Monday, July 22, 2013

A repeat performance

Last year, to commemorate the end of our Spring 2012 "Live Life Active" campaign, Sheri and I did a Bike Ride as a way to show our members different ways to do fitness. You'll have to read the post to see how it went last year.

So we decided to do it again, on the anniversary this year, and..............OOPS! I had to take my newer bike in (the road/hybrid one) for a repair. I kept having problems with it staying in gear, and the chain kept slipping. One night, as Sheri and I went for a practice ride, we weren't even a mile in and CHONKINGY! went my bike. I could not put it into a new gear at all. In fact, I couldn't even ride it. I had to push it back to her house --- not a bad idea since 15 minutes later, the skies opened and it all fell out. I took it to a bike shop near work, sure that it was the chainrings, and dreading the cost. You see I'd checked them out online that night and HOLY COW! I could buy a new bike for that price. As it all turned out, my bigger problem was that my rear wheel was completely warped. Solved that problem right away!

So we got in a couple of practice rides, but not as many as last year. We had a better idea of the time we'd need and were able to shave about 20-30 minutes off last year's pace. So we met again at 5:00 ... got on the road around 5:10, and at 5:11 I'm yelling, "SHERI!!! BIG PROBLEM!!!" My rear tire was flat. HOW did I not check that? HOW did we not even notice? A few quick pumps of the pump that Tommy had in their car and we were on our way. No noticeable holes or leaks, just ... flat. And all went VERY well. No other freaky occurrences. No other mechanical failures. No handlebars coming apart or The Beast Bike to have to control. Ah yes, much much much better than last year's little battles. And all continued to be very well.

We made it to Clemson and got on the sidewalks, rather than disrupt traffic .... only to discover that the sidewalks in a certain section did NOT have the little ramp entrances and exits.... just the bump up and bump down. Bam -- OUCH!!! and down OOF!!! For about a quarter-mile, that was all I felt. I was already in a bit of pain because my gel seat cover had kept slipping off until I finally took it off at the place where we took a water break. I hadn't worn the padded shorts because I thought the seat cover would suffice..... That's what I get, right?

We got to our destination EXACTLY in the time we had projected. How cool is that?

And I can't wait to get back out on the road on my cycle again! I don't know that I will revisit the Virginia Creeper Trail this year -- may try a new one this fall. My other plan is to do some camping with my dog -- and to take my bike!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

A Tale of Tenny-Shoes

I had no idea that I had gone so long between posts....... June was a very busy month but a great one. In early June, WW had a "FitParty" day to end our spring Live Life Active campaign. I got to help out with one of our local events and we had a great time. We did hula-hooping, Zumba with coined hip-scarves (even doing routines with more of a Mediterranean/bellydance flair instead of Latin flavored), and a quickie yoga session.

But the one talk/presentation that I got the most out of was a presentation about shoes. You see, I have about 3 pairs of tennis shoes -- they are not sneakers, they are not gym shoes, they are TENNIS SHOES. And for some of us who speak Southernese, it's actually "tenny shoes"  (pronounced "tinny"). I've worn good ol' tinny-shoes for years on end, but I couldn't tell you the last time I had bought a new pair. A fitness seminar I took this spring had a great reminder from our leader: "if you can't remember the last time you bought new athletic shoes, you need a new pair." Rut-roh Raggy. She was right. I couldn't remember...... All three had heavy heel erosion on the sole, and one pair (a nice pair of mesh Adidas running shoes) had even worn a hole right at the left big toe. The last pair I bought was a knock-off pair of the Reebok rock-n-toners that were all the rage a few years ago, and honestly, I bought them to keep at the office for when I could walk on lunch hour.

About 18 months ago, I had a severe shooting, stabbing pain in my left foot, searing across the top from the middle section just below the big toe, diagonally up to just below my little toe. OUCHIE! I was doing a calf raise, so this didn't exactly help matters when you're trying to stand on the balls of your feet. By April, it was no better. My lymphedema therapist's husband is a physical therapist and avid runner, and he was speaking to me about it .... suddenly, he mashed on my foot and I nearly came off the table. He suggested I get checked for a stress fracture. And I did just that. Luckily, nothing broken but they gave me a beauty of a velcro boot to wear for a couple of weeks. Eventually the pain went away, unless I overdid things, such as walk more than about 2 miles. Or stand for long periods of time. Recently, it was getting to the point that if I walked my normal route (between 1.5 and 2.0 miles), I would have to take the next day off. Step cardio? RIGHT. That would earn me at least 2 days off.

And then came Dane, from the store, to speak to us about the right shoe. What he said began to intrigue me, and I made a note to myself that I would have to check them out and see what they said about new shoes. It took me about 3 weeks to actually get over there one Friday after work, and it just so happened, he was the one who helped me out. Found out that I need a "stability shoe" (a little extra heavy-duty foam in certain sections) in order to support my feet and ankles properly. So after trying on eleventy pairs, the first ones were the best. Awesome shoes from Brooks, and so far, ten days later, my feet are thanking me.

You see, when you aren't in pain as you walk, do step, or any other activity, it inspires you to want to keep doing it. It makes you WANT to lace up those shoes. It makes you want to put a spring in your step and know that you can do the same the next day. And so far -- yeah, I'm doing more!

And my other shoes? Well, what I'm thinking is that there's always someone else who can use them. They are still good shoes to cover your feet, just not optimal for running or workouts. So I plan to donate them to a charity that shoes the homeless or needy. Not that I couldn't just toss them in the Goodwill bag, but something is telling me to give them away instead. I won't ignore that voice.

And I'm loving my new tenny-shoes. A very SNAZZY purple with lime green laces. Oh yeah! That's me! :)