Monday, September 2, 2013

... and came down in two pieces...

To my surprise, I've started enjoying playing golf; and I'd say there is a 'acceleration' of the enjoyment as apposed to a 'velocity' of enjoyment - after just finishing helping my 9th grader with her Physics. I've played in the past maybe 20 yrs ago, but have never had lessons and honestly was bored before being finished. Now that my son-in-law plays and I participate in an annual fund raising tournament .. I'm starting to enjoy it.

Just a couple days ago I had watched an online video with the long ball hitters - so what do I do, I go out back and see what I can apply to my swing. So with out hitting a ball, I am just swining my 3 wood (Knight Billy Clug BC-2Ti) and it feels like I'm able to incorporate some changes to my swing. After about 5 minutes, I make a swing and the club flew out of my hands in my follow through. The instant I felt it gone from my hands I began to panic. I could imagine the club could go a very long ways and break something or hurt someone as it came down. The next sound I heard was crashing in the tree to my left. I looked up in time to see two pieces falling to the ground.

What a disappointment! My clubs are all garage sale and throw always. I only recently removed the piece of paper with $3 on it from the top of this club .. this was my favorite club: one that I wasn't affraid to hit of of a tee of from the fairway. On my last outing with my son-in-law, this club was my second hit on a long par 5 that put me on the green and gave me an opportunity to putt for my first Eagle (which I missed - barely) and settled for a Birdie.

I've looked for a replacement, but only one is available on ebay, and it's kind of pricey .. so I will consider a more current club to replace it.

I have ordered a new driver to me - a 2009 Taylormade R9 460. It should be coming this week and I'm really looking forward to hitting it. It will be my first driver. The last year I've been borrowing my son-in-laws old one since he got a new one for Christmas. And with it I've finally started to be able to hit it. In the past I would tee off with my 1 iron rather than face the slice of my driver, or topping it and having to hit it again just 20 yds from where I started.

I am looking for a 3 wood, and the review on the R9 are good, so I will try to replace my favorite club with what I hope will be a new favorite.

Golf can be an enjoyable game, or so I'm coming to believe. I'm finding myself out back practicing my chipping. I have a spot where I've scraped off the grass with my 10 iron as I try to chip the ball into a metal trashcan 30 yds away. I still haven't made it in, but have been soooo close and am putting a bunch within 6 ft of it - it's Fun!

Note to self:
- when you get pumped up watching others hit the ball over 300 yds and want to do the same: put your glove on and make sure you aren't so loosely holding the club that it fly's from your hands
- be patient with your swing: work on the short irons and the long ones will follow

Friday, July 12, 2013

Training in the Heat

My work requires me to be outside much of the time, so because of that I also train / exercise during the heat of the day too. There are several articles about training in the heat and since that is my regular practice, I'd throw in my 2 cents worth too.

Today's run was 6 miles in 98 degree weather. I left the house around noon with my shoes, socks, shorts, Camelbak with ice and water (around my waist), cell phone, knife, GPS, heart rate monitor, hat, glasses and sunscreen. No PR's or records today - well maybe a slowest pace record (avg 9:35/mi), rather today was about survival and forcing myself not to walk or cut short the route.

I noticed my heart rate was up compared to my pace and exercition level (often in the 170's), but many of the articles state that one of the benifits of training in the heat increases the volume of plasma. I've noticed this on other runs and rides where the temps are high, my heart rate will be higher than expected for the performance I'm getting: which isn't surprising due to the heat. The take-away for me is that heart rate is a complex result of many factors: nutrition, rest, temp, performance, stress, ...
I will continue to run and cycle in the heat, but I am aware of the risks and think I'm doing it safely. I was recently told by a medic that I shouldn't be out exercising in the heat ...

I was almost done with my road ride, 26 mi, and noticed a person pointing up on the side of the road. There is a trail there that is part of the Mountain Bike trails, so I was familiar with them. I stopped and called out, but the person never responded. So I left my road bike on the side walk and climbed up the side of the incline to the person and trail above. The person was a female MTB rider. Her bike was a little further up the incline on the trail. She was laying there breathing with a pulse, but not responsive. The person on the road called 9-1-1 while I stayed up with her. I used the ice water that was left in my camelbak and sprinkled it on her head and down her spine - figuring she was over heated and unconscious as a result, or she could have crashed and ... not sure why she was like it, but I didn't see any harm in cooling her body while we waited for the professionals to arrive. Another passer by came up and took his shirt off to provide a little shade for her as she layed there, even convulsing at times. The paramedics put a neck brace on her and put her on a stretcher and then down the incline into the ambulance. She was by herself, so I asked them to take her bike to the station for her to pick up later - which they did. I don't know what happened to her or her current condition, but I'm assuming she's OK now. Hopefully she will not be riding the trails alone anymore. (Something that I do myself, but I tell myself that I'm careful and it's ok. I hope I'm right!)

... so as they loaded her onto the stretcher she started vomiting. It was at this point that the medic that "WE" shouldn't be out exercising in the heat of the day. I didn't say anything. I knew what he was trying to say ... that people that aren't prepared or used to the heat, shouldn't be out at a risk to them selves - as this lady was. As for me, I gave the last of my water in an attempt to cool her down and rode home the last few miles thankful that I was able to be of help to her, maybe even was a part of saving her life?!

So, if you are going to train in the heat, you might as well carry a little extra gear so you can help someone who may not be used to training in the heat. And if that never happens, carrying a few extra lbs of gear will just make you stronger physically and you'll have the saitfaction of knowing you were ready if there were a need.

Keep training .. even in the heat! Just know your limits and be prepared ...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Found out front yesterday?!

Can anyone tell me what is going on in these photos?
This caterpillar was discovered on the bottom side of a leaf. It appears to have all these egg sacks stuck to it's back .. are these some type of parasite?

Thanks Google: here's what I found:
"Frequently hornworms are found with a number of white cocoons attached to its. DO NOT KILL THIS TOMATO WORM! These white sacks are not the caterpillar's eggs--quite the opposite!--the white cocoons are the pupae of the Braconid Wasp. These wasps are parasitic insects that prey on hornworms. These wasps hunt down our garden pests, inject their eggs into their prey where the eggs hatch into larvae and begin eating the internal organs of the hornworm. After these "maggots" have matured they bore through the skin of the hornworm and proceed to spin a cocoon and attach themselves to the worm. From the cocoons emerge adult Braconid Wasp which will begin hunting for other Tomato Hornworms and Tobacco Hornworms to feast upon." -

Increased max pullups from 5 to 10 in 28 days

This is my new pullup routine. Basically you do a max set, do core exercise for a minute, and repeat until you've done 50 pullups total. Once you can do 6-10 pullups then do 75 total: 11-15 do 100 total: 16-20 do 150 total. When I first started it took 13 sets and I could do 5 on my first set. After twenty eight days of trying to be 3 times a week I was able to do 10 pullups on my first set and hit 50 total in 8 sets. (I didn't jump to 75 total yet as it's a killer workout and if it got harder I'm afraid I may not do it!!)

This past month I've not been as consistent and have been plateaued at 10 still. I've increased the total to 60 which is taking me 10 sets to accomplish and about 21 minutes. (My weight is still in the 197 - 200 range, something I'd like to see decrease by 5 - 10 lbs, but for me a stressful life often leads to eating for reasons other than for nutrition. I'm aware of this, but it's still a struggle at times.)

For the core exercises I will do situps, planks, kick backs, elevated planks and planks from side to side. I use a timer for all my strength training exercises to time my rest periods: usually 30 seconds, sometimes 1 min and for some heavy sets 2 minutes.

This is one of those tough routines that once the timer starts - it goes until it's done. That may be part of the reason I've been not so consistent this month - it's a beat down! But, if you want to increase you total number of pullups - it works! This coming week I hope to do all my exercises: strength training, running, MTB and road cycling. If I do, then the numbers will go up and the weight will go down.  :)

Old School MTB - rigid, Diamondback Accent

Another good ride done!!
Last June I was given a Diamondback Accent MTB. It's a solid 7-speed bike. My first changes were to move parts from my (now dead) 87 Schwinn Impact: Ergon grips, Crank Bros pedals and Body Geometry saddle, and to service all the wheel bearings. The bike rides good - the front washed out a couple times on me so I bought a 2.20" knobby up front, which grabs the trails and hasn't washed out yet. I also added a cassette with a 34T in the back (I don't remember what the front chain rings are) so I can pedal up some of those long and steep accents.

Fixing the first flat
Yesterday and today were the first times on the trails this year: it had been parked needing a replacement derailleur. There were 5 of us that went riding this morning. It was a lot of fun. One person crashed and one person flatted - twice: neither was me this time, which I'm always thankful for. This 20 year old MTB kept up and even blazed a trail to follow just fine! Trail riding is like sprints / intervals compared to distance when compared to road cycling.  I've been trying to alternate between running and road cycling lately, but will now have to add back in MTB riding too -it's just to good of a work out to not do regularly.

I didn't have my GPS on for part of the ride, but we did over 7 miles on the GPS and probably another 3 before it was started. It says the max speed was 25.2 and max HR was 172. The avg HR was 137.
Dirty legs, just above the sock line

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Being chased by a dog ... AND it's Owner?!!

So, while I was running tonight, a dog came into the street to pursue and try to bit me. I saw it before it saw me, so I was already getting ready. There were two men in the yard. The dog was eating up by the front door with out a leash on. As I passed, it saw me me and ran out to me as I continued to jog/ (run slowly) past. After the dog took a pass at me, I told the guys in the yard that I'd kick it - all the while continuing on my run, with an eye on the dog and making a few tactical movements. One of the men started towards the street and the dog came in for a second pass and tried to bite my lower leg (it was a short bull dog type), so I pulled back and then forward and caught it with my foot. Not very hard, but hard enough to get a whimper out if it.

Then the man started yelling "Hay leave him alone! Don't do that!" (You would think he was talking to his misbehaved dog that wasn't on a leash, but no, he was talking to me!) So now I have a dog and his owner after me up the street. The dog never came too close as I chased him away when he got within 5 feet or so. The problem now was I have this guy running behind me yelling, "Kick me ##### &&#$@#!!!" over and over and over as he is about 10 yds behind me running at the same pace. I told the guy to "back off" and "get away from me" as I continued to run up the street backwards and forwards keeping an eye on where I was going and how far now both of my pursuers were. (As I reflect now, my heart rate was up, I was giving commands and I think 'fight' was engaged and ready in the background if it was needed.) But, thankfully, I don't feel the need to prove anything. I kept moving and both the dog and man stopped about 5 houses after this memorable event started at his.

Unfortunately this is on my normal end leg of all my routes. I guess I'll modify it for a few weeks - especially if I run in the evening. I kept waiting to hear a screeching sound of a vehicle stopping and the two or more guys jumping out. Had that happened, there probably would have been a criminal offense on their part and I would have done something about it. Thankfully that never happened. But it's nice to know that my subconscious was getting ready.

On days like this, I think some mace would be nice to have for any species that gives chase!

As for the details of the run: my avg pace was just under 9 min/mi. I just got my refurbished Garmin back, so I expect to be pushing a little more. I haven't been running regularly for a while, so I need to get back up to speed. I can see it in my heart rate - as it takes a little while to get to be able to train at higher heart rates. That's why it's so nice to train with a heart rate monitor: you get to know what numbers are normal under different circumstances.

Be safe .. from pet .. AND owner!
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