May. 25th, 2010 09:57 pm
daidoji_gisei: blooming tree branches against blue sky (Color of Sky)
This afternoon I had to run about half a block in order to catch my bus home. That's not remarkable. When I got to the bus I was not a gasping, jelly-legged wreck--that's the remarkable thing. My legs were fine, and I was breathing rapidly but not panting. !!!

I've been riding my exercise bike for a number of weeks now and it's hard to see any result. I mean, yes, I've gone from 20 minutes on the easiest setting to 35 minutes at a more challenging setting, but that is somewhat abstract. Running for a bus is real.

So naturally as soon as I got home I changed clothes and got on the exercise bike. Ad astra!


Apr. 7th, 2010 07:40 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Since setting up my bike I have virtually ridden 37 miles. Yay! According to the Walk Across Nebraska site I am now in a position to explore the abandoned chalk mine near Cotesfield, which is the only one of its kind in North America. Before today I had no idea that chalk mines ever existed in Nebraska, though I must admit that having once been the bottom of an ocean does up your odds for that sort of thing.

I had Monday off from work (comp day for Easter!) and so I did a lot of cleaning. Not enough to please me, but I'm slowly becoming used to the idea that I can never do enough housework to make me happy and I just need to cross things off of my list and move on. In the afternoon I went to the downtown library to return some things and discovered that they have the Avatar series DVDs, so I put in a request for the first one. I also checked out three different translations of Dante's Inferno and put in a request for a fourth. I have a reason for this, but it will have to wait because I don't feel like typing it all out right now.

Tuesday I was very busy at work, as we were trying to recover from the pre-Easter madness and being closed for a day. Today I felt like I really didn't get anything done even though I kept doing stuff. It is quite annoying. I think I'll be able to get stuff done tomorrow, though. In other news, I had yet another co-worker tell me that I look ten years younger than my age. Clearly my policies of staying away from tanning beds and eating lots of vegetables are paying off for me.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I did not ride my exercise bike today. Mostly this was because I needed that time to garden, and since gardening is also a physical activity I decided I was covered for the day. This has the beneficial side effect of allowing time for my bun-bones to heal up. I was expecting to have soreness in my calves and thighs from this, but no: all the soreness so far comes from sitting on the bike seat!

So today I planted edible podded peas, spinach, two kinds of carrots and radishes. Lots of radishes. But they are of three different varieties, so in theory they should give me a harvest spread out in time. Still to come this week is dandelions, sugar snap peas, and various greens of the brassica tribe. Oh, and arugula and maybe lettuce. I'm not all that fond of lettuce, but it is edible and it's not a nightshade, a legume, or a brassica, and that is becoming important for crop rotation purposes.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This morning I girded my loins (not easy I tell you, as I was still in my nightgown) and got to work putting the exercise bike together. I am now quite charmed with the Schwin company, because not only were the instructions clear and easy-to-follow, they had thoughtfully included all the tools I needed to do the assembly. Which was REALLY NICE--I probably could have used my pliers as an improvised wrench, but there is no improvising a hex key.

My next step is to make nice with the computer, and this might take a while. It probably doesn't have all the bells and whistles possible, given that is is a lower-end machine, but it still has them. I just decided I'd learn best by doing: This evening I turned it on, set it to manual, and started biking. It seemed to go well, so I grabbed a book (I set it up in my office/library, so I didn't even have to stop pedaling for this) and read a bit. I went five miles and decided that this was a good start; I didn't want to strain anything and not be able to bike tomorrow.

To help keep track of how I do I've signed up for the Walk Across Nebraska site. Ok, I'll be biking instead of walking but the website won't care. I'm doing the Central Trail first, because it is the shortest. As you put your milage in, the website tells you "are" and give some helpful commentary of a touristy and health-conscious nature. Like this:

Make a stop at the produce stands near St. Libory and find an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables during the summer months. Did you know that people who eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily have half the risk of developing cancer as those who only eat one or two servings a day?

It's not riveting stuff, but it is nice to be patted on the back for my veggie-eating ways. I wonder how far I can travel in a month? I guess I'll know in a few weeks.
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
This afternoon, with the help of some friends, I collected my exercise bike from Walmart and got it home to my apartment. I now officially own it. (Technically I'm sure you could argue that I owned it as soon as the money was withdrawn from my account, but possession, 9/10th of the law, etc.)

I still need to open the box, find the manual, and put it together. That might happen this weekend, but I'm not holding my breath. This weekend in addition to the normal rounds of house work I need to pot up the artichokes, broccoli and brussels sprouts seedlings, as well as start all of my tomato seeds. I need to write a story, too. I should probably get as far as finding the manual, though, and see what tools are needed in case I need to borrow something.

The weather, meanwhile, seems bent on making me as miserable as possible. I'm not sure what day I last saw sunlight, but it might have been last week. We've had overcast skies, rain, snow, fog, rain and snow, rain and fog,.... I'm sure you get the picture. This is supposed to continue on until the middle of next week, which makes me feels somewhat desperate. It's bad for my spirits, and it isn't all that great for my plants either.

Bike Day

Feb. 15th, 2010 09:52 pm
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I bought an exercise bike today. It was a little never-wracking, because it was much more money than I am used to spending on myself. I mean, it was less than my rent payment, but rent etc are 'necessities'. An exercise bike is a discretionary purchase, something that I choose to buy. Deciding that I am worth spending that much money on is an unnatural act.

It's not a decision that I rushed into; I'd been thinking about getting one for several months. About five years ago I lost a lot of weight, and I had good success at keeping it off. This past year I was seeing pounds try to creep back, and it worried me. As the bakery gets bigger and bigger I am going to be spending more and more time sitting at my desk, which means I will lack the exercise that baking gives me. (Believe it or not, I usually lose weight over Thanksgiving.) So I started to think about what my options were, and what kinds of things I like to do. An exercise bike soon emerged as the best solution--it was good aerobic exercise, some of them are compact enough to keep in an apartment, and you can read while using it. (I suspect the last point was the deal-maker.)

Then I had to figure out what kind of bike to buy, as I know nothing about how to judge the quality of such things. Happily, the fine people at Consumer Reports had an article and product review on their website, and one of their top picks was within my budget. Oh, glorious day. After making sure I really had the money to budget and then hemming and hawing a bit I finally did it. It should show up in a bit over a week, which gives me plenty of time to decide in what room to put it and make the necessary arrangements. Then I have to come up with a plan for how to use it, set some goals, tear those goals up and set some realistic goals, and I'll be off. Or on, as the case may be.


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