Saturday, November 28, 2009

Turkey Bowl .. Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving morning started with my Thursday weight routine. I know it is Thanksgiving, but I also know that to miss a day makes it easier to miss another .. and another and ... so today I have many reason to be thankful - including being able to do my Thursday routine. (I think this routine is in a previous posting, so I won't put it here.)

That left a little less than an hour to prepare and cook the potatoes and sweet potatoes for the mid-day meal.
Shortly after 8 it was off to the Annual Turkey Bowl - touch football game. There were around 20 of us playing: teenagers to me - the most senior present. It was a lot of fun and nobody got hurt. Some left with some aches and tender spots, and others (myself included) had some the next day from the sprinting. We played for around 90 minutes.

Then it was back home to help with dinner: forming the rolls, making mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes and gravy. My wife and kids made the remaining items. It was a plentiful meal and all 11 of us had plenty. We were 5 generations. We also played 'knock out' - which is becoming a family tradition too as my son-in-law is a basketball player.

No run in the evening on this day ... to full, tired and no interest! I hope you all were able to reflect and have a nice Thanksgiving.

[Photos: Turkey Bowl Shots - most of us on the field, me throwing a pass, some of us walking down to receive the kick (myself and two of my kids included).]

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wed - Training with my Wife...

Wed morning is my legs and core focus - no real weight lifting, but rather a circuit training for my legs and core. I told my wife the plan for the morning workout (in rough detail) and invited her to join me - to which she said sure! Cool!

Space was a little tight, as my workout area is not very spacious. I copied the routine from last Wed to this weeks page and added another exercise to the circuit for the lower back. We started with the warm ups: twisting, side stretches, hanging knee raises, leg raises, punching bag and crunches. These are meant to get the blood flowing and loosen up the joints, muscles and get focused on the task at hand.

We then started the circuit. I normally do it 4 times - or 4 sets. Each set consists of the following exercises: squats, calves, jumping, good mornings, leg raises, crunches and lastly arm and leg kick backs - 7 exercises normally done one after the other taking ~10 minutes for a set. The first set today took ~40 minutes..., but it was a lot of fun doing them with my wife. It was fun coaching her and she commented about how she used to go to the gym before we were dating (25 yrs ago) to watch me work out. We giggled, had fun, admired each other and had a great time together - something that we (like most) need to do more of. It was nice to share something that I've done so many times - but never with my wife before. One set was all she was up to today - but she still has her own routine of walking the dogs, running and skating, and using a balance ball for core exercises too.

The next three sets took around 30 minutes - and were good at raising my body temperature and putting the hurt on some of my body. This is my fourth week back after a long (cycling) season of being off, but there have been years before this of consistent time in different weight routines and exercises - so I'm pleased with the reclamation of lost territory.

In the afternoon I was able to get out for a run. I was thinking 6+ miles, but once I started I noticed how tired my legs were (like I said it was a good work out this morning). So instead I ran to the school and did some track work: running the straights at 3/4+ speed and recovering on the corners. I did 8 laps of that. I then ran back the long way and put in 5.2 miles. The Avg pace for the whole time was just under 9 min/mi: not moving very fast, but just glad to keep moving.

Tomorrow morning is Thanksgiving. I am planning on getting up early and getting my Thursday routine in, then do some meal preparation and then head out for the Turkey Bowl (flag and tackle football game). Then back home to help more and share a wonderful meal with my family: all five generations. From my Grandma to my Granddaughter. We will take some time to reflect and give thanks - the very least we can do: "I have so much to be thankful about."

Tuesday - Training with my Kids...

As has become normal for this week, Tuesday was a bit later getting to the weights; so about midway through my youngest daughter came to check on me (as she occasionally does). Since she was there and asking soooooo many questions, I decided it was time to 'work her in' to the morning workout.[Now I agree with the common thought relating to children and lifting weights: that being not to do it. Rather than lift any weights, I let her do the motions in proper form with just the tension of the pulleys and cables and gravity.]

Her work out was:
- she likes to hang on the pull up bar, so I timed her for that
- I had her work the heavy punching bag for a while
- we both did some curls using the lower pulley; working on proper form and technique
- we had a hanging competition, but she started using her legs to try to knock me off (which I reciprocated and promptly fell off myself)
- she did some leg raises on the other piece of equipment (I don't know what it's called: you can do pull-ups, dips, core stuff, ...)
- ... about 15 minutes of this and she was ready to go out and play with the dogs some more.

When I came home for lunch and a run, my middle daughter was out front between our house and the neighbors and was kicking soccer balls into the street. She's working on her long kicks. So, I came out and worked with her some. Eventually there was a neighbor kid and another sibling joining us. It was fun, but took the time of my run, so it was lunch and back to work.

That evening I went for a run in the dark again. I wore my Garmin this time, but choose not to look at it at all during the run. Sometimes just looking at it changes how I feel about how I'm running. So I didn't allow myself to analyze the run while I was doing it - And that was nice.

When I was done I saw that my avg. pace was 8:28 for my normal route. That's a little faster than my average pace for the previous week. It felt quicker but still comfortable: maybe I just need to continue to allow some time to get my legs about me and the times will slowly come down. My AHR was 139. Still a little low for maximum aerobic conditioning.

It was a nice training with my girls today after bouncing with my youngest son the day before. And the Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl will be with my oldest son: and a bunch of others (mostly younger than myself); youth, college aged and other adults of various ages - Even a few of us Grandpas! We'll start with touch and end with tackle - or so the tradition is.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Weights and a run and...

With the kids home for Thanksgiving break, my routine is always challenged. In part from the nights being later since the kids don't have school to go to first thing in the morning. So, I tend to be up later which makes getting up early harder. Today was no exception.

I did get a nice Monday routine in with the weights, but just not as early as I would have liked. I also got a run in, but after work instead of during lunch. I was heading out for my run when I ended up out back bouncing on the trampoline with my youngest - which lead to him discovering the fly. So, I ran in and got my camera and 20 minutes later and at least as many photos, it was to late to get out for a run during lunch. It was a good exchange though - bouncing with my son and a cool fly shoot vs. my normal run. And the run this evening was in the dark with out my Garmin - so it was almost like a naked run; except for the blinky tail light.
A public thanks to Frances for identifying the pretty flowering weed in my last entry: "Even weeds have a name, this one with the pinky flowers is henbit, Lamium amplexicaule." She has a great blog on flowers and gardens and some very spectacular photos too. And she has a Canon PowerShot A710 IS - as do I.

[Photos: weights just waiting to be used, a fly on the trampoline.]

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A three week review

It's been three weeks now since I stated in a previous blog entry (I feel the need for some Discipline!) that it was time to get some more discipline and order as my life was running wild, or wild for me. With that week I started back on the weights and trying to run consistently: planned activities for 6 days / week.

This past week I was able to get in all my planned workouts; 5 with the weights and 5 runs - the second time in these last three weeks. My total mileage was 34 with a weekly avg of just under 9 min/mi. Yesterdays long run was 12.6 miles at 8:52 - about 10 seconds/mi slower than my normal pace (which means I should try to push myself a little harder during the shorter runs- something I already knew but have been struggling with).

Strength: as I look over my log from three weeks ago and compare it to the one for this past week I can see similar routines with more reps at the same weight or higher weights or extra exercises:
- pull ups (very hard for me) [4,5,2,2,3,2] Tues week 1 vs Tue last week [5,6,3,2 1/2,3,2] and my pull up ladder on Th went to 4 where the first week it didn't
- bench press has a couple more reps through out the weight range
- most all exercises are showing some small improvements
- I've also added more time in warm up with stretching and I've added some crunches there as well
- I am also noticing that I am putting on a little muscle (hopefully that would be the reason for my weight increasing ~2lbs since starting 3 weeks ago)
- The last two work out this week also felt better - not quite so mentally difficult: this is a good sign.
- Plans: follow the same routine for another 3 weeks as I think there are still benefits here to be gained

Running: has been enjoyable again, but I've not been pushing myself very hard.
- I've been struggling a bit with motivation to push hard and have instead just allowed myself to run at an easy/comfortable pace (usually just under 9 min/mi)
- Yesterdays 1:50 run, when it was all done seemed like I had only been gone 20 minutes!?
- My long run had an AHR of 139 - much like the previous days of this week: 140, 137, ?, 139.
- I know I would have more Aerobic benefits if I would push harder a couple days a week, but I've not been able to successfully do this recently - not sure why.
- Plans: to try again to get at least one run/week in at a higher pace/HR.

Weight: not much to say here. I'm not loosing any weight - actually gained 2 lbs since getting back to the weights 3 weeks ago. I'm not going to say it's all muscle, but I do know my lean tissue is increasing. I would expect by the end of this next three week cycle to see my fat decrease and probably have a reduction in weight. None the less, for each lb of muscle gained - I get the benefit of 50 more calories per day being burned up.

My key reminder this week: life is relational. It's much more than setting goals, attaining goals, being successful, prosperous, or anything else like that: those are some of the many tools of the trade of life, but not life itself. IMO the real work and satisfaction of life is relational - with God, family, friends, strangers, riding buddies, people we see at the store, on the street, ... where ever life takes us for as long as we have. With Thanksgiving coming this week - it's something to be mindful of.

[Photos: a tiny flower on a weed out back, but on close examination it is very pretty and fascinating, a nice yellow flower out front, even a tall blade of grass towers over this pretty flowering weed.]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Quit complaining and eat your vegetables."

Depending on your age, you have likely heard this and maybe even said it too. It's a saying that tries to capture a couple different ideas and tie them together. Today in my run - that was the thought that came to mind as I was mildly disappointed that I wasn't wanting to push myself harder to run faster; disappointed that it didn't feel better/wasn't easier; basically just wanting more results than my investment has had time to yield.

For me this thought was clear and direct: "Why am I complaining - at least I'm able to exercise?" My runs these days often feel like eating vegetables that I'm not fond of, but will eat (on occasion) because they are good for me. (Beat juice would be one such example.) There are many people that don't have vegetables or food enough to eat; and so too there are many that can't or don't exercise enough to maintain an active lifestyle or even worse yet, don't exercise enough to stay healthy.

So for now I am going to continue to allow myself to run for fun and back off the training aspect of wanting to see to much in the area of pace improvements. I'm going to do the same with the weights. I'm only back in my 3rd week after 8+ months off and the difficulties with some of the exercises (pull ups and dips to name a couple) I'm just going to allow and accept as appropriate for the place that I'm currently at. I need to persevere through this time of investment.

I am seeing results - the vegetables are helping me. Here's to eating your vegetables with out complaining!

[Monday and Tuesday - weights in the AM and runs later in the day. Aiming for 5 work outs with the weights and 5 runs each week. This is an investment that should yield a return .. soon.]

Monday, November 16, 2009

No long run Sat

... instead it was a time with other men and especially my youngest son and even a little bit with my oldest son too. It was the weekend of our Men's retreat: where we head out to some property and eat together, camp, have some teaching, sharing and do some cool things: skeet shooting, hand guns, etc...

I put up a 'large' tent that my youngest son and I slept in. We got there after dark, so It was a little challenging putting up a tent in the dark that I've never seen before. We only stayed Friday night due to a commitment for Saturday night already - but J. likes to camp.

There were parts of the property that were very wet : I got stuck in my pathfinder for about 15 minutes. Others also got stuck and I rescued / pulled out a truck on Saturday from the middle of a field that was difficult even for the 4 wheel drive.

In the morning J. and I went for a walk before breakfast and enjoyed seeing all the different flowers, weeds, animal tracks and etc: he likes to pick them, I like to take pictures of them.

Later in the day we got to do some shooting and that was fun. And towards the end of the afternoon when we were heading out J. and I had a little time with my oldest son too. He spent some time with his little brother (who enjoyed the four-wheeler rides and shooting his paint ball gun) - and I enjoyed seeing them enjoy being together!

[Photos: different shots from the time at the men's retreat.]

Weights & Home work

Friday morning started with my second Friday weight routine. It was nice to get in a second week of 5 times with the weights. This is my goal for the weights. Doing it in the early morning M-F aids in it being a regular time as I'm usually here and don't plan other things.. yet. (But, I knew this was my last formal exercise for the week: sure there is exercise in everyday active living - but that's not what I'm talking about here as formal exercise.)

Once the kids were gone it was into my youngest daughters bedroom where the carpet has been pulled up for a couple of weeks now and get it ready to put down some laminate wood flooring. My friend K. and his 9 yr old son came over and assisted me. Having the extra help was GREAT! They left at noon and it was my intent to stop at noon too ... but the room was so close to being done. So about two hours later I stopped and all but the closet was done. (I had to rip a half inch strip down the last wall and some other custom cutting for the threshold - but it looks very nice now.) Sunday afternoon I finished the closet. Doorways are tough and this was no exception as I made several cuts that were incorrect: probably one bad cut for every correct one - I'm thankful we had the extra boards to cover my mistakes.

It was good to get the "Home work" done with a day of vacation, help of a friend and time on Sunday.

[Photos: flooring and continuous through into the closet.]

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A cluttered desk...

... a cluttered desk is often a symptom or sign of a life that is too full - or so it is in my case. If you want to know how my life is, the untouched up photo of my desk from earlier this week (unfortunately it's even worse today) speaks louder than several hundred words here could.

I try to keep the big rocks, but these days it seems like not even all the big rocks are getting done. No answers for this today... I know the simple techniques and choices - but the difficulty comes in making the many daily choices.

Wed and Th morning == two more bricks in the wall. I switched up the Wed leg routine to do different exercises with my bench attachment for thighs and hamstrings still broken (and no replacement part available from the manufacturer) - so I added some light squats and good mornings.

The fullness of these last days has made running one of the big rocks that didn't make it into the days activities. I did take a reflective 4 mile walk Wed around lunch time. That was nice. No walk or ride walks for Thursday.

Friday I'm planning on the weights in the morning and then working on a home project as I use a vacation day.

Saturday is already to full for a long run, so I'll only have 2 runs in for this week ... consistency is so difficult. Hopefully next week I'll get 5 and 5 again. That's my hope; with out sacrificing other big rocks.

[Photos: my desk in it's current state (and need of attention), breakfast this morning when my oatmeal concoction just didn't sound good...]

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Two more bricks in the building...

Monday and Tuesday were 'Two more bricks in the building" - meaning they weren't anything particularly special, other than they were faithfully done. Had they not been done - then that would be noted as two "Missing" bricks.

Nutrition wise I've been doing pretty good - except for some red vines and some small bowls of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (Blue Bell Ice Cream). After my morning workouts I'm drinking a soy milk, whey protein powder, almond powder, carob powder and a little cayenne pepper. (I can fill a little burn on my throat from the cayenne pepper.) Then I'll cook my oatmeal concoction for my breakfast meal.

For lunch I've been making two peanut butter-jelly-spinach-black pepper sandwiches. (The black pepper is new and came to me after trying a seasonal nut that had a coating on it that included black pepper.) My appetite has stepped up a notch due to the increased exercise, so I'm trying to be careful in my drinking of water and snacking of good foods at regular times.

Monday was the weights in the AM and then my normal route for a lunch run. The weights didn't hurt as much as they did last week; and after a week of getting back into the routine of getting up early It's becoming a little bit fun/enjoyable again (Except for part of Tu and Fr as I do pull ups on those days - and those are still quite difficult for me). The run was a bit later in the lunch break as I was trying to finish a task at work, so I turned on my 8 min/mi alert (beeps when I go slower) and heard it remind me to pick up the pace several times and point along the route until I turned it off half way through... Numbers: 7:58/mi Avg, 151 AHR, 165 MHR.

Tuesday was similar with the weights and different on the run. I did a moderate pace for a little longer 6.9 miles with one of those miles being a maximum effort. As I've said before, and will now repeat: running hard/fast is difficult for me. I have never run a sub-six minute mile, so I don't really expect to now that I'm in my 40's (although it would be an amazing thing if I did - so it's kind of a dream goal). The mile loop (according to my Garmin) was done in 6:31 with AHR of 162 and MHR of 170. I've had a 6:26 when I ran with Wes earlier this year, but this was my best effort on this day.

During that short 1 mile loop I was ready to back off or stop long before the end: it was a small struggle compared to other life issues - but at that time is was my biggest struggle and one that had to be won or surrendered to. Life is full of challenges that are much more significant than running a mile hard. Part of the benefit of pushing past those limits where the body wants to stop, is the memory and experience that goes with me for future events that require a similar perseverance. Running a hard mile has some value on its own. But a life that has been trained by many of these experiences is like a wall that can support ... the more significant things of life!

So the moral of my two days of exercise is simply - they are bricks in a wall that supports much Greater things; they are my attempts to be faithful with what I've been given.

[Photos: bricks in a wall, protein drink before mixing (after morning work out).]

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Ten workouts this week, as planned

[The photo is my weights log book for this week. I log times, weights, reps, sets, and make notes. I also track rest times and other time information. I've got lots of these pages...]

M-Th: weights in the morning and a run later in the day.
F: just weights in the morning.
S: a longer run in the afternoon.
That totals up to 5 times with the weights: three different focuses and two days on all but the legs which are done on Wed to give 48 hrs rest in between the M Th and T Fr routines. It is my experience over the last few years that working each group twice a week will have results. I'm not looking for huge muscles, but rather to see a continued increase in strength: and that is still my goal and measuring stick.

For my run today I was able to run part of one of my bike routes. My wife and youngest two were in M at the soccer fields, so I ran there after getting back from my middle daughters soccer game. Google had it at 14.4 miles, but my Garmin said 13.49 when I stopped at 2 hrs as my wife and kids pulled up beside me after just leaving the soccer fields. It is the longest run I've done in the last few years.

I typically run loops, so this was the longest 'out' run ever. It was a little different seeing things on the horizon 4-5 miles away and then to know that I was supposed to run there .. and then keep going. The run was almost due South and into the wind. Normally I would get to turn around and have the wind to my back - but today it was into the wind almost the whole way.

My unit has gone missing, so the numbers from memory were 13.49 miles, 2 hrs, 8:56/mi Avg, 2020 calories.

Summary: most of my soreness from the weights is gone now - except for my calves which are still a little sensitive. Some totals for the week:
- ~32 miles run
- ~4.5 hrs running
- ~3.5 hrs lifting weights
- calories burned through exercise ~6600
- weight loss ZERO!
- energy and positive effects ... present but hard to measure

My hope is to follow this pattern for the rest of the year. Some variation of course, but much of the same structure.

Photos in the night

The photos are from out back last night. I like time exposed photos. The moon has been amazing for the last week; and even with it so bright in the sky the stars have been bright too.

It was windy, so I used my flash light to illuminate the flag while I took a 15 second exposure using my tripod. The moon of course is over exposed, as the shots that I've taken of it are around 1/320 of a second - so it's over exposed by 4800 times...

The flag is at half mast as a token of respect for the victims of the Fort Hood shooting that killed 13 people. As requested my flag of this Great Country will remain at half mast through Veterans Day on November 11th.

I'm glad to be able to have my 30' pole mounted to the top of my basket ball goal - which puts it up over 40 feet when it's flying at full mast: able to be clearly seen from the front of the house. City ordnance's allow a 50 foot pole ... maybe some day! :-)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Nov 5th and running with out a shirt

This morning was my second workout this week targeted on half of my upper body. It's similar to Mondays exercises but with some variation in weights, reps, rest time between sets, grips, ... maybe only similar in the base exercises and targeted muscles.

The main exercises were: punching bag and hanging knees for general warm up; bench (similar to Monday but with longer rest between sets, not going to failure on middle weights and adding a set of higher weight), decline (close grip), incline (dumbbells), triceps rope pull down, triceps bar push down and then dips. By that time I had been greeted by my youngest daughter and I was pretty much done anyways.

At lunch it was my regular route; and with the aching calves I didn't have any pace related goals. It was another one of those beautiful days we've been having. I told my wife if I wasn't so proud I'd run with out my shirt. She said I should anyways and I shouldn't be so proud or worried about how I look ... (content missing here). She convinced me, and it was very nice to run shirtless today. I haven't done that since the summer. Fall is a beautiful time here. As for the numbers: 8:45/mi avg, 141 AHR, 166 MHR.

Tomorrow will be back to a single work out - weights in the morning and no run at lunch. Saturday should also be a single workout - long run in the morning is the plan. So, no run tomorrow in hopes of resting my legs a bit for a longer run on Sat. I'm pleased with the way the weeks going so far.

I'd like to maintain 5 weight workouts and 5 runs each week for the rest of the year. That'd put me in a good spot for a Jan or Feb half marathon or maybe even my first full one .. And then there's the transition to preparing for the upcoming cycling season. :-) We'll see how it all unfolds...

Aching spreads

Yesterdays workouts (weights in the morning and run at lunch) happened as desired - but the details of each wasn't quite what I had planned on.

The morning started with the weights. It was lower body / legs. I have an attachment on my bench that is used for exercising the quadriceps and hamstrings and I use that as part of my routine. I've had this bench for 7 years now, so it has served me well - but the leg attachment failed during my last set. Thankfully the weights didn't fall on me and cause an injury. (Maybe I'll see if all that metal shop is paying off with my son and see what his thoughts are - I too took metal shop and have some ideas of my own...)

Back to exercise: the weight routine was 4 sets of increasing weights/differing routines. Each set was quad exercises (Left, Right, Both - LRB), calve raises LRB, jumping in place LRB, hamstring LRB and hanging knee raises. It's been a good workout for me in the past and yesterday was no exception. I found that the overuse injury that I'm nursing on the inside of my left knee wasn't able to handle the individual hamstring exercises. So, I used ice on it while sitting at my desk through out the day for the last couple of days. (I know this is what Lyle would say to do - so I'm just doing it.)

At lunch I was wanting to run a little further at a moderate pace and then do a faster mile. But ... that wasn't to be. I started, but was never able to get my pace up. I'm guessing it was from the work out in the morning. So I ran my normal route, but at a slower pace (9:30/mi avg). My AHR was 136 and MHR 150. I consider it a recovery type of run. I wasn't pushing hard, but just moving was stretching and using the muscles in a low stress way. I was completely not driven by my pace, but was trying to keep my HR down and keep moving. (This level of exercise also helps me to be more effective in thinking and praying as less of my thoughts are used on keeping my body to the exercise task.)

This morning I woke to sore and aching calves - certainly due to the focused attention yesterday morning. It's still uncomfortable to stretch as many muscle groups all over my body are aching now. My hands also are tender and aching from holding the various bars with weights.

[Photo: showing the broken attachment that holds the weights for let exercises on my bench.]

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two for Two

[Photo: protein drink this morning: 1 apple, spinach, protein powder, soy milk, ice]

was my second day of starting early with the weights .. and getting a run in later in the day. The weight routine today included (punching bag, various flavors of pull ups, lat pull downs, upright row, lower pulley curls, bar bell curls, dumbbell curls and hammer curls). The running was later and ended in the dark. It was my normal 4.8 mi loop - I wore my blinky light for safety. I turned the pace alarm off and just ran at a comfortable pace - it was nice.

I am continuing to have muscles express their dismay over the starting back up of the training. How you may ask: by aching, tightness, tenderness .. through my shoulders, chest, back and likely my legs after tomorrow. The joys of training.

Tomorrow I should do a lower body weight routine in the morning and then I'd like to do a longer run, with a fast mile in the middle. The weather has been beautiful these last few days .. to the point of wanting to be outside all day (not good for someone with a mostly desk job).

Nutrition wise I'm doing pretty good. Not eating as much; not snacking as much; only had a small serving of Homemade Vanilla Blue Bell ice cream tonight; had yummy spinach and albacore salads for lunch; protein drinks and oat meal after the morning work out ... making much better choices.

I feel the need for some Discipline!

I feel the need for some 'Discipline'!

Let me explain: Discipline isn't a bad thing, nor should it always invoke fear or uncomfortableness. The discipline that I'm speaking of is the kind that helps us to make choices that may not be easy, but help us to keep heading the direction we really want to go; rather than getting caught in the ambient current of entropy and/or sluggardness.

My life has been crazy with mostly family activities (can you say soccer dad); and because of that I've allowed myself to get pretty undisciplined in the normal areas (getting enough rest, not eating everything that 'looks' good, regular exercise, ... etc) that I have to help me stay in balance and focused. So this week I've started back on some of those big rocks: getting to bed early, getting up early, using the weights before breakfast, running at lunch, reigning in my appetite, starting the process of loosing ~ 8 lbs.

Monday: using the weights by 6 AM so I can be around with the younger kids as they head off to school. I have 6 different routines (with some additional variation) that train 3 general areas twice a week. So a full work out with weights is ~40 minutes done 6 days / week - giving 48+ hours recovery time for each general area. This has worked well for me in the past and I expect it will again. It's been about 7 months and I am feeling the soreness associated with using's a nice soreness; a soreness that leads to improvement. (Specific exercises in this days routine: Punching bag, hanging knees, bench press, decline, incline dumbbells, butterflies, tri pull downs, dips.)

I also went for a run during lunch: 4.8 miles, with the alarm set to tell me when I'm running slower than 8 min/mi. Numbers: 36:16, AHR 158, MHR 178, APace 7:44/mi. Sometimes I feel silly for posting my information when there are others who are running 100 miles / week and at much faster paces, but it's important to remember why I'm training: I'm training to be able to do MY best; I train because it helps me to not be grumpy with my wife and kids; I train so I can be fit and wrestle with my 16 yr old; so I can carry my 2 yr old grand daughter, do work, ... so many reasons. Maybe even some day to the an Ironman or solo RAAM ...

[Photos: are of a butterfly that was filling up on the flowers on the porch.]

8.5 mile week

I can't say I know what happened exactly, but I only got two runs in last week - and short ones at that. It gives my left knee some extra time to recover and heal, so that will be good hopefully.

After having such a low week for exercise - I've set some new goals. Not everyone is the same in this area - some can exercise with out goals and/or a plan. But I know that I need some concrete goals with some milestone events in there to measure my progress; I need to track and log progress. The journey and end results are good for me though. So, my next entry will talk about my new goals.

It's an easy time of the year to get undisciplined and unhealthy: I would encourage you to make choices and not just 'slide' into behaviours and/or exercise habits, but instead consider things carefully and intentionally. :-)
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