Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mud Season Is Upon Us

Morning weigh-in (Wednesday): 176#, 12% BF
Morning weigh-in (Thursday): 173#, 11.5% BF
Happy Darwin Day! Today marks the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth. You know it's coming, so here it is:
"It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being evolved." -- Charles Darwin, concluding paragraph to The Origin of Species
That's probably one of my all-time favorite scientific quotes. Remember the great man today, and don't forget to do something spectacularly stupid, in his honor...
Anyway, I tried to do a towpath ride last night, but the path was so soft (and wet, even submerged in places) that it was just not worth it. I got as far as Freemansburg before bailing and taking the road back. It was unseasonably warm and pleasant so the ride wasn't a total waste but I should have just taken the road bike, thaw means mud. (I wanted to use the GPS though, and since I have no way to mount it on the road bike -- I lost the spare bracket that came with the unit -- I went out on the Turner. Oh well, I'll be getting a new bracket soon I'm sure.) Windy, warm, it sure seems like March arrived early today.
I'll Take "Logistical Equations" For $100, Alex: Speaking of Darwin, here's an interesting look at that "25 Random Things About Me" craze on Facebook, as seen from an epidemiological standpoint.
Tuesday was a hard, full-body gym workout, but it seemed like I just breezed right through it. Very gratifying, my weights (here at the end of the "strength" portion of my weight-room training) are as high as they've ever been. Unfortunately, I went out to Brew Works for dinner afterward -- which was really cool, hanging with Anne and her friends Deb and Donna, but it sort of negated my in-the gym gains, or rather losses... I made up the difference by forgetting to eat dinner last night, not the brightest move either.
More Birthday Greats: Today is also the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the NAACP. Watching our new President giving a speech at the Ford Theater today really shows that we've come pretty far, though for sure it's not as far as we like to think.
Tonight is the gym again, then Porters for Jazz Night. I have off tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Heart-Healthy Nightmares

Morning weigh-in (Monday): 174.5#, 12% BF
Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 174#, 10% BF
David Rees Is A National Treasure: Check out my new favorite comic -- at least until Achewood comes back up to speed -- from the guy who brought us Get Your War On. Also, this.
So anyway, I hit the trainer last night for some basement intervals, 5 at 3 minutes with 2 minutes rest in between, for a 45 minute workout including warmup and cooldown -- Garmin sez I burned 563 calories. It also had a few nasty things to say about my heart fitness right now: maybe it's because I'm older (it's been years since I did this kind of workout, or worked out with a HRM), or maybe my heart was tired from other activities, but my HR would not go anywhere near the target I had set for myself -- I was shooting for a 180-185 bpm range for the hard parts, and was lucky to get 165-170. Oh well, I have my sights on Tipperary at least, but no one played the Rocky Theme for me last night... Dinner was pork and sauerkraut at home.
Movie Watch: Anne and I saw The Wackness on Saturday afternoon (before we went to see Raymond The Amish Comic). I'm not sure everyone will like it, but I thought it was good, lotsa Nineties references, and Ben Kingsley as a doped-up psychiatrist was worth the price of admission even if we did see it at home.
Movie Watch 2: Electric Boogaloo We also saw Gran Torino on Sunday afternoon, with Perry, Didi and her friend Sarah, downtown at the Boyd. If you've ever heard the cliche "I laughed, I cried," about a movie, well for this one it's true. Totally awesome, highly recommended.
Tonight is the gym, and tomorrow will be a road ride in lieu of yoga -- hey it'll be almost 60 degrees out! Meantime, here's a part of Friday night's ride.