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Raking Leaves in January?
2006-01-23, 1:39 p.m.

Day 519 If this is January, I MUST have raked the lawn yesterday!??!

Well, that little gap created by skipping the gym on Thursday? Pretty much wiped out. Dragged my sorry butt out of bed Saturday bright & early. Got to the gym early enough to do 2 sets on each of the weight machines. Slid over & did the Sat. am aerobics class. Fun class, think Iíll go more. Do some different, way more involved step combinations. I got most of them, but thereís one that seems to be a favorite of this instructor that I still struggle with. After aerobics, I went back through the weight machines for another 2 sets. Even increased the weight on a few. That gap created by a last Thursday is now gone.

I did notice that although this new-to-me aerobics class used some new steps and wasnít listed as ďbasicĒ or ďbeginnerĒ, I really didnít feel too wrung out at the end of the session. After doing another 2 sets of all the weight machines, I was considering getting on a treadmill and seeing what sort of time I could get in a 2 mile run. But home duties were calling, and I decided against going for the marathon session. Still, I wonder what my 2 mile time is now? Havenít actually RUN 2 miles since last August (17:58), and my feet & ankles thank me for sticking to the ellipticals. Wonder if I could go sub 17:00? Back in the day, like when I was 16, I could knock off 2 miles in 13:00 or faster. Of course, that was before smoking, drinking, marriage, kids, and all that other crap that slows you down.

Closing my training gap was aided by a little unscheduled cardio work. Seems that in the fall, either I or a select few of my neighbors, kinda sorta missed getting up quite all the leaves. Because of the layout of our neighborhood, most of the leaves that donít get picked up in the fall end up in my front yard, in the foundation beds, gathered up alongside the lamp post planters, and anywhere else they damn well please. Been rather unsightly actually. It really has been bugging me too. Usually though, the weather has conspired to make it pointless (or foolish) to try and rake them up. Until yesterday. January 22, 40+ degrees, little to no breeze and SUNSHINE. With not a lick of snow anywhere. So I spent an hour and a half outside raking leaves and cleaning out the beds. Itíll have to be re-done in the spring (I only did the beds visible from the road), but it looks ever so much better right now.

Also Ė due to the gorgeous weather, we managed to hand wash both vehicles, including a much needed Windex job to the interior glass. I hadnít done my van windows since I stopped smoking back in Aug. í04. They werenít horrible bad, but it did get a little nasty in the morning when I was headed east. Which I do for about 3 miles every morning. The glare was pretty bad and was only made worse by the smudginess of the windshield. But no more. Of course, the sun was hiding behind clouds this morning, so I have no idea of this made any improvement at all. Iím betting it did though.

Got some bad news regarding a member of Cindyís extended family. Her uncle, who lives down in Ft. Myers very close to her dad, has been diagnosed with cancer, again. Several years ago he had cancer in one kidney. Had the kidney removed, did a course of radiation treatment, went on merrily with his life. Till this past fall. Been having back pains. Being an avid gardener (he collects palm trees, amongst other things), he figured he just did a little too much gardening. Couple of days of rest should have cleared it up. Except it went from Thanksgiving, to Christmas and his back still hurt. When they got back down to Fla. After visiting their kids for the holidays, he went in and got it looked at much more closely. MRI, CAT, all the fun diagnostic imaging stuff. Found cancer in his lower spine, in his sternum and where his one kidney used to be. Heís starting radiation therapy today, but itís more a palliative thing than any sort of treatment for a cure. Seems that once cancer is in the bones thereís no getting it out.

Hearing the poor news about her uncle has started Cindy off on a drinking binge. Well, a one day binge so far. After drinking from roughly noon on, her only meal of the day was a bowl of soup at 4pm. After which she power napped (passed out?) I was left to my own (very capable) devices as far as my own dinner was concerned. Iím sure the similarities between her uncles condition to those of her mom 3 years ago are causing some internal stress. I just need to get her to find some other method of dealing with the stress. Cuz frankly, her method of dealing with her stress is starting to stress me out. If she keeps it up, I may spend even more time at the gym. Iíll be really healthy and sheíll be drunk & ignored. Peachy.

Updated stats:

Weight start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current weight 205.0 on 1/21/06 (Note the LACK OF CHANGE!!)
Target: 180 by 7/1/06
Next weigh in: 1/28/06

The Keep on Truckin goal: (idea stolen shamelessly from Marnís Big Adventure)
Miles at speed 1/16/06: 64.79 (in 14 sessions Ė 4.85 this morning in Ĺ hour!!)
Miles with cooldown: 71.22
Target for 2006: 1000 miles, or about 84 miles per month

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