So, once again, how’s summer treating you?

Back in May, I posted this quasi-goal/”to do” list for my Spring/Summer. I thought I’d report on my lack of progress so far:

  • Lose weight. This is going quite badly, thank you very much. There are a variety of reasons why this is the case, but a lot of it has to do with being busier with schoolwork (teaching, meeting with students, scholarly projects, etc.) than I thought I was going to be, and my lack of willingness to stop stuffing my face with food and drink. I have been in my own version of “training” as of late though because I’m trying to be as ready as possible for our trip to Italy and Germany.
  • Oh, and as a tangent: I came across this web site on “How to Begin Running” this morning. Seems like an interesting plan to me. I have no interest in running marathons or anything like that, but being able to run a mile or two without stopping would be cool. I’ve never met anyone who jogs who is a fatty.
  • Write a book about eating. What book? Jeesh, this part of my summer has pretty much faded out of the picture. Besides getting distracted by other projects, both work and life, I guess I lost interest. Part of it was that after reading about competitive eating for a while, I got kind of bored, which made me doubt my or anyone else’s interest in reading a novel about eating. Who knows, maybe I’ll come back to this one.
  • Get up stupid early. Still no/yes on this one. I gave up setting the alarm at 5 am (though I might take this practice up during the school year), but I have regularly out of bed by about 6:30 am. It depends on when I go to bed. My latest thing has been to get up and get exercising, before coffee and everything. This has been something of a revelation to me since I have made it a point to start the day with a couple of cups of coffee before doing anything for– well, as long as I can remember. It turns out there is life before coffee, and the exercise thing is a lot easier for me if I “just do it” as they say.
  • House cleaning/maintenance. About the same as before. I’ve been focusing lately on turning our weed garden back into an herb garden with some success.
  • Italian phrases Ah, pizza? cappuccino? Rico suave? Actually, Annette and I made some progress on planning the Italian leg of our trip by booking some museums and such via the internet. I’ll probably save the Italian phrase stuff until the end of July/beginning of August though, after I am done with this pesky work stuff for a while.

4 thoughts on “So, once again, how’s summer treating you?”

  1. I’m always glad to hear of more runners!

    IMO exercise, weight loss, and getting up early go hand in hand. I sleep much better when I’m exercising, and I find it easier to get up to run than to do almost anything. And it goes without saying that the extra calories burned make a huge difference.

  2. Hey Steve, if you want to run with me sometime, you can. I have been doing it since high school with various periods of more or less focus. I agree with all the stuff that was on the How To site – very good advice. If I had to rank the advice in order for us overweight old athmatic guys, I’d say:

    1. Good posture while you run is critical – or you back will hurt badly. This means keeping you shoulders square and your arms lower than your ribcage. This will also help you to take a full breath more easily.

    2. Stretching after is more important than stretching before as long as you warm up gradually.

    3. Drinking lots of water is important – you muscles will cramp quickly otherwise. I find that my calf muscles go first if I haven’t had enough water.

    4. The structure of the workouts they give is good because the key to feeling better while you run is improving your ability to recover. So your workouts should let you surge and recover, surge and recover. At first, this is probably run>walk, and later it is run faster>run slower, or run uphill, recover on the flat, etc. If you run on a track try surging the corners and cruising the straights.

    5. Cross training with a no-impact method to keep[ your aerobic fitness going (and to satisfy the urge for endorphins you start to get once you are on a regular routine) is really important for me now that I am old and hurt more. I used to be able to run every day, but that was many years and pounds ago.

    6. Run with somebody – it really does help a lot.

    7. The thing about good shoes is the truth. So is having good form – this will not make sense at first, but having somebody to run with will help you figure out how to slap less and roll off your feet more smoothly.

    A couple of other things I didn’t see on the list:

    1. Hit your albuterol inhaler once (half dose) about 10 minutes before you go out on your first run.

    2. You may want something a bit more supportive than boxer shorts. (nuff said there)

    3. Ibuprofen the day after for a little while until your body starts to adjust. Oh yeah.

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