Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday Training

I went to the gym to work on Abs/Back/Lats/Calf/Glutes using the Cybex machines. that took forty (40) minutes. After I got home I hydrated, had a Blueberry Gu power gel (not bad), more water, then out for my Walk/Jog practice:
DC Bike Path: Walk (10)min., Jog (5)min., Walk (5), repeat. Total distance: (2.86) miles. Pace (avg.): (16:46)min./mile. Speed-max: (5.3) mph. Speed-avg.: (3.6)mph. Burned: (332) Calories. Felt better overall, and did not over do it w/ add'l walking.
My knees were still a little achy during the jog part, though not beforehand. When I woke up this morning I had an ache in my right foot (top, right, in front of the ankle), but i think I worked that out during the calf exercises at the gym. It did not act up during my jog/walk. I did notice a weird rubber-bandy feeling in my right lower leg, like a rubber-band was rubbing back and forth (left to right) below my right knee. Not sure what that is, and forgot to ask the doctor about it Friday. I did notice it during Thursdays training, though. I better email the doctor about it, and see what she says.

Last night I went out to Vito's because I friend was DJ'ing. Since I went early, for a change, I ate dinner, too. They were out of pizza dough (mainly served at lunch), so I had the Chicken Gorgonzola Salad, and appetizer bread; the salad was terrific and the bread was tasty, as always. I had a good time, but only danced a little bit. I was home by midnight, but ended up staying up late watching TV. The Book of Eli was pretty good, even though I heard poor reviews. It was depressing, but not quite as much as The Road. I definitely need to get out and see more movies in theaters, rather than waiting for them all to come out on On-Demand, or NetFlix.

Good training for the day overall. Time to eat!


Friday, April 01, 2011

Doctor's Appointment

Today I had my doctor's appointment. The physical was OK. I need to schedule blood-work. I really want to see if my cholesterol has improved since I started working out. She did say that I looked healthier overall, and not tired and worn-out, they way I used to look, especially after working at the call-center. Unemployment and exercise appear to agree with me. B-) My doctor also mentioned that three (3) miles of cycling is equivalent to one (1) mile of jogging, or running. I never knew that. She also recommended I listen to my body and don't over do the running so I minimize the chance for injuries. Since my left knee and right ankle were aching when I woke up this morning, I figured a low-impact workout with my bicycle would be a good idea:

DC Bike Path: Rode the bike path, one lap, out and back. Burned (600) Calories, Pace: (5:24) min./mile. Speed-Max: (15.7) mph, Speed-avg: (11.1) mph. Bike tuned and riding position adjusted 2011-03-27. Cycling shoes, new Thorlos padded running socks. Toes still went numb, this time at about mile (3.24).

Perhaps these Thorlos socks were a mistake. The staffer at Fleet Feet recommended against using them, since they are single layer only, and won't prevent rubbing and blisters. I can probably still use them as gym socks when I workout at the gym. My ride today was good, though lots of people were out on the path enjoying the warm weather. Sadly, the gnats and other flying critters that gather in the shady spots of the park were out in huge numbers. There were so many I could hear them bouncing off my shirt, shades and my helmet. In fact, quite a few got in around my wraparound shades, but they did not dive into my eyes. I wanted to ride a second lap, but the prospect of riding through all those gnats again did not appeal. Also, on the return path riding back up out of the park, my chain jumped off the rear sprockets, so I had to get my fingers greasy to fix it. I don't think the chain has ever jumped off since I got this bike. I wonder what they are using at the bike shop...

Anyway, better get showered and ready for some dancing tonight. More exercise, with beer!


Online Dating

I tried updating my online dating profile last night. I spent an hour writing something, then tried to save it. Fail. *sigh* The site said it could not save the update, then sent me an email saying the new profile was approved and ready for viewing! Total lie. Wait, correction: It updated my new tag-line, but that was it. I knew I should have written the text in another application, then copied it over. Gotta' start from scratch. Again.


New Shoes

Thursday I drove to Stockton to visit the Fleet Feet store. The staff assisted me in trying out and selecting a pair of Brooks Trance (10) running shoes, with Spenco Polysorb Total Support add-in insoles. I have tall arches and these insoles definitely provide better arch support than the included sock liner that comes with most sport shoes. My run today:
DC Bike path: Walk/Jog: Total distance: (5.45) miles. Jog/Walk: (2.56) miles; walked the return path. Burned: (659) Calories. B-) Used my new running shoes: Brooks Trance (10). Pace: (16:30) min./mile.
This follows the training plan just fine. Although Friday I am supposed to try jogging 5-7 min. between walk phases. We'll see if that works, if not I will repeat the plan for Week #1. I have six (6) weeks, starting Sunday, April 3rd, to train for the Bay to Breakers so even if I repeat, I should be okay on the training schedule. As I mentioned before, I have not done any jogging, or running, in at least ten (10) years, and this seems a prudent course of action.

As you can see from the snapshot of my Garmin Training Center, my heart rate got pretty high. And it's obvious that the two (2) humps in the HR graphs, and the Speed graph at the top, are when I was jogging. I didn't expect my HR to get that high, but after using the treadmill at the gym on Wednesday, I really should have expected that. I'll keep track of my workout data just as I have been and if I see performance gains I will probably post a comparison graph in a couple of weeks. I hope to improve on the "Slow Jog" speed level.

In addition to the shoes, I purchased two (2) pair of Wright Sock Friction-Free running socks. My first run with them today was terrific; no hint of blisters anywhere. And I bought a couple of energy gel packs: three (3) of the GU Roctane (different flavors), and two (2) PowerBar Strawberry-Banana (w/ caffeine). I tried one of the PowerBar gels before Thursdays run: I liked the flavor, and I felt I had enough energy to jog/walk out then walk all the way back. Usually, before I go to the gym or ride my bike, I mix up a tall glass of Gatorade and take water with me. I will try that the next time I run and see if I can tell the difference between the Gatorade and the energy gels. If the gels seem to work better then I will invest in more of those as my training progresses, and make sure I have some on race day.

I better get to bed since I have my physical later today, and I want to get some exercise time in beforehand.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I have been indecisive about which way to exercise today: Try a jog in the park with my new gear, or go to the gym and use the treadmill after my regular cardio workout. Since I have not been to the gym since Saturday, I better do the gym; I can run in the park tomorrow. In the meantime, I am working on laundry, so that is a bonus.

More later.

1818 hrs. Finally got to the gym and had a decent work out:

MCR: Ab/Back/Calf/Glute machines: (32) min. Treadmill (Jog/Walk): (29) min. (1.5) miles. No Calorie data.
My training plan is not exactly "on-target" at this time. I am using the New Balance 5K Beginner plan since I am so far out of running shape. Today was supposed to be a brisk walk for thirty (30) minutes. I did this instead: Walk (5) min., Jog (5) min., Walk (5) min.; Walk (5) min., Jog (5) min., Walk (5) min. So that covered (30) min. And my knees don't even ache like they did the last time I used the treadmill. I had to make a conscious effort to keep my feet landing under me (mid-foot) rather than ahead of me (heel); I think I mostly succeeded.

I considered the Beginner 10K plan, but that looks too optimistic for me right now. Gotta' start somewhere and I cannot afford to over do it if I actually want to be ready for the Bay to Breakers.

I scheduled a physical with my doctor online for this Friday, so can relax about that part. The new socks felt pretty good running on the treadmill. I'll try them out running in the park soon; they also work in my cycling shoes so I will have to try that out soon, as well. I feel energized enough to go ride now, but better safe than sorry.



I am now registered for the 100th Bay to Breakers:

Your registration is complete!
You will receive an email in the next few minutes confirming your registration.
Purchased at: March 30, 2011 12:02 AM
Event Confirmation #: XXXXXXXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX [blacked out for safety]
Event Name: 100th Zazzle Bay to Breakers 12K (2011)
Date & Time: May 15, 2011 07:00 AM
Location: Howard Street @ Beale Street

Wowzers! That's a lot of paperwork at the end.

Once I got my tuned-up bike home, and I got showered, I went to the salon to get a manicure-pedicure. Although I am more than capable of cutting my own nails, I often develop dry skin around my finger-tips that gets very rough and starts snagging on my clothes. No matter how much I try to clip the dry skin, or buff it with an Emory board, I just make it worse. So when I need to, I simply go to the salon so the girls can take care of it more effectively. They do a great job.

I went to Sports Authority after the salon and browsed for running shorts and socks. I purchased a pair of Nike DRI-FIT running shorts (with brief liner) and a pair of New Balance work-out shorts (with boxer liner). I also bought two (2) pairs of Thorlos Experia running socks with pads on heel and mid-foot, which I expect will help cushion my feet. The last purchase was a small stick (travel size) of Body Glide, to help with the chafing. I am hoping the shorts I bought can be used without the 'Glide, but I have it just in case.

Now to get some quick laundry done so I can use this new gear starting tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Happy to have my bike back now. Quick-ish ride home, even with the wind: 
Road ride: (40) minutes. Burned (362) Calories. Windy day: (20) to (27) MPH winds, per
Now I better shower and get a couple things done, like go shop for running shorts. Even if I'm only just starting up again, better to be comfortable, than to be chafed.


The Bay to Breakers

This May 15th, 2011, will be the 100th anniversary (that's right, the Centennial) of the San Francisco Bay to Breakers. The first, and only, time I ran the San Francisco Examiner Bay to Breakers was in 1984. That was twenty-seven (27) years ago! I cannot freaking believe it has actually been that long. Wow.

This was the design on the 1984 t-shirt. Everyone in my family agreed the design was quite ugly. I proudly wore my t-shirt when I had to run in P.E. in Junior High, which was every flipping day during the school week; one (1) mile daily. The shoulders quickly turned brown and the whole shirt faded considerably after just a couple of weeks of this. I was very disappointed.

At the time, I was also studying Tae Kwon Do at the local YMCA [now defunct in Modesto] with my friends. We were all geeks and nerds, and played Role-Playing Games (RPGs) on weekends. [Yes, even Dungeons & Dragons, among many others.] That is, when we were not participating in Boy Scout hikes and camp-outs. One of the new members of our group ran with his parents quite often. His father was an avid jogger and participated in many running events around the area. This friend and I had made flags so we could try and find each other on race day. With the crowd as large as it was, that was entirely improbable. Indeed, I never saw him that day, though I think he mentioned seeing me, but was not able to get my attention. I did see my Scoutmaster, though.

One of the really nice parts of the race was entering Golden Gate Park and feeling the wonderfully cool fog wash over us; that really helped. With all the climate change over the years, I wonder if it will be like that this year. Anyway, now I feel I have a goal to shoot for I want to register for, and run in, this year's Bay to Breakers. I downloaded a Beginner's 10K training plan from, here. This should give me a base to work from. I have the shoes, although maybe I should get some road-running shoes instead of trail runners, since the last time I ran this it was all pavement: asphalt and concrete. I should also get a physical and let the Doc know what I'm planning since I have not done this sort of thing in almost thirty (30) years.

Looking forward to picking up my bike later today.


Update: Wait. If the race started in 1912, how exactly will this be (100) years old? I count only (99) years.

Monday, March 28, 2011


So, I got the call that my bike was ready to be picked up at about (17:50) hrs. today. My ride had just left and I thought maybe I could hoof it to the bus stop in time to catch the bus that travels past the bike shop. Not quite. But at least I did get some walking in today:
Walking: (2.26) miles. Calories burned: (259) Calories. Max speed: (5.2) MPH. Avg Speed: (3.4) MPH. Pace: (17:50) min./mile.

I got some exercise, at least, but I think I will go check out the local Sports Authority and buy some running shorts before I pursue anymore vigourous walking/jogging activities. I hope they actually carry my size and don't tell me I have to look online because they don't carry sizes that large, which is what happened when I looked for cycling shorts...

During my walk I also noticed that the squirrels seem to have taken over the parking lot in Moose Park. Walking through the park next to that lot looks pretty hazardous, too, since the squirrels have holes dug almost everywhere, even in the lot itself, since there are bare patches where the asphalt has been removed, or just broken up. I even saw PVC pipe through one of the holes dug up in that parking lot.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

To the bike shop!

Bike Ride, 2011-03-27.

I rode my bike (6.29) miles to the bike shop, World of Wheels, to drop it off for it's first-ever tune-up since I received it for X-mas, 2003. The handle-bars, seat post, and saddle have been adjusted. We'll see if my fingers and toes stop going to sleep post-adjustment. Just sitting on the bike after the adjustments done today, the position feels much more neutral, and I don't feel any weight on my hands while gripping the handle-bars. Seems like a good start.

Once I dropped off my bike, I followed my path back on foot and walked (3.32) miles over variable terrain: sidewalks, asphalt, muddy paths with, and without, rocks. By the time I got to Roseburg Square I was ready to call it a day: my toes were already aching and felt crammed into the toes of my shoes. Maybe I need different socks? At any rate, I was now in Roseburg Square and felt the need for a frozen yogurt from the Yogurt Mill; it's a Facebook page, and they have an entry on Yelp!, but apparently no standalone web-site.

Garmin Training Center tells me I burned (714) Calories from this exercise today, but I may have gained it all back with my FroYo with M&M pieces. Maybe I'll check the Calorie data next time I'm at the Yogurt Mill.

I should be able to pick up my bike tomorrow evening. I'm looking forward to it. B-)



I finally dragged myself out of the house Saturday afternoon and hit the gym:
MCR: Abs/Back/Obliques/Calf/Glute machines: (34) min. Cardio Room: (35) min. Stationary Bike: None today. No Calorie burn data.

I wanted to use the stationary bike after the Cardio Room, but felt like I already hit the wall after one (1) hour of exercise. The current weather forecast looks good for Sunday, so maybe I'll get some road bike time in the park.

Which reminds me, on the return leg of my forced march through the park I started to experience a weird vertigo-like visual effect: The landscape appeared to be receding away from me, even though I was advancing toward it. I noticed this first while I was walking, and had to stop and verify that what I was seeing was happening. It was like standing backward on an airport slide-walk, like at the Luxor in Las Vegas. I knew I was standing still, and I was not leaning or falling over, but the terrain still looked like it was moving away from me. If you've watched any Hitchcock films I'm sure you will recognize the effect: the camera lenses are focusing/zooming in toward the subject, and at the same time the camera dolly is being pulled back away from the subject. Or wait, maybe the camera is zooming out while being dollied forward. Here's the reference: Dolly Zoom.

I wish I had taken my camera on the walk: The river has risen quite a bit, and there was a section of the riverbank that appears to have fallen in recently. Since my camera has a video record function, it would have been nice to record a bit of the river movement and sound, especially when I noticed a section of tree stump floating down the river: it was caught briefly in an eddy, then moved back out into the river downstream.