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Jeff's training blog: 3 months, 30 pounds lost!


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Not sure I'm remembering correctly, but I think my workouts the last few days have been something like:

Friday: a little over an hour of basketball with my son.

Saturday: same.

Sunday: same.

Monday: no exercise

Tuesday: went indoor climbing with my son. He did a lot more climbing than I did, so I didn't get a great deal of exercise.

Today: Played an hour and a half of basketball with my son.

 

I've been lifting some (all upper body) lately, just trying to gradually ease back into doing that. Except for biceps curls where I'm doing about 10 reps and two or three sets at 50 lb., I'm anywhere from 10-20 pounds below the weights I was lifting last summer when I had been lifting at least once or twice a week for 6 months and more than that for two.

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Well, it's been a few days since I've posted, so I'm a little hazy on details. Sunday I ran (or, rather, slowly jogged) the same approximately 7 1/2 mile route I've been doing lately. Monday I played about 5 games of racquetball. Having not played in about 10 days prior to that, I totally sucked at it compared to the way I usually play, but it felt good to get out and move around anyway. It's been a busy week so I haven't done any aerobic activity since then. I've been doing some free weights--barbell curls, shoulder shrugs, and shoulder presses--and push-ups, but I haven't been really pushing myself much so far. I'm hoping to get in a good, long run tomorrow before leaving for a weekend in Illinois, watching my son's soccer team and visiting a friend in Champaign.

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I love reading your workout blog. It seems like you're having so much fun!

 

Thanks. I've loved playing (some) sports since I was a wee tyke, and I enjoy running and biking enough that I can usually get motivated to do them. But there's no fricking way I'm ever going to spend much time on an elliptical machine or stationary bike the way some fitness buffs do. To me, nothing could possibly be more boring!

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Didn't get in my run until Friday afternoon due to crazy busy-ness getting work done and packing for my weekend trip. I was over in Champaign visiting a friend so I didn't have time to plan out a route and measure how far I went, but I ran at a good pace so I'm guessing I did maybe 5 miles in about 45 minutes. Average heart rate 146, max of 175.

 

This weekend was a vivid reminder of one of the things I hate about the Midwest. After being perfectly nice spring weather most of the past couple of weeks, it's gone back to winter in a big way--cold, torrential rains and 25 mph winds yesterday, and today I woke up (in Springfield, IL, where my son was attempting to play a soccer tournament) to about 4 inches of snow on the ground! After standing in the pouring rain watching soccer for 2 hours yesterday, I just couldn't bring myself to spend another couple of hours being cold and wet going for a run, so no exercise (so far) this weekend other than some pushups in my hotel room.

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Well, with the weather being so completely awful, I wasn't up to running this weekend. Played racquetball for an hour and a half Monday, as well as running about 10 minutes back to the car. Weight training is still sporadic, but I'm managing to get some in--roughly the equivalent of a couple of full upper-body workouts per week, but spread out at various times throughout the week.

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Thursday: played racquetball for an hour. Did incline press machine, upright row machine, and back machine.

Friday: 20 minutes on elliptical trainer (I was desperate and the weather sucked!), average HR 142

Saturday: 20 minutes on elliptical trainer, average HR 147, max 167. I don't plan to make a habit of this, but one reason I haven't run much lately is that my achilles tendon has been bugging me again, as it did last spring and summer. Hopefully that will clear up if I do other stuff for aerobics for a while and do some eccentric stretches. Worked last time.

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Monday: 1 hr. racquetball--kicked off of the racquetball courts by a stupid dodgeball tournament! Couldn't they wait 'til 7 when we usually have the courts reserved until?

Wednesday: ran 4 miles; avg. hr 147, max 167, around 10 min/mile pace

Thursday: about 1 hr. 15 minutes of racquetball

Friday: I was looking forward to my first long bike ride in a while, but damn if it didn't rain nonstop the whole day! I decided to work much of the day instead and am looking forward to biking in the expected sunshine tomorrow.

 

I've been lifting (all upper body so far--time constraints!) fairly regularly for about a month now, and I'm starting to see and feel a difference. Strength and bulk-wise, I'm about back to where I was when I first started this blog last summer (at which point I'd been lifting a couple times a week for about 3 months except for a week vacation)--only I'm about 13 pounds lighter, which is good. If by the end of the summer I can drop another 20 pounds (i.e., get back down around 150 where I was early last fall) while gaining strength and improving my time in the 5k by a minute or two from what it was in the fall, I'll be happy with my summer fitness work. And if I can convert some new folks into vegans as well as having fun and getting fitter, that would be even better!

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Did 33-mile bike ride today. Pushed myself a little bit on the way out, getting my heart rate up to 165 at one point where there were three big hills in a row, but took it easy a lot of the time coming back. Average heart rate 120.

 

Ooo that sounds like a good time.

Do you use some kind of heart rate/calorie monitor?

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Today I did a variety of things. Practiced racquetball for an hour, which burns a lot fewer calories than actually playing, but, hey, it was fun anyway & hopefully I'll play better tomorrow. Then I did 20 minutes on the elliptical machine. Forgot to write down the heart rate monitor figures, but I think it was something like average 135 with max in the 150s. Then I did incline presses, back machine, and upright rowing maching. After coming home to get a snack, I went for a 25-mile bike ride. Average heart rate 127, max 164.

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Played racquetball Monday and Thursday. I don't recall exactly for how long, but I think it was for about an hour and a half both days. Now that I'm playing or practicing at least twice a week regularly, I'm starting to experience more times where I get "in the zone" and play really well for a while, which feels great, but my game is still very up and down.

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Saturday: Ran for half an hour at a pretty fast pace (but no idea what the distance was--somewhat over 3 miles I guess). Average HR: 147, Max HR 165.

Monday: 1 1/2 hours of racquetball.

Thursday: 1 hour of racquetball.

Friday: 1/2 hour slow jog. My Achilles is bothering me tonight, enough so that I'm going to need to work a little harder on resting and rehabilitating it. So, biking instead of runs for a while I guess.

 

I've been eating very low-fat and almost entirely avoiding refined sugar (just some alcohol here and there), but I'm still stuck on about 170 pounds. I guess I'll have to wait until the end of May when my schedule eases up and I can exercise more before I can take a few pounds off.

 

Still lifting, maybe twice a week. I need to hit the weights a little harder.

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Saturday: 20-mile bike ride in slightly over an hour and a half. Average HR 125, max 168 (woo hoo, love those hills!).

 

I haven't even bothered stepping on the scales lately, it's too frustrating. Damn middle age! I'm assuming I'm still about 170, and unless I drop my calorie consumption to an unpleasantly low level (which I'm not going to do), that's where I'm going to stay until I can at least double my exercise volume. I'll have time to do that starting in a little over a month. Can't wait!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well, not much time to post--or work out--lately, too busy with end of the semester grading. I've managed to get in an hour and a half of racquetball twice last week and once this week, and jogged 3 miles this morning. I've been pretty happy with my racquetball game lately considering I only get to play twice a week. Although I lose more than I win, I manage to make it close against some of the better players in town--who are mostly about half my age.

 

Another week or so and although I'll still be busy, I'll have a little more time for working out--woohoo!

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Weather kind of sucks today, so I'm not sure if I'm going to get in a bike ride as I'd planned or not. If not, I'll go to the gym and do elliptical and weights.

 

Yesterday I ran 4 miles. Average HR 137, max 165. My Achilles has been bothering me some on runs, so I'm going to start mainly biking for aerobic exercise for a while. Running is a more intense workout, but oh well!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for asking, Robert. Work has been so crazy busy lately that working out has really taken a back seat, as has posting on this blog. I've been eating very healthy--low-fat and relatively low-sugar--so I don't think I've gained any weight, but I doubt I've lost any. Still probably holding steady at about 170, judging from the mirror and the way my pants fit. I haven't stepped on the scale lately and don't plan to until I have a chance to start working out 2+ hours a day again, which should become possible at the end of this month.

 

Haven't played racquetball in 2 weeks now, mainly because of a heavy work schedule but also because my elbow was starting to hurt. So, I'm looking forward to returning to action this afternoon, if anyone shows up to the challenge courts (summers are kind of slow for that).

 

Rode my bike 25 miles on Thursday, with average heart rate of 125 and max of 165, I think, if my 47-year-old memory is correct. Friday I did the elliptical machine for a little over 30 minutes (average HR 125, max 140) and lifted for another 20 or so. To pass the time I listened to the Vegan Freak podcast, which I highly, highly recommend!

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Played six games of racquetball today. I beat someone I have never beaten before, and lost by only one point to someone else I've never beaten before, so it was a good day. Just out of curiosity, I wore my heart rate monitor while I played. It varied a lot depending on how tough a game I was having, but against the best player who was there (the one I didn't quite beat), my heart rate stayed consistently above 160 during our two games. So, all in all, a good workout. Elbow hurts some, but it should be okay by Thursday when I play next.

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Thursday: Rode my bike 10.6 miles; since I didn't have time for a long ride, I really pushed it, with an average heart rate of 141 and max of about 165. Played three games of racquetball later in the day.

 

Saturday: Ran for about half an hour. I didn't have my heart rate monitor with me, and I'm not sure how far I ran; I'd guess about 3 miles.

 

Today (Monday): Played about six games of racquetball. All were against pretty tough players, so it was a really good workout.

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