Friday, April 30, 2010

Juice Fasting...

Thursday was the start of a Juice Fast. This one is different as my wife and I are doing it together.

We both started the day with exercise, independent of each other: me in the garage with the weights and she on a bike with a girl friend. I was making juices while the kids were getting ready for school.

We sat down together after they were taken to school for our juice meal. Before us were four jars of freshly made juices, vacuum sealed (to keep out the air) until we were ready to drink them. This morning we juiced carrots, spinach, grapefruit, sweet potato, orange, lemon, kiwi, pear and apple. I made one container of spinach and another of carrot. Then the other two were combinations of carrot and the others. (Carrot is a good 'cleaner' of the juicer, so I run it through after softer fruits, or at the end of the spinach to squeeze out all the spinach juices.)

The first we had was spinach and carrot. It looked like a fluid that you'd put in your car (my wife said), but the flavor wasn't too strong and was actually good. Then we had some of the fruit juices - diluted with water.

I usually use psyllium husks to add volume to keep my bowls moving during a juice fast, but am going to use enema's instead this time. (Psyllium can be mucus forming, so I'd like to have as much 'cleaning' benefit as possible from this juice fast.) I will leave most of those details out, although they are an important indicator of how the cleaning is going.

Before heading out the door I had a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar with some water. I'm not taking my supplements during the fast. I am planning on keeping all my regular exercise. I'm not going to be taking any whey protein drinks after working out - which is something I've done off and on in the past. The key here is to allow as much cleaning and detoxing as possible.

I had 30+ ounces of water by 10:30; used the restroom 5 times; and am looking forward to sharing this experience with my wife. She says she's done this before, but I'm not sure how long, so it will be neat to kind of 'coach' her through this and see how it impacts her physically, emotionally and the rest.

Small group ride (three of us), but a good one with all the wind. Afterwards I fixed juice for my wife and Mathew.

We made some broth from some warmed water with garlic, onion, bell peppers, cabbage, celery, cayenne pepper, mustard, black pepper and I cant remember everything else I put in there. We then warmed it and then strained it and drank the broth: not bad actually.

The skin is vital for getting rid of toxins, so I used the luffa sponge in the shower. I had three bm's naturally by noon and then an enema that evening before bed. Day one ... ending.

[Sleep was good (Th night), HR was down just a little (as is normal). Expect to be a little cooler today (Fr) and have a lower HR. Worked out this morning, but a little less intensely. Am ready to make and drink some juice (a little bit hungry). Scale says 4.8 lbs difference. I would say most of that was in the further emptying of my colon with nothing filling it up.]

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Two for Two so Far

[Photo: some extra garlic that I pressed this evening. I put some on my garlic bread, and this will end up in tomorrow salad. Garlic is very good for us, so I eat it often. Some people say I smell like garlic, but I don't smell it, so they must be pulling my leg ... ]

Monday morning was my normal workout, but I worked out with the garage door open (I forgot to close it the night before). So that allowed me when laying down on the bench to be able to look out and see the transformation of the sky. It started out dark, then lighter on the horizon and dark up higher, then clouds, then more light, then some pinks, then orange .. it was quite a sunrise. I would have got my camera, but I didn't want to wake anyone else up. It was a nice addition of a dimension to the workout.

The workout is still the circuit type - bench, dips, etc... with short (30 seconds) or no rest in between exercises.

Later in the day my wife and I did our two mile run together and then our 3.2 mile run/bike together. The first two miles were at 9:38 pace and the last 3.2 miles were at 7:21 pace. It was a gorgeous day and nice to be able to run.

Tuesday morning was mixed up with a different schedule for the kids. So the weights were done in the evening before dinner. Nothing real notable. Just glad to get it in and see a little improvement again. During lunch I was able to enjoy a 7 mile run with 1 mile at a little faster pace of 7:10 and the avg pace for the 7 miles at 8:10. It was good to run for fun and allow my mind to think of other things.

Last week was the first week that I had all five strength training sessions in several weeks. I'm hoping for a repeat this week and have M and Tu on track so far.

Tomorrow should be work out with my wife and running. Thursday should be weights and then a group ride with a new rider joining us. Should be a lot of fun.

Life continues to be full - and good.

That's all folks .. don't forget to say why you're saying I love you to the person you're saying it to. It is sure to improve your relationship in BIG ways!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Love Training...

Not, do you love training? But rather, this is about 'love training'.

What do you do when your spouse says you are saying "I Love You" so much that it doesn't have any meaning? Do you have a pity party? Get angry? Stop saying it? Shutdown? There are many not helpful responses, but I think my wife and I are on to something BIG here...

This last week I started a "NEW" practice - at the request of my wife. Rather than saying I love you, I first started thinking about why was I feeling love for her right now? Then I would say something like; "If I were to say I Love you right now, I would mean that I ...." and I'd describe the reasons for wanting to let her know that I love her. Then with that communicated, I could say "I Love You" and the meaning was clear and known to us both.

The result has been really neat for both of us. For me: to have to think about what I'm trying to express and then actually trying to express that. I'm finding that what I'm expressing can be quite different, even though in the past I would have used the same three words to express it. So for example, after our exercise today, I told her that if I were to say that I loved her I would be saying that I appreciated her riding with me, coaching me, encouraging me, helping me to work hard and not leaving me behind - then I told her that I loved her - and she knew what I really was trying to express. For her: it seems to me that she's opening up and wanting to 'hear' what I'm wanting to express. It's almost like I'm able to see further into her eyes - like she's more open to hear my efforts at deeper and more meaningful communication of thoughts and feelings. Even though the idea was hers, she hasn't started doing it much yet, but I did ask her this evening after she said she loved me, "Why?": So she too shared what she was wanting to communicate in those familiar words and it was very nice to hear why she was wanting to express her love to me.

A parallel is apologies. How many of us like to be told "I'm sorry." Nothing else, just that? Not me. When I hear those words, I will usually ask a question, "What are you sorry for?" Then I can understand what they are sorry for and it leads to a better understanding as the speaker has to think about what they are really wanting to say, and the hearer gets to listen with out having to guess what they are trying to communicate. I've been doing this for quite some time (read many years - and requiring my kids to do the same).

So, just as earnestly as I would encourage you to add some interval training to your running and cycling workouts, so I also encourage you too try out this replacement for "I love you." Make an effort to say "Why" you are wanting to express your love, and then finish with those familiar 3 words - where they will now have specific meaning and communicate deeply. Take the risk, open your heart, this is your spouse - go for it!

Just trying to pass on something that has taken us years to discover. Try it, I bet your relationship will like the results!

[Photos: more nice roses, fruit from the Mulberry tree.]

Friday, April 23, 2010

Trading Progress for Perseverance

[Photos: "I'm Loved", my youngest son winding up for a 5' 8" jump, lunch time salads ... yummy!]

The weeks continue .. and so does life. Often it seems the events of a day are what would normally occur over a week; and the events of a week are those of a normal month. So it is in my life ... again and again; living months in weeks and weeks in days...

Indoor Soccer:
We had another game last night, 2nd one for me (missed the last two Sunday games). The first game caught me off guard 2 1/2 weeks ago: I thought I was in pretty good shape, but the high intensity running had me winded in 5 minutes. I had been running, but not doing any intervals or high intensity training. So that next Monday my wife and I started our current routine where we run together at her pace (2 mi) then she rides with me while I run (3.2 mi) at a challenging pace for me (usually 7:30 range).

We've been doing this for 2 1/2 weeks now and I was much better off Tuesday night at the game: not the winded problem of the first game. We lost, but it was fun. I got to score two goals: one header and one by foot.

Strength Training:
I missed my Friday routine last week, so I had 4 times including Wed with my wife. This week I got in all 5 routines; what has become a rarity these last weeks. I've backed down just a small bit on some of the weights where I felt like I was sacrificing 'good form' for number of repetitions. Over all strength seems to have plateaued for the last 3 weeks, but with all that is going on I'm OK with that and am just working on persevering at this point. This is week 25 - with just the one week off due to sickness.

We're still doing our run/ride combo 3 days a week. Wed we saw a new PR in the run with my wife! She's still complaining some, but her times are getting faster. It's fun doing together. I ran 7.6 mi on Tue, but at a relaxed 8:40 avg and 138 avg HR.

I cycled last Th at lunch and did again this week. Last week it was just me and Ron. This week it was Ron, Steve and I. Every time I get on my bike .. I think how fun it is to ride, to go fast .. it's a fun sport! I am only riding once a week now, and before it was none. Just no time since it's not my priority right now.

I got a call from Ed who will be visiting next week .. with his bike. So, I expect to get a beating when we go riding as he too is a ferret, but I expect he's in much better cycling shape than I - and he will probably enjoy putting the 'hurt' on me at least one or twice on our ride! :-)

Pretty much the same successes and struggles here - mostly eating well, but eating to much. Did have an encounter last week with some bears, the small gooey kind ... but I eventually was victorious after their population was taken to zero (I'm speaking of gummy bears). Salads prevail for lunch; protein drinks after the morning workout and oatmeal for myself and wife after the kids are gone. I'm trying to cut back on snacking and desserts.


The priority in the area of health right now is to not over eat, strength training and running. Along that path I'd like to see my weight come back down 7 lbs or so. (It's not good when you eat 5 lbs of gummy bears in a week....)

As I started this write up, so I will end it: with the fullness of life. The Bible talks of how the things we go through will later be used to help others. What I'm experiencing right now is that while the paint is still wet and even still splattered on my face .. it's time to help others. It's not my goal or desire to have an 'easy' life, but rather a 'full' and 'good' life - and that's what it is.

My life feels like a hike right now: where the trail changes (rocky, dangerous, level, steep up and down, wide, narrow with overgrown brush, wild animals - some small and some big, ..) and the weather changes (sun rises, sets, dark cold nights, beautiful days, intense downpours, a rainbow, ..).

Sometimes the uphills aren't so bad in the middle of the day, but in the dark of night in a downpour ... sometimes I just have to look for shelter and continue when it's safer.

So, my desire is to persevere: even when it's more than I can handle alone, for in those times I experience the intimate care of my God: and what can be more important that that?! (Not getting another rep, not another PR, not loosing more weight, not ... nothing!) Life can be challenging, but that's OK.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mystery Bug - Exposed

The previous photo is of a "Mayfly", or that's what my wife and I think it is. We have many of them around these days; sometimes we refer to them as mosquito eaters, but I'm not certain what fact that is based on...

The Mayfly was on the window of our car drinking the drew from the windshield. :-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mystery Bug

My daughter saw this this morning as she was heading off to school. So, she does what every kid would do; she calls her Dad to "get the camera!" :-)

My family's always on the look out for possible "Mystery Shots" or other cool shots. It's fun to see their 'eyes' developing as they are 'seeing' much more than many these days as they see flowers, bugs, clouds, ... and other amazing things in God's Creation. (Had my daughter had more time, I'm sure she would have grabbed my camera and tried to take this shot herself. But, she hasn't quite gotten the macro photography down yet. Soon I'm sure.)
  1. Can you tell what this is?
  2. Can you tell what it's doing?
  3. Can you tell where it's at?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Still recovering...

[Photos: a little 'lady bug' like bug that landed and crawled up my arm as I watched my son's soccer game, rear drum van brakes - a bit more work than disc..., another little bug enjoying my arm at the soccer game.]

This last week was #23 since starting back at strength training after taking most of last year off for cycling. Before getting sick two weeks ago, I was mostly seeing continued progress; but the last two weeks have been full of broken routines...

Strength Training:
This past week I got in my Monday, Thursday and Friday routines. (Tuesday was spent working on the car with my Dad. Wed was time talking with my wife instead of working out together.) The other days all saw a little decline in the repititions, especially the Friday routine that hadn't been done for 4 weeks [note to self - need to get those friday routines in]. No break throughs or noteables other than having a failure on my 'close grip decline' set with 135 lbs on the 20th rep. Failures are always fun: having to crawl out from under the bar as it rests on the stops on the frame...

Exercise with my wife:
We too have been missing some of our workouts (runs and Wed strength / core) in weeks past, so this week we got all our running in, with a few modifications: rather than two runs of 2 miles and one run of 3 miles we did three runs of two miles. But, we added a three mile bike/run after the two miles: where she would ride my Mtn bike with me while I would try to run 3 miles at a quicker pace (7:30 ish). So we did this three times and then got a 7 mile bike /run in on Sat. So, my wife ran 6 miles and biked 16: the most for her in a week with out question!

Six days of running this past week:
It always seems that as one area struggles another will abound. So this past week the running was 'abounding' as I ran M-Sa: 5.25, 5.6 , 5.25, 5.4, 5.25, 7 ==> ~32+ miles for the week. That's more than normal for me in days and quantity. No real long runs in, but there were 3 runs of 3.25 miles that were in the 7:30 range (good for me). My max HR on these runs was in the upper 170's (177, 178). Not what I've seen on the bike last year, but still reasonable for where I'm at aerobically.

My struggle with proper nutrition continues to be portion control. Now that I'm allowing ice cream again, I have to be careful there too. And my wife brought home a 6 lb bag of gummy bears ... I've asked her to put them away for me as they are easy for me to over eat. But the albacore, spinach, protein drinks, salads, chicken, water, etc ... all continue. All in all - no complaints. I still enjoy an active and fit lifestyle!

This week: #24
I would like to see all my strength training sessions again. I'd like to see all the bike/run sessions with my wife and some of my own too. For this to be a reality, I have to get to bed earlier - on time. So: this will end my entry for tonight.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How big are these flowers?

Can you guess the size of these flowers? (Even though most might call them weeds, if they notice them at all...)

When I'm not exercising I sure do have a lot more time for taking photos ... :-)

I hope to have some more 'training' articles this week. If you're not training, take the time to see and smell the flowers!

Two Mystery Photos

Here are two new mystery photos. Can you tell what they are?

Two steps backwards

[PHOTOS: me crawling through the grass taking photos. The first of my fuchsia prey ... , the second of a towering flower/weed (1/2" tall) ...]

With being sick last Sunday-Monday, I never really recovered this past week (22). My wife and I didn't run all week. She ran by herself on Monday. I ran lightly no Tuesday. We had our core workout on Wed. Th was my normal workout, but I was missing repetitions in most of my sets. Friday was missed and not made up on Sat. Sat evening there was an indoor soccer game .. whew .. that can sure let you know your aerobic conditioning level. And mine was / is lacking.

Through out the week I notice my coordination was a little off or slow at times - something I attributed to not being 100%.

So, it was a recovery week; where the exercise was light and the short term is a couple steps backwards, but in the long run (in a couple weeks) I expect it to be a part of further steps forwards.

I hope to step it up this week and get all my planned work outs in; as well as adding some better aerobic training by running or cycling intervals .. every ones favorites!
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