Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Half a Week at the Trailer

After working for nearly 3 months straight (7 days a week) I took a much needed vacation at a friend's trailer.  I drove 3 hours north to the middle of nowhere to spend 4 days lounging at the beach and playing countless games of Skip-Bo and Ticket to Ride.  I came home totally relaxed and carefree.

How does this state of relaxation fit in with my newly active lifestyle you might wonder?  

First, it is necessary to recognize how mentally active and drained you are and how tense your body is from being overworked before you can add to its activity.  This prepares you to think about taking on something that will exert your body further because it is not already drained.

Second, this environment of relaxation provides far more opportunities to be active than sedentary, not to mention there are no mindless distractions like television and internet to entertain you on the couch.  When sitting in a trailer you actually seek out fresh air and things to do.

Third, it just works.

What did I do to be active at the trailer?


Prior to my trailer visit I tried to convince my friend to swim in the lake with me.  It is the largest freshwater lake in the world without an island.  But, my friend does not like swimming (mostly because she hates wearing a bathing suit, but also because she only dog paddles) and she certainly does not like lake water. My friend does like a challenge though so we figured if she was going to swim with me she needed a purpose.  The lake is 7km by 2.5km and there is a beach in town on the far side of the lake.  We decided to make it our mission to swim the 7km across the lake to the other beach with pool noodles as our safety measure.  We figured it would take 4 hours to do.

Now I love to swim.  I lived in a pool as a kid and I easily completed my try-a-tri training for the swim portion of 300m by actually swimming 1km non-stop in the pool on many occasions.  I knew how hard 7km would be, especially in a wavy lake, but I felt like I could accomplish it.  I know my friend very well though and felt that she would give up 30 minutes in and we would have to turn around so I did not fear for our safety.  But, this is the type of thing we set out to do together when left alone (we've attempted it at one other lake before and ended up getting out and walking the entire shoreline instead).

Sadly, we did not get to attempt our swim because the weather did not cooperate.  We will try again at the end of the month.  I did make sure to swim on my own though in the frigid water 2 of the 4 days.


As our plans to swim the lake were not looking good with the weather we sought out other ways to explore.  While riding the park's tractor ride for a tour of the campground I spotted the opening to a trail my friend did not know about.  We set out the next afternoon to see where this trail would take us.  We hiked through grass, mud, gravel, dirt paths, and woods.  We climbed up huge hills, down slopes, and around trees struck by lightning (cool to see by the way).  We had no idea where we were going or where we would end up, but we eventually choose to follow a loop back to the direction of the park.  We were very surprised to find that we emerged in the private backyard of someone's cottage.  We snuck past their house, their gardens, and their friends camping, then made our way back down the main road to our trailer site. 

My time at the trailer was so awesome that I even convinced Chris to book an extra 3 days off this summer to return to the trailer with me at the end of this month so he could enjoy the peacefulness of the woods as well.  He plans to bring his bike up with us and check out the back roads.  We'll see if I bring mine too.

For now, I'm off to enjoy a day golfing and then picnicking at the only free zoo in all of Canada (Peterborough, ON).  Ontario is a pretty amazing place if you haven't gathered that already.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Golfing (Or Some Resemblance Thereof)

I set the goal to live an active lifestyle at the start of the month.  I figured I was working mornings only and would have tons of time to fill and I wanted to fill it with things outside rather than television.  However, I spent the first week running to interviews straight from work, the second week working another job to cover for someone, and the third week sicker than a dog.  So what did I do when I came off of working midnights at the end of a 4 week straight work period with no days off?  I went golfing with my hubby of course because it is rare I have a Sunday afternoon off to do such things.

Tamarac Golf and Country Club, Ennismore, ON
As I was still hacking up my lungs and we know we suck royally at golfing we opted to take a golf cart.  In future I plan to walk the course on nice days to get that extra level of activity, but for today it took all my energy just to swing the clubs so many times (close to 100 swings for 9 holes, yikes!).


Chris and I own the world's oldest golf clubs.  Or at least it seems that way as we inherited them from my mom who picked them up off the streetcurb.  Neither of us has a full set and we only own one putter that we shared, but they did the trick.  Plus, they remind me of my childhood golfing with my dad (who owned expensive clubs and always had a golf membership) and my brother (who had his own set because he is super tall and left-handed).  I on the other hand had my grandpa's ancient set of wooden driver and old irons.  Oh the memories.

My score was very high for 9 holes.  But, I feel like I showed improvement from last year.  I had a few awesome drives, some great height off the fairway, and I only lost one ball in the water and one in the bush.  We even found a few balls on the course to replace our own.  We only golfed once last year so I figure with a few more outings this summer I will build a foundation to work off of for next year when I plan to go once a week.  I might even join the ladies league for best ball as I enjoyed the youth league when I played in it.

If Chris and I both get decent enough I think golfing would be a great way to spend time together and we would meet some couples in our area that we could get together with on and off the course.  Golfing is an awesome way to spend a few hours with people you like.  We had some great chats, lots of laughs, a few cries of frustration, and a few screams of terror in the golf cart.  It was a great day!

Monday, July 1, 2013

An Update and a New Direction

Dear Readers,

I haven't blogged in a long time because I haven't had anything to blog about. I stopped training for my try-a-tri because although I'm excited about the idea of doing a race I'm really not that committed to it.  I didn't feel like I was successful enough at the running part to really do a good job at it.  I felt like I was taking on too much (like learning to run before you can walk).  I haven't totally given up on the idea of entering it yet.  I have until the end of July to register.  But, if I do enter it will be just to try it out as I am and see what happens.  I no longer wish to train for it.

Now to most (and I'm sure my husband) this will seem like I'm giving up.  I hear your exasperation and words of encouragement. To me it is not giving up (on the race and running yes, but on me and fitness no).  I've been feeling like I'm trying to be someone I am not and have never been before.  I shouldn't be surprised that I struggle with living a fit lifestyle when that is a lifestyle I never lived nor saw myself living.  If my husband was not fit and very active now I don't think I would have even entertained fitness for as long as I did.  It is not me.

What is me is doing things that I find interesting and exciting.  So, I am going to shift the focus of my blog to reflect that.  I am no longer learning to love the gym.  I am learning to live an active life.  I want to do more things and get outside more often.  I don't want to spend time convincing myself to get off the couch to exercise.  I want to get off the couch because I choose to go cycling, swimming, walking, geocaching, volleyballing, badmintoning, baseballing, gardening, etc.  I feel like I need to change my lifestyle before I can change my mindset.  I need to just do the things I love for fun first.  Then I can get competitive about them and try to do them better in the future.  I need to walk before I run.

Today I'm heading in a new direction and that direction will take me through all the active things I do now, want to do soon, and will do someday.  Check out my new tab to see where I'm headed and stay tuned to my blog to read all about my new adventures.

Be well,

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Summer Brings About Change

Summer is finally approaching and with that my try-a-tri creeps closer and closer upon me.  What will I be doing different over the next few months to train?

For starters I'm not sure if I'm doing the try-a-tri or if I'm going to tackle the duathlon instead.  I've convinced a friend to run with me during the week using the Couch to 5k program (with some modifications-but always pushing for improvement) and if we can run enough by the middle of July we will enter the duathlon together.  We've found the increases in running intervals to be too much for our fitness level.  It was impossible to go from 1.5 minute runs to 3 minute runs so we bumped it to 2 minutes.  She's not so sure she wants to swim otherwise we'd already be a go for the try-a-tri. 

Chris posted about the budget cuts we've made to focus on getting rid of our debt and creating some savings.  One of the cuts will likely be to my gym membership.  For now I have it suspended for the summer as I have been mostly training outside for running and cycling.  I will pay to go to the pool if needed and I can do online yoga videos while at work or home.  If you have ideas for the winter months please let me know.

I clicked a link for a new-to-me blog the other day because of the praise this blogger received from someone whose opinion I admire and trust.  Check out Connie's blog because she is doing amazing!  I liked that she had a tab about what she is eating.  I've seen this on a few blogs and I usually question how healthy the meals are that have been posted to some fitness blogs.  As Chris and I just finished creating a 6-week dinner menu for the summer months to keep us out of restaurants I thought it made total sense to post a "What I'm Eating" tab as well.  You can see our whole menu by clicking my page tabs up top.  Let me know what you think about our meal plan.  What do you like?  What would you change?  What do you have questions about?

I am at my lowest weight in a long time.  I have my sights on hitting 25lbs lost by the end of the summer.  All this running is doing wonders for me.  Baseball, cycling, and swimming must be helping too.

Friday, May 17, 2013

It's Baseball Season!

The last and only time I played baseball my mom coached my team so I'm guessing that was over 15 years ago.  I suggested to Chris that we join a local mixed fun league as a way to do something fit together and to meet people in our area. 

He agreed and we had much discussion about how I felt we needed to go and play for fun and he felt we needed to go and play to win.  He really does not see how I can go just for the experience and not care about the outcome.  In the end I told him if he wanted to play competitively or if he was going to be grouchy if we lost every game because our team might suck (it's luck of the draw) then he should go find another team to play on.  He decided he could play for fun as long as we at least tried to win and give it our best.

Tonight was the first game of the season.  We arrived the 45 minutes early as requested to meet the team.  Our captain showed up 20 minutes before the game already buzzed on beer and I think a little stoned.  She proceeded to continue drinking beer throughout the game.  We were feeling like these were not our kind of people. 

Our "team" consisted of only 5 players.  Somehow, out of 6 teams, we ended up on the team that was not filled.  We convinced some players from the previous game to join us (the rules state if you do not have enough players you can fill your team to 9 players only).  We played against a corporate team of about 20 players.  The guys and gal that joined our team were very nice.  It made me wish we were on their team.

Due to the lack of players and the league rules...all girls had to be on the field for every inning (2 infield, 2 outfield) and every other batter had to be a girl.  This meant there were some innings where I had to bat twice (max 10 batters or 3 outs in an inning). 

My biggest fear going into the game was that I would not be able to hit the ball.  We practiced catching but not batting before the game. Surprisingly because your own team member pitches the ball I hit the very first pitch, hit all my other balls when at bat, and made it on base all but one time.  My first run to first base went fine, but I discovered all my running had not trained me to sprint.  My thigh was already sore.  Thankfully I hustled enough during the game when running and never felt too out of breath to run to where I needed to be.

Chris was the hitter of the night I think.  He hit the ball out of the park and over the fence on his second at bat.  We discovered later in the game that whoever on your team does this first becomes the only person allowed to do this for the rest of the game.  Anyone else that hits it over the fence is an automatic out.  I have to say that I was concerned that Chris would be so awesome (which he was) that I would feel intimidated or inferior when playing, but I didn't.  I think it helped that his first pitcher was drunk so although I hit the ball and got on base, Chris who followed me, struck out.  I was pretty proud that I showed him up at least once during the game.

Somehow in all the confusion of an ever-changing batting order due to 4 girls and 5 guys on the team, a drunk captain, and a drunk scorekeeper we managed to tie the game 13-13.  This is where the game should have ended as time was up according to the rules, but everyone opted to play one more inning as it was the first night.  13-13 reminded me of my gym teacher in school who always scored every game as "tied 11-11" at the end of the period.  I was happy with this as it reinforced my argument that we were playing for fun and not to win.

We played the last inning and we won the game.  Chris gloated "see, isn't it more fun when you win!", but I found it did not make a difference.  I think having a happy husband who got to win the first game of the season made a difference over having an unhappy husband because he lost.  But, the game itself, did not matter to me how we scored.  And, truthfully, I'm not quite sure how we managed to beat the other team.  Chris might argue it was because of him and his grand-slam homerun over the fence.  I think it had a little more to do with luck.

End result:  Happy to go play again next week.  Decided we may bike the one hour to the field, play ball, grab an ice cream cone, and bike back as we get the early game.   Sore thigh muscles and a strained groin muscle.  Definitely need to warm-up first next time.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yoga and Non-Scale Victories

I was really looking forward to my week of yoga.  So much so that I dragged my butt to the gym for 8pm after already coming home, making dinner, relaxing, etc.  I even jumped on the treadmill for a jog/walk to warm up my muscles while I waited. 

Last night was Yogafit for one hour.  The only other yoga class I've been to was a relax and rejuvenate class so I was looking forward to doing more than lie on mat in meditation.  I was eager to learn some poses that I can try at home.  I was excited to see progress in my ability.

"Welcome to Yogafit.  My name is Marsha and it is my goal that by the time you leave tonight you will feel like you've done 1000 squats."  Oh God.  What did I sign myself up for?

Let's start with successes...

Downward Dog

And the I'm still working on it...

This one
Eagle (I did a modification)

Moving from plank to crocodile

I left dripping in sweat and sore everywhere.  I even had to take a break from the poses halfway through the class and just sit on my mat to watch.  However, during that time I stretched my legs and discovered that I can finally touch my toes!  I firmly grasped the ball of each foot with my legs extended out in front of me.  This is a big deal because even in my ballet days as a child I have never been able to gain enough flexibility to touch my toes.  All in all it was a success.  Looking forward to relax and rejuvenate with a friend tomorrow.


Sunday, April 28, 2013

This Week is Full of Fitness

I completed week 1 of the couch to 5km program.  I even had a friend join me on a 4th day to run as she was inspired by my try-a-tri goal and may choose to enter the duathlon.  We are going to train together this week as we seem to run at the same pace and enjoy each other's company. 

Side note: Running is making my body sore (shins and one ankle - but I think I slept on it wrong).  Someone cautioned me that running is not worth the strain on your body.  I agree to an extent.  I have no desire to run like my husband does.  I do think that I should be able to run after my future (way future) kids, circle the block once, or run away if under attack.  I'm not training to run because I think fit people run.  I'm training to run because I've always wanted to be able to run one lap around the school yard and because I love the solitude of circling the neighbourhood with the wind in my face.

I've also decided that yoga is most definitely for me and I hate that I have not been going with the change in my gym's schedule.  I'm going to find a way to make it work.  I'm also going to a free Zumba class in May as I've always wanted to try it.  It also might be a good way to meet more women that live near me as it is at a local hall.

And...did I mention yet that Chris and I joined a baseball team?  We start playing mid-May with a fun mixed league.  It should be good to get out and do something fit with my husband that has us working together and not competing.

This Week's Plan of Attack
Monday - trail walk on own/with friend, yogafit class
Tuesday - run with friend (1 min run, 1.5 minute walk)
Wednesday - relax and rejuvenate yoga, run with friend
Thursday - bike ride or swim with Chris, Kundalini and Ashtanga yoga
Friday - morning run on own