Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gotta find another 64 miles

A brief update here. Brief because I have W-2s staring at me, here because, well, there's good news, and I wanted to write about it before I got whatever news the tax forms are going to bring me. I did my six-mile walk, upping my YTD mileage to 78. That puts me on a pace to walk 936 miles this year, give or take. Gotta figure out how to work in another 64 miles. And my WAX was 232, even after doing nothing yesterday and eating more than I should. Righteous.

Soundtrack was Mother's Finest, Another Mother Further. Then I listened to Headlong and One Vision by Queen, followed by Styx greatest hits. Really getting in touch with my inner 70s and 80s here.

I'm stoked about the weight loss. -13 in one month, and honestly, it wasn't that difficult. I'm within five pounds of where I was in September when I changed jobs, and more important, I feel pretty good. One thing I have noticed about the exercise is that I find myself using pain medication with much less frequency. Something to think about. All right, Uncle Sam awaits. I'll likely be working out tomorrow to burn off stress. Selah.

Haven't done anything yet today, but ...

A couple of things have occurred to me in the past few days. Maybe the blog needs upgrading. Pictures. Pictures would be nice. And a few links. Which I'm not going to do right now, but I'll see if I can work them in this week because, well, some things you just got to do. But right now I'm listening to Kristin Chenoweth sing "Taylor the latte boy" and enjoying life while waiting for the temperature to push toward 40 outside so I can walk without experiencing frostbite. The temperature is taking its time.

Day off yesterday. was nice. Bought a TV off craigslist. Lifted it to the shelf where we have the TV. Watched it. Not the prototypical approach to exercise, to be sure, but there was lifting involved. So there.

I'm posting before my workout today because I'm immediately going into tax preparation mode afterward. (Mother's Finest is singing Burning Love now. I don't know what that has to do with taxes, but it somehow makes them more tolerable. By a minute increment, but more tolerable nonetheless.

Plans call for six miles walked. If I can finish taxes, I'll post a short note later with the usual numbers. Because I know maybe four people are hanging on my every step. :D Anybody got any SEO tips for me? I'd like to go global with this thing if I can.

Does this read as random as if feels writing it? Because it feels pretty random. Not that that's a bad thing. It just does.

Mother's Finest, Thank You for the Love. Which should give you an idea of how long it takes me to do this.

Enough prattling. Have a nice day. (now the pressure's on you)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Boo bip bip BIP bip boop boop booo yeah, And Reeses.

Rediscovered Mother's Finest the other day on Grooveshark and I plan to download "Another Mother Further" today. $8 on Amazon. Folks, if you can't feel good listening to this stuff, you just can't feel good.

Not that I'm hiding anything here, but confession time: I had a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup after my workout Friday. I feel dirty. I feel like I let my legion of fans down. (Yeah, I know, that's overselling it a bit, but work with me here) I feel ... human. I also had a Pepsi yesterday, and discovered that if you have all but eliminated sodas from what you ingest, when you do have one, it packs a punch. Might as well have eaten a can of spinach. Yesterday was an apocalyptic food day. Chinese takeout completed the unholy, unhealthy tri fecta. Chicken with broccoli, fried rice, crab rangoon. Good stuff. Not sure it was good for me. But sometimes you just gotta. Breakfast was bacon, eggs, grits and a biscuit with OJ. Maybe makes it a tetra fecta, I dunno.

I know that there are schools of thought about food and fitness that carry the notion it's ok to eat something you really want every now and then, and I guess there's some truth in that, though I think it probably depends on your personality. If you're prone to binge-type behavior, whether it's with food, video game, web surfing or banging your drum, then the temptation of decadent food might be a slippery slope to fitness hell. On the other hand, if you have a level of self awareness that enables you to control the portions and step back into something healthy the next day, you can make the occasional culinary delight a reward for your hard work.

One mile run, two miles walked. This was one of those days where the time management of it was a challenge, but knowing that the weather today was going to be miserable, I made a point of hitting the track last night and just counting today as an off day. And less than 10 minutes after I finished, the rains came. Could be worse. I could live 150 miles north of here and wondering a.) when the roads would open and b.) when the power would come back on. Again had to fight off the urge to run a little extra. One more week, and I'll up the running portion to 1.5 miles barring any setbacks.

YTD mileage: 70. WAX: 235.

Soundtrack was another year from the Ultimate 70s collection: 1975

Warren Zevon, Werewolves of London
Eddie Money, Baby Hold On
Patti Smith Group: Because The Night
Meat Loaf: Two Out of Three Ain't Bad (didn't make it all the way through this one. Too sappy for my mood)
Nick Gilder: Hot Child in the City
Eric Clapton: Lay Down Sally
Foreigner, Hot Blooded
Joe Walsh, Life's Been Good
Steely Dan, Peg
The O'Jays, Used to be My Girl
Queen, We Are The Champions

I may just go year-by-year with this collection for the couple weeks. You get something different every day. But then, there's MF to consider.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Patience, Grasshopper

Airport Road Park tonight, and two things were in play because I didn't have my mp3 player. One, no soundtrack. Two, I had to hold my car key while I ran, instead of hanging it on the mp3 lanyard. So I'm traversing the 1/2-mile track and pondering what happens if I get accosted by a mugger.

Mugger: "Give me your keys man. Don't make me hurt you."
Me: "Can you drive a stick?"
Mugger: "Uhhh ... no."
Me: "OK, here ya go."
What, I'm not going to give up my keys to a mugger if he says he can drive a stick? I guess it depends on the mugger. But I'll just be damned if I'm going to let some miscreant mess up my transmission, you know? That's expensive repair work. You want to take my car? You better be bringing some skillz, know what I'm sayin?

Even without the music to drown out my breathing, it went really well. I went 1/2-lap walk, full-lap run, 1/2-lap walk, full-lap run, then walk three laps. Total of three miles. YTD mileage: 67. Intakes today: HBO, coffee, muffin around 9:30. Tuna salad sandwich and Chik-fil-A sandwich, water at lunch (that looks stranger in print than it sounded in my head). Spaghetti for supper. WAX: 235.

I felt really good running that second lap, to the point where I considered adding another half-mile of running. Maybe this sounds like a cop-out, but I just felt like a little patience was in order, being that this was just my third time running since starting this journey. When I was in my mid-20s, I was running two miles in 12 minutes. Not that that's any great shakes -- I wasn't going to win many races at that pace -- but it was way ahead of where I am now I was still an athlete then. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I'm not in my mid-20s now. My machinery won't do now what it would then. I waited three weeks before stepping up to running and I didn't want to push it and maybe bring on a setback. My thinking is that I'll continue with this 1-mile/2-mile ratio through the end of next week before increasing the running. My mid-range goal is to run at least half of the Peachtree Road Race, and it's simply going to take baby steps for me to get to the point where I can do that.

I'll have the mp3 back in use tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

-10 and hopefully counting

Today was a milestone of sorts. Weight after exercise was 235. That's minus-10 from 1/1/10. At this rate, I'll weigh 125 pounds by 12/31/10. (I'm motivated, folks, but not THAT motivated).

Three miles today, one running. Ran on laps 2, 3, 5 and 7, walked the other eight. The last one running my legs felt really heavy, but when I got home and walked up the stairs, they felt pretty strong, like I was pushing the stairs down instead of lifting my legs up them, if that makes any sense.

YTD mileage: 64. Intake for the day: Honey Bunches of Oats, coffee, tuna salad sandwiches and water for lunch and beef stroganov for supper.

Soundtrack was 1976 from the Time/Life 1970s series:

Steve Miller, Rock'n Me
The Doobie Brothers, Takin' It To The Streets (IMO, one of the best bass lines in pop music. It has held up really well).
Elvin Bishop, Fooed Around and Fell in Love
Hall & Oates, Sara Smile
Fleetwood Mac, Say You Love Me
Wild Cherry, Play That Funky Music
The Bee Gees, You Should Be Dancing
Peter Frampton, Show Me The Way
Elton John, Don't Go Breaking My Heart
The next one was Rod Stewart, but I skipped it. I just can't listen to him for some reason. The females in my house disagree.
Donna Summer, Love to Love You Baby. This song is just about raunchy.
Orleans, Still the One. "You're still the one, to scratch my itch." Wish I'd written that line.
Eric Clapton, Hello Old Friend

I circled the track with a more or less empty mind (that's teeing it up for the peanut gallery, but I'll just roll with it) but I did muse about the shoes. I'm a New Balance man, and it's getting close to the time when I have to get some new ones. I go NB because, way back when, they were the only manufacturer that routinely offered wide sizes. Everyone else has half-heartedly followed suit, but none of the others really fits me very well. Not Nike or Reebok. Asics feel really good, but they're more expensive than I want to pony up for. Anyway, I'm pretty happy with the New Balance. I've had three pairs of 473 blacks, and now I'm in a pair of 479s, and they've got probably 300 miles of just exercise on them. If I go much longer without changing, I'll start having sore knees, ankles and hips.

My experience has been that you don't necessarily have to be highly technical about buying shoes. I do fine going to Kohl's and catching them in a sale, which happens a lot. The 473s I can usually get for less than $40. The last pair I got at The Sports Authority off their clearance rack for $29.99. Again, none of this has to be expensive. As long as you spend your time and effort, the amount of money you spend on it -- and I'm sure some people would differ, but this is my experience -- is immaterial.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Off day

Took the day off today, owing to my schedule and just because I knew I might be a little sore from running. Wasn't that much running, but I was a little sore. For now, I'm chalking this up to middle age.

The day was totally devoid of exercise. I walked the length of Building C and Building A at the Georgia World Congress Center twice. It was a leisurely stroll for work. I have no idea hor far I went.

To eat today, I had HBO, a really good burger and fries at Taco Mac and a No. 1 combo at Chik-fil-A. I stayed away from the chips and salsa.

So abotu that weather. Generally, when we get snow in middle Georgia, the weather warms up. Course, we get precious little snow in January. But we've had our winter precip, so, you know, it's time for spring, right?

Monday, January 25, 2010

For no particular reason at all

Well, there was a reason (improve my fitness, remember?). Anyway, I couldn't help but channel Forrest Gump in my return to double time. I stuck pretty close to my plan. These are 1/4-mile laps, so I traveled three miles on foot.
Lap 1: walk
Lap 2: run
Lap 3: run
Lap 4: walk
Lap 5: walk
Lap 6: run
Lap 7: walk
Lap 8: run
Laps 9-12: walk.

I'm taking the interval training approach. Everything was fine but the lungs, which were burning after 1/2 lap on that first stint running. Course, it was 46 degrees out and the air was dry. Still, it felt good to get that mile in. My hand were cold to start, but I was pretty comfortable by the time it was over.

Weight after exercise: 236. Intake: Honey Bunches of Oats, coffee for breakfast, spaghetti with meatballs for lunch, tuna salad sandwiches and chips for supper. Water. Lots of water.
YTD mileage: 61. Roger Maris would be proud. And I used zero performance-enhancing drugs.

Soundtrack was Huey Lewis tonight. No particular reason. Scrolled through and thought, yeah, I can make that work. Instead of regaling you with the playlist, thought I'd rehash the lyrics of my favorite song of the list.

Bad is Bad
Went downtown to see my cousin
He plays guitar like a chainsaw buzzin'
In the crowd I see his mom and dad
I said, hey uncle, man your son is bad

Sometimes, sometimes bad is bad
I said cool is a rule but sometimes bad is bad

Across the street, a neon sign
All you can eat for a dollar ninety-nine
This old stew is the baddest in the land
But one dollar's worth was all that I could stand

Sometimes, sometimes bad is bad
I said cool is a rule, but sometimes bad is bad

I came back uptown to see my Marie
Nobody home, so I opened the door with my key
I love you baby was the note that I read
But there's a strange pair of shoes underneath the bed

Sometimes, sometimes bad is bad
I said cool is a rule, but sometimes bad is bad

I said cool is a rule, but sometimes bad is bad
I said cool is a rule, but sometimes bad is bad

When I wasn't focused on the music, (which, by the way, is great for drowning out what your body is telling you so you can finish the workout. It just hurts less if you can't hear your feet hitting the ground) I was thinking about the Braves. I'm sorry, there's just no way they're better this year. I can't remember when I was less excited about baseball getting cranked up. I could be wrong, and I hope I am, but I just don't see them as an improved ballclub.

Saw a coupla other guys out there running. The conditions weren't exactly ideal, and I couldn't resist saying to them, "hey, this is us wanting it more than the other guy." One of them said to me, "yeah, he's inside where it's warm, eating potato chips. I'd like some potato chips." They were talking about how hot and muggy it will be in the summer. My thought is, if we keep up the routine, the heat won't bother us as bad.

When I started this deal, I talked a little about motivation, and I was thinking about that earlier. Part of the point is to do something. Our bodies were designed for movement. So move. Find a way to do it that suits you, and move. Movement is free. OK, so there was a particular reason. Sounded good in my head.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Frogs, orbs, track curves

Needed to do a six-miler today, but it was gloomy when I got up. I almost bagged it, then pushed through.

Didn't feel like messing with dogs or cars, so I took a new approach. At Wyomia Tyus Park in Griffin, there are multiple options. In addition to the 1/4-mile track, they have a walking path that meanders between the baseball complex and the soccer complex, and it includes a lake, around which is a 1/2-mile loop. So I plotted a two-mile course and walked it three times. First circuit, it was misting. I carried a backpack loaded with my parka and a first-aid kit. I'm proud of my pack. It's a Jansport REI anniversary pack with a leather base. I've had it 15 or 16 years; I had a leftover name tape from the national guard and got my friend Dawn McFadden to sew it on there for me. Thought I'd lost it, then rediscovered it last summer. So anyway, parka. Yeah. The rain started coming down heavier during the second loop, so I stopped at one of the pavilions, pulled out the parka and put it on. This was next to the lake, and I got about halfway around it before the rain stopped altogether. Which is generally the way it works.

The only thing about exercising in the rain that really bothers me is I get soaked and I can't tell if it's from the rain or from sweat. Since I'm seeking sweat equity here, I kinda want to know.

Next to the aforementioned pavilion is a play area that has a mini-climbing wall, a hippo, a frog and a sea monster. Now I realize the designers of this park did not have pudgy 44-year-old writers in mind when they dreamed up this place. That said, they blew out all sense of scale. The frog is the same size as the hippo, which is roughly the same size as the sea monster, who is constructed in such a way that its tail, middle portion and head all appear to be above the ground, giving the illusion that the other sections are below ground. The whole ensemble is cute and all, but come on. At least have the size hierarchy right, if not constructing it to scale. One other thing: the frog is holding what appears to be a ball. Do frogs do this? I've always had the impression that they use their feet solely for locomotion and not to grasp things. For that, they have long, sticky tongues.

When I wasn't pondering the play animals, I was reminiscing about previous workouts, and this came up. Several months ago, I was at the track and everybody's walking and running counterclockwise. As I was stretching to start my routine, this one guy comes around clockwise. Since he's being nonconformist, I make it a point to ask him. I'm ... pesky that way. Anyway, he explained that exercise research has revealed that going the same way on a track all the time gives more exercise to one side of the body than the other because the curves all run the same way. Fair enough. But this particular track is laid out in an undulating pattern, so that you're making as many left turns as right turns. Hmmm ...

By the numbers
Weight after exercise: 235. Yay.
YTD mileage: 58
Intake: HBO for breakfast. Late lunch of turkey tetrazini with a couple slices of wheat bread. Water.
Soundtrack: 97.1 The River again.
The Eagles, Hotel California
Elton John, Levon
Journey, Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
Boston, Peace of Mind
Don Henley, All She Wants To Do Is Dance
The Rolling Stones, Satisfaction
Dire Straits, Sultans of Swing
Steely Dan, Do It Again
Billy Squier, The Stroke
Toto, Hold the Line
Blondie, Heart of Glass
Bad Company, Bad Company
Queen, Fat Bottom Girls
The Who, You Better You Bet
Allman Brothers, Midnight Rider
The Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter
The Police, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Billy Joel, Piano Man
.38 Special, Rockin' Into The Night

Finally, here's my plan for tomorrow: Three total miles, of which I'll run one. I'll walk 1/4 mile, run a half, walk another 1/4 run another half, then walk the rest. I'll adjust on the fly if I have to.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Binary exercise

I've found that I'm having more trouble keeping up with the lap count (I am getting old), so I tried an experiment this morning on my three-miler. I was at the half-mile track, and I carry my car key with me. It's a keyless remote which has a pop-out key. On the even numbered laps I left the key out. Odd, closed. Easier to count to three when you're walking than to six. I'm a college-educated writer, and you'd think I could count to six, but you're out there walking, listening to the signals your body is giving you, taking in the scenery and listening to music, and remembering to take your count up one every 10 minutes or so. So this worked OK. It's like the I/O in binary code. I have a set of Ranger beads somewhere. Set of nine black sliding buttons on parachute cord. Sort of a rudimentary pedometer.

In all of this, I forgot I went past 50 miles for the year (I'm at 52 now). Shoulda pulled over at the start/finish point and took a picture or something. Now that would be vanity run amok.

WAX 236. That's more like it. Intake: HBO, turkey tetrazini, some chips. Water. Haven't had supper yet ...

Soundtrack: I listened to 97.1 The River in Atlanta today. Just didn't feel like surfing through my mp3 player to find something, so I let the DJ build the playlist. They rarely disappoint. Here's what I got:

38 Special, Rockin' Into the Night
Boston, Peace of Mind
Blondie, One Way or Another
Led Zeppelin, Over the Hills and Far Away
Styx, Come Sail Away
The Rolling Stones, Gimme Shelter
Fleetwood Mac, Gold Dust Woman
Doobie Brothers, China Grove
Only eight songs because there were a few minutes of advertisements. Good stuff nonetheless.

I'm actually beginning to get fired up to start running. I'll do that Monday. Maybe I'll get a walk in tomorrow before the NFL conference championship games. I fully intend to sit in front of a TV for six hours or so for that.

Friday, January 22, 2010

One foot in front of the other

Schedule got put on hold for an hour today. I was tres sleepy on the way home, so I sat in my comfy chair and promptly went to sleep. Not to worry. I headed to the track after a 45-minute nap and put in my three miles.

WAX: 238. Intakes: HBO. Banana nut muffin. Coffee. Turkey sandwich on wheat bread with water and tortilla chips for lunch. Turkey tetrazini for Supper. Wife bought a turkey last week and baked it, and we've been eating off it all week. The sandwich today was pretty good.

Total mileage for the year to date: 49.

Today's soundtrack: Foreigner Greatest Hits. Little Jukebox Hero, Hot Blooded, etc. The mp3's downstairs right now, so if you want the detailed list, you'll have to ask.

All this tracking numbers got me to thinking about how many steps this is. A year or so ago I took a half-mile pace count. A seemingly useless exercise left over from my national guard days. It took me 973 steps to circumnavigate a half-mile track. So you take that number and start doing multiplication. 49 miles is 98 half-miles. X 973 = 95,354 steps I've taken on this quest so far. Completely inane, I know, but that is a holdover from my days as a sports writer. We count everything. So anyway, I'm on a pace (a popular sportswriter phrase) to take 1,657,343.3 steps on this exercise routine this year. At my pace count, that's 851 miles. Just over a third of the Appalachian Trail. If only I could get someone to give me a dollar for every one of those steps. That'd be cool.

When I named the blog Stream of Consciousness, I wasn't kidding, OK? This is the ABC's of me.
A note about stretching: I really don't know what the exercise science is, and I've heard essentially two theories from my serious-exercising friends. Don't stretch before exercise and do. I'm a "do." I just know that If I don't at least stretch my legs, particularly my lower legs, my calves are going to be howling at me 1/4 mile in. Because I've heard anecdotal stories on both sides I've concluded that you have to figure out what works for you. Now wasn't that helpful? lol. Ciao.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Stick with the stuff you know.

First off, the title is homage to my daughter Nikki's role in High School Musical. Not that I'm advocating maintaining the status quo, but that's the phrase sticking in my mind when I think about the push-up/sit-up routine. Wednesday I did my three miles, tried to do another set of push-ups and, well, I think I overdid it when I started with it. Work small. Anyway, the walking is what I know. So at least for this week I'm sticking with it.

Next week? I'll be running. [/forrest] I'm excited to get back to running, but I have to be patient with all this.

WAX: 239. Intakes: Yesterday I had honey bunches of oats and coffee for breakfast. A Salmon salad with light vinagrette dressing for lunch and turkey salad sandwiches for supper.

Soundtrack was Steve Miller Band:
Jungle Love
Take the Money and Run
Rock'N Me
True Fine Love
The Stake
The Joker
Fly Like An Eagle
Jet Airliner
Dance, Dance, Dance
Winter Time
Wild Mountain Honey

I spent 14 hours in a car the last two days, and one of the songs we heard on the radio was It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere by Alan Jackson. Got me to wanting some AJ, so I bought my first CD in two years (everything in that time has been downloads) off the discount rack. Alan Jackson hits. So, yeah, it's pretty country. But sometimes the mood just kind of hits, you know?

Today was a rest day, owing to the forecast rough weather and the fact that I had a late meeting to attend. Gotta take it sometime. Intakes today: HBO, BBQ porks sandwich, Brunswick stew and water for lunch. Haven't eaten supper yet. I'm happy to report that I weighed when I got home and holding steady at 240. So I'm back to -5 for the year.

YTD miles: 46. I'll hit 50 this weekend. Maybe that's significant, maybe not. Our society, especially the sports-following segment of it, tends to hang on round numbers. So .... Milestone! Yeah!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Hit my three miles tonight at Airport Road Park. Coulda had four, but I didn't know at the time how much time I had. Now about those push-ups and sit-ups. 75 like yesterday? Uh, no. Got 15 of each, which brought me to 211.

Here's the deal: Tyler and Nikki had this teacher in middle school who would tell them they were doing a 211 if they gave a little less than their best effort. Boiling point of water is 212 degrees Fahrenheit. 211 gets only really hot water. The object of the lesson was to bring things to a "full boil." Well, my shoulders and chest were boiling after seven today, and it crushed my will. So I got up and walked. It was nice out. Wore gym shorts and a sweatshirt. I was totally digging it. But I 211ed the push-ups and sit-ups. Full of fail, I am. It's a good motivational analogy, though.

WAX: 238. Intake: HBO, turkey salad sandwich and water for lunch. Turkey salad sandwich x2 and tortilla chips with water for supper. Coffee this morning.
Soundtrack: Eagles. The Long Run.

Mileage for the year: 43.

If I get through this week feeling as good as I do right now, next Monday will be my return to running. Got to kick this thing up a notch. Bam!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Enter the sandpit

Sunday was rest day. Had some soreness in my left foot I wasn't thrilled with and I slept a lot. Man's got to know his limitations.

I'd love to say that I had some intense training on a beach or in a sand pit or even a sand box here. Alas, "Enter the sandpit" was simply the first thing that came to mind when I sat down to write this. Psych.

There is, however, something new. Got my three miles in after I got home from work, and I added push-ups and sit-ups at intervals. Walk a 1/2 mile, do 25 of each. Did 75 push-ups and 65 push-ups. Yeah, I know, the math doesn't work out there. Got to 15 sit-ups on the last set and felt like I might hurt myself if I kept going. So I stopped. The perils of being middle-aged.

WAX: 239. Away we go on the roller-coaster. On the positive side, my stomach feels tighter. I'm not ready to take a punch in the gut from Kimbo Slice (or even Posh Spice, for that matter ...) but confidence is elevated.

Intake: Honey Bunches of Oats for breakfast. Small piece of King Cake brought to work by my Bayou native coworker. It was good. It wasn't good for me. Leftover gumbo made by Bayou Boy's mom over the weekend. It was good. I'm trying to convince myself it was good for me. No sodas. Two cups of coffee. Baked turkey breast and some mac n cheese for supper.

Soundtrack: Aerosmith's Greatest Hits (if I had any Metallica, maybe I'd have gone with that). I let it loop around and listened to the album almost twice straight through, owing to the time added by the extra exercise. Getting out of bed tomorrow morning should be interesting.

Total mileage for the year: 40.

I was thinking about the Braves' new radio arrangement while I was walking. They're switching to 680 the Fan this season, and I can only hope they're somewhere on FM that I can pick up in Griffin, because the 680 reception here -- we're about 35 miles from downtown Atlanta -- is pretty spotty. I'm looking forward to walking and listening to the broadcasts, but I won't get to if I can't find them on FM.

Wonder when I'll get a comment ... Julia was really excited about hers in the movie, but then it turned out to be her mom. I doubt my mom is reading this ...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Workin for the weekend

Three miles Friday. About to head out and walk this morning.

WAX: 238.
Friday food: Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch. The true breakfast of champions, but I ate it only because we were out of Honey Bunches of Oats. Lunch was pizza at Slices in Griffin. Pepperoni, beef and mushrooms with my wife. I had two slices of leftover for supper. So there. Only a Stepford blogger could eat healthy every meal.

As for the exercise, I didn't feel any pain walking a brisk three miles last night, and the time of this is going to be difficult to maintain. Plus, I'd like to be sweating more even in the cold weather. So I'm thinking I'll up the intensity a bit if I can get through another week of pain-free walking. Yes, the R word. It's time for Jay to get back to running.

Here's the sort of random thought I wonder if everybody else has. I was stepping into the shower the other day and the water was too hot. This almost always elicits in my mind (I guess if it happens consistently then it isn't random) the yarn about the frog in a boiling pot. You know, if it's too hot, the frog will simply jump out. But if you put him in there in room temperature water and gradually bring it to a boil, he'll stay in. Add soap, and he'll be clean. Deceased, yes, but clean.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Eating the home cooking

Wednesday was travel day. Left the hotel at 9 a.m. in Seattle. Wheels up at just before noon. Hit the ground in Atlanta about 7:45 EST. Home by about 9:30, and I was pretty well done at that point. Unpacked, told the fam all about the trip. Watched a little TV and went to bed. Exercise: 0. Didn't weigh in.

Thursday: Back to normal work routine, and by 4 p.m. I was jet-lagging I guess. Difficult to focus. I was in bed by 9 p.m. last night. Exercise: 0. That's bagel, doughnut, goose egg, Cheerio, whatever you want to call it. It's not epic fail yet, but it's weak.

Friday: Weighed in. 237. Right on, man! -9 since the new year. I'll be heading to the track this afternoon at some point. I'll have more later. Gotta run meet my bride for lunch then take care of some car issues. Ciao.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Last full day in Seattle

Spent a lot of time on my feet today. Hit the treadmill at 6 and got that three miles in . (Soundtrack: Montgomery Gentry, Some People Change album). Gotta tell you, the more I do on that treadmill, the more it seems like a good idea to get one of my own. Something to be said for exercising inside when it's nasty out. Anyway, I went over to the media work room and churned out a story for the company newsletter, then went and tromped all over the Pike Place market with the one of the TV crews here for the convention. Had lunch at the Steelhead Diner, where I found a piece of paper in my clam chowder. Only got a couple bites of that down. After lunch we trolled all over town on foot. Visited the Harley Davidson Store, a cigar shop and a couple other places (I was kind of along for the ride), then we walked to the Space Needle, which was about 20 blocks or so. Breakfast was eggs and bacon with a cheese blintz (back to cereal and the like tomorrow). Supper at a place called Lola; had a lamb burger with chickpea fries. Water to drink. It sounds kind of fru-fru to me, but it was good.

That scale in my bathroom at home may or may not be happy with me. I've gotten plenty of exercise here -- probably more than I would have gotten at home -- but my eating has been borderline indulgent. So, yeah. We'll be exercising some restraint moving forward.

Tomorrow's an off day for travel. I'll spend just about all of it on the plane, so I'm just going to bag the exercise.

This has been a fun trip, but I'm ready to go home.

I'm going to claim 31 total miles for the year at this point. Wasn't any way to measure all I did today, at least not that I had with me, but I think I'm fairly conservative making that call.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Catching up

I missed a day (hey! there was no contract here!) and well, I need to make amends.

Sunday: Got up and hit the treadmill. Another three miles. Gotta go back and add'em up to get my running total. Anyway, three on the treadmill, and I have blisters on my toes now. Whine, whine, whine, right? Not complaining. I've been through boot camp, where I had much worse blisters than this. Still, they're there, so I have to deal with them.

Playlist: Journey. Just had a hankerin for Stone in Love and Don't Stop Believin'. Steve Perry never disappoints.

Sunday intakes: Scrambled eggs, bacon and potatoes for breakfast. Chicken and steamed vegetables for lunch, beef and Guinness stew at the Tap House Grill for supper.

Today was a rest day owing to the blisters, although I did walk the five blocks to the Pike Place Market in search of pictures. It was a pretty leisurely stroll though.

Intakes: (I ate like a pig edition) Vegeteble quiche sausage and a fruit tart for breakfast, Mexican buffet (rice, chicken and beef, with a roll) for lunch and then steak and chicken on the dinner cruise my employer took us on. It was on Elliot Bay and the views were very scenic.

Given my experience here, I'm wondering how people who travel a lot more than I do manage to keep fit. I suppose there's a reason hotels have fitness centers. I'll be hitting that treadmill again tomorrow, because I need to sweat.

No playlist today; just haven't gotten around to the mp3 player at all today.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One long day in the Emerald City

Not a regular day at all. Up early, flew to Seattle and got here by 11:15 a.m. local time. My exercise today started with the Atlanta airport. I guess I walked a half-mile or so to Councourse B. Then in Seattle another 1/2 mile or so from the gate to baggage claim. Once we got to the hotel, my coworkers Rick Treptow and Ryan Naquin (pronounced "Knock-can") walked the five blocks to Pike Place Market. Let me just say that the stories about that place are not urban legend. There's probably a hundred shops, bakeries, restaurants, the original Starbucks and the fish market. We saw some little flying fish. Thing is, people have to buy them for them to fly.

Had lunch at the Soundview Cafe. Food was pretty good. Views were very good.

True to my commitment, I hit the hotel exercise suite with Ryan. I made my first foray into elliptical training because the elliptical machines were on the lower level of the fitness center, and from there you can see the Olympic Mountains. Really nice view. I lasted 1.5 miles before switching to a treadmill on the upper level of the center and did another 1.5 miles. Tomorrow morning I'm walking the viaduct.

I haven't seen a scale, so not sure about the WAX. I haven't sweat that much in a while, though, and it was a good workout. Later, Rick and I walked around downtown.

Intakes: HBO. Pop Tarts on the plane. Barbecue Salmon Sandwich at the restaurant. One latte at Starbucks (how can I not?) and a chicken Caesar Salad for supper.

As for Seattle, it's pretty cool so far. I'm about to go back out and walk around to see if I can find a sports bar.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cold Stone Dreamery

Knew I couldn't skip a day today so as soon as I got home, I hurried to change and get to the track while I still had daylight. It was 22 degrees when I came through Griffin, so the daylight was at a premium. Attire: Two sweatshirts, lounge pants (yes, I'm very secure, thankyouverymuch) under workout pants. Athletic socks under wool hiking socks. Toboggan. Fleece gloves. And I'm glad I went when I did. It's freakin' cold out there now.

Three more miles walked. Total for the year: 21. One one-hundredth of the Appalachian Trail. (edited because my original math was way off)

WAX: 239. -6 from the start.

Intake: HBO with milk. Coffee. Banana nut muffin. (If you're reading this, it mus sound like a broken record; sure feels that way writing it), spaghetti for lunch with a bottle of water. Tammy made tuna casserole for supper with pear salad.

I've harbored this thought that one day I'd hike the AT. Maybe get Pfizer or whoever manufactures asthma medication to sponsor me and BLOG! about it. The logistics of that are a challenge. I wrote a story about an AT through hiker who had it down to a science. His pack was made of mesh to save weight, he had every possible ounce trimmed, and what he couldn't trim, he shipped to himself in what are known as "bounce boxes." Send it UPS to the next trading post on the trail or post office in the next town. It was fascinating. Iwonder several things about it. What would be my trail name? Probably goofball or idiot or something. I'd miss Tammy and the kids, although by the time I'd get around to doing the AT, the kids would be out on their own. Maybe by then battery technology will have advanced far enough that I could carry some small electronics with me. I know I can't walk or run without my mp3 player. I wonder how other hikers would respond to that. I can see where others on the trail might think that sort of violates the through-hiking spirit. Then I have this image of jamming to Aerosmith or Blue Man Group or whatever and not hearing the wild animal sneak up on me from behind. Yeah.

Today's playlist was courtesy of Daughtry:

All These Lives
It's Not Over
There and Back Again
What About Now
Used To
Over You
Feels Like Tonight

OK that's it for tonight. Wingin' to the Emerald City tomorrow, and no I'm not interviewing for the vacant Seahawks job. My agent failed me.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow, schmow

It was barely cold when I got to Airport Road Park for my 3-miler. Hip felt much better after a day off. Listened to Creed greatest hits and got through 10 songs. I felt pretty strong actually. And that snow they've been predicting all week to hit today? Well, it was 46 degrees when I hit the track, and there wasn't a flake in sight. (After it got dark tonight though, we started getting a little).

Weight when I got up this morning was 240. WAX: 240. Total miles: 18.

Intake: HBO. Banana nut muffin. Coffee. Spaghetti and wheat bread for lunch with water. (I guess if I'm going to be serious about this, I should account for quantity of water. Eh, not yet.) Vegetable soup for supper.

I'm feeling just a little impatient. I've gotten into a good routine. I guess five pounds in a week is a good week, but it just seems I've been stuck on 240 for five days. One of the things about weight loss is it's doubly difficult for those with short attention spans. (In case you're wondering, I'm raising my hand right now). On the other hand, what can I do differently? Add exercises or add miles. Then time management becomes a challenge. Maybe I can walk at lunch -- a lot of people at work do that.

For the next week, my goal is to maintain what I've done this week. I'm flying to Seattle Saturday and keeping the routine might be difficult. I'm determined to find time to work it in though.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rest day

Freely admitting this might be poor judgement, given the weather forecast for tomorrow, but the commitment was 5 of every 7 days, and I took today off from exercise. Thought about making the excuse that it was too warm (a balmy 40 degrees at 4 p.m. -- break out the sunscreen), but it just rang hollow somehow. Right hip was pretty sore this morning. By noon it had loosened up, but I made an executive decision to take a recovery day.

So here I am, watching the GMAC Bowl. Woo hoo!

No exercise, so no WAX.

(and I'm not going near that scale tonight, because ...)

Intakes: Honey bunches of oats for breakfast (2 percent milk). Two cups of coffee. Banana nut mufffin. No. 1 combo at Chik-fil-A for lunch. Small portion of Shepherd's Pie for supper.

I'm happy to report that I kept on walking by the sweets at the office, though, so that's something.

Meanwhile, today's a special day for Tammy and me. Our 20th wedding anniversary. I remember when we got to five, we sort of share a joke: Boy, we've made it! Because something like 2/3 of all marriages at that time were ending in divorce in the first five years. So yeah, no exercise. We've earned a break. That's what we're telling ourselves anyway.

Tommorow, back to the track. I'll be doing my mailman imitation. And I ain't talkin' about Karl Malone. Tootles.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Marley and Me

Another three miles tonight. This one was similar to a lot of what I did before. Dropped Nikki off at play rehearsal (she's Sharpay in High School Musical) and Tyler at karate (he's instructing) and then headed to the track. This one is the nicer of the two in Griffin; it's 1/2 mile, with a nice concrete border around the rubber surface. It wasn't quite as cold, either. All in all, not too bad.

Total mileage for the year: 15
WAX: Still 240.

perhaps because ...

Intake: Honey bunches of oats, coffee, two small granola bars mid-morning. Spaghetti for lunch. Grilled chicken sandwich from Wendy's for supper, before the run, couple fig newtons and gatorade afterward.

But you know, I feel pretty good. Maybe Rick and his weekly weigh-in strategy would be the way to go ...


Bob Marley and the Wailers, Legend
1. Is This Love
2. No Woman No Cry
3. Could You Be Loved
4. Three Little Birds
5. Buffalo Soldier
6. Get Up Stand UP
7. [there might be kids reading this, so I'm going to refrain from posting the title, so as not to spur uncomfortable explanations]
8. One Love
9. I Shot the Sheriff (not as good as the Clapton version, but still good)
10. Waiting In Vain
11. Redemption Song
12. Satisfy My Soul
13. Exodus

Took me 13 songs to traverse three miles. Why Bob Marley? It was cold out, I was scrolling through my artists list, and something about Marley felt tropical, you know? Fool yourself into thinking it's not so cold.

Something I forgot about last night. The park where I walked is named after Wyomia Tyus, an Olympic 100-meter champion in 1964 and 1968. She's from Griffin, a town that spawned more than 20 NFL players, but she was arguably the first big-time athlete. I think she was in the Olympics before Rayfield Wright hit the NFL. Anyway, so I'm at Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park (paid for by a 1-cent SPLOST about 10 years ago -- thank you taxpayers!) and I'm fired up. You have to realize, I've walked hundreds of miles on that track, and I still find that connection kind of cool. I doubt Wyomia would have run in 25-degree weather, though.

Monday, January 4, 2010


Got my three miles in tonight. Due to scheduled activities, I didn't get on the track until 8:40 or so. I was well-bundled, except for my face, which got pretty cold in the 25-degree weather.

WAX: 240
I had a conversation about this with my friend Rick this morning, and he mentioned that he only weighed once a week, reasoning that the ebb and flow of it is minimized that way. There's probably something to that. Me, I want quick feedback, so I'm weighing as soon as I get home after a workout. A key point here is that what works for one person -- he was running 25 miles a week at his peak -- won't necessarily work for another.

Tonight's playlist:
Psycho, by Puddle of Mud
-- Hey, I was the only one out there. Everyone else had the good sense to be where it was warm. Me, I wanted self-deprecating humor while I was pondering freezer burns to my chin.
Free Ride, by Edgar Winter Group
Outside, by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Battle Without Honor or Humanity, by Tomoyasu Hotei
She Blinded Me With Science, by Thomas Dolby
I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles), by The Proclaimers
-- I get a kick out of this song when I'm walking.
My Sharona, The Knack
American Woman, The Guess Who
Little Willy, Sweet
Miserlou, The Ventures
Life's Been Good, Joe Walsh
Teardrop (House Theme Song), Massive Attack
Mysterious Ways, U2

Intakes: Honey Bunches of Oats, a banana nut muffin, spaghetti with wheat bread at lunch, chicken, green beens and mashed potatoes at supper. Some raw carrots as a late-night snack. Here's the biggie, though: One cup of coffee and no sodas. I drank water all day.

Never fails, I guess, that if you start something like this, barriers get thrown up. I got to work this morning and one of my generous coworkers (seriously, we have an office full of them) was dropping off a cake in the lobby to our office. I have to run the sweets gauntlet every time I enter or leave the office. I just have to be stronger than the sweets. Today I was. We'll see about tomorrow.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

3 miles today

Walked three miles today on fitness track at local park. Listed to P.O.D. and some August Rush soundtrack before switching over to the Falcons game. Battery in my mp3 player ran out, so I wired up the earbud on my cell. Yeah, I'm old school. No blue tooth here. Anyway, it was in the mid-20s and I was heavily bundled. Flannel lounge pants under jeans. Athletic socks under wool hiking socks. Long-sleeve t-shirt, hoodie and a fleece jacket. I did it that way partly for the warmth, but mainly because I wanted to sweat a little.

It was sunny and there weren't many people there, and the cold air will help clear your lungs. Altogether, a pretty good workout

WAX: (weight after exercise) 240
Intakes for the day: Honey cornflakes and oats cereal, ham, black-eyed peas and rice (leftovers from NYD) for lunch, baked chicken, and green beans for supper.
Total miles for the year: 9. If I push it just a little, I can make 1,000 for the year. That'd be cool.

OK, back to a regular work schedule this week, so the routine challenge is now in play.

Stone out.

Friday, January 1, 2010

OK, so here we go

Inspired by Julia, I thought I'd start the new year with a new initiative. I knew when I got up this morning I was going to get in a nice, long walk. I also knew that I've gained some weight over the past three months. Changed jobs (perhaps more on that later) and that meant a radical change in lifestyle. For the previous two years I had exercised very regularly and I had lost nearly 30 pounds.

Three months later, I've gained half of it back. So today's my re-starting point. I was at 245 this morning before I walked. 241 afterward. I'm not going into this with any preconceived weight-loss goals, because I think when you set that kind of goal and you reach it, there might be a tendency to relax, and then you gain the weight back. You can trust me on this; I've done it twice now.

Rather, my aim is to exercise five times a week for the next year and see where it gets me. Right now, my clothes are tight but I haven't had to go to a bigger size. I'm determined not to have to take that step.

My hope is that you, dear reader, will be able to gain something from this as well. I'm not a health or exercise professional, and you should not take my statements as professional advice. Hopefully, though, you'll find something that will help you.

OK, so today's workout ...

I walked from my house to the nearest Wal-Mart and back, a round-trip total of more than six miles. During my last two-year routine, I'd do a walk like that once a week, and it's got to be on the road. To me it's harder to walk that far going in circles than it is to go out and back. To entertain myself -- mandatory in this kind of pursuit -- the Sansa 2gb mp3 player with another 2gb memory card. So I have more than 1,000 songs to pick from. Today, I started with the tropical guitar sylings of Johannes Linstead. Tracked a couple of Josh Groban songs when I was in Wal-Mart (bought a bottle of water) then switched to Little Big Town.

Odd visuals: Saw a discarded Ford Crown Victoria Owner's Manual on the side of the road, plus various and sundry broken beer bottles and discarded single-serve liquor bottles like you get from a flight attendant.

I'll wrap this up with a thought about motivation. It does not matter how much money you spend on gyms or equipment or videos, if you're not motivated to exercise, you won't do it. Anyone who asks me -- and when I lost weight, people who noticed did ask -- I tell them just go to the local park and walk on whatever track they have. Start with walking. If you want to do push-ups or sit-ups, that's cool. Walking, push-ups and situps are free. Do that and see how committed you are before you decide to spend money on it.