The Triing Lizard

Monday, January 30, 2006

Adventures in bra shopping! The mission: to buy a new sports bra. The requirements: must be pretty. must fit a size 32G. must allow for zero bounce.

I've managed to lose a few pounds recently, part of which happened to be around the middle of me where I needed to lose the most. The impact of this weight loss is that I'm down to one sports bra that fits, and even it's a little too big. The bra is an Enell, it's ugly. It looks like a corsett. It's not easy to get into, it requires quite a bit of "adjusting" and mashing and I've often wished I had two more hands to help to get into it. It has about 15 hook and eye closures in the front that all have to be closed. Problem is that normally when you think you have all of them inevitably one or two come undone and in the process of hooking them again some other ones come out, yes, I know this is a sign that the thing is too big on me. Originally I think it was white. However it has slowly evolved into a dingy gray. And it's pretty much always stinky because I wear it 6 times per week. So I figured I could justify treating myself to another bra so at least I'll be able to start my workout smelling good 2x per week instead of just once).

So my quest begins. I read in Runner's World a month or so back that Moving Comfort had started a line of bras for larger breasted women. So I start looking on the internet to see where I could try some on. REI was it. So I was very excited the evening Jeff and I stopped by REI. I was going to find a new sports bra that meets all my requirements. And I had a $25 gift card to help defray costs - yay!!

I eagerly find the sports bras and start looking for the big girl sizes. Turns out they have one 32DD and one 34DD, both high impact by Moving Comfort. Unfortunately the largest size Moving Comfort makes is a DD, two sizes away from G, ugh. I'm still optimistic at this point, I'm excited to try the 32DD. Unfortunately I was spilling out of that one and the circumference was too large on the other one (and I could tell that it allowed for way too much bounce - yes, I was jumping up and down in the fitting room, but not out of joy). So I'm back to Enell, the only company that makes bras for DDD (which still is a size below what I need). Enell is listed as the "Bra of Last Resort" by Title 9 Sports that offers quite a few sports bras (and believe me, I've tried all the other ones). And guess what? Enell still only makes this same corsett style that I have now and it still only comes in black, white, and beige. So I'm not going to meet my requirement of pretty. Oh well. I went with the black this time so even if it gets dirty (which it inevitably will) it will only get more black. I ordered a size zero which is supposed to fit a 32 DDD (as close as I'm going to get).

The bra:
I'm hoping the new color they're going to come out with is pretty! I'll be the first in line! And maybe by then they'll have some competition (come on Moving Comfort - I want a size 32G)!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

I never would have dreamed in a million years that I would be saddened by the closing of a GAS STATION?????????!!!!!!!! Well, the day has come. The Shell station in Taylorsville, MD closed on January 31st. I am officially saddened by this news. I am no longer able to fill up Hao, my 2005 VW Golf TDI, with B100 (100% biodiesel, I think right now since it's winter it did contain some kerosene so that it wouldn't congeal when the temps dropped significantly). This station was only 16 miles from work. My bimonthly ritual was to drive that 32 mile round trip to the Shell station to fill up Hao. It was a welcome break from sitting inside in front of my computer at work, working on test cases, searching through code, writing requirements. The ritual usually involved listening to good music or the Mark Steiner show always with an open sunroof so I could soak up some vitamin D. I'd pump my bio and then go and pay. The same attendant was always there. He was watching his 4x6 black and white TV and seemed to just really enjoy watching the time pass. He was planning to work at Wal-Mart full time once the station closed. He didn't sound like he was looking forward to the change.

So I'm trying to move on. I've been forced to fill up with regular diesel since the station closed (dinodiesel) and I have driven my 550 miles, it is time to fill up again. Dinodiesel just plain stinks! The exhaust fumes stink. It has more polutants. It deposits stuff in the engine (don't ask me what, I just know the bio runs cleaner). It makes your hands stink for the rest of the day when you fill up. It's more expensive than bio. And I don't even talk to the attendant at the dino station, I can just pay with a credit card.

I miss my Shell station. I think of the attendant who now works at Wal-Mart full time. I bet he misses the station too.

Monday, January 23, 2006

18 miles! I ran 18 miles this weekend! Well, actually 18.78 miles. My longest distance EVER. It was a journey. At the very beginning I was feeling like I was getting out of breath really quickly so after 30 minutes or so I decided that I was going to have to stop to pee. The road was fairly well travelled but I found a place where the side banked down steep enough that I could hide from the cars somewhat. It was the fastest I've ever peed in the woods! Once that was over I felt a lot better. I'm still doing all my training in my Maffetone zone since aerobic capacity is by far my biggest limiter in running and in triathlon. For the first 10 miles I know I could have run faster. When my HR monitor went off to let me know that I was out of my zone I would be surprised and a little annoyed that I would have to walk for a while. But after mile 10 that all changed - I started to get really fatigued. It was the reverse problem - my HR monitor would go off telling me that I was too low but I wouldn't want to start running again. At that point I think it was my legs that were telling me to stop. I had also reached a part of the course where it was going to be an uphill climb for about 2 miles (with a brief 1/2 mile reprieve in the middle). So I trudged along, listening to Jeff telling me stories and keeping us entertained. He was such a good sport, walking with me when my HR monitor went off, and starting to jog again as soon as my HR had come down. I knew that if he had gone alone that he would have finished the course about an hour before we actually got home (though he told me that wasn't the case, that the run was hard even for him). What a sweetie. So we hit the really steep part of the climb. No possibility of running, it was an uphill trudge, felt like we were walking up that hill for about 30 minutes when it was probably closer to 10. It was at this point when I knew that making it home would be about mentally not thinking about the exhaustion and pain that I was experiencing. I had 2 miles left. I had been bummed about a couple of our splits (I had a map with me so I could guestimate where the mile markers were), 16:10 and 14:50. We had missed an out and back turn around and taken a detour, so I knew a couple of the splits were going to be off but the 14:50 had occurred during the uphill section and I knew the distance was pretty close to being accurate. But in the end our pace was about 11:53 per mile which really isn't bad for me while staying within Maffetone. Total time: 3:43:34. So the plan for the marathon is to run Maffetone (or fairly close to it) for the first 20 miles and then race the last 10K. Goal time: 4:45.

Monday, January 09, 2006

So I've officially registered for the Gasparilla Marathon!! This leaves me feeling very scared and very excited all at the same time.

Scared because I've never run 26.2 miles all at one time. Running 4 hours at one time (or maybe up to 5) is unchartered territory for me. By race day I will have only run 20 miles at one given time. Everyone says that the real race both mentally and physically begins after 20 miles. Yikes. So that last 6.2 miles could bring any number of things. I don't know what's going to happen. I could trip and fall. I could have a heart attack. My legs could cramp up and basically decide not to carry me one additional step. I could throw up. Or, and most scary of all, I COULD GIVE UP. I have to realize that this is within the realm of possibility. I am a person that is very careful about almost all decisions that I make in my life, I carefully weigh the pros and cons, I do my research, I logically move toward the best decision after careful consideration of all factors. Running the marathon was a big decision for me. I was planning to wait to register for my first until 2007 but I figured that I needed to motivate myself to improve my endurance for triathlon season so I decided to do it. So finishing the marathon is something that will be a stretch for me. Definitely a challenge. And I have a feeling that this will be a mental challenge almost as much as a physical challenge for me. So I'm working on my positive thinking that come race day when I finish mile 20 I will dig down deep to find my strength and confidence to get me through the last 6.2 miles and across the finish line.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

So I'm off to my semi-annual dentist appointment again.

Something happened to me when I walked into this dentist's office for the first time about 5 years ago. I became an adult. I realized that I am the only one who will make sure that I get my teeth cleaned regularly, I am the primary card holder on the insurance card. The reason I had gone to the dentist in the first place was because someone who berely knew me (my primary care physician) had told me that I needed to go to the dentist (I'm guessing my breath was that bad - ouch.) Anyway, up until that time, I had always gone to my childhood dentist in Cleveland, usually when I was home between semesters or in the summer if my mom had pestered me enough to make me pick up the phone and make an appointment. Up until I moved to Baltimore, I had relied on my mom to remind me about those kind of things. Once I moved to Baltimore (actually I think this happened as soon as I graduated from college), my mom never asked me if I had gone to the dentist so I had completely forgotten about it (or was too lazy to deal with it). I realized that I now had complete control over whether or not I went to the doctor, went to the dentist, got my hair cut. No one was going to tell me I needed to do those things (I didn't want to have a stranger tell me I needed to go to the dentist ever again). So my next step was to do all the logistical stuff: find a dentist, call to ask if they accepted my insurance, figure out where the office is, and show up on time. I can still remember at the end of my first appointment when the receptionist asked me when I wanted to schedule my next appointment, and I told her, oh, I'll just call as it gets closer. And then she had to educate me about how his schedule gets booked really early and it might be a good idea to get the appointment on the schedule sooner than later. So I realized that everyone else must plan ahead their dentist appointments this early, so if everyone else does it I guess I better follow suit. So I scheduled the next appointment, a completely foreign concept to have anything scheduled that was 6 months away. During my first couple years in the corporate world I learned that you had to plan early, had to schedule vacations ahead of time so you could get the time you needed off. So I asked for a palm pilot for Christmas that same year. And everything started to go in the Palm Pilot. I even bring the palm pilot to the dentist's office now so I can schedule my next appointment.

So earlier this week I was scheduling my entire year and thinking about how my life has changed since that first dentist appointment. I'm setting goals for myself that are years away now and I have events that are 8 months away (including my next dentist appointment). While I do miss the times where I didn't even use a calendar, planner, or palm pilot (and the spontaneity that allows), I know that all this planning pays off in the end - it has helped me and will continue to help me to reach all of my goals. Off to the dentist!