Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A two week vacation - What a bad idea!

I just got back from a two week trip with the kids to Yosemite and San Francisco. It was fun and I somehow convinced myself that I was working out and staying fit. Woe is me, was I kidding myself?

Yes, I did some stretching, some pushups and situps, and swam some laps in a pool. But here's the $64 question, how big a difference is there between the sort of casual workouts that I was doing and what is required to "keep me in the game"? How much a setback will that two weeks be?

On vacation, I often did two sets of twenty pushups and situps with three minutes of stretching. I used weight machines twice. I swam three times. I did a cardio machine (eliptical twice - which was in a friend's private gym and yoga studio in the woods but that's another story).

Unfortunately, based on my struggles in class tonight (Monday night), that turns out to not to have been enough. I'm not nearly limber enough and I've lost the cardio that that was getting me thru the classes with some grace. There were alot of kicking drills and I looked a lot worse for wear. I was more than a little embarassed in front of the green belt that I was paired with.

(written later) Tuesday night, I got to class a full 45 minutes early to be fully limbered up. The good news is that either this was an easier class or I'm closer to being shape that I thought. There were line drills and I seemed to hold up fine.

I did struggle with the new kata - XMA chuck form one - which is annoying since I had been proud of my chuck handling. I keep confusing the 5 count and 6 count parts.

Wednesday morning - a little litmus test - let's do a timed one mile run. At the half, I had 4:15 which really pissed me since I was hoping for 8 minutes. Galvanized with a little self-fury (who says negative energy isn't useful), I pumped out an even 8 minute mile. Smile. Fortunately, there was no class Weds night (testing) because even with the stretching afterwards and a lot of hydration (excuse me while I make another quick run out), I was very stiff Wendesday night.

And it's now Thursday morning and I'm very focused on sparing tonight. Will I be back in the game? I ran and stretched again this morning. First half was an even four minutes and I relaxed on the way back to finish at 8:02. Drink, drink, stretch, stretch. We'll see about tonight.

This is a public blog, not a personal diary. Why would anyone else care about my times and the struggles of middle aged guy trying to stay in black belt shape? I'm not sure anyone would. If they did, it would because they too struggle with balancing somewhat conflicting desires. There are only 24 hours in a day. We do need vacations. Injuries do happen. Extreme training is great fun but can it be fit into a normal life? How much freedom am and relaxation am I willing to give up to stay competitive? I know that I'm out of the up-and-running-5-miles-at-6am routine that I was in 2003-04 and that I will take vacations to get dedicated time with the kids. But this question of struggling to find a balance in the question that I'm exploring at the nitty gritty level here. Looking forward, I hope to explore the nutritional side of this since I know so little and I'm hoping to make it work for me.

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