Camping and planking and running too

Week Ten
Day 1 – Jack and I had a wonderful autumn walk in the woods. It almost feels wrong to count it as exercise, but when I am huffing up the hill at the end and come home sweaty, I know I worked hard.

Day 2 – I just came home from one of my best runs ever. I ran as far as I could, and while it still isn’t a mile, I pushed myself further than I have ever gone. I alternated shorter walks between longer runs for the rest of the time for my 2.25 miles.

A friend asked me last week what injuries I was focused on and why I thought intervals were better for me. I am not sure I articulated it very well to him at the time, but I realized what it is today. I am worried about all injuries and realized today that after running for a while my form suffers. I start to roll my ankles and feel myself stepping funny. The SECOND I notice it and I have difficulty correcting it, I stop and walk until I feel like running again. I believe for me, poor form may lead to some injury. So while I am still not running a mile, I am still running. That is more than I was doing less than three months ago. That accomplishment alone makes me feel proud and keeps pushing me out the door.

Day 3 – I volunteered today and didn’t exercise but for those of you following my squirrel adventures, I have another to add. I was walking to my car from the school when I heard a loud sound. I looked up startled and saw that a Squirrel had leapt or fallen onto the hood of the car parked just in front of mine. From the sound, I was pretty sure it was injured and the car was damaged. As I gingerly walked toward my own car, I jumped again when the squirrel ran up a light pole. I certainly got my heart rate up!

Day 4 – I had a great run and was able to go just a little further than Tuesday. Since today is Halloween and I have NO willpower when it comes to candy, I also took Jack for a short hike. This is the beginning of my yearly struggle with overeating and the holidays. I usually end the year ten pounds more than the beginning so I am really going to work on avoiding that this year.

Day 5 – much of the day was spent preparing for a camping trip with my Cub Scouts, but I also started a 30 day plank challenge. Here is the link to the details: http://www.active.com/fitness/articles/30-day-plank-challenge I especially like how the challenge starts at your fitness level and focuses on proper form. I will be taking the remains of our Halloween candy to the camp out, because I don’t need any more.

Day 6 – I did not get an official workout in, but we were camping and I was loading and unloading heavy things, setting up tents and camp and got plenty of fresh air and some exercise. I planked in the tent before bed. Tonight is the official end to Daylight Savings Time so I get to lay on the cold ground for an extra hour trying to sleep.

Day 7 – We broke camp, took down tents, loaded cars and then unloaded everything when we got home. I wanted to go for a run, but after checking for ticks and showering, I really needed a short nap. We walked around the neighborhood handing out “scouting for food” bags. It is part of a food drive we do every year. I ran a little (two blocks each way) after dropping my youngest off for a play date and on the way to pick him up. This is the first week since starting that I have’t gotten three runs in, but I really needed the rest since I rarely sleep while camping. Last night was no exception. I did stretch and got my planks in after a meeting of the Mold Task Force. I am hoping for a good night’s sleep.

Happy Place

It was difficult getting out of bed this morning. The whole family is still adjusting to the time change and losing an hour of sleep on Saturday night. We all went to bed early last night, but it was hard to wake up when it was still dark. We moved slowly, but everyone got off to school and work on time. After everyone left, it was time to do some exercise and catch up on my chores.

I started out riding my bike for about 30 minutes. I rode almost twelve miles on the trainer and I am closer to achieving my goal of doubling last years mileage. At the end of the ride, I got a phone call from a friend who was struggling with some sad news that her father is very ill. Since she is far away, it was really upsetting to me that she was so sad and there is really nothing I could do for her other than listen. Our conversation was brief, because my friend had to go and make some other phone calls.

2013-03-11_10-59-30_973My nine year old lab mix hadn’t ventured outside yet, so I decided to take him for a walk. We headed straight for our favorite place “the woods”. We are so lucky that we live within walking distance of the Northwest Branch trail and we can escape into Nature within ten minutes. As soon as we were outside, I noticed the gorgeous day. The temperature is warm and climbing and even though it is slightly overcast, hints of the sunshine were peeking out from the clouds. Birds were singing and Spring flowers are beginning to pop up all over the neighborhood.

The best part of the walk was when we got to the woods. I let Jack off his leash and he happily stayed near the trail and me and sniffed around enjoying the day and doing his business. We hiked down toward the water and began to walk around. The first sight of the water always takes me someplace else. Whatever thoughts are on my mind seem to float along the current. I can only focus on the still naked trees, the running water and the rocks and signs of life all along the path.

Today I was noticing animal tracks, new buds on trees and plants and just thinking about my friend. Sometimes when I am in the woods, I do think it could be dangerous if we ran into the wrong person or if either my dog or myself got hurt. I carry my cell phone and watch out for people and animals and keep Jack close by even when he is off leash to minimize any danger. Even when I lose myself in nature, I still pay close attention to my surroundings.¬†When we had been walking about 20 minutes, I ran into a man who was whistling and calling for his dog. His 12 year old hound, Trixie had run off and he had been searching for her for over an hour. I told him that I hadn’t seen her but that I would look for her. It was just at that moment that I saw a large wingspan of a bird I didn’t immediately recognize. I believe that it was a blue heron and I caught a glimpse just as it was settling itself on a rock to enjoy the day. I watched the beautiful bird for a few minutes, but it was really difficult to see because it was so still and blended into the surroundings. I did get couple of photos with my cell phone that I am posting below.

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On our way out of the woods, Jack and I saw the man searching for his dog again. He hadn’t found her and I said that I would keep looking and alert my neighbors that there was a missing dog. When I got home, I sent an email to the neighborhood list serve. Luckily I have since heard from the man and Trixie was found several miles from where she had been seen. Apparently while she was enjoying the warm Spring day she had found her happy place too and lost track of time.