Archive for September, 2008

Road Kill

 

Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon

Photo courtesy of Ed Yourdon

The scariest thing for me so far while running has been car traffic.  Part of my route around the house is on a narrow two-lane with no shoulder.  More often than not, people will move over into the other lane to give me some space or will slow down as they drive by.  Some nice people will even stop and wait if traffic is coming from the other direction.

 

Yesterday I had 2 cars whiz by me in this narrow area.  This bothers me in a major way.  I mean, I’m out here trying to be healthy.  I sure can’t do that if I get jacked by a car.  We all have to share the road.  Everyone has to be considerate of those around us.  So, if you happen to see a runner out on the road please slow down and take caution.

Podrunner: Intervals

I’m back into running and I kicked it off by getting ready for a local 5K.  One of the tools I’ve been using lately are the mixes from DJ BeatsmithPodrunner: Intervals.

There are 3 different sets of mp3 files for your consumption: 5K, 8K, and 10K.  Each set builds upon the previous and gradually works you up to running the full distance non-stop.  The 5K complements the very popular Couch to 5K program.  Each set contains a collection of mp3 files to progress you through the weeks of training.

I’m really enjoying training with these mixes because they do a few things in my brain.  First, they have a good beat per minute (bpm) that helps keep pace for the distance you are training for.  Second, the techo music is very trance like for me.  It’s very easy for my mind to slip into oblivion and forget what I’m doing and what is happening in the world around me.

I’m not a techo guy at all.  You wouldn’t catch me listening to this stuff for entertainment.  I’m very much a hard rock fellow, so please don’t knock it before you try it.  All you have to do is forget everything you know for a little bit and run to the beat.  There are audio queues in the mix to let you know when to slow down and when to speed up.  The bpm will change after the audio queue to keep you on track.  It’s that easy!

George’s Fitness Podcast Pick of the Month

I am always listening to podcasts.  Driving, working, cleaning, exercising, all the time.  It drives my wife nuts, but I find so much useful information about anything and everything by flipping off the TV and putting in those little white ear buds.  One thing I am new to, though, is fitness podcasts.  And there are a bunch of them out there.  Some, I have found helpful and interesting.  Other can be boring and useless.  I have been sifting through a bunch of them recently and thought I would let you know about the ones that are climbing to the top of my “must listen to” list.  And of the ones I review each month, I will pick my favorite one so that ye with little time will always be able to trim down your playlist and only listen to the best.  So enough with this introduction rubbish. On to the reviews!

My Pick: Being Healthy for Busy People

(Review based on Episode 9)

This podcast rocked!  I had to listen at this podcast just for the title; try to find geek that isn’t busy (and I do consider playing Lord of the Rings Online “busy work”).  The funny thing was, the episode I listened to wasn’t even about being busy.  It was about the health benefits (and decrements) of tea, coffee, and Venti Carmel Mochas with extra whip cream.  This really hit close to home since I am a café junkie.   The information provided was detailed and very well researched.   Yet it remained very concise, understandable, and helpful.  But most importantly, this one little 20 minute show actually motivated me to start changing one of my habits by providing me with all the facts and options I need to know to do so.  I was so impressed by Episode 9 that I downloaded and listened to all of the episodes.  This podcast seems really seemed to hit all the high points for me and I strongly suggest it for everyone else.

Other Reviews This Month:

Motivation to Move (Review based on Episode 161)

I enjoyed this podcast.   It was light, upbeat, and knowledgeable.  They sure have been doing it for a while, seeing that they are on episode 161.  The length is good: only 30 minutes.  Long enough to have in depth topics, but short enough to listen to on the commute to work or walk to the store.  The website seems to have a big community as well.  It did, however, have some cheesy, “self-help” style music playing in the background.  That always drives me nuts.  This was a good podcast, but it wasn’t great.  If you are dedicated to fitness podcasts or have a lot of time, I say listen away because this was a good show.  I personally have plenty of other podcasts on my play list that I would listen to first, and this one would probably fall into the “Mark as not new” category.  I do plan to listen to a few more episodes, and I’ll let you know if I have a change of heart.

Nutrition Diva’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Eating Well and Feeling Fabulous (Review based on Episode 7)

I love the whole Quick and Dirty Tips line of podcasts.  I think they have the perfect format for a podcast.  They all take one topic or user question a week and provides a 5-7 minute tip.  The Nutrition Diva is one of their more recent additions to the lineup.  The host seems knowledgeable and professional.  The episode I listened to wasn’t necessarily the best podcast I have ever heard, but, hey, it only took 5 minutes out of my day (and those were just audible minutes)!  Even though this specific episode wasn’t anything special, I am biased to the overall quality of QaDT productions, so I have added this to my subscriptions.  Hopefully I’ll have better things to say in the future.

And that’s it for Septembers reviews.  If you have agree or disagree with anything I have said, please leave some comments.  Also tell me if you have any other podcasts that you enjoy.  Next month, I plan to look at podcasts featuring workout music, which should be fun since I really don’t like electronica, and that is what all fitness music podcasts play.  Have a great week and remember to stay active!

2008 Franklin Classic 5K

I spent the morning of this Labor Day holiday laboring through a 5K run.  This is the 2nd 5K I’ve run in my life, but it’s the first in recent years.  I managed to jog the whole thing which thrills me immensely.  I was shooting for a time under 32:00, but that didn’t happen.  I managed to complete it in 33:06 which is a respectable time when you look at my runs over the past 2 weeks.

The hardest thing about running in a race instead alone is the other people.  When other people are involved, it made me want to run faster to keep up.  It was also hard at the beginning because I was having to move around to pass people.  When I’m by myself it’s really easy to zone out and ignore everything around me.  

I’m happy that I managed to make a short term goal and make it happen.  It’s always a boost to the ol’ ego when you can set out to do something and then actually do it.  Now I have a baseline time that I can try to beat on the next race.

World of Warcraft Workout Tip #3 – Exercise Ball

Have you packed on a few pounds since you started playing World of Warcraft? Are you never able to get to the flag in Warsong Gulch because you you need to stop and catch your breath halfway up the entrance tunnel? If so, then listen up!

A great way to increase your daily fitness is to push that old, squeaky office chair out of the way and replace it with an Exercise Ball during your game time.   Using an exercise ball will improve your balance and tone your core muscles just by sitting down and playing WoW.   Using an exercise ball for brief periods of time is also known to help improve posture and body alignment.  To get that extra calorie burn, bounce on the ball or do hip circles while you play.  But the fun doesn’t stop there!  An exercise ball opens up a whole new world of quick and easy exercises to do while playing, such as Squats, Lunges, and Bridges.  If you play Warcraft while on the road, a popular portable alternative to an exercise ball is a Fit Disc.

Caution: You’ll want to make sure you slowly transition into the use of an exercise ball and only use it for a few hours at a time.  It is not recommended to permanently replace your office chair with an exercise ball.  And as always, consult your personal doctor before attempting any exercise presented here.  This has been your World of Warcraft Workout tip of the week.  Have fun and stay active!

Also, I would like to thank Scott and Randy and the crew over at the Instance for including the audio version of the World of Warcraft Tip #1 in ther latest episode.  I’ll keep the segment regular as long as they keep playing it!

August Weight Loss Update

So, last month I sucked it up and only lost one pound.  Since I decided to run a 5K race today (more on that later), I spent all of August getting ready for it so I wouldn’t die.  3 runs a week sure does help the weight come off!  See for yourself.

August Weight Loss Chart

August Weight Loss Chart

269.2 lbs!  That makes my weight loss for the month about 5.5 lbs.  I’m very satisfied with the results and hope that I can continue my momentum into September.

It’s not all good news though.  I fell off towards the end of the month due to me stressing out.  I ended up eating out a lot more than usual at lunch as a result.  Also, the running makes me want to snack more and that’s not too good either.

My plan for this month is to continue with the running and to try to cut back my eating to what it was.  For this month my goal is to lose another 5 lbs.