Saturday, July 27, 2013

Strength Training in the Wilderness

Workout setting
I thought I was off the hook.  Danny Dreyer, in Chi Running, states “I don’t recommend strength training for runners.”  Whew!  Then he goes on to state, “unless they are over 50.”  Damn. 

So what does one do for strength training when one lives in a 32-ft. trailer with neither the space nor the weight rating to carry weight equipment?  What does one do for strength training when the nearest gym is 35 minutes away and the work schedule is not conducive to being out of the campground?  Hey, wait a minute!  I have those resistance bands I got from Wells Fargo.  If only I knew how to use them.

Enter personal trainer Reggie Jewkes.  She prepared a training session for me using resistance bands, and gave me very specific instructions on how to perform the exercises – including the high - medium - low of where to secure the resistance bands.
We had a funny experience when we worked together on exactly how to do the exercises.  First she broke one of the resistance bands.  We laughed.  Then I broke the other band.  We laughed even harder.  I guess you just can’t trust exercise equipment given out by a bank.  She let me borrow her bands and we finished the session.  I bought new resistance bands at a sporting goods store.

Turns out Warm River Campground has some ideal locations for securing the bands high, medium and low.  It’s right out front – near the kiosk where our customers stop.  Yes, I've had a few strange looks as fishermen passed by, but for the most part people smile and wave.  And for the most part, I get to work out in a beautiful setting.  No gym?  No problem!  

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Top 10 Things I Learned from the Wasatch Training Group

Last Fall I decided to take my running up a notch and join a training group sponsored by Wasatch Running Center.  It was a fabulous experience.  Here’s what I learned in the first session.

#10. There’s no bad weather; only improper gear.  We tested this theory to nine degrees on one winter run.  The thermal pants held up well, but I had to put on ski mittens over my running gloves.  Next year – spikes in my old shoes for those icy paths.

#9. Don’t try this on race day.  This means anything new.  New shoes, new clothes, new sports drink, new chews, gels or goos.  OK, I still haven’t embraced gels or goos, but my new running pants have two small pockets for them – just in case I get brave enough to try.  But not on race day.

#8.  Shoulda carried water.  I’ve learned that I can run about three miles without re-hydrating.  Now that I’m regularly running further than that, I carry water.  My Amphipod hydration belt (available from Wasatch Running of course) has four small bottles.  I usually carry two. 

#7.  It’s more fun to run with a group.  The group encourages me on our runs and inspires me to get up early for those long runs and to put on the warm weather gear for those winter runs – when I’d really rather be sitting at home sipping coffee in my robe and slippers.

#6. The right shoes make a difference.  And in my case, the right arch supports (Superfeet) took me out of the pain zone after long runs.  And it’s OK for your running shoes to be two sizes bigger than your regular shoes.  Get over it.

#5.  I am an athlete.  I have a training schedule.  I have a wonderful group of people to train with.  I have teams.  And I have a fabulous coach!

#4.  I like to win races.  When I first started running I didn't think I was very competitive.  Turns out I am.  Good thing I’m in an old enough age group that I can win a few.  

#3.  Every runner in the Wasatch Training Group in my age group is faster than I am.  They inspire me to push myself to pace with them – at least for a little while.

#2.  Runners are inspiring people.  I've met people who have overcome addition through running.  I've met people who have lost weight through running.  I've met people who run to honor loved ones lost, to support cancer survivors, and to raise money to fight dreaded diseases. 

#1.  I smile when I run. :)

Thanks, Brian, for organizing and keeping the Wasatch Training Group going.  Can’t wait to join next fall’s session!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The Story of Frank

Paul worked for Fred when he was in college, and during those years Fred became a father figure, mentor and friend.  Even after they stopped working together, Fred considered Paul a part of his extended family.  Paul and Fred bowled together; in fact, our first date was to their league’s bowling banquet.  This was when I met Fred.

We lost track of Fred over the years.  We moved.  He moved.  We found him again two years ago when we read that his wife, JoAnn, had died in an ATV accident on August 5, 2011.  Paul called him immediately.  We attended the memorial service.  We were re-acquainted with Fred’s children and met his grandchildren and several of JoAnn’s sisters.
For the next 8 months Paul made it a point to see Fred once a week.  He came to dinner.  They went to lunch.  They went fishing.  Fred once told me, “I was there for Paul when he needed me, and now Paul is here for me when I need him.”

Fred’s health began to decline.  When he could no longer drive, Paul would pick him up for their outings.  On April 3, 2012, Paul called Fred to see if they were still on for lunch.  Fred answered from the hospital.  They chatted briefly.  An hour later, Fred’s daughter called Paul to let him know that Fred had died.

Fred didn't want a memorial service.  The family held a small gathering to celebrate his life.  During the service, Fred’s daughter gave Paul a beautiful, hand-carved walking stick with a leather handle and the name “Frank” engraved below the handle.  Fred had told us the story of the walking stick.  It had been made by an old friend who never did get Fred’s name right.  It became a joke between them, and Fred had treasured the walking stick named Frank.

We assured Fred’s daughters and son that we would take Frank on our adventures.  So now, when you see a photo of Paul with a walking stick named Frank, you know who it is we think of with fondness and gratitude.