30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 19- Just Keep Swimming

I considered taking the day off from Experience Nature to talk about my adventures in dental care, but I did have a chance to get outdoors today, and I want to focus on that.

Knowing I wouldn’t have the chance to workout after my dental appointment (they bring out the big guns for me- lots of drugs, lots of needles, lots of drilling), I went early to Pilates and then for a longer swim in Goss Lake. 

I’m swimming more frequently for a couple reasons. My shoulder and knees are still acting wonky. My knees not nearly as bad as my shoulder. I tweaked it way back in November, got a cortisone shot, and now it’s worn off. So, basically, back to the pain I had before I got the shot. I’ve been using the cannabis oil tincture on my knees, and it seems to be working pretty good. I don’t notice any difference on my shoulder. Lifting weights, and doing lots of different movements only seems to agitate my shoulder, and sometimes bothers my knees. Even Pilates is pushing it a little with my aches and pains. But swimming? Doesn’t bother me a bit. So, if I’m looking to do some cardio workouts, and my normal workouts are aggravating injuries, then swimming is the way to go.

Another reason I’m swimming more is I’m training for the Whidbey Island Triathlon the end of July. “But PJ, you said your knees and shoulder hurt, are you going to do the crazy biking and running, too?” No. That’s what my teammates are for. Philip is an AVID cyclist with the fastest bike and the fastest times on the island. Sam runs 6 or 7 minute miles. Repeatedly. 

All I have to do is get down to a 12-13 minute 1/2 mile swim, and we will be not just the fastest relay, but the fastest course time ever. But last year I didn’t even break 15 minutes. I don’t know what happened, but I felt like I choked in the water (not literally, I would have drowned). I’m bound and determined not to let that happen this year, so I’m swimming. As much and as often as I can.

I have a schedule (YAY! LISTS!) for my swimming days, and it allows me to swim 4-5 days each week. I also have a schedule for when and how to up my progression to work up to a 12 minute 1/2 mile. My first week I would swim out as far as I felt comfortable (some days I was the only person at the lake- it’s an eerie feeling to be alone in the water, where no one can hear you if you scream for help), and then try to swim the entire way back without stopping, or the course of one full song on my aqua iPod.

My progression was going to have me increasing duration (by measure of songs) where I swam non-stop and then progress my intensity during songs by swimming fast for one song, then 2 songs, and finally giving my all for 3 songs. It works out if I continue on this schedule to have me full on Beast Mode for 3 songs the last week before the Triathlon.

But then today, I went swimming with two other ladies. We just happened to get to Goss Lake at the same time. We all just happened to be going for a swim. We didn’t swim together, though. Me, with my agenda and iPod went in one direction while the other two started swimming straight out in another. When I finished my set, I looked out and those ladies were swimming all the way to the other side of the lake!

What the? Why was I trying to figure out distance by a fracking song? Especially when some songs are 3 minutes and others are 5? I can easily figure out how far it is to swim clear across the lake. I can time myself better that way too. By the time the race rolls around and there are markers in the water, I will be more accustomed to swimming the distance rather than the guessing game I’m playing now.

So now I’ve updated my schedule.

  • Week 1 (this week)- Swim to other side and back. Three rest stops allowed. One on the way to other side, one at the other side, and the last one on the way back. Try to swim at least 2 consecutive songs on either trip without stopping.
  • Week 2-Swim all the way to other side without stopping, rest for at least one full song (hopefully a short one), and swim all the way back without stopping
  • Week 3- Swim all the way (there and back, like a hobbit) without stopping, any speed you like
  • Week 4- Swim all the way there with a speed of Fast for one song, recover/base pace for 2 songs. Rest on the other side, and then swim all the way back with same speed pace
  • Week 5- All the way. Swim one song fast, two songs slow/recover
  • Week 6- RACE WEEK- All the way, maintain fast one song, recover one song.

6 weeks until the Triathlon. 6 weeks to make a commitment and possibly a habit of swimming when I am able to. It’s a great workout, easy on the joints, and keeps me connected to my Sacred Space.

Just keep swimming, and I’ll see you at the lake!

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 7- Glad I Live in Washington

I used to live in Florida. I lived there from 1997 to 2007. Ten years. That was approximately 9 years, 11 months, and 29 days too long.

It’s hard to pinpoint what it was I disliked the most about Florida. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 7- Glad I Live in Washington

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 3- Take a Hike!

I am coming back from a weekend getaway with my family, and starting my new job tomorrow, so while I have lots to share, I am keeping this post a little short. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 3- Take a Hike!

30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 2- Adventures with My Element, Water

Me and Water go way back. When I was five years old, I pointed to a dolphin trainer and told my mom that was what I was going to do when I grew up. She did what any other encouraging mother of a fanatical youngster would do, and smiled and nodded. And then signed me up for the swim team.

Joke’s on her. I turned out to be quite the water baby. Part mermaid, we think. I took to swimming like a bird flying. Continue reading 30 Days of Experiencing Nature: Day 2- Adventures with My Element, Water

30 Days of Experiencing Nature

This April, in honor of Earth Day, I celebrated 30 days of ZooFit and discussed all the many ways we can Eat Clean, Live Green, and Train Positive. This month I want to explore one of my pillars of ZooFit a little closer and focus on connecting to the earth in healthy ways with Experience Nature.

June is a perfect month to celebrate and explore, too. Farmers Markets are starting up, beach and hiking weather looms around us, flowers in bloom (yay allergies!), days getting longer, summer solstice. I just got a job as a park aide for the state parks, so I will be enjoying the outdoors more and more myself.

I have big plans this summer for being outdoors and my health:

  • Biking more (perhaps a few rides to work)
  • Swimming at Goss Lake or even the Puget Sound
  • Gardening and growing tons of veggies
  • Experimenting with our farm share produce and my garden veggies to eat greener, healthier, and closer to home
  • Park stories
  • Outdoor ZooFit workouts
  • Getting my CrossFit classes outside
  • Finding my own peace and my own place with the outdoors

Today was almost a rocky start to the 30 Days experiment. I thought it would be perfect, since my family went on a weekend getaway to Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. What a great way to start 30 Days of Experiencing Nature.

Only, we didn’t get outside much today. This morning I did a super quick rowing workout at home. I took my car in for an oil change, came home, washed the car off, finished packing, and hopped in the car to catch the 12:30 ferry to Port Townsend. Arriving in Port Townsend, we found a place to eat lunch and then hit the road toward Lake Crescent.

Once we arrived, I was feeling cranky, irritable, and overall discontent. I don’t know what exactly what was wrong. I had plenty of sleep. I even caught a quick nap on the way to the lodge. I had a good lunch and drank plenty of water. What was going on?

After checking in, I thought we would go for a little walk around the resort. It’s in the old Olympic forest, and on a beautiful lake, who wouldn’t want to go for a stroll? But everyone wanted to sit inside and talk. No big deal, I like talking too, but I was feeling the discontent taking a strong hold on my overall psyche. It was visible to my family as well.

I shook off a couple “What’s wrong?” questions and socialized for a bit. Then I stood up and just announced, “I’m going for a run.”

It wasn’t an invitation. I just knew I needed to get outside for a little bit. I found a short trail called the Moments in Time Trail, which claimed to be a .6 mile loop. I jogged to the trail, and was instantly a lot calmer, a lot less stressed out, and a bit more energized and focused.

You know, Henry David Thoreau once said “I went to the woods because… I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow of life.” He never told us going to the woods would calm our shit!

I jogged around the trail twice. It didn’t feel like more than a mile. It was short, sweet, and just the dose I needed. I don’t know if it was the alone time, the exercise, or being outdoors, but I felt a lot better afterwards. It could have been a combination of all three. I am an introvert and being around people is incredibly draining for me. I re-energize by spending time alone. I have also been on a huge exercise streak, where I have sustained a cardio workout for an average of thirty minutes every day, so the exercise was probably something my body was literally craving. And I think psychologically, my mind needed to go outside. I mean, why else did we come to the Olympics if not to experience nature?

I came back to my family, changed clothes and went to dinner. I was in a much better mood and able to joke about my crankiness earlier.

I really like our hotel, except a couple annoyances like no WiFi in the rooms. They have a plaque explaining their sustainability practices. Compostable cups, signs encouraging us to unplug and turn off lights, and a recycling bin in our room. They also don’t have any televisions. I didn’t even notice that until my parents mentioned it. There are games in the lodge lobby, and yard games like badminton and croquet for anyone to use. There are kayaks to rent, tours to sign up to take, and tons of trails. We don’t need a stinking TV. Nature is our entertainment this weekend, and I intend to live deep indeed.

 

 

Eat Good Fat, Get Fit

I’ve been reading quite a few books helping me in my quest to find a perfect Eating Green model. So far, I’m finding that a little more difficult than I anticipated. My research and experience is showing there is no “perfect model”, but taking a little from each program and expert I discover. Continue reading Eat Good Fat, Get Fit

Meal Prep: It’s What’s For Dinner

If someone were to ask me for my number one recommendation for eating healthy and having the largest positive impact on the planet, I would deeply consider telling them about Meal Prepping. Continue reading Meal Prep: It’s What’s For Dinner

ZooFat to ZooFit

I felt I had a lot in common with Drew Manning. Well, I wasn’t a personal trainer who couldn’t figure out why my clients didn’t get it. But I was a zookeeper who couldn’t figure out why it was so hard to convey conservation messages to zoo visitors. Continue reading ZooFat to ZooFit

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 25- The Creation of ZooFit

How did ZooFit become ZooFit? Why do I call it ZooFit? It’s story time, folks. Who doesn’t love a good origin story?  Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 25- The Creation of ZooFit

30 Days of ZooFit: Day 22- Everyday is Earth Day

There are few exciting holidays for zookeepers. Christmas and Thanksgiving are often spent with our fur/feather/scaled families because, guess what? Animals have to eat. Daily. It’s weird, I know. But such is life of a zookeeper.

Know what holidays zookeepers DO get excited over? April 22. Earth Day. It’s not exactly celebrated by everyone, but it is an important day for zookeepers. Earth Day is the one day out of the year everyone gets to be a zookeeper and care for the planet. Continue reading 30 Days of ZooFit: Day 22- Everyday is Earth Day