Monday Weigh-In

Figure I might as well bring this back, as painful as it might be.


I looked back to the first weight entry I could find (May 2004), and I’m down from 185 near the middle of last year. The other positive is that I haven’t been above 185 since May.

It’s still a long way from the 159 where I should be BMI-wise to be at the high end of the normal band, and way far away from 118 lbs which would put me at the low end of the “normal” range.

Which means that my February addition may be diet. Rather than Chris’s shotgun approach, I’m trying to take a methodical approach so as not to get lost in the forest by trying to monitor every tree.

And if that last paragraph doesn’t mix enough metaphors for you, I don’t know what would.


It’s probably a good 3 months until I actually get out on the roads, but I grabbed a new set of skins for the bike over at Pricepoint. They’re having a tire sale – got two Hutchison’s over half off. Haven’t tried them before – I’ve been a fan of Michelin GP 2000’s – but new inspiration deserves a little splurge.

Now, if only I can get of my butt and get back on the rollers…

Meeting goals

*** Linked pictures are extremely large

Finally had another successful week. Met goals and everything.

Saturday was about 4 miles of XC ski at Bluff Point. Pictures below. I forgot to charge the rechargable AAA’s in the Forerunner – oh well, it was nice. Great conditions on the trails:

There was a pretty decent ski groove down the center, and I was kicking and gliding something fierce. Keeping 12 minute miles or so, at least until the forerunner died.

I never get tired of the view over Fischer’s Island sound, especially seeing Ledge Light, a huge, red brick lighthouse looking like an old post office at the mouth of the Thames. When I was riding submarines professionally, there was always a sweet, sweet feeling when the ship came through the Race between Long Island and Fisher’s Island and sighted Ledge Light. Somehow, everything was right with the world, or soon would be. It’s tough to make out in this picture, but it’s there. And looking especially when contrasted with the brown of the seagrass and trees, the pale blue of the sky and deep blue of the water, and the bright white of the snow.

So, like I said, 4 miles, right on target.

Today – 3 miles. Outside. (yippee!) In Shorts (Yippee… Wait… Holy crap, it’s still in the 30’s).

Yeah, irrational exuberance got the better of me, and I went out in shorts, fleece, and gloves. I left all the electronics behind, and just listened to wind, feet on pavement, and my body (oh crap oh crap oh crap – when do we turn around and run with the wind?). In any case, I survived without frostbite, or even being terribly cold, but I think I’m a little bit more sore than I should have been if I’d worn pants.

Life is good. Signed the boy up for t-ball, napped with the baby on Sunday, and watched The Phantom Menace Saturday Night. (TPM Was not nearly as bad as I’d remembered. Return of the Jedi quality, if only that the Gungans were less annoying than the Ewoks).

Way too much cardio

As long as Cardio means spending time with an elevated heart rate.

We’ve had issues with ice dams along the edge of our roof since the “Blizzard of Aught Five”. Ice dams form when snow melting from contact with the roof hits bitterly cold air at the edge of the roof and freezes. Eventually accumulation of ice starts working back up under shingles and flashing around roof penetrations, and water starts coming into the house. We’ve never had a problem with them before, but the combination of an above-average amount of snow and consistiently below freezing temps did us in.

Last night, I finally got out there and did something about it. We’ve got a Cape-style house, meaning that the roof in the front has a pretty steep pitch, and comes down to just over the front door. The roof in the back has a much shallower pitch, and ends above the second story windows. The front of the house was pretty easy – I was able to use the 12′ extension ladder and a shovel to remove snow back about 8′ from the edge of the roof, and then use a hatchet and hammer to break off the 6-8″ of ice along the lip. Great upper body workout.

For the back, I had to borrow the neighbor’s 20′ extension ladder. And I climbed up on the snowy roof and shoveled off about 18″ of snow from the whole thing. I was not as successful at chipping off the ice dam in the back – something about working on the edge of a 20-30′ drop in the dark in the freezing cold just scared the hell out of me. But the snow’s gone, and there are a couple of channels cut through the ice near the flashing that the biggest leaks were coming from. Hopefully, that’ll do the job.

In any case, my heart was pounding for about 2 hours, especially as I contemplated the edge of the roof while shoveling. Wow.

To finish off the “fight or flight” reposnse, I banged out a slow-ish 3 on the treadmill while watching the Simpsons (lame episodes – one was the Christmas episode where Homer and Ned try to out-good each other, the other was so mediocre I can’t even remember it. Which is unusual).

The upside is that if I don’t get out for my “long” run on Saturday (4 miles by the schedule), I’ll have Battlestar Galactica to watch. But I’m planning on heading to Bluff Point to ski at the crack of dawn. Which will count as the jogging.

Splash, Splash

We’ve got ice dams. Like really bad ice dams. Realized it yesterday evening when the GFI in the downstairs bathroom kept tripping, and I found water dripping in the baby’s closet. Crap.

I tried climbing up to the roof to break them down – Uh, no. Sorry. Maybe I’ll swing by EMS tomorrow and pick up some crampons, or by Home Despot and grab a 20′ ladder to reach one of the non-suicidal pitches of my roof, but I the climbing was not happening.

So I spent part of tonight drilling holes in the ceiling and arranging twine and buckets to catch the runoff. Oh, yeah! But patching a small hole is going to beat replacing drywall in the spring. I climbed into the attic, too, to see if I could see the source of the leak – no dice, which means almost certainly that it’s pushed up the shingles near the edge of the roof. Guess this means I’m installing more soffits next summer.

In any case, helplessness and frustration got the better of me (and the boy pulled his all-time worst stunt ever just prior to bath time – I’d document it, but I’d rather just pull it out for his dates in high school), so I headed down to the Y to take out my issues on my body.

45 or so laps – 10-ish breast, 2 sets 10 free, 1 set 5 free with speed breathing pattern, 5 breast to stretch and cool-down, and a couple kickboard laps thrown in for good measure. Good times.

I was feeling kind of bad because the guy next to me was flying, and regardless of what I did, I was having a tough time keeping up. I saw him in the locker room after, and the dude was like 6’6″. So on every stroke he made, he was reaching a foot further than I could. Granted, I, sometime in the future, can probably make up the time by concentrating on turnover, but it was kind of amazing to watch. He also had the coolest flip/turn – When he did his flip, he’d slam his heels/calves into the water and make kind of a “boom” splash sound. Very authoritative.

My motion was much smoother than it was the last time – I didn’t feel like I was thrashing. Swimming seems to be a whole lot like yoga – all about form and repetition. Watching the tall guy swim, I could tell he was reaching further than I did. As a result, I concentrated on getting full extension with my arms, and could feel a speed increase without having to work any harder. On my last set of breast stroke, I concentrated on stretching my arms WIDE, and sweeping them back. Very relaxing.

Dr. Strangemill

Or how I learned to stop whining and love the jog

(Apologies for typos – there’s a couple of sticky keys on the machine I’m using, and I want to publish and go to sleep)

Best of intentions today to get out and enjoy near-melting temperatures. I really did have them. Except, once again, reality sets in, work becomes a priority, and I blow off running during the day. I was wrapped up by the afternoon, and probably could have snuck out on my way home, but my lovely wife had been strapped with both a big project for her job and her fourth day of being snowbound with the boys. We love them, but I really could feel for her – Jake’s pre-school was closed on Monday for snow removal, and his class at the Y was cancelled today for much-needed painting, etc. (Hopefully they’re bringing in a few new machines; the resolvers are sticking around longer than usual. Good on ’em)

So, after bath time, it was down to the basement again for another little while on the treadmill.

Plod plod plod plod plod plod – 9:30 pace for the Simpsons. It was the episode where Mr. Burns finds true love on Flag Day, but she runs off with Snake. Good start to the episode, but after a while it just drags.

So, I’ve made it through the Simpsons and still have a half-mile or so to go (fast-forwarded through the commercials). Next on the tape? Monday’s 24 (Noon – 1). The show’s been good up to this point, but not great. I think I enjoy it most for the government in-fighting. Finally, an accuate portrayl of turf battles. Although, I doubt anyone’d really scuffle if lives were on the line. In any case, the episode opens with Jack Bauer storming a terrorist stronghold to rescue the Secretary of Defense and Jack’s girlfriend. Oh yeah. Much of the first 10 minutes or so was shot to look much like a first-person-shooter video game, so much so that I was having flashbacks to hours playing Doom/Half-Life/whatever. Pretty stinking cool.

So I kicked up the pace a bit, and knocked out another mile plus at about 8:20 while Jack and SecDef killed bad guys and waited for the Marines to show up. Wow. Just wow.

Here’s what I’m wishing for – a treadmill that senses how fast you want to run, as opposed to how fast you tell it to run. I probably would have hit 8 minutes there for a while, but I didn’t want to click it up so high. Good stuff, though.


So confession time:

I totally blew my goals this week. I couldn’t bring myself to straddle the treadmill again. Well, that and I was feeling kind of under the weather – both boys have had a fever for a day, and runny noses, so I didn’t want to stress it. Well, that, and I was feeling lazy.

Overall, though, I did OK – an hour of shoveling the driveway today (~20″ total) works the arms, etc.

I also did about an hour of cross country skiing. There’s trails cut through the woods behind the houses on both sides of the street. And the snow rocked. It was nice, nice, nice. And godawful tough. The snow was deep.

Oh, well. One bad week does not a training program kill. I think I made the 21 days, though – it’s a habit.

Still a wuss

Another cold day, another wenie 3 miles on the treadmill watchinng the Simpsons (Ah, the Simpsons – is there anything they can’t do?)

It wouldn’t be so bad, ‘cept I made fun of Chris for his non-running “evolution” – told him he was just trying to get out of the cold… Call it sweet hubris, I guess.

1,000 miles

I think I’m going to set it as a goal for the year. Again, why not? It’s only an average of 20 miles/week, which becomes easy once I get back on the bike. I’m only about 12 miles short for the year, which is less than an hour of road biking.

This isn’t a serious goal like Mystic Places or Hartford, but it’s an interesting premise the more I think about it.