Adjusted Reality

“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” – Mark Twain

Month: May 2021

Rain, rain, something, something…

This has to be the coolest and rainiest May in memory. April showers kinda brought May showers this year, I suppose. It seems like we’re a month behind normality in the great outdoors – we’re JUST now getting our first sunflowers and the spring wildflowers are still in bloom.

May be an image of flower and nature

While I certainly will not complain about the temperature being… temperate, it’s definitely made outdoor training a bit of a challenge. Sunday, we found our window for our long ride – from about 130-330pm – and made the most of it to hit 25 miles. Tuesday, we made a break for the pool (!!) for the first time in 15 months at lunch between storms. Wednesday, we took a work break around 3pm and rode 10 miles. Today, I’m staring at the rain hoping for a window to ride or swim again (or mebbe just drive up north to the indoor pool) and wondering how tomorrow’s 30 miles are going to go when the forecast says rain all day (I REALLY don’t want to ride on the trainer…).

I’ve also taken 3 walks, did my dozen once and I’m staring at the yoga mat right now and it will be my next stop today, so that will make at least 2 sessions this week. I stretched, oops, like, once. Let’s put that on today’s agenda as well, shall we? No running yet, but that’s sorta by design in the quest to calm my cranky back.

May be an image of bicycle and outdoors

I’m happy to report that el backerooni (ok, nah, let’s never use that one again) is probably the best it’s been today in at least a month. Coincidentally, yesterday was the first time in forever I had zero meetings, so I wasn’t hunched over my desk quite the same way as normal when I’m on camera for hours and hours. I don’t ACTUALLY think this is a coincidence, so hopefully this weekend we can do the chores required to free up some space, which will allow me to get a real desk! I’m hopeful this could be the last piece of the puzzle to permanently un-eff my cranky back. Since we will be working from home through 2021, and then probably be in a WFH/in office hybrid situation as a long term thing, it’s necessary. My little corner desk was totally fine when I spent a few hours a week in my home office. Definitely NOT FINE when I spend 8+ hours every weekday there.

I have to admit that I have zero clue what I weigh right now. I also have to admit that I have not managed to track my food lately. Gut check (heh) is that I’m not eating terribly but I’m also probably not maintaining enough of a deficit to lose a significant amount of weight. Shirts have still most definitely shrunk and jeans are intolerable for more than an hour or two and I’m still on the “pjs and maxi dresses” fashion plan.

I should be more worried about this than I am, but I know my tolerance for adulting right now (beyond work, which is using up most of the adulting reserves) is pretty low. So, I’m picking my battles. And right now, the hills on which I’m willing to die are establishing regular swim, bike, and weights workouts, healing my back, and eating things that are green and grow in the ground more than once a day. Once those things are rote again, I can start nitpicking every calorie. Maybe after I go here for a while…

May be an image of palm trees, body of water and nature

We’re closing the office for a few days next month to move our servers, and I’ve decided to bail to Mexico since I’m not (thankfully) unneeded. I’m unreasonably excited for the ocean and fishies and diving and beaches and tropical drinks and lounging by the pool. This will be the first vacation in 18 months that won’t involve WORK. Our camper is fantastic, and actually being able to get away *somewhere* kept us just on the edge of sanity during the pandemic, but we’re both ready to just show up somewhere and let someone else cook and clean and drive and bartend for a while.

Off to do all the things and wait for my window to do a thing that makes me sweaty later!

Bikes are the answer

What was the question? Actually, wait, does it even matter? Aren’t bikes the answer to everything?

I’m certainly not 100% back to it, but getting there. I keep doing stupid things to irritate my back (for example, packing up an office worth of paperwork and hefting around boxes) but it’s more like two steps forward one step back right now. Problems like this are stopping me for a few days vs a few weeks. Small victories.

I’m doing the dozen again 2-3 times a week. V-ups are a no-go right now, and I’m doing the pushups from my knees, but everything else is doable and generally I feel *better* after, not worse. I’m hoping to work up to actually lifting kettlebells at some point, but only after I can do this whole routine easily. It’s nice to do something that feels normal, something I used to do in my pre-covid athlete life.

Riding road bikes outside (not in aero) also seems to make me feel better after. Sunday, I rode 20 miles and felt great. I realized that it’s light until after 8 right now, so I figured “let’s do this” and went right back out the next day. Riding outside is happiness and a great way to unwind from work. I was excited to do it again and maybe start a little running and then… bam. Packed up an office and my cranky back returned. Then work. Then social plans. So I haven’t been back out.

But, speaking of social plans, I believe they’ll play a part in helping as well. We’re riding bikes with a friend tomorrow. Aiming to make that a weekly thing. Some of the weekly social rides are starting up again and I have this weird mix of feeling tied to work but also a huge level of flexibility in schedule, so the ownness of my schedule is really on me. Riding bikes outside is giving me joy and also seems to be rehabbing my back, so I need to make it a priority.

Next week, we aim to set up the pool and I’ll have yet another avenue for quick and easy at-home exercise which should, in theory, heal my back further. Since I’m vaccinated I can also return to the gym and swim in the pool or lake, but I’d like to start at home where a 10 minute swim workout doesn’t feel like a waste of a drive. This is the longest I’ve been away from swimming in a decade. I am highly looking forward to resuming being a fish again.

Running has been… slow to start. It feels *okay* off the bike for a 15-20 minute run, but it makes me really sore the next day. I miss it. A lot. However, I need to earn the right to run first, I suppose, so I’ll focus on ramping up the other two sports and strength first.

In that light, I’m considering signing up for the Kerrville Half Aquabike instead in September. 1.2 miles swimming + 56 mile bike feels reachable by then. The run does not. Ramping up from one to 13.1 miles over the summer sounds… rough (and more importantly, potentially harmful to recovery). Maybe I’ll do the sprint on Saturday and then the Aquabike the next day. That might be a nice stretch goal. Taking a bit of time to decide – a few dollars more in race fees are worth figuring out what a challenging but achievable goal will be by then.

I’ve now started scheduling my workouts on my work calendar, and being more specific than “do something”. It’s helped a bit. I’m feeling cautiously optimistic right now and looking forward to playing bikes all summer!

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