Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Most of us have at least a mental list of things we want to do before we exit the human scene: a bucket list. They may be events to see, like a child's wedding or a grandchild's birth, graduation or wedding. They may be places to go: Australia, Europe, America's Grand Canyon or Redwood forests... maybe if you're young and adventurous, the moon!
Or they could be smaller things, things to do or learn to do: ride a horse, get yourself on skis or ice skates, dance, sing. In my case, the timed triathlon is one of those bucket list things.
Motivation starts with a dream and a vision: seeing ourselves in that dream. Then it becomes more real as we research and find out ways to make it real. Find an event. Make sure you have the time to prepare for it (in my case, train to the point where you can cross the finish line and not end up in the ER at the end of the day...) Sign up: commit yourself by putting your $ on the line. And follow through.
I truly believe that one of the major keys to maintaining a weight loss is living the life you lost the weight to live. If your original motivation was family, in maintenance, USE that... spend time with that family, or if they live far away, send pictures, skype, e-mail, phone. Do things in your local life that you can share with them.
If your original motivation was to be more active, make sure that you find a way to keep being active and having fun.
In my opinion, FUN is fundamental. Motivate yourself with the events you see as fun, and remind yourself daily that you are worth of living fully.
Life is good... if not now, when? Spark on!
Monday, June 11, 2012
Yesterday morning I received an e-mail from my sister. She was looking for family who might be free to go with her to the Children's Zoo for "Cancer Survivors' Day" that evening.
I jumped on the chance because lately we've been busy, and haven't seen a lot of family... skipped Memorial Day as an excuse to gather... I hadn't hugged her since Easter. You get the drift.
She's doing great, by the way. Cancer all gone. Some side effects of the after-surgery drugs managed to elevate another issue, though. She had to have carpal tunnel surgery last week. But here she is, stalking a peacock so I can catch its photo. She's getting stronger with that right hand every day.
He's a bit back-lit, so doesn't show up as well as in real life.
There was an inspiring speaker, of course, sharing HER cancer journey, and the audience listened intently, as every survivor has a story.
As we walked back to the car, having enjoyed a visit to a lovely environment, my sis said she sometimes feels like a "fraud", "not much of a survivor" because she had a fairly easy time of it. Balderdash! What if she hadn't heeded the signs (small lump)? What if she'd stayed in denial, not got it checked out?
I'm very glad my sister is with us today... because she paid attention! My challenge is different. I am a compulsive overeater. I, too, have to pay attention! Because only by paying attention to our health can we have an impact on the outcomes. Decisions and choices *do* make a difference.
Make good ones today. Because life is good, and worth preserving, and worth living well!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
OK folks, I'm afraid my state does NOT rank high in being considered bicycle friendly, but this town has a GREAT set of trails. Most of them intersect, but you can get really confused by the markers that purport to give some sense of mileage.
This is because every trail segment is a trail in and of itself, and they do NOT give you any idea of how far you have really gone, because you enter near a marker that says "7K", then pass one that says "5Miles", then you end up with a different trail name and a different collection of mileage. Different organizations, also, mark their miles, for different purposes.
The local track club may have markers in one section, heading ONE direction, then a different club takes up and starts marking in the other direction, with its OWN point "0". So, I pretty much ignore these numbers, come home, and track the mileage by mapping in.
Thus it was that I set out to fulfil my training plan, which said, for today, "Bike 12 miles". And I started by heading for one of the nearby entrances to the trail system, and pedaled toward downtown. I went on past the tortoise in the profile pick and kept going, because I was curious as to how far the trail went.
Turns out it goes all the way to the former state fairgrounds. Then I pedaled around there, being grateful that it was Sunday morning, and not a lot of traffic about. Because I ended up pedaling on what CAN sometimes be pretty busy streets, and only had about two cars/trucks to avoid.
I found ways through the streets to link up with another of the trails. I took it all the way across town on the Northern side (I live South East and had biked essentially to the North West side), then had to beat my way South against a strong headwind, before turning West again to get home. All in all, it ended up being 19.35 miles, in a bit under two hours.
I managed to bike by downtown campus, East Campus, my kids' apartment complex, my old church, etc. A true "tour de city" for my time... and you see so much more when traveling under human power: a meadowlark fighting the same headwind I was, for example.
I feel good... the remainder of the day, household chores. Tomorrow... rest day... then figure out how to fit the Week 6 plan around other events of the next week!
Have a Sparking Great Day, everyone!
Saturday, June 09, 2012
This morning I managed to get myself signed on to do a 10K Charity run. As it was already my long run day on the triathlon training plan, I just stretched the plan a bit, and kept saying to myself, "it's just another workout".
Well, it is, because the TRI is my real target race. BUT... there surrounded by others, in the bright morning sunshine of almost Summer (and definitely on its way to Summer temps... going to get up to 93 today, the weather man says)... the adrenaline kicks in.
The unstated "dream goals" were: keep on jogging, with walk breaks only at the water stations. And... if I finish in an hour, it would be incredible. I *almost* met goal #1, I did take a short walk break in mile 6 just because, when it wasn't a water station... but it was shady and relatively flat.
I seem to do better with hills. Because I *do* lengthen my stride and let gravity assist on the downhill, and because I am incredibly energized by powering UP hills. Maybe if I dealt with REAL hills I wouldn't be so enthused, but this race does have some gradual hills in it.
As I was coming down 63rd street to the finish line, and crossed the mile 6 marker, my watch said 47 (I started it at mile 1, not recognizing exactly where the start line was... no mats this time!) With just two tenths of a mile to go, the race clock became visible and it was still at 57! I had a chance at that dream time!
So I just kept putting one foot in front of the other, finished as strong as I could those last couple of blocks... and crossed under the clock when it still had a 59 on it. Wow! What a rush!
And when they started taping up the results it said my chip time was 58:46 and it said I ran a 9:28 pace, for a 10K, which is just one second off my personal record pace for a 5K! That race was in 1991 (also with hills, by the way, bigger ones than this race)... I AM getting stronger.
I can't believe it, but wait, yes I can. I'm putting in the work, it makes sense.
Life is good. Spark on! The real test will be recovery time... tomorrow's workout says "Bike 12 miles". Then I get Monday off.
Friday, June 08, 2012
I'm in week five of the beginner's triathlon training plan. In this week, we are introduced to the "brick". It is important, we are told, to learn to deal with the transition between activities. So you practice doing a bike workout followed by a run workout, in this case.
It called for a 30 minute bike, 10 minute run, 20 minute walk on the plan. And I came close to doing exactly that. It tooke me about 8 minutes in transition... lock the bike up, potty stop, hydrate, and slap on sun-block in the two minute warm up walk.
Can we say "drenched in sweat"... it was a warm, humid evening when I did this. Then home, shower, supper, pack lunch for next day because... this morning it was back in the pool at 5 a.m. Which leaves little Sparking time before bedtime last night and between swim and work this morning, but here I am letting y'all know I'm still at it.
Tomorrow is running day, which is why I stuck to that 20 minutes walking last night. See, I roped myself into a charity 10K tomorrow morning early. I'm glad it's early because it's supposed to get up to 93 before the day is out.
This morning's swim thought? I'm always counting. And all exercise is about breathing... in swimming it is obvious... because the stroke only offers a certain point at which to breathe. But when lifting weights, we're told to exhale during one motion, inhale during another. Anybody who has EVER taken a yoga class knows that is all about the breathing, too. I think swimming more has helped my breathing during my runs. Tomorrow will test that!
Life continues to be good. Spark on!
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