Archive for the ‘exercise’ Category

15 km run

July 16, 2015

I’ll go swimming this afternoon and see if that relaxes my legs.

humble brag

The course was 2.8 km out and back, followed by 1.35 km out and back on the same route times three and 0.65 km and back at the end.  I had planned for a little further but needed to get home and wake up my son for school.

Although I started ten minutes later than I wanted, I am pleased with my planning.  I got up at 4:20 AM and walked around the apartment and got dressed: Vaseline various places where clothes rub and bandages on my ankles for the same reason, standard running clothes and two extra bandannas packed with my Gatorade so I could replace them as they filled with sweat.  I also packed an extra shirt but chose not to make that exchange during the run.  I needed to walk around the apartment before the run to loosen up.  As a middle-aged runner, it takes a while before I can walk comfortably in the morning.

I am not sure how the GPS device in my phone works.  The course was 2.8, 1.35 or .65 km in one direction, followed by a 180-degree turn.  I feel I ran 15km and Mapmywalk recorded 15.89km so maybe at each turn, it pretends I made it to the edge of the error bar, giving me twenty-ish metres extra on each leg.  That doesn’t quite add up.  It also shows a thirty metre change in altitude while the course varied by perhaps five metres.

Anyway, I am proud of the run and will definitely attempt a half marathon in the Fall, when it is cooler.

 

Summer plans

July 1, 2015

This summer I appear to have a lot of free time.  I hope to work an ESL camp in August and have a few other commitments but essentially I have time to work on my own projects.  Most of these projects deal with writing.

Writing Plans and Goals:

  • 13 blogposts for 6,500 words.  Why 13?  I can’t recall why I chose this number.  Somewhat more than two a week, I guess.
  • 3 short stories: Working titles are 1) Ants, 2) Vampire on a boat and 3) Hyperbaric Chamber.  I’m figuring 2,000 words each
  • Push forward one or all three of the books I have started and let sit.  30,000 words is the goal and I don’t mind jumping from book to book as seems fit. Working titles are 1) Return of the Haloed Hunter, 2) the Distancing Engine and 3) Creationism’s worst arguments
  • 2 letters per week to friends.  Around ten letters and 2,000 words.
  • Perform research and planning for future “Crowded Sky” story. As much as 5,000 words.

To keep the writing interesting, I have made further goals.

  • I want to write over the course of a full day.  That is, at least once in the month write from 12:00 to 1:00 AM, once from 1:00 to 2:00AM …
  • I want to write in a variety of locations.  The local mountaintop has a good table. There are some nice libraries to write in.  I’ll talk about coffee shops in a moment.  Eulsookdo Eco Centre might be a nice place to work in for an afternoon.
  • Soundtrack: I may use Ommwriter which has its own soundtrack but otherwise it will be autoplayed classical music starting with some Janecek and letting Youtube suggest from there. Away from Internet connections, Doug and the Slugs and other 80’s music would work; the tunes are so familiar that they can be white noise or a fun background as needed.

Snacks: I bought snacks for my Nanowrimo writing and I will definitely eat in front of the computer but I need to show restraint here.  My weight is slowly dropping and I want to keep it going in that direction.  Controlling my weight is my greatest concern this summer.

Fitness:

  • 18 runs with an average of 7.0 km.  I hope to attempt a solo half-marathon this summer late one evening and have been working out the course and where to place energy drinks along the way.  I am currently at 96 runs over the past six months so only the weather could prevent reaching this goal.
  • Run faster than a subway train.  The local subway stations Seo-dae-shin and Dong-dae-shin are about 500 meters apart and the train takes 2:35 seconds from doors open at Seo- to doors closed at Dong-.  Further, this route is slightly downhill.  I can easily run this fast on a level surface but Seo-dae-shin is deep underground. I have no qualms or conscience problems about using the escalators but even with that assistance, there is a big climb at the start of the run.
  • Swim 2km at a time. Korean pools are crowded with conversationalists and it is hard to get an unbroken swim in.  I am likely to need to stop a the end of a lane a few times.  Today, I did 1250m, with breaks and could have gone farther.
  • Find 3 snorkeling places in and near Busan
  • For at least 6 days, eat three meals, plus one snack plus one sweet drink.  I snack a lot and plan to spend a lot of time in front of a computer so this will be a challenge.

Education:  I am enrolled in 3 MOOCS.

  • The Bilingual Brain
  • Modern Korean History
  • Archaeology of Portus

Family

  • Teach my son to swim.
  • Go on a weekend trip with the family. I would prefer a swimming site but that is negotiable.
  • Read two books with my son.  I don’t want this to be a purely teaching experience but one we both enjoy.  Tintin is a good contender here.
  • Work on the farm.

 

three week goal setting.

October 25, 2014

I wrote this at Fitocracy and reference the site a few times. With that heads-up, I think the post makes sense.

From 2009 to around 2012, my weight was stable at around 92 kg. In 2012 and 2013, I saw 94 and even 95 kg. In 2013, I was home in Canada, eating the comfort food I had grown up with. Man, cheese and oven-cooked food are great.
Since around 2010, I thought about losing weight. Several times, I put some effort into a diet, cutting some of the worst food I eat and trying to eat better.
Exercise has never been a problem. Through high school and university, I was a competitive swimmer and even though those days are around twenty years past, I still exercise frequently.
Still, this year, I have had a nearly perfect storm of exercise and diet opportunities and hope to see continued progress. This being Fitocracy, I will discuss how I exercised but to be honest, getting a dog has probably made the most difference.
I typically sit in front of my computer for several hours a day. We got a puppy in April and I made sure to walk it three times a day, totaling more than an hour each day. The dog ambled and investigated and I wanted to walk faster but the thing is, I was standing and walking for an hour more and sitting for an hour less every day. When I sat in front of the computer and was consuming rather than creating (reading not typing), I normally have a snack nearby to munch on. One hour less snacking is a big deal.

Back to Fitocracy-relevant content. For as long as I can remember, I ate ice cream every day. Now, we don’t keep ice cream at home and I have to go out and buy it. This is the biggest, most obvious change that I’ve made. Nearly no junk food at home. Now, I typically eat ice cream twice a week (my wife thinks its closer to once a week) and chocolate two or three times a week.
My son was curious about the beer I drank and my wife is a teetotaler. Under their prodding, I now drink four beer a week (down from a hardly alcoholic seven or eight a week).
For the past twelve years, I have worked summer and winter at an ESL camp (Korean parents send their kids to academic camps during school breaks – something that I have both felt horrified by and profited by). The camp had been for four weeks and I lived on campus, near a running track. So, every year, I have worked toward 25 km a week on the track. This summer, the camp was shortened to three weeks.

And three weeks is a very manageable time period. I set a goal of 75 km, and made 77km. Upon returning home, I set a three week goal of 80 km and made 80.3km.


At this time, I had some setbacks. Mostly, I was trying to run too fast and had hurt my quads and Achilles tendons. With the advice of friends, I eased off on the speed and suddenly found longer runs comfortable. The third three week goal was 85km and I managed 97 km. I have just finished my fourth three week set; the goal was 100 km and I ran 102 km.


It may seem I just made it, but that is only true due to life events. I had 102 km three days early and if, well, life hand’t gotten in the way, I could have managed 110 km. This is my next goal, although I have an official run on Nov 9 so doing well at that is a possibly-competing goal.
In the just past three week, set I also added some pushups, situps and back arches. I may buy a chin up bar for a doorway in my apartment. I am not yet doing significant amounts of calisthenics but the numbers will improve, I’m sure.  And, my running speed is improving again.


85 kg, here I come – probably in February.

Late Fall at the Wye Marsh

November 19, 2013

The school groups aren’t doing much at the Wye Marsh this month.  We were incredibly busy in October but there are only occasional groups coming until, I guess, next year when cross country skiing starts up.  A coworker and I felt the need to canoe and see what the marsh looks like in mid-November.

First, I found this wonderful swan-foot print and needed to compare it to my own hand.  Sure, my foot is longer, but this is huge for a 12 kg animal.

DSC09976 b We were using a smaller canoe so we explored areas we couldn’t earlier in the giant ten person canoes.  Here, the edges of the channel were so narrow, we just pulled our boat through.DSC09971 b Did I say, November?  I meant Movember.  Squint or click on the image to increase the size if you cannot see my luxurious mustache!DSC09971 cWe had passed this beaver den almost every day for around five months.  After three weeks away, we arrived to find a cache of small trees and branches with delicious bark for the beavers to access through the winter in front of the den.
DSC09968 b This kestrel is the Marsh’s newest resident of the Birds of Prey program.DSC09966 c

I guess this back end of a cheetah needs a little explanation.  My son loves cheetahs and this is around half of a Christmas gift I am working on for him.  There is more, and another mustache shot at Creativiti Project.  Midland Wood Carvers is a group of carving hobbyists that I sometimes join to beg for assistance and wisdom.  Their workshop is at the Wye Marsh. DSC09981 b

becoming or staying slim

May 12, 2010

When I visit my hometown, I see giant people climb out of giant cars (or SUVS, mostly).  Here, in Busan, but also in Korea generally, I see slim people and the younger they are – to young adulthood – the taller they are.

While I don’t have any news about how or why the generation entering the workforce is the tallest I’ve seen in Korea (I figure it is the increased amount of protein in their diets), I just read an interesting post about land-use in cities correlated to obesity.  The results aren’t startling, but until a test or two are done, it isn’t really known.

In “Walking and Obesity: the City Life and the Country Life“, Sci reports on a journal article that tracked 10,000 people in and around Atlanta, Georgia.

The people living in areas with maximally diverse land-use (residential, commercial and etc) were most likely to be slim, while those in single-use areas (think suburban residential) were more likely to be obese.

1) The more the land use is mixed where you are, the less of a probability you have of being obese. This is presumably related to walking more, but the correlation was only effective for African-American females.

2) The more you walk, the less probability you have of being obese.

3) The more time you spend in a car, the MORE probability you have of being obese.

Sounds pretty simple, don’t it? But this isn’t the easiest thing. Many people HAVE to drive to work, and often do not have enough leisure time outside of it to make up the car time with other physical activity. In addition, many people will walk more when they have somewhere to go, and suburban residential neighborhoods don’t really go in for that kind of thing. But it DOES provide some interesting data for people looking to plan new residential communities. If you make things more walkable (especially work and necessities), maybe people will walk more, and maybe that will translate to smaller probabilities of obesity and improvements in health. Maybe those people planning those overly picturesque walkable communities are on to something.

As I understand it, in suburban places where it is safe to walk, there is little nearby to walk to.  I don’t know if the neighborhood I grew up in on Muskoka Road 14 could be called suburban, but if we wanted to go to the convenience store, we had to drive.

And yet, we were fairly serious walkers.  Some studies show that families that eat together are closest, that sharing meal time means having good discussion time.  I don’t know, but walking to Finch’s gravelpit and to Sharp’s Creek was what I remember most about being together as a family (we also had nearly every dinner together).  Did I complain about how boring it was, I wonder?  Certainly, there was usually nothing on the TV, on the two channels we received.

Hmm, more stream-of-semi-consciousness.  Perhaps that’s what separates this blog from Gangwon Notes.

Anyway, everything is walking distance in Korea.  I now have a car and use it nearly everyday, but I really don’t need to.  A lot of the time, not driving is more convenient – no parking problems.

I guess it’s time to leave the car at home.  Well, tomorrow; it’s bedtime now.

“Move to Aussie”?

April 20, 2010

I have some friends at work from Australia.  I will have to ask them if they refer to their country as “Aussie”.  Certainly, they seem to refer to themselves as ‘Aussies’, but I hadn’t heard that term for the country. Added later: My Aussie coworkers do say their country is sometimes also called ‘Aussie’.  My mistake.

Well, until I read today’s Korea Times, which has an article about Olympic Gold Medalist Park Tae-hwan moving to “Aussie” to train for future events.  In that article you can read about the Beijing Olympic Gold medalist or “Park, the 400-meter freestyle golded boy in Beijing…”

There is s0me interesting information how intensive training is at his level. For me, as a struggling sort-of national level swimmer in Canada, there were only one or two competitions I would prepare to race in best condition for in a year.  Let me break that sentence down.  I competed at several small competitions, and, at those times, I focussed on technique and pacing and the like.  I swam as hard as I was able.  However, on the day before such a competition, I may have trained for six- or seven- thousand metres in the pool.  I was not rested, did not alter my diet, and skipped other preparation activities before race day.  It takes a long time to get to peak fitness, and you don’t actually race at peak fitness.  you reach peak fitness, then begin to rest.  The total metres per day drop and the content of those metres changes.  When I swam at Canadian University National Championships (CIAUs – I think one of those initials is for ‘union’, but can’t remember; no one ever used the full title), I had trained hard for four and a half months and rested for a month.  Around Christmas, I might have competed in a 10,000 metre race, but in February, I wouldn’t be swimming much more than that in a week.

In the week before the race, I followed a high-protein diet followed by a high-carbo diet.  The consensus was that it wouldn’t really help for the distances we would race, but it helped us focus.  The thoughts about the upcoming races followed me everywhere.  Even into my dreams.  On the Wednesday or Thursday before the competition I would have nightmares about the races.  Friday and through the competition, the nightmares would end and the dreams would be about swimming well and with laser-like focus.

On Friday or Saturday morning, I would shave -everywhere the bathing suit didn’t cover.  The suit itself was new, lycra, and six sizes too small.

Wow, I really went on about it, didn’t I?

Anyway, the point of all that is to help explain why Park will not compete in ‘real’ competitions for over a year before his next big one.

Park won three gold medals in the Doha Asian Games in 2006 and snatched one gold and one silver medal in Summer Games in 2008.

However, he collapsed in the Rome World Championships in 2009 in all events he swam in ― the 200- 400- and 1,500-meter freestyle.

However, while training in Australia he took part in the New South Wales State Open Championships and captured three gold medals in the 100-, 200- and 400-meter freestyle.

This time he will not compete in any events during training.