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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I figure at 50 cents a mile each time I bike to / from work I save myself around $9 on gas and wear / tear on my car...not to mention burning less gas! :-)

Couldn't bike today as I worked late...overslept this morning and got a haircut (my quarterly shearing...lol!) during lunchtime so no workout till LATE...finished my 'millwork & ST around 10...trying to pop in, and pop out so I can hit the sack...easier said than done...lol!

It's definitely nice to re-visit working out with tunes!

Thx for all your comments and support...going to Spark just a little...no, REALLY! :-) ...and then get some zzzzzzzzzzz's!

Nite all...!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 4/17/2010 9:16AM

    Good reminder - living in this small town, I know I save bucks by just walking to church, the post office and to the grocery store (when I don't have much to carry). And burn a few calories to boot.

Hope your weekend gets off to a good start! and our Three-Year Sparkiversary week!


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PUDDLE_JUMPER 4/15/2010 8:04PM

    You know I am saving so much money on food eating less! LOL. I had know idea! Lately I don't dip into the til as much for food extravagances....really awesome!!! Liking that!

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USARUNNERGIRL 4/14/2010 2:53PM

    How great Don. If I didn't have to get the toddlers to daycare, I would def try biking to work. I am glad that you are reaping so many benefits from using your bike. Woohoo.

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LADYGWEN25 4/14/2010 1:31PM

    I didn't know they made padded bike shorts...Good work for you being disciplined enough to bike to and from work... And i didn't know that about the car insurance.. How far is your commute, Don???

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JCORYCMA 4/14/2010 12:50PM

    Hey with all those $9 savings you can buy lots of padded bicycle shorts! Thanks for taking the time to "spark" -- you inspire so many of us!

Comment edited on: 4/14/2010 12:51:27 PM

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L*I*T*A* 4/14/2010 10:56AM

    emoticon emoticon

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FLOWINGWATER 4/14/2010 10:11AM

    Hi there! Valeriemaha directed me to your post. As she said, I just called my insurance company and told them that I don't commute in my car any longer, and it reduced our insurance by $25/month. You should give it a try!

And, don't forget the other savings of commuting on your bike - lower health care bills, since being fit will make you so much healthier!! emoticon

Making the switch to being a bike commuter is one of the best things I ever did, for so many reasons. It's great that you're discovering the benefits too!

Keep on riding!! emoticon

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SMILINGBREYES 4/14/2010 9:56AM

    I enjoyed reading about the money saving stuff in you blog and comments because of biking. WOW. Guess I better dust off mine, pump up the tires and get rolling with mine so I can reap the benefits too.

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VALERIEMAHA 4/14/2010 9:07AM

    I LOVE that you made that connection between self-care and care of the environment...as Thich Nhat Hanh so beautifully coined "We inter-are!"

You're the BEST, Don!

Rock on!
emoticon emoticon emoticon
P.S. Your DW doesn't mind hugs among friends, right? heh heh

P.P.S. This just in on a SparkFriend's feed: "FLOWINGWATER found out that we will save $25 a month on our car insurance, since I rarely drive mine now. Another benefit of commuting on my bike! :)"

Comment edited on: 4/14/2010 9:21:47 AM

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DAYHIKER 4/14/2010 8:08AM

    You are so good to get in your workout that late! I really like Ferretlover's idea of putting your savings in the bank for new gear down the road! emoticon

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FRECKS96 4/14/2010 6:27AM

    What a great thought! I tend to forget all the ways that this new lifestyle is helping me.

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FERRETLOVER1 4/14/2010 6:15AM

    You should try putting that $9 in a bank every time you bike - see how much you can accumulate. That money can be used to get new gear for the bike when you need it...like tires or lights or other fun stuff like a horn!

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COLOURFULME 4/14/2010 3:08AM

    Yep....going by bike to work is good for every 'environment'. :) Our shared environment, our wallet's environment and our own body's environment. :)

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XENA1956 4/13/2010 10:38PM

    Good for you saving all that money and getting healthy at the same time. Get some sleep so you don't burn out. Teri

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18 Miles...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another 18 miles in this afternoon...I'm hoping to crank up the miles soon...everything in noteable biking distance around here always seems to put me @ 18 miles for the round trip. Want to start nailing MORE! I keep tackling nasty hills and LOVE the way my bike can climb! I tend to average between 14-15 mph.

Although my "dorky shorts" have been a big help, I STILL feel enough pain to give me "pause"...! Which can be frustrating...the SPIRIT is willing and so is MOST of my body...grrr! How can I knock down the miles with this pain holding me back...?

I have been finding out little ways to alleviate the problem, such as by standing on my pedals when I see either rough road, stones or holes coming up. Sometimes I just stand on my pedals to just give my butt a break...seems to help a bit. I usually stop for a break every 9-10 miles and do stretches, etc. and my butt seems to recover...for a bit.

I've been enjoying watching and reading about Scottish cyclist Mark Beaumont, aka Guiness World Book Record holder for cycling round the globe who earlier this year completed his journey from Anchorage, AK to the southernmost part of Argentina. What an inspiration!

Here's his blog for more info:



Too cold tomorrow a.m. to consider biking to work...maybe later after work...? We'll see!

Hope everyone has had a SPARKIN' weekend...have heard lots of great stories already! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 4/13/2010 8:51AM

    Standing on the pedals is a good technique to climb the hills.
Maybe you could consider buying another saddle if the one you have is uncomfortable?

In the meantime, I'm sending you some rays of sunshine. emoticon

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ZIRCADIA 4/12/2010 11:00PM

    Thanks for the comment on my blog - I think it'll be easier this time around simply because we DID whittle so much when we moved in DECEMBER/Jan. HAHAH :D So soon... but yeah - when I did spin classes I totally got some padded shorts. :P

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/12/2010 1:05PM

    I prefer gel for the padding. On the shorts, on the seat cover, on the seat itself.

It makes a difference. The other kinds of padding just do not absorb shock the same way.

Just my 2 cents.

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SMILINGBREYES 4/12/2010 11:59AM

    Are the 'dorky shorts' the same as bikers shorts? I have a pair of bikers shorts that are padded and it was a BIG help in doing mileage riding. Then again I did the Erie 'flat' riding instead of taking to the hills. emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 4/12/2010 10:58AM

    emoticon emoticon

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USARUNNERGIRL 4/12/2010 10:46AM

    Sorry to hear about the pain in the buns, that is kinda not so good. I hope you can come up with a much longer route for you. I sometimes have trouble getting routes that are in the right distance range too. My coworkers and babysitters like to laugh because I will keep reconfiguring a route to get the best possible route for my runs.

Keep up the good going.

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FRECKS96 4/12/2010 10:25AM

    You know, many people would say that the fact that EVERYTHING is within 20 miles is a positive for the area!! =)

Good Luck mapping out a longer route, I love the fitness maps on here to find a new route and adjust it to any length, but I'm not doing 10+ miles either.

Enjoy your rides into work this week, it looks like it should be nice most of the week...

ETA: or not. I just checked the weather again, Boo for rain showers!

Comment edited on: 4/12/2010 10:26:32 AM

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SATYAGRAHA 4/12/2010 10:14AM

    Yay biking! Sorry to hear about your butt! I'm sure it'll get better with time, but I can imagine that would be really annoying!!! By the way, I think it's hilarious that only on SP you could complain about your butt hurting and have so many people sympathizing and sending well-wishes. emoticon emoticon Have fun biking this week! I KNOW you'll find ways to bike farther!

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/12/2010 9:48AM

    Great job! I'm looking forward to a bike ride later with my granddaughter.

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LADYGWEN25 4/12/2010 8:53AM

    Sorry to hear about the butt Don.. Isn't there some kind of added cushion cover you can buy and put on the bike seat?? i thought i've seen them somewhere...

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FERRETLOVER1 4/12/2010 6:53AM

    Sorry to hear that your bum still hurts - eventually, it should get better. Don't give up!

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SVELTINGTON 4/12/2010 6:48AM

    When you begin your round the world trek please don't forget to Spark us some postcards.

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COLOURFULME 4/12/2010 4:52AM

    WOW you are sparkin'away on your bike! Yes it hurts but you will get used to it. Your anatomy is not different to the professional bikers right? LOL So keep on bikin' and sparkin'!!!!

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ZELLAZM 4/12/2010 3:54AM

    Guess you better start learning Spanish :)

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SUZIAND 4/12/2010 1:11AM

    I tried a spinning class once... at the end of the hour, my butt hurt so bad I vowed to never get on another bike again! :( I really do want to buy a hybrid bike to bike on trails around here though.

I think you are doing so great, Don! You are such an inspiration to all of us! Thank you for that!!!

Suz :)

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XENA1956 4/12/2010 1:01AM

    You are really doing fantastic. I have that problem with doing stationary bikes at the gym. After about 25 mins my bum starts to get sore. I asked a guy next to me one time about it, he is a bike guy big time and he said you just get use to it. Standing does help for a little while. I can't remember my bum hurting this much as a kid when I bike alot, so maybe it is just age. lol emoticon

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Nice Ride After Overcoming Glitches

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I enjoyed a pleasant 18 mile ride around town heading toward home this afternoon. Had originally intended on a 30 mile ride but a glitch and a trip to the bike shop changed my plans, which I initially did NOT take to very kindly, but made the most of the remainder of the day and soaked up the great outdoors.

Traveled some new roads, conquered some new hills...life is good!

...AND I'm back to trackin' the snackin'...! :-)

Enjoy the rest of your weekend everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAINOF4 4/11/2010 10:17PM

    As you would say...Rats! Sorry about the short trip, but happy you were able to enjoy the lovely weather emoticon emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/11/2010 9:36PM

    I had a fantastic bike ride yesterday, despite the cold.

Took my NEW BIKE out, rode the 11.5 miles from home to the bike shop, met up with the other women for a 20-something mile group ride, motored up the hills and down the flats like the wind, got the shifting adjusted at the shop when they opened, and rode home. Total mileage something like 41. Average speed 15.9 mph. Max speed 33 mph (!)

I emoticon my new wheels.

And it sounds as if you like yours, too! emoticon
(What was the glitch, exactly?)

Comment edited on: 4/11/2010 9:39:42 PM

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GRACEFULIFE 4/11/2010 8:55PM

    Excellent! I didn't get a workout per se but spent most of the day on my feet, much of it gardening. Also, got a lot of healthy food cooked this weekend, so I am loaded for bear on high-nutrition meals! Also, wooooooo sticky bar!!!

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JCORYCMA 4/11/2010 2:45PM

    Makes me long to get outside and get going! I'm sidelined with grandkids this weekend, but chasing them is pretty physical!

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L*I*T*A* 4/11/2010 11:10AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SVELTINGTON 4/11/2010 9:26AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CARRIE1948 4/11/2010 7:51AM

    Glad you're enjoying your bike. I need to start getting out on the road soon.

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KATRINA333 4/11/2010 7:44AM

    Good for you! It can be hard to stay on track sometimes. I had a headache for a week but still managed to go for some walks. For that, I am proud! Take care!

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FERRETLOVER1 4/11/2010 7:19AM

    When life hands you glitches...roll with 'em!! Just like you did. I used to hate when my bike would blow a tire on a day when I'd planned a great ride, but I had to deal with it, just like you did. Sounds like you made lemonade out of those lemons!

I've been struggling with my snacking lately, too. I am getting back on track NOW!!

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How To Turn Good Things Into Bad...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Been quiet this week...with me, no news is almost always NOT good news...!

I've allowed myself to get off-track through some great activities. I've learned over the years that some events can have BOTH progressive AND regressive qualities:

Cycling to the office for my commutes! Great thing! Succeeded twice in the past week. Mother Nature cheated me out of some other possible commutes. The fitness tracker lists 1152 calories for each day I commute. Whoa! Lotta calories! Good thing! I've noticed my appetite GROWING with my biking...but I don't need to worry with all these calories I'm burning, right...? PLUS I can sleep in a little longer and skip my morning treadmill routine. Oh, and eh, I'll pass on the food tracking while I'm at it...

Nordic walking...! Love it! Really working my upper body while keeping up a fast 4-4.5 mph stride (while I CAN jog at 5 mph, it really doesn't allow much working of the arms via the poles). It's been GREAT to discover our city's RiverWalk and get out for my lunchtime and sometimes after worktime walks! And like biking...I can skip my morning treadmill routine and sleep in a little longer... Oh! And since I'm working my upper body so, it's no biggie to pass on my strength training here and there...

Then Mother Nature pulls the rug out from under with rain and or cold weather which blocks either outlet. I've been so SPOILED by sunlight and warmth! Take it away and...where'd my motivation go...? This leaves me with no other choice but the treadmill...yeah that thing upstairs gathering dust...ugh! Getting up in the morning...! Or, worse yet, coming home from work when my energy is waning and realizing I haven't done any cardio but the treadmill is upstairs but...but...I pass on the whole shebang! Twice this week NO CARDIO...! If THAT doesn't leave me feeling awful...!

This slippery slope can be so danged devilishly greased and ready for a big long SLIDE! Well, not so fast...!

Catching myself tonight and getting my 'millwork DONE and surprising myself over how I really DID enjoy pumping it up for a 5-6 mph jog. Also found myself much more capable of reflecting over my slide and getting a better perspective. There doesn't seem to be any other activity that works better for reflection than my 'millwork and tunes.

I'm coming up on what I *HOPE* will be a SparkRally at our local Heart Walk on Sunday April 25th ( heartwalk.kintera.org/faf/home/defau
) and even though it's not a competition I want to be looking my BEST for the event and am going to do my BEST to stick to what works for me: ALWAYS getting my cardio! Getting my THREE strength training sessions in each week! NOT looking at the calories burned by biking as an excuse for overeating! Getting back to TRACKING those pesky calories!

Later in June I've got the Relay for Life to be ready for AND I've got to make up my mind and choose either one or the other or BOTH biking events the Tour De Cure and / or Great Finger Lakes Bike Tour...BOTH of which I could conceivably tackle a CENTURY ride...which would be AWESOME, but only if I can rally to be READY for such a distance!

So tomorrow I'm hoping to bump it up to at least a 30+ mile bike ride and see how it goes.

To folks new to making over their lifestyle it might seem as though those of us who have *arrived* or nearly arrived at their goal weight have it made in the shade and life is just a breeze...

While the benefits and enhancements to my life have been absolutely WONDERFUL, the struggle continues...! Sometimes easier sometimes harder, but it's always there...


More thoughts: Had to chuckle over GRACEFULIFE's comment re: "NOOOOOOOOOO don't doooo it!"...sorta like when the creepy music comes on and you know the axe-murderer / monster is right around the corner and you KNOW the LAST thing you want to see is for that person to open the door nonetheless...lol!

I was VERY much reminded of 4A-HEALTHY-BMI's reaction to ALL those calories she was going to burn while cross country skiing and letting that thinking slip into a binge. VERY similar slopes!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4A-HEALTHY-BMI 4/11/2010 9:41PM


I was reminded of my blog, too. Glad my mishap helped someone - I'm not sure it helped ME or not, but if it helped YOU, then at least there was a positive outcome somewhere!

I'm back to the control, too. Having that kayaking success gave me a lot of confidence back about my abilities.

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_MAOMAO_ 4/11/2010 12:47AM

  For just a moment I was worried about you - I saw the 1152 calories referred to as a lot and I thought, oh my, how much does he usually eat if he thinks that's a lot of calories?

BUT Don, you BURNED that many calories, silly Lynn - Way to Go!

Remember to change your fitness goals to reflect calories burned for the last week. I know, either the day of or after my runs I am so hungry. Not eating when you're that hungry after exercise is not good. So tracking is your friend - I'm glad you've back to tracking so soon. We all fall down, we just have to get right back up, just as you have this week.

Way to go, Don! emoticon

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SVELTINGTON 4/10/2010 3:12PM

    I agree. Being close to my goal or reaching it and maintaining it can be WAY more difficult than the initial loss. At least you caught yourself before it was too late.
emoticon emoticon

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MIZZSB 4/10/2010 3:10PM

    i regonize a lot in your blog!

Its has to be a lifestyle...

hope your weekend is going well!

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ZELLAZM 4/10/2010 2:08PM

    I have to say that I did wonder when I went to catch up on blogs yesterday that there was only Monday's entry for the whole week. Not like Don. But it is definitely Don-like that you only let that "slide" last a few days. I continue to be in awe of your determination and energy levels!

Have a great weekend!

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LADYGWEN25 4/10/2010 2:04PM

    i hear you Don.. And i agree with Frecks.. thanks for the reminder that just because it's NOT the weather we want.. does NOT mean we can stop a lifestyle we CHOOSE.. and as most people know me.. I'm a very pro choice person in all aspects of life.. INCLUDING.. and active lifestyle.. :)

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JCORYCMA 4/10/2010 12:55PM

    I think when you bike to work, while you are burning the calories, you miss some of the mental benefits. You have more starts and stops and have to concentrate on traffic. Like when you first get a driver's license and you LOVE to drive but over time, you'd just as soon lay back and let someone else do the driving. There is just something about jamming to favorite tunes while working up that heart rate that clears the head and lifts the mood! You are absolutely right about not getting complacent with the ST and food tracking - especially when we are close to or at goal. Those 'ole bad habits are waiting to sneak back in if we let our guard down. Thanks for the reminder to keep a tight rein!
Joanne emoticon vs. emoticon

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FRECKS96 4/10/2010 12:03PM

    Thanks for the reminder that this needs to be a lifestyle. We need to always be working on making today our best day. Looks like the sun might be back for a few days, hope we both get some good outdoors time in!

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L*I*T*A* 4/10/2010 12:03PM

    great blog....
what an inspiration you are to us all.......
have awonderful weekend...........
blessings and hugs............lita

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GRACEFULIFE 4/10/2010 9:20AM

    Yes, no slippery slopes allowed! And while it might get easiER (and habitual), it may never be easY.

Reading along I came to "but I don't need to worry with all these calories I'm burning, right...?" and said NOOOOOOOOOO don't doooo it!

So, great job picking yourself up and realizing how much you LIKE being fit, and that it does take some WORK to maintain it! emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 4/10/2010 7:33AM

    Don, do you know just how much you inspire me? Well, in case I haven't told you, YOU DO!

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DAYHIKER 4/10/2010 6:27AM

    Glad to read that you got back into gear (pun intended!)! I'm on that maintenance gig, too, and working hard outside the past couple of weeks has really spurred my appetite along with the huge calorie burn. You have a list of things that you have to be READY for so that is great incentive!! emoticon


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CARRIE1948 4/10/2010 6:20AM

    Good for you. When it warms up again, I want to move from cycling in the gym to outdoors to get ready for Watkins Glen

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HEALTHY_CAROLYN 4/10/2010 3:15AM

    It's so true how the successes can make us slide into unhealthy habits. Good on you for catching that slide and not giving into it for long (unlike *cough*me*cough how some people do for a lot longer). You're so right about "arriving" not being the end, by a looong shot, of how much work and focus there still has to be. Congrats on the getting your head on straight and your body moving in the right direction.

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PONDERTHIS 4/10/2010 1:46AM

    What a great communication about the ongoing reality of the change to being healthier and stronger. Your thinking is a lot clearer now too, I think, than the days when you started. I mean, you could only fool yourself for a little while now. How excellent!!!!! I am glad for you, and I thank you for sharing "reality" - it's a gift to have you be real with us.
Have a wonderful weekend~

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SMILINGBREYES 4/10/2010 12:41AM

    I was so tempted last week to start the cycling with all that great weather. Body had other plans when I got an upset stomach bug instead. You're blog makes me realized how blessed I was that I hadn't started or i would have been in your shoes too. Instead of joining the gym after the one week tryout, i ordered a home treadmill. Thankfully I can see that the best place is my living room and not upstairs. *grins. Thanks brother for sharing that wise advice! *grins

Did wonder if the days of 1152 calories burned totaled more for the week than the routine of treadmill total for the week? As I'm reading this, it seems that even though you didn't work out as much this week, overall burned more calories doing the new routines than the old routine.

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VALERIEMAHA 4/10/2010 12:32AM

    Took time to read...and reflect...and understand...and STAND...

P.S. The nature of your comment on my PLAN blog is even clearer now!

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Yet One MORE Sunny Day for Easter!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Got out to one of our local parks, did a nice ride about town...tried a new route which I created as I went along by traveling a long, "no left turn" loop...hate left turns...as I am super cautious around intersections and invariably stop, get off the bike and walk across the intersection. So no left turns = uninterrupted riding joy!

Then took a water break and picked up the Nordic poles for some NICE stepping, jogging along at times. Couple of stand-out tunes including 4 on 6 by Lee Ritenour, a great tribute to Wes Montgomery, the father of jazz guitar, in my opinion...great MOVIN' song!

Here's Lee:


Here's Wes:


Another of my favorites REALLY pumped me up...Springsteen's Rosalita:


Wish I would run into some other folks using Nordic poles...have YET to see this happen...! I get some STRANGE looks at times, some approving "thumbs up" looks at others.

On a more sober note, came across this article about the mythical side of American holidays, talking initially about egg farms and what they are REALLY like, juxtaposed against the White House egg roll. The article later quotes Michael Pollin from "Omnivore's Dilemma" re: the McNugget:

"Of the thirty-eight ingredients it takes to make a McNugget, I counted thirteen that can be derived from corn", starting with the corn-fed chicken itself ... According to the handout, McNuggets also contain several completely synthetic ingredients, quasiedible substances that ultimately come not from a corn or soybean field but from a petroleum refinery or chemical plant ... But perhaps the most alarming ingredient in a Chicken McNugget is tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to 'help preserve freshness.' According to A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives, TBHQ is a form of butane (i.e., lighter fluid) the FDA allows processors to use sparingly in our food: it can comprise no more than 0.02 percent of the oil in a nugget. Which is probably just as well, considering that ingesting a single gram of TBHQ can cause 'nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse.' Ingesting five grams of TBHQ can kill."

The entire article can be found here:


Sobering food for thought...!

Keep Sparking out there everyone!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 4/9/2010 1:29PM

    Don, you're going to see more Nordic walkers one of these days - it's contagious, kind of like SP.

Have a great weekend!

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SVELTINGTON 4/6/2010 6:36PM

    I am proud to report that McNugget's and most of McD's stuff was not on my previous list of eats. I have always been wary of "coated" fast food.
Thanks for the links to the great jazz!

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XENA1956 4/5/2010 10:16PM

    My kids never really like Micky D's so they did not eat their Chicket Nuggets very often. Now really glad. Once again thanks for the great info. about the Nordic poles. Still saving up for some. Teri PS I really love Jazz too. Reminds me a bit of Chick Corea

Comment edited on: 4/5/2010 10:17:15 PM

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PISTL67 4/5/2010 8:31PM

    it's a shame they can't put more food in fast food. it's all about the profit. emoticon

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USARUNNERGIRL 4/5/2010 11:58AM

    Ok.....no more mcnuggets for me kids.....EVER! Scary stuff.

On a happy note, I loved your route, I do some similar planning with my runs, I try to make them as easy as I can as far as intersections and what not.

Hopefully one day you will get to run into another Nordic Pole user. These days I welcome strange looks, means I must be really sparking hard. emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 4/5/2010 6:48AM

    I love your "no left turn" route - right turns are so much safer!!


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L*I*T*A* 4/4/2010 11:40PM

    where i live there are lots of people who are using these nordic poles.......at first i thought i was the only one and it seemed suddenly there were many++++
wishing all the blessings of the Easter season...
blessings and hugs...........lita

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JCORYCMA 4/4/2010 11:40PM

    Wow. Thanks for the thought provoking information and link. It's sad to think that the McNugget comprises a large part of many kids diets these days. I enjoyed the jazz links too. Lee Rittenour is one of my favorites - do you ever listen to Fourplay?

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