Sunday, December 05, 2010
Thursday, December 02, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
The hotel gave me a breakfast pass and after much encouragement I finally went to the buffet but alas, my tummy was not of a mind to dine. I settled for some cream of mushroom soup, which was actually quite good. What I really needed was a nap. And a blessed shower and change of clothes.
Fast-forward a few hours and I’m in the office feeling fresh as a daisy. Wait…no. I did make it to the office but my stomach was gnarly and rebellious so I after about 30 minutes I went back to the hotel and slept almost solid (woke for a quick "phone home" on Oovoo) through til the next morning.
I’ve not found any magic formulas for survival but I do know that daily yogurt, plenty of sleep and exercise are keys to success. Unfortunately I’m not getting much exercise (see my last post) but I’m doing okay on the other fronts. The last two nights I’ve gotten about 6 hours of sleep versus the tossing and turning that had been going on. What a difference!
I’ve been a slacker on the photo-taking but I did snap one shot of the soup I had for dinner via room service Wednesday night. Beef noodle soup is a staple for me here. I wish I’d gotten a pic of the soup I had for dinner at the food court near my Taipei office on Thursday. It was black. The locals refer to it as “herbal” or “good health” soup. No one can tell me what’s in it. Well, other than the black chicken that is. Why is it black? What’s behind that dark, almost burnt taste? Are those two attributes related? This remains a mystery.
Last night I enjoyed a happy hour buffet celebration with the Program Management team. The food was awesome. Although there was no English to identify the food, there were enough choices that I was able to stick with things I recognized and they were all over-the-top delicious. And there was plenty of Taiwan beer for everyone. I also had my share of watermelon juice.
Which brings me to this morning. I had the opportunity to spend the day at the National Palace Museum but opted instead for a day of R&R, which includes some long overdue blog posts and a walk to the park where I’ll enjoy reading Camille DeAngelis’ Petty Magic. As soon as I finish here, I'm off to be there.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
I realized something had to change so I renewed my relationship with Richard Simmons. For a year, I worked out 3-4 times per week. By the end of the year I was doubling my workout, which pushed the aerobics up to almost 30 minutes. But really, the results were not so remarkable.
I had to buy larger pants for the trip to China. None of my clothes fit.
Now, I'm taking it to the next level. If you've been following this blog you know I graduated to running and ran my first marathon in June. Running has been great, but it's hard on my joints. A friend convinced me to try the P90X. Here are my "before" photos from earlier this week:
Admittedly, I had to rotate the photos, which (I swear) makes me look more squat than I am. But hey! These are "before" photos, so what the heck. I can say that the jeans I was wearing in March are now way too big for me.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Sunday, June 06, 2010
We regrouped and told our realtor to find a house with potential for a pool. When we walked into this house, I knew immediately I was home...mostly because the interior paint worked well for all of our furniture. When my husband walked through the back door into the backyard, he knew we were home. The backyard was a canvas. Nothing but lawn and a few trees. We envisioned a pool, a pond, an outdoor living space that would become an extension of the house.
In the first year, we installed the pool & pond. This year we finally took it to the next level. After saving and planning, dreaming and strategically purchasing appliances we committed to build an outdoor kitchen.
Things started out well enough. We hired a contractor and provided detailed plans as well as all of the pre-purchased appliances. "This should only take a few weeks" the contractor committed. A few weeks into the project it was clear we were in trouble. Not only was the schedule blown, but the contractor hadn't followed the plan and hadn't bother measuring the hardware we'd purchased. The countertop was undercut, the rock veneer stuck out further than the counter. The drawer height wasn't accounted for. One of the counters drooped - at least 1/2" in the center. The tiles weren't put on per the well-known well-published (via HGTV and other DIY programs) guidelines, leaving them uneven. And day after day, the contractor neglected to show up. Finally, my wonderful husband took over. He is awesome! He tore out all of the faulty parts and began reconstruction. After 4 days of considering options (and the crappy work), my husband made his decision. He gave the contractor a second chance. "Fix it or pack your things and go". The contractor committed to fix it. But...after contributing to a day of deconstruction he no-showed for a few days. Hubby stayed busy and the kitchen began to take shape. By the time he heard from the contractor again ("I'm ready to buy new countertop material!") my husband was rocking and rolling on his own. He told the contractor to pick his equipment up. Done. He enlisted our son (and in a pinch a friend had to come help lift the countertop material). Progress, finally!In the background, a charcoal grill bears witness to the stop-gap measures. Night vision! With the lighting we should be able to operate well into the night. I'm looking forward to breaking her in this week. Let the parties begin!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
If someone had told me at the first of the year that I'd be considering running in a 5K before the year was half over I'd have said "5K"? Or something equally witty because seriously, it would have been beyond reason to even imagine such a thing. Now I'm not only imagining it, I'm actively researching my options and looking for the lucky winner of my first 5K entry. Runtex offers quite a variety and that's only a start.
Monday, May 24, 2010
I've let my runs dominate my workouts. This morning I reintroduced Gin Miller's medicine ball (Power Abs) workout. Whew!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I've been consistently running 3-4 times a week. My "jogs" take me on a 2.5 mile circuit of my neighborhood. I'm averaging a pace of about 4 miles per hour. My endurance is improving. My pace is improving – I shave time off with each successive run. I'm finding running more rewarding than lifting weights or other forms of exercise. But yesterday's effort will go down in history as my worst ever. I need to remember to check the weather before I take off.
It started out as well as any run. I warmed up with a 1 minute walk then broke into a jog which loosened and improved as I warmed up and got into the zone. At about ¾ of a mile the wind picked up and the weather appeared to be quite threatening. Dark storm clouds were rolling in and I realized I might get caught in rain. I decided to head home at the mile mark rather than run the extra mile on the other side of the neighborhood.
I knew I could adjust my run to make up the distance while staying closer to home. What I didn't expect was that I should have been wearing protective goggles. With the wind, there was a lot of debris. As I innocently planned a new route, I came under attack. Something got in my eye. It could have been a grain of sand/dirt or a leaf for all I know. It felt huge, yet I couldn't seem to get it out. Of course I didn't stop running, that would have been silly.
So I ran with one eye closed, tears streaming down my face. Finally, as I reached the end of the first mile, I gave up and walked while trying to get the "something" out of my eye. I thought about knocking on a door. I thought about just walking up to a car in a driveway and using their side-view mirror (some objects are closer than they appear). I imagined my cornea getting scratched up while I rubbed on my eye. I imagined a trip to the emergency room to get the twig out of my eye. I didn't have to imagine the horrible pain I was feeling.
So I walked most of the ½ mile home.
When I got home I looked for all I was worth but I couldn't find the log that was in my eye. I put in eye drops. Lay down for a while. Looked again. Tried not to rub my eye. Rubbed my eye. Looked again. Eventually the tree or boulder that was in my eye came out. I never did figure out what was in there. Of course, by this time I was exhausted.
And so ended what I hope will remain on record as the worst run ever.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Way back when, shortly after Christmas, I began a delightful (but slow) journey into fitness. My regimen of workouts evolved from playing around on the Wii Fit Plus to getting serious about exercise. Initially, although I was putting in at least 30 minutes per workout and working out at least 5 days per week, I lacked focus. By the end of February I was developing focus. I was consistently working out a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic and up to an hour and a half of aerobic/strength training exercises. I also introduced yoga into my Wii workouts.
On top of that, once a week I joined a friend for a brisk 3 mile walk (taking a little under an hour). By the end of March I was feeling pretty good about myself, and I boldly began to jog a bit during my walks. I even joined my friend and her husband on a 7 mile bike ride (which exercised a completely different set of muscles, causing my glutes to ache for almost 2 weeks).
I also introduced a medicine ball workout which greatly taxed my abs/upper body. This was complimented by a twice-weekly arm/chest/upper-body workout with dumbbells.
By mid April I was jogging more than walking and the inviting Spring weather allowed this to be my predominant exercise. I truly felt as though I'd graduated from the Wii.
Then the Spring weather invited more than outdoor exercise. Austin is blanketed with the yellowish dust of Oak pollen. The wet weather fosters a bloom of mold, as well. I haven't worked out for a week as I've struggled with chest congestion and a chronic cough brought on by my allergies.
Hopefully I'll be back in action soon. I'm missing my workouts!