Note: Please excuse the hodgepodge this week. I’ve had a lot of thoughts rolling through my head.
This week’s mileage:
Last week, I did a variety of exercise wearing a heart rate monitor just to see what my real caloric output was. I wasn’t surprised to find that the estimations given by myfitnesspal and mapmyrun were very generous. For example, with my heart rate monitor on, I went to spin class twice last week. Both times I worked really hard. For the first ride, I came ten minutes before class to warm up, so my total ride time was actually 1:11:46. My total calorie burn according to my heart rate monitor was 464 calories. The second time it was 424 calories. Don’t get me wrong, I worked hard:
However, when I go to log it into mapmyrun or myfitnesspal, the calorie estimates based on my weight and the time spent exercising are very generous:
Mapmyrun was giving me 604 calories while myfitnesspal gave me 550 calories. I have never used the estimates from these sites to keep track of my calories for exercise, but it would be easy to overeat based on the estimates that they give. Just look at the calorie burn estimate for yoga from mapmyrun:
In the type of yoga class I go to, I’d be lucky to burn 200 calories. Be careful with calorie burn estimators because they are generous, and generosity isn’t a good thing when weight loss is important.
Next week will be an interesting week for getting my mileage in. I have to have a procedure on my leg on Thursday, which means the 12 mile run will either need to get done on Wednesday or early Thursday morning. . .ALONE. I have run 12 miles alone before. It’s not easy. I’ve run 12 miles on a treadmill and outside. It’s also not easy either way. I know I can do it, but it is definitely not EASY. I am trying to stay positive about recovering in a few day and getting back out there to pound the pavement.
I’ve been thinking a lot this past week about how my grandma, my mother, and my aunts and uncle have come together to take care of my grandpa. They are so strong, and I am very proud of all of their hard work. I was trying to remember the last time I saw my grandpa, and he remembered who I was. I think it was probably about two years ago. I remember talking about fuel economy in his truck and and which pump at his favorite gas station lets out a little more gas. Sometimes I think about what I might have said to him if I had realized that it was the last time he was going to see me and remember who I was. He never did say very much, but I could always tell by the way he looked at me and the way he hugged me that he was deeply proud of me. He knows me now from the picture that hangs on the bulletin board in the kitchen that my grandma has artfully put together to help him remember relatives, but he no longer associates the girl on the bulletin board with a past memory.
My mom used to tell me about working on the farm with grandpa. She would recount going out in the cold to chop firewood with him and about milking the cows. She had a strategy for overcoming her size as a child when pouring the milk in the cooler. She used a stool and got on her tiptoes to empty her pail of milk. She couldn’t even see what she was doing yet, but it didn’t stop her from trying. There was something valuable transmitted to my mother through those early working experiences, and strong bonds were formed through shared work on project.
My mom, her big sister, and grandpa working in the background
I know that it is through these early experiences that my mom learned to work hard, and I know that when I wonder what it is within me that allows me to run for over five hours without stopping that it comes from my grandpa. He never said a lot because his way of saying “I love you” was to be a provider. The calluses on his palms, the dirt under his fingernails, and the grime in his white t-shirt insist, “I love you very much.”
Anyway, here are some pictures that I stole from my aunt’s facebook page:
My aunt Shari took grandpa on a balloon ride a couple weeks ago, and they flew in a plane last weekend:
All seemed to enjoy themselves, and I’m sure they will be cherished moments.
I’m going the distance with the Alzheimer’s Association ALZ Stars®, a program to advance the care, support and research efforts of the Association.
Currently, more than 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to grow to as many as 16 million by 2050. Our future is at risk unless we can find a way to change the course of this disease.
I need your support to do my part! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer’s Association advance research to discover methods of prevention, treatment and ultimately, a cure for Alzheimer’s. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.
This year, I am running in honor of my grandpa, Merle Willson, who is currently living with Alzheimer’s disease. He no longer remembers who I am, but I would like to recognize all of the hard work he has invested in our family throughout the years beginning well before I was born. His hard work on the farm cleared the path for my mom to go to college, which turned into the opportunity for my brother and me to become college graduates as well. His generosity and work ethic through the decades are his legacy, and they will echo into the future long after his time. He may not remember, but we always will. Thank you Grandpa!
I would also like to recognize Grandma Willson who has become Grandpa’s primary caretaker. Thanks for taking care of Grandpa! You rock!
Grandma and Grandpa Willson (2006)
Thank you in advance for your generosity – together, we can outrace Alzheimer’s disease.
To make a donation, please click the green “Support Me” link on the right side of the page or visit http://act.alz.org/goto/canderun. Follow training on twitter @willsonstrong.
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Thank you to my supporters! I cannot do it without you!
Susan Willson Aamodt
Shari Willson Anderson
Merle and Anna Willson
Mike and Barb Tatham