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Busy Saturday

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I woke up early this morning, and felt well rested. So I went for a run before 9 AM McDonald's with daughter. Ran into the stupid motivational tricks again. As I was approaching my driveway, the run was going to be around 39 minutes. So I overshot and came back, to get in 40 minutes and that 8th Spark Point. That stretched the run to 3.31 miles, a 7:32 pace per mile. I'm happy with that, as I wasn't particularly trying to run fast.

Had a nice chat with daughter. Her two cats are adapting to each other, and the really demanding cat she took from me is less demanding with another cat in the apartment. They like different food, so she can control their feeding independently. Looks like I'll be living in a cat-free zone for a while.

Hauled the pecan pies to church for the fund raising supper. I won't be going back to eat; that's too easy to overdo things. On the way back home, I found the local running store. Looked at cold weather clothing. Of course, it's pricey in a specialty store. Bought a pair of light, washable gloves. That should take care of me running down to freezing. Hopefully it will take long enough for me to rebuild the clothing budget before I have to run in colder weather than that.

By now it's almost 1. Decided to go to Taco Bell for lunch, before grocery shopping. I have a standard order, and I can work with it. The food comes, and the order taker had put in the wrong meal deal. Instead of a Gordita Supreme, I have a Beefy 5-Layer Burrito. It was delicious. After grabbing groceries, I get home and see that the burrito was also 540 calories, compared to 300 for the gordita. Oops. But at least it came with more protein. I have fewer calories left after lunch than most days, but I can still work with this.

On to household chores. Get the laundry rolling. Haul out the downspouts I bought last week, and cut them down to be 6 or 7 foot downspout extenders. Get them installed, and I've got my homework done for the mold remediation people.

The grass needs to be mowed. It hasn't dried out enough. I may be done mowing for the season by default.

Down to just laundry to deal with, let's see what football games are on. Jackpot! ABC has decided to show me Nebraska at Minnesota! ABC mistakenly thinks I live in a Big 10 fan area. (It's really Buffalo Bills territory, with a secondary theme of Syracuse Orange.) Nebraska in the Big 10 means I get to see more games! And Nebraska leads 34-0 at the half. And the game is early enough that I'll be able to watch all of it!

Life is good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRITA01 10/23/2011 9:41AM

    Your Saturday had a nice balance of productiveness and pleasure...and,finding the balance is key. (With the abundance of rain we've had, the lawn mowing season seems way too long this year...we keep hoping it's the last mow of the season)

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BARBAELLEN 10/22/2011 8:33PM

    I've got to say, you're really lucky to have that Saturday-McDonald's breakfast ritual with your daughter. Nice one-on-one time away from household distractions. If I could pin mine down to a regular time ANYWHERE I'd be delighted.

Looks like you did good today, but I do take exception to your use of the word "jackpot" about the Nebraska game. They knocked my TERRAPINS right off the tube!

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/22/2011 5:44PM

    And of course you remember that your nephew, having grown up in your neck of the woods, is indeed a Buffalo Bills and Syracuse Orangemen fan. Swap TV coverage? Kinda nice to see the Cornhuskers doing their thing the way they always did... march it down the field and dominate.

Of course it isn't that way EVERY week, but it harks back to our childhood. Funny how loyalties to sports teams are often rooted in the Saturdays and Sundays of our youth!

I'm working the "monitor a system remotely while it does its thing for an incredibly LONG time" this weekend. Been up since midnight last night and have concluded I'm too old for this kind of thing. Eating to stay awake is not the way to keep the pounds off... napping with kittens on the lap between checks of progress and incremental analysis... and having the football game on the tube... yeah, life may not be "normal" this weekend, but we shall pronouce it "good".

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Friday and Pecan Pies

Friday, October 21, 2011

The house is warm again. :) The furnace tech arrived about quarter of ten last night, poked around, determined that the fan seems good but wasn't starting, and replaced a $90 capacitor. Like magic, the fan started up as it should. Total time to diagnose and fix, maybe a half hour. I even got into bed by 10:30.

Today I hauled my gym bag to the office, thinking I might hit the gym and lift weights on my lunch hour. Changed my mind later, and decided to walk instead. I had too much stuff going on in the evening, and without a lunch walk I probably wouldn't get my 10K steps in. So today was a light day for exercise. I need some light days, but two in a row is enough. Tomorrow I'll figure out running in the low to mid 40s, hopefully well enough to learn how to pack the gym back to run in the 40s on my lunch hour.

This evening's errands included picking up my new suits, picking up a prescription, and baking pecan pies. I won't be eating the pies; they go to a church dinner tomorrow. I dutifully determined the nutritional value (such as it is) of the trimmed pie crust that I ate while baking, and still managed to come in within ranges. Then, for grins and giggles, I put the recipe into SP and found that a normal slice of pie, as prepared tonight, is 478 calories and heavy on the fat and sugar. No surprise there.

I was mildly amused when the screen offered me 3 Spark Points for entering this incredibly unhealthy recipe. I don't think that's quite the action SP intends to incent, but I grabbed the Spark Points anyway.

Now it's time to take care of some of the weekend household chores while I wait for the pies to finish baking, then off to bed at a decent hour so I can get done all the stuff I want to do tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRITA01 10/22/2011 10:05AM

    Isn't it interesting how once we know the caloric consequences of certain foods, we see them in a different light. Good willpower resisting the pie...I probably still would have wanted at least a half-slice!

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DEBRA0818 10/22/2011 8:55AM

    At Weight Watchers (yes, another past failed attempt at weight loss for me), they used to call those "BLT's" -- bites, licks and tastes. We may not count them (although you did), but our body, the perfect calculator does!!!

Congrats on the quick fix to the furnace -- I'm sure you're going to need it!

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BARBAELLEN 10/21/2011 10:58PM

    Do you mean there are calories when you eat pie crust trimmings or when you lick cake-batter spoons? Gosh, and I always thought pecan pie wasn't fattening if you ate multiple slivers instead of whole pieces.

Seriously, you're so conscientious that as long as maintaining is your goal, there's no doubt you'll continue to be a success story. (BTW, maybe you should have a little sliver of that pie. After all, those pecans are packed with omega-3's)

Comment edited on: 10/21/2011 10:59:27 PM

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WATERMELLEN 10/21/2011 9:47PM

    Mmmmmmm pecan pie. I would not have nibbled on just the crust!!

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CIRANDELLA 10/21/2011 9:08PM

    Whew! What a relief that your furnace tech zeroed in on the capacitor problem just like that (snapping my fingers). That you need that warmth right now is an understatement; it's COLD out there!! Glad you're ready for the winter now and can concentrate on braving the elements while running (brr-rr-rr! :) Those pecan pies must be absolutely teeee-rific - lucky fellow churchgoers, Kevin! Enjoy that dinner...lots of folks are going to adore those desserts :) Not too long ago, I took a look at the nutritional value of our late mom's brownie recipe (my favorite) - and if I divide that pan into 16 pieces, each comes out to 129 which I say emoticon - Susan

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/21/2011 8:41PM

    I believe the incentive is to track reality, not necessarily to share "bad" foods, but to know what's in them so they can be fit in to the program. There are no forbidden foods, but knowing a slice is 478 might make me take a half slice as a splurge, rather than a whole slice, huh?

Glad the furnace is working again. Have a great time at your church dinner!

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We Interrupt this Fitness Channel for an Episode of Real Life

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I ran on my lunch hour Tuesday and Wednesday. The original plan was to walk on the lunch hour Thursday, and lift weights at the gym after work. Then Friday was to be a light day, with a lunch walk and non-exercise tasks in the evening.

Come 5 PM, and I didn't feel like going to the gym. Temp was in the low 50s, but there was a brisk wind and it felt colder. I was tired. I needed to get eggs so I can bake tomorrow, after running other mandatory errands between work and baking. I decided to do the grocery shopping gas up the car, get home, and get to bed early. My body was saying it needed rest.

Man plans, and God laughs.

Got home, and smelled that new heating season smell from the furnace. That's funny, it was there this morning. It should have gone away by now. Fixed dinner, tended to financial record keeping and bill payment.

I'm cold. The furnace is on. Check things. The furnace fan isn't on, and I can't turn it on. Sigh. Call my furnace service. I'm under contract, so no charge for a service call. But by the time I figured this much out, it was 7:30. The tech should get here between 9 and 12.

So much for early to bed tonight. I'm guessing that I won't make bedtime by 10:30, which is a Spark Goal of mine. The second session of weight lifting this week isn't going to happen. Maybe I'll sleep in on Saturday, and defer my Saturday run till afternoon.

And maybe God will laugh some more at my revised plans. For now, I'm just hoping the furnace tech gets here in the early part of the time window and can fix the problem easily.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIRANDELLA 10/21/2011 1:27PM

    Oh, boy - I hope that furnace is back on its figurative feet very soon! Usually, it doesn't take more than a few minutes - maybe a half hour, at most - for the new-heating season smell to clear up. I hope all will be well in that department... Good for you, with weight lifting! My upper-body muscles always feel so pleasantly relaxed after I've done my reps. Have a great weekend! - Susan

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DEBRITA01 10/21/2011 8:20AM

    emoticonLife happens...Hope your furnace is up & running again soon, until then, stay warm!

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/21/2011 12:16AM

    Hope you stayed warm in the meantime!

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/20/2011 9:35PM

    Which rule number was "roll with the punches"? Here's to the furnace tech getting there, solving the problem and a warm Winter heating season!

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RG_DFW 10/20/2011 9:14PM

    Flexibility is a good thing...

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More Believable

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Today I ran at lunch again. This time, I remembered to look at my watch when I started. Did a bit longer route. 3.31 miles in 24 minutes, for a 7:15 pace per mile. Felt like I was working a little harder than yesterday early, then backed off and about the same on the last half.

7:15 is more believable. I conclude that I messed up the measurements yesterday. Still, it was a good use of the lunch hour both days.

Now, off to choir practice!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 10/20/2011 8:01AM

    7:15 is still emoticon
I hope to reach this speed by spring - maybe, and not in miles but kilometers lol...

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RG_DFW 10/19/2011 10:20PM

    Great pace... Not sure I'll ever get there, but it gives me something to shoot for.

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DEBRITA01 10/19/2011 9:20PM

    Good for you...getting your run in during lunch! emoticon emoticon

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/19/2011 8:55PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Am I Really That Fit?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Last night at the gym was weird. I hadn't been in to lift weights in a few weeks, so I deliberately held it to four lifts from the categories of push, pull, major leg, and calf. This time, that was DB chest presses, lat pulldowns, deadlifts, and seated calf raises.

As expected, I wasn't quite as strong as when I was last lifting regularly. But the loss wasn't huge. I had been deadlifting 205 lbs. for 3 sets of 8 reps. 185 for 8 was easy, so I threw on another 20 lbs. I was able to deadlift 205 for 3 sets of 6. Deadlifting 205 is kind of an emotional point for me, because that's what I lifted the first time I could deadlift my weight for 3 sets of 8 reps. I'll get there again.

I had hoped to do the chest presses with 45 lb. dumbbells, but had to come down to 40 lb. The lat pulls came down from the 130 I was maxed at before to 125, and I could only manage 3 sets of 8 reps at that weight. As expected, the seated calf raises were a process of feeling out how running had changed my soleus muscles.

The weird part was, I did all the lifts to the limits my strength would allow, and I wasn't drenched in sweat. Yeah, I worked up a light sweat with the deadlifts; but at the end of the workout, I could hardly squeeze any moisture out of my headband. It felt like I hadn't been working at all. If this hadn't been a first time back, I might have done some renegade rows or something else ambitious just to feel like I'd worked hard enough. But I didn't push it; I've climbed back on the weight lifting wagon enough times to be cautious the first time back after several weeks off.

Sure enough, this morning my arms and shoulders informed me that I had indeed worked out yesterday. I didn't have the awful re-entry DOMS, just the normal amount that tells me I worked hard enough for a training effect. My legs mostly felt normal, though I could tell I had worked my quads as I walked up the stairs to my office this morning.

Maybe I'm seeing a benefit in the weight room from running improving my cardiovascular conditioning?

Then today the not quite believable results continued. The forecast was partly cloudy with a high of 61. I have bell choir in the evening, and I lifted weights yesterday. Today I packed my gym bag with running clothes, and planned to run from the gym on my lunch hour. The weather turned out to be nearly perfect for running, so that's what I did. I mapped the route as usual, but I forgot to look at my watch right at the start of the run. So I had to estimate a time and point early in the route to measure from. The result turned out to be a pace of under 7 minutes a mile.

I don't want to believe that. It didn't feel like running as hard as last Saturday, when I turned in a 5K pace of 7:03. But double check. The full route was 2.98 miles, and I timed 20 minutes. The tag of untimed route at the beginning was probably under a minute. The estimated point to finish was 2.89 miles.

I can't make sense of the numbers any way but to think it comes out to just under a 7 minute mile; but it sure didn't feel like I was working that hard. Either I'm still seeing training improvement, or I messed up the measurement somehow. Or perhaps the brisk walk from the office to the gym was a proper warmup, and I've never warmed up enough before? I don't know.

Oh, well. Whether I messed up the measurement or not, I'm beginning to believe that I *can* run a 7 minute mile pace for a 3 mile or 5K distance under ideal conditions. But that's not really important. The important thing is, running is fun and I need to figure out how to get it done through the fall and winter as the weather changes.

After all, I won't always have the near ideal running conditions I had today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISZTA11 10/19/2011 3:07PM

    After reading you ran 5K in 21 minutes,
I'm not surprised at anything ; )

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LJCANNON 10/19/2011 9:59AM

    emoticonNow that Running has become "Fun" for you, I know that you will find a way to get it done regardless of the Weather or any other Challenges that you face.

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WATERMELLEN 10/18/2011 11:40PM

    You are really making fitness progress: terrific!! And: obviously loving it too. Even better.

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MOBYCARP 10/18/2011 9:36PM

    I don't think I'm eligible for the CSG, because I'm not a Nebraska resident. True?

Anyway, before I travel half a continent to compete, I need to figure out how to compete in my own back yard. If that turns out to be more hassle than the prize is worth, I can always go back to running my neighborhood weekends and evenings, and running the Genesee River Trail at lunch.

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/18/2011 9:06PM

    OMG, another runner has been unleashed! "Running is fun" he says. Your dad was a walker. Your grandfather a runner and later hiker. Looks like you're a runner after all. You going to come blow away the CSG next Summer? emoticon emoticon emoticon Life's good... Spark on!

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