Apr 28, 2013

My First 5K - Week 8

Last Week's Progress
We're two months into this circus, a month to go.  Liz logged 15 miles last week and 77 miles total since she started sweating.  Early on, she was only able to walk the workouts.  Now, she's jogging part of the time, and tells me she can do a flight of stairs without being out of breath.  The scale's also getting lighter, keep at it.

This Week
I asked Liz to help put together her training plan for next week.  Haven't heard back yet, so will try and get her input next week.  Let's try this for now:
  • Saturday - 3 mile walk, alternate regular and fast walking every other minute
  • Sunday - 10 mile bike ride
  • Monday - 2 mile fast walk
  • Tuesday - 3 mile walk, alternate regular and fast walking every other block
  • Wednesday - Cross-train for 45 minutes
  • Thursday - Same workout as Saturday, try to finish one minute faster
  • Friday - Rest
Also, go ahead and eat 8 cookies and 2 sodas if you want, the elite Kenyans do (spotted at Drake this morning):


Apr 26, 2013

Beantown - 4, Packet Pickup and Bacon

Beard: I stirred early Sunday morning, the day before the marathon. My folks were washed, dressed and pressed, four eyes trained on me in bed. 

We walked across the street to The Greenhouse restaurant for breakfast at Harvard. Dad and I each ordered the #8 special.  The waiter barraged me with questions:

1. Eggs fried, poached, scrambled, over easy or sunny side up
2. Bacon or sausage
3. Orange or grape juice
4. Coffee or tea
5. Buckwheat, plain or fruit-laced pancakes
6. White, wheat or rye toast
7. Butter or margarine
8. Skim or 2% milk

The menu interrogation was ruthless.  Dad chuckled, then did his best to defeat the pimply waiter: “Yes, I’ll have #8 with poached eggs, bacon, OJ, coffee with creamer, buckwheat cakes, rye toast, butter and 2% milk."

The waiter paused, then a slow smirk: "Do you want light or dark rye toast?  Waiter won.

Apr 23, 2013

Beantown - 3, Walking the Freedom Trail

Beard: Curls checked into the Taj Mahal, then a T ride to Boston Common for packet pickup. The subway cars were full, we stood and grabbed a pipe.  I inadvertently fondled passengers in close proximity with my bony limbs.

Train accelerated, my body pressed firmly and seductively against the burly African-American gentleman behind me. Deceleration, my body thrust forward, face inches from a frightened female stranger, our noses nearly touching and snorting lung exhaust on her glasses.  

It was a traumatic experience for everyone.  

Apr 22, 2013

Beantown - 2, Flying

Beard: It’s 5:30 am, doing my best to get both eyes open and the noggin engaged. Mom and Dad will be traveling east with me, they stayed overnight and we'd fly together. 

Mom yells into the bathroom at Dad:

“What are you doing in there, what’s taking so long?!”

Pause, then, he yells,

“I’m wiping!!! I’ve got to wipe, just wait a minute!!!

I stayed in bed a tad longer to let the tempers and air settle. 

Apr 21, 2013

Beantown - 1, Qualifying

Curls and I ran the Boston Marathon a few years ago, then wrote a joint recap to share with our running group at work.  I'll let you B&P readers in on it, nibble on a chapter a day this week until it's polished off.  

Apr 20, 2013

My First 5K - Week 7

Last Week's Progress
Liz is working hard towards her master's degree.  I laughed then facepalmed when she sent this today:

"The professor we have this quarter is zero on the teaching scale. It looks like I have to self study a lot. I also have couple of assignments due this week.. so I maybe tight on time."

Always amazes me the amount of money it costs for school, coupled with students sometimes ending up with lazy instructors.  Boo!

If the rain holds this week, she's going to try and walk her daughter to school, then get her walk/jog workout done on the long route home.  This is a good way to multitask, getting some exercise along with shuttling the kid to class.

Apr 14, 2013

The Awkward Uninvited House Guest - Cool Ranch Flavor

Last month, Alison and Jay put their 1918 bungalow on the market.  It sold one day later.

Happened again, running buddy Seth and Heather listed their house last week...it was gone in 12 hours.  For $3,000 over the asking price.

I couldn't resist:

Dear Seth, 

I'm inviting myself over to your house for photos and a post.     


Pigtails and I stopped by after dinner last week, they live in my 'hood five minutes away.

Little guy Trigg greeted us with a drooly grin, Riley's tail was a blur.  As with Alison's house visit, doggy photobombed almost every shot.   

My First 5K - Week 6

Liz's 5K is next month in May.  Time to chop-chop and make sure she's ready for game day.

Last Week's Progress
Calf cramps were forcing Liz to shorten some of her workouts, so I suggested adding bananas to her diet.  The extra potassium in naners often does the trick.  Last week, she ate one every couple days, and reported her legs felt better.  She also completed a 3.5 mile workout without stopping, ow-ow!

On the weight loss side, she said:

"Though I am watching what I eat and exercising regularly.. I haven't seen any change in weight this week.  Anything else I can do?"

I responded:

"Curls hit a similar situation with the weight loss, where she lost the first few weeks, then nothing for a week or two.  The body is fighting the weight loss, what you're seeing is normal.  As long as you are hitting your calorie intake goal (1,500 per day or less) and workout goal (about 12 miles per week), the weight will come off in time.

Drink plenty of water, and try to get 6 or 7 hours of sleep.  Too little water and sleep can slow the weight loss."

Apr 11, 2013

Low Income = 2,000 Square Foot House?

Occasionally, a clip plays on the nightly news that sets me on edge and triggers dilation-10 breathing patterns.  Here's one, Des Moines is building a 26-unit low income greystone project to the tune of $6 million.  That works out to $230,000 per, tenants will be on a rent-to-own plan, at $675 a month.

Each home will be 2,000 square feet. 

That is huge.

Am I a just a crotchety old man with his underpants pulled too high or is it overkill to build homes that size for families making $25,000 a year?  More space eats cash with higher:

  -  Purchase price
  -  Property tax
  -  Heating and cooling
  -  Furnishing
  -  Maintenance   

I've been working hard and putting the hours in on the job for over a decade to pay off my modest 1,000 foot ranch.  
Wouldn't it be better to instead offer 52 units at 1,000 square feet each so twice the number of poor people have a roof?  

What do you think?  


Apr 7, 2013

Concrete Kayaking and Adult Diapers

King Kong
Leo lost his red ball.  

Kids these days.

He's been in a panic lately, pacing around and looking at me exasperated.  I picked up a red Kong this weekend to cheer him up.  He knows I've started keeping the ball with me when we're done.  Today I said, "this is the last throw," he took off and wouldn't return it.

My First 5K - Week 5

Last Week's Progress
Knee pain has hampered Liz's progressionShe was able to log 10 miles last week, and things are slowly on the mend.  Her knees are starting to feel better with the new pair of shoes, but her calves are barking:
"I get cramps in the calf area frequently despite stretching.  They are very painful.  How can I deal with them?

Leg cramps can be triggered by a number of things.  I'm guessing the hill workouts the past two weeks are the culprit.  Extra water and eating a banana beforehand might help, since potassium is good for cramps. 

Next Week
We'll dial back on the hills to keep the calves happy.  Here we go, starting from yesterday:
  • Saturday -1 mile walk/jog warmup, then walk a half mile, then jog a half mile
  • Sunday - 3 miles, alternate 1 minute walking, 1 minute jogging
  • Monday - Rest, take the day off if sore or casual walk 2 miles if the legs feel good
  • Tuesday - 3 miles, alternating walking and jogging every other block
  • Wednesday - Sweaty smorgasbord, pick an activity of your choosing that gets your heart pumping for 30 minutes.  Run, bike, elliptical, unicycle or group fitness class.  Key here is you need to work hard.  If using a machine like an elliptical, set the level high enough that your heart and breathing are thumping and it's difficult to hold a conversation.
  • Thursday - Same workout as Saturday, but try to finish it one minute faster
  • Friday - Rest
 Nearly halfway there!