Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Week 1 of training and other stuff.

This week started "official" training for the upcoming triathlon season. It has so far consisted of speed tests to set up my training pacing and heart rate zones for training. The swim test was to determine my average 100 yard pace over 700 yards. Not too bad. Then Azsure and I did a strength workout later that night. Ok. Yesterday, however, the fun began. The Threshold test on the bike. Basically, warm up for 10 minutes, the accelerate up to as hard as you can hold for 30 minutes. Yikes. I really had to talk myself into finishing because I was not going to make. I did though. Today, I am fairly sore but ready to go out and do my run threshold test which is just like the bike test, only running!. Yippee! I need to follow that up with a strength circuit too. F.U.N. This will hopefully all pay off in a leaner, stronger, faster Andrew this sumer.

I have started getting up this week about 30 minutes before the kids wake up to sit and think about my day. Meditate, if you will. I am trying to start my day off thinking about what is coming and what i need to focus on. I have been considering 5 specific things: My role as a husband, my role as a father, my eating, my exercising, then closing it out with a basic prayer for all things to be good in our lives and the lives of others. It takes about 10 minutes or so. I am hoping to increase my mindfulness about my world around me starting with myself and family and expanding outwards. Namaste.

My eating has been good, though it has only been 2 days. I have been shooting for a nutrient dense diet. Heavy on the greens and veggies, lower on the dairy and sugar, and staying away from junkie stuff. I feel like a cow chewing my cud at lunchtime with a salad as big as a pizza. I made some killer vegan Black Bean chili and ate that with eggs for breakfast as well as took some for post workout in E's star Wars lunch carrier. Yummy!

It's 60 degrees today in Bloomington. Nice. bring on the spring! I am ready for all things Spring and Summer!



Sunday, February 19, 2012

Resolution Redo!!

Wow, 2 posts in one day! I am on fire! This should do until next year eh?

Ahhhh....February. Valentines Day. Lincoln's birthday. My birthday. The anniversary of how long my wife and I have been "together". Black history month. How very exciting February is.

If you are a gym person. That is, a person who frequents a gym or health club or whatnot, you have undoubtedly noticed that the treadmills are emptying, Zumba is back to you and those other 5 girls (and that one dude who is awesome), the walkers on the track are again businessfolk on their lunch hour. The super fancy new tracksuits are disappearing. The sad fact is that the resolution group is dwindling and only a few have hung on, forced the habit, and clung to hope of a new life and body or whatever they started with. Now is the best time of year to buy fitness equipment from craigslist.

Anybody need a redo?

I didn't really make any resolutions. I had goals for the year already. I was mid training for a half marathon at the new year and just kept going with what I was doing. Now that the race has past I am off for a couple weeks then I start training for my "A" race for the year. My main goal that I set for the year is The Evergreen International Triathlon, which is an Olympic Distance.

That being said, I am gearing up for some new habits and want to invite anyone who wants to to make some new habits as well. Nothing fancy. you don't have to commit to any triathlons or anything like that. Just connect to give some mutual support. By connect, I mean loosely, on facebook, on twitter, whatever. I'll be posting my workouts and some meals and thoughts and encouragement for any fitness or healthy eating goals you may have. Just follow me on twitter @ahedges if you want.

Here is my new plan, which is mainly food focused because my training plan is already laid out for the Triathlon season. for the record, Here is my training regimen: 3 strength sessions a week. 2 workouts each week in Swim, Bike, and Running. Yes, Its a lot. 9 workouts. Plus the occasional extra bike and run here and there. I will miss some of those, I'm sure.

Here is my food plan. Loosely. Its all trial and error. Right? Breakfast and lunch I am planning on Eggs as my only animal food so aside from that, I am hoping to go veggie for those two meals and reduce my dairy intake as well. I am only doing breakfast and lunch because I am not going to subject my family to my strange diet experiments. I want to reduce my sugar intake drastically. Sweets, hard liquor, refined breads, all that good stuff. This is all pretty extreme, so we'll see how all this turns out. I am trying to increase my energy, lower my stress, and just generally improve through food.

So there it is, written out, mainly for my benefit and some accountability in a public forum. If you want to join me in your own resolution redo, let me know. It helps to have someone to be accountable to. You can send me a private mail or just follow me here or facebook, or twitter. I'm really not some crazy exercise guy or food nazi and am not going to berate anybody about anything. Only encouragement.

I'm starting on February 27. This can be for you all just starting or for people like me who just like to connect and help encourage each other.


Update for crying out loud! Update!!!

Hey! I have a blog. A move to a new city brings new things and reminders of old ones. The blog has been sitting. I hope my two readers haven't perished Here comes the update........

Azsure got a new j.o.b. with her company so we moved from the mitten state to lovely Bloomington, IL. The gem of central Illinois featuring State Farm, Illinois State University and now.....yours truly! We found out in November that we would me moving and we landed in Bloomington the week of Christmas. Fun for all!

We are settled in finally with the kids in school and 98% of the boxes unpacked. (though the moving company has yet to get back to us about picking up the empty boxes so they all sit in my space in the garage). I am getting to know my way around and although I quite miss all of the luxuries of a major metro city, like a real honest to goodness, non-chain restaurant, things are looking up.

I have officially come out of retirement and have returned to full time At-Home Dadhood. No part time work or income of any kind. How is that different than working part time for our former church you ask? Well, its not really. I have, however, found myself a little more focused on the kids without distractions of any kind from work.

I did my first half marathon last weekend in Marion, IL. It was awful. I was apparently the only day in the history of Southern Illinois where temps were in the 20's. I am not a fan of running but did my first season of triathlon last summer and am pretty much hooked on that. Whats the difference? There is something different about running straight off the bike as well as training for 3 sports instead of just 1. I wanted to cover the distance of the half marathon so that I could mentally check off the list that I could cover the distance as I have the inkling of a Half-Ironman distance triathlon for 2013. That is a 1 mile swim, 56 mile bike, followed by a 13.1 mile run. yikes!

Since the half marathon last week, I have been gorging myself with yummy stuff like ice cream and burritos and all kinds of stuff. That comes to and end this week as I prepare my body with lots of veggies and whatnot for triathlon training season which starts next week. but more on that later.

That's all for now. Maybe I can update this another time soon, and probably will.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

June 10 2010 you say? It's 2011.

Blog blogiddy blog. I have a blog but apparently forgot. So I came in today and updated the ages of my kids on the blog. I remembered the blog. Im posting an update on the blog and need to write a blog about the things that I write about on the blog. Pretty soon, i'l post some actually real life stuff on the blog. Stay Tuned.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Summer.......yes........sweet summer......

I vowed to not complain about the heat this summer. I have not complained about the heat so far, I have been outside sitting and working and splashing. After the soul sucking winter we just barely made it through, I will never complain about summer heat again while I live in Michigan. The dismal, lack of sun, slushy, dank, blow-your-head-off Michigan winter. Man, it was a long one..... but enough! summer is here and we are gearing up for summer fun. We even created the Hedges family "summer box O' fun" to help in our adventure. We found a small box and covered it with scraps of paper, then covered that in stickers and marker and whatever else we could find. The kids had fun making the box o' fun. (its all about the fun!) I then cut a whole in the top of the box so that a tiny hand could fit in the box of fun. (its all very high tech, you see). Azsure and I then thought of a bunch of fun stuff and wrote it all down on little slips of paper of different colors. pink for general free fun stuff like disc golf, special parks, and downtown adventures, blue for rainy day stuff, like the children's museum, movies, and other inside stuff, then Green for stuff that costs money like: mini golf, splash pads, the zoo, and whatever else that we have to pay for. The kids then get to pick out a random colored slip of paper and we do whatever is on it. Today, Ephram go to pull the first card and he pulled out the "downtown, picture taking alphabet adventure" so we are going to go to Grand Rapids and take picture of all the letters of the alphabet on the buildings. sounds like fun. We shall see. Sometimes the kids are afraid of loud sirens and there are always a lot of ambulances going to the numerous medical centers downtown. Wish us luck.
Ephram is heading to camp with Mimi and Grandpa in Minnesota and will meet Cousin Madeline and Kristin and Randy up there too. He is very excited. While I am a little worried about him being gone for a week, Soijer and I will get to have some Daddy- Daughter time which should be fun. well, the fog is burning off, and my coffee is about gone, so it is time to get this summer o' fun started.
till next time,

Friday, May 21, 2010

Is this what you do all day?

The other day, my wife was home with us from work and generally not feeling well. After she had watched both kids and me, with a big smile, wrestling for almost a half hour, she said "Is this what you do all day?" My reply: "pretty much". She smiled again.....

Yes, that is what I do all day. I try to clean and do some general things around the house to keep it in order as well as make a few phone calls but I like to wrestle with my kids. I also like to go to the park and to the zoo and make forts and watch Curious George and have tea parties and play hide and seek and color and make paper airplanes and give teddy bears checkups. I also like to create great death defying stunts where hot wheels cars ramp over stuffed bunnies and build stuff with blocks just to knock them down then rescue Lightning McQueen from the rubble. When I'm done with that, I like to sing songs about poop and tell knock knock jokes that have terrible punchlines. And then.....I like to have lunch.

I'll work on the other stuff later.......

People have wondered. Here is my best explanation.

note: This post was created months ago. I was thinking about posting a new version but I thought that this one was ok and that I may add to it. It is interesting to look back at it with another layer of life laid on top of it.

This is a political post. It is an explanation of why I am no longer a Republican. It will hopefully not be a lightning rod for a political back and forth by my two readers and it will hopefully not be terribly offensive though, as political views go, someone is going to be miffed by some assumption I make. I don't apologize for my views because I believe them to be genuine and correct at this time in my life. I say "at this time in my life" because people change, as I have, as they grow and experience things and think about things. So here goes.
I used to be a Republican. I used to think that liberals were strange and uninformed crybabies. It helped that I listened to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh because they would confirm that liberals were crybabies and would ruin the nation. I believed that rogue countries needed to be dealt with by force and American power, and that impoverished nations like Africa just couldn't get their act together and garner the resources of that enormous continent has and use them to become a powerful force in the world. I believe that my views had a lot of racial and social bigotry driving them. I believed, like a lot of Republicans, that poor people just needed to pick themselves up by their bootstraps and get with the program so that the government didn't have to support them. I pretty much believed most of the fiscal conservative rhetoric. I usually came down on the liberal side of some social issues like abortion but I considered myself a Republican. There are two things that changed my view, not immediately, but over the course of a year or two. Kids, and the pastor at my church.
First, my kids. When I had kids, I began to notice kids, and their parents. At the grocery store, at the doctors office, just generally out and about. Here is where the shift started. I knew , for the most part, that parents wanted to take care of their kids more than anything as I did. At the grocery store about a year ago. I was in line with my kids and there was a woman with three kids in front of me checking out. She had a cart full of stuff and the kids were whining about toys and whatnot, normal stuff. When she pulled out her WIC card, which is Michigan's version of food stamps, my Republican self righteousness came up. "Here is another one", I thought, living off the government. Then I saw the look on her face as she peered at me out of the corner of here eye, then looked down at here feet. At the time, I didn't think anything of it because I hadn't yet known what my pastor would eventually teach me, compassion. I thought back on that recently and through my more compassionate, yet still a little self righteous minds eye, I saw what the look from that woman then down at her feet was: Shame. Shame from a thousand conservative radio hosts calling her a welfare queen and millions of Americans agreeing in self righteous unified indignation. All she wanted to do was feed her family and just could not do it all by herself. I don't know her circumstances but I do know that people need help sometimes and just because a few people cheat the system doesn't make a person on welfare less of a human. More on compassion later, back to my kids. Another thing that has changed my views as it regards my kids is the Iraq war. I supported it, big time. I was all for it. Saddam Hussein needed to be removed and I still think it was a good thing that he was. However, as I began to think of the kids, and they are kids, that go into the military, I began to think of my kids going into the military and being sent to some far away land to fight. I am not opposed to my kids going into the military by any means but I would like them to understand what they are getting themselves into. Our society, as most do and have for centuries, bolster the warrior and celebrate him as an instant hero. Don't get me wrong there are many heroes in the military and I support them with all of my heart but I feel we as citizens as well as the warriors themselves have been ramped up by unwavering nationalism and the unfailing moral right of our government and our military. We are taught that to question a war makes you un-American and no matter how supportive you are of the individuals fighting the war, Sean Hannity is going to call you out as a terrorist sympathizer. On a side note, I realize that a lot of Republicans are not Sean Hannity but he is one of the loudest voices of the party and a radio show doesn't go on without listener support. So there you have it, how my kids have affected my political views. It may be not very succinctly put but hopefully well enough to be understood. It is also a very compact version and I'm sure that there are many other minute factors but those are two of the big ones.
Second, and this is the big one. Compassion. My pastor made me a liberal. Sounds kinda funny doesn't it? Aren't Pastors supposed to pull you into the fold of good Christian conservatism? To make you a well fit cog in the Republican Political Machine? Absolutely not. Pastors, the good ones, teach you about God and Jesus. Not the version that people use to hate homosexuals but the version, the one I believe in, the one that I believe to be in the Bible, that loves everybody and has a compassion that everybody in the world should strive for within themselves. Uncompromising compassion that has no exceptions. I don't have that by any means but am trying. So anyway, as I began to learn about loving people and having compassion for people, I began to think about the way I view them, all of them. That is when I thought back to the lady in the store. That is when I began to see that a lot of people cannot change their circumstances, the cannot "pull themselves up by their bootstraps". They may not have the education they need, they may not have been taught how to take care of money, or how to get a good paying job or even how to read. They may have an illness that keeps them from functioning. There may be underlying circumstances that will absolutely not allow them to survive on their own without help.

He are some newer thoughts: My ideals have not changed. In fact, they have most likely grown more leftist. Maybe even Socialist. People need help. We need to help them. The government, while terribly inefficient, can help them. The Church can as well and does wonderful work but it is not enough. I don't want my kids growing up in an "I've got mine don't take it" world.