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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