Sunday, June 30, 2013

30 Days of a New Habit

So today marks day 30 of trying to eat healthier. The day is not over yet but I'm confident I'll make it. :).

Was I perfect. Heck no!! A co-worker went to Ireland this month and brought back Irish chocolate caramels. So yeah, I had some. Proud that I had three over three days instead of three in one day. Also, I didn't stick to giving up creamer in my coffee. Wawa Dark Roast with a splash of Irish Creamer is good. I am being careful to keep it to a splash though. Just enough. This past Friday I had a totally "off the wagon" dive into the M&M jar at home.Not going to shoot myself over it but definitely not proud of that!

The key to that one is trying to figure out why it happened. Can't say for sure but this past week was the most disorganized of the 4 weeks. During the first three I was careful to plan out my three meals. What each would consist of and shop accordingly. I got out of whack this week, got a little cocky and tried to wing it. While I did keep the grains off my plate and I did manage to have protein, veggie and fruit at each meal I don't think I had enough. I was still hungry and Friday came and I lost it. And yes I know I should have gone for a veggie or fruit based snack. *Shrug*. Stuff happens.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

St Peter's Village

Today I drove out to St. Peter's Village in Chester County to explore the trails there. I can't believe I've lived here as long as I have and didn't know this was here. Yesterday I selected a 30 mile radius using this cool mapping tool. I can't remember where I was introduced to this tool. Probably in someone's blog or on Facebook. It's very useful and it is how I found this village and trails. My camera battery was shot so there are no photos. I need to check into that as it should not have been used up already. Annoying but now I have an excuse to go back so I can show you what I saw.

Not that I need one. Today was a great day. After a week + of daily summer thunderstorms and humidity today started out humid but burned off quickly. I arrived about 10:15 and walked the roughly block and a half that constitutes the town first. There is a bakery, an ice cream parlor and an 'antique' arcade. Antique because it has no electronic games that most kids play today. It's mostly pinball games that I grew up playing. (We had one in the basement of our house for a time too). There is also an Inn and I think we should go back there for dinner sometime. It sits along the creek (as does the whole town). The creek was especially rapid today due to all the rain we've had. It sounded glorious and had I brought dry clothes to change into I would have been sorely tempted to jump boulders and risk getting soaked. I had errands to run on my way home though and didn't want to be in the Acme smelling like a drowned rat. Next time for sure!

Next I wandered over the creek to check out the trails.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

98% Certain This is a Benign Issue

That's what the doctor said. (Insert Happy Dance here)

I have to go back in for a treadmill test. Probably in about two weeks. Doc wants to see exactly what happens when I run. But if that test jives with everything else he's seen and heard then all is good. The office staff were having difficulty accessing the doctor's schedule at Crozer so they will call me. He usually works out of that hospital and said he'd prefer to do it himself so he can talk about the results right then. That works for me! :)

The diagnosis is PVC's: Premature Ventricular Contractions - extra beats originating from the ventricles (lower heart chambers). Combined with other underlying conditions that may be a problem. I have none of those and in fact I am in 'excellent health'. Doc's words. :)

Doc spent a good hour with me asking questions. Some of them were the same question asked in a different way but that is a good thing. His diagnostic skills are excellent. It helped me relate all the necessary details. The heart runs on electricity (I knew that part) and like any other electrical system it is subject to short circuit from time to time. Some people have 10,000 of these extra beats a day! The holter monitor I wore for 24 hours revealed 27 extra beats; 25 from the ventricles 2 from the atria. I've probably been having them all along just never noticed them before.

"So", says the doctor, "Why did you suddenly start feeling as many as you did that day you were running and why do you feel like in the past two months that it has gotten worse (more incidents)". I almost hugged him. That's exactly what I was getting ready to ask. :)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blockbuster Weekend Part II

Sunday - June 23

Today I went to Forbidden Drive for a 2 hour guided hike. I had a good time but probably would have had just as much fun on my own or with friends just wandering around. One thing I learned is that there are way more trails there than I ever imagined. I think it would make a great bucket list item to try to cover all 50 miles of identified trails. But I'd likely get sidetracked on the unofficial trails. At any rate I expect to spend time back there. Now I see why the trail running group likes to go there so often.

Summer is still coming along nicely. It's more humid today and in the last few hours it's gotten a lot more humid. There is a chance of thurnderstorms just about every day this week. After the last few days there is no room to complain about that.


I'm not brave enough to take a photo from the front.
It's a narrow ledge and a long way down.

The only covered bridge inside the city limits of a major US city.
Click here for more photos.

BTW, I'm not sure why I titled these last two posts blockbuster weekend. Probably because I'm thinking of summer starting and that's usually when all the big movies come out.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blockbuster Summer Weekend Part I

Saturday June 22-

It's a little more humid today but nothing a few extra bottles of water can't handle. Summer is two days old now and doing it right.

Today I went for a walk/hike around trails at Haverford Reserve. If you are local this is what they built on the old Haveford State Hospital site. It's now a mix of community center, ball fields, playgrounds, trails and residences for people with lots of money. The residences that is not the other stuff. The recreational stuff is open to plain folk like me! I've been wanting to check out these trails for some time now and today was the perfect day to do so  - not just for the weather. The Misery Loves Company trail runners (remember the Rode to Joy?) were doing a point to point run from Swarthmore College to Haverford College as a farwell run with Gabby who is moving to South Carolina next week. Leave it to Pete to find a route of that distance that covers more trails than paved roads. Actually where we live is full of secret and not so secret trails if you care to look for them. I knew the last leg of their route would be through this area so that's why I chose today. Here is a photo of Gabby and Me when they arrived. (Courtesy of Pete because I exhausted the battery on my camera taking photos on the trail.)
 
 


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why Aren't You Eating Bread

Dave asked me this last week. Although in my head I knew I had good reasons I bonked on giving him an explanation. My attempt to verbalize my thoughts was feeble at best. Yet, being the good sport that he is, he nodded as if what I said made sense. Since then, I've been working on how to explain it better. Also there were comments left earlier that I think I can answer here.

#1) Basic old (currently less active) person biology/nutrition - Carbs break down into sugar which is stored in the body for energy. The body can only store so much sugar and the rest turns to body fat. I don't need/want any more body fat. I need energy but I'm choosing to get my carbs from fruit and veggies which give me more nutrition bang for my calories.

#2) Bread, pasta and cereal are processed foods that make for lazy ineffective meals. It's just too easy to pour a bowl of cereal or make a sandwich. Besides being too easy, these items fill me up quickly and leave little room for the more nutrient rich fruits and veggies. Plus after a heavy carb meal it's not too long before I'm hungry again and craving a snack. Without bread, pasta or cereal I'm forced to plan what I'm going to eat and make it worthy.

Each meal - three times a day - has some kind of meat, fish, eggs, or dairy (note the OR - not a meat AND a dairy product), a veggie and a fruit.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

US Open at Merion.

I'm not much of a full size (opposite of miniature?) golf fan. But when the US Open is in your backyard it's kind of hard to ignore.

The 2013 tournament is being played at Merion Golf Club. Merion Golf Cub is in Ardmore, PA not Merion, Pa. Ardmore, PA is partially in Haverford Township and partially in Lower Merion Township. Guess which part the Merion Golf Course is in. Of course it's in the Haverford Township portion. Makes perfect sense doesn't it?


About as much sense as this BLUE sign for the RED parking lot at Rose Tree Park which was originally slated to be a satellite parking area for the Open. RTP was closed as a parking venue on Monday after heavy rains caused the ground to become so soft that cars got stuck. The alternate parking lot is Granite Run Mall.
 
A few weeks ago I took a walk around the park and noticed this .... I wondered what it was for and now I think the mystery is solved. This new "driveway" allows - or would have allowed - the buses to get farther back in the pack of cars to load and off-load people.
 
A little research on my part these past few days -because golf really isn't my thing- and I can tell you that Merion Golf Club was the site of a win by Ben Hogan in 1950; 16 months after a head on collision with a bus nearly killed him. In 1971 it was the site of a playoff open between Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino that Trevino won. I actually remember that one. Sort of.

In 1971, the US Open at Merion was even more in my backyard than today. In the summer of 1971 my family moved from Havertown (right next to Ardmore) to Bala Cynwyd. I remember having tv's on in both houses as we lugged stuff the movers weren't going to move between houses.

In other news .... lol .... on my wander walk today I noticed a sticker on a stop sign. It simply said getlost.com. Has anyone else seen these? I am very intrigued.
 
Ok, now it's time to grill some steaks, bake some potatoes and make as salad. Happy Father's day to all those for whom that is appropriate.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Movie Review

I went to see "Spirit of the Marathon II" last night at the IMAX Regal in King of Prussia. The same theater where Brad Pitt made a surprise visit last week for the opening of "World War Z".

"I" was much better than "II".

"II" was inspiring, yes. But honestly I am inspired watching a race - any race. The fact that this one was the 2012 Rome Marathon added fuel to the desire to do more travel events. The scenery was amazing. What a way to see a city. What I didn't enjoy was the backstories of the runners they chose to follow this time.

I understand that running (or any fitness challenge) can change your life. The mental and physical benefits are amazing. But you do not have to be in the pits to reap the rewards. I feel like if this was my first marathon movie I'd be thinking that running only for folks who are overcoming adversity or trying to run off some bad thing that happened to them or someone they loved.

One of my fitness buddies commented that sequels are typically less exciting then the originals.

On a more positive note, I thoroughly enjoyed the group I was with to see the movie. We met at 6:30 for a 7:00 start so we could get seats together. That and the fact that the movie started late gave us time to catch up. This greatly boosted my earlier blue mood. I woke up feeling REALLY tired this morning. But the boost from seeing my fitness friends last night has renewed my commitment to get out on Saturdays whether I feel like it or not.

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Message From the Past.

So I've been a little blue the past few days. I'm not sure of the cause exactly. The  obvious answer is I miss running but what I really miss is my fitness friends. The past three weekends I've been unable to meet up with the group. On Sunday I bailed on helping out at a race where I could have seen many of them. I did get some much needed sleep but I missed something else I needed. And likely the feeling that I needed to sleep was due to being a little down about missing my friends and well...it can be a vicious cycle can't it?

 In my last post I commented that I'm a little lost without a goal. In today's email there appeared day 1 of a 21-day yoga challenge I signed up for almost a month ago and had forgotten about. Yay! Now I have something to commit to and a goal to complete all 21 days! Funny how these things work out sometimes. Funny and maybe just a little bit spooky. :) 

Today's session focused on easy movements with focus on breathing through them. It was only 15 minutes so I did it twice. That was the only way I'd get 30 minutes of exercise today. It has been raining like crazy today. like tropical storm without the wind crazy. The next batch is due in about half an hour and the radar shows tons more rain and thunderstorms too! 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Another Smiling Summer Weekend

SATURDAY

I started the weekend teaching a class. Twice a year we have orientation on Saturdays for new REALTORS who just can't make it on a weekday. It's a mind game to get up for it but once my butt is out of bed I'm fine. Teaching this class is one of my favorite things about my job. I was home just before 4 to rest my feet and change my clothes and then Dave and I walked into Media to have dinner with friends and listen to some of the music going on for Media's annual Blues Stroll.

I had almost forgotten it was this weekend. We had decided not to get tickets because Dave was supposed to have games all day and into the evening. So I was glad when Maggi messaged that she and Russ were planning to come into Media and did we want to meet up. It was nice night to be outside. We were able to dine outside at Sposato's and listen to some music at the Plum Street outside Seven Stones Cafe. Unfortunately, yours truly had to bail early for need of a bathroom. We would not have stayed a whole lot later though since we both had early wake ups for Sunday.

SUNDAY

Well so much for the early wake up. I was supposed to help out at the Oddyssey Half Marathon today. I bailed. Dave left for his ball games and I went back to sleep. I took my guilty feelings out on chores: defrosted the basement freezer, cleaned the kitchen including mopping the floor; walked to Acme to shop for produce then chopped and cooked for meals the first half of this week. I also paid the bills and balanced / closed out our budget for May. There was even a little bit left over to add to our savings. Yay :) After I finished that I tried to get through a few more pages of "Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All". I've got 15 pages to go to finish book 1.

Despite the challenge of being away from home at the beginning of this week, I did an acceptable job of minding what I was eating. This week I want to keep going and also get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. I've slacked off and I know I need it to keep my mood in check. Without a goal I'm floundering. :( I'm looking forward to maybe getting out with some fitness buddies next weekend.
The US Open (golf) is happening at Merion Golf Club this week. It will be a traffic nightmare for some around here. I'm hoping they don't discover my back roads. ;)

Heart update: I have noticed that - in addition to exercise - the flutters also become much more noticeable if I am under-hydrated, tired, or too long between meals. I mention this because it occurs to me that there is a lesson to be learned. Eating, hydration, and rest are essential ALL the time. A person's heart likely works harder/stresses anytime your body is not properly fueled, watered and rested. We take it for granted as it compensates and beats along its merry way. Whatever my issue is now, is just causing my heart to nag me for not taking care of it. These reminders are keeping me on track. After I get my heart fixed I hope I remember to continue to treat it well.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Work and Fun in Harrisburg

Sunday through Wednesday (today) I was in Harrisburg, PA for our state association business meetings. These meetings are held three times a year. The title suggests I combined work with fun in these past three days. Truth is I love my job so much that it's not really work anymore. In addition to information, I get a lot out of these meetings learning the perspectives of REALTORS across the state. The rules and regulations that govern these folks is universal but the way they practice within those parameters is not and it can be fascinating (and yes sometimes scary).

A couple of years ago I started taking the train rather than driving. It's about the same amount of travel time but on the train I can leave later on Sunday and catch up on business or pleasure reading on the trip.
I tried to take a photo of the sunset we chased on the way
to Harrisburg on Sunday. It was much prettier than this
photo allows.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Weekend Win All Around

Yesterday we went with the Media Lions Club on a bus trip to Atlantic City. I don't think either of us has any real hankering to spend time in AC but it was for a good cause so why not.

When we arrived we were given debit style cards for $20 to be spent in the casino - Trump Plaza. I'm not a big fan of Donald Trump but the cards were only good in that casino so we headed to the 25 cent slots. I ended up walking away with $34 which covered half our dinner bill at the buffet at Ceasars. I'm glad we went to the buffet because it made it a lot easier to choose my food wisely. I could see what I was getting so better able to stick to the plan. I said I wouldn't bore you with details of my menus but I think I deserve big high fives for what I DID NOT eat.

Chocolate and Peanut Butter!!!!!!
Dave is really lucky he 's married because no less than three times he asked "Are you sure you don't want to taste this?" The way I see it 'for better or worse' means my reply is "No thank you" instead of a smack upside the head.

Today we went to see "Star Trek: Into Darkness". It was way cool and tons better than the first Star Trek prequel. LACarolynG - if you have not seen the movie and you are a trek fan you must go see it. There is a scene just for you!!!! If you are not a fan I'll tell you in a private message about it ;) I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. I loved the parallels and references to other Start Trek stuff especially the eventual use of the deflector shield (I was getting worried they wouldn't). I can't say more without giving things away to those who might still want to see it. And for once I saw a movie early in  it's run so there might actually be people who didn't yet. :)  However, for the family reading this you'll get a chuckle that one of the technical producers was Tommy Gormley. (Gormley is my maiden name for those non family readers). But I don't think my brother was EVER called Tommy in his entire life.

I must be getting old, less picky or maybe ....just maybe movies are returning to 'normal'. I saw trailers for more than one movie I'd actually go see. Usually I'm lucky if there is one and most of them don't even make it to the maybe category. Last Vegas can't help but be funny with Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro and Kevin Kline. And when the preview for Ender's Game came on I leaned over and told Dave I wanted to see it before I even know what it was about. Harrison Ford... do I really have to say more? Despicable Me two is coming out. I never saw DM One but so many people I know loved it I think we should rent One and then go see Two.

I may try to read the book Ender's Game before seeing the movie. However, first I have to read "The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All" If you've already read it please don't give anything away. My sisters - Kt, Meg and Christine have begun our own virtual book club. We have no idea how this will work and that's half the fun. We live in Media, PA; Lansdowne, PA; Clinton, NJ; and Kissimmee, Fl. I'll let you know. I generally read more than one book at a time but I already had another one started so I've got a ways to go before I can get to Ender's Game.

Tonight I'm off to Harrisburg, PA for three days of work meetings. I'll also get to do some "Wander Walking" there and there is a group outing to the Harrisburg Senators baseball game on Tuesday. I'll blog from there if fatigue and my Ipad allow. Until then ---

"Live Long and Prosper" which is kind of another way to say "Keep Smiling and Keep Moving".