Friday, March 29, 2013

Shirt Free Club

I was that guy in high school and college that would always hope for "shirts" rather than "skins" when playing sports.  It wasn't that I was prude, I'm just svelte, okay skinny, and didn't need to prove that I didn't have chest hair.

Yet I spent hours without a shirt because I worked at summer camps and was the Waterfront Director for years.  I spent my summers wearing a swim suit and no shirt and will have skin cancer as my proof. 

I'm fine in the pool or beach without a shirt but out in "public" just isn't my style. 

So, this week I was running and had even looked at the weather when choosing shorts and long sleeve top.  I headed out on my run and was surprised by two things, first it was sunny and second it was warm.  These are things that shock us in the Pacific North West.  I instantly regretted not wearing sunglasses and about seven minutes later, I regretted wearing a long sleeve top.  For the next mile, I tried to push sleeves up and get comfortable but eventually I gave up.

In a move that would have been more fun to watch than do, while still running, I took off my top, forgot to take off my headphones, tangled everything, untangled things, tied the shirt around my waist, tangled my headphones, and eventually recovered and kept running.

The good news, it felt great.  Nice and cool and I felt like a vitamin D magnet.  The bad news, I wasn't preoccupied with being perceived as skinny. 

The good news is that now that I'm in my forties, I care but not that much.  I'm more focused on my comfort than that of strangers and so I'll wear things I'd never wear as a teen. 

I don't think I'll make it a habit to run without a shirt, or to start mowing the lawn without a shirt, or barbequing without a shirt or all the other things the the Shirt Free Club does.  Yet, I think I'm one step closer to becoming a member.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Perspective Changes - the Multi Purpose Trail

I use muli-purpose trails (MPT) mostly for running but occasionally for biking.  The past week my girls learned to ride without training wheels and so we've found a whole new freedom and the MPT have been a perfect way to get some miles in for them on their little bikes and for me running. 

So far we have sampled three trails and during each trip, I've kind of lost it.  The main reason is that people seem oblivious to other people when on the trial.  When I'm by myself, I kind of blow off people who are walking on one side while their god is on the other.  I'm used to big gaggles of people who walk in the center of the trail. I'm not surprised by the people who walk on the wrong side of the trail and require everyone to go around them. 

But when I have my girls with me, I kind of go into papa bear mode when people do things that cause risk to my girls.

Three cenarios.

1.  They are riding along and three bikers approach and make all sorts of comments about how cute the girls are as both groups get nearer.  My girls are riding single file on the right.  They are riding three accross.  My girls ride as close to the edge as possible, but when the front girl isn't sure she can squeze through she panics and hits her breaks, the second girl crashes into her and the girls are in a heap.  Meanwhile the group keeps riding three across with concerned looks on their faces.  As I'm untangling 5 year old girls, I shout at the riders to ride single file when approaching other riders, especially if they are kids.  No response, just keep riding.

2.  Two cyclists are riding in aero side by side on the MPT that runs along a quiet country road.  Most cyclists ride on the road but these ladies were blasting down the trail and passed without warning which startled one girl and sent her into the grass.  Sure my girls need to learn to not crash when startled, but going over 20 MPH on a MPT is a bit extreme.  Once again, I shouted at them.  What baffled me is that about 20 minutes later we met again on their return journey.  This time I saw them coming and the girls weren't surprised but they still road by in aero two across on a 8 ft trail.  Once again, yelling dad.

Okay, I know I'm not the trail police and really don't want to be.  I need to work on making sure my girls have bike skills to ride around other people which I think we have but wow, I wish people would think about others a bit more.

Any ideas on what I can do to keep from loosing it on these outings with the girls?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Pacing Help on the Run - My girls

I tried to multi-task today.  Spend time with the my girls and get a run in.  There is a nice wide multi-purpose trail near our house which I thought would be perfect for me to get a run in, hang out with the girls, and get them outside and active.

They are doing great on the bikes but are still using training wheels which at this point are causing some problems and need to come off, but that will be another post.  I think I will hold off on clipless pedals until the trainers are off.

I'm not sure what I was thinking but for some reason I thought I could go out and run a typical pace and  that I probably would need to step things up a bit to keep up.  I was about a mile into my run when it finally hit me, riding a single speed with 12" tires is a lot of work.  I typically run between 7:30 and 8 minute mile pace which is 7.5 - 8 miles per hour.  

So I let them pace me to a 11:30 pace which was fine because I  had to sprint to pick up my younger girl when she raced off the path into the deep grass.  I was amazed to see her ride it out and land on her feet.

So my pace was slow.  At mile 1.25 we stopped at a park for 20 minutes and played on the swings and monkey bars and then we turned around and went back to the car.  

I really enjoyed the run and even though it wasn't what I'd like for my workout, I'm impressed with what their little legs did and the "cross fit" workout they threw in the middle, and the triathlon talk we had on the way home.

I think I should let my girls pace my life more often.  I need to slow down and focus on what is important.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Okay, I'm spoiled a bit

You know how it feels to suddenly have a great weight lifted off your back.   I love that feeling of finally reaching camp when backpacking and how bouncy I feel for the first ten minutes.

I've had several runs lately that give me that amazing feeling.

The first was last week at Huntington Beach and it felt like summer.  I've been running in the rain and under 60 degree temps which isn't bad but running at 75 just felt awesome.  The breeze from the ocean was perfect and there was a relaxed lazy feel to the run.

I took this picture at the turn around.

Can it get better than this?
The second run was last week near Portland.  No picture, but Mt. Hood seemed close and was perfect white.  No wind and running along the Columbia River was crowded but people just seemed happy.

The final run was in Idaho.  I made my way up the gravel road with fields on both sides full of Elk.  A few elk ran along side and I ran over a mile with elk all around me.

There are times in which I really have to push myself to get out and run.  Travel and work have made my life a challenge lately but wow, I'm really spoiled.