Friday, January 20, 2012

Winter Has Set In...Grab it By the Horns!

I think that this is possibly the hardest time of the year to get going in outdoor workouts.  It seems like this is the easiest time of the year to make excuses because of the weather.  However, I have to disagree.  We have a morning group on Tuesdays and Thursdays that try to get outside and get six to seven miles in.  We call ourselves the CRAZIES! This group includes Maurer, Gaffney, Wheeler on a consistent basis and anyone else is welcome to join.   So far for me, this is the best thing I have done, make myself accountable, by running with others.  I have found that running outside is just refreshing.  Yeah, sure, it gets cold sometimes but while running, I feel oblivious to the weather and focus on the exercise and the company that I keep.  Because of this, I CAN make this experience a positive and benefit myself in health and even be social. 

Yesterday was a bit chilly.  About 6 degrees Fahrenheit and a 13 mph wind and some snow.  I thought I would have a little fun and bring a little something to lighten the mood of the group before we set out on this adventure.  I was looking for something to protect my neck and I found this scarf thingy that my wife had gotten for Christmas.  It has a big flower on it.  SO I threw it on and out the door I went.  This provided a little entertainment, especially for Maurer, which he had commented on his blog .  You can see my garb below!  
After getting in a good giggle we set out on a run in the cold, wind, and snow and had a pretty tough run.  The terrain was a little slick, especially when we were going uphill.  We went 6.68 miles and had a 8:53 pace.  Again it felt much faster but I think the snow held us back a little.  Overall, we had a great run and conversation.  Having people to meet and run with at this drury time in the Midwest, it is AWESOME to have a great group of people to surround ourselves with and make your lifestyle and I CAN lifestyle instead of excuses. 

Last night, I also participated in my weekly soccer league at the River's Edge.  I like this league because it pretty competitive and it is exercise that is out of the ordinary.  Again, I have surrounded myself with a great group of guys who like to play the game for fun, yet still gets a little competitive. My legs need a little recovery from this due to the sprinting and the morning workout.  I made sure I get lots of hydration in me before I go to bed.  I think it is important to have something like this to get outside the "normal" workout.  Something were you can enjoy the shape you have put your body into and still get a little extra! By the way we won 5-4 and I actually scored the game winner (by the way, this is not usual).  My fun exercise ended with a extra positive.  

This morning, I jumped back in the pool to get my last swim in for a while.  I had a very nice 1500 yd swim, I didn't even keep track of time, but I felt really good. I warmed up with a 250 yd swim and a cool down of 250 yards for a total of 2000 yards.  This was good for a number of reasons, one being that it loosened my legs up nicely from all the activities yesterday and gave me some confidence in my swimming abilities.  I was able to push a little on the 1500 yd swim and still felt like I had some in the tank.  Overall a good week of training in the pool.

For a couple of weeks, I am going to focus some of my time on some weight training, mainly core exercises, biking and running.  I feel like in swimming I have made good strides and I need to make the same in biking and running as well as strength. I will put the goggles away and hit the others hard.  When I finish those couple weeks, hopefully, I will find a good balance between all three and be able to exceed at all three.  

Looking forward to a long run this weekend and some rest.  I kind of rambled on this post, I guess that is how it will go sometimes.  I know, I have a focus.  I CAN make my life better and CAN accomplish anything I set out to do.  Surrounding myself with positive people and CAN DO attitudes, anything CAN be accomplished.  Here is to the next couple weeks to see what I CAN accomplish!  Have a GREAT weekend!

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