mental

Race Report: Bootleg Tucson Marathon

First, I’d like to thank my friend Brooke for this disclaimer which I have shamelessly stolen from her google Doc about the bootleg race: Please note that this is NOT an official event in connection with any particular individual, club, or organization.  This event has no connection to or affiliation with the Tucson Marathon, it’s race directors, or the Holualoa Companies.  This is classified as a SELF SUPPORTED group of friends choosing to share the experience of running various distances together.  Any help, aid, or supplies are being offered by individuals in a Good Samaritan capacity and said help, aid, and supplies are not guaranteed.  It is additionally stated that no individual or party participating in connection with this event is being monetarily or otherwise compensated to do so.

So yeah. I finally did it. A full marathon. I decided back in the spring that this was going to be the year I finally ran a marathon. I chose not to talk it up much because with COVID and all… well, there was no telling what the future was going to hold.

A couple of months ago, my friend Don invited me to join a running/riding social group on FaceBook, so I decided to check it out. There was a thread about the 2020 Tucson Marathon – which was scheduled for December 5 – where I chimed in that I was planning to do it but was waiting to register because there was no telling what COVID was going to do to it. (Spoiler alert: it got COVID Cancelled.) My new friend Brooke from the group had wanted to meet up for a long run since she was also training for the 2020 Tucson Marathon as her first so we did a 20 miler together, which was fun.

The race cancellation notice came out just a day or two before that run, but we decided to run anyway. It was during that run when I mentioned I was planning to run the marathon on my own anyway because I’d come this far in my training and wasn’t about to give up on it. To which Brooke said, “Well… if you’re going to do it, then I’m going to do it too! I bet we can even wrangle up some volunteers for support.” A quick poll on the FB group showed further interest, and we were off and running. (HA!)

Brooke found, mapped, and chalked markings for an out-and back 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, Marathon, and 50k route, and organized volunteers. Another group member came up with a shirt design. I coordinated with a local business to put that design on shirts and medals which interested runners could then purchase at cost. Another member of the FB group volunteered to hang out at the start/finish with her camera to take photos for us. And the volunteers provided water (individually bottled, no big jugs) and snacks at a couple of drop-tables along the route, with my dear friend Don manning a goodie table at the start/finish line.

Tucson has an amazing community, and the way everyone worked together to accomplish this was just… stunning. Thank you all!

So, the race itself. We met at the park early for a planned 7am race start. (Yes, everyone masked up and maintained responsible distancing.) It was quite the cold morning – 32°F/0°C – and because the Catalina Mountains were between us and the (eventually) rising sun, it stayed rather chilly for some time. But by the time I made my way across the finish line it was a lovely 62°F-ish/16.7°C-ish. The out-and-back route was generally uphill on the way out, with the last 4-ish miles at a more pronounced grade, then (obviously, though it didn’t feel like it many times) mostly downhill on the way back.

So, how was my experience with the race itself? Well, here’s the gist of my inner monologue.

  • Mile 1
    • ZOMG I’m doing this! I’m running a marathon! (checks Garmin) 10:00/mile? I need to slow down or I’m going to burn out WAY too early!
  • Miles 2-8
    • This is quite lovely, if rather cold. I’m not sure why I was thinking this might just be a “one and done” thing. Maybe I’ll go ahead and make an exception for a second one at a “real” event when those are happening again. I mean, I got up to a 22 mile long run in training and didn’t die. This will just be another 4-ish miles on top of that.
  • Miles 9-13.1 aka “The Climb”
    • This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. This sucks. Why are the tops of my feet so sore? That’s a new one. And I’m not even close to the mileage I was making on my training runs yet. Am I doing something weird with my form? I’ve got a bad feeling about this.
  • Miles 13.2-17
    • I know this is supposed to be pretty much all downhill now, but… where the hell are all these inclines coming from??? This still sucks. This still sucks. This still sucks. This still sucks.
  • Miles 18-19
    • These were probably the two most difficult miles, both physically and mentally. My internal monologue said “Eff you… I’m done” and went off to smoke behind the gym, so this was basically two miles of pain and fighting the urge to break into tears for no particular reason. Much walking was done.
  • Miles 20-25
    • Having realized it was in it for the long haul, my internal monologue came back. Mostly in the form of choosing a landmark some distance ahead which I could have a walk break after passing, and chanting the name of that landmark until I got there. “Trash can. Trash can. Trash can.” Or “To the bridge. To the bridge. To the bridge.” Or “Big shadow. Big shadow. Big shadow.” I may have chanted along out loud a nonzero number of times.
  • Miles 26-26.38 (I intentionally overshot my turnaround point by a touch just to be sure my GPS wasn’t playing games with me)
    • ZOMG I’M DOING IT. I’M GOING TO HAVE DONE IT. I’M ALMOST DONE!!! I’M NOT DEAD YET!!!
    • Also, resisting the urge to break into tears of joy at the thought of finally getting to stop.
    • Also, also, I was right the first time. I don’t want to do this again.

So, yeah… that’s about how it went. I was hoping for a finish near 5:30:00 but expecting something closer to 6:00:00, and would have been thrilled with anything below six hours. And? My Garmin said 5:28:09, and Zombies, Run! said 5:37:44. The Garmin time is shorter because it auto-paused whenever I had to stop for traffic signals or to refill my water bottles. So that’s my actual moving time. Zombies, Run! is nice to have for the total time though.

When I crossed the finish line I felt terrible and proud at the same time, which I think is pretty standard for this sort of thing.

I’m glad to have this accomplishment under my belt, but these super long distances just aren’t for me. I think the half marathon will be my long run “happy place”. I can knock one of those out in about two and a half hours and be pleasantly tired but not so wasted that I can’t accomplish anything else for the rest of the day – much less being wiped out for the next couple of days.

Same, same, but different

Yeah, so…. the world and stuff. Am I right?

Still working from home and really enjoying it. I find I’m so much more productive this way. Well, aside from the daily Zoom meetings which I feel are largely unnecessary. Many of my coworkers seem to socially benefit from them, so I suppose there is a benefit. It’s just not one I’m seeing.

I take some joy in being a touch subversive with my Zoom backgrounds.

Monday begins furlough time. I have to take at least one unpaid day off each pay period for the next year, or until I’ve taken all 26 furlough days – whichever happens first. So while not great, it could be so very much worse. (And I’ve no illusions that it could still get worse.)

The garden’s footprint has tripled in size, and I think that’s as far as I’m going to take it. It has expanded to include zucchini, yellow squash, Mexican grey squash, pumpkins, three varieties of tomato, three varieties of peppers, garlic, carrots, cantaloupe, watermelon, bunching onions, basil, and chick peas. Yeah…. I think that’s everything.

Still managing to work out six days a week. Running three days, and doing my old Power Half Hour DVDs from Beach Body three days. I’d been training for the Yellowstone Double Bison (back-to-back 5k and half marathon in early June) but that was cancelled earlier this week. I opted to defer to the virtual race version, so I’ll still get some swag plus a $75 credit toward a future race.

While I do miss many of the exercises that I was able to do at the gym, I don’t really miss being at the gym. I’ve got the space in my laundry room. I think I’d like to invest in an adjustable bench (incline/flat/decline) and some weights. I’m hoping that a bit further down the road I’ll be able to score a gonga deal at a yard sale or something as people start trying to clear out the workout gear they panic-bought at the start of all this. But now is not the time for that. Not yet.

My annual physical which had been rescheduled to a phone call was eventually cancelled. (Makes sense, how do you do a physical exam over the phone anyway?) I checked in with my doctor about my blood lab results from March and his response was “Nothing of concern.” So that’s that until in-person appointments can happen safely again.

My weight progress is still maddeningly slow. I credit this largely to getting lazy at times about my calorie logging. Being in the house – where all my food also happens to live – has also made me a bit more likely to snack than when I’m at work and the only food I have is what I brought with me for the day. And there’s the part where I’m not burning quite as many calories as I was before the world stopped. I’m floating between two and five pounds away from Ultimate Goal Weight, depending on the day.

It’s frustrating to be so close and not see marked movement in that direction. Some days I just want to call it “good enough” but I’ve come so far, it would be a shame to give up when I’m so close. I’ll get there. “The body will do what the body will do.” “The less you have to lose, the harder it is to lose.” “Trust the system.” These are all the things I say to friends in my r/loseit challenge team when they’re struggling. I need to take my own advice.

The thing that has ultimately been the most difficult for me in all this is being unable to play music with my friends. Oh, I’ve got a couple of different remote projects going on with different folks, and I’ve been making music on my own to help myself stay grounded. But it’s not the same as that energy that happens when you’re in the same room as other people, playing live. Or even better, at a venue playing music with friends for a bunch of people, everyone’s energy feeding off each other… It’s something special. And I miss it so very much.

This is the playlist I’m keeping of my “Quarantine” music.

Fall Colors

Today I went back up to Mt. Lemmon in hopes of catching some fall leaf colours and it did not disappoint. It was a deliciously chilly 46° F when I got to the trailhead, and only 53°F by the time I was all done and headed back down the highway. I took the Marshall Gulch/Aspen Trail loop – including a little offshoot that I’ve been meaning to check out – then explored the Sunset Trail a little bit while I waited for the General Store to open up so I could buy a box of fudge.

That’s the AllTrails map and elevation recording. And now, a giant photobarf. Click on any photo to embiggen.

So, yeah. Should the day come that I leave Tucson for good, this pretty much cemented that it’ll need to be for a place that actually has four distinct seasons.

Ninety-five…

Things have been kind of crazy for the last bit, but I hit the 95-pounds-lost mark yesterday. I’m down a touch more today, which means I now weigh less than the weight listed on my high school driver’s license.

So what have I been up to since I last wrote? I’ve done more hiking, run a couple more races (the Jim Click Run & Roll 8k and the Great Pumpkin 5k), played an orchestra concert, and generally been keeping myself way busier than I’m generally accustomed to being.

Speaking of the orchestra concert…. I bought a new tux this summer. And by the time last weekend’s concert rolled around, the new pants wouldn’t stay up and I had to go find some suspenders (braces for you Brits) between the dress rehearsal and concert!

Just for giggles, here’s a tux progress photo.

Left to Right: January 2019, April 2019, October 2019

Also, this morning I discovered that my Garmin has calculated my V02 Max to be 47, and says my fitness age is that of an “excellent 20 year old”.

I’m really just excited that the pointer has edged into the blue zone.

And because I can’t figure out whose body my phone shopped my head onto at the gym this morning, today’s photo from my r/loseit challenge team’s “pics or you didn’t gym” channel.

I don’t know who this is any more.

So what’s next? Well, I’m less than eleven pounds from Ultimate Goal Weight now, so I’ll keep plugging away at that. I’ve got a couple of UGW rewards planned which I’m super excited about whenever I get there. I’ll be attempting my second “real” half-marathon on November 2nd, so I’ll keep plugging away at training for that. (I don’t really count the A-Mountain half that I walked a few years back.) I’d like to get in another hike or two in on Mount Lemmon before it gets too cold up there, and hopefully catch some pretty fall leaf colors in the process.

As always, thanks for reading. Until next time!

Denial can be a good thing.

I wasn’t quite ready to admit my vacation is almost over so I got up early to drive up Mount Lemmon to go for a hike today.
I decided to do the Marshall Gulch and Aspen Trail loop, for a total of 4.4 miles. (I actually logged 4.6 miles wandering around the bottom of the trailheads after I got back, but the official loop is 4.4.) I started with the Marshall Gulch trail, which mainly runs through ponderosa pine forest.
It was deliciously cool, and there was even a trickle of water in the gulch.
The trails also go through old burn areas from past wildfires. It was interesting to see the new growth against the old, burnt trunks.
There were even still some wildflowers around.
Hey, I think I can see my house from here!
It was wild to walk through such dense growth of young pines. Most of these were only 6-8′ tall.
This is on the Aspen Trail portion, which is largely lined with – you guessed it – aspens. I never knew we had such lush green pathways up on Mt. Lemmon. I’d always assumed it was mostly just the pines and scrub with some interesting rock formations. I didn’t take a ton of photos along this section because I was too busy enjoying it.
Obligatory self portrait. Yes, I actually hiked shirtless. I’m no Adonis, but it’s nice to finally have the self confidence to do that.

I think this is my new favorite local hike, though I’m toying with the idea of heading up the mountain every other weekend or so to explore a new (to me) trail. I can’t believe I’ve been in Tucson for this long and never actually done a hike up there. I’ve been up the mountain multiple times, but usually just a little day trip to have fudge or pie or something. And the last time I did that was years ago. Seems a shame to waste such a great resource just about an hour drive from my front door.

Also, super mega thanks to the guy who gave me a pen so I could fill out the forest service’s fee envelope to avoid a potential $80 ticket. There were no writing utensils at the fee box and apparently all the pens I which used to keep in my car have mysteriously disappeared.

There and Back Again…

Despite lack of activity here on the blog, June has been a very busy month. Lots of travel for me, which always makes staying on track with the healthy habits a challenge. First week of the month, work sent me to Phoenix for a four day class culminating with a certification test. I am now a Jamf Certified Tech, which is pretty cool.

I’ve also taken off the last two weeks of the month for some much needed personal time. The first week was a road trip up to Boise and back, partly with my parents. I have lots of photos, which I will break up into smaller batches to share here. We were in two vehicles, Dad and I doing the driving and Mom switching who she rode with. So any road photos you see here were taken by my mom while I was driving.

First leg of the trip, our goal was to make it to the dinosaur museum in Blanding, Utah. The museum was pretty cool, though I did not take any photos inside. Mom got a lot of great road scenery photos for me, and we made a stop at Wilson Arch on the way to Moab.

From there, it was on to Arches National Park, which was phenomenal. Mind blowing, you might even say. Wouldn’t mind getting back there with actual hiking supplies and check out some of the longer trails.

After that, we made our way to Green River, UT, where we crashed for the night. Ultimate goal the next day was to make it to my parents’ place in Meridian, ID. We made a few stops for interesting dilapidated cabins on the way to the Dinosaur National Monument. Spent a couple of days just hanging out with the folks at their place while they took care of things that needed doing before their next road trip. We did go tour the Old Idaho Penitentiary, which was interesting. The gravestone for Dennis the Cat marks the final resting place of the prison’s cat. He’s the only inmate to be buried in the main yard. I also tried to take a trail run up to Table Rock one morning, only to find that a McMansion development was being built right on top of where part of the trail used to go. I did eventually find my way back to the rest of the trail and got some interesting photos.

Finally, I started the journey home. Mom and Dad had a short road trip they needed to make for work, so we once again caravanned out with a couple of fun detours. First we went to check out the Shoshone Ice Cave, which was pretty cool – both figuratively and literally. (Temperature in the cave is generally 24-32°F year round!) Then we stopped at Mammoth Cave, which along with the on-site museum was pretty neat. After that, we parted ways. Mom and Dad to finish their trip and me to head home. I stopped for the night in Provo where according to Priceline, I got the last room in the Super 8 – the most budget friendly option. That room? Yeah, it was the Brigham Young “suite”, done to the nines in BYU memorabilia. I also got to go for a run at the Provo River Park .

Up early the next morning, I made my way to Vegas where I would spend my final night on the road. I crashed at Circus Circus because the room was only $16. Of course, that’s not including the “hotel fee” of $38 which Priceline didn’t mention until I was actually buying the room. But even still, I’m pretty sure it was the cheapest room in the area. Also, it turns out the room was so cheap because it wasn’t in one of the main hotel towers, which suited me just fine. (They offered to “upgrade” me for an additional $15 but for that much I probably would have just chosen a different hotel.)

My only real goal with stopping in Vegas was getting to Frankie’s Tiki Room for a couple of tasty tiki drinks and a new mug for my collection. I chose to walk there and Uber back because driving didn’t seem like a good choice. Next time, I Uber both directions. That was not a fun walk. Anyway once there, I started with the Surf Dragon along with its souvenir mug, which was quite tasty. Then I had the Lava Letch, which I have to say is now my favorite tiki drink ever. I’ll have to get that mug the next time I’m in town since I limit myself to one souvenir mug per tiki bar visit because those things are NOT cheap. Also, I’ll need to learn to make this tasty, tasty tiki drinki for myself.

I also found a Zoltar machine – y’all remember the movie Big, right? – in the Circus Circus midway and had to make sure it was plugged in. (Okay, I’m pretty sure I saw at least three Zoltar machines, but still.) That night I wandered all the way down to the Bellagio to catch the water show, which ended up being cancelled due to high winds. So that was frustrating. What about winning those fat stacks o’ cash? Yeah…. I’m just not that interested in gambling. Since I no longer smoke, it’s not an inviting excuse to take advantage of the opportunity to smoke indoors. I did blow a few dollars on slot machines, but nowhere near the $20-40 I would’ve had to limit myself to when I would’ve sat there smoking like an industrial chimney. I’d guess maybe $10 at most.

Oh, I also took advantage of the hotel’s water park and did a thing that’s been on my Weight Loss Goal List for a long time. I went shirtless in a public swimming space. I figured if I was going to do it anywhere, Vegas was the place since the chances of me ever seeing any of these people again after leaving the next day were slim to none. And you know what? Nobody stared. Nobody pointed and laughed. I was just another dude having fun on some water slides.

I’ve been back home for several days now and am enjoying being a hermit for my second week of vacation time. Also, I’m pretty proud of myself. I didn’t miss a single workout day while traveling, and only really bounced up a few pounds after going a little overboard on food in Vegas. I’m also already almost back down to my pre-June Travels weight now. I’ve just been getting back into my personal routines, enjoying time with the cats, and not thinking about work until I absolutely have to this coming Monday.

I have really enjoyed just disconnecting and enjoying nature, family, travel, and alone time. It’s good to eat right and exercise and all that, but it’s also good to take care of your brain once in a while.

My brain is stupid

That’s it, really. My brain makes me see things as they aren’t, and I tend to believe it no matter what others tell me.

I log my weight in MyFitnessPal every morning without fail, and the resulting graph is pretty zig-zaggy. That’s okay. I know weight loss is not linear and as long as things generally trend downwards, it’s all good. But I do start to get down on myself for the graph not trending downward as quickly as I think it should be. Default view each morning is the last month’s worth of weigh-ins. So I zoom out to 2 months, then 3 months, then 6, then since my starting weight in March 2018.

That last graph is pretty damn impressive, if I may say so. But that doesn’t keep my asshole of a brain from deciding it’s not “good enough”. Then I scale the view to “All time”. That goes back to when I first started logging in MFP the last time I lost a significant amount of weight. That is the graph that puts things in perspective for me.

The above graph starts about 25 pounds into my last major loss streak. The lowest point was about when I ran my first half marathon, which is when I pretty much fell off the wagon health-wise. I find it fascinating how you can see how about once a year I’d have an “Oh crap, I need to get my shit together” moment, drop a few pounds, then just…. stop caring again. But seeing that huge drop at the end is super encouraging.

Also, this time around I’ve managed to keep up strength work in concert with my running. This is paying off in that I can wear the same clothes that I wore at my previous all-time low weight and they fit even better.

That brings us to last Friday morning. I was getting ready for work and every single shirt I put on felt like it fit like a circus tent. EVERYTHING was too big. So after work that day, I hit up the thrift shop for some new-to-me and better-fitting shirts. I tried on a full dozen shirts from the Large section. Three were too small and the rest were too big, so I decided to try on some stuff from the Medium section and you know what? THEY FIT.

I actually went home with four mediums and one small. (The small is still just a touch too small, but I liked it and could tell it should be comfortable soon so I went ahead and got it.) The problem was, I still didn’t feel like I looked any different in the mirror. So when I got home, I put together a side-by-side comparison of three photos. One from early March last year, and two from Friday – one in a medium shirt and one in the small.

Seeing those photos together, the difference is undeniable. But I still could not see the change without the “before” side-by-side.

Tonight I stopped by Target on my way home to pick up a new water bottle for running. On a whim, I decided to check out the clearance rack in menswear. There were a couple of shirts I really liked in the Medium section, so I tried them on. They fit so well that I couldn’t not buy them. And even better, I could see the change in myself without having to compare new photos to old photos! Here are my new new shirts:

So, yeah. My brain is a jerk but I’m starting to reign it in. Body dysmorphia is real, and it’s important to remember that.

Busting More Cycles

So I’m still over here busting cycles.  Gym thing is still going well, which is nice.

Back in December I was lamenting to some of my r/loseit friends that I didn’t have any local running friends.  They suggested I check out parkrun – a social running thing.  I looked them up and it turns out there is a group here in Tucson which meets every Saturday to run a 5k.  So I registered…. then didn’t make it to one of their runs until this weekend.  It was the most difficult 5k I’ve run in a long time – mostly because I went to the gym first.  (Saturday is a gym day, and I’m not willing to compromise that schedule.)  But I made it, I did it, and I even talked to strangers.  I finished 14th out of 25 runners, 11th out of the men, and 2nd in my age category.  (There was only one other guy in my age group and he finished like 10 minutes before me.  So that was less exciting.  But that’s okay.)

Doing that run after putting in an hour and a half at the gym really did suck, though.  Then again, a few weeks ago I was saying that the whole gym before work thing sucked and now it’s just part of my schedule.  So I’ll definitely be giving this another try.  Not sure if that’ll be next weekend or not.  It’ll most likely depend on whether I wake up early enough to finish at the gym in time to get to the park.

Then there’s the blacksmithing.  You’re probably thinking, “wait… what?!?” and I wouldn’t blame you.  A friend posted about a local blacksmithing school having their grand opening party this weekend.  Smithing is something that I’ve been kind of curious about for a while – I fully admit I get sucked into Forged in Fire marathons on the so-called History Channel – but never had the foggiest idea of where to start.  After learning about this school I signed up for one of their beginning blacksmithing sessions happening in March figuring worst case, I’m out some cash to find out it’s not for me.  Then I went to their grand opening party where I got to forge a bottle opener.  Matt was a great instructor, telling me what to do and why I should do it.  He heated the metal and held it on the anvil for me, but every hammer blow was my own.  That was a lot of fun, and now I’m super excited for my actual class in March.

bottleopener

Me and my bottle opener! Sorry for the blurry photo, I thought the goggles where just smudgy when I looked at it in the forge.

Bust That Cycle

It’s been over a decade since he first posted this video, but I’m still grateful to zefrank for the concept of “bust that cycle”.  I’m going to start you with that video for reference.  He gets to cycle busting at about the 1:00 mark, but I’ll go ahead and quote the important bit for those who don’t want to watch the video.  (There is an f-bomb in there later, for those sensitive to that sort of thing.)

“Busting your cycle is where you take one aspect of your life that’s more or less constant and you purposely bust it. By temporarily breaking a routine, you can often experience the world in a very different way. If you bust the right cycle, this shift in perspective can often lead to elation and a sense of possibility.”

So I’ve been trying to bust some cycles lately.  Probably the most obvious would be the whole gym thing.  I was trying to bust my cycles of “not being a gym person” and having fallen out of the habit of doing strength training at home.  That seems to be working pretty well, as evidenced by the fact that I’ve just begun my third week working out there.  Since this was my first gym-weekend when I didn’t have to get to orchestra rehearsals or concerts pretty much right after exercising, I decided to do bust another cycle while I was there this morning.

My membership includes access to these “total body enhancement pods” which look kind of like vertical tanning beds – but I am assured they’re not tanning beds.  (Those are in the next room over.)  I look at these with incredulity every time I walk by, probably mostly because I just don’t “get it” and usually don’t have the time to care.  Today, I decided to give it a go because I had time to spare and… well… what the hell?

So I signed up for the next available time slot, bought a pair of tanning goggles (they require you to have them even though this is not a tanning apparatus), and was escorted to the room containing my weird pod thingy.  Left alone I stripped down to my shorts, put on the goggles, climbed in, shut the door, and hit the “start” button.  Bright lights surrounded me as fans in the ceiling activated.  There are also handles on the ceiling, which an electronic voice prompts you to hold to help with stability.  Then the floor starts to vibrate while generic electronic music is piped in through the speakers.  And…. you stand there.  For like 10 minutes.  Then it all stops, you get out, get dressed, and go on with your life.

red light therapy?

This is my “I just spent 10 minutes in a bright, vibratey tube with fans blowing on my head and generic electronic music playing at me because reasons” face.

I still don’t really understand what it was supposed to do for me and I certainly didn’t feel anything but a bit foolish when it was done.  Some web searching after getting home tells me that these pods use what they call “red light therapy“, which I guess is actually a thing, and there’s apparently research out there stating that it’s beneficial to skin health, weight loss and… stuff.  So maybe I’ll give it a few more tries before writing it off.  I mean, since I’m already paying for the… privilege?

Then I decided to try one of the massage chairs.  (Another benefit with my membership.) At first I really wasn’t sure what to think about being molested by what otherwise appeared to be a comfy chair.  This, on the other hand, is something I could probably get used to and can actually see myself taking advantage of on a more regular basis.

massage chair reaction

This is my “this chair is kinda handsy and I think I’m starting to like it” face.

In other cycle busting news, I’m trying to be (a little) more socially active and (slightly) less hermit-like.  I have learned that Bookman’s has a monthly cookbook club where they choose a cookbook then everyone chooses recipes from it to make and bring to the next meeting.  And I’ve just joined it.  I wasn’t able to make it to their first meeting which was last night, but I’m signed up for next month.  So that’ll be a thing to watch for here.

And once again, I’ve written way more than I originally intended.  So if you’ve made it all the way through, congratulations and thanks for reading.

So I joined a gym

That’s really not a subject line I ever seriously expected to use.  Especially this time of year, as I really don’t want to be lumped in with those “resolution people”.  But my friends on my r/loseit winter challenge team encouraged me to give it a go since I’d mentioned thinking about it.

And why was I thinking about it?  Because I just can’t seem to get my ass in gear to use my DVDs any more.  Now that running has replaced my P90 cardio workouts, I just can’t seem to bother with the P90 strength workouts even though I know that it’s important to keep up with strength training.  If I’m not going to use the tools I have, then I need to look at new tools.  So after lunch today I went over to my local Planet Fitness to check things out.  I chose them because they’re maybe a mile and a half away from my house and are not terribly out of my way home from work.

And now I have a gym membership.  I opted for the slightly more expensive “black card” because it offers some more personalized training options which I think will be helpful – at least as I get started since I’ve never used a gym before.  I’ve booked an orientation session followed by a “help me build my workout” session for tomorrow night, so this may be a thing now.  At least, I’m going to try to make it a thing for the next month for sure, since I’m already paying for that much.

In other news, I was really hoping to hit the 60lb lost mark before Christmas.  I was a tenth of a pound away on my last morning before heading out of town to visit family.  (I did re-weigh right after my run that day out of sheer curiosity and was two tenths of a pound below that mark, but I didn’t count it since that was really just sweat loss.)  Then of course my weight bounced back up a few pounds with holiday indulgences.  I’m well aware that it’s mostly water weight which will fall off as I get back into my usual dietary patterns.  It was just kind of a bummer to not quite make that mini-goal.

The holidays were lovely, even if I did close out my visit with family by coming down with a bit of a cold.  It’s back to work tomorrow, which does not excite me.  Also, rehearsals for the next orchestra cycle start up Friday night, so these next couple of weeks will be busy ones.  Though I’m kind of excited to try on my tux again.  I’m hoping I’ll fit back into my vest and not have to use that stupid cummerbund any more.  We’ll see.