Poetry in Motion

On days like this, when I don’t want to put on my shoes…
When I don’t want to tie up my laces…
When I don’t want to step out that door into the cool, moisture-laden air that will give me goosebumps…
I do it anyway.

I make it through the first kilometer and then the second and the goosebumps have disappeared.
Soon enough I’m not thinking about distance.
My mind wanders through the tangled ideas that wind through my brain until quite suddenly, I’m at the trailhead.

The temperature is cooler here, fueled by overgrown foliage and a swollen stream.
Signs of flooding abound and there is a smell of decay that lingers in certain places.
No signs of rabbits today. Just goldfinches followed by dogs and their owners.
All too soon, the trail ends.
I’m almost home now; just a few clicks left to go.
It’s a fairly unremarkable run.
And then, it happens.

It is as though my feet have a mind of their own.
This is effortless!
There is no stopping these feet!
I feel powerful, strong and capable of anything!
I am soaring above the ground and it is amazing!
I can handle anything that comes my way!
I can run FOREVER!
A lifetime seems to pass by, in the space of ½ a block.
Something breaks the momentum and it is gone.

Normal pace resumes.
I pass my street and choose to continue, with hopes of recapturing the magic that was.
It doesn’t happen.
I slow to a stop.
I am happy that I put on my shoes…
I am happy that I tied my laces…
I am happy that I stepped out into the cool moisture-laden air…
And I will do it again.

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Dealing with the heat.

There’s an interesting little article here about running in the heat.

I’ve learned that it’s coolest at 5am.  That seems like a heck of an early hour but it is the coolest time to run.  Check out the hourly forecast on The Weather Network to plan your run in the heat.

Running in the summer means you have to pay special attention to your hydration level.  Drink water.  Drink more water.  Have cold water ready for you upon your return.

Which leads nicely into this frequently asked question: Do I need to bring water with me when I run?

If you’re running 5K or less and you’re properly hydrated, no.
If you’re running farther than 5K and you’re at all worried about your hydration level, carry water.

I personally don’t carry water with me unless I’m running farther than 13K.  I don’t know why that’s my magic number but it is.

Everyone is different and it’s important that you use your best judgment.  Heat and humidity can sap you even if you are well hydrated at the start of your run.

For some runners, training is ramping up or will ramp up throughout the summer months. There may be some internal pressure to get the training done. Remember that no run is worth dehydration. I’ve said it before – it’s better to miss one or two days than it is to miss a week (or more). Find a treadmill if it’s too hot and/or humid. Check out your local community centre to see if they have a “pay as you go” option. Local gyms will have drop in fees but they can be pretty pricey. Get creative; there are lots of options out there.

Have fun and drink up!

What did you do today?

What are you training for?  What did you do today?  Use the comments section below and let me know what you’re up to, even if it’s just a rest day.  Rest days are just as valuable as training days.  Without them, you won’t see any improvement in your performance.

p90X: Reshaping Bodies Everywhere

A few posts back I noted I was lacking motivation to move my body.  I found a remedy for that malady: p90X.

As a former personal trainer and general exercise enthusiast, I had tried this program before and it gave me results. Why follow someone else’s program when I have the knowledge to create my own?
a) Time.  I don’t have to take the time to create something for me.   Someone else has already done this.
b) I will cheat.   By cheat I don’t mean I won’t do the exercises.  Like everyone else though, I would gravitate towards those exercises which I enjoy the most and chances are, if you enjoy it, it’s easy.  Conversely, if you don’t enjoy it, that’s because it’s challenging and you should be doing it!
c) Tony cracks me up.  I don’t necessarily find him motivating but I do find small comforts in his humorous quips when I’m absolutely wrecked from whatever crazy move he and his team have dreamed up.

Previously I found that I was at top shape at the 8 week mark into this program.  At that point small viral hosts that I fondly refer to as my children brought home a multitude of germs and I ended up sick and sleep deprived.  Illness and sleep deprivation lead to a hard time following this program.  If you’re thinking about trying this program the most important piece of advice I can give you is to get enough sleep!  This time around I’ve managed to avoid the incoming viruses and I’m getting a fair amount of sleep.  I’m also managing to get some running done which I couldn’t do as consistently last time.   The program trains 6 days a week.  If you’re training for a race or some other sport-specific event, you may have a tough time fitting it all in.

I’m 14 days into this and already feeling pretty strong.  That was one aspect of this training that caught me off guard: how strong I was by the time it ended.  Previously I had always trained for endurance rather than strength.  I used p90x to see what I could push and how strong I could get.  My 100 lb 9 year old felt like his 40 lb sister.   It was really terrific.  I’m looking forward to that again and hoping for much more.

Building Muscle

Building Muscle

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