Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Blood Pressure, Grapefruit Challenge and Time

So I believe Gerald is headed back to Spokane this weekend with her running pal V. Maybe it'll be a Thelma & Louise type road trip over the snowy pass? If so, I recommend not stopping at any country bars to line-dance, don't pick-up any male hitchhikers, and avoid all canyons.

So here I am atop Mt. Spokane 5 months ago. I asked Gerald to take this picture specifically, because I wanted it to represent myself, at my highest blood pressure reading. I had recently seen the doctor, and I had dangerously high blood pressure. I told Gerald I was going to take care of that. Well, I'm happy to say I did take care of it. For the past month, my blood pressure has been normal.

Next up, my grapefruit challenge. So I'm beginning to look at time by splitting up the calendar year into quarters, or in other words, seasons. Novel. I know. But it is novel to me, because I never really divided time up before. It just all kinda meshed together. Very disorganized. So this is what I've discovered so far this new year of 2014.

Winter season. Jan, Feb, Mar. March will wrap up the first quarter. So far, I've completed 468 push-ups, 791 sit-ups, walked down & up St. Andrews 27 times, and biked down & up St. Andrews 2 times.  If I do only the minimum over the last remaining three weeks, I'll add another 90 push-ups, 180 sit-ups, 9 more walks, and 1 more bike. Incredible. What I mean by that is without the grapefruit accountability,  to be honest, I probably would have done zero push-ups, sit-ups, walk-ups, and bike-ups. I'm not kidding whatsoever. The funny part is the intangibles that I didn't mention. Like the amazing view of the Puget Sound, Olympics, and South Whidbey Island at the top of St. Andrews. How that hill informs me of my cardiovascular status. The pain, agony, and joy of biking up that damn hill. 

So I also wanted to reflect on my previous grapefruit challenge of biking Whidbey Island month-in, month-out. I did that for 2 years. That's 24 straight months. It was time for something new, and I'm really enjoying this new grapefruit challenge, because of the frequency. A week-in, week-out physical challenge is very helpful to me right now in my life. 

So all-in-all, I completed 28 Whidbey rides. I enjoyed those rides with Dyno-M, Cindy W, Skirtsteak, Gerald, Gerald's boss, Attitude - fka Ennui, and Omaha. I also did a lot of solo rides, which I enjoyed a lot too. One ride I cramped up so bad, Mrs. Ocean came to the rescue. Also, can't say how glad I was that sometimes I/we parked car at Mukilteo, and drove home after the ride. Whidbey Doesn't Mess Around.

I also varied the route. My go to ride was to Langley and then simply double back. Never taking the bike route by-pass of course. (Some local resident once informed me I didn't have to bike that damn hill on the way back. There was a by-pass). The varied routes included, Freeland, Freeland home via-525, Langley-home-via-Langley Loop, Deception Pass state park, home via GLT, home via the ferry hill, Whidbey Island part of the 3 Ferry-Ride, Whidbey Island part of 4 State-Park Ride, Lancaster stairs, and bike-camping sort-of at South Whidbey SP with families. 

I endured cramping, bike-mechanicals, ferry-mechanicals, ferry fire drills and water bottle squirts/water bottle losses (Attitude of course), awesome pre-ride breakfasts at Speedway Cafe, and great post-ride feasts and swigging. 

If you don't currently enjoy a Grapefruit Challenge, you might ask yourself why not? Time is not on your side. Ha, I'm currently suffering with Gerald's GD-NMM. At least I can take some comfort that Gerald is doing her own Grapefruit Challenge over the next three months. I nearly forgot!

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