Friday, April 30, 2010

On the lookout for fitness

The MS Walk was a great success on many fronts: fundraising, family bonding, raising awareness and a real sense that people with MS are not alone. And the 10 km walk was a great, relaxing way to spend the morning getting low level cardio the way we are meant to get it.

Here are my workouts for the past week. The only hiccup is a sore lower back that flared up after Wednesday's LHT/HIT session. It didn't happen until later after sitting for some time at my desk. The pain and stiffness in my back has been brewing for a bit and I think it is a combination of poor posture and extended periods of time sitting (especially at my desk in front of my computer) combined with less yoga/flexibility work than I should be doing (my yoga class at the University ended at the start of April and a new one starts in just under 2 weeks) and, possibly, a sight lapse in lifting form. I am more inclined to think it is the posture/sitting/reduced flexibility that are the more likely causes than the lifting, since I have been lifting for months with nothing similar, but have spent even more time sitting recently.

Anyway, I have been taking it a bit easy, as you'll read, to let things heal up. I'll just focus on walking, some swimming and yoga but not pushing any of these activities too hard.

Here's the deal.

Saturday 24 April
  • Walk ~ 25 min 
Sunday 25 April
  • St. Albert MS Walk 2010 - 10 km, 1 hr 43 minutes
  • Walks X 2 ~ 58 min and 15 min (with the dogs who stayed home from the MS Walk - that is them "On Duty" in the photo at the top, not pining for us to return as they stay in their crates when we are out)
Monday 26 April
  • Walks X 2 ~ 25 and 15 min
  • Swim, 1,000 m, 21:55 (faster and easier than last week)
Tuesday 27 April
  • Walks X 2 ~ 20 min each
  • Yoga, Rodney Yee Strength and Flexibility DVD (did the "Flexibility" workout) ~ 28 min
Wednesday 28 April
  • Walks X 2 ~ 20 min each
  • LHT/HIT/SS:
  • Bent over rows X 8, TUL = 1:42, 70 lb barbell
  • Standing overhead press X 3.5/4.5, TUL = 1:08, 70 lb barbell
  • Deadlifts X 5, TUL = 1:20, 110 lb barbell
  • Bench press X 5, TUL =  60 s, 90 lb barbell
  • Squats X 9.5, TUL = 1:53, 90 lb barbell
  • as usual, having a rach to walk into for squats would make it easier to get to positive failure and then unload
  • Yoga forward bends etc. to loosen stiff muscles in lower back
Thursday 29 April
  • Walks X 2, ~ 20 min each
  • Swim ~ 550 m, slow, 13:28
Friday 30 April
  • Walks X 3, ~ 20, 20 and 30 min each
  • back still a little stiff, maybe some yoga later or else just rest
I was going to add some food shots here too, but I think I'll save that for another post including tales of my first attempt at Thai red curry beef soup with coconut milk and cilantro! Until then.

Monday, April 26, 2010

sturdyteam at the 2010 St. Albert MS Walk

Well, we did it; 10 kms in 1:43, including the girls, sick spouse, and the girls' friend from school (who took the photo above). It started out quite gray and cloudy, but we didn't get rain or snow and they were forecasting both. There were a lot of people participating and tons volunteering. It was a great time and we plan to do it again next year for sure. The last time I checked we were over $3,400 in pledges. Thank you to all who donated! Here is the story in photos.
Morning weather.
Let's do this!
Lots of people up early for the walk.
And we're off!
Past St. Albert Place and the Sturgeon River.
Nice scenery on the walk.
About 3 kms in and still smiling.
We're on the right path at least.
Stroll around Lacombe Park Lake.
In the home stretch.
There it is!
Almost...
Success! Now where's the coffee?
Approval from my former student, Scott, who now works for the MS Society. Irony = lots.
Aren't they cute?
They're the reason why I walk: to find a cure so they don't have to deal with MS.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I love my food - so here it is!

My kids (and SO, too) think it's funny that I take photos of my meals. She jokes that it to help me remember what I like to eat later in life when I have memory issues. Maybe not a bad plan. I like to post it to show those folks who don't quite get what I am doing with my dietary choices what real food looks like sans grains. I think it looks pretty good!
Cheddar and green onion omelet.
Fish and egg fried quinoa with kim chee and salad.
Fish and egg fried quinoa with kabocha squash.
BBQ beef ribs and salad.
This morning's breakfast: 3 eggs, bacon, strawberries, kiwi and a banana.
Typical BAS for work.
Top sirloin, sweet potato, broccoli and tomatoes.
Full fat (11% milk fat) yogurt.
Fish (BBQed in foil) with kaboch squash, salad and broccoli.

Work outs of the Week (and a bit)

I have been remiss in posting for a while. The end of the academic term is always busy and this one is no exception. The SO, kids and I are participating in our first MS Walk tomorrow morning at 9:00 am; 10 km and hopefully no rain or snow, or at least not too much of it.

Here's the workout deal for the past little while.

Thursday 15 April
  • Walks X 2, 20 and 30 minutes, respectively 
Friday 16 April
  • Sprinting: 
  • walk ~ 10 min warm up; 6 X ~ 40-50 m @~50% with about 20 s between each; 6 X ~ 50 m @~ 75-80% with about 60 s between each (some of these ended in "tag" with Finlay); walk ~ 10 min cool down (nice, warm and sunny, ~ 18 C) 
  • Walk ~ 25 min 
Saturday 17 April
  • Walks X 2, 15 and ~ 35 min, respectively 
Sunday 18 April
  • HIIT/Bodyweight: 
  • 60 s each of: Jumping jacks (X 57), Burpees (X 15), Plank, Triceps dips (X 41), Prisoner squats (X 36), Wall sit, Side plank (left side), Lunge jumps (X 78), Side plank (right side), Wall sit (no push ups this time b/c of stiff lower back and tweaked right wrist) 
  • Walks X 2, ~20 min each 
Monday 19 April
  • Walks X 3, 20 min (kids to school), 50 min (from department around Hawerlak Park and back) and 40 minutes (very warm and sunny 20 C+) 
Tuesday 20 April
  • Walks X 2, ~ 20 min each 
  • Swim, 1,000m, 25:10 (slow!) 
Wednesday 21 April
  • LHT/HIT/SS: 
  • Bent over rows X 6, TUL = 1:23, 70 lb barbell 
  • Standing overhead press, X 3.25, TUL = 1:07, 75 lb barbell 
  • Deadlifts, X 4.5, TUL = 1:05, 110 lb barbell 
  • Bench press, X 3, TUL = 43 s, 100 lb barbell 
  • Squats, X 11, TUL = 1:43, 80 lb barbell 
  • Walk ~ 20 min 
Thursday 22 April
  • Walk ~ 35 min 
Friday 23 April
  • Yoga - Eoin Finn Daily Dose of Bliss, 42 min 
  • Walks X 2. 25-30 and 35+ minutes 
In virtually all cases, unless I am at work, all of my walks are with my small furry partners, Libby and Finlay, pictured at the top of this post. Finlay is hidden under the comforter behind Libby.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Three mornings, Three sweet breakfasts

I've been on an steak eating roll since gilling up a bunch of top sirloin on Thursday. And I love eggs. Put the two things together, and this is what you get. Well, the last two photos anyway. Here's the delicious deal.
Friday: Cheddar omelet with kiwi and apple.
 Saturday: Eggs over easy with avocado and rare top sirloin.
Sunday: Sirloin, tomato, green onion and cheddar omelet with strawberries an excellent post HIIT meal.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Primal food selections

Here are a few, randomly selected dishes from the past little while. Some people ask whether I miss grains. Take a look and judge for yourself. I think not. 

Here's a breakfast from a while back. Primal pancakes (made with eggs, bananas and almond butter; recipe from Mark's Daily Apple) fried in and topped with butter with blackberries and strawberries on the side.
Then, onto an appetizer. Roasted nuts (pecans, almonds and hazelnuts) with sea salt.
A main course (from tonight). Grilled, rare top sirloin on mixed organic greens with tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.
The salad above pictured with the side of sweet potatoes and butter (of course).
Grilled chicken breast on mixed greens with EV olive oil and Balsamic vinegar.
The salad above pictured with the side dish of sautéed mushrooms and green onions (in butter).
Similar to salad above, but from a different day, this time with avocado, goat cheese and fresh-peeled mandarin oranges.
Kind of a poor photo, but side salad, kim chee, two eggs over easy (in butter) with Bavarian smokie (also in butter, the day after I had grilled it).
So no, I don't miss grains. I love what I eat. I don't worry about how many calories are in what I eat. I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. Simple, healthy, satisfying and very tasty. Until next time.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Catching up on Fitness

Above is a photo of my dinner one night while I was in Florida at a conference at the end of March - a huge sashimi boat filled with fishy goodness. I shared a couple pieces, but all the rest went down the hatch! After being very slack about keeping my posts up to date, here are the balance of my workouts. In general they have been pretty good. I need to keep slow and good form on my LHT/HIT/SS weight workouts, and it was a bit painful getting back into the pool after 3 to 4 weeks out of the water, but overall, pretty fair.

Here's the long deal.

Monday 29 March
  • Walks: X 2, ~ 20 minutes each
Tuesday 30 March
  • LHT/HIT/SS 
  • Bent-over rows X 5/6, TUL = 1:19, 70 lb barbell 
  • Standing overhead press X 4.5, TUL = 1:11, 70 lb barbell 
  • Deadlifts X 6.5, TUL = 1:50, 100 lb barbell 
  • Bench press X 4, TUL = 55s, 90 lb barbell 
  • Squats X ~ 11, TUL = ~ 2:10, 90 lb barbell 
  • Walks X 2, ~ 20 minutes each
Wednesday 31 March
  • Ashtanga Yoga @ home ~ 35 min 
  • Walks X 2, ~ 20 minutes each
Thursday 1 April
  • Walks X 2, ~ 20 minutes each
Friday 2 April
  • Sprinting 
  • walk ~ 10 minutes to warm up; X ~ 6 ~ 50 m @ ~ 60% with about 30 s rest between each; X 6 ~ 50 m @ ~ 80% with about 60 s rest between each; walk ~ 10 minutes to cool down 
  • Walk ~ 30 minutes
Saturday 3 April
  • Walk ~ 20 minutes 
  • LHT; Changing winter to summer tires X 4 vehicles!
Sunday 4 April
  • Walks X 2, ~ 30 minutes each
Monday 5 April
  • Walk, ~ 25 minutes
Tuesday 6 April
  • LHT/HIT/SS 
  • Bent-over rows X 4/5, TUL = 1:36, 70 lb barbell 
  • Standing overhead press X 3.5, TUL = 1:09, 70 lb barbell 
  • Deadlifts X 5.5, TUL = 1:24, 100 lb barbell 
  • Bench press X 4, TUL = 60s, 90 lb barbell 
  • Squats X ~ 8/9, TUL = ~ 1:35, 90 lb barbell 
  • Pull ups X 2, TUL = ~ 15 s
Wednesday 7 April
  • Walks X 2, ~ 20 minutes each 
  • Ashtanga yoga @ University, ~ 50 minutes
Thursday 8 April
  • Walk, ~ 20 minutes
Friday 9 April
  • HIIT/Bodyweight: Burpees Mini Grail 
  • Descending sets of burpees, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 1 = 55 total with about 20 s between each 
  • Walk, ~ 55 minutes 
  • Painting!
Saturday 10 April
  • Walks X 2, ~ 20 minutes each 
  • Painting!
Sunday 11 April
  • Walks X 2, ~ 25 minutes each 
  • Painting!
Monday 12 April
  • Walk, ~ 15 minutes 
  • Swim, 1,000 m, ~ 22 minutes
Tuesday 13 April
  • Walks X 2, ~ 20 minutes each
Wednesday 14 April
  • Walk, ~ 20 minutes 
  • LHT/HIT/SS 
  • Bent-over rows X 5.5, TUL = 1:27, 70 lb barbell 
  • Standing overhead press X 5, TUL = 1:10, 95 lb barbell 
  • Deadlifts X 5.5, TUL = 1:24, 100 lb barbell 
  • Bench press X 3/4, TUL = 60s, 95 lb barbell 
  • Squats X ~ 7.5, TUL = ~ 1:30, 95 lb barbell
Phew. I'll try not to let it get this out of hand again.

Friday, April 9, 2010

2010 MS Walk - sturdyteam

For those who don't already know, I was diagnosed last May 2009 with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Things are going pretty well for me and my family all things considered, but there are many others who are considerably worse off than me. Not to mention that it would be excellent if future MS treatments didn't involve injections and the associated side effects. Please consider donating and sponsoring us while we walk for the cause.

My SO, kids and I will be participating in the St. Albert 2010 MS Walk as "sturdyteam". The plan at this point is that we'll be doing the 10 km version (at least I hope we will) this April 25. You should be able to pledge online through this link. You are also be able to join our team online if you are so inclined.

I apologize for the short notice. I'll be better prepared next year and get this arranged earlier. The link below should take you to our team page.

link to "sturdyteam" on MS Society Web Site

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Florida Fitness

I have no other good reason for not posting for over two weeks other than the fury that characterizes the end of the academic term. Throw in a conference on the other corner of the continent (Melbourne Beach, Florida - the view one morning from my balcony is above) and a reasonably successful attempt at getting more quality sleep and well, here I am with some catching up to do. Because of this I may beak it up, posting the lost weeks of fitness and other miscellanea in separate posts.


Here's the Florida fitness deal:


Monday 22 March
  • Walks X 3, ~ 20 min each
Tuesday 23 March
  • Travel to Florida
  • Ashtanga Yoga; ~ 40 minutes just before bed
Wednesday 24 March
  • Walk, 60 minutes, barefoot on the beach (!!!!)
Thursday 25 March
  • Ashtanga yoga; 40 minutes, sun salutations to the sunrise through the sliding doors and large windows that face the ocean in my room!!! See the photo above for a representative morning. What a way to start the day.
Friday 26 March
  • HIIT/Bodyweight/LHT
  • 60 s each of: Jumping jacks (X 53), Burpees (X 13), Wall sit, Plank, Prisoner squats (X ??), Side plank (Left side), Lunge jumps (X ??), Triceps dips (X 40), Side plank (Right side), Plank, Child's pose
  • unreal, 11 minutes of exercise, < 15 minutes total duration, all done in my room, and all done in when complete
  • Walk ~ 30 min on beach, barefoot
Saturday 27 March
  • Sprinting (on the beach! wore shoes - need some 5 fingers):
  • walk 5 min to warm up
  • 6 X ~ 15 s @ 50% with about 30 s rest between each
  • 6 X ~ 10-15 s @ 75-80% with about 60 s rest between each
  • walk 5 min to cool down
  • Walk ~ 40 min barefoot on the beach
Sunday 28 March
  • Travel back to Edmonton/St. Albert
  • Sprinting from one end of Denver International Airport Concourse B to the other, carrying briefcase!
I'll get last week's fitness posted shortly...one more class to teach this term, and then it's time to make some progress on our research. Until next time.