Archive for the ‘Cross-training’ Category

Is Pirate “Argh!” Universal?

Friday, 17th June 2011. Filed in Cross-training, Family and friends4 Comments »

It’s Friday. I will not let this day go by without a post. Even if this is it. I feel like I have to do it, for myself, even if it’s nothing. Even if I have to do it with one hand. Hey kid, I guarantee you, you’ll have more fun if you go play with your toys. Or go rip up important papers somewhere else. Whatever. Why do you have to sit here on Mommy’s lap at this exact moment? Up down, up down. Yeah, there you go. Go use the vacuum cleaner as a walker. Push-a-push-a. That’s responsible parenting for you, eh? Hmmm…well, it’s not plugged in or turned on.

And, he’s back. Hello, Noodle. I love you.

My morning didn’t go exactly to plan. I was nearly out the door when I received a message that had to be replied to with a phone call, and it had to be right then. Had to. Otherwise, I would have bursted. I would have run down the street, shouting to strangers like a mad woman. So, I was 45 minutes late out the door. But, I got my run in. But, it also meant if I was going to also get some gardening done before the rain, I had to do it in my writing time spot. I was nearly as dry for ideas then as I am now, so hey, it felt like a good compromise. By the time the gardening was done and I was clean, it was time to go pick up the Noodle.

The news of the week, from this side of the pond, is we have received the Noodle’s crash helmet. And I can’t get it off the kid’s head. He’s diggin’ hats right now (or anything he can put on his head, including my bras, the crazy kid!), so really I think it’s excellent timing to start this whole bike helmet thing. And now thanks to the folks at Wiggle that ship so quickly, we have his first helmet – the pirate one by MET, argh! (Or, I should say the “pirata” one, as it’s printed in Italian. Do Italian pirates say “argh!”? We must find out.) Now, we’ve just got to get the bike seat installed on my mountain bike and we’re there! Ahoy matey, I can’t wait!

Tuesday: Run – 30.23
Friday: Run – 30.14

Not Quite Road-Safe Yet: Hold Ye Still Thar, Pirata!


Hello Blog, It’s Been A While

Wednesday, 18th May 2011. Filed in Cross-training, Family and friendsNo Comments »

It’s been a while since I have been here, and an even longer while since I have been here in more than a drive-by fashion. A lot has happened since I blogged consistently. (And since I ran consistently. Or did anything consistently. I would like to think that might change, but we shall see where the wind blows. The priorities, they happily lie elsewhere!)

Since my blogging presence faltered, a lot has happened in my life. I gained 45+ pounds over nearly 42 weeks and then lost most of it in a very short time. And then waited a year until my bones decided to realign themselves enough that I could maybe get back into my favorite jeans.  (It’s close.  Close enough that the last time I tried, I decided I could put the jeans into my drawer.) I traded running for swimming, yoga and, well, a whole lot of walking.  First wearing the baby on the inside, and then after the noodle was born, wearing him on the outside. (So even though it feels like I haven’t excercised in years, Crunchy husband claims I have. My lungs would disagree, but there you go!) I traded work for motherhood for 9 months, went back to work part time for three months to finish up my contract, and am now back to motherhood full time.

My brain is now actively trying to settle into the role as a SAHM. Luckily for me, the noodle settled really well at nursery school, and we’ve decided to keep him in 3 mornings a week (for the time being – many more changes are on the horizon), so I have some room to play with. I have already committed Monday mornings to volunteering where I was working, which I think is going to be really good. It’s some semblance of professional continuity without the stress, overwork and sparse pay. But, Tuesday and Friday mornings are mine – just mine – and I am starting to get myself into a focused groove on that.  On Friday morning, before I clean the toilets and vacuum the house, I am going to run. Not far, and not fast, but it will happen.

I will report back. And maybe that will be the beginning of something!

A Little Slice of Heaven on a Mat

Thursday, 11th November 2010. Filed in Cross-trainingNo Comments »

Whoever invented yoga invented heaven. Literally, metaphorically, and everywhere in between, I suppose. For a second week in a row, I made the evening yoga class.  This week, I relaxed a little bit more. I didn’t think quite as much about baby boy as I had the week before, though I did have a moment of panic during relaxation where my mind wandered the to the thought, ” did I park across someone’s driveway? Oh my god, I am sure I did. It seems like something I would do right now” since it was dark when I parked and I couldn’t remember double checking once I got out of the car. (I was parked just fine.)

I’ve missed yoga. I have a spotty history of practice because I don’t do it at home, or at least not more than some poses after a run. I like to have someone there to guide me. I don’t like to think about what comes next. I like to know someone’s going to tell me what to do, and when to do it, so I can just concentrate on doing it, and doing it right. I know that sounds lazy, but I get more out of it that way. And I shouldn’t say I never do yoga at home. When I am on a roll, I get into a groove enough to be able to do simple sequences at home. That, however, feels like a thing of the past now that I have a baby, and one that doesn’t nap during the day.

So, I’ve become a bit rusty. I did yoga up to about 39/40 weeks of pregnancy, but then nothing except a very lax postnatal and baby yoga class in the summer where I spent most of the time nursing. So it’s been 7 months. But, to be honest, I think my body is a bit relieved to be doing it again. It feels good. Except when I try to do certain backbends, as it’s a bit too uncomfortable as I am still nursing. I’ve also learned from my first inverted poses that, well, I’ve got some weak spots still from the pregancy and birth. It’s good. It gives me something to focus on, and makes me feel like I am getting back into my own skin again, and giving myself time to quiet my mind again.

Baby steps

Friday, 9th October 2009. Filed in Cross-training1 Comment »

Well, I am happy to say that, though it doesn’t sound like much, I am on my way to getting proper exercise. My energy is definitely picking up a bit (though you’d never know it by my falling asleep at 8pm on the couch!) and, along with a 3.5 mile hike around Blean woods last weekend, I walked 15 minutes at lunch on the 3 days this week that I was in the office and not on my feet in the rockpools.

Laugh all you want, but those 15 minutes plus the stairs to get me back up to the office, that was pretty much good.

Looking through some recent photos, I am reminded that I wasn’t a total slacker in my first trimester. We hiked a different circuit around Blean woods in August, and a bit down in the New Forest at the beginning of September. And embryo had nice in utero rock out sessions to two of my favorites, Peter Gabriel and U2, this summer, which just goes to show I can stay awake when it really matters.

Checking the map in the apple orchard, Blean woods

Hiking in the New Forest

Hiking, Blean woods

Tap, tap, tap. Is this thing on?

Saturday, 3rd October 2009. Filed in Cross-training1 Comment »

I am sure I must be talking to myself here, but I’ve never let that stop me before. Though my thoughts have been silent here over the last couple months, my life has been the opposite. I have just been too busy and wiped out to even think about blogging, as well as not really being at liberty to say much about real life  and running (or lack thereof) or anything really.

Alas, no more. We are 15 weeks into the rest of our life. I am sick and tired and exhausted but I am so happy and relieved and excited to announce that my family should grow next March all continuing to go well.  But, wow, has this pregnancy thing got me floored. Cooking a baby’s hard work! I have never been so sick and exhausted in my life. Not complaining at all, it’s what I have been waiting for, but wow, where was that cave and why couldn’t I just crawl into it to hibernate?

However, this past week I have started to feel like I have had a little more energy and it’s time to get serious about remedying my slacking in the exercise department. For the last month, the extent of my physical activity has pretty much been limited to the four flights of stairs I have to walk up to get to my desk at work (hey at least I don’t walk to the other entrance and use the elevator!) and the sets of pelvic floor exercises I do when I remember.

And that’s why I need to blog. I know exercise is important, and I really need it to make me feel accountable until I am feeling energetic enough to WANT to exercise. I won’t be running for a while because I wasn’t running regularly enough before I conceived to feel I can ‘continue’.  But I will be walking and I will be trying out the town pool (let my gym membership expire in June and now I definitely don’t have the money to renew!) and now that I have worked my last Saturday for a while I will be able to get to my antenatal yoga.

So, if you are out there, and you don’t see a weekly blog on something physical I did, please shout ‘slacker!’ and kick my butt in gear. Me and my baby thank you for it.

Out of balance

Sunday, 31st May 2009. Filed in Cross-training2 Comments »

I started a new job 7 weeks ago. Since then, I have run twice, biked 4 times, and yoga-ed not once, except for stretches after the running and biking activities. I am not happy about this. Not only do I know rationally this is not a good way to live, but I feel it. My hips are even tighter than normal, the office stairs have me huffing more than I would like. My mental state could be worse, but I miss yoga so much, and know it would help me balance everything I need to do, and help me to tackle all my challenges in a much more relaxed state.

I cut myself a little slack because being sick and trying to keep up with the new job was flippin’ hard. I didn’t really realize how sick I was until I started feeling better. But my energy level was completely wiped. I wanted to do something, but I was running on empty and all resources were going into trying to do my best at work. Crunchy husband was an absolute star during this time because he wasn’t 100% either and he still cooked me dinners and cleaned the house when I had people coming over to record the newsletter.

So, yeah I’ve been struggling a bit with the balance. Even though I know I should get up and exercise before work, I think if I am up and awake it would be nice to just get in and try to get some stuff done while it is quiet and the day is young. Which I know is not healthy, and yet I feel it’s so important for me to do well. Partly because I know I can do well, and partly because I really believe in the organization and I don’t want to let it down. It’s been a bit of a challenge trying to keep the daily happenings going and plan for the future and get up to speed with it all – a challenge that I completely expected and welcomed, but yeah it has had me pretty zapped for energy outside of office hours.

However, this weekend I cleaned my room (how old am I?) and we went out for a stellar bike ride to Broadstairs and back. I am feeling good about this. It feels like it has positioned me well to tackle all I would like to get done this week before I step on the plane and head home to California, so that I am not sitting around for two weeks with the sick hole in my stomach thinking about all the things I wished I had gotten done, that should have been done. No good wasting a vacation day with worry and yet, I know myself so I want to get as much as possible done so I won’t. So, um yeah we’ll see if I manage another run or exercise before Saturday. I’m going to try my best.

Now I have no more good excuses for being slow

Saturday, 2nd May 2009. Filed in Cross-training1 Comment »

Happy early birthday to me! I brought home my new road bike today. I’m super excited. It’s my first new bike in 10 years. It’s my first new road bike, ever. (I’ve been really lucky to borrow some good ones, though.) It’s a carbon fiber frame, and a very smooth ride.  The nice folks at the bike shop popped a triple on it, so that it’ll be ready for the hills if/when we ever move back to California, and installed a computer so all I had to do was screw on my pedals and hit the track.

And it has a bell. Ding! (I know it’s UK law to sell it to me that way. It’s not very rock n’ roll, but it amuses me. I think I’ll keep it on for a while.)

I’m very pleased.

My new Felt Z45

Yeah baby!

Reunited with his bike

Crunchy husband reunited with his bike – and soon to be upgraded

Just a jersey, please

Thursday, 19th February 2009. Filed in Cross-training3 Comments »


I eagerly anticipate the day I don’t need to don layer upon layer of thermal clothing just to go for a bike ride. I was pulling out all the clothes for my Thursday ride this morning, and stacking them methodically on my bed to make sure I had everything I would need – last week I somehow managed to forget my padded shorts and ended up wadding up a t-shirt and shoving it down my pants – because I’m one classy rider! – and the thought occurred to me, “I’m going to fill one washer load from just an hour’s worth of activity”. And even though it’s warmer than it has been, and I’m not allowed to complain about anything because we’ve got a warm vacation booked for the near future, I got a bit wistful for well, sunlight. It’s been completely gray the past few days and it really gets me.

Yesterday, during a bit of visualization, when I was prompted to put myself in my favorite place, a new image came to mind. Instead of finding myself bobbing around in an inner tube in Lake Tahoe, eyes closed, face toward the sun (as usual), yesterday I somehow found myself in an alpine meadow. It was summer (obviously!) and I had just stepped out from the forest into the grassy sunshine. I didn’t know you could feel such warmth in your mind. Oh my god. I could feel the dusty rays striking my arms and the top of my head, I could hear the horse flies buzzing past my ears, I could see the cheerful blue sky. It was so nice.

I think I am done with winter. Done, done, done.  But, I am not complaining, I promise!

(But, I am done.)

It’s the thought that counts

Friday, 9th January 2009. Filed in Cross-trainingNo Comments »

The last notable thing that happened in 2008 was that Santa, or one of his invisible representatives, gave me the virus. He had cookies coming out of his ears, and still he choose to leave germs instead of, like you know, an iPhone.

However, I am not really complaining because I was only completely down for the count on Boxing Day (yes, I ate my roast in bed – at least I could eat, I know) and my real life Santas from all over the world blessed me with cards, photos, funky cool knitted arm warmers, California poppies, a ‘nana saver (which deserves a post of its own), rockin’ CDs, ho-hos and Nutter Butters – my favorite! iPhone take that!

But, back to the virus. You know, the one that everyone around the world has right now. Or one very much like it. Like I said, it only knocked me out completely for a day or so, so I was lucky in that respect. But, that incompletely part totally kicked my ass. Not being sick but being sick has to be one of the most annoying things. I went for a run on New Year’s Eve and got to mile 2.5 and thought, “wow, I’m done” even though I had felt fine before I started putting one foot in front of the other.

However, this week has been better. Wednesday, I decided to venture out into the land of “it’s not much but it’s got to be better than nothing, even if that something is totally mental”. I did yoga. I didn’t die. Granted, it was not too demanding of a session, but still, I didn’t spend the entire session working on my breath in child’s pose.

Yesterday, despite the immense fog that blanketed the land, my friend and I resumed our Thursdays cycling. Having both been sick, we took the mountain bikes out to Fowlmead, saying this way we can do as little as we want (so hard core, I know!). We thought we’d take a spin off road, but then decided that avoiding the trees in the dark mist sounded better than abrasions and fractures, so we kept to the track.

We didn’t end up doing very much (though we did enough to get the blood pumping to my hands and feet at least), but it felt slightly satisfying knowing that, once again, I didn’t feel like I needed to crawl into bed for the next week. So really, I’m hoping it’s the thought that counts. Fingers crossed.

Sun’s out, let’s roll

Thursday, 13th November 2008. Filed in Cross-training2 Comments »

I know I have been known, once or twice, to grumble about the weather here in good ol’ England. Just once or twice, of course. So, for a change of pace, I’d like to exclaim enthusiastically: it was a beautiful morning!

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, the recent cold weather just about slammed me to the ground.  Yet these past few days have been a little bit warmer and, much to my liking, sunny.

This morning I hopped on the bike and set out for a ride down to the coast with a friend, who has recently hired herself a personal trainer and is getting herself back into shape. I am always nervous about riding or running or swimming or generally doing anything with someone I’ve never done it with because I am afraid I am going to keep them back. (This person used to compete in triathlons on the world scale, so yeah a little bit tougher than the tri-for-funs I’ve done.) But, the pace ended up being all right. I actually wasn’t pushing it, but that suited me fine today and gives us more time to ride together before her speed improves and she wants to ditch me for someone faster.  (From what I hear, this trainer’s going to whip her into some serious shape.)

But, like I was saying – the weather. I bundled up (and believe me, there was serious bundling going on, I’ve recently discovered I can wear hiking socks with my cycling shoes), but I was feeling toasty by the time I got to our meeting spot, it turns out both of us were. As we rode past rows of dried out corn into Ramsgate, the sun painted sparkling light across Sandwich Bay. I could (get this!) feel my fingers and toes. My teeth were not chattering and my brain wasn’t numb so I could actually carry on normal chit-chat. It was wonderful!