Monday, July 27, 2009

Back On The Bike

The Halloween Ride
Well, my oldest and I (and maybe my wife) are getting ready for a 30 mile ride on October 27th! Yeah! I am excited and so is my oldest. We will keep you posted.

Today's Ride
I almost didn't get to ride. A huge thunderstorm rolled in a dropped a lot of rain. It only lasted about 2 hours, then it cleared right up! My daughter went out first. When she got back I went out. It is not much of a ride. The ride is a one mile loop. Today we did a sprint ride. We ride the loop one time as fast as we can.

What is the course like?
The course starts out with a quarter mile slow climb. Not really enough to mention. Then a for 150 feet it drops back down. Then another slow climb. It ends with fairly steep climb. I was fine until I hit the last climb. My legs were burning! And my gears need to be adjusted. I would drop into a climbing gear then is would jump back to a sprinting gear! Oh that would kill me!

So that is how I am starting!
This week we will do about 9 miles. The one mile road today, Wednesday we will do 3 at a faster pace, then Friday a nice and easy 4. We will slowly build our mileage with an additional mile a week for 6 weeks, then we will add 2.

Now we will need to see how I feel tomorrow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back to Running and Echo Cardiogram

Stress Test and Running
Since I pasted my stress test, I decided to get back to running and yesterday morning was perfect. The baby needed a nap and a walk through the neighborhood seems to work, so I broke out the baby jogger and off I went.

Run? In My condition?
Yes, I did. It was great. Now mind you I didn't do anything crazy. I ran for 4 and 1/2 minutes, then walked for 2 minutes. I did that for two miles. And yes the baby slept through the entire ride.

How was the Weather?
The temperature was in the low 80's and it was overcast when I started. It was hot. Then the sun came out and it was hotter. Humidity was at about 60%. I had plenty to drink before and drank plenty after. It was a good run.

How did you Feel?
During the run and just at the end of my first minute and a half, my left shin started to hurt. (Hence why I decided to walk.) After less then 30 seconds I felt fine. No other pain. Little aches in my quads since the course was really hilly, but over all I felt pretty good.

So how did you feel the next day?
Oh my gosh! My quads ache, my shoulders ache, my arms ache, and my lower back aches. All this from running and pushing a jogger. It was worth it though.

So whats this about and Echo Cardiogram?
Well, I had my appointment today. It is basically a massive ultra-sound of the heart. I wish I could post pictures. The ultra-sound is a 3D picture of the inside of your heart. They did cross sections from the side, the top, and at different angles. The measured the heart walls, speed of the blood flow, volume of the heart and the amount of blood my heart pumps in a minute. the even looked at the sound waves produced by the heart. The type of sound can indicate leaks in valves and other problems. But in my case everything looked good!

On a side note and kind of bad news, I weigh 204 lbs. I will work on that.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Determining Your Energy Needs

By Teri Clark

In order to know how many calories to eat per day, you have to determine how much energy you expend in a day and how these are expended based on your body. Most people assume they need to eat more than they do. This, of course, leads to weight gain.

Here’s a three-step process that will help you determine just how many calories you need per day to maintain, lose, or gain weight.

Step 1: Finding Your BMI
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is an estimate of the amount of stored fat you have on your body. Understanding your BMI will help you determine if you need to lose or gain weight, or if you are healthy at your present weight.

To find your BMI,

BMI = (Weight in pounds/height in inches) x 703

Let’s look at Susan as an example. She weighs 150 pounds and is 5 ft 7 inches (67 inches). Therefore, you would divide 150 by (67 x 67) to get .0334. Then multiply .0334 by 703 to get a BMI of 23.4. In this case, using the chart below, Susan is in the Balance Zone.

Once you’ve determined your own BMI, look at the chart below to help you determine if you need to gain weight, lose weight, or maintain your weight.

Below 18.5 - Underweight
18.5 to 24.9 - Balance Zone
25 to 29.9 - Overweight
30 plus - Obese

Step two: Determining Your Basal Metabolic Rate

The BMI is a good starting point but does not take into account things such as activity level, age, environment, or muscle mass. Based solely on BMI, an athlete in great shape may show as being overweight or obese. That is why it is important to go one step further and determine your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Your BMR tells how quickly you burn calories while at rest. Your BMR consists of 60 to 75% of the calories you burn each day for basic body functioning. Knowing this number will help you determine your actual calories needs.

To find your BMR:

1. Multiply your weight in pounds by 4.3.

2. Multiply your height in inches by 4.7.

3. Multiply your age in years by 4.7.

4. Add the answers of numbers 1 and 2 together and then subtract the answer of number 3.

5. Now add 655 to the answer of number 4.

Let’s look again at Susan again. Susan is 35 years old, therefore:

Her first number is 150 times 4.3 = 645
Her second number is 67 times 4.7 = 314.9
Her third number is 35 times 4.7 = 164.5

Now we add the first two numbers to get 959.9. Now we subtract the third number to get 795.4. Finally, we add 655 to get 1450.4.

Step Three: Determining Your Activity Level

The last step is to determine your activity level so that you know how many calories you burn per day. This equals the total number of calories you burn per day.

Sedentary - Desk job, little or no exercise. BMR x 1.2
Light Activity - Light exercise in one to three days per week. BMR x 1.375
Moderate Activity - Moderate exercise three to five days per week. BMR x 1.55
Very Active – Exercise six to seven days per week BMR x 1.725
Extreme – Hard endurance training daily BMR x 1.9

Let’s take one last look at Susan. Susan has a desk job but does try to get light exercise a couple of days per week. That means we take her BMR of 1450.4 and multiply it by 1.375 to get 1994.3 calories burned per day.

What Does It All Mean?

Total calories burned per day, in Susan’s case, 1994, is the amount needed to maintain her current weight of 150 pounds. If she needed to gain weight, she would increase her calories intake by 500 calories of healthy food.

If she wanted to lose weight, she would decrease her calorie intake by 250 to 300 calories and increase her exercise to burn 250 more calories per day creating a 500-calorie deficit.

By doing so, Susan would either lose or gain weight at one to two pounds per week.

Teri Clark is he author of "301 Simple Things You Can Do To Sell Your Home Now"
Learn more about Teri through poems, stories, and writing prompts at

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Why Does It Feel So Hot?
Our environment effects the way our body feels in different climates. When our body gets hotter we perspire. The evaporation of our perspiration is what allows our body to cool itself. When the humidity is higher less perspiration can evaporate at at time, so we feel hotter.

Heat Index
When exercising outdoors, you need to pay attention to not only the temperature but the heat index. The ideal heat index for any work out is actually 65 degrees. As it gets warmer, you will need to take in more water. Exercising in temperatures over 90 degrees can be dangerous. Here is a website with a good Heat Index Calculator. The NOAA Heat Index

Heat Stress
The longer you work out in high temperatures, the more stress you put on your body. Make sure to acclimatize to warmer weather. Gradually increase your work outs. Do not to high stress activities. No intervals, sprints, or hard runs. Be aware of your sleep! Sleep deprivation has been a common factor in running related heat deaths in the last few years. At any point, if you feel really hot, and your energy is tanking, stop! Don't push it.

How Much Water?
The common suggestions of the past were "Drink A Lot and Drink Often." Then a study was done on Marathon runners and they found a common heat related injury was drinking too much water. So they asked the elite runners how much they drank and the rule of thumb was "If they were thirsty they drank." Hmm makes sense to me, but how much is enough.

My Formula
I can't actually take credit for this. I have read this in several running magazines and on the web. I weigh myself before I run. I take tons of water with me when I run. As I get hot and thirsty I drink. Some times I feel like I drink every few seconds, some times it is every few minutes, but when it is hot I drink. I never do anything longer than 45 minutes in hot weather. I normally go for only 30. Then when I am done, I weigh myself again. Normally I weigh less. They weight loss is water loss. So lets say I weighed 180 (I wish). Lets say the temperature was 85 degrees. I drank 1.5 liters of water in 30 minutes, and when I got back I weighed 179 lbs. 1 liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds. So I drank about 3.3 lbs of water and lost 2 more sweating. So I drink on more liter. That means that at 85 degrees I lost 2.5 liters of water in 30 minutes. As it gets cooler, I will loose less water and as it gets warmer I will loose more. That gives me a guide as to how much water I will need. I do this for every run in temperatures above 80 degrees.

Let me know if this is post has been helpful and post a comment or email me at Also let me know if what I have said makes sense. If I need to improve or clarify the information, let me know.

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