Saturday, June 25, 2011

walked my first official 5K today

Well, I'm all packed up and ready to leave in the morning for Cornerstone Festival.  I've been loving this festival for about a decade now, but I can't wait to experience it from an "inside" perspective!  Will be totally offline until Independence Day - good health and happy days to you all!

This morning, along with about 7,000 other people, I walked the Greater Chicago Food Depository Hunger Walk.  It was a 5K along the banks of Lake Michigan.  Perfect weather, beautiful day, big excitement everywhere.  

I was really pleased to discover I could ride the 22-mile Critical Mass Ride last night, not getting home until 11ish, and still be up to leave at 7 AM to walk a little over 3 miles (which, if you didn't already know, is what 5K translates to).  The walk was gentle because of the simple fact that there were so many of us of all ages, sizes, and abilities sharing the path.  I think it took us about an hour and 15 minutes, all told.  

All of this was a very nice warm-up for Cornerstone - never any lack of walking there.  I've packed my running clothes, in hopes that I will squeeze in some runs.  And I'm ready to be gracious with myself if I find tent living doesn't lend itself to Karen moving in such an intentional way.

Steady as she goes.  Blessings, all!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

doing the rocky victory dance a bit

This morning was my last walk/run for this week, since I have those two events I mentioned yesterday coming up in the next 2 days.  It seems I'm developing a habit of pushing a bit more on the last run of the week.  How very unlike me!

Most mornings I just head down the path and turn around at the halfway point.  This morning, instead I took a sort of loopish path.  I figured out at what should have been the halfway point that I wasn't halfway there.  This opened up a great possibility for pushing...

So this morning's route looked like:

*5 minutes of walking to warm up
*90 seconds of jogging
*90 seconds of walking
*3 minutes of jogging
*90 seconds of walking (this should have been 3 minutes - it was an oopsie...sooo hard to think at that hour...)
*90 seconds of jogging
*90 seconds of walking
*8 minutes of jogging <---CHECK IT OUT!
*5 minutes of walking home
*and up 6 flights of stairs to my room

I am stunned to find that I am really enjoying this C25K thing.  Weird.  But good!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

tiny bowls and smaller jeans

Our dining room has gotten some new bowls; they are substantially smaller then the "usual" ones.  I first saw only one and thought someone had lost theirs, but more and more are appearing on the rack.  I love them because they help me with portion control.  I make my oatmeal in them every morning, and it looks like more food in those cute little bowls.  

Last night we had lasagna.  This is a food which can easily send me into the way too much zone.  I loves me some lasagna!  My solution:  the lasagna went into my tiny bowl, the tiny bowl went on my plate, and then I filled it the rest of the way with a giant salad.  Felt like a FEAST and it was loving my body while I was doing it.  Ahh the tricks we can play on ourselves, for the better, eh?  

The ever-looser jeans I've been strapping on with the ever-tightening belt were, I thought, size 24.  That was what I remembered buying. (If you're appalled that I would share an actual number, you might not have been around long enough to understand that the "naked" part of the title of this blog is about telling truth even when it's wretchedly uncomfortable.) I had forgotten that I had to return all 3 pairs right after I bought them (which was right before I moved here), and get 22s because thanks mostly to Lulu I was already losing weight.  Over the weekend I noticed the size on the tag and was encouraged to drag out a pair of jeans I've had squirreled away, waiting until "someday when these might fit me."  

They are 18s.  They fit!  Over the weekend when I tried them on, they were still WAY too tight in an embarrassing way, though I didn't have to lay down on the bed to button and zip them (which was a regular practice for me back in my early 20s when all this weight first found me).  I tried them on again yesterday morning, and they had left the embarrassing zone.  So I walked around in them all day, thinking gleefully to myself I haven't worn this size since sometime in my 20's, I think!  

A certain size is not the goal here; loving my body is.  But I'm not gonna lie:  reaching a certain size is enough to make my heart dance.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

fun stuffies ahead

Couple of fun opportunities happening this week that will be very good for my body as well as being experiences to remember:

Friday night some friends and I are riding the Chicago Critical Mass.  A short summary of that:  hundreds of bikes taking over the streets of Chicago, making their monthly statement along with other riders worldwide that "bikes are traffic" and pushing a bit for greener, healthier living than life inside one's car.  It looks to be a party on wheels. My sneak preview at the proposed route for this month shows it to be a 22-mile route.  I'm gonna break my record again!  YAY!

Saturday morning some of us from my house are participating in the Greater Chicago Food Pantry's 26th Annual Hunger Walk.  This is a 5K, which I am confident I can do, thanks to the C25K training I've been doing and 8 months of Chicago living.  

I'm awfully glad to be doing these things; next week is Cornerstone Festival and I'm feeling a little unsure how doing my C25K routine will work out in a giant hayfield, with my body sore from sleeping on the ground in a tent in what looks to maybe be a lot of rain.  Happily, I know I can just pick up where I left off when I get home, if the Fest trashes my routine for the week.   

I'm not being ironic nor sarcastic when I say:  my life is awesome. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

i think this is called a near-miss

A shout-out to a reader who hit me up yesterday morning - I realized after talking to you that I DO blog here in the mornings!  Silly me!  I really was thinking I only did that in the evenings...therein lies the danger of blogging before one is fully coherent, I guess...anyway, thanks for reading!  

I almost skipped the workout this morning.  I had realized last night after I was snuggled in and 99% asleep that I hadn't checked the C25K schedule to see what this week's routine was.  So I resolved to just wake up early (before the alarm - I find it to be a continuous miracle that I can just *decide* to wake up before the alarm and my body knows what to do) and check before I went.  

Logging onto the computer this morning at 5 AM, I felt compelled to check the weather...maybe it was raining?  The internet told me the rains would start somewhere between 6 and 7.  Maybe it will rain on me.  I almost stayed in bed.  It took some more of that quick, decisive action to swing my legs over the side of the bed and get moving, before temptation could suck me back under the covers.

The morning was gorgeous - gray and misty.  I'm so glad I got out in it.  Now I am safely home, showered, and thunder is booming outside my window, accompanied by the patter of rain.  AND I DIDN'T MISS MY WORKOUT.  Awesomeness.  

This week's C25K schedule looks like:

5 minutes of brisk walking to warm up
90 seconds of jogging
90 seconds of walking
3 minutes of jogging
3 minutes of walking
90 seconds of jogging
90 seconds of walking
3 minutes of jogging
3 minutes of walking

And that left me 2 minutes from home.  Walked home, took the stairs up to my room on the 6th floor, only getting off the stairwell to walk the hall and breathe once, on the 3rd floor.

Hey cool!  I did it!  I'm not gonna lie - I was daunted at the notion of 3 minutes of jogging.  

Turns out, I really CAN do it. 

As my son would say, suck it, lethargy. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

distance record and phobia broken, all in one fell swoop

I didn't sleep much this week, due to lying awake thinking about the massive changes that are fixin' to happen in my life.  So last night I went to bed before dark - I think it was not quite 8:30.  The beauty of going to bed ridiculously early:  it makes an early morning bike ride absolutely do-able!  

This morning, I broke my standing record for longest bike ride.  Last year back in Rock Island, I rode along the Mississippi to the tune of a 15-mile bike ride one gorgeous Saturday.  It was a big event - it took most of my day.  

This morning, I rode 16 miles - from home to Grant Park and back again - and I did it before breakfast.  OH YEAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The main reason I hadn't gone that far yet, here in Chicago, was I kept getting stuck at Navy Pier - the path seemed to only lead in a circle.  I have been there a number of times, and always just turned around and came home once I got there after trying to find a way *past* it.  A couple of weeks ago, though, a friend explained where I was going wrong - veering left just before Navy Pier where I should go straight (I promise, I hadn't even noticed that going straight was an option!)

The path I needed goes under an overpass and then over a bridge.  It is narrow and pedestrians have the right of way on it.  You have to go through I think 3 stoplights to get to the other side.  I would never have figured this out if I hadn't been talked through it. 

I don't think I've blogged about this here, but I have always been terrified of heights.  It's not a "think it through" thing - it's a body reaction.  I can't talk myself out of it.  I get to high places and everything in me is screaming hold onto something, we are about to die!  I've tried reason, prayer, refusing to act the way I feel...all to no avail. 

This morning, I realized as I pedaled hard up the incline of the bridge on that narrow path that I was headed for a high place.  On my bike.  And then the coolest thing happened:  I was able to decide not to be afraid.  This has never, ever, EVER been an option within my reach before.  I took a breath but didn't slow my pedaling even a bit, and decided without hesitation.  I rode across that high bridge and my stomach didn't even lurch; I didn't even get that crazy, flailing, off balance sensation.  My heart didn't race.  I didn't bust out into a cold sweat.  I just rode across like it was nothing at all...except of course that I was having one giant dance party inside my head at this shocking development. 

So why now?  Why this sudden unexpected freedom?  I have a theory about that.  I have been practicing not letting my body call all the shots for about 6 months now.  It doesn't get to send me on binge eating frenzies.  It doesn't get to keep me off the stairs.  My body and I have become friends.  I don't have to push it around like a bully, but we seem to have arrived at "I am in charge, and it is not" and that has happened by me choosing more or less consistently to be obedient to what the Lord shows me about how to love it.  

So it is submitted to my will, and my will is submitted to God's will, and amidst all this surrender, the door was apparently propped wide open for my unexpected freedom from terror of heights.

Color me elated!

this is at the heart of the matter, really:

"Our desire for God is the desire that should guide all other desires. Otherwise our bodies, minds, hearts, and souls become one another's enemies and our inner lives become chaotic, leading us to despair and self destruction."    ~Henri Nouwen

Friday, June 17, 2011

and PUSH

This morning was my 3rd of the minimum 3-runs-per-week I'm doing for C25K.  I missed Wednesday because of the storm, and Thursday because I told myself it was raining outside, though I had no idea whether that was true or not.  Ahh sleeping in....

This week has been the "week 2" part of that schedule, though it's my 3rd week.  Looks like I won't have to repeat week 2 like I did week 1.  That's encouraging.  The schedule for this week, as I mentioned earlier, is basically 20 minutes of alternating 90 seconds of running with 2 minutes of walking.  

On my last rotation before the 5-minute walk home, I got inspired.  How about seeing if I can run 2 minutes instead of 90 seconds?  Strangely, I was excited about trying this.  Happily, I could do it (bearing in mind that "run" is a relative word, and most of you wouldn't probably count what I do as fitting the definition). 

I still feel like I need to check and see if this is really ME doing this stuff.  Seems so unlikely...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

7, 8, 9...CHEER!!!

On Wednesday nights, I have a supper Bible study on the 9th floor of my building.  I always take the elevator, due to this fun little senseless rule I've had about not taking the stairs when I'm carrying food (whatever it takes, people!)  

Last night, the front elevators were out of commission momentarily when my plate was filled.  I headed for the back.  The line was long.

I took the stairs.  TO THE NINTH FLOOR!  Carrying food, even.  :-)  

I had to get off the stairwell and walk the halls 3 times on the trip up.  Nonetheless, I got to the 9th floor without "lift assistance."  

Dude.  Awesome. 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Last night I skipped supper.  For some, skipping meals is just an ordinary part of life, but that has never been the case for me.  I always eat 3 meals a day.  Always. 

Mostly that's a good thing.  Healthy eating means spreading consumption out over the day, not living on one meal a day and starving the rest of the time.  But last night, skipping supper was an amazingly healthy thing for me to do.

Here's the thing:  I wasn't hungry.  I had been doing physical work for a couple of hours, hustling pretty well, which normally makes me hungry.  The normal setting for me is:  it's TIME to eat, and food is available, so I need to eat.  Part of that is a fear thing - if I don't eat now, I might be hungry (read:  experience discomfort) later. 

Last night I wasn't afraid of potential hunger looming - I've gone to bed hungry WAY too many times since this "learning to love my body" thing started to be cowed by that fear.  So I get hungry.  So what?  I've learned that I am just fine when that happens.  

Considering this as I prayed this morning, I realized I am learning to listen to my body for real.  Before, I listened as in, "it wants something...hurry and give it what it wants!" which was bad for me and bad for my body (not that we are separate entities but hopefully you hear what I mean.)   Last night I listened as in, "I'm reading its signs." 

News flash:  I survived without supper.  I lived through the night.  And I'm not even extra-ravenous this morning. 

I'm really digging this whole "learning to love my body" business.

Monday, June 13, 2011

picking up the pace a bit - easier than i had guessed!

Back to my walk/run this morning.  I am on my third week of the C25K program and started the "week 2" schedule this morning.  It boils down to:  

*warm up walk for 5 minutes
*20 minutes of the alternating these:
     *90 seconds of running
     *2 minutes of walking
*cool down walk for 5 minutes

Mine gets the boost that I arrive home to do stairs up to the 6th floor to get back to my room.  Had to walk the hall on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th this morning - Mondays are hard.  But I didn't get on the elevator...SCORE.  

I am amazed that I can keep running (well, it's more JOGGING than running) for 90 seconds.  I would have guessed that would just about knock me down.  But I was actually almost completely catching my breath in the 2-minute walk segments.  Cool beans.  

I love progress.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

gladly pitching it

I can't throw "useful" things away.  There is definitely the seed of a hoarder in me, though I generally fight it pretty well by GIVING useful things away.  That works for things like clothes, knick-knacks, gadgets, etc.

But not so much for food, when it's already on my plate.  I have been learning to tear up my card to the "clean plate club," but it has been a real struggle.  In general, whatever lands on my plate gets eaten.  This (usually) works if I am the one loading my plate, but I get caught up when someone else hands me a tray of Way Too Much. 

I eat a bowl of oatmeal every morning for breakfast (and treat myself to a chocolate chocolate chip muffin on Sunday morning, along with it).  There is much, much more available to me, especially on weekdays - JPUSA knows how to do breakfast.  I have mentioned before:  I don't even LOOK at what else is offered, because if I start looking, I'll start sampling, and the next thing you know I'll be eating breakfast like I'm going out to work as a logger or a roofer or some other extremely physical job.  

The nice part about eating from the line is I don't have to fool around with food.  It's there, I take what I want and walk away.  So getting my oatmeal is just a matter of spooning a bit, already cooked and ready to go, into the bowl.  This means I can put 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup in, add my goodies, microwave and PRESTO breakfast is perfect!  

This morning I slept in, so I didn't get down to the line.  I took out my stash of dry oatmeal in my cupboard and wandered to the kitchen on my floor to make it in the microwave.  I wasn't thinking about how very SMALL the amount I use now is.  But when I followed the single-serving directions on the bag (not very precisely - my measuring cup was a styro), what cooked up in my was HUGE.  Clear up to the edge of my over-sized bowl.  I was overwhelmed, looking at i (funny...a couple of years ago that bowl would have left me asking, "and what else can I have WITH it?")  A conversation instantly erupted in my head with myself about not eating that whole darn thing. But I didn't have much confidence that wisdom would win this war.

But as amazing as it is to me...wisdom won.  I skimmed my normal portion off the top.  When I was done, there was still A LOT more food left in the bowl than I ever even take anymore.  

I stunned myself by throwing it away.  With a smile.  With a comfortable stomach.  Without guilt.  I am not a human garbage can, and there is a difference between "wasting food" and "doing what's best for me."  

If this seems like a "duh, of course" moment to you, then you and I haven't operated from the same focus.  But I know for sure that some of you out there get how big a deal this is. 

It feels like freedom. 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

sleeping in and an accidentally good workout

This morning's storms kept me in from my walk/run, which was no big deal since I already got 3 runs in this week and still have tomorrow as a potential bonus.  I'm not gonna lie - I loved getting to stay snuggled in bed, listening to the thunder and lightning and not exerting myself!  

Tonight, though, I accidentally gave myself a pretty good workout.  The weather was chilly and gray but no sign of impending rain, so I practically RAN for Lulu when I got off work.  Off we went, down the bike path.  I noticed some blustery breezes on my way there, but then once I turned onto the path, they seemed to disappear.  Oblivious in my happy little Karen-on-a-bike cloud (yes, I actually ride with a big dumb grin on my face), I pedaled gleefully away.  I rode faster than I have ever ridden before.  I ZOOMED the whole 5.5 miles to one of my usual turnaround spots.  I was amazed at my speed.

My boss had complimented me on "shrinking" right as I left work - I think I was still high on the fumes of that one.  So I was 8 years old all over again, pedaling with all my might and thinking WOW at how fast I could go...I really must be getting into good shape!  And not noticing that part of the reason for that was:  a very strong tailwind.

I generally take a break or two or sometimes even three when I ride, to greatly lessen uhhh "bike seat pain."  So I stopped at the turnaround point, sat on a bench and watched the crazy waves crashing and smashing on the shore (I NEVER get tired of watching Lake Michigan) and checked out the people walking, jogging, and biking by.  

I noticed a lady on a bike wearing a windbreaker jacket.  Watching the way it billowed as she rode, the reality finally dawned on me:  I'm going to have to ride home in some pretty strong headwinds.  Hoo boy. 

Pedaling the bike homeward, I felt like someone had attached a giant bungee cord to my back tire and was holding it steady.  I shifted down from 7th gear into 6th...then 5th...and finally 4th.  I felt like I needed to stand on the pedals sometimes.  On the slight inclines that cannot even truly be called "hills" I had to downshift again to 3rd, and still came almost to a stop.  In some of the "out in the open" spots I almost felt like I needed to get off and walk the bike, but I kept pedaling.

It was a good workout.  Had to practice good breathing, and even worked up a bit of a sweat despite the chilly weather.  Tonight my knees are talking to me about that ride.

But that's the fun of bicycling - even a workout that kicks my butt is a total joy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the value of quick, decisive action

This morning I was tempted to skip my walk/run.  I have resolved to run 5 mornings a week, though the plan only calls for 3 times.  Why?  Because weather, life, etc have a way of changing plans.  So if I shoot for 5 mornings a week, I will more than likely make the 3 times almost always.  And at this point I am only intensely moving for about 20 of the 30 minutes I'm out there, so I don't believe my body needs a rest between days.

So this morning when the alarm went off and I was wiped out from a fairly thought-filled, mostly sleepless night, I was tempted not to go.  After all, I only needed 3 runs this week and I already got 2 out of the way on Monday and Tuesday...and still had Thursday and Friday that I could use.  After all, I was tired from the not sleeping so much.  After all, why not treat myself to sleeping in a bit?

I got out of bed FAST when that conversation started happening.  It's a thing I'm learning about loving my body:  hurry and do the right thing.  Don't think it over, don't reason, don't give room to do something else.  Just quickly and decisively do the right thing.  So when I'm making my plate at the line, I put the amount I should have and then quickly move on...if I stand there a second, I WILL add a second scoop/portion of whatever it is.  Early on in this process, I was having pizza and commiserating with a friend late one night.  I paused, thought, gave myself the excuse...and polished off half a large, overloaded pizza with a smile.  There's not room for that if I'm going to love my body by my actions.  

I'm not so surprised it works like this.  After all, in life in general I stay the most faithful to what God shows me if I just quickly do what I know He said to do.  When I start drawing out excuses and long legal-loophole type arguments...there I go, running off in the wrong direction.  It doesn't take much encouragement to send me that direction.   

This isn't at all where I thought I was going with tonight's blog!  Oh well..following as I go.  I'll pick up where I thought I was going tomorrow...maybe....!

Monday, June 6, 2011

unglamorous but good

I realized as I was walking out the front door this morning that I hadn't checked the C25K schedule to see what the change is for this week.  Oh well.  I just did the same thing I was doing last week - 90 seconds walking, 60 seconds jogging, repeat etc.  I'm thinking I'll just repeat that again for this whole week.  When I read the article on how it works, I recall seeing that doing any week more than once is's okay to "get it down" before moving onto the next, harder level.  There were cautions not to skip ahead, but lots of freedom to slow it down.  Since I've been the queen of Starting Things in a Great Big Hurry and then Totally Failing, I'm thinking abandoning the great big hurry approach is a good plan.  Gonna go gently - after all, the idea is for this to be a life change, not just a temporary project.  From that perspective, why does it matter how soon I advance, as long as I'm sticking to the goal of loving my body by treating it well?  

Enjoyed some great weekend bike rides, and working the stairs in my building ever more and the elevators ever less.  

Progress.  It ain't glamorous, but it does feel good.

Friday, June 3, 2011

potions from a far off land

I've known for years that I probably have circulation issues in my legs.  I first put it together at a CPR class that was a little more thorough than most; the teacher talked about the way the heart works and problems it sometimes has, and I recognized symptoms of bad circulation as she described them.  That was maybe 5 or more years ago.

One would THINK with a family history of heart problems, I'd have taken action on that.  But I didn't.  I just stored the scary information in the back of my mind and kept on going.  This is the definition of NOT loving one's body.

I'm hoping that one of the wonderful side-benefits of loving my body will be a return to the kind of fitness that might greatly improve or even solve the circulation issue.  

Last weekend I was in Chinatown with a friend, wandering in and out of various little shops.  In one of these, a tiny but energetic little lady chose me as her sales target.  Looking me all up and down, visibly weighing me with her eyes, she grabbed a box off the shelf and started saying things about how it would help the pain in my feet and legs, it was good for circulation, and I thought she said it was good for "the breath" three times really fast.  I bought the tea mostly because of the "breath" thing...anytime someone pushes something to help breath on you 3 times fast, you probably oughta listen, you know?  I spent the rest of the day trying not to breathe on anyone, but also wondering what breath has to do with circulation.

I've concluded since then that she was saying "blood" in her adorable accent.  I googled the tea I bought (salvia root and some kind of ginseng...the box is at my office so I'm working from memory here) and it definitely purports to help with circulation, but there is no mention of improving "breath" anywhere.  

So I've been having a big cup of this tea every morning when I get to work.  It doesn't taste the best and has lots of floaties in it.  I add sugar to get it down, and I drink it fast, cuz the cooler it gets, the grosser it gets.  But you know...I think it's helping! The leg pains that have bothered me more nights than not seem to be getting slowly better.  Last night I worked standing/walking on my feet for 4 hours straight.  This should have robbed me of almost all my sleep...generally it would have created so much leg and foot pain that even taking Aleve before bed wouldn't have bought me the kind of relief that would allow for restful sleep.

Last night I got in late and forgot to take Aleve before bed.  I was so tired I didn't take time to massage my feet and legs before bed, which has been almost mandatory to get enough relief to get to sleep in the first place even when I haven't been standing for hours.  I didn't wake up in the night needing to massage them, which has become a pretty regular need.  I slept straight through and it didn't hurt to step down out of bed this morning.  ALL of this is unusual for me. Hopefully at least some of the effect is from the walking/running, but I think I'm becoming a fan of this disgusting tea!     

I also bought "women's tea" in that same shop.  Hopefully it'll be as effective as this stuff.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

penguin running

The friend who inspires me to try this running thing sent me looking at pages about "penguin runners."  The term refers to people who are slow runners, basically - people who are working to get fit or to challenge themselves but probably not to win any speed races.  But I enjoy the term because it kind of typifies my own running style.   Penguin.  Feet barely clearing the ground.  Not particularly graceful.  I also enjoy it because penguins are my daughter's favorite animal, so I get a grin every time I think of it.

Following the "penguin" links eventually led me to the C25K stuff.  I suspect I was one of the last human beings on planet earth who hadn't heard of C25K.  The term (in case you are ALSO one of those last few holdouts) means "couch to 5K" and the promise is that this can be achieved within 9 weeks by simply following the schedule.  

5K is about 3 miles; the website I read was pretty relaxed about that.  It basically said shoot for the distance OR shoot for 30 minutes running.  Considering a 10-minute mile was enough to make me feel like I was going to collapse and/or throw up even back in my sophomore year when I was the much skinnier girl who could do all that stuff from my recent "used to could" list, I like the latitude in choosing the time rather than the distance.  It's a penguin runner thing, I of the things I appreciated about the penguin forums I read was all the people whose mile time is more like 16 minutes. 

Since what I am aiming for is loving my body by getting it into a healthy condition, I could care less about whether I actually go the official distance.  30 minutes of exercise, on the other hand, is a concrete measure of adequate exercise.  This, I can do.

My plan of walking 3 minutes, running 1, and repeating etc. segues well into the C25K plan.  This week I am walking 90 seconds and running 60.  These times are loosely defined as I am counting in my head rather than clock-watching.  But I can feel progress happening already in my body - I am less out of breath during/after the running parts than I was last week.  Also, getting out of bed is easier; my body has decided to daily beat the 5:30 alarm by 10-12 minutes, which means I'm about 3 minutes from walking out the door when my wake-up alarm finally starts going. 

Progress in a week:  just another reason to be amazed by this machine/gift that is my body.