Monday, August 31, 2009

Great weekend

This past weekend was one of the most fun of the summer. Friday night, I lifted (upper body), cooked dinner, and we watched a movie. The movie "Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden" was a bit disappointing - not nearly as funny as other stuff that Morgan Spurlock has done.

On Saturday, my wife and I ran together. We did our fastest time of the year on a hilly 8-mile loop course that we run a lot. But, it was still 9 minutes slower than I ran this course last October. My hamstring always seems to feel the same when I'm running, but my times seem to be getting faster. So, maybe there's still some healing going on in there, despite my impatience and constant complaining that I'm far from healthy.

I did look at the bottoms of some running shoes that I've been wearing since the injury, and the tread wear shows some definite issues with my stride. The left shoe is wearing at a much faster rate and especially on the rear outside edge of the shoe.

After running Saturday, we spent some time trying to stimulate the economy. My son wanted to visit the CD store, my daughter wanted some stuff at the bookstore, and I needed to pick up my guitar and pick out an amp and some other accessories so I could start playing. Plus, we needed some food and a new sleeping pad for our herd of Rhodesian Ridgebacks. OK, we only have two, but they're so big it seems like a herd.

I got a few beginner guitar books too, and spent a lot of time reading learning new terminology. I then spent most of Saturday night playing the guitar - just getting down some basic notes and playing some very simple songs. It's been so long since I've read musical notes that I have to completely re-learn that. The double translation from the musical notation to recognizing the the note to playing the instrument can be overwhelming at times. I wish there was a way to read the score and translate it directly to the guitar, but I guess that comes with time. There is a notation for the guitar called TAB that basically does that, but it feels like cheating to use that notation right from the start. But, I imagine there are a lot of guitar players out there who can't read music, so maybe I should just use the TAB notation to make things easier.

Sunday morning, my wife and I ran a hilly five miler. We both felt a little bit tired, but I ran the course six minutes faster than last week. After running, we had some breakfast and then I got out the guitar again. I showed my daughter some basic notes and then I practiced for a while.

In the afternoon, we drove over to Lake George in NY to visit with an old college buddy and his family. I used to spend most of my vacation time with this friend, backpacking and rock climbing. When I first moved to VT, he and I skied together, raced together, and did more hiking and climbing. But, he's married now and busy with two young children, so we don't see each other as much. I was amazed when he told me that he hasn't run a step in a couple years (he's a former 2:55 marathoner and 17 minute 5K guy), and he hasn't been out climbing or hiking at all this year.

It's been over 16 years since my son was born, and my wife and I have managed to stay really active through all of those years. We just find ways to create free time so we can get outside and play. I can't imagine living any other way and it's surprising to me that my friend is living so differently than in the past. He did tell me that he and his wife are planning to ski a lot more this year, now that their son is old enough for a seasonal program at the mountain where they ski.

We got home late last night, but I still made it to the gym this morning. I did the same workout as last Monday - when I tweaked my back. I had no problems at all this morning and managed to increase the weight for two of the lifts - front squats and deadlifts.

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