Running, Biking, Triathlons, Swimming, Snowshoeing; what's next? Sal's kicks butt.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Curling = Bocce Ball on Ice

Really, the first five days of the Winter Olympics coverage spends more time on Curling than any other sport? There are people hurtling down mountains at breakneck speeds on skis, doing head over heel jumps on snowboards and riding a tiny sled under their butt cheeks at 95 mph and NBC shows Curling. It's not even a sport, it's equivalent to throwing darts at the local pub. It's similar to Bocce Ball which is played by anyone at any age. No offense to the woman below, who is obviously taking the game seriously, but c'mon, she has a walker. If she were curling she'd have a walker with skis attached.
When I used to play games of Bocce Ball with my in-laws and their friends at various campgrounds, I was taught one way to play. You need two coolers of beer and you set up so you go from cooler to cooler. That is the only way you'd ever see me out on the ice sweeping a "rock" around. I may even have to put a beer can holder on my broom so I could sweep and sip.
This morning I heard the IOC is considering adding some type of video gaming into the next Winter Olympics. Video Gaming!! WTF.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hallway Lanes

I only have an hour for lunch to go from my desk in the library to the locker room, get changed, go to the fitness room and run, then an extremely quick cold shower, dress, and back to the library. If I really stick to my hour I can't do more than a three mile run, at least not at my current pace. I take a mostly cold shower because it's the only hope I have of not sweating profusely while trying to get dressed and back to the library.

It kind of reminds me of gym class in high school. If you really worked out during the class, maybe playing basketball or flag football, there was no way of showering, dressing and still not sweating since it was only a 40+ minute class. Even then I was usually the gross kid whose shirt didn't dry for two periods. Combine that with some acne, social awkwardness, and braces and you've got one young man who wasn't part of the elite, popular crowd.

Due to the time limits I try to walk quickly down the hallways from the locker room back to the library. Today I realized we need wider halls with lanes in them. One lane for fast walkers (me at lunch time), one lane for cell phone users, the texting and walking is ridiculous, just like drivers and cell phones. At least the cell phone walkers can't kill me though, unlike the drivers. Then we need another lane for the amblers. These are the people who walk so slowly it's annoying. Usually they are in pairs or a set of three so getting around them is almost impossible. The halls aren't wide enough to get by them, especially if someone is coming from the other direction.

Maybe the amblers have no real place to be in a certain time. They're just hanging out, talking nonsense, strolling along. I guess that's acceptable, and I try not to be jealous of their freedom, but at least look around and see if some old curmudgeon needs to get by. Learn some courtesy otherwise a sweaty, socially awkward old man might just start loudly mumbling, grumbling and swearing.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Treadmills, Sweat and Dieting

Some things I just don't understand. This week I ventured into the fitness room on the campus where I work to run a couple of miles during my lunch break. It's a beautiful facility for a community college. The treadmills and other equipment are in great condition. The treadmills all face large picture windows, which is nice. I can't really watch tv on a treadmill without risking falling, so staring out the window is okay.

I don't understand why every facility keeps their heat up so high? It was easily 70+ degrees in there with no fans available. I am a world record holder for sweating. It flies off my body like spray from Niagara Falls. In just two miles of running my shirt, shorts, socks and sneakers were soaked. Disgusting.

The heat seems to be high at most fitness facilities. It makes no sense. You are working out, a little cool air won't hurt anyone. Maybe the philosophy is most people don't stay on aerobic equipment long so the facility managers think it has to be warm for weightlifters? I don't know. The YMCA was the same, a small local gym was also the same. People would move away from me when I got on a treadmill. Give me a fan or turn the temperature down darn it! This is why I work out at home a lot. That and I hate people. Germy people. Yuck. I don't want their sweat near mine, that's gross.

I began what seems to be my annual late January diet. The last three years I have had some type of injury that slowed down or entirely cutoff training for a couple of months. Each time I managed to gain a minimum of ten pounds. This time I even cut drastically back on my alcohol consumption. In my first two days of really trying to diet I gained 2 pounds. Not exactly the direction I want to go in.

I was getting dressed for work yesterday and couldn't do up the belt I usually wear. WTF? One hole was too loose, the next one squeezed me in so much I couldn't breathe. Jan thought my tantrum was hilarious. I was not amused.

Maybe the key for me is to keep drinking alcohol and give up more food?

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Screeching to a Halt

We knew this day was coming, but tried desperately to avoid it. Our beloved car, the 2003 Chevrolet Malibu we purchased used in 2005, has taken its' last gasp. After twelve years (almost a third of our married life) and 177,000 miles, we have been forced to trade it in.

Actually I'm amazed the car dealer is taking it. We are upgrading to a 2013 Malibu, still quite old for some people, but like new for us. So many gadgets, who knew a car could have all these things? The dealer gave us $500 for our car, doesn't sound like much but we avoid breaking down on the road or extensive repairs that may or may not work. The heat works sometimes, the temperature gauge likes to flop around and scare my wife into thinking the engine's going to burst. Our trusted mechanic thinks a head gasket might be in order. We don't care to take that risk so ultimately pulled the plug. So sad.

The new Malibu has a huge trunk and the back seat folds down for even more storage space, or room to make-out maybe? Probably not. But we will be able to fit a bike in the trunk with no disassembly necessary.

The 2003 Malibu is similar to me. Old, a few scratches, noises and leaks, always in need of repair, but keeps chugging along. With any luck Jan will keep me around though and not make a trade for a shiny, upgraded model with lots of hair who can run fast. I still think I'm worth more than $500.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Welcome to 2018!

What a year it's going to be. A year of miracles maybe, with the Buffalo Bills leading the way by making the playoffs for the first time in seventeen years! Because of this Jan and I decided to gamble on our 403b accounts and withdrew all our money to play the slots at the local casino. What could go wrong?

Normally I would be reminiscing on some successes from the previous year and goal/race planning for the next, but Jan and I have been so sick for most of the past two weeks that it's hard to imagine being able to run/swim/bike with any success. We did make Rochester Runner of the Year top five in our respective age groups for 2017, but that's about it.

Here are a few things I hope happen in 2018;

1. I hope to never hear the term "Overfat" again. The tv was on in the waiting room of the health clinic on New Year's Day with Dr Oz's show. When did he become such a doofus? Really, a whole show on being Overfat? What the hell is that? You are either fat or not. Maybe obese. There is no word Overfat, it's stupid.
2. The next time I fly I will seriously consider looking weird and wear a mask. Flights are too crowded with too many sick people. Now I'm sick, have been for quite a while and am sick of being sick. You may also be able to tell being sick makes me a bit grumpy.
3. Okay, maybe I can come up with a couple of athletic goals too;
  • Make top five again for RROY.
  • Complete three sprint triathlons, thereby qualifying for a national ranking (it might be #1,223 out of #1,224 in my age group, but hey, it still counts)
  • Improve all of my race times from the mile-10k from what I've run in the past 3 years. Screw this getting too old crap. 
  • Stay healthy. The past three years I've fallen while running ending up with shoulder surgery, had tendinitis in my knee requiring rest and physical therapy, had a severe case of plantar fascia, ruining the end of 2017. WTF. No more of this. 
I hope anyone reading this has a great 2018. Please share a few good things that happened to you in 2017 or your wishes for 2018. 

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Holidays Are Upon Us!

Only way MW, LK & I will do an Ironman

Ten days ago I ran a mile on the treadmill without any significant pain from my Plantar Fasciitis! It took twelve weeks to get to that point. Last Sunday I made it to three miles, still staying on the treadmill. I have no desire to go out onto snowy, slippery roads right now. Also, if I begin having pain that get worse I can just hop off instead of wondering how I'm going to make it home without increasing pain.
I have been stopping after a mile and resting for a minute and my pace is quite slow, but I'm running again, which feels fantastic. I'm still doing all of my therapy, stretching, leg exercises, ice after running and wearing the Strassburg sock for at least half of a night. I can't stand the sock for longer periods.
I've also been lifting weights a lot, so in my mind I look like this snowman;
Under my belly fat I have ab muscles like this;
So I weighed myself two days ago and was pleased with the progress I had made. Then I checked my weight again this morning, 5lbs heavier! How is that possible in two days? I really look like the snowman above in the red cap.
I hope everyone has a great Christmas/Holiday season. Run, swim, bike, enjoy family.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rochester Runner of the Year

Amazingly, five members of our gang finished in the top five places in our respective age groups, thereby winning Rochester Runner of the Year awards.

Our running/triathlon/snowshoe group, "Sals" (I've got an old mule and her name is Sal, fifteen miles on the Erie Canal) is doing well. I know the song is, "fifteen years", not miles, but miles fits us better. In years past our typical long run on the canal path was fifteen miles. Aging and injuries seems to have changed that. 

Jan finished third in her age group, Eileen fourth in her group, I finished third in my group, with Mike finishing fourth in the same group and Pete finished third in his group. Not a bad representation. Placing in the top 5 in an age group means you ran at least 4 of the 12 twelve series races and earned points in those races. You have to finish in the top 10 in your age group in a race to earn points. You can race in all 12 events, which range from a 1 mile race to a half-marathon, but only your top 6 races count. 

To me the series serves as another form of motivation to get out there and race, especially as I age, and to be as competitive as possible in each of the races. I can't control who shows up at each race, only my own effort. It's  normally best to run as many of the series races as you can to pick up points, but if you are fast, like EW and MW, you can sometimes get away with only running four of the series races. I typically need to run more of the RROY races to get a decent amount of points. With a few fast people moving up from a younger age group next year to my category I'm going to enjoy this year's accomplishment while I can.