Saturday, October 31, 2009

Leaf well enough alone?

Hey, they look kinda pretty on the ground. Maybe I should just leave them there. Leaf well enough alone, get it? Oh. You did. Okay, just checking.

Exercise Status:
Still having problems with the neck. Tried 10 push ups, it was interesting, in a not-at-all-fun way, how I could feel the pain radiating from the neck outward along both shoulders. More ibuprofen.

On the plus side, it's doing great things for my posture. I can't get comfortable unless I'm sitting up prim and proper: spine straight, shoulders back, chin down. Anything else hurts.

Another plus, legs don't hurt. I can walk, and do so. With erect posture.

Procrastination status:
Except that I don't have time to walk. I have got to clean all the leaves out of the gutters or apparently something awful will happen to my house. I'm trying to ignore the contradiction between the no-time-to-exercise and I-don't-wanna-clean-house-I-wanna-blog excuses.

Since it's warm and dry inside, and grey and damp outside, I'm procrastinating on the useful stuff. Been reading other people's lives instead. Vicarious excitement is where it's at, baby.

I enjoyed the Menopausal Old Bag's take on Glaswegian Translators. (I don't mind if they don't want to speak English, but could they maybe speak American instead? My strongest memory of Glasgow is traveling around with pencil and notepad asking people to write down what they'd just said.)

Coffee Helps offered up a really strange parody of Korean pop music. Even if I did understand the context of the parody, I think I'd find that video clip bizarre.

I spent a few minutes experiencing Paris at the Place de la Sorbonne with The Bold Soul. Sigh... I wanna travel.

Damn. The sun just came out. That means I need to rake. It's that time of year. The city is going to come around and take leaves off my hands (or at least off my driveway)

The sad part is, there are still several trees hanging onto their leaves, waiting until I rake this lot up before they let go.

Maybe I should drink a glass of juice first. I stole leveraged this video from Jennifer Crusie's blog.

Strong drink sounds like the answer.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I'm hopeless and helpless and my life is going nowhere and there's no point in trying to get fit or lose weight as I'm a loser in every other aspect of my life but this one...

scrrrrrrritch... this record's stuck in a groove...*

Okay, I've been reading a lot of blogs and comments from people who say they're feeling bleh and blah and just plain don' wanna any more. One commenter on Pasta Queen's blog referred to the other day as International Blah Day. So I know it's not just me.

I'm curious as to what's causing this. You'd think the depression-blah-blues would start next week, after Daylight Savings ends and it starts getting dark at 5 in the evening. While I admire my psyche's rare impulse to be proactive for once, I don't think this is the right direction. Why am I feeling so meh about life?

Meh. Job sux. Pay sux. Doan wanna get outtaƂ bed.
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Probably because I'm hopeless and pointless and I'll never do anything right and...

scrrrrrritch... okay, let's try this again...

Methinks I'm going to go hide in my room and listen to sad soulful ballads until I can figure out what the problem is. Can't stand hearing that scrrrrritch sound any more tonight.

*Yes, I realize that to many people this metaphor will not have much relevance. Hmph. Young whippersnappers.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, October 23, 2009

Tomorrow is another week

Cate Blanchett

Quote du jour: God has entrusted me with myself.
- Epictetus

Okay, this was a week of whining and whinging and working and wimpitude. I have decided that I do not like this week. Therefore, I have decided that this week did not happen. I hereby wipe it out from time and memory. Tomorrow is another week. Or something like that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

No weigh, dude!

funny pictures of cats with captions
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Quote du jour: Have patience with all things, But, first of all with yourself.
-Saint Francis de Sales

About ten years ago, I injured some of the vertebrae in my neck. (Herniated disks.) The pain came back last week, meaning I've having a lot of pain in my upper back and in my arms. Probably this is caused by the excessive hours of work, which is understandable but at the same time quite frustrating.

Work has no right to interfere with something important, like exercise.

I'm going to stop weighing myself for a week. Unlike Hanlie, I'm not doing this because I don't care, but rather because I'm fed up. I gained four damn pounds this week. Wah.

Okay, whine done. Back to the workout.

Exercise du jour:I'm going to do walk. Slowly, maybe, but I've rested my legs for five days. Maybe that's enough. All I know is that I have to do some kind of exercise. If it hurts, I'll wait another few days and try again. I'll go without push ups again, see how I feel tomorrow. Maybe I can do a set or two without pain or my hands going numb. Maybe not. I'll see.

Shakes fist at the universe

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A note to self

Quote du jour: In true education, anything that comes to our hand is as good as a book: the prank of a page- boy, the blunder of a servant, a bit of table talk - they are all part of the curriculum.
- Michel de Montaigne

Dear body,

How are you? No, don't answer that, it's what's know as a rhetorical friggin' question already. I know how you're doing. You've been telling me repeatedly.

Look body, enough of the polite talk. Shut the Frapp up already. I don't want to hear about how you feel. For the record, I think you're being totally unreasonable and I don't want to spend any more hours of my life pandering to your continual need to whine and complain when I ask you to do the least little thing. It was unattractive enough when you were a whiny teenager. You're middle-aged, for pete's sake, it's time to at least pretend you're an adult.

Here's the deal:
1. I give you free access to your dream man, Mr. Ice Pack, 20 minutes at a time, several times a day. You have to maintain certain decencies and keep a cloth between you and Mr. Ice Pack at all times. No, really.
2. Mr. Advil will only visit you for the maximum amount allowed on the label. That's it. Trust me, he's just not that into you. Limited visits.
3. You can rest all you want, so long as the boss doesn't fire us. Free rides to and from work, no unnecessary exertion, all the TV you want to watch. Hey, I'll even let you read, so long as you don't need to hold big heavy books.
4. Internet access. Ah, I thought we would reach a snag. Here's the deal. You are NOT allowed to use the laptop. It is not ergonomically friendly and right now that matters. You can only use the poky old dinosaur-era desktop that's buried beneath all those bills in the office. (Remember those bills? You might want to look at them sometime. Before you start getting nasty phone calls from creditors.)

Exercise du jour: Stretching. Every couple of hours. Arms and legs. No, I don't care what the cow-orkers think.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In praise of idleness

ninja skills  need moar practice
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For once, my inner sloth and I are in accord. I spent the weekend using my legs as little as possible. Got my act together and my car fixed, and I would like to record the fact that I drove the evilSUV to work today with a clear conscience. Rest is good. Rest is my friend.
Rest is going to make my legs happy again very soon.

Now, if I could just get a break from work then my arms could heal too. Have an old injury in my neck (herniated disks) and the excessive hours at work are causing the pain to flare up good. Can't rest or compress my neck/back, but I'm doing the ice packs at work. And ibuprofen. I should buy stock in Advil.

Exercise du jour: I'm going to try a Pilates DVD, see if I can do that without causing my neck/upper back to go into spasms. I'm all for resting what's injured, but it feels really weird to do nothing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pain is weakness beating the crap out of the body

epic fail pictures

What is it with the macho slogans? On the 10k last week, I saw slogans like "Pain is weakness leaving the body." Um, no. It's not.

Why do people have to make pain seem like a grand and praiseworthy achievement? It's a sign you've pushed the body farther than is healthy; that's not something to praise. Sometimes you need to cross the border before you can realize your limits, fine. But there's no need to rhapsodize over it.

Pain is your body trying to slap you upside the head to get your attention already.

If I'd listened to my body when I first hurt the shins, instead of ignoring the problem and forging ahead, I wouldn't have managed to injure the tendons to the point where they're still complaining a week later.

I think pain was designed to teach us patience. Supposedly, shin pain is something beginners encounter when they try to do too much too soon. Sounds 'bout right. (It would help if I got my car fixed so I didn't have to walk so much. Pain is trying to make me an organized person. Yeah, good luck with that.)

Exercise du jour:
Week 6 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 1
(60 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 25
Set 2 - 30
Set 3 - 20
Set 4 - 15
Set 5 - 40

Update du 7:44 pm: Look, I really don't want to do these push ups. I'm whining about it here in the hopes that this will shame me into doing it anyway. If I only exercised when I felt like it, I would be Jabba the Hut's body double.

Update du 8:10 pm: Okay, no star today. Maybe half a star. Got halfway through set 4 before the arm pain became unreasonable. I can take a hint when the body becomes unsubtle about it, and this is one of those times. Off to fraternize with Mr. IcePack.

A belated Quote du jour:
"Finish each day
And be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and
Absurdities have crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can."

- Emerson

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Goal met: 200 sit ups challenge

So... had a couple cups of coffee, did some back stretches, and then sat down and did 200 sit ups.
I have met my goal. ("Hello Goal." "Hello Merry.")

Seems to me this calls for a gold star on the post and a 200 sit ups icon on the sidebar.

To review: when I did the initial 200 sit up test, I did 30 sit ups before my back started to hurt. Started this in April, stopped in July when I hurt my arm/shoulders, started back up a couple weeks ago and finished October 18. Not sure these dates are especially relevant except that they show that I kept exercising, apart from the injury/rest.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Survived the 5th week of the push up challenge

Ha! He's a swinger! I always suspected...

Whine du jour: Push ups are no fun. Don't look forward to doing them, don't feel better after I've done them. About the only pleasure I get from push ups is the pleasure of totaling up the number of them that I've done and then bragging to people about it.

So why do I do it?
I think my attitude toward this push up challenge is like some other people's feeling about doing a marathon: because it's there. It's not something I'm going to do after the challenge is finished.

Once I've completed the 100 push ups (and I will finish, eventually, come hell high water or injuries I'll get there eventually) then I will explore other weight lifting exercises, and target other muscle groups. Maybe I should do the 1 pull up challenge. (The challenge there would be to actually do one single friggin' pull up. I doubt I could do a single one right now.)

The sit ups are definitely helping my back. When I did the first test, I stopped when my back muscles started to hurt. I've noticed that now it takes a whole lot more sit ups to get to that point, so there's a positive change.

Exercise du jour:
Week 5 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 3
(45 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 13
Set 2 - 13
Set 3 - 15
Set 4 - 15
Set 5 - 12
Set 6 - 12
Set 7 - 10
Set 8 - 30

Week 6 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(45 seconds rest in between)
Day 3
Set 1 - 20
Set 2 - 20
Set 3 - 26
Set 4 - 26
Set 5 - 24
Set 6 - 24
Set 7 - 21
Set 8 - 21
Set 9 - 75

Done! At 11:57 p.m., 3 minutes before midnight, but it still counts as exercise for the day. (Took 26 minutes.)

Photo courtesy of: / CC BY-SA 2.0

Thursday, October 15, 2009


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Whine du jour:Feels like I've gotten the tendons in my legs mighty pissed off at me.

I don't get it. What did I ever do to my legs to deserve this?

I'm trying the usual remedies: Rest, Ice, Complain, Eat.

Hope it gets better fast.

No exercise today, apart from the minimum and very slow 20 minutes walking limping to/from the Max station. Unless I can find something aerobic to do whilst flat on my back with my legs in the air... y'know, you really should get that cough seen to. And you're looking awfully red in the face too. Tsk.

Argh. 13 hours at work and they brought in food. Did they bring in broccoli? Of course not. For breakfast I had a Krispy Kreme doughnut. Lunch and dinner were Mexican food, and of course there was the marionberry cobbler for afters. Plus I came home exhausted and have to get up early tomorrow to start this all over again. Yes, I know I'm whining. If I work hard tomorrow and Saturday, I might get to take Sunday off for sleep. Keep your fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My reputation is toast: I blame the 2 fit chicks and their microphone

Saturday, I spent the night at a hotel in Astoria (because the 10k preliminaries started early in the a.m. and it takes over 2 hours to get there from Portland). I have trouble getting to sleep, so I thought I'd listen to a podcast in bed while I was trying to unwind. Specifically, 2 Fit Chicks and a Microphone. Their latest podcast deals with running, which seemed an appropriate and safe topic.

Argh. It is totally Carla and Shauna's fault if my roommate thinks I'm a nut. I don't want to imagine what the poor woman thought I was doing, giggling in the dark in the next bed. But I couldn't help it. Those two are dangerous together -- funny and informative and then funny again. They should put a warning on their podcast so people know what they're getting in for. And so people can warn their roommates. That's only civil.

Exercise du jour:
Week 5 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 2
(45 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 10
Set 2 - 10
Set 3 - 13
Set 4 - 13
Set 5 - 10
Set 6 - 10
Set 7 - 9
Set 8 - 25

Week 6 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(45 seconds rest in between)
Day 2
Set 1 - 21
Set 2 - 21
Set 3 - 23
Set 4 - 23
Set 5 - 21
Set 6 - 21
Set 7 - 15
Set 8 - 15
Set 9 - 66

Done. Finally. It's after 10 pm, but by gosh I did my exercise for the day and within about 20 minutes. So why don't I feel proud?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Great Columbia Bridge Crossing 2009: Doing a 10k with 5k

It was a beautiful sunrise.

Standing in the parking lot waiting for the shuttle to take us over the bridge, I took a picture of the sunrise. The guy next to me gave me a questioning look.

"Because it's beautiful," I said to him.

"There's another reason to take a picture," he said. "Because otherwise no one would believe you were in Astoria and it wasn't raining or foggy."

The man had a point. They only open the bridge to runners and walkers one day out of the year. In previous years, people have done this bridge crossing in rain that slanted sideways on a grey and miserable day.

On the other hand, if it had been lousy weather, there probably wouldn't have been so many people there. Judging by the bib numbers, there were an estimated 4000 walkers and 1000 runners going across one lane of a 4+ mile long bridge.

I figure that works out to 2000 meters for every 1000 people.
2 meters for every 1 person.
So long as they crossed the bridge within the requisite two hours.
Oi vey.

The good news was that between the crowds and the pain* and the time limit, I didn't have much attention left over to deal with my bridge-o-phobia.

*What, I didn't mention the pain part before?

I figure the best way to tell this is to use the GBU formula stolen from Marie of Mousearoo. (If she'd had the sense to copyright this, she'd be raking in the Canadian bucks now. Just kidding, Marie. Love you.)

See the mountain in the background? That's Saddle Mountain.
Did I ever mention that I climbed the very highest part of that high peak?
(Well, all right, I mentioned it
here, but who reads that far back? So it's okay to brag a bit. Not that the climb started at sea level, but That's Not The Point.)


Good: Remembered the inhaler. The weather was clear and beautiful, but it was friggin' cold out there.
The tin foil look was much admired. Really.

Bad: Forgot I'd already done two inhaler whiffs an hour ago, and did another one.
Ugly: Got an adrenaline rush (or something that felt a lot like it) because of the inhaling and started off the first mile at a much-too-fast pace, which killed my shins from the start. (I'd already injured my shins from over-doing the sprints earlier this week. Did that stop me from doing it again? Of course not.)

As I crossed into Oregon again, I saw Saddle Mountain in the distance.

Miles 2-3
Good: My legs didn't fall off.
Bad: After the first mile, the shins were quite unhappy, a lot of people passed me, and I ended up in the crying babies section.
Ugly: I kept going.

Getting closer to Saddle Mountain all the time...

Miles 3-4
Good: After the third mile, I started passing most of the people who'd passed me.
Better: The crying babies stayed behind.
Better still: I didn't fall too much off my original pace.

Wait a minute. What's that hill I see looming ahead?

Miles 4-5
Bad: Who put this steep incline here?
Good: While I was working harder to get air, never once started to wheeze.
Better: I could catch my breath and take a couple good shots.

Amazing to note I'm not in the back. I don't know if you can tell from this picture, but the line of walkers stretches back as far as the bridge does. This race was crowded.

Miles 5-6
Bad: Okay, I'm definitely starting to limp by this point.
Good: I'm limping downhill.
Best: I made it off the incline and to the finish line with time to spare.

Woo (ouch) hoo!

At the finish line, a guy was handing out free hugs, so I took one.** But I gave him one back, so it's okay.

What, you thought I was kidding?

**Hey, I grew up in California. And I remember the 60s***. People did hugs back then.
***Okay, I don't remember much about them, but I still absorbed the general Peace, Love, and Hippy-Happiness stuff.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday? Already?

Quote du jour:
Whenever I feel like exercising I lie down until the feeling passes. - Robert Hutchins

Race report du week: Yesterday's 10k was fun. And painful. I have to work on learning how to pace myself: went too fast at the beginning and ended up with shin pain so bad I limped over the finish line. But I finished with time to spare, so I'm happy. And tired.

I could've gone for the 2nd column of push ups, but I'm worn out from the 10k yesterday, so I want to take it easy.

Exercise du jour:
Week 5 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 1
(60 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 17
Set 2 - 19
Set 3 - 15
Set 4 - 15
Set 5 - 20

Week 6 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(60 seconds rest in between)
Day 1
Set 1 - 38
Set 2 - 34
Set 3 - 30
Set 4 - 22
Set 5 - 60
Done. For what good it does. Hmph.
It's not that I'm feeling sore in mind and muscle and soul.

Okay, so it is exactly just that. But I'm going to blame the mood and the mental attitude and most of the physical pain on cramps. Which, sadly, is a quite applicable villain to use in this situation. Really, I don't know how men get by without this excuse perfectly reasonable reason for lack of good performance or appreciation of the performance.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Double Crossing the Mighty Columbia?

Dear Sir or Madam,

By the time you read this, I'll be on a bridge, looking over the edge.

Okay... maybe not exactly looking over. Would you believe looking at the edge from a fairly safe distance?

I'm an English major. We're all about the prepositions. (Sadly, not about the propositions. That's the Wildlife majors' department, damn them.)

Though, of course, when you read this I might still be on the bridge getting ferried across it before walking back, which doesn't really make any sense unless you're a) a crazed fitness fanatic who likes to enter walks and races as motivation or b) you simply like walking across bridges (not a group I fall into, I confess).

What, me? On a tangent?

I'm off doing the Great Columbia Bridge Crossing. Details later. And, of course, the gold star. I have a feeling I'll have earned it.

Done! Definitely earned that star.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, October 09, 2009

Surviving the challenges... so far...

By the end of the day I'll -- please God -- have survived 5th week of the sit ups and managed to get through the repeat 4th week of the push ups without my arms chest falling off.

Definitely deserve a treat.

Yeah, that'll make you sit up...

Exercise du jour:
Week 4 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 3
(120 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 29
Set 2 - 33
Set 3 - 29
Set 4 - 29
Set 5 - 40

Week 5 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(45 seconds rest in between)
Day 3
Set 1 - 30
Set 2 - 30
Set 3 - 36
Set 4 - 36
Set 5 - 30
Set 6 - 30
Set 7 - 40
Set 8 - 75!!

Update du Saturday:Note to self: look, moron, don't wait until last thing at night to start these things. And don't try it after a carb fest. Got 8 -- count 'em, 8 -- push ups done last night before giving up. It's now 11:22 in the morning, and I've got one last set of push ups and sit ups before I get my star. I just thought I'd take a break to let you all know the status. Really, that's the reason I'm taking a break and typing instead of doing push ups. I knew you'd be concerned. Yes, I'm that thoughtful.

p.s. Any prayers, positive thoughts, or good vibes that you're not using could always be sent to the powers that control the weather, so that Sunday will be bright and sunny. Just a thought. Can't hurt to ask.

Done! Bloody hell. That last set of push ups didn't rely on muscle strength so much as on pure gritted-teeth will power.
307 sit ups, 160 push ups, 1 Merry.

No, don't thank me for that photo. Thank / CC BY-SA 2.0

Thursday, October 08, 2009

My humor reaches a new low point

It was obvious  who farted...
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What can I say. Low brow humor, but I liked the expressions on the dogs' faces.

Exercise du jour: More walking. It would be boring if this weren't the last training session before the bridge crossing.
Whoops! Forgot to put my shiny star up. (It may seem silly, but it helps when I look back and can't remember what I've done.) 100 minutes walking. I think I hurt my shins, though. Hopefully not. Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

I don't care what the calendar says, I'm not ready for fall yet

Sigh... the leaves are definitely starting to go. I'm feeling a strong urge to climb the trees and apply some superglue. I'm not ready for fall to befall me.

One good thing about combining the sit up and push up challenges: I'm not thinking about how boring it is doing all these sit ups. The sit up intervals are a chance to rest my aching arms, so my body thinks "Hey! It's just fine to do sit ups! Sure, how many do you want?"

Of course, as of today I'm doubling the amount of sit ups, so maybe that attitude will change back to boredom.

Exercise du jour:

Week 4 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 2
(90 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 25
Set 2 - 29
Set 3 - 25
Set 4 - 25
Set 5 - 36

Week 5 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(45 seconds rest in between)
Day 2
Set 1 - 27
Set 2 - 27
Set 3 - 30
Set 4 - 30
Set 5 - 21
Set 6 - 21
Set 7 - 24
Set 8 - 60

Done! Got the push ups done in three hours. Finished up the last 2 sets of sit ups after work. That's one thing about repeating the 4th week; I'm able to cut down on the rest time between push up sets.
Plus, 2 hours walking.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Me, Goethe, & Jabba the Hut

Quote du jour: Know myself? If I knew myself, I'd run away.
- Goethe

I hate seeing pictures of myself. It's depressing. A friend just posted photos of what I look like while on a hike. (Note to self: walk behind friends if they're holding cameras.)

You'd think it would make me feel more inspired to work out. It doesn't. I just want to ban all cameras from my presence.

Exercise du jour: More sprint walking, preparing for the Astoria Bridge Crossing.
Good: threw some sprints in both a.m. and p.m.
Bad: up to my elbows in work, no lunch
Ugly: It was a beautiful day outside, and I couldn't go play. I wish work didn't get in the way of Important things.

Note: this is not the photo my friend took. Just so you know.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Do cheetahs ever prosper?

I feel like a cheater.

The 100 push up challenge wants you to do 90 seconds rest between sets. With me, it's more like a couple minutes or even a couple hours.

Generally the pattern runs thusly:

Get up, stumble towards the caffeine, take in enough to pry the eyelids open.
Do the first two push up and sit up sets, cursing.
Go to work.
At lunch, do a couple more push up and sit up sets (the easier ones)
More work.
Come home, greet the dog, do the remaining set of push ups and sit ups.

That's a bit more than 90 seconds.

My only defense is that I do the hardest ones first. The first set is always a struggle "I can't do this!" My arms have to get used to the idea of push ups afresh each time. And the second set is usually more reps, so that even though my arms are warmed up, it still feels like I'm pushing the limit of what I can do.

Even if I'm not doing this challenge the "right" way, it's still making my arms stronger. But I feel guilty, all the same.

Exercise du jour: Re-doing week 4 of the (full) 100 push up challenge. This time, because I feel guilty about repeating, I'm going to do the sets in the third column, the hardest one.

Day 1
(90 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 21
Set 2 - 25
Set 3 - 21
Set 4 - 21
Set 5 - 32

Week 5 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(60 seconds rest in between)
Day 1
Set 1 - 42
Set 2 - 52
Set 3 - 38
Set 4 - 33
Set 5 - 52

Done! Actually got `em done before noon for once. Plus 75 minutes walking.

Photo:Okay, so technically that's a photo of a jaguar, but I liked his style.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

A walk with a steep learning curve?

Quote du jour: The sovereign invigorator of the body is exercise, and of all the exercises walking is the best. - Thomas Jefferson

So, I did it. Signed up for the Great Columbia Crossing with my exercise partner. It's a 10k walk/run across the mouth of the Columbia river, on a bridge that shuts down one of its traffic lanes for the event. I think it's the only time in the year you have a chance to walk this bridge.

It's also got a time limit of two hours. At walking pace, 20 minute miles for six miles. I can do this. I've been walking to and from the Max station as part of my commute to work, which means three to five miles of walking a day, depending on which station I walk to. Plus, I've persuaded my exercise friend to walk with me at lunch a few times during the week. I don't think I'll even need the inhaler (but I'll take it anyway).

It does have some aerobic challenges to it. The Astoria bridge has a steep hill part, where the bridge angles up so that ships can pass underneath.

To train, I'll try to work in a couple of hill walks at lunch. And I could be misjudging my abilities. Who knows, maybe we'll both sprain an ankle and need to be picked up by the slug van. Whatever happens, it should be interesting.

Exercise du jour: Walking. With intervals of speed walking. Trying to increase the average pace. Following the Somewhat High Intensity Interval Training method.

No star. No excuses either, not really. For some reason my legs felt really swollen after yesterday's exercise, and my lungs kept verging on needing the damn inhaler, which makes no sense since I wasn't exercising but still I kept coughing and wheezing and... okay, who's the wise guy who put on that sad violin music in the background? I admit that I was a wuss today; I'm just trying to figure out why. I think I'll just count today as the day of rest, since I did (inadvertently) work out yesterday. Cut the violin music already.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

Rest day, at least technically

Day of rest. No exercise today.

No formal exercise, anyway.
Still have to rake the leaves, clean the house, rake some more leaves, spread mulch in the front yard, rake still more leaves, put up shelves in the laundry room, leaves, and spend a couple hours updating a user guide for work.

Hopefully you're off doing something much more exciting.

Update du 7:30 pm. My arms are aching. They weren't this sore yesterday, but they're sure making up for lost pain. Ow.

No rest for the wicked. 30 minutes brisk cycling. (Somebody ate all her dog food, and I haven't got the car fixed yet.)

My fur-covered partner in sloth courtesy of:

Friday, October 02, 2009

Struggles with statistics

Hey, it's Friday. That requires a Hugh Jackman photo, right?

Just a note to self here (because everyone else is still looking at Hugh). According to the Sparkpeople statistics I'm managing to eat enough protein and fat every day, but I'm invariably short of the number of carbs I should be consuming.

I'm caught between trying to please both a computerized nutritional program and my stomach. I don't want to eat pasta, or rice, or bread. Need to start eating potatoes. They're starchy enough.

Exercise du jour:

Week 4 of the (full) 100 push up challenge
Day 3
(90 seconds rest in between)
Set 1 - 23
Set 2 - 28
Set 3 - 23
Set 4 - 23
Set 5 - 33

Week 4 of the 200 sit ups challenge
(60 seconds rest in between)
Day 3
Set 1 - 35
Set 2 - 42
Set 3 - 35
Set 4 - 35
Set 5 - 50

Done! Damn, but that was close to a DNF. It's 8:30 pm, and I just finished the last set. I did sets 3 and 4 at work, and I thought I'd injured a couple of muscles. A different muscle in each arm, to make it more confusing. I almost didn't finish that last set. I'm off to do some serious ibuprofren. I'm not even going to take the end-of-4th-week test. I figure it's better to rest the arms completely for a couple days and then repeat this week.
Know what's weird? I feel like a loser for repeating. Keep telling myself that it's not like repeating kindergarten or something -- it's
allowed to take it easy if something's hurting. I don't want to end up with arms so sore that it's painful to comb my hair. Last time I did that, I couldn't do any arm exercises for months. Caution, Grasshopper.
Plus, 1 hour forty minutes walking.

Don't thank me for that photo. Thank

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Rarin' to go... back to the couch

Do I look like  I want to go jogging??

I'm a wimp. On Sunday, I went on the Tour de Parks bike ride. A simple, easy-paced friggin' ride around town.

A couple of years ago, I would have sneered at such a paltry ride. Indeed, as this blog proves, a couple years ago, I did a ride over twice that long without preparation or perturbation.

Sunday, I was pretty much the last person finishing.

Well, not quite. A man and his little daughter latched on behind me, and no matter how slow I went, they went a leeeetle bit slower. One of them had a bicycle pedal that squeaked every time they pressed down on it. So for the last few miles of the ride I was hot, tired, and had to listen to

-- what's that? Oh, you got the idea. Well, now you know how it felt.

The real problem, of course, is that not only am I a wimp, I was an idiot. Didn't even occur to me to bring the inhaler. At one point, about four miles into the ride, we went down a dusty trail and then up a mulch-covered trail. It wasn't a steep hill, but I only made it 2/3 of the way up before the wheezing got to the point where I had to stop. And after that, I had to go slow or I'd start going into wheeze mode again. It's a sad state of affairs when your leg muscles are rarin' to go and your damn lungs won't get with the program.

In case anyone connected with the ride Googles this, I should mention that the volunteers were fantastic and the party after the ride was quite nice. Gotta love a band that includes a cello, and it was fun to sit on the steps by the fountain listening to the music and watching the children playing bicycle games that tested their balance and reflexes. My exercise friend was astonished that the whole ride was free. I think she was also impressed with the friendly spirit around the event.

Exercise du jour: Walking: morning, noon, and night. Plan to walk to a Max station that's a couple miles (2.5) from my house, instead of the one that's a half-mile away. That way, I'll get nearly half my walking requirement done before I even get to to work. Then a walk at lunch, and walk/Max home.
Today was doomed from the start. Got some walking in, but not much. Woke up at 3 a.m., didn't get back to sleep until 6, so I started the day late, which meant I had to rush to work and work through lunch, which meant ... anyway, ended up with a measly 2 miles walking and a headache. Going to go to bed early and Try This Again tomorrow.