Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lesson Learned

All of us have days we don't want to work out.  Hopefully, when that happens, we can power through.  Well, I had a whole week like that.  Some days I made it work and others... not so much.

I was in a serious funk all week.  It started Monday with gray, gross weather and a cancelled faculty meeting.  I tutor at four on Mondays and often have some sort of meeting beforehand.  That means, I have to walk at the gym after tutoring.  But, on the rare instance the time immediately following school is open, I get my walk in then.  That way, when I finish tutoring at five, I can be FREE for the rest of the evening to do exciting things like vacuuming or laundry.  Or, let's be honest, laying around and playing on Facebook.

Last Monday being the first one of the month, we were scheduled for our regular faculty meeting.  So, I planned to go to the gym after tutoring and didn't have my workout clothes at school.  Then, I found out the meeting was cancelled which meant, if I'd just had enough foresight to bring my clothes anyway, the walk could have been over with before I left to tutor.  Instead, I killed an hour and a half doing work at my desk.  I know it was all stuff I had to do anyway, but it still annoyed me.  Can you guess what happened after tutoring?  I don't really remember what I did, but I do remember it wasn't walking.  There is definitely a reason Susan G. Komen recommends Monday to be the "rest day" during training.  Who wants to work out the first day back at the grind?  And, it was no big deal, I still had six more days in which to fit those four training walks.

Tuesday?  Nope.

Wednesday?  Yes!  I didn't want to, but I went to the gym and rode that black belt to nowhere all three miles.  And?  I hated every minute of it.  I haven't gotten blisters on any of my training walks, but I did while using the treadmill.  I hate that thing.  Plus, I can't seem to walk in a straight line unless I'm looking right at the machine.  Distance/Time/Calories/Heart Rate over and over again.  When I don't look at that thing, I veer off and bump into the rails.  Reading while walking has never seemed like an option for me, but I think I may have to try it next time.  Seriously, I never realized how important changing scenery is until I had to stare at the same space for an hour.  Even with music... BORING!!!

Thursday?  I got out there again.  I'm free after three on Thursdays and the weather was okay - gray, but dry - so I decided to hit the streets around school.  I managed 2.35 miles of the three I was supposed to cover and I'd had enough.  I just couldn't do it.  I saw a coworker as I was finishing up and she said, "That doesn't seem like a very motivated walk.  I hope you're finishing and not just starting."  She was right, I wasn't motivated from step one and I was finished, done, kaput.

Friday was supposed to be my third three-mile walk of the week.  Didn't happen.

Saturday was supposed to be a two mile walk.  Didn't happen.  Instead, I hibernated.  I mean hard core, slept all day, made like a bear, hibernating.  It was glorious!

For those of you not keeping count, that made it Sunday with 5.65 miles left for the week.  I refused to get behind on my first week of organized training, so I did a Google search and found a trail nearby to try.  I woke up Sunday ready to go.  Apparently, I really needed that day of rest because this morning was the first time I felt "normal" all week.  It's a good thing, because today's walk was rough.  The lesson I learned?  It's probably better to do the short training walks than to cram them all into one day.  However, despite being cold and gray, the location was beautiful.

I chose to do the 10K training trail in the Woodlake Subdivision of western Chesterfield County.  It's a gorgeous community abutting the Swift Creek Reservoir, full of wildlife, and crisscrossed  by trails for walking, running, and biking.  The picture above is a group of ducks that I scared off before crossing their lovely pond.

I've been to this neighborhood before and to most of the subdivisions in the area.  But, for some reason, I'd forgotten all about the hills.  There were a lot of them.

I guess when you're driving to your friends' houses, you don't think about the hills in their neighborhoods.  No, it's not until you're heaving at the top of those hills and trying to say a polite, "hello" to people passing by that you really get a feel for the local topography.  But then, I'd get to see things like this...

... while walking over a quaint, wooden bridge and catching my breath.  Despite being painful, it was somehow relaxing.  I never listened to the iPod, just the twittering of birds and chattering of angry squirrels.  I exchanged pleasantries with others on the path - some of them clearly struggling and some making full out running look easy.  And, I got to end the walk on a beautiful bridge by the community marina.  Sea gulls circled and screamed overhead and, if I closed my eyes, I could almost imagine being at the ocean.  I was tired and cranky at the end of the 6.5 miles, but I was still able to enjoy the moment.

I am not enjoying it now.  My butt hurts.  My hips hurt.  My neck hurts.  My feet hurt.  Weekly mileage covered and a valuable lesson learned.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Big Things are Happening

Great news!  The letters I took so much time to write last weekend paid off and I've confirmed two businesses to sponsor fundraising events.

The first will be held at F.W. Sullivan's Canal Bar & Grille on Tuesday, March 11.  This is a "vendor fair" tentatively scheduled for 5-9 pm.  We will have consultants from It Works, Thirty-One Gifts, Tastefully Simple, and Origami Owl.  Each consultant has pledged a percentage of their sales to my walk and they are donating door prizes.  Every person who comes to Sully's during those hours will receive one ticket to the door prize drawing.  Additional tickets will be sold and donations will be gratefully accepted.  So, come happy hour for a good cause!




The second event is in the very early stages of planning, but it will be held at 1213 Hair Studio on West Main Street in The Fan District of Richmond.  More details will be coming soon for this amazing Night of Beauty.

I am so thankful to these businesses and so excited for the events.  Please take a moment to check out the web sites of all the companies supporting me.  Then, come by Sully's on March 11 to place your order!!  If you can't be at the event, on-line sales will be available.  I'll post that info as my consultants set up the "parties".

Monday, February 3, 2014

Today's the Day

Today I begin truly training for my 3-Day training.  That's right, I'm training to train.  I have to make sure I'm in the habit of working out six days a week before I absolutely HAVE to do it.  That starts March 30.  Unfortunately, this crappy weather means I have to drive to the gym and jump on the black belt to nowhere.  Ugh!  I hate doing an hour on a treadmill.  I hope there are some sweet gym sites to keep my mind occupied.  You know what I mean.  Maybe I can snap some pics all incognito like....  Updates to follow.

The deep freeze in the south has allowed me to become a slug, hence the journey back to the gym, but I have managed to get a few things accomplished.  For instance, I wrote letters to businesses in hopes of drumming up interest in two events I'd like to hold as fundraisers later this spring.  I have another $2,010 to raise and seven months in which to do it.  Fingers crossed that I find some takers!

My last hike was done waaaaaaaaay back on January 20.  I finished 7.5 miles at Pocahontas State Park and, despite a death defying creek crossing, didn't die on the journey.  Here are some pics to commemorate the occasion.

Beautiful, right?  That water crosses the dam and then forms a nice, little creek.  I was walking a path typically used by mountain bikers and trail riders and there aren't any footpaths for crossing.  You basically just rock hop.

Well, in the summer you rock hop.  It was a beautiful day for January, but I certainly didn't want to walk the last three miles of this hike with wet feet, pants, or anything else.  When it comes to that sort of thing, odds are I will fall in and be miserable the rest of the day.  It wasn't very deep at that spot so I thought I might find a way across downstream.  However, I'm lazy and not willing to walk too far out of my way, so I improvised.  This is what I found.

You may notice the water is a little deeper here, but I still thought it was doable.  I did a lot of testing first to make sure the tree could hold me.  I kept getting the image of getting half-way out there and hearing a "SNAP" as the tree broke under me and I went crashing onto the river rocks in the cold water.  The tree seemed sound, so I made it happen.  Obviously, I am not so bold as to "balance beam" this thing, so I did like any delicate lady and straddled the giant log.

This "selfie" brought to you by the letter "F".... for fear.  I was sort of stuck on a knot in the wood and my left leg wouldn't go over it.  I was too scared to do anything else, so I laughed and took a picture of the fun.  Then, I looked around, noticed some rocks below and made an impressive dismount, followed by a jump to the opposite bank.  The rest of the walk was long, but uneventful.

It was the longest hike to date, but still less than even half of my daily goal in September.  This is the mission of a crazy person.