Sunday, May 4, 2008

Large Cactus

Really Old Large Cactus in Front of My Friend's New House

I didn't get out of town to any water holes this weekend. My friends did and I am jealous with a capitol J that they went backpacking without me...but I know that I am making these sacrifices to achieve a goal I really really want so it is worth it. Plus I got to do something that was really very cool in itself: volunteer at the Special Olympics. I spent 10 hours working at the AZSO and it really was a pretty moving experience. There is is joy that pervades the atmosphere there that is much more rare in more serious competitive events. Loud cheers of excitement errupt after every run and after every throw no matter how great or small the distance from competitors and fans alike.

Sunday, I forced myself to study for the GRE. Ummm, how is it possible that I forgot so much math so quick? It is "high school level" math so maybe that is problem. I took no less than 9 calculus and above math classes in college, but I guess I don't remember how to reduce fractions or other simple geometry. Apparently, I need to study a little bit. Boohoo.

My last bit of weekend excitement also brought another deficiency of mine to light. I am really out of cardio shape, at least from a mountain biking perspective. I attempted my first real trail ride on Sunday on my old faithful trail, the desert classic at South Mountain and it was tough to say the least. I am not surprised, as I have always found that road biking and elliptical is great for endurance, but does not spike the HR to a high cardio level and it has been about 2.5 months since I last mountain biked.

I know how fast I usually ride and I know how tired I am usually am, and I gotta say, the usual was unusually exhausting. I did about 10 miles and granted it was 5:00 pm and the temperature was probably still well over 90 degrees, but I had to stop several times just to gasp for breath while trying not to dry heave. At the beginning of the summer, I always force feed myself a lot of heat, just to get accustomed to it, so I was successful in that. I will say however, that I did feel pretty strong, leg strength wise. I did not have any trouble making it up any of the steep inclines and really hit the lines well for me. The knee was a non factor and that is all I can ask for at this stage in the rehab. Better that my lungs and heart feel like they are going to explode than my knee.

So I need to start getting back on trails now and work on my cardio/heat management. I of course have not been given any sort of approval for these activities, but has that ever stopped me before? It was time.

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