Saturday, July 05, 2014

New 'vlog' starting up... which links back to here. If I mention items, articles, etc... I'll put relevant links on this site of course.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

and squat for the last week.

So a brief good start a week ago... then not much else after that. Partially bad timing, partially a gout flare up (makes it hard to run when you foot feels broke) and mostly lazy.

So on the gout front... I get a couple flare ups a year. Somtimes (like this time) it occurs in a part of my foot that I don't realize in time is gout. So 3 days later or so, when I realize no the pain is not going away, I finally treat it. Adding to the overall recovery time. sigh. Normally it is the main "knuckle" of my big toe, bu this time it's nailing the bottom of my right foot. So lots of ibuprofen and water. All controllable through diet, so ate too much of something in the last week (I have theories, but gout is mostly controllable through diet, so if I overdue a food, or get out of balance it can flare up.)

Exercise... hope to be decent enoug to go to iaido tomorrow, missed 3 weeks of it so far and need the calming influence of swinging a sword and not cutting my self in the process.

New motive for a 5k ... Going to sign up for the Dreidel Run. Just debating 5k or 10k we'll see, looks like a fund run.

Next time I'll talk about some of the software/websites I'm using.

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Monday, October 24, 2011


O.K. time to get serious and try to blog more. :-) cough, yeah right...
Focus for this blog will be more about diet & exercise... I need to loose weight, get into better shape, and generally improve my health. No there have not been any great warnings from a doctor or anything. Just the self realization that my general shape has slid way down hill, I have bad knees, and a heart that's been patched up twice in my life.

So the goal is to both blog about what I'm doing and what sort of software/web sites I'm going to try out...

So first of:

Exercise -
Yesterday started out on a modified Couch to 5k program. The goal is I'd like to get back to where I could run for a full 30 minutes (eventually more) at a time. So I'm starting with Cool Running's program ( but w/ slight modification. I know I have some stamina I'm starting at week 4. I misread it so my run yesterday was a 3/5/3 pattern. I did that twice then finished w/ a 3 min run. I'll repeat that twice more this week and then follow the rest of their plan.

Strength wise I'm looking at the basic combo of pushups/situps/squats using my own body weight. It's a start and I'll probably use the charts for starting points and goals.

In addition I'll still do martial arts. But those are actually more about relaxation and body movement for me.

Next - Nutrition/Food
I refuse to use the term diet, the goal is to improve what I eat and how much I eat. Yes I will still be tracking calories ( in and out. But I'm going to try to be more mindful of my eating. Following advice from Michael Pollen's Food Rules. Like "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.", "Eat meals.", and "Avoid foods you see advertised on television.". Essentially basic advice on eating better and getting away from the food=nutrition only crowd.

Along with that I'm going to utilize what I learned from The Hacker's Diet ( as well as The No S Diet ( to try to improve what and how I eat.

Well that's a start... next I'll start diving into some of the software/web sites I've mentioned to help out.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Duathlons, aikido, and the like...

hmm... been awhile (june) since i last posted...

Any how first off once again this year I participated in the Minneapolis Duathlon. Even with a lack of training I actully did my best time wise this year (2 hours 24 minutes). Yes I was sore the day after, but overall felt pretty good. Now to try to make the running more regular. Really need to do it to get and stay in shape...

Aikido wise went to a "double" class last week (regular, followed by a beginner class). Sore legs on the day after, but again good overall.

Long term goals right now...
Test for "pre" 2nd Kyu in Aikido in December
Run a full 5k (or longer) this fall. Run as in I still walk part of a 5k, used to be able to run theh whole thing and want to get to that point again.

Cycling has been on the low side... if the weather is good try to sneak in a ride Sat. morning.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

On Running... (random ramblings and observations.)

I have this Love/Hate relationship with running... I added it to the "repertoire" 5 years ago when I weighed less and was in better shape. Figured it would be a nice secondary thing to do beside cycling. Plus I can handle running in winter, unlike biking.

So the hate...
Pain... I have bad knees so I have to watch how I run. Now I'm lucky in that I'm not a heel striker and have a neutral gait (no over/under pronation). But still I have to be careful. I'll walk steep downhills to save my knees and shins.

I suck at it... really at this stage I can go about 12 to 14 min before I need to walk for a minute. I know I'll get back to doing a solid 5k maybe more if I keep at it... but its also a mental thing. O.K. done with the pounding sort of annoyance.

It's hot (at least in summer)... unlike cycling if there is no breeze I can get overheated easily. Hence why I think I prefer running in fall/winter.

O.K. the "Love"

I get to see things... on a bike you really have to pay attention to the road/traffice/etc. Running, I use trails and sidwalks, I actually get the time to look around, enjoy the scenery, etc.

I like the rhythm... though I can get into rhythm on the bike the pounding of the feet adds a little more feedback. Once I'm in a groove it feels pretty good.

Kicks my a** aerobically... Running is very inefficient, in a good way. You end up putting a lot of energy in for not a lot of forward momentum (vs. say a bike where you have all those lovely gears to help you.) So it actually is a good, quick way to get the heart going, get the blood flowing more effectively.

So overall... I'll continue to think of my self as a cyclist first, but will make sure to keep running part of the repertoire as it were.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011


So last Saturday I finally had a chance to do tameshigiri and let me tell you those mats had it coming!

Seriously though... I'm part of a small iaido club of about 4 to 5 members total. We do musoshinden ryu iaido, a fairly common style.

Couple times of year, when it's warm enough we go out to Wisconsin where one of the fellow members lives and practice test cutting in his yard. Makes clean up nice and easy.

This was my first time so wasn't sure how well I would do... in my opinion my cuts suck. But hey that is why we practice. on the 3 matt rolls I did o.k. My kesagiri was so/so (some good some bad). My ichimonji with two hands worked well once I forgot about the target being in the way. Same cut from nuki tsuke not so hot. I did put a nasty gash in the mat, but didn't cut through it.

On the rolls we did that were 7 to 8 mats thick my cut really fell apart. Again that's why we do this it's a good feedback mechanism so we know we are cutting correctly. Sadly it's at that point I bent my sword too, normal hazard of tameshigiri. Luckily the guys who's house we were at had a piece of wood with a notch in it so he was able to straighten it out pretty well. Still needs some fine tweaking but it goes into its scabbard.

Overall a good experience, finally have some idea of how things should feel with feedback as it were... and tempted to try in my back yard in the future... but first need to get a back up practice blade. :-)

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday's class and such

Youth Aikido
Daughters got more bokken practice in... giggle. And the technique was a shihonage which can be bit on the complex side. But all of the students were coming along nicely. Considering that it was Marian's third class and Laura's seventh, I think they're making nice progress. Lot of mistakes but they are starting to show muscle memory and getting some of the etiquette down. Most importantly they are both still having fun.

Beginners Class
Actully did a technique my body remembers from the old days. Chest grasp second control pin... pin was a touch different. But still felt good. Straight forward class overall, nothing odd or strange from my "elderly" point of view. :-)

Annual Demo
The annual opening of the dojo was today so they had an "in house" demo...

Genbu Sotojutsu
This is a sword style passed down through the Kushida family. It consists of both iaijutsu and kenjutsu forms from my point of view. Lot of little differences from my Musoshinden point of view. Like not a lot of saya biki on the noto, They seem to lean forward a titch after the kiri oroshi. Foot is turned out slightly. But nothing major. The two person forms were interesting with a mix of iai and some fencing (as most two person forms are.)

Might see if I can watch a class as I didn't get a sense of the arts main focus (e.g. 80% iaido in practice or more kenjutsu, etc.)

On wednesday nights they have a bojutsu class and so the group demoed what they do. I don't have much experience so no clue what style they are, as they didn't say. Based on 9 sets of forms, techniques come off one of the sets. The sets consist of four strike/blocks that you do before the technique. Kinda like doing kihon dosa before a technique. Again interesting and would like to hear more about them.

Aikido Instructor's Demo
Nice demo, they ran through bits of each kyu level and then did some round robin at the end. Most of the group seemed stiff but I think it was more a choreography stiffness, e.g. they had just learned some of the moves and such. Third through first kyu seem fairly complex this year, and even some of the lower kyu levels had some complex choreography. But looked good overall. Nice to see some throws show up that I normally only see in high level demos. And a good overview of what I'll have to work through if I want to test again.

Overall happy to be back in it, both Aikido and Iaido... Next up need to find time to go to a Ki Society beginners class to finally see what is different and similar.

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