Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oktoberfest 2013

   We attended the tenth annual Oktoberfest party hosted by Ron's boyhood friend.  Most of the eighty people who attended grew up in the same neighborhood, and have known each other for more than fifty years.  It always comes at the end of the summer, and so it tends to be a bittersweet event.
    It's always a lot of fun to hear the stories of getting into trouble as teenagers, then college, jobs and families.  Now we are all looking forward to retirement, and grandchildren.
    The weather was spectacular, with temps in the seventies.  Youngsters were swimming in the heated pool, and the rest of us were enjoying the sunshine, and the conversations about first cars, and first houses.  It is true that we have all come a long way, even though a lot of us have had bumpy rides along the way.
     The dinner was catered, and it was scrumptious.  Bar-b-que  ribs and boneless beef, chicken and pork, as well as side dishes, and salads.  The rest of us brought either a dessert or an appetizer, and the day turned into a delicious food fest.  Good food, good friends, and good weather made the day picture perfect.
     There were coolers filled with water, soda, wine, and home brewed beer.  One of the husbands commented that it was unbelievable that the wives were drinking some frozen alcoholic concoction, and the guys were drinking water because they would be driving home.  Life is easy when everyone acts responsibly.
      Tomorrow the pool company will close our pool for the season, and so we must embrace fall.  Today, I made chili, and prepared a roast for next week's dinners.  Football is on TV, with the Patriots playing tonight.  They have won their first three games, but still have a lot of room for improvement.
     The Red Sox played their final regular season game today, and finished with the best record in baseball.  It is a dramatic turn-around, going from worst to first within one year.  We will enjoy the post season, and hope for good things to come.....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.........

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Gearing Up For My 5 K Walk-Run Event

    I've gotten a lot of advice as I train for my very first 5 K walk-run, and I've done my best to follow all the tips.  I was advised to talk about it with others, so I would not be tempted to give up on my goal. I was told to sign up for a race, so I could keep my eyes on my goal.   As I talked with people, almost everyone had a suggestion or two.  The most recent was to make sure I had warm running clothes, as the weather will turn colder.  I now have eight layer running pants, and spandex crops that will keep moisture away.  I have new running shirts with both short and long sleeves, as well as a wind resistant shirt.  Matt gave me a gift certificate and I will use it to get some rain gear.  It really is all about the clothes, and how comfortable I can be while I walk and run.
    There is a local 5 K race called the crop walk, which will raise money for the soup kitchens and local food banks.  The event will be held the end of October, and so I now have my last five weeks to train.  I'm confident that I will easily finish, even if I walk the last mile.  I will raise some money for a good cause, and I can be proud of my accomplishment.  This means that I will be able to scratch another item off my bucket list.  It seemed a lot more daunting before I started this journey, and now it is clearly within reach.  I have yet to run for an entire mile, but I continue to make progress.   I feel so much better than I did in June when I began to walk my neighborhood with my dog.  My clothes fit better, and I've lost ten pounds.  Of course, I thought the weight would melt off me, but I will choose to focus on all the positive benefits.
  One of my cousins will run the New York Marathon in November, and I have a lot of respect for her commitment.  I know how hard she works, and I give her a lot of credit, because I cannot imagine running for twenty-six miles....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.....

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Small Steps Become Big Strides

    I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day Weekend!  Severe storms in New Hampshire knocked out my internet.  It certainly wasn't cookout weather, but we made the most of it.  I wound up doing two of my favorite things on rainy weekends,  "little and nothing".  It has been a hectic summer with lots of company and pool parties.  It's time to close our pool for the winter, even though temperatures hit ninety degrees last week.
   Last weekend, my folks were visiting again from Florida, and I was not home much at all.  There were long days with the entire family, and it is always great to see them.  I hope I'm that spunky when I hit my eighties.  They got to see all six of their children,  all eleven great-grandchildren, and seven of their thirteen grandchildren.  It's always controlled chaos, but it is a lot of fun.  We try and drive them, as traffic in the northeast can be extremely challenging even with a G-P-S system in the car.  This gives us more time to visit.
    I'm pleased with my couch to 5-K progress.  The cooler weather has enabled me to jog for longer distances, and my dog keeps the pace easily.  My next step is to sign up for a local 5-K walk run, and then attempt to run for twenty minutes.  Today, I can run for about five minutes, then we walk until I can breathe normally, and jog again for a total of twenty minutes.  My neighborhood route is more than one mile, and I can continue to add distance. I know now that I will be able to complete a 5-K, even though I've had my doubts when the heat and humidity was so oppressive this summer.  I've lost more than ten pounds, but I really expected the weight to melt off.  I'm also sleeping better, and seem to have more energy.  All things considered, it has been a positive experience.   I am already planning to run another 5-K in the spring, so I will have to continue to work during the winter.  I will keep my focus on progress, not perfection.  I will not set unreachable goals, as that will allow me an excuse to give up.  Small steps will become bigger strides....and the beat goes on....the beat goes on.......