Category Archives: Comfort Zone

I Biked Outside Every Day in April

#realgainzriding

I did it! I biked outside, at least ten miles, every day in April!

bike

#realgainzriding

Kale Poland is a DecaMan ultra endurance person who became known to me through another ultra endurance friend, Wayne Kurtz. Kale began this challenge two years ago-ride outside in April to make real gains on your biking for the year. I saw some of his crazy posts toward the end of last April,  decided I needed to drink the koolaid and join in this year. It was great to see everyone’s daily posts about getting out there in all the weather to ride.

Mother Nature was kind to me

I had decent weather for most of my rides. I saw folks who were riding in northern states riding in snow, hail, sleet-ugh! Kudos to them! I had some cold days but none of the weather I rode in was less than 38 degrees.  What we all had in common was WIND.

wind gusts

Scheduling

The quarantine made it easier to ride. The days that I worked, my only responsibilities were to go to work,  back to the apartment to sleep, and ride my bike. With everything closed there was no need to *find something to do* on my down time. The days  I was home, we were under the shelter in place rules, and I didn’t go anywhere except to ride my bike.

bike at trailhead

 

goodr glasses

Totals

april challenge

Over 335 miles (the phone messed up a few times), and well on my 2020 goal of biking 2020 miles. It was fun (some of the days), and I am proud to say I completed the challenge.

Are you involved in any challenges designed to push a limit or two?

F is for Fun in the A to Z Challenge

Type 1, Tpye 2, and Type 3 Fun levels have been around the outside community  for years.

I first heard about the three levels of fun on The Dirtbag Diaries.

Level One Fun

Just a fun activity:  you are having a good time doing it, no worries, like skiing, or running in the mountains. Just a cool day in the outdoors, normal fun stuff.Level One Fun

Having fun at the Black Hills 100K.

Level Two Fun

Level Two Fun is being over your head and miserable. It really sucks being in the middle of it, but once it’s over (and didn’t turn into Level 3 Fun) it turns into a good story to be told. You kind of forget how badly it sucked.

My finish of the Wild Oak Trail 108 miler would be a good definition of Level Two Fun. An excerpt from my blog when the fun was Level Two teetering toward Level Three:

“Of course, I am getting colder and colder.  I slip chemical handwarmers into my gloves, as I can’t feel my thumbs.  But now my thighs are getting cold. My thighs never get cold, I can feel the cold on the outside. I’m getting genuinely concerned for my well being.”

“Everything hurt, mostly due I believe, to the calorie deficit, and the tense body contracted against the cold.  I was so punch drunk from the sleep deprivation. I felt awful.”

Level Two Fun

Spoiler alert, I did finish my TWOT 108 mile run. One of my proudest running achievements.

Level Three Fun

It’s not fun when it’s happening, you still aren’t laughing about it afterwards, and it’s still miserable to discuss. Level Three fun could possibly involve search and rescue, or becoming the subject for a case study. You don’t want to go there!

You think you can’t encounter Level Three Fun in your backyard? Think again. My Type Three Fun happened  in my local state park:

“The mud on the trail was shoe sucking awful, so I decided to go off-piste. I follow a creek bed downhill. But my path is short lived, as the creek goes off a precipice.

 

I scrambled around the drop off and crawl back up the creek bank. This is fun until some logs are blocking the creek, and I have to hike through the greenery beside the creek.

Stinging Nettles

 I’m hiking through these plants, and realize my legs are on fire with little tiny stinging bites-all over! I realize I am covered in tiny bites! It feels like I am being bit by tiny bugs over and over again! It hurts enough that I want to cry!

Multi Flora Rose

I go up in the woods to escape the nettles. . This is where it all starts going south. I run into groves of multi flora rose bushes. Multi-flora rose is an invasive species, a perennial shrub.  It can grown into impenetrable walls. Ask me. I tried to go through them.

I would follow a deer trail, which would then go through a thicket.  I would try to find another way. I was frustrated and irritated. I was lost, yet I wasn’t. I was between the lake and the bridle trail. I was trying to get back to the trail, mud or not!! It was truly hideous. I was so irritated at myself, for getting stuck in this mess, for not bringing the compass (if I had the compass I could at least tell if I was wandering in circles). I tried to pretend this was good training for Barkley, good heat training. My legs were getting shredded. I had blood all over my legs.

 

I finally made it back to my vehicle. The legs are still warm and inflamed. It’s lucky I’m still on an antibiotic due to my teeth!”

That my friends, is Level Three Fun. It is now amusing to reread, a few years later, but it was never fun.

Do you have any Level Three Fun you are willing to share?

D is for Dream in the A to Z Challenge

 

Your 2020 year is probably not going as you expected. What can you do in these rapidly changing circumstances?

Dream Big!!

Take some time now and brain storm. Grab a piece of paper-or open up a tab on the browser-and start writing. What would you like to do if there was no limit?

Just try it!! Don’t be reasonable. Who cares if it costs a lot of money, is highly dangerous, on the other side of the world, beyond your ability!

Come back and look at your list a few days later. Do you see any similarities? Are there some activities or events that REALLY peak your interest? Are some bucket list worthy?

Do Some Research

Since we have this wonderful miracle called the internet, check out some data dreams. What route could you take if you wanted to bike across the country? Or maybe just the state of Ohio?

Dirty Water Route

 

There’s lots of opportunities to dream big now. And maybe doing a bit of day dreaming will help  you cope with reality right now?

2019 Update

Dog jumping in snow
2019 Update

Hola! How is your winter progressing? It’s finally arrived here in Ohio with a vengeance. But it’s already trending toward the bottom of the month, spring is closer!

 

219 Workouts

Yes, I am doing them! I found this cool habit tracker from Elise Joy, it is free from this website. I’ve been doing some sort of movement almost daily! I need to put some intensity into said workouts.

Career
My gap year has ended. I have a new position which I begin on Tuesday. I don’t talk about my career so much on my blog, as I have chosen to focus the blog on the more personal aspects than the professional.


The very good news is my job is local, in fact I used to work in the same town ten years ago.  We don’t have to move! I didn’t realize how much I appreciate and LOVE where we live until I was faced with possibly relocating.

 

Comfort Zone


There is nothing like job interviews to take you outside of your comfort zone! Last time I interviewed for a job, there were not behavioural or situational interviews happening! I certainly learned bunches about the current job market, LinkedIn, networking, etc!

Progress not perfection sheet
Progress not perfection

219 Workouts in 2019 Challenge

Work out 219 times in 2019

This year’s challenge is going back to the physical. I am going to work out 219 times in the year 2019.

What constitutes a workout? A work out can be a hike, bike, weights, kayak-anything that is out of the regular workings of life. Taking the dogs for a walk is not a workout. Washing floors does not count as a work out. If I end up painting the barn for six hours-well, yes, I will count that as a work out.

Working out 2/3 of the Year?!?

It’s not that difficult, people. It’s making the commitment. This would be working out five days a week. Need help with a schedule? Here’s a plan from Self Magazine.

Here are 19 moves you should be doing in 2019 from Stacked.com. It’s all about the core!

Keeping Track

I think I will make a calendar like I used to to record my work outs. That will help to keep me accountable. (I wish I could find this old school calendar software!)

Old School Work out calendar from 2004.

It’s a new year, a new breath of freshness. Someone noted online that this will be the last time we see a “teen” in our lifetime. Shall we make it the best teen year ever? Let’s go!

What are you going to do in 2019?

52 in 52 Art Journal Challenge Completed!

I did it! I completed my challenge for 2018, 52 in 52. This was to create a weekly mixed media art page-outside of my comfort zone, based on some random prompts generated.

This turned into a  true challenge. Many weeks I ran out of time, realizing my gung ho attitude on Monday had dwindled toward the end of the week. I ran out of time on most.  Sometimes the prompt wouldn’t trip my trigger of creativity.

I’m not much of an artist. This was a fun exercise to use some materials not very familiar to me and “get out of the comfort zone”.

My 2019 challenge will go in a different direction, far more physical than cerebral. Below, please find completely out of order, my creations for 2018 52 in 52 Challenge.

 

My only big fail “Dream Fire Tower”. I’ll have to do this and redeem myself.

 

 

 

art journal challenge tree graffiti
 Journal Challenge Fireworks
Art Journal Challenge Week 52 Winter

Educate Myself

I have spare time on my hands these days. I know, WHAT? Who has that?

Nevertheless I do. It’s time to do something constructive with said time. When I look back on my spare time hiatus, I want to be able to say “that’s when I learned how to do THIS and THIS and THIS”.

Things to Learn

Learn how to use my eTrex 20. I’ve had it a year and don’t understand it yet.

Learn how to use all the features on my brand new Canon Powershot SX530. It just arrived yesterday and I haven’t powered it up yet.

Learn how to make a decent newsletter for my blog, send it out and get new subscribers.

Write for and develop BFE Food and Wine, my other blog.

Learn how to use Microsoft One Note.

Learn how to fix my bike. Upcoming project: replacing brakes!

Now I got to go, it’s time to start learning!