Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Hill climb on bike, run testing on track

After slacking a bit on Sunday, I went out and climbed Roarke's Cove Rd. yesterday on the bike, a 28 min 900' climb of 2.8 miles.  My bike needs some adjustment, not getting into the highest and lowest gears.  I stopped on the steepest part of the hill and did a 100m run up to see wha it felt like.  It was fine.   I then went to the track and did my usual warmup and added some single leg squats.  I tried a bit of running.  Running on the turf with high knees and good form, it feels good.  So, I did 3 x 50m high knee running.  I tried a 50m run with normal stride but it felt clunky.

I can tell my first running will be hills and not full stride.  Maybe some stadium stair when I get back to Murfreesboro on July 2.   I can see that it'll be a while before any speed work but it's nice to return to the track and to the hills for some running, even though it's just a little.   No need to rush anything.  I am trying to increase my flexion but when I flex my knee to the max, it really makes some noise. 

My weight was up a bit but body fat still OK.  When I get down to this weight it's not hard to maintain.  I ate a lot of chocolate yesterday and was 147 lbs after dinner, but today will be a light day and I'll be back to 143ish by tomorrow.  Woke up at 144.7 lbs, which is usually at least a lb heavier than after my workout.  I think I'll swim and do stairmaster, abs, and weights today.  Traveling to FL to see my parents tomorrow so I anticipate a break in my workouts for the next week with no bike.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

hill climbing on the bike then time off

Last week I took the boat up the river to Chattanooga and through the beautiful TN River Gorge.  On Friday morning I awoke to a gorgeous and unseasonably cool sunny morning, in the 50ºs and decided that it was the day to do the Raccoon mountain climb on my bike.

 It is a 12+ mile round trip and the hill is a relentless 1400' climb that goes on for about 5 miles.  I waited til early afternoon to start, which was a mistake because it got quite warm by the time I started, but still only low 80ºs but feeling hot in the sun.  Normally I would try to make this without stopping but I did stop a few times on the way up.   The vistor's center was cool and the views tremendous.  It was hard, I never thought I'd do it again... but I did, about 18 hrs later.

That night I met my HS friend Bill and he said he was in, he wanted to do the climb.  Bill is an endurance runner and he said he'd be bringing Dianna, his friend who is a top triathlete, about 10 yrs younger than us.

They showed up next morning at 6:30ish AM and I met them in the parking lot. They both had nice road bikes, Dianna's was a super light carbon bike.  I was on my much heavier entry level mountain bike.  After the first two miles, they were gone ... ahead of me and out of sight, Dianna leading the way.   This encouraged me not to stop so I kept going, pushing all the way to the top.  It seemed easier than last time, but certainly not 'easy'.    They were not at the visitors center so I took a loop of the lake before I finally found them, we took a few photos at the top.  

Bill and I made it down quickly and we were rewarded with a real close sighting of a bob cat crossing the road during our rapid descent, probably about 40+ mph. 

During this trip, I suspended my diet, and ate pasta once, some other carbs and developed a real fondness for Whole Foods brand chocolate almond butter cups.  

Aside from one ab session and a set of pull ups (16), I didn't exercise for most of 3 days after my return and my slacking on my diet caused me to backslide a little, still hovering around 145 lbs but getting a tad soft, so today, I need to do a hard bike and get to the gym.  

I've put aside this week to refocus on music as I've been learning some new pieces on the Baroque lute, which has been great fun and challenging.  

I hope to do more boating this season.  The boat ran great but when I got back to my truck, the starter was failing but I managed to get it to start one final time to get me home.  Also, the boat has a new modern  vacu-flush head that I installed, and the new exhaust manifold I installed is working well. 

This photo was from the top of the mountain and to give you an idea of scale, that tiny white dot at the left side of the parking lot is my boat.

As far as my other toys, my 2 Kawasaki dual sport Sherpa motorcycles are going to be very costly to repair, so I've been riding this street legal Suzuki DR 100 mini bike around.  It's 32 yrs old and amazing it still runs well.  With my truck in the shop, it is my only motorized vehicle.   I took it to the lake for a swim the other day.  Still relatively cool for almost summer in the south.  On and off showers and only in the 70ºs today and tomorrow.  

Love these long days.  Love this time of year.  A good life for sure.  

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Stairmaster and rowing, article

Traveling to see Dr. LaPrade tomorrow, so I won't be working out tomorrow and I did a harder one today.  Weights + 20min hill program on the stairmaster and 2000m in 9 min on the rower.

Was 142.5 lbs after workout.

Regarding diet and intermittent fasting, I saw this interesting article:
An Evolutionary Perspective on Why Food Overconsumption Impairs Cognition
"Obesity impairs cognition and increases the risk for some psychiatric disorders and dementias.  Continuous availability and consumption of energy-rich food in relatively sedentary modern-day humans negatively impacts the lifetime cognitive trajectories of parents and their children. The cellular and molecular mechanisms by which intermittent food deprivation enhances cognition and overfeeding impairs cognition are being elucidated."

consolation prize

It was an off season for me last year in '18, and due to injury, and I've taken this year off from track competition, looking ahead to next yr and a new age group: M60.

 At least I finished in the top 10 in the world rankings in the 400m in my age group:  #6 in world / #1 USA indoor; and #10 in world and #3 in USA outdoor. 

I'm happy to share this regional USATF award with my GPTC teammates - we won the masters M50 4x400 relays at both the Millrose Games and at the Penn Relays.   In addition, 2 World Championship relay medals in Spain, a Gold in the M55 4x100m and a Silver in the 4x400m for team USA.

Not too bad for an off year.  Unfortunately, my 2 worst races were the 2 most important: National finals and World Semifinals - 57.43 and 57.50... and that sticks with me the most. 

Thanks to Chuck for sending this award to me and thanks to my awesome teammates.   See you next year at Nationals and Worlds.

biking, stairmaster

With a bunch of projects I got distracted from a regular workout schedule but have managed to do something almost everyday.  New exercises include Stairmaster and rowing.  Have started an a new lower ab routine.  Also doing sets of 15 pullups.

The weather has changed dramatically.  For 23 days we had no rain, and warm temperatures.  Past few days have been rainy and cool.  The forecast is rain ending by Tues but temperatures really nice, only in the low 70ºs.

My weight is stuck around 143-144.  Today I had bread and eggs for the first time in months.  I will continue to keep the calories low but will add more cholesterol and carbs for building, healing, and hormone support.

I see Dr. LaPrade tomorrow.  Not looking forward to the long day which will start when I leave for the airport at 3am, and will return home probably just before midnight.

Still not ready to run but I think I'll be doing stadium stairs fairly soon.

Been spending money on toys... my boat and motorcycles.  I hope to take the boat out next week for the first time, spend some time in Chattanooga.  I've finished 90% of a complicated vacuflush head, one of my projects. I find out from the shop that both my Kawasaki dual sport Sherpas are going to need several hundred $$$ of work to get running, but my 32 yr old little Suzuki DR100 starts on the first kick every time. Probably the only street legal one of its kind. 

I look forward to driving to lake when the weather gets warm.  The temperature has been averaging only about 70º here everyday for the past several days.  Feels like I'm in the NE. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2019


I developed some concepts that I think really work for anti-aging pursuits.  Some things you can control, like lifestyle... but some things you can't, like genetics, stress.

I sometimes see body builders who are bulky, muscular, and low fat... 'look old' in the face.  Possibly due to neglecting skin care, tanning, genetics, steroids, etc...

What I mean by anti-aging involves both maintaining a physically fit body, heathy internals (good blood work, organ function, disease resistance) and healthful face and appearance.  As I said, some factors you can control and some you can't.

Factors you can not control:
1) Genetics.  Inherited traits that make a person look old may be things like baldness, gray hair, premature wrinkles, disease predisposition.

2) Stress.  Often stress comes from work schedule and/or family duties and obligations

Of the factors you can control, these lifestyle factors are the most important in my opinion, with some general advice under each.

Diet and nutrition
1) Eat less.  Calorie restriction has been proven to extend life in virtually every animal tested, from amoeba to mammals.  My Dr agreed that intermittent fasting (without being obsessive) has a host of health benefits.  Being as lean as possible helps blood quality, digestive health, vascular health.  As a help with fasting, I drink a lot of sweetened iced coffee in the warm months, Whole Earth sweetener is the best sugar substitute I've found.  I eat 2 small or one medium meal a day when reducing.  Don't feel as if you're entitled to eat out of habit at a certain time.  If everyone around you is eating, doesn't mean you have to.  As humans age, they become more adept at storing fat.  See my post on fasting.
2) Eat foods that promote lean body weight and disease prevention.  When reducing body fat, low carb for me is essential.  During a reducing phase, I'm eating mostly protein (lean meat, chicken, seafood), fat (nuts, avocados,  chocolate), and fresh vegetables.  During a strengthening phase, more carbs and protein.  Cruciferous vegetables are known for disease prevention, also daily but limited anti oxidant foods such as berries, pomegranate juice ... I even drink goji berry juice - just a shot every morning.   I also supplement some vitamins, D3, B complex, and various others.  I also take a liquid anti-inflammatory turmeric formula made by Qunol.
3) Don't eat processed/fast food and learn to feed yourself.   The most important part of this is to know what you're eating. Read labels.  Eat organic as much as possible.  I always buy organic chicken and produce.  Eat whole foods without additives, preservatives, etc...
4) Avoid alcohol and smoking.  Although light drinking of wine has shown clear health benefits, it also has the effect of lowering testosterone, especially daily beer drinking.  The issues with smoking are obvious, although one or 2 hits of pot a month is fairly innocuous.

1) HIIT.  High intensity interval training has shown numerous benefits for stimulating hormone production as well as overall health.
2) Strengthen.  Doing resistance work, weights or even resistance bands or body weight exercises.
3) Do projects. Things that keep you up on your feet or moving around rather than sitting.  Amazing how many calories one can burn doing a project... and it takes the mind off of eating.  Lately I've been working on my boat and I can see a big calorie burn, probably from climbing up and down the ladder to get on and off.
4) Move.  Walk, bike, stand, anything is better than sitting/ laying down.

Skin care - especially the face
I don't want to sound too vain or concerned with this, but men can learn a lot from women when caring for their skin
1) Moisturize.  Every time I shower or wash my face 2-3 times a day, I moisturize with Avalon Organic moisturizer.  That includes every night before sleeping
2) Avoid the sun.  I almost always train at dusk to avoid sun exposure.  When I know I'm going to be out in the sun, I use sunscreen, and wear a hat.  Not all sunscreens are good.  Some are more toxic than others.  Choose a low toxic sunscreen - this site is helpful.  Going to a tanning bed and/or laying in the sun are about the most destructive things you can do for your skin.  I 'layed out' when I was young.  Regret it now.  But was young and foolish then.  Going to a tanning bed has always seemed like 'a redneck thing' to me.
3) Taping.  This I learned from a girlfriend who does this all the time.  A little embarrassed to admit I do this... Taping wrinkles before bed with Frownies or anything from surgical tape to brown packing tape.  I have 2 extremely deep creases between my eyes and this pre sleep application definitely helps.  It won't erase your creases, but it helps, a lot.
4) Hydrate.  I've been hydrating lately with a fruit punch made with about 6 oz of fruit juice in a liter of water, sweetened with Whole Earth sweetener.  It's low cal, sweet, tasty.  Drinking watered down juice is better for hydrating than straight juice.

General Lifestyle
To some people, there are limitations on this aspect.
1) Sleep.  Sleep hygiene is important, better to prepare to sleep than to fall asleep on the couch and get up at 4 am and go to bed.  I'm notorious for doing this, falling asleep not in bed and keeping odd hours.  But, I have the luxury to sleep during the day and often take a mid-late afternoon nap.
2) Stress.  Live relaxed lifestyle, don't get uptight or angry, scowl at people, etc...  Be kind.  Try to make your work hours/schedule as conducive to sleep as much as possible if you have a choice.   Make your work environment and relationships comfortable.  Try to maximize free time, don't over commit.   Don't engage in constant controversy/drama with family, friends.  Relax.  All overachievers can be obsessive.  Compartmentalize your work and don't obsess about it all the time.
3) Spend time in nature.  Turn off the TV, disconnect from your phone.  Being in wilderness areas and natural settings can bring a peaceful and relaxing mindset, and good clean air.   It's also good to spend time in nature alone.
4) Stay on top of your health care.  Get checkups, blood work, check blood pressure, etc... You may have a disease or disorder that could be treatable and not know it.  Even those that live an unhealthy lifestyle can extend their lives by good medical care and preventative medicine.  Those that think they're healthy often don't know it when they develop a problem if they never seek preventative medical evaluation.   Blood pressure cuffs are not that expensive, good to have one.  I think I'm in decent shape... blood pressure in 116 / 66, resting pulse is 55.

Turning 60 years old next year ....

Hill climbs, rowing

I climbed Roarkes Cove Road on the bike first time this year 900' climb in 2.8 miles.  It was as hard as always.  Then went to the track to do some stretching and drills.  Afterward, I did my first session on the rower this year and some other weights.  I'll be starting Stairmaster next time.

I'm still about 2 weeks or so from my lean target, but almost there.   Avg weight is about 144, but was at 142.9 before eating yesterday.  Lately it's been grilled chicken and broccoli / some vegetable.

Still being patient, probably 4 weeks before running workouts although I may be doing stadium stairs a bit sooner. 

Good to be in shape, mostly due to diet.