January 2011


Chestnut Hill Reservoir after way too much snow. John Hancock and Prudential Towers are off in the distance.

Oh My God, Terri’s posting again! For the second time in less than two weeks!  What are we going to do?  whatever are we going to do??

Um, dramatic much, Terri?  Yeah…maybe just a little.

But isn’t that more interesting of an opening than just a post called “Goals?” Come on, admit it, it is.

Sigh.  Ok, maybe not, but here it goes anyway.

And by the way, in case you are one of those lucky bastards out there (ahem, Glenn, from the blog of The Running Fat Guy, or Jill from JillWillRun) (@gwjones00 and @jillwillrun on Twitter) who don’t usually see snow because of where they live (trust me, I know there are more of you out there), I am going to sprinkle pictures of the snow throughout this post.  There is something called the Shaq-O-Meter, and basically it measures the snowfall we’ve received, and compares it to Shaq of the Celtics. Let’s just say, right now, he can see over the snow banks, but not for long. If the snow were water, I’d already be treading water. And, I’m not a great swimmer. Yeah, I’d be drowning very soon. Middle-of-the-Pack Girl wuold then be known as Dead Girl Floating.

Ok, so where was I? One of my friends who has read my blog for a very long time told me last week that he liked how the tone of my posts over the past few ones have started to become more like when he first started reading my blog. I’m going to treasure that email from him.

Ruthie, very sleepy after a long night walk. It goes without saying, I will continue showering her with lots of love and attention. 🙂

Lately, I have been feeling more like writing. That’s why I think my anti-depressants are working. I’m starting to take joy in more lately.  For many months, I’ve not wanted to write much, even in (or is it on?) this blog.  I’ve really begun to love reading again. For several months, I couldn’t even get through a magazine.

So, as I  mentioned in my last post, I’m carving $ out of my budget to meet with a trainer a few times. We met for the first time this past Saturday for about 45 minutes (thankfully he won’t charge me for the full hour we’d originally planned on), and well, yeah…I have weak triceps.  I know this because they are the one part of me that is still sore.  He basically ran me through a lot of full-body workout exercises, so we could focus on building strength and flexibility, and on my brother’s advice, how to strengthen my inner core muscles. I understand that these are lower in your core than your 6-pack muscles. While my abs are getting more defined, I have no idea what a six pack on a woman looks like. So, if I ever get there, I’ll let you know.

As I said to a few of my coworkers who were saying they were unhappy about the way they look today after kids, I am actually happy with the way I look now. It’s taken me a lot of work to get there, and I reminded them of my weight loss plan: “stress, and getting divorced.” Not necessarily something you want to go through to lose weight.  I only lost 11 pounds, but I’m on the smaller side to begin with (ok, I’m a midget, or almost one, at 5 feet, and a quarter inch.)

Ruthie's mailbox: please note that the snow is a few feet higher, and it's Jonly an. 31st.

So, the flattering part was when he had me do some bicep curls, and a few other things with free weights, he said that I was already strong, but we’ll work on toning and building more lean body mass (or was it muscle mass?)  Yay, a trainer thinks I’m strong!  (Believe me, this guy is strong but not in a “I eat steroids for breakfast and drink creotene” way, so I was very flattered.)

By the way, in case you are in the Boston area, the trainer’s name is Rich Rowland, and he works out of the Boston Sports Club in Watertown. I definitely recommend this guy, and that club in general. It’s run very professionally and efficiently from what I can tell.

So, my goals, not necessarily in any specific order.

  1. Get into the best freaking shape of my life.
  2. Build speed from last year (ok, get it back), and break into the 23 range (even if 23:59) at the 5K distance, and break 50, (again, even if 49:59) for the 10K distance. My PRs are currently 24:45, and 50:56 (for 6.29 per my Garmin).
  3. Really work on my diet and make sure I am eating healthy.  (This means continuing to use my blender on a regular basis. More to be said on that later.)
  4. Return to the attitude of “food as fuel.”  In so doing, waste less of it. If I don’t want to eat it, I can always blend it into a smoothie. Also, continue eating veggies, especially spinach.  (Never as a child did I ever think I’d say that!)
  5. Try to return to that positive mindset I had when training for the marathon. It helped me to run better and have a better outlook on life in general. I’m getting there now. Still a work in progress.
  6. Continue to put myself out there and try to make friends who I feel really comfortable around, as well as strengthen the friendships I already have. This is hard for me to do because I am so afraid of being rejected by others right now, and my self-esteem has been ebbing and flowing. There are definitely days where I don’t feel like I deserve someone being nice to me or showing that they care about me. Another work in progress.
  7. Gain as much knowledge as I can from books such as Body for Life for Women: A Woman’s Plan for Physical and Mental Transformation, which was recommended to me by my trainer. (Will let you know what I think of it when I’m done.)
  8. Continue working on healing myself by working through things with both my therapist, and my doctor who have my best interests at heart.

Last goal, but it’s definitely not least. If I can afford it, I’d like to go through the RRCA coaching certification program. Because I am also saving to go and watch my brother, Jim (also a running coach with a blog called Coaching, Training and Motivation) run the Leadville 100 this August, I need to do it in an economical way. And hopefully meet some of you in person FINALLY!  (Already planning onvisiting Fern, known as @sitbones on Twitter.)

And oh yeah… get better with time management so I can read more of your blogs on a regular basis like when I first started blogging a few years ago.

And oh yeah…have my credit card balance paid off by August. When with Bill, we paid it off every month. I don’t like having that hanging over my head. At all. It’s doable if I budget smartly, and continue saving at the same time.

Wow, wordy post. Maybe I should add “gain self control and preciseness” into my list of goals?

Thanks for reading.  I’ve got to head for bed so I can get up and run/bike tomorrow morning. While I’ve not loved the treadmill in the past, right now, it’s much safer than running down the middle of the streets just to avoid falling on ice. It kind of increases your chances of being human roadkill, know what I mean?

What I wished we had as a view right now. Photo taken last fall, looking toward Boston from Castle Island in Southie


I know, everyone. Don’t faint. Yes, I’m posting again.  I have been meaning to post for some time, but work has been extremely busy. And, to be honest, until a little while ago, I was in a rut.

Boston’s winter has not been kind, and we still have a long way to go til it’s over. We already have about 3 1/2 times as much snow as we normally do for this time of year. I’ve not run outside in over a week, basically because my options include (a) running on very slippery, uneven sidewalks, if they are even shoveled  or (b) running down the middle of the right hand lane on my street, which, by the way, is a major road in Boston. So, this week, I once again (gulp, heavy swallow) embraced the treadmill once again. And the Escalator-to-Nowhere stairclimber. Tomorrow, I’ll be hugging the recumbent bike again.  It’ll be nice to see my long lost friend again.

I’ve now been on Prozac for something like 2 or 3 months. I can honestly say that it is making a huge difference. I’m very glad I finally decided to start taking it.  My doctor said we’ll know I’m at the right dosage, when I don’t feel just “better” but “normal.”  We recently upped my dosage and right now I feel like I am at that level of “normal.” Yes, sometimes I feel a bit sad, and sometimes lonely, but those times are becoming fewer and farther in between.

I am trying to focus on my friends, and meeting new ones too.  At my request, my mom and I have taken a bit of a break from each other. At least where I am concerned, and I know this may sound harsh, this is for the better. I am not sure when I will reinitiate contact, it’s one of those things I think I will know the time is right, when the time has come.  And, in case you are wondering, she no longer reads my blog. She said she stopped when I started using abbreviations (you know, such as WTH? or WTF?) And, I don’t think she understands or thinks anti-depressants or medication actually help.

Until then, I greatly appreciate the support of my friends, both those I see in person, and those I talk to online. I also love my doctor and therapist. Both of them have been wonderful, and have been asking all good questions (not always the easiest to answer, but that’s ok, to get better is to go through some hard stuff occasionally.)

Also, things between Bill and I are good. They are very civil. I think we are both moving forward with our lives. It really doesn’t help to be caught up in the past. I find that if I think about the past, it only makes me sad, by and large. I’m not trying to not think about it, but to focus on good stuff.  It’s taken a while to get to this point with us, but I am glad that we are in this place now. He’ll always have played a big part in my life, and I hope to be friends with him in the future. I’m just going to keep moving forward.

My gym is running a Spring Challenge, where you have 204 miles to go as a goal between MLK Day and Patriots Day. I figure I can do that as long as I don’t have any injuries, because you can accrue miles by running/walking/biking/elliptical.  Nope, unfortunately the Esclator-to-Nowhere doesn’t count, but the trainer who runs the program told me she’s thinking of challenges that involve it. I understand that participants may get some perks, and they will likely put together some group runs, and maybe have us run some 5Ks and/or 10K races. I told the trainer in charge of the program about the 10K I will be doing on Super Bowl Sunday, which is supposed to be fast and flat, and along the water. It also has a 5K option for those who so choose, which would be good for newer runners, so she is going to check it out. I offered to help her find some good races – whether or not she takes me up on it, is fine. It’ll be nice to meet more runners, and especially if some of them are new to the sport, I feel like I can offer a lot.

Today I ran 6.27 miles on the treadmill, starting at 6.7 as the speed, increasing up to 6.9. I was pleased to see my average pace overall was 8:49 because it felt nice and easy, very aerobic. I’ve been working on my abs and doing some strength training too. Today, I held a plank for 6:10, my longest time ever!!! And that was at the end of my workout, when I usually feel like I am going to turn to jello!

And, here’s my big news: I am going to start working with Rich, who is a Master Trainer at the gym, next week. My first session will be an hour long, and then after that, I will likely go down to half hour sessions (just because they are a bit more affordable.) Rates for Master Trainers are a bit higher than for personal trainers, but I really like this guy. He’s very down to earth, and encouraging, and friendly, and I don’t worry that he will be texting someone else while he’s working with me. I did a free session with him a few months ago when I first joined the gym, and I really liked his style of coaching. So, wish me luck–when I asked him if I should work out the day before our first session, he laughed and said “I wouldn’t…” LOL 

And yes, ladies, in case you are wondering, he is very cute.   Hey, I would have to be lying down in a coffin, 6 feet underground to not notice! I am sure that women throw themselves at him all the time, and that he’s perfected the “I’m gonna act oblivious act to avoid an AWKWARD situtation” act out of necessity.  (To be honest, I consider this a good, healthy sign that I’m even noticing things like that.)  Yeah…never been a problem I’ve had to deal with, LOL.

Needless to say, I am ready and willing to have my butt kicked. Changing up my routine has been good, and gotten me out of a rut that I badly wanted and needed to be out of. And my weight as of today was 110, which has me very psyched!

I realize some of these pics that I have included in this post, you may have seen before through Twitter, but what’s a blog post without some pics of my animals? The cats even seem to be getting along better, “sharing” each other’s food. (Um…yeah…it’s more like “stealing” each other’s food, but hey it’s only semantics.)  So, the move has been good for them, and even while it has meant going through a lot of pain to get here, I think things are starting to become good for me too.

Thank you to everyone for all the amazing support these last several months. I hope that by writing this positive post, you can see how much I appreciate it and value it.

Onward, and upward.