Category Archives: Goals

Specialized Allez Elite circa 1999-ish

Cycling – I Love It!

At the beginning of June I added cycling to my fitness efforts. I’ve been going out usually 3 or 4 times a week to do a route. At the beginning of June I did a 7.14km route that is basically a big loop around the city block my house is part of. My pace was 14km/h for the route. In other words, it took me a little over 30 minutes to do the loop. I decided that as a goal I would do a double loop (14.28km) with a pace of 20km/h or better by the end of July.

Well, tonight with the help of good equipment, I did it.

So, I had been using my mountain bike with road tires on it as my “normal” bike. Partly because my belly is big and it’s more comfortable to ride. But tonight, at the suggestion of a long-time friend who also cycles, Jim Warder, I decided to take out my road bike. It’s a Specialized Allez from the late 90’s with a few minor upgrades. See the pic above. I love this bike!

I’m always a bit surprised by how light it is. It has an aluminum frame and pretty good components. And riding it is a dream. The fit for me is perfect. Except for that darn belly that I have now that makes using the drop handlebars impossibly uncomfortable. But I guess that’s what I’m working to change!

Anyway, I started my ride this evening just thinking that I’d take it easy, do one loop and not worry about my time. The route starts with a nice downhill for about 1km and then has a steeper uphill climb for about 500m. On the climb I didn’t push too hard, but I got my gearing to be about the same as I had it on my mountain bike. I felt kinda tired from my ride yesterday. I didn’t expect much for time or pace.

However, once I passed the steep uphill portion, I started to warm up and my pace picked up a lot. I have a bike computer on this bike so I was constantly seeing that my speed was up in the 22 to 25km/h range on the flats. That made me hopeful. By time I was on the last 2km, I was pushing lightly and keeping my speed up at 24km/h+.

The last segment of my ride is a monster valley… down is great! Up is torture (and further than the down). I got up to 45km/h going down into the valley, and really pushed going up… but when I shifted down on my front chainring, I skipped my middle gear and spun my cranks… which totally wrecked my pace. I fixed my gearing but my last 100m up the hill was really slow – 11km/h.

Once I got to the top, though, I decided – heck! – I can go around again. I checked my average speed so far and it was 21.8km/h – WOOT! I could take it pretty easy on the second loop and maybe even get to my end of July goal! So, I went for it. But did I relax? Nope. I kept pushing it.

Admittedly, I couldn’t quite keep the same pace but things went smoother overall. No glitches on my shifting. I powered up that final hill, and coasted the last 200m to my house. Checked my pace: 21.4km/h for 14.28km!!!! I beat my goal by a huge margin!

I blame it on my bike. 🙂

Forty-Eight Years Old

Had a great birthday today. I turned 48. Two years to go until the big 5-oh.

My day was simple, but lovely. The main highlight was spending time with my family. In the early afternoon we did a puzzle together. All six of us: Melanie, Justice, Haifa, Verity, Ocean and myself. At about 3pm we all went to the Feast of Sovereignty together. This was particularly wonderful since it is rare that we do so all together.

The day was full with other things too: shovelling snow, errands, a great dinner (steaks, mashed potatoes, and steamed veggies), and packing for my work trip tomorrow.

I’ve set two new goals for my 50th year:

I will do 50,000 push-ups by time I turn 50. So far I’ve done just 25 since I set the goal 0.05% – yay!

I will say 5,000 “remover of difficulties” prayers by time I turn 50. My first spiritual development goal. I will add more.

FWIW, I’m making great progress on my first goal: 500,000 sit-ups… although I’ve had to modify it slightly. I hurt my back so I can’t do proper sit-ups. I’m doing isometric stomach clenches instead. I usually do 1000/day. Here is the chart showing my current progress towards 500,000 (weeks on the horizontal axis, total on the vertical axis):

One other little point of note: I finally crossed the million mile threshold with Air Canada. I’m now a lifetime Elite 50k member. I haven’t yet received my “package”. When I do, I’ll share some photos of stuff.

Weeks 11 to 14: Catching Up is Hard!

Well, I got sick during Week 11, and let my numbers go way way down, and that lower pace, while getting better, has been the norm for the previous three weeks. I’m done week 14 and I’ve set two new records: 1415 reps in a week, and 335 reps in a day!

Next week, my goal is 1800 reps total, one day over 400 reps.

I’m using some new abbreviations as follows:

  • SU – Sit Ups
  • CR – Crunches
  • LL – Leg Lifts
  • AR – Ab Roller
  • SC – Standing Clench

Here’s the boring numbers (Including raw data for week 10):

Week 10

20190320 230.4 25CR+25SU + 25+25+25CR+25+25+25SU
20190321 229.0 25CR+25SU + 25+25+25CR+25+25+25SU+25CR
20190322 25CR+25SU
20190323 25CR+25SU+25CR + 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU+25CR
20190324 25CR+25SU+25CR + 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU+25CR + 25CR+25SU+25CR+25CR+25CR
20190325 100SU + 25AbRoller + 25KneeLift + 25BenchSU
20190326 day of rest

Week 11 (275)

20190327 50CR+25LegLifts + 25AR (100 total)
20190328 none
20190329 none
20190330 25AR+25SU + 25+25AR (100 total)
20190331 none
20190401 none
20190402 25AR + 25AR+25SU (75 total)

Week 12 (600)

20190403 25AR+25CR + 25+25CR (100 total)
20190404 35+35+30CR (100 total)
20190405 25AR+25CR + 35SU+35+30CR (150 total)
20190406 none
20190407 25+25CR (50 total)
20190408 25+25CR (50 total)
20190409 25AR+25CR+25SU + 25AR+25LL+25CR (150 total)

Week 13 (475)

20190410 25+25CR+25AR + 25AR (100 total)
20190411 25+25+25CR+25LL (100 total)
20190412 none
20190413 none
20190414 25AR+25CR+25LL+25SU + 30+25+20CR (175 total)
20190415 none
20190416 none

Week 14 (1415) – NEW RECORD!!!

20190417 25StandingClench + 40+20SU+20+25CR+15LL + 25+25+25+25CR (245 total)
20190418 25+25SC + 25+25SC (100 total)
20190419 25+25SC + 25+25AR + 25SC + 25+25SC (175 total)
20190420 25 + 25 + 25 + 25 + 30SC + 30+30+25CR+20AR (235 total)
20190421 30+30SC + 30+30CR + 50SC + 30SC + 30+30SC+20+15LL+30AR (325 total)
20190422 35+35SC + 25+25CR + 50SC + 20LL + 30+25CR+30+30+30SC (335 – NEW RECORD!!!)

My weight has gone back up to the 236-range which is a combination of bad eating and lower exercise levels. However, this past week I’ve started cycling. I’ll be starting to cycle to my office daily soon. Maybe next week. And I’ll start sharing my cycling progress.

Week 10: 5560/500000 – I’ve done 1%!!!

This post is several days late due to a crazy work schedule. The above number doesn’t include any reps I’ve done since Monday (today is Saturday). It was an interesting week exercise-wise. I had another record week and another record day: 1175 reps for the week and 325 reps in one day. The last day I did some of my reps at a hotel gym with the advice of the person supervising the gym. She suggested that I try the “ab roller” (proper form here) from the knees (harder version here – I’ll get there eventually) and doing some “knee lifts” while hanging (proper form here) but I didn’t do the form for those properly. Also while I the gym I did some tilted bench sit-ups, but my form wasn’t very good. The end result of the gym workout was some pretty serious sore muscles (good sore) and I couldn’t really do any more stomach exercise for a few days (until today).

I’m pretty happy about getting to the 1% mark, and also about my acceleration. Isn’t this incredible:

Cumulative reps per week.

This week might break the pattern of acceleration as I only have three days to do 1400+ reps… not likely, but I’m going to try!

I also did a little home workshop project. I had a fantastic loop magnifier lamp that broke after about 8 years. I bought it to use for my coin collecting activities, but ended up using all the time for general electronics stuff, mechanical stuff and just general lighting. Anyway, rather than throwing it away when it broke (mechanically), I decided to try recover the lamp and electronics to mount it above my main workspace. It worked out well:

Mounted to ceiling.
Turned on.

Basically, I just packed up the electronics into an old Apple magic mouse plastic container. I used a little bit of plastic packing material to make sure that things stayed in place. And a few screws to hold the electronics and the lamp to the ceiling. It provides great lighting to my workspace. I’ll miss the magnifier, but I still have the magnifying glass so maybe I can do something with that later on.

4385/500000 and 17th Day of the Baha’i Fast

Last week I was on vacation so some discipline slipped. My sleep schedule became very poor: staying up til 4am, lots of long naps. And I missed a whole extra day of exercise besides my official rest day. And, I also accidentally had a sip of water one day when I was supposed to be fasting (I blame it on tiredness diminishing my mental awareness).

But, I still did well overall with my exercise. I did 900 reps in total for the week. Three days were 200 rep days, and the last day was 200 reps in 5 back-to-back sets of 20 sit-ups followed immediately by 5 back-to-back sets of 20 crunches. Admittedly, the last 50 crunches weren’t done with great form. However, I feel confident in setting a goal for 1200 reps this coming week. I’m getting serious enough that I’m starting to consider getting some equipment to help me, like a bench. I haven’t researched it yet, but if you have suggestions, I’d appreciate them! I’ve been putting off a proper start to my cardio work due to a foot injury. Tomorrow I finally see my GP about it, and hopefully I can start healing soon. I hope to start cycling soon since I think that will be okay for the type of injury I have. I’ll ask tomorrow.

Here are my records for the last two weeks:

20190305 232.6 day of rest

20190306 233.2 40SU + 30+20+20+20SU

20190307 50SU + 20+20+20+20SU

20190308 233.0 100SU + 15+15SU

20190309 232.8 30+20SU + 20+20+20+20SU

20190310 230.6 20+20SU + 20+20+20SU + 15+15CR

131/92 89bpm 30.57%

20190311 231.4 50+25+25SU + 25+25CR

20190312 day of rest

20190313 25SU+25CR + 25+25SU+25CR+25SU

20199314 none – failed to exercise

20190315 25SU+25CR+25SU + 25SU+25CR + 25CR+ 25SU+25CR

20190316 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU

20190317 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU + 25CR+25SU

20190318 20+20+20+20+20SU+20+20+20+20+20CR

I admit that the period of fasting has not been as spiritually rejuvenating as I would like. I think that’s partly due to my own lack of discipline wrt prayer. I’m typically not saying prayers in the mornings. However, I also think it’s because I haven’t been forming or strengthening bonds of friendship. So, I have a plan: I’m going to set aside Saturday nights for visiting. I’ll start by inviting friends and acquaintances out to dinner, and hopefully bringing along a family member or two. Eventually, I hope to have people coming over. I’ve realized that I’m actually pretty lonely. As an introvert it has kinda crept up on me.

In other news, I’ve done some nice ceramic art work. I’m working on another “vase”. It hasn’t been bisque-fired yet. I’ll post photos of it and some other pieces soon.

The featured image for this post is a double rainbow seen a few days ago from my deck.

3485/500000 and 10th Day of the Baha’i Fast

My day of rest was good and I’m taking another ont tomorrow (one a week). This past week I set two new records: 100 reps of sit-ups in a single set (!!!) and 800 reps total for the week. The 100 reps was really hard and I felt awful afterwards. I also did another 150 reps day. However, I’ve added crunches to the traditional sit-ups, and I’m just calling them all “sit-ups”. So now, I will do 100 proper sit-ups per day and start working on increasing my crunches. I’ve also lost a bit of weight, about 7 lbs, mostly due to eating only one meal per day due to…

The Baha’i Fast has been great this year. It’s a little harder than last year, truth be told, probably because of my week off of work. I find it hard to ignore hunger and tiredness when I don’t actually have to do anything during the day. The part I’m having a hard time with is really getting some good prayer time in. There are distractions, but also I’m just having a hard time remembering. I have, however, been trying to spend time with each member of my family during this week. I have to do something with Ocean and Justice still. I went for dinner with Melanie, dinner with Haifa, and a movie with Verity (Captain America – good, but not great, btw).

I’ve tried doing a bit of pottery/ceramic art, but I feel like I haven’t got the hang of it right now. I tried an experiment for making tentacle sculptures, but it didn’t work out so well. And this evening I started a new “vase”, but it’s too early to say if it will work out.

I finished reading “Great North Road” by Peter F Hamilton. Fantastic sci-fi/detective/creature novel. Some really touching moments. Nice long read too, and completely self-contained. No sequel to wait for. No really unique ideas, but extremely well-written and enjoyable. I highly recommend it!

2685/500000 3rd Day of Baha’i Fast

770 sit-ups in a week. 70 reps in a single set. And 150 total in a single day!!! (And I met my goal of 100+ every day too. ) Here are all the details:

20190226 30 SU + 30+20+20 SU

20190227 236.6lbs 40 SU + 20+20+25 SU

20190228 5×10 SU + 20+20+20 SU

20190301 30 SU + 35+20+15 SU

20190302 235.6lbs 30 SU + 70 SU

20190303 235.2lbs 30 SU + 20+20 SU + 20+20+20+20 SU

20190304 234.4lbs 30 SU + 25+25+25 SU

This coming week I’m going to start with a day of rest. Then, 130+ per day for six days to total at least 770. I feel like my stomach muscles need the day of rest.

First day of work since the Fast started. It was a bit tough in the afternoon, but really, not bad.

2nd Day of the Baha’i Fast

Much much easier!

No headache, less tired. Had a great visit with an old friend that I don’t see much, Daniel. We went for a walk together. However, I forgot to have my mom over. Bad son!!! Got a glaze run in on the kiln… see photos. And best day yet for total sit-ups: 150. My goal is in looking more and more possible (full weekly update tomorrow). Sat with Verity and Ocean at prayer time at the end of the day and talked about the rules and purpose of the Fast. Oh… and I built an IKEA bookshelf for out new mini pottery studio room!

Here is the loaded kiln before firing:

Here is the main piece after firing:

1915/500000 New Records Set

600 sit-ups this week! 55 reps in a set! 105 reps in 4 sequential sets. Next week’s goal: every day 100+ sit-ups. Here’s the deets for this week completed:

Exercise record:

20190219 30 SU + 200m swim + 20 SU + 20+30 SU

20190220 30+15 SU + 25+30 SU

20190221 30 SU + 50 SU

20190222 30 SU + 20 SU + 30 SU

20190223 20 SU + 20+20+20 SU

20190224 238.0lbs 124/93 108bpm 34bmi 33% body fat 166lbs lean mass 55 SU

20190225 236.2lbs 25+20+20+20+20 SU

New 50 Goal: Lose 50 lbs by Age 50

So I’ve made some good progress on my goal to 50000 sit-ups by time I’m fifty years old. I’ve been thinking a lot about other goals and I will have several more… but for now, I can announce my second 50 goal: to lose 50 pounds by time I am 50 years old. I weighed 238lbs this morning and losing 50 would get me to 188lbs. This is a little higher than my ideal weight of about 170, but would still be an enormous improvement. My current weight is the highest it has ever been. So, as I work my way down, I hope to find ways to make it completely sustainable. I also know that I can lose fifty pounds much faster than the three years until I am fifty, but by making it a long term goal, I can also aim for sustainability. I will start by doing some things that have been successful in the past:

  • having green smoothies or green juices every day,
  • eating keto-style stir-fries regularly,
  • restrict my eating hours (probably noon to 8pm),
  • drinking lots of water, and
  • doing more and regular exercise (beyond my sit-ups goal).

For exercise, I know that cycling and swimming are good. But bad weather can kibosh those so I will also get back to using the elliptical. I’ll start tracking that exercise and reporting it here too.

(Photo is me today as I post this. I’m not going to share a full-body image. I think those are kinda gross. As my weight improves, it will be easily visible in my face. )