I don’t know how two weeks goes by so quickly, but clearly, I was a little stressed around the time of my last post. April was a bit rough and I wasn’t feeling it. Beyond the week in San Juan, everything pretty much sucked, and I occasionally have a hard time pulling out of situations like that… but I got there. Two weeks of traveling for work, a week of insanity trying to get caught up on the backlog that creates, the cancellation of some projects I had worked hard on for quite some time… not a great combination, but it’s the tough times that remind us how great life is on the upswing.
One of the major downsides was likely the complete lack of exercise and the nutrition-free diet that I had adopted for much of the month. Sitting in my desk chair doesn’t quite cut it for healthy living but once you’ve done it for a few days, you start to get really comfortable with your butt imprint in your chair and it’s hard to get back out into the real world. This was compounded by the weather, which blew by any standard, leading me to avoid the outside world as if I had become allergic to the sun (even though it was rarely out).
So nine days ago I had four yards (8,000) pounds of dirt delivered, shoveled it into my wheelbarrow one load at a time, moved it to the backyard and from there, Kristin smoothed it all out with a rake. Manual labor at its finest. Up until this weekend, that was the best day of the entire month because I was outside, moving, being a human being and participating in life. Also, Kristin made me a damn good sandwich. Damn good. It was a successful project and I’ll be getting another four yards this Saturday if the weather works out… we’ll keep piling it up and smoothing it out until the backyard no longer floods. I’m determined to have use of the entire thing this year.
This weekend, we went to Amish country and bought all kinds of cheese, wine, some meats and snacks… lots of local stuff; nothing exceptionally healthy but definitely not junk food (with the exception of the stuff we got in the candy store which is, indeed, junk food). We had lunch out there (meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans… home cookin’) and had a good drive there and back. Yesterday was mostly a lounging and relaxation day but I got out back, grilled, built a deck box I bought at the hardware store and generally made some small progress on tidying the deck where I’ll spend most of my spring and summer.
I also signed up for my first ever 5K on Saturday night. At the top of 2013 I stated that I wanted to run a 30 minute 5K this year and I was making a little progress but nowhere near the level of work needed to hit 30 minutes before the end of the year. One of the best motivators for me personally is spending money on something… and another one is “not embarrassing myself in public,” so paying for a 5K where other folks from around town will see me either failing or not failing is a surefire way to push more toward the latter. I signed up eleven weeks out and today I developed a ten week training plan based on a bit of reading and a bit of advice from friends who run.
The first two weeks are three days of aerobic running followed by long Saturdays working in the yard (yes, I’m incorporating the 8,000 pounds of dirt this Saturday into my training… followed by an additional 8,000 pounds of bedding soil to be placed in a raised bed the following weekend). After that I will be training four nights a week for eight weeks and then, on July 13th, I’ll participate in my first-ever 5K run. My goal is 40 minutes this time around but I won’t be watching the stopwatch too closely. It is my first attempt in an actual field of people, after all.
As for this week, today was the most productive day of work that I’ve had in the entire month of April and I expect tomorrow will match it. I hit the first day goal of my training program, had a few tasty and fairly healthy meals, and now I’m finally blogging. The next two hours before bed will likely consist of a shower and a quick trip to the store for some cottage cheese (pre-bedtime healthy snack!)… and perhaps a little reading on the back deck while I still have sunlight. Ah, spring. Thanks for finally showing up.