Sunday, June 23, 2013

Home Improvements and a Special Challenge Announcement

Exciting news! The new windows and slider have arrived. They look fantastic. Seth coordinated the day-long install.

Here you can see they from the outside. In addition to putting in the new windows, siding was added to the previously painted wood area between the two windows.

Here are the windows from the inside. They are double paned, which is a huge improvement. They also feature a double hinge and the crank handle folds back to fit against the window frame.

While we were installing the windows (which was mandated by our condo association), we also decided to install a new slider. Our slider, like the windows, was original to the house and was in somewhat rough shape. We were losing a lot of heat in the winter through the slider, plus it wasn't as secure as we would like.

The new slider is my favorite addition to the house!

I especially love the exposed pine frame. We have the option to paint it, but I think we're going to leave it as is. The wood looks nice with the pellet stove and exposed brick wall. 

 Lily was not impressed by the entire project. Poor lady had to spend the entire day in the basement for her personal safety. Though Seth stayed with her the entire time and provided her with food, water, and the litter box, she was most displeased.

 She has, fortunately, fully recovered. (No one doubted she would.) And has already put a nice little nick in the slider's screen with her claws. (The man from the Home Depot who assured me the screens would be cat proof obviously doesn't own a pet.)

In addition to the excitement about the windows, there has been an unrelated but exciting development. I've signed up for the New England Tough Mudder on August 11! Yes, I know I said that Tough Mudder was out after the terrible customer service experience I had. However, I've been really wanting to do it, and an amazing deal on LivingSocial swayed me. Signed up with the LivingSocial voucher was actually cheaper than what I had originally paid in January for the Boston race. 

As you can tell, the race is a short six weeks away. My original training schedule was for almost double that time, so I had to shorten things up.

The most important aspect, I think, will be building up my endurance. With two OCRs under my belt, I have an idea of what to expect from the obstacles. I think that keeping up my strength will be important, but I should be okay in this area. I hope to do more plyometric work, since I know that jumping will be involved for some of the obstacles on the course.

My overall thinking thought is that being able to keep going is going to be key. For that sort of endurance training, long runs are best. I'm planning to take these long runs at a moderate pace and use run/walk intervals, as the idea is to spend time out there exercising and moving more than to train for a race. I'll be covering anywhere from 10 to 12 miles doing the Tough Mudder, so my running plan is inspired by a half marathon training plan.

The workouts from Insanity, Asylum, and Asylum 2 are to keep up my strength and agility. I feel good about how I think my fitness is in these areas, so this is basically just to keep me in top form. I might swap out some P90X if I feel like it. I don't feel like I have to stick rigidly to these workouts. My choice of using Insanity and the Asylum workouts is based on the fact that these both use more body-weight exercises versus the hand-weights with P90X. Since obstacle course racing is all about functional movement with your body, I think the focus of the Insanity and Asylum workout will work better for training.

My main focus though, is going to be making sure I get in all my runs, especially the long ones, so that my endurance will be at its best. I've been sticking to runs of under 5 miles for a while, and most of my workouts are around an hour, so I'm definitely going to need to build up.

I'm also taking care to watch my right hip. I had been having pain there, which the orthopedist diagnosed as tendonitis. This is good news because I don't need to curtail any of my physical activity. I have to take the occasional ibuprofen, but more importantly I have to foam roll. I've been foam rolling everyday, and especially on days when I run (and my hips get a lot of use). This is definitely helping and making a big difference. I want to keep healthy as I train for the big day. I can't wait!

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