Ah ah ah ah Stayin' Alive...

...just barely. I am still battling some sinus/respiratory gunk. I finally felt pretty good on Memorial Day after a couple of weeks with a seemingly endless cold that settled in my lungs. Then on tues. my seasonal Fall allergies decided to step-in and make life miserable. I think I narrowly averted a raging sinus infection (props to my neti pot and regular doses of nasal decongestant), but my lungs are still feeling off. Weak, inefficient, and very asthmatic. At least I no long feel like I'm drowning in mucous, so that's the bright side. And I completed my highest mileage week yet--55.5. I had originally hoped to do 58-60, as my peak mileage week before my Oct. marathon (Grand Rapids), but scaled-back a bit due to my crappy respiratory issues.

Today I managed an 11 miler (with some walking to catch my breath...my easiest pace had me struggling to fill my lungs). I had originally planned on 13, but decided in advance to cut it a little short, since I'm only a week out from my goal half-marathon for the year, the Old Boys' Brewhouse Oktoberfest race. Next year the full marathon will be my Fall marathon.

This coming week will be easy, aside from the race. Nothing longer than a 7 miler on Monday. Phew. The period from Saturday through Monday will be pretty tough, though. HM on Sat., 5 mile recovery on Sun., then 20 miler on Mon. That 20 is probably going to be pretty brutal so soon after the race, but I'm starting to get crunched for time if I want to get in 2 20s before marathon day on 10/18. As it is I'm doing a 2.5 week taper, instead of a full 3 weeks.

In non-running news, yesterday I dropped-off my wedding/engagement ring to be re-set. ~5 years ago I lost 45#s (actually, had lost closer to 60, but regained a few and got stuck) and have been wearing a piece of airline tubing as a spacer for all this time (not a great solution, as it adds a lot of bulk to the underside of an already bulky ring...and it's ugly, slides around, pinches my finger, and has left callouses). I have needed to have it resized, but it's not going to be an easy ring to do this with, as you can see from the photo at right. The original design is a bit of a puzzle ring with the wedding band sliding in under and bridged by the engagement band.

After the 2 rings were soldered together I had the 2 extra diamonds added. They had once been earrings that my maternal grandmother had been given by my grandpa. I always wanted them flush-set into the white gold of the engagement band and never understood why the jeweler couldn't do this. I've always found the prong-set diamonds next to the bezel-set main diamond to look awkward and not match. And over the years I have been annoyed by the impossibility of cleaning under and around the diamond. It is fully enclosed in the setting, so only the top surface is open. 14 years of grime have collected under the stone and killed its fire. A 3/4ctw should sparkle a lot...but it hasn't lived up to its potential since shortly after our wedding when the 2 rings were soldered together and the underside became completely enclosed on the bottom with the wedding band.

Over the years I have lusted over more simple settings. I'm no longer fond of the 2-tone gold look, especially since the white gold in my original setting failed to stay white, so the entire setting looked more like a dingy yellow...and I never wear yellow gold, aside from my wedding band. I will also one day inherit my mom's wedding set, which is a brushed white gold.

I fell in love with tension settings, like the one below...until I priced them. Egads--I would likely spend nearly as much for the setting (because tension settings require such a thick band and a LOT of gold...which ain't cheap, nowadays) as my diamond is worth. A non-tension setting is generally about half the price. And it can be resized later, if need be.

Since I like the overall design of the ring at left, but not the tension set price-tag...I looked for alternatives that would give a similar effect, but not be as pricey or limiting as the tension set option.

Bless Google image search. The type of setting that would accomplish that look, but still be a traditionally set ring is referred to as "cathedral setting." I started to look for cathedral settings for princess-cut/rectangular diamonds and found this design, which I expected would still have to be custom made by a jeweler.

But when I walked into the shop and showed the jeweler (who also happens to do custom design work) what I was looking for she had recalled seeing it in one of their settings catalogs. So she was able to order the setting, a bezel mount, and can easily flush-set those two tiny earring diamonds on the sides of the ring...a much more subtle and elegant solution, but still allowing me to wear those family heirlooms always, and without risk of loss. Those little diamonds likely have almost no monetary value, but they are still special to me and not something I ever wanted to wear as stud earrings, due to the risk of loss.

In 2.5-3 weeks I should have my new ring ready to pick-up. In the meantime my left hand feels kind of naked when I leave the house. I rarely wore the ring while at home, since it was so uncomfortable. But I fully expect I will go back to wearing my pretty wedding ring 24/7 once it is the right size. Prior to losing weight I rarely took it off.

On a kind of funny note. About a month ago DH went in and purchased a replacement for his own original wedding band (original was white gold, new ring is a less expensive and beefy tungsten...he's such an enginerd *giggles*). He and I lost weight tandem-style. So his ring became lost...he believes he had it on while shoveling and when he removed his glove it slipped-off. I'm sure that now he will find the original (just this week we found the little Nikon point-n-shoot camera that I recently replaced...it was obvious who used it last by the "self-portraits" of a certain 8 year old boy on the memory card).


  1. That looks exactly like my engagement ring, except that my ring is yellow gold and well...has a princess cut diamond already set in it. I want to see pictures of the finished ring!

  2. Oh, cool! I don't know that I ever noticed yours. Next time I see you you'll have to show me. We can compare! I will definitely take pictures of the new setting once I have it...which I hope is SOON!