Sunday, June 23, 2013
Summer is here, both astronomically and meteorologically. The temperature broke 90°F both yesterday and today. For Rochester, NY, 90° F is the magic "hot" temperature; the local weather reporters talk about 90 degree days the way the weather reporters where I grew up talked about 100 degree days.
It's the weekend, and a good time to learn to run in warm weather. Unfortunately, I banged up my left foot last week, and it's not fit to run on. The way it's been feeling, it may be a while before I'm running again. I've been through this drill with the other foot - wrap for arch support, wear shoes to keep the foot from hurting, don't run, don't walk aggressively, and pay attention to keeping the walks short if it feels like the foot is being aggravated. Yeah, I know the drill. It's not much fun, but it's what I need to do.
With the disappointment of not being able to run came a lack of motivation this time around. There are things I can do, and I don't feel enthusiastic about doing them. I can still do kettlebell swings and snatches. If I'm careful, I can still do Turkish getups. Once I get to the top of a Turkish getup, I can do a windmill. So far, lack of motivation has trumped ability 3 days out of 4.
But there's that 90° weather, and it's a weekend. Pedaling a bicycle doesn't bother the foot. So I got in bike rides yesterday and today. Yesterday, I rode north along the Genesee Riverway trail, and rode into a rain shower before I got as far as planned. The forecast had scattered thundershowers, but this looked like a general rain that could last for a while. No big deal for running or walking, but wet brakes on a bike range from annoying to downright dangerous. So, maybe this is a storm coming off the lake? Turned around, and rode back out of the rainstorm. Yesterday's bike ride wasn't all that long, but it broke an important psychological barrier. I got moving.
This afternoon, I got onto the bike in 90° weather with a forecast that the temperature should moderate a little. Took a route that would be somewhat into the wind outbound, and with the wind homebound. I know myself, and I can get really discouraged by a headwind late in a long ride. Put RunKeeper on auto pause to take the time out of multiple stops for road crossings. That's less than perfect, but better than trying to manually pause the app. Ended up riding for a bit less than 2 hours per RunKeeper, close to 2 hours elapsed clock time.
Cycling doesn't count a whole lot of steps, so today I ended up needing almost 4K more steps to make my 10K steps for the day. Well, I had a project for that: mow the lawn. Spring weather held on right up to the astronomical start of summer, so I have lawn growth since I mowed on Wednesday. But we've had two days of hot and reasonably dry weather, so it was a fairly easy mowing. It felt more like a weekly summer mowing than a 4 day spring mowing. I hope this is the start of summer mowing season; spring mowing is annoying.
While I'm not particularly motivated to be active, I noticed some benefits of being fit and at an appropriate weight. I thought I might write them down so I don't forget:
First, 90° F isn't that hot. Second, being fit let me bike and mow on the same day. Third, having become a runner taught me to avoid cotton when being active outside. All these things add up to more comfort, more activity, and getting more done.
Two years ago, and 35 lbs. heavier, I would have been quite uncomfortable in today's weather. If I'd taken this bike ride, it would have wiped me out. I probably would have used 3 and a half water bottles instead of the 1 and a small bit from a 2nd that I used today. And I would have been wearing a lot of cotton. Now I know better.
Two years ago, I wouldn't have had the energy to mow the lawn after riding a bike. Most likely, I would have chosen between the two and either not ridden, or not mowed and had to suffer through mowing longer grass later. If for whatever reason I managed to do both, I would have stripped off my soaked cotton clothes from biking, put on fresh cotton clothes, and been miserable mowing. Now, I know better that to wear cotton when being active.
So I'm still not very motivated, but I'm pleased with what I managed to get done today. Tomorrow I'm taking a day off work for my scheduled blood donation. I'll see how the foot feels, and see if I can get my 10K steps in without making it worse. If the foot doesn't do well, that streak might need to end; but right now, it's still alive.
Life is good.