Piss Poor Preparation Produces Piss Poor Performance ( 7 P's )

It seems that a large majority of life is spent planning and preparing. In a lot of situations, there is more time spent in anticipation of events than the actual event itself. This has been the story of my life the past couple of days (hence, my lack of blogging...well, that and nothing really eventful has been going on).

One of the primary things I have been preparing for is the main topic of my husband's blog, the Timberman Half Ironman on August 22. Over the past three days, I have finally been on an upswing with my illness, so I have been taking advantage of it. I ran an easy three miles on Friday, just to get my legs going again. Yesterday, Ben and I had planned to do 55 miles on the bike, but considering the most we had ever biked before was 33 miles, and I was just coming off an illness, we decided to chop it down to 45 miles. It was great to find out that I hadn't lost much in the way of cardiovascular conditioning or endurance in my legs, but oh man, does biking really make me hungry. About half way through, we stopped at our usual spot, a little convenience store on the Minuteman bike path, and picked up some snacks and drinks. There is also a bike shop across the street from the store where Benny took his bike for a quick fix up (he was having derailleur issues and needed his rear wheel trued). From there, we continued on our way and decided to take a slightly different route home to make sure we got all our miles in. Riding in the Boston area is funny. The city itself is pretty flat and has pot hole riddled streets. As you bike further from the city, the street quality improves, traffic decreases, and the hills get bigger. The latter is my idea of ideal, but Benny still struggles with hills. As a result of that and his distaste for his new saddle, we had to rest frequently during the second half of our workout. The only con of the workout for me is some lingering knee pain I acquired. It didn't bother me during the ride, but shortly after, it was excruciating. It had me tossing and turning for the better part of last night. I have had IT band issues with running in the past, but have never had any sort of injuries as a result of biking. It is really frustrating that it just sorta snuck up on me like this and did not even have any warning signs. It is a lot better now, but I still decided to take a day off anyways. No need to try to overdo it this close to race day.

Benny and I are also preparing for visitors that we will have over the next one to two months, which means a lot of well over due cleaning. In a couple of days, my aunt and uncle are coming to Boston for a conference, so we're hoping to get together while they are here. My mom is also coming for a visit sometime in September.

Finally, I go back to work on Aug. 2, so I need to prepare mentally by spending lots and lots of time sitting on the couch and watching TV. Actually, as much as people joke about disliking their jobs (or as much as people are actually serious about disliking their jobs), I love mine. I am really excited to go back to work and can't wait to see all of my coworkers, the coaches and athletes again.

Also, you ask and you shall receive (unless you ask for money, then no). Here was my core workout for this past week. I have not yet figured out what I am going to do this coming week. With all of the exercises, I focused on doing them slow and controlled while focusing on contracting my abs.

#1 - Common crunch: Knees bent, Hands behind head, Contract abs and lift upper body off of the ground (not going all of the way up)

#2 - Bicycle crunch: Start with hips and knees at 90/90, Hands behind head, Lift upper body off of the ground, Move legs in a cycling motions while touching alternate elbows to knees (left elbow to right knee, then right elbow to left knee)
Not me!

#3 - Pikes: Start with arms straight on ground above head, Legs straight on the ground, Keeping knees straight, bring both legs up together until hips are bent to 90deg., While doing this, bring arms and upper body up to touch toes. Instead of returning all of the way to the starting position, stop with arms and legs about six inches off of the ground, hold for one second and repeat. This was by far the hardest exercise that I did this week. It was also the exercise that I felt worked my abs the most.

Starting position (again, not me)

The finishing position (artist rendition of someone who looks
like me but isn't me)

#4 - Pendulums (I couldn't come up with a better name): Start with arms straight on ground to your side, Knees straight and hips flexed to 90deg., Slowly lower both legs to one side until they are about six inches off of the ground and hold for one second before returning to the start position. Repeat on the opposite side. This exercise could work just as well within a smaller range of motion (don't go all the way down to 6 inches) if low back pain is an issue. This along with the bicycle crunches really work the oblique muscles.
Finishing position (also, not me)

All pictures I acquired from Google Images, so please don't sue me.


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