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Topic : Exercise

Number of Replies: 272
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Created on : Friday, July 01, 2005, 12:36:32 pm
Author : dataimport
A staple of any weight loss plan is moderate daily exercise. Pilates, yoga, and aerobics are hugely popular, along with good old-fashioned walking! What exercises do you find most effective? Share your routine with us!

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March 1, 2007, 9:11 am CST

There you go!

Quote From: ajsauer

My knee is constantly in pain.  I was just at the doctor and am having surgery in March.  Hopefully the pain will be gone when it starts warming up because I love to walk.  I am waaaayyyy to fat to even think about putting on a swim suit, but the high school trainer said that I should come to the school on adult nights and he would show me some low impact exercising.  I have been keeping a food diary and I bought a food scale and only eat the serving sizes on the packaging.  Eating breakfast has done me some good, and I've given up Mountain Dew completely (that's atleast 800 calories a day).  I have lost three pounds since last Thursday, so I'm already improving.  But I can't wait til I can exercise more, so I can try to get toned too. 
 I know it can be embarrassing when you first get out there, and asking for help can be very difficult.  I'm glad you did though. And there's something that you may not realize, oftentimes trainers and health related practitioners get a charge out of helping people attain their goals.  It can be a win-win situation and the start of a good friendship if you don't let your body image rule your emotions.
Onwards and upwards!
 
March 18, 2007, 6:03 pm CDT

28 Days To Boston

At this point I'm in the hardest part of my training. Even with a hip strain last week that forced me to miss 4 days of training I've run 286 miles since my last post 35 days ago. I'm fairly rational about recognizing the difference between "sore and tired" and "injured" and after 4 days of icing, stretching and resting my injury I was able to complete two important workouts this weekend- 22.5 miles on Saturday and 10.5 miles this morning that ended with a last mile in 6:43.

 

My training will peak on Saturday, March 31st with a final long run of between 25 and 28 miles.  From that point I'll gradually reduce my mileage.  I won't reduce the pace of the miles I do run to maintain aerobic capacity and so my legs remember what I expect of them on race morning.

 

The frustrating thing about training for months to run a marathon well are the things beyond your control.  For instance, unusually hot, sunny weather on race day means you won't be able to run as fast as you're otherwise capable of.  Last week's injury fit into that category as well.  The worst was not knowing how long I'd be sidelined and how much conditioning I'd lose.  In retrospect I handled it well; I gave myself enough chance to heal, continued my strength training as scheduled and adjusted my calorie intake so I didn't gain any unnecessary weight during the interim. My weight remained at between 130.0 and 131.0 pounds. For me, at 5 ft. 7.5 inches, that's about 1 pound over optimal marathon weight.

 

Now that my training is pretty much back on schedule, I'm starting to get excited.  The Boston Marathon has a strong pull on those who run it; it's like the sound of deep, distant drums. It's one of those rare events that actually lives up to it's reputation. Here's just one example. It's run on Patriot's Day which is a Massachussets state holiday.  The people there are very knowledgeable marathon spectators and for generations many have taken their children to see the race. It starts in the little town of Hopington and half an hour before the start, the first group of runners makes the 3/4 mile walk to the starting corrals.  By then you're down to just your running clothes and you've got your game face on.  The sides of the street are packed with spectators.  You hear a few words of encouragement and applause but mostly it's surprisingly quiet, like the calm before the storm.  You see moms and dads pointing things out to their little ones who look on wide-eyed.  They know that only the best qualify to run their marathon and they have real respect for what you had to do to be there.  

 

It's my intention to get in one more post before race day on April 16th.  Thanks for reading.  

 
March 24, 2007, 3:54 pm CDT

Heat Rash

I'm not sure if this is the right place to post this, but I can't find it anywhere else.  Back when I was only  a few pounds over weight I started getting a heat rash from walking too much in the crease  between my thighs and my pelvis. Now that I've expanded to over 100 overweight, it comes even on short walks. Does anyone know away to treat this? I like walking but this is very limiting.  The only thing I know is to wear very tight spandex that rides up and won't let my thighs touch. Any idea's anyone?
 
April 8, 2007, 8:57 pm CDT

8 Days till Boston

For those few who may read these messages, you know that I've been training for the Boston Marathon since I qualified for it last December.  This is a quick last note before I leave for the race which is one week from tomorrow, April 16th.

 

The hardest phase of training ended for me on Saturday, March 31st with a final long run of 25.5 miles.  Since then I've been gradually reducing my mileage and strength training (the correct term is "tapering") so I'll be at my best on race morning. In the last 17 weeks I've run just over 800 miles and completed 3 strength sessions per week.  To give some sense of what those involve, one of the 15 exercises in each session is 200 sit-ups.

 

Am I ready? I always get the answer to that question with an 11 mile run on a fairly hard, hilly route the weekend before a major race. I run the first 10 miles pretty hard and time it. Early yesterday morning I ran the ten miles in 1 hour, 12 minutes and 9 seconds which equals 7 minutes 13 seconds per mile.  The only mile I really used my speed was the last one which I covered in 6 minutes 36 seconds.  So yes, for an old fellow in his 50's, I'd say I'm ready.

 

Anyway, I'm starting to get really stoked.  Tomorrow I join my wife back east and spend a few days with her family.  The good part is I'll be over my jet lag well before the race.  The bad part is that her family are wonderful but sedentary folks who are truly baffled why a grown man would choose to go outside and run, let alone train to run 26.2 miles.  At 5 feet 7.5 inches and a lean 126.5 pounds, I'm certain to hear, "you're much too thin, dear" from them again.  Explaining that my BMI of 19.5 is perfectly healthy and that I have low cholesterol, a low resting heart rate and blood pressure safely below 120/80 without any meds wouldn't sway them one bit.  Oh well, by being sweet with them I'll score major points with my better half.

 

As a gift of sorts to those of you who've read my messages, I'll tell you about a neat tool called, "Google Pedometer" I've found. It's a free online tool available on a number of websites and you can find it by typing "Google Pedometer" into your search engine.  It lets you use Google maps and any location to determine the distance, elevation, calories burned and other information the route you may want to walk or run.  It was a treat for me to learn that my 25.5 mile route has over 1,600 feet of uphill which compares favorably to the 830 feet of the Boston Marathon course.  Easier on raceday is always better.

 

Well, that's it.  I'll be starting in the 8th corral which puts me behind 7,000 people and ahead of 16,000 others.  Thanks for reading.

 

 

 
April 21, 2007, 4:37 pm CDT

111th Boston Marathon Race Report

Last Monday I and 20,348 others finished the 111th Boston Marathon.  I hope you find my story about running 26.2 miles in a New England Nor’easter entertaining.  Rest assured that it is completely true.

 

On the way to Boston we stayed 4 days with my wife’s family.  The first day there something spooky happened when I went for a 4 mile run.  I took a wrong turn and found myself in a desolate area, past a swamp and some seedy hotels.  I finally stopped at a mini mart gas station for directions.  I found two huge, middle aged women behind the counter staring at me in pure disbelief.  Somehow I don’t think they see very many athletes in running shorts coming in there.  Niether could help me though their eyes kept straying down to my legs.  I left and just ran back the way I came.  Turns out I went 8.5 miles that day which is way too far just 5 days before a marathon.  Later I found out I’d run into a area where drug dealing, prostitution and violent crime is rampant.  Yikes!

 

Those last 5 days before the race I felt really off.  My left hip hurt, I was achy and my legs felt drained.  Mentally I was tired as well.  After that 8.5 mile “wrong turn” run I cut way back on my runs and rested as much as traveling and family obligations allowed.  Our last night with the in-laws I made everybody dinner of spaghetti, salad, bread and carrot cake.  It was 3 days before the race and from then on I saturated my body with carbohydrates which meant never letting myself feel hungry but not gourging.

 

We flew into Boston on Saturday the 14th, rented a car and drove to the Dedham Hilton 10 miles outside of town.  It’s in a good area with a commuter train station in walking distance. The $75 rate was better than the $275 per night I would have paid to stay downtown.   We ate pasta twice at “Vinny T’s” and I strongly recommend it.

 

Sunday morning we drove to Quincy and took the “Red” then “Green" subway lines to Copley Square.  My wife and I did the 2 ½ mile “Freedom Run”, a non-competitive trot through historic parts of Boston that ends at the marathon finish line.  Adidas and the Boston Athletic Assn put it on and it was great.  Lots of the international runners took part.  We were given tee shirts and breakfast afterwards.  For me, that was the real start of my Boston Marathon experience.  We walked over to the finish line on Boylston Street and took our pictures.  I reached down and touched it and said to myself, “You have to work so hard to get here”.  When I stood up I realized there were tears in my eyes.  We then walked to the Convention Center, picked up my race number and went to the race expo.  When they shake your hand and give you that number it’ll take your breath away for a moment, too.

 

In all my years of running, I swore I wouldn’t be caught dead in tights.  But with the forecast calling for temps in the 30’s, freezing rain and 50 mph headwinds, hypothermia and frostbite were real dangers.  I reluctantly bought a plain black pair of tights at the expo.

 

Back at the hotel, I got my race gear set and I got off my feet.  I was in bed trying to sleep by 7:30 p.m. with the sound of howling wind and sheets of rain against the window.

 

At 5:00 a.m. race morning my wife dropped me off at the subway.  Wind and rain came down hard as the train rolled through a very drab East Boston.  I got off at the Boston Common where the runners are loaded onto buses for the ride out to the start at Hopkinton.  As I walked up the subway stairs I realized that something magical had happened.  For the first time in over a week, my legs felt strong.  No aches, no pain, just strong and full of run.  I told myself, “You’re going to be fine today”.  I later learned that one of my sister-in-laws who is very religious had been watching the weather reports and included me in her prayers that morning that I’d be safe and run well.  Apparently her call got through cause I felt really good.

 

My bus was packed with talkative, nervous runners.  It was still real windy and raining hard.  Our driver unwittingly gave us a gift by getting lost three times which meant that we were on that warm, dry bus for an extra 90 minutes instead of out in the rain at the start.  Maybe my sister-in-law really does have a direct line to the big guy upstairs.

 

The runner’s holding area at the start was a waterlogged mess.  I tried to keep my feet from getting too soaked.  I ate 1,000 calorie-dense carbohydrates (two raisin bagels with a thick blend of honey and peanut butter) along with coffee and Gatorade.  Despite the conditions the Boston Athletic Assn did an amazing job of taking care of us and putting on a safe, well run race.  If any of the volunteers read this, thank you all once again.  You’re the very best!

 

Local TV said it was the worst storm, called a “Nor’easter” in 14 years.  A live power line went down on the racecourse an just hour before the start.  The wind blew over some porta-johns and brought down branches.  I learned later that the race director didn’t decide it was safe enough for the race to go on until 4:00 a.m. that morning.  They came pretty close to canceling it for the first time in 111 years.

 

At 9:20 a.m. the first 10,000 of us were told to head to the start.  I got down to my racing clothes and put on a garbage bag to stop some of the rain.  It felt kind of dreamlike it was so special.  I found my corral and took care of my usual pre-race details.  I had a heightened sense of everything going on around me but felt very calm, peaceful and focused.   I was absolutely ready to run.  My confidence was warranted since I’d run that long and fast in training.   More importantly, I knew how badly it was going to hurt in the last 10 miles to run my best time.  Long ago I had decided I was going to pay that price.  No doubts.  No regrets.  

 

An excellent baritone sang the national anthem, then at exactly 10:00 a.m. the gun went off.  It took 5 ½ minutes to cross the start line and a full mile before I could run my 7:30 per mile pace.  I felt good with deep reserves of energy.  My legs quickly found the light, fast rythem I have on days when my body and mind are really ready to roll.  My breathing - 1 breath every 4 steps – was easy and smooth.  I’d drank 8 oz of Gatorade just before the start and had two 4 oz bottles with me so I didn’t need water stations until mile 7 which saved time.

 

It quickly became clear that lots of folks ahead of me weren’t intending to run as fast as I was.  I thought, “How did all these people get seeded ahead of me?”  Passing takes energy but I didn’t go there to run 9 minute miles so I began to gently weave my way through the field.

 

The patches of heavy rain and strong headwinds were tough but it was invaluable to have faced those conditions in training.  Unavoidable puddles soaked my shoes again and again.  I saw a several runners slip and hit the road hard.  But the miles clicked off and I got to halfway in good shape.  The key on a course with rolling hills like Boston is to run an even effort.  That way you avoid the pitfall of oxygen debt but you really have to be used to listening to your breathing and heart rate. 

 

 

From miles 13 to 15 I had a “sidestitch” (a stabbing pain in my right ribcage). The trick to overcoming them is to exhale when your left foot strikes the ground and, honestly, to gut it out and not slow down.  At mile 15 before the hills I ate an ounce of pure honey I’d brought and washed it down with water.  The famous hills that start at mile 16 and end with “Heartbreak Hill” in mile 21 were hard but repeated training runs on longer, steeper hills after going 16 miles had prepared me well.  I missed the mile 17 marker and was energized when I unexpectedly passed mile 18.  Mile 21 with heartbreak hill was my slowest which took 8:30 to cover.  With the hills behind me I gathered myself for the last 5 ½ miles into Boston which include lots of downhills if you’re not too beat up by then to take advantage of them.  I ran steady and passed lots of people in those last miles.   I had severe waves of pain in my lower stomach that lasted several minutes during each mile.  At times the pain was brutal.

 

The images of the last miles are vivid:  The far way Prudential building, Boston College, Fenway park, the gigantic CITGO sign and, of course the amazing, roaring crowds.   I can’t really convey what it takes to drive yourself for 3 or 4 miles when with every step your legs are screaming for you to slow down.  I remember passing the yellow sign saying “1 mile to go” and though I was really hurting, I told myself, “Push, pass as many of them as you can”.  I ran the last uphill on Herford Street then made that final, magical left turn onto Boylston Street and could see the finish.  I ran that corner hard and didn’t let up that entire last third of a mile.  The finish line I’d touched so wistfully the day before came up fast and then, just like that, it was over.  I finished in under 3 hours, 25 minutes, passed more than 3,500 people and finished in the top 10% in my age group.   I was wobbly for a minute and then a wave of wicked stomach pain came over me.  One of the medical staff steadied me and opened up the barricade so I could get to a porta-john.  He waited until I returned a few minutes later feeling 100% better.  I thanked him and kept walking, feeling very fulfilled.  I savored every moment, congratulating other finishers and thanking the volunteers.  I got water, my finishers medal (in exchange for the timing chip on my shoe), a space blanket and some food.  While waiting to get my clothes bag I started to feel very, very cold in the wind and rain.  At the family reunion area, I found my wife and put on a dry sweatshirt and jacket.  She’d gotten text messages from the race computers as I went down the course so she was expecting me.  We made it to the Back Bay station with time to spare to make the 2:50 train back to the Hotel.   I’d protected myself everywhere with vaseline before the race but when I took my shower I painfully found out that those d**n tights had rubbed me so raw I was bleeding.  You’ll have to use your imagination as to where.  

 

At this moment, five days later my hips, legs and elsewhere are still pretty beat up but getting better every day.  I’ve been eating like a pig and will probably continue that for another day or two.  I’ll resume easy running in the next couple of days but I won’t be fully recovered for at least 6 weeks.  I’m already qualified for Boston in 2008 based on either the time I ran this week or in Tucson last December.  I’m not sure if I’ll be back at Boston next year or what race I’ll do in between.  There’ll be plenty of time to set those goals.  I still want to enjoy the glow of this one.

 

I realize that most Americans will never run 5 miles, let alone 26.2 miles at the kind of pace needed to qualify for Boston.  Physical disease, lifestyle choices, psychological issues or other infirmities are just a few of the reasons that make meaningful exercise impossible for most folks today.  Hopefully my story has placed at least some sense of running the Boston Marathon safely within their reach.

 

I want to end by thanking my wife for her patience, love and support.  I want to again thank the Boston Marathon volunteers.  I want to congratulate Robert Cheruiyot of Kenya and Lidiya Grigoryeva of Russia, the mens and womens winners and all the other official finishers.  Last, I want to honor and congratulate each finisher in the wheelchair, handcycle, visually impaired and mobility impaired divisions who are living proof that the heart of a champion comes in many packages.

 

 

 

 
May 27, 2007, 3:39 pm CDT

Happy Memorial Day!

Happy Memorial Day to anyone who happens to read this message.   It's great to finally be completely recovered from running Boston last month.  I'm doing about 40 miles a week and will stay at that level for the next 4 weeks while I build greater body strength and speed.  Training a 50+ year old body to run 10 mph can be breathtaking.

 

I've got a new toy called a Garmin Forerunner 305.  It looks like a wristwatch but uses GPS satellites to track how far, fast and exactly where I've run.  It's amazing...it even records my heartrate and when I get home all the data is on my PC.   It helps me do each workout at the right level of exertion.  In the past I've usually run my "easy" or "recovery" runs much to hard which just tore me down.  Hopefully with this device I'll be smart enough to do less of that.

 

Today, as I usually do on Sunday mornings, I went out for an easy, 10 mile run.  It was early, about 6:30, beautiful and still quiet.  The streets were nearly empty as I went through the neighborhoods I know so well.   American flags in front of many houses moved a little in the breeze.  I felt deeply grateful for the sacrifices our armed forces have made so I can live in a country where I can be free, successful and even run 10 miles on Sunday mornings through safe, quiet streets. 

 
May 29, 2007, 2:47 pm CDT

10 MPH!

This was the day I'd see if I could run 10 mph on the treadmill.  Over the past three weeks I'd prepared by increasing my strength training for the big muscles in the front and back of my legs and the speed of my Tuesday workouts.

 

Running fast on a treadmill can turn dangerous in an instant.  if you clip a foot, lose your balance or fall it could mean a torn muscle, sprain, torn ligaments, fractures or even head injury.  I've never fallen but I get real serious and cautious whenever I go over 8 mph.

 

I stretched then set the machine at a 1% incline to make up for the lack of wind resistance. I warmed up by jogging one mile at 6 mph then I turned it up to 10 mph for 1/4 mile.  I was able to do that 5 times with 1/4 mile recovery jogs in between.  With the important part of the workout behind me, I finished it out for a total of 7.5 miles.

 

Am I estatic?  Absolutely, because it means I can train to run a much, much faster marathon this fall.

 
June 5, 2007, 5:59 am CDT

YOU GO!

Quote From: foxtrot54

This was the day I'd see if I could run 10 mph on the treadmill.  Over the past three weeks I'd prepared by increasing my strength training for the big muscles in the front and back of my legs and the speed of my Tuesday workouts.

 

Running fast on a treadmill can turn dangerous in an instant.  if you clip a foot, lose your balance or fall it could mean a torn muscle, sprain, torn ligaments, fractures or even head injury.  I've never fallen but I get real serious and cautious whenever I go over 8 mph.

 

I stretched then set the machine at a 1% incline to make up for the lack of wind resistance. I warmed up by jogging one mile at 6 mph then I turned it up to 10 mph for 1/4 mile.  I was able to do that 5 times with 1/4 mile recovery jogs in between.  With the important part of the workout behind me, I finished it out for a total of 7.5 miles.

 

Am I estatic?  Absolutely, because it means I can train to run a much, much faster marathon this fall.

 You are an absolute inspiration. Although my exercise goals are less ambitious than yours, they are no less daunting. Keep it up.
 
June 5, 2007, 6:03 am CDT

A new approach

 I find myself in my new surroundings not knowing a soul. I also need to lose the pounds I've packed on over the last year, especially the last 2 months before the move.
And serendipity steps in:  a few days after moving into the new house a flyer is placed in my mailbox. Its an invitation to be part of a 21-day test at Curves. I get to avail myself of their trainers and machines for 21 days free. Hopefully I'll make some new friends too.
Here's to the next 3 weeks!
 
August 2, 2007, 7:05 am CDT

Exercise

Quote From: ritehere

 I find myself in my new surroundings not knowing a soul. I also need to lose the pounds I've packed on over the last year, especially the last 2 months before the move.
And serendipity steps in:  a few days after moving into the new house a flyer is placed in my mailbox. Its an invitation to be part of a 21-day test at Curves. I get to avail myself of their trainers and machines for 21 days free. Hopefully I'll make some new friends too.
Here's to the next 3 weeks!
Congrats! Good luck and let me know if it works.
 
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