Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Aftermath

The summation post I want to do will have to wait for a little while. I still don't have my second journal due to unforeseen issues regarding travel and Chris. However, I wanted to talk a little about readjusting to regular life.

Mostly this was easy. It's a lot easier to use a flush toilet on demand, for example, rather than dig a hole or add to one's knowledge base about outhouses. However, there are things that were a little more difficult.

One was sleep. It took me a couple of days to iron out my sleeping. I stayed up too late on Friday and, Saturday morning, when the sun came up, so did I, or maybe even a little earlier. I was so, so tired all day on Saturday that by the evening I could barely cope. I finally went to bed early and felt a little more human on Sunday, but I still wasn't able to sleep in. I did finally start sleeping a little later during the week, added by the fact that when Anthony gets up to go to work during the week, he kicks out all the cats, closes the window and shuts the bedroom door, making it dark and quite. This is in direct opposition to the weekend where, when it starts to get light, I get up to shut the window and the curtain, often not being able to fall back asleep well, and the cats are about, wanting to kneed and purr on us in the morning. As sweet as that is, it's not conducive to sleeping in. Still, it was only a few days before I felt like I was back on track with sleeping and felt relatively rested during the day.

What took longer to work out was food. We did eat pretty healthfully on the trip, as noted by one of my kind commenters, but not as well as at home. We eat a lot more veggies at home than we did on the trip. It wasn't a problem for me to add those back in, though. No, what the problem was, was living without some of the treat foods - Cliff Bars, Barbara's Fig Bars, Panda's licorice, So Delicious Bars and the like. A couple of times in the next week or so, I actually snuck some of these items when others weren't around, ahem, in addition to all of us eating some.

Additionally, refiguring volume was an issue. I'd gotten used to eating a whole lot and, being the sort who enjoys eating, I wanted to keep doing so. However, even an hour of working out a day doesn't hold a candle, calorie-wise, to six hours. While my hunger probably reflected that change pretty quickly, my mind and tummy still wanted the large volume. I'd say that is still an issue to some extent even now, but my window of opportunity for blaming it on the trip is probably over. Ha.

The final issue, which is one I'm still working on finding a balance on, is exercise. I really wanted/want to keep up my fitness, but there's no real way to ride (or even do other exercise) six hours a day at home with life going on, as well, nor do I really want to. But, I do want to be as fit as I can be - cardiovascularly, strength-wise, agility-wise and flexibility-wise. I should note here that the bike trip really did nothing for those last two, so it's not like the trip was the be-all, end-all of fitness.

I took about a half a week really easy. I did do some bike rides, but they were relatively short and definitely easy. It wasn't long before I felt like I wanted to do more, but then we left town again for a couple of days, so it was even longer before I got going again and, when I did, I discovered that my flexibility was nearly shot. I'd hardly stretched at all on the trip. I was a little surprised to find that I hadn't lost as much upper body strength as I'd anticipated, not having done any pull-ups, push-ups, playing around on bars, or anything. I guess just holding my body up on the handle bars helped with that.

Still, though, I spent weeks feeling like I wanted to be doing more than I was, but not finding the time. I was doing about 3 bike rides of about 1 hour duration per week. I walked at least once a week for about 3 miles. I was doing a strength workout maybe twice a week. This isn't nothing, but it wasn't as much as I'd have liked. Now, to top off the challenge to keep up my fitness, the weather has gone way downhill.

With all this in mind, as well as other factors, Anthony and I crafted a three week challenge which we just started Sunday. Davan has chosen not to participate this time around. The rules are thus:

We're each keeping a food journal for these four weeks, which we give to each other to review at the end of each day.
I'm not going into a grocery store for the whole four weeks. Produce stands and Farmer's Markets are fine (and abundant!) as well as stocking up, which I did the week before a bit. Ordering food from our regular co-op or from Amazon is fine, as well. This just makes it so we have to plan in advance to have something. No spur of the moment, "Oh, let's just pick that up," stuff.
We won't do any added oils other than spray for the whole month. Of course, just to put your minds at rest, we do eat, probably more than we should even, nuts and seeds, providing plenty of healthy fats. We already don't use sugar or that would have been in there, as well.
I am limiting my computer time to 1 hour a day, giving me time for other activities.
We can eat out, but we must stick to whole grains, no added fats, very small amounts of sugar, fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds. Thus eating out loses a lot of it's appeal, but we can do it if necessary.
Anthony and I have mileage goals to meet. We're counting in bike miles, but there is consideration for walking and hiking. 1 mile of city walking = 3 miles of riding. 1 mile of hiking with elevation gains on rough trails = 5 miles of riding. Anthony is aiming for 125 miles a week and I'm going for 75. This would be a decent goal for either of us in the summer. This time of year, it's a difficult, but do-able goal. This week, so far, I'm at 70 and it's only Thursday, but I've been riding every day so far, hiking twice and out on a walk once.

I've also been trying to get in at least three strength workouts a week and some stretching every day, but we didn't make that part of the four week challenge.

So, we're adjusting and trying to keep the activity and adventure going in our lives. Of course, we're also juggling work, household chores, more involved cooking, Do Jump for Davan and myself, but mostly Davan, seeing friends and family, time for books and just plan old down time.

We're looking forward to our next long-ish, away from home type adventure, which will probably be hiking around Mt Hood in the early summer. It's about 40 miles, part of which is along the Pacific Crest Trail, and we're hoping to do it in four days. Davan has heard our stories about doing this trip the year before she was born and her dad's stories about doing it with his boy scout troop several times as a kid and has wanted to do it for years. It's time to make it happen for her.

So, good luck on all of your own adventures, whatever they may be, and, if they're ones you want to share, be sure to leave me a comment.

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