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skating and horse training

Monday, December 12, 2011

I spent almost 90 minutes on the ice today. My balance is getting better, but it sometimes feels like 2 steps forward, 3 steps back. Today they had very nice classical music playing at the ice rink, slow and relaxing, perfect to practice slow, flowing movements. I'm finding some muscles that are worked more while skating than while running, espcially glutes.
I realized that I need to do more stretching to be able to do some of the figure skating exercises.
Maybe I'll join my daughter for ballet classes again in January.

I spent the afternoon reminding my horse Blue Eagle how to do some basic maneuvers on the ground for treats. She was very motivated to figure out what I wanted for carrot slices and offered all kinds of new behaviors including shaking her head, lifting one foot, stepping over tires. I'm hoping to have time more regularly for horse activities in the coming months and take Blue jogging regularly while the roads are not icy.
The days are getting so short that it gets harder to fit in as many outdoor activities as I like but only 2 more weeks until winter solstice. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUTUREHOPE49 12/14/2011 5:42PM

    I would love to watch you skate! Can someone take a video please? Then you can do a vlog! It sounds like you are really working hard at it!
Horse training as well! My, you are very busy! With your daughter as well you have a very busy and active life! You are right! There are not enough hours in the day! I shall be glad when the nights get shorter, like you! Roll on Winter Solstice!
Ellen

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DEC2DEC 12/13/2011 5:52PM

    Are you clicker training Blue? The horses I've worked with LOVE it. I'm always blown away by how quickly they figure out the game -- usually faster than the dogs, in fact.

I wish I could ice skate. Unfortunately, the nearest rink is in north Seattle (I think), which is an hour or more away. Plus I have really wide feet, so I'd need custom skates. Loved skating when I was a kid though!

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MARTHASPARKS 12/13/2011 9:21AM

    Birgit, you know how to live and I enjoy reading about it!

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DRB13_1 12/12/2011 11:32PM

    that's living the good life! loved reading about your activities

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GETFIT2LIVE 12/12/2011 11:20PM

    You are ambitious and multi-talented! I have never tried ice skating and have been reluctant to do so; my ankles are weak enough that I'm afraid I'd spend more time picking myself up from the ice than actually skating (based on how poorly I did in regular skates growing up!). How fun to be able to work with your horse like that; I love horses but have never owned one myself. It is tough fitting in all the outdoor activities this time of year, but you are getting a lot done!

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Running in the cold and skating progress

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today was my first run in freezing temperatures. I decided to try a pair of wrestling shoes that I had bought a year ago because they have several qualities of minimalist shoes but are like high-top sneakers in that they cover the ankle and are warmer. The sole is fairly flexible and thin, they have zero heel-drop and no arch support. The material is suede which I can waterproof and I can wear them with an inexpensive pair of gaiters that keep me warm and dry up to the knees. By going one size smaller with a men's size I have enough room in the heel to wear warm wool socks in them. The price was around $40.00 which is still much less than minimalist boots which are hard to find and usually priced well over $100.00
This is a big improvement over running in my winter boots, mostly because the weight is so much lower but also because they are not as bulky.
There are a lot of different models of wrestling shoes and I'm sure this would be a good choice for many minimalist runners in the winter. On ice they can be fitted with my Due North winter/ice spikes easily.
Today I ran 3 miles in them and was quite comfortable. It took me just over 45 minutes to run 3 miles with average heart rate of 133, partly because of the cold, partly because the wrestling shoes are still heavier than what I'm used to, although not heavier than traditional running shoes.

Yesterday I made some improvement in my ice skating. I had asked 3 different instructors for help with changing direction on one skate which seemed surprisingly difficult. Most recommend moving my shoulders into the turn more, leaning more onto one edge etc. but I was not getting much better and they couldn't tell me why.
Yesterday I was watching some other skaters and it looked like they were "steering" with the front of their skate, with the weight on the front part of the skate, something that they weren't even aware of. That was my missing element. As soon as I started focusing on steering with the front of the skate I was able to switch direction fairly easily. Yeah! Biomechanics for dummies again. emoticon
In any case, if I practice this a little more I can progress to doing spins and three-turns much easier. This is going to be so much fun. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUTUREHOPE49 12/13/2011 3:41PM

    I think you are so brave running in freezing temperatures! I would be afraid of slipping! As for the ice skating, its something I have always wanted to do. But when I tried it, I couldn't stay upright at all! LOL! Sounds as though you are doing really well! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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BAILEYS7OF9 12/13/2011 11:50AM

    ooh you are brave! changing directions while skating! I never mastered that! I haven't had issues running in the cold w/ my feet. I feel the chill of the air on top of the toe box but they warm up quickly.

Have a great day!

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HOUNDLOVER1 12/12/2011 10:25PM

    LOL, skating is great for people like me who have balance but neither much speed nor strength. It does not feel like a hard workout. Same is true of horseback riding, so I guess I have a pattern. emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/12/2011 10:14PM

    I'm impressed with the skating tales! It's never too late to learn something fun!

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SUNONMAPLES 12/12/2011 9:48PM

  Enjoying your skating vicariously. I s*ck at it, although I would LOVE to skate well. It is such great lower-body exercise, and so graceful. I tried taking lessons, but I think balance just never was a strong point of mine and as I age it's even harder. I did get some great workouts out of my practices but was ALWAYS fearing I would fall. It is great to read your progress reports on it though!! And love seeing your horse! I rode as a girl, but again, now I just admire others. I stick now to yoga and Pilates and weights and running.

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DEC2DEC 12/12/2011 7:52PM

    Love the shoe idea -- very creative thinking there. And good job examining how other people were turning and finding a solution that worked for you.

I popped over and checked out your page. I love dogs and horses too -- and I ice skated many decades ago!

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DUCKYONTHERUN 12/12/2011 11:25AM

    Great job!

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60SIXTY 12/12/2011 8:28AM

    The shoes are a creative idea.
I was trying to figure out what part of the country you are from. I take it Washington state.
I have always had extremely week ankles. I have never ice skated, but was never a success at roller skating. About a year ago, a neighboring town opened an ice skating rink for the first time. Before that, my granddaughter was taking lessons on what looked like a huge cutting board.


emoticon Merry Christmas

Comment edited on: 12/12/2011 8:29:40 AM

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KRISZTA11 12/12/2011 3:20AM

    Great job!
Wrestling shoes sound a great idea, I may need one for the winter too.
emoticon

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JAMBABY0 12/11/2011 11:59PM

    Good job keep it up.

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Great run, great weather

Friday, December 09, 2011

I ran for exactly 1 hour and went 4.3 miles, the best run since starting the Maffetone method. The weather was beautiful and sunny, in the 40's and I did a couple loops through town, about half on asphalt, half on gravel, very little wind, very little elevation.
I will count this as my long run.
Now off to the barn to do a little horseback riding while the sun is still up. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELISELOVE1 12/10/2011 11:25AM

    emoticon

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MARTHASPARKS 12/9/2011 8:43PM

    You are doing SO well and enjoying the running so much. I envy you!

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DAV128 12/9/2011 5:49PM

    Great Job. You should feel good about your progress. Enjoy your ride. Interesting about the Maffetone method. I'm going to check the internet for information - Sounds Interesting (THANKS)

emoticon

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More stress but a good run today

Thursday, December 08, 2011

This time I was dealing with a frozen hydrant that we use to fill our horse's water tank. The property owners are gone for the winter but I fortunately had a contact person who is a neighbor and a contractor who took care of things and he did so expertly yesterday, digging a 4-foot deep and 2 foot wide hole and replacing the whole hydrant. I spent most of the day at the barn helping out and picking up gravel from the gravel pit. Thankfully yesterday the temps were in the mid-40's during the day. I got way behind on several projects but it all got finished this morning. Tonight temps are going to be below 20 degrees F so we got it done just in time, much better than if it had happened with several feet of snow and the ground frozen rock hard.
Last night we watched the special on "Biggest Loser" where the contestants ran a marathon. I had lots of thoughts go through my head as I saw several contestants that had to be pulled from the race by the attending physicians because they were at very high risk for severe injuries. The question is not if people who are still significantly overweight can run a marathon, they can, but if it's worth the risk. One of the contestants in his mid-sixties walked the whole marathon and that seemed like the smart and admirable thing to do.
All this confirmed to me that I definitely don't want to sign up for a marathon until I have done training runs that are about 20 miles. This could easily take another year even without any downtime for injuries. It really matters to me more that I can still run in 25 years than whether I can run a marathon next year. I'm contemplating making a t-shirt to wear in the March half-marathon saying something like: I'm slow now, but I'll beat you in 25 years. emoticon

Today I did a 3 mile run on the treadmill. The first mile I could tell that I had gone to bed too late the night before and felt a little tired, but then the half cup of coffee I drank must have kicked in.

Mile 1: 4 mph
Mile 2: 4 mph
Mile 3: 4 mph
average speed: 4 mph
average heart rate: 133 bpm

My one frustration at the moment is that I'm not getting my e-mail notifications from Spark which means I only have the time to check a few teams for postings every day. I hope the help topic/thread will have some answers on how to fix that.

On another note, I'm so glad we had a big vegetable garden this year. Tonight we were eating broccoli, onions, corn and tomatoes from our garden in a nice stir-fry with some beef and beans. We also still have lots of apples. In a little while I'll go out to harvest the last few leeks. I haven't even gotten to the potatoes and carrots yet, that will have to wait until the grounds thaws a little. In our basement we have quite a number of winter squash, zucchini and onions still waiting to be eaten. A garden definitely makes eating organic affordable and eating in season has been shown to be healthier anyhow.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DUCKYONTHERUN 12/8/2011 4:21PM

    Your paragraph about your home grown veggies sounds great! Thanks for some good reading.
FAth

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BAILEYS7OF9 12/8/2011 1:12PM

    love the t-shirt idea! Check your email settings. You are probably set to never email me again or some lame statement that your email bounced back as invalid. Occasionally this happens and you need to reset it.

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HOUNDLOVER1 12/8/2011 12:58PM

    Thanks everyone for your comments. Concerning the marathon: I don't look at is as a big hurdle to climb any more. I know if I prepare for it the right way (training with lower intensity and taking lots of time) it is no more difficult than training for a long hike. It's when people run out of patience or want to go fast that they get hurt. "The Biggest Loser" is first and foremost a game show and only secondarily helping people improve their exercise and eating habits. Obviously if people are close to dying from obesity a trashed knee is fairly unimportant by comparison and often the damage that had been done before they started Biggest Loser was enough to warrant joint replacement surgery anyhow. But the problem is that many people see this on TV and then think if they take a little longer, maybe 6-9 months, they can also run a marathon and for them it may not be worth paying the price.
@MARCH,
thanks for the tip, I checked my e-mail settings for the second time and found a box I could uncheck that I had missed before that said "never send me an e-mail again." I hope that fixed it.

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MARCH_ 12/8/2011 12:22PM

    Every time dh runs scans on my computer, I lose my email push from SP. On the Start page upper left it says, Account/E-mail Preferences in red. A few more clicks after that, and I'm all set. Good luck!

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KRNMAC 12/8/2011 11:31AM

    I had the same thoughts during Biggest Loser. My understanding is that marathon training is very specialized even for seasoned runners, and to put these folks in that situation was just plain stupid. "Accomplishment" to the detriment of long time health just doesn't make much sense.
My garden has gone to "pasture" to put it kindly - what that means is that it's time to get out there and weed and clear. Thanks for the additional nudge!

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MAGGIE101857 12/8/2011 6:38AM

    Glad things worked out with the water situation - it's so nice when you can work with people who do their job well! I felt the same way about the Biggest Loser - even those that walked for over 10 hours probably were seriously hurting the next day and may have done damaged joints etc., and to wait until mile 20 to pull someone (and I'm glad they did) - but why wait so long? I know we all like seeing the success stores, but that brought it home for me as well. How far will we push ourselve to find "success"? Like you,I would like to run a marathon and am working my way up to it. I am considering a 1/2 marathon in the spring, even if it means walking some of it. I use my treadmill a lot because i believe it is easier on my joints!!!! I want to be healthy, strong and moving well into the next part of my life!!!! I like your way of thinkng!!!

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KRISZTA11 12/8/2011 3:46AM

    It's so good you have a garden of your own where you can grow all those vegetables.
It reminds me of the garden of my grandparents, full of flowers, fruits and vegetables - too bad I hardy ate any vegetables back then, but I adored their beauty.
We don't have that garden anymore.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

Running a marathon is a big challenge, it is very wise of you to prepare so well.
emoticon
I think those Biggest Loser guys risk serious long term damage to their knees with that, even if they ran the marathon successfully without any injuries.


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Short but sweet

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I had a nice run in dry, sunny weather. It turned out to be exactly a 5 K or 3.1 miles altough I had not planned it that way.
My time was 44:30 min, average heart rate 130, average speed 4.18
I am now getting close enough to my next half-marathon that I will start training roughly according to Hal Higdon's Novice half-marathon schedule. It works well for using with the Maffetone method because it does not have any speed work.
Yesterday I was ice-skating for an hour, working on skating backwards on inside and outside edges.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARCH_ 12/7/2011 2:50PM

    Feels so great! Winter workouts!

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KRNMAC 12/6/2011 4:43PM

    What MARTHAMBRYCE said! I'd love to be able to run like a kid again, and that's a target for "when I recover"!

Yay, you!!!



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CGDINASIA 12/6/2011 9:08AM

    Great job!!

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MARTHASPARKS 12/5/2011 11:46AM

    Birgit, I want to be you when I recover. I want to feel pleasure in making my body move, in enjoying exercise, skating, running - all of those pleasurable things we did as kids and that you still do. Never, ever quit. My 80 year old Mom still swims competitively, skates, does yoga. I inherited my health problems from my Dad but my fighting heart from my Mom! Go, girl, go. I move vicariously through you! emoticon emoticon

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DUCKYONTHERUN 12/4/2011 10:02PM

    It's great to read when someone feels good about their training. Woohoo!

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DIDMIS 12/4/2011 5:27PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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