September 24, 2014

I'm Up! I'm Up!

Hil and I have gotten in the habit of using our portable electronic devices as alarm clocks. I use my smartphone, while she sets either her iPad or her smartphone. We like how quickly one can change the alarm time. Plus we've always got them nearby anyway.

But Hil's phone is dying, and the iPad's charging port is also giving up the ghost, so last night she needed an alarm clock. I pulled out my favorite one, she set it to the time she wanted to be up (which was an hour before my wakeup), and we went to bed.

When it went off in the morning, I had a rush of memory. I'd bought that battery powered alarm clock back in Georgia. It had gone with me to Afghanistan, Japan, California, two different ships, and more than a dozen different countries. I knew that sound.

And in the Corps it is unwise to be late getting out of the rack, so when that alarm rings my feet hit the deck. When it sounded this morning, my heart rate popped from "resting" to "alert", and my hindbrain decided that despite the lack of light, it was now officially morning. It wouldn't do to be late for 0430 PT, now would it!

While I appreciate the occasional bout of nostalgia, did I mention that it was going off an hour before I had planned on being up? Such are the perils of conditioned reflexes.

Posted by: Boviate at 09:38 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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September 04, 2014

I Ain't as Good As I Once Was

I've been focusing on riding this summer, but this afternoon I had somewhere to be and I figured I could go for a run, because it takes less time. My USMC PFT times were generally about 23 minutes for three miles, and I know I've lost a step or two. But surely I could hold down my PFT pace for a single mile? That wouldn't be that tough.

So I gave myself a mile of a very slow jog to warm up, then put the pedal down. I was looking for "7:40 min/mile" on my fancy pedometer.

After a hundred yards I decided that "8:00" was a much more even number and would be close enough. I'd had PFTs of 24 minutes, that was still OK. And I even managed to hang on to that pace for a while. First my legs started to complain, but I brought to mind the mantra of legendary professional cyclist Jens Voigt, "Shut up legs!" Then my lungs started to complain, but I ignored them because everyone knows steam engines are powerful, so if I was puffing like a steam engine that must be good.

But at three-quarters of the way into my mile, I was betrayed by the organ I trust the most– my stomach! I could hardly believe it. I almost always give my stomach what it wants, but there it was, rebelling. If you catch my drift.

So I gave up on the dream of a mile at my old PFT pace, and slowly jogged home, my mouth filled with the taste of bile and failure. But mostly bile.

Posted by: Boviate at 08:30 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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