Good Things in Every Day

This week was a series of small successes.  There were good things in every day, as my friend Sonia hashtags all her pictures.  I like the saying; it reminds me to intentionally find the small moments of success that make up our days.  This week that was kind of important, so I focused on what was good.  On Monday I celebrated that I was able to leave home and head back to work.  It seems silly, but last week was just so intense and I was a bit shell-shocked; so much happened.  Leaving the comfort nest of my home and family was hard and I felt oddly desperate for them all day.  When I actually got to work I just got down to business and it all went down pretty well.  It got easier after day one and by Friday I was exhausted, but otherwise pretty normal.

   I even managed to have a reasonable week for working out.  It wasn’t stellar, by any means, but it wasn’t the worst, either.  I danced Zumba twice and ran twice.  One of my runs was a short, 2.2 mile run on the treadmill.  I have the hardest time running on that thing.  I think part of the key to make it interesting is to make challenges for myself.  This time, after many stops and starts, I finally decided to challenge myself by pushing the speed up to ‘uncomfortable’ (I hide the screen from myself because it’s painful to watch how slowly the miles and calories tick by) and forced myself to run at that speed until my show (ok, RHOC, 😶) was over.  I actually stuck with it for about a mile!  I was exhausted, sweaty and so proud!  Until I looked at my speed and realized how slow I was actually going.  It was only a 10:30 mile!  It’s funny how sustaining that speed perfectly on the treadmill is so much harder than an outdoor run with the same average!  The next run happened today.  I headed out for a nine mile run but decided to push my speed a little bit.  I ended up running the first three miles in under 10:20ish splits, and then I stopped to take the dandelion picture, to smell some lilacs, to smell some roses, run up a few hills and my fast time went out the window.  That’s ok with me, though.  I realized I got tired and let myself head home, proud of what I did.    

Good Things in Every Day…

We got to spend time outside on the patio this week, the weather was so gentle.

This week I discovered that I truly love the cauliflower movement.  I am sold: hook, line and sinker.  I used it three times this week in place of potatoes and pasta.  Whatever I put on top of them makes them taste just like what I think they should taste like!  Baked potatoes?  Yep.  Hash browns?  Close enough.  Tater tots?  Alarmingly yummy.  Pasta replacement?  Better than carbs!  Love.

I also discovered this yummy recipe for ‘bread’ that is really made of egg white, egg yolk, cream of tartar and a little bit of creamy cheese (laughing cow, cream cheese, sour cream…).  I made them and used em to eat a hamburger.  While they were definitely different than real buns, they totally worked!  It was a bit like eating my hamburger with a Pirates Booty bun through both texture and flavor, but not in a bad way.  ๐Ÿ˜‰  If you’re looking for a low carb, summer BBQ, hamburger bun option, this could be your ticket.  

  

My garden is growing so fast and I love going to look at it every day.  I think I might be surprised at how soon we will be selling flowers- the zinnias, bachelor buttons and sunflowers are already popping up, the annuals I planted are growing rapidly and my vegetable garden is doing beautifully.

I had an epic game of Sorry over Indian food with my kids on Friday.  Boy, did we laugh.  ๐Ÿ™‚

I got a lot of important loose ends tied up at work.  Checking so many things off my list kept me gratefully busy  and incredibly satisfied.

Gigi’s throat is feeling better and she doesn’t need her meds anymore- yes!  I missed her while she couldn’t talk and I’m so glad to have her back!

  
I can climb a big rock, now.  It is something new that I’ve never been able to do before: Rock climbing.  Yes, I was terrified at the top and couldn’t bear to stand up, but I got up there.  And yes, I know it’s not a cliff, but baby steps, right?  I actually want to go to REI now to climb the big, tall, free, climbing wall!  

I finally got around to starting the accountability group on Facebook.  I’m still trying to figure out how to add people who are not my ‘friends’ or ‘friends of friends’ but I’ll get there with more research…  It can’t be that difficult!  But it’s up and running and people are already posting…  I’m feeling quite positive about the whole venture!

I’m down to crying less about losing my dog and smiling more about who she was and what she was like.  There’s this memory I have of her during her first snow when she was a long-legged six month old teenager-puppy.  It was when we lived up in Bellingham and had chickens along with the dog and cat and a baby growing in my belly.  I was back by the chicken coop letting the girls out, since I thought they’d like to scratch around in the snow, while our cat, Calvin, was white and camouflaged himself in the snow, crouched low while Martha ran lap after lap after lap around the coop.  Her breath, vapor clouds in the air, mouth wide with a grin and she didn’t care one lick that with every lap Calvin pounced on her- she had too much joy and life in her to care!  It was a beautiful moment and what just keeps sticking in my head as her definition.  Perfect.

Good things in every day.โค๏ธ

All in for Autism 10k

Do you ever have those moments when you’re cruising along through life thinking everything is in order, then you look on your calendar and get a slap back to reality because you have a 10k in one week?  I have.  Like, last week.  I had the feeling that something was lurking at the end of April, but I wasn’t too sure of what and exactly when.  It’s a very good thing, then, that I spent my Spring Break in running streak mode because I was more ready than I think I should have been.

  

So I ran that like a boss.  Not really like a boss, but it was a really good thing to do.  It felt really productive and proactive and therapeutic…  It was good.  It started out dry but with heavy cloud cover.  I decided to go ahead and bring my jacket and within the first mile was cursing that decision as I shimmied out of it, took off the bib, tied the jacket around my waist, reattached the bib to my shirt and only to have the rain start in earnest within moments of the whole process.  I was nice and warm by that point though, thanks to the number of hills, and was making good time.  I made a mistake, though.  I felt like I was going downhill forever.  I predicted that I’d have to climb back up those hills, so I started worrying that I was going to get tired.  Cue me slowing way down to conserve energy and I ended up really shifting my time.  Before I slowed I was running miles in the tens, but after they averaged out to in the 11’s.  Still nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s exciting to kill your times, you know?  Nonetheless, I still had my second best 10k time, and that’s something to be proud of.  That rain, though.  Sheesh!  By the third mile in it was a downpour!  Big, fat raindrops were splattering me at the finish line…  I was supposed to wait for my team but, once again, I hightailed it out of there simply to get warm.  Glad we snapped our picture pre-race!

 
After the race and I saw the results I got a little inspired.  While I’ve never been a speed person, necessarily, I do remember when I was pushing myself to go faster and I did run a few miles in the eights. When I looked at what the top finisher in my age bracket ran (8:32 splits) I realized that could be me.  I could train for speed and get faster.  I could.  It’s scary to say things like that aloud, but I’m thinking it.  ๐Ÿ˜‰ I see all these women who win first in their age bracket who post in my online running group and for the first time that seemed accessible and I got a little excited.  Bradley pointed out to me that if I start training for speed that I’ll probably shed the last of my goal fat that I want to lose.  Talk about motivating…  I may have a new goal ahead of me.  I’ve also been looking into macros again.  People say that they lose a ton when they start eating exactly as their makeup dictates.  That with some speed running could really make a difference in my physique this summer!  The macros scale is in my Amazon cart, I just need to pull the trigger. 👍

  
Curtis and Martha came along with me as my totems.  โค๏ธ

Golden Slumbers

This has nothing to do with diet, exercise or weightloss.  This is just about being a human who loves her dog.  
Martha was the best.  Dog.  Ever.  You might think yours is great, and he or she probably is, but my dog, at this moment, on this blog was the Best.  Dog.  Ever.  And the Best Dog Ever deserves a last day that parallels some of the best times she’s ever had, geriatric style, so that’s what we set out to do once it became clear that Martha was ready to leave us.*  It all started with a weenie roast outside.  If you could call it a hobby, one of Martha’s favorite hobbies was laying in the grass.  It was even more fun when the family hung out, so Bradley spent her last late afternoon cleaning the patio interspersed with massages and loves for the old lady, followed by hot dog roasting, hanging out, excessive petting and sharing our Martha memories.  We lasted outside until dark and the fire was out.  It was a wonderful way to spend her last evening.

  
We headed to Martha’s favorite park, Wallace Swamp Creek on the morning of her last day.  There’s so much to smell there and, while its not officially a dog park, it’s one of the few places we’ve found where friendly dogs seem to rule and run off leash.  Martha is not the only geratric patron, and the few people we ran into in the park on Friday gave her their best and their blessings as they said hello and goodbye.

  
She attracted a lot of attention with her chariot.  I’ll admit- her papa was the cutest one there and the only one carrying a queen.

  
When she wasn’t being carried, she looked around, breathed deep and stood strong.  She didn’t see the squirrels, flowers, bunnies, millipedes or other dogs, but she knew she was in her favorite place with her favorite people.

  
She walked a little bit.  She was slow, she shuffled and almost fell when she traversed a little bank, but she went.  It was tiring though and made her pretty thirsty, so when she saw the river she waded right in!

  
She drank and drank and drank!  During the last three weeks at home she showed a keen appreciation for fresh, cold water.  Whenever we would change her water dish, she would dash over to her bowl (‘dash’ being a relative term) and lap it down as quickly as possible.  I think the river flowing directly into her mouth was the best thing we could have allowed her to experience.  She waded further and further into the water, getting wetter and wetter.  At one point, we realized she would lose her balance in the current if we kept letting her get deeper so we had to get her out.  Her dear papa picked her up, dripping from the river, and continued down the trail. 

 
While we were at the park, Gigi saw a bunch of little daisies and decided to make a daisy chain for Martha to wear for the rest of the day.  She never took them off.  After about an hour of wandering around her favorite stomping grounds, we picked her back up and carried her back to the car.  We headed home where Martha headed right to her bed and laid down, just tuckered out.  That was a lot of adventuring for a 98 year old girl!

  
Then it was time for goodbyes.  We each sat with her, stroking her ears, massaging her neck, scratching her chest, rubbing her legs and told her how much we would love and miss her.  Martha closed her eyes, thumped her tail once or twice and laid her head down.  She heard us.  She knew.

  
When we arrived at the vet’s office we carried her in, paid the bill and it became real.  All around her were tears and affirmations of love.  We were in a frenzy of panic, preparing to miss her, but Martha was the calm at the eye of the storm.  She laid on the table and never moved.  She didn’t object when they gave her the catheter or when they moved her from room to room.  She was dignified and beautiful in that moment and she seemed to teach us something.  I think she may have known what we were there for.  She relaxed, closed her eyes and went to sleep.  We knelt around her touching her with love and snipping a bit of her fur, when Bradley recognized that we accidentally dressed as the Scooby Gang one last time!  How appropriate that we usher out our best girl while dressed in the group costume that had her as the key player!  It was a lovely moment of kismet, but you can see yourself that she was totally crashed out, completely unmedicated:

  
But after that, the vet came in, Martha went to sleep and then she left us.  We stayed in the room and told her we loved her still.  Her spirit scampered around us like her puppy self and we sang Golden Slumbers, This is the Last Time and the songs we wrote for her and sang to her as a puppy.  It was a good last day, though short.  She is going to be missed every single day.  She was a good friend- the best friend.  Reliable, kind to a fault, enthusiastic and so full of love.  Rest in peace, Martha Dear.  Xxoo

 

Martha dog, Martha dog, running through the yard.
Martha dog, Martha dog, life’s not very hard!
Martha dog, Martha dog, always on the run.
Martha dog, Martha dog, life is very fun.

  
{Notice Jude, literally hanging onto her eyebrow, and little Scoobs is totally chill.  That’s my girl โค๏ธ}

*Four weeks before Martha died she started growing a big, hard tumor on her neck.  It rapidly took over, finally circling about 2/3 of her neck.  It wore her out and prompted food refusal, made breathing difficult, swallowing painful and, as a result, her body weakened significantly.  We made the appointment when she could no longer hold herself up to go to the bathroom, when she couldn’t walk further than 10 feet and when she refused all food- even delicious ham, roast beef and hot dogs that make non-vegetarians drool.  It was not an easy decision to make, but after her response at the vet’s, I have no doubt that it was the right thing to do.  I have no regrets, I just miss her like crazy cakes.

Yesterday

Being a nursemaid at home to a tonsillectomy patient is not easy.  Well, it’s easy, but mentally and physically it’s so flipping boring!!!  Yesterday I woke up and ran a few errands for my people then I came home and waited on the girl.  I brought her a variety of frozen things to soothe her tummy and throat while stimulating my mind with intellectual masterpieces like the Twilight movie series.😳  Hannah Montana marathons. 😧  Endless episodes of Gilmore Girls. 👍 While I can get behind an episode or two of the Gilmore Girls, I’m just not a sit-around-and-watch-tons-of-TV kind of girl anymore and I was going crazy!  So what did I do?  I ate a lot of Chex Mix and paid the price by feeling like garbage for the rest of the day.  I started wondering if I was actually sick, too, and then I looked at my diet and exercise habits since we started dealing with the daughter and dog drama.*  It has not been good.  I’ve been eating carbs and cheese with the occasional apple or orange thrown in to help with the guilt.  On top of that, I haven’t worked out in several days!  I’ve been getting my 10,000 steps in, but with all the trauma at my house I decided to forgive my commitment to working out until the storm passes.  However, after feeling like garbage yesterday I knew I needed to make a change.  First, I cooked up a pile of carrots, Brussels and broccoli to go with my chik last night.  Then I promised myself that I would run today.  I realized that running, or working out somehow, helps me to feel sane in the face of such adversity.

  
I feel so much better today.  I woke up, ate my usual breakfast, took Jude to school, medicated and fed all of my people (Bradley is ALSO sick and on antibiotics, now- when it rains it pours, I tell ya), made sure they were settled and tucked in, distracted by TV, and I went out for a run.  It was only supposed to be a 1.5 miler, just to get my blood pumping, but isn’t that funny how once you’re going that you find all these little ways to add 1/4 of a mile by running up this road or tracing through that cul-de-sac?  I certainly do.  And I was pleased as punch to be running consistently at a sub 11 minute mile pace!  When I came home, I was all too happy to sit down and watch the first installment of part four in the Twilight saga: Breaking Dawn.  😱  Edward and Bella are married now!  Squee!  It’s amazing what good food and physical activity will do for my spirit and bad vampire movie tolerance.  I need to remember this for the next time the going gets tough.  I need to take time off from worrying about my health, if I need it.  But sometimes I need to run, too.  Need.  And I always need to eat my vegetables.  Always.

In other news…  I follow a gal on Instagram (Hi Stacia!) who has monthly accountability groups.  This idea intrigued me greatly.  Saying it out loud makes it real.  Saying it out loud and getting support from a group of like minded people can be powerful, motivating and inspiring.  Surrounding yourself with people who have goals similar to yours can make you achieve better success.  I decided to create an accountability group on Facebook that will last until the end of the school year.  I just wanted it to motivate healthy, established habits as I head into summer.  I invited my Facebook community, but I wanted to invite you, too.  What will happen there?  It will be a safe, positive place where you can share your goals, brag about your accomplishments and ask for support!  I’m pretty excited!  If you’re interested in joining, please message me on Facebook through my Tamara Shazam page and I’ll add you to the secret group!  (Ooh-secret and exclusive- now you really want to!  And remember: if it’s not your jam you can leave at any time without hurting anyone’s feelings. 😉)  

 

{This was last fall at the kid’s school under the mighty oaks…  Martha has always loved to roll in the leaves, snow and grass.โค๏ธ}

*Martha is still with us.  The day after I posted about her not eating and me having to adult, she must have felt all of the kindness directed at her and she actually ate some ham.  Only half a pound, but it felt like her miracle.  The continued sunshine that allowed her to enjoy a few more days of laying in the grass also felt like her miracle.  I’m incredibly grateful for the extra time and summery days we’ve been granted with my dear pup.  I thank you all for your thoughts, your prayers, your positive vibes, your stories, your empathy…  Thank you for your kindness.  Tomorrow we are planing to take her to vet’s to say goodbye.   She hasn’t eaten anything more since her ham infused rally for life and has stopped getting up or wagging her tail when we come near her.  She just looks at us with her tired, watery, sad eyes.  I’ve been carrying her in and out of the house and she’s just a little 50 pound wash rag laying in the yard right now…  I think this is finally our time to say goodbye.

Adulting

There’s this new term that’s been floating around- it’s to ‘adult’ or ‘Adulting’, being used like a verb to describe the harder responsibilities of an adult’s life.  You know, like putting pants on.  It’s not so much the pants that are hard to out on as much as it’s about what the pants represent: getting out of bed in the morning.  Cooking food for your kids.  Cleaning up the dishes afterwards.  Going to work.  Coming back home and cleaning up the kitchen again.  Cooking more food and cleaning again…  It’s this cycle of adult responsibility that you repeat over and over with a smile on your face because you’re grateful for the privilege of responsibility.  But sometimes…  Last week I thought I knew what Adulting meant when I came home in a foul mood and just didn’t want to be responsible to anyone at that moment.  I wanted to lay on my bed and fume quietly without having to get back up to serve anyone.  However, I adulted that day.  I earned my Adulting ribbon by making dinner, cleaning it up and folding laundry.

But this week I really and truly learned what adulting means.  Adulting means letting your kid go under the knife to get her tonsils out.  It means taking a few days off of work to sit by her and hold her hand, letting her convalesce while running Popsicle and slurpee errands for her.  It meant staying at home with the boy, walking him to school and holding his hand at his classroom door while my other baby was meeting with the anesthesiologist and getting put to sleep.  Adulting meant I didn’t get to say goodbye to her, I didn’t get to kiss her or watch her get pushed through the operating room door, but I got to be with her in the recovery room.  That was scary and hard to let her go, but I adulted my way through it.  (Don’t worry- Bradley was there! And she’s doing great!!)

  
I’m also Adulting my way through my dog’s last days.  My best buddy, Martha, is at the end of her short, sweet life.  She’s two months shy of her 14th birthday right now and falling apart; a tumor started growing on her neck right around Easter and it’s literally choking her as it works it’s way around her neck.  It’s huge, hard and horrible.  We’ve known her ending is inevitable, but there’s always that hope for the miracle.  She is too important.  She’s my girl.  She’s my running, hiking and walking buddy.  She’s my ball throwing buddy, my stick tugging puppy…  She’s the dog I always wanted who would joyfully dive into the ocean’s surf at any moment.  She’s worth a miracle.  I’ve never called her my daughter or dog-ter, but I’ve often called her my sister.  I think of her as my friend- more or less a canine equal and I tried to honor her like that throughout her whole life.  I love her.  And she’s dying.  She stopped eating on purpose last Wednesday.  We took her to the vet on Friday and they looked at her and could only offer a mild antibiotic and pain meds to last just two weeks.  On Saturday she started spitting the food out that we tried to stuff in her mouth, trying to get her to eat something.  Hot dogs, ham and roast beef all come to the same end: floor fodder.  We unsuccessfully tried chicken broth.  So now she’s only drinking water and getting weaker by the day.  Today she could barely walk outside.  It’s one of the saddest things I’ve ever loved anyone through.  Truly, Adulting.  Who wants to put their pants on to take their dog to the vet’s because she wants to die?  So hard.

Needless to say, this week is focused on my loves.  On Adulting.  My boy needs to feel important in the shadow of his sister’s surgery.  My husband is recovering from a sinus infection.  My first baby, my Martha, will either starve herself to death or I have to take her to the vets to be euthanized tomorrow or the next day.  Adulting.  

I just won’t worry about running until I run for Martha and Curtis at the All in for Autism 10K on Sunday, then I’ll pour it all in.  Like an adult.

Spaaaahhhhhh

My friend invited me to the spa, and finally I went!  I’ve been promising myself a day at the Korean spa near my house.  It’s one of those where you go in and there’s several different sauna rooms that are supposed to do several different things to remove toxins from your system, while heating you up to a nice and toasty temperature.  But I never go.  I’ve been promising myself a visit for over two years and I have not gone.  Ever.  No reason- I just never justify it…  And then my friend, Andrea, pointed out that it’s so important to take a moment for self care.  That stress and intense focus need the counter balance of relaxing and letting go.  I realized that I always put that off.  I mean, I run and work out, and that’s definitely self care, but it’s an intense, stressful version.  Yes, it’s like therapy and it’s relaxing, but in a totally different way.  The spa is the counter to all of that, too.  If I push myself hard, I need the recovery opportunity, too.  I definitely justified it to myself enough and I just went without question.  Just that little nudge from her was all I needed.
So, naked spa.  Every time I have written about it here I have gotten some feedback of ‘oh I could never’ and ‘is everyone there perfect?’ And all that.  So I decided to kind of answer those worries for the woman who has never been…  

  
First, naked is optional.  You can wear a bathing suit in most of the Korean type spas I’ve gone to but I’ve only ever seen someone in a bathing suit once.  Well, it was a pair of someone’s and they came in together, one in a bathing suit and the other in a head to toe spandex number that made me wonder how the toxins we’re going to exit, that wrapped in Lycra, but that’s not my chicken*, as my dad would say.  Usually you get a robe and a towel or two for modesty and drying off issues.  In the spas I’ve gone to before, the robe or pajamas are used in the heated rooms but it’s a naked situation once you get into the pool room.  The place I went to this weekend, however, just had naked people walking around without bothering with towels and robes.  

What’s it like to be in a room full of naked people?  Once you get over yourself, it’s really not a big thing.  The weirdest part is the first time you slip the robe off and there you are, standing butt naked in the middle of a room.  My first time had me glancing around furtively for the first 20 minutes, but then I realized no one was staring at me, looking at me or anything so I just doused myself with mugwort water and got in the hot tub.  Once you get used to the ide of nakedness, you realize that you communicate with people in the exact same way you always do.  I observe people’s clothing as we come near one another but I don’t comb over their bodies and stare at their belt, shoes or shoulder pads while we talk.  I watch their faces and mouths as we talk and it’s no different at naked spas.  That said, I did have a moment this weekend when someone in my party approached the pool I was in and I turned around to say hello, I’m Tamara… and looked right up at her bush.  In a panic I quickly averted my eyes to her tummy- that’s safe, right?!  No!  Women treat their tummies like private parts!  Avert!  Avert!  Eyes continued up and there were her breasts… Suffice it to say that it only took about .75 seconds for me to make that transition to finally get to her face, but in that moment at that angle it was a little awkward to be making new friends.  But I must mention that it’s a sea of sameness- the only thing that really looks different is skin color.  The rest of it is just a blur of bumps and curves with light and dark spots.  I couldn’t tell you who had their legs shaved, c-section scars, saggy boobs or anything.  It just isn’t a focus when in the spa.  

Is everyone there a skinny Minnie?  No.  I’m there.  I’m not skinny.  Furthermore, while I do have a highly unusual body due to the whole 149 pounds lost thing, thankyouverymuch, I’ve never stood out as the fattest, weirdest, oddest…  I jokingly say that my body looks like a bigger person who had a rolling pin taken to her.  Flattened out like I’ve been steamrolled over.  But I don’t feel odd because we all are there.  There are extremely fat women there.  Skinny women.  Women covered with tattoos.  Women with burns.  Scars.  Hairy women.  Women with giant butts.  Women with huge or nonexistent boobs.  Athletes.  Mothers.  Grandmothers.  Hippies.  Plastic surgery darlings- we are all there, being women.  Honestly?  I find it empowering to walk among them.

Ok, but what do you do?  Sit, talk, sit, sweat, lay around.  Yesterday I went into the salt room- literally a room with a giant canvas bag on the floor that is filled with piping hot salt.  There were heat lamps and I laid my towel down on the floor and laid down on top of it.  Drea joined me and we chatted, sweated, laughed and sweated and chatted some more.  Two more people joined us and we sat in there chatting until I felt slick with sweat and hot as anything and we all headed into the 96 degree pool, followed by the hot sauna, pool, steam room, pool…  Etc.  We dunked down in the cold pool and then sizzled in the sauna- it was a good time.  After about two and a half hours, we dried off and headed out.  All my sore spots felt so much better after the spa!  

   
I’ve decided that spa days should be part of my diet.  I don’t know if I can afford to go every month- it was $36 to spend the morning at Ladywell’s Vitality Spa- which isn’t a lot but it also is a lot- but my body felt better after I went.  I’m not sure I believe in all the toxin cleansing stuff, based on what mineral is being heated in my presence, but I do know that healing happens.  Those falls I took last week took a toll on my body.  I’ve been sore.  My shoulder and back hurt, my hips been aching.  Not fun.  After the spa, though, my shoulders are amazing and my back seems totally better.  Maybe it’s the placebo effect, maybe it’s the true power of eastern medicine, but it doesn’t matter to me.  Spa was good and I’m better for it.  ๐Ÿ™‚

  
I’ve been to the following places for this kind of experience:

Olympus Spa- Lynnwood This is a bigger spa that shares its parking lot with a Chuck-E-Cheese and record store.  You wouldn’t expect to find such a lovely, clean place of peace and tranquility inside.  There are lots of rooms, lots of saunas, lots of tubs and lots of places to chill, lay around, read a book, chat quietly or have tea.  It’s a heavenly place and a bit busier than the others I’ve been to.  Most people wear robes in the heated rooms but the wet room with the steam, sauna and showers was a no clothing affair.  Ladies only, here.

Bella Luna- Lynnwood Both men and women can enjoy this place.  You get these odd little Capri pants, a pajama top and an odd little top hat to wear into the sauna rooms at Bella Luna.  The heated rooms are all co-Ed and, while it does the job, it’s not quite as polished as Olympus.  Unpainted edges, worn stuff- it’s just slightly more used feeling.  The pool room is not co-Ed and women were unclothed, except the women who gave massages and scrub downs.  They were wearing lacy panties on the day I happened to be there.  I got scrubbed down, naked on a table in front of everyone, with dial antibacterial soap, but it was a hell of a scrubbing that left me pink and shiny.  They even washed my hair with it.  I’d go back if a friend wanted to go there, but it’s not my number one place.

Ladywell’s Vitality Spa-Seattle. You would never guess that there’s a day spa where Ladywell’s is.  It’s just a little strip mall, but then when you get back behind the curtain it’s a whole, big spa!  There were three saunas- hot, salt and steam- and three tubs- hot, 96 degrees and freezing cold.  It was smaller, so I think as a result it felt much less necessary to have a robe on all the time.  We just carried our towels with us from place to place and no one bothered much with modesty.  I felt really comfortable here, though it did get crowded the longer we stayed.  By 12:30, when we left, it was looking to get a bit cozier in the tubs than I may have wanted to and there were people there with bathing suits on arriving.

*’That’s not my chicken’ means that I would do it differently but I don’t judge how you are choosing to do it.  It all came about when my dad and a friend were preparing chicken to cook one night and neither thought the others’ would be as good as his own, but they decided to each his own, that’s not my chicken, he’s the one who has to eat it, not me.  

Word on the Streak

Well, today I finished my ‘streak’.  I didn’t end it with a big, giant, 10-mile run like I was planning, rather I ended with a little more than a 10 kilometer run.  ๐Ÿ˜‰ (That’s 6.5 miles, instead.) Yesterday while I was out on my run I kept getting texts.  Since texts can mean emergencies, I kept trying to check my Garmin (I can read texts on the mini screen) and my phone but the sun was shining, I got distracted and learned why I shouldn’t text and drive.  I fell.  Twice.  Within about one block of one another.  The people on that block were probably wondering who the drunk woman running down their road was…  I earned a bruised knee and scraped up palms, but nothing to get too excited about.  This morning I woke up a little sore, but still planned on running a longer run until I got all hopped up on adrenaline from a feisty conversation and tried to be a gazelle on the trail run portion of my route.  I made it within 20 feet of where I planned to start walking and bit it as i went over a root but my toe caught one and sent me flying!  Three falls in two days- I hope that means I’m done.  I got home and feel pretty sore in my back and shoulders, now.  I’m glad I learned that lesson the hard way on foot, though, rather than in my car- don’t text and run/drive!  LOL!

   
Regarding the streak, I am pleased.  It was fun to prove to myself that I can run many days in a row without having an adverse reaction in my body.  It was interesting to learn that two miles seems like a small distance, now.  When I ran, running less than three miles felt like cheating.  I like knowing that my short distance is now three miles.  Cool!  I also liked learning that I can run further distances within the shorter distances without getting overly tired.  Indeed, I felt the stress on my muscles the next day after I fell, but for the most part, I was resilient and capable.  While I would like to continue on with it, I’m not sure that’s realistic as the year winds to a close.  I have a huge museum project with my students, I’m coordinating a talent show, my Martha dog is really not doing well and just the stress of having a husband and children and house and job….  It’s a lot to add the pressure of running every day into that.  I need to add in some grace so I think I want to try to work out at least five days a week.  Perhaps I’ll start there with consistent running and Zumba, then in the summer, when I’m not working at school, I can start a streak that could potentially rocket into September.  I want to lose ten pounds before the end of the school year, too.  Big time.  If I could start my summer in the 180’s, that could be amazing.  Not because I’d have any more of a beach body than I do now, but becasue of the accomplishment of meeting a goal.  

So, here we go into the last fifty days of the 2015-2016 school year!  Cheers to you all!

Beignets for Breakfastย 

  
My parents just got back from New Orleans and brought back a souvenir of Beignet mix.  Beignets, if you don’t know, are fried hunks of bread that are plopped, hot and dripping, into powdered sugar and are a specialty of New Orleans.  We learned about them through the Disney movie: The Frog Princess and have eaten them at Disneyland so we were pretty excited about them.  However, being that fried food is hardly ever made in our house (I allow one fry day per year, tops), we decided to see what else we could fry and grabbed a few potatoes to make potato chips.  Potato chips were alarmingly simple to make and two potatoes made a huge bowlful.  Which we ate.  For breakfast.  With our deep-fried-sugar-coated Beignets…  Ohmygoodness it was delicious.  We also fried some marshmallows and I was open to other things, but we got sick of fried stuff pretty quick and moved on.  Then I had that awful ‘I just ate more fried stuff than I have in a year’ kind of feeling and decided I needed to get out on the streets to run at least a little bit of it off!  I chose a nice and hilly route for maximum burn, but with that crappy food in my belly, running was rough.  I had a side stitch for much of it and felt much more distracted than I usually am which makes me feel like my fuel was subpar, making my run harder.  It was more difficult today to just let go and enjoy the run, space out, look at the sky…  I was constantly wanting to check my distance and get it over with.  Tomorrow, before I run I’m eating some good nutrition to assist me.  I’m planning on doing my longer run of 8-10 miles before I head back to school on Monday for the last 50 days of school before summer break!  It already feels like summer though.  It’s been in the 70’s a lot this week and I’ve been loving it!  

Treadmill

It’s funny how one day you’re all gung-ho about something (running) and the next day the thought of doing that very thing (running) seems like the most annoying thing in the world ever.  I even considered breaking my streak with a ‘meh, I was just seeing if I could.’  But, once again, I had that little angel?  Devil?  Whatever it is, on my shoulder whispering that the Tamara who made this whole streaking goal would be mightily disappointed if I failed to make it.  I love/hate how the goals I set for myself have so much sway when the going gets tough.  I hate being disappointed in myself and I really want this silly streak, thing!  😜  

Today I just battled the end-of-vacation-blues, I think.  I know, it’s no biggie, but a week can simply fly by and this week certainly did.  It was busy in an errand-running kind of way.  There were definitely high points, but I didn’t get nearly enough accomplished that I intended to so I was kind of surly and sour from the get go this morning.  I didn’t want to run.  At all.  We had a busy morning and by the time I had a moment to think of running it was later in the afternoon and the sun was shining warmer than I like to run in.  See how good I am at talking myself out of running?  Finally I decided to take it easy on myself and allowed myself to watch brain-mush TV while running on the treadmill in my garage.  Once I got rolling, of course it got fun and I ended up running at a 5 mph pace for 3.1 instead of 2.0!  I know I love it when I get going so I’m not sure why I fight it so hard!  That said, that picture makes it look like I was having way more fun than I actually was.  I agree.  Running isn’t that fun.  ๐Ÿ˜‰

A note about treadmill running: it’s totally different than street running- both easier and harder.  It’s easier becasue you don’t have to think.  You can get lost in your music, your thoughts, your tv show, your conversation, whatever.  You don’t have to think about crossing streets, if what you’re wearing is bright enough and whether or not that person is going to hit you because they’re texting.  Also?  It’s easier to run with no potholes, curbs, hills, valleys or anything.  You just go.  Without hills, though, you never push hard then take it easy on the other side.  Boring.  On a treadmill it can feel more difficult because you just go and go and go and go and never slow down.  Keeping that consistent pace can be a challenge, a metronome, a boom-boom-boom.  Also?  Snore.  It’s so boring to run in my garage, no matter how much drama those housewives are bringing!  I love to look at the sky, look at the trees, smell the flowers, feel the sun…  I love that.  My garage is not inspiring.  At all.  

I thought it was interesting to note the trajectory my steps are on.  It looks like my count is getting back up there again!  Yahoo!  

Streaking

Oh yeah, baby.  I’m a streaker.  I’ve been streaking for six days now.  So streaky of me, no?  I marveled today to my mom (who is here with my dad and sick like crazy) that I’ve been running six whole days in a row now and I’m not feeling any bad side effects.  Usually I get to about day three of running in a row and I start to get all concerned and feeling like I’ve ‘earned’ a break.  I don’t know why I need to ‘earn’ a break or why I think I need a break when I’m feeling just fine.  I suppose that’s what my lesson is supposed to be from this experiment: my body can handle it.    

I remember when I first started running and wanting to stop.  My lungs are on fire!  My legs are sore!  My heart is beating out of control!  It was all true, but did I need to stop?  No.  I learned that I could push myself past all of that.  I learned that I could run a whole minute, a whole mile, a whole 5k, 10k, 15k, half marathon…  All because I decided to try to push beyond my limits to see what would happen, and what happened was that I got stronger.  Consistently.  I showed myself that yes, I can.  Why a running streak would be any different for me is anyone’s guess.  I’m realizing that I’ve built up all these walls for myself, designating what I can and can’t do, and some of the stuff I think I can’t do I can.  Can you see what I’m saying?  ๐Ÿ˜‰ Seriously, though, it’s getting to the point where if I think I can’t do something then I just feel like I should probably try it out.

  
It shouldn’t surprise me, then, that I’m fine, six days in.  Great, in fact.  My legs feel fine.  My shoulders feel solid.  My back feels strong.  I’m not overly hungry or tired or anything.  The next day when I do go for my run, everything feels fine and normal- no different than when I skip a day or so.  Actually, I’m wondering if this might be more effective…  Anyhow, my non-doctor opinion is that all is good in the hood.  I’m digging running every day and like the no excuses kind of attitude I’ve taken with myself about it.  I’m considering continuing the streak and keep thinking to myself that if I miss a single day I’ll have to start over, so do I even want to stop?  One more thing to be manic about, I suppose.  Today we did a mixture of trail/street/neighborhood running for a nice 5 and some change mile loop.  We ended up getting lost around Bastyr (the college that shares space with St. Edward Park) and found a ropes course that just hangs out up in the trees there permanently.  It made me want to invest in some equipment to ascend it!  Anyhow, I’m loving the streak and am so glad I started one!  

(Also loving my new pink and purple long sleeved running shirts I got at Target on clearance this week!!!)