Exercise+, Day 19: Looking Down the Barrel

February 6, 2009 at 10:57 pm 3 comments

Today was another good day, I’m happy to report.  When I got up this morning (which was around 7:30 am), I found that Zack had already been up for an hour and was through most of his lessons.  He actually finished everything by noon.   I was only TOO THRILLED to release him on his own recognissance for the rest of the day.   After all, being done with one’s schoolwork by by  noon is supposed to be one of the joys of homeschooling: you don’t have to wait for the rest of the class to finish their work before you can move onto the next thing. 😉

And I, in turn, was equally industrious.  I did three loads of laundry, three loads of dishes (No, I’m not kidding… and the dishes weren’t even piled up to start with; we just go through a LOT of dishes around here.)  I got dinner made and in the oven on time, and I even made pudding for the kids for dessert.  As if to underscore our good day, the weather cheered up to a balmy 50 degrees, and promises to be even better tomorrow.  Mmmm!

Unfortunately, I don’t know that this bliss is going to be long-lived, thanks to circumstances beyond our control.  I was just looking ahead to the coming week, and realizing that starting tomorrow, we’ll be enjoying the usual February Hell Week.  I don’t know why I can’t remember that this is coming and prepare better, but it comes upon me every year and every year it catches me offguard, thereby making itself even more hellish than it actually is.

Here’s the situation:  Tomorrow Zack and Noah both have basketball camp in the morning, and Zack has a basketball game, as usual.  However, his basketball pictures just happen to fall in the morning which means we need to be there an hour early.   Almost immediately afterward, Andy has to leave for a bowling tournament in Carlyle that benefits a foundation set up in honor of an aunt of mine who died of breast cancer.  Carlyle is an hour away, so he’ll basically be gone all afternoon…  leaving me home alone with the kids.

Ordinarily, not a big deal… but Sunday we’re to have the entire family over for a Collective Birthday Celebration…which means I need to clean the house.  Trying to do this with the kids tracking mud in and out is going to be INCREDIBLY frustrating. 

To make matters worse, Andy’s team has arranged to take their students on an Overnight trip from Tuesday night until Thursday, which means Andy won’t be home at all from Tuesday morning until Tuesday night.  This is the same overnight trip that Andy is using as an incentive for Zack with respect to schoolwork, so presumably I won’t have the older boys here either…  But what this means is that I have to somehow get Zack AND Noah through FOUR DAYS of schoolwork by Monday night.   How I’m supposed to do this, and where I’ll be expected to find the time in and around cleaning for this birthday party, I have no idea.

And THEN…just to top it all off beautifully… Andy’s parents are coming into town on Friday.  Which means that I need to have the rest of the house clean too.  Ideally, this won’t be too bad since I’ll be minus two of the kids, but I won’t have any adult help…so…  Great.

So I expect to be really frustrated and busy all week this week.   But at least I have walking to get me through it.  I know a lot of people exercise to blow off stress, and maybe the sedentary lifestyles we lead now are partly why we’re hearing all this nonsense about Cortisol, aka ‘The Stress Hormone’.  Maybe the fact that we’re not walking/moving/etc. is keeping us from working off what ails us?

I don’t know.  But I suddenly realized tonight that this 21-day run is ending, and I have to say: walking resolutely for two hours every day has been one of my tougher goals.   But so far I have done it every day, even running downstairs to do it like Pangie did with her flossing, “I have to walk or I’ll FAIL!”  Cannot fail.  I would have to start over, and I’m not starting over.  No.

So… question is, once again: what’s next.  I think, in the interests of what’s to come and given that it’s just plain smart, I’m going to follow Iain’s and Pangie’s example of working on my sleep habits.  By this I mean that I intend to be in bed by 11:30 pm every night.  And no cheating, either; in bed but typing on my laptop doesn’t count.  I have to be in bed, ready/attempting to sleep.

Of everything I’ve tried to do thus far, I think this will be the hardest for me.  I know my sleep habits are terrible, but given that the hours after 8-9 pm, when the kids are in bed, are often the only time I have to think and work on things without interruption, I tend to be very possessive of my evenings.  Moreover, because I’m in Central time and many of my friends are out west, when it’s 11:30 here, it’s only 9:30 out west, so the online roleplay action is just heating up around that time.

But to be honest, I’ve neglected NarniaMUCK a lot lately.  And I know some of my recent ‘depression’ (such as it is) could probably have been avoided if I were just letting myself sleep as much as I need to.

So I’m resolved: next three weeks, I will focus on sleeping goals.  Sideline, I will try to keep myself to 5 points on down days, and to around 35 points on up days, as per Michelle’s suggestion that I shoot for an average of 20 points per day.  I’d been sticking with 32 points as a goal, but I think relaxing a little to 35 will feel good…and if I go a little over, no big deal.  I’ll still be walking every day.

Walking has, I’ve noticed, gotten a LOT HARDER lately.  In January I used to walk for 150, 180, 200 minutes at a shot and not mind too much, but now I hit that 100 minute mark and I’m thinking, “Oh good… only 20 minutes left!”    I let this bother me some, because I assumed it was because I’d been getting bored with it.. But then I realized that when I get off the treadmill now, my legs still ache like they’ve had a good workout.  I think I have failed to appreciate just how much of a difference the incline makes in all of this.  

The difference between a 3% and a 5% incline doesn’t feel like very much when the treadmill does its shift, but walking for two hours up a 5% incline is apparently a lot more work than walking up a 3% incline.  I’m also consistently walking at 2.3 mph, instead of 2.0.  Treadmill Desk proponents actually recommend a speed between 1.3 and 1.7 mph, so I was already walking faster than the established norm right from the beginning.  Of course, that speed is assuming you’re trying to write and talk on the phone while walking, and I’m mostly just using the computer.  But still.

I really wish I could find some chart somewhere that indicated how much the incline impacts your workout. :/

Okay, off to bed.


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Exercise+, Day 18: Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day… Exercise+, Day 20: Nearly There


  • 1. Michelle  |  February 7, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    A little tip for the next 21…
    I read that the light from a computer monitor actually screws up your melanin production and you need to shut it off well before it’s time to actually sleep. I am trying to get Darin to comply with this. He hates me because I have no problem sleeping, in fact I’ve been known to fall asleep in a bar while my friends drink and throw darts. Without drinking alcohol.

  • 2. melalvai  |  February 7, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    Lower your standards of clean, even company-clean, a bit (or a lot)? I’m fortunate in knowing that Iain’s family wouldn’t notice, and my family wouldn’t care, if they showed up and the place looks like it usually looks (ie, NOT company-clean). Our Thurs-night friends generally get a slightly cleaner than usual place, in that we try to get the kitchen tidy since they take turns cooking! But even so there have been times…

  • 3. Jennifer  |  February 7, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I wish I could say my family wouldn’t care… I mean, in truth, most of them probably wouldn’t care, but my DAD would. And he would comment, if not directly to me, then to my Mom… so for my family it’s Company Clean.

    Andy’s parents always scold me for being too preoccupied about how the house looks when they come, but I know how everyone else’s houses look when WE go somewhere. I don’t want them to feel I don’t care enough to have a presentable house when they arrive. :/

    What is it about Iowa men and sleeping? Andy always gripes that I fall asleep at the drop of a hat, and he sits up for hours and hours and hours. Personally, I think he’s just plain wrong; he seems to have NO trouble falling asleep on the sofa, and despite having been pregnant four times and done the Midnight Walk to the Bathroom many many times, I have yet to wake up and find him sitting up, awake and unable to sleep.

    But anyway…as long as I can turn onto my stomach and listen to some inane television show, I can usually fall asleep pretty fast. Lately it’s also helped that I’ve been walking closer to (and sometimes well past) bedtime; I arrive exhausted and my body is only too happy to knock off for a few hours. :/

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