Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Well I'm in Las Vegas....and it was a long day!
Got in yesterday and it was a mad-cap travel experience
Got up at 5:00 AM to get in the office by 6:00 so I could get a bunch of paperwork done before catching my 10:30 flight.....and things just snowballed from there.
The TSA line was way backed up; some knucklehead tried to bring a jar of who knows what through the machine, which delayed everyone. While I was getting my usual groping by the TSA perverts, I heard the last call for my flight....YIKES!
I ran the 100 yard dash down the terminal and made it just in time.....but here's the cool part.
There was another guy, about my age, maybe younger, also doing the turkey trot to the plane. We get to the gate agent, show our boarding passes, and he is heaving out of breath, sweat beads on his brow.....he is winded.
Me, I'm feeling OK....I stride to the jetway like nothing's different. I think all the regular cardio is showing its practical benefits in being able to do fairly functional things without feeling oxygen deprived.
Landed in Vegas around 3:30, got the rental car, drove to my hotel.....and realized I had forgotten a shirt.....and I needed a haircut....and I had a dinner to get to at 6:00 at my bosses house.....and, oh yeah, I wanted to get in a work out.
Well I just went into Terminator mode....blocked out all other thoughts, erased all doubts, and went into single-minded action mode....."Are you Sarah Connor?"
Got the shirt, trimmed the hair, hit the gym (30 min of Hi-Intensity Intervals....I love those guys), showered, changed, drove to boss' house....and arrived fashionably, exactly on-time!
He and his wife had a pretty decent spread laid out in the back yard.....Texas BBQ complete with fried pickles and other weird things. I grabbed a plateful of shrimp, a strip or 2 of brisket, and a little cole slaw.....not too bad. SWMBO had made me some sandwiches for the flight, so all in all I stayed under calorie limits for the day.
Today was death by Powerpoint! We went non-stop from 7:00 till 7:00. By the time I got back to the room, I was beat and hungry. Smartest thing I did on my way back was to stop off at the grocery store and pick up a few Lean Cuisine Market Creations meals to nuke for dinner.....so far I am under my min calorie limit for the day and ready for bed in a few minutes.
That's all for tonight Spark friends.....see you tomorrow!
Monday, September 26, 2011
Today was a roller coaster.....that's what I get for being out of the office for almost 2 weeks straight.
Say what you will about e-mail, telephones, blackberries, VTCs....in the end, there's nothing like face-to-face contact.....and I had plenty of it today....all day....7:00 to 5:30 with nary a break.
The only reason I got out by 5:30 (and I seriously considered blowing it off) was because I had hard scheduled a session with trainer guy.....otherwise I'd still be in the office.
As it is, I've got to hit the sack early....I need to go in wicked early to finish up a few things, then catch a flight to Las Vegas at 9:30 tomorrow morning....I'll be out of the office again all this week, back home Saturday, then depart Sunday for another week away.
Which in the end is not that big a deal, except I have to make sure to keep eating right and finding opportunities to work out....no backsliding!
Well I'm off to pack.....blog tomorrow from Vegas....Pacific time zone
Good night Spark friends
Spark on STARFISHES!!! We're going to win by losing the most!
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Now I know why people move to Florida....it's not for the summer.....it's for the nine months between September and May, when it cools down, the humidity drops, and everything still smells like suntan lotion!
Unfortunately, I had to spend about 5 hours in the office today getting caught up on reports, e-mails I had saved "for action later", and to look at a slate of resumes for guys to hire next year. Luckily, I went in early while SWMBO and #2 son went to church, so I got done around 2:00.
And lo and behold, it was just a swimmingly beautiful outside!
So I drove back home, geared up, and went out for a ride....a nice, long, slow ride.
Lately, I have been so driven to work out hard that I'd forgotten the enjoyment of just taking the bike out and cruising around, without regard for speed or distance, not worrying about clocking a high cadence, or of keeping my heart rate from dipping below the aerobic threshold....no, today was just for fun, to enjoy the cool smell of the ocean breeze on my face, cruising around corners at a nice angle of attack, and for enjoying the feeling of being able to go anywhere I wanted under nothing more than my own pedal power.
Coming back home to the smell of SWMBO grilling up some chicken on the barbie, made me think that whatever kvetching my brain was doing this morning about the "unfairness" of me having to go into work on Sunday (it really isn't unfair, I love what I do!), that even if life isn't fair, it's still good. Working a little extra hard on a Sunday sometimes pays off by being able to really appreciate some of the very nicest things in life.
Good night Spark friends....
Go STARFISHES Fall 5% Challengers...the other teams are fishfood!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Well talk about a non-scale victory!
My weight has stayed pretty steady for a few months, fluctuating between 188-192 (depending, of course, on how much I eat).
But I have been pretty consistent in my workouts, making sure to get in 3 ST sessions a week and 2-3 cardio session as well.
Well one of the things I really hate to do is shop for clothes...as a matter of fact, I'd prefer jabbing sewing needles into my eyeballs if given the choice.
So I depend on my dear SWMBO to help me out with this difficult lifestyle challenge....and she does pretty darn good with it most of the time....except for when she does great!
I flew back home yesterday, landed about 5:00 and had a charity-auction dinner to attend at 7:00. Dress was "Plantation Casual"
Now I'm a Yankee from Boston who has, for the last few years, lived in various Southern States, and has no idea what "Plantation Casual" is....Rhett Butler going to the Piggly-Wiggly maybe?
Luckily SWMBO picked out one of my light colored jackets, told me to wear something "light and blue" for a shirt.....and then she showed me the new jeans she bought me
"Your other jeans have been looking pretty baggy lately, so I bought you some new ones. See what these 34" Levis feel like"
I hesitated....I stalled....I paced around the room wondering, "OMG, this could be bad....the last time I tried this (10 years ago) I was inches shy of fastening the buttons"
Slowly, I pulled them on.....and snap! Those bad boys felt like they were custom made for me! I strutted around the bedroom cockier than Rhett could ever have dreamed of being!
"Take a good look my dear. It's an historic moment you can tell your grandchildren about - how you watched the 34 jeans slip back on hubby one night.....and don't start flirting with me. I'm not one of your plantation beauxs. I want more than flirting from you!"
Needless to say I was in a good mood last night.....which is a dicey thing to be when going to a charity-auction. This one was for the local Fisher House (a great cause in case you've never heard of them - www.fisherhouse.org/ ). So I made a bid in the Silent Auction on a 5-course dinner for 6, cooked in your home by a local chef, and won it for $400! I figured I owed SWMBO that much, so now if we have a holiday party at the house, she won't have to do a thing and we'd have spent that much on it anyway. Teach that little vixen to flatter me with snug-fitting clothes!
The moral of the story is that, once again, I have learned that the scale is only one measure of success. Eating right and exercising will make changes in our bodies, of which weight is only one measure. I can tell that I've lost fat, lost some inches, and probably added some muscle, and so this 51-year old body is shape-shifting in a way that is not reflected by the scales.
Anyway, all that being said, today's the start of my Fall 5% Challenge.....I weighed in at 189.2 today. I'd still like to shed about 9.5 lbs and get below 180 for the first time in decades....why, because I'm vain that's why!
Wish me luck Spark friends....Go STARFISHES!
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Maybe it was the time of day.....maybe it was the happiness I felt finishing my meetings early.....maybe it was my favorite 80s playlist (start off with Billy Idol - White Wedding, end with Depeche Mode - Personal Jesus....and some New Order in between), but today, I rocked this dinky little hotel gym!
Now Mr. Marriot's boys didn't really splurge on their equipment...as a matter of fact it looks like they bought most of it from a garage sale in North Korea....a couple of late 70s model stationary bikes (I needed platform shoes to get in the pedals), an elliptical that was more oblong, and a decrepit set of Powerblock weights that took more energy to put together than a Jenga puzzle
But I was determined not to be thwarted, especially since I wanted to up my cardio routine today and to get in some ST
I increased the sets on my Hi-Intensity workout, working up a great sweat, which was supposed to lead to some good ST work with those Powerblocks I had seen walking in.
I should have looked closer.
It took me about 10 minutes to put the scattered remains of the Powerblocks together into a useable form. Once finished, I saw that they were missing some crucial weight plates and so they ended up being much lighter than I wanted.
But I was not to be deterred!
One of the more important (and painful) lessons I have picked up from trainer guy is that there is no relief. No sooner do I get good at a weight or can do a certain number of reps, than we add more weight or add more reps. This is the goodness that accompanies weight training (he tells me)
So I have learned over time that the weight or the number of reps isn't nearly as important as the "burn" associated with the workout. "Feel the burn" the bastard trainer keeps telling me. "Oh yeah, that's where you're getting the most gain, right now when you're working your muscle to exhaustion, keep pushing"
And I'm paying for this advice!
But over time, I have calibrated my sense of that burn to know when I am getting in a good workout.
So today, even with some much lighter weights, I could adapt what I did to benefit from it. I did each repetition very slowly, almost a 4 count down and a 4 count up, I squeezed for a 2 second count at the maximum extension (or contraction), so that by the time I was done with 10 reps, I had some pretty decently torched muscles.
Which in the end, gave me much happiness
Dinner was a nicely done Pho at a nearby Vietnamese joint. Some of my long-time Spark friends know of my fascination with this dish of clear broth filled with tender rice noodles, veggies, fresh basil, jalapeno peppers, and most any other thing you want to throw in there:
I've found it to be a great post workout meal. At only 400-500 calories tops, it's chock full of liquid, some protein (your choice; chicken, beef, shrimp) and mighty tasty, especially with a little dab of melt-your-teeth Thai red pepper chili sauce.....yum!
Anyway, that's all for tonight. I fly back home tomorrow. SWMBO and I have a dinner to go to Friday night...my goal is to NOT get there famished after eating airport/airline food all day. Then we're hosting a luncheon for about 30 people at our place on Saturday....she's been prepping for this all week....I'm hoping to pick at the lowest calorie items on her menu.
Have a great night Spark friends
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