Friday, June 30, 2006

Road Trip, Cow Eyes

Morning weigh-in: 180#, 10.5% BF
Blood pressure: oops, forgot, will post in an update
UPDATE: 118/76, 63 BPM @ 6:00 AM

Gym yesterday, almost expected it to be closed since it's near the river but they were OK -- and despite the busy-all-day phone and the road block with state troopers on the only road to the place, they had a reasonable crowd. I ran two miles outside in 23:36, then did about 15 minutes easy spin on a stationary bike before lifting. Tonight will be a road ride; hard to believe but it'll be the first time on the road bike this year.

Meantime... The BP medication I'm on (toprol, of I got the spelling correct this time) is a "beta blocker," which apparently means it sort of blocks part of the "fight or flight" response mechanisms. Once I read that, I started thinking "whoa, I do feel more placid lately," and imagine that I can feel it in the set of my face, a feeling I've been calling "cow eyes." I look in the mirror, same old Don. I wonder if the doc has anything to help reduce suggestibility...

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Kitchen Disaster, Part Deux

Morning weigh-in: 178.5#, 12.5% BF
Blood Pressure: 115/78, 69 BPM @ 6:04 AM

Decided to get a snack last night, opened the fridge and saw what looked like a stalactite hanging down, passing through al the shelves from top to bottom. What the...??

Well, it was milk. The fridge decided to get really cold again, or maybe the blower was working overtime, but a full half-gallon bottle of milk -- a glass bottle -- had frozen solid. I guess the expanding ice forced liquid milk out the top, where it froze as it dripped down. I broke off all the stalactite pieces, put the milk bottle in the sink to defrost, noticed that the glass was broken, cracked by the expanding ice... Cleaned the fridge, more food thrown out, and in the morning cleaned the sink as well. I guess I lost the deposit on that bottle...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

At Home I Feel Like A (Disaster) Tourist

Quick update:
Blood Pressure (Tuesday): 135/81, 41 BPM @ 6:04 AM
Blood Pressure (Wednesday): 127/78, 59 BPM @ 8:57 AM

Traffic was heavy on 22, but the bridge was open, the only slowdown there was from rubbernecking, they weren't even collecting tolls & you could roll right through.

I figured that the towpath was under water tonight, so I blew off a "training ride" and went downtown to look at the Delaware. I ran into my neighbor & riding friend Mike, also saw about half of Easton oogling the flood -- we joked that it would be a good place for a hot-dog cart, and in fact the "sidewalk cafe" restaurants, some of which were actually within 50 yards of being flooded out or cut off, were doing land-office business... Welcome to Easton, the Disaster Tourism Capital of the Lehigh Valley! You feeling lucky?

Nice Day For A Disaster

"The yellow sun is shining in the afternoon..." -- The Raconteurs

Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 180.5#, 13.5%
Morning weigh-in (Wednesday): 179.5, 10.5%
(I'll post blood pressures in an update, since I can't remember them right now.)

Well, let's see, the sun's finally out but the water is still rising; Delaware will not crest until noon tomorrow, not sure about the Lehigh. Northampton County is under a state of emergency, along with 45 other PA counties. The "free bridge" across the Delaware has been closed since yesterday, and I think it's probably underwater by now; I suspect that the US-22 toll bridge may be closed at some point as well. Lots of small-stream flooding (besides the big rivers waaaay over their banks), roads closed, schools open for refugees as there are now non-mandatory evacuations along the river -- some guys went home early, since their areas (downstream of a dam) had mandatory evacuations and they had to be packed & gone by 8:00 PM.

In other news, I went to the surgeon today, and he basically gave me a clean bill of health: he said that, though there was still a depression, the incision was essentially closed, and I can get the foot wet (ie bathe normally) and resume other normal activities. I wonder if that includes riding down the towpath to look at the flooding and accidentally falling in?

Monday, June 26, 2006

Wrong-Way Redux

So I'm going home tonight, and I just got on US22 from I-78, I'm maybe a half mile down the road when -- HOLY SHIT!! -- a car is coming the wrong way down the highway, in the left lane -- in other words, my lane. Crazy things happening in front of me, cars swerving out of the way and all of a sudden I'm alone in the lane, staring at a pair of oncoming headlights. Lotsa swerving, beeping from the lane next to me, sorry buddy but I'd rather hit you than be in a head-on at highway speed... Luckily, there was a lot of congestion and things were moving relatively slowly, everyone visible to me managed to avoid a collision, though I have no idea what happened behind me. All I saw were those headlights coming at me, but I'd given a friend a ride home -- co-worker, religious guy, I don't normally use today's vocabulary in front of him -- and he said it looked like one very confused old lady at the wheel.

That couldn't have been good for the ol' blood pressure...

(By the way, that's the third time in two weeks that I saw someone driving the wrong way. I live in a neighborhood with a lot of one-way streets; mistakes happen occasionally and it's no big deal but this time was a little more serious.)

Reading: Never Mind the Pollacks, again. And once again, literally laugh-out-loud funny.

Apple vs Apoplexy

Morning weigh-in: 181#, 11.5% BF
Morning blood pressure: 124/86, 63 BPM @ 6:05 AM (ie before meds)

The thing about the apple is that, whenever I do eat one, it satisfies my hunger, but when I'm hungry for a snack, apples are never what I want. This is like riding sometimes: the times when you need a ride the most (for the sake of your sanity) are you are the least motivated to get out there.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Wineberry and Wild Grape

Blood pressure: 124/73 (6/24, 9:05 PM)
Blood pressure: 138/84 (Today 8:32 AM)
Blood pressure: 129/71 (Today 3:38 PM)

Yes, I got a new toy...

Ran Thursday at the gym, 2 miles in 24:43, forgot the HRM so there's no other data. My trainer saw me running, said I ran with a limp and should hold off for a few more days -- I think I agree, the foot's not really ready for those stresses yet, at least not too frequently. After the workout I went out to Which Brew for dinner, sigh.

Friday night I managed to get in a towpath ride after work, also managed to avoid all the raindrops. My ride time was 1:37:25, average heart rate was 156 BPM while max was 176, and I supposedly burned 1910 calories. Went to Which Brew (sigh again), still had beer but dinner was lighter fare.

Saturday I did trail maintenance at Allamuchy, with Bob & Karen, Dr. Jim, Kris W and a few others. Got some work done on one of the newer trails, a bypass for an old, steep (and eroded) road. Saturday night was Which Brew again; I'd sigh again but I'm glad I went: it was a good night, hanging with Stu & Kathy plus some others.

Today I got up to lead a group ride at Sals, only no one showed a the meeting point, and when I got to Sals there was only John E (on foot, with an umbrella) and Kris K who decided not to ride. We talked trails for a while, then Kris left, and I was about to bail as well, when a bunch of younger (twentysomething) dudes came along, down the trail to the lower lot... They didn't really know where the were going, so I rode with them for a bit. Good guys, but not too experienced, they had a bit of trouble on the hills and with the slick, rooty/rocky surface. Fun though, and if they hadn't come along I would have gone home semi-clean... The rest of the day was errands, laundry, and naptime -- I seem to be running a sleep deficit, what with all those late party-nights.

Two conversations: on Thursday I ran into my friend Art at WB. He's a bit on the stocky side, always has been, but apparently he decided to do something about it and was trying a certain diet. He was near the end of the first nine day regimen, which was essentially like a purification: lotsa fruit/veggies & not much else. He said he'd had some trouble cheating -- we were in a bar, after all -- but had positive results so far even so. (He also took up cycling, which I of course consider a good move.) I got a little agitated though, when he started talking about his blood pressure problem, which until that point I hadn't known about. He told me how he monitors it regularly at home with one of those automatic sphygmomanometers. That's the first conversation, which planted a seed... On Saturday at the post-Allamuchy lunch stop, someone grabbed some junk food, someone else said "why not? You ride a lot, you can afford it," and Kris W responded with "yeah, that's how riding masks problems -- until you're 50 and go for a checkup, and they tell you your blood has become #3 crude." On the way home I bought my own sphygmomanometer.

A third conversation: I was shopping in Nature's way today, chatting with my friend Vi who works there, and I was "hungry but not hungry;" she recommended a bunch of good snacks (most of which I shot down because of nuts), then said "why don't you grab one of these apples?" So I did -- that & some hummos & chips, and some dried apricots. Light dinner tonight, mainly that stuff & some leftovers, after a fourth conversation made me decide not to go to dinner at Porters.

Back to the ride: there are all these plants near the roads at Sals, called wineberries, which in a few weeks they will be covered with delicious raspberry-like fruit, but they're not there yet. Instead of the wineberries, I snacked on twigs from the wild grapes which are also everywhere down there. You sometimes see little old ladies collecting these things for salads up on the towpath; the little v-shaped tendrils (or whatever they might be called, the things that grab onto other plants etc to support the vine) are very tender, with a pleasant, astringent "grapey" taste. Now that's healthy eating.