Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weighing In

Maybe October since my last weigh in. Back when I trained 20hrs a week. Flash forward five months. And I'm still weighing in at 185.5lbs. And that's at work, fully clothed, after lunch!

Considering I'm 6', eat like a horse, and drink beer more than recommended, I'm pretty proud of 185.5lbs. Could I lose a little more? Sure! Give up the Woodchuck. Give up cheat meals once a week. Maybe another 5lbs would drop off. Would that be worth it? I don't think so. I sacrifice enough as it is!

And once the furnace of summer fires up in South Mississippi, I'll sweat off even more of this baby fat.

Day to day, I honestly don't care what I weigh. I feel good. My clothes fit right. I'm fit, active, and full of energy. What difference does a number make? To me, none.

But I'm glad it is 185.5!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pub Run - 02/27/13

Holy Abandonment Issues, Batman! Only three people running tonight! Terrible showing. However there was a large social event at the same hour. And most of the people (unlike Jon!) ran the NOLA Rock N Roll Marathon last Sunday. So a very light crowd on a mild winter night.

I only did 5K. Slow pace to keep a safe distance from the lone female runner tonight. 28min and some change. Felt good. Not too sweaty. Not too hot. And not too cold. Just right for an after-work run!

Then the Woodchuck. A mad dash home to tuck Meg into bed. And some leftovers. Finalized with my own attempt to go to bed early. Attempt I said.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Regional Food Fight 2013

At the office we're waging a polite little war disguised as a "Regional Food Fight." It is my property versus two other off-Strip properties. The goal is to raise 50,000lbs worth of food for local community kitchens and non-profit organizations. The winning property gets a Stanley Cup sized trophy. And each location is having their own self-contained competitions.

My department is mostly donating money. Maybe sixty pounds of actual foodstuff. But we have collected almost two hundred dollars in cash. And nearly everyone has donated. Which should give us an excellent average contribution.

All together, the property has amassed almost two tons of food. And we still have a couple of days to go. I think we're on our third pallet. At least the second. And still a few days left to go.

Days like this, I love going to work!

Monday, February 25, 2013

11 & Awesome

Today is Meg's OFFICIAL birthday. She's 11 & completely awesome! Easily one of the most creative and eloquent McDougal alive. My beautiful little girl. Nearly her Mom's height and already more well-read and outspoken then either of her parents. The universe is a bright, magical place with Meg in it. And we all count our blessings to have her in our lives.

Happy Birthday, Meg. I love you, three.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Celebrating Early

Meg's birthday isn't until tomorrow, but we took an opportunity to celebrate early. Her Maternal Grandfather, Robert, has a birthday two days after Meg's. So it isn't uncommon for us to get together for them. Cindy was studying, so I brought the kids. Darren and his family beat us there. Robert & Granny Pam arrived after church.

Took a moment to snap a picture of Liam and his Grandfather. How tall is that kid getting?  Won't be long before he's taller than Robert. And hopefully one day taller, stronger, and faster than me. (Which won't be much of a challenge.) Before I know it, the kid will be driving. (sigh) And I'm still getting used to the thought that: I have a teenager.

Lunch went well. Meg & Alex had fun. Liam & Tolar had a good time. I talked with Lindsay about running. Daren & Amy relaxed for a while. Super proud of Meg for eating an entire order of ribs. (Kids' sized.) To celebrate the co-birthday, she shared a slice of cake with Robert. Though I think she ate most of it.

Thankful for slow Sundays with the family. Enjoying it while it lasts.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Fitness Friday - Do More

Here's my currently challenge, one I hear repeated by many folks around me: How do I continue to improve? (Often a mutation of: how do I lose more weight?)

The answer to that question is surprisingly simple: Do more than you are doing now.

I improved my 5K times by training 10K distances. I improved my 600m swim improved by training first 1000m, then 2000m, and these days I usually train 3000m. I improved my average biking speed by adding time to my rides. And most folks that spend time in the gym know there's always room for more once you reach a plateau.

How does it apply to weightloss? The same plateau effect holds true. If you reach a point where you're not losing weight or making gains on your performance,  there's an easy way to get off your plateau: do more.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pub Run - 02/20/13

No hit and runs. But an odd run-in with a disgruntled driver pacing along side us. Asking us why we were running on the street. Chattered a bunch of other blah blah blah. But I had my earbuds engaged and Rage Against The Machine playing. So I'm not sure what she said or how mad she got before she finally drove on her merry way.

A middle aged guy trying to get in shape by running. Yeah, let's get mad at that. He should be eating fried chicken gizzards one the sofa watching Duck Dynasty, like the rest of my Southern brethren. Right?

Took the moral high ground. And let silence speak for me.

On a tangential note, the Diversity Council nominated me to chair the Health & Wellness committee. Despite my absence from the Council itself. (I did it for two years and thought it would benefit more from fresh blood, instead of my old bitter blood again.) I accepted the nomination and I'm going to do my best to have at least one event a month for work. If I can help at least one other person change their life for the better, it will be worth my efforts. So off I go to raise the bar, again...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Fitness Friday - People Are Stupid

I made a critical mistake the other day: I trusted somebody else to keep me safe. As a result, I got hit by a car. And in the past, I've had a truckload of teenagers pull up behind me, while biking, and lay on their horn. Just for chuckles.

Here's this weeks tip for runners or bikers: People are stupid and you should never trust them to care about your safety over their mad desire to get wherever they're going. Unless, of course, you don't care about getting hit by Grandma as she flies through a stop sign.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

So I Was Hit By A Car

Probably would have been a very typical Wednesday night. Run, beer, briefly social with the other runners. Except on the way home, I was hit by a car.

More precisely, I was nearly splattered across somebody's hood as they blew threw a stop sign. But I somehow managed to jump MOSTLY out of the way. From my perspective, I saw a light rushing at me and lunged out of the way. Next thing I known, I landed on my feet and hand. While the driver kept going.

Odd sensation, nearly dying. Does strange things with time. And your brain. In mid-jump I simultaneously screamed out of rage (or fear,) thought about my family having to deal with a sweaty corpse, and wondered what I'd done to deserve this. Landing seemed instantaneous. But standing up and turning around took forever as I watched the car drive off. And then things went weird in my stomach and I got sick.

Next thing I know, two guys are rushing up to me. There's a camera van parked behind them. They're both asking if I'm okay. (Since I'm doubled over.) And I'm patting my chest and butt. As if my boobs and ass are important to survival.

Driver says, "You were smack dab in the middle of that car's and jumped up. I thought you hit the hood and flipped over it." Meanwhile, I don't recall flipping.

Passenger says, "No, he jumped and almost made it, but the passenger-side mirror hit him in mid-air, then spun him around." And I don't remember spinning.

So I think I jumped far enough to clear the fender, but not far enough to miss the mirror. It apparently caught me in what little butt I have, turning me around before I landed. But to me, it was just a blur of LIGHT!JUMP!LAND!

As I'm catching my breath and telling them I'm okay, guess who is back? Yeah, the original car that hit me. Big, Cadillac looking thing. Blacked out windows. Creeps up on us. Way too slowly.

I'm thinking, "Okay, here he comes to finish the job..."

And a Grandmother rolls down the window. White hair. Glasses. Sweet Southern accent.

Proceeds to ask if I'm okay. And apologizes profusely. Only unusual part of the conversation centers on her optical abilities.

She says, "I came over the railroad tracks and absolutely did not see you." It's several dozen yards between the tracks and where she hit me.

I say, "I'm wearing a bright yellow, reflective jacket. And my pants have white reflective stripes."

She says, "I'm so sorry, I just didn't see you running."

"What about the stop sign?"

"What stop sign?" she asks.

And all three of us men point to the stop sign. She remains silent, briefly, after seeing it for herself.

More apologies. Lots. Then she offers to take me to the ER. I decline. Just want to be done with it. And finish my run. She drives off. The camera guys drive off. I try to find my own pace back.

Afterwards, some folks suggested I called 911 to report her. Another suggested a lawyer. But I'm not worried about that. It was clearly an accident. She didn't intend to do it. So why ruin her life? Or tried to profit off of it through legal action? Maybe the universe saved me for a reason. If so, I don't think that reason included messing up another person's day. Hopefully I won't regret the decision. But I'm sticking to it.

Lessons learned: 1) I had absolutely no identification on me. And (because I was running further than most folks) nobody was running with me. If I'd been splattered, I would have been a Jon Doe. 2) Post accident, you're not at all thinking correctly. I should have gotten a ride back to my car. Instead I was thinking, "This is going to throw off my run time!" And I probably should not have kept running, but I feel okay.

Anyway, that was interesting. Looking forward to next week!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Fitness Friday - Start Small

It took me a long time and many (MANY!) attempts to get find a successful starting point for a fit lifestyle. Over and over, across multiple years, I tried to lift too much, too often. I tried to run too far, too fast. And I tried to swim without any outside influence or advice. What was I doing wrong? Starting too big. I based my goals on somebody else's abilities, instead of having reasonable expectations suited to my existing level of fitness.

The solution was to start smaller. To be put aside my pride and  train at a level that would allow me to gradually improve. if I could only run a block, I only ran a block. If I could only curl 10lbs, I did a GREAT job of curling those ten pounds. And I stuck to realistic expectations of my own abilities.

Maybe you're not ready to run. Then get on the treadmill and walk. Gradually increase your speed. Gradually increase your distance. Or join a "Couch To 5K" group. Do light weights that you can manage. Gradually increase the repetitions. And increase the weight once you're comfortably able to do so. If you are like me, you're not a young, college athlete. And you trust me, it's very hard to train when you're sore, or injured. So start small. And pace yourself.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Wounded Warrior Ride 2013

Great weather on a great ride for a great cause! Just after lunch, folks from The Ticking Tribombs, Gulf Coast Running Club, Gulf Coast Bicycle Club, and Run-N-Tri (about 75 people in all) gathered at the Woolmarket Commmunity Center to support a local wounded veteran: Keola. We collectively raised nearly $1000 to support him and had a wonderful nearly-30 mile ride. He's a former marine, wounded warrior, and beginner triathlete.I was happy to ride with him and offer any support possible. Really nice, humble, guy. Wish I had arms like that!

The road was pretty quiet. The weather was fantastic. And there were multiple packs going different paces. Most of the ride I was hanging with Luke, Linda, J.G., and Jim. They stopped to wait for a straggler and I ended up riding solo. Thought I was lost for a while. Started to gas out. But found the highway just before I resorted to checking my GPS. Ended up finishing just behind the leaders and still had some miles left in my legs.

 I hope we have more events like that. Tremendously rewarding to train AND support such a respectable cause. Wounded warrior? Sign me up ANY time! Have bike, will travel...

Saturday, February 02, 2013

January 2013 Rewind

One of my few resolutions this year: train more than I did last year. Thought I'd keep track on a monthly basis. And total for the year as I go. So here's January: 
  • Swim: 5.5 miles
  • Bike: 90.5 miles
  • Run: 50.4 miles
  • Strength training: 6 hours
  • Calories burned: 18150
Other resolutions? Four Olympic Triathlons. And two Half-Ironman events. 

I think those are big enough resolutions for an old, pudgy, computer dork. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

Fitness Friday - Easier?

One of the hardest things for me to under about fitness was also one of the simplest: It never gets easier. Instead, you get stronger. You get faster. You get better. But but fitness never gets easier.

Here's an example: I have different strength training routines. Back, biceps, chest, triceps, etc. The amount of force required to lift a given amount of weight never changes. Physics never change. Instead, I get stronger. I'm able to lift the weights with less perceived effort. It may feel easier, but I'm still exerting the same force to move the weights.

Running may be affected by weight loss, initially. But I've peaked around 185lbs and I'm not going to get more aerodynamic. Running never gets easier. Biking? I could actually BUY speed by spending more on a bike. It would be lighter, more streamlined. But most of gains from sub-17MPH to almost 20MPH comes from my own development. I can power up hills now, but biking never gets easier. And how about swimming? Techniques help. Strength helps.  Though, I'll never be Aquaman.

The road will always be road. The water will always be water. And the weights will always mercilessly obey the timeless laws of physics. But fitness is a moving target. The only thing we can affect is our fitness. The rest never gets easier.