Monday, December 02, 2013
Spark articles have some interesting effects on me. I learn a lot and most of the time I find myself in total agreement with their recommendations.
Yesterday morning my daily spark email directed me to an article that included several links to different studies. One documented 2 different experiments that reached the same conclusion about high fat diets, exercise and memory loss (Alzheimer’s).
I’m not a scientist and I understand the difference between good and fat fats. This morning I can’t even find the link. I think it was from the NY Times. However, this isn’t about the validity of the experiments, but only how the article affected me.
Basically, one group of rats was fed a high fat diet and over time their ability to remember was adversely affected. However, the high fat group was divided further and one group given an exercise wheel. The exercising group gradually improved their memory and returned to pre-test levels of ability.
But this isn’t really about the rats. It’s about me and again I do understand the difference between good and bad fats.
DH & I had a lovely holiday. There were 2 dinners, only one of which was at my house (Saturday). We had turkey, stuffing, baked potatoes and assorted veggies. There was pumpkin and apple pie and ice cream. I ate sensibly.
I also bought some Doritos and Pringles chips and a bag of Reese’s peanut butter cups. Saturday was a big football day and just because snacks like this are my downfall, it doesn’t mean other people can’t have them. All the games were very exciting. Anybody watch Alabama & Auburn? Maybe that’s why I didn’t eat any snacks? I was too involved in the games. Even our annual in-state rivalry (VA Tech vs. UVA – not exactly the battle of the titans) turned out like we wanted.
All this background is leading to Sunday. My daily morning weigh-in showed only a 1 lb. total gain from Wednesday. No big deal – a very successful holiday.
Our company left after lunch and I relaxed with some more football.
Then I ate:
Pumpkin pie with a generous topping of ice cream
Apple pie with more ice cream
A handful of Reeses miniatures (maybe 8?) and
An ENTIRE CAN of Pringles.
I wasn’t sad, or depressed or anxious. I just wanted to eat the stuff.
Then I fell asleep on the couch for 2 hours.
When I woke up, I thought about those lab rats and some advice from the article. If you’ve got to eat high fat, at least get out and walk. So I did – 4 miles total – even though Sunday is always my day off from exercise. It was getting dark, but the air was crisp and cleared my head.
After 4 years of maintenance I know that stuff like this happens sometimes and probably will again. There’s no need for despair or blame or even to forgive myself. I’m OK. It was just one afternoon and it’s done.
Unlike the lab rats, the food I have available is my own choice and how much I move my body is up to me also.
Still, I wonder how those researchers got those rats to exercise. Even once given an exercise wheel, were there some resistant rats who just sat on it and went to sleep? Like I did on my couch?
Thursday, November 28, 2013
On Thanksgiving Day 1997 I found a big box of photos in my parents’ house. I sat with my Dad for hours while he told me about each one and I wrote the names, place and date on the back of each. Eventually, I included these photos on my website. Two weeks later Dad contracted an antibiotic resistant infection and died just before Christmas.
This is one of the photos we discussed on that last holiday together.
During the depression many families maintained “bootleg” coal mines. Yes it was illegal, but with the low wages paid by the mining companies, it was the only way to keep their families from freezing during the winter. One of the men in the photo was killed at age 21 as a paratrooper in WWII. His grandniece found my photo online. This was the only photo she had ever seen of her uncle.
Many of you have read and commented on my blog about my website documenting my Dad’s WWII ship. Since the latest massive redesign and update, I’ve been contacted by many families searching for information about their own sailor veteran. Some have found images and references in the photos and documents and provided further identification for me to include.
This is a plea/suggestion to all who have memorabilia of any type in their possession or discover it among the keepsakes of older relatives. Before you toss it out, consider who else might be interested in seeing it. Also, if you can, include captions on photos. I know this takes time whether on a physical picture or a digital version. Someday though, a great grandchild may appreciate your effort.
The depression and the stories of those who lived through it are now but a distant memory in the minds of a dwindling number of survivors. The USS Philadelphia was but one ship manned by a crew representing a tiny percentage of servicemen at that time.
However, history should not be told only by famous and powerful leaders. History is a tapestry woven by the threads of individual lives. Their stories and contributions count too. If possible, take a moment to document yours.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Sparkers.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
I felt so well prepared for this race. I trained well and felt really good.
I even bought some new winter running gear as I described in a previous blog.
DH agreed to go with me since, as I explained, at my age somebody should be there to claim me at the finish line.
There were about 500 of us at the start – combined 10K and HM. I settled in the middle of the pack trying not to impede the fast people but not get stuck behind any friends walking shoulder to shoulder either. Little did I know that I would be the problem.
First the ugly:
The temps were dropping fast. 50 degrees at 6 am became low 40s by 8 and the wind picked up too. About ½ mile into the race my new hat blew off – backwards of course. I just paid $15 for that hat 2 weeks ago.
Without thinking I spun around to retrieve it. The pack had thinned out some, so fortunately I didn’t trip anybody but runners were weaving around me as I chased my hat. I KNOW I must be the subject of some other race reports this morning. “Stupid woman, chasing her hat!”
Now the bad
The quick stop and twisting motion pulled something in my side. It was like a horrible cramp or side stitch and I had 5.5 miles to go. I actually thought that maybe I should quit. I do not believe in no pain no gain.
I expected to walk up the hills so I put off a decision until after the first one just before the 1 mile marker. After walking 1:30 min up the hill the cramp eased up and my watch read 10:00 – very good considering my adventure so on I went.
As I ran, the cramp returned and I walked 2 minutes this time. Imagine this scenario continuing until past 4 miles when I had about 1 mile of gradual uphill in front of me. I walked just about all of it.
Usually I keep track how many minutes I walk during a workout aiming for 1 min per mile. I was so far beyond that, it didn’t matter anymore.
I even walked some in the last half mile so I could run to the finish. I never want to drag myself across the line.
Now the good – and there was SOME good.
I didn’t trip anybody
I found a way to keep going and not quit
I don’t think I did any real damage to myself although I still feel an occasional twinge in my side.
My time 1:05:25 (10:33 pace) wasn’t too far off the 1:03 – 1:04 I was hoping for (I’m a fast walker)
I got a 1st place age group award – a real nice beer glass etched with a scene of the city along with the race info. Of course I did. I was the ONLY 65-69 woman.
I finished #119 out of 200 10K participants.
There was a LOT of food afterwards – beer, smoothies, chili, mac & cheese, even pasta as well as fruit, cookies, brownies and coffee.
Then the final surprise. Since we were nearby my running store (a sponsor of the race), DH suggested we go there so HE could get some stuff. Huh? Yes, he is going to start walking. He bought walking shoes, a winter hat and gloves.
Wow, since I’m going to rest a lot this week, maybe we’ll walk together at whatever pace he wants.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. It’s helped to write it all down.
I also learned to either clip my hat on securely or wear an old one. If it blows off, forget about it.
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