Thursday, June 3, 2010

Intervals and Hill repeats

This morning I was going to go for a run - but my wife said, "You ran yesterday morning, shouldn't you ride today?" Hmmm?? Yep, I guess so. I was kind of planning on riding tomorrow morning with Jon (if we still hook up while he's in town), but a ride this morning sounds good.

So, a little bit later, I headed out for a what turned out to be a 61 minute ride. It was warm up to the dam and then 30/60 intervals across (30 seconds hard - 60 seconds recovery); the return trip was steady state trying to keep my HR between 145 - 155; then on the trip back home I went up the hills in my second gear (I used to use 3 and 4 last year when I was in better bike shape).

On the last hill (Mountain Creek ~ .5 mi) I did it in 2nd gear. At the top, I decided to do it again, but in the next gear. (Kind of like the ladder I've done in the past up a steeper but shorter hill - Prayer Mountain.) Second and third gears were all managed in the saddle, but 4th required me to get out of the saddle part way up and stay out for the remainder. Fifth gear required me to get up even sooner - and with that one I decided it was late enough and just kept heading home.

With today being the last day of school for the kids - tomorrows routine is at 'risk'. Saturday I expect to participate again in a group CrossFit type workout. Last Sat I got 10 honest pull ups in on the first rotation. And on Tuesday's work out I got 10 again. That's probably only the 2nd or 3rd time I've got 10. I sure would like to see that increase.

That's all for now. What are you doing, as much as it depends on you, to stay healthy and fit: physically able to enjoy life?!

[photo: "Enjoy the smells of life - especially if they are being warn by your wife!"]

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day 2010

Yesterday was Memorial Day. A Great day for many reasons!

With the kids home and me off of work, it usually creates problems for scheduling in the regular exercise. For starters, I usually don't get up so early which often costs me that strength training session (yesterday was no exception). My wife and I did get our run in together, but then I made my following run alone. And that was it as far as planned exercise goes (as I don't count mowing the yard as exercise - nor do I consider throwing kids in the pool exercise).

Aerial Battle
On the run I saw two Mocking birds chasing a crow and then later I saw another Mocking bird chasing a squirrel across the road up into a tree. I saw a Blue Jay chasing a flying bug (or that's what I'm guessing it was doing as I couldn't see the bug). Birds are fun to watch! A few days before I watched an aerial battle while I was waiting outside of a store for my wife. High above was a hawk being chased by a crow, which was being pursued by a smaller bird. These birds were probably 200 feet up as the hawk was mostly gliding back and forth increasing it's altitude while the crow was often having to flap it's wings as it tried to dive bomb from the rear (giving respect to the hawk in doing so). The little bird was only a part of this battle for a brief time before diving out of the sky into some structure for refuge. It lasted 5 minutes or more before the crow also tucked it's wings and dove down at an amazing speed (I've never seen a crow go that fast) - leaving the hawk high above (3-4 hundred feet up) gliding back and forth, much like it had been doing even as it was being taunted by the crow. It was quite neat to watch. I wonder how many other 'people' saw that battle going on above? Are others to busy? Am I to idle to make time to 'watch' birds; or smell flowers, or watch the sun rise, set or look into the night time sky?


It was nice spending time with my family. We barbecued meats and vegetables on the grill and later cleaned our pallet with some Mint-n-Chip and Cookie Dough Blue Bell ice cream!! Mmmmmm... As I am known to say, if you're going to eat ice cream - you might as well eat the good stuff : closer to the form it was when God first made it. :-)

I called my friend Bob - a Vietnam veteran and talked briefly. We don't see each other much any more, but I try to call him and pass on my thanks to him on Memorial Day. We often remember those and their families that gave their lives, but many came home and 'live' with the costs of their contribution to our freedoms. He (and they) also deserve our support and prayers. So it was nice to reflect on this Great Country, even with all the issues and things going on that I don't agree with - I am still thankful for the freedoms we have and for those who have helped to give them and keep them for us, for me and my kids to have.

We got to go to a friends house and swim (thanks Rick and Peggy). That was the kids idea and my youngest daughter called and worked it out. It was sunny and most of us got a little pink - even with sun screen, but it was very nice. [At my house, if you get pink - you can be pretty certain that vinegar and aloe are going to be a part of your near future: meaning that my wife will be spraying you with vinegar (to stop the burning she says) and later some aloe will be rubbed on to ease the discomfort and aid in healing.] So, I too was sprayed and it actually burned a fair bit, but it's fine now. And she adds that I'm not pink anymore. :-)

Missing-Man Formation

In the morning as I was sitting in the yard with my wife after mowing and she had watered, the kids just went inside and I heard it: the military jets coming. We live in the normal flight path of the National Cemetery, and will have the 'missing man formation' fly over every year - several times. I jumped up and ran to where I could see them with out the trees. It was very nice and loud (the kids came running out, too late, but thinking we were having a tornado!)

It made me think how nice it is to live where we live: we have amazing sun sets and rises, see animals doing all kinds of crazy things, have tornado's, hail, torrential downpours, have seen the sky 'boil' as a storm builds, intense heat, humidity and cold, ... so much, so neat, ... so much to be thankful for.

That'd be my theme for yesterday: a day of being thankful for SOO Much!! I'm a very thankful Man!!

11 Workouts 6 Days...

Last Week
It was nice last week to get in all my morning and lunch workouts in - as well as a group CrossFit type workout in too. So that was 5 strength training workouts, 3 run / rides with my wife, 1 longer run by myself, 1 interval ride on my bike and the CrossFit workout. Five days of two-a-day, one on Sat and the week started with a rest day last Sunday. It was nice!

A Vehicle
I can't say why exactly, but exercise for me has many benefits: health, stress release and probably more important it is a vehicle for me to get closer to God. On my runs and rides I choose not to listen to music so that I can exercise my mind too. Sometimes I daydream; sometimes its fully engaged keeping my body doing the workout; often it's praying or thinking through things that haven't been given time up to this point. I will often listen to music when I'm doing my strengthening exercises, but outdoors I like to hear everything around me; the cars, animals, wind, airplanes, etc. I like to smell peoples breakfasts cooking, their laundry softener, the flowers, freshly cut grass, ...etc. There is so much to hear and smell. And then to see: the Mocking birds chasing crows in the sky and squirrels across the road, crows being chased and still chasing other birds of prey, spotting an all white albino squirrel, who knows what will be seen or smelled or heard when you're watching and listening ...

Too much?
So, there is a fair bit of time spent in exercise, but the reality is that it is a key part of much of my life. I get so much input by it and so much release through it - it's a very key part of my life.

What are the vehicles in your life that draw you to God? Those are probably worth pursuing. And the ones that fill your life with out drawing you to God - those are probably worth dropping.
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