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Once upon a time, I raided my grandma’s closet for cute stuff from her working days that didn’t fit her (or me, lol) anymore. I had the vague hope since it was labeled size 12 that it would some day actually fit like a modern size 12. One suit managed to stay at the back of my closet through all the moves of college and marriage and grad school and in my fit of spring cleaning (I think I’m getting rid of more weight in clothing than I’ve lost in fat!) I decided, what the heck try it on, hope its not now too big.

The skirt is a little *snug* but it otherwise fits me almost like its tailored for me!

I’ve also repeatedly been told that maybe I just shop in stores that are more inflated than others. I’m a devoted Macy’s girl – seem to have the best trade-off between price and quality for my budget. Lately I’ve been doing a TON of Penny’s shopping because at the rate I’ve needed to buy clothes, $50 a suit and $20-30 for slacks really works… 😉 Several people told me they’re sure the small expensive boutique stores aren’t as prone to size inflation, so I decided to use my memorial day shopping errand as an informal size inflation survey. Results are in and I’m quite shocked at the consistency:

  • Ann Taylor Loft – 2 (I just tried on a 6 and it was HUGE, so this is an estimate)
  • GAP – 2
  • Banana republic – 2 – 4 depending on cut
  • Eddie Bower – 2
  • New York and Company – 2
  • Levi’s jeans – 4
  • Guess jeans – 4-6 when sizes not given in inches (yay inches!)
  • Talbots – 4
  • Nordstroms – 2
  • Macy’s most brands – 4
  • JC Penny-s most brands – 4
  • Sears – 2-4 depending on brand, IF they carry anything smaller than a 6

In nearly EVERY store, the smallest size available fit (Talbots is an exception but GOD I will hurt if I must shop there! $$$$$$$$$). In other words, if they HAD a 2 at all, I fit it. If they didn’t, their 4 was a little smaller and I fit it. BTW I have a 30 inch waist so we’re not talking super skinny here! YES, I can find smaller in petites but they’re too short, and jr’s are too narrow for my marathon training legs. BTW its just as bad in men’s… Peter can’t find any khakis with a waist smaller than 30 and can only rarely find jeans in a 29.

So if you read that Marylin Monroe was a size 12, we’re promoting unachievable skinniness, and you shouldn’t feel bad about your weight… Just remember, size 12 from the 50’s fits me snugger than the size 2’s and 4’s I’ve been trying on recently… Isn’t size inflation nuts?

Presenting the obligatory photo of person holding out their old pants, as these are long overdue for Goodwill. I’m tempted to keep a pair just for the memory…

So yesterday’s run was officially canceled – there are massive wildfires in the hills just above our trail and for some reason coach didn’t want us breathing in ash particles. Huh… go figure. So I went shopping instead. I got lazy and skipped the closet clean-out and inventory and just hit the memorial day sales. Wow, apparently I bought a lot of black pants in the size-6 phase… size 6 is lose but fine with a belt now, so I have oh, 5 decent pairs of black slacks now. Oh well… Still need some gray and dark brown. Biggest closet casualty was the suits. Apparently I’d bought nothing but cute summer dress suits since, oh, a year and a half ago. Sadly Penny’s (my I’m too cheap to buy a real suit store of choice) isn’t into suits right now so that will likely have to wait til fall. I DID find that the black suit jacket I’ve had since, oh, early HS now fits so in a pinch i can dress up nice. Need to try on the suits I stole from my grandma’s closet too, but got lazy.

The biggest coup was in bathing suit shopping. My mall is rather teen-ager (more than most) and after searching thru store after store and finding nothing but triangle bathing suits, I finally gave in and tried one on. Wow, I’m scrawny enough to wear nothing but triangles over my body and still look good. I still don’t think they flatter my more-ample-than-a-13-year-old chest but I found one where the squashing is less obvious than most, just to have one. Peter will like it at least… 😛

Today’s plan was to make up the 9 miler by driving over the hill to grant park for a little trail running. (rather than run the neighborhood twice). Much to my surprise, peter and Rob decided to come along, both intending to run with me the whole way (They’re men, you’ve got to understand. neither is very macho but…) We picked a trail that sounded long enough yet decently runable, “Dutch Flats” If you’ve ever BEEN up to grant park you are probably rolling on the ground laughing by now. Dutch must be trail-speak for NOT! It is an absolutely gorgeous dirt trail that goes UP to the ridge and then back DOW, nothing but hills, for 4.6 miles. I started running. The boys stopped. i decided this is funny… and told them hey, why don’t you walk, I run at my pace to the end, and then we meet half way and walk back down. Yeah

So I set off, and the first 4 min run interval is a bit more tiring than usual, but fine… at the end of the walk I’m thinking, what, was that a minute? I make it thru about 3 of the next run minutes, and then sorta pretend to half run half walk for the last. I give up rapidly in the first half of the next run interval and jog back down the hill to meet the boys. I like hill practice, sure, but I don’t really like 2 miles of it. So we decided that walking 9 miles is good enough, and every now and then poor Rob takes off running (inevitably at the steepest hill we’ve seen in a bit instead of the slightly flatter parts!) I decide to jog until I catch up to him trying to catch his breath, and we all slow down for Peter who has intelligently stayed at a walk up the hill. 😛 Rob makes an obligatory comment about not doing that to himself again, and then after a half mile or 2 of walking, lather rinse repeat. We finally get back DOWN the hill to a flatter 2 miles back to the parking lot, and I am duly accused of being a show off as I insist on running all the flat parts, and then because I don’t like to stand around waiting, RUN back from the top of the next hill to the guys walking along behind. I was just really happy to prove to my legs that they CAN go back to a run after miles of mostly walking, because in the heat wave last week that was a bad idea. That and I really felt I wanted to run SOME… All in all Grant park is a lovely place for hiking, but I’d not recommend at least the trail WE were on for running, and don’t take a bike there unless you have really good tires and breaks. 😛 its all hills!

Now we’re back home kicking back (and doing laundry and sorting out closets and whatnot). I’ll probably conclude the massive shopping trip tomorrow, and then actually (shock horror) take the pants that don’t fit to career closet and goodwill. I’m sick of them clogging up my closet and I’m pretty darned sure I won’t see size 12 or 14 for a while… its safe to get rid of the stuff.

Oh yes I also forgot to mention last week. I’ve signed up for 2 half marathons: San Jose’s Rock and Roll (which goes directly down my street in front of my office windows so I HAVE to run it you see), and the Big Sur half in Monterey. My idea is to spend the time between working up to being able to run the whole distance, minus walk breaks to grab water. Likely wont’ happen as SJ, since I suspect I’ll stop and listen to at least one or 2 of the bands (let’s try for run-dance instead of run-walk!) but I’d really like to pull it off for Big Sur in November. Won’t really start working towards that til after the marathon though. Its good to have goals for after so I don’t just flop in my chair and rest off the 26.2 miles for a year!

Yesterday, a lovely man named Jack called into my radio station, Mix 106.5, with the comment that women over 30 are no longer sexy and are therefore useless.  I, like most human beings on this planet, find this to be categorically wrong and thought it would be fun with the help of my readers to put together a list of truly accomplished women age 30 or higher.  Since this is mostly a marathon/running blog and I don’t think knitting would get thru jack’s head (unless the needles were raelly sharp!) I thought I’d start with one particular woman:

Paula Radcliff, currently age 35, is not just the current female world record holder for the marathon, she holds *4* of the top 5 race times in history!  She broke her previous record at age 29 in 2003 with a time of 2:15:25.  That’s the equivalent of running a 100 yard dash in 19 seconds AND THEN MAINTAINING THAT SPRINT FOR 26.2 MILES.  Frankly I suspect she can run a marathon at a faster speed than Jack can run a mile  😛  She can probably run a marathon and THEN beat Jack in a 100 yard dash.  In 2005, at the age of 31, she finished the London marathon in a leisurely  2:17:42 – not breaking her own record, but still running it faster than any woman on earth.  I really don’t think she’s feeling at all useless or dried up, and she’s certainly NOT unattractive
My challenge to you out there in blogland – PLEASE add your comments to this post, and tell us about a woman 30 or over who has accomplished truly amazing feats – changed the world for the better, done something no one else can do, etc.  Historical (I’m thinking Queen Elizabeth I belongs here along with oh, a few hundred female rulers)  I’d love to read the list and send it on to Sandy at Mix 106.5.  I’ll also be making sure my darling sister, who just turned 30, reads this list!  Woman’s life STARTS at 30.  The rest is just rehearsal!

Okay its time for a rant.  Peter and I are recently back from clothes shopping since the weather is clearly summer and neither of us has summer clothes that fit anymore…  and we are scared.  Both of us are certain that we have an inch or 2 still to lose around the middle and here’s the deal…  NEITHER OF US CAN FIND CLOTHES THAT FIT in many of the stores we tried.  I’m a size 2 or 4 now depending on the brand.  Several stores don’t even CARRY below size 6.  Peter wears a 29″ pair of pants, and couldn’t find a single pair of demin shorts in all the stores of the mall that fit.  Too big.  Universally.  Neither one of us is what you would call scrawny.  Peter in fact is still trying to shed 10-15 pounds and frankly still has a bit of a belly. (heck I have a bit of a belly still too!)  What is up with this nation that 2 more or less average height people, in the *top* half of the healthy range of BMI charts, CANNOT FIND CLOTHES SMALL ENOUGH?!?!?  I mean I know were a nation of obese people but this is scary.

Its discouraging.  It makes me wanna go eat Ben and Jerry’s until I can fit into clothes again!  Shopping for thin clothes is supposed to be fun, not yet another discouraging experience of not finding anything that fits.  In fact, I have MORE trouble shopping now than I did 50 pounds ago.  I wonder, I really do, if the lack of appropriately sized clothing is part of why people yo-yo?  I mean, what fun is being skinny if you can’t find clothes that flatter your new figure?!?!?

So this is my question to all of you skinny people out there in blogland.  Where do you shop???  I can’t fit jr’s clothes because I have these thighs that can run 18 miles and real grown-up hips…  by the time I find pants I can fit my legs into at all the waist is like 6 inches too large…..  I can probably survive hunting down the 1 pair of size 4’s in any given store, but I’m still shrinking.  Where the heck can I FIND smaller clothes? I’m not losing any weight but my size 4 jeans are already feeling lose as the weight moves from belly fat to leg muscle.  Where can Peter find MEN’S clothes with 29″ waist or smaller?  Where do all the skinny people shop???  Are there skinny people stores (opposites of Lane Bryant) that I just don’t know about?  If not, how do skinny people clothe themselves?

And is anyone else but me as utterly appalled by this trend?  It is so NOT FAIR to have achieve better than my goal and still not have attractive clothes that fit.  😦

This week has been a rough week for training.  My calf was causing actual pain (I caught myself limp-running on Thursday and made it even worse) and I skipped out on the 8 mile recovery run on Sat.  Sun I was feeling somewhat better after lots of rest and ice so let myself be talked into a 3 mile walk to see some rather smelly elephant seals.  That went well, did some walking again Monday, and Tues went for a shorter run (2.6 miles) in the neighborhood, at a 3:1 run ratio.  That felt good but I was glad i didn’t push further.  THEN the heatwave hit.  Blessedly I woke up early Thurs with enough energy to run, and was able to do my whole route.  Heat wave was *supposed* to wane by the weekend so I thought it would be okay…  Til Friday was just as hot as Thurs…  *sigh*

So the high temp Saturday was “only” 91…  but it was a scorcher.  I was *not* actually complaining about starting an hour earlier.  Melissa is running bay to breakers instead of the 18 mile run (including running BACK to her car to make up the distance, lol) so I was with the slower pace group.  We rather quickly split into 2 groups, as Ekta and Monica insisted that “it hurts to much to slow down” to the slower long run pace.  I timed them at an 11 min mile and decided they could run ahead if they insisted…  but I’m not going to run FASTER than my usual pace on a run we’ve been told to go slower on!  I sadly don’t recall my running partners names.  One is an AIDS marathoner that has missed a few of the runs I shared with this pace group, and her friend who is moving down from Oregon.  We did quite well on the way out, with a small, I thought at the time, minor misstep on my part that twisted my ankle.  Felt fine at the time, so we keep on going, right on time for the long-run 13:30 pace we were supposed to be running (well, a tad fast, closer to the 13:00 on many miles but close enuf!) I do notice a calf muscle in that leg hurting a bit more than usual, but hey, by now I’m so used to hurting in muscles I didn’t knwo I ahve, and its nto bad, so I jjust pay clsoer attention to stride and keep going.

So we turn around at mile 10, already whining extensively about the heat and take a minor stretch break…  and its pointed out to me that I’m actually limping slightly.  I start to worry and of course that means I can’t ignore the aching muscle anymore.  Also, my teammate is recovering from food poisoning…  so we go slower, and around mile 13 or 14 we hit a walk break that she just can’t start running again from.  I swear that trail used to have shade but we can’t find  any, and she’s dizzy and nauseous if she tries to go faster than a power walk.  Since my ankle is clearly not up to snuff, and it sure isn’t gonna cool down, we decide to walk it.  We had a lovely time around mile 15.5 when we find a water fountain in the shade and take a water fight break.  Oh you didn’t know that running included mandatory water fight breaks?  😛  it does at 90 degrees, trust me.  This cures the heatstroke…  or does it.  We make it through another 2 run periods that are more shady than most before BOTH of us are dizzy.  The friend decides she’s running out of time (has to get to work) and that she’s feeling good for 2 miles alone, and we let her take off knowing its a walking finish.  Besides, 15 mins a mile walk isn’t much different than a 13:30 jog…  And we do make it, able to keep up the fast walk, and then rest in the shade with some ice and watermelon.  About 10 mins alter up comes Ekta and Monica – apparently Ekta had some knee problems.  I don’t think anyone finished in time except maybe a few of the fastest runners – and most groups ended up walking it in.  The heat was definitely a killer out there.

Anyhow, to make a long story short, I spend the whole afternoon sick (oh yeah and we bought Peter running shoes and me some more running clothes for warmer weather before I truly caved into the worst of it) – I’m starving but my stomach was *NOT* happy with my usual IHOP omelet and pancake long run pigout on a body I didn’t know was dehydrated.   I drank so much water on the run but I just don’t think it was possible to drink enough,.  I passed the pee-test so i didnt’ realize I was pretty badly depleted.  We do Sweet Tomatoes for dinner (mmm soup is the perfect dehydration food!) which seems to settle my intestines enough to notice my legs (joy!) and I get home, look down, and notice my right ankle is not the same size as my left  :(.  Its not a bad sprain by any means, but definitely a real one.  Hopefully it will clear up quick.  Anyone know what the rules are for very mild ankle sprains and running?  Dunno if I should keep off it or go ahead with Tues and Thurs’s runs.  Will have to do some research.  Its truly mild (in fact I don’t feel it at all with the elastic band brace on, only if I try to walk without it) so I’m pretty sure I’ll be back to normal within a week.

4 words:
Who are you and what have you done with my husband?

PETER CLEANED HIS DESK!

And here I am icing and whining on a day off…  After commenting to Ivette (new running buddy from spark people) that I’m injury free…  well my quads refused to run Thurs and I’m icing and whining today.  Will wait and see on 8 miles tomorrow.  I’ve checked in and coach says its better to skip it if I’m still feeling stiff and sore than to forge ahead and make it worse.  I hate feeling like I’m slacking but…  well this has been bugging me for over 2 weeks and it’s getting worse not better so, more rest  😦

On the up side…  Barbara, a friend from Sweden is coming!  (hence the cleaning)  YAY!

Well in all honesty they’ve been done for a week but I finally got them photographed, so its official and I can PROVE that they are done now. I’ve actually run in them twice, and threatened to do the 16 miler in them, but us runner folk are superstitious and you’re simply NOT ALLOWED to use new gear for a super long run. They’ll hit the road with the team next week for 8 miles and if they are still keeping my feet happy, they will go 18 miles with me. Oh yeah, the photos, you all came to see the photos!

Knitter geeks note you can click on that photo for pattern details. As I went on at length before, the yarn is a great new yarn and favorite of mine, Crystal Palace Panda Silk, which is mostly bamboo and wool, with a teensy bit of silk thrown in. That makes it very soft, smooth, and really good at keeping moisture away from feet while not being so super warm. I’ve worn and washed these socks a few times and they just keep getting better. not to mention… They really do look like the bridge, right? 😛

Today was the 16 mile run with the team. Sarah was absent again, so it was just me and Melissa for the whole route. Today we started out on hills (and I insisted on actually running up them! The neighborhood hilliness is really getting me in shape for that) and the dirt/gravel dam trail for 4 miles, then out 6 miles and back on the Los Gatos Creek trail from Runner’s Factory up to the Campbell Inn and back. It was another absolutely perfect day for long running – started out in the 50’s and got almost up to 70 by the end of the run, and lovely sunny clear skies. Not too hot, not too cold, and a great day.  Got a bit of a tan despite copious sun screen!

The other treat of the day (besides once again running under Campbell Ave) was all the families out to play – GEESE families! All the parks along the creek were populated by clusters of cute fat yellow goslings herded by teams of moms (the creches clearly had too many little yellow balls of fluff to be from just one family). Now, I have long insisted that Canadian geese are illegal immigrants flying over the border for winter work… clearly I am wrong! At least SOME of the young are born here. Apparently some Canadian geese have gotten citizenship and just don’t fly home to the frozen north anymore.  Poor, poor politically misguided things, I hope they have no need of medical care or intelligent leadership  😛 At any rate they were extremely cute.

The running also went well – despite pushing up the hills we were still ahead of our new slow-for-long-run-workout pace for most of the 6 miles out, and then slowed a bit for the homestretch to average out at just the right speed. I think the fastest mile of the final 6 was by far the last one – we were both feeling it by then and really just wanted to be DONE. Besides, no need to save up energy after the 15 mile marker blew past. We hit the wood path at the end of the run (last .2 miles) and I just started running “all out” (well, what passes for all out in a Suzi that has just run 15.8 miles). it felt so good to have energy left, and the watch was saying we had 2+ mins left in the mile at our pace, but it was only 1:50 to the next walk break. And I was damned if I was gonna finish walking 😛 I was huffing and puffing and loving the extra stretch at the end. And joy of my life, the snack group brought watermelon! now, normally I am not a watermelon girl but I swear on a warm day after a long run, nothing tastes better.

So that was today’s run. I’m now knitting away on the runner socks and resting up, having taken a little recovery walk over our hill. Sadly Peter’s feeling sick (working too hard caught up with him apparently, poor thing) so wasn’t able to join me for the world’s slowest half mile walk. Hopin’ tomorrow doesn’t hurt much, as I feel ever so slightly more worse for wear than after 14 miles. Definitely being good this time tho and taking tomorrow OFF except for maybe another short walk if I feel too stiff. Maybe I’ll actually write up the bridge socks pattern for once… 😛

As a few of you know from chatting online, I’ve been nursing a sore quad/knee for a bit. Decided to take a few days off before the recovery run Sat, but its still been bugging me. So I’m shifting my program and *sniff* I think its time to cut DDR for a bit. Need a non leg intensive cross training sport right now. Course… 😛 yesterday I was a lazy bum who didn’t want to sweat before an interview so I did a big huge nothing, but I’ll be switching over to abs and arms strength training on my non-run days from here on out.

And so far the bit of rest seems to be working. its been a while sine my legs wanted to move much, and I’ve been going thru the motions of doing my runs because I know I need too. Today I actually got back on the plan of running for speed on the short home runs. My time: 46:47 on my usual 4.4 miles. Hopefully someone reads my blog better than i do and can tell me if that’s faster than last time or not 😛 I’m just happy to be going back under 11:00 without hurting myself. I feel a lot better when my legs actually WANT to move. They also really liked me roller-massaging before, after, and after shower after… I swear I’m gonna get me a roller that’s small enough to take along to the actual run site for that!

I’ve also been trying out the Panda Silk socks. I’m kinda indifferent on them at the moment… they’re a definite improvement over tofutsies. I think they will wait out this weekend (16 miles!) and show up to the 8 mile run in a week. They’re all pretty and bridge-y, I really need to photo them. hey and if anyone has Persimmon leftovers…. I don’t have enough for another pair… I accept any and all donations of yarn! 😉 And one of these days I need to knit something OTHER than running socks. The feet, sooooo boring… I don’t know how I can run for an hour with nothing but the rhythm of my feet to keep me company but ask me to knit in plain stockinette for 15 mins and I whine whine whine whine… 😉

SF AIDS Marathon 2008

On August 3, myself and about 500 other runners will complete the San Francisco marathon in an effort to raise $1,000,000 for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. This is the culmination of nearly 2 years of lifestyle changes and weight loss for me, and a chance for me to use my new-found energy and fitness to give back to my community. I hope you will join me in this effort by reading and offering your support through my blog. If you are able, I also welcome your contribution to the cause! Thanks and keep on running!

Progress Bar:


Marathon time: 5:40:22
Total Raised: $2,815.70

My Sponsors

I'd like to thank the following organizations and individuals for their support of the SF AIDS Foundation!



Dianne Whitfield of the Bunny Hay Loft


Ulf Anvin
Rob Millner
Scott Lamb
Jeff Barlow
Erika Duplantis
Nick and Carol Esser
Kathryn Mercer
Nicole Pauls
Kathryn Coll
Timothy Berger
Susan Druding
Jenny Forman
Kathryn Mulgrew
Jamie Piperberg
Lucia Sanchez
Fran Taillon
Douglas Leeder
Barbara Kirsch
Ellen Atkinson
Valerie Esser
Peter McCourt
Carla Schroder
Sandra Spicher
Matthew Wilson
Valorie Zimmerman
Kathryn Kramer
Roxanne Seabright
Gayathri Swaminathan
Jason Spiro
Dianne Schoenberg

Thank you so very much for your support!

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