My Weight Loss Ticker!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Book - Last Man Down - Richard Picciotto

From - When the north tower of the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, Picciotto, an FDNY battalion commander, was inside it, on a stairwell between the sixth and seventh floors, along with a handful of rescue personnel and one "civilian." This outspoken account tells of that indelible day, and it will shake and inspire readers to the core. The book starts by listing the 343 firefighters who died from the attacks, setting an appropriately grave tone to what follows, which begins as the author heads to work at Engine Co. 76 and Ladder Co. 22 on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Then comes a call on the intercom, and soon he is racing down to the World Trade Center. Arriving, he dodges falling bodies, runs inside and upstairs with a battalion not his own. Early in the book, this straightforward accounting is intercut with flash-forwards to 9:59 a.m., when Picciotto, on the 35th floor of the north tower, experiences the collapse of the south tower not visually, but aurally and in his body ("the building was shaking like an earthquake... but it was the rumble that struck me still with fear. The sheer volume of it. The way it coursed right through me... like a thousand runaway trains speeding toward me"). Picciotto, writing with Paisner (coauthor of autobios by Montel Williams and George Pataki, among others), pulls no punches, naming those who hindered his work and those who helped, taking numerous swipes at what he sees as a fire department bureaucracy whose money pinching puts firefighters at risk. This mouthiness can grate, but it certainly gives the flavor of a man and a department whose heroism became clear to all that day. It's Picciotto and his comrades' courage and willingness to sacrifice that every reader will remember, and honor, upon closing this gritty, heartfelt remembrance of a day of infamy and profound humanity.


For some reason when this book came through our library it caught my attention and wouldn't let me go home without it. I was worried about reading it, but once I got started it was really good and very interesting - I learned a lot of things about firefighters that I didn't know and it was really neat to hear the story of these brave men who were the last men down.

Finding Nemo!

Meet the newest edition of the family!

My younger son has been talking about cats and kittens for a long time now and we decided to take him down to the SPCA and take a look. The first one we looked at was not impressed by Logan at all (or us either for that matter) but this guy just loves us and especially Logan. He came from a home where there was an 8 year old boy and they had to give him up when they had to move into a place that didn't accept pets. These pictures were taken in Nemo's favorite place - Logan's bunk bed! He and Cole - our dog are not getting along yet, but at least they are co-existing so I guess If I give them some time they will learn to accept and maybe even love each other.

This is his "I'm so not impressed" look!

Sac Fit Saturday!

Well Saturday I was *supposed* to run 16 miles. What I did was run 11.5 miles. I'm frustrated because I know that my legs could have kept going.

I had to stop for two reasons - I think my sinus infection never got cleared up due to the antibiotic issues I had - when I switched to the second one I guess I knew way more than my doctor and choose not to take the whole ten days since this was my second round that I had taken. On Friday I got the sinus pain and pressure back and running on saturday made everything from my neck up on my left side hurt. I felt like everytime my feet hit the ground, me teeth were going to fall out. Reason 2 - We started very early, but for some reason on a day that was forcasted to only be 88 - it ended up being over 100 and humid and the heat and humidity were taking its toll and only making the headache worse.

I promised my hubby that Iwouldn't push myself if my head was bothering me and I kept my promise to him, but it leaves me wondering - would I have kicked butt on the 16 mile if I didn't have to stop due to the headache.

So I'm looking forward - next sunday will be my first official half marathon and I'm so looking forward to crossing that finish line and getting my finishers medal!!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weight Watchers Weigh In!

Well after skipping the weigh in last week since I knew the foot injury had me totally puffy and swollen I weighed in today and even though it was the day after a run I did well - very well - I'm down 2.5 pounds from two weeks ago and down a total of 60.4! I was so happy to hit that milestone - it has taken me so long to lose that 10 pounds! I also did my measurements and they are also down. I have lost 4.75 inches since July 26th. Most of that was from my hips and chest. I have noticed the difference in they way my shirts have been fitting and my sports bra fits better as well. My next milestone it to lose that 2 in the front of my weight. I will be so happy to be under 200, you have no idea.

Sac Fit Saturday!!

So Saturday was a fall back week - where we would *only* run 10 miles. I kicked butt!! It was such an enjoyable run the miles flew by!! I also did it in a slightly faster time than I have ever before. I was reminded that it wasn't about speed, but just getting the mileage in, but I felt great and didn't mean to run faster, it just happened! It was also clean up day for the American river parkway and as I ran by the volunteers I thanked them for coming out and volunteering their time - oh and I also ran past a group of Llamas! I don't know what they were doing out there, but there they were! You truly never know what you will see on the parkway!! Next week we are scheduled for 16 miles - and the week after is the cowtown half marathon where as long as I finish I will get my first medal!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Feedback - Not Failure

So after talking with one of the coaches AND my local Fleet Feet store - we put together what led to the downfall on Saturday.

Lets start with the shoes - I took the shoes in to see if I needed to switch to new ones already - she says to me, "why are these cinched so tight?" I reply "I always wear them laced that tight!" - So who knew? Your feel expand when you run and I have been basically squishing them and not letting them get any bigger. not a big deal when it is cool and I don't do so many miles, but apparently a big deal when you get hotter and more miles... I now have a new pair of inserts (mine were worn) and a new knowledge on how tight my shoes should be.

Salt and Nutrition - so I have a nutrition regiment that works really well for me - I do Gu every 30-45 minutes and Jelly Belly Sports beans a couple at a time every few walking intervals - in my water I have power bar electrolytes and it has worked well for me so far. At the aid stations that the group had set up they had payday bars and I had a couple of chunks every time I passed an aid station as well as some Gatorade at one of the other stations. WAY more salt that I'm used to and since I was eating this other stuff I didn't stick to my nutrition routine that I knew worked for me. All that salt could have led to the feet swelling as well.

Not stopping and investigating the pain earlier - I would have at least found the rock and loosened my shoe since I wouldn't have been able to cram it back on the way it was.

Mugginess (is that a word??) - the weather was cool, but I had never ran when it was muggy outside - it was slightly overcast and the heat wore me down quite quickly once I started getting tired.

So as my weight watchers leader says - There is no such thing as failure - only feedback!!

Saturday is a step back week and we are *only* doing 10 miles. I hope to be on the trail early and finish strong!! Only a little worried since I had decided to baby my foot and not do any runs this week.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Book - No Time For Goodbye - Linwood Barclay

Review from Pulishers Weekly - Barclay (Bad Guys) tugs hard on the heartstrings with the tragic tale of Cynthia Bigge, whose parents and brother vanished without a trace the day after she had a tempestuous teenage argument with her father. Twenty-five years later, raising a daughter with her husband, Terrence Archer, in Milford, Conn., but still haunted by her family's disappearance, Cynthia goes on TV to talk about what happened and plead for clues. A mysterious phone call leads her to believe her father, at least, may still be alive, but as her excitement grows, so do Terrence's worries. It soon appears that someone is playing a unexpectedly vicious game with Cynthia's emotions, and that her family held secrets she never suspected. Though some plot twists require significant suspension of disbelief, skilled characterization and convincing dialogue more than compensate.


This one was really good and thanks to jury duty I finished it mostly all in one day! I would love to read more of this Authors books! A very thrilling thriller!!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sac Fit Saturday!

"It isn't the mountains ahead that wear you out,it's the grain of sand in your shoe."

So my run was supposed to be 14.5 and we had a route that was absolutely gorgeous - around Lake Natoma. What happened was I started out well and was doing amazing - staying with my group, not dropping back or going ahead, we were using the aid stations set up for us around the loop and things were great! Then came the pain around mile 6... It started out as an annoying little twinge in the bottom of my foot every time I stepped down, it got worse and worse. I figure it started getting really bad around mile 9 and I decided I just wasn't hitting the ground with my heel and for some reason hitting it more flat footed. At mile 11 I stopped, watched my group run ahead without me and I sat down on a rock wall to see if I could massage the pain out of my foot. Imagine my surprise when I find a small piece of sand or gravel stuck in my shoe in the very spot I first felt the pain. I held on to it for a while, but it made me angry so I threw it in the bushes as hard as I could to make a point. If I only would have stopped to investigate it earlier I would have been able to finish. I walked/ran/limped back to the ranger station and called my hubby. While waiting for him to show, one of the slower pace groups passed by and I called hubby back and told him I was going to try and run in with them. I made it all the way to the last aid station that our group had set up and by that time the pain was really bad and I was getting too hot. I rode in with one of the aid station workers. My total mileage was still 14.28 - I only lost a little of what I was supposed to do since I had went back to the ranger station. Once I took off my shoe after I got home the side of my foot was a little puffy and a reddish/purple color. It got better overnight, but walking on it today has made it puffy again and painful. I have been icing it and elevating it in hopes that the irritation will go down enough for me to run again on it soon. Three weeks before my first half marathon and I have a puffy foot!! I have no doubt in my mind I can do the mileage now, but I need to listen to the cues my body sends me. If I had only stopped when I felt that first "something" in that spot and taken off my shoe I would have found the culprit. Overall I'm happy with the way the first part of the run went - like I said I stayed with my group and stayed on pace until I had to stop and take the boulder out of my shoe. If I had only known....

Friday, September 12, 2008

I'm going to see Alan Jackson!!

So on Thursday I woke up and I'm putzing around on the computer listening to my radio alarm blaring like I normally do. They announce they are giving away Alan Jackson tickets if you are the first to call in and tell them his middle name - so I call several times, get busy signals and then.... it rings! They pick up and they don't have a winner yet! Woo Hoo!! I'm thie big winner!! I'm going to see Alan Jackson November 22nd!

Oh and Alan Jackson's middle name? Eugene!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book - What I Talk About When I Talk About Running - Haruki Murakami

Book Review - Publishers weekly - Murakami's latest is a nonfiction work mostly concerned with his thoughts on the long-distance running he has engaged in for much of his adult life. Through a mix of adapted diary entries, old essays, reminiscences and life advice, Murakami crafts a charming little volume notable for its good-natured and intimate tone. While the subject matter is radically different from the fabulous and surreal fiction that Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) most often produces, longtime readers will recognize the source of the isolated, journeying protagonists of the author's novels in the formative running experiences recounted. Murakami's insistence on focusing almost exclusively on running can grow somewhat tedious over the course of the book, but discrete, absorbing episodes, such as a will-breaking 62-mile ultramarathon and a solo re-creation of the historic first marathon in Greece serve as dynamic and well-rendered highlights. Murakami offers precious little insight into much of his life as a writer, but what he does provide should be of value to those trying to understand the author's long and fruitful career. An early section recounting Murakami's transition from nightclub owner to novelist offers a particularly vivid picture of an artist soaring into flight for the first time.

This was a pretty good read, I'm curious to read some of his other offerings. It was interesting to hear about his marathon stories - and I was relived to hear he didn't have trouble at mile 20!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My cheesy little man!

Here is my litte dude right out of the pages of GQ! He is "striking a pose" next to his bike. How handsome is he is his bike jersey (which is too big, but was so adorable and on clearance) and his new helmet and cycling gloves!?! He had such a great time today! It makes me proud to see him so happy and active. He also did the kids fun run after my race was over and he got a medallion that has a pair of shoes with wings on it. He was so proud and mama coudn't be prouder of him!!

34th annual Buffalo Stampede 10 Mile Run!!

Here I am coming into the finish line! I had two goals with the run - Have a great time and finish under 2:30 - so I did have a ton of fun and my time?? 2:29:54.8 - cutting it kinda close wasn't I?? Since this was technically a training run for us I wanted to average my long run pace which is a 15 minute mile and I did great!! It got very hot out there despite the 7AM start time and I am used to running on the bike trail that has a dirt path on the sides for the runners, so my feet hurt more than usual due to the constant pounding on the road. But other than those two factors it was a very fun time. My hubby and son biked down to the turnaround and took pictures and cheered everyone on, my son was holding a cowbell. They had an aid station close to the turnaround where they gave us donuts! I was a great race and just a ton of fun!! I will definitely have to do this again next year!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weight Loss and Running

These two things don't always go together...

I have been up and down in my weight loss since I started my training plan. I have cursed the scale, I have been elated, only to be let down the week after by a big gain again. I have found it very difficult to manage intake with usage and many days find myself starving and wanting to eat my own arm. Imagine my relief when John Bingham talks frequently about how you need to concentrate on one or the other and that it will lead to frustration if you try to focus on both. It only took reading it a gazillion times for it to sink in!!

This Dear John is a perfect example. So for now I know I need to concentrate on my running and not stress so much about the food. Am I going to give up completely? Heck no, but I'm not going to stress so much about the number on the scale and take cues from my body and try to make it happier. I'm still going to make sure my diet is well balanced and not go overboard, but my priority right now is the training runs and the marathon looming over my head on November 15th.

Book - First Marathons - Personal Encounters with the 26.2 Mile Monster

This book was posted on a blog I follow - The Running Moron - It was a good book, but for a slower runner like me it was kinda scary! Most of the people took way under four hours to finish their marathons, I'm looking at 7+. In the first few stories there was a reoccurring theme, "by mile 20 I was ready to quit" , "at mile 20 the pain was so bad" , "around mile 20 there were people around me collapsing in pain" - OK so I guess once I reach mile 20 and I'm not dying that will be a good thing right?? - But anyway it was neat to see that there are all shapes, ages and different abilities out there running marathons.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Day Donny Herbert Woke Up - Rich Blake

Book Review by Publishers Weekly - Journalist Blake's gripping true story about a 34-year-old Buffalo firefighter who regained consciousness after nearly 10 years patiently records a family's heroic grief and fortitude. Trapped under a collapsed roof in a burning house in 1995 and deprived of oxygen for six minutes, Donny Herbert suffered severe anoxic brain injury and lapsed into a long, largely unresponsive, nonspeaking state. His wife, Linda, and four young sons prayed diligently and reached out to their Catholic community, and over the years tried different forms of rehab for Donny, including intensive therapy and new drugs. However, he remained more or less unchanged, and the doctors predicted a vegetative state for the rest of his life. Finally, Linda took him to Dr. Jamil Ahmed, who experimented with Donny's medications, and on a stupendous day in 2005, Donny simply started talking again. The family, overjoyed, was hastily assembled, and for a few days Donny caught up on nine years of family history; the fit of talking eventually subsided, and Donny died the next year. Blake, a cousin of Linda, offers a restrained version of events, frequently tying Donny's recovery to divine intervention, though the miraculous events are spare in relation to the enormous span of time anticipating Donny's recovery.

This was a great book about Hope - when this came through the library something drew me to it and it isn't the type of book I would normally read, but sometimes you just need a little hope in your life....

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Our new bikes!!

Here are the bikes! Mine is the darker blue on without the trailer attached to it at the moment - they are Trek bikes and very nice! Last Sunday we took our first ride and we were a little ambitious. We started at one of the locations for the American river bike trail that we could park at and we went into Old Sacramento to take in Gold rush days - Well the round trip for that ride was 20 miles! So I got a little tired on the way back. (understatement)

I also pulled the trailer on the way to Old Sac and about half way back we stopped on the side of the trail and moved it to hubby's bike, I was so tired and couldn't even pull my own weight let alone, the boy and the trailer. It was a great ride though, very pretty and Logan had a ton of fun! If you ask him what his favorite part was he will tell you the bathrooms at one of the parks we went through - it was cavernous and it echoed!