Monday, June 17, 2013

My first 15-hour challenge

This past Saturday, I set myself the challenge of moving constantly for 15 hours.

This is a kind of a weird preparation for the triathalon I'm hoping to do in 2015.  I figure it'll take me 15 hours to do the whole thing, and Saturday was the 15th of June . . . a bit of a pattern here.

I'm a bit of a long-distance admirer of people who take on extreme life style challenges for a while.  The "No-Spend Month"ers beguile me; the one-year "No Impact Man" experiment warmed my heart; the "No car month" folks had me rooting for them.

The closest I think I'd gotten to a semi-extreme challenge myself, though, was the year that I vowed to respond to the question, "How are you?" without saying "I'm so busy!".  It was a great experiment, all the more so because it stuck with me, just like the (almost) no-trash life stuck with this family.  (Wow).

So even though I wasn't planning to exercise hard the whole time -- even though I just (? just ?) wanted to practice moving and not sitting down for a whole day,  I figured I'd learn a lot by doing this.  And  learn a lot I did.

Like, 15 hours is a long time!  I mean, I knew that, but it didn't really sink in before that it meant that if I start moving at, say, 8:30 a.m., I'd have to keep going until almost midnight.   Also, as I started setting this up, I realized how hard it was for me to come up with interesting ways to keep myself moving, without totally wearing myself out.  With the help of a lot of really good friends, though, I count the "Motion Day" a success; the only times I sat down were to change shoes, do very private things, or paddle a canoe.

If you're interested in peeping at what my day looked like, here it is:
5:00 -- bike 6 miles  to Manheim
5:30 -- run 1 mile with my friend M,, then bike 6 miles home again
7:00 -- run 10 miles with my friend TL -- this was hard!
9:00 -- (cry, and) walk around the block eating bananas and chicken wings
            several times while the boys woke up and fed themselves
10:00 -- bike 7 miles to the  to the river with the boys,
11:00 -- go canoeing (2 miles, plus hauling the canoe on land to-and-from the water)
12:00 -- bike home
1:00 -- discover that my plan to swim 2.4 miles go awry when pool is *closed*.  Drat.
1:20 -- walk 3 miles down to County Park Pool with K-daughter and the boys, then walk 3.5 miles home
3:30 -- pull weeds to kill time (and to kill weeds)
4:00 -- bike 18-ish miles with my friend A.
5:30  -- do a few shopping* errands on the bike, probably about 6 miles
6:30 -- work in the garden: weeding, sifting compost, and adding 3 wheelbarrows of compost the garden
8:00 -- done!

Grand total: 
Running: 11 miles
Biking: 50-ish miles
Walking: 7+ miles
Swimming: Fail
Gardening and Puttering: Lots 

In addition to the exercise, I got to see many sights that make me love living in a place as diverse as Lancaster:
An Amish horsedrawn buggy
The Lancaster Gay Pride Festival
Latin music festival
A caravan of Harley Davison Motorcycles (drivers waved back at my sons)
A Model T Ford
Cows grazing in the luscious farmland
People dining al fresco at city sidewalk cafes
6-year-olds dancing in the Binns Park water fountain
And, of course, my FRIENDS!

* What does Miser Mom buy when she goes shopping?  a bag of popcorn kernels from the grocery store, and then a bottle of an unhealthy adult beverage from another store.


  1. Congrats! What a great accomplishment for practice. How did you feel physically at the end? And how about the next morning? Keep up the good work.

    1. When I hit mile 9 of running with my friend TL, she asked me, "what will be the biggest physical challenge during the rest of the day?" And I said, "the next mile". And it turned out, that was the truth. Running is really hard compared to everything else -- even compared to racing bikes with my buddy A. toward the end of that long day.

      I was surprisingly not very tired or achy at the end. The next day we walked to and from church, did a bunch of biking, and generally led a normal day. I do wish I had had a chance to swim on Saturday, because I think that would have tired me out (in a good way). - MM