Jul 142014
 

I think it’s been like a month since I biked to work, or close to it! I was focusing more on running and then I had a knee flare-up that stopped a lot of activities for about a week and a half. Michael threw out his back last month and while he’s getting better it’s still not great. He hasn’t really biked much, either. He went from doing 100+ miles a week to none. He was starting small getting back into it and the other day we biked into work together.

We parked at the Park and Ride and rode in together. Even injured Michael is still faster than me. At one intersection Michael made it through the light before it changed but I didn’t. So I fell behind, party because I’m slow and partly because I was waiting for the light.

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We rode through Sellwood and caught the Springwater Trail. I caught up with Michael and was able to draft off him for a little bit, so that was nice! It was pretty warm out–I was wearing arm warmers but really didn’t need them. It was humid and kind of gross out, actually.  The closer we got to downtown the more the clouds burned off and there were blue skies.

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The Hawthorne Bridge was really crowded. I hate it when it’s that busy. At the end of the bridge Michael and I split off. He went to his office and I took the waterfront to mine. Here is the morning ride in:

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It was a gross, sweaty, muggy ride in but I’m glad I did it. I preemptively iced my knees just to be safe. I miss the old days when I was able to bike to work a few times a week and not have any issues. It was such a nice way to get to work and save some money on gas, stay fit, and free up my evenings…

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The day warmed up and the skies were clear. Sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen!! I set out after work, crossed the Morrison Bridge and met Michael at the entrance to the Springwater Trail so we could bike the rest of the way to the Park and Ride together. But that wasn’t before I had a very negative encounter with a car who almost hit me downtown. At first the guy was stopped at the light in the MAX lane (which clearly states NO CARS) and he was trying to turn right on a one-way street. Then he backed up and moved to the proper lane, behind me. The light changed and he sped up around me, cutting me off and almost hitting me. I yelled at him that we was an asshole and he pulled over aggressively and asked what he did wrong. I said, “You cut me off and almost ran me over” and he said he didn’t then responded with “I’m a tourist.” Um, what? Does that mean you can’t follow basic rules of the road and common courtesy?! What a jerk!

Anyways, I met up with Michael, a little shaky from the experience and we biked together on the Springwater. He ended up going ahead of me once we got to Sellwood. I tried to go faster to keep up but that ended up irritating my knee so I backed off. Oh well.

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Wow, my morning and afternoon calories were almost the same! Total Miles: 14.64 and Total Calories Burned: 709. After we got cleaned up we decided to go out for dinner. I had planned on being “good” and making something healthy for dinner but the prospect of cooking with a broken dishwasher and I was hungry and gave in easily…

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We went to Iron Horse in Sellwood, one of our favorites. The service is always great, the food is good and there are healthier options. It’s not your typical greasy Mexican restaurant with congealed cheese and super fatty foods. The portions are also fairly reasonable. I ordered a Boneyard IPA–my favorite beer!

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I ordered the special. It was some salmon encrusted with chile (so basically blackened salmon), saffron rice, a small salad and black beans. The salmon was topped with a chile sour cream sauce. Everything tasted so great! I ate half of my dinner and saved the rest for leftovers. When we got home Michael worked on removing our old dishwasher so they can take it away when the new one arrives.

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I played with Bella outside and then enjoyed a 100 calorie creamsicle. It was so good! It tasted just like those little dixie cups of orange and vanilla ice cream I used to get as a kid. I loved that it was only 100 calories, too. The next day my knee was “ok” but not 100%. I had an amazing massage to help work out the kinks and tightness.

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Jun 252014
 

…It just looked like one.  Last year Michael and I tried the sensory deprivation tanks at Float On for the first time. We both wanted to go again because the first time you try it you don’t know what to expect and don’t really achieve any kind of higher consciousness. We recently went again, thanks to a Living Social coupon.

Michael’s back issues are a little better but not 100%. I was curious to see if floating would help him at all. Because his back was bothering him, he got the easier tank–the one I had last time that was kind of like a giant bathtub. It was easier for him to get in and out of it. This time I had the one he had last time — the one that is an actual tank with a door that closes.

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When I first looked at the tank I got, I admit, my heart started racing a little bit. It was kind of creepy to look at. I got over that fairly quickly, though. You shower before you get in the tank. I turned the lights off in the room but you could still kind of see because of the salt lamp on top of the tank.

I stepped inside, crouched down and closed the door behind me. I remembered my experience last time and the things that made me uncomfortable was getting the salt water in my eyes. This time I brought swimming goggles and it made the experience so much better. At one point I did get a little salt water in my nose (no idea how) and that was a burning horrible awfulness but it went away pretty quickly.

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I was glad I brought the goggles. I also remembered that last time my neck kind of hurt so I grabbed the swimming noodle immediately this time and that helped. I got in the tank and closed the door and couldn’t see anything. That definitely helped calm me down and not think about how I was in a tank. Not being able to see anything made a big difference.

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So how was the float session? It was pretty good but I still didn’t achieve any kind of “enlightenment”, so to speak. I don’t know what is wrong with me but I couldn’t turn my brain off. This is why I also suffer from insomnia. My mind starts racing, I make obsessive lists in my head, think about all the things I have to do the next day or the next week…I just couldn’t shut that off! I laid in the tank with my mind racing, feeling irritated with myself.

The floating felt nice. It’s kind of weird to just float on top of the water without any effort to stay afloat. I liked that weightless feeling. The water feels kind of slimy from the massive amounts of salt. That is a strange feeling.

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The session was for 90 minutes. I think around the hour mark my brain calmed down and I was able to relax. I also found a much more comfortable position to float in. I used the swim noodle kind of like a pillow and rolled onto my side, almost in a fetal position. I was floating in that position for the rest of the session and felt REALLY relaxed and could have fallen asleep. I told Michael later and he thought that was crazy–he called it an “advanced maneuver.” LOL I don’t know, it was just comfy.

The session was over when the music started playing. I got out and showered and cleaned up and met Michael outside. We stopped at 7-11 and Michael got an ice cream bar (I skipped it because there wasn’t anything less than 300 calories!) and I got a Gatorade. I was SO thirsty! That’s a tip I’d recommend–bring a water bottle. Re-hydrate! You will be so thirsty.

Michael said he had a good experience. He didn’t know that it necessarily helped his back much but he said he was comfortable (so that’s good) and that the time went really fast this time. I agree, it felt like that 90 minutes when faster than the first time.

I’d like to try it again. I REALLY want to achieve some kind of mental calmness. I want to try and use that time as a meditation and calm my mind, which seems unattainable at this point…Anyways, I’m glad we tried it again. Time will tell if the next experience will be different.

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