Sunday, May 19, 2013
The weather in the early mornings has been perfect for an active lifestyle. Yesterday the group of ladies KALIGIRL refers to as "the biker babes" got together at 8 a.m. (she and I start about 7:30 to get to the starting point by 8), and rode downtown for breakfast / coffee. It was once again a great outing...
It was overcast and threatening that it MIGHT rain, so I pieced at the yard with the push-mower, but did it in very small increments, as it's long enough it takes about 3 passes and still leaves some of the stray longer stalks standing. However, I wanted to get at least some of it cut before the rain. I got only about 1/8 to 1/6th of the total yard "trimmed", but it's better than none.
And it *did* rain, overnight. This morning it was cloudy and cooler. I had my long and slow run planned for this morning, and I set out about quarter to 7. I went 10.88 miles in 2:07 and change, and got a little bit of sprinkles in the last mile or so.
Had a post-run snack, showered and changed and started in on the laundry when the phone rang... SPINNINGJW was looking for company to motivate herself out of the house to "do something active". Well, I'd already done my workout... but on second thought... a workout for her is not really taxing for me, so I agreed and we went for a 45 minute walk on one of the trails she wanted to see. It was shaded, the sun was out by then, so it was a nice balance to my solo run.
And now? Had some lunch, and am chilling in the house, finishing up the laundry, and will probably piece some more on the lawn later. We shall see.
Hope my Spark buds are all having a great weekend, too.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Introducing my new Granddog, Boomer. My son's been on the lookout for a Rottweiler mix to rescue, and on Thursday, he found Boomer at the local Humane Society. His major goal is a jogging buddy who could be taught manners and would be a fine addition to his newly established civilian life.
Boomer quickly responded to Sgt. Son's assertion of who the alpha male in the pack was, thus assuring himself a position in the new squad. He's a bit on the smallish size as Rotts go, not sure what breed the "mix" is, but he's 4 years old, so probably about as big as he's likely to be. And that would be about 50 pounds. Just right, in my opinion... not so heavy as you can't shift him if need be!
So, last night after work, my doorbell rang, and here was Boomer with his new Sergeant, come to visit and invite Grandma (me) for a walk. The second purpose was to acquire dog things that had been used with Diamond: a crate to turn into a dog bed/cave for Boomer, and the doggy seat belt harness, for rides in the car, leash... you know the kind of thing.
Boomer has a very laid back personality: nothing phases him. No interest in chasing rabbits or squirrels. Or cats.
The Prisoner, depicted in the second photo, had a different idea. I don't think I've EVER seen him arch his back and hiss, Halloween style as he did when Boomer accompanied Sgt Son onto the back deck, where the Prisoner was sitting on the rail. I calmed him, and after Boomer went home with Sgt. Son, Prisoner calmed down and exerted himself back into the house.
LIFE is good, enrich it with what brings out the LOVE in you! You're worth it. Spark on!
Friday, May 17, 2013
I'm sure we have this shared experience. Years from now, we, the traumatized will be stressing over this first world problem (please see the tongue in the cheek here). Imagine! Getting home from your workout and NOT being about to log in, record it, or bubble all over your Spark Friends by blogging about it? The sky is falling!
In some years past, this might have been an excuse for a binge (didn't need much of an excuse, but trying to control the world is hard work, and definitely binge worthy).
But last night? I just kind of kicked in the general philosophy... doing is more important than writing about doing... finished out my day with supper, my snack, and a calming bit of TV, drifting off to sleep.
But I'm up early with the blog I wanted to write dancing in my head like visions of sugar plums! Because you see, I had one of those little a-hah moments I only seem to experience mid-workout.
Which workout, you might ask? And what a-hah? Well, yesterday I blogged about my training plan, and yesterday called for a swim workout. The details of the swim workout said I was to do "bilateral breathing drills". And, being me, and liking to keep Polly Perfectionist at least semi-mollified (Polly mollified, there's an image for you)... I attempted it. It said "breathe every third stroke, to practice breathing on both sides".
I had tried this on an earlier swim, and it was soooo awkward when I would try to breathe on the "off" side. But I had already got to the point where I know I can do the distance... might as well work on form! I started to pay attention to how my body was positioned on the "easy" side, and observe what I was doing with my body when it was time to take a breath on the "other" side.
What I found was that when I'm breathing with my head to the left, I am practically in side stroke position, but when I was trying to breathe with my head to the right, my body didn't want to roll that far to the side, so my neck was in an awkward position and my head popping straight up, rather than turning naturally.
So I started to try to mimic what I was doing on the easy side, on the other side. Amazingly, with a little practice (I had 1000 yards to play with, might as well try it for several lengths)... it got easier. You CAN teach an old fish new tricks.
AND, amazing (a-hah!) I had more oxygen to swim with. AND, amazingly, I finished the 1000 yards a couple of minutes faster! Form counts.
One of the things I love about triathlon is that it keeps me young... encourages me to try new things... to work on something different with each training cycle.
So, yes, in real life, I was pretty bubbly after that workout. And now, a few hours later than maybe originally intended... I share the bubbles with y'all! LIFE is good, and SPARK is back up... time to smile and Spark a great day!
Because YOU, my friends, are worth it!
Thursday, May 16, 2013
I've nattered on a bit about doing the CSG triathlon... and in fact, think I shall, but I haven't signed up for it yet. Just because I thought I might want to, I sought out a training plan (because Polly Perfectionist, bless her camped out on the lawn heart, is attached to training plans, and to keep her at bay, I put one on the wall).
This one is a little different from last year's plan, but a fairly similar mix of the sports. Two of each a week. Swim. Bike. Run. Increasing times or distances, with every fourth week a "lighter" one. I told the customizers I was a "beginner" in swimming and biking, but this year I went out on a limb and called myself an "intermediate" runner. So it started out the swim and bike very easy... I found, as I did last year, that I'm in better shape than the plan starts at, so of course, I'm just doing maintenance workouts until they catch up to where I am.
But which days which sports I shuffle around as meets the need. Just make sure I don't do the same sport two days in a row. This year I'm feeling more relaxed about it... last year I was practically a martinet! So I HAVE made progress moving Polly out.
Today the schedule says swim... so I've bailed on the bike to work (thanks Becky, Saturday works better for me, too)... and will swim after. Bag's in the car.
I did run after work yesterday... 5.47 miles in intervals of 2 run, 1 walk. I finally discovered setting up a RunKeeper workout so it nags in my ear when it's time to go slow versus steady. With this cue, I managed to actually do what it said! And after I got home? Buckets of sweat (I think it was 80 F out). I took my camelback, so I had hydration on board the whole time.
I think that Friday shall be a rest day. One thing I've noticed about generic training plans is that I have to sometimes adjust to add in more rest. I'm NOT a 20 something.
And this, too, is progress in terms of moving Polly out!
LIFE is good. And being active feels wonderful. Getting needed rest in the plan is vital. Spark on!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Mid-afternoon we had dueling cell phone apps saying 96 F and 100 F! So I took it nice and easy biking home. There was a nice breeze, so I didn't notice the buckets of sweat until I got home and came inside and the breeze stopped evaporating it in place. Additional hydration was in order!
And of course with that sun beating down, I didn't want to try to compete by watering at the same time, so this morning I did not go back to bed after taking my thyroid pill at 4:20, but got into sweats and started dragging hoses around in the pre-dawn dark.
This of course, messes with my normal routine of dress, pack lunch, cook the steel cut oats, and sit down to Spark.
Don't know about the rest of you Sparklers, but when I do things in an odd order, that's when I lose things or miss a step... thus my status... hope I remember to go get dressed before I go to work!
There's a method to this madness, actually two. One, I'm watering while the ground has a chance to actually retain some of the moisture. Two... my training schedule says "run" today, and I want to be able to go outside guilt-free after work to get my minutes / miles in! Win-win!
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