Last week was a complete “let-off-of-the-gas” week. So I was determined to make this week a good exercise week, despite traveling to Albuquerque (ABQ) for work. It’s always tougher to stay in a routine when you travel. You’re eating different food (usually it’s fast food or restaurant food), you’re sleeping in a different bed, you’re schedule is different in that you’re trying to squeeze in fight within the week (with security you have to be at the airport 1-1/2 to 2 hours early), and the finally, you can be dealing with a time change (in my case only it’s an hour earlier but if you want to get a workout done before work, you have to back everything up by an hour). Some folks are better at adjusting to these things than others. Me? I have to really make a conscious effort to adjust / look for opportunities.
I had an early flight today (to get to ABQ as early as I could) but there are no direct flights from Tucson to ABQ. Seems I have a choice, depending on airlines, of stopping in Las Vegas, Dallas or Phoenix. I choose Phoenix which required a layover of about 3 hours. While I’m at the airport, I’m on worktime (my email is piling up, because the work day has started, with questions from various people I support and I have to deliver a Monday report that drives the conversation for week). After reviewing/answering emails and releasing my report, I still had about 30 mins to walk while waiting for the boarding time. So I took advantage and walked to different terminals. I only logged 15 mins and ½ a mile for the day. I was happy just to be able to put a mark on the board.
I rose early and went down to the hotel exercise room hoping to get on a walking machine. At 5:30AM in the morning, the place was packed and there wasn’t a machine to be had – inconceivable! So I decided to walk the streets of Uptown Albuquerque. It was brisk outside (440 F) and I was wearing only a T-shirt and shorts but the walk quickly warmed me up. I walked for 40 mins and gave myself credit for 2 miles.
Skipped – I have my early morning meeting on Wednesday and it seems I’m always getting ready for it to just-before it starts. “Hump-Day” is truly a hump for me to get over in my current role.
I managed to get a hotel walking machine this morning but was pressed for time (I hadn’t slept well the last couple of nights and slept in a bit today). I only had 30 mins. and the machine said I walked 1.6 miles, so I rounded down to log 1.5 for the day. I fly back home again tonight. Will be glad to be back home.
Home again and back into my routine. I work a 9/80 schedule at work which means I have every-other Friday off (by working eight 9 hour days and one 8 hour day, I work 80 hours in 9 days). Anyway, today is an off-Friday so I knew I had all the time needed to get a 5 mile walk in today. Only problem is I didn’t get out the door until 7:30AM and it was already 710 F (with only 24% humidity –it’ a dry heat) – not bad but with clear skies and a bright AZ sun, things are already starting to cook. In the 1-1/2 hours it took me to walk, the temperature rose by 100 (and the humidity dropped to 21%). We’re hitting some records for heat for this time of year. It’ll be a lot better for my future longer walks if I can get out the door 30 mins ahead of sunrise.
I hatched a plan to do a 3 mile walk today and another 5 mile walk tomorrow. I hope to chalk up some miles this week to make up for my slump last week. Three miles today and five tomorrow will give me a total of 17 miles for the week. That’s one mile less in week 6 than in week 4 but it’ll be the first week where I’ve done two five milers in one week. Some progress. However, given the Grand Canyon Rim2Rim is a little more than 22 miles, I’m walking less miles in a week than I hope to do in a day just 22 weeks from now. I have a lot of work to do.
According to plan, I walked 5 miles today. To “shake things up a bit” I walked my 5 mile loop in reverse today. You have to wonder, “What difference does that make?” It means I started out going uphill instead of starting with a relatively flat start. In fact, it puts the first 1-1/4 miles of my walk uphill. I noticed the difference was in the tightening of my calves – in fact, I had to stop and stretch them out at one point. I know this is something I’ll have to deal with when walking mostly uphill for at least half of the canyon. (What kind of half-baked idea is this anyway?) Next week I start physical therapy (PT)… I hope that PT will help me build strength in my right leg and at the same time will loosen me up some (I’ve always have been prone with tight muscles – more water, more stretching is needed).
Pictures of the week –
This is the Palo Verde blooming time of the year. Palo Verde is Spanish for “green stick” and this time of year these green sticks put out millions of yellow blooms. Turns out, I’m very allergic to these blooms. Over a period of about a month, these blooms fall from their green sticks and litter the ground with a golden splash of color. It’s kind of pretty in a way – but it’s kinda like the most beautiful and brilliant frogs are the most poisonous – they are beautiful but dangerous (at least to someone allergic to them). And, silly me, I have one of the largest Palo Verde’s in my own front yard.
I once had a “brilliant” idea to use a blower to blow all the fallen yellow blooms into a pile that could be more easily picked up. What I really did was put a boatload of yellow green stick crap (okay pollen) into the air and I got so sick (swollen face, eyes, difficulty breathing) that it took me a 1-1/2 days to recover. So now, I treat the blossoms with respect. When I deal with them (after the last yellow blossom has fallen from my tree) I practically put on a “hazmat suit” so I can rake them up.
It hasn’t helped that this is also the windiest time of the year, so everyone in this area is suffering. The pictures below are some of the “green sticks” along my walking path and of the one in my front yard. I’ve also included some pics that Babs took of our blooming cactus. This cactus knows what it’s doing to deal with the heat, its blooms only come out at night.