Monday, December 29, 2008

Box-Box- Boxing Day

Today is December 29, but it feels like Boxing Day (Dec. 26; a term Americans don’t use, but a statutory holiday in Canada and Ontario).

So I’ve had two public holidays (Dec. 25 & 26), two weekend days (Dec. 27 & 28), and today (Dec. 29) a vacation.

Christmas was a very quiet day for us. Liz called a couple of times. Monado and I didn’t exchange gifts.

After sleeping in a bit, I ended up going for a run at midday. Because I anticipated that residential sidewalks would be very icy and the ravine bikepaths impassable, I ran along Danforth Avenue, a major arterial road (and, until 1998, a provincial highway). This was my “long” run, about 90 minutes, so 45 minutes out and back. I basically ran from my house south on Pape Avenue to Danforth, and then east on Danforth to Danforth Road.

I’ve noticed this before: east of Victoria Park Avenue, the ancient townline between York and Scarborough townships, the property owners of Danforth Avenue are careless of clearing their sidewalks. West of Victoria Park, the sidewalks were generally clear (though the windrows occasionally encroached, and the intersections could be bad); east of V.P., the opposite. Particularly egregious, I thought, was an Anglican church whose sidewalks were a mass of irregular ice.

My other odd sighting was a streetwalker at Danforth and Pharmacy avenues. First, I don’t think of that area as a “stroll”; second, it was the middle of a sunny Christmas day. The only word is: sad.

On the real Boxing Day, Monado picked up Andie and I did a trainer work-out. Boy, I’m out of shape! A fairly straightforward work-out (15 min warm-up, then 3 x [10 min at tempo, 10 min easy]) was hard to do. I had to cut short the 3rd tempo section. During the tempo sections I was just able to touch HR=140, and my power output was just over 170 W. My legs were toasted from Christmas Day’s run.

Dec. 27 I actually made it to the pool at the East York Community Centre, and shared the medium lane for an hour. I did the whole listed work-out, which was only 1500 yards but left me exhausted and ravenous. The McDonald’s I pass on my way home was very tempting!

This was also an exciting day because I got my January work-outs from Coach Steve. There’s something exciting about the fresh set of work-outs, and laying them into my calendar; it makes it seem possible and exciting.

Yesterday, I’d planned on getting a two-hour ride outdoors. The temperature was in the high single digits (Celsius scale, so well into the forties Fahrenheit), but at sunrise Toronto began to suffer high winds that had been forecast for the afternoon. My concern was not a strong steady wind—it was the forecast 30- and even 50-knot gusts; even the arterials were still a bit narrowed by windrows, so I didn’t want to be blown into a traffic lane. I made this decision and fell back asleep. Sigh.

By the time I got up again, it was time to get ready for our annual Christmas potluck. It was a little different this year—my brother had gone out and gone beyond his siblings and their offspring, and included our uncle, his kids (my cousins), and their kids. Andie was good-tempered but bored until my 14-year-old niece Lexi arrived late.

This year we finally gave up on gifts. All my nephews and nieces got were “Mackenzie Kings”—fifty-dollar notes with a dour portrait of our longtime Prime Minister. They seemed to appreciate. For my step–first cousins once removed, I gave their parents three Mackenzie Kings to spend as they saw fit.

It’s a long drive to and from my brother’s house in Snelgrove and I had some time to think because everyone was being quiet.

I’ve set myself a Project in David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology to improve my consistency and to rehabituate myself to good habits for an Ironman year. This is what I came up with last night as I lay in bed:

Body work: At my age I really, really, really need to do my body work every single day—flexibility, core strength, resistance to injury. I read Peter King’s Monday Morning QB blog this morning about how Peyton Manning rehabbed himself to recover from a serious knee injury to lead his team to a 9-0 record their last nine games, and make himself a leading candidate for league MVP. I neither need, nor am I paid, to spend two hours a day (as Manning did) getting therapy; but Manning’s mindset, his dedication, is a good example.

Early-morning work-outs: I know that getting out at 6:30 a.m. would help me a lot; I would always have one work-out marked done by the time I showed up at work. The days I’ve done this I don’t beat myself up mentally all day about skipping work-outs.

Consistent sleep, meal patterns: This serves the previous sub-project by making it easy to slot things in. Although I’m not as bad as many folks, I have cluttered, demanding days, and it’s important to maintain consistent sleeping and eating; if I do, I can work out when a window opens.


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