30 July 2011

It's Official

I'm going to walk the marathon. I paid my money and I'm nearly halfway through the training regimen that started in early June. The longest walk I've taken so far was 13 miles (2 weeks ago) and I have to do a 16-mile walk sometime in the next few days.

Originally, my friend Becky was going to walk it with me, but she's not able to commit to the entire training schedule right now, so she might just walk the half. But what that means for me is that I'm doing a lot of my walking alone. I don't mind being alone. In fact, I like being alone. Introverts are like that. But walking ALL THOSE MILES can get pretty long. And boring. Not to mention tiring.

At this point I can't decide which is making it harder - the heat and humidity or the huge chunk of time involved. After that nasty little heat wave last week, it hasn't been so bad here. Generally in the 80s. But the humidity makes it very hard, regardless of the temperature.

As for the time - I'm carving out 4-5 hours for my 16-mile walk this week, but it's not only that. After such a long walk, there is the serious stretching required, and then a recovery period. Even if I walk from 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., I'm finding that the long walks are pretty much taking my whole day. My body just isn't up for much else after that. It took me about 3 1/2 hours when I did 13 miles, but I got a little over-heated and dehydrated, and I wasn't myself again until 4:00 that afternoon. I'm definitely learning about what my body needs and what it can take. I discovered orange Gatorade to be my new best friend.

Thankfully the marathon is in October, so both heat and humidity should be long gone by then.

The other really weird thing is that I have not lost one pound. Not one. Sure, I've been eating more, but not that much more. I know about how muscle weighs more than fat, etc., but I expected to see the scale go down at least a little. I can, however, tell that my clothes are fitting more loosely, so something is going on. Recently I asked my husband if he thought my butt was getting smaller. He replied that it's getting so small, he needs his glasses to see it. Yes, he is a wise man. :)

So... anyone else out there planning to do any marathons any time soon? Or any tips from seasoned marathoners? I'm all ears.

Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes

23 July 2011

Hot Hot Hot

Much like the rest of America, we're right smack in the middle of an oppressive heat wave. It's been warm and humid all week, but then yesterday, the temperature shot up into the low 100s, which is really rare around here. As a child I spent a lot of summer vacations in Houston, visiting my grandmother. THIS is what that felt like.

The in-laws are visiting, and while my husband and Grandpa spent the day fishing on a lake, the girls and I planned a beach day with Grandma. We were going to visit friends at their condo on Old Orchard again, where the parking is good (and free) and the beach not so crowded. But then that fell through, so we planned to park with the rest of the masses and just do the beach the regular way.

But then... the heat. I've been to the beach on those super-hot days we only get a few times each summer. What happens is, HALF the state goes to the beach that day. It's crazy. And crowded. And hot. Damn hot.

And let's face it, the ocean in Maine isn't the place to dip in and cool off from the heat. Stepping from 100 degrees into that frigid surf is like putting a sizzling hot pan into a tub of ice water. Loud popping noises happen and someone might get hurt.

So we decided to fore-go the beach. Instead, we opted for the air-conditioned Maine Mall. And let me tell you, the OTHER HALF of Maine had the same idea we did. It was packed like it is at Christmastime. But we did have A/C. And milkshakes from Johnny Rockets. Take THAT all you masses of beach-goers.

This morning the guys are braving the heat and going fishing again, and this time, they're taking our 17-year-old daughter with them. It turns out that yesterday, the only thing they took out on the boat for an 8 hour day in 100 degree temps was three small bottles of water and a thermos of coffee. A small bag of chips might have been involved too, but that's it.

These are grown men who have been all over the world and know a thing or two. Yet... well, I really can't say anything else without being utterly disrespectful. Suffice it to say that today I dragged myself out of bed at 4:15 a.m. and packed a cooler of food and drinks for the three of them. And do you know what? They acted as if it was their idea.

My plans today involve doing most if not all of the required physical labor before 10 a.m. Then the rest of the day will be spent enduring the heat and going from air-conditioned place to air-conditioned place. Tomorrow, they say, we'll be back in the 70s. And THAT is the Maine we all know and love.

Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes

16 July 2011

Old Orchard Beach, Maine






Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes

12 July 2011

Kayaking on the Androscoggin

We spent a lovely Sunday morning on the river.

We put the kayaks in at 5:30 a.m., just in time to see the sun come up over the trees on the opposite shore.




My husband brought his fishing gear.


We paddled about a mile and a half up river from where we put in. Just past the I-295 bridge.


We saw all kinds of wildlife - beavers, eagles, various water birds, and this lone deer on the shore.


Things started warming up and the wind picked up around 8:00 a.m.




But at that point, we were starting our trip back, and there was a lot less paddling to do, as the current was on our side.


The fishing was a huge success. He caught about a dozen small-mouth bass.




This group of ducks was actually two mother ducks with all their babies. And they weren't really babies anymore, just young. But still following their moms around. It was Kate and Allie of the duck world.


If only we could do this every day...


Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes

09 July 2011

Pretend it's my Birthday

My husband and I are enjoying a weekend alone. Our teenagers have been sent far away to visit grandparents and we are listening to the silence. And loving the fact that our car is safely in the garage instead of out being driven God-knows-where at all hours of the night.

I'm still sticking to my 'I'm-drumming-up-the-courage-to-walk-a-marathon' training schedule and the summer weather in Maine has been quite cooperative. Except for the humidity, of course, but we won't go there.

This morning I asked my husband if he wanted to go walking with me, as today is a short/slow day (3 miles). He hemmed and hawed and said he might. And then I reminded him that he went walking with me last month on my birthday. In fact, when it's my birthday, he'll go to great lengths to do just about any and everything my little heart desires. He would walk through fire for me ON THAT DAY. The rest of the year? Not so much. I mean, he's always very sweet and accommodating, but he's not going to do much that he doesn't want to do.

Unless it's my birthday.

So when I asked him a second time if he'd go with me, I added the little nudge... "Remember my birthday? Let's pretend it's THAT day again."

As he begrudgingly puts on his sneakers, I could remind him that I'm only doing this for his own good. I mean, how else will I get him to exercise unless I use bribery and guilt?

Yeah, I'm sure THAT will get him revved up about walking three miles.

Happy Birthday to me.

Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes

06 July 2011

Raindrops


Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes

04 July 2011

Happy Fourth!

Here is a photo of my sweet husband riding on a float in the local 4th of July parade this morning. They asked all retired Navy and Navy reservists who work at his company to ride.


It was lovely to see the crowd come to its feet and cheer every time any branch of the military rode or marched by. Regardless of where any of us fall in our political leanings, it's nice to know we still support the men and women who keep us safe.

A big thank-you to them all.

And Happy Independence Day.

Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes

02 July 2011

Maine Coast



Such a lovely evening yesterday near Portland.

Copyright © 2011 - Paulla Estes