26 March, 2017

Signs on a run

Category: DC,Exercise,Parks,Running — Moose @ 8:42 pm

Interesting sights on today’s run included a few clusters of cherry trees that were in full bloom, a flock of wild turkeys, and some new signage on the trail. The cherry blossoms were notable because most of our cherry blossoms were destroyed after some freak up-and-down temperature variations last month started them blooming too early, then froze them out. So seeing isolated clusters of “late bloomers” was kind of fun. The turkeys were just amazing. They were across the road from me in Anacostia park, just wandering along. Spotted them on the way out, but they were gone by the time I turned around and got back. Right after them I saw some new signage on the trail, this time memorializing the Bonus Army at one of the way stations on the trail (a compass rose with a round bench and a bike rack). I’d seen new way finding signs on the trail for a while, but this was the longest run I’ve done this year, so the first time I’ve been that far on the trail. Now I can’t wait to build up and see what other signs they may have put up further down the trail.

26 July, 2015

Progress and changes

Category: Biking,Body,DC,Exercise,Parks,Running — Moose @ 2:48 pm

Been mostly following my training plan for the marathon this fall, but I suspect I’m going to need to change some of the weekday workouts. I’m supposed to be doing around 8 miles on Wednesdays and Fridays, and I think it’s just a touch too much most weekday mornings. So I think I’m going to pop them down to 6 miles, with an option to do more if I feel I have the time for it.

One of the things I enjoy about the plan is that it mixes in cycling two days a week, and occasionally substitutes a long bike ride for a long run. Today was the first of those. Most of my bike riding during the week has been at Hains Point these past couple months (i.e., flat, flat, flat), but this morning’s plan called for 50 miles, and Hains Point, while nice, is not where you want to go 50 miles (picture endless loops of either 3.2 miles with less traffic, or 5.5ish but with a lot of traffic as the day gets later). So I headed out on the Custis trail to the Washington & Old Dominion trail, which is pretty much the complete opposite of flat. I think my quads and glutes are going to be paying for that choice tomorrow. On the upside, it was a lovely day, and a nice ride to Herndon and back.

I wish my long runs had been going as well, though. I seem to have a 10 mile problem – up to 10 miles are fine, but over that has had a block of some sort. I can’t figure out if it’s nutrition, heat acclimation, hydration, or what. It’s not been helped by my new acid reflux, which doesn’t seem to like bubbles (which are found in my favorite non-caloried sports drink tabs) or too much in the way of sweet calories (found in pretty much every other portable nutrition product). Trying to dial in the balance has been a chore. I’ll get there (I’d better!), but it’s a tad obnoxious.

4 June, 2015

Adjustments

Category: Coffee,Exercise,Habits,Health,Mood,Running,Stuff,Work — Moose @ 9:26 pm

Switching between the medications for reflux ain’t all that fun. My body seems to want about a two week adjustment period before it evens out. Given that I’m in the third adjustment period (prescription samples, over-the-counter, now back to the prescription), it seems to be a regular thing. The first week has some unintended side effects (consistent across the three), and then it all kicks in at two weeks. Given that I’m in the middle of week one, life in ye olde gut is interesting.

At work, before we went on vacation I cleaned a large part of my office. My desk is clear for the first time in years (no piles of files/paper/books), and a good chunk of the bookshelf got cleared out and organized. The credenza behind me has the books I use most, and no more excess paper. It’s been illuminating, both in terms of my own work processes, and in terms of the reactions from my office. Everyone has commented on it. I’m loving having space to spread a project out to work on it, then put it all away when it’s done or I have to switch gears. Only drawback to date is there’s no place to hide something easily if someone comes in and they don’t need to see what I was working on (no files to flip over the paper, etc.). But I’ll take the calmer work environment.

That combined with the lack of caffeine (and hence the lack of energy spikes and lows) has, I think, meant a more even-keeled Moose at work. Gut issues aside. I had forgotten about how early I need to get to bed when not depending on a steady caffeine source during the day. Probably better on the whole, but it’s another adjustment.

Training is interesting. I’m trying more things like hill work, tempo runs, etc. this time around. Still too early to tell the effect, but I am looking forward to workouts more when they have more of a purpose, and more of a structure. Still need to lay out strength training in a more organized fashion, but I know where I’m going with that.

We’re headed off to see the boy’s family in another week, and in anticipation of the drive up, and to take care of the check engine light that popped on just before vacation, I dropped the Mini off at the shop to get it all adjusted. A couple thousand later it drove more smoothly on the way home after I picked it up this afternoon. Not exactly what I wanted to drop that amount of money on, but it’s worth keeping the car going. After driving the newer model loner car, I have to say I’m happy with my 12 year old car, so I’m glad I can keep it running well.

1 June, 2015

Experimentation

Life can be such an interesting experiment. After putting off seeing a specialist for ages, I finally got tired of a consistent belching that I had going on. Turns out the reflux that my mother and her father have/had was passed to me. Yay! Long story short the excess acid production was/is causing me to swallow too much air, so that’s what was/is causing the belching.

Had samples of a prescription drug, got it under control, then the samples ran out. Tried the over the counter (OTC) version, which didn’t give the same results (the samples I had were a newer form of the drug, and 4x as high a dose as the OTC stuff). So, saw the doc for a follow up today, got a prescription for the fancier stuff, and now we start the food experimentation portion of the treatment. I already know that coffee sets it off, so I gave that up a couple of weeks ago (the boy’s expression wasn’t quite one of horror when I told him I’d been off coffee for two days when I first started, but it was close – I had trained him well that coffee was the first thing I needed in the morning). Tea eased the withdrawal, but I’m mostly off that now, too. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been caffeine free – did that once before from ’00-’01, but then we had that little airplane event in the fall and I went back to regular coffee drinking.

I already know that pizza is out, as is falafel, sodas, and beer. Spicy foods seem to be a no-no as well. But the experiment will continue as I figure out what does and doesn’t work. It’s a fun process, actually, and I get to eat a lot of different things as I figure this out.

In other catching up, the anniversary trip to the shore with the boy went well. Didn’t get burned at the shore, had a good time relaxing and reading, and just catching up with each other outside the norm. We walked all over the place, which upped the numbers for both of us on the step count on our vivofits. I think it’s been fun to have those together and to have something of a competition going with them. He wins outright on pure walking, but I tend to go over when you factor in my running. And we both beat his sister regularly (got her one for xmas), which is what really counts.

I’m training now for the marine corps marathon this fall. I got in last year, developed runner’s knee, and postponed the race to this year. While not quite where I’d have liked to be in terms of a base, the training is going well. Related to that, I’m going to take a break from the tri club. There’s been a bit of drama with regard to the newbie program I’ve help run for the last decade, and I’m just not willing to put up with it at this point. I’ve never been one that enjoyed training with a large group (I like the meditative aspects of training), and I’m not really drinking at all (see the reflux discussion above) so I don’t get out and see club folks very often, and I think the club has just moved on, as have I. I’ll maintain my membership, but I don’t see myself doing a lot with them in the immediate future.

6 April, 2015

Repairs

Category: Health — Moose @ 9:09 pm

It’s strange when your body decides not to do what you normally expect it to do. I had a bout with a lovely little thing called Bell’s palsy back in February. Had a head cold, spent a weekend feeling like I had the mother of all ear infections, then on Monday my face decided to stop working quite like it should. I was lucky, it was a very mild case. My eye didn’t want to close correctly, and the side of my mouth didn’t turn when I smiled (I smirked a lot). Couldn’t whistle. And then, in the middle of it all, we went on vacation to Disney. It’s not comfortable when you are someplace, taking lots of pictures, and you can’t smile correctly.

A couple weeks later it was done & gone, almost as quickly as it appeared. Every little smidgeon of pain near that ear starts me worrying, but it’s worrying over nothing. The body repairs itself well, when it can. Thankfully.

29 July, 2014

Managerial

Category: Relationships,Stuff,Work — Moose @ 9:15 pm

Doing laundry is so much easier when the load is cut in half. Without the boy here there was a decided lack of stuff to clean, nonetheless, it’s done.

Today at work was a full day of “I can and should pass this work along to someone else and they can do it because I’m a manager now and that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.” And then there was the flip side of that, actually reviewing their work, giving feedback, and passing things back up and down the chain. And a lot of cleaning out old emails, mostly in the “this has been taken care of but I forgot to file it away” category. I am still somewhat annoyed that there isn’t more training for managers, or at the least some good recommendations for things to read. And not just the latest trendy bestseller but things that might actually be useful. I got the basic stuff, and there are classes about particular processes, but less than would be satisfying. So I stumble through, hopefully doing more good than not. Yay management.

Missing the boy muchly. We talk nightly, but it’s not the same as having him here.

27 July, 2014

Waiting It Out

Category: Body,Food,Stuff — Moose @ 8:34 pm

Knee is still doing well. No pain, keeping up activity levels, all seems to be good.

Saw the boy off to the airport this morning. He and a coworker are off to a conference for the first part of the week. After dropping him off I picked up a surprise for him – plants from the local garden shop to go into the two big planters on the balcony, and a pot to repot our third pothos. Hopefully he’ll enjoy the healthier looking balcony, especially since I hauled a ton of gross, dead plant bits out, too.

Otherwise it’s been a day of video games and trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to do with myself until he’s back. It’s odd how you become accustomed to having your life revolve around someone else, and when they’re not there, even temporarily, it leave you out of sorts. Did finally bother to make dinner, kept it healthy. Debated going to the store for ice cream, but am feeling too lazy for that. And I have the last of the blueberries from my parents’ garden to nosh on, anyway.

Haven’t fixed the commuting bike yet. Maybe tomorrow after work. Maybe.

24 July, 2014

Impatience

Category: Biking,Body,Coaching,Exercise,Running,Stuff — Moose @ 9:55 pm

I didn’t quite make it an entire month, but that’s okay. I’ve done two short (2.4 mile) runs this week, both slow, both careful, and both without pain. The weight routine, though not as much as I was intending to do, has definitely helped, as has the time off from running. No pain after the runs, either, so I seem to have licked this case of runner’s knee. Thank heavens.

So, with this coming back, I’ll be looking at what kinds of training I want to be doing to better build up my fitness base for racing next year. Never did try cycling on the trainer, though I will try it out on the road next week. I finally got my commuting bike fit done, in time to realize that when the bike shop added the rear rack they did in a way that prevents me from easily getting the bolts off the rear wheel. Did get them off, but I think I’m going to have to go ahead and put quick-release skewers on there instead of the screw on bolts. As much as I enjoyed knowing you couldn’t remove my tires without a wrench, it’s not worth the effort now. And it’s not like I don’t lock up the wheels when I lock up the bike if I leave it somewhere. So, another trip to a bike shop this weekend to pick up quick release skewers so I can ride to work again.

7 July, 2014

Fish and House Guests; Knee

Category: Annoyances,Exercise,Family,Health,Racing,Stress — Moose @ 9:52 pm

While I enjoyed seeing our guests over the weekend, I was also very glad to send them on their way back home this morning. Living with two other people in your apartment, which already feels cramped as it is, even when those two people are related to you, is draining as all fuck. Didn’t help when the 3.5 y/o would get cranky because her uncles wouldn’t put up with as much of her shit as her mother would.

Did get a little bit of sun out in a paddle boat in the Tidal Basin. That was fun, and it showed that the case of runner’s knee I developed back in March/April is finally well on the way to being healed (the boy and I were the paddlers). I’ve been taking it very easy the past few weeks, canceling this race season and letting the knee heal properly. Didn’t want to repeat 2008’s year of the plantar fasciitis goof but continuing to re-injure the knee again and again. While it’s definitely better, I’m still going to take this entire month off from swimming and running. I haven’t tried cycling yet, but I will do so soon on a trainer in the living room, to see how that does. In the meantime I’m doing weights and core strengthening to give myself a good base to come back to when I do start back up with tri training. It’s been annoying as all hell, and my hips are incredibly sore from the strengthening, but the knee’s healing, and that’s the important part.

6 July, 2014

Needs and wants

Category: Cats,Coffee — Moose @ 7:31 am

I want more coffee, but I’m trapped by a cat in my lap who’s purring up a storm, and burying her head in the crook of my arm. I feel bad for the lack of attention she’s gotten, and the disruption to her routine over the past few days with visitors in the house, so I stay seated, surfing the web and occasionally scratching an ear.