Tuesday, January 18, 2011
I trekked out of here after a week of fretting over the reservations and "travel orders" not showing up 'til the last minute. In fact, they arrived in my son's e-mail about 13 hours before takeoff. Talk about cutting it close. I stressed over that more than I'd like to admit.
I have updated my background photo.. this is a shot of the pool from the 10th floor of the hotel. I swam in this gorgeous heated body of water on Sunday afternoon and loved every minute of it.
As has happened with trips to Florida in the past, I froze a good portion of the time. I have a philosophical thought about that: Floridians are so used to cooling themselves, their whole architecture and landscaping, and all that goes with it is built to cool, not to heat. So when it DOES dip to the 50's overnight, it just "feels" colder. The landscape of palm trees and flowers says "heat", but the ambient air doesn't feel like 80, so the brain tells the body "I'm cold".
Despite this, the afternoons in the 70's with a heated pool? Very swim-able for those of us from the frigid plains. That was the best thing we did!
The rest of the trip: emotionally draining, long days in meetings, but saw some great people that I may have seen for the last time in... years, if ever again. And some others whose paths will surely cross mine again.
Oh, you want to know how the food & exercise plans went? Ah, yes, this IS Sparkpeople! Food... buffet style. The plan was to watch portion sizes and do my best with the selections. I wrote it down on paper, but obviously didn't weigh and measure. The plate size... yep, the normal almost-platter size of restaurants/hotels. So I filled most of them up with fresh salad ingredients.
Friday dinner was with a Lt. General, so they seemed to pull out the buffet stops and I treated it like a special occasion and even had half a slice of chocolate cherry cake (which was excellent), but then I pulled in my horns after that, and didn't do the desserts that they served every lunch and dinner!
I took my own morning snacks, as I knew there would be pastries served with the coffee... so that was a plus. I free lanced at the hotel deli or at Walgreen's to get what I really wanted for "normal" meals, and chose carefully for the times I did eat at the buffet and for special meals.
Sunday afternoon I took my son and his wife out for Caribbean dinner: blackened Mahi-Mahi on jasmine coconut rice with seasoned broccoli, a little Johnny Bread with guava butter. Excellent.
Exercise: Well, let us say that the pre-training for the half marathon took a side trip. Since there was no measured treadmill distance, I'm not sure if I walked the requisite 3 miles on Saturday and five on Sunday, but Monday... I had over 20,000 steps just with travel crud. By the way, we did NOT get home as scheduled... stuck at Chicago O'Hare overnight. I booked us two rooms at the air travel assistance discount rate because there was NO WAY my daughter in law would have survived a night in the airport after our flight was canceled. Our checked bags? Well, you can't get 'em when you're stranded. My son's wife learned this lesson the hard way: don't put your prescription meds in the checked bag: carry it on!
Let me say this: I have traveled a lot. In my younger days the hotel amenities of pool, TV, fancy fitness centers, etc. were what impressed me. Last night? Shower and bed. Very comfy bed. That's what a body really craves. I slept well. And even putting the same clothes back on in the morning feels so much better after a shower!
We got home late this morning. I collected the dog. And now I'm catching up here. It's good to be home (even if the high is below freezing). Tomorrow, back to work.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
No, no... I'm not giving up... I haven't lost my Spark. But I do have this trip planned (although it's coming up to the last minute whether it's going to really happen or not!) So... if you don't see blog entries for a few days, or message board posts tomorrow through Monday or Tuesday... no worries. I don't know that I'll have internet access after tonight until then.
Miscellaneous on the topic of rewards:
Y'all know I'm a geek. I've also probably written about my tendency to reward myself with things that support my fitness efforts. It's a mind-game: I will reward myself for good behavior with things that encourage more good behavior!
The latest really big one arrived on Tuesday. I'm so excited: it's a body media GoWear Fit armband. So... I've been trying it out. I've been drooling over these toys for some time (like over a year), reading about them (and their cousins, the Body Bug, etc.) online. But it's a significant financial investment, and I just wasn't willing to put out the $$.
Still, I had a great 2010, I've had good results, and my curiosity finally overcame my frugal nature, and I sprang for it.
For those of you who've never heard of these devices, you wear them on your arm and their sensors measure various things to determine how many calories you are burning. They can DO that? Then you upload the data to a web site where it shows you a timeline of your day: when were you moderately active, DID you rise to intense activity at any point in your day? How much sleep are you getting when you're sleeping? Whoa! Can they DO that?
I'll let you know after I've played with it for a while. But based on that one day sample? Looks like they can! It detected my break walks at work as moderate activity. It took my treadmill work (an hour) as 40 minutes intense and 20 moderate. And, unfortunately, it told me that when I slept those 6 and a half hours, I really only got about 5 hours of really good sleep. I spend periods of time just "lying down".
I kind of knew all of this without having the gadget to tell me. But being a geek, I love technology and wanted to see how well it pulled it off. You don't NEED one of these to succeed. Which is why it's in the "reward" category for me. But AS a reward... pretty cool!
Wishing all my Spark friends and anyone who drops by a great Thursday.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
I think I lied. Not intentionally, mind you. But going out and tackling the snow at 4:30 a.m. on Monday? I never would have done that 70 pounds ago!
The back muscles that reminded me they had been used in all that snow shoveling on Tuesday? Are recovered now... less than 48 hours since the third and last shoveling in 36 hours.
I find myself *doing* more things, simply because I notice they need doing. Spontaneously.
Yes, I lied, or rather, I didn't see it. Those folks are right: being fit *does* give me more energy!
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
This was "one of those days" at work. Pulled in a million directions. Made a gaffe that cost several people an hour or two of their own time wasted. I work with a terrific bunch of people and I really do hate to inconvenience any of them. They are understanding and supportive and we DO forgive one another when the inevitable humanity creeps in. We use it as a project in self-learning and improvement. BUT I still get mad at myself, because don't cha know, I'm supposed to be... ummm... perfect? Yeppers!
So, I fixed what I could as quickly as I could, then took a brisk walk in the basement of the office building to get my self-flagulation under control. When I returned to the desk, things looked better.
After work, I hopped on the treadmill and did my three miles while NCIS was on the TV. Amazing how moving the body helps put things in a much more positive light. And in the end, despite all that craziness, I still have to call this a good day. I ate in my range, and did my exercise.
Now to a well-deserved shower and bedtime!
Monday, January 10, 2011
"The moon on the face of the new-fallen snow, gave a luster of mid-day to objects below." Thus says Clement C. Moore in a Visit from St. Nicolas. I've always loved that line. It so completely captures how I felt this morning at 4:30 a.m. as I stood among the sparkles filling my driveway and smoothing the lines of the suburban neighborhood where I live.
It was so still I was not about to try to start the snow-blower, even if I had total confidence that my repairs of yesterday afternoon would be effective.
I love the stillness, when it's not too cold and the wind is light or absent. It is so beautiful, so peaceful. And in the stillness this morning, I realized something: this was another moment of functional fitness. I am not intimidated by the white stuff. I can wield this shovel! I can clear this property... just me, my trusty shovel, and my 58-year-old muscles!
This, ladies and gents, is why I work out. So that I can do what needs doing, when it needs doing. Whether that's running up ten flights of stairs to evade a fire in a tall building, or simply making our neighborhood safe for dog-walkers.
And in the process, we might get a poetic treat or two, in the muffled stillness, amid the sparkling new snow.
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