Band social challenge

Medan alla Uppsalabor förbereder sig för Valborgsfirande så fortsätter en helt vanlig helg här, utan mösspåtagning, champagne och forsränning. Jag började dagen med en kort promenad i regnet och upptäckte att rosorna blommar. Här är det vanlig fredag med vanligt jobb och skola. Vi får väl klämma i oss en flaska champagne bara för att sympatisera lite.

Eftersom jag inte har något mål i sikte mer än att kanske våga cykla på skumpigt underlag och så småningom med sällskap svischande fort ner för läskiga backar utan att axeln hoppar ur led så måste jag ju fokusera på något annat. Microsoft Band har de senaste veckorna uppdaterats lite och några funktioner har lagts till, bl en social funktion. Numera kan man koppla ihop sig med kompisar som också är utrustade med ett Band och då utmana varann på tex antal steg under några dagar. Såklart hoppade jag på detta även om jag var skeptisk till en början. Man kan ju tycka vad man vill om detta men i slutändan tror jag att det uppmanar de allra flesta att ta trapporna och ta en liten promenad varje dag vilket ju är bra. Sen kan det också gå för långt… som det brukar göra när jag är involverad i någon form av social tävling. Ja, det har hänt att jag sprungit upp och ner för trapporna några gånger hemma innan jag gått och lagt mig. Igår kväll blev jag utmanad av en kompis som jobbar som pt så han är alltså i rörelse hela dagarna. Självklart accepterade jag utmaningen, 7 dagar av stegräkning. Om jag ska komma upp i hans nivå så kommer jag få jobba hårt. Vad en av oss kommer att vinna eller förlora vet jag inte än, antagligen en kopp kaffe eller en chokladkaka men det är ju inte det viktiga. Jag visste redan i morse att det skulle bli svårt att få ihop tillräckligt med steg idag med hela dagen inbokad och mesta delen sittande. På väg till mitt första möte dör Bandet, jag har glömt att ladda det. Fail. Nu måste jag då erkänna att efter mötet tog jag mig hem till sladden för att ladda istället för att göra massor av viktiga saker. Och här sitter jag nu. The game is on! Nu måste jag klämma in en löprunda och ju snabbare man springer ju fler steg blir det. Det kommer bli en lång vecka…

The Open ending

CrossFit Open is for the fittest people on earth. It’s truly amazing the stuff they accomplish with their bodies. But at the same time CrossFit Open is for pretty ordinary, half-assed athletes, middle aged moms like moi. I can’t say that I’ve taken it so very serious but I feel like I want to finish what I started. Last year was a disaster, pneumonia first week of Open. And you probably know that it takes more than a few days to rest up. I am not very proud that I kept training with pneumonia but that’s life. Add a couple of tumors and surgery the months before and the mental part of life got very mental. And Ironman training on top of that, a stress that I didn’t get my 100 mile bike rides and long runs in on the right day because of nonfunctioning lungs. Sometimes you need to stick to your plan to keep your life on track. It all worked out and I was race ready, switched races and went to Alaska. Great decision.

This year’s Open is interesting. I am constantly worried that I will rip my shoulder out of place so I tend to be over careful. My inner athlete is stronger than the outside, it’s frustrating. And then I got some back issues during 16.4 because of bad lifestyle choices and french fries. Started 16.5 but had to stop after 5 minutes. Went to the chiropractor and straightened things out, rested for a few hours and went back to finish it. Phew. Closure. It is always good to finish something you started. A race is a race. Open is not like running a marathon or finishing a nasty adventure race when you finish exhausted but high on endorphins but I think it’s good to finish what you started. It’s a relief. Closure.

It’s easy to lose track and not see what’s around you. I just want to take a moment to say that I think you all are awesome. We all have different goals, backgrounds and lives but somehow we come in day after day and lift the same barbells, swing the same bells and stretch out on the same floor in our puddles of sweat. We all have our limits and barriers, mental or physical but we do the same thing. It’s all good. It’s more than good, it’s pretty amazing. A huge reason we all plan our life’s around class times is our coaches. I know we don’t always do what you tell us to, we drop empty barbells, we sometimes workout in a half assed way but we all appreciate all the work you do. But if you tell me to push my knees out one more time I will freaking explode.

Happy Easter

Charlotte

Kalket dammar

Jag har något slags ryggskott och jag har en teori. Under de senaste 7-8 åren har jag rört på mig dagligen, mer eller mindre. Inte något otroligt, fantastiskt men hasat mig fram, skuttat hit och dit, plumsat runt och hävt tunga saker runt omkring och upp. Ibland helhjärtat och ibland ganska mycket på rutin. Det konstiga är att jag njuter av detta. Jag kan dra benen efter mig när jag städar, mailar, handlar eller jobbar. Jag kan också dra benen efter mig när jag tänker att nu är det dags att springa. Det går i snigelfart, upp för trappan till garderoben. Jag maskar, känner efter. När jag väl kommer utanför dörren går det per automatik. Det är rätt skönt. Tro inte att det alltid har varit så, det tar tid att bygga upp. Som ni kanske har förstått så gillar jag när det är lite motstånd, halv storm, regn och lera. Varför duscha om man inte behöver liksom.

Förra veckan åkte vi till Spokane. Sex timmar i bilen och sedan 3 dagar av volleyboll på det. Jag agerade mamma, chaufför och medföljande kompis. Det var dubbla turnerningar, förmiddag och eftermiddag/kväll, alltså ingen dötid. Det var så illa att vi åt middag på hotellet vi 10 på kvällarna och då bodde vi på Holiday Inn, ingen väljer att äta på Hoiday Inn om det inte är panik. Det var tidiga mornar och sena kvällar och vi var totalt utmattade varje kväll. Vi satt på metallbänkar mest hela tiden, ibland på golvet och så stod vi lite på golvet. Och så sov vi på hotell och satt några timmar i bilen varje dag. Jag tränade inte en minut. Jag åkte till och med hiss men tog trapporna i stället för rulltrappan ibland. Och så drack jag en massa urdåligt kaffe och åt pommes frites varje dag. Och så körde vi hem. Och så blev det måndag och jag hade tid för att göra om ett tävlingspass (16.4 CrossFit Open) som jag missat pga resan. Hepp. Nu kör vi. Jag värmde så klart upp. Länge. Men sen satte jag igång med domarn bredvid mig. 55 marklyft på 155, check. 55 wallballs, check. 55 kalorier rodd, check. Sen rätade jag ut mig och det gick nästan, nej egentligen inte. Det var lite ostbågsform över det hela. Allt som jag egentligen är bra på blev jättejobbigt. Jag tänkte DNF i huvudet under hela tiden, vilket var knappt 12 minuter. Jag hann tänka jättemånga tankar på 12 minuter. Tänk om jag andas så hårt att jag till slut bara tappar andan. Vad irriterande att byxorna hasar. Vad konstigt det känns, jag älskar ju att ro. Jävla byxor. Andnöd. Nä, skärpning. Är alla snabbare eller är jag bara grymt långsam. Andnöd. Undrar om man kan ha en puls på 250. Springer man en tävling så måste man ju alltid ta sig i mål eftersom man måste ta sig till bilen och går man tar det bara längre tid. Sitter man på en roddmaskin är det ju bara att kliva av, motivationen försvinner liksom. Det var samma hjärnspöken som på Vancouver marathon för några år sedan, sista 300 meterna. Jag var övertygad om att det inte fanns någon målbåge och jag blev så förbannad att jag tänkte bara skita i sista minuten och kasta in handduken när det var 0.2 miles kvar av 26.2. Publiken vinkade och tjoade och jag tänkte bara va, har ni inga hem att va i, varför står ni här och tjoar? Och jo, jag kom i mål.

I alla fall så var det ganska pyton med ostbågen i tisdags men på något sätt så mjukar det upp sig under dagarna. Veckan har passerat och ryggen har varit hyfsat rak. Men min teori då? Jo, jag tror att sånt här händer när man inte rör sig tillräckligt (och sitter på kalla, hårda metallbänkar på arenor). Jag tror att om jag hade klämt in ett pass varje dag så hade kroppen mått bättre och ryggen hade nog inte bråkat så förfärligt när jag väl tog i. Enkelt. Så enkelt.

Och idag var det dags igen. Sista tävlingsdagen 16.5. Tjoohoo. Astaggad. Jag kom förbi 21 thrusters och 21 burpees och sen kände jag att det är nog lika bra jag går hem nu. Jag tittade på när de andra svettades så det blev pölar på golvet. Ostbågsformen kom raskt tillaka och jag tog en tur förbi kiropraktorn på vägen hem. Nu är jag lika rak som en salt pinne. Och så har jag köpt tungdlyftarbälte. Det är lite fusk. Det går egentligen bättre om man bara skaffar sig magmuskler av titan. Men jag kände att jag skulle kunna göra lite både och, titan och bälte. Hängslen och livrem. Dubbelplåster. Och visst, det känns ju lite 60-tal, manligt och ryskt. Kalket far och skriken kommer hela vägen från magen och det matchar jag med rosa skor.

March

My finger hovers over the mouse these days, I don’t seem to be able to post anything, unable to click.

Back from a long weekend of double tournaments in Spokane, the extraordinary city in the eastern part of Washington. I love to pack up the car and drive far. It seems like I am the only one in the family. One kid staying at one hotel and playing downtown, and the other kid staying at another hotel and playing at another arena. The car going back and forth, early mornings and late nights. Cracked the windshield the first day, not a good start. Add on a ton of bad food, lack of sleep, and sore bodies. Tournaments are tough for kids. It doesn’t matter how fun it is or how well you play, it’s intense. It’s a team effort. Rough patches in sports can feel like opening your heart to someone who doesn’t love you back. A long tournament really sucks the energy out of both kids and adults. Monday comes, the week goes on and the whole family is left with a hangover. The kids came home wanting real food, they are like super humans with metabolisms like Spiderman.

We came back to sad news from Brussels. Once again terrorism strikes Europe. I am grateful that friends living in Brussels checked in on Facebook. It’s difficult to understand, and maybe we don’t want to understand. Anger and sadness, and feeling helpless. Terrorists getting too close. Disturbing peace and trying to mess with our everyday life’s. The heart of Europe that was my hometown for a short time in the 90s. Je suis sick of this shit! And I follow the news from here and it seems so far away. I hear the kids talk about Belgium and their friends don’t know if it close to France or Russia, and that worries me. The world is growing smaller and closer yet some countries live outside and far away. Where is the center of the world? Trump worries me. A lot of things make me worried. And angry. And sad. It’s even more important to vote for a person capable of running a big country in a world in stress.

I’ve been following a debate in the Swedish news the past weeks. If they should allow only women a few hours per day at pools. There has been incidents were men get too close, men that can’t handle seeing women swimming with lighter clothes on. And women that swims covered with clothes believes that they should be able to swim with only women. This worries me too. It has taken a long time to get where we are now. Women’s rights, equal rights, men and women, voting, equal pay, maternity and paternity leave. Why? No. Equal. Think about it. At first I felt that the women should have their hours for themselves but when I actually thought about it… no. I don’t think it is right. We are different. If there are men that can’t handle it, move on. We swim, live, work, run…together. Don’t ruin decades of work. Men and women are different but we live under the same sun.

And as always…a training update. I try. I really do try. I am not really a Marvel superhero at the moment, not even trying to act a part. But I am healthy, balanced and pretty strong. Maybe that is good enough. I am trying to build the machine, feed the flame with firewood. But sometimes it’s not all that fun. That’s where I am now, at the intersection of I’m putting in 2 hours per day and not feeling it. I complain in my head before I run. I hear myself take deep breaths, of boredom. I can’t help it. I need something to look forward to, something impossible and beautiful. Mud, rain, wind and some snow. It builds character. You want to look forward to a warm shower. You want to look up at a mountaintop with a pumping heart and tired legs feeling overwhelmed and saying to yourself – Hey, it looks pretty gnarly but think of the view at the top. At the intersection of pushing your limits and experiencing joy is where the magic happens. I need to find that check point on the map. It’s close, I am sure. And goddammit, I really want to be fast again.

We have two scary opossums in our backyard. A man and a woman. We have even seen some opossum porn and it was not very nice. Rabbits, birds, dear, raccoons… you are all welcome. But opossums. Holy crap. Have you seen the teeth? And the tail? Just sayin’. I am more scared of opossums than bears. I sing every time I take the trash out.

December

We have a visitor for a few weeks. An extra child that is not a child any longer. A little guy that used to run after a soccer ball, give sweaty hugs and play. He is now a working adult that took a few weeks of vacation and went to see his old aunt. I am therefore a tourist in my own town once again. Views, restaurants and outlet shopping. But is this my city? 8 years in and still feel a bit lost. I am starting to know how to navigate Pike Place and good times to walk through without being trampled. But I mostly feel like I should get a smaller car, parking in Seattle makes me a bit claustrophobic.

We are living in a world full of essays and applications. I feel enormously proud of the kids and their writing is beyond anything I will ever be able to accomplish. The college process is in full swing and I just realized that we will probably be in this circus for another 8 years or so. I hear Washington, Colorado, California… One thing at the time… swim lessons, learn how to ride a bike, drive a car, graduate high school… x3… we will eventually get there. I am happy to announce that all three kids can swim and they all know how to ride a bike safe in traffic. They all have basic cooking skills, they can bake and they speak 3 languages (1.5 more than I). We still need to work on laundry and how to behave like little ladies (I still have issues) but overall I believe we are doing pretty well. We’re working on the driving part and it’s going beyond expectations, the future looks positive. When I am old and have blueish short permed hair I am pretty sure I will have a driver back and forth to the casino for my weekly GT and gambling session.

The infamous shoulder is coming along. Some days I almost forget that I had surgery in October and go for run with a back pack. And then I wake up the morning after and wonder who carved in and chopped up my neck, shoulder and arm, I get a massage and hold my breath a little and blink away some tears when the therapist asks if the pressure is ok. One step forward and two steps back. I can run and that is important for the oxygen level in my brain. I am CrossFitting in a half assed way. It is very humbling. I am fighting to lift my arm overhead without weights and it’s going to take long time before I can hold my own bodyweight in a plank. But I am lifting dumbbells with one arm, squatting and crunching. Good or bad, I don’t know. But it looks like I am headed forward. At this point it’s just an illusion too good to be real and the archived memory is playing tricks and remembering the race euphoria. For now it’s the loneliness of a runner’s brain playing tricks of capability. I am still secretly dreaming of river rafting, paddling and trekking in a country far away but I smart enough to know that it will not happen, at least not in this lifetime. I feel extremely ready to sleepwalk close to the clouds, being washed down rivers with fear in my eyes and enjoy beef jerky and granola bars as my main intake for a week. I am a master at building castles in the air and I’ve always in some ways been a true believer in my own overcapacity. But even I have to admit that this time I will have to step down and wish the guys good luck and not be there in person. A short bike ride on a flat trail would be awesome at this point.

So on to even more non important stuff. Running and lots of work with you lower body gives you sore legs. And that is an understatement. My legs feel trashed, every day. I wake up and try to straighten out and stretch out without waking up the whole house. Foam rolling is more painful than waking up from surgery. I was off running for a while and tried to slowly get back into it. My long runs are long gone, I am lucky if I last 90 minutes. I’ve had less time than usual too so to compensate I’ve been speeding up my shorter distances. And you live and you learn. 5k can be extremely hard on your body and you get really far if you have 45 minutes to spare. I’ve always felt slow but man can I speed up if I have to. I have never really done any shorter races under a half marathon, so one day maybe. It’s a different kind of feeling and I must say that I prefer the longer, slower runs over a 20 minutes speedy run with bad stomach feelings after. It’s a combo of stomach flu, too many marshmallows or I went overboard with the umbrella drinks last night compared with a long run that is mostly – give me water and food now and let me just take a 30 minute shower sitting down. But I miss having a structured plan and a goal race and that need to change. As always I tend to go overboard without structure and that’s probably why running every day on pavement gives you extremely sore legs. Is it the importance of long runs, fartlek and swim intervals or oxygen in my lungs or the need to sweat a lot? I don’t know? You always want what you can’t have, the grass will always be greener on the other side. But… the grass is still pretty green on this side. Who could have guessed that I would move this well after less than two months. Even the nice doctor is surprised and curious. And as always… the definition of rest is interesting. At this point rest still means movement and moving forward.

Well, hello ya’ll!

Home alone, the rest of the family went to watch UW play Stanford. Volleyball of course. I am watching old recorded shows, catching up on stuff. Went to happy hour with friends, ate too many sambal spicy shrimp, got a pedicure, picked up dry cleaning, went to the gym and bought coffee beans. All that stuff that matters on a Thursday night. So what’s new? Nothing much but I will give you an update anyway. Just made myself a cauliflower gratin. My grandmothers’ tasted a lot better. Microwaves are good if your out of time but doesn’t really do magic to good stuff. Had some sad news from home this week and maybe caviar of cod would be more suitable than cauliflower.

Kids are tired. Who wants to go to school 5 days/week, I know I didn’t like it that much at their age. I always disliked school and as a teacher/principal that’s kind of interesting. High school is not the shit people. Long days, lots of homework if you want to keep all A’s and lots of practice if you play school sports or climb. Volleyball school season is officially over (and club season starts next week). Combining practice 5 days/week and and matches, school, homework, applying for college and work is not great. It can break the strongest teenager. Let’s just say that we are so longing for a Christmas break or even a short Thanksgiving weekend. And talking about Christmas, what’s wrong with people? Starbucks. Red cups. Christmas. Grow up. It’s a cup. Enough said.

It’s getting closer to Lucia and we have two performances before Christmas. My class at school is getting ready to spread some magic. Come listen at Nordic Heritage Museum December 6th. Always magical. And please say Hi if you happen to be there.

Came home the other day and found the old training bike in the kitchen. One kid had two weeks in between school and club season and wanted to keep moving her legs. Two of the kids decided to drag the heavy thing in and placed it at the best spot in the house in between the tv/couch and the Jura. On a thick yoga mat to protect the floor. I don’t know what to say. I am tearing up. Movement not exercise. Every day. It’s rubbing off. One more thing that is moving right now is the car. Well, not mine (it’s apparently too big and chunky) but the kid’s car. Caroline finally decided to get her license. And we are circling the neighborhood. Practicing right turns, stop signs and stuff. It makes my heart beats a bit fast. We are both doing better and better. Growing up is tough, both for kids and moms. This particular kid is giving something in return, French music. Gorgeous language. The other two are also giving me new stuff to listen to and will of course share. https://open.spotify.com/user/charlotteseattle/playlist/4qW4PFrQqMMxvx9ebGhNDh

Shoulder, as good as new…well almost. I am healing well. Can move, pick up stuff, cook, wash my hair… but not lift my purse. Ran 2 miles last week, and 5 miles and some more. Mowed the lawn and raked leafs yesterday. No bueno, but I got the work done. Gets tired fast and I still sleep really bad. I thought my lovely new Band 2 would read my sleep pattern differently, but no. I guess I need to work on my deep sleep. (And yes, I am loving the Band2) Weights are not in the near future, and biking will not happen soon but my left arm feels pretty strong. I am developing back boobs on my right side. Sad, very sad. If you don’t know what a back boob is don’t worry, it’s nothing good. I don’t see a race in the near future, or ever. That is more sad than back boobs. Met a fellow shoulder injured friend today and wishing him a speedy recovery. Keep moving!

This might be the end of a very special love story

I have always disliked running watches and have always struggled a bit when I used all my different performance gadgets. Heartrate straps are always uncomfortable, the watch is usually too big, not charging, not syncing etc. I’ve had moments when I really had to know I far I had transported my body on land or in the water. The training for ÖtillÖ was an endless up and down Idlywood and the pool, 1k in the water, 10k on land and over and over again for many hours. You need to keep your numbers ticking when you are training for a marathon or two. It’s good to know walking up a mountain how many more feet of elevation you have left and when the sun will set. My problem has been that my latest Garmin died on me 18 hours in and I’ve had to have a backup watch in my pack. In real life, every other regular day when running or biking you really mostly care what time it is and how far you’ve gone. And then we have the heart thing. You want to know how hard your heart is working, and if it’s working. And you want to be able wear it all the time, not for hours every now and then.

I got my Band a while ago and I fully embraced it, I seriously lived through my Band for a few months. I know a lot of people complained about the squared design and the Matrix look. I really grew to like it and came to that point that I never took it off. I got hooked on my sleeping pattern which seriously sucked and still does. And why was I faster that Tuesday and how much my heart rate went up if I ran with a heavy pack or late at night. Or if you don’t sleep enough. It was just easy, it was already in my phone when I got home. No difficult syncing and just about enough info. It even told me how long I should recover after a long run or a ride and it sure gave me a boost when I should recover 36 hours or so from a tough one. And it made me leave my phone in the purse since I could check the importance of messages and emails and choose if I should answer or wait.

My Band is dissing me. We used to love each other, dearly. It gave me instant gratification and 15000 steps per day on a slow day. It gave me 6 hours of solid sleep and 45 beats per minute rest heart rate. It gave me long runs and intense weight sessions. And now here I am, comparing, checking data, sleep and even calories. And just how miserable is it? Very! From loving every number that was constantly ticking and adding and now hating slow moving numbers and a very useless body. I have sunk so low that I am checking calories because it doesn’t feel like I move a single step all day. And I don’t really move much. So what do you do when a sweet love story ends? You dump it and then you upgrade. I think I need to preorder the Band 2.