Has Anybody Seen My Fitness? It Must Be Around Here Somewhere

Calling all citizens!  This is an All Points Bulletin alert for my missing fitness!

That’s fake news in reality.  I know where to find my old friend fitness but like most worthwhile endeavors it will take a little work and consistency to re-own it.

I woke up about 10 days ago and hopped on the scale like usual and the damned thing said 200 pounds.  That’s where I draw the line in life for a maximum body mass.  That number might sound like a lot or a little but for me it rings alarm bells.  You see, I’m a naturally skinny guy who stands only 5’10” on a good day.  I only have gone up one waist size in pants since high school but this giant Milwaukee Goiter (gut) has really expanded over the past 6 months or so.  Basically it was time to quit screwing around and get back to some base level of fitness in order to feel a little better and look a little less lardy.  The issue is much less about vanity than feeling a little lethargic and not sleeping as well lately.  If you’re new here you might review Lessons From 38 Years of Running – Guest Post on KateNesi.com.  Yep, I’ve been a runner since around age 12 and it usually doesn’t take too long with some steady workouts to get back to a base level of fitness where I have the option of going out to really train or run a little 5K race for fun with friends.

I also read here that Mrs. 1500 is getting off the couch and training for a half marathon about 6 months from now.  I’m not sure that I want to tackle 13.1 miles in the spring but it felt like a good time to get my own Temple back to the well oiled machine that mows down easy miles.  The other factor is that I don’t really like to change my diet too much from the wine and mayonnaise fuel that I enjoy.  There is a real risk of enjoying your life too little.  That is real.  So, without switching over to dining on tree bark, leafy greens, and water for a few months I have to work out a little harder to get the ol’ metabolism ratcheted back up.

Winter in Buffalo.  Want to go for run on this?

Did I ever tell you we have a sweet little gym setup at the salt mine of my employment?  It’s in the building about 50 yards outside of my research laboratory.  What I’m saying is that I have very little excuse not  to chug on over there and go for a run almost every day.  I have time to do it and the weather around here is about to turn to snow and slush for much of the next 4-5 months.  It already snowed here a couple of times and it’s only early November.  The bad footing in the neighborhood makes it rough too and my dog Banjo! is a pretty lazy running companion so the work gym is a great alternative all winter long.  Last Monday I got started with a relatively slow and easy run.  I finally have given up on using my usual 8.3 miles per hour (7:13/mile) as a starting point after some time off.  So last Monday I ran 2.5 miles in 20 minutes without stopping.  It took a long time to beat it into my mushy brain that it’s better to run uninterrupted when building back a fitness base than work way too hard and barely be able to run the 1st mile.  Age waits for no person, as it turns out.  The rest of the week I ran 2.5, 2.75, 3.0, and 2.0 miles.  I was pleased to get through the whole 3.0 in 23:30 on Thursday as this is basically the warm-up.  When I get to 3 miles in 21:30 and it feels easy I will consider this a base level of fitness and this strategy has worked well in the past.  I use another barometer of the proper speed level too and that is recovery time.  If my recovery back below a certain heart rate (i use 140 but you probably shouldn’t) within 60 seconds of stopping i’ll at least partly increase pace the next day.  If it takes longer than 60 seconds I stay the same pace of even slow it down by 0.1 or 0.2 MPH.  That’s just another measuring stick.  Eventually the whole workout ought to be under 150 beats per minute or so.

We also have one of those weight assist machines for pull-ups and dips so I busted off 8-10 of those after each run with plenty of assist.  The motion and repetition is more important to me at this point.  I can’t really do more miles at work with around a 30 minute limit on gym time, so anything more will have to come on my own time, outside on the weekends for now.  The big thing is that I got 5 consecutive days and I slept like a champion all week too.  I was also starving at night every day last week.  We’ll see how it goes but Team Me is off to a positive beginning on this.


I have an FI minded trainee

We have a new hire whom I’m helping to train over the next few weeks.  She’s a young chemistry graduate and mostly my partner has taken the early part of the training but I sat down and chatted with her at the end of last week.  It turns out she is employing many of the principles needed for a life of freedom from debt and wage slavery.  She seems to have a plan in place and is already debt-free and saving and calculating how much income can be made from invested savings and all that rubbish.  I have high hopes for this one and at least we’ll have something to kill the boredom that can come from a J.O.B.

It’s eBay Season

Summer sucks for eBay, if I hadn’t mentioned that before.  We had about 80-90 items listed all summer and only sold a couple of things per month.  All of the sudden when the weather got cool and schools started back up we’re selling a bunch more crap  merchandise.  We made a big score with some fashion thing a month ago and just last week some sucker valued customer bought an old tobacco tin that I found in our basement.  It had a bunch of nuts and bolts in it from a previous owner and I cleaned it up and it sold for 50 American dollars!  Sometimes it pays to have too big of a house in that these basement finds are not in the way of anything and I’m sure there are more treasures like that still lying around.  The key for us has been to not screw around with low priced items under 10 bucks.  They’re hardly worth the time to list for us and the other key is patience.  If we have an item that is uncommon we just list it up for a high price and leave it alone.  Set it and forget it.  Eventually the crap sells.  What a country we live in.

How about y’all?  Is the fitness going well or have you let it slide?  You ever buy or sell on the eBay machine?

22 Replies to “Has Anybody Seen My Fitness? It Must Be Around Here Somewhere”

  1. I recently had shoulder surgery and gave been sitting around the past 12 days reading, taking a free online coding class and doing ab and one arm workouts. Because I’m on low-dose pain meds, I haven’t been drinking alcohol and am amazed at how I’ve been able to keep my weight down, despite eating a fair amount of junk.

    Sitting around all this time has led to a lot of thinking….that adage about each of us being the average of the 5 people we associate with the most stands out to me, as I need to find local folks already successful at the goals I have. And all this time off being so bored and unfocused really has me fearful of my early retirement goal of December, 2021….

    I’m amazed at how fast you run. And knowing and admitting you have a problem is 50% of the fix, so keep up the great work…

    1. thankfully the running has always come sort of easy and i never let it get too far our of hand. even at my peak i could barely swim a lap or two and stink at weights.

      i feel your trepidation about fear of boredom in retirement. that certainly is real for me too. i wouldn’t mind finding a group of runners who just like to go out and horse around for 4-5 miles and not take it too seriously. get well, soon and thanks for stopping by as always.

      1. weights have always been easier for me than running, i think, because they require less time and i’m built more for picking up heavy things than for running long distances. also requires shorter durations of concentration…doing one arm workouts have been fun the past week, though….

  2. Dear Freddy,

    The tobacco tin arrived today and it is just as lovely as you described. I’m planning to display it as part of a grouping with other old tins in which I store my collections of old spark plugs, head-less nails, and hole-less washers. You just never know when you might need that stuff.

    My fitness appears to be going well but I’m not totally sure why. I stepped on the scale at the gym today for the first time In a few years. I’m down to 145. I’m about 5’8″ on a tall day and I haven’t weighed 145 since just after college. I think I’ve lost about 10lbs? I attribute it to bike commuting and eating a little bit less, maybe? Either that or some sort of un-diagnosed chronic wasting disease.

    Nice work on getting 5 consecutive days put together. Amazing how exercise improves sleep. It truly is a miracle drug.

    1. i’m glad you’re enjoying the $50 tin. sounds like that biking really pays off. i remember i moved to new orleans in ’99 and lost about 30 pounds in 6 months just by walking around everywhere. i did no real workout routine, i just walked around. i ought to be about a 175 pound person at this stage in life.

  3. My wife and I ran our usual eight miles starting off at 5:20 AM Saturday Freddy. There were six of us in the group ranging from 30 to 70 in age. The windchill was in the twenties (F) and it was pretty brisk in the pitch dark early morning. Then we both played a couple of hours of singles tennis outdoors against strong opponents, kind of arctic tennis! Today is wet and rainy so just some consulting work and reading blogs while I feel my knee complaining about too much action this weekend, I think it is also complaining that it is over 60 years old and should be treated better. My wife however is driving 90 miles to play tennis indoors tonight. I sometimes I think I’m fairly fit and then I look at her and realize, I’m a pretender, she’s the fit one!

    1. 8 miles is a nice long run. i think i would ramp back up to that if i were coaching or had a new group. arctic tennis sounds kinda crazy. it’s great y’all are staying active and the thing making it easier looks like fun and comaraderie.

  4. You’re running 8 minute miles right off the bat when you say you’re trying to get back to fitness. Remember in the grand scheme you’re already faster than 99% of America.

    I’ve been dealing with some minor sciatica that’s been slowing down my runs, but doesn’t hurt when cycling. Age….

    1. i’ve been lucky not to have gotten hurt much over this lifetime. if it started hurting me to run i would switch for sure, having nothing to prove. i love being able to get something done in 20+ minutes though.

  5. Seems like you have a pretty good plan to ‘find your fitness.’ I run regularly (3-4X per week) but I’ve noticed lately that my pants are a little more snug than normal. I’m taking the opposite approach, though- cutting out the DIPAs for at least a few days a week.

    Cool to see that your new hire seems to be FI-minded. My latest chemist hire just bought a new car, so I don’t know if she has the same mindset.

    1. our new hire has zero debt and aims to keep it that way…even mentioned a calculation about funding life with yield. it was a little off but the right idea.

      whichever way a person chooses, incrementally bigger pants are probably the wrong answer.

  6. I don’t do running! I have no excuse, I just don’t like it.
    I do try to walk my steps each day but with winter coming, I already skipped a few days in the last week. I guess my November update won’t be that great!
    Maybe my fitness is hidden with yours! I will let you know if I find either one:)

    1. i always thought like this: if you just don’t like a particular activity then it’s unlikely you’ll stick with it anyhow. we’ll keep looking, i’m sure of that. we’ll see how it goes when i have lots of time off with no indoor gym available.

  7. I know you hate this, but I have dropped 10 libs giving up the wine. But, it did coincide with some major hikes in the Sierras, so thiere is still hope for me yet!

    Back in days of youth, I ran 40 miles a week, but at a ridiculous 10-11 minute pace. I can’t imagine dealing with that snow. Actually I take that back. My last job took me to Scotland for testing and it was snowing a lot of time. I am proud to say that in spite of some crazy work hours 7 days a week, that alarm clock got me up and doing my workout every single day. I did it in the hotel room if it was slippery out there though. Sometimes you get on a roll. P.S. The pub in Scotland made it all workwhile!

    1. i’ll bet you miss all that ANSI yellow everywhere covered in scottish snow. i’m thinking of cutting back on the vino during the week at least. i’m glad it worked well for you so far. it’s easier to get to the workout at work once it becomes routine for me.

  8. I have a mean ‘work wife’ who does not let me skip the gym. I basically do what any woman tells me to do. Lastly, I am totally stealing ‘Milwaukee Goiter’ FYI.

  9. I’ve been not so great with my workouts lately. Shortening them from 30 minutes to 20 minutes, lol! Need to get back on track. Thanks for the reminder.

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