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Saturday, January 14, 2012

In an initiative to keep one another motivated, Becky (KALIGIRL) and I made a date to go ice skating today. Unfortunately, we discovered some truths about photography and action sports.

First, my cheap little phone? Rudely told me it had insufficient memory to use the camera. Bummer. Second, Becky tried to snap some action shots with her smart phone, but we ended up in giggles over it... she'd line up the shot, then if I looked at her, I'd start to lose my balance... or another skater would move into the way and I'd have to move out of the line of sight... or *something*. I don't know if she got any good shots at all... hopefully if she did she'll post them.

As we were leaving we did prevail upon a bystander to take one posed shot of the two of us, and hopefully she'll put that one up. But the important thing is not the photographic evidence; the important thing is that we went out and had some active FUN!

We both marvelled over how the skaters' skills (including our own) improved over the course of the session. The families, parents and little kids. The long time smooth skaters. The young people who clearly know what they are doing on the ice. And us... the determinedly active "seniors", if it's OK to call us that.

In the end, we were out on the ice about an hour, exercising *different* leg muscles from running or walking... we shall see how we feel in the next few days... and decide... what is our NEXT active fun cross-training adventure?

Life is indeed good, people. Spark on!

edited to add link to KaliGirl's blog *with* initial proof photos. emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 1/17/2012 10:06PM

    What fun... two friends sparking it up!

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JIBBIE49 1/15/2012 7:22AM

    I always wanted to ice skate as a kid but only got to try once when I was in Detroit and we went to a large outdoor rink. Of course, I didn't do well first time out. LOL

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FROGGGY13 1/15/2012 1:29AM

    The photos are really nice! Skating is so much fun, in fact, it makes me want to go skate myself.

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LJCANNON 1/15/2012 12:13AM

    emoticonYou won't let ANYTHING Stop you!! I can't wait to hear about your next adventure!!

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_LINDA 1/14/2012 11:17PM

    This is such an awesome idea, reaching out and trying new activities and having fun which is the main thing! Look forward to see and hearing of your future exploits! Having someone to share this with is the absolute best!
You go girls!!

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KARIDIAN1 1/14/2012 9:35PM

    Sounds like you both had a good time.

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COMETER 1/14/2012 9:28PM

    So...what's next? Roller skating? Sledding? Skateboarding? Line dancing? Boxcar hopping? Pogo sticks? Hula hoops?

And I think that we ALL hope you'll keep your phone more fully charged. It might not change how much fun you have, but some pictures would up the pleasure for the rest of us!

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PONYFARMER 1/14/2012 8:21PM

    Good job for you both, great exercise and you do not need to be good at it, loved teh photos.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/14/2012 8:01PM

    Great! That is just great!! I remember the last time(many years ago) I went skating I ended up with 49 bruises from falling down. Sounds like you did a whole lot better than I did then. Sounds like a lot of fun, too. Even the time I got all those bruises and spent a lot of time on the ice I had a great time. And it is absolutely wonderful to meet up with SparkFriends in person. Hoping our plans work out. Take care, Marsha

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WATERMELLEN 1/14/2012 7:30PM

    Nice!! enjoyed Becky's blog (and pics) too!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/14/2012 7:05PM

    I think that's wonderful. I think ice skating, roller scating and (my favorite) skipping are great ways to burn calories while having FUN.

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46SHADOW 1/14/2012 6:39PM

    Cool and burns a gazillion calories too!

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KALIGIRL 1/14/2012 6:30PM

    We DID have emoticon fun"
Not that I'm expecting a free pass on sore muscles, but I can say now they'll be worth it!
emoticon for continuing to be an inspiration.
Namaste my friend.

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MSLZZY 1/14/2012 6:21PM

    You had such fun that even if the photos don't turn out, it won't take away
from the day. Hope you don't discover "new" muscles that have been
awakened by the different activity. HUGS!

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NEWKAREN43 1/14/2012 6:11PM

    That's a GREAT idea!! Very active, motivational, unfortunately no photo time with a SP friend! I would love to hear how your glutes and hams feel over the next few days - or if something else hurts! I can't even imagine the calves and ankles (andy any body part you might have happened to fall on!) Yep, I'll bet that was a good workout! Good for you both!

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Thursday gym session

Friday, January 13, 2012

I was feeling so smugly proud of myself. I had "done" each workout of the week's training plan so far, and I *got myself in the front door of the gym*. That's a victory in itself.

I hopped on the elliptical, did my warm up, and proceeded to a very crowded weight room. My workouts are divided into three mini-cycles... I managed to find room to do the first cycle, involving flyes, squats, bicycles, and triceps kick-backs... back in a corner of the room, trying to avoid the fit-bodies grunting and doing their thing.

The second mini-cycle I had to go compete for space and equipment, but I was working my away around a couple of sets of trainer-client and getting the job done. There were *several* of the high school athletic crowd there last night working out with the trainers.

Partway through my cycle, I spotted "my" trainer, with her client of the hour: looks to be a high-school basketball player! Out of the corner of my eye, I watch what she's putting this gal through, and it was one of those moments: as I've often said, no matter how good you get, there's always somebody that if you try to compare yourself, will deflate your balloon, burst your bubble, or whatever!

That knee-high ledge she had me stepping up to last Saturday? I was on 8 reps? She AND the client were *jumping* up onto it, repeatedly. Trainer A was doing the workout alongside this client. Later in the evening, as I was finished and leaving, I spotted them in the basketball court, doing rebound drills.

I just had to laugh at my old lady workout (which, by the way, I still contend is not bad for a gal who's working on her 60th revolution)... compared to this young athlete's! emoticon

There are those who will be tempted to comment something about not comparing oneself to others, but sometimes it is good at this level to "not take oneself too seriously". Humility and humor go together.

Oh, by the way, hope her team wins... looks like a great kid.


Today is a rest day, break walks only... tomorrow: emoticon (What, no figure skating icon?) KaliGirl and I are going ICE SKATING. Hear that CrazyMango... I shall be meeting the challenge we set! You?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHANYBOUND 1/15/2012 9:19AM

    My husband is seriously into family photos. He just posted some from 10 years ago - wow I looked so great but at the time I thought I looked so old. I have learned that being content with ourselves and where we are at now is a great goal. No comparing to others or even ourselves.

Humor is a great trait.

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MIZCATHI 1/14/2012 10:58AM

    What I like about you is how you show me who you are by looking at a personal revelation or observance and make me see it with your words. Your focus on being all you can be, reminding me with examples of your age (something we have in common), and how you put your thoughts into actions - that is emotionally and intellectually where I aspire to be. I do know that I am confronted with a body that has aged and realize I am worn down by it but still kicking strong. I deserve the challenge of staying active. The result is that I am provided with a better quality life and a higher probability of living it longer. Having dreams of purpose keeps me agile, and for once I understand the connection between body and soul. I am fortunate to have learned some lessons as a result of making mistakes and taking note.

That's what you do, take note, and I like your notes!

Comment edited on: 1/14/2012 11:04:31 AM

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REJ7777 1/14/2012 9:36AM

    I'm impressed and motivated by all you do!

Once I was walking on an icy walking trail, courageously trying to find places to put my feet so as not to slip and kill myself. Then along comes a young man, RUNNING on the icy surface without a care in the world. "Humility and humor" sure do come in handy!

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COMETER 1/14/2012 8:18AM

    LOVE this post--and the comments.

There will always be those who are way better (and younger!), and those who can't believe that YOU can do what you do.

I just finished off an Ellen Barrett exercise DVD to start my day, and there's one set of exercises that I have to stop short of completing--I hate that. But sure enough, I'm pretty sure that I know people who wouldn't have gotten as far.

It helps to do exactly what you did--lighten up!

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_LINDA 1/13/2012 10:46PM

    Points out what 'safe' workout place Curves is -no big, sweaty ubermuscled men, no young athletes, all just average women trying to lose weight or stay fit, all having to do the exact same machines -makes it ideal for beginners and elders alike to get in a workout and not worry about how they look or be competitive with the others. But it also means you never get pushed to do better. Way to go on pushing your frontiers! Challenging yourself is what makes you a winner!
That is not a complacent little old lady attitude! You go girl!

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ANDI571 1/13/2012 9:10PM

    Come on over and watch me work out, and it will inflate your balloon right back up, lol.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/13/2012 10:38AM

    I frequently do the same thing. I look at the younger folks and think I should be able to keep up at them and work at their level. Then I look in the mirror and get a good reality check. LOL! Have a great day, Barb!

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MSLZZY 1/13/2012 10:24AM

    Just think how different our lives would have been if we were training
like this when we were in our teens. The younger genereation has so
many advantages and I hope she keeps it up after high school.
But for now, I'll take what I have and enjoy it.
You are so lucky to have access to all that equipment. Makes me
want to build a home gym but I am limited in space. Maybe move
our bed into the kitchen? LOL! Not a chance.

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KALIGIRL 1/13/2012 8:26AM

    Here's to emoticon although I have a feeling I'll be more emoticon (no on your backside icon)

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DEBRITA01 1/13/2012 8:04AM

    You keep rockin' your "old lady workout"! I get tired just reading about're amazing to me! emoticon emoticon

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Time and distance

Thursday, January 12, 2012

While seeking my zen on foot, I'm also trying to get started with the pre-training weeks of the beginner's Half Marathon plan I used last year. I feel it is appropriate to use the same plan, in that last year I was training to walk it, this year, I'm seeking that blend of walking / jogging that will feel right.

At the same time, I am trying to include more cross training, and the strength training that will support my triathlon dreams for Summer. So, it's not quite the same plan.

Last night's blended target was 4 miles on foot. I was not feeling the jog, so I started out giving myself permission to walk the full four miles if I chose, and I started slow... like 3.5 mph, reading a chapter of a book I've been hooked on. I finished the chapter before the first mile was done, tossed the book aside and started playing with the speed controls... a little faster, a little slower, allowing the drop back to a 4 mph walk or bumping up to a max of 10 minute miles, and everything in between, as the spirit moved.

To get myself to start, I told myself I could quit after 4 miles or an hour, whichever came first. The four miles came and went, and I cooled down to round out the hour... 4.42 miles, for an average of 13 minute miles... but that was a wide variety of speeds, really.

Zen? Nope, not yet. But I did it, and I'm on the way. Life's good. Spark on.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETHANYBOUND 1/15/2012 8:42AM

    Fabulous. A great motivation to show how to get past the "starting" mental hurdles. Those are by biggest challenge.

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BUGGYS 1/13/2012 7:07AM

    You motivate me to get in at least my 30 minutes of exercise a day! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 1/12/2012 8:03PM

    Keep tweaking it til you find what works for you. You are definitely on your way to finding your zen. emoticon

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ANDI571 1/12/2012 6:34PM

    I wish I had your comment to exercise. I just can't find it!

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REJ7777 1/12/2012 6:29PM

    Your steadfastness is very motivational! emoticon

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MRS.DOYLE 1/12/2012 4:14PM

    You're so organised with your training schedule. I wince when I hear people just turn up and do a race without any training. You will really reap the benefits of all your hard work.

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MIZCATHI 1/12/2012 3:09PM

    That walking speed is incredible! My goal is be able to walk faster than 3.5 - a good incline and that speed and my heart rate is high. Whew. I'm looking forward to losing these 50 lbs and getting faster.

It's so great to hear about your workouts because I figure if you can do it, I will be able eventually. Inspiring!

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KRISZTA11 1/12/2012 2:56PM

So many kinds of exercise, you are amazing!!

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_LINDA 1/12/2012 11:03AM

    Way to listen to your body! You got to do what is comfortable and feels right to you to get what you want! Great times for being so casual! That bodes well for the future!

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KALIGIRL 1/12/2012 9:00AM

    emoticon Sounds like I'll finish far behind you,
but you can be there to emoticon me on!

Super circuit 2x and wonderful conversation with Emily - psychology major with dance minor... continue to be blessed!

Comment edited on: 1/12/2012 9:01:09 AM

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MAGGIE101857 1/12/2012 8:56AM

    Good job! I love that we have become more in tune with our bodies and comfortable with changing our plans at any time during the workout without beating ourselves up! We have come a long way!!! Keep up the great work!!!

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MSLZZY 1/12/2012 8:19AM

    Keep working on it! You are doing great!

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JUST_TRI_IT 1/12/2012 8:17AM

    Nice plan... Seems to work nicely to go into the training with a flexible attitude. Way to go BARB!!

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Steps in the right direction

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The first step in getting where I want to be (zen mode at a jog)... is in the discipline to get on the treadmill and GO SLOW. Last night after work I got on the treadmill for 40 minutes. The first five minutes was my warm-up walk. Then we played with the jog.

Funny thing: jogging alone on the treadmill, I'm not as motivated as when I have Sgt. Son at my side. Hmmm. So, seeking my "zen zone", I allowed myself at times to drop back to a fast walk... then after a minute or so, back at the jog. Mentally, I gave myself permission to do the entire session at a walk if I so desired, seeking that zen. But I was going to do the distance the plan called for, regardless of how long it took.

In the end? I covered "at least" the 3 miles (3.29), in 40 minutes and change. Was it zen? Not yet. But baby steps. I'm going to find it. I don't know what pace or intervals it will involve, but that is the half marathon plan: find the zen for 13.1!

Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/12/2012 8:50PM

    You are so wise. I have found (on the rare occasion) that when I give myself permission to do "less," that I actually perform better and harder. Keep it up and you'll find that zen soon. Perhaps your son will need to be on a treadmill right next to you to help you stay motivated. . .

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    Just don't zone out with the zen and slip!

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/12/2012 2:07AM

    Hmm - have to say that the zen is at the horizon for me... have a lot to achieve before I can have that ambition - you are doing so great!

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DEBRITA01 1/11/2012 2:16PM

    Good luck finding that zen during your workout. If anyone can find it, you will. Your discipline is inspiring! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/11/2012 2:19:40 PM

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_LINDA 1/11/2012 10:42AM

    Sounds like you are going to figure it out in no time! Way to work it, mind and body, good discipline!!

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BUGGYS 1/11/2012 9:24AM

    Wow...I wish I could be as disciplined on the treadmill...I usually do a fast walk at 3.8-4.0 for about 45 minutes but always have to drop back to 3.5 for a time...I hope to build up the least I'm getting on the darn thing! emoticon

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DEBRA0818 1/11/2012 9:20AM

    Congratulations on amazing discipline and self-awareness -- you're way ahead of the pack no matter how fast you're going.


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DRB13_1 1/11/2012 8:35AM

    I think it's great that you are aware during your workout and look forward to hearing the race report from your HM. emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/11/2012 7:56AM

    I think that's the purpose of the zen zone - to go with the flow. Congrats on your "zenby" steps!

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WATERMELLEN 1/11/2012 7:49AM

>That's generally the way it happens: and you'll recognize it for sure!!

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MSLZZY 1/11/2012 7:33AM

    Good luck finding your zen. Mine is hiding here someplace LOL! HUGS!

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Seeking one's stride

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

It is "common wisdom" that the exercise that is best is the one you will do. Obviously, I have found my stroke in the pool, from last evening's post-swim blog. This has happened since the acquisition of the nose clip and ear plugs. I think the strength training didn't hurt, either. But a few swims back when I "got my stroke" with the crawl breathing rotation, I felt like "I'm back!"

Now, I want that same feeling in a run... I know I can have it with a speed walk, I've felt it... but can I get it running? I don't think I've ever had it running! Can I get it biking? Bottom line, I want the cross-training, but I also want the "zen" in all three sports.

I came closer in Sunday's run... tried to keep the knees soft and the footfalls quiet. After work today, the plan calls for 3 miles on foot... I will be seeking my stride... the zen zone!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/12/2012 8:48PM

    Ah yes, that "zen" moment in exercising. I'm not sure I'll ever find that, but I am enjoying the elliptical. If you're able to find that sweet spot in all three forms of exercise, you'll be floating through those triathalons!

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MOBYCARP 1/10/2012 5:17PM

    emoticon Great concept!

I think to avoid injury running, I need to concentrate on hitting my stride. Run because it feels good, not because I want to be able to run longer or further. That got me to a 10K; can it get me to a half marathon?

In any event, hitting the stride or the zen zone is a good concept. When I lose it, chances are I've trained too hard.

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_LINDA 1/10/2012 12:59PM

    Way to feel it!! I too, love getting in the zone where things just go so smoothly and you are in a world of your own -I am like that on the elliptical -I actually close my eyes while on it :) I really enjoy my exercise and do get strongly into it, ignoring all that is going on around me. Exercise really is a selfish pursuit -you are in it for yourself so you want to make it the most fun and enjoyable thing you can do..
Good luck with the running and biking!

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ANDI571 1/10/2012 12:15PM

    You are so awesome! emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/10/2012 12:02PM

    Go for it! HUGS!

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MIZCATHI 1/10/2012 10:21AM

    I agree, there has to be something you like about the exercise, especially when you first begin. Now I just like to exercise because of how it makes me FEEL! Once you can get to that place it all becomes easier don't you think?

I don't know about running, though, it seems to suck the air out of my lungs. I have considered trying it again when I drop more weight.

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KRISZTA11 1/10/2012 8:36AM

Very true - the best exercise is the one you do, and you do the one you enjoy!

Looking back on these past 6 months, I think all my past exercise attempts failed within 2-3 few weeks because I did not enjoy them.

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DEBRA0818 1/10/2012 8:27AM

    I like that feeling too -- for me with water aerobics, Zumba and walking. It's a great feeling when you hit your stride and, quite frankly, a startling accomplishment for all us former couch potatoes. Rock on!


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KALIGIRL 1/10/2012 8:05AM

    Love it - zen zones!
emoticon for me - super circuit and walking. Tomorrow is the pool - hope the fish I remember as a kid comes back.
Still checking on Sat or Sun, but will get back to you.

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