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Archive for December, 2008

What a wonderful day!

Woke up late.  Which was fine, given that I’m not supposed to be working today.   I decided to go outside and walk.

I walked a mile to get to my gym.  The air was cool, but the sun warmed me up enough that I took my sweater off half-way through.  I was hungry by then so I stopped by a Subway place.  Ordered a foot-long sandwich, which was way too much food; finished it anyway.  I decided to stop by Starbucks and get a small cup of coffee.

Sat at an outside table and put up my legs.  The sun felt nice.  About five minutes after, a nice looking woman sat near me and facing me directly.  Hmmm, she was very attractive and drinking coffee too.  She smiled at me and at that moment we were doing pretty much the same thing.  No words.  Just coffee in the afternoon sun.  She wore a dark party dress (the kind you wear with fun hats at the track), making her complexion appear creamy and pink in the rays of sunlight.  Yeah, I noticed her as much as she noticed me.   I guess I looked somewhat interesting today.  After coffee, or about 20 minutes later, she stood up.  She smiled again as if to say bye.  In those few minutes, time stood still.  Thanks for the delightful imagery, young lady.  There were plenty of tables but you sat across from me.  Perhaps that was a gift?

I went to the gym and stayed there for two hours.  They were closing early, so I had to be efficient as to which workouts to do.  It was fun, because for some reason I decided to make it a challenge workout.  Did a 900-lb incline leg press!  Where did that come from?  I tried a 60-lb dumbell chest press, after a series of 55-lb sets.  Failed miserably–my arms were just jello at that point.  Oh well.

It was late, and I walked the mile back to my place in darkness.  Had to be careful about crosswalks, since cars were zipping by in an effort to be somewhere this new year’s eve.  Very few people were out walking–but it struck me how safe this area was even though it was very dark in places.   Stopped by Ralph’s Supermarket to get some snacks for tomorrow.  Also stopped by Pick-up Stix and ordered my favorite Spicy Basil noodles with Chicken dish.

I just finished eating dinner and had pineapple for dessert.  Decided that I had a wonderful day, and that I should tell you about it.   Hope yours was more interesting than mine.

Happy New Year!

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My brother sent me some photos he took at the site. Looks cool.  He was using a Canon G10 digital camera.  If you click on each image, it will bring up the file I uploaded (big ones).  Anyway, you’ll get to see the finer details that way.  Here are the Mustangs at Las Colinas.  Enjoy!

The Mustangs at Las Colinas

The Mustangs at Las Colinas

Perspective

Perspective

Angle

Angle

Capture

Capture

Water Play

Water Play

Backdrop

Backdrop

Fin

Fin

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So what did I do today?

First off, regarding work. I did well. Solved a rather thorny issue, since we had to extend a product’s usefulness given its very limited uses. Anyway, decided to take a break and drop off some stuff at Goodwill.

There was a long line at Goodwill. Of course, plenty of people donate during the holidays. For many reasons. I had a few nice lamps that I bought years ago. Just replaced them with more formal ones, so I had to do something with these. I also dropped off bags of old clothes.

Since Goodwill was right next to a Best Buy store, I decided to come in and check out their no contract mobile phones. From what I remember, there were two major providers in the Philippines. The only difference is that the refill cards they have don’t last very long here, and you have to pay with dollars. It’s weird to shell out so much money for a refill card. A hundred pesos didn’t seem to hurt as much; well, yeah–we were texting so much there that the hundred peso refill lasts quite a while. A thousand minutes for a hundred dollars. Don’t think that will even last one month! Maybe I’ll get an AT&T Go Phone for running one of these days.

I soon ended up at the Office Depot. Since I was in a window shopping mood, decided to test whether it was time to get a color laser printer for my work or not. Well, after an hour of walking up and down the aisles–I ended up NOT getting it. I guess I just can’t justify getting it in my mind. Practicality, not costs, was the issue. Anyway, ended up getting a USB 7-port hub. Am very happy with it. Also got one of those laptop sleeves. Maybe my newer work laptop won’t get destroyed right away…

So I finally got down to work and did a 14 mile run. I seemed to be landing funny. Back of midfoot. Rather than invite PF, I changed my gait to move the impact zone to the outside more. Anyhow, I got a knot on my upper right muscle below the knee and in front of the fibula. I think I just need to get new inserts since I seem to be covering more training miles these days.

I’m on holiday again tomorrow until Sunday. So more working out and running too. Maybe I’ll throw in a swim at the pool and even a ride outside. Hmmmm….

Have a nice new year’s celebration where you are!!!

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Just a few things you should think about before you head out on a long run:

1) Some cash and identification. The cash is in case you run out of fluids and a convenience store is nearby.  As far as identification, your driver’s license would do nicely.  Also, think about bringing your health insurance card.

2) Plan your hydration. Don’t allow your body to go into deficit. And don’t over-hydrate either.

3) If a physical issue develops early, do something about it. Letting something go on will make it worse as the miles wear on. It could be as simple as re-tying your shoelaces to make sure your foot doesn’t move too much.

4) Know the profile where you are running. When the temps get too hot and there is a hill coming up, it might be a smart idea to have an alternate route to avoid that hill.

5) Make sure you have something to feed on to keep your strength up. One gel per hour will do nicely.

6) Plan for the worse as far as clothing. You might not be cold now, but what about an hour from now? What if the wind is blowing too strongly at a particular location?

7) Carry a phone. You can buy a really cheap small phone at the store versus carry your big bulky ones.

8 ) Think about traffic. In fact, keep the traffic flow in your mind at all times. Don’t assume that they see you. Wear reflectors and lights if it is dark out.

9) If you are going to wear those music thingies, make sure you are not going on a heavily-traveled road. In fact, find a park or protected path. Your inattention may cause you much pain.

10) Since you are going to be out there for a while, inform someone where you are going and who with. Always think safety first.

11) Be flexible. The roads are a dynamic environment. Try to stick to your plan but be ready to do something else if you can’t proceed safely.

12) Think about parking your car in the middle. You can do a figure-8, and use your car as an aid station. It’s also convenient if something makes stopping sooner important.

13) Run with someone. Seriously. The buddy system works well in any situation. Make sure your running partner is near or at your level, so you can support each other and gain something from team work.

A little planning goes a long way as far as comfort and safety in a long run. It doesn’t have to be too involved, but enough thought should be put in to make sure the long run goal is met successfully.

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Running — working on increasing my base miles in order to strengthen my ability to keep consistent pace, at the pace I’d like to be in.  When I’m done with that, I want to work MP runs in ladder fashion, from 2 then 4 and so on until I get to 26.

Swimming — still in wait mode until I get to the TI class.  I’m reading the book about TI and triathlons, and also applying some of the concepts in try-out sessions at my local pool.  Looking forward to re-visiting my comfort zones and stroke length in the water.

Biking — have put in an hour here and there per week since my IM.  I need to have a solid objective so that I can keep this train on the tracks.

Overall — I think I’m back to a normal training state.  Or a return to the old baseline if you like.  I can make plans and make decisions objectively now that I would not have been able to do two weeks ago.  Was getting over the crazy year definitely.

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Merry Christmas!!!

santa_coke

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Challenge workouts at the gym?

I talk about this from time to time. It’s usually at the point when my workout becomes repetitive. I call it “Challenge” workouts because that is what these are.

For example, I can do 135 lb rows easily 12 reps at 3 sets. So I did a 150 lb challenge, 6 reps at 3 sets. Notice that I cut down the reps but maintain the set counts. The idea here is to challenge the muscles to get stronger, by it encountering a heavier load than before. I fill in plenty of recovery time in between, and I find I’m usually wanting more after rest! I think the potential for explosive power in my muscles are greater, even after just 3 months of consistent core workouts.

I don’t automatically bump up to the new level after doing a challenge. I might do the same challenge 2 or 3 times before “promoting” myself to that level.  By the way, when I label the workout session a challenge workout–every one of the component workouts are also elevated; so instead of just one challenge, you will potentially have ten or more challenges!

If you try this, make sure that you are staying at each level for at least 3 weeks before doing a challenge workout. If your heart rate goes through the roof, stop the workout and rest; go back to the old level to be safe. And be careful about the increments; 2-5 lb increments are best. As usual, don’t do strenuous workouts without consulting your physician!

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