Sunday, November 11, 2012

Say What, Fiscal Cliff?

In my attempt to stay completely in tune with current affairs, I have decided to blog about the fiscal cliff.

However, I want to first discuss some other issues. Like how we are now in puppy class with Beazy. And how much food I bought at the grocery store when my niece and nephew came over for a one night sleepover. See photo above. They spent the entire evening eating and playing video games. You know, Aunt Janie is sort of known for running a lot and eating little. But we had a great time. [Photos not included because I am anti posting photos of kids on the inter-webs]

We are very busy at our place staying home with the pooch. Which means I am now cooking dinner a lot. And as my old friend Allison used to say, I don't mean to toot my own horn, but I have become a really great cook. Known for baking from scratch, I have now added the following items to my regular menus:

Squash Gratin [in the oven right now]
French Onion Soup
Potato and Squash Casserole
Spanish Tortilla
All Risottos

And much more. Yes, I eat like a french lady. Because I want to be one. So e-mail me for any recipes. I am happy to share.

I do a lot of my shopping at the farmer's market. The rest is done with local purchases in mind. [Hello, this is Madison. Home of the liberal hippies].

So this fiscal cliff. What an election, huh? I was very busy watching sleeping for about 90 hours because I have been sick. So I had to glance on my phone in the morning to see who won. I was zonked.

But there is a lot of press on what will happen on January 1, 2013. So here is my take.

We have an ongoing deficit issue. This we know. The middle class has been paying these tax increases for way too long. So why do all these middle class people like a certain someone, I don't know? I don't get it. And the middle class  - well their [our] income has stagnated for some time. Spending cuts - defense/domestic spending, etc will do nothing to solve our budget problem.

Could we try out this whole "falling over the cliff?" Maybe see how it goes? Doesn't history say Clinton was one of the best presidents and W was one of the worst? Well then why not go back to taxes during the Clinton reign?

Congress wants to evaluate things that benefit the middle class and below. Take Medicare and Medicaid. What's going to happen when I am an old lady and need Social Security? Am I even going to have it? Again - why does the middle class like a certain someone/something?

Congress and the President need to come to an agreement with how to handle this upcoming change. Am I afraid of what's to come? Not at all. Because I trust that the President and Congress will come to terms with something that will not result in yet another 2001. He's cleaning up a mess. Not making a new one.

And here is an ADORABLE photo of Beazy. She is the best puppy you could get. I am not kidding around. Talk about a calm pup. If there is such a thing.

But I am not going to lie. I still miss my Scout.

Have a great night. Until next time.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fat Old Ladies and More


Blogging. It’s something of a past time. I only like to do it when I am alone. And when I am alone at home, I am doing laundry, playing with the dog [more about that later] or cooking or cleaning. God  I sound like a housewife. Or reading, figuring out investments, trying to invent a cure for cancer, geocashing, or just plain not home. Ok – now that sounds better.

I am still very much enamored with Madison. The joy it brings me every day has not gone away. When I think back to when I first graduated college which was shortly after 9/11, I am amazed at how things have gone. And that I live in this great city.

Dog Stuff

Here is what’s happened in the past few months. The dog died. It was my dog of 11 years. I went through cities, homes, boyfriends and jobs. And she was always with me. I dream about her. I dream I can feel her nice solid body. The little bump on her side. Her soft fur.

My boyfriend and I got a goldendoodle named Beazy. Her real name is Beatrice but we call her Beazy. I don’t know why we gave her a real name. It’s not like she has a birth certificate or anything like that.

Beazy is very different than my Scout. Beazy is shy. Can you believe that? I have a shy dog. She is scared of a lot of things. And she hasn’t destroyed anything yet. It’s really quite odd if you ask me. A little boring, almost. She isn’t very naughty.

We take Beazy all over. She has been to several bars, the wine shop, the coffee shop, pretty much any friend’s house, my cousin’s bridal shower, my aunt and uncle’s farm, Tim’s parents in Green Bay. But she is still shy. However she is VERY cute!

For those of you who bore me with your baby photos on the interwebs, [yes I am being insensitive], I will now be boring you with Beazy pictures.


I also ran another half marathon. This time, as a 40 year old woman who hadn’t trained and was willing to give me her race number. I shaved off 2 minutes from the last ½ and again did no half- marathon training. I think my time was 1:56? Not sure though. Still debating if I actually want to train for another marathon or not. I keep saying when I am 40.

I am also working on conquering my fear of the bike. All by myself. Without any pressure from others. You see, Trek has a great bike share program. And these bikes are placed throughout the town. So I can actually jump on one near my place and ride drop it outside my work. The B Cycle rocks! I love urban bike sharing [in my small town].

Pet Peeves

So let me break it down to you. I am getting more and more irritated by the day by those fat people who slowly drive around a parking lot looking for the best spot closest to the entrance. What’s up with that??!

Here was my latest encounter. A lady just STOPS and sits in her car for a good 5 minutes. I start honking about 60 seconds into it. I honk and honk and honk. I turn off my car. I walk up to her.

Me: M’aam is there something wrong with your car?

Fat Old Lady: NO! I am waiting for this parking spot!

Me: Oh! Well is your signal broken? Because there is a line of cars waiting behind me and you’re just stopped here in the middle of the parking lot!

Fat Old Lady: [And I am being nice by calling her this] That’s why I waved my arm out the window so you would know what I was doing.

Me: Turn your signal on!

F.O.L: Here! Are you happy?!

Me: Yes. Thank You!

Man, I can’t stand people who don’t use their signal. And who drive around forever to get a decent spot. Lazy Americans. Would it kill you to walk a little?

Until next time. Have a great day.

Here's a cute photo of Beazy:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Scout's Eulogy

This morning as I walked through the downstairs coffee shop and approached the Meter Man - aka "parking ticket distributor," we embraced. Do I know him well? No. Do I remember his name? No. But we hugged. And that is how Janie Winston gets around town. Greeting everyone I know or sort of know. Or met one time. But now, we're good friends.

And this is how Scout's personality came to be. My precious angel of 11 years. Scout greeted everyone she knew or didn't know. And a lot of times, she just sat there and let the stranger pet her and then rolled over for her belly to be rubbed.

Every time someone came over, Scout ran to the door and then grabbed a toy from her toy box and ran in circles on the rug.

I feared the loss of my dog more than the loss of anyone or anything. But I lost her. And she brought me incredible joy. If there is one thing I can tell pet owners who fear this - don't. I am ok. And I am lucky I have such wonderful friends and family. Scout was more than a dog. She was my child. And I was her mom. And I knew it was her time on Monday, August 6th. When the vet told me she was filled with tumors and I could bring her home for a few days or weeks or not. I knew it was her time. And I accepted it.

There is a lot I can write here. But I want to leave you with this beautiful eulogy my co-worker, Mark E. Griffin wrote.

I read this last night at our pot luck in Scout's memory:

A Eulogy for Scout

At the age of 6 months, we acquire our first skill – object permanence. In essence, we learn that something can be there one minute and out of view the next. While we can’t see it, we know the object still exists. Throughout our lives, that instinct remains our most powerful tool. Our ability to imagine that something exists even when it’s not there is a comfort in a life when so many things change so often.

So when we have something or someone by our side, greeting us when we get home, licking our faces before we walk out the door, we are grounded. We are content. It’s no wonder, then, why pets are so important to us. Studies show that people who have pets live longer and have lower anxiety (Ok, so maybe, for some of us, it’s a mix of pets and anti-anxiety medication, but still.)

Dogs satisfy this need for permanence, with one crucial addition: unconditional love. My uncle once said that if you didn’t feed it, a cat would be gone in a day, but a good dog will starve by your side. It’s this dumb, unreasonable loyalty that we cherish - the slobbering and begging, the guaranteed affection that makes us happy with a good dog.

Scout was a good dog. I only knew her when she had a crooked face, and that crooked face was a perfect symbol of the goofiness we love about our pets that would make a person self-conscious. Her unabashed lack of self-awareness of anything that might be wrong – be it a bad day from her owner, or someone’s leftovers strewn about on the ground near the Capitol – made her special. Scout knew no reason not to be herself, and for that, she set an example for us lesser humans.

Scout will forever serve as a bookend to your life. From the end of your college years, to the beginning – the real beginning – of life as a grown up, she was there for you. In your memory, she will serve as the thing that was always perfect during that time.

Having a good pet means knowing someone or something will ALWAYS be there for us. Until it’s not. When that pet disappears, we are thrown asunder, because we are reminded that not everything is permanent - in fact, very few things are. So we take comfort in the things that have made us happy, that have licked our face every day no matter what, that love us unconditionally, crooked face and all.

Soon after we are born, we learn that the objects and people in our lives can be permanent. As we grow older, we learn that that permanence is fleeting. When someone – or even a pet – close to us dies, we are reminded of that fleeting nature of life, that the people around us might sometime be gone.

But with the sadness of such a reality comes this: that each moment of joy with the ones we love is precious, and that we must seek it at every opportunity. And while life is not permanent, we have faith that the joy we find is. Scout brought that joy and happiness to you and everyone (including me) who had the pleasure of being dragged along on a walk with her. And we thank her for that joy.

Mark E. Griffin
[Janie's co-worker]

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Madison in the Summer

Greetings from Madison. Where else? And as I sit here at my favorite coffee shop - well I now live above it. Yes, our building houses this fantastic wine/coffee shop.

Which means when I wake up at the crack and bring my dog out for her morning walk, I am greeted by a patio full of people I may know.

It goes like this:

 "Hello! I am in my ugly running clothes - no make up morning breath - how are you? Greetings! I just rolled out of bed!"

After several sessions with my therapist, I broke through and accepted living with someone again. I was a little freaked out about it. Actually more than a little. But it's been working out really well. And we have never has any real fight - so I realize how lucky I am.

When you're 32 [or 29 again], and have had a series of long relationships, it's just practice for the real thing. And if I have learned anything at all in my nine lives of dating it is this:

The one who gets along with their parents is the keeper. If they like their parents, get excited to see them, are fans of them - they are probably a healthy individual. Because our parents are the foundation of our issues or lack of them. However - I would not recommend the kind of adult child who has to talk to their folks every day or see them all of the time or call them as soon as they roll over in the morning. There needs to be a healthy balance.

When I was visiting my sister before I moved here and Fromigination had opened up on the square, I thought it was so funny how she introduced herself to the owners the first time we went in. As I walked past Square Wine Company and watched them get ready to open I was dying to check it out. One day last week, Scout and I walked by and they invited us in. They were open! A brand new wine shop on the square. I walked in and they met Scout and me. We exchanged names. In Madison, you have to introduce yourself to a new local business owner. There is no other way. And the other thing I notice is people generally seem quite happy. They don't complain.

Tim [Tattoo boy] and I went over to their open house yesterday afternoon. The store looks great! Located right on the heart of the square, they have a ton of reasonably priced wines, a few quality beers and a super friendly staff. They had out a spread of food with tastings all around the store being poured by very knowledgeable people from the wine industry. Andrea, the owner [may be a co-owner - I am not sure] is a total people person. I think they're going to have a really good following. They do tastings on Friday nights. Go check it out!

Like the rest of the Unites States, we are experiencing a drought here and the weather has been in the 100s. I spent two days on the dreadmill but have been running in the heat for the most part - quite uncomfortably. The weather broke today and I am outside! I woke up, turned off the A/C and opened all of our windows. I love real air!

Here's what I have been doing a little of.....

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I'm on a Boat! Part II

After the summer of discovering the awesomeness of being out on the Madison lakes, I have already been out three times in 2012. And we haven't even officially hit summer yet. Pretty fabulous.

The Memorial Union was crowded yesterday with everyone under the sun [literally] who wanted to be outside. With that said, my good girlfriend and I hit the terrace for some pitchers and people watching. Several hours into it, we were invited onto one of my favorite captain's boat! We were able to watch the sunset, swim, [in my clothes - after all, I wasn't prepared to go boating], drink, socialize and all that other jazz. What a great way to have a spontaneous day.

Now the even more exciting news is that my girlfriend convinced me to ride the B-Cycle bike from the Union to the square. I am super scared of biking and loved it. Way to go, G!

Today we were back on a boat. This time we hit up Lake Monona. Stopped for lunch/snacks and docked at a place called Gilligan's Island. Different captain [I love all the captains, by the way], but still great fun. Gilligan's Island was pretty full and the water was low and the people were - well.... the kind of folks who smoke in front of their toddlers. If you catch my drift. There was an ADORABLE golden retriever puppy there and they made my day.

And while the recall election turned out - well..... oddly, just remember that Madison is very different than the rest of the state.

Peace, love and something else which now slips my mind to all of you.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

I'm Back!

Life has been happening. We got the Big C in my family. But I am not allowed to talk about that. My dog also got the Big C and she told me it's fine if I talk about it. It was the saddest day of my life so you have to assume that my life has been easy. Or something. Or maybe I am exaggerating. But her cancerous tumor was surgically removed and contained and she will be eleven in June. I am throwing her a birthday party now that she is a cancer survivor! Panic rose in me and took over my day-to-day. I got that under control and work hard on that one.

Thank God for my running. I have gotten even better and faster. Maybe I can win in my age group one of these days. The Crazy Legs race landed me in the newspaper for my place/age - but I didn't win or anything like that. But I was in the paper. And my therapist saw it. So that's pretty cool. Then I was interviewed on the square while I was walking Scouters last week. Turned out, I was being interviewed by a national dude from Fox News! [BLAH]. But you can see my famous clip here.

Feel free to quote me or refer to my statement when writing speeches, discussing the Wisconsin recall, etc. [joke] Now, I am no trail blazer or anything, but what can I say? I mean, it wasn't exactly the most prestigious new station to be aired on. But it was national. Actually, it was sort of like going onto a tv version of the "National Enquirer."

In other news - I have just given up my independence, housing situation and car. After four years in my building off the square, I am moving in with my tattoo boy on the square and I traded in my car for a sedan. I had a mini panic attack on the way to Zimbrick Audi yesterday. Thought to myself: "Oh My God - I am NEVER going to live alone again! I just gave up my independence! I am now getting rid of the only thing that feels like it's mine - my car! What the hell am I doing?" But, once I drove off in the car I was all better. And safer. So, if I sound like an anxious wreck - well, it is genetic a disorder that I have.
Tattoo boy and I had such a hard time finding a place to live. Would you believe me when I tell you that condo rentals are like New York City real estate? Honest to god. When I put the word out about subletting my condo, I had literally and I am not exaggerating here - 10 emails in 12 hours.It was insane. Here is a sample of one of the zillions of e-mails I received about my condo: [Aren't we cute in this photo? We're on Lake Mendota and that's my sister, Leslie's hand-me-down bikini I am wearing]

Hi Janie, I have come up with quite a few questions, here they are... 1. is there a floor plan of the unit with dimensions I could see?
2. what floor is the unit on?
3. what does the unit look out onto?
4. does the unit have a balcony?
5. what are the types of flooring in the unit?
6. if there is carpeting, will it be professionally cleaned upon moving in?
7. in general, what is the cleaning process before i would move in ?
8. I know you mentioned subleasing and want to clarify that I can sign a lease from june 2012 to june 2013?
9. what additional fees will I be paying such as electric, sewer, water, trash, cable/internet, etc.?
10. Since this is owned, are there any association fees i will have to be paying?
11. are small dogs allowed? if so is there a fee?
12. is there a maintenance crew on site?
13. does the building offer any green space or rooftop deck?
14. is there guest parking available? cost?
15. since you have lived in the unit have you experienced any troubles with the owner/landlord or building? hope this is not too many questions, I just want to make sure I cover everything! As for seeing the unit, I am currently living in Milwaukee and do not have plans to come to madison until I have some new hire appointments April 20th. If your answers suit my needs and you would like to have a lease signed before that date, I can try to arrange time to come to madison.

Thanks so much,

Here is my response:

Hi Sarah,

Sorry but I just rented it. Good luck!

Honest to god - you can't waste your time asking all of these questions! By the time you hit "send," the opportunity is G-O-N-E! No joke. And also - why do people e-mail so much? If you really want to know something, pick up the phone and dial the number. Until next time.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Everyday I'm Shuffling

[I really hope the photographer doesn't nail me for stealing this copyright photo]

Unlike the LMFAO song, "Party Rock Anthem," I am not at all shuffling. But The Shamrock Shuffle took place yesterday and I decided to sign up. Of all the races I have done in my life [I think I have done a total of ten including a marathon and a half], I am really moving up quickly. Yeah I am going to brag.

While I sometimes add mileage to my usually four mile runs - doing eight and tens here and there, I debated between doing the 5K and 10k. And decided on the 5k since I knew I could do that faster.

When I woke up yesterday morning, I was again reminded of why I moved to Madison - going on four years later. I woke up. I leashed my dog and walked across the street. And tied her to a pole. And walked into the Overture Center. And got my race number. And walked home. All in about five minutes. I then put away all of my laundry [isn't this blog post extremely exciting?!] and then jogged down to the start line.

Do you notice how I didn't have to drive anywhere?

Oh yeah - so my dad recently referred to "jogging" and I corrected him with "running." I do not jog. The word "jog" has become a dirty word. Joggers are slow. Runners are not slow.

The race mentality for me was "I hate races, why did I do this? I could never do an Ironman." We had to go up Observatory two times [!] - the hill just sucks. I was battling it out with this one girl the entire time and I do have to say, she did start walking for about 3.4 seconds the second time up the hill which lead me to pass her briefly. Since they didn't have anyone announcing splits, I had no idea [I don't do the whole watch thing] that I was finally going to come in at a pace I was actually HAPPY with.

And as I approached the finish line, I saw the clock was 23 something and I landed a 7:37 pace, 5th out of my age group of 483 and 23rd out of 1,292 - so yeah. It was a good day. It was just what I needed.

Now thank the lord that the UW Badger game was out of town because we had too many people down town yesterday and it was unbearable for me. The lot across from my building was full [or "Parking Structure" as they call it here in the midwest].

It was also like one hundred degrees outside and it's only mid March. [I hope the people who asked me why I was moving to Wisconsin are reading this]. Yeah - it's HOT out. And it's still winter, people.

After running around like a maniac, I had to do the St. Patty's Day Parade because you know - the Winstons are Irish. All those Eastern European countries somehow make us celebrate the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. In all honesty, I am in the parade for work.

So, while the children dangled from the back of my SUV, throwing candy as I drove around the square, I suddenly had to take a leak really badly. There must have been 225,000 people surrounding the square - [you know, the entire Madison population], as we slowed down, I put the car in park, crowds all watching, ran behind my car and told a candy thrower to:

"Drive my car! I have to pee!" As I ran off through the crowds, into the Starbucks, she yells,

"I can't drive stick!" [My car isn't a stick, but the four wheel drive is misleading].

"It's not a stick! I'll be right back!"

As I dashed back into the parade, the car had moved about four inches. I stood behind and threw some candy. I glanced at my three year old niece who was picking up a piece of candy and decking me in the face with a starburst while the nephew was slamming them into the crowds appropriately. I think I got nailed in the head about three more times before the parade was over. It was all in good fun.

And now that I bragged about the new PR, I supposed I am going to have to beat that in the Crazy Legs....

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ok Cupid and My Saturday Night

I saw that a Valentine's Day 5K was taking place last Saturday, so I decided that I would try to break a PR. Although I have never been much into racing, with all of this running, it just makes sense to race here and there. I saw you could race as a couple, so I knew I had the advantage [and very good chance] of winning. Of all the wonderful winter days we have had as of late, Friday afternoon, it actually looked like winter. And it snowed.

Fearful of icy sidewalks, I was sort of worried about how I would race in that weather. And when we woke up on Saturday, it was all of about zero degrees. Zero is not exactly good racing weather. Your muscles are tight and you just can't go that hard.

But enough people showed up for the race and it was about minus five degrees with the windchill and off we went. And I was so sure I could do a 7:07 mile, but something happens to me now that I actually care about racing. When the race starts, and you're surrounded by all of these people and each female you glance at is nothing more than competition, I think to myself, "I hate races. I'll just pretend I am doing my usual morning run." - something I need to work on.

And so, I enjoyed it more or less, not gonna lie. I think we came in third but the results are not up yet. And we weren't chipped. But again, definitely could have done better, but it was super cold and when "Team Win-Cox" [combo of our last names] was done, we made a lot of friends and decided to go out and do some afternoon drinking. For me, it meant a beer with lunch.

And then we went on to Genna's, where my sister met my brother-in-law. And we had our first date. Then we came home so I could feed the dog. And discovered that Whitney Houston had died. Reminiscent of this past summer when I was at the Circus World Museum.

Next, we went to his runner friend's house where we were served old fashioneds because this is Wisconsin and that is what everyone drinks here. Then we went to another party where we didn't really know what/who/when/why the party was going on, but the host made really good falafel [this word is not in my blog's spellcheck, by the way] and everyone looked like a grad student with glasses on. I continously asked "Who are these people?" and "What is this party?" The table was filled with lots of Middle Eastern/tasty food that everyone continuously munched on, pouring anonymously labeled sauces over their food vehicle.

Well, then, two doors down, we decided to stop at one more party. One of our brand-new- having-just-met-him-this-morning-at-the-race-friends had invited us to. It was his house, but guess what? He was not there. And so in we walked, not knowing anyone [can you believe it? I walked all over the house and didn't know one person!]So we introduced ourselves to the birthday boy, helped ourselves to some more noshing and such.

Then, we moved on to Plan B. "Long time, no see!" the muscled bartender said to me. It's more of a summer place, I suppose. And we danced away until twenty to two A.M.

Now let me stop here. Because while we were there, I had this awesome thought in my head. When my mom was my age, she was pregnant with me. And here I am - no children, I can sleep in tomorrow and I have all of this energy and it's almost two in the morning. How great is that? How great is this?

And when I texted my friend the next morning who invited me to have brunch at 11 AM, I passed, using the "I have to spend some more time with my bed" excuse. Because I was tired and my bed needed me. Sorry if you're jealous.

So, back to the end of the night. We walk home. It's below zero. It's over one mile. And it's almost two A.M. And I decide we need to stop in Natt Spil to take a minute to warm up. And in we walk and there it is. It's serendipity. F. Stokes is in the bar, having just finished a show on campus. And he remembered us! And hopefully, that video will make us both famous so we can retire in a few months. My lawyer is calling his [who happened to be there].

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Janie Went Way Up North

Everyone in Wisconsin goes "up North" at some point. You see, apart from Madison, Wisconsinites are really big into fishing, hunting, snow mobiling and the Green Bay Packers - you know all the things you can picture me doing regularly. [Sarcasm]

Although I didn't describe my tailgating experience at the December Packer game at Lambeau, I did it. I went to a game. And the scene around Lambeau is really something.

So when I was invited to go way up North for some ice fishing in a shanty, I jumped at the chance. [Ok - maybe I didn't jump at the chance. Since I just told you that I am fairly certain that I have Raynaud's]. But I am willing to try anything. Like when my boyfriend asked me to go watch the girls at the Roller Derby a few weeks ago and I walked around and recruited a bunch of people to sign this petition for Planned Parenthood.

But me? In a shanty all day on the ice?! Of course. So, after loading up the car with my tiny bag and my large golden retriever, we were headed "Up North." Not sure really where, but I know it's just what Wisconsin people do.

As we drove out onto the ice, the wind was blowing hard. We got the shantys up quickly and some of the people we were with started drilling holes in the ice right away. After settling into the shanty and eating "beer dip" ["What is this? Is it vegetarian?", asked the little girl from Cleveland, Ohio], we sat on chairs and drank beers before noon. Welcome to Wisconsin!

I was also the only one who didn't say "Sewwww" instead of "so" and "Noooooow" instead of "no." I know that I am the one with the accent, though.

After a while, it was time to break the seal. [Oh - did I mention we were ice fishing, too? Oops]. One of the gals didn't want to use nature's restroom, so a few of us girls piled into a car and went to the town bar. Now, the town bar was full at 2:20 PM. And let me have you know that everyone turned and looked at us when we came in. They wanted to see if they knew who we were. Maybe it was their cousin's girlfriend or something - I don't know. My PBR in a glass was $.75! Yes - that is correct! That is seventy-five cents, ladies and gentleman! After a few rounds [roughly costing $5 for four women/round,] we went back to the shanty.

My boyfriend was very, very busy on the ice. He was building a "Wizard Stick" and speaking with a strange accent. None of us had heard of this before but his high school pal was easily convinced to make one as well. Oh - yeah - I forgot. We were fishing, too.

It was really cold and the sun was setting so we all packed up and went back to the cabin. Being a vegetarian from Cleveland, Ohio - I was already full from cheese curds, chips and garbage that my stomach is still giving me problems for a day later.

It was such a fun time and I look forward to doing it again next year. I can't say I caught anything, but I wasn't planning on it. Let's just say I am no natural when it comes to fishing. What's the point when you throw them back, anyways?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Winter is Back

Winter finally arrived in Madison, Wisconsin. Shockingly, it took long enough. If you look at the calendar of seasons, I believe winter started on December 21st [so not quite one month ago from today] and it ends on March 20th. Yes, winter hasn’t even been official for one month. Yet, we typically have a lot of snow by now.

For someone who is scared of running in the snow, I was still running in shorts and outdoors in this winter. Mind you, it was pitch black out.

I was itching for some snow to go cross country skiing. Other than that, I wasn’t dying for the snow this year. I mean, I love to get snowed in. And I love watching the snow out my window while having a glass [or several] of red wine [pinot grigio is my “warm season beverage.”]

I started taking the bus about a year ago and I love it. I never liked public transportation before. Everything is better in Madison, Wisconsin. Here, you get on the bus and it’s full of normal people. [And some typical Madison sketchy people.] My route goes through the University. Non state-employees, please don’t start complaining, but it’s free for me. And I realized the other day that since I have moved to Madison, Wisconsin, I have put less than 500 miles a month on my car. [Even moreso, now that I take the bus] which results in rare trips to the gas station. The last 3,000 mile check-up I had was in July and I am still not due for my next one.

So, I was worried about waiting for the bus because it was going to be “SO COLD” in these Wisconsin winters. However, as you may know by now, I run in the morning and it takes me a long time to cool down so this is not an issue.

Although undiagnosed, I am sure I have Raynaud's. My hands go numb less than five minutes after going outside. I have learned to power walk [no offense but faster than some people jog] the majority of the time and wear mittens [and have hand warmers for excessive outdoor activity].

Here is how you can enjoy this cold weather:
Walk fast and wear layers. A nice and heavy windbreaker with mittens and several pants are a must.

For example, today I took the bus to work and it was a high of 7. When I went to the bus this morning, it was 4 degrees. I had just worked out, so I was still warm. I wore my coat, work pants with leggings under, a sweater with a tee shirt and winter boots. Upon my walk home from the bus, I took the dog for her daily walk around the square. This walk is .92 miles. I decided to add a little to it. Here is why. The more I walked and walked faster, the warmer I would get. So when I returned home, I was warm through the middle.

All you need to do to enjoy the cold weather is embrace it! When I am cold, I layer up and literally go out into it. Once I get my heartrate up, I am toasty.

Embrace the cold weather. Don't stay away from it. That will just make you hate it. And then you may want to quit complaining and move to Florida.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Still Unmotivated?

So I recently blogged about my life with running and nobody commented. I told you my weight. I told you how easy it is to get there. My dad told me [via phone] that he ran one summer and hit the “runner’s high.” My sister texted me that I should do some Central Park run [maybe the one on New Year’s Eve?]

But I am going to break it down, now people. Has anyone read that post or read my posts on exercise been inspired to do anything about it?

I have always noticed that the first week of January, the workout room is way more packed than usual. By the third week, it’s back to all the regulars.

After I wrote the last posting, I managed to do my daily four miles at a 7:07 pace. I am hoping this will move me up in my age range in whatever race I do next – which will probably be the Shamrock Shuffle. This is because I am a wreck on the ice and would prefer not to race in it. The ice slows you down. I am thinking St.Patty’s Day should be warm enough. Besides, if you are into meteorology, Madison has had almost no snow this season. None. Notta. No cross country skiing for me. It’s the oddest thing.

I am going to try to help you if I can. Because I think it is so easy to wake up and hit the pavement, I am going to list problems that you may be having that can be actually cured by this thing I am doing [called running].

1) Are you able to turn off the water and save some energy when you shower? If you answered “No because I am too cold,” this is because you do not work out in the morning.
2) Are you freezing when you walk to the car/bus/train? If so, it’s because you do not work out in the morning.
3) Are you exhausted all of the time and feel the need for a nap? If you answered “yes,” it is because you do not exercise. [Or you are pregnant, are anemic, have sleep apnea or are depressed – many of which can be treated with exercise- except pregnancy.]
4) Are you down about your weight? It may be because you do not exercise.
5) Are you worried about not being there for your children? Workout.
6) Low self-esteem?

You get the picture. If I have motivated you, please feel free to comment. If you are wanting to workout, but can't, feel free to e-mail me. I am happy to help.