Gas station without pumps

2018 December 1

Thirty-first weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 15:06
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, part of a long series since I started in January 2015.

My weight is getting perilously close to the point where it was before I decided to diet.

This past year has been a disaster for weight control.  I’m hoping that when classes start again in January and I bike up to campus 5 days a week that my weight will come back down.

I think that part of the problem with both summer and fall is that I stayed home more, which means much less exercise and more snacking. For September–November 2018, I only averaged 2.22 miles/day on my bicycle.

I also stopped running in mid-September, because my right hip started aching. I’ve not been able to figure out whether the ache is in the bone, the joint, the ligaments, the tendons, or the muscles.

It still aches, particularly after I’ve been sitting and working at the computer for a while.  I’ve been thinking of trying jogging again to see if it makes any difference to the ache—if not, I’ll probably start doing short distances again when the weather is good.


2018 November 7

Santa Cruz bike lockers

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:21
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When i was at the farmers’ market downtown today, I chatted for a little while with a bicyclist taking his bike out of one of the bike lockers.  He was amazed at how under-utilized the bike lockers are—he never has any trouble finding an empty one to use.

It is rather amazing, considering that parking in the lockers is much safer than parking in an exposed bike rack (especially given the bike theft rate in Santa Cruz) and that parking in the lockers costs only 5¢ an hour.  There are 5 locker locations on the UCSC campus, 2 locations at the Long Marine Lab, and 7 downtown (but none in the shopping areas of the Eastside or the Westside).  Each location is a cluster of several lockers. A map of the locker locations can be found at

There is one problem, though: you have to have a Bikelink card to use the lockers.  The cards can be bought on-line, at The Spokesman, or at the Santa Cruz Parking office in the Locust Street Garage. The cards cost $20 and have $20 worth of parking credit (400 hours). The cards are useful also in many other locations around the Bay Area (and even other parts of the country) and can be refilled on-line if you use up the initial credit.

I have not ever used the bike lockers, because my recumbent bike is too long to fit in them (tandem riders and adult-tricycle riders are also out of luck).  But I did get my son a Bikelink card several years ago, which he used a few times, but Bikelink has no lockers in Isla Vista or Santa Barbara—somewhat surprising considering the number of bikes on the UCSB campus.

2018 September 1

Thirtieth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:11
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, part of a long series since I started in January 2015.

I have not been able to keep my weight within my self-imposed target range for the past several months.

Summers seem to be bad for my weight, as both last summer and this summer were high-weight points for the year.

I think that part of the problem with summer weight is that I stay home more, which means much less exercise and more snacking. In August 2018, I only averaged 1.23 miles/day on my bicycle (under 30% of my usual exercise).

Although I restarted running at the beginning of July, I did not not run much in August, because I got a long-lasting cold on my trip to Boulder.  I was there to visit my Dad in the nursing-home/rehab-center where he was recovering from a stroke that caused him to lose almost all sensation on the left side of his body.  He has been continuing to improve, but we’re going to have to move him from an independent-living community to an assisted-living community, because he still needs at least minimal assistance for many activities.

There was a long break in my running in August, because of getting a long-lasting cold on my trip to Boulder, CO. I’m only just starting up again.

I didn’t do  Bike Santa Cruz County’s  12km run on 26 August 2018—not even the 4km short run, as I was still feeling the effects of the cold, had not gotten my training up to doing longer runs, and couldn’t see the point of biking over to Wilder Ranch to do just a 4km run at low speed.

I’m still running fairly slowly—between 10 and 12 km/h, which translates to a mile pace of 8:00 to 9:40, depending on distance (8:22 at 1 mile).

2018 June 3

Twenty-ninth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:06
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, part of a long series since I started in January 2015.

This past year has seen repeated attempts to recover from the weight gain of the previous two years.

I’m right on the upper edge of my self-imposed weight range. If I stop paying attention to my weight or start snacking to cope with the stress of grading, my weight shoots up rather quickly.

As I mentioned in Starting jogging, I started running over Memorial Day weekend. I’ve kept it up for 9 days, with only minor aches from stretching out muscles and tendons that don’t get used on my bicycle.  During March, April, and May I also averaged 4.66 miles a day of bicycling (mainly my bike commute to work).  The bicycling helps loosen up muscles that tighten from the running.

I started jogging over Memorial Day weekend, and have gradually been increasing my distance. (For those who prefer Imperial units, 12 km/h is an 8-minute, 3-second mile pace, and 2km is 1 mile 1282 feet.)

I plan to continue running throughout the summer, with distances gradually increasing. Once I get up to about 3km, I’ll start alternating short and long days, to give my muscles some time to heal between the longer runs.  When I get up to 10km, I’ll probably switch to a long-rest-short cycle, to allow more healing time.

I’m in better shape now than I was in summer 1970 when I couldn’t run a mile, but not in as good shape as summer 1971 when I could run a 6-minute mile (16 km/h) and could run up to 15km (though only at 12 km/h).  Although I’ve been keeping to around 12 km/h so far, I expect to slow down as the distances increase.  I’d like to keep above 10km/hr (a 9:40 mile pace), though, or the running will take up too much time.

My current goal is 12km runs by  Bike Santa Cruz County’s  12km run on 26 August 2018 and 15km runs by the end of October.  If I don’t injure myself, I’d like to get to the point where I run a marathon before the end of 2021.

So far, I’ve been running in my Teva sandals, which have more padding in the soles than any of my other shoes, and which fit comfortably.  I’ll be buying some running shoes in a couple of weeks, once I have some spare time.  I’ve been recommended Altra and Brooks Cascadia shoes, and both lines are carried at Santa Cruz Running Company (along with half a dozen others brands).  The method they describe for helping customers pick shoes sounds reasonable, and better than just picking a low-cost shoe randomly from Amazon (which is pretty much how I choose my bicycling shoes every 4 or 5 years).


2018 February 28

Twenty-eighth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:43
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This post is yet another weight progress report, continuing the previous one, part of a long series since I started in January 2015.

My weight has fluctuated a lot in the last year, but I’ve stayed pretty much in my target range for February.

It is probably about time for me to pick new breakpoints for long-term trend lines. I can’t really pretend that my “maintain” period is really modeled well as a single straight line.

My goal is to stay in the middle of my target range (~158 lbs), but this may be harder to achieve than I had originally envisioned three years ago when I started on the weight-control effort.  I’ve been skipping lunch entirely lately, which makes me a bit hungry on the days when it is 14 hours between breakfast and dinner (mostly Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have late lab classes to teach).

February had me riding an average of 4.78 miles a day—about normal for a 5-day-a-week commute with a tiny bit of weekend errand-running.  I have had huge grading loads most weekends, so sometimes I don’t even get time to do a short errand like biking down to Trader Joe’s for soy milk and cereal.

I’m still thinking that I’ll try doing some running this summer, not for weight control but to start training for running a marathon when I retire.  The longest distance I’ve ever run was 15km, and that was about 47 years ago.  I was recently told that Bike Santa Cruz County (that is the renaming of the “People Power” group that used to meet in my living room, back when I was a bike activist) sponsors a 12km run on 26 August 2018, mostly on flat dirt trails at Wilder Ranch.

If I plan on building up to longer runs by increasing length by 1km each week, then I’ll have to start training around Memorial Day. My initial training will be very easy, perhaps on the UCSC 800m track or the Santa Cruz High 400m track (both approximate measurements on Google maps).  Later in the summer I will probably alternate long days (leading up to 12km by the end of August) and short days (1–2km).  On short days, I should probably do some cycling to maintain some cardiovascular fitness—cycling up to the UCSC track to do two laps would probably make a decent short day.




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