?

Sports fans, that is. My son's basketball team won their first home game tonight. There was a big crowd there to cheer them on. The more we cheered, the more the guys got into it. It was fun to watch and fun for them to play! The team has not won a game since before Christmas (at a tournament game where there were more fans as well.) It has really gotten their morale down. But to have so many fans "rocking the gym" really made the game "go live" for them! It was obvious tonight that fans made a difference!

Did You Know It's Crowded at the Gym?

Did you know it's crowded at the gym?

It's January. It's crowded at the gym. For gym-goers who consistently use their gym membership throughout the year, it is noticeable at the beginning of every new year. The gym is more crowded in January and can last up through March. All those folks who have resolved to lose weight and are looking to do more exercise, find the best fat burners, and to eat right are showing up at the gym. Don't get me wrong, I do hope they can continue their new regime and stick to their plans. It's just that it is so noticeable every January!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Did You Know It's The Principle?

Did you know it's the principle?

Yesterday my husband and our neighbor were talking about all the trouble we have been having with our internet service. It came up about dropping it and looking for another provider. I said that is exactly what I don't understand. My neighbor put it just right for me to understand, "It's the principle", he said. It should have been done and done right months ago. Yes, we have wanted to drop Comcast, but then they would never have to come fix it and make it right. It is the principle of them doing the right thing that matters now.

As an update, a temporary fix was put on again yesterday (at least this time they were up front about it being temporary!) and a new line should be in place within a week. I hope that will be the case, after all, it's the principle!

Did You Know Your Plans for Summer?

Did you know your plans for summer?

With winter's chill upon us, you may think it's too soon to be planning a summer vacation, but I think it's a great time to start! Dream about warm tropics, a cruise, or the world famous theme parks. And by getting a head start on the details like transportation reservations, vacation rentals, and itineraries, you can often get a great deal!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Do You Know Why My Blogging Has Lagged?

Did you know why my blogging has lagged?

Yes, I am busy and don't have time to do the blogging the way I'd like. But the real main reason that I don't blog every day or two is because we still cannot keep an internet connection! It is unbelievable to me that a company the size of Comcast cannot maintain it's service in a continuous fashion. They were at our house on Thursday and Friday. It worked for Saturday. It has not worked since Sunday. They were out to our house yesterday. They do not know what is wrong. Every single time we call they can do nothing but send out a technician. We have to start at square one with each call. Then the tech can fiddle around or put in a work order for a line tech. My neighbor asked the tech yesterday to please request that they put in a whole new line-which they supposedly did a couple of months ago. It is beyond frustrating. I really am suspecting we are on Candid Camera or they are just playing a game with us in some way. It works for a little while, then goes out for days and no one can tell us why! Though it is getting in the way of blogging, what frustrates me to a greater extent is our inability to access information, shop, and the kids to do their school work. Internet access is basically mandatory these days for students. If you don't have it at home, they must go to the library or a friend's house to complete assignments. And worse is when you think you have it at home and cannot access it!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Did You Know What I've Learned From My Training?

Did you know what I've learned from my training?

In preparing for the half marathon I ran last week, I have learned some things, about myself and about life too. I have learned I can push myself and do more than I would have thought I could-and it could be fun too! I learned how running for five minutes and walking for one can be a pattern for living life. My mom made a comment here on my blog about that. Just keep pushing along and go at it hard, step back for a short break, and then kick it in again. Seems like a reasonable way to push through life. I learned that sometimes the pain will sideline you and you have to keep plugging along with what you can do. I learned that I like to have a goal, something to reach for in my training. It helps with motivation and fun. I have learned that I like having the goals and challenges set before me. I have also been reminded of a saying my son heard/used when training for his black belt in karate: "Train hard, test easy".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Did You Know I am Having to Take Time Off After My Run?

Did you know I am having to take time off after my run?

I am really disappointed. I was hoping to just jump right back into my training schedule. But I am having some problems with knee pain and swelling. I am not sure really what I did. I have knee pain when I run anyway. But the night of the race, we did a prayer walk with some people from church and spent quite a bit of time walking. Afterwards, I was feeling a lot of knee pain. The next morning I woke up early with pain in my knee. I got up and iced it for half an hour, then went back to sleep. Later I got up and went for a slow, relaxing swim. I stayed in the pool to do all my stretching. I felt better after that.

On Saturday I wanted to go to spinning class at the Y. When I got there the Pilate's teacher told me she did not have any students and to come in there and she would help me stretch. I did go in after about 20 minutes of spinning. She put me on the reformer machine to really stretch my legs out. That is when she noticed my knee was swollen. She showed me some exercises to do at home to help strengthen my knees. Later that day I met my eight year old nephew for his birthday laps. I walked some and jogged some.

Then Sunday after church I noticed the back of my knee was very, very swollen. I finally decided to take ibuprofen and continued to ice it throughout the day. I also knew I would have to stay off it for a few days. The swelling has gone down which is good. But I am just frustrated that I am having to stay off of it! I need to get back to the running! Hopefully I can catch an episode or two of Sit and Be Fit on PBS!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Did You Know About My First Half Marathon?

Did you know about my first half marathon?

This morning I rang in the New Year by running my first half marathon! Marathon Bird and I got up early to travel to Kingwood, TX.

The weather was mild, no wind, no rain! We met another couple of friends there and were excited for the race to begin.

I think there were about 400 runners for both the half and full marathon. I was really anxious/antsy/jittery this morning. I had to go to the bathroom twice before the race, just to make sure! The race began at 8 am so it was good and light and the weather was just right-not too hot, not too cold. The course was concrete trails through a greenbelt area near Lake Houston. We were to complete two 6.55 loops for the half marathon.

The beginning of the race reminded me of the triathlon-a stampede of everyone crammed together. I did not like the first mile or so. I was getting frustrated that we had to start out so slow, but it had to be that way with so many people and by the first mile or so everyone spread out and it was not too bad. I stuck with my five minute run/one minute walk intervals. I was very tempted to skip the first walk and just get out of the crowd, but my friend had told me to stick with what I had trained. I am really glad I listened to her.

I knew I was going pretty fast but I was feeling good and wanted to keep on a good pace. I never checked the actual time but just kept to the five minute/one minute schedule. As I headed back to the turn around I noticed on one of the trees my friend's name posted. I remembered that when we started I overheard someone say "Watch for your name on the trees." I thought maybe some folks had posted encouraging messages to friends. Then, I noticed my other friend's name, and then his wife's. So I guessed they had posted every participant's name and I was looking for mine by then. As I came to the turn around I was really happy and feeling good. A little ways back I notice my own name posted on one of the trees! That was fun!

I had a hard time keeping track of the mileage, I think I would miss seeing the appropriate mile marker some times. By the time I got back around to mile ten I was really happy. I was feeling good and decided I would go ahead and eat my gel pack to sustain me through the end of the race. (I had at first decided not to eat it, but as I got that far I felt I needed it.)

Beginning at about mile eight I got to where I was clapping every time I saw a mile marker! Mile eleven again proved to be the hardest for me, but not too very bad. I think doing the run/walk system and getting sips of water every so often really helped.

I finished with a good time of 2:14:41. This beat the goal I had set for myself by 15 minutes! I was really pleased when they handed me a little stuffed bat (why a bat? don't know!) with my finishing place marked on it!!

I also loved the giant medals we got! We could not hear well when they were being shown off before the race, but apparently this was the ten year anniversary for this race and so they wanted them bigger and better!

I really, really enjoyed doing this half marathon. I love how it is held on New Year's Day. I love how it is open to everyone, elite runners (it's a Boston qualifier) all the way to the walkers (the course time limit is dusk!) The volunteer staff was great! We got great goodies. And they did not even limit me on how much pizza I could eat after the race!! :)