Saturday, May 19, 2012
In my e-mail, thanks to past participation in fitness events locally, was an e-mail, advertising the Quest for the Vets, a 5K obstacle race to be run on Memorial day. victoryquest.com/
Now, I'm somewhat intimidated by obstacle courses, especially those that require upper body strength. I have never, in my entire life, been able to do a chin up, much less a pull-up. Doing hand over hands or parallel bars? Forget about it!
Still... the tri training plan has nothin' on it for Memorial Day itself, and I'm dealing with a son, currently serving overseas. What a great way to honor him, by going and TRYING this thing. The ad said they were open on Saturdays to scope out the obstacles... and y'know... DEXTER talked me into it. Yep, that's the story and I'm sticking to it.
This car wants to go to fitness events. He dragged me, kicking and screaming... nope, curious and feeling silly... out to the site where this race is going to be run in a little over a week.
I started walking from the parking lot around the building, when the owner came out to greet me and ask what I was looking for. Then he gave me the tour. And I started "trying out" the easier obstacles... the tire wall you see in the background? Yep, I climbed over that, with a little help from the dude.
I let him take me on a distance measuring trek through it. We skipped several of the obstacles today, didn't do the mud pits or any of that, but did climb the dirt birms, ran through the corn fields, and a-hem "attempted" some of the obstacles. News? There are are lot of these that are built for 6' 3" guys, not 5' 3" little old ladies. BUT... I was informed, any of the obstacles you don't feel safe doing, you can substitute something like 5 jumping jacks and go around. I may be doing that a LOT. There are 24 obstacles!
Anyway, that was my TRI substitution for "run 20 minutes". I had gone to the gym and done the trainer's workout #3, which I hadn't done since she first gave it to me in January, right about the time I was getting sick. Problem? Do I remember what those words on my workout card mean? cough-cough
And after showering off? I registered for the event. Yep, crazy Army Spark Mom here. Wish me luck.
Have a great and FUN active weekend all.
Friday, May 18, 2012
Thursday the schedule called for a swim, so even though the bike shop called to say my newly tuned up machine was ready, I deferred picking it up until after work today.
Instead, after work I went to the gym, and put in the pool lengths... 20 lengths of crawl / freestyle (dumb question, is what I learned as the Australian crawl the same as the modern-day "freestyle"?)... and 14 more lengths in rotation of strokes.
The deal about swimming, for me, is that it doesn't really feel like I'm exercising. I just relax into it, the rhythm, the joy of motion, the wet... it's amazing, swimming is.
Today after work, I drove to the bike shop, and even though my new Dexter (car has a name) will fit the bike in the back... chose to put on my helmet and ride the bike home, then walk back to pick up the car. This, too, did not feel like exercise. Today is a "rest" day on the training schedule, so I wasn't pushing for performance.
As I was riding and then walking, it dawned on me that when I was a kid (boy, do I start sounding like Grandma, or what!) the high school was about the same distance from home as this bike shop is from my current home (2 1/2 miles). And I used to ride my bike to school. Or walk to school.
Now, wouldn't THAT take care of childhood obesity that we have such problems with in this nation... if we once again walked six to twelve city blocks each day to school in the morning, and home again after school?
Anyway, the point was, human powered transit is good for us, as physical beings. And we end up getting fit seemingly without effort, purely through a lifestyle.
Not that I'm giving up my car (I know I blogged the fantasy last year)... but this little experience once again reminded me how good it feels to be functionally fit.
Life's good. Spark on!
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
One thing I love about rhythmic motion of the human body without external audio stimulation is the way thoughts just randomly pop into my head for consideration and working out. This morning I biked to work. As I got to the top of a hill and started coasting down, this one presented itself:
"I am afraid of speed." Hmmm! OK. WHY am I afraid of speed? Well, speed on a bicycle has got me into trouble in years past. When I was about 13, I took a nasty tumble (as in over the handlebars) when my chain froze up on an arterial street. Later in life, as a young adult, I managed to take a corner too fast on my moped and slid across a sidewalk on my helmet. I was OK, but shook up. And ever since... speed on a two-wheeled vehicle has NOT been something I am comfortable with.
Anyway, the thought came, it was processed, the memories examined, and then THIS one popped up: "This activity, and the triathlon, is about facing my fears. It doesn't have to be fast. I don't have to cross the finish line first. But I SHALL cross that finish line. And I will bike sensibly and safely, but I won't let this fear STOP me from doing what I have on that bucket list!"
Later on in the ride, I encountered a young man cycling, and another random thought popped up: "I like being an older lady. The young guys are SO nice to me!" Tell me, other gals of my generation, isn't it true? The young guys treat me like I'm their mom, or aunt or grandma... and I admit that I LIKE IT!
So, I got to work (they really should be warned... I'm already an insufferable morning person, but I was an insufferable morning person on endorphins and caffeine)... and had a good work day. Then I hopped on the bike and pedaled through a beautiful afternoon to the bike shop, where I left it to get a tune-up, and I walked the rest of the way home.
When I got to a major intersection, about a mile from home, it dawned on on me that I did not consider the three mile walk to be much of a such at all, and in fact, when I was a mile from home, my mind was saying "I'm home." That's another randomness... the brain on fit says a mile away is HOME.
This is your brain. This is your brain on fit! Endorphins rule.
That said, time to brush the teeth and toddle off to bed! Life is good. Spark on!
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". www.bikeleague.org/programs/bikemont
h/ 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!
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.
Had an 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. 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. 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? 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.
Today WILL be a good day. Spark on!
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