Zone 2, ball-smacking, and reblooms

Funny, this is the second week in a row where my first draft of this post ended up being a tangent that I instead made into its own post for later in the week.

So, tomorrow there will be a long ramble on my thought process in trying to narrow my writing focus, buttressed by 2 or 3 tangents/stories that sorta meld into said thought process, kinda.

But for today? Let’s talk about what else I’ve been up to this week.

I’ve been brainstorming how to make this blog better and more interesting to read. In theory, that means more posting… in theory.

I also want to start writing some blurbs about some of the themes I’m dealing with in my writing. I guess I’ve sorta been doing that off and on in a vague sort of way, but there might be more of that coming. Hopefully it will be funny, too.

Y’know, in theory.

What else have I been doing?

Not shovelling mulch, that’s for sure:

View from my desk as I write this post.

It’s hot again. Not heat-dome hot, but definitely “to Hell with this, it can sit here til September” hot.

We’ll end with garden pics as always, but I’ll just mention here that the foxglove, columbine, rose campion, and larkspurs are now in seed, and I want those to spread themselves around and make themselves at home, so I’m making a point of shaking the seedheads or cutting some off and carefully scattering the seed in other spots in the garden in the hopes of them taking root.

I love those 4 plants because they’re not fussy and I can neglect them but still have nice displays out of them. My kinda plants!

We’ll find out next year if any of my efforts worked.

Let’s see here, last week I went for a walk on the beach, this week I went golfing. Or at least ball-smacking at the driving range at Highland Pacific:

I’d say a third of my balls landed in that first water hazard today. My goal by next summer is to have a third of my balls land in the second water hazard instead. (ie, add about 200 yards to my hits… though I did get a couple balls near the 125 yard flag today… mostly by fluke).

That might take a few private lessons to get back up to speed, since I was last there in the fall of 2019, but we’ll see what I can remember and fix on my own over August.

There’s something very satisfying about the smacking sound when you hit the ball just right.

I like to imagine they’re the shrunken severed heads of my enemies for bonus Zen satisfaction.

In any case, my proudest moments involved balls that ended up somewhere around the 125 yard flag, though I will admit most of those didn’t fly more than 2/3 of the way there and just rolled wherever. Still, distance is distance.

Also, I was pleasantly surprised to note that my heart rate stayed in the mid 110’s throughout my hour at the driving range.

Which is probably an indication of how out of practise I was, and possibly a bit of an indication of the heat, but also that means I can count it as a workout.


Triathlon Taren has a ton of videos on heart rate zone training, this is just one of them. Here’s another:

It’ll probably be a while until I do any sort of triathlon, though it has been a goal off and on for several years that I keep getting sidetracked from, but in the meantime, I’ve dug out my old heart rate watch and I’ve been using it on my now almost-nightly walks to try to keep near the top of my zone 2 to make sure I’m not being lazy.

Of course, I’m not in as great a shape as I’d like, but my heart rate recovery at the ends of my walks indicate that I’m not as in as bad a shape as I’d feared. eg: if I’m at 120 bpm at the end of my walk as I reach my front door, I’ve been down to 96bpm 1 minute later. Which isn’t bad. (Also isn’t as good as when I used to do sprint intervals in 2013, get my heart rate up to 177bpm at the end of the interval and watch it drop to 130bpm minute later, but that was after 8 months of constant exercise to build up to the sprint intervals… so, y’know… I have a ways to go.)

Nightly walks: after feeling like shit after a morning-ish walk on Monday when it was 25 degrees out, I realized this whole “morning walk” thing wasn’t working, especially when I’m up later now and getting up when it’s already hot out. I didn’t want to wait until the fall to get back to regular exercise, so that left me looking at what I did in 2013: most of what I did was walk around the East Van/False Creek neighborhood the jam space was in, and I normally did it at 10pm, outside of the odd morning swim and the odd afternoon bike.

These days 10 is getting into my most creative writing time, so I go at 8 or 9 once the temperature is down. So far it’s working other than Thursdays when I watch some friends’ livestream at 9pm and Friday I considered my golf ball whacking my daily workout because the watch indicated it was all solidly in Zone 2.

I’m hoping to get back to sprint intervals soon-ish, though I realize it might not happen til the spring, depending on how things progress.

What else… oh yeah. I took my clarinet into Long & McQuade for maintenance on the advice of my teacher. I mean, I’m pretty sure the reasons for the ongoing random squeaking issues is user error, but at least I’ll know the clarinet is all perfect when it comes back. In the meantime, I have a loaner, so no excuses for not practising, lol.

I have managed to start associating practising with watching Nightwave Radio, which I usually do M-F at 7pm. Call it “Music with Mersh” LOL. Or “Music with a Movie” on Saturdays and Sundays.

I’m getting better, but, much like my exercise routine, I have a long way to go.

And now to wrap up with some garden pics. My brother commented yesterday that the garden is suddenly full of flowers again as all the lilies are blooming now, the echinacea is in full bore (same as last week), the hibiscus are starting, the roses are starting a new flush of blooms, and the sunflowers are just starting:

Tigridia about to open. I keep missing the blooms at the right stage since they seem to only each last a day.
The ‘Bluebird’ hibiscus decided to bloom 10 days early this year on July 21.
The yards are full of lilies this week. This one is “Tiger Moon.”

‘Royal Kate’ rose rebloom