Saturday, March 31, 2012
Well this was a wild and wacky travel week! Actually it mostly went pretty well....a few minor hiccups....and a major snafu at the end.
Nutrition went pretty well....a little too much Mexican/New Mexican in Albuquerque. No green smoothies though....I couldn't take the blender with me this time.
Got in a lot of workouts....except I only did 5 days of push-ups!!! I totally FORGOT to do them Friday (for reasons detailed below)
Friday was another long day. Had breakfast at the hotel, then went to my meetings in St Louis. These went from 8:00 AM to noon, then I had to scoot to the airport to make a 1:15 flight out (my meetings were right near the airport)
I should have taken it as a bad travel omen when the guy in front of me through the body scanner was escorted out after TSA found a swiss army knife on him!
I got through fine (no swiss army knife), got the first class upgrade and got in some good reading on the leg from St Louis to Atlanta. Plugged in my Tabata Interval music and decided to power walk through the tunnels in Atlanta-Hartsfield from terminal D to terminal A. Grabbed a cup of coffee enroute to the gate....saw that I got the upgrade again, and I was feeling just fine.
Then the Kayak trip alerts started coming in on my iPhone.
"Delta flight XXXX is delayed....."
They did this 2 more times, then over the loudspeaker, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Delta flight XXXX is cancelled due to maintenance, the Delta Counter by gate XX will be able to re-book you"
There was a collective, audible "Ohhhhh Nooooo!!!" from the assembled crowd. One distraught woman went postal on the hapless gate agent, yelling at her, "why did you wait an HOUR to cancel and tell us now!!!!"
I saw the lines forming and said screw it. I huddled with the crowd that whipped out their phones calling Delta to get booked on the next flight.
AGENT: "Sir, both the 7:30 and 10:00 PM flights are over-booked"
ME: "OK, book me on an American or Jetblue flight"
Whirr, whirr, click, click
AGENT: "Sir they are all booked as well. I can get you out on a Delta flight at 10:00 tomorrow"
ME: "10:00 AM?"
AGENT: "No sir, 10:00 PM, everything else is booked"
ME: "You're bagging me? I can walk to Florida dragging my rollaboard and get there before that"
AGENT: "Yes, sir, unfortunately with spring break, many of our flights are full. Would you like me to look at flights in to Pensacola or Panama City?"
ME: "Sure, what have you got?"
AGENT: "Hmmmm, let's see. Pensacola is all booked for tonight....So is Panama City. I can get you on standby to Dothan, AL?"
ME: "Where the hell is that? Standby? Never mind, tell you what, cancel this leg, I'll get home on my own....we'll work the refund later!'
So I called Avis, booked a one-way rental to Ft Walton Beach and hit the road 20 minutes later. All good.
Till I came to a standstill half way to Montgomery, AL with a 20 mile long pile-up from multiple accidents up the road! (note for drivers....Waze is a pretty cool GPS driving app....Waze users can put in updates and warnings on everything from traffic jams to State Trooper speed traps)
Apparently a couple of trucks had over-turned in the storms that blew past yesterday. I was stuck there almost an hour. I pulled the Kindle out of my bag and started reading after I called SWMBO to tell her not to expect me till midnight.
It was then that I realized I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast, except for a couple of bags of peanuts and an apple on the flight. I scanned the cars around me looking around for a Domino's delivery car stuck in traffic that I could pillage.....no luck!
Anyway I made it home just before midnight....pulled in to a Loves truckstop and grabbed a Cliff Bar and some water once traffic started moving again. 375 miles later, I rolled in to our driveway at home.
But it's all good....I'd rather do that than be stuck an extra day in Atlanta. And not checking a bag helped....as always.
I've got to go in to the office to finish up a bunch of reports tomorrow....then Monday it's off to Virginia Beach for a few days.
Have a great night Spark friends!
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
SWMBO tells me that, as sentient beings, we cannot love inanimate objects.
Yet I have this powerful feeling, this strange attraction, affection maybe....no it definitely feels a lot like love....for my heart rate monitor. I mean, if I can't love something that is so close to my heart, what then is love?
So usually, as I drive over to the gym, I glance down at my HRM to see what my heart rate is before working out. I've usually got a resting heart rate of between 55-60. Today it was around 72 or so. Hmmm? Well we had a long day of meetings, but they went real well (Fantastic actually!), but nothing to get antsy about.
Then I went to warm up on the elliptical before ST, and wham! My HR rockets up to about 130 within a minute. It usually take 10 minutes or so to get past 120.
What the hell?!?
This has been going on since Tuesday when I arrived here in Albuquerque.
Well today as I walked out the gym, I got a phone call, and as I putzed around the parking lot, I looked up and saw:
I finished up the phone call, tapped on my Theodolite app, and there it was!
I'm up at 5,290 ft!!! To hell with Denver, Albuquerque is 10 feet higher than a mile! No wonder my HR is up. Mystery solved!!
Here's the other reason I love my HRM. Your trusted author is only human, and sometimes gets tired during workouts. When I do, I usually look down at my HRM and voila! The reason I'm feeling winded is because I'm about 10-20 beats over my zone.....ease it up a bit.....HR comes down 10-20 beats....Bam, I'm back in the groove and can just keep going and going.
Now lest you say, "Yeah, but those HR handles on the machines measure your heart rate too, so there," let me tell you, "Bull-loney!"
Most all of these machines will read a Polar HR monitor, and will favor the reading from a chest strap over the handle grips.
Well the one I was on today, favored the hand grips over the Polar strap. When I let go, it gave me the same reading as on my watch, but when I gripped those aluminum handles, it consistently read about 10-15 beats lower!
So maybe this kind of love appeals only to a data-hoarding marauder like myself, but in the end, the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
So If I had to pin down the biggest change in my thinking since joining Sparkpeople, I'd have to say that today, I look for opportunities to workout. Before, working out was something I "had to do". Now it's something I look for openings where I "get to work out"
It's subtle, but that little mental shift has made a huge difference....here's how.
Sunday I got stuck at the airport waiting for my flight from Ft Walton Beach, through Atlanta, to Salt Lake City. Around 11:00 AM, my Kayak Trip Alerts starts pinging the phone, "Flight XXXX is delayed 10 minutes.....20 minutes.....1 hour"
I'm hanging out in the lounge, haven't gone through TSA yet, watching as I miss my first connection. I get the Delta Skymiles guy on the phone. "Hey dude, can you get me to Salt Lake tonight or not?"
"Well, let's see, I can get you to Atlanta at 3:00, and your flight to Salt Lake City departs at 9:30 PM, or I can get you to Atlanta at 7:00 and you can make the same flight out"
Hmmmm......what to do? Hang out at the airport here or in Atlanta-Hartsfield, home of the 1000 calorie fast food jungle? Hang out here, or......hang out here, go to the gym, catch the later flight, get in to Salt Lake at midnight!
Go the gym!!!
Printed out my boarding pass, did the mental math on no later than departure from the gym to get back, park, go through TSA, etc....I had 90 good minutes to work out, shower, & get back in the car.
Oh yeah, I GOT HIS!!!
So that all worked out good.....I wasn't about to let friggin' Delta screw up my healthy living plans!
But then, of course, Mother Nature tried to......
I get in to SLC after midnight and it was after 1:00 AM (Mt Time!) by the time I got to bed, and I have to get up at 6:00 to make my first meeting by 7:30.....all good....
.....till I walk out the door!
It's snowing, there's a winter weather advisory, and I woke up thinking I look pretty spiffy in my long sleeve shirt & tie!!!
OK, OK, I can handle this. Do the "purposeful walk" to my car....no running, I don't need to do a front aerial layout on my ass on the ice.
Anyway, I make my meetings, check the timing on my flight out, and, as planned, I've got a good 2 hours to get in a workout before having to check in. Change in to shorts & workout shirt, brave the cold and hit the gym, do my ST, abs, and pushups for the day....and I've got time to spare before the flight.
Got in to Albuquerque last night, got caught up on e-mail from work and hit the sack.
Today was a dry run of some presentations we're giving tomorrow for a high roller coming to visit my division out here in Albuquerque. Things went pretty good, but went long, we finished up at 5:30. I've still got to duck out and meet the high roller at the airport at 9:00 PM.
What to do? Go to the room & rest, grab a sit down dinner and go to the airport.....or can I fit in a workout, shower, change, and grab a bowl of Pho to go on my way to the airport?
You guessed it!!! I had the opportunity.....it was something I "get to do", not something I "had to do"
It makes a big difference....in my brain anyway.
So I plugged in some 90s Goth Rock and got in some HIIT....today's visualization:
I am Maximus....Commander of the Armies of the North...General of the Felix Legion
Have a great night Spark friends!
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Well we had to re-evaluate our plans today. We were going to go for a day outing, grab some lunch at the beach, and hang out by the water, but dearest SWMBO got a flare up of shingles that have laid her up.
So #2 son and I went out, did a little shopping, picked up sandwiches for lunch and brought them home so we could eat them out on the deck. It was a beautiful day, almost hot, so we enjoyed the good weather and the sun on our faces.
I finished up my second non-fiction book this month, and loaded up the kindle with some fiction to read today and on my travels next week.
Hit the gym, feeling surprisingly sore from yesterday's ST session....go figure! But I did a warm up and got in 2 sessions of HIIT, did my back extensions, abs, & push-ups on the stability ball....these really are pretty cool....I never imagined push-ups requiring so much concentration and control but that's what these take or you go careening off the ball into a floppy mess!
That completes my 6 days of push-ups this week.....glad to have found a new way to keep them interesting....and these hit a whole new set of muscles in chest & shoulders.
I cooked up some salmon on the grill tonight, while SWMBO sauteed some veggies. Laundry's getting done and I'm getting ready to pack up for another 6 days on the road this week.
Oh, and btw, I decided I can't take the blender with me this time. On a six day trip, I don't check bags. SWMBO pointed out that TSA would likely confiscate a blender with sharp blades in a carry-on!
Have a great night Spark friends!
Friday, March 23, 2012
I've got to admit, I was a little leery about working out today.
Being on the road these past 3 weeks, I haven't had a session with trainer guy since 2 March. While I've been working out on my own, both cardio and ST, I haven't been doing the full gamut of heavy set lifting we usually do. Add to that the fact that prior to my travels, we had made some adjustments due to a pulled muscle I had, made me wonder how much I had atrophied.
Well today I blasted through all of my previous records! We kept adding weight to squats, deadlifts, seated rows, pullups, pullovers....I've got to admit, I was impressed and so was he....which is pretty amazing considering he's basically a cold-hearted, Stasi trained sociopath.
I spent a lot of time these past 3 weeks strengthening my back by doing hyperextensions on the Roman Chair:
These worked wonders! They strengthened my back enough to continue doing squats. Today we picked right back up on the highest weight we had ever put on there....then added another 10 lbs!
I also used a nifty little app called "StrongLifts 5x5". This has you do 5 sets of 5 reps at a comfortable weight for basic lifts like squats, presses, rows, etc. If you can do 5x5, it has you add 5 lbs next time....if you can't, you keep the weight the same.
It's a nice progressive way to get in some basic ST and to strengthen most of your bigger muscle groups in your legs, chest, shoulders & back....nothing crazy, nothing funky, just steady progress.
I think it really helped me and I enjoyed them.....and it obviously paid off.
The other part that helped was some weight loss. I dropped about 6 lbs these past 3 weeks, but even that little amount helped with the pull-ups....a personal goal of mine is to get to doing 10 unassisted....not there yet, but getting closer.
Last, I've got to attribute some of this success to some tweaks in the diet. I've eliminated a bunch of processed foods these past few weeks, concentrating on fresh veggies & fruits, clean protein (chicken, fish), and staying away (as much as I can) from breads and starches....I've got to do some more digging into this one to see 1) if that is the real difference, and 2) If I can sustain this in the long haul.
Anyway, tomorrow we have a nice family outing day planned (in addition to a re-arranging of the kitchen.....see yesterday's blog). Next week it's back on the road; Salt Lake City Sunday, Monday night to Albuquerque, from there to St Louis Thursday afternoon, and back home Friday night.
Maybe I'll take my blender
Have a great night Spark friends!
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