Friday, February 26, 2010

Round and round

Hit the Tyus Park track yesterday for 1.5/1.5, though I did it a little differently. Owing to my still-sore calf muscle, I simply alternated 1/4-mile laps. The leg held up ok. It didn't feel great but it didn't bark in protest, either.

Weight after exercise was 235. Intakes yesterday were chicken biscuit, hash rounds and coffee from Chick-fil-A, Mexican food at a mom-n-pop place in Tifton for lunch and chicken cordon bleu for supper. Yeah, that's a pretty indulgent food day. I promise not to make it a habit. It was kind of a circumstantial thing.

Moving along ... Saw a story earlier today about a group of chicken growers wanting to change the Georgia state bird to the Cornish chicken and dropping the brown thrasher, which they said was a migratory bird. "What has the brown thrasher ever done for Georgia?" they said, with the implication being that the chicken, with its economic impact, was more deserving. I guess there's some logic to that, and I also guess the poultry industry has something to gain from such a switch. Other than that, I'm really not sure what the point is. The only people who care what your state bird is are those playing trivia games. Not that there's anything wrong with that. It just seems a worthless exercise to me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Gold records

Did the 1.5/1.5 routine today and got it done in 45 minutes, which was cool, because it was cool out there. The mid-60s weather over the weekend was all it took for me to get used to doing this in shorts, and it was a bummer to pull on the warm-ups today because it was mid-40s instead. No matter. The day off did me good. I stretched my stride out on the back half of each of my three half-mile laps, so it felt more like running than jogging, and I felt pretty good afterward.

WAX: 232. Intake: HBO, coffee, banana nut muffin. Quarter pounder and fries for lunch (moment of weakness, which by now we've established is not all that rare with me). Spaghetti for supper. YTD mileage: 127.5.

Soundtrack today was 1973 from the Time/Life collection:
Paul Simon, Loves Me Like a Rock
Curtis Mayfield, Superfly
Grand Funk Railroad, We're an American Band
Elton John, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
The Spinners, Could it be I'm Falling in Love
The O'Jays, Love Train
Stories, Brother Louie
The Doobie Brothers, Lont Train Running
The Four Tops, Ain't No Woman

That's about halfway through the year's collection. What caught my attention was Grand Funk Railroad. When I was in middle school and first starting my vinyl collection, I had all these singles on 45 rpm records, one of which was We're an American Band. It was cool, because GFR had sold, I guess, 500,000 copies of that record, after which they received their gold record for the wall and they started cutting the songs onto this gold-colored vinyl instead of the standard black. I played that thing over and over, until my dad started coming home with 8-track tapes. Now, it occurs to me that my kids have never seen an 8-track tape. Not sure if they've ever seen a 45. Probably did at the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, but I don't remember. Anyway, those were really different times. A blog was called a diary, and nobody got to comment on it. Very few people got to see it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Off day

Today was day off from exercise. At least, from the walking and running variety. Got to carry a 50-pound PA system from the parking lot into a restaurant, so that's something, I guess.

I'll be back on the track tomorrow. I think I'm going to stick with 1.5 miles of running this week. Not altogether sure I'm ready to add another half-mile yet. I just feel like if I push it, I'm inviting injury and then I'm really set back.

The Peachtree Road Race registration day is a month out now (March 21) and I'm concerned, because that's the day of the last show of Nikki's play (she's in High School Musical). I'm involved behind the scenes. My concern is that Tyler gets in. He qualified for Time Group 1A with his run last year, and I don't want him to miss out on running at the front with no crowds to cut through. Me -- I'm confident I can get a race number off Craigs List or ebay. I'm going to start at the back either way, and my only goal is to get the t-shirt.

Tonight was off night because I did my trivia show at Truett's Grill in Griffin. I'd like to see more teams so this thing will keep going, but otherwise it was pretty smooth. If you're in Griffin next Monday, come on by ...

See that sky over the weekend? Talk about blue!

65 and sunny. A fitness blogger could get used to that. A quick rundown of the weekend's activities:

Saturday -- Walked 1.5 ran 1.5. WAX 234. Intakes -- Bacon, eggs and grits, coke for breakfast. Chick-fil-A sandwich, fries, coke for lunch. Lasagna for Supper. Given that fare, I suppose I'm lucky the weight didn't spike.

Sunday -- Walked 5 miles. WAX 233. Intakes -- HBO for breakfast, quesadilla and a couple of meatballs for lunch, water to drink. Tuna casserole for supper, water to drink. Couple of biscottis because occasionally you have to have something sweet.

YTD mileage: 124.5.

This morning I was at 232. Maybe I should skip the weighing after exercise and just take the morning number ...

So, the weather. Wow. Saw a gentleman at Tyus Park Saturday whom I hadn't seen for several months. He splits his workouts up in similar fashion to what I do, but his thing is doing six miles in an hour's time. He probably runs 3.5-4 miles of it. Between him and the marathoner I mentioned a few posts back, you won't find a nicer person anywhere. Which brings me to this: I'm usually in a much better frame of mind after I exercise than I am before. There's something to be said for the sense of accomplishment you get from finishing your drill, so to speak. I've observed that my son is almost always smiling when he comes out of his karate lessons, and I think it's the same thing at work.

The lunch from Sunday was a little out of ordinary because it was at a meeting for trivia hosts. Supplies were handed out, as were some tips on making the trivia shows go smoother. Got a Trivia Guy t-shirt. Now, if I can just rig my sound system correctly, this should be cool.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A thought or two on food

While I was walking yesterday -- but not while I was running, for some odd reason -- I was thinking about food consumption. This goes back a post 3-4 weeks ago about crunching numbers. I was wondering how much food the average American eats every day. The easy answer is too much, but I'm interested in more finite data than that. I'll do some digging later to see if I can come up with research, but for now here's what I was thinking. I'm guessing one pound of food per meal is a little high, so I figured 3/4 a pound on average. Multiply that times 3 meals a day, and you get 2.25 pounds of food per day. Multiply that times 365 and you get 821.25 pounds per year. The average lifespan according to Wikipedia for persons in the U.S. is just over 78 years. Multiply that times 821.25 and you get 64,057.5 pounds of food. That's 32 tons of food for one person! I'm sure that's high, because I think people on both ends of the age bell curve (and on at least one end of the socioeconomic bell curve) eat less, but jeez that seems like a lot of food. I'm as guilty as the next person. Maybe I should find something else to think about when I'm walking.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Acoustic guitars, anyone?

Yesterday was percussion with Blue Man Group. Posted some lyrics on my facebook page. Today, strings. No lyrics. Soundtrack for my workout was Johannes Linstead, a guitarist with amazing skills. Lots of island themes. Dude can really pick it.

Got the three miles done in about 50 minutes. My focus really isn't on times, but I noticed it today because I had to be somewhere by 7. When I woke up this morning, I weighed 231. After exercise this afternoon, 233. Had HBO for breakfast, leftover lasagna for lunch (excellent!) and boiled shrimp and grits for supper.

Here's something I've been wondering: Bagels are generally recognized as healthier than some other kinds of bread. This occurred to me Wednesday as I was eating a chicken, egg and cheese bagel (scalded the roof of my mouth on the chicken), and wondering if it was better for me than a bagel. One other item: 12-grain bread. Tastes good. Not sure it's helping me lose weight, thought.

I've noticed that I weigh less first thing in the morning. Dunno what that means. Here's one thing I'm willing to interpret, thought. Third straight day at 1.5 running 1.5 walking, and I felt heavy all the way through. So tomorrow's an off day.

YTD mileage: 116.5.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Walkin on sunshine

Through a quirk in my work schedule, I got home early and was able to walk and run in daylight. It was chilly out there, but it was nice to be able to see everything. Tyler went with me and he ran somewhere in the neighborhood of three miles. Nice little training run for him. Struggle every time out for me. Oh, to be 16 and have athlete's fitness again. Sigh.

Soundtrack today was Blue Man Group. I was in a percussion kind of mood, and it effectively drowned out my breathing, which must have sounded awful. One of those esoteric music days for me. Every now and then, you just have to move in a different direction.

I'm thinking I bump the run portion up to two miles next week. Two weeks at 1.5 has not caused me any problems, though my feet are a little sore tonight (function of wearing dress shoes all day on the hard floors of the state capitol).

WAX: 233. Intakes -- Chicken egg and cheese bagel with Coke for breakfast. Baked chicken, potato and salad for lunch. Leftover lasagna for supper.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Show of hands: Who wants some warm weather?

Trying really hard not to complain here, but I've grown weary of cold weather. With respect to my countrymen in Washington D.C., I've had enough. We get one snow, tops, a year in my part of Georgia, and after that it warms up. So we've had two snows, and well, it's not warming up. Did my workout in 33-degree weather. Again, I know people in Wisconsin would think this is balmy. But I have thin Southern blood, and 33 is freakin' cold.

All right ... attitude adjustment.

So .... I beat the weather. Finished my 3-mile traverse. Dead battery on the mp3, so the soundtrack was in my head. Mostly Supertramp. Long Way Home. Brings back memories of riding around with my cousin Allen, who's a year older than me and drove before I did. I think he had an old Ford sedan, and when my folks would visit his, we'd go riding around in this car, Breakfast in America blaring on the stereo. 'Course, there's also Chris McCandless, who chose Alexander Supertramp as his alias before walking into the woods and not coming back. Great story, but that's not me.

Started my second week of the 1.5-mile running portion of my traverse. Despite the cold, tonight went well. WAX: 233. Intakes: HBO, banana nut muffin, grilled chicken salad for lunch. Lasagna for supper.

Going to the state capitol tomorrow for work, which has nothing to do with my exercise regimen, but that's what's going on. Gonna take pictures of people meeting with legislators. Eat a good meal. Maybe meet some legislators myself. Which will be an interesting exercise. Ah, there's the connection ... ciao

YTD mileage: 110.5

Monday, February 15, 2010

A balmy 54 degrees

Resumed my normal routine and was glad to get through it. Went to Wyomia Tyus Park and ran 1.5 miles, walked 1.5 (YTD mileage, 107.5). It was 54 degrees, slight breeze, with clear skies. Someone had built a snowman in the shadows, and it was still hanging on, but 95 percent of the ground cover snow was melted. Soundtrack was 1974 of the Time/Life 70s collection, but it amounted to extraneous noise because I kept going over my script for the trivia show I'm doing (which starts tonight -- visit for details).

WAX: 233. Didn't feel as heavy running, although my left upper leg tightened up on the last half mile. I think it had something to do with slipping on the ice Saturday, but it wasn't bad enough to keep me from finishing. Hey, you gotta be tough, right? Intakes: HBO for breakfast, pot roast and rice for lunch and baked chicken with onions and celery with broccoli casserole for supper. Nothing but water to drink. There were a few chocolates mixed in throughout the day. A small gift from my wife.

Today, no time to work in a workout. I go from work almost directly to the trivia show, and I won't be done until 9 p.m. or so. So this is an off day, and Mondays will be a regular off day moving forward.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

And now, for something completely different

We got 3-4 inches of snow, depending on where you stuck the ruler (wow, that sounded bad) last night. Roads had lots of ice this morning. At least, the secondary roads did. I didn't want to drive, so Nikki and I walked to the store. 2.5 miles round trip. Slipped a few times. Got some pictures. Picked up a box of cereal. Haven't weighed yet. This was more of a stroll, but it's likely all I'm doing today, so it'll have to be good enough. YTD mileage, 104.5. Soundtrack was me and Nikki talking and the crunch of ice under our feet, with the occasional dog barking. It was really nice. And then when we got back, Tammy had built a miniature snow family on the hood of my truck. Pretty good stuff happening today.

Friday, February 12, 2010

I ain't heavy, I'm yo brother

Lesson learned. It couldn't be helped, really, because of other things I have going on, but I missed tread time Tuesday and Wednesday. Got back on the track last night and made it three miles -- 1.5 walking, 1.5 running -- but it wasn't easy. My legs felt heavy.

Hopefully one-time peeve: Guy was sitting in the parking lot next to the track in a diesel pickup with the engine running. Seriously, couldn't you find someplace else to keep those glow plugs warm? I'm trying to breathe here!

Soundtrack was a smattering of P.O.D., guitar selections from August Rush Soundtrack, U2 and R.E.M.

YTD mileage: 102. WAX: 233, which is very cool. Two days off didn't hurt me on the scale. I felt heavy when I was running, but I wasn't really. I continued to eat sensibly. Food yesterday: HBO, coffee, banana nut muffin, poppy-seed chicken (which was delish by the way) and broccoli for lunch. Ravioli for supper.

The entire time at lunch (this was in the company cafeteria) I kept thinking, OK, you guys are going to now implement a battery of drug tests, since you've served us all poppy seeds, right? Is this a set-up? Now where was that tin-foil hat ...

Getting in a run today will be a challenge what with the blizzard and all. (that's a joke, btw). Since the temps are supposed to be in the upper 40s tomorrow, it shouldn't be a problem.

I'll try to be back on later with an update, but I might be too busy playing in the snow.

Monday, February 8, 2010

I'm an overweight light weight

I must admit I was feeling pretty good about myself. I'm down 10 pounds the first five weeks of the year. I've traveled 99 miles on foot (counting tonight's three, 1.5 of which was running). I've altered my lifestyle and in some measures altered myself.

Then I ran into one of the regulars at Airport Road Park. (forgot the camera and the mp3 player; no pics yet and the soundtrack was my wheezing). This guy is pushing 60, and he's the most consistent runner I've ever seen. That's saying something, as much track and cross country as I've watched. This guy just cranks out lap after lap, same pace, never stops and if he breaks a sweat, I can't tell. So my third running lap (last one, they were 1/2-mile laps) I wound up stride for stride with him. The natural question: How many are you doing. "This makes 11 miles. I'm thinking about doing another one." So I ask if he's training for a marathon, and he says he just did one at Robins AFB. Ran it in 3 hours, 44 minutes, good enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon, which he said he does not plan to do. All I can say is, even at 234 pounds (that's what I weighed afterward), I was able to keep up with him for a lap. Or he was just pacing me. That's probably the way it went. But it definitely helped to be running with someone. Wish I'd gotten his name, but it held motivational value just running and talking with him a little. Maybe I can get more from my body than I'm getting now.

I'm happy to note that the extra half-mile lap caused me no problems, and I got a pretty good sweat going. So I'm thinking I'll keep that routine the next two weeks and then perhaps add another half mile. The rest of this week is going to be outside the normal plan, though. I'm going to be otherwise involved tomorrow and Wednesday, so the workout will take a back seat until Thursday.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Going the extra mile

I intended to walk five miles today. And I did. Figured out another loop on the Tyus Park grounds that was 2.4 miles total. Did that twice, one lap around the .25-mile track and voila! Five miles. But wait! I'd made a pit stop and took off the backpack I carry on the long walks. As I was leaving the loo, I also left behind the backpack. The facilities are about 1/2 mile from where I was parked, so it took an extra mile to retrieve it. Voila! Six miles.

Soundtrack was Sounds of the Seventies: 1975.
You're No Good, Linda Rondstadt
Jackie Blue, Ozark Mountain Daredevils
That's the Way (I Like It), K.C. and the Sunshine Band
Must have got Lost, J. Geils Band
Sister Golden Hair, America
Why Can't We Be Friends, War
Philadelphia Freedom, Elton John
Black Water, Doobie Brothers
Love is a Rose, Linda Rondstadt
How Long, Ace
Dance With Me, Orleans
Free Bird, Lynnrd Skynnrd
You Are so Beautiful, Joe Cocker
Feel Like Makin' Love, Bad Company
Lady Marmalade, LaBelle
Pick Up The Pieces, The Average White Band
Island Girl, Elton John
Some Kind of Wonderful, Grand Funk Railroad
The Hustle, Van McCoy
Let's Do it Again, The Staple Singers

A few posts back, I mentioned posting some pictures. So I'm going to try my hand at it here. These are all at Tyus Park. Think of them as scene setters.

At left is be the sign at the entrance to the park. Below is the marker honoring Wyomia Tyus.

This guy flew over me and landed in the tree, then watched as I walked past. That would be a red-tailed hawk, my friends.

This is the 1/4-mile walking track where I do most of my workouts.

Exercise area by the track. It has sit-up benches, pull-up bars and other stuff that I don't know the names for. I try to stay away from this area. Nothing but pain there for me.

Shot from half-way up the closest thing to a hill on the course.

And this is the play area that lacks all sense of scale.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Beatin' the rain

So while others around metro Atlanta were refilling on balsa wood for the coming deluge, I was out walking and running. It was sprinkling, but never got heavy enough to make me concerned about my electronics, and by the time I'd finished the run portion, the rain had stopped. In its place was a brisk wind, though, and it got fairly chilly. This week's routine was thus maintained: two miles walked, one run. Listened to U2 (Vertigo, Pride, One, Mysterious Ways) and Van Halen (Good Enough, Get Up, Why Can't this be Love, Best of Both Worlds, Dance the Night Away, Spanish Fly, Beautiful Girls).

WAX: 234. YTD Mileage: 90. Intakes: HBO, coffee, spaghetti, wheat bread and water for lunch. Baked flounder, green beans, mac & cheese and tea for supper. No in-between meal snacks today.

My design for this little shindig was five of seven days. For the first time, I've gone five straight days, and I could tell a difference tonight. Legs felt a little heavy on the run. Tomorrow is an off day, and from the looks of the weather forecast, it's a good day for it.

I'm hurting for my little girl today. She got two pieces of disappointing news, and there wasn't a thing I could do to make it better. She kept a good attitude about it, and I was proud of her for that, and maybe the lesson to be learned is in that. She knows she has options, and she knows we love her.

OK, it's late. Gotta go get some sleep.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

No music, no problem

Left mp3 at office today when leaving work. Strategic error. I got my three miles in (one running, two walking) and my theory about the music making it easier was confirmed. Among the other negative signals your body sends you, if you hear how difficult your breathing is, motivation becomes a big challenge. But here's my mantra: I will not be beaten by an inanimate object. I guess sound of breath is inanimate. It's not tangible enough to make me admit defeat, in any case.

Blah, blah, blah, right? I wasn't going to hit the track today, but it was too nice out not to, and it's supposed to be miserable here the next two days, so I went. One of the next two is going to be a day off. Don't know which one yet. Probably a game-time decision tomorrow. If it's not raining or only misting, I'll probably jump out there and get it over with.

WAX was 234, mainly because I was weak on the intake side. HBO for breakfast, coffee, had a nutrigrain fruit bar mid-morning. Baked chicken breast and green beans for lunch. Brownie at 3 or so. About 4:30 is where it went really went south. Had to stop to use the bathroom on the way home, and could not walk past the soft drink case. Then I couldn't walk past an eclair. I had indigestion before I'd gone another 10 miles. When you eliminate soft drinks and then drink one on occasion, you realize how bad those things make you feel. And Coke just doesn't taste good to me any more. Agua, por favor. Non cocas mas.

YTD mileage: 87.

Got a cool piece of news yesterday. I'm going to be hosting Monday triva shows at Truett's Grill in Griffin. If you're in town, come check it out. You might win something.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Gone Country

Listened to Trace Adkins on the track tonight. Songs about Me album, some really good stuff. Can't go wrong with Honky Tonk Badonkadonk. If that makes me look like a sexist pig, well, I'll just have to live with it. I like the song.

3 miles, ytd total 84. Tonight, one mile running, two walking
Weight after exercise (WAX) 234.
intake: HBO/milk, coffee, muffin at 10, chili with wheat bread for lunch, water to drink, Chicken soup and turkey sandwich for supper with water.

Got a pretty good sweat working during the running portion. I walked the last two miles and still had some sweat going. To me, that's the immediate payback for the effort. I've always liked to sweat. My dad told me when I was little when I had a scraped knee or something that the bleeding was getting the bad out of me. Probably didn't bleed enough. But that's kind of my perspective on sweat. It's like a toxin purge or something. If, as the motivational cliche goes, pain is weakness leaving the body, then maybe sweat is malady leaving the body. Goofy? Yes? Deep? You be the judge. But it kind of works for me.

Watched the frist hour of Lost, off-and-on while I was preparing my taxes (yay! gettin' a refund! boo! it's already spent). Anyway, the sequence at the end where they were all getting off the plane had a very Wizard of Oz feel to it.

That's about it for the night. May your viewing time be engaging.

Stone out.

Cue the Sonny and Cher

It's Groundhog Day. Not much chance of General Lee seeing his shadow today. Punxatawney (or however you spell it) Phil, I don't know. General Lee's probably going to be tres irritated at having to come out of his hole in the rain. He'll say in his little groundhog language, "Welcome to Febru-ugly. Now leave me the heck alone."

My wife came home from the grocery store with a case of yogurt over the weekend. It had flavors in key lime, strawberry cheesecake, cherry and peach. I've now sampled them all, and they seem a fairly good sweet-tooth fix. The key lime tasted an awful lot like lime sherbet. Strawberry cheesecake didn't really have the cheesecake flavor. Cherry tasted like cherry. Peach tasted like peach. I'm OK with yogurt. Never been a huge fan -- I can walk past it in the store, unlike, say, the cereal aisle -- but I'll eat it if it's there.

Yesterday was a three-miler, one of them running. I was on the half-mile track, and the way I broke this up, there was a stretch where I ran the mile over the course of 1.25 miles (a quarter-mile walk between two half-mile intervals). I'm close to being confident I can run a mile without stopping, which would a small victory. Enough small victories and you've done something significant. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

Soundtrack was the UGA Redcoat Marching Band, a collection of game day marches. Always gets me going.

Weight after exercise was 234. I had honey bunches of oats cereal with milk, coffee, coupla small chocolates, an Italian sausage hoagie with chips for lunch and home-made chicken noodle soup for supper.

YTD mileage: 81.