Thursday, May 20, 2010

Help! Best Marathon Cheering Sign?

This is a plea for help. My friend Xenia is coming up to Edinburgh to run in the Edinburgh Marathon on Sunday. I've never spectated or cheered at a marathon before and I'd like to do it properly. Of course I can come up with an unimaginative sign that says something like, "Go Xenia!! Go!" But I want to do better.

Ideas? Suggestions? Please, please, please, bring them on!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

On Dishwashing

As my family and friends all know, I'm not the best housekeeper. And my least favorite household chore is probably dishwashing. No, it's definitely dishwashing. Something about icky dishes and icky dish water and getting my hands wet. So, the dirty dishes have a tendency to build up.

What in the world does this have to do with anything? A while back, I noticed a correlation between dishwashing and self-care. No really, it's like the dirty dishes are the canary in the coal mine. Danger! Danger! Theresa is falling off the self-care wagon! Proper sleep has probably ceased happening. Healthy eating likely is taking a slide, too, because when the dishes aren't being washed, cooking is not happening either. And exercise? Let's not even talk about exercise.

(Wow, the bad metaphors in that last paragraph, let me count them.)

And as typically happens when the self-care goes down hill, headaches ensue. The last few weeks have been a very good example of all of this. (Although, one thing that I have been doing better, for the most part is sleep. I'm giving myself credit for that. However, I must get my blackout curtains up again, because the sun coming up at 5 o'clock isn't helping the cause.)

In reality, I know that it is all much, much more complicated than that. But these things are all connected -- mood, headaches, sleep, exercise, and doing the dishes. When my dishes are done and my kitchen is clean, everything else seems much more...possible. Also, these smaller things are easier to quantify than the mental health stuff. Did I get to sleep at a good time? Did I eat my 5 servings of fruit and vegetables? Did I get 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise? Did I do the dishes?

I think, before I slide not just down the hill but all the way down to the bottom of the ravine, it's time to get back to the self-care basics. I've done this before, and I'm sure I'll need to do it again. For me, this means lots and lots of tracking. Which means that it's back to Joe's Goals!

These are the goals that I've set up. All the key self-care things are there: proper sleep, eating right as represented by the fruits and veggies, exercise, minimizing caffeine, and dishwashing. And I've added a few other things in there for good measure. I know that if I can stick to this and take care of myself, I will feel better in both mind and body.

I'll be doing other tracking things as well. I need to get a new calendar up on the kitchen door so that I can start giving myself sparkly stars for exercising. It's also time to start tracking food, because crisps and chocolate are not major food groups. I don't aim to do these things forever, just a month or so to hopefully build back up the healthy habits.

I've added the Joe's goals widget to the sidebar. Please come harass me if it starts dipping down into the red.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

An excellent day for a walk

It was cloudy to start, with a bit of chill in the air, but eventually the sun emerged making yesterday a very fine day for a long walk. The walking group headed over to East Linton for a walk to Hailes Castle and Traprain Law.

We started off walking along the River Tyne, making our way to Hailes Castle. The birds were singing madly, and the wild garlic and few-flowered leeks were rampant, scenting the air with the smell the garlic. The gorse was also in full vibrant yellow bloom, giving off its coconut fragrance as we walked past.

At Hailes Castle, we stopped for a wee break. The castle overlooks the River Tyne. As with most castles left in Scotland, it's a bit of a fixer-upper. Presumably it was in a better shape when Mary, Queen of Scots, stayed there with her kidnapper/soon-to-be-husband, James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell.

Leaving Hailes Castle, we made our way via country roads to Traprain Law, where we stopped for lunch. Afterward, about 1/2 the group decided to climb to the top. It's not a big hill as far as hills go, but it looked intimidating from a distance. I was mentally dithering about whether to climb up, but finally just told myself to stuff it, and went. It got my heart rate up, that's for sure, but I only had to stop once or twice for a quick breather. And the views, of course, were spectacular. By now the sun decided to join the party, and we could see the coast and Bass Rock and North Berwick Law, which I'd climbed with Little Sis last summer. (And I just now realized that I'd brought my binoculars and forgot to use them. Drat.)

The climb down is always much quicker than going up, and before long we were on our way back to East Linton via country roads and the path along the Tyne River. Our last stop was the beer garden at The Crown.

A terrific walk with great company made for an excellent, excellent day.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The boring this week's goals post

Hmmm, looks awfully familiar:
  • Run 3 WEEKDAYS for a total of 3 miles
  • Yoga class hell or maybe pilates on my own on Wednesday
  • Dance class Thursday
  • Pilates class Friday
  • 10 minutes stretching each WEEKDAY
  • Walk to or from work each day

I'm in a bit of a quandary about what to do about the yoga class. At the least, I need to talk to the instructor and tell her I will be taking it down a notch. She also has Hatha yoga class before the beginners Ashtanga class that might be gentler. Unfortunately, last week killed any warm fuzzies I felt toward the idea of doing yoga. Worrying about whether I will do something that will trigger a migraine does not make for a relaxing time.