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Friday, August 19, 2011

The Other Cross Training

Back in May, I mentioned that I had stopped cross training with the exception of cycling in order to focus on taking care of household chores.  So, I thought I'd give a little update on my "cross training" activities this summer.

The Bike!
This is the easy part.  I've been doing quite a bit of biking this summer, although less than is probably ideal.  I have been trying to get out on the bike once per week, and for the most part I've succeeded in that.  I've been pretty much sticking to riding on the trail near my work (also where I do my long runs), and I've been doing 11-14 miles per week.  Last week, I even joined my work friend Amer on a ride and he let me know that I'm the only person so far that had truly been able to keep up with him on a ride (besides his riding buddy, Jared, who was home sick that day).

I bought a bike repair stand so that I can give my bike a bath.  At this point, it's really muddy.  I'm hoping to get to that this weekend.  Then, once we get into fall and it gets colder, I'll probably be moving indoors.  I'm a fair weather cyclist.

The House
I started out wonderful at keeping up with housework.  I went the first 6 or 8 weeks keeping everything under control.  My strategy was to take all of the little chores and things that I have to do and divide them up over the days of the week.  I then use Remember The Milk to put all of the chores in, and I am reminded each day as to what 2 or 3 things I am supposed to do.  I've been using Remember the Milk for years now, and it is basically how I keep all of my chores and tasks straight.  I have my weekly expected miles in there, birthdays, social obligations, chores, reminders... everything.  It's an excellent tool for keeping track of stuff.

So, as I did this, things were going so well.  I was doing a load of laundry on 5 of 7 days per week.  The sheets on the bed were getting changed regularly.  I was dusting, vacuuming.  I had my basic chores to be done every day, but then I was also focused on one area of the house each week (for example, the kitchen on week 1 and the bedroom on week 2).  Things started out so awesome.  I started writing blog posts in my head about how to keep your house "guest ready" at all times.  Things were going great.

Then... well, I don't know.  Work was busy, we had a scuba class for several weeks that kept us out of the house one night a week (which meant we weren't making new mess that night, but my tasks weren't getting done either).  I started missing days.  It wasn't a big deal because the plan was to make up those tasks on Sunday (which has no tasks), or on Saturday (which has few tasks).  So, I spent several weekends working on the house all weekend to make up for it.  I started to feel like I spend every weekend cleaning the house, which was exactly what this whole new process was supposed to stop.

So, here I am, currently up to 3 weeks behind on some of my household tasks.  I work hard all day and then go home feeling like I have a mountain of stuff to do when I get home.  This is exactly the feeling I was having before I started this process, and now it's back again.  I feel pretty disappointed about how this has gone.  Disappointed in myself, and just plain bummed that things were going so well and I've ruined it.  I really, truly, do not understand how other people keep themselves together as easily as they do.

There's always the option of hiring someone to do the housework (in fact, I've had a maid before), but I just really want to avoid that extra expense.  So, I'll plug along and see how things will go.

Upper Body
In the meantime, I thought I ought to do something to work on my upper body.  I was doing a lot of weight training for the last few years, but I have to be totally honest with you - I hate weight training.  I just hate it. I don't want to do it, and I don't want to go back to forcing myself to do a bunch of stuff that I hate.  I had totally given up on it, but then I felt really weak and floppy in my arms.  Along came LB with her Project Pull Up Challenge and I've decided to participate!  The goal is to successfully do one pull up within the next month.  At this point, I've yet to do even one - EVER.  In my WHOLE LIFE.

I'm going to be adding in push ups and planks, and the hope is that I'll gain some upper body strength without subjecting myself to the torture of weights 2-3 times per week.  I'll have more on this later.

I've also thought about adding something more structured once I get through my marathon.  Swimming?  Crossfit?  I don't know, I have to think more on it between now and then.  So, another post on this later.

Ok, have a great weekend!

UPDATE: This post makes me feel better.

4 comments:

Mary said...

Don't feel bad about the housekeeping. As I've gotten older, I've just found that guilt or disappointment over stuff that isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things is non-productive.

The dirty little secret is that I think most people live without their houses being anywhere near guest-ready, most of the time--a good number of those people who you think have it together, really don't. The people who DO have it together tend to have one or more of the following:

1. they pay a housekeeper.
2. everyone who lives in their house is naturally a "clean up behind themselves" type.
3. they spend a lot of time cleaning because they have a hard time relaxing when things are in disorder. (I understand this tendency, but don't want to share it--have too many other things to worry about.)
4. They are never home to make a mess.
5. they come up with some kind of system like yours and sometimes they fall off the wagon and everything goes to hell, but they shrug that off and go back to the system.

It takes a long time to make new habits, and EVERYONE reverts back to their old habits a few times while doing it. So, don't feel bad about it, just look at your system and see if it needs tweaking for you to be more successful (like, maybe you are trying to accomplish too much in an evening, or maybe you need to assume that you're likely to be out one evening a week), but then just go back to it without worrying too much about what you've missed. I'll bet, over time, it will get better and easier. I do think a clean, orderly home is worth putting in some effort to achieve, but it's not worth making yourself feel bad about it.

Kim said...

Thanks, Mary. I just get down in the dumps when things fall apart. I think Todd was raised in a #3 household... I was raised in optional #6 - everything is always a mess!!

Mary said...

you know what my breakthrough on this was? Earlier this spring, Nick got mixed up on what time we were supposed to go to an event and we showed up at someone's house an hour early. These people have a HUGE home (think McMansion), so lots of places to put things away and only have 2 adults living there (children are grown). Plus, the wife does not work--STILL, practically every flat surface was covered with mail and stuff and the deck where we were all going to be eating, was a wreck. As we helped them finish getting ready, I immediately felt better about the state of my house! ;)

Black Knight said...

I understand very well what you mean. My wife has always your same thoughts.
However don't give up: run, swim, drive or play the sport you prefer. For fun or with a scheduled plan.
Have a good week.

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