I promised myself that I would make time to write and even though it is getting pretty late tonight, I intend to keep my word to myself. It may not be a long post, but it’s going to be from the heart.
It’s been two days since the camping weekend came to a close. Now that we are back home, we had to catch up on lots of things. The lawn needed to be cut, the animals needed extra attention, and all the house work was backed up as well. So needless to say, it has been busy around here. But I am happy to say that things are looking good now, except the weather. It has been a gloomy day today, with rain on and off, misty and then downpour. The dogs had to spend the day inside, which I assume is boring for them because there is nothing to bark at except the cat.
The temperature has been very nice and cool, which is great because our A/C is being stupid right now. We’ve enjoyed having the breeze come through the open windows and the sound of the rain makes it even better. It’s a great atmosphere to write. I would love to set up my writing desk in front of the window, but the room is not the correct configuration for that to happen. Besides, once the A/C is fixed and summer hits, the windows will be closed and the sounds will be gone. Then I’ll have to rely on Spotify for my audible motivation and inspiration.
Unlike while camping last weekend, I am now using all my fingers on the keys, making it much easier to type a post. I know I will be able to take my laptop with me on the next camping adventure, and even though I won’t be able to publish while in the woods, I can type my heart away at speeds thumb typing on the phone can’t match. So my next promise to myself will be to get my thoughts into a draft before packing up to come home from a trip. Get my thoughts out while I am still in the atmosphere that inspires the thoughts in the first place. That would make the most sense I would imagine. The farther away from nature I get, the more detail I will lose in the creative process. So while I sit here in bed, feeling the cool breeze from the open window, listening to the crickets and birds from that same window, I remind myself of a few things. When I find myself lacking inspiration or the mood to put words to paper, all I need to do is simply open a window. Nature is my inspiration and whether it’s coming from outside my bedroom window or through the canvas and zippers of my pop up camper, it will enable me to keep my promise to myself and just keep writing.
My wife and I have ran in many races. She has done only 5K races so far, but routinely runs 10K’s during training runs. I have done mostly 5K’s too, but I recently did my first triathlon, which also ended with a 5K. In the past few weeks, we have started running together and doing longer distances, although those runs include walking breaks for now. Saturday, we ran/walked 7 miles, and yesterday, we ran/walked 5 miles. I’m not really sure what set the spark, but we now have the running fever. Maybe it was when my friend signed up for her second marathon last week and talked us into doing it too. We knew the race was next March, so we knew we had plenty of time to train, so we said sure, why not? Knock it off the bucketlist. Actually it wasn’t on the bucketlist, since I never considered a marathon, but heck yes I am going to add it to the bucketlist just to cross it off. Ha Ha. So we started doing the research.
The marathon we were so excited in doing is next years Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach in March 2015. The time of year is right, the course is flat, and we get to go to the beach. Win – win – win, right? Well, it turns out that that particular weekend is a horrible weekend ligistically for us and our family. No sweat, there has to be other choices for marathons on other weekends, right? Well, yes there is. April 12th, 2015 is the Rock & Roll Marathon in Raleigh, NC. It’s close to home, a themed race, and no need to fight for a hotel. The course is not as flat as the other one, but we have time to get used to hills I think. Registration opened today, and yes we did, we signed up and are both registered for the full marathon. I was going to do just the half, but since we are going to be training together, there is no reason I can’t be ready for the full in a year. We are so excited, not only to do a marathon, but to be able to do it together will be awesome. Bucketlist cross off (2x). I have read a lot of blogs about spouses not being able to run together, or one can’t get the other to run at all. I am so happy we are both up for this and I think this will only make us stronger than we already are. Life is good. Stay tuned for the training updates… and of course, the full race report….. in about 11 months… LOL. It will definately be a long journey, from 5K to 26.2 miles, but we can do it……. And we will.
Today’s weather is not perfect, but it’s good enough to get out on the bike. The temp is climbing toward 60 degrees now and the clouds are holding in the warmer air. More importantly, it’s less windy than it was on Tuesday, which should make for a nice ride.
Today is Day 5 of my Triathlon Training and I shall do many things today in the interest of fitness. A casually paced 17-18 mile bike ride here in a few hours at lunchtime will start off the festivities. Tonight, I will stomp out a 5K on the treadmill at the YMCA, followed by an hour of yoga. I normally would do spin class tonight, but I think since I am going to ride at lunch, my spin instructor will understand. On Tuesday, I did to both, cycling outdoors and spin class at night and boy were my legs tired. The yoga on Tuesday did help stretch out the quads though, and they were very thankful. Monday and Wednesday nights, I try to get to the pool after running a 5K or doing the elliptical for 3 or 4 miles. This week, I swam 600 yards both nights, followed by an hour Deep Water Fitness Class. All in all, I feel that I am getting a full body workout with all the variations of exercise I am subjecting myself to on a daily basis.
Other than the motivation of familiar faces at the gym, and cycling buddies on the road, I really enjoy reading the blogs of other athletes. I know this process just started for me, as it has for many of you also, but just to read about the challenges and success stories of you all really helps me be able to see where I am going and to know that it is worth it. At times, I feel that I will never be able to run a 5K consistently or increase my speed, or that I will not be able to routinely swim laps without stopping for breaks, or ride faster on the bike without burning myself out. But then I see how others overcame these things and I know that I can overcome them too. That’s what keeps me going, so I want to thank all of you who read my blog, comment on my posts and workout summaries here and other social media venues, and give me advice to move forward. I also want to thank all of you, who share your stories with me, so I can see what is possible.
While I was in the pool last night doing laps, I stopped to take a breather, and a young man commented on my swimming stroke, saying that I was a great swimmer. I thanked him graciously and he continued to tell me that he just learned to swim and was on a program to be able to swim a mile continuously in 6 weeks time. I told him he looked pretty good for just started out. He’s in the same boat as me right now, where I can swim like a fish, but only for a lap or two at a time, and then I am out of gas and have to rest. I told him that I was going to look up that training program he spoke of and make try it myself. As it turns out, my triathlon training sort of includes the same swimming training as his program, with one less day a week of swimming. His program has 3 days of swimming per week, where mine only has two. I know he was not an expert swim coach or anything, but just him saying that I was a great swimmer motivated me to swim farther, with a little more speed, and with better technique ( I hope).
Can one of you come with me while I run and tell me that I am doing great? That is where I need the most help in my opinion. LOL. 🙂
Thanks for reading.
More updates and insights to come. Time to bike.
It is time once again when everyone reflects on the past year, thinking of all the things they wanted to get done and didn’t, all the things they accomplished, and things they never got around to. I am no different. It seems year after year that I set major goals for myself and always fall short. This year, I am changing it up. I will set smaller, more specific goals for 2014, and they will get done.
Some of the most common goals people have for the new year are things like losing weight, exercising more, eating better, and being smarter with money. I agree that they first one is pretty important in todays world, where it seems that the norm is that we are becoming a larger society. I myself could stand to lose a few, although I have lost 20 lbs this year, and slimmed down 3 notches on my belt already. The important thing is that I am happy with myself right now and I at least want to maintain my current state. The second goal, exercising more, is not one of my goals this year per se. I try to exercise at least 4 times a week already, sometimes more, so I don’t think I need to do more. What I do want to accomplish this coming year is more focused exercise. I road my bike over 1600 miles this year, and in 2014, I want to break 2000 miles. I don’t think that will be a problem since I have really started riding a lot more since I got my new bike back in May. I am starting the year off right tomorrow with a 61 mile ride to get the count rolling on day 1. Other exercise goals for the new year include doing my first triathlon, which I have already signed up for and is in April. I also hope to start running more and maybe do a 10K, or at least improve my 5K time. I would also like to try kickboxing. I think it will be tough since my upper body is weaker than my legs, but I need to work that part to make it stronger. I did my first kettlebells class last night and that was a start. I also do yoga and spin class at least twice a week. I think I have the exercise part of my resolution covered.
Eating better is a tough one for me. My family is very busy and we love fast food. We also love to cook, but the fast food wins when time is a factor. What we need to do is better food planning. Thinking ahead and planning meals better will help us be a better healthier family. That’s the plan anyways.
The last of the common goals I think people have is to be smarter with their money. I believe my family can do better in some areas, but I also think we do better than average in a lot of areas, so I’m not too worried about it this year, as long as we don’t go crazy with the spending.
Other than the common goals, I have made specific commitments in my heart that I plan to keep this coming year. They are for me, and me alone, but I assure you, they are real and they will make me a better person for myself and my family. My hope is to become a better person, to my family, friends, co-workers, and society. I truly feel that 2014 will be the best year to date, and I think that even though my goals may be smaller and more specific, I will have much more success in achieving them than in the past.
My very last goal for this coming year is to write more. You can see that I started early, but this is a simple goal that I can do. I am not promising that my book will be done this year, nor am I promising that this blog will have a new entry every 3 days, but I will write more, and I hope that in doing so, I will learn more about myself, helping me in my quest to be a better person.
It’s 10:20PM here on the east coast and 2014 is just around the corner. I hope everyone has a great year and I hope my goals will inspire you to set small goals that are sure to get met. Happy New Year everyone.