A “Step-Back” Week

This is the week. I’ve been given the directive that the house should be finished by the end of the week. Usually it takes me 3 weeks to unpack, organize and decorate a house from scratch. This one is going on for four now. I can’t say exactly why except that everything has to be re-thought.

imageSome spots are beginning to look normal, if you ignore the bird house sitting on the chair or the ladder propped against the wall.

I spent 2 hours yesterday creating a linen closet in the butler’s pantry…inspecting every napkin for stains, deciding what to keep and where to put it. Nothing is ironed but at least they all have a home.image

Today I must do the same with all the bed linens except, we don’t have a closet for the bed linens yet. Same thing goes for all the deck accoutrements. The deck isn’t finished because of all this rain.

So, bird houses, plants and baskets sit everywhere. Trees have been lying in the flower bed and grass is growing in between all the bricks. The pots and pans are sitting on the counter in the guest house, sheets are in stacks on the dining table…. and then the kitchen has to be totally re-organized. It’s no surprise that’s its been hard to focus on anything else.

Halfway through the long run on Sunday, my mind was still racing through decisions I left back at the house.

This is the first step-back week in my training program, which means the long run drops from 11 miles last week to 8 miles this Sunday. In the program I’ve selected, this happens every third week giving your body a chance to catch its breath before pushing on to higher and higher mileage.

Training this week includes two 3-mile runs, two 6-mile runs – one at marathon pace, and one 8-mile run on Sunday. After much practice, I can finally do the jumping block kick although it has left my legs very tired.

There are more of the kicks on the schedule this week and I also have to practice holding the horse stance for 15 minutes.image

In the Shaolin style we practice, our legs are wide apart as we sit low to the ground. It is used to strengthen the back and legs so that we are stronger fighters. For each sash we earn, a longer and longer horse stance is required.

My next test only requires 10 minutes at the man level (not quite a full squat) but I will practice for 15 minutes to be sure I can make the 10 minutes under stress. If my legs don’t hurt now, they will by the end of this week.

Twenty-six miles of running, power kicks and three hours of horse stance (15 minutes, twice a day for six days), two days of Core H and two days of a Better Myrtl, four hours of tai chi and kung fu class, a few more pots, pans and sheets, a little gardening and my week is a wrap.

My husband said he had meetings all day and I thought to myself, that might just be the next best thing to a day at the spa.

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