Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Crossramp 16

At last a workout that felt good again! I seem to finally be over feeling so "off." I don't know if it was some bug trying to make me sick or perhaps the switch to daylight savings time is to blame. Anyway last night I had a great elliptical workout at the Y. I did a whole bunch of experimenting with the different crossramp and resistance settings. My favorite setting was a crossramp of 16 with a resistance if 10. This really targeted my glutes and calves. I felt the burn last night and its still there today. It feels great.

My one concern right now is that I've not jogged more than 6 miles in some time. Cold weather has pushed my training indoors. I'm going to have to man up and get outside this weekend for sure.

In other news my new Mizunos have still not arrived. This is concerning to me as I now have over 600 miles on my current shoes. I need to pick up some new supports as well. I really hope the shoes make it in this week.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Strange Disney Dream

I had a most peculiar dream this morning about Walt Disney World and rather than forgetting it I’ve run right to my computer to write it down.

The dream began with my daughter and me exiting some cloud themed attraction located in what had to be the Future World area of Epcot. As we walked along I noticed construction was everywhere. Most notable was that the concrete walkways where being replaced with bricks so as to give them an aged cobblestone look. In fact much of future world now had a Victorian age look about it. This struck me as very strange. I did notice a construction sign which I read but at present I do not recall precisely what it said. Something about remodeling being done by the new owner and it was signed by order of “The Quarterman.”

From this point my Daughter and I somehow made the jump over to Liberty Square where we found Jonathan talking with someone I did not know. We sat down and talked a bit. It was at this time that I looked up and noticed the exterior changes to the Haunted Mansion. The entire exterior of the building had changed. It now resembled an oversized carnival ride with rail ways carrying passengers in and out of the faƧade. The whole thing was painted a light purple and the windows and doors were a dark purple. It made me feel very uneasy. I asked Jonathan if he had seen the changes at Epcot. He said he had not but was aware changes were happening in all the parks. I suggested we all go over and check out the mansion to see what in the world was going on.

Nailed to the front door was a large scrolled note from “The Quarterman” I think it was a warning but I’m not sure, regardless we went on in. Upon entering the foyer we found ourselves literally walking through a dark ride. Everything was bathed in black light. Fluorescent words written on the walls told the tale of the Mansions new and resident owner “The Quarterman.” There were no references to Master Gracey anywhere to be found.

At last we came to a door and waited to be admitted. To the right of the door a painted version of a bust would appear from time to time. The name below the bust read “Quarterman” and the image which shown in the black light was painted in florescence purple and pink. Bright white eyes glared out. Below the bust was more writing. Again I can’t recall what was written but I think it was a limerick about his fate.

(At this point of the dream I’m asking myself if this Quarterman guy could somehow be a real ghost and how the heck is it that he was taking over all of Walt Disney World.)

At last the door in front of us opens and a group of us are escorted by an elderly butler wearing a coat with long tails and a top hat. (He looked very much like Mansfield in Hot Lead and Cold Feet. Which by coincidence or not I had watched only two days ago.)

We were not in the stretching room. Instead we were in a long well lit hallway perhaps 500 feet long, 12 feet wide, and with a ceiling 18 feet high.

On each side of the hall were the paintings you would normally pass on the way to the library. There were also other paintings and again I don’t recall what those may have been of. At the end of the hallway the butler turned toward us and told us the Quarterman tale. What I recall (and this is somewhat gruesome) was that Quarterman had died in a manner related to his name. Simply put, he was drawn and quartered for being a greedy land baron who would stop at nothing including murder to get what he wanted.

After telling us this story the butler stood still, looking straight past us toward the door we had entered from. Someone noticed a small table with a tray on it to the left of the door behind the butler. Someone also placed some money there, apparently as a tip for telling us the story and that is when the next door opened. (hmm greedy indeed)

This room was a study. On the left was a roaring fire and the room itself was decorated with a desk, some books, a lamp, paintings. Everything one might expect to find in an old home office, everything that is with the exception of a way out. The door we had entered from had vanished.

Everyone in our group began to spread out and began moving books, flipping switches, looking behind paintings, all of us where looking for something that might trigger a hidden door. Finally someone picked up a jewelry box, removed two drawers from the box, placed those on top of the box and after setting it back down a door opened up on the wall opposite the fireplace.

It was at this point that my dogs woke me up and so then ended the dream. It was very strange indeed and I’m not sure what to make of it.

Friday, November 25, 2011


This mornings post Turkey day weigh in revealed a 1 pound loss for the week. Ok I'll take it. I did all the right things. I got in exercise and measured food. yadda yadda yadda. Overall as long as each week brings even a small loss I can not complain. 13.49% is the overall percentage of body weight I've lost since my heaviest weigh in.

My goal is to lose a total of 62lbs. As of today I'm 34lbs into that journey and staring down 26lb more to go. Percentage wise I'm 54% of the way to my goal. How I love the idea of a deminishing goal.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Great Tundra Blue Jean Conspiracy

For this weeks report I'm sharing some good numbers mixed in with a lack luster week of training performance. (so far anyway)

This morning I took some measurments and found that I've lost 4 1/2 inches around my abdomen. I also noticed throughout the day that my jeans have become noticably looser. After work I tried on some old jeans and found that they fit my legs well but my waistline still needs a little work.

So I went out shopping for some better fitting jeans to wear until I can get back into the old pairs I've held onto.

Shopping for jeans really chaps my hide. I don't now why there has to be so many different styles and cuts. The Sonoma brand that I liked at Kohls is no longer made. Instead they now have Urban Pipe. I was looking for a size 34/32 and nothing in this brand worked. I was able to finally find a pair of Levis I think the style was 569. This style was not even close to fitting in a relaxed cut, but Levis offers a loose cut version and these fit great. Only trouble was the store only had one pair and the denim that covered the fly was sewn or mashed in such a way that the zipper was exposed and this looked bad. Try as I may I could not find another pair in the store. Finally decided to try another Kohls but on the way I began thinking about the price and $40 is really too much to spend on jeans. So we ended up at Target where I tried on a relaxed pair of Wranglers which snapped easily enough and were comfortable as long as I stood. I knew sitting down would not work. Grrrrr. So back out onto the sales floor to look around. I found they carry an offshoot brand from Levi called Denizen. Now the leather tag that reads Denizen looks utterly tacky but a loose pair of these jeans worked out well. The jeans were $20 and Target is running a $5 off special for any jeans over $15 so I got a pair for $15. I wanted a second pair but once again after looking high and low another pair was not to be found. I'm of the opinion that a conspiracy exist amonst the clothing stores around the Des Moines metro area. Either that or there is descimination against anyone wearing a size 34/32 pant.

Now onto the lack luster portion of my week and maybe I'm being a bit hard on myself. This past Saturday was suppose to be much warmer than Sunday so I decided upon a long run for that afternoon. The weather app on my Ipod read 54 but driving into town I found the temps were actually in the low 40's. This would not have been bad except for the 17 MPH wind gusts that just chilled me. I completed a four mile loop that brought me near my car and called the run short. Running into all that cold wind really zapped me. Sunday my wife and I visited our local YMCA and I hopped on the Elliptical Climber. This workout felt very dragged out and I my heart rate never got into the cardio zone. I felt very off.

I walked Monday night and again tonight and still I'm feeling off. Tonight should have been a jogging night but I did not feel any drive to break into a run. I did stay commited to walking a full 60 minutes both nights.

I'm not having any problems with a desire to exercise it's just that as I've said twice already I just feel sort of off. Hopefully I'm not coming down with something. I really do not want to get sick. However colds have been going around the office.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

El Guapo

El Guapo, you can't live with him, you can't live without him.

Over the past few months I've had good success in the areas of weight loss and training. I'll provide a training update later in this post but for now I want to share that some of old nemeses have begun to creep back in over the past couple weeks. Typically when one hears the word nemesis, thoughts turn to heroes and villains. Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless, Batman and the Joker, Seinfeld and Newman are such examples. The list is endless.

Now I’m not battling any super villains but lately I’m finding myself slipping into some old habits. Job stress has been a big factor. I’m currently involved in a project that should have been resolved last spring (or actually last year).
Over time many of the computer systems my office uses will receive an” End of Life” notice. Such is the case with our Video On Demand hardware. Our vendor notified us way back in February 2010 that when July 2011 rolled around they would end hardware support on certain systems. There are many details about the delays in this replacement that piss me off. (All of which are in house) I won’t go into it here let’s just say that it took a catastrophic event after July 2011 to wake up the higher ups and get the ball rolling. (Hello I’ve only been ringing the cowbell on this for a year) Now I’m responsible for getting this project complete by months end. So right now STRESS is my El Guapo and its led to a few nights here and there where I have eaten more than I should and even to enjoying the occasional beer. But the big issue I’m fighting is Pop. I am surprised at the amount of Diet Mountain Dew I’ve been drinking. Sure I’m getting a little bored with flavored water but I know its stress driving this pop issue. Funny thing is that on some level I know I really don’t need the pop. It’s more about just taking a few minutes to step out of the office.

Ok ok ok, What was today’s theme anyway? Oh yes the dreaded nemesis. In training a number of factors can negatively influence your thinking and if you don’t keep them in check… well then El Guapo wins and the next thing you know, you’re riding off into the sunset with nothing but your fancy sombrero.

What El Guapo do you need to crush in the weeks ahead? Is it a food craving, fear of injury, lack of motivation, not setting aside time to train, apathy? Think about it and please share some comments.

Now don’t be too worried about me. Besides the work stress I’m doing well over all. When I’ve indulged in a little extra food or had a beer I am logging it all down and counting my calories. The calorie counting is still paying off although I wish I was seeing some bigger numbers. My past three weigh ins have been -1.6, -1.4, and another -1.4. By my calorie counting I should be losing at least two pounds per week. Mentally I’m trying to stay focused on the BIG PICTURE, knowing that a loss is better than a plateau and also that slow loss is healthier than rapid loss. As of last Friday I was down 32lbs from my heaviest with another 30 to go. Ideally I would like to drop another 12lbs by January.

On the running front I’m quite happy. This past Saturday I completed 8 miles in 81 minutes for an averaged paced of 10:2. It was a good solid run. The only thing lacking was that due to colder weather the city has turned off water fountains in the parks. So I ran without taking in any water. The cool temps kept me from overheating. I also completed a 3 miler a couple weeks ago that pace out at 9:45.

So far I have been able to overcome those moments when motivation is lacking. Hopefully in the weeks ahead I can continue to meet my weekly mileage goals.