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2019 June 2

Thirty-sixth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:38
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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 was finally getting my weight back into my self-chosen target region when further progress slowed, and I’m seeing a gradual weight gain again.

Keeping my weight down has been an ongoing struggle. If I don’t pay close attention to how much I eat, my weight creeps back up, and I have to work pretty hard to reset it.

I’ve been bicycling an average of about 5 miles a day, but I’ve had to stop running (at least for a while, see Running hiatus), so my exercise level has been ok.  That is about to change, though, as I only have one more week of classes, after which I’ll be bicycling to campus much less frequently.

The end of Spring quarter and the beginning of summer seem to be bad times for weight gain—I think that the heavy grading load results in less physical activity and more snacking. Then the lack of bike commuting kicks in and my level of physical activity drops even further.  Perhaps this summer I’ll get a gym membership or pay to use the University equipment, as I want to learn how to run on a treadmill (which is supposedly easier on arthritic hips than running on pavement).  I’m going to have to do something, as I have 6 months a year for the next two years of not needing to be in my office on campus, and bike commuting is currently about my only exercise.

I have been snacking a lot during my grading, and it is likely to get worse: I estimate I have about 85–150 hours of grading to do in the next two weeks, depending on how much commentary I put in the student papers.  I generally reduce the feedback on the last paper, because I think that very few students look at the feedback when they know that they won’t be doing another paper for me.  But even at the minimal level that I consider responsible, I have more than a full time job grading for the next two weeks.  I’m already running a little behind schedule (about two days), as I had hoped to have started grading Lab 12 this weekend, but I only just finished grading Lab 10+11 late Sunday night.

2019 March 31

Thirty-fifth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:21
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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 found it harder than I expected to keep my weight within my target range.

My weight continues to drop (slowly), and I’m back to the weight I was a year ago. I hope to be able to pull the weight down a little further this spring, and I really want to avoid the big summer&fall weight gains I had last year.

My exercise for March included about 3.67 miles/day of cycling, which is a drop from February—probably attributable to exam week and Spring break, during which I was not commuting to work every day, but grading from home.

I’m now doing 2.5km runs two–three times a week. That’s not going to get me to my goal of eventually running a marathon, but I’ve not injured myself again, and it helps keep me in shape so that I can try upping the distance over the summer.  I’m going to try again for a 15km run in August or September.  There seems to be about 1 pay-to-enter run a month in Santa Cruz (starting around March), so I shouldn’t have any trouble finding something to enter.

running-2019-Mar-31

I’m maintaining about an 8:20 mile pace (3.2 m/s, 11.6 k/hr) at the current distance.

 

2019 February 28

Thirty-fourth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:04
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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 continues to drop now that I’m teaching again and bicycling up to work every day.  I should be back in my self-imposed target range in another week, and in the middle of it by the middle of April.

My weight loss is not quite as fast or steady as the 2015 diet, but I’m making steady progress.  I’m not doing the large,raw-vegetable lunches this time, but just skipping lunch—it is much less trouble.

My exercise for February included about 4.85 miles/day of cycling, and I’m still doing 2km two–three times a week. That’s not going to get me to my goal of eventually running a marathon, but I’ve not injured myself again, and it helps keep me in shape.

I did have an occasion last week to be grateful for the running practice—I got to class on Wednesday (2019 Feb 20) and realized I had not picked up the quizzes from the print shop.  There were still eight minutes before class, so I ran from Thimann 1 to the basement of Baskin Engineering, picked up the quizzes and ran back, getting back to the lecture hall with two minutes to spare.  I was a little out of breath and sweaty, but the two minutes before lecture started were enough for my breathing to recover.

2019 February 1

Thirty-third weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:08
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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.

Starting teaching again, with the daily commute up the hill and skipping lunches has helped start bring my weight back down.

I still have about 10 pounds to lose to get back to the weight I want—where I was a year ago.

My exercise for January included about 4.44 miles/day of cycling, and I’m now doing 2km every other day. That’s not going to get me to my goal of eventually running a marathon, but it should keep mr from injuring myself again, while maintaining enough muscle and flexibility so that I don’t have to start all over next summer.

My speed is not great (equivalent to an 8–8:30-minute mile), but I’m not exhausted at the end of 2km.

2019 January 23

Mediocre experience at the local bike shop

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 11:24
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My bicycle was in need of some care this past weekend (bald tire, worn brake blocks, worn chain), so I decided it was time for a tune-up.  I usually do all the work on my bike myself, but the closest bike shop to me (now called CycleWorks, previously Sprockets) has changed hands repeatedly in the past few years, and I am a bit worried that they may not last long.  So I decided to spread the wealth a bit and pay for a tune-up.

I called them up to see if they could do a tune-up over the weekend—I wanted the bike for commuting on Tuesday (Monday was a holiday).  They said that they were closed on Monday, but if I brought the bike in on Saturday, they could have it ready by Sunday, unless it needed some part they didn’t have.

I brought the bike in on Saturday shortly after they opened at 9 a.m. and explained what I wanted.  The only unusual request was that I wanted the packing grease removed from a new chain and replaced with a dry lube like White Lightning or T9.

Early in the afternoon on Saturday, they called me and said that the bike was ready.  The promptness of service was quite pleasing, and they did seem to have used dry lube on the new chain.  I ran a few errands on Saturday, and found that the brakes were not well adjusted—the cables were loose enough that I was almost bottoming out the brake levers before the brakes engaged.  I could fix it with the barrel adjusters, but I used up almost the full travel on one barrel (which should be reserved for wear on the brakes, not the initial adjustment).

Tuesday morning, on my way up the hill, I shifted into my lowest gear and the chain came off into the spokes.  It turns out that they had the rear derailleur adjustment off by a full index step and they hadn’t set the stops on the derailleur correctly.  This is the sort of problem I would expect of an amateur or a new trainee, but not from a professional bike mechanic I was paying an $80 labor fee for.

This morning I took half an hour of my time to adjust the brake cables and the rear derailleur correctly, also doing a little truing of the rear wheel to keep the rim from rubbing on the new brake blocks.

I won’t be going back to CycleWorks for a couple of years—time to give them a chance to hire or train competent staff (or go out of business).  I’ll have to try the next closest bike shop, which is 0.2 miles further away.  (Santa Cruz is blessed with an abundance of bike shops, which makes it fairly easy to find one that meets your needs and your tastes and is within walking distance—for years Sprockets was a good match for me, but CycleWorks doesn’t seem to be.)

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