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Two a day and random thoughts

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Swimming at 5 in the morning, you find the die-hards.

Swimming a single stroke and musing while you do, you discover why your buddy who swam a single stroke could never tell you how many laps she did... YOU LOSE COUNT! Anyway, I know I went at least as many lengths as the training plan called for. I spent 20 minutes with my "freestyle / crawl" stroke and the remaining 10 rotating strokes. Probably 800 yards in that half hour... rough estimate.

Swimming at 5 in the morning and then going to work, best warn your co-workers 'cause you are arriving filled with endorphins.

After work I dressed as a runner who votes or a voter who runs... take your pick. Walking to my polling place I pondered over why here in the US we "run" for office, but in the UK they "stand" for Parliament. Why is that? Are we more aggressive over here? Lingusitically, at least?

After doing my civic duty, I did the full walking / stretching 9 minute warm up, then jogged the full 15 minutes, then walked a cool down that turned out to be about 8 minutes.

This, by the way, is "Bike to Work Week".
So tomorrow it is my plan to combine celebrating this event with my TRI training. I'm supposed to cycle 6 miles tomorrow, according to the training plan. It's about 7 miles to work via the bike trails. I figure wear work clothes and make a leisurely commute in, and carry the biking togs to change in to after work, and ride my workout home.

Have a great Spark-week, all! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 5/16/2012 8:04PM

    Love that "run"/"stand" thing . . . we use both expressions here in Canada!! And it's absolutely true: a special breed of person shows up at the gym at that hour in the morning (hours opens at 5:30 a.m.!)

Here's to firmer thighs! That's what we want anyhow! To look good, to feel good, to stay healthy and strong.

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DEBRA0818 5/16/2012 9:40AM

    If it's Ride to Work week it's a good thing I don't have a job since I don't have a bicycle either (but that may change this for my birthday in August).

Way to Go, Barb!


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/16/2012 8:56AM

    You're doing great Barb! It's ride your bike to work week? How fortunate for me that I rode my bike to work on Monday and Tuesday! Will definitely ride it there again today!

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KALIGIRL 5/16/2012 8:38AM

I love to swim in the morning - glad you were able to experience emoticon
It was great to see you on your emoticon - you looked super.
Not riding my bike (still dark @5:15), but can't wait to start.

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BD3269PM 5/16/2012 7:07AM

    You are an inspiration. emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 5/16/2012 7:02AM

    Barb--You are amazing!--Determined!--Successful--
-just getting up at 5am makes you a "'Wonder Woman"'---Wonder which pool you go to??----- Anyway--Keep it up--very encouraging for me!-Lynda

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    You either make me really envious of your energy or really tired reading about your energy.

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REJ7777 5/16/2012 5:40AM

    "Swimming at 5 in the morning, you find the die-hards." I believe that. emoticon

"Swimming at 5 in the morning and then going to work, best warn your co-workers 'cause you are arriving filled with endorphins." I believe that one too!
emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 5/16/2012 1:03AM

    Wow! That is dedication getting up that early!! Well thought out plan as usual to get your cycling in! Hope you have some nice weather to enjoy it!
You know the British are much more reserved in their manners ;) After all, they enjoy high tea in the afternoon, while North Americans hit the drive throughs to chug a mug a Java :)

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SHARON10002 5/15/2012 11:08PM

    Barb, I'd probably drown if I tried to swim at 5 in the morning! emoticon
You are definitely working your plan! emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/15/2012 10:16PM

    Sounds like an excellent plan. My ride to work would
be 2 blocks LOL!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/15/2012 9:17PM

    Good question, Barb, and I have no clue!!!

Great job with the swimming. I remember in HS when I was on the team, man . . . swimming @ 5 am and I would lose count of my laps, too, but I think that was because I was so tired!

Hope you have a good evening. HUGS

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Do it anyway - taking my own advice

Monday, May 14, 2012

I woke up in a fuzzy, not quite grumpy mood. Then I stepped on the scale and it bumped up not quite half a pound, despite good behavior all weekend. emoticon

Had an emoticon moment about how often a Monday *is* a bump up on my scale. Often that has some Sunday or Saturday eating behavior associated with it, but this time, not so! I could choose to decide that behaving myself over a weekend isn't worth it, but instead I contemplated that this might just be my body's natural rhythm. And I'm moving on! Reminding myself that the number on the scale is NOT my grade in life and is NOT allowed to dictate my feelings about myself. emoticon Taking my own advice, that's the ticket!

I did not get a phone call or even an e-mail yesterday... did not detect an online presence. So I'm hanging on to the pre-Mom's day one I got last Wednesday. It will have to do. Feel a little blue about that, despite the logic that knows he's busy and potentially unable to communicate? Mayyyyybe? Move on, LIVE anyway. emoticon Again, taking my own advice, that's the ticket!

And it dawned on me besides that today is a "rest" day on the training calendar. Whatever shall I do without being able to "run away" from the negative feelings? emoticon Breathe, that's what. As the line in Sleepless in Seattle says, remember to keep breathing in and out until you don't have to remind yourself to breathe in and out anymore.

Feelings, you see, are transitory. I don't have to DO anything for them to go away... they will fade in time. Distractions are fine. But staring uncomfy emotions in the face and saying "Yes, that's what you are!" works too.

So now, it's off to a work day. Healthy lunch and snacks packed. Healthy breakfast consumed. Spark coffee mug filled and being sipped. emoticon

Today WILL be a good day. emoticon Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 5/15/2012 2:55AM

    Sorry you didn't hear from your son -but glad you can rationalize why at least the reasons he might not have been able to contact you. I just can't imagine the thoughts you must have when you don't hear from him -number one being is he okay. Even if it was a rest day -a nice easy walk would get you out of the house and not sweat it up, but stroll and just enjoy the life going on around you. I find walking to be very peaceful, particularly if its in a place not busy.
Hope the rest of your week goes better!

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SHARON10002 5/14/2012 9:26PM

    Sorry you did not hear from your DS, but I am very sure he had a very good reason and that you were on his mind. I would have worried too, and felt like you, too. Great blog, Barb! You'll hear soon I'm sure.

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REJ7777 5/14/2012 6:29PM

    You're right, the hard part IS following our own advice! emoticon
You seem to be doing a pretty good job, though. emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/14/2012 1:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KASEYCOFF 5/14/2012 11:37AM

    For what it's worth, Barb, I have two - and didn't hear from either of them. Dunno what THAT says (if anything) about my parenting skills. Mmmm... I think I will be taking some sound advice - yours - and just let any negative feelings fade in their own time.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/14/2012 11:04AM

    Oh, sometimes it is sooooo much easier to give others advice than to take it . . . even our OWN advice!

I hope your Mother's Day was peaceful, and so sorry your DS didn't get to call or mail you. emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 5/14/2012 11:03AM

    Didn't see my mom either, Called several times, but no answer. Could have been out with my sisters, or at church.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/14/2012 9:18AM

    I'm sure your son will be calling/emailing you the first chance he gets. But I imagine it's hard not to worry when you didn't hear from him. You're wise to take your own advice on that.

Today may be a rest day in your training, but you can still fill your time doing some of those things at a more relaxed and enjoyable pace. Go for a fun and relaxing swim. Take a nice bike ride. Or get outside on your lunch break and take a nice stroll. Move slowly and feel good about. And focus on the simple pleasures of life -- like learning to breathe in and breathe out. . .

Have a great week!

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KALIGIRL 5/14/2012 8:26AM

    Here's to a emoticon day! and Happy Mom's Day!

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Mother's Day morning

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Life's phases influence what one's mother's day is like.

When I was a kid, there was this running joke between Mom and Dad. Mom would pout and say Dad didn't get her anything for mother's day, and he would quip, "But you aren't my mother". And we would drive to grandma's house.

Of course we kids would put something together for our mom, assisted / pushed by dad.

My first mother's day cards from people other than my son were from my own mom and sisters when I was expecting him. After that, it was the hand-made kid-cards, and all that goes with school created crafts... one year I logged on to my PC to find that overnight "someone" had modified my computer's wallpaper to read "Happy Mother's Day" with a flower motif.

This year, I got an e-mail last Wednesday, from AFG, warning that he might not be able to write again today, and assuring me that he considers me an "awesome mom". So... evolution of Mother's Day over the years.

My own mom is gone from this plane and has been since 1996. This morning, as I started to put my mother's day gift (the padded biking shorts) to use, I thought about riding by the cemetery where she and dad are laid to rest... but the bridge over the highway was out, and I chose a different route to finish my ride. And I of course thought about her and the many ways that she influenced me to become who I am today.

I thought about how fast life speeds by and how important it is to grab hold and live it!

Part of where I rode, I was walking/jogging in traffic a week ago... the bike path covered with half / full marathon participants. It looks different when it is not so crowded. Has it really only been a week?

I wished the moms I saw along the path a happy mom's day, and my wish for all here is the same. May this be the kind of day that puts a smile on your lips and joy in your heart.

Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 5/18/2012 12:38AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 5/14/2012 7:05AM

    I have many precious memories of past Mother's days too. I wasn't able to see my son yesterday, because he lives on the West Coast, but I did get a phone call. And I had the joy of spending the evening with my 87-year old mom.

You're so right about the importance of living each moment fully, because those moments so quickly become memories.

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_LINDA 5/14/2012 2:10AM

    I am so grateful for my Mom and that I still have her, There truly is no one as special as a Mom. They deserve daily recognition for all that they do and the sacrifices they made to raise a child in our troubled world. My wish for you is that your son will always be safe and come home to you.

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1CRAZYDOG 5/13/2012 10:00PM

    Moms gave such a powerful influence over our lives. I feel sooooooooo very blessed to have my Mom still with me. Each day is a blessing to me as I get to talk w/her.

I hope you're enjoying the padded shorts! They really are such a comfort for the "tushy" while biking!


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BARBAELLEN 5/13/2012 7:33PM

    I loved this Mother's Day blog, especially since my past Mother's Day experiences parallel yours, all the way back to the mother-father interchange and the mother/sister expecting cards. I'm grateful to be able to say that my mother is still with us, and your blog made me reflect on the passage of time. This year, my mother received her usual brunch and gifts, but she came armed with a package for me. It was a couple of handmade cards and a plaster handprint that I had given her during elementary school. She said she was cleaning out junk! :)

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CONCHA77 5/13/2012 7:13PM

    Bless Your Heart, Barb. You surely are on a great path in life and always going strong. I am thinking you had to have a great mother (and father) the way you are, so strong. Good for you.
Hugs and health, Connie

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MSLZZY 5/13/2012 5:24PM

    And your words spoke volumes today! HUGS!

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KRISZTA11 5/13/2012 3:51PM

    Very nice blog : )
I love the wallpaper idea!
Happy Mother's Day to you : )

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GAELA-I-CAN 5/13/2012 11:34AM

    Beautifully said

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Saturday musings

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Today's training plan calendar says "Run 15 minutes". Knowing that my first two a day is Tuesday, I decided that today was my best opportunity to get some strength training in, since that's a relatively "light" workout.

It will be an interesting puzzle seeing how far into the calendar I get before strength training becomes counter-indicated by the amount of sport-specific training days / hours in the week.

For the first few weeks, though I shall attempt to add some weight training to the lightest cardio day of each week. This morning I did my warm up walk and my 15 minutes at a jog on the indoor track at the gym, so that I could immediately shift into weight training mode. I combined elements from the trainer's first two workouts, rather than doing just workout #2, because I wanted to get the use of the lat pulldown machine that was missing from my last weight session.

Having accomplished my training goals, the remainder of the day is mine. Ahhh!

Happy Mother's Day to all my Spark Buds who are moms or who exercise maternal talents even if NOT for children of the body! emoticon emoticon emoticon Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMETER 5/13/2012 10:26AM

    Happy Mothers Day, and a special shoutout for your and your son today. I think of him often.

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LEANJEAN6 5/13/2012 7:22AM

    Happy Mom's Day to you too Barb!----

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SUNNYWBL 5/13/2012 12:05AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 5/12/2012 11:05PM

    Happy Mothers Day!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/12/2012 9:10PM

    Happy Mothers Day to you. Hugs.

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MSLZZY 5/12/2012 8:53PM

    Happy Mother's Day to you! HUGS!

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CASEYTALK 5/12/2012 6:39PM

    Happy mother's day to you, too! I have two children of the body and two fur babies, all of which give me great joy.

30 minutes of cardio today, followed by strength training. Feeling good! Now that my achilles tendon is healing, I'm easing back into exercise.


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DEBRA0818 5/12/2012 6:17PM

    Happy Mother's Day, Barb! You certainly have earned your rest today (and probably, on most days). Enjoy!


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WATERMELLEN 5/12/2012 4:19PM

    ST was something I slacked off on when running 10 km a day . . . and regret that, because possibly if I'd kept my hip/knee joints more stable, I would have caused less damage . . . .

Heading to the gym right now for ST!!

And: as I mark my third year here on Spark, thanks to you for being such a great Spark friend!

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LOOK2LOVELIFE 5/12/2012 2:59PM

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your day-- all for you!

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_LINDA 5/12/2012 2:48PM

    Enjoy the rest of your day! You earned it!
I do think you need to keep your strength training going for as long as possible -read a Sparks article where it will help you be a stronger runner, swimmer etc -it enhances your training..
You go girl!

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KASEYCOFF 5/12/2012 2:15PM

    Well, girl, just reading your schedule - on a Saturday, yet! - makes me want to take a nap, lol... More power to you, sez me!

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Friday is a rest day

Friday, May 11, 2012

But last night I did do the first "swim" workout on the training calendar. This is one area where I have a few challenges.

I am a strong swimmer, but not a fast swimmer and the "crawl" stroke I learned as a kid is not my favorite, but it is the closest to the "freestyle" that seems to be the speed stroke of choice.

Also the training plan I picked up online is for a Sprint distance TRI that includes only a quarter of a mile swim, and the one I am signed on for is 0.6 miles. SO... modifications in order. I doubled the length of what they said to make it "400 yards", instead of the "200 yards" in the original plan.

My swims have normally been between 36 and 44 lengths of the 25 yard pool, rotating among side stroke (left and right), breast and elementary back, and crawl and back crawl. Down one stroke, up the next... I would do seven sets of these, then cool down with a couple extra.

I did not stop between lengths, as I was changing strokes, anyway.

The training plan is all "freestyle" and has a 15 second rest between each length of the pool. Because I want to build my freestyle endurance, this is probably one plan I'll try to follow more closely. So the first 400 yards of my workout, I followed their rotation... well, except I did a couple of side stroke lengths before the plan's warm up... just because.

Then I finished up with going to my normal stroke rotation, for a total of 800 yards. A little shorter than my previous swim workouts, but that's OK for now. The goal is not a huge distance now, it's adjusting to the single stroke for a distance.

The challenges: 1) Learning to count when I don't have the rotation to group things (7 rotations x 6 lengths = 42 lengths... easy to count... "Was that 10 or 12 lengths" all of the same stroke, harder!)

2) Eyes and chlorine! I fixed this one by buying myself a pair of goggles. Nope, hadn't had them before, and avoided getting the face in the water on most of my strokes... with all freestyle, this was a must for me. It was pretty incredible, since I had never worn them before, to see how clear the vision was with them.

And today is a planned rest day. Wow! I feel I've earned it! Great active week, this one was!

emoticon emoticon emoticon Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 5/12/2012 9:13AM

    Wow! You have earned a rest day!!--- It sounds like a gpod training session Barb!

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COMETER 5/12/2012 7:08AM

    Ah, the rest day!

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    Enough! I'm tired just reading your blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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REJ7777 5/11/2012 11:09PM

    Sounds like you're doing really well with your training. Adjusting and adapting to reality, as you do so well. Glad you like your new goggles. A smart investment, I think. I hope that you're enjoying your well-deserved day of rest!

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WATERMELLEN 5/11/2012 10:32PM

    Chlorine really bothers me too . . . particularly with my contact lenses . . . so most of my swimming happens in the lake in the summer (although I love to swim, used to lifeguard/teach swimming as a teenager . . . ).

I cannot imagine 6000 calories a day or even 3000. I really do need to stay between 1200 and 1500 a day to maintain my weight: grrrr. And exercise just doesn't make a whole lotta difference to the calorie intake . . . in my experience.

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MOBYCARP 5/11/2012 9:09PM

    There's a thought . . . training to do more crawl. You made me think about it, but no tri for me this year. Getting to the gym is a problem, and there's no pool at home! So, swimming is pretty much out until work slacks off.

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MNTWINSGAL 5/11/2012 1:20PM

    You are going to be great with your Tri! Planning ahead will get you far!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/11/2012 10:56AM

    Sounds like you did a good job!!! I have the same trouble keeping count when I swim. At least you're not alone!

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MSLZZY 5/11/2012 10:20AM

    You busy woman! Yes, you deserve a day off!
My, you make me jealous. Have a great weekend!

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_LINDA 5/11/2012 9:26AM

    You certainly have earned a rest day -enjoy! Chlorine is so hard on the eyes -it bothers me even just sitting in the hot tub! But goggles should have been a must for anyone who swims -I have have seen even the youngest kids using them -a smart start for their beginnings in the pool. I don't envy you trying to remember your lengths doing the same stroke for your entire time in the pool. If I am doing repetitions on a single exercise, I quickly lose track of how many I have done, like crunches, I just work it until they are sore. So if someone asks me how many I do, don't have a clue. Is there some reason they have you doing the same stroke, wouldn't it be easier on you to do different ones?
Have a Fantastic Friday!

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