So after all my running chatter last week I got pretty schooled by being cocky enough to try to take both dogs on my run yesterday AND forgetting to take my asthma medication before I left. I also tempted fate by saying yesterday's run (varied intervals of running and walking) would be easier than Friday's (just 20 minutes of running). Just imagine me trying to control two very curious dogs who want to sniff everything but do not want to run while wheezing and being red in the face. Eventually I jerked Cody's leash to try to get him into line and succeeded in breaking the ring on his collar, causing his dog tags to fly all over the street, and causing me to rupture a blood vessel in my hand. I think something must have hit it. This happens once in a while and is highly annoying to me. I got an immediate sting/ache in my hand but continue running. When I got to the halfway point I noticed Cody was now hopping on three feet and had a huge goathead lodged in the pad of one foot. So we turned around and walked all the way home. By the time I got home I had a big lump on the side of my hand which has now turned into an ugly bruise/lump.

Honestly, the worst part of this is that it prevented me from knitting all day. Which was super lame. Serves me right for being smug.

The weekend was pretty fun, singstar/knitting/spinning potluck at Cassandra and Kevin's on Saturday night leading to some *hilarious* drunken antics on Arlen's part (about which I'm sworn to secrecy) and some rad singing by all of us (though I must say I sounded pretty terrible when I sang Good Charlotte, which I don't know very well, instead of opting for Queen, which honestly I would have rocked). Spent yesterday nursing Arlen's hangover and my stupid hand and made Lynn Rosetto Kasper's amazing Corn Chowder recipe from her How to Eat Supper cookbook.

I love to read blogs from beginning to end. Last week I started on an old friend's from the long hair community who I'd lost touch with... I just thought to look for her online and found she had started a blog because she and her family moved to Tuscany (from Tasmania) for a year-long adventure. Anyway, I enjoyed that immensely and will be following along. On Friday I decided to read Jasmin's (of the Knitmore Girls Podcast) blog Better Than Yarn because she's hilarious and a great writer and in a lot of ways I feel like we have a lot in common. It goes back to 2005 but she mentions another blog host where she started out before moving her writings to blogger. The older blog starts in 2004 when she's still in college and it's been interesting to get to know her a little better than it's possible to do through a podcast about knitting. It's amazing what you can learn from someone through a blog. It occurs to me that I started my livejournal (to which I use this to crosspost because for some reason I can't get lj to work at my office) at almost the exact same time, and it's probably very edifying for those random internet people who might be curious about me. The blog I had before that (which is still available online) is about 2002 to 2004, though the site I used from 1999-2002 is under new ownership and no longer has my writings. I downloaded them at some point, but who knows where they are. I also have kept a paper journal on and off since I was 5 years old. All in all, a lot of navel-gazing. I wonder if my offspring will ever find/read any of it. I wonder what they'd think. Probably the same thing I think of my parents and their nonsense. :)

Anyway, back to the grind (which is mostly reading blogs and listening to podcasts, because work is sparse here right now).
I typically listen to podcasts when I run, something to keep my mind busy while I do my time on the pavement. Usually I listen to WTF with Marc Maron, which is a great combination of humor, introspection, and intellectual conversation. If you haven't tried it out, do so immediately. Anyway, I was sitting at my desk just now after a long and productive weekend, with my mp3 player on shuffle, and one of the WTF episodes came up. Immediately I perked up and had this instantaneous and visceral reaction that I don't think I've ever had before in my life. All of a sudden, I wanted to run. How in the world did that happen? When did I become one of those annoying people who talks about how great running makes her feel? I am not a health nut by any stretch of the imagination, and running so far has been a struggle. It's been something I've had to make myself do, something I've had to talk myself into. Now, magically, after about two months of sweating and asthma attacks and sore joints and tight muscles, I *want* to run! I did my last one on Saturday and I felt a twinge of disappointment that I probably won't have time to go again until Wednesday unless I become one of those even more annoying saintly people who gets up at 5:30 every morning to bound off into the dark before work. Guess I'll see just how much I want to run...

I had a good weekend of baking, spinning, garden planning, spending time with my sweetie, and watching the new baby chicks in our kitchen fight over their first worms. Gets me every time. Yesterday I spent all day at my yarn store of choice helping them do inventory in exchange for yarn. I was there from about 9:30 to 6 and let me tell you, I have a whole new level of respect for the ladies who work there. I was exhausted and sore by the end of the day, and I had NO IDEA how much yarn was packed into that little shop. It was a fun day of bonding with some of the other regulars, fondling lots of delicious stuff, eating good food, and singing along to a lot of pretty awesome music.

Today will be a quiet day at work since it's spring break at the university. Plenty of time to knit on my stripey sock (the current desk knitting), listen to podcasts, and poke around on the internet. Tonight is the last dance class of the current session so we'll have a little party with finger foods and do extra dances instead of having a set class. Should be a really good time, and I'm hoping for at least two four-couple sets. Fingers crossed!
I wanted to share this here for all my friends to see because I'm just chuffed beyond measure. I have a long way to go to reach my goals, but I'm still SO proud of myself for overcoming a major mental block, working hard, and making real progress. So here you are, blog friends, a bit of crowing by yours truly.

This week's been a bit of good and a bit of bad. My weight is the same as last week's weigh in, though it's fluctuated up and down throughout the week and at one point I thought this was going to be a 2 lb. week. I had a few splurges, including a concert (with drinks) on Wednesday night, adding dairy back into my diet (which was probably a mistake), high salt intake, and also the struggle of not getting enough sleep.

However, my major triumph is that I feel like my asthma is FINALLY under control, thanks to the addition of a long-acting inhaler in addition to my fast-acting one. It feels SO good to exercise without getting red, sweaty, and short of breath. Asthma attacks are a terrible and scary experience. You taste blood in your mouth, you can't breathe in or catch your breath, your heart pounds... I can't believe I went my whole life thinking there was something wrong with me and I just wasn't good enough to be one of those fit people who exercises. It is such a relief to realize there's nothing wrong with me, I can do this, and it wasn't my fault I struggled so long.

I completed week 4 of the couch to 5k program and for the first time I felt like the run was way too easy. For the first time, I lost track of how long I'd been running, stopped watching the clock, and ran longer than the program suggested without even noticing. And for the first time I feel GREAT the day after a run instead of achy and tired (probably because for the first time I did a proper stretch afterward... I think stretching in the shower is my new thing. :) )

So, I am considering this week to be a major success even though the scale doesn't show any changes. I am full of pride and amazement at myself. Yay me!


In other news, Arlen and I got three new chicks, two Ameraucanas and another Barred Rock to add to the flock. The garden is planted with peas, sweet peas, and more raspberries, and the perennials are coming up nicely, including lots of strawberries, all different types of herbs, hollyhocks, and chrysanthemums. Last year's lettuce beds helpfully re-seeded themselves and we will be in our salad days soon. :)

Wednesday night's Parlotones concert was amazing. It really cemented my respect for them all as musicians and it was great to go to a small show (about 100 people) and to get a chance to meet them all and have a bit of a chat. Please do yourselves a favor and go buy the Stardust Galaxies album. You'll thank me later. I'd also forgotten how much I love a good concert, and how much I love good music. Music is such an emotional experience for me that I tend to avoid listening at all when life gets difficult. I remember being brought to tears by George Winston's December album as a little kid, something the right music still does to me. Goosebumps, breathlessness, the right chords still have that impact. It's just too easy for me to shy away from that sensation when it might result in a loss of control. Anyway, I will keep trying to be brave in the face of musical feelings and work toward my inner desire to rock out all the time.
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