Monday, monday….

I am chagrined to realize I do not have that song on my Ipod. In fact, I cannot even find my Mommas and the Poppas Greatest Hits in my CD’s. It has apparently joined various books, socks, articles of jewelry and clothing, CD’s and DVD’s in the Borderland or maybe the NeverNever. I am convinced that my own love of Wild Magic affects my belongings and that they animate at night and relocate themselves. Hence the inability to find my keys or a certain pair of socks, or in this case a much loved OooooLD CD.

Maybe there will be a wonderfully and reasonably priced used copy at Hoodlums this morning……

Ok, back in reality and the burning question *read in serious radio announcer voice, circa 1930 “Will this Slow Old Fat ‘Try’athlete actually achieve her preliminary goal of completing a Sprint Tri in October”

That is the burning question but on this front what’s burning this morning is my calves and feet. Yes I did swim last night. I swam two sets of 200 (4 laps), and did 150 on the board. No break between the first two laps, short break, lap, short break, length, break, length was the rhythm of it and I really worked my legs on the second and third board laps.  Didn’t get to the pool until 8ish, then not home till 10pm and tried to stay up to see the news. Fell asleep on the couch for about an hour. Into bed in the firmer guest room bed because I need to reconfigure the mattress situation in my room during my days off work this week. Slept until 6 AM, with only one bathroom trip so I give my sleep last night a five.

I give the pain I am in this morning a 9/10. Awoke to the long missing and not at all missed neuropathy in my feet.  The neuropathy is officially listed as a side effect of a long series of medications that allowed me to live long enough to complain about the side effects so I had pretty much determined it was just something with which I would have to live. This year I started going to Backfit Chiropractic for my “nurses back” and amazing bonus in the treatment box, my neuropathy disappeared.

I have done a lot of things over the years to minimize my chronic pain. It was a decision to shift paradigms and truly focus instead on maximizing my amazing and miraculous health that got me moving forward on this Triath journey and got my butt through into Backfits door.  Like a chemical catalyst, the massages and adjustments took to my organic, vegan food choices and increased exercise (which I had tried before by themselves in fits and starts always dragged back to the couch by fatigue, SOB and pain) and exploded them into a well being I couldn’t remember feeling in years.

Then I had a minor health glitch to the tune of ~1400$ (FTR, I am pretty much uninsurable at this time unless I become disabled so everything is out of pocket and triple cost) and my dog got sick and I am still glad I spent the money even though the answers were not the ones I wanted to hear (for another ~1300$ ) all out of pocket and I blessed the universe for the writing jobs that I thought would carry me through the chiro treatments for almost covering the two unexpected expenses. Bills got late and short story long, due to money constraints, I gradually decreased my trips to Backfit and now I have gone over two weeks without a massage or adjustment. What a difference it makes. All the little quirks and idiosyncrasies of surviving are back again, not as bad as before I started any treatments, but like my own little “check engine” light definitely here with a fitness moral.

The moral of the story for me is, even with continued exercise and stretching and good diet I need at minimum one massage and adjustment per week. Other moral is that I need to increase my willpower (more won’t power) for my Kryptonite – sugar, if I want to truly optimize the life I have been gifted. The neuron damage from the treatments are like frayed wires, so when they are all crossed and jumbled the shorts occur; adjustments and massage straighten and arrange my frayed wires so they don’t cross and cause little fires. Animal products, sugar and white flour are little drops of water I sprinkle over the whole thing and fan the flame.

It’s not just the neuropathy and back ache that Backfit treatments improved, other things these adjustments have done for me besides just being the pain reducer/energy booster I have just discussed is decrease my dependence on poise pads, and decreased my embarrassing gas and “digestive disorders’.

I cannot recommend enough for someone reading this Blog and then thinking that if it wasn’t for their pain or their weight or their incontinence or *fill in blank* they would love to start an exercise program, maybe just walk, or swim or run, to start it by going to a local reputable Chiropractic office that offers massage,physical therapy and adjustments (bonus if they have a homeopathic doctor also) and start there. If you live in the Mesa/Gilbert/Chandler area I TOTALLY recommend Backfit at ValVista and Warner. http://www.facebook.com/BackfitGilbert

And no, I don’t work for them; they worked for me!

Anyway back to today’s training diary I am having a bowl of oatmeal with mixed berries for breakfast and coffee with organic honey and soy milk, 6 oz cranberry juice and multi-vitamin.

I will walk the dogs. Shower and stretch.

Write two or three stories for Thursday deadline. Have a salad lunch.

Go to the bank. Reward myself for doing my plan with a trip to Hoodlum’s and Changing Hands and Trader Joe’s.

Backfit apt.

Home to write some more for my Thursday deadline.

Run 2 miles.

Watch Ashton Kutcher in Two and a Half Men and knit and go to bed. Yes, Virginia, my life has gotten small. All I talk about these days are training and television. I am reading and meditating still but no one wants to talk about that and otherwise, my life has become very, very small…..hmmm, I think I prefer the word “focused”.

Celebrating achievement of my first training goal

 Noticed it two days ago actually, while pulling myself out of the pool to patter over to the bathroom. I do that a lot with exercise, go to the bathroom I mean, and how that will work with doing a triathlon is currently a mystery, potentially Depends. Anyway on a much better note, I have only had exactly four swim lessons, will have been training for less than a month (started June 1) and can now fit my hips through the ladder at pool side without angling to make them fit.

The joy this brings may mean nothing to someone who has always been athletic or thin, but to me it is a pretty big deal. My buttocks and thighs have been squeezed into opera seats,  plane seats, office chairs with arms, ladder sides, etc for most of the last ten years. These hips had one or two reprieves from their out-sized existence when I would drop near or below 200 lbs, but overall it has been a decade where everything I sit or climb on (especially with sides) has been a reminder of how I don’t fit. I find myself entering and leaving the pool more from the deep-end ladder now than the shallow end stairs, just because I can.

In the actual swimming portion of the training program,  I still can’t consistently make a half lap, never mind a whole lap, with my face in the water. I can make it about a third of the way without having to switch to backstroke. The more tired I get, the harder it is to breathe out under water, but I push a minimum of two strokes past what I think I can do, and I always complete my homework. I will take my victories where I can find them. Phil Veatch, my trainer says I haven’t lost endurance, I am just working harder when I am in the water (keeping my butt up, you know tightening the core, constant arm motion) and that is why my stamina seems less. I will take his word on it as I want to believe this to be true.

 
My current training plan now is walking 5k  and swimming 5 out of seven days (this includes the class) and working on how to work spinning (bike not wool) in as well to train in that area while I learn to ride (balance) a real bike. I am tired a lot, and hungry just as much. Sticking to my organic vegetarian ways (mostly, not everything is organic), trying to sleep at least seven hours a night and also remembering to do my stretches and meditation twice daily.  

I trained at the pool this morning and I walked a little over two miles as laps at the mall this afternoon (for those reading outside Arizona, it reaches 100 degrees before noon and stays hot. It is currently 110 degrees at 5PM, hence mall laps) Need to do another mile with the dogs tonight, but will depend on how fast the temperature drops. The Endomondo and My Fitness Tracker apps on my new droid (thanks again Rick and Dawn!) have been awesome helps in watching diet and activity.

 
Work week starts again tomorrow so that is my Day 1 each week. I have stated my goals for the coming week and my big achievement (or is it a smaller achievement! Yea smaller hips, also fit into my size 18 jeans this afternoon! Woot!) My next goal at the pool is to be able to complete a lap, face in the water, no pause at the turn!
 
In other more literary news I am totally in reader geek heaven. First, there was the long awaited re-opening of the way to faery and to Bordertown with the  story collection released earlier this month http://bordertownseries.com/, then JK Rowlings announcement http://www.pottermore.com/, and then as the ultimate icing on the cake James Owen makes his announcement http://coppervale.livejournal.com/. When you wrap this all around the fact I am listening on my Ipod to the awsome topped awesomeness of a complete collection of http://wilwheaton.typepad.com/ I received as an early birthday present when I couldn’t make Phoenix Comicon, you know my reader geek is truly tooooo bliss-ed out to even notice we have gotten up off the couch, are totally moving and that now its a whole lot more than our ice tea with lemonade that is sweating.

Writer’s Block: The long and short of it

Time is only a perception, so it is on this perception, not page count, I will answer this prompt.
The longest book I ever read was Ulysses by James Joyce. It was a "new" edition and was a required review inclusion for my column, so its heft was emphasized by time constraint. I remember that I started my review with the statement "There are two kinds of people in the literary world, those who will tell you they have read James Joyce "Ulysses" in its entirety with relish, and those who prefer truth to pretension."  I appreciated its art, its shock value and Joyce’s talent but truly felt much of the praise given to the tome reeked of  "the Emperor’s New Clothes" syndrome, right down to the intricate and intimate level Joyce’s inner neurosis were nakedly dangled in our faces. Someday I may read it again,just to see if my opinion has changed.

The shortest is tough, but recent  books that were devoured so quickly I only wished for more deliciousness and therefore had to re-read and savor again and again are James Owen’s "Here There Be Dragons", Claudia Emerson’s "late wife",  and most recently a collection called "Bordertown", in particular the final story by Charles de Lint.