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Rest, a Dyson vacuum, and my road adventures begin on 11 Sept!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Well this past week was a nice stay-cation which I'll try to remember as I begin my whirlwind road adventure starting on Sunday.

Yep I'll be airborne on 11 Sept, flying to Norfolk, VA with SWMBO and #2 son...I've got meetings out the wazoo next week as does SWMBO. #2 son is our Special Needs boy, perfectly capable of taking care of himself in a hotel room while we're out during the day, but we're not ready to let him stay at home by himself for a full week.

After 5 straight days of HIIT, I took yesterday off from exercising which was just what I needed. Of course SWMBO had her gal pals over for a luncheon, so I got booted out of the house and took myself (and the Kindle) out for the afternoon and spent 3 nice hours reading and drinking coffee at the local Starbucks.

Maybe it was all that caffeine, but on my way back, I cruised in to a Sears across the street and snagged up a sale on a Dyson DC25 Vacuum Cleaner...the kind that specializes in animal hair!

You see we have a cat, Princess Lilac-tips, a pretty decent cat that I'm happy to say keeps the house free of pests. But she sheds like a demon and this has always bugged me. Well this Dyson is friggin' amazing!!!

SWMBO had just cleaned up after her luncheon, but then I ran this thing over the living room carpet, over the couch cushions, and in the folds of my favorite chaise.

Well apparently, I've been living in a dusty, hair-infested hell-hole all my life! After 10 minutes SWMBO and I were fighting over who got to drive it next. We were extending hoses, snapping on attachments, moving chairs & tables.....we're a little weird like that.

Anyway today was much calmer....especially now that I know deep in my soul that our house really is clean, I was able to relax and read some more this morning before having to go into work to put out a minor personnel crisis. Must be the times, seems like people's emotions are very edgy these days. But I mediated the crisis successfully (I told them all, "We're fixing this today....and I am walking out that door at 3:30 to get to the gym so let's get everything on the table now"...turns out that these yahoos had been talking past each other all week....once in the room with me, I asked a few questions, everyone soon agreed that there was no problem....sheesh, if I wanted this kind of crazy, I'd adopt a few teenagers!)

Needless to say, I got to the gym just in time to meet trainer guy....then life was alright again.

Tomorrow I go for a bike ride, then we're on the road from Sunday through Friday. The week after that I fly to Salt Lake City for 3 days, from there to Melbourne, FL for 2 days, back home for the weekend, off to Vegas for a week, back home for another weekend, then up to Charlottesville, VA for a week...I think I stabilize sometime around 8 Oct

Lots of potential for overeating and slacking these next 4 weeks Sparkfriends....don't let me do it....keep me honest as always!

Have a great night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROT358 9/15/2011 12:05AM

    Well I know what I want for Christmas now. We have four short-hair cats, and one sheds like a demon. You stroke his back and big tufts of loose fur go flying in the air as if he hadn't been petted in a week. Once I tried brushing him nearly an hour a day - the prevention method - and even that didn't show noticeable improvement on his shedding or the furniture, not to mention I don't really have an hour a day. We haven't found anything that keeps up with Bar-Bar. Thank you for the tip!

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AMEDEAU 9/10/2011 1:44AM

    I had to laugh when I read your one comment regarding co-workers "sheesh, if I wanted this kind of crazy, I'd adopt a few teenagers!" It really spoke to me. I'm a Program Manager, and I swear I get paid to babysit sometimes, which wouldn't bother me since I get paid good... but it steals time from my life (e.g. time to go work out).

Happy trails on your travel... I'm sure you will get in some good workouts!

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MOBYCARP 9/9/2011 9:02PM

    When I first got my Dyson, I was prepared for having to empty the canister 3 times vacuuming the major part of the main floor.

What continues to amaze me is, just how much hair one domestic short haired cat can shed in one week.

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    I love my Dyson, it is well worth the price. Enjoy your road trip and let me know if you want those teenagers. I can give you a good deal on two of them.

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All things in moderation....including moderation

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I freely admit, I take things to extremes and have a tendency to push things to their limits. Most of my life that's led to a fair amount of success. Every now and then, I push a little too hard and need to re-evaluate.

After doing what research I could about Hi Intensity Interval Training, I jumped on the bandwagon and hit it late last week, adjusting my routine and loved it. Short, hi intensity intervals interspersed with moderate cardio...pretty cool when added to my Strength Training routine.

The part I blew past in my research was where they said, "These types of workouts are very intense and should only be done 2 to 3 times a week"....I did them 5 days straight, even on days when I did ST. You see the rules of mere mortals don't apply to me.....

Hence I sat in front of the laptop last night and felt like I was hit by a truck

"These types of workouts are very intense and should only be done 2 to 3 times a week"

OK, OK, it's always good to be reminded of our mortality, it helps us appreciate life, it reminds us that all our time is precious....but does it always have to hurt like that?

So I've relearned that age-old lesson that just because a little of something is pretty good, that doesn't mean that a lot of the same thing is great.

Today I did a very light warmup for 20 minutes before lifting with trainer was a lot better and much less painful.

All things in moderation, including moderation

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCATKD 9/8/2011 9:51PM

    You felt like you were HIIT by a truck?
emoticon Sorry -- couldn't help it...

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PROT358 9/8/2011 7:11PM

    All things in moderation, ESPECIALLY moderation. At least that is what I have learned particularly as it applies to the diet. It's so easy for me to allow a piece of chocolate because I'm being moderate, but as chocolate is my kryptonite it's easy for my chocolate addiction to grow even while I'm "on the wagon," until it becomes less than moderate. An important lesson for all!

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HAKAPES 9/8/2011 4:41PM

    I've never thought about that!
As for running, several people told me that 10-12K per day is a good distance, higher than that is extra stress on the joints, and is not recommended for every day. I was doing more, 15-18K, but then I cut back.
Also, I was told to have a rest 1 or 2 days per week - now I do it.
I like this idea of HIIT, can you send me a link to an article/guide that you particularly like?
Thx - Oliver

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ZEESPARROW 9/8/2011 8:10AM

    Rest is definitely key. Sorry you had to learn it the hard way, but good for you that you learned it! Don't beat yourself up, and keep on enjoying those (occasional) HIIT sessions.


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AMEDEAU 9/8/2011 12:31AM

    I'm certain you will feel better when you wake up in the morning. I too recently learned the hard way that I need to take some time to relax between my workouts. We just have to remember that we need to build up to where we want to be.

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FANGFACEKITTY 9/7/2011 10:34PM

    What, we're mere mortals?!? Speak for yourself, I am invincible!

OK, maybe not invincible but I make sure the truck that hits me feels it too lol!

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MOBYCARP 9/7/2011 10:04PM

    emoticonYeah, some of us have to learn the hard way not to let the testosterone make us stupid proud. Never did the HIIT, but I've sat in front of my computer feeling like I was hit by a truck several times.

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Exercise: Intensity + Duration + Frequency = Goodness

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Talk about a beautiful day!

We woke up to a cool DRY morning here in the FL panhandle. Temp in the 60s, clear blue skies, and NO HUMIDITY!

Happy, happy, joy, joy

So I stuck around the house this morning while SWMBO got ready for lunch with some gal pals. I had already arranged to have the bug guy come out and spray around the outside of the house (ants) and roof guy to repair some shingles that blew off in the storm. I also tackled our home office which I've been putting off since we moved here in May. I put the whammy on some bookshelves and a closet....this will be a week long project while I'm home.

I was going to take the bike out for a ride, but made a last minute change to hit a new gym nearby. I wanted to do some more Hi-Intensity Intervals, but I also wanted to stretch. I blogged about this super-cool stretching "cage" a few months ago:

I knew they had decent cardio equipment as well as the cage so, since it wasn't too far away, I went there.

After a 10 minute warmup, I did 6x 30 second intervals on the stationary bike, with a 60 second break in between. I pumped up the intensity to about 7-8 on the Borg RPE (Rated Perceived Exertion) scale. I was drenched in sweat after the 3rd interval

I cooled off, hit the stretching cage, then went over the Concept2 Rowing machine. I knew these would be tougher (and they were) so I did the same 30 sec intervals, but took a 90 sec break in between. But during the hi-intensity part, I pushed the RPE up to 8-9.

Cooled down, stretched some more, then hit an elliptical machine for a steady 20 minutes of cardio.

In no time at all, 70 minutes of cardio were over, and they were (except for the last 2 intervals on the rowing machine) quite enjoyable. The stretching was like having a good dessert after a great meal

And here I am 3 hours later blogging about it, still feeling a burn from the exertion!

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCATKD 9/6/2011 10:52PM

    Wow -- you're really selling me on the HIIT.

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Duh, Winning....consistency in exercise works!

Monday, September 05, 2011

Well it turned into a busier labor Day than I had planned...but it went very well.

I started out the morning at Starbucks to have coffee with a 30-something friend of a friend who wanted some career advice and mentoring (I think he wants my job....Ha! Old age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill!) We talked for about 2 hours until SWMBO called and told me the wind was gusting to 40MPH, that sheet rain was whipping around the house, and that the waves were crashing into the backyard...."Are you coming home soon?!?"

So I told 30-something guy to finish his degree, work even harder, get out of his comfort zone, think hard about the kind of boss he would really be and to give me a holler in 6 months, then drove back home....

....right into the heart of the Storm! I forget what the meteorological term is, but as a rotating storm moves from the water over the land, in it's trail is a low pressure front that pulls and sucks ocean moisture in it's wake, generating some very impressive was pretty cool. SWMBO however doesn't enjoy nature's fury as I do and had prepared for the worst; Cat was in it's travel kennel, bike helmets were arrayed in the hallway (in case tornado blows roof off), lanterns lined up in an interior hallway with no outside walls, and a case of water in the bathroom....she's my little disaster response queen!

But our little home survived, just a few roof tiles blew off. So after stir-frying up a quick lunch, I drove on over to the gym for Monday's ST session on legs & back.

Now those of you who have read my past few days' blogging have seen my recent obsession with Hi-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Well, note to self....HIIT is not a good warmup routine for Strength Training!

I got to the gym early and hit a stationary bike to get warmed up. After about 10 minutes, I thought, "Hmmm, I can speed this up a little with some intervals, and still have time to recover before we start lifting."

Yeah, if I were 20 yrs old, maybe. But at 51, it's probably a better idea to not combine intense cardio with intense weight lifting.

Overall the session went fine, I was just a little tired going into it. But a few months ago, it probably would not have been's about the consistency. I've seen great improvements these past 3 weeks since I've been home long enough to do the ST 3x/week (Duh, winning) and the months of regular cardio and ST have helped me build a strong foundation. I'll just tone it down so that I do cardio on cardio days, ST on ST days....the two shall never again meet on the same day!

That's all for now Spark friends....good night!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BILL60 9/6/2011 7:32AM

    Well done!! However, don't get too soft on yourself. Nothing wrong with beating your body up once in a while, regardless of your age. At 66, I do it often and it helps keep me honest. HOOAAA!!

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REBECCATKD 9/5/2011 9:20PM

    Ooh, yeah, hard cardio + strength training = disaster. Lesson learned.

Glad to hear you survived the storm! Next fitness stop: kayak for possible escape routes during hurricane season. :)

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MOBYCARP 9/5/2011 8:53PM

    Yeah, over 50 there comes a time when we have to overcome the pride of being premier at everything, and do what we can do without totally beating our bodies up. We can still train, but we can't be stupid proud about it.

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POINTAFTER 9/5/2011 8:49PM

    Oh, that scene sounds SO familiar...that was my house the day before Irene. Since our power was only out for 18 hours there is STILL water in the bathtub. I refuse to waste it, so it has become my refill source for the dogs' bowls. emoticon

I've only combined HIIT with moderate strength training on the same day. Sounds like I'd better keep it that way!

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Tropical Storm Lee, Spy Kids, Hi-Intensity Interval Training, and the smartest $20 I've spent!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

So, some changes are afoot!

I'm feeling pretty darn good and enjoying it. I decided to "re-commit" to Sparkpeople a few weeks ago, to work harder at living healthier (working out, eating right, logging it and blogging it) and it's not so bad...I feel adventurous, somewhat like I did when I first joined and started checking out this whole Spark thing.

The weather here in NW Florida has been pretty nasty with TS Lee. SWMBO and I had to clear the lawn chairs & plants off the deck as the winds started gusting. I spent about 30 minutes on the roof cleaning out gutters and downspouts, coming down when she informed me that we were in a tornado warning (my comment of, "well I don't see any from up here" didn't calm her down any...I did come down, though when I heard the lightening alerts come on)

Rather than stay cooped up all day, I took #2 son to go see "Spy Kids" for a matinee. Apparently, so did 100 other parents...they even bought their newborns, God bless 'em!

So after an hour and a half of potty jokes and newborns crying, scared silly from loud cinematic sounds effects (Really people!?! What is up with bringing kids that can't walk or talk to the movies?!?) I needed a workout.

At first I was just going to do a nice, long, slow ride on the stationary bike....but then I got to thinking.....I don't want to overdo these Tabata intervals I've been obsessing about lately, but I really have enjoyed the Hi-intensity workouts.

A quick side-story....this is no sales pitch mind you, and I have no affiliation with these guys, but I did download (and paid $20 for) this amazing series of mp3s that have numerous sets of varying intervals. The music is all very techno/industrial, but the beauty is that I don't have to time a thing or look at a watch. They cue you pretty good ("get ready to go in 3-2-1....push....OK, now slow down for 30 seconds, you have 4 sets left to go") and have lots of Hi-intensity workouts as well as specific Tabata intervals, with warmup and cooldown on each. Anyway, take a listen and see if you like them:
(BTW, it took me 5 days to order these....I kept thinking it could be a scam. I couldn't find any reviews about the site. I finally used Paypal just to be extra safe. Bottom line; no problems and the download all checked out clean and music is as advertised)

So then I decided to explore some new equipment. I'm pretty set in my ways; I tend to gravitate to the same machines for cardio when I can't go riding my bike outside. But today I decided to try out the Concept2 rowing machine:

I haven't been on one of those since quitting the crew team at college many, many moons ago, so it was pretty cool.

Then I decided to do some intervals!

These were a little tamer than all-out Tabatas because I didn't want to get overly sore, breaking in a whole new set of underused muscles, so I tried 30 sec hi-intensity and a 60 sec slow & steady for 8 sets. It was great!

From there I went and did the same on a stationary bike then an elliptical....SWMBO always jokes that I should ask the doc for some Ritalin. Maybe doing many different types of intervals on different machines appeals to my inner ADHD-child.

Anyway, while the workouts are tough, I find myself looking forward to them, which is all any of us can ask as we strive to improve our fitness

Good night Spark friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMEDEAU 9/5/2011 12:43PM

    Sounds like you had a great day... and I must admit, you are a by far better man than me. I suffered through the first Spy Kids movie and then my daughter took me to one called Shark Boy and Lava Girl. Although I love my daughter to pieces, I'm sure glad she is into older movies now ;-)

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HEALTHIERKEN 9/5/2011 12:27PM

    It's always fun to cater to that Inner Child!!!!!
And it's almost always beneficial to the Outer Adult : )

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JUNEBUG1944 9/4/2011 11:24PM

    Glad you didn't get blown off that ladder and you didn't see any twisters while you were up there! I'm sure SWMBO didn't think your comment was as funny as you and I did! I'm ready for the rain to STOP! I'll have to listen to that music...

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TIFFGETSFIT 9/4/2011 10:42PM

    Sounds like a good day (minus the toddlers and screaming----welcome to my world - bahahaha) and a good workout! Tell SWMBO I think she's too funny with the Ritalin joke. Glad the storm didn't swallow ya'll up :-)

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