Back to Basics

Day 1 – I realized over the weekend that I was almost 130 miles away from my goal of doubling my 2012 bike mileage so this morning after the school drop off, I rode my bike on my trainer to close the gap. I rode 12 miles and did it pretty easily even though I have not ridden my bike in weeks. Apparently it is just like riding a bike as long as you are doing some form of cardio.


After the ride, Jack and I went on our hiking trail. It was a nice day and we encountered a few others with the same idea. On our way to the woods, I ran the quarter mile down hill and also did some running along the trail. At one point in the not too distant past, it was all I could do just to hike down and back up the trail so I really have made progress.  I spent some time thinking about my friend’s mom and the one year anniversary of my brother’s death which is coming up this week. Walking always centers me and brings my spirituality to the surface.
Day 2 – I took the boys to school and made a quick trip to my favorite grocery store, Trader Joe’s. Matt was working from home so we could go to the funeral later in the morning. Since we were going to be gone a long time that day, I made the decision to take Jack for a walk in the woods before getting ready. I also made the decision on this walk to focus on my bike and these long walks for a bit, since getting any exercise at all during this season is difficult for me. I have never been diagnosed but I suspect that I suffer from some form of seasonal depression. I am more likely get out and do things that I really love. I will continue to do some running, but it is much easier to get on my bike in the house during the cold weather than go out for a run that I am still struggling with. I have not quit running and still plan to do it, but I will walk and bike regularly through the cold dark days.
Day 3 – I volunteered in the kindergarten class today and went my my quarterly hair cut. When I got home, I took Jack for a short walk.
Day 4 – This  morning I met up with a friend and that headed home for a walk in the woods before getting the boys.
Day 5 – Even though my twelve miles of riding earlier in the week was pretty effortless, I did pay for the lack of biking with a sore rear for a few days. Today I got back on my bike and rode another twelve miles. I will make it to my goal by the end of the year. After today’s ride, I have 102 miles to go.
After the ride, Jack and I did our hike. The walk in the woods that I regularly do, used to take nearly an hour one way several years ago and has since been cut in half. It is a true measure of my fitness progress over the years. I still have a long way to go, but I have come a long way. I have made it a habit not to try to get the closest parking spaces. Instead, I park farther away from entrances to avoid the crowd of traffic and to get a longer walk in.
Day 6  and Day 7 – We had a busy weekend filled with activities for the kids and get-togethers with friends so I did not get any formal workouts in. I did some laundry and cleaning which counts as activity in my book. I also ran some errands which I typically avoid on a weekend. I had planned to do a hike by put the cold weather was a deterrent.  I am doing well staying away from holiday treats so we will see how the year ends up.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I have much to be thankful for and hope that you do as well.

Week Twelve Time to Refocus

Day 1 – Today I got up and got everyone out of the house earlier than usual. I am a co-chair for the elementary school book fair and needed to meet my partner. The fall book fair is a mini-fair and will run today and tomorrow from 8:30 am until 8:00 pm. We got everything set up and had a few customers. It is a half day both days because of conferences so I arranged for child care for the boys until 4. I then went home to get the organized for swimming, homework, dinner and a sitter before heading back out for a conference and to help close the book fair for the day.

Day 2 – Today is a repeat of yesterday but I could only stay at the fair until 1:30 when one of my boys had a well visit and the second had an appointment to check out his sore ear. One ear infection and a successful well visit later and we headed home for homework. We then took Nate to the pool and headed to Target for an antibiotic. The sick child had tubes but they are both sitting on his ear drum, so I hope this isn’t the start of many ear infections. Luckily our ENT is conservative so he won’t rush to do a second tube surgery. After the boys went to bed, I got my “run” in on my trampoline. Aerobically, I work harder outside because I sweat more and seem to get my heart rate higher, but I think I work my muscles harder on the trampoline.

Day 3 – Jack and I took a nice walk in the woods. It was beautiful and no squirrels bothered me so it was a successful outing.

Day 4 – I got back outside for my run which felt great. My pace has slowed, but as long as I keep getting out, I am not going to beat myself up about it. The goal is to move my body and get fit any way I can.

Day 5 – We walked in the woods again and my nearly ten year old dog was more playful than I have seen him in quite a while. We ran into many other dogs and owners enjoying the day. I am starting to panic slightly about the ten people I am hosting for dinner tomorrow. My house is still littered with camping gear and detritus from our New York trip, but I am making progress one step at a time.

The walk today was so good for me as I am also thinking about the two deaths I learned about today. One is the mother of a close friend whose cancer ended her life and the other is a young man from our summer pool who was killed in a home invasion. I am thankful for my health and every day I have. I am trying not to take anything for granted.

Day 6 – Today is a big day. I probably should try to get out for at least a walk, but the piles of laundry to put away along with the dusting, vacuuming and bathroom cleaning is stressing me out too much to leave the house. I got a bit of exercise running through the house. I enlisted the help of all family members and we got it all done. We were ready for dinner group at 6:00. I even delivered my oldest to his swim meet and transferred him to one of our very capable teenage babysitters. I will leave dinner at some point to pick him up.

Day 7 – After church this morning, I wanted to go for a run or at least a walk, but I spent a lot of time on the phone making arrangements for a wake and funeral early next week. My middle son got invited to a last minute party and my oldest had part two of his swim meet. I may not have gotten all the exercise I wanted in this week, but I am making healthier eating choices and have stepped back from the Halloween candy. As long as I don’t gain my usual “holiday ten” I will be happy. I also plan to refocus on my goal of doubling my 2012 bike mileage. I have about 120 miles to go so I need to fit about two rides in per week.

Running Week Three

Day 1 – well I am still at it, but today I did some stretching and little else.

Day 2 – today was a run day but I also fit in three short walks. One to walk the dog and two walking my kids to the bus and back. The boys ride scooters so I pulled the wagon first filled with backpacks to the bus and then with scooters and helmets back home.

I opted to not keep track of my pace but did my usual 2.25 miles. I am still using the electric poles to do intervals but today ran two lengths for every length walking. After the first mile, I had to take some longer walking breaks but still managed to run at least two lengths at a time. The last couple of times I have really been focusing on posture and form and try to engage my whole body instead of just legs.

Day 3 – I did some minimal walking but didn’t get to exercise much as I spent a great deal of time at my kids’ school and had lunch with a group of friends. All of us sent our youngest child off to kindergarten this year and we were comparing notes on our school year and lives.

Day 4 – why did I think running was a good idea? I dreaded my run today but prepared for it by stretching and using the foam roller. I am now running about two lengths and occasionally three (between the electric poles) to every one walking. I am focusing on posture, foot placement and breathing. My right leg is always shorter when I go to the chiropractor so I focused on stretching that leg out and letting the left leg follow. Each time I stopped to walk I didn’t think I could run again, but I did. I run until my heart rate and breathing are up before walking. I kept track of my pace today and I am a bit faster at 13.19 minutes per mile. I am pleased with my progress and plan to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

As a cool down, I took my dog for a two mile hike. We barely made it home before a torrential rain came through.

Day 5 – there was no walk today as I was back at the school and then running errands to prepare for a 10th birthday party for my son. It is 1:10 am at the moment so I hope I have the energy for my am run. At least the heat wave broke. No more 90 degree days until next summer I hope!

Day 6 – It is Saturday morning and I am hosting a small birthday party for my son later in the day, but I got up and went for my run. The weather has turned much cooler and it was 60 instead of the 90 it was earlier in the week. The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day for a run. I started out running a bit more than walking but at some point my throat started burning and I felt like what I can only describe as a “stitch” in the back of my throat. I could still take deep breaths and my lungs seemed clear, but this phenomenon used to happen to me regularly when I tried to run. I am not sure what caused it. Is it pollen, leaf mold or just the difference in air temperature? Regardless, I did my 2.25 miles but I wasn’t monitoring my pace. I just ran. Thirty minutes later, I got home and ran around for he next ten hours or so. It was a great way to start a very hectic day.

Day 7 – Today, I am not running, but I am riding my two-wheeled love on my trainer in the basement. I haven’t ridden my bike in two months, but I have wanted to add it to the cross training mix since I started running. I was afraid that I would really be sore and didn’t want to set back my running so I waited for a few weeks. I am not planning to run again until Tuesday which is two days away, so I decided that today is a good day to get back in the saddle. I am more than half-way to my goal of doubling last year’s mileage on my bike. I have just 125 miles to go until December 31 and since I usually bike at least 10 miles at a time, as long as I bike at least once a week, I should be able to accomplish my New Year’s Fitness Goal. I. Can. Do. This.