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Beautiful Day to Climb Badger

Monday, November 11, 2013

First, to keep GHK off my back, I DID go to the gym yesterday. emoticon

The spin class I took on Saturday left my legs sore. This pleases me. I rarely get my legs to burn while I'm cycling because my cardiovascular system limits what I can do far more than my legs do. In fact, I opted out of a lot of the instructor's suggestions because my heart rate was already in the 140's or 150's. The soreness is good, because I'd like to increase the explosive strength in my legs.

I swam for a short bit yesterday. I didn't do any drill work. I just backstroked up and down the length of the pool. I don't feel like my legs are getting a workout when I'm in the pool, but I'm always a little wobbly when I get out; I have to believe my legs are getting more of a workout than my brain realizes. So far, I haven't over-done it in the pool. I've quit well before I'm exhausted.

I'd planned to go to another spin class today, but since my legs are still sore from Saturday, I opted for a hike. We have a treasure in the Tri-Cities called Badger Mountain. It's not a mountain as in snow-capped peaks and fascinating volcanic history. Badger Mountain and its neighbors were formed by the crust being pushed along - kind of like what happens to a rug is you push one edge of it. So the mountains here are rolling ripple-like bumps. (Unlike the nearby Blue Mountains, which are "real" mountains, and were once the coastline of North America.)

The reason I describe Badger as a treasure is that it's now mostly in public hands. Volunteers built the trails: one trail is multi-use, the other is hiker-only. This trail system gets tons of use. I don't think I've ever hiked it without encountering other people. (Any readers in the Puget Sound area? Badger is to the Tri-Cities as Mt. Si is to Seattle.) There were not a lot of people on it today, but I think the longest I went without encountering another person was five minutes.

Today I started from the west-side trailhead, hiked to the top, hiked down the east side, and then back over the mountain. Endomondo says I covered 6.6 miles. (Here's the route, if you're interested: www.endomondo.com/workouts/267987226

So I have the day off, and all the time in the world, and I did NOT go to the gym. But I did take on a Badger.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 11/15/2013 4:39PM

    Ohh ... we are going to Cousin's on Turkey Day ... so if you're there look for me :)

(Not the best place to go for T-Day meals ... but its kinda more about family for us ... so we'll take it.)

By the way ,,, the standing thing in Spin class is still weird for me...as I stand maybe about 5% of the time on a real ride. 5% at best ... usually way less. But in Spin, the only way to change up the routine is 1) tempo, 2) resistance, or 3) position. And also, since I am a sheep, I like to follow what others are doing ... so I don't stand out haha.

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HILLSLUG98239 11/12/2013 2:31PM

    GHK - whaddaya know, I'll be in Pasco on Thanksgiving, too. emoticon I've morphed into enough of a "grown-up" that I get to host Thanksgiving now. Fortunately, it's just the Hubs & I and my parents. I can manage that.

And no, I didn't really like it. I'll go back, but I wouldn't call it fun. I'm only in it for the workout.

Bill - heart zones are different for women. My max heart rate is 178, but my anaerobic zone is 142-160. I don't mind going there, but if I know worse is coming, I tend to back off. (Most of the time I'm climbing real hills on a real bike, I'm in that zone.) I think it's a mindset from years of riding on the road: I have to leave enough in the tank to get home. Or maybe I'm just lazy.

Nah, I think it really is the bike thing: I can go over the top doing a fitness class. During the spin class, I decided against doing all the bouncing and weaving while standing up because I work really hard to keep my upper body still while I'm standing. (Even though my grimace is pure Francesco Mancebo.) I tended to keep my hands and arms in their usual and accustomed positions, too.

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BILL60 11/12/2013 7:36AM

    Has your physician told you that 145 is a bit high for you?? I often climb into the 160's and am way older than you. Just wondering.

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JEANINNEWCASTLE 11/12/2013 12:31AM

  I've climbed Mt. Si, so I know what you mean! Great job on the hike!

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GHK1962 11/11/2013 7:02PM

    Hahaha ...I was going to stop by your page later tonight and ask on the gym thing...but saw you post this and will "badger" you here about it instead heh.

First ... NICE on the Spin class. Besides the good soreness in the legs, did you like it? From what I understand of Spin class now ... since we're inside and stationary, the only way to change up the routine is via tempo, resistance, or position. The position thing is kinda something for me to get used to. I rarely ever stand and pedal ... sometimes if its a very steep grade and I am wanting to pummel it up the hill ... but mostly I sit and go to a lower gear. The standing in spin is different ... but I kind of like it too.

Next - Your Badger mountain hike sounds like that was awesome today. I TOTALLY would have opted for that myself. (I will take doing something outdoors anytime. And 6.6 miles wooo wooo. It is a gorgeous day today!

And ... ohhh....wifey and I are going to be in the Tri Cities area for the Thanksgiving weekend. Her family meets at a restaurant (in Pasco) ... we actually stay overnight in Richland.

Man ... I love it in the Pac NW :)

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More gym stuff

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Yesterday's session in the pool went really well. I'm on the roll over slowly to practice NOT leading with your head. It felt pretty good, even if it looked silly. The man in the lane next to me appeared to be swimming using the Total Immersion method; I'm sure the people at the club are used to people working through TIS drills.

I hoped to make it to the 8 a.m. group ride class. I slept in - I needed the sleep. Fortunately there's a 9 a.m. class. I'll go back, but I'm not that enthusiastic about it. It's a good workout - that's it.

I thought about swimming after the group ride, but the swim class was just getting out. The locker room would have been crazy busy. If I don't go back later today, I'll make time tomorrow.

And now, to try to get my Garmin HRM to upload. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLEARNIGHTSKY 11/10/2013 4:12PM

    COOL STUFF. I know just about nothing about swimming, but I think it is an amazing sport.



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BILL60 11/10/2013 8:25AM


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HILLSLUG98239 11/10/2013 12:03AM

    Crap - now I feel like I *have* to go to the gym. emoticon

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GHK1962 11/9/2013 11:27PM

    I'm going to the gym tomorrow too ... and while we go to different gyms....I will check back here later on Sunday to see if you went hehe. Accountability ... oh yeah HillSlug ... go you!

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  Great job getting that exercise in even when you're tired.

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Gym report

Friday, November 08, 2013

I joined this gym solely to have access to the pool; I've come realize it's a much greater asset than that.

The gym has fitness classes every evening, Monday through Thursday. There are also morning classes Monday through Saturday. During the business week, the classes start as early as 5:15 a.m. The classes are always available. There's no need to sign up or RSVP.

Wednesday evening, I did a "Group Kick" class. The club describes it as an "electric fusion of martial arts and boxing movements" that will "define and shape your body and self confidence." (I've left out the exclamation points. Whomever writes the club's descriptions needs to cut back onthe caffiene.)

I'm not a big fan of aerobics classes. Even when I throw myself into them, they're never as fun as being outside. I won't describe this class as fun, but it did kick my ass. I'm sore in places I've never been sore before. It's not bad - I can move around just fine - but I'm impressed. At one point, I declined to jump up and down because I could tell my heart rate was already waaaay too high (no HRM needed - I could feel it was too high). I don't think that's ever happened to me during an indoor fitness class. Well done, crazily energetic lady at the front of the room. Well done.

The moves in this class were a bunch of pseudo-martial arts & self-defense moves. Since I'd never done the class, I had a heck of time following some of them. Fortunately, there was also an instructor a couple of places in front of me. Mostly I just followed her, but even so, I was pretty lost at times. That, in and of itself, will not discourage me. And I wasn't the only one in the room with that confused look on my face.

The advantage of this full class schedule is that I can stop by any night on my way home from work. We're getting close to the time of year that I stop commuting by bike. (At least this year I'm not being forced off the bike by a painful IT band. Yay, stretching and painful foam roller treatments!) I haven't ridden this week because the Hubs has been home, recovering from his emergency appendectomy nine days ago. The Hubs usually doesn't get home until 6:30 at the earliest, so my stopping at the gym on the way home won't cut into what little time we get to spend together in the evenings. (But I will definitely need to do a better job of using the slow cooker, or cooking big batches of stuff on the weekends so that there's a quick and easy meal available when I do get home.)

The club opens at 4:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, and there are two lap lanes available in Pool I every morning until 6 a.m Monday/Wednesay/Friday, or until 9 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Pool II opens at 6 a.m. Monday, 6:15 Tuesday through Thursday, and 6:45 Friday. (The Masters swimmers have the pool at 5:15 Tusday - Friday; once I can actually swim, I plan to join them so I can use the pool whenever they're using it. same for the Triathlon group.) Those times are early, but it would allow me to get in a workout, then come home and have breakfast with the Hubs before we both go to work. Only time will tell if I'm that motivated.

I have court at 1:30 today, but this is my afternoon off. Once court's over, I'm headed to the gym to swim. The club is across the street from the juvenile court, where I practice. And yes, that was a deciding factor in why I chose to join this gym and not the other one that met my needs. My back hurts from the Group Kick-my-butt class (sore muscles between the shoulder blades, not the "I'm-tired-and-old" backache), so I imagine the swim will feel good. (If not, the sauna sure will!)

But first, time to go put people in jail and make people cry.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GHK1962 11/9/2013 11:26PM

    Hehe .... sounds like your are getting into the gym ... sort of. Hang in there, the more you go, the more it'll be not so bad I think. I love group classes ... I can either be a loner or joiner in groups...depending on my mood. What I do find, even when I am in loner mode ... if I keep with it ... you make friends. And that's kinda a bonus with the exercise.

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HILLSLUG98239 11/9/2013 1:52PM

    Speedydog - I'm a lawyer. I'm a deputy prosecuting attorney. That makes me the bad guy or the good guy, depending upon your perspective.

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EBRAINK 11/9/2013 11:22AM

    I am resisting the temptation to write a comment that contains an excessive number of exclamation points. emoticon

It sounds like the gym is working out well - it's nice to have that sort of variety. It doesn't make up for not being outside, but it's supposed to be good to mix it up.

Well done!!!!!!!


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SPEEDYDOG 11/9/2013 9:47AM

    Wow, it sounds like you are getting a lot of benefit from your gym membership. There is a gym where I work. Two of my co-workers joined a few months back. I am seeing a big difference in the fitness of these people. I think consistency is the key.

Keep up the good work!

If you don't mind me asking, what do you do for a living?

Thanks, Bruce

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BILL60 11/9/2013 8:56AM

    You are not only being kicked in the butt, but you're also "Kicking Butt". Hang tough!!

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DDOORN 11/8/2013 10:50PM

    Location counts for SO MUCH when it comes to picking a gym to stick with! Mine is less than a mile from where I work and makes life so much simpler! Great to hear how well yours is meeting your needs!

I've got to broaden my samplings at my fitness center someday. I want to jump into yoga someday...gotta push through my klutzy self-consciousness and awkwardness over being a minority (a guy in a yoga class? not many of those!).


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JOYCRN 11/8/2013 8:18PM

    I tried Body Combat at my gym recently and found, as you did, that even if you don't know what you're doing you can work up quite a sweat! emoticon

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I Love My Inner Coach

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

I swam for a bit Monday evening. I was wrong about the gym always having lap lanes available. There's a chunk of the day during which there are swim lessons in both pools. Pool II opens at 7:15 p.m. Less than ideal, but I can go home after work and then head to the pool. (Pool I opens at 7 p.m., but I prefer Pool II. It's set to a cooler temperature, there's less traffic (the sauna, steam room, and hot tubs are around Pool I), and no children are allowed in Pool II.)

I backstroked for about ten minutes to warm up, then switched to my Total Immersion drill. I'm on drill one, just working on keeping your upper body & head under the surface. It really does feel different, and it's much easier to move through the water. But there's that thing about breathing...

During my next pool session, I'm going to try drill two. I did it for one length at the end of my workout, and it went pretty smoothly. I decided to quit at that point for a couple of reasons. First, I had a cramp in my foot that I'd mostly worked out, but it was still bugging me. I didn't want it to cramp up again because I find it really hard to focus when my brain is yelling "Cramp! Cramp! Ow ow ow ow CRAMP!" Second, my heart rate really goes up when I'm swimming with my face in the water. I'm working on moving slowly, to try to keep it down. I'm pretty sure this is a re-training issue. My inner coach needs to remind me I am NOT going to drown in the pool. (I was pleased that I swallowed a bit of water during my swim and I did not freak out. I'll take my victories where ever they appear.) I think my inner coach will start chanting "relax relax relax" next time.

I'm grateful I haven't had to share a lane, because I am as slow as a person can be and still be moving forward. I don't mind being slow - I figure it's just part of the process.

I spent a few minutes in the sauna after the pool. I developed a love of saunas back when I was a hard drinkin' sailor. Gatorade and a sauna can do wonders for a hangover. (No, there were no saunas on the ships I served in. There were saunas in the gyms at the land bases where I served. Having a hangover on a ship is miserable.) While I was in there, my inner coach and I had a talk. "That sucked," I said. "Yeah, so?" said the inner coach. "What are you gonna do, quit? No, you're not going to quit. You're going to do this. You just need to accept the fact that you have to learn how to do this. Welcome to the real world where everyone else lives." (I'm a good beginner. I tend to pick up things quickly. If I'm not good at something at first, I usually quit. Two exceptions: skiing and law school.)

So, despite my shaking my head at how much I suck at this, I'm confident and optimistic. Yeah, it's going to take time. (I know I could speed up the process by finding a coach, but between my medical bills and my husband's recent medical emergency and paying off debt from the Hubs being unemployed for a couple of years and my law school debt (lovingly referred to as "the house I bought that I'll never live in" - $130,000), I thought I was doing pretty good by joining a gym. So the coach will have to wait a while.) But that's okay. I am going to devote the time it takes, because I will do this. I am an athlete.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APONI_KB 11/9/2013 12:18PM

    Oh I hear ya on the student loans. It's funny that you call yours the house, I call mine the Jaguar. My husband was out of work for a couple of years too, we had right at $100 in the bank when he got his first chew - whew. It turns out that we can live on my salary, but not funly.

yes I made up a word. I need an adjective form of "fun".

Hang in there with the swimming. I was struggling for a while and then all the sudden one day everything just seemed to click. Although I didn't quite realize it and just about slammed into the wall - OMG has that always been there? Someone shrunk the pool because that wall is way closer to the other one than it used to be.

I also like the cold pool. The Y insists on calling it the lap pool but "lap" is not the opposite of "warm" which is what they call the other one.

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BILL60 11/7/2013 8:44AM

    You're doing just fine without the coach. Hang tough cause you're worth it.

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DDOORN 11/6/2013 5:54PM

    And a decent coach as well! :-)


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Easing back in

Monday, November 04, 2013

The Hubs is doing much better. He's sleeping on the futon in the living room so that I don't disturb him and he doesn't disturb me. He's been eating normal food (no dairy yet, though) and his digestive system appears to be working just fine. Yep, it's true: we're grateful he can poop.

I went for a walk/run this morning. I was wheezing like crazy, but I still managed my 2:1 run/walk ratio. It wasn't very long - about a mile and a half - and I averaged less than 5 mph, but it was so nice to get outside and be physically active. (We walked around the block last night, but Jim's still a little wobbly after being in a hospital bed for three days.)

I'll check on the Hubs before I leave for work, but I'm planning to swim tonight. That was my plan last Tuesday night, but we ended up in the emergency room instead. Having a one-week delay is pretty short, so I shouldn't complain. But this has happened to me more times than I can count: just when I feel like I'm getting things going, something derails my plans. I'm hopeful this is the last distraction for this calendar year.

I won't commute by bike until Jim goes back to work. I suspect he'll be back to work by the end of the week. He has a 75-mile one-way commute, so I worry about him trying too much, too soon. And his commute is along a 2-lane country highway. There's cell coverage most of the way, but if you're in trouble, it will be a while before law enforcement happens by.

But for now, I'm just happy he's home and healthy.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HILLSLUG98239 11/5/2013 11:28AM

    Thanks guys! emoticon

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GHK1962 11/5/2013 1:42AM

    I'm glad he's on the mend ... and tell the dude to take it easy for a bit. (Though I admit, I am like him I think ... get hurt..but there are STILL things to get done, work to get to, because we are manly men! But ... tell him his wifey wants him there for a long time ...and ORDER him to take it easy :)

Now, as far as you being 'derailed' and constant distractions ... perhaps ... well, think of it this way ... the fact that you do things when you can ... to be in shape...when you do get derailed, those healthy things you have been doing ... they kick in ... on those off times ... to bring you though ... that is what I think. Go both of you!

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APONI_KB 11/4/2013 4:37PM

    He really needs to take it easy. My husband had surgery last year and it took him quite a while to get back up to speed. He thought he was just going to spring back into action like nothing and was surprised at how hard it was. He also was very excited about his first post-op poop.

Still though it sounds like he's on the mend so that's good news.

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