Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
On Saturday I did my early morning run and swim. It was my third weekend doing the new routine, with noticeably less nausea after the swim, so that's encouraging! It was also nice to see the increase in superhuman (Ironman) triathletes in town swimming, biking and running along Alii Drive over the past week!
On Sunday, we met some amazing new friends we met on the walking path a few months ago for a second hike up Kaloko (though we did have one semi-traumatic incident when Roy slipped, fell hard and Ryan scraped his chin and bit down hard on his lip, filling his mouth with blood like a boxer in Round 10)!
From there we went back home so Ryan could nap, then hit the road again so we could go to our favorite fruit stand at the Farmers Market on Ali'i Drive. We also had lunch at our favorite restaurant (Bubba Gumps) and then let Ryan run around Hale Halawai and Kona Inn for awhile.
I'd like to say that he happily romped around on the grass, but what he really wanted to do was play with a dirty hose and spigot he spotted hidden behind the bushes at Kona Inn.
I enjoyed the laid-back Hawaiian weekend, but I'm SUPER pumped about the coming weekends as well-
-Next week Sunday there is the 10k that we're planning to run/walk with Ryan (that we have not prepared for...again!)
-Then the following Saturday, it's....IRONMAN weekend! We're going to get up very, very early so we can see the swim and swim-to-bike transition in the morning, and then return in the later afternoon/evening to see the runners come in. Always super emotional stuff that would bring anybody to tears!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Our hotel in Seattle was teeming with ripe, plump blackberries!!! We couldn't resist picking a few to have with our morning yogurt.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Hiking Kaloko a few weeks ago has really inspired me to both rediscover (or newly discover) a number of hot spots on the island. And now that we live here again, I have plenty of motivation to find out exactly what (besides the laid back, happy people) makes this island so special. So here's my to-do list, with the hope that I will all but #5 within the next 6-12 months:
1. Hike the second trail in Kaloko.
2. Hike from Kekaha Kai State Park to Queen's Bath at Makalawena.
3. Hike to the End of the World (on the south end of Alii Drive) so I can see the burial mounds (I never knew they were there) and jump off the cliff into the ocean.
4. Drive out to Puna and swim in the volcanic hot tub at Ahalanui Park. Eat at Ken's on the way home.
5. Kayak Keauhou and/or Kealakekua Bay and swim near the spinner dolphins (this one has to wait until we can afford a kayak and Ryan is old enough to swim).
6. Find and explore either Kaumana Cave or Kazumura Cave.
7. Get the courage to swim in the open water at Kailua Pier (I'm 35 freaking years old...gotta get over the whole Jaws thing)!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I still can't get over being able to jump into the clear, blue, cool water when mere minutes ago, I was panting and dripping with sweat. And I'm even more in love with my Zoot Suit's two side pockets. Today I stuffed blocks on one side, and my car keys in the other. AWESOME. Normally I have this stuff (plus my cell phone, some cash, ibuprofen and my driver's license) just PORING out of my tiny Fuel Belt pocket and scattering all over the road no less than 2x per run! The only other time I've had side pockets on running gear was when I purchased two pricey pairs of DeSoto run shorts, but they were too short, and as a result, they chafed, so I had to get rid of them. As a result, I definitely appreciate the two side pockets and will make it a point to ONLY buy those for any runs longer than 5 miles!
The other positive aspect of expanding my outdoor activities is that I'm getting more and more interested in biking! I'd love to work even more different muscles, feel the air on my face and be able to pound out some mileage again (I feel a sense of loss doing only shorter distances now). But I'm still a little worried about cost, the dangers of biking on the highway and having to repair flats and what not. I think the next time BikeWorks offers a free Intro to Biking class I'm going to sign up and at least learn more about it. I still have ZERO ambition to be competitive in the sport or enter triathlons though. Just in the past few days, I've truly come to accept that I'm simply not a sporting competitor (work is another matter), and that forcing myself to be faster, better, stronger often kills the fun for me.
About the only downside that I've noticed in doing this new routine is that I'm incredibly nauseous after my swim. I thought it was a combination of just being tired and out of shape, but a triathlete I know said that it's normal to feel that way, and a man I spoke to at the pool today said the same thing. So while this isn't great news (I feel 'off' for a few hours afterwards...icky), I'm still optimistic that it will get better with experience.
Otherwise, I've noticed that my last few posts have been very high on me. Look what I did this weekend! See how many goals I accomplished! Look at how amazing and busy I am! ...So who wants to sleep with ME?!!!
But what I've deliberately chosen to avoid addressing is the fact that I've gained 4-5 lbs. over the last 6 months. A few have crept up over time, and 2 lbs. were from vacation. And while they haven't made my clothes any tighter and I think, are largely unnoticeable, someone like me (with eating issues) doesn't have the luxury of just laughing it off and promising to buckle down next week/month/year. Because I know that 3-4 lbs. soon becomes 6-8, and then 10-12. So though my mind is keenly and dutifully aware of what is going on, I am still mentally resisting having to revisit the land of diet/exercise.
I'm not exactly sure why I haven't had the desire to get back on the wagon. The old me would have been a whirlwind of goals, color-coded charts, exercise plans and deadlines. I think its partly because I'm busier, more balanced/moderate, and somewhat less self indulgent than I used to be (I'm learning), but mostly because I'm all too aware of how psychologically exhausting the process can be. For me, losing weight is not as nice, neat and simple as eating 200-300 less calories a day, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or choosing to skip dessert at Chili's.
For me, the difficulty is in what you take away from me- my primary form of self soothing and entertainment. What will I do if I can't munch on a bag of li hing mui gummies when I'm tired and hungry and Ryan has finally taken a nap? What will be even half as pleasurable as digging into a huge Tostitos bag at the end of a long day? What I am supposed to do with myself if I can't have a Tigers Milk bar everytime I feel bored? How can I have fun at a movie without a large bag of buttered popcorn?
How am I supposed to distract/soothe myself when I'm anxious, irritable, frustrated, overwhelmed, depressed or bored? I know I'm supposed to meditate, take a walk, talk to a friend or take a warm bubble bath, but trust me, when I've really had it- none of that crap stands a chance compared to a carton of Rocky Road. And therein lies the problem- I tremble at the thought of giving up my favorite things. It's not fun. Hence my issue- finding the motivation to get back on the wagon.
But...I know I have to. I think I just need some time to gather up the courage. Time to recommit myself to more mediation, more therapeutic talks with the BFF, more candid blog writing, more healthy, home cooked meals instead of lazily nibbling on ready-made, sodium-packed less filling and nourishing foods Time to mentally gird myself for the accompanying frustration as well.
I'm partly embarrassed that it's taken me what, 6 months to 'prepare.' Prepare for what?!!! But the wiser, more patient part of me knows because I have a tendency to pack so much on my plate*, that it would be foolish to rush into it when I'm not in the right place yet. The good news, just writing this has brought me closer than I've felt in weeks/months. I've been so disconnected from the whole idea simply because I haven't taken the time to reflect on it.
*The most recent manic-fueled projects? Price/buy a new desk/hutch for Roy (I assembled the hutch all by myself!!! First time completely solo!), househunting/combing through MLS listings, redoing the format of Ryan's journal (I want to print and bind one for each year of his life until he's 18), finished most of a big work project, baked banana bread for family, friends and Roy's coworkers, set up an evaluation for Ryan, take Ryan to a parade/park in Waimea, pass on some of Ry's toys).
So as hot sh**t as I sometimes like to think (classic overcompensation for a low self esteem) I am for getting so much stuff done, it's obvious to me that the one thing I SHOULD be doing (taking care of myself), I am not. Because I'm too scared and lazy too. :-(
But I'm getting there folks, I really am.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Is it just me, or does this photo from Pikes Market in Seattle have the most amazing hues of blue and symmetry you've ever seen? I get so turned on by these things!
More very beautiful produce from the Market. I'm so taken with open-air markets and their fresh, inexpensive organic produce!
I've never learned how to play chess (I'm a sorry, sorry excuse for an Asian). But that doesn't make playing with this giant chess board from the cruise ship any less fun!
Entertaining Ryan on the flight home with our mini pillowcases...fellow parents, you understand, right? You get desperate. Once that DVD player battery dies...you gotta wipe those tears away and improvise!
Shifting gears from our WA/AK trip to this past weekend...
Note to Costco: I have two Costco nemberships (one for work, one for home). One card makes me look look like I have black teeth/missing teeth (Ar, matey!), and the other makes me look I have leprosy in one eye. PLEASE get a camera with more megapixels!!!
Rizzle playing with one of his favorite toys!
Hiking on the trail up in Kaloko. Ryan looks thrilled.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
1. Pull out all of the cherry tomato plants and replace them with snow peas.
Done! Pulled this one off at the last minute, but I not only planted snow peas, but some cilantro my mom bought me as well.
2. Find the shady Jurassic Park Trail up in Kaloko and hike it.
Done! Found the trail this morning and hiked it with my two boys. LOVED that it's just minutes from town, but feels just like hiking at the volcano! Similar foliage, cool, shady and birds chirping everywhere! Just beautiful! I know we'll return MANY times.
3. Go on a medium-distance run and a shorter-distance swim.
On Sat. I did a 6-mile run and swam 20 laps (just shy of 3/4 of a mile, since 33 laps= 1 mile). And whoooeeee!!! I was AMAZED at how tired I was afterwards! I started off thinking that because my run was shorter, that I would feel strong while doing it (ha ha ha). Au contraire. I'm grossly out of shape. Apparently, only running one day a week and then taking two weeks off on top of that (vacation) does not a runner make.
The swim was as good as I'd imagined- it felt great to be in a pool rather than sweating out on the pavement. So I enjoyed the swim, but I can also see that I have lots of technique/speed/endurance to work on. Toward the end, I noticed signs of fatigue- I accidentally swallowed water/coughed a few times, but most of all, I felt nauseous (it felt like seasickness, which I think is because I'm not used to the buoyancy of the water yet).
But here's the good news- I'm SO incredibly happy that I made the decision to cross train. I loved stripping down in the parking lot from running clothes to swimsuit in mere seconds. I loved standing under the shower right after my run, cooling off AND cleaning off. I loved swimming in the cool, blue water. I loved that I had a better overall workout even though it felt 'easier.' My shorter-than-expected workout and poor speed make me extremely motivated to improve even though I have no immediate hope of competing.
And oh, I love my new tri-gear (huge thanks to my very patient and supportive sponsor, Roy)! Though I initially bought a $130 black matching Zoot suit tri-top (love the side pockets for carrying gels!) and bottom set from BikeWorks, I ended up returning the bottom and getting a violet/black TYR bikini bottom from Sports Authority instead. They were a little cheaper, but more importantly, they looked A LOT better than the bike shorts. While I can appreciate the benefit(s) of fitted bike shorts, they squeezed my already chubby thighs so tightly that you would have thought I had elephantitis of both thighs. And I also learned the hard way that whether I bought a one or two-piece tri outfit, that they had the exact same visual effect- I looked Amish. My entire torso was covered. So the pricey bike shorts went back, and for nearly the same price, I ended up getting the aforementioned TYR bikini bottom, a new sports bra that can also be used as a bikini top with the TYR bottom, and a North Face tank top!
4. Give Roy a break.
Done! Again, I waited until the last minute (tonight), but only because yesterday's effort had to aborted (I took Ryan outside to play in the sandbox and within 5 minutes, he had five HUGE mosquito bites)! But I think this really helped- Roy has been SUPER stressed/cranky the last few days from school/work, so he got an hour to play the guitar tonight.
5. Resume carrying Ryan on my back once a week, and do one Tae-Bo upper body workout once a week.
Half done! I carried Ryan on my back last week Monday for an hour, and once today for 40 minutes, but I never did get around to the Tae Bo upper body workout.
Overall, I'm really, really pleased. Because as usual, it was a pretty busy week for me. I just looked over my day planner and noticed that in addition to the goals I listed above (which are the ones important to my soul), I also had a ton of other 'little' projects this week as well! I spent 3 hours today working on my father-in-law's birthday present, priced new desks/hutches and laptops for Roy, new laptop, went to AT&T and got my phone fixed, wrote a letter to a shoe manufacturer (Ry's brand new shoes got a hole in them), sorted/packed up Ryan's old clothes, called a charter school (for Ry) to ask about the admissions process, wrapped up some volunteer work for the Kona Brewers Festival, helped Roy with his FAFSA, did 2 hours of yardwork (we are officially in my father's employ twice a month as landscapers!), closed out our finances for the month of August (yes, I'm that anal), went grocery shopping/banking, did two loads of laundry, cooked all our meals but one, took my Grandma to do her errands, went to school with Ryan twice and took him for his 15-month shots! But the task that most rocked my world this week? I bought a large dry erase/cork board for the kitchen that has a calendar/to-do list on it...and I love it. I want to buy another one to put below it so we can have two months of activities posted, but my husband is not as manic/obsessive compulsive as I am, so he vetoed the idea! Thank God I have him to keep me (almost) normal!
Friday, September 11, 2009
Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Vacation- Trip went great. Ry had a fabulous time and adjusted very well. I'm thinking this bodes well for our hope to resume traveling 'normally' again soon (its killing us that we haven't been able to leave the country for TWO years now). We're still looking at next April to go to Vietnam or the Philippines provided Roy can manage his class load at that time.
Gardening- Ever since we moved back, I've been gardening a bit (pineapples, papaya, eggplant, strawberries, carrots, green onions), but my latest crop (tomatoes) is yielding like crazy! Last night I threw 6 Roma tomatoes into a veggie stir fry, and I don't know what excited me more, the taste of fresh, organic vine-ripened tomatoes picked 5 feet from our front door, or the fact that I didn't have to pay $4 for those 6 tomatoes!
Work- I recently picked up a second client and will be doing I think, two projects for them. I'm also wrapping up the volunteer HR work I've been doing for a third company, so the entire month before the trip I was very busy each evening. Though I'm still not working very much, I have to admit that it feels really good to throw half of what little I do earn into Ry's college account, and the other half into my retirement.
Health & Fitness- Despite my best efforts (I accomplished such impressive feats such as eating filet mignon three nights in a row, and downing not one, but TWO large bags of orange-coated almonds from the Farmers Market, etc.), I only gained 2 lbs. on the trip! However, because my pre-trip 30-day diet failed miserably (I gained 1-2 lbs. instead of losing 1-2 lbs.), I am very motivated to lose 4-5 lbs. Unfortunately, I've made absolutely NO progress toward the new goal of finding an outfit that would work for both swimming and running. Tri suits are kinda scary looking- think Michael Phelps in one of those long, black wetsuits. And worse, those suckers cost about $275-350 per suit. I've noticed that a few female triathletes swim AND run in bathing suits. And though the convenience of this is highly tempting, this is not an option for me (and not because I'm modest about my body or worry about revealing too much). Trust me, if I looked good in a bathing suit, I would wear it into the grocery store. The post office. Roy's workplace. Church (if I went). You could not STOP me from strutting around and showing off. Sadly enough, I cannot do this because I have a pooch, extremely chubby thighs and stretch marks. So I'm gonna need a something that's between a bathing suit and the Amish-length Phelps wetsuits. And I need it soon.
Roy- Overnight, Roy's life has changed. He's taken on two huge committments/challenges (grad school and a year-long leadership program at work) that will undoubtedly exhaust the both of us, so for the sake of our sanity and marriage, we're mindful of trying not to take on any more than we can handle right now. I can already see how stressed out he is (he has a growing stack of required reading to do each night). But the biggest indicator of how busy he is? The growing list of unwatched programs on TiVo. Aside from his family, there are two things in life that Roy is passionate about- watching TV and eating cereal. So he's a little deflated right now. And he's not the only one, because sadly enough, I remember all too well what this existence is like (namely, the lonesome nights while he studies and feeling neglected) since I feel like we just did this (for four years of Nursing School). So I'm bummed about doing this, but I'm also very proud of him for doing this for our family.
Because I do recognize that our life is about to change a lot, I want to ensure that my goals don't get overlooked in the process. So I'm going to make a list of the things I want to accomplish in the next week or two and am listing them all here to hold myself accountable:
1. Pull out all of the cherry tomato plants and replace them with snow peas (I'm over how tiny cherry tomatoes are...not good for salsas or bruchetta) so I can make a more versatile, affordable weekly stir fry.
2. Find the shady Jurassic Park Trail up in Kaloko (read about it in the paper last week) and hike it this Sunday with Roy and Ry. I've been bemoaning the fact that the two trails we use regularly (Walua Rd/Makae'o) are not really nature trails that showcase Hawaii's true beauty, so I'm extremely motivated to find this one and try it out!
3. Go on a medium-distance run and a shorter-distance swim this Saturday. I haven't run a singe step in two weeks, so I'm excited about getting out there and feeling like a real athlete, even if it's only for a few hours! I'm also definitely going to hit up BikeWorks this weekend and learn more about what I need to buy to wear so I'm not stripping down while all hot and gross and sweaty from my running clothes into my swimsuit.
4. Give Roy a break. The man is either working, taking care of Ryan or studying nowadays. He needs, if even only once a week, at least 30 min. to play the guitar (it means a lot to him). I tend to get so worried about my own downtime that I don't make enough of an effort to give him his own downtime.
5. Resume carrying Ryan on my back once a week, and doing one Tae-Bo Upper Body workout once a week so I can continue to tone my upper body. The batwing situation has not improved over the last few years, and the cruise gorging did not help. By my own estimate, I am weeks away from being able to fly.
A few silly pics of me on the trip-
I did not see a gun -totin' Sarah Palin or Levi Johnston at any time while in Alaska, so I felt pretty secure looking like a moose.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Playing with Grandma F at the Boeing Factory Gallery.
Tired of paying full fare for your little boy or girl? Just bring a full size bottle of Benadryl for you little one...those overhead bins have plenty of breathing room! (We did NOT do this on the real flight, this is still the Boeing Factory Gallery. NOTHING is funny on airplanes anymore.)