Running

I started Couch to 5K last week.  Well, I didn’t really “start” it—I’m fit enough that starting at the beginning seemed like a waste of time.  So I started at Week 3, which was last week.  Week 3 is about 1/3 running, 2/3 walking.  I’m now into Week 4—about half running, half walking.

The weather has finally gotten nice enough that I can not only do some of my runs outside but I can also take the dog out with me. And he is loving it. My dog has never had it so good! He jogs alongside me happily, then trots alongside me happily, then jogs alongside me happily, as I cycle through the timed runs and walks.

But I’m not sure I’m loving it. I mean, I am—I am excited to keep working on my fitness (and keep losing weight)—but I also really don’t like running outside. To be fair, I’ve done some of my runs on the treadmill (at a 1% incline to simulate some resistance), and those are pretty easy. The outdoor runs, though. Gah.

To keep me on track, I’m using an Android app (info available at that link up there), and I bought a “power pouch” top from Gracie’s Gear so I can jog without carrying my keys or phone in my hands, and those things are helping. It’s easier to keep going if I’m not also juggling my gear. But I’m starting to suspect that I’m never going to love running outside. I’ve never had much success running outside, even back when I was running 12 miles a week (and egads, that was 12 years ago).

I’m not giving up, though. I’m pushing through it. This is really what Couch to 5K is for—to get people to fall in love with running by making it easier for them to actually do it for more than a few minutes at a time. So we’ll see how my progress is in a few weeks. I do feel awesome at the end of my runs, so maybe the endorphins will actually be addictive, like they’re supposed to be.

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Caving in

I’ve been trying to grow the dye out of my hair for a while now—say, about the last four months.  It’s been working pretty well, particularly considering I’ve been having my hair cut shorter and shorter with each trip to the salon.

But yesterday, my dear spouse looked at the top of my head, wrinkled his nose, and said, “The top of your head is getting pretty gray, honey. I think it’s time to color it again.”  I replied that I was trying to grow out the dye and he nodded and then repeated, “It’s getting pretty gray.”

Women in my family tend to go gray early.  I found my first gray hair at 23.  My mom was totally silver by 55. Both of my grandmothers, too.  So I’m doomed to have a full head of gray hair at a relatively young age; I get that.  And I am, to a certain extent OK with that. Philosophically.

But in practice, I don’t really like the gray. It stands out against my (pretty mousy) medium brown hair, it’s coarse, it doesn’t style well, and worst of all, it ages me.

And I think it’s that last one that bothers me the most. I tend to look much younger than I am—and thank you, Mom, for beautiful skin and some early lessons in how to care for it—so the gray really does stand out as a visible sign of my age. It’s not just a vanity thing, either—I don’t mind getting older and I certainly don’t pine for my youth.

No, more than vanity, I worry about its effect on my career. I’m an attorney, and a relatively newly minted one.  But I didn’t go straight to law school after college—I spent six years doing other things, six years I never regret. That means, though, that I am competing on the job market with 25 and 26 year olds.  My resume already marks me as older; the gray, though, I think, really makes that concrete. Jobs are scarce enough as it is and I don’t need potential employers downgrading me because of my age.

Still, though, I thought I’d try to grow it out. No one at my current job cares how I look—I don’t meet with clients and I rarely have to be in court. This seemed like the perfect time to let the dye grow out and see just how gray I’d gotten and then decide what to do with it.  Maybe I’d love it! Maybe it would look good. Maybe I’d be happier just being myself—mousy salt-and-pepper instead of from-a-box-red. I was trying to put my philosophy about my hair into practice.

But after hearing yesterday that it was looking pretty bad, I started to get concerned. I am in heavy job-search mode right now and I’m hoping I’ll have some interviews in the next month.

So I bit the bullet and bought another box of color. I did go with a semi-permanent dye, so hopefully it will grow out more softly than the stuff I’ve used in the past. And while it grows out, I’ll continue to muse on how exactly I feel about dying my hair—whether it’s necessary or just expedient—and hope I can stop dying it soon.

This is my new motivation

I really do hate counting calories and obsessing about what I eat.

But this morning I put on a sweater that I’ve owned for 9 years but haven’t worn in at least 2 because in those last 2 years it had become unflatteringly tight on my arms (we’re talking painted-on tight).

It looks fabulous.

That means I can once again wear clothes (at least on my top) that I wore not only 2 years ago when I was last at my current weight, but also that I wore 7 years ago when I was 10 lbs. lighter than I am now—and almost 17 lbs. lighter than I was two months ago.  I can once again wear clothes that I wore when I was in my 20s.

Yeah, that’s the motivation now.

Tuesday night list

  1. My husband tells me I’ve lost weight in my neck. I’ve lost about 6 lbs. Was I developing wattle?
  2. Sharing an office makes me unproductive. It’s that or my chronic procrastination.
  3. I still don’t have a job to go to when my current gig ends.
  4. My dog has a slow-growing, probably inoperable nerve tumor under his eye. He’ll live for a while yet, but we know his life is shortened because of it.
  5. I have gum recession on some of my upper teeth that has caused me to avoid chewing on one side of my mouth for the last five months.
  6. While I love my job, sometimes the stuff I have to deal with is really depressing.
  7. An organization I think very highly of is advertising my dream job, but because it’s a temporary fellowship and pays peanuts, I can’t even consider applying.
  8. This list is a total downer.
  9. Despite that, I am pretty content.

Bad idea jeans

Someone honestly thought it was a good idea to create a technical school called the Universal Technical Institute. Yes, that’s right: UTI.

I know I don’t automatically think technical school when I hear that.

Heidi

I haven’t been doing any sewing lately, for a variety of reasons. But I have some beautiful fabric that I’ve been wanting to make into this dress.  From everything I’ve seen, it’s an easy sew, and it’s a really classic fit.  And it lends itself well to alterations.

So I have my fabric and I’ve printed, taped, and cut out the pattern pieces. Now I just have to muster up the energy to wash and dry my fabric and make a muslin of the bodice.  It’s not the sewing itself that I avoid, you see—it’s all the preparatory steps. I hate ironing the fabric. I hate cutting. And I am not a huge fan of fitting myself, partly because it’s a pain doing it myself and partly because it’s generally frustrating to know that there are fitting issues that I can’t fix because I just don’t know enough.

But whatever. I’m going to give this one a whirl. I have a little more than a yard of this beautiful Japanese double gauze:

Echino Lion (Oxblood)

I only have enough of the print for the skirt of the dress, but I thought it would work well as a faux-skirt-and-top: I’ll make the bodice from a solid cotton, and the skirt from my print, and wear it with a belt (the pattern actually includes a self-belt, but I’m not going to make it. It seems like a lot of work and my print won’t really work well for a belt, and I don’t really have enough anyway).

So I matched my print to a really soft pearl gray broadcloth at my local fabric store (it matches the gray background of the trees perfectly, it’s kind of amazing).  I’m going to self-line the bodice and use the broadcloth for the skirt lining as well.  The broadcloth was  a little spendy, but it’s such a nice fabric it’s almost worth it just to work with it.

Maybe writing about this project will create enough accountability that I’ll actually get it made. I even pulled out an ugly brown broadcloth from my scrap stash for my muslin! Tiny steps, man, tiny steps.

Fickle weather

Yesterday I picked up my drycleaning, which included my trenchcoat, which I hadn’t worn since the end of February because I took it with me to Vegas and it reeked of cigarettes and sin. As I picked it up, I thought, “I really should have had this cleaned sooner, it’s gotten too warm for it now. It’s just going to sit in the closet until the fall.”

I was wrong.

It is 47˚ outside right now. It’s not supposed to get above 65˚ for the next several days.

So I guess the “end of the season coat drycleaning” is just like the “it’s not going to rain car washing.”  Next time I want it to get warm, I’m having my best linen sundress cleaned.