Friday, April 18, 2014
I've had some weird days recently. Last week, there was a day that I was overwhelmed with apathy. I couldn't decide if I was hungry, let alone what I wanted to eat. Nothing appealed to me. And I am one of those people that eats for a variety of reasons, hunger rarely being one of them. I warned the Hubs when he got home to not ask me to make a decision about anything because I didn't care. I wasn't sad, I wasn't depressed, I was just *meh* and *whatevah* about everything.
I was pretty peppy, despite my apathy. I hiked Badger twice last weekend. It's not the same as running, but it certainly does work the legs and it keeps my heartrate in the endurance zone (100-120 bpm). We're doing Bloomsday in two weeks. That's a 12K, so hiking the almost-7 miles of Badger is a good workout, even if I'm not running it. I have no intention of running up Doomsday Hill (6.5% grade) anyway.
I've been slacking on running. My legs were a little weary from Badger. In retrospect, though, I think there's more to it than that. (Although I really need to get better about letting my body rest when it needs it!) I was pretty sneezy Wednesday night (the night I skipped my run workout). I rinsed my sinuses Thursday morning - that's usually enough to get me through. But my pool session Thursday morning was tough, too.
I just couldn't breathe. Even using the kickboard (my heartrate stays pretty low when I'm not using my arms), I could not seem to get enough air transfer. I ended up gasping for air everytime I brought my face to the surface. It felt like a major leap backwards.
I kept swimming, though. I kept going, even when my form felt lousy. I did a few laps of my side crawl, which will probably be a major component of the swim portion of my first tri. (There's no "finished pretty" or "finished ugly" - just "finisher" or "DNF." And I will finish!)
I had a brief chat with myself about unreasonable expectations. Only mediocre people are at their best everyday. Some workouts are going to suck and leave me feeling miserable. I give myself permission to skip a planned workout for a different physical activity if my head's just not into it and I feel that I'm not going to get anything out of the workout, but I only get to use that "Get Out of Jail FREE!" card a few times. I know that change comes slowly. I can tolerate a bit of going backwards so long as the overall trend is forward momentum. It's unrealistic to think that the swim is just going to "click" and I'll be wonderful at it. Yes, there are workouts that go really well, and things just feel natural, like I know what I'm doing. And there will come a day when it does just "click." But that "click" will be the result of hours spent in the pool, focusing on form, and hours doing strength training, improving my core and upper back. Chuck Knox used to say "Chance favors the well-prepared."
So I had a bad day in the pool yesterday. But my lunch companion noted that I ate half as much at lunch than I did the last time we had lunch together. And dinner was sauteed swai, rice, and squash puff. I snuck a few chugs off the Hubs' beer, and a had some shortbread as dessert. And today, at lunch, I'll be back in the pool for another 15 minutes of swim drills. And after work, I will do a strength training workout.
Who knows? Maybe it'll click today; maybe it won't. But I'll keep coming back, regardless. That's what dedicated people do. I cannot control what happens around me, but no matter what, I will be well-prepared.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
I'm goofing off at lunch. I cannot remember the last time I did this that I wasn't sick. I don't have to go to court, so I'm not going to the club to swim. I'm tired, but I had two mugs of coffee right before lunch, so a nap is out. I thought about going for a run - it's gorgeous outside! - but I decided to go for a longer run after work tomorrow. (I can only get in about a 2-mile run during lunch.) I could have gone for a walk, but I decided goofing off has a value in and of itself. (I'm riding to the club after work tonight for a strength training work out, and then home. So I'm not a complete slacker.)
I had quinoa for lunch. Years ago, I bought some. Didn't like it. The uncooked grain sat in my fridge, ignored and taking up space. This weekend, I'd planned to cook millet, and I was sad to discover the grain in my refrigerator was quinoa. *sigh* So I cooked it. I still don't like it, but I did find a way I can eat it: lots of shoyu. Given that my doctor is concerned about my sodium intake, I do not believe quinoa has a place in my diet. (Texture-wise, it's very similar to millet. What I really don't like about quiona is the taste & the smell. Soy sauce cures both defects. I don't like kale, either. I will never be cool.)
I did not get enough sleep last night - hence the two cups of coffee before lunch - and I had a trial this morning. That is a less-than-ideal combination. Still got a guilty verdict, but in reality, this was a case that never should have gone to trial. I feel sorry for my colleagues on the defense bar when they have a client who insists on going to trial, even when advised against doing so. They still have to present a defense, which usually amounts to attacking the credibility of my witnesses. But then again, I have to respond to defense motions, no matter how ill-advised and pointless. So maybe there's an element of karma in action when they get a difficult client who will not listen to reason.
I might leave work early just to go play in the sun. The strength equipment is always available, and I can get there before peak travel times. (Unless you work at Hanford, there really isn't a "rush hour" here. If you work at Hanford, you get stuck twice a day. It's ironic that a city which named its streets after trees and engineers only has two north-south arterials that connect the interstate with the largest employer in the area. Hint: it's not the trees' fault.)
I've decided to cut back on my bacon consumption. I used to be a vegetarian, so I know I can live without its salty-fatty goodness. I eat it almost every morning, and there's really no need for that. This morning's breakfast was a egg & cheese sandwich on my deliriously good homemade sourdough bread. (I don't care if gluten is evil. It can kill me if it wants, I am not giving it up.) Probably because I was in trial (and therefore pre-occupied with thoughts other than food), I wasn't hungry until almost noon. Then again, maybe knowing my lunch was quinoa diminished my appetite.
Saturday, April 05, 2014
Yesterday, I was wrestling with what workout to do after work. I ran and did swim drills on Thursday. I was debating between swim drills and a strength training workout. (I learned the hard way I cannot strength train after swimming - too much for my neck & upper back muscles to handle. I suppose I could swim and do the strength training, but skip the stuff that puts the most stress on those muscles. But then I wouldn't be following the plan, and that's too chaotic for my obsessive-compulsive nature.)
I finally decided on something completely different: Badger Mountain. There's a loop that's about six & a half miles. If I really pump, I can do it in a little over two hours. The Hubs and I are both fond of Badger Mountain, but he cannot maintain the pace I wanted to do. (He has COPD. It would be cruel to ask him to climb that rock twice in at 3 mph.) He's walking Bloomsday next month. It's a 12 km route, and he needs to get some miles in beforehand, but we can do his training walks on a mostly flat route. (Jim is one of those people that, if allowed to go at his own pace, can walk all day. If he taxes his cardiovascular system too much or too quickly, he's done fast.) I figured I'd do the up & over loop on Badger myself, and then we'd do a hike or a ride together during the weekend. (Jim is also hoping to do the 65-mile route at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Cycle for Life in August. He's crazy, but I admire his ability to set a high goal.)
I misjudged sunset, so I ended up hiking into the dark. I knew I'd be battling sunset, so I parked at the west trailhead so I could take advantage of the twilight as long as possible. The sun had already set by the time I made it back to the west side of the hill. The trail is easy to follow, though. This area is a brush steppe. It's scrub land. There are no trees on Badger Mountain. (Its neighbor, Rattlesnake Mountain, is the highest treeless mountain in North America.) The wind is brutal, so what does grow on the west side of Badger tends to hug the ground. Until you get back down within a half-mile of the trailhead, there's nothing to create a shadow on the trail. Also, the trail is gravel. If my feet were to stray from the trail, the sound of my footfalls would have changed instantly.
I had a headlamp with me, but I didn't use it. I figured I'd leave it in my bag until it was an absolute necessity, because once I turned it on my night vision would have been destroyed. There was a quarter moon, and until the last half-mile or so, there was still twilight looming to the west.
When I was about a mile from the trailhead, I passed a person headed up. So I'm not the only crazy one.
We're planning a hike or walk this weekend. I plan to get a bike ride in, too - I haven't ridden in over a week! Of course, there's baking and yard work and housework to do. But I'm still waiting for the coffee to kick in. Maybe it's time for another cup...
Here's a link to the Badger Mountain up & over loop: www.mapmyfitness.com/routes/view/385
421362 We're very lucky to have this treasure in public hands. It gets a LOT of use. I see trail runners on it. Bikes are allowed on the west side and part of the east side. On a sunny day, there are thousands of people on this mountain.
Thursday, April 03, 2014
We left the Tri-Cities last Thursday, headed for Lancaster, CA, to visit my son, his wife, and their adorable child. We got home around 1 a.m. Tuesday morning. It was a great road trip. We drove down Hwy 395 - much more interesting than driving down I-5. We went up I-5 on the way home to visit a friend who lives in Dublin, CA.
I'd hoped to get in a few workouts. I didn't. We were more pressed for time than I anticipated. I also averaged about six hours of sleep per night. We both kept waking up between 6 and 7 a.m., regardless of when I went to bed. I'm still a little sleep deprived, so I'm really looking forward to this weekend!
My diet was less-than-stellar, too. A couple of nights, dinner was beer & potato chips. I did okay with food; I didn't go overboard, didn't eat fries every time they were offered, ate lots of fruit. But without any exercise, I'm not surprised I gained three pounds over the trip. I'm a little relieved it was only three pounds!
I'm not commuting by bike this week. I'm still catching up. I swam this morning and went for a run at lunch. The run was short but good: I ran 2:30-3:00 minutes each time, and walked :45-1:00 between those run periods. It was a good run. I need to get back on track with training for Bloomsday: 12K, the first weekend in May. That's soon!
I bought a Polar HRM that will record my heart rate while swimming. I'm still working with the kickboard, mostly. I did a lap of freestyle, and my heart rate jumped 30 bpm. So it's not my imagination: my heart rate really does shoot up once I incorporate my arms. I'm concerned, but still confident I'll get this down before the triathlon in June. I don't care if I have to backstroke my way through the swim portion: I WILL CONQUER THIS!
There's a duathlon here in Pasco in May, the weekend after Bloomsday. I signed up. I figure it'll do me good to go into the tri with a "win" under my belt, and it'll give me a chance to practice transition while I'm not soaking wet. It sounds fun!
Friday, March 21, 2014
As I've said all over this website, I weigh myself daily. But I recognize the number on the scale for what it is: an abstraction, and of limited value in and of itself. So, like a lot of others, I use other metrics to measure how I'm doing.
I'm really struggling with swimming, but frequently, when I get out the pool I find myself thinking, "I feel strong." I feel tall and lean - and I am neither. There's something about the water that makes me feel strong, though. I like that feeling, and I let its goodness hang around for a while.
I'm not crazy about how I look naked, but I'm not horrified by how I look in a swimsuit. My "child bearing" hips are mostly gone. There's still a bit of an outward curve, but there used to be a shelf. My inner thighs are no where near as flabby as they used to be. And my butt & thighs are more toned. I don't have the butt dimple/pistol grips, but my rear end is looking a lot better (as the Hubs enthusiastically points out ).
For a long time, I couldn't fit into ANYTHING made by Danskin. I was too big even for their XXL, which they call an 18, but runs small. Once I could get into Danskin's clothes, I realized I was hooked: I almost bought some Danskins stuff at a thrift store just because it would fit. I remember when I was 20, and I was wearing a size 12 for the first time since I was in middle school. I kept buying clothes because I was so delighted to be able to buy stuff off the rack. It's kind of the same emotion. I have some Danskins XL that fit. I wouldn't mind trading in my XXLs for M, but for now, it's a cool feeling.
My back is bugging me, so I went to the chiropractor this afternoon. I was just debating skipping the strength training this afternoon, to give the adjustment time to "take." And then I realized that I feel great, I feel strong, and I want to keep this going. So I'll do my workout, and just monitor how my back feels.
Oh, and since I treated myself to a BK Big Fish sandwich for lunch, I kinda need the workout. I was craving one, so I looked up the calorie count online. I decided it was worth it. You see, I AM a dog: food is a reward. Food is comfort. Food is love. Food makes everything better.
Hoping for a great, productive weekend. Gotta keep that forward momentum rolling!
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