Friday and a long holiday weekend

TGIF, people! Although my weekend started yesterday. We’re vacationing in the Wisconsin Dells.

June Challenge Day 30

Today is the last day of my June run a mile a day challenge. It was also the only day I didn’t run on a treadmill; I ran on the street. 

I also ran 1.8 miles, according to the tracker I was using, PumaTrak.

I was a little disappointed in PumaTrak because for the first minute or more, it kept pausing on its own and I had to continually restart it. So I’m not sure if it gave me an accurate rating. Tomorrow morning, I’ll use the ever-faithful Runtastic to get a better measure.

Now that thw challenge is finaihed, what wonderful changes have I seen? To be honest, nothing. I’m sure there is something, but I must be pretty self-unaware. 

Friday Weigh-In

Technically, I weighed myself yesterday, but since I knew today I wouldn’t have access to a scale, I did it early. My new weight? 197.5 pounds. I dropped 2.1 pounds.

Whoohoo. 

Time to celebrate!

Let’s all dive into some Suicide by Chocolate. Bottom layer is chocolate cookie dough, middle layer is Oreos, and the top layer is fudge brownie mix. Baked until it’s one, rich enticing treat, perfect for celebrating life.

We’re also in the Wisconsin Dells at Mt. Olympus Resort for my younger son’s seventeenth birthday. The Dells is an area know for having a ton of great waterparks. 

Poseiden’s Rage. That’s a 9 foot wall of water heading for the crowd

One of our favorite rides, if you will, is Poseiden’s Rage, where a giant nine-foot wall of water crashes into you every ninety seconds.

And that’s it for my Friday report. Time to jump in The River Troy.

Later.

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A Friday haiku

The week is over
It seemed so long and dreary
Let’s start the weekend!

June Mile-a-day challenge Day 23

I can’t believe I made it this far without waking up at least one morning and going, “Maybe I’ll sleep in and run later.” I’m actually proud of myself for getting this far.

Wednesday I added at 1° incline to the treadmill. The readout says that means I burned an addition 5 calories per run, if you believe in the accuracy of those things.

I did notice my cool down heartrate went up from 114 up to 124 after that first incline run. Today it was down to 119.

Something else I noticed which surprises me. I’m not feeling stiff or have any aches in my joints despite not taking any rest days.

Add in that I also walk an average of 20,000 steps each weekday, so my leg muscles, ankle, knee, and hip joints are always in use.

If you had asked me what would hapoen if I ran a mile a day for a month before I started this, I probably would have predicted some sort of overuse or stress injury. Shinsplints, for example, which had forced me to quit running almost 2t years ago.

But no, I feel pretty good. I’m contemplating keeping this up as a regular daily activity. Maybe I’ll even bump my distance up, gradually, and start July running 1-1/4 miles each day. That means I would have to get up 5 or 10 minutes earlier.

Hmm. We’ll have to think about that.

Music and running

When I first started treadmilling, I’d put on a record. A record. Yes. Some of us still call them that and for a very good reason: I still have a vinyl collection and a quality turntable — a classic, refurbished AR XA.

Anyway, when I was starting out, I could listen to one side of a vinyl record and my run would be over before the record was. Each side of a vinyl record usually has a pkaying time anywhere from 15 to 22 minutes.

Once my runs went longer, I switched to watching something on TV because otherwise you have to jump off the treadmill, lift the needle from the record, flip the record over, then tey to gently place the needle down despite shaking hands from an elevated heartrate. It just wasn’t worth it risking a scratch.

So television. I found coverage of Track and Field events were the best motivator, but unfortunately, they’re few and far between.

Since I’ve now been running just a mile each day, my treadmill time is less than 10 minutes, which means I can go back to enjoying one side of an album.

Yesterday, I put on Boston’s eponymous (I always wanted to use that word) first album and listened to side A. Today, I ran to Side B.

And I discovered something. Running to music makes the time seem to go by faster whereas watching an episode of television seems to make the run drag on and on.

I wonder why that is?

And commercials last forever!

Weigh-In Friday

I’ve managed to drop below the 200 pound wall again. I’m at 199.4 now. And my average fat went down -0.7% while my average muscle went up +0.5%.

Life’s Good = LG

We’ve been with US Cellular for almost two weeks now. So far, despite my problems with all my previous phones, my LG V20 is holding up nicely. By now, my other phones would have been starting to show signs of glitchyness trying all day to find a crappy Verizon Wireless signal here in my Faraday Cage we call a building.

But so far, the LG is working flawlessly. I always have a 4Glte signal (knock wood) and I can place phone calls from nearly anywhere inside the building. Even it’s battery lasts for most of the day. All my other phones needed to be recharged after just a few hours.

I’m not claiming the LG is the best smartphone out there, but on the US Cellular network in downtown Milwaukee, it is greater than any Verizon Wireless phone I’ve ever owned.

So glad I made that switch.

Gina update

I’ve been driving our 2013 Fiat 500 Lounge for about 2 months now. Usually, by this time with any newer car I’ve owned, the newness and novelty would have worn off. I’d become, if not jaded then bored with it.

Not this car. I’m still having a blast driving it around town. I actually look forward to driving to and from work.

I’ve read many a review on this little Fiat and the majority of them are, if not downright negative, at least less than praising. I can’t help but wonder if they’re talking about some other car. Or possibly, years of driving and reviewing dozens of cars has made those automotive journalists jaded or possibly they just don’t appreciate the fun someone can have driving a minicar; they only value cars that have peel-your-face-back acceleration along with a throaty growl.

I feel sorry for them. My Fiat still is bringing a smile to my face.

Welcome to the new dark ages

Anyone else beginning to feel triggered just seeing TheRump’s face or hearing his voice?

Anyone else feel that, “OK, things couldn’t possibly get any worse?” And then it does? How many more rights, how many more safety and environmental regulations can they dismantle?

How much more power can they give to the rich and corporations? How much further can they erode the middle class’s ability to make ends meet?

How many more lies will the American people swallow before they finally rise up and scream, “ENOUGH!”

Resist.! None of this is normal. We don’t have to accept it. The revolution must begin now

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

because this land was made for you and me, not the corporations, not the robber barons, not the elites, and definately not some ignorant, bigoted Orange Turd.

Woody Guthrie – This Land is Your Land

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Freya’s Day

Welcome to another action-packed Friday blog! Let’s get started, shall we?

June Challenge Day 16

I’m still running a mile every day and still doing it in the morning. I know, right? Me, getting up early and running fifteen days in a row? Inconceivable!

I’m not sure what gains I’ve made. I do feel more erect when I walk, so it must be benefiting my core, which is good because I sit at a desk all day at work slouching.

And my legs feel more muscly, less flabby. And as I mentioned before, I feel more sure-footed carrying my elderly, 70-pound dalmatian upstairs at night.

Cardiovasularly, it’s hard to tell if I’m making strides (strides… Running… Ha!). If I push myself to a pace of over 6.7 mph, I tend to start gasping and I’m not sure if that’s helping or hurting my progress. 

I’ve always heard that you should be able to carry on a conversation. Well, that’s only going to happen if I jog at a slow pace, not run, and what’s the fun in that? Besides, I run solo; who am I going to talk to? The television?

Photographic Proof of Bigfoot?

I think I should have taken some semi-naked photos of myself before I started the June Challenge so I could compare and see if I’ve had any visible physical changes. I really regret not taking any “Before” pictures a year and a half ago so I could see how far I’ve come. (I imagine they would resemble a hairless version of the infamous Bigfoot picture.)

Oh. OK. Nevermind. Now that I see him, Bigfoot looks in better shape.

The photos would be helpful because now I look in the mirror and I don’t see much change, but considering I’ve dropped 30 pounds, there must be a change. Photographic evidence woukd have been nice to verify it.

The tape measure, after all, only shows minimal changes in size and that always depresses me. How is it possible that I’m now down to a 34 inch waist in my pants but the tape measure still shows it is 38 inches?!?

Weigh-In Friday

I’m down a pound from last week. I’m at 201.8. I’m still above my lowest weight of 198.6 from back on May 12th.

However, looking back, in the last month I’ve dropped -3.4% in average body fat and gained +2.3% muscle mass. 

So why can’t I lose the weight? Because I love junk food, that’s why. I love salty snacks, especially cheddar and sour cream potato chips. Don’t leave that bag near me or it is gone. Put a few in a bowl and I’ll be fine. Wait. It’s empty already. Just one more bowl.

And last night, I baked the Bigfoot-sized bag of frozen Jeno’s Pizza Rolls for dinner. Sorry, not sorry. Had a craving. Usually I’m good with portion control for dinner, but last night I went a little overboard stuffing those delicious little pizza-filled wonton-like things in my mouth. It was like the old Alka-Seltzer commercial:

https://youtu.be/VFKifpMtlNs

On Becoming an Auto Geek

I’ve never really been a car guy. By that, I mean, a guy who fusses around his cars, spending entire weekends in the garage massaging and oiling and pampering them.

Sure, I like cars. One day, I’d love to get a classic muscle car and attempt to restore it, except we haven’t the garage space for that and to me, a header is the thing at the top of a document.

The closest I came was my 1986 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z. I did change its oil. And I hand washed it. Applied polish. But to be honest, I never understood the process. 

Did you know that polishes and waxes are two totally different things? I didn’t. I learned washing from my dad, who also wasn’t a car guy. You got a bucket of hot, soapy water (dish soap, why spend money on car wash soap?). Then you’d dry it with old beach towels. Then lather on some Turtle Wax. Voila. Done.

And after the Daytona, I kind of lost interest in band washing, mostly for two reasons, 1) We were living in an apartment without access to an exterior hose, so automatic car washes became a habit, and 2) None of our cars really had a very impressive looking paint job.

And up until recently, my philosophy on car washes had devolved to, “If the rain can’t get it clean, it ain’t getting clean.”

That changed when I got the Fiat. Part of the reason I was attracted to it was the paint job, olive green metal flake that sparkles in the sun.

So I’ve been researching how to detail a car to preserve and protect that shine. I’ve spent hours on sites like Autogeek.net watching videos on car detailing.

Thursday, my order from Autogeek.net came. I can’t wait to take my new random orbital polisher and the detailing products to our Vibe and see if I can’t make her shine again. She’s got a bad case of neglected, oxidized paint. White? I thought she was supposed to be dirty dishwater grey?

Stay tuned.

Making Baseball Great Again

Did anyone watch the Congressional Baseball Game last night? It was very enjoyable, and not because the Democrats destroyed the Republicans 11 to 2. 

No, it was enjoyable because you could sense, despite the athletic competition they were in, that there was a sense of comraderie that probably hasn’t been evident in Congress for a long, long time. 

Sad that it took a shooting to make everyone realize that, despite our political beliefs, we’re all still human beings.

And who knows how long it will last.

The part of the game I found touching was (and I swear there was something in my eye), at the end when the Democrats received the trophy for winning, they called out the manager of the Republican’s team and gave it to him to put in the office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana to keep until he recovered from his wounds.

That’s the spirit of cooperation and civility we should all be living every.single.day.

Currently Reading:

The Complete Guide to A Show Room Shine by Mike Phillips

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TGIF

A few thoughts this TGIFriday…

Mile-a-Day Running Challenge

Day 9. If there are any changes or benefits happening to me, they are so subtle that I don’t notice them. Unless you count being stiffer than normal.

Although I have been finding that it seems like it is becoming easier to carry my 70-pound Dalmatian up the stairs to our bedroom at night. 

You see, he’s getting old, and already has one lame back leg, so he has trouble climbing stairs. And if I leave him downstairs, he just whines because he wants to be where my wife and I are.

Therefore, I carry the big galoot. The things we do for our pets. Amirite?

Speaking of Aerobics

I know. No one said anything about aerobics, but I needed a segue. 

I’m curious about the aerobic benefits of running just a mile a day. Last I heard, the advice was that to achieve good cardio fitness you needed 20 to 30 minutes of brisk aerobic activity a day at least 3 times a week. 

Maybe that has changed. I also remember for a while they said to exercise briskly at least 12 minutes to see any aerobic benefits. And more recently they were bandying about the idea that it was all cumulative. So if you ran 5 minutes in the morning, 7 minutes in the afternoon, then you’d only need to exercise 8 minutes in the evening to achieve your goal of 20 minutes total aerobic activity for the day. Sounds like horseshit to me spewed by lazy people.
I’m running a mile, briskly yes, but only for 9 minutes. Am I reaping any aerobic benefits or is it all anaerobic? Like, instead of working my heart and lungs, am I just working my butt? Which isn’t a bad thing if I get a nice butt out of it, I guess.

Ok, I just checked. The American Heart Association now recommends:

  • For Overall Cardiovascular Health — at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise 5 days per week for a total of 150 minutes OR at least 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity AND moderate- to high-intensity muscle strengthening activity at least 2 days per week for additional health benefits.
  • For Lowering Blood Pressure and Cholesterol — 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week.

Now you know. 

Weigh-in Friday

Now your think with running a mile every day I’d lost weight, right? Wrong. I gained again.

I’m up to  202.8 pounds, up 1.8 pounds from my last weigh-in. But I’m not down. Do you know why? Because it looks like my Average Fat percentage went down 3.4% while my Average Muscle Percentage went up 2.3%. 

In other words, while my weight may have increased, I still lost fat and gained muscle. And we all know muscle weighs more than fat, right?

Go me.

Zipper Ajar

Cars have warning pings if you have a door ajar or someone fails to fasten their seatbelt. My Fiat has a particularly annoying ping if someone fails to seatbelt up. 

It would be nice if pants had that feature as well. It would have alerted me twice this week.

Orange Turd rant/

This morning King Orange Turd tweeted, “…and WOW, Comey is such a leaker.” after James Comey, former FOB Director testified on the Hill. 

Really? We’re getting tweets that sound like a 5th Grader wrote them from the Leader of the most powerful nation on Earth? What next? Calling someone lame-o or rat fink? Maybe he’ll start saying things like, “so’s your old man!”

He is an embarrassment to not only the United States, but humanity, as well.

/endrant 

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