The sun is bright and warming and slanting November-style through a deeply blue, nearly cloudless sky. There's a pesky south wind which makes the low-40's air temperature feel chill and a touch uncomfortable. Therefore, I choose to wear a sleeveless tee shirt, shorts, and shoes. For my dedicated workout I wear cross training sneakers, for my hike and shooting excursion I wear trail running boots. Both shoes and boots are Salomon, both made in veet-nam. For whatever that's worth. For me they're both comfortable for the task at hand, they hold up well to the pounding I give them, and that's good enough.
When I got out of bed this morning my plan was to take a rest day. It's been a long week and the weariness I felt was real, produced by real exertion in a real world.
The plan didn't survive first contact with the coffee.
I stretched good and knocked out my 150 sit-ups and 80 pushups. I exited the house and did a few warm up blocks; walk--speed walk--jog--sprint. Then it was time for the new step running challenge.
This new set of steps is located on the north (back) side of the county gubmint (meh) annex building.
The flight of code-compliant emergency egress steps features 21 steps, each slightly smaller than I'm used to in rise or step height. You'd think that would make it easier, but it does not.
A slightly lower rise means more steps, and it also means a change in gait. Smaller steps mean taking smaller steps, and those smaller steps change the lever geometry of my running hardware -- joints and bones and sinew and muscles. Old muscle memory is out, new muscle memory must be developed. Fortunately for my limited brain, I don't have to "think" the process through. My miraculous body does all that automatically. Perhaps autonomically. Something like that. Regardless of the how, running and pushing and working presses me into a zen-like state of dedicated exertion, and as always I find that pushing past comfort limits brings a deep satisfaction. Rubbery legs, dizziness, and seeing stars, too. It's great. No, really! Limits are for pushing.
The steps have an eight-inch rise and there are 21 of them. The straight line distance from bottom step to top step is 22.5 feet, and the angle is something less (but not much less!) than 45 degrees. From the bottom concrete pad to the top landing the height is 13 feet, six inches. So what? It's a flight of stairs.
The good thing is that it's a longer and higher set of steps than I'm used to running, and there are more steps. Therefore it's more physical work to run them. And that is a good thing. It's more efficient for exercise, yielding a better workout in less time. It's important to be efficient. Or something like that.
This morning I ran them as hard as I could for a continuous 30 minutes. I wedged that thirty minute set in between a 20 rep warm up set and a 10 rep cool down set. I did video during the warm up and cool down portions. For what it's worth. If my watch is right, and I think it is, I ran 137 flights.
When I was done I was seeing spots and very wobbly on rubbery-feeling legs. It was a good one.
Then I grabbed my rifle and chest rig and headed out to do some hiking and shooting. On the way I checked cows.
Cows are cool.
With all that ammo and a pair of solid shootin' irons, the gear comes in at more than 40 pounds.
More weight equals more better exercise.
Had to eliminate a wuhandromeda enforcement patrol.
A word on the wuhandromeda. What are people going to do about this enormous government overreach and shredding of the Constitution? I suspect that 99.9 percent will simply comply and wait for people with real balls to put things right. And the 99.9 percenters will bitterly complain about their victimization all the way.
For a rest day, it was epic.
One of the cool things I noticed today was how very fresh I remained throughout the day. There was a time not so long ago when I could put a hell of a lot of effort into a workout -- which was great -- but I would be wrecked after the workout. Spent and with very little gas left in the tank. Today my combined step running and hiking totaled 12.88 miles. As I write this I'm pleasantly tired but feel quite fresh.
Another cool thing is that while I continue to contend with radiculopathy and pain, it's less intense. The steroid injections have helped a lot, but my body is also doing what it can to repair things. I've learned how to assist my body by figuring out how to properly work out with the chronic injury, and I seem to have hit the proper recipe for increasing my overall fitness while supporting healing.
It's a pretty cool thing.
Most of the above was written yesterday, November 22. I'm off to the widget factory in a few minutes. If the weather forecast is right it should be a beautiful day. It will be a blessed day.
Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.