Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hurricane Irene

This is my first hurricane. I'm not sure what to expect. The center is coming soon. There's been wind and rain all day. I don't know what to expect once it really moves over us. Right now it's like a Tropical Storm, which is what the last hurricanes have become before blowing through here. I've only lived on the East Coast for 4 1/2 years, so all this is new to me.

I was sort of excited about the hurricane. I know...I know....really??? How can I be excited about a hurricane. It has already caused 5 deaths here in Virginia! It's downgraded down from a category 3 to a 2...I'm not sure what it's at now. It seems to change minute by minute.

It's my husband's 50th birthday too. I hurriedly baked a cake from scratch thinking that the power would go out. It didn't. We have already had our cake and he opened gifts. Now it's time to cook dinner. Seems like a normal day other than we can't venture outside.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Moved my hair blog

I created a new blog.... for blogging on my gray experience.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My journey...week 2 just rinsing my hair isn't working.  I'm back to using my non sulfate cleansing product (still not shampoo though).  I decided that I'll tackle one journey at a time.  That, and the fact that I'm training for a half marathon, which causes my head to sweat has caused me to abandon the No Poo idea.  Right now as I'm typing after a 3 mile morning run, I can feel the sweat dripping.  Can't wait to wash it.  

My roots are coming in slowly.  Funny how when I was coloring them, they seemed to grow in so fast, but now it's like watching a pot boil.  I like what I'm seeing though.  My gray is glistening white.  I have a lot of dark too.  It's still not easy to determine what percentage of white I have, but I do like that it's like my mom had as far as the shade of grey being more white.  I still think I'll be more dark than white though...for now.  I was thinking that I'm glad I'm doing this now rather than waiting until I'm in the 70s as my mom did.  As much as I love it when people can't believe I'm a grandmother and can't believe that I'm 53, I'm looking forward to people not making a fuss over it.  I sometimes feel funny when others my own age compare themselves.  With my natural hair, maybe I'll look closer to my age. 

So far.....


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Starting my hair...

I know that I have made this decision before and not stuck with it, but this time I am hoping to stick to it.  I am sick and tired of dying my hair.  I don't like how it feels and I can't stand how the color fades out and looks so brittle. I think I'm ready.

And so I start this journey.  Of course I can't just stop coloring my hair. I have to make it more interesting.  I've also been playing around with the no shampoo...or No Poo...idea that I've been reading about.  I'm on day 3 of only 'washing' with hot shower water.  My hair really feels nice.  It feels thicker already.  I have naturally curly hair that tends to be slightly frizzy and it's now not as frizzy.  It's not oily either.  I'm also training for a half marathon, so this No Poo will really be put to the test.  My plan is to journal this journey with words and pictures.

So, now it starts.  I have a little over 1/2 inch of root growth.  It's hard to tell, but I think my hair is about 25% gray....wait, I just looked with a mirror and wow...I didn't know that I had that much grey in the back too.  So, let's say somewhere between 10-40% depending on where you look.  It's really hard to tell, though, because I'm comparing it to the dyed hair.  I have been coloring my hair close to my natural, so that may help the transition some. 

My husband reminded me that I've made this decision before and ended up going back to dying my hair.  Maybe I wasn't ready then, but maybe I'm ready now.  I also had a hair dresser (that I don't go to anymore) try to help in my transition and my hair looks like it was dyed with black shoe polish.  I gave up going grey and began coloring it myself.

I was a hairdresser for 7 years in my 20s, but never had the opportunity to help a woman go grey.  

So...her I go...wish me luck...picture journal to come later....

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Panties...and the riding up problem that us women have

So...I have been a faithful Victoria Secret panty wearer for years now, but I've also been plagued with the uncomfortable riding up issue that most of us women have to deal with on a regular basis.  It's not a sexy or pretty site to see a woman reaching up to pull and tug at her panty.  I was on a mission to free my mind from the constant fear that my panty would inevitably become a thick version of a thong. 

My first purchase fail miserably!  Being gullible by their packaging promising to "NEVER RIDE UP," I purchase two packages of 5 for $19.00 to learn later that you really do get what you pay for.  I can't tell you the brand because the panties are not marked with a label anywhere, but I bought them at Macy's while shopping with my very patient husband.  I was so looking forward to a day without any tugging and pulling and the moment I pulled them on, I knew that these panties would not ride up....just as advertised.  The reason that they don't ride up is because the leg opening is vise grip tight. These are the most uncomfortable panties that I've ever worn.  Being a trooper though, I wore this brand for about two weeks before switching back to my VS panties while searching the internet for a better alternative.

I'd seen Soma's Vanishing Edge brand in my other searches, but we don't have a store that sells them close by.  I decided to take advantage of their by 7 for $35 promotion and ordered online.  When they came in the mail, I immediately tried on a pair and was very impressed.  At work the next day I had one less thing to think about.  These panties are so comfortable that I forgot about them and there was absolutely no pulling or tugging.  The only thing...and this is not an issue for me...while pulling them on, the stay put rubbery substance can cling and it does take a little patience to get them where you want them.  Once in place's a perfect fit that stays in place without cutting off circulation as those other panties did.   I was so impressed that I ordered more from qvc at an even better price.  I will now be able to get rid of the vice grip panties and eventually replace all my VS panties.   

Friday, April 01, 2011

I learned something about my family today

How I wish I could talk to my mom about what I learned today from my brothers.  I'd have so many questions that I never did ask her.

My mother told me that I was 2 when my dad left our home.  All this time I knew I was 2 years when he left...then today's conversation changed what I knew.  My older brother, Gary, who is 7 years older than me posted some old family pictures on  Facebook and we were talking about one picture in particular.  My mom was pregnant with me in the picture so it was 1957 and I noticed how happy everyone looked. That prompted me to ask my brother about what he thinks happened in the two years after. That's when I learned that my dad left that same year when Gary was seven years old.  Wait...if Gary was seven, I was under a year old!?  I did believe Gary, but I called Larry, my other older brother who is 15 years older than me and he told me he was 15 1/2 years old when dad left...their memories matched up.

All this time I thought I was 2 years old, but I was about 2 months old! No wonder I have never felt abandoned by my dad.  I just never had all the benefits of having a dad.  I was never daddy's little girl. I didn't have the same self image that I may have had having a father in my life. I didn't have a daddy to tell me that I was pretty or nice or whatever.  In my early relationships (my first marriage included) I sot out more controlling men.  Was this due to the need of a father in my life?  I'm not sure.  My husband now is not a controlling man, so I have outgrown that need I guess.

Interesting day.  Larry asked me why am I rehashing this.  I only know that now, I know something that I didn't know yesterday.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Shamrock Half

Sunday is the Shamrock Half.  I am so excited!  Can't wait!!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

running blog....

Well...I'm moving my running blog to Runner's World. Go to Search for my blog here and type in ragtopcathy as the username.  I created one this morning and already received many comments.  All bloggers love comments.  My first blog was about one resulting issue of my long runs.  I'll still blog here, but my running blogs will be moved.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week Ten -- Training for the Shamrock Half Marathon

This week, again, was missing one training run.  I ran 3 miles on Monday at lunch time. It was a nice day and a good run.  On Wednesdays, my Mike (hubby) and I started taking ballroom dancing and I was planning on running on the treadmill when we got home, but I instead succumbed to the tiredness that I was feeling. On Thursday, Mike and I took a night run together. Two miles around the lake and then I did another mile on the treadmill.  It was only a little icy in spots, but we didn't have a fall.  My training schedule was supposed to be 3/4/3.  I missed the 4 mile run.  I'm hoping to not miss a run next week though.  I'm scheduled for 4/5/3 mile runs along with the Saturday long run of 20K, which is 12.4.  This run is another Distance Series event with the Tidewater Striders .  This is their last before the half marathon.

Today I ran the Virginia is For Lovers 14K (just under 9 miles).  I was happy that Judy, one of my running buddies from my training group, ran the race with me.  We kept each other going.  We ran it all too and I think we finished at a good time according to Judy's watch, but the times have not been posted as of this posting.  I ran to my husband's RUN playlist and I so, so need to get that playlist from him.  Great to run to.  I've not heard of many of the songs, but they kept me going without the need to sing.  I'm not quite there yet...singing and running doesn't quite work for me.

After the last few long runs, I've been getting into the spa.  It really helps my leg muscles and my feet.  I used the bottom jets along the bottoms and tops of my feet.  Today spa soak was even nicer though because Mike joined me in the spa and massaged my feet and calves....nice!

Last week, I signed up for my next 1/2, The Virginia Beach Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon.  If I signed up now it's only $90 and I get a cool t-shirt.  Hey, it has waves on it ;-).   I am definitely going to join up with a training group for it.  I'm hoping that J & A Racing will do a training group, although I don't see them listed on the site.

Think I'll take a nap now...till next time...happy running!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Head in the Smoke

I am not a smoker...never have been and never will be.  I'm so happy that almost every work place is now smoke free.  When I moved here in 2007, restaurants still had smoking sections.  Being from California, I was not used to that and I was so happy when the law was passed to keep the smoke out.

Now can we outlaw people smoking in their closed up cars in the winter and coming back into the office with a cloud of smoke that doesn't leave them for hours?  This is my recent problem.  I am tracking my migraine headaches and they correspond to my cube neighbor's break time.  The smell waifs over my cube wall and into my nose and doesn't leave for hours.  I have a fan, but it does no good.  I'm typing this at 6:30pm, an hour and a half after I've left work and I can still smell cigarette smoke.  I think I need to neti pot my nose.  I googled migraines and!  This is why I seem to only get these headaches at work.

Off to neti...

I don't make that face's a really pleasant feeling most times.  Anyway, looking forward to not smelling smoke...

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Week Nine -- Training for the Shamrock Half Marathon

Wow!  Nine weeks of training complete!

This weeks running was one run short of the training plan.  I ran on the treadmill on Monday.  I listened to a Podrunners' Speedbump mix that took me from 150 to 160 to 170 bpms and then back down.  Basically it's a temp run resulting in bringing up my speed.  My goal is not a difficult one, though.  I'm hoping to run a 10 minute mile consistently.  That will bring me in way under my original goal of finishing the half in if it's somewhere between 2-2:30, I'll be very happy.

It wasn't until Thursday that I ran again.  My husband and I did a night run.  These are fun to do together.  He's not running as far as me...yet, so we ran a little over a 1.5 miles together before I veered off to run the rest of my planned 5 miles.  My math was off though.  I was thinking I'd finish at 5 miles by combining two of my standard runs together; a two and and three mile route, but I missed a section...the part that would have taken me home and back out to start my other run and that's about the mile that I was short.  I ran 4 miles though and it really did feel good.

My group long run was in the rain along the Oceanfront.  We did 10 miles and I again had a running buddy.  Judy kept me on track.  We did do a little bit of walking on and off.  Only about 20-30 steps worth at a time. She and I were both tired today.  The rain didn't help either.  We finished at 1:57....about a 12 minute mile, so I'm happy with that.  It was brutal though and at about the halfway point, our coach was there cheering us on and all I could utter was, "I don't want to do this!" I continued on and finished up the 10 miles.

I am so happy that I joined up with my training group.  I'll do it again for the Rock n Roll Half in September too.  J & A Racing group training is my training group.  I would highly recommend a training group to anyone running a half or full Marathon.  It gets me up and out the door on Saturday morning where I otherwise would stay in bed.

Next week is the Virginia Is For Lovers 14K....that'll be fun!

Till next week....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Week Eight -- Training for the Shamrock Half Marathon

This week I missed my Monday training run.  My husband and I did a night run on Wednesday.  That run started off with the voice in my head saying, "I'll just run 2's better than nothing." I was worried that my lunch of filet mignon would impede my run, but by the time I got to 2 miles, though, I was ready to continue on.  My run felt really good too.  I ran 4 miles outside and another mile on the treadmill.  It was nice to run with my husband.  He's catching up to me, but doesn't realize it yet.  He didn't run all 4 miles with me, but a lot of it.

My second run was 3 miles on the treadmill on Thursday and I rested on Friday.

After last week's freezing 21 degrees with a 13 degree wind chill, today's weather made for much better running conditions for the 15K Distance Series long run.  I don't have my time yet, but my music was at 1:45 for the 9.3 miles...about an 11 minute mile.  I ran the whole way, which was my goal.

Next week it's 3, 5, 3 and 10 miles....

Ok, results are in....I did 1:45:53...and I came in second to the last in my age group, but I'd be in the middle of the group of 20 of the 30-39 year olds! There were only 7 in my group and the top was 1:33:14, but the others above me were 2-5 minutes faster than me and the last time was 2:14. I did do an 11 minute mile. Not too bad after a lousy night's sleep...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Week Seven -- Training for the Shamrock Half Marathon

Week Seven mileage:  16 miles.

Monday's run was 3 miles.  I had a nice run.  It wasn't too cold either.  Since my husband and I started to rearrange the den last weekend, the treadmill is set up with a TV to watch.  We still have lots of stuff to clear out for a garage sale, but waiting for a balmy 45 degree weekend to have one.  The TV does help with the boring treadmill run and I ran 3 miles watching Dirty Dancing Wednesday evening.  On Thursday, my husband and I went for a nice two mile night run at around 7pm.  I do enjoy running with Mike.  It wasn't too cold either.

Today's long run was at the Oceanfront; 21 degrees with a 13 degree wind chill.  I am so happy I joined up with J & A Racing to train for the half.  If I hadn't, I know I would have found some excuse not to run this morning.  We were scheduled to run 9 miles, but the course that we took was only 8 miles.  But with the cold and the wind, it was probably just like running 9 miles in better conditions. This time I had a running buddy and we kept each other going and ran the whole way.  I ran a 10 minute mile, which is really good for me.

When I got home, rather than jumping in the shower as I usually do, I got into the hot tub.  I don't know why I don't do that more often.  It felt great!  The only part that I didn't like much was getting out and closing the lid....brrrr!

Next week is a Distance Run Series run.  I'm doing the 15K, which is 9.3 miles.  The course is trail running, which is very picturesque and fun.  I'm not sure who from my group is doing the run since it's optional, but I'm hoping to be able to run with company.

Why do I run?
...because I refuse to let my age define me....
...because I refuse to think that because I'm over 50, I can let myself go and blame it on my age... be an inspiration to others feel good about myself
...and to look good for my husband.

till next time...

Monday, January 17, 2011

I just want a pair that works!

Earplugs Earplugs many to choose from, but I just want one that works!

I've been on a search for the perfect ear plug. Last month my googling brought me to the EARPLUG SUPERSTORE.  I went to the earplugs for sleeping section and decided on a trial pack of "Just the Softest and Smallest Foam Ear Plug Trial Pack" in hopes that I'll find nightly silence in the 17 types (2 pairs of each) of earplugs.  

I've been through 5 of the Just the Softest and Smallest Foam Ear Plugs, but have only been successful in the insertion once or maybe twice. Most nights I give up, but last night my Sicilian finger biting temper ensued.  I ask could I have been so angry at an inanimate object?  It's just a piece of foam!  My anger did not disturb anyone but me, though.

The directions say to roll the foam plug between your fingers and insert into the ear canal.  When it is done correctly, as the foam expands, it will crackle and all sound begins to fade away into the background.  When it's done correctly is the key to success.  Roll, Pull, Hold is what this onesite had me do but without much success.....

I must have really small ear canals or the foam is expanding at a faster rate than the speed of which my hand goes to my ear.  Maybe I should have tried one of the no roll types.  These look interesting.

Either way, all I can say is FUCK!'s not a word I say very often and putting it here even feels forbidden and wrong, but these nights put me on the couch with a very fitful night's sleep. Needless to say, I'm a bit of a grump this morning and it doesn't help when my husband is now mad at me.  Seems that even though I wasn't mad at him for snoring (I mean...come on, he can't control it...he's sleeping!), I did say that his snoring kept me from sleeping, which is blaming him for me not sleeping.  I should have just blamed the DAMN earplugs for not working because if they had worked, then I wouldn't have been woken up to only begin my feverishly unsuccessfully attempt to abate the sound with different types of the Just the Softest and Smallest Foam Ear Plugs, only to give up after about an hour (ears are still sore)!  I do confess to a second or two of biting my finger in a Sicilian rage before finally, in need of some sleep, moving to the coach. Through this all, my husband slept undisturbed.  When my husband woke up this morning he said that he was sorry.  So, why is he mad at me again?  Because when I said that I couldn't sleep, that then put the blame on me, but then I told him that I couldn't sleep because of the snoring, which put the blame back on him....for something that he already apologized for.  Am I missing something here?

Ok...I've gone off track...reeling myself in now....

Before writing this blog, I again, in desperation, googled earplugs for sleeping and before I found the above no roll variety, I found and ordered another type of earplugs.  This one has reviews that sounded really good. These are made of beeswax, sterile cotton and lanolin that custom fits to your ear.  No foam to prematurely expand before I've inserted them correctly into my ear canal.  

I should have them in a few days.  Can't wait to try them out and I'm hoping to report soon that they worked like a charm!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week Six -- Training for the Shamrock Half Marathon

Week Six of my training for the Shamrock Half Marathon

On Monday it was a lunch time run
running three miles in the shinning sun

The air was brisk but I warmed up fast
Through the streets to finish my task

Treadmill was my path mid week
I found it hard to move my feet

I continued on and reached three miles
after that I was all smiles

The third run on my own I did not get to
Just couldn't get to it, with so much to do

My group run commitment is so good for me
It gets me up at 6 and running at 7:30

Today was our first eight mile run
I ran it all in the shinning sun

Coming to the finish I knew I did good
and I finished faster than I thought I would

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Week Five -- Training for the Shamrock Half Marathon

This is week five of my training for the half marathon.  My monday run was a 3 mile run around my neighborhood.  I do love this run, as there's a stretch of it through a street of beautiful big homes and there are only a few cars that pass by.  It was 39 degrees when I ran and I've gotten used to running in that temperature. I marked in my journal that it was a "great run."  I work from home on Mondays, so I'm able to start my run right at 5pm and run while it's still daylight.  The rest of the week I work in my office and arrive home a dusk, so I end up running on the treadmill.  I'm looking forward to daylight savings time switch on March 13th so that I can run outside more.  I know...I know...why don't I run in the morning?  That snooze button is just too tempting.

On Wednesday I ran 4 miles on the treadmill, but almost stopped at 35 minutes.  At that point, I walked for about a minute and convinced myself to keep going.  I made it to 4 miles.  My next run would have been a 3 miler, but on Thursday evening, I was in a I'm just too tired or too sore sort of mood and Friday was a I'm running my long run tomorrow anyway mood.

Which takes us to today, Saturday.  I didn't sleep as well as I would like to, but I don't seem to sleep well before my group runs or for any of the events I've run in.  I've done some googling on that and I'm not the only one and I read not to worry about it, so I don't.  Since I stopped worrying about not sleeping before a race, I do tend to sleep better.  Regardless of the lack of sleep, today's run was a really good run.  Again, it was about 39 degrees and I needed to shed my windbreaker halfway through. We did six miles and I was running the same pace as two other runners so I wasn't running alone this time.  There was some black ice sections of the trail, but I was able to not slip and fall.  The last 2 miles seemed faster, as one of the other runners and I chatted.  Teaming will be especially beneficial for all of us as the miles increase.   Around mile 4, though, I felt my back rib area tweak out a little.  I kept running though and I'm hoping that it readjusts itself.  I hurts a little bit when I breath in, but it's not at all like what happened on one of my morning runs last summer. That morning, about a mile into a 3 mile run, my upper back, left side, started to spasm.  I couldn't breath in without it hurting badly.  I walked home that morning in a great deal of pain.  Chiropractic and rest fixed it within a week, but it really made me weary of running in the morning.  I started to think that my body really ready to run so soon after I get up.  Well...this being week 5 of my group runs at 7:30am, I'm reconsidering this thought.  I'll keep you posted on that idea.

Why do I run?  I run to keep myself young.  I don't feel my age will not define who I am...who I am will define me...I used to say age is just a number, but now I say my age is how I feel.  There are days I feel older and there are days that I feel younger.  I will not dress or act my age...ever....

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Week Four -- Training for the Shamrock Half Marathon

I remember back around 2002 when my supervisor and his wife were training for their first Marathon.  While we worked together, they did a couple and may still be.  I remember thinking that I would never consider running in a Marathon.  I'd run on and off since my twenties, but running never stuck, so the thought of a Marathon was beyond my comprehension.  The only thought in my head was, "WHY??"

Fast forward to me turning 50 in 2007.  I was a new bride and my husband was deployed.  I took up running to fill in time and to get fitter.  I was really into it for a few months, but then I just stopped.  I occasionally did a run/walk...trying to will myself to get my motivation back, but to no great end. Then a few co-workers were putting together a team for the Susan G Komen charity event.  They offer a 5K that you can either run for fun or timed. I signed up and raised a pretty good amount of money too.  Because I registered for an event, my motivation kicked in.  I searched the internet for something to help me accomplish my 5K goal.  It seems like so long ago when my goal was to run 3 miles.  I found Podrunner Interval training series. I started with First Day to 5K. This podcasts really helped me and it was so easy to improve.  I would recommend these to anyone starting to run.  I ran the timed 5K and was in the middle of the standings for women my age. It was a great time and I was so fun to be in a race!  I caught the bug and I signed up for the Shamrock 8K and trained for that with Podrunner's Gateway to 8K.  In August, I ran 2 10Ks (Run like a Girl and The Wicked) and used Freeway to 10K to train for those.  In September, I ran my first 1/2 Marathon (Rock n Roll Half Marathon).  I now use the Podrunner beats to run with, but also run to other music.  The training that I'm doing now is for both a half marathon (Shamrock Half)  and a 14K (Virginia is for Lovers) before that.

So, why am I sharing my running history?  Because, registering for running events is my motivation to run. I need to train to run longer distances and this is what keeps me running.  That and the fact that I want to improve my time.  I don't compete with the other runners...I compete with my own times.  Ok...ok...I do love how running has improved my outward appearance too. I've never had a weight issue, but menopause causes a change in the metabolism and I started to notice I've read articles on this and how women in menopause have a difficult time keeping their weight in check. Running speeds up the metabolism and it really does help.  

With all that being shared...

This week's training was sparse. I only ran once during the week (35 minutes on the treadmill).  It was too icy outside to run and I so prefer outside running to the treadmill, so my motivation was low.  Don't get me wrong, I love having the treadmill, it's just harder to motivate myself to run on it. I can put it off to later also, where when running outside, I need to get out before it's dark.  Sometimes putting off a treadmill run leads to not running.

Today's J & A Racing Shamrock Training group run was 7 miles.  We ran the two miles to the park visiter's center then a mile and a half on the trails in the park then turned around and ran back. The trails were spotted with muddy patches where the snow melted.  There were pine needles and leaves that made for a nice layer over most of the mud. The faster runners came back with mud spattered legs. I was mud free, but did run it all (ok...I did walk once for about 30 seconds, but I'd just run uphill without noticing). All in all, the 7 miles felt great!  :-)  Next week is another 7 miles.  I'm to run two 3 mile runs and a 4 miler during the week.  I'm hoping for nice days to run in, but there is always the treadmill....