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Winding Down
2006-12-19, 2:45 p.m.

Day 849 Winding Down from the Big Party

Got to cook my own birthday dinner last night. Thatís actually kind of a nice present in itself, considering how I like to cook and all. Had the added bonus of it being a new dish for Zach. Heís coming along as a pretty decent cook in his own right and he loves to help in the kitchen. Kind of odd for a 22 year old guy, but you take your help where you can get it.

He got to see a different way to prep plain old chicken, we also got to have some stir fried snow peas and sugar snap peas. Toss in a little rice pilaf and you have a nice meal. Next time, Iíll make more of the reduction sauce. Got a feeling it would go nice with the rice. The recipe was posted towards the end of yesterdays interminable entry Ė compliments of Wegmans.

Tried a new method of cardio torture this past weekend. Group cycling class. The step aerobics just isnít getting the old ticker working hard enough. One of the guys (!!) in the step class suggested I try the spinning class after he weaseled it out of me that I like cycling outdoors in the summer. So I stayed and did the spinning class that was immediately after the step. Wow. What a sweat inducing 60 minutes. According to the Y's computer registration thing, I got credited for burning up 807 calories in the spinning class. Also got credited for burning up 807 calories in the step class. There is no chance in hell that the calorie burn for those two classes was even close. I think the 800 estimate for step was close, but Iíll wager the cycling was closer to 1200.

Only thing about the spinning is that the machines arenít calibrated. You have no idea what resistance setting youíre on. The instructor might tell you to set it so it feels like your flat road cruising resistance. OK, what ever. Sheíll tell you to increase the resistance. Again. Then set it so high you have to stand up to even go Ė big hill climb. Then back it down to cruising again. Sometimes, she came around and bumped up everybodyís resistance herself, just in case we were too chicken to try harder. I tell you what Ė I got my moneyís worth. Iíll definitely be back Ė and next time Iím taking a towel.

Looks like itís me & the kids for dinner tonight. Cindy will be out chaperoning the girls basketball games at her school tonight. The only good thing about that is that we can load up on the carbs. So pasta it is. Also will make use of the time to get Cindyís presents wrapped. Got her the coat I wasnít supposed to get her yet. I just hope I got the size(s) close to right. There are way too many risks associated with the wrong size. If you get them too big, they think you think theyíre really that size. Get them too small and they think you want them to be that size. Manufacturers donít help either. Do any of them actually produce a size 12 thatís the same size as someone elseís size 12? Not saying anyone I know is a size 12, that number just came up, really.

Also picked up a funky, fuzzy glove/hat/scarf set that is a nice compliment to the coat. The coat is a navy blue pea coat looking thing. The accessories I got were a nice fire engine red. Personally, I like the combo. Iím afraid that Cindy may have preferred blue gloves, etc, rather than a contrasting color. Boring. Weíll see how it goes.

Stayed up too late keeping an eye on the football game last night. I had 3 guys on my fantasy football team going. Turns out I didnít have to sweat it much. Good old SU alum Marvin Harrison lit it up good last night. (Well, Payton Manning helped by throwing to him, but still . . .) So now Iím in the finals!! In our 10 person league, we all chipped in $25 at the start of the season. The person with the highest point total for the week won $10. We also tracked individual won/loss records (the site did it actually, we just went for the ride). The top 4 fantasy teams would compete for a total of $100 over the last 2 weeks of the season. I barely qualified for the playoffs, backing in on total points scored for the season. Played the first place team this past weekend Ė and won! So now, Iím in the finals and guaranteed to finish the season ahead dollar wise. I think 2nd place pays $25, so thatís the initial investment, and I won total points twice during the season, so Iím a whopping $20 ahead. 50,000 more seasons like that and Iíll have a cool million!!

As a consequence of watching Marvelous Harrison catch 3 TD passes last night, my rear was not in gear this morning. Finally dragged it out of bed and got moving. At least I had my lunch done up the night before. Made it to the gym late (as usual) and only ran for 30 minutes this morning. In a nice rut there Ė keep covering the same 3.8 miles in those 30 minutes. Soon, Iíll be dialing down the blazing (heh) speed some and trying to tack on a little distance. Once I fool the old body into thinking it can actually RUN 6 miles, Iíll try to build the speed back up. Iíd like to look at next years race schedule and not have to shy away from the 10K races like I did this past year. Iíd also really like to try that duathlon in Fishers next October. Itís a 2 mile run, 10 mile bike ride, then another 2 mile run. Based on my running & riding times, thereís a chance I could actually finish middle of the pack. Iíd also like to do the Karknockers 5K in East Rochester Ė mostly because the t-shirts look pretty cool. Then thereís the 10K turkey trot, lots of 10K trail runs, and some 10K 4th of July races. Plenty to do if you like distance runs. Maybe in 2008 Iíll consider the local marathon, or maybe a half marathon. Donít want to get too nuts about it.

Caught myself whining about my favorite alcoholicsí antics again. Actually deleted a few paragraphs detailing my latest grievances. Thatís certainly removing the focus from the alcoholic. Maybe Iíll try to police myself a little better and do less whining here and try to find something positive add. Might make for some boring posts, but at least theyíll be boring in a different direction.

Oh Ė cookie recipes. I will somehow scan/transpose/photograph my two favorites from this years efforts. Iíll put the text versions in a post (like tomorrow, or later today maybe) and put some pictures up on my flickr account. Ought to link to that permanently, huh?

Beware the evils of the cookies!!

Weight Stats:
Start: 206.5 on 1/1/06 (265.0 on 1/15/05)
Current: 188 on 12/16/06 (New rut. At least it isnít going up.)
Next: 12/23/06
New target Ė Aim is 180, by Christmas. HA! Better just aim to not go up.

The Keep on Truckin goal: (miles piled up on elliptical trainers and/or running)
Miles at speed 12/18/06: 1011.72 (Made 1K late last week actually. Whoopee!)
Miles with cool down: 1111.55
Target for 2006: 1000 miles at speed (cool down miles donít really count)

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old habits - new tricks