Altitude Sickness

Hotel workouts offer many benefits

It was a unique week in my training life. I was away for four nights in hotels training for my new job selling residential rooftop solar installations, and so I had a rare opportunity: work out like nuts without any effect on my working life.

The great thing about training in hotels is that you have your meals prepared for you, you have access to a hot tub, and you have access to (in this case) a great gym. So, what I did was workout two times a day, jogging and lifting in the morning and sprint intervals and a core workout (with a 12-pound medicine ball) in the afternoon.

The jogging and lifting are self-explanatory, but the sprint intervals were interesting to do on a treadmill, because it gave me a very good idea of distance, and of paces that I might be capable of in the future. I did intervals of 30 seconds at 12 m.p.h. (a 5 minute per mile pace) then 90 seconds at 4 m.p.h. (a 15 minute per mile pace). It took me about 15 seconds on either end of the 30 seconds to ramp up and down.

I could cover 2.5 miles in 20 minutes with this method, which also meant that I ran one mile total at a 5 minute per mile pace! This was remarkably easy (sprinting is harder off a treadmill, where you are more likely to max out your pace), and made me think that I might eventually be able to get to a 5 minute per mile pace, just by lengthening the intervals until they string together.

The core work was fun, because I had a co-worker from my new job who is as ab-crazy as I am, and we did medicine ball drills until we got bored (neither of us really ever ran out of steam).

One of the other things I have been trying to do is to get back into meditation. I practiced Shambhala for a very long time, and it was really elemental in my evolution from crazy person to normal person. Or at least to crazy person with a better filter…

It is always difficult to get back into the habit, just like it is difficult to get back into exercising.

The technique of Shambhala was developed by Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche as a tool for secular folks to be able to pump up their calm party; to get their Buddha on without actually becoming Buddhist. It’s pretty great. The one problem with it is that my brain is a monkey, and left unattended basically throws poop at everyone.

Here’s how it goes for me though (real time, it happens at the speed you read it): “Man I love meditation. Thinking. Breathe. Thinking (about breathing). Why is my breathing all weird? Am I dying? Thinking. I sure am hungry. I wonder what I will have for lunch? Thinking. Im hungry. Thinking. I sure wish I could eat cookies. Oh no, thinking. I do miss cookies. Damn gluten sensitivity. Thinking. Cookies. Cookies. Thinking. Cookies cookies cookies. Thi…cake. Cake and cookies. Cookies, cookies, cake, cookies, thinking, cookies, sex, cookies, thinking, remember when I ate that dog biscuit when I was 4? Thinking. It actually didn’t taste half bad. Thinking. Does that mean I’ve eaten horse? Thinking. Sex, cookie, cake, hot girl I work with, I really need to make a list of the things I have to do today, thinking, sex, thinking, cake, thinking, bacon, bacon, bacon, bacon, sex, thinking, I need to try eating bacon during sex, thinking, or maybe a bacon cookie, thinking, yes, bacon cookies! I will be the king of the world, thinking.”

So, I have some work to do. Clearly.

As for Pip the Impaler (the Pipdate, if you will), he is coming along, as per always. He is still a pain, still nervous, still nippy, but we have started to have repeatably good snuggles in which he both yawns and stretches (indication of relaxation) and does not pee on me. We continue to bond over apples, and he continues to hate the fact that he likes it when I scratch his chin.

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