CONTINUITY23's SparkPeople Blog CONTINUITY23's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Loon? I'm not sure exactly what it was, but something with the low-slung body and sharply curved and narrow neck/head of a loon or cormernt was at the foot of the dam when I walked past today. <BR> <BR> Also, the geese and their goslings--now leggily adolescent--were out, and helpfully shed a couple of feathers that I collected to cut into pens. Thu, 7 Jun 2012 22:29:58 EST Turtle! I wasn't walking--I was driving home from this weekend's events--but I have to post about him anyway. <BR> <BR> I saw a HUGE turtle on the side of the road--shell well over a foot in diameter--and he was, amazingly, quite alive, and somewhat cranky from the angle of his neck. I hope he reconsidered his direction, as the Taconic State Parkway would be rather a challenge for a turtle to cross... Tue, 29 May 2012 22:02:24 EST Goslings! So yesterdays unexpected guests on my walk were goslings--a whole flotilla of them, twenty or more, arranged in sets of four or five between pairs of (presumably) parents. I've never seen them before, and I've no idea where they've been keeping themselves (downstream further?); they were cleanly neither just hatched nor old enough to have made it any significant distance from home. Mon, 21 May 2012 23:10:09 EST Unexpected duck is unexpected So I walked yet another stretch of a related bike trail this weekend--this one not along a canal, which is part of why it was so extremely odd that there was a duck ON THE TRAIL. Just standing there, chillin' like a villain, and not inclined to move until I got to within a foot or so. Very surreal. <BR> <BR> I am not appreciating the weather at the moment; I have spent five of the last nine nights staying a half-mile from the start of a lovely long stretch of riverside trail which I've walk... Tue, 15 May 2012 21:40:17 EST Ducklings! Walked a different part of the canal path again last night, and there were ducklings! <BR> <BR> Weight seems to be stable or even still going down a bit, and I'm keeping up on exercise, though work is doing a number on my eating habits. Sun, 6 May 2012 12:48:18 EST Variety, spice, and all of that Variety being the spice of life, I walked a different chunk (of the same canal trail) tonight. Much less entertaining wildlife here (it's more industrial, sometimes even right up the the edge). A few small brown birds, moving very fast, and a different variety of foliage (which is finally leafing out). No ducks, alas. Sun, 29 Apr 2012 18:50:33 EST Today's wildlife... Were led by a red fox, somewhat ragged but quite intent on some fox-snack-to-be in the grass. <BR> <BR> The heron did not grace me with his presence, but there was the usual assortment of ducks and miscellaneous songbirds--including some shatteringly bright cardinals. Sat, 28 Apr 2012 22:07:42 EST Return of the heron For the winter, the canal that I usually walk along was drained (into the river next to it), so there was only a few feet of water left--more at one end, less at the other, but still clearly low water. The ducks stayed--this winter being what it was, the water never froze all the way, and there were flocks of ducks at the unfrozen end all the way through the winter. <BR> <BR> The heron, however, went elsewhere. I was enormously delighted, therefore, when I caught the flash of huge wings ... Tue, 24 Apr 2012 22:34:29 EST It's spring, more or less Went south this weekend, which is invariably odd at this time of year--from not-quite-spring to full-spring and back in 48 hours. I got my first real lilac fix (they're not *quite* in up here, though the tips are starting to bloom), and basked like a lizard in the warm and sun. <BR> <BR> Today, of course, it is 30 degrees colder and raining. I walked anyway, because I was stiff from the drive. Sun, 22 Apr 2012 22:01:02 EST The heron's back, and so am I. A variety of Life Issues meant that my running slipped a bit in late November/early December, at which point I gave myself permission to back down to walking until around the New Year. I've (almost!) kept up my 150 minutes of cardio and 5 miles a week--I got defeated by weather+travel the week before Christmas, but I was way over the week before (broke in NYC="only 30 blocks, not worth the subway fare, I'll walk it." Do that a few times and SparkPeople starts helpfully pointing out that you ... Wed, 28 Dec 2011 22:58:24 EST Code id by doze One of the really annoying things about my recently reappeared dust allergy is that, sooner or later, it ends up leaving me easy pickings for any blasted virus to come along. <BR> <BR> My head is stuffed, my mouth is dry, my nose is running (Catch it!), I'm heading into the hack-and-cough portion of the entertainment, and I feel generally dire. Mon, 14 Nov 2011 21:16:08 EST Running with ducks Since I"m not going to have extended daylight time until next weekend--and I'll be traveling then, so exercise prospects are uncertain--I pushed my luck with a second consecutive day of running--and a fairly long route, although I walked a higher proportion of it than usual. I seem to have gotten away with it; the grumpy spot on my shin is grumpy, but not badly so, and everything else is in the range of pleasantly achy. <BR> <BR> Entertainment for this ride was produced by the usual complem... Sun, 13 Nov 2011 18:19:37 EST Still running, part two Yes, I'm still on the wagon. I'm doing some temp work at the moment with a pretty nasty commute--which, with the DST change, means that I pretty much don't have daylight workout time these days. I'm eying some local gyms with predatory interest; at the moment, though, it seems like a little too much money to throw at a problem that will fix itself with time. <BR> <BR> I'm still just about on track, though--three runs this week. A touch short on time, as I was fighting the sunset each time... Sat, 12 Nov 2011 19:50:43 EST First 5K Well, I did my 5k for the Virtual 5k of this week. I did it as a run-walk, because I knew I wasn't up to running it straight through--but I ran about 2.5 of the 3.1 miles, and I can still (more or less) walk. Phew. Done. <BR> <BR> Short walk tomorrow, short run Thursday, travel this weekend (so probably some sort or run sometime, but not sure where/when/how much. Tue, 1 Nov 2011 20:37:45 EST Wait What? So as I have mentioned here in the past, I don't have a good scale that works at home, and I don't have regular access to one anywhere else. This isn't a huge problem for me; I'm working to eat healthier and get into better shape, with losing weight as the likely side effect. The crummy home scale does agree that I'm losing weight--I just don't trust it to be accurate about how much. <BR> <BR> Every so often--as on Wednesday--I find myself somewhere with a reasonable scale, and I get a mea... Fri, 28 Oct 2011 19:15:54 EST Working too hard I'm afraid I've been pushing just a touch harder than I should--I am still startled by the fact that I <BR> *enjoy* the running, and I've been fighting depression recently (a combination of season and life issues), and the running helps, and I don't really have much I like to do for cross-training (well, walking, which tends to want to turn into running anyway)--and the body is getting a little cranky. <BR> <BR> Right. Ratcheting it back down; day of rest between runs and don't be an idi... Mon, 24 Oct 2011 23:06:52 EST Unexpected company. I usually exercise on a towpath along a canal that has been turned into a walk/bike route, near my house. It keeps most of my route off roads--or at least on smaller ones with little traffic, albeit no sidewalks. <BR> <BR> I get a fairly broad range of flora but, aside from a large collection of ducks, relatively little fauna. Today, however, there was a Great Blue Heron* along the canal--and not just sitting, but flying, huge and silent, back and forth along the water. (He didn't like th... Tue, 18 Oct 2011 23:31:33 EST C25K, W5D3 Twenty minutes. Jogging. Without stopping. <BR> <BR> I really, really, really don't believe I did that. Really. The summers I swam a mile a day and did a three-day hike in the Presidentials (and was a pre-teen) I couldn't have done that. <BR> <BR> Now I just need to see if I can persuade my iPod music and interval timer to play nicely with each other--since boredom is the great enemy here. <BR> <BR> Thu, 13 Oct 2011 18:55:03 EST Still running Still running. Still not blogging enough about it. <BR> <BR> The only trouble with traveling is that it makes it *really* hard to hang onto my running schedule. The *good* part of traveling, at least when it's to visit my Mom just before my birthday, is that I get new running shoes out of the deal. Since I was running in a (several year old but not much used, and fairly good) pair of walking shoes, this is a Very Good Thing. <BR> <BR> More later, I hope. Wed, 12 Oct 2011 23:27:04 EST C25K, W3D2 My heavens, I have gotten a little behind, haven't I? <BR> <BR> Well, I'm keeping up with my runs if not entirely with my blog. I seem to have settled into a pattern of 5k101, Podrunner Intervals, and the NHS podcast, in various orders, for my three weekly runs. Shifts the intervals--and music--around enough to keep me interested, but they're three that are easy to find and download, and reasonably congenial to run to. Mon, 26 Sep 2011 20:13:14 EST C25K, W3D1 After having groused about boring wordless music, I'm somewhat baffled that Podrunner: Intervals is my current preferred podcast. Aside from breif narration at the beginning and the end, it's all music to specific BPM, with audio cues to move you from running to walking and back. <BR> <BR> Aside from the fact that at one point I found myself on the wrong side of the interval (I must, in the panting misery, have missed a run-walk transition; since it only cost me one of the 90 second runs, I... Thu, 22 Sep 2011 23:43:50 EST Allergies. Wow, do I ever need to get in control of the dust in my craft room. Hard to craft in there when I can't stop sneezing. <BR> <BR> (Yes, I'm still on track with running. I owe my non-existent audience another review, and will be doing W3D2 tomorrow. Perhaps this time I can actually do the run the way I'm supposed to, instead of getting back to front with my last intervals...ooops!) Wed, 21 Sep 2011 22:55:39 EST Stuffed Squash A wildly improvised recipe that came out soooooo good. I'll put it into a proper recipe form eventally, but here for now are the notes: <BR> <BR> In a middling-warm oven (350 or so) bake <BR> -3 small winter squash. <BR> I used something they called a sweet potato squash that I'd never seen before, but a small acorn or butternut would work fine too. Whatever the farmers' market has. Cook about 20 minutes. Learn from my mistake and cover the pan and add a splash of water; dry sqaush is... Tue, 20 Sep 2011 23:01:14 EST C25K, W2D3 So I went back to Running Mate Media's 5k101 program for the last run of week two. Not one of my smarter choices; this one ramps up at a slightly higher rate than the others, so it was a bit of a push, at 2:30 run/2:30 walk. I did it, rather to my surprise, without quite falling over--but since I'd already done a 2.5 mile "warm up walk" (that is to say, walked to the library and back before it closed, then went running, becasue it was too late in the day to do it the other way around. <BR> ... Mon, 19 Sep 2011 20:21:44 EST C25K, W2D2 I went back to Carli from, this time with one of the Rock versions (she did podcasts with two different soundtracks. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I didn't like this one much more than the other. I guess my taste in workout music is just...original. Sun, 18 Sep 2011 20:52:47 EST A brief digression on stress and food I really do wish that the best and most reliable way for me to lose weight was *not* major stress-inducing life upheaval. It works distressingly well, though; according to my (somewhat unreliable, which is why I don't track weight here) scale, I'm down to 190, which I haven't seen in a few years. I tweaked my calorie count down just a hair, since I seem to be eating at 1400 calories and am just going to run with that and try to hit a reasonable nutrient profile, instead of just trying to sh... Sat, 17 Sep 2011 22:32:29 EST C25K, W2D1 Interavals took a jump up this week--and it was startlingly smooth. By bad luck and bad planning, my last run finished on the one steep hill on my default route (canal and rail trails, by the way, ROCK. Someone has already de-hilled them for you!) and wiped me out a little, and there's a bit more grumpy in my leg than I'd like to be feeling...but really I'm pretty happy. I'm a tad bit behind where I wanted to be, due to a weekend trip that cost me three days (I didn't manage to get out on F... Fri, 16 Sep 2011 22:16:12 EST C25K, Blood Sugar, continued So I'm still having some trouble getting my food right after running. <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, I've also just added a great deal of stress to my life, which wreaks absolute havoc on my ability to maintain anything like a normal eating schedule--since I react to stress with nausea and appetite loss, and can I just mention how fun it is to be starving, headachy from low blood sugar, and utterly unable to contemplate the idea of food? Some days I just want an IV drip. <BR> <BR> Ah, well. I'm... Thu, 15 Sep 2011 19:46:41 EST C25K, W1D3 No, I didn't run two days in a row; I'm not getting blog entries done quite as fast as I'm running! <BR> <BR> While I had a busy and fairly on-my-feet sort of weekend, it had actually been four days since I did any official exercise, and it told a bit. This was another 1Run1.5Walk, and I still don't like that interval as much. <BR> <BR> This run's podcast was from I liked the music selection better in general, even if there was one song that I hate which has now been f... Tue, 13 Sep 2011 13:51:09 EST C25K, Day 2 Still not that bad... <BR> <BR> One side effect of the variety of podcasts I'm using is that the actual intervals vary slightly. So far that variation has been more a good thing than a bad thing (have I mentioned I get bored easily?)--but it was very interesting to me (and unexpected) that I *much* preferred the run-2-walk-3 intervals to the run-1-walk-1.5. Same absolute time, but my goodness, was I ready to be *done* by the last one-minute run. <BR> <BR> This run's podcast was from the N... Mon, 12 Sep 2011 13:15:26 EST C25K, Blood Sugar edition So my appitite has always been a little wonky--long story, and if I get around to it there will be some blog posts about it. <BR> <BR> Twice last week, though, I crashed big-time in the afternoon--splitting headache, vile temper, and ravenous. <BR> <BR> Both times...the day after I'd run. <BR> <BR> Iiiiiiinteresting. I will be bringing a little extra breakfast-lunch to work with me (I eat breakfast at my desk too; one of my weird blood sugar things is that I can't have breakfast until I'... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 22:10:34 EST C25K, Day 1 That was...rather less awful than I had expected. Certainly felt it the next day--and I did stretch after--but not as bad as my first walk after a somewhat inert summer, a few weeks ago. <BR> <BR> Podcast was the 5k101 from Running Mate. A professional and good-sounding production, with the usual problem of anything both free and pro--ads for their site, their apps, and so on. Also a rather monotonous soundtrack; DJed music is rarely my thing, and this especially wasn't. I'll give them a... Fri, 9 Sep 2011 16:23:06 EST C25K: Beginning So I am, in a fit of minor insanity, working on a Couch-to-5K program this fall. <BR> <BR> I hate running. I have always hated running. But drat it, it's good (cheap) exercise and I feel like I should be able to do it. So, C25K. <BR> <BR> I'm going to use a variety of podcasts, because if there is anything I hate more than running for exercise, it is being *bored* while I exercise. And even the paid apps (see above re: "cheap"!) aren't really going to help with interval work over an aud... Thu, 8 Sep 2011 13:41:38 EST Stay on target, part 2 ...and managed the same trick for a second day in a row...which would be great, except for the fact that dinner was 8 chocolate-chip oatmeal cookies (with whole wheat flour and sunflower seed butter, at least) eaten fresh out of the oven at midnight. Very Long Story. Very long couple of weeks. Thu, 27 Jan 2011 11:44:13 EST Stay on target Am rather amused that today for the first time I have come in right in my suggested range on the nutrition tracker--except on dietary fiber, where I've gone *over*. Since that seems to be the result of all grains for today being whole grain--but *not* all my carobs; I had my usual range of snacks and even a root beer with dinner!--I think the solution is to change my target on that one (I'm not up to the "digestive disturbance" levels), not changing my eating habits. <BR> <BR> Also fairly s... Mon, 24 Jan 2011 20:08:12 EST Dance, Dance, Dance I've finally managed to get my hard DDR pad out and start using it again. I have mentioned that I'm wildly points-motivated, right? Doing DDR is a great way to channel that into some solid exercise. Sun, 23 Jan 2011 22:07:14 EST Bad week It's astonishingly bad week. Death, snow, injury and farce. My back seized up yesterday--my lower back, not where I usually have problems!--and while the knot has released the damage remains. I hurt physically, I hurt emotionally, I've been sleeping badly, and I'm tired. <BR> <BR> And, despite all that, I have tracked my food, eaten tolerably well (if not as well as I would like) exercised (if not as much as I would like), and generally not gone totally off the rails--except per... Fri, 21 Jan 2011 20:05:48 EST Stress-induced self sabotage I've known for a while that some of my health and wellness issues and my emotions are closely linked--as a random example, depression and fatigue manifest almost identically, and when I get depressed I also tend to start staying up too late and generally exhausting myself; why hello, viscous circle. Nice to see you. <BR> <BR> Which is why it shouldn't have surprised me--but did, sort of--that I ate badly last night, spent the evening doing nothing in particular (but not what needed to be do... Fri, 14 Jan 2011 13:41:16 EST Healthy Eating Under Stress Anyone have helpful suggestions about maintaining healthy eating habits when under emotional stress? <BR> <BR> It's not that I tend to eat too much junk food--it's that I don't want to eat at all, and end up eating too *little*, and most of it high-fat, high-sugar, high-carb comfort food. <BR> <BR> And I took an emotional kick today, of the sort that'll spend a month, or two, or three, playing out slowly and end with a funeral, and I'd really like *not* to lose that first 5 lbs because ... Thu, 13 Jan 2011 18:52:10 EST Eating right... I am somewhat surprised to discover that what I appear to be having the most trouble controlling in my diet is fat. If you'd asked me, I'd have said I have issues with sugar, but eat a pretty low-fat diet--but I don't seem to be running as high in sugar as I would have expected, and I seem to be running a higher percentage of my calories of fat than I would have guessed. (I also tend to run under-goal in total calories, which isn't a bad trend. I'm not too far under, and some of that is th... Mon, 10 Jan 2011 21:54:26 EST Note to self Doesn't matter how much you want to take a walk, how nice the weather is, how annoying it is to be crampy and feeling awful on a free weekend day... <BR> <BR> ...don't. The first day of your period, do something low-impact and short to maintain your streak, and then concentrate on taking your pills on time and getting enough to eat and drink (and at least some of it with redeeming nutritional value.) <BR> <BR> The walk will not help the cramps, and it will have an entirely negative effect ... Sun, 9 Jan 2011 20:23:51 EST Winter, bah Cold and snow and not enough sunlight, none of which is helping either my exeercise or my eating habits--and I'm still snuffly. Bah. <BR> <BR> But, for all my grousing, I've gotten more exerciese this week than I have in a while, and managed to eat reasonably well. Moving on. Sat, 8 Jan 2011 23:10:23 EST Scattery Day Not a great day for focus. I've figured out that one of my need-food-now dinners can be made in the time it takes to do a 10 minute cardio video, which should help me on the can't-do-much days. <BR> <BR> I'm also reminded just how much I hate exercising in the cold. (Well, or the heat, but at the moment cold is the issue.) Runny nose and hurty cheeks and sweaty torso and uggh. <BR> <BR> I am almost disturbingly points-moivated--which is doing well for me so far; I hope it keeps up. <B... Thu, 6 Jan 2011 18:51:29 EST Second day of exercise And I'm a heck of a lot less sore than I expected to be, actually. Having jumped back into working out after lapses before (we won't discuss how many times. I don't do diets, particularly, but I'm really bad about on-and-off exercising), I was expecting to hurt like a son-of-a-gun...and I don't, really. I worked to muscle fatigue (not my first rodeo), so my best guess is that I just don't have the overall energy (recouping from a cold) to work to the level of soreness I've hit before. <BR>... Wed, 5 Jan 2011 19:17:11 EST Progress is Worked out today, for the first time in I-don't-care-to-think how long. I am liking the 10 minute videos--that's a length of time I can commit to and *do*. Still need to get out walking more, but hopefully tomorrow. Tue, 4 Jan 2011 23:36:27 EST Day 3 Monday, only not really, because I don't go back to work until tomorrow. Unfortunately, two days spent sick and slug-like means I didn't get my monthly newsletter done--which meant I was cracking on it until after dark, with no time to get out and walk. Must, must, must make provision for indoor exercise (find my DDR pad and/or set up the rowing machine) or this is not going to get me very far. <BR> <BR> Hoping that finances will loosen up enough in the next month or two that we can start... Mon, 3 Jan 2011 18:26:53 EST In The Beginning ...was me. Starting to try to get healthy at the beginning of the New Year, like the rest of the world. And starting out with a cold, which is not helping my ability to motivate for exercise. Oh, well, small steps. Sun, 2 Jan 2011 20:05:38 EST