So, this past holiday weekend, in between multiple Thanksgiving gatherings, I took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent some time making progress on planking the bridge across the narrow end of our pond.
Everything about the bridge has been reclaimed from the scrap heap. The telephone poles that span the banks were delivered free from a friend of mine who works for an electric company. The boards used to plank the bridge were a mixture of reclaimed pallet boards and various odds and ends that I scrounged from a big junk pile that came with the property that I’ve slowly been tearing apart. Overall, I’ve been able to get about 80% across and it’s cost me nothing but sweat and muscle. Still need to pull about 7 more pallets apart, use the wood to plank the remainder of the bridge, sand everything down and put some sealer on it.
Now that the Route 66 5K is over and most of my winter preparation chores are complete, I figured it was a good project and metaphor to subconsciously begin thinking about transitioning into some new goals.
The winter months have always been a time of rest and relaxation for me. I usually spend my time watching movies with the family, reading books by the fire, and doing everything I can to go to bed early and catch up on some sleep. I also try to pick some sort of writing project and exercise regimen to work on just to keep my creative and physical muscles moving.
Here are some of the new things I’m shooting for:
Running – I plan on continuing my progress and slowly furthering my distance up to 10K. I’ve put together a running schedule for the next 8 weeks that I think will get me there. In addition to increasing my mileage, I’m also adding in a few days of light cross training to try to strengthen my ankles and legs a bit more for the longer distances.
Writing – I’m still working on getting this screenplay over the finish line. I’ve not been as disciplined in my writing as I have been in my running, but I have put together a schedule that I think will get me to THE END by the first of the year, possibly sooner if I buckle down or get a long weekend to focus on it.
Reading – I’m currently reading Digital Fortress by Dan Brown. I’ve got about 50 pages left to go and then I’ll pick up the next book on my reading list. My goal is to read 4 to 5 novels over the next few months as well as a stack of non-fiction books on gardening and a few memoirs from fellow farmers.
2018 Goals – every year I take the month of December and try to set some yearly goals for myself, so over the next few weeks I’ll be thinking through and writing down some bigger goals for the coming year (more to come in a future post).
Well…I have to admit, my first race in over 3 years went a LOT better than I expected. My wife and I ran the Route 66 5K Saturday and I beat my time goal by a minute. I was shooting for an even 30 minutes flat and clocked in at 29:05.
No injuries, cardio felt decent, and I hit my time goal even with there being more hills than I expected.
I call it a win.
So, now I have to build on my momentum and start working toward a new goal. I think rather than pushing my distance a bit farther right now, I am going to train for one more 5K and try and get my time down. This will allow me to get a good base in place and stabilize my core muscles a bit more before upping the distance.
The plan is to add one more day of running in the mix and then supplement the days off with a light bit of cross training. Now I just need to find my next race. 🙂
Spent part of the morning harvesting the remaining block of fall spinach.
That about concludes the major gardening activities for 2017. As such, we’ve officially turned the chickens loose into the garden to have at whatever they can find and scratch up.
The garden’s not the prettiest sight at the moment with everything nearing its end, but it’s a reminder that we have a good first year’s harvest put away in the pantry for the winter and a time for thanksgiving and rest is coming very soon.
I think one of the best parts about growing your own food is how you get to connect to the cycles of the year at a deep level. There’s just something about it that feeds your soul. Not only that, but you also have the opportunity to truly embrace holidays such as Thanksgiving where you can reflect and appreciate the fruits of your labor and the gifts of the garden.
Now that most of our harvesting is complete, I’ll spend the next week or so cleaning up the plants that are left, adding a bit of compost to the plot, and mulching everything in preparation for the winter. It’s one last act of love given back to the soil that has provided us so much this year.
Got a nice surprise this morning when I jumped on the scale after an easy 15 minute run on the treadmill. Three days until the race and I’ve hit my weight goal. May actually be under 200 by the time Saturday rolls around.
Next goal is to be at a total of 20 lbs lost (196) by Thanksgiving.
Spent quite a bit of time this weekend picking up and chopping firewood in preparation for the winter ahead. We don’t get too harsh of winters here in Oklahoma, but they are cold enough that we try to stack 2-3 ricks each year just in case.
Can’t wait to sit by a warm fire and read novels all winter. 🙂
The work is done. Yesterday, we ran our final long run of this training cycle and now it’s time to slow down a bit and rest for the coming week in preparation for the race on Saturday.
Overall, things have gone better than I expected. My Achilles didn’t flare up and cause any problems the entire time and I’ve managed to drop weight without feeling hungry. I consider it a win all around.
Here’s the training log for the past week:
Monday: 28 mins
Wednesday: 30 mins
Saturday: 3.2 miles
It’s been almost 3 years since I ran a race. Needless to say, I’m pretty excited to cross the finish line once again.