Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Moving Day!!

I'm moving my blog to the same hosting site that I use for my personal web page. Please visit me at:


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Tough Loss

If the sometimes joked about notion is true that we only have a finite number of heart beats available to us in a lifetime, then I made a big withdrawal on my account yesterday. I played a really tough three-game match with Neal, and we split the first two games. Both games included several extended rallies where I really had to hustle. When we took a break after splitting the first two games, I mentioned to Neal that my heart rate was really up there. So then what happens? We start the third game with a twenty shot rally that saw me racing all over the place (only to lose the point). The third game was back and forth but I ended serving for the match at 14-12. Unfortunately, Neal ended up serving at 14-14 and won. It's a tough way to lose, but it was a really terrific workout. Neal seems to have my number in 2009 after I was fairly dominant at the end of last year.

Ten more miles on the bike since the last post. I had a slight tailwind for this mornings ride in. I've been running the GPS program for every ride, but I may not continue. It's depressing to see my average speed--so slow. I might pick up a cheap computer to see if perhaps the calculations from the GPS are off. Maybe I'm a tad faster than being reported! :-)

Morning weight: 207lbs

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Morning Commute

I had a good ride in this morning. It was a brisk 39 degrees but there was no wind to speak of. That's a rarity for Corpus Christi, which probably has a better claim to the moniker "Windy City" than Chicago does. I don't mind riding in cold weather at all but I don't care for fighting cold headwinds (or worse--cold, windy and WET). I'm riding pretty slow right now as my EZ-1 recumbent is not what would be considered a fast bike to start with, and that is exacerbated by the fact that I don't have my "recumbent legs" back after not riding one for awhile. I should get a little faster as time goes by but no biggie if I don't. I just want to enjoy the ride and arrive safely.

Riding in does give me a chance to play with a new toy. My phone is a T-Mobile G1--aka the Google phone. It runs on the Android operationing system written by Google, and intergrates with their services very well. One program that I run is called "My Tracks." It uses the internal GPS capability of the phone to allow you to record your movements. Once you record a track, you can upload it to both Google Maps and Google Docs with on tap. The Google Docs function creates a spread sheet showing all kind of statistics like distance, elapsed time, average speed, average speed while moving, elevation changes, and more. The Maps upload puts the track on the 'My Maps" tab of Google Maps. If you click on the end point of the track, it will display all of the statistics for the ride. You can check out this morning's ride by going here:

My overall average speed is REAL SLOW because I let the track continue to record while I stop at the gym to shower and change. So the "average speed while moving" is more indicative of my ride. I'll probably have a 15mph headwind going home so it will be slower.

Morning Weight: 210lbs

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Grok Never Had a Day Like This!

Or perhaps he did. Maybe one morning Mrs. Grok started getting all over him because she wanted the cave etchings redone in "seafoam green." That's how my day went--putting up curtains, and sitting on a bench at the mall why women shopped. Ugh! Not very primal. But I did eat well today. Breakfast was an egg scramble with mushrooms and onions cooked in coconut oil. And my late lunch/supper was a big ass salad and a few pieces of sausage I extracted from a big batch of red beans my wife was cooking. Growing up in New Orleans, I ate a lot of red beans and rice, and it's one of my favorite meals. But I'm not going to do any beans or rice while in restart mode so I just ate a little of the sausage.

I'm looking forward to some warmer weather so I can start getting out for some early morning golf. It's been awhile since I've played and I'm itching to get back out there. I'll probably play like crap but that's not a concern when I'm playing Boogie Golf!

Morning Weight: 210lbs.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Saturday Workout

My grandson was hanging around the house today and giving off his "I'm bored" vibe so I told him to put on his shorts...and we headed to the gym. I didn't do a lot but it was better than hanging around the house. I started off with 30 minutes of "treadmill fartlek." I walked at a baseline of 3.5 mph but randomly ramped up the speed to 7 or 8. Then I headed over to the dumbbell rack:

Seated Overhead Press
18 x 15lbs
8 x 20lbs
5 x 25lbs

Bench Press
15 x 20lbs
8 x 25lb
4 x 30lbs

Have I mentioned before how weak my upper body is? :-) Hey, it's been awhile since I've done anything like this.

I went on to do a hierarchical set of leg presses on a machine. I regretted it afterward because my lower back was a little sore. I was afraid to do squats because of my hand injury. I also tried to do pushups but there was no way--my left hand immediately protested. Monday I plan on calling for a doctor's appointment. So not a great workout but it's a step back in the right direction.

Morning Weight: 209lbs

Friday, February 27, 2009


I started commuting to work on a bike several months ago. From the beginning, I had trouble with my hands getting numb. I bought gloves, adusted the seat postion, and put on some bar ends, but nothing seemed to help. I even dumped the hybrid bike with the straight handlebars for a Jamis Commuter 3.0 with "city" bars. The problem eventually morphed into some serious hand pain in my left hand, and that pain would extend up my arm when I had to grab things. A little research convinced me that I was suffering from what is known as "handlebar palsy" and other names. It's the result of irritation of the ulnar nerve. One of the things that I had to quit doing was pushups--too painful. It also affects my ability to use a kettlebell to some extent.

I'm pretty sure I've eliminated the source of the problem. I traded in that new Jamis bike on a recumbent (something that's worthy of its own post later). Now I have NO pressure on my hands, and I'm much more comfortable on my commute. But the healing process is going very slow. I'm going to call for a doctor's appointment to see if there is anything I can do to speed up the recovery other than gobbling up some Motrin. The one good thing is that my left hand is feeling the brunt of the problem--I can still swing a racquetball racquet with my right hand.

Morning Weight: 209lbs
Bike: 0 miles (combination of the gym showers being closed for repair, and the forecast of 30+mph winds)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Getting Re-Motivated

I had all but decided to just give up on my blog. I came down with the flu a couple days after my last post, and that floored me for a week. Then I had to quit riding my bicycle because I was having some bad hand pain (irritated ulnar nerve I believe). My will power to avoid the high-carb snacks that my wife insists on buying for the grand kids waned. I couldn't get motivated to go to the gym although I continued to play racquetball at least twice a week. I hopped on a scale and got a bit of a shock. I weighed 199 on Thanksgiving morning but last week I tipped in at 214!

I was losing it.

I have had the experience twice in my life of losing over 50 pounds only to eventually gain it back. I really don't want to make it a third. So one of the steps I'm taking is to get back to keeping this record. Again, it doesn't matter if anyone reads it (although I've continued to get a few hits a day despite not posting)-- I need to do this for ME. So even if I can't come up with anything particularly interesting to read, I will still post my morning weigh in. I'm not going to let some up and downs from the scale bother me, but I'm going to use it for motivation. I don't want to go back to Fat Dave. I have a couple real nice pairs of Nike golf shorts with a 34 waist that I want to get into! Gonna make it happen!

A.M. Weight - 211

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fasting, Racquetball, Cycling, and Kettlebell

Yesterday was a rather busy day in my fitness quest!

Impromptu Intermittant Fast - I didn't eat until 2pm yesterday but I didn't plan it that way. I came in to work, turned on my computer, fired up Outlook, and was promptly reminded of a class I was supposed to be in that started 10 minutes earlier! I rushed over to the base motor pool for my annual driver's training and a three year refresher on driving a forklift. Nevermind that I sit in front of a computer for eight hours a day--my company requires me to have a forklift license for "emergencies." So I had to skip my normal breakfast, and by the time I got out of class it was time to head directly to the racquetball court...

Racquetball - Lost my second straight match to Neal--he's off to a good start for 2009. But it doesn't get any closer than today. We split the first two games and he won the final 15-14. I served for the match but lost serve on an unforced error. It's a very aggravating way to lose!! But we played some terrific games and I got a hell of a workout!

Killer Commute - The ride home was against a steady 20-25 mph wind with gusts over 30. I really enjoy riding a bicycle but that ride didn't register very high on the fun meter. Looks like more of the same today.

Kettlebell - Did some clean and press ladders - 3 x 4.

I ate a slab of dead cow cooked in a little coconut oil.

It was a good day!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

On The Road Again!

I got back to commuting to work by bike last week after having to give it up while working a little overtime. And not only did I get back on the road, I got back on a new bike. This is a Jamis Commuter 3.0--a 2007 model that I got for a great price on the 'net. It's an 8-speed but you'll notice there is no derailer (you have to click the image to see the whole picture). It has a Shimano Nexus internal gear hub--similar to the old Sturmey Arcer 3-speed that came on the "English Racer" I got for Christmas in '63. I bulit the tailbox out of coroplast and the base/tail light mounts out of pvc. It's a blast to ride!

Workouts were a little spotty this past week. I was off Monday so I went for a walk that lasted about an hour and a half. But Tuesday I had a really bad allergy day--I was anchored to a box of Kleenex and felt miserable. So no exercise on Tuesday. Wednesday I played racquetball with Neal. In both games I fell way back early, fought back to make it a game, but lost in the end. I was suffering from an antihistamine hangover so I passed on a third game.

I commuted the last three days, and the ride home Friday was against a 20mph headwind. I was tired as hell and ended going to bed early.

I have a racquetball match scheduled for Monday--beyond that I hope to get in some weight workouts and maybe a run on the rower.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Racquetball Week

I played three times this week-didn't do much of anything else. I had to work overtime this week which precluded my bicycle commute. But I got in three tough workouts on the courts. Monday I avenged my last week loss to Neal by taking three games. Then Tuesday I actually won a match against Ron! I won the first and third games. I don't remember the scores but I never faced a game point in the two games I won. Ron didn't go to his "A" serve at all in the first game, and used it sparingly in the last, so as usual I have to issue a disclaimer about my "victory." But I did play some good racquetball, and Ron commented on how well I was doing hitting kill shots from the back wall. I played Ron again Thursday. I got killed the first two games but gave it a good go in the last one. No time in the gym but still a pretty good week!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Walking to the Wah-Wah; Kettlebell C&P

When I woke up this morning, I knew I was looking at spending seven hours or so sitting on my butt watching playoff football today. Soooooo, I decided to get a little work in before kickoff. I went for a quick-paced walk around the neighborhood for an hour and twenty minutes. During the first half, I was listening to Curtis Mayfield/Superfly album (heavy use of wah-wah guitar). I finished up with some Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. I have one seriously eclectic Zune!!

When I got back to the house, I lifted some metal:

Kettlebell Clean and Press Ladders

3 x 4 Rungs 35lbs

It's been awhile since I've done these so I stayed with four rungs instead of five. I'll work up slowly.

Not sure what's in store tomorrow. I hope to get in a racquetball match--if not, I'll head to the gym and do some rowing.

Not sure about cycling to work tomorrow. A cold front just passed through and it's going to be pretty chilly tomorrow. It depends on the wind...I'll play it by ear.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Good Start To The New Year!

We had a beautiful south Texas day so my grandson and I rode our bikes to the Naval Air Station. Instead of our normal routine of heading out to the fishing pier, we instead went to the fitness center for a little workout. I spotted him while he did some dumbbell work, and then I did a little bit of legwork. Normally a bike ride would leave my legs too wasted for a workout, but the rides with Dominic are pretty slow so it just served as a warm up for the following:

Hex-bar Dead Lifts
15 x 140lbs
8 x 190lbs
4 x 210lbs

Leg Curls (Precor Machine)
15 x 90
8 x 100
4 x 120

Leg Extensions (Body Masters Machine)
15 x 100
8 x 115
4 x 130

Finished up with a nice ride in bright sunshine. It's been a great year so far! :-)