Passing by…

Passing by…

I am back on the trail and running at 50% of my usual mileage and running slower.  Sigh, rehab!   I think I have been running and biking on this trail for about 5 years.  My running buddy and I have gotten used to seeing some familiar faces over the years.  We call these dudes our “boyfriends”.  These guys appear to be over 60 and look strong and dedicated.  One of them wears a hydration pack and runs a minimum of thirteen miles from our calculations.  Another guy rides his bike for at least 30+ miles.  So this summer, we haven’t seen any of these guys around.  We cannot figure out what happened to them.  They just disappeared.  We miss them.  I mean, we have gotten used to seeing them every week.  They wave and say “hi” and we wave back.  I hope they come back.  They were so inspirational.  Meanwhile, we have seen a few new ones…not the same though.

IMG_0264

Back on the trail again…although slowly

Back on the trail again…although slowly

IMG_0263

My last post was back in June.  The kids and I were in Chicago for three weeks.  That may seem long to some, but we only see grandparents and cousins twice a year.  Chicago is just wonderful in the summer.  We do all the museums every year and find new restaurants.  Both my kids are into running this summer, so the Lakeshore trail and the Northwestern track were a daily must-do.  Unfortunately, my mom ended up in the urgi-care first and then the ER for two days.  Luckily, all her tests came back normal, although her mystery chest pain is still lingering.  Weight loss is still the key to this mystery.  My twelve year old son got his grandparents some clip-on Fitbits.  So cute.  They have 10,000 daily steps as a goal.  My mom has lost several pounds since…keeping my fingers crossed.IMG_0270On the day we came back to North Carolina, I woke up with the worst sinus infection.  It lasted all of July and even with a z-pak.  In addition to my troubles, I had to have a toenail removed from a subungal hematoma (runner’s toenail).  And, my ankle with the metal plate and six pins was swelling and painful in one area.  Oy vey!  After a visit to the Ortho and three X-rays later, I was put on a “back to running” protocol.  The hardware looked solid and it is a soft tissue issue.  Rhyme intended.  I am really bad at following this sort of thing.  Because in my mind, I am still 18 and invincible.  However, I am taking it easy.  I haven’t run ten miles since Chicago and I have built up to around 4.  Boy, it takes patience to rehab.  I know this all too well having a shattered ankle 9 years go, but it is still hard.  I just want to go run!  I am being good and doing my stretches and exercises.  I keep reminding myself that if my mom can work up to 15,000 steps a day, I too can be patient, have self-control and take it slow.  I will be back.IMG_0271

Family Fun?

Family Fun?

I cannot believe that I forgot hand sanitizer for our plane ride to Chicago!  I managed not to freak out for the hour and forty-five minute flight.  I have really mellowed as a mom and as a person.  My two kids and I love going to Chicago.  Both my two younger sisters and my parents live here.  The tall buildings, parks, museums and restaurants are always fun in the summer.

It has become complicated over the years however.  I think we are all getting set in our ways.  All three of us sisters were close growing up.  We still fight about what’s cool and where to eat and who’s at fault.  There was always competition between both my younger sisters.  The youngest trying to boss the middle.  That dynamic still remains today.   I am the oldest.  Two years older than my middle sister and almost six years older than my youngest.  Nowadays, the youngest tries to boss all of us around!   One sister was annoyingly sensitive, the other was super bossy.  I was their fearless leader because I was the eldest and the tallest and sometimes, the meanest.


These days the schedule revolves around our kids. I have two and my middle sister has two around the same age.  The interesting thing is that the younger generation also has a heirarchy just like we did.  It’s very entertaining to watch all four cousins interact.  There’s the sensitive one, the bossy one, the crier, and the leader…

Running…out of patience.

Running…out of patience.

IMG_0294

This is how I feel after a long run.  Pure bliss, nirvana, happiness and satisfaction.  Running has been my hobby for over 30 yrs.  My two younger sisters and I have completed several marathons and sprint triathlons.   I am now happy to just run my 25-30 miles a week.  I don’t need to compete with any one else but my self and I don’t feel the need to race anymore.  Running and a healthy diet also helped me lose some baby fat as a teenager.

One of my undergraduate degrees is in Nutrition. I have tried over the years to tell friends and family about the joys and benefits of running and eating healthier.  Some got it, but others scoffed.  That’s ok.

One of those scoffers, is my 68-year-old mother who has gained twenty pounds in the last five years.  Most of the weight gain has been from inactivity and eating badly while traveling the world.  She has been told by her doctors to lose those pounds.  Severe acid reflux, foot and joint pain, tiredness and the inability to walk distances are symptoms of her weight gain.  Even a ten pound weight loss can reduce her ailments.  I talk to her every day about making sure that she gets her walks in.  Walking is an excellent way to lose weight.  She has good days and bad days.  Most people don’t realize how sedentary they are.  On the days that I don’t run, my steps are astonishingly low!  She has finally agreed to wear a Fitbit and log her meals into a fitness app.  This is going to be a quite a challenge for me and her!  I am crossing my fingers.

IMG_0068

 

Hello Sunshine?!

Hello Sunshine?!

IMG_0290

The weather forecast today in Raleigh is rain, rain and clouds.  Grey skies immediately put me in a different mood.  A melancholy and irritable mood.  Is it just me?  Does this happen to you?  Really, I have no reason to be a grumpy, but I am.  Fighting it is futile.  The sun is so powerful.  It has peeked out a few times and I got my hopes up.  Ah, but my hopes were dashed when new clouds moved in.  Rain forecast for the next five days.  It might be time for a double espresso…

Coffee

Coffee

espresso

I can’t remember the first time I ever drank coffee.  I am however, hooked.  Good coffee is such a pleasure.  I do brew my own espresso.  It’s a ritual that I look forward to once in the morning and early afternoon.

 

IMG_0073

They do brew some magical coffee in the little road side coffee shops in South India.  It’s served piping hot in metal lotas (cups) and metal saucers.  As a kid, I was enamored with canned coffee in Japan.  Not only did the vending machines serve cold coffee, they served hot coffee and tea!  I must have drank at least 30 coffees during our trip.  The cans were works of art and had really cool designs.  UCC, Pokka…

 

IMG_0001

I have two sisters, one that drinks coffee and one that doesn’t.  The sister that doesn’t drink coffee has sparkling white teeth.  She’s a dentist who actually doesn’t brush her teeth twice a day!  My parents drink coffee also.  My dad and I argue about who’s coffee is better.  He’s very loyal to his Nespresso.  I prefer to grind my own beans.  Lavazza, Intelligentsia, Illy…  I will be in Chicago in June.  There are several new coffee places and  I want to try.  Will keep you posted.

 

Spring Time

Spring Time

Jodes…

I love drawing pictures of Jodes.  She’s a fancy, sylish and single girl in the city.  These illustrations chronicle her life at the moment.  She’s fun to get to know and there’s no one like her.  Stay tuned for more…