adventures of a mere mortal in fitness and life

Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

I Shall Be Released…

Taken from the song of the same name by The Band…

One of Mr. Prepared’s jobs is to make the Road ID bands/tags we have for running and biking. On my Road ID tag, under all the pertinent information is the tagline “Live the Adventure”. That’s kind of our motto…well, that and you can’t put “Harden the F*ck Up” on your Road ID (they don’t take swear words).

One year ago today, my husband took on a new project to rebuild Wilmot Mountain, our “home” mountain in the Chicagoland area. He did a pretty good job, as you might have seen here, here, and here. He and his team worked their asses off- another summer/fall of little mini-vacations, lots of weekends worked straight through, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears. We’ve dedicated a LOT of our time and resources, as well as hopes, dreams, and fears, to this project and the one at Mt. Brighton in Michigan.

A year in to this project, and I realize that maybe we have lost our purpose and our way as a family. When we left for Michigan, our goal was to do new things, meet awesome new people, and have lots of new experiences. These experiences would eventually line up to something even greater than what we were already enjoying in our lives. I mean, living in Colorado for 15 years…we were already living the dream. In terms of those people who always wanted to live in Colorado or “out West”, we had already made it. He had a great job with his corporation, and I was building up a new career at a community college. But something pushed us to wanting more…to getting a taste for something new and big where we didn’t see the finish line yet. We wanted to live the adventure.

So we set off to the last place someone might see as adventurous…metro Detroit. But man, would you be wrong about that! When I was in my early “crying in the car every day” phase, I likened moving to Michigan to moving to a foreign country. I mean, who eats hot dogs with chili on top, and why do these people think it’s ok to live down the street from their parents? (Lesson learned, Michiganders…totally ok to live down the street from your parents…!) The people in Michigan were the most welcoming ever- they literally would try to give you the shirts off their back. Mr. Prepared is a pretty private, introverted dude, so these kind of huge displays of hospitality always threw him (and pretty much all of us) for a loop. But my gosh, did we feel the love! So much love we sometimes had to step back into our house and regroup. As for adventure, we found all kinds of ways to find it.


The adventures in Michigan were not always what one would imagine living in Colorado. In Colorado, “adventure” is easy- a new bike trail leading to the edge of wilderness, a little known tree glade just inside ski area boundaries- these are all adventures that many of us imagine. How many of us imagine what an adventure it is to see Flint and Detroit up close, with your kids? To experience the beauty of the Mackinac Bridge (or swim the span of it, as I did to raise money in 2015 for Habitat for Humanity)? What about to learn up close and personal on opening weekend what happens when a lift cable falls off the bolwheel? Or if you build a lift on top of a septic field? Some were more traditionally adventurous, like can I link a bridle trail with the longest running trail in the metro area? (The answer is…not if you’re not prepared to deal with a lot of horse poop). Most people might find these to be hurdles to overcome, or minor hassles to be dealt with. But the Ogilvie family dove in, eyes wide open, to experience all of this and lots more. We took Sunday “wunderwugens” (name patent pending ;)) all across Michigan. I started my own business, made it successful, and created an international network of health and fitness professionals for myself. Some of the coolest and most amazing people I know came out of this short, amazing period of time.

When Mr. Prepared was invited to come and reinvent Wilmot, we assumed we could (and would) keep living the adventure. Wisconsin seemed up our alley in terms of its outdoor opportunities. And living in the Chicago metro area brought us technically to “home”, although we hadn’t called it that in over 20 years. We assumed that everything would be as it was in Michigan and that it would all turn out ok.

We know what assume means. And everything did not turn out ok.

While nothing is technically wrong, nothing about our lives seems the same as before. We have seen some lows in our family relationships that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. We’ve changed schools, visited therapists, and struggled with the kind of disappointment and anguish (both parents and kids) that makes one wonder, “What is the point of it all?” I lost my business (at least the in person part), any semblance of a career to return to, and as a family, I think we have lost our way a bit. We haven’t made the kind of networks and connections that will always make Michigan and Colorado so dear to my heart.

Today marks one year of Mr. Prepared being in his position with Wilmot. We are technically released from certain work obligations. And we are jonesing to experience our family motto once again. We are looking to settle in a community where we are welcome and can contribute with the many gifts and talents that have been bestowed upon us. The Ogilvies are ready to live the adventure again- wherever in the world that takes us for while so that our kids can feel at home and right with the world. We are drawing our pirate map today, this weekend, and going forward, so that each of us can find our treasure in living our adventures.

ogilvie-family

 

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Mighty Mac Training Reflection

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Me with the Mighty Mac bridge in the background.

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Mighty Mac Training Week of 7.5.15

I choked on my morning coffee a little when I read a FB post reminiscing about the Mac swim one of the previous Mighty Mac swimmers posted on her wall last week. I flashed through the statistics…5 hours of swimming, 1 mile left, 51 degree water, crazy currents…I swallowed hard and thought, “WTF am I doing?”  I mean I am the first person to support challenging your limits, but I seriously considered that maybe I don’t have what it takes to finish this challenge.

I have received numerous photos and texts from friends and acquaintances passing over the Mackinac Bridge that say something to the effect of “Thinking of you!” over the spring and summer. And every time I receive one of those texts, I inwardly cringe. After the latest one I thought, I shouldn’t be less than 60 days away from this event and still inwardly cringe! My list of “shoulds” was getting pretty big, and then I remember my older sister’s best advice: “Don’t should all over yourself.” 

mighty mac swim

Thinking of you swimming across!

So I go back to doing what I do best, which is putting my head down and doing the work. I will do all the work I can do that fits into my world, and it’s OK that I don’t have the best wetsuit, or swim every weekend on a Great Lake, or log 5 miles swimming 3 times a week. I am doing everything I can do that is within my ability, and past experience tells me that it will be OK and it will be enough.

My long swims are going by kilometers. It’s just way easier to measure in my world. Which is Google maps. Because no one bought me a Garmin Swim for my birthday. 😉

Sunday 7/5: 6.5K open water. Felt really good. A little boring, but really good.
Monday 7/6: 45 minute run — I mixed this in because I didn’t feel much like swimming and that ear is still bugging me.
Tuesday 7/7: Strength. I might be ready to talk about this soon. 😉
Wednesday 7/8: Swim- open water, about 2 miles. Might have been a little short, so I added about 20 minutes of kettlebell swings and some other stuff.
Thursday 7/9: Strength.
Friday: rest/ prepare for one of the littles birthday parties!
Saturday: Strength.
Sunday 7/11: 7K swim. HA! This is where things got interesting. Total mental block at 7K because I can’t remember the last time I swam 7K. If ever? Probably I have, but it escapes me. So Mr. Prepared was totally my hero, and I wouldn’t have finished (or escaped my two seaweed panic attacks) without him. He canoed the first circumnavigation of the lake with the girls in front (loaded up with snacks I packed).  Then he did a couple out and backs with me. Then the girls got out to play in the yard. He switched to the paddleboard. It was obvious to everyone this was becoming an epic, not just a workout session.

I quit at about 6.4K because I was sick of the rub from my wetsuit on my neck and I saw a CARP the size of my upper body about 4 feet below.  I got out of the water. He sent me inside with the directions to eat something, take off my wetsuit, and come back out. He had the boat out to idle alongside me, and I was like, “I can’t do anymore.” He just waited me out, and finally I got my cap and googles back on and finished the last out and back.

Thank goodness he was there because I had put the limit on myself that 7K wasn’t gonna happen, and he stood by me until it did happen.

Takeaways: Beware the limits you set on yourself! And– high-quality deli meat sits pretty well as a salty, high protein food that won’t upset your horizontal stomach. Word. 🙂

bruce lee limit quote

Limits are self-imposed. Courtesy of Motivation Grid.

 

Mighty Mac Training Back half of June 2015

Well I know I skipped a week there but I didn’t skip a week of training. It’s actually perfect this time of year to get out in our local lakes and I took my last swim with a wetsuit for a while on Monday.

My schedule shifted pretty dramatically with the girls getting out of school June 19, but I got in some great swims last week with the push of a few friends.

Week of June 15-21

Tuesday: Long swim – about 3.5 miles in my lake. Received the expected talking-to when I got out of the water from my well-meaning neighbors, who told me I needed to tell someone when I would be out there (I did), and what if I got a cramp (it wouldn’t be the first time, but I plan for it and now it doesn’t happen), etc. My shoulders and everything felt really strong and smooth throughout.

Thursday: Speed and stroke work swim – 3300 yards. I was thinking this might be my last visit to Hartland pool for a bit, so I headed in with the intention of doing my last 800 time trial. After warmup and about a quarter of the way in, I realized it might have been a mistake. After the tri on Sunday and the big swim Tuesday, the choice to do this on that day was not the best choice. And it showed: time was 10:43, not my fastest time. I just flipped the rest of my workout to stroke work and IMs after the time trial. I didn’t have it in my to do more freestyle.

  • 400 WU, 8×50 build
  • 800 Time Trial time: 10:43
  • 8×200 IM -25 drill, 25 swim
  • 100 cool down

Sunday: (almost) Half distance swim- open water swim 1.5 miles.

Week of June 22-29

Last week I switched my schedule around for work and the kids’ vacation. In addition I am getting some coaching on lifting so my lifting days moved to Tuesday and Thursday. This makes swimming on the other days tricky because I have morning clients, so the swimming has to happen at night. Thank goodness I had some help and motivation from some friends. Claudia, Jo, and Scott all swam with me and that was HUGE. Unfortunately, by Friday  morning it was clear I had an ear infection. So I subbed in some running for swimming speed work over the weekend.

Monday: Half distance swim- Claudia swam with me at my lake and I had the chance to do some chasing/speed work with it.  And probably my last wetsuit swim for a while.

susan ogilvie mighty mac swim

Claudia and I getting our open water swimming done!

Wednesday my friend Jo texted me about a swim and we wiggled our way onto Winans Lake, which is a non motorized lake and that’s sweet because you don’t have to have that paranoid fear you might be sliced in half by a drunken boater. I swam a while with Jo and she pulled off when we caught up to Scott, who started a little after us. Scott and I swam until it was about dark. I swam based on time because I’m not sure how long the distances were on that lake- Scott had his GPS watch on, so I got a little bit of feedback. Either way, about 1:25 of actual swim time meant I had hit my long swim for the week.

Friday I ran because of the ear. Felt pretty darn good and splits were good.

Monday before I left for my parents I ran again, also felt amazing. Very weird- I haven’t been running all summer. Running comfortable sub 9:00 mile splits is pretty amazing for me without any run training this spring and summer.

Tuesday and Wednesday- I am at the 50m pool at my parents. Today was 3200m  before I felt like I might pass out- it’s 110 here and the pools cooling unit is broken, making it about 89 degrees for swimming. Definitely felt the cramps coming on and didn’t bring any electrolytes, which seem to keep the cramps away. Tomorrow I will be smarter.

Tuesday: 600 WU/200 drill/4×50 build/

  • 5×400 100 easy/100 moderate/100 easy/100 hard
  • 200 cool down

Last week my big girl swam across our lake- about a quarter mile one way with her dad canoeing beside. Pretty proud of her, but hoping my craziness doesn’t rub off on her. 😜

swimming torch lake

My daughter, future open water swimmer!

Mighty Mac Training Update 6.6.15

This was a great training week! Consistency is the name of the game for me, both in workouts and nutrition. Nutrition was pretty spot on this week, with the exception being the UH-mazing birthday dinner for Mr. Prepared we ate last night downtown. But how often do birthdays come around, right? 🙂

A big thanks to my husband, Mr. Prepared, for being the clutch player this week. He knows I become slightly insane if I get off schedule, and he has been awesome at helping me to get done what I need in addition to the fact he’s prepping for his own 100 mile run in July. Today he was my canoe guide through the Saturday afternoon chop on our lake. He said it was fun and a decent upper body workout, so I’m throwing it out there if you want to accompany me on a few laps of the lake anytime, I’m taking offers for help!

My left shoulder has been giving me some issues, but it went from feeling like crap midweek last week to getting fixed up by Shawn at Synergy Movement Therapy last Thursday to feeling awesome. For shoulders that see a good bit of use anyways. 😉 If you have an ongoing injury and you haven’t tried NeuroKinetic Therapy as a tool for actually fixing the problem, you should check it out.

Workouts this week:

Sunday: KB workout

Monday: Strength workout. Like a real workout in the gym. My coach says that one is still better than none in addition to the swings. I think I can be successful at one a week right now.

Tuesday: 400 WU, 400 drills

Main Set: 6×400 – 50 sprint, 250 moderate, 100 sprint, :40 RI
I bastardized this from a triathlon website (being honest), but these were hard as HELL. After the first one, I was like, “I’m screwed”. But I kept one and tried to keep them even splits. Died the last one.  400 cooldown.

Wednesday: Swings set, 300 swings + goblet squats, etc. I can break it down for anyone who is interested, but that’s not the primary purpose of this blog.

Thursday: 400 WU, 400 drills, 4×50 build

Main Set: 10×250- Inside/Outside Corners, 10×250, :30 RI
Odds: First 2.5 lengths sprint, middle 5 lengths moderate, last 2.5 lengths sprint

Evens: First 2.5 lengths moderate, middle 5 lengths sprint, last 2.5 lengths easy
Again, not as easy. The evens were the really challenging ones. 400 cooldown.

So I have created two workouts with work sets of variable intensity of 30+ minutes, which is where I need to hang for now. I have been sitting at a pace plateau for about 6-9 weeks, and I can feel it crumbling apart with sets like these under my belt. It feels awful while I’m doing the sets, but I have done swim/run/etc. prep enough times to know that for me, feeling awful = verge of a speed breakthrough.

Saturday: Open water swim, 2 miles ish. We calculated the distance across our lake via Google Maps, which is about .5 miles round trip. I like the accompanied swim, truly because our lake is an all sports lake, which is cool, but I don’t want to freak out jet skiers or boats- I feel safer for them and for me with a canoe or paddleboard out in the water nearby.

 

Mighty Mac Training – April Pt. 1

Hahaha…as you can see, I have been a bit remiss about posting up my training on here. I had a stomach bug that flattened me for about a week the second week of April, and it’s been tough coming back. In addition, I changed up my strength training a bit last week and thus was able to *directly* pinpoint the movement that aggravates my shoulder. Yikes. I used to really, really like pushups. 😉

Here’s a few workouts from the last couple of weeks. I did go 4/13-4/17 without swimming at all because I was so sick.

Saturday 4/11
500 WU
6×200- variable speed 50s- slow, med, fast, slow. 1st one has 2 slow 50s, 2nd one has 2 medium 50s, 3 one has 2 fast 50s, Randomize. Repeat
6×150- 50 fast, 50 drill, 50 medium
6×100- Descending 100s 1-3
100 cool down

I had some pain in my low back during flipturns and felt myself starting to compensate to complete the movement. I stopped doing flipturns and went for open turns. This change slowed me down a bit, but better than not doing anything.

Saturday 4/18
400 WU
4×400 alternate swim/pull, descending time 1-2 (make the second swim or pull 400 faster than the first)
9×150 50 med, 50 stroke- fast (alternate fly, back, breast), 50 medium
8×50 25 scull/25 sprint
100 Cooldown

Sculling is supposed to improve your “feel” for the water. I honestly don’t know if it does. I know that it helps me with a few inefficiencies in my stroke, but I think “feel” is something is either born (genetics) or learned over millions of reps. I’m sure no new swimmer wants to hear that, but that is what I know. Here’s a good sculling video- they explain how to do it as a forward motion about 3 minutes in:

Wednesday 4/22

400 WarmUp
Here’s the only set I remember, LOL.
2x (300 drill, 250-50 fast/50 ez, 200 kick, 150 -25 fast/25 ex, 100 scull , 50 sprint)

Friday 4/24 
World’s shortest workout 😉
400 warmup
16×100 Descending time 1-4 (repeat 4 times)–
These I held pretty steadily, which I take as a good sign of improved endurance. I could hold the same times for all the 100s as I could in the first set by the 4th set. In fact, I wasn’t even going to do a 4th set, but I had a little extra time and wanted to see if I could go. Which I did. 2 months ago I was not able to do this across more than 2 sets of these.

Mighty Mac Training Week of 3.23.15

So this week was better and slightly more consistent than the previous two weeks. I hit most of my key workouts, with the exception of my early in the week swim- it just didn’t happen on Monday. My workout schedule basically goes lift/swim/lift/swim, etc. I mix some kettlebell swinging and other kinds of “finishers” into my lifting days. You could say I have a hard time following a strict regimen, so although it’s all written down, I don’t always follow it to a “T”. I do a lot of listening to how I feel, how much sleep I have had, or how my eating is going. For example, Monday I was supposed to swim, but I didn’t get to it in time to hit it before the aerobics ladies got in the pool, and there were several annoying incidents that led to that delay, so I was pretty irritated by the time I got to workout. So I put myself through a pretty grueling set of swings, followed by a few rounds of tabata, some intervals on the Jacob’s Ladder, etc. I felt a million times better after that– something I probably would not have achieved swimming.

On that note, Friday’s quickie swim was another example of listening to your body. After a week of little sleep and busy schedules, I felt a little depleted today. I figured I could knock out an intense, shorter session with the time I had available. The main set was supposed to be 12×100, sets of 4, descending 1-4 (meaning each one is faster than the one before). By #6, my HR was sky high and I was tired. I knew I should scrap the set and so I did. I swam for the remainder of the time I had left very slowly and resolved to get a better night’s sleep for Saturday’s morning swim.

Saturday was a treat because I took a friend up to Hartland to swim at the “real” pool– the one with salt water and 6 WHOLE lanes. We got there right on time, and I plowed through as much yardage as I could make in an hour.

Saturday, March 28
400 WU
800 Time Trial — this is one of my progress meters. Todays time: 10:52
2×400 – 50 swim, 50 drill
4×200 pull
400 Cooldown- backstroke/ breastroke

So about 2 miles in an hour.

From Wednesday, March 25:
500 WU
Variable Speed 50s Pyramid- 50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100, 50 (speeds were fast, medium, slow in a made up pattern)
4×200 IM- 25 drill, 25 swim (because let’s be honest, I don’t think I could swim a whole 50 fly very pretty) 😉
200 Cooldown

My shoulders feel excellent. They are not tired after a 3000+ yard workout anymore. That’s a very good sign of progress.

Even though my energy was a little low this week from terrible sleeping, I did have some motivation arrive in the mail. Since our swim is a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, I have received a couple of letters and pictures from the families that we will be helping. This one arrived this week, and it gave me goosebumps!

hfh photo

Happy swimming!

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