tumblingdays: Post-It Note that says "Walk Around the House Like a Fucking Champion" (defiance)
A friend and I walked a 5K yesterday. It was my second 5K and first "race" and her first 5K. Our goals were simple - finish in under an hour and don't come in last place. We accomplished both! We walked it, and I came in 50th in my age group. A "good" aerobic walking pace is 17-20 minute miles, and we were at a 17.8 minute mile. This pleases me.

I woke up today feeling much better in my own body. The route had one large hill and hiking up it worked out a kink in my shins probably caused by living in high heels. Yay for exercise?

After the race, our husbands joined us for dinner. My husband ran the 10K while we were running the five. His goal was the same as ours, and he did well. We finished in 55.19 minutes. He was at 59.06. We hadn't even gotten water yet when he crossed the finish line. It was excellent to sit with old friends, catch up, and feel like I had accomplished something.

After dinner, I went over to another friend's house. We sat out on her roof drinking wine and talking late into the night. This was possibly the perfect end to a Saturday night. Her roof is a cozy, secret place, protected by old trees that let the stars shine down like benevolent eyes.

I'm in the middle of a long stretch on the road, and I can already feel a little bit of travel fatigue kicking it. The time will go by quickly. We are only 10 weeks from Christmas now, and I will be home the week of Thanksgiving. It's not that far way.
tumblingdays: Oversaturated Photo of a flower (Default)
There is little that discourages me more than feeling like my body is failing me. I've learned over the last couple of years that if I am good to my body, it will be good to me. Lots of things are challenging, but every day life stuff works just fine.

This week, I totally haven't felt that way. Now, this is my fault, mostly. I spent last week in Cancun, and while I was very active, I still wasn't up to my usual level. And this week, I forgot to take a day off from working out (until today). So basically I went from lounging and drinking too much for a week to over-exercising (for my fitness level) and oh yeah, still drinking more than usual. Hmmm.

Last night was ballroom dancing. We started at 6:30 and by 8:30, my shoulder, which is arthritic, was in really pain, my feet hurt, and my Iliotibial bands were on fire. Finally, I confessed to my husband that I plan couldn't do any more and needed to call it. In retrospect, two hours straight of ballroom dancing is a LONG time, and he admitted that he was worn out too. I don't think I realized early on how many dances we sat out because we hadn't learned them yet. Last night it was only the Cha-Cha, and two of the instructors pulled us onto the floor for one round of Cha-Chaing.

Afterward, Jim headed out to a concert with some of his guy friends and I did an epsom salt soak and went to sleep.

Today, my shoulder is still on fire. I'm going to have to make another trip to the doctor about the arthritis, and that is NOT my idea of a good time. I hate the reminders that I have a history of not taking very good care of my body. It makes me feel like a total failure as a human being and a hypocrite since it is so important to me now to live as if my mind and my body are all ME.

Tonight I am home, with my feet propped up and my pjs on. Tomorrow, I have my second walking 5K scheduled, but I am trying to take things easy tonight.
tumblingdays: Post-It Note that says "Walk Around the House Like a Fucking Champion" (defiance)
This morning I accomplished something really challenging at the gym. I've been working toward being able to do planks, which require a good deal of core strength. They are not easy. If you've never seen the exercise, here is an image: http://cdn.womenshealthmag.com/files/images/0905-poster-side-plank.preview.jpg. Not me. I think eventually you straighten out the bottom arm, but I am definitely not there yet, and with my arthritic shoulder may never be. Still, I can do this pose for 30 seconds on each side, with a 30 second basic plank in the middle. (Another image that isn't me: http://www.fithacker.com/images/plank.jpg.)

I was sitting up after the second set of these thinking, "How in the hell can a minute and a half be that LONG?!?!" when my personal trainer said, "There. Wasn't that worth it?" And I realized that holy shit, I just did a full set of planks without giving up, without my body giving out, without falling down, without losing my breath! Holy shit.

I've been working toward incremental improvements in fitness for so very long that I had forgotten when I first started working out that I was proud when I broke 10 seconds on the basic plank and that I couldn't even get my hips off the ground to do a side plank. Here I am, poo-pooing at my minute and a half, and it is SO MUCH farther than I've ever been. Even better, those planks were just a stop in the middle of circuit. There were weights and crunches and rows going on.

I don't regret that I've opted for incremental fitness. I don't know anyone who wouldn't love to get fit really quickly, but that's not realistic. This process- where I set small (very small) incremental goals and then meet them and then set a new goal- is much more effective than any get fit scheme I've seen. Sometimes my new goal is related, sometimes I get bored and do something completely different. Some goals just get sidetracked- earlier this year I got a wild hair to learn how to do cartwheels and after falling often I moved on without ever really getting it right. Permission to simply fail and move on is part of the plan.

On another note, I finished Chapter two of Women Food and God without any new insight. Chapter three gave me A LOT to digest. I plan to re-read it and blog about it later. It merits some consideration.

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