Thursday, 8 September 2011

Reading & Riding, 9/7

My eating habits are at two ends of a spectrum. As often as I can manage, I'm eating delicious, home-cooked, (small "o") organic food from the abundant local farms, along with hippie standbys like green tea, nuts, raisins, artisan bread, and eggs from the back yard.... or else I'm wiping the grease off my hands after a trip to the Wendy's drive-thru or trying to get my money's worth at the all-you-can-eat pizza buffet. But I don't pay nearly as much attention as I probably should to "healthy" eating. I like Michael Pollan's "Food Rules" a lot, but I also like fried stuff.

I finally got the results from my blood work that was done way back at the beginning of this challenge. I was feeling run down all the time, and it was enough of an issue that I decided to see a family doctor for the first time in a long while. My mind was ticking off things like early stage heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems.... Not that I was losing sleep worrying, but given family history, lifestyle, and other factors, many possibilities were plausible.

The one area I figured would be most likely to get dinged was my cholesterol, because of my love of all things golden brown and delicious.

So I was mildly surprised to find that pretty much everything was normal. Mostly not even borderline, but right in the sweet spot. Even my LDL ("bad") cholesterol, the one affected by diet, was "excellent," just shy of "optimal".

The only small blemish on the whole thing was that my HDL ("good") cholesterol was a little low. And what fixes that? Let me go to the doctor's words: "This can be improved by increasing physical activity and exercise."

Which brings us, at long last, to the whole point of this blog post: the exercise.

Man, I did NOT want to ride tonight. I mean, I missed my usual ride time. I'm very tired from a short night's sleep. My stomach is a bit off -- well, I could go on whining some more, but I won't. But I did the ride. I even rode hard, setting a new high for distance.

Before I get to the chart, there are some missing data points. I have missed some days here and there, and I can't quite get the hang of recording it every time, even when I do ride. I also added a column, really just for myself, showing which program I'm doing on the bike. I've been trying some different intervals and resistance patterns, which affects the calorie burn and distance numbers. The new column will just help me compare apples to apples.
Date     Lbs    Miles  Cal Prog    
08/15/11 230.6 3.86 162 2
08/16/11 232.6 4.06 178 2
08/23/11 230.6 4.14 176 2
08/24/11 230.6 4.05 172 2
08/29/11 4.59 204 3
08/30/11 4.64 204 3
08/31/11 230.4 4.51 201 3
09/01/11 228.6 4.86 211 3
09/04/11 4.77 192 4
09/06/11 4.60 184 4
09/07/11 229.8 4.97 199 4

I'm finding it's getting harder to beat previous highs, but it's also getting easier to get through the ride without feeling like I'm going to keel over. It's getting hard to pedal any faster at the low resistance parts, so I may just have to bump everything up a notch across the board.

No weight loss so far, but I'm ok with that at this point.

I haven't talked much about the reading, I guess because there's not much to tell. I'm enjoying being able to read books, it's helping me regain my ability to concentrate for more than 30 seconds at a time. It even spurred me to finally go check out our (excellent) local library.

So that's my report. I can't believe there's only like a week left of this challenge. My intention is to keep this going indefinitely. I'll be curious to see if it gets harder once the accountability is gone.

And since I have to get up in under 5 hours, I really need to stop rambling on....


Cryptic Burger Septermber 8

Following yesterday's maudlin recognition that a challenge is actually challenging, I then reverted to my daily cryptic task with some determination. Result! I figured out 10 clues from yesterday's puzzle, and 3 from today's.

As time is pressing due to other daily duties, I will supply just the one clue, my favourite of the lot.
Q President gives duck two arts degrees (5)
A Obama

I worked this out from President + BA (bachelor of arts) + MA (Masters)...I don't actually know why the word "duck" is in the clue, but the answer is correct based on today's solutions. So the crypticising continues, I am back in the game.