No, I have not taken up running marathons… yet (or ever). But it seems to me like each weekend in the last few months, especially since I started working full time has been what can be best described as a 48 hour endurance test. If you are on this site much at all you are all too aware that I ran a 10k race yesterday. What you are not aware of is that I got home and rode my bike out to the end of the Jackson Park Trail and back. It’s actually about 11k (the map won’t let me cut through the Fleming parking lot) and I went at a pretty decent pace.
I posted that on my facebook and one of my friends commented that I was crazy – “So after all that hard work through the mud run, you decided you need to do more to your body and biked 10 k for the hell of it? You're officially adrenaline crazy!” I replied and said “I didn't do more "to" my body, I did more "for" my body”.
Today I had planned to go to the gym in the morning, but got sidelined by helping to put cupboard doors back on the kitchen cabinets. So I went without the gym and played paintball for a couple of hours, which is not an intense workout, but there is running, and sweating and trying to control breathing and such. I came home and ran some errands then before dinner set out on my bike again on that same Jackson Park trek, but as I got to the 3rd bridge, just over a kilometre away from the end of the trail, I hopped off the bike, and ran to the end, hopping the gate that keeps cars and snowmobiles off the trail of course. Then I ran back to my bike (hopping the gate again obviously) and biked back (stopping at the grocery store on the way).
Tomorrow, since it’s a holiday, the plan is to start off with the gym, leg day, and then later in the evening go and do karate for an hour or two. It’s a lot by some standards to be put into a weekend, but it is pretty much standard faire around here these days.
Typically, in the last two months at least, I would run Saturday morning before karate, then go to karate, during the time I was running just 5k and 8k I would go to the gym after karate and then have a short bike ride in the afternoon. The last month or so it’s been a longer bike ride, about 36k out to Lakefield for ice cream and then back home. On Sunday it would be going to the gym with Amber before we’d even eaten a real breakfast and then a bike ride in the afternoon, sometimes to Lakefield if I went somewhere else on the Saturday before, sometimes out toward Omemee.
So Why? Why do it, and what makes it important? Partly its one of those ‘because I can’ things I think. Partly its because I’m not at the gym as much as I used to be of late due to work (though I am still doing a minimum of four workouts a week). I think mostly though its because being fit, or even being on a path to fitness, begets doing more fitness type things. I enjoy being out and about on my bike, I enjoy running, I enjoy being at the gym. I get a feeling of accomplishment out of it. What is important about it is the shift that has happened, even in my activities from a year ago when I was entering into, um, fitnesshood(?). At that time I would do my 1.5-2 hours at the gym and then play video games all the rest of the day and maybe a short walk in the evening. Now I choose to put my body to the test any time that I can, TV and video games are for when going outside and doing something is not an option.
It’s a long road to fitness, especially if you start on that road around where I started, but the drive gets better and more interesting the longer you pursue it.