Exercise Pro Tip #1

I exercise daily, so people are always asking me questions like, “If you exercise so much, why are you still overweight?” Once we have a meal together, they understand. But they also ask me other questions like, “How can I increase my exercise time?” That seems pretty simple to me. Just walk/run/bike/swim farther. But then come the complaints about how their bunions hurt too much if they go too far. Or, that their pustules start oozing if they increase distance. Well, I am ready to offer them and all readers my …

Exercise Pro Tip #1 – Reduce your speed by half, and you will double your exercise time without increasing distance.

That should be intuitively obvious even to the most casual observer. Look for more Exercise Pro Tips to come. You’re welcome!


Obstacles to Exercise

For me, there are many including laziness, family commitments, sloth, work commitments, indolence, soreness, lethargy, an inability/disinterest in finding my shoes, languor, my toenails requiring a clipping, a proclivity toward inactivity, and laziness. Yes, I did use a thesaurus for that sentence. But I ran into a couple new obstacles recently.

I have enjoyed starting my day by walking in a fen on my way home from dropping my daughter at school. The fen has a long boardwalk over its general marshiness (I think I served under him in Iraq) that makes for a fentastic walk to usher in a new day. However, blocking the path on one walk was this.

I’m told that is a sandhill crane which can grow to just under 4 foot tall and has a big pecker. I mean its beak. And it had friends.

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For One Night, I Was Young Again

There was a time when I thought nothing of going out at 10PM to start my night out. These days, if it is dark out, regardless of the actual time, even during a solar eclipse in the middle of the day, I want to go to bed. Last week, I was experiencing some anxiety about heading into Chicago on a work night to go see a punk rock concert with my son. It seemed so wrong on so many levels for someone my age.

But I sucked it up and drove to Chicago during rush hour. To my surprise and relief, I made it on time! My son advised me we were going to take a bus. I had never ridden a Chicago Transit Authority bus. In fact, we were supposed to take the very bus that was half a block away and about to leave. We ran, and I felt young and fast once again as we caught the bus. My balky left knee not only held up, but it felt better than ever after the short sprint. As we entered the bus, I wondered how many altercations I would be in as we rode. I had prepared for the evening by not shaving for a few days in a futile effort to look tougher. As it turned out, we didn’t get in even one scrape, although I swear a matronly grandmother gave me the stinkeye as I snagged the last open seat before she did.

We had a casual, relaxing meal before the concert, but my anxiety rose again as we walked to the concert hall. This would be a concert by the Australian punk trio The Chats. If that name sounds familiar, you may have been one of a couple people who read my post about their latest release. I figured I would be the oldest in the concert, but it turned out there were plenty of olds at the show. Being a senior with hearing loss was probably good. The Chats were loud. Take a listen.

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Open Water Swimming Was Open – Part 2 – The Temptation

As I teased in my last post, I was tempted after my swim last Saturday. Being America’s Friend, I was speaking to a total stranger despite the stranger wearing very tight shorts and sporting a somewhat satanic beard.

I was also wearing very tight swim shorts, and they were quite wet. We were both standing just outside the women’s locker room. And then the stranger tempted me to do something I haven’t done in years. He slipped me his card with his contact info. If I gave in to the temptation, I would meet the stranger again on the 1st of August for a dalliance into what I can only describe for me as … forbidden fruit.

The stranger had tempted me with this irresistible offer.

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Ranking the Friendliness of My Fellow Exercisers

Ever since I hung up my running shoes earlier this year and settled on walking and biking (once I fixed my bike) as my exercises for the future, I have noticed my fellow exercisers more. I no longer have to try and avoid people as I run so they don’t see my jiggling fat. I walk. I wave. I engage them in conversation … well, some of them. Here’s how I rank them from unfriendly to the friendliest.

#10 – Serious Cyclists

They are the absolute worst, wearing their fancy cycling clothes and teardrop-shaped aerodynamic bike helmets. There’s me with my teardrop-shaped body trying to give them a wave or nod, but they are always too busy going 100 miles per hour to acknowledge me back. Oh, was that a tree branch I accidentally left on the path?

Bike Flip

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Life in the Slow Lane

For the first time in 9+ weeks since I injured my right knee, I awoke this morning and felt my knee was finally looking normal again. It had a nice dimple on the inside of my knee where it used to be swollen with fluid. I still get a little pain from time to time, but I think that is a good warning to never run again.

To celebrate the return of my knee dimple, I took an early morning walk without the dog. I could walk at whatever pace I wanted for a change. Little did I know I would be race-walking.

As I headed north on one street, I found myself less than 1/10th of a mile behind a middle-aged woman who was also walking. The race was on. Does it count as a race if the other person doesn’t know they are racing? Little did I know that I was not only racing to finish first, but also to preserve my pride and retain what little dignity I could find.

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A Decision I Kneeded to Correct

A few posts back, I mentioned that I needed to make a decision between walking with a cane and training for a 5K race. I decided on the 5K race. I soon came to regret that decision this past Saturday.

I injured my right knee while walking the dog on Saturday. Then I further injured it while walking through the store to purchase a knee brace. Why would I need a knee brace? So I could go on a planned run Saturday afternoon which went well with minimal pain. The brace worked! And then my knee inflated like Trump’s ego at one of his rallies.

This is not my knee, but this pic is highly representative of what mine looked like.

Knee swollen

The kneecap is under there somewhere. So, I rested and iced and expected it to get better quickly. Nope. There was no way I could exercise and do my deep knee bends.

knee bends

So I bit the bullet and went to see an orthopedist specializing in sports injuries which is a stretch. That’s like Trump going to see a psychiatrist specializing in geniuses.

We jointly decided on a treatment protocol and this is what she pulled from my knee.

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Walk, Don’t Run

I participated in a 2 mile Fun Run/Walk today that benefited my youngest child’s school. Now that I am running again, I contemplated running the 2 mile course. Perhaps I could have come in first in the “ancient” age group. However, as I scanned the field of young parents, some of whom are the age of my oldest daughter, I realized that there was a very distinct possibility that I could be passed by a walker as I ran. Rather than risk the embarrassment and ignominy of being passed by a young mother recovering from a recent C-section pushing her new baby in a stroller while leisurely chatting with friends, I walked.

Halfway to Nowhere

I met half my running goal yesterday. I have an upcoming 5K run (3.1 miles) hanging over my head like the Sword of Damocles thanks to my 8 year old daughter as part of her Girls on the Run program. In 2 months, she will participate in a 5K Fun Run, and is required to have a running buddy. Never mind that her oldest sister was routinely running 5 miles last year. Never mind that another sister and brother were high school track stars receiving All-State honors and college track scholarship offers. Pay no attention to those other runners in the family since old dad drew the short straw and is officially her running buddy. Yay?

I finished a 1.55 mile training run yesterday, so I have another 2 months to double that distance by Fun Run day. At this point in my life, running that additional 1.55 miles seems to me like asking me to run to the moon on a path of flaming, broken glass that has sharp teeth that bite at my feet while I carry a hippo on my back. No wait, that’s no hippo, that’s an ass. My fat ass. As a former distance runner and triathlete, getting even halfway to 5K has been a humbling experience. Not only was I once an athlete, but I even collected some awards from races over the years, mostly from the awards table when nobody was looking.

This 5K Fun Run actually should not be as daunting as it appears to me. I was actually in pretty decent shape late last year, until …

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