Friday, September 19, 2014

September Chase the Stars 5k!

Welcome to our SEVENTH (WOW!) 5k in the 2014 virtual 5k series!  And welcome to Autumn in this hemisphere, and Spring in the other!

Still want to join in today? You can! Just sign up on the original post or by joining the Facebook group and letting me know by leaving a comment here or there, go do your 5k (run, walk, crawl...) and then post your results here (or there!)

The rules are simple:

  • You can run, walk, crawl, or any combination of those three, but those are your only options. 
  • You can do the 5k anytime in the 48 hours (but it needs to be in one go, not added up over the weekend or day.)
  • It MUST be done on either the Saturday or the Sunday, races done on Friday or Monday do not count for the 5k. 
  • You need to keep track of how long it took you, not because you are in competition with anyone, but because you WILL BE in later races with yourself. 
  • After you have completed your 5k and posted the results here (along with a link to any blog post you may have posted, but that's not necessary if you don't have one or don't want to) you are more than welcome to the "medal" that's below. You can display it on your website, or simply print it out to tack up on your wall, whatever you like!

...and that's it! If you'd like a race bib for the 5k, it's on the bib post (the one before this one) or in the Facebook group for you to download or print out.

What's the prize this time?  A small bottle of authentic, real Vermont maple syrup!

Oh, and of course the medals for your site or wall (Hey, I realize I need to update my own sidebar! Sheesh! I'm falling behind in my glory wall!)




Have fun out there and tell me how you did!!!
Thursday, September 18, 2014

September Bib!

Hey, it's that time again! For those that want it, here is your race bib! It's also available for download in the Facebook Group! As always, those people who would like to join, the more the merrier! Just leave me a comment either in the FB group or my original post for the race, and I'll sign ya up!

Just click on the picture to make it original size and save for printing.

So, are you ready?!?!

The prize this month is a mini bottle of authentic Vermont maple syrup!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Yesterday, celebrating my anniversary, I wandered around town with my husband. One of the things I was hunting for was a new home-gym/weight set. I didn't think that this would be much of a problem, as this is a pretty basic request, right?

In the past, I had a great wall-weight set. It had several stations and actual weights on a pulley system, and worked the entire body. I got rid of it because I got so strong that I maxed out the set. I was doing 180lbs bench presses and 240lbs leg presses. While the bench was something that could still challenge me (that 180lbs was a max rep, not something I could easily repeat, but still pretty impressive to me!) I found that I could go way higher in the legs when I tested out that theory in a gym. My gym just wasn't enough for me, and because I couldn't add weights to the system, I had to find something else.

I ended up going with a Weider system that was similar to a BowFlex with a leg resistance of about 340lbs. That worked for a while, but again wasn't enough for my legs, and I wasn't thrilled with the way the resistance worked (hard at one point, almost non-existent at another because of the "bow") so I stuck with that until it died last year... but I wasn't happy.

I should probably take a minute to make it extremely clear that lifting heavy is good for women. It does NOT make you bulky (you have to work really hard for that to happen) and instead actually makes you smaller and more compact. Also, another benefit to lifting heavy is bone density, as well as a metabolism gain. Cardio, something like interval training, will raise your metabolism for a bit after a workout, but then it goes back to normal. Weights will lift it a smaller amount, but over a much longer period of time (up to 48 hours.) Having a higher metabolism for that long is a major benefit too, especially when you cross-strain the following day with cardio. Anyway, don't be afraid to lift heavy. You won't get bigger unless you are eating to sustain growth and a few other things. Barring those, you'll actually get smaller and healthier!

The thing is, there used to be all sorts of complete weight-home gyms all over the place. That's not the case anymore. I walked into our biggest sporting store here and there wasn't a single one. There was a pull-up stand (I have one, LOVE IT) and some free weights, but nothing else. I was shocked. The sporting goods store, a huge one - major retailer, had gone 95% cardio.

Has my head been in the sand? When did that happen? Are we becoming a cardio nation again?

I remember in the 1980's my mother wouldn't miss a Richard Simmons workout. All those wooden and mirrored walls, the leotards, the leg warmers, the " bounce! And bounce! And lift! And bounce!" It was cardio until you dropped. The only people who lifted weights were those meat heads that liked to hang out on beaches and say "Hey baby!" in the gyms. But I saw that change. Lifting became something that women caught on to. It wasn't just for wimpy teenage boys trying to get the girl, and steroid swollen men any more. Weight lifting became about being a stronger, leaner, less prone to injury, more energy sort of activity that we were suddenly aware of all the benefits of for women! Yay!

Admittedly, for a while weight lifting was tiny 2 lbs pink dumbbells - which drive me insane to this day. They got the message, but didn't get it. I have books that weigh 2 lbs, for crying out loud. If I was expected to pick up a toddler at all hours of the day, why on earth would I get a "workout" with 2 lbs weights? It never made sense, and it was such a great thing when women finally realized they could not only lift, but lift heavy and get amazing results.

The gym market exploded with weight and resistance gyms! They were everywhere!

So... where did they go? No, really. I've been out of the loop, so I really am wondering where they all went?

Did gym memberships get more affordable, so people stopped working out at home? (They're certainly not here, at $135 a month per person. But that's here, and I haven't checked into it anywhere else.) But even so, there has to be a lot of people like me, who like the option of stumbling into my home gym half awake, hair sticking up, in pj's and a sports bra, and just ready to lift and get it done? Most of the machines and gyms I'm finding are more like Pilates, more body weight less weight-weight. What happened? Are people not lifting?

I left the store in disappointment. I've been looking online, but it's a lot of "this is really expensive and actually belongs in a public gym not your house" or some sort of dumbed down, lightened up home gym. A sort of pink dumbbell version of a home gym. So much for my training plans. Argh!

So, I've had to make other plans. The first part is that I'm going to keep looking. I shouldn't have to pay a college education price for a decent home gym. Hopefully I find something out there.

The second part is that I'm going to restart P90X3. I figure this might be a good option anyway as my plantar fasciitis is still a major issue. I can't believe I'm missing out on my favorite time to run (it's cool enough, the leaves are changing. This is my time! If it wasn't for the fact that I'm almost completely unable to walk if I go running right now, I'd probably risk the pain.) I need something to focus on, and I was hoping to reboot a more serious weight training plan, but without a gym that's simply not something I can swing.

I think I'll be going with P90X3 (instead of P90X - I have both), simply because I didn't go all the way through it before. I can't remember why exactly, but I sure didn't give it a fair shake. I'm also going to restart weekly weigh-ins. They don't help keep me on track, but they do help me see that time is moving forward, if that makes any sense? Personally, we're in a tough situation, and I think it'll help.

So, starting this Sunday, it's on! P90X3, a full round (13 weeks.) Hopefully, I gain back some of my healthy ground, and lose a chunk of scale weight. As long as I follow through, both of those healthy outcomes are certainties, not wishes. It's nice to have that much control over something!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Years Ago

Today is my 19th wedding anniversary. 19 years, I've been "Mrs. Wilson" or... "Miiiiiiiiiiiiiisseeeeeesssssss WiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiLLLLLsoooooooon!" *nailsonchalkboard*

I have to tell you, I almost didn't take my husband's last name. That whole Denis The Menace aspect of it really bothered me. Plus, my mother in law is Mrs. Wilson. How could I possibly be Mrs. Wilson too? The sound of it gave me hives.

When it came down to the day before, I even said "You know, I'm a modern woman. I could totally keep my last name! Plus, it's unique. If I ever do anything important, unique would be good!" And you know what? It would have been. It turns out that there are lots of Kyras, and several Kyra Wilsons. Some guy has been sitting on for a decade now (I suspect for a child named that or something) and I'd sincerely like to slap him upside the head, so I have been completely unable to acquire that website for my business. But my maiden name? Now that would have been no problem. Business speaking, I really should have kept my name. 

Although, to be fair, I'm not sure anyone would have been able to spell my web address. My maiden name was unique. Paired with my first name? Well, let's just say that many times a new or substitute teacher would resort to using my common middle name during roll-call rather than brave the pronunciation of either. You have no idea how many times I was marked absent before I caught onto that.

It turned out, however, that my modern man suddenly went back to caveman with the mere mention of my not taking his name. A unibrow immediately sprouted, the under-jaw came out, and he stopped speaking in complete sentences.

"Whayameanyanowannatakemaname??? Ismaname. Is goodname. Name good. You like name. My name. Goooooood name."

Seriously, men are so baffling sometimes. I thought about quoting Shakespeare about the rose and all that, but he was fast approaching the level of tears. So, I thought it was no big deal. Maybe. Take his name. Right... yet, suddenly because it was so important, I saw it as something that maybe I should struggle a bit about. WHY was it so important I take his name? It's just a name right? His name, not the one I had known for 20 years. A name is just a name, so... I gave in. Sorta. I kept my maiden name too, as a sort of compromise (I didn't hyphenate it, instead I have four names and can sound pretentious if I'm feeling in a mood. I made sure the kids had both last names too. Part of that is about  our Scottish heritage, and the other part is that they can start collecting names at this rate and exceed my pretentiousness by a factor if 10 with every name they add. Future planning.)

The funniest thing is that my husband doesn't even remember this whole name ordeal. He read over my shoulder what I was typing, and said it never happened. He's completely blanked out on the whole name-thing. Is that a guy-thing?

It's funny really, because 19 years later I don't think he would have cared at all now. It's the little things that seem so important when we're young, and so stupid when we're older, isn't it? I was worried about a name? Geeze, fast forward moving all over the country, having children, worried about college, aging parents, planning for retirement - a name seems pretty stupid to be upset about.

I think there is a certain point in marriage where you start letting the little things go because the picture has gotten so much bigger. That's what an anniversary really is; another piece to the puzzle of us creating an even bigger and more complex picture.

Also, it's an excuse to give a themed gift. Apparently, I'm supposed to give him a chili pepper. That's what I read the traditional 19th was (modern is bronze... so a bronze chili pepper?) Now, don't you think that something heartburn inducing should have been one of the earlier anniversaries? 

We spent the day yesterday on our deck talking, and we both think that this has been one of the hardest years for us. We're still best friends, and there's no problems in the marriage, it's just that life has been very hard on us for this past year. This is part of the "good times and the bad", and the upside is that while things have been hard, the idea of leaving one another's side isn't even a consideration. Bad doesn't mean you bail on the other person, it means you hold tighter. 

The fortune I got while we were dating.

Happily ever after isn't about perfect joy every minute. It's about enjoying the good parts but also getting through the rough parts of life together because there is a deeper sort of peace in just that.

So, I'm happy I'm Mrs. Wilson. Even if I can't get that Denis the Menace whine out of my head. It's been worth it. 

This was right after the sharing of cake. I have frosting on my nose., because instead of shoving the cake all over me, he just dabbed some on my nose. This is my favorite picture from the entire wedding!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


I've been running around like crazy for so long, it's amazing I'm fully clothed at this point and not wearing my knickers on my head and pretending I'm the Queen of Hearts.

We keep finding last minute things that need to be done to the house, but basically we're done. We stayed up until after midnight on Monday night painting trim and working on projects, and then spent all of Tuesday on more. I think we're done. There's always a few more "little things" though. I'm wondering if that will ever stop?

I've been taking pictures for the listing (because I have real photography equipment and such) and we've even got our realtor locked in (one that we picked, not the relocation company, thank goodness.) We're in the final stages, and then the house will be "live" on the market possibly by tomorrow or Friday.

That means I should only have to worry about the house being clean, being dressed (a constant worry, it seems) and being ready to leave the house at a moment's notice. This is going to make it tricky to work, but I have to. I have commissions stacking up, and clients can only be expected to be so patient before they come knocking at your door with torches and pitchforks.

This also means I should be able to institute a normal meal and exercise schedule once more. On Sunday, I went for a run. I thought that my plantar fasciitis was doing better and a light run on the treadmill would be ok.

Bad idea. Really, really bad idea.

I almost couldn't walk for the rest of the day, and I've been in horrible pain ever since. So, I'm switching my cardio to the bike. This means I'm probably out for several of the next 5ks (don't worry, they'll still be on!) which is seriously frustrating. I really thought I'd be running every single one. Funny how making plans messes everything up. Well, technically my injury did, but sometimes it feels like it's the act of planning on something.

Do you ever feel that way? For a long while, every time I planned a vacation for us, the kids got sick. EVERY TIME. It got so bad, we just stopped taking any vacations at all unless they were last minute. It was like the viruses were listening, and dropped in when they could wreak the most havoc with our plans. Murphy's Law, and all that.

Anyway. We're finally at that stop point. Mostly. Sorta. I just don't want to do any more work on the house. The realtor suggested a few things today when she came over, and I just wanted to cry. This is why people don't move. It's too much effort. I moved a lot before we settled here, and it sure wasn't this hard!

But I'm ready now. I'm primed. We just need that offer. My daughter is trying out for the lead in the play today, and I figure if she gets it that means that we'll get an offer quickly on the house (Murphy's Law again, and all that. Come on Murphy!!!)

And... well, I wish I had something more cohesive to post, but I'm tapped out. So, happy... what day is it? Wednesday! Happy Wednesday!
Monday, September 8, 2014

The Land of Later

My mother used to say that "It takes just as much energy to step over something repeatedly that you have dropped on the floor as it does to just put it away in the first place." I don't know if this is true, but it sure sounds true.

When I was a child, I was a bit of a disaster in the cleaning department.  My mother saying that to me (a lot) is something that has really stuck with me, but not to any real accomplishment. I still have trouble keeping everything clean (and with teenagers? They're like the dark matter of the clean universe.) It is possible that I put more things away right when I should because I can hear that echoing in my head, however. Although, I often wonder if sometimes I toss something down and leave it in defiance of that voice, too. I'm a stubborn thing, that's for sure.

I suppose the same could be said about making the right food choices? Let's see... "It takes just as much effort to say no to the bad food choice and go make yourself the more nutritious choice, as it does to exercise it off and mourn your weight later."  Or something. That sounds true too, doesn't it? I'll have to think on that a little bit more, but I have a feeling that it's one of those momisms that can be applied to many things and that even if it's not true, it probably works against you in a similar fashion and you won't be able to get it out of your head 40 years later. The definition of a momism;

It takes just as much effort to ignore your treadmill and weights and think about how you should have worked out all day as it does to just work out... Hmm. I wonder if that is true. That one probably depends on how much internal guilt and focus you carry around with you about missing a workout (I carry a lot, so that probably is true.)

Goodness, this is like a Mother's Law of Physics-Life sort of thing, isn't it? I wonder how many more things it can be applied to?

It takes just as much energy to squish the clean laundry into the dresser and then have to work the wrinkles out as it does to just fold them the right way first.

It takes just as much energy to... I suppose the lesson is that it takes just as much energy to do something the fast and easy way and have to correct whatever errors that created as it does to do it right in the first place. The only problem with that is that sometimes you simply don't have the time at that moment to do it right.

Life is a balance of time and effort. I understand that. Sometimes you have the time to put in the correct effort, and sometimes you're left scrambling and using duct tape to keep your pants up when they ripped on the way out of the house when you are late (for the record, this works really well in a pinch.) I suppose it really comes down to asking whether you can do "it" right now and you are just being lazy trying to put it off, or if you sincerely cannot do it and need a stop-gap until you can come back and properly set the situation in question to rights.

Life probably isn't about doing the correct thing every time, but rather doing the correct thing when you can, and not forgetting to go back and fix it when you can't. Or, as another momism would go "Life is about NOT living in the Land of Later." (This is from one of my favorite book series, Serendipity, called "Morgan and Me")

All of this fixing up of the house for the market has shown me just how many "Laters" I created and never went back to. I'm like a walking V-8 commercial, smacking myself in the forehead about every three minutes at this point. It does have me wondering how much we can actually accomplish though and not get completely worn down? Maybe the Land of Later has to exist on some level, or we'd never get a break at all? It's a balance, surely, but I wonder what that actual ratio is that one should be living with. Sort of like toxic chemicals in our life; there are levels which are considered non-threatening and acceptable even if none would be preferable. It's probably that way with our "Laters" too.

I think prior to now, I was probably 40% in Later with my housework, 80% with my household projects (hence my panic now), 20% with my work, 15% with my children (guiltguiltguilt), 10-25% with my personal relationships (guiltguiltguilt), and 15% my fitness and nutrition.

Getting the house on the market has put me at 0% in Later with household projects and housework (which is really hard, by the way), 95% my work (GAH!!!), 30% with my children (crap), 50-75% my personal relationships (sigh), 50% my fitness and nutrition, and... well, geeze. I just want to go hide in a closet now.

I'm hoping some of this shifts back to something more normal this week, as the house goes on the market (cross your fingers for lots of showing and legitimate offers! We live in a comatose market here. If we don't get offers in the next six weeks or so, I may be here until Spring on my own.) I figure with just household upkeep, and not having to fix things, that perhaps I can inject a bit more on schedule and a lot less Later.

So, how much do you live in the Land of Later?
Friday, September 5, 2014

Coping Skills

Are you good with stress? I'm very curious to know how many of you cope well with stress. Are you better or worse in a stressful situation? How about a high level of constant stress; do you burn out or shine?

I've known a few people who absolutely thrive in stressful situations (I think they're actually adrenalin junkies) and I'm always amazed. In a sudden stressful situation, those types of people get energized and gain laser-like focus. They can juggle 30 things at once, bake a 12 course meal, have a baby, and accept a Nobel peace prize all in one evening. They love long-term stress too, because it gives them a reason to keep hopping! After the stress passes, those people tend to crash and become normal folks once again... maybe even a little less than normal, because they become a bit more klutzy about life. It's fascinating really, to see how they achieve so much in so short a period with grace and aplomb, and then go back to fumbling around with things when stress is absent. The people who I have known like this tend to have wild jobs, like an ER doctor or military specialist. You know, the stuff worthy of bragging about at a party and everyone actually wants to hear all about it.

I know many people who fall in the middle. These sorts of people are the types who seem to lose focus without a little stress in their lives to keep them on the ball, but turn into a complete blubbering mess if it becomes highly stressful for very long. 

Lastly, if I'm working in categories, are the people who are allergic to stress. These folks need a peaceful life. No drama. No demands. A little bit of stress sends them to the back room for a good cry, and often they become paralyzed in the face of too much. I've known several of these types too (one ran off to work at a resort in the Bahamas, owning nothing but some clothing and personal items, so as to reduce his stress.)

Now, of course there are many shades between those three. For me personally, I'm somewhere between the middle and allergic. I used to think I was good in a sudden situation. I think I am for the most part (no one has died on my watch yet), but I don't have much endurance for it. If it's a major event, it needs to end rather quickly or I'm apt to start dreaming about the Bahamas. I think my prior belief that I was good in a longer stressful situation was due more to my ego than any evidence I might have had.

No, the sad truth is that while I'll stick anything out because I'm stubborn (and thereby have a meltdown worthy of a Linda-Blair-exorcist performance award at some point), I'm actually someone better suited for a hammock on the beach. I feel bad saying that, but it's the truth. I don't deal well with stress, especially long term stress that I can do nothing about.

When I was a child, I had a stress-stutter. It showed up one year when things were particularly bad. Now, even to this day, if things get bad enough long enough I start stuttering again. It's extremely frustrating and embarrassing. I also tend to get headaches which turn into migraines (I've had them since I was a child, but I trigger more of them when under stress.) 

I've started wondering if how you are under stress boils down to genetics and just who you are, or your available successful methods of coping? (Or both?) Are some people just programmed to better handle it than others? Is there a way to change that? How do YOU deal with stress? Do you just white-knuckle your way through it, or do you do something (when you can't affect the stress at all, I mean. You have no recourse, you must endure it, what do you do?)

All the stress going on right now is essentially good stress. We're finally moving. We've had realtors in and out of the house, we're calling movers, we're working our keisters off to make things happen. My business weirdly heated up at the same time, and if I only had the time in the day to work, I wouldn't be able to paint fast enough. Good things. Big things... But, I've started stuttering again. This has happened before now, and big things were afoot then as well. I had a migraine two nights ago, and then last night my stomach hurt so badly it felt like I had swallowed huge shards of glass for the entire evening.

I'm working on my coping skills, trying to figure this out because this is just ridiculous. People go through stuff like this all the time. I mean, come on! 

I know that exercise helps, but not enough (still doing it though.) Plus, I'm physically working on the house so hard I ache 24-hours a day. Food used to be my go-to back when major things were happening, but one upside to this much stress is that eating too much or junk only makes me feel worse. I eat, but I don't care what. And if I don't care? Well, then it ought to be healthy and portioned correctly - because I don't care (it's never going to be easier to eat right than when you don't care!) Lastly, clearly I'm blogging more. Talking about it more. I can't talk to anyone here about it, because they're in the same place. For example, last night the dog woke us up at 2AM and my husband couldn't sleep much after that because his mind cranked up on everything we have to do (and I can HEAR him thinking. Have you ever tried to sleep next to someone who thinks loudly? I know that sounds silly, but it's a real thing. They give off this sort of energy... well, now I sound like a frootloop, but if you have experienced this, you know what I'm talking about.) The poor guy can't take much more talking about all of this, as it's all he thinks about now.

So, what do you do? What kind of stresser are you? Do you thrive? Just keep swiming? Drown? What do you do to cope? (and the first person who suggests yoga to me, knowing I loathe it, gets my parents living in their basement. *wink*)