Thursday, October 24, 2013

Animal Sciences Rd

I took a new path today to get a slightly longer walk -- north up Stadium Way to Wilson Rd, then east to the junction of Animal Sciences Rd, and continuing east to Airport Rd, then south to Grimes Way and back along the usual "Airport Rd" route.

It's a nice walk -- a little more "countrified" than the pure Grimes Way round-trip, and also a little more up-and-down, so a little more cardio-rific.  My overall time was 41:07, but I stopped for most of a four-minute phone call from Sharon, so it's not a very good indicator.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Long Time No Post

It's almost a month since my last confe... post.  That's not because I have been lazy.  I've been to the gym 7 times, and done one or another of my walks about an equal number.

Today I did the Airport Road trip.  My times were:

  • 10:49 at Dairy Rd.
  • 16:50 at Airport Rd.
  • 23:13 at Dairy Rd.
  • 33:26 to finish.
That's pretty good stepping for me (personal best appears from this blog to be 33:08 on July 18).  The best part is that I was not especially limited by aerobic condition;  I made the entire uphill without slowing for breath.  That's not to say I didn't get tired and a little wobbly by the top.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Downward Dip

This workweek I only exercised twice, due to competition for my time from family responsibilities.  nonetheless, both were good workouts:  one up Olympia Av in record time (if just barely), and one downtown to the bank, also in record time (with a couple of stars due to stops at the bank and to pick up lunch).

That is the least exercise of any week since I started this in February.  The challenge now is to prevent the downward dip from becoming a new plateau.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fac/Staff Second Visit

I have my locker combo now, and have to figure out how to handle gym gear (from shampoo to shoes).  I didn't brave the weight room yet, just walked outside and showered again.  Of course, the weight room is part of the point of spending $99 (although the indoor walk/run at the fieldhouse is also an option.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Faculty/Staff Fitness Program

I joined the Faculty/Staff Fitness program for Fall Semester ($99).  It permits me to use the locker room, the weight room, and some other facilities (like basketball courts) that are not useful to me.  The point is to have a place for a cardio workout (and maybe more?) when the weather is inclement, so that walking is not a good option.

I went to the Gym, but the staff there couldn't get me the combination on the lock of the locker assigned to me.  So I went for a walk and then took a shower.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Last Two Weeks

... included walking every day at noontime (10 for 10).  Sometimes more intensive, sometimes less, but never lackadaisical.  Walks included an (approximate) personal best 34:26 to Airport Rd. and back, and several walks up the Olympia Av hill to the Observatory, plus some "cross-country" in the area behind Rogers-Orton and the Vet School.

Monday, July 29, 2013

New Shoes for Baby

I took my new shoes out for a spin at lunchtime -- to Airport Rd. and back in 34:29.  The shoes are black mesh uppers with red-and-black Vibram soles, about the minimum a shoe could be and still have a Vibram sole.  They really make it easy to attend to footfall mechanics.  They're not all-weather shoes, but they did very well today.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Today I walked a new route -- down Stadium way to Olympia, then east through the dorms and apartment complexes, bending uphill and north until I was behing the Global Animal Health building, then back to CUE.  About 20 minutes, with a not-too-intense incline in the middle.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Maximum Effort (for now)

Today it was one more trek to Airport Rd. and back.  Even though it was a personal best time (33:08), it felt kind of empty.  I really pushed myself to maximum (safe) effort, including leg and foot biomechanics, pace (just about 132/minute throughout), and stride.  I lost concentration for part of the way back with the usual mental chit-chat, but I kept calling myself back to the effort -- a kind of walking Yoga workout.  So I'm not sure why it didn't feel better...

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Back in the Saddle Again

I did the Airport Rd. walk in 34:17 on a somewhat muggy day (unusual for this part of the world):

"Lap" times:

Start End Elapsed
CUE Diary Rd 10:45
Dairy Rd Airport Rd 6:55
Airport Rd Dairy Rd 6:25
Dairy Rd CUE 10:17

Not too bad, considering the third "lap" is uphill, but about 30 seconds slower than my personal best on May 28th. Today's pace is about 14'17" per mile.

Still, I've recovered about the same level as before my shoulder injury in June.  I have only a little residual soreness in my shoulder (and related soreness in my neck and back).  So this is encouraging.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Resurgence & Motivation

I can't believe how long it's actually been since I've posted here! Ay, well, we move on.

I was still working out at least twice a week for a while there, but pretty much after my San Francisco trip (mid-April, which involved many lovely miles of walking after a night of vigorous dancing) I got wrapped up in the whirlwind of the end-of-the-semester at school and the beginning of my busiest season at work. Other than walking to classes (until Mid-May) and walking during events or whatnot there wasn't a lot of exercising going on for the beginning of Summer.

Eventually I started getting antsy to get back to it, and somehow became obsessed with the idea of being able to run. I've never been in "running shape" and until recently didn't have the patience to work up to it slowly enough to not hurt my knees, hips, or ankles. Last week I went on a "jog," which involved a few minutes of walking, then alternating 1 min walking with 1 min jogging. It was pretty great. I had a couple days long camping trip this weekend so I didn't run, but I did spend a couple hours each day swimming. I took yesterday and Monday off due to a scrape on my food from the camping trip that I didn't take care of well enough at first. It's better today so the plan is 12 repetitions of 1 min walking / 1 min jogging. I'll keep updating here as I progress! Maybe even include links to my routes if I figure out how. I'm using MapMyRun to track my distance/time/routes. I have a rough plan for getting in shape to run a 10k on September 15th, so we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Two Dairy Days

I walked to Dairy Rd. yesterday and today -- there's too much going on at work and I'm too tired to take on more.  Today's round-trip time was 21'37", a little faster I think than yesterday, but I didn't keep time.  I focused on pushing with the thighs again on these walks.  I believe it yields better times, but it's more work.

My esitmate of the Diary Rd distance is 0.7 miles (per Google Maps).  Assume that has an error term of plus-or-minus .05 miles.  Then the round trip is 1.4 plus-or-minus .1 miles.  Today's time computes to a 16.6-minute or a 14.4-minute mile, depending on which way the error lies.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Not So Light Day

... but not super-heavy, either.

I did the Dairy Rd. walk at lunchtime, outbound in 10:46, inbound 10:40, total 21:26. I believe that's a "personal best" by about 4 seconds.  It's approximately 15.03 minutes per mile.

I got the improvement over Wednesday's times primarily by upping the pace to about the maximum I can do at this time without real straining (except for the first and last minute-and-a-half, which I walked as a "purposeful" but not quickstep pace as a warmup and cool-down).  I also tried to focus on mechanics, especially focusing on the "push" part of the step (thighs) rather than the "pull" part of the step (calves).  This is in preparation for a changed biomechanics with the hip-swivel, which I'm not ready to try seriously yet, given my recent sore hips.

This rate of walking introduced just a little aerobic stress (beginnings of exercise asthma) to the walkout, so I think that's about the right level for the time being.  I am still on the return-to-practice path after the layoff caused by injury.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Light Day

Even though the weather has moderated (82 degrees, per Weather Underground),  my hip is a little sore (prbably from trying to get out of bed without re-injuring my shoulder), and I decided not to push it.  Daity Rd. in 11:35 out, 12:00 in, at about 120 steps per minute.  Maximum heart rate 90.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Only Mad Dogs

... and Joshua go out in the noonday sun.

99 degrees out, a good excuse not to walk, but hey!  My shoulder would probably love the heat.  Besides, I have a deposit to make at the bank.  So I walk down the hill and on downtown to the bank in 14:45, about the usual time, even though it is hot, especially where the campus streets (asphalt) are surrounded by sidewalks (concrete) and building walls (concrete and brick).

On the way back (uphill), I determined to take it easy, regardless of time.  Excluding a 6-minute stop for a cell-phone call, I took 25 minutes (usual uphill time: about 19).  At least I got smart and walked on the shady side of the street, Tin Pan Alley not withstanding.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Rec Center Not So Bad

After a hiatus in exercise nearly as long as the pause in posting to this blog, I got back on track (literally) at the Student Rec Center at WSU today.  They're having a free week for administrative/professional staff (me), and Peg offered to give me a ride out and back, and it was raining quite convincingly, so I decided to try it, despite my misogymny (hmmmph).

Actually, it was pretty pleasant.  The track is shared by runners (outside lanes) and walkers (inside lanes), and the direction of travel is switched every day.  Underfoot is very even, so it is possible to concentrate of mechanics.  The climate control is very comfortable, and there's lots of daylight, even on a cloudy day.

A mitigating factor is that it is summer, which means many fewer people generally and many fewer college-age people in particular.  I seem to remember that the only other time I was at SRC, it seemed to be a sea of pheromones.  In any case, I enjoyed the overbuiltness of it during the slack season.

I must admit to finding all those people sweating and straining against the springs and weights, and running on treadmills, a trifle disconcerting.  I spend much of my life doing things I have to do, and being a spectator to this artificial work/non-work was uncomfortable.  On the other hand, many of the people are athletes, for whom these "workouts" are preparation for intrinsically-rewarding activity -- as playing scales is preparation for music (not that I ever did that regularly!).

So maybe the Rec Center is not so bad (at least, in the slack season) -- but at $30 a month, rain or shine, I'm still somewhat skeptical.

Friday, June 14, 2013

More Shoulder

The chiropractor was helpful wen I visited.  Among other things, he repositioned the proximal end of the humerus (upper end of the upper arm bone) slightly in its socket, which helped with arm mobility.  He also did various energy manipulations, which helped my neck (a collateral-damage victim of the shoulder injury).  At the end of the session, he said, "Give it 48 hours and call to let ke know how it's going".  Then he laughed and said "My guess is, you'll forget to call [because the problem will be gone and won't b reminding you]".

That seems unlikely.  Though I'm doing better at dodging those activities that seem to irritate my shoulder, it's hard to totally eliminate them, either because of practical concers (stick-shifting my car), or just habit (levering myself out of my office chair on my elbow, which I have done a hundred times every day before my injury, and only twice today, but that's twice too many).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Shoulder Trip

While in Chicago for my 50th high school reunion, I was taking my exercise walk at a brisk pace.  The weather was smiling and I was happy -- too happy to watch my step.  Next I knew, I had tripped on a cracked and shifted piece of pavement and landed on my knee (skinned) and shoulder (very sore).

After a long phone "exam" by the insurance company's "consulting nurse", she determined that I had not broken anything, dislocated anything, or torn the rotator cuff.  "Just a bad bruise", she opined.  Ice it (20 minutes on, 20 minutes off) for 48 hours, then (optionally) apply heat if desired.  Use Tylenol for pain.

It did get less sore and more mobile over the next four days, but then, late at night, I was walking down stairs, very tired, when I must have stepped hard enough to jolt my shoulder.  Ow!  I think it was a small re-injury.  Since, the progress in healing has slowed or stopped.

I am going to see the chiropractor Dr. Kevin Smith today.  I am hoping he can help this situation resolve as he did with my back injury at the end of February.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Two to Airport Road

... Friday in 33:36 (another personal best), today in 36:30 (obviously not pushing so hard, but better than the 39:xx I did the first time).  That Friday time is a rate of just about 14 minutes per mile.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


My new umbrella was necessary today as a light rain fell throughout my walk.  I only went as far as Dairy Rd, but I tried out some faster pace-rates from time to time.  Unfortunately, I couldn't really measure them because I left my watch at home today (first time in for. ever.),

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Some Math

After a hiatus, some good days, some off days, I did the Airport Rd walk, making some measurements and doing a little math which occupied my mind while chugging away.  [To be fair, some of the math I did later, in the office, with Google's help.]

I walked from 300 NE Troy Ln (my office building) to the corner of Airport Rd and Grimes Way and back in 37'54".  Google Maps informs me that this is 1.2 miles one way, call it 2.4 round-trip. That's 334 feet per minute (or 15.79 minutes per mile).  Since I clocked myself at just about 60 paces (120 steps) per minute, that's 5.57 feet per pace.

To perform the same walk in 32 minutes would require a rate of 396 feet per minute, an increase of 18.5%.  To accomplish this by lengthening stride alone would require a stride of 6.6 feet -- probably not doable, at least without racewalking mechanics.  To accomplish it by quickening pace alone would require a pace of 71.1 paces per minute (142.2 steps).  Since the University of Michigan marching band does 240 steps per minute (in formation and while playing instruments, including winds and horns), I know it's humanly possible.  I don't know what it would take to get me up to that rate for 32 minutes straight.

If I could lengthen my pace by 3 inches (to 5.82 feet), I would need a rate of 68 paces per minute to do that walk in 32 minutes.  That might be doable.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

For the Record...

Monday I walked out to Dairy Rd and back.  The time was about 20:40, which is close to my personal best (20:36).

Tuesday I did not walk, but had a yoga class that was quite strenuous (as yoga goes), including dripping sweat all over my mat.

Wednesday I had a motivation failure -- I just wanted to sit at my desk and work and not go out and sweat and strain.

Thursday (today) it was Dairy Rd. again (10:40 out, 11:00 in, 21:40 overall).  It seems my lower legs are currently the limiting factor.  On the return trip I had to shorten my stride to keep up the step rate (or, i suppose, keep the stride long and slow the step rate), because my calves were complaining.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Diary Road Speed Sprint

Warm weather today -- I didn't wear a jacket for my walk.  I walked to Dairy Road and back in 20'36", trying pretty hard to keep up the pace in spite of the fact that my legs were still a little tired from yesterday's Airport Road trek.

If I remember correctly, that's about 3' less than my first time in February.  If I can reduce my Dairy Rd. time to about 19'00", and can keep up that pace all the way to Airport Road and back, that will bring me in at my dream (it hasn't really been a goal) of 30 minutes to A-Rd. and back.  That might require better shoes...:-)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Other Walks This Week

Tuesday I tried a variant of the "light day", walking the same path as my downtown walk, but stopping and turning around at the bottom of the hill by Engineering.  That gets me all the elevation change in a shorter time.  I turned it around in 19 minutes, which is about what I would have extrapolated (interpolated?) from my downtown times.

Wednesday was too busy at work.

Thursday I walked all the way down to Airport Road for the first time.  34 minutes round trip.  It's 2.2 or 2.4 miles, according to slightly different lookups in Google Maps, so that's a pretty good clip.  Also kind of tiring in the legs as well as the aerobic system.  I felt tired for a good bit of the afternoon.  Still, it was exciting to finally get all the way down to the corner -- I've been thinking about that as a goal for years.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Now South

I've done routes to the east (Dairy Rd.), to the west (downtown), and to the north (Dissmore's).  Today I decided to go south, down Stadium Way, past the Man Shop and across the tracks to the Koppel Farm, the slightly historical site of the Pullman Community Garden.  Except for Dairy Rd, all the routes have about 250 feet of elevation change each way, since all three destinations are just about at river level.  About 12 minutes out and the same back, though I wasn't pushing.  Very breezy weather, with a chill to it, and intermittent sun.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Walk and Talk

In today's beautiful early-spring weather I went for a lunchtime walk and ran into Ken Clark, an old friend from IT days and also from the local music scene.  He fell in with me and we walked to Dairy Rd, talking about Buddha, quantum entanglement, liver disease, and of course, music.  I didn't make very good time, but so what?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Two Light Days

Tuesday was a very busy day at work.  Rather than skip my walk, I decided to do a shorter-duration walk, but still get some exercise.  So I took the same route I normally take to go downtown, but when I got to the bottom of the stairs next to Engineering, I turned around and came back up.  Time:  8 minutes downhill, 11 minutes uphill.  That's a smaller differential than usual, perhaps due to the fact that I didn't have an additional 14 minutes to downtown and back.

Today I walked to Dairy Rd. and back, trying to keep up a brisk pace.  I did the round-trip in 22'10".  According to my revised Google maps route, that's 1.6 miles, or about 4.36 miles per hour.  Dr. Cooper's aerobic chart suggests that's about 3.8 aerobic points. Cooper Institute recommends 15 points per week for "health and longevity":   "With just 15 points a week, research shows a 58 percent reduction in death from all causes, and an increase in longevity of six years. "  So even four days a week of this walk or better is a pretty good deal -- and that doesn't even touch quality-of-life benefits.

A Long Walk for Juice

I walked down to Dissmore's because I needed some juice to help with hydration (I usually water it 4:1 or 5:1 to keep the cost and the calories down).  So I had to carry the half-gallon of juice while making the uphill trip.  Time about 39 minutes.

Summary of Week of April 15

  • Monday:  Walked downtown to the bank.  Walking time for the round-trip: 33 minutes (not counting in-the-bank time).
  • Tuesday:  No walk, yoga.
  • Wedensday: Also downtown to the bank, also 33 minutes.
  • Thursday: Dissmore's, 39 minutes.
  • Friday: No walk (rain, plus crises at work).

Friday, April 12, 2013

Finishing out the Comeback Week

After two relatively easy Dairy Road days, I decided to try the 30-minute walk out Grimes Way -- 15 minutes out, turn around, 15 minutes back. Very nice weather -- it seemed a little cool at first, but walking at a good pace got me warm.

Google maps tells me I made about 1.8 miles on the round trip, which is a respectable 3.6 miles per hour.  On the return trip, I counted steps -- it came to about 940 (there might have been a skip or slip in the count in there, but nothing drastic), which is just about 5 feet per double-pace.  Since I doubt I can increase that length without adopting racewalking biomechanics, the only other option to cover more ground in the time allotted is to boost the step rate above 120 per minute.  Easier said than done, while protecting the bod.  I need to research walking biomechanics more, to make sure I am using the best technique for my purposes.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Back after Back Setback

A week ago Friday night I hurt my low back with an ill-advised lift.  At first my back was just somewhat sore, but by Monday morning I knew I shouldn't go in to work, and by Tuesday morning I couldn't get myself out of bed due to back spasms.  Needless to say, exercise walks were O-U-T.

Fortunately, Dr. Kevin Smith, a chiropractor at Moscow Health and Wellness Center, was able to help me.  After two visits with him and a couple of additional days of rest, I am nearly normal (back-wise, that is).

Today I took my first exercise walk since the injury.  The day is beautiful,  partly cloudy and 50 degrees with a light wind.  I didn't try to make time, just walked purposefully along.  At Dairy Road,  I was only 12 minutes out, and considered walking three more minutes outbound -- but then I thought "Well, I don't really know what my back will think of the extra", so I turned around.  Total for the trip was just about 25 minutes.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Bank and Back

Today's trip was downtown to the bank again - combining errand and exercise.  This time, I told myself I wouldn't try for a fast time, just to keep moving.  The weather was a little chilly, but pleasant enough. My time was almost the same (38:00) as when I was trying to be quick -- a fact with multiple competing potential explanations.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Two Trips to Dairy Rd.

... on Thursday (22:50) and Friday (22:25).  The latter time was due in part to the little icy pellets that began falling from the sky and slapping me in the face as I turned for the inbound leg.  It kind of made this old horse more anxious for the barn.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday Haul

... down to Dissmore's and back, as planned for one of my weekly "heavy days".  Unfortunately, the gray clouds to the west started dripping on me as I was only a couple of blocks from my turnaround point -- so I carried on.  17:45 outbound, 19:45 inbound, with the two minutes' discrepancy all on the steepest uphill, keeping my heartrate down to 120.

Overall, I believe I am seeing some benefits from the walking-workouts program.  I think I am actually building some strength in my legs, some aerobic capacity, and I might be sleeping better.


So maybe it isn't Sunday. Or Monday. But I DID dance a lot last weekend, so that was good. And I cleaned quite a bit, which is by no means strenuous exercise but it does involve more moving around than doing homework or watching a movie.

I still walk every day to class also, which is about all the exercise I did Monday except for some that's a bit "unmentionable" for this blog. :P

The weather is still a bit too chilly for me to motivate to walk to work, since I'd be walking back after dark most days. But soon that will be easier and I'll be getting back on my bike too.

Not enough time for a food post. I'm supposed to be in bed already, but I wanted to do a quick update just to remind myself that I'm really doing this!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Downhill, Upwind, Uphill, Downwind

... a lucky chance.

Today's walk downtown took place in bright sun and a quite stiff (and chilly!) breeze.  Fortunately, the wind was from the West, so I had the downhill while walking upwind, and the wind at my back when walking uphill.  That slope by the Engineering Labs is still pretty challenging.

To the Pufferbelly Depot (1.1 miles) 16 minutes;  back up the hill, nineteen minutes.  I took it a little slow on behalf of my heartrate.

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Personal Best

Friday I had decided not to do an exercise walk.  I had a co-workers' lunch to attend, and I didn't want to spend extra time away from work in addition to that.  However, in the afternoon the office needed to get some paperwork walked over to French Ad, so I volunteered, and went by way of Dairy Road.  My outbound time was skewed by the stop-off at the Ad building, but my inbound time was 11:15 -- a new personal best.

There's something very satisfying about combining exercise and work that has to be done anyway.

Getting Back in the Swing

So to speak.

My presence has certainly been lacking on this blog. Although for some "good" reasons (midterms were last week and the week before) and some lazy ones, none are really acceptable for not posting anything. So I am back and renewing my determination to make this one of my weekday priorities. Actually I'm thinking Sunday-Thursday posts. (At least after today) The idea was to be motivated to "do" more so I would have something to write about, but without my own blog schedule to keep me accountable, well, we've seen how well that worked! :P

Anyway, this week is (was, it's nearly over, oh no!) my Spring break, so my friend Eve and I went to Portland last Friday, and didn't come back until Wednesday. There was a fair bit of walking around the city, although I didn't write it down. I didn't get any dancing in, but I did get to visit two of my oldest friends. Each is very different, and it was so nice to catch up with them. I came back feeling pretty refreshed. And I'm even more determined to be in good shape for more adventures, including camping and some hiking this summer.

The plan this weekend is dancing. Lots of dancing. There is a band playing at the Alley tonight, and I'll probably get some done there. Tomorrow night I'm having a little gathering at my mom's house, which has lots of room and some good speakers. Sunday I will be doing the clean-up at Mom's so that will round the weekend off nicely.

Today is the beginning of "spring cleaning" at my apartment. I still haven't successfully moved in to this place, and I would like to before the business of true spring hits and I will no longer be able to spend hours folding and sorting piles of clothes and figuring out creative ways to stack books so they can come out of their boxes and--Oy!! Haha. But then I usually end up dance-cleaning a little bit, so it becomes its own form of mild exercise.

I definitely need to join Eve at the gym at least once a week also. She knows how to get a good sweat going on, for sure.

Time for more cleaning, some lentil soup, and some work after that! Sunday I expect I will start adding some words about food, which is even more important than exercise for getting in shape.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Down to Dissmore's

Today I decided to combine another errand (a small groceries-for-the-office stop) with my exercise walk.  The nearest true grocery is Dissmore's IGA, about 1.2mi. by road or 1.1 mi. cutting across campus, according to Google.  If I read the topo right, it's about 240 feet down to Dissmore's, and coming back, just about the same distance up.

I did the walk in 17 minutes down and 18 minutes back, the latter including two brief rest stops to keep my heart rate down to 20 (that is 20/10 seconds or 120 per minute).  I feel pretty good about that.

This is my second "heavy day" this week -- I discovered an interesting "walking workout" schedule that suggests different types of walks for different days, and this is my first attempt to adopt some of that thinking.

I also figured out that I need some "products" -- for one, a better pair of walking shoes.  My current lace-ups have a cup heel that's too stiff for walking biomechanics, which involve a heel roll.  Also, I saw a guy in a neon-green nylon shell -- a great idea for visibility.

As the weather gets warmer and the walks turn into workouts, the issue of perspiration and appropriate clothing becomes a little more complex.  I hate to add the overhead of changing clothes, but I may have to.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sweeten the Sweatin'

Today I had an errand to run at the bank downtown.  Normally I "don't have time" to walk downtown from campus, but when I realized that if I drove downtown, I "wouldn't have time" to do my exercise walk, I figured I would combine the errand and the exercise.

Google Maps says the distance is 1.1 miles one-way.  What it doesn't say (but I later confirmed with a topo map) is that the elevation change is about 220 feet.  In the event, I took 19 minutes outbound (downhill), and about 21 minuts inbound (uphill) -- not bad, considering that I needed a breather at the middle and again at the top of the stairs (!) next to the engineering labs.

I admit to being a little exertion-giddy for a few minutes after, and I worked up a little too much sweat to be comfortable.  And I bought myself a very nice cup of Thomas Hammer coffee downtown to sweeten the sweatin'.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Everybody Loves Saturday Night

... at the Friends of the Clearwater benefit concert, dancing to Moscow's own Smokin' Mojo.  One nice thing about a hometown band is knowing lots of the persons in it, so you can cheer them on in a special way.

I made sure to wear my "slippery city shoes", so I was glidin' and slidin' with the best of them (my wife, who is my dancing inspiration).  About 45 minutes of energetic movement with one break made for a pretty good workout -- it felt like more work than the regular lunchtime walk, especially for my hips!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Slight Slopes...

... can be more challenging than they look.  I never thought about the ups and downs of Grimes Way (formerly called "Farm Way") until I had to huff up 'em and puff down 'em.
The uphill portion, looking east.  The top is about a half mile, and maybe 30 feet of rise (if I read the topo map right).
Still looking east, downhill from the high spot.  The white truck you can barely see in the road is near my turnaround point.
Looking back (west) from my turnaround point.  Just enough upslope renew the challenge after my half-way point.
The long westward downslope home.  My office window is the little white square on the top floor of the slope-roofed building in the center of the picture.

Monday, March 4, 2013

How Time Flies

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and today (Monday) I did my lunchtime walk -- I just didn't blog every day for all the usual lame reasons.  I didn't have my watch on me Wednesday and Thursday, but wall-clock time was about 24:00, which is about the same as earlier walks.  Friday was just over 12:00 outbound and just under 12:00 inbound, very much the same.

Today I made a slight effort to up the pace from 120 steps per minute to 126 spm.  That should make about a 5% difference in my time -- cut about 1 minute off the 24:00 round trip.  My time outbound was 11:44, inbound was 11:15, for a total of just under 23:00.

The point is not really the time.  I need to get more exercise value out of 25 minutes of walking -- that means walking faster.  The alternative, which is just walking longer, would just add time pressure in other areas of my life.  So little by little, as the weather improves and my body permits, I'll be stepping up the pace -- in baby steps, to be sure.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Case of the Clumsy Leg...

Okay time to plunge in to this health blog. :)
My exercise has been limited lately by a healing leg. It feels/felt like a strained ligament or something, and I know it was from The Clumsy Lovers show a few weeks ago, where dancing is a lot of jumping and fast moves and excitement. All in all it was definitely worth it, but when I felt that strange pop in my leg I probably should've given it a rest. Nope, kept dancing on it. Then I felt it again, and kept dancing on it. So yes it was quite sore for a few days.

But then I kept re-injuring it (on accident, mostly by slipping on slick floor or a muddy hill) and so last week when I went to the Rec (short for Student Recreation Center) on Tuesday I knew I needed to take it easy. My leg at that point was finally almost back to normal.

I settled on a stationary bike for about 35 minutes, keeping the resistance fairly low. Then I walked home which is almost exactly a mile from the Rec. My leg started hurting that evening and is still just recovering. So it's been hard to motivate myself to work out. I've done a little bit of calisthenics at home, but need to make time for more of that. Two midterms, one long online quiz, and a handful of assignments have been piling up this week and definitely take priority over exercise, but now I only have one midterm (tomorrow night) and a couple assignments left to work on.

I just looked up the distance to where I and it's almost a mile also. Maybe today I'll bundle up a little extra and walk to work. There's a nice huge hill to walk up to get there, but that means downhill and flat most of the way home! I need to start using less gas anyway. And the sun is out, so it's a majestical winter's day out there.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Yoga Tuesday

Since I have to leave work a little early to make my 5:30 Yoga class (about 25 minutes from where I work), I didn't do a lunchtime walk today.

Yoga class is usually not aerobic (this semester -- last term I was in a "vinyasa" or "flow" class that had me puffing and sweating dripping!).  Today we did the usual Surya Namaskar ("Sun Salutation") warmups, along with some spine-flexing using ropes attached to the wall and an inversion.  Most people do handstands against the wall, but because of my wrist injury I do a version on my forearms.

Then we worked for quite a while on Parsvotanasan ("Pyramid Pose"). [Like this picture, except I only got my back as low as parallel to the floor.]  Despite the non-classical result, I actually got a compliment from my Yoga teacher, who said my pose was "powerful and relaxed".  Well, maybe... I did get a better thigh-bone position than ever before in the pose.

The session always ends with a cool-down, usually legs-up-the-wall (lying on our backs) followed by Savasana ("Corpse Pose") for deep relaxation.  To me, Savasana is like dessert after the meal!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Contrary to My Expectations

My lunchtime walk today was on the same course as Friday -- I took the elevator down to the ground floor (seven stories), then walked to Dairy Rd. and back, then back up in the elevator to the office.  The weather was somewhat more polite, with sun in spots, but there was quite a breeze blowing.

Friday's mystery of the time difference between outbound and inbound is solved -- I hadn't really noticed it, but the route out is mostly a gentle uphill, and (contrary to my expectations) NOT uphill going the other way.  Today I had a tailwind going uphill, and a headwind on the way back.  Still doing 120 steps per minute.  Out: 12:11;  In: 12:44.  As time goes on, I'd like to pick up the pace a little and walk about a half-mile further, to the corner of Grimes Way and Airport Road.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Workout at the Grade School Gym

Today is Saturday, so the lunch-time walk routine is off, but I was encouraged by my wife to volunteer at Bountiful Baskets at noontime.  BB is a kind of produce shopping cooperative.  People register (and pay for) weekly shares online.  Then produce is delivered by truck in boxes, and volunteers portion out the "shares" into plastic laundry baskets.  My first task was to take boxes of 115 apples and put four apples in each of 85 baskets.  The site is an elementary school gym, and I certainly got a good gym-style sweat going as I toted and shoved boxes, bent and stooped or crawled on the floor along the rows of bakets, transfered produce from baskets to boxes, then carried full boxes out of the gym to the line of waiting share-purchasers.

Frankly, that's the kind of exercise I like best -- work with a tangible benefit.

Friday, February 22, 2013

OK, Mister, Start Walking

Yesterday the nutritionist I was sent to see advised me that most of the medical threats hanging over me could be mitigated by the simple expedient of walking every day. Though at most times in my life I have found exercise for its own sake a grind, and I hate gyms with a passion (as late-growth boys are likely to do, even after they become men), I figure I could take a lunchtime walk every day without triggering dire psychological trauma.

So today at lunchtime I looked out the window. It was snowing pretty definitely, but the snow wasn't "sticking" -- the sidewalks were wet, not white. Gotta start sometime.  I walked from Smith Center (where my building is) to Dairy Rd (a distance of 0.7 miles, says Google Maps), and back again. I started out at a brisk pace, thinking "this IS for exercise, after all", but before I got to Dairy Rd, I was clearly running short of oxygenation, so I slowed down to a moderate but purposeful pace (120 steps per minute, definitely not a stroll). Time from the parking lot to Dairy Rd: 13:00 even.

I kept the pace slower coming back. Time from Dairy Rd to the parking lot: 11:55. [Don't ask me!]

So that's one day.