Exercise Goals for 2008

Joe Nation
Reply Sun 14 Dec, 2008 06:07 am
Finished today's 4 mile race in Central Park in 53 minutes -- 5 minutes less than last time. Maybe I'm getting somewhere after all.

I second that.

Joe(even though it seems you are running in circles.)Nation
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Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 08:05 am
I was in the cafeteria of the Widget Factory drinking Dunkin Donuts
coffee with Two-Mile Mike, my running partner. In point of fact, Mike
wasn't my running partner at the time, having a couple of months ago
stopped running out of boredom and switched to weight lifting. In
further point of fact, Mike wasn't drinking coffee with me. He was
drinking Dunkin Donuts hot chocolate, a decision he was beginning to

"Why?" he asked me.

"Why what?"

"Why do you need an exercise goal? Just do what you feel like until it
gets boring and then switch to something else."

"I like having a goal."

"It's only a workout. You're trying to be way too organized about
it." This from a guy who has a "Create New To-Do List" entry on his
To-Do List.

"Anyway," I said "I want to have some kind of upper body strength
goal next year. I was looking at weight training sites on the 'Net,
but they're all over the map. It's confusing as hell."

"It's like diets," Mike said. "Everybody's got one of their own."

True, but not helpful. I still didn't have a plan and I was out of
coffee, so I went back to work.
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 08:16 am
shimmyBeth wrote:
Dancing in public.


Back before the collapse of Western Civilization, that could have gotten you
thrown in the The Royal Toronto Gaol.

From parts of that clip it is clear to see that belly dancing can produce wondrous
muscles in the midsection. I studied those parts very carefully. Never pass on
an opportunity to learn.
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Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 08:23 am

Big belly-dancing fans around here -- both sozlet and I hopped up and tried to copy some moves when we watched the video. (Loved the hands of the first performer, so lyrical...)

Great job, Beth!
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Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 08:29 am
George I'm a big fan of keeping it simple in the weight room. If you could let me know how many days you want to work out, specifically what you want to acheive, what your experience/comfort level is, and what kind of equipment you have access to I could assist you I creating a weight lifting plan.

I have a lot more experience there than I do in running shoes.
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 09:05 am
All your hard work is paying off, bethie. Congratulations!
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Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 01:18 pm
maporsche wrote:
If you could let me know how many days you want to work out, specifically what you want to acheive, what your experience/comfort level is, and what kind of equipment you have access to I could assist you I creating a weight lifting plan.

How many days -- 3 days per week
Want to achieve -- stronger upper body, emphasizing chest & upper back
Experience -- over the past couple of years I've been doing this:
day 1 - military press, lat pull-down, chest press, seated row, dip, upright row.
day 2 - leg press, leg curl, toe raise, leg extension, curl, triceps extension
One week would be Tuesday - day 1, Thursday - day 2, Saturday day 1. The
next week would be Tuesday - day 2 and so on.
For each routine I do 3 sets of ten.

I go to Planet Fitness. They have "Life Fitness" machines. The only free
weights they have are hand weights.

Thank you for offering your help!
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 01:29 pm
Ok, good info.

One more question

If you had to choose, which is more important to you: being stronger or looking bigger?
Reply Mon 15 Dec, 2008 01:54 pm
Being stronger.

I'm 63. I'm not interested in acquiring more real estate.
I just want to keep what I have from moving south.
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Reply Tue 16 Dec, 2008 07:53 am
The Widget Factory is located in the middle of an industrial park at
the end of a cul-de-sac about a quarter of a mile from Rt. 129, which is
about another quarter of a mile from the Rt. 3 on-ramp, which is a lot
farther than that from anyplace I'd really like to be running. But
here I am, so here I run.

I was slogging along past the featureless facilities of Arbor, Kronos,
and Bizcom when it occured to me that I really had no idea what went
on in these places. For all I knew, a million monkeys tapping at
keyboards could be a third of the way through Love's Labours Lost.

I wondered if they were hiring.

I turned left at the bottom of the hill and ran a loop along Rt. 129,
Turnpike Rd. and Mill Rd. for a total of four unscenic miles.
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 10:27 am
The men's shower room is small and poorly ventilated. One wall is lined with a
double row of battleship-grey steel lockers, two other walls are lined with
coathooks. There are two showers with curtains sadly in need of cleaning. The
funkiness of the room is part of its charm. The other part of its charm is that it
is located where I work and it is free to use.

I was rummaging around in my gym bag, cussing myself out for having
forgotten my hat. The weather was just above freezing, but I would be dressing
warmly otherwise, so I risked exposing my bald head to the elements.

I ran four miles, less comfortably but more aerodynamically than usual.
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 10:35 am
(I'm enjoying your little dispatches.)

Gymmed Monday and yesterday (off today).
Reply Wed 17 Dec, 2008 03:26 pm
Glad you're enjoying them.
Congrats on persistant gymming.
Your bones will thank you in years to come.
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 08:33 am
The weather in Chelmsford did not bode well for outdoor running, so I
went to the exercise room. Two-Mile Mike was already there. He held a
dumbell at his side in one hand and kept the other hand behind his
head as he did side bends. The window in the wall opposite the door
looked out onto the parking lot where a two-inch cover of snow was now
being glazed by sleet as a sanding truck made its rounds.

"What's the matter, George," asked Mike, "you're not running outside

"Well, normally I would, but by a happy coincidence I scheduled
cross-training for today."

"Nice timing."

"Thank you."

I got onto the Concept II rower and as I rowed I reflected on my
astounding progress this month. My mileage had dropped off
dramatically after I hit my goal for the year. My weight was
increasing proportionately to my intake of holiday sweets. My only
fitness success so far was wrestling the lid off a jar of Grey
Poupon. And even then the Lovely Bride had had to remind me to cut
off the clear plastic thingy.

I did ten minutes on the rower and switched over to the stationary
bike. I made an interval workout of that, alternating low and high
resistance levels. Stupid plastic thingies anyway.

After ten minutes on the bike, I got on the elliptical. The problem
with using the eliptical was that I suspected I looked silly doing it
and there was a mirror on the opposite wall to confirm that
suspicion. It was like watching a bad mime do "running through the
meadow." I promised myself that I would maintain my mileage and that
I would execise greater discipline at the goodie tray.

After ten minutes on the elliptical, my quads were feeling the burn and I
was feeling better about myself. I promised myself that I would stretch
later and went to take a shower.

Happy coincidence?
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 11:58 am
George wrote:
It was like watching a bad mime do "running through the

I read this as " a bald mime do "running ...."

I thought it was a brilliant turn of phrase.

More! More!!
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 12:24 pm
ehBeth wrote:
More! More!!

Yes! Please!

Thank god there's no mirror in front of the elliptical at my gym. I've never actually contemplated how stupid I must look.

But, I'm off to the gym to look stupid some more anyway.
Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 01:04 pm
Nice little yarns, George.

Bit of a lesson, too!
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Reply Thu 18 Dec, 2008 01:25 pm
I guarantee that none of you looked stupider than I just did as I executed some ball crunches.

Damn mirrors.
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Reply Fri 19 Dec, 2008 08:38 am
Like most of New England, Chelmsford is hilly. Nothing mountainous,
but if you go for a run in Chelmsford, you will spend some time
running up a hill, be it steep or gradual. If you run on Turnpike
Road, you have your choice. It's a gradual uphill for mile and a
quarter followed by a steep descent for 20 yards if you run it north to
south. Running south to north, you get the steep climb first and then
a nice easy downhill.

As I left the Widget Factory, I decided I would go for the steep
uphill and so turned right on Rt 129. There was a sidewalk but it was
covered with a couple of inches of snow topped off with a thin icy
crust. Slow going. When I got to Turnpike Road and looked up, I had
visions of El Capitain. I ran it as hard as I could. Because it was

At the top I slowed to an easy recovery pace. I was wearing a grey,
red and blue wind jacket that The Lovely Bride had given me many
Christmases ago. It had once had matching pants, but now I was
wearing a pair of almost black pants with grey stripes down the
sides. I completed the ensemble with blue and silver shoes and a
faded ball cap that couldn't decide whether it was bluish grey or
greyish blue. Authentic. Real runners don't coordinate colors.

I did have a nicely matched running suit at home. I had worn it the
previous week. Picture a breaded old guy wearing a blue jacket and
pants, blue running shoes, and a blue watch cap pulled down over his
ears. Papa Smurf out for a jog.

I would be doing a leg workout at the gym with Clive that evening, so
I took the short way back, jogging along in pied beauty at a easy pace.
Reply Sat 20 Dec, 2008 11:28 am
For the past 2 days, cardio has taken the form of 30-minute snow shoveling. There's way more shoveling to do but this is all I can handle. Better than I used to be, where I'd give out after 5 minutes.
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