Thanksgiving aboard the Starship Enterprise…

24 11 2011

….can be anything but boring.  Once in 2266, they picked up this kid named Charlie who was the lone survivor of a crash on the planet Thasus.  Before they managed to get rid of him, he wreaked all variety of havoc with the special powers he had, but at least he turned the meatloaf into turkey.

However I digress.  With today also being Thanksgiving here in my little corner of the space time continuum, I will be joining my family in Chicago for a lovely restaurant meal.  No, Mr. Spock won’t be there to play his Vulcan lyrette.  But I will be dining with my husband and son, both of whom are guitarists.  If that counts.

The weather is fairly pleasant for late November:   currently 42 degrees with a high in the upper 50s predicted for the next couple of days, before the arrival of freezing rain this weekend.  This gives me a two-day window to get out for my next run and I am certainly thankful for that.

Since my last post, I have drawn up a training plan for the snowshoe event in 10 weeks and gone back to a structured exercise program.  And frankly, I realized I missed it.  Having an obligation to get out of bed and get moving in the morning seems to suit me.  I’m still dissecting the experience of marathon training this past summer and why I hated it so much—even though it was self-imposed—and one glaring failure I can see is that there was not enough “fun factor”.  This is a mistake I do not intend to make again.

I’m really thrilled to have discovered anew (in my old age) the joy of running, bike-riding and climbing hills like a child.  And I am deeply grateful to be yet able to do so.  Therefore on this day of reflection and gratitude, I have decided to thank my body.  Despite all the destructive forces with which I have assaulted it over the years—stress, bad food, bouts of laziness, partying, too much weight, scanty sleep—it still shows up every day and carries me forward with barely a squawk of protest.  Yes, there is some stiffness now where it used to be supple and cracking sounds from joints formerly silent, but it has not yet given up on me.  Not even a best friend would be so reliable.  And if you ask my mind, it will tell you that my body and I still have far to go with many plans and goals ahead.  I can’t imagine the body being unable or unwilling to enact the dreams which the mind conjures up.  Others my age and even younger are not so lucky.  Or so blessed, depending on how you look at it.  And thus it follows that in order to truly embrace the spirit of gratitude, I ought to be kinder to this old body because it has been more than kind to me.  I believe that is a goal as worthy as any other I may have on my agenda.


Training the past week:

Nov. 15 – 19:  Sick with a bad cold.  Rested.
Sunday, Nov. 20 – brisk 4 mile walk around the neighborhood
Monday, Nov. 21 – 40 minutes weight training:  back, lower body and core
Tuesday , Nov. 22 – off
Wednesday, Nov. 23 – 30 minutes of walk-run intervals outdoors; 10 minutes flexibility
Thursday, Nov. 24 – 40 minutes weight training:  chest, shoulders and core

Weekend plans:  another run on the pavement, upper body weights session, 5 miles brisk walking in the forest preserve with some hills

Starship exiting holding pattern

14 11 2011

Having not run the marathon or having run the non-marathon or however I plan to remember the Boondoggle in Berlin, I have been in a bit of a quandary as to what to plan next.  Thoroughly burned out and unwilling to do anything even remotely resembling scheduled training, I have spent the last 6 weeks living like a normal person:  sleeping late, going for walks, doing yoga or the occasional Zumba class, even wearing shoes without laces every day.  It’s been a nice change.  Milling around without a particular goal — in a holding pattern one might say — imparts a sense of freedom and spontaneity.    A lack of obligation and direction can be positively liberating!  At first anyway.  Until it gets boring.  And that’s pretty much where I am right now.   So it’s time to get my ass back in gear.

It’s pretty late in the year to expect any exciting events in this area, being almost December and all, so I set my sights on 2012 and the upcoming snowshoe racing season.

I’ve never been much of a winter sport enthusiast but I decided to banish the winter blues last year by planning one race per month from January 1 until April.  On a whim, I signed up for a snowshoe 5k on 1/29/11 with my dear friend Pam who is always up for outdoor adventure and actually owns a pair of snowshoes.   I didn’t think it could be that hard, so I ordered a pair online and stomped around the garage in them for about 10 minutes before deciding I was ready for anything.  The day of the race we headed out to beautiful Glacial Park in Ringwood, IL for the Snowshoe Stomp.   We had a blast!   Once I learned how to walk in the damn things without catching the front crampons in the snow and toppling forward, I did great.  Of course, I fell a bunch of times first but that’s just part of the fun, right?

So I am dusting off the old training journal and getting busy.  There is a race in Barrington on January 29 called the Frozen Zucchini 5k and I just registered for it.  I have 11 weeks to train and I’m pretty confident I’ll be ready.  Forward motion, as in walking or running, is a given.  The added legwork of taking larger and wider steps while trekking up and down hills can be practiced in the woods near my home.  And the best part is this:  since I’m not actually a “snowshoer”, I don’t have to worry about speed.  I don’t have to be fast.  I don’t have to be good.  Hell, I don’t even have to run.  I just have to strap those contraptions to my feet and remain upright for the better part of 3.1 miles.   I think I can handle that.

Captain Picard, update the mission log!