Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Wind Sprints

Tuesday 10/17/06

I am beginning to overcome the jet lag, although I’m still not sleeping too well. I only woke up an hour earlier than I intended today. I decided it would be a good day to go to the gym and work out.

The zone where I am has limited facilities – both the zone with tent city and the zone with the most permanent buildings and the main PX have better and more extensive facilities. The only gym on this side of the base is in this latter zone, which is quite a walk. So I decided to run.

I haven’t run since my PT test in May. I do not like to run, but here I am in the Army, where it’s a way of life. Since I’ll have to take another PT test before long, I thought I’d better start in again. It’s probably less than a mile to the gym, but it will do me good no matter how short it is. I ran over there, and was once again amazed. This is different than the other gym. Instead of one huge room, it is more like a typical health club with a lot of smaller rooms dedicated to specific purposes (free weights, Nautilus, treadmills, etc.). When I passed the racquetball courts I just sort of smiled and shook my head. I don’t know whether to feel good because they are taking good care of us, or to feel bad because the troops further forward don’t have anything like this. Some guys on the bus last night had been conducting stability operations in Iraq for the past year and are on their way home. They
were talking about this place and referred to it as “paradise”.

I found the room with the mats and did my exercise routine. Once again I tried to fall back into a bridge, but this time I couldn’t do it very well. And every time I tried reverse pushups I just pushed myself back over. So I guess I need to work on that. Aside from that it was a good workout. I went to run back my quarters, but I just wasn’t up for it. I jogged more and more slowly, and then started walking. I hate to run, and now I was tired from my workout and just didn’t have the motivation.

Then I remembered wind sprints, and that’s how I came back – running flat out for 100 yards or so, then walking until I caught my breath, and then running flat out again. I’d set a goal up ahead to run to, and then take off, trying to run faster with each and every step until I got there. It really got my heart going! I’ve read that those are actually better for you than steady jogging at a slower pace, so I think it was a good thing. Hill sprints are supposed to be even better. I’d try it, but there’s a marked shortage of hills around here. :-)

I got back and went to take my shower. Until now I’ve just turned on both hot and cold and gotten it to the temperature I wanted. This time I wanted a cold shower to cool down afterwards, so once I was clean I turned off the hot water. The shower stayed hot. I thought perhaps the handles were reversed, so I turned off the blue one and turned on the red one - wrong! It turns out that the “cold” water here is hot, and the hot water is *very* hot! I guess the water reaches the ambient temperature in the water tower, and they don’t cool the tap water. No wonder they gave me a refrigerator!

Speaking of hot water, I just learned that the little immersion heater I bought at REI works very well indeed. I was disappointed in it when I used it at home and in Georgia – it took a long time to heat the water. I almost returned it, it was so slow. But I kept it because I thought it would be better than nothing. I just used it here, on 220V current, and it boiled the water very quickly. So I’m glad I kept it! Now I’ll have my English Breakfast Tea with honey. I’ve been having it in the mess hall, but it takes too long to steep three cups and I don’t want to stay there that long. It will be much more productive to be able to have it here after breakfast, since I have a good two hours before they start in at work. Once I have a computer there I’ll probably just go into the office early and do this from there. I’m hoping to get the rest of my photos posted at the same time I upload this entry (today?)

Mood: Ready for work
Music: Beethoven (Immortal Beloved DVD)


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