I have a new motivation for pursuing fitness activities. With my mother in and out of the hospital, and plenty of other uncertainties, lately it's the one thing that keeps me sane. Really. I find that nothing helps put everything in perspective like a long run or a very long bike ride. For a day or two afterwards, I have unlimited patience. Nothing seems to get to me.
We all respond to stress in various ways. I have a tendency toward compulsive eating when under stress, a very unfortunate habit. I recall that during the first Gulf War, White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater put on a lot of weight, in part because of the stress. I'm not fighting the Gulf War, but the personal stakes are just as high, and I can't let bad habits take over.
So, into September we go, with me trying to stay active outdoors while the days are still long enough and before the weather turns. And the first thing to point out is that what's good for me is good for our three dogs. They all need exercise, and that alone ought to be enough to keep me busy. I run with them, but could do it more regularly. And so I'll try.
The bike is turning into the big story of 2012. I've already biked the Kanc, done an 88-mile trek to Harrisville, and rode to the seacoast for fried clams. The one big one left for this season, I think, is a White Mountains loop. I was going to do it today (Sunday, Sept. 9) but I've gotten a late start and too much to do at home base. So today it's running with dogs and maybe a two-hour New Boston bike loop to finish out the day. I'll hope ffor
Running isn't being forgotten, either, although I've missed a few town races in the past month and total has been stagnant since the triathlon in Surry, N.H., and that was back in July, f'chrissakes. Well, a clutch of a half-dozen towns beckon for this fall, including a half-marathon in Manchester, N.H., so that's something to look forward to.
And I've made progress on the "running in 50 states" project as well. On Thursday, Sept. 6, I squeezed in a 10K run through the prairie suburbs of Denver during a whirlwind one-day visit, thus adding Colorado to the list. And later this month, I could potentially pick up two more during a visit to Missouri/Kansas/Arkansas/Oklahoma. I already have Kansas, so realistically it's Missouri and then Arkansas.
Looking ahead to colder weather, I still have a gym membership at Planet Fitness on Manchester's West Side, and I also need to find a place to start swimming regularly so I can seriously participate in more triathlons next year. We'll see. In the meantime, I do need to keep activity to keep my sanity.