Tuesday, August 27, 2013

6 Months and change....

My newest ride - a 2011 Litespeed Archon C3 Ultegra road bike.

So much has happened in the last 6 months...and change is the key word. I can't believe how much my life has changed! Rebecca and I are settled into the house and so happy we bought it. I still pinch myself daily when I drive up to it, or drive away from it. I used to walk - and jog - through this neighborhood (Avery Ranch) and think I could never live here. And now I own a home here. Well, the bank owns a home they let me live in - you know the drill.

I'm under 200 lbs for the first time since 2011, and I really feel good about that! I have a pretty busy workout acumen I follow, albeit a very flexible one. I'm riding every Saturday I can with my old cycling club, the Georgetown Cyclopaths, what a thrill it is to be back with this great bunch of guys. I run 7 miles every Monday morning at Brushy Creek Lake Park, another of my favorite workouts. I don't focus on speed, and often do not wear my Garmin. I'm still very active at Lifetime, and I get there for workouts at least 2-3 times a week. Weights (not a lot!); elliptical, a one hour run on the treadmill. Good cross training, and I also do the occasional spin class.

Work is really, really good now. Since my move to another internal Oracle team, I'm much more productive and happy. Much more work, and more hours, but I do get overtime and that's always good. Rebecca is staying super busy too, with piano lessons (she teaches 17 students currently!) and working on a new business venture with a high school classmate.

More soon, I think I have a lot to say again and need to re-fire the writing bug...:O)

Friday, March 1, 2013

Hello, is this thing on? (tap,tap)

So hell might have frozen over and I am finally updating this blog!! SO much has happened since my last post, I hardly know where to start!

I suppose biggest news first - I got married! Groundhog Day, Feb 2d this year. Amazing woman, wonderful family and a wedding we will never forget...here is my lovely bride and I on the big day:

Rebecca (Huntley!) is the best thing that has happened to me since La Princessa was born. We met on Match.com and wrote each other more than I've ever written anyone in my life. She was in Longview and getting ready to move to Austin. We met at one of my very favorite coffee shops and it was love at first sight, actually we both fell for each other long before we met. We are so alike in so many ways, yet we have our differences too. Love, love, love this woman!

Today we signed a contract on our new home in Avery Ranch, and I could not be any more excited! It's our first brand new home, neither of us ever bought new before. Incredible home, room for a music room, and 3 more bedrooms, great loft upstairs with a balcony! Gorgeous home with a lot of upgrades, granite countertops throughout, wood floors downstairs and stainless steel GE appliances, all blinds are in.....front and back yards have oak trees and a complete sprinkler system. We are so, so blessed! Here it is:

We should be closing this month! I will be so glad to get out of that 3rd floor apartment, to have a garage again, and to start my new life with my new bride in this new home.....:O)

Monday, September 10, 2012

So true!!!

I am on day 5 of no Ambien!!! I'm excited, this is longer than I have ever gone in the 7 years+ I've been taking it! Wow, when I write that it is so strange to think, 7 years! It was supposed to be a SHORT TERM fix to my being such a light sleeper and for a while, that worked. NO one can tell me it's not more than psychologically addictive. Stop taking it cold turkey after taking it for years, and watch the PHYSICAL effects. The vivid dreams, the mood shifts, the longing for easy sleep. 

Surprisingly enough, it is not too tough...yet. I think this week will be the real "acid" test. Working nights and having to unwind and sleep during the day. Luckily my apartment is in a very nice, quiet small complex. I love it here, my neighbors are young professionals that work days mostly, and are very quiet on weekends. I actually was shocked at some of the stretches of uninterrupted sleep I had this weekend...a couple were 4 to 5 hours each. I was prepared to wake up, and thought I would have more trouble getting back to sleep than I did. So I'm coming into the work week well rested. A great workout at the gym this morning, and I feel so much better. No craving food before bedtime, no uncontrollable hunger pangs that Ambien always seemed to induce. 

I'm excited about this process, and committed to making it work. The next phase will be to transition back to day shift work, but I'm not rushing that right now. Baby steps.....

I'm grateful to Dr Paul Cauvin of ARC, my family practitioner for years and years. The support was very critical to me. I think I almost wanted him to tell me to taper off it slowly, but he agreed it might be best with my history to just pull the plug and take the usual sleep precautions, no caffeine before bedtime, dark room, etc. He also encouraged me not to fight "sleeplessness" but rather to embrace it, read and let myself feel tired again. That really has worked!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Austin Fit, 3m Half Marathon here I come!

So the running obsession continues...I'm running the Fall season with AustinFit, which of course is affiliated with USAFit....or something like that. It culminates in Feb 2013 with the Austin Half Marathon (the even-crazier people train for the Full Marathon). I'm never going to stop hating the name "Half Marathon". It ain't half of anything, it's a complete ass kicking of a race. Too short? Run faster then!

But I digress, which is the whole point of blogging, no? I'm so grateful to the program, and so glad I sucked it up last year and joined. It took so much for me to get in the car that first day, I was scared shitless. What? Run with people I don't even know? Last time I did that I was wearing combat boots and birth control glasses! It turned out fabulously, after training the entire season with my 11 min/mile group, I went out with a couple of our faster gals (shout out to Amy and Eliza!) and averaged 10:45 over the 13.1 miles. Not bad for such a tough course!

A group of us ran throughout the summer (read previous bitches and moans) and I'm so grateful to them all. Mark mostly, who loosely "organized" it by inviting us to keep our running fitness up. And Amy, who makes running look as easy as breathing to us mere mortals.  We slogged through some hot, hot runs and I know we are all better runners for it. It will make those cool winter runs a piece of cake!

Not being injured is something I never take for granted any more, not since THE CALF....which for any new voyeurs, er readers, was the injury I suffered last Fall. I learned a LOT from that injury, I can assure you! I learned to build a proper base mileage before any race, and to not ramp things up too quickly. I hope to never make that mistake again!

So this fall, I'm moving up with our coach to the 10:45 min/mile group. My basic plan is to do faster tempo runs during the week, and build the mileage at a slower pace on the long Saturday runs with the group. I know given a good base, my race pace is always going to be a bit faster. This year I hope to run 10-10:30 at 3m (Jan 13th) and about 10:30-10:45 miles at the Austin Half, unless I just get super fast. Not going to happen at this age, I don't think! But speed is no longer my prime objective. Just staying in shape, and ENJOYING the runs is fine with me. Losing sight of the fun is the kiss of death for me!

My workouts are in a great rhythm right now, although quite a few people have commented on the lunacy they appear to be on the outside. There is a plan people. I have a bike I'm slowly paying off, and when I get on it this Fall to start riding again, I want to be in shape and hauling LESS ass up those hills. I'm fortunate in that I can devote a LOT of time to working out that most men my age can't. Idle and Perry do not get along well.

I guess that's it for now. Now go run. :O)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Latest Fat Analysis

So I was really stunned today when I stepped on the fat analysis scale - and it read down only 1.4 pounds!! I know my weight really does fluctuate - and sometimes as much as 4 lbs....but still. Fuck that was not cool.

Bill went on to do the "7 sites" pinch tests and there was where I see the best - and biggest - results. So my eyes are not lying, I really AM getting more fit, and less flabby.

Here is a guide to the pinch test sites...

So here are the before and after numbers:

Body test site                 Before measurement          After measurement (latest)

Chest                                            15mm                              10mm

Abdomen                                      40mm                              26mm

Subscapular (back)                        23mm                              20mm

Midaxillary                                     21mm                              19mm

Suprailiac                                       14mm                              14mm

Triceps                                           11mm                              7mm

Thigh                                               13mm                             11mm

So overall I'm happy with the progress, the weight routine I'm doing is really adding strength and obvious, view-able differences. Right now I'm doing 3 sets of 15 on the ab machine; tricep; bicep; back, and chest machines. It takes less time and is more focused than I was doing before. I barely rest between sets, and I use enough weight that I am at muscle exhaustion on the 3rd set. Arms have gone from 50 lbs post surgery to now at 100 lbs (triceps and biceps). Not where I once was, but getting better after just two months!

I like that the Moobs are almost gone now. Lol!

I do need to get more serious about the nutrition and stop sabotaging my own work there. Easier said than done for a true Foodie!

Bottom line - room for improvement, but the New Leaf assessment says I've gone from a 52 yr, 10 month old body composition to a 36 yr, 7 months body. I'll take it!

Oh, and overall my body fat % went from 22% to 18%. More to come!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cramming for a body fat test?

I look better now!

I have until Monday to "cram" for my next monthly body fat test. I did not post about the last test, but it was OK. I had lost 4 pounds and almost 6 pounds of body fat. [At this last weigh-in the machine from Hell says I now have only 19 lbs of body fat to lose. Yikes!] Yep, gaining some muscle! My trainer/nutritionist has me pumping the weights again. It really has ramped up my weight loss, I peeked at the scale the other day and was down almost 7. However, the "cramming" I have been doing lately is more cramming food into my pie hole. Hey, I'm cool with it. I may sound extreme to my Facebook friends who see that I am at the gym nearly every day, but I balance it pretty well. I spend time with my lovely daughter, and I eat. I have cut out a few things, but I am not one for deprivation. That sets me up to fail every time. I once lost 40 pounds on WW over a 6 month period, but I will never, ever do that again. I'd rather die fat and happy.

My clothes are fitting better, I don't have to force my ass into my bathing suit anymore, and I'm getting much stronger. In just 2 months, I've gone up 30-40 pounds on most of the machines I do. I'm still running on Saturdays, and will begin my half marathon training tomorrow, I cannot wait! I'll be running three this year, Decker, IBM and the Austin Half in January. And my bike is halfway paid off so I'll be riding again soon! 

Life is pretty damn good right now!