Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ennui? There's an App for that.

South Jersey has been under seige for most of February. Three back-to-back snowstorms have had me snowed in with work and school cancelled and a compelling argument for doing nothing but drinking whiskey and baking cookies. It had gotten so bad that yesterday, when the flurries started, my first thought was "Where's the cake?!".

Before the storm, or BS, I was pretty good at keeping a 5-7 day a week schedule of workouts. Since the great hibernation I've stretched the term "exercise" to first include sledding and building snow forts, to shoveling the walk, then to doing laundry and finally to listening to the radio instead of the tv. Thank goodness for the treadmill and trainer or I might have completely calcified.

To combat the sloth, I started looking around for new workout podcasts. Santa brought me an i-pod Touch for Christmas and I've been having a great time (much to the pleasure of the fine accountants at itunes) loading all sorts of diversions.

I have found two free podcasts that are helping me through the grey days. The first is called Motion Traxx: Fuel for Fitness. It's free to subscribe. I'm not sure how often they upload new episodes but I've downloaded about 5. They are workout routines set to music with the beats per minute calculated so that you can choose a workout to get you to the speed you want. There are tracks for walking, jogging, running and cycling and some sprint workouts as well. All you have to do is keep up with the music, the sets are organized to increase your speed according to the workout type. The next is called Indoor Cycling Podcast. I've downloaded a few episodes but confess that I haven't listened to them yet. They are advertised as spin workouts though which is great because I can't seem to get to the gym at the time of the spin classes. I also downloaded a program called BeaTunes which calculated the bpm of all my own music stored in itunes (why itunes doesn't already include this feature is a mystery to me). Then I was able to use the Playlist feature of itunes to create playlists of my own music within a certain range of bpm. I also made a list of songs that just make me smile for the days I really don't want to be out there.

Despite yesterday's amazing yoga class, it had been a couple days since I had done anything to really get my heartrate up and today was looking like it would be another lazy day. I found at least 6 sound reasons not to go for a run and paced up and down the stairs unable to settle on anything to do. Clean the house? Read? Watch a movie? Sew something? Nothing seemed to hold my attention and then it dawned on me. Could it possibly be that I actually wanted to run? Or even stranger, needed to? As soon as the idea crossed my mind I realized that of course, that was it. I missed the endorphins. Before I could talk myself out of it, I threw on my shoes and running clothes and turned on the podcast. I'm back, feel great and might actually be able to tackle folding laundry after all. And they're saying we won't have any more snow for at least four whole days!...

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