Monday, January 2, 2012

January 2012 Measures

Once a month, I'll post my measures here on the blog in table format. Being "of a certain age" (although, I no longer use the word Album in reference to music), the will be in inches, pounds and so forth. The idea behind this is that 2012 is planned to be a year where I focus on fitness and my Ph.D.. This blog will be the one that tracks and discuss the fitness goals, triumphs and obstacles in detail. Background to the measures and fitness journey:
  • I am 55 years old.
  • I have run 4 marathons (Calgary, Seattle, Edmonton, Seattle) with a best time of 3:31. My running weight was a minimum of 155 and settled in at 165 pounds.
  • I have bench pressed 135 pounds.
  • I have just started Physio for chronic leg pain that may be related to hip cartilage degeneration.
  • I am finishing off a very stressful job at the end of March and then working on my Ph.D. full-time.
  • Regular exercise has not been part of my life for the last 10 years. Sedentary would be the right word to describe the last 3 years.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A rainy week in review

Plans last week were:
  • Do Yoga 3 times
  • Walk/Cardio 3 times
  • Meditate once.

I did to Yoga twice. A 15 minute round on last Monday and a 30 minute on Saturday. The 30 minute was actually beyond me physically at this stage - so I did what I could. I can feel the difference, especially in my super-tight left leg.

No Cardio, No Meditation.

So - more specific on plans. This coming week, I will:
  • Do 30 Min of Yoga on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • Do 30 Min of walking on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Do 20 Min of meditation on Friday night
  • Book these in my Calendar now.
Once again, let's see how the week goes.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Four-Fold Fitness

This last week was, once again, a bit of struggle physically. Again, I seemed to need caffeine to make it through each work day - really not good.

I had the advantage of having a four day weekend to help get myself back on track, though. So, I had a massage and a chiropractic treatment on Friday. I was quite amazed how many histamines the massage sent through my system. I felt it for a couple of days. As well, this really highlighted some issues I've been having with both my sitting and standing posture. Much to much slumping, to the point of where I am throwing my back out. Rather painful adjustments is the reward for that.

Additionally, I have gathered some Yoga DVDs and starting re-reading through Wholistic Fitness by Steve Ilg. This is a rather fascinating approach to getting and staying fit, which incorporates:
  • Cardio
  • Strength Training
  • Yoga
  • Meditation
These days, I doubt there are many people that would be surprised at including the first two. The third, Yoga, appeals to some, although it is still seen as primarily an exercise regime for women, at least in "good ol' boy" places like Calgary :). Dude - try holding one of the warrior poses for a few minutes.

The fourth is probably the most surprising on the list. For me, when I was actually running long distances in training for the marathon, this just came naturally as part of the run. The part that will push me is that I haven't set aside actual time for this for years.

So, it is time to give it a go. The actual program calls for multiple hours per day of commitment. I am not going to do that. I am going to commit to adding it in all its facets to my day. (say goodbye TV :)

This week, I am going to add Yoga three times and walking (Cardio) three times. I will also meditate once. No strength training.

Next week - update on how that went and what the next week will hold.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm struggling, yet improving

Over the past year, physical fitness really just hasn't been a priority with me. I'm really finding this is taking a toll.

I'm 54 now and as my doc said "If you don't add to the bank account, eventually you run out".

I can see that in how I felt this morning. My desire these days is to get up at 5:00 or 5:30, work for an hour or two and then take the bus in to work.

My body would just not co-operate. The alarm went off at 5:30 and I felt like I could not move. I managed to reset the alarm to 6:30 and eventually got up about 6:20. I had to get my sweetie to give me a ride into work, rather than taking the bus, as I still feel too dizzy.

Not good.

So – what do I do about it?

I have been gradually and intermittently adding yoga to my life. None last week as I was fighting off a flu after a visit with the younger grandkids, but I did it 3 times the week before. A nice side benefit of yoga is that my leg starts feeling better everytime I do it.

I'm going to post how I'm doing on this every week. If I have to put it in writing, that will help motivate me.

That's all. Very simple, no grandiose plans, no schedules, no 3 month goal.

Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I bought a punching bag

Latest physical conditioning idea - punching bag. I bought a water filled bag and hung it up downstairs. Excellent purchase, I just need to get in the habit of actually using it.

It is a great upper body workout - not just arms, but trunk/abs as well. I've got an orange belt in Shotokan Karate, so the punching is fairly straightforward for me. What was most interesting though, was how tiring the workout was. After five minutes, I'm zapped.

Most of the workouts I have found on the internet suggest 1-2 minutes of punching followed by 30-60 seconds (or longer) of rest. This is primarily because it is an anaerobic kind of workout. Arm muscles fatigue too fast to keep going :).

With my stiff hips, I haven't been able to try out much in kicks. Side kicks, I just can't get that high. Front kicks work (barely:), so I may integrate them into the workout over time.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Getting ready to run

My last blog, I noted how I had been too focussed on calories and weight and too little on running, which is the fun part.
The irritating thing about that is that running is not as fun at 200 lbs as it was at 170 or even 180.

What I was doing, spending a lot of time tracking the calories, was not working at all though. In the last two weeks, I've given the control of my food over to my sweetie and the results have been great. I dropped 4.5 lbs in the first week and one inch off my waistline. I'm going to do a simple run on the weekend to see how it feels.

It was rather funny as I look back. I kept doing the same thing for four weeks in a row, always thinking "This week will be different". Kind of reminds me of a definition of insanity I remember reading about.

My moral: if you want different results, commit to doing something different.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, December 28, 2009

The holiday weeks

The last few blogs, I've been focussing on weight, food and calories. However, the title of this blog is "RunBrettRun", not "LoseWeightFatBoy"!

I run (and blog about it) because I love to run. I love the feeling of running, the "click" of endorphins I get at 5 minutes in and after 20 minutes of running. The other benefits are really side benefits for me.

Changing the focus back to runnig just makes everything simpler. It is kind of a "Power of Intention" thing.

As an aside, I had thought of calling the blog "RunGordoRun". The pun of that is that my middle name is Gordon and that "Gordo" in Spanish is Fatty :).

Monday, December 21, 2009

Weeks -25 and -24

Week -25 was characterized by way too much food and no exercise. According to Lose It! I was 1414 calories over for the week. I suspect it was closer to 2000 or more.

Week -24 was fine, 653 calories under and three days of exercise. Christmas lunches are done, so things are a little saner food-wise. The only major issue is that I felt very hungry a lot of the time.

The frustrating thing with both those weeks is that the weight is not moving. I'm running on a target of 1843 calories per day. Lose it! calculates a daily intake of 1893 should be enough to get me to lose 1.5 pounds per week. In the four weeks that I've been doing this, I've been under my weekly limit by 151 calories, 430 calories, over by 1414 and finally under by 653.

My metabolism isn't slow, it's special :)

So, the only cure I know of for this is to first increase the running and decrease the percent of calories by fat. Lose It! has this fantastic feature where you can review your nutrient balance for the past as well (depending on entering it, of course). Although some of it is estimated, my % of calories from fat for the past 4 weeks was: 32%, 37%, 25% and finally 17%.

Everything I read indicates that fat breeds fat. Some authors (remember Pritikin?) advocate a diet where only 5% of your calories come from fat. That's a bit extreme for me. I think if I can keep it in the range of 20% and pump the running, we'll see if that will turn the corner.

Exercise this week consisted of a 30 minute fast walk on Thursday and two 25 minute runs on the weekend.

The weirdness is that walking still hurts my hip and stiffens my leg. Running doesn't. Note that the running is not particularly speedy. I think I was about a 14 min/mile pace on Saturday and a 13 min/mile pace average on Sunday. (Each day, though, I did a minute at 8 min/mile, just so my body remembers). The speed keeps my heart rate in the high training zone, so that's the speed I need to go. I expect that will improve quickly as heart/lungs tend to respond pretty quickly to the training effect.

Likely no post next week, I'll do a two week summary again in January.

Monday, December 7, 2009

10K week -26

Biggest mistake of the week was not recording this stuff day by day.

I am going to make a minor change in the recording method as well. I'm using the app lose-it to track food and exercise and the app has the week ending on Sunday. (Weird - I know) and no way to change it. So this week will be an 8-day item:)

DayFood CaloriesExercise Calories
Week total15120-941

So, I am closer to the 1200 calorie goal for the week. The interesting thing that I found is that while I was a few hundred net calories under for the week I lost no weight. This is the issue with the slightly lower metabolism.

As I look forward to this week, it remains very busy at work and I have three Christmas lunches to attend. I do not expect to get in more than 600 - 800 calories of exercise due to high time demands.

Friday, November 27, 2009

10K - week -27

I worked downtown today, so I had the opportunity to do the walk home. Total of 380 Calories. The walk was great and I felt great.
This day, I needed to grab some items as Safeway, so I walked from there for 217 Calories. Grand total for the week so far, 597 Calories.
This day, I had a Chiropractor appointment in Kensington, so I walked to that. This was one of the day that the @#$^%@# Garmin Forerunner 305 just could not pick up a satellite while I was downtown. I ended up picking it up for the last 8 minutes of the walk which was 25 minutes. The Garmin recorded 58 Calories, so I'm estimating 153 for the walk, making a weekly total of 750 Calories.
OK - at this stage, walking three days in a row doesn't work for me. I was so exhausted in the AM that I was dizzy. In the evening all I did was lie down and read.
Feeling much better today, but still taking it easy. My plan at this point is to do the remaining 450 calories on Saturday, although I may just settle for less that 1200 for the first few weeks of the program.
Friday And Saturday
On Friday I woke up achey and with a slight sore throat and a plugged ear. No exercise today unless I radically improve.
Today was also the day of the first of four Christmas lunches between now and the end of the year. I certainly indulged --- and paid dearly for it in the middle of the night = 5 hours of diarrhea which just wore me out. Sigh. No exercise on Friday or Saturday, so, thus ends the first week of the training plan.
  • Exercising three days in a row (actually 4 as I had done about 300 calories the Saturday before this week).
  • Ordering a steak too rare for me on Friday. shudder
  • I need to track my food and get sensible with it as well.

Good things:
  • I did a good job of enjoying the exercise.
  • I kept up on the blogging.
For next week, I'm going to reinstate the "Lose-It!" app on my iPod touch and not worry if I only get to about 1000 calories of exercise. Friday is a "day off" but I work next Saturday and Sunday, so I'll need to consider that in my plans.
Totals for the week:
  • Calories: 750
  • Distance: 6.7 miles
  • Average pace: 16 min / mile

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Planning for the 10K

So, running a 10K in May. From pretty much sedentary now.

The biggest question for me is "how not to overtrain?" I've been doing start-stop training for the past couple of years. What seems to happen is that I start off reasonably, then I remember how I used to run when marathon training and I start overdoing it. This is really frustrating because I like running.

So, walking home from work today, I came up with a plan so cunning in its simplicity, I was astounded. :)

I'm going to plan to Calories for the next 5 - 6 weeks and then re-evaluate. What I'm thinking at the moment is do a minimum of +1200 calories / maximum of +1800 calories a week, spread over at least three days per week. Each session should be a minimum of 200 calories and a max of 600. My goal would be to do this in 4 -5 sessions, preferably just by walking home from work. This is a 45 - 50 minute walk, yielding 380 calories. If I take the train to Kensington station, that cuts it down to about 30 minutes and 220 calories. That leaves quite a few combinations that will work.

Check back later, we'll see how it goes.

2009-11-23: Small clarification / update: Reduce the minimum number of calories per session to 150. That seems to be where I can definitely "feel" something. Max of 6 days of exercise per week. Max of 600 calories per day, not just per session.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Step 1 to the 10K in May

I'm a poet and didn't even know it :)

First step for me, is replacing my existing shoes. The problem is for the last while, my fav shoes, the Asics Gel-Kinsei2s (I suppose there are more expensive shoes - but I've yet to find them) wear out at the inner padding of the heel-glove (left two pics)(well - what do you call that part of the shoe?). Very frustrating as I feel like I don't get my moneys worth as the tread (right two pics) is still in fine form. Mind you, they do last 6+ months before this starts and when I was marathon training I was lucky if a shoe made 4 months before the tread was hooped.

So, that is me.

First step for my sweetie, apparently, is discussing the wisdom of setting a time goal with me. I don't know - I see the wisdom of her advice: "Just go out and have fun running, for goodness sakes!". The problem is, (and this would probably better fit in my other blog, Angst in the 50s) I like having a time goal. I like pushing myself a bit. If I don't have that specific goal, I'm likely to just laze around and get nowhere.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Goals, goals, goals

As I reflect on the last few months and my spotty / sporadic running during that time, I asked myself: "Why can't I seem to get some consistency"?

I've come to believe the biggest reason is a lack of goals.

I started running in my early thirties, somewhat as a response to a divorce and wanting to get fit - but then it lead to just a sheer joy of running. After about a year of on again / off again running, I bought some books and set a goal for a Marathon.

Naturally, I ignored a lot of the advice about first marathon goal setting (Biggest one is - only goal should be to finish). The nice thing is that I created a plan, followed it reasonable closely, modified the plan as needed and actually reached my modified goal (Initial goal was for a 3:30 Marathon, modified it to 3:45).

The big thing about the goals for me is to be Specific, Measurable and Achievable. Specifically, I'm going to run a 10K next year. Currently, the one I'm considering is 10K associated with the Calgary Marathon.

What I don't yet know is what time I should set? (This is the Measurable and Achievable parts). What can I achieve in the next 6 months of running? Right now, I think 10K would take be about 2 hours :), most of it walking. If I remain injury free in my training, I'm likely to be able to run it in under an hour.

Given that I really don't know what is achievable now, how long will it take for me to get a good sense of what is achievable. Am I just creating a tempest in a teapot - perhaps the right answer is to set the goal, work towards it and then modify if required. Hmmm - sounds like a good way to go.

The goal is:
  • Run the 10K on May 30, 2010.
  • Stay injury free throughout the training period.
  • Focus on finishing rather than speed.
  • Plan for an under 60M 10K, revise this number in January and April.
  • Blog weekly or better about my plan, approach and progress.
All of this should be quite doable. I remained substantially injury free for my first three marathons, it was just when I did the 4th a few months after the third that problems started occurring.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What's been happening

As so often seems to happend when I push, push, push, the running from the spring broke down. My leg got to the point where it was practically collapsing and where I just felt crappy all the time.

After a bout of strep throat at the beginning of June, we took a 2 week vacation. The first week was in Las Vegas with 40+ degree temperatures every day. It was great. We walked and walked and walked.

The second week was at home and we ended up going to the gym practically every day. My wife is great - she pushed me to not push myself. So, I just went with the flow and that is what I have been doing since. We seem to be semi-regular at the gym/workouts (approximately 3/week). I'm feeling well, sleeping well and eating OK.


Monday, March 30, 2009

Week 14

No plans for a run today - 2nd day sans caffiene! I will do something Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. Potentially, I will also do something on Saturday.

Caffiene withdrawal is affecting my mood somewhat today - bit of a downer and things just seem to be more -- That is, molehills become mountains very easily.

Slight update. I walked at lunchtime up to Gord's, to get new outdoor Gel Kinsei 2's. According to Google Maps it is 2.25 K each way. There is also a height change of a few hundred feet. Took about 20 minutes to walk up there and about 15 to walk back (we'll call that 2k on the return as the lights just do not cooperate once you are downtown.) A notable point is that after the walk, my leg and hip definitely feel better.

Today I did a 20 minute walk from work towards home. Already, this week is shaping up to be better than last week. One slight issue is that I noticed my knees doing a bit of hyper extenstion during the walk. I'm not sure if it was an overuse thing, the shoe change or just random getting older issues.

Once again, though, the walk was great and very productive. Plan for the next run on Thursday.

I was quite happy to take the day off from exercise. Recovery time is soooo much longer at 52 than at 32. Ah well. One thing I do notice is that the training effect seems to take place perhaps even more quickly than it did before. That is quite nice actually.

Rest of the week
Thursday night got hooped by a last minute family dinner. Friday and Saturday were school and Sunday was recuperating (Grandchild sleepover :). On to the next week!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Week 13

As blogging has been a more than a bit sporadic, I've decided to do a weekly one. I'll just add snippets to it through the week to capture how things are going as freshly as possible.

This was the date of the previous post where I crowed about what a great running week I had the previous week. I noted that the left leg was a bit sore (not horribly so, just stiffish...). As I am working mornings and going to school in the afternoons, I decided to run on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday this week.

I woke up tired after quite a restless night. Partially heat (all the snow on the roof increased the insulation level, I think), partially too much water late at night, partially muscle fatigue. I'm thinking of delaying the Wednesday run.

Very long day at school, not home until 8:00 PM. I am cancelling the Wednesday run and will just do workouts on Friday and Sunday.

I do feel somewhat frustrated by this as I am obviously placing more importance on school / work / etc. than on fitness.

Tired, tired, tired. Intended to run - didn't. Ate well in the evening though.

Full day as school, which was great. Home by 6:00 and tired. No running, nice pasta meal for supper. Actually had a good breakfast too.

Well, got up, had a good breakfast again (Cereal, rice milk and a banana) and did the walk to the U on snowy icy sidewalks in 38 minutes. Sure does warm one up. I'm here now (yes - I know - that is fairly obvious since I am blogging :). Plan to be in a logic conference all day. Tomorrow will include cleaning the house and a treadmill session.

Treadmill happened, cleaning didn't :).

So two sessions for the week. While significantly less than I thought I would do, it is significantly more than doing nothing. On to the next week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

A great week

I took an "at home" vacation last week, and did it ever do my running a solid :).

First, we started with a walk to the U on Tuesday morning. Then, runs on the treadmill on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. This is probably the biggest week I've had this year in terms of aerobic exercise - man did it feel good.

One thing I've discovered is that as much as I intellectually love the "Cardiac Priority" work outs, doing the manual workout and watching the HR is better for my hip. (Digression - I slightly injured my hip about 20 years ago in a skiing accident. - On a green run when learning to ski. It manifests as a bit of Bursitis and very tight muscles in the upper thigh, especially the I.T. band. When running, the muscles eventually strengthen and then I no longer have hip issues).

The big reason it is better for my hip is the control over slope. On the C2 setting (Cardiac priority), there is always a positive slope. This becomes quite tiring for the leg and just doesn't work for it. When I do manual, I always do a few minutes a postive slope and 5-10 minutes of negative slope in the 30+ minute run. This tends to actively stretch the leg and it just feels better.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Outdoor walking...

Well, its looking like we can get back into it slowly now. Perhaps the weather will help. I managed an indoor run on Saturday and today walked up to the U. The walk up is quite good as it starts with 5 minutes on the flat followed by a 5 minute steep uphill course. Total workout comes to 35 minutes. I'm sure it is at least as much effort as a C2-125 30 minute.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Finally, a run again!

The past few weeks have left me somewhat frustrated as I have spent time resting and recovering from a persistent abdominal upset, rather than running. (Don't worry, I have no intention of sharing the details.)

I went for my first run in weeks last night. I did a 30 minute C2 - 125 run. (That means cardiac target HR of 125 BPM). The interesting thing is that it felt harder than before, but I actually covered more distance and therefore had a faster average pace. That is compared to previous C2 runs of 122 - 127 for 3o minutes. Very cool.

Good news is that the weight is still down / steady. I'm about 2 pounds above target at the moment, which I think will evaporate quite quickly as the running picks back up.

On the menu tonight is stretching. Next run is possibly Friday night. If not then, then definitely another C2 - 125 / 30 on Saturday and a 45 minute speed priority (probably about 4.0 mph) on Sunday.

A slight digression... I quite enjoy the C2 type runs. It is truly interesting to see how much the treadmill "hunts" as I do the run. In last nights run, my speed varied from 4.8 down to 3.3. I suspect as my fitness picks back up the hunting will decrease.

Additionally, the "long walks" are interesting as my HR steadily increases over the length of the walk, usually starting about 110 BPM after warm-up and getting up near the 130+ range at the end.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two runs and some weight loss

As mentioned in the last blog entry, I had dental surgery last Wednesday. By Friday, I was feeling pretty good, so I went for a run that day and the next. However, my body was obviously not as up to it as I thought.

The first thing that happened (actually on Friday morning and then again on Sunday) was that my lumbar area decided to give me a good crack. OUCH - this made standing ok, but everything else somewhat painful. The one on Friday was not so bad, but Sunday's was quite bad.

Then, on Saturday, I started finding that I was feeling a bit under the weather and by Sunday a full-fledged cold developed. Arrgh. So - no runs since Saturday and likely none until Friday or Saturday of this week.

During my forced rest, I read some sutff about core strengthinging. I'll be adding this into the workout regime.

Also, I started reading the "NYRR guide to running and fitness". Worst running book I have ever read. Keep in mind, I have an engineering/scientific bent though. This book just seems to ramble on, has a variety of workouts without rhyme or reason and is just a pain to read. Thankfully, I got it from the library rather than spending good money on it.

On the good side, my appetite has decreased significantly (no fun trying to chew on only one side), so my weigh in this week was 206.5 lbs, 29% fat. The pants are also definitely looser.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

An unexpected way to lose some weight.

This post is a bit of a summary of the past three days.

First, I went for another Chiro / Massage on Monday. The most gratifying thing about that was they could see a significant improvement in the mobility and strength of my left leg.

Digression: I don't believe I have described what happened with that leg. About 20 years ago (early 30s), I decided to take up skiing. So, I bought some skis and together with a former girlfriend, we headed up to Lake Louise ski hill. My intent was to take some lessons while she had a good day skiing.

I did spend the morning on the bunny hill (You can see it to the right of the webcam link above) and really did a good job learning how to snowplow. So, at lunch, I said, "Let's go do a green!" BIG MISTAKE :). I was not prepared for anything bigger than the bunny hill and soon found out after we got off the lift. Unfortunately, one of the things that happened on the slow way down was that I really twisted my left hip and now have some bursitis in that area. While I was running it didn't bother me. Apparently, the hip is a happy joint when the muscles supporting it are strong and supple. When they weaken, it can exact a lot of revenge - hence my last few months of massage and chiro treatments. - End of Digression.

So, that was Monday. On Tuesday, once I got home, I went for a nice run. I set a C2 target of 126 and headed off. However, at about 2/3rds of the way through, my hand hit the @#%@# safety cord and brought the machine and the workout to a screeching halt. Sigh. I finished off with 12 minutes of manual control. At least I did confirm that manual control does show the heart rate at the same time. The really irritating thing was that all record of the workout disappears when the cord is pulled. I will have to just estimate the total workout.

Now, from the "Be-careful-what-you-wish-for" department. I was mentioning to my wife that I thought I should take a few light food days to get past some intestinal issues I've been having the past week and a half. Remember this....

Wednesday morning, I head to the Peridontist for an exam. I have an old root canal that is going bad. At least, I thought it was going to just be an exam... - but no, we proceeded with the extraction (at my choice). Well, that left me with a hole in my head (ha ha :) and no appetite. So, since then, I've had a yogurt, 2 scrambled eggs and a banana. I suspect I will be under the 209 mark this Saturday.

The downside, of course, is that I really can't run or do weights for another day or two. The wound where the extraction was done needs some time to heal first. So, a couple of days off before getting back to it.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Sunday workout.

Mini-measure Sunday - Weight 210, fat 28%. Gained a pound, but lost 2 pounds of fat.

Not truly likely - I could tell the meal at Atlas the night before had a lot of salt as I was puffy city in the morning.

I went for another run on the treadmill today, with the same settings as Saturday - 30 minute C2 workout at HR 122 - Max elevation 1.5%, max speed 5.0 MPH.

I noticed it still hunted a fair bit. I also notice my HR would occaisionally spike up to 127 or so. The machine had fun with that - crash down to 0% elevation, speed of 3.3 MPH. Calories burned were 191, 1 less than yesterday.

One minor puzzlement is that the post-workout readout showed 29:00 for the time. I'm mildly wondering if there is something wrong with the machine.

Following that I did a light dumbbell workout. We have been unable to find a bench we like, so for the moment, we use the exercise ball for things like chest press etc..

Finally, we went to the library and took out a gaggle of books on running, training and exercising.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another day, another run

Friday was probably not the best day for me food-wise. Supper at Juan's Mexican restaurant which is always tad too many calories, cheese, fat etc. Ah well.

This morning, I calculated my Karvonen numbers. Based on age of 52, my resting heart rate of 55 (taken in bed before rising), my 50% intensity is 111, 60% is 123, 70% is 134, 75% 140 and 85% 151.

As the article linked off the previous post noted, when in poor shape (i.e., me :), shoot for 50-60% intensity. My first workout was right around the 77% intensity, which is fine once one is fit. So I programmed up the Pacemaster to do a 30 minute C2 workout at HR 122.

This is 5 minutes warm-up, 20 at target HR and 5 minutes cool-down.

Once again, the machine was a joy to run on. I did note that it did a lot more hunting than when my target HR was 142. I set the max elevation to 2% (Knocked that back to 1% halfway through) and the max speed to 5 MPH. It never got over 4MPH the whole run. At times, it was as slow as 3.2 MPH, staying mostly around 3.7 with an elevation of .5%.

Another cool thing is that I can get the details of my last 7 workouts from this puppy :). So the first two are:
Yes, I know the last one says 29:20. No idea why.

So, weights tomorrow (and a weigh-in - exciting!!!).

Friday, January 9, 2009

The first run

After picking up new Gel Kinsei 2's from Gord's, I got home and tried out the new treadmill. First, we adjusted the band a bit during the initial test. It is a little bit to the right of center, more so at the front than the back. Interestingly, one can only adjust via bolts at the back of the machine.

After all that, I programmed my userid, weight and age, strapped on the heart monitor and got on. I had planned to just do an easy 20 minute run, with HR monitoring. From what I read, I thought I needed to select program C1 (HR monitor) and then manual. Doesn't work. I suspect that I didn't need to worry about the C1 part, just go straight to manual and it would have been OK.

However, with all the excitement, I didn't think of that at the time. So, I switched over to C2, the "Set target heart rate" program. I punched in 142 BPM (75% for my age assuming a max HR of 168 using the old 220 - age formula. Newer formula include the .67 formula, giving me a MHR of 169 so the same percentage and the Karvonen formula, which takes morning resting HR into account. Since my sitting in the afternoon HR is 58-60, I assume a morning resting HR of 55 giving me Karvonen numbers of Max HR 168, Max training of 145 and Min training 123.)

So, the default for the program is 30 minutes - a bit too long for me at the moment. I switched to 20 minutes, reduced the max elevation of the program to 1.5 from 10% and upped the max speed from 4mph to 4.5mph.

The machine performed beautifully.

It started with a 5 minute warm up to get me up to speed and target HR, followed by 10 minutes where it varied speed and elevation to keep my HR at target and then a 5 minute cool down. It kept me between 139 and 143 for the entire 10 minutes with no problem. Very nice machine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

It's heeeere....

Ahhhh - the new treadmill. However, no running today - it has to adjust to coming in out of the cold. Also, new shoes are required. No outdoor runners on this baby!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting ready for the treadmill

Interestingly, when my sweetie picked me up today, she told me I had to watch Oprah tonight as it was all about "Getting healthy in 2009". So, I said, "Sure, I watch it while I'm doing my dumbbell exercises.". I did watch it and it was actually reasonably interesting, especially when it mentioned about thyroid imbalances causing low energy, weight gain and malaise. I wonder if that might be (have been?) applicable to me.

Anyway, I did my workout and recorded it with this great iPhone/iPod touch app called "iStayFit". Fantastic app, only $1.99 when I bought it ($5.99 now and still well worth it). Comes with a variety of exercises built in, easy to build your own exercise regime and super easy to record. I'm just waiting for them to add emailing the logs to ourselves.

The PowerBlocks worked extremely well. Easy to change the weight and currently more weight than I need.

After that, while having supper, I asked if they had phoned to schedule delivery. The answer was no, and then about a minute later, They phoned!!! Yaaayyy - they deliver tomorrow afternoon, so tomorrow night, I'm going running!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Today, the first positive thing I did towards running was reinstate my balance ball at work. For the last 6 months, I've been sharing an office with two others. During that time, there really was not enough space to use my chair for part of the time and the ball for the other part. I sometimes wonder if that didn't exacerbate the IT band issues I've been having. Of course, the chair I had was set too high for about 5 months and that really did not help.

As it turns out, that was it for today. Intestinal issues compromised the possiblity of anything else.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Measuring and shopping

Well, today, we did get the treadmill, and some weights, but not an exercise bench. Actually, got all this at the Fitness Depot at Dalhousie. We purchased a Pacemaster Platinum Pro. It has a really good feel, incline and decline settings, a 3HP continuous motor and a nice smooth feel.

It was interesting going through the decision process, as we naturally would liked to have spent less. At one point my light of my light asked: "How does buying this make you feel?" and the answer was "Like a great weight is off my shoulders." Honestly, the answer somewhat surprised me. I had no idea that I was waiting for one this much. (It should be here in about a week). Now I just have to dig out my Polar chest strap :).

I do have to mention the weights I bought as well. I got these PowerBlock contraptions which double as dumbbells and toys ;). Very cool and I'm looking forward to using them.

My leg feels much better today. Marie gave it a wand work massage last night and I didn't do any stretches. I am sure something in the way I am stretching is causing the pain. I'll have to review that with Chiro/Massage tomorrow.

Finally, today was first Sunday of the month - otherwise known as Statistics Sunday.

So we have:

Scale fat %29%
Skinfold x466
Skinfold fat%30.4%

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Lazy Saturday

I did all my stretches last night and the leg is somewhat sore. I considered going into the UofC for a workout, but let Marie talk me out of it. I did at least get a new ab ball for her.

Weird sizing on those things though. The size I got is supposed to work for 5'5" to 5'11", while the previous size is for 5'0" to 5'4". She is just over 5'4", so I decided on the bigger one. Here's hoping I don't have to change it again.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Setting it up

I am a marathoner.

I say that as I have successfully completed 4 marathons over the years.

I am not too active of a marathoner though.

About 10 years ago, I started having trouble keeping my running energy up. Over the past 10 years I've been plagued with a plethora of minor injuries, sore spots, lack of will power and too much weight. Right now I am 210 pounds and 29% fat. With a height of 6', this gives me a BMI of 28.5, solidly in the overweight (But not obese, thankfully) category.

My marathon running weight is 165, making a BMI of 22.4.

I had decided three years ago to train for the Hawaii marathon as it runs right near my birthday and I thought that would be a great 50th birthday present to myself. Didn't happen. Similarly, exercise for the last two years has succumbed to job/school pressures, TV watching, life and whatever.

In the last month, however, I feel like I've made some solid progress. One of the biggest issues with running for the past while has been pain in my legs and hips. My sweetie finally got me to see a chiropracter and massage therapist. So, I am now going about every 10 days, doing about 30 minutes (or more) of stretching daily and my legs are beginning to feel better.

Tomorrow, I'm going treadmill shopping.