Sunday, May 27, 2012

In Search of Fitness

So a year ago I quit Jazzercise for the second time. I just couldn't keep up. It was frustrating. I'd feel the energy drain away about halfway through the second song. And there I'd be...stuck for the rest of the hour, not wanting to walk out because that would cause my classmates concern.

I concentrated on yoga and walking, but it just wasn't enough.

Finally I asked Mensa Boy if he'd train me. He's been studying personal trainer programs with the goal of eventually being a personal trainer part time, or for retirement. He's fun and inspirational to work out with, and creative.

So we started at the little gym here in Indian Land. Right about that time I also decided to try running. I began following a couch-to-5k program. I bought some Brooks shoes that are intended for forefoot running and have minimal structure underneath. It was hard to start, but there was a lot of walking at the beginning with timed, not distance, runs. I ran on the treadmill for the most part. No issues with my knees or hips, I was working on the breathing. 4 weeks or so went by and then I had an issue with left foot. It felt just like it had when I experienced a stress fracture in the metatarsal a couple of years ago. So I rested it and began thinking about my options. I wasn't sure if it was the running or some of the things we did during the resistance work...step-ups, jumping, etc.

We hauled out my old Raleigh C30 hybrid bike and took it to a bike shop for rehabbing. I started to ride the stationary bike at the gym. Thursday I took my bike out for the first time and rode it 4.7 miles to the gym, worked out with Bob, and then rode home with him and the bike in the car.

Saturday I rode 6 miles and this morning 8.8. I like it. I'm using MapmyRide online to keep track of my rides. I can draw my route and it will tell me the mileage. I downloaded the app to my iphone but it doesn't work very well. It takes a lot of memory, which drags down my iphone 3gs, and it freezes up. The first ride I used it for, Thursday, it froze at .27 miles!

The only kink in the riding is my gears. I'm having trouble with the chain not hooking up completely in my 14the gear. I only use the middle 7 gears, and then I'm about to go down a hill, I switch to the hardest gear so I can pedal well as I near the bottom of the hill. The chain doesn't seem to want to switch well there and  I end up pedaling air until I either stop and slip it over, or switch around the gears until it catches. We took it back to the bike shop and they say there is nothing wrong with it. But it sure is putting a damper on my enjoyment.

We are doing strength training 3 times a week now and I can tell I'm gaining strength in my upper body. And I really haven't had too many fatigue issues. Just a day here or there.

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Sunday, May 20, 2012


So here is a wobbly, poorly-narrated video of my backyard garden. This is mainly for my mom. Hey MOM! I got stuff growing!

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Mac & Tom

One of my favorite food blogger, Elise of Simply Recipes, has posted a recipe and story about Buttery Tomato Pasta.
I'm a bit sheepish that I haven't done the same. In our house it's called Mac n Tom and has even fewer steps than Elise's. Boil pasta, dump in tomatoes. Sprinkle in salt, sugar, pepper, butter. Done.
I grew up on Mac n Tom. My mom would make it for lunch sometimes. I remember a period when we lived in Germany when we didn't sugar. I think Mom told us it "wasn't available" at the commissary, but I suspect it was expensive or she was trying to cut down on our sugar intake. It was also the traditional meal she and Dad fed the kids on Christmas Eve before sending us off to bed to wait for Santa. They would then have lobster. I still think of Mac n Tom on Christmas Eve, though we are more likely now to have our Swedish Christmas Dinner. Thanks, Elise, for bringing up that memory!

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Uh Oh. Change.

I haven't posted here in months. Like...6 months? And today I decided to write about how I guess I'm not a runner.
So I went to my blog and lo! I'm no longer signed in! No problem. Hit the "Sign In" button. And here we are are! Blogger has a whole new look! And I am totally lost.
This immediately reminds me of that old nightmare people have where they go to college and their parents  move without telling them. My parents moved when I went to college. But they told me. They came and picked me up from college to help with the move.
So we pull up in front of this little house in Farmington and I walk in.

"Where's my room?" I ask.
"Uh...ha! No room for you. Dad's gonna build one in the basement. We thought you could sleep on the porch for a bit."
"No really? We live in Minnesota. It gets like, 1,000 degrees below zero in January. Might be a bit chilly out there."
"No silly! We'll have it done then."
And they did. I slept on the porch for the first summer I was home and it was lovely. Except for when it stormed. Then Mom would come bombing in there in the middle of the night, slamming all the combination windows shut.
I'll write about the not running later.

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