Monday, October 29, 2012

I'm loving the weight lifting

Wow, I'm loving this weight lifting. It makes me feel so good. I'm increasing my weights each time, which is typical for someone new. It gives me a sense of "hey, this is working!" to see progress every time.

I love doing squats. My legs look awesome when I do them. Just standing in front of a mirror I don't see much muscle, but do some squats in front of a mirror and my legs are like all muscle.

Weight lifting makes me very hungry. I eat meat, meat and veggies or meat and potatoes or meat, veggies and potatoes at every meal. Including breakfast. That does the trick. Nothing else keeps me feeling strong, healthy and not hungry.

I can't wait until I can put more weight on the bar. I think my friend from high school might be right. She told me long ago that I had a body made for body building. I'm not doing exactly body building, just strength, but it's pretty close to the same. I might not win any contests, but I think I can get pretty strong. That's what I want: to be strong, to have visible muscle, to never feel weak, to stop being so sore all the time whenever I bend over to pull a weed or clean the tub.

I think I will run this afternoon, unless this morning's weights make me too sore. Then I'll just walk. It's super foggy outside today. Running in the fog might feel good.

Meanwhile, in other news, I finally got my butt into the tattoo shop to make an appointment. I have an old, faded ankle tattoo that I want spruced up. Ed hat recommended the tattoo shop that did my PCT tattoo. (I have a map of the PCT and the PCT logo on my leg.) My appointment is five months from now. That's how in-demand the artist is. He said it would be fun to do my tattoo because it's at the stage where it's light enough he can take some creative license with it. I will definitely encourage that. Better to have an artist make the design than me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weight lifting

I decided to learn how to lift weights. I joined the Rec Center at UCSB. Weight lifting is really fun. It also makes you really hungry!

I hired a personal trainer to teach me how to do the lifts. Then hopefully I can just take it from there and get strong.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Chronic cardio

A lot of people in the paleo world think that jogging is "chronic cardio." According to them, cardio exercise causes you to raise cortisol levels, increase oxidative damage, systemic inflammation, depress the immune system and decrease fat metabolism.

The trouble with believing this is that I spent the last 9 months doing the kind of exercise paleos advocate and I ended up feeling that I was getting all those negative things. Since paleo is all about looking to the paleolithic for how we might best eat healthy and exercise, how did anybody come to think it's natural for humans to do burpees and planks and avoid running?

What I really found enlightening about Maffetone's Big Book of Health and Fitness was that he explained "chronic cardio" not with blanket statements about some exercises being better than others but in concrete terms that overtraining is bad. Overtraining leads you to raise cortisol levels, increase oxidative damage, systemic inflammation, depress the immune system and decrease fat metabolism. And you can overtrain doing burpees and planks, lifting heavy and sprinting like paleos say is best. You can also over train by running and biking if you push too hard.

I continue to run slowly most days, ride my bike slowly and generally not work quite so hard, yet I put in the time. I feel happy and healthy when I do it this way. The 9 months I spent doing twice weekly burpees and the like was just too much. Always hiking at high speed was too much. Always pushing hard when I rode my bike was too much. Easing up is so much better.

Monday, October 01, 2012

I ran up the bluffs today

I continue with my slow Maffetone running. Today I ran up the bluff to the university from Goleta beach. It's the first time I've been able to do that since I began this.

Last week I noticed I was running around 127bpm most of the time. Today it seemed to be around 126. It was a hot day, too. I make a little bit of progress every day. Seeing real progress so quickly spurs me to continue.

Yesterday I ran like this for almost 3 hours. I ran from my house to Arroyo Burro beach and then through Hope Ranch along the horse trail that parallels the scenic drive. The horse trail is nice and shaded. My feet were super dusty. I enjoyed the run immensely even though it was very slow as always. It was a fun adventure. I did this run without any breakfast. I ate a big "fruit" salad afterward of avocado, tomato, fresh figs, pesto and olive oil and vinegar. So refreshing!

I am looking forward to when I can run out my door and up to Inspiration Point. Or on some of the other trails. I'll pack just my collapsible cup to drink from small creeks (the ones that dogs don't go in) and drinking faucets. I won't need to bring any food with me. The beauty of this kind of running is you train your body to use your body fat for energy so you don't run out of energy or bonk and you don't have to worry about eating.