Thursday, October 06, 2011
I took today off work. The plan was to help daughter move into her new apartment. I could have been a comedy of errors.
Tuesday evening I texted daughter to let her know I'd reserved a U-Haul van and I'd pick it up at 8 this morning. Got a phone call back. Daughter needed to babysit her apartment from 8 to 12 for the cable company to come install internet. I had visions of nothing happening till 1 PM.
So I picked up the van and brought it home. There were three pieces in my basement that daughter wanted. The microwave cart wasn't a big deal. I didn't know about the dresser, but it turned out I could get it out of the basement by myself. Then there was the sofa that has been in my basement for 19 years and 10 months.
That sofa is heavy. The stairs are narrow. I correctly determined the way to turn the sofa, and got it half way up. Needed to move the bottom end over, and I'm at the top. Got down past the sofa to do that; might not have 10 pounds ago. Point to the SP nutrition tracker.
Did 6 reps of pull sofa up one step. Found that I couldn't get the middle leg through the doorway. (Yes, I'd already taken the door to the basement stairs off the hinges and put it elsewhere.) At this point, I remember ex-wife telling me the movers had to remove that middle leg to get the sofa down. So I try to get there. The sofa slides back down the stairs. Sigh. Remove the leg.
Try to do more reps of pull sofa up. Run out of steam. Some time in there, daughter called and told me internet was about done; but she was going to do (several things that I don't remember now) before she came over. I give up on the sofa till she arrives.
With daughter's help, I get the sofa to the top of the stairs. Can't get it out the back door. At this point, I remember ex-wife telling me the movers had to take *both* doors of the hinges to get the sofa in. Ain't gonna happen. The sofa goes back into the basement. It will come out in pieces, when I get around to disposing of it.
Load up the van with the stuff we could move, plus some clutter that daughter had stored at my house. There's room left, so we drive to daughter's old apartment and get more clutter. By the time we get it all into her new apartment (up flights of 6, 10, and 7 risers), I'm pretty wiped out.
Back to her old apartment. Daughter offers me sweetened iced tea; I take water. There are cookies; I grab the nutritional info and decide I can eat two. There is no reasonably close place to eat lunch, so we load her bed and a couple other smaller things, then get back to her new apartment. Get it all up those stairs, and we're both pretty wiped out.
If I never have to muscle a full sized mattress up another flight of stairs, I won't be disappointed with missing out on the experience. I tell daughter I hope this apartment lasts her a while. She says next time she moves she might go the moving party route, where you buy pizza and beer and get cheap muscle to help.
By the time we return the U-Haul van, it's 2 PM and we haven't had lunch. Off to Taco Bell, which daughter likes and I can work around. I'm hungry. I have a chicken flatbread sandwich in addition to my usual order, figuring I can come in at the high end of calories today if necessary. I feel much better after getting some food into my stomach; I worked too hard for just having a bowl of oatmeal with raisins at breakfast.
Daughter collects her car and a bit more clutter from my house and goes to settle in. By 4 PM, I'm mowing the lawn. In October, when the grass shouldn't still be growing. But it's a sunny day, and we don't get that many of those this late in the year, and the grass has been growing like spring. Sigh.
After all that, I can look at the evening at about the same time I'd normally get home from work. So what do I do? I do my 5K Your Way training.
By the time I get to run, the pedometer has 9800 steps on it. 5 or 6 thousand of those were tough steps moving furniture, but I don't have anything to record on SP as cardio. Get out, and take it gently in light of having already worked pretty hard. I plan to run the same route I ran Monday.
At my first time check landmark, I'm about 10 seconds off the pace I set Monday. At the place I strained my calf in Week 2, I'm about 20 seconds off the pace I set Monday. I figure I'm just tired from moving and mowing, and quit looking at my watch.
At the check off corner for adding or chopping distance to the route, I'm a few seconds ahead of the pace I set Monday. When I turn onto my street at the end, I'm 45 seconds ahead of Monday. I end up running 4.62 miles, compared to 4.54 on Monday. I may have started slower, but I didn't have to slow down as much to be able to keep running.
I custom build dinner to get enough carbs and protein to meet my minimums. Add an evening snack, and come in toward the low end of my calorie range, even with that Taco Bell Chicken Flatbread sandwich. And I'm satisfied. Go figure.
Looking back on the day with a lap full of purring cat, I can't believe I got all that done. Other people have days like this; I don't. If this isn't a delusion, it's a gift.
In a few minutes, I'll be off to bed. Tomorrow it's back to work. Conference calls and analyzing possible new rules and generally being sedentary except when I take a break to walk a bit. But today has been a very good day.
Monday, October 03, 2011
A while back, I blogged that I was not a runner: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
My thinking at that time was, I am not a runner until I can run 30 minutes continually. I figured if I could actually keep running for a half hour, that would be good enough to complete the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge while actually running the entire course. If I can run all the way through that race, a bit longer than a 5K, I can call myself a runner.
Today was the big transition. After 2 weeks of remedial training, and 3 weeks of the 5K Your Way running program doing intervals (with a 9 day interruption to recover from a strained calf), today was Week 4, Day 1. It called for running 35 minutes. Since I hadn't been attempting to run further than the intervals, there was some doubt as to whether I could do this.
Weather: Cloudy, showers off and on all day. Temperature at 57 degrees. Recalling that SP says 55 is the ideal temperature for running, I leave the jacket at home. Good call. I probably could have got by in runners shorts, though I actually wore long pants.
Start out deliberately holding back, both because I didn't have much of a warmup and because I haven't run longer than 7 minutes at once since I started training. The 5 minute mark found me further than the walk 1/run 4 interval, but not by much.
I have 3 up/down hill stretches on this route. On the interval training, part of the biggest uphill stretch falls on a walk. Not today; no more walking. Got up all the hills, and noticed that running down them was a lot easier, almost like resting.
Got to the segments where I was always looking at my watch early. The psychology is different when I'm not going to slow for a walk at all. The longer stretches don't feel as long when I'm not looking forward to a walking interval.
Several times I had to bear in mind the sage advice of my sister, "Run slower." I managed to do this without slowing to a walk, and was able to pick up the pace later. This is encouraging, as I really didn't know how to pace myself before I started training.
Chopped a bit off the twisty route for the 40 minute walk/run intervals, and guessed that I'd end up somewhere close to home. Quite close, in fact. When I looked at my watch on the last stretch, it looked very close indeed. I picked up the speed, trying to get to my driveway by 35 minutes. Didn't do it, but got to the next door neighbor's driveway. Good enough, that's a point I can measure to on the map.
Walking cooldown from the walk/run intervals was walking about a tenth of a mile. Today, it was more like walking a third of a mile. That's okay, I already know that walking after the run is good for how my calves will feel tomorrow.
Stretched, took another short cooldown walk, and came in to map what I did. Turned out to be 4.54 miles, or an average pace of 7:43 per mile. At that pace, I could run the Chase Corporate Challenge in 27 minutes.
Today I am a runner. Doing this once doesn't make it permanent, so I'll be sure to finish out the 5K Your Way training routine. Then it will be a virtual 5K, and hopefully a routine of regular running till tax season, when I'll need to figure out how to deal with less free time.
And in the interval between April 15 and the Chase Corporate Challenge at the end of May, I'll train to run again. The second time through, it should be easier. I'll go into it knowing that I can do it.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
This morning as I got up and went to church, I thought to myself that I wanted to get a few things done this afternoon:
- Get an exercise walk (off day for running) to ensure 10K steps
- Vacuum. This has been squeezed out for too many weekends.
- Watch some football.
- Make burritos to take to work for lunch this week.
Hmm, I thought. The chances of getting all this done are slender. Football probably wins; I treasure my unstructured time.
Came home from church, and went for the walk. 5.2 miles in 72 minutes, for an average pace of 4.3 mph. I felt like I was hustling, but not really pushing to the limit even for a walk. I really felt like running, and it was hard not to.
Watched the entertaining second half of the Bills at Cincinatti. Since I'm not a Bills fan (I only live in upstate NY, I didn't grow up here), I found the game entertaining. The natives will be in mourning.
Along about that time, the cat started militating to be fed. That's annoying. He talked me into running the vacuum, which makes him shut up and go into hiding.
Got a case of the I don't wannas with the burritos. By main willpower, forced myself to edit my Spark recipe to use beef base instead of beef bouillon (less sodium) to boil the lentils and rice. That got late, so I boiled some eggs as backup for failure to finish.
Then I read my sister's blog about rebellion. Dang, I recognize that attitude. Went and assembled the burritos. I was less precise than I hoped, and the last one came out light on the stuffing. What the heck, I ate that one. It took me from low in the calorie range to high in the range (262 calories, less whatever being light on stuffing is worth), but I stayed in range.
The amazing thing is, in spite of getting everything done it still felt like a relaxing, unstructured Sunday.
Saturday, October 01, 2011
Yesterday evening was a big social eating buffet. The food was hard to estimate, but I took notes on what I ate and did my best. Final numbers for the day were about 500 calories above top of range. And my estimates might have been low.
During the dinner, I got a text from daughter cancelling breakfast at McD today. That made today's meals easier to bring in routinely within range, but also disrupted the Saturday routine. Normally, I'd be up early to do 5K training before McD at 9.
Today, I got up early, fed the cat, had breakfast, and went back to bed. I felt much more rested when I got up again, but it was past 10 by the time I got to the 5K training.
I messed up the 5K protocol. I was supposed to walk 1 minute, run 4 minutes for 8 cycles. First cycle, I was daydreaming past my landmark and it was about 4:25 into the run before I looked at my watch. So I ran 5 minutes. Felt pretty good. Did two more cycles of walk 1, run 5, and had about decided to keep this up for 5 cycles then do two cycles of walk 1, run 4 to come out to 40 minutes.
On Cycle 4, I misread my watch to say I had 1:45 left to run when it probably said I was 0:15 over. I ended up running 7 minutes. So I cut it down to 6 cycles, with the last two being walk 1, run 6. I expected to cover more territory, since I ran 2 more minutes and walked 2 fewer. Nope. Covered slightly less than Thursday, 4.94 miles in 40 minutes. Go figure.
The weather might have has something to do with that. 46 degrees, light wind, heavy mist or light rain. I deliberately ran a little slow at first because it was so cool. And I'm pretty sure my 1 minute walks were slower than Thursday. Oh, well. I ran 34 minutes in pieces of 5 minutes or more each.
That was Week 3, Day 3. Monday is Week 4, Day 1 and I get to try to run 35 minutes continually. At least I won't lose track of when I'm supposed to slow down and walk!
The disruption of the morning spilled over into the afternoon, shoving grocery shopping (normally done after McD) into late afternoon, which in turn disrupted other household maintenance tasks. At 7:30 PM, I'm mostly recovered except for being slow at getting laundry done. Time to sit back, watch some football, and change laundry loads on commercials!
Friday, September 30, 2011
I took a day off work today. Originally, it was to be able to relax while meeting a half day commitment to have a home energy audit done. Other stuff piled into that relaxing half day.
My daughter got the key to her new apartment today. So after I'd had breakfast and a too short exercise walk, I drove over to deliver the old microwave and take a look. Up three flights of stairs (5, 10, and 6 risers), but not terribly cramped at the turns. Two people who can get the couch and dresser out of my basement would be able to get them into her apartment.
Hustled home in time to have lunch. The energy audit tech called at 12:10, running early. Good think I took the whole day. Between hearing what he had to say and pointing out the relevant facts of the house, I worked the October budget and beginning of month bills.
There is mold in my basement. It hangs on the concrete block walls, where the groundwater seeps. The energy audit tech wouldn't do the blower door test because it would stir some of the fluffy mold into the air. So I get to try to find a firm to test this stuff and say whether it's a danger. One mold removal firm told me what I already suspected, that if the water is an ongoing problem the mold will come back. They also said that in this case, it was likely that this was not harmful mold, just outside mold migrating in with the water. Of course, I don't know without a test and at this point I don't know the price of testing.
In a few minutes, I'll leave for a buffet dinner honoring my church's recently retired pastor. From a Spark perspective, I'm a little concerned. It's at a wonderful restaurant, where the food will be delicious, high calorie, and difficult to quantify for the food tracker. Local place, no nutrition information on the web. I'll just have to do the best I can. I have 708 to 1058 calories left to consume today, and I went light on the fat for breakfast and lunch in anticipation of this. It might end up pushing me over limit, but it's not going to start a multi-day trend.
With all this, it doesn't really feel like a day off. Good thing the weekend starts tomorrow.
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