July 12, 2012

Dead Plants, Wasps and Wood Choppers

I've had an interesting week. I arrived home from my blissful vacation to find my beautiful garden dried up and wilted due to a massive heat wave while I was away. It was such a sad scene I couldn't even bring myself to take a photo, but essentially most things looked like this, which was formerly basil and will soon be living in a landfill.

I immediately watered everything and woke up Sunday morning to signs of recovery. I then spent six hours stripping all the dead leaves and flowers from the plants, leaving them looking spindly and sparse, but hopefully poised for healing.

Then I noticed a small hive on my climbing rose vine. I hoped it was for bees, but was visited shortly after by a very aggressive inhabitant that I immediately recognized as a wasp. A little research revealed it was a yellow jacket hive and all advice was to kill them immediately. So I bought the wasp spray that claims you can stand 20 safe feet away and soak the nest without getting attacked, then invited Mark over for dinner. Isn't that what boyfriends are for? After a lovely meal we staged an attack and quickly learned the directions on the can were crap. You have to stand more like six feet away and pray the winds are in your favor. But luckily Mark managed to nail it and as of this morning, my backyard seems to be wasp free.

Aside from fiddling in the garden and attacking insects, I finally started my strength training routine. I'm aiming to do three days a week the remainder of the year in an effort to reduce body fat and eliminate some muscle imbalances I've developed from years of only S/B/R. I'm also not getting any younger and the statistics on annual muscle loss are frightening so it's time to do something about it. I spent 45 minutes at the gym Tuesday and left feeling utterly destroyed, yet amazing. It was so much fun to do something different that also made my heart pound and sweat pour off me. My favorite was the "wood chopper" for the obliques, as demonstrated in this video. Note that my obliques do not (yet) look like that (in fact I'm not sure I have obliques) and I don't exhale quite so dramatically.

I've also been up early to bike a couple times this week and finally went for a post-Provincetown run, thought the squats made that a little painful. It's great to do whatever I feel like and the break will definitely make next year's return to structured training that much more enjoyable.

Do you make time for strength training during your season?

What is your favorite routine?


  1. i always love how i feel after strength training, and yet, for whatever reason, still don't make enough time for it! i think part of it is not really knowing what to do, or even how to use half of he machines in there! would be interested to know some of the moves/exercises you're doing...

    1. I'm the same way, I've been attempting to start this up since January and I really have no excuses because I'm not training for anything! After I've gotten into a routine I'll post about what I'm doing. So far I really like the moves and they are all very beneficial for an endurance athlete!



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