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Still lifting Iron
2005-03-15, 3:04 p.m.

Day 205 - Still Lifting that Iron

Week 6 of step aerobics is tonight, and I've already gotten in a full workout today. The instructor I have for my ReadyFitt sessions left me a note asking of I want to revise my goals. Seems I only committed to 1-3 cardio sessions a week and another 1-3 weight training sessions. In actuality, I've been averaging 5 sessions a week, plus one step class and bowling. Yes, bowling counts. If you actually THROW the ball and get some revolutions on it, you can work up a teeny sweat - especially in a 3 man league.

Speaking of bowling - my brothers abandoned me last week. K headed to Florida with his wife & kids and D went to see Thouroughly Modern Millie with his wife. That left me all alone to defend the virtue (heh) of our bowling team. Lets just say the hot streak continues (61 pins over average for the night) and I took 6 of a possible 8 points BY MYSELF. The boys have some serious compensating to do this week. Too bad I don't drink much anymore.

Work out wise, I've been doing two patterns on the treadmill - both involving hills. There is some flatland style jogging going on in the beginning, but then the hills start - up to 15% grade. Lately, I've been doing 40 minutes worth, getting an average of 2.75 miles and burning up 570 or so calories. I've found that the "Forest Walk" allows for more calorie burning that "Trailblazer" - mostly because I can maintain a higher speed on the forest walk. I generally start with a max speed of 6.5mph only because that's a comfortable jogging speed. The rate does drop some when the hills start, but so far the best I've done is make it to the 10 minute mark before I have to slow down to a fast walk (3.9mph) that I maintain throughout the rest of the hill section. Once the slope starts to relent, I pick up the speed again.

Ultimately, what I'd like to shoot for is to the whole "Forest Walk" with a 12 - 15% slope without having to back down on the speed, at least any more than the machine already does. Maybe I'll have to try extending my running time on lower hills first. Once I can jog for the whole 40 minutes, maybe that's wwhen to start increasing the slopes. Hmmmm. Still - not bad for a 46 year old with 27 years of smoking experience. My dream speed - once when I was still in high school, running cross country, I did a 2.5 mile course in 12:58. I wonder if that kind of speed/distance is even approachable anymore. Translates to a 5:12 mile. I still wonder if they had the course distance measured right.

On the weight lifting side, I got settled in at a nice, challenging level. I work on 6 machines - Abs (max 90lbs), Back Extensions (170), Leg Press (260), Chest Press (100), Lat Pulldowns (120) and Shoulder Press (40). I generally do 12 reps/set, and 3 sets on each machine. Some machines are new at these settings, some are due to be increased. Trying to keep everything at a point where the last rep is almost impossible to complete, but also not press it so far as to hurt anything. So far - no hurts. No hurts means I can keep working. All the trainers at the Y are of the opinion that people that believe in "No Pain = No Gain" have No Brain. I can buy that. If you hurt yourself trying to lift too much, you need to stop working that muscle - and you lose some of what you worked for.

This weekend I have an appointment to get set up on the last 6 machines (rows, bicep & tricep curls, leg curls, fly and one other I can't remember)
So - at this appointment it looks like I'll be revising my goals. Nice to make it to ones goals. Nicer to make it to goals that are a challenge. So we'll add some stretch goals. I also need to get some critique of form/technique on what I'm doing so far and maybe get some guidance on increasing cardiovascular endurance.

Progress report on weight & BP:
Date BP Weight
2/21 136/86 252.5
3/14 125/86 246.5

That BP reading in the 120's is actually the third one in a row. At last weeks step class, I finally got he heart rate down into an acceptable range too. Was getting up around 156, which is kinda quick for my age. Last class I was only at 132. Some may be due to an easier workout (but I'd never tell the instructor that), some due to the fact that maybe my body is getting a little stronger.

This working out is turning out to be a great substitute for smoking. Might as well get addicted to staying healthy. Beats the heck out of the alternative. Now, when softball season rolls around, maybe I can even play in the outfield.

As far as the wif & drinking & AA or Al-Anon - still out there waiting for a decision from me.

As far as the wif & smoking - she still does.

As far as the wif & tracking calories - alcohol is still apparently calorie free in her book. But somehow she has dropped several pounds.

As far as the wif getting to the Y and sweating a bit - progress being made. She actually has gone 3 - 4 times a week for the last . . . week. I ain't complaining. She won't go do a step class with me though.

205 days and 18.5 pounds down. The rest of my life and 66 pounds to go.

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