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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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2018 February 1

Twenty-seventh weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 22:49
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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’ve finally gotten my weight back in my self-chosen target range, but only barely. Keeping it there will be tough.

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.

January had me riding an average of 3.85 miles a day—slightly over my longer-term average, but not up to what I expect for February, as I did not start riding to campus daily until classes started.  I’m 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.  Maybe I can get in shape enough to run (slowly) 15km by the end of the summer. I’m not sure there is anything available, though, as the running calendars on the web don’t seem to have events that far in the future.

 

 

2017 December 31

Twenty-sixth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:30
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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.

Although I managed to get my weight back within my target range around the end of October, I’ve not managed to keep it there.

Long term, random fluctuations are about ±3 pounds, but there is an upward drift of about 3 pounds a year that I need to resist.

My goal is to lose five pounds and keep them off—staying in the middle of my target range, but this may be harder to achieve than I had originally envisioned three years ago when I started on the weight-control effort.

November and December had me riding an average of only 3.29 miles a day—over the whole year about 3.6 miles a day. In a week, my exercise will go back up, as I’ll be cycling to campus five times a week, for winter and spring quarters.  That guarantees me 4.6 miles a day average, which will get me off to a good start.  But summer and next fall’s sabbatical will probably reduce the exercise hours again.

My family did get in a nice walk yesterday (about 5.6 miles with 580 feet of climb).We had mapped out 3 possible routes before we went for the walk, with different turnaround points depending on how tired we felt.  We ended up taking the middle of the three.

We started from home, walked to the end of Escalona, along the bike path to Harvey West Park, then took the Harvey West trail and Pogonip Creek trail to the Pogonip, up through the Pogonip to the Spring Trail, then back down the Spring Trail, Spring Street, and Laurent Street to home.  It’s been years since I’ve walked in the Pogonip, and I’ve never walked the Harvey West and Pogonip Creek trails before.  They were very quiet and shady—we saw a lot more walkers on the Spring Trail and on the trails near Golf Club Drive.

The shorter route would not have reached the meadows of the Pogonip, turning up Lookout Trail up to Spring Street (cutting off about 1.4 miles).  The longer route would have taken us up to the Spring Box/Koi Pond and then come down Coolidge Drive rather than Spring Trail, adding about 1.6 miles.  (Google maps has all the major trails in the Pogonip marked, if you want to see where we went.)

Somewhat surprisingly, my wife, who does the most walking of any of us on a daily basis, was the slowest of the group. My son and I walked at abut the same pace, with his youth compensating for his lack of routine exercise.

 

 

2017 October 31

Twenty-fifth weight progress report

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 23:04
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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 has finally gotten back within my self-imposed target region.

The recent rapid drop is probably due to the Mechatronics class—I have to bicycle up to campus almost daily, and I spend the day in the lab without eating.

The month of October had me riding an average of 5.23 miles a day. I’ll probably keep up almost this level through November, but my trips to campus will drop in December, but come back up in January.

Incidentally my cholesterol level is essentially unchanged several months after switching from 40mg atorvastatin to 20mg rosuvastatin—my HDL/LDL ratio may be slightly better, but that is probably just noise in the measurements.

2017 September 6

Wilder Ranch

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 11:27
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Yesterday, my son and I took a bike ride through Wilder Ranch State Park and UCSC.  We had a fun, though somewhat warm ride.  The weather was unseasonably hot over Labor Day weekend, hitting an all-time high for Santa Cruz of 108°F.  We were promised cooler weather on Tuesday, but the temperature was well over 80°F at noon.  We waited until 1:30, when the temperature finally dropped below 80°F before leaving the house.

We headed out on the paved bike path to Wilder Ranch, up Engelman’s Loop  and Long Meadow Trail to the Chinquapin Trailhead, then across Empire Grade to UCSC property, down past the Painted Barrels (there are actually two sets of barrels—Google doesn’t map the more northerly set, which were just after we entered the woods again from Marshall Field).  On the way down from campus, we stopped at the overlook above Pogonip Park and at the UCSC farm stand, where I bought some apples, cauliflower, and flowers.  The farm stand seems to have less produce this year than in previous years—I don’t know whether this is because the farm is producing fewer varieties or that they have better marketing outlets elsewhere.

Because we were doing the ride mid-week, we saw only a few other bike riders—maybe 5 or 6 on the paved path out to Wilder Ranch, one couple on the trails in the park, a pack of middle schoolers with adult guides on the UCSC trails, and a few bike commuters on the UCSC roads.  I suspect that the Wilder Ranch trails are more populated on weekends.

A map of our route. It was 13 miles (21 km) with 1178 feet (360m) of climbing.

I used Google Maps to make a route map of the route we took, which was harder than I expected.  At first I just dragged around intermediate points using Google directions, but Google kept throwing out the route.  Then my son pointed out that I could use the “+” button in directions to grow the route incrementally, though that required  couple of tries to work also, as there is a small limit on the number of points you can add, so I had to be very choosy about which points I added.

The weather was really a bit too warm for strenuous exercise, but we had cloud cover for much of the ride, so it wasn’t as bad as it could have been (certainly not as bad as last weekend would have been).  Today might have been a better choice, as the hot weather seems to have ended and we’re back to more normal temperature swings.

Neither of us have mountain bikes—my son rides a commuter bike with narrow road tires, and I have my Vanguard long-wheelbase recumbent.  The loose gravel, deep dust, and ruts of the trails in Wilder Ranch were a little difficult for us to handle, though mountain-bike enthusiasts would have found them tame.  I had to get off and walk my bike on a few steep hills, because I fell below my minimum balance speed and couldn’t start again on the loose gravel.  I only fell once—trying to get out of a rut on a steep uphill and falling below minimum balance speed.

It would have been good to do more bike riding this summer with my son—he’s headed back to UCSB in just over 2 weeks, and we’re making a trip to Boulder to see my Dad next week, so I doubt that we’ll have time to schedule another bike ride.

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