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Fore! August 22, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in fitness, golf, health.
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As I’ve said previously, I really should have left this more open to being “a beginners blog.” I know what you might be thinking – what is a twenty-something year old girl doing figuring out her interests only now – and the truth is I had lots of interests but went through a kind of dry-spell in terms of ‘activities’ and am rediscovering things, I suppose. And, hey, interests change.

So, yet another relatively recent development – golf. A couple of years ago I had my first job that was, well, y’know – like a grown-up. I had a desk, a phone, an e-mail address, good gracious, what a grown-up! With this came – golf. Before this job I had golfed once previously in my life with my family, as my mother is an avid golfer. That experience, probably near a decade earlier, did not go so well to put it mildly.

This time around I found things to be quite different, and golf seems to be a big part of becoming a Grown Up if you want to get into the corporate world (and I do! and I’m still looking if anybody who comes across this has a job for me!). We had a day of learning with Links for Women Golf Schools at RattleSnake, which involved lessons from various club pros at the driving range, the putting green, on golf etiquette and a round of nine with a club pro in the afternoon. Luckily for me, many of the women golfing with me from my office were very new golfers themselves.

It wasn’t much later that I found myself at The Rock, where my foursome managed to golf a single hole before being completely rained out. Just that was very intimidating and that essentially ended my golf for the summer.

Last year I decided I’d like to give it another try – I had come to appreciate the skill involved and understood that golf does take strength and flexibility. It was a challenge, I was terrible at it, so I wanted to learn more (I will always find ways to be a student). I managed to get out to the driving range a few times and had some good laughs with my girl friends “working on the short game” at local miniputt places. I also golfed my first round of 18 holes at Manderley on the Green and tried another nine with friends at Irish Hills Golf & Country Club. It wasn’t much, but it was enough of a taste to get me interested.

So far this year I’ve done the driving range thing a few times, gone to Irish Hills, Pakenham Highlands Golf & Country Club and most recently Amberwood Golf & Country Club.

I guess that’s a little intro to my golf experience so far – I’m a completely horrid golfer but am starting to understand a little more about how I hit, so far I’ve been told that I have a good looking swing, so I guess it’s just practice.

Pakenham Highlands VII

Pakenham Highlands
2006.08.13

Stay tuned for .. I dunno, thoughts on courses from a beginner and workin’ through these clubs.  Hybrids yay, driver so-so, irons not-so-much, that’s a quickie run down so far.

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I want to ride my bicycle… July 26, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in bicycle, cycling, fitness, health.
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I want to ride my bike; I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it where I like!  Oh, Queen.

On and off I’ve been cycling, and I’m in a major on phase.  Getting to 10km was a big milestone and then a push to 15km, 20km and I think I’ve maxed out just under 30km.  Maxed out as in, that’s the most I’ve done – not that’s the most I’ll do.  As I’ve been better – after a couple of spotty weeks – I’m trying to get five solid days a week of cycling in.  I came across seajlorraine.wordpress.com and thought I’d point anyone who comes across this in her direction, worth a look.  In one post she discusses fitness goals vs number goals and I couldn’t agree more with the idea of setting fitness goals rather than number goals.

I’ve never been all that preoccupied with the number, my weight.  My weight has been a concern but more as it made me feel, made me look in my clothes (or stopped me from fitting into certain clothing) and I’ve always thought that as long as I could focus on feeling good then looking good will fall back into place again.  Seems to be working : )

Last week I biked 99.96km in total.  I also measured myself and weighed myself, something I hadn’t done in a while – my weight has dropped, which makes sense ’cause I can fit into my favorite old jeans again.  The measurements I took were to check out my body fat percentage – used this calculator here to do it.  It requires that you measure your waist, hips, neck, and height.  I tried several calculators and always came out about the same – 21% which is right on.  I wish I had taken those measurements before I started cycling to see how things changed, but what can ya do.

A great website that I don’t think I’ve linked to previously is Gmaps Pedometer for planning your routes (as long as you stick to roads).   I’ve used this site to plan several routes that are different but add up to the same distance so that I don’t get bored.  It works well ’cause when I compare the plan to the cycling computer I get essentailly the same thing.  Sweet.

Fitness Goal
My plan is to get a month solid of a schedule I’ve worked out – last week was week one, this is week two.  Last week my rides throughout the week were kind of inconsistent – so this week my goal is 20km rides four days a week and one longer ride, length yet to be determined.

Every other day I am additionally incorporating strength training into my routine.  For now it isn’t much, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

If I can do this well, eventually I’ll get there and can add more strength training into my workout plan and cycle and do yoga instead of just picking one.  Yoga has taken a major back seat and I’d like to re-incorporate it.

Music to make you move
I really need to figure out a way to make myself some new mixes for my work-outs, it’s a great way to listen to your new favs or some classics and music really helps me.  If I’m thinking about the great tunes I’m listening to I don’t think about the work-out so much.  It is fun finding old mixes and seeing what I’d used to motivate myself previously but I need some new stuff.  I’m craving some of my bluesfest favs like Metric, Controller.Controller and Hilotrons while I’m out there.  As iTunes Free Single of the Week I just got a MSTRKRFT track that is fantastic (“The Looks”) and some new tunes would be great.  Maybe a new mix-tape type list will be posted soon, some workout recommendations.

So that’s the goal:
20km rides 4x per week
Longer ride 1x per week
Strength training consistent for remainder of month
Re-introduce Yoga at one month (as regular routine and not occasional enjoyment)

Also, of course, keep eating well.  It’s making a huge difference in how I feel and I feel that I can be conscious about it without obsessing and calorie counting (I don’t think I’ll ever be a calorie counter, thank God).  There it is!

Concert; Cycling May 5, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in bicycle, cycling, fitness, health, music.
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One of my absolute most favorite things to do in the world is to watch music, live.  I've seen a few local shows recently, so I'll probably go back and update on what I've seen in 2006 but to start I'll fill you in on what was a great fun show: Great Big Sea @ The National Arts Centre, in Ottawa.

 

A few months ago a friend of mine asked if I wanted to join in on a group of people going to see Great Big Sea.  I had always heard what a great time everyone has at their shows, especially as I have a lot of friends who went to University on the east coast.  So finally the time came for us to head to the show and we all had a really great time.  It was "An Evening With…" so there was no opening act or anything, all Great Big Sea.  The first half of the show was mostly new music with the odd old folk tune – followed by a brief intermission and when we came back they were blaring Johnny Cash in the theatre, no complaints there.  The second half of the show was full of older hits, including one great sing-a-long moment which included crowd-favs everywhere like "I Fought the Law," "Blister in the Sun," "Video Killed the Radio Star," The Eurythmics "Sweet Dreams" (so fun!) and – Summer of '69!

The fellas talk to the crowd a lot, telling some great stories, making the whole thing feel very cozy and fun.  In summation, they're great – check out my flickr photo set for more!

 

 

Onto the cyclingness.  When I tuned up my bike myself I had a little one kilometer ride.  I also went out in some crazy bad-ass wind we had the other day and got a whopping two kilometer ride in.  Today, as it was gorgeous out, I decided to go for a bit more of a ride.  Unfortunately, that 2km was more difficult than I had anticipated.  So instead of starting my ride at 10km, I figured 5km for a little bit would be better.  I wound up biking 6.5km!  I was very pleased with that, it took me about 20 minutes.  Next ride I will probably do the exact same thing and then I'll try an 8km ride and then map out a 10km route.

 

Not too shabby, not too shabby at all. 

Spring time is exercisey time. April 25, 2006

Posted by jessicraft in bicycle, cycling, fitness, health, why.
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Okay, so I might blog here about more than just craftiness and crafty things.  I think I really should call this "a beginner's blog" 'cause I hope the odd person stumbles across this who is just starting out into different things and finds this useful – you are not alone in finding your hobbies through your quarter-life crisis!

Last year I started into yoga a little bit, just in the privacy of my own home.  Something a little more into cardio and less into flexibility I would be fine with doing in front of other people but as my flexibility is now laughable (wasn't always, I was a dancer!) I feel more comfortable with Rodney Yee talking to me and only me in my Power Yoga videos.  I also have found the website ExRx.net very helpful for strength/weight training.  As for cardio, I always played sports and loved it – mostly soccer, but I dabbled in basketball, volleyball, and rugby as well.  Once I graduated from high school though and my schedule became so irregular I found it difficult to make the same committments and slacked off big time.  Eventually I realized – as my fat pants became my regular pants – that it was time to get back into that, time to stop feeling like such a lazy sod.  Only way to stop feeling that way was to stop being one.  So I took up running, but I don't really like running.  I don't stick with it for long when I start – but something I want to get back into and am just now, right now, starting to get back into is cycling.

Not used in ten years, I have a mountain bike from Canadian Tire – a purple SuperCycle "Breeze" which I remember riding with my best friend to the only store nearby at the time, the local Wal-Mart.  I am on the lookout for a new bike, but they're too rich for my yet-to-be-employed blood so I tuned 'er up to take her out in the mean time.  Also have been buying the bike accessories in the mean time.

Cycling Gear, guess I'll do that run down like a knitting pattern or my photo gear.

. Blackburn TPS-2 floor pump
. Filzer dB4LW wireless cycling computer
. Zefal 'Ping' bell
. MEC microwedgie seat bag
. Tools
… 6" wrench
… 4" vice grip
… bicycle wrench
… Louis Garneau compact tool
. Raleigh bicycle helmet

 What about a lock, you're wondering!  Yeah, I haven't picked one up yet – going to pick up one when I purchase a bike.  Maybe sooner depending on how long I wait to get a new bike.  So I'm looking to get a hybrid bicycle 'cause for now I've got a mountain bike which isn't really the right bike for the kind of riding I want to do.

Today I tuned up the old bike, which sat lonely and deflated in my basement, with the help of this tutorial.  It's very satisfying, just like all this craftiness, to work on something like that yourself.  By and large not much needed to be done – the most work came in making sure the wheels & brakes were alright, the wheels were just about perfect and I replaced the well worn-out brake pads with new ones and now I feel confident that my bike will actually stop when I want it to.  I attached my bell so I can ride legally, and unfortunately the little pouch I have is not going to fit under the kind of seat I have.  I then set up my wireless bike computer, which I tested out and it works like a charm.  Awesome.

I'm totally stoked to start riding – this is part good fitness, health & wellness, and part energy conservation for local travel.  I won't lie, this is also motivated by the desire to shed a few pounds – the warmer weather is coming and I would like to lose my winter-warming fat.

So here we go.. !  For now, on the sporty front, time to go watch the Ottawa vs Tampa Bay game.  Playoff game 3, baby, oh yeah!